Fabulous but True Tales from Michael Alig, Inside the Big House
In 2004 James St. James had a series of phone calls with the original Party Monster, Michael Alig. We’ve put them all on one page, in order, for easier reading. And the documentary is now available on iTunes.
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1. Michael Alig finds true love
2. Michael Alig goes on a date
3. Michael Alig is a Porter
4. Michael Alig’s Fan Mail
5. Michael Alig talks a load of crap
6. Michael Alig chats about hormones
7. Michael Alig chats solitary
8. Michael Alig revives his blue dots
9. Michael Alig plans a halloween party
10. Michael Alig enjoys second-hand methadone
11. Michael Alig channels his inner auteur
Michael Alig finds true love, wiggles out of an extortion scheme and survives the bloody rampage of a madman.
Michael Alig: Oh James James James, I don’t even know where to begin.
James St. James: What’s the matter, honey?
Michael: Well, how much time do we have?
James: We have as much time as you want.
Michael: James, you have no idea what’s been going on; I mean, like, drama after drama after drama after drama, and it’s always some, like, crazy life-or-death situation.
James: Well, the last time I talked to you, you had protection from someone, from some prison gang or something, and there was some crazy black guy banging on your cell trying to get your stuff.
Michael: That was the last time you talked to me?!
James: Yeah. It’s been like two months.
Michael: Oh my gosh, that was just after I got here to this facility!
James: And you were telling me how much you loved it. Tell me again how much you love it.
Michael: Well (laughs), not any more.
James: You were saying it was like the Roxy, that everyone walks around with their shirts off.
Michael: Well, yeah, it is like that. We get a choice to go to the gym or the yard every night – or the field house as they call it. It’s like this big auditorium, like the size of the Roxy dancefloor.
James: And there’s music and stuff?
Michael: Well, they’ve got those huge video screens, like the kind that are like…
James: …the Palladium ones?
Michael: Exactly. There are three of them and they each play a different kind of music: one is disco, one is rock, and one is rap.
James: High-energy dance music in prison, yay!
Michael: That’s where the weightlifters are. So there’s all these weightlifting machines, and, like, all these topless, shirtless, muscled, tattooed, Puerto Rican… All sweaty and glistening… And then they’re listening to Sylvester! (both laugh)
James: And they all love you and you are just the belle of the ball, right?
Michael: Well, some of them think I am, and some of them think that I am not.
James: In your last letter, you were telling me about being transferred to this new place, and how you finally were able to reconnect to the love of your life, Mike. Now tell me everything. When did things start to go wrong?
Michael: Well there are like eight “blocks” here. I was on “C-block” and I knew that Mike – my old boyfriend – was on I-block and I wanted to get moved to I-block. And it just so happened that the day after you called, the sergeant comes to my cell and for no reason, it was just a random thing, he says, “pack your things, you’re moving to I-block,” and I thought that Mike had it set up or something, but it turns out it was just a coincidence. So not only do I move to I-block but I move right to the company where Mike is! There’s, like, thirty-seven people in a company and I moved FOUR cells down from him!
James: OMG – what are the chances!
Michael: Yeah, so Mike and I are thinking this is, like… gotta be fate that we keep being thrown together like this.
James: And you hadn’t seen him in, what, seven years?
Michael: Yeah, yeah, A LONG TIME. And so you know, I was paranoid thinking, Oh God, he’s been, like, hanging around all the straight guys, lifting weights, he’s not going to want to associate with me! We’re going to have the same fights we had at Downstate, where he wouldn’t say “I love you” in front of other people, because YOU KNOW how I am.
James: The black hole of need.
Michael: Yes, and we would get into the biggest fights at Downstate because he wouldn’t say I love you at the dinner table, you know?
James: Hmmmm. But do you really NEED somebody to say I love you at the dinner table, when you’re dining with murderers and thieves?
Michael: JAMES, you know that I do. (Both laugh) So anyway, we made this code that he would scratch his eye at the dinner table. And that would satisfy me you know? So anyway, the first time I saw him walk by he looked at me, he gave me one of those looks like “Don’t you dare say it!” and he scratched his eye right away, which calmed me down, so I didn’t embarrass him in front of his friends.
James: So did he know you were moving to I-block, or did he just walk by and see you?
Michael: No no no, he saw me when I was moving in.
James: Oh, OK
Michael: So we became even closer, you know how the reunion is – you become closer because you have a past now. We became really really really close, and he dropped all of his friends so that we could spend all of our time in the yard together because he was going home on May 23rd. So he said every single day we could spend the rest of our time together. Well, that didn’t go over so well with the rest of the inmates because it was like really really obvious from the way we looked at each other, like, well, you know how you look at each other when you’re in love. And here we are sitting in the middle of the gym, oblivious to everything going on around us.
James: Making goo-goo eyes at each other.
Michael: Making goo-goo eyes and sneaking, you know, touching hands, and stuff like that, you know, and it wasn’t long before the (lowers voice) leader of the Bloods approached us and said that he wanted… Well, he split us up first of all.
James: And he can do that because…
Michael: (Lowered voice) Because he’s the leader of the Bloods.
James: (Not getting it) …and that’s because you’re a Blood?
Michael: (Whispers loudly) No, no, he can do anything he wants!
James: (Still drawing a blank) Was Mike a Blood?
Michael: No no… He just said he wanted to talk to me and Mike. He split us up because he wanted to talk to Mike first. So I see them talking, like, across the field house and I’m seeing hand waving and he’s telling Mike he’s got a razor blade and he’s going to cut me and Mike right now, tonight, if Mike doesn’t have me send five hundred dollars to, like, this address…
James: Just like OZ!
Michael: So Mike was like If I go to him with that, he’s just going to sign in to protective custody and then you’re not going to get any money and he’s going to be gone and everybody loses. So Mike says that I’m sure we can make some kind of arrangement, like maybe if he had something he could give me, like drugs or something, maybe I would be more agreeable to sending money to someone.
James: I can see why…. Uh… This will not be on the blog (both laugh) This will be in Page Six.
Michael: I’m not going to finish the conversation if you’re going to be like that.
James: KIDDING. I’m kidding. OMG.
Michael: So Mike comes over and talks to me.
James: So basically Mike just brokered a drug deal.
Michael: Not really. Mike only said that in order to stall the guy. He figured he was going home in a month and wanted to buy us a little time. If he would have said, Sure, Michael will send five hundred dollars, and then I didn’t send the money – because I DON’T HAVE that kind of money – then we BOTH would have been cut. This way Mike was basically allowing ourselves – or at least letting them THINK we’re allowing ourselves – to be extorted. Mike figured by the time this guy came back with a deal, he would be going home and I’d be back in protective custody.
