This is all pretty vague I mean its a story about a time in which I was pretty drunk but I’ve got the main outlines right for sure.
I’m not even sure exactly when it was but I had to have been between 20 and 22. It was one of my visits — maybe more like pilgrimages — to see my cousin Steven. I say cousin but that’s kind of a stretch. We were like fifth cousins a couple of times removed. He was four years older than me and a hero and role model. He was also the first openly gay person I ever knew. Steven was brilliant, funny, imaginative and a raging alcoholic. He had more personality than ten normal people combined and rock star good looks. When Steven entered a room it lit up. This isn’t just my opinion either. Everyone who knew him felt the same. From when I first met him at age 15 and he got me drunk for the first time in my life, I was over the moon that such a cool guy liked me.
Whenever I was in the Bay Area and had a chance I would head over to Marin County to visit Steven. (He was never once, to my knowledge, ever called Steve.) Of course this meant a night or two of pure debauchery and unbridled fun and continuous laughter. Sometimes I brought whatever woman I was dating at the time and they were always impressed with Steven but their presence inhibited the extended bacchanalia. On this occasion I came alone so the sky was not the limit but the starting point.
Steven had two friends named Dick and Dan who I’d once met at a party. They were a couple and one or both was quite wealthy. The first time I saw Steven after briefly meeting them I asked about the two but as I was already under the influence and botched the job. “How are Dixie and Dean?” I asked (there was a legendary British footballer named Dixie Dean). My malapropism elicited gales of laughter from Steven it also led to a running gag in which one of us would say: “I’m Dixie!” and the other “I’m Dean!” and then we’d both exclaim “We’re Dixie and Dean!” followed, of course, by more yuks.
On this occasion Steven and I started by “fueling up” at his abode and then went to a favorite watering hole that was a large bar nestled in a very heavily wooded area. We mixed silly antics with serious discussions of philosophy, politics and culture all of which was augmented by large quantities of booze. Eventually this rustic setting wouldn’t suffice for us and we decided to take our revelry on the road. This we did. Our last stop was at the majestic home of the aforementioned Dick and Dan, aka Dixie and Dean. Here my memories are especially hazy so much so that I can only unequivocally say that Steven ended up going upstairs and slumbering (and whatever else) with our two hosts while I snoozed on a sofa in a den.
It should be of no surprise at all that I awoke with an epic hangover. Mini jack hammers were being operated inside my brain and sand had somehow been poured into my bloodstream. The only thing mitigating my suffering was that I remained a little bit high. As I became more and more conscious I realized what a dandy spread the two D’s had. It was damn near a mansion. I took in the high ceilings and classy artwork and modern furniture with great wonder. But I also increasingly felt the effects of the eve’s drunken spree. Lo and behold a quick glance outside the glass sliding doors revealed that there was a swimming pool in their massive backyard (along with a spectacular rose garden). I had never tried leaping into a pool to ease the pain of a hangover before but this was just the occasion for it. Absent a bathing suit I stripped bare and ran towards the pool. Without the slightest hesitation I dove into the water. The effect was bracing. I had the twin sensations of feeling wonderful and horrible at the same time. The decision to go into the pool was a wise one for my hangover’s sake but this was too painful a morning after for a simple swim to cure.
I splashed around for a bit until I noticed someone at the side of the pool watching me frolic. It was either Dan or Dick or Dixie or Dean I couldn’t possibly say at the time, let alone now lo these many decades later. He may well have been enjoying the sight of a cute naked young man in his pool and I was somewhat aware of that but really didn’t care. Mainly because he was holding something that I had not thought of needing. A towel. “You’ll probably need this,” he trilled in a saccharine voice. I thanked him and got out and followed him into the kitchen which also looked out onto the yard. The blessed man then proceeded to make both an omelet and bloody marys. I was delighted by both.
That’s where my memory about that particular visit ends. I could fictionalize a longer version, but I rather like this one.