Saturday, June 28, 2014

Robyn - "Call Your Girlfriend"

It's not too late, I told myself a block away. You don't have to act like such an insane person. You don't have to sabotage things all the time. You could still go back.

I did not. I rounded more corners, made myself more safely out of sight and soon enough was home, where I fried up some eggs and soon after eating them passed out in my bed.

Earlier in the evening, I had gone to Riot, at a space very close to my house, some queer Pride party full of cuties. It was warm inside the venue. I danced shirtless, drank a very tall glass of whisky I got poured there, and every now and then sniffed from the vial of poppers I had in my back pocket.

Around four in the morning, I finally talked to this guy I had noticed as soon I got to the party hours earlier. He was cute and seemed weird in his own ways, in a way that didn't reek of the forced weirdness that is queer Brooklyn. I don't think he had any glitter on. I think he was wearing all black. He seemed distant, a little removed from the goings-on.

I don't remember who said hello, though I am pretty certain it was me. A lot of the conversation I don't remember. But I do remember that I was totally smitten talking to him. Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" started playing and my heart beat in pulse to the music, faster and faster. We danced around to the song. I was screaming lyrics, feeling them. "But you just met somebody new!" I was smiling. I was happy. After the song ended, I suggested to this guy, this Sebastian, that he should come home with me. He eagerly agreed to the idea. He said he just had to go tell his friends he was leaving.

Cool, I said. Just meet me outside, I'll be smoking. I said these things. I then walked out the front door and soon found myself quickly walking through the parking lot, around the corner, down the street, and around the next corner. I don't know why I do these things. I don't even know why I'm doing them during those moments. I question them even then, asking myself what I'm doing, why I'm running away, what it is I am afraid of - happiness, sex, intimacy, the chance at being human? I have no clue what the issue is.

I remembered how at one point we hugged and he cracked my back, how good that moment felt, that he felt something that needed fixing in me and with his touch fixed it. I felt really open during that moment. I remembered how dancing around to this Robyn song felt like "a moment," something full of import, that this was a person I was going to be connected to and that I would remember this particular song playing when I thought about my relationship with this person later on down the line.

I remembered how I had felt these things as I darted down empty Brooklyn streets, running away from him, running away from other things.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Erotic City

Having lived in New York for a while, it takes a lot to impress me, wow me. It's one of the problems of aging I guess, that you can only have so many first moments, that soon enough you will have experienced this before or that before or something really close to it, and you lose that wide-eyed wonder that can happen when you first encounter something. When I first moved to this city, I was wowed by most of those clubs and bars I went to, me new to the city and never having experienced anything like those places. Having gone out so many nights for years and years now, I have become dulled to nightlife's capacity to make one feel lucky to be there, someone lucky to be here, someone so fucking glad to be alive, that somehow for an evening, you made it past the gates and landed in some cool alternate universe with amazing lighting, great sound, and beautiful people.

Last night, I went to the Shade: Shame party out in some massive warehouse in the wilds of Bushwick. I had originally said that I was not going, that I hate paying covers, let alone a $25 cover. After drinking all day on the Christopher Street Piers with Nik though, who was going, and after getting a call from another friend encouraging me to go, I didn't want the party to end, and said okay.

I am so happy I did. Even approaching it, I started to get that giddy expectation that I was going to something really cool. We had to cross a footbridge elevated over some railroad tracks to get there. It added to the allure that this party was cultivating, that of some rave in a secret warehouse that you had to get directions to the day of. I paused on the footbridge, standing over these railroad tracks running between these factories in this part of Bushwick I had never been in, looking toward the city, Freedom Tower aglow and towering over that line of buildings I trace in moments when I imagine home.

My mouth dropped again when I walked through the door and was confronted with insanely amazing lighting in this amazingly huge space. The sound was fantastic, insides-jiggling, no mater where in this warehouse you were. I was blown away in a way I haven't been in years. Pondering the logistics of it all, all the insane planning that had to go into this one night to make it work, and for it to work so well, to be so amazing, the cover didn't seem like a big deal at all. It felt so good to be wowed, to feel be at an awesome party with all these amazing people, everyone dancing, everyone loose.

