My day celebrating LGTB (it’s an alphabet soup of sexuality!) in West Hollywood on June 14th started at a gay producer’s house in the Hollywood Hills. I was invited by a gay friend who’s currently attending the top producing program in the nation. A third gay man who recently finished a seven-month stint playing poker professionally in Las Vegas was also there. I was the only straight one, but I had on a bright yellow T-shirt with a pencil that exploded a rainbow from its eraser-end toward the neckline, if that counts for anything.
I had also gone with this same gay friend and this same gay producer to the Pride Parade two years prior, and had a blast. I attribute that sensuous and spiritually uplifting day not only to the great company and the vibes of the city, but also to the copious amounts of ecstasy we ingested. This time around was a bit different however. This time around we drank quite a bit of booze and did bumps of cocaine off of car keys.
As I mentioned, the day started out at the producer’s house. The place was a bit like an adult version of a frat house actually; some random furniture, but no unifying decorative theme, and a couple of overstuffed bookshelves (and yes, I know you’d never find books in a frat house). Also, on the television screen behind the producer was a slideshow of him with various television and movie stars, as well as friends and family members. He’s an extremely intelligent and successful guy, and probably wouldn’t bother socializing with me had I not been connected with him through my friend (whom I told is a stunningly fine specimen of a “twink”). As soon as I arrived, I was greeted with a chilled mimosa, and while I’m not a drinker, I thought, what the fuck, it’s Pride! (Mistake #1).
The producer discussed the television show he’s working on, and my friend discussed his graduate program. I’m also in the entertainment industry, but not really because all I do is deliver lunches, or cry in the fetal position after long stints of unemployment. I drank my mimosa quickly however, and tried to hold my proverbial shit together as I started into my second. The poker player was knitting (or at least I think he was) and would chime in every now and again mentioning something like “Breaking Bad is a horrible show,” to which the producer would reply “please keep bullshit opinions like that to yourself.”
After pre-gaming (I so rarely use that term I don’t even know if it’s hyphenated) we Ubered to a hotel that overlooked the parade. The roof deck was hot and white and dry and the sun was bright. We took turns buying and downing a whiskey drink called ‘Ride ‘em Cowboy.’ (Mistake #2). I’m nearly 100% positive that I was the only straight man on that roof, including the wait staff. I’m also certain I was the only guy wearing jeans (Mistake as well, but relatively minor).
High-powered producers and other entertainment industry talent took turns mingling with us; well, mingling with my friend and the producer. As time went on, more and more of the young and so-freakin’-muscular gay men took off their shirts. They all had flawless skin and toned, sinewy bodies. At one point, I, coming from a place of self-consciousness I’m sure, asked what I could go for in the gay community. “I, after all, have a virgin butthole!” I proclaimed too loudly (remember the mimosas and whisky). The producer said I could maybe get 350 bucks, but probably less. When I asked about how much my friend would fetch, he said, “a twink like that, he could get 2000.” Now these numbers are completely pulled from thin air, but it was an interesting game to play, and I was able to glean that I’m as unsought in the gay community as I am in the straight one. But don’t shed a tear for me, lest we not forget that I still have a virgin butthole.
After about an hour on the rooftop (it was a blur, it could have been thirty minutes, it could have been two hours) we collectively shuffled down the stairs, and were about to head out into the street, when we stopped in a long, dark, cool cement hallway. The producer produced (see what I did there) a small bag of cocaine and offered up his key. We took turns dipping the key in the bag and doing a bump. (Mistake #3) After that, I was supercharged with A NEED FOR SPEED and my friend and I bolted out of the cool dark stairwell into the warm and blinding sunshine that blazed upon Santa Monica Blvd. “This is fucking great,” I exclaimed.
The producer and his poker-playing pal then busted out of the stairwell door and we formed into an Entourage-like squadron once again, this time heading west down the street toward the festival offshoot that’s always adjacent to the parade. At this point I had entered a phase where self-control was obviously a priority but not a facile achievement and I believe my comments and demeanor became more and more (as the producer so kindly noted) like that of Charlie Day from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” I didn’t care too much in the moment however, because my brain was buzzing with energy and the day was young and possibilities for seeing a boob pop out of a woman’s scantily bra were high.
We entered the festival, and after snaking through the line (where I did my best impression of a human being), my bowels signaled to me. “Hey. You just did some blow and have had about four drinks. Guess what we feel like doing? Taking a big ol’ shit!” But, I’m sorry to say, this is not a took-a-big-loud-dump-in-a-public-place-‘cause-I-was-on-a-lot-of-drugs-isn’t-that-embarassing?-story. I actually held myself together, and the feeling passed. I rewarded myself with a beer (Mistake #4).
We watched the festivities unfold before us for a while (nearly naked, and hairy, men dancing in banana hammocks and strutting their stuff in leather chaps and masks), and consumed a couple more drinks. I also did another bump of cocaine off my own car key in the Porta-Potty (Mistake #5). My gay companions did some line dancing as well, in perhaps one of the smelliest gyms I’ve ever experienced. They looked like they were having fun though.
The story kind of fizzles out here, unfortunately, as nothing too crazy went on after this point. My friend departed, and I followed suit. But now you’re asking yourself, if the story just fizzled out like this, why did the author mention all of these supposed “mistakes.” Well, astute reader, I call them mistakes, because about an hour after I returned to my apartment, I had the worst fucking migraine headache of my life for about 16 hours. All the blow and all the booze amounted to a cranium-splitting Thor’s-Hammer type blow to my consciousness. The pain was so bad I couldn’t sit still, and I didn’t succumb to the Sandman until the sun was up again. The entire time I wanted to kill myself from the excruciating agony. Aside from that though, Pride 2015 was great. I’d highly recommend the festivities next year. But make sure you do the right drugs.