Monday, November 19, 2007

Strip Club Redux

Wistful gazes from dirty bus windows have populated my breastless weeks. The Body Shop beckons to me every day – a come-hither finger from an overmakeupped girl with white-trash bangs and a questionable bill of health. I know I shouldn’t, but as days pass like hours of the night, I feel like I should.

It’s moments like these that keep Maury Povich on the air.

So when Jason, a new trainer at the gym, suggests we should celebrate payday with a trip to the titty bar, I’m all for it, even though I have nothing to celebrate because my check is a paltry $393. I can buy an XBox 360 with no game for that much. But I refuse to let that stop me. A night out on a budget is still a night out, and I can make a dollar stretch like… well, you know.

Plus I miss Vanessa.

I want to smell her again, to feel her fingertips, nails on my leg, her hot breath on my neck. I want to experience the disorienting, disarming clash of sluttiness and chastity that is her being. Vanessa’s a girl that’s too nasty to respect and too sweet to masturbate to. She’s a ticking timebomb made with a Minnie Mouse clock.

Vanessa is sense candy. Not even Willy Wonka could dream her up.

Patrick, my favorite Swede, is down to go. So is Zach Morris, who at the last minute cancels his plans for a night out with the guys. Two of Jason’s Long Beach friends are also along for the ride. That makes six dicks, twelve balls, and enough testosterone to invent a new hole on the female body. I’m thinking it should go between the shoulder blades.

I get out of work and meet up with everyone at Red Rock, an expensive-ish bar/restaurant that’s designed to not look expensive. It’s one of those generic, universal-appeal places with a loose theme that you can’t exactly pinpoint. Is it a shack or a cabin? Do you order beer or cocktails? Wings or chicken breast?

I drop four dollars on an Amstel Light (with a coupon) and contribute to the banter. Topics range from sex to alcohol to the gym to the Bucket List, a new movie featuring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. There is a giant fucking billboard for it right outside.

“Is it about embracing life in the face of death?” I ask.
“No. It’s about Jack Nicholson not turning down a paycheck,” Zach Morris says. “It’s about Morgan Freeman not being able to say no to a script.”

He orders a carafe of Sangria and splits it with one of Jason’s Long Beach friends. When the waitress isn’t looking, I take a bottle of vodka out of my backpack and make things a little more potent for them.

We talk and goof off some more and I feel bad for Jason’s friends because we keep going back to the gym and they can’t really penetrate the conversation. They just sit at the end of the table looking quiet and bored. I know what this is like all too well, having been out with college friends and their boys from high school. You’re forced to sit there and wait for the “remember when…” conversations to segue into universal topics like anal sex. Even then, the conversation always drifts back to someone you don’t know having anal sex. Anal sex can never be talked about in general when you have three or more people who share a common background. It always has to get specific, and that shuts people out. So I make an effort to ask Jason’s friends questions and include them in the conversation and it makes me feel like a considerate person – a feeling I don’t get often.

The bill comes. One-fiftysomething. It makes me glad I didn’t order anything more than a beer.

We leave Red Rock and trudge up Sunset, past all the sidewalk bistros where the made-of-money Middle Easterners eat and smoke and admire their curbside-valeted Rolls Royces and Aston Martins. Zach Morris says that one of his personal training clients calls this the Gaza Strip. I get jealous I didn’t come up with that one on my own.


I think there should be a reality show called “Are you Smarter than an Asshole Born Into Money?” Contestants would have to match wits with the likes of Paris Hilton, Brody Jenner, and random Persian kids snatched up from their Saturday afternoon Beverly Center shopping. The winner gets to drop a nuclear bomb on Newport Beach.

Jason wants something to mix his vodka with so we stop off in Pink Dot. Pink Dot is basically an expensive 7-11, except I don’t think it’s run by Indians, which is funny to me because I thought the name came from what the owner’s wife wears on her forehead. The dickhead behind the counter is reading a junky airport paperback and scratching his head like he can’t understand why so-and-so would set so-and-so up. He’s in his thirties and is, as far as I can tell, Palestinian. Now, I don’t have any animosity towards this guy. In fact I remember him from July when Kimberly came to visit. I felt bad for him because a couple of rapper-looking, partyboy customers with BET-thick white girls were giving him shit for being rude and inconsiderate. That must suck, I thought, to have to put up with all the drunken money that stumbles in looking for cigarettes and grossly overpriced alcohol. What a shit job.

