I overlooked National Coming Out Day again, dammit; I hate it when I do that. Neglecting to mention such celebrated, nationally recognized holidays is shameful. Every October comes and goes, and I forget to announce that I'm gay. How will people know if I don't tell them? It makes me cry all over my Charlie's Angels T-shirt.
I swore I'd make a point of being political this year, but I was otherwise engaged, as usual. I was in California and had gone over to Tom Cruise's house for an afternoon of barbecued Polska kielbasa and just plumb forgot. Is it so wrong to hang with my straight male friends every now and then? Tom picked me up wearing a bright red leather jacket with a Nehru collar and straddling the big, thick new motorcycle he'd recently purchased to complement his collection of big, thick cars and planes that John Travolta inspired him to buy. That Tom is a regular guy.
Well, we roared right over to his place, and while there was no sign of Penelope Cruz—I'm sure she was out shopping—Kevin Spacey was already enjoying a few beers with a young, good-looking fellow who I think he said was his personal secretary or something like that. Kevin's a real charmer, as anyone who has read his Playboy interview knows; the ladies in Hollywood are all over him. He was particularly adept with the kielbasas and really seemed to know how they should be handled.
After a few beers and the drunken mention of Tom's work in Cocktail, we all got a little quiet, though things picked up with Eddie Murphy's arrival. Eddie's wife and kids were unfortunately busy, so I don't know what's going on with them, but Eddie is, of course, a riot. He told several naughty but devastatingly funny AIDS jokes and got us howling. Tom just sat there snapping his gum, saying "Yeah, man," and laughing really, really, really hard in that endearing, self-confident way he has. Oh, we were in stitches, I tell you.
If Eddie was the jester of that afternoon's court, Sean Hayes was the prince. He showed up late in the day, and god, I had no idea how quiet and sincere he was, nothing like the flaming queen he morphs into every week for Will & Grace. You really get an appreciation for the craft of acting once you realize just how much some of these guys have to stretch themselves. I mean, I knew he had an Emmy, but still. He stuck to a club soda and told everybody how both he and Edward Norton were up for the role of Stanley in a cable remake of A Streetcar Named Desire, and almost teared up explaining how much he enjoys taking his mother to award shows.
By then the day was winding down, so everybody helped with the immaculate cleanup and went their separate ways. Eddie offered me a ride—he's very generous with rides—but I thought, no, I'll get myself home. I wanted to be alone and remember the afternoon.
So, yes, I forgot National Coming Out Day, and I'm sorry. But I know just how much it means.