Saturday, October 31, 2009

haunted houses

A weekend for me started on Thursday night, the idea of a weekend did, the idea of some contrast to what had seemed like a boring week wherein all I really did was work. The weekend would be committed to the idea of reckless fun, of overconsumption of substances, and of having casual sex. That was the idea. We are still in the midst of this weekend, halfway through.

That first night of this idea I went to Eastern Bloc where I consumed numerous whiskey cocktails, where I smoked a spliff outside, and where I expounded on my ideas about place and cycles and loneliness and all sorts of nonsense to a patient Adrian. When I went outside to smoke this weed, I soon found myself too overwhelmed with emotions, with an inability to be able to translate these things to other people, found myself anxious about going back into a bar and having to be social and so I went on a walk, circled the block, west on 6th Street, north on A, east on 7th, and during this walk, this time to collect myself before heading back into conversation and a bar, a place where there are expectations of being able to hold a conversation and where it is generally not okay to just be a stoned awkward person in a corner - during this time I began to think a lot about Halloween, this day that it currently is, but at which time was still approaching and I felt tremendous grief in the presence of ghosts. I began to think about the past year, about where I was last Halloween and about the things that have died since that time. I thought about Niki and about Gabriel, whose birthday it is on this day, and about Diego. It was a year ago that Niki kicked me out of our home on Suydam Street and which put into motion my year of feeling homeless and lonely, really just the beginning of what would be many losses. I would soon stop talking to Diego, and then a few months later, stop talking to Gabriel. These were the ghosts that were haunting me on this walk, thinking through all these things, these changes that have occurred in the last year and I thought about that terrible gay boardinghouse that I lived in on 7th Street between B and C.

I was approaching the place. It was past the circumference of the circle I had intended to make and the idea of continuing east on 7th past Avenue B really frightened me. I knew that I should confront the place, view this place, see if for what it is, what it may have been, and to show myself that I didn’t live there anymore, to know that I had moved on, grown, become better. And I hesitated on the corner of 7 and B for a long time, not sure if I wanted to continue, not sure if I could handle seeing the house. I was stoned, okay, and so the house was taking on a perhaps outsized significance in my thoughts about grief and life, mine, and of Halloween. A haunted house.

I finally crossed the street and made my way to in front of the house, looked up to the fourth floor window that used to be my bedroom, tiny thing, wondered about who was now residing there and was so happy it was not me. There was a great deal of grief about my life at that time and the things that led to me being there. I felt better though, seeing it, staring it down, and being able to walk away. I rejoined the circle I was making and looped around back into Eastern Bloc, where I told these thoughts to the bewildered Adrian, who really only seemed to be interested in making out with me and not my depressing stories about lost friends and gay boardinghouses. Matt, at some point, cut me off from drinking more. I left. I had to stay committed to the project, enact the idea.

I went to the Hose where I could order more drinks and flirt with unknown boys, boys without history, without names. Street Hero performed and I danced like a crazy person – the idea of the weekend enacted, lost in dance. After their show, these two boys touched me, told me they liked my moves, asked my name. I told them my name, asked them theirs. I was outside smoking a cigarette with one of them, the one I was least attracted to. He told me they were a couple, a threesome was discussed, whose apartment we should go to was discussed. He mentioned something about how there’s no such thing as new music, how it all sounds like earlier stuff. I didn’t like this statement, its jadedness, its failure to approach things freshly. I was also belligerently drunk and easily annoyed. I started to kiss him. We talked more. I kissed him again because I was done with talking and wanted to get this threesome on the road. He said no when I kissed him this next time, said it had to come from something we were both feeling. I was wasted, said okay, and made motions to leave this conversation, to seek out other people. I imagine now that my moves were not suave as drunk as I was, as cigarette and pizza and whiskey smelling as my breath must have been. He asked if I wanted to exchange numbers so we could all hang out, coded talk I believe for having a threesome, but I was annoyed about his no, about his comments about music, and about how really I would just rather have sex with his boyfriend, and I said No, I don’t. I left and talked to other smokers, these people that hang outside of bars. His boyfriend came out and asked him what happened and they left. I got a BLT at the corner deli, a candy bar of some kind, and got into a cab home.

Yesterday, the weekend continued, this idea refusing to die. I went over to Diego’s in the daytime and he made my costume for me, this beautiful harlequin outfit that I cannot wait to put on shortly. We had sex afterwards in his bed, collapsing afterwards on top of each other, semen smearing between our bellies, a pleasant mess. I went home, napped off some of the hangover I was still feeling from my attempt at a weekend the night before. I woke up and was ready to continue the narrative, met up with Bob and went to some gay bowling party with an open bar and free bowling and too much dry ice. The open bar ended and we moved on to another one, cattle grazing, moving from field to field once one is exhausted. We went to the Hose and I am really starting to get sick of that bar, of every party being there, of the feeling that there is this one gay bar for some reason in this large city we live in. But there was free booze and I drank some it before that was over and I realized that the party really sucked. The fog machine could not hide this fact.

