Other works / Tony Russo’s fantasy day with Madonna in Park Slope

TONY RUSSO’S FANTASY…a day with Madonna

 Picture this: me walking on a beautifully deserted sandy beach in the Caribbean. I stumble across a bottle. I rub it and out comes a genie granting me three wishes. The first wish would be a no brainer. “Genie darling”, I would say, “take me back to Brooklyn. The second I open my eyes I would like to see Madonna lying in bed next to me. Grant me 24 hours with The Queen.”  Come sunrise, Madonna and I would both wake up in my famous Charles Rogers wrought-iron bed, wearing wife beater under-shirts and floral printed Banana Republic boxers. And for all those gay men who disagree on this wish, I seriously suggest they find a good therapist and upping their medication.

Just as I am about to close my eyes for the night, I would drill into my thoughts not to under-sell myself and start out our encounter by saying, “Oh my God—I am like your biggest fan. I think the Vogue video is the bomb of this and future generations!” Nope. I’m beyond that silly banter. I’m not some adrenaline induced teenager living a life of disillusion. It is safe to assume at this point in our lives we have both developed wisdom. We can take turns discussing our trials and tribulations, and survival techniques.

 As I wake up next to Madonna, the first thing out of my mouth would be, “Hi. My name is Tony.  And she is likely to say, “Italian?” My response would be, “Yes. I grew up in Brooklyn. That’s where we are right now.  And today my dear, I am giving you a Brooklyn day.” I would then make a request. “Can I give you a nick name?  I give all my friends nick names. And my friends do likewise. I use to have a friend that called me Peach me all the time. But – he’s not my friend anymore. Actually, alot of people aren’t my friend anymore. Some of have died – I’ve cleaned out house – with so many – ya know – they got to be too toxic and paralyzing. Anyway – sorry for babbling. So, as I was saying, calling you Madonna is too surreal for me.”  And she would likely say, “What would you like to call me?” I would answer, “I was thinking maybe poops or poopsie. I know. It sounds so juvenile. Trust me it will grow on you. It always does.” Back would come a smirk—one I’m certain I will be seeing much of the day. I would immediately express my gratitude for being a gay friendly artist who held my hand throughout the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s and 90’s. This was part of the initial package that reeled me into her spirit.

Next we would slip out of bed and I would give her a tour of my apartment. In each room there is a Keith Herring print which would be a fabulous way to break the ice. And above my couch is a Herb Ritt print of the True Blue album. Hopefully this will delight her even more. My extended eclectic taste in all the rooms would seal the deal.

Next I would introduce her to my newly adopted dog Enrico, an incredibly sexy handsome blondish-brown Cocker Spaniard. Enrico is without a doubt the hottest canine alive and breathing in this planet.  “This is Enrico. Please don’t touch him. Don’t even look at him.  He has this submissive peeing thing—it’s a cocker thing.”  She would most likely say, “I have that effect on men all time.”  And I would reply, “I knew you were going to say that Madonna—I mean poops.” She in turn with give me that smirk. Today would be a day of spontaneity, and exercise would be a first on the list. “You know I think we have some things in common. I think we’re both exercise junkies.”  She may get a little turned off by the word junkie—but it’s true. I would then disguise her, grab the dog and walk up to Prospect Park. The three of us would jog a few loops around the park.  The runners high would bring us even closer.  We would then come back take showers and I would make a healthy breakfast. Maybe a vegetable egg white omelet with multi grain toast—or oatmeal or a high fiber low sugar cereal—or maybe just fruits. But most definitely good strong coffee.

We Italians love to eat and with this luxury opens up a social dynamic. Madonna whether she likes loves or hates dogs would fall in love with Enrico. He is mister popularity the minute he steps foot outside the door. I would have to remind her not to touch or even glance at him, as it takes forever for him to shut off his peeing habit to a stranger. This may be our first disagreement as I can hear her saying, “Who gives a shit!  It’s just piss!”  And with that comment I would have to agree with her not only because she is Madonna, but because it is important not to sweat the small stuff.

With our coffee mugs in hand, I would sit on the love seat, as she being The Queen would be granted the full size coach. She would comment on the fabric and the color being aqua. I would then be the first hard-core loyal fan to ever tell her something she has never-ever heard in her entire career. “I gotta tell you something, poopsie.  Every single piece of work you’ve put out, I’ve hated.”  Her eyes would surely pop out, grasping for the genie bottle, saying to herself, “get me the fuck out of here! I got better things to do then be in freakin’ Brooklyn.” I would say, very softly, “Ya see Madge-oops I mean poops—your work is so complex, with many layers—that I never fully get it till much later. And that’s a good thing. Ya see—that’s real art poopsie.  For me to fall in love with a song instantly, is just something headed for disaster.  Because within a short period of time, it gets old, sounding like ‘bubble gum music.  So when I listen to something new of yours—I have this ironic feeling of delight, that within six to eighteen months, it will all transform to gold.” Surely no one has ever told The Queen that.

