Page 34 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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14                                      Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               He hugs me. Hug is the wrong word. He holds me. Tight.
               This does not happen quite like this at Other Magazines. This hap-
            pened at Drummer daily.
               What magazine.
               I learned a lot while there. Mainly these were things I didn’t want to
            know. Like my limitations. I didn’t want to think back then that I had
            any. I do.
               Drugs. You couldn’t keep the drug dealers out of my office. I didn’t
            exactly want to. They all had free samples and I sampled. Like a smorgas-
               I knew I had a proclivity for the stuff. What I didn’t know then but
            know now is that I am more than capable of going (jumping) overboard
            and it’s a very fast ship that leaves you drowning in a very big sea.
               I was treading water. At Drummer.
               I very much needed someone to hold me. Tight. Jack Fritscher did. I
            wonder if he even remembers.
               At that point in my life (I have grown quite accustomed to this and
            am today indifferent to it) I had never been hated as much as I was hated
            at Drummer. Today, hating me is so passé. Drummer was my entree into
            a life of crime.
               You couldn’t win. It was not unlike being imprisoned in a small room
            with twenty interior designers. No matter what you do with the furniture,
            someone somewhere was going to bitch.
               Drummer was a letting go of every single moral injunction you ever
            had. Drummer was the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography.
            You figure.
               There was no holding all the loose ends of these contradictions
            together. There were two jobs in San Francisco back then for gay writers,
            and Randy Shilts had one of them.
               I had the other. Which had once been Jack’s.
               I was the front desk of my glittering hotel.
               At the end, I had totally disintegrated.
               I can’t talk about what working at Drummer meant for other people.
            I can only speak for myself. I didn’t even like Drummer. I loved Mach.
            Billy Bowers and I hung a naked blond boy upside down on a black cross
            and we hung the cross from a tree and took photographs of Brian Neal
            trying to breath between screams for us to take him down. The cross sort
            of swinging gently in the wind.
               Mach published those photographs. I liked  Mach. But  Drummer
            came with the package.
               I put my photograph in there as a “model” and sold myself as a whore.
            I made more money as a whore than I did as an editor.

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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