one night only

This weekend was, for the most part, spent worrying about a speaking engagement that Linette and I have coming up this Tuesday at Eastern Michigan University. We’re scheduled, as part of the English Department’s BathHouse Reading Series, to be speaking about the founding of our magazine, Crimewave USA, and reading from back issues. If you’re free, you should go… It’s not everyday that you have a chance to see a grown man stand at a lectern, mumble incoherently and then piss all over himself.

Actually, I have to step in here and give myself a little pep talk… The fact of the matter is, the last three times I’ve had to speak in public I’ve done a very good job. In none of those cases was there either profuse sweating or visible shaking. I did not vomit. I did not shit my pants. And, I did not find it necessary to drink before stepping out onto the stage. In spite of all my worry, everything went just fine. People even clapped. I just need to remind myself of that every time I let my OCD get the best of me and start to envision things going horribly.

This is only the second time that I’ve ever spoken publicly about Crimewave. The first time was at a magazine shop in downtown Ann Arbor about six years ago, with my friend Jeff Kelly, the editor of TempSlave magazine. We traded insults in front of the five people sitting there on folding chairs and then he read a chapter from his book. If memory serves, we’d been drinking, and Jeff only sold one copy of his book.

While Jeff won’t be there to prop me up this time, I will be joined by Linette, and our friend Steve Hughes, the man behind Stupor magazine. The plan is for Linette to get things started by putting the alternate/underground press in perspective. She’s going to talk about late-1920’s science fiction fan literature and the tenants of Dada, and, in the process, convince everyone that what we’re doing with Crimewave is culturally significant… And then I’ll come in and read my story about taking a porn-making class while living in LA.

I’m looking forward to sitting in the middle of this University gallery, surrounded by faculty and students, and repeating the inspirational words of my professor, Nina Hartley, gave to all of us considering careers in porn: “Don’t any of you give up your day jobs unless you’re totally gorgeous and can take three dicks up your ass.”

It should be fun.

(Actually, I’m not so sure about reading the Porn School piece. I’m thinking now that I should perhaps read something shorter, leaving more time for Q&A.)

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