Chapter 2. Memories from my teenage life and remembering a lost friend.
Hello everyone! Since I last wrote there’s been some changes. We were quarantined with the Contortion Sisters in Las Vegas, But with the Strip completely shut down, and all the casinos locked up, we decided to go back to Utah where Tyce’s Family is. We wanted the Sisters to come with us but they decided to go be with their mom in San Francisco. She’s the only family that they have in the states, everyone else is in Mongolia. We miss having the girls with us, Jaxx was loving doing contortion stretches with them every night.
What else is happening in the world? Every performer I know is still laid off, Small business owners who were told they would get government loans are now being told the money has run out. Cirque Du Soleil is on the verge of bankruptcy. Oh! and there was another earthquake last month, a 6.5 magnitude in Idaho. Another sign of the end of the world?
We’ve stayed up late a lot of nights listening to conspiracy theories about Covid19. Is the virus really a natural thing that happened? Or was it man made in a lab? And if so, to what end?
I honestly would believe it if we found out it was man made, I never rule anything out.
I’ve been talking more with my family. I facetimed with two of my siblings, John and Angie. The three of us are closest in age out of all the Wolfe kids. Angie and her husband have a cabin in Colorado. John and his boyfriend Josh also have a house in Colorado and since they are laid off from their jobs on Broadway (They are both Broadway performers) They are all quarantined together. They were trying to convince us to go to Colorado because in John's words “gays make the best roasts'' Tempting for sure! I saw Angie’s boys in the background and they are grown teenagers now, which weirds me out.
I remember when her oldest was born, I was 17 and was sneaking back into the house at about 6am after a night of shenanigans with my friends. I started to creep through the living room and saw the lights on and my dad sitting there. I thought “Well crap this is finally the time I actually get in trouble for being out all night” I wasn’t really doing anything “bad” on my all nighters, I didn’t drink at all in my teenage days or try drugs, but I did get into some kinds of “trouble”
Like I said in my first blog post, I want to leave some memories behind for Jaxx if anything ever happens to me, I want him to know about the people who made me who I am. I think everyone has friends who are meant to be there for you during different stages in life. In each chapter I’ll take some time to describe the people from my childhood, and some of the impact they have left on my life. So tonight you are going to get:
Joelle was homeschooled like me (I was homeschooled until highschool) She is a baptist preacher's daughter with a rebellious personality. to paint a picture of who she is, she has a tattoo of a bar of soap on her butt, why? She said she had a dirty butt. She also has a tattoo of a bow on her head and when she feels like showing it off she shaves that section of her hair. She is adventurous, funny, shares a love of fairies with me and is STUNNING. (She signed a modeling contract and moved to NYC for a while) we’ve had our ups and downs, but we will always love each other. Whenever some crazy adventure would pop up, I always knew Joelle would be down to go.
when the coronavirus started getting serious, we reached out to each other. Crazy how you can not talk to someone for years but then when something serious happens, your mind goes straight to that person. We haven’t spoken much for years but I want her on my side if zombies attack. She’s that person to me, the person who I would trust to help me fight for my life.
Whitney is a mysterious one! She’s a singer/songwriter. She has wavy blonde hair like a mermaid and has an old soul (She was always attracted to older men and because of this it made her the talk of gossip growing up, don’t worry she was 18 when she actually started dating these old guys) she's very quiet, so quiet it forces me to be the one who talks, which is good for me. When you get to know her you realize how incredibly intelligent and deep she is, she also makes a point to take the bus to help with the environment even though she has a car. I Love That about her. I actually still see her a lot more often than my other friends because she lives in LA working as a voice over actress for audio books .She was there for us during all our AGT filming.
She says things are pretty rough in LA right now, most people who live there make a living from working as servers in restaurants, social events, actors in the film industry...which have all been shut down.
Kacey is my adopted sister. She’s from Kentucky, just across the river from my town in West VA. She’s Native American, and not the fake kind, you know how everyone claims to have a great great cherokee grandma? Well Kacey is the real deal, her dad is from an Iroquois reservation back east. She made me laugh so much one time when a very white person asked what her ethnicity was and when she said Native American, this person responded with “Oh I’m Native American too, but don’t know what tribe. Kacey’s response: “wow it's amazing how every person I meet happens to be Native, and with blue eyes. What are the odds?”
She is the person who first introduced me to my favorite cliffs to jump off of. (Which in a ripple effect helped me get the cliff diving job where I met Tyce, because I kind of had cliff diving experience)
We would spend hours at the lake exploring and playing pranks on the park rangers. We would drive around illegally before we had our drivers licenses (don’t do that at home kids it's easier and safer to get away with that in the country) We bonded over falling in love with gay men who we could never have (we did theatre together so naturally that's the kind of boys we were around) When I hear countrty music it makes me miss her, I miss all our summer nights spent at the lake and going to county fairs. She’s now a flight attendant so she flies to see us in alot of our shows which I love.
