the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

endless saturday

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beautiful day. had breakfast with sunny and her husband ben at a nice little joint near the now-abandoned crossroads mall. crossroads was once the epicenter of boulder, home of orange julius, kb toys, and fashion bar.

a few years ago crossroads was eclipsed by the opening of the mega mall/mini city called 'flatiron crossing' just outside of town. crossroads sat for years, an empty shell as one store after another closed down. they began demolition on saturday.

as i sat on the patio having breakfast with sunny and ben i noticed how the flatirons were reflected in the windows of the restaurant - something that used to fade into the background. i guess the new york equivalent would be to get misty eyed at seeing the flatiron building reflected in a street cafe window.

that afternoon i went through boxes in the garage - my dad had put a bunch of my stuff away to make room for his magic equipment (yes, my dad is a magician). one box had nearly every attempted short film i'd ever made with my friends, ranging from sixth grade to seniors in high school. about fifteen full video tapes of rearranged living rooms, makeshift costumes, attempts at recreating the opening scenes of indiana jones and the temple of doom, blowing up model cars, running through swamps, flying rockets hit by asteroids, evil empresses obsessed with controlling the universe; it was a gold mine. i called david and told him to get over to my place immediately so that we could be tortured by facing our 11-16 year old selves.

it was such pain to watch. god i was a nelly kid. i was the gayest kid who ever walked the earth. anyone who was surprised when i came out was either a, well, was anyone surprised? and to me this lends credence to the 'sissy boy syndrome.' clearly my gayness was something instilled in me at birth, visible in the form of limp wrists and a tendency towards overwrought emotions. and musical theatre. later on some of that behavior disappeared - i think i conditioned it out of myself. hmm. maybe this is what the christian right really means when they say homosexuality is a choice. they acknowledge (not openly of course) that it is instilled at birth, but are so full of self hatred that they implore us to choose to force ourselves to be straight. so that we can go to heaven. genetic or not, it's icky, so stop it please, thanks.

that night's reunion event took place at a restaurant on the pearl street mall - boulder's version of the east village. i arrived with sunny and david, and again: dread. oh god there's the homecoming king again. bastard. oh god there's bangs with baby again. i've already seen all these people. i saw them last night. i know what they're all doing now. i don't need to see them again. what the hell are we going to talk about?

three cheers for liquor. three more cheers for giant $3.50 gin and tonics.

and the night is a blast, helped by drinks and furthered by the arrival of many more long lost friends, people i googled a million times and couldn't find anything on. what was most interesting was reconnection with people who i'd grown up with, but lost touch with while in high school.

here's me with deanna and michelle. we were in elementary school together and were friends up through 6th grade. michelle remembered absolutely everything that happened in elementary school, the full names of everyone who was in our class, and knew what had happened to most of them. what was so fascinating was to see how people's outer selves had aged, changed, shifted, but the core of their personalities remained the same, that intangible essence unaltered.

the paparazzi are relentless in their quest to get you at your worst. you do one nike commercial and they just don't leave you alone.

steve is one of my best friends. one of the first people i came out to, and my party buddy in college. katie stood next to me in our carnival cruise line choir called 'excalibur,' which if there was a award for most artifical smiles achieved through emotional rape, excalibur would win it. katie told me that her boyfriend at the time used to get jealous of the way we acted together while we sang. ha ha. jason, in the purple shirt, was charlie to my willy wonka our first year of high school.

malia played my wife in 'the skin of our teeth' our senior year. she was awesome, looked fantastic, we had so much fun. will definitely have to go out next time i'm back in town.

catherine and jen were in choir and theatre with me. we also made a short film in which they were tortured and killed by an inbred hillbilly. jen now works in accounting and catherine is a chemist.

danced a lot that night. i realized at one point that i'd never even been dancing with most of these friends. god, i was so repressed in high school. where would we go anyway? i was too busy at rehearsal or editing the school paper to ever go to one of the wild parties i'd hear so much about. blah, it just wasn't part of my high school life. sure made up for that in college though. it felt like i was finally getting to have the fun i never had with these friends.

somehow, the decorations committee had aquired 1994 trophies from various schools and events around colorado, and placed a trophy at the center of each of the tables. we were told afterward that we could take them home if we wanted, and what a brilliant idea that turned out to be.

sunny, ben, david and i went to another bar after.

sunny brought her trophy, which proved to be an amazing conversation starter, especially among drunk people. probably 15 people walked right up to her to ask what she won it for.

sunny: best dressed.

sunny: kickin' ass.

sunny: speech therapy.

ben and david became obsessed with foosball. while they were playing i got a message on my phone fron jen.

jen: where are you guys? we went to this bar, i don't even know what bar. what bar is this?? and i brought one of the trophys, holy shit this trophy is magic! call us and meet up with us!!

so we met up with jen and katie and their trophies.

i strutted around pearl street with a trophy like an asshole, doing my best ali g, yelling at people.

me: dude. we won! we fuckin' won! respek the trophy, bitch.

next stop, denny's. so many late nights spent at denny's in high school after a show, or after a long night on newspaper staff. god what a geek! what better place to go? especially when the bars here close so early. and boy did breakfast sound good. moons over my hammy or some such greasy shit. anything. we brought our trophies in with us and demanded a huge cheer from the entire restaurant upon entering. they, being post-party as well, were happy to oblige.

denny's: woo!

me: that's right bitches.

katie ordered the uber-fiesta nachos. by the time they arrived the fiesta had faded and the sight of them was repulsive.

i ordered something deep fried and covered in country gravy with a side of three pancakes. massive.

the trophies were displayed at the table. occasionally someone would come over to us and ask what we won. a group of rowdy college kids came in and loudly challenged our championship status.

kids: we were robbed! you guys suck! we shoulda had those!

me: yeah? you wanna rumble?

we talked and laughed and talked well into the morning. on full stomachs, our buzzes dimmed. time to go. the college kids were outside as we filed out of the restaurant.

kid: wait a second, why does that say 1994? i know what you guys do, you guys broke in somewhere and ganked the trophy case, and you got/

me: wait. what did you say?

kid:/all dressed up in ties and shit and you raided the trophy/

me: no wait. what did you say?

kid: you totally just stole those/

me: what was that word you used!?

kid: you take them and then you go to denny's/

me: no, 'ganked?' did you just say 'ganked?'

and so i've learned a new piece of jargon from the kids. by the time i got home, sunlight was peeking up on the horizon. the moon was a sliver so bright it illuminated the entire orb.

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