December 9th, 2002

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.


Last year around this time, life was substantially more glum. I was still several G's in the hole, and my then-pretty-somewhat-still-newish job of bartending graveyards at The Hideout was looking rather farcical. I attribute that to my relative inexperience, lack of a devoted, slavish, drooling cult following (o/~ There's tooo many of you! There's not enough of meeee! HEAL YOURSELLLLVES! o/~), my less than covetable shifts (Mon–Wed, as opposed to my lovely Fri–Sun now), the usual pre-xmas doldrums (more suicides in December; studies don't lie, Bob), and of course the aftermath of 9/11, which destroyed NOLA tourism until about mid-July of aught-two, by my accounts, and left us service industry automatons amongst fields of chirping crickets at work, metaphorically speaking.

Ah, but I had Love then. What's the trade-off, and is it worth it? To have Love, or to be gazing upon life from a more secure vantage, career-wise? Well, I'm in no position to answer that bit o' chewy, chocolately rhetoric, so let's talk about pornography.

I really do love my job. It wipes me out (spending tonight, my Friday night, swooping about the house in black silk satin jammies and not answering the phone), and sometimes, frankly, it's hard to get up at 1am (though that's easier for me than 7am). Sure, I've dragged skeletal old junkies from the toilets with needles still dangling from their veins, talked incredibly dull people through incredibly dull problems, I've watched people's heads get smashed by angry fists, I've seen some of the ugliest sides of humanity you can imagine (short of actually stepping foot in the White House in its present incarnation, I mean), and I've been told I need to lose some weight (who was that bitch anyway, misterchurch?). But all that 'local color' notwithstanding, it's the Love that is the real reward. The Love and the Amusement, for there really is rarely a dull moment on Decatur, even in the middle of the night. But let's not speak of Love; rather, Pornography.

Andy and Chip and Trey and That Other Guy hung out with me last night — alllll night long. They weren't really out on a bender. Sure, the drinking went on all night, but in a slow — refreshingly slow-paced manner. (From a business standpoint, last night was rather Cricketsville.) They hung out for over eight hours because, simply, they were having a good time. And when people can do that for so long a stretch, remain somewhat sober and lucid, and do so without harshing my mellow, well I'm just happier than a malnourished puppy in a meadow full of cat shit. There was a small smattering of insolent boobs who did marsh my mallow, but they were quickly dispatched, with little fanfare. But let's not speak of marshmallow boobs. Let's talk smut.

McKenzie popped 'round about dawn. McKenzie was going to move into my spare bedroom once it became vacant at the end of this month, but the wait was too long. (The charming lad is currently residing with his ex. Not too disturbing a situation I am told, but I can imagine there would be better comfort zones in which to exist.) Somehow the subject (and, finally, this that I write) turned to pornography.

At which point McKenzie opened his little satchel and surprised us all by dumping out about a half dozen Hustler magazines, which I then distributed around the room like Miss Debbie handing out juice and crackers to her Room of Rompers. Curiously, no one, myself included, questioned why McKenzie would be trolling around the French Quarter at dawn with a satchel full of porn. We were just glad to have it.

The usual derisive comments were made regarding the standard elements of porn mags: Bad boob jobs, bad grammar, postulations on people's ideal of the perfect stripper, laughing at the "amateur" section, and games of "What The Hell Is That!?"

Remember when porn mags were considered no less holy a score than a copy of an original Guttenberg bible itself? Think of your early teens, and don't waste your breath denying anything to me; I can see straight through to your torrid little soul.

For my part, I recall meticulously affixing a faux-cover of an innoccuous magazine over the cover of my dumpster-diving early 80s score of a Hustler rag ('Muffy', I hope everything is all right and that you still enjoy playing tennis and getting fucked in the ass!). The innoccuous faux-cover I taped and stapled? "Boy's Life," of course. Mmm-hmm.

Now we're all in our 30's. I handed some filth to Andy last night who smiled lazily and pushed it aside. Funny how time alters and saps.

Consider: Women love Hustler. Angie, my day relief girl, was mesmerized when she came in this morning. She flipped through some smut with nary-a-blush and commented from an 'insiders' point of view about why that doesn't hurt, how ridiculously pointless that position is, and what the hell is wrong with that woman's tits? Straight women in general like looking at porn exploiting other women. Nonreciprocally, I don't know many straight males who have as keen an interest in gay porn. I guess women are more enlightened. Shrug.

As naughty and roguish as I am, I don't really do the porn thing all that much. (My Porn Loo is an interior decorating thing, not a sexual release thing. No really! I just read it for the articles!) I found myself last night examining some verrrry up-close-n-personal, totally-devoid-o'-context photographs that were positively forensic in nature. Turning the magazine sideways and upside-down, crying aloud, "What the hell?…", scratching my head in confusion like a child faced with calculus. (Or like me faced with calculus.)

And it occurred to me: Know what would be a good name for a girlee magazine? "Erotopsy."

And how about this for a gay porn mag: "Pizzle."