BLISTER 


"I've finally decided that what I really need is …," Savannah surveys the color-coordinated QVC showcase that constantly twirls in her head, "… a large black man with gold all up in his grill to stand next to me."

"Consider it done," I lie, yanking the steering wheel that constantly twirls in front of me decidedly to the suburban left.

It's catching-up-with-my-severed-limb-(with its own set of boobs)-night, as Savannah and I momentarily reconvene at a safe distance from our self-obsessed career trajectories to just be idiots again. Considering our combined alchemy, the addition of a roughneck with anger-management and dental issues would be nothing short of a celebrity boudoir overdose. Wink. Wink. I think we both know that those never really work.

Still working, but just barely, is Will's Pub, and although we're pretty content to lap dance in my car to the bleeding Aguilera speakers' wrath, we've opted to fulfill the civic duty of standing around a closing bar like ex-wives at a funeral. Me, I married Will's many times, but the relationships I'm paying tribute to tonight, the most memorable ones, involve snorting a fleck of baking soda with baby laxative in it off a wet bathroom floor, and an overdose on something else at a heavy metal tribute show. Thanks for the memories, Will's. I'm glad we broke up and all, but where would I be without you? Sniffle.

Actually, like most of Will's Pub's closings, this one is soft, but sensing the demolition dust looming in the air, it might actually make it all the way to being the last. To that end, music-heads Jason Ferguson and Bao Le-Huu have organized a benefit show to assist the lover/loser legend's relocation, presumably so that another generation of hairlines and health can recede in the dark. Tonight, though, the dark remains in playful recession right here.

"Got any good shit stories?" Savannah farts as we both pick at a Styrofoam bowl of black beans with rice all up in our grills. We're standing with Jason's vegetarian wife, Eve, and a slightly frightened stranger, herself the girlfriend of the jalapeño popper—eating contest winner. These are the social fans that were made for shit-hits, so our giggle candor seems perfectly suited, at least to us.

"Well, this one time …," I shit camp, reveling in the barely buried memory of a pair of stained boxers that had to be disposed of in a Gainesville Subway bathroom after I lost a bet with my sphincter. Funny!

While we effectively dribble down our own legs, around us a concert mass is creeping into crowded, measuring its calculated disinterest against the disinterest of the T-shirt and jeans standing next to it. A lovely Ella voice is strumming sweet sadness about somebody else's abuse, as we (and all around us) are standing still and staring at our feet, which means at a fart's notice we're running down a leg and out the door.

Fortunately, Plan B isn't too far away. Following a marketing hit of the MySpace variety, one that included the words "super duper doo-doo VIP list," Savannah and I are a Pavlovian go for a couch in a corner and bottle service, foot rubs and finger fucks optional. The Buddha Bar is launching a new Friday night from atop its lofty Park Avenue perch. I'm predicting (correctly) white curtains, cushions and powders to contrast with our dark-horse, black-beaned (gold-toothed?) appetizer. Savannah? She's lost her big-titted mind. As soon as I can parallel the car into a street spot at the corner of Park Ave. and Canton, she's thrown open the door, found the nearest available pole/rail and proceeded to release her own inner Christina like a whore on WD-40.

"I think I broke the rail!" she squeaks.

I think I need one.

A frazzled marketer named Michelle greets us at the door with a frown and a perm, practically stomping her expensive dazzle shoes in a gorgeous display of publicity meltdown.

"Billy Manes! Why the hell are you here so early?"

Because it's 10, because I'm old and because you don't want me to be, of course. Anyway, it's her company, BeatCreative, that's launching this whole night — an event she insists isn't "gay," although it clearly is. "You don't want to come out ‘all gay,'" she reasons as if I'm the pot dealer in the back of a night-life promotion classroom. I nod like a pot dealer in the back of a classroom.

A series of photographs are arranged with Savannah and me while I check the floor for my union card, and Michelle's cute/gay assistants scurry about in an almighty flourish of drinks, digital cameras and fashion. Fashion? Well, somebody here paints shirts, and somebody suggests that I should be a model, and some situation has made me very happy, especially after somebody gives me a free T-shirt sample.

"Oh. My. God. I look so tan in these pictures!" Michelle frets. "I fake-baked all week! And my face is hidden."

"Slow down, drink and enjoy it," I take over the class, and in my head, the world. "You're perfect."

On the way home, Christina kicks an apology torcher by the name of "Hurt," and I suggest to Savannah that she should cry. She does, naturally.

"Is it so wrong that I'm crying because I'm thinking about all of the people that should be singing this song to me?" she fixes her eye makeup in the rearview.

"Nope," I'm crying too. Wink. Wink. "As long as those people don't have gold all up in their grills."

bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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