Thursday, June 29, 2006

So people always complain about jury duty in the same way that they complain about getting dental work done, and today, I know why. So I got there bright and early at 8:45, and joined the hundreds of other irritated Brooklynites waiting in line with their jury duty summons waiting to go through the metal detector. After I got through that, I went to this big room with 748 chairs. (I counted at one point when I was bored silly.) The room was about twenty degrees and after watching a boring video about how jury duty is a civic obligation, a woman came out to give us some instructions. Apparently, we were supposed to bring a pen to write information on our jury card. It said this on the jury card, and yet only about half the people had pens, the other half, bad students doing the SATs, were asking neighbors if they could borrow their pen. I, sadly, was one of these. People are so funny. This was funny, people, adults made childish, in hushed tones asking to borrow pens.

Also funny was when how the woman had to scold all of us and tell us that we had to be here, and no we couldn't go, unless we had a kid to take care of, or a verifiable medical condition. Then she said if anyone didn't think they could serve because they didn't understand English, that they could get processed and leave. Depsite the fact that it seemed they understood what she said just then, literally half of the room got up to leave. Once they had all left, this woman laughed and told us that most of them would be back, and she was correct. Just about all of them came back after being told by the screener that they would be called to come back in another six months. By sitting through the day, we don't have to report for jury duty for at least another six years.

And then we waited. And waited. And waited. I finished my book that I had brought, Roberto Bolano's By Night in Chile by ten, and read free newspapers cover to cover that were lying around the room. After a couple hours, they called some people, twenty or so out of of the two hundred or so up to be a prospective jury. Then it was lunch time, and I went in search of a used book store and found a Goodwill where I bought a Jane Austen book, which was defintely not what I wanted to read, but far better than all the Star Trek paperbacks that were the alternative there.

Finally, at four, they dismissed us. I was kind of disappointed. For all that waiting, I didn't even get to see a courtroom or a jury box, didn't get to experience this thing. I don't even want to detail the day because it was so tedious and boring and cold, and I would lose my mind if I had to do so. I am free though now. I did, however, find out that my job is supposed to pay me for today, and so tomorrow, I have to go politely make sure they do.

Um, and I am in a great mood because Al motherfucking Green, who I have always wanted to see play is playing a free show at Coney Island in two weeks. And tomorrow Voxtrot is playing a free show at Prospect Park, that I may go to if it is not raining. And tonight, after Jillian finishes moving all her stuff out, I am supposed to move all my stuff, so that Adele can move into my room, so that tomorrow, Ethan can move into hers. And I am so unexcited about that because I am too tired to be moving shit, and fuck fuck fuck! Al Green!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I was supposed to go over to Ryan's house last night and hang out with him, but my stomach and bowels weren't feeling too hot, and so I made up a less disgusting excuse and canceled. And now he is busy the next couple of days and then going to be out of town until Wednesday. I am kind of nervous about seeing this boy again, that the second time you see someone, that first time after meeting them, after sleeping with them, is always a little awkward, and seemingly, things would have been better left at a one night stand. But then again, I am so excited to see him because my name is dog in heat these past couple days.

Tomorrow, I am supposed to go to jury duty. I am not excited about missing work, missing getting paid, to probably sit in some boring government building in downtown Brooklyn. The fact that I am supposed to report there at 8:45 has me even less excited.

Last night, I watched Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. This, after watching the first season of the tv show over the last couple weeks. And as I do with most David Lynch movies, even though I was enjoying it a lot, I could not stay awake for the ending. During the last ten minutes, I knew that it was the last ten minutes, and kept on switching my position on the couch, kept on trying to hold my eyes open, but I was drugged by this movie and they kept closing on their own, and perhaps that's the best way to watch this, to submit to his dream world by having a few of your own, by letting his nightmarish visions play around in your head as you fall in and out of sleep.

The movie was really good, but I like what the tv show does even better. The tv show is a little more coy. There is that lineage of Sirk/Fassbinder/Haynes, who all stretched melodrama into something else. And with the tv show, Lynch also is more concerned with melodrama, but in this creepy, lovely way. I love "Invitation to Love," the soap opera that is always playing on the televisions of Twin Peaks, and that's what the show is - a cracked mirror version of "Invitation to Love," but not altogether distinct from it either, Lynch showing the stuff latent in all of that melodrama, the possibilities. The movie, on the other hand, is more typical of David Lynch, unbound as he is by tv censors and network execs, that it's weirder (and thus, more typical somehow), more focused in its storyline, not needing to have the multiple storylines a soap opera or tv show needs to have to propel it through a season or two. The movie is a totally different animal than the tv show, not better, not worse, just different.

Fuck jury duty. And fuck this never ending gloomy weather! How much rain is too much?

Monday, June 26, 2006

they say there is pride before a fall

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Saturday, June 24, 2006


About a month or so ago, a little less than a month ago, I had joined what was basically a gay porn version of Netflix, NYMmedia, and before I was billed for another month, for various reasons, I decided to quit the service. The service was nice and allowed me to watch some porns that I had been wanting to see for a while, Through the Woods and The Big Dick Club, both starring Pierre Fitch, and Cream BBboys, starring Brent Corrigan. There are still many porns on my list to see, and many production companies that I would still like to become familiar with, but there were those reasons I had mentioned, and which I have yet to enumerate, that caused me to decide it would be a good idea to cancel this service.

