Needles Jones likes her meat dark and well done. Well actually, I don’t know what Needles Jones likes because she is just a character portrayed by Ira, a 50 something year old Jewish man on stage. What I should say is that Ira likes his dick thick, heavy and Nubian and oh so much younger. At least that’s the impression he has always given me. Another one in search of the mandingo.
I have known and tried to avoid Ira for a hell of a long time now. We first met or I should say saw each other at the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival more than a few years ago. I was wearing a silly tee-shirt that I wear to the gym now that said Absolutely Fabulous across the chest. Ira made some comment about it as he ushered in the ticket holders. I don’t remember what it was but I do remember thinking, “just take the damn ticket and leave me alone can’t you see I’m with someone,” and with that he was out of my mind.
That is until the next day when I was at breakfast or lunch at the cafeteria, I worked in a hospital then, when who but Ira would step up behind me. Apparently he worked at the hospital too but in a different building and he proceeded to rant and rave hysterically and loudly about the movie and the film festival and gay and lesbian this, and gay and lesbian that and who else in the hospital is gay and who he gets along with and who he didn’t.
Now I wouldn’t say that I was closeted, but I’ve always believed that my private life was called private for a reason and not to be broadcast across 6 rows of tables filled with people who probably didn’t give a shit about me just as I didn’t about them. Also, there is only so much open cordiality and fake interest that I can muster at one time, so I decided then and there, I was going to start eating off campus. I would make it my best efforts in order to never have to speak to Ira again. But of course life is never that easy.
I would go on to see and meet Ira in center city in what seemed to be a monthly if not weekly occurrence. If I was coming out of Reading Terminal Market he would be going in. If I was looking for videos to rent from TLA Video he would be there dropping tapes off. If I was just walking down the street eventually there would be a point that I would run into Ira. He started asking me about things that I liked to do socially. He already knew that I liked movies and he thought that it might be nice if we went to see something together.
I would explain to Ira that even though I may or may not have been fighting with my boyfriend at the time, quick note if I’m fighting with someone I’m probably sleeping with them to, he was a filmmaker and so we always saw movies together. But I would thank him for his interest and his telephone number and tell him that I would call him some day. Although I’m not sure how that would have happened since usually the number was tossed and lost as soon as I turned the corner after leaving Ira.
Eventually we started to lose touch, well I mean we would run into each other less and less and when I did run in to him I would see Ira walking with black men who seemed to be a little younger than I was. I made my assumptions but I kept them to myself since I seemed to be no longer the interests of his eye.
I hadn’t seen Ira for about 4 or 5 years until yesterday when I decided to get a ticket for the Film Festival from TLA. Just as I was walking in, there he was. Ira. He looked pale and his face was drawn in. He was unsteady on his feet and looked very weak. I tried to get away, but he had already seen me so I walked up to him and shook hands. Right away he told me that he was recovering from encephalitis and that the virus had eaten away half of his brain and that he couldn’t remember half of his life but he wanted to know if I was still with the Broadway dancer, the one after the filmmaker. “He was in the Lion King wasn’t he?”
Funny that. He can’t remember half his life, but that shit, the shit that I want to forget, sticks in his fucking mind.
I’m swearing, I have to step a way for a minute.
So Ira then tells me how he was on disability because of his ailments and that his boyfriend had put him in the ICU after he had beaten him up for “no reason” and that he had almost died. He was no longer being hired to do his one man show because he felt that he as being discriminated by everyone and even his so called friends were no longer interested in being around him and who was I seeing now and what movie was I going to see. I told him and he said that he had not thought about it but now he probably would go and see it and maybe he would see me there. I think I have a date.
In a previous post, I had said that if I ever found myself homeless I would drown myself. I have to amend that statement. If I ever found myself involved with Ira, I would have to go for a hanging. Not the execution style quick snap of the neck kind, but the slow strangulation kind with the legs kicking and twitching KKK lynching style. And if you should ever hear of it, please send no flowers.