Friday, May 30, 2003

Fucking shit. Coutdown eight mintues till my time runs out on this computer in the Mid-Manhattan Public Library, and even though there are eight million things I needed to do online, why not spend this precious time online to update my diary.

I am reading Anais Nin's diary now. It is all I want to do, read read read. Let's see, what else? I did manage to send out my resume to the temp agency I want to work at while here. I think I may have had enough of shelving books and exchanging banter with co-workers. I want to talk about books, not shelving them, damnit! Tonight has the promise of Scrabble with Megan. I am so excited. And fucking shit, I am alive! Yes, yes, yes, I am going to go out into the world with this knowledge and be the most grateful person you ever saw. I want my senses to be overloaded with it all. It is a beautiful sunny day out, the first in so long, and I am going to out into it, and make it even more beautiful. I am going to dance with the day and not banter with it, am going to make the delirious talk that Nin and her friends make. Bonnie, call me. 917.XXX.XXXX, I want to hear about this interview, and don't know your number, and have no time to write you an email. Anyone in NY that wants to dance in the sun with me, also call me. Let's play. It's so nice out. Public Library, see you later.

Friday, May 23, 2003

The weather is still dreary and I am in Red Hook for the last time, getting the very last of my things and taking advantage of the internet. Last night, I saw Mount Sims and a few other acts at the Knitting Factory with Sterling. I got really sloshed, danced my heart out, and fell in love with Mount Sims who thinks he is a young Prince, circa Purple Rain era. Dancing wise. Needless to say, I was in love and a little out of control. The fake dollars that his dancer gave to me were stuffed into Mount Sims pants, and oh, I love dancing. I love music. The rock and the roll.

On the walk to this loft, I saw a big mural with all these loving scenes in it, and scrawled over it all in big letters, "Everybody holds a world." And I am going to make the one in my hand so beautiful you'll fucking cream your pants with joy at the sight of it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"we're going to treat this like a prison break, let me see you scream and shake"

The streets are glistening and there is even a glow to the moist air if you catch it at the right angle, right under a streetlamp, the drizzle, each tiny little drop absorbing that light and refracting it in a way, that if you are in a good mood will set you in an even better mood. And so was the case, a wee bit earlier as I walked from the Smith and 9th stop to the Red Hook loft to gather more of my shit to bring to Williamsburg. In spurts. I make occasional little trips, carrying a backpackful of stuff because the idea and the actual act of hauling heavy ass luggage all the way to the subway, up the stairs, fitting on a busy train, and switching lines with a huge bag that makes you groan like an old man is not fun, not fun at all.

I am still working at The Strand, making the little bucks, but not really doing that much work either. Talking to cool co-workers, customers, dead novelists, and people from my past. Yesterday, James Glisson came into the store from two or so years ago, and we chatted it up. The day before, Matthew Sharpe, an old professor, checked out the short stories and told me that he's glad I am okay, that he was worried about me when I got kicked out. And I hug Whitman books that come my way. I press them to my chest and say Yes. He's not alone. I take long breaks on the clock and read passages from anything, from Anasis Nin's fifth volume of her diary, which I want to buy very soon, and I sigh, yes, yes, yes -- words are what I live for. Words and smiles and good tunes and bodies in motion, mine and yours. I am thinking of purchasing a cheap laptop tomorrow even though, I don't have the money to, but I want one, I miss writing and I hate writing things by hand, I just don't do it, and buying things you want but don't have money for are what credit cards were made for.

But yeah, work is usually more fun than a low wage job should be. It's the people, stupid. I work with people whose knowledge and intelligence sometimes wows me, and they are nice. I don't think I am going to get it on with David, even though he has made many innuendos that he likes me, because he is what you would call "sensitive" and has already gotten upset by nothings I have said in jest, so I have been gently talking about other boys I like and trying to foster the gay-male friendship I have always wanted, and it's happening which makes me very happy.

