Thursday, March 31, 2005

Fuck me! Yet another hard reminder of the lesson life will never let us forget that you shouldn't put off til tomorrow what you can do today. Since I have moved to NY, I have been wanting to go to the Gaiety Theater and in recent weeks, I had been seriously considering spending the twenty dollars to go rather than paying my rent in full (which I didn't end up doing anyways).

Motherfuck, it is now closed, the last old timey male strip club in NY. Motherfuck.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

the human stain

I read these two quotes last night in The Human Stain, in love with both of them. Roth writes horny old men so well. This first quote struck me so much for its trueness, that that is the test of a good male friend, someone you can talk to about sex without the appearance of bragging. The second one struck me just for its joy, that feeling of having sex often. After I finished that second quote, I put the book down and masturbated so well that I fell asleep, but soon woke hours later, jolted awake by coffee I had drank hours earlier in the evening, but yet still in my system, had horrible paranoid nightmares, and was on edge, having trouble sleeping. My sex drive is so low these days despite recent actions of mine. I rarely masturbate. I have resolved to masturbate morning and night to keep myself in this habit because it is a good thing. I was so stressed yesterday and for no reason, tense, and then last night when I came and with that quote still in my head, I knew why.

I thought, He's found somebody he can talk with . . . and then I thought, So have I. The moment a man starts to tell you about sex, he's telling you something about the two of you. Ninety percent of the time it doesn't happen, and probably it's as well it doesn't, though if you can't get a level of candor on sex and you choose to behave instead as if this isn't ever on your mind, the male friendship is incomplete. Most men never find such a friend. It's not common. But when it does happen, when two men find themselves in agreement about this essential part of being a man, unafraid of being judged, shamed, envied, or outdone, confident of not having the confidence betrayed, their human connection can be very strong and unexpected intimacy results. (27)

I know that every mistake a man can make has a sexual accelerator. But right now I happen not to care. I wake up in the morning, there's a towel on the floor, there's baby oil on the bedside table. How did all that get there? Then I remember. Got there because I'm alive again. Because I'm back in the tornado. Because this is what it is with a capital isness.
(35)

Monday, March 28, 2005

i married a communist

This evening, I finished Philip Roth’s I Married a Communist and I know, I say everything wows me, and perhaps most writers do, but wow, wow, wow – this is the sixth book of his I have read and I am still not tired of him, still impressed so much. I have said that I think Roth is the most talented American writer alive before. I think I am going to stick with that, maybe even get rid of that national qualifier. I cannot think of any novelist that is more talented. His books aren’t flawless, not at all, but those heights he is able to sometimes reach, so high, the weaving of stories, his Zuckerman persona – I am just baffled that this old man is able to still produce book after book, amazing books that contain so much. I can think of many better stylists, people with the most elegant sentences. But Roth’s sentences sometimes have an outrageous elegance that seems all the more wow because they come in the middle of these breathless pagelong monologues. Seriously, throughout this book, I kept exclaiming, “Philip Roth, are you kidding me? How are you doing this?” I can’t get enough of him and am probably going to start The Human Stain tonight even though I had resolved to myself to write some cover letters and a sex story, but later, maybe, who knows, we’ll see what, if anything, gets accomplished after I do some dishes. Below are three passages I loved so much I got up to find a pen even though there was one nowhere near me.

*****************************


I shouldn’t have been surprised by his mental energy, even by his enthusiasm for the three-hundred-word writing assignment—discuss, from the perspective of a lifetime, any one line in Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy—that the professor had given his elderly students. Yet that a man so close to oblivion should be preparing homework for the next day, educating himself for a life that had all but run out—that the puzzle continued to puzzle him, that clarification remained a vital need—more than surprised me: a sense of error settled over me, bordering on shame, for living to myself and keeping everything at such a distance. (151)

*****************************


Occasionally now, looking back, I think of my life as one long speech that I’ve been listening to. The rhetoric is sometimes original, sometimes pleasurable, sometimes pasteboard crap (the speech of the incognito), sometimes maniacal, sometimes matter-of-fact, and sometimes like the sharp prick of a needle, and I have been hearing it for as long as I can remember: how to think, how not to think; how to behave, how not to behave; whom to loathe and whom to admire; what to embrace and when to escape; what is rapturous, what is murderous, what is laudable, what is shallow, what is sinister, what is shit, and how to remain pure in soul. Talking to me doesn’t seem to present an obstacle to anyone. This is perhaps a consequence of my having gone around for years looking as if I needed talking to. But whatever the reason, the book of my life is a book of voices. When I ask myself how I arrived at where I am, the answer surprises me: “Listening.”

Can that have been the unseen drama? Was all the rest a masquerade disguising the real no good that I was obstinately up to? Listening to them. Listening to them talk. The utterly wild phenomenon that is. Everyone perceiving experience as something not to have but to have so as to talk about it. Why is that? Why do they want me to hear them and their arias? Where was it decided that this was my use? Or was I from the beginning, by inclination as much as by choice, merely an ear in search of a word?

