Friday, July 19, 2013

I Am Not Myself These Days

Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Harper Perennial
Reviewed by: Nancy
5 out of 5 stars


I Am Not Myself These Days follows a glittering journey through Manhattan's dark underbelly -- a shocking and surreal world where alter egos reign and subsist (barely) on dark wit and chemicals...a tragic romantic comedy where one begins by rooting for the survival of the relationship and ends by hoping someone simply survives.

My Review

I’m not much of a TV person and have never seen The Fabulous Beekman Boys or heard of Josh Kilmer-Purcell, retired drag queen. Still, I’m glad I found this little gem about two misfits in love. By day, Josh works for an advertising agency. At night, he lovingly and painstakingly transforms himself into Aqua, a 7-foot blonde beauty who carries goldfish around in her plastic boobs. His boyfriend, Jack, is a very well-paid escort known as “Aidan” to his clients, and lives in a posh apartment building guarded by doormen. The two guys enjoy a routine life of reading the paper together and ordering lunch from the deli, while listening to Jack’s beeper go off and occasionally running into his unusual clients.

“The truth is, there’s no movie of the week about a drunk drag queen and a crackhead hooker in love. There never has been. It’s not the kind of thing people would care about. People would flip right by the channel, either unbelieving or uncaring. Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? Aren’t they both bad? If they didn’t get what they deserved by the first commercial, it’d be on to the breast cancer movie.”

You’re so wrong, Josh. Right from the first page, I cared. I loved reading about your transformation to Aqua. You reminded me of my little brother, who got a kick out of trying on my mom’s dresses and heels. Your work hours and lack of sleep exhausted me, reminding me of my own hectic days working full-time, part-time, taking classes, and still finding time to party. You also reminded me of a close friend who appeared to be the happiest person in the world to everyone else, but drowned his pain in vodka. I loved your crazy and dysfunctional relationship with Jack in a city that has no mercy, yet is a haven for those who are different, and I loved your friendship with Laura and your relationship with your supportive mom who didn’t know the difference between transsexuals and drag queens.

“You know that if you want to have an operation that’s something you can talk about with your dad and me.”

Your story was beautiful, honest, and hilarious. If it wasn’t so darn funny, I would have cried.

Also posted at Goodreads.

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