One of those reasons was the existence of Veoh. I had been spending hours on Veoh looking at random porn clips, random international tv clips with naked people, random home sex videos, random Webcam jackoff videos—the amount of hot stuff on there was amazing, and it was providing a free, easy-to-use format in which to view all this masturbation fodder, and so, it made the NYMmedia subscription seem somewhat unnecessary since I could watch all the hot gay porn my heart could ever desire here on this site. However, that adage that all good things must come to an end was proven true yet again, life seems to a constant reaffirmation of this adage, and it was announced a couple of days ago that Veoh, for all too obvious legal and copyright reasons, was changing their terms of service to no longer allow any pornographic videos, which really was the only reason people used Veoh at all, there already being YouTube for clean videos. And so that reason is no longer valid, and I need to await the arrival of a new competitor in this user posted video space that again allows this exciting porn world to flourish, or need to wait until I get a new job and it seems more reasonable to subscribe to a gay porn video service again.

Then there is Manhunt. After having heard people talk about this site for the past couple years and being curious about it, I created an account on there a couple of days ago to join this exciting world of horny gay males showing their penises and looking for physical contact, for, as Bruce Springsteen sang, a little of that human touch. And the free account was totally inadequate and was enough to whet my appetite for a paid account, to actually be able to see the pictures of people in a size larger than a thumbnail image, to actually be able to see what these young lads looked like, whether the adjective, dashing, could be inserted prior to young lads. And it was when I decided to get a paid account that I decided that that was coming at the expense of the gay porn, that really, I had to have some self-control not only for self-policing reasons of what type of person I would like to be, but also for financial reasons—it seemed totally exorbitant, or if not that, at least excessive, to have both, and so I said good-bye to NYMmedia, telling myself that, in some ways, Manhunt would be better for me, that with this at least, as their surely was not with gay porn DVDs, there was the potential of perhaps making a human connection and, you know, being a little more connected to the patterns and the habits that have defined human society for several millennia, the physical affection with another person, bodies groping together against time.

And while, yes, this has yet to happen, having actually hooked up with a person, a boy, perhaps even a dashing one, through Manhunt, there is that obvious potential there for that that I do plan to utilize, and the knowledge of that clear potential served as a bit of motivation to me last night at Metropolitan. Mentally, I had told myself that I wanted to sleep with someone and that it was going to happen, and that I needed to put myself out there, to talk to boys at the Metropolitan, or otherwise, I was going to go home and find what I was looking for, or a close approximation of that, on Manhunt.

I was there with Ethan and talked to him about boys, as I tend to talk about often, particularly when drunk and when at gay bars and when horny, and I talked about boys I thought were cute, two in particular, and found myself too shy to approach them, to talk to them, and again, life again reaffirmed some adages about time and taking advantage of it and of early birds and big worms and things ending. The two boys left, one shortly after the next. And I could continue on this path, looking at attractive boys until they left and doing this until the bar closed, or until it got close enough to that point that any boys I found attractive would have all been gone, and I decided not to continue on this path. There was also the help of several beers in this determination.

Joe and Dustin arrived and I talked to Ethan and them for a while, on and off. Off because having found this total lack of self-consciousness, of shyness, I made eyes at this really attractive boy and got him to come talk to me, and we chatted for a bit, and I wasn’t what he wanted, that or he was telling the truth that he had to leave with his friends, and he left. But undeterred as I might otherwise have been at times like this, I decided to keep on pressing on, and started talking to some cute boy who was standing alone, and talked to him until I was thoroughly bored hearing him talk about interior designing, and this time was the one to make excuses to leave the conversation, again using the excuse that I had to find my friends.

I went back inside and found them at the bar, and this cute boy who I had been staring at earlier was walking by and so I screamed HI at him, and caught his attention, and began to chat with this boy, with Ryan. And really, it’s so easy. Everyone is up for play; no one’s out of reach. There are people who you think to be and then you talk to them and they are sweet as can be and also obviously attracted to you, and I am really going to try to continue this lack of shyness toward boys. I think I learned some valuable lessons last night, that everyone is looking for something and maybe what you’re looking for aligns with what they are and maybe it doesn’t, but this is only found out through approaching the person and talking to them.

And this boy, Ryan, was, and is still, so cute — brown hair and brown eyes and this really boyish face. I chatted with him for a long time, the conversation coming really easily, filled with a lot of jokes, a lot of laughing, and I don’t think once was I bored, was I annoyed by something he said. And after chatting with him for a long bit, I made out with him on the couch, and then in the girl’s bathroom, and then in my bedroom.

