Swelter 46

A weird world, getting weirder by the minute. Donald Trump, thwarted by the reactionary forces of Palm Beach, the town fathers reluctant to have Mar-A-Lago turned into another Trumpland development. The Donald now working on turning the place into a private club, based on the success of his recent girls-girls-girls party, the feminine forces always good for drawing a crowd. Somehow, we knew there was a hidden agenda behind all the madcap fun, although the caliber of horny rich men willing to mingle with scam artists, conceptual journalists and general sleaze is beyond comprehension.

Pretty much like the rest of dark world, getting darker, hornier, and stranger all the time. A plane pulling a banner down Haulover beach, emblazoned with a politically incorrect Marky Mark/Calvin Klein ad ("Yo, I quit beating up minorities and so should you,"), prompting a black thug to share his own ugly past of minority-driven violence with several cronies: "Man, I used to go in for that fag bashing. If I saw two guys holding hands, I'd get a baseball bat on them. I can't say I still don't want to do it once in awhile, but I'm trying to give it up." Sex, women, and women wanna-bes all over the place. HBO filming a segment of Real Sex on South Beach, an endless stream of neon-accented Harleys and deranged Christians ("Hell is closer than you think, Sir."), somehow missing club kitten Carola Adenauer, lambchop and doorperson for "Lust" at the now departed Kitchen Club. Adenauer pulling portions of her clothes askew at The Spot, revealing some amazing body ornamentation: a ring through the inner belly button, a huge Yakuza-like tribal tattoo, various flowers, a rendering of a lizard crawling under the skin: "Hey, stop by and check out 'Lust.'" Over to the Mambo Club, the tall chorines out in front, just like in real life, a young Latin kid talking about the hopelessness of the AIDS crisis: "They'll never stop sex, even if there's a disease where dicks fall off." Cafe Iguana, a far gone young woman, standing in a corner, awash in the disease of longing: "I'm just yearning, pining, praying for a good man."

A not especially good man at Stars, hitting on a drunken lesbian who is, in turn, hitting on another girl: "I'm just trying to prove a point. You can forgive a lot in a beautiful woman, small tits, big ass, being a dyke." Turnberry, sex minxes in glitter bras and spandex Capri pants, a woman explaining the process of romance: "Sex is a contact sport, all about power. You get down on the mat, somebody wins, somebody loses." The World, a homosexual gushing about glamour being akin to air and water, a primal element of life, opting for drugs as a lifestyle choice: "I know drugs are bad for your health, but sex can kill you." Third Rail, an encouraging night, a model rushing up and planting a kiss, pledging eternal love ("I don't know why, I just love you.") and then bouncing off to someone richer and undoubtedly more lovable.

Another deluded fan, telling her date that our presence made the club "the place to be tonight" A a proposition certain loved ones might argue against A as someone tells an intriguing story about Eddie Murphy. The last time we saw the great man, at Bohemia, he was sitting motionless in the VIP room, holding his finger over a candle, completely over it all. More famous, more pussy-ridden, more everything than anybody else, a presence that tends to diminish ordinary mortals, especially when you make the foolish mistake of trying to approach Black Narcisscus. But Eddie has a lighter side, according to the drag queens at New York's Edelweiss, hiring drags to skip rope around him while he lays in bed like a potentate. The same line of reasoning, no doubt, that argues for Winston Churchill being gay.

Conversation of a more rarified nature at a very civilized party at The Foundlings Club, full of cultivated people, going on about other parties in Monte Carlo and Italy. Everglades-themed food, alligator chili and such, host Micky Wolfson drawing together an interesting crowd in honor of his prep school, Lawrenceville: Finlay and Bixie Matheson; Thomas Richardson, the British ambassador to the United Nations; headmaster Josiah Bunting. The guests mixing with a simultaneous party for the New World Symphony, lots of talk about the grand old days at Lawrenceville, a place that apparently engenders great affection amongst alumni. Our own experiences at Coral Gables High A lurking in the touchy-feely Rap Room to avoid classes, fraternizing with other doomed youth, being suspended for drunkeness in a school full of druggies A even more beyond the pale than usual.

Moving on to clubland, an agent from Los Angeles instantly recognizing a fellow devotee of superficiality, unveiling a great story about Tony Curtis, apparently taking his role in "Some Like It Hot" to heart: "For a while there, you'd see him everywhere in drag, driving his car, whatever. He went through a bad period where he'd shit in little piles around the house and wouldn't let anybody touch them. Now, he's selling paintings to the Japanese, back on top again." Status distinctions also coming up during a conversation with a yachting type aboard the El Galleon, a party boat owned by Abdon Grau of Centro Espanol, currently operating out of Bayside. Singer Lenny Kravitz endearing himself to the locals on the tiny island of Eleuthera, remaining low-key and pleasant, deflecting any envy about having a viable career and owning a sizable chunk of local real estate. Vanilla Ice not so endearing, actually traveling with bodyguards despite limited star power, his minions brushing off various island urchins. Not a pretty picture.

Somewhat more attractive visuals at a Lincoln Road block party benefit for the upcoming Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Community Center, to be built between Jefferson and Michigan Avenue. A joint effort between, among others, Girls in the Night, Outpost, and Alternet Gay & Lesbian Radio 1080 AM. Cohostess Lisa Cox bouncing around a sea of charitably minded individuals and ecumenical go-go dancers, full of the 411 as usual. A social segue, brunch with Edie Beale, Edie taking in the passing parade of Ocean Drive and ruminating about the apocalypse in an entertaining way: "I never knew how much people would cheat and murder their fellow man; war and pestilence is coming. The ancients called this 'End Time.'" Somehow, the chit-chat sliding into a discussion of the All Dead Revue by performance artist Matthew Owens, a truly weird creation involving dancing corpses and stuffed horses. Unremarkable stuff, save for a resonant quote from a Nazi death camp survivor, an admonishment that shames the merely miserable: "Be happy, you who live in fine apartments, in ugly houses or in hovels, you who torture yourselves over metaphysical problems, who die a death as normal as life. Be happy, all of you: millions of people envy you.

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Tom Austin