Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike

John Updike, though you are someone that sometimes riled me, saying somewhat annoying things, you have always said them well, sometimes incredibly so. Reading Rabbit, Run was a thrill and made me get why people said your name with weight, an astoundingly awesome work. Rabbit Redux, though quite good, started to verge into some weird big statements about race that came off as patronizing and ill-thought out from a person as white as yourself. But I will admit that despite that and despite some sometimes smarmy book reviews in The New Yorker lately, you are an incredible writer - were, I guess; death bringing about the past tense now - that made me envious and also hungry, made me realize what beautiful poetry could be done in prose and some things about rhythm. And so we have lost something today, and we lose stuff everyday, big and small and small pieces of big things, big pieces of small things, and yet this loss is one I am sad for, perhaps this loss and my ability to feel it as such provoking feelings of sadness for losses I have been unable and unwilling to grieve for as of yet.

We all are headed to that same place too, and hardly any of us with the talent Updike had, and so it is a sorry excuse that we all have, thinking we should be granted a stay.

I listened to Jesus and Mary Chain on my way to work. After work, I went to the gym and had sex in the steamroom with some hot man, long hair, me with this thing for long hair. I ran into Diego and his boyfriend afterward on my way to the subway, always the two of them together all the time every time I see one, and that brought me down somewhat. But then I put on Pavement and felt better, felt pretty awesome in fact, stopped at Zargoza after getting off the train, the place reminding me of Bushwick, of something a bit more real than the unreality that is Manhattan. I ate the burrito and then went to Eastern Bloc, had some drinks, and ended up taking Alan home with me for a brief fuck, the two of us setting a time limit beforehand, him having to write a paper and me telling him he couldn't stay long because of that, though really I wanted the bed to myself after, just wanted to get off and for him to go, wanted to be able to sit here and type these things, meaningless words provoked somehow by the news of the death of someone far more capable, thoughts about writing, about life, about friendships and loneliness, provoked by his death. And bon voyage sir!

Monday, January 26, 2009

the waste land

I sometimes say that I cannot wait for summer, imagine how will I sit in parks for hours in warm weather and relax outdoors, and then there are other moments, this evening around 10pm for instance, when I think how much I love this cold weather, how there is something really stimulating about such cold weather, and I will decide to take a long walk crosstown from Chelsea back to my apartment in the East Village. The weather makes me emotional and allows me to think about things a bit less distractedly than in warmer weather, the cold weather keeping most people off the street.

I am thinking about friendships still and about how I have been spending my time these past few years and who I have been spending it with, wondering what the future holds, whether I will be friends with these same people that I spend long walks thinking about, thinking whether they harm me or do me good.

Circuit City is going out of business, the one in Union Square where I once jerked off with a stranger in the bathroom. The crappy convenience store on 3rd and 14th has just closed and I fear it will be replaced with a neat, clean chain convenience store, another Rite Aid probably. The city changes constantly and I wonder how this economic downturn will affect that, whether stupid shit will go away or whether this will be its chance to make a bigger foothold.

I went to rehearsal this evening for a performance I am doing on Saturday. Rehearsal was quite fun. I met some new people, met a cute boy, a Micah, who I have a gigantic crush on, and who I fear has a boyfriend who I also met this evening, a Barrak. It is really lovely to meet new people in these days especially when I am feeling generally down and sour on the idea of human relations, that these sparks of newness make me forget all that, and make me realize that things can be nice and exciting.

A friend the other day, after I had detailed my troubles to him, told me that life is hard, that it's not easy, that am I for real, that friendships are like relationships and end, that I am young and have it easy, that I need to imagine what shit and what heartbreak 80 year olds have seen and gone through in their lives. Looking at old people lately I have really been taking his advice to heart and it somehow makes me feel so much better to look at them and know that they have probably also experienced so much heartache in their lives and yet are still going, still walking down the street, doing errands, buying groceries, whatever it is we all do with our feet, our hands, our time.

Anyways, that digression aside, rehearsal was really stimulating for numerous reasons, among them the company of strangers, some cute boys, having to perform, and hearing this poetry read in new ways. The performance is a theatrical reading of The Waste Land, followed by a reading of the months and days of the year, followed by a dance and me dancing with pom-poms, followed by an Elizabeth Bishop poem. I really like the director a lot and am inspired by his visions, but more importantly by his bringing them into being, by his staging this odd reading of poetry because he wants to. I think it will be a beautiful thing. It is this Saturday at 7 if you want to see it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a new year

Dear Diary,

It's been a while since we have done this thing, you and I talking. It's a new year. It's 2009 and that really astounds me when I say the year sometimes and contemplate what that means, the passage of time and the quickness with which it occurs, my failure to really move at a pace equal (or even close to) that of the passing of time. My life is a mess and I am in transition. Towards what though, I am unsure of, and it is that question mark that concerns me.

The year started off quite terribly, Gabriel and I getting into a gigantic fight on New Year's Eve, me going home shortly after midnight, angry, depressed, and alone. We made up, having a nice discussion about our friendship, me telling him how he is my family and how important he is to me, the two of us agreeing to quit fucking things up, to put our grievances behind us, and to be nice, to be what friends are supposed to be.

I helped some of my friends throw a really amazing dance party at the Hose, Judy, which went off fantastically and which I had a great time at. Afterwards, we discussed the future of Judy and the frequency with which we wanted to have it, as well as ideas for things we would like to do with the party. This project filled my time well and was something that I was really excited about. Two days ago, I talked to Gabriel and he told me that he did not want me involved with Judy.

Our friendship has been fucked up for a long while, both of us being shitty to each other fairly often, but I was really excited about this agreement we had made to be nice, to be loving. This was not loving, was mean and unfriendly. I told him this, told him that this hurt my feelings a great deal. We talked for a long while about friendships, about ours, talking in circles, him having done something terrible and mean and something that will be on my mind when I think of him. And so there is that.

What is really troubling though is that this was my last really strong emotional connection to someone here in New York. A few months ago, Niki and I had a gigantic falling out, us not having talked since and probably never going to again, and that was, despite all our fighting, someone that knew me well, that I had some really strong bond to emotionally, something more than hanging out every so often and catching up on our lives. A month or so ago, Diego and I stopped talking altogether, it being too confusing and sad for me to do so. And now the last thread tying me to something, making me feel connected in a human way with someone, has been if not cut, nearly so.

I went to a play by myself this evening, The American Plan, really quite boring and stale, and thought about these things, me being there by myself allowing me to feel more lonely, to think about the issues more, about loneliness and friends and about the life I want to be living and about love, about wanting it.

It's a fine time for this change, there being no leaves on the tress, patches of ice on the ground, and highs of twenty degrees. And there is that, those things, and they do consume my thoughts from time to time, but not always. There are intense moments of happiness to be had also, these incredible swings between feeling defeated and feeling alive. My job is going well. I somehow got the schedule I wanted despite the hours of most people being cut. I have seen some good films lately, particularly noteworthy among them The Wrestler. I spent some time with David, though sadly most of it overshadowed by drama with Gabriel. There is still coffee to be had, bodegas selling the pleasure for a pittance, Dusty Springfield's amazing voice to comfort me, and conversations with strangers, new friends.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


This Thursday at the Hose on B and 13. Party time. See you there.