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2004-01-20

Halston (b. Roy Halston Frowick)
B. 4.23.32 Des Moines, Iowa / D. 3.26.90 San Francisco
Complications from AIDS

I am connected.
It’s not among my salient features, but I am. I mean it’s not like my obscurity, which is apparent every hour of every day in any light. But sometimes, upon occasion, with the application of enough Luminol, my connected-ness shows. So it was at the Garden, Madison Square, which smelled of piss last Saturday even in the good seats, where my sister and I sat to see Bette Midler on her Kiss My Brass tour. I’d never seen her in person and had always wanted to—even more, I wished I could have seen her perform back in the days when she was getting her start, at “The Baths.”
I was too young. Actually.
Bette Midler is now a Sony-something which is how my sister got these tickets to seats so good that almost no one in our section could have paid.
I certainly didn’t.
Allow me to present, in the seats directly in front of us, the fashion designer Michael Kors, accompanied by three fashionably not-gay-looking (well, two weren’t) friends, the entire party of four dressed in casual combat pants and sweatshirts. He is being snubbed, hard, by fashion designer Calvin Klein, who is otherwise deep in conversation with Carol Bayer Sager songwriter of note and fame and Oscar Oscar Oscar
I’m drawing a blank
She resembles Joan Collins to the point of causing blinking and is dressed as if to ski. With her is the head of Warner Films whom my sister recognizes; his sweatshirt has a picture of Bette Midler on it, but he looks extremely straight. Calvin, looking like hell, wears jeans with the top seams of the front pockets frayed,
I suspected with a file.
Joining this power cluster in snubbing the younger, vitality-flaunting Michael Kors is fashion designer Bob Mackie, in whose name my family has occasionally and not quite dishonestly gotten hard-to-get restaurant reservations. He is pale with age over an elfin bedrock, and wearing a sweatshirt.
I, overdressed. It was finally happening.
Over my shoulder, I spot a string of razor-thin blondes coming down the steps to their seats, the jaws of the smaller two working furiously. I say to my sister, Look at those gum-chewing blondes. She recognizes them as famous former fashion model Patty Hansen and her two daughters by Keith Richards, which explains why they look like piranhas. They’re all three in skinny clothes and lots of scarves.
The spawn! The actual spawn!
They take seats in front of The View's remarkably good-looking Joy Behar
and some man.
Next down the steps comes a male figure in a sweatshirt whom a voice behind me hails “Alan!,” to which he replies, “I got betta seats than you, I gotta keep goin!” This is the father of driver Lizzie Grubman, which explains her nose job; he is wearing a second wife.
On whom an implant, another implant, and melancholy perch.
Below us on the floor of the Garden the chairs are filling up. Unmarried middle-aged women walk with unmarried middle-aged men who use canes to their seats. All the seats on all the tiers are filling. Calvin Klein turns his pale gaze left, right, anywhere so long as it’s away from Michael Kors, who wears the middle of a lifelong smirk.
We the living, all that remains.
At intermission, Anne Reinking’s profile will be framed against the thighs of her male companion, who's wearing a jacket at least, as he stands to commune more perfectly with his cell phone. While Mr. Grubman works the front row, Patty Hansen will hurry over to hug and chat with Calvin Klein and give his thigh reviving strokes. Her alien daughters will sit during all or most of the standing ovations.
We the living, not quite what was hoped for.
In between and all around a fabulous show.

Consolation Site: My boyfriend Victor Hugo

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