“Politics is the great generalizer,” Leo told me, “and literature the great particularizer, and not only are they in an inverse relationship to each other—they are in a an antagonistic relationship to each other. To politics, literature is decadent, soft, irrelevant, boring, wrongheaded, dull, something that makes no sense and that really oughtn’t to be. Why? Because the particularizing impulse is literature. How can you be a politician and allow the nuance? As an artist the nuance is your task. Your task is not to simplify. Even should you choose to write in the simplest way, a la Hemingway, the task remains to impart the nuance, to elucidate the complication, to imply the contradiction. Not to erase the contradiction, not to deny the contradiction, but to see where, within the contradiction, lies the tormented human being. To allow for the chaos, to let it in. You must let it in. Otherwise you produce propaganda, if not for a political party, a political movement, then stupid propaganda for life itself—for life as it might itself prefer to be publicized. During the first five, six years of the Russian Revolution the revolutionaries cried, ‘Free love, there will be free love!’ But once they were in power, they couldn’t permit it. Because what is free love? Chaos. And they didn’t want chaos. That isn’t why they made their glorious revolution. They wanted something carefully disciplined, organized, contained, predictable scientifically, if possible. Free love disturbs the organization, their social and political and cultural machine. Art also disturbs the organization. Literature disturbs the organization. Not because it is blatantly for or against, or even subtly for or against. It disturbs the organization because it is not general. The intrinsic nature of the particular is to be particular, and the intrinsic nature of particularity is to fail to conform. Generalizing suffering: there is Communism. Particularizing suffering: there is literature. In that polarity is the antagonism. Keeping the particular alive in a simplifying, generalizing world—that’s where the battle is joined. You do not have to write to legitimize Communism, and you do not have to write to legitimize capitalism. You are out of both. If you are a writer, you are as unallied to the one as you are to the other. Yes, you see the differences, and of course you see that this shit is a little better than that shit, or that that shit is a little better than this shit. Maybe much better. But you see the shit. You are not a government clerk. You are not a militant. You are not a believer. You are someone who deals in a very different way with the world and what happens in the world. The militant introduces a faith, a big belief that will change the world, and the artist introduces a product that has no places in the world. It’s useless. The artist, the serious writer, introduces into the world something that wasn’t there even at the start. When God made all this stuff in seven days, the birds, the rivers, the human beings, he didn’t have ten minutes for literature. ‘And then there will be literature. Some people will like it, some people will be obsessed by it, want to do it…’ No. No. He did not say that. If you had asked God then, ‘There will be plumbers?’ ‘Yes, there will be. Because they will have houses, they will need plumbers.’ ‘There will be doctors?’ ‘Yes. Because they will get sick, they will need doctors to give them some pills.’ ‘And literature?’ ‘Literature? What are you talking about? What use does it have? Where does it fit in? Please, I am creating a universe, not a university. No literature.’” (222-224)

*****************************


I blew out the candle’s scented flame and stretched myself across the chaise on the deck and realized that listening in the black of a summer’s night to a barely visible Murray had been something like listening to the bedroom radio when I was a kid ambitious to change the world by having all my untested convictions, masquerading as stories, broadcast nationwide. Murray, the radio: voices from the void controlling everything within, the convolutions of a story floating on air and into the ear so that the drama is perceived well behind the eyes, the cup that is the cranium a cup transformed into a limitless globe of a stage, containing fellow creatures whole. How deep our hearing goes! Think of all it means to understand from something that you simply hear. The godlikeness of having and ear! Is it not at least a semidivine phenomenon to be hurled into the innermost wrongness of a human existence by virtue of nothing more than sitting in the dark, listening to what is said? (320-321
I have a new favorite tv show. A Current Affair. It is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I love everything about it. Those zoom sound effects. The narration. The method of storytelling. The choice of stories. I cannot get enough of it. It's almost too much to believe. I almost think it is a parody of itself. I wish I could write for that show.

In related news, tonight I am writing cover letters for jobs I am underqualified for and so fibbing a little at Seventeen, the Harlequin imprint, and National Enquirer. I cannot tell you much I would love to work at that last place. I would cream my pants.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Sunday

Because these things always collide, the phone bill, the need for a new subway pass, rent, and you know, things like eating food, and I had all of twelve dollars to my name since this Friday's paycheck is going to just pay my April rent, I found myself pissing on the art owner guy in Chelsea again. He asked me what I did for Easter. I told him nothing. He asked if I celebrated it, and there were images of me as a kid, photographs from around our house, me in Easter best, and fast forwarding to this, to standing naked in this guy's living room about to piss on him. And I could hear the voiceover from one of those dramatic tv shows, showing the childhood clips, telling what it had come to now, wondering how these positions are arrived at in life, but in a way free of nuance. He paid me money and now after buying a new monthly card, buying various bath products, renting a movie, and getting Chinese food, I have about four dollars left. I rented more of Six Feet Under. I think I vaguely smell like urine even though I took a shower because I was worried about this smell.

you've got to set them up

Remember how earlier today, I was recommending to you LCD Soundsystem's "Daft Punk is Playing at my House"? Well, tonight I was at a place I have done good to avoid: "Misshapes" at Luke and Leroy's. I had avoided the place thinking it was the hipster/asshole place it turned out to be, but after spending most of the night outside on a curb drinking bodega beer out of a paper bag and talking with Bonnie on the phone, I went back in, and soon after, this awesome song that I was telling you about came on. I danced like an explosion, hitting anything even semi-near to me and was pushed from direction to direction, into person after person, all the pretty little scum pissed that someone bumped into them, pushing me one way to the other, and I did not give one shit because I was dancing to this noise, this sound that fills me with (yes, I am going to say it) the spirit of God. Like someone possessed, I cannot keep it in control when I hear this, my body, my limbs move in totally opposite directions, unrestrained, all over the motherfucking place, other people, especially people with asymmetrical haircuts, beware! Because I cannot be tamed and was not and am not now as I listen to it via illegal MP3 technology. After I left the bar, after LCD Soundsystem was over and everyone I was with was ready to go, I smoked lots of pot on the street with this man with a Jamaican accent. Lots and lots. I talked to him more, tried to get Ben to come with us to some bar and then after Ben said no, left with Ben's posse toward the subway. I kicked a cab on the way and I think his posse was stunned, silenced, and all hating me. I have this song in my head and I could feel that they didn't, that they thought I was an asshole, but I wanted them to all hear what I was hearing, these delirious sounds - not only that, but to feel the things, the joy I was feeling when I heard these sounds, this song. I walked home, saw things that I shouldn't have, and didn't really care so much about perceived silences. The LCD Soundsystem was playing. Also, there was that combination, there is, of substances in his system.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

daft punk is playing at my house

At my house! I saw the video for this on one of those many cool public NY stations, and I have since downloaded this rocking LCD Soundsytem song and I am playing it right now and am rocking away here on my computer. Dusk is setting in outside the window next to my desk. The sky looks gorgeous. This stuff vibrating through my ears makes me so happy, and why? Why do certain sounds make us happy? Isn't that awesome? Something so simple, sounds?