I left and went to Eastern Bloc, the same sites revisited again and again, pagan rituals performed on these altars, Halloween practices. There I started talking to this sexy gentleman, Jed, who had felt up my spandex-clad legs, had had flirty conversation with him, sexually charged from the get-go with his feeling of my legs. He said he was going to go pee on the street. I told him he should pee on my face instead. He went out on the street to pee.

There was this other person there, nameless last night, despite his name somewhere in my phone, who I have made out with at bars before, who looks like Diego, and who I made out with last night. He kept biting my lip though, this vampire, biting it really hard in a way that was not at all sexy, that would continually kill whatever feelings of sexiness I was feeling. I screamed each time he did so, afraid he was going to bite off my lip, and he would whether I liked that. I would tell him no, that I did not like that, and minutes later again it would occur, this terrible kissing habit of his. At some point, I had enough, and slipped out from under him into the crowd. I found Jed. He commented on my smeared makeup, joked that everyone wanted to make out with me. I was that slut. At that moment, on cue, some intoxicated lady came up to kiss me. Proof of his statement.

He, this Jed fellow, asked me where I lived. I told him and he curled his face at how far Bushwick sounded. I asked him where he lived. He lives in the West Village. He said he likes to take boys home there and fuck them. I was turned on by this, ready to leave with him. He told me though that he doesn’t take home boys with makeup on and that I needed to wipe my face, that it was all smeared. I told him no, turned off by the pushiness of the demand, that probably I would have washed the zebra stripes off my face at his apartment, but to tell me to do so here, at this bar, as a condition of going home with him, was something my belligerent self was not going to tolerate. He tried to hand me cocktail napkins to wipe it off. I turned away.

I had to leave, had to escape the vampire kisser and also the presence of this makeup hater, this person trying to wipe me clean, erase something about me. I fled, got some pizza and got into a cab, wanted to be home quickly, to some idea of home, running from one projected idea to the next.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

There were really ambitious goals for this weekend. They involved writing in my diary these things I have been mentally composing on subways about town. I am going through some things I was excited about writing. Additionally, I was going to move old entries from two online diaries to one new one, to a domain I purchased. I was going to work on the HTML code for this site, making it quite pretty. My computer, old Dell laptop, has come under assault though by pop up ads and pop up virus scans every two seconds. It is quite difficult to get ahead of this problem, to even identify it to remove it. So now I have to put these projects on hold for a bit, writing this from my phone. I need to buy a new computer, which I will do once I pay my rent and raise some funds through the generosity of older gentlemen looking for things they think I may be able to offer. Going to see Gena Rowlands introduce a screening of A Woman Under the Influence at MoMA, listening to CCR, waiting on Thai food, gray weather.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Teddy Wilson - "Rose Room"

I am listening to early jazz, am quite stoned, and am thinking of Woody Allen, feeling a bit that this, me in this city, his, and listening to these jazz standards with blaring brass is some scene from a seventies work of his, this the soundtrack. I think to movies a lot, framing particular moments of my life as scenes from movies, that the movies I love shaped so much of my perceptions about what friendship and love and joy could be. A great deal of how I live my life, or how I would like to, I am increasingly coming to realize has been informed by movies, that I want that same intensity, that same feeling depicted on screen, that longing for some achingly great connection with some other person, thinking of Annie Hall and of Manhattan especially. And maybe, maybe, to try to push my life closer to that cinematic ideal of life, I add these touches to it, will play this music to achieve the effect, to follow the same staging techniques.

Perhaps pretty clear evidence of this is that I watched Away We Go this evening, felt fairly sentimental about life afterwards, and then punched in Sufjan Stevens into Pandora, and soon had my house filled with the same indie folk that had earlier served as the soundtrack to this film which had me thinking about love and family, that to continue these thoughts, the feelings, I needed the same soundtrack.

Where I am going with this, I have totally forgotten, don’t think I ever actually knew. I really had just meant to start this off, this act of diarying that I have fallen out of practice with and which I intend to get back in the habit of doing near daily, that what I had meant to say, what I had intended, was to provide some setting to this current entry. I was going to have myself make some mention of the fact that I was listening to this jazz, perhaps to even discuss how just moments before I had concluded what had been an epic ballet staged solely for the benefit of myself to many of these numbers, how the moves that this dancer performed, oh man, you should have seen.

And there, again, I go, off and running after some tangent which I don’t even know what I would do with were I to catch it.

I spent today doing laundry and editing my co-worker’s story. As payment for this, he offered me a ticket to go see Oleanna last night. The production wasn’t that good, Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman, both being a bit bad and neither one of them engaging the other. Aside from that, the play is pretty obnoxious in its disdain for some vague notion of feminism. The play makes Carol seem wicked, seem awful, and since she is made to represent “the group” whose goals she refers to – not a particular organization mind you, but a broad “the group,” leaving you to project on to that all manner of devious feminist groups - since she is made to represent “the group,” this group, these ideals, must also be wicked, awful, ridiculous, that things have gone too far for the women’s movement if this honorable professor trying to help a student loses his job because of it, is even accused of rape, that things have approached the ridiculous. That message is one that for reasons I might hope you would understand rankles me a bit, makes me slightly uncomfortable.

