This is Page 2 of Part 1 of Chapter 103 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "Outlaw Blues -- Part 1", the first page.
Oprah -- "Our next guest is the co-star of 'The Olympian.' He's playing his first major film role in taking on the part of Bobby, the gay athlete who has a tragic love affair with his coach on his way to trying to win a medal at the Olympic Games. Here is a clip from 'The Olympian.'
Run film clip of Jimmy Hardy and Brian Kinney from the Training Scene --
Bobby is pushed off the track by another runner and Guy breaks up the confrontation. The other athletes spit at Bobby as he leaves the track.
Guy (grabbing Bobby and shaking him) -- "What are you trying to do, Bobby? Get us thrown off this field, too? Where do you expect to train? On the sidewalk? In the street?"
Bobby (angry and frustrated) -- "I'd rather take my chances in the street than take abuse from these (bleep)! I've put up with that stuff all my life -- and I'm not going to take it NOW! These guys aren't fit to carry my jockstrap and they think they can knock me off the track? They can't beat me in a race, so they have to do it some other way! Well, I don't have to take it anymore!"
Guy (standing very close to Bobby, intimately) -- "But you WILL take it -- if you want to run. If they LET you run. You HAVE to take it, Bobby. And you have to win. Because that's the only thing that will stop them. If you win. And you have to win, Bobby. You don't have any other option. WE don't have any other option."
End film clip.
Oprah -- "Oh, my! Well, then -- let's welcome the co-star of 'The Olympian' -- Brian Kinney!"
Enter Brian Kinney to applause and loud cat-calls from the largely female audience.
Oprah -- "Ladies! Please! Let the boy have a seat. Right over here, Brian, next to Jimmy. You know each other, I assume?"
Brian -- "We have been introduced. Once or twice. When we had to do some, er, scenes together."
Oprah -- "Yes, this movie does feature some rather... graphic love scenes. But they are done... tastefully."
Jimmy -- "They ARE? Tastefully? That's the first I've heard that one!"
Brian -- "Yes, everyone wants to know who Jimmy hired for his body double."
Jimmy -- "It's all ME! I'll admit it."
Oprah -- "Now, Jimmy, I don't remember you being buck naked in any other movies before. Is this a new twist for you?"
Jimmy -- "Oh, there are LOTS of new twists for me in this film, Oprah! In fact, I'm naked with Brian in this movie more than I've EVER been with my wife, Tess!" Audience laughs. "It's true! I'm usually very shy! But who wouldn't want to get naked with this fellow? Am I right, ladies?"
Loud cheers from the audience.
Oprah -- "Please, don't encourage them. I'll have to send the ushers up there to hose the audience down!"
More hooting from a number of extremely vocal women in the audience.
Brian -- "I'll go up there and calm them down -- if you think it will help?"
Screams from one segment of the audience, laughs from another.
Oprah -- "Please don't. You might not come back!"
Brian -- "Oh, I'm not afraid. I'll take my chances up there."
Jimmy -- "He means it, too, ladies!"
Oprah -- "We'll be right back after this break."
Oprah -- "Welcome back. We have Jimmy Hardy and Brian Kinney, the stars of Terra Nova's new and controversial film, 'The Olympian.' Now, Brian -- I'm told this is your first appearance on a talk show."
Brian -- "This is my first appearance anywhere. So don't ask me anything too hard. I might get nervous and fall off the stage."
Oprah -- "You're doing just fine. But how can you possibly be nervous HERE, when you made this very explicit film? And we want to be clear to our audience that this is a film for ADULTS and NOT for children."
Brian -- "But the message is important for everyone, and I hope THAT is what people will come away from the film remembering. Because it's about the price of hatred and homophobia. But it isn't just politics -- it's a love story, too."
Oprah -- "Do you really think people are ready to see what this film depicts, Brian? And I don't mean the sex -- I mean the insight into our own fears and prejudices?"
Brian -- "I don't know if people are ready -- but the film is here right now. The audience will have to see it and make up their own minds about it."
Oprah -- "There's heavy Oscar buzz on this film, Jimmy. What do you say? You've already won an Academy Award for Best Actor once -- would you like to take home another?"
Jimmy -- "That's not for me to decide, Oprah. But if word-of-mouth or buzz or hype will get people in the theater to see the picture, all the better. Besides getting to see my well-toned form!" Audience laughs. "Why are you laughing? I worked out for weeks to look great in my scenes!"
Oprah -- "Brian, you are rolling your eyes a little a that."
Brian -- "Don't believe him! He's never worked out a day in his life! Jimmy's idea of a workout is lifting a donut to his mouth."
Jimmy -- "I don't like this guy anymore! Not only does he ACT me off the screen in this film -- he's in better shape than I am, too! Is that FAIR?"
Woman in the audience screams out "No! But who cares?" Everyone laughs.
Oprah -- "'The Olympian' premieres in Hollywood on November 20th and opens wide in theaters on the 22nd. It's a film that will certainly open everyone's eyes -- for MANY reasons! And I'm going with all my girlfriends so I can enjoy the scenery in peace without the men getting all 'weird' about some of the scenes. That's what Brian here suggested during our break. That all you ladies go together to see this film. Why do you say that, Brian?"