“What’s up, man?” I ask as Jason sets his bottle of Squirt on the counter.
The dickhead doesn’t say anything.
“I remember you from July. People were giving you shit.”
“Thas funny. I don’ remember you.”
“No, I know. I was just saying…”
“So, do movie stars ever come in here?”
“That depends. Maybe my definition of movie star is different from your definition. Whas your definition?”
“I don’t know. Someone who’s on—“
“I don’t care whas your definition.”

I’m taken aback. I kind of just laugh because I don’t know what to say. Convenience stores are typically run by smiling minorities with a healthy fear of deportation. I expected an easy conversation with many sentences ending in “my friend”. Instead I get the “you sided with the Jews” abrasiveness.

I wish there was a penny tray so I could steal it away from him.

Jason and I walk down an alley behind the store so we can pour him some vodka. To the untrained eye it looks like we’re going to blow each other, but this is West Hollywood so that would be strangely appropriate. He gets nervous when we see valet employees taking a break from their car-parking duties, but I remind him that homeless people openly drink on the streets, buses, and in Jack in the Box and he’s no longer worried.

We step back out onto Sunset and continue our trek to the Body Shop. Rob Van Dam of the WWF (it will never be the WWE) charges by us with a determined, going-to-get-some-pussy-or-kick-some-ass look on his face and I shout “Rob Van Dam!” He looks at me and gives a little nod, his expression unchanging. I hope he goes into Pink Dot and strikes up a conversation with the clerk. Chair to the head. Jews retain the title.

It’s a little before eleven by the time we arrive at the Body Shop. Only three of us have VIP cards, which have nothing to do with how important we are and everything to do with us saving ten dollars. Jason and his friends shell out $20 apiece to get in and I try to remember the number for the rape hotline so I can report this place.

The bouncer, a raccoon-eyed goatee with a weight problem, tells me he has to check my backpack to make sure there’s no alcohol inside. This is one of those moments that you know is coming but that you hope isn’t. Like a guilty Meth addict on COPS, I stammer and matter-of-factly tell him that I am indeed holding and try to blow it off like it’s nothing.

“You know what? I do happen to have a bottle of alcohol in my backpack, but it’s from earlier. So yeah…”

The bouncer confiscates the vodka and lets me in.

It’s dead inside. Well, not dead, but the rowdy Mexicans of yestermonth are nowhere to be seen. All of the noise and excitement is coming from a group of dorky, bespectacled twentysomethings who are probably celebrating a birthday or their World of Warcraft guild ranking. You never realize how dedicated a stripper is to her craft until you see her straddling a Phnom Penh native in a Dragonball Z button-up.


If you really want to help Sudan, fuck a few of the refugees who have made their way stateside. These guys are not getting laid and they should be. They’re nice, genuine, hardworking people and they deserve sex like those of us who aren’t opaque. Donate your mouth and/or vagina. It’s for a good cause.

We grab some chairs and take a seat at a high table. Patrick’s stripper from last time comes over and immediately attaches herself to Zach Morris.

“Want a dance?”

ZM isn’t interested. I point to Patrick and ask the stripper if she remembers him. She looks confused and says yes. I remind her that she gave him a lap dance and Zach Morris goes from diamond to dog shit in less than a second. The stripper latches onto Patrick, but it’s too late. When it comes to a man’s money, you can’t make him feel anything less than wanted. Hopping from one wallet to the next won’t earn you a dime.

The stripper leaves with her tits and nothing else.

Our waitress, a skinny brown-haired girl who should be working at American Eagle, comes by and engages us in some less-than-stimulating banter while she takes our drink orders. I notice a scrap of paper on her tray that says “I love tips”. There is no exclamation point, which leads me to believe that she probably just likes tips. I ask her when she’s getting on stage and she gets this insulted look on her face. Zach Morris makes a valid point once she leaves:

“I love how strip club waitresses think that they’re above the dancers.”

Bingo. Being a waitress in an all-nude bar is like going to a Klan rally and not saying “nigger”. You’re there, you might as well do it.

Which leads me to this:

Of all the places you can wait, why the fuck would you choose an all-nude strip club that DOESN’T SERVE OR ALLOW ALCOHOL? There’s nothing to numb the awareness that you aren’t showing your tits. If two homeless people are on the street – one with a squeegee and one without – who’s going to get the change?


