Saturday, July 12, 2008


Betty Buckley had stood ten feet away from my seat at the small theater in in Irving, Texas. I watched her in profile, singing "Over You" and I was. Over him.

That feeling came upon me in an instant.

James had sat next to me after his initial, jaw dropping shock. I had been better prepared. God bless the Internet.

James's current boyfriend/partner was of the accompanist of Ms. Buckley - Mr. Seth Rudetsky. I had known that. His column on had told me so. God bless the Internet.

I hadn't known I would end up sitting on stage.

That very week I had been visiting my sister and 3-year old niece in Plano, TX, which is the same thing as Dallas to those who don't live there. I had found out about Ms. Buckley's All Broadway, All Request show from Seth's column on It was sold out by the time I determined to go. The box office had told me to come and present myself. That's how I ended up in the extra seats placed onstage. That's where James found me, just before the show.

My request, inked on a slip of paper had tipped him off. Who else could have matched "David Robinson from Brooklyn, NY" who wanted to hear Betty sing "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" from "Carrie - The Musical." When he came onto the stage to take one of the extra seats he found me. There was gap next to me that James's filled with a chair.

He reminded me, "You took me to see Betty for the first time. At that place by NYU."

"The Bottom Line? Did I drag you there?"

Betty Buckley used to perform sets there and I would drag anyone, everyone there. If you were dating me from 1992-2002, you went.

All of the rancor I had collected and could still resurrect from the village of the damned and dumped, evaporated in the face of James, innocuous and harmless. As Betty sang "Over You" I remembered repeating that track over-and-over 12 years ago. That when Michael called me to tell me he had AIDS. That he would die. And he would. He did.

"Over You." Yes for James. Not for Michael.

James provided closure in a minute, in an instant. Seeing him, talking to him, dissipated the worst. Water flowed under the bridge and shattered it. Talking to him I regretted nothing. We would have become a terrible couple. With Michael, I'll never know. I can speculate, but speculation is a guess that never trusts its own instincts.

James apologized after the show. He walked me out to my car, my sister's car.

I said, "Please don't." After a breakup everyone is guilty, everyone is to blame. Still it's beautiful to get that when you've been dumped. So I got that. Chapter closed.

So I said, "Look. Everybody gets a turn. Sometimes you're the jerk. And sometimes you're the one getting jerked upon."

He accepted that completely imperfect summary. Two hugs and we separated.

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