Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Struggle With "My Struggle"

Moments ago, I finished a novel I started in May. May. Seven months ago.

It's something that I am not so proud about concerning this past year. I read far fewer books than I have at any point in my life since probably I learned to read. A lot of non-book stuff was read - status updates, quick takes on whatever the latest scandal is, articles linked to and unlinked to. And that stuff is beneficial. I am not devaluing social media or the unique forms of knowledge and entertainment it provides. What I am saying is that my heavy engagement with social media this past year, especially since starting to work in it, has eaten up whatever moments I otherwise would have spent curled up in bed with a book. Now, I curl up in bed with my iPhone next to me, scrolling through Facebook, reading articles and watching videos friends and friends of friends have posted.

The book was Karl Ove Knausgard's My Struggle. I started it on a flight to Iceland and London this spring, thinking I would read it on the trip. I didn't. The book rather was a stowaway and got a free trip to Europe from me is all. On that same trip, I met up with my ex, Jacob, who was reluctant to meet up with me, which was depressing. He looked just as beautiful as he did when we broke up a few years ago. A month after eating lunch with him in a London park he would be married. That event, which I saw pictures of on social media (instead of reading My Struggle), was perhaps the finality I needed, to realize that it was never going to happen, whatever slight hopes I still harbored of someday reuniting with this guy.

Stay with me here. I am not sure where I am going with any of this, but we'll figure that out as we go along and try to recap what 2015 was and what it wasn't and what it is we as human beings, and me a specific human being, hope to get out of life.

Let's stick with this theme of romance and longing for just a bit longer though, tie these strings up, so we can move on to the bigger things (and, yes, in 2015, I finally after 34 years on this planet, realized that there are bigger things). At the end of the summer, Nik moved away to Atlanta. Another heartbreak. Another unsuccessful romance. He was my best friend this past summer and I was in love with him and it's a position I have been in too many times in my life.

There were guys that I maybe hooked up with once, maybe twice. These guys I can count on one hand from this past year and still have a finger left to flick off the world.

But, really, where am I going with any of this? This has gone so far off the rails from what I initially meant to say, which is this: 2015 was a fucking fantastic year. Yes, there are the above paragraphs that might give the impression it wasn't, but yes, folks, yes it was.

I finally got a paid job in advertising at a cool agency, finally in my mid-thirties started to feel like I knew what I was doing with my life, finally started to feel like an adult in the career-sense of the word, which is a big part of that word. This is a big deal and contributed to my happiness in ways I never even imagined it would. I was deeply unhappy and dissatisfied working in hospitality, aware that I could be doing better, that I wasn't living up to my potential, and that I wasn't utilizing the skills that I wanted to utilize in my life, namely writing. To get paid for writing, even if it's writing social media for various brands, feels so fucking good. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer as my job. Yes, this is not the type of writing I imagined I would be doing then, but it's still fucking writing and I am getting fucking paid for it, and that feels so damn good, it's indescribable.

So that gave me a bit of a confidence boost when I finally no longer was an intern but a paid employee, and allowed me to shake off some of the insecurity I had otherwise been dragging around. Pair that with a renewed physical confidence from actually having to get dressed up each day to go to work and going to the gym regularly and just finally getting over whatever sense of shame and inhibition I had for so long allow me to hold me back publicly in some ways.

I am really in love with my body, and not necessarily in a narcissistic way, though maybe, and also I am not necessarily sure that'd be a negative thing given the prevailing sentiments in our culture toward one's body -  self-harm, self-loathing, or some combination of the two. I feel really connected to my body, present in it in a way I hadn't in the past few years. I don't drink as much as I used to. I rarely smoke now. I am trying to take better care of myself because I have more respect for this body, and an awareness that I am this body.

There were trips to Fire Island, to Vegas, to Miami, to New Orleans, to Colorado, and those already mentioned trips to Iceland and London. A lot of fun was had.  I have really embraced my love of burritos in a way that I am continuing to explore and mine with burritofever.com.

There is so much fucking beauty on this planet. I am happy with the friends I have, with my living situation, and for the most part with my career situation.

This upcoming year though I do want to working on becoming a better person. There's always something to improve, work to be done, things to learn, and so my resolutions for 2016 are:

-I want a better job - hopefully more money and hopefully doing stuff not just in social media
-I want to become more fit
-I want to read a lot more fiction
-I want to write better and write more
-I want to finally learn Spanish

And literally every single one of those resolutions has been a resolution of mine for probably the last decade or so, and you know what? Who the fuck cares? Just keep on putting those intentions out there and trying. It's all you can fucking do. Live your life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Miami

Friday, I landed at Miami Airport. It was cloudy, grey. Despite this, it was incredibly beautiful. Outside the huge glass windows overlooking the runway, I saw that familiar sight - the flat landscape of Florida that allows for its epic skies. I felt at home, felt the sting of recognition, a loved one I hadn’t seen in years. The sky of Florida gives me a feeling that few things in this world are capable of.

I met up with my friends where they were staying and went to check out Art Basel. I had a couple glasses of wine while checking out the art there and then things never slowed down from there. The rest of the weekend was spent at various parties, checking out art, figuring out how to get into parties, tipping go-go boys. I fucking love Miami. I had such an amazing time there and began to consider what life might be like there, if I would actually enjoy living there. At some point, I might find my way down there.

Florida is a magical place, something in my blood, place of my birth. Miami is full of beautiful Latin men, gorgeous beaches, nice weather, breathtaking skies. It does make me wonder sometimes why I live in New York, what it has to offer me. Riding the subway home from JFK Sunday night, these questions became even more pronounced, the subway stations looking more disgusting than usual.

Monday, November 16, 2015

MIX

I spent yesterday hungover and sleeping. In the few periods of time in which I was awake, I inhabited the night earlier, tried to find my way back to that time, to that space, recalling various moments of sexiness as I jerked off to the recollections, trying to inhabit that space again.

Saturday night, I had gone to the MIX festival and I quickly turned into the sex-crazed person I often do in situations in which public sex is happening. After hanging out with friends for a bit, dancing and drinking, I soon found myself buried in a pile of people in one of the backrooms. I remember jerking off with numerous sexy people. There is the memory of at some point worshipping some dude’s feet as I jerked off. A lot of exchanging of blowjobs. I did and I did not want to cum. A part of me realized I should probably go say hello to my friends who at numerous points walked through the room and saw me engaged in sex. Another part of me wanted to keep this moment going forever, to never climax.

I climaxed though, inspired by this sexy man next to me. We had a shared rhythm, both getting to that point, breaths faster and deeper. We came together. I found my pants, put them on, and went to hang out with friends again. That lasted a very brief time. I wanted more. Wanted to see more. Wanted to jerk off more. There was so much sexiness there. So many hot scenes of fucking all around me. All these beautiful naked men.

I ended up in another room, another pile of bodies. I sucked dicks of some fucking gorgeous men. Had my dick sucked by many gorgeous men. This lasted until sunrise. At some point, I heard someone say they were closing in ten minutes. And so I came again, hurrying, wanting to cum before this cleared out, this moment.

I left the space, a mess, shirtless because I couldn’t find my jacket or shirt. The taxi driver looked at me like I was crazy, which you know I can’t really blame him for. When I got home, I jerked off again, thinking back on those scenes, repeating them in my mind, replaying the sight of this gorgeous man’s body, him standing over me, smiling cockily as I air kissed in the direction of his dick, motioning that I wanted it in my mouth. He stepped toward me, put his beautiful dick in my mouth.

I sit here now at work, again recalling these moments of sexual freedom, of sexual fantasies literally come to life, a dreamscape of bodies everywhere, everyone having fun, enjoying each other and enjoying what it means to be human, to have these human bodies.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cruise Control

Over the weekend, on Halloween night, dressed as some slutty gay version of a tiger, I met this man, Ben, while waiting in line at the bathroom at Spectrum. I felt a connection, or more likely I wanted there to be one. This was a new face, a person I had not already tried and failed with, a person who I haven’t already seen and looked past numerous times over the past twelve years of living in New York. He was new, which more and more becomes a problem in New York for me.

The odds of romance seemingly become slimmer and slimmer with each passing year in this city. More and more of the faces have become familiar, have become friends, or have long ago passed that point at which anything would have happened. The faces that don’t fit this are usually new faces to the city, usually people quite young, which now in my mid-thirties, is a demographic that I have less and less interest in.

After peeing together in the bathroom, Ben and I continued to talk in the hall. A friend of his came up and started talking to him, and I went to go dance. I walked home at some point from Spectrum, too overwhelmed with it, too many familiar faces preventing me from losing myself, from being a stranger. I have been unable to find this person on Facebook. The friend talking to him could have very well been his boyfriend. Maybe I actually would have no interest in him with the masks down, with this dress-up of Halloween not allowing us to present ourselves as something other than we are, or perhaps the costumes allowing us to present ourselves as we really are, shedding the costumes that make up the other 364 days of the year.

I looked at guys on Grindr. I looked at guys on Scruff. I went to bed alone.

I feel really good about my life these days. Work is going well for me. It’s allowing me to feel creatively fulfilled in a way that I rarely have in my past work experiences. The weather outside is beautiful. The stillness and crispness of the fall air always does something to me.

