|November 24, 1998||Previous Tale||More Tales||Next Tale|
On Friday we held a party at a bar downtown to commemorate my business partner's formal emancipation from her (and my) former employer. It was an interesting mix of folks: a few members of the remaining functional sect in that office, plus various and sundry other friends from different parts of her life. Many people had never met each other before this event, but they seemed to get along famously. I think it's a good sign when friends from entirely disparate parts of your life can be gathered together in one room and, when sufficiently lubed with alcohol, find loads of things to talk about.
At one point, I found myself talking to the Executive Director of my old office, a very tall fellow with boundless personal energy and the kind of natural interpersonal charm that leaves me simmering with Envy. I find it profoundly embarrassing to admit that James is something of a mentor to me, and probably a father-figure to boot. Back when I was amusing myself by creating websites for completely fictitious organizations like the Save the Guinea Worm Foundation, I considered designing a site to exalt and worship his charismatic leadership. Most coworkers found this odd, if not gratingly obsequious.
I've rarely allowed any males to gain such a prominent role in my life; I've always deferred to the company of women. I have, at times, been forced to spend time around other men, and my lingering memory was of the smell of sweat. It can't possibly be an accident that when you place men together in any dwelling, it begins to stink in a matter of days. That is nature's way of telling us to stay away from each other.
On this evening, however, I was in an expansive mood, and having belted down several cheap Happy Hour drinks, felt perfectly comfortable sitting down with my former boss and sharing views on life. One of the unanticipated benefits of quitting a job is that you can now be friends with the people that you formerly knew as fellow cowering drones, or, in this case, with the person who once could put you on unemployment just because his Ouija board said you were stealing paper clips. We talked about Ken Starr's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, an event of passionate interest to him. Breathlessly demonstrating my political acumen before my personal guru, I shared some incredibly juicy gossip about political analyst and irritating right-wing twerp Larry Sabato.
(It's really quite interesting about Charlottesville-based pundit Larry Sabato, but in the interest of protecting individual privacy and avoiding lawsuits, I can only tell you that the gossip is succulent indeed. I comes from a friend of my partner who is currently facing imminent revocation of existence at the hands of an incurable disease, and thus has little reason to lie. I gues only he and Larry Sabato know for certain whether it's true. So it would be irresponsible and sad to repeat it in this forum. It may involve one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins.)
(Other insider gossip shared at the party: a woman whom I'd never met before revealed that her hairdresser cuts Kate Moss' hair... he says Kate Moss just checked herself into a clinic in England for "exhaustion," a lovely euphemism for addiction to a popular drug and chic waifmaker featured in "Trainspotting." All I had to beat that was that I once picked up Miss America's luggage at the airport in Washington D.C. It was black, plentiful, and quite heavy. And my brother-in-law once had a girlfriend stolen away by Warren Beatty.)
After James left, my friends pointed out that it's rather ridiculous for me to hold him in such reverence. After all, as the Executive Director of my professional alma mater, he must be held partially responsible for the kind of officewide goofiness that helped persuade me to leave. Rationally, this is true, but there are powers at work which are beyond my control. Something about this man's towering stature and manic personal style has made him a hero in my book. I cannot wait to be over this ridiculous infatuation, and be able to laugh about it with everyone else.
James and I decided to go out for drinks this Tuesday night, probably for more chat about politics. I'm terrified. The Larry Sabato bit was really some of the best gossip I had.
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