Sunday, December 31, 2006

Best of 2006

I have already discussed many of the items on this list throughout this past year when I first encountered them. There are surely things that perhaps moved me more at the time, which I am no longer able to remember and that should be included on this list, and there are even more surely items, books, shows, and films that I did not encounter at all and that should definitely be on here. And so the narrowness of this list and how it is bound my own limited experiences cannot be emphasized enough, but even those narrow boundaries are wide enough to experience so many great things that have both affected me in some distinct ways and also inspired me to reach for more distinct things.

1. David Lynch, Inland Empire

2. Yayoi Kusama's show at Robert Miller Gallery

3. Roberto Bolano, Last Evenings on Earth
Overall, the trip goes smoothly. Driving out of the city both father and son feel cold, but as they leave the high valley behind and begin to descend into the state of Guerrero, the temperature climbs and they have to take off their sweaters and roll down the windows. B, who is inclined to melancholy (or so he likes to think), is at first completely absorbed in contemplating the landscape, but after a few hours the mountains and forests become monotonous and he starts reading a book instead. (131-132)

4. Samantha Hunt, "Three Days"
Her mother slowly drags a finger across the kitchen table and then does it again. Beatrice remains entirely still, frozen like a field rabbit, hoping that her mother will decide not to tell her whatever it is she wants to tell her. She can already imagine its perimeters: “Honey, I wish you would think about a job that offers insurance,” or, “I know a real nice young man you might like to meet, Bea.” But he wouldn’t be a nice, young man. He would be another forty-five-year-old divorced actor her mother had met through community-theatre projects, a man who also holds his hands up around either side of his face like the sunshine when he wants to make a point.

5. Cat Power, The Greatest

6. David Mitchell, Black Swan Green
"Locomotion" got all the girls doing this choo-choo dance in a snaky line. Then there was "Oops Upside Your Head," which's got a sort of rowing-boat dance to it. It's not a dance for boys. "House of Fun" by Madness is, though. "House of Fun" is about buying condoms but the BBC didn't ban it soon enough 'cause the BBC only spots secret meanings weeks after the dimmest duh-brain in Duffershire's got it. Squelch did this electrocuted dance that more kids copied to take the piss at first, but actually it worked. (There's a Squelch hiding in all great inventors.) Then "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads came on. That was the crucial song that made it more bonzoish not to dance than to dance, so now me and Dean and Floyd did. The D.J. switched the strobe light on. Only for short bursts, 'cause strobes make your brain blow up.Dancing's like walking down a busy high street or millions of other things. You're absolutely fine as long as you don't think about it. During the strobe storm, through a stormy night forest of necks and arms, I saw Holly Deblin. Holly Deblin's got a sort of India goddess dance, swaying but sort of flicking her hands. Holly Deblin might've seen me through her stormy night forest, 'cause she might've smiled. (Might isn't as good as did but it's miles better than didn't.) (273-274)

7. Gregoire Bouillier, The Mystery Guest
Maybe that was what this Sophie of hers expected of the “mystery guest”: to arrive at the highest possible conception of presenthood. Could that be what she had in mind? And so I kept walking the streets and going up and down the avenues and looking in every storefront; but wherever I looked all I saw was merchandise and more merchandise and nothing of value except the value assigned to each thing in its turn by society, and nowhere I looked did I see any object that seemed to incarnate anything more than profit and gain, and in every direction lay all the commodities of the world expressing nothing so much as a degraded idea of The Gift, an idea contrary and, in a word, hostile to the idea of The Gift rightly understood, and the last thing I wanted was to arrive at that party bearing a gift that would shed its mystique the moment the colored paper and ribbon had been torn aside. And all at once I saw why our societies use gift wrap, not for the sake of surprise but rather to cover up the fact that The Gift is based on a lie, as we inevitably discover every time somebody gives us something, yes, and we open it and, after that microsecond when we expect the deepest fulfillment of our desire, disgust and sadness wash over us and we smile as fast as we can and say thank you, the better to bury our chagrin at never once in all our lives receiving something more than what we’d hoped for. And this evanescent joy, forever disappointed, remains incomprehensible to us. (33-34)

8. The Concretes, In Colour

9. "Glitter and Doom: German Portraits from the 1920s" at the Met

10. M. Ward, Post-War

11. Phillip Roth's Everyman
But how much time could a man spend remembering the best of boyhood? What about enjoying the best of old age? Or was the best of old age just that – the longing for the best of boyhood, for the tubular sprout that was then his body and that rode the waves from way out where they began to build, rode them with his arms pointed like an arrowhead and the skinny rest of him following behind like the arrow’s shaft, rode them all the way in to where his rib cage scraped against the tiny sharp pebbles and jagged clamshells and pulverized seashells at the edge of the shore and he hustled to his feet and hurriedly turned and went lurching through the low surf until it was knee high and deep enough for him to plunge in and begin swimming madly out to the rising breakers--into the advancing, green Atlantic, rolling unstoppably toward him like the obstinate fact of the future--and, if he was lucky, make it there in time to catch the next big wave and then the next and the next until from the low slant of inland sunlight glittering across the water he knew it was time to go. (126-127)

12. Spike Lee, When the Levees Broke

13. Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit

14. Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep

15. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain

a plane ticket bought, a date for change set

02 Feb 07 91 New York, JFK 4:50pm Oakland, CA 8:25pm 0
11 Feb 07 96 Oakland, CA 11:20am New York, JFK 7:45pm 0

On Tuesday, I am going to put in notice at my job that my last day will be February 1. My buying this plane ticket to go visit Bonnie was a way of not chickening out from doing this. The world is so big and all mine, and I know that I could be doing better things with my time and getting paid better to do it, and I am going to just jump and hope that there is something to catch me, but I am pretty positive that there will be because I am feeling so good and so confident about how things will work out, that that positive energy either must surely have a positive effect, or that that positive energy is already the proof that things are going to work out well, that I am so happy because the future is already determined and it looks pretty good. I am not sure which, but man, I will be happy in many ways to not be working at this job, and also sad in many ways. I do love copyediting, however I do not love transcribing, and I do not love being a part-time employee with no health benefits, even though I am surely slowly developing carpal tunnel syndrome by transribing all day long. And I do not love reading about disgusting capitalists exploiting the resources of poorer countries for their own profit. If I read one more CEO interview of a junior mining company, I am going to punch something, someone.

This could be a very stupid decision of mine, but I am sure I have made stupider decisions, and you have to try to live the life you want even if you do fail miserably, which I don't think I will.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Unsurprisingly, I called in sick to work yesterday, having gotten too drunk and having stayed up too late the evening beforehand. Because I called in sick to work, this also gave me a chance to get in line to see James Brown's body earlier than I otherwise would have, and had I done so at that time, after work time, I probably would not have got to see his body. I waited in line for five hours with Gabriel, the wait nearly not so long seeming or bad as it seems here written out. My seeing his body was very necessary and I am not sure I could tell you why. Some woman asked the two of us why we had come to see his body, and Gabriel managed to give some answer, and I thought about the reasons, unable to come with a good one and was glad that Gabriel was talking to this woman.

His body, James Brown's, is the first dead body that I have seen. It was a brief glimpse as they shuffled us past his coffin on the stage of the Apollo. It sent shivers through me, this dead body, this person's dead body, the site where this was taking place and thinking of all that had transpired here, and man, it was overwhelming. The entire experience was very lovely, waiting in line with thousands of people, some feeling of solidarity, of perhaps common purpose. A man in line told us about his fantasies about being gangraped, and that was lovely, someone being so salty after you just met them.

Afterwards, we went to David's apartment for Macros' birthday. I got drunk, ate some cocktail shrimp, and listened to these two men talk, very bored and annoyed that I was there after such a lovely day that I would have liked to have reflected on. But all it takes is a couple of drinks and soon I did not mind whatever it was they were saying, and lost perhaps the feeling I had had earlier, and also the desire to trace that feeling to its source and identify it. We went to the Cock. I made out with a math teacher, who obviously liked me but was lacking in aggression, was not touching me enough and not doing so urgently enough; his touches were more so just in reply to mine, that I had to give permission to touch me by touching him. Some other man later in the evening grabbed my ass. I grabbed his hand and pushed it tighter on to my ass. And this was what I wanted, someone to be slightly aggressive, slightly dirty, definitely urgent. And so it all led up quickly to kissing, groping over clothes, then through them, and then taking our cocks out and exchanging handjobs, blowjobs. I came on the dancefloor, and it was lovely, just what I wanted, what I needed - the perfect end to a close to perfect day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I am up and none too happy about it. I need all of your positive thinking to hope that there is nothing to do today at work so that I don't have to stay and can come home and get some sleep. Also I am thinking about cancelling my shift at the P Review tomorrow because I want to go view James Brown's body at the Apollo. Anyone else want to go, say around

the lyrics were layered one on top of the other and totally unreadable

Gerald Ford has apparently checked out, a day after James Brown, perhaps because he couldn't stand the thought of a world without that man shimmying and squealing, aware as we are all are of the brilliance of that man and the absence of any comparable genius, soul, on the horizon.

