We all have stories that will haunt us for life. This is a story that has been floating around since the early 90′s and many of the Memphis people who remember the short lived club Zot might remember this night. It’s about one of my best friends, my brother in arms for over 20 years. I’m not going to give last names because I don’t want him to get too mad, so don’t you mention last names either. Enjoy
I’ve known the brothers Greg and Chris since we were about 17. I first ran into them at the Antenna Club. It was kind of hard not to notice them; they were two of the only six black kids at a punk rock show. I really first met Greg when I was invited to a Camp Anytown meeting. Camp Anytown is a program sponsored by the national conference of Christians and Jews and I met lots of great people I still talk to from there. Greg was a fashionista then and always will be. That night at Anytown, Greg had a flip over the front face weave in. No, not a full on weave, but a weave that covered half his face with a white stripe down the center of the hair. It looked like a crossed dressing skunk had possessed Terence Trent D’Arby and given him hair advice. I told him that and he laughed, and quickly became one of my best friends. Much later, on a trip to Dallas, he packed an entire bag with just shoes. That’s Greg.
In 1991, I’d been out of high school for two years. I’d been to Europe and had a fun but crazy girlfriend. I had a great group of friends who I went clubbing with every weekend.
This was going to be one of those weekends.
I went to Chris and Nico’s apartment to meet up with everyone since it was ground zero for our outings. Greg still lived at home with his parents in Raleigh, and Midtown was the center of our world, so it became our meeting place by default. I got there and as usual, no one was ready. But, it was only 7 pm and had purple passion to drink, we never went out before 11. What’s the point of that?
Oh, Purple Passion. Of course, I had some. For those of you who have never had such a glorious and horrible drink, Purple Passion was a premixed 2 liter bottle of Everclear and grape drink. Looking back on this, I’m sure they(The Man) were trying to kill off the black race with this concoction. We’d go through at least two of these bottles a weekend. I’m sure if less of us were there drinking the same amount, we’d all have become diabetic and been on dialysis by the age of 25. We drank.
Greg finally made it to Midtown around 8:30. He had to have one of his women pick him up and then he had to go shopping for a new outfit. So at this time of night it’s Chris, Nico, Greg, me, and some random chick whose name I shouldn’t have forgotten, but did. It was probably one of the Amy. Greg had a thing for girls named Amy. At one point, I had to give them designations. Tall Amy, Big Amy, Crazy Amy, Big Crazy Aimee……
Greg had gone shopping at the U.S. Male at Raleigh Springs Mall. For those not in the know US Male was the not quite as openly super gay fashion version of international male. At least that what I thought at the time. He was excited to get our thoughts. He was and still is an excellent dresser – most of the time. He pulled out a sports coat and a grey hoodie. He also bought some Doc Marten creepers and a pair of acid wash jeans.
(I still can’t believe we wore those back then.)
Then he pulled it out.
A white unitard.
No, I’m sorry, it wasn’t a unitard, it was a wrestling singlet. It was a white mesh wrestling singlet unitard.
He showed us his unitard with pride.
Chris coughed and then said. “Um, what is that?”
“It’s sexy, that’s what it is. It’s a unitard!” said Greg.
“If you wear that, you’re unitarded” I said
“Fuck you, nigga. You’re just jealous of all this sexy!” Greg shot back.
“Nope, I’m jealous of the dude who sold it to you for that commission. Please tell me you aren’t wearing that out?” I said.
“Nigga, you don’t know fashion!” Greg said laughing
The comments went on for another ten minutes or so and then he left to shower and primp. 90 minutes later, Greg is ready to walk out of Nico’s room. The uniform for the night had been chosen.
The cassette single of right said Fred’s “I’m to sexy for my…..”
Began to play from the back bedroom. The door opens and the unveiling had began.