This is my last week in this bedroom before I move into the big one, and I have finally, after living this bedroom for close to a year, finally broken it in, slept with someone in there for the first time. He has a nice soft body that I was really glad to have in my bed. We were up till five-thirty or so, went to bed after dawn had already arrived, as the sky was already well lit. And at eight-thirty, I woke up, unable to sleep and came out into the living room to eat and read, and shortly thereafter, he woke up also, and we lied in bed talking for a couple of hours until he left late this morning. I don’t think I have too much in common with this boy, his favorite singer is Cher, and he worryingly seems to like a lot of Top 40 cheesy stuff (Pink) in a non-ironic way, but I also kind of don’t care, and thinking back, the sweetest people have always been these type, the people that I don’t really have too much in common with taste-wise, but whom I am really physically attracted to and who are just grounded, kind people, that too often I think have mistaken tastes for personality, for what a person really is. And so, I imagine, and I hope, that I will see this boy again shortly.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

the new jersey coast line leaves hourly from penn station

On the way home yesterday evening, riding the train, I passed first through Elizabeth and shortly thereafter, through Newark. This seemed oddly meaningful because of the book that I was reading, the writer that I was reading, and I put that book aside for a while as I passed through this part of New Jersey, looked closely out the window, at the decaying buildings and the newer ones put up, thinking about these layers of history, and Philip Roth growing up here, his father growing up here. I was, and am still, reading Philip Roth's Patrimony, a memoir written after the death of his father, about his relationship with his father.

It would have been like traveling through Oxford, Mississippi while reading Faulkner, or through Dublin reading Joyce.

I had gotten the book earlier in the day at a thrift store in Atlantic Highlands along with a couple of other books for really cheap. The day was spent perusing these books, trying to set up my mom's wireless network, watching cable, eating food, and drinking coffee - a fairly lazy day spent in the company of my family, including my sister who is now back home from her sojourn abroad.

My mom and Kent left to go see some Motown concert and so it was my sister's responsibility to drive me back to the train station and also to drive there to pick up my aunt. We ended up leaving for the station about an hour earlier than we needed to because my sister wanted to get an icee, and so off we went. We passed one roadside icee place and my sister asked if I wanted to stop at this one, and since it was her that wanted the icee and not me, I said Not really, Keep driving. And so we passed this quaint little roadside icee place and my sister commented on it in a weird way - weird because it recalled similar observations I thought a week or so earlier about an icee place on Graham Avenue, not too far from my house in Brooklyn.

She said it was weird living in this town, Atlantic Highlands, that compared to suburban Northern Virginia, there was something really Americana-ish about this town and this icee stand. She said that the icee stand seemed like some relic of mid-century Americana. And it did, but I wondered what it is about icee stands with walk-up windows, how these had become points of nostalgia for both my sister and I. Earlier in the week, I had gone to the icee stand on Graham Avenue with Ben and Solomon and also remarked on the Americana qualities of that icee stand. So to hear my sister making very similar observations made me think that it must be something in either our blood, or more likely, our experience that led both of us to state these things. Thinking of this connection though, I also recalled my mom earlier in the day talking about how excited she was about this new homemade ice-cream shop in her town, and also traced that in this line of familial regard for non-chain stores selling frozen desserts.

But this search for icees turned sour as we passed two places without stopping and didn't encounter any others, and as my sister continued to miss turns we were supposed to take and drove like a little old lady. She insisted she was driving safely, but I told her there was a difference between safe and overly cautious, that the difference was that being overly cautious is not safe, that it is dangerous, and often results in accidents. As we approached the train station, the road had a speed limit of 30 and my sister was driving at close to 20 with a line of cars growing behind her, angry. Then she stops, even though there is not a stop sign because she sees some pedestrians on the side of the road who were going to cross when the traffic had passed. I asked, "What are you doing?" And the cars behind us asked the same with their horns. And of course, my sister blew up at me and said that I was harassing her, and told me I could get out of the car. Another lovely trip home.

And so, now, at the train station way earlier than I needed to be, still hungry, and nothing close by, I got out the book I had just got for fifty cents, Patrimony and started reading it.

This morning as I was shopping at the bargain clothes stores on Graham Avenue, I saw an ad encouraging customers to buy Father's Day gifts. And I realized that it was Father's Day, and also realized that this is the first time this day has come around that I am sans father; the first Father's Day since mine died last November. And I thought to Philip Roth since the book concerns his father and his death and thought it very odd, very coincidental that I would come across this book and start reading it this weekend.

This afternoon, after tanning on my roof, drunk off the sun, sausage, and Coors Light I had drank, I read on my couch more of this book and came across this passage that I think synched up well with the thoughts I had been having, that perhaps there is meaning in my seemingly unconscious decision to read this book this weekend. The passage is Philip Roth talking about how while on the way to tell his father that his father has a brain tumor, he absentmindedly gets off at the wrong exit and ends up on the road leading to the cemetery where his mother is buried, and where soon his father will also be buried; he talks about what this means:

"This time when I left the turnpike, I concentrated on my driving to be sure that I didn't mistakenly get on the road to the cemetery. There was nothing to be gained by making a habit of that, though I wasn't sorry that the day before I had taken the wrong turn. I couldn't have explained what good it had done - it hadn't been a comfort or a consolation; if anything it had only confirmed my sense of his doom - but I was still glad that I had wound up there. I wondered if my satisfaction didn't come down to the fact that the cemetery visit was narratively right: paradoxically, it had the feel of an event not entirely random and unpredictable and, in that way at least, offered a sort of strange relief from the impact of all that was frighteningly unforeseen." (74)

