the beginning-chapter 6

Posted: March 14, 2011 in personal history
Tags: , , , ,

I know I’ve been a bit lax on posting…the story about Peron on my last “beginning” chapter took alot out of me…I’ll try to do better! 🙂

We left off after Peron’s funeral and my coming out to my parents. A wonderful place to pick up the story, i guess.

Living at Gina’s house was interesting to say the least. It was always an adventure! There was always something going on there, with her 4 kids at the time, and 2 ex-husbands….one of which we all despised, and one that was a high school chum of mine, but we started drifting. I was heavily drinking, and my friend Billy was meeting me at the bar most nights, and we shot pool constantly at the bar. I hung out at Club 358 then, and the owner Bob Fox was a great guy.

I ended up moving in with Harley and Michael for awhile (Micheal being my first man to have sex with way back), and things were ok. We all tended to drink quite a bit, and I got to be quite good friends with Harley. When I first met Harley a few years back, Michael was telling me things like “Harley sits in the bathroom talking to me when I’m in the tub, and it’s weird” not wanting me to know that they were dating. But by the time I moved in, I knew that they had been together for a couple years at that point.

I ended up being court-ordered to AA for my DUI when my truck got rolled, and that’s how I met a good friend (I’ll call her *Denise, since AA is anonymous). I was sponsored by a gay guy named *Jason at first, and went to gay meetings. It turned out that we began having feelings for each other, and I needed to switch sponsors, so I ended up with Denise as a sponsor. She let me move in with her to make it easier to get to meetings and work, and also to not be living with Harley and Michael with them drinking constantly. My life changed drastically for a year….I met *Brent, who got sober about the same time I did, whom Denise also sponsored. I really fell for Brent, and he was a great friend. We hung out all the time. I was dating a drag queen named Jose then, and like him alot, but things got crazy. Things were going well with AA and Brent and I started hanging out at the bar. It didn’t take long for Brent and I to start drinking again, and things went from ok to bad quickly. Brent and I had too much to drink one night, and ended up at Harley and Michaels house. We slept on the living room floor together. We started to mess around some, and then Brent passed out. I woke up the next morning feeling terribly guilty, even though almost nothing happened, having almost cheated on Jose.

I went to jose’s house that day. He was getting ready for a drag show, and started telling me that he wasn’t sure, after 3 months, if we could date because I drank. I told him that just because his father was a bad drunk and hit him doesn’t mean that everyone does that. “Have I ever even raised my voice to you when I’ve been drinking?” “No.” Mind you, jose drank as well. I just told him “I’m gonna go. When you figure out whether you can handle this relationship, you call me and let me know.” Most of that was the guilt from the night before with Brent, but I was truly offended by his offhand remarks about my drinking as well. I’m a very happy drunk, and I have NEVER hit someone I was dating. So that was the end of jose, and the friendship with brent lasted only a few months more, with nothing ever happening again with him.

Somewhere through here, I also dated another drag queen named Kristen. I was introduced to Jerry as a boy, and that was almost the last time i ever saw him out of drag. I don’t really find drag attractive, so I was put off a bit….at least jose only did it for shows and stuff….kristen lived as a woman and wanted to have a sex-change. We broke up after a couple of months, and she became a true slut, giving $5 blowjobs in the parking lot at the bar. A sad thing….

Well, now Im back to drinking heavily, and I moved in with a friend Brian and his mother. I still hung out at Harley’s, and Harley and I went to a hotel in Hudson to apply at a restaurant there. Sitting down to fill out the application, the manager comes up to talk to us, and it turns out it’s Dan, a friend that I worked with at the Loyal Oake way back….he hired both of us immediately. I had no car, but worked it out that Harley and I could work the same shifts together, so I had a ride. When it came down to the point where Harley quit, the hotel manager gave me a room at the hotel to stay at, and I moved into the hotel. There was an entire wing that was closed to the public, and several staff members stayed in the rooms there. It was great! I had keys, and the new manager (Dan ended up quitting) would call me at 5 or 6 am and say “there’s a party in the banquet room that needs setup for breakfast. Go unlock it and start setting it up, and I’ll be in shortly, i’m running a bit late”. So I put in lots of hours.

I ran into an issue with the exec chef there, as it was really dead one day, and I was playing the game at the bar. The barmaid was sitting there reading the paper. The exec chef tried to fire me, and not do anything to the girl sitting there with me. I called the hotel manager (whom I had become friends with), and he trained me at the front desk, and had me doing maintenance stuff for the hotel. I had a blast! We even went on the roof and watched the fireworks on the 4th of July! It was great!

It ended up that the hotel wasn’t doing well. I had also met Cowboy during this time, and his friend Jacqui. So when the bank finally gave up on trying to make the hotel work, they closed it. I ended up moving to cleveland with jacqui (big mistake, as she turned out to be a lying two-faced cunt!). I got the best job I’ve ever had at that time, at Ciao! Cucina in Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

Within 2 months, I had had enough of the thievery of my roommate, and moved in with David and Petey who managed and worked at Ciao! David was promptly fired for mismanagement, and the restaurant service quickly went downhill. However, I was moved up into the private club upstairs for the high-end donors of Playhouse Square. I made $11/hour plus and automatic 20% on everything i rang up….i had my own full bar, and a small dining room, and I was the only one who worked the club along with the concierge.

