Wednesday, February 3, 2016

riding in white Broncos through the fog of nostalgic memories

John Travolta as Robert Shapiro is otherworldly. I watched The People vs. O.J. Simpson last night and have been thinking about his performance in it all morning long. It was one of those incandescent performances that glows long after the show’s over. I’m not sure what that thing is about a particular performance that stirs something inside of us, why I am so moved, astounded, wowed, and still thinking about his portrayal, about the magic that human beings are capable of.

Probably because I am trying to find my own magic, to get better and more committed about harnessing it, about summoning it, putting whatever talents it is I do have to use.

It’s a constant process but I am getting better at it.

And so watching that performance last night, I saw it, saw other people harnessing their magic. This is why things like this inspire us, stir us, because it’s a reminder to keep on chasing the dream, that we are capable of thrilling things, that amazing art is possible.

And what that means in my case is that I am getting more and more serious about this Burrito Fever project I am pursuing, thinking of visual approaches and what it means to document oneself, what it means to document food, what the culture of selfies, and sexy Instagram accounts mean, what they represent - all of the numerous things to unpack. And I love this process of process, of working through these things by doing, of finding things, of finding one’s self.

There is a certain level of fearlessness and moxy that I am embracing lately and which I love. The more I embrace it, the happier I feel with the stuff I am making.

Work drains me, which is nothing new. I am on the job hunt, which also is nothing new. A seeming constant in my life. I want to be doing bigger things than my current job allows. I want to be changing the fucking world and not just writing funny tweets.

I am a blonde. I bleached my hair last weekend and it feels great to look in the mirror. I see myself. I see a different self, the self I hadn’t seen in awhile. Changing my appearance allowed me to become more aware of my appearance, to see this thing that I had been unable to see because I had become too accustomed to it, too used to it. I saw this person, myself, and I liked what I saw. I like what I see.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Struggle With "My Struggle"

Moments ago, I finished a novel I started in May. May. Seven months ago.

It's something that I am not so proud about concerning this past year. I read far fewer books than I have at any point in my life since probably I learned to read. A lot of non-book stuff was read - status updates, quick takes on whatever the latest scandal is, articles linked to and unlinked to. And that stuff is beneficial. I am not devaluing social media or the unique forms of knowledge and entertainment it provides. What I am saying is that my heavy engagement with social media this past year, especially since starting to work in it, has eaten up whatever moments I otherwise would have spent curled up in bed with a book. Now, I curl up in bed with my iPhone next to me, scrolling through Facebook, reading articles and watching videos friends and friends of friends have posted.

The book was Karl Ove Knausgard's My Struggle. I started it on a flight to Iceland and London this spring, thinking I would read it on the trip. I didn't. The book rather was a stowaway and got a free trip to Europe from me is all. On that same trip, I met up with my ex, Jacob, who was reluctant to meet up with me, which was depressing. He looked just as beautiful as he did when we broke up a few years ago. A month after eating lunch with him in a London park he would be married. That event, which I saw pictures of on social media (instead of reading My Struggle), was perhaps the finality I needed, to realize that it was never going to happen, whatever slight hopes I still harbored of someday reuniting with this guy.

Stay with me here. I am not sure where I am going with any of this, but we'll figure that out as we go along and try to recap what 2015 was and what it wasn't and what it is we as human beings, and me a specific human being, hope to get out of life.

Let's stick with this theme of romance and longing for just a bit longer though, tie these strings up, so we can move on to the bigger things (and, yes, in 2015, I finally after 34 years on this planet, realized that there are bigger things). At the end of the summer, Nik moved away to Atlanta. Another heartbreak. Another unsuccessful romance. He was my best friend this past summer and I was in love with him and it's a position I have been in too many times in my life.

There were guys that I maybe hooked up with once, maybe twice. These guys I can count on one hand from this past year and still have a finger left to flick off the world.

But, really, where am I going with any of this? This has gone so far off the rails from what I initially meant to say, which is this: 2015 was a fucking fantastic year. Yes, there are the above paragraphs that might give the impression it wasn't, but yes, folks, yes it was.

I finally got a paid job in advertising at a cool agency, finally in my mid-thirties started to feel like I knew what I was doing with my life, finally started to feel like an adult in the career-sense of the word, which is a big part of that word. This is a big deal and contributed to my happiness in ways I never even imagined it would. I was deeply unhappy and dissatisfied working in hospitality, aware that I could be doing better, that I wasn't living up to my potential, and that I wasn't utilizing the skills that I wanted to utilize in my life, namely writing. To get paid for writing, even if it's writing social media for various brands, feels so fucking good. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer as my job. Yes, this is not the type of writing I imagined I would be doing then, but it's still fucking writing and I am getting fucking paid for it, and that feels so damn good, it's indescribable.

