Part 3 of 3
Part 1: Outgrowing the Closet
Part 2: The Closet Didn’t Get Smaller
Part 3: How Jenny McCarthy Saved My Life
I hated that room. That room was where the Homies lived, constantly reminding me of my insecurities. Insecurities I had been living with for years and hoping I could somehow finally shed or grow out of. But all of that seemed a little too altruistic by the end of week three away from home.
Whenever they wanted, Mace, Krackle, and the Homies watched TV and they always had it turned to some sporting event or BET. I dreaded being there. They talked about Britney Spears and other “hot chicks” they’d like to fuck while I was sitting at my desk with my headphones on listening to Dido, Sarah McLaughlin, the Beatles, REM, and Duran Duran—trying to tune them out and simultaneously keep the throw-up down each time one of them had some idiotic epiphany the rest of the stoner lemmings could marvel at as if it were the most prophetic thing they’d ever heard. One time I rolled my eyes so far back I was blind for like two minutes.
As hard as I tried to just grin and bear it, one day during the second quarter I snapped. The Homies rarely had political or philosophical conversations, and when they did, it was often about which poli-sci class they were going to drop to avoid a tough workload, or what frat house they thought threw the best beer busted parties. [Side note: The Homies were always pissed that I could get into frat parties while they couldn’t, because I was the only guy in a group of girls and they were a bunch of dicks trying to get into what was already a sausage fest.] But that day their conversation was personal and sparked my interest.
At the time California was voting on a proposition to eventually allow gay marriages. Mace and the rest of his fake thug friends started to stroke each other’s egos by mutually agreeing that “gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry!”
Mace had a well-structured argument. “First, gays shouldn’t be allowed the right to marry because it says in the bible homosexuality is wrong and that means gay men are acting wrong, and second, gays shouldn’t be allowed the right to marry because if they were, it would be easier for them to adopt children, and you know they would rape that boy’s ass every day of his life! And lastly, fags are just wrong and it’s disgusting!” Maybe well structured but still a horrible argument. All he got was a bunch of cheers and hurrahs from his friends and all I could think was, why the fuck didn’t I have my headphone volume up to the max?
This is what I was living with. I had been sleeping underneath two guys possessing the closed mindedness of all the evil villains I had seen in movies, and never really knew ACTUALLY existed. It was like living with Lex Luther and Colin Powell. I took my headphones off and I turned to Mace. Playing the devil’s advocate I asked “Aren’t the Church and State supposed to be separate entities, and have no influence on each other? Also where does it say in the bible ‘homos are just wrong?’” This was in reference to Mace’s first point. Mace didn’t believe the founding fathers of our country knew what they were talking about when they drew up the Constitution and the idea of Church and State being independently operating organizations. Then I asked him how many gay men he knew to suggest pedophilic tendencies manifested in raping their own adopted children every day of their lives? “I don’t need to know them personally and besides I know people that know them,” was his version of a sufficient answer. Which sounds a lot like a racist person’s response to “how many black criminals do you know personally?”
My body was shaking. I had to leave the room. The gray concrete walls like their egos were closing in and I actually feared a mob scene would arise. I felt claustrophobic having never felt it before. I was starting to feel like an adult. I felt wiser and older because I had just witnessed a new breed of American…hell a new breed of human! I had heard of this “new race” and I knew its populations generally inhabited areas in the south and mid-west, but I was living in Westwood, and they were leaving greasy leftovers on my pillow at night. My friends and I commonly referred to them as fucking idiots and I’d never been so close to so many before.
The opaque bubble that shielded my innocent mind homegrown in the suburbs of San Diego with educated people who read books and traveled to London, Paris, and Beijing, was gradually fading to translucent. I was starting to see through to the outside. Hell I think that was the day my cherry flavored bubble popped and I was no longer an intellectual virgin. Thank god the first year of school was nearly half over.
Walking to class the next day, I noticed a merchant bazaar going on in front of the student union. All these rickety little booths were set up selling knick knacks like jewelry, snow globes, calendars, lotions, kettle corn, shoes, pillow cases, imported Indian silks, shams, artwork and wall coverings. The kind of shit college kids think they need and only buy because they want to exercise the right to buy stuff without having to explain the expense to their parents. I spent exactly three minutes looking for the perfect poster for the wall next to my bed. I had an idea of what I was hunting for and just hoped it would jump out at me when I saw it. And then I saw her.
The blond bombshell I used to have a life size cardboard cut out of from her Surf’n Safari CD in my room growing up. I won the bikkini’d blond in a music store raffle. Exploding some much needed heterosexuality in my life she helped me get through the most turbulent years of high school so I figured she could help me get through college too. I bought the poster with her wearing nothing but a seductive look on her face as she sported a solid white itty bitty teeny weenie bikini with her platinum blond hair blown big for the boys to drool over. I skipped class rushing back to my dorm room to pin up and solidify my heterostasis for the Homies to see. I figured if they were dumb enough to think girls liked it when they got punched in the gut during sex, than I could dupe them with my obvious display of manhood. The poster helped me buy some time until I could figure out a more permanent solution to my penis prophecy problem.
“Thank you” Jenny McCarthy, wherever you are.
Every time I think about that first year of college and my shitty roommates I need a drink, and this Mezcal Habanero Gimlet is the perfect way to forget!
Mezcal Habanero Gimlet
Mezcal cocktails are relatively new to the night scene, primarily because mezcal is meant to be served neat at room temperature and sipped so you an enjoy the subtle smoky nuances and occasional subtle fruit notes in the background. We’ve been drinking mezcal for awhile now (it’s Jonathan’s favorite) and we especially like the Fidencio Mezcal Pechuga. What’s unique about the Pechuga mezcal from Fidencio distillers is that during the third distillation stage the makes add a traditional mixture of fruit: quince, apples, bananas, pineapple and guava to the pot stills and they hang an entire skinned—washed and trimmed of fat—chicken breast from the cap of the still. I know this sounds really strange, but they say the breast softens the intensity and rounds out the flavor of the mezcal. It totally does!
- 2 oz Mezcal (can use a smoky tequila if you have it)
- 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ oz habanero simple syrup
- Splash of club soda (optional)
For the habanero syrup
- 1 part habanero sugar
- 1 part regular granulated sugar
- 2 parts water
This recipe uses habanero cane sugar which is sugar that’s been infused with the heat of habanero chiles. It’s delicious! but not for the faint of heart. We get ours from Spice Ace, an amazing spice shop in San Francisco’s Lower Pacific Heights just a few blocks from us. I’m sure you can order it from them, if you can’t find it yourself. Or you can make a similar mixture at home by mixing sugar with cayenne pepper from your spice cabinet. Just use the cayenne sparingly as a little goes a long way.
For the syrup. Add all the ingredients to a small sauce pot over medium high heat until the sugars disolve and the mixture has reduced by half.
For the cocktail. Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and pour over fresh ice cubes. If you like spice, rim the glass with the habanero sugar and if you don’t just use regular sugar or none at all.