David Henry Sterry

Author, book doctor, raker of muck

David Henry Sterry

Category: Blog

Prostitution in America

Prostitution must be legalized. No one should do this work if they’re under-age. No one should be forced to do this work. That’s slavery. But if a grown-up feels their best career opportunity is in the sex industry, it should be their right to pursue that line of work.

Many well-educated, well-intentioned people have told me that it’s in a woman’s best interest for prostitution to be illegal, because legalizing it condones and legitimizes it. Few of these people have ever worked in the sex industry. And those who have seem to confuse slavery with real sex work.

The one thing criminalizing prostitution does is insure that women who do sex for money will be punished. Because it makes them into criminals. So many poor, hungry, undereducated, unskilled, ill-equipped women are being punished every day in every city of America. By johns, by pimps, by cops.

Prohibition does not work. We proved that already in our country in the thirties with alcohol. The results were disastrous. Criminalizing sex work puts the business into the paws of both organized and unorganized crime. If sex work was licensed and controlled by a woman-staffed organization that aggressively protected the rights of sex workers, perhaps they wouldn’t be stabbed, shot, raped, harassed, jailed and forced to give freebies to every cop with an attitude. With tax revenue generated from the sex industry, scholarship and trade education programs could be set up for sex workers, in addition to health, drug, and career counseling.

Some sex workers have been sexually abused. By a parent, an uncle, a cousin, or a total stranger. An abuse survivor needs help to break the patterns this abuse produces. Needs help overcoming the damage abuse does to the brain. Many sex workers want help, and there is no one to help them. But some don’t. And that is their right.

But some sex workers have not been abused. They come to the work because they have made a cool, calm, rational decision. And that is their right in America. Many professions are high risk. But if someone wants run into a burning building for a living, that is their right. And of course no one has the right to force anyone to be a fireman.

If your options are to make four dollars an hour flipping burgers, or $500 a day turning tricks, suddenly selling your sex doesn’t seem quite so unreasonable.

In a utopian society everyone would get all the love and sex they want and need. There would be enough love to go around for everyone. People would express their love freely in all kinds of intercourse, not just sexual. There would be interesting and profitable work for everyone. There would be no bigotry, no orphans, no sexually abused children.

But we do not live in a utopia. We live in America. There’s always been a sex industry in America. And business is booming, even as we speak.

Because we live in a society that represses natural sexuality, we make sex working a heinous act. If a person has skill at sex, and they don’t feel guilty or suffer from it, why isn’t their skill as valued as any other essential skill, like building a house, or talking someone down from the ledge?

Instead of burying our heads in the sands of utopianism, or condemning sex workers and customers who want to honestly exchange sex for money, we must protect the valiant men and women of the sex business. Monitor the industry to eliminate violence and decease. Tax it and use the money to help educate, enlighten, and train sex workers.

Prostitution must be legalized.

Pia Zadora

Pia Zadora, dude, I’m tellin ya, this shit was, the funniest shit, like, ever. Okay, up front, I don’t know shit about Pia Zadora, you know, what kind of a hang is she, is her shit cool or sketch, like, I don’t know did her old man lock her in the closet with a dwarf in a Santa suit or some shit, you know, I’m just layin down the shit I heard personal, just like I heard it, straight up. But I will say, I got much love for her, much love, and a, like, serious, cosmic voodoo connection with Pia Za-God-damn-Dora, straight up, dude.

Okay, whatever, you know, it’s, like, Pia, I first seen her sweet ass, guess where, dude, I shit you not, Penthouse magazine about 15 years ago. And I mean I seen this girly’s entire ass, straight up, and Pia at the time had some sweet sweet ass, you know, the baby looked about 15, which woulda been sick as shit, right, sure, but Pia, she wasn’t, dude, I heard the baby was, like, 19. And this Pia spread was seriously hotty Von Totty, dude, highly wack-worthy, dude. And since I was of wacking age at that time, I had much wackage with Pia Zadora.

So boom, all of a sudden, Pia, she marries the richest dude in the known universe and then some, and there she is on your nightly, like, news, Mrs. Pia Richest Guy in the Known Universe. And I’m, like, Pia, dude, you’re best of breed, baby, you have got the shit goin all the way on, straight up.

Whatever, dude, then okay, it’s like, they’re sitting around their palatial mansion with their Ming dynasty silverware and servants up the yin yang, and apparently Pia says, “Honey, I love you, I wanna be a movie star, will you buy me a movie?” So then all of a sudden Pia’s starrin in some big-ass movie, with the big-ass Sunset Boulevard. Billboard, dude, it’s like, Ahnold, Michael God Damn Jackson, right before he turned himself into a science experiment gone sadly wrong, and Pia Zadora, dude, fifty feet high, and I’m thinkin, God bless the shit out of America, this is the greatest, like country on earth, even if I do agree with Saint John, like, seriously, imagine if there were no countries, straight up, who you gonna bomb, if there ain’t no countries to bomb, what are we gonna do?

Then they’re gonna have this mondo max-ed out gigantor opening night, like, gala screening whatver and shit, with the lights and the limos and the glittery plastic titties with the slits all the way up to the whatvers, you know, it’s like, shit, you’re steppin out with your cootchie practically hangin out, dude, it’s like, I could never do that shit, but then, of course, I don’t have a cootchie, and as my old dad dad used to say, Never underestimate the power of the coothcie. Point taken, dude.

So, Pia Zadora and shit, this is, like, the first time I seen her in the up close and personal, and her shit was fine fine fine, dude, I absolutely shit you not. Now, the weird, like, deal for me, was that I had this connection set up by the Guzzler and NBA, notorious hose-hound and wanna-be never-was hoopster, and I was sketch maxed-out about the whole diggity-deal but I’m like, whatever, if the shit comes down, I’ll hang with it, if not, I never thought the shit would happen in the first place, so no skin off my johnson, right? But there you go, dude, soon as you think the shit won’t happen and you’re, like, whatever about the whole deal, that’s when the best shit happens. Skanky Maurice and Fatman Skinny, they tell me some Indian dude is gonna show up with some buttons, and I’m like okay, I can move buttons, the button market, is like, boomety-boomin’ boo-yeah, dude, straight up. Whatever, I’m doin a nice hang, skunkin with the magical jams of Toots and mighty-Maytals, when all of a sudden, and I shit you not, may all my shit be beat and lame if I lie, there’s a dude standing in the shadow in the corner. I didn’t even see his ass for a second, like, I had that walking over your grave feelin, and I look in the corner, and dude, I thought I seen somebody, then I thought I was, like, trippin, then I look hard and I seen the dude. Reality’s doin, like, the Humpty Dance right in front of my eyes, dude, I shit you not. So then I’m. like, okay, there is a dude in my hangin room, and I’m, like, tweakin and shit, getting tweaky deaky straight up, like, is am I in some alien transport zone I didn’t know shit about, or what? I don’t know what the hell to do and shit, and about half of me’s still thinkin I’m trippin from like residual hallucinogenic intake built up over the years and shit. But the dude is given off this serious vibe, dude, I mean, like, restaurant quality vibe is floodin off the dude, non-stop, straight up, the dude feels like he’s like been jammin with God, Buddah, and Krishna, and Mohammed, and all those dudes, with Ghandi on bongos, man, you know what I’m sayin.

So, I decide I’ll see if the dude can hear me, and I’ll, like, take it from there, or whatever, cuz the longer I’m in the hang with this dude, the tweakier my shit is gettin. So I’m, like, Dude, how long you been hangin here? And check it out, check out what this mad crazy dude says, he says, “I’ve been hangin here for one thousand years.” And I mean, straight up, what do you say to that shit? I said, like, “Cool.”

