You want to know what a hot shit job was in SoCal was in the late 80s-early 90s?
Lawyer? God, no.
How about Realtor?
I suppose it was about as glamorous a profession as you could get back in the day.
Somehow I ended up friends with one. It was through my friends Keith and Jim. Although, I’m fuzzy on how I knew them…it must have been through The Silver Fox.
What can I say, I knew the bar before I knew the man. The bar was named for the owner, John…a Silver Fox in his own right.
Anyway, somehow I met Keith and Jim, they introduced me to Scotty and the four of us held court in the corner of the bar several nights a week. We could, too, because of Scotty.
He was so affected. In retrospect, I’d say it was all some sort of compensatory affectation or just visual reminders that he would not be fucked with.
He was 6’5″, becoming one of the only people I’d really run across at that point in my life – he and Dolph Lundgren being the standouts in my memory – that I physically looked up to.
He wore an ankle length leather duster…custom, of course.
He drove a Rolls Royce. This was before people commonly drove them. I mean, maybe it’s really only Bellevue, Washington where it’s commonplace, now that I think of it. His was two toned gold, with suicide doors. I remember it being a Silver Shadow, but it looked more like the Phantom pictured below.
He actually reminded me of a cross between John Wayne and The B-52s Fred Schneider, if that helps conjure up any imagery.
Anyway, like I said, the four of us owned the place. The hot, muscly couple everyone aspired to one day be or break up, the realtor who “could buy and sell you, twice” – his words – and me, the 22 year old twink.
When we walked in, we bypassed any line at the door as well as ID checks. We’d walk by the first well of the bar where the infamously obscenely sized John Barnes was usually slinging drinks and bee lined for our corner where people moved away as we approached and settled in.
Then our drinks were placed on the bar, which was conveniently within reach.
Now, this corner was pretty well placed. As I said, you could reach the bar easily. You could see the stage, two of the TVs and practically lean into the VJ booth – it was the 90s, shut up – so all the entertainment was at hand…which was handy since Scotty liked to let the VJ know when it was time to put on a Pretenders video.
Still, I didn’t think it was that primo a location.
I think mentioning that to the group soon after being introduced to Scotty is was cemented my position in the foursome. Of course, it probably came out as a bitchy complaint.
“Is this where were standing again?!?”
Which probably began a litany of the awesomeness of this position. One that ended, I recall blurrily, with how every hot guy in the bar had to either pass by us to buy drinks or pee.
“Because picking up guys outside a men’s room is so classy?”, I replied…in question form because that’s how SoCal twinks spoke back then.
All eyes turned to Scotty, which was when I realized perhaps I had made a mistake. That is, until Scotty threw his head back and let loose a belly laugh that practically shook the walls. I learned through experience that you only saw this two or three times per year, so I eventually understood why the default reaction was…trepidation.
Soon, I was a regular thrice weekly fixture at the end of the bar. Originally, it was less frequent because in addition to my Long Beach Society responsibilities at Ripples with my roommate Petur and his anti-socialite friend Dennis for Sunday Beer Bust and Tuesday’s $1 long necks at The Mineshaft I still had my private social life.
I had my own dates and pretty regular weekly dinners with my Dad.
Eventually, Scotty ended up getting an equal share of my time to the LBS, two nights each. Then a bigger share as the split grew to 3-2 and then 4-2.
I was randomly getting picked up for dinner beforehand at least once a week. Occasionally hitting a Sunday morning open house before Beer Bust and even driving myself home in the Rolls once in a while when Scotty couldn’t.
It never occurred to me that at 23-ish, I’d entered a dating and sexual slump. I mean, I expect guys to ignore my ass now when I hit on them, but half my life ago…well, I thought I had lost my mojo. I was in 0 mood for dating, this was soon after my first-ever boyfriend and I broke up. He’d not only broken my heart by cheating on me, he’d beaten me up a couple of times while he was at it. Apparently, it’s poor form to be upset with ones alleged boyfriend for sleeping with other guys in my bed.
So, yeah, I didn’t want to date, but I did want to have some occasional sexy times.
Beyond that, a guy just likes to be asked. Am I right?
Complaining about it earned me another rafter rattler from Scotty.
Right? Because it’s ridiculous.
It was amazing to have that intimate knowledge of Scotty’s lighter side, the juxtaposition of that with his normal severe default demeanor made our friendship feel special.
