Memoirist Josh Kilmer-Purcell has always been coy as to the identity of his longtime boyfriend, who he only referred to in various missives as “B.” Now, the elusive “B.” has been outed, by the author himself. Not that it was much of a secret, as Kilmer-Purcell readily admits his hilarious/harrowing drag queen-meets-meth-tweaker-memoir I Am Not Myself These Days was dedicated to him, the “B.” being Brent.
J K-P writes in an email and on a MySpace bulletin, “Brent and I met in 2000, shortly after the demise of Aqua. Which was good, because he’s deathly afraid of drag queens in the same way that some people are afraid of clowns. At the time I was deathly afraid of dying as a result of my inability to control myself. So at least we had deathly fear in common.”
But why the outing now? And what the eff does Martha Stewart have to do with it? Well, besides the fact that Kilmer-Purcell has a new book coming out, a work of fiction this time, entitled Candy Everybody Wants, the Reader’s Digest version is that “B.”, er, Brent was working on fundraising for Mt. Sinai’s geriatric clinic, wrote the domestic doyenne a letter, and flash forward to now where now he works, as the author states, “with Martha full time, heading up her Health & Wellness Division across her magazines, television shows, and radio. Some of you may already know him. He’s been ‘Dr. Brent’ on Martha’s daytime talk show for a couple of years, as well host of ‘Ask Dr. Brent’ on Martha’s Sirius Satellite Radio channel.” Aw. Fun. And! The goats that they raise on their farm (ugh! jealous!) just made a guest appearance on the Martha Stewart Show, as the milk from their goats is being used to make soap. Hmmm. Charmed life.
(As it is abundantly clear now that there is no chance of me making Kilmer-Purcell my “gay homosexual lover,” — and I was even willing to overlook his friendship with fabulist James Frey — I suppose I must attempt to vie with Choire for the affections of Neil Patrick Harris.)
Anyway! Full text of the missive (with photos) from Josh Kilmer-Purcell after the jump.
Many of you have read about my partner “b.”
I’ve even slipped a few times and used his name, ‘Brent.’
Not that his name was all that secretive – “I Am Not Myself These Days” is dedicated to him: “For Brent, who wants you to know that he had nothing to do with this story but everything to do with its happy ending.”
Brent and I met in 2000, shortly after the demise of Aqua. Which was good, because he’s deathly afraid of drag queens in the same way that some people are afraid of clowns. At the time I was deathly afraid of dying as a result of my inability to control myself. So at least we had deathly fear in common.
It’s probably too hyperbolic to say that Brent saved my life, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that he gave me a new one. We met online, because I had sworn off going to bars and clubs for obvious reasons, and he was too shy. He was too shy to even accept my e-offer of a real, live, in-person date. But during the course of our three hour first chat, I had deduced that he lived in Washington Heights – a good forty-five minutes away from me. So before he signed off – possibly forever – I typed:
“Tomorrow night I will be at the A/C subway stop at 168th St at 8 o’clock. You will either be there or you won’t. Either way, I’m eating dinner somewhere nearby if I’m not mugged waiting for you.”
He was there. And we’ve spent the last eight years together as he finished up his medical residency, fellowship, and became a full-fledged doctor (yes, my mother is much happier with him than she was with Jack, the “travel agent.”) In 2004, when Brent returned to school yet again, this time at NYU to get his MBA, he said:
“I’m going to be gone most nights of the week. You should really get a hobby. Write a book or something.”
Which was his nice way of saying “I don’t have time to baby-sit you anymore, and if you start drinking again, I’m out of here.”
So I wrote “I Am Not Myself These Days” about my years of causing trouble to keep myself out of any more trouble.
So where does Martha Stewart come into this? Some sort of strange ménage a trios?
Well, Brent was put in charge of fundraising for Mt Sinai Hospital’s new geriatric clinic. In his search for gajillionaires, he first tried to single out persons who were well known for their healthy living, and living lives far more youthfully than their actual age. Of course Martha fits the bill perfectly. (I won’t tell you her age, but if you look it up, I guarantee you’ll be shocked.)
So he wrote her a letter. She wrote back. And a few months later, Brent and Martha broke ground on the The Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mt Sinai Hospital (dedicated to Martha’s mother, “Big Martha,” to whom Brent also became close.)
Nowadays Brent works with Martha full time, heading up her Health & Wellness Division across her magazines, television shows, and radio. Some of you may already know him. He’s been “Dr. Brent” on Martha’s daytime talk show for a couple of years, as well host of “Ask Dr. Brent” on Martha’s Sirius Satellite Radio channel. I call him “the doctor who plays one on TV.”
Here’s how he looks on TV:
Here’s how he looks to me:
It goes without saying that I think he’s the greatest thing since iced vodka, but why am I telling you all this now?
Because I just returned home from driving five baby goats four and a half hours into the city from the farm Brent and I bought a year ago. Yes, I had five out-of-control baby goats poo-ing in the back seat of our truck crossing the George Washington Bridge, which looms over the neighborhood where Brent and I first met eight years ago.
Just try to come up with a more implausible tale than that.
Now our goats now have a far bigger audience than I do, after taping their appearance on the Martha Stewart Show, which I thought you might want to watch this Friday, April 25th.
The reason for their guest star status is that Brent and I met a wonderful artisanal soap maker last year who began purchasing the goat milk from co-farmer John. (Who is the only actual farmer at our farm.) She taught us how to make the soap from our milk as well, and Brent and I gave it out as Christmas presents to all our friends, including Martha.
Unexpectedly, people began asking for more, and more, and before we knew it we started getting requests to sell it in different retail locations. It’s pretty good soap as far as soap goes. We didn’t realize how many people were looking for chemical-free natural soap.
Now I’m using the term “we,” but you can tell the whole soap thing is more Brent’s than my project because, well, it’s a sensible undertaking and no one gets hurt. Not even the goats in the back seat – who loved their day in the city. (Any childrens book authors out there, you can have that story as a freebie.)
So, that’s my “B.” in 1000 words or less. I hope you like him even a fraction as much as I do.
You can seem him, and our baby goats, on “Martha” this Friday, (April 25th). Go to marthastewart.com to find channels and times in your local area. And check out beekman1802.com if you want to find out more about our farm and soap.
Let me know what you think and I’ll pass it on to Dr. Brent, who is my never-ending happy ending.