Monthly Archives: December 2005

Private Idaho

New Years Eve. Still in Saigon. Shit. No wait, strike that. Hoboken. Home of the homos. More apt, I think. A horrid morning today. Not enough sleep. Bill’s new cellphone kept buzzing and beeping. Every time I’d start to drift off it would buzz and beep. Every single time.

And I’d get farther from the elusive goal of actual sleep. Initially I thought it was his new alarm clock, but it was the phone. I did get up at one point and put it in his nightstand drawer, but I could still hear it. Oh how I wanted to smash it to the floor. But I maintained, I took it out of the floor and put in on the couch two rooms away.

That worked. I couldn’t hear it. But the pier of sleep was so far away and I had a long way to swim. Eventually I did sleep. An hour or so later Bill started to stir. Not in that way. I tried that earlier and it simply wasn’t happening, which of course caused depressing thoughts in my frazzled head.

But as he says, he was that tired.

So when he started to stir and get his day started I grimaced under the covers. I was finally sleeping, not REM sleep, but a reasonable facsimile. But too wracked to stay in bed I had to tell him about his damned phone. Which wasn’t a good way to start the day for either of us.

He was a trouper. He apologized. It was anew phone, he didn’t know all the functions and he was sorry about being tired about that. Fine, I made my coffee, said my piece and went back to bed. He came back with the papers and bagels. Awfully kind thing to do to a shit heel like myself. I got back out of bed and thanked him.

He eventually went to the gym and I sat in the apartment filled with self loathing. And that’s how a part of the end of the day at the end of the year went for me. Self hatred. Oh it was bad. It was bleak. I suppose it’s better to end a year feeling that way than starting it, right?

I couldn’t bear to be in the apartment any longer. Dark thoughts, better to get out into the gray area of Hoboken, which is basically a gray New Years Eve.

So I went into the city. Thought about sex but that was depressing to think about. So I walked around Soho with a scowl. A scowl comes in handy because people really do get out of your way, especially on Canal Street. I really felt alone. No one around, no one to turn to. Sad huh?

And I felt like I was a piece of shit.

I went to Toys In Babeland and hung out with those classy women, lesbians. Went to Old Navy and bought a pea coat with the gift card that the great Julio gave me for my birthday way back when.

I started walking up to Farfetched. On the way I saw a woman with a scrunched up face, literally. It was sad. She must be a strong person to go through life like that I thought. My heart went out to her, and some pity, which she probably would’ve outright rejected. She didn’t need my pity. She didn’t need anything from me. I didn’t have my life anywhere near as bad as she had, and it didn’t mean shit.

As I walked up Lafayette to Farfetched I got a call from Annemarie. The roads from San Francisco to Arcata were closed due to mudslides that had a hella time getting back home. And after they got home, the next morning they had no heat or electricity due to the mudslides I guess. Everyone in Arcata was in the same dark cold boat. Suckez vous.

Despite all that we had a good talk, Earl got his Nirvana magazine, Rex got his Cultivate Peace T shirt. I felt good after talking to Annemarie, almost back to normal.

Went into Farfetched and chatted for a few with Lois and Jessica. Bought yet another gift for Bill. I know this will be used though. The words on it are his, the contents within will be mine. If it’s the thought that counts, I was half thinking.

Went to Virgin, giddy sales people. I was getting into it, after the phone call from sis and the Farf women. Relatively giddy. Had the Ipod and listened to Rufus which was also part of the malaise of the day. Juan and I watched a documentary on Rufus that just recently came out and we seem to both be affected by it. Me more so since I love Rufus, Juan could care less, but still…

Hopped on Path, first car first seat which I gave up to a family who wanted to see how a train snakes through the ground. They were thankful, I was courteous. See? I was getting some sort of vibe.

Came back to the apartment where Bill was cleaning. I apologized for the nth time for this morning, Bill was understanding. I think he was secretly glad I didn’t trash his phone.

Julio called from Copenhagen where somehow he was elected Mayor of Detroit. An inside joke. It basically means while it was 7:30 PM New Years Eve in Hoboken, it was 1:30 AM in Copenhagen and he was ROCKED. As in Detroit Rock City. If you have to explain it, it just ain’t funny. That’s why some jokes should remain inside.

Phone Call From Copenhagen

Stine said hello and also said yes to Julio’s marriage proposal. WOO HOO!

Bill and I made plans to go set some steaks at a restaurant and we did.
JOZ @ Arthurs
Bill @ Arthurs

We wandered around Hoboken, smoking cigars and talking.


Count the bats. Win a Prize.

And now I’m here writing this playing my Ipod while Bill watches TV a few feet from this keyboard.

Happy New Year.

Good Vibrations

I bring thee glad tidings and well wishes. Though tomorrow is but another day, I thought I’d tell you today. The lobster department has made fun of all excess baggage and with ample displays of affection decided you should be alerted to the strange and peculiar dreams you’ve been having.

Yes we in the Fromm Fromm Group have noticed certain abrasions not normally seen to the naked eye. That’s why we decided to close this particular eye. I personally didn’t like the way it’s been looking at me. I’m sorry naked isn’t closed. It’s clothed. Misprint you see.

***********************************

Heads will roll. What if no one is calling? Yes, that is a good question. Unfortunately there are no easy answers. Plenty of easy questions though. In fact on page 323 in the catalog you will see we have a sale on easy questions. Just enter promo code N967GH
And it will be deducted from the final sale.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Say what? Say what? The muthafuckin show is over. Get your ass outta here, ya heard?
I come correct y’all. Don’t even try it. Why you gotta be all up I my grill and shit? What the fuck is that all about? You got major squabbles son. Major squabbles. Just keep it gully yo.

When I say ‘What’ you say ‘Who’. ‘What’ “WHO’ ‘What’ ‘WHO’ And now a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

?????????????????????????????????

Hung out today with Juan. Met up in Bokeyland and rode the Path to Christopher Street. Had a late lunch at the Grey Dog Café on Carmine Street, and then we hit the Anti-imperialist Bookstore across the street. Juan wanted to go to Urban Outfitters, so we strolled up Sixth Avenue.

Juan’s a funny guy. Smart and quick witted. Always good to meet someone fast thinking like that. I have no complaints. Well I do, but not about Juan. He tells me tales of woe regarding his escapades. Or was it Ice Capades? I can’t really see him on ice. I can see him drinking something on ice though.

You will have to visit his blog to find out what is going on in life. I ain’t saying shit.

We came back and watched a Rufus Wainwright DVD that I wanted for Christmas but instead rented through Netflix. Pretty cool DVD. Interviews with Elton and Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys and Jake and Baby Daddy from Scissor Sisters. Yes, it was a big gay fest, sans towels.

Diggin the Ipod immensely. Downloaded for free the SNL Digital Short, “Lazy Sunday” which was the short I may have mentioned a few weeks ago. Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell. Brilliant.

Right now listening to the Pet Sounds Sessions that I borrowed from Frank. Now it’s Caesaria Evora from Cape Verde. Love the shuffle.

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas or another holiday. Mine was good. Happy to be here, ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. There is now the paranoid thought that maybe I shouldn’t have written that. Tempting fate they say. William, my ex flatmate used to say Tempting Providence, not knowing that providence is actually a good thing, so tempting it might not be such a bad idea.

And life flows on within you and without you.

Funtime

DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SHOCKED.
SERIOUSLY. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.

Signs. Leaving apartment while wearing my coat, the coat gets caught on a closet door. Earlier while on the phone with Juan (new bff), I had to water Julio’s plants. There was no water. I thought he might have turned off the water while he was going to be in Denmark. So I used the bottled water. Turns out the building’s water was off. But I wasn’t sure whether or not I turned off the tap. So after freeing myself from the closet door, I listened at Julio’s door.

The tap was on. I had to go back up to my apartment to get his keys. Thinking will I never get started on this ‘mission’, I returned and turned off the tap and threw the keys in my bag. Finally made it out to the street where it was warmer than expected and I was overdressed. Fine. Deal with it.

Walk up to Washington Street and was going to walk to the Path when I saw the bus approaching. Walked over to the stop where a nun and a swishy queen were waiting. I deferred to the nun, the queen was all attitude. I hoped I wouldn’t run into her later. Sat down 2 rows behind some guy who was a reasonable facsimile of Bill. Omen? When Bill and I separated a few months ago, I noticed one afternoon in NYC that there were many balding men of color with goatees were in the street.

So much so I had to call Rand to confirm that there are so many guys like that. Rand said there were and that I wasn’t losing my mind in my heartsickness over Bill. I only had eyes for Bill for such a while that no one else existed. Even if they looked like carbon copies.

The bus was taking forever due to a crap fare box. Damn machine was rather picky on what dollars it would accept and how the dollars were placed in it. The bus driver knew and didn’t care that he was taking 5 minutes or more at every stop. Not his fault, blame NJ Transit.

I start to think these were omens to warn me on my adventure. Karmic roadblocks, fueled by paranoia, and a nervous hyper awareness. After what seemed to be forever we got to the Tunnel. I walked off the bus like I was walking into a new land. With trepidation, I text message Bill telling him I’m 100 yards from where he works. I was hoping for a hug of encouragement and support.

Then I called him. Turns out he’s 100 yards from where I work, shopping at the Sony store. We made plans to meet on Madison as I was walking up and he was walking south. He knew how nervous I was when we met and gave me a great big hug and kiss. Then I got clocked (checked out) by some cute little office worker.

