[I] may be crazy but I'm the closest thing I have to a voice of reason.

05 April 2010

Ooh La La La La La

No preamble tonight, just a short bit before the culmination of Chapter 3 tomorrow. And a reminder that this is where the chapter began:
At the center of every good story sits a lie, an exaggeration that turns the pumpkin truth into a golden carriage. The lie in this story is that Jose was perfect, but that’s not really a lie; perfection has nothing to do with the attributes of self and everything to do with the needs of others. So while we alone may hold responsibility for our shortcomings, it is others who make us perfect.

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The man in my weekly writing practice group wrote:

My hour with Jose, the only one I had, was at the famous Red Dress Party. I'd just met Tom Spanbauer and all these white-hot writers, had just come face to face with how much I had to learn as a writer, with how lucky I was even to be invited into the Dangerous Writers group, and I'm at a party where I'm cross dressing for the first time in my life -- in a red dress -- my blond hair in a frumpy bun on top of my head and my beard shaved off and make-up on and my own friends don't even know who I am till I speak. And there was Jose: tall, beautiful, big-hair wig, serious cleavage, and a spangled strapless number he was clearly comfortable in. Comfortable was the last thing I was feeling.

I glommed onto Jose so I wouldn't have to spend the entire party in a corner or wandering around endlessly trying to look like I was having such a good time I was too busy to stop and chat. Jose was easy to talk to. His Spanish accent made him more approachable somehow -- I figured I could throw in a Spanish sentence here and there and charm him. Jose told me about his novel, told me the plot and what he was trying to accomplish, told me he had AIDS, told me he liked to dress up as a woman and perform for his friends, told me how to use scotch tape and make-up to get serious cleavage on a man's chest.

For somebody as shy as I am at a party, Jose was the perfect companion: if I asked him a question, he'd talk for five minutes; if I asked him another, he'd talk for ten. We spent an hour together, then I was ready to mingle. Jose got me through that party, that marvelous party where everyone, all 200 people, wore a red dress and where I came away remembering not the prettiest woman but the man with the most outrageous dress. Jose was a real human that night. Vain enough to talk about himself for an hour when that was exactly what I needed.
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