Friday, May 11, 2012
A Man Among Men (x2)
This is one of my late friend John Larson's paper collages from the 1990s. John was an artist, a character, a friend. He first came up to me in a little dive bar in Manhattan, the Tunnel Bar, while I was playing pinball one afternoon. I was quite the pinball player back then—I knew every machine inside-and-out in the bars and clubs I hung out in. John and his boyfriend, Bruce, became two of my best friends that day and for years after, in fact, Bruce and I still email each other these days. The times we enjoyed together in the East Village, the West Village, Chelsea, all around the town, will more than fill a chapter. We wandered the streets of the Village at all times of the day and night, on our way here, on our way there. We knew so many street characters they called us by name when we went by. We took cabs everywhere, too, and once picked up a hitchhiking RuPaul before she became famous. John and Bruce came up to Connecticut for a visit once and no one could organize a closet faster or better than John, lol.
I can't help but smile whenever I think of John even though his life was taken too early. I think that's the sign of a life well-lived and lives touched in a great way. This collage dates from the time President Clinton was going through the Monica fiasco, and I'm so happy to still have a piece of John's work. I've "framed" it in a vintage basket, and my largest Wishnik Troll, sitting in a needlepoint pocketbook, keeps watch over it. RIP, John, you were a man among men, too : )