Sometimes hell doesn't seem so far away; like with just one trip of a blistered foot, you could instantly and glamorously descend into cavernous sunken eternity, or maybe Anne Rice's bondage bedroom. And sometimes, especially at this particular time of fallen-tree powerlessness, "sometimes" feels like a blacklit "forever," even without the assistance of horns and vampires.
Cue my personal hell. While I'd like to say that five days of sweltering sodomy has been a learning experience, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the flashlight I've been slowly planting in my hollow skull. It's a lovely flashlight, really, if only by the virtue that it has light and I do not. Moreover, the sharp explosions of pain it promises are far more satisfying than God's suffocating hotbox currently encasing my very being. I'm gay for many reasons, and I'm fairly sure that sweat is not one of them. I hate Charley, even if it is the street name for powders that make your head spin and your stomach hurt.
Hurricanes are stupid.
"Oh, quit your whining," grumble the canned-food acids in my stomach.
OK, I think I will.
In the interest of dryer skin and higher mind, my better half and I hightail it out to the Royal Pacific resort for a fake vacation and a series of predictable drunken squabbles. Sure, it's a bit like going to hell, only this particular theme park has air conditioning and an elevator. There's motion implied. And lotion.
And then more motion, or more precisely, movement. Seems that in my elevated state of airlessness and homelessness, I've become a little backed up. It has nothing, I repeat, nothing, to do with the drinking. Nervously, I shuffle through the traveling goodie bag to find a box of Ex-Lax, the teenage tummy-trimmer. I have a small laugh at the fact that I've graduated from ecstasy to Ex-Lax in my 30s, but then have to stifle it for fear of creeping seepage. And stool jokes aren't funny at all.
Boredom biting like the teeth of a fiberglass triceratops, it becomes apparent that I'll need something to entertain myself, or rather, somebody and something to entertain me. I'm not gay enough to entertain myself; or maybe I'm too gay to entertain myself.
So I summon the spirits to telepathically produce a wonder twin for my amusement, meaning I drain my cell phone for the last drop of the friend that didn't blow away. I say we'll go to the theme park. It'll be fun. Really.
Immediately my wonder twin Taylor and I slip into our naughty obnoxiousness, miming a ghetto-hymn interpretation of "Shorty Look My Way" while assorted packages of the concierge-cum-valet variety scatter about in morning nonamusement.
"You wanna date?" sluts Taylor. "And by date I mean let me pay you for sex."
"And by sex," I spit, "I mean I swallow."
Clearly, I have no taste.
Into the Islands of Adventure, then, where we hope that the rotting pines crushing both of our domiciles will go away into a sun-drenched, electronically misted haze.
"And by park," I swoon, "I mean bar."
Turns out the night life will have to wait 'til after 11 a.m., because somebody up there in GE/NBC/Universal/Everything Else-land doesn't want me to have any fun.
But the Royal Pacific does. Turns out my card key is also the key to some social climbing, allowing us to skip up to the front of the lines faster than Lindsay Lohan at a cosmetic surgeon's office. Taylor and I practice black-girl hand gestures of superiority and annoyance while skirting the masses on the way to the Hulk ride. Problem is, it's just the Hulk ride. It's more like Lindsay Lohan at the soup kitchen.
Still, the snap-and-flap, past-the-head handing is a worthwhile gesture, we surmise, one we will incorporate into our own daily regimen of physical exercise. You can burn calories simply by dissing people. Who knew?
Suitably Hulked, Taylor says he's hungry, which I am obviously (even painfully) not. He purchases the otherworldly delicacy known as the giant turkey leg and we settle under a tree.
"Wow, that was warm," he oozes, grabbing for his back. "Ewwww. That bird just shit on me."
I can relate. "Well, you were eating a bird!" I obviate. "The food chain just got smaller." Today is the shit.
This kind of exchange continues, as does the slow path through fast rides designed to make everything seem somehow scarier and more wonderful, but achieving neither. Stools soften, drinks are poured and a small ethnic child tries to crawl up under my stall door. Incontinence and Orlando is the new Sex and the City. Trust me on this one.
Something interesting does finally appear, in the form of a resourceful mother and her various compartments that allow her to ride the Dueling Dragons. Upon exit, she rips her flip-flops from her sun-dressed breast, and reaches up between her gams to pull out her sunglasses. We fall hopelessly in love with her MacGyver-like problem solving while choking on phrases like "shady bush."
Opting for the easier wooze of Dr. Seuss's acid-test merry-go-round, we quickly revert to our more kittenish selves, pole-dancing where we probably shouldn't.
"You just made my day!" says some sweating dad taking our pictures without knowing who we are.
"Poor you," we snap-and-flap, treading our way to the next watering (and shitting) hole.
At the Backwater Bar, Taylor eyes an unassuming bartender beefcake named Damien, tells him to read this column to see his name next week (natch), and I totally agree to sell my soul. Like this: Damien.
"Can I have a drink?" flutter Taylor's dirty eyelashes. "And by drink I mean...."
Nothing. And by mean, I mean nothing.