"You've created a monster," says Grant, calling me from The Local where he bartends to tell me that Lary is signing issues of Creative Loafing for the patrons there -- the issue that features him like the rock star he always thought he was. He's captioning his signature with, "The clown carries a gun."
And Grant is no better. Grant is signing them as well, because he's in the article, too. And now he constantly apprises everybody about the lime-green leisure suit with matching patent-leather shoes he plans to wear to the launch party of Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch, a book written by me and starring, more or less, them -- plus Daniel and, on a smaller level, the rest of the minor maniacs that make up my life. "I've got a fabulous pair of huge '80s Jackie-O. prescription sunglasses for the event," Grant continues, "or should I wear my double-breasted white leather '70s coat?"
Before I go any further, I want to make an official statement here: I swear, this is the LAST column (probably) in which you will hear me admit, except in the most fleeting of senses, that I write a column. And I am only doing it now because my editor, Suzanne, requested it of me. I'm happy to oblige her because she's been great to have put up with me these past three years, especially after that "Lary likes to masturbate by slamming his dick with the Bible" column I wrote last year. Can you believe she printed that? I mean, I know I write this stuff, but it seriously blows my mind every week that Creative Loafing actually prints it, except for the time they took out that paragraph about Grant's taxidermied endangered-species collection, and that was just for space reasons (I was told).
Anyway, yes, they have requested that I write a column that owns up to certain column-related events of late, like the fact that a big fat book of my stories hits the stands next week and already it has generated a buzz big enough to stuff a beehive factory. For example, Vanity Fair loves it. (Vanity goddam fucking Fair, people!) I was even interviewed by Entertainment Weekly the other day, though the thing that writer seemed most interested in was that, yes, every weekend I really do put on my apron and my badge and I work a flight to Europe. That's another thing I never talk about in my column -- my day job -- but here I am today, my cover completely blown.
"Ha!" Grant laughs. "You bought your own cover! Never buy your own cover."
"Shut up! Look who's talking," I yell at him. Grant himself is taking his cover to heights heretofore untouched now that I've asked him to stop bothering Atlanta magazine. "But they stole my penis," Grant laughs. He's referring to the picture of the Sister Louisa art assemblage in this month's issue. Atlanta magazine had commissioned him to make it to accompany an excerpt of my book, and after the piece had been approved for print, Grant tried to sneak a tiny plastic penis into the assemblage, which did not make it into the issue, though the rest of the artwork did.
"What do you care?" I say. "Being an artist is just your cover. You're really the anti-artist." For chrissakes, when I asked him to decorate my wedding reception years ago, I got nothing but bowling pins and gay porn! Believe me, Atlanta magazine is just one in a long list of people who have deflected Grant's attempts to slip them his penis.
And Lary is no help. Lary has completely bought his cover. He's already given me a list of conditions for his appearance at the Margaret Mitchell House on March 11, an event in which the people I write about get to talk about themselves, opposed to simply being talked about by me. On Lary's list, he's demanding a personal nurse, a bodyguard, a bartender and an interpreter, and he wants to sit behind a rice-paper screen with just his shadow showing and disguise his voice. Other people I've written about are threatening to show as well. The giant Michael wants to try and drive his Harley right into the reception area.
And let's not forget the book launch party at Paris on Ponce March 4. There will be cheap beer and free food. With this crowd, that is an almost scary thought. Plus, Grant is telling me I need to wear black-feathered lingerie and sign my books in bed -- they seriously have an actual bed right there by the stage! "Fuck no!" I freak.
At that Grant stops and takes me by the shoulders. "Girl, this is your book," he says, indicating a copy right there on the table. He shakes me a little. "Your book, bitch." So I look at my book, the cover of which Grant designed, complete with a little rubber penis partially hidden inside a blue curler, and all of a sudden it hits me. Oh, my God, I think, it's all happening. "That is my book!" I scream. "That is my cover!" Grant embraces me and we jump up and down, laughing. Yes. That is my cover -- time to buy it.
Join Creative Loafing at the Hollis Gillespie Book Launch Party to celebrate the release of Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales from a Bad Neighborhood Thurs., March 4, at 7 p.m. in Le Moulin Rouge at Paris on Ponce, 716 Ponce de Leon Place. For entertainment, Kingsized presents The Gusto Show and members of Dames A'flame will perform burlesque. Gillespie will give a reading and sign copies of her book, which can be purchased onsite from A Capella Books. Free admission.