Friday, February 27, 2015

#thedress

Our world is built on twigs, a little beach hut built on twigs, and it was shaken by the color of a dress yesterday, by the perceived color of a dress.

What we hold to be reality, things that we deem objective truths, that this color is blue, that that color is white, easy things that we can all agree on, came into question yesterday. Our reality, our idea of it, is build upon our flimsy perceptions of the world. Last night, we saw just what a rickety, what a fragile, foundation that is.

At first I saw the dress as white and gold, but then saw it as black and blue. Now it is all I can see and I have a hard time imagining how I saw it as white, and an even harder time understanding how that is what so many people still see when they look at the dress.

There are the internet voices mocking our interest in this dress, how this became a national topic of discussion, saying that it’s proof of the triviality of life in this year of 2015, of the inane things that we choose to focus our attention on. However, I think these commenters entirely miss the point, that this is not a small, inane thing, but instead that is actually one of the biggest things that has ever preoccupied the nation at once. People are dealing with some of the biggest questions, those concerning the nature of reality and how our idea of it is informed by something as imperfect as human perception, that some tiny cones and rods in our retinas create our conception of the world. There are worlds our eyes don’t see, that they are incapable of seeing.

It was a collective national acid trip last night as people questioned their vision and questioned what is real, what is not, and whether there is even such a thing as “real.”

It was a beautiful, beautiful moment.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Carry On, Charlie

I renewed my lease for another year this morning in this apartment I live in, this home of mine in Brooklyn.

I picked up my new glasses today with a stronger prescription so I can see the world with greater clarity.

I signed up for a gym membership again, signing a one-year contract. The gym is the one I used to belong to and it is a couple blocks from where I hope to be working soon (fingers and toes crossed!). Signing up here was an attempt to will this job into being.

I got an email from an eBay seller letting me know that I in fact could buy this gay pulp novel that I had really wanted, and that I had been outbid on, the title of which is, "Carry On, Charlie."

All of these are connected. All, signs of some sort. 

After work today, I stopped uptown, at this guy's house I see every now and then, this piss drinker. I saw myself in his mirror as I undressed and saw hard work unravelling. I saw a thin body without much definition and terrible posture. I saw the months and months I had spent in the gym shaping myself into what I wanted to look like, what I wanted to feel like, fading away. I haven't been to the gym in probably a month, haven't been regularly in months. I had let my gym membership lapse due to being a broke intern and also because I didn't know where I would be working soon, in what neighborhood, and thus was unwilling to commit to a place for a year. Today, though, seeing myself in that man's mirror was the motivation I needed to just say "Fuck it!" and sign back up at my old gym near Madison Square Park. 

Working out felt so great. Yes, there are the physical benefits, but just as important are the mental ones I get from moving my body around, from exhausting it, from working up a sweat like a human body is meant to do. The joy of motion. Sitting at a desk all day, I need this more than ever.

And tomorrow I am going to go into this job that feels like it's in its last days and I am going to hope for an email to appear that will make that true. And then I am going to go run and run and run.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The War on Drugs - "Under the Pressure"

It’s all about acknowledging the world you live in, submitting to it. In the past, I have raged against winter, fought it, wore clothing that was not weather-appropriate, jackets too light, and guess what? Winter won that fight. Nature is going to win any fight. So I have quit fighting. I have a proper winter jacket for the first time since I have lived in New York, one of those synthetic things filled with space technology and probably dangerous chemicals. But I have submitted, given myself to the tide, and I am enjoying this weather so much because of it. There is so much pleasure to be had in feeling that cold shrink your lungs in shock when you first breathe it in, so much pleasure to be had in seeing this city covered in winter as you walk around streets made emptier by the cold, more of the city for you.

I feel on the verge of something, on the verge of changes I have tried to will into being for months and months now.

That has something to do with it also. Every day is filled with anticipation of what might be and appreciation for what is, knowing that my circumstances might soon change. When you acknowledge the temporariness of everything, it becomes a lot easier to appreciate those things, to want to get the most from them while they are still there, while you still are.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Amazing Opening Lines

"On an April Monday in 2010, Patrick Mettes, a fifty-four-year-old television news director being treated for cancer of the bile ducts, read an article on the front page of the Times that would change his death."

-Michael Pollan, "The Trip Treatment," The New Yorker.