Drinks come and Patrick and I move up to the mostly-empty stage on the right with a grab bag of poker-faced no-pussy-getters. They seem to derive no joy from the bouncing baby heads on the stripper’s chest. Not one smile. They just slide the occasional dollar forward like a pissed-off box-office drone who should’ve had his cigarette break fifteen minutes ago. Meanwhile, the Level 60 Paladins at the left stage go apeshit. I catch our stripper glancing over. That’s where she wants to be.

She performs an uninspired pole-twirl and I start to clap. Enthusiastic, first-down claps.


She is my favorite team and I am her home field advantage. I’m determined to dump an icy cooler of life onto this side of the room. We will not lose to the Level 60 Paladins and their virginity-and-Mountain Dew-fueled war cries. We will send them back to their cartoon tits and comic books.

Fuck them other niggas ‘cause I ride for my niggas.

Within minutes, the crowd is showing signs of life and the stripper is eyeing a comeback. She’s in the game again, playing dirty, spreading her legs for a guy a in a leather jacket. I pound the bar and whoop.

“Yeah! There you go!”

The guy smiles and throws her a dollar. I toss one out too. Pretty soon Zach Morris, Jason, and his friends have joined us and we’re all whooping it up and feeding off each other’s energy. The Paladins fall silent.

This game is ours. For now, at least.

A Latina slinks out to a Marilyn Manson song. I strongly believe that, unless they are black, strippers should not be allowed to dance to anything other than Marilyn Manson or Nine Inch Nails. Reptilian writhing and industrial rock go together like marines and middle-schoolers.

The Latina is el mediocrity. She’s not good enough to work the pole and she’s not pretty enough to get by on her looks. She’s forced to use her sluttiness to get the dollars falling. So she grinds and she undulates. I picture a gerbil inside of her doing the Soulja Boy.

And then she looks at me. Crawls over. Spreads her legs. I’m face to face with her taco. She takes my glasses off and rubs them against her clit. Hands them back to me.

“I cleaned them for you,” she says.

Everyone whoops and hollers. I have a huge smile on my face. Ear to ear. There’s fog on my lenses. I don’t wipe them off. I’ll call myself Pussy Glasses, I think. It isn’t until the stripper crawls away that I catch a whiff of tuna. It’s light and spicy – more sushi than chunk light – and it hangs in the air like Michael Jordan. It keeps me from smelling my glasses, which is something I really wanted to do. Still, I stand up and float two dollars down onto the stage. I call this “making it drizzle”.

I dub myself Fish Glasses. No one else thinks this is as clever as I do.

More strippers come out. I notice that all of them have clean assholes. Bleach? Bidet? I’m not sure. Maybe strippers are just phenomenal ass-wipers. Toilet paper companies should be signing them to endorsement deals. Fuck babies on clouds – I’m buying the stuff with Sindee on the package.

One stripper has nipples that look like a lunch lady’s neck moles. I tip her on principle.

A cute blonde stripper scissors her calves behind Patrick’s head and slams his face into her ass. Again and again and again. It reminds me of a submission hold or finishing move in Mortal Kombat.

Jason buys a forty dollar, hands-on lap dance from a stripper named Mandy and develops a crush over the course of a song – something I know all too well. She tells him that Mandy isn’t her real stripper name. Another girl took hers for the night and she had to come up with something else. According to my friend Alex, a stripper in DC, this is incredibly poor etiquette.

But it gets me thinking. If a stripper isn’t going to use her real name, then why should I use mine?

“What’s your name, sweetie?”

My go-to alias in college was Patrick Bateman, but I don’t want there to be two Patricks so I opt for my dad’s name instead. For someone who considers himself creative, this is a very uncreative moment.

I see Vanessa.

Schoolgirl smile and lop-sided pigtails – even more beautiful than I remember. She’s making the rounds like a beauty queen at a nursing home, flirting with old men and lost causes.

And I get jealous. Just a pang, though. Not I’ll-fucking-kill-anyone-who-looks-at-you jealousy. Not Italian jealousy.

I call out to her:


Either she doesn’t hear me or someone jacked her stripper name. I try again:


This time she looks. But, to my chagrin, there is no registration of memory. Her pretty face doesn’t shift from happy to happier. I get the same vacant, empty smile reserved for anyone with a dick and a dollar. Hell, the dick isn’t even necessary. I just tossed it in because it sounds good.

Vanessa comes over.

“Do you remember me? I came in about six weeks ago. I bought a dance from you.”
“Yeah! It was longer than that.”

My heart flutters. She does remember.

