My first close encounter Quentin Crisp kind was in the early 1980s (1981-82) when a drama-loving boyfriend of mine in Virginia would often quote lines of Quentin’s wonderful wisdom and wit. Then in early 1983 in London, another good friend and "Crisperanto" devotee made a music tape for me with Quentin’s fabulous “Stop the Music” included on it.

Then late one night in August 1983 back in Virginia, I caught the very end of the brilliant PBS movie The Naked Civil Servant and immediately fell deeply in love with Quentin (whose own compassion and love is so deep and brilliant, that I could feel it so powerfully through the television—and even fell in love with John Hurt’s wonderful portrayal of him). It felt like meeting an instant long lost friend and kindred soul mate.

I moved to New York City in September 1983. And one fine day a few years later—January 29, 1986— I was honored and blessed with a face-to-face encounter with the beautiful Quentin, right there in line with me (and throngs of other mere mortals) at the Cooper Union Post Office! I immediately felt like falling at his feet in worship of thanksgiving and gratitude. I was no doubt staring very obviously and very much in awe and in love, when he graciously and warmly smiled at me and said, “Hello, how are you?”

And I was stunned and speechless, though I somehow managed to stammer out a very mesmerized, “Hello, I adore your hat!” He smiled sweetly and graciously said, “Thank you. You’re very kind.” And I said, “Thank you, too!” I ran back to the office in a love-daze, and excitedly informed my boss, “I am pretty sure I just met Quentin Crisp!” I described his lovely presence and beautiful purple hair and fabulous black hat. “Yes, that sounds like him,” my boss replied, who immediately encouraged me to call Mr. Crisp.

Well, when I finally got my nerve up a few weeks later, it was Valentine’s Day. I called Quentin and asked if he would “Be My Valentine”. Quentin gently laughed, “Oh, that’s nice.” I asked if we could meet for dinner soon. “Let me put your fair name in the Sacred Book.” We had our first divine date on President’s Day (February 18th that year), at a little deli near his street, one of his favorite places to eat.

Needless to say, it was a wonderful magical evening for me—definitely—I was hooked! Then about a week later, a group of us friends from the office and some other friends had another wonderful magical evening date together with Mr. Crisp. We first went to a Pride Rally at City Hall, then out to Las Ventanas, a Mexican bar/restaurant in the West Village, afterwards for dinner and drinks. And that began it all, a series of lunches and dinners with the wondrous Mr. Crisp.

I enjoyed the great honor and pleasure to have been blessed with countless wonderful and amazing connections, phone calls, dinners, lunches, drinks, and fantastic meetings with Quentin over the years until his death in 1999. He was truly one of my favorite and best friends I have ever had; and much like that wonderful line in one of my favorite songs, “Anyone that helps me is a real good friend of mine”. Quentin was definitely the best and he was one of the greatest inspirations in my life…definitely the most brilliant, loving and compassionate person I have ever met. He was always so loving and gracious, and open to all of us fans and friends alike. And like so many other loyal Crisperanto devotees, all of us were blessed to have known and loved him. Happy Birthday, Quentin, sweet darling!

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