Saturday, July 28, 2012

notes from barcelona

Sat July 28, 2012 10:53pm
I am sitting on a bed near an open balcony door - a balcony I had just been enjoying a cocktail on - bodka y naranja - as I looked out on to the insanely beautiful streets of the Barri Gothic where the Hosteria Grau is located. I am thinking back on centuries, on the people who have lived here, who have been so lucky to enjoy cool evenings with a breeze bearing slight scents of the Mediterranean sea with which it came off. I fucked a boy bareback last night for only a minute in the backroom of Metro. Fear and guilt have been on my mind all day. I ran home afterwards, immediately regretting it. I took a long shower and washed my penis thoroughly with soap and hot water, hoping to kill anything. I popped a fistful of Vitamin C. I cried in the mirror and asked God to please, please, please let me get by one more time, one more stupid time, without contracting HIV. I have three months of waiting now before I officially know whether that prayer was well-recieved or not. I had gotten my phone stolen earlier in the night in the backroom while I was getting head. I was pretty sure it was by some sexy Nordic dude who had just been talking to me. I circled the club looking for him, crazed and insane, wanting to punch him in the face. I couldn't find him. It was a loss I would have to accept. I drank more and didn't give a fuck. I met this sexy Cuban, Eduardo, in the backroom. I couldn't believe he was so into me. He was some Latin muscle sex God. I fucked him for a bit with a condom but it wasn't working without lube. I tore the condom off and we jerked each other's cocks. He put his ass against my cock and I knew he wanted me to fuck him bareback. I knew that I shouldn't, that it was so stupid, so reckless, but I did because horniness and this crazed sex monster I had become won the argument. I tried to make it quick, kept telling myself I should pull out. The wrongness of the situation turned me on so much. As I was about to come, I started to pull out but Eduardo pulled himself closer, making it clear that he wanted me to come in him. There was a little bit of survival instincts still working and I pulled out and came on his ass. This is when we exchanged names. I ran home, showered, and cried. I slept till three, way too late my last full day in Barcelona, and then I went to Parc Guell and looked at Gaudi's designs, at the city of Barcelona below and thought about my life, its shortness, and why I seem hellbent on making it shorter.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Every single great thing people have told me about Barcelona is true. It's all true. Buy your ticket and get here as soon as possible. I have been here a little longer than 24 hours and I am in love with this city. It is my dream city. How can I live here? I want to make this happen.

I am writing this on my phone and so it is abbreviated, what I would like to say. I am wishing I had brought my laptop so I could really talk about what I am feeling.

There is beauty here in abundance, sexiness in abundance, amazing weather, and a populace that seems fully committed to living the good life.

I got fucked in a backroom last night, fucked by the same guy who minutes earlier fucked Jacob, this sexy Argentine whom we had met at a bar earlier in the night and then barhopped with.

I am sitting on my balcony drinking Red Bull and vodka and smoking cigarettes, ready to head out again. I spent the day naked on the beach reading the amazing David Remnick piece on Bruce Springsteen. I swam in the Mediterranean for the first time. It felt amazing. The Springsteen quotes really inspired me. He is one of my favorite artists and only became more so after reading this piece.

I went to the contemporary art museum, which I would have found completely unbearable were it not for an amazing video they were screening - Jose Luis Guerin's "En construssion," which got at life and death, gentrification, and the odd reverence that contemporary art museums inspire, even when they are complicit in the odd and complicated thing known as urban renewal. It was refreshing that this museum addressed its own history and role as a gentrifying force. Everything else at MACBA though made me angry and frustrated with the contemporary art world for all the usual reasons. I laughed at the Rita McBride show. I despised the clean white lines of the Richard Meier building. I left.

I wandered through the food market at Saint Antoni. I sat at a cafe, ate a fish salad, drank Estrellas, and marveled at the life around me, the city I was sitting in. I then wandered back to my hotel, absolutely enamored with this city, a little buzzed, giddy with being alive.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I am on my way out the door in a few short minutes. I am heading to the airport and then from there to Spain. I will be gone for a week. I am so insanely excited that this is finally happening. I have wanted to go to Spain for about as long as I can remember and for whatever reasons this trip has kept not happening. It is happening. I am so insanely excited.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"it's try and love me if you can"

I was at Diego's house. He was drinking vodka and sodas. I was drinking Four Lokos. We were seated at his dining room table. Pandora was playing in the background, some good songs, some not so good ones. We smoked the occasional cigarette. We talked.

