Thursday, September 27, 2012

Madonna - "Nothing Really Matters"

I pick up the keys to my new apartment tomorrow at five. I need to get a mattress, other things.

I went out to some East Village gay bars last night with Diego after seeing Cyrano on Broadway. Phoenix smelled of hot dogs. There was a beautiful man there that I watched for a couple drinks before introducing myself. His name was Drew. He was much nicer than I had imagined, chatty.

He later met up with me at Eastern Bloc. I was less into him there. I escaped at some point in the night, his insecurity turning me off, destroying this image I had constructed of him as I sipped drinks at Phoenix and watched him, created a narrative about him that that was then called into question by actually talking to him. The fantasy brutally collided with reality and I slunk out of the bar. I picked up two slices of pizza at Muzarella and waited for the train to take me back home to this apartment off Montrose that I inhabit for a short while longer.

Hungover today, I have played "Nothing Really Matters" again and again as a pick-me-up. I played it a couple days ago while doing some yoga and exercise and have not been able to stop listening to it since.

Countless times today, Madonna has told me: "Nothing takes the past away like the future."

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Yesterday afternoon, once I got off work, I took the subway out to Bushwick. I had an appointment to sign a lease for an apartment at 4:30. Since I was a good half hour early for my apartment, I wandered around what is soon to be new neighborhood for a while, walking past memories of when this used to my neighborhood five or so years ago. I sat on a park bench in Maria Hernandez Park across from my old apartment. I looked up at the apartment's window and wondered if Niki still lived there, wondered if I was going to run into her now that I lived a couple of blocks away.

A circle seemed like it was being made. I wasn't sure what this meant, whether this was a good or a bag thing.

I signed the lease on the stoop of what is to be my new building on DeKalb Avenue. I am really excited about living in this neighborhood again. That stretch of Knickerbocker is full of so much life and really calls to mind images of what I imagined New York to be when I was a kid. Fruit and vegetables piled on sidewalks for sale. Taco shops, pizza shops, 99 cent stores, booming sound systems, kids cruising by on their BMX bikes, a crush of life.

There is the neighborhood. And then there is the apartment. It is a tiny 1 bedroom and it all mine. I can't wait to hit restart, to be on my own, to not see Jacob anymore, to be out of this place that used to be our home, to forget. The bathroom has a sink. There is a non-working fireplace. There is an empty apartment that I will fill with stuff and position just so and make into a cozy place to call home.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


"When I think about forever I get upset. Like the Land of Lakes butter has that Indian girl, sitting holding a box, and it has a picture of her on it, holding a box, with a picture of her on it, holding a box. Have you ever noticed that?"
-Sally Draper

Friday, September 14, 2012

nothing but time

Two days ago, I went to the zoo. Walking from the subway to the zoo, I passed a recently taped off crime scene. Pools of blood on the sidewak in front of a TD Bank, blood soaked clothing left behid on the sidewalk, police everywhere. It was a very disturbing sight that shook me up quite a bit.

At the zoo, I watched a pack of baboons terrorize a heard of gazelle-like animals with a name I had never heard of. That also was a bit frightening to watch.

Yesterday, I talked to this father as he awaited word on his daughter, got him a cup of coffee. I was very worried about what the outcome would be. I heard him cry out the most awful cry of loss when he was told his daughter was dead. The sound he made is maybe the saddest sound I have ever heard and I am not sure I will ever forget it. I kept on hearing it last night when I was trying to sleep.
It has been an intense last couple of days. This morning, on my way to work, I listened to Cat Power's "Nothing But Time," and it seemed like a lie, the song's lyrics, but a comforting lie that we sometimes need to hear. She told me that time's got nothing on me, but I know it has everything on me. She told me I've got nothing but time, but as I have been reminded the past couple days, no, no, I do not.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Talking Heads - "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)

It was about nine or ten years ago. I know it was shortly after moving to New York sometime in 2003. I had been hanging out with Megan and some other people at Blue and Gold on East 7th Street. Over the jukebox came a song I had never heard before. The singer was talking about Home, a place he wanted to be. The song was full of nostalgia and hope and sadness. I was feeling rootless at the time, wanted that feeling of home, of belonging to a place, to something. I was madly in love with New York at the time, was going about the process of making it my home, wanted it to be. This song really helped me realize that it was my home, that it was where I was present, and that I needed to acknowledge it as my home.

"Home is where I want to be, but I guess I'm already there."

I ran to the jukebox to see what the song was, matched up the numbers with what album and what track were playing. I saw that it was the Talking Heads, "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)." I went home and downloaded the song soon after and listened to it again and again.