I sometimes reach to adjust my glasses out of habit, to push them back up the bridge of my nose. I have not had glasses for about a month since I lost them but my hands are still used to this habit, longing for an object no longer here. I could make an analogy of some sorts here, but you know what that analogy is, you know what I did.

I went and checked out a few galleries this afternoon. Damien Hirst has nothing to say and so he says things really loud. The opposite to his show was Robert Gober's show at Matthew Marks. Gober dealt with 9/11 but in the most muted and elegant way. Well maybe not the most muted, that crucifix fountain was a little much, but the symmetry of the show's drawings was so elegant and I really loved this show. Emily Jacir's show also showed some restraint in dealing with political matter. I went to Hirst's last and was like, "So loud, so loud, Damien, you don't have to shout!" I am over him. When did I start saying "I am so over..." or even dismissing things as "over" or "passe"? I am finding myself doing this more and more often. The snob I sometimes keep in check is breaking loose, throwing off the chains and calling your painting derivative.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Our interactions were becoming more and more friendly and I was excited about that, about being able to talk to Matt like a normal person, but I think I have blown up the tracks of that course completely. You see - and that prefix is one that should always give you pause because what you are about to hear is going to be a long attempt at self-justification, at evasion. I have been picking up on this a lot lately because my landlord says it so often - but you see, I had started off the night at six with only a burrito in my stomach and started downing beers at Elizabeth Dee gallery with Gabriel, Ben and his friends, Sky and Wyatt. There were more galleries, already things are blurring together at this point with just a couple beers and a couple cups of cheap white wine. I don't remember all the galleries. I remember some being bad and some being mediocre, which might be even worse than bad. The only thing I thought was excellent that I saw was Angela Strassheim's creepy photos at Marvelli.

I smoked lots of Canadian cigarettes and got on the train with these boys heading back to Brooklyn and this is where a change of plans can affect so much, so many other things. I was thinking about not going out with them to the Fischerspooner salon at Deitch because it was Fischerspooner and because I am becoming that person that looks forward to a night's television line-up. The O.C., American Idol, and the American Office were all on. And luckily, I put my transformation into that type of person on hold otherwise you would be reading a far different narrative, perhaps a better one in some sense, but a far less exciting one. And really, I am wondering if it was the drunkenness so much as the boredom with aspects of my life and trying and succeeding at giving me life a little shot of adrenalin, despite the costs.

There the boys met up with some girls, Robyn, Beth, and Colleen. Lots of Red Stripe was drank. Lots of Canadian cigarettes were smoked and just as the event was starting to take place we left for Manhattan again to go to Morrisey Park (formerly Open Air) where there was to be more free drinks. And I am listening to Morrissey right now and it is a gray day and I called in sick to work today because of all those free drinks. I feel like crap and keep on exclaiming to myself, "Ah, I slept with Matt!" Cue to shot of Macauly Culkin in Home Alone pressing his hands to his cheeks and screaming. I kept giggling to myself when I was taking a shower, going over these things, wondering why I do them. Last night, Matt, who I never told about my father, said I do them because of my father. The comment scared me and I asked him what he meant, tried to get at what provoked the comment and he said it's why people do everything, because of issues with their father. And the slightly skewed Freudian talk seemed perhaps true last night.

So now there's a third possible reason. So far, Alcohol, Boredom, and Father Issues. I am almost ready to give up reasons, that they say too much and yet say nothing, that it is far more simple, that these things are what I want to happen and that I will them, sometimes my will, my desire being freed or excited by these reasons. After Open Air, we stopped at the Cock where I showed my sluttiness to a scandalized Wyatt while I groped some hairy old man's chest. I think this is the moment all self-control may have been lost if I had to pick one, if I had to point my finger at a map of last night and tell you where exactly it was the car veered off the road, it is right there, at a trashy gay bar on A and 9th, me with my hands in someone's hairy chest, ocassionally groping their cock.

I was talking with Niki the other day in her store and we were sort of talking about this subject, about why it is that Niki, Bonnie, and I exhibit behavior that other people don't exhibit when they are drunk. Other people get just as drunk but most people don't tend to veer of the road and get so sexually brazen. Anyways, the car is already heading straight for that tree when I get on the subway and end up at the Metropolitan with Gabriel and Wyatt. I grabbed a beer and spotted Matt and my targets were set and there was one thing on my mind, his cock in my mouth. I sat next to him, chatted, and smooth as I am, spilled my beer down his back. I think I talked to some other people there throughout the night, I don't remember. I do remember finding my way back to Matt again and again throughout the night becoming more and more brazen, telling him that I wanted his cock in my mouth, playing with his chest. And I remember talking with him about a couple things, father issues, being dumped, and I was so smitten last night and so out of control about admitting it. Matt told me that it was not going to happen, that that would not ever happen again. I played with his chest more. Why was I all about chests last night?

Finally, drunk and out of cigarettes, I decided to go home. I said bye to Matt and walked out the door, looked behind me as I walked to the corner, hoping that he would come after me. I rounded the corner and headed toward home and was walking home in a daze when I heard my name called behind me, back at the corner. I thought it was Gabriel at first and then saw his shape at the end of the block and ran back to the corner, met Matt and walked home with him.

