A Great Hurt
The Many, Many Charms of Lady Hammer
Please hear me out. It’s Beckham Sharp-Plumber. Come back into my life, I beseech you, Lady Hammer. It has been over a year now since we quarreled. Let’s not go into whose “fault” it was. We had so many wonderful times together in the past, it seems a shame to forfeit all that over some minor misunderstanding. Was our friendship really as vulnerable as that? I thought it had a solid foundation, built up from innumerable hours together. We went through thick and thin, with as much “For Better” and “For Worse” as any marriage might have, even though we were never “romantically involved,” as they say. It seems to me that people overvalue conventional romantic relationships—“Will this man marry this woman?”—to the point of overlooking, even demeaning, other male-female relationships. Such other relationships form a significant part of many people’s lives. I think ours did in our lives, don’t you think?
I want to remind you of our times together and perhaps heal this rift between us.
Think of this as a scrapbook of fond memories. I believe it is not too late to rescue “us.”
I don’t expect you to reply, at least not right away. Indeed, I won’t send you this “scrapbook” until I finish it. I don’t know when that may be. Maybe I will never finish it. After all, I am seventy-five years old now. Lots of people I have known are dead. Who knows, I could join them before I reach the end. Perhaps you won’t even read it and simply return it unopened. One must always proceed cautiously with you, as you no doubt appreciate, even relish.Are you still living at your vacation home in Palm Springs? I have the address. I could send it there, and you could read it beside the pool. I hope you have been able to get the place in shape, not that it was shabby before. I do agree with you that it needed a new pool and a cabana for changing outdoors instead of having to go inside the house. And that gazebo you showed me the plans for looked very interesting, with its own Zen garden on the side. I think you are correct; it would enhance the property’s value greatly, should you decide to “flip” the place, as you have done before with other properties. I hope that Palm Springs is not quite so warm as it was when I was there. I must say those temperatures in the 100s at eleven in the morning were hard to deal with. But I loved the way you affixed that spray device to the garage so that the water droplets fanned out and cooled the back garden. You always were good at enhancing your environment. I guess I’m just not used to temperatures that hot since San Francisco is so much cooler. It if it gets to eighty here, people scream blood murder.
I hope that lump in your breast was a false alarm, or something that you were able to get remedied since you caught it so early. I hate to say it, but you were always a tiny bit vain about your breasts. I’m sure you would hate to see them tampered with in any way. I recall how you said that Frank Sinatra loved your breasts and couldn’t seem to get enough of them. I’m sorry that your two times with Frank Sinatra left such a bad taste in your mouth. I know that he took advantage of you as a young assistant in Rome on one of his movies—and you a newlywed too! He was truly a despicable cad in demanding the droit de seigneur (as I believe it’s called) on his movie set. You were so amusing whenever we dined out in a public restaurant and a Sinatra song came on the sound system and you demanded that he be shut off immediately! Those waiters were always amazed at your fury.
How did those laser treatments turn out? You weren’t too pleased with the first one, right? You said it felt like “a thousand pinpricks from tiny devil dicks” on your face. Did you ever go back? You were worried about those two tiny age spots near your earlobe. But they were barely noticeable. Honestly! Your make-up usually covered them up completely. I think about having some laser treatments myself. I have a brown spot right near my nose that needs to go. I also could lose a few pounds—like fifty! I always appreciated your bravery in trying those cosmetic procedures first. I was more squeamish. When you told me that you had jumped up from the laser clinic’s chair and knocked the device out of the assistant’s hand and “fled to safety,” I thought I would die laughing and certainly never try such a thing myself. But my brown spot is growing more unsightly day by day, and I will have to act sooner or later.
