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 NYTimes.com 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:
August:

October:


Grand and Keap, SW corner:
August:

October:


Keap and Hope, SE corner:
August:

October:


463 Grand Street
August:



Borniquen and Hooper, SE corner:
August:



Rodney and Borniquen, SW corner:
August:

October:

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.

Friday, October 6, 2006

While it was honestly not my favorite bookstore, I am still terribly sad about the news that Coliseum Books is closing. New York, I am worried for you. I am worried because I even see my friends occasionally with bags from Barnes & Noble. I could go on and on with this train of thought, lamenting changes in New York, lamenting the tendency of everything to turn into a mall, lamenting the decline of independent booksellers, on and on, but you know it all, and I need to get ready for work.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Headache city, I have arrived. My head is throbbing because I drank too much last night, every night, because I did not get much sleep, and work is going to be pretty painful today I imagine. But, hopefully, the memories of penises and boys recalled throughout the day will be able to entertain me and keep me awake. The downstairs of the Cock was open last night, and if you were there, you probably know that I was a bit slutty. There was that sluttiness with several people and then there was also more G-rated making out with a couple of crushes. And all of this would be so much better recalled in bed, or recalled in the crazy logic of dreams, but instead, I am awake and running on empty, dreading the day that lies ahead.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

people in motion

Riding down from 96th Street, I didn't think of the blowjob I had just gotten, didn't really even think of that too much during the act, not really sure where my mind was, but it was then, as it was on that subway ride, wandering down whatever paths were illuminated by the those pot embers burning in the pipe I had smoked from earlier. On the train ride, I was listening to the Mamas and the Papas and in love with everything, nothing more so than my own self and my own ability to take in all these things, to feel, and it was only when the train was stopped for a bit at Times Square that I realized something wasn't right. There was a woman next to me yelling into the intercom buttom at the train conductor for not giving proper medical attention to this man on the floor of my car, a man possibly dead that I had not noticed at all, a man whom apparently no one, aside from this woman, had noticed. She was mad and everyone else seemed to be mildly annoyed and inconvienced and I loved this woman, talking about how everyone was just looking at this man like he was garbage but he was a human being. And even though this station, Times Square of all places, seems like it should have lots of personnel ready to respond in the event of an emergency, for the five minutes I was there, there were still no medics on the scene. After a couple minutes an MTA employee came who stood guard, waiting for some type of medical attention, presumably. I got on the local when it came, continuing to listen to the Mamas and Papas and thinking about various things.

I transferred to the L, at which point there was another subway sight to inspire thoughts on mortalitiy, on our human bodies, this one at the beginning of their life, a cute little baby with a bag of Fritos spilled all over her little jumper, tossing the Fritos bag around and around, happy and wide eyed, with so much to learn, so much to teach. It was such a gorgeous sight, and the two of them, the man on the floor and the baby in the stroller, seemed to go together so well and to say everything that needs to be said about anything.

Monday, October 2, 2006

It makes you move slow, the sand, and you cannot walk too fast on it, but the joy I get from it under my feet, the joy I am convinced everyone does, makes me occasionally think, yesterday for instance, that the world should be nothing but sand and we should all be barefoot. I went to Sandy Hook with my mom and sister yesterday and it was so outrageously gorgeous. We went and looked at abandoned officers' houses and walked along the beach.

It was so lovely outside yesterday afternoon and we drove around, had some soft serve ice cream at a roadside stand and I played a Bruce Springsteen CD I found in the car.

Later in the day, we went out to Red Bank to eat Thai food and on the way, this song was playing and I lost my mind. How fucking good is this song?

Then I went and saw David Sedaris read some humorous stories, and then rode the train home, sleeping the whole way home - lovely, lovely exhausted sleep.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

The opening paragraph of Gay Talese's Thy Neighbor's Wife:

"She was completely nude, lying on her stomach in the desert sand, her legs spread wide, her long hair flowing in the wind, her head tilted back with her eyes closed. She seemed lost in private thoughts, remote from the world, reclining on this wind-swept dune in California near the Mexican border, adorned by nothing but her natural beauty. She wore no jewelry, no flowers in her hair; there were no footprints in the sand, nothing dated the day or spoiled the perfection of the photograph except the moist fingers of the seventeen-year-old schoolboy who held it and looked at it was adolescent longing and lust."

That paragraph is so good. That shift in focus that occurs at the end of that paragraph totally surprised me. I was all ready to read a narrtive about this woman sunbathing, only to be suckerpunched by this being a photograph some boy is using as jackoff fodder.

I picked up this book yesterday along with four others that I am totally excited about at Housing Works Used Book Cafe's outdoor book sale, all for a dollar each. I watched The Science of Sleep later on in the day. It was a pretty lovely day, all the lovelier because I was asleep in bed by eleven (the first time in how long?), this book at my side.

I am about to head off to New Jersey to hang out and eat with my family, and then, with my sister, to see David Sedaris read.