It was stupid and unnecessary, but it was fun. His body is what I hold up to be the ideal and I sucked his cock and played with his little perfect tuft of hair in the middle of his chest. It was wordless and kiss free. When it was over, I got dressed and left, walked home totally shocked that that had just happened. I know that it was not in my own interests to do that but now I am hesitating about calling it unnecessary. The thing that most amazed me was how good it felt just to see and touch his body, that really, that was all I wanted, that it had been so long since I had and this act just sharpened the details of that memory whose details were starting to blur, that that was the point and now I am good, have this memory to last until the details fade again.
I just slept with Matt. I don't really know why. I didn't kiss him once on the lips. It was totally dirty. I enjoyed it. Um, yeah, I just slept with Matt! WTF?!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I am just getting back from the Metropolitan and a really crazy trip it was. God, my heart is still beating so fast from all the excitement. You may think I am petty because it was nothing more than encountering crushes, my oh my God, the crushes encountered was crazy. This evening I went to Matt's show with Gabriel. On my way there I encountered Paul, who showed me a mock-up of this photo zine he had made. It was awesome. Matt's show was awesome. He was dreamy. I then went to Niki's store! Um, yeah Niki has a store and I went to that. And this was one, two, three, pow! Three of my peers in a row all going after thing and reaching what they were grabbing for, being really successful. Today has inspired me so much and I don't really know if I can talk about too much now because I am really drunk and still giddy and typing quietly for fear of waking my roommates, me out here in the living room typing loudly away past three in the morning.

Tonight, I signed up to sing karaoke, Billy Joel's "Tell Her About It," because I really like the song, but Charlie, my crush, was there and I was so nervous after I signed up, so worried about performing in front of him. I didn't talk to him, of course, because I was way embarrassed about that last message I wrote to him about wanting to make out with him. He came up to me while I was engaged in conversation with Joe, went out of his way, and said "Hi CHARLIE!" It blew my mind. I said hi back. But my crush who I told I wanted to make out with, went out of his way to say hello to me and it is probably a sign that he is rececptive to the making out, but he said that as he was leaving and that made me a lot more sane that I would not have to perform this song I didn't even know they lyrics to in front of him. But really confused as to whether he liked me or not.

Enter Matt and Kevin. I talked to Matt throughout the night, later with the assistance of Gabriel's friendliness, and really, I am so obsessed and am probably going to go masturbate right now to thoughts of this boy. I will not lie. I would sleep with him in a half second and probably bark like a dog at his command. I am so infatuated with him still. I don't think it is sick. You should have seen him in this tight t-shirt. I smoked lots of Canadian cigarettes tonight. I have to work tomorrow, my first time going back after being demoted. Maybe tomorrow, I will write something that I proofread, something that makes sense. Maybe.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Ugh. Why would they remake The Office? It is so perfect, as is. I think I have to work Thursday, so I will probably miss this.

Again, I think I am working Thursday. I have been "demoted" for calling in sick on Friday, which I am actually really happy about because now I can go back to putzing around on the internet and dropping and picking up shifts whenever I choose for the same pay rate. There was never much to do in quality control. I would file papers in half an hour that everyone else would take their whole shift to file, so yeah, I am not really sympathetic to the claim that they got slammed with work because I called in. They got slammed with work because they didn't have me to do the shit they are too slow to do. I really hope that she doesn't want me to continue doing QC for the rest of this week because I was just about to tell her I needed Tuesday off and she might explode if I ask for that off.

***************************


Hey Charlie,

Hope you're feeling better.

Unfortunately, today was an absolute bitch to get under control. Whenever there isn't someone manning the Quality Control shift the person or persons the next day get slammed. And we did. Shaun stayed late on Friday and Arelis stayed late today.

As you know I come in for part of each shift and the reason I have people helping me out is so there's always someone from Qulaity Control to keep things running smoothly. I had told you I wasn't going to be in on Friday so you not coming in left us in a lurch, again.

I appreciate the work you've done for me, but I really need someone who is going to be for every shift and stay until the shift is over...I talked to Erika and she's more than happy to put you back on being a scanner.

Let us know what you want to do.

Seriously, no hard feelings.

Priscilla

***************************


Priscilla:

Yeah, I am sorry. I would like to be a scanner if that is okay. That is what I had originally liked about this job, the flexibility it enabled schedule wise, and I know that that is not an option with QC, so how would this work out? Meaning basically, would the schedule I have be void as of now until I got scheduled to scan? Definitely no hard feelings, I am actually really glad about this arrangement. I really hate having such a set schedule.

Thanks and sorry again,
Charlie

Saturday, March 19, 2005

She found a bench near Box 674 and sat down. At noon the last window slammed shut. Maria drank from the water cooler, smoked cigarettes, read the F.B.I. posters. Wandering the county somewhere were Negro Females Armed with Lye, Caucasian Males posing as Baby Furniture Representatives, Radio Station Employees travelling out of Texas with wives and children and embezzled cash and Schemes for Getting Money and Never Delivering on Piecework, an inchoate army on the move. (166-167)

And when I read the end of that last sentence riding home on a packed L train, I sighed, closed my eyes, held my thumb in the book and was under the spell of that word “inchoate.” I don’t know why this word moves me so much, probably because it is so rarely used, but whenever a writer does use it, I pause on the sentence and think about what a great word that it is, inchoate. Inchoate has replaced Apotheosis as the word that most gives me chills when I come across it. That is funny if you know what thos words me, inchoate replacing apotheosis, what it says though, I don't want to speculate.

But I sighed, pressed between a large woman and the metal end of the bench. My shoulder was pressed into that metal, hurting me so much so that I got off at Bedford, a stop early. On the subway earlier today, a different train, I heard a woman telling her friend that those metal bars / armrests at the ends of benches by the doors were designed for safety so that muggers couldn’t reach into a train right before the doors close and grab a necklace or a pocketbook of someone sitting next to the door. I listened to lots of conversations today. I was at the Met checking out the Diane Arbus show. I paused in the middle of the room, trying to catch as many conversations as I could, and they all blurred together, this symphony of muted observations, so loud. That, also, gave me chills. It was that type of day, I was vaguely tired and easily moved by nothing and everything.

