At about 2:00 a.m. there's a wet T-shirt contest, bar employees dutifully drenching the contestants with ice water and standing back as they shake their moneymakers for the crowd. Two of the participants are Hawaiian Tropic also-rans, but many are amateurs, high school or college students working for the $100 prize. While the women grind and jiggle, the thumping sounds of C+C Music Factory falsify a party, and most of the spectators hoot with abandon. Even the few quiet ones A Will and Steve and I are included in this elite group A look on as if we are appraising a cutlet. As they leave the floor, many of the women are shivering, and one seems to be crying, but it is difficult to tell, in part because she seems to have no face at all, only long pale arms and legs, and the dark knots of her nipples showing through soaked cotton.
As the crowd breathlessly awaits a winner A no doubt it will be the Belgian girl who took her pants down to midthigh and slipped a finger inside her sheer white briefs A we slink outside to the patio, where we cover for our excitement and our shame with deliberately naive talk about our winnings. We all are going to sell the Mustangs, we decide, convert the cars to cash and chase our dreams. Will has a new computer lined up, maybe a move to California. Steve plans to travel, live the high life for a while. And me? I'm going to produce a live album for Tony the Troubador. I'm going to call in an air strike as I leave Daytona Beach. I'm going to chronicle this unlikely series of events for a few hundred extra bucks and then I'm going to sleep for weeks.