26 Jul 2007
"Dear Mary Jane..."
Current mood: anxious
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
"I didn't work to become a whore. I was born a whore." - Mister Slave, "South Park"
I haven't smoked pot for three days and I'm an emotional wreck. Jesus Christ.
I hear myself saying those words ("Jesus Christ") five or ten times a day with the exact same affectation as "Mister Slave" on South Park. I'm so gay. Fortunately, my acting skills are strong enough for me to make a decent living as a "dominant masculine top": I just lower my voice an octave, say "dude" a lot and keep my fists clenched so my wrists don't start flaying in every direction.
Jesus Christ. It would probably surprise some people to know that, as the son of a theologian, I have studied The Gospels extensively. Shocking but true. My father thought it was cute to invite his seminarian friends over while I would recite the philosophies of Christian theologians like Tillich and Barth at the age of three. I was a toddler/performance artist. Now I'm a hooker/performance artist.
In first grade I was watching Romper Room and Miss Jean was demonstrating how you could make a "Goldilocks" wig out of a paper bag by cutting the paper into strips and curling them. I informed my teacher that I would not be in class the next day but that my cousin would be coming by to pick up my homework. The next day I put on my paper-bag wig and walked into the class. The teacher squealed in glee; she loved it. She showed me off to the class and then took me from one classroom to another; it was like I was on tour. Every time we walked into a classroom the students would burst into wild applause while I modeled my new look. I was a seven-year-old drag queen. Jesus Christ.
In fifth grade I was enrolled in a pilot school with "open classrooms" where students could design their own curriculum. My first project was to reclaim several large sheets of discarded corkboard from the school dumpster with which I constructed a small nightclub about five-feet tall and six-feet square. Then I tied a rope across the door and announced to the other students that the opening party would be VIP only. The rest of the class clamored at my door begging to be one of the chosen few to gain entry. I let a few of my closest friends pass, but had to turn away Lynette Horne because she had experienced a recent growth-spurt and was now well over five-feet tall. Lynette did not take it well and collapsed in tears on the floor of the classroom. Helen Schell, the class lesbian who, apparently, had feelings for Lynette, tried to comfort her and was spurned. Helen had a nervous breakdown and ran away from school.
My club was raided a few minutes later by the staff of guidance counselors who forced us out of the club and into a group-therapy session where I was ordered to raze my cherished boite. So I brought a record player to class and during lunch period I would play "Honey Bun" by The Osmonds and go-go dance on my desk for the other students while they ate. Eventually I formed an all-girl band called the "The Bubble Gums" and I would write the songs; we also covered Gladys Knight and The Pips. I was always Gladys. Between shows I would also write stories about my friends and serialize them. I'd end each chapter with a cliff-hanger so that my friends would beg me to keep writing, and then they'd gather around to hear me read the latest installment and learn their fictional fate.
Of course every guy in the class thought I was a total faggot but at least they found me entertaining. So basically, I was already doing, in fifth grade, almost all the things I do as an adult performance artist. Of course, I wasn't getting paid in the fifth grade. And I don't exactly make a living wage as an artist today either. So I always worry about money. I have an anxiety disorder for which I take several medications but none are as effective as marijuana. Even my therapist says so. So now I'm having anxiety attacks over money because I haven't made any today, even though I have way more than I need. When I was stoned I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life: I wanted to turn tricks, smoke pot, work out and watch cartoons. Now, without the pot, the encroaching awareness that my life is waaay off-course is causing me epic anxiety. In 12-step meetings they always tell you to take it "one day at a time" but that was no source of comfort for me. In my head, I would always hear "one day at a time" followed by the words, "...FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!" Jesus Christ.
When Hedwig was asked if she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and savior and she answered, "No, but I've always been a big fan of his work," I howled, because I'd been saying the same thing for years. I love The Gospels but I won't call myself a Christian because I don't want to be mistaken for one of those lunatics who thumps the Bible while living a life in complete opposition to the teachings of Christ. Jesus gave us a blueprint for creating heaven on Earth, and instead millions have been beaten, tortured or murdered in his name. Jesus Christ. And how ironic is it that these right-wing nuts are always using Old Testament scripture to condemn us? It was breaking those same religious laws that got Jesus, if you'll pardon the expression, nailed.
So I don't call myself a Christian, I'm actually a practicing Wiccan, but I do love The Gospels. There's one story that always resonates with me when I'm suffering anxiety. Jesus was inviting some people to follow him on the "Beattitudes Tour" (you know it; "Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven yada yada...") and one man said, "But Lord, what would we eat? Where would we sleep? How will we work and live?" Jesus pointed to some flowers ("Behold the lilies of the field...") and said, "They don't work and God gives them everything they need. God takes care of you the same way."