So that gave me a bit of a confidence boost when I finally no longer was an intern but a paid employee, and allowed me to shake off some of the insecurity I had otherwise been dragging around. Pair that with a renewed physical confidence from actually having to get dressed up each day to go to work and going to the gym regularly and just finally getting over whatever sense of shame and inhibition I had for so long allow me to hold me back publicly in some ways.

I am really in love with my body, and not necessarily in a narcissistic way, though maybe, and also I am not necessarily sure that'd be a negative thing given the prevailing sentiments in our culture toward one's body -  self-harm, self-loathing, or some combination of the two. I feel really connected to my body, present in it in a way I hadn't in the past few years. I don't drink as much as I used to. I rarely smoke now. I am trying to take better care of myself because I have more respect for this body, and an awareness that I am this body.

There were trips to Fire Island, to Vegas, to Miami, to New Orleans, to Colorado, and those already mentioned trips to Iceland and London. A lot of fun was had.  I have really embraced my love of burritos in a way that I am continuing to explore and mine with burritofever.com.

There is so much fucking beauty on this planet. I am happy with the friends I have, with my living situation, and for the most part with my career situation.

This upcoming year though I do want to working on becoming a better person. There's always something to improve, work to be done, things to learn, and so my resolutions for 2016 are:

-I want a better job - hopefully more money and hopefully doing stuff not just in social media
-I want to become more fit
-I want to read a lot more fiction
-I want to write better and write more
-I want to finally learn Spanish

And literally every single one of those resolutions has been a resolution of mine for probably the last decade or so, and you know what? Who the fuck cares? Just keep on putting those intentions out there and trying. It's all you can fucking do. Live your life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Miami

Friday, I landed at Miami Airport. It was cloudy, grey. Despite this, it was incredibly beautiful. Outside the huge glass windows overlooking the runway, I saw that familiar sight - the flat landscape of Florida that allows for its epic skies. I felt at home, felt the sting of recognition, a loved one I hadn’t seen in years. The sky of Florida gives me a feeling that few things in this world are capable of.

I met up with my friends where they were staying and went to check out Art Basel. I had a couple glasses of wine while checking out the art there and then things never slowed down from there. The rest of the weekend was spent at various parties, checking out art, figuring out how to get into parties, tipping go-go boys. I fucking love Miami. I had such an amazing time there and began to consider what life might be like there, if I would actually enjoy living there. At some point, I might find my way down there.

Florida is a magical place, something in my blood, place of my birth. Miami is full of beautiful Latin men, gorgeous beaches, nice weather, breathtaking skies. It does make me wonder sometimes why I live in New York, what it has to offer me. Riding the subway home from JFK Sunday night, these questions became even more pronounced, the subway stations looking more disgusting than usual.

Monday, November 16, 2015

MIX

I spent yesterday hungover and sleeping. In the few periods of time in which I was awake, I inhabited the night earlier, tried to find my way back to that time, to that space, recalling various moments of sexiness as I jerked off to the recollections, trying to inhabit that space again.

Saturday night, I had gone to the MIX festival and I quickly turned into the sex-crazed person I often do in situations in which public sex is happening. After hanging out with friends for a bit, dancing and drinking, I soon found myself buried in a pile of people in one of the backrooms. I remember jerking off with numerous sexy people. There is the memory of at some point worshipping some dude’s feet as I jerked off. A lot of exchanging of blowjobs. I did and I did not want to cum. A part of me realized I should probably go say hello to my friends who at numerous points walked through the room and saw me engaged in sex. Another part of me wanted to keep this moment going forever, to never climax.

I climaxed though, inspired by this sexy man next to me. We had a shared rhythm, both getting to that point, breaths faster and deeper. We came together. I found my pants, put them on, and went to hang out with friends again. That lasted a very brief time. I wanted more. Wanted to see more. Wanted to jerk off more. There was so much sexiness there. So many hot scenes of fucking all around me. All these beautiful naked men.

I ended up in another room, another pile of bodies. I sucked dicks of some fucking gorgeous men. Had my dick sucked by many gorgeous men. This lasted until sunrise. At some point, I heard someone say they were closing in ten minutes. And so I came again, hurrying, wanting to cum before this cleared out, this moment.

