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;‘R we going out tonight," I thumb text into my pocket life leash, "or r we going to be lame?" As if those two things are mutually exclusive.

;"We're going," comes Savannah's finger-fuck reply. "What are you wearing?"


;"Your pussy!"


;Why? Because I'm straight. Straight, straight, straight, straight, straight! On the occasion of the Geritol misery of my big 35th – and the perceived exploitation of my easy-fuck anus that this very Queer Issue nonsense implies – I am FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY hanging up my scrotum-support 2(x)ist boxer briefs (with stains!) and diving down the big fallopian tube of Falwellian correctness. I don't know why I didn't think of this before! Oh, wait: the Great Menstruation Incident of 1991. Thanks, Michelle.

;;Fluids in check, Savannah pops over around 11 p.m. and pulls my three remaining hairs into her Jeep with that peculiarly Orlandoan glaze-over that epitomizes a heterosexual Saturday night downtown.

;;"It's a lonely ol' night," I Mellencamp.


;"You're not straight," she Cougars. "And that thing about wearing my pussy was gross."


;That's only because pussies are gross (um, awesome). But even grosser is the vision of shiny shirts, slip dresses and cell phone smiles currently vodka-pickling in my weary mind, the Orange Avenue wasteland that exudes all the charm of a publicist-fed paparazzi incident where no star ever shows – just hapless, empty wannabes in too-short dresses gazing here, there and everywhere for some validity spine to stand up against.


;"Duh," Savannah messes her hair in the rearview. "We're going to be the most famous people here!"


;Wannabes like us, then.


;And if this straight wannabe needs any reason to justify his procreative foray, it comes soon enough at the entrance to the Wall Street midway for the Florida Music Festival where right here, refusing us entry on account of our missing wristbands to go with our "media" lanyards, a bald man with eyes that might or might not be crossed (they are) is not being very nice.

;;"But don't you know who we are," stammering feet, obsessive lingering, etc., and after about 10 minutes we're shooed through like bloated flies on steaming shit. Which is, naturally, quite appropriate. Out in front of the predicted throbbing throng of shirts, dresses and cell phones, a band-like mess is crashing an emo wave down into the depths of its Rush demise, guitar flanges weedle-weedle-weedling into a sick swirl of whine and consequence. If I was high on the straight dope, I'd be paranoid by now. As it is, I'm just apprehensive.

;;"Who are these people!? I didn't think they still existed!" I sidle up next Savannah's music industry friend, Jenny, trying to scream over the noise. "I feel like a funnel cake at a state fair Outfield concert in 1986."


;"Me too!" she totally lies. Nobody feels like ;I do.


;My momentary hetero-nymity is soon shattered when a cute beardy guy in a train conductor's hat calls me out – in a clearly hetero-high tone – and professes that "now I know everybody!" Me too! Well, not everybody. As I'm dragging Savannah out of the melee, another cute boy – in a clearly hetero hair grow-out phase – introduces himself as "Kelly," clarifying that "I'm the guy who e-mails you from my cell phone," which, I surmise, is just a clever way of saying nothing. This is exhausting.

;;We're due for another appearance, this one down at Firestone's new night, Blackout Saturdays, and my inner computer is crashing at the realization that Orange Avenue is a one-way street, meaning that if we were to hop in a cab, we wouldn't be going the right way at all. I don't know why I didn't think of this before! Oh, wait: The Great ;No-Officer-I-Haven't-Been-Drinking-Much-I-Just-Made-a-Wrong-Turn incident of 1997! Thanks, cocaine.

;;Savannah suggests that we just hoof it – the aesthetic equivalent of putting 16 quarters into my complaining machine – so we do. Along the way, she pretends to be drunk (she's not) while I pretend to be straight (I am!), as she details some four-blocks-long story about a friend of hers breaking a heel. By the end, she's in tatters, acting out the occurrence at least three times in slow motion and insuring that her appearance matches her intentions. Again, exhausting.

;;We're greeted by Firestone facial-hair extravaganza Mike Feinberg, who is rushing us through the front door at the very same time that he's reinventing the meaning of days.


;"We want it to be like Thursday for grown-ups," he dyslexes.


;"Oh, you mean because Thursdays are the new Saturdays," I play along. "And tomorrow's Baby Loves Disco means Sundays are for babies and their drunk mothers? Crazy!"

;;An eye-roll follows, naturally, as does a smoke-machine haze of grown-up heterosexual disappointment. Gone are the stumbling queers of the Saturday ketamine crusade here; they were unceremoniously booted by a rant from owner Jan Harrold a while back. In their place, a calmer dusting of advanced-age electro-enthusiasts nervously mingles in a way that doesn't even suggest dancing.


;"Remember last time we were here, and that girl on cocaine came over and talked to you?" Savannah blows the powder from the memory plate.


;As if on cue, another girl – possibly a little chattier than she ought to be – does just the same, eventually pulling Savannah aside to talk or chew her ear off alone.


;I decide to have a quick confab with Q-Burns, who's manning the downbeat turntables tonight, but even that exercise ends up ruefully heterosexual and adult. Something about launching a multimedia enterprise to connect music and film swirls in the air (which always sounds like "I'm shopping a screenplay" to my ears), and I shut down, resigning myself to the balding key-party ethos that the age on my driver's license and the balance on my credit card requires. Life, it turns out, is exhausting.


;"I think we should go," I whisper into Savannah's unchewed ear. "Oh, and here's another secret: I'm not straight."


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