Life is a confusing thing. I am going through a breakup with a 22 year old. Diego is falling headlong in love with one. We talked about aging and boys and youth, ours and theirs. We talked about our jobs, how we don't particularly like them, fears about what we may becoming. We talked and we drank, as we got drunker the conversation becoming more honest, less withholding, more in sync with how we actually feel. Communication became easier and we marveled at life's mysteries. Highs and lows, I said at one point, accepting that that's what it all is and you just have to accept that.

We watched various music videos online before we started talking about how amazing Sheryl Crow is, was. This was prompted by Diego singing off key but really emotionality to "Strong Enough." We then played that song online and then played song after song by her. We started doing poppers and singing along to these songs, getting more and more emotional, more and more unmoored from the usual feelings. Who knew that poppers made Sheryl Crow even more amazing? Thrilled by this combination, we sniffed the bottle of poppers again and again and again through this series of songs. In a fog of something, we decided that we needed to leave the house and go to the Spectrum.

We went there and from that point in the night, there are just flashes of vivid memories that come forward. The moments between these memories are a haze. I may or may not have bought a drink once I got there. I danced a lot, became lost in a groove immediately. I don't know what happened to Diego once we got there. I lost myself on the dance floor. A couple of boys came up to me, some of them very cute, maybe I knew them, maybe I didn't. I couldn't hold much of a conversation, didn't want to. There was this guy dancing with his pants down. I started sucking his dick on the dance floor, was really happy to do so because I have thought this person was sexy for years even if I find him to be a bit of an asshole. One of my first interactions with him was eight or so years ago at the Cock, back when it used to be on Avenue A and 12th Street. He was dancing around the place like an insane person. I was absolutely enthralled. I think I probably told him this, probably other complimentary things. He told me that he would sleep with me, but only if I found his cellphone, which he had lost somewhere in the bar. That's when that crush immediately came to an end.

But last night, my head was swimming with fruit-flavored malt liquor and the vapors of amyl nitrates. I was also insanely horny. I had such joy in finally sucking this dick that I had wanted so many years ago. He told me he had to go pee. I told him to do so in my mouth. He did not. He left for the bathroom. I danced more. I have no memory whatsoever of what the music was like last night, despite having danced and danced to it all night long. Later in the night, he was nearby on the dance floor and I went up to him and licked his armpit and started sucking his dick again. There was some other person that joined in. I may have been making out with him before this second round of dick sucking on the dance floor started. I don't know. The two of us both sucked this person's dick. This other person then started sucking mine. I don't really have  a sense of how inappropriate this behavior may or may not have been at this venue.

This little daisy chain disbanded and I danced for a little longer, danced until I felt the urge to go, danced until the point where being in my bed seemed like a better idea than being in this venue. A little after four, I stumbled the few blocks to my house. I microwaved some chicken and poured tomato sauce on it and melted some cheese on top of it. Some disgusting I'm-drunk-and-I'm-hungry-so-let's-see-what's-in-the-fridge creation. I ate this and then masturbated in my bed to these memories of his dick in my mouth, of people around me, of not caring, of how all I cared about in the world at that moment was this person's dick. That was all I held on to from the night, the stuff I could use for masturbation fodder. Everything else has already faded away.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rocky Road-ish

A reuben. That's what I wanted. I was drunk, too drunk, had fallen asleep during Bring it On, the new musical, that drunken can't-wake-up-to-save-your-life sleep. I marched to Azure as soon as I got off the subway back in Brooklyn and ordered my sandwich. There was this cute gay couple in there, seemingly like they were on a date, something seemed new about their interactions. One of those boys was particularly sexy. I couldn't quit looking at him, was doing my best to do so without letting him see that I was staring at him. I got hit with deja vu. This moment had happened before, me lusting after this specific boy. Memories started to slowly come into focus. I had had a crush on this same boy once before some years ago, some similar intense reaction to seeing him.

Many years ago, I had briefly interacted with him at Phoenix. I somehow found him on Myspace - it was that time in the world when people still used such service, a time when everyone was on it, a time between Friendster and Facebook. I wrote him a couple of absurd and laudatory messages extolling how beautiful he was, the intense feelings I got from seeing him, something way creepy like that surely, this a time in my life when I still thought things like this could work, before I realized that it speaks of desperation, of clinginess, and of a lack of some necessary social skills that one would want in someone they were going to engage in flirtatious conversation with. I am sure this person probably didn't remember this; I barely did.

