Friday, September 4, 2009

An Actor remembers being Single

So I feel the inevitable sloughing of my former self as I evolve into my new self. Normally this happens every 7 years but life changes have accelerated the process. I am so comfortable in my partnered state that it appears I had forgotten what it was like to be single! I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that- because trust me I was QUITE the playah in my day. Orlando and I have only been together 7 months and we have become this two-headed monster couple. The same kind of couple that I would lift my chin up and look down my nose at. Seven months is quite a big deal if you realized just how short lived every relationship I had ever had has been.

I vaguely recall the zeal and thrill of hunting for my boyfriend du soir. My heart would race and I felt a little livelier and intense as I approached my selection. I had a friend watch me in action as any dark and lovely fellow entered whatever waterhole we were at. He said it was like watching the Cheetah chase across the Serengeti plain and bring the gazelle down to the ground. Not nice! I had a phase when I turned 40 where I dated men significantly younger than myself to insure their brevity. Last Thursday night was quite the wake up call for me and a vivid reminder of my past transgressions.

I am searching for a SOMA venue where I may hold my singing stripper cub contest. If you haven't been following, I am holding a contest and the lucky winners will wind up being cast members of my Bearlesque Show that I will hold in the spring and early summer months at a needy theater. I don't anticipate that I will find all my cast but hoping that the contest will also bring in some revenue for The Lemonade Fund. This is an organization dedicated to aiding critically ill theater workers. It is VERY important to make sure that there aren't more than one fund raising event going on at the same time so I chose a Thursday Night somewhere within the first two weeks of November. I also wanted contestants to be comfortable shedding their garments so I picked an enclosed Bar. Until I get a thumbs up from the owner/manager I won't divulge the name of the establishment I am wooing, but luckily one of the bartenders is a friend of mine. We did a One-Act for the Eastenders 100 years of Queer Theater last November and performed in our birthday suits for the play. It was undoubtedly an experience I will never forget. My penis frequently got stage fright but his was quite comfortable on stage.... He's quite clever and God has blessed him with good looks. These are very handy tools to have as a Bartender. His shift didn't begin until 10PM which meant was going to be a long night for me. I often fall asleep at 11:00! Hey -I'm 45! You see -he was going to introduce me to his boss and hopefully all would go smoothly and his boss would say. "Sure! I'd love to do your singing stripper cub contest here." It didn't go exactly like that.

Mike (my friend the actor/bartender), mixed me a concoction that I feel is specifically designed for me, but that's my ego talking. He always mixes me a vodka fruity thingie that is refreshing and reminiscent of those Island Cocktails that you suck down because there is no discernible alcohol burn-and then you stand up and nearly hit the floor. It has no name and he doesn't do the same ingredients all the time. Mike informed me that his boss would be in in possibly...My stomach sank! My Friday work day was gonna be a real bitch because I like to get my 8 hours in. It didn't appear that I would get 8 hours tonight and I didn't want my sleep sacrifice to be all for naught. Well Mike's Birthday was tomorrow so I felt -even if I couldn't book this place for my contest, I could help him celebrate his Birthday eve. As I mentioned, Mike is charming and intelligent and more than just a little attractive. He is a hit at his job and his customers LOVE him. I watched him work the entire somewhat busy bar and appear to have fun doing it. It was kinda like watching a show. He decided he wanted all the people he knew to be at one end of the bar and moved me near the opposite end of the bar. This Bar is ...well kinda dirty -as in naughty dirty-and like a cross between some one's garage and an old saloon...painted black. There was vintage soft core porn playing on the screens and then a number of tv screens are actually installed on the ceiling! No lie. Look up and see large muscly furry men trying to insert their penises into each other. I thought the place was perfect for a singing stripper contest. I was hoping Mike's boss felt the same way. I sat patiently and watched the parade of men wishing Mike a Happy Birthday.

One of the fellows was a fast talking, Mohawk-wearing, scrawny urban hipster with flashing brown beady eyes. He sat down next to me and Mike did the introductions. He said hi and hit me with an unfortunate case of halitosis. I tried to lean back but of course the music was loud and my hearing is not so good. He called me something -can't really recall but it was something like "famous actor" or was it " show person" -sorry,as I said, the music was loud and there was no way I was going to lean in and ask him what he said. I think it was something based on my Bearlesque show that I eagerly told him all the details of. There was a moment where he paused and looked at me. I thought he was going to say something else but his look had something that I couldn't quite define. Then he squeezed my thigh and said something about going out for a smoke. What on earth was that pause about? I shook my head bewildered. Bad Breath is one of my biggest pet peeves. I am frequently teased by nearly all who know me well about my obsession with breath mints. They are my addiction.

