Yet, it can only be a one-sided story, for Jules and I are no longer in contact. There is no Dramatic Ending to our friendship. He just disappears into obscurity, into some trite cabaret company in
I meet Jules in a city in southern
He came to audition from
I sit next to Jules at the party. He takes over the party, which is a feat considering the room is filled with dancers, actors, and opera singers. He and I dance, talk, and never stop laughing until the wee hours of the morning. At he goes off to audition at another company.
I am visiting a good friend of mine, Nerida, who dances in the company in that southern city in
The next year, when I come to visit my friend again, Jules sees me in the theatre cafeteria and screams, “You bloody idiot, why didn’t you tell me you weren’t a dancer?” (Though bloody is not the right word.) He comes running over to my table, gives me a big hug and starts talking and doesn’t stop until I leave three weeks later. Nerida, the dear friend I come to visit, is ever so tolerant of Jules and my budding friendship. Something I love her for.
Jules recounts snippets of his life in bursts and starts: some snippets could be true and some could only be true in his imagination. The stories of his childhood in
Our friendship takes us through a decade of annual visits. They started in the southern city in
Jules is a rather good ballet dancer, but he is a better entertainer. He performs his steps dutifully on stage in the evenings, but he truly lights up when he is in a gay bar surrounded by wild and weird people: an audience craving entertainment. Then he takes out his Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli imitations, or sings his extensive repertoire of musical numbers.
Occasionally, very occasionally, as we walk home to his apartment in the early hours before dawn, he recounts again snippets of his early life, which are nearly all sad and melancholic now. It is as though, in those moments, his past catches up on him. His childhood crosses the oceans and continents and the passage of time; making it very difficult for him put on the jolly face of the entertainer. This is probably the real Jules, but one who very rarely surfaces.