By Scott King
New Beginnings: that’s the name of the queer bar in my hometown. There’s a reason why, but I don’t remember.
In the late 90’s, we were so busted. You remember that song, “Closing Time?” Something about how every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end? The halcyon homophobes tried to make a pejorative pun on butt sex from the “some other beginning’s end” bit. No dice.
I eschewed the radio. I would drive around, smoking pot and listen to Ani Difranco, trying to summon up the courage to talk to strangers and make them my friends, my community.
When I moved back to Atlanta in 2010, the after-hours club for the chill pill crowd was called Spring 4th. Yes, that name was a pun on the address. Yes, the party favors put an artificial spring in the patrons’ designer sneakered steps. Yes, I had my heart broken like cunty glass on the back patio, as the beautiful lights from the bubbly big buildings blurred my tears.
Even then, I knew that I had arrived. The whimsy and romanticism of my youthful poetry journals had come to three-dimensional life. It was all worth it. Even when it wasn’t.
But temptations though. Years later, I accidentally quit smoking pot. We went to see “Django Unchained,” under the influence, on January 1st of whatever fucking year it was. Trust me, gurl, it was HILARIOUS. A few weeks later, someone said to me, “Wanna smoke this?” After a minute of reflection, I said, “No. I don’t. But thanks!” And that was that.
What does all this have to do with the new season of Queer Eye? Let me tell you, honey. You don’t need product placement in order to be your authentic self. You caaaaan fix ugly, especially when it’s on the inside.
Last year, I vowed to get out of the house more often. I did. This year, I vowed to talk less shit about people when they aren’t there. So far so good.
In a few short days, we will be setting our clocks an hour forward for Daylight Savings. You will be robbed of an hour of sleep that you never intended on getting anyway. Imagine that in that hour the lowest minutes of the year ahead have been deleted, have been skipped over, erased from the matrix.
Take Daddy’s advice (that’s me) – use this hour you lost to learn the following lessons, the easy way:
Being nice is better than being clever
When you go to a party, do you remember the person who is loud and trying to hold court and to be witty and cutting, or do you remember the sweet, cute dude in the corner who said hello and then buggered off? Obvs we remember them both, but which one do you want to have over for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I thought so.
Shut the fuck up for once. In addition, listen. Stop thinking about the next thing you’re going to say and stop being distracted by your peripheral vision. Just listen. There’s a punchline in there somewhere.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It’s also a killer way to learn things. Behavior, personas, grace. They can all be learned and adopted. I am my own unique snowflake, but I took a lot from three of my best friends. I’m still me, and I still don’t think that they know. Quelle dommage.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else
No one can be you, even if you are pastiche. You are your own unique blend of Neapolitan, and your taste buds receive it uniquely.
It works the opposite way as well. Your problems are not lessened by the woes of the sad sack next door. And you’re not any prettier just because I’m so motherfuckin’ ugly. Allegedly. You’re the one who needs the doctor, Blanche.