That is the sentiment that I found myself saying Yes, yes to - that these chance things that acquire meaning, or that had it in the first place and make you wonder if the event, if the thing really was by chance, or if it was not somehow self-willed, that it does have a nice narrative flow. That narrative flow of picking up a book by my favorite writer on Father's Day weekend about the death of his father, this on the first Father's Day after my father's death. And the act of reading this book as I ride a train through his eulogized cities, that all of this seems too perfect to be chance, that there is some order to this universe. I am not sure what that order is or how it is achieved, but its effects seem to occasionally crop up so strikingly as to make that order beyond dispute. And my sister commented on the Americana aspects of roadside icee stands and that sentiment was in my head today as I bought an icee from a Latina woman in a Spanish speaking neighborhood in Brooklyn today. She scraped the block of ice on her cart enough so to fill up a plastic cup, and poured grape syrup all over that shaved ice. I paid her a dollar and she handed me the cup with a straw, and the sweetness of that grape syrup and the coldness of that shaved ice felt so fucking good, so fucking right.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All right, so I am writing this from my apartment, thank God, and am not on some high speed ferry travelling from New Jersey to work right now. My mom wanted me to come back to her house after we met my sister at the airport, but since I am still a little sick and still need as much sleep as possible, I convinced her to drop me back off at home, which, I don't understand why that could not have been the original plan. It probably only added ten minutes to her trip.

But yes, I saw my sister and talked with her for a bit, which was nice, but Saturday, I promised I would come to my mom's house in Jersey and spend time with them.

But last night, man, was one of the most horrible nights I have had in the longest time. I took some Nyquil when I got home and tried to go to bed, but couldn't really fall asleep even though I was tired as all hell, and I had waking nightmares for a long while and started to see hallucenagenic visuals. I was sweating buckets. My sheets, my mattress, my comforter, and my pillow were all saturated with sweat. And then this headache started, where it felt like the sides of my head were being squeezed in a vise. Everything Nyquil was supposed to alleviate, it seemed to be aggrevating. Before I took it, I was fine. But once taken, I developed a fever, a headache like I have never had ever, and worse, I couldn't even fall asleep. I felt like I had taken some bad drugs. My jaw was aching, the muscles were so tense.

And again, my jaw is tensing up. I took one Dayquil this morning, instead of the two that come in the package, thinking first of all, that it was an ingredient in the Nyquil, and second of all, that this small a dose should not harm me, but man, I am already feeling that same sort of scary headache. I think I am done with the Quils, both Day and Ny, for a long time.

The things I thought during this fever dream were so nightmarish. It was unreal and such a horrible night. Once I get off work, I am forcing myself to take a nap and to catch up on some sleep.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

So I am now 25 and feel no different, surely because I am still under the fog of the last throes of this cold, and the cold medicine I am taking to fully bury this illness. But even now, typing this, I am beginning to feel the difference, or, at the least, to see the difference in typeface, and the attachments I had associated with certain numerals. 24 represented something different than 25. It seemed more young, obviously, but not in the same way that 23 does to 24, or 22 does to 23. This, because 25 is one of those nice round numbers like 50 or 75. So there should be introspection or a summing of the past quarter of a century, examining how I have lived my life, and how I would like to do so from now on. However, there is that cold medicine previously mentioned, which, while lovely, does not allow me to really carry thoughts beyond a sentence or two, that something new pops into my head, some song played over the loudspeaker in a store I am in, and whatever trails I was walking down become lost, shuffled up by leaves and wind and pop music - the giddy effects of Dayquil. And so I seek out new paths, new woods.

I woke up yesterday, had coffee, really strong, dark coffee. And that was the best birthday present, a thing I can (and usually do) give myself every morning. Then I went to work, came home, ate some soup, took a nap, ate some more Dayquil, and then headed into Manhattan. I was near the end of the line, and so, didn't get to see their whole set, but the staff at Other Music was really nice and let us end of line people switch off and all go in for a couple of songs, and so, with Solomon and Ben, saw Beirut, or didn't see them, saw the tops of heads and a tambourine being clapped up high, and heard Beirut play two songs. And that was nice, very nice, and very short, just what I needed and wanted. It allowed me to feel like I didn't lie in bed for my whole birthday with a box of tissues at my side. And from there, I headed home, picked up some greasy Chinese food, and watched episodes of Twin Peaks with Adele until I fell asleep.

And today, more coffee (yes!), more Dayquil (double yes!), and New Jersey (uh?).

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I am sweating and snot is dripping from my nose nonstop even though I have taken three Walitins today (Walgreen's awesomely named generic version of Claritin). I feel pretty loopy and the good news is that my throat is no longer painful and awful, just somewhat sore.

I am suppossed to go to Alligator Lounge shortly, if and when Ben calls me. And I don't know why I am going because I am already sweating from all this medication, have a weak stomach, and snot that will not stop dripping, but yet, I am so tired of being in my bed, of being on my couch, of being in my apartment. It is so hard for me to put my body into idle mode for this extended a period of time. I am ready to rage, or I want to mentally, and am annoyed that my body and mind aren't in sync, that my body is saying, "No, let's just lie in that comfortable bed." But my mind is all like, "Fuck no, what I am supposed to do there? You just sleep and lie there and I don't have anyone to talk to!" An ill-paired couple: my body, a late sleeper who wants to spend all day in bed, and my mind, so eager to get out of bed and looking at the next pillow, disgusted with the laziness of that other.

