This is Page 2 of Part 1 of Chapter 112 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to Page 1 of "My Favorite Mistake -- Part 1", the previous page.
'The Late Show with David Letterman' -- Friday, November 8, 2002.
David Letterman -- "So, Jimmy, this movie of yours, 'The Olympian' -- is it going to be a big hit or what?"
Jimmy Hardy -- "It better be, David! I show my butt in it, so if it fails the producers will blame it all on me!"
Jimmy -- "Why are people laughing at the thought of MY butt? I don't see what's so funny!"
Dave -- "Now, Jimmy, let's face it, you're a fine actor and you won an Academy Award...."
Jimmy -- "I did. I'm using it as a doorstopper in my bathroom this very minute."
Dave -- "The Academy will be SO pleased to hear that, I'm sure. Now, Jimmy, as I said, you're a great actor and a heck of a nice guy -- but people are NOT going to pay good money to see YOUR rear end on screen! Your co-star, Brian Kinney, was with us last night. Admit it -- HE is the one people will pay money to see naked, and NOT you."
Jimmy -- "Dave! I'm wounded! I thought we were friends!"
Dave -- "If your friends can't tell you, Jimmy... I see that Brian came with you to the show. I know that he's back in the Green Room right now."
Cut to Brian Kinney, looking incredibly beautiful but forlorn, sitting by himself on the couch. He's wearing a black wifebeater and jeans and he's sighing heavily.
Jimmy -- "Actually, I have to tell you a big secret, Dave. Brian has a little bit of a crush on me and now he follows me wherever I go. In fact, he insisted on coming to the show with me tonight. That's why he's here."
Dave -- "A crush? On YOU? Come ON, Jim!"
Cut to Brian in the Green Room, making out on the couch with a female CBS intern.
Jimmy -- "It's true, Dave. Ever since we did all those kissing scenes in 'The Olympian' he can't stay away from me. I told him it's hopeless, but it doesn't do any good."
Cut to Brian in the Green Room, making out on the couch with a blond teenage boy.
Jimmy -- "Poor Brian just can't forget that famous 'Jimmy Hardy Technique.' You know what they say, Dave -- 'Once you go Hardy, you NEVER go back'!"
Cut to Brian in the Green Room, making out on the couch with the female intern AND the blond teenage boy.
Dave (shaking his head) -- "That's not the way I heard it, Jimmy!"
Cut to Brian in the Green Room, making out with the next guest, anchorwoman Connie Chung, up against the wall.
Jimmy -- "Believe it, David. I know that 'America's Boy Next Door' doesn't exactly have a reputation as a stud..." Jimmy flexes the 'muscles' in his arms and the audience howls. "But that's the reality! I know that I've felt some vibes from YOU over the years, Dave, so 'fess up!"
Cut to Brian in the Green Room, making out with the musical guest, David Bowie, up against the same wall.
Dave -- "In your dreams, Jimmy. In your dreams." Dave looks around at some loud noises coming from backstage. "What's all that commotion? What's going on backstage? Alan? Alan?"
Cut to the Green Room, where a wild party is in progress. People are crowded in there, drinking champagne and dancing. Brian and 'Late Show' announcer Alan Kalter are sitting on the floor, playing strip poker. Alan is down to his underwear. Brian lays down a Full House and smiles wolfishly while the party goers cheer.
Alan -- "I'm a little busy right now, Dave. But I'll get back to you later. Much later."
Jimmy -- "I think you've lost control of your show, Dave."
Dave -- "I WAS doing just fine, Jimmy, before you got here! Paul, do you have any idea what is going on in the Green Room?"
Paul Shaffer (shrugging) -- "No idea at all, Dave. It's a mystery."
Pan shot of the bandstand, with most of the members of the band missing.
Dave -- "Paul? Where's the band?"
Paul -- "They said they were taking a coffee break, Dave!"
Cut to the Green Room, where the band has joined the party, carousing and drinking champagne. Announcer Alan Kalter, wearing only his jockey shorts, and the female intern are dancing, while Brian is dancing with Connie Chung and kissing the blond teenage boy at the same time.
Dave -- "Jimmy, what do you know about all this?"
Jimmy -- "Don't look at ME, Dave! It's Brian!"
Dave -- "YOU brought him here, Jim! You're responsible for him!"
Jimmy -- "Believe me, I have NO control over the guy! But if you'll excuse me, Dave, I have a few things to take care of back in the Green Room." And Jimmy Hardy gets up and leaves the stage.
Dave (shaking his head) -- "We'll be right back, folks, with Connie Chung and musical guest, David Bowie. I think."
Cut to Jimmy Hardy in the crowded Green Room, joining the party. He moves in between Connie Chung and the blond teenage boy and begins dancing with Brian.
Then cut to Paul Shaffer, all alone on the bandstand, playing Bowie's 'Rebel, Rebel' on his keyboards, as they go to a commercial.
"Funny bit. Very funny," says David Letterman, stopping by the Green Room after the show. He pats Jimmy on the back. Brian is over in the corner, talking to David Bowie. Letterman turns to me. "You were a good sport to go along with it...?"
