"the" Mrs. Astor

Friday, April 24, 2009

I picked up Pimpernel at the hospital yesterday and took him home; as it turned out, he did not have a stroke, just a seizure. Still, ten days in a hospital is enough to turn a grown man to tears. He asked that I take him to see "real people" immediately, and off we went to our favorite gin hall, Twist. Leopoldo joined us, and--as a cat can smell a mouse a mile away--suddenly Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish showed up proclaiming that I was inordinately quiet this week and that I must be plotting against her. The truth is that I have been exhausted by recent events and needed to rest a bit. She didn't even pretend to hear my excuse as the octopus in her started to maul Mr. Astor. Every time she exclaimed, "Look at that big bird up there!" I would look back to see her doing her very best imitation of a tailor ("I'm just checking his inseam..."). After consuming several bottles of cheap wine, Mamie rolled out and took her carriage home; I certainly hope she doesn't think that relieved her of attending Court tonight.

A dear friend sent me this Youtube clip of what was a major part of my world in New York. In it are two of my closest friends, Brandywine--who had a cable TV show called On Patrol--and the legendary Lahoma van Zandt. Lahoma is retired now and is the editor of a national magazine, and Brandywine is, well, still Brandywine and has a kooky store in NYC named Howdy Do with her longtime partner, Brenda a-Go-Go. This is a photo of them modeling Marc Jacobs' line.

Every Saturday night we would go to The Roxy, a cavernous club on the West Side of Manhattan. It was a boy-filled, drag queen Valhalla. It was also a time of mindless drug use and one night I decided to buy a vial of Coke, went up to dealer Fat Sue, and--don't ask me why--said, "give me a bottle of C." Sue thought I said "K" and I stormed up to the VIP room and told Lahoma, "You know, we can't just put out lines, so let's just snorkel it". We went into an embarrassing K-hole sitting with a nation-wide columnist. It was one of those turning points; I shortly thereafter stopped the rampant drug use and became probably the only person ever to move to Miami to escape them (my drug of choice became Latinos). Lahoma soon went sober and got a real job.

Watching the antics in that clip brings back the fondest of memories of a drag-filled, drug-induced world I was so privileged to photograph. Some day, though, you have to grow up. I'm so happy I never did.


At 10:41 AM, Blogger Countess Bedelia said...

I just noticed the YouTube link (must have had too many Glenlivets the first time I read this!). Too funny! Did you see this one:


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