I am outrageously in love with the place I am staying and soon will need to start looking for another place to live once Jeff gets back. There is a good burrito place by me and a White Castle! Eating at White Castle is such a novel thing for me. I ate there for the first time ever just a few days ago. I had always heard of "White Castle," being dropped as a cultural reference in so many things, or at least two that still stick with me: an epidose of Cheers and that Beastie Boys line about "White Castle in Brookllyn" which I think is from "Brass Monkey". But yeah, I get giddy about White Castle. It is this shared cultural reference that I am now in on. Standing there, waiting for my six tiny cheeseburgers, I felt a fleeting sense of enlightenment, that yes, this is what it is all about. I am connected to it all now. My body moving into nooks and crannies all over this country. I was there, at the White Castle in Brooklyn, and I am still working on trying to describe the feeling of joy produced by just standing in a place that occupies so much space within our American culture, that maybe I was in that space too, or that salvation for all eternity is not what it is about, the spirtual struggle, I mean, but it is about establishing as many connections as possible, with people, things, all of it, and that solves the whole life after death question. It renders it a moot point, the wrong question produced by an ideology that we step out of in these connections. And I had a similar experience when I was younger. My sister and I were amazed by stoping at a Circle K somewhere in the midwest, and we wandered it with a reverential awe like it was the Grand Canyon, exclaiming that it was a Circle K, as if by the declarations, we could make it more believable to ourselves. This was right after we had discovered two little lads by the names of Bill and Ted who spent time at a Circle K. My mom still thinks we were very weird about the Circle K thing, but it was connecting ourselves to this culture in a major way, a way comprable in visuals to when Bill and Ted travel through time, flying through all those electric tunnels. That is what happened then, those years ago, and what happened this week at White Castle, a sense of connectedness to the world. Not a death of individuality to a homogenous culture, but a sublimation of that egoistic urge to the idea that there is this great big sprawling thing, that you are not a part of, but that you actually are this big sprawling thing. Paul Outka, while talking about Whitman (not about White Castle, though they do both begin with 'W'), said something along these lines that I think of from time to time. In reference to the poem "Compost" about your body as soil, he said that as long as you don't think of yourself as distinct from the Earth, you can never die. He, of course, worded it with a power that the idea is still with me today. But, you get the idea, or at least I did, waiting there in White Castle. It's all about outlook. Really.

The burgers were damn good for the price they cost, too.

Also, Peaches didn't happen. Let's not talk about it. Pop did. Saw lots of New College kids. I have been drinking beer like it is going out of style. And Monday, I danced for the first time in New York. I have danced at other places here in New York, but this was dancing. I was way out of control, way losing myself to that big sprawling thing and it felt good. Danced to Led Zepplin, David Bowie, Dolly Parton, and lots of eighties hits at The Cock, which was way more fun and way less sleezy that I expected. I even got my ass grabbed by the boy I was madly in love with and sneeking peeks at all night. Too bad Niki's a maniac and dragged me out of the bar once she lost her coat, and too bad there is that thing called work the next moring at nine thirty.

But New York is treating me pretty good these days. I am going to apply for a job at a certain temp agency, following the advice of Jason Grimste of all people. Oh, and I am still madly in love with the Yeah Yeah Yeah's. The album is all I listen to still, particularly two songs though. "Y Control" and "Black Tongue". I want to write pages about them, but that will have to wait.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

are you friends or lovers?

How good is all of this? It is 3:30 in the afternoon, and I am at the Red Hook loft for perhaps the last time, taking advantage of the internet access here and packing up the rest of my stuff I left here to haul out to Williamsburg. It's a cloudy day, but god, you would not know that from my mood. I am blaring Wilco on Cassidy's stereo and absorbing that beautiful sound.

Homocorps last weekend was fun, but not nearly as fun as the Faint on Monday, and more fun sounds coming up soon: Tomorrow Pop is playing somewhere and I am going to go show my support for New College music, and Saturday is Peaches!

The apartment I am subletting is the nicest place on Earth. I am going to leave it kicking and screaming into some closet out in the boondocks, and so I am enjoying it while it lasts. I listen to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Fever to Tell nonstop there. More sounds. Great ones. High school all over. First time in so long that I have gotten a CD and listened to it nonstop for days trying to learn every last lyric. It's a good feeling. The power of rock and roll.

I am meeting the nicest people in the world. Before I came out to Red Hook this afternoon, I went to Washington Mutual to try to open a bank account and the lady said I had to have a piece of mail with a Brooklyn address on it, which I don't have, and she was about to ignore it and open an account anyways but her boss stopped her. She's got a big heart. She gave me her card and whispered to come back on Saturday and she would do it. People, never stopping being nice to me. Please. It makes me so happy. Don't stop and I won't and we'll swirl round and round with happiness.

And last night, I went out with a friend from work to some gay bars and talked to him forever and think he's a right on guy. He asked me to come home with him. I didn't. Some sense of decorum told me it woud be a bad idea to sleep with a co-worker right after having met him. So now I have met him, and the next time I hang out with him, it will defintiley be a different story come the end of night either part or go home together moment.