"Right. Justin," he repeats. Letterman looks a lot more stern and serious up close. Not at all like a comedian. And he doesn't have that aura of being constantly 'on' the way Jimmy does.
"It's really cold in here," I tell him. The Green Room and, in fact, the whole theater are freezing.
"It's the only way my audience will stay awake," Letterman deadpans. Then he turns away from me and pulls Jimmy aside to speak with him privately. Jimmy told me just before the show started taping that he's been a guest on it over thirty times, so he and Dave are old buddies.
I see Brian motioning me over to where he's standing with David Bowie. Brian looks completely hot in the wifebeater and faded jeans -- and I can see the outline of his dick straining against the front of them because, of course, Brian isn't wearing any underwear. And he and Bowie are a little too close together for my comfort. Not that I'm worried at all. But Bowie is one of Brian's idols. Bowie and Lou Reed and Robert Smith of The Cure and Morrissey of The Smiths. All those weird and intense and sexually ambiguous guys who wear a lot of black leather and sing about space aliens and heroin and suicide. I hustle right over there.
Brian puts his arm around me. "This is my boyfriend, Justin," says Brian, without even hesitating. I can't help it -- I break out into a huge grin when he says that. And I feel myself blushing. "Justin is working his way through my CD collection. He's just now getting to the Seventies."
"Brian! I knew who David Bowie was before that!" My face feels hot as Bowie looks at me. He's really short and his eyes are odd -- different colors, with the pupil of one eye a different size than the other one. He really does look a little like an alien. But he also has a warm smile.
"Let me give you my new CD. Then you won't think I'm merely an old dinosaur." And Bowie autographs a copy of 'Heathen,' personalizing it to me. "'To Justin, a lovely boy -- Love, David Bowie.' There you go, Justin." And then he puts it into my hand.
"This is intense!" I say, clutching the CD. Brian is smiling.
"Do you live in Los Angeles?" asks Bowie.
"No, I live in Pittsburgh." Bowie raises his eyebrows when I say 'Pittsburgh.'
"Justin is an artist. He's going to the Pittsburgh Institute of Fine Art," explains Brian.
"Ah ha! An art school student. I was one myself, along with an entire generation of rockers," Bowie says. And he launches into a story about being a student in London and also studying to be a mime.
"A mime!" I exclaim.
"I know. It sounds rather lame, but I learned so much about body movement and fluidity. It was actually invaluable for the stage," he says. Bowie talks to us a while longer and then excuses himself. Brian watches him go, his eyes riveted.
"You'd do him in a heartbeat, wouldn't you, Brian?" I say, laughing.
And Brian laughs, too. "He's married now. To a woman."
"So is Jimmy," I point out.
"I don't DO Jimmy," he reminds me. "I don't DO other guys. Period. It's only YOU, Justin. Don't you believe me?"
"I believe you, Brian." I reach over and stroke his wrist under the cowrie shell bracelet. He wouldn't let me put on the Ace bandage. "But I think we have to talk about that." Brian shrugs.
I take out my cellphone and call Emmett. I get his machine and tell him to spread the word that Brian and I are BOTH going to be on 'Letterman' tonight and to be sure to TAPE IT! Then I call my mom and leave a message for her. And then I call Vic and tell him the same thing.
"Where are you phoning from, Justin?" says Vic, excitedly.
"From the Green Room at the theater! So don't forget, Vic!"
"I won't, honey. I'm taping all the shows!"
"Vic -- I just met David Bowie! He's on tonight, too!"
"Sounds like you're having fun in New York, Justin!"
"I am, Vic. I'll talk to you and Debbie when I get home on Monday."
Jimmy finally finishes talking to Letterman and comes over to where Brian and I are standing. Peggy, his personal assistant, is with him. She's the only one who isn't smiling. Everyone else thinks it was a great show, but Peggy never seems to be having a good time. "So, you ARE coming to dinner with us, aren't you guys?"
"We have plans, Jim," says Brian, firmly.
"Come on, Bri!" Jimmy wheedles. "Since you're going to dinner and the show tomorrow, I thought you'd go out with me tonight!"
"What show?" I ask, looking up at Brian.
"It was supposed to be a surprise, Jimmy!" says Brian. "I have tickets for us to see 'Cabaret' tomorrow night. It's at Studio 54."
I'm really surprised now. "Brian, you HATE Broadway musicals!"
"I know," Brian admits. "But you like them, Justin, so I thought I could probably endure sitting through 'Cabaret.' Just this once!"
I know we are in public, but what the heck? Brian introduced me to Bowie as his boyfriend and we just made out on national television. So I throw my arms around his neck and start kissing him. Brian doing something that I like to do and that he hates -- and the fact that it was HIS idea! -- that's huge for us. Really huge!
"Get a room, boys!" says Jimmy, laughing.
"We have one, Jim. And you walked right in anyway," Brian reminds him. "We have to go now. There's a king-sized bed with our names on it that we haven't finished with yet." And Brian drags me out the door by the front of my Diesel jeans.
"What about dinner tonight, Brian?" Jimmy yells.
"That's why they invented room service!" says Brian. And he smiles that wolf-like smile.
Continue on to "My Favorite Mistake -- Part 2", the next section.
©Gaedhal, March 2003.
Updated March 26, 2003.