Monday, December 27, 2010

lost in new york

I do remember at some point during my childhood thinking about the subject of independence with regards to Christmas mornings spent with my family, finding it a bit difficult to think of not spending Christmas with my immediate family, that it seemed quite difficult to imagine, and I wondered at what age it was that my mom stopped spending Christmas with her mother, wondering if it was my birth, my being, that brought about that change, or whether it had occurred earlier. I thought about this time in my life when such thoughts occupied my mind while on my way to New Jersey on Christmas morning, my thoughts now entirely different, the ease with which these things are done, with which adulthood comes, that it all seems far less remarkable, and certainly less traumatic than it does to the imagination of a young kid.

I spent Christmas Eve in my apartment with Jacob, not wanting him to wake up alone on Christmas morning, and the two of us watched Home Alone 2: Lost in New York while stoned. He fell asleep early on in the movie. He always falls asleep when we watch movies together. The movie was really touching off things in me, the movie and its predecessor staples of my childhood that I pretty much know line for line. There is certainly something of the irrational in my love of this movie, but there are reasons for it, rational ones even, reasons I want to get at, explore.

There is the face of Macaulay Culkin. As an adult actor, his face has failed to convey the same thing, but as a ten-year old, that face was such an expressive thing, showing all the mean aspects of children that often fail to come across on screen, probably why I identified with him so much as a child, why I loved these movies so much and still do. A ten-year old that knew everyone else was stupid and couldn't understand why your parents didn't get it also. He was egotistical and bratty, prone to mood swings, ruining everyone else's holiday. And his face conveyed all of this, the knowing raised eye brows, the sullen lack of expression when sent to the third floor to sleep, the sense of being wronged. It's all there on his face. As a kid, there was a bit of physical attraction felt toward Culkin - a bit of envy for sure tied up in the thing as there often would be for most of my attractions until I was well into my mid-twenties. He was white and blonde and rich and friends with Michael Jackson and kind of naughty and he seemed quite cool to me than as a child. So it's a bit weird to grow up, to approach the age of 30, for Culkin to have already reached that age and to rewatch these films where he is ten and you recall those feelings and still love his facial expressions.

Watching these films now, I also cringe at the excessive violence in a children's movie, the bricks being tossed over and over again at someone's head, criminal though he may be. I am also struck watching Home Alone 2 by how he does not simply call the police to catch the robbers, but rather sets up an elaborate house of torture to physically harm these two as much as possible before turning them over to the police. Kevin McAllister is quite the sadist, doling out pain without the slightest hint of remorse or doubt.

But it's a beautiful movie, especially if you first encountered it around the age of 10 and can still recall those viewings as you watch it some decades later, those feelings coming back to the surface, the joy shared by the viewer as Kevin looks into the camera from a waiting area in LaGuardia airport, the Manhattan skyline serving as a backdrop behind him as he says, "My family's in Florida? And I'm in New York? My family's in Florida! And I'm in New York!" Then a cut to Kevin riding in an old yellow cab over the Queensboro Bridge and the idea of New York coming to life on the screen and in your own imagination. And I live in this city now and it is always such a treat to see how New York is depicted in films, always mythic and huge and a magical place, and it's amazing because it's true, because I want it to be true, because you do too, and in our daily lives, our trips here or there, we make it so, we look at the Empire State Building a certain way, like we would a cathedral in a European city, and say "Holy Cow," marvel that we live here, wowed by our surroundings.

On Christmas Eve in New York, with my boyfriend curled up next to me on our couch, I watched these events unfold on a fictional Christmas Eve in New York, Kevin encountering the Bird Lady, who was always draped in pigeons. The oddness of Kevin, a ten-year old, befriending an elderly person goes unexplored, it making perfect sense to all the ten-year olds watching it who think of themselves similarly, as too smart for everyone else in this world, other than the oddball elderly person that everyone looks at weirdly, an affinity there. And despite the fact that Bird Lady plays the same role in Home Alone 2 as Old Man Marley, the shovel guy, plays in Home Alone, the interaction between the two of them does yield one of the movie's most beautiful moments, Kevin discoursing on how one has to be fearless in loving:

Bird Lady: I’m just afraid if I do trust someone, I’ll get my heart broken.
Kevin McCallister: I understand. I had a nice pair of Rollerblades. I was afraid to wreck them, so I kept them in a box. Do you know what happened? I outgrew them. I never wore them outside. Only in my room a few times.
Bird Lady: A person’s heart and feelings are very different than skates.
Kevin McCallister: They’re kind of the same thing. If you won’t use your heart, who cares if it gets broken? If you just keep it to yourself, maybe it’ll be like my Rollerblades. When you do decide to try it, it won’t be any good. You should take a chance. Got nothing to lose.

And as Bird Lady replies after this, there is a little truth in there somewhere, maybe even a lot of it, the whole of it.

We woke up early on Christmas and opened the presents we had bought for each other. I then headed off to New Jersey to spend the rest of Christmas with my family. I opened more presents, them becoming more and more something I care less and less about. I ate a lot of chocolate, a lot of spinach dip, saw True Grit, and then once back at my mom's house, watched Home Alone 2 a second time, this time at my sister's insistence. It was airing at 4:30 on ABC Family and she had been waiting all day to watch it, was so excited, and yes, we had to watch it. Of course, we did, because we will always be children and in love with this movie, because there was a time when we owned Talkboys and used to play with them and dream about burglars and setting traps for them, because we know all the funny lines, have heard them a million times, and yet still laugh.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So Erica, my comrade in arms at my place of employment, has quit. This really bums me out because we were hired at the same time some two plus years ago and became good friends right away, realizing that both of us were totally crazy about drinking, even more so if it was free or cheap, i.e. open bars or happy hours, and were also both crazy about boys and living and dancing. Lately we had been both talking about how we were going to quit our jobs and lead really fabulous lives. One of our fantasies we discussed was owning a bar, though the actual logistics of obtaining financing for said project were never discussed. We were dreaming about this in Heathers a couple weeks ago when Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" came on. I made a comment about the appropriateness of the song and we clinked our glasses to 2011 and how we would be somewhere else other than our current job.

I am really happy for her that she bit the bullet and has cut these chains. I am also incredibly envious and incredibly jealous and incredibly sad. I wish I was able to do the same, to say that today is my last day, and see ya. However, my mom would not be nearly as financially supportive of such an undertaking as hers. I love this girl so much and it really bums me out that she will no longer be there and that I will. I need to become free of this place! I need to apply for jobs instead of watching Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and drinking red wine and daydreaming about other cities. 2011 is coming up so insanely soon and I have failed so miserably with so many goals set for the year of 2010. But I am still alive and there is hope and I don't necessarily need to think in these units of time that the Gregorian calendar prescribes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

feeling young vs. not always feeling young vs. feeling vs. not feeling

I was just reading Pitchfork's year-end Top Albums list, doing that thing that we like to do, seeing how many of the albums we love are on the list, seeing how many of the albums listed I have even listened to, how good my musical tastes are (or are not), and how much I am (or am not) on the musical pulse of what is happening in indie rock America these days and where various albums I am in love with are ranked on a list. And one of the albums I loved and listened to over and over again this year was Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, ranked #11 on Pitchfork's list, and in their brief description of the album they say this line that really cuts to the bone for me in a way that good writing should do, or a good turn of phrase should do, something phrased well and with the knock of truth to it, that makes you nod, makes you say, "yes, yes," the line in the case being: "The Suburbs isn't so much about feeling old as it is about not always feeling young."

This cuts to something not only because it summarized nicely the mood of the album and what the musicians were trying to convey, where they are singing from, but also because it summarizes where I am at in my own life right now, a place I wasn't able to pinpoint exactly until reading that sentence, and which also summarizes why I would have ranked this album even higher on a Best Albums List (one that's only loosely sketched out now in my own case). Though it's yet to be compiled, I can say for sure that the #1 spot would belong to what claimed their bronze prize, Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest, the only album that I have probably listened to more this year than the Arcade Fire, an album that I listened to earlier this evening and that broke my heart for the umpteenth time.

But back to what this writer said, what Mark Pytlick said - I am not always feeling young. It's a shift in feeling that has occurred and that is occurring. I don't feel old. I still refer to particular types of guys as men, saying about someone my own age in when trying to describe him that he's "a man," meaning somehow different than me, me still conceiving of myself in some ways as boyish, in some ways as adolescent, despite being 29 and in six months nearing that big three-oh. I do feel different though, not young, not even how I felt a year ago prior to dating Jacob, that at that time my life was still marked my going out a good five or so nights a week, drinking till sometime in the early am, grabbing a few hours of sleep, and feeling in some ways more distinctly alive that in ways than I feel now.

I really freely admit that I don't want to do that anymore, that the appeal of living such a type of life no longer captivates me, no longer really interests me, that at a certain point in the evening, probably early on, I will think about how I'd rather be getting stoned and hanging out at my house. I think about this more and more often lately, this difference. I think about this sometimes because Diego often chastises me and tells me to live my life when I fail to meet up with up him at such and such a bar, that the failure to get excited about leaving my house once settled in and comfortable makes me old. And it does. I am thinking more and more that aging is more and more a process of becoming more and more interested in comfort, that one desires to no longer sleep in hostels or have many roommates after a certain age, that they want things cleaner and cleaner, that they don't feel like going out to a bar at 1 am after they have already been lounging around in their pajamas around their apartment for hours while stoned. And I am not entirely sure that what I sometimes want to attribute to aging isn't necessarily attributable to depression.

I am drinking wine and the heat is on in my apartment, blasting out from the one heater in my apartment for which we pay the bill. I say we, referring to my boyfriend and I, my boyfriend who is also a subject here, a cause. Is it aging, is it depression, or is a type of stupefying co-dependence? I am not really sure.

