Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Well, It Was The Eighties...

Yesterday's blog got me to thinking about my 19th year on this planet, in 1985. It was a time when a lot of my ideas of what "the rules" were about things were changing. This was the year I read "Breakfast of Champions" by Kurt Vonnegut. Have you read this? He starts the book with a drawing of his asshole. I was like, "this is a book?". It started this major shift in my perception of myself and the world around me. Mainly that creativity is a chance you take, and it can be scary to trust yourself, but you do it anyway. My first roommate in Chicago was this straight kid, Steve. He was obsessed with David Letterman. (My first memory of his show [a year earlier] was the" letters" segment, where a viewer asked about the blinking lights in the buildings behind him on his set; cut to two actors turning the lights on and off in their 'apartment', worried how mad David gets when they don't do it right...I was a fan ever since.) So Steve had video taped EVERY show, up to the day I moved in to his place. What is that, like 3 years at the time? A LOT of tapes. I didn't have a job for the first couple of months I was here, and I think I watched half of them. Morning, noon and night. When I wasn't watching David Letterman, I was at Medusa's. It was this super-fun juice bar on Sheffield by Belmont. My first night in Chicago, Divine performed there. People of every age and type went there, because the music was the best, and it was open til ten in the morning. It was this huge room of a place, with 50 foot ceilings, so they designed and made furniture to scale, that all the kids would dance on. Standing on the balcony, over looking the room, tripping on acid, I felt I had arrived.
"This is the coolest thing I have ever seen!" I thought.
One night I went with Steve and his girlfriend, who was this beautiful golden California girl with a huge mohawk. She made her living during school as a Boy George impersonator, somewhere. I never did find out where. Maybe they were teasing me. I don't know.
So we're all waiting, ready to go, when Steve comes out of his room in Chuck Taylor's, black lace panty-hose, green running shorts, and a Ramones t-shirt. The last time I wore panty-hose, I was 16, they were my mom's, and me and my best friend Brad tried them on with kinky shame before we blew each other, one day when we cut school. And Steve was going out like this. Another major shift: clothing does not define your sexuality, it defines your personality. He went on to legally add the word Diet to his name, and is a published photographer, with his own books. The Letterman tapes were all stolen from one of the many robberies of our apartment. Medusa's went condo.

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