From P-Town: Either You Did or You Didn’t

1. A handsome boy modeling school graduate walks by The Blue Monk. 2. Guzman seemed to be holding A4 paper, but I was drunk. 3. Caldwell gets specific on past dudes, some of whom worked at The Strand.

Kevin Sampsell, founder and curator of the Booty Call Reading Series, invited Steve Almond, Jillian Lauren, Chloe Caldwell and Dena Rash Guzman to read their “smuttiest, dirtiest, funniest, and craziest stuff” for Booty Call #7 at The Blue Monk last Friday. Co-hosted with Sampsell’s wife, B. Frayn Masters, Booty Call #7 started with a little back-and-forth with Masters and some broken glass near the bar. Sampsell set the vibe with “Love Language Case Studies,” in which he recalled how a specific woman “wouldn’t let me pet her animals unless I was clothed.” The details were very, very specific in all the right places.

1. Cassandra came to see Jillian Lauren and Steve Almond. Ian followed Cassandra. 2. Allison & Michael Heald of Perfect Day Publishing look forward to some filthy dessert.

Guzman, foreign correspondent for HALiterature and frequent visitor to Shanghai, read from her story about a white guy in Shanghai and possibly a hundred women. Quick summary by the main character: “I consider myself the United Nations of pussy.”
Caldwell took the mic next and pointed the POV gun at her head. Her first reading answered the question, “How many people have you been with?” Her second reading answered any questions you may have about a DYI orgy and guilt-free cheeseburgers. Apparently, triathlons are not the only option for demonstrating sequential endurance.

1. Hosts and newlyweds Sampsell and Masters. 2. Even from this angle, Lauren looks good.

During the intermission, I left a voicemail for my boyfriend and began to regret drinking a little too much while interviewing Chloe Caldwell before the event (stay tuned to The Outlet for the results), but this crowd came to hear about sex so no one cared if I slurred a little. I heard my voicemail yesterday and can confirm that I was definitely at the beginning of sober.
Lauren helped me work through some of these very complex emotions by ignoring them. While she read from Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, I considered the opulence of sex, and the luxury of letting your mind wander while getting paid for it.

1. Steve Almond demonstrates how to properly read a Smut Manifesto.

Almond read something very old in addition to something he wrote last night. His quiet story of a pizza maker overhearing two sorority girls talk about sex demonstrated the art of restraint, selection and timing, skills common to both good sex and good writing. His manifesto, Why I Write Smut, provided context and closure for the various states of sexual healing the audience may have prescribed for themselves.


— Judith Ossello currently lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. Find her here.

— Leann O’Rourke assisted as photographer for this post.

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