That’s the funny thing. When I started to embark on this adventure, I started resorting to my old tricks of seeing almost everyman as a potential partner. I lived my life like that quite a bit. It had gotten tiresome for me and the quality of men had fallen off as well. Then I eventually hooked up with Bill and stopped looking around, not totally, but much less obsessively as it had gotten. Now it seems to be starting up again.

Right before I met Bill on Madison Avenue I walked by a woman who was talking into her cell phone about what a big slut she is. Another omen.

Bill headed back to work and I headed over to 2nd Avenue. I knew a drink might calm my nerves and I went into a pub and ordered a pint. Ah, Guinness. As Bill called it, ‘Liquid Courage’. The pint was so familiar that I could’ve easily stayed in the pub all afternoon. I downed it in 10 minutes. I ambled up 2nd Ave and headed up to 56th street. The jukebox was playing Howard Jones ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ as I left. That song I equate with my sordid past by the piers in their last days of casual sex.

Omen anyone?

I get to the building where the East Side Club is. I walk to the elevator and see that it is out of order. Another omen.

I turned around and was going to call Bill when I saw a staircase and a service elevator. I didn’t know what the protocol for the service elevator was so I took the stairs up six flights. So I climb.

At the third floor was a Global Vision company. Not what I was looking for. By the fourth floor I was wondering if any other guys would’ve climbed so far. Of course they would. Men will try to overcome any obstacle if they know there is sex at the end. Or in the end.

At the fifth floor I was ready to give up. I wasn’t storming up the stairs, but my nervous energy was waning fast. That nervous energy got me from the Port Authority at 42nd street and Eighth Avenue to 56th Street and 2nd Avenue. I was out of breath and too exhausted to be nervous when I got to the sixth floor. My destination.

I walked up and got behind one guy on line. He went in and then it was my turn. I asked for a temporary membership and a room. Showed ID, signed various bits of paper, paid 31 dollars and was allowed entry.

An attendant walked me to my room, more like a cubicle with a hard bed in it. Tipped him a buck and then walked in closed the door and got dressed like everyone else.

In a towel.

It wasn’t Dante’s Inferno, nor was it everyone running around shoving their cocks in your face or ass. It was a bunch of guys in towels looking to get off. Over a hundred rooms, quite a few guys, some with doors open, showing themselves off, some lying on their bellies. And guys like me wandering around looking in.

There were some lookers, some old timers aka trolls. I hooked up, all safe. Somethings I hadn’t done in ages. I had a good time. My fears were bullshit. I will probably go again sometime. After about 90 minutes I had my fill, or actually I was spent.

Got the clothes back on and headed south to meet King Jesse, a Rasta pal. New Years Eve weekend, got to get supplies early.

Came home, changed my clothes and headed into the city to meet Bill for dinner and Brokeback Mountain. We had dinner at the Film Center Café. We talked about my escapade. He was happy it went well. We discussed us, our love for one another. Obviously the love is there. But he needs more than one sexual partner, or someone who is different than me, and after my trip this afternoon I need someone different from him sometimes.

I wish it were some other way, but this is how it is and how we have to deal with it. Both parties happy, at least sexually. Every other angle we’re happy and the sex between us has been phenomenal lately.

We sat in the theatre watching a tragic love story holding hands, glad that we both have each other. It’s a great movie worth catching.

I do want to grow old with Bill very much and I know he feels the same. I never get tired of saying ‘I love you’ to him and he doesn’t get tired of saying ‘I love you’ to me.

An interesting turn of events, I think.

Just One Of Those Things

I seem to have picked the wrong time to be off of work. There is no one around. Everyone is either working, in Denmark, San Francisco or sick with the flu. Libido was staring me in the face today. And no relief with Bill’s schedule this week. Déjà vu? I don’t think so.

So after doing my morning routine of getting the bagels and the papers, making breakfast and coffee I usually sit in front of a box, either the TV or the computer. And I do one of those things everyday when I’m at work. So I chat or watch TV. And there is really nothing on TV this week. No daily showing of King Kong. Maybe I dreamt all that up.

I was tired of climbing the walls. So I bounced into the city to WTC. Went to Ann Street which was a complete waste of time. Annoying at parts. That was a waste of money, so I walked up up up through Chinatown, Little Italy, Lower East Side and the East Village.

It was a nice day. The sun was shining and I was able to smoke my cigar in relative comfort. Lot’s of cute guys out, all different shapes, sizes and colors. I had my Ipod on playing Led Zeppelin so if they said, “Hey Mister, You Bangin’” I would not have heard it.

When I walk down the street with Bill, he seems to always see guys that are clocking me. Clocking means being checked out. I am usually oblivious to it. I rarely see it. I even see chicks checking out Julio sometimes. I guess everyone gets checked out. I used to be more aware of it then.

Now I have an Ipod.

So who needs my friends who are scattered through out the world? Not me, as long as I got 30GB. I can watch video on it. Probably could download porn somewhere, somehow. I’m sure it’s possible. Then all I have to do is wait for Steve Jobs to come out with a device that does…..

That was a joke. No really.

Ok, Ann Street was busy yet crowded and one pesky Ebola carrying mosquito would not leave me alone. I wonder if it will be reported somewhere that Phillip Seymour Hoffman has been spotted leaving some seedy clubs downtown. I had enough of the mosquito and split.

It was a weird scene. My curiosity was piqued though and my imagination freed. Some pretty good ideas that I may or may not carry on. And a few that I will definitely carry on with. And since I’ve been writing this dreary thing, you’ll find out probably within hours after it happens.

I should’ve suggested this before the Holidays, but you can, of course change that by taking up a collection amongst yourselves, (yes, both of you) and buying me a laptop, fully loaded so that after the things I have in mind happen, you’ll find out instantly.

Well almost instantly. I would have to wash up first.

Beauty and the Beast

Last night had Juan, aka mamonohunterneo from Gay.com over. Nothing sexual, just hanging out for some drinks. Holiday time you know. It was mellow. He was supposed to come over on Christmas night but schedules and arrivals and departures made it necessary to realign.

Bill initially thought he was coming over for a rendezvous, but I reassured him that it wasn’t the case. So around 9:00 Juan rang the buzzer and started the climb to the fifth floor. He revealed himself to be a lot taller than his online photo would have you believe.

But he was good company, drinking Absolut straight, mine was on the rocks with Diet 7Up and Bill of course didn’t drink. Some blazin’ went on and feeding of cake. We watched the last installment of ‘A Decade Under The Influence’, which featured Star Wars and Jaws.

I had to explain to Juan how big those movies actually were. Major events in my life. I remembered going to the Hiway Theatre in Fair Lawn late one Friday night to see Jaws when that came out. I don’t remember who I went with to see Star Wars, but was able to recollect seeing it 3 times in one day.

After a few hours of drinking and blazin’ I was getting ready to crash. I had hit the plateau a little while earlier, and I knew what was around the corner. We watched some more videos on DVD but Juan started to come down as well. I arranged for a cab to come and drive him home and walked him downstairs.

The cab came soon enough and I came back up and attempted to tie last night’s blog together but all the words kept moving about the screen. I felt it would be best to finalize it this morning, which I did. It was nice to find some people wondering where the blog was for 12.26.

It appeared eventually after some coffee. I had an idea to see King Kong with Bill tonight and made arrangements. Also received word from Juan that his wallet had gone missing. I checked around here to make sure it wasn’t here, nor under the couch and it wasn’t. He must have had it to pay for his cab. I gave him the number of the cab company, but I still don’t think it was turned in.

Met up with Bill and walked to AMC25 on 42nd Street. The 6:20 show was sold out so we bought 7:00 tickets. Then we went to McDonalds to get something to eat. I know, McDonalds. It had been a few years, but we were starving, and King Kong is almost 3 hours long so it was a couple of burgers and fries for the both of us. After wolfing them down, we made the long climb to the theatre that was screening King Kong. It’s a gigantic cinema-plex, 25 theatres.

We settled in and it was sold out shortly after. 15 minutes of commercials and coming attractions and it started. It was great, a good homage to the original 1930’s original. The sets were fantastic for 1930’s Manhattan. And there is the sadness. I was hoping that they could get away, Ann and Kong, but really where would they go?

To the special land where Tony and Maria live when the two of them flee the West Side Story, yeah that’ll do.

The original captivated me. If I remember correctly WOR Channel 9 would show it everyday between Christmas and New Year’s which was great if you were out of school on break like I was.

I was so captivated that I used to drive my mother nuts, constantly asking if she saw King Kong climbing the Empire State Building when she was growing up in 1930’s Bronx. Or ask her the name of the theme song. She knew a lot about music so why wouldn’t it be possible that she wouldn’t know the theme from King Kong?

Well, she didn’t.

Bill and I are planning to go see Brokeback Mountain. I was hoping for Thursday, he was hoping for Friday. I’m on vacation and have nothing to do. He’s working and has his work friends, and made plans with Brad the photog to go to Nat Sherman’s Cigar thing on Thursday. I was surprised and said that I thought Brokeback Mountain was something we should do, but in retrospect, we can go Friday. But Bill’s hesitant.

Really doesn’t matter. I could even join the two of them on Thursday. I think out of the three of us, I’d know about and smoke more cigars than the two of them combined. Plus I had been invited to these Thursday night Cigar things in the past by online chatters, so who knows? Maybe I’ll know some of them…

Still unresolved. I’d like to meet Brad, and I’d like to smoke a cigar, so perhaps.

