Swelter

After a bit of research, Bob Ickes's clever New York magazine piece on Kerrimania from late last year was unearthed. At Jose Freire's gallery in SoHo, Scharlin put together the "Interview" show, a collection of make-believe magazine profiles of herself -- commissioned, edited, and paid for by Scharlin. Each bold new art piece was written, illustrated, and laid out in the exact style of various magazines A GQ, People, Vanity Fair, the Star, Mademoiselle, Premiere, Self, Psychology Today, Vogue, Interview A with Scharlin featured in a variety of artful poses: on a StairMaster, in bra and panties, drinking Evian. The works sold like hotcakes.

Writers who participated in her self-glorification included Jesse Kornbluth, Ron Rosenbaum, and Glenn O'Brien; photographers included Annie Liebovitz and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, a Miami native. Scharlin hinted that each documentarian was paid according to a secret rate based on their desire to sell their name value. As a Miami girl, Scharlin didn't pay retail, either, and even gloated a bit over the cut-rate prices of the working press: "In some cases it was cookies." As a bold declaration of naked narcissism, it sounds as if the installation may have worked on a weird sound-bite-of-the-apocalypse level.

In the meantime, I'm professionally compelled to glorify celebrities and their haunts for a regular salary. Over the Thanksgiving holidays, Marcia Clark -- the prosecutor with the mostest -- stayed in Coconut Grove, dodging tabloid photographers and missing all the better parties. Oprah Winfrey, the woman I want to be, and Carolina Herrera, still cha-chaing after all these years, passed through town this past weekend. Johnny Depp, who may be shooting a movie here this winter, turned up at Bar None. In other breaking Depp news, Inside Edition followed him down to Miami, calling me -- always a pleasure -- to inquire about the exact location of Depp's childhood home, some trailer park in Medley. CBS News is also floating around, doing a feel-good show on Miami, but they must not have wanted my gloom-and-doom expertise.

The Miami Italian Film Festival wrapped up with an awards gala at the Hotel Inter-Continental, actors Giancarlo Giannini and Ben Gazzara making the Mama-mia-I'm-a-celebrity list. But the town has too many famous people as it is, even Italian ones, and things are getting sick in this clone of Los Angeles, this city without a clue. Like, say, the fax I got from one slap-happy restaurant, an itemized tab from two Charlotte Hornets basketball players who, shockingly enough, ordered cocktails the night before a big game. If you're going to hype a celeb clientele, start at the top, and at least comp the ones whose names you sell out to the press.

But then this is my week to let everything go, to serve my people as the Mother Teresa of gossip, to extend the olive branch of equanimity to one and all, to embrace a land of squalor with my hard-earned beatitude. A quarter-century in Miami, and this week marks four decades on earth. Fuck, I'm 40, but for some unfathomable reason happiness swells within this decaying flesh, and tender mercies are everywhere at once. It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, but for now life is but a dream.

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