My sandwich was ready and given to me. The couple was still waiting for their sandwiches. They seemed so happy, so fascinated by each other, like they were definitely going to go back to one of their houses and have an energized conversation between bites of their food about their lives, still narrating histories of their past and of their dreams for the future to one another, still talking because it's an excuse to look directly at the person, to make eye contact in the hopes that it leads to a more directly physical form of contact, kisses, touches, fingered assholes. I wished them a good future and also did not. There were conflicting thoughts in my mind. I bought a pint of ice cream as well because I wanted it and because I didn't, because they seemed so happy, because fuck them. 

I washed down the greasy reuben with half of the pint. Immediately, I felt guilty, ashamed. I had just masturbated to really vile thoughts that I was embarrassed about now that I had come. That was the feeling when finally I told myself to stop, the feeling I had when I closed the door to the freezer, the ice cream finally out of my hands, behind a closed door.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Were I not single right now, I am not sure I would be so in love with the new Twin Shadow album, Confess. I may have liked it, sure, but there probably would not have been the amazing relationship that this album and I have formed over the last week. It is all I want to hear, day and night. We encountered each other at exactly the right moment. I was sitting on the side of the road, all sad and lonely, no one stopping for me, everyone breezing past, and this guy on a motorcycle pulled up and told me to hop on back, that he had some sexy, dark tunes he wanted to play for me. I needed something that projected badass. I needed something that did so self-consciously. I want to pop the collar of my nonexistent leather jacket and put on my shades and say FUCK YOU, I AM A BADASS.  But not in all caps, because that is certainly not badass. It would be a throwaway line, something mumbled, all lower caps. Better yet still, it would be a look, just a glance that told you I don't give a shit.

The night before last night, I got quite stoned and blasted this album and danced around my apartment. When I went to bed, I didn't want to part from it. I put on my headphones and fell asleep to the album on repeat. I held tight. I woke up sometime around 4am and took off my headphones. I have wanted to invite all of Brooklyn over to my house so we can all get stoned and listen to this album.

And after getting sloshed at this restaurant that I got invited to last night with Brendan and after trying to go to a reading at Phoenix that I totally missed, I suggested we go back to my house and get stoned and listen to this album. I want to do this all the time. New pickup line: Want to get stoned and listen to x record? Gay stoners right this way please.

We sat on my couch and talked about life and boys and who really knows as we listened to this album. We were drunk and in our underwear and then not in our underwear and there were amazing tunes going that gave everything the perfect soundtrack. I talked about Top Gun because this album seems like a lost soundtrack to that film in some ways. We watched songs from the film's actual soundtrack. At some point, we started making out. His dick was in my mouth. His ass was sitting on my face and I couldn't get enough, couldn't get close enough. The hunger sometimes happens, sometimes doesn't. I was hungry last night. We tumbled to my bed. We fucked around for a while until we tired. We cuddled. I woke up too early this morning and we sucked each other's cocks and then jerked off until we came. I made myself a cup of coffee and got ready for work, Brendan still in bed. I was awake for only ten minutes so far and already I was itching to hear Twin Shadow. I wanted to play it but thought it was too early, that Brendan was still probably asleep.

When I left for work, you best believe that I had my headphones in and had this album blasting.

I got off work today, dead tired, and could not wait to take a nap. I got a text from the guy uptown. I couldn't say no to money. Did I mention I am going to Spain next Wednesday? I pissed and came in his mouth. As I was doing so, I caught a glimpse through his window of a sign reading "ALL HAIL THE KING." It was on the side of a bus advertising a television show.

Cash in my back pocket, I put on my headphones and got on the back of that motorcycle.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

my thoughts exactly vs. my thoughts exactly vs. my thoughts exactly vs. my thoughts exactly

you'll lose a good thing

Isn't that always the way it is? You think you are in for the night, tired as all shit, and smoke a few hits from the bong because you are going to look at funny videos on the Internet, and then that's when you get a text to meet up. Oh well, East 87th Street and 2nd Avenue seems far even when not totally blazed.

I am listening to Aretha Franklin's Runnin' Out of Fools and other early Aretha tracks really loud and I can do that now and it feels really good, this freedom to blast music that only I want to hear and to jam out to it without the fear that someone might come home, without wondering how their ears might respond to this.

I saw Woody Allen's To Rome With Love yesterday. I watched it at Kips Bay. I got off at 28th and Park Avenue and walked along a trail of memories on East 28th Street toward the apartment building where Diego used to live when I was dating him, where I spent many nights. Those memories made me feel better, made me realize that these things have happened before, that I come out the other end all right.

