An “event” for men

September 30, 2006

Scene from EYES WIDE SHUT

One of our friends, Jason, sold us tickets to a mysterious event called “Men, their dreams and fantasies” or something like that. He wouldn’t tell us any more than that, but that there would be male nudity, and women were not allowed. We were relieved that Corbin would be there as well. We called him to make sure he was going, and learned that he had five German friends in town and was planning on bringing them. The female had to stay home… He was as puzzled as we.

The instructions said we were to drive to a grocery store in Sierra Madre where a shuttle would pick us up and drive us up the mountain (it’s northeast of Pasadena in the foothills). We chatted nervously with the other mostly older gay men who seemed as in the dark as we were about where we were going and what the event was.

I began to worry that we were being taken to one of those strange secret organizations (like in EYES WIDE SHUT) where everyone is masked and draped, and everyone stands arounds and chants while some poor person is sacrificed. Oh god, let me out. I’ll leave. They can’t make me do that. What weird circle of people have I tapped into.

That didn’t happen. We were dropped off at the base of a long driveway. We walked up the hill to a house with banners, and lights strung up everywhere. A low budget affair. A big house with a gravel back yard with chairs all around. More and more men started arriving. We were certain the fire marshall would not approve. Then a trio of actors came up and started interviewing us: “What is your fantasy?” I said to go to Mykonos with Daniel and have him scarcely dressed in gauze linen. They asked the guy next to me who pointed to me and said “I wanna be him” and then said “no, I’ll be John Williams.” A bartender arrived and we got a beer in time for the master of ceremonies to come up on the stage to annouce the evening. “Theater for men, by men” seemed to be the motto. I learned just before the MC arrived that this place was started in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria and is now international. These are resorts for people who can’t afford expensive places. The place next door is $6 per night. I looked across at a beautiful old home nestled into the side of the mountain. After the event, I learned that the organization is a nudist organization, and is only for men. Hmmm, let’s see, people, er men who can’t afford hotels or resorts, that would often be boys and young men with nudist tendencies. Oh, I see. But then I learned, that this event is an annual one put on by the guys in this organization. “It’s not a gay organization, it’s a men’s group for men.” I looked around incredulously but bobbed my head “mmhmm.”

After the MC finished, we were treated to a male belly dancer, Mustafo. Steely look on his face, shaved and well defined torso wiggled at us with great ability. I’d never seen one, but I had to admit that this guy was good. We were then told to go upstairs, the show was ready to begin.

Oh no, it’s the Robert Bly men’s thing where someone starts beating a drum and cries. No, they’ll gas us. No, they’ll expect us to take our clothes off at the door. I’m not going up there, Oh, alright. We walked up and in, and shit! we have to sit on the floor. I know everyone else was thinking the same thing.

I won’t give you the blow by blow, but what we witnessed were group-written scenes (always a recipe for disaster) based upon each others’ fantasies (oh dear!) that this group had worked out over the past year. Their was fabulous drag, beautiful bodies, nudity (nothing lewd or lascivious), a whipping scene, and more. My favorite character, well beside Cornen Miranda, was the Divine Motherboard, who had a drag outfit like the ostrich piece in PRISCILLA, that kept coming in with an extention cord coming out the back of his dress, to light the crown of lights above his big hair, that kept getting stepped on and unplugged. Very funny.

Jason had us all stand up and stretch for 1 minute for our “intermission.” Then we sat back down and endured several more increasingly weird skits on our increasingly flattened butts.

The play’s moral: be careful what you wish for. Um ok. Will do.

The Germans hated it and Corb felt bad dragging them there jetlagged. “Let’s go our for a drink!” We resolved to go to our house, climbed in the car and then, oops we are out of gas. We sent the Germans and Corbin on their way, called road service. We sat and chatted on a park bench next to the grocery at 11 pm in beautiful downtown Sierra Madre waiting for road service. A quiet little moment at the end of an otherwise peculiar but weirdly satisfying evening.

[The photo above was “edited” by RB and taken from a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT.]

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