|"You must be joking."
Oddly enough, these are the first words I can remember hearing. I must have been very young. I was sitting in a darkened apartment on Park, eavesdropping on my parents.
The words were spoken (shouted?) by my slightly sodden father in response to some petty, though prettily voiced, request by my even more inebriated mother (I remember pouring those drinks myself that night - one of my earliest talents).
This was years ago (don't start - not that many) in a different society and a different time (a little like a fairy tale). Children were expected to be pros, mixing cocktails on the servant's night off. But that quote, that comment, that incredulous query of joking, has run throughout my life and haunted most of my experiences.
My life has been extraordinary by anyone's standard. I won't apologize - let people talk, but is it so outlandish to want and to have a good time? The ultimate endless good time?
Now, you must be joking.
The good life, like the perfect cocktail, is a question of the mix: good friends, good food, and good sex - definitely good sex. Somewhere to go, something to see, just enough knowledge to make things interesting - not so much that you see through it all.
"Life's a banquet ...", "life is a cabaret", "live it up", "life in the fastlane", "live, live, live" - all the exhortations, all the clichés. We have used them for a reason.
Who would decline an invitation to life's grand discothèque? I certainly didn't. Why should you?
Stick with me, I'll show you a good time.
I'll show you a good time: past, present, and future.
To be honest, this little tale has become something of a necessity. Most people, upon viewing my paintings, inevitably ask, "Who the hell is Beau?" - my publisher, my gallerist, my agent, you (you did ask, didn't you?). Everyone wants to peek behind the curtain, get a good stool at my private bar. All right, I'll pour you a little snort.
I have to tell you right now though, I promised myself that this would not become one of those tedious chronological repartees - "went there, met them, fucked him, and him, and him"- I'll simply show you a few pictures, tell you a few stories, and leave you do the math.
Beau, by the way, is French for male beauty. That said, why don't we start our little tête-à-tête with just that. As a man, a still handsome man of a certain age, I'm delighted to announce that I have lived a very full life. I'm old enough to have seen it all, but still young enough to get it.