The summer of 2007 I was ready to die. I had been out of school for exactly a year. Everyone, teachers, friends told me the first year would be the hardest. I agreed. [Now I know that's not true-- every year just gets harder and harder]. I had been temping and trying to make it and trying to go to lots of nightclubs and get famous and fucked and rich and it wasn't happening and I was miserable. One nice thing was that when I left my tiny little porno zines Scorcher out at the Metropolitan, in desperation, Thain picked it up and liked it and emailed me. He was very nice to me and didn't have to be and it meant a lot to me and I am so glad that he is going to read at the release party for Scorcher this Saturday night at Envoy Gallery. Anyways.

Thain called me in September of 2007, at the end of a pretty painful summer. In June I turned on my air conditioner and I did not turn it off ever. I often ate painkillers and spend afternoons on the floor of my room with all the shades drawn, staring at the ceiling. Listening to a lot of Shannon Wright and Lisa Germano. Anyways.

Thain called me about a go-go gig. Well, not , go-going, really, but serving drinks in my underpants. At a new gay bar that was opening up in Williamsburg. It was called Sugarland, cause it was near the old Domino sugar factory. The bar is owned by the same people who own Nowhere and the Metropolitan, and Thain was working there as a promoter. For their opening party, they wanted something cute and classy. The word Thain used was "boyish". He asked me if I wanted to do it and of course I did, it was like $100. He said I should probably call the other boy doing it, so we can co-ordinate our outfits. We were told to wear ties and nice shirts, but no pants. Classy. He said I'd get along with the other boy, John Joseph, and we'd look great together, because we're both redheads.

So I called this strange John Joseph. He was British, sweet. I hate talking on the phone, as a rule, but he and I had a nice little chat. We talked about California and performance art. He was very humble and down to earth and sweet. I asked him what color underpants he was going to wear, so we could match, and he said "Oh, very expensive panties, I'm afraid. I used to have this very wealthy lover, and he bought me these expensive Dolce & Gabana silk panties. I have to wash them in the sink. By hand." I thought he was charming.

I went to the bar and it got busy opening night. [This was before anyone knew it to be anything. Before the NY Times article that my dad dtifully emailed me, asking if I was the go-go boy they were talking about. I was not]. When I arrived, I saw my friend Thain standing next to a tall beautiful pale creature, like a Patti Smith description of a horse, idly stirring a drink at trhe bar. He turned to me and smiled, and said "Well, you're not really a redhead, are you?" We got undressed in the back room at Sugarland. The bar had previously been one of those places where you get a free pizza when you order a beer. The 'back room' was a kitchen. There were pizza ovens, and sacks of flour and mozzarella on the floor. He was wearing exquisite underpants, but we wore matching blue button-up shirts. We looked quite cute, actually. We served drinks and complained about boys and JJ got his picture taken.

He's always been The Pretty One. This is undisputed, everyone who sees JohnJoseph can't stop talking about how fucking "pretty" he is. I've always found La JohnJoseph deeply sexy. He's like someone PJ Harvey would write a song about, the type of lover that drives people insane. I'm already predisposed to things like mass suicide, so I could never wreck my heart on the majestic peak of the Castle of La JohnJoseph. I've seen boys drool over him. I've seen the drool of boys drying in his hair. La JohnJoseph is an aphrodisiac.

(La JJ as a baby in 2006)

Then JJ Asked me and Legs Malone to be in a skit he was doing at Dixon Place. Legs and I had to pretend to be dinner party guests, then JJ comes in and teaches us how to kill ourselves with our neckties. We saw each other around for a bit, and though my memory is foggy, I know that at some point not too long after meeting, we declared friendzies. JJ wrote me a very sweet email which I am now unable to find, that said he wanted to be friends that held hands and drank juiceboxes together. And we are.

I love La JohnJoseph very much. He is one of the few people that I really, really trust. He's in Greece right now, where his most recent show had a sold-out run in Athens. People stop him in the bathroom to ask for his autograph. Yesterday we were chatting online about Berlin. We're going to be there at the same time. I am ecastatic to do this. It means the world to me.

And I forgot that yesterday was his Birthday.
Last year on his birthday he had a picnic in the park. He wore see-through purple shoes. Sharyn Jackson brought very fancy cupcakes. Sister Pico wrote a poem about the day.

I miss JJ terribly. And I am really the worst possible friend for not remembering his bday. I will find some way to make it up to him.

1 comment:

ryn said...

what a lovely reminder about the beautiful la johnjoseph and the deep dark hole his absence leaves in all of us!
ps - can't believe you remembered my cupcakes! thanks for the shout-out.