I apologize for my slacker blogging ways during the past week. I’ve just returned from a visit to a very special place where I’ve been receiving wisdom and re-energizing my spirit in the best possible way I know how: good food, stiff drinks and drag queens.
I was extremely excited several weeks ago when I found out that a conference I was attending for work was taking place in San Francisco and convinced Bumblebee and the Boy-most-likely-to that they should come with me.
I used to live in the city and though I could probably never live there again, I love it still. I worked at a residential hotel in the Tenderloin, lived nearby, and it’s still my favorite neighborhood to hang in. The Loin’s got the most interesting sights, sounds and smells, the best ethnic restaurants and the stickiest bars, including my very favorite watering hole, Aunt Charlie’s Lounge.
It took a little sweet-talkin’ to get Boy to agree to hit the lounge with us, but the promise of cheap beer won him over, so last Friday night we headed out for some Indian food, some Pabst Blue Ribbon and a lot of debauchery.
The first stop was Little Delhi on Eddy Street. Our adorable and very sweet waiter Indrajit brought us samosas, paneer naan, malai kofta and lamb saag. It was all delicious and perfectly spiced. There was a large-screen t.v. playing a Bollywood film. Indrajit was quick with the refills and was highly skilled at keeping a straight face and pretending not to listen each time we forgot to stop talking about leather and orgasms while he poured us more water. He even posed for a picture.
After getting completely stuffed at Little Delhi, it was on to Turk Street where Aunt Charlie’s Lounge and the Hot Boxxx Girls awaited.
This is not your typical drag queen show. The cover is only $5, and Joe, the manager/bartender pours a cheap, very stiff drink. The bar is dark, tiny and filled with regulars who are a bit rough around the edges – as are the Hot Boxx Girls. Who really wants to look at pretty and perfect queens anyway? These girls have LIVED. They’re bawdy; they have teeth missing; their belly buttons are surrounded by flesh as well as hair. You just know that they’ve got great stories to tell, and the more you see them perform, the more you want to hear those stories.
Gina La Divina, the $65,000 silicone wonder is the absolutely beautiful hostess. She walks through the bar stroking the shoulders and egos of every person there. Vicky Marlane, the woman with the liquid spine, is 73 years old and still shimmying her wrinkles. Daffne, my very favorite performer, is loud, large and exceptionally colorful. The night we were there she sang a song about vodka…it made her feel so “odd ka”….and pulled an entire bottle of Smirnoff out of her cleavage. Very impressive.
Bobby, the cute choreographer for the show, also performed a couple of numbers. What could be sexier than a cheerleader with hairy armpits, huge nipples and a goatee?
I think my favorite part about seeing the Hot Boxx Girls this time was hearing Boy – a virgin at Aunt Charlie’s – exclaim with surprise several times, “Wow! She’s hot!”
We had such a good time that we barely noticed all of our money had disappeared into the hands and cleavage of the performers. At 2 a.m., we happily staggered back to The Metropolis. Boy and Bumblebee drifted off to sleep right away, but it took me awhile. I couldn’t get the vision of Aurora Style’s gorgeous wobbling adam’s apple out of my mind’s eye. Finally, after about an hour, I drifted off to ruffled neon dreams……backed by the sound of Celine Dion.