Thursday, May 18, 2017

Loring Park Episode #69: A Boy's Best Friend is His Mother

Previously on Loring Park: A five-year friendship took a break. "Moonlight" won Best Picture. Ariana Grande sang "Moonlight". Jakey didn't drink for six days.

I am happy to inform you that I survived April. It's a recurring theme of my life that things go sour in April (remember last year, the height of my passive-aggressively running away from conflict?). I had spent so much of my life identifying with what "group" I was in, or who my best friends were, and while I'm always grateful to have abundant friendships in my life, it was important for me to learn I could hang out by myself and still have a good time.

Steve went to San Francisco for five days. It was a present he bought for his mother. Do you know what I got my mother for Christmas? Lotion. On a credit card that she helps pay for. I instead got an Armistead Maupin book from the library to have my own San Francisco experience. I happened to have that Saturday and Sunday off, so I was ready to be a single girl about town.

I went to The Saloon to watch RuPaul's Drag Race. I sat by Liam and Tofu at their table (Tofu isn't his real name, but he goes by it). Everyone at their table was gracious, but I couldn't enjoy myself. I kept seeing _____ and his posse and one of them even got their raffle ticket drawn and got to play Plinko! I booked immediately at 8:01 P.M. My friend Billy asked where I was, but I told him I had already gone home to get pretty and that I might head back out later.

Carla wanted to go the '90s with a friend, and I thought it would be a great idea! Her friend had a crush on the ridiculously muscular bouncer. Well, who doesn't? The girls came over at about 10 and we pre-gamed until a little after 11. I didn't realize that Carla's friend was driving. I then forgot how horrendous driving downtown is on a Friday night, especially when a concert is just ending at the Target Center. It took forever! We finally parked somewhere on 1st Street, in front of signs that said "NO EVENT PARKING". Carla and I thought this was fine because the event was over, and the car would be fine.

The '90s had a long line, but if you paid cash you could go in the side door. About ten minutes in, I realized that Carla's friend was drunk and shouldn't be driving home. I asked Carla if she wanted to call a dry drivers service or just come back at 8 in the morning. She said she would take care of it. I then decided to stop worrying! I hadn't been to the '90s in forever, and I loved seeing the bartenders and queens that I knew during my nine month stint of being the Sunday night hostess (I miss the gig and I miss the money, but I also don't miss having to always carve out those two hours a week, especially if I had other plans. I get Sundays off a lot now, whereas before I didn't, and it was easier to go home from work, get ready and then do the '90s, and not be tempted to get too drunk or tired at brunch). The muscular bouncer, Muscle Chris, was his usual friendly self and at one point I was massaging his back without realizing it.

I told Carla I was gonna head to the Saloon -- it was 1:30, so I could have a drink there and then stay a bit later (they close at 3). The minute I got there my phone rang, and I spent my entire night standing outside on the patio. I heard yelling in the background. It turns out Carla's friend's car did did towed, it was apparently all Carla's fault, and that Carla had her keys in that car so she needed to stay at my house that night.

I am never going to get laid.

The cab stopped at The Saloon to pick me up on the way my house. So much for my Friday night. Carla's friend was still bitching and swearing at her and insisted that the cabbie drive her all the way home to Anoka. Carla was trying her best to calm her friend down, but it wasn't happening. I told her to go to the door, and I told the driver to call me when he got to Anoka.

"You're saying things you're really going to regret in the morning," he kept telling Carla's friend. She wouldn't have it.

I have been the person who has acted poorly under the influence of alcohol and said horrible things to people who were my close friends. I wanted to believe the best in people, and that she would feel bad enough in the morning. I also didn't want her in my house! What if they fought and argued all night? Carla put on some of my pajamas and we attempted sleep, but we were both too rattled to relax. Oh, and Carla's phone was dead and she has an iPhone and I have an Android, get at me, motherfuckers.

We woke up at 9 and kept calling until 11, when her friend finally answered the phone. After a morning full of coconut water and Red Bull, we were recovered enough to head to Anoka. (Also, Carla watched lame women's wrestling matches with me, so I forgave her for anything). My mom graduated from Anoka High School! Go Tornadoes!

