When we awoke on the ufo, the first thing that occurred to me was what horrible decorators the extraterrestrials were.
There were none of the carefully chosen color schemes that one might find on Kubrick's spaceships. No New Age dip-and-drape sculptings of cheesecloth into surfaces rendered in shimmering blues and soft white light that Spielberg might serve up. Definitely far and away from any nightmarish, though highly stylized, mechanorganic interiors that H.R. Giger could create.
Blade Runner did come to mind, but I quickly dismissed that idea since that film is not about aliens and even if it were, the craft we found ourselves held prisoners in would make even the most morose replicant grateful for a stint as building super for a housing project located in the manufacturing district of an ecologically doomed planet's capital city.
Frankly, the place reminded me of a dilapidated construction I shared with four slobs in college.
If I was going to rely on Cinema to make sense of this experience, I imagined I would have to rent Animal House when and if these creatures finished with us.
I do not care if I am embarrassing you. Or using your real name for that matter.
Yes, you Anton Adams!
You caught me completely off guard this afternoon at Albertsons. Well, now Albertsons-Osco of course, though I do not know why they had to complicate things. They already had a drugstore for goodness sake. Nobody wanted to shop at Osco before. Do they really think they can strongarm the houseboys and homemakers of Tucson, Arizona into going there now? I do not think so.
You know what I think it is like? I think it is like when some unspectacular journalist (you know who you are!) is given a guest commentary on the number one rated news show in southern Arizona in hopes of winning hearts and a weekend anchor position. Well, it does not fool anyone. At least not those of us who wash his car and walk his dogs and pick the weeds on his vacant and inherited properties. Say what you will about our loyalties to each other, but we domestics are tight with the dishes. Know what I mean? Everyone, everyone in this community at least, knows very well what is going on even if they cannot discuss it openly and keep their jobs at the same time. Do yourself a FAVOR and stop pretending just because this is Tucson nobody knows what CURRY is, okay?
So yes, that is what it is like at Albertsons now. For the love of God, now they do not even have manicotti shells. Six different lines of men’s hair coloring and not a single brand of manicotti shells. What is up with that? I am no expert on the ins and outs of sexism but this smells like reverse disemination to me. I would venture a guess that more men who shop there are looking for manicotti shells than Feria. Who is going to buy all of that hair coloring? Do you know, Anton?
And speaking of feathers, Jesus Christ, that place is Cock Central. Not the Official Name. Ha, ha! Handsome men everywhere. Which I suppose is why I was somewhat surprised by you today. Oh, it is not that I do not think you are attractive. Of course you are! But I suppose I thought you were someone else. Definitely not a case of distant beauty, but like that, but mistaken identity.
Also, go ahead and call me a Rules Girl, but I do not date other houseboys. You bitch! I didn’t mean to really call me a Rules Girl. Anyhow, there I was cutting through the cheeses on my way to the butcher block, my hands full of buttermilk and Crisco, thinking that the cook has once again mixed up this and last weeks’ menus, knowing there is no way these are the real ingredients for Oprah’s Un-fried Chicken and I cannot help but notice this gorgeous young man with jet black hair eyeing the sirloin. How long was it that you knew I was appraising your counterfeit Prada belt buckle when I finally looked up and realized it was you? Wait. Don’t tell me. Now I’m the one who is embarrassed because I think you of all people in this Tonka Toy town can tell that when I get turned on by a sight like another houseboy poking around at his master’s dinner meat, the first thing I do is undress myself with his eyes. In this case, it was your big black eyes, like two burnt out fuses, the cause of a devastating and hot fire that ruins me for insurance purposes.
And I guess you caught me doing it this time, Fire Marshall Anton!
Anyhow, with you I am prepared to break all the rules. To be honest, ever since the first day I saw you there at the West-Eastern Blenman Elm Houseboy Organized Services, Inc. benefits package briefing, I have harbored secret love fantasies in the back of my head about us. Imagining what our homosexual union recognition ceremony will be like. I know how you hate the term gay marriage. Well, me too! Yet another reason perhaps that we were made for one another.
Today must be our lucky day. I am more than happy to drive you home because it is raining and that tightwad lawyer boss of yours claims that if people are going to take his Green Party bid seriously, everyone in his employ has to start riding bikes. As if this were Holland. Or China. He is lucky it is not, because if that were the case that hunky driver of his, Ferdy Tang, might just take that speech to heart one of these days and show up on a tandem. Oops, did I say driver? I meant boyfriend.
And the thing about his not drinking any Scotch that is not organic and expecting you to find such a thing—who ever heard of such a thing? With the few beads he gives you to shop with… Well, what a freak. I know of a bottle that won’t be missed at our house though and I think it’s just as well because I feel as if you and I, I mean we still have a lot to talk about.
Sir, I may not be twenty-one. I may not be able to drink in your bar, but I’ll be damned if I don’t drive others to drink, and if you know your business, that’s all you should care about. If you hire me, I may not be the prettiest boy in your club either, but I sure am pretty and nobody looks at my face anyway so why should you? And while I may not look like a big guy, mister, I assure you that all of this—it’s muscle.
But you know what? I know you care about all those things, but I don’t care about a one of them. Not at all. All I care about is stripping. I was born to strip. People who know me say I was even born naked.