There are so many beautiful men in this world and in this city, and yet I don’t know how to have a relationship with one of them. There are guys I dream about every night, a rotating cast of two or three. I look at their Instagrams and Facebooks and wonder why it didn’t work out, wonder if it still could. Occasionally, I will message them or like a photo, the digital equivalent of pebbles against a window, a suitor outside in the bushes wanting so so badly the thing on the other side of that starred photograph, on the other side of that balcony.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Knock Knock

I spent the weekend in bed for two reasons. One, I was suffering, starting to suffer, from a cold. I took a lot of cold medicine and so wasn't good for much else other than lounging in my bed, watching Netflix. Two, though, probably of equal importance, cause had I money I probably still would have gone out even though sick, probably wouldn't have even felt sick - two being that I was broke.

Sunday, yesterday, I roused myself after being in bed for way too many hours straight and watching too many eighties movies, Rambo and Top Gun among them. I went to the gym. I worked out for a while but spent an even longer while in the steamroom, trying to sweat out of my body whatever cold virus I had or imagined myself to have. I was determined to bring it to a boil, cook it to death in this steamroom. Only of one us would walk out alive, and since I don't think viruses can actually walk, it was going to be me.

In the steamroom, as happens in steamrooms, a guy next to me starting to jerk off. I joined him. He stood over me naked, apparently unworried that anyone would walk in, or perhaps thrilled, turned on, by that worry, needing that risk to get himself off, me perhaps needing it also. He shot his load all over my chest. I rubbed it all over my chest as he walked out of the steamroom, really happy in a way I hadn't been in what felt like too long.

Later that evening, I would go this guy, a mess of a guy, always too high, always too neurotic, always too awkward. We smoked weed and drank wine. We fucked in his bed. I asked him to open his blinds, said I wanted to give his neighbors a show. After both of us came, I saw the mess all over his bed, lube everywhere, cum stains, a sticky dildo, a bottle of poppers. And there was an exchange of dialogue so perfect, so bleak, so noirish, that I couldn't wait til I was out of his apartment and in the hallway so that I could write it down in my phone before forgetting it. I want to write a story with these lines in it. A gay Raymond Carver story, bleak and miserable, two people together and yet also totally alone, all the more alone in fact while they are in each other's company. The lines exchanged that I wrote in my phone once I finally left his apartment and stood in the hallway were these:

Me: We made a mess of your bed.

Him: It's okay...we made a mess of our lives.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Matt

Matt. Mardi Gras 1981. A black and white poster, very gay, very eighties. I purchased it from a used gay bookstore in New Orleans a month or so ago. Today, I finally got a frame for it. Hung it on my bedroom wall. Sat on my bed, lay on my bed, got stoned, thought about boys, about aging, wondered if I would ever, at this point in my life, still have an intense romance with another person that could be sustained for a lifetime, or something close to it.

Every now and then, I'd step out of these thoughts, take a little smoke break from that depressing bar, look up to my wall to contemplate this image of Matt, shirtless hunk, muscle guy, staring back at me, another ungraspable, another person unable or unwilling to return my affection. There seemed to be some metaphor in that. I wasn't sure that was the metaphor I wanted to look at every night, stoned in bed, thinking about boys.

Nick. New York 2015. It would be more appropriate though for this poster guy's name to be Nick. A couple nights ago, hanging out with some friends, telling them about the latest heartache from one of the Nicks of New York, they pointed out all the Nicks there have been that I have liked. So many. Three strikes for sure by this point.

And looking at this image, this attractive man, just inspired too many thoughts about attractive men, about men in general, set me too full of desire, made me want too much for affection, for love, for a boyfriend, for certain notions of happiness, made those particular notions of happiness take priority, exert dominance, over all other possible conceptions of happy, maybe just as valid, maybe even more so. Who knows though cause there's Matt and Nick and Jacob and Tanner and that Nick and that Nik and all the rest of them embodied up there in this recently framed print? It's everything ungraspable.

This, this is not what I should be looking as I drift off to sleep. This is not what dreams are made of. No, this is what nightmares are made of. This is what pathetic cuddling sessions with your pillow as you tell yourself you'll one day find someone are made of.

Needless to say, I moved the picture, decided I'd switch it out for the Smokey the Bear print from the bathroom, and bring Smokey into my bedroom. In all caps, the Smokey picture says, "ONLY YOU." Other notions of happiness. Just as valid. Perhaps more so.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Him

I went into Rosemary’s yesterday and had beers with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. I was hungover from the night before and feeling overly emotional, excessively moody, depressed with the knowledge that a guy I really like seemingly did not like me, having blown me off the night before. It felt good to drink, to be with these people, to listen to their laughs.

Rosemary’s, however, made me feel further unmoored, further disconnected. They no longer have their 32 ounce styrofoam cups. I guess they got phased out with NYC’s styrofoam ban, but this was something I hadn’t realized or thought of when I heard about the ban, only thought about takeout Chinese containers. Ordering a pint of beer has probably never in my life been more depressing than it was yesterday when the bartender told me they no longer had the “big cups.” It seemed like another disappearance, another friend leaving New York. All the things I knew, loved, all gone, dispersed, disappeared. I was being a little dramatic, yes, but the bar was one of my favorite in New York for just this reason, a bar I have shared drinks in so many times with so many friends, chugging these massive giant beers, getting the styrofoam cup refilled when I was done.

Things are changing. The weather, too. After drinking in the bar, we wandered down to the Williamsburg waterfront. The chill of Fall was there, breezing against my legs, me still clad in shorts, against my arms. I wanted more clothes to bundle up in. The air felt nice but also was notice served, an eviction notice. Summer’s gone. New tenant moving in.

And for all of these reasons, plus others, mainly plus the fact that I’m a human being and scared of dying, I spent last night on my couch (still bedless), feeling sad and wanting so much the company of a significant other, a romance. I’ve been spending a lot of time somehow around cool, awesome gay couples, and I love them but they also make me vaguely envious. I want so badly to have a cute romance. I haven’t had one in quite a while.

A guy, a guy with a boyfriend, messaged me yesterday a picture of his ass, told me he wanted to fuck. He’s really sexy but I don’t really want sex right now, or at least not that kind of sex. I want to have sex with someone I like, someone that likes me, someone that I can cuddle with after, and get stoned and watch Netflix with. I want to be the boyfriend that guy with the ass comes home to after fucking his trick. I don’t want to be the trick.

I looked at the Instagram pictures of this cute guy I like, the guy that blew me off this weekend, and wondered where things went wrong, wondered where it is they always do, wondered what it was I continue to do wrong that the people I like lose interest in me, that, or that they never had it in the first place.

The chilly air blew up against me as I walked around the city today, saying, “You are alone. You are mortal. You will die. Don’t you wish you had the comfort of another to distract you from this? Or, at the least, a light jacket?”

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Drake - "Hotline Bling"

Summer is gone, over. I wore dress shoes yesterday for what felt like the first time in months. The metaphoric end of summer, Labor Day, passing, wasn’t the only reason for the shoes. The real reason is I felt like shit, incredibly hungover from a four day bender spent getting wasted in New Orleans during Southern Decadence. I am a firm believer in the saying “Look good, feel good.” I wanted to look good so I could feel good, wanted to feel way better than I actually felt.

New Orleans beat me up and left me limping through JFK airport on my arrival home. I didn’t have sunglasses to hide behind. Or, I did, but it wasn’t until I tried to shield my eyes from the brightness of New York that I realized that they had been all chewed up by one of the dogs at the house I crashed at.

I had planned on staying with my friend Erica, but ended up spending every night at the house that Nik was staying at, a house occupied by these really cute and fun queers. One of them had a canoe. We went canoeing. Prince was played at some point in the canoe and I drank numerous vodka drinks. That was the highlight of my trip, which isn’t to say the rest wasn’t all amazing as well, but to ride in a canoe was something I haven’t done probably since I was a kid, and it was so perfect and so cute and so fun. There was a lot of wandering around, clearly a lot of drinking, and a lot of talking to cute boys.

When I got home finally, I slept on the mattress from the pull-out couch, so tired, so desperate to sleep on a bed, and sadly still so bedless. It felt great until I woke up yesterday and realized that I had pulled some muscle in my back sleeping on that horrible old springy thing. Let me tell you, the dress shoes did nothing to relieve this pain, did nothing to make me feel good. At least, I looked good though.

I am counting down the days until the 15th, only five away, when I again will be paid, and God willing (please God, please) purchase a bed and finally start living more like an adult, at least a little bit so. Hopefully, I’ll be able to convince this boy to come over, hang out with me, and inaugurate it. Hopefully, a lot of other things as well. A lot of dreaming happening today, a lot of work happening toward making those dreams come true.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Justin Bieber - "What Do You Mean?"

I haven’t had a bed in weeks. I am beginning to wonder if this is why I feel so unstable as of late, so unmoored in some ways.

There was a bedbug problem. Welcome to New York. The bed got thrown out, the exterminator came a few times. I have been sleeping on the couch since, which is fine and not that big a deal, but I have felt slightly crazier than usual these past few weeks and perhaps it actually has to do with a bed, that not having my little nest to return to each night has me frantically flapping my wings, a lost bird, wondering where my nest has gone to.

