BLISTER 


;If there are better ways of ;being seen than face-down, ass-up on the hood of a Jeep in the cobblestone queer starch of Lake Eola Heights, then I cannot even begin to get my hair around them. If you're going to be a Sunday morning mess, then be a mess.

;;"You can stand under my umbrella," I stripper-swivel my million dollar hips and suck up some exhaust like Rihanna's wet bob might. "Ella-ella-eh-eh-eh."

;;"Get in the CAR!" Savannah does not stick a dollar in my G-string or open the door for me. Actually, there are no doors. She's removed them, like they were mere Cher ribs.

;

;"Shut up and drive!" I'm already on Rihanna's next single by the time of my seat-belt click. "This is going to be fun!"

;

;No it isn't; at least, it's not supposed to be. In the wake of the powder-rimmed gaysploitation of last month's Gay Days, the annual Pride Picnic – something of a stationary place-keeper for when the Orlando Pride Parade used to be matchy-matchy with the rest of the world's leather-thonged street closings – has grown into its own beast of activism without makeup. No matter how many scrotum jokes one can make about Turkey Lake Park (precisely three at last count), this picnic – for all of its levity and grass-roots, Big-Gay-Center-supporting worthiness – is no cackle-catcher or banter bucket.

;

;Must. Not. Laugh.

;

;But amid the combined idiot choruses of "Wow, this is like another city" and "I don't even know where I am" inherent in Jeep U-turns on Kirkman Road, it's growing harder and harder to keep a straight face. Add to that last night's booze sweats, a bright sun, girl hormones courtesy of Savannah's loose shorts, ghetto music from blown speakers and gasoline mirages, and you might swear that we were traveling in a Pigpen pot cloud. We're not, but by the time we show up, we're giggling and not smelling very nice. Wait. Why are here?

;;"Nobody's talking to us!" Savannah pouts, even though she shouldn't as we're not exactly making an effort to connect. I'm sporting a message T-shirt ("Someone Kill Me … Soon") at the ripe old age of 35, which means I wouldn't even talk to me given the too-old-for-this implications. But that's me. Patty Sheehan, who likes girls, full-on ignores Savannah.

;

;"I didn't mean to ignore you, Savannah!" she hollers after us as we head to the porta-potties for a bladder escape, but the damage is already done. Maybe we aren't really here.

;

;"Oooh, mine's clean, like it's brand-new!" Savannah muffle-twangs from her own plastic poop box. "Would you rather die or drink the blue water from your porta-potty?"

;

;I look down at the refuse in my not-new defecation station, then at the message on my shirt and blurt the obvious ("I'm already dead!"), realizing just now that I'm actually baking in here, slowly marinating in blue juice tainted by gay pee. "No, I mean it! I'm dying!"

;

;"Me too!"

;

;The shitter doors fly open, and we fall out. Alas, we haven't done what we came here to do. We can't die yet, can we?

;

;"Uh, what exactly am I here to do?" I quiz a nearby Deanna, she of the organizational charms that manifested this event. Her response, predictably, is to lead me over to the keg area where her boyfriend is serving up some bottom-shelf bubbles into plastic yellow Dixie cups … oh, and he's wearing a kilt and exactly two nipple rings. Of course, neither he nor this process is easy – enter the unforgivable you-have-to-buy-tickets-to-get-a-drink scenario here – but by the time I've worked my way through the gay-rat booze maze, he's thrusting his left hip out for me to slide a tip in.

;

;"I can't! I feel dirty!" I coo as I slip three fingers and a dollar through the tartan. There, I just fingered my good friend's other half. Clearly I've accomplished something gay-ly philanthropic, right?

;

;Not enough, nelly!

;

;The bleach-infused genius that rots at the very core of my brain – that, or the spider venom from a bite I've just received – decides that I should probably place myself awkwardly in the center of where "things" are "happening."

;;"What's happening?" I slur all around a vision of the pillar of manhood that is police liaison Jim Young.

;

;"Prayer," he whispers. "I think."

;

;Indeed, it is very quiet, with somebody of a metropolitan denomination ostensibly summoning a higher power or something, but if I close my eyes at this point, I'll probably capsize rather dramatically. Instead, I spot state Rep. Scott Randolph and his wife and summon them over to hold me up and challenge God with our eyes wide open.

;

;God doesn't notice.

;

;Within moments, Patty Sheehan is delivering her own breed of neck-vein sermonizing – there are divisions in the community keeping us from achieving equal rights, and we need to be serious about it, OK? – and it's all really quite moving; certainly more moving than me standing here looking stupid and hoping not to fall down from not being high. Upon her political dismount I squeeze in just long enough to tell her how impressed with her speech I was and just too long not to catch a snippy reply. That's more than Savannah gets, though.

;

;"Um, did you just get snubbed by the Sheehan twice?" I check my scorecard … and my spider bite. "Doesn't that mean something?"

;

;"I think it means that we aren't even here," she pinches her face. "And that we can now leave."

;

;Mess accomplished.

bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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