Monday, September 03, 2012


Brett Capone’s name popped into my head today and I lit up with smiles remembering our times together. How many years has it been? Wonder where he is. Still in Rhode Island? What an accent that man has. An inflection as tough as the waterfronts of New Bedford, Providence and Fall River combined, infused with just enough of his grandparents’ Italian to hold his own in an argument at table. 

Brett was hot. Hazel eyes alternating between mischief and kindness over a thick biker stash. A short lean build that never acquired the paunch that is everyone else’s destiny. I wondered if he’s still got the butch little body that drove the boys wild at that dive on Weybosset Street. I realized as I opened the Mac that I never had any idea of Brett’s age. Probably in his late 40s by now. Didn’t he stay with us more than once at our place in Montreal? Of course he did. How could I forget? As I tell Chris that I am about to google him, he reminds me of the time when Brett was our guest in Montreal and spent an entire morning sipping coffee while meticulously and ritualistically ironing his thickly ribbed wooly socks that comprised the keynote of the costume of that season. Black baseball cap. Dogtags over white wifebeater. Tight denim shorts rolled up to mid thigh, and hellishly heavy black work boots over those tall gray socks. We had never heard of anyone ironing his socks! Brett looked beyond us and blissfully ignored us while we laughed our heads off at the spectacle of the princess revealed at the ironing board obsessively preparing her gown for yet another crazed night out at K.O.X., the Aigle Noir or Le Stud and ending up in just a short white towel at the St. Marc’s with a bottle of Rush in his hand and sitting next to me in the sauna, where we whispered into each other’s ears the hilarious accounts of the fantastic men we had just encountered. I counted on Brett for those moments. We both shared a delight in the telling of the story that far surpassed the actual adventures in which we trespassed, often just to acquire new material and newer more lurid details. We were like little boys embellishing ghost stories by flashlight in the backyard tents of our childhood. Sometimes, in the discharge of our supporting roles in the course of a night’s revelry, we would tag team unsuspecting men. We’d pull a script out of thin air. Brett would do this. I would say that.  We’d pretend to be strangers. We’d work in someone named Sylvain or Serge or Stephan, and we’d always leave them laughing. That is, we’d leave laughing. Hyper-attuned to the sweaty slapstick of men in heat, Brett and I would sometimes break into giggles at inopportune moments. I suspect we derailed many an otherwise erotic passage of choreography just because neither of us could ignore the humor of what men do and say when inflamed with desire.

As you may have suspected by now, a quick search of his name informed me that Brett died several years ago. A memorial post was embellished with great photos and mentioned a partner, a search of whose name led me to the fact that he died not long after Brett.

I wish I did not know this. I wish I had not searched for him. What is the point of knowing someone’s current status when you haven’t felt strongly enough about him to keep in touch? Is there some injury to thinking a man is still alive when he is not? Wouldn’t it be better to assume he was still in Rhode Island? Still bitching about some employer who wouldn’t approve enough time off? Still bubbling over about some amazing guy he encountered just yesterday? Still carefully ironing his socks for the thrilling night to come?


Unknown said...

Tony, We have all lost a lot of people, but we sometimes find them again too. Just recently a fellow who had been a very good friend during my freshman year in college began talking to me on FB after dropping me cold when I came out to him as a matter of 1972 honesty before I help start a campus Gay Org. It took 40 years of wasted time for him to become secure enough to contact me. I have long ago become hardened to people treating me like a disposable tissue, but when someone contacts you....and you are there to be is a wonderful feeling. Sorry for the loss of Brett and hope he died with his ironed socks on. ;)

Harpers Keeper said...

Well written!

In a similar vein, I'm not sure what prompted the thought but I tried to look up a former relationship; my first 'real' boyfriend. I do not have as many fond memories of him as you do about Brett but it was an important relationship for me and any hard feelings about the ending of it have long since disappeared. I learned he had died a couple years earlier. I was suprised by the sense of loss I felt learning of the death of someone I had not been in contact with in so many years. Perhaps it is just to lost opportunity; the possibility to reconnect no longer exists...even though it is something I had never sought out.

Mike said...

Touching, Tony. Thanks for sharing, as always.