Another thing that is difficult for me is that I believe so much of my spark, so my much of the charm I possess, is born from a desire to impress a crush, to wow this or that person, to get them into bed with me. I fear that now that I am in such a committed relationship, this basically my husband at this point, that perhaps something may be lost, the bit of personality that likes to engage cute strangers and chat with them, that is more aware, more alive, while walking about town, the eyes constantly seeking out the eyes of others, cruising. Now that that is muted to such a large extent, is something lost? If so, am I mistakenly attributing that to aging?

At some point in college, one of my professors - I forget who at the moment - pointed out this bad habit of mine in a very insightful critique, saying I continually asked questions I could just as easily (and with more effect) pose as statements. Posing them in question form is a way of shielding myself from criticism, from having to defend a statement I'd rather hint at with a leading question.

And so I am more boring than I used to be and this is attributable to a few things: aging, settling down with a boyfriend, and a generalized depression brought about by the feeling that I am stuck in a boring job that eats away at my soul. I am not feeling old, but I am certainly feeling not young, that that feeling is a memory and it is a bit bittersweet, that I am wondering how to scale this next hill ahead of me, what it is I have to do to roll this fucking heavy tire over this hill, how to not let it sit here in this valley I've landed into.

I listen to music and I get high and I go the gym and I try to let it all out. I try to exert myself and get all the frustration out of my system, to tire myself out, a high-strung dog that needs a long walk to leave it panting on the kitchen floor, the cold tiles of the kitchen floor cooling the dog's overheating body, his mouth smiling ear to ear, tongue out, panting, trying to catch breath, dripping droplets of spit onto its paws. And you have to keep moving. It's the only way.

the stuff in my ears tonight, this past year

ask, tell

Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been repealed. President Obama is supposed to sign this into law tomorrow. This is an amazing thing. I have been a little frustrated looking at this thing, this Facebook, over the past week or so since the news of this first hit, but that's probably what I deserve for wasting my time on Facebook. I have read too many of my queer friends broadcasting through their status updates how they think that this is horrible, that this is bad news for gays, and other such nonsense that people with certain privileges are capable of believing.

This is amazing news for several reasons. Chief among them is that the Department of Defense is the largest employer in the country, that this is a recession, and that pondering the ethics of US militarism from behind a computer in the city of New York is not an option for a great many people that need to live. And because you don't agree with American militarism does not mean that gays should not have the option to serve in the military available to them. The illogic and the absurdity of this argument really baffles my mind, the lack of solidarity when confronted with discrimination with the brunt of law behind it, that there are people, gays, that honestly wanted a law that discriminated against a group of people left in place. That should be the issue of concern here - that there is a job (irregardless of what that job is or our feelings toward it) that people are being told they cannot do because they are gay, that people are fired from because they are gay.

Now, we can talk about how sad it is that the job market is so weak in so many parts of the country, or about how the way cities and suburbs are developed often encourage low-paying employers and chain stores to build there, or about how crazy it is that this is the largest employer (or about how the largest private employer is Wal-Mart). We could talk about all of these things and should, but in this instance, the issue is that a group of people are being discriminated against when it comes to employment (the means of providing for one's self).

Another problem (a huge one for the future of our democracy) is that higher education is so expensive, that the only available method for a great many people to pursue it is through ROTC and the requirement of serving a couple years in the military after graduation. But now little fags and dykes will have that same opportunity available to them to go to college even if they didn't get scholarships, even if they don't have rich parents, even if their credit is not good enough. This is called fairness.

Finally, though, and of most interest to me are the cultural implications of this. Racial integration of the military was ordered by Truman in 1948. Brown vs. Board of Education wasn't until 1954. The military and its huge population is capable of advancing cultural change. There are currently 1.4 million people on active duty in the military. That is a huge number. There are a lot of red-state people in those numbers. There are a lot of tough, homophobic men in those numbers. These people will now have to tolerate and work with open homosexuals. This is another step in the direction of tolerance for gay people and this is a step that some very red corners of this country are going to be forced to take. This is of huge importance and I think it is really easy for New York faggots to lose sight of what this means for people living in other parts of this country when they write snarky Facebook status updates linking to a New York Times article about the Senate voting to overturn Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This does mean a lot for a great many people and means a lot for the future of a great many people (and yes, I am becoming more aware that I have said the expression "a great many people" far too many times in the course of this blog entry). I am really ecstatic about this news.

There is a lot of bad news out there, lots of things that frustrate me and make me throw up my hands and mumble to myself (no longer to heaven) about how it's all going to hell, how the world is doomed, and this here is an instance, one of the rare ones lately, where it seems like the arc of the moral universe does, in fact (in beautiful fact that inspires me with hope), bend towards justice.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

all of my purple life

Erica came over, dressed in all purple. We made drinks, listened to Prince, and I put on an all-purple outfit as well. We met up with Tom at Penn Station and shortly the three of us were on a train on our way New Jersey to see this man that we had been looking forward to seeing for a good month or so. And I was so insanely giddy, was quite drunk from pre-gaming with Erica, and I was going to see this man whose music I love so much, this man who totally blows my mind with every aspect of his being, with his assuredness, with his weird accepted place in popular culture despite his freakiness and failure to conform to accepted gender roles for men, especially for straight men, the fun that this man has with dancing, and aside from all these secondary aspects to the music, there is the primary thing, the thing that allows all these other things, this man's incredible talent on just about every instrument ever, this man's incredible song writing skills, and whatever alchemical quality it is that makes a song good that this man seems to have a wizard's power over.

There were some opening female jazz singers that I had never heard of, and who were quite amazing, but who I didn't really want to hear at that particular moment, who no one really seemed to be that interested in hearing. We came for party music, for sex jams, and while everyone was mostly polite and recognized the talents of these opening singers, most people continued on with their conversations, awaiting the main event, this serving as mostly background music.

After they finished their sets, it was Prince's turn. He came on stage. I jumped to my feet, everyone did. I barely remember what happened. I can't even describe it. I was on another planet of glee, being able to see this man strut around the stage, pick up instruments, and sing and dance. He could have played any songs and I would have been so into them. His voice sounded so good. I knew every song word-for-word but maybe two or three. He charged through his set, playing big hits as medleys, which probably allowed him to play more songs before IZOD Center's curfew hit, but which I was wished he wouldn't have done. My one complaint really, and a small one. I like his extended songs. I want to hear talented musicians that I adore take their time with the material, work it out, show off a bit, and indulge in the song's themes.

"Nothing Compare 2 U" might have been the most gorgeous moment of the night, because it was played slow and played beautifully, the words sang heartfelt, breaking mine. Oh my god, what a gorgeous song, and one that I was not expecting to be on the night's setlist at all, a total and beautiful surprise.

A few songs later came "She's Always in My Hair." I recognized it immediately and jumped to my feet and lost my mind. The song did not inspire a similar reaction in everyone around me, which frustrated me a bit that it was only really big hits that brought this crowd to its feet. This is why shows at stadiums are always disappointing in some way, that the energy is never anything close to what it is in a club venue, that most people that come to these shows, come to sit and to be entertained, not to take part in the show, to participate in the energy level, to give back, to dance. At one point in the night, these annoying dudes behind us yelled at Erica to sit down, because apparently her dancing was getting in the way of their enjoyment, that God forbid they actually stand up from their chairs and show some love to this man playing his heart out. Of course, this made Erica dance even more and made me join her, just to be in solidarity and to annoy these assholes behind us even more.

Later in the night when riding home, still really drunk, I kept on referring them to as bloggers (which is funny considering how I definitely count as one as well) as a way of expressing my disdain for a certain type of audience member, for the type that is there not to engage, to participate, but rather to document, to say they were there. That is what I read these two assholes as. While we were dancing to some song, they kept on taking flash pictures of us dancing as a way of perhaps making us too self-aware, too uncomfortable, as a way of harassing us. I ignored it even though I wanted to punch them in the face, and I kept on dancing. I was there for Prince and I don't know why these dudes were there. Once the song was over, I turned around and took a lot of pictures of them on my phone, turned around, facing them off. One of the dudes got all pissed about me taking pictures of him, apparently him not appreciating someone taking his own photo - a blogger - someone comfortable behind their camera, someone who wants to observe and post pictures of the performer they saw, snarky comments about the audience or the musicians. I yelled at him and told them that they took pictures of us and they need to expect the same. One of the dude's then said he was taking pictures of Erica's ass. I yelled at them more and asked them why they came, why not just watch shit on YouTube. And why do you go to a concert to sit there? It's a question I think a lot at shows, but I finally had reason to vocalize this thought to some of these people, them doing their best to provoke us, them having a problem with us dancing, and me having a problem with them not dancing. You paid several hundred dollars to see Prince and you are going to sit there in your chair? This is motherfucking Prince!

I was there to dance.

Following "She's Always in My Hair," came another one of my favorite Prince songs, and that they were played back-to-back nearly made my head explode. He played "If I Was Your Girlfriend."

The rest of the set that followed was excellent. It's a blur, it was then too. I was drunk, yes, but more so totally high on seeing this man live, seeing him dance around the stage, tiny little thing that he is, but standing a hundred feet tall in his self-assuredness, a beautiful thing to witness.

I wish I was seeing every single one of his New York-area shows. I wish I had the money to do so since I know his setlist changes every night. I want to see him work through his whole catalogue. What if I had the opportunity to see him play "17 Days"? Or even "Another Lonely Christmas"? Or like 500 other songs? He's playing tomorrow night and Saturday night and I need to buy people Christmas presents and cannot spend my paycheck tomorrow on more tickets, but oh my God, how I want to, and if I suddenly come into some money, like say get a call from an old man uptown who likes drinking my piss, I might splurge and buy some tickets somewhere.

