I look back at 2015 and think of it the way one thinks of a particularly bad bout of food poisoning - there's a point when the vomiting stops and although you feel like a truck ran over you and you're sweaty, crying, and miserable, even if you 'just' have the dry heaves, at least you know it's finally finally finally over.
That was kind of my year last year.
2015 was the year I was in year 3 of the insane day job. We'd gone through a merger in 2014 and leadership hadn't really thought it out all that well so there were lots of layoffs due to an enormous company budget shortfall. Morale was bad and The Hammer was being incredibly hard on me all the time despite the fact that I was doing my job well. I was miserable. And worse, at one point I thought I was having a heart attack. And, even when that proved to be 'just' a really bad anxiety attack, I had back pains, nausea, and was just generally not well for most of the year. Thankfully, in the weeks after I left the job, all that went away. Not too surprising, right?
2015 was also the year that I really, truly said goodbye to Bingo - as the year started, I started to get the vibe that I was not long for this company especially after a colleague of mine was let go with zero notice after a particularly nasty corporate chess game left her as the fall guy for her managers drunken behavior in hotels around the country as well as some other not so nice things. So, I thought that despite the claim that we had closed down Bingo in February 2014, I would see if there was still an audience for it or if I was just sort of trying to go back to my high school locker looking for my lost youth. (I mean, my 'lost youth' was me at 51 looking at 50 lol but the analogy is apt I think). The three nights we did were quite fun and there was still interest, so I immediately booked five nights for the summer. Then I got greedy and booked ten nights.
Things didn't really go very well - lots of stars cancelled at the last minute, prizes got lost in delivery, and even one of my all time favorite beneficiaries flaked out on the final night. And, the worst part was that although the spring had been relatively quiet at work, things suddenly started heating up right when Bingo was beginning and the call to the universe of "oh fuck!" could be heard coming from my mouth.
Look, it wasn't all a disaster - we had some amazing nights and of course some great guests - and, along the way, we added several folks to the Bingo family - Bailey and Kelly, friends of Kylie Edmonds, and Mr. Fire Island Bear Chris Pagano. Wit, style, and great senses of humor had AB and I chanting, 'one of us!'. :) I referred to it as the "Victory Lap" and savored the last night with my best friends and most (but definitely not all) of the Bingo family. In fact, you know if the picture above was the sum total of what I'd "gotten" out of Bingo over the 10 years, I'd be OK with that. I'd be even more OK if Erica, Witti, Yolanda, Matt Knife, Chris and Paul, and a few others were in the photo too. :) But yeah, it became a little family and the summer shows were my/our opportunity to enjoy that family a few more times. Looking back, I'm glad that I did that. :)
Speaking of Mr. Fire Island Bear, I was thrilled to be the emcee for the first annual contest - and it went swimmingly. Plus, I made out with a hot guy on the dance floor - who then said that we couldn't go back to his place because his husband was sleeping. I made that face. You know the one. The one that says "Queen, I can't believe you didn't mention that you are married" I don't really 'do' married guys because I'm looking for something beyond furtive groping in the dark. So, as the party ended, he went to the bathroom and I snuck away into the night. It couldn't have ended any differently.
And you know what? Bingo could not have ended any differently either. I gave it another shot and realized that the event was 'done' and so was I. Certainly there was a moment during the winter when I was starting the job search when I thought of reviving it (again!) but it was really only a moment. As Sawyer on LOST says, "What's Done is DONE". You know, like Letterman. Even he figured out when it was time to go. (And as a lifelong Letterman fan, oh boy was that an emotional goodbye!)
And you know, the job couldn't have ended any differently either. I was lucky to have been there as long as I was what with all the changes and corporate espionage going on. For the record, all that corporate politics crap bores the shit out of me. Let me do my job and get out of the way. But, I will probably have to go back to doing it because that's what we do to survive, right? If only there was another way.
Well, there is/was. I avoided the corporate crap by going into gay porn. LOL And we see how THAT turned out!.....
But more on that in another chapter of LAST TRAIN FROM CLARKSVILLE.
July 20, 2016