I believe it. Look at my life; I've never had any security, I don't own any property, not even a car, and I'm hard-core unemployable, I've suffered through years of heroin addiction, overdoses and withdrawals, hospitals, rehabs and asylums, career disasters and public humiliations, two decades of being HIV positive, homelessness, spinal surgery, the deaths of so many people I've loved -- and I'm fine. I'm really okay. I've definitely beaten the odds by making it this far, so someone up there must be looking out for me.
I worry because escorting is my primary source of income - I love the work but I'll be too old for this game soon. I'm afraid to stop since I don't know how I'll make a living otherwise, but I should just trust God to guide me to the right place because she always has. So I'm going to release this anxiety and celebrate the fact that I'm still alive and haven't smoked pot in three days and my health is good and I have a roof over my head and food in my stomach. As Julia Cameron says, "In the moment we are ALWAYS okay."
And even better is the fact that I'm not sitting in an AA meeting listening to some yuppie shithead telling me that he hit bottom when his Lexus was impounded after a DUI. That just doesn't work on potheads. How do you "hit bottom" on pot? By standing on a street corner wearing a sign that says, "Will work for Weed"? We don't hit bottom, we just coast slightly beneath the surface of reality. Pot is like any smoking habit; when you start having trouble breathing, you'll quit because you have to. And you need to breathe if you want to sing. I just booked an appearance in Tompkins Square Park for the Howl! Festival on September 8th and I'm not big on lip-syncing.
But all of this sudden clarity is overwhelming my anxiety-riddled little brain. It's a lot to deal with and I have to keep reminding myself to remain calm and stop worrying that I'll end up homeless again if I don't keep whoring myself out 24/7. It's time to reclaim my life. Look at how productive I was in the fifth grade: I was so obviously put here to do more than eat, fuck, watch reruns of "South Park" and feel an enormous sense of empathy for Lindsay Lohan. Jesus Christ.
Currently listening :
One Toke Over the Line: The Best of Brewer & Shipley
By Brewer & Shipley
Release date: 07
Just wanted to share. I also wanted to send all of you my love. I have enjoyed reading all the accounts on here. I hope Dean is looking down from heaven and feeling all of our love. I hope too he realized just how much he was loved whilst he was alive.
This whole topic has become very extraordinary.
Even by the Mboards standards.
Now there is a centralized marker of evidence of just how much personal, cultural and social effect one person, any person, can have just through building personal relationships. Dean wasn't a member of a political party, social club, professional organization, religious interest group, or really any other cadre involved in organized human activity. He made his own party and we all came (in more ways than one).
I guess one lesson is, for so many here on these boards who are far outside any kind of mainstream identity, that one does not ever have to accept being condemned to being a kind of social outcast. By making meaningful interpersonal relationships built on the strengths of all one's eccentricities, uniquenesses, rabid appetites and excess good cheer, among other undervalued traits, everyone is lifted from outright exclusion and affirmed.
I just heard about Dean today. I was truly saddened by the news. Please let me know if there is ever another memorial service--if yes, I'd like to attend. Also, fyi, I think I have a cassette tape of Dean and the Weenies from around the time when I helped to book them at Boston City Hall at Gay Pride for a Gay Community News benefit many, many years ago. I can find it, make you a copy and send it to you--just let me know the best mailing address.
Thinking of you both.
Brooklyn, NY (formerly of Acton, MA)
i found a few tapes from Weenies' gigs and a video from what may be the very first rock and roll fag bar.
I would also be very interested in any Weenies' live tapes you may have and would be happy to share. Anyone interested please post - i want to get it all digitized and posted up as a tribute to the most talented person i ever had the pleasure of being connected with.
and hey there to you too rocko!
quote:hey... leave this board up for a while... got time set aside at thanksgiving to read and look at all the photos and check out the links.
Oh, dont worry about that..This topic will NEVER be deleted, though I am toying with the idea of moving all of the memorial topics to their own forum eventually.
Sorry its so short but this is DEAN's unforgettable coda to the cover of Petulia Clark's 'Downtown' that I've posted to remember his fantastic artistry..Enjoy.. Danny
i've known and loved dean since he helped me move into my first dorm room at weinstein hall at nyu in the fall of 1980. and we hit it off right away. if you've ever read his old diaries (at the velvet mafia site) i'm not the girl whose mother played vera on alice. i am, was, her roommate. the other crazy beverly hills punk girl.
i had lost touch with him for a long time, maybe almost 10 years. but i found him on myspace, about this time last year and emailed him. and he wrote me back and could not have been more sweet or welcoming. we bonded over our memories, and the death of our mothers to the same horrible disease, our mututal love of asian boys, and many other things as well. i know he was very busy, but he was so kind and generous that he never didn't have time to write me back. and we corresponded a great deal over the past year. and i went, with my uptight corporate husband, to a few of the 'reading for filth' performances over the summer. i even brought him some star shaped pasties as a gift, in lieu of flowers. i thought he could wear them to a party. but, instead he used them to decorate his macbook. that made me so happy.