We rode a bus home and then a train and then a subway and I was in love with the two people I went with and felt pretty warm to everything encountered, to the mosaics above the escalator at the Seacaucas station, to the fact that they were playing Billy Joel on the station platform in New Jersey, this singer so associated with Long Island. I was in love with New York, with New Jersey, with Long Island, with every place in that moment that I was drawing connections to, to these people I was with. The air was cold and I think that helps things sometimes, makes warmth of the emotional kind become more necessary.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

sisterhood of the sequined pants

I am wearing black sequined leggings right now. I bought them yesterday at Charlotte Russe in Manhattan Mall for ten dollars. I was looking for a Claire's because a friend told me there was one there and I wanted something that he said they would probably have there. Well, there is no Claire's at Manhattan Mall, little really, but while I was sulking about the absence of this particular store I had come in search of, I did see an insane store where it appeared half the items involved sequins, this store being Charlotte Russe, the place where I found these leggings.

I wore them last night to my company's holiday party, striving for something regal/femme/black tie/absurd/glam, and to which I think I achieved fairly well. There was also a bowtie made from red and gold sequined trim that I bought at MJ also yesterday. Anyway, some boy, came up to me at the party to talk to me about the pants, saying he had the same ones from Rainbow. He was hitting on me, but also telling me that they were lucky pants, that I was going to have a good night in them, that he had worn his the night before and gotten lucky. A reference was made to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. He made the reference, and though I haven't seen the movie or read the book, the reference was not lost on me. Fast forward a bit, and during the raffle, I won the grand prize of 3 nights in LA at the Chateau Marmont and airfare for two. So I am pretty insanely excited about that, was insanely excited about that last night. Someone, I don't know who, a stranger, a lot of people work there, told me I should have won, that I deserved to, that I looked the part of a winner. Fast forward a bit more, past countless whiskey and ginger ales consumed, I told a couple coworkers I wanted to sleep with them, made out with this person from earlier who I really feel like bestowed this luck on me, James. Snow was falling and I smoked a lot of cigarettes, feeling really lucky to be in such a beautiful scene, and feeling a bit more free than I did earlier in the night, an escape from this town for a little bit at least in my possession now, even if no date has been set.

And I am wearing this pants again because I want a new job. I am wearing them because I just wrote a cover letter for a job I really want and I thought that it might be true, that these pants may indeed bring good luck to their wearer. Also, I bought a lotto ticket and I think they pick the numbers right about now. I'll let you know how it goes, if these pants are actually as lucky as I am hoping, as I am trying to convince myself tonight as I will myself into this job.

Tomorrow, because life is pretty great right now, I am going to see Prince. I am so fucking excited. I am not sure I will even be able to sleep tonight because I am that excited. Holy fucking shit. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

twentysomething temperatures and boys

I stepped into the shower at the gym, sweaty and exhausted, ready to rinse off, and saw across from me in a shower stall a sexy young guy, twentysomething, skinny, big dick. He was showering with his curtain just slightly open, most likely intentional, probably cruising, or at the very least wanting to show off. I showered off quickly and then reopened my curtain to see that he was still there showering away. I stood there for an extended moment, something longer than a moment really, a minute probably, to stare at him. He had really sexy feet. That was probably the first thing I noticed about him, noticed this really even before his large dick. He had a string ankle bracelet on, something that for whatever reason I find incredibly sexy. There are memories of this boy from high school, Ryan something, and he had beautiful feet, played soccer, and wore Adidas sandals (another turn-on for me, probably the same reason, probably this same person originating the thing). I remember coming home and jerking off about his feet, imagined what his dick looked like. His feet were perfectly formed and they said something. I have very long feet and toes, probably why I fetishize nice, compact feet with toes that descend from the big toe. I can still imagine what this boy's feet looked like now at least a decade later, some boy I never talked to. In college, when I went back to my parents house to visit over breaks, I would sometimes pull out high school yearbooks and look at photos of him - photos of him in the wrestling team group photo or the soccer group photo - and still fantasize about him, the fantasies all emanating from recalling his hairy legs (mine still hairless in those days of high school and late puberty), and the hair leading down to his beautiful feet on proud display, unashamed, in his Adidas sandals.

And what I was saying was that this boy across from me in the shower stalls today had very similar feet and I wanted them in my mouth, wanted to crawl across the floor and ask him if I could please kiss them. At some point in my fantasy, he caught me looking at him. He, of course, exhibitionist that he was, didn't mind. I smiled awkwardly, held my towel in place, and plopped down in the steamroom, hoping that he night also be headed into the steamroom, hoped that he night sit next to me, hoped that I could put his dick in my mouth.

A few minutes later, he did come into the steamroom and sat in a different corner from me. The desire was crippling me. He sat a towel down on the floor and placed his feet on them, probably afraid of athlete's foot or something very reasonable, but there they were on such lovely display, a ring presented on a pillow. The steam jets came on and filled the room with steam. I heard jerking off noises in his corner and I was jealous and envious and many things and insanely horny and wished I had ended up next to him. He left the steamroom once the steam jets quit shrouding his and his neighbor's noises as well as bodies. A few minutes later, short of breath, I showered off again and then went to change.

As soon as I opened my locker, he appeared again, his locker across the way, him changing as well. I dried myself off with my towel, hoping I could maybe catch his eye. I failed to really do so. He then took his towel off his waist and set it on the floor to stand on, him again naked before me, his dick again seeming really large, semi-hard maybe, and his feet again framed by a white towel, that string ankle bracelet hanging loosely around his ankle, a call drawing me in. He took his sweet time getting dressed, toweling off his back, knowing that I was watching, knowing that he had an admirer. I watched and took about as long as I could to get dressed, still not nearly as long as he did. I left, afraid to say anything, wanting to get home as quick as possible to jerk off to memories of his body.

The train, of course, stopped at 6th Avenue for a good five minutes because of something happening at the Graham stop. I was cursing out silently the MTA, the train conductor, whatever was happening on the tracks, all the people around me - anyone I could think of for delaying the masturbation session I was already imagining in my head. I got home and jerked off to memories of this man's dick and his feet, of his confidence, of his exhibitionism.

After I came, I ate some food and then headed uptown to one of my favorite events that occurs in this city. I went up to Strawberry Fields in Central Park, across from the Dakota, to be with all the other Beatles and Lennon fans that commemorate his death and life each year on this date. My heart sank when I got off the train at 72nd Street, seeing all the people in front of the Dakota and the flowers and the cops, his life made more real. At Strawberry Fields, a huge crowd was gathered in a circle, in the middle of it all a couple guitar players. People worked their way through the Beatles/Lennon songbook throughout the night, everyone there because this music at one point or another moved these people tremendously. We are there because our hearts break and we become a little more human, a little more angelic, when we hear this music, that the beauty and sadness and meaningfulness of it all really comes alive more fully. It was a chorus of voices singing in below freezing temperatures and there were recognizable New York buildings lit-up on all sides of the dark park, and it was overwhelming and beautiful. I walked away from the circle after several songs, smoked a cigarette off in an empty part of the park, thinking it might be nice to walk through the park downtown, take in the beautiful evening. The twentysomething degree temperature though started to become more noticeable outside the tight circle of bodies singing. I headed back to the subway.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Black Swan

Yesterday morning, I woke up and there were light snowflakes, not the kind that would accumulate and make things all white and wintery looking, but snowflakes just the same, a sign, as if the biting cold weren't good enough of one, that winter was/is here. I had all these things I wanted to do with my day yesterday, the last of my days off. These days off always seem to fly by so quickly with me having little to show for them, and then finding myself back at another week of work, of waking up too early, of going to bed too early, of feeling slightly cranky, and not getting any of the things that I would like to get accomplished accomplished. It didn't help that I didn't even leave my house until around noon yesterday.

I went to St. Mark's bookshop and purchased a book for my Secret Santa at work and bought myself a copy of n + 1, an unnecessary purchase considering all the unread things in my house, the unread things even in the tote bag I was carrying with me in that bookshop, but a purchase I couldn't say no to. Books are always vying for my attention, the most recent find often displacing all the other books - sometimes the current book I was reading being paused (sometimes indefinitely) so I could engage with this new item found, acquired. It is a really difficult thing for me to go into a bookstore and to not leave with books. Throughout high school, I worked at a library for a couple years as a page. In college, I spent some summers working at a Borders. That cool bookstore in Sarasota would not hire me, despite applying numerous times. My first job in New York, which lasted for two years, was at the Strand. I love bookstores so much, too much. I want to take their contents home with me, replicate their shelves in my home, want to spend money I don't have on titles I want to read and will purchase with that intention, only to have the items sink further and further down my to-read list, bumped down by new acquisitions. I instituted a rule at one point several years ago, telling myself that I would only ever purchase one book at a time and only after finishing whatever I was currently reading. I followed this rule for a long time and it is a very good rule to follow, though lately I have been cheating a bit. Again, the situation is getting a bit unruly, too many unread books in my house.

A slight diversion here, but only a slight one, is to comment on Bookmarc, the new bookshop on Bleecker street that is catty corner from the Marc by Marc women's store. I was disgusted when I read that a few months ago that Biography Bookshop, a West Village gem, was being displaced due to high rent and that the space was being scooped up by Jacobs for a bookstore. The man already has too much going on in the West Village. The character of this city was being eroded again, a longtime business displaced. But I stopped in there on Sunday evening after getting my holiday photo taken with Jacob in the women's store window, and the store is actually a really beautiful bookstore with an amazingly curated selection of books. I went in there not wanting to like it, and I still have problems with the place and what it represents about trends in this city, but I liked it a lot. I came across a lot of titles that seemed really interesting that I hadn't heard of, many from small presses.