We got to her friend's house. She said she was on the way down. Then she came outside ten minutes later. Then she enjoyed a cigarette for ten more minutes. On the way to the impound lot she apologized a few times but was also throwing Carla under the bus. I completely checked out at that point and dropped them off at the impound lot.

Oh! The freeway exit was closed! So my normally five-minute drive home from the impound lot turned to 25. I was already over this day! When I was about to leave, Carla told me that her friend didn't have any money and they had no way to pay to get the car out. I knew if I would have paid it, it would have been on my credit card, meaning Loretta would have been paying it! I finally was able to say "no" to something, and I went to LUSH to play bingo with Markie (Carla told me they later worked it out; I encouraged her to hang out with people who treated her better). I didn't win, but there were cute boys and cute dogs there. Lee was having one of his bi-weekly house parties, and I texted him saying that I wouldn't go because I drank too much at bingo. I had only had two, but I didn't want to drive to Plymouth, especially at night.

After attempting to take a nap, I looked up how much an Uber would be to Lee's house and it wouldn't be as bad as I thought. Plus, after a night of dealing with squabbling girls and their drama, I needed boys! At least when gays have drama, I can look at them.

I was still a little nervous. Lee is always a gracious host, but I didn't know who would be there, other than that I was going to be the oldest person there, and would I Uber home right away if it got awkward or would somebody drive me home ...

It was, of course, pitch black when I got there, and a boy who I have seen on Grindr for years (don't judge! My mom lives somewhat close to the U!) got to the house at the same time I did.

"Can I walk in with you?" I asked.
"Sure," he smiled.
"What's your name?" I asked.
He responded with a super broski name and I was already feeling nervous.

There were about 15 boys there, ranging in ages from 21 to ... 24? Oh, God. Brexit was in the kitchen and I have a schoolboy crush on him so of course I talked to everybody else but him because I am a lady.

The broski quickly changed into a wrestling singlet and Lee pulled me into his room.

"Debby," he said. Lee is Ruth and I am Debby.
"Debby isn't here yet," I said.
"Okay, fine," Lee said. "Jakey. Who do you have a crush on that's here?"
"What? No one," I said while trying to be coy.
"I like the wrestler," said Lee.
"I like Brexit," I said.
"He has a boyfriend," said Lee.
"Aww," I pouted.
"It's okay," Lee said. "You're still cute."

We went to the living room and Brexit's boyfriend was doing yoga poses that involved putting his head behind his leg, and I began to understand their entire relationship.

I supervised beer pong downstairs with the children. Speaking of children, Bruce showed up! Bruce stayed with us last Halloween weekend and I feel like his mother, even if he is 6'2" and ripped.

Debby eventually emerged. At 3 AM everyone took their shirts off, including Brexit, who has pectoral muscles I could live in. No one asked me to take mine off but I did anyway. (Also, I ended up talking to Brexit and he's nice and smart and more than just a sex object in my head. Good grief.)

"Ew, you're scrawny," said one of the children. I passed out on a couch. When I woke up there was a gorgeous nerd-cute boy wearing glasses asleep on the neighboring sofa. I did not get his name or penis.

I am never going to get laid.

I Uber'd home at around 11:30, and my mother came over to help tidy up the house. I felt a clean home would be the least I could offer Steve! Plus, I had a show that night at LUSH so I didn't feel the need to do a full Sunday Funday. We watched clips on television together before she was off. Despite having all the time in the world, I got there five minutes late. My Uber driver was a broski who was kinda cute and tried to drive as fast as he could.

Of course, it's not like I had to get ready. My make-up consists of a single Tom Ford concealor stick. I felt really schlubby next to Martina Maraccino, whose outfits and makeup are nothing short of artistry. I loved being backstage at LUSH where all the drag queens get ready! There were gowns and sequins everywhere and I felt like part of something magical. I decided I would only answer to the name Genevee Ramona Love. I was wearing a ridiculously tight Coca-Cola T-shirt so I could do jokes about Kylie Jenner and Pepsi, but I think I forgot them.