Well, of course they’re trying to flatter me, but you get the point. If I had anything to say about it, I’d say I was born in this thong. It’s leather, you know? And as much as I love stripping for you and everyone and most importantly for myself, this leather thong is as naked as I get. One more thing: if there is a part of my person’s anatomy where you see thong, that means no touching there. Understand? That’s the forbidden zone you damn dirty ape, so don’t even try. Nothing comes between me an my thong.
Yes, my thong has a name, and no I’m not telling you. Not cuz I’m not proud of it but because I respect its privacy just like it guards mine. See? We are a symbichotic team with a big tea and and extra lemon, just like the ladies like it.
I don’t have to tell you this. Any of this. This especially, but I’m gonna: I was almost a secret agent. Even had a special passport and ball point pen with a poison tip and 24 hour military style digital clock and I was learning to skydive already, but my thong couldn’t get a clearance. Not because it couldn’t make any mercenary double-spy give up the most sensitive of dirty war secrets, but because it couldn’t get a security clearance. You see, this thong is made of Argentinian leather, and it seems there’s a rule against that. You might as well know too that it’s the only damned leather I’ll wear. So screw ‘em. Screw ‘em all.
It is Christmas eve. I am in San Francisco, in the Castro, ordering a burrito (or “wrap” as they are now called) at one of the six million restaurants there. I order and they say it will be about five minutes. So I go outside and sit under a tree and look around at the other 599,999,999 restaurants and smoothie shops and I feel sad, thinking how magical the Castro was when I first visited San Francisco and thinking that now it’s like some huge food court at any suburban shopping mall. Where is all the activism? Where are the carefree drag queens with glittery cheeks and powdered mustaches running around dressed as nuns? Where is all the bad disco music? Indeed, where are the bottomless chaps!? All that remains of the old Castro, it seems at the moment, is the alcoholism and Walgreens. And even the Walgreens, drunk on its success, is reinventing itself. I start feeling bad about everything bad in the world. I feel so cynical. I start to doubt everything and for several minutes I even debate whether a burrito is going to satisfy *my* hunger. Yeah right! On my walkman I hear Desmond Tutu urging forgiveness. Can I find it in my heart to do that? It seems so hopeless I begin to weep. Boo hoo! I don’t want to go on feeling sorry for myself though, so I go inside and get a napkin, wipe my eyes and blow my nose and ask for my burrito. The employees look around for it and tell me that since I wasn’t there when it was ready they have donated it to the AIDS Foundation. They say they’ll make another. So I stand around waiting and ABBA walks in the door. Of course, everyone in the shop is going ga ga. However, there are only a few people in the shop, so the gaganess doesn’t ever reach a screeching level. Thank goodness. The boy behind the counter, when he stops laughing and turning to his co-workers and saying, “Ha, ha, ha! It’s Benny and Angetha and Bjorn and Anni-Frid, well, ha, ha, ha! It’s ABBA.” When he stops laughing and talking to his coworkers, he asks what the musical group has been up to. The bearded one answers in a Swedish accent that they’re working on some stuff that he thinks everyone is going to like very, very much. Agnetha turns to him and smiles and is about to say something when Patsy, the tall blonde lush from Absolutely Fabulous, walks in and snips, “Oh gawd, honestly, everywhere you go it’s more goddamned ABBA.” Benny laughs. Patsy laughs and she and Agnetha take each other’s hands and kiss the air next to each other’s cheeks and mutter things to each other but I can’t hear any of it. The boy at the counter asks if I’d like chips and salsa and I say yes and take my bag. ABBA is leaving too. Outside, the police, wearing sequined lavender uniforms with ridiculously large and shiny badges, have closed off the street to traffic. There’s a huge crowd gathered around a helicopter in front of the Castro theater. ABBA, all of a sudden wearing Ray-ban aviator style sunglasses, makes it’s way through the crowd and boards the helicopter. The two ABBA women start throwing condoms, bubble packets of lube, and colorful flyers to the cheering crowd. Benny on a megaphone is shouting, “Veee luv ju Zan Franzisco. Happee Holeedayz Zan Franzisco!” Come to zee Bjorn Again at zee Pleasuredome dis Zundee!” I look over toward the theater and Patsy is in the box office wearing a BASS name tag and processing charge cards. In the intersection at Market and Castro, a chorus of children with Rudolph noses and antlers is singing Chiquitita as the helicopter begins its ascent. The crowd below is smiling and waving and screaming back:
Am I the only one who would like to see a follow up film to Titanic? The story could go something like this: As Rose is being placed in a body bag for removal from the oil rig or whatever that thing was, Jack’s spirit revives her, spunky as ever, shouting from the spirit world, reminding her that she promised to never let go. She then jumps up onto the deck, and after a couple hours of flashbacks, and an emotion filled sunrise accompanied by the most beautiful music Enya has ever recorded, Rose dons a hard hat and joins the crew of divers searching for the Blue Saphire. She might as well, now that it really is at the bottom of the ocean. The fact that she had tossed it into the sea at the end of the first film could provide just the sort of existential tension and pondering that any good seven and a half hour sequel needs. At some point in the search, the sub becomes lodged in one of the majestic staterooms of the enormous luxury liner. With all lines of communication to the base severed and the little sub rapidly running out of oxygen the crew eventually becomes delirious, hallucinating their most golden Titanic memories. After a few hours of this, the water pressure crushes the tiny craft and its occupants into a ball no larger than an Irishman’s fist. Everyone except Rose that is! She makes a brave escape and returns to the surface, unharmed although a little out of breath.