It is approaching four thirty in the am and I am not in the least tired, and this is a problem because I am supposed to work in two hours or so. Perhaps I should mention that I am wide awake and feeling pretty awesome and catching myself chewing my gums, because someone, this, your narrator, has a total absence of what is alternately referred to as common sense or self control. But Al Green is playing right now as I try to calm my metabolism and lullaby myself to sleep, but really all I am doing is grinding my lap into the laptop as I type, wanting to dance, wanting the night and life to continue indefinitely, sleep be damned.

A future note to myself (which, given my lack of self control or common sense, I will probably at some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future fail to heed): Next time you feel like chipping in to buy some coke, make sure it is with a friend, or even better a group of friends, rather than with that boy that you have normally awkward interactions with. Also good to note would be purchasing said product either before two in the morning, or, even better, on a night when you don't have to be at work the next morning. And so now I am weighing my options and deciding whether it would be any use of trying to sleep when I am this wired, feeling this damn good, or whether I should try to stay awake and go into work without sleep, even though I did wake up at six this morning to leave New Jersey. All very good questions, all questions that I cannot ponder for more than ten seconds, other than to fret about them, because there is that aforementioned awesome feeling (which surely will crash in a major fashion shortly) and the also previously mentioned Al Green playing on my stereo singing, "Let's - let's stay together - whether times are good or bad, happy or sad," and assuming you know Al Green's body of work and you are a human being, you shall and hopefully do know how terribly affecting his voice is.

I stayed until the bar closed with a non-coked out Bri, that boy having left with several boys. I tried to convince Bri to stay up with me, but, needless to say, he was not excited about this. And again, why did I give money to that boy for some coke when I had come with someone else, a friend who I never question whether or not he hates me? All very good questions, and all questions with pretty much the same answer, which if you are a long time reader of this diary, you know the answers to, knowing how much I like that boy when drunk (why qualify that with "when drunk" when most of you know very well that is a fib?), and how I would jump at the chance to spend time with him. But, it probably could have been anyone, truth be told, because there is that lack of adultness (which might be a good thing?), where I will say, "So what? Work at 9? Whatever! Rock n' roll! No sleep till the city I now reside in, that city, of course, the Brooklyn that the Beastie Boys sang about so long ago now." So long ago because we are approaching the year 2007 and that occasionally will scare the fuck out of me when I seriously ponder the implications of that number, the forward march of time, and my eventual falling out of line with that march - the army not stopping for any soldiers that can't keep up, as it keeps marching on and on.

I met a nice boy who sang one of my favorite Morrissey songs, "The More You Ignore Me," and who's writing this script? Such a cliche to play that song at this point in the movie, but life tends to pile those cliches on. And I am not sure what the boy's name is anymore. I also met a boy with tattoos, being a little chatty Cathy for very obvious reasons, and now, because of silly choices, I am alone here in my living room (aside from Al Green), way too awake, way to eager to converse for my own good. And God, God, what a day. I rode on the bus at seven this morning with my sister through a fog covered New Jersey, falling in and out of sleep, leaveless trees poking through the fog. A blowjob from a man uptown, and then work at one job. And then this bar, this powder, this cheeseburger from La Bonita, and Al Green, singing as melodic and beautiful as might very well be humanly possible.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Coming back from my lunch break, I stopped in the bodega that I stop in after eating lunch every day to pick up a cup of coffee. Every day I say I want a dark coffee, no sugar. But today, after going there for a couple months, as perhaps a Christmas present, they knew exactly what I wanted as soon as I walked through the door without my saying a word. It was so lovely, to feel in busy midtown that someone knows you, even if they just know how I like my coffee.

Things are getting incrementally better and better. This was a level I wasn't expecting to reach and so its emergence, like jumping on to a ledge randomly in Super Mario only to be whisked away to some secret bonus level, made me smile ear to ear, not so much for the thing itself, the secret level or the coffee made how you like it, but for its unexpectedness, the ability for pleasantries to surprise you, me.

I have been slacking off for the past hour and have to finish this interview in half an hour now (eeks!), but afterward, I am going to go see some art that I am itching to see (namely Sue de Beer), then laundry, then perhaps a bar (in an ideal world, dancing), and then New Jersey tomorrow morning.

Thank God, thank fucking God, for coffee and rock and roll. They saved my life.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Mystery Guest, Gregoire Bouillier

Gregoire Bouillier’s The Mystery Guest is surely going to end up on my Best of 2006 list. I read it yesterday, unable to put it down. It is a slim volume, a memoir, the second book by Bouillier, and the first of his, the only one at this point, to have been translated into English. In 1990, he gets a call from his ex-girlfriend who left him without a word five years earlier, not to apologize or even to mention the past, but to invite him casually to be the mystery guest at her friend’s birthday party. The book is Bouillier talking about his reactions after this call, his planning for the party, the party itself, and then the aftermath of it. It is a near perfect book. Bouillier gets all of the self-doubt, anger, and hope that anyone would experience in this situation down on paper so perfectly. It is charming and hilarious, probably in large part due to how pitiable a situation it is. And Bouillier makes some very lucid observations in such a gorgeous manner throughout the book, such as this one, which I must quote at length for you to get the effect:

Maybe that was what this Sophie of hers expected of the “mystery guest”: to arrive at the highest possible conception of presenthood. Could that be what she had in mind? And so I kept walking the streets and going up and down the avenues and looking in every storefront; but wherever I looked all I saw was merchandise and more merchandise and nothing of value except the value assigned to each thing in its turn by society, and nowhere I looked did I see any object that seemed to incarnate anything more than profit and gain, and in every direction lay all the commodities of the world expressing nothing so much as a degraded idea of The Gift, an idea contrary and, in a word, hostile to the idea of The Gift rightly understood, and the last thing I wanted was to arrive at that party bearing a gift that would shed its mystique the moment the colored paper and ribbon had been torn aside. And all at once I saw why our societies use gift wrap, not for the sake of surprise but rather to cover up the fact that The Gift is based on a lie, as we inevitably discover every time somebody gives us something, yes, and we open it and, after that microsecond when we expect the deepest fulfillment of our desire, disgust and sadness wash over us and we smile as fast as we can and say thank you, the better to bury our chagrin at never once in all our lives receiving something more than what we’d hoped for. And this evanescent boy, forever disappointed, remains incomprehensible to us. (33-34)

Bouillier also finds parallels between his story and the works of Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and the Ulysses space probe. After receiving the call from his ex-girlfriend, he notes that it was on the day Michael Leiris dies, and that Germany was in the process of undergoing reunification, and various other historical events, which he was sure this call was situated in, that if Germany was being reunited, so was he with his ex. The logic is dizzying in its absurdity, but also extremely beautiful and, you begin to wonder under his sway, possibly true.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

What is the What

There is a brief throwaway sentence that occurs when Achak and his friend pass a white photographer taking a photo of a starving mother and her baby. That photographer is both a stand in for Dave Eggers and also, I think, an example of what he didn’t want to do with this book.

We walked past a small tent, inside of which a white photographer was taking pictures of a Sudanese mother and her emaciated child. (336)

What is the What is a fictionalized biography of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the Lost Boys from Sudan. Most of my knowledge of recent African history comes in the form of photographs of the sort this Western photographer was taking, that things are horrible and there are malnourished people crowded into tents in the desert. The images are heartbreaking, but the situation behind them was one that I vaguely understood, the details a little hazy. However, despite the good that may possibly come of these photographs, there is something a little exploitive about these photographs and that is what Eggers was getting at in that brief scene, that the photographer is just looking for a good image, perhaps one that is going to win a Pulitzer, that the photographer doesn’t talk to these subjects, doesn’t know their stories.

With this book, Eggers does something similar and also drastically different. This is still a book about one of Sudan’s tragedies by a white person (which surely will be fodder for some good postcolonial criticism), but it puts a human face on tragic images and stories we have heard. By hearing one story in its entirety and awfulness, it makes it a lot easier to understand why something multiplied by the millions of people that experienced something similar is so horrible. And also Eggers exploits this situation for not his gain, but for Deng’s gain and the gain of other refugees. All the proceeds of the book go to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation.

Several critics have already pointed out that Eggers is a good person to write this story, in that he is also a “lost boy” of sorts, as his A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius details, having lost both of his parents within five weeks of each other. And though this book could very easily be nothing but a series of terrible photographs one after the next, breaking you down to absolute tears, this book is not. Rather, it tells this story, horrible as it is, with laughter mixed in – that even in the awfulness of the refugee camps, there were moments of beauty.

But that there are human beings alive who went through all of this and came out alive is amazing and heartbreaking. People are going through similar stuff now, of course, in Darfur, and southern Sudan is still suffering from Khartoum. I thought I had some idea of what people were talking about when they mentioned the Lost Boys of Sudan, but I had no idea. The stuff that this boy endured is beyond comprehension, one horrible event after the next. Muslims on horseback backed by the central government destroying his village, killing and looting wantonly, sending him and thousands and thousands of others to walk on foot across the country, avoiding militias, hunger, and even lions, to get to Ethiopia. And then Ethiopia itself convulsed politically, making it no longer safe for the refugee camp there and people that had already endured so much, lost so much, were chased out of the country with rifles, were shot at it as they swam across the river back into Sudan, the country that didn’t want them, people even being eaten by crocodiles in this river. Then another deadly march to Kenya to another awful refugee camp, and on and on.

