Wednesday, September 24, 2008

pink floyd's "wish you were here" playing on the radio and a past evoked

Pieces are coming together and the puzzle is still nowhere near completion but it is starting to take a recognizable shape; I am more aware of which section of the puzzle to direct these stray pieces. Lines from Whitman are still floating through my head from doing those performances this past weekend. I am large; I contain multitudes. Whitman's scope, absorbing it all, has had its effect on me; I am trying to learn from that, to accept these numerous things, some seemingly incompatible, and to see them all as okay, as necessary.

Earlier this evening, after attending Spanish class, I took the last pill in my PEP treatment. I am so excited. Tomorrow, I will start to have my mind back and my energy back. This past month has been spent in a fog, me inexplicably tired and wanting to nap all the time, often also experiencing dizziness and stomach pains. The evidence of this can be seen in so many aspects of my life, none more starkly though than my output on this diary here in this past month, the lack of it and the inferior quality of my writing as of late, the forced nature of the few attempts at it I have made. I really feel the stirrings of something great about to happen and I can't explain it, what that means, but I am so excited about again having my mental capacities return to normal and I am going to utilize them so much in these coming weeks, that I am about to explode with lots of great things and I cannot wait. In some ways, I am feeling more adult, more aware of time's limitations and of what I need to be doing.

I went to the dentist today for the first time in years and years and have six cavities. I am going to have to be a bit more frugal and work hard in this next month as those are going to cost me quite a bit of money.

I haven't talked to my roommate since our big blowup a week or so ago. We haven't been home together at the same time much, but when we have, we have both kept to our rooms and not really talked when crossing paths. It is certainly not the best living situation, but I really don't care. The television is no longer on, the house is a lot more quiet, and I am able to actually have uninterrupted thoughts. If it could be like this and not tense, that would be ideal. We'll see how time resolves this situation.

On Friday morning, I am heading to Short Mountain in Tennessee with some friends for a few days, me going to rush back for Spanish on Wednesday, and about this trip I am really excited. I am so excited that I won't be on this PEP medicine anymore, that I won't be on it during this trip, that I will have my brain and my natural energies. It is going to be so lovely.

I saw Equus last night, which is also a way of saying I saw Daniel Radcliffe naked last night. The play was really good, a bit dated and certainly not at all subtle, but powerful and affecting nonetheless. The portrait of sexual obsession was really well fleshed out, had me thinking a lot about my own obsessions, not with horses mind you, but able to relate despite that difference. I went with a critic and had such a lovely time talking to him, really felt like I had to step up my game a lot. Conversation became a game that I felt out of shape for. It has been a really long time since I have had really intelligent conversation with someone, and this is something I realized while talking to him, how rare it is for me to have these types of talks lately, that I need to hang out with more nerdy people and talk about books and movies and theater. We went to a bar afterwards and continued to talk, analyzed the play for quite a long while - a really nice practice that I might not have done had I known this person better, that because we didn't really know much about the other, we talked for a really long time about the thing we had both experienced, Equus, discussing it for quite a long time. I am reading Up in the Old Hotel right now, an amazing book by the way about old New York, and this critic had known Mitchell and had stories to relate to me. I was at one remove from this dead author I had been reading and I could not believe that he was able to tell me Mitchell's thoughts about New York's character. I was pretty enraptured with my evening last night.

We parted ways after the bar and maybe we will hang out again and maybe not. This date of sorts contrasts in every way imaginable with my date of sorts earlier in the week with this visiting Russian boy. We had little to talk about, his English terrible, me feeling incredibly awkward, and wanting so badly to roll around in bed with this boy. It didn't happen, maybe it will later, but maybe not, and either way, or some other way or ways, I do not mind. And Whitman comes to mind yet again: "Knowing the perfect equanimity of things, while they discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Walt's Song

I went over to Diego's new apartment yesterday, not having seen it yet and wanting to continue to hang out with this person, unsure a bit about how to continue to be friends with this person who has become a big presence in my life, a good friend, now that I am no longer romantically involved with them, how to keep those boundaries there, whether I even should. His phone wasn't working and so I called out, yelled up, yelled his name. He came to his window, poked his head out, smiled.

In his room, we talked about this t-shirt project he is doing using semen patterns he had been collecting from friends. I asked him if he still wanted me to jack off for his project. He did. I started to do so, he started to kiss me, and soon enough he joined me in the jacking off, which led into dick sucking, which led into humping. It was really hot, had me so turned on in a way I had not been with him in so long. I came on a piece of poster board, he did also, and it formed two very different patterns.