The wings are flapping though. All of a sudden, I have reached an absolutely restless moment at my job, something I predicted would happen at the end of the summer. Prediction proved correct. I am plotting steps on how to either get involved in a different job within this same agency that I like a lot, or, failing that, going elsewhere. The hunt begins. It never ended. To live in New York is to be engaged in a constant predatory hunt for that next thing, that next step, something else, something better. Even once you get your name in lights, you’re looking for how can you get a bigger sign, a brighter sign, an LED sign.

There is that. There is also that guy, that beautiful, beautiful guy. He makes me feel nervous, awkward, and wildly insecure. I like him so much and I am scared of how likely it is to end in disaster, because of how gorgeous he is, how smart he is, and probably most of all how he is my co-worker. I make the best life choices, in case you didn’t know that about me already.

We hung out a few nights ago at a bar by my house. When we parted ways afterwards, we made out on the street corner. Kissing him is the greatest high for me lately. I get positively ecstatic. It’s the joy of getting something you wanted so, so bad, of finally getting to taste the thing you had been so hungry for. I told him that I wished I had a bed to invite him back to. He told me he wished the same.

So, yes, I’m getting a bed immediately. Or actually probably not, because I am insanely broke and this next paycheck is going toward rent and my trip to New Orleans. So I might be sleeping on a couch until mid-September. But I need to figure out a way to not make that happen because this fling might not extend until then and I want so bad to roll around with this person in my bed which I have yet to acquire.

There are other things going on, so many other things, a best friend leaving, generalized stress and panic among friends, work drama, parties, so many parties, and life, this glorious, messy project of being alive and finding your way in the world, of trying to at least.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Carly Rae Jepsen - "Run Away With Me"


There are few better feelings than finally getting to kiss a crush, that guy that you’ve been flirting with for weeks awkwardly, and who you’ve finally ended up on a dancefloor with together and you guys are close and staring at each other, and you can feel it about to happen, there’s that leaning in that happens, that moment of indecision where things could go either way, and you can feel it so close, about to happen, and then, magically, iit does. I honestly can’t think of a better feeling in this world. Children of the world, I have this message for you: dreams do come true!

He’s a co-worker of mine. I met him a few weeks ago when we were both here late at night working on the same project. We took a break to go grab a drink nearby and chatted. Ever since, I have been so smitten with this guy, have been so excited about working on this project particularly because it meant I would get to interact with him more.

I had a house party this past weekend and invited him over to it. We hung out for a bit there and then I couldn’t wait to leave my own party, to go out with him. Luckily, my roommate let me abandon our house and all the people still in it so I could go out with this guy to Spectrum. Shirts came off as they often to do in the muggy sauna that is the Spectrum in the summer and we danced around. And then that kiss happened! That kiss! I had been wanting that for weeks. I wasn’t sure it would ever come, thought that this would be another unrealized crush, a beautiful guy that I would lust over for a time, nothing coming of it. But things turned out differently this time around. This time around, the story took a happier ending. The kiss turned into more and more. We made out all over Spectrum.

We left together at some point, five something in the morning, both intending to go to our respective homes. But walking away together, we made out more. He invited me back to his house. We took a car there. He scaled his fire escape because he had forgotten his keys and tried to wake up his roommate. It was all too cute. I couldn’t believe my luck, that this was all happening. In his bed, we made out and cuddled and fell asleep. I left early in the morning, he still passed out, me hungry and too awake to stay in bed, too happy with life.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Riis Beach

The sun had just set, a beautiful sunset, dark orange globe seen over Jamaica Bay as we approached the bridge taking us home from the beach. I was riding in the back of a bus with many of my friends, having spent a lovely day at the beach, drinking, swimming, listening to music, flirting. There was a point in the day where I was bobbing in the ocean, skinny dipping near these other two guys. The three of us starting making it, rubbing our dicks against each other under cover of the ocean, our skin sliding against each other, saltwater between us. It was a really sexy moment. I recalled this. I was also getting texts from a different cute guy I met at the beach on this bus ride home. I recalled meeting him. I recalled sitting next to this still other guy with beautiful feet and an even more beautiful smile. I thought of all these things and they made me want something else.

I was surrounded by cute gay couples sleeping on each other’s shoulders. The seat ahead of me. The seat to the left of me. The seat diagonally across from me. It made me happy to see my friends so happy, to have that comfort with another person, to have a person to share their exhaustion with, someone that they would go home with.

I have been having more sex in the past month that I have probably had in the last year. The snowball effect is in full effect. Sex and the confidence I have from it is attracting more and more sex, attracting more and more cute boys. And yet, as much as I enjoy these moments with other guys, what I am seeking out in all of those moments is not sex but is something that might lead to this, that might lead to me having some cute boyfriend that I could sleep against on a bus ride home as dusk settles over Brooklyn streets, that might lead to something shared, that might lead to love.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

summer forever

Another weekend of partying too hard, of enjoying what it is to be alive and in warm weather. Another summer weekend. It all blurred together, one big party that stretched from Friday evening to Sunday evening, paused only briefly each night for a few hours of sleep. Friday night involved one of the sexiest moments in recent memory, a threesome with a friend and this real-life Tarzan. That night blurred well into Saturday. I woke up, did some work, drank some wine to ease the hangover, and soon it was time for more partying, more fun. Fell asleep around 7, got two hours of sleep, then went to meet a good friend from college to head to the beach. At Riis Beach, there was drinking, swimming, talking, and looking at boys. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful weekend.

I flirted with this boy sitting with us and we exchanged looks on the bus ride home, exchanged info. Summer forever! I shouted this at least once on the beach. Probably a few times. There is no time like this in New York, no time where there is more fun to be had, more beauty to interact with, more life to live. May it last forever!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Disclosure - "Bang That"

Last night, I learned that the writer and I actually did not have chemistry. Yes, I wanted us to because he’s so fucking sexy and cool, but you either click or you don’t. You either stay up til 3 in the morning, laughing easily, polishing off two bottles of wine, smoking outside your window, and talking all night, or you don’t.

And last night, clicking with someone else allowed me to see this, allowed me to just how little clicking was happening with the writer. Around midnight, I was texted out of the blue by this guy that I had hit on months ago on Scruff, this guy that I had tried many times to get to hang out with me. He said he wanted to make out.

He came over. We fooled around. It was easy, natural. Touching him didn’t feel awkward. There was no thinking behind the act, no trying to know what should be done. It was just doing what felt right. After, we sat in my bed and drank glass after glass after glass of wine, just talking, getting to know each other, and laughing a lot. We had the same sense of humor and it was all just so incredibly easy, the conversation. It threw into stark relief just how much effort had been required with the writer to try to get the conversation even somewhat close to this natural flow. Being with this guy allowed to feel much better about it not working out with the writer. I had been a bit bummed about it, thought I had somehow fumbled the ball. I had wanted to make this person my boyfriend so bad just because he was sexy and cool, and was all too willing to overlook our lack of chemistry. It was some gift that this person texted me last night and allowed to put all of this in perspective.

We talked for hours, drank all the wine in my house. We went to bed around three. He spent the night and we cuddled. This morning, I kept setting my alarm for later and later, wanting to lie in bed with him for as long as possible. We walked out together, still joking, still laughing.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

oil and water

We were making out on his couch. I had lifted up his shirt, kissed his chest. I unbuttoned his pants. I kissed him some more. And then I stopped. I put my shoes on, told him that I had to go. “Oil and water,” I may have said. I was out the door insanely fast and heard him mutter a slightly confused, “See you around.”

And with that, my dreams of a romance with this beautiful man that I have hung out with a few times came to an end.

Once back home, in my bed, I wondered how that had gone so wrong wrong, how that date had gone downhill so quickly, wondered if we had some different day instead whether things would have played out differently. I replayed the events, the things said.

I met him at a nearby restaurant last night where he was eating dinner and had a beer with him while he finished his meal. The conversation was slightly awkward, filled with occasional silences that stretched for a couple beats too long. I told him I had finished his book, that I liked it, but that one of the characters was really offensive. That was where things definitely started to take a turn. He said he didn’t want to talk about it. We talked about other things. We talked about Vegas, about Martha’s Vineyard.

We walked back to his house, sat at his kitchen table, drank whiskeys on the rocks, talked about Stephen King and Raymond Carver. The conversation had finally picked up steam and gained a natural energy. He’s beautiful. I kept looking at his green eyes, his big black pupils. He joked about the awkwardness earlier, said we’re kind of like oil and water. I agreed and asked why that was. Neither of us had an answer for why we had a hard time clicking, both of us liking each other, and yet the important thing, some natural chemistry missing. He said with a smile that we’re not going to be life partners. I laughed and said Nope. Given that the conversation was about how nothing was probably going to come out of the two of us hanging out, it was all incredibly jovial and friendly.

Later, when we cuddled on his couch and started to make out, I couldn’t get into it. As sexy as this person, as smart as he is, knowing that what I wanted, a romance, wasn’t going to happen with this guy, I couldn’t continue to kiss him. Sparks weren’t there. Water had been poured all over the matches.

