Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's My Life - I Was Robbed

During my White House Internship I lived in a dorm on the American University campus. I had never really been away from home for an extended period of time so I was a tad naïve. After my daily late afternoon 1 hour run (I did not measure miles I just always ran for an hour) I sat in my room discussing the evening dinner (drinking) plans with the older guy across the hall. After making plans I took a shower. Walking out of the shower room I saw a commotion at the end of the hall where my room was.

I came back to my room and saw that my wallet was empty and thrown on the floor. Clearly someone had robbed me. The only person it could have been was the guy I had just made dinner plans with. Dressed only in my towel all 121lbs of me raged across the hall and demanded my money back. He said I was only accusing him because he was black. No, I was accusing him because he was the only other person on the floor and he was just bitching about how broke he was before my shower. Push came to shove, my towel fell off and he was on the floor. I picked up the cash and told him that the first round was on me and just because I was half his size did not mean I could not and would not kick his ass if he tried to rob me again and if he needed some cash he just had to ask.

I grabbed my towel went back to my room locked the door, crawled under my bed and cried.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's My Life #4 - According To Legend

According to legend;

When I was baby I refused to crawl on the grass. I would only crawl on hard surfaces. Every time someone would put me down on the grass I would scream bloody murder. I am still not too thrilled with walking barefoot through the backyard.

Whenever I would get an ice cream cone I would turn it upside down and let the ice cream fall to the ground then pick it up place it back on the cone and eat it. Perhaps this was an early warning sign for my eventual lactose intolerance.

When playing with my cars and trucks I would not make the normal engine sounds – I would say car car car or truck truck truck while pushing them around the room. Even then words were important to me.

I used to suck my thumb so hard it would get infected. We used to have to wrap my thumb in gauze soaked in salt water and keep my hand wrapped in a plastic bag. After a few of these experiences I must have decided that thumb sucking was going to get in the way of my hand modeling career so I stopped.

I would bang my head along the foot of my parent’s bed until I found the right spot and then just bang away. This could explain things.

When I was born and placed in my mother’s arms I was covered from head to toe in red hair. My mother was horrified and told the nurse I was too ugly and to take me away. Later when the hair fell off everything was OK. What really cracks me up about this story is that I actually know it.

I carried a blue blanket with me wherever I went. I used to rub the blanket on my cheek as I sucked my thumb.

I used to love cooking shows and would bring out all of my mother’s pots and pans and watch Graham Kerr in the TV room.

When Walter Cronkite broke the news that JFK had been assassinated my mother was crying so hard that I grabbed a dish towel because I thought the Kleenex would not be sturdy enough.

I hated soda and would complain that it burned my nose. Yoo-hoo was my drink of choice.

We were only allowed one meal we would not eat. My parents were not running a restaurant after all. Mine was fish, so when we had fish for dinner my mother made something else for me. It turns out it was not the fish I hated but the tartar sauce that my parents used to try to kill the taste of the fish for me.

My mother was a room mother at Traill Green School in Easton. She was supporting a party for my sister’s third grade glass and left me with the kindergarten class while she served cupcakes. A kindergartener was sent to fetch my mother because I would not stop crying. When my mother came down to see what was wrong I told her that a bird had flown in the window and pecked me in the eye.

Every time I stuttered my second grade teacher would hit me on the back of the head with her teacher’s manual. I would come home with headaches all the time and when I finally told my parents what was happening they sprung into action. The teacher retired at the end of the school year. My parents would stop at nothing to protect their children.

Note: Traill Green (1813-1897) was the first President of the American Academy of Medicine and a chemistry professor at Lafayette College, a one cent stamp was issued in 1916 in his honor, a statue of him stands in Easton Heights Cemetery. The school named after him is now a condo on the corner 13th and Washington Streets in Easton.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's My Life #3 - Richmond Hotel

It was 1982 the high/low point of preppy and I was the style’s poster child – I had more pastel polo shirts than Ralph Lauren, more pairs of Docksiders than a shoe store, more khakis than the Gap and countless pairs of argyle socks. It was a good thing I was 6’ 120lbs because with all the layers of shirts I would wear I would have looked like I was 300lbs.

Trust me this boy could pop a collar.

My friends decided it would be fun to take my prissy self to a country bar, The Richmond Hotel, just a little outside of Bangor. I thought I was going to a hotel bar, you know like the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis or at least the Tap Room at the Hotel B.

Not even close.

I walk into this place with 3 polo shirts on, pink, light green and baby blue, Khaki shorts, blue docksiders and reeking of Polo cologne. Everyone stopped; the place went silent except for the jukebox. My so called friends were rolling on the floor.

The Richmond Hotel is not really a hotel, it is not even a pretend hotel with fine dining, it did not have a cocktail menu, it did not have a food menu, it did have about 30 Harley’s parked in the lot.

So, I stood there for a second, my friend Sue, who was one badass chick realized that perhaps they could have warned me, came up behind me nuzzled my neck and moved me to the bar. All she said was “I’m sorry and do not order a gin and tonic or a Miller”. I ordered a draft beer and I turned two of my collars down.

I suspect I was not the first gay boy to enter the place but I was the most obvious one that evening. Apparently Dykes with Bikes were OK there as I would find out later.

I love juke boxes and often spend more money on them than the bar and since tap beers were 35 cents it was not hard to do. Everyone was waiting for Donna Summer and I gave them every Rolling Stones song available.

A few beers later I was working the crowd, registering people to vote. Did anyone ever tap their beer bottle on another beer bottle and watch the bottom bottle over flow with foam? It was my ice breaker of the evening.

Near the end of the evening this rather husky woman in a leather vest and blue jeans tapped me on the shoulder. “Wanna go for a ride before last call?”

There we were a lesbian, a skinny gay boy and a Harley riding up and down the country roads spraying the Bangor suburbs with Polo by Ralph Lauren.

I woke up on one of my friend’s floor with the worst taste in my mouth I have ever had.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's My Life #2 - Beginning

My father’s family came from Europe in the early 20th century, today they would be considered Euro trash but back then were viewed as refugees from a crumbling Europe. I am from a long line of Counts of the old Holy Roman Empire. In researching my background it appears that they were the chief bakers for the royal court. I am trying to find out if I can lay claim to some long forgotten title.

The aging Count could see that the end was near so he packed up his precious teenage son and sent him to New York City with too much money and apparently little common sense. For awhile the Count kept tight control on the purse strings and the young man would send home long letters about student life at Columbia. In fact, the young man was really the toast of the town, leading a life the would have made Prince Egon Von Furstenberg blush. The last the young man heard from his homeland was a letter telling him his father had died in defense of the crumbling empire. Before he had died the Count ensured that all the money was safe and secured in a Swiss bank account. The young man threw a party at the Plaza and declared himself the new Count and partied for the rest of his life.

His son continued in the idle rich ways of his father and in 1959 had a son, me. My father learned pretty quickly that I was not going to be an asset. Babies with single fathers were not really babe magnets during the age of Eisenhower. It turns out my mother had no real maternal instincts and she too busy trying to shack up with William Burroughs. So they both set about trying to find a way to get rid of me. My mother found a relative of my father’s in Easton Pennsylvania of all places and within months I went from being Anton Waverly Bleeker Fladden to Donald Charles Flad, Jr.

And so this is what happened after that………