James: This is too insane.
Michael: Just wait. So anyway, a couple of days, um, we’re coming back from breakfast and we’re waiting in the hallway for them to open all the cells and all of a sudden we hear a commotion, and it’s that guy, the leader of the Bloods, and he’s like cutting some guy’s neck with a razor blade and blood is gushing all over the place like a scene from Dawn of the Dead – like blug blug blug – and the guy has his hands on his neck trying to keep the blood from coming out and everything… and he’s going crazy, and the guy who just cut him starts running up and down the company cutting other people like at random, you know….
James: OH MY GOD!
Michael: …like screaming and going amuck, and he’s coming closer and closer to us and I’m thinking – Mike and I are standing against the wall, pressed up together against the wall – I’m thinking this is going to cost me a FORTUNE in plastic surgery if he cuts my face.
James: (Laughs) Of course.
Michael: So Mike – I love this part – stands in front of me, and the guy goes running by, and the cops tackled him and everything.
James: How many people did he cut?
Michael: He got like five or six people, but there was blood everywhere. So I’m standing there terrified, pale as a ghost, and the cops are on top of the guy, and Mike turns to me and says, “I’ve got a raging hard-on right now.”
James: THAT’S SO HOT!
Michael Alig finds that getting a date in prison isn’t as cut and dried as you might think. Actually, someone does get cut, but there are no tears to be dried.
Michael Alig: Oh James listen. I want to give you an update on this boy Jimbo. You don’t understand the drama that has gone on.
James St. James: Is this the cute one that you sent me the pictures of?
Michael: With the missing tooth!
James: HOT! You’ve been after him for a while, right?
Michael: Yeah. So this guy comes up to me in the yard and we’re talking and he’s a Five-Percenter – that’s, like, higher up than the Bloods, they’re more violent than the Bloods. And his name is Esau. And Esau said, I will go talk to Jimmy for you, I’m going to go hook this up for you and then you’re going to owe me. And I’m, like, well OK. If you really hook it up. I said, But you have to really hook it up. I don’t want, like, an introduction and you say, Now you owe me. I want something to happen and then I’ll owe you, you know what I mean?
James: Well, sure. That’s only reasonable.
Michael: So he goes in – this was last week some time – he goes in to talk to Jimmy and the next thing anybody knows, Jimmy has Esau stabbed in the face with a metal rod. . .
Michael: . . .and Esau is being taken out in an ambulance, and the Five-Percenters now have put a price on Jimmy’s head and the boy who stabbed Esau. . .
James: . . .Wait wait. Jimmy didn’t stab Esau?
Michael: No, Jimmy had his. . . his. . . “dawg” stab him.
James: That’s hot. Jimmy has dogs. So he had him stabbed because he asked him to have sex with you?
Michael: Well that’s the whole thing. We don’t know. Nobody knows exactly what happened. All I know is that I sent him in on a mission and he comes out on a stretcher.
James: (Laughing) Isn’t that always the case with you?
Michael: The path is paved in skulls. So the Five-Percenters had a meeting with me, and they were like, What was this all about? And you know, gayness to them is really bad. But because it was a “business transaction” of sorts, they can sort of look the other way and it’s not quite as bad, you know. So I’m kind of like trying to pull my schtick with them, hoping that I could soften up the situation with a bit of levity – and you know they have absolutely no sense of humor, James. I said, I’ll tell you what. I have an idea – why don’t YOU go in and talk to Jimmy and ask him the same question that Esau asked him and if you get stabbed in the face with a metal rod, then we’ll KNOW.
Michael: Well you should have seen the expression on his face when I said that. He was totally taking me seriously. And he’s like, (in a pirate voice) I’ll tell ya that’s not going to happen! So anyway, there’s a price tag out on Jimmy’s friend’s head. Two days ago, we were all coming back from the mess hall and somebody just walked right up to him with a razor blade and slashed him across the face. And he didn’t even do anything, he just stood there and let. . .
James: Wait. Jimmy did this? Or one of Jimmy’s dogs? How many does he have?
Michael: No, no. A Five-Percenter. In a retaliation against Jimmy’s dawg. So Jimmy’s dawg just stood there and let it happen, which to everybody shows that he was just looking for a reason to get out of here, because that’s his ticket out of this facility. He couldn’t live here any more after stabbing a Five-Percenter. So now I just got a warning tonight saying stay away from Jimbo, because he’s next.
James: So the blood of three people hangs on your head.
Michael: (Laughs) I just wanted a hug. He’s just so unbelievably sexy. And when he walks, his butt. . . . He has a really nice juicy round butt, and you know how those thug types shake their butts when they walk and their pants are hanging down
Michael: Oh my god so hot. And of course you know this whole thing that’s happened only makes him hotter.
James: So what are you going to do with him? Are you still going to try to see him?
Michael: Well he hasn’t left his cell since this happened.
James: Strangely enough, he hasn’t felt like socializing.
Michael Alig relates the pros and cons, so to speak, of being a full-service prison porter and getting it on with the Prince of Park Avenue killer.
James St. James: You said you were a porter. Tell me again about porters, what they are and what you do.
Michael Alig: The porters are. . . OK. The company has something like 40 cells, it’s just a long hallway with 40 cells, and there are no officers around, everything is done by other inmates, the inmate porters. When everybody’s locked in their cells, the inmate porters pass out the food, or sweep the floors, or mop or hand out water because they don’t have hot water in our cells, so they bring a bucket of hot water to every cell, stuff like that. They also pass notes and. . . .
James: . . . Get blowjobs!
Michael: Yeah, well, that’s the thing: If you’re going to be a porter, usually it’s for people who want to get blowjobs. It’s so funny because, you know, nobody understands my sense of humor here at all. One day I’m mopping, I’m scrubbing the floor, on my hands and knees; and, you know, they pay us fifteen cents an hour. I’m on the floor, scrubbing on my hands and knees, and it’s in the summertime and I’m hot and I’m sweaty, and it’s a rust stain and it isn’t coming out, and I’m grumbling to myself and an officer walks by and he stops because I guess he heard me grumbling, and I looked up at him and I said: “I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at the dirt!”
James: And, of course, nothing. Crickets. You’re like, “Tough crowd. Tough crowd.”
Michael: I was like the only gay porter, the only openly gay porter; the other porters were on the down-low, they were like getting their dicks sucked but nobody knew it.
James: So tell me how you get your dick sucked. You mean you just walk up to the cell?