On my way there, I was reading Joan Didion’s Play It as It Lays, which was an appropriate pairing for Arbus. Didion’s bleak, detached book and then Arbus’ dark, detached photos, both trying to say something about America, Didion, being the more successful one. Arbus bothers me, but so does photography. There is something too easy about it. The photographs are nothing without its subjects. This is a new position for me. I used to be a photography booster, but lately, I am so over photography and that style of abject documentary photography that she spawned. Great, you took pictures of a drag queen. So what, tell me something. The show was so packed. I wonder why photography exhibits need to happen – if they do. Painting, I see the need for. That can’t be reproduced as nice. But, that’s the nature of photography, easy, identical reproductions can be made. There was nothing great about the quality of the photographs in person, you can see them just as well in her books, can see them even better, because you don’t have four people’s shoulders you have to lean over to see, all crowding around each tiny print. The only really exciting part of the show, since all these photos are so common, were the rooms with her journals and contact sheets, but these were even more crowded and absolutely impossible to look at. A nice touch that I enjoyed was the display of her books over all these artifacts. I love old books and had so much fun spotting the titles and recognizing some editions. I probably could have gone to the Strand and had just as much fun.

I enjoy Arbus I should say because I haven’t and it is too easy to be dismissive. There is just something that has me apprehensive about her work, the exploitive nature of it, but surely, that is part of her purpose, to make viewers uncomfortable. This explotiviness is best represented by her photos of those down syndrome patients, which make me so uncomfortable, and which I heard other people commenting were “wrong,” but these ones just make clear how much all her work is the same sort of look what oddity I found exploitiveness. She has such a cold eye. There is nothing warm about her gaze. When she was writing a proposal for some of her early photos, she framed it in these anthropological terms, looking to study and observe the habits and customs of America, which explains the cold gaze a little.

In the last room, there is a photograph that I had never seen before and which I paused over for a long time because I think if I can unlock it than I can unlock Arbus and understand what she thinks about this act of photography. The photograph is Photographer Posing Communion Boy, 1968. It is a male photographer turning a young boy’s chin just so as he is setting up this photo of him to commemorate his First Communion. Something is being said about posed photographs, about these studio portraits and I am not sure exactly what the critique is.

On the subway ride to the museum, in between two of the cars there was a man, shaking the stuff connecting the cars and I kept thinking he was going to jump as the train was moving. Everyone near me was watching him, terrified. I kept on thinking I should be the person that gets up, that opens the door and asks him if he needs help. I didn’t. I wasn’t that person. I rarely tend to be. Today, the excuse was I was too scared of what he might do. He looked totally crazy. We all sat there waiting for him to do whatever it was he was going to do. Kill himself? We sat, watching, occasionally exchanging worried glances with other passengers, as if maybe someone should do something. I got off at 86th Street and he was still riding in between the cars, shaking the cables. The people kept watching. I watched as the train drove away. All this looking at other human beings in this way, this passive way, that is the problem I have with it all. I don’t like all this looking. I like the talking, the collapsing of these distances, not their reification with photos.
All right, so I was following some links from some porn blog this morning and found photos of myself. They are really silly. Here is a clean one:



Also, following around links, I found something way more exciting - my old roommate, Colin, who I lived with on N. 1st two summers ago. I had a crush on him. He would always be passed out on the couch in tight underwear. We spent our nights drinking malt liquor, listening to rock and roll and playing Scrabble. He smoked nonstop. This was before I took up the habit of smoking nonstop. Do you know how hilirious it is to find naked pictures of your old straight roommate that you had a mild crush on? Let me just tell you, it is pretty hilirious. I think these are from a while ago. He is much hotter than these photos make it seem. I have only seen him once since we moved out of that apartment. I sort of doubt he even still lives in New York. I sometimes wonder what ever happened to him. I am wondering that again today. The atmosphere in that apartment is so vivid to me. That pink kitchen, summer heat, windows open, smoke filled apartment, loud rock music that I wasn't familiar with playing, this tattooed kid tellign me crazy stories and him shotgunning beers before he went out. New York, I wonder if I am missing something by living with these New College people, that experience of crazy roommates.

Friday, March 18, 2005

My Friday night:

I washed my face, watched bad rap videos on public television before Legally Blonde came on. I watched it, eating broccoli with soy sauce. Really into this broccoli, lying on the couch, tossing them back, balancing the bowl on my stomach. Stabbing for a piece too hard, I sent the bowl flying. Soy sauce all over me, my shirt, and the couch. It was so perfect, the splatter, the mess I made. I finished eating the broccoli before I decided to clean up the mess. I am still watching Legally Blonde. Why does Jennifer Coolidge remind me so much of Karen Black?

Saturday's plans:

Inaugural bike ride on Peter's bike and hopefully both Damien Hirst and Diane Arbus. Maybe just one. Maybe neither. Schedule some Didion in there also. Laundry?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

My sons face became dry,flakey,and looked as if it had been burned with hot wax or something. I would not recommend this to anyone who is going to be seen in public. DO NOT PURCHASE THIS PRODUCT!!!!!
Tazorac reviews on acne.org

I have been reading these reviews and some have the effect of terrifing me and others then calm me. Ups and downs. Some people have no luck with it and some people do, but everyone seems to have horrible acne the first couple weeks. Saturday my face started breaking out and I was worried that the medication I had been taking (Retin-A) was becoming ineffective and I switched to this stronger prescription my dermatologist gave me when I still had health insurance, Tazorac, and right now, my face looks so awful, I almost can't believe it. Not that I have not had horrible acne before, but I thought it would slowly reemmerge. Last week and for the past couple of months my face was acne free. Today, oh my god, I think I counted thirty pimples. In addition, my face is so dry and at times, itchy. Yesterday, I had to leave work early because my face was itching and I just wanted to go home and scrub it. This site is really awesome because it is nice to hear other people complaining about severe acne, too hear people talking about how they are embarrased to leave their house, that many other people deal with the awful side effects of these medications.

