Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Tales From the Bonus Round: The Scales, pt. 1

Tales From the Bonus Round: The Scales, pt. 1
Los Angeles.
May and June of 1996.

The change happened so quickly
In May, he was picturing his death
Fantasizing about his memorial service
Thinking about his friends
Pictured them having a laugh over him

And in June, he was staring at a miracle
In the dial of a bathroom scale

In May, he was calling his best girlfriends
And crying on their shoulders
Trying not to use his diary as a platform
For whining and complaining
He was constant pain
His sick body wasting away

In June, more than the scales had been tipped.

His "feed bag" became Louie
Louie, who tipped over when walking
Louie, who hummed so loud
That Jim had to sleep
In the loft
On the floor

And since this was in the days before
He had a proper camera
And bandwidth
The only picture of Louie that survives
Was drawn by a reader named Karl

He and Jim spend their days mailing out flyers
Sending faxes
Contacting anyone they knew
Does anyone want to produce a new musical
About AIDS?
Time was running out

They watched the Tony Awards together
They saw Jonathan Larson get his posthumously
Died before opening night
Jim, in tears, yelling,

Then, a friend refers them to Irene
Who produces theater for the disabled
She told them of a theater on Melrose
A theater behind a neon sign shop
The Zephyr

Gary and Linda

It just so happened that the Zephyr
Had a Saturday morning play reading series
And somebody dropped out

Could they be ready in four days?

His ears were now plugged up
Something new on the attack
But he would not be deterred
Four days?

No problem.

NEXT: The Day The Gay Pride Parade Almost Did Him In.

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