I’ve mentioned the most excellent writer/editor Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s In the Flesh reading series here before. Kicking off during this week’s Book Expo, local editor/writer Carly Milne started curating a left coast version of In the Flesh.
The event was at a Venice couple-oriented adult store called Freddy and Eddy. Freddy and Eddy has the adorable slogan “where couples can come” for their brick and mortar location and I’ve been meaning to check it out forever. I keep getting invited to cool readings there, but it took Rachel’s extra dollop of coolness to get me to venture out to new territory and I’m so glad I did. The reading area is a spacious beautiful patio out behind the well-appointed and very pink store. I enjoyed chatting with one of the owners and the smart sexpert folks who had gathered for the occasion.
Although the video above is what Rachel read at Freddy and Eddy’s, the clip is actually from the most recent right coast In the Flesh reading event. (People say left coast for Cali all the time; can you say right coast for New York?) At the California one, the theme was Survival. The first reader was Willam Belli who is an incredibly charismatic trannie whose reading, about an odd hook-up with a tattooed hottie, connected so much with the audience that it came across more as performance than reading. The way this piece tied into the theme of Survival was more punchline than actual fit, but it was very entertaining. Esteemed anthologist Maxim Jakubowski read a piece about how relationships have soundtracks, which I think is a very true insight. Stan Kent dressed like a rockstar and read an excerpt of a series of novels he has written about a gothic punk girl who can relive the sexual experiences of whoever wore the shoes she has put on. Naturally this leads her to serial kill serial killers. Stan Kent so totally seems like someone I would know that I’m shocked to have never even come across his work before. Shana Ting Lipton is a writer whose work, given her credits, it seems likely I may have read before, but whose byline I was unfamiliar with. She introduced her stuff saying it was going to come across G-rated by comparison and then read a really beautiful and creative piece about exploring her sexuality in the Netherlands which, having spent some of my formative years in Europe, really spoke to me. I’ll definitely be looking for more by her. I unfortunately missed the reading by the evening’s organizer because we were coordinating the Blue Blood limo service for Rachel and Jackson West from Silicon Valley dough gossip blog ValleyWag. Rachel Kramer Bussel herself read the piece from the video, about what Erica Jong would term a zipless fuck in an airport. The idea being that it was about surviving a horrible layover in the Atlanta airport. Having spent a lot of time there, I felt it definitely fit the survival theme.