Sarah McPeck, the host and organizer, had said if I had friends come that she could get them in VIP seating, but I had no friends in attendance. Which was fine, because Sunday night at 7 is a hard draw for people, and I'd rather they come in June when I'm the headliner. But I didn't tell Sarah this, so she gave me an intro expecting the crowd of 35 lesbians to know who the hell who I was.

"Okay," she cheered. "Who here is on Team Jakey?"

CRICKETS. LOUD DEAFENING SILENCE. Team Jakey is no longer. The squad is dead.

She regrouped quickly. "OK, let me explain him to you. When I say aging, you say twink. Aging TWINK! Aging TWINK! When I say gummy, you say BEARS! Gummy BEARS! Gummy BEARS!"

It was an adequate intro, and I did okay. I talked too fast but the lesbians liked me after all. I did jokes about Venus retrograde and break-ups and how The Saloon is gay high school.

I enjoyed the rest of the show, especially Jodie Maruska (hilarious!) and the headliner, Jason Schommer, who handled a last-minute heckler very well. He had a throwaway comment about how he probably ate his twin in the womb (this is a thing that happens), and a drunk lady in the back room was inexplicably VERY offended.

I hobknobbed with the other comics and said hello to LUSH management, who always treat their talent very well. Then I decided to Uber to Saloon so I could get there before 10 and beat cover (look at me being all frugal!).

It was one of those cruel April days that starts warm and gets super cold, and by the time I got to The Saloon, I was shivering like a leaf. Tofu was outside and I said hello before walking in. It's always kind of awkward during that 9:50-10:00 time at The Saloon. Nobody wants to get a drink because all their cheap asses are waiting for 2-for-1's to start at 10. The disco bar and the fire bar aren't open yet. No one wants to admit they are waiting until 10 because then you look like a cheap alcoholic.

Minneapolis is gay high school, right? I mean, I should have graduated by now. I'm like the super senior who already graduated but keeps showing up. It's like, Dude. Move on. Anyway, my mentality is still there, because I was fresh off my high of performing and expressing myself, and literally the first person I saw there was the one that, when I saw him in person or social media, I was allowing to make me feel like absolute deep fried shit (and this was never his intent, either -- it was all in my head). He was there with his new posse of five tall, strapping, educated dudes with well-groomed facial hair and nice shoes, and his back was to me. I had a moment to act viscerally. Choose Your Own Gay Adventure. Do I:

A) Walk by like an adult, smile hello, continue walking
B) Really lay it on thick and say hello with a big fake smile and hug him and all his new friends
C) Walk by casually -- if he says hello, acknowledge it
D) Run by them, yell Fuck you, I'm 5-foot-7 and/or recite the dialogue from Mean Girls in which Janis Ian discovers that Cady Herron lied to her about going to Madison and really threw a party for all the popular kids

I instead did my own entry, which was

E) Walk across to the other side of the bar and SPRINT out of the room toward Danny's bar in the back and then they won't see you, and by the time it is 10, you can relax

Perfect! I had this all planned out!

And as I was sprinting, Tim, the bar manager, stopped me like a hall monitor in high school. "Jakey Emmert," he said sternly with his arms pushed down on my shoulders. "Stop running. We have drinks all night."

Oh, great. Now everyone could see me getting scolded, and this certainly wasn't helping me fight my reputation as a drunk mess/dumpster fire.

"I have to pee," I lied, and ran to the bathroom anyway. I could always make myself go.

Knowing that I screwed the pooch and it was 9:58, I cut my losses and ordered a shot of tequila from Danny. I stood by Liam. They all begin to enter Danny's bar.  Oh, God.

"Have you seen ____?" said one of his friends who saddles up next to me. He has an indiscernible foreign accent and big arms and is nipping out of his t-shirts four out of five times.
"No," I said. Did they not know my current pariah status? I am yesterday's news. I did not have awesome shooters and listen to awesome music and soak up everyone's awesomeness.

He stood next to me. "Hi, Jakey," he said in a voice that sounded terrified. I avoided eye contact but sized up his impeccable Ted Baker ensemble. "Thisiscute," I said speedily and side-hugged him like a Duggar sibling. "Iloveyougoodtoseeyou." Maybe this was his attempted moment of reconciliation. And still, I ran away to the fire bar, because running away is the only thing I know how to do anymore. What was I so afraid of?


