Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I ate six tacos just now. I will likely shit out this piece of 2013 sometime in 2014.

I bought some bottles of Andre after I got off work this evening, bought them from the liquor store a block away from my house in Bushwick. On my way out the door, a happy family came barreling into the store, led by their dog pulling on his leash. I stepped over the dog, over a little girl, and there was an energy out on the streets. The sun had recently set. There were still colors in the sky, fading streaks of daylight, of 2013, the year on its way out. We all celebrate a chance for something new, an ability to wipe the slate clean, forgetting in our glee about resolutions and new and imagined better lives that time is marching on, that we are closer and closer to death, that another year has gone by in which we didn't live entirely as we wanted to.

Vendors were selling glowsticks, various noisemakers, and 2014 glasses.

This past year was far better than the previous year. I feel secure. There are days when I feel confident. There are days when I feel sexy. I am 32 and I think I look better at this age than I did at any other age. I have lived in this apartment out in Bushwick for the entirety of this past year and it feels more and more like home. I have spent a lot of time at the gym this year and that has contributed a great deal to my happiness. It makes me mentally happy to leave a gym sweaty, hungry, and sore.

I saw Rome this year. I saw Istanbul. I saw Puerto Rico. There are so many more places I need to see and hopefully I will be able to get to some of those places in the coming year.

I started school, took control of my life in a way that felt really fucking good after drifting along through various vaguely shitty jobs since moving to New York a decade ago. I am going to school for copywriting and hopefully that will lead out of the wilderness I suddenly found myself adrift in after years and years of partying and going to work and partying.

I am trying. And that's all you can do. Just wake up and keep going. I have been dreaming about LA more and more and am trying to arrange some pieces on the board to place myself there by year-end. I want romance and I don't. I want to eat burritos and tacos and drink beer and read and write and learn Spanish and get a job in advertising and be kinder, nicer, more open. I want to be a really good human being. There are ways, big ways, in which I fail, ways in which I do so every day. I am going to keep trying in this new year. I am dying, yes, but you are too. We are all dying together. Let's do so as beautifully as possible and let's really celebrate this time we have here by being as happy and as good and as everything we tell ourselves on January 1st that we are going to be.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2001: A Space Odyssey

“2001: A Space Odyssey'' is not about a goal but about a quest, a need. It does not hook its effects on specific plot points, nor does it ask us to identify with Dave Bowman or any other character. It says to us: We became men when we learned to think. Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence.
-Roger Ebert

It rained today. I listened to the falling rain from the comfort of my apartment. I finally made it all the way through 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film which I have tried to watched numerous times over the years but which I always fell asleep during sometime early on around the monolith part. What a beautiful film.

Last night, as I drifted off to sleep, I read from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Collected Stories and read this:

The biblical dust of death. Perhaps then he will feel a slight nostalgia, the nostalgia of not begin a formal, anatomical corpse, but, rather, an imaginary, abstract corpse, assembled only in the hazy memory of his kin. He will know then that he will rise up the capillary vessels of an apple tree and awaken, bitten by the hunger of a child on some autumn day. (10)

Reread that last sentence. Do it again and again.

Friday, December 27, 2013

American Hustle

In a condo somewhere in Delaware, I was gathered with my family on a couch, drinking wine, as I had been doing pretty much all day, watching, as we have for several Christmases now for some reason, Love, Actually. And it, as it usually does, made me really lovesick and crazy feeling. The Britishness of the production made me think about Jacob, somewhere off on the British Isles, and I missed him, missed that time in my life in which I felt some feeling close to that feeling of love exhibited by all these characters in this film. I kept drinking because really what I instead wanted to do was dance and stomp around and seek out boys.

I watched so much television while I was there. There wasn't much else to do. I was only there for two days and that felt like too long. I was so excited to get back to New York, especially since I had been texting flirty messages with the guy I met at Diego's holiday party this past weekend and had plans to grab drinks with him as soon as I got back into the city.

Before I boarded a train back to New York, I watched American Hustle with my family. The sky was grey outside the theater, a multiplex in a run-down shopping center. We sat in the back row, crowded theater. I love Jennifer Lawrence more and more with every movie I see her in. The movie was great and only would have been better had Jennifer Lawrence's character had even more screen time.

I drank a beer on the train back, talked to my sister next to me, listened to Beyonce, and texted more with this guy about meeting up. I asked him if he wanted to meet up in Bushwick. That's when the quick flow of conversation paused. About ten minutes later, as we left the Newark station, as we were almost back to New York, as I was getting positively giddy about hanging out with this cute guy, some new person, making conversation, making out, there was a long text back from him apologizing. The text started with "Yikes." It then followed with an apology, with him explaining that he had thought he had been texting with someone else, some guy he had hooked up with the night before this holiday party, that he's so sorry, that he still wants to hang out in the future though sometime.

The skyline of New York was getting bigger and bigger as we sped toward it. Home was getting closer and closer. The dreams, hopes, and fantasies that we project on to this city are brought back down to the ground, to the gutter, in that unique way and with that particular form of brutality that only this city seems capable of doing. I wasn't too sad about the guy because the train soon zoomed underground for that final stretch to Penn Station and I knew, with that text, with being underground, with it all, that I was home.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Beyonce's "Mine"

I had on a jacket this morning, first time in days. The cold weather hit the skin of my face and I was aware of winter, of what time it is I am actually living in. This, like the warm weather of the past couple days, felt nice. Something can feel nice and its opposite can as well - the pleasure of one need not negate the pleasure of the other.

I texted a guy yesterday. I got his number at a party this weekend, this cute boy I want to make out with. Via text, I asked him if he wanted to come over. Via this same medium of letters appearing on the screen of a phone, he let me know that he was already out of town with his family. I texted another guy. He was working late then had dinner plans. I took a nap on my bed, looking at Scruff, again trying to bring about some physical connection via metal and glass, hocus pocus, chatting with people half-heartedly, wanting something and thinking I could maybe find it there.

I thought about friendships, current and past ones. I thought about romance, about what it means to like a person. I mentally wrote letters to a lot of people from my past last night, thought all the things I would like to tell them from this current vantage point I inhabit, enough time and enough things having happened to me to let me see how wrong I often was.

I am free. I am happy. There might be some causality between those two statements.

The wind, cold slap of winter reasserting itself, felt great this morning. I buttoned my coat against it and pressed forward, bag full of clothes on my back, a shopping bag full of presents in my hand, heading on a train this evening from work, bound elsewhere, towards some iteration of home.

Monday, December 23, 2013

"I woke up like this"

We had some drinks at a nice East Village bar and then we had some drinks at a not-so-nice East Village bar. We talked about Beyonce and Lana Del Ray and Los Angeles. I asked him to come back to Brooklyn with me.
We got sandwiches from the bodega by my house and watched Beyonce videos on my couch.
It is Christmas in a just a few days and last night with this guy, walking around this city, I wore an unbuttoned long-sleeve shirt, sleeves rolled up. It felt nice, really nice.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Inside Llewyn Davis

Last night, I did some Christmas shopping, bought some gifts for my family at the Strand. The woman who hired me there a decade or so ago helped bag my purchases. I had been in this city for a couple weeks then and was overwhelmed by everything. My friend Jamie told me to come apply with her there. I got hired, she didn't. I stayed at the fair too long - story of my life, I know - worked there for about two years. This woman terrified me the entire time I worked there. There was a whole mythology about her life and her romances that everyone traded in the aisles as they hid from her glare. We made her this rich villain who was intent on crushing our spirits and destroying the bookstore.

She had no clue who I was, just some customer. Despite this, I was on edge again, as if she had spotted me hiding in the stacks reading a book again. But then I realized that she actually cares about books and about this great bookstore, that otherwise she would not be helping bag books in a Santa hat, pointing out to me that one of my books was autographed.

I stopped at Best Buy on my way back to Brooklyn, bought the Beyonce album because I wanted to watch the videos on my DVD player, on a big screen, and am not technologically sophisticated enough to figure out how to make that happen from my phone. I had another great moment at a cash register.

The lady ringing me up was so excited that I was purchasing the Beyonce album. I told her I already had it on iTunes but wanted the album, and she told me she definitely bought both versions, that she loves Beyonce. She started singing "Drunk in Love." I told her my favorite video was "Mine." She told me how she thinks Lady Gaga is in the "Haunted" video. She told me to watch it closely and let her know what I think. The cashier next to her started talking about her favorite songs and the three of us were squealing about song titles and favorite lines. It was a beautiful moment that really furthered what I am believing about this album, that this a large pop moment that we haven't seen in a really long time. This is some Michael Jackson "Thriller" shit happening - the broad level of shared excitement across races, age groups, everyone. We are glued to our screens, marveling at these videos, at these songs, at this massive project none of us saw coming.

