Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jim Croce - "Working at the Car Wash Blues"

We were seated in one of the booths at one of my favorite places in New York City, already layered with the memories of so many things, loves of my life, dates, drunken post-bar hangouts with friends, so many nights eating there by myself, so many memories from nights over the last thirteen years since I've lived here. And now another memory can now be layered on to this already well-papered place. Waiting for our food, seated across from me, he said, "I can't wait to kiss you."

After leaving there, on the corner of Graham and Grand Street, I kissed him, not wanting it to be an awkward thing that we fumbled toward later on at one of our apartments. Let's cross that line now, get the first kiss out of the way. We know it's going to happen.

And so we kissed and we kissed and it felt so good. We then walked down Graham and at Powers Street, we paused. I asked him if he wanted to come to my apartment. He said yes. We turned down Powers Street.

This is the guy I met last Friday at Metropolitan. We'd made plans to meet for drinks at Tuffet. I sat in the backyard nursing a martini, awkwardly looking at my phone, waiting for him to get there. He arrived and was jut as beautiful as I had remembered. He was wearing a shirt with a pot leaves pattern, which as I do with just about everything, took to be a sign. A sign that this is my dream man. When he sat down, I couldn't believe my luck, that this guy seemed to be interested in me.

We had awkward conversation, had conversation about the awkward conversation of first dates, and then had better conversation, much better. Drinks probably played a key role here.

I honestly can't think of the last time I've been on a date, let alone on something that the participating parties actually refer to as a date. Let's just say, it's been a really long time, years I think. So I'm not really practiced at making charming, engaging conversation with a person you don't know, that my skills in that are bordering somewhere between rusty and non-existent.

At my apartment, we smoked weed and listened to Led Zeppelin II. Earlier, I had been going on and on about how amazing a band Zeppelin is, how obsessed with them I've been this past week. We made out in my bed in our underwear and paused to talk and then made out more and then talked more. He left because he had stuff to do early in the morning.

I was happy today, really happy. Happy in the way that one gets after a nice night with a guy. I forgot that after making out with someone you like, that its effects continue, that the moment of joy has a very, very long tail that continues waving excitedly well into the next day, if not days, recalling moments, recreating joy, excited about the next you'll see this person, and generally just being thrilled to be alive. What I'm saying is that I was really happy today and only slightly hungover.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Close the Book

Friday morning, I was leaving the gym and I saw the headlines on the TV scrolling across the bottom of the screen, BREAKING NEWS, all caps of course, that gay marriage had been declared a right. I fist pumped the air and walked to work so fucking happy, on the verge of tears, so full of joy, and pretty useless all day at work because all I could do was think about the news and read stories about it.

And that was the kickoff to Pride weekend, the best kick-off an American probably could have hoped for, your government for the first time in your lifetime forcefully declaring that your love, your affection, is just as valid, just as important, just as necessary to recognize as that of heterosexuals. Truly fucking huge news that I could never have even imagined coming to pass when I was a kid.

Friday night, I hung out with some friends in my apartment before eventually finding our way to Metropolitan. A really attractive man came up to me, said hello. We chatted, exchanged numbers. Hopefully, I’ll hang out with him this week. Hopefully, I won’t let my boy craziness get the best of me, as it usually does, but as with everything, we’ll see.

Saturday was spent mostly in bed due to being hungover and the rain gave me the perfect excuse to stay in and not go out.

Yesterday was a repeat of Prides past. A drunk brunch with friends, watching the parade on Christopher Street, drinking nutcrackers, getting emotional, getting too messy, getting too wasted, not getting up to the Jane Hotel rooftop for the third year, bar hopping, and then finding myself in bed wasted and exhausted around 10pm.

I love the parade day so much. I love being on the streets full of gays everywhere, running into friends in states of undress, everyone so happy, everyone so cute and free looking, unburdened by the stuff they otherwise carry around with them. I want to repeat this again and again forever.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

34

Thirty-four started off with a broken shower curtain rod.

Friday morning, I woke up and I was a new age. I was 34. I took a shower, my first shower at this new age. I knocked the shower rod off the wall stepping out of the shower. I was aware, as I am with just about everything in life, of the symbolism, of how this would read in a story, that there is some significance in this moment, perhaps a foreshadowing of what this new age might bring.

I tried putting the rod back up, but couldn't get it to stay put. I was working up a sweat, in our already hot bathroom on what was already at that early morning hour a really hot day. I pulled the tension rod further apart, too far. It wouldn't collapse. I kept pulling it, thinking a spring would activate, that the thing would collapse again. Instead I pulled the rod apart into two pieces. I was wrestling with it, trying to shove the one back into the other, working up a sweat, invoking the Gods, cursing this rod to the fires of Hell. It was one of those mornings. It was the start of being 34 years old.