Monday, February 2, 2015

collapsing the distance

I am sitting in a high-rise midtown office building. I am watching thin pieces of ice falling slowly through the sky, melting off buildings, careening slowly through the air, turning and turning with each breeze, skiing slowly down some invisible slope. The sky is gray. I am thinking about fantasy. I am thinking about dreams. I am thinking about reality.

I am thinking about how to collapse those things, how to make dreams reality.

Today, I am in possession of the knowledge that that is indeed possible.

Last night, after texting with this porn star all weekend long, he finally texted to say that he was on his way, that he would be at my house in 40 minutes. It’s happening, I thought, as I ran around my house frantically cleaning, brushing my teeth, making sure my asshole was clean, packing my vaporizer.

We smoked some weed and then started to make out. This is happening, I thought as we kissed. I melted into his lips, head and any sense of self exploding all over the borough of Brooklyn.

I have fantasized about this particular person for years, watching his videos, constantly coming across photos of him on Tumblr, following his various social media outlets. He was someone out of reach, a presence on various screens - phone, laptop, tablet - as I jerked off to him, thinking about how fucking sexy he is. And so to see him in my bed, giving me head, that familiar tattoo on his back as I looked down, on that perfectly formed and arched back, that sexy ass. At moments, the entire thing took on elements of the surreal, a dream. And that is because this in fact had been my dream so many times over the past few years. So many late-night stoned masturbation sessions have starred this particular person, imagining what I would do to his body, how I would worship every part of it, run my fingers over his tight abs, hold his beautiful feet in my hands as I fucked him, lick his asshole, feel those defined arms, that gorgeous back, all of it.

And being stoned perhaps added to the dream-like feeling, that these were my dreams, and that here is the person in my bed, and these things are actually happening, that this isn’t a fantasy, that this person is really into this, into me also.

So the lesson kids is that dreams do indeed come true. Don’t be told otherwise. And so I am going for it. Going for everything. I am going to get a job. I am putting that into the universe. Willing it. Applying everywhere.

If this can happen, this thing that was one of my greatest fantasies that I never actually really thought would happen, then surely other things can, any thing can. No lines between dreams and the possible. It’s all fucking possible. Look the fuck out, world.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tanya Tagaq - "Caribou"

I had just finished reading an article in The New Yorker right as the subway train pulled into Grand Central, my stop, where I get off for work each weekday morning. I smiled, in a good mood, filled with a rush of hope for no particular reason out of the blue. I told myself that it was the beginning of the day, that anything could happen. I hummed to myself that New Pornographers’ line, “What will be revealed today?”

As I walked off the train, part of a mass of midtown commuters bumbling toward the stairwell, I looked over my shoulder at the still open train doors behind me, and saw on the side of the train the words, “Your Career Will Be” - the banner ad was cut off by the open subway doors, it clearly an ad for some continuing education school. But it seemed like an answer to the question I had just sung.

There’s a porn star that I have been obsessed with for years, this beautiful guy. I started messaging him a couple nights ago. We’ve been texting each other dirty stuff. Supposedly, we are going to hook up sometime this weekend.

What will be revealed today?

I’m going to keep on reaching, being open, asking for things I want, going after them.

Friday, January 23, 2015

AK-47

I was sitting alone, waiting for a friend. The waitress saw my empty glass, said “Would you like another beer? It’s kinda equivalent to a friend, right?”

I woke up the next day insanely hungover.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Steamrooms of New York

Barry White is playing. He is moaning loudly through my speakers. I am drinking red wine. I am a little stoned. My radiator is pumping out way more heat than anyone could ever need, more than even Barry White would be able to do through his voice.

Basically, what I am trying to say, is that, right now, in this moment, here sitting in my apartment in Brooklyn in the year 2015 (really, two thousand fucking fifteen already? okay.), and listening to good soul music, I am feeling what it is to be a human being, what it is to inhabit a body and to be aware of that, aware of the pleasures that such a thing can entail, all the pleasures that being effortlessly provides when you just sit back and be.

Earlier this evening, I saw the dude I sometimes see uptown, the piss fan. After, because I was in the neighborhood, I went to the gym location nearby. Crowded, it still early January, people still sticking to New Year's resolutions, no open treadmills, I putzed around for a bit before just deciding to sit in the steamroom.