Still Mike's boss didn't show and I was getting anxious. What if I couldn't book this contest here? Gol darn it - this was frustrating. I snapped out of my funk as Mike poured me another drink. The evening could get hazardous at this rate. I offered to buy Mike a shot and he said, -"only if I get to buy you one back!" We struggling actors stick together. Another fellow was standing in line waiting to get a drink and looked up at me. He seemed kind of scruffy and perhaps in his early 50s. He flashed a quick warm smile and he winked at me. He looked like someone's Uncle Jim who was out on the town unbeknown to loving Aunt Barb. I smiled politely and looked down. I thought this was a pretty clear subtext " Thank-you-but-I'm-unavailable at the moment." I never want to completely reject someone-after all -I AM a title holder. Well I guess he didn't see that because he plunked down next to me and started to discuss...the weather. Interesting -I mean - no not interesting at all! He offered to buy me a drink and I politely declined saying it was a school night. I nodded as he chatted about... nothing and I tried to appear distracted. I looked at Mike and he noticed that other patrons were buying him a Birthday shot. Make that shots! Turns out his birthday was good business for the bar! Then thanks and praise the heavens, Mikes boss showed up. I excused myself from the fellow and shook hands with Mike's boss and explained how I wanted to do a singing stripper contest at his bar. I completely forgot to say it was for plus-sized boys but judging from the smattering of bears and cubs frequenting this waterhole I doubted it would be an issue. Besides he knew I was The Bay Area Cub so I am sure he knew who I was going to invite. He looked interested but couldn't commit until he saw a calendar and right now there were so many patrons at the bar that he needed to help Mike out. I took this as a good sign and heaved a sigh of relief.I felt I was 50% there with securing the venue for the Contest. The other thing I HAD to be sure of was that I wasn't competing with another Bear event. That was a real "no-no" in our community. I had pretty much been assured at The Lone Star by the manager, that there was nothing going on with the two possible dates I had selected in November. The Lone Star was actually gonna be my first choice but I would need the stage and that is out doors...not an environment conducive to stripping -especially in November. I figured my cast would be well rehearsed by next Pride and we could do a Lone Star mini show on the stage in June. Most shows would take place in whatever theater we were doing the benefit for. I wouldn't need to worry about performance space rental because of that. Any theater that wanted to use my show for a fundraiser could. -Now rehearsal space was a different problem all together. Anyone have a heated garage?

Then Scooby showed up. His real name isn't Scooby, but I will call him that to protect him. Years ago -When I met Scooby I was trying to recover from a break up that definitely did a number on my heart. At the time I was going to marry a guy and even though we had only been together months -everyone thought we were perfect for each other. Long story short -we weren't ,but I didn't know that the night he broke up with me. I was angry and wanted to hurt him and Scooby assisted me by conveniently calling me while I was in the middle of being dumped. Scooby was an online flirtation that I had never been able to completely let go. I knew my ex and I were on the outs so I had slipped Scooby my number earlier that day. My ex said, "We had to talk." I knew what was up. I remember taking the call from Scooby as I gazed with a cold baleful glare at my soon-to-be-ex, and held the conversation with Scooby, stating loud enough for anyone within a 10 foot radius, that I was suddenly free that night to meet him. Scooby and I had great rebound sex that evening -which isn't surprising because I was in the mood to do anything to feel better. We awoke that next morning and he flipped out because he saw the time. He scrambled for his cell phone and called...his Mom to pick him up and drive him to wrestling practice!!!!! I nearly put my 42 year old heart on cardiac arrest but he assured me he was 18. Jesus ! Too Much- that's our Scooby Doo! And here he was at the bar -and looking as luscious and adorable as the first time I met him 3 years ago. He leaned in and informed me. " I am still in love with yo ass" ! It was tough to figure out if he actually meant my butt or me in the ebonic figurative use of 'ass'. The vibe felt it was me. It didn't matter because Scooby would say some derivation of that to 3 other guys later that evening. I had known waaaaay early on that he couldn't give me what I needed, but sometimes when he pulled his pants down and bent over and modeled his new red jock strap...I would temporarily forget that. I was strong and maintained -that is until Mike decided to play the devil and plunked another little dark and lovely in the empty seat next to me. Mike knows my proclivities for DARK and handsome and this sweet little South African fella was definitely that.

"Sami" as I will call him, was polite and eager to learn about me.I LOVED the accent. Tres sexy! He puckered his mouth in disgust as Scooby tried to rub all over me like a cat in heat.Sami's expression implied that he was definitely above that. He and I chatted about the singing stripper contest and we exchanged what we did for a living. Mike looked over at us and said, "I knew moving him next to you was a good choice." I glared at Mike. Mike knows my boyfriend and just was getting me in a little trouble. I didn't want to hurt Sami too much so I decided to clue him in as he offered to buy me a drink. Alas he looked crestfallen and said that Orlando was a lucky guy. (Oh..I think he knows that-but I think I'M the real lucky one) I hugged him and ran out onto Folsum to hunt down a cab to drive me home before it became one in the morning!

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