BLISTER 


;As someone who spends a ;good portion of his waking hours trying to spin around in various vacuums fast enough to force the pigment, marrow and drink mixers from my body and onto the walls in a spontaneous cocked-brow installation of "something happening," I hold a certain esteem for the vanity exercises of artists and their opening receptions. Especially when they are at bars.

;;But on occasions like tonight – a Monday, and Mondays don't even really exist in Orlando's social swirl of things one must attend – I'm a bit threadbare, and all of my typical juices are currently being occupied in the capacity of pretending to be alive. I'm not going out.

;;"Oh, fuck!" my knee reflexes my foot into Alan's shoulder on the other couch. "I'm supposed to go out!"

;

;"Where?" his lips part and make a noise.

;

;"A friend is having an art opening at Peacock Room," I plume the few feathers left atop my head. "But I'm just going for 15 minutes. I'm sooo not writing about it."

;;Besides, The Hills is on at 10 and if I miss it, I'm Spencer. I'm not a decision, I'm a surprise.

;

;"Lauren is sooo tired, but Heidi is a fucking bitch!" I echo the sounds of a gay ocean into my cellular seashell over to my L.A. friend Greg's ear. "And are Audrina's eyes to be believed?"

;

;Secretly, Greg and I are Lauren and Heidi, except he's in L.A. and I'm driving a Jetta on Mills Avenue. Audrina is probably somewhere wet in Oklahoma, and nobody even cares about Whitney. Got it?

;;Three minutes into my own famous 15 I'm squished up against the bar with need-a-drink cash in my hand like I'm hailing a cab in Times Square. The place is packed with the sort of splashed-around pixels that eventually blur together into a drunken approximation of "a scene," some finger-to-face surveying the compositions of the female gender occasionally concealed with surgical masks, but most intentionally coalescing into small cliques in order to release their familiarities and bouts with wit.

;;"A small one, Mr. Manes?" wink-nudges the male half of the couple I'm wedged up against, casting some aspersion on my intended intake limit. "Come on."

;;The Hills is on tonight. The Hills is on tonight. The Hills is on tonight.

;;Anyway, it's Andrew Spear's art opening, and I love Andrew because he did me once. Well, he didn't so much do me as surgically correct my face to include the implied appendage of a martini glass, because I don't even have a chin. Apparently he's done quite a few people, because quite a few people are here … on a Monday. I've come to pay my respects, but it looks like I'll be waiting in line, or rather on the periphery, next to an end table with a basket full of condoms on it.

;;"Why do they have to look like advertisements for the New Yooowk subway system?" New Yooowks my friend Tina while fingering a LifeStyles prophylactic package with bold squared-and-colored letters on it.

;

;"Because we're going places," I stain my panties.

;

;Of course, it's all downhill from here. We eventually coalesce ourselves around Angelina – a bawdy broad of girly dresses, facial piercings, giant tattoos and the equipment to match it all – and descend into, well, my 12th minute.

;

;"I love you and you better not leave me!" I pretend to razor-blade a condom packet, then lick it. "I'm late, you know!"

;

;Some discussion of a DNA test from my condom-licking is quickly overshadowed by an ongoing conversation about Angelina's revolutionary grand canyon: her mythical 4-inch clit. I pantomime a rather ridiculous stumble and declare that I've tripped and I'm falling into it, and that I therefore might not be home to watch The Hills tonight. There isn't necessarily laughter; just a sense that we're all acting something that is nothing out on a stage that isn't even there. Surreal, really.

;;"I guess I am writing about this," I drip down my own leg and onto the floor.

;;A few minutes later, we're surreally couched beneath a presumed Dali in the other room, still going on about nothing while watching people reflexively stare at the walls like they're art, too. A girl comes over and stares over our heads and actually says the word "surreal." I think I just swallowed myself.

;

;Or I'm dying.

;

;In a failed attempt to rub my posterior against the Lycra-shirted, super-hot soccer boy standing across the room for the delight of my gaggle, I bump instead into Sentinel priestess Liz Langley, who is, by profession, charming.

;

;"What's going on?" she sweets.

;

;"Cancer!" I sour.

;

;"Your lower lip didn't quiver enough."

;

;It's been more than an hour, meaning I haven't been even close to famous for 45 minutes, and when I find myself spinning around in a conversation about the death tax, I finally begin to notice the writing on the wall. Well, not on the wall, but on the light-up sign hanging above the way out.

;

;"I need to go," I somehow form the letters E, X, I and T with my body in the direction of nobody in particular. "I'm becoming an installation."

;

;Back at home, Heidi's roller-painting over Spencer's teenage graffiti game-room walls as The Hills reaches its psycho-climax, while I'm trying to remove the pigment, juices and marrow from the walls of my own unexpected night out.

;;It wasn't a surprise. It was a decision.

bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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