Diversion over, hopefully so, or at least that particular diversion. Truth being, this entire exercise is likely a diversion, diverting my attention from this book that makes me fall asleep, from my not wanting to write a resume and cover letter and apply for new jobs, from many things.

After stopping into St. Mark's, I went to the movie theater at Union Square and saw Black Swan, which is really good. I am still working through how I feel about it. I don't think that it is nearly as good as The Wrestler was, but it is still pretty amazing filmmaking, passionate, which is more than you could say for most films. There is a strong voice, the thing is lovingly crafted, and that alone makes it worth seeing. I have been thinking of the movie all day in spare moments and I think its aftereffects are going to be staying, going to linger for a while.

The film is a tense, psychosexual thriller with lots of echoes for me of Polanski's Rosemary's Baby especially, but also The Tenant. There is this crazed, demonic aspect present in an otherwise staid setting. It gets at a mind adrift, a mind becoming increasingly more and more unhinged. There are moments that are ridiculous, that seem really camp, but I am trying to parse out whether these are intentional or not, whether that even matters with regard to how I perceive the film.

Aronofsky is saying a lot in the film about what it is that makes an artist great, what it takes, what one has to give - that one does have to give, has to give everything of themselves, that this is what great art is made out of, plumbing these depths, giving in to these demons, losing control. And maybe it's true, and maybe it's just a cozy myth that we like to hear told again and again for some reason. I honestly am not sure. The movie is flawed, but also totally fantastic.

From there, I went to the gym and worked out for quite a while. I came home, wrapped this gift, drank some beer, got high, jerked off, and fell asleep reading The Brothers Karamozov, a to-do list with far more unchecked than checked, but also an okayness with that.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fire in My Belly

I hadn't even been aware of this exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, "Hide/Seek," until the news yesterday that the museum decided to cave in to the demands of conservative Christians and the blowhard politicians who argued their cause on Fox News and pulled a David Wojnarowicz video piece from the show. It has been a while since I followed what was happening in DC museums, has been since I lived in its suburbs, but this news really struck me hard, outraged me. One, it was outrageous that you had Christians calling art by gay people "hate speech." Um, excuse me? These idiots have been bellicose since gays dared to come out of the closet, but to dare to adopt this language meant to empower a certain group and to use it to disempower them is so totally ballsy outrageous that it makes my head spin in its illogic and that they somehow get away with it. "Hate speech?' Fuck you, I'll show you hate speech! You have Michelle Bachmann and John Boehner adding fuel to the fire because nothing stirs up your base like a good culture war mixed in with anti-intellectualism. Throw in a dash of fear of the perceived elitist nature of art and let it rise. So all these things are upsetting and dispiriting, but even more so is that the National Portrait Gallery abdicated its curatorial responsibilities and heeded the warnings and threats of these ascendant House Republicans who threatened to look into the museum's financing. They gave in, did not stand their ground, and we are going to be in for some tough fights in the next few years. Its director, Martin Sullivan, though trying to balance the exhibition with his running of a large museum and trying to ensure its longtime financial survival, totally capitulated to stupidity and should not be allowed to serve in any institutional arts capacity ever again.

That the piece is about the impact of AIDS and that its removal coincided with AIDS Day make it even more enraging. David Wojnarowicz! This man means so much to me. I encountered him seven or so years ago when I was working at the Strand and when my life was some magical time of talking about writers and ideas all day long with customers and my fellow employees. I think it was Joe S. that told me about him and suggested I read Close to the Knives. It was one of the best recommendations I have ever received and now if I were to list my top 5 books, that title would definitely be among them. It's such an amazing work that inspired me so much, showed me a way of living, of loving, of interacting with the world, and of writing. He writes from a place of fury, pissed at all the US (in its cultural and governmental forms) was doing to kill off his friends and himself. It is written from anger, but there is still quite a bit of love and faith in the thing. It's a bright, burning flame that wows me every time I read anything from it.

What is happening is that there are people in this country of ours who are determined to silence us, to diminish us, to cloak certain realities that they don't want to acknowledge. And we are letting this occur. This is a national museum, our national museum just as bunch as that of loud Christian zealots, and the Catholic League and some conservative politicians have intimidated this institution from its mission, neutered it. And here following is the video that certain people don't want to be heard or seen. There are implications here for the democratizing aspects of new media, that this video piece can so easily be seen now by so many, despite a museum pulling it from a show.

Wojnarowicz's writings also have shaped and encouraged this diary project. Reading In the Shadow of the American Dream really showed me that one could be honest, that one could write about being a hooker, about dirty sex, about whatever the fuck you wanted, that this was your reality and its documentation was just as noble an endeavor the documenting of any other person's reality, just as necessary. And so:

After I got off work today, I walked uptown, clutching my umbrella against the crazed wind, and made my way to the gym. I worked out, lifted weights, used the elliptical machine for a bit and had dreams of a bigger, more defined body that I hoped to realize through my physical movement in that space. Afterwards, I showered and then plopped myself down in the steamroom. I ended up sitting next to the guy that works there in the locker room and who I always see, who I am convinced is sometimes making sexy eyes at me. I was kind of bummed to be sitting next to him because I was feeling horny and had been hoping to jerk off in the steamroom with someone. There was no way that was going to be able to happen now, plopped down next to one of the gym employees, there signs up outside the steam room reminding the sex-crazed gays to behave appropriately, whatever that means exactly.

I sat and breathed in and out, letting the hot steam overwhelm me, cleanse me, tire me out. Steamrooms, particularly ones in mostly gay gyms, are kind of weird with elaborate protocols regarding behavior and cruising that everyone for the most part observes somehow, though where this was taught and how we all know it I don't really understand. Mating habits of birds on a National Geographic special. Sitting a certain distance apart, scooting closer, looking for a change either way in your body language, a hand lingering at the crotch, a head turned away, a sigh. A very intricate dance where you look for certain signals, certain body movement. And there was some of that going on. I could observe out of the corner of my eyes that he was glancing at me out of the corner of his. I didn't think this was possible, couldn't believe it, that someone that worked there was being so naughty, so risky at their place of work. This, of course, turned me on, the added thrills and perceived risks. I wiped my forehead on my towel and caught him glancing at my dick when my towel was raised a bit.

At this point, I could tell that this guy was down. I started to jerk off a bit, hidden for the most part by the steam, him the only person near me, someone on the other side of him. He scooted closer to me and put his flip flop over one of the floor lights between us. I kept stroking my dick as he scooted slowly closer, enjoying his eyes on me, wondering what was going to happen. He reached out for my dick and took control of jerking me off. He looked around nervously to make sure no one was able to see him, or at least that certain people weren't able to, and then he went down on me. The specifics of this situation, his employment there, had me insanely turned on. Someone came in, someone left, we paused, a new situation that we had to reconnoiter. Mapping out troop movements, determining enemy positions. Jerking off in the steamroom is usually an interrupted, drawn out affair, with lots of pauses as people come and go and you all try to figure out where the allegiances lie, if that man is there to jerk off too, if he is actually in there to steam, or if he doesn't care one way or the other. It was really hot and I had already been there too long for this teased out affair, had already succeeded in whatever vain goal it was I had, seeing if I could make this certain thing happen, if they would.

I left the steamroom, showered, went to a wine store and to Trader Joe's, bought a bunch of groceries and then headed home, listening to the new Girls album on the subway as I ate a Cliff bar.

Monday, November 29, 2010


The day had started seemingly wholesome enough - brunch with Erica at La Barricou, a couple of screwdrivers accompanying the meal. From there, Erica and I went into the East Village to see Burlesque. A bit of alcohol in us, both of us wanted more for during the movie and tried a couple liquor stores to buy some vodka to hopefully later mix with some orange juice. Outdated liquor laws still in place, we couldn't find an open liquor store, a Sunday. Instead, we popped into a bodega and purchased some Four Lokos to drink during the movie.

We went to Village East, which I had been to before and thought was a dinky little theater, but had never apparently been inside their main theater, which blew me away as soon as I walked into it - what a gorgeous old movie house. I want to try to see more movies inside this theater. Made the experience feel more glamorous, magical.

The movie was what it was and the Four Loko did what it does and the movie actually was insanely enjoyable under the circumstances. Three something in the afternoon, we were let out into the still sunny streets, ready for it to be nighttime already, ready to party. We called up various people in our phonebooks and tried to convince others to join us in our bar crawl of a Sunday afternoon. We went to Patricia Field's and looked at clothes and then stopped in McSorley's because Erica had never been and I hadn't been in a long time and the history of the bar does baffle me. This choice perhaps inspired by being in an old movie house, a desire for the older objects this city had to offer. We stayed there for many rounds of beer, light, then dark, then light again. Jacob joined us. The three of us went to Marie's Crisis. Several more rounds of drinks. A salty, bitter piano player last night. He was only nice to the adoring gay boys on stools in front of him, them dreaming of Broadway stardom, still dreaming, young boys, and him cooling a bit at the presence of people still with dreams, that or he was horny. I don't know. He didn't much care for us for some reason.

We went outside for smokes every now and then, noticing the jazz bar next door, Arthur's Tavern. At some point, we decided to have drinks in there, to bliss out to some beautifully played jazz by a quartet of seemingly retirees. Around ten, having already been drinking pretty much all day, Jacob and I said goodbye to Erica and went to Vandam. There was an open bar and I drank a bunch during it. The place wasn't at all crowded, most people probably still coming down from a Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We danced for a bit. I wanted to go to the Cock, which I hadn't been to in a really long time. Went there, also fairly empty. A couple drinks, none of the dirtiness I wanted. A taxi home. Jacob puking out his guts in the toilet once home. I went to bed.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the lord's prayer backed by a funk riff on a guitar

For no real reason, aka all the usual ones, I have fallen way behind on this Prince project I was embarking on. Work, the gym, marijuana, napping with Jacob, wanting to watch crap tv shows and funny movies, wanting to watch things that I could laugh at, could giggle at, usually in a giggly state. I wrote about the first two albums and have only listened to the first five ones. I got a bit stuck on Controversy, listened to it over and over again for a period of several days, mainly the titular track, which I keep on trying to understand why I love so much.