I found myself at Blue and Gold again yesterday. I have been thinking about the idea of home a lot lately, the one I had created nearing its expiration date, maybe already having passed it. I had created a home with Jacob, a safe space that I felt I belonged in, a place imbued with all those notions of comfort, safety, and love that constitute the somewhat porous concept of home. We are parting ways by the end of October and will pack up all these things sometime soon, split up the shared positions, and be on our way to something else, something that I can hopefully soon make a home. I'm not sure if that place will be in New York, whether it will be with a roommate, whether it will be by myself, what neighborhood it will be in, anything really. Where my home will be is one big looming question hanging over my life right now. That's okay. Questions without answers are fine, maybe even a good thing. Something to work towards answering.

I was with some friends from work. We ended up there because we wanted cheap drinks and someone had suggested the bar. Once there, once a bit drunk of their shot specials, Dan wanted to play stuff on the jukebox. I went over to look at the choices within him and became overwhelmed by the memory of that day nearly a decade ago when I first head that Talking Heads song on this jukebox. I wanted to see if they still had it. Magically, it was still on the jukebox. We played it and I occupied a moment in the same point on a circle I had some many years ago, unsure of where I was in the world, but made just a little less unsure by the comforting wisdom of David Byrne.

"I am just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fleetwood Mac - "Dreams"

Sadness has really hit me hard the last couple of days. Ever since Jacob and I agreed that it was not a good idea to continue living together when we move out of this apartment, I have again been hit with the reality of my situation and how much it sucks. I do still love Jacob and it breaks my heart that he doesn't love me anymore. I keep thinking to various moments in our relationship where it had been strained before and they were all resolved with such beauty and in ways that just made me love this person even more.

When he was spending every night at my studio apartment off the Morgan Avenue stop and we couldn't get enough of each other, we had our first tense argument. I don't remember what it was about. I do remember though that he wanted to write the fight down on a slip of paper and lock it away in a jar underneath my sink, to put the issue away, and to never fight again. I have no clue where this idea came from, if this was something he did with his family or something he did with an ex-lover, but it really melted any hardness I had been feeling about whatever the argument was and made me really realize how precious this person was.

My job plays lots of depressing lovesick songs and all day long today, prompted by these songs, flashes of these memories would come forward. I kept remembering how much this person loved me at one point and wondering what had happened. I remember another time in this same studio apartment, I was angry at him for something, and he was drunk and sad that I seemed angry at him, insanely drunk, and swallowed a huge handful of Advils. I forced him to throw up in my toilet, was scared he was going to overdose on Advil.

And I remember crying in the bathroom of our roadside motel in Memphis together while Bob was in the other room, crying about how much we loved each other after Jacob had injured his leg as we tried to escape this junkie who had followed us home from CVS.

And I also remembered some more recent tension we had been having. Again, I can't remember what any of these fights were about - but I do remember that I was mad and being cold and he stripped naked and looked incredibly sad and forced me to look at him as a human, wanted me to see him as the vulnerable thing he was.

And then there is the current moment that we occupy and I can't reconcile these past moments with this present one, still don't know how we got from there to here. This house that we found together, painted together, decorated together, and made a really beautiful little nest out of will be deconstructed in a little over a month's time. I won't come home anymore to Jacob on the couch, won't be able to lie across from him on the couch we hauled back here from Chelsea, and won't be able to share stories about our days. He spends pretty much every night now at this boy's house that I guess he's seeing.

And it is what it is, but that doesn't meant it doesn't suck. And it would be easier for me perhaps if there had been some huge epic fight that led to this, some horrible betrayal or deceit, but instead the person I thought was in my life forever simply told me he didn't want to be involved with me romantically anymore after nearly three years time. When someone tells you that and you are still pretty much best friends with them afterwards, it really does provoke all sorts of questions about what went wrong, what might be wrong with you, and how this could have happened. I ask myself these questions often. I don't really have any answers for them. They just make me really sad.

This sadness is only compounded by again being spit out into the world all on your own, having to struggle to think about shelter, about where you are going to live, about who might want to live with you, about whether you can afford a studio apartment by yourself, about whether you even want to keep living in New York. And honestly, I have no fucking clue. Jacob was far and away the best part of my life, the one constant thing that brought me so much happiness. And so it's really scary to again contemplate life without him. This is hitting me strongly again these past couple days (so apologies if you've heard this sob story before) because prior to a couple days ago, the plan was to still live together in a two bedroom, and I still at least had that (perhaps false, perhaps not false) comfort of knowing that this person would still be in my life regularly, that I could still come home and have a drink with him and shoot the shit.

I have been looking at Craigslist listings that are horribly depressing - ugly apartments in faraway neighborhoods that seem to announce they are domiciles for sad and lonely people.

And so I am seriously considering moving out to LA. The timing of it could work out very well since one of my closest friends from New York, Erica, is living out there now for a couple months subletting a room until November and may stay there if she gets an awesome job or would move back to her apartment in New York if not. If she does decide to stay there, I would get an apartment with her, which sounds so fucking nice right now. I have been wanting to live somewhere else for a while. New York is great but I have been here nearly a decade and feel slightly in a rut career-wise and creatively, and so I think it would be good to shake up all the pieces and try something new.

