I read one long paragraph from Barf Manifesto and then the whole of “Girl Body,” the essay/story/memoir I wrote for the forthcoming online feature on the "Gurlesque” curated by Lara Glenum for the winter issue of Action, Yes. Linh Dinh is an intense reader: from where we sat behind him we could see him leaning over into the crowd, as though making a deep bow, approaching them in a literally physical way that was strangely mannered and effective both. Our friend the artist Bruno Fazzolari was there, and he reported that Linh’s looming presence scared him at first (“I couldn’t look at him”) but after awhile he too was won over, by a mesmerizing performer.
I got to meet Rachel Loden too, for the first time ever, even though I've known of her work for many years. When Kevin and I came out onto Ashbury we could see Steve Abbott's old apartment looming ahead under the streetlamp, in the moonlight it looked ghostly and pale like a slice of wedding cake.
Steve's apartment on Ashbury Street with the beautiful little balcony his daughter Alysia would wave at us from.
In the early days of the New Narrative movement, Steve's apartment was a gathering place for parties, classes, and all-round stimulating chat. It was eerie to be right there but no longer having access to its smoke-laden embrace. Kevin and I both felt intense pangs of missing Steve. Steve coined the term New Narrative and introduced Bataille—among so much else—to the acolytes of NN.
Then we went on to a party—Gerald Corbin, his boyfriend Craig Goodman, and Karla Milosevich all have their birthdays around the same time of the year and they combine them to host one huge party every year just before Thanksgiving time. The parties always have a theme. One year it was “Catholic School,” one year “Senior Prom.” This year it was “Beige Room.” Sort of vague but we dressed up as beige as we could and scuttled over to the Mission from Truong’s place.
The DJs were going crazy playing the music with the most beige connotations, which actually covered a wide spectrum of music. Everyone's outfit matched everybody else's, and some took on party names that seemed beige, names such as "Ashley." John Koch came as the late Yves St. Laurent, scattering French phrases like blase confetti:
Elliot Anderson and his boyfriend Bill always have the best costumes. One year for “Studio 54” they came as Jackie and Ari Onassis. This year they represented a movie that they claimed is the beigest picture of all time: Woody Allen’s Interiors, his Ingmar-Bergman-esque drama of a family in the terminal stages of ennui. Elliott was Geraldine Page, so wan and forlorn she winds up walking out to sea, leaving husband EG Marshall to marry the life-affirming, always dressed in red Maureen Stapleton (Bill).