This is a photo of me, my former girlfriend, Margaret, and my friend Buck in San Antonio, circa 1988. Buck passed away unexpectedly yesterday.
I knew Buck for more than three decades, and for several of those years, we were inseparable.
That’s not a fully accurate statement. It would be better to say this: Buck changed my life.
When we met, I was still in the closet. Most people already knew I was gay, but I hadn’t accepted it myself.
Buck didn’t just teach me to appreciate being gay. Corny as it sounds, he taught me to appreciate being alive. He was always up to something creative (usually involving a mannequin or two). He was always up for a party.
I know that kind of exuberance sometimes masks depression, but I never saw an ounce of that from Buck. Every night, there was something new and fun happening at his house, a new, random assortment of people. He was like the country cousin of Auntie Mame and Pee Wee Herman.
The man knew how to entertain, is what I’m saying.
For good or bad, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Buck. And I know I’m not the only one who can say that.
I’ve posted this poem before because it’s special, and it’s special because it always makes me think of Buck. It became one of our favorites after we stumbled across it in an old Interview magazine. It also describes him to a tee.
Good Time Girl
by Charles Bukowski
you had your crowd
out back. .. your people just
sitting there and drinking and
listening to you …
you were competing with
but we danced!
we had a good time!
and god, we laughed too!
you missed Culpepper!
god, Culpepper was funny!
we danced and laughed, that’s what
a party’s for!
you don’t know it, but I went back
and I saw you with 3 or 4
god, how somber you all were!
it was like a meeting of the
well, you tried to compete with me
and you failed!
I’m from the country and we know
how to party!
you think I dance too sexy!
sure I shake my ass!
it feels good!
WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, COVER
ALL THIS WITH A GRANNY DRESS?
I dance close and I follow the man’s
lead, I was always taught to follow
the man’s lead since I was a
in the country, that’s natural,
there’s nothing dirty about it!
you’re the one with the dirty
you’re jealous because you can’t dance.
and you don’t like people because
you’re afraid of them!
I like people and I like parties
and I like to dance!
and so do all my sisters, they’d
drive 2,000 miles to go to a
well, why don’t you say something?
you just sit there drinking and
looking at me!
hey, where the hell are you
you’re always running out the
door and jumping into your car
and driving off!
well, if you don’t want my
You don’t know nothin’ about
parties, you son of a