Bill on the bus
homage to song

TKO (Boxing Day)

100 Page Super Spectacular

I took yesterday off so today is an attempt to double up. Been having a gay ol’ time the past few days. And you know that can’t be bad. The piper’s union has been lax but then again I’ve been living on the down low, and it’s usually under covers.

All in all it was a good Christmas, and not necessarily gift wise. Bill’s been quite amazing, and he’s had some erotic photos taken. Really erotic. Too erotic to be posted here. So don’t ask. But they are quite hot. So a shout out to Bill.

Had an excellent online chat with a good friend mamonohunterneo. A wise lad. And also quite hilarious. So a shout out to him.

Off work this week and already trying to think about something. Of course I have my best ideas when I’m away from the computer. Sometimes remembered, often not. So a shout out to my memory.

Diggin the Ipod. It has already uploaded everything on my Itunes. Took most of the day to get 5,074 songs. Now comes the task of whittling them down. It’s a gray day in Hoboken. Perfect laundry day. Feels like a Sunday.

Right now on Unsolved Mysteries is a missing woman who may have been too influenced by Jack Kerouac. Specifically his book ‘Dharma Bums’. Did she just pick up and vanish? She was sighted 30 miles south of Seattle dazed and confused. I read Dharma Bums sometime ago, it wasn’t that good. Kerouac’s best is of course, ‘On the Road’.

That was inspirational. Through Kerouac I learned about the Beats and latched onto Burroughs. I read most of Burroughs stuff and liked it then, now…? I enjoyed his character more than his fiction.

For a long time if someone was stuck on getting me something for a gift, chances are they went to the Burroughs section in various bookstores. There was a point in my life when a few friends decided to dabble in heroin. They would tell me that they had shot up last weekend, or when they were in Chicago. I would be horrified and ask why were they telling me this, they would respond, ‘You’ve read Burroughs’.

A lot of dear friends bought me blank books, which was nice, but I found them too intimidating.

I have a great collection of partially used blank books, usually with the first dozen pages filled with ambitious writing in a pharmaceutical scrawl. There are also the marble notebooks that I filled while working at McSwells. Those are drunken observations occasionally fueled by chemicals.

By the way, this is not fueled by chemicals. Does it show?

I spent a lot of time in the 80’s experimenting with things, and justified it by claiming it to be Burroughsian. I believed it, I think others did too. It was fun. Nobody got hurt as far as I know. And everyone was doing it. I know I know, that’s no excuse, so I’ll stick to the Burroughsian concept instead.

There is always a price to pay, hence the formation of the Piper’s Local Union 724. A surly mob, not as effete as you’d expect pipers to be. And they do show up sometimes at the gates of dawn.

Isn’t Robert Stack dead? Yes, Virginia, he’s dead. 2003. Odd to see him still hosting Unsolved Mysteries. Back in the enhanced years, I would crash at a friend’s house in Queens. His wife was always up late watching Unsolved Mysteries or similar fact based shows. I’d lie on the floor twitching.

It was fun though it doesn’t read that way.

It’s 12:30 PM. Feels like 5PM. I’m living too fast, getting ahead of myself.

Yes this is the sober ramble. Perhaps later if I dare venture out of the apartment again, I might change that.

Just logged onto gay.com and was invited to a party. I panicked, hesitated and wound up missing out. Sounded like a good time. One guy who’s been chatting with me for a long time and a pal of his from the Village. The first guy was setting it up. So I dropped the ball(s). There was a lot of pressure involved.

Hot X rated pics from the 2nd guy. All this eroticism. Aren’t I lucky? So many men, such little time as the song goes. And then there’s me getting the fuck up off the couch. It was enticing.

It was in line with what Bill and I pillow talked about. But I would’ve preferred Bill to be involved. I’m sure he would’ve too.

But inaction, plus paying dues top the piper’s union doesn’t actually make one sociable.

I am getting over it.

Actually ventured out to the supermarket. A remarkable accomplishment. Store was busy. I flew in and flew out. Outside the funeral home a group of mourners were planning their next move after the current viewing. Holiday funerals, what a drag.

“Or my name isn’t Riddick Bowe”

I had no idea Barbara was such an anti Semite.

I’m skimming through a book Julio gave me about the Beatles written by an insider. Starting to take an Anti Yoko stance. If it’s true, what a con…

Microderm abrasion indeed!

Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Ok the hair of the dog. First drink of the day. 6:55 pm. I would like to get the Rufus Wainwright Documentary. And David Rakoff’s new book. Well I can get that at the Library probably. So much to read. Behind in my New Yorker, but it’s better than having a New Yorker in my behind.

I am in love with the Ipod. Perverse.

“Crows feet are engraved on my face, and I’m living too late” Mark E. Smith The Fall. Brilliant lyrics that read like poetry and when Mark sings them, it’s perfect. The Fall are not for everyone, but there’s a really good collection called ’50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong’ The title and cover art are a play on Elvis Presley. You had to be there.

“So, the caterpillar has emerged from its cocoon as a shark with a gun for a mouth”

Bustle off to Shuffalo

Christmas Time is Here Again

Christmas Eve. Every year for quite a while now we gather at my brother Brian’s house on Christmas Eve. When my mother was still alive we’d meet in Lodi at my parent’s house. I don’t think we ever went there on Christmas Eve after she died. Maybe the year she died we did but we all probably found it all too depressing and decided not to do that again.

My sister Annemarie is in California and is in contact with us through a phone call. Not the same thing but it’s a chance to speak with all of us on the east coast under one roof at the same time. We all wish Rex, Earl and Annemarie a wonderful holiday. One of these years I’ll go out there or maybe they’ll be here. It would be great. Haven’t spent the holidays with them in ages.

TBS is showing Christmas Story over and over and that’s really a lot of fun. Bill and I just exchanged presents. I got him some photo books on buses, which in his case qualifies as porn. He got me a video Ipod. Ay caramba!

Totally unexpected. I am blown away, literally and figuratively. Wowee Kazowee. I am so glad we got back together. It would’ve been a bad holiday otherwise. And I write that not because of the Ipod. I do love him so. Hillary, Brian and Cassie adore him. He tells them the most detailed things about driving buses and they are totally engrossed. Amazing. They are great kids, Bill included.

Julio noted that I love Bill because of that childlike quality. It’s true, I can’t deny it. There is an innocence in his eyes and his manner.

My brother Brian and I seem to really bond around this time of year. We always do a shot of Jagermeister together. If Frank drank, he’d join us I’m sure, but he doesn’t drink so he doesn’t join us.

Bill drove a Zip car Volvo which allowed me to drink. And drink I did. Tis the season. That is probably the third time I wrote that in the past few days. Me likey the Absolut. Elaine did too. No booze for Cory, not since Karen’s party and Frank’s watchful eye. And her falling under the influence of her nasty uncle, me. And Brian.

There was the usual unease about seeing almost everyone en masse. And as usual it was unwarranted. Bill and I dressed in suits and ties and had to answer several times why we were dressed up.

My family never sees me like this, and they don’t see Bill like that either. It’s fun and any excuse to get dressed up will do in our book. And that book is being written everyday together.

Brian’s wife Karen out did her self once again. One of these years she’ll actually sit down and enjoy the meal with us that she had labored over for quite a while. Karen has definitely fulfilled the role of matriarch for the O’Tooles. No Jones Sausages at 1:00 AM. She cooked a beef tenderloin. Such a sweetheart. They all are.

Angel

Progress report courtesy of Absolut. I know, what else is knew. The past entries lately have been fueled by Swedish Vodka. For the left coast, relax, don’t worry. I’m not driving as I write this. It’s mellow, cheap and once again, Tis the season. Believe me left coasters, I know you would if you could!

Friday the 23rd of December. Party weekend indeed. Well I’m partying. Having a fine time. No complaints on this end. Made it to work today. The lie that I put out yesterday became real today. I suppose that might fall under the heading of Karma. Bill is looking at photos that he has taken. And looking at photos that have been taken of him. Hot stuff.

Really. Hot enough that I might join the next photo session. A friend of his from work, Brad has been expanding his photographic vocabulary with sessions with Bill. Highly charged, erotic, and some bearing the work of a fluffer. Which surprisingly enough doesn’t really bother me.

We plan, I suggested that we do a session together. I haven’t met the photog yet, but I do like him. He was someone that Bill spoke to during our troubles and he gave Bill some sage advice. Sage enough for someone younger than both of us. Ok, so maybe sage isn’t the right word. But it was good advice enough to make me appreciate it, via Bill.

The progress report is that no SAS planes went down. Julio made it to Copenhagen, and is probably with Stine as I write this. Of course it’s 5AM or so he’s wide awake and Stine is asleep. Or maybe they’re both awake. That’s more like it. And that’s all I’ll have to say on that matter.

Bill and I watched Beetlejuice which he never saw before and he loved it, how could he not?

The other night Julio and I in our endless discussion talked about Bill and I. I once again professed my love for the big lug. There’s something about him, intangible, that I really love. I see it, I feel it. It’s quite real. The problems that happened were many and on both sides.

But I’d rather not get into that. I’m feeling pretty good. That’s why we’re going into counseling in January. January 9th to be exact at 7:15PM. Should be weird. How could it not be?

I have issues, he has issues. That’s what we have to work out.

But I’m feeling good, don’t want to deal with that right now. So what can I write about?
Good question. I’m like Kerouac right now, so anything can happen. In the sense that I’m buzzin’.

