So, here's the idea, see. Given the current couch-clutching state of my latest physical fallout (and even though I'm not a drama queen, I'm totally dying this time), and the "bed rest" diagnosis I magically put in my doctor's mouth, I really don't think that I should have to do anything this week. I even pick up the phone a couple of times to contact my brilliant editor with news of the funeral that I am personally planning while watching Sybil on the Oxygen Network, before realizing that even dialing hurts.
Then, faster than I can start singing, "How 'bout getting off of these antibiotics?" not very fast at all, dear reader it comes to me: It's Anti-Pop festival weekend. Somewhere in my medicated logic I find a dimly lit path toward something resembling apathy, or better, "the anti-column," a task that loosely involves me getting ready to go out, but then changing my mind because, well, going out is stupid. And it's just Orlando, right?
"You've already done that," phones in my friend-cum-copy editor, Jessica.
"Oh, yeah. The old woe-is-me, I'm quitting drinking, getting the shakes and watching bad television plot." I shake, and have a drink. "So no anti-column, then?"
"With your, uh … predicament … I think you should do the anti-poop column."
So I throw on some glad rags and hop out the door, tripping over my figurative coffin on the way to my car. Tonight, at Anti-Pop, there is what promises to be an enchanting event: some sort of two-hour cocktail gathering at the Matador to preface a night of uneventful-to-me indie rock shows downtown. I'm picking up Jessica and picking my brain. Anti-Mame? Anti-Manes? Not funny.
"We could do some sort of Adventures in Babysitting kind of marathon night, running from venue to venue!" I half-ass. "Starring you as the baby sitter."
"I was thinking we could just go to the cocktail party." She's right. I'm dying, after all, and how awful to die in front of a live band soundtracking it. An experimental live band, no less. I want Cyndi Lauper to sing "True Colors" at my funeral, and Cher to deliver my eulogy. I'm totally pro-pop.
So we pop our way over to the parking garage and commence with the standard chatter that clacks with shoes-to-pavement while walking with purpose downtown. Jessica squeezes in some words of encouragement while I squeeze out my standard party line of doctor's visits and battles with my digestive system.
"He thinks I might have irritable bowel syndrome … y'know, IBS," I acronym like a medical television commercial. "Which, of course, has caused my friend Taylor to rename me IBSy. Like, you know, IBSy goes down."
"Ew," Jessica silently walks faster.
We continue on with some armchair analysis of the medical system and the lies doctors tell just to clear up their antiseptic rooms, touching on personal experiences too personal to tell here. OK, not really.
"I told my doctor how much I drank and how I used to do drugs and that, well, I can't wait for my next bowel movement, following his assumption that my antibiotics would probably give me diarrhea." I always say too much. "'So I'm not dying of some incurable digestive disease peculiar to people who used to wear hair extensions and snort pills?,' I asked him, and he said, 'No, you're too young for that.'"
"They always say that," concurs Jessica, perhaps cruelly. "And then you die."
And then this line of conversation does. Well, sort of. We cruise past the garish Wall Street conclave, where lawyer-types with spiky hair atop shiny, starchy shirts seem to be dancing a 30-something waltz that I never learned.
"Oh, it's Martini Fest," I squint at a banner. "So it's sort of like a bowel movement …"
"Ew," Jessica outpaces me by a yard.
And just as I'm faking the overstatement "There's so much going on downtown! It's like a real city!," somebody pouring out of a chi-chi art opening leans back into our own peculiar futility waltz.
"There is! It is!" he sells me a pitch that almost loosens my intestinal tract. "We're planning on opening an art factory so that all of the people coming down to the condominium lifestyle have something to do. Because, you know, if they come down, they might want to take home a piece."
A piece of what? Anyway, said motivational interrupter comes to recognize me from my picture and then tells me that my wit is "right on," while I erase his name from my note-taking napkin. With Jessica's introduction as copy editor (the one with the real job), however, his face just goes blank and he emits a mild pitying noise.
"Yeah, I clean the floors," she laughs later. "I'm the copy janitor at the Weekly."
Anyway, the column's almost finished and we haven't even reached our destination yet, meaning that it is indeed as 'anti' as its original intent. Victory is almost mine!
Walking into a nearly empty Matador, something very bland and white like "Wrapped Around Your Finger" by the Police is playing. And when precisely nothing happens to make me remove the PBR-necklaced, all-access, Anti-Pop laminate from my rear pocket, our conversation drifts back to our unmentionables: boyfriends, jobs and posteriors. Or BJP.
Alas, a conclusion walks in in the form of Weekly (we sponsored this, see) circulation manager John Prinzo and his gaggle of rowdy friends. I naturally mention the Anti-Poop concept for his amusement and am met with just what I was looking for.
"Yeah, I'm a little bound up, too."
I am not alone. I am going firstname.lastname@example.org