This afternoon, I have also been thinking about seeing how long I could stretch out my savings in Mexico City. There are so many options. Life is a huge, huge thing, full of innumerable choices, only limited by the constraints we put on ourselves, leases we sign and people we fall intensely in love with. Come November I will no longer be tied down by either of those things. I will be a free man, or as free as I allow myself to be. I want to do great things and fall in love and eat good food and drink beer and be in the sunshine and be alive and happy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

And scene.

I am drinking whiskey and feeling confused and really liberated. I am drinking Old Overholt. Let me tell this story first about why this whiskey suddenly has so much appeal for me. So a couple months ago, one of my co-workers and friends committed suicide. The next day, our place of employment had a nice little impromptu memorial for her in which they had us all seated at the rooftop bar, telling fond memories of her while listening to Beyonce (whom she was obsessed with). They served champagne and also had out a bottle of whiskey. I had never heard of this brand before, nor tasted it, but I immediately fell in love with it. I was really emotional when I did a shot of this with a lot of my co-workers as we remembered this person's life and thought about what life means in broader strokes, what it is that we are doing here on this planet, these brief flashes of existence that constitute our lives.

That story out of the way, on to the one I meant to tell: Jacob and I have decided not to live together. I know both of us have been feeling this way for a while. I had been looking at studio apartments in secret. He had been talking to some friends from Ohio considering moving here about getting an apartment with them. It was when he told me this today, that I asked if we were going to live together or not. He said he did not know yet. He was waiting to hear what their plans were. Basically, I was his backup plan. This upset me a great deal. I have exercised so little control in this situation over the past few months, have had my fate and future entirely decided by his choices. I told him let's just not live together, let's just decide to do that now. It felt really good to somehow take control of my future, despite the fact that this decision may have been made shortly by him anyways.

I feel liberated in a way I have not in months. I am really excited. I might move to LA.


Sometimes you just need to get fucked. Then, you will feel better.

I wasn't expecting it to happen. I had gone over to this guy's house in Greenwich Village to get a massage. I had been trolling Craigslist and Grindr this morning, seeking out some erotic delight. Grindr, as usual, was providing little of it. I responded to one Craigslist ad though, someone offering free massages, and within ten minutes, I have an address and a phone number and am on my way. So I was just expecting the promised massage, which was really all I wanted.

The guy opened the door to his apartment and I was doubly wowed. The apartment behind him was insanely gorgeous and huge, a dream really, art scattered everywhere, beautiful wallpaper, fancy furniture. That wowed me. Also the person standing in the doorway, welcoming me, was unbelievably sexy. He was a man, a broad-shouldered, beautiful and butch dude, young and with a mustache, something I would see on the side of a bus advertising jeans or cologne. I could not believe my luck. This was a guy that if I saw out at a bar, I would probably be far too intimidated to approach, believe was way out of my league, but because our desires intersected on Craigslist, his to give a massage to someone and mine to receive this massage that required nothing on my end, I found myself naked on his bed, him leaning over me massaging me.

It was actually an incredible massage. The guy knew what he was doing and worked the tension out of every part of my neck and shoulders, out of my arms, out of my legs, out of my feet, out of my wound up body. It felt so amazing. After quite a while of this, he then started to focus on my ass and thighs, touching my penis lightly as he moved his hands around my thighs. He could tell I was really into him. He took off his underwear and started massaging my ass again, now rubbing his hard dick against my ass crack, against my back. He laid on top of me and I am sure I moaned. He then started to rub his cock against my asshole, sticking it slightly in. I wanted it so bad, was feeling so relaxed from the massage that it felt natural. Normally, I have such a hard time getting fucked, can't allow myself to relax enough, can't quit constantly thinking about how I am probably getting shit on the person's dick, this or that, my mind continually preventing me from being in that moment physically. But today was a different story. The man was incredibly sexy. He had just massaged me for an hour. I was lying on my stomach on fancy sheets looking at a nice rug on the floor and wondering where it was that this scene was taking place and how I ended up in it. He put on a condom and started to fuck me.

He asked me if I wanted poppers. I said yes.

It felt amazing. I haven't been seriously fucked in years. Yes, there was that moment a couple weeks ago when I was briefly fucked my by co-worker's boyfriend, but that lasted maybe a minute before my mind clenched up my asshole and made me too nervous. There was that time in the backroom in Barcelona when I was fucked by that Argentine and that felt good, but that was also something I was not totally present in and in which I was also nervous about shitting. Today, I was present and not concerned about these fears, just had a really fun time getting fucked. I let myself be present. I looked up at this beautiful man and that made it all the more amazing, some erotic dream come to life.

