Some days are better than others. The wind whips through your ears at an unidentifiably high pitch, your feet seem to walk for themselves to the beat of eternal satisfaction, and your entire midsection feels like a string connecting divine intention to glorious whimsy. Ah, the birds! Can you hear the birds?
That's because the birds are all dead, sweetheart. On this particular Wednesday more a hump on your back than a hump in the sack everything is a gray shade of awful. A deluge of godspit has washed all of the humor out of our humble metropolis, leaving in its place an artless Seattle with an abundance of mouth-ready shotgun barrels behind every rotting bush. Nothing can save us now. Nothing, that is, except a White Party.
Like a shiny postcard of a beacon of light, the whole notion of a themed extravaganza in the hemorrhaging heart of downtown is all that's kept me going. Warm bodies shoved up against each other in an iron(y)-free pool of ivory, punctuated only by the slightly yellowing deodorant stains of overworn two-year-old T-shirts. The oonce-oonce-oonce of Ibiza abandon, hands and dilated pupils raised to the sky in unifying breakbeat crescendo. Yeah, baby, this is the Orlando I've tried to forget, but sort of want to call me at 3 in the morning, pop over for 10 minutes, then leave. This could be a good time, except …
"Who has white pants?" pipes in my friend Tony from his school of creative wardrobing. And, as always, it becomes a philosophical conundrum worthy of too many emphatic homosexual repetitions. Like, who does have white pants? Who?
Well, I used to. Even better, they were white vinyl pants that made my legs look like two pliant, knobby PVC pipes, and I wore them entirely too often. That is, until I traded them down for a more powder-like substance at a White Party of my own some 10 years ago. Awesome. I snorted my white pants.
"Wow, are you sure it was worth it?" Tony deadpans, eyes rolling away from my absurdity. "Like, um, did they at least smell good?"
No. And neither does tonight. The approach to the White Party host site, Icon, is littered with barely audible bits of ghetto-kid derision, as if we're, like, gay or something, and we're more disappointed than frightened. Could somebody just say "faggot"? It would be so much more refreshing than a pants-too-low anger sigh from the refuse of the Elimidate demographic. Learn your slurs, kids.
Blurry homophobia gives way to a humorous discussion of xenophobia as we near the White Party, and little Metzgers and Hitlers begin dancing through our collective wit. I mean, by nature White Parties could, after all, imply a whole different kind of hand in the air if taken at face value, one separate from the standard ramifications of monochromatic homosexual bacchanalia. Sieg Heil, etc. Or it could just be another P. Diddy, Lizzy Grubman, mandatory-dress, South Beach affair.
"I feel like Puffy," I puff, even though I've chosen all-black attire, in light of irony. Actually, I feel nothing.
Which is good, because the event turns out to be nothing just 50 or so people standing middle-school guard on the periphery of a worse-for-the-wear cafeteria dance floor.
There's something of an olivine vibe Mediterranean, even (although very few dressed in white) as Wednesday nights are usually reserved at Icon for that peculiar sect, not the wash of white implied by the fliers.
We're met at the door by event promoter Wagner Bucci, who noticeably doesn't step on any toes to waive our cover charge, mostly because there are so few toes in attendance. He makes up for it by buying us a round and settling in for a little bit of mingle. I make a note to set my mental egg timer as I anxiously await Wagner's tried-and-true conversational gambits about his favorite two things: the fact that he's not gay, but loves gay people; and the pronunciation of his name. My egg is hardly even soft-boiled before it all begins.
"I come from New York," he boasts. "I miss the culture."
"So you're gay?" I read between white lines.
"No. I'm comfortable with my sexuality."
OK. As if on cue, a gaggle of white-wearing hired dancers gather around the Wagner for some polite discussion of the night's monetary disbursement. They're very pretty, if pretty out of place.
"You're gorgeous," I interject flatly to one of the hens. "What's your name?"
"It's Nichola," she replies, asking me, perplexingly, how I would spell that.
"It's like Nicholas without the 's.'"
"I know what you mean," Wagner boils my egg. "Nobody knows how to pronounce my name."
Yes. Yes, I do.
"Except maybe the Jews," he jokes, admittedly egged on by yours truly and a little bit of German classical music knowledge.
"Wow, so this is a White Party," I laugh the laugh that I should never laugh. Ick.
Personal damage control silently mandates my exit, so Tony and I traipse around the corner to one of downtown's newest offerings, The Matador, mostly because it used to be a gay bar named Boom some years ago, but also because my friend Jen's there and wants me to check it out.
The space is fantastic, crafting a perfect 30-something antidote to the Bar-B-Q Bar's 20-something aggro stumble, and the service proffered by adorable co-owner Giti Khalsa makes me never want to leave. No event preceded by Photoshop fliers no pretense at all, really and over the jukebox din of '90s rock I even think I hear something.
It's the birds. Could it be? Yes, it could. They're back!
White Wednesday is officially over. Thank God I wore black.