Um, I will hit the quarter of a century mark in just short of 24 hours and I am not excited about it all. Not excited because I am sick, because I have to work that day and the next one, and because 25 sounds old, like one of those milestone numbers beyond which some type of behavior is no longer acceptable.

I really shouldn't go out. Um. Maybe I won't? Fuck snot.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

I promised my boss I would come in tomorrow when I went in there this morning. This morning, there was again little work to do and they offered to let me go home and I took that offer, still feeling a little loopy. And so I napped and watched this excellent wrestling documentary, The Rise and Fall of ECW, and ate lots of ramen.

I would love to talk about this documentary more because it was surprisingly good considering it was produced by WWE, one of the groups pretty responsible for nailing the coffin shut of ECW. Paul Heyman is amazing for what he did with that little league, to the heights he brought it to, and how he was able to inspire his wrestlers and his fans. He is a modern day PT Barnum, and it's definitely sad that he didn't succeed but also understandable. One of his ex-wrestlers refers to him rather as a David Koresh figure, which is also an apt analogy. He shit talks WWE a little, but not nearly as much as WCW, and it's a fascinating look at this era of mid-90's wrestling. However, it would have been so much more interesting were it not produced by WWE and perhaps a little more objective in WWE's own role in stealing ECW's talent and their TNN timeslot. It also would have been more interesting for it to have been put into a broader cultural context like the recent book Slaphappy does.

Okay, so I guess I did just talk about it. But I wasn't going to because I am still feeling a little drunk. Drunk? But you are sick, right? And on antibiotics! Yes, all very true. I went to gallery openings with the intention of not drinking, but by the second gallery, feeling fairly all right, I said that one drink would be okay, which, of course, was just opening the floodgates. I hung out with Ben and Solomon and Bonnie's friend, Matthew, and his friend, whose name I no longer remember. I drank lots of white wine, saw lots of cute boys, saw Michael Stipe with some young boy, and then had a hamburger, and am waking up early tomorrow, and hopefully feeling non-sick because I have got to go to work and be 200% for not being there all week. But Friday! It's almost here! And I am ready to cut loose!

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

I went into work today, was there for about an hour, the whole time spent downloading a voice file to transcribe that was taking an insanely long time to download. There wasn't anything else to do, and my boss saw that I was clearly sick, and so I came home. I napped a lot, watched a bunch of dirty videos on veoh (so much better than youtube), and drank lots of warm liquids. I really hate being able to think about nothing but my body, that to try to maintain my attention for anything other than suburban boys stripping on webcams just is impossible.

I did however read this article about the Senate vote on gay marriage, and came across this quote: "All over the country, married heterosexual couples are shaking their heads and wondering how exactly the prospect of gay marriage threatens the health of their marriages," said ...

And even before I got to the said part, I was wondering which Senator would be level-headed enough to say this (you know, what Senators are supposed to be since they are a little more removed from the electoral process, only being elected every six years), and I could think of only one, and yes, it was that one, Russell Feingold.

Could you imagine how good it could be if he were President? Rumor has it he is considering running, but as with any Democrat running for the nomination (why waste the money and energy?), his chances are probably futile because of Hillary. For obvious reasons, it'd be nice to see her, a her, hold that office. But it would also be really nice if she suddenly disappeared tomorrow, making it possible for a progressive (like Feingold!) to be nominated.

I talk about my body in this forum a lot, but normally in ways that I am more happy to do so, that that is almost by choice, that decision to chronicle my sexual self, and there is a pleasure from that also, from the retelling, but this method of bodily documenation is not fun and yet I can think of nothing else, am prevented from doing so by this illness which not only shrinks my mental energy, but consumes even that small size it is shrunk too, leaving nothing but bleary-eyed, almost rote fascination with things like Russ Feingold and boys stripping in their bedrooms.
I did nothing to celebrate 6-6-6 yesterday in any fashion whatsoever. You can only be so ironically hellbent when you are seriously ill.

Thanks for your advice. I did appreciate it. Here is the latest since it is all I think about. I am in a constant state of physically evaluating my body and comparing those things to things researched on Google.

Last night, I got a thing of Doxycycline from Gabriel. I am not sure that this is going to do much good. Several sources from Google said that doxycycline was not very effective against strep. However, some sources (and really it just takes one source saying what we want to hear for us to become convinced) said that it was an effective option for people allergic to penicillin.

But then, to make things more confusing, I also read several sources that cautioned against prescribing antibiotics at all, that most percieved cases of strep were actually not strep at all, but a viral infection which antibiotics don't do anything for. Then, discussion of the overprescription of antibiotics and how this dangerous to the public health.

Anyways, I am taking these because finding a doctor, waiting in the office, filling out paperwork, seeing the doctor, paying them money, waiting in the pharmacy, paying the pharmacy money, that none of these aspects sounded appealing at all, and so, instead I am taking my friend's unused antibiotics and hoping that they do something.