I am wondering if those zits I got on Saturday would have just gone away or if this major flare-up was not going to happen anyways, or if it was indeed provoked by Tazorac. Reading all these horror stories though, I think it is the medication, and the people on this board say it takes weeks for that flare-up stage to subside. There is a Cinderella analogy that I could use here, about how midnight has struck, and I am back with my stupid old pumpkin, that I was not meant to have clear skin. This is bothersome for a couple reasons. The big one is that I most definitley cannot do sex work when I am so broken out, and I am going to need money after I pay my rent this weekend. The small, petty reason is that I wanted to go to Matt's opening next week, and don't want to go if I am going to be so pimply, so dry, so red.

But it hasn't been going on long enough to seriously effect my mood. I still am in a buoyont mood, and am trying to remind myself of inner sources of confidence, that this is a good slap to my face to not get arrogant, to not prize superficial things. But man, I don't like standing so close to my clear faced peers on the L train. I sort of hate that. I have been reading a book the past couple days on the train, losing myself in a world of text.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

CQ + HB = TRU LUV

I am so exhausted and am still in a bit of a hangover from the activities of last night. I danced at the Slide, drank way too much rum, made lots of money, and was way out of control as I tend to get when I drink rum. For whatever reasons rum makes me lose the few inhibitions I do have, and basically, there are probably very few people that were at the Slide last night that did not see or touch my cock.

I went to the Armory Show today, hungover, and I am debating what is the best state to approach art in. Headphones are always a necessity to forget your surroundings. The choice of music is key. I have had some of best art encounters hungover because you are more sedated and your mind isn't processing twenty things at once. I also think not being sober helps when viewing art, as I have learned from enjoying works a lot more when I am at an opening and there is booze. I want to get stoned and go check out galleries soon, test other methods of viewing art.

There was some stuff at the show today that totally wowed me. The problem wasn't the stuff but seeing it. There was so much of it and people everywhere bumping into you if you stopped to look at something. Or if you were trying to move somewhere, you got stuck behind an immobile stroller. I saw so many fucking strollers at the Armory show, it made me sick. Ugo Rondinone and Marcel Dzama must be represented by about twenty galleries - I saw so much of their stuff throughout the show, and that is not a good thing for Dzama because the more you see of his work, the more cutesy it becomes. I think I might be over him.

I was shocked to see Tom Burr's "Blackout Bar," being used as a table for whatever gallery was showing it. It was outrageous and totally made the work something else, something far less awesome then when I saw it at the Biennial.

I told you I am still wiped and so I am just going to list the stuff I really enjoyed:
-Yeondoo Jung
-Michalangelo Pistoletto (I love art with mirrored surfaces)
-Juergen Teller's "Nurnberg Autumn" series
-Johan Zettequist's "Proposal No. 666" (art with a punchline surely will tire fast, but the joke hasn't worn off yet, and as of now, I really like this piece)
-James Reilly's painting of sullen kids
-Allison Smith's Muster project
-Roni Horn's "This is Me, This is You" photo series
-Nobuyoshi Araki
-and HERNAN BAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I love him so much as you may already know. He has a few paintings in the Daniel Reich booth that are lovely!)

Friday, March 11, 2005

After a few unanswered emails over the past couple weeks, one of them even signed "infatuated," I finally responded this morning since I do have his sweatshirt and he does have one of my favorite albums. Bonnie asked me last night if the fact that this boy (and possibly another one) clearly liked me was the reason that I was not into him, that I will only like people who do not like me. I mean it may be true. I should like Paul I tell myself just because he is a cool artist and smart. But I don't know. I just didn't feel sparks of any sort when he slept over a couple weeks ago and so I have been just trying to not contact him but sadly, we have some of each others things, and so I have to meet with him to give him back his sweater.

Paul:

Sorry I haven't given you a call back. I find myself easily distracted. I started working at the Princeton Review again and so that is what has been partially distracting me, but I will give you your sweatshirt this weekend, tomorrow or Sunday.

And to answer your question, I am not interested in being anything more than friends and sex usually tends to negate that possibility. But yeah, I would be fine with hanging out so long as that is understood. I have this problem with homos where friendships might form but spending the night always happens and then I find myself distancing myself from that person never sure how to make clear without being rude that I am not interested in sex. It is why I have
so few gay male friends because sex or the desiring of it forecloses that option.

But yeah, I am going to have lunch with my mom and then am going to work so I will try to give you a call tomorrow to exchange things.

Charlie

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

i am totally going to regret writing this to charlie when i wake up tomorrow. damn, friendster.

dude, really. how am i supposed to try to make out with you if you are not at karaoke on tuedays at the metropolitan, like tonight? i mean, really.

ps: are you so excited about the armory show?

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

first and third

I do it for the money, yes, but I realize that there are other reasons, too. First though, the money cannot be denied. Let's just get that out of the way so you don't think it is some Pulpish "Common People" desire to experience poverty and sex work. Today, it was get a blowjob from an old man or starve and die. I literally had one dollar as of this afternoon to last me two weeks and no food in the cupboards, and so this evening I headed out to 46th Street, to the Comfort Inn, and smoked some pot with this guy and got a blowjob from him and got paid a hundred twenty dollars. But here is where that other reason enters: When I was leaving his hotel, out on the street, a layer of ice on the sidewalk, heavy winds blowing twenty degree (I think even colder) gusts of air at me, I saw the lights of Times Square because that is where I was and I laughed and jumped up and down remembering David Wojnarowicz and his diary entries about doing the same thing in the same place, albeit a place that is not this Times Square, that Delaney Times Square (see Times Square Red, Times Square Blue). And I read my biography as it's written years from now, (don't lie, you do this, too) and see this area of my life where Q struggled and whored himself to make money. I think of all those other gay prostitute/writers/artists. There really are a lot of them, aren't there?