I left the space, a mess, shirtless because I couldn’t find my jacket or shirt. The taxi driver looked at me like I was crazy, which you know I can’t really blame him for. When I got home, I jerked off again, thinking back on those scenes, repeating them in my mind, replaying the sight of this gorgeous man’s body, him standing over me, smiling cockily as I air kissed in the direction of his dick, motioning that I wanted it in my mouth. He stepped toward me, put his beautiful dick in my mouth.

I sit here now at work, again recalling these moments of sexual freedom, of sexual fantasies literally come to life, a dreamscape of bodies everywhere, everyone having fun, enjoying each other and enjoying what it means to be human, to have these human bodies.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cruise Control

Over the weekend, on Halloween night, dressed as some slutty gay version of a tiger, I met this man, Ben, while waiting in line at the bathroom at Spectrum. I felt a connection, or more likely I wanted there to be one. This was a new face, a person I had not already tried and failed with, a person who I haven’t already seen and looked past numerous times over the past twelve years of living in New York. He was new, which more and more becomes a problem in New York for me.

The odds of romance seemingly become slimmer and slimmer with each passing year in this city. More and more of the faces have become familiar, have become friends, or have long ago passed that point at which anything would have happened. The faces that don’t fit this are usually new faces to the city, usually people quite young, which now in my mid-thirties, is a demographic that I have less and less interest in.

After peeing together in the bathroom, Ben and I continued to talk in the hall. A friend of his came up and started talking to him, and I went to go dance. I walked home at some point from Spectrum, too overwhelmed with it, too many familiar faces preventing me from losing myself, from being a stranger. I have been unable to find this person on Facebook. The friend talking to him could have very well been his boyfriend. Maybe I actually would have no interest in him with the masks down, with this dress-up of Halloween not allowing us to present ourselves as something other than we are, or perhaps the costumes allowing us to present ourselves as we really are, shedding the costumes that make up the other 364 days of the year.

I looked at guys on Grindr. I looked at guys on Scruff. I went to bed alone.

I feel really good about my life these days. Work is going well for me. It’s allowing me to feel creatively fulfilled in a way that I rarely have in my past work experiences. The weather outside is beautiful. The stillness and crispness of the fall air always does something to me.

There are so many beautiful men in this world and in this city, and yet I don’t know how to have a relationship with one of them. There are guys I dream about every night, a rotating cast of two or three. I look at their Instagrams and Facebooks and wonder why it didn’t work out, wonder if it still could. Occasionally, I will message them or like a photo, the digital equivalent of pebbles against a window, a suitor outside in the bushes wanting so so badly the thing on the other side of that starred photograph, on the other side of that balcony.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Knock Knock

I spent the weekend in bed for two reasons. One, I was suffering, starting to suffer, from a cold. I took a lot of cold medicine and so wasn't good for much else other than lounging in my bed, watching Netflix. Two, though, probably of equal importance, cause had I money I probably still would have gone out even though sick, probably wouldn't have even felt sick - two being that I was broke.

Sunday, yesterday, I roused myself after being in bed for way too many hours straight and watching too many eighties movies, Rambo and Top Gun among them. I went to the gym. I worked out for a while but spent an even longer while in the steamroom, trying to sweat out of my body whatever cold virus I had or imagined myself to have. I was determined to bring it to a boil, cook it to death in this steamroom. Only of one us would walk out alive, and since I don't think viruses can actually walk, it was going to be me.

In the steamroom, as happens in steamrooms, a guy next to me starting to jerk off. I joined him. He stood over me naked, apparently unworried that anyone would walk in, or perhaps thrilled, turned on, by that worry, needing that risk to get himself off, me perhaps needing it also. He shot his load all over my chest. I rubbed it all over my chest as he walked out of the steamroom, really happy in a way I hadn't been in what felt like too long.

Later that evening, I would go this guy, a mess of a guy, always too high, always too neurotic, always too awkward. We smoked weed and drank wine. We fucked in his bed. I asked him to open his blinds, said I wanted to give his neighbors a show. After both of us came, I saw the mess all over his bed, lube everywhere, cum stains, a sticky dildo, a bottle of poppers. And there was an exchange of dialogue so perfect, so bleak, so noirish, that I couldn't wait til I was out of his apartment and in the hallway so that I could write it down in my phone before forgetting it. I want to write a story with these lines in it. A gay Raymond Carver story, bleak and miserable, two people together and yet also totally alone, all the more alone in fact while they are in each other's company. The lines exchanged that I wrote in my phone once I finally left his apartment and stood in the hallway were these:

Me: We made a mess of your bed.

