Golden Dreams Were Shiny Days

Heaven help us, Johnny was in the office alone on Friday!

It happens every time I put in the ABBA CD. I play it over and over and over again. For days. For weeks. I just can’t take it out of the player. It’s completely irresistible. I know it’s gay. I know it’s wrong. I know I’m the tough guy who offered whippets to the cop who busted us sucking them on the beach at night, and here I am listening to Dancing Queen to get my blood pumping on my morning drive, since there’s no Howard Stern here. But I can’t help it. I love ABBA. I mean, think of the evil genius behind a couplet like “I was sick and tired of everything, when I called you last night from Glasgow, all I do is sing then sleep then sing, wishing every show was the last show.” Like the Beatles came back to life as tacky Scandinavian chicks in glitter and platforms. While they were still alive. Well, except Paul.

Siobhan and I realized a few weeks ago neither of us owned even a single song by ABBA. And how is that? Between the two of us, we’ve re-glittered the gutters across three states. Heaven help us when CSIs inevitably discover our epithelial cells under some bloody wreck – though the scandal and glamorous mug shots would do wonders for our sterling reputations.

Is it me, or is there nothing a celebrity could do that would make me buy one of those magazines in the checkout counter? I admit I got a little interested when Tom Sizemore got in trouble stalking Heidi Fleiss after he left his wife and kids for her and she threw him over, because that’s pretty real. But Jennifer Aniston could rob a convenience store nude and I don’t think I’d buy PEOPLE to read about it. Well. Maybe look at the pictures.

Johnny, you’re positively rampaging! Can I toss this into Poor Impulse Control?

I’d be offended if you didn’t. And bear with me. I do this every christmas. I call my folks and ask for all my brothers’ addresses, because I can’t get it together to keep them up to date and in one place. And every time I want to read your blog, I find I can’t find it by searching on your name and “blog” and I have to email you and ask you for the link. I think I may have saved it the last time this happened, but I was at home, and today I’m a high-powered junior executive. Less high-powered the longer I spend here. They’ve worn me down. It’s lonely being the only one in a suit and tie and cufflinks. I have no tie on today and there’s a hole in my sock. I feel nude, but at least I’m wearing a silver bracelet made for me by a local Indian metalsmith, with a big wolf’s head in the middle and howling coyotes and other night animals around the sides. I told him how I had fallen in love with this place and what an impression it had made on me when we first came and the boys started howling along with the coyotes at night, and he did the rest. One of the agents gets all kinds of entertainment world magazines and gives me the ones with pretty girls on the cover. Very mature. I normally throw them away, but I do admit to reading an article with Val Kilmer talking a little about each of the movies he’s done. It inspired me to watch Wonderland, which was pretty good, though of course it made me crave drugs badly. My memory is so awful that [the wife] had to remind me, again, that Val Kilmer lives here in Santa Fe. Who knows, maybe in this business I’ll run into him. Him and what’s her face, Julia Roberts. How exciting that celebrities live in my town. I wonder if there are any magazines about them that I can read.

First, Johnny discovered he didn’t belong in the suburbs, then he discovered he wasn’t gay – kind of, then that he was a musician, then that being married – to a woman – could be soul-destroying, then that being divorced could turn you into a gun-toting junkie or worse. Later, he discovered that being married – to a woman – might be okay, and his keen fashion sense wasn’t sexually suspect, and he’s a fine-smelling unarmed heterosexual with his own dogpack and a slap bass – not that there’s anything wrong with that!

I think I understand now how women feel. Jack ate the beautiful pink polo shirt we got him. All he’ll wear is a tattered grimy basketball shirt-type onesie with a big number 1 on the back that’s, like all of us, lost half the glitter it came with. Boys!

Yeah, I know where the glitter went. Boys are funny. I’ll give you that. Boy, why are you playing dress up with your three-legged doggie?

Jack just begs to be dressed up like a little girl at Easter. He is secretly a drag queen. It’s not my idea. I’m sure he wants a tiny leather jacket, just like Fonzie. I know this.

It’s Christmas morning. Last night, we had the big, crazy Italian Christmas down at Auntie InExcelsisDeo’s house. Lupe had the evening free and drove down to join us. This is all a story for later. Right now, Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, is sitting on my lap like a twelve pound furry behavior modification tool while I’m sort of watching Bravo: “Earth, Wind and Fire: Tribute on Ice.” I didn’t think I could be a queenier queen-in-a-woman’s body, but I have to concede this may rank right up there with dressing up one’s purse dog to match one’s Madonna A Day calendar.

Fortunately, my cat can dress himself.

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