I've wined and dined on Mulligan Stew, and never wished for Turkey
As I hitched and hiked and grifted too, from Maine to Albequerque
Alas I missed the Beaux Arts Ball, and what is twice as sad
I was never at a party where they honored Noel Ca-ad
But social circles spin to fast for me
My hobohemia is the place to be.............................................................................
Right on cue Becky Bucklewheat made her grand entrance from behind the rolling rack Leah and I struggled to control on stage. But it was okay because nobody was going to notice us anyway. Granted, we were dressed in what could only be described as a little black negligee. The fact of the matter was, Becky was the star of the show. The main feature. And in fishnet tights, her legs kicked our pajamas' ass. Thankfully, today was just the pre-dress rehearsal. Obviously Becky didn't get the memo because her diva self was spackled with cake batter and iced with hooker red lipstick. She showed up decked out in fishnet tights, black ice pick heels, with a white button down men's shirt being the only thing that covered her modesty. Oh, and her hair alone warrants an entry of its own. How she teased it up, over, and around the chicken wire armature before shellacking it in place was a complete mystery to me. I still think it was secretly housing a wasp's nest.
I get too hungry, for dinner at eight
Becky clipped across the wooden stage.....
I like the theater, but never come late
Her narrow hips wiggled with each clippity-clop...
I never bother, with people I hate
That's why the lady is a tramp
Leah and I jumped in line behind Becky to do the chugga chugga choo choo with a cane. Becky's left foot stamped the stage in front of her. I was pressed up against her six foot four inch frame when she stamped her left foot back...right...on...my...toe....
OOOOWWWW! I howled. "This is a rehearsal! Why the hell are you wearing heels anyway?" I cursed. But Becky ignored me over the music and kept dancing. Leah looked at me, puzzled, then followed along with Becky. I sat on the edge of the stage, mouth agape, as I cradled my bloody foot. Holy shit! Where was my toenail? As the music stopped, Becky finally showed concern. She clippity-clopped over to me and sat down next to me on the stage. "Honey, your foot wasn't supposed to be there."
"It was too!" I protested. She shook her head as she looked at my wounded toe.
"Look at that!" I whimpered. It looked as though a square of my toenail had been carved out at the cuticle, leaving a perfect puncture in the middle of my nail bed. Becky turned over her left foot to look at the bottom of her shoe. "Would you look at that?" she said as she plucked my nail off her heel.
To this day Corey and I get such a chuckle at this pivotal moment in our friendship. Ours is a friendship that was born in Butler Hall West during my very first painting class. We sang to Judy Garland together in that studio, drank wine between class at McEwan's during our lunch break, gorged ourselves on Indian Palace buffet when we couldn't afford wine, and laughed and cried on each others shoulder after critiques. We were determined to live our lives as artists, dammit, and we were going to push each other to the limit every step of the way.
Fast forward to several years later. Corey is too far away from me. My girls adore him and miss the man they have knick-named Uncle Hagrid because of his big hairy beard. There are no more drag shows for amateur talent contests (I totally think we should have won), no more games of Exquisite Corpse over bottles of wine, no more late nights sniffing turpentine on the third floor, and no more shitake mushroom breakfast casseroles. When Corey left after Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago, both girls said, "We miss him already mom. He's like our family." I do too, girls. He just has that effect on people.
So it was no surprise to me that when he bolted off to India on a whim, he was yapping it up left and right with every friend he met on the street. And with his astute attention to detail, following his journey was almost as good as being there myself. I posted a few months back about his trip. About the argument I had with my husband on why Corey was in India to begin with. Banging my head against the wall to make Chris understand that this IS work for an artist, and we are meant to live adventures in order to create. And although we have gained a little weight over the past several years, grown a few grey hairs, and don't dance and sing nearly as much as we should, we still live life like we are on stage. Outloud, for the world to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. But that is life as an artist. And I can't think of a better illustration of what life is like through an artist's eye, than the picture Corey paints.
So, my friends, I am very proud to announce the online publication of Corey's book:
A gritty and moving story by one of the most fascinating, brilliant, hysterical, loving, and creative people I could ever have the priviledge of calling my friend. I thoroughly look forward to taking this journey through India with Corey. And as far as Becky Bucklewheat is concerned, she can come too as long as she leaves her "bossy" self and ice pick heels behind.