Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The High Seas with High Homos: Part 2

Like a luscious Botticelli painting, Cleopatra basked in the sun with Venetian girls and studly man-boys fanning her, incense infusing the air to cover the stench of slaves rowing her boat as she sailed from Alexandria to Rome. It must have been lovely. Vivid violet sails billowed in the stout ocean breeze, as the bronze-gilded bow penetrated the currents. My Atlantis cruise may have been just as gay as Cleo's, but my painting would appear less Botticelli and more like Burt Reynolds's Playgirl spread. Furthermore, I did not so much bask under lightly bronzing UV rays as I did sweat off the glitter from the previous night's Glitter Gala, yet there was a gay with a fan. Specifically, a thirty-year-old Honduran queen that looked oddly Thai, snapping open a fucking Chinese fan every time he rounded a corner, downed a piping-hot pot sticker or enviously leered at Popeye the Power Bottom. He adorned his greasy pompadour hairstyle with pink extensions and tweezed his eyebrows so thinly that I asked him to let them heal for a week or two. Needless to say, this sailing was my seamen's wet dream.

On the third day of the Reynoldsian voyage, my ears heeded a rumor of a mythological land at sea: a nude deck. In a desperate effort to reduce the appearance of my tan lines and evade the Honduran hot mess, I braced myself to sunbathe on the nude deck. Historically, nude beaches never piqued my proclivities. I have never been conscious, sober and nude at the same time in a public setting, so this decision proved momentous, or at the very least supremely narcissistic. I grabbed my towel and sunscreen and took a frenzied walk from the Lido Deck to the nude deck, perched at the highest level of the boat at the bow of the ship, beneath the place where they keep the steering wheel. My friends knew not of my whereabouts, my solo adventure into open-air nakedness. As I entered, I marveled at the sea beyond the open space of the wood-planked expanse, peppered here and there with clusters of unfriendly, unyielding aqua blue sun chairs made of vinyl and rattan mocking. The deck was almost deserted. Yet, as I trekked further I lurched across the first nudist, a morbidly obese homosexual with about seventy years behind him. He lay prostrate, however, his body overflowed atop the chair. As he shifted to look at this tall, emaciated-looking newcomer, his pannus jostled, and I glimpsed at his previously hidden penis and ball sack. At the base of said penis and ball sack circled a cock ring. HE WORE A COCK RING WHILE TANNING IN THE NUDE.

I became suddenly flabbergasted and stood still for a moment, five feet away from the member-cinched hippo. After a quick shudder and a thought as to how hot his metal contraption felt in the heat, I discerned the rest of the demographics. There were about ten to fifteen other gentlemen, most of whom would remember the Hindenburg disaster, and several of them sported phallic entrapment bands as well. I quickened my pace to the farthest plastic cluster, faced it toward the sea away from the bare-assed octogenarians and slumped onto the chaise. It was then time. I ceded a large heave and shimmied out of my green Andrew Christian speedo and tucked it beneath my back for quick retrieval. I'd barley stripped down and placed my penis toward the sun when an ungodly short man walked up, stared at me for a second too long and asked if the seat next to me was taken. This nudist decision of mine had quickly devolved into disaster territory. I gawked at my own crotch and whispered that the seat was, in fact, available, for I could not look him in the face. Once he plopped down and let his little pecker air out, the four-foot-eleven-inch-waif-of-a-white-man, who incarnated a middle-aged hippie on the verge of late-breaking pubescence, immediately attempted to strike up a conversation. Due to his disability, his face lined up with my pelvis.

4'11": You have the most interesting tattoos. What do they mean?
Me: Oh, this one on my torso? It says "Faking the real me…"
4'11": What does that mean?
Me: Exactly what it says.
4'11": But why'd you get it?
Me: Okay, please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm about two feet taller than you. I'm finding it rather difficult watching you speak directly to my penis, especially without the requisite cock ring.
4'11": You know, this is where the dick deck is at night?
Me: I've been wondering where the public sex section was. Wait, they stack up and clear out these deck chairs before nightfall, right?
4'11": Ummm, I don't think so. I laid on one last night and…
Me: Do they fucking hose these down with Lysol?

Later that night, Tommy, Chuck and I prepped for the White Party. I decided to dress in all black so that I would not blend in to the crowd like I tend to do. By this time, I'd plastered on and scrubbed off so much makeup and body glitter (which I would be picking out of a few orifices for the next week) that I feared my face would echo a cross between Beef Carpaccio and an Egyptian slave's back after a lashing.

I remember very little about the White Party itself, for my combination of starvation, vodka and a complete stranger's "Tylenol" impaired the data recall section of my brain. I do, though, harbor vague hazes of three things: I looked fantastic, as I did at every themed party and/or photo shoot on the cruise (pictures for proof below). A man with white wings or a white swan tried to pluck at my crotch all throughout the night against my repeated rebuffs. And, at the party's conclusion, we connived to covertly spy the goings-on at the dick deck. No sooner had we arrived than the tattoo-adoring-midget with peach fuzz for pubes from the nude deck walked up to me, winked and pointed to the same chair I'd lounged on earlier.

"Professional Photoshoot"

Beach Party

The Disco Ball

 The Glitter Gala

The Eighties Party

The Wild Things Party

The White Party

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The High Seas with High Homos: Part 1

Cleopatra was the ultimate drag queen. As I often quote, gay men play the role of powerful enchantress, regal beauty. Her "queen of all queens" attractiveness, however, remains not on the Elizabeth Taylor level but more roundly on the Ernest Borgnine level. I recognize these things because I like to reside abreast of current events, and I also happen to be reading Cleopatra, A Life. So far, two tidbits have mesmerized me: catty historians deem her a mild butter-face, and the deified diva knew how to travel. Her cruising along the Mediterranean evokes quite the scene, as "she herself reclined beneath a gold-spangled canopy, dressed as Venus in a painting, while beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood at her sides and fanned her. Her fairest maids were likewise dressed as sea nymphs and graces, some steering the rudder, some working the ropes. Wondrous odors from countless incense-offerings diffused themselves along the banks." Fuck me silly running sideways with a tiara, but this excerpt screams "gay cruise" in a muted, nasal soprano. One could surmise my experience on the MS Oosterdam in October as an exact repeat of Egyptian-Ptolemaic nautical history, except with Boy Butter lube gently frothing about the ship decks, spreading a sheen so splendid that queers walked on the sun at dusk.

Before the sojourn on my big gay cruise, I harbored a sneaking suspicion that the usual homosexual debauchery and livery would ensue amongst the guests, bringing to mind a Fire Island meets Poseidon Adventure aura. Who would play Shelley Winters bore the fatter question. Shockingly, I initially said "no" when asked to go by my usual cohorts, Tommy and Chuck. The nay-saying lasted about thirty-seven seconds before I became all gung-ho and rah-rah-let's-raise-some-stiff-sails-and-or-masts.

Atlantis Events, a gay vacation promoter and purveyor, sponsored this particular cruise (ironically on the sister ship of my sailing last spring in the Mediterranean…the one where I stumbled down a flight of stairs in Cannes with gelato in my hand and French teenagers doing absolutely nothing to help a walking-impaired American and my friend, Lauren, laughing hysterically). Atlantis basically rents out boats and resorts, gays up the joints, and forces the already in-debt GT population to pay to stay, but not the LBs. Glossy advertisements with picture-perfect men in festive banana hammocks sporting a stunning array of neon colors with the backdrop of the Caribbean sparkling slightly less than those men's teeth completely entice people to buy this shit. Men are stupid. Even the bottoms. Most guests arrive, strutting across the gangplank with their latest bronzer, Victoria Secret Angel wings and boxes of Fleet enemas expecting to get some sort of attractive, Atlantis Shangri-La experience hosted by Ryan Gosling. Most guests leave with rug burn summoned by an aggressive, aging bear and a half-eaten Ecstasy pill attached to a newly sprouted hemorrhoid.

Once we reserved our tiny, interior stateroom on the Oosterdam, Atlantis mailed us the party itinerary. While I thought skimpy bathing suits would be the uniforms of choice for brunch, sunbathing and oceanic circuit parties, I was baffled by the costumes necessitated for The White Party, The Disco Ball, The Wild Things Party, The Into the Blue Dance, The Glitter Gala and The Eighties Party, among others. First, where would I find the stamina to attend these events and would they demand an RSVP? Second, I had to pack body glitter, loincloths and a mermaid tail into my suitcase? I also needed to ensure I packed my hazmat suit, for I'd heard that Atlantis cruises possess a slutty reputation – sex in rooms with open-door policies, saunas, pools and public toilets. God forbid I saunter past a doorway or jacuzzi jet and get squirted in the face.

With the inside of my luggage mocking the stylistic virtues of a Labelle concert, I ventured out to conquer high-sea homosexuality. Once onboard Holland America's finest, we did a quick survey of the vessel before dinner, scouting places to be seen, decks to circumnavigate, dicks to circumvent and ranking men based on BMI and how butchered their eyebrows were from over-grooming, ranging from Joey Lawrence, circa Blossom, to Joey Lawrence, circa obscurity.

