Little Eshter and Bob’s Book-Release Party

Sunday, December 14th, 2003 | Family, Gay

I just got back from Bob’s reading and book-release party at Modern Times. Bob began by playing Little Esther’s Love Will Break Your Heart on a portable cassette player, pointing to the tape to emphasize the truth in her pained denunciation of romance. I kept my composure through most of it, although he didn’t look at me at all during his performance, and like an idiot I sat in the front row so that I could greet all of our friends. He read from his Purple Men 2002 story, which is basically the story of our relationship, with details of this or that friend and lover tossed in–our tea and paper and waggling his pee-pee at our neighbors in the morning, our asparagus-scented cum fests, my stalker, our goldfish Francie and Cleo. I lost it after Francie and Cleo, used by him allegorically, relating the fishes’ mortality and domesticity to that of the central characters, Darrell and Trent. Bob’s a great writer, and there’s so much lyricism, humor and histrionics in his narcissistic explorations of the character, “Bob.” I complained for years of having to listen to story after story about L’s asshole at reading after reading, or having his new book named after his former lover, Denny. “When are you going to write about me?” I’d wail, like Lucy, eager for my turn in the spotlight. “You’re going to have to hurt me first,” he always replied, “and you’ll be sorry.”

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