“You’re right. Probably about two months… I wrote about you.”
“What?” she says leaning down. I can smell her vanilla-coconut bodysplash and it makes my chest feel hot on the inside.
“I said I wrote about you.”
“You did?” She seems genuinely excited. “Where?”
“Uh… in an article. It was for a magazine.”
“What magazine?”
“A big one. But it didn’t get published.”

Lying to a stripper I have a crush on. I don’t think it gets any more pathetic than this.

“Aww! That sucks!”
“So are you gonna buy another dance?”

I tell her I probably will but that right now I’m “chilling with my boys”. She smiles and squeezes my shoulder. Then she’s gone.

Two minutes later she’s onstage. She bursts out from behind the curtain like a Kentucky Derby thoroughbred. She’s headed straight for me. Jason and Patrick go wild. I just sit.

For the next minute I'm Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, watching in paralyzed amazement as Vanessa Mena-Suvaris for me. The only thing missing is the rose petals, but that’s okay because I’m not a big flower person.

Things get raunchy when Vanessa rubs her tits in my face. She puts her feet on my shoulders and pulls herself toward me. I get to see her vagina. It’s bald, beautiful, and slightly puffy. It looks like pita bread.

Eight dollars. That’s what I spend on her. An hour of work for a moment of pleasure. Completely worth it.

For the rest of the night I tell soliciting strippers that I can’t buy a dance from them because “I have a crush on Vanessa”. They just walk away, no hassle. I used a similar tactic in college on the Born Agains:

“Do you know Jesus loves you?”
“Do you know how powerful Satan is?”

Zach Morris and Jason’s friends cut out. A stripper with about a foot between her tits rubs them in my face. Then she puts my hands on them. They’re heavy like wet sand.

She gets upset when she sees her tip:

“Three of you and only one dollar?”

I give her another dollar, even though I shouldn’t. After all, she’s the one who initiated the tit-grabbing. You can’t forcibly make someone feel your breasts and demand more money. That’s like charging for free samples.

Another stripper complains about her lack of dollar bills:

“Are you guys tipping?”
“Not for you.”

That’s what I almost say. But I’m not ice cold like that so I use Vanessa as an excuse again. From this moment on, Patrick and I don’t make eye contact with the strippers. We figure that if we don’t look at them we don’t have to tip them.

Jason buys another lap dance from Mandy. I look for Vanessa. Nowhere to be seen. I hope she went home. I don’t want to think about her giving dances to strangers and moustached-Mexicans.

If I was rich, I could see myself putting Vanessa through school, buying her time and company, getting her gifts and nice things while she fucked around behind my back. But that’s okay, because strippers are like mechanics.

You can’t let the good ones go.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bad Days

Woke up with gum in my hair...
Do you ever have those days where you secretly hope more bad shit happens to you so you can keep feeling sorry for yourself? Where you feel like you’ve put up with so much shit, why not just pour it on? And you can’t tell anybody the specifics because, to them, it won’t mean a fucking thing. They’ll just nod their heads and feign sympathy and say things like “That sucks” or “I understand”, all the while thinking you’re a diva or drama queen or crybaby or all three and that you need to get a fucking grip and stop being so sensitive. Telling someone about your bad day is like showing a stranger a picture of your baby. He doesn’t give a fuck, but he’ll pretend to.

No one can fully appreciate and comprehend the fucked-uppedness of your bad day but you. That’s because bad days are usually comprised of a series of small, shitty, inconsequential events that pile up and up and up. When you try to describe a bad day, things come across as mundane and disjointed – which is what bad days typically are. You can’t make a person feel your pain when you’re boring them with “and then’s”. Us bad-day-havers know this, yet we continue to dictate.

On a bad day, every “what’s up” and “how are you?” is an opportunity for sympathy. Sympathy, no matter how fake and phoned-in, is good because it’s like saying, “Life sucks. I’m on your side.” It’s your tenth-grade friend telling you he has your back, even though he’ll inevitably end up watching you get your ass kicked from the sidelines. But fuck it. Oftentimes the right words are enough to placate.

Until somebody doesn’t ask what happened:

“Hi, how are you today?”
“Not good.”
“Oh… paper or plastic?”

Don’t tell me you don’t feel disappointed when somebody doesn’t invite you to elaborate on your pity-party. It sucks when they don’t ask you what happened, doesn’t it? It adds to your bad day. That’s because you’re the center of the universe and, therefore, everyone must give a fuck about you.

“You don’t want to know what happened? Fuck you. I hate you. Double those coupons.”