I think that After Miss Julie also contained some pretty blatant disdain for “uppity” women in its text. Miss Julie, the terror of the play, is a bit of a looney toon, playing sexual power games with a couple in the employ of her house. And then when we get her back story, we learn that her mother was liberated and slept around, and clearly this is the source of Miss Julie’s emotional unstableness, her inappropriateness, that she her and mom were too loose, did not conform to how a lady should act. They are playing three blocks away from each other, two Broadway stages showing these works about the wicked ways of free women, and I wonder what it is about this particular moment. But I guess it’s a story we like to tell a lot, like to hear a lot. I am starting to get bored of it though.

Today, I really missed Washington Mutual. Chase, my new home now through the mechanisms of mergers and acquisitions, does not have overdraft usage. At WaMu, I could overdraw my account my bank account by up to $900. This was a thing that I did continually and really saved my life more than a few times throughout these past years in New York. Surely not a good thing to do since you still incur overdraft fees and yes I should manage my money better than I do, but I don’t and that’s not the point here - the point is that Chase no longer does this, so for instance right now when I have three dollars on my person and only three in my bank account, I cannot do what I would normally do, which I did as recently as a couple weeks ago, cannot still take out a bunch of cash from the ATM to make me able to continue to live recklessly until my next paycheck arrives. And I get paid on Friday and surely it is not the end of the world to live within my means for two days, but it was a major blow today to go to the ATM machine and discover that this was no longer allowed. I called Chase to inquire about this and was told straight up by the guy on the phone, a Chase employee now, that Chase does not have that and that WaMu had more benefits and that he misses WaMu too. It was a nice moment of reality with a person in a call center, something so rare to encounter when talking with customer service people on the phone.

I have had more than a few such nice encounters today, all with strangers, some really nice brief exchanges with people on the street. People are feeling it today. I certainly am. I’ve got a very well-selected soundtrack.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

P-Funk playing on the radio, a sunny fall day

I woke up this morning and looked at the text messages I sent out last night, kind of fearing that they were too much, and fears proved correct, proved prescient. I don't know what happened. I went to go have a couple of drinks at Eastern Bloc after getting off work and I consumed them quite quickly, leaving shortly thereafter to go home. I am now Facebook boyfriends with Matt. I sent a text to a co-worker I had been flirting with all night at work and who I was supposed to have drinks with but who had to stay at work later, flirting back and forth via text, eventually me suggesting he come over to my house. I sent out another invite to some person I have been flirting with on Grindr forever, suggesting he come over and get stoned with me. And all of those are a bit much, but the real kicker is the text I sent to Diego. It's long and self-pitying and in which I declare my love for him, lament its lack of return, and say that I am going to seek out new loves.

Things have been working themselves up to this text for a while. We have been hanging out often, sleeping together often, being quite affectionate, and I have become attached or think I have, and regardless there has been me making more and more pronounced the extent to which I like him and there has been him stepping away emotionally from me, trying to make distance from these comments that try to step closer. I just finished reading this book, A Vindication of Love, essentially a defense of crazy, impassioned love in an age that the author, Cristina Nehring, believes is too focused on concepts of "healthy" relationships, of neutered affections, of equal and reciprocal feelings. She argues, using the canon of Western literature as her examples, that for most of time love has been something that has made people crazy, that it will leave you scars, perhaps kill you, and that all of that if fine, great even, that that is what makes a life a life. And the book is all right, flawed in many ways, but still that is the thing I had been reading and surely that had some effect on me, caused me to become a bit more crazy about this boy I dated a while ago and who now at this point in time I am supposed to be friends with.

The intensity of my affection and regard for this person move it into some realm other than friendship. We saw Brighton Beach Memoirs on Monday night and it was sentimental Americana, but I loved it regardless, nearly cried a few times thinking of my own family and of my own relationships with people. Watching Laurie Metcalfe act on stage was a great pleasure. A greater pleasure though was watching it next to this boy, his leg pressed against mine and him continually falling asleep throughout the first act. After the play, we went to Metropolitan and had some drinks and we talked about things, about emotional distance, about how I am in love with him, and we also didn't talk. It was awkward and I was sad and unable to express things and hurt that things weren't what I wanted them to be, that I wasn't sure if they would be. The thing I have with him is great and yet it also falls short of something I want. I find myself even here unable to properly say things, there are pauses in between each of these sentences, and I am sure the thing reads terribly - that I don't know how to go about saying it, perhaps don't want to.

The implication of what I have been told though comes down to this: he is still hung-up on his ex-boyfriend, cannot be the person I am looking for, that I should probably be trying to find these things in someone else, and yet I don't want to, don't see these qualities in other people. So, a problem. But we'll see. I guess I should step back, read books not about passionate love, and start to seek out new faces, new eyes to flirt with. The weather is amazing. Fall’s onset has really invigorated me in just about every sense and I feel well poised for change, for things I want to happen, things I don’t want to, and things I am going to make happen, things I want to do with myself, goals, and dreams.