So then all of a sudden, I look up and he’s sittin in the comfy chair, dude, like, he didn’t walk there, he was just all of a sudden there, dude, I shit you not, like he got beamed there by the Enterprise from the Nakota Galaxy.

So I say, “Hey, Dude.” And the dude says, “Ya-hay, Dude,” right back atcha, I mean, come on, how cool is that. Turns out the dude is a Nakota or some shit. And check out the dude’s name, dude. Billy Lightning Eyes. And he did, dude, you hadda wear shades to look this dude in the eyes. It was like I got plugged into a, like, socket, dude, like my hair was standin straight up, straight up. Like I hadda hold onto the couch not to be blown backwards, dude, it was the freakiest of the deaky, dude.

And so Lightning Eyes, he says he’s got 500 buttons, and he wants one dollar a piece for em. You know, buttons. Peyote buttons. Grow on cactuses in the desert, Indian dudes used to use of to trip their asses off and turn into fish and shit, I shit you not. This shit, if it’s fresh, is trippy maxed-out boo-yeah trippy, like you’re staring at a rug or some shit, and the pattern starts movin around and shit, like there’s boa constrictors and lion heads and shit and dragons breathing different color fire while Jimi’s playin the Star Spangled Freaky Banner in your head with the volume knob turned up to 11, dude, 11, and you can, like, all of a sudden you can taste the first chiquita you ever tasted, you know, like, the one you just loved the shit out of. One time, dude, I shit you not, I seen God, man. But you wanna know the tweaky thing about it: God looked exactly like me. No shit. Straight up. And I’m like, Dude, you’re God? And he says, Dude, can you believe that shit? And I’m like, Dude, do have any idea how heavy this shit is? And he’s like, Dude, no shit.

So I say, Dude, I ain’t got that kinda caish, I’m dead president chalenged and shit, but I’ll give him 350 to take em off his hands, you know I’m trying to be slick tricky dicky, cuz I know I can turn the shit over for at least 3 bucks a button, maybe 5, no shit, and you can ask anyfucker, I’m a serious negotiatin bastard when the rock meets the hrad place, if you know what I’m talkin about.

So guess what Sweet William, which is what I took to callin the dude, guess what this fucker says? He says, “I had a dream about you, you were a bear, and you were 15 feet tall and you wanted to fly so you grew eagle wings and then were 20 feet from tip to tip, and when you spread them they blocked out the sun, and you flapped those huge wings and you took off and you flew on the wind and the wind smiled at you and I saw you soaring in the laughing clouds and I yelled up to you, I said, ‘Ya-hey, cousin, I have a present for you,’ and you swooped down, landing huge in front of me. I handed you a tiny piece of the sun I had been saving for you for some time, and you put it in your hip pocket and you glowed from the inside. Then you growled and laughed and said Thank you. Then you said you had a present for me, and you gave me a prairie full of fast ponies and rabbits and deer and fruit on the trees and fish in the river, where only my brothers and my cousins live in harmony with their mother the earth, and no one is drunk and the women are pregnant and the children are laughing and the magic is everywhere and no one could stop it, and I said, Thank you, Brother Bear with Eagle Wings, and that is my name for you now.”

I mean, what the hell, no shit, right, what you gonna say to that? What kinda way is that to negotiate and shit? I just busted up, dude, like a gut and a half, I mean, seriously, straight up, what else could you do, really? So I got the dude his money, and I got out the mondo killer crazy wack shit I have stored away only for special, like, occasions, and I got my old carved bone pipe, with this feather hangin off it that I got on the streets of Amsterdam dude, check it out, from some Guatamala guy or some shit, and the stem’s about a foot long, dude, and I stuffed the bowl full, dude, and we stoked and smoked and midnight toked and we got toasted like a bagel dude, and we had the coolest of hangs, I broke out the jerky and it was salty and chewy, just hit the spot, and when I handed it to Sweet William, he smiled for the first time and he, like, said, “Ah!!! Jerky.” And he closed his eyes and took a big old bite, and really, like worked the shit over, you know, chewin and suckin and lookin like he was about to bust a bolt dude, straight up. So we start talkin about who got the most fucked up in their life, and just like, laughin our asses all the way off, and then havin our asses laugh their asses off, so there’s laughin asses everywhere. So he finally won when he told me about the time he, like, got so fucked up he went to the roof of a 10 story building and he thought he could fly, so he jumped off the building and he could fly, that’s how fucked up he was, only he didn’t know how to stop and he couldn’t steer very good cuz so he ended up, like, crashin intro a tree and shit, and if you ask me, that’s pretty fucked up.

So anyways, me and Ghanga George, and Pumpernickle and Dime, and Champagne Charley, we moved every one of them buttons at the big Pia opening shit and the party after, it was sick how many dead presidents we cleared that night, I retired for like, three months on that shit, I shit you not.

Whatever, so, like, Pia’s movie toilets, man, you can hear the flush from coast to coast, and then the CD tanks brutally, and right when all this shit was comin down, I’m in Nuevo York, don’t ask, Cornhole Charley paid me maxed-out cheese to handle a delicate, like, whatever, and while I was there, my compadre Arnolfo D’Allanca Arraripe Pi Mento Di Mello, who is the most Brazilian of dude, he got me Knicks tickets, dude don’t care about the Knicks, unless he could shower with em, if he hadda got tickets to shower with the Knicks, I wouldn’ta got to go. So it’s, like, Madison Square God Damn Garden, right, 20 grand worth of howlin Nuevo Yorkers, and who do you think’s singin the National, like, Anthem, dude. Guess. Go ahead, guess.

Pia Zadora.

So the PA dude announces, “Pia-a-a-a-a-a-a- Zadora-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-“, and the whole place goes ape-shit on a stick, man, straight up, dudes are whistlin and kitty cat callin’ and barkin and woofin, and carryin on and shit, and here’s she comes, toodlin out, it’s Pia, in her baby doll, like fuck me pumps, and her cootchie-huggin mini, with her hotty Von Totty ass hangin out and when the security dude who’s escortin her and shit, he leads her up to the, like, mike, the place shuts the hell up, pronto, dude, and Pia, she starts singin, “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh say-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay can-an-an-an-an-an…”

Then all of a sudden she just like, stops, and she puts her, like, hand on her ear, and she kinda mumbles, “I can’t hear myself… I can’t hear…” And she starts to, like, walk away, dude, I shit you not, Pia tried to just walk away and not have a National, like, Anthem, I mean what kinda shit is that? But the security dude, he stops her, no shit, the dude stops her, turns her skinny, Penthouse-posin, richest-dude-in-the-world-marryin ass around and sticks her right back in front of the mike, and motions to it, like, babe, you gotta do the right here, you gotta sing, or we can’t start the game, dude!

So she starts warblin away, totally out of, like, tune and shit, all stoppy and starty it was the sketchiest shit you ever seen, dude, I absolutely shit you not, like a national disgrace really, dude, and then to put the tabasco on the taco, dude, she just blanked. Stopped. It was like a still, like-life paintin, and shit dude: Pia As Deer in Headlight. So naturally, dudes are buggin big-time, the whole place is mad buggalicious, screamin and shoutin and goin,

“Peee-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-!”

And they’re raggin, and razzin and it’s like feedin time at the zoo, dude, and the animals are hungry as shit, they’re rippin into Pia fang and, like, claw, man.

So Pia, she, like, skips right to the end and shit, and then she turns around and she starts bawlin her eyes out, dude, straight up it was sad as shit, man, and the security dude, he puts his arm around Pia and walks her out, which I thought was slammin of the dude. I wished I coulda been that dude then, like take Pia back and let her cry on my shoulder and shit, and take her back to the crib and bang the shit out of her, but in a really sweet, like, way.