And what about those polyps on your vocal cords? They were benign, correct? It’s so fortunate that your new husband has medical coverage, and that you could get treatment through his policy. There is nothing wrong with my vocal cords, I’m happy to report. I still sing, just not at the Met, shall we say. My “career” as a baritone is still on hold. I’m grateful for the “gigs” I had here and there over the years, but a Household Name does not seem to be my destiny. I tried recording my voice on a new digital whatchamacallit the other day. It sounded a little breathy, alas. I don’t have as much energy for that kind of thing as I once did. I do have an idea for a new song, but we’ll see.
How about you? Have you finished that translation of the screenplay from Italian to English? That was high on your priority list when last we spoke. I hope my notes on the translation were helpful. Don’t take less than $100,000 for it!
Oh, and how is your husband doing? Prostate problems are no laughing matter—except when they are, like when you pee on yourself when you hit a high note. (Guess who!) Tell Beau I said hello. I hope you two have ironed out your difficulties. It’s never easy being in a marriage. Just ask my Janos, even though technically we’re not married.
I guess we could be “legal” now, but I think we passed that need, that phase some time ago. Janos asked me what I’m writing, and when I told him I was writing to Zooli, he said to say hello. He always liked you, and I think you liked Janos. (You didn’t know the Janos that I know, of course, let me add snarkily!)
I’m looking at a photograph I took with my smart-phone when we last visited. Remember, I asked the cleaning lady to take the picture of the two of us, with the water droplets showering us. You look like you could be forty-nine instead of seventy-four. You always had good teeth, and that new short “blonde” hair style suits you. And, no, I don’t think the dark permanent eye liner clashes too much with the hair. (You did ask me what I thought, remember.) You look rested and regal, with your best Lady Hammer expression on your face: “I’m not sure what is happening here exactly, but I am in control of it, or soon will be!” I look sort of dorky. I’ve never taken a good picture in my life. I look every bit as old as my seventy-four years, and the dye on my mustache is pretty obvious and stains the skin on one side. I do think the “coloring” on hair, now that I had finally done it, looks professional. My “colorist” (from Hong Kong) does a much better job than I ever could. So there we are in my “scrapbook,” you looking as genuinely royal as you are, with that beautiful aristocratic nose, and me looking like an ambitious, pug-nosed peasant, but a peasant nonetheless. Ah, what a pair we made!
Do you recall how we met? It was in London, in that theatre course that you admitted later you had signed up for by mistake, thinking it to be some other course.
“The emphasis on musical theatre leaves me cold. I believe we’re in a cult” were your first words to me, in response to my question about how you were enjoying the course. Music never seem to appeal to you all that much, it seems. You were content to turn off the radio in my car and drive in silence or with intermittent conversation rather than to have “ordinary music” surrounding us. Even when I bought that CD of madrigals you were not impressed. “Oh, Beckham, must we have sound for sound’s sake!” you said on more than one occasion. You could be quite snippy in those early days. But I was determined to make you like me and didn’t argue about the music.
I suppose I stalked you in a way during that first week of the theatre course. Did you realize that? When we sat around in our chairs in that big circle, the forty of us, on that first meeting and introduced ourselves, I must admit that I was very impressed when you said you had been born in England but were “just passing through” at that time, on your way to a series of spa treatments in Hungary with Princess Diana’s favorite masseur. Princess Diana was still alive then. I thought, how exciting to be going for spa treatments anywhere, never mind Hungary. I also recall you later complaining, amusingly, about the awful hotel accommodations Dr. Tibor had provided in Hungary and how the spa treatments had consisted mostly of Dr. Tibor trying to massaging his female clients below their waists. And when I heard you say that you were renting a place in Malibu “for a year or two,” I confess I was smitten. Not sexually, just socially. My small-town Farmersville, Illinois self was thrilled with the possibility of associating with somebody with your glamour. Did you ever read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? She has the heroine admit, tongue in cheek, that she first began to love Mr. Darcy when she laid her eyes on Pemberley, his wonderful estate. The fact that Elizabeth Bennet later comes to love the man himself is very similar to how I came to feel about you personally. It wasn’t just the spas in Hungary and the rented beach house in Malibu. It was the whole package.