Maybe tonight, if I'm not too drunk after eating dinner with my family, I'll try to pick up the pieces and salvage what I can of my intentions.

It is Thanksgiving and right now I am sitting by myself in my kitchen, again listening to the Controversy album. Jacob worked the overnight shift and is asleep in the next room. I've got my headphones on. He is soon going to be transitioning off the overnights, which I am excited about because it will mean that our house will hopefully be less sleepy, quiet, that we will be awake during similar hours.

In a couple of hours, we are going to go eat dinner with my family at Freeman's. My mom said she didn't feel like cooking dinner this year and wanted to eat in a restaurant again. We did this last year and I found it fairly depressing. I thought it might be a one-off thing but it seems that she has now thrown in the towel on trying to cook Thanksgiving dinners. People keep asking me what I am doing for the holidays, them telling me what they are doing, these days bringing out the sentimentalist, the family man, in every person seemingly. I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for a bit this morning, under this day's spell. I am sad that I am not in someone's house with a lot of other people helping to prepare food and drinking beers, a loud TV on in the other room, the noise of human beings gathered together. Next year, maybe I'll try cooking dinner for my family since the rituals of the day are what I really enjoy about the holiday, not just eating a meal around a shared table. I like the preparation, the time in the kitchen, that goes into that meal. It just feels false, like I'm not even partaking in this day, by eating in a restaurant, even though I at least persuaded my mom to allow me to choose the restaurant if we had to eat at one.

Our neighbor's apartment was broken into earlier this week, people breaking in through the fire escape that we share with them. We realized our window did not lock and have since been harassing our awful landlord to fix our window and install some sort of lock on it. The charms that this apartment held when we first moved on are becoming less and less charming. That the apartment is sinking into the ground, that it has no insulation, really old windows, a bathroom with no sink - all of these things are becoming less and less charming, an accent at first I found sexy but which now I find more and more grating.

I could also complain about my job, but I have done that for a couple years now, and it is really time to put up or shut up, to actively look for other work or embrace this current job. It is Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful, however in Facebook postings especially, but also in everyday conversation, this expression of gratitude can easily come of as boastfulness, as pride. Like I am really happy that your life is so great, that your job is great, that your hair is so fucking great, that you piss gold, or whatever it is you are so happy about, but your giving thanks for these things in such a public way can veer off into self-promotion, a non-sexual exhibitionism (the worst kind), that it is insecurity seeking a recognition that your life is, in fact, as great as you want to claim it is. But maybe it's not. Maybe that's okay. Maybe it's gray and cold outside and you aren't feeling it. And, yes, I am alive and that alone is something to be insanely thrilled about. And, yes, there is such a large amount of Prince recordings that you could spend years finding new pleasures among them. And I am happy in ways and unhappy in probably even more ways. There are things I need to change and the first among those is my need to quit talking about doing things and just do them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sadly, this Prince project has fallen so far off schedule that I don't know what to do with it now, most likely abandoning the project as I have only written about the first two albums and I was supposed to be doing at least one a day to lead up to this concert. I would really have to plow them, which you know, maybe, but we'll see. I was listening to his fourth studio album today, Controversy, which, in case you did not know, is amazing, the title track especially. I had only been familiar with the edited down version of this track that appears on his Hits CD. This expansive seven minute version is so beautiful, such an amazing funk song that I cannot get enough of.

Jacob's home. Just got home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

917 LOKO

I have two Four Lokos in my fridge awaiting Jacob to wake up. I thought we should consume them given the news going around today that New York has strong-armed beer distributors not to distribute caffeinated alcohol drinks in the Empire State any longer. Senator Chuck Schumer, blowhard like most of his colleagues, gave comments about a dead girl and said he wanted the stuff banned. I want hysterical media trend pieces banned. I want people that would deny adults things banned. I want stupidity banned. I want people that encourage prohibition banned. Alas, that's not how things work. How things work instead is that major media outlets rather than talking about one of millions of things that actually matter have decided that this is a problem for the nation's youth, these BRIGHT and COLORFUL cans of alcohol with caffeine in them, that people are getting fucked up for only three dollars. Such a thing cannot be allowed. It should be more economically prohibitive for people to get fucked up. We don't want poor people and young adults able to buy these things. Think of the children.

Well, because of a confluence of stupid media and stupid politicians, the offending drinks are now not allowed in several states. Children can go back to huffing paint and aerosol sprays. Parents can breath easier.

I want to smoke cigarettes, which I don't really do anymore, as I drink these. Hopefully Jacob has some on him and will give me one or two or three. In a few hours, I will again attempt to go see Bruce LaBruce's LA Zombie. Right now, I am listening to Prince's first album, For You, and watching this beautiful sky outside of my kitchen window.

Today is beautiful. The weather is hovering somewhere around sixty degrees, the trees are still showing off their fall colors, and everyone on the streets I walked today looked beautiful and happy, their beautifulness probably a direct result of them being happy and it showing. There was a joy on the street, everyone slightly aware that this is probably the last hurrah, that the weather probably won't be this warm again until March or so, maybe even April, that winter and its chilly temperatures lie ahead for us, and that this was a nice holiday in which we were allowed to wear a hoodie or a sweater, in which we did not have to wear a jacket.

I am about to embark on a project now that I am really excited about. The Prince concert is a month away and I'm going to work my way through all of his albums in chronological order, making a zine about my reactions to them, about my experiences with these thirty some albums. Or I am going to try to. I'm going to see what these writings turn out to be. I could have just posted them here as normal blog entries, but I want to try something different, mix it up a bit, see what the results are if I think I am writing for paper and not computer screens. The travel guide is again being put on hold because you have to do what interests you, go where the steam is. And Prince is certainly where it is right now for me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

liquids consumed, bodily and otherwise

I was at Public Assembly. The party was Ohio-themed, and I went there with Erica, who is from Ohio and was really excited about the party. I wasn't sure what the Ohio theme necessarily was about. There were a lot of straight people drinking PBR and whiskey. I danced a lot to some interesting music that I don't always hear played at dance parties. There was a string of Afropop/jam songs that I was trying to connect to the state of Ohio, tried doing this for a bit, but it was distracting me from the movement, from the things I wanted to do with my body to this song, that my mind was too much at work here at the expense of my body and at the expense of a physical communion with the music. The thoughts were a hindrance, a roadblock to that. Another shot of whiskey please.

Everyone was about to go out to smoke and I was going to join them, but James Brown came on over the speakers, "I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing," and I stopped following the smokers and ran back to the dancefloor by myself and twirled around and danced like a crazy person because I love James Brown and I love this song and it was not the typical selection you might have expected if someone were going to choose a James Brown song to throw into their DJ set. Its newness in a dance setting was what made the encounter all the more thrilling.

I then did go join up with the smokers, quite drunk and wanting a cigarette, wanting twenty of them, one after the next, my non-smoking falling by the wayside to the whims and desires of a drunk Charlie. I headed back inside and stood in the line to pee. I ended up in line behind a certain celebrity that I think is insanely sexy and have a big crush on. I don't want to say his name in this age of Google, where it will appear in a Google Alert or search for him. Looking at the stats of this webpage, it is really odd to see how people end up on this page by searching this or that name or this or that random collection of words, and so we'll try to avoid that by saying that he is the star of Entourage.

I ended up behind him waiting to use the urinal. My mind was going crazy, kind of unable to believe that this sexy man was peeing a mere five feet away from me, that his dick was out near me pissing into a urinal that I would be pissing into. Maybe you know me well or have encountered me drunk and horny, and so maybe you know that I have a thing for piss, or used to a lot more than I do now, but it really came back to the surface last night while I was waiting to use this urinal. I was so incredibly aroused and excited, thrilled. He left without flushing. I checked to make sure no one else was in that part of the bathroom before I dipped my fingers into his piss. Someone else at this moment came into the bathroom and I quickly pulled my fingers back up before they noticed. I wanted to lick my fingers, was going to. The guy was busying himself at the sink while waiting for the urinal, his back to me. I licked the fingers quickly, one by one, wishing I could do more than catch these couple of drops of pee off my fingers, wanted to bury my face in the urinal. But that was not an option, at a straight party, probably not even an option at a gay party. I pissed myself, my pee joining this sexy man's. I flushed the toilet, sending our pee together twirling down pipes, dancing through this city's sewage.

I got bored, was horny now at this point, and my options for finding an outlet for this horniness were limited there. When Adam asked if I wanted to go to Metro, I eagerly said yes, and him, Kevin, and I walked there together. Once there, I drank more, things becoming more and more blurred. I think I asked a couple of people to have sex with me. I did say no to one person who was really creepy and told me to come home with him. He asked too early, soon after I got there. Had I encountered him a bit later, my answer might have been different.

I came home and made some potstickers, starving, those the only thing in my fridge. I went to sleep soon after, thinking about sex but not masturbating, drunk and tired, wanting seemingly competing things, sleep winning the competition easily.

Friday, November 5, 2010


The leaves are changing and I am aware of this fact in a way a bit removed from past years. I have spent little time amongst these trees but do occasionally see them from the windows of high floors down below, or notice them during the afternoons after work when I am walking somewhere and the light is already heading toward the horizon and is crisp and mellow in that fall way that inspires all varieties of thought, happiness to sadness and all the points in between, and the light is caught really lovingly by the tree leaves, these dying leaves, their last embrace of a light that is about to leave them, a tender embrace on a train platform, someone heading off to a different town and it the last time they will probably ever see each other. There is knowing that, that sadness, and then there is that other town someone is heading off to and an excitement about that fact.