I had a tentative date a couple nights ago to get high and watch Beyonce videos with this guy who charmed me by asking if I wanted to do these things. He said he was doing laundry and would text me when he was done. He did not. He did again start talking to me on Scruff today, wanting to meet up. I told him I had plans this weekend now.

I got stoned by myself last night and watched these videos again. They are so great and work so well together. I particularly can't get enough of "Ghost" and "Mine," both directed by Pierre Debusschere. The editing of these videos is so musical, so perfectly timed to the beat of the songs.

The repeated sample playing on the main titles screen woke me up this morning, me having fallen asleep sometime in the midst of this delirious pop vision.

I ate some food, drank some coffee, showered, and then headed off to watch Inside Llewyn Davis. It wasn't everything I hoped. My expectations from the Coen Brothers are probably impossibly high, but it was still a very good movie - just not what I had been expecting. But I do live in a cesspool of assholes who roll their eyes at sincerity - that much is true, Joel and Ethan.

I had a shot of espresso at Eataly, enjoying the mobbed scene there, and then went to the gym where I ran and ran for much longer than I ever do. There was a rerun of some boxing matches on one of the channels. I watched people punch each other, rooted for particular people. This, people ducking punches, landing punches, clear winners and losers, kept me on my treadmill, running and running, thoughts of winning, vague thoughts with no clear thing taking the place of a KO, that this, men, fit men, trying to hit other men, other fit men, in the head kept me running, running, wanting to win.

And I am not sure I am. I probably need to define what these terms are. In the steam room, I jerked off with a, what through steam seemed, sexy man. He had his feet planted on a towel. I kept glancing down at them, their shape perfect. I wanted to put them in my mouth, to admire their proportion, to worship order. He asked me if I wanted to head to the showers.

Um, I don't think so, I said. I am real awkward at times. My fantasies are best enabled when vague, obscured by steam and undefined terms. Make it real, clear the steam, and watch me back away.

Friday, December 20, 2013


The first thing we did in Puerto Rico, after dropping off our luggage at the hotel, was walk the couple miles into Old San Juan to take the ferry to the Bacardi factory. This should maybe serve as some sign to you, intelligent reader who can pick up on such things, of where this story and where this trip might be headed. We drank more than the two free drinks they give you. The bartender didn't really seem to care too much about collecting these drink tickets they give you for going on this tour. The tour was really boring. We quickly headed back across the water to Old San Juan.

We stopped in a couple bars, wandered up and down beautiful old colonial streets, and I, at least, was absolutely awed by the beautiful colors all the houses were painted, the bright blue sky behind this tableau. 

At one of these bars, we ordered a round of Medallas. Maybe you know how to say that. Maybe you don't. Apparently, it took me the entire time we were in Puerto Rico to get the pronunciation right. I had just landed. I hadn't really used my elementary Spanish skills on this trip yet and was pronouncing those L's. The bartender at El Batey, a grizzled old punk, corrected me, laughing at my pronunciation. Ma-die-ah!

We watched the sunset from the top of an old Spanish fort, ate some dinner, and then headed back to our hotel in Condado, drank some more, then walked to the Santurce neighborhood. We hung out in La Placita, enjoying all the people drinking in the streets, dancing to the sounds of salsa bands spilling out of bars. I was still saying it wrong. The bartenders here for some reason were set on this one beer being pronounced correctly. No one ever corrected me with all of the other Spanish words I surely butchered on this trip, but everyone would quickly correct my saying of Medalla, no matter how correctly I thought I was finally saying it.

We went to some gay bars, all of them fantastic in their own way, great views into another place and how things work, how gays live. I ordered rum drinks at most of these places, but when I would order Medellas, again I was corrected. A hunky bartender at Circo laughed when I ordered them, and said the word exactly how I thought I had said it.

There was time spent on the beach. There was a drive through El Yunque, the rainforest. We took the ferry from Fajardo to Culebra. I had never felt sea sick before; I didn't know how miserable a feeling it was. Now, I know. A good half the passengers on the ferry, the tourists mainly, all looked green. People all around were reaching for seasick bags. I put on Kurt Vile, put my head down as far it would go, and did my best to imagine I did not feel like throwing up, that my insides were not being violently tossed up and down my throat. 

The island was gorgeous, a sparsely inhabited little piece of paradise in the Caribbean. I also learned that I like densely inhabited run-down urban spaces much more on this trip. I went snorkeling, saw many bright fishes winding their way through coral, which, you know, is a sight you are not going to see too often in your life, and I was probably most happy during this moment, alone in the water, unable to hear anyone other than my own breathing, taking in the sights of an underwater world as I swam far out along some cliffs and down to a different beach. 

Our last day in Culebra, some white bartender, tried correcting me when I ordered some Medallas, telling me it was Ma-DELL-ahs. No. I didn't tell him how wrong he was. I was over being corrected, especially by some American ex-pat who decided to lead the Jimmy Buffet life and run away to some island - like seemingly much of the population of Culebra.

We drove back from the ferry in Fajardo to San Juan, stopping in Pinones, a gritty collection of ramshackle food stands along the beach outside San Juan. I ordered some chicken and some Medallas. The waitress, who only spoke Spanish (such a nice change of things after being in Culebra where everyone spoke English and where most people probably only spoke it), did not correct my pronunciation. I had been waiting for it to come, expecting it, it having become a part of ordering this beer for me. When she didn't correct me, I asked her how it was said. I wanted to to be sure. She said I was correct, and pronounced it the same way. Finally. Success with the last beers I ordered in Puerto Rico before flying back home, to New York.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

"Nothing Going On But the Rent" - Gwen Guthrie

Snow was falling. I was walking down 5th Avenue, the Empire State Building looming a couple blocks north and the Flatiron Building a couple blocks south of me. There were tourists all over the place, cameras aimed up toward these iconic buildings, everyone full of glee about the sight of this falling snow, the New York skyline behind the trailing flecks of white illuminated every now and again in their descent by the various streetlights, car headlights, and storefront windows of the city, trying to capture the happiness they felt, the elated feelings that the beginning of snow falling in New York City can bring about, hitting click click click, hoping to capture the feeling, bottle the joy.

I walked along 23rd Street, headed toward Trader Joe's, taking in the sights I see just about every day made fresh again by the falling snow. I thought about people not in New York, wanted them to see this, wanted to see this with them.

I bought some mixed greens, some chicken, some carrot juice.

My day was spent in a fog of hunger and hung-overness. I did some shopping I needed to do, stuffed my face with a burrito at Chipotle, went to the gym, and did not go to the Balthus exhibit which had originally been my whole purpose in heading into Manhattan today. I was moving slower than I wanted to. After eating the burrito all I wanted to do was eat another one, was to head home to my couch and order a ton of Mexican food and make the world the happy place it was while I was inhaling that burrito in a crowded Chipotle, sharing a table with a woman frantically checking her phone over and over again, waiting for someone it seems. The person never came, or maybe did after I finished my burrito and headed out into the streets of this city.

Somewhere in the East 50s yesterday, I drank a fairly strong vodka drink and did some superhero roleplay with the guy I saw a while ago. He had an entire scenario he wanted to act out. He was going to play three bad guys, whom I would defeat one by one, until all three of them ganged up on me together and captured me. The vodka helped me get into character. Led Zeppelin was blasting again. "No, you can't do this, you're not going to get away this," I said as he had me, Batman, pinned down and punched my stomach over and over again.

After I showered, washing off the semen from both of us that was on my chest, the conversation quickly and seamlessly pivoted out of the world of fantasy and superheroes back into the typical chit-chat conversation that is the basis for so much human interaction, for so much of our time. The off switch had been hit and we obeyed its directives. I told him my plans for the night. We talked about food, an easy subject for me. We talked about Bushwick, Brooklyn, and a changing New York. We talked about steak tartae, my love of it. He talked about eating raw meat as a kid as his mother made hamburgers.

I walked through the sharp, cold air, smoked a couple cigarettes, listened to some really great songs, rode a subway, and soon was at a house party in Williamsburg for a friend's birthday. There was this guy there who told me that he grew up on Long Island across the water from the Fire Island Pines. His parents were conservative evangelicals and in his teenage years, he would take the ferry all the time in the summer and get fucked in the Pines. It was the nineties and he had long hair at the time. I drank more vodka, did some other things, and talked to various people.

