On Valentine's Day I got an unexpected voicemail- from a long lost surviving member of the Northern Florida surfing gothic hippie crew. Actually, he was probably the first (new) person I met upon landing in the swamp in 1994 with whom I actually wanted to spend time. I met him when we both auditioned for a play and were cast as partners-in-mischief and (perhaps, I don't quite recall) even brothers. Of course shortly after rehearsals commenced, I met the FairyGodFaggot (who sprinkles sparkle dust on me from an adjacent plane as of November 2006, raise hell in death brother) who was, like me, cast across gender as a goofy old fortune-telling Gypsy. It felt like I had joined on with a psychedelic 3 Musketeers that summer.
The truly uncustomary thing for me- having grown up in the North- was that both of them were really chivalrous- southern gentlemen, as much as a couple of 18 year old boys in fishnets and eye makeup could be (Which, I suspect, is probably a bit more gentlemanlike than your average unadorned adolescent boy) They paid, they brought the wine and grapes, so to speak.
Partner-In-Crime guy actually did my makeup and cut my hair for me, when I was still stoically in denial about my bisexuality and far too dykish to even attempt those skills. He also regularly woke up at 4:30AM to borrow a car to drive me to work at AMOCO. (Here, "regularly" is a word meaning "for 3 and a half weeks until I got canned"). My Fairy Godfaggot dressed me up with fabulous textiles and cast off rings and bailed me out of jail and made me multiple mixed CDs. Partner-in-crime guy, on the other hand, wound up stealing a hideous heirloom opal ring from me* and my Dead Milkmen tapes when he fled up North (with his traditional zero notice). Of course, Fairy Godfaggot was far from perfect, as he had a terrible drinking-and-going-home-with-strangers-abandoning-me habit.
Generally speaking, I maintained a warmer relationship with FGF (who I'll refer to as Pryncess Xanax from here on out). Women and combustibly gay men often mate for life, and while I know he had friends out the french horn who all adored him, I have it in writing that I was one of his top 10 most favorite people in the world. I was his pet hippie and he was my, well- not to put too fine a point on it-my pet faggot. But after I moved, we strayed. I become essentially too depressed to tolerate. But I guess he one-upped me there, pulling the ultimate no-show at age 30.
Not as if the Preacher's Son (grandson, to be precise) was a cheap plastic consolation prize. Our relationship was different. I imagine part of it came from the natural intrigue a chick who (thinks she) is a lesbian holds for a young man. Another part of it, I'm sure, is that a diet high in cannabis with regular doses of LSD is key in maintaining that blissninnied-free-love state that had us all thinking it was a good idea to hitchhike across the country in March and sleep in the park in New Orleans. Further, the Preacher's Son actually introduced me to my very first Rainbow Gathering, a happening which profoundly affected the course of my life. . . until I blew it, of course, on booze and women. He was really quite generous, not even a bit of a chauvinist pig, broadened my world tremendously, and was a great sparring partner. . .
. . .Which really should have clued me in earlier. I mean, how do little boys and girls show affection for one another? Hell, I still have a certificate proclaiming me "Queen of the 'I Hate Tommy' Club" from kindergarten.
It seems he was also tricked into leaving Surfer Hippie paradise and now lives just a couple of (mid-sized, Midwestern) states away. And he decided to call me up on the 14th. And he's single, and still a cutie pie. Oh dear, watch me screw this one up within 48 hours of our reunion.
I've essentially had one "normal" sexual relationship in my life, because my preferences have led me to years of total asexuality broken up by a couple of mania-induced whirlwinds of sexual carnival tours. My ex-wife and I met at the tail end of one of those, and I always felt guilty about pulling a sexual bait-and-switch on her- towards the end as my sanity peeled away, so our sex life died after a long illness of acute loss of quality followed by ever-widening spans of behaving like roommates who sniped at each other, or childhood best friends who feel obligated to one another though they really have nothing upon which to base an adult relationship.
Who knows, though? Perhaps we'll just reignite that stiff upper-lipped justfriendship accessorized with a slice of cold, gelatinized sexual tension on the side. And- what the hell- he is alive.
*C'mon, H.! What kind of a moron do you take me for? I soothed all my resentments by making hippie- dresses out of all your stuff, though.