Tuesday night at 2A was such a blast. I was honored when Christine Vines asked me to read for her thirteen month old series, Fiction Addiction, and frankly a bit intimidated by the line-up of Jennifer Gilmore, Dale Peck and Terese Svoboda, who I think collectively have something like twenty five books published. Turns out they were all charming and down-to-earth, not to mention excellent readers.
I’ve been to this series before to support my friends who’ve read there. The line-ups are always consistently strong and the space is just great. A cool upstairs lounge, $4 whiskey specials and your face projected onto a fifty foot wall outside on Avenue A while you read– what more could a guy ask for? Christine is also super chill and really friendly. She’s not even twenty four and she runs one of the most successful series in the city, which is a great tribute to her charm and drive.
It was fun to read “Cruising” last night, mostly because my brother was in the audience and I knew he’d appreciate all the references. In my late 20’s-early 30’s, my parents wanted us to spend time together as a family, so they would pay for my brother, my sister-in-law, my three nephews and me to go on a cruise with them once a year. The story tries to explain, in the collective first person, what it feels like to be a gay man on what is arguably one of the most hetero environments on the planet, the family cruise.
it was great to see some familiar faces in the crowd, so once again, thanks for coming out, friends! As the evening wound down and the Jameson kept appearing before me, I got to meet a few of the regulars at 2A, most notably Dustin, who was well past his fifth drink and seemed to take a shine to me. Dustin said that I “read well” but he’s not much of a readings guy. In fact, this was the first time he’s come upstairs to hear folks, and he thought we were all reading other people’s work. Christine explained the process to him while he played with my arm hair. I laughed and told him he was objectifying me and that I felt like a woman. I was also a bit afraid since Dustin’s a pretty big guy and he was well, friendly drunk but just on the cusp of belligerence. When he asked me if it made a difference that he owned four buildings across the street, I laughed and reached for my bag. Then he said “I can get on a treadmill, you know,” and I laughed harder and hid behind my friend Linda. Lucky for me, Linda had brought her friend Neil, who Dustin was also quite fond of because he was “so Jewish.” Of course, Neil isn’t Jewish at all; he’s Indian. But he was wearing glasses and drunk as Dustin was, that was Jewish enough.
So Dustin pulled Neil onto the dance floor. Something vaguely eighties was playing, and Dustin held Neil close, which must have been a fairly new experience for Neil since he’s straight. Meanwhile, Jude Law walks into the bar and Christine brings him up in conversation. Apparently I had no idea this was happening and was just running off at the mouth at how I had gone with my mother to see Jude Law in Indiscretions on Broadway in the early-mid 90’s, before he was famous, and the entirety of act II he was naked and frankly both me and mom were drooling. I was speaking loudly and at this point Jude was still right behind me at the bar. As soon as someone acknowledged him out loud he stormed off to the front part of the bar where the readings were and then sent his very tall, very blonde, very young lady friend to fetch drinks for the two of them. Nice.
I don’t have pictures of the last part, but the video of the reading turned out great, so check it out!