Tommy, Chuck and I decided to partake in the Vista Dining Lounge's "open seating," meaning the Filipino maître d' would place us at a larger table with random strangers. As it so happened, midway through my first bite of buttered bread, Tommy nudged me excitedly. "You're sitting next to (some guy's name I cannot recall presently)!" he insisted. "Who?" I muffled, my mouth full of yeast and carbs. "He's a porn star, a huge power bottom!" Tommy answered. I'm not an avid watcher of porn and maintain terrible insight into the industry's stars, and I can say my collection goes as deep as my collection of lesbian friends. "Then why the hell does he look like Popeye?" I pondered briefly what I would look like dressed as Olive Oyl, quivered and then engaged Popeye the Power Bottom in a side conversation.
Me: So, how do gay men eat on an Atlantis cruise with such vast quantities of 2-Star delectables? I mean, where do the bottoms put it?
Popeye: Oh, well I’m sure some go to the gym, and others really stick to portion control.
Me: So bulimia is out of the question? And what about onboard douching? Does Puerto Vallarta have a CVS?
Popeye: Ummm…
Silence. I could discern at this point Popeye had the personality of a calculator button and that a piece of toast could outmaneuver him verbally, but on I tried.
Me: So, I've been thinking about getting into porn. I've actually uploaded a few videos to xxxxxxgaytube.com/skinnywhiteboys, or something like that. Do you have any suggestions? I’m dying to get into the brown-eyed business.
Popeye: Oh, well I guess it's not too hard. It depends on how you want to use the industry. Amateur videos are always a way to make a following, but that's a long road to any kind of livable wage. But, if you really want to get into the business, even the gay business nowadays, it's getting tougher and tougher. I'd recommend…
My apathy and annoyance increased, as I started to chew my bread louder to drown out the noise. Really, like I'm going to make a business case for porn? After I swallowed, I interrupted him to change the subject.
Me: Did you hear about Muammar Gaddafi? CNN just announced that he was killed.
Popeye: Oh no. He was so good in his Men of Israel scenes.
To be continued…

Monday, November 7, 2011

Behind Every Great Woman…

Faking it has never not been an option. Ever since the Anno Domini years took over and Jesus amalgamated his group of merry disciples in dresses with capes, man has faked it. The BC years proved a hairy, training-wheeled mess with unfocused ideas on sexuality and gender roles, so let's…not. To be Crystal-Carrington-clear, by "faking it," I imply owning the characteristics of a woman, for dressing in drag and walking on water naturally fall into place. That place is homosexuality. Gay men simply play women better than women do themselves. Ask Shakespeare. William Shakespeare refused to cast women in his plays not because they dallied in subordinate Elizabethan statuses as historians would lie to you; he cast gay men as women because they exude melodrama, harbor the male dominance gene to control the world and possess an uncanny knack for mixing beauty and bawdy, and screwing a male co-star behind the velvet curtain beats doing it with a woman any time. You know, I'm convinced Queen Elizabeth was a gingered tranny herself. No children, no husband: no uterus. Behind every great woman is a great (homosexual) man, and behind that man is a top.

I absolutely am not professing that I yearn to be a woman. Womanship lingers as hardship, a completely tedious lifestyle, and I simply covet silly escapism and a wider range of couture options, which is precisely what I told Mrs. Roman, my Kindergarten teacher, the first week of my elementary education. "Mrs. Roman, you seem like a fairly open-minded gal (perhaps a little naïve), so I have no hesitation being frank with you about my Kindergarten objectives: learn how to spell my name, monopolize the sandbox, and control the playhouse in the corner of the classroom," I relented. This proclamation befuddled her. While she said she completely understood my desire to spell and retain control over the newly budgeted in-doors sandbox, she asserted that the playhouse was a communal effort to explore household living with my peers and learn how to work together in a sustainable manner. A fear that Mrs. Roman wore dim-wittedness on her shoulder-padded sleeve arose, as I explained: "Okay, let's break this down into simpler constructs for you. This is not The Oregon Trail. Do you see that pink dress with ruffles hanging in the playhouse? The one that obviously belongs to the matron, or boss if you will, of the area? Well, that's going to be my dress. No one else is allowed to wear it during playtime."

The playhouse shined in the corner of the classroom, a beacon of home economics pouring over a quarter of the space. I marveled at the sheen of sweat stains from the overweight fathers who spent the week before school dumbly nailing by numbers, and the resulting patchwork of plywood, cake-battered caulk, façade-puncturing screws and a spray-painted attempt at brick trompe l'oeil would invite even the most distinguished homeless family. "Reaganomics at his best," I beamed.

My delight dwindled as Ashley Leigh walked out of the playhouse. We'd met several hours before in the cafeteriauditorium and immediately had our own Dirty Harry moment. We loathed each other instantly. Much like the playhouse, she resembled a ramshackled sack filled with caulk, extremely-gingered, kinky-curly hair and appeared covered in her father's sweat. She asked me if I was a boy or a girl. I asked if those were freckles on her pug-face or the dried smatterings of her mother's blood from a blow by her father.

After post-nap snacks, Mrs. Roman allowed groups of students to play where they wished. Kelly, Taylor and Donna huddled over their desks to color between the lines; Andrea, Brandon and Dylan hurtled to the sandbox so that Andrea could overwhelm them with her digging expertise; and Ashley, I and a few others darted to the play shed to set up house. Now, I was not so sure what Ashley's intentions were prior to playtime, but I sensed both a strong odor of Swedish fish and pink-ruffled desires pulsing through her cavernous, speckled pores. When Mrs. Roman said "go," we shot into the air. I kicked Andrea in the shin and slammed her head into the sand. Ashley pistol-whipped a kid named Marcellus with her belt buckle before landing inside the domestic microcosm and snagging the pink dress off the brass hook. The rest of the inventory included a blue polka-dotted dress, a clip-on tie, Osk-Kosh overalls, an assortment of wilted, too-large baseball hats, and brown corduroy slacks. Every flame within me wanted to bash her head against a protruding wall screw, but I had to act quickly and secure the polka-dot duds before another little whore stole the remaining women's-wear look.

"You are so transparent and desperate, taking off your belt before we even get to play. Did your mother do the same thing with your mailman? Is that why your father beats her?" I demanded. As I pondered the "kids are cruel" statements from Vacation Bible School and Mr. Roger's neighbors, Ashley retorted: "You may look and act like a girl, but you are a boy. Your name is Chad. You are blue, and I am pink. You should be playing with boy things. What's wrong with you? This dress is mine to wear…no freaks of nature are allowed in it."

Admittedly, I struggled to regain my composure and flick of the tongue after that one. I was hurt.

Mrs. Roman hurried over to assess the commotion, interrogating each pupil. As if it was not obvious, some little twat cock-blocked Chad Dooley's right to don a pink, frilly dress and serve as master of ceremonies to the playhouse, his stage. When our fair teacher circled around to me, I answered as succinctly as any five-year-old boy in my situation would. "She tucks her sweater into her jeans!" How on earth could a creature that tragic appreciate, no, work the significance of a fuchsia frock? Mrs. Roman ultimately sympathized but asserted that the clothes did not belong to any one student. We must all share, and the first to grab the outfit would be the first to wear it that day, and if her students failed to act with some modicum of decorum, she would confiscate the sartorial sundries. She later pulled me aside to stress that she supported my wearing of the garment before declaring that "the urge" to wear girl's clothes would eventually dissipate and activities like football and masturbation would seize precedence. Football never came, but for the rest of the year, I fought every day for the right to wear what I wanted.

About a week after that initial clothing kerfuffle and subsequent détente, Mrs. Roman's husband visited our classroom for whatever reason. I really did not care. He walked in, looking like an extra from a Boy George video, and I knew. Behind every great woman…

And behind this fluted, pink uniform was me: a deserving, healthy boy turning into a great, blooming bottom.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ring of Fire Island: Part Two

I often cogitate about high-powered women. The slender pout of legs accentuated by taloned heels, a cinched waste drawn tighter by the pull of polyester draped over shoulder padding and lips stained so darkly red they would make the color black shudder all personify the personality beneath the facade: a raging bitch. I fancy myself a high-powered-shoulder-padded-bitch-LITE, constantly attempting to evoke the melodrama, nuances and fisticuffs of Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Joan Collins, Julia Sugarbaker and Kanye West. Dwelling in such delusions of grandeur certainly makes for an interesting life. I'd survived Johnny Cash and the Ice Palace Underwear Party and dreamt that night of Joan Collins. In my dream, she sat on a large mushroom and proceeded to primp, applying her CVS-brand cosmetics and wearing Halston shoulder pads with wingspans rivaling an albatross's. Leona Helmsley and Jennifer Lopez were chained underneath her and making out furiously. Alexis Carrington hopped off the overgrown fungus, and I awoke from my Fire Island slumber. In my groggy, hungover state, I conceived that by the end of the night I'd either be sleeping on a mushroom or over-acting in my own saga, Dynasty: The Pines, The Pains, The Penis.

Once we dismounted our IKEA beds at the crack of gay dawn, 1:00pm, the next day, we took to the Hotel Ciel pool. The pool scene severely lacked appropriate talent, so I ordered a frozen martini from the Blacktino, speedo-laden pool boy, literally ushered him away with the flick of my wrist and encased my ears with the lovely melodies of the 80s on my iPod. Twenty minutes later, loud shouting prodded me out of my reverie within "Bette Davis Eyes." I lowered my sun reflector from the George Hamilton collection to identify the ruckus and berate Dax* with a "What the fuck. How could you let my frozen martini melt? And, what the hell is with this goddamn…"

The source of the overpowering noise emanated from a white drag queen about the age and stature of Michael Douglas post-cancer. She painted her face like the worst kind of groupie slut for Mötley Crüe with heavy black liner etched over antacid-pink eye shadow, while her disheveled, rusty blonde wig was I'm sure taken straight out of the filter in a vacuum. Her legs also housed more hair than a Russian woman's upper lip. I couldn't quite focus on the dress, for I'd noticed that she was performing in her own drag show, reenacting the scene from Precious where Mo'Nique verbally assaults her daughter before throwing shit at her:

You're a dummy, bitch! You will never know shit! Don't nobody want you, don't nobody need you! You done fucked around and fucked my mothafuckin' man? And had two mothafuckin' children? And one of 'ems a goddamn animal, runnin' 'round lookin' crazy as a mothafucka? [ . . .] I think you tryin' to fuck with me. You fuckin' with my money... and you gon' stand up there and look at me like you a mothafuckin' woman? I'mma show you what real women do, bitch...

Midway through the diatribe, Miss Take, for this was her name, waded into the pool in a shredded mesh dress and a cigarette dangling from smudged, post-oral-copulation lips, and splashed around with herself, struggling with an imaginary, large black woman. I beheld, aghast and in awe, this Sybil-ized tranny version of Alexis and Krystle's epic girl-fight scene in the fountain, except on meth and much poorer. After the performance, I introduced myself to Miss Take, offering congratulations for her bravura rendition, but told her she should really wear water-proof makeup in the future as to not cause further chlorine pollution or drain-clogging. "What nerve and balls you have," I snapped.