ironically, in the early summer months i was having a lot of medical tests. it was nothing life threatening. but he became so concerned he called me in a panic. i know that he was hurt, felt terrible guilt, that he had missed the opportunity to say goodbye to our other dear college friend james lyons before his death in april. and he didn't want that to happen again with me. i assured him i was going to be fine, and he seemed very relieved. i suppose now it was i who should have been more worried about him.
i was so thrilled and delighted to have him back in my life. i suppose i should be grateful that i got this year, at least. truly, it was a great gift. but this stings me to my core, and i will miss him terribly. and i am also very sad that i missed his memorial, and would very much like to attend if there is ever another. i loved him very dearly. and my heart goes out to his sister in particular. i don't think we ever met, but he spoke so highly of her. and i can't imagine the grief of losing such a wonderful mother and such a wonderful brother in such a short time.
RIP hun. i loved you very much, and will never forget you. i think i will have to go steal some dangly chandelier earrings in your honor. <333
the full Downtown clip has been posted Besides DEAN JOHNSON many downtown artists worked on this song Downtown by Petula Clark Many artists performed incl: Kym Rider, Tish & Snooky, Jerry Harrison, Sara Lee, Mink DeVille, Uptown Horns, Bernie Worell, Larry Rivers and Beth B and the clips' Director Hart Perry gave footage and you'll spot others.
Any thoughts on that?
Great idea! Any sooner would see me sobbing at what should be a grand celebration for a man that forever changed my life. Hell, I can't even watch videos or read his online missives yet. And I miss him so damn much that I doubt I could even set foot in the East Village until then. Thanks for staying on top of all of this, akaDom, on behalf of all of us that are hurting far away. B.
Bernard Fowler, Michael Musto & Sally Randall
thank God I'm not in any of the shots!
The verdict is 'acute intoxication' but there is no ruling as to the manner of death (ie accident, murder or suicide)
Jordan's report indicates Oxycontin and Alcohol.
Dean's report indicates 5 pharmaceuticals: Elevil (antidepressant), Klonopin (antianxiety), Oxycontin (pain), Rozerem (sleeping pill) and Ultram (pain).
My instinct tells me this was an accident, but if Saleh provided Dean both the Oxycontin and the Rozerem (especially just a couple of days after Jordan's death), it suggests some very f*cked up judgement of his part- at the very least.
No. 3 dc_vote_now says:
I'm guessing they will find these guys died from overdoses of oxycontin, perhaps combined with other painkillers or anti-depressants. Steven Saleh has talked about having fibromyalgia, whatever that is, as the source of his pain. However, he has been overheard to say he takes huge amount of morphine (or oxycontin). And to offer it to other people. He has hundreds of pills at any given time in his apartment. I'm wondering what the search warrent found.
Posted: Oct 12, 2007 at 4:48 pm
Link to original Queerty post:
Based on the tox report, sound's like this guy knows what he's talking about...
Anyone with thoughts or ideas can contact me through here.
As for the oxycodone issue, acetaminophen is, in this case, the "key". Oxycontin is not a fun painkiller, due to it's slow release into the system (no rush) whereas percodan/-cet are damn recreational cuz they hit you full strength within 20 minutes. I can't imagine Dean willingly taking both since we had the oxycontin vs. percocet conversation a while back, and he had a scrip for the 'fun' version. Of course, I could be totally wrong, too, but that's my hunch. Love to all from the great white north.
To Jeremy's boyfriend.....I'm sorry for your loss also. I understand your need to understand how this happened.
As for the celebration of dean's life in NYC....Dale and Brendan, it is clear that we are all on the same page...so to speak...
Viva and Dee suggested Don Hill's for a space....any other thoughts on that?
I would love Gil there also if anyone knows where he is....
I just received and saw the Rapture tribute to Dean finally a few days ago....Thanks Jim....and I just wanted to say how great it was to see it. I had just gotten back from DC and couldn't handle any more at that time, but now I'm sorry I wasn't there. Dale...you know my dad is a preacher and the whole time you spoke at the tribute i kept thinking how much you were reminding me of my dad preaching..and then you said AMEN at the end of it. :-) Too funny. :-)I liked it. I also enjoyed seeing Ms. Ravioli again. I had the biggest crush on her when I lived there. :-)
I def want to see the tribute, as I was in a trance that night!
Dean still stops in on me once in a while and makes me laugh.
I'm glad you liked it! I'm going to re-post the text here- I had it up for a while, but had to pull it down for various reasons...