Juneau and Thea’s Excellent Adventure in Hollywood – Part 3
What happens in LA…stays in LA
After the show, the AT&T Live Proud winners, now considerably moister and happier, re-boarded the party bus. The boys’ hair was drooping from all the bouncing and sweating they had done. Several of us hatched a plan to go out to the Metropolitan Club, where “the Heathers” from RuPaul’s Drag Race were performing tonight. Sutan would be there!
We piled into Trevor and Brennan’s rental car and piloted our way into the heart of West Hollywood. Trevor dropped us off at the club’s entrance and went to find a parking spot. I ventured inside, promptly losing the rest of our group, walked through the bar into the dance hall and immediately encountered a feathered colossus. I looked up the seven-foot-plus height of this individual and to my shock, recognized Raja!!! I had no inkling that she would be so vertically advantaged. Granted, she was wearing 10-inch platforms, but in photos Raja appears so elegant and delicate that I imagined she would be around 5’8″.
I should have recalled that drag queens tend to be larger than life. Not only do they possess the larger male physique, but they pile on exaggerated hair, boobs and butts, and costumes to fill the space around them. Their raison d’etre is to make an impression, wading like goddesses through the ocean of ordinary mortals packing the dance floor. I recognized the names from Drag Race – Manila Luzon, Delta Work and Carmen Carrera. Carmen, a statuesque Aphrodite, the creation of modern surgery, hormonal manipulations and super-adhesives, strutted her magnificent and impossible body down the catwalk to the crowd’s enthusiastic approval. The phenomenon of transexuals in gay clubs has always intrigued me. Do gay men find them attractive? A great many of the fans who lined up for meet and greets afterwards were women of various ages. What is that all about? I will have to ask Ogi Ogas!
Following the drag show, the catwalk was overtaken by muscular men garbed in undergarments with creative cut-outs, skilled in the art of jiggling various parts of the anatomy at supersonic frequencies. One young man wore a loincloth that appeared to have been retrieved from the janitor’s stash of floor rags. These fellows were too hypermasculine for me, with their gnarly biceps and bristles. (Speaking of bristles, I took an informal survey of the young gays among the Live Proud winners and learned that they approved of Adam’s facial hair. “He looks so much better!” gushed one. So there you have it, ladies.)
The force of gravity must have been stronger than normal in the club, because the scraps of fabric on these gyrating gentlemen (and the bartenders, similarly garbed) were drooping dangerously towards the core of the earth, threatening to expose all. This sight sent Trevor and Brennan into paroxysms of mortification. Trevor exclaimed “Oh my god! Oh my god! There’s nothing like this in Denver!” Young Brennan kept covering his eyes with his hand. I started to wonder if I had inadvertently taken on the role of a wicked Svengalina corrupting the youth. “Have you ever been in a place like this?” Trevor wanted to know. Um, The Donkey Show? I decided not to tell him about the sex club in Paris.
Eventually, however, the lads recovered some of their composure. Trevor became bold enough to attempt to thrust a rolled up dollar bill into the thong of one of the dancing men. By then, it was close to 2AM, and time for those of us with early morning flights to think about repairing to the W.
We staggered out of the Metropolitan just as disheveled, spent throngs poured out of all the WeHo clubs. Following Trevor, we traipsed down Santa Monica Boulevard for about 20 minutes, until it became apparent that Trevor had no idea where he had parked the car. Brennan rolled his eyes. Seems he found this not entirely unexpected. Out came an iPhone and we retraced our steps and circled Kings Road Park. After 20 minutes, we found ourselves back on the same corner as before. The iPhone was consulted once more, and we headed towards Melrose Avenue. About an hour later, foot-sore, we stopped at a corner to consider our options. A friendly couple offered to get their car and drive us around and help look for the car.
At this juncture, I and the nice hetero couple from Palm Springs who had tagged along decided we needed to hail a taxi and speed back to the W Hotel so we could catch a few winks before getting up at the crack of dawn. Trevor had vanished around a corner, the helpful couple had gone to get their car, and with considerable guilt and trepidation, we left luminous Brennan by himself on the streets of WeHo at 3AM. (Later Brennan texted me that they had found the car and made it back to the hotel at 5AM. Phew!)
So, at night’s end, what lessons were learned? What wisdom gained? That I still love gay clubs after all these decades? That things are different in Denver? That perhaps it wasn’t the smartest idea to entrust travel logistics to two impressionable young men who were even more lost than I was? That unless I have a month on an island with Adam, I will never, ever have time to say everything I want to say to him? What is the Meaning of Adam Lambert?
As I sat drowsily in the back of the limo speeding towards LAX, dawn spreading her rosy fingers over the Los Angeles skyline, I thought, Adam is like a desert mirage, a shimmering gleam on the horizon of my imagination. He offers a vision of an oasis that we may never reach, or if we are lucky enough to approach for a moment, leaves us thirstier than ever. But quenching that thirst is not the point. It’s about awakening, about the excitement of the hunt, and the feeling of being acutely, achingly alive.
What makes the engine go? Desire, desire, desire.