Parting Glances: HTJA (as in Julie)!

Charles Alexander
By | 2018-01-16T03:20:47-05:00 July 31st, 2008|Opinions|

I’ve just returned from Sedona, Arizona, the New Age mecca, where – either by karmic misstep on a loose rock or a senior-moment’s carelessness on a hard place – I got caught up in one of its famed vortexes and whisked into a twilight zone.
I realize now that I shouldn’t have wandered away from the thousands of attendees at this year’s annual “Hotter than Julie Andrews” gathering (for LGBT types on the far, far-out side of 39) but I just got, well, carried away. (The canyons were alive with the Sound of Muzak.)
At age 45, 46, 47, 52, or whatever/thereabouts, getting carried away happens to me at an alarming rate. (My friends usually put me in a cab when my alarm frantically sounds and send me home. Two aspirins, a backrub, and three day’s bed rest usually helps.)
Perhaps a word of explanation is in order for BTL readers who know nothing about the now-annual event called “HTJA” (or, for that matter, about profile-pert Miss Andrews herself) and for whom getting older is just slightly more distant and greatly more improbable than going on a condo-buying mission to the moon.
HTJA started not too long after LGBT baby boomers began to realize that for whatever reason of climatic change or polar shift (they were convinced it had something to do with excessive SUV exhaust) they were becoming invisible to those of their same-sex tribe under age 30.
(If you’re over that three-pieces-of-ID demarcation – and you have any doubts about the inherent truth of this undemocratic state of affairs – just go into any gay bar and see how quickly you vanish from sight or blend into the woodwork – actually, the won’t work. Nobody wants you when you’re old and . . . whatever.)
For some curious reason my vanishing act usually takes about 30 seconds. If not sooner. I’m personally convinced that it has something to do with overhead satellite jamming my gaydar. I’m sure it works on my sending end. It’s my receiving end that gets the hang-up, busy signal. Either that or my pacemaker needs replacing.
Oh, yes. back to the vortex . . . This one was a doozie! An ozone special! A sudden cosmic G-spot viber! Whisked away in no time flat! For a nanosecond I feel like Dorothy, flying through space to her big encounter with the Wiz of Was, er, Wizard of OZ.
(Apologies, one-diva-at-a-time readers. This column’s about Julie not Judy. Hotter than Judy Garland — HTJG — is quite another groupie experience. With pills. Rainbows. The man that got away. Wicked Toto yapping at red high heels. Rufus Wainwright crooning her showbiz tunes.)
Suddenly caught up in the vortex I just as quickly mentally crash on an old Sears Roebuck couch, watching some social-justice rerun flic. (“Peyton Place,” “Valley of the Dolls,” “Dallas”?) Somehow I’ve gained 150 pounds and look like a sedentary sack of unpeeled bargain basement redskins.
Voices assault me, echoing back and forth. “Hey, Lardo: it’s your turn to take out the garbage.” “Geez, dad, why can’t I watch what I wanna watch for a change?” “It’s your loudmouth mom on the ‘phone. She’s comin’ (again!) for the weekend. “I hate to tell you this, Dodo. But #6 is in the oven. One more mouth to feed. Say sumpin’!”
After a seeming eternity I blink-blink awake… “What happened?” I ask. “Say sumpin’…”
“It’s the vortex. Ten seconds’ worth. 115 degress in the shade,” energetically breezes an HTJA attendee. “You got lost in the canyon, but, hey, consider the alternative.”

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Charles Alexander