Michael: Yeah, just walk up to the bar. . . usually. Sometimes the inmates. . . . You see, when I was a porter, everybody knew that I was gay. I tell you, the first day that I was serving the food, there were 40 people in the company, 15 of them, when I would get to their cells, 15 of these guys, at least, had their dicks out and were stroking them lewdly, and were making dirty faces at me like, “You wanna touch it?” And I said to them, “I’m not going to do that while I’m serving the food!”
James: Well it’s disgusting!
Michael: No, it’s rude. First of all I would have lost my job because everybody would have known.
James: So you’re telling me you were the only porter who never got your dick sucked?
Michael: No, no, not at all. I was just the only porter who was openly gay. Other porters were gay but nobody knew about it. And they were all coming up to me and were like (in deep gruff voice): “Don’t tell anyone else, but I fool around.” They all basically said the same thing. So there was some animosity towards me from some of the straight inmates who don’t fool around because they don’t want an openly gay porter because they know they’ll be jerking people off while they’re serving people food and stuff, and they don’t want that.
James: That’s what I’m saying: It’s unsanitary.
Michael: Right. So there was this animosity towards me in every little thing that I’d do. They would get mad at me. Like I’d try and serve them coffee and the coffee in here is really poor quality. People in here have an ego problem, they have Napoleonic complexes, some of them get offended if you offer them this coffee because it’s really awful quality and their attitude is, “What, you think I can’t afford to get my own coffee?” But then again, if you don’t give it to them, it’s like, “Give me everything I’m suppose to get” – so you lose either way.
James: Now, what other jobs do you have?
Michael: That’s the only one. I quit. I quit. Well, that was when I was dating Cowboy. Remember Cowboy?
Michael: I didn’t tell you about Cowboy?
James: No. Tell me about Cowboy.
Michael: James, Cowboy was the one who killed the Prince of Park Avenue!
James: Michael, I don’t know about this.
Michael: Well, you know the case.
James: Oh, is this the whole Screaming Rachael thing? Oh yeah yeah yeah.
Michael: She was dating, supposedly, this Prince of Park Avenue character and coincidentally this boy, his name is Cowboy, he was 17 and he was with this older guy and they were jewel thieves and they broke into this apartment on Park Avenue, this prince, and they stole all his crowns and all his jewels, all the crown jewels of his country, and they killed the prince and three other people in the house. Well, Cowboy is from a trailer park in Georgia and a really sexy baseball player, he was going to be a professional baseball player, and he had no idea the value of these jewels and so he takes his share back to his trailer park in Georgia and he’s doing the laundry and walking the dog and shooting raccoon wearing this king’s crown thinking it’s fake gold or something. And it was solid gold with rubies and emeralds and priceless, you know. So anyway, he gets caught, and they give him a hundred years for that and he’s in Attica with me and, as it turns out, Screaming Rachael also testified against him. So that was our connection. He was so hot – I mean, with this beautiful white trash Southern accent and had no idea, could not understand why it was so sexy to be this white trash trailer-park boy named Cowboy.
James: Oh totally.
Michael: So we became friends and he was coming at me, you know, with this Southern charm. They called him “The Gentleman Killer” because he was like. . . .
James: “Yes sir, no sir.” I love that. So hot.
Michael: So we dated for a while, and that’s why I became a porter, because he was a porter, and he said, “Become a porter and that way we can spend all day together in the rec room.” I thought I told you about this. We would sit in the rec room and jerk each other off and kiss and stuff like that, while watching soap operas.
James: I don’t remember that at all.
Michael: Well, he was really, really sexy. But he became crazy – like possessive. He was like one of those white-trash wife beaters who’s going to kill his wife for, like, looking at the postman.
James: Right right right. Where was this? Attica?
Michael: Yeah. There was another guy in the company, an artist, and I was in his cell, we were looking through an art catalogue, ordering paints and canvases, because you know I wanted to start painting and when I came out of his cell, Cowboy was sitting there, standing there with his watch, tapping his foot, saying “Fifteen minutes? Fifteen fucking minutes you’ve been in there. What were y’all doing, sucking each others dicks?” It was just getting, like, really crazy so we had to just break it off.
James: But then you were still in Attica, still in the same company. Wasn’t it sort of awkward because you can’t escape seeing someone?
Michael: Well, that’s why I quit being a porter, because I didn’t want to work with him anymore.
James: So you aren’t a porter at this place?
Michael: No no no.
James: Anything else? We’ve got to keep this short. I’m sick of transcribing for hours, listening to you yammer on.
Michael: OK. . . . Wait a minute! You can’t. . . . We are going to deal with this RIGHT NOW. You can’t just . . . .
Recorded voice in phone: YOU HAVE SIXTY SECONDS.
Michael: When you do you want me to call again?
Michael reads from his fan mail and compares himself to Jesus.
Michael Alig: James, listen, I got this funny, uh, I brought some of my fan mail out, because some of it is so funny.
James St. James: Oh please, yes, read.
Michael: There’s this girl named Meg who lives in, oh gosh, Wyoming, and she says, “Last week we went out dressed up in black fishnets, black knee highs and our hair all funky with feathers in it. I also put some black eyeliner on with wings coming from the corner of my eyes and going down my cheeks. My mom wouldn’t let me out of the house. But I told her ‘Michael Alig does it and it’s Party Monster theme tonight at Jessica’s!’”
James: That’s hot.
Michael: So they’re having a Party Monster sleepover party!
James: So cute!
Michael: Anyway – one of the girls had a shaved head, you know, done up like Jennitalia, and they painted murals and came with their throat slashed and blood dripping all over the place and one of them looked like Junkie Johnathon.
James: How old are these kids?
Michael: Teenagers, I guess.
James: If I would have told you twenty years ago that there would be a trickle down to CLUB KID SLUMBER PARTIES in WYOMING. . . .
Michael: Oh I know I know I know. . . Now, James you can’t put anything derogatory about any of these people that write me, because honestly, honestly, James, these letters are what keeps me motivated.
James: I understand that.
Michael: It’s just a tiny portion of them are crackpots. Most of them are really nice people.
James: Well, read me one from a crackpot, and then we’ll say something funny about him. I mean nice about him.
Michael: This is one from someone who says he’s a former clubkid. He sent me a picture. He says “I always thought back then that you were a special person, and there is no one that can ever convince me that you killed Angel. You shouldn’t even be in prison in the first place.” Isn’t that sweet?
James: “Signed, Keoki.”
James: What?! What?!
Michael: That was mean.
James: Sorry. Oh, now I’M the mean one?
