The superstars of the gay New York blogeratti arrived to celebrate unicorns, get trashed and make out last Friday night. I promptly realized I need more friends.
I’m kidding! Thank you everyone for showing up. Those who didn’t: shame on you.
The night kicked off to a fabulous start. Bryce and I trucked across the Manhattan bridge from Brooklyn in an exhaust smoking deathtrap with a driver who practically laid in my lap. His seat was very reclined and his braids were awfully ratty.
Upon arriving in the East Village, I stepped into a deli for a Benadryl and Red Bull cocktail. The pink tablets were for my sinuses, I have a summer cold which will not go away! The Red Bull was to pep me up, I had worked all day in my new Clinton Hill recording studio, signing and recording the freshest talent Bulgarian folk music has to offer. More about that in a moment.
All this creativity had me feeling a tiny bit sluggish, hence the Red Bull.
Unfortunately, little did I know Benadryl causes drowsiness and Sudafed was the nose, throat and ear panacea for those looking to enjoy the wee hours without a stuffed up cranial cavity. Oh well. The drowsiness was no bother. My state of consciousness was already altered due to a unique little trinket hanging around my neck. It was a pickled raven’s claw which my darling client, Galina Stoeva, had made for me.
Galina is the oldest woman I’ve ever met. She’s a little over four feet tall, doesn’t speak a word of English and makes evil eye symbols every time I approach her. But the woman can work some Bulgarian folk music! She plays a mean tambourine and with the proper cross-marketing could take the U.S. Bulgarian folk music scene by storm!
She better, I paid a lot to have her smuggled here. Anyways, as a gesture of goodwill she presented me with this pickled raven’s claw charm and her usual evil eye gestures. The necklace has so much character and the smell of it creates a sensation of dizziness. I love me some Galina Stoeva. Much to my chagrin, she refused to come out that night to Nowhere Bar Friday night.
Everyone else made it, however. There I was with Bryce and Landry, Amber-Lynn, Dalyn and Peter, Foxy, Mike P., Eric, Paul, Damien, hilarious new acquaintance Vinnie (good luck in Seattle, tell Kiger we miss him!), and so many others. From there the party sashayed across 14th street to Crocodile Bar for pints and free pizza. Yes, free personal pizzas sans toppings/ I didn’t find them to be very edible. Of course I had no appetite.
I chatted up the pizza chef while waiting in line for the photo booth with Dalyn. Turns out Crocodile Bar doesn’t deliver pizza or beer. I suppose it was not a very exciting conversation. I found it riveting at the time. Equally dull was the horrendous wait in line for the expensive ($3!) photo booth.
Dalyn grew bored and left the line for more pizza. Therefore I sat myself alone and offered four flash-bulb poses before exiting and sliding the strip of photos into my pocket, without looking at them.
Our quick bite of pizza turned into additional beers before the party hopped into taxis and sped across town to Chelsea for a “welcome to New York” party hosted by Jerry and Patricio. The guests were there to welcome a dashing Spaniard, Guillem, who knew nothing about Bulgarian folk music, but enough about European black magic to glance at my crow’s foot necklace and begin making evil eye symbols of his own in my direction!
I was shocked. Had sweet Galina given me my talisman out of malice? I was feeling woozy and giddy-headed. I attributed the sensation to my Benadryl, not the skeletal talon bound to my throat by coarse, suddenly scratchy, string.
Eventually the party took to the roof and we all enjoyed the uncommon coolness of a beautiful August night in New York. I met so many fascinating people. Chief among them was CC, also an Atlanta refugee who once lived above the Fox Theatre! He’s an illustrator of male erotica. Absolutely charming! I traded phone numbers and said we’d have to enjoy a drawing circle sometime soon.
The night continued and each time I glanced in the mirror of the pristine restroom, I caught a strange quality in my reflection, as though an unusual aura hovered in the periphery of my vision. Finally, my memory suggested I look at the photos I paid three dollars for earlier that evening.
I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about the expensive photos taken in lieu of free pizza. I tentatively withdrew the strip from my photo and turned them over. I gasped! There in the photo booth with me was Galina Stoeva giving me the evil eye symbol! I screamed and opened the bathroom door falling to the floor.
Jerry was outside waiting for me to exit the restroom.
“Evil eye!” I shrieked. A gracious host, he helped me to my feet and examined the photos I thrust into his hands. He gave them back to me with no reaction. I glanced them over. Galina was gone. It was simply me, mugging alone. The filthy raven’s foot still hanging around my neck.
I freaked out and began tearing at the filthy charm. “Get it off! Get this Bulgarian bird foot offa me!!!!”
Well Bryce came down from the roof and coaxed my mood from psychotic hysterics back to carefree chattiness (as he does at every party) and the evening continued with little fanfare. But still that dread image of Galina Stoeva haunted me each time I returned to pee-pee in the restroom. I dared not take out my photo lest she return to startle me once more.
Then the party went to Rawhide. Talk about boney and pickled! We hung out there for an hour before the cutesy boys went to Barracuda and the beefy boys went to the Phoenix. We closed down the Phoenix and Bryce and I enjoyed an uneventful cab ride home to Brooklyn.
The following morning (aka later that day) I awoke to find the hideous necklace and the terrifying photo gone from my possession. I’ve asked Bryce if he’d seen them, but he too has no idea where they disappeared to.
Well. I was beside myself with curiosity. So I called the number that Galina Stoeva had given me as her contact telephone. Her great nephew Sturgo answered the phone.
I asked for Galina, and only heard silence. I asked again, and again, and again, and again. I asked five more times and beat my cell against my desk and shouting obscenities, asking two more times before Sturgo finally answered me, sobbing, that his great aunt Galina Stoeva had died that very morning one hundred years ago!
She had been eating pickles, enjoying a walk in Bulgaria when she was attacked by hungry ravens and pecked to death! Ever since her family had been cursed with the evil eye.
I am terrified. I haven’t played the hours of recordings I did with the old lady for fear of what I’ll hear.