I saw the difference and felt weird about what I did, wondered if it was appropriate to have sex with Diego, if it meant anything, and wondered why I wanted it to. We laid on the thin futon mattress he is using as a bed, a bright blue sky and cool air warning of fall coming through the open windows. We talked about our lives. I had to leave to go shower before going to the Whitman performances. I wanted to continue to lie next to him and talk, but I couldn't. There were time constraints and there were other ones I was trying to bring into existence.

I showered at the gym because it was right by the theater and there ended up getting head from some man in the steam room. That sex, meaningless as it may have been (a sorry word choice that I don't like but which I am struggling to replace with something conjuring the same feeling) - that sex was less confusing to me, less troubling, than the sex I had with Diego earlier in the day, that that felt so good during the act but afterwards I realized that it was no way to end things with someone, that it was where we were before, sex and little intimacy - and that is fine for some reason for me in the steam room with a stranger, but with the same person for some ten months or so just feels weird to me, is not what I want.

And the two performances we did last night of "Song of Myself" went amazingly well considering that there were only two rehearsals. It is such a treat to hear this poem so many times. New things are revealing themselves to me each time, lines I had never been struck by before are hitting me hard. It is only a little weird to be performing naked in front of an audience, that there is this large cast naked with you makes it seem natural, normal. This older guy read Section 8 last night in such an amazing way, this almost crazed reading, manic and a bit creepy, in the barbaric yelp that Whitman at some point mentions, and it really brought that section alive and the lines I had always loved seemed even more exciting: "What living and buried speed is always vibrating here, what howls restrain'd by decorum."

There are some more performances tonight and the weather is chilly and sunny and so, so lovely. I am alive!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life is really good lately, this past week especially. And so maybe the American economy is about to tank, including my bank supposedly any day now (that being WaMu), and maybe that everything that has been happening with that is really quite incredible - absurdly so. And, yes, maybe my roommate also did tell me that I should move out this morning when I suggested she move the television into her room - that lovely flare for invented crisis and drama that Niki has and that can truly make one crazy. And so, okay, those are two things that should have me down. But they don't at all. I have unshackled myself of so many things somehow lately and feel pretty unstoppable at times. I went to the beach a couple of days ago and swam in quite cold water and had such a beautiful time there. I have clearer relationships with lots of people now, have a lot more clarity toward things, and so because of that no longer expect things to be other than what they are, and so levels of disappointment, frustration, and anxiety have all been removed. I feel lighter.

I think Whitman plays a role here - weed also - surely, should not omit that plant's renewed presence in my life - but Whitman, Whitman. So I have been reading "Song of Myself" a lot lately, the inferior Deathbed Version sadly, but quite amazing still. I have been reading this because I am part of this performance occurring this weekend at the Cell Theater, a nude choral reading of the poem. The first performance is tomorrow night and I am excited about it, curious to see how it even gets pulled off since there have been so few rehearsals. And maybe you know that Walt Whitman is a deity to me and so maybe you can understand, knowing that, how in love with life I have been with all this exposure to such gorgeous sentiments, to a world view and a vision that probably more than anything else has the ring of truth to it, to my ears. Something is plucked, some right strings, with hearing and reading these words. And so tomorrow,I will stand around naked for a few hours with a bunch of other people reading Whitman. The experience has been really fun and has made me giggle so much with thoughts of Christopher Guest movies and how I felt like I was in one.

I went to my first Spanish class this evening. I ate some free ice cream today. I know a place to eat some tomorrow also. I sat in the steam room for quite a long time after class. The weather is perfect and I am alive and what more could one want?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"I Know It's Over"

I wore pants today and at no point, even with the sun shining bright, felt too warm; in fact, most of the moments of this day, particularly once the sun went down, I found myself wishing I had worn long sleeves. There is that and then there is the texture of the air. It is crisper and has a feel to it that invokes past falls, thoughts of change, and for whatever reasons a more heightened moodiness, a keener sense of things and their significance. And what all this means is that the first signs of fall have finally arrived, that summer, after its extremely pleasant and long run, is about to close its curtains for a decent period of time.

Niki played a Smiths song today on the stereo and I heard it in a way that you can't hear it in the summer; I heard it in all its beautiful, joyful melancholy, felt it. There is my recent breakup that could have been the reason, and surely it was part of it, but most of it is this weather. I love this time of year so much, walking around today, sitting in Washington Square Park, I took it all in with the dreaminess that this type of weather enables, watched all these new students wandering around looking so young, the people in their nice outfits and with their intelligent books in their hands sitting on the benches around me. This is the type of weather that is the setting for all my fantasy pieces about what New York is - this mild weather, people dressed nicely and taking in, intelligently and somberly, the changes setting in around them, those changes and their import seemingly stewed over in the minds resting behind such vulnerable faces.