After a crazy day at work, I stopped by Home Depot, bought a new rod and installed it when I got home, a nicer rod.

Things fall, things break. New things take their place, sometimes better things.

With the new rod installed, with a satisfactory ending written to this ominous story of the start of my year, I started getting wasted, partying. Friday night, I hung out at Nik's house with other friends. We went to Macri Park and then to Metropolitan. As the bar was about to close, I left, walked home. I bought some trail mix and talked to Lucky at the bodega.

Then I had a very romantic morning with myself. I got stoned to counteract other drugs that were keeping me awake. I started blasting Portishead's Dummy in the bathroom and took an hour long shower. At some point, I lay down on the floor of my tub as the shower of hot water fell upon me. Beth Gibbons voice took me to places. I was feeling everything in that moment, stoned and emotional and energetic and sad and happy and horny. I jerked off in the shower, enjoying the spray of water hitting me, curving my back upwards, letting the stream of hot water hit my asshole.

I slept most of Saturday and once I woke up, I started the partying all over again. I went to Nik's house where he threw a joint birthday party for his sister and me. I talked to friends. I blew out some candles. I lit some cigarettes. I left around five, after sitting in his living room on his couch, looking at Grindr while quietly listening to Carole King's Tapestry played on a record player. Walking home, I started chatting with a guy on Grindr. I walked to his house, instead of my own. We fucked in the middle room of his railroad apartment as the sun started to brighten up more and more of the airshaft outside his window. He came. I came. I left.

The sun was well up, the first bits of life starting to populate the street, people opening up bagel shops, coffee stores. Life goes on. The earth keeps circling around the sun. I keep getting older. The sun rises every morning. Things keep going. Metal storefront shutters keep getting rolled up each day. I am so happy to be here on this planet and to be alive. I don't know what that necessarily means, being alive, because to answer that I'd have to be able to also know then what not being alive meant. It sometimes scares me, not knowing what, if anything, follows this. I want to hug people tight in these moments, to feel connected. I go out at night and party and share in the company of other human beings, trying to make the most of this thing we share, this time here together on this spinning rock in space.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ariana Grande - "Love Me Harder"


Alka Seltzer and Ariana Grande are getting me through the day right now. There are burn marks on my back, places my hands failed to reach as I applied sunscreen. The sun is shining outside these office windows and I’m blasting “Love Me Harder. It’s helping me imagine I’m still there, still somewhere on Fire Island. The breakup isn’t as abrupt with this song playing, with me jamming around to it at my desk. I am dancing around, surrounded by attractive men, sun on my skin.

It was a blur of days, of vodka drinks in Solo cups, of pot brownies, of being stoned and goofy and happy. I got home last night absolutely wrecked and slept so hard, sleep something that doesn’t come easy in a beach house with thirteen gay men in it who love to party all day, night, and morning. A couple hours of sleep after the gorgeous sun rises before fearing that fun and sun were being slept through, dragging one’s self to the beach, talking about boys, about dick, about life, about whatever it is people talk about in such a beautiful and gay place.

The walks, as always, were my favorite, those stumbles back and forth through the Meat Rack, crossing between the Grove and the Pines, seeking out fun here or there, enjoying the process of seeking, of walking through those dark woods, dunes around me, sound of ocean waves crashing, stars, so many fucking stars.

I just want to sit on a pier with you and look out over water and let my feet dangle and watch the sunset as we drink cocktails and contemplate what any of it means. Instead, I am back in Manhattan. Turn the song up louder, close your eyes. Click your heels together three times, Dorothy. Return whenever you want.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

William Carlos Williams - "Danse Russe"

I sat with Diego at our kitchen table last evening, drinking wine, talking about various things on our minds. I, of course, was talking about this boy I like, this feeling of having a crush, of liking a person. I talked about how much I wanted to text him, to ask him to grab a drink with me. Diego told me not to act crazy.

What he meant, because he’s seen me do this too many times, was not to appear too thirsty, too hungry, too whatever other adjective connotating not playing it cool you can think of. I told him not too worry, that this boy was different, that I didn’t need to play it cool with this person. Diego’s reply: I’ve heard that before.

And so I texted him, saying we should hang out soon. He responded in the vague affirmative. And then somehow in the following text, in the stretch of just a few short lines, I must have said something wrong, gave myself way, displayed my thirstiness too explicitly, ruined the game. I asked him if he was free tomorrow (now, today).