If you’re the person who doesn’t give a fuck, you should always ask what happened. It’s good etiquette – akin to waiting for everyone’s food to arrive or pulling out when you’re not wearing protection. If a few more people would ask “what happened?” (and maybe toss a little “aww” before it – “aww, what happened?”) there would be less violence.

Having a bad day is like the opposite of having HIV: everyone must know. We talk ears off about our bad days because it feels good to vent, to purge, regardless of whether or not people are listening (they’re not). So great are our egos and the need to tell people about our bad days that we sometimes hire a professional “what happened?/how are you?” asker. These people are called therapists and they make a killing off our misery. Never have nods and brow-furrows generated so much money. Eliminate bad days and therapists go the way of the stegosaurus.

Sometimes bad days are comprised of one ultra-shitty event:

“We’re going to Auschwitz.”

People want to know what happens on single-event bad days. Not because they care – although they may think they do – but because it gives them something to talk about, something to do other than Myspace surveys. Our days are populated with inane chatter and meaningless conversation. This gives people a podium, a chance to be heard. A chance to be profound. They get to be storytellers. They get to recount, gesticulate, embellish.

“Uh uh. It was six million.”

We are wielders of tragedies, and often bring up particularly horrible single-event bad days long after they’ve happened if we feel that people are neglecting us and forgetting how special we are.

“Matt just got a new job!”
“Cool. Hey, remember when my mom died?”

Single-event bad days lead to suicide. Multiple-event bad days lead to homicide. The national suicide rate is higher than the national homicide rate.

That doesn’t sound right. Fucking teenagers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I originally planned on being the Virginia Tech shooter for Halloween, but when I realized how much more elaborate (read: expensive) the costume would be, I took the easier, cheaper route.

I went as a victim.

Why? Because it’s original, insensitive, inappropriate, and totally me. Because people are too serious and uptight. Because I think it serves a sociological purpose. Because I think humor heals stronger than tears. Because I think there’s beauty in things that piss people off. Because I’m fucking tired of the ribbon culture we’ve become. What better way to remember a national tragedy than to dress up as one of its victims? Fuck a black ribbon and a Facebook group.

That being said, I would never ever ever wear this if I was back home in Virginia. Death would be certain, and while such an ironic end would be honorable and morbidly hilarious, I am not ready to go.

The costume was a cinch to put together – t-shirt, fake blood, backpack, Honorary Degree. I really wanted to focus on my defensive wounds, but the fake blood was stickier than I thought it would be, so no dice.

I will fry in hell. I know.

My trainer friend Patrick (see Strip Club), a surgeon, picks me up in his new car. My blood isn’t dry yet so I have to lay down a towel to keep from turning his front seat into a tampon. We head over to a shopping center on Highland to meet up with Zach Morris and Rambo to get some alcohol. Patrick has to peel the towel off of me when I get out of the car.

Now if you know me, you know I’m not a big drinker. I got way too caught up with my bodybuilding bullshit in college and pretty much abstained from anything that wasn’t going to make me bigger, with the exception of a few peer-pressure toke sessions every now and then. I’d also take the odd sip of my friends’ beers and make exaggerated yucky faces, but that’s the extent of it. I mean people fucking called me Milk and Tuna. If that’s not a porn title then I don’t know what is. Pussies and Assholes, maybe.

So, for my college career, I was the DARE program’s wet dream.

And then I went to Sundance last year and discovered the power of alcohol: “So this is what destroys all those lives…”

How can a million bad decisions fit into one bottle?

At the convenience store, I decide to buy a forty. I’m not sure why. There’s going to be a shitload of alcohol at the parties we’re going to so why drop four dollars on the most expensive forty ever? I think it might be because I feel cool holding one. Like I can shoot motherfuckers and sleep on street corners with the best of them. Forties are a gateway to urban life. This is why they’re so popular with suburban kids. But fuck it. If worse comes to worst then I can at least pour the forty out for myself. You know, since I’m a victim and all.

We go to Rambo’s house in the hills to get ready before we head out for the night. I’m pretty sure blood comes out of people’s mouths when they’re dead or dying, but I can’t remember if it comes out of their noses. I decide on yes and add some fake blood that trickles out of my nostril down to my lip. Patrick devours a burger and Zach Morris has a fake conversation on a giant cordless phone that he found at the thrift store:

“Now Screech, I told you to use lube before sticking it in her ass. You have to listen to me on these things.”