Andy and I left at some point, walked over to Metropolitan. My crush from Oak was there. I didn't talk to him, was too nervous. I did talk though to this tall, handsome guy who I had been making eyes at across the bar. As he was walking past me to go to the bathroom, I said hi. He told me I was cute. And we were off from there. We chatted. We danced to "High Energy." I talked about how I had just been listening to this song over and over again earlier in the evening on the subway. We kissed. We got in a black car and headed to my house. The driver let us smoke cigarettes in the car and we flew through the streets of North Brooklyn, leaving trails of orange embers out both rear windows. Between this train of glowing orange dots burning brightly before fading were our hands, fingers interlocking over the middle seat.

I woke up this morning, realizing that this guy was in my bed, having briefly forgotten in the first moments of waking up. We cuddled and I was already starting to feel hungover and couldn't wait for this guy, nice as he was, to leave, so I could unravel into the mess I felt like, so I could sprawl out on my couch, coffee cup at my side, moaning over an egg sandwich soaked in Cholula hot sauce.

And I don't know what I want. I know that I sometimes think that I want a guy in my life again, someone handsome and charming, and for the hour or so that this handsome and charming guy was in my apartment this morning, holding my hand, being all cute, I could not wait for him to leave. I also know that once he was gone and when I was alone, that that is when I felt really happy.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


America, there are moments when I think I have you figured out and they overwhelm every bit of my senses, these moments in which everything seems beautiful and seems to be of a piece with each other, and all I want to do is somehow be able to capture, some day, these feelings.

These are sketches, notes, for that future day when magically I am going to suddenly have a surplus of time and be able to pursue these things, to pursue trying to write what it feels like to be driving along a highway in Delaware in late November with your family that you don't see too often and as your mom is talking about phonebooks, for a reason that you can't recall too clearly, and she is talking about how that's probably a business that could go away and no one would miss that much.

We were driving past a chemical plant, which Delaware seems to have a lot of, billows of gray smoke floating off into the just slightly less gray air, trees without leaves lining the roads. There were numerous self-storage places. I don't know how people have this much stuff to store, what it is that is stored in all these flat buildings. There was an old business shuttered, the business housed in a barn-shaped building.

The public radio news show playing in the background of the car was talking about street protests in Kiev, Ukrainians taking to the street, wanting to be a part of an EU trade agreement.

My mom found out right before my sister and I came that her hysterectomy was successful, that she currently had no traces of cancer left. Great news to start off Thanksgiving.

I watched a depressing romance - Celeste and Jesse Forever - that was incredibly beautiful and spot on about the shitty emotional games people in love with each other play. I tried not to cry in front of my family. I watched various episodes of Mob Wives with my family, my mom getting surprisingly into the show. Love, one of the wives, kept talking about stabbing people. I ate food and drank wine and thought about love and family and who it is I'll spend future Thanksgivings with and I thought about being alone and I thought about being happy and I thought about working in hotels and I thought about working in advertising and I thought about winning the lotto and I thought about feeling fulfilled and content and I thought about the idea of what it means to be a man, and more so, what it means to be a human.

And from the heated comfort of a car, I looked out on to bare trees lining the roadways connecting cities past their industrial prime along the Eastern Seaboard. Everything was there on those roadways, every clue you ever wanted about what it means to be alive.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blood Orange - "No Right Thing"

I woke up at Wilson Avenue, having slept through my stop. It was 20 minutes until the next train back in the right direction. I walked out of the station. There was a cemetery behind me and no black cars driving by for me to flag down and carry my drunk self home in. I put on the Blood Orange album and started to walk home.

There was a bottle of poppers in my jacket pocket. I kept on sniffing from the poppers every block or so. It was a beautiful night, a magical experience. Everything was blurred, glittering, and hilarious.

After work and going to the gym, I went to a copywriting class in Dumbo. We all had brought beer to class since we were having class on a Friday and just ended up drinking and watching music videos and talking. It was really nice. Afterwards, some of us went to Superfine for some more drinks. I was already feeling a little tipsy and in love with the world. I brought a bunch of my classmates over to my friend's house in the East Village. Natasha Lyonne was on the F train, looking like she was having lots of fun. It was Friday night, New York City - everyone was.

At a bodega, I bought beer and cigarettes. They had a huge display case of poppers. My classmates were unfamiliar with this amazing product so I bought a bottle of Rush and introduced them to it.

We sat in a backyard under strings of white lights and drank beer and sniffed poppers. I did some Adderall. I took a bunch of shots for some reason, four at least - various people continually saying they wanted to do shots with me, me unable to say no.

The group wandered to Phoenix. The poppers were passed around. I danced to various songs, hit on various boys, and when people said they were migrating to Eastern Bloc, that's when I headed home, tried to. Slices were bought at Muzzarella that I stuffed my face with while waiting for the train.

Soon enough I was out on streets I had never walked before and which were incredibly beautiful, aging row houses built with roofs forming a perfect line from one house to the next, the entire block the same height, Latin bars still open with sounds and harsh lighting spilling out on to sidewalks, corner bodegas that never close, cars cruising by either blasting music or moving sinisterly and slowly down streets as if looking for something. I would sniff from the poppers and take in all these sights. These sights were coupled with the sounds of the amazing Blood Orange going through my ears, my whole body, as I walked alone through unfamiliar neighborhoods feeling both secure and vulnerable at the same time, the night perfect in this moment.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

CCR - "Lodi"

When I was in college, all of my friends had landlines. Very few had cellphones. I knew when people weren't going to be able to pick up their phone sometimes and I would occasionally play into their answering machine a song I really liked. I did this with a couple friends and with the various boy I may have been interested in.

Last night, I got several calls that showed up as my own phone number. I assumed it was some telemarketer or someone else obnoxious. I did not answer my phone after and rejected the three calls in succession. Then a call right after showed up with a 646 number. I hit ignore again, thinking it was the same person. I was also busy getting ready to go out to the MIX Festival.

They left a message. The message was nothing but Creedence Clearwater's "Lodi." I don't know what the purpose of this message was since it's a fairly bleak and depressing song, and have no clue who left it. I do like though that it was a CCR song because it reminded me even more of college years in Florida, since I used to be very much so into that band then.

At the MIX Festival, there were numerous cute guys I had never seen before, the space a fairly large and crowded space. The space was lined with giant pillows that people were lounging on, making out on, framing the space with a some languorous sexually charged air, an opium den of sorts. I had taken some Adderall and so wasn't in the same mellow mindset that the energy of the space had. I felt pretty awkward and danced to feel less so, smoked a lot of cigarettes to feel less so as well, and stared at cute boys, not knowing how to approach people anymore apparently.

I finally talked to this one guy who I had been eyeing as we danced near each other on the dancefloor. He said he liked my tattoo. I said I liked everything about him. We ended up dancing to Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." How appropriate. He left about halfway through the song though.

There was another cute guy, a redhead with a mustache who I passed numerous times in the space and who I kept exchanging glances with. For some reason, I never said hi. I kept on trying to push myself up over that hump, to say hello to this person. I didn't. The music eventually got cut off because of noise complaints or something and with the music no longer on, he soon disappeared from the space, beautiful man who I failed to talk to.

This other guy started talking to me who I know, or kind of know, of know through various friends and don't really know at all, having never actually talked to this person one on one. He was hitting on me, told me I was cute. I had tried hitting on this person a couple times in the past, in the company of shared friends and he always gave me the cold shoulder, ignored me. I told him this and he admitted that it was true. We chatted for a long while, though I had that terrible problem that I sometimes get of not being able to commit, to wanting to see what other options were available, whom else I might be able to have some sort of romance for. The guy I had danced with earlier passed by while I was talking to this one guy and gave me some sort of look that said a lot.

I circled the place, looking for something better, red head guy, other imagined personifications of either immediate sexual or more longer-term romantic happiness. Soon this person was gone, that person was, and I stood awkwardly alone on a dance floor all options gone for the night, having been too picky, watching various other coupled off people all around me. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Barbarism Begins at Home" - The Smiths

In case you didn't know, let me just tell you that our criminal justice system here in the US is totally fucked up. This is something I have always known, but today that point was really hit home for me when I got to observe its workings much more close up. As a citizen, I felt so disempowered, so impotent, before this apparatus of the state enforcing its vision of morality, of order, ensnaring mainly underclass people and people of color in the process.

