Today's Times carried the obituary of Pat Bond, "a sexual-subculture pioneer," founder in the early '70s of the Eulenspiegel Society, "an organization for adherents of bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism." When I first moved to NY, I found an ad for the Society in the Voice. I knew, through my German dad, about Till Eulenspiegel, a mischievous character in German folklore, & thought— well, I'm not sure what I thought. That my dad would like it that I was taking an interest in his culture? that I would find others who liked the stories about his "merry pranks"? I went to a meeting. I don't remember much, just feeling quite uncomfortable without having any idea whatsoever what was going. It certainly didn't have anything to do with Till & I'm sure the people there, who I remember as all being old & dull, could see that.
I think I remember that the meeting was held on the 2nd floor of a theater building on 4th St. Is it possible it was the same theater that produced nothing but Strindberg? The lady selling tickets morphed into the star (& director & for all I know, the translator). Early on in knowing Johnny, who was a real theater buff, I told him how much I liked Strindberg & how funny he was. He's not funny, Johnny said. So I dragged him to this theater, where a really ancient lady played Miss Julie, & the most uncharismatic actor of all time played the love interest. She took every opportunity to strip & let her boobs fall out of her negligee. Johnny thought I was exaggerating but admitted if anything I had underpromised.
These days I don't go to anything I'm not prepared for. What strange worlds I fell into when I just went.