Lest you think I was merely a social climber at the time, let me remind you that you never mentioned your royal ancestry, not for a month at least. You had learned, I believe, that Americans are not impressed by “royal lineage” the way the Brits or others might be. In fact, they are usually quite turned off by anything that smacks of “I am superior” because my ancient relatives had titles, or I have a title.” Oh sure, Americans gawk at a royal wedding or a royal scandal, but they don’t really, deep in their hearts, believe that others are superior to them by birth. I didn’t believe it either, though I certainly did lean toward respecting the Upper Class because it was brave and unself-conscious and demanding, all things I felt I lacked myself. You definitely seemed to confirm my expectations in those first days. I think you changed your flight back to California at least five times! And you convinced the airline not to charge you for even one alteration, let alone five. I thought at the time: How thrilling. I would let them charge me five times—if I even had the gumption to change the reservation at all. I would probably sit in an airport overnight and take whatever they decided to give me. But you, Lady Hammer, you didn’t take crap from anybody!
Was it that first trip to London or the second, when I went looking for you in that rain? I seem to recall that you were in a pavilion of some kind inside a park. You called me out of the blue and asked me to join you for lunch. Was that the private club that your friend Estella Wentby belonged to? Or was that another time? They are sort of blended in my mind. I can still see Estella sitting there in the restaurant of this huge private park within London looking totally miserable and even unhealthy. She was going through her divorce and also trying to get a nephew or somebody onto the membership list. She was livid and barely noticed me at all. As for the time in the rain, it may have been Hyde Park. You had gone to a knitting goods display or some such and you had suddenly thought, “Beckham’s here! I must see if he can join me.” I had just arrived and was jet-lagged and disoriented, but it was exciting to hear your voice on the phone, and I set off at once to find you. I took a bus and the Tube, maybe two of each, getting a bit lost, and when I finally found the park and was hurrying across the grass, it began to rain, as it will in England, and I got thoroughly drenched. I remember that the park seemed endless, but I kept half-running, half-walking to that pavilion, my hair plastered to my head, my shirt soaked. Even my pant legs were muddy. And then just when I had given up all hope of finding you, you emerged from the pavilion a hundred yards away and waved a royal hand in my direction. “Beckham, is that you?!” you asked with genuine curiosity, as though the rain-soaked me was impenetrable. “I made it!” I gasped. And then you said, “Oh, I ate a bite because I thought you weren’t coming. When I saw the rain, I thought ‘Beckham won’t come out in this, and I had best take some nourishment.’”
You were so casual about it all, amazed that I had run through the rain, and yet you were likewise solicitous about whether I might catch a cold. You insisted that we get some hot tea immediately—no tea bags. Of course I did catch a cold, a terrible one, that turned into bronchitis, and I was in misery for the next ten days. The second day you had to run off to see your son’s South African girlfriend, if I have it right. She was in London for a day or so. You told me later that you wished you had stayed with me, because your son’s girl friend turned out to be “silly” and “selfish,” and “a co-dependent,” apparently meeting up with you only because your son had insisted, and eager to get away as soon as she could. You knitted me a sock during that period. It was supposed to be a pair, but somehow the second one never got finished. I still have it. It’s too small and too ornate with that bright red band around the top, but I still cherish it. It’s in an old suitcase I have in a linen closet, tucked away with lots of other memorabilia from our times together.
I wonder if you have saved anything from our times together. You were pretty ruthless, were you not, when it came to throwing things away? That expensive cashmere sweater that Anthony Quinn gave you, one of twelve in different colors, because of that unfortunate incident in Mykonos. That Gucci travel bag that you decided was an “atrocity” and tossed overboard without so much as a glance, on that ferry to the Isle of Man. And who can forget that husband you left buried in the sandy pebbles at Nice!