Whatever, so the Knicks are up early, but then they start suckin ass, dude, ug-ly, I shit you not, then totally outta nowhere, the whole place starts into like, this tribal chant, man, the whole Madison Saquare Garden starts goin,

“Peee-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-!”

Dude, I laughed so hard I almost fell right the hell over, I shit you not, that’s, like, Nuevo York, 20,000 dudes all in on the same, like, cosmic joke and shit.

Pia Zadora, dude, that baby is the shit, straight up.

Take it from Brother Bear with Eagle Wings, I know.

Penis Surgery

People look at me like I’m out of my mind when I tell them I decided to have my penis surgically enlarged. Women especially. They always say, “It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean.” I tell them they never tried to cross the Atlantic in a dinghy. They always tell me they fall in love with the man, not the organ. But they don’t have to listen to the most humiliating question a man can ever hear:

“Is it in yet?”

I used to have a girlfriend. Her name was Sheila. I really liked Sheila. You might even say I loved her. We met at Arty’s, a train store on the north side. I collect trains, and I have a track that runs all through my house, it’s really fun, you should see it. Anyway, Sheila’s dad was a conductor. When she tells people, they often say, “For what symphony?” and she says, “The Illinois Central.” It’s a very funny joke, in my opinion, and I always liked it when she said it. She had a wonderful sense of humor, she really did. She’s very attractive, as well. She thinks she’s a bit heavy, but I think she’s perfect. She’s very active and quite fit, actually, and I always tell her if she’s been around in the Botticelli era, she’d have been the belle of every ball. She says I’m not objective. But beauty’s in the eye of the beholder, and to me she’s beautiful. We went out a long time before we became intimate. We kissed and were very affectionate with each other, physically speaking. Sheila was a very sensuous person. I was particularly affectionate in an oral sense with her, and she was very grateful and satisfied, I was sure of that, because she expressed this frequently. And frankly, I enjoyed this immensely, no pressure on me, and it was very gratifying to make a woman I felt so strongly about feel that good. But I would never let her handle or see my equipment, even though she expressed an interest in doing so. Well, eventually, she asked me what was wrong. I said nothing was wrong, I was just a little shy. I’m not really shy at all, but I wasn’t about to tell her that of the last three women who had seen it, one had laughed, and the other two had sighed in disgust. The one who laughed was a professional, so you know that’s money out of her pocket.

As you can imagine, eventually I had to expose my shortcoming. At least she didn’t laugh. Sheila was not that kind of person. She didn’t say anything. But you could tell she was disappointed. You could feel it. And the first time we had intercourse, you could tell she was unsure whether I had entered her. Which I’m sure she wasn’t. And I was so worried and disturbed that I had trouble performing. So would you if you were trying to drive in a nail with a toothpick. So basically that was a disaster. But Sheila was great, she really was. She was extremely encouraging, considering the circumstances. Naturally it was quite a while before we attempted intercourse again. I continued to give her oral pleasure, and that was fine withme, truthfully, but Sheila insisted upon more intercourse. She said, “It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean.” She said she was in love with the person, not the organ.

Well, when we attempted intercourse again, she was very anxious, and I was a wreck. Frankly, she over-compensated. Sheila is a very passionate person, don’t get me wrong, but she was moaning and panting in such an artificial way it was clear she was insincere. It felt like she was trying to prove how exciting it was to have intercourse with a cue-tip. She then began to verbalize, saying overtly sexual words, which only served to make me feel more anxious, because it was so transparent how unsexual she felt, and how insufficient I was. I felt disconnected from my body, like I was a floating head watching some man with a little boy’s wee-wee trying to satisfy a woman.

Then Sheila said, “I want you to intercourse (although that was obviously not the word she used) me with your vagina.”

She called my penis a vagina.

She was mortified, you could tell. I just closed my eyes, pretended to have vigorous intercourse with her, and then simulated an orgasm.

When we were finished, she just got up, put her clothes on, mumbled some excuse I couldn’t quite catch, and left. This was unusual, because she always spent the night at my house. I have an alarm clock worked into my train system, so she wakes up to my train. She used to love being woken up by my train. But not that night.

The next day I got the dreaded, “We have to have a talk” call. I told her not to worry about it, that I understood, that it was okay. She was very nice. You could tell she felt awkward. She said it wasn’t me, it was her, that she wasn’t ready for a commitment, blah blah blah. I felt for her, I truly did. I put her in a very uncomfortable position with my penis. I tried calling her a few times after that, but I always got her machine, and she never returned my calls.

So when the doctor asked me how many inches I wanted to add, I said, “How many you got?” He laughed, but I told him that honestly, if I could get to six inches, I’d be ecstatic. I said I’d love eight. The surgeon said he wasn’t a miracle worker.

But this much I’m sure of: as soon as I’ve been through my post-operative physical penile rehabilitation, I’m gonna pay a little visit to Sheila, Viagra in hand, and I’m going to take her around the world in my new luxury liner.

NaziLand

I’m stumped. I really am. I’m speechless. People are so touchy. It’s jealousy. Gotta be. This idea is so huge. It’s just so God damned big. And people seem stunned that I, a Jew came up with it. Please, who else is gonna come up with an idea this brilliant? I ask you. Because this is more than just an idea. This is genius, if I may say so myself, and who’s gonna stop me? I mean, honestly, who among us has not wanted at one time or another to don the power of life and death, slip on the absolute feeling of superiority, and wear the fabulous uniform of a Nazi. Everybody in their dark secret heart wants to be a Nazi. That’s why I came up with NaziLand. To embrace the Nazi within. And the thing that people can’t seem to understand, is that it’s not real. That wouldn’t be the smell of real Jews coming from the ovens. The gold fillings wouldn’t be yanked from real Jews. The sex slaves wouldn’t be real. They’d all be actors. Like at a Renaissance Fayre, or Disneyland. It’s just good clean fun for the whole family. For a nominal fee you get to put on the uniform, the swastica, those big black boots, and strut around like you’re a member of the Master Race. Have someone to blame for all your problems. There’d be the Oven Ride, the Hall of Scientific Experiments, the Blitzkrieg Rollercoaster. I honestly believe if everyone came to NaziLand for a day, it would ease world tension and bring about a lasting peace among all nations. Instead of harboring wicked fantasies of domination and genocide, which let’s face it, all of us do, people could act these feelings out, and through this cathartic release, build a world where love can flourish, and hatred find appropriate release. I’m telling you, this kind of investment comes along once in a lifetime. You’ll kick yourself later if you pass up the opportunity to get in on the ground floor. Sieg Heil, and Mazeltov, baby!

My Sister’s a Fox

Hey, look, I know she’s my sister. What do you think, I’m stupid? She’s my sister, I know that. But I mean, who are we kidding here? She’s a fox. I know, I know, of course, I know, that’s why I’m saying she’s a fox, cuz she is a fox. I mean you shoulda seen the way she came to the door Sunday morning. She had on this little see-through nighty thing, I mean fuck me, she was standin there and you could see everything. She’s like a goddess, man, I mean her tits are like peaches, you know, and you could see those nips, man, and they were hard. I couldn’t believe it, big spectacular nobby nipples, it doesn’t seem possible that the girl is sixteen years old. And legs, my God, the legs. She’s six feet tall, you know. Oh didn’t you know that? Yeah, man, she’s six feet tall. Well, of course, obviously, there’s the rub. Who wants to be standin there sportin major wood starin at your sixteen year old kid sister, I mean, come on, you know what I’m sayin? So I’m thinkin, what if we were stranded on a desert island, just her and me, could I fuck her then? What if there was a nuclear holocaust and we were the only people left on the earth – and we hadda like, repopulate the planet? What if I was obliged to do, like, would I? And then I’m thinkin, shit, it’s all so arbitrary, you know, I mean the only reason it’s, like forbidden, is that you don’t wanna procreate with you family members cuz you don’t wanna make mutant monster babies. Well hell, I don’t wanna make babies with my sister. I don’t want to impregnate my kid sister, for God’s sake, what kinda freak would do that? But please, I mean, who wouldn’t wanna fuck her? She’s gorgeous, man, and she’s just so… ripe, you know, yeah, that’s the word… juicy ripe. And the weird thing is, I do love her. I really do. More than one of those jerk-off dawg-boys from her school, I mean, the thought of one of those little morons poppin her cherry makes me wanna puke. The thing is, I could really show her about sex, you know, how to do it right, you know, I could make it good for her, I could make sure she enjoyed it, you know, really take her time, and treat her like a princess, which she is, man, instead of some jerk-off bonin her just to get his rocks off and then breakin her heart, I mean what the fuck is that all about? And damn, she is seriously so beautiful, I mean, it makes my balls hurt just lookin at the girl. I know, I know, I know. What do you think, I’m stupid. I know she’s my sister.

