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I honestly thought that I had already conquered this beast, that I'd already written this column. I had accessed the desperate mania produced by eight straight hours of Sex and the City viewing, a hell imposed upon myself by myself to obtain a voice in my head that would drown out the self-defeating voices that live there. Nobody likes to live there. Love don't live there anymore.

But, alas, it was only a dream. I was dreaming of a column that included past bits of pleasure fondly remembered. Pleasures like the time when I was in New York, circa '95, dancing at Limelight with Jean-Paul Gaultier and Kevyn Aucoin, all hopped up on mixed-metaphor powders going both up and down, and wondering exactly why Pearl Jam's "Better Man" needed a dance mix. I had met up with a Duran Duran pen pal for the one and only U.S. Pulp concert and was feeling my powdered oats.

"Omigod, it's Gaultier!" I rattled my jaw.

"I totally know him. He's totally rad!" boasted my friend.

We drugged ourselves into their fray, having just visited the very same bathroom stall where Boy George had met many a narcotic downfall, and proceeded to make asses of ourselves. I didn't feel like an ass at the time; I didn't feel much of anything, not even the little crunches in the gum I was heartily chewing. Turns out I had chewed a tooth right out of my mouth, right there in front of a fashion icon. Glamorous, no?

And speaking of pleasures long past, there was the time that I dressed up like "Devil in Sister George" Boy George on a Tuesday night in Tallahassee, painting my entire body red and gluing horns to the top of my head. I had acquired a ridiculous tuxedo and some platform shoes, and when I attempted to walk down some bar stairs, the shoes gave out and I tumbled for it, losing a horn along the way. In the interest of saving a very red face I stuck the right horn in the middle.

"Omigod, you're a unicorn!" jeered a passerby.

But I wasn't that fantastic. And I was a little drunk.

Oh, and then there was the time I flipped my car on Parramore. Yeah, that was fun.

In my dream column, all of this was cleverly summed up in a nice package, delivered in the style of Ms. Carrie Bradshaw; something like, "Is it possible that going out isn't that outgoing anymore?" God, I love that shit.

But I was dreaming, it turned out. Because upon finishing my dream column, and while apparently still dreaming, I looked out the window to find that my broken automobile had been stolen. Stolen again, even, because I had just retrieved my car from a burly sheriff whose secret garage held my Geo for undescribed purposes earlier that day. I was still a little teary-eyed from the whole affair.

Figuring that the sheriff had struck twice, because that's what they do, I grabbed another cop and hunted him down.

"You can't do anything about it," gruffed my police escort. "It's the gay gypsies."

What? He went on to tell me that his main competitor in the gay-gypsy carjacking market was another burly sheriff with whom I should not make contact. My ass! I tracked him down too, on my way back home to an abandoned warehouse space off Princeton. Not sure how I did, but you have to allow a little poetic license in these sorts of dreams.

Naturally, I peered up over the wall I had just climbed (what?) to see a series of gay bunks, gay hunks and the gay cars they were working on, my own not among them. Defeated, I descended into some kind of madness involving a special day where bad smells and Wham! records are distributed to make people's lives miserable. You know, Memorial Day.

Just before I could reach home and my own Wham! records, I was mysteriously approached by, and even more mysteriously recruited into, some sort of pornographic re-enactment retreat: four days in a hotel far away where an ensemble is trained, plucked and fucked for the delight of precisely no one. I looked down to note that I was wearing a pair of jeans with the faces of screaming children imaged into the denim. Not a good sign, really.

Anyway, the training went on swimmingly enough, as did the awkward pull between practicality (room number, key, contract) and smut (really hot guys, naked), all leading up to some practice run that found me in Kama Sutra submission with an African-American man with whom I had been paired.

"So this is the grasshopper," I thought to myself, slowly deflating in the Biblical sense, if you know what I mean. My practice was complete, I guessed.

"I hear you're into sneak attacks," presumed aloud the ringleader, while two men in red flipped over the hotel bed and to my side.

"No, not really," I demurred. And from there on I'm watching everybody else copulate in simulation of the scenes of the film they had chosen – some sort of a cheap James Bond odyssey like For Your Ass Only.

Bored by my own exclusion, I wanly thumbed through the channels on the hotel television, landing on what might be the best movie of all time – something called Skiffing that starred Lauren Tewes, Lynda Carter, Loni Anderson and Jim Nabors in drag. They were all part of an interpretive dance collective wherein they did Romy and Michelle routines (skiffing?) to the delight of a roller-rink crowd. It had a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Movie appeal, and featured a winsome collie, requisite to most movies of the era. And I was happy.

And then I woke up. Simple as that. I hadn't had any sort of illicit sex (save the one attempt), and I had a few new words to ponder (skiffing?). I also had some sweaty sheets and a deadline to meet. And then I realized that sleep had given me the best gift ever: a column. Sure, it's not really nightlife, and maybe I'm crazy. But what if nightlife isn't life at night anymore?

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