1. The Locker Room
My engineer hopped onto the warmup bike beside me, eyes crinkling with an amalgam of perplexity and hilarity. “There’s an empty bottle of Two-Buck Chuck in the men’s locker room,” he said, “right on the cover of the wastebasket with the cork tucked neatly in the neck.”
“Some Saturday night at the old gym,” I opined.
Classier in some ways than my old biker gym where you tended to run into steroid needles jabbed into the drywall after use. I’m not sure which would mess you up more, the wine or the d-balls.
I found myself at the local World Market emporium — a fairly impressive importer of everything from nifty textiles to wine-paired chocolates — alongside a longtime client, more of an old friend after twenty years, looking at bottles of Bosco cocoa syrup.
“Can you believe it?” he said. “I haven’t seen this stuff in ages.”
I flashed on my late and ex husband’s stories of his days in show choruses in New York. He was often, at least as he tells it, the only straight guy in the chorus, to the point that he took to wearing a faux wedding ring to avoid awkward flirtation from the other gentlemen; it was his friend Dennis Curran who upped the ante, though. Dennis, a career heterosexual, was seated at a makeup table in the greenroom during the intermission of a show, and several of the lads nearby had embarked on an earnest conversation about their favorite sexual lubricants. This was back in the day before you could cheerfully order things with wonderful names like Boy Butter, discreetly and online, so that the discussion centered on substances like olive oil and K-Y.
“I always use Bosco, myself,” said Dennis mildly, touching up his eyebrows and yielding the table to the next chorister.
My client, who has always inclined to a random sense of humor, smiled at the story. “Just think of the slogan they missed,” he mused. “When REAL men pack fudge — they use Bosco.”
If only my ex could have lived to hear that. He would have laughed till he cried.