When I was 20 years old, I was bright enough to understand that my schtick had an expiration date on it. That’s pretty impressive, given that my schtick at the time was being precocious for older gentlemen. “This can’t last, Peacock,” I said to myself (I call myself Peacock). “Your time as a bright young thing has a shelf date, and judging by the way you’re aging, it’s fast approaching.”
As it happened, I slid from the Gay List’s newest member to ostracized to bitter hard drinker (I once screamed “You’ll all die alone” in the middle of a bar) to someone who just shrugs and works harder. That’s where we’re at now.
The problem with working hard is that I am now at an age where everyone’s administrative assistants are up-and-coming twinks working for the same older men I once worked so hard to impress. There was a period in my life when I would fervently wish that my looks would fade so that people would take me seriously, which is the dumbest fucking wish one can imagine. Why wasn’t I wishing to be surrounded by better people?
I was talking on the phone with an old friend from those days. “I have a new assistant,” he said. “He’s 21 and wears big ol’ cowboy boots just like you. I call him Twinky Boots.”
I once wore cowboy boots a lot, but it’s been a very long time and I have never considered them to be one of my defining characteristics.