But yeah, we are not past that point yet where we continue to read the narrative about the rest of his life. Time has not given us enough distance from Q's whoring days to put them in the past tense, to place in him some Genet-Wojnarowicz-Leroy continuum. There he is setting his bag, his jacket, his sweater, shirt, pants, and underwear down on the chair while the short, fat, and old man stands across from him with his hand down his underwear pulling at a dick that doesn't get hard, watching Charlie undress.

Charlie goes to piss and the old man, glee in his eyes, watches him piss, fondles his cock while he's pissing and then sucks the piss off the tip of his cock as he finishes pissing and dribbles the last couple drops into the old man's mouth. Then pot was smoked, which made Charlie happy, really happy, because at this point in his life, he also was really into smoking pot for the first time in his whole life and is so fascinated by being stoned and wishes he had more money so that he could buy pot and not just smoke other people's. You see, he had never been into pot before and would normally pass it when it was offered to him. But these were new and heady days for our subject - he was experimenting with the last few things he had yet to: paid sex, pot, watersports, etc. And he laid back on a motel bed with sheets tucked in tightly underneath him and got a long, slow blowjob from this man, who gross as he was, gave excellent head. And no, Charlie said it had nothing to do with age when the old man bragged about his cocksucking skills, citing his age. Charlie had gotten the worst blowjob in his life from an even older man. But yes, he's told you the rest, he buttons his coat, walks out that door into the cold, coldest night of the year perhaps, and laughs, jumps up and down as he heads to the subway, really happy, and not for reasons you might think.

Q even tried to claim that the joy of that night was not one derived from fulfilling some "Pulpish Common People desire to experience poverty and sex work." From his background and writings, it is clear that in fact, this was the case - that he liked the aesthetic of this life more than the one of his suburban, Northern Virginia upbringing. This involvement with sex work was an attempt to appear gritty, to appear somehow more real is the perfect exemplar for this peculiar preoccupation that he had with how he appeared. This preoccupation was in no way confined to his case. Rather, it was endemic to the times, and many of his suburban bred peers had the same concern with authenticity. There was a lot of insecurity during those early years of the twenty-first century and people had sentimental attachments to the concept of authenticity and became obsessed with it. [For similar entries see: Lofts, Alt-country, and Organic]

Monday, March 7, 2005

Pamela Anderson plays a character who "is tired of her non-stop partying lifestyle and bad choices in boyfriends. Wanting a major life change, she wanders into "The Stacks," a small family-run bookstore." A TV show about a bookstore involving Pamela Anderson. Will there be a Nancy evil boss character? Will they get asked stupid questions all the time? Will they be paid horrbly low wages? What will this show be about? I am so excited. Oh yeah, it is called Stacked. I am so excited!

Friday, March 4, 2005

wrapped up in books

Walking around in the cold night downtown, I was on my break, getting a slice of pizza with some of the last of my dollar bills, and high on coffee, thinking about Cloud Atlas, trying to think of the last time I had been so awed by an author's writerly prowess and I think it may have been Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, that that was the last time I said to myself, Wow, Wow, Wow, how he is weaving all of this together? That was three summers ago. It was one of those trains of thought, quick association to quick association, swinging from tree branch to remembered tree branch, so happy, somehow managing to cross streets and not get hit by cars, so in a mental daze. Three summers ago in Madison, Wisconsin, I read that book. My thinking back to the book tonight conjured not so much India's independence, its plot, as it did that midwestern college town and my time there, my time working that temp job where everyday I brought that book to work and managed to only read about ten pages a day.

Then I thought to other books I loved and realized that this is how I separate periods of time in my life, with good books. I thought to A Heartbreaking Work and remembered that summer working at Yes! Organic Market in DC and how I rode the metro to work everyday reading that book. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was another metro book from that summer.

And now, I am going through them all mentally and I just hit Middlesex and said Aww, Cypress Circle, remember the three of us reading it at the same time in Sarasota. These are all finished love affairs, decent chunks of time where I was emotionally involved with something. That quote again: "A half finished book is a half finished love affair." And maybe other people think back on relationships and where they were at that period of time in their life, but tonight, I was thinking to books and to the places they evoked, where I read them, the circumstances, how I reacted to them at that time and what I think of the books now that time has given us a little bit of space for feelings to cool and mutate. I can think of so many of the books that we had in our little room in Madison, what they were, which ones I read, which ones I never even touched. And you probably don't know what I am talking about and I am not a good writer because that is what they are - good writers, I mean - people able to translate those quirky memories well enough so that they you understand and feel them too, but I don't even know how to begin to try to evoke those books, just their covers in my memory and how they don't really signify anything in particular, nothing more so than the period in time and that is all too much to try to convey, or at least to try to do so right now.

Oh my god, let's not even talk about The Marabou Stork Nightmares and tenth grade. Not tonight, okay? But man, I can feel these things, those moments in time, am back there, just by calling off book titles from my past. Nausea! Wow, it's such a sensation. Aloud!: Voice from the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe! I can't get over it. I can't believe I never noticed this or thought to much about it until tonight. And I wonder if I will associate Kafka on the Shore with my months of unemployment, mild depression, and peeing on people. I know I will and I love that - that books so easily evoke periods of time for me. Wow. Wow. Wow. Sorry, I am going through book after book, through more phases of my life, being sixteen, twenty, eighteen, and things you'll never know.

