Tuesday, November 08, 2005

USA 2004

It was a dark and stormy night and I, having nothing else to do, decided I needed a bit of a trip, so off to the States I went. The drama started before I even left the house. As my travels would take me from London to Denver, Corona, Palm Springs and New York, it would not be easy figuring out what to take, so I took the easy way out and decided to bring everything. Of course, a suitcase holding 6 pairs of shoes tends to exceed the weight restrictions. Now, I was not being overly extravagant, I needed everything in there… Rain gear and water proof shoes for London and maybe California. Ice and snow clothes and shoes/boots for Denver and New York. Sandals, sneakers and shorts for Palm Springs, and then there were the “what-ifs”… What if I need to dress up? What if I go to a play? What if I go hunting? Deciding to be practical, which I only ever do when forced, I narrowed the footwear down to 3 all purpose, “anything goes” Prada shoes and left behind a few other bits and bobs that although would have lent a bit more glamour to the occasion, tended to weigh me down.


I, of course, chose a very cold and rainy night to get lost in South London while looking for a party. Once there, I was surrounded by roughly 2000 scantily clad men all heaving to the beat of mediocre dance music. I too got lost in music and was soon shedding my duds, putting my nipples to the wind and showing skin like the rest and best of them. Never having taken my shirt off at a dance party, I was unprepared for the unavoidable brushing against other people as you walk past. While there were the occasional pieces of eye candy with their sculpted abs, there were also those that looked, and sweated like Fat Bastard from Austin Powers. Guess who kept brushing up against me, leaving a nice trail of sweat and body hair behind. And no matter where I went and tried to hide, there they were, moving and grooving and shedding and sweating. As soon as I got back to the hotel, I showered for a good half hour. To make matters worse, I had worn my newest and favorite pair of black Prada shoes, which apparently had “step on me” stickers on them. And the crowd obliged.


Luckily I had a whole row to myself on the trip from London to Chicago. Unfortunately, I could not sleep, so the row was wasted. It was one of those times when you look at all the books and magazines you brought along and realize its all crap. Change the channels and nothing on. 36 thousand feet up and bored. Not even a dishy flight attendant to harass and flirt with. So, I arrive in Denver… all foggy and frozen, two of my other favorite things. So far the vacation was going just swell. Fortunately, my old friend and former partner-in-crime DeLane met me at the airport and whisked me away to a bar for some much needed cocktails before retiring back to the hotel, where I managed to spend a few hours staring at the ceiling and listening to DeLane snore.

Fast forward a few nights and there I was, still staring at the ceiling, trying my hardest to sleep but not being successful. Decided to watch TV. There was this TV commercial on for a drug called “Ambien”, which is to help people get a full eight hours sleep and wake up feeling rested and energized. It sounded like just what I needed, until the list of side effects came on… I was astounded when I heard that it may cause drowsiness. Then it was back to Jay Leno, where someone was toting around missile shaped carry-on luggage. A must-have if I ever saw one. So, unable to sleep, I decide to go to the hotel gym. Can’t find it. I ask someone in housekeeping (formerly referred to as “maids”). She gives me a blank look and says “I don’t know”. Before anyone thinks that it is my own stupidity that I can’t find the gym, you should know that the hotel is the largest between the Mississippi and Vegas (or something like that) and is divided between two towers. I, like Frodo, was on a quest. I soon found the gym, which is about the size of a bathroom on an RV, and a crowded one at that. Denver wasn’t all sleepless nights and missing gyms. I did manage to sneak in a movie “Big Fish”, which I thought was just brilliant, the occasional extra dirty vodka martini with three olives and a snowy hike near Pike’s Peak.