The good news and this probably doesn't have anything to do with the antibiotics is that the white patches in the back of my throat have shrunken in size, that my glands aren't as swollen, and that it is somewhat easier to swallow. Granted, I still feel like shit. But less shitty a shit than I felt yesterday. I am going to work today and hopefully will not die.

I have this weird pimply rash at the base of both my middle fingers that I noticed when I woke up this morning. For a while, I was scared I had developed scarlet fever, but this looks nothing like that and that starts at your face and neck and spreads out. I think it is a side effect of the Doxycycline, and hopefully the only one I will experience. It's so weird and symmetrical though! Why just the middle fingers? Why not a ring finger or a pinkie?

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Fuck. Very shortly, I am going to start looking for a new job, a full time one so that I can have health insurance. Not having health insurance is so scary, not knowing what to do when you are sick with something that can't just be treated with Nyquil. I have white patches all over my tonsils and on the back of my throat, which according to stuff I am reading online is normally a symptom of strep throat or tonsilitis. Other symptoms of strep are trouble swallowing, really swollen lymph glands, and one site even cautioned that if you're kid was drooling a lot, they might have strep. I have been drooling during my naps today, have swollen lymph glands, and have not even really drank many fluids because it hurts too much.

I have been trying to find some low-cost clinic where I could get a strep test but am not being too succesful. I am just trying to reassure myself that I have never had strep throat before, even though I have been convinced countless times before that I have had it, but have gotten throat cultures done only to find out that I did not have it. So yeah, I especially don't want to drop 100 or 200 to go see a real doctor who will swab my throat with a Q-tip and tell me it is just a sore throat. But the white patches! I don't think I have ever had these white patches inside my throat before. They are so scary looking, like mold growing inside of me!

Oh yeah, I called in sick today.
I really don't want to call in sick to this job, since I have yet to do so, but man, I feel awful. The back of my throat is so swollen that the spit that normally flows up and down your throat, instead pools in my mouth because it hurts too much to swallow. I was woken up about even ten minutes by this pool of spit and had to decide whether to swallow (which hurts like hell), or to just spit on to this towel I put next to my bed for this purpose. I slept from five yesterday afternoon until seven this morning, and I think if anything, my throat has become more swollen.

Yesterday, before I slept I had such terrible chills that I was shivering on the street. This, in June.

Really, I think I am fine except for this throat, which forces me to make this gross, pained, spastic face everytime I swallow spit or try to drink water. I am going to take a shower and then decide what is happpening today.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

My body is still not fully recovered from that drinking binge of Friday night. I still am way more tired than normal, and all that smoking and drinking wreaked hell upon my just recovering immune system. Last week, I had the slightest itching of a sort throat all week long but managed to snuff it out with lots of orange juice, tea, and barely any dairy. Now, it is back with force. I have been taking Advil all day just to be able to swallow things painlessly.

Aside from my body crapping out on me, there is not really much, not really anything I could complain about. I have been listening to good music, cooking decent food, watching decent movies, and spent practically all weekend reading The New Yorker.

Today, the weekend was capped in a very nice fashion, capped by the arrival of Ben and Gabriel this afternoon in their Penske truck. I helped them unload their truck and then met up with them again at Metropolitan, where I saw lots of Sarasota faces I had not seen in a while.

Two other faces, those of boys, faces beyond the circle surrounding me. At the table behind us was this boy whose name I still don't know, and so whom I will again refer to as French Boy due to his rumored French accent. This boy is so beautiful. He has got these thick lips and this pale skin and big olive eyes and just looking at him, strikes something in me. I shudder at the recognition of (or what I perceive to be) beauty in some classical sense. And looking at this face, this gorgeous face that I want to touch, I thought briefly about this theme of beauty and what exactly that means, these, all the half-formed thoughts of a lazy Sunday, wondering if this was some God experience, that that is what the recognition of beauty is (or might be), the recognition of some creation of this planet's that approaches the divine, that to recognize this, the beauty of something (not the hotness, mind you) is either some puerile Wildeish aestheticism, or as I hope, something more, much, much more, that instances of beauty don't emanate from nothing, that there is a source of this that this sprung from.

And along these thoughts, along my line of vision was Christian (not ArtStar douchebag, the other one, the beautiful one). He was sitting behind French Boy, and often my eyes wandered a bit, and were caught quite a few times by Christian, who must think I am totally obsessed with him even though most of the times I was caught starting, I was, in fact, looking at French Boy. But along these thoughts of beauty, I kept on starting at Christian, and his brown eyes, kept trying to look at them closely without making eye contact, a very hard thing to do. They are these really gorgeous brown eyes that I wanted to be able to look at unashamed, unguarded.

And there were these, and there were my good friends near me. I left this bar happy. I came home and it started to rain, again. And more Advil was taken and Gillian Welch was played, as if, now in hindsight, that is not terribly obvious to all of you.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Written by the academic historian David Andress, the new book is called “The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $26), and the subtitle emphatically semaphores the new position. Andress is hardly an apologist for the Reign of Terror, and he is both too smart and too decent to scant its horrors.

1 : an apparatus for visual signaling (as by the position of one or more movable arms)
2 : a system of visual signaling by two flags held one in each hand

I was unaware that scant could be used as verb. I only had known its adjective form.

