Moylan was right about one thing, though: I wanted one straight guy’s acceptance and that was Adam’s. He was my boss, after all.
Adam is a tepid man. I witnessed the occasional moments of pure warmth and delight and more often, moments of perturbation.
I would watch from the landing as Adam came home from work, waiting to tell him that day’s events. Adam’s portly yellow lab Molly would wiggle her way to the door, losing her mind, as Adam threw his hat off, plopped his keys and phone down on the table, and fell to the floor to roll around with her. I was always jealous of that Molly.
As one would expect from a wordsmith, Adam could go off on a motherfucker and take said motherfucker on a rickety county fair roller coaster ride of nausea-inducing tangents that would leave even the most resilient motherfucker a frazzled mess. He was NTBFW. (That’s: not to be fucked with).
Getting a hearty laugh from Adam was the best reward next to getting his priase. I recall two big laughs I got from him: One was when I was testing jokes on him for an impending stand-up show and said I was going to write a restaurant rating guide called Faggots (pronounced “Zagats”). The second was when I said he should put an eye patch over his dog’s abnormally large asshole. In fact, I read an article about him this year in Los Angeles magazine where he repeated that same joke.
I was flattered knowing that he (perhaps subconsciously) stole my joke.
Adam reads people quickly and my guess is that he pegged me for exactly what I was: one of those fatherless gay boys. In some ways I was as transparent as the sex worker who’d call into Loveline only to have Adam ask who molested them. And he was usually right, they had been molested. Adam would indulge me every now and then and take me to a concert or just let me pick his brain. One time, I asked him to sign an autograph for Lil’ Kim that we could send to her in prison. I made him write “Keep your head up,” as a veiled reference to the Tupac Shakur song of the same name.
When my time with Adam came to an end (and by an end, I mean he called me and told me it was the end—something about pissing Jimmy Kimmel off one too many times), I had to go to his house to collect my things and return his keys. I didn’t use the remote to get past his gate; I pressed the call button like a FedEx guy. When I got to his front door, I rang the doorbell like a production assistant delivering a script.
Adam came out with an envelope of the earthly possessions I kept in the home office: a Japanese fan from my Thai massage place and photos of us backstage with Tori Amos.
All of my fucking daddy issues bubbled up like Charlie in the fizzy lifting drink room of the chocolate factory. I broke the rules and was kicked to the curb. No lifetime of chocolate for my ass.
I thanked Adam for everything and stared at the ground forlornly. “Come here and give me a hug,” he said, indulging me one last time.