Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Bingo Bitch and coming Home

Our Happy Hour visit concluded with the James and Tim,  and we said our goodbyes  and walked towards the bars in Greenwich Village. At the Eagle we had heard that Bingo at The historic Stonewall Inn was THE thing to do on a Monday night for Gay New Yorkers. I was excited simply because I was going to be at Stonewall and Orlando was kinda jazzed about playing Bingo. A drag queen was the hostess for the game and unbeknownst to me she had been doing it for a very long time. We arrived at the Bar when we thought everything was supposed to begin. I saw a very large, fatigued  , platinum blonde drag queen who looked like she had had a very long night the evening before. She was setting things up for the Bingo game. We presumed she was the emcee.  It was puzzling to us that the event was scheduled at 9PM and she was just finishing setting up 9:10 and there were only a few people drinking at the bar. Orlando, looking very much like an excited 6 year old- went up to her to clarify the starting time. She reared back a bit with this look of indignation and said, " Speak English, I can't understand what you're saying."  Orlando was astonished because he was quite sure he hadn't slipped into Spanish, so he repeated the question about when the game started. She tried to focus on what he was saying, and her face screwed itself into the expression of an angry grotesque looking toad. "Where are you from? " she asked with sarcastic incredulity. He paused a bit, unsure whether he wanted to continue receiving this attitude and then told her. She snorted in disgust when she heard the answer, but gave him the information about when the game usually got going in a weary why-do-I-Have-to-deal-with-this-tone. She then lumbered to the other side of the room to continue setting up. Orlando came back to me brows furrowed. "We're not playing fuckin Bingo with that Bitch! I'm not supporting her game." "Oh?" I said with a false bright tone. When he was offended, it was best to just listen and go with the flow. She royally ticked him off with the "Speak English" comment and I have to admit, when she said "Where are you from?" it came off like " Bitch-do you know who I am? I patted Orlando and told him with all the drinking we had just done we might as well have dinner anyway. It looked to me that the Drag Queen had had a very hard night the previous night. Her makeup had a sweat-shiny see-through quality to it making me think that every movement she made required an inordinate amount of effort. When we returned to the Bay Area we later learned that this queen -whose name is Kenny Dash, is a Bitch. I mean to say thats her schtick- BEING a mean bitch to the Bingo participants. Had Orlando known that going in to the bar, he may have been entertained by their little dialogue  but I doubt it. I also was told that Kenny can be a fairly good natured conversationalist given the right conditions, but it was rare.

So we ate. We saw many restaurants but it was this elderly little Italian guy that came out and saw us looking at the menu that made us go in. He claimed to be the owner. The food was pretty good. Now only if they could get it in the right order. They brought out my entree when they brought out Orlando's salad course. The waiter was beside himself with apology. We finished our meal. It was our last night in New York. We popped into a few other bars, but the evil jet lag was still there and a good heavy Italian meal-no matter what order it was served-was like taking a giant sleeping pill. We went back to the hotel and went to sleep.           


As we drove out of the city the next day, I said goodbye to every building I could. I promised the city we would be back soon. Before I knew it -we were in Vermont and I was at my Mother's front door. Sniff …Sniff Sniff. Not too bad. I was smelling for cigarette smoke. My mother is a chronic smoker and I expected the house to reek like an ashtray. She lives in a two bedroom two bath apartment that has two floors. She moved here more than a few years ago when she sold the house I grew up in. It was good to see my Mama but that cigarette smoke was going to be a serious issue for Orlando and I. After giving her a good hug, I glanced over at her special sitting chair at the kitchen table. This is the place where she sits and schedules and plans and reads and annotates and smokes a cigarette while she does it all. I looked up at the ceiling and there was no yellowy brown spot there…..yet. ( To be Continued)