Time to pull my expectations off the sole of my shoe again, like so many condom wrappers and trails of unused toilet paper.
Admittedly, I spend most of my time staring upward without noticing that my ass is dragging on the ground, and collecting phone numbers, but what's it gonna take to bring on the dancing horses and send the blazing world into a choreographed bit of Disney wonderment? I mean, I want the stars! I deserve the moon!
I'm going to be mooned. At some point I will. I'm sure of this.
But for now, I'm going to get (drumroll, please) drunk. In order to achieve this cosmic fate, I've enlisted longtime friend and sometime halfway-house Mrs. Garrett, Dave Plotkin, and his sleeve with all of those tricks shoved up it. He's a peculiar beast, Mr. Plotkin, full of unreasonable ambition (he set up a five-day radio marathon to eke himself into the Guinness Book of World Records) and its requisite failure (a couple of hurricanes nixed the event, at least until January), and he's ruefully heterosexual.
Anyway, Plotkin's already got a plan for the evening, meaning that there's a drink waiting for me in the freezer while he applies his magical, heavily pheromonic deodorant. And within two shakes of an alcoholic hand, we're off.
Things start slow: a mild dinner-party situation where I don't have to eat, some hobnobbery, an upturned nose or two and an exit. I clean up real nice, so I suspect that this whole shenanigan will be liquored gravy I'll talk about me, they'll giggle and talk about me, then they'll talk about me behind my back. I've done this before.
It's at his friend Lauren's far-off Goldenrod house (the street, not the color), just far-off enough that I'm counting mile markers for my own personal Blair Bitch escape. I get the feeling that Lauren doesn't like me; a well-placed stab wound may not be out of the question. Dave assures me otherwise.
"She wants you there," he lies through whitened teeth. "She's just intimidated by you."
That's me, 117 pounds of pure intimidation. Regardless, once there I make myself at (somebody else's) home, fingering through books, music and medicine chests just to get a feel for how people who don't like me live. Atop the television rests a couple of published titles that make me feel completely at redneck home: Nixon, Gone With the Wind and Why the South Was Right. (About what?) This is the same impulse that has my own boyfriend unfurling a primitive Confederate flag outside our house in belated, quiet protest many a day, especially during embarrassing barbecue situations.
Shortly after my first old-lady Baileys-on-ice, and a couple of Dave-inspired Buttery Nipples, a frat bus arrives stocked with baseball-hatted manmeat. This is not to be a stuffy schmooze, I start to figure, but something more akin to shooting Ashton Kutcher's fish in a barrel.
The boys of summer file in accordingly, clutching a case of something called Booty Beer. As you may guess, dear reader, the puns rattle off in a startling staccato can you grab a Booty? Are you gonna tap that Booty?, etc. until I'm camping out in the front yard ... of my pants!
In the backyard (Lauren's, not mine), head hat Chris tells me his mother is hot and 35. "I'm old enough to date your mom," I unwisely flirt. "Except I'm gay!"
Another baseball hat and I have consumed just enough elixir to think we can right a hurricane-felled tree: "117 pounds = 117 mph," I Danny Treanor, while standing atop a horizontal trunk. With roots! Omigod I'm funny.
Some talk of Dixiecrats and fucking Bush, and we're all getting a little edgy.
"Why's it all guys?" Dave asks, with a touch of pheromonic desperation.
"'Cuz girls are such bitches and hos," Lauren slaps back. Truer words were never belched.
"Did you find something for your column?" asks my favorite Dixiecrat, Chris, as I count the mile markers to my exit.
Which column? Oh, that one. Back in the car then, where God is my back-seat driver, and I'm throwing my knees up into my eyes as Dave tries to rewrite traffic laws. We think we're very hip, because we're playing the Killers' "All These Things That I've Done" over and over, and the Killers are very now. I could date their moms, except ... whatever.
I get a hair up my ass, so we swing by WPRK to hijack the airwaves with our new fave jam, yo. We make complete asses of ourselves, while a newbie DJ, Russell, will shake his first-night-on-air shake by quietly begging us to leave.
Which we do after leaving a suitably irreverent stink on everything in spitting radius. Realizing that, well, nothing has happened and I need something to write about, although I tend to write about nothing, we head downtown. I figure The Lodge might be a good place to continue my redneck worm dig, because I'm always thinking thematically. My column, after all, is just a bad bar, and I its bad barkeep. A whiz through Bar-B-Qand the not-so-hidden Spy Bar, and we've acquired an entourage.
"Why don't you write a column about guys who come up to you and say 'why don't you write a column about ...'" chuffs one roadie.
"I already am," I am.
By the time I've forced another Duran Duran moment out of Lodge DJ Tom Ward, I'm basically drunk enough to be sleeping with my own mom in 1984. A girl who will remain unnamed saunters by with a pink dress and a sneer. I say something, I think, to which she responds, "You're just talking to me because I have a 4-inch clit."
And I've got a 17-inch column. We could go places.
So we do. Dave and I pack our people and head over to The Peacock Room to pretend we've been drinking martinis and keeping things above the braided belt all night, even if the lines on our faces reveal otherwise. An obligatory pantsing involving myself and Will Walker follows, mostly because he invented the move, and the feeling that indeed nothing happened at all tonight comes full circle, full moon.
I've been mooned. Expectations realized.