10 April 2015

Memoriam: David Tompkinson

David was a sub-mariner. How hot is that?! And he was hot, from his infectious smile to his tight little body, I had a little crush on him, I must admit.
He was also extremely nice. Out of the way nice. He was quiet and unassuming, that is until he was wearing a leather mini-kilt and dancing on a go-go block at the Trocadero in Philadelphia. Then he was a dynamo, full of energy and charisma, you couldn't not look at him pumping his body to the music in total freedom, total release.
His boyfriend, Jimmy Hyde, was a great friend of mine. They were together for a long time and David was his heart. His love. His everything. You could feel their connection when they were together. They lived in a house where they recovered furniture, high quality work, very professional. Everything they did was beautiful.
David began to get sick. Preparations were made. He seemed resigned, as much as one could be with a death sentence hanging over you. I remember him taking me aside one day and asking me something very personal, and he was very serious. He said, 'When I die, can you come to my funeral in drag. I have always loved watching you perform and I really want you to come to my funeral dressed up.'
At first I said no. I didn't think it was appropriate but, looking at how sincere he was, I told him I would. More out of getting this uncomfortable conversation over than agreeing to his wishes.
When his beautiful body failed, it failed quickly and he finally passed. He was finally released.
Miss Patti and Joe told me I had to go to his funeral dressed in drag. Jimmy insisted on it but I told them all that I couldn't do it. I just couldn't pull it together. To me, my drag persona was a stage performance, my art, a way for me to entertain people. Attending a funeral was not the place to put on my 'entertainment face'. It wasn't about me, it was about celebrating David.
I remember being in the bathroom looking at myself in the mirror, debating over and over with myself about whether or not I was going to get dressed. I thought I had convinced myself that I wasn't going to do it. But... slowly, I shaved, then began putting on my make-up, all before I even realized what I was doing. I knew that if I didn't go, if I didn't honor his last request, a very personal request, a dying request that I had never had anyone ask of me before, that I couldn't live with myself.
The funeral was beautiful, although the church where it was held is now Bally's Wild Wild West entrance. I walked in wearing a short black dress, high black heels, a long black overcoat, black drama hat, big bug-eyed black glasses, my long red curls draping down my back. I signed in and we paid our respects, walking by the coffin, hugging Jimmy, and took our seat in a pew.
The lady singing 'Ave Maria' was just this side of a karaoke performer and that sent Joe, Patti and I into laughing fits. We knew David did that for us.
There was a problem with the Navy, with them giving David a military funeral, but that was resolved at the grave site.
Afterward, at the wake, I had changed before we went to the family's house, and everyone was buzzing about the mysterious movie star that came to the church for David. Who was she? Why was she there?
Of course, they had no clue it was me.
David was a gentle soul. A beautiful soul. And every time someone reads this, he will still be alive somewhere in the world.
I remember you, David.  

25 March 2015

Habit Forming

Spring cleaning is coming, I have a hankering to go through all my boxes of paperwork and mementos and whatnot to see what I really want to save and what I should jettison. My ex, Joe, used to holler at me constantly about my piles of paperwork, I'm always holding on to useless stuff. It's funny, though, I'm usually quick to discard items that I no longer need, clothing that no longer fits, chipped bric-a-brac, stuff like that but there's something about all those little receipts and pay stubs that I feel the need to cling to and horde. I also have some keepsake boxes where I throw items that remind me of events I've gone to or trips I've taken, program books, placards, ticket stubs, and the endless newspapers that I've had letters printed or where I've been mentioned (fame whore that I am). I should go though all that and see if I still have an emotional attachment to the things I find in there (I have three boxes of this crap now). It's time to get rid of it all, and make room for more! 
I also need to go through my clothing again, now that I've gotten bigger, I can't fit in a lot of my shirts. And, barring a catastrophic injury, I am going to continue working out for a long as I'm capable so I don't need all these ill-fitting shirts taking up valuable space in my wardrobe and drawers. I guess I'll donate them to a local charity, let someone else get some use out of them. 
I'm still debating if I should keep the beautiful Brooks Brothers Gatsby Collection blazer that Helene talked me into buying. It's $400, and I'm already paying off my computer so I don't know if I can justify such an expensive clothing purchase. The computer is a necessity, a blazer is a luxury right now. I know I'll be working at The Claridge once the season starts and I'll have a more regular income coming in (and some more acting gigs) so that might sway me to keep it. It's SO beautiful. 
Although, there's the added expense of getting it tailored, the cuffs come unfinished so you can have them adjusted to your arm length. 
Time to wander to the gym, I have a long day ahead. Today is Chore Day and I need to run uptown to deposit two paychecks (which are already spent). 

24 March 2015

Back Into The Swing Of Things

It's been a while since I've written and these next few entries will be mostly rambling and unmoored so I can get back in the habit of writing on a regular basis. Feel free to ignore these entries until I get my bearings again.
The last few weeks have been pretty busy, at least for me. I've had to pull some extra shifts at The Claridge Hotel, bartending special events such as the NJ Film Festival. Interesting gigs, I got to meet some actors and producers and eavesdrop on the conversations around me.
The acting front has been slow, after 'The Knick', I haven't found anything I'm completely interested in doing. And those I do fancy are usually rush calls and there's no way I can get up there in enough time to make it work. I did get a request to grow out my hair for an upcoming rock and roll project but my red curls take FOREVER to grow to a point where it looks like I have long, rocker hair.
The gym has been satisfying, although my body is telling me that this latest push to lift heavier is taking it's toll. My shoulder, elbow, knee, and other assorted body parts hurt a little more than they should. Hopefully, I'll get my healthcare packet soon so I can get on some sort of insurance and get checked out by my doctor. I did recently bench press over my body weight so that made me feel all accomplished. I have been getting some compliments, although I don't see it, evidently I look bigger/more fit. I know many of my button down shirts are extremely tight around the chest area and a few of my T-shirts no longer fit. It's been a work in progress. I regret I didn't get the workout bug earlier in life.
Helene decided I needed a laptop so we stopped in Sam's Club and she put one on her charge for me. I actually REALLY love it, it's a touch-screen/laptop that folds over and can be used like a tablet. It was a bitch getting used to Windows 8 operating system but I'm getting the hang of it as I go along. I think it's superfluous, actually, most of the time I just go to my desktop and take off from there. I did download a killer LCARS app, it doesn't do much but it makes my laptop look like I'm in Starfleet, I'm such a total geek. The graphics are amazing, the sounds and the layout are all authentic. I wish they would add personalised buttons so I could access my usual sites, make it more like the Windows 8 tiles. No matter, it was well worth the few bucks I paid for it.