- Real Estate
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BY REV. JEN MILLER | Every column I write has a theme. Sometimes it’s tough to come up with one, given that I’m not a war correspondent, political correspondent, or even a sane person. I’m just a human being lying on a dirty mattress trying to figure out what to say about being human. Yet, I feel no lack of pride. The best literature comes from observing the human condition, especially one’s own. Right now, my condition is broken. Seriously, it’s actually broken. Having slipped and fallen, I broke a rib under my right teat two weeks ago. If there are any physical therapists out there who do pro bono work and enjoy small boobs, I have a job for you!
And, speaking of body parts, my heart is broken as well because my boyfriend, Joe, still has a brain tumor. When you are estranged from your lover and call his name and feel only thin air, it’s worse than doing a one-person show with no audience. The little man who Dorothy proclaimed wasn’t a Wizard after all may have, in fact, been a wise Wizard when he uttered the sentence, “Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.” A heart, a brain, and courage are the triple threat that lands you in the psych ward. But what would we do without them? Never fall in love, contemplate existence, or bravely light a friend’s fart on fire? MGM should do a remake of “The Wizard of Oz” where everyone just wants an asshole — so they get Trump for president, and he tears down Oz and builds a casino that fails. Then everyone will be disappointed because they didn’t have the courage to have a brain or heart, so all they got was an asshole, thus proving my point.
My brain is broken, and has been for years. If I were to list all my mental disorders in one column, this newspaper would be of encyclopedic size. My family recently tried to have me institutionalized in Maryland but there weren’t enough beds. Shocker! (Even Maryland’s state flag is psychotic.) If it were 1943, I would have already had a frontal lobotomy. Lucky for you readers, I am coherent enough to write stupid articles whilst having a bottle in front of me. (Thank you for that one, Mrs. Parker.)
All I’ve got that’s not broken now is courage, which shouldn’t be overlooked. We all have a heart and a brain. Without both, we’d be dead — but courage is a thing you have to gain.
Many of us are broken, like the glass someone might have accidentally stolen from the bar across the street (sorry, Lucky Jack’s!) that a certain a-hole cat just knocked over. At one time, glass, you served many mouths on the Lower East Side and fueled several idiotic conversations, but now you are just a pile of rubbish that cannot be taped up or glued together, only swept up.
Hence, this column is about courage (and, clearly, excessive exposition).
On my wall, there are pictures of Cher, Glinda, Dorothy, a howling female wolf, and Jayne Mansfield playing with her Chihuahua. Alongside Jayne is a painting I did of the Egyptian Goddess Bast, and next to it, a tiny picture of Pippi Longstocking. Across from my bed, next to my record player, there is a Spice Girls album, given to me by an ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend; her way of showing solidarity. But the most important thing in my bedroom is a photo, taken in the ’70s, of my dad, leaning down to talk to me. I am five years old, wearing heels (of course) and he is listening. At a very young age, he instilled in me the idea of girl power, the Spice Girls’ term for courage.
Now is a time to harness that power, especially since we have a misogynistic presidential candidate (the previously mentioned asshole). How to harness Girl Power (no matter your sex or gender!):
BE LIKE PIPPI
As a child, I wanted to be like Pippi Longstocking, the “strongest girl alive.” She was a rebel who lived alone with her monkey, Mr. Nilsson. I begged my parents for a monkey. This was obviously not gonna happen in suburban Maryland. But some 40 years later, my mother remembered, and sent me an ultra-realistic baby orangutan for Christmas (a great ape, technically). His name is Marc Junior, named after my former roommate, who I frightened by convincing him I was actually obtaining a chain-smoking monkey to be named after him. Marc Junior has been to several bars, where he has terrified others who he sneaks up on. My friend, John (who took the pics for this column) and I also obtained a stroller, which we used to cart him around Park Slope alongside more conventional families!
BE KIND TO MOMS
When I read an article about “Foxie,” a chimpanzee who was rescued from laboratory research and lost her babies to the lab, my heart broke (again!). But it turns out Foxie takes solace in Troll Dolls! I contacted Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and asked if I could send her a Troll. They’d already heard of my Troll Museum (established in 2000) and welcomed yet another Troll (she has a lot). I then sent Foxie a letter:
My name is Rev. Jen and this is Adrianna. She’s the first troll I ever got. She is precious to me, but not half as precious as you, even though I’ve never met you. Her hair is matted because she’s been through some turmoil, just like you. She always has a smile on her face despite everything she’s endured and I hope she brings a smile to your face. Maybe someday I’ll get to meet you and the three of us can hang together.
Your Soul Sister,
P.S. I would invite you over to the Troll Museum but I think it would piss off the landlords and scare the cat and dog.
And with that, I boxed up my very first Troll and sent her to live with Foxie. Hopefully they are cuddling right now.
ATTEND THE 17th ANNUAL MR. LOWER EAST SIDE PAGEANT
It is actually the best night of the year. Any dude can compete. One need not live on the LES, since no one can afford it these days! Categories for competition include talent, swimwear, and evening wear combined with Q&A. Any woman or gay man who attends gets to judge! Scores are tabulated on the Ballsack 3,000. To be held at The Slipper Room (167 Orchard St. at Stanton St.) on Mon., Mar. 21, at 9 p.m. Tickets are available in advance ($10) at slipperroom.com, and are $12 at the door.
WEAR RIDICULOUS PROSTHETICS
As many people know, I have been steadily wearing elf ears for about 23 years, because they “look pretty” (see the above part about mental illness). Well, my mind was recently blown when Joshua White, founder of the famed “Joshua Light Show,” proclaimed that he had a mysterious present for me. We met for lunch and he handed me said present: prosthetics from the Ridley Scott-directed 1985 Tom Cruise vehicle “Legend.” For months, I’d gone without elf ears. At one point, Halloween Adventure even stopped stocking them because I was “the only person who buys them.” Now, I have such fierce elf ears that they were nominated for an Academy Award and I have a goblin mask! John and I decided to wear the prosthesis out for a walk, hoping others would be amazed and delighted. Sadly, the Lower East Side really has become the worst place on earth (next to Boston), as no one even noticed the fact that I was in a goddamned goblin mask, because they were all staring at their iPhones — probably looking for potential Tinder dates with other boring people. Tinder’s tagline is “Like Real Life, Only Better.” I think I’ll stick to real life, but thanks for the option!
When one needs inspiration, one needs to look no further than the Spice Girls. Of course, as John and I were running rampant with Marc Junior, we got in an argument about who was our favorite. He likes Scary and I like Sporty (because her name insinuates that she likes sports, even though it’s Posh who got with Beckham!).
This led us to take a complex survey, which involved asking random people on the street who their fave was. Currently, Scary and Sporty are tied. But, I enjoyed this answer: “Posh. She was the only one to whom I felt truly inclined to tell what I want. What I really really want. I feel like the rest were just bossing me around.”
No matter who your favorite Spice Girl is, harness your Girl Power — even if some days, you feel like the Cowardly Lion.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself (I totally stole that line).