Walking out his door, down his stairs, out his front door, down the block, I kept wondering if it wasn’t too late to turn around, to go back and have sex with him and just enjoy the situation for whatever it was. I didn’t. I had left. Things would be impossibly awkward now. Everything just happened so quickly, so wrongly. I fucked up again and again. I kicked myself the whole way home, wondering why it is that I’m so awkward all the time, why it is I lack the natural social skills of banter that most other human beings seem to have effortlessly. But it is what it is. You can’t force things. The connection is either there or it’s not. And it makes zero sense often why or why it’s not there. On paper, I should be crazy about this person - tall, beautiful, smart, funny, successful - and yet when I was with him I would sometimes have trouble talking to him. When I was with him, I didn’t have the overwhelming desire to rip off his clothes. I just wanted to sit at his kitchen table and drink with him and talk about writers and drugs and life.

He has beautiful hands. I thought of them in bed as I looked at Grindr, briefly wanting something to fill this void I felt, someone to validate me, to make me temporarily forget my self-loathing. What I wanted though wasn’t there. I am not going to find it in pictures of spread assholes and Sups. What I wanted, what I want still, is connection.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Vegas, baby! Vegas!

I spent this past weekend in Vegas. It is now Tuesday afternoon and I am just starting to feel recovered, just starting to feel like I again have a fully functioning brain, not fried by sun, booze, and lack of sleep. I arrived back in New York around 6 A.M. on a redeye that I barely slept on, took a quick two hour nap at home, and then shuffled through my workday, counting down the hours and minutes until I could go home and get some sleep.

We flew out on Friday morning, had lunch at Lotus of Siam, and then discovered that the same random strip mall off the Strip housing this Thai restaurant also had a couple gay bars, a transsexual bar, and a couple of gay bathhouses. We did a bar crawl through them and the partying never really stopped from that point for the next three days save for a few hours of sleep each night. 

The whole purpose of the trip had been to see Mariah Carey perform, which we did and which was amazing. Really, really good. The peak of the concert for me was when she performed “We Belong Together.” I had forgotten what an amazing song it was and how important a role it played in my life during various heartbroken moments, moments when I thought the same thoughts as the song, singing the chorus as loud as I could, imagining that if only this person could understand, that it was so clear we belonged together, that we, that I, could be happy. And so all of those moments, of anguish, heartbreak, and lovesickness, they came all washing back over me in this theater at Caeser’s Palace. I was deep in my feelings and Mariah’s voice was the vehicle carrying me, zooming from place to place, feeling to feeling, memory to memory.

From there, we continued our tour of the dive bars of Vegas, hitting up Charlie’s, from which I was 86’d - the first time in my life I have ever been officially 86’d from a bar. The bouncer barged into the bathroom stall I was in, caught me sniffing something, started yelling at me, and chased me out of the bar. From there, we went to another divey gay bar in another random strip mall, before heading to the transexual bar, before heading to the bathhouse. It was a night spent hurtling along the edges of Vegas, exploring all of these fun places. At some point in the early morning, we left the bathhouse and headed back to the hotel.

A few hours of sleep later, we had to check out. We spent the day at a gay pool party, lounging in chairs, and looking at attractive men in cute swimwear until it was time for our flight to take off.

I played a lot of roulette while in Vegas, too much. The trick is knowing when to walk away. It’s a life lesson and yes, it cost me a few hundred dollars to learn the lesson, and whether or not it will stick is another matter entirely. The lesson is this: Leave the table when you are ahead. Know that winning doesn’t last forever. Leave while there are still chips in front of you. It’s all a matter of intuition, timing, and suppressing the voice in your head that says to keep going, that the good times will last forever. It won’t. Move tables. Walk away.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Baltimore Vows

I spent this past weekend in Baltimore attending my cousin’s wedding. There were the questions from aunts and uncles about when I’d be getting married, since just about every year it seems like I attend the wedding of a younger cousin. I’d be lying if I said that the same thought doesn’t goes through my own head during these times also, but of course I don’t say the answer I’m thinking when asked. Instead, I laugh and joke, “Probably never.” And then an uncle will talk about he misses his single days, telling me to enjoy it.

But the real answer, the thing I don’t tell them, is this: I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll ever get married. It’s certainly not happening anytime soon, since usually some long-term serious relationship precedes getting married, which I am definitely not in right now. Most days, I think that I’d like to get married some day, but honestly I don’t know if it’s in the cards for me. There are some single, older people in my family and they seem a little defeated and I fear that that may be my future. But I don’t want it to be. My second greatest fear (after death obviously) is looking defeated, that life won, that dreams weren’t realized, that not everything was done that could have been.

It’s what I fear a lot. The fear is much bigger than the thought that I may be single my whole life, that I won’t settle down with someone. That’s a piece of the fear certainly, but a piece that comes in and out of play. Sometimes, it’s not even a piece at all. The fear is broader than that - it’s the fear that I’m not doing with my life everything I should be, the fear that I am not utilizing my talents, the fear that I’m not writing, the fear that I’m not at the best job I could be doing, the fear that I’m not making as much money as I’d like to, the fear that I am either falling short or that I already have, that it might already be past tense - that I fell short.

Seeing this guy that I have seen a few times lately, this beautiful man, is also bringing these thoughts to the fore just because he is so successful and makes a living doing his creative pursuits. He makes me want to write more, want to do everything more. I have been writing a bit more. I want to make some videos soon after this weekend in Vegas coming up. There are lot of little projects on my mind, things I have been meaning to do, things that I am going to start making time to do. We’ve got one go-around here. I don’t want to be in my fifties and having younger relatives look at me as if I have been defeated by life at some future family gathering. I don’t want to look in the mirror and see that myself.

We rode back from Baltimore on the Bolt Bus, our seat not even entirely attached to the bus, jolting back and forth with each acceleration, with each brake. I thought about these things some more, but more so I thought about getting a burrito. I slept a lot. I was incredibly hungover. Story of my life (so far). Changes coming soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

"Number One Dance Song in Heaven" - Sparks

Afterwards, getting off his bed to wipe the cum from my chest, I said, “Um, so I have a big crush on you, just an FYI.”

“You have no filter,” he said. We kissed and cleaned ourselves off.

We had met up for drinks earlier in the evening at Daddy’s, a couple blocks from his house. We talked about our weekends and then I ranted about trash cans. There was a DJ playing music. A song was played that I really liked, that was really familiar, but I couldn’t identify it, had no clue who sang it. Shazam failed me, unable to identify it over bar chatter. Ask the DJ, he said. And out of some weird shame of not being as musically knowledgable as I want to be, I said I couldn’t. He, because he is a really cool dude that is that worthy of having a crush on, went and asked the DJ for me.

“Number One Dance Song in Heaven” by Sparks.

Back at his house, we drank vodka over his kitchen table and listened to music. Eventually he leaned over the table and kissed me, at which point we made our way to that earlier referenced bed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Don Julian & The Larks - "Where I'm Comin' From"

We talked about technology and erotic desire, about their intersection. Even in an era of streaming video, of easily accessible HD porn right on our phones, we like still images, photographs. We speculated that it’s probably because we came of age in an era before fast computers, before broadband Internet. There was speculation about what this younger generation gets turned on by, whether still images have the same effect on them.

And then we went into his bedroom, turned on by the talk. He gave me a shirt to wear, something someone in a gym would wear. It was a prop, a costume. He told me the scene. I was to be Batman. I would be working out in the gym when suddenly I’d be surrounded by five guys, bad guys, and they’d punch me again and again in the stomach. It’s his fetish, punching someone in the stomach, this superhero role play. It had been about a year since I last saw him.

Afterwards, he asked me if he had hurt me. I told him no, that I’m tough. He complimented me on my v-lines, saying that, yes, I am tough.

Summer, never end. We talked about that also, before the punching, before the talk about technology and porn and sex. We talked about how amazing summer is and the type of life and feeling that is enabled by warm weather, by being able to simply stroll, to walk all the way across town if you feel like it, a city rediscovered, a self rediscovered.

Monday, July 6, 2015

the soothing drone of my air conditioner

There are few things as sexy as making out in the ocean with someone, feeling up each other's wet bodies, being splashed every so often in the face by saltwater, boners hidden just below the water's shifting surface, whilst that same shifting surface glitters with sunlight. It's pretty much up there on any best feelings in the world list that I can think of, at least as I am able to do so right now, memory of yesterday still very fresh on my mind.

He was with the same group of friends that I sat on the beach with, a couple towels away. I was taken with his babeliness as soon as I saw him. The beach was filled with babes, gorgeous men anywhere you looked, sexual fantasies being played out each time I shifted my gaze, no matter which way your eyes went, the actors cast in hoped-for sexual escapades, fantasies imagined from behind the safety of sunglasses. 

We were swimming with friends, the two of skinny dipping. Our friends peeled off, went back to shore, the water too cold to stay in as long as we had. I was cold but I wanted to keep bobbing near this person's body as long as possible. The coldness didn't matter - it could be endured to continue to be near this person. We talked about something, I don't even know what. I just kept letting my body get closer and closer to his, thinking about the moment my skin could touch his. And it happened and it was really fucking sexy, making out in this ice cold water, lettings our dicks graze against each other underwater, the taste of the ocean in every kiss.