I made my way to a New Jersey Courthouse at a very early hour this morning to appear in court for a summons for something that occurred sometime this past summer, months ago. Court is not what you expect. Law and Order and Legally Blonde present you images of a dignified setting, something courtly and majestic about the courtroom. This was the lovechild of a wood-panelled basement den from the '70s and the meeting room of a small evangelical church, the back of the court essentially church pews set up for all the defendants on trial, a large mass of them that will be fed through the court system in one breath.

In the long period in which nothing happens, while defendants mingle with lawyers and people sit awkwardly awaiting their fate, I went to the bathroom. Fuck this place, I thought as I rubbed one out in the bathroom, the one thing I was able to do as some act of defiance there, secret act behind a stall, dirtying the place up, a middle finger to the place, to the whole corrupt system.

I watched as an elderly white male judge repeatedly rolled his eyes and shook his head as he tried a Latin couple who spoke no English, doing his best to shame them, and imposing a harsh monetary fine on them that was totally unnecessary and destructive despite tears from the woman telling how she was unemployed, used to work in shipping for a manufacturer, but injured her back and was now on disability and living with her son and couldn't afford the steep fine. Not that I necessarily believe in Hell, but were I to, I would comfort myself with the fact that this judge would get his comeuppance there. As is, I live in this world and there are people with all of this power to mete out punishments and decide cruelly the future of other people for such minor "offenses" that it makes my blood boil.

It's honestly mind-boggling all the shit that goes on - and this was one tiny courtroom dealing with minor offenses in one small corner of New Jersey. It made me so depressed to multiply this hundreds and hundreds of times each day to get some understanding of what this all meant.

Today, I really started to understand probably what it is that drives people to some bunkered down anti-government mentality on the far right (and less so on the far left). And I got it. Something needs to change. It's this unstoppable machine that no one has the ability to change, especially those most affected by it, that it requires specialization and accreditation to even be able to engage with the legal system as something other than a defendant. There's so much wasted money involved that all of the people involved in it benefit from. It's a rolling snowball of shit, greed, racism, arrogance, and power that we are all just sucked up into as it rolls over us, nothing we can do to stop the nonsense. There are so many adverse effects produced in the lives of the underclass through the legal system that keep them where they are. And what's even more fucked up is that this is the point. This is really the purpose of the current legal system - using the various apparatuses of the state to keep class and racial stratifications in place - to maintain order, as it were, doing so with burdensome fines, blights on your criminal record that would harm your chances of future employment, unreasonable probation sentences setting one up for failure (of no substances or alcohol, say, for two years, which was someone's sentence in court today), or actual jail time. Seriously, fuck everything!

And so once I got back to New York, I spent hours at the gym, taking out all my aggression on various weights, not knowing what else to do, what else I could do.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Outkast - "Player's Ball"

Sangiovese, five dollar bottle from Trader Joe's -
maybe six dollars.

I ride trains all day, reading catty comments from Morrissey,
turning back corners of pages,
catty comments of particular note.

My mom had a hysterectomy yesterday,
texted me she is doing well,
is sore.

Snow fell this morning

Nothing stuck.

It's been a long time since I have been touched,
have submitted to someone's hands,
felt some connection outside this skin,
this head.

I hold my jacket tight against the cold wind,
head home to blankets that I will cuddle with,
will try to,

the cold stronger than the various blankets
assembled on my bed


Sunday, November 10, 2013

make sure you have everything

"The written word is an attempt at completeness when there is no one impatiently awaiting you in a dimly lit bedroom - awaiting your tales of the day, as the healing hands of someone who knew turn to you and touch you, and you lose yourself so completely in another that you are momentarily delivered from yourself. Whispering across the pillow comes a kind voice that might tell you how to get out of certain difficulties, from someone who might mercifully detach you from your complications. When there is no matching of lives, and we live on a strict diet of the self, the most intimate bond can be with the words that we write."
-Morrissey, Autobiography (95-96)

I read from Morrissey's Autobiography as some friends and I rode up along the Hudson River on the Metro North toward Cold Spring. I thought about boys and life and loneliness, which I am prone to doing normally, especially so when reading this particular book.

At the Croton-Harmon stop, I noticed the poetry of the announcement given at each stop. It took on a particular resonance in that moment:

"Watch your step. Make sure you have everything."

We hiked up a mountain. There were beautiful views from up there. We hiked down the mountain and into Cold Spring. We ate some food, drank some beers, ate some pie, drank some wine. We looked at some antique stores and bought some wine to drink on the train ride home. I fell asleep, Morrissey in my lap. He held back from the cuddling though, and I woke up groggy, still alone, and with a man sleeping next to me.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"until your guilt goes up in flames"

Earlier this morning, I told myself that I am never drinking again. Never again. It hurt to even get out of bed and walk to the kitchen to pour some water. Everything hurt. My Advil bottle was empty. My goddamn Advil bottle was empty. Never again would I not have a copious supply of Advil in my house. I knew that I should go to the corner store and buy some Advil but the idea of putting on clothes and taking steps down the stairs, let alone underneath sunlight and around people was just too painful seeming. I rolled around in my bed and tried to sleep the pain away.

My phone started buzzing next to me on my dresser. I didn't have the energy to immediately see who it was texting. I was hoping, because this is the state I was in, that it was Advil texting me, saying it would be right over. Please be Advil texting, I kept on moaning. It wasn't.

I went to the store, Rite Aid, down the block to buy a giant bottle of Advil. While I was being rang up by the cashier, Sheryl Crow's "My Favorite Mistake" started playing. Of course, it did.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Take Care

You want to feel good? Reacquaint yourself with Bob Dylan. I imagine it's been awhile since you have listened to him. There is so much new stuff coming out all of the time, an avalanche of deliriously good and fun pop music. But put on Highway 61 Revisited. Load it up on to whatever music device you have. Plug in your headphones and walk around New York City. Ride the subway. Look at the people and things around you and listen to this great fucking album and realize that life is pretty awesome.

Friday night, I was supposed to go out dinner with the superhero dude at a very nice restaurant. He told me to choose some place really nice, wherever I have always wanted to eat, that it was on him. I was miserably tired from Halloween, having gotten only about two hours of sleep before having to work in the morning. I told him I would need to take a raincheck on the dinner but that we could still meet up for his fantasy of superhero roleplay later in the night, of him punching me, Batman, in the stomach. Anyways, I slept and slept and soon woke up to an annoyed message from him saying he thought we had plans, that he would find someone else, that I should take care.

Saturday night, I was supposed to go on a date with this cute guy I met through a friend. He had texted me a couple days ago and asked me to reconfirm that we were still on for Saturday night. He then made what I guess was meant to be flirty banter, saying, "I hope you're a top." My interest in him went spiraling down with that comment, that what I had really been looking forward to, a proper date with someone, something with some potential for romance, something sweet, something where I might make some connection with a person, was before that even had a chance to happen was now no different than any conversation on Scruff with the numerous sex-hungry creeps who live near me asking first thing, "top/bottom?" And I am well aware that I am one of those sex-hungry creeps in your Scruff radius of guys as well, so I am not judging not too much, or at least not removing myself from my own judgementalness. 

Long story short, I sent him a message canceling due to being busy with school work. He messaged me back, saying he believed I was canceling because of the texts. I told him he was correct. He then sent me a bitchy response.

So I am doing real well with the fellows this weekend. Bring it on. Anyone else want me to let you down, flake out, cancel plans, and be a generally unreliable person? Please let's plan to go on a date so I can mess that up.

I am feeling just about as great as I have in the longest time. And that's because I know what I want and (more importantly) know what I don't want. And I have got Bob Dylan to listen to, this city to explore, and my own hands to make me happy in the late hours of the evening.

Monday, October 28, 2013

a bloody sock and these dreams of you

Wes Montgomery's "No Blues"

When I am sitting by an open window, a little stoned, a little drunk on red wine, smoking a cigarette and listening to jazz on the local public airwaves, I realize my life is not so different from the one I used to dream about having when I was a teen reading Beat poets with hopes to live in that really cool city, New York, someday. Despite what I sometimes think, there are moments, such as this current one, in which I realize I didn't miss the mark that far (if at all), that it's just about allowing these moments, tuning out all the distractions we constantly find for ourselves, and living the dream.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Won't you be my wagon wheel?"

The Williamsburg Bridge is always there. Take more advantage of it. Sometimes a walk over it may be just the thing you needed that you didn't even know you needed.

