I've Had More Gay Boyfriends than Liza Minnelli

 ...recently, i visited colorado to see my family, scatter my grandfather's ashes, and catch up with my old college pal, brian...we've known each other since the fall of 1995, when we were both freshmen at UCI (zot! zot! zot!...yeah, you're jealous our mascot is an anteater)...17 years later and we're both parents, squirreling away money in 401k plans and savings accounts so that our families can retire to boca and our daughters can have proper weddings...brian is sure he's going to have to save more than me for said weddings--he and his wife have 2 daughters--but i assured him that the one i have to pay for will tip the scales...after all, i live in georgia...my daughter is already pronouncing the word sauce as "sawwwse" and planning her fifth birthday as a barbecue/princess party...i'm pretty sure that living in the south means she'll have to secure a minimum of 20 bridesmaids and each will have to be provided with at least ten gallons of aqua net...i should probably sell my stockpile of vicodin now and invest the money...

...i had a lovely dinner with brian, his wife, and beautiful girls, complete with a stroll down memory lane about our college days...just as brian and i were beginning to bore his wife, it somehow came up in conversation that a number of then-not-yet-out-of-the-closet men had admired me during those halcyon days...

...i quickly did a mental tally, trying to add up the number of gay boyfriends i'd had...

"I knew about Jonathan," Brian said.  "Remember he came to your room at, like, two in the morning and told you how much he was into you?"

"Yeah," I said.  I could hear the disappointment in my voice; he is, to date, one of only two men to ever wake me from my slumber to profess his love. Yes, the other was also a gay boyfriend.  "And now he's gay," I said.  "I found him on Facebook."

"Really?" Brian said.

"Seriously, that's more or less how I know all five of them are gay now. I guess after not being able to make anything happen with me, they all switched tracks and took trains to Gay-town," I said. (Yes, I realize there is no such place as "Gay-town." This is a memorable phraseology I've borrowed from a Greg Proops Improv set I went to...with, yet another, gay boyfriend.)

Brian's wife laughed when I said this, so I didn't tell her I'd stolen the idea.

"It's disturbing," I said.  "I kinda have a complex about it.  What about me made me so appealing to these guys?  Is it my mannish hands? My slightly deep voice? My grandmother warned me of these things for most of my formative years.  Not the gay men falling in love with me part, but that I didn't have suitable female features, I wasn't delicate enough.  If I were a character in an Edith Wharton novel I'd be described as 'a handsome woman.'"

Brian chuckled.  "No, c'mon."

"Really.  Were these five attempts some sort of last resort?  I've given it a lot of thought over the years.  Did my rejection put them off women forever? Did I give va jay-jays a bad name?"  (There were kids present.  I wasn't comfortable saying "vagina" in front of a four year old)  "I was mistaken for a lesbian by my own mother," I said.  "So maybe these guys thought I was.  Maybe they were looking for beards?"

"But you never had girlfriends," Brian said.  And something about his tone suggested that he wanted to end his sentence with a question mark.

"You should feel flattered," Brian's wife said.  "Gay men have good taste."

...perhaps...but i'm not sure all gay men are like Christopher Lowell...to imagine what had really gone on was a "shoot for the moon effort" is too conceited...

...maybe it was downright sexual confusion...it was college, after all...in the nineties...it was just becoming cool to be bi-sexual or gay...so cool that a man i lived with in the dorms--and, yes, with whom i had a brief fling--later came out of the closet, participated in a reality television show, and won the hand of another eligible gay bachelor...

...however you slice it, i think i've given liza a run for her money in this category...


Open Letter #3

dear White Trash Neighbor,

i'm really sorry to hear about your mother's recent stint in the hospital...it seemed pretty serious...especially since there were two ambulances in your driveway for two hours before they rolled her out on the gurney...she's been up and about since then though, right? i could've sworn i saw her driving herself to work yesterday...or was that your sister, the one you told me was moving in to help care for your mom? is that her black buick on the front lawn? did she bring the small grey cat with her? and do the two ponies belong to her or is this a new way of clearing the weeds out of the flower beds? in either case, would you mind keeping them out of my yard? i've scooped up three steaming piles of poo in two days...if i see any more, i'm liable to just chuck it over the fence where it might, possibly, land in your pool...

what, exactly, did you do to your back? when kali came over yesterday she asked if we had any medicine you could have...she said you'd had surgery and were hurting from it...while i do keep a small supply of vicodin in my medicine cabinet--you never know when you'll need a few extra bucks, right?--i was disinclined to share them...if you'd had surgery, wouldn't the doctor have prescribed something for you? or would that violate your parole? i've never been in a rehab or prison, but it seems to me that a doctor might be hesitant to prescribe something to a convicted drug addict, no? i'm no doctor, but if i let you in on my supply of prescription pills i might be accused of conspiring with a criminal...i'm just not willing to take our relationship to that level...sorry

i'm glad to see that your daughters enjoy coming over and playing with my daughter...i've gotten used to their misshapen heads, though i admit they startle me when i first answer the door...i appreciate the fact they bring their 32 ounce kool-aid containers with them...and that they don't spill it on my carpet...i have no problem welcoming them inside where it's cool and no bugs can eat us alive...i had no idea that this would bother you so much, since the kids came knocking...from now on i will keep them outside where the mosquitoes can inoculate them against bird flu and malaria--isn't that what you said about those bites on their legs?

one more thing before i close...while i don't mind the kids playing together outside, and i try to stay out of their play as much as i can, i must point out something disturbing in little jimmy's behavior...clearly feeling left out while the girls decorated my driveway with sidewalk chalk, he came on over, grabbed up all of the yellow, and began to draw...i thought nothing of this until an hour later when your kids were long-gone and i stepped out to water my plants...glaring at me from the foot of my drive was a gigantic, chalk-yellow swastika...now, where i'm from that's a sign of aggression...especially since my initials make me, nearly, a card-carrying member of the chosen people...i've been told that around here the swastika is a symbol of white pride or white power...the equivalent of those morons who wear white caps and gowns and clean up freeways...whatever the "message" little jimmy was trying to send, let me tell you, if i ever see anything like that near my home again little jimmy will get a lesson in the torah, nazis, and the general idiocy of disliking people because of their race...and you'll find more than pony dung in your pool...you've seen the godfather, right?


your Neighbor Who Will Be Gifting You With a Menorah This Winter