Thursday, October 17, 2013

Deep In Vogue (Malcolm McLauren)

Today is the three year passing of my dear friend Chacho Vasquez. Drug addiction not just marred his life, but ripped him from this world. In a way it makes me angry when people say my friend's death was "preventable." Drug addiction is a disease. No one wakes up and decides to stick a needle in their arm. It's like that scene in Annie Hall when Woody Allen's classmate stands up and states, "When I grow up, I wanna be a heroin addict." It isn't a direct quote. It's what I remember.

On the other hand, I don't remember my friend being a sad sack. Hell no. If anything he was entertaining. Gay as hell, Chacho always had the latest designer fashions. But the thing was, he was a drug dealer and was old school. He had been to prison but barely touched on it stating, "It wasn't a happy time in my life. My cellie broke my heart." Then he would launch into the tale of how he would never fall in love with a red head again. Red heads, according to Chacho, were cursed. His cellie got out of jail and went back to his woman. Damn the pussy. Then after putting some clean time together, Chacho relapsed when he fell in love with a Korean man. Nevermind that he was off his psych meds. Chacho then swore all Koreans were evil. Maybe they are. I never dated one. Who knows? Probably not. Chacho had an anti-talent for making terrible decisions and never seeing his role in any of it.

Despite the outward appearance, my buddy did have that bad ass streak. Once, when Chacho was on the phone with his sponsor he was not having it. His sponsor wanted him to open up more in the meetings. Chacho replied, "Hell no, I don't want to incriminate myself." Or then he would talk about smashing someone's head in with a "lock and a sock." Afterwards he would take out his nail file because he didnt want his fingernails to look ragged.

Oh and nevermind Chacho was on benefits. He still found ways to cash that money and hit the Louis Vuitton counter. Sure some don't like the way he lived his life. He is an inspiration never to pay taxes. But the world screwed him, and the government screwed the gays in the 80s and 90s. Sure, it wasn't what they call right but I understand. Screw the damn government.

At the end we weren't speaking. His anti-talent and anti-logic got to be too much. Watching someone lose the battle to addiction is like watching someone dig their own grave in front of your eyes. Sometimes I felt I lost him well before I did. When he died I didn't get to tell him that while I loved him, I didn't love the decisions his disease made him make. I also knew in my heart it's not that he wouldn't change, he couldn't.

For a long time I blamed myself for our last conversation. It was tough because although I was no longer taking his calls, he phoned me the night he passed. For three long weeks I oscillated between bingeing on wrong men, not sleeping, and of course wanting to deck everyone I saw. Then it hit me that Chacho would have wanted me to make the best of my time on the planet. So I stopped with the idiot men and began living more than I ever had. Within a year I did more with myself than I felt I had in three. I got on TV a bunch, made music, webcasted world wide, and took the first effort to publish my book. I felt something shift in me. Like the world was mine.

For as much as Chacho's anti-logic gave me a headache, he also had some good points it turns out. Maybe he was homeless, on welfare, had HIV, and a drug problem he couldn't kick. But he always dressed like he was ready to buy a piece of real estate. So whenever I feel down now, I dress up. When Chacho had a bad day, he always spent his benefit checks at the nail salon or the Louis Vuitton counter. While I don't quite throw money to the wind like he did, whenever the nails do get chipped I head to the salon. Whenever I do something good I buy myself something nice. Yes, the way he lived his life made me want to strangle him but I was always too busy laughing. And then when he was done, he did have a few good points.

I know God took Chacho because it was his time. My buddy would have made a terrible old person. He loved his black market plastic surgery. I think had he lived to be old, Michael Jackson would have had more human skin. Chacho would have never done well with wrinkles. Not all the botox in the world could fix that. He is somewhere that the party never stops, designer labels come for free, the hot guys are a plenty, and he is forever young.

I know despite the fact we didn't part on good terms, if we saw each other now we would probably he cool. Actually, I know we would be. The truth is, sometimes I don't feel my friend has left me. In fact, sometimes I feel like I have this fierce and fabulous guardian angel from the Legendary House of Revlon who has my back. I know he is also saving me a seat in the after life. When we meet again, hopefully I will be old. Of course he will insist I meet the plastic surgeon in the after life and tease me about my Alfred Dunner nightie. And then he will tell me about how we have to avoid certain arch angels and demons cause he slept with both heaven and hell in the after party that never ends. Oh and then he will say, "This is my friend. She has been on TV. Told you she was coming."

And then he would tell me my nails look like crackhead nails and yell at me for putting a designer label on the floor. Off to the salon we would go as he reminded me that yes, black men were good in bed but Cubans- white Cubans-were still the best people in the world.

To come to think of it, these bad boys do look a little Cracky McCrack Crack.

Either way, today is the day you became an angel or whatever you are. Wherever you are, I know you are voguing with the best of them. And you are probably giving someone a major migraine too.


I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

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