Human bodies, holy fuck! They are such perfect things. I can stare at a foot, a perfectly formed and proportioned foot, of some older man sitting across from me in a towel in this steamroom and believe, know in fact, that there is nothing else, that this is church, what it is supposed to do, a recognition, a momentary and fleeting thing aided by being in a particular physical location - church, steamroom, whathaveyou - in which you get it, in which you know there it is no it to explain, that this, right here, is it. 

The man with the sexy feet left and the guy next to me started rubbing his crotch in a vague enough way so that he could just be a straight dude scratching his balls, a code, a language that only fellow speakers of the language can even hear. And so we started jerking off. His body was gorgeous. To lose oneself in the admiration of the human form is what it is to truly feel alive, to really get what any of this might be about, this time on earth, that it is about pleasures like these. Which is why I was so happy this evening, because I had experienced this particular pleasure that I haven't in so long, the erotic throes of the steamroom, your mind and body slightly exhausted, slightly foggy feeling, from the heat, and so to see, in glimpses of light broken up by tiny particles of moisture, by steam, bodies, defined things, abs, pecs, hairy thighs, stubble, that it's such a treat - such a beautiful thing to lose yourself too.

At some point, some other man, somehow even sexier, joined us. It was a daisy chain of blowjobs, of jerking off. This one guy's cock, this beautiful preppy looking dude, was gorgeous. His cock tasted just as good as I thought it would as I stared at it while he jerked off next to me. He had trimmed body hair and an insanely tight body. I imagined him to be some junior broker or some other type of ambitious and hungry finance dude. Steamrooms are amazing in this regard - your erotic fantasy is allowed to take limitless flight, to follow whatever imaginary fantasies it wants to project on to these people, these anonymous bodies, that it is pure physical attraction, never tempered by something so pedestrian as voice, what one does for a job, how one drinks their coffee, or one's bootcut jeans. It is pure physical attraction.

On the verge of passing out, I left, showered under cold water.

Changing, still sweating, I watched as next to me a gorgeous, wispy, tall guy with a beautiful mop of brown hair took off his towel, and stood naked momentarily before going commando and throwing on a pair of really sexy drop-crotch sweatpants. I watched his ass until the last bit of it was covered and then my eyes traced the outline of his muscled, curved back as he corrected his posture, pulled the pants up, and stood, tall, beautiful man, sexy human form, divine thing.

Monday, January 5, 2015

"Just for the Night" - Evelyn Champagne King

New Year’s Eve, midnight came, I exchanged kisses with various boys, some of whom I have gigantic crushes on. Time kept moving, 2015 did. I got drunk, partied too much. I saw a drag queen sing a song I remember really liking at Metropolitan. Don’t ask me what song it was. The following two days were spent in bed, recovering. Welcome to a new year, a new you.

Friday night, after a couple days rest, he rose again, partying calling out its siren song. I hung out with friends and went to Metro again. Was there til four in the morning. Went over to some guy’s house with some friends, partied more. Migrated to another’s friend’s house, partied more. I had sex with the friend that I have hooked up with a couple times now and stumbled out of his room at nine something. I walked home, zombie loose on the streets of New York, feeling like death, looking like it, respectable people out for their morning coffee looking at me like the gutter monster I felt like. I made it home past the dirty glances, some real, most though probably only perceived, and stood under my shower for a long time. I then went and curled up under piles of blankets and again slept away a couple of days basically, recovering, waking just to watch Netflix and order Mexican food.

And here we are, the first proper work day of 2015, and now I am feeling like the new year has officially started, the starting gun fired.

At what point does partying turn into too excess? By its very nature, isn’t partying excessive? But where is the line that makes it too much so? I am thinking that that line is probably somewhere well before the point where you have a hangover that is going to stretch into two days.

That time in bed was spent devouring lots of BBC-produced small town murder mysteries with female detectives. First, I watched all of Happy Valley, washed that down with Broadchurch, and am now about halfway through Top of the Lake. Despite having some surface similarities, they are all quite excellent in their own ways. What is it about this moment in time that all of these series are being made vaguely similar in their broad brushstrokes? More to the point, what does it say about me, that in this particular moment, first days of 2015, cold snap approaching, that all I want to watch are stories of females with accents out on the hunt for criminals?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

looking backward, looking forward

"Nevertheless, the death who now rises from her chair is an empress. She shouldn't be living in this freezing subterranean room, as if she had been buried alive, but on top of the highest mountain presiding over the fates of the world, gazing benevolently down on the human herd, watching them as they rush hither and thither, unaware that they're heading in the same direction, that one step forward will take them just as close to death as one step back, that it makes no difference because everything will have but one ending, the ending that a part of yourself will aways have to think about and which is the black stain on your hopeless humanity."
-Death With Interruptions, 183

