I’ve been spending a little bit of time in DC recently, first at the American Librarians Association conference and then the Bound Summer Masquarade fetish ball. I’m certain I was the only person to attend both events, though I could be wrong since most of the people at the latter were wearing masks.


During my first visit to DC, I spoke to a roomful of librarians, along with four other authors. I read the Today show chapter from my book, about my hapless attempt to get married to Gwenn on the show. Then the headliner, Paula Poundstone, made fun of the authors for kissing up to the librarians. (I didn’t, I just read!) She said, “I would, too, I just don’t have to at this point in my life!” Then she made fun of a guy who works for the Army and Navy’s libraries, pointing out that someone should study what happened in previous wars and apply it to today’s situation in Iraq. (It was delivered funny, not crappy like my transcription of the story.)



The fetish ball in DC last weekend was pretty insane: three floors of people dancing, making out, getting suctioned in latex beds. A typical Friday night.


When presented with the idea of playing such an event, I thought the best way to promote my band would be Synthetic Division condoms. We had them for sale, but I went around and handed them out for free, too, figuring some of the participants may be using them sooner rather than later.


There seemed to be an excessive amount of sexual energy in the place, but the only job I got was a dye job, which took place the night before the show. Gwenn minted my hair with a fresh coat of red. It speaks volumes for her love for me to do this, it is a tedious process.


The problem with getting dyed so soon before a show is that the color tends to bleed for a few days, a problem easily controlled by wearing black shirts. The only catch? I wear a white suit on stage. So now I have a few little droplets of neon sweat, which I’m hoping the dry cleaner will be able to take care of.


After our set, I was looking for my bandmate as he disappeared into the abyss of the night. As I was making my way through the crowds I was met with what I assumed was approval of my onstage performance. A girl in a neon, push-up get-up grabbed me suddenly, and without warning she kissed me full on the lips, then shouted, “Good show!” before disappearing into the night.


This never happens after Gwenn and I speak about AIDS.


Upon returning home, I shared all the stories with Gwenn, a good sport if ever there was one, and yesterday we celebrated my 32nd birthday with a trip to the bowling alley. Our friend, Riki, made me a cake, inspired by the neon Synthetic Division sign. Riki makes the best cakes in town, it was vanilla with strawberries inside. As a thinblood, the only time I’m allowed to wield a knife is for b-day cake cutting.


So now I’m officially two years into my thirties, which are rocking both figuratively and literarily.


See, even though I’m spending most of my time on music, I still got it. I still got it.


Positively Yours,
Shawn


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