In Palm Springs, they think homelessness is caused by bad divorce lawyers. – G.B. Trudeau
Thanks for bearing with me and my numerous reminisces lately. I know
you want me to get back to the boozin’ and sexin’ and rigorous
introspection. Well, my friends, there’s time for all that, too. Soon,
I do feel like I’ve lived a year in January already—so much has
happened. I’m still reeling, actually. More friends got married, others
got engaged and still others popped out kids, and I… umm… Did I tell
you I went to Palm Springs, California? Yeah… that was interesting. You
see, when I lived there, way back when Sonny Bono was mayor, the desert
was mainly a small hideaway commune for the fabulously wealthy and
famous. And it still is, for the most part.
Yes, that Sonny Bono. Of Sonny & Cher? Right. Mayor.
You see, I lived in Palm Springs in the time of Less Then Zero,
when the rich brats from L.A. really did come in their convertible
BMW’s on the weekends and do lots of blow by the pool of their parents’
Spring Break used to be a big deal there, too, when chicks from all
over would line up in neon thongs on the back of crotch rockets
navigated by young dudes in muscle shirts cruising down “the strip”
known as Palm Canyon Drive.
Not as glamorous as the golden mid-century heyday of Frank Sinatra
and his Rat Pack when Palm Springs was their desert playground, of
course, but it’s what I got.
The ‘80s. Gotta love ‘em.
Even so, growing up in Palm Springs meant everyone had a
kidney-shaped pool in their background—even us middle-class folks. The
many, abundantly watered golf courses also made for excellent
ice-blocking after scouring the abandoned wet bars of rich classmates’
parents. And we all lived on streets named after iconic celebs of yore:
Sinatra, Bob Hope, Gene Autry, Dinah Shore and Gerald Ford.
My hometown is where the Betty Ford Clinic is, you know… Oh, shut up.
As a teen, I used to party by the cemetery down the road from George
Hamilton’s house, screech down Liberace’s street on my friend’s moped,
and do various after-school functions at Elvis Presley’s pad.
The architecture was real neat, too. My high school was pink stucco. Bob Hope’s house looked like a flying saucer.
Anyway, Bob’s dead now, my school’s been painted beige and
surrounded by a huge fence and there’s casinos where cactus should be.
Aw, getting old bites.
So I spent some time with the family, mainly having supremely
awesome dinners with my mom at her favorite haunts, like Shame On the
Moon, Peter’s and Villa Abbate Ristorante Italiano, where I embarrassed
my step-papa by licking my plate clean of some kind of merlot fig
demi-glace type sauce. I’m a fool for figs.
But I did go carousing at night, after family dinners, to check out
the desert nightlife I was too young to appreciate when I lived there.
So I followed the tips of my mom’s friends, who all pointed me in the
direction of a block of fabulously stylish gay bars, which was just
fine by me ‘cause I knew they’d like their drinks as stiff as I do.
I sat as the sole bio-femme in one such place, quietly admiring
Shag’s postmodern retro-art on the walls, and the gentle murmurings of
young, gay love.
“Is there a place to sit in here?” asked one handsome stud, who’d just walked in.
“Honey, as long as I’ve got a face, you’ve got a place to sit down!” said the vivacious man-muffin to my left.
“Excuse me,” said someone on my right, tapping my shoulder. “I just
want to let you know, you look fabulous sitting there on your
What’s not to love?
Samantha Campos thanks all her
survey-fillers, and is now holed up in a trullo on the outskirts of San
Vito dei Normanni in Puglia reading the results, wishing she had asked
more James Lipton-inspired questions like “What sound do you love?”
while making sweeping generalizations and grandiose psychological
characterizations of you all, as she is sometimes wont to do. MTW