(I made up that last one—I think!) You always said that “one should not be saddled with any more baggage than a princess might need to escape the Huns.” So perhaps you have no treasure trove of memorabilia after all. I was always telling you to write your memoirs, was I not? Perhaps I am ghost writing them for you!
Do you recall when you “came out’ as Lady Hammer? It was when some of the others in that theatre course in London wanted to go to the Ritz for tea. They kept calling it “high tea” instead of “afternoon tea,” but you didn’t say anything to clarify the Americans’ misuse of the term. Secretly you may even have enjoyed it, almost patting them on their well-meaning but rather oafish heads in their desire to be seen in a fancy-schmancy hotel with their betters. Janelle from Florida decided that she would call to make the reservation for six. Naturally the Ritz told her that it would be “impossible to book” for at least four months. Everybody was so disappointed. But then you stepped in and called. I was with you when you did. “This is Lady Hammer,” you said in your most aristocratic tones. And before we could say “Blimey,” you had secured the reservation for six the very next day. I could tell from their reaction on the phone, even though I couldn’t see them, that the Ritz staff were bowing and scraping to accommodate this “Lady Hammer,” as only the British and its class system can do. We all had such a good laugh about “fooling the Ritz,” and then it came out, somehow, that you were not faking that accent at all. Americans almost never can do a credible British accent and can’t seem to tell a Cockney from an Earl, to save their souls. It dawned on me then that indeed you must really be the genuine article, though the particulars about the Hammers being the right-hand men of several French kings from William the Conqueror on did not come forth for some time. I will give you credit for not boasting about your heritage. Still, you did use it to get advantages in England. Of course the Americans in the theatre course embarrassed themselves all to Hell at the actual afternoon tea by constantly jumping up and taking snapshots of each other, the “crumpets,” the silver samovar, even the waiter holding the watercress sandwich tray. I can still see the maitre d’ coming over to our table and saying, “Did Lady Hammer somehow hand you her reservation in the street?” Others also looked askance at our motley crew, who were so oblivious to how crude they were coming across. You told the maitre d’: “Oh, you must forgive them. They are Irish.” Not one of us was Irish actually, but it seemed to satisfy the maitre d’.
I always contrasted that meal at the Ritz with the ones I had with my brother, Willie, who is three years older than I am. His idea of an afternoon snack was “pig knuckles” on white bread, smeared with mayonnaise and devoured in about ten seconds, washed down with pink Kool Aid, followed by multiple belches and farts, which he always found to be hilarious. Aren’t you sorry that you never got to meet my brother? He is not doing too well at the moment, I’ve heard through the sporadic family grapevine. He now suffers from a choking syndrome of some sort, finds it hard to swallow. I suppose I could link it to his early eating habits, but it’s more likely just genetic. We had different fathers, did I tell you? He took after his, with a slight frame and terrible acne with the scars that follow, and a sneer to every smile, again from some sort of lip deformity that he never had fixed. It’s hard to imagine how two such different people as Willie and I managed to live in the same house for so many years. I have been thinking about my brother quite a bit lately. Not fondly. He was a jerk from the day I was born until last month, when he sent me a “birthday card” that asked if I was “still taking it up the ass.”
How does one reply to such a query? “Not so you’d notice”? “Every chance I get”? “Never did it even once”? “Shut your stupid mouth hole, you white nigger, or I will shovel your own mouth shit back in with a trowel”? I’d trust you, Zoolie, to come up with the “proper” response.