Brian -- "Because I know women...." Lots of murmurs from the audience. "And I think that women may be more open to the themes of this film than men. I don't want to stereotype viewers, but this is a film that women will understand innately. Much more so than men, even if it seems to be about 'sports.' It is NOT about sports. It's about love. It's about hope. And I think women will respond to it on that level."
Oprah -- "That's an interesting observation to make."
Brian -- "But a true one, I believe."
Jimmy -- "He's right. Women go nuts for this picture. In all the sneak previews the studio has had, it's the female audience that reacts the strongest."
Brian -- "They have better taste, after all." More screams. "Maybe I SHOULD go up there!" Even more screams.
Jimmy -- "You can't. I promised that I would bring him home in one piece! So you'll have to WAIT for the picture, okay ladies?" Lots of cheers and applause.
Oprah -- "And on THAT note, I'd like to thank Jimmy Hardy and Brian Kinney for coming on the show to discuss their very controversial new film, 'The Olympian.' And I hope it's a big success for you, boys. Thank you all for watching today!"
Credits and out.
Saturday night is the big Press Party that closes out the junket in Chicago. From here Jimmy and I are supposed to spend three days up at some resort in Wisconsin schmoozing a bunch of theater owners and money people connected to the studio. This is the part Jimmy is looking forward to. He looks at this hideous waste of time and energy and sees 'free vacation' -- free food, booze, tennis, golf, a fancy suite, and lots of play time so these guys can go home and brag about how they partied with Jimmy Hardy.
Then it's back to Los Angeles to do some more taped interviews that television stations all over the country will use to 'cut in' -- they sit their 'entertainment reporter' against a dark background and that person reads the questions that Jimmy and I have already answered. Then they cut that person into the tape the studio gives them and it looks like they are in the room with you, doing a real interview. It's all such bullshit! But it's for television stations too poor -- or too cheap -- to send their reporters on the actual press junket to really be there to ask their tedious questions and have us answer in person. Like I say -- it's ALL bullshit.
Today was nothing but one session after another of those 'real' one-to-ones. I mean, can't ANYONE even THINK of an original question? I feel like one of those fucking Furbies I bought Gus -- you are regurgitating Furbie-Speak over and over again. It's a language with no basis in reality. More than half of the writers let you know with their eyes or their body language that they KNOW what they are asking is total crap. They know the score. But they ask anyway.
"So, Brian -- I MAY call you Brian, can't I? We're such GOOD friends now! -- what WAS it like having to do love scenes with a MAN? Did it make you feel STRANGE? What did you tell your GIRLFRIEND? Aren't you AFRAID of being typecast? What about all the NUDE scenes? How uncomfortable IS that? And Jimmy Hardy? How did HE react? Hey, how about those Bears?"
Bullshit. Always bullshit.
I shudder to think about what will happen on some of the television shows they have us lined up for. 'Oprah' was bad enough -- that 'caring' atmosphere and 'understanding' manner she has! I was afraid she was going to drag that Dr. Phil out to psychoanalyze me. Thank God I was only on camera for about ten minutes! But what about 'The View'? 'Regis and Kelly'? 'The Today Show'? Nothing like talking about a little gay romance and fatal fag-bashing at 7 a.m.!
I've been completely sober on this whole Chicago trip, but tonight I'm cracking. I start with a beer, but I can't stick with it. I hit the shots of Absolut about halfway through this tea party. And why not? The reporters are getting drunk. They don't give a shit! They've got their interviews in the can or their articles filed and now they can let their hair down. Leslie tells me that these junkets are like Shriners' Conventions by the last night -- everyone is looking to get drunk and laid. Desperate to get drunk and laid before they have to go home to Peoria or Kenosha or Des Moines.
Just walking through the Hospitality Suite is like making my way through a minefield. Every drunk and horny woman in the place is waiting to fucking spring at me each time I attempt to get to the bar. Jimmy is sitting in the corner, laughing his ass off, as he watches me try to put them off without losing my cool. And it's harder and harder as the booze keeps flowing. Some of these woman are elegant and others are demure as fucking nuns -- but some of the things they are saying would shock me even in the backroom at Babylon! I guess I've always thought women had a lot more 'couth' than men, who are basically fuck pigs, no matter what their orientation is. But some of these females! I have to file some of these lines away for future reference.
By the time the Press Party is ready to wrap, around midnight, I'm buzzing. I've also had enough of the bullshit. One of the bartenders -- a guy I wouldn't have even considered ordinarily -- is starting to look good to me. I watch him, waiting to make a move, as they set up one last round. This would usually be one of the parts of the hunt I most enjoy -- the anticipation. Watching his hands and wondering what he'll do with them. Looking at his mouth and imagining how good it will feel on my dick. What his hair will feel like with my fingers in it. Mentally peeling off his clothes to see what's underneath.
Except -- the more I think about it, the more he turns me off. His hands look coarse and clumsy. His mouth looks ordinary. His ass looks flabby under those black uniform pants. Even his hair looks greasy and dull. I feel my stomach lurch. It's more than all that. The thought of fucking this stranger sickens me -- and I haven't even done it! I've only thought about it. But I know then that I won't. I can't.
