Plastic Puppet Motive
When i came out and went to my first youth group meeting, some schism had just happened and the two people left were a butchy dyke and a gay man. And GLHS was deader than a doornail that night, so they took me out for coffee.
And Mike, the gay guy, was so much fun. He keep calling the butch dyke Mary. In fact, EVERYBODY was Mary. The waiter was Mary. His parents were Mary. I was Mary.
He was running a small club in the Rumley Building with his partner. It was called PPM and it was a rave club in the old school of PLUR philosophy. If you don’t know old school raves, PLUR was a code of conduct and it stood for Peace love Unity Respect. And it was a fun club, because everyone could go there. I think straight people had issues with that because it was a fully inclusive space and two boys or two girls could be making out anywhere. Two girls weren’t an issue, but two hot gay men macking on each other instead of beating this shit out of each other, that was incomprehensible.
It was like an ode to the binary code. One wall was painted to look like a wall of fire and the other one like a wall of water. They had half of it as a chill out space, and played trip videos and stuff like Barbarella. And Mike, AKA DJ Deko-ze, knew how to spin. He took people on a journey, he brought you up, he took you down, he made you hate, he made you love, he made every cynic feel SOMETHING.
They did weird s/m-y performance art every few hours and the bathrooms were covered in porn, naked boys in the girls room and naked girls in the boys room, but eventually it didn’t matter. Opposite the bathrooms was a wall painted with sperm in day glo pain, and one sperm was HIV +, it really kept you aware.
The bouncer, or one of them, was an imperious bisexual named Candie who didn’t take any shit from anyone. We used to flirt a lot. Actually, a bunch of girls there started wanting to leave their boyfriends for me, and I had no idea why. I was the hot topic on the local BBS and men kept coming up to me being like “Fine, you can have my girlfriend, she only ever talks about you anyway.” And I would be so confused. “I don’t know what to do with your girlfriend!” Because I didn’t, I was still trying to understand women, and I couldn’t. Or didn’t realize it wasn’t any different from me. And I was also learning about masculinity through the gay men I was hanging out with, because they were getting crushed out on me and being cuddly and that was totally new for me. I couldn’t be cuddly with girls, I didn’t know how. I knew how to punch them and run away and that was it. No, but you understand that male idiocy of relating to girls. I never wanted to see my friends when they were drunk though, only on drugs. And only certain drugs.
Everyone at that club knew I was underage, so I still obeyed the law as well as I could, because it was an honour to be allowed in, not every underage person got that treatment, they so turned people away who weren’t ready for it. I drank there one New Years, but aside from that no substances at all. I was totally aware. And I picked up a contact high which was good enough for me. I remember I used to fret about the age thing and my friends would tell me “They know you’re a little Thirza.”
And they did. They even knew when raids were going to happen so they could start telling all the people under age to leave. And they would, someone would come up to me and say “Cops are coming, get out.” So we’d leave until it was safe again. And that’s such an old school gay bar thing.
PPM ended up shutting down because they couldn’t figure out how to make money on the concept. I mean, people didn’t buy liquor. That wasn’t the particular mind altering substance they wanted. So it shut down, became a boxing club. And I think rave culture is still trying to get back to PLUR, but it’s hard because it means diversity and that threatens people.
I was talking with a female friend of mine about nuns once and I was like “Why are they always Sister Mary something? Why can’t they just be like Sister betty?”
And she said “Surely a Buddhist Jew doesn’t need to tell you about the Mother of our Lord!”
And she didn’t, because Mike already talked all about Mary.