I was down in South Williamsburg taking photos along the waterfront of the skyline and then decided that I should walk over the bridge into Manhattan. No real reason to do so, but it seemed nice and it had been a while since I had walked over it. You can really get lost in thought on that walk. You are walking through the clouds in various senses of that phrase.

I walked to Trader Joe's and bought some bottles of Charles Shaw. I came home and took of my shoes and socks. One of my socks was soaked in blood. I had put a band-aid on the back of my foot before heading out today but the blood soaked through that, soaked through a beautiful pink sock. Last night, I dressed up as Rihanna from the "Pour it Up" video and was wearing six inch stripper heels that tore up my feet. I got in a car outside of Metro last night to take me home and immediately tore off these heels and tried massaging some feeling back into my feet. I hobbled barefoot from the car up to my apartment building, heels in hand, a mess of a sight.

"You're going to reap just what you sow." We sing this line over and over again, an incantation.

Lou Reed is dead and is very much so alive. I am listening to Transformer right now and his voice is stirring up all kinds of things inside me. The news of his death came as a shock to me when I read it this morning on Facebook. It made me quite sad for reasons that I am not necessarily sure of. This is a man who lived a very full life and influenced the contemporary world in a way few others have and who left behind a great body of work. This man helped shape the idea of New York that I attached myself to, that I dreamed about before moving here. A great deal of what I believed New York to be, wanted it to be, was the type of life he sang about with the Velvet Underground and on his own later on, especially on Transformer, an album I have listened to innumerable times. It was that particular attitude, that particular voice that I wanted to live, wanted to be surrounded by. I wanted to live in his city.

And I just want to eat Doritos with you and drink Charles Shaw wine and listen to this album as we play Scrabble together. But I have homework to do. I have to work at seven and desperately need to get some sleep tonight since I know the rest of the week will provide very little of it. And perhaps most importantly of all here for why this won't happen is that there is no particular "you" being referenced here, just a vague unfocused longing for something, someone, making it that much harder to text this concept to see if they would like to come over and join this entirely theoretical Doritos, Charles Shaw, and Lou Reed Scrabble party.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

an afternoon in times square

My feeling toward the numerous bootleg versions of popular characters that hang out in Times Square posing for photographs is an evolving thing. When this phenomenon of a couple Elmos posing for photos a few years ago somehow morphed into what it now is - people in raggedy outfits of various recognizable cartoon figures or superheroes - I found the spectacle creepy and yet another corporate and branded thing about Times Square to detest. However, now a couple years later, I have come to appreciate these characters so much more. I am so fascinated by them and I also like the effect that they have. In some way, they are bringing the seediness and creepiness back to Times Square. There is something very funny about how Times Square was originally cleaned up back in the '90s with the help of Disney and now a couple decades later, it is people desperate for money dressed up as various Disney characters (as well as Marvel and Sesame Street characters) who are making Times Square seem somehow more menacing, and in the process undermining all the money these protective brands spend shaping these character's identities just so.

I sat and watched them for quite a while today, photographing them every now and then. They would occasionally all huddle or one would lift the head of their costume to peer at how much money was in their tip bag. Later in the day, when finally leaving this part of town, as I was going down the subway stairs, I passed four Central American guys changing out of their costumes at the bottom of the stairs. It is pretty insane to think that there are men and women who have immigrated to this country and find themselves in Times Square dressed in various ratty outfits portraying these icons of huge corporations for tips from visiting tourists - Mario, Batman, Hello Kitty, and of course Elmo, so many Elmos. I can't imagine that back in whatever place they immigrated from, that this is what they thought they would be doing in a new country.

In front of the McDonald's on 42nd Street, I came across a Bansky art piece that has been making its way around to various McDonald's in the city - an angry looking statue of Ronald McDonald with his shoe out to be shined, and an actual shoeless black man shining this statue's shoe. It made me deeply uncomfortable to encounter this, but that's probably a good thing. There were numerous tourists who took pictures of this in the same way they did of the guy putting nails up his nostrils next door at Ripley's Believe it or Not or of the various Elmos a little further down the street, one more crazy sight that they encountered on their trip to New York. It's a really great work that speaks a lot to these times we live in. I couldn't help but notice some symmetries between the characters all over Times Square making messes of various brands and this Bansky piece as well.

I went and saw Gravity at the Regal on 42nd. When I left the theater, the Bansky installation was already gone. I walked down the subway and passed the group of guys changing out of their costumes, counting their tips, happy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

"joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea - joy to you and me"

I bought a plane ticket today. Puerto Rico. Several days in December. Work today seemed particularly boring, petty, and insignificant given the news I received yesterday.

My mom last night told me that she has cervical cancer, that she is going to have to get a hysterectomy in a month or so. I had called her and after a brief hello, me telling her how I am doing in the vague terms we normally talk, she kind of abruptly and matter of fact-ly said, "I've got some bad news." I was braced for something when she said that, knew it would actually be bad news of the serious kind, not of the insignificant kind that people sometimes describe as bad news, that my mom's not like that, and that she has probably said the same statement to me a few times now before what actually followed, really bad news. 

I was stunned and also not stunned. I have become a bit desensitized in some ways to bad news, to people close to me announcing various traumatic health conditions: cancer here, HIV there, cancer there. I just want everyone I know to live forever, to never suffer. It made me incredibly sad. I have already lost one of my parents to cancer and losing the other one, my mom, whom I love so much despite our not-too-close relationship, would be far too much for me to handle. Luckily, her doctors have said it has been caught early and that she should most likely be fine after having a hysterectomy. Still, quite upsetting. It really made me more aware though of how fucking short all of this is, how by chance it is that we even live another day. Existence is a really terrifying thing.

She said she would be fine, that she didn't need anyone to come for the surgery, that her husband would be there, that she will just be there overnight one night. I was so happy in that moment that she was remarried, that she lived with this person who I know loves her so much, that she had someone that cared so much about her there in her life. And while I was thinking about this, some slightly vain thought popped into my head - because usually you find, even in the most terrible situations, a way to somehow relate another person's suffering back to your own imagined suffering, some excuse for you to think about your own self, as if you need any more of them. And I thought about dying alone, wondered what would happen if I continued on this current track I am, of solitude, that when I am old and become ill, wondering whether I would have anyone to comfort me, to look at me and with just their eyes, with the sight in front of me of someone that cares about me looking at me, make me think, even if it might be a complete and total lie, that everything was going to be all right. I choke sometimes on water or food and think that if I were to die choking on some small thing in my living room that one of my friends would have thought, maybe even many of my friends, to their own relationship status and thought, depending on either whether they were in a relationship or not, "I could have died just as sad a death as him, alone, had I not have had x to come to my rescue and do the Heimlich maneuver on me," or "I am going to choke to death on Doritos I consumed when too drunk and too quickly, and no one will be there to help and that only once the smell becomes too bad after a week or so will some neighbor call the police who will then find my rotting body next to a half empty bag of the 99 cent size bag of Cool Ranch Doritos."

She said she was going to be fine and then said she had even more bad news. I wondered what else she could present that would be worse news. One of my aunts has a brain tumor that they found and are going to try to operate on in a few days. She described the process to me, said they would start to operate and partly through the procedure they would stop to make sure my aunt still had proper brain functions and would either stop or continue the operation at that point. 

I am confronted with mortality, of what it is to be alive, and how precarious a concept that is, that it's all temporary and short, some of the moments just slightly less temporary, slightly less short than the others. I just want to hug everyone. 

Needless to say, I was less than in the mood for the needs of rich people in my service industry job today. I spent the day looking at pictures of various beaches in Puerto Rico and could not wait to dive into the ocean, to move so freely through the elements, to swim seal-like under water, to escape.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ernest Wilson's "Sentimental Man"

Yesterday, I went to this guy's house and we drank glasses of water on his couch together. He told me that this fantasy of his first probably started when he was about nine years old. The old Batman TV show. He was watching it. That is when he first got turned on, really noticed himself being turned on by something. It was when Batman was getting punched in the stomach by the bad guys. He would go see every action movie in the intervening years and in every single one, without fail he said, there was this scene of the hero being held down by the bad guys and getting punched in the stomach. It was really quite weird he said, how almost the exact same scene happens in all of these movies. He wanted to know why that was.

I was there because he wanted to punch a guy in the stomach, to do some role playing, him being the bad guy, me the tough sexy hero getting punched in the stomach. He first explored this even before the Internet he said. Even then he had managed to find a thriving network of people with similar fantasies. He thought he was a weirdo, alone in his fantasies, and was so happy to meet so other people with the same fantasy. Once the Internet came along, he realized that were thousands of people with this same fantasy, and he was relieved to find out he was not so alone, that what he though was a weird sexual fantasy that only he had was in fact a pretty common one.