I work too much in a job that requires me to get there too early each day, so that I am always, despite intentions otherwise, falling asleep by about ten o'clock most nights. I have been getting stoned a lot, watching episodes of 30 Rock, and waking up hours later on the couch, aware that I passed out, peeling out my contacts, and sleeping in my bed for a couple of hours before waking up at 5:45.

The other day I was talking to an out-of-town friend who was in-town, Brendan, about my life over mulled wine and pumpkin soup at Mud. I told him about my life and I wasn't too impressed with my narration of it, with the things available to me to narrate. I told him about this project I had intended to begin working on in November, that I really wanted to finish it by the end of the year, and two months of decent work seemed like a fair amount of time to get this thing done. I still intend to do this, but do find that November, much like this year and the past ten months are speeding by much too fast. I think I'm going to start writing in coffee shops, that the atmosphere seems very encouraging of that. When I am home from work, Jacob is often sleeping before going to work his overnights, and that makes me sleepy, makes me lie on the couch and take unintended naps and masturbate, things that are all well and fine, and which I am as big a proponent of as anyone, however things which are getting in the way of goals I have set for myself.

Tomorrow is my Friday. I am going to try to see some leaves and eat a burger and maybe put this new ZipCar membership to use on a trip somewhere, perhaps to see leaves, perhaps to Red Hook to visit Home Depot and Ikea. I really do love the new Deerhunter album and am listening to it now as I write these things, as I sip from this glass of red wine, a Cabernet, contemplating what it means to inhabit a body that is going to die.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I still kind of cannot believe it. I am going to see Prince play in a month and a half. Prince! I have never been this giddy to see anymore play before, except for maybe Bjork when I was 17 and she played at Capital Ballroom in DC, maybe then, or maybe when I was going to see Cake play on my birthday, 17th or 18th - I can't remember which - but I guess the theme here is not in a really long time have I felt this way. Prince means so much to me and maybe more than any other musician living wows me, absolutely astonishes me and makes me so wow sometimes when I contemplate all that he puts of himself into a song sometimes when I am listening to one, makes me go ohshitshitshititsallsofuckingtrue. The things this man does to me with his music! More than any other artist Prince gets longing, gets what it to want a person so badly that it consumes you, his songs are full of the most intense desire, that you can feel this man's pleasure in the erotic thrills and the attendant heartaches that go with them. It bleeds through in his voice and in his guitar playing, in his piano playing. This man is insanely good with his voice and with his fingers and with multiple instruments and he knows how to communicate so well through so many mediums, that you know he is a great lover, that he has to be given how good he is with his body to make this music, say these things.

He has such a large body of work and so much of it is so incredibly amazing. Even the stuff I don't necessarily go crazy over is still pretty great music, but I keep on developing new crushes on songs. The first one that brought me into this man was "Kiss." I heard it on the radio a couple times and thought it was such an amazing song. I bought the 3 CD Hits collection of his and fell in love and I have been totally obsessed with this man's music ever since. The two songs lately that I cannot get enough of and cycle through my iPod again and again are "17 Days" and "She's Always in My Hair," both so intense and heartfelt and sincere that they make me totally weak in the knees. And I am going to see this man play in person who has the ability to make me hold my hand up to my heart and want to pause in the midst of walking to catch my breath that a person is saying these things, making these feelings real, and this man, I am going to see play, this man who has the ability to break my heart while I am riding the subway and listening to music. And you have to be careful because there used to be a time when you used to listen to music on the subway because you wanted to listen to music, that Point A and Point B were really interruptions of your time with music, not bookends to it, and you have to be careful because you don't want the case to start becoming that music just becomes a way to make the travel between Point and Point B go by quicker, that it becomes just something to do, not something you want, not an intensity of feeling and a mutually giving relationship here, the listener offering his up their heart and attention for something that was created out of what you feel is an honest need.

I am climbing out of a hangover that I had been feeling most of the day. Listening to Prince has almost entirely erased how I felt during the earlier part of the day. I am again remembering how insanely excited I was yesterday when Erica, Tom, and I got tickets to see this person and I realized that I was actually going to see this person play! That feeling came back a short awhile ago when I put on this music. Prior to that I was in a stupor as my body worked on processing and expelling all the alcohol that I poured into it last night on my journeys around this city dressed as the bumble bee girl from Blind Melon's "No Rain" video.

Jacob and I went to the screening of Bruce LaBruce's "La Zombie" at Drom. The movie was supposed to start at eight and both of us had been hoping it would because we wanted to spend our Halloweens getting drunk and sloppy and dancing, had other parties that we were going to head to at 10 when the movie ended. Nearing nine o'clock, the movie had still yet to start and someone came on stage to announce that the bar would not allow the unedited X-rated version to screen and that we were awaiting an edited version to arrive to screen. The crowd booed and rightfully so. It's particularly outrageous that either the bar didn't know what they had signed up for or that they would change their mind last minute or that they would even care in New York City about what they hell they were screening and whether its content was too risque. It makes me very angry to ponder what this means that a bar in the East Village would do this, what this means if I were to make an analogy about the current state of New York compared to what seems like not that long ago, what this shift is due to and why we allow it to happen.

We decided to skip out on the movie since I'd rather see its unedited version first and it's screening during the MIX Festival in a week or so. We rode the L train over to Hiro Ballroom for the Butt Party. We were there for an hour or so, an hour of which time also was an open vodka bar. Already over having to buy expensive drinks after our time at the disappointing Drom, we were going to get our drunk on for cheap while we still could and pounded back perhaps too many drinks during that time window. At a certain point, we decided to head to Vandam, where I had wanted to end up, where I had wanted to lose my mind and dance among insanely dressed people. We took a cab down there and once we got out of the cab, Jacob puked on the street and we paused like it was nothing. Kept on going. It was that type of night - loud and wasted, and pushing on cause you are playing hard and rock and rolling or whatever it is - you are living and you can't let things like puke slow you down. At Vandam, we drank some more because logic and moderation are of no use to a drunk mind and we danced upstairs and downstairs. At some point on the dancefloor, I decided to take off my tights. I am not really sure how I did then, if I took of my leotard to do this there on the dancefloor, but I am more and more pretty sure I must have. I do know that without my tights on and dancing around in a tutu, I felt more and more horny, more dirty, more away of my penis underneath my tutu, liked the feeling of being in it, the idea that naughtiness could be hidden from view, skirted (if you will) by a skirt. And because really maybe I am an exhibitionist and horny, I found myself with a boner being jerked off by Jacob, jerking off with him (at Greenhouse? What, I said to myself this morning, soberly recalling my insane behavior). And because it you are going to go hard, then you are going to go hard, I got head from Jacob and some other boy, and I am not sure how obvious this was but I am sure it must have been.

We stumbled into a cab to take us home and on the way home, texted people and searched on Grindr for people that we could get to have sex with us. We sent dirty pictures to some people, so horny. We got home and, needless to say, passed out, did not have sex. This morning when we got out of bed, Jacob said that our room looked like a clown explosion had occurred, costume pieces all over the floor, clearly taken off in a frenzy to make it from the front door to our bed and to be naked by the time we got there.

And since waking up, the day has been spent watching trashy movies and reality television shows and being pretty brain dead. Jacob is asleep on our bed and I am awake now, feeling quite alive, this man Prince returning my spirits, giving me the blood that the vampires and monsters and myself consumed last night as we all danced around the fire, consumed by it, celebrating the madness, the deviltry, of this life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spotted Sex Pig

I am still recalling the moments spent eating a burger earlier tonight. There are some moments with food when I know that it is going to be a moment I will recall later on, that I will want to, that this is the burger I am going to cite later on down the line when someone asks me my favorite burger, and that I should try to recall all of the details. I was seated upstairs at The Spotted Pig, Jacob next to me, me already a bit tipsy on Whiskey and Cokes, taking in the scenery. The burger came and it was the most perfect burger I can recall ever eating. I asked for it medium rare, and it was actually cooked that way, unlike at most restaurants. The buns had cross hatches from being grilled and tasted slightly of butter. The patty was topped with roquefort cheese, and only with this - no onions, no lettuce, no tomato, no ketchup. It was perfect as is. I had no desire to put ketchup on it. Every bite was so insanely good. It was what good food should be, something approximating sex in your mouth.

Corner Bistro has now lost its crown to Spotted Pig. I have a new favorite burger in New York. I wish I had the means and time to eat this burger every single day. Afterwards, I smoked a cigarette with Jacob, even though I have quit and smoked only a few in the last couple of months, because it was that fucking good and I needed to calm down. This was a cinematic post-fuck scene and I had to puff on a cigarette, to both catch my breath and reflect on how I had lost it in the first place.

While puffing on these cigarettes and me talking about how much I loved this burger and how I was going to go home and masturbate to it, we walked up to PPOW on West 25th Street to go to a reading by Max Steele, Joseph Whitt, and Brontez Purnell. Each was amazing, particularly Brontez. I had never heard him read before and so it was a real treat to hear him perform, especially since he veered so much from what reading in my mind has normally meant. He had notes and what appeared to be stories in front of him, but rarely looked them, and instead seemingly ad-libbed these insanely comic monologues about shit on dick, barebacking, and white college-age lesbians that were amazing. They were raunchy and offensive, but more than anything true, and so quite lovely to hear. It was an inspiring moment, that the most affecting stuff, the things that listeners and readers will most respond to are true things, even if they make you sound like an asshole, that maybe it's not the best idea to encourage unsafe sex or to talk about how annoying white lesbians can be, that these things will rub people the wrong way, but that they will also rub some people the right way, that people will recognize their own feelings in your rants, that that is what writing is supposed to be, an attempt at honesty, and that what is true might not always be the most glamorous thing, might not be the way you want to present yourself. There are so many of my friends that I wish I had encouraged to come with me to this, that would have laughed so hard and taken so much from it, enjoyed it so much.