I got a ride back with him and his friend. A car ride, going along the shores of south Brooklyn, Verrazano Bridge looking colossally regal in the lowering sun. He came back to my house. We showered together and made out in my bed before sitting on my couch, drinking beers, and listening to Fleetwood Mac. It was a really fucking cute day.

It was a really fucking cute weekend. The 4th involved fireworks watched from some tall condo building in Williamsburg, running around full of joy, going here and there and there, eating some guy's asshole for about half an hour in the stalls at Lovegun, sexting with him until six in the morning for some reason, eggs, coffee, sunshine, life. 

I don't know what summer is, other than that it is a season when everything is warm and things are more fun. I don't know if it means more than that. I am pretty sure it does though. The promise of fun living, of a type of living that should happen all the time, tends to reveal itself in these summer months. I just want to sustain that feeling through changing weather, to hold on to this forever. And in that, the story of life, not wanting it to end, not wanting to die, wanting this time here on this planet being so happy, to extend forever. When we say we never want summer to end what we are saying is that we are terrified of dying. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jim Croce - "Working at the Car Wash Blues"

We were seated in one of the booths at one of my favorite places in New York City, already layered with the memories of so many things, loves of my life, dates, drunken post-bar hangouts with friends, so many nights eating there by myself, so many memories from nights over the last thirteen years since I've lived here. And now another memory can now be layered on to this already well-papered place. Waiting for our food, seated across from me, he said, "I can't wait to kiss you."

After leaving there, on the corner of Graham and Grand Street, I kissed him, not wanting it to be an awkward thing that we fumbled toward later on at one of our apartments. Let's cross that line now, get the first kiss out of the way. We know it's going to happen.

And so we kissed and we kissed and it felt so good. We then walked down Graham and at Powers Street, we paused. I asked him if he wanted to come to my apartment. He said yes. We turned down Powers Street.

This is the guy I met last Friday at Metropolitan. We'd made plans to meet for drinks at Tuffet. I sat in the backyard nursing a martini, awkwardly looking at my phone, waiting for him to get there. He arrived and was jut as beautiful as I had remembered. He was wearing a shirt with a pot leaves pattern, which as I do with just about everything, took to be a sign. A sign that this is my dream man. When he sat down, I couldn't believe my luck, that this guy seemed to be interested in me.

We had awkward conversation, had conversation about the awkward conversation of first dates, and then had better conversation, much better. Drinks probably played a key role here.

I honestly can't think of the last time I've been on a date, let alone on something that the participating parties actually refer to as a date. Let's just say, it's been a really long time, years I think. So I'm not really practiced at making charming, engaging conversation with a person I don't know, that my skills in that are bordering somewhere between rusty and non-existent.

At my apartment, we smoked weed and listened to Led Zeppelin II. Earlier, I had been going on and on about how amazing a band Zeppelin is, how obsessed with them I've been this past week. We made out in my bed in our underwear and paused to talk and then made out more and then talked more. He left because he had stuff to do early in the morning.

I was happy today, really happy. Happy in the way that one gets after a nice night with a guy. I forgot that after making out with someone you like, that its effects continue, that the moment of joy has a very, very long tail that continues waving excitedly well into the next day, if not days, recalling moments, recreating joy, excited about the next time you'll see this person, and generally just being thrilled to be alive. What I'm saying is that I was really happy today and only slightly hungover.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Close the Book

Friday morning, I was leaving the gym and I saw the headlines on the TV scrolling across the bottom of the screen, BREAKING NEWS, all caps of course, that gay marriage had been declared a right. I fist pumped the air and walked to work so fucking happy, on the verge of tears, so full of joy, and pretty useless all day at work because all I could do was think about the news and read stories about it.

And that was the kickoff to Pride weekend, the best kick-off an American probably could have hoped for, your government for the first time in your lifetime forcefully declaring that your love, your affection, is just as valid, just as important, just as necessary to recognize as that of heterosexuals. Truly fucking huge news that I could never have even imagined coming to pass when I was a kid.

Friday night, I hung out with some friends in my apartment before eventually finding our way to Metropolitan. A really attractive man came up to me, said hello. We chatted, exchanged numbers. Hopefully, I’ll hang out with him this week. Hopefully, I won’t let my boy craziness get the best of me, as it usually does, but as with everything, we’ll see.

Saturday was spent mostly in bed due to being hungover and the rain gave me the perfect excuse to stay in and not go out.

Yesterday was a repeat of Prides past. A drunk brunch with friends, watching the parade on Christopher Street, drinking nutcrackers, getting emotional, getting too messy, getting too wasted, not getting up to the Jane Hotel rooftop for the third year, bar hopping, and then finding myself in bed wasted and exhausted around 10pm.

I love the parade day so much. I love being on the streets full of gays everywhere, running into friends in states of undress, everyone so happy, everyone so cute and free looking, unburdened by the stuff they otherwise carry around with them. I want to repeat this again and again forever.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

34

Thirty-four started off with a broken shower curtain rod.

Friday morning, I woke up and I was a new age. I was 34. I took a shower, my first shower at this new age. I knocked the shower rod off the wall stepping out of the shower. I was aware, as I am with just about everything in life, of the symbolism, of how this would read in a story, that there is some significance in this moment, perhaps a foreshadowing of what this new age might bring.

I tried putting the rod back up, but couldn't get it to stay put. I was working up a sweat, in our already hot bathroom on what was already at that early morning hour a really hot day. I pulled the tension rod further apart, too far. It wouldn't collapse. I kept pulling it, thinking a spring would activate, that the thing would collapse again. Instead I pulled the rod apart into two pieces. I was wrestling with it, trying to shove the one back into the other, working up a sweat, invoking the Gods, cursing this rod to the fires of Hell. It was one of those mornings. It was the start of being 34 years old.

After a crazy day at work, I stopped by Home Depot, bought a new rod and installed it when I got home, a nicer rod.

Things fall, things break. New things take their place, sometimes better things.

With the new rod installed, with a satisfactory ending written to this ominous story of the start of my year, I started getting wasted, partying. Friday night, I hung out at Nik's house with other friends. We went to Macri Park and then to Metropolitan. As the bar was about to close, I left, walked home. I bought some trail mix and talked to Lucky at the bodega.

Then I had a very romantic morning with myself. I got stoned to counteract other drugs that were keeping me awake. I started blasting Portishead's Dummy in the bathroom and took an hour long shower. At some point, I lay down on the floor of my tub as the shower of hot water fell upon me. Beth Gibbons voice took me to places. I was feeling everything in that moment, stoned and emotional and energetic and sad and happy and horny. I jerked off in the shower, enjoying the spray of water hitting me, curving my back upwards, letting the stream of hot water hit my asshole.

I slept most of Saturday and once I woke up, I started the partying all over again. I went to Nik's house where he threw a joint birthday party for his sister and me. I talked to friends. I blew out some candles. I lit some cigarettes. I left around five, after sitting in his living room on his couch, looking at Grindr while quietly listening to Carole King's Tapestry played on a record player. Walking home, I started chatting with a guy on Grindr. I walked to his house, instead of my own. We fucked in the middle room of his railroad apartment as the sun started to brighten up more and more of the airshaft outside his window. He came. I came. I left.

The sun was well up, the first bits of life starting to populate the street, people opening up bagel shops, coffee stores. Life goes on. The earth keeps circling around the sun. I keep getting older. The sun rises every morning. Things keep going. Metal storefront shutters keep getting rolled up each day. I am so happy to be here on this planet and to be alive. I don't know what that necessarily means, being alive, because to answer that I'd have to be able to also know then what not being alive meant. It sometimes scares me, not knowing what, if anything, follows this. I want to hug people tight in these moments, to feel connected. I go out at night and party and share in the company of other human beings, trying to make the most of this thing we share, this time here together on this spinning rock in space.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ariana Grande - "Love Me Harder"


Alka Seltzer and Ariana Grande are getting me through the day right now. There are burn marks on my back, places my hands failed to reach as I applied sunscreen. The sun is shining outside these office windows and I’m blasting “Love Me Harder. It’s helping me imagine I’m still there, still somewhere on Fire Island. The breakup isn’t as abrupt with this song playing, with me jamming around to it at my desk. I am dancing around, surrounded by attractive men, sun on my skin.

It was a blur of days, of vodka drinks in Solo cups, of pot brownies, of being stoned and goofy and happy. I got home last night absolutely wrecked and slept so hard, sleep something that doesn’t come easy in a beach house with thirteen gay men in it who love to party all day, night, and morning. A couple hours of sleep after the gorgeous sun rises before fearing that fun and sun were being slept through, dragging one’s self to the beach, talking about boys, about dick, about life, about whatever it is people talk about in such a beautiful and gay place.

The walks, as always, were my favorite, those stumbles back and forth through the Meat Rack, crossing between the Grove and the Pines, seeking out fun here or there, enjoying the process of seeking, of walking through those dark woods, dunes around me, sound of ocean waves crashing, stars, so many fucking stars.

I just want to sit on a pier with you and look out over water and let my feet dangle and watch the sunset as we drink cocktails and contemplate what any of it means. Instead, I am back in Manhattan. Turn the song up louder, close your eyes. Click your heels together three times, Dorothy. Return whenever you want.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

William Carlos Williams - "Danse Russe"

I sat with Diego at our kitchen table last evening, drinking wine, talking about various things on our minds. I, of course, was talking about this boy I like, this feeling of having a crush, of liking a person. I talked about how much I wanted to text him, to ask him to grab a drink with me. Diego told me not to act crazy.

