Blister 


‘You want to bring my shotgun?'

That was my husband's inexplicable reaction to the friend-created poster advertising tonight's proceedings. For my own personal vanity birthday bonfire, tall and quiet Justin took to his computer to craft a fairly suggestive image of old Scarfaced Tony Montana sitting at the receiving end of a huge pile of Peruvian white, about $77 in current market value on his shirt alone. "Milk, Morrissey, Manes, May 22, Mountain of Cocaine," it read, leaving very little to the legal imagination while still suggesting that I share a date of birth with a dead, gay politician and a miserablist. Genius! Yet somehow, in Alan's drug-hating head of heads, he pushed the fast-forward button straight to the violence, bypassing any of that teeth-chattering euphoria or the controversy of attaching my name to a narcotic. Crisis averted, then. Gay marriage — even though illegal, fucking assholes — is amazing.

But the truth of the matter is that if I could, I would be face down in a pile of whatever fairy dust should happen to accidentally accumulate in the direct path of my nose. As you might have read to the point of nausea somewhere towards the front of This Issue of a Newspaper That Bears a Striking Resemblance to My Ass Splayed Across All of Orlando (Weekly), I've already been up for 300 hours, I've already forgone my liver, I'm already dead. So, yes a shotgun could be of use here.

"Can I interest you in one of my delicious hors d'oeuvres?" Roy throws a Top Chef gay catering face in my direction as I enter my own wake. "I made them specifically with you in mind."

On one plate, there are julienned cornichon gherkins (tiny pickles!), then an espresso cup of Turkish olives, a pepper medley, a celery leaf salad in a itty-bitty saucer, some sprigs of something plant-like, and, the piece de resistance, a plate with exactly five Doritos forming a delicious pentagonal surprise. So it's like a full year's worth of food for me and Kate Moss to fight over!

Fortunately for everybody involved, the party is being held at my friend Yanki's house — as he is the king of the boat people — so any public falling out of my private parts or bits of my mouth will be strictly confined to the private domain. Still, there are about 40 people on Evite deck to be here, so it's not exactly the vacuum my current corpse should require. I am scared.

Initially, Alan was supposed to accompany me and then quickly ditch when I became too annoying, but because of the weather, he's stuck in Georgia with his airplane that he shouldn't be flying because he almost died already and has to rent a car. On this schedule, he should get some prime viewing of Scarface 2: The end of Billy Manes. Divorce by midnight.

Of course, I wouldn't even remember any of it if anything remotely resembling the typical huff-and-puff-and-I'm-leaving-you-because-you're-a-disgrace-to-humanity were to occur, as I'm currently shrouded in the Teflon of Ketel One; oh, look, I'm a tiny pickle, etc.

Super friends David and Susan are the first to arrive, and then a deluge of cute people faces follow, all dancing around me like little fireflies might around a sweet tea vodka called Firefly, and I'm pretty certain that my ashen face of death is doing a fair job of keeping up appearances. Dave and Jessica show up with fantastically thoughtful gifts, the bottles of vodka keep piling up in the kitchen, life is good I guess, if I can just hold on. "You could sustain, or are you comfortable with the pain," is Chynna Phillipsing in my head. Hold on for one more day, and then what? Be 37? I don't wanna.

So, when nobody's looking, I take a night stroll down to the end of the dock making certain in that soap opera kind of way that my absence will evoke empathy and thoughts of suicide. But he was so young! Err, not really.

"I thought you were going to kill yourself," Tony arrives two minutes too early, breaks the bench at the dock's end, and ruins the moment. He's followed soon after by The Amazing Jeff Billman and his beautiful fiancé; we talk about nothing and everything and the vapor from my mouth mixes with moisture from Lake Holden and all of the sudden there are fireworks and the credits roll.

Except Alan's here! And in addition to the usual Fabergé trinket that I get for every holiday, because "they're not guaranteed to go up in value, but most do, grumble, grumble," he's brought a very large box with very large words on it.

"Don't Fuck With the Fags!" it says on the outside. Inside, there is something very shocking, indeed: a 9 mm, semi-automatic pistol that's been expanded with an arm-thingy to look like a weapon to smuggle narcotics or at least feature on the cover of a Morrissey album. Wow. All of the pretty faces pose with it for cell phone pictures, the world ends and I'm not even mad. That, dear readers, is an entrance.

And this is an exit. Once again I sneak outside, this time in my swim trunks, to have a reflective Linda Evans moment in Yanki's hot tub. By now Alan's out there with Taylor, and Taylor's brought a snarky friend named Ray, and I don't care because I'm getting in the hot tub to drown myself in the most glamorous fashion imaginable.

But before I can even make my final attempt to drift down a chlorinated drain, Ray reaches out his hand, yanks off my swim trunks and says something completely appropriate like, "Wow, low hangers, huh?" right there in front of God and Alan and the hot tub fairies waiting to take me away.

"Alan, go get my gun," I raise what's left of my vodka voice. Don't fuck with the fags.

bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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