I’m listening to jazz with the sun beating on me through the large windows as we drive from Austin to Dallas where we have another show by the drag megastar Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 2.

We’re traveling for her Red 4 Filth tour. It’s such a wonderfully brilliant show and inspiring to be on the road with a group that are all beyond lovely in their own ways.

I feel this is where we hear a record scratch as I change direction from soothing to heartbreaking....

A reminder of where I left off in my last entry, “Finding Myself While Losing Others Pt2”: It was winter 2017 and was I was at JFK airport returning from London on the Christmas Queens Extravaganza tour and as I was going through customs, I got a call from my friend Donald who said that my friend Brit had died. I told Donald that I’d have to call him back—I was about to be interviewed with customs because I had lost my passport in Cardiff. But first, I followed up with tour management to make sure my bags made it on the bus. After that confirmation, I called Donald back.

At the risk of jumbling our conversation that day—I was tired and in shock, and might not recall it clearly—I’ll just say I was devastated. I sat in my own seat on the bus into the city with constants tear-filled eyes. Some moments I sobbed, some of denial, and some of pure silence. I felt like my heart and soul had been ripped from my body, and as we pulled up to our New York City venue and unloaded the bus, I discovered that my personal luggage had not made it.

Fueled by irregular and intense emotions, I went into a tizzy and began to panic. I just needed comfort. I wanted my things, I needed my things. I wanted a hug, I needed a hug. I wanted to scream, I needed to scream. I screamed. I screamed at the tour manager. I let all my emotions unload onto him and he told me I should go home. I went home and was told I wouldn’t be returning on the last few dates of the tour. I felt more loss. 

I returned to my apartment and felt resentful. I resented the tour manager, the show, and most of all myself in that moment. I also couldn’t help but feel my heart tear and break and ache and hurt. How could my friend be gone? How? Why? It just didn’t make sense. 

Finding Myself Losing Others, Richard JMV blog

Brit, warming up for shows

Brit was one of my favorite people in the world. He brought such a wonderful light. He did it with his heart, his smile, his presence. Brit always gave the best hugs and made you feel warm and fuzzy to be around. I remember having dinner at his family’s house and the welcome I received and feeling comfortable just being myself at the table. I remember his mom and her love for him and all of those around her—it made sense why he was one of the greatest people I’ve met.

I remember our car rides and the conversations and even now as I’m typing, all I can do is smile and still feel sadness because there’s still that feeling that if I return to Reno, I’ll be welcomed by him running to me with a smile followed by the giant hug he’d always give me. I have another family in Reno, but part of me detached a little after he passed. He always wished the best for everyone, and I remember the way he got so protective when someone would hurt my feelings. He was one of the best.

Scene from Richard JMV blog on The Nutcracker

”The Nutcracker“—the Prince and the Snow King (or Queen, LOL)

Days before he passed, I sent a text message to a small group of the dancers just saying “Hi” and telling them that I missed them so much. Brit didn’t respond. That was the last text message I sent him, and it still hurts because I just wish I could have one last conversation, one more hug, one more moment. I know that will never happen, so I still have to learn to let go every time I think about him. 

The love people had for him and still have for him is magnificent. I have had many conversations with his mom since, and she still has just as much, if not more, love in her heart. I cherish her and her spirit so much and for bringing the miracle that was Brit into the world. She is incredible. I love her.

Brit, I will always miss you. I will always love you. You were the best. “The man, the myth, the legend.”