Rod 2.0 is up and running. I enjoy his blog. Slanted to the gay black male, but open minded enough to include anyone who has a brain. But it really helps if you’re gay. We’ve exchanged emails the past few days. He’s been encouraging in the past and it was my turn to do the same.

I love Bill very much and want to make him happy. I know he feels the same. La Di Da.

I’ve done it again

Julio has flown off to Copenhagen to get married to Stine. Last night we hung out and I guess it was an informal bachelor party. Bill joined us for a little while, but mostly it was Julio and myself. I’ve known Julio for almost 20 years, he knows me pretty well. Can’t get away with any shit when he’s around which is fine.

He’s a good friend like that. I came home and had an Absolut after work and was joined soon after by Julio. We just fell into our roles and rapped all night. Talked about Stine whom we both love, talked about our upbringings, our father’s and death. Not exactly a swinging bachelor party despite my repeated offers to strip for him.

He refused to strip for me of course so no nudity was involved. My offer of a lap dance terrified him also. I’d probably crush him. He showed the ring to Bill and myself and quite a lovely ring it is. Hopefully he brought it with him on the plane. I know he did, he’s not the forgetful type.

We were up until 2-ish just rapping and drinking. After he left I waddled off to bed. Bill was quite aware of me in the bed as I probably just flopped onto him. Due to the Transit strike, he’s been getting up at 4:30. He says he repeated kissed me before he left, but I was in a vegetative state. And no feeding tube involved.

I woke up at my usual time and got in the shower, washed up, dried off and started getting dressed when I realized I was in no condition to go to work. Not up to snuff and it was my turn to not deal with the Transit strike today. Or deal with anything today. So I called in sick. I know, what the fuck, but believe me, it was for the best.

I will be in tomorrow, that’s a given. But today, uh uh, No way. If I made it in it would have turned out badly. I would’ve crashed by noon. I did the right thing for the wrong reason.

There were occasional moments of guilt and self loathing today followed by a low pressure system. Julio stopped up for some coffee, and was amazed as I was by how much vodka we drank. Tis the season you know. We didn’t kill the bottle, but caused it grievous bodily harm

Coffee, Tylenol and lot’s of water were the breakfast menu. He was packed up and ready to go. I am quite happy for him, and for Stine. She’s a great, pretty and intelligent woman and she brings out a really good side of a really good guy. I wish I could fly over for the ceremony but it’s not in my financial plan at this moment.

I wish them all the best that I can. A lovely couple. A safe trip there and back and a long and happy future for the both of them. Cheers!

Absolute

I was correct. The good feeling didn’t last. New Yorkers are getting surly again, two of the gorgons came to work today. Sometimes I just wish I was wrong. It wasn’t so bad. I was able to flee the office for a spell and hide out at the Post Office which really isn’t much of a refuge, but it beats hell almost every time.

There was a silver lining though. Jamie, the office manager, who I’m liking more and more gave Christina and I gifts. Money cards, which contained a very generous amount. Apparently an office collection was taken up and wow, they came through. Perhaps even the gorgons contributed.

Then my allies in IT, Gazi, Vinnie and Ahsen gave me a separate gift, not for Christina. Cash, very nice, very generous. I was touched, really. I regretted hounding Gazi to return my first volume of ‘I Claudius’. I figured that since I thought I was going to lose my job at any moment that it would be good to get my shit together. But having wrote that I placed it back in my bag, but now I remember that he’s going to be out until next year. I took the DVD back out of the bag. Maybe next year for Gazi.

These guys are great. I really dig them. They all received brotha hugs. They didn’t have to do it. The other day Gazi handed me a stack of photos that I was printing. Not business related, yet not X rated. That was cool of him. I plan to get them things for their babies, they all became dads this year. Vinnie for the first time, Gazi and Ahsen for the second or third time.

I plan to get them some baby things from Farfetched. I was thinking about it before they were so generous, no I am compelled to do so. They’re worth it. I got Jamie a copy of the latest MoJo Magazine from the UK. She’s a big Bruce fan so we sort of bond about him. My knowledge of Bruce is mainly from my brothers and sister.

Lately I’ve been listening to some songs from His second LP, ‘The Wild etc.’ That’s the one I heard the most from Frank’s room, and Annemarie’s room when I was growing up. I have a sweet memory from this past summer with Annemarie, Earl and Stine, Julio’s soon to be betrothed.

Driving through the shore towns, the moneyed shore towns that is, and listening to ‘Incident on Fifty Seventh Street’. But why does he keep singing, ‘Puerto Rican Jane, Won’t you tell me what’s your name’? It’s Jane dummy.

I guess I like ‘Wild’, Born to Run and Darkness out of all his things. But I truly adore his version of Tom Waits ‘Jersey Girl’. A really beautiful song, enhanced by the crowd going nuts every time Bruce mentions New Jersey.

I’d love to hear Tom Waits version sometime. I love Tom. Very challenging. Quite the outsider. I like that. One of the best shows ever was seeing him and his band on Broadway. Brilliant. Would love to see him again, but the last time he played NY the price was quite steep. But I’m sure he’d be worth it. I’d love to go with Bill and Julio. It would be a show unlike any they’d ever seen before.

I missed the Roches, Loudon Wainwright played with the Roches and his daughter Lucy was there too. And I am missing the McGarrigles tonight. C’est La vie.

New Feeling

Ok there is a major transit strike in town. It’s pretty dire for a lot of people. It’s not so bad coming into New York City from Hoboken. But it’s a major problem for a lot of people. If you live and work in Manhattan you’re pretty much ok. A lot of walking is involved. But you’d be surprised at how many people rarely walk in this great walking city.

I walk almost everyday from 42nd Street and Eight Avenue to 56th Street and Park Avenue. That’s in the morning, in the evening I walk from 56th down to 32nd Street and Sixth Avenue. That’s a lot of walking I suppose. I don’t think of it. So when I heard people complaining about walking twenty blocks and act like it’s climbing Mount Everest, all I could do was larf.

Because of the transit strike, I had an excellent day. Very busy and very productive, and calm and peaceful. You see the three gorgons were out due to the strike. I woke up knowing that if there was a strike, they would not be in. It was a very good feeling. I didn’t hustle or make any extra effort to get to the office. I knew Christina wasn’t going to be there.

I had no idea who would actually be there though. I meandered on my way to work. Tony who I photographed as he made my egg sandwich last week was absent due to the strike. I couldn’t believe this! Fucking Transit Workers Union! Fucking MTA! I got over it and left. The substitute Tony was taking way too long.

I was in no hurry. I had Talking Heads 77 on the Ipod. Haven’t heard it in a long time Actually was thinking the other day that it’s one of my least favorites, but actually it’s so good.

Fifth Avenue was closed to traffic except for emergency vehicles. This was one of those moments when New Yorkers really do pull together and are actually considerate of each other. The ‘we’re all in the same boat’ feeling. It won’t last long though.

I got to the office at 8:05. Not bad at all. Imagine if I applied myself. Maybe could’ve gotten in at 8:03. If only I was more of a go-getter. The office was almost empty. At one end was John McGruff, at the other Gazi and Vinnie.

Gazi and Vinnie are two of the techs. The IT department. Good guys, pretty funny. Allies. But today was Armistice Day almost. Or maybe a cease fire, when the bad guys don’t show up, or in this case, the gorgons and the gorgons were out. Brenda came in, and we both knew it was going to be a good day. She’s no gorgon.

It flew by and there was free pizza. What could be better? I know it’s not going to last. The good feeling inside will fade like the good feelings outside. But be here now. Enjoy the moment.

I had wandered around midtown after work and enjoyed it all. Lot’s of people walking, subterraneans, troglodytes and me. The whole strike hasn’t affected me like a lot of other people. It really helped me out considerably.

I decided to take the bus home because I had a feeling the PATH would be crowded with people going downtown. They wouldn’t be heading to Hoboken. I lucked out, a bus was almost ready to go, I got in and sat next to a woman reading the Wall Street Journal, or more like hiding behind it.

A few rows up, some wild eyed guy, in a good way perhaps, got up and looked in my direction. Did I know him? Was he looking at me, or the person behind me? Or the woman hiding behind the Wall Street Journal?

No, it was me. I didn’t know him at all. No late night trick, that’s for sure. Too normal looking. He was wearing a navy Mickey Mantle T shirt and a green LL Bean hunter’s coat. Like I said, not my type.

He walks over to me, and holds out the latest Time magazine, Persons of the Year, and asks me if I know who the persons of the year are. I say, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Bono. He is stunned. He starts to go back to his seat a few rows ahead, then turns and gives me the magazine, asking me, ‘How did I know?’

I take the magazine and put it in the overheard compartment. He goes back to his seat. I ask the woman who is hiding behind the Journal, ‘Why did that happen to me?’ She said it was because I made eye contact. That’s why she was hiding behind the Journal. I guess she appreciated me sitting there.

I pulled out Man Ray in Montparnasse and dove right in. Crazy guy kept looking at my direction, at me. I furrowed my brow reading about some party with Picasso and Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp playing chess in some café in 1922. Crazy guy started talking to the guy behind him, then as his stop approached he moved to the front of the bus.

The girl behind the Journal asked if he was tweaked or what. He might have been. I said he could be a very happy yet lonely guy. Of course when I got off the bus a few stops later I had an eerie feeling that he might have snuck up behind me with a rolled up copy of the Persons of The Year, ready to bash my head in. Or maybe not.

