April 17th, 2010

Paul Neyron rose 2

drag show

I came early, and helped with getting balloons tied to weights so they could be scattered around the room.  I wasn't going to play with the helium itself, given my clumsiness and lack of ability with mechanical things.  I had enough trouble learning how to properly work oxygen tanks.  Each assisted-living resident who had one had a different model, sometimes two different models for each person.  D.S. said that anyone who actually played with the helium as far as inhaling it would get kicked out, so that stayed relatively serious.  I didn't lose any of the balloons I was given.  The houses of cards were on tables and on the stage, the giant dice were scattered around, the oversized cards and signs were hung up.  A little group of students were delegated to scatter confetti, dice, and gold-colored plastic coins on the tables.  The confetti came in the forms of dollar signs, dice, and clover.  It all looked pretty good.

When the students started to practice by singing show tunes, I cranked up the Rammstein on my iPod as an antidote.  I couldn't believe that when the DJ asked what they wanted to hear, a bunch of them yelled, "Frank Sinatra!"  What are they, eighty-year-olds?

There were a number of drag kings to go along with the queens.  I know a couple of them had specially ordered binders to add to the authenticity of the look.

D.S. and J.S. were already made up, and D.S. had his breasts in place.  I caught myself eyeing some of the guys' breasts several times during the evening, which was disconcerting.  When they went off to change and came back dressed as trashy Goths, I almost fainted.  D.S. was wearing a miniskirt, fishnets, and high-heeled boots with several buckles.  H. works at a sex shop, and had brought a crop for him.  D.S. just lit up when he got the crop, and looked very natural carrying it.  I called out, "You're just loving that crop!"

"Oh, yes," he replied.  I saw J.S.'s face when D.S. brought the crop down on the couch arm near him.  He looked just a little startled.  J. put his silver boots on, and he was right -- they are awesome.  They totally made the outfit.  M. didn't wear a wig or anything, but he wore a completely sequined blue-green top with a long, flowing, chiffon vest-type jacket and flowing black pants.  He did have breasts, and rings on every finger.

D.M. wore a long turquoise dress which had a strapless bodice on top and a skirt which was gathered into semi-tiers.  He had the same wig from last year, so he had a lot of hair, and was wearing a tiara.  "You look beautiful," I said quite sincerely.  He makes a beautiful woman.

Someone I didn't recognize took me by the shoulders from behind, and said, "Emilie."  I looked around, rather hostile at being touched that way by a stranger, and he said, "It's C."

After a minute, I said, "C.K.?"  It was, and J.A. was with him.  She looked much the same as she had back when.  I remembered that C.K. and I had hugged all the time when we were students, generally at my instigation, so he'd feel free enough to touch me.  I had boundary issues about personal space back then, and they're probably more severe now, especially where strange men are concerned.  People I know relatively well, and trust, can touch me, if they come towards me so I can see them.  After a while of knowing and liking someone, I'm pretty free about hugging them.

When the kareoke part started, there were quite a number of very good performers.  J. tied as the winner with a great rendition of "Suffragette City."  He did quite an impressive David Bowie-style performance.  Glam rock really is a good look for him.

D.S. (drag name: Aleasha Roundit) came in third in the drag contest, singing a song called "Poor, Unfortunate Queers."  I'm sure it's a song I'm supposed to know of, but I didn't get the cultural reference.  D.M. was second with a show/opera kind of performance with much vocal embellishment and dramatic performance -- music major that he is.  I'll have to ask him where that was from.  Someone known only as Ginger won.  I have no idea -- didn't recognize her at all -- nothing.  I'll have to ask the students if they're familiar with her.

I called it a day after the drag competition was over, though there were still a few kareoke contests to go.  J. said that he was going to perform again.  It was eleven-thirty by then, and I was just kind of fried.  I'll have to ask J. how he did in the remaining kareoke competitions.  I realized why he didn't do as well with the drag as he did with the kareoke.  He did "I Love Rock and Roll" for the drag competition, and Joan Jett is way more butch than he is.  He was more slinky and androgynous, which is not what the song demands.  Slinky and androgynous, and catlike-graceful sexiness are great for glam rock, where no butchness whatsoever is required.  I said good night to the kids.  I said to J.S., "D. really seems to like that crop."

J.S. said, in that counselor's voice he uses, "I don't think H. will be getting it back."  I guess that's between him and D.S. now.  From things D.S. has said, my impression was that he was the pushy bottom in the relationship, but I could imagine that they could switch easily enough.  It's not a polite question, so I won't know unless one of them actually says something outright.

The alums were out under the overhang of the building, as it was raining fairly hard by then.  I put up the hood of my jacket, and spoke to them for a minute, but I wanted to get home.  I don't like going out into that parking lot by myself at night.  C.K. said he'd be there Monday night, so maybe I'll get to talk with him more then.  I realized I didn't have that much feeling anymore for my fellow alums, except for G.L.  My affection now is for the current students, for S., H., J., M., and some for the others.  Maybe it was partly that I was expecting to concentrate entirely on the students for that night, and be something between an appreciative audience and a proud parent.