Rambo puts on his wig and bandolier and asks me to write Rambo on his left pec in black Sharpie. I ask him why and he says so people will know he’s Rambo:

“But you look like Rambo.”
“People are fucking idiots.”
“My handwriting sucks.”
“Just write it.”
“Dude, not like that! What the fuck are you doing?”
“Told you.”

Zach Morris unscrawls my scrawling and then we’re on our way. In the car, we shout directions at Patrick like he’s an Asian cab driver. Rambo tells him he’s fucked when he tries to make a left-hand turn because, in Los Angeles, there are almost zero left-arrows. It’s standard for two cars to turn left on red. Sometimes three. However, in this situation, Patrick is fucked because there is no light. Period. And traffic is furious.

But, like a determined rapist, he finds an opening and penetrates with force.

We get to the first party around eleven-ish and park in the driveway even though we’re not supposed to. Two of the girls throwing it work at the gym and I would sleep with both of them. They are all four of the four Bs (which I just made up): blonde, bronze, busty, and beautiful.

The house is one floor and surprisingly small and college-like. I don’t know why I pictured a two-story house because this is fucking Los Angeles, but when the girls said they lived in a five bedroom (and because they’re attractive girls), I pictured a sorority-like mansion full of gossip, boy-talk, and giggly, pigtailed pillow fights that turn sexual fast:

“You hit my boob!”
“You hit my boob!”
“But mine hurts!”
“Let me kiss it and make it better…”

The girls have been planning this party since the beginning of October, so I’m surprised that there’s only a small group of people posted up on the gigantic porch. Close friends, etc. Definitely more of a gathering than a party, at this point at least (I found out later that it got huge). We step up onto the porch and introduce ourselves to everyone. There are a few people with costumes that I don’t get, but when they say what/who they are I can see it.


Someone asks me who I’m supposed to be. Without saying anything, I turn and face her. I watch her face transition as she registers the insensitivity and inappropriateness of my costume.


Not bad, considering one of the membership girls at work told me she had lost all respect for me when I told her I was going as a Tech victim. I was just surprised she had respect for me in the first place. How the fuck did that happen?

We go inside the house, which is even more college-y on the inside with its wooden floors and lived-in scent. Garbled rap blasts from an old boombox with a Super Bass setting that was only super for a couple of months in the early nineties. The living room is empty; everyone’s in the kitchen drinking and being loud. It’s like freshman year again. I love it.

I set my forty down and scoop myself a cup of hooch or jungle juice or whatever from a large punch bowl. Kool-Aid with a shitload of vodka is what it is. And it tastes pretty damn good. I introduce myself/am introduced to a bunch of people. Most of them like my costume.

And then I see the lovely, busty Anna in her sexy devil costume. How appropriate. Anna has breasts that would give God a boner. They are sin-enablers. Imagine a perfect ass, but on somebody’s chest. Those are Anna’s breasts, and they pour out of her costume. I tell her they look like two beautiful tumors and she calls me gross, but in a friendly-enough way to suggest that she’s flattered and that further crude remarks may be welcome.

An aside:

Women’s costumes are, for the most part, always the same: take a cute animal or career-day profession and put “slutty” or “sexy” before it.

“I’m a sexy bunny.”
“I’m a slutty nurse.”

I think it’s funny when girls who aren’t sexy or attractive try to pull this off:

“I’m a sexy bumblebee.”
“Not with those bruised legs and hairy forearms.”
“Fuck you.”
“No thanks, I’m allergic to bees.”

Shayda, Anna’s roommate, takes an immediate liking to Zach Morris. She’s tiny and cute and wears a leopard dress and an Afro wig with chicken bones in it. She says she’s a cavewoman but we all agree that she’s a homeless black woman. Zach ends a call with Lisa Turtle to chat with her.

We drink and take lots of pictures and have some Jell-O shots, which, because I’m a girl when it comes to alcohol, I can see myself using to get drunk in the future. My buzz comes quicker than a thirteen-year-old boy. I get light-headed and my eyes glaze over like a fat woman’s neck in sixty degree weather. A dumb smile is tattooed on my face. As Borat would say, “Niiiice!”

By now it’s almost midnight and we decide to head to the other party. Patrick is sober, but only because he got shitfaced the night before. We pile into his car and go. The ride is like a time warp. A green Super Mario Brothers pipe. One second we’re in Hollywood and Zach Morris is telling me I’m an articulate drunk (even though I’m not that drunk), and the next second we’re lost downtown.

“Look for Third and Wilshire,” Rambo says.
“Third and Wilshire run parallel,” I tell him.