Michael: I got a letter today from a boy named Bryan, who. . . . You know, I’m really surprised at how these young kids TOTALLY GET what we were doing. He says, “Congratulations on attempting to reinforce self-worth through demolishing conventional styles and attitude teaching a generation of clubkids to transform their self conceptions of love and life by participating in autonomist non-conforming rage.”
James: (Whistles) Wow!
Michael: Good one, huh?
James: Yeah. . . . That’s exactly what you were trying to do, Michael. In your K-hole. It’s funny how he got that.
Michael: I was just writing chapter seven of my book, the first chapter where we. . . .
James: (Groans) You’re still doing that? Michael, nobody cares. It’s been done. By me.
Michael: ANYWAY, JAMES, it’s the chapter where the clubkids start, and I was like. . . . Hmmm. That sounds really good. I think I’ll use that! I can pass that off as my own thought!
James: Read me another one. Hey, wait a minute, do you give people my email address?
Michael: Sometimes. . . . Only if I think they should have it.
James: Because I do get a lot of very strange emails that I can’t quite figure out how they got my address.
Michael: Yep, that’s usually me.
James: Great. Gee. Thanks. Speaking of strange. . . . Did you ever get the girl who. . . .
Michael: Are you talking about the Bible thing?
James: YES! OMG! LOVE HER!
Michael: I never got it!
James: I’ll include that in your next package. Oh, Michael, she rewrote the New Testament with you as Jesus, and me as Jesus’ brother, and she wrote it all in King James English.
Michael: She told me about it!
James: It’s really something. You are Jesus. The club kids are the disciples. Area is the Temple. Dianne Brill is God.
Michael: She sent me five pages explaining, and actually the way she described it, the way she described Jesus, I thought, well, HE WAS exactly like me! (Laughs) No really, the way she described me was like. . . . The way she described it was: king of the misfits, and prostitutes, and cripples. I loved it. I AM JESUS!
James: It’s so fantastic.
Michael: James, do you remember the time we took Anthony Haden-Guest to Bowery Bar. . . .
James: . . . and put him in a K-hole! That was so much fun! And he kept saying. . . .
Michael: “Michael Alig is Jesus! Michael Alig is Jesus!” And he kept drawing crucifixes on the tablecloth. . . And you were getting so mad, you kept saying, “ONE MORE TIME!” And by the end of the night, he’s taking his shirt off and dribbling and drooling, and the managers and waiters kept saying, “What have you done to Anthony?” I keep thinking how funny that was.
James: Oh God, I miss those K-holes.
Michael: Then there’s this girl, her name is, oh, I’m not giving you her name. She says – I love this – she’s like, “I want to send you tons of letters, a letter every two days or more. I don’t expect a response, though, from every letter; I just want the time to go by faster for you. If you don’t want me to write so much then tell me and you won’t hurt my feelings, unless you don’t like me, then I’ll cry.” She says, “For whatever reason, I’m really drawn to you. I need you to help me discover the reason I feel the way I do. You are amusing to me.”
James: (Laughs) “You amuse me, little man.”
Michael: (Laughing) “. . .In your cage.”
James: “Dance in your cage, little man!”
Michael: I think she meant to say “amazing!” But I like “amusing.”
There’s this girl, and there’s a picture of her and her drunk boyfriend in a hotel room in Vegas. And all it says is, “Dear Michael: I love having sex. Girls or boys, I don’t care. I thought I’d let you know that little tidbit about me. I love SEX. SEX. I bet that’s one thing we have in common you and I. SEX. SEX. I’m going to Vegas for my birthday August 20th and I’m turning 26 and I can’t wait because I plan to have lots of SEX. I’ll drink some champagne for you.”
There’s this girl named Crystal, she’s 12 years old. I just found out she’s 12 years old a couple of days ago because I got a letter from her mother and her mother is really cool. You know, it’s funny because now we’re at the point where the mothers are our fans. You know, it’s no longer the kids. The mother is like 32, and she was around for Disco 2000. Now she’s living, like, in Ohio, and she has a 12-year-old daughter who is like a fan of mine and she wants to marry me and she’s sending me marriage proposals and dressing up in her 12-year-old clubkid guise.
So this girl, she’s 12 years old and she wrote the sweetest sweetest – James, it breaks my heart when I read some of these letters – she wrote the sweetest report on me for her 7th-grade class.
James: That is so crazy.
Michael: She said, “When I take your letters in to show and tell. . . ,” and I’m thinking, WHAT IS THIS TEACHER THINKING? She’s bringing in this, like, killer’s letters from prison! This report she did, though, was really heartbreaking.
Recorded voice: YOU HAVE SIXTY SECONDS.
James: Quickly, quickly! For example. . .?
Michael: Well, she says that her and her mother are kind of like the town weirdos, and everybody stares at them when they go to the grocery store or whatever, because her mom is from New York, you know, and she likes to dress like Britney Spears, or whatever, this is how much it’s trickled down. She says that after seeing Party Monster, she feels like she’s not alone in the world and that. . . . You know, it’s the same story from everyone. It’s always different and it’s always the same. It’s just heartbreaking the way she feels like she has a home with these clubkids, even though she’s only 12 and she lives in Iowa.
Michael Alig talks a load of crap.
Michael Alig: OH! Did I ever explain what a “shit room” is?
James St. James: No!
Michael: OK – in the visiting room or just in general, when they suspect you of having drugs inside of you, because that’s how a lot of people get drugs in here, they swallow them in the visiting room or shove it up their butt.
James: That’s hot.
Michael: I know. Now if they swallow them, it’s harder to find these drugs because it’s, you know, inside your stomach. So what they do, if they suspect you of this, they take you to a “shit room.” Now a shit room is an 8 x 8 seamless stainless-steel box, sort of like being in the back of a paddy wagon, so you can’t stash anything or drop anything, or hide anything behind anything, and you’re naked, and you have to sit there on a mat. All you have is a mat, and you’re naked (maybe they give you a hospital gown) and you sit there, under a spotlight, with a person standing in front of you, on the other side of the bars, watching you for 72 hours, until you shit THREE TIMES. And you have to shit three times clean. And you have to do it in a bowl. And they have to go through it with a fine tooth comb. Literally. They give you your meals in there and everything. And when you give them back the tray, they will go through your food, again with a fine tooth comb, literally picking through the mashed potatoes or the chicken bones or whatever, to make sure that you haven’t shit out whatever it is you’re hiding, or they think that you’re hiding inside and then passing it out.
