To be honest, I had no clue how it would go. So, as I jittered along on the CTA line to the Rosemont stop, that Friday night, I kept reminding myself of that. She might not even recognize me. And, seeing as the trip took almost an hour, from downtown Chicago, I had a lot of time to be reminding myself of that. Still, as soon as I saw the Holiday Inn, where the convention was taking place, I began to run, in my pointy Unique Thrift cowboy boots, in anticipation and giddy gay boy hope! I saw her the moment I entered the showroom and waving the bouquet of slightly crinkled flowers before me– perhaps I had clutched them too tightly throughout the trip!?! –I approached. “Its you!’ she yelped and jumped out from behind her display counter to give me a full on Scream Queen Superstar Hug! True, I had been writing- and purchasing memorabilia- from her, at least once a month, for almost two years, but still, an insecure fag never knows! Anyhow, for those brief seconds, I felt secure and at home. And, thus began my weekend with Brinke.

Coolest moment in my life, Number One: They invite me to dine! After the convention wrapped up for the night, I walk out with Brinke and filmmaker/writer, Jason Paul Collum. They swerve toward the candy-lighted nightclub for dinner and drinks. I stop to say, “Good-bye,” and head back home. Brinke turns and says, “Aren’t you coming in?” “I don’t want to intrude,” I reply. “We’re all friends, now,” she replies and places her arm upon my back, as the three of us walk into the club, together. Bliss!

Coolest moment in my life, Number Two: We dance! Jason Paul brings Brinke into Boystown in Chicago on Saturday evening, after the convention wraps up, and I met them out. We eat dinner at Nookies and, while the personality deficient waiter has no idea that he is serving the Queen of Horror, I figure that I admire her enough for the both of us. So, when we venture over to the multi-layered pose-fest, Sidetrack, a popular gay bar, I decide to point out to everyone that I know – “This is Brinke. She’s an actress.” Still, no one has a clue. They assume that, as a theater person, everyone I know is an actress. Well, I could assure them – not like this! This is a “Haunting Fear-Slavegirls From Beyond Infinity-Vicious-Bimbo Movie Bash” type performer that I am hanging out with here! Anyhow, by the time we head over to Roscoes, across the street, I realize it’s time to give the “Hey! Don’t you recognize her?”game up. Besides, this way, I get to keep her all to myself. Furthermore, she wants to boogie! So, that we do! She moves, beautifully, despite claims that she hasn’t danced in years. Jason Paul and I are just proud to be her partners. Hell, I think that we are just proud to be there, at all! In fact, I have the picture to show it!

Finally, at Jason Paul’s car, before the three of us bid adieu, I purchase his book on Scream Queens, Assault of the Killer B’s, and she signs it for me. She writes, “My dear Brian – You made my trip to Chicago so wonderful, thank you!!! Brinke Stevens”. Hell, I couldn’t have ended it better myself!