He keeps coming up in different conversations in different places, but I’ve only seen him in person once, which was way long ago when I was still waiting tables at the cocaine/alcoholic factory. Often I can remember the night of the week that I saw famous people because my schedule was fairly consistent – Sunday was usually the quietest night so I remember those the best – but I can’t be sure of the night I saw him. Funny to think that he was even famous by then. He was sitting in a small booth facing someone whose back was to me. He had bleached hair! That took me by surprise. It wasn’t one of my tables so anything I saw was just incidental, on my way to serving fifteen cosmos to a table of Russians probably. There was that other night that I was rushing – we were packed – and I went to make an espresso and as I pulled the coffee lever out of the machine steaming hot grounds splattered across my neck, shirt and the wall behind me. I zombied my way to the bar to ask for ice. Fortunately the bartender J identified what was happening better than I did – You’re in shock, he said and got me to lie down with some ice on my neck in the manager’s office. Maybe I was shaking or something. I definitely wouldn’t have thought to take a break if someone else hadn’t taken charge of the situation. E, the manager, sympathized with me for about five minutes then offered me two shots of whiskey and said I need you back on the floor. You have ten tables. Ever ready to prove my worth as a cocaine-addled waiter, I hurried back to work. I could have sued.
Anyway there he was facing me whenever I passed. Glittery eyes, that bleached blonde hair, a monochromatic sweater. Handsome. More striking than you’d think, but this was the 90’s after all. Everyone was younger then. But the biggest surprise was that he was super faggy looking. I thought oh my god he’s gay! I was somehow sure of it. He was there with a guy! What further proof was needed? I thought, wow I really have the scoop now. What I was planning to do with this priceless information I’ll never know. Then, as now, my resolve was minuscule, minutes long at most, and any desire to tip off some gossip columnist was quickly tempered by my strong Catholic-upbringing’s sense of restraint. I’d never become devious, no matter how many drugs I took. Eventually he got up to leave and he had this little gorilla body, short and powerful, muscular it seemed but definitely apelike. Eyes ready to kill or something. Maybe he was high too, oh god everyone was at that place.
Of course the gay thing is untrue I mean it was just a momentary projection. It must have been the hair and I guess I was unaccustomed to seeing two young attractive men sitting together who weren’t fucking or about to. But like I said he keeps coming up this year in the most random ways. First there was my friend B telling me that of all the celebrities she has to handle he’s the biggest dick of them all, cuz he demands to be flown around on a Lear Jet all the time, among other things. And then P is having the total opposite experience with him because he’s helping him out with his career in multiple ways. And then I was in Sydney and someone had a picture of him all graffittied with make up on it, like a drag clown. I would see it whenever I walked back to my hotel from downtown. At first I crossed the street to get a closer look at it but eventually I found it creepy, so I would just stay on the other side, clocking it briefly as I passed.