Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Caves of New York


I am obsessed with the year 1981. I spent hours today on Pocket Calculator trying to remember which Walkman I had. My best guess is the Sony WM-3.
I should say which Walkman Brad gave me. He bought it off a kid in Milwaukee for 25 bucks, that's way over a hundred in the store, bro!, during one of the times he ran away from home. I can't believe I ever got rid of it. I hate myself for getting rid of stuff. I think that was the real reason I was so attracted to King Tutankhamen as an eight year old: listen to my like me and keep your shit forever!....
(I got that game for Christmas in 1974. I distinctly remember seeing my brothers and step dad frolicking in the Christmas Day snow through the window of the dining room, wanting to be out there, too, but unable to tear myself away from my new game. I can't go.....The Mummy is talking to me!!...I am finding it really hard resisting pressing that Buy It Now button...)

I've turned into an archaeologist of my own life. Via the computer, I dig up all the things I lost over the years. This week alone I got three Bowie Scary Monster records in the mail, and I await with baited breath the forthcoming email from ebay telling me I have the chance of bidding on a WM-3.
I do still have some original things of mine from 81, but sadly, only a dusty few. Why do I want this stuff back, anyway? 1981 wasn't that great of year for me, at all, but I guess the few times it was good, it was really good, and I want to remember, in the fullest detail possible, those memories. Old things can trigger memories for me, even though I'm unearthing another's possessions. Some things from '81 I miss, and don't know where to start looking: my pink Antonio t-shirt, that red shirt I bought from Chess King, the Debbie sun glasses I got from the back of Rolling Stone, all the clothes Brad gave me, the silver bracelet my mom gave me for Christmas, my Cortez's, and the folders I drew on in high school. I roll these things over and over in my brain, almost like I'm trying to force them into reality.

I was in Paris a few weeks ago, where I made Bronzino Man II, (Don't get me started on him!) and what did I find on my Louvre map but a little box that said Proust's Bedroom. All the air went out of my lungs. I ran up there, cursing my cheap little digital camera, (a camera I plan on keeping forever, btw) to bask in Proust's things.
Hands shaking a bit, I asked the female guard where his room was.
Down that hallway she said as she pointed, a little startled at my enthusiasm.
If I had wanted to, I could have snuck in and sat on his bed, security was pretty lax. I contented myself with a lean over the velvet rope barricade, to look into his mirror, and I 'accidentally' brushed my hand up against his chaise lounge.
I could be very comfortable here. I thought to myself.

In 1990, I went to New York City twice. In the early fall by myself, and later that winter with Erin. When I went alone, I stayed with Danny and Ronny at their new apartment in the Village, just off Sixth Ave.
Eyeeeeee love New Yooork! Danny would sing out the window, across the street to the Pink Pussy Cat Boutique, despite the rancid cooking smells seeping up through the walls, from the half dozen restaurant smoke stacks that surrounded their apartment. Because of that, to this day, walking past a restaurant can gag me out. They lived on the 8th or 10th floor of a building devoid of an elevator, which was newly renovated, and a good size for New York. Unless you have a lot of money, New York apartments are comfortable only to first graders.
This was my first trip back to New York since I was there as a teenager with my family, ten years earlier. I was a little upset with myself for missing the eighties in New York; missing Warhol and John Sex and Basquiat and Keith Haring, and the Peppermint Lounge and Mudd Club and Danceteria, as well with missing London in the eighties, so I cranked up my Party Monster-Odometer full blast, and I set out to leave my mark on Ninties New York.

Leaving my mark on New York started with breaking a dildo. A Jeff Stryker, no less. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking Wow! He broke a Jeff Stryker! But it wasn't like that. Well, it was and it wasn't. I was using it, but not using it, when it broke. I'm not too sure I would ever want to meet the person who could actually use it, if you know what I mean. It was their other roommate's, whose name I can't remember right now, let's call him Ken, it was Ken's dildo, and I threw it unwrapped in the garbage can. I could have died.
Of all the things to break! A giant dildo! No one will ever believe I broke it by not using it! No one! They'll all think I'm a loosey-goosey! I will never live this down! Now I have to buy Ken a new one, and those things cost a fortune! I can't afford a new Jeff Stryker!
Those were the thoughts racing through my head as I walk into the Pink Pussy Cat. So rather than let Danny and his roommates think I'm a dildo-clepto, and feign innocence if someone were to ask where the Jeff Stryker was, Where the hell is the goddamn Jeff Stryker! Which one of you bitches has the Jeff Stryker! I admitted to them what had happened. Ken didn't ask me to replace it, but he said did freak out when he lifted the lid to the trash can, and saw a gigantic disembodied penis laying there.
If you are so inclined to Google a picture of a Jeff Stryker phallus, you have to find a picture of someone holding one, to appreciate it's size. It's a little like that scene in Aviator, when Howard Hughes realized you couldn't tell how fast the planes were traveling in the clear blue sky, for his movie Hell's Angles, because they weren't moving past something. I need clouds! Give me clouds!

Danny and I went out to the clubs every night; the Palladium, the last night of Save The Robots, Pyramid, and the Monster. The Palladium was a gorgeous old building, with a fun week night party at the time, and I mainly remembered how extreme some of it's patrons were dressed, I thought it was performance art. Performance art walking around a huge, empty gallery. Palladium is mammoth, and needed thousands to look alive. We didn't stay long; just long enough for Danny to break up with an 'annoying' friend.
What is going on with you two? I asked him, as I saw his friend storm off in tears.
I told her I didn't want to talk to her any more, and she kept saying 'What have I done to get this kind of treatment from you!!' He said, and laughed.
I pretended to laugh with him, and asked, So Danny, when is it my turn?

come back later for Caves of New York II, and probably III.

r.i.p., Lux



American Girl said...

Anytime I come across the word "Danceteria" I immediately hear Nina Hagen singing it.

Ronnie said...

I don't remember the dildo "incident" at all. However, the most fun we had with that dildo was putting it in our boxers and trying to keep a "straight" face while going to the door when the food delivery guys came from the local mexican restaurant!

BC said...

Glad to see you're alive and kicking, Ronnie! Thanks for visiting. I still have to write a good story about will probably involve your Grey Ant clothing, and my jealousy of it....:)

Ronnie said...

Grey Ant? i think the brain cell holding that memory packed it's bag and left for a quiet life in the country...
the hardier cells still hold tight the fond memories of Chicago in the 80's. I enjoy your blog!