I didn't work until 2 the next day, but I had a doctor's appointment in Blaine at noon. It was to refill my ADHD medication. I weighed in at 113 pounds, like every 30-year-old man you know.

"How's your appetite?" he asked.

"Good," I lied.
"Are you sleeping okay?"
"Yes," I lied.

I got a 3-month refill. I'm on, like, half a milligram. It's fine.

Since my Grandma Shirley lives in Blaine, I decided to stop at her house! She tried to feed me enough food to feed an entire village, or at least my cousin.

"Your grandpa is not here," she lamented. "He would love to see you. But he's in his ROMEO club."
"What's that?" I asked.
"Retired Old Men Eating Out," she explained. "On Mondays they go to McDonald's. Wednesdays is Wendy's. Fridays they do Culver's, but your grandfather doesn't participate on Fridays. I don't think he cares for the Culver's cuisine."
How can anyone not love Culver's? I was ready to demand a blood test. Then Grandma Shirley ranted about Donald Trump and I began to believe my own heritage again. I started going off on astrology.

"Is that your new religion?" she asked.

"I don't know," I said. "Last time I had a departure in my life I got really Jesus-y because I needed something to explain it all. Now it's this."
"You should go back to Jesus," she said. "You sure you don't want more ham?" She is a Capricorn.


Steve came back the next day where we went to my mother's and then Nico's, where I still think the food is too spicy but it's important that I try new things. We discussed hills of San Francisco and 13 Reasons Why. I complained about being lonely. There's the ___ thing, Jared is often busy, and I hadn't seen Reid in forever.

"Have you tried texting Reid?" Steve asked.
"No," I said.
"Have you tried inviting Reid to anything?" Steve asked.
"No," I said.
"Well, there you go," Steve said. "I wonder if I'd be good at teaching high school."
"I'm sure I am good practice," I said. "I'm the same emotional level as a 15-year-old girl." 

I insisted on going to the 19 because heaven forbid I stay in one place or have less than one drink. It was uneventful and there is no such thing as FOMO on a Tuesday night. "You're being very extra right now," he said when I made one too many jokes in the Uber. "Take it down about three notches." I missed him more than I thought I would.


We went to the RuPaul's Drag Race viewing party at The Saloon, but there were no seats for us even though I had requested them. Steve was fine standing at the bar but I kept getting bumped into and I wasn't a happy camper. We left right away. I camped at my parents' house that weekend, because the next day was to be my mother's surprise birthday party!

I knew about it forever and didn't ruin it! I almost did the prior Tuesday when Steve and I went to watch RuPaul's Drag Race on DVR and she was lamenting that she didn't have major plans for her birthday. Her birthday is April 16th and my father is an accountant, so usually he's crazy busy during that time of year and she works on her birthday because it pays double. This year she decided to treat herself and take the weekend off. My aunt Jennifer planned a surprise party at Big Louie's to coincide with bingo. I worked until 7 that day and planned to arrive right after work.

I'm sad that I missed the actual moment of "SURPRISE!", but I think they got the job done:

I sat with Jen, my uncle Ander, and aunt Megan. Megan was the only person who won bingo all night, but this was justice as she was last the night of our Oscar pool (but she rallied at the end!).  Grandma Shirley wanted a picture and I was feeling melancholy and declined, as if I was some diva or all-star celebrity. I regret that I couldn't stay in the moment.

Jen announced that they had done genetic testing on my mom's side of the family and the results were surprising. My mother had always maintained that her family got here because of an Irish stowaway, but that we were hardly Irish (she told me I was always 10%), but it turns out that we're way more Irish than we thought and less Scandinavian than we thought. This explains my temper, high alcohol tolerance, fair skin, and stealth ginger status. We also found out that my mother's side of the family is! 1% African. Whatttttt????

My brother showed up at the very end, my mom's friends thought I was a snob, and I left to go watch Saturday Night Live. Plus, the next morning I had bought four tickets for the all-ages Easter drag show at LUSH!

The plan was for me to pick up Steve and Reid and meet my mother there. I texted Steve and he wrote something like "whatever i'll just drive myself". He seemed pissed and I couldn't figure it out. I stopped by the house anyway since we live just a few blocks from Reid.

