One day when I was coming from my day job in San Francisco and headed to the Armory in San Francisco, I stopped into a thrift store and spotted a tremendously cool pair of platform shoes in a Mary Jane style at the top and a big star cut into the heel. I spotted them at the same time as a goth chick and I was in straight vanilla work drag. Somehow I was a little quicker on my feet than the goth chick and my fingers touched down first with only the tiniest margin of error to spare. In the law of second hand shopping, I was the victor. The goth girl sneered as if I wouldn’t appreciate them. I tucked them into my bag and headed off to the big porn castle.
When I arrived, I was met upon by Hollie Stevens. I immediately commenced my courageous epic and pulled my glorious trophy from my purse. In doing so, I glanced at the Porn Queen’s feet–she was already wearing an identical pair.
That’s the best way I can describe Hollie to anyone who never got the chance to meet her: she was always already wearing the cool shoes in such a way that you knew you could never fill them but you walked lighter than you did before. Out of the many people I met in our mutual industry, she was one of the few who knew that Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas was not a documentary about Johnny Depp’s life before he took up acting. We could talk authors, serial killers, urban occultists, and obscure punk rock labels and she was already wearing the cool shoes.
I got to keep bar with her one time and aside from impressing me with her unflappable ability to stay cool no matter how big the drink rush was or how low the mixers were running. A friend came to the bar and requested a “special champagne” and without blinking she grabbed a champagne flute, poured a small amount of bubbly, and then managed to direct an impeccable arc of urine directly into the small rim of the champagne flute without spilling a drop and being right on the money for a good champagne pour. All I could think was, who is this crazy broad and how in the hell can I learn to piss like she does?
We started to spin a yarn about dental dams killing dolphins because the vaginal scent in the latex caused them to snort the prophylactics into their blowholes causing choking. We would take on a severe voice: Something has got to be done about the dental dams because of the dolphins! Are these dental dams dolphin safe? I only use dolphin safe dental dams!
It hurts like hell when people walk into your life in cool shoes and leave too soon. The line between anger and grief is so very thin and there are a lot of assholes on the internet who really seem to be volunteering as targets for the rage. At my most charitable, I am reminded that they can’t handle the anxiety of how little control we humans really have, that they are terrified by what she stared right into the face of without ending her love affair with life. I have to remind myself that they can’t step to her song, to her dance.
And there’s still time, if we all act now, to make a difference in marine life by choosing dolphin safe dental dams. I know that I will and I hope you do too.
In loving memory of Hollie Stevens, January 4, 1982 – July 3, 2012 and in support of her husband, Eric Cash. Her love is a tremendous endorsement.