Thursday, January 22, 2009

Without You I'm Nothing


1990, Heathrow:
I stood in line waiting to check in for my flight home to Chicago, when I hear loud, Beatles on Sullivan type screaming.
During this time, England had a rash of terrorism, and the subways were plastered all over with posters asking you to 'pay attention to unusual packages or behavior', with two large big-brotheresque eyes staring out of the walls. Those posters freaked me out the most when there were so many people crowded into the narrow, snaking, underground hallways, you couldn't even stop if you wanted to, let alone try to pay attention to anything other than getting where you needed to go, and not swept away with the crowd. I tried to avoid the tube during rush hour.
So when I heard the terrifying screaming, coming from my right in Heathrow, I braced myself for flying debris, and looked for a place to dive for cover.
I slowly turn to my right and see about thirty eleven year old girls, charging full tilt boogie in my direction. The screams were screams of joy; with smiling faces their arms strove for the their target.
What the hell? Who are they screaming over? I think to myself, as I look to my left, where I spied a New Kid. Ooohhh.
He feigned that he was less than thrilled at seeing this tidal wave of fandom headed his way, and pretended to look for an escape route, when he saw us bleary eyed travelers glare at him for disturbing our early morning peace.
In the nick of time, his body guard appears out of nowhere to smack the kids away like he was trying to put out a fire. His rough behavior didn't hamper their enthusiasm, and each girl tried their best to get their arms around their idol.
The woman in line behind me asked aloud, What I want to know is how they knew he would be here!
After a minute I turned away and thought meh... Now if that were Joey...

John and I went to see Sandra Bernhard's Without You I'm Nothing on the 3rd of July, in 1990 together, at the old Fine Arts Theater on Michigan Avenue. He lived down the street, so we walked from his place, and who did we pass on our way there but Joey the New Kid himself. I didn't scream, or feel a tingle in my loins, for he looked all of fifteen years old. I still have his doll, though, in my closet somewhere...

Without You I'm Nothing was the right movie for me at the right time for me. I went back and saw it a few more times before it left, with my friend Donnie, (who I wrote about a few dozen posts ago) who was now my co-worker Donnie. I'm not real sure why that was, because he made good money in the fragrance world, but if I'm remembering correctly, Consita hired him as a manager. I thought it was going to end badly, our working together, but it was a good experience, considering that any room Consita was in was a very small room.
We loved that movie, and could not get enough of it.
Sandra just made it look so easy, getting up there and making a movie off, what looked to me, her cuff. She truly inspired me to find that voice I had inside me, and do something with it. She had the novel ability of not putting her cart before her horse, and put it on celluloid.
Being with John, and watching that movie for the first time, I knew, despite the fact we were holding hands in the dark, I had no idea how to move our relationship forward, or where I wanted it to go. Now more than ever I felt ruled by what scared me, and not by what inspired me, and it was making me sick.
Ugh. It's sitting here next to me, it's up there on the screen; everything I am doing wrong. Now what. I guess that's a question: Now what?

Around this time, Scot and I were into making shirts. He had lots of extra interesting fabrics laying around from his job upholstering, so we made these kind of Shakespearean, over sized shirts in purple and pink velvet, that were just up to the edge of, but not quite, club kid. Well, Shakespearean on Scot, but more Kristina Holland-like on me. This was near the end of our crazy outfit days; the days when we would pull out all the stops and pile on the wackiness until we finally realized, even though it's tons of fun, fashion doesn't get you laid.
Also around 1990, 91, Michael Alig started showing up in Chicago, throwing parties in alleys and warehouses and laundromats and always with a dozen imported New York self-created freakazoids. They were really quite amazing to behold, their creativity seemed to know no bounds, and I would steal in dribs and drabs, bits of their look for my own.
Though I did find it odd that even though they would be flying on God only knows what, they took the time to protect their hearing and wore earplugs on the dance floor. When I saw earplugs in the guy with pipe cleaners glued to his forehead, I thought Is this his job? Does he think of this as a job? If this is a job, then who the hell am I working for?

One night at Berlin, Michael starts talking to me, as he did every time he saw me around town, and put me on his lists for his parties. Come on! Show up! He would ask.
I was being very strict with myself with drugs and partying at that time; it wasn't too hard, I wanted to be free of it for a while, and it felt good to be clean, and I went with it, and I think Michael liked that about me. I never showed up to his parties, even with promises of what ever I wanted being there. I never showed up because I knew those parties, I knew those people, and I honestly did not know that if I went to one of those parties, I would ever want to go home again.


Thank God Morrissey is still alive, that's all I gotta say about hearing the leaked copy of his new album.

1982, in a Wisconsin basement


American Girl said...

Is that an assless plaid jumpsuit?

BC said...

we all wore them in the '90's!

American Girl said...

Then you were way ahead of the curve in 1982.