This burger was so insanely good.

Jacob and I fucked last night. Poppers and weed and noise were involved. It was seventy something degrees today in late October. I am going to be the bumble bee girl from the "No Rain" video for Halloween. I love avocados and sex and burgers and people reading and my new black shoes, vintage Stacey Adams, and I am reading Georges Bataille's "Story of the Eye," and of course I am reading that, of course I am.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sufjan Stevens - Futile Devices

I had been looking for a pair of shoes, a simple pair of black dress shoes with a low heel, my problem with most new dress shoes is that they have too large of a heel that seems to be trying to compensate for something I don't want to announce to everyone that happens to look at my shoes. I found a pair I really liked a week or so ago sitting out on display at Urban Outfitters. After trying for too long to find someone to help me find a pair of these beautiful shoes, I found someone, not so helpful, but someone that worked there, and he stared me down before telling me that they didn't actually have any in stock. The shoes are nowhere to be found on their website and now they are not even in the store anymore.

There are two things I have decided my wardrobe needs right away, those being a pair of blue jeans (since my old ones no longer fit me (either me becoming larger or either my sense of how tight is appropriate or sexy shifting to something a little looser than leggings)) and a pair of sensible black dress shoes. The jeans I have found, the shoes I have yet to. I went to a couple midtown department stores this evening after work and felt overwhelmed and poor. I didn't find the shoes I wanted at any price. I did, however, find an amazing pair of purple suede boots at Bloomingdale's that I may return for and purchase next weekend when they are 30% off if I am still feeling their spell and also feeling the spell enough to drop so much money on such impractical shoes. But what are practical shoes? I don't have a job that requires them, but I am convincing myself that if I own sensible black dress shoes, aside from my own love of wearing dress shoes, my owning them will come in handy if I soon get a new job, which I keep on hoping will somehow manifest itself despite my failure to really apply for any, though tonight I did apply for a few, though these few are still at hotels, which is a world I would like to get away from.

So I didn't get shoes. I did go to Bloomingdales and Bergdorf's, which really terrifies me, the store such a weird throwback to Upper East Side haughtiness. Their shoes all sucked, though there were some other items I really did want to have in my possession somehow without paying the insane prices of everything there. I am thinking I'll just end up buying a pair at my favorite vintage shoe shop in the East Village since my searches have turned up so fruitless.

I rode the train home painfully aware of my white sneakers. I looked at everyone's shoes on the subway, some really nice pairs on display, and I wondered where they got them, really did not want to go another day wearing these white sneakers, that these pseudo-Keds are no longer appropriate given the change in season, given the change in my own mood, my desire to present a different image, to say that the lazy days of summer are over.

On the L train, I ran into Matt S., a boy I used to be obsessed with, that I used to sleep with, that I used to want to date. He lives in Philly now and is still making art, and he makes me feel like Ned, like a loser, like a sellout. He was wearing some crazy feather-like earring and a bright scarf. I still thought he was insanely beautiful and I want to be his friend and hang out with him. He is odd and beautiful and I see him about once every six months or year and it always makes me so happy. I am thinking about shoes, coming from Bergdorf's (which I did not admit when he asked me where I was coming from, only answered with a vague "looking for shoes"), and he had a stack of canvasses in his hands that he was moving and I was thinking about the Mexican food I was going to order when I got home. And I didn't always used to be so lazy, so complacent. I didn't used to be this way when I was sleeping with this kid, so many years ago. Different paths taken, paths crossed now. He got off at Bedford. I kept going. I was smiling ear to ear for a couple stops. The sadness set in not too soon afterward. It bounces back and forth. I bought a bottle of wine, a Cabernet, to try to get things to settle somewhere in between the two poles.


I am in love with this song tonight and have listened to it several times, the lyrics appropriate and Fall really killing me in the most beautiful way, making me feel everything terribly.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"it's been pretty much one damn thing after another ever since"

I had just had lunch at an Italian place in Chelsea with Jacob. He was heading back to Brooklyn to do stuff for school and I was headed up to the E stop to take the train over to MoMA. I checked out Grindr on the walk to the train, exchanged a few lines of text with a pictures of abs, and soon was at this abs picture's house on 21st Street. He opened the door and I think there may have been something in his look that wondered if I was hot enough for him, that awkwardness of sizing someone up in person that you have only talked to online and seen pictures of, all of course self-selected to make them look as attractive as possible, and then you quickly try to take in the difference between how they represented themselves and the person that now stands before you, deciding whether that difference is small enough to be acceptable. That may have been the look but then there was also something about his look that made me think he had just done meth, an intense, sex-hungry, fuck-anything-outside-of-this-room look, slightly menacing.

There was a brief second when I was undressing that I wondered if this person was going to go all American Psycho and kill me. There is a thrill and it is reckless and it is putting yourself out there in weird situations and this I love, wondering how things will go, the not knowing. There's no real reason to do this. I can get sex from Jacob, can get it from the gym, but I wanted a thrill and something pulled me to this guy's house. Across the street from his apartment was what appeared to be an elementary school letting out, young kids, innocent, everywhere, and me feeling particularly dirty, a thrill in that contrast, that the block can contain both these things. He pulled down his shorts and I sucked his dick until I got really hard. This was in his kitchen. I had only taken about three steps into his apartment. He pulled me over to his couch, which had a white sheet over it for this purpose, our meeting, apparently, and there was lube and condoms set off to the side. He bent over the couch, his ass up in the air, and I fucked him for a while, and then he told me he wanted me to cum on him. He laid on the couch and I jerked off on to his chest, him cumming at the same time. The man was insanely ripped, probably the most buff person I have ever got it on with, and the entire time we were having sex, I was into it but also was not into it, was too self-aware of this person's porn star body, waxed ass, and cartoony six pack. It all very bizarre, a fog, a dream maybe, and ten or so minutes after entering his apartment, I departed it, out on to the street, my mouth tasting like lube, me attempting to spit out the taste.

I got a cup of coffee and got on the train towards MoMA to see the Abstract Expressionist New York show. It's a big show and like most big shows, I moved through it in spurts, landing in one room, moving past another entirely, thinking that I would return on some future date to take everything in, the things I didn't see, didn't talk to. I stopped in front of things that struck my fancy and glanced in passing at things that didn't. Most ab-ex art bores me, is a little too blank, too much of a Rorshach for you to project whatever you want on to it, some of it seeming like lazy or wild scribblings on canvas. But then there are pieces that explode that notion, that cut through all of my nay-saying about these paintings and really move me, sing a song that I recognize and like, that I will stop to listen to. There is a room of Barnett Newmans in the show and had I seen one of them isolated, I probably would have moved past it, but encountering a room of maybe six of them had an entirely different effect on me. They were really quite beautiful, a painting of solid color, a feeling, thrown into relief by a vertical strip of paint, another color, a figure in this space, man in this world, a moment where you catch your breath and feel all that is around you. They sang from every wall in chorus the same song, different voices, but the same song, and it was a gorgeous one. I hummed along.

I know it is possible to have moments with probably all of the pieces in the show, but perhaps not possible to do so in one viewing. I'll return and try to allow for other moments, other encounters, other rooms, other brief fucks, memories of which I'll hold on to for far longer than the act, the feeling inspired it, its life, extending far past the viewing, that physical encounter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

To The Measures Fall

In last week's New Yorker, there is a fantastic short story by Richard Powers, "To The Measures Fall." It gets at what it means to read in a really profound way and how one's relationship to text can change numerous times. It looks at one person's relationship to an obscure English book and by way of this also says really insightful things about the large cultural changes that have occurred in the last several decades with reading and the study of literature. Any lit majors will probably geek out a lot reading it. The full text of the story is now behind a firewall, but try to find it if you can. There are many parts I love and want to quote, but will quote this one part because it ties in with a string of thought I am trying to explore in some form about our relationship to life and text in this Facebook age.

"Overnight, the World Wide Web weaves tightly around you. A novelty at first, then invaluable, then life support, then heroin. It's a chance to recapture everything you've ever lost: college friends, out-of-print rarities, quotations that had vanished forever. Your online hours must come from somewhere, and it isn't from your TV viewing. You lose whole days on the roller coaster of real-time eBay auctions. "

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Too Much Water

"Ofcourse too much moisture in your lungs can cause problems, its called drowning..."

-strange words of wisdom, made stranger or wiser or funnier by their source, a conversation board on concerning whether ice in a bong is bad for your throat.

Ladies and gentlemen, my night, my life.

I am feeling good. I just smoked a lot of weed from my bong, which I had put a lot of cold water from my fridge in, thinking my lungs would like the feeling. And then I thought how good it felt, how great it would be with ice, remembered some stoners in college who were real serious about the stuff, I went to that type of school, and they had ice bongs, that is if I remembered correctly, and I wanted to see if I did, wanted to see exactly how these things worked, whether such products were sold, and if so, how much these things cost, wondered this cause I kind of really wanted one of these which I was more and more remembering or believing existed and thinking about how much pleasure this would give my life not only in this moment but also in so many future moments. The payday was seeming big, large - the potential returns vast.

