Saturday, May 27, 2006


"What good is sitting all alone in your room..."
I don't know! hee hee
"Come, hear the music play..."
OK!! I will!!
"Life is a Cabaret, ole chum..."
I know!! I know!!
"Come to the Cabaret...."
Have you ever seen yourself walking down the street? It's weird, believe me. Especially when you think to yourself: "What a goofball..."
The other day I saw this doughy, spotty kid wearing an old-fashioned, military type hat; you know, like they did in WWI. With his Converse and thrift store pants, and an air of youthful bravado.
"Oh yea, I can't think mean thoughts, that was me once."
My first Memorial Day here in Chicago was in 1985, a year I'm sure you all associate with me by now. Scott and I spent it together, at a barbecue. Doug was still living here, but not with us that day, so I wore his Parachute blazer. And the military hat.
Scott picks me up at my place, and we begin the walk over to the party. He's excited to go, because his newest crush asked him to meet him there.
"His name is Dave, he has a white flat top and he's really cute. I met him at Berlin, but I don't know if this is a date or not. It'll be a fun time, anyway."
"Then why am I going if you're going to talk to him all day!" I said.
" I don't know him! I don't know if he likes me! If you're bored we'll leave early" He answers back.
It was a cold and misty day, and it took us forever to find the house we were looking for. We walked north on Racine, past Addison, to the cemetery, and walked around it. We get to Irving and Kenmore, by the El tracks, and decide we are in a bad neighborhood. It was like walking on to a movie set: The street was lined with old mansions with large front yards that had some how turned into a slum street. It was just like when I was 14, driving with my family through the bad parts of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1980, on our way to the good parts, when I spied a lone, obscenely tall, man's platform shoe standing on the sidewalk among the crumbling buildings and trash-filled lots.
"Wow, the 70's are really over" I say to myself.
A few families were out grilling on Kenmore, trying to make the most of the bad weather, and I wanted to stop and stare with bulging eyes and mouth agape, for it was unlike anything I had ever seen, but Scott was pulling at me, telling me to walk faster, through his clenched teeth. My parents wouldn't let me out of the car "to look around" that day, either.
We finally find the barbecue, and because of the lousy weather, it had turned into a house party. Feeling a little (ok A LOT) uncomfortable among the glamorous guests slouching around the snack trays, we make our way to the TV after finding some beer.
Someone had put Pink Flamingos in the vcr. EGGS! EGGS! EGGS! This was my first time seeing a John Waters movie. If you ever need to break the ice at a party, that's the best way to do it. I recommend one from the 70's. It's hard to feel insecure about yourself when the Pink Flamingos gang was licking furniture and mailing people poop and making their assholes whistle and tying hotdogs to their dicks and...well, you get the picture.
After the shock of knowing the existence of such a movie wore off, Scott and I laughed till we cried.
A little later, white-flattop-Dave finds us on the sofa and joins us. Scott and him seem to hit it off ok, but when Scott learned someone put acid in the punch, he wanted to leave. The movie was a trip itself, and I think he was getting a little nervous.
We had a long walk home, with Scott taking pictures along the way. He has an easy laugh, and I remember having fun trying to make him laugh the whole way home. We said our goodbyes at Diversey and Racine, and when I got home, I found myself alone. I looked through Doug's records and put on Scary Monsters. His copy came with a lyric sheet, and Ashes to Ashes freaked me out. I knew and loved the song, but I didn't know the words. I played it over and over. I felt I knew exactly what he was talking about. What I liked best about Bowie back then was the package he wrapped his genius in: 1909-Romanian-Circus-freak-drag
"I'm gonna do this! I'm going to write an amazing song like this! RIGHT NOW!!"
I wanted so much to pull something that brilliant from me. I knew it was there somewhere!
I wish I had kept what I wrote that night. Alas, I felt I had failed miserably, and threw it all away.
As I write this, I have Pink Flamingos in the dvd player.
Liza sings again:
"...that's what comes from too much pills and liquor..."
I used to not know the good of sitting all alone in my room.
"When I go, I'm going like Elsie!"
I used to want to go like Elsie, too
When Liza sings that song now, she adds the word "not", as in "not going like Elsie".
"Sometimes" is a word I would add to that song, somewhere....


Bea said...

HI BIC. here i am readeing YOUR blog, as promised. it's good, i like your blog. my memories of the 80's are a little different. i bought a straightener this week. let's hang out soon. xoxoxo

David said...

Now which Scott is this??

BC said...

There is only one Scott: Pittsurg Scott!

David said...

Pittsburgh. Isn't that where they make....VIDEODROME?