If there was ever a country that might have been deserving of some interventionist military action, Sudan was certainly it. Much of the violence and why it has lasted so long is due to oil. Amazingly, George Bush Sr. even played a role in this. When he was at the UN, he showed Sudan satellite maps that indicated there were big oil reserves there, and thus entered Chevron, and thus started the violence toward and displacement of the people in the south of Sudan. The West no longer has oil investments in Sudan, knowing that it’s with oil profits that Khartoum is able to terrorize its citizens, but that doesn’t really matter when China is there to buy up their oil.

And I am getting distracted from the book, which is what I had meant to talk about, but this is the effect of this book, that it really stirs in you an outrage about recent and current events. This book is a very important book and really excellent as a narrative, but I don’t think that it is his most artful book, and I don’t think that was the goal, so I think that that is okay. There were a couple of times when I was near tears reading some sections and since I can’t think of the last time I have experienced that with a book, I would say that that is something. This book has also changed my perceptions about a few things, and perhaps done the most powerful thing that anything can do, to alert me to the fragileness, the humanity, of people around me, to in some ways make me more conscious of the suffering around me that I otherwise put out of mind.

This is achieved throughout the whole book, but Eggers hits home this point, perhaps a little too heavily, in the last few pages, hitting that manic pitch he can get into (and which is why I love him) about the ties of humans to humans, sounding a lot like a couple of the sections from AHWOSG, such as this one from AHWOSG:

There is nowhere I stop and you begin. I am exhausted. I stand before you, 47 million, 54, 32, whatever, you know what I mean, you people…and where is my lattice? I am not sure you are my lattice . . .Don’t you know that I am connected to you? Don’t you know that I’m trying to pump blood to you, that this is for you, that I hate you people, so many of you motherfuckers— When you sleep I want you never to wake up, so many of you I want you to just fucking sleep it away because I only want you to run under with me on this sand like Indians, if you’re going to fucking sleep all day fuck you motherfuckers oh when you’re all sleeping so many sleeping I am somewhere on some stupid rickety scaffolding and I’m trying to get your stupid fucking attention I’ve been trying to show you this, just been trying to show you this..

And then this from What is the What:

Whatever I do, however I find a way to live, I will tell these stories. I have spoken to every person I have encountered these last difficult days, and every person who has entered this club during these awful morning hours, because to do anything else would be something less than human. I speak to these people, and I speak to you because I cannot help it. It gives me strength, almost unbelievable strength, to know that you are there. I covet your eyes, your ears, the collapsible space between us. How blessed are we to have each other? I am alive and you are alive so we must fill the air with our words. (474)

In both, there is this desire for human connection, that perhaps through storytelling, the sharing of our own stories, we can get closer to one another. Eggers, like all of us, is lonely and shows, tells, that the only way to overcome that, to fight that, is to make that human connection, to talk and talk and talk. He never really says anything about listening, but I think that that is understood, that if someone is talking, surely someone is listening.

any excuse for a pity party

"If no appointment was made, it would mean the answer was no."
-What is the What, p. 394

So since in the past few days, for some of you at least, I had been relating this story about my pursuit of this boy I have a crush on, Rich, it seems only right to conclude the story, to provide the denouemnet as it were. Wednesday evening, he told me that he would call me Thursday. That didn't happen and the sight of my phone whenever I would look at it would cause me such anxiety. Waiting for someone to call you, as small and as non an action as it may seem, is such a painful thing to endure, the moods and emotions that you go through. It is even more frustrating perhaps that it is a phone, this inanimate thing, that you are waiting for to come to life, like trying to bend a spoon with your mind. Friday came and no call on that day either. Nor on Saturday. Nor today. I left a message on his machine minutes ago asking if he wanted to hang out today, and that was my last try. Maybe he will call, though I have a feeling he won't. How a boy I don't know has this ability to inflict such chaos over my emotional state really bewilders me. I can very easily recognize how illogical it is, and yet can do nothing to prevent its occurence, my sadness at a boy not being interested in me.

Brent Everett fucking Brent Corrigan though does provide some comfort to me and the sight of the two of them together is a bright shining light that prevents anything else from exisiting in this world, and those moments while I am jacking off to the two of them together in Schoolboy Crush are lovely moments exactly because of their isolation from any sort of reality other than that moment watching that recorded moment. But then I cum, and there's the problem of disposing of semen encrusted newspapers and that normally brings me back.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


This is the stuff that gets me, that held my attention, that moved me. I had had a lot of coffee. I was reading a sad book by Dave Eggers, What is the What, and I was on a train riding along the Hudson River, the sun shining brightly, the sky blue, leaves on the ground, barren trees, and everything looking so astoundingly beautiful. I couldn't believe, as sometimes I am unable to on days when I am so struck with the world's beauty, that I get to experience this stuff, that I get to live and take in things with my eyes. This ability to feel things, when I think about how special that is, continually shocks me.

At Dia:Beacon, I was a little bored. Robert Ryman, I don't get you. You either, Richard Serra. Blinky Palermo, you're over my head. And these were the first galleries I walked through. After that, I just gave up, starting walking through galleries pretty quickly. I may not understand Minimalism. I will readily admit it. But who wants to understand something so boring, so insular, so unemotional, so academic, so pompous? And maybe a lot of the artists there aren't actually minimalists. I am not sure about the distinctions here. The space itself is gorgeous and all the galleries are lit by natural light from skylights and big windows. Too bad it's filled with white canvases and Fred Sandback's yarn sculptures.

There was stuff that I did like though, perhaps you may say the easier stuff, the more mainstream stuff, the stuff everybody likes. I just don't believe that anyone really likes Fred Sandback or Robert Ryman. It seems like too much of an affectation. In the Ryman room of all these canvases painted white, there was this boy there, my peer, sitting there, seriously studying them, and I wanted to shout, "Come on! Are you serious?" But I did love the On Kawara paintings, but I had already loved them beforehand. I liked the Joseph Beuys stuff. I loved the Bruce Nauman stuff obviously. Rembember I said I liked the big names, the people with flashy stuff that entertains you. I like bright lights. And so put Dan Flavin on the list of artists I liked there. There is a sculpture, "Spider," by Louise Bourgeois that is amazing. I just felt so self-conscious spending time with it because there was a gallery attendent following me around, the only other person on this floor, just staring at my every movement. The Warhol room of "Shadows" prints is amazing. His prints look so good and provide so many more layers of meaning when they are all grouped together.

But I listed maybe five names there out of the 25 or so highlighted in this space. So my trip to Beacon was brief. I got back on the train with another cup of coffee and on that ride back almost cried a couple of times, mostly out of happiness at how gorgeous it was to be riding along the Hudson with the lowering sun warming my neck. I get so much reading done on trains, in ways that seem more meaningful than when reading on my couch. I don't know how to say anything it seems. I think I am losing more and more of whatever verbal abilities I may have at one point had, and now can do nothing but say, "Holy fuck, holy fuck! Fucking gorgeous!"

Friday, December 15, 2006

snipe hunting

Another year is soon coming to a close and I am thinking about this from the living room of my third floor apartment in Brooklyn, no one else home, and I am thinking about what it is I am doing with this life of mine, and thus my posting here in this diaryland diary, posting here because I had been rereading all these sad diary entries I had written from Sarasota.

I want to make a promise to you, this world wide web, because I want to make a promise to myself, and really I tend to honor the ones with myself, but maybe if I do it with you, promise this vague collection of data something, that maybe I will be more motivated to hold to that promise.

And so, I am going to try to get myself back to certain things. I am turning in notice at my job that I am quitting as soon as the holidays are over. But more importantly, I am going to write a book. Or at least that's the goal. If it ends up as a short story of length, that too is okay, so long as I actually write the thing. Tonight, I am going to sketch out an outline for the thing. It is going to deal with themes that I have been wanting to deal with for a while. The main framework is going to be through my crush on Ben of a couple of years ago and deal with loneliness and searching for something, thinking that thing is a boy. And then it is going to look back at this character, me none too well disguised, as a kid, at Cub Scout camp going on a snipe hunt. Snipe Hunting is tentatively the title of this work. The other alternative title is Ben.

I am really good at thinking up all these details, like the title, but not so good as the making the actual thing that would be called by this title. And so tonight, an outline will be sketched, and then tomorrow and the next day and the next day and on and on, the thing will be written. This is my promise to you, to myself.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Shortly after nine o'clock, I got a call from my sister's phone number, someone other than her, some guy, talking. One of her co-workers had called me to tell me that she was wasted and I should come get her. I was very confused since my sister is normally pretty straightlaced and doesn't drink, sort of rolls her eyes at me when I do, and even more confused because this party had started an hour ago, wondering how she could have gotten so drunk so quickly, so early. I think that this boy might just be the hysterical type and so I ask if she can stand up, and he says no. So I paused The Devil Wears Prada (which by the way, as far as mainstream pop movies go, is so enjoyable) and headed up to midtown.

No joke, my sister was wasted and totally confused. I tried to get a cab, but there were none for the having, all occupied, at this time in midtown. And so I got her on the subway reluctantly, her falling, or holding tightly on to poles saying she wasn't drunk, that she was fine, and that we should go back to the party.

This was particularly painful because it forced me to confront my own behavior while drunk, knowing that I too am pretty obnoxious when wasted, which is fairly often, and which needs to quit happening. Drinking is fine, but if I ever approach how annoying my sister was last night, then it is not fine. She was so beligerent, saying she was going to call people while we were in the subway, and though there was no reception down there, that did not quit her from trying. She tried to run away a couple of times, but since she more like carreened slowly like a wasted person, it wasn't too hard to prevent her from leaving.

