You stumble out of bed around 10, you fall into the kitchen. You pour yourself a cup of ambition. Then you yawn and stretch and try to come to life. That's what you do when you're attempting the meticulous overstatement requisite to writing about nothing. Oh, folks like me not on the job, not working 9-to-5 ...
You see, existing as the wet finger in the dry wind of cultural decay isn't such an easy bag. First, you have to get up from bed to realize you're not dead. Then it's off to the odd headspace of whimsy in which you are supposed to find some brackish stream of consciousness in a cesspool of indifference. All of this, and you never have to remove your pajamas. Leaving the house ups the ante to almost unbearable. You know, pants are hard. Just about as hard as finding something to do.
And so it is that on this particular Thursday, I find myself hard up for something to press up against my deadline. Thoughts of fish-out-of-water scenarios tickle my spinal column, sure, but not enough to inspire me to the point of smearing blood all over myself and jumping into a shark pit. That takes a few cups of ambition. If I fill my day with enough fodder, perhaps the night will pop off like a cork in cheap champagne, and words will flow from my fingertips like bubbles.
Have you figured out yet that I have nothing to do? You are the smart one.
My poor man's Odyssey begins at the Orlando Operabox office, where my friend Roy fiddles with the highbrow for pay. My other friend Taylor and I exchange niceties with the cultural folk, while secretly turning into mean girls at every possible moment. There's a magnetic globe suspending a 3-inch world in between a rock and a hard place, and we're both desperately searching for the balance point. In effect, we've got the whole world in our hands you know, like Rowdy Roddy Rumsfeld. In reality, we're just stupid.
"You're stupid!" Zeuses Taylor knocking the world out of its magnetosphere.
"No, you're stupid!" I pull the world back toward my groin. Science fiction is fun, no?
Anyway, I figure that maybe I can pull up a box seat to some operatic climax -- barring any climaxes of my own -- and surf through this nonesuch straight to a columnar epiphany. Only, it's not an opera I'm going to see. No, dear booster, it's much worse than that.
Every year the opera sponsors some sort of open house, a "show house" they call it, for ornate decorating and public perusal. Nervous old ladies wander room to room for a price, locating their next decorating idea, while even more nervous interior designers hold court and talk about modern verses antique and the value of their business cards. This year, it's in Dubsdread, and the dread is all mine. Oh, and it's called "The Dream of the Singing Eagle," because the homeowner's last name is Eagle.
"Does he sing?" I coo in Roy's direction.
OK. Wandering through my showroom nightmare, my thoughts turn to Cher. It seems like all I can say is "Cher," actually, like some sort of South Park Timmy, only without the wheelchair or the cut-and-paste obscenity.
"Cher, Cher Cher, Cher Cher," I gaze toward a chandelier in a red room, red rum.
I'll get nowhere here. Upon trying to exit, Taylor and I are curtly Cher-ed by a designer-type we just saw down in the wine cellar.
"Um, you'll have to back up. The camera's coming through," she nervously decorates.
So on attempted exit No. 2, imagine my surprise when her glare is cut short by a failure of her tasteful mules. Guffaw. She slips down the marble stairs, knocking her back on one of them, and causes Dynasty drama unparalleled since Linda Evans' hair was pulled. It isn't funny. But, somehow, it is. My column is half-written, I think to myself. Alexis wins!
I'd better get out before I'm arrested. Or better, canceled.
On to Thornton Park then, where Taylor and I sit down to lunch and pretend not to drink wine at Dexter's prior to his Wave hair appointment. Here we amass our Trading Spaces miseries and laugh at the girl who went boom, while the waitress pushes our glass of water around the table in a secondhand fashion. Is that legal? Nonetheless, I'm positively certain that something will come up here to entertain my nightlife visions, and, well, you. Nope. Just a burly Soprano who offers free Hard Rock tickets to see his band, aptly named Snafu hoping that I, "Billy," will treat his press kit with the care it deserves. I deserve nice things. They probably don't.
At the Wave, while Taylor gets his faux-hawk shined, I am mildly entertained by the potential for crop circles in my hair, and Mexicans sighting UFOs. Hairdressers always have the best gossip, and the fact that MSNBC reported that there are UFOs in Mexico, and that a Mexican army pilot sighted them -- even engaged them -- does not disappoint. That's nightlife.
"I was thinking of getting some infrared glasses," twirls an adjacent dresser of hair. And I was thinking of having my bikini-line waxed.
We exit like Martians might, and head toward the local bonsai shop. I'm frankly disturbed by Taylor's newfound appreciation of Asian horticulture and become positively fidgety when the 1982 boom box is blaring Christian rock. Are there Christian bonsai trees? Anyway, Taylor makes some joke about my drinking (not funny anymore), and the Manson twins begin to harp themselves, saying things like, "It's OK to pot your friends," and nudging each other.
"Is this a cult?" I gate my heavens.
They both look dismayed, like Chrissie Snow might. Clearly it is.
So Taylor and I stumble out of Dodge and fall into the Cactus for a little bit of mama's liquor elixir: one part snide tomfoolery, six parts alcohol. It's here that I start to think that I'm probably not going out tonight, that Orlando is awful and that I'm going to die. Not an unusual sequence, really, but overwhelming every time ... like a shot. But I can't think too much, because a horrible stench is overwhelming my being.
"Eww. Just like at church, I'm sitting in my own pew," farts Taylor.
And just like in heaven, I'm sitting next to you.
(For those so inclined, I'll be falling apart at The Peacock Room Friday, May 21 in celebration of my 32nd birthday. Dolly Parton will not be present. But Taylor, my farting friend, will be there. Come, drink of my fountain.)