Saturday, January 28, 2012

tiptoeing through minefields

Jacob has been sick the past few days and somehow, perhaps that flu shot I got some months ago, I have managed to escape whatever bug has befallen him. I shy away from hugs and tell him, no, I don't need any help making dinner.

I was buying him cold medicine at the bodega yesterday, an excuse I have been using to purchase myself lottery tickets of various types, scratch-offs and numbers games. I think it might be something about the lighting in this one particular bodega, the guys working there never believe I am of age to buy anything. It occurred again last night, this questioning of my age, despite the fact that you only need to be 18 to purchase lotto tickets. How old are you, he asked. 30, I told him. No, you're not, he said. Yes, I am, born in '81, look at my ID. And he seemed truly amazed that I was 30 years old and something washed over him, some thoughts of this mortal coil and the process of aging and the brief time we have on this planet. It hit me too. We shared a nice little moment with my ID between us. He started reminiscing about 30, warning me that from that point you were just counting down the years. He was saying a sad truth, but saying it with a warm smile. We both smiled because life is a funny and depressing thing, that we are brought forth into the world, experience tremendous beauty and sadness, and then cease to exist. No one knows what it's for and so we shrugged and smiled at the mystery.

At home, I scratched off the card I bought with the quarter I received as change from the cold medicine and the chance at riches I had purchased. I won ten dollars.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

all i want to listen to today. loudly. but, that goes without saying. should.

Two Weeks Left

The Spanish grandmas were there again, as they are most evenings, standing by the staircase leading out of the Montrose station, holding up their copies of Awake! magazine, trying to save souls, theirs chief among them.

At the doctor's office today in the waiting room a transgirl showed her titty proudly to two of her friends. There was an insane and annoying repetition of videos about STDs that were played at too high a volume in the waiting room. The doctor felt my testicles while I stood on a perch and told me to put back on my underwear when he was done. I peed in a cup down the hall, had to walk back through the waiting room with my cup of piss. I set it on the counter.

Since I am leaving my job in a couple weeks, I am milking my insurance for what it's worth since it will be about three months before I again have health and dental insurance. A few days ago, I got my teeth cleaned and set up an appointment to get my wisdom teeth pulled. Today, I had a physical, and tomorrow I am getting blood work done.

The doctor asked me questions about my life, asking if things had changed since my last visit. He asked about my alcohol and drug use and about risky sexual activity. He asked about smoking. I smoke a cigarette maybe once a week I told him. My alcohol intake is way down from what it was a couple years ago. I smoke weed every day, but that's it for drugs. And the risky sexual activity is way down as well, pretty much nonexistent. He asked if I had a partner. I told him I did. How long, he asked. Two years, I answered, putting things together, realizing that in whatever ways I have become more boring, more settled down, have also resulted in me being healthier and safer. Tradeoffs.

While I was again waiting in the waiting room watching the same insane videos produced by the staff of the clinic (for example, one Trecartinesque one featured drag queens dressed up as various STDs with crazy drag STD names screaming about safe sex), awaiting this time the results of my rapid HIV test, I got a text from the guy uptown who I have seen for several years for money, every week or so, whenever he texts me. I told him I could meet him soon. I drank a lot of water from the water cooler there. He's into piss.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

a j-o-b

I got the phone call yesterday afternoon saying that I got the job. I sent an email this morning to my boss to give him a few weeks notice that I would soon be leaving. I am so insanely happy. Crushing uncertainty has been resolved. I smiled ear to ear, jumped up and down, laid on my back on my bed to kick my feet in the air. Yes yes yes. I went to dinner at Spotted Pig last night with Jacob to celebrate and for some reason, some attempt to not order the same thing I get every time there, did not order the burger that I love there.

