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Thursday, January 17, 2013

La Comedia e finita

It  seems a bit silly perhaps to comment on the closure of a bar, but given the amount of time and money that I have spent at Dallas' somewhat sleazy Drama Room over the last couple of years, perhaps a philosophical comment or two is in order.

Dallas has some twenty-odd gay bars, and since most of them are within either a few steps or a quick cab ride apart, one doesn't usually get attached to a specific watering hole. I, on the other hand, tend to have what I call a "home bar". That "Cheers" kind of place where everybody knows your name and your bartender knows that you don't like drinking straws. The Drama Room was such a place.

I liked the bartenders and the dancing boys and the general atmosphere there. It was the place where I got my vodka prescription filled. The scene of some hilariously good times and the venue at which I made some of my most dreadful missteps. Yes, I am confessing that at this point in my life, I spend too much time and money in bars.

This fact was brought home to me last night when I ran into a friend whose first words to me were: "well, I see they closed your house down. What are you going to do now?" When one's identity becomes that connected to a drinking establishment, then perhaps it is time to evaluate a bit.

Yesterday, the Drama Room closed for good. Of course, I feel sorry for the staff who are now out of a job without so much as a day's notice. But for me, perhaps this turn of events is a good thing. Although there is fun to be had in the other clubs on our famous Cedar Springs strip, none of them have quite the appeal or the crowd that I enjoyed at Drama. So to quote the song from The Color Purple, maybe God is trying to tell me something.

I will be the first to admit that I have neglected not only my fiscal responsibilities in favor of being a party boy, but I have also neglected my friends, my family, my art and my faith. In just a couple of weeks, we will have our first fund raiser for The Helios Ensemble as we resurrect a group that has been dormant for some years now. Here's my chance. Wish me luck.

And to close, fare thee well Drama Room and good luck to all your staff. It was a ride that was like the best of roller coasters: great fun, and hella scary at times. In Canio's immortal last words, la comedia e finita.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that this year, even though it ends in unlucky thirteen, will be boisterous, prosperous and any other fun -ous that you might pursue.

Many of you have continued to keep my dad and our family in your prayers as he struggles with his final illness. I wish to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. His condition continues to worsen, sadly, and the biggest issue at the moment is his dementia. I am told by the professionals that this is a normal effect of the cancer and that there is little to be done. He will have some lucid periods, but he will continue to lose his ability to remember or to comprehend basic tasks.

The worst effect of his dementia is my inability to effectively to communicate with him. He doesn't remember our conversations even minutes after they happen. And he is completely unable to learn how to use his cell phone. This is hard for me because I want him to know that I am trying to stay in touch, but he simply can't comprehend it all.

I want to reiterate here my pledge to be a kinder person this year. Aunt Junie says to kill 'em with kindness and she is right. I have been shown such grace and love during this period and I hope that I can share the kindness that I have received with others, be they friend or stranger.

Best wishes to everyone in this hopeful new year.