Feast On My Heart

Oh everything is just so fucking great. Life is wonderful. I just smile through the day. It’s my umbrella you know. I turned my frown upside down, and have put away all sharp objects. I cannot harm myself or anyone else. I work for the most wonderful company filled with the best coworkers ever!

I love them all so god damned much! I can’t imagine not working with them. Well that’s a double negative so I guess I can imagine not working with them. I plan on joining the office collection to get John McGruff a present for Christmas. I think they’re leaning towards a spine. He hasn’t had one for so long.

That was my mantra. I carried it through most of the day. Smile, say hello to everyone including Helen Pollard Isaac, who said I was a fag last week. Yes the death by kindness is my motive. I figure since they’re killing me with death by a thousand cuts, the least I can do is smile through the ordeal.

I listened to Pylon today. A lot of Pylon. They are/were a great band from Athens, GA. Vanessa, Michael, Curtis and Randy. I saw them quite a few times. I have to admit, the first time I saw them I didn’t like them very much. I saw them open for Talking Heads in Central Park in 1980.

I bought their second album at Free Being, a now defunct record store on 2nd Avenue. As soon as I played it, I fell in love with them. I turned Jet onto them also. Very danceable, stark and great vocals. Vanessa would dance wildly on stage, as Curtis would beat up his drums, and Randy and Michael would choreograph bass and guitars swinging in time to the beat.

One of their best songs was called ‘K’. It’s all about playing Scrabble, including points. There’s another song called ‘Yo Yo’. They were so great. They broke up in the eighties after touring over and over and not making much of an impression. They connected with me, but I certainly didn’t have the means to support them.

They reunited and played McSwells. Jet who was beginning his slide toward terminal illness was able to go to the show. I put him on the list as my guest, and he hung out with me as I DJ’d. He wasn’t strong enough to stay long after the show but still it provided a happy memory for the both of us.

If only it were a different time, Jet and I could’ve been roommates in Athens GA. What we’d be doing there, I have no idea. Despite the fact that it’s a college town, I don’t think either one of us would’ve wanted to go to school. Not there or anywhere.

Pylon still becomes active every now and then. They played on New Year’s Eve last year in Athens. I don’t think they’ll be coming up north anymore though. They all have their lives away from Rock And Roll. Vanessa has her kids, Curtis is a carpenter, Michael, or Randy has a clothing line.

They have a cool website www.wearepylon.com
Cheers.

Come Back Jonee

Saturday Night Live was very funny. I always try to watch the X’mas broadcast. The holiday episodes are usually quite odd. And last night was no different. Hilarious rap with Chris Parnell and one of the new guys. Just overall very good. Neil Young was the musical guest and he was of course great and interesting. Jack Black was quite funny too. Thumbs up.

I am trying to get in a positive mood for work. It’s all I can do. As a few people have said, just try to be invisible, on the down low and smile smile smile. Not saying that it’s going to be easy but I feel I can do it. Kill them with kindness. That sounds malicious, or at least it reads that way.

Listening to Devo right now. Not the Italian tenors known as Il Divo. First album. My brother Brian owned it. I stole it from him. Devo was a novelty to Brian and his pals. Not to me though. I subscribed to their philosophy somewhat. My high school year book was “Q: Are we not men? A: We are Devo” I was also listening to Rock and Roll Musik at the time. I loved the song ‘Pop Music’ by M. Still do.

The third rock and roll concert I believe was Devo at the Palladium. I walked by the Palladium this afternoon. It is now a NYU dormitory.

The first time I saw someone with florescent hair. I was such a boy from the suburbs. I was blown away. My brother Frank took me, he with the red eyes. Frank had seen Devo before in Dover NJ. A lot of people I knew had been at that show. Not me. This was my first chance.

Despite the weird looks of the crowd, I felt completely comfortable with these people, despite the fact that my mother still basically dressed me. I think I found an old suit jacket, put a safety pin in the lapel and wore a Devo T shirt underneath.

I’m sure I wore pants and sneakers. My mother would not have let me out of the house otherwise.

A sweet familiar smell filled my nostrils when the lights went low. It wasn’t the band though, Devo showed short films they’d made before they’d hit the stage. Booji Boy and company. Very entertaining for sixteen year old John Ozed.

The band came on soon after the films and tore through an amazing set. I knew all the songs, and would’ve had a yellow Devo jumpsuit if only my parents would’ve given me the money…

They were jumping up and down, running back and forth. They sounded a lot like their records, no extended solos here, just what you want, loud and fast and fun. I took a photograph from our seats, which turned out to be a yellow jumpsuit blur, and the back of people’s heads in the rows in front of me. I often wonder whatever happened to girl with bad dye job coming out.

Saturday

Saturday. Nice day. A day off for some. Not for others. Bill had rented a Mini and drove me into the city. It’s a great little car, good enough for the Beatles, good enough for me and Bill.

I worked today, voluntarily at Farfetched. Farfetched is a store owned by two friends, Susan and Lois. It’s a nice place to work, but a lot of time on the feet is required. And Susan and Lois are really good people. If I can ever help them out and they ask, I certainly do.

I’ve known both of them since about 1997. They are actually Harry’s friends originally. Harry knew them from when he worked at New Video on University or maybe it was the Strand. Anyway he’s known them since the first day they opened. And that’s over 20 years.

They sell cards, and picture frames and knick knacks. It’s a fun store actually. Lot’s of silly things and lot’s of interesting things as well. I like playing music and entertaining the customers. During the holiday season it’s a very fast paced environment and that’s when I feel I’m at my best. I get to show off my wit and Harry is a great person to riff with. We also had an audience with Sharon who’s really fun and pretty.

Sharon’s husband Jocko is a great guy too, a fun couple. I usually run into them around 4:20. But not today. It was work. Fun work. Don’t want to screw that up or mess with Lois and Susan’s business. Today it was Sharon, Harry, Lois and myself. And a cast of hundreds, at least from 10AM to 6PM.

The music was Christmas music, from the Roches to Phil Spector to Harry’s amazingly cool X’mas CD that his girlfriend brought from San Francisco. Contemporary DJ’s cutting and dicing old holiday records from Andy Williams and Dean Martin to name but a few.

It would be worth owning, so I must get a copy burned, despite the fact I’d only play it a few times a year. It’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit. A few people I know aren’t feeling it either. There was an undercurrent of cynicism from Sharon and me through parts of the day.

And of course the ribald humor from me. Occasional a customer enters the banter and tonight I was zinged really good. While cracking wise, I mentioned that I would be there for the next twenty minutes, a customer chimed in, “I guess I’ll come back in twenty minutes then.”

Zing!

I laughed. What else could I do? I can dish it out and I can take it. I appreciate another quick wit since they are so few and far between.


It was my last day of working at Farfetched for the holiday season. I’ve had some years where I worked too much and wound up totally fried and anti social. But nowadays they have a good enough staff available. I still might pop in during the week or next weekend and do some last minute shopping.

I do have to go back tomorrow to pick up my Phil Spector Christmas Album CD, which I left behind. I love the girls at Farfetched but I wouldn’t leave my CD’s behind after seeing how they treat their CD’s. No effin way.

Rise

I am exhausted, physically and emotionally. The week, which started out badly, continued downhill. I was told I was getting crap for a bonus and Christina, the woman I work with since March got twice as much as me. I know I’m being punished by these fuckers. I know how much Christina got since I asked her. I’m sure I looked crestfallen. I’ve been working for these shit bags since 2002 and I got screwed.

A few days later, John McGruff, head asshole with head up his ass sent out a memo stating that anyone discussing bonuses would have a cause for dismissal. Of course this was after the fact and anyhow he never mentioned the confidentiality when discussing the numbers that each person would receive. Stupid fuckhead.

So the pussy known as John McGruff was out of the office Thursday and Friday. It’s just gotten so rotten in the office. I have no back up, no one I could tell my troubles to. There a few sympathetic ears but ultimately they can’t do a thing. Everyone’s watching their own asses anyway.

I still do my job, and I do it well. Anything that is asked of me, I have to do. I don’t have the luxury of postponing my jobs like others do. I get requests from London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston and everything they ask for, or need, I make sure they get it.

With this job I feel like a battered wife who keeps going back for more.

I do a lot of work behind the scenes. I make sure the show goes on and runs smoothly. I’m an asset at this shithole and they treat me like shit. I know I’m not shit, but when faced with wave upon wave of this I start to have doubts. Bill has been a pillar of strength for me through out all this. He’s really coming through for me.

There is such incompetence in this office and I seem to be the only one who sees it. I’ve given up pointing it out since nothing gets done about it. Which adds to the depression that I’ve experienced the past few days. Exhausting depression.

Last night, a friend from the San Francisco office called and asked me to go out and pick up ribbon for some gifts they’re sending to clients. Not any type of ribbon, something nice, something classy. I knew just the place. I walked around midtown while doing so, not at all in the holiday spirit and grimacing at those that have the spirit that I lack.

Spent 70 bucks and change on these fucking ribbons. They are nice nonetheless. I got back to the office and had the office manager tell the admin bitches, and Brenda that the ribbon was at my desk. A few waddled up and took what was needed. One in particular, Helen Pollard Isaac, who was a friend a year ago, (we’ve gotten distant) walks up to my desk and says that I’m such a fag for picking out such nice ribbon.

I show how offended I am. I get kicked in the fucking teeth all week long and now this fucking bitch makes a comment about me being a fag and picking out nice ribbon. Helen is Trinidadian, and she’s black.

