Meehan was quoting her sister, who’d lived in London for a while. She added, “But she was really busy, and she never found out about them in time.”
We’d just sat down on folding chairs at Highways to see my friend Claudia and her fellow Butchlalis de Panochtitlan in Teenage Papi: The Remix. A pink slip of paper on our chairs invited us to, “Butchlalis Saturday after-party/queer flash mob to Saints & Sinners,” a West LA bar.
“That’s the story of my life,” I said, thinking of my favorite quote from The Last Days of Disco. I’m paraphrasing, but one of the central characters, a sweet and painfully preppy white boy, says, “I consider myself part of the disco generation. It’s always been really important to me. I love the idea of a place where people can gather and let loose and be themselves. Of course, I was in grad school most of that time, so I didn’t actually get to go to any disco clubs, really.”
We settled in for the show, a fun, funny, NC-17-rated set of sketches about being butch, Latina, kinky and scholarly, and sometimes all of the above. (Think candle wax dripping over naked bodies as a throaty voice coos about “paradigms” and “re-appropriated masculinities.”) This was the remix of an earlier show and promised “more anal play,” which it certainly delivered on.
All of which sounds kind of goofy, but the Butchlalis, in addition to being a sexy bunch of butchas, have re-appropriated masculinity, giving it a sense of humor and a warmth that reveals, for lack of a better word, a really amazing and enviable sisterhood.
After the Butchlalis put their pants back on and took their bows, I turned to Meehan. “Wanna go be part of a flash mob?”
Saints & Sinners was already pretty mobbed with Westside semi-hipsters. Both the female DJ and bartender were well tattooed. I didn’t really think a bunch of lesbians would stand out here.
“Maybe we’re past the queer flash mob era,” I worried. “I think we might have to go to a different city.”
“Yeah, I don’t think there’s a flash mob happening right now,” Meehan agreed, looking around at the mellow 20- and 30-somethings lounging by the bar’s iridescent fireplace.
As it turned out, we never reached the critical mass required to call ourselves a mob. In fact, in the just-over-an-hour that we were there, I didn’t see anyone I recognized from Highways. Not even a single Butchlali. But Meehan and I had a nice chat about writing and dating and moving and spiders and Westwood restaurants, and I’m happy to say that that is also the story of my life.