If one good thing has come from me riding the bus, it’s me knowing my way around.

Eventually we find the party, which ends up being in an upscale neighborhood on Wilshire and Lorraine. Los Angeles amazes me, because literally three blocks south is Crenshaw and Pico, the ghetto-ish area where I used to catch the 210 bus. Neighborhoods barely transition in this city. You can go from homeless yawns to homes and lawns in less than a mile.

The house is huge – something straight out of the Fresh Prince. There are columns and hedges and marble floors and a semi-winding staircase. There’s a pool in the back. A balcony. If it were the eighties I’m sure they’d have a giant fucking satellite dish too. This house is the type of house that’s perfect for swinger parties and high-profile murders.

We connect with some gym people, check the scene, and then dive right into the open bar. My buzz is fading like a pudgy frat boy’s hairline, so I ask for a Red Bull and Vodka with extra vodka. I remember sipping one before and it not tasting too terrible. The generic-hot bar girl dances to the booming Eighties Rock while she mixes my drink. I don’t see a tip jar, so I assume the dancing is because she’s drunk and being fairly well compensated.

At first, I have to hold my nose to sip my drink. Too strong and grown-up tasting for a kid like me. But as I force more down my throat my tongue forgets what taste is and everything is good.

I get drunker. And suddenly, just like that, I’m stripped of giving a fuck. I’m dancing. I’m talking shit. I’m hitting on girls.

This is what it must be like to be black.

I finish my drink and get another. I see Eriq La Salle, who looks like an older version of himself. I saunter up to him and shake his hand. I say this:

“Just let your soul glow, Eriq. Just let your soul glow.”

He accommodates me with a smile and a friendly laugh. I’m positive he thinks I’m a dick.

I notice people whispering to each other and pointing at my costume. A lot of head-shakes coupled with I-shouldn’t-be-laughing-at-this laughter. I’ve never understood why people think they have to censor themselves to themselves. If you find something funny then fucking laugh. Don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t say, “I shouldn’t be laughing at this.” Why the fuck not? Because society says it’s wrong? Norbit took in ninety-five million at the box office. I say fuck society.

By the way, I think it’d be funny if a starving Sudanese child sat down to a giant meal for the first time in his life and got the hiccups.

I dance some more. Drink some more. Two black girls sitting on a piano motion for me to come over. One is light-skinned and wet-looking and the other is tall, dark, and weighs over three hundred pounds – not the kind of person I’d want sitting on my piano. She looks like a supporting character from The Color Purple.

I dance over to them:

“Hey, sexy,” the wet-looking black girl says. And then she reaches down my pants and starts rubbing my penis.
“Oh my! God was good to you! Shonda, feel this!”

She passes my dick off to her friend like it’s a hockey puck. The Color Purple’s hands are big and coarse and when I shut my eyes it almost feels like I’m playing with myself. I turn to look at my friends, who are laughing their asses off, which I can’t understand because there’s nothing funny about large black women who hand-rape young white men. Wait. Scratch that.

They have since dubbed her T-Rex.

I point and tell my hand-rapists that I’m going to “go over there”. They nod, consent, and I stumble off.

I make some phone calls. Why? Because I can. I call my brother, my trainer friend Nate, the girls at the first party we went to. I tell everybody I love them and that they’re awesome and that I love them. Anna tells me that Shayda wants Zach Morris. I relay the message.

By now the alcohol is really starting to hit me. Hard. So what do I do? I drink some more. Not the best idea, but being the novice drinker I am I figure more alcohol will make me feel better. I mean why not? This much got me here. Maybe a little more will get me there.

But I don’t realize how sneaky alcohol is. How fast it can roll up on you with a sock full of quarters. One second you’re laughing with your boys and the next second you’re on your ass. To me, getting drunk is like kicking a field goal on Madden on the hardest difficulty level: it’s real easy to fuck up if you haven’t played a lot. You have to line things up and know when to stop. Otherwise you just end up wide right.

Which is what happens to me.

I step outside to sit down and contemplate how things got past the point of being fun so fast. I take sips of my drink in between drunken mumblings to myself. I am completely aware of how fucked up I am and I tell myself this:

“I am so fucked up… so fucked up… Jeff, you’re fucked up… Oh my God are you fucked up…”

My head feels like it’s on a pirate ship that keeps creaking left, right. My vision is hazy. I can’t shut my eyes for long periods because it makes things worse.