I finish that last shot of Absolut and can't stop thinking of what I really want. An ass that isn't flabby, but smooth and pale and tight. Hair that is clean and smells like strawberries. Hands that never have to be told where to go and what to do, because anything they do is perfect, every time. And a mouth so delicious that I would rather devour that than the hundred dollar meal the studio 'treated' us to this evening. That same studio that won't let me go there. That won't let me have that ass, that hair, those hands, or that mouth. Which I haven't had, seen, touched, or smelled in six weeks. Exactly six weeks tomorrow.
And I have to get the fuck out of here before I really lose my mind.
I go over and grab Jimmy off the couch. It's time to go bye-bye. He doesn't care. He's been ready to leave for a while. Jimmy has gotten drunk and repeated his favorite stories to everyone who'll listen, so he's finished with these people. And I can tell that he wants me to fuck him good when we get back to the suite. He's hanging on me and doesn't give a damn who sees him. He's smiling and giggling and saying all kinds of shit that you don't want to hear a grown man say -- at least I don't want to hear THIS man say it. In reality, Jimmy is probably already dreaming of all the freebies he'll get up at that resort in the Wisconsin Dells when we go up there tomorrow.
Except, I'm not going.
When we get back to the suite, a couple of floors down, I drop Jimmy on the bed and then get on the phone and start making some calls.
"Brian," says Peggy. She's suddenly there. She's ALWAYS there. Except she almost never addresses me. And never by my first name. Until now. "Brian!" she repeats.
"You can't leave. You can't."
"Watch me. I'm NOT spending the next three days watching Jimmy play golf with a pack of rich bastards the studio wants to impress. I've done my part here."
"Brian -- you can't do it!"
"What can't I do, Peggy?"
"What YOU want. You can't go to Pittsburgh." She almost takes the receiver out of my hand, but then she thinks better of it. I am NOT Jimmy after all. She's a little afraid of me. Good! "What am I going to tell everyone? Tell the studio?" She's glaring at me now. I'm making her carefully crafted life difficult. I've made Jimmy difficult, too. So, she hates me. At least now I know where I stand with her.
"Tell them I have an emergency. I have to go to Pittsburgh on family business. Important FAMILY business. Tell them that." And it's true. Justin IS my family. And what I'm feeling is a definite emergency! Tomorrow is Sunday and I can't get a flight until the late afternoon, but that will have to do.
"And when are you planning to be back in L.A.? What will YOU tell them, Brian? Because YOU aren't MY responsibility, you know!"
"I know,' I reply. "I'm no one's responsibility -- not even my own. But you can tell them I'll be back on Wednesday. I have some kind of photo thing scheduled for Thursday morning. I promise I won't miss it."
"And why should I believe YOU, Brian?" Peggy spits at me. "Why should the studio believe you? Why should anyone trust YOU?" She glances at door to Jimmy's bedroom. He isn't quite passed out, but he's not totally cognizant, either. But that doesn't mean that he isn't whining at me to come in there.
"They shouldn't, Peg. Because I'm an asshole. A bastard. A sneaky little faggot." I hang up my jacket and take off my tie, tossing it on the desk. "But if the Studio Suits aren't careful -- if they piss me off in any way -- I'll take Jimmy with me on my Great Escape. How would they like THAT? Because all I would have to do is SAY the word and he's gone. So be glad that I'm leaving him here to go on the studio's little whore junket up in Wisconsin. Because Jimmy is the one they really want up there. I would be nothing but trouble. I promise you."
Peggy doesn't answer me. She knows it's true. Jimmy would go off with me in a heartbeat. Just like on the boat. He really wanted me to cruise down to Mexico and have the two of us hide out there. He thought it would be 'a trip'! "Like Butch and Sundance!" he was shouting. And Peggy knows that. She knows I can play Jimmy and spin Jimmy and fuck Jimmy up in very major ways. That's really why she hates me and doesn't want to deal with me. She also knows the money men and the theater owners don't care who the fuck I am. I would be a positive liability up at their pristine resort. My name means less than nothing to them. They just want to play golf and pal around with Jimmy Hardy. That's all they want. I know it. And she knows it.
And so Peggy walks out of the room. She doesn't stop me from making my reservations. She doesn't call in the studio goons to give me the third degree. I go over and shut Jimmy's door and let him sleep it off.
Which means that tomorrow I'll take a Liberty Air cropduster out of Chicago and into Pittsburgh. And I should get there just in time for the closing night of Justin's art show. Because I may be an idiot and I may be an asshole -- but sometimes I DO know where I should be. Where I have to be.
Sometimes even I have to do the right thing. For my own peace of mind. For my own sanity. And for someone else, too. That ONE thing -- THAT I still remember. And I fucking pray that I won't ever forget it.
Continue on to "Outlaw Blues -- Part 2", the next section.
©Gaedhal, December 2002
Send Gaedhal any comments, critiques, suggestions. I welcome all of your feedback on this chapter.
Updated December 8, 2002