The night failed to improve. Timmy* and I left the other homos in our posse and traipsed along the boardwalk to a house party hosted by the friend of a friend of a cousin of friend of a hermaphrodite. We arrived, and I delved into misery, a personal hell of unknown gays pretending to be frat guys playing Flip Cup with tequila. Timmy found himself in heaven, joining the frat-tastic game. Five rounds into the game, as Timmy's eyes started to glaze over, a handsome fellow initiated a conversation with me. I quickly became annoyed at Timmy, my Asian version of Krystle (yes, people…I am and always will be Alexis), for devolving into a raging disaster of a pork dumpling dipped in tequila. Seven shots in, I pulled Timmy away from the game and apologized to the handsome fellow, for "Koreans cannot hold their liquor…or is he Vietcong?" I physically smacked Timmy down into a chair in the corner of the kitchen and informed him he was in timeout. Timmy eventually escaped my clutches and staggered back into flip-cupping for three more rounds before asking half of the party attendees if they wanted to have sex, lamenting over and over: "I am so horny. I just want to have sex." Finding those requests unsuccessful, he barreled through the screen door, ripping it from the frame, and collapsed onto the patio.

Mortified, I exchanged numbers with the handsome fellow and began to haul Timmy out of the house. However, the little shit refused to cooperate. I had to wield my frail arms around his compact, yet solid body and lug him out and down the boardwalk to our hotel. We fell several times…one time almost into the harbor. Timmy eventually found the use of his legs and started to skip down the boardwalk, singing his alma mater or something. In between the phi betas and rah-rah-rahs, the drunken dumpling also managed to yank down bamboo trees, bash address posts and play the congo on private residence fences. In between fits of property destruction, I managed the wherewithal to ask Timmy a series of questions to keep his mind focused and his legs moving. We covered: number of sexual partners, fiscal irresponsibility with Republicans, ball-sack shaving, and being a top or a bottom. He's a huge bottom but refuses to admit it. Like any good diva of the twenty-fourth century, I whipped out my iPhone and recorded this fifteen-minute trek back to the hotel, strictly for future blackmail purposes and/or pure viewing enjoyment. As soon as I figure out how to post to YouTube…

Three near-death experiences later, we scrambled up the stairs to our room. I kicked myself for not bringing my Baby Jane Bjorn, so I opted instead to grab his Polo shirt collar and drag him up, stair by stair, like a Jersey Shore reject. I threatened and cursed him every inch. As we reached the third-floor landing, Timmy went balls-out crazy and thrashed about like the cheekbones beneath Marc Anthony's skin trying to escape his skull. One swing of his arm knocked me into the balcony railing and almost made my fall over. The other arm lunged for the door to our room and smashed against the window, shattering one of the panes.

"You almost killed me, you mothafuckin' dummy," I screeched. I slapped Tony across the face, giving my best Joan Collins snarl. As my strike reverberated on his eye socket, he looked for a moment like Margaret Cho when she imitates her mother’s state of shock.

Lex woke up and ushered us in, thinking someone was breaking in to ass rape him. I threw Timmy onto the floor, picked up an open water bottle and doused his head in it. His eyes rolled back, immediately passing out, and Lex crashed back into his bed, causing the IKEA slats to collapse and the mattress to fall through the fake beech wood bed frame. "You two bitches need Jesus," I lamented before turning on my heel to head back outside.

Eight minutes later, Lex called me at the most inopportune time:

Lex: Timmy's throwing up blood. I don't know what to do. Should I call a doctor?
Me: It’s not blood. It's just the red punch mixed with tequila.
Lex: Timmy! Timmy! Ohmigod, ohmigod. Not the floor...Click.

I busted back into the room, which resembled one of Miss Take's abortions, shrewdly announcing "fasten your rectums…it's going to be a bumpy night."

*Again, names changed…

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ring of Fire Island: Part One

Summer coiled around the city this year like an ill-fitting bra found in a dumpster outside of a Vietnamese nail shop – too high, too tight and covered in pumiced skin, all the while cleaving the populace into two overheated sections. Luckily, one people-boob was fortunate enough to escape the hottest days, basking in the solace of beaches and oceans. The other boob lactated inside subway stops. I immediately whipped out my tank top collection, affectionately coined "Lady Scoop Necks," and began the summer's diet of starvation, spray tanning and misery. People incessantly inquire to my personal assistant, Big Glitter, about my weight: "How is Chad so skinny? If I was his size, I’d eat everything in sight." Well, obviously, you feebleminded bitches, I maintain this size because I DO NOT eat like Precious on a daily basis, stealing buckets of fried chicken and bolting down 8th Avenue with enough friction between my legs to jumpstart a car. However, I deign a slight confession, for I do have my Precious moments every so often, sans the rape. Keeping Precious at bay with my tank tops, I readied alongside the boob of people leaving Manhattan and starved myself into a skimpy bathing suit. Hours of anorexia later, I finally ambled to my benchmark, licking my goal weight within tenths of pounds. It was time…my body was equipped for Fire Island.

Fire Island, nestled on a skinny sliver of sand dunes spitting distance from Long Island, promulgates its iconic reputation with two indisputable objects of nature: gays and geography. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Northeastern queers congregate on the island after a train, bus and ferry ride from their respective locales and separate themselves into one of two enclaves: The Pines and Cherry Grove. The Pines attracts the glossy gays, toned, buff, roided, starved, grossly handsome, cunty, "gougie" (gay bougie), emaciated, bronzed and/or shellacked, in addition to the audacious wannabes and the aging daddies (daddies whose sixty-year-old skin resembles loosened leather flapped over muscular bodies). Cherry Grove beckons the lesbians and the older, hippie gays with micropenises. Floating between The Pines and Cherry Grove, "The Meat Rack" extends about a mile, adorned with sand, swamps, and woodsy areas to separate the two areas. More on the Meat Rack in a mere moment…

My friends, Dax*, Timmy*, Chuck* and Lex*, and I purchased two nights in the only hotel in The Pines, Hotel Ciel. We opted not to buy a share because I can barely make that kind of commitment to my apartment, much less a house on the beach for a week each month. Ciel is a cinder-block hotel that reeks of a 70s-era mental institution dropped in the ghetto part of South Beach's Deco District. Perfect for gays on a raunchy vacation. Our top floor suite consisted of a king bed and two twin beds, and everything, from the furniture to the lamps, hailed from IKEA. My favorite feature of the room engaged the bathroom sink, with its back end fastened loosely to the wall and the front end supported by a broomstick and metal crutch serving as legs. Gynecologist exam rooms also enjoy more privacy than this bed chamber, so we knew in an instant a fornication schedule proved essential.

After we settled into our psycho ward IKEA digs, we prepped for an underwear party in Cherry Grove. The process to get ready (for me, at least) differs very little from a normal, clothing-required event. I showered and completed my hair routine, and Dax sprayed my ass cheeks with Neutrogena tan mist to match the darker shades I'd naturally acquired on the beach earlier in the day. Because I'm a flirt or a slut, depending on my menstruation, I kept the doors of our room open so that passersby could take a gander at me in my cute new underwear as I blow-dried my hair. We also needed to fumigate the room from the spray tan cloud slowly enveloping the space. My open-door policy worked, and a gaggle of gays in the room behind us introduced themselves and poured us a shot of whiskey, to which we all toasted the pious life.

Our walk to the Grove galvanized me even more than the whiskey, 5 Hour Energy and Ecstasy pills I downed, for it necessitated a trek through the Meat Rack. Before the trip, at least fourteen people regaled me with personal or rumored stories about this plot of trees and sand, where underneath the moon and stars, hungry men of all shapes and sizes would approach or stalk willing participants to fellate, fondle, masturbate or penetrate. I suppose these gentlemen become more willing to participate because it's too dark to see the face around the mouth engulfing their penises. Seriously, the faded moonlight speckled beneath the trees remains the only source of natural light at night, aside from iPhone displays standing in for flash lights. The Meat Rack is like Laundromats after hours for straight people; they serve as hotbeds for heterosexing with fabric softener lube with dryer rumblings providing the melodic soundtrack, akin to waves crashing on the beach.

I harbored absolutely no interest whatsoever in wielding strange, un-introduced penises in the dark, for I enact an exhaustive cock courting phase followed by a mole inspection…five minutes later and the risk of catching melanoma averted, I'm ready to begin service. Nevertheless, I was dying to venture through the place and listen for grunting or catch a glimpse of nude ass gyrations in the moonlight. No such charity visibly or audibly presented itself. Instead, Timmy treated us to frights by jumping out from behind trees to scare us. I blew my rape whistle in his ear.

We arrived in Cherry Grove as Meat Rack virgins, but I was determined to have a ball or two at the Ice Palace Underwear Party. I strutted into the club, arching my back and discreetly fluffing my package to signal that I would own this place. We shot three celebratory vodkas, grabbed some Mardi Gras beads and joined the near-naked gays jumping up and down on the dance floor to Rhianna. Twenty pop songs, three vodka tonics and five pounds of water weight lost from massive sweating later, I noticed that a significant amount of homos had disappeared from the scene. They crowded around a door leading to a room in the back, and I had to know why. After we cut through those surrounding the doorway, I adjusted my underwear, as it previously failed to hide my pubic hair, and we saw two groups of ten or so guys huddled on opposite corners in the darkened room. I asked Chuck what they were doing. "Are they watching a movie?" I inquired. "I don't think so," answered Chuck as he guided me to one of the corner pits. My eyes adjusted, and my naiveté quivered. I discerned blowjobs, handjobs and bears, oh my.

I am a simple girl from the South, so my natural instinct pushed me to gasp and cover my mouth, muffling an "OMG this is a sex party" under my breath. After thirty seconds, I quickly overcame the shock of it and greedily wanted to see more. Chuck and I weaved in and out of hands, reddened knees and musky ball sacks to obtain the full scope of the scene. Several hands attempted to grope me, inviting me to participate, but I held my ground and my penis while swatting them away. I was merely watching. After five minutes of the status quo, I'd gotten rather bored and exasperated as an old man in white briefs with neon green darting, personifying Johnny Cash on the verge of being a tranny, kept trying to molest me.