"I'm here already," he said when I called, and he hung up. Hmmmmmm. I picked up Reid only 15 minutes after my original ETA and began to worry out loud.

"It probably has nothing to do with you," Reid said. "Maybe he's just tired."
"Yeah," I surmised. "Or maybe he got invited to some super sexy gay Easter brunch party with god knows who and he can't go because we have tickets to this thing instead and I'm killing his vibe, and I'm like, Dude, go to gay brunch if you want to, it's fine."
"Okay, that's still making it about you," Reid said. "But ... better."

Reid explained his social absence had to due with the Venus retrograde. "I just had to wait for it all to be over," he said. I enjoy that Reid shares my curiosity of astrology. He is a Taurus sun/Aqua moon/Taurus rising.

Anyway, we arrived at LUSH and Steve was in perfectly fine spirits, especially when he found out we had VIP seating right next to the stage. I had foolishly taken my meds that morning so I just stared at my food for the first half. I had never been to an all ages show before, and it was so fun!! The numbers were still very entertaining. Some of the kids loved the drag queens. Some were scared of them. One little boy in particular would always give the queens a dollar and then take it back. I was in absolute awe. We've become kind of drag queen groupies lately, and I love it. I also thought how that has to make you so much better as a performer -- to do  a bawdy show on Saturday night, and then think of three numbers the next morning that will entertain both adults and their kids. LUSH typically does their all-ages brunch on the last Sunday of the month (adding them on holidays), and the Gay '90s has long hosted them on the first Sunday of the month. I think it's an absolutely genius idea.

My freshman year of college, I was in a play called "Cloud 9". It was highly sexual and queer and maybe now, if I were 19, I wouldn't have been brave enough to do it. The entire audience consisted of students taking Intro to Theater who were forced to see it. I remember castmates lamenting this, but I loved the challenge; take an audience that doesn't really want to be there and make them be captive for two hours. I think we got the job done, and it gave me status during my two years in a place that was kind of homophobic and behind the times (one must remember that this was Bush-era small-town Wisconsin and we have come a long way). There was a part in the show when the cast breaks into the song "A Boy's Best Friend is His Mother". The director kept debating if we would include it or not; it was kind of kitschy, broadly goofy in a way the rest of the show wasn't, but in the end he chose to keep it:

Steve and I went back with our retrospective families, and Reid went to prepare for the Sexy Jesus contest at The Saloon. We didn't know that the contest was starting early, so by the time we got to The Saloon, the contest was ever! Reid was upset and then I bought him a shot of tequila. It might not have been improved his mood, but it improved mine.



 I had to gird my loins for another weekend by myself. Steve was going on another trip, and this time I knew I was going to feel some kind of way about it. It wasn't his fault.

He doesn't like how negative you're being, he told me on the rooftop of Union in January. The chatter among us was loud and he wasn't enunciating, so I asked "What?" about three times. By the fourth time he was unintentionally shouting it at me.

HE DOESN'T LIKE HOW NEGATIVE YOU'RE BEING. Don't get mad, but we're going to Seattle in the spring.

Maybe that was the beginning of the end. No, that's not fair. That had already happened and we were all in denial. This was, I don't know, another part of the rising action before the climax. You feel this way and I have to hear about it this way? I suppose there is no handbook when your best friend goes off the deep end, when he is in the hospital on Sunday and is back at the bar the next Sunday like nothing happened. There is no handbook when your best friend tells everyone he's done but you're the last one to know about it. There probably is a handbook for someone both self-loathing and narcissistic who needs to face the realization that not everything has to be about him.


Pre-Loring Park, pre-everything, I had an Internet affair with a dude allegedly from Seattle. I thought it was my first heartbreak but it really wasn't. Still, it took me a while to not flinch at the numbers "206" or to get through an episode of Frasier.


He reached out to me that Wednesday. It was beautiful, lyrical, heartfelt, vulnerable, real. It took me three hours to read it. First I turned my phone off at work and then I walked to the 19 and then I had a vodka soda on the patio and rolled my eyes at people who were loud and turned up on a Wednesday. When I wrote back at first I was combative and deleted it, and then I was sappy and deleted it, and then I wrote something that was defensive, terse, dismissive even.