There was no response. There has been no response.

I got stoned. I got ready for bed. I got naked and looked at myself in my mirror. I looked good. I love the feeling of looking at your body and recognizing that it looks good. There is some vanity in that, obviously. There is also a work ethic in that. I have been going to the gym pretty heavily lately and it makes me happy. I like the feeling of control, of making myself look the way I want to look. It’s such a thrilling feeling to know how much power we have if we listen to our bodies, if we approach the care of them with as much effort as we spend caring for our social media personalities. 

And so this guy may or may not ever happen. I may never kiss him. I may never get to live out all these cute fantasies I had already played in my mind of us dating. And that is perfectly okay. What happens happens, what doesn’t doesn’t. Life goes on. I’ll go to the gym, get stoned, and admire my body in full-length mirrors. “Who shall say I am not the happy genius of my household?”

Monday, June 1, 2015

Janet Jackson - "Never Letchu Go"

I stood on a roof, red Solo cup in one hand, vodka soda in it, cigarette in the other hand. It was sometime after midnight. A party was going on behind me. I stood against the edge of this roof in Bed-Stuy and looked toward Manhattan. The lights of the Williamsburg Bridge had already been turned off. The Brooklyn Bridge was still lit up. I was in love with the darkness and the light punctuating it, a dream demarcated with dots of light.

Few things make me so happy as looking out over Brooklyn rooftops, imagining the lives in them, the lives that were in them. They form such a nice little vista, rising and falling, but only so much, all mostly in line with each other, silver painted roofs, brick exteriors, windows lit, windows unlit.

I thought about things, but in that wasted way one is likely to engage in when smoking a cigarette and looking out at the skyline of New York City. It was a mess of feelings, a mush of feelings, the thought about how much I love this city, how much I love being here, and how afraid I am of losing that feeling. Thoughts of death crept in here for some reason.

I rejoined the party.

I met a boy at the party. I actually met two. Lately, I’m not used to having successful flirtations with guys, but it was happening on that roof. Up in the clouds, magic happens. After flirting with this one cute architect for a long time, this other guy plopped down next to us, and I started talking to him. He was cute and weird and nice and had some energy about him that I wanted to wrestle him, where it seemed like that would probably be okay. He punched my stomach, my shoulders. I was smitten. We sat on the roof and talked about whatever people talk about while on a roof and dance music blasts not too far away.

The night went on. I left without getting his info. The night carried me to other parties, some goth thing, some Metro thing, and a friend’s house where we had sweaty sex until the sun was up.

I woke up in my bed yesterday sometime in the mid-afternoon. The rain started coming down shortly thereafter. I always appreciate a rainy day when I’m hungover and don’t want to leave my house. It makes me feel less guilty, makes the choice to stay in and do nothing that much easier.

The cute boy from the party messaged me back on Facebook. I had found him on there after leaving the party, hunting through the names of the people who were invited to it on Facebook until I found this guy. He gave me his number. We texted back and forth, made vague plans to hang out soon. He was watching The Sound of Music and eating Dominos. Basically, he seems perfect and needless to say I have a huge crush on him.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Giovanni's Room

I reread James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room yesterday. That could be the reason. Or, at least, part of the reason. A reason among a multitude of them. The weather also. As much as we as humans might like to think we’re independent, sentient beings in control of our destiny, our emotions, our lives, often the reason why something is or is not comes down to something so deceptively simple as the weather - a thing we mistake as simple, a part of life, the background to it - when, in fact, it’s often the showrunner, the producer, the script we act out, life itself, the thing that determines what we do or do not feel, how we behave. So the weather, too. Let’s add that to the list of reasons. Also, the gym. Another reason. I’m going to Fire Island in a week and I’ve been working out hard in some last-minute attempt to get more in shape. Working out is producing certain effects in me, inspiring more confidence in my body as well as releasing whatever chemicals and hormones it does, chemicals and hormones that have me increasingly horny over the past several days.

And so it’s the sum of those, plus all the other assorted things life presents - meals, sleep habits, scents of trees, scents of men, people passing by on the street, the skin of shoulders on display on the sidewalks in this warm weather New York is experiencing, memories, texts, imagined futures.

All of these things combine to make me a person, a human, a man, desiring the company of another person, another human, another man. I want something nice. Sex is easy. I jerked off with a guy in the steamroom at my gym yesterday morning before work. Things like that are easy. There are guys on Scruff and Grindr who are to the point, who tell me that they want to be fucked, that they want my load, that they want me to suck their dick. Which, good for them. There are nights, days, mornings when such talk appeals to me. There are nights, days, mornings when I talk such ways also. Lately though, it’s something else I want. I want to have a drink first and chat, and then yes, we can have dirty sex, but I want some connection, to feel something with another human being beforehand.