In a revolutionary meeting, the terrain is cambered, and everything flows toward the extreme right or the extreme left.

1 : to arch slightly
2 : to impart camber to

Robespierre and Saint-Just, instead of arming their own militia, as they might well have done—they started a military academy—went on perorating, until, on July 27, 1794, the members of the Convention turned on them, out of fear for their own necks.

1 : to deliver a long or grandiloquent oration
2 : to make a peroration

Yesterday, reading Adam Gopnik's review of two new books about the French Revolution, I came across these few words, words that I did not know. I do not like coming across words I do not know - in some ways, it makes me feel inadequate in my knowledge, that there are holes, gaping ones. But also, I love coming across new words and getting the chance to broaden my lexicon a bit.

What the great historians give us, instead, is a renewed sense of sorrow and anger and pity for history’s victims—for some luckless middle-aged Frenchman standing in the cold gray, shivering as he watches the members of his family being tied up and having their heads cut off.

This is such an odd phrase, "the cold gray." It almost seems incomplete, that is should be the "the cold gray night" or "the cold gray air." Even, just "the cold" would be more standard. That in this instance, the cold isn't what they are standing in. Rather, the cold is used as an adjective to describe the gray that they are standing in. It's such odd imagery, that someone could be standing in the gray. I really like this little touch of Gopnik's.

I find myself paying a lot more attention to how language is arranged because of my job. When I read now, most of my focus is on how the sentences are structured, and in some cases, this is bad because I sort of gloss over the content (as I am doing in Bellow right now), and just read it, wondering why there isn't a comma there, wondering why there is a comma here. On the subway, I read the ads and play around with the structure of the ads, which more often than not, are big messes since it is ad copy and meant for a small space and meant to just grab someone's attention. This is all new to me, this manner of reading. I notice which magazines and which writers use commas after And, But, or So when those are the first words of sentences. I don't like the usage of commas after any of those at the beginning of sentences.

This from Bellow, not so much because it relates to what I am talking about with commas and whatnot, but because this is a passage that made me read it without looking at those aspects, but the truth of this observation struck me and made me squeal Yes, yes, that this is what Bellow is good for, these brilliant observations about this human race, so many of these observations buried in every page:

And next came his specific self, an apparition in the square mirror. How did he look? Oh, terrific—you look exquisite, Moses! Smashing! The primitive self-attachment of the human creature, that sweet instinct for the self, so deep, so old it may have a cellular origin. As he breathed, he was aware of it, quiet but far-reaching, all through his system, a pleasing hunger in his remotest nerves. (159)

[The above defintions are lifted from Merrian-Webster Online]
Today, hungover in bed, having woke up at 4:30 in the afternoon, I did some thinking, some mental calculations and realized the amount of time between Halloween and last night was almost seven months exactly. It was my first time sleeping with someone (aside from bjs from old men) in seven months. And man, in what a spectacularly raunchy fashion that dry spell was broken.

It was Ethan's birthday last night and we did a gay bar crawl that started off at the Metropolitan before crossing the East River and taking us to the Phoneix and then to Eastern Bloc and then to, of course, the Cock. I had already had a few beers before embarking on this adventure and so, by the end of the evening, I was more than a little drunk. I made out with some boy at the Cock and played with his, and then seemingly suddenly, I was in a car with Ethan and some people I didn't know heading to someone's house in Greenpoint.

On this car ride, I was very convinced that these were my last moments, the rain coming down and the city invisible from the bridge and I don't like being in cars normally, especially so when it is raining. Everything seems so barely in control, that you are just a moment away from skidding out of control into another car into a fiery mess, which despite the rain, will continue to burn slowly.

Once in Greenpoint, I said good-bye to all these people, having decided I was not getting any more wasted, but was going home, through the rain, through the puddles. One of these boys was heading toward Fun and I told him I would show him where it was and walk with him since it was on my way home. And once at Fun, I decided to go in for a drink or four. I think it was 3:30 or later when we finally got there, and yet still, in this short time frame, prodded on by this boy and by his buying me drinks, I consumed four more drinks.

And would you believe me if I told you that I hadn't drank a drop in about a week and a half, that I had decided to cut out drinking from my life? It is true, but it being my friend's birthday, I couldn't very well just not drink.

The bartender's name at this last bar was William, and when I finally woke up this afternoon, I was still able to recall his name and what he looked like and swooned for a bit over him, recalling how in a night of being in quite a few gay bars, encountering more than a few cute young boys, this was the only one I thought to be so. Something about his carriage. There is a line from Whitman that I used to have memorized, and might in better mental and physical conditions be able to recall, but now, I cannot, can only recall that its meaning is what I am trying to effect here. Something along the line of, "It's in his shoulders. To see him pass coveys as much as the greatest poem, if not more."

[Thank God for Google. I just looked up the quote. It's from "I Sing the Body Electric":
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more;
You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and shoulder-side.]

And yes, I was half remembering these lines, perhaps a little more than half remembering William and how dreamy I thought him to be then, and still think him now - a confidence in his carriage that most gay boys lack with their wandering eyes looking for validation in other wandering eyes. That aloof quality that turns me on way more than is healthy, that disinterest.