Now my neighbor Izzy – this was at Southport – was put in the shit room five or six times. And he was a pro at beating the shit room. And what he would do is, he would shit the drugs out, maybe a bundle of dope, or some bags of dope, and then he would engage the officer in some kind of conversation or gossip about other officers or whatever, and meanwhile he would be unwrapping the dope and eating it and eating the paper, right out of his butt, or else if it’s in plastic, like ripping the plastic up into a million pieces, into little tiny, tiny pieces, mashing it up in his pasta or gravy or soup or whatever, or re-swallowing it. So there are all kinds of ways to get around the shit room.
Michael: It’s a pretty big deal. Everybody is afraid of going to the shit room, because you really have to be a hardened drug addict to make it through the shit room.
James: Have you ever had to go?
Michael: No, no, no. but it’s supposed to be just terrible. It’s really cold in there, and they do that on purpose. You’re cold and you’re naked and you’re there for three days. And you don’t get any property. You don’t get your deodorant or and you are just in there with no toilet. . . there’s no sink. . . there’s no nothing. It’s really awful. I hear.
Michael Alig chats about trannies, hormones, and the buying and selling of tiny pom-pom dolls at prison craft fairs to fund sex-change operations.
James St. James: So tell me about the drag queen who cut her dick off.
Michael Alig: Well her name is Beatrice. . . .
James: I love that name.
Michael: Her name is Bea, but everybody calls her Big Bird because she’s really really, really tall and lanky and white. And she goes around the yard walking like a bird, picking each leg up, you know, like a stork, and wearing these really, really short shorts, tight short shorts, with shaved bumpy legs. She’s actually very you, James.
James: (Laughs, but is secretly outraged)
Michael: So anyway: We were in the package room together one day – and there is a big thing in here, where the drag queens like to dress as girls in underwear, thongs and panties and bras and stuff – and if you’re on hormones and you have boobs, they let you do that.
James: You can get hormones in prison?
Michael: Yes. That’s what that whole story in New York magazine was about.
James: Oh right, right.
Michael: So anyway, she’s not on hormones, but she’s a girl, you know, she lives as a girl. So, we’re in the package room and she had ordered these women’s panties and they wouldn’t give them to her. So she was screaming: “This is sex discrimination! If I was a woman in a man’s prison you’d let me have men’s underwear!” – but they wouldn’t give them to her. So that night, at two o’clock in the morning, I see the officers and paramedics rushing to her cell with a stretcher. And she’s in there, wearing rubber gloves, and with alcohol swabs, and she has twisted her ball sac into a little knot and she’s cutting her ball sac off with the top of a tin can – a tuna fish can – and there’s blood everywhere. She’s got a bucket underneath her, and there’s blood going everywhere. And her reasoning is that if she’s a girl, she can get these panties. . . . And I guess it made sense at the time. So the next day, I was the hit of the yard with my “Isn’t Bea ridiculous?” joke.
James: What is your “isn’t Bea ridiculous” joke?
Michael: NO – “re-dick-less” . . .
Michael: One of the many stories. (Laughs)
James: Tell me about some of the other trannies in prison.
Michael: Did I ever tell you about Jessica?
Michael: She’s the one who started the whole thing to get the state to pay for sex change operations. She’s at Clinton. She is so funny, James. She doesn’t have any money, and she wanted to have her sex change operation and so she came up with this idea: There’s a craft fair at most facilities where you can make hobbies and crafts and then you can set up a little table at “rec time” and other inmates can buy little stuff from you. They fill out a little form and the money gets transferred from their account to your account. And so Jessica made the cutest little pom-pom figures – you know, a little snowman, and little doggies with the googly eyes that you shake, green and red and yellow, all smiley, on little cardboard stands – and she sells them for 25 and 50 cents, because in here people hardly have any money, and 50 cents is a lot of money to somebody in here, you know?
Michael: So she sells them for 25 and 50 cents, and all the money is going to her sex change. Her idea is that she’s going to turn into a woman, and then go into a woman’s facility.
James: But a sex change costs hundreds of thousands of dollars
Michael: Well that’s the cute part of the story, James. She’s saving up a quarter here, and a quarter there. . . . And all the guys in here are really, really supportive of her, because she really looks like a girl, and she has sex with all of them, so there are these big macho rapist murderers, who have these little pom-pom dolls hanging on their cell gate or on their TV, and they’re all chipping in for her sex-change operation.
Michael: No, it’s really sweet.
James: No, that IS really sweet.
Michael: Anyway- she’s the one who ended up suing the state because they gave her hormones. She wasn’t on hormones when she came in here, and they gave her hormones. And now she’s growing little boobies and saying it’s cruel and unusual punishment for them to start the transition and not finish it, so she won, and they have to finish it now.
James: So the penal system is paying for her. . . penal removal.
Michael: Exactly. And it’s not just her. It’s caused a snowball effect and an avalanche of drag queens. Every day they’re here huddling in the yard getting their papers together, filing their own lawsuits. Dozens of them in this facility have filed their lawsuits. And Cynthia – the one at Attica – has filed hers. And they’re all getting their sex changes. Only in America, right?
Michael explains the solitary life and how he came late to believing 9/11.
James St. James: Let’s talk about your stay in Southport.
Michael Alig: What do you want to know about Southport?
James: You were in solitary confinement there — for how long?
Michael: I was in there for about two and a half years.
James: Wow. So for two and a half years, walk me through your typical day.
Michael: You know James it’s really difficult because you’re not allowed to wear a watch or anything, and there’s no windows, so the only way you know when the day ends is by the meals. Breakfast comes at six AM, lunch comes at 11:30, then dinner at four. And so from four in the afternoon until six in the morning, you don’t have anything to eat, and so you never know what time it is.
James: And what do you do during that period?
Michael: Well, I tried to write a lot but, you know, they limit you to one pen a week and that would go dead after one day, with me, so I would have to trade my food for pens, and so it’s really like a never-ending hustle of trying to keep yourself in pens and paper and stamps.
James: So all this time you are just in a cell. How big is the cell?
Michael: Oh, it’s pretty big. It’s about 10 x 10.
James: That doesn’t sound big, Michael.
Michael: Well it’s almost twice as big as what I have now.
James: You didn’t have a television?
James: Did you have a radio?
Michael: When you behave for a certain amount of time they give you one of those receiver things like Lily Tomlin had when she played Ernestine the Operator on Laugh In. You plug it into the wall and you have to hold it up to your ear. It’s not like a headset, it’s only one ear, and you have to hold it to your ear because it doesn’t attach on in any way, and it doesn’t reach from the wall to the bed, so if you want to listen to it you have to go stand next to the wall.
James: I remember you telling me about this. There were only three stations, right?