I’m Through With Sex

This morning I’m going to have my blood tested for the human immunodeficiency virus. I’m taking the AIDS test, and I’m sure I’m gonna flunk. I walk into the Bob Hope Clinic in Hollywood, California. Bob himself is not there with a golf club wisecracking about his birdies and hookers. Oh God, Samantha – I did her without a rubber. “Hi Samantha, how’s it goin’…? Excellent… Me? I’m great. Oh by the way I have HIV, and so do you probably. Okay, have a nice life then.” Little vicious mutant warriors hellbent on pillaging my immune system, laying waste to my holy grounds, ravaging my virgins, savaging my knights, and beheading my King. Lori – sucked my unprotected dick. You can’t get it from fellatio, if you’re the fellatee, right? Or is that toilet seats? Wasting away in a hospital bed, a pariah with tubes stuck in every hole, no friends, no family, nobody wants to look at my concentration camp skinny, weeping sore-covered ass. When he died he weighed thirty-five pounds. Janet – condom broke. Snap. Oops. Me and Magic Johnson. Brad Davis. Keith Haring. The Wall of Shame gets a new 8 x 10 hung on it every day. Sophia – We did it about a thousand times without even a shred of protection. Maybe there is a God. Maybe there is a Heaven. And a Hell. And Satan. Maybe that’s where I’m going. Straight to Hell. And what about Arlene? Miss Prim and Proper, Miss I only did it with five people, only one of them just happened to be some lunatic love healer who boffed his way through Africa and Bangkok where everyone’s infected, I mean she had a ton of sex with this rampant loon, nary a condom in sight, shit-filled sperm flying willy nilly.

“Mr. Sterry.”

I jump out of my skin.

Literally.

I’m sitting here and my skin is over there, crawling.

My name sounds like a death sentence.

The Nurse sits me down and starts taking my blood pressure while she does her spiel, like some tour guide escorting me through the Museum of Horrible Deaths. HIV is a virus, she explains. The tests are not legally conclusive. A negative can be a positive and a positive can be a negative. Then why the hell am I putting myself through all this shit? my brain screams to me. The virus can take a long time incubating. A person can be a carrier for years without even knowing it. The incubation period can last as long as ten years. O dear God, I’m an incubator. A warm vessel growing deadly viruses inside me, infecting everything I touch, every time I breathe it’s a deathbreath. I’m cold and hot at the same time now. I can barely sit here. Every infected fiber wants to run.

I sign a stack of papers. I flop sweat. She ties me off. I heave a huge sick-filled sigh. She puts on her latex gloves. Because of my deadly infectious blood. One of the fingers on her gloves rip. She laughs. It’s not funny, but she laughs. I’m not laughing. Nobody else is laughing except her and she stops too quick.

This is not a good sign.

“This may hurt,” she says.

You know whenever anybody tells you that, what they really mean is-

“This is really going to hurt a lot.”

Sure enough, a sharp pain pricks me as she plunges the needle rudely into my plump infected vein. The thick red oil oozes sickly into the syringe. Are they there? The little mutants. I wish they were colored. Black maybe. So you could see them. Pick them out like cyanide sprinkles. The vial is full. She labels is and starts it on its way to the lab. The sealing of my doom. She is very careful to throw away the needle dripping with my poison blood.

That’s it. I’m through with sex.

13 stores in 15 days

Lost Sex, Huckleberries, and Heavily Caffeinated Beverages: The Putting Your Passion Into Print 2001 Northwest Odyssey

13 events in 15 days. Here we go. Berkeley Barnes & Noble, we kick off on a lovely sun-drenched Saturday afternoon, followed by a manic 14 hour, 850 mile road race up the 5 in our Rav 4 to Eagle Harbor Bookstore on Bainbridge Island, north of Seattle, where a the drenching turns from sun to rain, a fine mist hanging thick amidst the autumn ruby reds, canary yellows, orange oranges, and of course, the emerald green, green, everywhere green.

We were greeted with a glow of warmth by Mary Gleystein, who immediately made us a cup of tea. Never underestimate the power of a cup of tea after a 14 hour, 850 mile road race up the 5. By the time we started our event, the place was packed, every seat taken, and excitement buzzed in the damp Northwestern air. When we were done, the applause seemed enthusiastic. Either that or they were very nice and really good at faking it. Then there were, as there always are, lots and lots of questions. One guy said, “I have a stupid question.” David said, “There are no stupid questions.” He said, “You haven’t heard my question yet.” He got a big laugh. Turns out it wasn’t a stupid question at all. It was a smart question. In fact these people asked lots of smart questions. They brought up stuff we hadn’t thought of. Stuff we later included our event. Then we signed lots of Satchel Sez: The Wit Wisdom and World of Leroy Satchel Paige-s and Pride & Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austin –s. People thanked us profusely, chatted nicely, and bought books. In short, it was a real gas.

Next Stop: Port Townsend, Washington, where we were wined and dined on garlic chicken and blackberry pie you could plotz dead away from, treated like royalty by the lovely and talented Gillards, parents of Jessica (more on her later). And O my, it was so spectacular there, big huge trees, glorious vistas of Pacific Ocean blue, Monet painting fall colors, surrounded by more green than you’ve ever seen. Arielle immediately wanted to move there. So David, a veteran of the Pacific Northwest who wants no part of living there ever again, craftily took her out golfing the next day and by the time they were done with nine, they were a couple of drowned rats pouring rain out of their shoes. So much for moving to the Pacific Northwest.

Next Stop: Vancouver, Washington, just over the river from Portland, 200 miles later. By the time we started our event, Rebecca at the Barnes & Noble was scouring the place frantically for more chairs, cuz there were already fifty of them filled, and people were still showing up. The highlight of this event was during the Q&A when a tall thin handsome fellow stood, and in a thick German accent, and said, “I am very nice to work vith, unt full of joy, unt I vant to know if Arielle vill be mine agent.” Brought the house down. Again we signed many books, again we were thanked profusely, and again we had a solid solid gas.

Next Stop: Bend, Oregon, 150 miles south of Portland. 6:30 AM, Kristy Miller, perky hostess of “Good Morning Central Oregon”, welcomes us on-air, and interviews us for 7 minutes. She was charming and sweet and we were thrilled and honored to be in all seven homes in Central Oregon who were watching the show that morning.

Next Stop: Bellevue, just outside Seattle, 350 miles later, and 12 hours later, Alison at Barnes & Noble gets David a heavily caffeinated beverage. At that night’s event, a woman told a story about an industrious young man who wanted to get hired by a captain of industry. This industrious young man found out that the captain of industry loved pizza with pineapple, Canadian bacon, and triple cheese. Well, the industrious young man had a pineapple, Canadian bacon and triple cheese pizza from the finest pizzeria in town delivered to the captain of industry. He taped his query letter and resume to the inside of the pizza box, so when the captain of industry opened it, he was staring right at it. The industrious young man was hired that very day. We will subsequently tell this story at every subsequent event.

