from The Days of Anna Madrigal
Ben was pointing towards a buff and nearly naked youth prancing past their semi-circle of sofas. ’Evening of the Faun’ said Ben. The guy had goat horns sprouting from a mop of blond hair. His legs were trousered with some form of faux fur…
Everything about this man was suited to their molly moment. He seemed closer to a spirit than a human being, the uncomplicated embodiment of youthful lust and sweetness….
Michael laughed. ‘I had a whole Pan outfit. Long time ago… Home Yardage. Mock chinchilla.’
It spoke to her. ‘How horny can ya get, huh?’
‘Wrong, O boring one. I am the Great God Pan.’ …
Michael bounced into the room and sat down, adjusting the brown Afro wig that held his horns...
[Later] Michael uncapped a tube of Dance Arts clown white and repaired his Pan face in the foyer of 28 Barbary Lane… He gave himself a thorough inspection and smiled in approval. He looked damned good. His horns were outrageously realistic.
His mock-chinchilla Home Yardage goat haunches jutted out from his waist with comic eroticism. His belly was flat, and his pecs . . . well, his pecs were the pecs of a man who hardly ever cheated on a bench press at the Y. You’re hot, he told himself. Remember that... Pan is on the rampage tonight.
observations: Armistead Maupin says The Days of Anna Madrigal will be the last Tales of the City book, though he strongly implied that on previous occasions too, so you never know. The inhabitants of 28 Barbary Lane, whom we have been following over nine books since 1978, are now all living elsewhere, but drift together for one last adventure, most of them tipping up at the Burning Man festival in Nevada. There is also a separate strand describing the teenage years of Anna Madrigal. I found those sections less enthralling, but that’s because I just wanted to read about Michael and Mary Ann and Shawna and Brian, like reading the Christmas circular letter of some friends you used to know years ago. The books are beyond criticism or carping. If you came to this one fresh it would perhaps make no sense, and you wouldn’t understand all the fuss. But if you’ve read the others, then you need to catch up. It has many references back to earlier incidents, including this one, which is plainly quite symbolic and meaningful, as the much older Michael in effect meets his younger self.
In earlier entries on the books, here and here, we said that they were ‘funny and very much of their time, and we read the first ones with melancholy nostalgia, knowing AIDS was just around the corner. Dressing up and costumes are an important part of Maupin’s series of books, usually seen as a celebration of differences and a way to have fun, rarely negative or hiding anything.’
The top Pan picture is a Bakst costume, a category we’ve used a few times before. The second Pan is from a mosaic in a museum in Naples.
The picture from Burning Man 2013 was taken by russavia and is on Wikimedia Commons.