He explained the scene to me, how he wanted it to go down. He put on some Led Zeppelin. It took me a few minutes to get into playing this character, but once I did, I was really into it. His punches were light. I wanted them to be harder, to actually hurt, but I faked the pain. He kept on saying how he was going to turn my abs to mush. I kept on flexing my abs, trying to make it seem like I had defined ones, since clearly this guy is really into superhero abs and punching them.

The sun was coming in through his window, Led Zeppelin was blasting, and I was naked in bed with a sexy older guy pinning me down, jerking me off, and punching me in the stomach. It was a beautiful day is what I am trying to say.

I then met up with Andy, had some drinks in the East Village, and then went out to eat at Bunker in Ridgewood, which was quite delicious. I drank too much, but had a lovely time. I walked past beautiful industrial buildings on a stretch of Flushing Avenue I had never walked down. That area where Bushwick and Ridgewood meets has a real sense of poetry to it. There is something beautiful and not of New York about the place, or not of this current iteration of New York that we live in. We crossed some railroad tracks strewn with garbage. The streets were abandoned. The sun was setting, the sky a beautiful color, and through the large dirty glass windows of a factory of some kind, that sky's beautiful color looked even more beautiful filtered through the haze of this old glass.

I had read some William Carlos Williams the night before, his two "Pastoral" poems, and their lines were ringing in my head as I took in this scenery. "These things astonish me beyond words."

There was tape, thick spools of black VHS tape knotted up in big clumps along the side of the road. It had been so long since I had seen such a thing. I was thrown back to other eras, when for whatever reasons strings of both VHS and cassette tape always seemed to be gathered by curbs, occasionally fluttering with gusts of wind, some angry person, or lots of angry people, smashing cassettes and VHS tapes all over this country, pulling out the tape, pulling and pulling, yanking it from its casings and throwing it out the windows of cars as they drive by angrily cursing the names of ex-boyfriends.

Despite waking up hungover this morning, I still felt pretty great. I knew what I needed to do and I also knew that things are pretty fucking good, that life is really quite a beautiful thing. I am trying to be a better person, and it's a process, but to know that I am taking steps toward such a state, that I am aware of a better self and trying to bring that self into being makes me immensely happy. I want to be good. I am trying. And that's really all there is. Just making the effort to be better. You can't ask more than that. And when you do that, when you make that effort, it's amazing how good you can feel, how happy you become with the world.

Monday, October 7, 2013

the devil wants nothing more than to be "some fat, 250 pound merchant's wife" and to "go into a church and light a candle with a pure heart"

Today, I finally finished The Brothers Karamazov. This moment represents something, though I am not sure exactly what. I have been reading the book for years now. I bought it a couple years ago, a few years ago - I am not exactly sure how long ago. I started it and then put it down, wasn't in the proper mood for a heavy Russian book at the time. I picked it up and started again. I made a bigger dent in it but again I got distracted by other books, by magazines, by life. I would pick it up at various points, read a hundred or so pages over a week, and then, without consciously doing so, let the book fall by the wayside for months. It's not that I didn't like it - I am not sure what the problem was.

Regardless, I finally reached the end of it. I still had a couple pages left today when I got off the subway by my gym but I was determined to finish it in that moment, before anything else came about from preventing me from reaching the end of this novel. It was drizzling rain and I read those last few pages, a beautiful speech given by Alyosha, in the drizzling rain, the pages getting wetter and wetter.

"You must know that there is nothing higher, or stronger, or sounder, or more useful afterwards in life, than some good memory, especially a memory from childhood, from the parental home. You hear a lot said about education, yet some such beautiful, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man stores up many such memories to take into life, then he is saved for his whole life. And even if only one good memory remains with us in our hearts, that alone may serve some day for our salvation." (774)

This book has been with me through various relationships and attempts at them, all of them failed. I have read from it on numerous bus rides, train rides, subway rides, and I believe even plane rides. I was a little sad to conclude this era of my life today, of having this unfinished Russian novel over my head constantly.

I still have Middlemarch though, also unfinished, also read through stops and starts over years, to now look forward to - something I have resolved to finish by the end of this year. And then I still also have Within a Budding Grove, which has sat half read on my bookshelf for an even longer number of years, and then whenever the day comes that I finish that, I will have all the remaining volumes of In Search of Lost Time to work through, slowly, on and off. Who knows where I will be in my life when I finally get through all of those books?

School started again this evening. I watched a beautiful sunset over the Manhattan Bridge from one of the classrooms.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

On Not Eating a Burrito

I was hungry and I was full at the same time, overcome with both desire and with its being sated, wanting more of this pleasure despite being so overwhelmed by it. His cock was stuffed down my throat, gagging me, and I never wanted it to end, was hungry for future moments of this present moment. He was sitting on my face, I was eating his ass, and I wanted him to sit even harder, for him to be heavier, for his presence to be more, his body to become entirely suffocating, something that could erase me.

I had gone to the gym after work, however I realized I forgot my gym clothes once I was in the locker room. I remembered Matt worked at Eastern Bloc on Thursdays, thought of how long it had been since I had seen him. What I am saying is that I went to Eastern Block for happy hour, which was fun. It was nice to talk to Matt and to various strangers there for happy hour as well. I left, having intended to finish The Brothers Karamazov this evening, having gotten so thrown off the course by these very strong drinks, and by the sight of all this vintage seventies porn they played when men may have reached their physical ideal, it all downhill from there, people too skinny or too muscular in the various genres and eras of porn since, nothing having that just right Goldilocks feel.

So I was on my way home, walking up Avenue A toward the L train back to Brooklyn. I was thinking of how good a burrito from Zarazoga Deli would be. I was also thinking of how good a dick would be, how great one would be, how amazing it would be to choke on one. I was looking at Scruff as I walked toward a burrito. I messaged a few guys, throwing off Hi's and Hey Sexys in quick succession, as quick as I could type them on my way to some Mexican food to soak up the whiskey sloshing around my insides. And there were no responses except from the one I did not expect a response from, someone so absurdly porn-star sexy, seventies kind I mean, that I didn't think he would respond, that this is the person, the one, that in fact did respond. He was a few hundred feet away. A few messages back and forth and I was soon ringing his doorbell. I was soon walking into his apartment to see this insanely fucking sexy dude in his boxers with a huge boner poking through. Is this real life?, I may have been wondering at the time. I may be still wondering the answer to that question and other variations of of it.

It has been a long time since I have had sex. Too long. I was so hungry and I was so full.

Sometimes life is so good. Like, you shouldn't be so lucky, that no one should, that men this sexy should not invite you to their apartment and want to mess around with you, to get each other off, to explore notions of pleasure together. Like, does this stuff really happen? I had forgotten it did. It felt so good to remember.

It has also been a long time since someone has really understood me sexually, or been willing to play a role I haven't had someone play in so long, that of some dominant male making me worship him - so, so long. There was no discussion of this but instantly through my moans as I was sucking his dick on my knees, he understand what it was that turned me on, saw some glimmer of a dirtier submissive slut buried somewhere.

This guy was quite muscley it should be added, someone physically larger than me in mass, someone that could play this dominating role very convincingly.

He stood over me, his foot pressed down on my face, making me kiss it, lick it, admire it. He did this harder and harder until I came. He then ran his toes through my semen on my chest. He made me lick it off his feet.

Once I got dressed and was saying goodbye, I kissed him briefly on the lips, the first time we had done so, and then I kissed again those armpits, full of such a sexy odor. I took a taste of it with me for the subway ride home. I skipped out on the burrito. I passed right by Zarazoga Deli. Though I hadn't eaten in hours and was hungry, I didn't want to eat anything that might remove from my mouth the taste of these other things still so present - his armpits, his ass, my semen, his cock - this mixture of intense scents still in my mouth, still in every part of me, these overwhelming senses - smell and taste and the memory of touch. I walked past the burrito place, did not stop. I was hungry and I was so full.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

the second day of October

I went to Westgay last evening with some friends and danced and drank too much vodka and stuffed dollar bills into Kennedy Carter's underwear when I wasn't busy staring at and salivating over his body. Toward the end of the night, I made out with some guy, stuffed my hands down his pants. He lived in Greenpoint. I realized I didn't really want to go home with him, with anyone really, though an exception would very likely have been made for the aforementioned go-go dancer. I was quite relieved when his friend or boyfriend came up to talk to him. I danced with my friends some more, but soon after ran into the guy again and there was the seeming inevitability that I would go home with him. I told him I was going to the bathroom and then walked out the front door, got in a taxi, and was ferried to my bed in Bushwick where I slept alone and was thankful for that. I have pulled this move just about every time I have gone to Westgay, and yes, I know it's not a cute move. There is some need I have of validation (duh, this blog perhaps Example A here) and that's all I want. And once I have that, I start to dread some long taxi ride back to the wilds of Bushwick with some person. That is actually what I dread more than anything in all of these instances - the thought of twenty minutes of being next to this person in a taxi when all I want to do is have sex, dance, drink, or smoke weed. And so instead I say I am going to the bathroom and hop in a taxi instead.