There is a heat in the subway stations that seems early for late May. In some stations, it already feels like August. The heat has been trapped in some of these stations. People wipe the sweat from their brows and fan themselves with free newspapers, their copies of The New Yorker. Once boarding the train today, I rode next to this man in rolled up short sleeves, wearing pants cuffed high with no socks. There was skin, glorious skin, on display. I wanted so bad to touch it. I let our arms brush against each other while holding the pole above us. There was a moistness to his skin that sent shivers through me. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, imagining certain things, nothing even in particular. I let this reverie of feeling take me off in its current as the train swayed through tunnels, taking us somewhere, to destinations known, to destinations unknown.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Confusion

"Confusion is a luxury which only the very, very young can possibly afford and you are not that young anymore."
-Giovanni's Room (40)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Roisin Murphy's "Exile"

Last week, I flew to Iceland, spent a day in Reykjavik, where I ate whale, fish, and more fish. I walked around the city, cold for the most part, underdressed for the weather. I stood on the water and looked at snowcapped hills across the way, taking in the landscape. I napped in my hotel bed, cruised Grindr, and wrote some stuff for work.

Less than twenty-four hours after landing there, I was off to London. I am always so happy there. I love everything about London. It makes me so happy. So happy even when walking around in shoes that don’t fit. So happy even when stopping in Topman to buy new shoes and then falling down a flight of stairs in those new shoes. So happy even walking around and realizing that these new shoes that I fell in are also too small and hurting my feet. Much energy, probably too much energy, in those few days was spent thinking about footwear.

I hung out with David a lot, went to a lot of fun bars, had lunch with Jacob, saw a couple cool art shows, and saw the incredible Roisin Murphy perform. I kissed a Scottish boy on the street. I had sex with this cute Argentine in some sex club and then had a cute, awkward breakfast date the next morning with him, in which, suave person that I am, I choked on coffee and spit it all over the table and myself.

I bought a new pair of shoes that fit me nicely. I flew home.

There was also a lot of drinking on this trip that was done. This is being mentioned because I had severe stomach pains over the last few days and after going to a doctor yesterday I was told that it was my week of binge-drinking on holiday that most likely messed with my stomach lining. So I have gastritis now. I have to take a regimen of pills for two weeks and am also not to drink coffee or alcohol for a while.

Coffee and alcohol are pretty much all I ever drink. The next couple of weeks are going to be really hard. Or good and healthy. Choose your own adventure.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Martinique

The subway always seems to know when you just cannot be late, when you absolutely have to be on time for something. Otherwise, I can think of no other reason why it is that so often when I leave early for something to get there with plenty of time to spare, that those are the moments when the train stalls or isn’t running or there’s a sick passenger or there’s a pack of feral cats in the tunnel or whatever the reason that day is that the announcer says.

Yesterday morning, despite giving myself plenty of time to get to a job interview, of course the L train (of course, the fucking L train everyone says in agreement) stalls at the 1st Avenue station for a good ten minutes before finally kicking everyone off on to already insanely crowded platform. It took me a good fifteen minutes to push my way out of the station, at which point I took off running toward Union Square, pausing only for traffic lights and to curse the sky - of course, it would fucking be raining then even though that was not in the forecast.

I bolted across this island of Manhattan, hopped on an uptown train and barely made it to my interview on time, covered in sweat, rain, and out of breath.

Despite this, maybe because of this, I managed to charm them and am now on to the next round.

But you just got hired somewhere, you might be saying. And yes, you are indeed right. What then am I doing? Really, I have no clue. I thought the listing sounded slightly interesting and wasn’t expecting to hear back, let alone get called in for an interview the next day.

In that office where I was being interviewed, they had a sample of Martinique wallpaper hanging from the wall. This is a print that I am pretty obsessed with lately. I took this as a sign.

I take a lot of things as signs though.

There’s a boy that I like. Okay, so maybe there a few. For now though, let’s narrow the focus and discuss this one in particular. I have never talked to him in person. I asked him to meet me for a drink. He’s working tonight, but hopefully that will happen soon. I am trying. I haven’t done that in a while, but this weather has me feeling again. Happiness is here with blue skies and rolled up sleeves. I want to clink glasses with a cute boy and talk about life and then have him in my bed. Or, I can end up in theirs. I’m not picky.