the apple store or a kubrick set?
Friend Danny came by today to snatch me out of the office, take me to his salon and cut the hairs on my head. I design Danny’s business cards once a year, and in exchange – I abandon the clippers for the colder months and get actual “haircuts”.
Danny’s one of those friends I feel like I don’t spend enough time with. He’s a rugged, handsome man with manners of royalty and a mouth like tinkerbell. Regardless, it’s hard sometimes to picture him as a buxom red head shimmying down a runway with pumps on. Danny was the reigning Miss Gay Missouri, (A Drag Title), throughout the late 80’s. Up until recently, he has organized the pageant and countless other fundraising events. More impressive than being one of the city’s “drag elders”, Danny was the founder of the now muliti-milion dollar NFP: St. Louis Effort for AIDS.
You’d never get the sense from Danny that he’s the city’s biggest drag-elder, nor the creator of one of the first AIDS related organizations to in the US. What you do get a sense of is that this is a man who’s dedicated a better part of his life to charity. His eye’s have the scars, as so many men in his nearly whiped out age bracket, of loosing a lot of loved ones. It’s a reminder that there was a time when the Virus wasn’t treatable. When I was contemplating Duran Duran imports – he was watching everyone close to him die.
Danny asked me to play personal shopper today for him. He needs a new computer. So, working on that toaster oven, I took him to The Apple Store.
We lucked out and got a sales attendant with a personality.
While the sales guy was doing his schtick I couldn’t shake the feeling that I knew him from somewhere – until… It finally hit me.
“Are you from St. Louis?” I asked.. “And how long have you worked in retail?”
“Yes” he said rolling his eyes, “I’ve been in retail wayyyyyy toooo, . . . wait a second. . . JIM?!?!”
I had worked with the the guy 16 years ago when I took one of my first jobs at the mall in a mens clothing store called “His Place.” It was one of those terrible 80’s hip-clothing stores like Chess King or Oaktree.
“Oh my god, I didn’t recognize you… Wow you look so different, you’re so old.”
He caught himself saying that and started stumbling to correct himself, “I mean, you’re older, or… uuhhh.. I uhhhh”….
“We’ll take the 14″ ibook please”. I interrupted not really phased by the inadvertent insult.
I figured: Sure – I’ve done some hard living and I’m no where near as well preserved as this guy was (he looked nearly the same). But you know what? Here it is 16 years later and I still don’t have to put on a name badge when I go to work, so I’ve got nothing to be bent out of shape about.
My compensation for assisting came in the form of a tray full of Indian food from the mall’s food court.
If Danny only knew I’d paint his house for a couple of samosas.
If I could spend more time with ALL of my friends.
If I could have the presence of mind to blog.