Another expression I grew up hearing came from a harried friend who used to babysit these absolute hellcat children. She’d always answer the phone with their screams and shrieks in the background saying, “Grand Central Station, how may I help you?”. Well I finally got to see Grand Central Station too!!! Now –as I think back on it, I don’t know how my friend ever picked up the expression. I suppose she got it from some TV show. To the best of my knowledge she only had been in Vermont and rarely left the state anymore than I did in that time period. She was too busy raising horses.
After a brief period of refreshment back the Chelsea Pines, we headed over to the bar to meet Jimmy and his partner Tim. I couldn't believe I was going to finally meet Tim. ….ok...I know I know – Jim and Tim it's too cute right? It is probably why there is “James” these days. ( I think I would’ve done the same thing if I were Jimmy. ) When they first started dating I think I teased him mercilessly on the phone about it crowing “ Jimmy and Timmy !!! “ and then cackling with glee. Jimmy is very discreet. In fact he probably hates that I am blogging about him right now but he IS an actor and he might as well get used to people writing about him. His partner Tim, on the other hand is very used to having opinions being written about himself. Tim Acito is a playwright who had success with an Off Broadway Musical called “Zanna Don’t" I was lucky enough to see his musical produced at the very same theater that I did some fundraising for when I was the Bay Area Cub 2010. The musical is downright adorable. It's about a world, at a high school , where homosexuality is the way nature is intended and heterosexuality is considered freakish. There's magic too! A cute, sexy, young man with a wand skips around the High School like Cupid making people fall in love with one another. The play was a hit for the New Conservatory Theater Center in San Francisco and the casting of some plus sized folk, with real bodies seemed to add to its appeal. The Musical is a rather joyful, bouncy, show but certainly not without its edge.
I was a bit nervous about meeting Tim. If he was a successful New York playwright -would that mean he would be an asshole? The men that Jimmy dated in San Francisco nearly 20 years ago were all across the map personality-wise so I only had this show to base Tim's personality on. I was such a butter head I couldn't honestly remember Jimmy telling me a lot about him. I knew he had told me some things on one visit because I had pressed him but the information from Jimmy was -as usual -so carefully non-descriptive. Clearly I am the blabbermouth girlfriend of the two of us. I thought an awful lot about "Zanna Don't" and the show it was and the messages it conveyed. I don't think a jerk could've thought that up. Then I remembered when I produced the P.A. Cooley Show many years ago that "P.A. Cooley" kind of became everybody else's idea of who "P.A. Cooley" should be about and well -gosh I was just so grateful that they were helping me out for next to nothing -who was I to say anything? ….Oh that's right -I was P.A. Cooley. So I imagine with the meteoric success of Zanna Don't that Tim had gone through 30 times as many chef's in the kitchen than I had. I eventually decided to just stop mentally preparing for meeting Tim and take him at face value. This greatly relieved Orlando because he was very very tired of me talking about it. Prior to them arriving, this vivacious Dominican little flight attendant took a shine to Orlando and I, and was trying his hardest to wrangle an invitation back to our hotel room. He was adorable, but I explained now was not the time and that we were expecting friends. He stuck his hand down Orlando's shirt and felt Orlando's furry chest pelt. His eyes rolled back in his head and Orlando looked over at me helplessly. I shot him a non verbal " Now look what you've done!" The Dominican gently slid his hand out of Orlando's shirt and grabbed Orlando's wrist pressing Orlando's palm into the Dominican's crotch. Orlando's eye's widened and he looked over at me and said, " Honey, he likes furry chests." I looked at the Dominican's crotch and said, " I see that. Be that as it may - Now is just not the time-" Orlando interrupted me disengaging himself from the Dominican-"I think your friends are here!"
|Meet the Wives|
Jimmy smiled and I saw Tim just behind him with his hands in his pocket and taking a breath as if he was about to encounter something unpleasant that required being stoic. As I had noted earlier with Kevin, there were no significant changes due to age in Jimmy's face but perhaps an extra line or two and that was about it. He looked like the Jimmy I had always known for over 20 years. Tim gave me a shy but pleasant hello and we all sat down and I made introductions to Orlando and of course…the Dominican who I tried like the devil to send several cues that NOW WAS THE TIME FOR HIM TO GO. He was clever enough to pick up on my signals. I am not sure -but I believe Tim beat a hasty retreat to the Bar to get drinks for Jim and himself. I got the distinct impression that this was a rare night out for Tim. Jim and I behaved like two sorority girls who hadn't seen each other since the last kegger.
Orlando tried to keep up and we would fill in with bits of information of what we were talking about. Then Tim returned and we all got down to the business of chatting and drinking. Tim was rather amazed about the forward behavior of the Dominican. I shrugged. "Eh It's a Bear thing." Orlando corrected me. " I think it might be a New York thing." -Yes that was true. I remembered the sex-in-the-air-feel at The Eagle the night before. The natural order of conversation took a while but eventually the transition took place. It seemed that Jimmy and I were wearing the "wife" hats and that Tim and Orlando were wearing the "husband" hats. By that I mean Jimmy and I giggled and sniggered and slapped each others thighs while the other two got along quite well but in a far less girlish manner. I also noted Tim had relaxed entirely a third into the evening. I think the second cocktail may have contributed but there was none of that unease that I had been feeling from him before. "James" (I might as well get used to it) and Tim have been together for over 10 years -11 I think. They have been living in a studio apartment the same size that Orlando first moved in with me and I said I couldn't handle it and needed a bigger space after 3 months. That's love folks. Real Love. They looked great together. When were all talking and laughing I felt something I can't explain without it sounding like a complete overly sentimental simpleton-but I will say it any way. I was happy for them. I was particularly happy for my friend ….James. The world was spinning the way it should. Orlando was pleased that I had even more friends that were warm intelligent entertaining folk in my life on the East Coast too.