She sees my unhappiness with that comment and doesn’t understand why I’m upset.
She’s that stupid. She tried to rationalize it by saying that I called her a cock blocker a few weeks ago, so it makes us even. You see, a few weeks ago there was some guy, very handsome, ruff around the edges came in to fix the coffee machine. The 2 of us were talking in the kitchen about nothing in particular, but the talk was sexually charged, or at least that’s how I heard it.

I play it safe, mention that I don’t play on his team. Just then Helen comes in and interrupts whatever vibe might’ve been happening. The sexually charged atmosphere dissipated, he went his way and I went mine. I turned to Helen and called her a cock blocker. Yes a very bad thing to say. I say that with total facetiousness.

If I said to Helen, ‘Nice ribbon, you are such a nigger’ or if I say to Christina, the same thing, only saying, ‘You are such a spic’ There’d be hell to pay. I don’t say those words. They are hateful words that I rejected ages ago hearing them fall from my parents mouths at various times growing up.

I have been called Nigger more times than I have ever said it. And I’ve been called that hundreds of times. I despise the word, evil and hateful.

But there is no problem calling me a fag. Helen and I were friends once, but when Hope arrived on the scene that all changed, and Helen stopped being close. It turned into a high school type atmosphere. Only there is no guidance counselor to turn to. I have no one in my corner at work to help me out.

Helen suggested going out for some coffee with her after she said that, but I don’t have her job. Helen and the Persian bitch have been routinely going out for coffee most days, I don’t have that option. Plus after what she said, what makes her think I would want anything to do with her? We aren’t close friends anymore, we are coworkers. That’s it.

She is truly a stupid fuck. So she walks up to me as I’m getting ready to go home and she says we should go for coffee next week. I say no. She says she didn’t mean to say what she said. I said, it’s too late, she said it. It’s over. She actually cries, she seems contrite. I cannot deal with this bullshit anymore. These fucking bitches say anything they want to me, and if I say anything in return, the waterworks go on.

The bosses believe them anyway. I am shit in their eyes. But they’re so fucking stupid, they don’t see how the office can’t run without me. Initially it would be a problem, probably for a few weeks, maybe a month till they figure out what it is that I do. They really have no clue. Christina, my assistant, by the way is useless. I’ve been carrying her.

I walked home, down Park Ave, smoking my cigar, fuming along with the tobacco. I played Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen and the bladder moved right behind my eyes, but I was strong. No one wants to see a 6’2” guy smoking a cigar bawling his eyes out. I know I wouldn’t.

Hooked up with a Rasta pal from back in the day and rode the PATH home, reading about Man Ray and wishing I was no longer working for such a shit firm.

Also the job that I interviewed with four people on 12/8 and one more on 12/12 went to someone else.

It’s all fear and loathing with these assholes.

FUCK THIS SHIT.

Kangaroo

Ever have one of those days when it feels like everything is going wrong? Ever have a week of those days? How about a month? Well that’s how it’s been lately. No, it hasn’t been all darkness but man the light shining seems to be so rare these days. Hit by a crippling wave of depression at the tail end of the day.

Hard to force a smile. Hard to get into that Holiday Spirit when so lacking in spirit. Financial woes, work woes. It’s a wonder that I haven’t taken up drinking. Actually did split a bottle of wine with Julio last night, but he seemed to have gotten more of a buzz from it than I did. I had Bill on my mind, and I had bills on my mind.

I’m sure it would feel different in November or January. But it’s now, and here I am. I am getting fucked by my job. At least they’re using a condom, but the condom is made of sandpaper.

A memo was distributed last month stating that the bonuses will be handed out today. Everyone got theirs, except for me and Christina.

True, we get paid every other Friday, and everyone gets paid on the 15th and the 30th, but we both were expecting a check today, and another one tomorrow. But this was not to be of course. And the people in charge of this were out today. How bloody fucking convenient.

So money expected was not received. We’ll have to hang in there for a few more hours I suppose but what was promised was not delivered. There was that, there was having to sign 200 holiday cards for a director in an affiliated company. That wasn’t so bad, because I like those people. They gave me a box of Godiva Biscotti, which I gave to the cleaning woman at work

It wasn’t all bleak though. I took some snapshots. If it weren’t for art, I’d probably go nuts.

2006 around the corner. Will it be a better year? That would be nice but my hopes aren’t going to be held that high.

One of my favorite people, Tony who makes my egg sandwiches once a week. A great decent man. I don’t kid myself about my ‘bond’ with him since we chat no more than maybe 10 minutes a week. He always asks for Bill and we chat during the warmer weather about those hot chicks that wear less.

I do my straight bit, and I guess he buys it.
Then again he always asks about Bill. So maybe he does have a clue.

I was supposed to go to a holiday party for Seven Stories Press in Tribeca with Bill’s wonderful cousin Hiram. Bill wasn’t going to make it since he had his own holiday party to go to, so I opted to join Hiram, but as the day wore on and the depression set in, I decided against it. I texted Bill to let him know.

I think Bill felt that Lewis Lapham, Kurt Vonnegut, Art Buchwald, Barry Crimmins and Paul Krassner were going to reprise their Evening of American Satire or at least show up at the party but I had my doubts. Then in the midst of texting, Hiram’s sister Carmen, told Bill to tell me not to go since Hiram wouldn’t be attending. Crazy weather in South Jersey and not worth the drive.

Fine. I had a party with dear Brenda who I work with at the hotel across the street from work. I stood outside in the light sleet having a smoke when a woman in a hooded jacket asked me what the time was. ‘Almost 6:30’ I said.

Then I noticed it was Rue McClanahan. I asked if I could trouble her to take her picture and she obliged.

See? It wasn’t so bad after all.

Had a few drinks with Brenda, no food, the lines were so long. Like peasants getting free milk. Then I escorted Brenda back to the office and walked down 5th Avenue, smoking my cigar.

Bittersweet Symphony

Alan is looking lost. Lost and confused. And badly dressed. It wasn’t his fault. He always looked like his mother dressed him. It’s been over 12 years since his mother passed away though. People are beginning to talk.

He’s a shy guy, a bit nerdy, but genuinely very nice. He’s always willing to chip in and help out no matter what. That’s what made it all so difficult.

It’s up to me to fire Alan. I became his supervisor only a few months ago, and Alan, despite being an excellent worker, doesn’t fit in.

There are other’s I’d rather get rid of. Plenty of non-productive people. But these are orders from on high.

I sound like the losing side of World War II, “I was only following orders.”

I remember a former boss of mine who insisted that it was better to fire someone early in the workweek, therefore you won’t ruin their weekend. I told him that was bullshit, no matter what day, you are fucking up someone’s life regardless.

So here it is, Wednesday and I have to call Alan into my office. The morale of the office has been on the wane, and though I know it’s not Alan’s fault, he is the sacrificial lamb.

I just had the sneaking suspicion that Alan could be the gun enthusiast type, meaning the type to come in and shoot me, or someone else.

The quiet type.

The neighbors’ always cliché, ‘Oh he was nice. Kept to himself. Never saw this happening’ It’s been said so many times already and will probably be said again. Gotta watch out for the quiet types. The ones that keep to themselves. Like Alan. But I got to keep my game face on. Not show any fear.

Yet I also have to appear concerned and compassionate. Three emotional balls I have to juggle.

I could use a drink. But no, it’ll have to wait until after Alan.
I’d ask him out for a drink with me, but that probably wouldn’t be that good an idea.

It’s 3:45 now. I guess I should have him come in here at 4:00. I really don’t want to do this, but I have no choice.

This is the corporate world. I am part of it.

Someday someone will come and give me the ax for whatever reason.

Unless Alan comes in here with a gun and blows my brains out. Wouldn’t be a good idea on Alan’s part though.

And I’m not in favor of it either.

This is such bullshit. I’m paranoid that a coworker of mine is going to kill me because I have to fire him.

I should say lay off instead. Not as harsh as firing. Downsizing is a contemporary word. I could have Alan come in here, have him sit down, look him right in the face and say, “Don’t shoot me.” No wait, that’s not it.

Look him right in the face and say, ‘Alan, the company isn’t doing as well as we had hoped. I’ve been giving orders to start downsizing, and unfortunately Alan, we have to let you go.”

Yeah that sounds good. I can get by with that. Maybe a handshake at the end too.

“Alan, could you come in here please? There’s something I need to discuss with you. Please don’t shoot me”

Ballad of a Thin Man

Today. Absolute low regarding work. My attitude was better, not bitter. I realize that they simply want to get rid of me. The glocap.com posting was clear enough. Believe me, they don’t want me there anymore, than I want to be there. I’ve figured out that John McGruff has picked my brain regarding what I think a receptionist should make. I did apply to the job to let them know that I know what they’re doing.

Of course I did it all with a smirk on my face, which by the way can’t be transmitted through email. With the fact that Christina, who is generally a nice person, has received double what I’ve gotten for a bonus, it makes it all apparent that it’s definitely time for me to go.

If I get the position I interviewed for, I will have no problem. If I don’t, then I will have to remain in this particular circle of hell, or wait for them to offer me money to go. It’s rather surreal to find the job that you do being posted online. I don’t think they anticipated the fact that I was on the job search engine, the very same engine that they had posted.

Christina has no idea on what I do, yet she’ll be the one to do my job. She really doesn’t have much of a clue to anything really. Her grammar is atrocious, and her skills aren’t all that. I also heard that she really stresses out when I’m not in. She stressed out today.