As soon as we were on the NR, I was already regretting not having waited longer for a cab because she was loud and wasted and started arguing with the guy sitting across from us. We got off the train at Union Square and I was really dreading her putting on this same show on the L train and so I went to the front of the train, hoping that there would be less people there that I cared about being embarrassed in front of. Again, she kept on trying to make phone calls, yelling at me about how she hated Brooklyn and wanted to go back to the party, wanted to go to Jersey, on and on. All these people on the platform staring at us. Once on the subway, she was falling again. I tried to catch her at one point and her head snapped back up and popped me in the chin. My chin is still sore and not as swollen as it was last night. I finally got her home and because she was driving me crazy, I finally made her go in my room and sleep, telling her I wanted to read.

I know she is really embarrassed about it now, since she slipped out at 5:30 this morning with some absurd excuse about going to Kinko's. It was such a weird experience. Rich called me at 11:30 last night to tell me he had just finished decorating his tree and wasn't going to go out. I was really happy that he called because I was resigning myself to him not calling right when he did. I might see him tonight, might not.

I am also scared now that my sister knows about my livejournal now since she used my computer last night right when Rich called, right when I had left it as I was starting to write an LJ entry. So that's kind of scary. Um, I am off to work after getting little sleep because of my sister, because of drinking too much coffee last evening, and because this futon sucks! But, the sun is already out! And I have music to listen to and I book I want to read, and things are great, new!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

maskless for one

Two holiday parties, two declines. My office today, last minute, decided that they are having a holiday party tomorrow after work. Luckily, I have this Princeton Review job, which though isn't happening tomorrow, was the perfect excuse to use for why I couldn't come. Hanging out with my older co-workers who I have trouble talking to at work sounded like a nightmare. Social anxiety, say what?

My sister called me a short while ago, this notice even more last minute, to invite me the Marc Jacobs Christmas party. And though this one surely will be lots of fun and be good for celeb spotting, I had laundry in the dryer, and no idea what I could assemble to a Venetian themed party that she had to be at between eight and eight fifteen, meaning I would have had about ten minutes to try to find something, in addition to picking up my clothes from the laundromat, before rushing up to midtown. I know that I am going to regret this decision of mine later tonight when I am eating pasta and watching The Devil Wears Prada, probably thinking how pathetic my life is, and probably not being too far off considering the decision I just made.

Tomorrow is Thursday and I hope a boy calls me because I don't want to be sad on Friday, any day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

There are two things that I pass in the morning on my way into work here that when I notice them, which sadly is not every morning, provoke a smile, a titter, or a roll of the eyes from me. As I walk up 6th Avenue from the Herald Square subway stop, I first pass this electronics store. They have a flat screen TV in the window that constantly plays Britney Spears music videos, nothing but them, and every morning, I woke past Brittney, always wondering if they are going to change it up, put something else on that flat screen TV, but every morning, there she is like it is still 1999, doing synchronized dances in tight outfits. Further past this, just across the street is a shoe store called “Shoes are Hot”.

There are other things that I pass each morning, things less absurd, but which also give me a nice sense of comfort to pass them every morning – an evening dress store with sequined dresses in the window, the man with his fruit stand on the corner of 37th and 6th, further down 37th, a man with a coffee cart, and further beyond that, a porn shop a couple doors down from my work.

I walked past these things three hours ago now, and since that time, have sat here at this computer, occasionally looking out the window.

Monday, December 11, 2006

After work, I went to the Princeton Review to fill out my timesheet and was told that work was going to be starting again there probably tomorrow or the next day. And so I will probably be working a bunch, which will probably ruin the plans I had laid out for myself today at work. There was nothing to do all day and so I looked at talks, readings, and movies that I want to go to this week. I looked at the train schedule to go to Beacon this weekend to go to Dia, and hopefully that will still happen, but if there is work, I imagine I'll probably be scheduled all weekend.

But I came home today to a package from Akashic Books on my steps and got so excited because I knew they were copies of Userlands, the book I have a story in that comes out in a couple weeks. I ran upstairs, very giddy, and the only analogy I can think of, one that seems so right, is that it was like opening your college acceptance letter. I was so giddy and excited that I was unable to open the envelope and finally just ripped at it to get it open.

Yes, I am excited to have something published and very grateful, but after a few minutes, I already became slightly critical. The book itself is slighty ugly and I haven't read any of the stories yet, have just skimmed over some of the text, and while a couple of the writers sound really good, a lot of them, not surprisingly, sound like what you would expect from fans of Dennis Cooper, the editor. But I am the most critical person ever, so take that with more than a grain of salt. I also cringed rereading a couple of my sentences, the distance of a year already enough to let me be distant enough to recongize some of it as fake, inorganic. But, again, I am very excited still, and this is just impetus to write better and find my way into better publications.

So I was already very giddy, but knew that I should call Rich this afternoon both because I didn't want too call to late after getting his number, and also because if I put it off until tomorrow, I would have spent all day at work tomorrow freaking out, wondering what I should say on the phone, which is also what I did today at work in addition to adding things to my calendar. I was so nervous - so, so nervous. I kept squealing and putting down my phone every time I contemplated saying "Hi Rich." I get so nervous calling people, and finally I just pressed "Talk," and gave myself no other option but to call him. He was friendly and at work. He said we could get a drink Wednesday or Thursday and then asked me about Pinochet. It was nice, brief, and I was fairly under control for the phone call, made no major gaffes. I love his voice, his inflections, his timbre. I know this is not going to work out, that it can't, because I like him too much and don't even know him. I am not sure why I like him so much since I really know nothing about him and have talked to him for maybe five minutes total in my life. I just think there is something revealed in his voice and smile, enough to let me know that he is a really good person. Eek! Hopefully, I won't be scheudled to work when he wants to get together.

There is another boy's number that I got after that Butt party, but it was because I told him I wanted to be flesh and blood friends on Myspace, and so he gave me his number. But I am not sure if he wants to be friends or friends of the flesh. And I just can't deal with any more nervousness tonight, so I might just not call him. I told him my phone number also, so if he really wants, he can call. Also that boy I made out with briefly, Michael, has not called, and I was really expecting him to. In other news, I am boy crazy!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

a sunday in pictures

Last night, I went to Bank for the Butt book party. There was a two hour open bar, a performance by Final Fantasy, and homos homos homos. I met some nice boys last night. I have two phone numbers now, which I am very nervous about calling. I made out with one boy briefly last night, who has my number, and whom I really hope calls me.

There is this one boy, Rich, who I have liked for a while and whom genuinely seemed like he wanted to hang out when he gave me his number. His is the number I am really nervous about calling. I really wish someone with social skills on the phone could give me lessons in how to behave properly and not appear like a crazy person on the phone.

That is the only reason this is locked, because I don't want any of these boys to read this, but man, I love boys! crushes! life!

Today, I bought this anal vibrator at a scuzzy sex shop in Times Sqaure. I also bought poppers and lube and so had a pretty fun time this afternoon masturbating in the fading light of this cold Sunday in December. Pictures TK.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

silent, sympathetic gestures

Last night, his interviewer read the opening to the titular essay of his awesome book, Air Guitar:

"Colleagues of mine will tell you that people despise critics because they fear our power. But I know better. People despise critics because people despise weakness, and criticism is the weakest thing you can do in writing. It is the written equivalent of air guitar--flurries of silent, sympathetic gestures with nothing at their heart but the memory of the music."

I read that book a couple of years ago, and to hear again those words of Dave Hickey's that I loved so much brought that time period, that seemingly lost thing, back into the present, up to the surface, reminded me of how good that book was and probably still is. It's a book whose absence I sorely miss and I might go to the Strand later today and just purchase another copy. The copy that I used to have may or may not be in the possession of this boy that I used to like and who for a brief period of time I slept with, Matt, and who, during that brief period of time, I had lent it to. With the end of my physical access to Matt's body came the end of my physical access to the text of this book. At the time I would have told you one's absence meant more than the other, but now, particularly after last night, I might tell you something else, depending of course probably on both the state of my sobriety and how horny I am, the two though probably correlated to a great extent.

But last night, sitting on the floor of this crowded gallery, everyone there to hear Dave Hickey, I was again reminded of so many things, of what it means to be critically engaged with something and how meaningful that can be. This book was a revelation to me, a call to arms, and any of you (which I assume and hope is all of you) that care not just about criticism, but about what that is, a human's relation to a work of art, to the world, to life, that you should surely read this book if you have not.

Hickey curated the current show at Cue Art Foundation and presumably that was why he was there to talk, but it was an hour and a half of him essentially doing standup. I wish that I had brought a pen so I could have transcribed some of the zingers he was throwing out to this audience of people in the art world, more often than not making fun of them. At one point he called universities a big handicapped parking lot, that they attract social cripples. He said that professors (which he is one of) are lazy and insular, fearful to ever create work once they enter an institution, because they get too accustomed to "huggy time," students fawning over them. To hear Dave Hickey say "huggy time" a couple of times in the evening was enough to make the trip out there in the cold more than worth it. He lamented the lack of any art criticism, of any forums for it, saying that there hasn't been any in a decade, that no one publishes it any more, that Artforum only publishes stories on Belgian artists. He also said that there is too much tolerance, that no one is out there saying what's bad. And so he took aim at two bloated cows that I also find unjustifiably overrated, John Currin and Matthew Barney. I was full of glee and wanted to clap during these moments.

