One New Year's I wrote Rumination - a seething writhing pit of angst and sex. This year? Not so much. Just a little phone call amongst the boys. It's because Hutch slept way late and I had nothing else to do and because Sue always asks and I have to comply sometimes and also for my dearest LS, whom I miss sometimes like Queen misses Freddy . . .
David: Hello yourself.
P: I thought you’d be long gone by now.
D: Just waiting for a car. What you doing?
P: Trying to figure out how to transfer my contacts over to my new fucking phone.
D: Christmas present?
P: Yes. Fucking hell. Think I lost them all. Fuck.
D: Yes, well, Happy New Year and all that old chum . . .
P: Sorry, Davey. Screw the phone.
D: Is that your New Year’s Resolution?
P: You know I don’t do those.
P: Funny. New Year’s Resolutions. They never work.
D: They’re fun though.
P: Oh yes, failing at something you’ve announced to the whole world at a party wearing a paper hat, drunk on bad champagne – fun.
D: Paulie, you gotta lighten up. It’s New Year’s.
P: I don’t remember you being such a fan yourself – wasn’t it New Year’s Eve when Mary Hart kicked your ass?
D: I call to wish you a Happy New Year and you bring up Mary Hart? That hurts, Paulie.
P: You didn’t answer the question, though. I seem to remember dragging your half-conscious ass through confetti . . .
D: Yes, you would remember that part. You seem to have forgotten, though, how you hid in the bathroom with Tony when they came after me.
D: The coven – you know, Mary and Susan Anton, and what’s her name from that show with the kids.
P: Florence Henderson? You’re going to admit being ass-kicked by Florence Henderson?
D: No asshole, not that kids show – that other one – with the stoner . . .
P: Gonna have to be more specific. Lots of stoners back then.
D: Oh forget it.
P: Ohhh, you mean Betty Buckley? The singer? Eight Kids is Enough?
D: Yeah, fucking stiletto heels almost took my eye out.
P: What were they all pissed about – I forget.
D: How am I supposed to remember?
P: I think Lynn jumped in, too, right. They had you up against that wall. Oh man, remember when we walked in and I thought you were fucking all of them right there in Aaron’s library . . .
D: That’s it. I was fucking them.
P: No, Davey. They were fucking you. Up. Pretty good if I remember. You lay on my couch for two days after moaning about broken ribs.
D: Now, that sounds like a New Year’s Resolution.
D: Paulie, Number one – I was fucking them. Not right then, but they’d all got together around their fucking cauldron and decided I should be punished, remember?
P: Really? Even Lynn?
D: Again, Paulie, please don’t mention that name again or I’m gonna hang up and spend the rest of this night drawing life-sized sketches of your dick all over London.
P: Okay, okay.
D: Number Two, if I may continue – I was not on your couch, I was in your bed, and you nursed me back to health with something you used to call the “Starsky Special.”
P: Oh . . .
D: Yes, oh. Almost worth getting hammered for.
D: Well, I did have a broken rib.
P: Yes, I’m sure. But if I remember correctly, you seemed very flexible back then.
D: Oh, Paulie – you do remember.
P: More than you know, asshole.
D: I love you, Manfred.
P: Love you too, Davey. So where you going tonight? Any chance of a brawl?
D: Always – Stephen’s place – big fucking fairy do. He’s sending a car.
P: Be careful.
D: I’m fucking old, Paulie. All I got left is careful.
P: Yeah, right. I saw the picture last week. You and the Welsh rugby team . . .
D: Public service wank, Paulie. Now if you hopped on a plane, we could make some excellent resolutions . . .
P: You know I can’t, Davey. Got to finish the book.
D: Oh yes, the book. All about being in the now of the then of the center of the was, where and how.
P: What about you? Your book?
D: Ouch. You know the deal with my book. Can’t publish it until you sign the release for your chapter.
P: Just a chapter?
D: Well, I had to cut it a bit.
P: You might as well cut it all – you know I’ll never agree.
D: I know. I guess I could change your name to . . . David Michael, my long standing stud, always at the ready, never disappointing, house boy.
P: And you talk about my meandering prose?
D: Fuck, there’s the car. Oh fuck fuck fuck.
D: It’s pink. Fucking pink.
P: What did you expect from Stephen? Discretion?
D: Oh I have no expectations anymore. Remember? You don’t do resolutions and I can’t have expectations . . .
D: . . . because if I had expectations, Paulie, I could actually expect you to maybe spend one goddamn mother fucking holiday with the one person in the whole fucking universe who understands you and loves you anyway. Who knows the difference between when you need a fuck and when you need to be fucking left alone.
P: That’s not fair.
D: Yes, I know, you’re worried I might actually make you feel like every goddamn time you call to say you’re not coming – and I don’t mean in the good way – that you’re being a giant prick to the one person who knows where all the bodies are buried and still wants to suck you dry. That’s all.
P: That’s all? Don’t you want to talk about how I abandoned you in the 90s?
D: Go fix your phone, Paulie. Get all your fucking contacts together. I’ve got to go. It’s New Year’s. Champagne and cock rings – you know, the usual.
P: Yes, I do know. Just don’t blame me tomorrow morning, okay? And call me later when you decide not to be such a bastard.
D: Not taking my phone. Gotta go now. You have a nice New Year’s, Paulie.
P: Really? This is how we’re ending the year?
D: How we started it.
P: Last New Year’s we were in New York.
D: And you were on the phone in the lobby.
P: Because you were passed out by 9.
D: Because you told me you were getting married again.
P: Davey, you’re pissing me off now. Just go get in the car.
D: Well, fuck you too, buddy.
P: Yeah, yeah, just go get in the car.
P: Davey, just go.
D: You done with me, Paulie?
P: Okay, then, just open the door.
D: What door?
P: Your front door, you horse’s ass.
D: Fuck off, you . . . oh hell.
D: Sorry, Paulie, I gotta go . . . uh . . . oh hell.
P: That’s all you’re going to say? Oh, hell.
D: How, why did you . . .?
P: Because, you dumb fuck, I know you – in and out and all in between and I still love you despite that knowledge and I knew you were winding up for a really bad end to the year and so I flew in this morning and Stephen lent me this pink monstrosity and I just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year in person. It’s been a shitty one for both of us and I think we should send it out properly.
D: I’m hanging up now, Paulie.
P: Happy New Year, Davey.
D: I see you got your phone fixed.
P: I see you’re still wearing that silk shirt.
D: Do we still get to go to the party?
P: Think you’ll have the strength?
D: Well I did promise the Hughs a blow job.
P: The Hughs? Laurie and Grant?
D: And Jackman. Why do you always forget Jackman?
P: Hang up the phone, Davey.
D: Happy fucking New Year.
P: Oh, it’s going to be if you get off the phone and ask me in.
D: Oh, I’m getting off, Paulie.
P: Really? I fly thousands of miles to give you the Starsky Special and you want to stand on your porch and toss innuendos?
D: Goodbye Paulie. Come in, Paulie.
P: Coming, Davey.