I injured my back moving some boxes of copier paper. That combined with my increasing stress levels caused a lot of pain. “Hope” type of pain. So I left work early. I wasn’t offered a car service home, merely told to get better. I left the office and faced the bracing wind which was infinitely better and more welcoming that the atmosphere inside the office.

The shape my back is in now, I doubt if I’ll be able to make it to work tomorrow. So I have alternating moods. I get angry, I get hopeful. Not very easy to deal with. Right now, I’m ok. It was depressing. All this shit happening at the end of the year. Perhaps they’ll pay me to leave and offer me a severance package. That would be nice. I doubt it though.

I’m sure you’re tired of reading all about this shit drama. I know I’m tired of writing about it. I will be glad to have these tired ass fat and lazy butches, incompetent presidents, impotent managers all behind me. It can’t happen soon enough. I’ve fantasized about giving my two weeks notice. I used to fantasize about me and Colin Farrell, but now it’s come down to this.

They aren’t just jacking me around. They’re messing with the tech guys, and a few others in the office. Not a very pleasant scene, just my situation is the most blatant. There is my nuclear option that they have no idea about. An option that will catch them with their pants down, and with what could be egg on their face. Or maybe it’s merely post bukake.

Needles in the Camel’s Eye

Today was back to reality day. And man was it ugly. Didn’t want to get out of bed, would rather have been under the covers all day. One of Bill’s talents is emitting heat throughout the night. And his climate control isn’t so bad either.

Got the bus, had nothing to read, so I dreadfully stared at the back of people’s heads. Worked my way up to the office via the subway, did the usual start up of office services. I had a meeting with the president of the company. Hard to tell if he’s alive or not. One should check for a pulse when speaking with him one on one about serious matters.

He was asking about my Critical Few Objectives, known as CFO’s. Each pee on at the company has to make a list on things that they can do to improve their situation and in turn make the company a better place. I was told about this weeks ago, but kept putting it off. Every time I started, I would notice there were too many expletives. Fuck this, fuck that, etc.

So I had to run and print out 2 copies of last year’s CFO’s. I promised to be on time more often, which was easy since I’m almost always on time. Keep my desk tidy, not to talk down to people (even when they do it to me). The last one was an actual quote. All this to find out what a cheap bonus I was getting.

I played grateful. I just wanted to get away from this impotent figurehead. All we did was talk about the same old shit I had been talking with him about for the past four months, which he did absolutely nothing about. And he said he would’ve. Asshole. The situation has gotten from bad to worse, and I blame his inaction.

We even talked about Hope. We talked about me being an office manager. His reaction was to ask if I could lead people I don’t get along with. The proper question should have been could people that don’t get along with me follow my lead. I think the answer is no. The writing on the wall has started getting clearer.

Then Christina had her meeting with him. Her’s was briefer than mine, since I had been there longer, Christina had been there since March. One of my CFO’s from last year was to delegate jobs better, but I usually wind up doing everything myself. She sits and shops and surfs and talks to her mother on the phone. Fine with me, just would like her to do what I tell her to do right away. But it usually takes a few repeats.

Then I had another interview with the company I interviewed with last Thursday. They called me back while at the office holiday party, and I arranged for a lunchtime interview with someone else. This totaled 5 people at the same firm that I’ve interviewed with. Seemed promising. But this guy wanted to know about my college background, and I perhaps answered honestly and therefore, incorrectly. He asked if I graduated from High School and when. I guess it’s really the only way to find out how old someone is without actually asking, which is against the law.
This was in the room where I had today’s interviews.

It’s also the second picture that I took while waiting to meet with someone there. So cheeky!

He also wanted to know about jobs that weren’t on my resume. He asked about HBJ, I even told him about Murdoch Magazines, but didn’t mention the major snowstorms that occurred almost daily in the slide room.

These interviews are tedious. It ended soon enough, and I was about to leave when Carl, someone I interviewed with last week told me 2 more people wanted to meet with me. So I sat back down in the conference room for a minute. Carl reappeared and said they couldn’t make it but asked me some questions, like ‘If we were to hire you, when would you start?’

I said January, since I’d like to give two weeks notice at work, and would be away for the last week of the year. I asked Carl if it looked good for me to get the position. He replied, “Well I am asking you these questions for a reason.”

That left me with some hope.

I got back to my desk, no one really didn’t notice I wasn’t there anyway. I asked Christina how much she was getting for her bonus, and it turns out she’s getting a bigger bonus than me. I was pissed, not at her, but the whole fucking unfairness of the fucking situation.

Then later, I got an email from a job search engine about a job that looked suspiciously like mine. I applied for it. I know what I was doing, and thought I’d let them know what they were up to. Fucking douche bags.

Met Bill after work and we walked from 56th and Park to 10th street and University in the Village. I told him about the day’s events. Bill was incredulous. He agreed that I should get the hell out of there.

Then we had couples counseling, or at least the final intake before the counseling begins. Trudged home in the cold and here I am.

Train In Vain

Well the representatives from the Pipers Union have been knocking on my skull all day long. You wanna dance, you got to pay the piper. They’ve formed a union and have gotten quite feisty. I danced. I pay. A wonderful party last night in Westwood NJ for my sister in law, Karen’s 50th birthday. Most of her siblings were there, most of my siblings were there. Good food, good music dancing and an open bar. The open bar was more like a kennel, since I was actively seeking out the hair of the dog that had bit me the night before.

My brother Frank was there with Elaine and Meghan and her boyfriend Rob, and Cory. I was with Bill who won the hearts of most of the women there by dancing. I hadn’t seen Bill dance in a long time and he was really cutting up the rug. He really has a good time dancing and it shows. I even got onto the dance floor a few times, dancing with Karen, Hillary, Cassie and their friends, Karen’s friends from the swim club. Danced with Karen to Kool and the Gang’s ‘Celebration’, which was a long running joke.

At Brian and Karen’s wedding, I was having such a good time, that the main thing I remember from the reception is Karen going ‘Woo Hoo’ in her wedding gown on the dance floor. Despite Karen’s statements that she wouldn’t be dancing to ‘Celebration’, there she was on the dance floor with her sisters and me in the middle.

I also danced with Elaine to The B-52’s ‘Love Shack’ The open bar was a calling and I joined my underage niece Cory there for a shot of chilled Absolut. I was in the midst of many good vibes. Karen’s family has always been so warm and welcoming. My cousin, Jack was there with his wife Corinne. Not much dancing for them. For some reason they sat on the opposite side of the room. They did meander over before they headed out. Jack’s a really nice guy, down to earth.

The last of the O’Toole’s. Though he’s my cousin, he was closer in age and spirit to my father. He’s also pretty right wing but politics was wisely avoided. Corinne, his wife is a real sweetheart. I wonder if they discussed how wasted I was. I was handling it all well I thought. But still as Bill will attest, when I hit a certain level of drinking, my lips get all trembly.

Karen’s family had gone through a difficult year or so, losing both parents. When Karen called me last month to tell me about the party, she mentioned the need to get together for a happy occasion. She and Brian pulled it off. Like I said, lot’s of smiles and laughs and clinking of glasses.

I don’t remember the car ride home much, but we got home safe and intact. Had to work at Farfetched today which was difficult at first, got better after a lunch, and then became difficult again. Working retail during the holidays is taxing on a body like mine after 2 nights of parties.

Worked with Harry and Lois, with visits from Bill, and Pedro and his girlfriend Connie. Good feeling abounded this weekend. Must be the holiday season. So now I’m toast. Flat lining and writing this and chatting with Cory thru AIM. I have pics to work on, and send. So I’ll be busy, but oh my bed, it’s a calling and only a matter of a few feet away from me….

Celebration

Taking Bill’s advice into account. I’m buzzed, drunk and at his suggestion, writing. No inhibitions. The two of us just got back from Westwood NJ where my sister in law Karen had a party celebrating her 50th birthday. It turned out to be a lot of fun. There was some anxiety since it was my family, and Bill’s first appearance before them since the shit went down in August.

But of course there was no need for the anxiety. The other O’Toole’s, Brian and Frank had no place to say anything anyhow. It was a celebration of life. Very important since the last time a gathering of this many people was for a funeral or a wake. Those are no fun, whether or not it was an Irish wake or what have you. It’s a drag with a corpse around.

I took about 54 pictures. Well at least about 54 pictures were taken with my camera. Bill, saint that he is, had one beer. Designated driver, a title he wears proudly, allowed me to get pissed, in the British sense. It was a great night. Lot’s of laughs and smiles.

To this day, to my embarrassment, still have difficulty knowing which D’Alessandro woman is which. Laura, Jane, Mary all beautiful in their own way, and after 20 years I still need a name tag. With 3 O’Toole men and 1 O’Toole woman, they have the advantage. I can easily tell Bill from John D’Allesandro.

They are such a warm and welcoming family. Perhaps they are dysfunctional but not like the O’Tooles. We wear it on our sleeves. John O’Toole, aka Jackie and his wife Corinne made an appearance, though they chose to sit at a table away from me and Frank and his family.

Jackie is closer to my father’s generation than Frank, Annemarie and myself are. i.e. Jackie’s a republican. Brian follows that line also. So politics are something to be avoided. Jackie is the last remaining link to the O’Toole’s that we have. We don’t have any contact with our Uncle Bobby’s kids, or our Aunt Mary’s (the original Diddy) kids. Apparently Eddie Langton’s daughter is doing something interesting, but not interesting enough to remember right now.