And I occasionally looked at William, trying to hold it all in as I was talking and sitting with this man, getting drunker at Fun, which at that point, had about three other people in the bar. Somehow the conversation turned toward watersports, and drunk, my perverse fantasies were given a little more free reign than I would have otherwise normally allowed. If you let someone buy you a drink, it doesn't mean that you are going to go home with them. However, if you let someone buy you more than one, it normally does. I was already pretty resolved that I would take this guy home with me.

Outside the bar, it being closing time, he asked for directions back to that party in Greenpoint. I told him that he should come home with me, that I wanted to suck him off and jack off and have him piss on me, and that I didn't want him to spend the night. He agreed, and remarked with humor about how forward I was. Blame that on countless drinks consumed in too short a window of time.

And so, for that reason, that upfrontness about what I wanted to happen, things were more reckless, more intense, more perverse, because there were none of those pretensions to a dance, to coming upstairs for a second and making conversation about something or other before someone hesitantly starts the first kiss. Instead, once upstairs, kissing started immediately. Clothes came off just as quickly. I got beat up and it was amazing. I didn't know I had all these submissive pig fantasies, but last night, they came out. And I had this man spank me, slap me, spit on me, choke me with his cock, almost tear off my nipples, pull me by the hair. It was so painful, and yet, I loved that pain.

I loved every minute of it, of being pushed to my physical limits for pain, being beaten up and feeling gone, less like myself, and yet also, terribly, terribly present - this immediate being where there is nothing else outside of these physical sensations, that the pain and the weird pleasure gotten from it manage to drive out any other stupid, stressful thoughts in your brain, that even your subconscious is forced to heel its motions, that all there is this slap across the face, this cock that you can't have in your throat any longer or you will choke on vomit and you cry and whimper, that that becomes all you think about. And this, surely, the source of the pleasure. The pain removes other things, silences everything and leaves you in this immediate present.

After he came all over my already spit and tear covered face, he pissed on me in my bathtub. I showered afterward and came out to my living room, he, putting on his socks, and the two of us, actors offstage. No longer in character. Again, a normal conversation of equals. Those roles and that play, over.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Wow, looking at this date that shows up on this page, I am surprised for some reason that it is June already. It seems like it was New Year's not that long ago. Time is really flying by me. I am so excited that it is summer, even if not officially, at least in spirit. That hot Memorial Day weekend was amazing, and while it was nice to be outside in that weather, to wander the streets dazed and horny, flesh and the heat of the street being mistaken for the heat of bodies, it was a little painful inside my apartment, tossing and turning at night, trying to slow my breathing enough to drastically cool off enough to sleep. I love every aspect of the heat but that, the restlessness when you want to rest.

On June 9, one of my favorite bands, Young People, is playing at Tonic, and since I missed their last two shows and regretted it, I am definitely going to go to this one, despite that I will probably be broke that day because that is the day I am mailing my rent check.

Last night was a veritable rage fest for a good hour. I for some reason watched a bit of "To Catch a Predator," which made me foam at the mouth with rage. And I knew it would, having seen commercials for this show and being enraged just by those. The setup of the show for those that don't know is that it is presented under the cloak of a news special, although what it really is, is voyeurism and prudishness and moral righteousness all rolled into one ugly ball as these news producers pretend to be a 14 year old girl and then have some older man come meet them at their house for sex, only to be ambushed by a team of cameras and shamed. Then, they let these people think that their public shaming was their only punishment, and let them walk back to their car, at which point, they are tackled by a team of police officers.

It is all so tacky and unnecessary. There is no reason that they can't be arrested inside the house, or by simply handcuffing them except for the fact that that does not make good television (read bad). It's so unprofessional. Even when the people see the police coming after them, freeze and put their hands high up, the police still tackle them to the ground. It is totally outrageous. I don't see how this doesn't qualify as entrapment. And while no, these are not shining examples of humanity that they are shaming, they also shouldn't be shamed and tackled because of this. These aren't people yanking girls off the street. These are people chatting online with girls, girls who have plenty of agency, and who allow these men to come over, tell them their address. This show was making me unreasonably angry, and so was the noise of repetitive, house shaking barking, and so I called 311 to complain for what seemed like the hundredth time about these pitbulls from hell that live behind me, only to spend half an hour on the phone with them in a rage. This, followed by talking to my landlord who was harassing about my roommate's rent, which she has still yet to get, and which I had assumed had been mailed. I followed this by bitching to Ethan about all of this for a bit.

Then I watched the conclusion of "The Age of AIDS" on PBS, which was amazing. This, followed by more Sopranos, and I realized something about my own self and others, something about human beings, watching Tony start venting to everyone around him, treating them as his therapist since Melfi wasn't seeing him at the time, that this was what I was just doing to the 311 operator and to Ethan, this venting, this monologue of rage that doesn't care in the slightest to make it a dialogue, and actually gets annoyed when other concerns are introduced to the ragefest.

I don't think (in fact, I know) that right now I do not have enough outlets for energy, that I am finding myself so easily annoyed by things and giving monologues whenever I do run into people. I don't know. I need to find some way to start exercising. I hate my bike, but I think I might have start to using that shit.