"Long time no see," says the will-call box office lady at Hard Rock Live.
You're telling me.
Prior to becoming this chop-headed swirl of self-destruction you read today, I used to have a (sorta) real, bona fide concern for humanity. You know, your standard-issue, liberal/socialist, dormitory-without-air-conditioning, long-curly-hippie-haired concerns.
Something happened on the way to Moscow, though, when I fell into a self-serving bleach/hatchet job, and the type of career such insolent madness implies: drugs, celebrities, receding hairlines, overstated sexuality and importance, etc.
Sometimes I miss the old days.
Like now, for instance, as I'm hunched over and grabbing a cocktail napkin to dry a bloodshot eye and realizing I took a wrong turn on my way to becoming what I was always meant to be: a lesbian.
All of the ingredients were there (plus penis): I marched for abortion rights (only to be caught on CNN saying something like, "It's really, really wrong, this doctor killing," while I pushed my eggplant bob out of my bespectacled face, much to the embarrassment of my parents). I was often compared to Annie Lennox in her diva days, and, most telling of all, I knew every Indigo Girls song by bleeding heart. I was halfway to Sappho.
Makes sense, then, that I am at the will-call window picking up my tickets to the Indigo Girls concert, as I survey my regrets.
"You should just grow your hair back out and dye it eggplant purple," chides a friend over the cell phone, clearly dismayed at my regression agenda. "Wouldn't that be easier?"
Maybe. But I want to be a lesbian again.
I've managed to obtain special VIP access to the upstairs, comfy-chair snobbery of the John Lennon seating area. "That's meant for A-list celebrities," Hard Rock honcho Jeff snidely e-mails me earlier in the day. To which I reply, "I eat the A-list to get through to the B-list." Which makes me a big hit with my companion this evening who is, incidentally, in possession of a shaved-sided, eggplant-colored pompadour. We are so going through with this. Transformation is imminent.
Upstairs, preshow, we wander around under our VIP status until our feet bleed, taking in the plush surroundings like sniff-around guests at Rosie O'Donnell's wedding. A piano that reportedly once belonged to Lennon himself sits behind some velvet-rope situation, each key signed by somebody "important": Billy Joel, Elton John, Peter New ...
"Who is Peter New?" eggplants my pal.
"Peter Noone?" I surf my senseless internal web.
"No, it says Peter New."
Must be a Pete Best joke, I figure, drunkenly. Somebody makes a joke about the Lennon couch, thinking that it's a "linen" couch and missing the post-rock, afterlife significance altogether. I laugh, like a lesbian might. And so on.
Not until I'm met with the countenance of Å¸berlesbian Patty Sheehan, the city commissioner with the controversy to prove it, do I realize my transformation is underway.
"You never write mean things about me!" she says exactly the wrong thing. "I'm insulted!"
Patty goes on to laundry-list a series of liquor-breathed complaints about her current position that I probably shouldn't note here, for the sake of legality. Patty's kind of crazy -- or at least drunk -- I think to myself. So half-truths are clearly in order: gay rights, drug testing and just how much the Weekly hates her, slur into a mess of fantastic glory.
"Does she always talk this loud?" my friend whispers.
"Yeah, um, always." I cop a Breathalyzer.
At some point, I bend down and wrap my lips around Patty's boot, saluting the queen of all that is lesbian in Orlando. Her saucy gal-pal chimes in about the good/bad press thing that marketing people always utilize in cases of career doubt.
"She finally told me that any press is good press," Patty assures herself.
No. No it's not.
"All the gay men love me," she screams. "But I can't sleep with them."
Me neither. Well, sort of, anyway.
Meanwhile, I learn that if only Patty could have gotten my number (which she already has), we could have ridden in her limo to the show, rather than my ghetto Geo.
"We were all stretched out!" she rubs my nose in a pile of poo. "What would it have been like to have Billy Manes in our limo?"
Wouldn't know, really. But thanks for the thought.
Turns out Patty was supposed to be bused in with the Indigo Girls themselves -- about as exciting as a bottle of water wrapped in flannel -- but something fell through. A booze run, presumably. Patty wonders about her leather jacket, considering the Indigo Girls' boring PETA leanings. Which bores me.
My eyes wander to the Yoko relics -- she's a lesbian, right? -- and by the time my Asian warble hits a frog in my throat, the Girls are about to go on.
My friend and I assume our comfy-chair position, and before long are screaming and singing along with innocuous self-helpery to the tune of: "So we're OK, we're fine, somebody's here to stop your crying."
We're neither OK nor fine, clearly. We're idiot faggots in lesbian sheep's clothing. And leather coats.
By the time Emily and Amy are tunefully recounting that they "stopped by a bar at 3 a.m., to seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend," from their signature hit "Closer to Fine," I'm anything but, screaming and mouthing the words like my hair is purple.
So, I stop by the bar at 10 p.m., seeking solace in a screwdriver and ditching my Amy Ray.
Lesbians drink, right?