Orlando, naturally, can't stand the grey areas, and the recent extended stint of clouds and spit make that point. Cabin fever begets sexual fervor. What's a girl or boy to do when the skin blotches and the hair kinks here in the land of plastic plenty? We kink, too. Smut reigns supreme.
Just ask porn star Inari Vachs, who's chosen the perfect time to go back down on Orlando for some coddling from her balding fanbase. Her visit makes Fairvilla a veritable neuroscenter of nervous degradation, and starting on a Friday night, Inari has a whole weekend to fill heads of all sizes with her particular blend of blonde generality. Only, she doesn't like me anymore. Fortunately, I don't like girls, either.
"Of course I remember you," she sighs, eyes pressed to either side of me and all around toward security types.
We're lucky, the photographer and me, that we're even allowed in this time. I flash back to the September Saturday of my previous Vachs encounter -- flaccid neuroticism, prosthetic vaginas, shame. That time, I figured I had peaked atop the dog-eared stacks of porn history, at once engaging in an inebriated interview with bigger star Julie Ashton (whose namesake prosthetic vagina weighed more than my left leg) -- who was then cavorting with Ms. Vachs -- before being asked back for what devolved into a videotaped dispersion of my seminal innards with two of my closest friends. When we consequently withered into our respective, miniature humilities, scowls were aplenty. Fairvilla has been duly warned.
"No pictures," orders the Fairvilla rep. Of course not. Inari, pictured nudely and with a frighteningly childlike grin on the shiny video promo paraphanalia littering the autograph table, is collecting a handsome $20 for a Polaroid pose with whoever's hard-up enough to pay. Anyway, my 35 millimeters (how many inches is that?) already failed her expectations, and Polaroid, well, obviously that's far too instant for my performance anxiety. This time we leave with our flashes off and our pants on.
Not to worry, though. More senseless aphrodesia awaits.
Second-chance slag and former (almost) rock supplement Vitamin C is likewise in town to pacify the wanton ganders of teens and creepy voyeurs alike. Yeah, she has an album. But more importantly, the album has a cover -- some shiny-skinned, post-coital representation of femininity in the throws of erotic confusion. And I thought vitamins were supposed to make you feel better.
Anyway, more objectified sexuality is promised, this time with the pretense of sweetness and "keep it down!" schoolgirl giggles that makes Buffy so hot with the truck-driver set. The saccharine-rimmed high-school anthem, "Graduation Day" was C's big hit, but these days her intentions are a little more inflamed. Apparently graduation wasn't so kind to our heroine. Her new single is called "The Itch." Or is it "The Clap?"
The pouty-lipped, manic panic accident is in a bit of a tizzy on the Virgin Megastore concourse, and rightfully so. It's raining -- again -- outside where she's itching to lip-sync to her current pop scratch with camouflaged go-go boys in tow. The Elektra label rep and the Virgin store rep are flailing about in that commerce dance peculiar to events that nobody really cares about.
"Nobody knows what they're doing," damns the label guy. Nobody should.
After a slightly postponed performance from a clumpily-tressed C, we the regretful, professional observers (that's me and the minimum-wagers who actually work at Virgin) are promised a private meet-n-greet up on the store's secret third floor. Which would be OK if we could get there. Seems we've crammed too many pudgy pundits into the employee elevator and we're stuck somewhere between the second and third floor, or life and death. I grab for my last breath and scowl at the giggles from the cold and wet wits.
"Everybody jump!" commands the over-it marketing chick, Shelby. I love her.
Eventually we're pulled back down to the first floor, or hell, and instructed to ascend the outside fire escape. The meet-n-greet space is predictably an administrative cubicle area with the requisite autographed promo materials from the likes of Christina Aguilera (Queen Slag!), O-Town (Queen ... well, queens!), and Duran Duran. Shelby, I should point out, is in a bit of a battle with me. Last year we both played swoonsome loser to Duran Duran's post-career, "Pop Trash" in-store appearance. Now, we're tragically fighting over the affections of paunchy, raunchy Simon LeBon.
"He called me sexy," she smarms.
"I've seen him naked," I lie.
Miss Vitamin fields minor questions from pudgy radio jocks with self aggrandizing intentions. "We drove all the way down from Gainesville where we're playing your record ... blah, blah, blah."
"Where are you from?" one asks.
"New Jersey," she offers. Of course.
I hazard my way to the front of the line (OK, four people) and ready my questions. I've been allowed three by a smarmy, way-too-on-to-me manager-type (likewise, seven feet tall and imposing), and I struggle to come up with even one. I opt for the obvious, dizzying myself about in a pool of nerves and fire-escape breathlessness.
"'The Itch' is a really good single (nudge, nudge.) What exactly is 'The Itch,' if you don't mind my asking?"
She does. Pressing a hateful glare to either side of me and around the room looking for security types, she begs a pause.
"It's desire ... ," she Jerseys, with a slight itch of personal victory.
Smut, then. Right.