At some point in the evening, he also gave a hilarious monologue about the root of what is wrong with young artists. He attributes it all to the culture of playdates, that the people making art now never walked over to a friend’s house and asked if Johnny was home, never hit each other with sticks when they were kids, that their parents would call up Johnny's mom to arrange for their kids to play together, would drive the kid over in their SUV, put the kids together and say "play." And that as a result they are boring and play it safe. Hickey said, "I don't like games where you can't lose," referring to the world of contemporary poetry, how institutionalized it is and how it isn't in dialogue with a broader culture. But it was a theme that encompassed much of what he talked about last night, how it's boring because no one loses, no one's bad, or rather no one will admit that something is bad, that there is no such thing as real art criticism any longer. He also mentioned briefly that he is at work on a new book of essays, which perhaps jokingly he said was going to be called "Goodbye to the Art World."

After the talk, I ran into Joe, met his friend Alex, and hung out with them, drinking wine at the gallery, getting fairly drunk. We came back to my house, ate some food, drank some Schlitz, talked, and then went to the Pantyhoes dance party for a bit. "Heartbeats" was the last song to play before we left. It was a very lovely evening, the second of what will hopefully be a trifecta of them should tonight go as planned. The first was seeing David Lynch’s Inland Empire with Justin Theorux answering questions after the film. This movie was so excellent and a little messy, but I think I am going to go see it again soon and so I will hold off on further comments until that point. Tonight will complete these three evenings in a row of seeing inspiring artists with hopefully seeing Final Fantasy for free. Maybe there will be a fourth, fifth, even a sixth. Maybe these days will stretch out indefinitely, maybe if I can remember that there is coffee and romantic sentiments and red wine and good music and Xtube – so many pleasures in this world for the having to fill up all those days that may lack a marquee name.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

the organ breaking up

From the MySpace bulletin boards from The Organ:

We are breaking up. We want to thank our friends, fans, and family for all the support you gave to us. Thank you.

Shelby, Jenny, Katie, Debora, and Shmoo.

Listen to "Memorize the City" again. Still so good!

I am not going to take a nap now, which I have been during far too often in the afternoons lately, and am on my way out the door to see Inland Empire!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Inland Empire opens Wednesday. Holyfuckshitgoddamn, I am so excited. I am also very excited about Saturday and Owen singing for free and an open bar. I need to keep putting these goalposts out there, give myself little things to look forward to, to make this work week which just started fly by in anticipation of nice things.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Heart One

Heart Two

Both images from Slava Mogutin's blog

Today, laundry was done, Morrissey was played and sang along to, the Concretes were played, the weather got cold, and it was the type of day when that music would be played. I feel pretty awful. Even these images aren't as stirring as they should be. Even my bed doesn't hold me, touches me hesitantly, and I can't even sleep away the day.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

a visual aid to that last entry

Here is a picture I found on Slava Mogutin's blog, why sometimes photographs hold nothing to the photographed subject.

a visual aid to that last entry

Here is a picture I found on Slava Mogutin's blog, why sometimes photographs hold nothing to the photographed subject.

Spring Awakening

I kept saying that I loved him, and Marcos and David, one or both of them, would tell me that, no, I did not love him, that, rather, this was lust. And, yes, I do not know what love is. As many people have commented on over the centuries, the feeling is so remarkable for its lack of a precise description. And stick a feather in your cap and call it macaroni because what I felt last evening watching this go-go boy was a feeling I wish I could be suspended in forever, this longing that makes my insides collapse. And, yes, it was lust, the classical description of it. I was totally overcome with sexual desire for this go-go boy in a way that I have not felt in such a long time.

Those feelings last night were so powerful because in that moment I was reliving every other moment when I have been so sexually attracted to someone who I could just look at, never have. That moment last night was a reliving of eighth grade gym class, having a locker across from Travis Ralston and watching him in his boxer shorts and socks everyday, putting on deodorant, changing into or out of gym clothes. He and this go-go boy and so many other of these boys, all one last night up there dancing, so effortlessly comfortable in their skin, none of that awkwardness, that nervousness, that insecurity that resides in my own self. And really, the watching of these boys is some erotic form of envy – a longing for something totally unattainable, and which in most moments I would regard the pursuit of as folly at best and immoral and assimilationist in its worse readings.

He was this tough looking Latino boy with these crazy designs in his cropped hair and this perfect body. David gave me a dollar to put in his briefs and so I did, touching his body, so thrilled, even more thrilled that he gave me this really tough stare while it was happening as if he was so bored. There was a two hour open bar last night at the Cock, where this scene is taking place, and so I was quite drunk and I was with these two older men, David and Marcos, who had taken Gabriel, Ben, and I out to dinner and a play earlier in the evening. I was totally obsessed with this go-go boy and David and Marcos kept on forcing dollars in my hand and telling me to go touch the go-go boy some more. I only felt mildly silly about this at first, but after a couple of interactions, I was totally loving this ability to put a dollar in someone’s pants and to be able to touch them and to feel something in yourself, some pleasure that is predicated on the fact that you know you can never fully have the pleasure you want and that this is a tease, the best you’ll ever get – a grief felt bodily, but that is somehow tied to this immense erotic pleasure from touching his sweaty ass, feeling his cock, his legs, chest.

At some point, losing myself to this pleasure, I started licking my hands after touching his sweaty body, trying to get as much out of this as possible. And really, this was a small part of the evening on a timeline of the night, but it overshadows everything else, perhaps for good reason. We had dinner at Gobo and the food was quite excellent, and then we went to go see Spring Awakening, a musical with music by Duncan Sheik. It was ugly, a total mess. I am really curious to read the reviews of it when it officially opens. I don’t understand how this is being mounted on Broadway as is, because though there are a couple of nice songs, the story is a mess, all over the place, and dealing with issues that perhaps are supposed to be edgy or emotional, but in such a trite, sentimental manner.

But I have never really enjoyed any theater performance. There is always something overly sentimental about it, along with that unnatural stage acting, and it never hits me. This boy, though, nameless boy, him on his stage, small dark stage poorly lit in the back of a bar, hit me though, moved me, and sparked so many things in me, things which I thought about last evening as I got home and jacked off to thoughts of him, and which I thought about this morning, waking up with a boner, jacking off again to thoughts of him, the details of his body already fading. I played with my dick, trying to hold on to these memories of his body, him slowly blurring. I know I am going to die sometime and this is all frenzied masturbation, my living, like trying to hold on to the details of his body in my mind before they totally fade. I already can’t remember what shoes he was wearing, soon it will be his eyes, his broader face, and then eventually, probably within a couple days, the entire memory, at least in its distinct form, will be lost, and that is everything, trying to hold on, to get off as many times to the memory while it exists, to live before I die.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

dusting the ice of Alaska

Oh, India. My job, one of them, is to basically make things legible that were transcribed by people in India. This current interview I am editing is particularly full of humorous mistakes. For instance:

Interviewer: Since the day-to-day is in other hands, what now for yourself occupies most of your time?
Interviewee: Still as of today, we are still in negotiations with Anglo, basically finishing off the transaction and most of it is in the hands of lawyers at the moment. This is older days when lawyers are finishing off dusting the ice of Alaska, and we are very close to consummating the arrangement.

How it should read:
Interviewer: Since the day-to-day operations are in other hands, what now for yourself occupies most of your time?
Interviewee: As of today, we are still in negotiations with Anglo, basically finishing off the transaction. Most of it is in the hands of lawyers at the moment. These are older days when lawyers are finishing dotting the i’s and all that stuff. We are very close to consummating the arrangement.

There is something so absurd about this job, this process of outsourcing transcription to India, only for me to have to basically rewrite the whole thing. I saw The History Boys last night and am thinking about that, about boys, about books, basically about everything but this job.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I could probably look at the television listings to determine what time it was that I am talking about, what time it was that I, drunk and stoned to the nth degree, laid on my couch with my head propped up in case I threw up, watching Hairspray on TBS, feeling as if this moment was the rounding out of a circle that had started Wednesday night when I rode out to Middletown, New Jersey.

Over the past few days, with my family, I drank a lot of beer, and talked with my cousins about various things, often recalling past events in our family mythology and Hairspray was brought up at some point in these discussions. When we were kids, younger than we are now, whenever our two families got together for the weekend, we would watch this movie over and over again all weekend long, much to the displeasure of aunts and uncles. We would recite the lines from it, and at least on one occasion, reenacted the thing for our aunts and uncles, a very clear sign, as if one was needed, that I was a homo from a very early age.

I watched my seventeen year old cousin, who the day before made fun of me for being able to outdrink me, lose her bravado as she puked hungover on the main street in downtown Atlantic Highlands. I walked along the beach at Sandy Hook, inadequately dressed and shivered against the winds coming in off the ocean, trying to tell myself that the sight, the moment, this beach should overwhelm my physical discomfort. It didn't, though I could lie right now and tell you how beautiful this moment was, this chilly beach, tide, waves, sand, etc. There was a Chinese food place/bowling alley that we went to. And lots of roads driven down to get to all these places, roads through woody suburbs and along rivers and bigger bodies of water, and to ride as a passenger in a car and to get to just look, that is one of the most satisfying pleasures in this world, to be able to take in all of this with these eyes and for that to spark recollections of other things, to see these things in front of me and yet to see these other things long behind me so clearly.

