Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dirty Little Secrets: My Mental Muzak

I've decided that I'm going to use this forum as a confessional, of sorts.

On a once-monthly basis, I will reveal one of my dirty little secrets. That's right. One of these innocuous little postings will now be endowed with the power to heal.

I look forward to the healing, not only for myself, but dare I hope, for the rest of the planet. It is my intention to lead the way on this journey and I invite those with the courage, the honesty and the self-respect to do so, follow my example.

Recognizing that the first time can be the most uncomfortable, sometimes bordering on painful, experience, I thought it made sense to come out of the box with a huge bang, and take on something that, to be frank, seemed too big for me. [And Yes, I have utilized this approach when facing other overwhelming "challenges" in my life and can attest to it's efficacy).

So please, be gentle. I may sound rough, tough and trade, but inside, I'm as frightened as a sexually confused, sixteen-year-old boy who just got tossed into the drunk tank at Riker's and suddenly overhears murmurs from the dark corners about how "it looks likes it's time to pick a new prom queen."

My dirty little secret:
The song that plays over and over in my head 70% of the time is 2 Live Crew's 1992 hit, "Pop that Coochie."
And for those of you who forgot how it goes:

I'm sorry, but "shake it, don't brake it, it took your momma nine months to make it." Ghetto genius.

And to those catty queens ready to yank my gay card over that revelation, I confess the following:
Twenty percent of the time, the song is "The Oldest Profession," Lillias White's showstopping number as 'Sonja' in Broadway's 1997 hit, "The Life."

I had a flawless video of Lillias White performing this number on Broadway, but it was removed by youTube for some sort of violation. How friggin' tedious is that?

I went to see "The Life" with my college roommate and one of my bestest friends, Van Wisdom, who died in 2003. It was during the the week he visited me from Houston in 1997. He scheduled the trip to come and tell me he had been diagnosed positive. In the scene immediately preceding this song, Sonja has just come back from the free clinic where doctors advised her that they couldn't diagnose her illness. They never say "AIDS," but it's pretty obvious. I remember sitting in the dark theatre next to Van, crying for him, unaware at the time that I was already infected myself. After she finished, Van, who couldn't even spell "subtle," screamed "You go, girl!"

"The Oldest Profession" was our favorite number and we walked around the entire week he was here singing the first verse, which is the only one we could remember. The complete lyrics are priceless.

I'm worn out
And weary
I ain't no machine
My head hurts
My feet hurts
And everything in between

I'm gettin' too old for the oldest profession
I'm gettin' too tired and to slow
I'm gettin' too old for the half-hour session
I'm gettin' too old for a pro

I'm gettin' too old for to climb all those stairs now
A half a dozen times every night
I'm gettin' too old for to take 'em in pairs now
Or to take off my clothes in the light
(This is where Van leaned over to me and said "I know that's right!")

I can't seem to manage those shriners who manage
To man handle me every trip
To tell you the truth I've had so many shriners
That I'm up for membership

When I was sixteen it was fun, turning tricks
I needed the money and I wanted some kicks
I ain't sixteen, I just turned 26
Time to come in from the cold
Looks like I'm gettin' to old

Damn, how good is that?

So, let's see, my second song is a late-90's Broadway tune, sung by a big, black diva, who was part of the original cast that I saw on Broadway, in a show whose main characters are NYC Times Square prostitutes living with AIDS; I'll take that gay card back, "thank you very much."

The rest of the time (yes, 10% for you anal math freaks) it's random snippets alternating between various Rufus lines (lately it's been "This Love Affair," "The Gay Messiah" and "Do I Disappoint You"), The Beatles, "Hey Jude" (which I can't for the life of me figure out), lines by Pink from "Don't Let Me Get Me," Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man," Sarah McLachlan's "Angel," Anita Baker (huh?), AC/DC, Journey (I'm actually typing this??) and, dare I say, Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Okay, that's enough. Thou dost reveal too much.

Although I am aware that a burden has shifted with these revelations, I also feel a bit dizzy.


Anonymous said...

Was Van a yell leader at BU? If so, I'm really sad!!! He was a great person and I'm sure I don't have to tell you that!!!

he gay said...

The one and same (and only). He was an amazing man and I miss him dearly. We were so lucky to have known him. All best.