BLISTER 


;I may not have invented Post-it notes, but I've sniffed some glue that somebody invented in my time, so for that reason alone Tony and I have decided to embark on what can only be called Tony and Billchelle's High School Reunion. Not because that's what tonight ought to be — after all, it's a celebration/exhibit/concert conundrum intended to honor the graphic arts that hyped Orlando's hipsters way before anybody with bangs even used the word hipster — but because that's what tonight is. Pass the glue.

;

;"Do I look fat?" I crack an exposed rib.

;

;"No, but you do look old," Tony crows my feet.

;

;The Journey Through Show Posters celebrating 20 years of Figurehead is already in half-swing when we arrive at the CityArts Factory, and a big rock & roll celebration of, well, posters — mostly glorifying the salt & pepper never-grow-up-ism of one Jim Faherty — isn't really feeling very rock & roll at all.

;

;"What are we supposed to do?" I pop.

;

;"Look at posters," Tony folks.

;

;And so we do. Lining a white corridor are the sort of Peter Max derivations of fonty overstatement that characterized a bygone era at the former Sapphire Supper Club (now the Social). A Modest Mouse here, a Butthole Surfers there, a Seven Mary Three there, and there, and there. It all feels a little too soon to reflect upon, but it also feels a lot like 10 years ago, and I'm starting to get a contact high from the nostalgia.

;

;"Where's the booze?!" I squirt in the direction of anyone listening, as I am wont to do.

;

;A polite finger from a reception table points ominously upward, and in a matter of seconds (that feels like 10 years) we're up in the brick-and-wood shabby chic of the CityArts showroom, staring at people — ghosts of drunk nights past — standing around pointlessly in their downtown realty best: little black dresses, pressed slacks, the occasional whimsical bandana.

;

;Faherty himself breezes down from atop his cloud of pricey marketing, real estate and networking connections long enough to exhibit what is indeed a very gay blouse: some sort of black, drapey, ;V-neck slipover with a curly white embroidered pattern on its back.

;

;"You look like Simon LeBon!" He doesn't, but his shirt does.

;

;"Good! I love Simon LeBon!" He really is gay.

;

;So gay, in fact, that in true old-queens-at-a-reunion-party fashion, we immediately get down to the business of a model-walk gay-off, which I'm sure doesn't look stupid to anybody. Some discussion follows about an upcoming pajama party at the Faherty estate, one presumably involving gambling, but possibly just board (bored?) games.

;;"Are we that gay that we can't play Scrabble anymore?" is asked by somebody, while I try to quantify the point value of my favorite question ever.

;;But I still don't have a drink, an affliction soon to be remedied by part-time bartender (and full-time eccentric) Tom Ward. While he pours my medicine, I opt for a bold diva maneuver.

;;"So, what, Jim Faherty's making me pay for my own drinks?"

;

;"All of Billy's drinks are on my tab," echoes back from the nonesuch. And we're off.

;

;If mingling is an art form, I am a bucket of acid. Within seconds of approaching any reasonable acquaintance of the last 10 years, I'm spilling the bragging thing associated with fat girls at their high school reunions, the ones who are now secretaries of their homeowners associations.

;

;"Yeah, I've been doing great," an old acquaintance will soothe.

;

;"Yeah, well I've been doing better," I'll spit, following it up with the obligatory, "I've just purchased land in Costa Rica, and I'm going to build a mansion there, and there will be servants and massage therapists, and … and … and …."

;

;I even manage to trouble Sentinel goddess and former make-out-incident-victim Mary Frances Emmons with a good half-hour of the potential woes of retiring early. To which she, in a ravishing wrap reserved for her earlier foray into the Madame Butterfly opera presentation, will politely glaze over her eyes and pretend to care. I love her, but I hate me.

;;"Billy Manes," Jason Ross, former throat of the cumbersome Seven Mary Three (and current talent in a new band whose name I cannot/will not remember) blows by in a bandana. "I thought you'd be mayor by now."

;; And here I thought I would at least be socially acceptable. But I'm not (this Costa Rican jet-lag thing doesn't seem to wear off) and it is becoming increasingly apparent. Tony and I isolate ourselves in a corner long enough to catch up on mingle scraps. I've reaffirmed my eternal love for Davey Schweizer. Tony's just been talking to somebody named Finley long enough to learn that Finley was going to get a Pet Shop Boys tattoo until he heard their song "Sodom and Gomorrah Show," which led him to question their (his?) sexuality. Funny, that.

;;Funnier still, we perch ourselves on a faulty window ledge next to a small room with a door marked "Machine Room." Throughout our lackadaisical gossip sitdown, soundtracked by Jason Ross and every other throaty memory this town has to offer, various members of the gritty Faherty cognoscenti pop in and out of the room, as if they might be sniffing their own kind of glue. I'm not invited. I feel fat.

;;"So why can't I come in the machine room?" I pout in the direction of former crush Sam, who used to be the difficult boyfriend of a beautiful girl I used to hang out with.

;

;"Because there are three little Mexican dudes blowing everybody off," he cums back.

;

;Oh. Ew.

;

;And just then, a polite woman of obvious CityArts pedigree approaches with a professional smile and a wagging finger.

;;"Don't sit on that," she motions in the direction of the very expensive wood ledge wobbling beneath our asses. "It will break off."

;;Perfect. Pass the glue.

bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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