Once awake, I went into Manhattan to have lunch at the G00gle offices with a friend who now works there. It was truly bizarre and just like every piece I have ever read about the company's workplace culture. I saw several people zip past me down the hallways on scooters. I wondered if that was not the person's job, a prop there, part of the scene they want to set for visitors. There were cafeterias all over the place, all serving really, really good food free of cost. There were a coffee bar. There was a juice bar. There was a sandwich place. It was all pretty overwhelming in my hungover state. It was nice to have a healthy meal though and to see this friend and to see the inside of this world.

I then went and lay out on the Christopher Street Piers again, reading and not reading from The Brothers Karamozov. I went to the gym and ran and ran until I couldn't any longer, until I was short of breath, sweating, and having chills. I took a shower, sat in the steam room, made awkward eyes at some person who I couldn't tell if they were there to jerk off or to actually sit in the steam room. I gave up, thinking they were there to sit in the steam room, and went into the showers. He went into the shower stall next to mine shortly thereafter despite there being other ones open. The shower stalls have fogged glass between them so you can vaguely see the person showering next to you. After an excessive amount of soaping up on both of our parts, it became clear that we both wanted to jerk off. We jerked off across the glass from each other. He pressed his hard dick against the glass and I didn't realize how hungry I was for sex, for real human contact, until I saw that dick of his. He came and I reached down to pick up some of his semen. I rubbed it on me and soon came as well.

We both got dressed in the locker room not too far apart from each other, neither of us making any eye contact with the other.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Drake's "Own It"

Outside the discount DVD store on Broadway, the guy out front was shouting. He was shouting: "Everything! Everything is on sale!"

It was a deliriously beautiful day. The oceans are rising. We will drown one day because we can't quit our addiction to fossil fuels, but before that day comes we get to experience these amazing eighty degree October days.

I was listening to the new Drake album on my headphones. My head was turning every which way. There was so much beauty out on the streets today. My head kept turning that way and then this, following the sight of that beautiful man and then this one.

Everything! Everything is on sale!

The sun was on my skin and I was on my way to get my hair cut. Fade on the sides please - #1. Everyone was in a good mood. The Polish haircutter started talking Spanish to me. He told me I had very good hair, very full, very healthy.

I felt less than healthy. I could see the glow of sweat, of alcohol from the night before seeping out through my skin, in my reflection in the mirror as I watched him buzz off finally the last little remnants of my bleached summer hair that was still clinging to the tips of my hair. It is gone. There is now a break between that time and this. I went to a concierge event last nightat a West Village restaurant with some co-workers, got quite drunk on rose, and then went out to Nick and Diego's house where I drank more rose, then some rum, and from which we then all migrated to Metropolitan, where I made eyes at boys, drank PBRs, smoked a truly disgusting amount of cigarettes, and danced to Roisin Murphy songs as well as other ones I can recall less clearly.

With my hair looking good, I walked through the West Village, through Washington Square Park, down Christopher Street, and down to the Hudson River. I lay out on the piers, taking in the sun, this beautiful day. I read from The Brothers Karamazov, which after years of picking up and putting down, I am finally close to finishing. I think it will happen tomorrow. A cute boy came and spread his towel a few feet away from me. He took off his shirt and his shoes. He had beautiful skin that I kept fantasizing about, but it was his feet that prevented me from reading any further. They were beautiful. Their perfect proportions and symmetry, proof of the divine. I was getting so turned on. Luckily I had my sunglasses on so I could covertly stare at him, at his feet.

At some point, I let the sight go. I packed up my stuff and walked up along the Hudson River to my gym uptown. I was listening to the Drake album again. I stopped to admire the beautiful ruins of a pier long gone, its wooden supports barely peeking out over the bobbing surface of the water. These weathered wooden poles lodged deep in the river floor, built to last. Whatever pier rested on them long gone, but these poles still showing the shape of a trail, a path out over the water.

Monday, September 23, 2013

"and the crowd goes wild as if Holyfield has just won the fight"

I was never going to go to bed. I was never going to get some writing done. I was never going to read. Not as long as I was playing Outkast's Aquemini, which I had been for the last couple hours. It got me too hyped up. All I wanted to do was gyrate my hips and take various selfies of myself in Photo Booth dancing around to the album. This is how I often spend my nights, getting a little stoned, a little drunk, putting on an album of some sorts, and then taking selfies of myself usually inspired (though I am only now noticing this) by the music I am listening to - some of these selfies more clothed than others is what I am trying to say. Hours pass by and I suddenly realize I should probably go to bed, get some sleep before I have to get up for work. Years pass by and I suddenly realize I am in my thirties.

At the gym today, I was on the treadmill jogging, exhausting myself of all the energy I have, and watching various afternoon talk shows on the overhead monitors. I didn't have headphones to listen to the shows playing. I was listening to the dance songs they played over the loudspeakers and reading the closed captions thats scrolled across the bottom of the screens. This juxtaposition of pop music and absurd talk shows had an odd sense of poetry that I loved. On Dr. Phil, he and a teenager's family all ganged up on the teenage girl on national television to shame her for her wild ways. She smoked cigarettes, smoked weed, cut class, drank, had sex, a miscarriage, and apparently lived in a drug house with 30 people, though the teen wanted to clarify that it was only three other people that lived in the drug house. The girl was sullen. The family was outraged. It was absurd, disgusting, and beautiful television. Then there was another tv doctor, Dr. Oz, and the only portion of the show I saw was a slightly large woman picked from the audience asked to put on a purple robe and purple cowboy hat, who was then asked about her shitting habits in front of the studio audience, and who eagerly admitted to having bathroom issues, and who was then forced to ride a mechanical bull so Dr. Oz could make some labored analogy about the impact of stress on the digestive tract. I felt stoned watching this and kind of wished that I was.

When I walked out of the gym, a chill was descending on the city, the sun got lower and lower on the horizon, and crowds of people filled the streets, everyone leaving work, most people seeming free, happy.

I am feeling pretty good today. The classy and sophisticated Charles Shaw wine I am drinking along with the weed I earlier smoked certainly have something to do with this, with this generally positive outlook on life, but there is something else happening and I am not sure exactly what to attribute this to. I am have been happier the past few days. I am more aware of what a glorious and beautiful thing it is to be alive. I am also constantly aware of what a sad thing it is to be involved with such a temporal project, and that awareness sometimes, when the light hits the windowsill just right, actually sustains a sense of joy. It's hard to explain and it's not a permanent state that I inhabit. It usually comes for brief flashes, but the flashes have been of a greater frequency lately and so the moments between them have seemed somehow brighter as well.

On my quick walk to the train this morning, running late for work yet again, dawn was just breaking and there were bits of sky on fire against the still dark night and further down Wyckoff Avenue I could see the skyline of the city, the Empire State Building and other buildings which I would struggle very hard to name the names of if someone asked.

You just have to keep that awareness of beauty with you at all times, struggle to remember that it is there. And, yes, it is definitely a struggle. On my way back from work today, I was ready to go all nervous breakdown psychopath on the skinny girl next to me, who threw me all sorts of shade when I took the open seat between us, who shortly thereafter got a seat next to me, who ate churros and dropped crumbs all over the place, who had hair that touched me (probably #1 subway pet peeve), and who then nearly elbowed me in the face about four times while she untangled her iPhone headphones. Basically she was the worst human being imaginable and when she got off at the Bedford stop (of course, she did), I really wanted to "accidentally" trip her. I did not. I did carry this rage with me though for several stops. It even increased, which I wouldn't have thought possible, as this incredibly high man (surely, he must have been) blasted various rap songs on his phone and rapped along. He was giving this other girl a run for her money as Worst Human Being Imaginable. Very loudly, he sang various radio rap songs for a train of people that were just exhausted from the various things that constitute what life is in New York and just wanted a little moment of peace as they were in transit from one annoying thing to probably what was to be another. Drake, you are not. Please sit down.