And last night, I arrived back at my apartment after hanging out with my family in New York all day doing touristy things, and I had this desire to lose control of my self, to ideally sleep with someone. So I went to Boysroom with numerous people, drank numerous drinks, was well on my way to losing myself, and then with Allan, went into the bathroom and got stoned out of my fucking mind, totally lost myself three times over, to the point though where sleeping with someone was surely not going to happen. The end of the night is a blur. I do remember laughing a lot, and I remember that I wanted to dance but could not distinguish songs. Though surely I knew each song played there, I could not for the life of me determine what the song being played was, could only hear this rhythm, one I was projecting on to these songs, and then occasionally would catch some lyrics and realize that this rhythm I was hearing was nothing like the rhythm of the song with those lyrics and that maybe, just maybe, it would be better to not dance.

I do know that I ate two slices of pizza, and ended up at Metropolitan for one brief second before walking home alone, thinking brilliant thoughts, which I can only vaguely recall right now, and which I would like to transcribe for my own benefit right now, but there is a man on 96th Street who wants my cock in his mouth that I need to get dressed to go see, and so these attempts to filter stoned thought into something legible will have to wait.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


1. For those of you who read Dennis Cooper's blog, you may have noticed that it has been hijacked and you are redirected to some porn site. The new address is:

2. Go to the iTunes store, search for Bookworm podcasts and download last week's (it's free) with Zadie Smith. Her and Michael Silverblatt ,with On Beauty as a jumping point, talk about so many things in such a wonderful way, spening a good amount of time talking about what it means to read. It is a lovely, inspiring talk. Silverblatt is such a perceptive reader and it is really a joy to listen to any of these podcasts, but particularly this one.

3. YouTube and video cameras on phones and digital cameras, man. Every gaffe will find their way to the Internet within days from now on. I think about what this means and get no closer to an answer. But two things that sparked this are the Michael Richards racist tirade and the UCLA student getting tasered by cops in the library.

And on and on, because all I do lately is play on the Internet while at one job and listen to things downloaded from the Internet at my second job. I have started reading Dave Eggers' What is the What and I am so excited. I am supposedly leaving for work in five minutes, but the fact that I have still yet to get dressed and am playing on the Interent (again) perhaps points to the fact that I am more than likely going to be a bit late. Tomorrow evening, I go to New Jersey for several days and I am actually quite excited about that.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

aerial ballet

There was a day last week when a long sleeve shirt was enough. A few days ago, a sweatshirt. Yesterday, a jacket. There are shades of gray throughout the day before they fade to the darker darkness of night. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, save for the ginkgos, which still have some yellow leaves on their branches, for some reason the last of the leaves to fall. I can't believe that Thankgiving is in less than one week, cannot believe it because then it is December, then Christmas, and then a new year, all coming one on top of the next, always coming faster then you (or, at least I) expect.

And this has me nervous for several reasons, one of course being my recent thoughts and terror about death and its unpreventableness, the forward march of the calender proof of this unavoidability. There are thankfully other reasons that make me nervous, that this is not all that occupies my thoughts, musings about death not too different from the musings I had about it at the age of fifteen. I can't believe that so much time has gone by, that 2006 is almost over and the goals I had set out for myself at the beginning of the year again seem like they will be unrealized, and so I have a month to get myself into high gear, to try to make some positive changes in my life so that when 2007 to soon rears its head, I won't be lamenting my lack of activity in 2006.

I did find a job more along the lines of what I would like to be doing, but my goal is to find one more in line with what that goal is very soon. Physical activity is going to start happening somehow. I am going to write more and have set up some a method of encouraging this with a friend with a similar goal.

And on and on with more goals that bore you, that you have heard before, that you tell yourself also when you are evaluting your own life, but it's fall and these thoughts are inevitably brought on around this time of year, the change in the physical landscape forcing you to contemplate the landscape of your own life, of what leaves should fall.

There is that, or perhaps there is the more obvious fact that I got fairly drunk last night, danced a bit, and these are simply hungover thoughts, that these would be occuring in spring or summer, that the season is irrelevent, that it's the hangover, stupid, that it's the Harry Nilsson playing on your speakers.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

notes from the underground

Today at work, I was listening to an audiobook of Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground, and the sentiments of the narrator were too apt, his questions too close to sentiments I had been pondering today. Yesterday, I watched Apocalyspe Now, and, of course, there has been my nagging regrets about my behavior on Saturday, and so I have been wondering about good and bad, about descents into bad, and here these thoughts from Dostoevsky hitting me like a sack of bricks this evening:

Tell me this: why does it happen that at the very, yes, at the very moments when I am most capable of feeling every refinement of all that is "sublime and beautiful," as they used to say at one time, it would, as though of design, happen to me not only to feel but to do such ugly things, such that ... Well, in short, actions that all, perhaps, commit; but which, as though purposely, occurred to me at the very time when I was most conscious that they ought not to be committed. The more conscious I was of goodness and of all that was "sublime and beautiful," the more deeply I sank into my mire and the more ready I was to sink in it altogether. But the chief point was that all this was, as it were, not accidental in me, but as though it were bound to be so. It was as though it were my most normal condition, and not in the least disease or depravity, so that at last all desire in me to struggle against this depravity passed. It ended by my almost believing (perhaps actually believing) that this was perhaps my normal condition. But at first, in the beginning, what agonies I endured in that struggle! I did not believe it was the same with other people, and all my life I hid this fact about myself as a secret. I was ashamed (even now, perhaps, I am ashamed): I got to the point of feeling a sort of secret abnormal, despicable enjoyment in returning home to my corner on some disgusting Petersburg night, acutely conscious that that day I had committed a loathsome action again, that what was done could never be undone, and secretly, inwardly gnawing, gnawing at myself for it, tearing and consuming myself till at last the bitterness turned into a sort of shameful accursed sweetness, and at last--into positive real enjoyment!

And this rhetorical question closing Part 4:

Can a man of perception respect himself at all?

I think that once I finish the books I have lined up on my plate, it should be a winter of nothing but Russians.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I am not sure at what point it happened, at what point in the evening I got so incredibly wasted, at what point I became insistently sleazy, at what point I decided that I should have my ass hanging out of my pants all night. I do know that I stayed too long.

On the way home from the silver party, some time past four in the morning, Peter and I were dragging our feet home, the walk being so long when this tired, this drunk, and on Manhattan Avenue, an SUV full of young boys started yelling at us, teasing us about being gay. I kept on trying to wave down car services, not wanting to get teased by any more people (being dressed in some pretty goofy silver outfits) and also wanting to get to bed as soon as possible, still under the delusion that I was somehow going to be able to wake up in three hours and go into work.

During that walk, both of us talked about how for not totally clear reasons, the party made us feel a little shitty. I don't remember how I passed so many hours at the party. Surely, I must have talked to people, but I have no clue about what, or really to even whom I talked to, aside from, of course, a couple of crushes, the interactions with whom I can recall in detail, and just may, just may because these are the recollections I have been doing on and off during my brief moments of being awake today, and that these recollections, if I can recall them in the right way, can redeem the night, the party, and my own self in this world - perhaps. Or, at the very least, it can give it a shine, a luster, in the recollection that it may have not actually ever possessed, and to which I can pin something to, hope perhaps, or just a more vague feeling of giddiness that life can possess these things.

And, yes, I agree that perhaps I am beginning to stretch things out a bit, am trying to skirt the issues, and add a gloss to a night that was really nothing more than me being slutty, failing in that sluttiness, and very likely probably being annoying. I am listening to Gillian Welch right now, very content with this hungover state I am in, the slow pace of this music, the coffee by my side, and this open window letting in a nice fall breeze. And this scene here right now, the wholesomeness of it, makes me feel guilty about that other scene which I have still yet to recall for you, for myself, or whoever it is that I might be trying to convince and also whoever it may be that has the patience to endure all of this chatter supposedly leading up to something.

There is that SUV of teen jerkoffs, a trivial incident in the night, that I think is in some ways significant in this story here, that those boys and their vision of the world, their derisive comments about what they presumed to be my lifestyle, is a similar vision I have of myself on hungover mornings when I recall the incidents of the night before - the sentiment uniting these two worldviews is shame. I want to live beyond it, and not have to analyze my actions of the night before, the people in attendance at that party, and what they may have thought of my behavior, whether they will think less of me.

And perhaps these are all thoughts induced by this fairly painful headache I still have from what I did not think was excessive drinking, but I guess it did start around six at Niki's store and continued until sometime in the AM. There is that circumstantial evidence, but even more so the physical evidence of this headache and that I slept until four today and still feel a little dazed.