Me: Chuck, this is monotonously gay. I want to see penetration. Do you see any?
Chuck: Not yet, but it’ll happen soon I'm sure.
Me: Fine, I'm going back out to dance because I don't want anything accidentally squirted onto any part of my body or face. Come get me when you see insertion…

Chuck found me five minutes later and gleefully announced penetration had commenced. He was not lying. Unfortunately, my time comically watching a large black man having sex with a tiny white twink abruptly ended because Johnny Cash tried to put his hand down my underwear again.

Me: No thank you.
Johnny: How long are you going to hold out?
Me: Jesus fucking Christ, Johnny. You aren't going to have much success in this ring of rapid semen fire, let alone with me. You can sure as shit kiss my ass goodbye with a come-on like that.

I turned on my heel and walked outside, marveling at how much I sounded like Reese Witherspoon's June Carter Cash and craving some KFC.

*Fake names as to protect the innocent. Though, they are far from innocent, and if you've been of my Facebook page, you could probably determine their identities.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Wedding Zinger: Part 2

At last, D-Day jerked her nasty bosom into life with the malodorous, moist winds of July. Upon my cordial invite to the union of Justin Lee Dooley and Nora Jenna Massey (never) received in the mail, I awoke at ten in the morning on the day of the wedding, after four hours of sleep, to stumble around my parents' house in my underwear and search for our dead cat, Pudge. My hangover was just on the cusp of nausea when I elected to go lay out on the back patio to sweat out the previous night's vodka cranberries. An hour or so into the sojourn, as the temperature flirted with the ninety-five degree mark, my thoughts vacillated between wondering if liquor transudation accelerated the tanning process and how the rehearsal dinner was a flaming fuck-up. Since the evening would make even Charles Manson cringe, I held little hope for the wedding day not devolving into a disaster filled with hysterics, tears, bad facial hair and beef jerky. I was not let down. My mother proudly wore the calamitous hot-mess cap that day, and I seemed to be the only one concerned about her designer dress.

I finished dehydrating myself outside (less water retention begets more defined cheekbones begets better wedding photographs) and went to initiate my afternoon of preparations: find a date and get pretty. Lauren, my Jewboo, was, in fact, my date to the wedding because nothing says traditional, Southern wedding like a homo and a Hebrew. I needed to retrieve her and did not understand why she had not yet arrived at my parents' house. My questions were answered when I passed by the front door and saw her eating in the car with her driver (Tony…her friend from college and all around Libertarian idiot savant). Of course. I went outside to confront them with a hello and that we owned an entire kitchen, as well as a breakfast table for people to dine. Tony wanted to spend some alone time with Lauren in the car, thus the McDonald's to-go. "Lauren, when Tony releases you from his quarter pounder clutches, the guest room is ready for you. I'll be in the shower," I declared.

The remainder of the afternoon evinced quite smoothly, even with Trent's (my younger brother, the best man) hangover and Mama's lunch of wine and Fontina cheese cubes – oh the foreshadowing. Trent managed to not projectile vomit the entire day. However, as we hailed in Georgia, in the middle of July, and I bring bad karma everywhere, we noticed thunderstorm clouds beginning to roll into the open sky. Had we been in New Orleans, it would have been exactly like Katrina.

The country club executed a lovely scene of white and yellow ribbons around the terrace, where the ceremony would take place, overlooking the sweeping vistas of a golf course filled with sand traps and caddies. When my family arrived, we noticed the club's crew members scrambling to save the decorations that hadn't been washed away. My mom quickly stashed her travel-sized wine bottles into her makeup case and dashed toward the bridal suite to help comfort the bride, who was now crying due to the rain. Lauren followed her, probably wishing she was still in Tony's Toyota Cressida. The men (myself included…pause for laughter) ventured to the groom's suite to start drinking.

The ceremony proved as lovely as any I've witnessed in Georgia and New Jersey. The bridal party's silk flower bouquets added perfect pops of cerulean blue and canary yellow to the reception hall, the new site of the ceremony. Wedding guests sat themselves at the reception dining tables and corrected their chairs to face the "stage." I surveyed the crowd, marveling at the beauty of the smiling faces, the tear-stained cheeks and the bleach blonde bouffants deflated by the torrential monsoon rumbling outside; I chortled at myself for picking out all of the brilliantly bad facial hairstyles in my family; such shapes! I noted how well I wore the ill-fitting tux, repeating to myself: "just trust in your hair…the higher it stands, the less people will look at the too short sleeves;" and I thanked Jim Crow for not having to steer Granny down the aisle. However, no generic person or silk flower could compare to the genuine gazes of love and adoration between Justin and Jenna's faces.


Well, we persevered. We made it to the reception without much casualty. I shook out of my polyester vest, tie and jacket, sighed and sat next to Lauren to eat. I'd sadly given up on alcohol at this point, opting more for the bevy of buffet foods. As the eleventh buttered bread roll began digesting in my stomach, I beamed at the wonders of spreadable butter, telling Lauren that nothing good comes of rock-hard butter, unless a penis is involved. She concurred as a crumb descended from her upper lip to the floor, for we'd discussed this subject quite scientifically over many meals. Stomach still butter-churning, my mother eventually diverted my attention her way. She'd discovered the dance floor.

Mama only drank two glasses of wine at the wedding, but I'm eighty-seven percent certain that someone continually graced her with sips of various cocktails from the bar, and I'm ninety-two percent assured that she yielded with no fight. I first noticed her staggering state during the mother-groom dance. Justin practically spent the entire song propping her up in his arms as she squeezed and kissed him, and of course he picked a song six minutes in length. I was giddy, impatiently waiting to ask him how tired his arms became. After the dancing formalities, the DJ kicked it into country gear, playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." I rolled my eyes. After the redneck interlude, the DJ, ever the game-changer, blasted "Hot in Herre," and Mama kicked of her bejeweled heels and began assaulting the parquet dance floor. I'll forever possess so many indelible images of my severely intoxicated mother, the female version of me in twenty years, strutting, gyrating, humping, accosting, swirling, guffawing, cheering, YMCAing, collapsing, stumbling, stubbing, humping and any other "ings" one could think with relatives, in-laws, friends, strangers, bridesmaids and cater-waiters. Throughout it all, her dress remained intact and ON. I was in pure heaven. And, so was she.

We managed to secure the Dooley matriarch in her Lexus shortly after the bride and groom went on to live happily ever after. Five minutes down the road, we stopped for a quick purge before heading into a nearby IHOP, for "I need to eat something to soak this shit up," Mama stammered. We all obliged, as Lauren and I coveted the restaurant chain's elusive cheesecake pancakes. Mama's dress got a standing ovation from the waitress with no teeth.

Mama: My dress is soooo nice, right?!?
Me: It would make Scarlett O'Hara jealous.
She smiled, laughed, and then snorted so hard she spit out her toast right into Lauren's pancakes just as I received a text from Justin saying the judge left without signing the marriage certificate.


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Wedding Zinger: Part 1

Ever since my brother espied the wedding scene in "Sex and the City 2: From Here to Menopause," he relished the idea of a big, flashy wedding full of swans and Jewish people. Oh, to rewind: this was the wedding between Stanford and Anthony, not Carrie and Big, in the pitiful sequel that I've beheld with gusto five or six times. Nevertheless, when my brother saw that gay men's chorus backing-up Liza Minnelli, he desired nothing more than to propose to his girlfriend, Jenna. While I was not in attendance to the proposal, I've heard that it went down something like this:

Justin: If you like it then you 'should' put a ring on it.
Jenna: Yes, baby.
Me (on hearing of this matrimonial act after the fact): Gay.

Despite the stellar quality of the proposal or that the ring hailed from Zales, The Diamond Store, I must admit the incoming nuptials did not make me happy. Like every good, Southern girl I bitched to anyone that would peel back their ear hair and hear me out, for after several verbal attacks on my brother with this newfound life strategy, he opted to NOT listen to me anymore. It became a sad state of affairs. My mantra was: "Justin, you are both twenty-four years old. What's your rush? I am twenty-eight, and I've experienced so much more than you have, like Europe, The Hindenburg Disaster and picking up a diploma. Neither of you have finished school, and you’re both towing the line at menial jobs. Congratulations, you are signing yourself up to a life of poverty."

I quickly became the toast of the bridal party with my prickish comments.

After I got over myself, I firmly decided to be happy about the blessed event and agree to wear a tux that resided on the opposite end of my moral compass and not begrudge all of the country family folk I'd be around on that day. Much like my convos with Justin, the rehearsal dinner was also a disaster, and that disaster would be called my grandparents. Normally, Granny and Granddaddy are quite benign, but as I've grown older, maintaining a safe distance away from their dentures always proves worthwhile. Okay, I should rephrase: My grandfather keeps to himself. My grandmother may be a sociopathic narcissist. For instance, if you happen to be at the same funeral as her and mention that you've "had the worst bout of esophageal cancer in recent memory," she'll attempt to retain the pity spotlight with a statement like "mmm, that's awful, but I've been dealing with something much worse: gas and swollen joints. It's like having a heart attack after eating at a Chinese buffet." I still love them, though.

Justin invited my mother's parents to the dinner, even though my mother told them not to come because of the heat and my grandmother’s general un-usability of her legs, thus hindering a walk down the wedding aisle on a trial basis. Thank god the rehearsal went fine, despite the ninety-five degree heat and my mother calling to each bridesmaid: "hey, chick!" When did "chick" become the new "girlfriend" or "biyatch" for middle-aged southern women? The hoary-headed duo got their bunions all twisted because my mother did not physically show them where to sit at the dinner, housed at Peachtree City's finest Taco Mac. At this point, the three cocktails and vodka shot I consumed had me at DUI level, and I really didn't give much thought to them, until I saw Granny barrel through the exit door in the back with her walker. Justin ran out to see ascertain the reason for departure but blindly walked back inside alone moments later. Of course I got pissed and staggered out in their wake.