The movie was just all right, as just about any Woody Allen movie is lately. But I will go see every last one of them until there aren't any more to be seen. There are hints there of that person you love and for me it's enough to keep suffering through these perfectly acceptable Allen films. I want the genius and maybe that's too much, maybe my expectations are too high, that from another director this movie would maybe be a very good one. I don't know. There was talk about love and cheating and commitment, about the absurdity of life. Getting back to that punchline that closed Annie Hall and that is his beautiful philosophy toward life that can be found in all of his films, including this one, that the reason we do any of it, continue to participate in this absurd march toward death is that "we need the eggs," that it's what makes any of this have meaning. Okay, thinking about it now in retrospect, I really liked the film because it did let me indulge in these thoughts. All the previews before the movie were for love stories. I saw some graffiti near Astor Place about love stories, though I can't remember exactly what the graffiti had to say about love stories. I know it was not kind.

But how far is it really - the Upper East Side?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

I woke up yesterday morning to my phone ringing next to my head on the couch. It was Nick. I had told him and Diego I would go to Fire Island with them, would be at their house at eight. It was eight fifteen. My head felt like shit. I was insanely tired. The night before had involved a lot of drinking both before and at Westgay, where I danced like a crazy person to Ssion, where I looked at boys, pondering various ones, trying to figure out what if anything it is I want right now from these types of thoughts, wondered what my desires actually were, and despite being unable to answer that question I posed to myself about what my desires actually were, I tried to talk to some of these boys. Perhaps it should not be surprising that it felt awkward - I was something - too insecure, too out of practice, too fragile, too something, too much.

I hit silent on the phone and texted Nick that I was too tired, to leave without me. I then noticed the smoke in my apartment as I laid back down to return to sleep. I had put a pizza in the oven when I got home, drunk and hungry. I never took the pizza out. I slept all night long on the couch while this pizza cooked to a solid black disc and filled my house with smoke. Amazingly, I neither burned down the house nor died from smoke inhalation. I turned the stove off and because I didn't want to deal with that mess right then and because I could see the sun outside my windows, the beach calling my name, I called Diego to say I would be right over, to please wait for me, please.

And so I was soon headed off to Fire Island, the location where a week and a half ago I was broken up with. I wanted to reclaim this space in some way, take its fond associations back from its most recent one. I didn't want my last memory here to be of a breakup. I had too many other amazing memories of Fire Island. I wanted this breakup to become just another memory that I could recall when thinking about all of the moments I had shared with various boys I have had romances with on this island. I bought a six pack of Coors Light and immediately jumped into the ocean when we hit the shore. 

It was refreshing, rejuvenating, served in some ways as the shower I didn't have time to take that morning. The hangover and fatigue were eased by the cold water. I was feeling better and better. A beer was cracked and sunscreen was put on.

We soon ran into some other friends. We went to the Pines for the Invasion, which was a bad decision on my part to leave the beauty of the beach for some silly tea dance. We were there for a brief bit before wandering to Cherry Grove to eat. People split up. Some went to continue the drinking at a house party and some went to consume some actual food before drinking more. I went with the party seeking food - Jeff and Pacifico and this nice couple I met through them yesterday. I ate food with all of these pleasant homosexuals and drank water and more alcohol. A girl was vomiting next to us.

There was a lot more walking, of trying to get to this house party, and then of being told it was at capacity. We went back to this tea dance for a brief bit before these folks said they were headed back to Brooklyn. 

I decided to join them. I was tired and ready to leave. I am so happy that I left with them because this nice couple had a car parked at the ferry and offered me the middle seat in back for a ride home. Clearly, I said yes to the ride. So I sat between Pacifico and Jeff on this uncomfortable seat and got to hear amazing 90s R&B song after song that I had forgotten about, forgotten how amazing the song was, how much joy these songs give me. The sky was doing beautiful things outside of the window as dusk was setting in, giant swirls of reds and oranges across a darkening sky, a preface to the fireworks to come. We started to spot them popping up at various points on the horizon, soaring twinkles of light stopped short by pops,  falling back to the earth in an explosion of color. As we were driving through New York City, we got glimpses of the big fireworks show. We drove past groupings of families and friends gathered at particular spots on blocks, little high points, random intersections, spots with a view between buildings, wherever the sightlines led them. They were all looking westward, eyes all trained to the space over the Hudson River. There were the fireworks to look at, yes, but there were also all these sets of human eyes, old ones and young ones, all so full of joy and awe.

thank yous

There is certainly no way that I can give enough thanks to these ladies who have gotten me through the last week and a half. But just because one can't do enough, doesn't mean one shouldn't do anything, shouldn't even try. First off, thank you Mariah Carey. Thank you so fucking much. Your early work helped me get through those early tough days after being broken up with, especially Emotions. The titular track from that album, "Make it Happen," and "Can't Let Go" were played over and over and over again. For whatever reasons, no one else really did it for me in those first couple of days.