Michael: Yes, there was rap, sports or Spanish. (James finds this hilarious) And every once in a while they’d let us have, like, an ABC special or something.
James: So for the two years you were there you didn’t see TV at all? Not even BUFFY?
Michael: Oh no. In fact, you know – you’re going to think I’m crazy – but I didn’t believe that 9/11 really happened for a long time.
James: Wait, what?
Michael: I thought it was a joke. I thought they were joking with me.
James: Who came to you and told you the towers had fallen?
Michael: Another inmate, and he was speaking in half-Spanish. He was telling me something about a plane crashing into a building. . . I was waiting to go to the dentist that morning, and when you’re waiting in the dentist’s office there are cages in the waiting room – you’re in individual cages, and there are six cages. . . .
James: OMG – that sounds just like MY dentist’s office!
Michael: Anyway, I was in one cage and the guy next to me was telling me that a plane hit a building on West Street. Now I didn’t really know what West Street was. The more he was telling me in his broken English, the more it was sounding like the World Trade Center, and I said you can’t mean the World Trade Center, and he said: “Jes, jes” — and I said, “That didn’t happen.”
James: No guard came to you and told you?
Michael: Well, then about half an hour later a guard came in the room and said, “That’s it! The building collapsed’ – I guess that was the first one – and I thought he was playing with us, because cops do that all the time in here, they play with your head all the time.
Michael: I didn’t believe it at all. Then I went in and the dentist is looking at my teeth and whispering something to the officer behind me and the officer was whispering something to him and I’m all paranoid thinking they’re talking about yanking my teeth out or whatever, I don’t know what they’re talking about, you know – you get really paranoid when you’re in solitary confinement.
James: I can imagine.
Michael: You get really super paranoid, like if I didn’t hear from somebody in X amount of time I would write them CRAZY letters like “what have I done, why aren’t you responding?” – just crazy stuff. But anyway. so then I went back to my cell, and nobody’s talking about it and nobody says anything for lunch or dinner and it was almost a week before I really believed.
James: You don’t get newspapers in solitary?
Michael: No, in fact, the way I found out about it was from New York magazine.
James: So you were able to get magazines?
Michael: Somebody had gotten me a subscription and it was on the cover a week later. By then I’m thinking that there might be some truth to this. So it wasn’t like a total shock. But it was just the proof that I needed.
James: Tell me more about that time in solitary. It sounds so crazy. I want to hear more about how paranoid you get.
Michael: Yeah, you get really paranoid. I thought they were fucking with my mail. OK, well, first of all, I had this problem – this nerve problem – and it was making me, you know, impotent. I felt like they were putting something in my food, and I even discussed this with you. It makes sense: you’re in solitary confinement, a bunch of guys, and I was in a place where there are a lot of sex offenders and it makes sense that they would put something in the food to make you not get aroused, you know? And so I was thinking that, and I was paranoid to eat my food and so I was switching food with my neighbors and my neighbors were paranoid to eat my food and you just get that way. Then the doctors were telling me it’s all in my mind, and there’s nothing wrong with me. . .
James: . . .and you think they’re just fucking with you because they’re on the payroll.
Michael: Oh yeah.
James: What about the guards – were they mean?
Michael: Some of them were nice to me because I got so much mail. I don’t think they’d ever seen that much mail, you know? I was just getting piles and piles of mail, and the guards when they see you having contact and visits – when they see you having contact on the outside – they treat you differently. Either they respect you more or, in my paranoid mind, they were treating me better because they knew that if they did anything wrong, I would be able to get the message out to people.
Michael: And that’s kind of true. If they know that you have no relatives or friends or people visiting or writing you, they can treat you anyway they want, because they know that nobody’s ever going to find out about it. That’s really scary.
James: That IS scary. So you were there two years. . . .
Michael: Two and a half years. I am always meeting people now who are saying, “Oh I met you at Southport,” but I don’t remember anybody there because I was just in a daze, you know? And it’s like, any time you leave your cell, even to take a shower, you are in shackles. You’re handcuffed and your feet are shackled.
James: So when you would take showers with people. . . .
Michael: You don’t take showers with people.
James: So no contact with anyone, ever. You were alone except for the guard and the porter.
Michael: Except for the porter, who was the junkie, coming to my cell every day and nodding out on my bars, drooling on my bars.
James: Were YOU still a junkie at this point?
Michael: No, but this was when I had my relapse.
James: You relapsed? Why?
Michael: WHY? GEE, I DON’T KNOW. “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?” (James dissolves in laughter) “COULDN”T YOU FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO?”
James: How were you getting money for it?
Michael: This is the thing: I wasn’t . And I was racking up bills.
James: As is our way.
The Rest of the Conversation Is Unprintable
Michael narrowly avoids getting X’ed and briefly revives the blue dots that made him Michael.
Michael Alig: Oh, James, do you know that a couple of days ago I was on the phone, like I’m talking to you right now, and two phones down from me was a guy talking on the phone and someone just walked right up to him and X’ed him on both cheeks with a razor blade. Like X’es, you know? Blood squirting and everything.
James St James: Who were you talking to?
Michael: Sarah. And I’m the only person that even reacted at all. Everyone else that was walking around either ignored it or just, you know, didn’t care. I found out later that the guy who did the cutting – and this is what’s really scary – the guy who did the cutting was a wannabe Blood, and in order to become a Blood you have to go out and cut somebody at random. You have to cut somebody who has nothing to do with anybody, who hasn’t caused any trouble.
James: So it could just as easily have been you?
Michael: It could just as easily have been me, or any old lady in the street.
James: Except there are no old ladies, or streets, in prison, Michael.
Michael: You know what I mean. They just have to go out and cut somebody, and it has to be specifically somebody they don’t have any beef with. They want you to prove your ruthlessness.
James: So you came within a hair’s breadth of disfigurement YET AGAIN.
Michael: Isn’t that the scariest thing? You know, I just keep my eyes open now, and if I see anybody coming near me that I don’t know, I run.
James: Well that’s just something you should do in prison anyway, right?
Michael: Well, who knew it was that bad?
James: (Laughs) Did you just say, Who knew prison was that bad?
Michael: Well, you know, you think as long as you keep yourself out of trouble and you don’t piss anybody off, you’re not going to get hurt.
Michael: Anybody who doesn’t think that I am paying for my crime. . . I am.
James: (Laughs) Repeat that again for the blog. Just so everybody hears.
Michael: It’s true.
James: So what else is going on? What did you do last night?
Michael: Oh, well, Wayne and Sylvie had sent me this fabulous box of watercolors pencils, the kind that you dip in water and they watercolor paint.
