I had the pleasure of staying in the home of author Laura Antoniou and her lovely wife Karen. I knew I was in the right place when I saw the Revenge of the Jedi poster in their guest bedroom (side note, as card-carrying member of the Star Wars fan club, I got a Revenge of the Jedi patch in the mail the year before the movie was released. I’m pretty sure I had already lost it by the time it was announced that the title of the movie would be changed).
My first night in New York I went to a BDSM party at a club called the Parthenon. They were playing really good music from Pandora, but it was the free version, so in the middle of the really intense scene, there would be car insurance commercials, which kinda broke the mood.
After the party we went walking around Manhattan looking for a place to get coffee at 1 a.m. and ended up in a 24 hour McDonalds. The girl behind the counter took one look at my date (six-foot tall in her boots and dressed from head to toe in black leather with matching gloves) and asked, “Do you ride motorcycles or hunt vampires?” Then she looked at me and said, “You must be her sidekick.”
The next day was the reading at Purple Passion. Karen had to drive us from Queens to Brooklyn, to pick up D.L., then from Brooklyn to Manhattan for the reading. The traffic was so bad that we were almost late for our own event. Karen told me the old joke that “no one drives in New York because there’s so much traffic.” In Brooklyn we cut through an orthodox Jewish neighborhood, and since it was Saturday, there was almost no one on the roads. A great time saver if you ever find yourself in the same situation.
We arrived at Purple Passion just in time. On the bill were with me were D.L., Laura, and Rachel Kramer Bussel. Funny story…
So, back when I was a frustrated, unpublished writer of erotica, I submitted a few stories to anthologies edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, and she always rejected my work. So, taking inspiration from 50 Cent’s “How to Rob” (the mix-tape track where the unsigned 50 Cent used each verse to describe how he would rob successful rap and R&B artists), I decided to write a story describing how I would fuck successful erotica writers and editors, sort of positioning myself as the “50 Cent of Erotica.” In said story, I articulated my desire to fuck Rachel Kramer Bussel from behind while shoving her face first into a plate of gourmet cupcakes. It was independently published in a little anthology sold locally in St. Louis, what were the odds that a New York editor like Rachel Kramer Bussel would ever read it?
…Well, the odds were pretty good as it turns out, because she read the book. And now we were performing at the same reading.
I asked Karen if she thought I should apologize to Rachel now that I would be seeing her in person. Karen’s advice was not to bring it up and all, and I thought that was a brilliant idea.
At the reading, Rachel stepped out of the room for a minute and while she was gone, Laura brought up the story (she’d heard me me perform it at a reading we’d done at Fetish Fair Fleamarket earlier that year). I quickly wrapped up the conversation so that we wouldn’t be talking about it by the time Rachel returned.
The reading went off without a hitch, Laura read her introduction to the book, which was hilarious, D.L. read her story and then introduced Rachel. When Rachel went up, she put in a plug for her her new collection of essays, “Sex and Cupcakes.” She held up a postcard of the cover art which features her… topless, bent over a table full of cupcakes.
I could feel the eyes burrowing in the back of my head as she held up the card, but I just kept my mouth shut and thankfully so did everyone else.
I just want to say for the record that Rachel Kramer Bussel is a fine writer and, from what I’ve been told, a very forgiving person. Not the type to hold a grudge. You should run right out and buy “Sex & Cupcakes” right after you buy “The Big Book of Domination.”