"You should have made an appointment with me that day," my therapist later said. "We could have written a response together.

What do you really want to say?"

Three months later, I still don't know.


Reid and I wanted to go to straight bars that Friday but went to Jetset, which is, like, the opposite. I stopped at a going-away party for a friend moving to Atlanta. Reid ran into an ex and got emotional. I Uber'd to his apartment from The Saloon. I could have just gone home, like a normal person, but NO, I Uber'd back to the 19, back to The Saloon, then back home. I missed absolutely nothing. Why can't I ever stay home or be happy by myself?

 I went to bingo the next day and sat by my friend Nathaniel (who I watched WrestleMania with!), Harrie Bradshaw, and others. I didn't win a single game but I had fun! Brexit was there and I responded by hitting Harrie every time he walked out of the bathroom. I am so mature, I know. Harrie was getting ready for a burlesque show that night, and I was getting ready for a hosting gig at New Hope Cinema Grill. The money was far from great, but I felt a sense of pride that I was getting work and that I had some sense of purpose over the weekend other than getting drunk and feeling bad for myself.

There were only 15 people in the audience, but they were fun! Plus, it's always nice to see Colleen Doyle Justice, who I really got to know when I filmed Distilled last year. I got lost on the way home so I chose to eschew my original plans, which was to stop at the Fremont as they were doing a clothing drive. I've never been there, but my brother goes there a lot, and girls I went to college with are bartenders and I could always get in free if I said their name. Time had got ahead of me, so at midnight I decided to cut my losses and head to The Saloon.

The Saloon was BUMPING!!! I don't know what was going on in town, but it was almost Pride-level packed. I was unusually overwhelmed. Lots of beautiful people were there and I was very self-conscious about my make-up. Like, I knew it looked terrible. I also knew I would have felt more self-conscious if I wasn't wearing make-up. You can't win for losing.

I ran into a few circles of people I knew, in that "Hi, how are you" kind of way. The posse was there and I felt four feet tall. Once I escaped to the fire bar, I felt at peace. I somehow ended up saddling next to Bruce for a while, and I bought him a tequila shot.

"I can't do tequila!" he cried. "I'll puke."
"You should have told me!" I said. "I'll get something else."
"No, I'm fine," he said. "I just need a Coke-back. I'm nervous. I want to make out with somebody."
"You can't make out with someone in the fire bar," I said. "It's trashy. You make out with people on the dance floor."
"I'm scared of the dance floor," Bruce whined.
How can someone so tall and strapping be so whiny? "Bruce," I said. "Help me help you."
Bruce pointed to a boy he liked but who allegedly only dates older men. "Oh, and that guy is older but I think he's really cute. I'm not really into older, though."
"How old?" I asked, and then he was pointing at Quinn, who was looking very handsome in a light-blue button-down. I responded like a mature adult, by which I mean I bursted out laughing.
"What?" Bruce asked.
"Come here," I said, and I grabbed him by the hand like we were middle school girls. Because he is tall, he used my shoulder as an arm rest.

I was going to tell him everything, and then I realized ... it didn't fucking matter. None of this matters.
"He's nice," I said. "But older? Fuck you. He's 26."
"Oh," said Bruce. "Yeah, I forgot ..."
"It's okay," I said.
"You don't look it," Bruce said. He has a nice smile.
I would have made out with him because the tequila kicked in and Debby had arrived but a) he would have probably refused b) we were in the fire bar and I would have been breaking my own rules c) HE WAS BORN IN 1996 WHICH IS AFTER "BATMAN FOREVER" CAME OUT I CAN'T I PROBABLY LOOK LIKE HIS DAD

I tried to set him up with the younger boy he liked but he kept standing next to me instead of the boy and I wrote him off as a lost cause. This led to my friend Doug trying to set me up with people and it never works because Doug is too loud and brash. He will literally shove me toward the hottest guy in the room and say "This is Jakey, have sex with him!"