I’m a little bit worried about my partner. He has been staying out till all hours, coming home at eight or nine in the morning. Janos has always been a bit of a night owl, but at the age of sixty, he seems to be getting worse. It’s not that we have ever been monogamous, just that we don’t bring “tricks” home and fall in love with somebody else. Janos still looks very handsome at sixty, his head hair as dark chocolate as it ever was, just a few white strands in his beard, really quite attractive. He keeps his weight down by, alas, smoking far too much. He’s on Chantix now to help him stop, but I am not hopeful. He calls me a nag about his ‘hoarding” problem. He calls it “collecting.” What it is is the living room full of his old mail, much of it unopened, old magazines, catalogues, old shirts, underwear (clean, thank God), and cardboard boxes and unused gadgets that he simply can’t or won’t throw away. He has also taken to lightning votive candles in front of the pictures of various “gurus” that he has stuck on the walls. I can’t even go into the living room any longer lest I be buried under an avalanche of his stuff. I tried to visit with him the other night by sitting on the one sofa that has a free space on it. Crap from the piles fell on my shoulders and legs. “This is a sickness!” I said. “You’re right,” Janos said. Of course nothing has changed.
I’m also concerned that he may be eavesdropping, more likely, Peep-Toming, if that’s a word, using my car to do it. I noticed a pair of binoculars in the compartment next to the driver’s seat. They aren’t mine. I guess I don’t really want to know. Did I tell you about the arrest seven years ago? I may have kept it to myself. I was embarrassed. Janos was watching some guy dancing nearly naked in his window (Hey, it’s San Francisco!), and with the marijuana and the speed he thought the window dancer was having an affair with him. For all I know, maybe he was. In court, that guy denied doing anything in his window, but he did allow as how his roommate might have done it. Luckily, Janos got off with probation and a stay-away order. I just hope he’s not back spying through windows. So if he doesn’t burn the place down with his votive candles, maybe he’ll go to jail if he’s caught again. He says I’m a “worrywart.” It is what it is.
I’d like to believe that Janos wouldn’t need to go out searching for his thrills, if we had a better sex life. However, that is not true. He has always been out looking for “thrills” (more like “relief”) in our thirty-three years together. I went out looking for a few of my own, just less so now. I don’t want to burden you with too much detail about our private lives. I’ve always felt that you felt somewhat uncomfortable about my “gay lifestyle,” although you disguised it. I’m sorry to say that I feel no sexual desire for Janos anymore. We had sex for twenty years. Maybe that’s enough. It’s probably more than most people get. The trouble is, Janos still wants to have sex. Just the other night he said, “If I don’t get some soon, I’m going to scream.” Yesterday he said, “We can still have sex. I don’t mind.” I didn’t answer. Sometimes he sits on the side of my bed and gives me that old look we used to use as a signal. But I keep typing away on my computer, seeming not to notice. It’s not like I’m so attractive he can’t keep his hands off me. There’s just too much baggage—the hoarding, the binoculars, the fact that Janos never, ever comes, the thirty-three years together, a backlog of resentments. I suppose most couples continue to do “it” because they have no agreed-upon other outlet. At least with Janos and me, there are other outlets. I’ll bet you there are more murders over sexual frustration that money! See, I am trying to count my blessings. I pay too many of his bills as well. I think I am paying him NOT to have sex!
I remember when you asked me about fellatio, right after you married Beau. You said that you wanted to please him and he had requested some. You assumed I was some sort of expert on the practice. Perhaps you were correct. I think I told you to avoid employing teeth in any way. I suspect that was not easy, with your small mouth and what you implied was Beau’s substantial size. You never said how it went, except that you didn’t see much in it. I think gay men probably get more out of it than straight women do.
Let’s just say it’s not a hardship. I was oddly flattered that you were open enough with me at the time to solicit my expertise.
By the way, did Beau ever express any jealousy about me and you? I realize that he knew I was gay and thus a remote threat for any hanky-panky. Yet it seems to me that straight men who have never had even one gay “experience” believe that any other man wants his woman in that way. The closest we ever came to such an “experience” was in Bucharest on that river boat cruise, the stopover at that lovely hotel with the blue lights all around the bar. You had had one too many Cosmopolitans and I my two rum and Cokes and were sitting opposite each other in those comfy, deep chairs, sharing past memories and being very intimate. I recall that look that came across your face, when it dawned on your that the moment was turning romantic, and you ordered a coffee from our waiter. I appreciated your good judgment then. I might have surrendered to the alcohol and the moment, and both of us would have been very sorry about it. In fact, it could have ended our friendship.