I was feeling quite busted today, my body and my insides taking a bit of a beating last night. I drank fairly heavily and - the evidence of that - entered a jello wrestling contest with Richard. He won and it was fun, but it was basically on a hardwood floor that we slammed each other over and over again, and on this day, this beautiful fall day, my walking pace was languorous not only because of the contemplative nature of this weather but also because my back and knees are sore and hurt with excessive movement.

And so I sat and I read, finishing David Carr's memoir of addiction, The Night of the Gun. The writing was a reporter's writing - not artful - and I became a bit tired of his Hunter S. Thompson posturing about halfway through the book, making the rest a bit unpleasant to read. There was little insight but the hijinks were amusing to read about. Carr's writing is defensive posturing, often him trying to sound cool or not such an asshole, but the way he writes about the mother of his twin daughters and ropes them into his judgmental attitude toward her by asking them about her is extremely distasteful and seems the best example of why I found the book shallow - a more extreme version of the defensive self-regard that the entire book is littered with. I am glad he survived addiction and survived cancer, but a good story doesn't necessarily make for a good book and, in this case especially, does not necessarily make for art.

Having finished the book, I waited for Diego to meet me, the two of us going to meet for a bite to eat and to talk in person. Over food, we talked about our days and about the petty concerns occupying our lives, exhausted those topics, and then looked at each other, held the gaze, seeing that we could talk about us, and dived in. He talked about his past relationships, about ours, and about patterns between them, about how he doesn't really allow himself to get too close to people. I told him that I realized more so now what it is that I do want, elaborated a bit about the contours of that. The conversation could not have been nicer. Neither of us held any resentment and both were really happy, felt really free to talk about these things.

We walked uptown together toward the gym and got distracted by a sign in American Eagle offering a free movie ticket for trying on a pair of jeans. We tried on some ugly jeans (like amazingly ugly and ill-fitting), got our free tickets, and canceled our gym plans, instead going to see a movie, seeing Hamlet 2 at Kips Bay. The movie was quite terrible and yet full of potential, perhaps just needed some better editing to tighten the scenes, make the comedic timing better, but it was free, and throughout it Diego and I would rest against each other, hold hands. It was one of the sweetest times I have ever had with him, this day, and of course it would be while we weren't dating, that perhaps that prevented it, or now that it is not there, there is the wanting of these moments of contact more. After the movie, during the credits, we talked about the movie, looked at each other, kissed, probably not a good idea, but it felt really nice, felt normal. I got on the subway, kissed him goodbye, and headed home.

I was alone on the subway, alone of my walk home through the park, but there were skateboarders doing tricks, trying to, and there was this chilly weather, and there was and is this city, this beautiful city, and my presence within it, my knowledge of my place in this world, my knowledge, recently gained, of so many other things.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a free man in new york

At some point last night, on the back patio at Metropolitan, sitting next to each other in plastic deck chairs a bit wet, Diego made some reference to the fact that we have been seeing each other for seven months. Nearly ten, I corrected him.

And it's over now. He was drunk, again, and again saying things about our relationship. It was stupid because had he not said those things I would have gone home with him to his new apartment, would have slept curled up next to him, and would not be this single person I am today. But I am happy he said those things, happy about how things went, happy to be on my own and ready for new experiences.

He said that I didn't want a boyfriend, that I was already in a relationship (not true), and other things that made me so angry at him, angry that he didn't get it, didn't get that I liked him a lot and wanted to be close to him, that I want to be head over heels in love with someone, that I wanted to spend daytimes with him and not just nights. And so I told him that it wasn't what I was looking for, that it apparently what he wasn't looking for either, and that we shouldn't try anymore.

And so I went home alone, a little sad but also quite happy about my future. I tried and it didn't work out and I am ready to keep trying, to meet new people and not be involved with someone, and maybe get a little crazy about someone. I talked with Diego on the phone today, it was very pleasant, nice, and we have plans tomorrow to hang out tomorrow in the park as friends. I am really happy with just about every aspect of this - the time I spent with him, the friendly parting of ways, and my clearer sense of what it is I want and the living, the maybe finding that thing, but the living more so, the walking around and looking at things. The sky is so beautiful today. I laid in the park, read a lot, and got really emotional when I heard a Neil Young song on the radio today. I am feeling quite alive and am so grateful for that.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