Him: It's okay...we made a mess of our lives.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Matt

Matt. Mardi Gras 1981. A black and white poster, very gay, very eighties. I purchased it from a used gay bookstore in New Orleans a month or so ago. Today, I finally got a frame for it. Hung it on my bedroom wall. Sat on my bed, lay on my bed, got stoned, thought about boys, about aging, wondered if I would ever, at this point in my life, still have an intense romance with another person that could be sustained for a lifetime, or something close to it.

Every now and then, I'd step out of these thoughts, take a little smoke break from that depressing bar, look up to my wall to contemplate this image of Matt, shirtless hunk, muscle guy, staring back at me, another ungraspable, another person unable or unwilling to return my affection. There seemed to be some metaphor in that. I wasn't sure that was the metaphor I wanted to look at every night, stoned in bed, thinking about boys.

Nick. New York 2015. It would be more appropriate though for this poster guy's name to be Nick. A couple nights ago, hanging out with some friends, telling them about the latest heartache from one of the Nicks of New York, they pointed out all the Nicks there have been that I have liked. So many. Three strikes for sure by this point.

And looking at this image, this attractive man, just inspired too many thoughts about attractive men, about men in general, set me too full of desire, made me want too much for affection, for love, for a boyfriend, for certain notions of happiness, made those particular notions of happiness take priority, exert dominance, over all other possible conceptions of happy, maybe just as valid, maybe even more so. Who knows though cause there's Matt and Nick and Jacob and Tanner and that Nick and that Nik and all the rest of them embodied up there in this recently framed print? It's everything ungraspable.

This, this is not what I should be looking as I drift off to sleep. This is not what dreams are made of. No, this is what nightmares are made of. This is what pathetic cuddling sessions with your pillow as you tell yourself you'll one day find someone are made of.

Needless to say, I moved the picture, decided I'd switch it out for the Smokey the Bear print from the bathroom, and bring Smokey into my bedroom. In all caps, the Smokey picture says, "ONLY YOU." Other notions of happiness. Just as valid. Perhaps more so.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Him

I went into Rosemary’s yesterday and had beers with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. I was hungover from the night before and feeling overly emotional, excessively moody, depressed with the knowledge that a guy I really like seemingly did not like me, having blown me off the night before. It felt good to drink, to be with these people, to listen to their laughs.

Rosemary’s, however, made me feel further unmoored, further disconnected. They no longer have their 32 ounce styrofoam cups. I guess they got phased out with NYC’s styrofoam ban, but this was something I hadn’t realized or thought of when I heard about the ban, only thought about takeout Chinese containers. Ordering a pint of beer has probably never in my life been more depressing than it was yesterday when the bartender told me they no longer had the “big cups.” It seemed like another disappearance, another friend leaving New York. All the things I knew, loved, all gone, dispersed, disappeared. I was being a little dramatic, yes, but the bar was one of my favorite in New York for just this reason, a bar I have shared drinks in so many times with so many friends, chugging these massive giant beers, getting the styrofoam cup refilled when I was done.

Things are changing. The weather, too. After drinking in the bar, we wandered down to the Williamsburg waterfront. The chill of Fall was there, breezing against my legs, me still clad in shorts, against my arms. I wanted more clothes to bundle up in. The air felt nice but also was notice served, an eviction notice. Summer’s gone. New tenant moving in.

And for all of these reasons, plus others, mainly plus the fact that I’m a human being and scared of dying, I spent last night on my couch (still bedless), feeling sad and wanting so much the company of a significant other, a romance. I’ve been spending a lot of time somehow around cool, awesome gay couples, and I love them but they also make me vaguely envious. I want so badly to have a cute romance. I haven’t had one in quite a while.

A guy, a guy with a boyfriend, messaged me yesterday a picture of his ass, told me he wanted to fuck. He’s really sexy but I don’t really want sex right now, or at least not that kind of sex. I want to have sex with someone I like, someone that likes me, someone that I can cuddle with after, and get stoned and watch Netflix with. I want to be the boyfriend that guy with the ass comes home to after fucking his trick. I don’t want to be the trick.