And this excites me more than it may you - say, if you were suddenly able to recall large chunks of your past with the snap of a finger - because I have such a difficult time quickly evoking periods in my past. People will ask me about high school and I will have a hard time remembering that far back, and this may be a coping mechanism, forgetting these things intentionally, but by doing this rollcall of books, I am so able to bring these things up again, these moments of time to mind and that really amazes me. Perhaps, you have an easier time evoking your past and think that this ability is totally normal and nothing to gush about it, but for me, it is not and I need to gush. The only other thing that surefire evokes past memories for me is music. Put on Spacehog, Smashing Pumpkins, or If You're Feeling Sinister, and oh my god, Time Warp, I can tell you specific things, what the tile looked like in our house then and I want to cry because I can feel those moments that in other times I have such difficulty evoking. And I don't know why I love these memories, my memories so much, why I would rather spend my night, tonight, thinking back on past years rather than going out and perhaps doing something that I might remember in future years on similar nights. It might be because I have three dollars and cannot afford to go out and do things here in this town, but I don't think so - I think there is something more intense in this - in thinking back on these things and looking at that stream of time past, where it has led, maybe even ask why those things led to this - maybe not, maybe just missing things. I don't know. You know I like these things. You do too. That is why you, why we do these, writing here in our little diaries, recalling past moments, even day old ones, bringing them to life again and again - novice necromancers.
I am a lazy bastard and apparently have not done any physical activity besides jacking off for the past two months. The proof of this is that I worked a six and a half hour shift yesterday at the Princeton Review, not all of it on my feet and came home so exhausted, laid in bed massaging my feet and my legs, feeling so sore. I imagine David Brent standing over me, saying, "Pathetic," in that British accent, in that tone of dissapointment. I am working a stretch of nine days until next Saturday when I will have a day off. This is all my own choosing too since I am so broke and am trying to work as many hours as they will allow, trying to get forty in each week. In the short term, I have six dollars and fifty cents in cash, a negative ammount in my bank account, March rent still due, a past due phone bill that is getting turned off any day now, and a shocking ConEd bill that has been due for months. Tonight and tomorrow, I am going to try to do some sex work if at all possible, if it is not too late by the time I get out of work.

There is kind of good news, kind of I'm-a-dunce news from the job also. I got "promoted" to quality control which means that I now have a set schedule until at least May - Monday through Friday, 3-10. This is how this job was offered to me - with the guarantee that I would be able to get at least 35 hours each week regardless of if there is work. It's the same pay rate though, which is still a decent 14/hr, but it is also a decent bit more of work. What this means is that you probably won't be reading any of those long diary entries composed while I watched a scanner grade scantrons. Now, I am going to be making sure things go right, fixing problems, and doing database work in Excel, lots of tedious tasks that require a sharp eye, i.e. no more puncing around on the www for seven hours. I was excited about this while at work yesterday, not really thinking through the implications of this, excited to be "promoted," but now, I see that it is more work at the same pay rate. Maybe - a big maybe there - I will be able to get a permanent job there from this, probably not though, and I have to work Thursdays and Fridays, the fun gallery opening days. I still have Saturdays, but I am going to miss the Damien Hirst opening next Friday that I was really excited about going to.

Cloud Atlas is totally amazing, by the way.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

some might point to this as an example

I look at his profile just about every day on Friendster and stare at pictures of him. I notice when he changes it up and puts a new picture on his profile. This one, for instance. And then, I will stare at it, not in a horny way where I mentally or physically masturbate to it. But sort of a Magic Eye image where I just stare almost past the image, thinking really nothing, hoping to see something, giddy, imagining just talking to him. This is how crushes work for me. I really do believe that I take crushes more seriously (more scarily?) than other people. And then five minutes will go by with me staring at my computer screen and I will ask myself rhetorically what I am doing, because really I know the answer to it, have always known the answer whenever I have pretended to ask myself the question about crushes. I want to go the Metropolitan right now and hope that he is there.

Instead, I am going to lie in bed because my throat is sore so I shouldn't drink, plus there is the fact that I am broke and shouldn't for that reason also. I have been reading a book I have had for six months or so now sitting beside my bed, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, and so far, I love it. I just read, "A half-read book is a half-finished love affair." And not that I have experience with love affairs or anything, but man, I loved that line and felt it to be true.

I downloaded the new Daft Punk and Bloc Party albums today. I just want to dance to Daft Punk until I die. Also, tickets to NIN go on sale on Friday and not that I have forty five dollars to be blowing on loud, industrial bands, but I really want to go. I took a shower this morning blaring The Downward Spiral and feeling so good. I am a glutton for these things, these pleasures and I love it that there are these things capable of providing pleasure to me, that there is so much of it. Quick, name that song lyric: It's neverending. I've got pictures of crushes thanks to Friendster, Daft Punk, loud music from high school to shower to, David Mitchell. What more could I want? PS, my Free Will horoscope has confirmed that this is going to be a very good week. Geminis, rejoice:

Events in the coming week may be difficult for some of you to deal with. They will include intense encounters with peace, love, joy, and understanding, as well as possible brushes with extravegent beauty, lyrical delight, and inspiring discoveries. There will be a dearth of story lines the feature betrayal, abuse, pettiness, greed, extortion, disease, and explosions. Therefore, Gemini, you should proceed with extreme caution if you're a jaded hipster who's suspicious of feeling really good. Ask yourself: "Am I ready to stop equating cynicism with insight? Do I dare take the risk that exposing myself to uplifting encounters might might dull my intelligence?" If you doubt your ability to handle all the relaxing breakthroughs, you'd better take strong measures to evade them.

And if you're not a Gemini, you can go ahead and pretend this is for whatever sign you are. Isn't this the best horoscope ever?

PS - Isn't he the cutest boy on Planet Earth?