Michael: And they are perfect for makeup! So I had a scar over my left – remember that time I was punched in the eye at Twilight Zone by that security guard I called [the N-word]?
James: Yes, Paris, I do.
Michael: And I told them to give me money or I’d go to the police?
James: You still have a scar from that? That was 17 years ago!
Michael: Yes, and whenever there’s a cute boy around, I want to cover it up, of course. So I found one of the pencils that is the same exact color of my eyebrows and I put a little spit on it, and I covered it up. And I thought, hmmm, these pencils would really shape my eyebrows nicely, so I started to shape the one eyebrow, then the other eyebrow, then I found another pencil that’s the color of my skin and I made that really wet and I made that into a foundation. And then I took a red, and I started painting the lips, and by now I’m doing the rouge and the blue polka dots, and everything (James laughs). And I’m listening to my Walkman the whole time – this is like two o’clock in the morning, you know – and all of a sudden I hear BANG! BANG! BANG! And I turn around and it’s the sergeant and the night guard and two officers and I’m singing LA LA LA LA LA. . . And they’re like, “Alig, what are you doing?” And I’m standing there with my blue polka dots on.
James: OMG, that’s so funny, I can see it now. You and those goddamned blue dots.
Michael’s plans for a Halloween party go awry.
Michael Alig: There’s something in here called the ILC –The Inmate Liason Committee, and they have a president of the ILC, and he’s, like, the liason between the superintendant and the inmate population – and I thought I would run for the office. I figured it would be sort of like what I was doing with Peter [Gatien] – like I was Peter’s right hand man. I would relay to him what the people in clubland were wanting and thinking and feeling, and then report back to the people how Peter can pay them or can’t pay them or what’s going through his mind, stuff like that. And I thought that would be a really good thing for me to do in here, you know?
James St. James: Right.
Michael: Because I’m smart, I can articulate things, and, you know, a lot of people in here are not very smart. I said I would really work for the inmate population and I would work to make a kinder, more colorful facility. So we’re at the meeting, and they’re deciding who should be nominated to be president, and anyone who wants to be nominated goes up to the podium, and talks to the crowd and says why they want to be nominated and what their platform is.
James: How big a crowd is this?
Michael: It’s about 40 people. So I go up and I’m talking about all of the things I wanted to do. I talk about my old job and how I was sort of the same thing in the street and I’m thinking I’m going to revolutionize prison, you know, vote for Michael, vote for Michael, and I’m telling them that I have ideas for fun things for the inmates to do, and they said. “Well, give us an example.” I said all right, well: Halloween is coming up, I thought it would be really fun if everybody goes to the commissary and stocks up on candy bars and chocolate and little sour candy and things like that, and on the 31st we go trick-or-treating from cell to cell with pillow cases and give candy to each inmate!
James: Well, that sounds like fun!
Michael: And they were all going along with it and everything and I said we could put white sheets over our heads, you know. . . and you could have heard a pin drop. (James laughs) And the moderator, who was black, and a member of the Nation of Islam or something said, “Why white sheets?” I said, No no no— GHOSTS! GHOSTS! But from then on nobody wanted to listen to me at all. There was, like, booing and hissing and I had to get down.
James: So you weren’t nominated to be president?
Michael: I guess not. It’s amazing how touchy they are over something like that though. Right away their mind goes to that.
Michael is mistaken for crazy, and experiences the joys of second-hand methadone.
Michael Alig: You know, James, you don’t know any of this: When I first got to Rikers Island, do you know that they put me in the mental ward?
James St. James: I think I sort of did. Why did they do that?
Michael: (Very sarcastic) Well, gee, I don’t know. Maybe it was the cover story of the Village Voice that had my picture superimposed on top of a skull (James laughs) with a heroin needle underneath (James laughs harder). All about how I’m an admitted pedophile. Remember that article? It said, “Michael Alig admits he’s a pedophile. He says he thinks it’s great!”
James: “Just clean fun, is what he said.”
Michael: Of course I said nothing of the sort. It was a complete lie. But you know the Village Voice gets handed out free to inmates at Rikers Island (a great customer base, don’t you think?). So anyway, it was the talk of the prison.
James: How did they make the logistical leap to you being insane?
Michael: Well, because they thought that anybody that goes around saying those things has to be crazy.
James: So were you in a straight jacket? Was it like The Snake Pit?
Michael: I wasn’t but, James, I’m telling you: I feel for those people who are really crazy, because they have nobody. Nobody is going to speak up for them. I was like Francis Farmer, I was in there with them and there was nobody to listen to me because I was crazy.
James: Were you afraid you were going to get lost in the system?
Michael: Oh, totally. James, listen, they put the crazy people in these trailers that are like modular units off the side of Rikers Island. This is in the dead of winter, there was no heat in these buildings, and we were all sleeping in our coats and gloves. It was just as cold inside as it was outside, and you can’t complain to anybody because you’re crazy and they’re not going to listen to you.
James: Right, right.
Michael: And I was dope sick and throwing up. I didn’t want to get in the shower because I was sick and it was cold. And do you know that the inmates threw me in a cold shower and took all my clothes off and just left me there?
James: The other mental people?
Michael: Yes, it was awful.
James: How long were you there?
Michael: About 10 days. Every so often the inmates have to go in for an evaluation and when I went in for the evaluation, right when I walked in the room, the psychiatrist said “What are you doing here?” I said “What do you mean?” And she said “You’re not supposed to be here” and then they took me out.
James: Where was Freeze during all this?
Michael: Living it up at a place called NEC or something like that. Which is the VIP section, the protective custody section.
James: So you were dope sick all this time. There weren’t any drugs once you got into Rikers?
Michael: Not in the mental ward.
James: But when you got into Rikers?
Michael: Yes, when I was in Rikers, there was. And, oh God, I was buying people’s methadone from them. This is so disgusting, this is how it works: You have to go to the hospital to take your methadone. So inmates were going to the hospital, drinking it, putting the methadone in their mouth like they were going to drink it, and then KEEPING IT IN THEIR MOUTH ALL THE WAY BACK to the dorm where we were sleeping, THEN SPITTING IT UP IN MY HAND, so that I could drink it, and then I would pay them for it.
James: That’s sooooo fabulous.
Michael: No, James, it wasn’t. And you know, sometimes you don’t even know who your getting it from, sometimes it just comes to you in a little plastic sandwhich baggie—and you can tell it’s spit-up because there’s like saliva in it, and everything, and you just have to drink it.
James: What about the heroin? Wasn’t there heroin there for you?