Me: Why are you two leaving?
Granddaddy: No one has any respect in there. We didn't know where to sit.
Me: Are you serious? Did you see name cards? You can sit wherever you damn well please.
Granny: We just don't feel wanted.
Me: Who told you?

Mama came out after I gave up, but as soon as I glimpsed at her maniacally waving her fists at them, I went back outside to hear:

Mama: This is Justin and Jenna's day! Not your day, and you are ruining this night for them. There’s a booth inside for you to both sit at.
Granny: Well, we didn't see it. We just feel disrespected. Like y'all don't care and nothing was planned for us and what are we supposed to do.
Mama: You are being ridiculous.
Granny: And y'all need to stop with that alcohol!

The Taco Mac patio patrons loved the show, and after dinner I took Mama, Daddy and Trent (youngest brother, the best man) to a gay bar to drink and be merry amongst people that appreciate tragedy and irony: drag queens. Trent had a great time and ensured that his hangover the next day for the ceremony would be alive and well.

As we stumbled out of the bar at two in the morning, I thanked god (Michele Bachmann) that this wasn't my wedding and wondered if I could book Beyoncé as my flower girl.

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sandy Hook, Line and Penis

Well, it's been a hot minute since I've sat down to pin more of this bitch, so siphoning the time to relay my runnings-in with nude beach enthusiasts induces a half-baked giddiness, much like watching Glen Beck's eye twitch from what I can only hope are mini aneurisms. I've long been fascinated by the human form, as are most other hypocrites. I recall fondly ogling at the naughty birthday cards at Spencer's in the mall (do they still exist?) where some greased-up Spanish ramrod is splayed across pink satin sheets with a birthday hat over his crotch and "Happy Birthday, Sexy Lady" emblazoned above his chiseled head. In my high school A.P. Art Class, much of my studies devoted themselves to the female form, where I slapped Rubenesque women atop vivid, patterned backgrounds and thought I was so modern for breaking public school mores. For those of you unfamiliar with Rubens, here is a short bio: he's a famous Flemish painter from the 1600s that painted chunky chicks. They were all the rage back then, but at least our generation can claim Kate Moss and Will Ferrell. Needless to say, I was excited to venture to several nude beaches this summer to taste the flavor of American flesh. Handle-bar-mustached crotches and C-sectioned pannuses were ultimately those flavors.


My friends (Tony, Chris and Doug) and I packed for a lovely trip to a quaint beach called Sandy Hook, nuzzled within the glorious Jersey Shore. We prided ourselves on our preparedness, waking up on a Saturday morning, lugging sun screens, water bottles and iPods to the ferry in lower Manhattan. We further extolled our ingenuity for planning optimal points for nude viewing as well as the return ferry schedule. We were all set. When we arrived to our Jersey destination, we had to trek to the beach, which was about a fifteen-minute walk away. Here is where our planning began to fail us. Sandy Hook has mutant mosquitoes. I don't know if it's a Jersey thing or what, but these bugs were the size of teacup poodles and flew around like kamikaze pilots. I was oppressed by the heat and humidity, along with the weight of my beach supplies, so dealing with these insects really ticked me off. I began to bitch and moan. A lot. My party shortly invoked a bit of teamwork, each swatting the other as we witnessed a mosquito land on a thigh or shoulder. We successfully looked like a gang of gays with Tourette's singing Lady Gaga to absolve the pain, but we failed at escaping many, many bites.

I arrived to the wash house on the beach ten minutes later, looking like a Leper stepping out of a sauna and/or gay disco…gay discos are really just saunas with less clothing and more body glitter and Boy Butter. I'm quite allergic to regular-sized mosquitoes, so these monstrous fiends left large hives covering parts of my leg, arms and boney shoulder blades. We stumbled into the wash house rest room to change into our bathing suits and freshen up. I assessed my body, surveying the reddening skin, hoping against hope that the Jersey Shore sea waters were mixed with topical Benadryl. Once I washed my hands, I headed back outside followed by two teenage boys with huge smiles on their faces. Yet, they were the type of smile a dog wears after he's humped a leg or fire hydrant for a solid twelve minutes. You know, that mixture of exhaustion, frustration and a "haha-look-at-what-I-can-do" grin. I didn't think anything of it at the moment, as I was preoccupied by the hefty patrons of this beach greasing up and stripping down to tan their back fat. But, when Doug and Tony joined me, they immediately asked if we'd all heard the couple having sex in the stalls.

Tony: Did you hear it? Two guys were having sex in the stalls.
Doug: Yep, I heard and was like dubs-tee-eff.
Me: How did I miss this, and why didn’t you pull me away from my urinal to get better audio?
Tony: At first I thought this guy was grunting, having a difficult chat with the commode and his breakfast, but then I heard what sounded like slapping…like a hand on the ass. Then the slapping and grunting increased followed by a second set of grunting, and then I heard an "oh, oh, ohhhhhhhhhhhh."
Me: Which stall?

I proceeded back into the facilities and checked underneath each stall. All were empty. I came back out, disappointed, as Doug pointed out the two boys I saw earlier and said they were the ones that he heard. I was confused. They were wearing board shorts for Christ's sake.

My astonishment for the remainder of the afternoon never faltered for three other reasons. First, nude parents brought their children to this beach. Call me crazy, but seeing a four-year-old naked girl in pig tails next to a hairy, disrobed man in his forties, surrounded by other nekkid adults made me want to vomit, and not because I’m bulimic. As my friends and I questioned this legality and tabulated how much those children would spend in adult therapy, black penises also peppered the sand. We've all seen porn, had threesomes and children with and heard the myths about black men. Most that I've seen are pretty average, but we saw one donkey dick that has undoubtedly skewed those metrics to prove the big, black penis hypothesis. While I cannot say it was the size of a baby's arm (even while flaccid) or like a Clydesdale's member, I can say it could have been confused as an on-ramp to the highway. I saluted him as he walked past, and he returned the favor, tipping the hat covering the head of his penis.

While that's a sizable reason number two of astonishment, our odd last sight to behold proved equally mesmerizing. Lurking between several legs of portly hippies and flushed little, Italian men were the elusive micropenis. Rarely seen out of its natural habitats, China and a hamster cage, this entity survives on discretion and solo masturbation. Naturally, I pointed them out to my friends.

Me: I've never seen so many micropenises in my life.
Tony: What the hell is a micopenis?
Me: Oh, it's a certified medical condition where the erect penis is smaller than three inches. I always thought it was an urban legend. Apparently, Jersey guidos have the market on it.
Chris: O-M-G.
Me: And…they look like my mosquito hives. Pink and ashamed.


I guess the saltwater did, in fact, have a reasonable quantity of Benadryl in its chemistry, and I got micropenised thirty times over by fucking flying parasites.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Seamen Becomes Her: Part 3

Hypochondria deeply vests itself in Lauren's and my psyches, so naturally we schlep everything short of hazmat suits on our person, and Lauren's granny purse housed a box full of Band-Aids. I required these Band-Aids to cover my French-fall wound splayed across my left wrist and palm. Lauren rarely moves so quickly as when she fears someone will become contaminated, with a "hurry. Put it on before you get the 'hiv' in France" in between gasps of breath and laughter. I fastened the bandage to my flesh, swept the sand from my ass and picked up my gelato cup before I proceeded to stumble down the shore snapping pictures of the water and/or bare breasts sprinkled across the landscape.

The staircase slip took a lot out of me, so I napped on the bus back to the ship. Lauren snoozed as well, but she also exhibits patterns of borderline narcolepsy. We arrived in our room just in time to crash on our bed into oblivion. Did I mention we shared a king-sized bed...a monument to all naughtiness except sex?

Later that night, the ship's crew members and guests alike buffed, spackled and teased themselves to get ready for the grand, first formal dinner of the voyage. Picture seventy-year-old women all in shoulder-padded, sequined-crusted gowns from the eighties paired with short, shiny Filipino waiters croaking around a reserved table with no realization for the strong lawn-jockey parallels I presently pictured. As my alligator-skin tux lay trapped in Italian Customs, I met the maître d' a bit under-dressed.

MD: "Excuse me, sir. But jackets and ties are required for tonight's dining."
Me: "Well a lawn jockey stole mine!"
MD: "I don't understand?"
Me: "Can't you just let me slide in? My hair alone normally gets me into any place I want."
MD: "It is very impressive. Here is an extra jacket. I don't normally do this, but I'll make an exception..."
Me: "For the hair. I know...wait. Did this belong to a waiter? It has stains..."
MD: "It's mine, sir."

One of his lawn jockeys led Lauren and me to our seats next to our fellow, hoary denizens. I wrangled out of the bastardized XXL jacket, and we sat down at the end table where no bread and butter basket presented itself. I asked our jockey for more bread, and he informed me that there was already one for the table. I flashed my teeth the way Meryl Streep does in The Devil Wears Prada and declared: "I know, but I want my own because I'm famished from trekking up a mountain in France." Our tablemates shifted their attention to us. They regaled us with stories and anecdotes of lore because we were "young folk." Among them, two sisters from California (one reasonable and one that looked like Eddie Van Halen's mother) spoke of their divorces and how they admired two young professionals like us. You could faintly see the look of lust mixed with admonition in Ms. Van Halen's eyes. A married couple also joining this parade of crazy proved themselves to be quite genuine and sincere. I kept up with the wife until she started crying about how her druggie, thirty-year old son that knocked up a dollar store escort could not compare to Lauren and me. As all gazes devoted their ears to her tears, I turned to Lauren and said: "I really need to masturbate. It's been too long..." At this point, our waiter buzzed over to replace our carb caddy and caught the tail end of my masturbatory admission. Lauren, fighting hysterics, dropped her napkin on the floor and a piece of her previously masticated lamb chop lolled out and stuck to the waiter's shoe.

