Aquarius 11° (January 31) 115
Gotham City Improv. It was formerly the Groundlings East based in NYC and then it became it’s own thing. The funny thing about studying there was the fact that Eric whom I met in Grenoble and with whom I shared a room and a bed in Paris, my first time ever there, and who is no longer with us, studied there and became part of the company.
I was really good but, you know, it’s me so: something had to go wrong. I wasn’t liked by the director who was friends with Eric and I suspect Eric threw me under the bus in that setting just as he did with all the kids on our study abroad. You see, Eric wanted to touch me there in that bed that first night in Paris and I said go for it. I didn’t touch him. I just let him do whatever. I don’t think it lasted more than a few minutes. I did. That is to say there was no release involved. Just a dry hand that wasn’t mine grabbing me off for a bit. But boy oh boy did it not end there.
Eric continued to be my new best friend for a couple more days and then, once we made our way to Grenoble, where the school and awaiting hosts family were; he ghosted me; and then I found out through this guy Phil, who had been my next door neighbor freshman year in the dorm, that Eric told him that I came on to him and basically molested him. Yeah. That was fun. I was a combination of not giving a fuck or caring what the other kids said because I was suffused with the notion that I was cooler than everyone anyway plus standing up for myself, vividly, if questioned. One particular questioning came from this guy called Alan, a strapping redhead who fancied himself Eric’s next best friend, mister straight guy, and he went after me for spreading rumors, get this, about Eric. It was in one of those sweeping stone spiral stairwells in a proper residential building in France, I’m guessing eighteenth century, this time on the Place Victor Hugo, in Grenoble where the directrice of our program lived and often hosted us in the first few months before she ghosted us all too.
Eric had had Hodgkins as a kid and he showed the visible signs of having glands removed from his neck which was very skinny. He was very sad and very nervous and very pompous and very funny; I really would have liked to have been friends, but I was a casualty of his own closetness. Any kind of sexual content between me and another guy has never been emotional; and this particular contact was so no big deal. It wasn’t hard for me to separate the funny kid I liked from the sleepy guy in my bed who reached inside my underwear. Big fucking deal. We were nineteen for fuck sake. Anyway…
We tried to be friends again when we collided in New York in the late eighties. It didn’t really happen. And another five or so years passed And then suddenly he went through this catharsis whereby he apologized for everything that had happened those years, a decade now, ago. The weird thing was he had moved to my home town of Wyckoff, New Jersey, living with his dad and his second family. He was jumping into the pool or something and his neck basically broke. His illness had returned. He died soon after that. I didn’t go to the funeral because I had just been through it with another friend who was very close to me and it was too soon and I was too selfish and guarded. Apparently they spoke about how much he cherished the year in Grenoble.
Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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