“… so fucked up…”

I don’t necessarily feel stupid. My brain is functioning; I can still use big words; I know what’s going on. I’m just. Fucking. Powerless. I feel like I’m trapped inside of a retard. You know that filter in your mind that keeps you from saying everything out loud? The ‘tard filter? That’s gone.

I see a pretty girl:

“… pretty girl…”

Wonder where Patrick is:

“… where’s Patrick?”

Put my head in my lap:

“… my head is in… my lap…”

Two girls come over and ask me if I’m okay. I tell them I’m fucked up and they laugh and move on. I put my head back in my lap.

At some point, the hired security asks everyone to move things inside. Rambo, who is the friendliest drunk on Earth (“Did I ever tell you what a good friend you are to me? Because you are. You really are.”), finds me and helps me up. My head weighs more than Rosie O’Donnell.

My world is a vortex.

I shuffle inside and plant myself at the kitchen table. I’m playing a permanent game of “Heads up, Seven up” in which no one ever touches my thumb. I hear conversations. Rambo flirting. People asking how much the Virginia Tech guy had to drink. I feel a pat on my back and then I see a camera flash. Hear laughter.

“That’s a good one!”

This is the “good one”:

The Color Purple comes back over and asks about me. I reach up and start rubbing her leg.

“Are you going to throw up?” she asks.

I stand up and stumble to the bathroom, which is empty, thank God. The floor is wet from where the toilet or sink has overflowed. Whatever. I don’t care.

I lift up the toilet seat and let loose. Violent, violent wretching. I sound like a deaf person trying to sing. The owner of the house, a pretty woman in her thirties, opens the door.

“Jesus! Do that outside!”
“I’m sorry. My aim is good.”

I feel bad. Contrite. But then I think that maybe she thought I was puking all over her bathroom and that I was responsible for the water on the floor and I feel better because I’m not. She’ll be glad that I didn’t vomit on her lawn and leave a patch that never grows again.

Throwing up is like a reverse orgasm for the stomach. It doesn’t feel good when it’s happening, but it sure as shit feels good when you’re done. You can conquer the world after a solid vomit.

“I feel better now. I’m the man now.”

Somebody says it’s after three and we make our way outside, ready to go. There’s a rule to leaving parties that, I swear, is etched in stone somewhere: no matter how small your group is, there’s always one person you can’t find.

“Where the fuck is Rambo?”

And then you send someone in to find that person and then the missing person comes out and the person you sent in is now the missing person. It’s a vicious cycle (and an awkward sentence).

We finally gather everybody. Our group is now plus one – a gym member who went as McLovin’. I tell him the black girls wanted my nuts and he tells me they felt him up too. And Rambo. My feelings get kind of hurt because I thought I was their only whiteboy for the night.

Zach Morris calls up a taxi because he lives in Beverly Hills and doesn’t want to crash at Rambo’s in Hollywood. Everyone has good manners and waits with him.

Meanwhile, my post-vomit high is wearing off. I’m feeling woozy again. I lie down in the grass but quickly discover that I need to keep my head elevated unless I want to feel like I’m falling off a cliff. I prop my head up with my hand and my elbow and doze.

The cab comes. Zach Morris goes back to Bayside. Now it’s time for us to go. I really, really don’t want to get up. The grass is cool and smells nice and I would love to sleep in it for the rest of the night and a good chunk of the next day. But I find the strength to get up and fall into the backseat. McLovin’ buckles me up.

“They were my black girls…”

The ride is short, but I feel every turn. Every stop. In my head, the world is ending and nothing is spared. Patrick drops off McLovin’ and Rambo and then takes me home. I ask him what time it is.


I feel bad for Patrick because he lives all the way in El Segundo. He’s a good friend.

He drops me off at my apartment:

“Patrick, I love you. Thank you so much.”

He laughs and says it’s okay. He mentions that I may have gotten a little blood in his car. I tell him I will fucking clean up every last drop. And to get some rest. And that I love him.

Patrick leaves and I stumble up the stairs to my apartment. Everything feels surreal, like it’s happening and not happening at the same time. I manage to unlock the door and find my way to my bedroom. I lay down on my air mattress, but the falling-to-my-death feeling comes back and I think I may throw up again.

I go into the bathroom and rest my head on the toilet.

I fall asleep.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Update tomorrow

Topic: Halloween

Edit: Wow, this is going to be a long entry. Probably won't have it up until tomorrow (Wednesday). In the mean time, check out

He's gay. He's Republican. He's the motherfucking man.