I was beginning to wonder why Vasco hadn't responded to my last couple of emails. The last I'd heard from him, he was asking if I was planning on going to Alegria, the big circuit party that takes place every month or so in Manhattan. I told him that I'd BEEN to an Alegria, thank you very much, and that once was enough, but to let me know if he was doing anything else and maybe I'd join him.
Vasco and I were just starting to become close. I'd seen his handsome face around various NYC bars and parties, smiling and glad-handing his way around the room. He seemed to be quite popular, but I didn't really get to know him until he began quoting from my Manhunt profile on his blog, saying that what I was doing on Manhunt was "literary performance art", because instead of posting the usual crass physical details and interests that are seen on sex hook-up sites, I would attempt to humorously deconstruct the various personalities and strategies concocted by gay men while cruising for internet sex.
Encouraged by Vasco and others, I began writing a weekly "column" in my Manhunt profile. Where other members talked of their interest in finding a "straight-acting" guy, I talked about self-loathing. Where others posted pictures of their assholes, but not their faces, I talked about self-respect. I mixed up these sermons with a lot of silly limericks about sex gone wrong and other nonsense that jabbed at the phenomenon of online sex. Some of the other members thought I was hilarious, but lots of them thought I was a judgmental jerk.
Vasco and I went clubbing on a few occasions, to hear Frankie Knuckles and Susan Morabito at Cielo, or Paul Ferrer at The Eagle. He knew everybody, and after awhile, it was feeling like I did too. A mutual friend of ours told me that Vasco was a "like a pixie", and when you were in a club with him, it felt like a nonstop ride of dropping in on one group of friends after another, but never actually planting yourself anywhere, and I found that description to be quite apt.
We had one quite spectacular Sunday last March, going directly from the Saint-At-Large Black Party, to the Body & Soul Reunion party. After we left Body & Soul, we bought some falafels and sprawled exhausted on one of the Chelsea piers, where we talked for hours about our families and our childhoods. It was amazing that we had so many similar experiences, considering I was brought up in rural North Carolina, and he was brought up in suburban Brazil.
The next week, I finally succumbed to Vasco's urging that I take my writing bug off of Manhunt, and start blogging. I met Vasco at his favorite coffeeshop in the Village where he spent four (seemingly endless) hours setting up this blog, agonizing over the minutiae of fonts, borders and backgrounds, as my eyes crossed at the impossible complexity of the coding.
After I launched this blog at the end of April, I began referring to Vasco as my "BlogDaddy", a term I'd seen tossed around by others when referring to the person who inspired them to blog or the person who had set their blog up. In my case, Vasco was both. I spent the summer experimenting with my short stories here, but often sending the posts to Vasco first, to get his insight.
So I was concerned, but only a little, when Labor Day weekend passed without an email or phone call from him. I asked around, but none of our mutual friends had seen or heard from him either.
-To Be Continued-