The most astute of you may have noticed that I haven't been around for awhile. Let me explain that. About two months ago I was resting on my rock, dreaming of all the books that Cap'n Ahab would be bring me, when I was approached by the demon Ursula. The deal was made in minutes and it has taken me all this time to wrestle my voice back from her. Let that be a warning to all of us.
So now to business. Back in January I offered a free meal to anyone who bet against me reading two books per week this year. Silly readers, you'd all be sated and sighing if you'd taken me up on my bet. But July is the halfway point of the year and it seems to me a good point to cut my losses and start again. There will be no free meals this time unless someone decides to feed me.
Ursula has taught me to be relentless.
My "New Year" begins with a memoir by Josh Kilmer-Purcell called I Am Not Myself These Days. Mr. Kilmer-Purcell lived a double-careered life in New York City. By day he was a hungover adman, by night she was a drunken drag queen named Aqua. I got a kick out of both lives.
Now a few of you might be wondering why I would waste my time on fluffy memoirs, but I think that if you really give it some thought, you'll realize that I've been attempting to live as a woman for years. If you add to that the fact that both JK-P and I enjoy waking up with strange men, I think that it will all become clear to you.
Anyway, this photo is of Aquadisiac. If you look very carefully you will notice that her breasts are clear little bowls containing goldfish. Living goldfish! Why didn't I think of that? Now we all understand why there is a goldfish on the cover of the book.
The book covers the period of a few months (about eight or nine if I remember correctly) that JK-P shared his life with a male prostitute whom he calls Jack. Jack meets a drunken Aqua one night and takes her home. Aqua meets Jack the next day when Jack returns her clothes to a hungover Josh at his ad agency. It's a storybook romance that should be read to all little girls before they go to sleep at night.
Soon the two are in love and moving in together. Jack is a very successful male prostitute, seeming to deal mostly in S&M; he wears his beeper at all times and occasionally brings clients to the apartment for the weekend. Otherwise, he seems to be the perfect boyfriend - gentle, loving, supportive, freely doling out gifts and love notes. He worries about Josh's drinking, orders in breakfast for two every morning and even refuses to have sex with Josh until the relationship is ready. Josh continues on with his day job and Aqua's night life and wonders how he got so lucky. If it weren't for the prologue which has Jack standing over a sleeping JK-P with a knife, I'd nominate this for Romance of the Year.
Yes, you read it right, "with a knife", a giant machete-like knife by the way. Somewhere down the line, Jack has become addicted to crack (a whore addicted to crack - Stop the Presses) and is now a violent maniac. I'm being a bit sassy here; his descent isn't as sudden as I make it out to be. There are a lot of broken promises, false steps and ruined fresh starts (if you're thinking it's kinda like my blog, shaddup!) and eventually Jack and Josh split. Josh has moved on to a stable relationship, a good job and life as a full time man. Jack? Who knows but we wish him well.
If you can't tell by what I've written so far, this book entertained the hell out of me. It was a peek inside a world I'll never get to see. There was, for example, an illuminating description of the process of becoming a woman (a hint - it involves a lot of shaving), smoking crack, dealing with drunken men wanting to touch your - er - goldfish, etc. I also learned a bit about the pain there is involved in being a drag queen and I'm not just talking the tucking away of inconvenient bits and pieces or winching a corset up to rib crushing tightness. Our no-holds barred author describes a gruesome drag act in which a 300lb. queen shoots M&M's out her ass. That's real pain. (If, by the way, that's the scene that entices you to read I Am Not Myself These Days, I don't want to know about it, okay? We really don't know each other well enough.)