It used to seem so glamorous then: an ingrown glitter-eyelash fusing a cranial combustion to last precisely three days. A tiptoe-to-stumble bar entrance on a Friday evening happy hour that would rip the golden ticket from fate’s clenched fist and set off a pixilated series of events that might involve a penile pony-ride that night, some pharmaceutical timekeeping through Saturday, a drool-wipe from a very early Sunday morning hangover face and that last day – oh, that Sunday – of drenching the fried pieces in champagne, shaking them hard, and hoping that the next morning everything would fall back into place with a receptionist’s “Good morning.” I need a lost weekend.
Of course I’ve already slept through Friday and Saturday, so that’s not going to happen. But there might still be some Shake ’n Bake left in the cupboard.
“So, how certain are you that you can’t meet me for a totally glamorous Sunday foray into brunching?” I phone-coax the necessary armor of a pretty girl out of her Sabbath slumber.
“Not very certain,” Karen responds with oblique shapes of possible interest.
“So I’ll see you in five, then?”
The goal here is to retrace the well-worn path that used to make Sundays feel like acid carnivals: equal parts of seeing and being seen, while possibly pinging off some of the very same bits of inspirational materials – drinks, drugs, sexual improprieties, gemstones to trip over – that used to power the old Sunday scavenger hunt into its inevitable descent.
“You’d be surprised how easy it is for me to just roll out of bed and look pretty!” Karen clicks my front door behind her.
“No, I wouldn’t.”
But that’s where this exercise ceases to be easy at all. Dexter’s in Thornton Park – the standard foundation and catalyst for all things chemically enhanced on the day of Our Lord – is positively barnacled with flat-ironed The Hills extras and dime store Posh-’n’-Beckses all swimming around in upward mobility, each with sideways glances to see just who’s watching, or better, taking a picture. There is, I should note, a 2-year-old in a Von Dutch sweatsuit, and even he’s screaming like a diaper advertisement.
“I just got back together with my ex-boyfriend,” Karen falls into her own ill-advised role. “He gave me a flat-screen TV!”
Ack! Karen reaches for one of those high-end saltshakers that doesn’t shake, but twists. She doesn’t know what to do. I twist it for her. She giggles. What the fuck is happening?
“Billy!” frowns a fairly attractive bar manager–type who happens to be wearing the same overpriced, poorly-stitched Western-style shirt that I am. As if on cue, I snap-rip my snap-buttons open to remove mine in some kind of symbolic pantomime that probably resembles a nervous breakdown more than it does a fit of vain pragmatism. The spark is not taking. The eyelash is growing deeper.
We wrap up our liquorish nourishments and hasten our way out of Orlando’s aging process. Over at Urban Body – where I’m hoping a “cute top” will save my day, except cute tops don’t come in a size small – the situation only worsens.
“God, it’s so slow down here today,” the sales associate clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth.
“WrestleMania,” I burp.
“Oh, I know! I was out last night and some guys asked me if I was Brooke Hogan!”
Fortunately, I’ve devised a Plan B in the name of pretty girl No. 2, who’s actually sort of a prequel because she is my pretty girl classic. My friend Jen is in town for her Rollins reunion and she wants me to pick her up from the Grand Bohemian, where, she says, she’s sharing vertical four-star residence with Snoop Dogg (and his trail of cannabis) and Kim Kardashian (and her tail of implants). Surely this will be a good start!
“So, last night we were out on the lawn of the DuPonts’ with our pants down,” or something, she dutifully reports. Namedropping and pants-dropping? I knew this would work. Jen and I once spent an entire day in her South Beach condo on an air mattress. Why? Because we were “cooking K,” that’s why, and in order not to fall out of the realm of sentient beings, we required a flotation device. We were made for lost weekends together.
“You look amazing!” my eyes roll back into my head. “How did you get so lucky?”
“Well, it’s sort of a curse. I’ve been living with it my whole life,” she Britneys.
But these days even Britney’s a renovated outhouse, meaning our initial attempts at reclaiming our tarnished ring of decadent glory probably won’t work. In fact, they don’t. A vain Hail Mary toss at reviving Parliament House’s faded carnival-like T-Dance is about as explosive as an afternoon tea with Judi Dench, and we’re forced to default to yet another Thornton Park eatery for an expected, boring denouement.
At Hue, tables full of extras from The Real Housewives of Orange County and the potbellied men who finance them are yanking their metal chairs into and out of and into me again like I’m not even here. Maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m Stonehenge, just keeping time.
“You’re the one who outed me!” the time-capsule Monopoly known as Jim Faherty drinks his way into the picture and mouth-kisses me over and over again. “Everybody always said, ‘Why aren’t you mad?’ I just told them I think it’s cool … wait, there’s my ex-girlfriend over there. Kissing my good friend!”
Wow. You can have my lost weekend. I’ve got an eyelash to pluck.[email protected]