The Ancient Cohachellian Art of Cacti Arranging

Lonesome Cacti
Lonesome Cacti

My three weeks of antique hell will soon be coming to an end. It hasn’t been easy living in a 450 sq foot apartment filled with 400 sq feet of collectibles. The only refuge is the king size bed.

There’s a path to the kitchen for victuals and a path to the bathroom for the other things. Two days this week I couldn’t even shower. Not only was the shower door blocked but the stall itself was full of one of a kind items.

My new antique booth becomes available on Monday and the movers will be here at 9:00 a.m. Maybe I can get my life back then.

The Mall gave me several suggestions on moving companies but they all quoted me minimum charges that were too high. Only Big T Moving said they’d come out to make an estimate.

When I answered the door there was this big, burly 6′ 6″ man with either a Caribbean or West African colonial accent. I shook his hand and said “I’m Chris.” He responded simply, “I’m Mr. T.” He won the contract on the spot.

I suspect that “The A Team” is probably still the number 1 show in Sierra Leone. Plus he was a hundred dollars cheaper than the others.

As seen from outer space
As seen from outer space

I have not completely ignored my domestic design chores through this nightmare. I did pick up some plants for the front door. And in the desert, plants means cactus. I think I will do well with them since they only need to be watered a handful of times throughout the year.

When I had the condo in Fort Wayne I tried very hard to create a lush back patio. But I’ve never had a green thumb. I’d no more get the plants in the ground than they’d start dying. I had the uncanny ability of turning annuals into weeklies.

My friend Billy was appalled by my lack of gardening skills. He threatened to revoke my Gay Man card or turn me over to the Allen County Horticultural Society for castration. He accused me of not transplanting them properly, some nonsense about air root rot.

But there’s only so much room in my brain to remember all this stuff. Not a lot of it is reserved for the nurturing of living things. I do hear, however, that the nurseries back there miss my business terribly.

Smart money says they won't see Arbor Day
Smart money says they won’t see Arbor Day

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The Last Temptation of Me

Pilgrimage On the 75% Off Trail

"The Kennedy" swimsuit from Barneys. Couldn't resist.
“The Kennedy” swimsuit from Barneys. Couldn’t resist.

After the success of last winter’s Manhattan shopping blitz I decided to take advantage of the low rates again and do another overnight. There were complications.

In the residual moving mess I live in I was able to locate a winter coat. But no gloves, scarves, or ear protection. I had to brave the elements without them.

Then, when I started scoping out the merchandise at Barneys, I realized my established shopping strategy no loner works. The deeply discounted winter fashions that translated easily to San Francisco life were worthless for Palm Springs. There was hardly anything I could wear here.

Still, I was able to have Pemaquids at the Oyster Bar and paid full price for a bathing suit at Barneys. You can’t have too many in the desert, the pool party invites are going to start flooding in any day now. And I took advantage of the 75% off at Bergdorfs to pick up a couple of accessories.

This was the first trip from my new home. In order to appreciate where I live I need the ability to get in and out of town quickly and conveniently. So far The Springs has passed the test. I even hailed a cab on the street at 5:00 in the morning. Who knew?

The heavier, darker leathers of urban life have yielded to the more pastel hides of the Coachella Valley.
The heavier, darker leathers of urban life have yielded to the more pastel hides of the Coachella Valley.

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The Last Temptation of Me

Come Together

The kitchen is kind of becoming cohesive. The Uhaul ride from last summer is coming back to bite. I’ve emptied out the storage room containing the contents from that 20 foot truck. As well as six months of desert dust. I may have beige lung.

Things are progressing. I just need to get the treasures to the store and into the homes of their new owners. Then figure out how I make this place my own.

(Click any picture to open slide show.)

Footnote

In case you’re interested, here’s what the rest of the place looks like. It might take a while…..

A place for everything
A place for everything

 

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The Last Temptation of Me

The Blackened Snapper Is To Die For

Junk mail is different down here. Still, the luncheon sounds like fun.
Junk mail is different down here. Still, the luncheon sounds like fun.

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The Last Temptation of Me

 

Time, in Qualudes and Red Wine

B 'R

One of the things that bugged me about the Harvey Milk movie was when they played Bowie’s “Queen Bitch” as backdrop for the street life scene. It’s a great song and of the era but you would have never heard it in the Castro in the 1970’s.

The lumberjacks at the time were too busy picking out the right shade of flannel shirt to wear, sanding the crotches of their jeans so they could show a thread bare bulge, and arranging their keys from their belt loop to hang just so. It took a lot of effort to be naturally butch.

Butch and femme classifications were holdovers from the self-loathng 50’s gays when you pretty much had to declare yourself to be one or the other. And in the 70’s it was decided that it was the macho man stereotype that would best suit the PR campaign for acceptance. Ergo, the drag queens who gave us a bad name were swept under the carpet. I wasn’t buying it.

Neither was Bowie who basically struck his pose for commercial success. But he did it so brilliantly I never begrudged him his greed. He just capitalized on the confusion of the times, something I felt whenever I opened my mouth.

Being young and androgynous I could usually look fish. Having no falsetto or act, however, I always spoke naturally in my deep voice. The “what the….?” looks I would get were beyond thrilling.

Those times passed but Bowie’s longview paid off. By the 1980’s the butch/femme thing started to melt away with newer generations of gays thriving on blurred lines. And in hazy retrospect David Bowie became a god, a constant to the communinty.

In the beginning, though, their was only a hard core sect of queers who really loved him. I was one of them. And I liked his music too.

 

Sauerkraut

Left where we found her 40 years ago. Our Lady of the Countless Sleepovers.
Left where we found her 40 years ago. Our Lady of the Countless Sleepovers.

On Thursday the 31st, my last day in the apartment, the BAR ran a third and final article on my odyssey. It was a nice piece and I appreciate their kindness over the last couple of years.

My one small quibble is over the Bette Davis “sissies” quote. I also said, “and I don’t think she was being homophobic. She couldn’t afford to be.” But wordiness can be a problem for me, their editors were probably right.

On New Years Day I followed the strict dietary laws of my people and had some delicious pork, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. Good fortune is destined to follow.

May there be as many gold bars in your year as there were strands of cabbage in your pot.

See also:

The Metropolitan Museum of Jackie
Bertha’s Brownies
Chartreuse Lady