What he meant, because he’s seen me do this too many times, was not to appear too thirsty, too hungry, too whatever other adjective connotating not playing it cool you can think of. I told him not too worry, that this boy was different, that I didn’t need to play it cool with this person. Diego’s reply: I’ve heard that before.

And so I texted him, saying we should hang out soon. He responded in the vague affirmative. And then somehow in the following text, in the stretch of just a few short lines, I must have said something wrong, gave myself way, displayed my thirstiness too explicitly, ruined the game. I asked him if he was free tomorrow (now, today).

There was no response. There has been no response.

I got stoned. I got ready for bed. I got naked and looked at myself in my mirror. I looked good. I love the feeling of looking at your body and recognizing that it looks good. There is some vanity in that, obviously. There is also a work ethic in that. I have been going to the gym pretty heavily lately and it makes me happy. I like the feeling of control, of making myself look the way I want to look. It’s such a thrilling feeling to know how much power we have if we listen to our bodies, if we approach the care of them with as much effort as we spend caring for our social media personalities. 

And so this guy may or may not ever happen. I may never kiss him. I may never get to live out all these cute fantasies I had already played in my mind of us dating. And that is perfectly okay. What happens happens, what doesn’t doesn’t. Life goes on. I’ll go to the gym, get stoned, and admire my body in full-length mirrors. “Who shall say I am not the happy genius of my household?”

Monday, June 1, 2015

Janet Jackson - "Never Letchu Go"

I stood on a roof, red Solo cup in one hand, vodka soda in it, cigarette in the other hand. It was sometime after midnight. A party was going on behind me. I stood against the edge of this roof in Bed-Stuy and looked toward Manhattan. The lights of the Williamsburg Bridge had already been turned off. The Brooklyn Bridge was still lit up. I was in love with the darkness and the light punctuating it, a dream demarcated with dots of light.

Few things make me so happy as looking out over Brooklyn rooftops, imagining the lives in them, the lives that were in them. They form such a nice little vista, rising and falling, but only so much, all mostly in line with each other, silver painted roofs, brick exteriors, windows lit, windows unlit.

I thought about things, but in that wasted way one is likely to engage in when smoking a cigarette and looking out at the skyline of New York City. It was a mess of feelings, a mush of feelings, the thought about how much I love this city, how much I love being here, and how afraid I am of losing that feeling. Thoughts of death crept in here for some reason.

I rejoined the party.

I met a boy at the party. I actually met two. Lately, I’m not used to having successful flirtations with guys, but it was happening on that roof. Up in the clouds, magic happens. After flirting with this one cute architect for a long time, this other guy plopped down next to us, and I started talking to him. He was cute and weird and nice and had some energy about him that I wanted to wrestle him, where it seemed like that would probably be okay. He punched my stomach, my shoulders. I was smitten. We sat on the roof and talked about whatever people talk about while on a roof and dance music blasts not too far away.

The night went on. I left without getting his info. The night carried me to other parties, some goth thing, some Metro thing, and a friend’s house where we had sweaty sex until the sun was up.

I woke up in my bed yesterday sometime in the mid-afternoon. The rain started coming down shortly thereafter. I always appreciate a rainy day when I’m hungover and don’t want to leave my house. It makes me feel less guilty, makes the choice to stay in and do nothing that much easier.

The cute boy from the party messaged me back on Facebook. I had found him on there after leaving the party, hunting through the names of the people who were invited to it on Facebook until I found this guy. He gave me his number. We texted back and forth, made vague plans to hang out soon. He was watching The Sound of Music and eating Dominos. Basically, he seems perfect and needless to say I have a huge crush on him.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Giovanni's Room

I reread James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room yesterday. That could be the reason. Or, at least, part of the reason. A reason among a multitude of them. The weather also. As much as we as humans might like to think we’re independent, sentient beings in control of our destiny, our emotions, our lives, often the reason why something is or is not comes down to something so deceptively simple as the weather - a thing we mistake as simple, a part of life, the background to it - when, in fact, it’s often the showrunner, the producer, the script we act out, life itself, the thing that determines what we do or do not feel, how we behave. So the weather, too. Let’s add that to the list of reasons. Also, the gym. Another reason. I’m going to Fire Island in a week and I’ve been working out hard in some last-minute attempt to get more in shape. Working out is producing certain effects in me, inspiring more confidence in my body as well as releasing whatever chemicals and hormones it does, chemicals and hormones that have me increasingly horny over the past several days.

And so it’s the sum of those, plus all the other assorted things life presents - meals, sleep habits, scents of trees, scents of men, people passing by on the street, the skin of shoulders on display on the sidewalks in this warm weather New York is experiencing, memories, texts, imagined futures.

All of these things combine to make me a person, a human, a man, desiring the company of another person, another human, another man. I want something nice. Sex is easy. I jerked off with a guy in the steamroom at my gym yesterday morning before work. Things like that are easy. There are guys on Scruff and Grindr who are to the point, who tell me that they want to be fucked, that they want my load, that they want me to suck their dick. Which, good for them. There are nights, days, mornings when such talk appeals to me. There are nights, days, mornings when I talk such ways also. Lately though, it’s something else I want. I want to have a drink first and chat, and then yes, we can have dirty sex, but I want some connection, to feel something with another human being beforehand.

There is a heat in the subway stations that seems early for late May. In some stations, it already feels like August. The heat has been trapped in some of these stations. People wipe the sweat from their brows and fan themselves with free newspapers, their copies of The New Yorker. Once boarding the train today, I rode next to this man in rolled up short sleeves, wearing pants cuffed high with no socks. There was skin, glorious skin, on display. I wanted so bad to touch it. I let our arms brush against each other while holding the pole above us. There was a moistness to his skin that sent shivers through me. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, imagining certain things, nothing even in particular. I let this reverie of feeling take me off in its current as the train swayed through tunnels, taking us somewhere, to destinations known, to destinations unknown.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Confusion

"Confusion is a luxury which only the very, very young can possibly afford and you are not that young anymore."
-Giovanni's Room (40)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Roisin Murphy's "Exile"

Last week, I flew to Iceland, spent a day in Reykjavik, where I ate whale, fish, and more fish. I walked around the city, cold for the most part, underdressed for the weather. I stood on the water and looked at snowcapped hills across the way, taking in the landscape. I napped in my hotel bed, cruised Grindr, and wrote some stuff for work.

Less than twenty-four hours after landing there, I was off to London. I am always so happy there. I love everything about London. It makes me so happy. So happy even when walking around in shoes that don’t fit. So happy even when stopping in Topman to buy new shoes and then falling down a flight of stairs in those new shoes. So happy even walking around and realizing that these new shoes that I fell in are also too small and hurting my feet. Much energy, probably too much energy, in those few days was spent thinking about footwear.

I hung out with David a lot, went to a lot of fun bars, had lunch with Jacob, saw a couple cool art shows, and saw the incredible Roisin Murphy perform. I kissed a Scottish boy on the street. I had sex with this cute Argentine in some sex club and then had a cute, awkward breakfast date the next morning with him, in which, suave person that I am, I choked on coffee and spit it all over the table and myself.

I bought a new pair of shoes that fit me nicely. I flew home.

There was also a lot of drinking on this trip that was done. This is being mentioned because I had severe stomach pains over the last few days and after going to a doctor yesterday I was told that it was my week of binge-drinking on holiday that most likely messed with my stomach lining. So I have gastritis now. I have to take a regimen of pills for two weeks and am also not to drink coffee or alcohol for a while.

Coffee and alcohol are pretty much all I ever drink. The next couple of weeks are going to be really hard. Or good and healthy. Choose your own adventure.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Martinique

The subway always seems to know when you just cannot be late, when you absolutely have to be on time for something. Otherwise, I can think of no other reason why it is that so often when I leave early for something to get there with plenty of time to spare, that those are the moments when the train stalls or isn’t running or there’s a sick passenger or there’s a pack of feral cats in the tunnel or whatever the reason that day is that the announcer says.

Yesterday morning, despite giving myself plenty of time to get to a job interview, of course the L train (of course, the fucking L train everyone says in agreement) stalls at the 1st Avenue station for a good ten minutes before finally kicking everyone off on to already insanely crowded platform. It took me a good fifteen minutes to push my way out of the station, at which point I took off running toward Union Square, pausing only for traffic lights and to curse the sky - of course, it would fucking be raining then even though that was not in the forecast.

I bolted across this island of Manhattan, hopped on an uptown train and barely made it to my interview on time, covered in sweat, rain, and out of breath.

Despite this, maybe because of this, I managed to charm them and am now on to the next round.

But you just got hired somewhere, you might be saying. And yes, you are indeed right. What then am I doing? Really, I have no clue. I thought the listing sounded slightly interesting and wasn’t expecting to hear back, let alone get called in for an interview the next day.

In that office where I was being interviewed, they had a sample of Martinique wallpaper hanging from the wall. This is a print that I am pretty obsessed with lately. I took this as a sign.

I take a lot of things as signs though.