And now the person I’m focusing most on for this blog entry,
When I turned 14 I decided that I didn’t want to be homeschooled anymore. Homeschooling is great but I wanted to be more social. Michael was in my show choir class, and he was hard to miss, you couldn’t not know who Michael Niday was. He had one of the biggest personalities I had ever seen. His laugh...I wish I had a recording of his laugh. But this was all back before social media and camera phones. The only pictures I have of us are pictures that were taken with an actual camera with film.
I’m not sure what highschool is like for kids these days, I’m hoping people are more accepting, and I think they are? But back then people were still bullied for being different. I knew that Michael was gay, his parents also knew and accepted him 100% no judgment, nothing but love. I think everyone knew Michael was gay, and highschool kids can be brutal so he wasn’t quite ready to come out. So, I became his “girlfriend” We played like we were dating but what was really happening was sleepovers with us memorizing the choreography to all our favorite musicals.
We went to prom together and had the best time. My mom is going to hate reading this part haha...one of our favorite things to do was “drag” race other people in my moms minivan, or drive to the river front park, turn off the lights and creep up on a car that we knew most likely had people in it making out, and the turn the brights on, beep the horn, and blast a recording of a police siren...the panic of people trying to put their clothes on so fast :)
On the night my nephew was born was probably one of the funniest nights I ever had with Michaell. There’s a street in my hometown called “Frat Row” because it's about a mile strip of fraternity houses. Our bright idea for that night was to buy liquid laxatives and sabotage the cases of alcohol at the frat parties. Everything was going according to plan, we slowly slipped laxatives into the kegs. Joelle had moved onto our next plan which was lifting up the toilet seats and taping plastic wrap over the toilet bowl (if you don’t get it google it, it's pretty funny)
About an hour goes by of us mingling when I look over and see Michael drinking with a cute college boy, I ran over and was like “Michael! Where did you get that drink?!” he pointed to the table of drinks where we had snuck laxatives in. I quickly reminded him of what we had done about an hour earlier and the look on his face! “I FORGOT!” he said.
At this point he was drunk, and I knew we needed to get him home asap. My friends got him to the back seat of the car and as we were heading to his house I heard him mumbling that his stomach hurt, and he felt like he was going to puke, I told him we were almost to his house. I should have pulled over but I didn’t, and as we turned onto his block I saw him stick his head out of the window and puke….and I thought okay thats not so bad. And then it happened...he gave out one more strong puke and at the same time he shat his pants, and it was everywhere. So now I had a car with puke all down the windows and runny shat all over the seats. We helped him to his yard where he laid down on the grass, I knocked on his parents door until I saw some lights come on, because I didn’t want to leave him asleep in the grass all night. I started to run back to my car when drunk Michael called me over to him, I kneeled down and Michael very seriously said “I love you Mary, thank you for being my fake girlfriend” I said I loved him too.
The coming weeks Michael and I didn’t spend much time together because I was getting ready to move out west. After I moved I would usually only go home for christmas. One Christmas I brought a guy home who at the time I had a pretty serious relationship with. Michael came over to see me and later that night the guy I was dating mentioned under his breath “what a faggot” It made me realize I could never marry this guy. So thank you Michael because had I married this guy I never would have been a cliff diver and met Tyce and have the life I have now.
In 2013, Tyce and I were rehearsing for our first cruise ship show, and I got a call from my friend Ashleigh who had done theatre with me and michael. She was crying “did you hear? Michael is dead”
Michael had lost his fight with addiction.
Tyce and I were supposed to run our trapeze act but I couldn’t do it. My friend was gone, and where had I been? I hadn’t seen him in years. You get used to knowing your friends will always be there, you can always go back to visit later, call them back later….until it's too late.
My heart was broken for Michaels parents, he was an only child. His parents were the nicest people. When I went to his house I would see pictures of children who they sponsored from other countries, and they inspired me. So now Tyce and I sponsor a girl from Bangladesh. It's not much, but I like to think that I can do that for Michael.
Why did I choose to write about Michael? And why choose that particular story about him?
Michael brought me joy, he brought joy to everyone around him. Anyone who remembers his life will only have funny, happy memories. He was eccentric, flamboyant, and was ALWAYS smiling. He was unique.
If I die, what will I be remembered for? What will my son remember? If I’m gone tomorrow will there be a story about me that sticks out in someone's mind? Will people think of me and smile when I’m gone? If I die tomorrow I hope that my friends remember some ridiculous thing that we did together, and that they can think of me and laugh, not be sad.
I wrote about Michael to honor his memory, and I shared a funny story because that's what he was, he was fun. He made life less boring and he saved me from marrying a guy who would have tried to turn me into something I'm not.
When me and that guy broke up he said to me “I was going to pay for any 3 surgeries you wanted if you married me”
3?! I mean I know I’m not perfect but 3 surgeries?? Is there something wrong with my face? Haha, dumb.
I hope this story about Michael can bring a smile to your face. I hope his mom knows what a light he was to the people in his life.
I'm remembering you now Michael. You are loved and missed, always and forever.
I love you.