After updating my blog on 9/9, I take a shower, and notice the irregular calico patterns of sunburn settling into my skin. I see the outline of my sunglasses on the bridge of my nose, stripes on my shoulders from my shirt and a white ring around my neck from my scarf. A perfect "cut here" line on my neck, in white. How long had I stood on that pier answering interview questions for the camera, how long had I talked about why I wrote my oral sex books, how long had I fielded the usual inevitable comparison to my life and Carrie Bradshaw, someone who isn’t even real?
Showered, I get the call from the sex celebrity, saying the TV crew was up for the drinks I had suggested we all get when they were through. I suggest a semi-upscale cocktail bar with food; I know the crew is famished, I saw their breakfast of Red Bull and Ritz. Hornboy and I arrive first, even though we are late. The celebrity shows up, with her male partner in tow, and the film crew and an extra, a woman who looks like a glammed-up diva. It’s a constant wonder to me why this local celeb isn’t a bigger celeb; I am constantly in awe of her knowledge and ability to talk on camera. Over dinner, her lover wonders aloud about whether some of the new metal vibrating toys at GV wouldn’t fit up his urethra. I want to talk about London, and what it’s like there. The celebrity mentions that my new book came out last week and that I’m a busy girl. I say, "I’m hemorrhaging books." All day I have been thinking about my deadlines.
I drive the crew back to their hotel, and we joke about "too much information." It feels like letting air out a balloon so it could finally relax, but too late for us to have a regular conversation.
In the morning I drive to the East Bay to meet the crew and PornOrchestra. There is a stalled car on the bridge, delaying my trip by nearly an hour. When I get to the stall it is a white car in the middle lane; there is an old man with glasses on at the wheel. In the second I look at the car I see his hands gripping the steering wheel and he is leaning forward, watching the traffic stream around him with wide eyes.
I am too late when I get to the gallery, they are shooting the final footage, and I missed the performance. Shannon greets me warmly with a hug and tells me she is sad I didn’t provide color commentary. I don’t know what that means. There are long minutes where I stand by myself and watch everyone else. The film crew says hi, but they are busy. I see the porn star outside. I make my way outside to speak more with Shannon. She asks if I will provide color commentary for the next performance, and I ask what she means. "You know, where we’ll stop the music and you talk about the socio-political relevance of the porn scene on the screen. Like an academic breakdown." I smile, "Yes." "You’d like that. It’s what you’ve been waiting to do, right?" "Yes, it is. I’d love to."
Introductions are made to the porn star. I tell him how much I like his films. He looks uncomfortable and says nothing, as if I’d said something more personal than what I’d actually said. He excuses himself and walks away. As I talk to the film crew to get information about sending them SRL videos, a man pulls up in front of the gallery; he is an SRL volunteer who brags about his importance in SRL but never volunteers when it doesn’t look glamorous. He comes to shows and flings macho and ego, and many members don’t like him but no one wants to get in a fight. A few months ago I stood up to his bullying and he threatened me, called me a bitch and verbally abused me, repeatedly. I saved his emails and every bit of abuse that was in writing. Just in case.
Once I was stalked by an ex-boyfriend. He stole my belongings out of my house, underwear and paintings, and made friends with my friends. When I fled town in fear of his insanity and his gun, he told my friends that I owed him money, and they gave him all the information about me they had. They were never my friends. He followed me to Oregon, where police discovered him sleeping in his car. He pulled a gun on the officers, and the officers panicked. They could have been shot, they flailed. Upon my return to SF I was contacted by the police who told me that they would personally deliver my restraining order to him, and they were really, really serious. A few years later I found out he had been arrested doing an armed robbery of a liquor store while wearing women’s clothing, and was going to be in jail for a long time. More guns: once when I was thirteen, I pointed my mother’s gun at a man who was trying to come into my bedroom; he was a cokehead buddy of hers and they had all been up for several days. The door was locked but he unlocked it. I had been sleeping with the gun under my pillow. He saw the gun, and closed the door quietly. I take threats and abusive behavior from men very seriously.
At the gallery, the man who called me names gets out of his truck, sees me, and makes a beeline past me into the gallery. I’m relieved.
I decide to leave. I want to go home. I make a point of saying goodbye to the porn star and tell him that I love to talk about his films when I’m on my monthly radio spot, a porn review show. He gives me a hug.
Home. I write eight video reviews and two book reviews. The book is hard to write about because it has images of sex, and images of children, in the same book. But it is not child pornography. There is no language for this in our culture. I go over the first two chapters in book #2 of the four books I have due in December and make minor rewrites. When the phone rings I realize that it’s 10pm and I have been writing for a very long time. The call is from my pals at SFSI; they are forcing me to leave the house and see live lounge music. Hornboy and I are tired, but we go, and we all have a really really great time. I see one of the best live music shows this year, the local band Harold Ray, who plays the most smokin’ blue-eyed soul I’ve ever seen in my life. I’d swear I was watching The Yardbirds at their craziest, and Hornboy buys a CD. We drink and dance, and my face hurts from smiling.
I check my mail on Saturday afternoon and read messages with congratulations for making it into a book about celebrity sex bloggers. I had no idea, but am very excited, and enjoy explaining to Hornboy that the author is someone whose books I’ve bought and enjoyed for over ten years. I write an entire chapter over the course of the day. Late at night, there is an email from the sex blog book author telling me that my name is a mistake; the publisher put it on the cover to garner advanced sales, but that I do not "fit" in the book. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. My neighbor’s car alarm goes off for the 12th time; I have been counting its shrill shrieks all day, it has punctuated my concentration as I have tried to write, tried to organize sex techniques, present them in a fun and useful way. Hornboy is already in bed when I exit my mail program and shut down my G4. I only want things in my life that really matter from now on. I feel rebellious about talking to journalists and reporters, I don’t give a fuck about publicity and celebrity. Hornboy looks like an angel in my bed. I ask if we can take off our shirts and rub our chests together; this is definitely not a problem. I slide between his broad shoulders, feel his chest hair on my nipples. We kiss for a very long time. We use Eros lube, three stretchy cock rings, and a latex glove. The cat sleeps through the whole disturbance, at the foot of the bed, in a pile of discarded blankets and sheets. I sleep for twelve hours.