There’s a boy that I like. Okay, so maybe there a few. For now though, let’s narrow the focus and discuss this one in particular. I have never talked to him in person. I asked him to meet me for a drink. He’s working tonight, but hopefully that will happen soon. I am trying. I haven’t done that in a while, but this weather has me feeling again. Happiness is here with blue skies and rolled up sleeves. I want to clink glasses with a cute boy and talk about life and then have him in my bed. Or, I can end up in theirs. I’m not picky.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Twelve Years

I have been living in this city, New York, for twelve years now. This past week marked the occasion. It was April 24, 2003 that I moved to this city with some vague dreams, some more clearly delineated ones, and two big pieces of luggage.

And so it felt like an appropriate week to officially be hired at my job. My freelance job at this agency I really like has transitioned into a salaried copywriter position. It was one of the weeks where I thought to myself, "I've made it. I am making it." After twelve years in this city of floating from job to job, including some of the oddest jobs imaginable, after twelve years of being satisfied with getting by, after twelve years of not utilizing my actual skills, it felt so, so good to get this job offer.

I moved to New York wanting to be a writer. Twelve years later, it's happening. I am now getting paid to write. And, okay, so I'm not getting paid to write the Proustian work of fiction I had hoped to (I don't think anyone's necessarily hiring for that). Instead, I am getting paid to write advertising. The key takeaway from that previous sentence though is that I am getting paid to write. I am getting paid to write. That feels so good to say. That feels so good to live.

This past week, I also started taking PrEP. Not that I am really engaging in much sex lately, but knowing that when I do that it all too often tends to verge into risky behavior, it gives me so much peace of mind to be on this medication. It's another step for me in what feels like this climb toward adulthood.

The nights are cold in New York during this in-between time of landlords having turned off the heat and the start of warm evenings. Luckily I recently bought a new comforter. Come lay with me under it some night. We can keep each other warm and tell stories as we drift off to sleep.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Heaven is Ten Zillion Light Years Away"

I got my hair cut today. My favorite barber was alone in the shop this morning, it still early for a Sunday. He was blasting salsa music and reading a newspaper while he sat in a barber's seat. I find him in this position a lot when I come in. I used to take so much pleasure in the same thing, just sitting in front of a sunny window and reading and listening to music.

It's a vanishing sight, someone reading a print newspaper by choice, not cause it was handed to you underground where you have no cell service and you want something to read. Meanwhile I had probably spent an hour lying in bed reading bullshit on Facebook and just scrolling through images.

For some reason, I bought a new phone today despite thinking I needed to live more like this man and to quit always having my attention absorbed by my phone's screen.

I also today did something it has taken me more than a decade to do. After living in this city for nearly 13 years now, I finally went and visited the Frick Collection, something I had always meant to get around to seeing. It's a beautiful, beautiful space and walking through it, I played fantasy. I imagined myself living in this house, what it much have been to inhabit this place, walking through scenes of early 20th century New York glamour.

My left eye is red constantly. Stevie Wonder is amazing.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Burrito Fever

Other projects have been consuming my time lately. I haven't forgotten you, dear Diary. You still mean the world to me. I plan to recommit myself to our relationship very soon in a much stronger fashion. It's just that I've been a bit busy. New job. Trying to figure shit out. Life. The usual. You know. Plus, this new website that I've been putting some time into:

www.burritofever.com

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The War on Drugs - "An Ocean in Between the Waves"

I am sitting in the snow globe that is this midtown high-rise for my second to last day, watching the March snowstorm swirl around outside these large windows. It is my second to last day here because, friends, I am happy to say that sometimes dreams do come true, that even when it seems like they may not, even when you are beyond discouraged and at wit’s end from sending out letter after letter to recruiters for months, that still there is hope.

I got an email yesterday morning from an agency that I have been wanting to work at and that I have been in communication with for seemingly months now finally offering me a freelance position there. And I can’t think of a time where news has ever made me happier. To be honest, I guess that’s the feeling you experience when you get a job you’ve been waiting to hear about or that feeling when you got into that school you really wanted to go to, and, yes, I have certainly experienced the emotion before. But the thing about it is that it always feels new, always feels like the pinnacle of happiness, like something you’ve never felt before.

What am I saying is that I was incredibly, incredibly happy, all the more so because I had been starting to experience severe doubts about my competency, about whether I had chosen the right career path, that maybe I wasn’t good enough. I interned at a big agency this past summer, then afterward, despite thinking I would easily get a job, I did not. A couple months went by and I took the only industry offer I got - another internship, this time under the presumption that it would quickly transition into an actual job after a couple months. Five months later, it did not. 

I have been applying everywhere in the past couple months once it became apparent that I would not quickly transition here to being a regular employee as I had been told when I accepted this offer. There were a lot of almosts. Various positions that it seemed like I just almost got. Back and forth with recruiters, only for the talked about jobs to vanish, to no longer be needed, to have been filled by internal referrals, to have needed someone that could start right away.

And so after several of these and after being stuck in intern limbo for the better part of a year now, I was really starting to feel crazy, wondered if I was too old to try a new career path, wondered if I was perhaps not as talented as I thought I was. Almost a year ago, I took a big leap and left the hospitality industry which I had worked in for years and which paid me comfortably to embark on something that I wanted to do, something that let me indulge my creative impulses that I have, something that would let me employ language as my job, to come up with clever ways of saying things. I didn’t think it would be this hard. Recently, I had even started to fear that I might end up going back to hospitality, that maybe I would never get a job in advertising.

Which is why yesterday’s email was such a relief. I wanted to run laps around the office here, shrieking with joy. Instead, I giddily bounced up and down in my chair here and waited until I left for lunch to shriek with joy on the street. And I am still not entirely there yet. It’s a temp-to-perm freelance job. It just means that I have to go in there and be amazing every single day and show these people that I deserve to be here. Which I am going to do, which I can do. 

I am so, so happy.

Friday, February 27, 2015

#thedress

Our world is built on twigs, a little beach hut built on twigs, and it was shaken by the color of a dress yesterday, by the perceived color of a dress.

What we hold to be reality, things that we deem objective truths, that this color is blue, that that color is white, easy things that we can all agree on, came into question yesterday. Our reality, our idea of it, is build upon our flimsy perceptions of the world. Last night, we saw just what a rickety, what a fragile, foundation that is.

At first I saw the dress as white and gold, but then saw it as black and blue. Now it is all I can see and I have a hard time imagining how I saw it as white, and an even harder time understanding how that is what so many people still see when they look at the dress.

There are the internet voices mocking our interest in this dress, how this became a national topic of discussion, saying that it’s proof of the triviality of life in this year of 2015, of the inane things that we choose to focus our attention on. However, I think these commenters entirely miss the point, that this is not a small, inane thing, but instead that is actually one of the biggest things that has ever preoccupied the nation at once. People are dealing with some of the biggest questions, those concerning the nature of reality and how our idea of it is informed by something as imperfect as human perception, that some tiny cones and rods in our retinas create our conception of the world. There are worlds our eyes don’t see, that they are incapable of seeing.

It was a collective national acid trip last night as people questioned their vision and questioned what is real, what is not, and whether there is even such a thing as “real.”

It was a beautiful, beautiful moment.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Carry On, Charlie

I renewed my lease for another year this morning in this apartment I live in, this home of mine in Brooklyn.

I picked up my new glasses today with a stronger prescription so I can see the world with greater clarity.

I signed up for a gym membership again, signing a one-year contract. The gym is the one I used to belong to and it is a couple blocks from where I hope to be working soon (fingers and toes crossed!). Signing up here was an attempt to will this job into being.

I got an email from an eBay seller letting me know that I in fact could buy this gay pulp novel that I had really wanted, and that I had been outbid on, the title of which is, "Carry On, Charlie."

All of these are connected. All, signs of some sort. 

After work today, I stopped uptown, at this guy's house I see every now and then, this piss drinker. I saw myself in his mirror as I undressed and saw hard work unravelling. I saw a thin body without much definition and terrible posture. I saw the months and months I had spent in the gym shaping myself into what I wanted to look like, what I wanted to feel like, fading away. I haven't been to the gym in probably a month, haven't been regularly in months. I had let my gym membership lapse due to being a broke intern and also because I didn't know where I would be working soon, in what neighborhood, and thus was unwilling to commit to a place for a year. Today, though, seeing myself in that man's mirror was the motivation I needed to just say "Fuck it!" and sign back up at my old gym near Madison Square Park. 

Working out felt so great. Yes, there are the physical benefits, but just as important are the mental ones I get from moving my body around, from exhausting it, from working up a sweat like a human body is meant to do. The joy of motion. Sitting at a desk all day, I need this more than ever.

And tomorrow I am going to go into this job that feels like it's in its last days and I am going to hope for an email to appear that will make that true. And then I am going to go run and run and run.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The War on Drugs - "Under the Pressure"

It’s all about acknowledging the world you live in, submitting to it. In the past, I have raged against winter, fought it, wore clothing that was not weather-appropriate, jackets too light, and guess what? Winter won that fight. Nature is going to win any fight. So I have quit fighting. I have a proper winter jacket for the first time since I have lived in New York, one of those synthetic things filled with space technology and probably dangerous chemicals. But I have submitted, given myself to the tide, and I am enjoying this weather so much because of it. There is so much pleasure to be had in feeling that cold shrink your lungs in shock when you first breathe it in, so much pleasure to be had in seeing this city covered in winter as you walk around streets made emptier by the cold, more of the city for you.