I organized the club, the bar, how the patrons were treated, I had credit cards on file so that they didn’t have to worry about paying before they went to the show. I started a catalog of regular members, and what they drank, etc to make sure that when they made reservations, we had what they needed.

The club was on the 2nd floor, and the kitchen and restaurant were on the 1st floor. I put in the order upstairs, waited awhile, and went and checked on it downstairs. On the weekends, they had foodrunners that brought me the food. The kitchen was supposed to immediately put my orders to the front, because of the status of the patrons.

David was a diganosed bi-polar individual, and beat up on Petey on a regular basis. I stuck up for him once while living there, and they made up the next day making me the bad guy. I didn’t do it again, even when Pete was screaming for help. He put himself back into a violent situation, and I was not going through that twice. I ended up moving, and staying with Randall, a friend from work. Great place, great friend, and we had some GREAT times! He’s still one of my dearest friends….

Working in the club The show started at 7:30 on this particular night, and by 7:10, my guests had not gotten their food. I went downstairs to find out what the hell the holdup was, and it was another 20 minutes for the food. Somehow, I got blamed because the chef didn’t pull the order to the front. NOT my fault! HE didn’t do HIS job! But I got in trouble. I was placed back downstairs in the restaurant.

Our friend Jed had been made the lunch manager. She was a country-hick girl, and we got along great, until she made manager. All of a sudden we couldn’t BE friends because she got promoted. I was scheduled as a bartender one lunch, and she asked me to get a take-out order while i was trying to get ready to open. I asked her if she could do it as I had a lot to do to open, and she said “it’s the BARTENDERS job to do takeout orders! Now go take the order!” So I did. The very next day, I was scheduled on the floor, and Jed was the day bartender. She was upstairs, answered the phone, and sent another server downstairs to tell me to take a takeout order. SHE was doing nothing, the server she sent down was doing nothing, and she wanted me to stop getting ready to open to take an order. I sent the girl back upstairs and said “Tell Jed it’s the BARTENDER’S job to take take0ut orders! I’m busy!” Needless to say, Jed wrote me up (only my 2nd in over 2 years), and 3 days later, fired me for the same offense. WTF?!

So this is how I ended up working at the Great Lakes Science Center doing Catering. I met Nancy there, and Donna, the manager, loved me to death. I was made Banquet Captain almost immediately. She made me a deal….if I did the scheduling for her for the servers and bartenders, she’d pay my cell phone bill since it required calling staff constantly to find out availability and to let them know their shifts. I ran up a $1200 cell phone bill in 3 months. She ended up getting fired, and the new manager Julius refused to pay for the phone bill. Again, WTF?! We argued about things constantly, Julius was very overbearing and controlling. I did not get my raise I was due, and he did not acknowledge my Captain status. At that point, I was done. He scheduled me alone to open and setup a breakfast deal…at which time I had talked to a good friend Uncle Kenny and he wanted me to come work for him doing construction on a new bar. So I wrote up my resignation, and sent it in that day with Nancy. Mind you, I was supposed to do the setup at 6 am, and nancy didn’t go to work until 9…so he never even knew I was quitting until 9 am. I am NOT the one to fuck with!

So I started working with Uncle Kenny on building the new Grid Nightclub, a fantastic gay club! A fantastic job! Took a little over a year, and we also did some small jobs at the Nature Center in Bay Village, building cages for their new exhibits of animals. Bay Village is where we happened to be when 9/11 happened. We worked the Nature Center during the day, and then worked on the tear-out of the Grid in the evenings. We were at the Nature Center when the staff came out and told us about 9/11 as it was in progress, and we went inside and watched. The Grid was in downtown Cleveland, so we didn’t even know if we’d be able to work there that night, until we went there later. Downtown was deserted, absolutely desolate. Listening to the radio, they were talking about the middle-eastern doctors at the Cleveland Clinic applauding when the towers fell….we resisted, but we SOOOOO wanted to go down there and kick their fucking asses. It was just appalling. The fact that we trusted them to take care of our sick family members, and they applauded when thousands of  people died, including rescuers working in the medical field that they are supposed to be part of!! Highly offended!

It took us over a year to finish the new Grid, and it was GORGEOUS! A huge dance club, known worldwide…many people traveled from Europe just to see it….a great place! I ended up bar-backing for 3 months after they opened, and then I was offered a job at MJ’s Place to manage the bar. MJ’s was a small neighborhood gay bar. I grabbed it! I worked at MJ’s for a year bartending, managing, and even cleaning the bar. I had even set up a benefit for the Prysm group, a gay youth group, and the chinese auction that I arranged made $500 to send the kids to a special Tolerance Camp.

By this time, I was living with my friend Steve in Garfield Heights, and we got along great! I spent several years as housemates with steve. I moved out to live with my friend Nancy and then Willy for a short time, but ended up back at steve’s.

This is a good place to stop for the current post. Working at MJ’s, I met J.J., and that is a long long story in and of itself, so I’ll stop here, and continue with J.J. on the nest post. Thank you for reading my blog!! Have a wonderful day!!!!



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