He came out wearing a leather biker’s hat. The nice sports coat, the creepers, and Lord no…
I’m too sexy for my shirt
Too sexy for my shirts
So sexy it hurts
And I’m too sexy for Milan
Too sexy for Milan
New York and Japan
The white mesh wrestling singlet/retardedtard. No pants… no hoodie… just the unitard.
And I’m too sexy for your party
Too sexy for your party
No way I’m disco dancing
Chris went first. He’s Greg’s fraternal twin… surely he could talk some sense into him.
“Greg. Don’t wear that out. No. Don’t wear that anywhere. Tell me you’re wearing underwear so you can take that back tomorrow…”
I’m too sexy for my car
Too sexy for my car
Too sexy by far
And I’m too sexy for my hat
Too sexy for my hat
What do you think about that?
I’m a model you know what I mean
“Nope. Free ballin’” said Greg
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk, yeah
I actually heard Nico throw up a little in her mouth as she ran to the bathroom.
“Greg, you look like a very gay chauffeur in a gay pride parade driving a car made of dicks .” I said.
“I look good. Y’all just jealous!” he said. He looks to the Amy of The Week for approval and she chimes in, “Oh, I love it! You look hot!”
I shake my little tush on the catwalk
I’m too sexy for my cat
Too sexy for my cat
Poor pussy poor pussy cat
I’m too sexy for my love
Too sexy for my love
Love’s going to leave me
And I’m too sexy for this song
“See? She likes it. Let’s ride.”
“You know we’re going to Zot, right?” I asked.
“Let’s ride.” He responded
Zot was a club in downtown Memphis where I occasionally worked as a bouncer and partied when I wasn’t. We had friends who put their money together to build this club, and it was perfect. All the darkness of a Goth club, all the Queens for the drag bars, all the punks from the Antenna Club, and all the rejects who just wanted to dance. It was awesome.
We made it there by about 11:15 and were drinking with John and Linda by 11:30. The place wasn’t packed yet, but it was busy. Greg was okay with what he was wearing while just hanging out with Amy. I was okay if he was. He’s one of my best friends after all, and it was getting some attention.
The fun began when Greg and Amy went to dance.
Godlike by KMFDM came on. Which packed the floor with sweaty boys and girls and all manor of the in between
As Greg was dancing with Amy, he didn’t know it, but he was also dancing with every gay man in the place. That unitard was International/U.S. Male’s version of a flame, and every guy in there who liked dick was a moth.
See… I’ve worn a wrestling singlet before when I was on the wrestling team in high school. You need to wear a cup with that thing. Greg didn’t. So, as he would grind on Amy, the guys got a bit of a show.
Greg was enjoying himself until he noticed all the attention he was getting. It was not unlike the walkers from The Walking Dead. They had noticed that we was alive and meat was on their mind. He left the floor sweaty, with his hat covering his white, sweaty ever tightening mesh covered enlarging junk.
He came over to Chris and me and said, “Hey Chris , I’m going back to your place to change. I’ll be back in 30.”
“What? Why are you changing? You said you looked hot and I think your fans agree!” I said.
“Fuck you. You know why I’m changing. I’m exciting the wrong crowd tonight.”
A tall drag queen friend of ours walks by and pinches Greg’s ass
“Not now star I gotta go” Greg replied all flushed and frustrated
I said, “Hey Greg, I tried to warn you. Friends don’t let friends wear International Male.”
Chris spat out whatever he was drinking, and tried to repeat what I said while laughing as Greg walked out the door.
Greg showed back up around 1:30 wearing jeans and a hoodie. No unitard in sight thankfully. I didn’t even ask was he wearing it under his jeans and hoodie.
“Sorry it took so long… I had to take care of that thing.” He said. That was code for ‘while I had the place to myself, I had to sex her up.
He sang that last part. Just like color me badd
We drank, continued to make fun of him and his fashion fail. As usual we closed down the bar at 3 and then sat and hung out until they kicked us out near 4
The singlet never made another physical appearance, but has been talked about at almost every Christmas family get together for years. I think it’s his dad’s favorite story.