It’s funny how little we know about other people’s actual sex practices, despite the so-called Sexual Liberation of our time. You see the oddest people hooked up and I at least always wonder what they do in bed. Or next to the bed. Or in the pantry.
In the bathtub? In the garage under the car?
By the way, how are you and Beau doing? I know that you filed the first paper for a divorce. Have you followed up? I know that this is a sensitive topic for you, but I continue to think that you should delay any divorce until you absolutely cannot delay any longer. You told me that your friend Estella Wentby says you’re “mad” to leave Beau, for such small offenses. I agree with her. Yes, he is trying to pull some financial high jinks on you with all those real estate purchases in Las Vegas and Long Beach, but would he really cheat his own wife? Have you gotten a second opinion from a real estate lawyer?
I confess I was a bit surprised when I got that fax from you in Las Vegas with the wedding picture. I had no idea how far along that relationship had developed. I know you made an ultimatum to Beau—no living together in his house without a marriage license—but suddenly there you were, a married woman for the second time! I was very happy for you, knowing as I did that you were often lonely—despite my many letters! I recall you saying how sad you felt on Valentine’s Day at the Marina, where you were living then, seeing all those couples and you had “nobody to hug.” And Beau in that wedding picture looked quite nice, very noble and solemn. He had managed to stand up from his wheelchair to hug you. Both of your eyes seemed a bit dazzled by the photographer’s camera. Yet it seemed like a promising new start, despite his three earlier marriages. He didn’t really seem to mind that you were nine years older than he is. He had “caught” you by looking at your driver’s license. What romantic relationship doesn’t have some flaws in it, if we’re honest? I am sure that you and Beau will work things out. I certainly hope so, and further hope that you don’t act precipitously (as sometimes you do).
There are times when I think about throwing Janos out—the condo is in my name alone. And throwing him to the wolves, somehow fitting with his family’s background, the wilds of Slovenia in the Balkans. He has screwed up the sound system on my computer somehow, even though I have asked him to use his own—he says his is “broken like my English.” He also threw one of my CD’s between the bookcase and a clothes tree yesterday. It was one of my CDs with me singing some of my own songs. He was supposedly “evaluating” the sound quality to see if I need to have it re-mastered. Somehow Janos wound up critiquing my voice all to hell and then throwing the whole CD to drive home the point. (Yes, I am not speaking to him right now.)
Don’t stop unburdening yourself about Beau or anything else you care to talk about. You hinted that you thought you might be “complaining” excessively, nagging your husband through me. I don’t mind having my shoulder cried on. What are friends for if not that? It can’t be all Eastern European river cruises, walks along the beach at Malibu, and drives in the Lake District! Remember, that first trip we took together. I rented a car and we didn’t include your name as a driver? You kept insisting what a good driver you were, and then we had that little unfortunate fender bender when you backed up at a light, in Grasmere, was it? The front bumper of that lady’s car came right off. At least she was gracious about it. In the States, you’d have been shot! It was a bit dicey getting it all sorted out at the Hertz agency when we got back with all that damage still visible, even though you managed to spread some mud over part of it. We decided, as I recall, that it would be easier if I took the blame for the accident, rather than trying to explain why you were driving when your name wasn’t on the agreement. We had some laughs over the whole thing. Of course Hertz wouldn’t rent to me the next year. Thank God for Avis. They try harder. (I like to think I try harder too.)
A year and a half has passed since I wrote the section above. I have received e-mails from your daughter and even from you, mass e-mails that contain my e-mail address. I don't know if they are meant to be a “feeler” from you or just an oversight about who remains in your e-mail address book. I have not replied to yours.
