A lot of people bought merch in Pensacola. Pretty cool. At one point, a fellow was having a conversation with Dziga about Pensacola, a town he described as similar to some other southern city, only "without the blacks."
DZIGA: That's what they say?
DZIGA: That's really racist.
I didn't know if it was racist under the circumstance, as I barely caught it, and his perspective towards "without the blacks" can be construed two ways. Either positive, as in the town has less crime and drugs, and other vices stereotyped on blacks. Or negative, as in it physically resembles this other town, but is unwelcoming toward minorities. Dzig pretty much killed that conversation, and lamented the fact that gay white men feel it's okay to say such things to him, imagining he'll agree for some reason.
There was a similarly awkward situation in Savannah, which was as a whole maybe the weirdest night of the tour. First of all, Ben was weirded out by how much it had changed since he went to college there, and how it was gentrified and so many cool people had left. Second, the downtown area itself is strange, as everything is packed together. It feels like the soundstage for some old MGM musical. All the college kids were gone, nobody was out other than some locals, and the place felt sleepy. Third, the crowd was pretty unresponsive. It was a good turnout, and there's certainly no problem with people simply listening, but it was odd to not have the usual back-and-forth of energy. They were so quiet. Also, the room was dimly lit, and the tables were far from the stage. It felt like doing dinner theater or something. My solution to the set-up was to read part of "Assistant" in the audience, walking among the tables. At one point we asked how the audience was doing.
GUY IN THE BACK: Uptight.
RANDOM LADY: Speak for yourself.
Dude. Crazy. But, yeah, good show. The folks at the venue were super cool. Gave us a free meal and a drink. I met this older lady who, when I told her I wrote fantasy, proceeded to talk my ear off about how she loved those old 80s films. Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Ladyhawke, all the classics. The fellows met these two young ladies who seemed nice enough, and we met up with them at a bar. The kind of spot with a neon-lit counter and a DJ spinning soul records, yet, inexplicably, a death metal show going on upstairs. I'm not nearly as social as Ben and Dzig, and spent my time nursing a hot totty to help with this nasty cold I'd acquired. My energy was flagging, which was unfortunate, as Savannah ended up being the 24-hour party people, never go to sleep, rock star night of the tour. We talked about anarchy and our future plans and the mrits/demerits of putting mellow music on the same bill as death metal, which was what they were doing upstairs. Conversation eventually went to one of these girls asking Dzig if he had a "weakness for Latin flavor," partner-wise.
Oh my god, I'm thinking.
It was interesting to watch, as he very patiently told them that he doesn't consider attraction a "weakness," and tries not to tokenize his partners, and he can't speak to anybody's "flavor" as they're human beings and not ice cream. And both of these girls--both!--instead of admitting she said something problematic, proceed to just dig the hole deeper, talking about how Hispanics are "spicier," and I'm pretty sure at one point one of them screamed, "Gooooooooool!"
Fuck, I thought.
I never thought about how often Latinos get described with food metaphors. Hot. Spicy. Flavor. That's some weird vore shit to me. As these girls weren't my recently-acquired friends, I stayed out of it. Dzig saw it as a "teachable moment," I guess. We went with them to some bar, walking down a succession of Savannah streets that were horror movie empty, and one of them managed to fit in some dumb statement about how easy it is to convert to Judaism, and how she might do that, and no, she did not sound sincere, or cognizant of the fact that she was speaking about a whole ethnicity. That killed the mood.
As I was trying to save my money, I wasn't really drinking. That and I'm wary of getting drunk in strange towns where I'm not sure of my sleeping arrangements. I found it best to stay sober. We hung out at the bar where Jimmy Carter announced his candidacy for president, and were there mad long, and I wanted to go sleep, or kill myself, whichever was easiest at the time. I just wasn't up for a pub crawl. We left at, like, 12:30, and the girls hung out with some other guys, and we met up with Ben's friend who worked at the pizza parlor. This pizza parlor was also, of course, where we ate dinner earlier. He offered us a place to crash. I called it a night and slept a few hours in his loft apartment, while the other two cats continued their bar crawl. I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme acid reflux, despite the fact I barely drank anything. In the morning we went to the Waffle House. It turned out that Ben and Dzig had stayed up another two or three hours, during which they injured Dziga's hand play-fighting in the street. We big goodbye to Savannah. The lesson: you can't go home again. Or something like that.