At some point in the night, I was talking about my love of Whitman and Springsteen and their vision of America, and this boy, David, told me, because this world gets smaller and smaller and nicer and nicer each day, told me that the husband of his college advisor is Jim Cullen who appearantly wrote an academic book on Springsteen that places Springsteen in the same tradition as Emerson and Whitman. And David still meets with this couple a lot, and told me he'd give me a copy of the book and that we should go to lunch with him. What? How are people so nice? And because I don't have internet access, I never mentioned anything here about the gay writing guy that is going to get me involved in gay travel writing. He used to be the editor of Passport and is now working on a line of books, and he offered to help me get started writing, doing a paid internship when he gets back from travelling. And not only that, but he offered to let me housesit his midtown apartment while he was gone. Everyone I meet is astounding me with their kindness.

Thursday, May 8, 2003

a thing that occurred last night that warmed my heart

After work, getting off at my subway stop, the Smith and 9th, I stopped at the bodega right by the station for a snack, for something yummy to put in my hungry tummy. Looking around the place like you tend to do when you are hungry, and thinking of how good just about any of the things would be. The cake, the box of donuts, the beef jerky. Hell, why choose one? You're hungry, you want them all. But you are a little more rational than that and wander around the store with your slice of carrot cake, which you definitly are getting no matter what. You need the carrot cake.

And so, I wandered around with this carrot cake and heard a woman ask for tuna fish. That is it! Tuna fish! That is what I need more than anything right now. So, I picked up a loaf of bread and asked for two cans of tuna fish, and had the guy ring me up. He said somthing along the lines of:

Uh-oh. An unlucky number. Your total is going to be six-six-six.

And I looked in my wallet and from eyeing it, it looked like I did not have enough cash for these purchases, and I said so, also starting off with an "Uh-oh," and then continuing on to say, "I don't think I have enough cash, I might have to take off the carrot cake."

And in New York, where people tell me it's a rough place, this guy said, "It's okay, just pay me tomorrow."

Just pay me tomorrow! A guy that I had never seen before in a bodega I had only been in once before told me I could just pay him tomorrow. People, I live in Mayberry. My heart was so warmed by this unexpected kindness, and I counted the stuff in my wallet to see how much I did have, and it turned out that I was only a penny short, avoided Satan's number and paid $6.65. I walked home in the drizzle absolutely glowing, thinking of how nice just about everyone I have encountered in this town has been. Everyone is all smiles. There is this light that's being shared by people here. Some people just beam with it, and by doing so, shine a glow on others who then start to emit this light also. I'm not really sure about the source of this light, but man, when it glows it glows. It's like SARS, it can't be stopped.

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

"time! time! time! it's on my side! (yes it is!)"

I love this city. Today, it's been treating me too good. Danced my way through Strand interview, and start working there tomorrow at 2. Paid Jeff to sublet his huge room in Williamsburg for a month and a half, for about half of what he pays for it. Pick up the keys on Saturday. And on Thursday, I am meeting with a guy about doing some freelance queer related research and writing for him. Hopefully, he's not a jackass. Even if so, I've got a job and a place to live. I'm going to see Al Sharpton tonight, and then I am going to get wasted. It's cold and wet here, but that can't stop me, bring the fucking raining frogs, bring it all, you cannot stop me and the Stones.

I turned on Cassidy's stereo and here are these lads from England, right here in this Brooklyn loft rocking, rocking, and rocking some more, and I am right here with them, rocking and rolling.
Niki told me I should write a book on How To Blow a Job Interview.

Now, the first step neccesary to blowing a job interview is to really hate the job, to not want it at all, and to convince yourself that the person interviewing you, the owner of the store is a pompous ass. Okay, now charm your way through the interview, make the owner laugh and smile, and keep the interview rolling along smoothly. You don't really blow it big unless it is abrupt, the smooth laughter, and then the stoneface. Smile. No smile. That's the effect you are going for. Wait until that moment right as he is about to offer you the job to blow it. Hold it as long as possible. Wait until he asks you one last question, a formality that just requires a nod. Let's just pick a hypothetical example. Let's say he asks you about your plans to also pick up a part time job, you say that you are thinking about it, and then he exercises power and says that this is not a good idea since your schedule changes from week to week and that Lame-O Grocery Store must be your #1 priortiy. Now you are free to blow the interview, but be subtle. Continue this discussion about scheduling and a part time job, let him give you a long explanation of their scheduling and why this should prevent you from seeking out other work, an answer that is supposed to silence you if you want the job. And then laugh like he is a dickhead and say that is just not financially realistic to expect you to support yourself in New York City for godsakes working only forty hours a week making eight dollars an hour, and that you are going to need to get another job.