There was a lot of skin on display last night. It had been a while since I had gone out, and so my desire was to cut loose, to throw off a week of working too much and to indulge in some partying to counterbalance the rest of my time --

Okay, sometimes you just have to say that you are not going to pull it off, and I don't even agree with some of these sentiments here, think they are a little too sentimental and more than a little dramatic at some points, and what the point is that I was trying to build up to, I am not sure. So, in short: I hit on this couple that I have been trying to sleep with and touched their bodies, and was at a couple points touched by them, and I desired more touch, still do, and that was the impetus behind much of last night, behind me baring my ass and talking to boys - this desire to be touched and to touch. My desires are simple and basic. And there was this other boy, Rich, and he is the reason I stayed too long. Had I left when Ben and Joe did, I would not have stayed and hit on this boy that I have a crush on, would not have asked him if he wanted to hang out sometime, and would not have been told a vague, polite no, but a no still the same. It was really that final interaction at that party that has perhaps colored my view of the entire evening, giving it this sad air, this pathetic air, something desperate, me flinging myself at the gates, trying to enter, the locks not breaking.

And so, once home, in bed, I thought about the ass of a former crush I saw at the party, and began to masturbate to thoughts of that recollection, these recollections worth more than the moments recalled, worth more than gold, and satisfied myself with my own touch, imagining skin.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

I am falling/with no one to catch me

There are a confluence of factors probably causing it, but, man, I have been so down the last couple of days. The factors: the wet weather, not drinking as of late, not interacting with many people as of late, both of my jobs, my poor eating habits.

And yet there are moments when this is okay, most of today even - the drizzle that my broken umbrella was barely protecting me from seemed so lovely with the Morrissey soundtrack my headphones gave it. I am so lonely. I read something today about truth and sincerity, which when I am not so tired I may quote here. The jist of it was that you could say truthful sentiments earnestly and they could, and more than likely would, be insincere. It was in the Pamuk book I am reading.

While reading this book on the train home from work, the woman next to me, young and nice, told me that she had just read his other big book, Snow, and I never really know what to do when strangers talk to me. And, oddly, it happened several times today - oddly because it rarely happens, and even more rarely when I am feeling so lonely and sad. Twice in the elevator today, strangers on other floors started to make chit chat with me. I chuckled at what they said, that easier, so much easier, than saying something, thinking of that something, to say in response. In essence, I have abdicated my human responsibilities today, have said that I am not capable enough of coming up with banter, of dialogue, and so I will just chuckle and wish I had had my headphones on, Morrissey, who does not require a response, but who if I feel like responding to, I can bop my head to or sing in unison with, or, at the very least, attempt to.


"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything." - Rick Santorum, 4/21/03

This quote was still in my head, three plus years later, as I watched the returns last night and saw that this asshole lost his Senate seat in Pennsylania. Granted, the Democrat who won the seat is anti-choice, but I can much easier stomach that than someone who is a hateful asshole in addition to being way more anti-choice. [I have decided to stop using the linguistic framework of the right in this argument. I am no longer going to say pro-life, but rather anti-choice.]

I don't know how Virginia is so close, or I do know, and that depresses me, but there is good news elsewhere, and possibly still even so in Virginia. The unqualified good news is that Eliot Spitzer easily won the New York governor's race, which is not a surprise at all, but still such good news. Spitzer is amazing in case you did not know. As Attorney General of New York, he put the fear of God into Wall Street, doing such amazing work. He is one of my heroes and I am so excited about what he might do as governor.

It is raining, dreary, and dark outside, and so, dark in my house also. I watched My Beautiful Laundrette last night and put my hand to my heart a couple times as if to calm it, or more likely to pretend that that touch of my own hand might be that of another, a film character, or, even better, someone in real life, someone to touch and to touch me and to send little thrills through my fingers, hands, body.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The body and its need for sleep make me realize how precarious everything is, even seemingly solid things like physical balance, my mental state and sense of my self, that, tired, I get totally cracked out. I made a pointless blunder at work today right before going to lunch and had to come running back to fix it before it was sent out. I went out to galleries this evening and came back to see that I had left my laptop playing music - just very silly mistakes I am making. And so, I am going to go to bed before ten, right now, and will hopefully be very well rested and again feeling like myself again tomorrow, so I can stop having this crisis where I realize that my mental state and my perception of reality is built on such fragile beams, that this world outside of that structure is pretty terrifying.

One year ago today, my father died. I wish I weren't so cracked out so I could reflect on this, but, truth be told, I have barely thought about it at all today.

Tomorrow, I need to go see Borat. I am so excited and even more excited that the reviews are really perceptive and understand how intelligent Sacha Baron Cohen is and how subversive he is, all these mirrors and layers of discomfort, cultural drag to look at America - it's going to be so brilliant. I cannot wait.
Last night, I went and saw the Knife play at Webster Hall. I was running on empty last night, having gotten about six hours of sleep over the previous two nights combined, and was very giddy and nervous when they first started to play. They had a mesh screen covering the stage, a screen behind the stage, and there was lots of video and blacklight stuff going on. It was really nice and made me happy, but not in the same way that I would feel later in the night. And that could be because later I had had some beer, but I am going to credit the difference to other factors - the joy I get from loud guitars, from instruments being played and how magical it can be that four or five of these being played by different people, the aggregate of which is able to somehow make something totally awesome, that there is more at stake, more exposed here rather than someone just singing along to their laptop. And don't get confused, I did love the Knife show, but this later show at Galapagos I liked more.

I saw Apes and Androids, The Harlem Shakes, Lo Fi Fnk, and Thunderbirds are Now!.

I encourage all of you to listen to the Harlem Shakes. I had not heard them before last night, but man, they are so good and were so good to watch and to dance to. Even more danceable was Lo Fi Fnk, who were probably my second favorite band to see of the night. I love live music so much, not that I don't love recorded music, because as you all know I certainly do and will dance to that without hesitation, but the joy of seeing people up on stage, playing things, singing, is such a joy. I want to see eight hundred more bands before CMJ is over. I need to find some more free shows to go to.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006



We Are Wolves

Eliot Spitzer is my hero and I can't wait for Tuesday:

I am up for work and that is amazing. Last night was so nice, and that's about all I can say sadly if I am to make it to work on time. The parade was boring. Fontana's was fun and I saw the two amazing bands pictured and fell in love with the lead singer of Locksley, who melted my heart a hundred times during his set with his early Beatles voice and lyrics. I danced a lot at Tribeca Grand with people I like to songs I like, and really that is all I need.

Monday, October 30, 2006

the view from a 7 train, from a bus, from a theater seat, from here

Yesterday, I traced a wide circle across the map of New York City with my body. Reading My Name is Red, I rode out to Flushing, where, from the subway, I could see the remnants of the 1964 World's Fair, something I have seen countless images of and, as a result, romanticized in my head as this decaying vision of the future through 1964's eyes, a more derelict Epcot. Seeing the Unisphere and the observatory towers, seeing them peeking out between the beginnings of fall, these iconic structures and trees of red and yellow shading them, my train in motion passing them, all of this stirred something inside me. I wasn't and am still not sure what that thing is, but I noted to myself, mentally, that I needed to finally get around to visiting this place, not today, meaning not yesterday of course, because I was on my way to the airport, already running late, in the hopes of meeting David and Toby while they had their brief layover.

Once I got off at the end of the 7 line, I waited for the Q48 bus among all these Asian scripts and all these amazing looking restaurants, stores, signage. The wind was blowing really hard and I thought about coffee, something I think about a lot, and whether I could find a cup somewhere without missing the bus that seemed like it was about to arrive any moment. I decided against it, tighetend my scarve against the wind and thought about various things, among them how earlier in the day, too early - this day already seemed to consume too much - I had gotten a blowjob from the guy uptown, and whose breath smelled pretty noxious. I thought about that breath, and then the cold, as it always does, began to brush away those thoughts, all thoughts, and all I could think about was how cold I was and how I wanted the bus to arrive.

At some point it finally did, and my journey around this city continued, now on a bus ride to LaGuardia. I met up with David and Toby and it was very nice to see them, though I fear that I was a little exhausted from riding on public transportation for so long, but there would be more and I chatted on and off with them as we rode a bus to Harlem, crossing rivers and buildings beautiful in their ugliness, where we caught another train and then another to JFK. And I said bye to them at JFK, giving them hugs, and I went back down to wait for a train back home, feeling the wind, but more so feeling the breif bodily contact I just had with David, a warmness in those spots glowing outward, fighting the cold wind pretty well, that and the wait wasn't too long before I was headed back home.

I read and didn't read the book on the train ride home, instead losing myself in thoughts of everything.

Laundry was done, tea was drank, Marie Antoinette was watched, which deserves some writing here also, because it, along with these other things, along with my landlord, along with now working at the Princeton Review and my schedule, along with all the things happening this week, all of that on my mind this morning as I took a hot, leisurely shower, as I drink this coffee now, as I write here before throwing on some clothes quickly before leaving for work in a few short, too short, minutes.

Friday, October 27, 2006

normally i do like getting letters

In the seemingly constant drama with my landlord(s), a new thread in this drama emerged a couple of days ago when Ada presented us with a new lease effective December 1 for $2,000 a month. Right now, we pay $1,500 a month, so that is a pretty dramatic jump, particularly so for a fairly shitty apartment with often not working hot water, roaches, a crazy old landlady, and insane family drama between her and her daughter, whom we pay our rent to. I called Iris, the daughter, to complain about the new lease and she agreed that it was outrageous and told me to keep just paying her and ignore the lease. This new letter, found today on my door as I came home in the jolliest of moods, surely must have been prompted by Iris talking to Ada. Iris, again, constantly with this advice, said, "Don't worry." And I am trying not to, but would be lying if I did not admit that underneath this attempt to squash these worries, I think those squashed worries are crashing about my insides causing other problems. PS, that is not how you spell by name, not at all.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

giant steps/baby steps

Last week I met this really charming British boy, David, who allowed me to, in some small way, fulfill some Before Sunrise fantasies in his brief week in town. He left early sometime Sunday morning. In his brief time here, he made me really, really giddy. And thinking about this after his departure, I thought about what it is I do want, how those things are and are not achievable, and really just wanted to read.