Next Stop: Downtown Seattle, Northwest Book Fest. For an hour and a half we pressed flesh, made introductions, pitched our books, and met a big bunch of Northwest book buyers.

Next Stop: Paulina Springs, Sisters, Oregon, just west of Bend, 5 hours of hard driving and 350 miles later. By now we had memorized every inch of road between Seattle and Central Oregon. Luckily it’s beautiful country to memorize. Driving south from Portland to Bend, with Mt. Hood posing like a picture postcard through the windshield, and beauty growing thick all around us, we were intoxicated again and again by the gorgeousity of it all.

911 said the sign at the edge of town as we pulled into town. We weren’t sure if that was the population, or a cry for help. This was the only store where we were doing an event solely based around Satchel Sez. This was at the insistence of Kate Cerino, who greeted us as we walked into the store at 4:40 for our 5:00 event. Apart from Kate, none of the 911 Sisterites were there. Our expectations, extremely low to begin with, plummeted as we spied the 30 empty seats sadly facing one lone chair, which was staring off self-consciously.

As we strolled around Sisters, we noticed that all the shops were closed, and no one was around. It was like a Twilight Zone episode. We began to wonder if there really were 911 people in Sisters, or if we were going to be abducted by author-starved aliens who would make us write books day and night for the rest of eternity.

Well, imagine our surprise at 5:00 when we returned to find Paulina Springs Bookstore packed with 35 of its 911 occupants. 3% of the population. If this was LA there would’ve been 300,000 people there. Our jaws hit the floor. Those melancholy chairs were now full and happy, brimming with Sisters bottoms, all waiting for us to say something intelligent, insightful and witty about Satchel Paige.

I scanned the crowd, and it suddenly hit me: there were only two people under the age of sixty in the audience. Talk about your target audience. Afterwards, the crowd shared their own Satchel Paige stories. It was America at its best, oral history flying all around us, right there in Paulina Springs Bookstore, Sisters, Oregon, population 911. Turns out almost everyone there had seen Satchel pitch, which is not as strange as it might seem, since he barnstormed North America from Moosejaw to Miami.

Towards the end of the event the Oldest-Man-in-the-Room raised his hand. In a voice weathered with age but still going gangbusters, he said, “I was the batboy on Satchel Paige’s team. My uncle was his manager. I used to ride in his car with him. He was fast. He would have made a great race car driver, Ol’ Satch.” He stole the whole show in about twenty seconds.

After the event, the Oldest-Man-In-the-Room approached David. He had several hundred thousand miles on him, but his smile was wide, his mind was tack-sharp, and he had incredible posture. Made us stop slouching just looking at him. He thanked us for writing the book. Then he told David that he had one of Satchel’s old gloves. David said he would love to buy it from him. The man said, “No, sir, I want you to have it. Give me your address and I’ll mail it to you.” David insisted on paying for it, but the old man wouldn’t hear of it. He gave David his pen, and David wrote down the address. The Oldest-Main-in-the-Room carefully folded the paper and put it in his pocket. Then he stuck out his hand and David took it. It was old and thin, but the grip was strong, with a nice pump at the end. “I hope I’m shaking hands as well as that when I’m 80,” thought David. After he and the Oldest-Main-in-the-Room said their heartfelt farewells, David was distracted by someone asking him to sign a book, and this led to another signature, then another. As David signed the books, he was so happy that the buyers asked him to make the inscriptions out to their grand-sons and grand-daughters. Then it hit him: this is why he wanted to write the book in the first place, so the next generation would know about Satchel and his 6 Rules for Staying Young. As David signed, he felt a tug on my sleeve. It was the Oldest-Main-in-the-Room. David smiled to myself. He figured the old man probably forgot something. “Sonny, you got my pen.” David cracked up, handed him the pen, and smiled as he watched the Oldest-Main-in-the-Room walk away slow but steady, overjoyed at 44 to be called Sonny.

We thanked Kate, she thanked us, then we all patted each other on the back for quite some time. We promised her we’d be back when David’s memoir Chicken comes out in February, and she said she was looking forward to it.

We sold more books at this event than at any other. And had the most solid of gases. Again proving: You just never know.

Next Stop: Bend, Oregon. David had another highly caffeinated beverage. The highlight of this event was meeting a children’s author who lives off the grid with her husband and her animals, and sometimes gets snowed in for two months in the winter. She was so cool.

Next Stop: Kah Nee Tah Indian Reservation, 75 miles north, home of Warm Springs Tribe, in the High Desert country, eating huckleberry pancakes with huckleberry sause and huckleberries with huckleberry cream looking out over ancient red clay and wild horses that sniff at the laughing wind and the crying sky.

Next Stop: Portland, Oregon, 75 miles north, Reed College, David’s alma mater, where our lovely and talented intern Jessica (who is a current Reedy) sent up a smashing event. Again, by the time we started, the chairs were all full, and students had to sit on the floor. And they just kept coming. About twenty minutes in David felt someone behind him, and there were 3 students sitting there. David was shocked at the turn-out on a Tuesday night. “I woulda never gone to something like this when I was at Reed, I was way too busy hanging out.”

Next Stops: Seattle University Village Barnes & Noble on Friday, 200 miles later, Portland’s Annie Blooms on Saturday, 200 miles later, Seattle’s Elliot Bay on Sunday, 200 miles later, and finally Beaverton’s Border’s, 200 miles later.

As we motored home, we were tired, but it was that good kind of tired. We felt like we did something really hard, but we did it as best we could, and we learned so much about books, ourselves, and life. We loved seeing the country, meeting the people, hanging out with David’s mom and sister, watching their friend Margit dance, feeling the magic, and falling ever-deeper in love. And it was glorious pulling up our driveway, 4,000 miles later, so nice to be home sweet home.

Plus we wrote our next book. It’s called Putting Your Passion Into Print.

State of Satchel: 11/1/01
We’ve just returned from our Northwest 2001 Tour, so we thought we’d take this moment to review what we’ve achieved so far, and what we plan for the future.

Book store Events
Barnes & Noble Colma: South San Francisco
Next Chapter Books: Davis, California
B & N: Fremont, Ca
B & N: Walnut Creek, Ca
SF Public Library:
With a Clean Well Lighted Place for Books, and
The Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Foundation)
B & N: Berkeley
Eagle Harbor Books: Bainbridge Island, Washington
B & N: Vancouver, Washington
B & N: Bellevue, Washington
Paulina Springs: Sisters, Oregon
B & N: Bend, Oregon
Reed College: Portland, Oregon
B & N: University of Washington Village, Seattle, Washington
Annie Bloom’s: Portland, Oregon
Elliot Bay Books: Seattle, Washington
Borders: Beaverton, Oregon
Borders: San Rafael
 

 