There were few things I could listen to. They were either too depressing, too glib, or they just didn't get it. Music that had often been treated as background noise of late has regained the tremendous power it has to move. I have again been actually listening to music and lyrics and what is actually being said, what is being felt, in a way that I hadn't been, and it's unfortunate that it took a breakup for these feelings in me to again come to the surface. But they are here and I am feeling things and rekindling my emotional relationship with music.  I had to leave work early one day because the sad blues songs they were playing were far too much for my then emotionally fragile self to deal with. I had failed to realize that all of these songs I hear all day long are actually insanely depressing, that nearly every song is about love or heartbreak. It was a bit difficult to find songs that could be played in the house when Jacob was home. I didn't want him to think that I was trying to send him message with the song selections. Needless to say, Mariah Carey wasn't really played around Jacob then. I remember playing Roisin Murphy's Overpowered when he was home one evening, that it was emotional enough for me without actually announcing to him how emotional I actually was.

And so thank you Roisin! Thank you so much! In the weeks leading up to our breakup, I had become obsessed with "Tell Everybody," thought it was such a beautiful song, with its minimal backing beat, its plaintive plea, Roisin asking her lover to: "Tell everybody I'm your my baby / Tell everybody we're not fading / Tell everybody, no ifs or maybes." Perhaps some part of me knew this might be coming, that my baby was going to leave me, that this is why I sang along to this song as I walked to the subway, as I rode the subway, as I walked around this city, singing out loud these lyrics, these commands to a lover to say that they are still your baby even though they are leaving you. I have been skipping over that track now that the scenario has actually come to pass, now that I am actually living that song. It's way too close to home right now. I have though been listening to "Let Me Know," which is a bit dancier and announces wisely, "I don't belong to you and you don't belong to me, so don't hold on too tightly. Let forever be."

Thank you Whitney Houston. Thank you Lauryn Hill. Thank you Erykah Badu. Thank you Fiona Apple. Thank you Robyn. Thank you Adele. Thank you Beyonce and your album 4, which I finally am appreciating and realizing how great it is. You ladies really saved my life this past week. Thank you so fucking much!

RIP The Love Chapel

It was a couple days ago when I noticed that The Love Chapel on Graham Avenue is no more. When it was for sale a couple of years ago, I used to fantasize about turning this church into an amazing bar and music venue, the type of fantasies I have a lot when I look at empty buildings. I wanted to retain the exterior, that amazing red awning that stretched to the street like a very old movie marquee, announcing in cursive script: The Love Chapel. 

So it was particularly heartbreaking when I saw that the awning had been ripped off the building, that this dream would now never happen. I'm sure this beautiful building is now probably going to be some fancy glass apartments. It seemed of particular significance that my breakup with Jacob occurred at the same time that the The Love Chapel was being torn apart. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

grape flavored hangovers

When I was taking a shower yesterday morning, I noticed an empty spot where all of our bath products are kept, a hole where Jacob's used to be. He is housesitting for the next couple weeks and I guess he brought them with him but the hole really hit me hard. It was the first step of his absence. Soon, if we do indeed separate, he will take all of his things and there will be empty spots all over this apartment. I am so scared of that happening.

I sent him a final email yesterday to ask him to work through things with me. I don't know if his decision is final or not, though it seems like it is. The last time I saw him, there was the slightest glimmer of hope because he said he was going to use his time housesitting and being apart from me to really think about things. I am praying and hoping with all my might that he comes back into my arms. At the same time though, I am preparing myself for a life without him. It will be painful and suck at first, but it soon will not and I will make the best of whatever my new situation is. But I am crossing my fingers and hoping with all my might that he will not end our relationship. I want my babe back so fucking bad.

I hung out with some friends at various bars and houses around Bushwick last evening and then came home with a friend that I have had a crush on for a while. We got naked and cuddled in bed together, rubbed our boners against each other's backs, held each other. It felt really nice last night. This morning, though, the cost of all of those beer and shot combos and Four Lokos began to take their toll. I felt awful and this boy and I fooled around for a while but it faded off into me just wanting to sleep and cry. This boy was very beautiful but he wasn't Jacob. I saw bits of Jacob's dandruff on the sheets and wondered how long those would still be there, these remnants of him. I tried not to but I started crying with this boy next to me, thinking that Jacob might not be in my life anymore, looking at these white flecks on the sheet, wanting him again in bed with me.