I came and he pulled out. I apologized that it might be messy and the condom was a bit messy but he said it wasn't and he really seemed not to care. I wiped the cum off my stomach and the santorum out of my asshole with toilet paper and flushed that down the toilet. He was seated on his bed in white gym shorts and he asked me where I was from and every time I spoke to him I was nervous that I would be too gay, too femme, for this person. There are some guys that try to appear butcher than they are and it comes off as false, but this guy was just so naturally butch, and it made me nervous, that I normally don't interact with dudes. There was something so beautiful about this man. I didn't want to scare him; I kept my answers brief, kept the swish in check. He told me he has a studio near my apartment and suggested that we might meet up again next week. I said that'd be cool.

And yesterday I was stressed about a great many things as you may know if you read the previous entry, but today, now, in this moment, I am stressed about nothing and feeling so fucking good.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"whatever else remained the same, the light had changed, and you cannot find the pearly dawn at noonday."

I was supposed to be on Fire Island today, getting drunk and lying in the sun. Instead, I have been alternately lying on my bed and on my couch, reading from Middlemarch, looking at apartment ads on Craigslist, and looking at Grindr. There is no sun today. I am in the throes of a weird cold that came upon me yesterday afternoon that has my throat feeling sore, my head feeling foggy, and my body feeling tired despite the numerous cups of tea and coffee I have drank today.

I just ate some bacon and am drinking some Old Overholt and I am feeling quite better, in which case it would probably be wise of me to turn off the Beth Orton before she takes me back down.

10,000 Maniacs it is.

I am quite confused about my life. I don't know what I should be doing with really any aspect of it. I have plans to move into a two bedroom with Jacob in November but am really beginning to wonder if I shouldn't suck it up, move far out to a not-ideal location, pay more in rent, be constantly broke, and live by myself. There are pluses and minuses to both and I can't do the math; it never was my strong subject in school.

There are thoughts about how little money I am making, which is nothing new, but which has been really brought forward as a concern as I contemplate moving, as I look at the price of apartments and see that a good many of them are way out of my price range. And this leads, without many conclusive answers, to thoughts about what it is I should be doing, what job I could be doing that would pay me more money, what jobs I might enjoy, and which of those might hire me. Again, these thoughts have circled round and round with no actual answers to these questions.

I go out to bars a lot and smoke a lot of cigarettes. This serves as a nice distraction.

Summer is over this weekend. With the help of George Eliot, I have been contemplating this summer today. I have been contemplating the trajectory of my life, of what it means, of what I would like it to mean, and how I would like this story to end, where I want to take it now. There is so much incredible wisdom about life on every single page of this novel. And, yes, I have been reading this same book all summer long and am nowhere near completion. I haven't really been in a reading mood this summer, this year, these past few years, and I have put this book down again and again, only to pick it up again every month or so and work my way through another chunk of it, today one of those occasions.

And how is this for wisdom:

That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity. (194)

Or this heartbreaking insight into life told in a throwaway sentence:

But Dorthea remembered it to the last with the vividness with which we all remember epochs in our experience when some dear expectation dies, or some new motive is born. (211)

I will admit that the above sentence hit me like a punch in the gut and I recalled moments from my own life that fit that description, when some dear expectation had died. I thought of when Gabriel and I had a talk on the rooftop of 248 McKibbin that was basically the end of our friendship, how I quit showing up for a job at the time after that, and lied in bed and cried for a couple days that the person I loved more than anyone I had ever met was no longer going to be close to me, that I had fucked it all up. I thought of that day, only a couple of months ago, when Jacob broke up with me on the beach at Fire Island, how all of my expectations of a life together quickly started to fall apart, how up until that moment there were expectations that have now been thoroughly demolished.

As I was walking down Grand Street today to pick up eggs, bacon, and whiskey (Old Overholt for extremely sentimental reasons), I got really heartsick, wondering when, if ever, I would get to that point with someone when love would last, whether this would happen. Grand Street has been the sight of so many of these heartsick walks during my time in New York. That street is where they all started in this town, as I used to walk from Matt's apartment on Grand and Manhattan down to mine on Grand and Keap, this many years ago now at this point, but those memories, along with layers of innumerable other ones of drunken walks home from Metropolitan feeling sad or heartsick or hopeful, all popping up today, apparitions on this gray day, reminders of how many times I have felt this way, how I thought I was done with feeling this way, how fucking comfortable I was, and how those expectations responsible for that comfort have died.

On the walk home from the store, plastic bags swung from my hands against my legs - eggs, bacon, and whiskey inside them. There was a lotto ticket in my wallet that I would soon scratch off when I got home, a lotto ticket that would produce no winnings, and there were other things being carried around on that walk home, things being tossed off as well, and there were thoughts of winnings greater than those promised by the lotto ticket.