The next morning, our ship sailed for the day, so Lauren and I decided to enjoy the pool after a hearty breakfast buffet that all but forced me to eat five and a half Scottish Eggs Benedict. After I scoured the remnants of deck lounge chairs and secured a couple of them, my new shorty-short swim trunks necessitated a photoshoot. Lauren snapped the reins as Creative Director, envisioning a St. Tropez meets The Golden Girls meets Speed 2: Cruise Control theme. She wedged herself between the sunbathers and colitis and proceeded to snap my picture in various manners. "Put on more oil to shine brighter," she would demand. "Arch your back a tad bit more to hide the pannus behind you." In seven minutes worth of sweaty photog-effort, we captured one semi-decent picture worthy of Facebook or Girls Gone Wild.

After our shoot, we staggered over to the hot tub to cool off and wash the sweat and oil from my body. I felt like I lapsed into the set of Hot Tub Time Machine. The spa-water occupants already soaking were younger than us. Truly a miracle...or a mirage. I refused to believe it until they spoke. While they looked every bit as Filipino as our wait staff, the two sputtered English over the bubbles and steam. They hailed from Baltimore, pilgrimaging to Rome via Holland America with their Catholic grandmother. Polynesian Jack and Jill epitomized energetic, teenage cuteness with beautiful features and flawless complexions, enhanced moreso by the fact that, as a decade older, I called them "kids," and they explained that they, along with their four other siblings, formed a Christian rap group. Ladies and gentleman, we have our generation's Jackson 5. Filipino 6 could really take the market by storm. We encouraged them to go after the Christian Tea Party market and coordinate with Palin's camp for press. Meanwhile, the group should also leverage Snoop Dogg's fan base and rap on the streets of Compton to up their street cred. Lastly, 6 must categorically release a Hispanic album because we all know that demographic potential. My suggestions shocked and awed the teens, surprising me that his had not formulated a major a part of their manager's twelve-month plan.

I could just perceive Jack's mental wheels spinning, deeming me their European messiah when my Band-Aid from France floated up to the surface of the water and drifted toward Jill.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Seamen Becomes Her: Part 2

My first official act once aboard the ship involved liquor. I procured Lauren and myself a "house cocktail" which consisted of bluish rum, some ice and toothpicks. One sip of the concoction forced me to discard it. It tasted like tacky Acqua Di Gio and blue painter's tape, singeing my tongue and enlarged uvula. My second act brought me to the Greenhouse Spa where I reviewed the menu of salon and spa options. Manis/pedis, mud baths, hot stone massages. Who in hell wants to take a mud bath on a cruise? As this trip was intended to accommodate all things relaxing, my muscle tension required expeditious relief. I charged a ninety-minute full body massage to my room for $150.

My massage therapist's name was Elka, and she wielded the softest hands to ever caress my nubile carcass. After I took off the rented terry cloth robe and stretched my body across the table, she came back into the room to an awkward silence. I conjured the awkwardness in my head; she was really just lubing up. To break my mental tension as I slid my head into the donut-shaped pillow rest, I broke that silence with:

Me: "Very nice to meet you. I'm so looking forward to this."
Elka: "Very nice to meet you as well Mr. Dooley."
Me: "Mr. Dooley? Oy, that makes me sound so old. Speaking of which...how many erections do you see on a daily basis?"
Elka: "Excuse me?"
Me: "Come on? You are massage therapist on a rocking ship transporting older gentlemen with Bob Dole complexes from port to port."
Elka: Silence.
Me: "But, don't worry about me. I'm more of the Margaret Thatcher variety. I have no energy for anything."
Elka: "Am I applying too much pressure?"

As Elka denied her penis-envy, she kneaded, plied and whittled my body into abandon with her fluid hands and an oil that I would brand "Sex on Your Skin It’s So Good." I had just started to nod off into oily bliss when she finished, stating I should take my time and relax as she offered me a diagnosis. "You are extremely stressed and tense. I worked a lot on your back to release the knots, but you should try to relax everyday and find ways to de-stress. Would you like to purchase the body oil?"

I did.

Later, Lauren and I devoured a four-course dinner and three baskets of bread and butter before we ambled down to the casino that night with the rest of the venerable patrons. In one of my many stops to the toilet over this vacation, I passed the ship's discotheque. My bladder cramps swelled as I witnessed a tiny Asian man dancing in the middle of the dance floor, gyrating in circles by himself while strobe lights enhanced his slight frame and sweaty black hair. I pulled Lauren off the "Wheel of Fortune" slot machine and escorted her to the night club to revel in its awesomeness. We ordered two Lemon Drops and sat in a booth to observe my new best friend, the Asian, who was now joined by forty-something year-old man that looked like Buffalo Bill with a dash of both Ted and Al Bundy. The Asian's name was Tommy Chang. I don’t recall Buffalo Bill's name, so we’ll call him the "Molester," because that's what Lauren and I deemed he resembled. They proceeded to order us three more rounds of Lemon Drops and exercise their dancing skills. Tommy also absconded Lauren’s camera and attempted to take pictures of us. We requested that he figure out how to utilize the flash, given his background, naturally. He failed, obviously never having visited Time Square. I was in heaven.

To top it off, once the DJ started spinning ABBA, a British grandmother and daughter duo in matching pastel cardigans, kicked up their paisley knickers and got down with the Molester. Seriously, they had electrifying moves and enough energy to power a small Tanzanian village.

The next day the ship docked in Cannes. While we were dying to go papparazzo on Brangelina at the Film Festival, we found ourselves disappointed, especially because our tour guide could speak of nothing but the damn airport in Cannes. She prattled on about it every thirty seconds. "It's so big...at one square mile." We toured the city and later ventured to a little village outside of Nice, called Eze. It’s a medieval hamlet nestled atop a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Completely beautiful and absurdly undeserving for the French peoples. Luckily, nothing unfortunate happened to us in Eze. Unless you count the fact that I bought a bracelet for my mother, and on the way out I decided to keep it for myself, and Lauren smacked her head into the same cactus going up...and back down the mountain.

Our next stop included a walking tour of "old" Nice. I have never surveyed so many window shutters in my life, and the entrepreneur in me began to percolate venture capital ideas. As I slurped the best white chocolate gelato IN THE WORLD I called my lawyer. "Dick, please research investment opportunities for shutter repair companies in the South of France. The market here must be huge for it...even bigger than the Cannes International Airport...I'll tell you about it later. I'd be willing to invest up to one thousand dollars," I dictated. I ended the phone call, and Lauren and I walked out toward the beach. Naked boobies are a sight to behold, and I refused to miss the French ones. We neared the sand (by sand, I mean rocks), coming across a group of French teenagers lounging on the stone steps that led to our destination, thereby blocking our passage. French people in their natural habitats tend to scare me, so I didn't want to disrupt this teeny pride of shellacked Provencal lions. Instead, I hopped to the right of them and walked down the ramp next to the stairs. I beamed at my coordination and balance until the midway point where I went from "Lauren look at me" to "Oh shit," busting ass on the ramp. I tried to save myself by extending my arms to avoid a bruised buttocks. You know what people look like when they play crab soccer? Picture a six foot dude with big hair, clutching a camera case and gelato cone, in such a position as he skids down ten feet of inclined stone with nothing but French children, window shutters and boobies to provide a mocking backdrop.

My wrists and hands paid dearly for the fall and started oozing blood and sand. The teens quickly jumped up to see if I was okay. I guess that's what they asked. I looked to Lauren to translate for me at the top of the stairs, but she couldn't speak from laughing hysterically. Clearly four years of high school French could not absolve the ability to guffaw into breathlessness at the expense of others.
 
To bet continued, again...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seamen Becomes Her: Part 1

In any man's life, he stammers upon a season of momentous life changes. I had mine a few months ago, swallowing a proverbial perfect-storm-of-shit-that-went-down. First, I grew increasingly tired of my hairstyle. Second, I made introductions to iPhone's Grindr app. Third, my Prozac stopped working. I quickly exhausted myself and my eyelash curler. I needed a break, and this was my "eat, pray, love" moment. No, I would never deign to read that piece of self-indulgent trash that only a rich, white woman could manifest, but dammit, I wanted to be Julia Roberts for a hot minute and absolve myself of my life. I floundered with this notion of reality escape for a several weeks. The idea originally came to me as a one-way ticket to Paris. However, that inspiration got watered down to a week-long trip to Paris. Five minutes later, I decided I had no intention of thinking on this trip, seeking the least amount of planning on my part as conceivable. Cruising proved my best option. Another five minutes later, I unearthed that cruising alone (much like in a gay bar) is frowned-upon by the Navy and is rather expensive. And, another five minutes later:

chadrico0***: Lauren, you are going on a cruise with me.
Lauren*********: I am? Yay! When?
chadrico0***: Next month. We are going to Europe, on a quest to find ourselves and European bread, cheese and penises. Pack light.
Lauren*********: I don't have a passport.

Lauren's passport procurement turned into a disaster. While I wasn't there to witness it, I am sure Lauren found herself in a Miami ghetto talking to a toothless government worker with shellacked black and orange hair and being a complete waste of space. Why? Because Lauren was spat the wrong information, and the Post Office ultimately "lost" her passport application. After many frantic calls and my hacking into her .gov profile over the next week, she finally resolved the situation and received the passport a week later.

Having traveled with Lauren before, I comprehended what I was in for. Lauren is a high-maintenance traveler that loathes planes, public toilets and non-handicapped pets. Naturally, she redeems herself as a perfect fit to fly ten hours across the Atlantic. I assuaged her fears, telling her I would come to the airport armed with pills and tranquilizers to make the journey more hospitable. Nevertheless, her Jewish martyrdom prevailed and she declined my offer for pills once we were seated on the plane. "You know I'm not wasting these pills, don't you?" I declared. She acquiesced, and I relented that "if I go into a coma and miss this cruise I will make sure you have to insert my catheter." A grimace shaped her face as I shot two sleeping pills, two Dramamine and two Xanax.

