Swelter 37

From there, taking dinner at Starfish with the Mother Teresa of porn, Robin Byrd, in town to tape her Men With Men show at the District in Fort Lauderdale, dangling the cult stardom of Manhattan cable television before the minor gods of South Florida. Byrd bouncing back from a bomb threat ("There's no respect any more") on her flight from New York and remaining a woman after our own heart: focused on money, food, and the hustle. A total professional in the nightlife arena, using sex as a tool of commerce, her siren's call to a particularly fetching waiter ("I do have a particular whim tonight A you") not quite panning out. Earth mother good-naturedly diving into a plate of garlic mashed potatoes, aping an orgasmic shiver over the "D.O.A." chocolate dessert.

After dinner Byrd and District promotions director Robert Levy heading out for a troll through assorted gay bars: looking for a few good men, willing to strip down for their country's obsession with hard bodies. Our contingent hooking up with a photo crew from Vanity Fair, taking a good-will Christmas tour of clubs, wallowing in the world of money and heterosexual lust at the official Bar None opening. An amazing crowd on hand, missing Sylvester Stallone and company but catching the local version of the young Gabor sisters: a six-foot-two Hungarian superbeast in a Versace miniskirt and halter top, fresh from her social debut at Casa Casaurina. The new traveling beauty in full fester, stroking her date's middle-aged crotch in the VIP room, a group of men enviously watching the tableau. Nothing to us, pretty much the same old shit, one horny financier cutting to the chase: "Her sister is even wilder and more beautiful. In bed together they'd be unbelievable. Can you imagine her showing up in divorce court, what the judge and my wife would think? One night with that piece would cost me 40 million dollars, but it just might be worth it."

On to a sexual segue at Phoenix, a dance or two at Risk, and then Glam Slam, Mr. Symbol showing up for the club's appearance of his current protege, Mayte. The former Prince taking over one entire side of the upstairs VIP room, flanked by four bodyguards, his sole companion being a female business colleague. The woman leaving his royal presence for some errand, the great man sitting there completely alone in a red suit, looking lost: an odd and faintly depressing spectacle. Home to a blissful night of sleep without dreams, gearing up for the next day with the sublime Carol Channing, doing Hello, Dolly! at the Jackie Gleason Theater, dazzling the crowd with an approximation of Spanish, wishing us all a happy holiday.

The jolly roll continuing later that night at a wonderful private Christmas party way uptown: Daisy Fuentes, ecstatic new father Emilio Estefan, Jon Secada, and Ingrid Casares, the true bellwether of high season. Our favorite Miami girl flying in from Los Angeles, making our Christmas sweet with a welcome news flash. Madonna, thank God, not doing her annual New Year's Eve party this year: One less social aspiration to worry about, the quest for big-deal invitations gnawing at our being. Then, the blow upon a bruise, Ingrid casually dropping the new A-list event: Madonna joining forces for a New Year's party at Versace's house, Elton John A from other reports A coming down for the festivities, joining the fabulatti in an orgy of fame and flash. No matter where you go, there's always something to ruin a good time.

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