I looked at the Instagram pictures of this cute guy I like, the guy that blew me off this weekend, and wondered where things went wrong, wondered where it is they always do, wondered what it was I continue to do wrong that the people I like lose interest in me, that, or that they never had it in the first place.

The chilly air blew up against me as I walked around the city today, saying, “You are alone. You are mortal. You will die. Don’t you wish you had the comfort of another to distract you from this? Or, at the least, a light jacket?”

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Drake - "Hotline Bling"

Summer is gone, over. I wore dress shoes yesterday for what felt like the first time in months. The metaphoric end of summer, Labor Day, passing, wasn’t the only reason for the shoes. The real reason is I felt like shit, incredibly hungover from a four day bender spent getting wasted in New Orleans during Southern Decadence. I am a firm believer in the saying “Look good, feel good.” I wanted to look good so I could feel good, wanted to feel way better than I actually felt.

New Orleans beat me up and left me limping through JFK airport on my arrival home. I didn’t have sunglasses to hide behind. Or, I did, but it wasn’t until I tried to shield my eyes from the brightness of New York that I realized that they had been all chewed up by one of the dogs at the house I crashed at.

I had planned on staying with my friend Erica, but ended up spending every night at the house that Nik was staying at, a house occupied by these really cute and fun queers. One of them had a canoe. We went canoeing. Prince was played at some point in the canoe and I drank numerous vodka drinks. That was the highlight of my trip, which isn’t to say the rest wasn’t all amazing as well, but to ride in a canoe was something I haven’t done probably since I was a kid, and it was so perfect and so cute and so fun. There was a lot of wandering around, clearly a lot of drinking, and a lot of talking to cute boys.

When I got home finally, I slept on the mattress from the pull-out couch, so tired, so desperate to sleep on a bed, and sadly still so bedless. It felt great until I woke up yesterday and realized that I had pulled some muscle in my back sleeping on that horrible old springy thing. Let me tell you, the dress shoes did nothing to relieve this pain, did nothing to make me feel good. At least, I looked good though.

I am counting down the days until the 15th, only five away, when I again will be paid, and God willing (please God, please) purchase a bed and finally start living more like an adult, at least a little bit so. Hopefully, I’ll be able to convince this boy to come over, hang out with me, and inaugurate it. Hopefully, a lot of other things as well. A lot of dreaming happening today, a lot of work happening toward making those dreams come true.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Justin Bieber - "What Do You Mean?"

I haven’t had a bed in weeks. I am beginning to wonder if this is why I feel so unstable as of late, so unmoored in some ways.

There was a bedbug problem. Welcome to New York. The bed got thrown out, the exterminator came a few times. I have been sleeping on the couch since, which is fine and not that big a deal, but I have felt slightly crazier than usual these past few weeks and perhaps it actually has to do with a bed, that not having my little nest to return to each night has me frantically flapping my wings, a lost bird, wondering where my nest has gone to.

The wings are flapping though. All of a sudden, I have reached an absolutely restless moment at my job, something I predicted would happen at the end of the summer. Prediction proved correct. I am plotting steps on how to either get involved in a different job within this same agency that I like a lot, or, failing that, going elsewhere. The hunt begins. It never ended. To live in New York is to be engaged in a constant predatory hunt for that next thing, that next step, something else, something better. Even once you get your name in lights, you’re looking for how can you get a bigger sign, a brighter sign, an LED sign.

There is that. There is also that guy, that beautiful, beautiful guy. He makes me feel nervous, awkward, and wildly insecure. I like him so much and I am scared of how likely it is to end in disaster, because of how gorgeous he is, how smart he is, and probably most of all how he is my co-worker. I make the best life choices, in case you didn’t know that about me already.

We hung out a few nights ago at a bar by my house. When we parted ways afterwards, we made out on the street corner. Kissing him is the greatest high for me lately. I get positively ecstatic. It’s the joy of getting something you wanted so, so bad, of finally getting to taste the thing you had been so hungry for. I told him that I wished I had a bed to invite him back to. He told me he wished the same.

So, yes, I’m getting a bed immediately. Or actually probably not, because I am insanely broke and this next paycheck is going toward rent and my trip to New Orleans. So I might be sleeping on a couch until mid-September. But I need to figure out a way to not make that happen because this fling might not extend until then and I want so bad to roll around with this person in my bed which I have yet to acquire.

There are other things going on, so many other things, a best friend leaving, generalized stress and panic among friends, work drama, parties, so many parties, and life, this glorious, messy project of being alive and finding your way in the world, of trying to at least.