When we arrived at the airport in Rome, I plucked out perhaps five Italians from the crowd because they reeked of olive oil and fake Pradas, and Lauren ventured to toilet to relieve her ten-hour-full bladder. The other five-hundred or so people resembled the original founders of the AARP. Wrinkles, saggy jowls and liver spots covered with orange spray tan abounded. The oldness truly shocked Lauren and me. Why did Rome suddenly decide to house so many geriatrics? It wasn't until Lauren and I hauled our weary American asses to the port shuttle that we comprehended why. They hoisted their walkers and oxygen tanks up one at a time and slowly filed into the various shuttles, heading with us to our cruise. I harbor no strict aversion to the Cocooned populace, but they tend to ramble and talk your face off with inanities. They also possess terrible ear hair.  One such gentleman proceeded to monopolize any and all shuttle conversation and discuss the differences between Pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses before segueing into his work as some sort of hybrid preacher-salesman during the Depression or something. I hope he sold soap to wash away sins.  We would later see this preacher on an excursion in Tunisia with a shit stain on the seat of his pants, and I would ask him if he "Purelled" his hands recently as I held my nose and kicked myself for not being fast enough to snap a picture.

At this point, Lauren's sore bladder and my pill bottle decided for us to be as inappropriate as possible on this vessel and try to liven up the roost a bit. What better way to relax and have an "eat, pray, love" moment for a Jew and a homo than to "binge, swear, mock." Before we boarded the ship to embark on this cruise of terribly un-PC quietude, Lauren and I reinterpreted Grant Wood’s American Gothic, an iconic piece of artwork, in Holland America's disembarkation photoshoot:















To be continued...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Going Down in NYC: Part 2

Once I had the Murray Hill apartment secured, I realized that this neighborhood is where frat boys and people that love pinstripes and no nightlife come to die. Yet, I quickly transitioned into planning mode and went shopping for a new wardrobe. The possibility of actually needing to don layers of clothing versus wanting to in order to achieve magazine styles made me more excited than observing Britney's head-shaving meltdown. I was deeply into the ubiquitous layered look of the Lane Bryant catalogue. After I acquired the staple pieces for my closet, I began to coordinate the actual move to the new metropolis.

As we were in the height of summer, the most important machinery needed, after a hair dryer, was an air conditioning unit, the kind that shoots out of a window. I hail from the land of the HVAC, and central air remains imperative in most places I frequent. Sweating: only apropos during intercourse, sauna-ing or sun-bathing by a pool and/or beach. I'm convinced that's why the "third world" countries are third world...because they do not possess central air capabilities. I put on my best white-trash-wife-beater and daisy dukes and dialed Home Depot in Manhattan:
Me: "Hi, I need an AC unit for an apartment I’m leasing starting August 1st."
Home Despot: "What size unit and what type of outlet?"
Me: Silence.
Home Despot: "We'll need those to ensure we give you the proper product."
Me: "Ummm. Sorry, I thought we were at a gay bar for a second. I'm guessing the window is about 24 inches wide, and it's just a simple plug in the wall. I didn't know plugs had types. How can we mitigate this situation based on my lack of knowledge?"
Home Despot: "We'll need that info..."
Me: "Can you go to my apartment and look? I'm already back in Atlanta arranging my move."
Home Despot: "I'm sorry we can't do that."
Me: "Fine. I’ll take my chances. If you look to the left of your desk you'll see an outlet, I'm sure. It'll look like that."
Home Despot: "Ooook. How many BTUs?"
Me: "Oh! Ha! I googled this. I need 10,000 BTUs, please."
Home Despot: "Okay, great. And is this in the window or in a slot beneath the window?"
Me: "Slot for $200, Alex."
Home Despot: "I'm sorry, sir, but it looks like we're all out."
Son of a mother-fucking bitch. I wanted to cry, and I could already discern the pellets of sweat spotting my self-tanner. I asked a few NYC colleagues what to do, and they directed me to a place called P.C. Richards. Once I determined it branded a store and not an unfortunately named man or gentleman caller in a freezer, I placed an order for a 10,000 BTU unit with a "regular" plug for $800, including shipping and installation. Mr. Richards is a costly bastard, but he had the goods.

My next task involved booking the movers. By movers, I mean my father and myself armed with a dolly and a U-Haul. The ordering process proved relatively simple; however, the actual execution of u-hauling my life to the North literally sucked ass. I managed to distract myself from moving and snag Britney Spears tickets in Atlanta the night prior to the exodus. This served as my first viewing of her post-meltdown, so my friends Amanda and Devan and I refused to miss the spectacle of the Circus tour. Britney personified everything you thought she'd be. She didn't sing; she white-knuckled a corset the entire time; and her dance moves satirized stretches before the Special Olympics. Needless to say, we paid for a fabulous time singing and dancing. The concert concluded before midnight, and I shot a 5-Hour Energy, picked up my father, straddled the U-Haul and headed to the highway.

U-Hauls lack a serious sense of humor along with the ability to accelerate over seventy miles per hour. I assembled a mental note to not send the U-Haul a Facebook friend request after our trip together. Somewhere between Obama's whereabouts and the Amish, I deigned to test the speed limit and weave in and out of traffic to expedite our journey. This maneuver resulted in the truck swaying onto two wheels and nearly toppling over in four lanes of traffic at sixty-eight mph. My father also decided to start having heart palpitations from the shock of our near-fatal oopsie. I careened the truck over to the shoulder and asked him if he could walk it off because I wanted to strut into New York before 5:00pm. "If you took better care of yourself, we wouldn't be waiting for your heat attack to subside."

We survived the sixteen-hour drive and arrived in the city at 5:30pm. On my previous trip, I measured the apartment and attacked the wood floors with blue painter's tape to mark off where my furniture would reside and ensure adequate space. I was beyond pleased with myself for calculating everything as I initiated the first of twenty-three trips up and down four flights of stairs. Daddy unloaded the truck only and opted out of climbing the stairs with items because "you know, my heart." Despite my yard-stick-ingenuity, I failed to measure the stairwell, and on the twenty-fourth trip, daddy and I discovered that my queen-sized box spring could not squeeze through the corridors. I tactfully became irate and hacked at the hallway ceiling with a lamp to buy us a few more inches of space. As the white plaster accumulated on the stairs, I halted my renovations and screamed. I left a message with the mayor's office saying that the city's blatant disregard for tall people that do not like to sweat is abhorrent, and I would like him to form a committee to regulate this problem ASAP.

I had to dispose of the bed, and Goodwill informed me they didn't want it. I told them I understood because homeless people are typically short. Leaving the bed frame, headboard, mattress and box spring on the front stoop of my building seemed tacky. Luckily, I noticed that the high rise next to my building housed a dumpster with various odds and ends strewn about. A stove, refrigerator and used tampons. Daddy and I lugged my bed over to the dumpster, and as I exhaled with relief, he said "there's a security camera right there. Could we get arrested for littering?"

"Fuck it," I said, walking by the U-Haul and properly trashing the three parking tickets stuck on the windshield.

By this time, my mom's plane arrived and we decided to get a midnight dinner at a French restaurant two blocks away. When the waiter asked for my father's order, I answered for him: "He’ll have a steak, medium, topped with Gorgonzola cheese and a side of double-fried fries with mayo."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Going Down in NYC: Part 1

When I was six and first watched Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster in "Taxi Driver," New York City ensnared my impressionable senses. I knew I had to move there. Even though the movie debuted in 1976, I figured a written letter to Jodie would still satisfy my specific questions to be move-in ready.

"Dear Jodie,

I don’t want to take up too much of your time. Suffice it to say, I loved your prostitute performance. You nailed it.

So, can you please offer assistance on my relocation to Manhattan? I need a list of desirable street corners and viable movers that specialize in Little Tikes merchandise.

Also, any help in securing me Robert's personal trainer would really give you extra points in my book. I’m looking for a similar set of abdominal muscles.

Regards,

Chad Dooley"
Jodie never wrote back, which pissed me off until I saw her in "Nell." After that I felt nothing but pity for her and her battered breasts. As I traversed through grade school and my testicles began to descend at an alarming pace, the New York move drifted from memory. However, ten years later, the city yanked me back into her clutches when I accidentally stumbled upon an episode of "Sex and the City." The series title excited me in a time of extreme horniness, as the fuzzy Spice channel refused to cooperate, necessitating another venue. My channel surfing brought me to HBO with its provocative title. You can imagine my displeasure to see Sarah Jessica Parker waiting to be seated at a trendy restaurant rather than naked people penetrating each other on a loop. My penis was not happy with this new direction in stimulation. After the erection deflated and blood flowed easily back to my head, I noticed the city's architecture, late-nineties fashions and Kim Cattrall's parallels to Jodie Foster in "Taxi Driver." I had to get there somehow.

The chance to head north did not occur for about a decade after that fateful night. My employer at the time offered me a job in Manhattan, and the erection returned. I closed out my Craigslist search of nearby homosexuals, aged twenty-two to thirty-five, and investigated apartment listings in zip codes 10011 and 10010. Those areas exude youngness and gayness with a little grit, much like Fifty Cent. When I received my offer letter the next day and cried out "What the fuck is this salary?" I promptly changed the zip code filter to 10014. While still in Manhattan, 10014 diametrically opposed my standards, as it looks like J. Crew threw up on "The Diary of Anne Frank" - preppy and Jewish. On their own, preppiness and my Jewish brethren sparkle, but together they’re just too much to swallow. I also refused to do borough. I spoke to Ukrainian landlords, Hasidic tenants and uncouth female brokers. What kind of hellish operation was the apartment industry running? They told me that apartments go off the market in a matter of hours and one had to be pre-approved by some sweaty Italian asshole in a pee-stained wife-beater that runs whatever building on whether or not a place could be "awarded." This was a major dubs-tee-eff moment. Snooki's father could determine my housing fate based on my credentials, a young, queer professional with impeccable taste and cautiously silent visitors in the middle of the night? And, I'm white.

I scheduled several appointments and flew up the city for a long weekend to meet Snooki's father and visit Little Ukraine. Luckily, my friend Bryan, a Manhattan resident for years, offered to be my escort for the weekend and basically make decisions for me. We exhausted an entire Saturday afternoon in ninety-degree August heat looking at some of the most fetid, poorly lit places I've ever witnessed. And, I've been to Vegas. We've all heard the apartment horror stories in this city, but this shit happened to me, so that made it real. Tucked away in the ninth floor of a luxurious tenement building in Midtown West, a true one bedroom sounded promising. However, cobalt blue paint blighted all of the doors, and what was I'm sure gunshot holes speckled several of them. I can live with bullets, but chipped blue doors are never acceptable unless on the set of "Law & Order: SVU." After that experience, viewing a studio apartment in the Lower East Side with a lofted bed above the two-burner stove failed to shock me.

