Christina Herald's Journal Entries for May 14 to May 21, 1997

May 14, 1997

So it came to pass that I got to meet Mom's fiancé. Thaddeus Lloyd. What a twink. He really takes the concept of a London theater director to such an exaggerated degree that it seems like a parody. He's all proper and uptight with his black turtleneck and sport jacket and gray-shot ponytail and little round glasses. A cashmere turtleneck and a sport May. What a fucking idiot! He bitched and moaned about everything: how bad the food was, how rude everyone was being, and so on. Asshole. I smiled sweetly at him, corrected him when he misquoted the Tempest, embarrassed the shit out of him when he compounded the pretentious attempts he was making by misquoting Voltaire. My mother has no taste in men. She just stared at him like he was a great big present wrapped up in a shiny bow. Dazzled is the word that comes to mind. She probably thinks he is all deep and urbane and brilliant. A one-woman fan club. Bleah.

Lancelot is growing like a weed. I should get him declawed but I haven't got the heart to do it. Besides, too much is going on. My graduation is Saturday night, and Jonny graduates from high school tonight...Jonny! EEP! My baby brother is graduating high school and I haven't gotten him a present! I must fly away, quickly, to go shopping! Must get Anders and take him with me. What does one get for the young and sporty gay male, not quite so out, but about town...?

May 15, 1997

Canceled my therapy session for the week. Too much to do, not enough time to do it in. Doc will understand. Trying to make sure that everyone stays happy. Jonny's graduation went well. He looked so cute in his little pinstriped power suit, which Dad helped him pick out, with his little curly head neatly trimmed and the first fuzz of an attempt at a mustache on his upper lip. I get misty-eyed just thinking about it. The kid is grown-up. He has to start fighting his own battles, as he is running off to Minnesota in the fall and I won't be there to help him. SNIFF!! But for now, he still needs me, especially with older men in committed relationships trying to seduce him. Aargh! I told Lizzy and Anders that if their buddy didn't keep his sticky paws off my baby brother, I was going to systematically disembowel him. Anders, with his usual panache, said that I would have to stand in line. Sometimes Anders is every drag queen cliché come to life.

My family is assembled. The Herald branch attended Jonny's graduation, whooping like they were at a football game when the principal announced the name Jonathan Francis Herald. Joanne's parents were there too, sour-faced uptight WASPs, just like their daughter and granddaughter. But all things considered, it went just fine. The open house that Dad and Joanne held in celebration was a blast. Dad even went to every liquor store in the metro area and found me double bock! When did he become such a great guy? Nah, Dad's always great in his way. Speaking of the double bock, I haven't seen my bartender buddy the last couple of times I went to his bar. I wonder where he is.

May 16, 1997

Oh, wonderful fun today. I found out the whole sordid story of Michael AKA Malcolm. Yes, his lady was murdered. No, he didn't do it. Not even a suspect. He really is a computer science graduate that is presently telecommuting--working at (of all fucking places) SII, where Dad works! The dojo and the coffee shop were all part of the image which, since he doesn't need it now, has been dropped. He looked like a normal person when I went down to see him. Jeans, t-shirt, piercings removed, clean-shaven. I got mad upon hearing how I was deceived, rightly so I would think. So I called him a few creative names and stomped back upstairs and bonded with Lancelot. I called Eliza, and she said that if I were really attracted to his image, then yes I should leave him, but if it wasn't just image, then I might like him better this way. After all, he was opening up to me. I find that an interesting point, but I was creatively lied to in such a big way that I don't think I can get past it.

Saturday and Sunday
May 17 and 18, 1997

I graduate. I'm supposed to be the goddamned center of attention. I like to be the center of attention. I'm good at it. Do I get my time in the spotlight? Nope, sorry, there has to be a family altercation at my graduation party! The worst part about it is that it involved me! Well, sort of. It involved, to be precise, the illicit intermingling of the Strauss and Herald gene pools to produce my cousin Gavin. Dad and Sarah have apparently been banging each other for quite some time. More than anyone else, really, I feel bad for Gavin. I don't feel bad for Joanne, the screwed around upon wife, and I don't feel bad for Sarah or my father. They both knew damned well what they were doing. I feel bad for Grandma Strauss, because I think that the shock took ten years off her waning life. I don't feel bad for Mom, because she has her insipid fiancé to comfort her. I am very confused.

I don't feel like writing about this shit anymore. I quit.

May 19, 1997

I cleaned today. Cleaned the whole apartment from top to bottom. Even cleaned Lancelot. Clipped his claws, combed his fur. He was not thrilled. Did that meow that sounds like the Return of the Living Dead. Really cute. He skulked under the futon and glared at me all afternoon, but I was in a frenzy of cleaning and didn't notice too much.

Jonny has set up something of a vigil in my apartment. He says the atmosphere at home is too negative and he can't stand to be there with all the family strife. Dad is staying at Sarah's condo until such time as Joanne decides he's bought a big enough diamond and lets him back into her bed. Whether or not he stops screwing my aunt remains to be seen. Bessa has a young friend, one of her students actually, to whom she wants to introduce Jonny. She says he's a nice, clean-cut, absolutely sweet boy. I hope it works out; they're coming to dinner tonight.


Jonny and Greg--the boy who was Bessa's student--have a date for Thursday night. He was charming, with the blonde pretty boy looks that Jonny adores so, combined with genuine sweetness and only a year older than my baby bro! Thrill! I hope this works out...

May 20, 1997

Hung out with Carmichael at his place today, listening to lectures on everything to the proper way to care for mahogany furniture to why Branagh's Othello was vastly inferior to the earlier version. I nodded and smiled a lot, and we listened to Wagner while I tried to keep him (unsuccessfully) from ordering pizza. The stubborn old goat has a weakness for pepperoni, and it's no good for his ticker. It almost blew on him a month ago, I reminded him sternly. "Chris," he says, "kindly fuck off." And smiled at me like Prince Charming while he reached for the phone.

I was so proud of him.

May 21, 1997

Got a call from Mr. Gottleib, the principal and my new boss. He said that he wanted me to come tour the school, see the room that would be mine, and finish filling out the paperwork. So I have to go do that on Friday.

Lancelot shredded my wicker basket, the one that had been Granny Herald's when she was my age. That's it. The little sucker goes in to get the claws yanked this afternoon. Enough with the softy act. Chrissy gets tough, and becomes supremo megabitch from hell. BEWARE, LOWLY PEONS!!!

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