6 Weeks on the Road

Back home again home again, after six weeks on the road: Portland, Eugene, Olympia, Portland again, San Francisco, Palo Alto a half dozen times, Portland once more, New York City, then Belgium: Antwerp, Gent, Brussels, Sint Niklaas, Mechelen, Aalst, Roeselare, Hasselt, Turnhout, Knokke, and Leuven, more NY, then Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast of Australia. And the one thing everyone has in common overseas is that they are horrified by and scared shitless of Junior Bush, they urged me as an American to make sure he doesn’t get to be emperor for another four years. The Sex Worker Art Show was half a gas and half a horror. I did the first four shows with them, and I had a blast, met all manner of fascinating human, played to packed houses. Left the tour in SF, then taught at Stanford for the next month. The first night of class we asked who among the 33 students had an advanced degree, master, or Phd., EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM RAISED THEIR HAND. Me and Arielle were the least educated people in the class. The students were so smart and dedicated and they all had great book ideas, we all liked it so much we’re doing another five weeks in April. Then on to NYC, where I rejoined the Sex Worker Art Show, with the intention of continuing on to the conclusion, only to be blindsided brutally (story soon to follow). Then on to Belgium, Arielle met me at the Newark Airport and we flew over together. We had no idea what to expect. Imagine our delight when we were picked up and swept away to a five star hotel in the ancient sacred heart of olde Antwerpen, the diamond/fashion center of Europe, where waffles waft their magic aroma from street corners, and chocolates croon your name from sweet boutiques. Turns out I was on the Saint Amour tour, bringing together 10 of the greatest writers from Belgium and Holland. And me. I felt like one of those: What’s Wrong With This Picture things. What am I doing here? Well, the whole tour was about love, so I suppose I was somewhat qualified. Strapping Viking poet babes, and dark brooding novelists, a string quartet doing Bach so beautiful it made your balls weep, three glorious gorgeous female singers who do these ancient sounding songs in Polish Dutch and French, they are food for the ears and the eyes. And the grand old man of Belgian literature, Hugo Claus, this guy was once married to the softporn star Sylvia Kristel, of Emmanuel fame, he’s Arthur Miller, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald all rolled into one. And me. One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong. What am I doing here? With me is the other token American Jonathan Ames, a fine fellow performing a story entitled, Bald, Impotent and Depressed. He and I fell in together like peas in pods. Every day we got fed breakfast at the hotel, we talked about writing and art and sex and love and getting rid of Bush, who as I mentioned, they’re all utterly disgusted by and terrified of, then we would wander the city, and at about five we loaded into the van, drive an hour, unload into some gorgeous 500 year old multi-tiered cake of a theater that has acoustics so perfect you can whisper into the mike and it will travel to every ear in the place and back again. At seven we were fed a fabulous gourmet meal. People drank a lot of alcohol. Everyone except me and Jonathan the two sober American freaks. The shows started at eightish. The music is beautiful the singers like angels who tasted a touch of hell. The emcee is a delightfully droll old school intellectual with deep gravel and fine beer in his voice. The terrible thing is everyone reads in Dutch, so I can’t understand a word of it. Eleven nights in a row, hearing what I can only assume are these most beautiful words, and I can’t understand a word of it. In the show I’m last. Jonathan is second to last. Then me. They project the text to Jonathan’s reading, and to mine, on a 20 foot screen behind us in Dutch. The screen consists of 150 antique woman slips sewed together. So every night my Dutch words are projected onto old lady slips behind me while I act them out in English. I closed the whole show with 12 minutes of the Rainbow hippiechick chapter of Chicken, which climaxes with a cork-popping rip-roaring Tantric climax, and that’s how the Saint Amour show ends, with me orgasming my way across Belgium. A little known fact: writers are treated much more like god/rockstars in Europe than in America, and as a writer I have to say, I like that. I came this close to trashing my hotel room, that’s how much of a rockstar I felt like. One night out for drinks the great man motioned me over. Hugo Claus wants to talk to me. He’s all white mane and old lion skin, magic eyes dancing inside sagging skin, and ancient scarred voice. I ask him what his poems are about. He nods knowingly and says, “Oh you know, love and war and sex and women and money and ice cream and dogs, things like that.” He’s dry on dry, and got the big laugh outta me. Then he says that I remind him of vaudeville, of burlesque. He tells me in his rich voice thick with age that he once saw the exotic dancer Tempest Storm. She was one of the great burlesque entertainers of the 20th century. Hugo told me about the time he watched her stand perfectly still, and make her breasts swing back and forth, higher and higher, and it was like a beautiful poem, Hugo said, watching her beautiful breasts dance all on their own. He was a gorgeous man, Hugo Claus. We saw five hundred year old cathedrals where holy and unholy ghosts fly around the huge ceiling with all that stained light firing through the windows where angels and saints and devils and saviors act out cryptic religious scenarios. We learned the glorious aroma of waffle wiffling around a corner, grabbing you inside your nostril and towing you into the waffle winkle (Belgium for store), and the astonishing warming quality of a sweet hot waffle on a cold European day. I was so sad to leave Belgium, I could have gone on the St. Amour tour forever. Hanging with those mind-boggling writers, eating that damn-that’s-good food, performing in front of all those rapt and appreciative Belgians in those monumentally exquisite theaters, and actually getting paid for it. A slice of heaven. But Australia was calling. 12 hours back to SF. 30 hours later, it’s 16 hours to Brisbane, DownUnder. Luckily the movies “Love Actually”, and the great Dutch soccer documentary about the two worst teams in the world were playing. G’Day! I was whisked off to Surfer’s Paradise, where I was performing in the Gold Coast Art Festival. The ocean the surf the sand immense and exquisite, of course it’s summer Down Under, so it was balmy breezy, easy on the senses. The Aussies were everything they were advertised to be. Warm, sweet, bawdy, affectionate, open, inclusive, generous, curious, sexy, and fun. The first night of my show was a deluge of Biblical proportions, 50 mile an hour winds, lashings of hard rain like the goddesses were whipping the earth in an S&M frenzy. The phones in the theater rang off hooks, and I kept hearing people saying, “No, the shows are going. No, they ARE going on.” As I prepared backstage for my Australian debut, I was interrupted when I stepped into a large puddle where the torrential, relentless rain had pounded its way in. As I dried my feet, and I listened to the tsunami crash down on the Gold Coast, I tried not to take it personally. Was the universe trying to tell me something? Have I offended the gods and goddesses in some way. But somehow people did manage to show up. I did three nights, we had great crowds, and they were lovely. I met more performers, I met people from all over the Gold Coast, and again I was quite sad to go home. Back of course overjoyed to be back in the U S of A. My time on the road and overseas was mind expanding and soul growing. It made me realize how much I want Junior Bush out of office, and that I have to do something about it. At this point America is s a dirty word in some parts of the world. I now prefer when I’m overseas to say I’m from California. But even this is tainted, as now we are tarred with the legacy of the Terminator Governor. This has got to change. In the rest of the world, you really feel like you’re part of the rest of the world. There’s none of that love-it-or-leave-it shit in Europe. They have Euros in Europe. I was also most happy to see that on three different continents, people understood and responded to my very American though apparently universal story of a boy on his own trying to get by. From grrrrrrrrrls in clubs, bourgeois literarti in Europe, dating couples Down Under, queers in bars, UK grannies, SF trannies, tattooed students, mothers and brothers and sisters and husbands and sons and wives. And I met people who have become a part of me, amazing people who made me laugh and marvel and brought great joy into my world, which has become so much bigger. For this, and for all of it, I am so grateful. The HBO deal is being hammered out by lawyers, hammering being the operative word. Me and Arielle will now finish the book Putting Your Passion Into Print. We teach PYPIP again at Stanford. I’m finishing up my a novel, a memoir about my time at Chippendale’s, and I’m polishing up a young adult novel. Then in late April, Xaviera Hollander is bringing me to Amsterdam for about 10 shows. Then to the Brighton Theatre Fest, then three more dates in England. In Philadelphia in June. But here now, it’s great to be home with Milo and Arielle.