Luckily, I dropped five pounds of water weight in the heat. Bryan and I endured about fifteen apartment visits that weekend, and the last place we saw was "the one." I don't mean like "The Bachelor" the one but more like "The Biggest Loser" the one. Craigslist actually came through for me this time. I found a large studio with two dusty windows, a dorm-sized refrigerator, and two - count 'em - two closets in Murray Hill. It also exceeded my price range and perched itself on a fourth-floor walkup, so I had to acquire it at any means necessary. I interrupted the property broker's conversation with a tiny Indian woman that surprisingly did not reek of curry. She was gunning for the apartment as well. I introduced the broker to my bank statements and said "I will top whatever she offers, and if I continue to sell my body at Manhattan prices, you'll never have an issue with late rent payments or five screaming kids in one apartment."

I knew Jodie would approve wherever she was.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm A Giver

We've all seen them before. Shriners, Socialists, and the Boy Scouts of America...beggars. Tens of people all around us, everyday, manage to find themselves in some sort of ridiculous pickle, as they hustle help from meaningless strangers. The world can easily be divided into two groups: the "haves" and the "have nots." We've all heard these tired colloquialisms, but it's true. I roundly consider myself a "have not." You either belong in beauty pageants or American Idol. Those poor pageant girls are hotmesses and could really learn from people like Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken. Clay and Ruben are a twenty-first century Simon & Garkunkel, riveting "haves" in my book. Instead of appealing for tiaras on television, those shellacked "scholarship-opportunity" damsels should really be knitting socks for six-toed babies or contributing to the Fox News Channel. Much like the engineering behind the Peanut M & M and the structure of the post-birth vagina, humanitarianism has long fascinated me. I would totally posit myself a giver if I wasn't me, as I amass nausea from most people and shoulder an innate selfishness with pride. My struggle with charity emanated as a youth.

Fifth grade was a big year for me. Not only did I have to reel in my self-importance as an elementary senior, I attended a different school and exploded into my brand new training bra. I also met Janice Osbourne, a grade-five colleague and grade-ten "have not." Janice, looking back, was probably clinically-depressed, and, worse, quite poor. She was a tragic riot that I generally avoided. However, one day, she revealed to me how pathetic she felt about her home life and how sad she was not to have any friends, beleaguered by the fact she felt unpretty. Even at my tender age, the charity gods and/or Mother Teresa tested me. Before this point, my philanthropy ended with dropping dimes in the "Help Save a Child" basket at Mexican restaurant cashier desks. Janice embodied the fucking dime basket. Her attempts to present depth did not impress me, yet I did resolve to take her under my wing and teach her about life and how to be modern girl of the nineties. But with recess in fifteen minutes, I needed to hurry.

I sat Janice down and instantly shouldered flashbacks of giving my parents the "sex talk" a few months prior. What a debacle. Janice needed to comprehend that she should first be a girl. "Since you do not have a penis, you are not allowed to sport a bowl-cut for hair or wear Doc Martens," I said. When she needed inspiration, Dolly Parton would serve as a perfect example of modern femininity and provide appropriate examples of makeup application and hair height. She appreciated that visual more than I would know at the time. After we discussed the oh-so-important facade, I realized I must delve deeper and classify her personality disorder. I was seriously involved with psychoanalysis that year and strove to stretch my expertise with this new case study. "Janice, the root of your problem is poverty. If you pretend to come from money, as I do, all of your stressors will disappear. All smart people build walls of lies to protect themselves. I certainly do. If you construct a moneyed persona, popularity awaits you," I proclaimed. Janice thanked me for the advice and went to the girls' bathroom to stare in a mirror and think about our discussion.

After my pep-talk with the adolescent version of Paula Poundstone, I confided in our teacher, Ms. Collins, about my concerns. "Listen, Janice's problems are bigger than you and me. She either needs to speak to a counselor about her condition, or she requires an exorcism faster than I can say 'too legit to quit,'" I explained. I presented a detailed plan of action for the post-exorcism remodification, knowing that awareness of this issue was tantamount. Failure to act would force me to call the Department of Children's Services, whom I had on speed dial as a looming threat to my father. Ms. Collins exhibited deep concern over my story. Being a teacher, her salary didn't allow for Botox, and furrows severely creased her forehead. She thanked me more than really was necessary for my benevolence and general compassion for human suffering. I brushed it off and asked her what she thought about third-world adoption's impact on the Bosnian War.

The faculty sung my praises for the rest of the semester. At the end-of-the-year awards ceremony, the county Superintendent of Schools honored me with the Kerr Cup for "Outstanding Achievement in Integrity, Community Service and Charity." I never really spoke to Janice after that. I was a god.

I brought AWARENESS to Janice's plight. But, what's more: it forces me (to this day) to review my self-awareness. Janice and I are quite similar, but perhaps I built better lies. Awareness is education. It is more vital than my bronzer, and I find that to be the biggest act of charity. As with the alcoholic quitters in AA, you first have to admit you have a problem. We need a constant dialogue amongst each other about the world's shittiness, and we need a constant monologue with ourselves.

I am sure Janice blossomed into a fascinating lesbian that certainly pays it forward.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Italian Stallion Rideth

My friend, Brian, and I rendezvoused at an Italian restaurant last week for dinner, and as much of our conversations invariably devolve, we discussed our prostates, sex lives and our mutual yearning to wear assless chaps on an episode of Glee. My prostate, ever the belligerent little devil, happened to be fighting with my bladder at the time because it was rather restless, but Brian's remained sated from the previous weekend. As he reclined back in the rattan chair completely relaxed, he smiled and said "I loved hearing about the nipple-sucker debacle again in your blog." Shit. Brian was already well aware of Areola-gate 2008, having heard the story at a previous dinner/drink-fest/pity party, and he regaled me with a story of his own. As I dipped my breadstick into the goat cheese and tomato sauce, I shuddered from two things. When he mentioned something about a headboard and a horse, my mind raced first to a certain Italian Stallion. Before I could segue into a Mr. Ed visual, the restaurant hostess also sat an unfortunate-looking woman in the table next to us.

When I say "Italian Stallion," I don't mean Sylvester Stallone. This guy was slightly less tragic and I'm sure a few years younger than Stallone's latest face. He did have a body like The Situation and a face like a younger Adrian Pasdar from Heroes, however. I met the Italian on a magical night at a drag show, the air perfumed with blackouts and MAC cosmetics (I'm also calling him Italian because I don't remember his name. He may very well have been German. Point is: I didn't care). Per the usual, I attended the show with a girlfriend to imbibe and dance and had no desire to meet anyone. I wasn’t in the mood to talk to boys that night. My only wish was to speak directly to vodka, trannies and Jenni, my girlfriend of choice that night. By the seventh vodka tonic, I managed to lose both Jenni and my eyesight for an unknown amount of time, only to recover and discover her chatting up the Italian and beckoning me over. He wanted to buy me a drink. After I made a fuzzy mental note to acquire a bed pan that night, I accepted the drink which tasted oddly of Jäger (you know, with that horrid taste of candied yams mixed with Robitussin). I loathe Jäger. I believe I downed two shots quite easily.

Blackness.

Apparently, Jenni thought we should have an escort back to my apartment which was about a three-minute walk from the bar. I do not recall this because I recouped my intoxicated lucidity only after we stumbled back inside the gate of my apartment building. Jenni dialed her husband to come retrieve her, and my clothes disappeared as I slid into the apartment's communal pool. I had just cajoled the Italian into the pool when Jenni's husband, Adam, called. He was near my street but appeared to be lost and desperate. Midtown Atlanta at three in the morning screams "gay," so I immediately jumped into action to save him from the city's homo wilderness. Obviously, reciting him my satellite coordinates to plug into his GPS would not work, so I grabbed Jenni's phone and flashed out onto the streets in my chlorine-sodden briefs. Before I realized the pavement would decimate my latest pedicure, I reached Juniper and 10th and claimed the traffic light pole to maintain balance and strike a pose for passers-by. Adam dictated his whereabouts and eventually made his way to Juniper. However, to be safe that he not lose his way again, I calmly walked out into the intersection to wave him down and direct the oncoming traffic (the VW Jetta is much bigger in close proximity). I hugged Adam freely when he parked next to me in the street, my arms still flailing in the wind in case cops in the nearby area needed to check on our security.

In hindsight, I count myself lucky for not being arrested. That mugshot would not be pretty. Once Adam and Jenni departed safely, my attention swerved back to the Italian. He managed to find my apartment, borrow a Coke from the refrigerator and engage in a conversation with my roommate, Lauren, all by himself in his underwear. I beamed with pride. Once settled and dry, I introduced him to my bedroom, and he introduced me to his package. As things rarely faze me, I can count on one hand the times when I've become horrified and speechless. This penis public appearance floored me...it was the size of a beer can. I knew then that I would never snap back from this anaconda about to strike and grimaced at the irony of my affectionate name for him, Italian Stallion.

Blackness.

I regained consciousness as I was bowled over the toilet, ridding my body of the Jäger shots and my turkey club sandwich from dinner. The Italian rolled out of my bed and came to what I thought would be holding my hair back. No, he hoisted me up as I wiped my mouth and led me back to bed for round two.

Blackness.

Brian relished this story immensely, and I realized a few vital quirks about myself. I talk about sex way too much, so I need to rein it in and table the one night stand talk. I'm thrilled I make the mistakes of my earlier twenties less often, and I appreciate my hatred for beer even more. Oh, and thank God for blackouts.

The stuffy old woman in the table next to us, apparently eavesdropping on our dialogue, had heard enough. She leered at me with disgust and summoned the hostess to seat her in a table on the other side of the restaurant.