Michael: There was – but the methadone was much cheaper. I couldn’t afford to buy the heroin.
James: No, I’m sorry, that is TOTALLY fabulous. OPM – Other People’s Methadone.
Michael channels his inner auteur and discusses his post-prison plans.
James St. James: So this is it. The last one. Tell me: What do you plan to do when you get out?
Michael Alig: (Nonchalantly) Oh, I don’t know.
Michael: Why, you want to see a movie or something?
Michael: No really, I have a very good idea, actually.
Michael: And this really something that’s do-able. You know, James, I will never be able to totally distance myself from clubland. I mean, you know that, right?
James: Well, you’ll also never be able to work in a nightclub or any place that serves alcohol. You can’t work at places with liquor licenses.
Michael: That’s not true. What it is, is I’m not allowed to put my name on a liquor license. So I’ll be like Steve Lewis. Steve Lewis can’t direct a club, or have his name on a liquor license, but he can be the “artistic advisor” or whatever he’s called. But that’s not my idea. My idea is to make some really, really cool underground movies with all of our friends (or whoever will be my friend when I come out) and make these movies, make them very cheap, and really sick and twisted like that BABY HATER movie that Laurie Pike made, that I read about in PAPER magazine.
James: (Slowly) So you’re going to make movies about people who hate babies?
Michael: No, no, no. In the vein of John Waters and FEMALE TROUBLE and DESPERATE LIVING and sick stuff like that. Then I’ll have premieres in, say, five or six or 10 major cities across the country (and maybe even across the world, in Berlin and London!), and take 10, 15, 20 of the stars of the movie to each of the premieres in each of the cities and have fabulous Hollywood-style red carpet premieres, with the klieg lights and everything! And the people, the fans, can come to the party afterwards and mingle with the stars of the movie! Don’t you think that would be fun?
James: (Complete and utter silence) So you want to take your club-kid friends and make movies about them, like little Warholian-type things….?
Michael: More John Waters.
James: Um, but you don’t know anything about movies or directing movies.
Michael: WELL, THAT’S THE WHOLE BEAUTY OF IT, JAMES! You know how the whole club-kid thing works! I don’t have to make the movies. It’s sort of like Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey. Andy didn’t make the movies. Paul did.
James: So you’re going to find…
Michael: I’ve already found somebody! I’ve found a hundred people like that!
James: Jeeez – don’t get defensive. I’m just doing my duty, asking the questions….
Michael: I’M JUST SAYING!
James: So it will be like “Michael Alig Presents….”
Michael: Well, I will be there when they are actually made. I’m not going to distance myself from it. I’ll be in the room saying (in an odd Hungarian accent) “It should be taller, like a LIPSTICK! Like a POWDERPUFF!”
James: Is that a BRADY BUNCH reference?
Michael: That was Bibi Galini on the Brady Bunch. Remember Bibi?
James: Zsa Zsa right?
Michael: No it wasn’t, but it was somebody like Zsa Zsa. And she had that fag assistant, and she and her assistant were both in the same office, except they had two separate desks and two separate telephones, and whenever he needed to talk to her he had to pick up the phone and buzz her desk. And she would pick it up. And at one point one of her rivals called and he said, Bibi, so-and-so on line 5, and she said, Her I do not wish to speak to – hang up loudly.
James: We’re a little off point here.
Michael: Well, don’t you think it’s a good idea?
James: Sure, Michael, it’s a great idea.
Michael: I mean like REAL red carpet premieres!
James: I got it. Now are you still going to be working clubs, doing clubs, throwing parties?
Michael: Eventually I’ll do something. You’ve heard about what’s going on Mondays at Avalon, right?
James: No. what?
Michael: YOU DON’T KNOW?
James: No. You’re killing me. What?
Michael: Keoki! Boy George! Amanda! Richie! Tasty Tim! Sophia!
James: OMG! That’s so glamorous! Monday nights, though? Has that ever been done? How’s it going?
Michael: I don’t know, but I have spies going in and sending me pictures.
James: OK, OK, OK. Let’s keep it moving. Other than this, what other plans do you have?
James: And how do you plan to spend the rest of the time in prison? How much longer do you think you have?
Michael: Gosh, talk about not being interested in my answers. Disaffected! How rude!
Michael: (Big sigh) “Let’s get this over with!”
James: So, theoretically, you think you have a year left….
Michael: NO, WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY? I see the parole board in two years and one month.
James: Two years and one month. What happens if you don’t make parole the first time?
Michael: Well, they can tell you anything. They can say come back in six months with no tickets and we’ll let you go home, or they’ll say take this program and come back in 12 months we’ll let you out. They can say anything. BUT they can only say no up to a certain point. They can only say no twice, basically.
James: What is the purpose of saying 10 to 20 then?
Michael: Well, if you get into trouble while you’re in jail.…
James: Have you been in any major trouble?
Michael: Not enough that they can keep me beyond the two times. I’m talking about something that would get you an extra charge, like stabbing someone. And I’ve been really good the last four years. Actually, I was just told yesterday that I’m eligible for the Honor Block, which is quite an achievement, I might add. It means, if I choose to go there, that I will go someplace where I have a microwave oven, and be able to cook… JAMES! are you even paying attention to me?
James: I’m sorry, I was IMDB-ing Zsa Zsa Gabor to see if she was on the Brady Bunch. What were you saying?
Michael: I’M TELLING YOU IT WASN’T HER! As I was saying, it’s a step up. I can have a microwave and pots and pans to cook, and have a refrigerator that I can keep food in and my cell is twice the size and it’s open all day long, and we have movies every day, and showers right there and we don’t have to come down to the gym for showers, so it’s a lot of privileges. The only thing is, this place is full of goody-two-shoes, everybody there is a snitch, so it’s like you’ve really got to be careful because every one is trying to be on their best behavior to get out.
James: Are you ever going to be able to take computer classes or anything? You realize when you get out you will be 10 years behind the rest of the world. Doesn’t that scare you?
Michael: They really don’t have anything like that.
James: Doesn’t it freak you out that before you went in, nobody really had cell phones, nobody was on the internet….
Michael: I think I’ll pick it all up pretty quickly.
James: Last question: You know, every day I fight the urge to wear a diaper and clown nose to work. I miss dressing up so much. When you get out, what are you going to wear? How are you going to dress? Forty is too old for club-kid looks.
Michael: I will probably do some sort of shirt-and-tie thing.
Michael: You know, some kind of new-wave-y/German/electroclash look.
James: I suppose. But then after 50, we can go back to drag, right?
Michael: Oh absolutely.