This would also be my moment to pick her brain. I could care less about her personal life, boyfriends, husbands, or family drama.  I’m the guy who doesn’t watch TV, hooked on some reality show.  I am only looking to pick her creative genius. The only book I read about Madonna was written by Lucy O’Brien. It is the only decent piece of material that confirms she is not just another pretty face.This would be a time to discuss her music and her tours and her visions.This would also give me a moment to share with her how she has been such an inspiration for me throughout my life.

I believe the next thing I would need to know is her energy and where it all comes from.  I have yet to see another performer who re-invents herself over and over again, and has the energy of a child—particularly live on stage.  So many icons, get up there and sing and don’t move an inch.  Not the queen. She’s dances-jumps rope-leaps thru the stage like Peter Pan— dancing, until the place explodes.

And when the moment hits me I will pick her brain about sex. She will look into my eyes and she will get it. She will feel my energy. She will feel my creativity. She will feel my openness about sex.  And I will ask her, “Poops?  Why is this country so uptight and yet obsessed about sex? Why are we flooded down with hypocrites, and cry babies, and negative sexual energy?” Out will pop that smirk again—which will bond us even more. And then she would say, “Let’s not waste our time on this conversation.  I would prefer to talk about former President Bush—but that discussion would be similar to taking a bloody sedative.”

Next I would take her and the dog and we would explore Prospect Park. I would share with her how I spend hours in this park, exercising, meditating, walking the dog, and just appreciating the beauty of it all. “I have lived here all my life and have never taken this park for granted.”  Next I would suggest either going to the Brooklyn Museum, Botanical Gardens, or Coney Island.  Hopefully she will say, “It’s up to you. It’s your wish.” And if she does I would suggest Coney Island. Here I can share with her my favorite thing in the world, The Parachute Jump. We would walk on the boardwalk and stare up at the Parachute Jump and make a wish. We would then walk to the end near Sea Gate where it is completely deserted and sit on a bench staring in the ocean and just talk.

Next we would head back to the slope and have afternoon treats and just chill, lighting candles and listening to music discussing books and art and music and life. I don’t think we would be shy of words and always find something fun and interesting to discuss. Next I would disguise her again and give her a quick tour of Park Slope particularly Grand Army Plaza which is my second favorite place in the word— I call it my happy place.  From there I would suggest a very private pilates class in the area.

At night I would cook a quick fabulous dinner with more candles and more music and lots of wine.  After dinner I would play some of my favorite music. I am certain my music collection of vinyl and CD’s would blow her away. We would each get to pick a few favorite songs, play them very loud, with our eyes closed, while lying on the floor. If I see the day has been successful, I would put on the Into the Groove mix and have her dance with me.  Later I would pull out my favorite movies, make popcorn, and pull out all the junk food.  “You know I am a bit of a sugar addict,” I would say. I am sure she would appreciate that. She would say, “I love candy. My sugar is raw.”  And I would say, “Not as much as me babe—not as much as me.” I would open up my couch, get us a couple of blankets and ask her to pick out her favorite movie. We would undress back to our boxers and wife beater t-shirts and get comfy.  After the movie, I would put on some lounge music and we would talk nonsense, particularly how crazy Italian families can be. I have a feeling that the last thing we would discuss is how ridiculous the world has become and how Rod Sterling was a prophet; we are living in the Twilight Zone. Then we would rush off to bed, as my time would be running out.  I would spoon my body around hers, plant a kiss on her neck, and we would drift off into dreamland.

For those of you who find this scenario to be a complete bore, you seem to forget people like Madonna and I have done everything. We’ve been everywhere, we’ve slept with everyone,  we’re very passionate, and we’re done trying to impress people. She says it perfectly in the song, Drowned World, “and now I find. I’ve changed my mine.This is my religion.” In the morning, I would wake up, Madonna-less, trying to compromise with the genie, wondering if I want to include Madonna in one or two of my last remaining wishes.

Tony Russo

Copyright © 2012 by Vincent Caruso. All rights reserved. For reprint information contact Vincent Caruso.




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