We went to Marie's Crisis from there and then went uptown to Industry to meet up with Dwayne. We were there for a drink before going to the Ritz to dance. I had two drinks there, one at Industry, and one at Marie's Crisis. I drink a lot and this was not a lot. At some point last night, I blacked out. I don't know what that expression means, didn't. I never black out. Jacob and I left the Ritz and walked to Steak n Shake, me wanting that burger that I passed on earlier in the evening, only to find it closed. That is the last I remember of the night. Jacob told me that it happened all of a sudden that I couldn't stay awake, that I seemed insanely wasted out of nowhere. I don't want to assume the worst in people, but I really think that I may have been drugged at some point last night at the Ritz because I have never blacked out like that. I woke up this morning fully dressed on top of my bed. Jacob said that as soon I walked in the door, I fell straight on the bed and wouldn't wake up at all when he tried to get me to take off my clothes or get under the covers. He did manage to get my shoes off. Thankfully I was with Jacob to get me home, so no real harm done, but worrying nonetheless.

But the good news here is that I have a new fucking job, that I am going to be leaving my current one in about three weeks, that the exit is clearly marked and in sight, that I am almost there, that changes are occurring in this new year, that I am still alive and not dead yet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

awaiting the ten second mark when you can start the countdown

There was a third interview a few days ago, Monday. I listened to Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole" over and over again to get myself ready, to pump some blood, some energy, through this body, to make myself remember what it was like to be a teenager and hungry, so fucking hungry.

This morning at the deli I normally go to on my way to work, oddly called "Super Gourmet Deli" since there is nothing super or gourmet about it, they handed me a brown bag, which I realized halfway between the deli and my place of employment was not my food. The sandwich was definitely bigger than a bagel with butter on it, what I normally get from there. They had handed me some construction dude's sandwich. I ate it when I got to work, a giant grilled chicken sandwich, a bit much for 7am, but probably not if you are going to a construction site I guess. I imagined his disappointment when seeing what was in his bag was probably far greater than mine when I saw what was in mine.

I am still waiting for a decision, word on whether I got this new job or not. I am pretty sure I did, but the not knowing is so painful. I want to get out of my current job, want to be somewhere new, and want these people to tell me yes, so I can turn my notice in and have an official end date, start counting down the dates until change.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Siamese Dream

It is one of those periods of my life right now where nothing in the world sounds as good as the Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream. These periods of my life happen every so often when this is quite possibly the best record ever made and it is all I want to listen to, the layers of noise building and slowing, Billy's Corgan voice on the edge of a snarl, too knowledgeable about the world to try for more, and me blasting this album as I walk around the streets of New York or from the comfort or discomfort of my apartment, its rhythms mirroring a driving restlessness in its listener, a desire for more than what is before them, something other, the perfect soundtrack not only for suburban teenagers but also for men coming into adulthood and its attendant concerns with a career (there now being the distinction from a job, mind you), the soundtrack for people vaguely unhappy with their lot. Just as when I was fourteen, fifteen, this sound gives voice to a very particular form of dissatisfaction.

These Siamese Dream periods of my life are not the same as the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness periods of my life. They are similar, yes, and if you asked to explain how they are distinct, I would probably be at a loss, but just be aware that they are two distinct things. Right now, I am going through a Siamese Dream period.

It has been lasting a good week or so. It started the day before my second interview at this new hotel that I am trying to get a job at. It is what I listened to on my way to the interview to get me amped up for it. The interview went well and now I am in that painful period of limbo wherein I await judgement, wherein I await a phone call or an email from a person to tell me whether they liked me enough or not enough, whether I will get this job and can say good-bye to my current one that I want to leave so badly or whether I will feel that crush of disappointment knowing how close I was, how I did not get it, and how my quickest escape route from my current job has been closed off, how the quickness with which change, the big kind, can occur has been slowed dramatically.

I have been fantasizing about getting an offer from this place and have imagined countless times telling my boss I would be leaving, the joy with which I would turn in my two weeks notice. I mentally stage this throughout the course of my workday way too often, the day not being able to come soon enough.

I wish there was more to write, but there really isn't. My brain has been consumed with this since my second interview, wanting to know whether or not I got this job. I have been watching a fair number of things as well, making my way through the rest of the first season of Louie, through the first season of Downton Abbey, through The Descendents, through The Iron Lady, and partly through The Tree of Life (a movie which I slept through a large portion of due to the not very good idea of getting stoned for it).

