By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
After a while, I began to feel alive. A bit of a sense of humor returned. People stopped being frightened by me on sight. One Easter, the girls invited me upstairs for an egg painting at their apartment. The prospect filled me with the kind of terror the recently sober and, thus, completely agoraphobic will understand. But I went anyway. It was me and about a dozen of the queerest folk I had ever encountered in my three-plus decades on the planet. Suffice to say Mistress Mona was tame by comparison to the muscle boys and fluffers around the table. Somehow, though, they treated me well, I held my own, and we all had a good time. My Easter eggs were graciously displayed on the girls’ windowsill with the decidedly more fabulous ones created by the others.
One time, when I was upstairs getting my hair cut and watching Xena,the girls asked me if I knew about Candy, the girl who lived across the hall from Mistress Mona. They told me she was a dancer, a redhead and “really sexy.” I told them I’d keep an eye out. And I did, from the safety of my apartment, stalking her through the blinds as she’d walk purposefully to and from the building and her beat-down old Datsun wagon. I started milking them on subsequent visits for more details — where did she go, what does she do? “She’s a dancer, and really nice,” they told me, as if that was all I needed to know. I kept watching through the blinds. There was something in that walk of hers. What was it . . . a direction?
Unbeknownst to me at the time, Mistress Mona was having similar conversations with Candy about me. Apparently he’d taken a fancy to me, primarily of the platonic sort, though his insistence that I sit with him and watch the latest example of his work (including a video for Rob Halford’s solo industrial-techno album!) betrayed some hope, which, honestly, wasn’t the worst thing for my bruised confidence.
So, while the girls upstairs may have thought this Candy was “sexy” and while Mistress Mona may have told Candy I was “yummy,” mostly they just wanted us to be gay. And by that, I mean happy and full of life, like they were.
I know fairy tales happen everywhere, but when they happen in West Hollywood, they earn their name. And here’s what happened. One morning I was filling up my truck’s gas tank on the corner of Sunset and Fairfax, when this old beater of a Datsun wagon pulled up at the same island and out came Candy. “Hey, you’re that guy who lives in...” she said.
I’ll cut through some of the back story. We don’t live there anymore, but I always point the place out when I drive by to whoever happens to be with me, even if it’s my wife, Candy. It’s the place where I really did become new again.
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