Friday, April 20, 2012

"With monopoly money, we'll be buying the funny farm"

It's 4/20 and I am high and listening to Aimee Mann's "Bachelor No. 2" and I have decided that it is my favorite album of all time at this particular moment in time. It was always high up there in the rankings, top three or top five, but in the last several months it has shot ahead to number one. A decade or so after falling in love with this album, I still cannot get enough of it. Gillian Welch's "Time (The Revelator)" used to be up there at No. 1; now it has been bumped down to No. 2.

What exactly this says, I am not sure. I am quite sure though that it says something.

I went to see a play this evening with Erica, my third Broadway excursion of this week with her. Tuesday night, we saw "Leap of Faith." Wednesday, "The Lyons." And tonight, "Seminar." It has been so long since I have seen any Broadway shows. It really brought me back to somewhere, this past week, a desire to consume these things, to engage with art, engage in this cultural conversation that goes on about theater, to think about life in ways that theater narratives really are able to do so in ways unique to theater. If I had to suggest one of these for you to see, far and away I would suggest that you go see "The Lyons." The script by Nicky Silver is really brilliant and witty, fantastic and funny line one right after the next. It's dark and brutal in its attitude toward life, refreshingly unsentimental, and yet also, despite that, maybe even because of it, hopeful about what it is that we can get from life on this planet.

The play has funny one-liners shooting one right past the other, a fireworks show of verbal zingers. My favorite series of lines were in the opening when Linda Lavin's character is complaining about their living room to her dying husband and says:

"I look at the sofa. I know it was cream when we bought it, but now it's just some washed-out shade of dashed hopes. The chairs are the color of disgust. And the carpet is matted down with resignation."

I wanted to write that line down when I heard it, wanted to remember it. I didn't do that because I didn't have a pen, but more so because even if I did there was no way I would disengage from the play for even a moment to scratch something funny down. Luckily the Internet has already recorded this quote on several webpages. 

"Seminar" was just all right - the script never went beyond surfaces and caricatures. My favorite part of the play was a scene where Justin Long is on stage for a moment in his underwear. My favorite part was this appearance of skin, of a body that was insanely sexy in a way that really surprised me. Justin Long is cut and I was shooting photos on the roll in my mind saved for purposes of images to jack off to.

I rode the train home. A man was singing Beatles songs to people on the subway for change. I smoked some weed because it is the twentieth of April and all and I put a pizza in the oven and I did karaoke to this Aimee Mann album as I got more and more stoned. I read along to the lyrics and tried to say the words to these beautiful and sad and gorgeous songs with something even slightly approximating the way in which Aimee Mann is able to say them, the meaning and sadness she is able to imbue in each of these lines, by saying the words a certain way, by hitting certain notes that I am not even aware of until I try to sing them, until I hear my voice, that of a screechy cat, trying and failing to sing these songs with any of the range, and thus the conveyed emotion, that Aimee Mann is able to sing them.

Jacob came home. I stopped singing along to these songs, which is really if I were to be honest what I would like to still be doing, to be what I was always doing. I put on my headphones to keep listening to these songs and typed here in my diary about these songs and some other things. I just want to put this out there in the internet record books I have been compiling for some reason about my life, documenting this existence, that in the year 2012, in the month of April, one of the things that brought Charlie the most happiness on this planet was being alone in his apartment in Brooklyn, being a little high, and blasting "Bachelor No. 2" and singing along to the lyrics loudly, unashamed, increasingly emotional, and occasionally sipping from a glass of red wine between verses. He thought about all of the other times he has had similar moments to this album, all of the places this album has been with him, my buddy through nights in towns up and down the East Coast, my buddy through a summer spent in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, the number of these emotional evenings over the course of the last decade countless, that this is an album to lose yourself in emotionalism to, to totally embrace what a messy and beautiful place this is, the messiness responsible for that beauty. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

all my friends are dead

The man's blazer ahead of me was of a cheap fabric and didn't fit well. It reminded me of something. I soon realized what that thing was it reminded me of: my father. He had nearly an identical blazer. It was a dark patterned blazer, something in between bronze and khaki. The jacket, in my memories, didn't fit my father well either. My memories of him in this particular blazer are from when he was dying of lung cancer, his body made smaller by both his cancer and his chemo treatment, him seeming smaller in all of his clothes. The shoes and pants this man were wearing also were things my father wore. This man had the same skin color as my father and was bald, much like my father during this time in his life. I occasionally see these apparitions around the city, men who remind me of my father. I watched him from behind as he walked down Broadway, losing the erotic enthusiasm I had been trying to muster to go see this man I often see uptown and who I was on my way to see when I encountered the ghost of my dad.

In the half block between seeing this apparition and this man's house who was going to pay me to suck my dick, I walked past a teenage girl smoking a cigarette. She was wearing a t-shirt that said, "All My Friends Are Dead." Underneath this phrase was a cartoon image of a stegosaurus.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mixed Emotions

The weather was in the 80s and I had the day off from work. I put on my headphones, listened to various albums I am into lately, and rode the subway and then the bus out to Jacob Riis Beach. One of these albums was the Tanlines album, which seemed quite appropriate since I was determined not to have any. I walked to the end of the beach, where the fence demarcates clearly the start of Rockaway. There were a couple of nude folks down at that end and I spread my sheet in the midst of them and joined them. I read the New Yorker and dove into the ocean, the water still painfully cold. I lasted probably less than a minute underwater before I came running back to my towel. I looked at the dicks of the naked people near me, looked at my own. I snacked on almonds, drank water, and listened to waves crash against the shore.