April 24, 25 the Gallery Donkersloot – Leidsegracht 76, Amsterdam 8 pm
April 26, 27 gallery Treehouse , Voetboogstraat 11,Amsterdam 8 pm
April 28 – Polanen theater, Polanenstraat 174, Amsterdam 8 pm
April 29 gallery treehouse Voetboogstraat 11,Amsterdam 8 pm
May 1 – Polanen theater, Polanenstraat 174, Amsterdam 8 pm
May 2 – Concordia theater, Hoge zand 42, Den Haag – 4 pm
May 3 – Concordia theater, Hoge zand 42, Den Haag , 8 pm
www.xavierahollander.com/hbtheatre.htm

Wed 5th May – 21 South St Theatre, Reading
Thur, Fri, Sat 6th – Sat. 8th Komedia Theatre – Brighton Theatre Festival
Sun 9th – MAC – Birmingham Cannon Hill Park
Thur 13th – The Point – Eastleigh Town Hall Centre, Leigh Road, Hants

Blue Sky (215-627-1144) Philadelphia – www.blueskyarts.org
Thu-Sat June 10, 11 – Performance and Q&A; Sat, June 12 – Solo Performance Workshop, Performance and Q&A

Thanks. xxox d

3 weeks in England

3 weeks in England and it only rained three times which I take as sign from god that we are leading a blessed life. From london to bath to yeovil to chester to ilkley to howarth to yorkshire to newcastle to edinborough back to newcastle back to london.FleshmarketClose

IMG_0682The vast barren expanses of the lonely romantic moors where you could practically hear Heathcliff crying out in anguished tortured to Cathy –

Fireworks on Guy Fawkes day in Bath – this I really love by the way, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up parliament and they have a national holiday for him – it’d be like having Benedict Arnold Day, a very funny old lady told me, “Too bad he didn’t do a better job of it!” –

Cows herded right past our car on a tiny country road by an incredibly R. Crumb looking woman cowherder –

RoyalMileMime2Scones and clotted cream and jam and tea and honey and crustless cucumber sandwiches at Castle Combe in a serious 17th century castle (fantastic golf course by the way, old and green and enormous hills looking out over the most beautiful bucolic countryside, ponies nuzzling me up the path on the way to the 18th tee box, and the highlight of my trip, a downhill 307 yard drive on a par four which rolled to within 10 feet of the cup, missed the eagle, tapped in the birdie)-scone in rural uk

Sheep ScottishCountryside4A sheep sitting like a fleecy buddah in the middle of the 12th fairway at ilkley –

A ferret eating the guts out of a bunny on the 8th fairway at Islington (an omen apparently, I shot my worst round, I stopped keeping track at 100 on the 13th hole when I chipped back and forth over the green too many times to mention in polite company) – s

So many sausages and beans and eggs O my god and so much great indian food – the curries the lamb the chicken the cardomum –

Visiting newcastle, my roots, was truly inspiring, the thick geordie accents, all my relatives were so sweet and lovely to us, there is a feeling of family and community there which I do not find in america, many of the people having never been more then 10 miles from the house in which they were born. We asked one man how to get to london and he said, “Ya gan up t’ the roondaboot, tayke a left, then, no no ya cannit gan that way – ya gan throo the roondaboot, then when ya see wor Tetchie wi’ his auld dog Wonky, ya gan 3 more streets an’ tayke a left, right? No, no, that doesn’t gan through. Ehn, ya know, I divn’t think ya can get to London from here.” –

Watching the England v Scotland football matches – in Edinborough all the men clad in tartan kilts and royal blue Scotland uniform tops getting totally tanked before the match – lionglasgow

Giving our leftovers to a homeless guy wrapped in a blanket on a bridge in scotland, he looked kind of stunned and said, “For me?” and he gazed up so incredibly astonished and grateful which is frankly how you want a homeless person to look when you give them something, they have a much more civilized class of homeless in The UK I must say –

The most romantic walk over the river thames with a full moon shining down and the lights of london twinkling, it was just so beautiful –

“the ratcatcher”, a scottish filmm which I would highly recommend –

and by the way if you ever need directions in london, ask a hansom cab driver, they should throw out parliament and fill it with hansom cab drivers, that would put england back on the map –

by the way if you’re in london a great course to play is sandy lodge, 45 minutes from central london and exquisitely maintained –

IMG_961at harrods a spice girl wannabe with long straight blond hair wearing aqua and black boots so loud they jammed radar, turned to us at a cash register and said, “I think you should go to another register, this is going to take a very long time.” The woman at the next register told us Rude Spice had asked her for “The most expensive biscuits in the store.” –

in coxlodge, where my father was born ad raised, we went to the Legion pup (one cousin was working there, the other refused to go, claiming he didn’t want to get Legionaire’s Diseace) on Saturday night. It was odd, the women outnumbered the men by at least 2 to 1, we thought, what’s all this then, and the emcee, in huge black and white trousers with a black and white fright wig (arielle sais, “david, that would you be you if your parents hadn’t moved to america) introduced 5 members of the Gateshead Fire Department, who did the most amazing strip tease I have ever witnessed, and as most of you know I have witnessed enough strip teases to last a hundred lifetimes. Turns out it was full monty night at the Legion. And they did the full monty. They were a bit clumsy, a little overweight, but had a commitment and passion which I found intoxicating. And one of them had the smallest willy I have ever seen on a man. Now that is courage under fire. – so a grand time was had by all, and we’re in nyc until december 1, then back to la – love and kisses, d

CastleCombe5 copy




 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken in Erotica.com: “A page-turner”

“Terrifically readable… Sterry’s an adventurer who happens to feel and think deeply. He’s written a thoroughly absorbing story sensitively and with great compassion… A page-turner… This is a strange story told easily and well.”

— Eileen Berdon, Erotica.com

To see more & buy book, click here.

What People Said About Chicken: A-1 Ho Show

Chicken: A 1-Ho Show

“The show was great to see! David is an awesome performer/actor/writer. Pure poetry in motion. Nice to finally get the hetero male perspective of sex work.”
– Annie Sprinkles.

***

“The show was absolute amazing and to let me know if he’s showing it again as I’d love to invite more friends!”

***

“I loved the show. What struck me most was the love you had for your life and how it came through in the show (healing is so wonderful ain’t it? I loved the simplicity in set and the choice to use only the bench as a prop/set piece … the choreography/direction was marvelous… your writing is wonderfully poetic, and your love for words comes shining through.”

***

“I wish I knew enough superlative adjectives to use in praise of Chicken. All I can say is that it was wonderful. He was mesmerizing and pulled me into the life of a naive Texas boy thrown out on the street and into the arms of the wolves in Hollywood. He is truly a gifted actor and the way he not just described in words but make real through his body language and movement the people in his world to life was awsome – man or woman they were equally real to me. I felt not only his truths but theirs. Thank you David for letting me (and the rest of the world) so truthfully into your experiences.

***

“The performance last night was nothing short of spectacular. Your writing is so wonderfully poetic, funny, and sad. I love works that can make me laugh and cry. Yours did the trick. And I loved the physicality of the show. You really brought the writing to life–so animated, very rich 3D imagery and characterizations. I’m certainly going to tell everyone I know to see the show.”

***

“L-O-V-E-D the show. Honest and truly. We talked about it the whole walk home.”

***

“You are not just a great actor. You are a shape shifter. I saw you look different for each character. I SAW Sunny, his ‘fro, his caftan, SAW Kristi, I SAW the teenie bopper runaway. I saw your face go silly-putty-sideways, and your Dad come out….You could wipe the floor with Robin Williams in a goofy character face-off. I LOVED Sunny. Some of my best friends have been 70s black hippie faggots. Vocally, just for the pure Barry White honey of the voice, I loved Sexy. You have transmitted your pain into art, and now the artistic rendering of your tormentor brings pleasure. That’s alchemy. Shamanism, magic, healing. Of course, laughter is the strongest medicine… You’re also a word candy daddy, West Coast writers’ school: Tom Robbins, Rob Brezhney, David Sterry dishing out chewy delicious mouthfuls of succulent syllables. Basically, you rock. Love the opening stroll down H’wood blvd, with those split second portraits. Dynamite, dude.”