I downloaded many albums illegally, though I hesitate to say that in these days of precise Google searches and logarithms, wondering if maybe I shouldn't tell you this, wondering if perhaps the RIAA might not have some program in place, technical thing, to scour blogs for sources of people discussing such practices, and then going after them, knowing who was infringing on these laws. "PARANOID!" A response said several times in that same earlier referenced thread, the commentators (so many!) occasionally responding to one of his questions posed, answers with that word: paranoid. Downloaded albums that I am so excited about listening to, drank wine, and wanted to acquire things, to be involved with them - this relationship between people and bands and the songs these bands sing and the things these bands may or may not actually represent - and whatever the feelings were, the things were, I was feeling really good, was feeling alive, interested in a way and with an intensity about current music, current art, that I haven't felt in a long time, and felt really good, that maybe I am not as old or as not as boring as I think old needs to be, that I do still care about these things, that art, despite a boredom of late with most forms of it I have had, still does have the power to rock me, to make me want to dance, to make me hold my hand close to my heart and mouth manohman like a drunk uncle might that's really into the blues, a white uncle. And I was really into these sounds, these feelings, these ways of presenting things. I was feeling rock and roll in a way that I hadn't in a while. Rock and roll, oh man, the things it does. It brings me to life and makes my dick slightly hard and also impossibly soft and makes me sad and insanely happy, always one of the two, always an intense feeling, that it was and is all do or die, that it all meant something, means something. There was always the feeling, the intense relationship with the present and the past and the future, really straddling the tip of a triangle perhaps the most you ever will, and the constant feelings despite their inconsistency and huge swings between faraway poles, that this is what rock and roll is, why it so much of a certain time in the lives of most people. The loudness simply amplifying in a way large enough to let you get off from the pain that this life causes and the pleasure we are granted when we recognize that pain and you can play it louder and louder and a feeling of catharsis can occur, you can expel it all, all the fucking shit, bringing all that stuff to the surface, limbs thrashing forward to a nonexistant stage, a nonexistant audience, as you dance in your kitchen, wanting to cry, but not knowing exactly why, except that it is all so fucking beautiful despite it all, so fucking beautiful.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stop It

Weird music is coming through some wall, not necessarily weird in any objective sense, but weird in a sense given its context, a Bushwick apartment building and a neighbor on one side of me blasting what sounds quite a lot like Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, that or some other old-timey Western swing. I just watched Athens, GA - Inside/Out, was inspired to read it by its brief mention in Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution. The movie was cute in its documentation of what seemed to be a really beautiful music scene, a small scale thing where musicianship was encouraged, where being in a band seems less a scary thing than it would in the music scenes of LA or NY, something that several of the people featured in the documentary mentioned. I saw the film's relation to the book, to the same type of scene that occurred in Olympia and DC in the early nineties. I don't aspire to be a musician but there is something useful that I take from these past scenes and their documentation in these two objects. The book is inspiring me a great deal, pouring gas on to a flame that was relit a week or so ago by getting to see Belle and Sebastian perform, this feeling of being alive and creating things and putting stuff out there and interacting with works of art. It's just a matter of doing it. Kathleen Hanna told a few people, awkward fans, that they needed to make a zine, that they had something to say. Reading about the formation of these bands is really inspiring, seeing what it takes to go from being a fan of a certain type of thing, consumer of it, to a creator of a certain type of thing, participating more in the dialogue. There is a lot I want to do and there are big bursts of inspiration that have been coming to me a lot in the last week or so. I went hiking with Jacob upstate and it was insanely beautiful and made me want to escape this city more often. There is that goal, the goal to write things, and the goal to get a new job. All doable, and all within reach. Just fucking do it.

And then there is this song, which somehow I had never heard until seeing it in this movie this evening, and which made me want to dance and scream and write and for a brief moment have a band of my own, mainly so I could thrash around a stage to this song and pretend it was mine.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

another song about my dream of horses

I had a list of some songs that I really, really wanted to hear them play. Only one of them was played, "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying," the song they closed the show with, thankfully it the one song I needed to hear them play and the one which I would have been really been bummed not to hear as it's probably my favorite by them and one that seems like a sure bet for a set list. Less sure bets for a set list and ones that did not make it were "Electronic Renaissance," "This is Just a Modern Rock Song," and "Lazy Line Painter Jane." These ones were not played. I am okay with that.

Because at some point during Belle and Sebastian's set at the Williamsburg Waterfront, I realized some things, that, metaphorically, you can't be always listing off the songs that weren't played but have to appreciate the ones that were. That wasn't necessarily what I was feeling at the time - that's the metaphor I'm trying to extend to the sentiment now. I have been bitching on here lately in sometimes muted and sometimes not muted ways about the feeling that my life sucks, that I am entering adulthood not as the person that I would like to be, doing a job I don't really care for, and not spending any of my time writing and still yet having far less fun that I used to. I had been hoping earlier in the day that the concert would be cancelled because of the threat of a storm and that they would reschedule at an indoor venue later on down the line. But anyways, I really connected again with this music that means so much to me, has meant so much to me at really important parts of my life. Stuart Murdoch led the band in these beautiful songs with gorgeous orchestration and lyrics that hint at a life I used to want, that I still do, that I had, and that I still do and which I forget about sometimes in my whining. So they are playing a really spirited version of "Boy With the Arab Strap" and I am dancing along with a few other people around me, whom it is clear to me also have some really personal associations with this band, and we are going through it, releasing something, a bit of catharsis, a bigger serving of nostalgia, and I smiled so much throughout this show, really felt like this life had something magical to it, that I needed to recognize that more often.

The chorus to "We Rule the School" felt like a finger being wagged in my face, the good kind though, the kind you occasionally need, your friend telling you to get your shit together and quit thinking about that boy that breaks your heart. They sang, "Do something pretty while you can. Don't fall asleep." And I, churchgoer, thought Amen, Brother, Amen, Brother. I have to do this.

But back to the feeling. So they are playing the titular track of their third studio album and the skyline of New York City is behind me and I thought about what this band used to mean to me, the person I was some ten years ago, the summer I lived in Madsion, Wisconsin, with Bonnie when we listened to Belle and Sebastian all the time, going through some emotional changes and thinking about life and our place in it, what it was that lied ahead, feeling on the cusp of things and looking back longing toward other things, this music really helping with feeling, living. I do not know if I can emphasize enough how much this band meant to me and how many times I have listened to If You're Feeling Sinister and The Boy With the Arab Strap. There is no doubt in my mind that I have listened to these two albums way more than any other albums ever, hundreds, if not thousands, of times. So many sad afternoons and nights and mornings and also happy moments were spent listening to these albums. These two albums really helped guide me through so many moments in my life.

I thought about that Madison me during this song and thought what he would think about this current me, if he thought I would be in New York City a decade later, living there, and seeing the band play in my new residence with a boyfriend I am in love with who is the age I was then. I doubt that he would have. I am not sure he would have had any clue that this might have been where he ended up, just as I now have such a hard time imagining what my life may be like in ten years or what I would even like it to be like. But I thought that I am here in New York, okay, a place I dreamed about living ever since I was a sexually confused teen and reading slam poetry and thinking that this was the bohemian Oz that would provide me everything I wanted in life. And so maybe it doesn't necessarily match up with that fantasy, but I am here and I do have a job and I do have a nice home and I do reside with a beautiful man who tells me he loves me often and who when I think about, I smile a lot. Things could be so much worse and I am a fucking ungrateful asshole for whining about all the ways in which I am sad or disappointed when there is so, so much to be grateful for. The rain, the remnants of some tropical storm, that was supposed to flood New York this evening never appeared and the show went off with not a drop of rain falling on me, and them closing their performance with my favorite song of theirs and this man I love next to me for all of it and this gorgeous city I live in lit up behind me, shrouded in clouds and fog.

I have got a lot going for me, so much to be happy for, so much to celebrate. This life is a hard thing and the news from the past couple days has really reinforced this, all of the young gay suicides. Each story has broken my heart and the amount of them has made me incredibly angry. Each story has made me remember difficult years in my life, middle school and early high school and the relentless bullying I had to deal with, and it's bullshit that kids have to suffer through this, and it's bullshit that there are adults that through their anti-gay rhetoric foster this climate where these things are seen as okay. Belle and Sebastian, during their set, after some lame banter about American football and rugby, played " Lord Anthony." The song, about a young femme kid being harassed at school, really brought forth all this anger and sadness I have had about these recent events. I am not sure Murdoch was aware of the recent events at all, as he introduced the song with a flip remark, saying here's a song about someone that probably didn't play rugby. The lyrics aren't entirely clear as to what's being said and this was one of the off-moments of the night for me where I wasn't sure what Murdoch's intentions were, if he had any, and whether he was just a patronizing straight indie asshole that doesn't get it, couldn't get it. It seemed weird to play this song without reference to all the suicides that have occurred lately amongst young teen queers because of bullying.

I put it past me though because I can't hate a person because of some rugby comment, even if it does seem like the same type of flip remarks that trivialize homophobia and assert some notion of gender norms at the expense of the safety and even very lives of queers. Sometimes musicians just shouldn't talk. It's sometimes a dangerous thing to see bands you really love and then to hear their on-stage banter. Sometimes the image you have of them is so inflated because of gorgeous songs that hearing them make bad jokes or even saying something that makes you cringe just a little in the way your uncle might at a wedding can really destroy the thing you have going with them. But with this band, it'd be quite difficult for that to occur for me because of the years and years I have spent with this band.

Up and down, washed back and forth between Madison and Sarasota and New York and various roads and highways around these United States. These songs have been with me everywhere and so to hear them again tonight played live while I was a bit stoned brought together all these places, all these memories, all these old friends and old lovers. They all gathered and we danced and we cried and we all had such a lovely time. For a couple hours, we all still hung out and still talked. It was such a shame when it had to end and we had to herd out with the crowd past the really high young man, kind of chubby, holding up a peace sign, incredibly sweaty, smiling at everyone that walked past him, and everyone walked past him.