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Life is only what you wonder.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Baltimore Pride '05

I didn't get many decent photos of Pride this year. I was too distracted.
Anyway, here's my Pride story. It's kind of long.
Sorry about that, but it couldn't be helped, really.
    Saturday - The Block Party
We got a late start. We had some friends staying over, and when we planned the Pre-Pride-Parade party we didn't account for the fact that four gay men and only one bathroom equals delays in everything.
When Blondie showed up at one o'clock, I still hadn't showered yet!

Anyway, we had Mimosas and coffee, and eventually everyone was ready to go, so we piled into two cars and headed to Mount Vernon. I rode with Blondie and Aila in Blondie's Hello kitty mobile and we blasted Love.Angel.Music.Baby by Gwen Stefani all the way there. (I need to get that CD pronto!)

    This shit is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
The first person I saw was Jason, who was showing off his new boyfriend Paul (Paulo? Palo?). He gave me one of his big hugs I adore so much. A perfect start to the day!

The festivities kicked off with the "first annual" high-heel race, in which there were only three contestants, one of them a bald guy wearing a tutu. They ran down one city block and it was over in, like, ten seconds.
Hopefully next year's race will be more exciting. Make 'em run ten blocks in spike heels wearing wigs and full makeup. Now, that would be worth seeing!

The parade was fun.
I'm sorry to say Blondie missed it, though. She had to tend to her daughter who wasn't feeling well, so she ended up leaving early. She was upset she had to miss everything, and so was I -- I had looked forward to showing her around.
There's always next year, though.

This year they barracaded Charles Street on both sides, so it was nearly impossible to get from one side of the street to the other without walking the equivalent of ten city blocks.
Unfortunately, I had gotten separated from my group when I walked Blondie to her car. They were on one side of the parade and I was on the other.
Since I had to wait for the parade to be over before we could rendez vous, I decided to watch it from the balcony at Spike, which was my "secret spot" last year. The Spike wasn't crowded at all, so getting drinks (or using the restroom) was simple and easy, the balcony had an incredible view of the parade below, and there were only eight others up there with me. Much less congested than the streets below.
My boy Jim was the bartender and he was all done up in spikes and leather: harness across his chest, leather g-string, leather cowboy chaps and boots, and leather armbands, wristbands, etc.
That's hot!

My buddy Mike called me when I was up there.
"Where are you?" "Upstairs at Spike." "Don't go anywhere. I'll be right there!"
He's a crazy man. Turns out he was on the other side of Charles Street and he leapt over the barricades and ran through the parade to get where I was.
(I woulda done that, except I'd prob'ly trip and fall on my face, or get run over by a drag queen float or something.)
Anyway, he gets to Spike and we have a drink and he tells me Jonny (his boyfriend of nearly ten years) just up and left him and moved to California two days ago!!
So of course he's really upset. And he's trashed. Beyond belief.
I can understand why. Being single on Pride Day is no joke, because all you see are happy couples.
Troubles float in alcohol, though. I know that from experience.

At this point, the parade is over and they've removed the barricades.
"I know you want to find your husband," Mike says to me, "But walk around with me for a little while. I don't want to be by myself."
I say OK, and off we go.
I ran into so many people I know. Walking from point A to point B was an effort because I had to keep greeting people. "Hey! How are you! Happy Pride!"
Mike wanted to go to Leon's for another drink, but I wanted to find the husband, so we separated. I told him to call me if he needed me and he said he would.

Finding the husband and the rest of the crew was another challenge. Talking on the cell phone was out, simply because it was so noisy you could barely hear or be heard. That's when the handy text messaging feature comes in handy.


So I meet him, and we walk around together holding hands and looking around and talking to people, and drinking vanilla mojitos and raspberry sangrias.

After awhile of this we were weary.
The sun, the excitement, all the walking and the alcohol had gotten to us.

RuPaul was slated to be performing a 9:30 but she hadn't started by 9:45 and we were ready to go. As much as we wanted to see her perform, we were just too pooped.

The plan was to go home, rest and regroup, and then go back out around 11, but the husband fell fast asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow (if not before) so I knew the night was pretty much over.
That was fine by me.
It had been a long day.

    Sunday - The Festival
Another late start.

Rico wasn't used to riding in the car at first, but after awhile he seemed to enjoy it, his head out the window, tongue wagging in the breeze.
When we got to the park, there were so many people and he was trying to sniff everyone and he nearly got stepped on a few times, so I ended up carrying him.
Everyone fussed over him saying what a cute puppy he was and you could tell Rico was loving every minute of it.

My friend Roger said he left the block party at 10:30 and RuPaul still hadn't performed yet. I wonder did she even show up?
It's a mystery.

I purposefully didn't bring a lot of money with me, so I wouldn't spend excess money on stupid stuff: t-shirts, keychains and whatnot. I have enough of that junk already.

After a few hours of strolling around, looking at the vendor's wares, and showing Rico off, weariness set in again.
Rico felt like he gained twenty pounds since I first picked him up, and just looking at him you could tell he was tired, too. He's not used to being around so many people.
Armstrong and Anthony still had a long road trip ahead to get back to NYC.
All indications led to just one thing: it was time to call it a day. So that's what we did.

Another Pride has come and gone.
It was fun, fun, fun, but in a way I'm glad it's all over.
Until next year, anyway.

P.S. Sorry you couldn't make it up here. Maybe next time!