I have also been fantasizing about going to Costa Rica, about running for City Council next year and what that would entail, about the hands of one of my straight co-workers and about how I want to go to a movie with him and hold these sexy hands throughout the film, about a new job, about swimming in the ocean and being on sand, and about what this life is and what it could be. I am not saying it's not great, not hardly. I sometimes complain a lot and reach for things just out of reach, but I am also incredibly happy and grateful for this life I am living and every thing and every human body in my life. The joy I get from walking around with my headphones in while "Disarm" plays is immense, is enough to tilt this world off its axis. I am so insanely lucky and I get chills of pure joy when this song plays, knowing that I am alive.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


We are all now living in the year 2012. The temperature has finally dropped to something that feels like winter. There are gray and purple clouds outside my window, dusk setting in. I am sitting on the warm side of these windows, my heater perhaps on too high.

New Year's Eve was what it always tends to be, a night that causes undue anxiety as one tries to make plans that seem, according to whatever arbitrary criteria we assign to these things, cool or special enough. Then there is running from place to place, chasing something, a dream of what New Year's Eve should be, a feeling that if we could somehow make the night perfect, we were capable of making the year perfect, life also. Jacob and I went to the Spectrum, which was just starting up when we got there, a high school dance, everyone standing along the walls. We left and walked to Metropolitan, wanting to ring in the new year there. People counted down from 5, voices were raised, life in its yearly increments was toasted, and people kissed. I kissed Jacob. We went back to the Spectrum and then found our way to Eastern Bloc. We came home at a decent hour and I was quite drunk. We stopped at the deli near our house for drunken sandwiches. I had my hopes set on a Philly cheesesteak the whole train ride home, talked about how I could not wait to eat one. At the deli, the sandwich guy told me that the grill was off and that he couldn't make me one. I was more upset by this than I should have been, but again, it was New Year's; everything took on the status of either a metaphor or a harbinger of things to come. That I could not have the sandwich I wanted seemed a very ominous sign.

I ordered a roast beef sandwich and it was quite delicious. Anything would have been in this state.

New Year's Day, Jacob's birthday, we went to Tandem and had a lovely brunch, their food way better than it has any need to be, their cocktails also quite excellent, Bloody Mary's made with beet-infused vodka. We had tried going to Northeast Kingdom but the wait was going to be insane there and the hostess was not at all welcoming, so we walked over to Tandem, which I had never been to for brunch. And just as with the Philly cheesesteak, I didn't get the thing I thought I wanted and could have read that as a sign, but I ended up some place I liked even better, some place that played great music and had a friendly server and had some of the better brunch food I have had in quite a while. It was an excellent start to 2012. From there, we went to the Empire State Building and looked out over this city, our home. It was really beautiful. The view from up there is breathtaking. The city is a beautiful thing and you see a map of your dreams. It takes on that mythic shape it had in your fantasies when you were thinking about moving here and you look and point to places you recognize, buildings that you have lived in, worked in, admired, walked past, seen in movies, and on the backs of your eyelids deep in sleep.

We came home after and ordered Mexican food and got high and I probably fell asleep at about eight o'clock, totally tuckered out still from having drank so much on New Year's Eve.

To make up for sleeping through Jacob's birthday evening, I took him out to eat last evening at Torrisi Italian Specialties. It was a beautiful experience. The music was lovely, the staff very friendly, and the food and wine really fucking good. The meal opened with warm mozzarella and garlic bread, both fantastic. There were some excellent antipasti dishes, a pasta dish, a meat entree, and dessert. There wasn't a missed note in the whole evening. I have a feeling it's going to be a meal I remember, something I come back to again and again. I spent most of today thinking back to the things I ate, trying to hold on to memories. Our senses experience these things and then our flimsy little minds do the best they can to sustain that pleasure in another realm outside of that particular sense. Touching another boy's skin and the recollection of that are two different pleasures, but there is some overlap somewhere, and an erotic joy can be had with a little mental effort. Eating food, the sensation of taste, and the recollection of that taste again are two different things. I have some leftover champagne from New Year's and am drinking it now, prolonging something, and listening to Nick Drake sing things that pull me backwards into years gone by, people no longer in my life, towns and houses I moved away from a long time ago. He is singing, saying:

"When I was young, younger than before
I never saw the truth hanging from the door
And now I’m older, see it face to face
And now I’m older, gotta get up, clean the place."