"Doug, I am not doing this," I said as he pushed me toward a cute boy in a broski University of Minnesota tee.
"Aww, it's Jakey," smiled the cute boy. "Don't act like you don't know me. I've met you, like, four times." What???? Why don't I remember any of this???
"Just be cool," I told Doug. "I can't have sex anyway. It's broken back there."
"Jakey, you should be a top!" cried Doug.
"I'm 115 pounds!" I cried.
"Then find someone who is 105 pounds!" Doug suggested. Maybe, but this was a Saturday and 18+ is Thursdays and Sundays.

I went to the dance floor for the first time in what felt like a year. I was treading in the hoe waters! I was even in the middle, dancing with attractive men, as if I belonged.

And I went home alone because I wanted to, and I stared at the ceiling until 7 A.M.


The next Sunday I had to work, and I found it to be merciful. No brunching, no day drinking, and my mind would be off of shit. That night, Carla and her friend Shannon came over. Shannon is a tattoo artist and I think she is sexy af. We pre-gamed and then drove to The Saloon. It wasn't super crowded but I was super happy to run into Lee. I always feel better about Debby showing up if Ruth is there. Then Woody showed up! I hadn't seen him since my birthday and I forgot how attractive he was in person. Because I am an adult, I had to leave the room and giggle with Carla about it, and then I was back into adult mode. He had been drinking all day and got a tattoo at some point in the afternoon. Shannon berated him for not taking proper care of it. I have no tattoos!

We talked about the weather a lot. Woody had been in Germany for work and hated how gloomy it was. I thought about how hard it would be to travel so much for work, regardless of how glamorous or exciting a job looks like from the outside. #deepthots

It was overall a good Sunday. Some of the "kids" were there, I felt relaxed, Carla was in good spirits because she was with a nice person as her platonic date and not a trashbox, life was good ...

...Hell froze over and I invited a boy over later that night. I forgot how to do anything.

YES, I HAD A 69 DURING EPISODE 69, GROW UP. He was ridiculously out of my league from a physical standpoint and I spent the next day wondering if I should send a thank you card or a cake. Why am I so sexually frigid? My friends do this all the time. I spent all of my twenties pining over confused idiots and maybe it was okay for me to have a roll in the hay that didn't mean anything. So what if he had six-pack abs and I am built like Grandma Ethel? We didn't have the lights on.

I really wanted to go to bingo the next Wednesday because the '90s was at 60 for coverall (and Muscle Chris was bartending!), but Grace Thomas asked me to do her show on Wednesday and I couldn't say no for a multitude of reasons. One is that I will get nowhere in my career if I am turning down shows for bingo. Two is I got drunk once and DM'd Grace about an issue I had made up in my head and was really stupid, and I was worried I had forever stepped in it with her when I greatly admire her. And third is, the show was super fun! OK, so it's every Wednesday at New Block, and they talk about the new comic books that came out that day and then some people do stand-up. It's an incredible concept of combining two passions into one show, and I was very impressed. This is like if I did a weekly show based on Mariah Carey ballads or wrestling divas of the late '90s-2006 period. Sean and Allen showed up, and I thanked them for being "my gays" as I talked about Ariana Grande. It turns out a girl in the front row was in "Cloud 9" with me, all those years ago! What a small world! It was a full-circle moment, and I was happy to learn that she is writing an installment of Cheryl Blossom that comes out later this year, in which Cheryl channels her anger through roller derby.

I felt bad because she wanted to stay and talk but I was trying to head to the '90s so I could play the last game of bingo.

"Last time I saw you was super random and you were on your way to Treasure Island," she said. Oh my god. This girl must think I am the biggest gambling addict.

A very well-dressed young man walked by us outside. "By the way, I'm gay, and I *don't* like Ariana GRAND," he said. And yes, that's how he said it. And yes, I coveted his red leather jacket. And yes, I would awkwardly run into him again a few weeks later, because that is how the world works.

I booked it to the '90s where I was eligible to play Game 9. I didn't win. The $1,000 coverall went. We are at a bingo drought! The Eagle is also low and I don't go to the Townhouse during RuPaul season. At least we'll have LUSH and I'm off most Saturdays.

Next week: An impossibly attractive visitor! Reid's birthday! And the finale?????

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