that night at Slim's:
We were warming up backstage, playing sotto voce, sotto forte. I became acutely physically aware of the fact I hadn't eaten dinner. So, it was quickly decided that I trundle out into the night and snag a pizza slice, that I might be calorically prepared for the show to come.
Slim's was a crapshoot, because the date, this last Sunday, Sept 3, was a) a holiday weekend, b) a Sunday which is nearly as lifeless as a Monday, showbiz-wise, c) a big little venue, i.e., maximum capacity 650 people, and d) the only time in recorded history half of the most major bridge connecting San Francisco to Oakland - and thence one quarter of the rest of the planet - would be closed, non-functioning, impassable. (However, be it known: I am a proponent of public/alternative transit.)
And - this is why I wrote the above - there was a street fair near the club closing at least one block of Harrison Street to vehicles for an event called the "Bear Fair", though it is officially entitled the Harrison Street Fair. Now, this may come as a shock to some, but San Francisco has a large homosexual community, one part of which is comprised of gay men who are built big, strong, rolly polly and fuzzy. Not often featured in GQ. That was I all I knew until I sidled up to the pizzeria window that night, my big-boned self, 5' 8-3/4", rolly pollyish, dressed in my show clothes of shorts, high tops, and a big black workshirt, with an accidentally too short haircut. I asked which pizza had the most meat on it. A burly, beautiful young man standing next to me said:
I thought you'd be a vegetarian. MYSELF: No, no, I'm a carnivore. Always have been. HIMSELF: I thought cubs didn't eat meat. MYSELF: (light bulb above head beginning to glow) Errr, uumm... HIMSELF:(light bulb also beginning to glow) Oh! Are you a lesbian? You look so good. Are you...forty? MYSELF: I've been cruised before. It's these big shoulders. And, you fine young man, I am fifty --- three. HIMSELF: (gears turning) Oh, wow...
Now, this is the part that really was a delight. Besides the above, I could tell he was calculating whether the little detail of my genital array could be overcome in this particular instance. But, he decided to stick with what he knew, and I was making my quick goodbye, with the excuse that I had to go to work, and left with my slice and a can, giggling and smiling all the way back to the club. I had been a little down, but this was enough to cheer me up. Thanks to that appealing young bear.