Sometimes you lose your handbag and break a heel, laugh it off and swiftly tuck your tail all the way home. Other times you simply fall flat on your face. At last week's hard opening (as opposed to the more pliable soft opening on Thursday) of the new gay masterpiece theatre Pulse, my face was firmly planted in my own ass. I had intended to cover the opening with all the flair of a pear, wave my pen around impressively and make nice with God. Instead, I barely remember feeling like Jerry Hall riding through Studio 54 atop a white horse (no pun intended, although all puns duly noted). There was a white room, a black room and a theater room in between. That much I remember. There was also a moody Mohican hairdresser named Joel who wanted to make sure he was in my column. I'm sure he said lots of funny things, because he's very, very funny. But there wasn't much else in my head.
My head is a little gay bar with no attendance. I flubbed about dropping names (mostly my own) and received a number of placating, if embarrassed, smiles from well-dressed Abercrombies and bitches, while, half-eyed, I took it all in. And I mean all. Yet I remembered nothing.
And so it is that I find myself, a week later, hoping to rekindle my relationship with the homo-trash and counting the pennies and lint lining my pocket. Fortunately it's another Big Gay Day, with former brunch partners Julian Bain and Sammie Singhaus offering different takes on taking it up the ass via performance art: Julian at nouveau-cuisine mecca Taste, and Sammie at the place of my last memory, Pulse. Taste. Pulse. Two things I don't possess.
So I grab my John Taylor-blond-fronted gal-pal (and copy editor) Jessica Bryce Young and decide to make an erect night of it among the fairies. These are my people. This should be easy.
And, surprisingly enough, it is. A quick chardonnay order at the Taste bar while awaiting proper seating is met with "I think we're out of it," a feeling I'm very familiar with.
"But don't you know who I am?!" I mistake myself for Jerry Hall again.
"Yes. I love your column," the bartendress lies. This is how my life is. Love it or leave it ... fast.
Anyway, Julian's big gay cabaret is a fantastic drag show accompanied by even better food; tapas they call it. I wouldn't know, though. I never eat. So Jess and I make the biggest joke of all by actually ordering food. And, like an anemic snake, you can see each delicious morsel slithering down my throat. Tracy, who runs the joint, is an old friend and even comps the meal ... which is funny because, again, I never eat. I feel like I've had sex for the first time. I should try this more often, I quietly slur to myself, only next time with ipecac.
(Bulimia is always funny. Just ask Mary Kate. Oh wait, cocaine is never funny. Just ask me. Somebody call Bonnie Fuller. I need an exorcism, fast.)
Overall the whole situation is a charming bit of camp, with drag divas named Sassy Devine, Cezanne and Danielle Hunter faux-belting hits of female empowerment. Because we're all just big girls anyway, right? We should all have big-girl names.
"You make me like a natural woman," croons Hunter, with irony buried deep beneath silicone. And, in a way, I do feel like a natural woman.
We have to haste from Taste to find our Pulse, so Jessica and I politely spit up our tapas to save our thighs, and hightail it to the newest fag-and-hag watering hole in town. Pulse is phenomenal, and I'm not just saying that (I'm writing it, fool). All expensive and shiny, like a St. Elmo's Arab cocaine party. Sammie and Wanzie (big-girl names again) have cooked up a little film situation starring Sammie and her idiosyncrasies, and are blaring it all plasma-like on the mirrored walls. Everybody's beautiful, skinny and, well, shiny, and I'm glad I've worn all black.
A couple of game-show calamities follow in the middle room, one of which "The Mating Game" I'm asked to take part in. I agree because I'm drunk and I always say yes. I can't even tell you the sick little plans the Jess and I pluck out of our tired hairstyles for my responses, because some things should never be said.
Prior to my stage stint, a series of realtor couples (some gay, some confused) are thrust into a nightmarish re-enactment of The Newlywed Game, answering questions about which friend they would sleep with, what kind of cased meat their lover possesses and just what wild theme-park ride best represents their sex life.
"Rockin' Roller Coaster!"
Kill me now.
OK, wait at least 10 minutes until after I make my Pulse debut as Bachelor No. 2. And don't even get me started on the "number two" jokes, shithead. I'm a supermodel sandwiched in between a Parliament House employee and a lawyer in a race to win a date with some guy who went to Auburn University. The funny thing is and there is a funny thing, dammit my very own boyfriend (which ought to disqualify me from this mess, anyway) is an ex-football player from Auburn. He hates me. He should.
"What poem would you use to woo me?"
"Weegle Weegle War Damn Eagle/Will you fuck me like a beagle?" I offer, because I'm an Auburn insider. And I mean insider.
When quizzed as to what I would do for our date if given $200, I coyly smug, "Buy a bottle of vodka, two grams of coke and stay home ... alone."
Maybe that's why I didn't win. Maybe, because I already have a boyfriend, I shouldn't win.
Regardless, I do win something. Eternally androgynous ubiquity JC Chasez is in the house at a gay bar, I might add and is wearing both a hanky and a trucker hat on his head. I feel this internal need to talk to him, although it's always something of a soft-cock.
"Hi, I'm Billy Manes. We've met."
"Er, yeah," he passes one of his free drink tickets to one of his cronies in an obvious Gucci belt. And that's it. Soft cock.
From there, it's off to catch a brilliant show from Five Eight and do a lot of things that Jessica and I cannot talk about. But we do decide (foolishly) to engage in a palm reading at the corner of Pine and Orange with a couple of gypsies who know nothing.
"You've recently had a tragedy," my sayer says, while I try to convince her that I haven't. Oh, but I have.
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