rain drops

Last night, I saw an excellent production of Hair in Central Park. It was such a joy to watch and thoughts about musicals were in my head as I had seen Legally Blonde earlier in the week, which is so different from Hair, and yet both were really excellent musicals. I knew that I was going to like Hair, have been trying to see it for weeks now, and so finally getting to see it entailed a joy aside even from the play itself, and then that joy coupled with the joy of watching the show made the thing immensely enjoyable. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Legally Blonde, thinking that it might be silly in a bad way, but it is silly in a great way. It has very blatant advertising in the play, mentions of JetBlue, of UPS, of Allstate, and of Red Bull, and that is very distressing, sad that this cash cow needs even more streams of income and inserted all these ads into the musical. The blurring of advertising and content just seems to be on this neverending downward spiral, where apparently nothing is sacred, exempt. It is too bad because the musical is really quite excellent, with some fantastic songs, a really great pace, and a message that I like a lot. There are some awkward un-p.c. jokes in the play also, but really despite these things, and they sound quite large I guess, the musical is so good.

My brain still feels like it has holes in it. I cannot wait to get off this medication and feel totally present. I talked to someone at a bar last night about PEP treatment and they told me that when their friend was on it, he slept twelve hours a day and was always tired. That made me feel much better and made me feel less crazy, that, yes, there were actual mental side effects to this medication.

Imagine how much more my enjoyment may have been of these two musicals! Certainly my ability to convey my joy, to trace its sources, would be so much greater!

The remnants of a tropical storm have been passing over New York all day, heavy rain, dark skies, and wind. I went out in it to see a guy, fucked him, and thought about the storm outside while I was doing it, felt somehow connected to it, that this moment, really great and intense, was some result of the storm also.

There is coffee, there are books, and I am watching Robert Rodriguez movies in this storm.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

go joe

Dizzy and tired, I watched Joe Lieberman praise John McCain tonight. I was lying down on the couch because this PEP treatment has the side effect of sometimes making me very dizzy, mainly late at night and early in the morning. I haven't felt totally present since starting this medication a week or so ago and cannot wait for it to end in a few weeks. My head is foggy a lot and I often feel like I have butterflies in my stomach, and that is also a way of explaining my absence online as of late.

I hate Lieberman, have always hated him, voted for Nader partly because he was on Gore's ticket, and to hear his stupid little voice tonight made me so angry, the fucking twerpish sellout. It made me feel more crazy, more not present, to be watching this freak show and listening to people chanting U-S-A and all this stuff about the military and Fred Thompson talking nonsense, though funny nonsense, and Laura looking drugged as always with her crazy eyes, and Bush making bad jokes and guffawing at his own lame attempts at humor, and the crusty white people cheering on the Jew for this one night, and it all too much for a person who spent his evening doing laundry, hobbling on a foot he somehow cut open today, waiting for a plumber who never showed up, talking to a crush on the phone, deflecting the texts of the person I had unsafe sex with, the reason I am on PEP now, who when I told him I was tired asked if I was too tired to pump one in him, and all of this garbage on the television, PBS's extended coverage, when really everyone is thinking about Sarah Palin and what seemed like an interesting tactical selection is now seen for the reckless, on a whim thing it apparently was, and have you seen the pictures of the guy who knocked up the seventeen year old? And when Lieberman in his nasal voice called Obama "young man," there was a repressed "boy" that I heard him saying, an infantilizing, patronizing tone. I was in a horizontal position, head twisted to the side, too dizzy to move, forced to take in this stuff lying down.

I did copy editing today for the business magazine and will be there all week. I joined a really gay gym this afternoon. I am reading David Carr's The Night of the Gun and I will talk more about that when my brain is clearer, when I feel less foggy. I spent yesterday at the beach. I saw Vicky Christina Barcelona last week and it is still on my brain, the questions it posed about romance.

There is a mosquito flying around my apartment, just out of reach, surely planning on feasting on me once I pass out in my bed, which will be quite soon so that I can hopefully go to yoga in the morning in an attempt to feel more sane, more grounded in something. And I should probably stay away from the news because the cycle is endless and more and more carnivalesque, more and more insane, and does the mental health of a nation, of its politics, affect that of its citizens? Will my head explode if I watch Sarah Palin tomorrow night? I am feeling more and more crazy with each astonishing story I read about Palin and McCain's seemingly total lack of vetting with regards to her. I am thinking of Philip Roth for some reason - my brain is not in tip-top shape (these meds again) so I can't recall what book it was, but in it, the main character is going crazy because of Nixon, getting too wrapped up in the news around Nixon, becoming more and more angry. I don't know what parallels I am trying to make, am not coherent enough to make them, but there is something of that, was something of that, while I watched Lieberman tonight, the rage, the anger, the wondering what was going on, and what exactly the fight was.