And then watch as the owner's smile fades, as he straightens papers and tells you that they still have other people to interview and will get back to you.

I decided that if I am going to get paid low wages, it is not going to be as a cashier at a fucking grocery store. Organic or not. And tomorrow at ten, I have an interview at The Strand bookstore (eight miles of books!) that I am not going to blow. Oh, and I have an apartment too. Or at least until June 20. A sublet in Williamsburg that I can move into on Sunday. Tomorrow: interview, job hunting, meeting with Jeff about subletting his room, and then either the Rev. Al Sharpton talking at the gay center or Tom Robbins reading. I really want to see Sharpton but I told Niki already that I would go see Tom Robbins, who I think is a little silly.

In the living room of this loft is this huge image of a beach at sunset. I'm talking 10 by 15 feet. The type of thing they have at travel agencies on a wall. And I was watching Magnolia on the couch and looking into the sunset, thinking that I was in that picture only weeks ago and I didn't appreciate it at all. You look at a picture of a tropical beach on a cold, drizzly day in New York and it seems about as distant from reality as Mars or something, and a short period of time ago, this was my reality. And I looked at this image for way too long, at the sunset on the wall of this loft in Red Hook, and I wish I had a digital camera so I could show all you LJ readers what I am talking about. Images to accompany the story. I saw a young female, my age or thereabouts reading a WG Sebald novel on the train today, and I thought: too young, too young.

Sunday, May 4, 2003

"why take three trains out to brooklyn when you can have sex in the club?"

Last night, dancing at Opaline with a weird crowd, but the crowd's shortcomings were negated by the music. Any place that plays Tom Petty and The Cure is all right by me. There were some silly burlesque shows, some guys really eager to get on stage and show their cocks, and some dorky people. Niki wanted to leave, but not before dancing in this silly underwear room, so danced in underwear for a bit, and when she put her skirt back on, she realized she lost her ID and metrocard, so she searched through piles of clothes unsucessfully and seemed resigned to the fact that this was a sign her life was in the pits.

I still have yet to make out with a boy in this place. Soon though. That, getting laid, is one of three big priorities circling and swirling around me right now. They are, in order, of the happiness they would provide me with:

1.Getting laid
2. Getting a fun job that pays a decent sum of money
3. Getting an apartment with decent roommates

Number One: Still have yet to hit any gay bars. Last night, waiting for the F train, tired, drunk and slightly stoned, I was sitting on the bench waiting forever, sitting between a white lesbian couple to my right and a black lesbian couple to my left. And further down the platform, two guys were making out, smiling ear to ear in between kisses. And that was the loneliest I have felt here, surrounded by people with people, happy so.

Number Two: Tomorrow, I hear from Perelandra, an organic grocery store in downtown Brooklyn about whether or not I will be working there for a whopping eight dollars an hour. Before that though, I am going to go apply at a Bake Shop, a pizza place, and to work as a sushi person. I never heard back from Squeeze to come back and work more. I may call them. I applied at the Strand bookstore yesterday with Jamie. Wednesday night, I may go apply for a job that I do not have the body for, but seems like too funny a job to apply for to not do so. And all of these are temporary, until the perfect job comes my way.

Number Three: Looked at a room in East Williamsburg yesterday that I liked everything about except for the roommates, hear from them tomorrow. Today, looked at a room somewhere in Brooklyn that I liked nothing about except for the roommate, that I could move into if I wanted, that I may move into if I don't hear back from the other people.

And other things not really of note but which I will note anyways:

I am eating like shit. All I eat is fried food. The smell of fried food attracts me to hot dog vendors, pulls me into pizza places, into Chinese places and I love it more that I should - I know it is not healthy to eat a thing of donuts, a Chunky candy bar, a big sausauge smothered in fried onions, a root beer float, and Chinese food, but I do it anyways. That in fact, was what I ate today. And I wish I could say that today's eating was an exception but it is in fact all too typical of how badly I have been eating. The constant availabilty of foods that I would normally only come across on rare occasions, trips to the fair, to the boardwalk, to the city - and I need to somehow restrain myself and eat these foods only that often now, even though it so easy to eat them all the time now.

I have found lots of fun things to do that involve free drinks. This makes me excited. And Saturday is Homocorps, with Houston [Some last name], the horny gay rapper who provided the title of this entry, and who, both Niki and I are going to try to make out with, and probably fail miserablely at. And can someone please tell me why I am hungry right now? And why all I want is a Snickers?