I rode the Q35 bus and the subway back into the city and continued this exemplary gay summer day by meeting Jacob at the Christopher Street Piers. We drank a bottle of wine as we soaked up the sun and talked about life and the boys that walked past us. We continued the drinking at Rockbar and then Hangar Bar and then came home and ate Mexican food. I had a burrito. Jacob had a torta. The usual.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I wanted to jerk off with this one dude. We were seated across from each other in the steamroom. We would touch our cocks lightly through our towel but not look at each other. I looked at him. He was too beautiful to make eye contact, or thought he was, or I thought he was. I didn’t really care so much about the eye contact. He could be admired, adored, if that was what he was after, and it probably was, and I was more than okay with that, was game. This was a body meant to be adored, a body near perfect. He was bulky with muscle, all of it very defined. He was a pornographic drawing, a Tom of Finland sketch. He was black, with a close fade and a diamond stud in one of his ears. Whenever he would stand up to shower off and come back into the steamroom, his towel barely hung on to the top of his ass, the peak of the crack showing, his sculpted back directing your eyes down to that point, this spot where the body bulged out abruptly with this rack of an ass.

He would touch his crotch ever so lightly, enough for me to feel comfortable touching mine more than a little lightly but not any more so. This was a butterfly. I didn’t want to scare him off. Gentle movements.

There were other people around not jerking off and the flirtation never went anywhere. I stood underneath a cold shower washing off the sweat, thinking other things might be washed away as well. And certainly some things were. The horniness, the desire, though, went nowhere. I went back into the steamroom wanting something, wanting to jerk off, to look at male bodies and touch myself as they touched themselves, to rub my dick in a haze of heat and steam and flesh.

It was slow to take off. The room was full of guys but it was clear to me that everyone was looking for this same thing, that that’s why we were all still in here lingering with our hands hanging just so over our crotch. I started to rub my cock through my towel. A couple of other guys did as well. This allowed me to be a little more blatant. They became so as well. Soon we all grouped up in a corner of the steamroom, everyone stroking their own dicks, spreading out their legs so that their legs made contact with other bodies, with human flesh, male flesh. There was this sexy man next to me. I rubbed his thighs and shot my load pretty quickly after this long buildup. I let my boner subside and then stood up and walked out to the showers, the beautiful scene still happening, these guys who minutes ago had their genitals covered and darted their eyes nervously around the room looking for someone else to give them the green light, someone else to share their desire, and who now were all proudly giving into their desires, stroking their cocks, making eye contact, sexy eye contact, or not, but making sexy faces regardless as they worked their way up to something and for this brief moment let themselves drop the faces they wear all day otherwise. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012


The body every so often will let you know that your days are numbered, that you are not as invincible as you think, and that things can change on a dime. There will appear a growth, an illness that knocks you on your ass, and you will become aware in a way you too often are not that life is fleeting, that our health is a very precious thing, a thing that is not guaranteed and subject to change at any second.

Luckily, the illness was nothing serious, but it was enough to stress me out about my body, about mortality, and about my finances and my lack of health insurance at the moment, awaiting for it to kick in still at my new job. I went to see Titanic in 3D the other night and was in pain throughout, my abdomen sore and a bulge in my groin area that I was very convinced was a hernia. I did that thing that we like to do, researched this condition I was sure I had on the Internet, made these symptoms of a hernia symptoms I recognized in myself. I had had one as a kid in the same area and I was certain this was a hernia. There was some advice to go to the emergency room for a hernia online. I tried activating COBRA coverage to extend my health benefits from my previous job, which I still need to make sure my old job processes so that I don't get hit with this emergency room bill and doctor pill and can get reimbursed for prescriptions I purchased at the pharmacy. The shitty thing is that this COBRA coverage is going to cost about $450 per month and I have to pay from when I left my job about two months ago, so this is going to be a nearly $1500 health insurance bill I have to pay for my unfounded fears that I had a hernia, which I guess will probably in the end still be cheaper (if only somewhat) than an emergency room bill. Of course, all of this would happen in this small window of time in which I was without health insurance. There were some plans to go to Spain this summer, but these large looming bills have really made that seem even more unlikely than it probably was in the first place.

It was a swollen lymph node. I didn't know they could swell so big, didn't even know they were located in the groin region. That swollen groin lymph node has now gone done. Now, the lymph node in my armpit is swollen.

I could worry about this stuff and I will have to at some point, but I only let it stress me out so much because there is not much to be gained from stressing about the thing. There's not much to be gained by stressing about any thing. If there is one great thing I have gained from smoking weed, it is this knowledge.

Spring has arrived and it is quite beautiful out lately. The skies are a blue that they haven't been in months and whether they are actually bluer or it is just the buds of green on trees making the sky seem more bluer in contrast, I'm not sure. But it is a wonderful time right now to walk these streets of New York City and look up at the sky and at the people smiling because they see that change is possible.