I was a bit high, a bit drunk, and kept chasing poppers most of the night. I saw a lot of faces I hadn't expected to see. Everyone was in a great mood and it was so nice to encounter people in such a setting.

There was a moment late in the night when Prince's "Erotic City" was played in the midst of this otherwise very dance-heavy dj set. I was the happiest person in the world at that moment. I danced and danced and felt loose, unconstrained by whatever things normally constrains one from dancing how their body, not their mind, is telling them to move. It felt so fucking good.

I walked home over the Metropolitan Ave bridge over Newtown Creek, the second bridge I stood on that evening, admiring this view over this industrial body of water, factories the main thing around, Pumps strip club a block or so ahead, last call customers hanging out front, car headlights moving down the roadway, neon signs, and the smallest little trace of daylight starting to announce itself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Smashing Pumpkins - "Thirty-three"

About two weeks, I quit my job in hospitality. It ended a chapter of my life that had run for too long, boring its readers, boring its writer, a section that dragged on and on, unable to conclude its rambling prose. It was five years of my life. Five years ago, I was unemployed, some party-loving twentysomething who did enough odd jobs here and there to barely make ends meet. Based on a friend's anecdote about how much the S- Hotel was going to pay, I decided to apply there, knowing very little about hospitality, but liking the sound of making what sounded like a lot of money at the time. It was a strange interview experience and my lack of knowledge about hospitality paired with my life of partying all the time made me what they were seeking out, some idea of cool to help represent their hotel in its opening rather than people with any actual discernible skills relevant to working in a hotel. And because I worked with other people who just wanted to party and have fun, it was a beautiful place to work for a particular moment in my life. I had a lot of fun and time blurred, and soon enough, a couple years had passed and somehow, without me ever intending to, I was working in hospitality.

I moved to the N- Hotel a couple years ago, wanting to do something different, seeing perhaps more opportunity to grow with a hotel, wanting a change of that hectic pace that for a while I had found so exhilarating, wanting something a bit more adult, sedate. 

Somewhere in these five years, I turned 30. That was a big moment of self-evaluation for me. I became really aware of where my life was headed, that all this time had already passed and it would be so much easier for time to keep passing and me to soon enough be a grumpy hotel manager in my forties, in my fifties, grumpy because it was a job I had never set out to do, because there were dreams of other things, because I would have felt that there were skills unused.

Something needed to happen, some change. Jacob broke up with me and that further inspired these thoughts about what to do with my life. The happiness I had from being with him distracted me from the world and what I was doing (or, really, what I was not doing). With the source of this distracting happiness gone, I saw things I hadn't in a while. The rose colored glasses were gone, smashed on the street. I saw that I was some person doing a shit job I didn't really care about and which often brought out the worst in me, a defensive sassy, over-it queeniness, just a general crabbiness. 

This could not continue. At one of Nick and Diego's house parties, I met a copywriter and talked to her about her job, intrigued by it, wanting to know more, it sounding just like what I should be doing, that it would be the best way to monetize the skills that I know have, that I am good at, skills that I would like to put to use as much as possible, even in some commercial capacity, writing copy for brands, selling the world stuff it probably doesn't need. She recommended that I look into portfolio schools as a way to build my book so I could get a job.

And so last summer, I started going to portfolio school in the evenings after work. For the past year I have been running on empty, getting maybe four hours of sleep most nights, working during the day at the hotel, going to school at night so hopefully I could someday not work in a hotel, and taking long subway rides seemingly all the time.

The hotel job ended about two weeks ago. My last day of class was about a week ago. Also a week ago, another birthday passed. Time is marching on and on, and I am scampering up behind its fast legs, trying my best to keep pace. I started interning a week ago at a big ad agency doing copywriting. The hope, the prayer really, is that by the end of the summer, I can convert this internship into a job. 

I am making my bed every morning before I leave my house from now on. Today was the second day I did so. I am finding myself really into the World Cup. I am really emotional these days and just want to hug everyone in a way that will convey my joy, my love, to these people. I am trying to be an adult. I am trying to remember to be good, to be nice, to be the human I want to be. I am trying to keep front of my mind always the knowledge that I am in charge of what I do, of where I go.