***

The San Francisco Weekly on Chicken: “Humor, energy, & a sharp eye

sfweekly.jpg“Sterry tells a sad and harrowing story with humor, energy, and a sharp eye for the sort of characters an ‘industrial sex technician’ might meet in the weird aftermath of the ‘60s.”

— Michael Scott Moore, The San Francisco Weekly (Theater section)

 

To buy Chicken, click here.

chicken 10 year anniversary cover

 

The San Francisco Examiner on Chicken: “A Rare Pleasure”

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“Experiencing [Sterry’s] natural ear for rhythm and timing, we are reminded of what a rare pleasure it is to see a writer perform his own work. Much like beat poetry, Sterry’s carefully crafted, simple language infuses mundane situations with dream-like profundity…Sterry’s portrayal of his 17-year-old self is immediately honest and believable. In fact, the character’s insecure teenage naiveté juxtaposed with Sterry’s masterful control of poetic dialogue is what balances the show…Sterry remarkably creates and portrays his characters.”

— Emily Klein, The San Francisco Examiner

To buy Chicken click here.

Chicken Review: “Dark wit and considerable compassion… wickedly funny, baroque”

“Jawdropping… Even as confessional memoirs go, David Sterry’s Chicken stands out from the rest. Alternately farcical, grotesque, brutal and sad… A carefully crafted piece of work… Gives the famous encounter between Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rossellini in “Blue Velvet” a run for its money.”

“Dark wit and considerable compassion… wickedly funny, baroque… sadly, even touchingly human, thanks to Sterry’s matter-of-fact empathy for his disturbed customers… Chicken gets its soul from Sterry’s nuanced portrait of his growing anguish as the work takes him to increasingly scary places, physically and emotionally.”

— Wendy Smith, Amazon

To see more & buy Chicken click here.

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Spectator Magazine Dr. Carol Queen on Chicken: “Super-readable roller coaster”all

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“His memoir is a super-readable roller coaster — the story of a young man who sees more of the sexual world in one year than most people ever do.”

— Dr. Carol Queen, Spectator Magazine

To buy Chicken click here.

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Readers Write About Chicken: “Like Kerouac, I HAD to read it in one sitting”

Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent – to buy click here.

chicken 10 year 10-10-13Incredible… your book, it’s like Kerouac. I loved it so much, I HAD to read it in one sitting. I can’t wait for the next book.

I really can’t express how splendid, wonderful, excellent, clever…. (I’m running out of adjectives) your presentation was yesterday. You held a very tough audience absolutely RIVETED for 3 full hours! the beautiful prose coupled with your performance talent is a killer combination. (I kept wanting to stop your reading in order to point out specific narrative techniques you used–how *skillfully* the “technical” aspects of writing contributed to the power of the book. I guess I’ll have to wait until the book is out, and assign it as a classroom text in order to deconstruct it on that level. Alice La Plant – SF State University Professor

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I tore through your book in a matter of hours: read it while walking to work, on the BART, in line at the store. Loved it. – SF

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I am really looking forward to reading your next book – you are an incredibly gifted writer. The book broke my heart, turned me on, and gave me the vicarious thrill of walking in a man’s shoes (yours) for a day. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and yourself, with me and the world. As with all great books, the last page left me screaming No Wait- I Still Don’t Know What Happened – Juline Koken – NYC

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I just finished the book. First, my gratitude for the testimony, for positing the story in the world. Then for the cockygiddyjoygift of your style, grace, clarity, humour and generosity. all this seeping and fuming between bouts of mouth-drying horror and lumpy-throat sexiness. Thanks – Dr. Leon Johnson, University of Oregon

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Very powerful–sad, funny, accomplished… Susan Boloton, Workman Press

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I was skeptical about reading this memoir because the sex industry is not a subject that I’m especially drawn to. My friend read and loved this book and strongly suggested that I read it. I took her advice and once I began to read I was completely unable to put Chicken down. The writing style of this book flowed so smoothly and was crafted so skillfully that I felt that I was watching the story happen rather than reading it off of a page. This book was fascinating and I commend David Sterry for his honesty and courage. – San Francisco

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Just finished you book and enjoyed it very much. Thought I’d reach out and let you know that you touched at least this reader. You have an excellent and articulate voice – looking forward to your next work. Adios, Patrick

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Your book has been such a sumptuous meal, a feast on this day where I starved for inspiration. Thanks! For being not only so brave to tell your story but also for being such a true artist. You are so lush, your poetry so rich, phrases pop out at me like valuable diamonds never before seen, never before measured. The juxtaposition of your childhood and the narrative story is brilliant. You taught me so much, you are a magic beacon of light. Grazie mille, Daisy – Hollywood

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I hate to invade your email privacy, however, I must tell you that since I received “Chicken” by mail yesterday, I was able to put it down only twice before finishing it. I could all too well identify with your horrors and through your confessions am finding catharsis. (Even though I only finished it ten minutes ago) Congratulations, and thank you. Kyle Bastien – Vancouver

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Ye flipping gods. The first passage I peeked at was howlingly funny, so I was expecting something lighter, more tongue-in cheek, maybe even flippant. What I have here is merciless writing, zero to wrenching in less than fifteen pages, at a pace that leaves no time for the reader to wallow. – Oregon

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Wow, not only was your book incredibly interesting but your style of writing was THE MOST engaging and enjoyable book I have ever read. I read nonfiction and memoirs, about a book every week and yours was awesome. Good for you with your survival, courage and talent not to mention all of your hard work. I so much appreciate the opportunity to have read your book. I hope you are creating another book that I and others can enjoy. Your perspective, your style, your visions, descriptions and feelings, the way you ran words and sentences together for an amazing affect was a joy to participate in and I thank you again for sharing. Good Luck to you. Congradulations on a fabulous piece of art! Sincerly, Nancy Malone

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I love your book. You are so poetic. You have the same wonderfully vivid style. Candye Kane, San Diego

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i just wanted to tell you how incredible your book, “chicken” is. it reads “on the road”, like a chicken kerouac. i loved it so much, i HAD to read it in one sitting. i can’t wait for your next book. -a fan. – Alger Batts

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I was so moved by your first chapter. I myself am a survivor of sexual abuse so hearing you talk about it definitely makes me feel strong and hopeful for my own situation. (I have been dealing for a year now… I was abused as a five year old by my stepfather… and haven’t been able to write–much less talk–about it yet.) I was one of those teary eyed people after hearing you both read and talk about it, and I wanted to come up to you after class…. but it still has a huge emotional impact on me and I’m one of those girls that hates to cry. Anyway, I didn’t e-mail you to write you my life story, I only wanted to thank you for the generosity to express yours. And to express it so beautifully. So thank you very much. I wish you much luck and lots of return on your book! I’ve already told three people they HAVE to read it… and buy it! UC Berkeley Student – Megan Allen

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I nabbed his review copy of Chicken. It obviously took a rare amount of courage to write and publish it – such candour and humour about such a dangerous and soul-destroying situation. Your book describes perfectly the dark split between double lives – I am unfortunately well familiar with it. Aside from this being fan mail, would you like me to send you a check? I feel guilty about reading Chicken without buying it. – Dawna Rae from Toronto

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I was blown away. Not just a reading of good material, a performance…It was very intimidating and awfully impressive. – Jan Nash

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I love his writing style; it brings you into the story. You will not want to put it down. The fact that this is an autobiography makes the story even more horrifying. Yet since it is a catharsis of a true survivor, it seems that David brings somehow to an unexpected redemption. You must read this book

The Observer on Chicken: “Very funny. A side of the sex-worker’s story that’s rarely heard”

observer-329.jpg“It’s a breezy read, pleasingly free of self-pity. Sterry judges the tone carefully. He’s unflinching and perceptive without being mawkish, and often very funny. And the side of the sex-worker’s story he tells is a rarely heard one.

— The Observer

To buy Chicken click here.

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