No sooner do I arrive than I am carted off to a party where my sole purpose is to provide the glamour in ways that only I am able. I have to start by saying that I looked fabulous in Paul Smith and Prada Shoes (I was trying to stay alphabetically in synch). It was Euro-trash house music all the way to the party, Charise was looking mighty fine with her hairpiece, which I was to learn is sizzling, bleeding edge fashion and I had that certain je ne sais quoi that so many parties these days seem to lack. I have to say that all in all, the party was quite fun, but I got a bit confused when, all of a sudden and quite out of the blue, there was a hair show. I didn’t know what to do, so I ordered another cocktail, settled in for the night and made my opinions and critiques known, much to the dismay of a few hairdressers, I’m sure. So, the next day I looked at all the pics on my digital camera, staring at pictures I didn’t even remember posing for, living vicariously through these people that look like my friends and I, compliments of the dirty martinis… I don’t know if you have ever woken up with a hang-over, but imagine waking up with a hang-over in a room that has been painted Barney the Dinosaur purple and being attacked by one of those mosquito type net things hanging over the bed. Oy Vey. I didn’t know walls that color were legal outside Tijuana. I then did what most Americans do when there is something to celebrate or forget about… I went to the mall. Nothing like a bag full of Abercrombie and Fitch to cheer up an aging gay man beyond even the help of botox. I’m a simple boy with simple taste… and those sales guys at A&F look mighty tasty. I tried the old “My zipper’s stuck, can someone come and help me”, but to no avail. Of course, it doesn’t help that the whole store is basically a shrine to soft-core porn, so as soon as I got back to the house, I had to wonder “can this really make me go blind?”

Now that I had a new look, I needed some new color. Nothing a couple of days lounging by the pool in Palm Springs wouldn’t fix. Ok, I will be the first to admit it… with all my perfections and highly polished facets… I have tanning issues. It is an issue because I do not tan. Unfortunately I will never have that leathery look of a well sat upon chair or heavily used Louis Vuitton handbag. In fact, I have been banned from removing even the tiniest article of clothing at most sunny/tropical locales due to glare problems. That is my cross to bear. I go from white to red to peeling to white. So, there I was, staying at a clothing optional resort. I, being the prude American that I am, opt for clothing. However, even the most reserved of us can have our temporary lapses in judgment. I was sitting by the pool in shorts… my swim-trunks were in the room, and I decided to go for a swim. I shucked the shorts, pointed Sparky into the wind for aerodynamic effect, and dove into the water au naturel. After a freestyle swim, I raised myself from the water in a slow-mo Baywatch kind of way and laid myself face down on the lounge to toast and roast buns. Roast they did, and quick. And faster that I could say “will someone please rub some Ban de Soleil into my backside?”, I had rosy cheeks… Four of them.

And what goes better with newly pinked cheeks than a bit of bling from Tiffany and Co.? Yes, I know, I’m a sucker for anything that comes in a blue box with a white ribbon, even if I have to buy it myself. Of course, why stop at one box when you can have two. So, there I was, sashaying around the Springs with my two little blue bags which basically screamed, albeit in the best possible taste, “I’m here, I’m rich, get used to it”.

New York

What does not go well with newly pinked cheeks is knee high snow piled up street side in Manhattan. Cold does not begin to describe the temperature in the Big Apple. To make matters worse, when the wind blows, and it did, no matter which way you walk, you are always walking into the wind. I’ve heard it said that a blowjob is better than no job, but after being blown for 3 straight days in NY, I may have to disagree. Of course, a little cold didn’t put a frost on my parade. I was at Splash Bar within an hour of landing, Corona in hand and a bevy of boys to be flirted with. I was overwhelmed, so I took off my shirt and made the rounds. There was Gino the bodybuilder/flight attendant, Bryan the bodybuilder/waiter, and various other muscled and glistening boys all circling what they thought was going to be the new prey… They had no idea who they were messing with.

I decided to go all out for my hotel in NY and stayed at the Paramount, an Ian Schrager/Philip Starck hotel. The lobby was fabulous, and like all the other hotels they have done, the staff alone is worth charging admission for. The room, however, was microscopic. It was seriously the smallest hotel room I think I have ever had. Decided not to spend too much time there, however tempting watching an out of tune TV may seem. I spent the majority of my time holding court at the Library Bar.

I found New York a bit boring, but finally, something huge happened that spiced it all up. Janet Jackson’s breast. Thank God we can finally stop talking about little things like war, WMD and HIV medication to 3rd World Countries… there are more pressing issues at hand. I still haven’t recovered from the J-Lo/Ben split and now this.

So, now I am back in my little house, stormy weather outside once again, but fret not. I will be hitting the road in just under 14 days, this time to Nice, Cannes and Monaco… After that, it will be Barcelona and then Florence.

Making glamour happen all over the world.

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