We got along well. It wasn’t long after Keith and Jim introduced us that we began meeting solo at the bar when they had to go to the gym. Hey, I still had a metabolism, I didn’t need to go to the gym.
And Scotty had Fuck You Money.
The only time we had an issue in our friendship was the literal only time I dressed in drag for Halloween. I was going with another friend and felt super insecure about dressing in drag, but it’s what Penguin – another blog, another time – wanted to do, so we went.
I inadvertently killed it, apparently looking like a True Lies era Jamie Lee Curtis. I had a steady stream of guys dropping by to chat me up, so that was nice.
Scotty showed up, walked by, settled into the corner and casually scanned the room. Eventually, he realized I was Jamie Lee Curtis – I raised by beer bottle in a salute and a lightbulb went off.
Then, all alone in his little corner kingdom, he threw his he’d back and let another roaring bout of laughter fly…looking like a crazy person losing his shit in the corner.
I really enjoyed that moment, filling a close friend. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much been a driving factor in my personality ever since, surprising people when they think they know me.
A while later, he walked by and said, “Tomorrow, 6:30” and left.
I left a while later. I didn’t win the costume contest, thank gawd. I think the fireman with the huge dildo hanging from his fly had won and King Tut was second place. But I don’t really think that first guy was in serious costume.
Anyway, I left.
There was a guy hanging around not taking “fuck off” for an answer. He’d proposition me with some things I wasn’t into and wouldn’t leave me alone, so Penguin and I took off.
The next night, Scotty and I had dinner at The Pizza Place and shared some good laughs over the prior night. Then we went to the bar, getting there long enough after happy hour ended and early enough that Scotty pulled the Rolls right up in front, like he liked.
We went in, had a drink and the guys showed up. We hung out, watched some music videos, chatted with passersby and had a typical enjoyable night.
When one of the passersby turned out to be the obnoxious guy that ended my night the day before, it got awkward. I was giving him passive-aggressive disinterest that only an Oregonian could interpret, meaning I was being too nice for him to get the point. However, he knew no one else, so hanging around as long as he did made everyone uncomfortable.
Scotty suggested he leave, but the guy obliviously refused.
Keith and Jim left and shortly afterward, Scotty suggested I looked ready.
“I’ll get him home!” Obnoxious Guy helpfully offered.
“My mom taught me to leave with the people I came with”, I said, declining as Scotty and I made for the door.
Of course, he followed. I was in the lead and didn’t say another word to him as he tried to talk to me past Scotty, who’s duster made an excellent shield for me.
I was the first to arrive at the passenger door and had stopped listening to Obnoxious Guy steps ago. I was really good at blocking people in real life long before social media made it a virtual privilege.
I turned to let Scotty unlock my door and instead saw him unhingimg Obnoxious Guy’s jaw befor Obnoxious Guy hit the sidewalk and Scotty threw me the keys, yelled “Drive!” and jumped into the passenger seat.
He’d hurt his hand nowhere near as badly as he’d messed up that guy’s face, but I could tell he was in pain.
“What the hell was that?” I demanded.
“You don’t want to know.”
I gathered he’d been saying some things I didn’t want to hear and they offended Scotty’s sense of this Chosen Family of ours. I’ll give him this, for all of the drinks and dinners he shared with me, the most generous thing he ever did was protect my honor from what I could only assume was some self-hating gay type.
I was ok with that.
Soon after, I met my Mulligan at Beer Bust and settled down, eventually leaving town. When I moved back a decade later, I wandered into The Silver Fox, met by Johns owner and bartender, both still somehow alive and working.
No sign of Scotty or the boys. I never saw them again, nor do I know what happened to them.
One thing I do know now is how to explain my pre-Mulligan slump. Somehow, through assumption or impression, it was known to all but I that Scotty and I were dating. I found out when chatting up a guy at the bar and he tried to place me as the guy who dated the guy with the Rolls.
I tilted my head back and let go with a Scotty-esque laugh of my own. Shaking me head and refusing to explain, changing the topic to the old guy that used to sit where we were sitting, “Hello, gorgeous!” guy.
Well, he was pretty old.
What I kept to myself that night was that there were worse things than my friendship with Scotty being misconstrued. Regardless of how that myth came about, the reality is that it probably saved my ass from running into more guys like my first boyfriend or Obnoxious Guy.
So, yeah. Thanks, Scotty, wherever you are, you magnificent bastard.