A Fireside Chat With Mike Valentino, Part 2

[Part 1 of my chat with my BFF, Mike Valentino, can be found here. And now we continue....]

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: I was looking on Bekki's MySpace page, and she listed Barack Obama as her number one friend BEFORE you. She likes chocolate. Are you jealous?

MIKE VALENTINO: Sure. She, like most of America, just wants change.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Are you a big Obama supporter too, or do you just go along because you don't want to rock the marriage boat?

MIKE VALENTINO: I have to support Obama. I'm coming of age in a time when people can't afford a loaf of bread or a dozen eggs, let alone gas to put in their cars to get to work. This is a moral issue with me. Faith is not real to me. This is real. I can feel how this affects people. Both of my neighbors just got laid off. Companies are shutting down. It's just horrible.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: But your neighbors in the rural South—are they behind Obama?

MIKE VALENTINO: I've seen more Obama stickers than I thought I would. But I don't know about them personally.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: That's encouraging.

MIKE VALENTINO: Do you know how many blacks there are in the South?

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: It's something like 25% where you are, right?

MIKE VALENTINO: Where I am.... My high school was 35%. Small towns in the Deep South are more.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: You're more integrated than I am.

MIKE VALENTINO: If every black person in the South voted, we would never see another Republican president.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Do you speak with what I would consider an accent?

MIKE VALENTINO: I wish I could say yes, but no.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: What?! How did you escape an accent?

MIKE VALENTINO: Charleston is different. Unless you're from the outskirts, there isn't a strong accent anymore. My grandfather had one, but the area is so affluent that we sort of educated ourselves out of it.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: What states or countries have you been in aside from the Carolinas?


PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Have you been to the biggies—New York or California?

MIKE VALENTINO: No. But I'd love to visit New York. To see a bit of where I come from.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Do you ever think about moving?


PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Again. I mean, away from the South.

MIKE VALENTINO: Bekki's thought about it. She's from Florida, born in Illinois. I love the South. Not always the people.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: What do you love about it? Nature? The pace?

MIKE VALENTINO: There's a culture here. I don't know if you know this, but Southerners are very proud. Especially in Charleston. The Civil War started in my backyard. Fort Moultire, Sullivan's Island. The music, the morals, the manners. Nature, of course.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Have you ever participated in a Civil War reenactment?


PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: What is up with THAT? It's like Comic-Con for rednecks.

MIKE VALENTINO: Ha! I suck worse than you after 3 appletinis.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Do you drink yourself to sleep every night or cry yourself to sleep every night?

MIKE VALENTINO: That's an odd question.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Look, it's not going to be easy for you to shake my preconceived notions about living in the south.

MIKE VALENTINO: Have you ever read Gone with the Wind? Or seen the movie?

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: No. I don't believe in the classics.



MIKE VALENTINO: You don't believe in the classics? Seriously?

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: I'm exaggerating. Slightly. But, no, I've never gotten around to seeing Gone With the Wind. I DID see the Carol Burnett parody. That was hilarious.

MIKE VALENTINO: Well, it's antebellum, but does a good deal at showing the way the South is and was. And the main character is from Charleston.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: So if I see Gone With the Wind, I'll understand you better?

MIKE VALENTINO: Possibly. But you might understand more by watching Trainspotting.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Is there gay sex in Gone With the Wind?

MIKE VALENTINO: Only between the "Negroes." They've yet to find God, you see.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: Well then, Bekki must've seen it 10 times already. You've sold me! I'd better see some black gay sex, or I'm going to be mad.

MIKE VALENTINO: Obama's great granddaddy's in it.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: All right, I'm putting it on my Netflix—hey, do you people understand words like "Netflix" and "cinema?"

MIKE VALENTINO: ...But seriously, don't joke around about Bekki like that.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: I'm sorry. I have crossed a line. I will stick to sexually harassing only you.

MIKE VALENTINO: That's fine.

PRINCE GOMOLVILAS: My apologies. You, sweet, embraceable you.

[Addendum: Check out Part 3.]


  1. see, mike and i understand the alternate side to the south... the manners still expected, the deep pride (and i don't mean redneck stuff)... family.

    you've talked to me, i don't have an accent, either... 'cause in new orleans, you just don't.

    (may adopt mike)

  2. These transcripts are riveting. I can see your touch though, playwright that you are.

    I want you and Mike to chat every day and then I want you to do your thing to the transcript and post it for my reading pleasure.

    Then again, I want a lot of things.

  3. I want to know if living in the Carolina's or Charleston is half as confusing and lovely as Pat Conroy makes it sound.

  4. Quin, you may adopt Mike. Now that we've got that out of the way.... Quin, you're a bad mother! Please teach your son how to pleasure gay boys!

    Annie, I will give the masses whatever they demand! (The only things I do to the transcripts are edit them for grammar and correct typos and/or formatting errors.... But my playwright mind is indeed at work when conducting the actual chat. :) )

    LAP, those places can't possibly be lovely. I don't care WHAT Pat Conroy says.

  5. Quin- Thank you. You're alright in my book. Wait. . . I have a book? I grew up hearing that New Orleans was Charleston's younger, promiscuous sister. Any truth to that?

    Annie- We DO talk every day. Three to four hours.

    lap- Mix Pat Conroy with a little David Allan Coe and you've got the REAL South.

    Prince- You didn't conduct shit! I had you wrapped around my. . . finger the whole time. Bitch, please! (Not to be confused with 'Bitch deserved it')