Needless to say, I was so relieved to finally get off the subway. I looked down Wyckoff Avenue at the view of the city that you can see from the DeKalb stop and again found that sense of joy, remembered it and let all those other things go.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harvest Moon

The roaches are taking over my kitchen. The little roach motel traps I recently set up in various hidden corners of my kitchen seem to be doing nothing. I lost most of my phone number contacts when I lost my phone this summer, among those contacts my landlord's phone number. I only have his PO Box still where I am to send the rent check to each month. I am trying to figure out his number somehow so I can have him come over and drunkenly (because he's been drunk every time he has ever been over to do any sort of handiwork) spray whatever poison he sprayed a year or so ago shortly after I moved in and called him about the same problem. I think writing a letter about the roaches would be a bit much, as fun as it would be to craft an illustrated and handwritten letter describing the problem.

The recent surge of the roach population is really making me feel like I live in some crack house, which apparently I actually do. The hallways are terribly lit and creepy. There is no working light on our stoop and so various neighborhood youth have taken to hanging out on my stoop, which is already fairly annoying when they give me dirty looks because I am trying to get past them with bags of heavy groceries, but which is now starting to bother me even more as the other night I saw an awkward drug deal taking place in our foyer with some nervous teenage girls buying and someone that doesn't even live here selling. There is a huge cop presence on my block most nights and I guess since our building is fairly dark, it has become the new drug dealing spot. Despite my fondness for various drugs, I am not particularly thrilled about this. But really, the only thing I care about my landlord addressing at the present moment is these roaches. Drug dealing in the hallways, okay. No lighting in the halls or stoop, I guess. But these roaches, no. Sorry, this must be addressed.

Tonight is the harvest moon. In celebration, I am listening to Neil Young's Harvest Moon. It is one of my favorite albums of all time. I have listened to it innumerable times. At any point if you asked me to name my Top 10 albums of all time, this album would always be on there. But do people still even ask that? Is that going to be a thing that people still ask in some future time as albums become less important culturally, economically, and musically, as fewer and fewer people pay for albums, instead just purchasing, downloading, or more and more so just streaming the particular songs they want to hear, creating elaborate Spotify playlists? More and more the album holds less weight as a coherent concept; we strip its parts to makes the really badass car we have always wanted to drive. We take the party songs or the slightly melancholy and good for getting stoned songs and place them in their corresponding playlists to match that particular mood, no longer going on the journey the artist mapped out for us in their narrative's structure, that there are songs to take you from one mood to the next, these transitional ones that we so often leave off our assembled playlists but which at some point we discover are in fact the real gems of the album, the person that grew on you a lot, that you hated on first impression but whom you eventually realized was really awesome. Are we still going to get lost in albums while we spend long periods of our twenties drinking red wine and writing in our diaries about boys? Surely. Hopefully. But who knows? Think about the children!

Like with most of the albums that I have really intense and personal relationships with that have been developed over many years and through countless listenings to during emotional ups, downs, and way downs, each time I hear this album, Harvest Moon, there is a new song that for whatever reasons really reaches its hooks into me at that particular time, and which I identify with and hear shades and meanings in the song that I somehow never heard through the first several hundred listens to. Tonight that song was "Dreamin' Man," which you can hear a beautiful live version of in this video during a performance for PBS in 1992 (it's the first song he plays in the long video, so don't worry).

I'm a dreaming man./
Yes, that's my problem:/
I can't tell when my
dreams won't come true.
In the meadow dusk/
I park my Aerostar/
with a loaded gun/
and sweet dreams of you.

And what a depressing line that is, that he is a dreaming man, a dreamer, because he can't tell when his dreams aren't coming true, that a dreamer is someone that still believes things he hopes for might come true. It's a perfect line the way it is sung and so much better than the album version of the line. Instead of "I can't tell when my dreams won't come true," on the album version you have:"I can't tell when I'm not being real." The first is so much more bleak, so much more visceral, so much more to the point, and as result so much more powerful. In all the live versions I have found on Youtube, he says the dreams not coming true line instead of the line that is on the album.

As with any Neil Young song though, it always comes down to his voice. There is so much honesty and exposed vulnerability in that voice, so much of that human quality you so rarely hear people admit to, that voice people have but which people so often try to hide out of some insane version of shame that we all have which prizes a sort of everyday falsehood. It would be so awesome if we could just do long melancholic blows, sighs really, into a harmonica throughout the day at all the sadness and mystery and beauty there is to this project of life that we are all temporarily involved with, that it would be such a beautiful world if we all could just admit to this softness that we all have.

And somehow I never heard the either suicidal or homocidal thoughts played with in that song's first stanza, the narrator with a loaded gun and thoughts of someone. Hear Neil Young sing it and you might barely hear it as well. What you hear him is, a person, an exposed human being, and the shock of that might be so much that you are only half-hearing what the actual lyrics are, there being so much emotion in his voice alone.

It is in "the meadow dusk" that he has these "sweet dreams" of the person he is addressing, a loved one or a formerly loved one. And I heard echoes for the first time of a line from a movie that I have always loved and which I am now thinking David O. Russell may have been referencing this song with. In his film, I Heart Huckabees, there is the line: "What happens in a meadow at dusk?" Through his characters, he is also asking by way of talking about the power of nature (the nature about to be wiped out by everything Huckabees represents) - asking what it is that happens there in that Aerostar in the meadow dusk. What is Neil Young doing in the car with a gun and sweet dreams of that someone? Is this some insane psycho murderous stalker thing about to happen or is this the misery of a person spurned perhaps metaphorically spinning a gun by himself in perhaps a metaphorical meadow at dusk thinking about what it is that life means, about what, if anything, a life lived alone means, what, if anything, it could mean?

The question is asked: "What happens in a meadow at dusk?"

Everything happens in a meadow at dusk.

Monday, September 16, 2013

White, 5'7'', 130 lbs, Hairy, and apparently turned off by talk of human emotions experienced during autumn

"Millions and millions of years ago we lived in the ocean. When we emerged we had to move in two dimensions, instead of three. That was painful at first. No up, nor any down. We learned to drag ourselves along without legs then with them, going faster and faster, and faster again, by any means. The lack of a third dimension is one explanation for our need to head out over the horizon. Another explanation is that we were raised up from chemosynthetic life in the deep ocean to become photosynthetic life at the top. Having ascended from the eternal night we cannot stop ourselves from heading toward the light. We are moths in the thrall of the sun and stars, shedding off darkness."
-J.M. Ledgard, Submergence, 105-106

I read quite a bit from this novel today that I had put down for a while due to school eating up all of my free time that otherwise would have gone toward reading. It was really nice as I stumbled across passages like the above one to experience that thing that occurs when you read good writing, some tingling in the core of what makes you human, some thoughts about what it is life means, and then also tied in with that some aspirational thoughts about writing something great as well.

I went to the gym. I worked out for a long time and stared at various men, this one in particular for most of my time at the gym. I assume this guy is straight from how we dresses and occasionally hearing him talk to other people. He has a perfect body that I want. He is beautiful and I probably am not as discreet as I should be when stealing glances at him. I am really glad that for whatever reason he is one the same gym schedule as me, always there usually around three or four in the afternoon. I am trying to think of what his job might be, or whether he even has one. I don't think he does.

For a while, I didn't have Scruff on my phone and I was proud of this. Proud of how much time I would no longer waste on this thing. Loneliness has gotten the better of me now however. I downloaded it a couple days ago and as I write this here I am continually checking my phone, hoping that this really cute guy continues our conversation, this boy that is some physical combination of various past romantic interests of mine. I might be projecting a lot on to him, but that's okay because it seems that he has lost interest.

Was it my longer and longer responses talking about how this autumn chill in the air is producing various effects on me, mainly a heightened sentimentality and a desire for affection? Probably.

I drank a bit of red wine this evening, having stopped at Trader Joe's where I stocked up on the Charles Shaw. I watched Tabloid, which is yet another great documentary from Errol Morris, this one chronicling the life of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen who tracked a Mormon she was in love with down to London, kidnapped him very likely, and chained him down for a couple of days in which she very likely forced him to have sex with her. The movie really gets at what love is and what obsession is, and where, if anywhere at all, the line is between those two things. She is an amazing person that I, unsurprisingly I am sure to many of you, identified with a great deal.

"I did what any American girl would do if her husband vanished into thin air. I looked for him."