The problem though is that now I have played in the green grass across the fence and really do think it's greener. Yesterday evening, I was supposed to have a movie date with Arthur, a boy who, while nice, does not make me giddy. That is what I want, that giddycrushhappy feeling. I was sort of dreading this date all day yesterday at work, pretty unexcited about it. I got home from work to a message from Arthur asking about our plans. I didn't call him back right away, instead laid down in bed, trying to think about if I wanted to go or not. I took a nap because that's what I do when I don't like to think about things, or find that I don't know what to do about things - sleep on it and hope things work out. I woke up an hour or so later and called him back to go see this movie I really wanted to see. I got his voicemail and left a message.

And he didn't call me back last night, which is maybe what I wanted, maybe not, but it did make things easier. And I drank lots of tea, some coffee, listened to John Coltrane, and read Gay Talese.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

we learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school

I am so glad that Gawker pointed this out. I read this same article this morning about the big books coming out this fall and also paused at Frank Rich's inclusion along with all the blockbuster writers, knowing that he was just included because he writes for The New York Times.

And I read this, both of these things along with countless others, because there has been no work to do at my job since eleven o'clock. I am running out of things to read online, but luckily there is only another hour or so left until I am free to run out the door, into the street, and home, home, home, before here, there, and there.

Despite the lack of any substantial sleep last night, things are so good right now. I should be in pain, hungover, and tired, but am ready to do it all over again. I hope I can sustain this momentum and not crash.

The new Dave Eggers book comes out in a couple of days and I am certainly going to overdraw my bank account to buy it, or hopefully do things before then so that I need not overdraw my bank account. I have exactly 157 pages left in Thy Neighbor's Wife that I need to race through and finish.

This, perhaps, might be the most pointless entry ever, so please, I ask you not to judge me. Tomorrow, watch, I will write something really reflective and pretty just to push this down toward the bottom of my page, out of mind. But, really, I am so incredibly bored and stir crazy right now and do not know what else to do with myself other than to make attempts at writing here, to say look at me, talk to me, play with me. If I look at or Gawker once more, I am going to lose my mind.

Let's make babies, metaphorically.

Meaning, let's bust loose and run arm in arm out of this place toward things we hope will be better, and even if they are not, which is fairly likely, there will at least be those moments of running and hope when everything, or at least better things, seem a lunging grasp away.

I really wish I could listen to Bruce Springsteen so badly right now, specifically "No Surrender." This has been in my head all day yesterday and today, and tell me these sentiments do not make you want to take on the world:

Well, we busted out of class
Had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a three-minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school
Tonight I hear that neighborhood drummer sound
I can feel my heart begin to pound
You say you're tired and you just want to close your eyes
And follow your dreams down


I want to sleep beneath the peaceful skies
In my lover's bed
With that wild open country in our eyes
And those romantic dreams in my head

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

1. Last week, I saw The Departed, and finally just answered a question I had about it. There are several shots of a diner in the movie and I was certain that the diner was the Park Luncheonette on McCarren Park, and turns out it is. I was really thrilled to spot this thing from my neighborhood in a movie that was supposed to be set in Boston while watching it.

2. Here is news about Jaymay posted on BrooklynVegan. She is playing a free daytime show that I more than likely will be unable to attend because I will be at work.

3. Will be at the work I was an hour and a half late for today because I was up too late too drunk last night.

4. I emailed my job telling them that I had errands to run and was going to be late, meanwhile sleeping, trying to regain some level of balance and non-craziness to my body.

5. I am a little boy crazy lately.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I watched All That Heaven Allows with Arthur last night. We talked on my couch for a bit afterward before going to bed. The heat was on in my apartment because my landlord is crazy, and even with the windows open in my bedroom, it was still uncomfortably warm. We made out for a bit, but eventually quit, both a little uncomfortable with the heat, both tired anyways. We laid naked on top of my blankets gently spooning. I was woken up some time in the night by the intense cold of my room after the heater had stopped coughing. I slid under my blankets and got closer to Arthur. Even though I may not have much to say to him, these moments in bed together, for now, make me not care about that at all, so pleasant are they, making me feel more vulnerable, comfortable, human than I have in a really long time.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

"Perhaps he would discover, as did the hero in the book, that the place could not be found; it had to be created."
-Thy Neighbor's Wife, Gay Talese (146)

Perhaps. Is it saying much about my night last evening if I say that my favorite part of it, far and away, was that long walk home from Bushwick by myself, that wait in La Bonita while they made my bacon cheeseburger, and then finally those moments in which I was eating this sandwich? Or is it saying everything about the sandwich?

In the window of La Bonita, they have all these cakes displayed, one of which is the giant dome of a cake meant to look like a big hoop skirt and there is this little plastic top half of a woman on top of the cake so it looks like this person with this enormously huge dress on. I don't know why I love this so much every time I walk past it, why it is I want to be this cake, this woman - what exactly that would even mean.

I feel like shit today, which is reasonably to be expected when you have been drinking heavily just about every night for about the past month. I have had cup after cup of coffee trying to inject some energy into my body, and it is just not working, not at all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Last night, dinner with the two older men we met at the Cock a couple weeks ago. Cod on mashed potatos at Spring Natural, rice pudding at Rice to Riches, whiskey at L'Orange Bleu. A lovely evening and so I am not sure why it was such an unlovely night of sleep I had. I was in a horrible mood when I woke up, possibly hungover, but having had unpleasant dreams the whole night and being cold also, but too lazy to close the window above me. Tonight, supposedly I am supposed to hang out with that boy I slept with over the weekend, Arthur, and hopefully that will both happen and be amazing.

Monday, October 9, 2006

williamsburg development update and commodore theater news

One of these past nights, I was walking home drunk at a very late or very early hour, depending of course on your perspective, from the JMZ, and I walked past the Commodore Theater to see it boarded up along the side as if it were about to be demolished, and true enough, there were work permits posted to the boards for demolition.

This theater is so beautiful, the outside at least, it having been closed ever since I moved to New York. It doesn't clearly state though if the building is being torn down or just gutted. It would be so cruel and stupid to raze this gorgeous building from 1921, but not entirely surprising given the disregard of developers and people in general for preserving old buildings. No one seems to know what is happening with it on this page about it. I would reccomend going to look at it and see it just in case it is torn down. It's on Broadway and Rodney and it's my favorite building in my neighborhood.

Here is the NYC Department of Buildings page about it. And here are some pictures that someone took from the inside.

Back in August, there were a bunch of buildings in close proximity all recently torn down, and I took some photos then. Here are some two months later with little changed except at one of the sites.

Grand and Keap, NE corner:


Grand and Keap, SW corner:


Keap and Hope, SE corner:


463 Grand Street

Borniquen and Hooper, SE corner:

Rodney and Borniquen, SW corner:


Saturday, October 7, 2006

it's alright, ma (i'm only bleeding)

Obviously, in pretty major ways I do not know what it is I am doing with myself. And these ways are numerous and they are big things like career, life goals, etc. But in other major ways, for the first time in a very long time, I am so sure about what it is I am doing with myself and what it is I want to be doing with myself. And I don't even know how to go about cataloging this without sounding in some ways silly, that these instances, examples, seem insignificant. Though they may appear so, the happiness that they give me is pretty damn significant. I am more at ease with myself in social situations, am caring less about things than I used to do (and more about other things!), and just trying to have the joy I want to have, regardless of the means necessary to attain that joy and ignoring my fears about how people will react to those means. In essence, I am experiencing something along the lines of freedom.

I got way drunk last night (shocker, right?) at Boysroom and then went to a party in Greenpoint at Anthony's house. Within minutes of being there, I found myself talking to a boy that I found really attractive and speaking unguarded. The party was out of booze and he kept on offering me his drink, a whiskey and coke, from which I drank sips of, already pretty smashed and not needing it, but loving the gesture of offered goods and the significance in the acceptance of them. Everyone left to go to a party in Bushwick. I told this boy that he should come with us. He seemed hesitant to trek out there, and then I offered the alternative of coming home with me. And he said he wasn't going to Bushwick, but that he would come home with me. And so we walked back to my house, having a nice chat about some of those big things - careers, life, and unhappiness with our direction - and things like What About Bob?

We had sex in my bed and it was so lovely. The proceeding scenes were equally lovely, possibly more so. He was affectionate and cuddling and warm until noon when we woke up, and being in bed with him and his body felt so nice. It's a niceness I want to know all the time. These joys, they're so numerous and ours for the taking. I am living and trying to be born over and over again. I heard that Bob Dylan line at the end of Easy Rider, which I watched this afternoon, and that line, "He not busy being born is busy dying," even though in a cover version by someone lost none of its resonance, none of its ability to make me sigh at a perceived truth and at how amazing we can make things.