I feel on the verge of something, on the verge of changes I have tried to will into being for months and months now.

That has something to do with it also. Every day is filled with anticipation of what might be and appreciation for what is, knowing that my circumstances might soon change. When you acknowledge the temporariness of everything, it becomes a lot easier to appreciate those things, to want to get the most from them while they are still there, while you still are.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Amazing Opening Lines

"On an April Monday in 2010, Patrick Mettes, a fifty-four-year-old television news director being treated for cancer of the bile ducts, read an article on the front page of the Times that would change his death."

-Michael Pollan, "The Trip Treatment," The New Yorker.

Monday, February 2, 2015

collapsing the distance

I am sitting in a high-rise midtown office building. I am watching thin pieces of ice falling slowly through the sky, melting off buildings, careening slowly through the air, turning and turning with each breeze, skiing slowly down some invisible slope. The sky is gray. I am thinking about fantasy. I am thinking about dreams. I am thinking about reality.

I am thinking about how to collapse those things, how to make dreams reality.

Today, I am in possession of the knowledge that that is indeed possible.

Last night, after texting with this porn star all weekend long, he finally texted to say that he was on his way, that he would be at my house in 40 minutes. It’s happening, I thought, as I ran around my house frantically cleaning, brushing my teeth, making sure my asshole was clean, packing my vaporizer.

We smoked some weed and then started to make out. This is happening, I thought as we kissed. I melted into his lips, head and any sense of self exploding all over the borough of Brooklyn.

I have fantasized about this particular person for years, watching his videos, constantly coming across photos of him on Tumblr, following his various social media outlets. He was someone out of reach, a presence on various screens - phone, laptop, tablet - as I jerked off to him, thinking about how fucking sexy he is. And so to see him in my bed, giving me head, that familiar tattoo on his back as I looked down, on that perfectly formed and arched back, that sexy ass. At moments, the entire thing took on elements of the surreal, a dream. And that is because this in fact had been my dream so many times over the past few years. So many late-night stoned masturbation sessions have starred this particular person, imagining what I would do to his body, how I would worship every part of it, run my fingers over his tight abs, hold his beautiful feet in my hands as I fucked him, lick his asshole, feel those defined arms, that gorgeous back, all of it.

And being stoned perhaps added to the dream-like feeling, that these were my dreams, and that here is the person in my bed, and these things are actually happening, that this isn’t a fantasy, that this person is really into this, into me also.

So the lesson kids is that dreams do indeed come true. Don’t be told otherwise. And so I am going for it. Going for everything. I am going to get a job. I am putting that into the universe. Willing it. Applying everywhere.

If this can happen, this thing that was one of my greatest fantasies that I never actually really thought would happen, then surely other things can, any thing can. No lines between dreams and the possible. It’s all fucking possible. Look the fuck out, world.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tanya Tagaq - "Caribou"

I had just finished reading an article in The New Yorker right as the subway train pulled into Grand Central, my stop, where I get off for work each weekday morning. I smiled, in a good mood, filled with a rush of hope for no particular reason out of the blue. I told myself that it was the beginning of the day, that anything could happen. I hummed to myself that New Pornographers’ line, “What will be revealed today?”

As I walked off the train, part of a mass of midtown commuters bumbling toward the stairwell, I looked over my shoulder at the still open train doors behind me, and saw on the side of the train the words, “Your Career Will Be” - the banner ad was cut off by the open subway doors, it clearly an ad for some continuing education school. But it seemed like an answer to the question I had just sung.

There’s a porn star that I have been obsessed with for years, this beautiful guy. I started messaging him a couple nights ago. We’ve been texting each other dirty stuff. Supposedly, we are going to hook up sometime this weekend.

What will be revealed today?

I’m going to keep on reaching, being open, asking for things I want, going after them.

Friday, January 23, 2015

AK-47

I was sitting alone, waiting for a friend. The waitress saw my empty glass, said “Would you like another beer? It’s kinda equivalent to a friend, right?”

I woke up the next day insanely hungover.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Steamrooms of New York

Barry White is playing. He is moaning loudly through my speakers. I am drinking red wine. I am a little stoned. My radiator is pumping out way more heat than anyone could ever need, more than even Barry White would be able to do through his voice.

Basically, what I am trying to say, is that, right now, in this moment, here sitting in my apartment in Brooklyn in the year 2015 (really, two thousand fucking fifteen already? okay.), and listening to good soul music, I am feeling what it is to be a human being, what it is to inhabit a body and to be aware of that, aware of the pleasures that such a thing can entail, all the pleasures that being effortlessly provides when you just sit back and be.

Earlier this evening, I saw the dude I sometimes see uptown, the piss fan. After, because I was in the neighborhood, I went to the gym location nearby. Crowded, it still early January, people still sticking to New Year's resolutions, no open treadmills, I putzed around for a bit before just deciding to sit in the steamroom.

Human bodies, holy fuck! They are such perfect things. I can stare at a foot, a perfectly formed and proportioned foot, of some older man sitting across from me in a towel in this steamroom and believe, know in fact, that there is nothing else, that this is church, what it is supposed to do, a recognition, a momentary and fleeting thing aided by being in a particular physical location - church, steamroom, whathaveyou - in which you get it, in which you know there it is no it to explain, that this, right here, is it. 

The man with the sexy feet left and the guy next to me started rubbing his crotch in a vague enough way so that he could just be a straight dude scratching his balls, a code, a language that only fellow speakers of the language can even hear. And so we started jerking off. His body was gorgeous. To lose oneself in the admiration of the human form is what it is to truly feel alive, to really get what any of this might be about, this time on earth, that it is about pleasures like these. Which is why I was so happy this evening, because I had experienced this particular pleasure that I haven't in so long, the erotic throes of the steamroom, your mind and body slightly exhausted, slightly foggy feeling, from the heat, and so to see, in glimpses of light broken up by tiny particles of moisture, by steam, bodies, defined things, abs, pecs, hairy thighs, stubble, that it's such a treat - such a beautiful thing to lose yourself too.

At some point, some other man, somehow even sexier, joined us. It was a daisy chain of blowjobs, of jerking off. This one guy's cock, this beautiful preppy looking dude, was gorgeous. His cock tasted just as good as I thought it would as I stared at it while he jerked off next to me. He had trimmed body hair and an insanely tight body. I imagined him to be some junior broker or some other type of ambitious and hungry finance dude. Steamrooms are amazing in this regard - your erotic fantasy is allowed to take limitless flight, to follow whatever imaginary fantasies it wants to project on to these people, these anonymous bodies, that it is pure physical attraction, never tempered by something so pedestrian as voice, what one does for a job, how one drinks their coffee, or one's bootcut jeans. It is pure physical attraction.

On the verge of passing out, I left, showered under cold water.

Changing, still sweating, I watched as next to me a gorgeous, wispy, tall guy with a beautiful mop of brown hair took off his towel, and stood naked momentarily before going commando and throwing on a pair of really sexy drop-crotch sweatpants. I watched his ass until the last bit of it was covered and then my eyes traced the outline of his muscled, curved back as he corrected his posture, pulled the pants up, and stood, tall, beautiful man, sexy human form, divine thing.

Monday, January 5, 2015

"Just for the Night" - Evelyn Champagne King

New Year’s Eve, midnight came, I exchanged kisses with various boys, some of whom I have gigantic crushes on. Time kept moving, 2015 did. I got drunk, partied too much. I saw a drag queen sing a song I remember really liking at Metropolitan. Don’t ask me what song it was. The following two days were spent in bed, recovering. Welcome to a new year, a new you.

Friday night, after a couple days rest, he rose again, partying calling out its siren song. I hung out with friends and went to Metro again. Was there til four in the morning. Went over to some guy’s house with some friends, partied more. Migrated to another’s friend’s house, partied more. I had sex with the friend that I have hooked up with a couple times now and stumbled out of his room at nine something. I walked home, zombie loose on the streets of New York, feeling like death, looking like it, respectable people out for their morning coffee looking at me like the gutter monster I felt like. I made it home past the dirty glances, some real, most though probably only perceived, and stood under my shower for a long time. I then went and curled up under piles of blankets and again slept away a couple of days basically, recovering, waking just to watch Netflix and order Mexican food.

And here we are, the first proper work day of 2015, and now I am feeling like the new year has officially started, the starting gun fired.

At what point does partying turn into too excess? By its very nature, isn’t partying excessive? But where is the line that makes it too much so? I am thinking that that line is probably somewhere well before the point where you have a hangover that is going to stretch into two days.

That time in bed was spent devouring lots of BBC-produced small town murder mysteries with female detectives. First, I watched all of Happy Valley, washed that down with Broadchurch, and am now about halfway through Top of the Lake. Despite having some surface similarities, they are all quite excellent in their own ways. What is it about this moment in time that all of these series are being made vaguely similar in their broad brushstrokes? More to the point, what does it say about me, that in this particular moment, first days of 2015, cold snap approaching, that all I want to watch are stories of females with accents out on the hunt for criminals?