Today I got your letter, your snail mail letter. I was somewhat shocked to hear from you. It's been three years. I was sorry to hear that Beau has died. I thought the treatments they have now for prostate cancer might have been more effective. I was sorry to hear that his children from his previous marriages are fighting you for a larger portion of the estate. I know you tried to strike up a relationship with Beau's children but they just weren't having it. I am sure you are correct--they were worried that you would supplant them in Beau's will. I am sure that you will prevail. You always seem to.
For some reason, an incident just popped into my head. Remember when we were in Palm Springs and he was sitting on the couch, visiting us for a weekend. Suddenly, he said, “I used to have nine inches. But I think I have lost some now.”
What does one say to that? Do you want me to measure for you? I'm sure you have more than your share? As I recall, I said nothing. So did you.
Well, Beau has gone to his Reward now. I hope that you find a third husband.
I am glad that you will be coming to San Francisco next month, on business. It's nice to see you keeping active.
Unfortunately, I will be unable to see you when you are here. I am busily working on a new song cycle and simply can't take the time off. It may be my very last one, given my age. I have written plenty of songs over the years. If so few people have wanted to hear them, I can always comfort myself that I am “a niche artist.” I certainly never wanted to be “pop,” if that means what I know it to mean.
Our time apart has been difficult at times. I have not been able to find a friend that I can be as confessional and intimate with as you once were. My Janos is off most of his drugs now and I threw out some of his junk last week. There is so much of it, he didn't seem to notice! Good to hear from you.
I did get your telephone message when you were here. No, I wouldn't have been able to go out to dinner with you. I have been somewhat depressed of late. My cat has not come back for a week, and I fear the worst. He was rather feeble and even a bit demented. I made the decision years ago to let Buddy decide whether to go out or come in at his own choosing. I hate locking up pets. If he has died, at least he died free.
Janos has moved out. I can't say that I am sorry. He met a younger man who has a townhouse, and they seem to suit each other quite well. Janos and I had long since grown apart. Yes, I am lonely sometimes. I even expect to see him and his junk when I come through the front door. But he and it are gone. I sit in the living room now. It is very clean, even spacious. Maybe I will be lonely eventually. Right now I feel liberated.
I hope that you were not disappointed that I was not able to meet with you. I am sure we could have had lots of remembrances together.
I hope this is our last communication. I do not mean to sound harsh, but I have undergone a sea-change. I have fallen out of love with England. The charms of the British Upper Classes seem to escape me now. Not that I have embraced the Lower Orders instead. They are as ignorant and coarse as they ever were. It's merely that I can find no one to root for anymore. I guess it is age. It is pre-death cutting off ties, abandoning the loves of the past. Let it all go.
I had hoped when I began this little memoir that it would be a whole book and I would send it to you, you would read it, love it, and we would resume our friendship. We might have lost our closest loved ones, the both of us, and we might have had our special relationship to see us through our old age and final days.
However, I am not going to let them happen. I do not want to try to capture our “love” or whatever it was we had together. I'd rather that it be just a memory, fond or not-so-fond as it may be. Goodbye, my old friend, dearest Lady Hammer. We had what we had. And now we do not.
Daniel Curzon (ne Dan Brown) is a Ph.D. and the author of many books of fiction and plays, including the landmark gay protest novel Something You Do in the Dark. Christopher Isherwood praised this novel by saying, “I greatly admire Daniel Curzon for writing this book.” Joyce Carol Oates described it as "Engrossing, powerful, and disturbing.” Curzon won the 1999 National New Play Contest for Gadot Arrives. His newest books are the Third Edition of The Big Book of In-Your-Face Gay Etiquette and a novel about San Francisco, Halfway to the Stars: Cable Car Tales of a Grumpy Gripman. This book is a Finalist in Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards, in Humor. Curzon denies that he is “a comic genius” (Amos Lassen Reviews) but admits to being “occasionally funny.”