It's not about the house.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Tale of Two Pretties

Once upon a time, when I was young and beautiful...

... I had a job running props for the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Harvard Square.

Now, I can imagine what you're thinking. You're thinking: "RHPS is not a real job, it's not even a real play, and prop-girls aren't real cast-members, anyway."

Am I right?

Well, congratulations for speaking in verse, but I never! For your information, I was moving furniture in spike heels and a leather corset on an incline in the dark, so shut it. Even Ginger Rogers never had to work her shit that hard.

I did also have a real job, though, to (sort of, but not really) pay the bills. And how's this for a dichotomy? That real job was at a twee tourist shop in Faneuil Hall Marketplace called The Christmas Dove. By day I dusted Snow Babies and polished Jesuses galore, then at closing time I put on the black Kelly-Bundy shirt with the red "slut slut slut" all over it, and whored myself out in the name of truth in advertising.

Actually, that isn't true. I bought the slut shirt because the director of the show liked to tell people I was one, which was nice of her but not entirely the truth. Not then, at least. I can't vouch for my behavior when I left the show, but in my two years there I only dated two boys in the cast, and I only ever actually slept with #1...

... who turned out to be the director's sometime-boyfriend. Hm. In retrospect, that may explain the name-calling and rumor-mongering, but in my defense I didn't know it at the time. He was cute, and sweet, and very young, and we had a month or two of silly fun, kissing in stairwells and snogging behind the movie screen, until, in a fit of youthful indiscretion, I threw him over for boy #2.

Now, look, this time I know what you're thinking. But he told me that he wasn't gay, and I believed him. I mean, we worked at The Rocky Horror Picture Show for heaven's sake! There has never been a safer haven for coming out than that -- except for certain port cities, or ancient Greece, or maybe Minnesota airport bathrooms -- so why would he deny it if it were true? Yes, he was prancing around in fishnets and ladies underwear, but that's a costume, for god's sake. It comes with the part, you know. He was an actor.


Of course, the real point was this boy was freakin' hot. Ten pounds of gorgeous in a five-pound, fishnet bag. So when I said "It's too bad you're gay, because you're beautiful," and he said "Me? Gay? No, I'm not!" I pounced. And for a while, he pretended to pounce back.

I ditched Boy #1 (things were getting very messy with The Director by then, anyway) and moved into an apartment with Boy #2. An, ahem, two-bedroom apartment, thanks very much, where for the next six months every time I gave him the old howdy-sailor he turned twelve shades of green and ran away. I think once I even heard him shove his dresser up against his bedroom door.

We had fun anyway, him playing a dashing Rupert Everett to my Madonna (including the odd ugly falling out), and we made a mess of that shithole apartment. By the time he sat me down and gave me the "If there was going to be a girl, it would be you" speech, it was redundant. Then one day he moved out, and after that we gradually went our separate ways.

I pretty much started googling him as soon as I learned how, but in all these years I never managed to turn him up. I wasn't certain I was spelling his name right anymore, but every variation I could think of came up blank. I kind of worried about him, to be honest, although I'm not sure exactly why. I didn't think he would be dead or anything, I just... I guess I wanted him to be happy, and for somebody with his looks and personality, talent and theatrical aspirations, to have absolutely zero google presence seemed to me to be somehow sort of sad. No jobs? No website? Not so much as a headshot? Not even a facebook page, at least, Boy #2?

(Of course, if you happen to be married to me, then that's a different story. If you happen to be Johnny, then absolutely zero google presence makes you a 21st-century Man With No Name, which can be its own kind of freakin' hot.)

But then, out of the blue, Boy #1 found me in January. I'd never looked for him because a) I felt bad about how I'd treated him back then and wasn't sure he'd want to hear from me, and b) in the intervening years I appear to have killed off the brain cell responsible for holding onto his last name. Which is why, when he friended me -- in a spectacularly Senior Moment for someone of my tender age -- I had to ask him to remind me who he was.

Hey man, if you saw his profile picture you wouldn't recognize him, either! Plus, how was I supposed to know he grew up to become a puppeteer? Anyway, he looks even better than he did at nineteen, lives in New York, is happily engaged, and he accepted my apology with grace and charm. He's not in touch with many folks from back then, either, but he connected me with one, who found me a few others, until at long last I hooked up with Boy #2!

Well, not "hooked up" with. He does still have those theatrical aspirations, after all.

Turns out the reason I'd been coming up snake eyes googling his name for all those years is that he uses a different one now. It seems his real one was already taken when he joined, ahem, Actors Equity. He's toured Europe with a production of Rocky Horror, staged and starred in Hedwig and the Angry Inch to much critical acclaim, and now has this band which is making the ramp-up rounds. I missed out on all of it, because I had no idea what he was calling himself these days -- and, okay, and maybe a little bit 'cause of that brain-cell thing.

I haven't mentioned Boy #1's real name because we haven't spoken since our initial how-de-do, and I'm not sure how he'd feel about me linking to him here. Puppeteering is not quite as "look-at-me!" as Angry-Inching, after all. Now that I think about it, though, without permission maybe I'd better keep Boy #2's name to myself as well. Not every manly-man likes the whole world knowing he kisses boys and tours Europe wearing ladies underwear.

So anyway #2 and I got together for a bunch of beers last night and--

God, Gene, I'm kidding! I can see that indignant expression on your face from here!

His professional name is Gene Dante, and you're going to want to write that sucker down. I promise you this boy is going to be famous someday -- even more famouser than he already is right now. Because he's brilliant, and talented, and kind, and caring, and still ten pounds of gorgeous only now it's tied up in a fancy Windsor knot. We really did drink a bunch of beers together last night, though, and you know what?

He said all the same things about me.

Except... hm... except the part about the gorgeous... 

Hey, Gene-Bone, you forgot to tell me I'm still gorgeous! Even if it isn't true, you're still supposed to say it to me! Jeez!


GD said...

Now I'm blushing. Did I actually forget to say you look great? ...GORGEOUS even?

You are.

Please forgive. By the 3rd High Life my gentleman's etiquette gets a little shaky.


12ontheinside said...

Glad to hear you had a good beer moment - when life hands you lemons, drink beer.

ege said...

GeneBone -- Oh, this old thing? Why, thank you! (Don't worry. I know I'm not, but I will be when you see me next, I swear. It's just been a beer-and-McD's kind of year -- ask anyone who's been reading this crap!)

12 -- Ah, yes, grasshopper; I can always count on the wisdom of my favorite (natural-born) Ozzie to justify a drink when I need one!

pork luck said...

Hot. Really hot. I think i love him. But i'm torn because i love Johnny too. Oh whats a girl to do...

Cake said...

Awesome post!

Hiya Gene...Canada approves. And any friend of our gahgeous Ege is a friend of ours.

ege said...

PorkPie! -- Isn't he? I'll share. What a girl should do is tell all her San Francisco homeys to download the new single from Gene Dante and the Future Starlets called "The Love Letter is Dead" -- it drops on iTunes and today!

Cake -- Yay, Canada! Do they get iTunes up there? (Oh, I kid. I kid because I love...)