I finished this beautiful Jose Saramago novel yesterday. It's the first book that I have finished in months. One of my many new year's resolutions is to get back into the habit of reading fiction. It really is necessary. What good fiction can do is insane. It reacquaints a person with the beauty and mysteries of what it is to be human, what it is to be alive, and what it that we are really doing with our short time here on this planet. It both grounds and elevates a person, tying them into what it is to inhabit this planet, bringing forth questions that are otherwise easy to silence with time wasted on social media, time spent thinking about your job, or time playing games on your cellphone as you move about your day. Fiction successfully does this in a way that no other art forms really are capable of, at least for me.

Other resolutions:
-to become more muscular, more fit, to have better posture - all tied together
-to smoke tobacco less, if at all
-to spend way, way less time seeking out sexual stimulation or satisfaction through online methods (porn, Scruff, etc.) - it's all a distraction
-to get employed by an ad agency in a full-time gig with benefits
-tied to the above resolution, is the resolution to get health care and get on PrEP
-to be both more confident and more vulnerable

Thinking back over this past year, I am proud of myself and what I have accomplished. I took a big leap by finally leaving a comfortable job in hospitality that paid decently and had benefits to intern as a copywriter for way less pay and no benefits. And I am so fucking happy I did. I only wish I would have been brave enough to attempt it earlier. You have to go after what you want.

I moved apartments. I left a shitty one bedroom apartment that I liked a lot out in Bushwick because the landlord wanted the apartment to sell for more. I moved in with my friend, Diego, into a much nicer apartment in Williamsburg. I was scared and upset when I was told I needed to move out of my apartment, felt like I was regressing by having to again have a roommate after living by myself, but sometimes things work out for the best. My living situation now is much nicer than my one then and I am really glad circumstances conspired to bring about my current situation.

I ate a lot of burritos.

I'm not sure I had any real romances. A lot of attempts at them, a lot of failed attempts. The words of Aaliyah continually inspire me: "Dust yourself off and try again."I am pretty happy alone right now and couldn't even imagine what a romance might look like, how it would fit into my life in which I barely have time for myself, let alone another person. And as you can see, my 2015 resolutions have nothing to do with romance, with anyone else. For what might be the first time in my life, I can say that I really am more concerned about my own life, my own career, and things that I want to accomplish for myself, so much so that I'm not even thinking about a boyfriend. And, yes, I am sure you, if you know me well, are probably rolling your eyes, maybe even pointing to diary entries I have written this past year, saying What about X, or What about Y? And you know what? Eat shit. Because there are the occasional crushes, yes, but really I just want to be the best I can be right now, and that doesn't involve any sort of romantic fulfillment at this point.

I want to get better at writing comedy. I want to get better at writing everything.

While I was at my mom's house over Christmas, we went to the movie theater to watch Wild on Christmas Day after opening presents. I have been thinking about the movie since. It's one of the better movies I have seen in a very long time and really hit close to home for me, this story of a woman who has spent a large part of her twenties sowing wild oats recklessly, doing what some might call wasting time, and who decides to try to get it together, to move on. And the way she does this is by hiking the PCT, which clearly is where our stories diverge. But the broader contours are what I identify with. There's this scene in the movie, a flashback scene in which Reese Witherspoon's character is talking to her mom, played by the always amazing Laura Dern. Witherspoon's character asks her mom something along the lines of, "How can you be happy? Don't you regret that you married Dad, an abusive alcoholic?" And Laura Dern's character replies something along the lines of, "No, I don't regret any of it. I don't regret marrying an abusive alcoholic. Because I got you out of it. If I hadn't have married him, I would never have had you." A stream of tears were falling down my face during this scene because I remember a near identical conversation with my mom once when visiting home on a break from college, my mom at this point divorced from my dad, and having suffered through numerous traumas brought on by being married to a person with an appetite for drugs and destruction. Discussing my dad and how she was really happy to be free of him, she told that is was worth it though because she got me and my sister out of it, that it had its purpose.

And everything has its purpose. 2014, you were great. All you previous years, equally amazing, all for some purpose, every moment, even the terrible ones, teaching me something, making me this current person I am. 2015, I welcome you and whatever it is you may bring. Let's dance!