Didn’t even know he had a daughter. I remember Eddie Langston being an old fart before he was even qualified for such a title. My mother’s side of the family was more easy going and closer in age than the O’Tooles were. Like I said, Jackie is it. The seeds of antagonism on the O’Tooles had taken root and will probably be insurmountable. The Powers, my mother’s family are closer and easily more communicative.

Regardless we gathered together to celebrate Karen’s having lived 50 years on the planet. A wonderful time. Even danced with Karen to Kool and the Gang’s ‘Celebration’. Sweet. Danced with her daughters, and danced with my nieces.

Hung out with Brian, hung out with Frank. All was good. Bill danced up a storm and won the heart of every woman on the dance floor. I love this guy so much.

Murder

It has been an interesting week, to say the least. Interviews, snowstorms and parties. Friday morning was a meltdown. Not a good way to start the day. Call from woman I work with, Christina who said she was going to be late, since she was waiting for the Town car to pick her up. Nice. She gets a town car I get the bus. I know she jacked up her knee in October, and had surgery 3 weeks ago, but come on… I don’t want to seem unsympathetic, but people who have it worse than her take Public Transportation.

It was a mess getting into the city yesterday morning. I got to the bus stop when the bus was there and I was waving my arms hoping that the driver would see me. He didn’t. Had to wait 25 minutes for the next bus. Then the bus was mad crowded. Then the streets were slippery once you got into the city. I was wearing my work boots. I tell people I bought them at the Fred Gwynn estate sale, they look like Herman Munster boots. Some people actually believe me.

I don’t know why the day started so badly. I was certainly depressed. The holiday party was later on and not many people wanted to go. It seemed like there was a lot of dread regarding the whole thing. I couldn’t help but make comparisons to Jonestown. Then I had to explain what Jonestown was. A joke just isn’t funny if you have to essplain it.

I had an interview on Thursday. 2nd Thursday interview, right around the block from the Royal Bank of Scotland at 40th st and Lexington. In a crazy overheated conference room comprised of two chairs and an end table, I met with 4 people, and was scheduled to meet a fifth but had to return to Wanker Banker land. I didn’t think either way whether or not the interviews went well. At least not at that time. Later in the evening I thought about it and was surprised at my cheeky nature when I complimented the final interviewer on his braces. Also mentioned this blog, which as soon as I said it, realized I shouldn’t have said it.

I told him it was under construction and tried to convince myself that the web page was johnosaid, instead of johnozed. I just didn’t want him to read what I had written previously about Wanker Banker and Hope. All that might not go over too well.

SO I was a grouchy bitch most of Friday until after I ate lunch and had a brief meeting with Jamie, who I respect. She’s the office manager, a position she doesn’t want and feels I should have. She mentioned that at this time next year, I should be the office manager. I mentioned that I had promoted myself twice for that position and was rejected both times. Didn’t want to do that again.

She said she told John McGruff (dipshit) words to that effect and that she wouldn’t be able to do her job properly if it wasn’t for my input. Awfully nice of her. In the back of my mind I was chuckling about the thought of being at Wanker Banker for another year. Seemed mean to think that, but it’s the truth. I’ve been going on interviews, and sending out my resume. I couldn’t say anything to Jamie about it.

Perhaps if they knew, the powers that be that is, they would make an effort to make me stay. But I really doubt that. Hope caused a lot of damage. The rose colored glasses are off and I see the office as not a healthy place for me.

The office holiday party was at 6PM. I decided to not go with my coworkers and to walk from 56th and Park Ave to 18th Street and Sixth Avenue. I wanted to smoke my cigar, walk off the office frustration, and smoke a joint before I got to the party. I was able to do all three.

The party was odd. No spouses this year. The Wanker Bankers were outnumbered by the National Bank of Wishful thinking. They were cordial. Shook hands and clinked glasses with familiar faces who’s names are still unknown and wished them all a Happy Holiday. The food was good, and many Heinekens were drunk by me, causing me to get drunk. Not sloppy, not mean, just buzzed.

Got a town car home, as most everyone else who lived out of the city. Danny was my driver from Jamaica. I got out and climbed the steps and was able to convince Julio to come upstairs and have some beers and watch Paul McCartney’s live DVD.

That is all.

Old Dirt Road

I used to belong to a bowling league in 1980. Monday night’s I’d bowl with the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich teams. I surprisingly was the captain of one. I had my own ball, shoes, and bag. The whole kit and kaboodle, wrist guard etc. I was all pretty much straight edge, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke weed. Smoked the butts though, but 25 years ago, a lot of other people did too.

I think I had an average of about 142. That decreased when I started drinking and drugging. The fun increased, the sportsmanship didn’t. But that was a year or so later. I had some pretty good friends on the scene, Bill Wrice, Perry Didovetch, John Carroll, Ida Sammartino. Ida was as old as my mother. This was her activity to get out of the house on her own. My mother did that at some point. I used to go with her and my brother, Brian on those Monday nights.

Mom and Brian eventually stopped bowling for HBJ. Mom stopped totally, and Brian bowled for the place where he was working then. I would play with various other kids while Mom and Brian bowled, that was around 1974. Elton was super big and John Lennon had a hit single with ‘Whatever Gets You Thru The Night’ featuring Elton on piano and vocals.

So 6 years later, I’m bowling at Parkway Lanes in Elmwood Park. My friend Perry and I had an extracurricular job with HBJ. We had to clear out a warehouse in Moonachie. When we were going back to Saddle Brook after a days clearing out, we had the radio on, and John Lennon’s first single in 5 years had just came out. Perry and I were big Beatle fans. He liked Paul, I leaned towards John. I liked the name. We were excited because we heard that Cheap Trick was backing him up on his new record and that would probably sound amazing.

What we heard was not Cheap Trick. Not much of an edge. I liked it, but most of the other music that I had been listening to was edgy, and I expected the edgy John Lennon of the Beatles. Or even of the 70’s. But it was a new decade, and he had a new voice and I loved him even more for it.

I grew up in a house of music. My parents and my brothers and sister all loved music. I credit Frank, Annemarie and Brian for turning me onto some really cool things that bring memories in a cascading wave. Frank and Annemarie were more aware of things when the Beatles conquered the States. Brian was seven, and I was two. I was preoccupied with shoving objects up my nose.

One of my earliest musical memories is of being freaked out by the ending of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. I remember Frank playing the single to me in his room and then when the psychedelic ending came up, he turned out the lights. Freaked me the fuck out.

Eventually the 1970’s happened. I was growing up and finding my own kind of music. Elton, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Dickie Goodman, Curtis Mayfield, Carly Simon. The Beatles were working into my DNA. I liked the solo stuff. Paul’s ‘Band on the Run’ was the first album I ever bought with my own money. Couldn’t wrap my head around John’s records, but I dug his singles. 1973 is summed up for me by George’s ‘Give Me Love’ and Ringo’s ‘You’re Sixteen’, being driven to Lodi Summer Recreation by Sharon Iwanicki in her orange Volkswagen beetle.

1976 my brother Frank told me he was going to take me to see the fireworks for the Fourth of July on the Hudson River. The original plan was for my father to take all of us to the World Trade Center and see them from his office, but he heard the city would be overrun with gangs from out of ‘The Warriors’ or ‘Escape from New York’, or worse yet, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

So we celebrated the Bicentennial in Lodi. Frank and Elaine were going to Fort Lee. Turns out it was an adult party and I wasn’t allowed to go. So I went with Brian and his friend Eddie Austeri and tried watching the fireworks through the back window of Brian’s car on River Road in Cliffside Park. Not much to see there, move on.

The next day, Frank, fried and hung over Frank, felt guilty and gave me a copy of ‘Abbey Road’. The doors were open again. I was enchanted. From ‘Come Together’ to ‘Her Majesty’ I was reborn as a Beatles fan. Frank and Annemarie had some records that they hadn’t played in a long time and I eventually incorporated into my record collection.

I started buying anything Beatles I could get my hands on that Frank and Annemarie didn’t have. I also found some old prints of the Beatles from 1964. My room was starting to become a shrine to the Fabs. I collected magazines, books, the solo records, posters. When I started working the collection of records, not just Beatles mind you, Punk and New Wave was coinciding.

Though I subscribed to the Punk ethos of everything old sucked, the Beatles were untouchable in that respect. John had retired by then though. After 1975 he took a well deserved break. I tried keeping in touch with him though.

For his Birthday, I’d send a card. Addressed as

John Lennon
New York City, N.Y.

And I’d always put a return address in the proper place so I would get it back if it wasn’t delivered. I never got any back. I would write and wish him a Happy Birthday or a Merry Christmas and let him know that if he was ever in Lodi, he could always stop by and hang out if he wanted to.

But I guess he was busy with the washing and the kid and all. He might’ve preferred Rochelle Park.

Perry and I eventually found out that it wasn’t Cheap Trick backing John on the single. We found out when we bought ‘Double Fantasy’. No mention of Rick Nielsen or Bun E. Carlos. I remember when I was shanghaied to the Mudd Club in November 1980 I heard the B-side to ‘Starting Over’, Yoko’s ‘Kiss Kiss Kiss’. So that’s where the edge was. In Yoko’s stuff. I never had a problem with Yoko. I saw her sing ‘Who Has Seen the Wind’ on the Mike Douglas Show and thought she was great.

I had gone to midnight showings of ‘Let It Be’ and whenever Yoko was on screen, people would hiss. I didn’t. I loved John and if he was happy with Yoko, then so am I. I was probably one of the dozens of people that played ‘Double Fantasy’ from start to finish. It was a good album, but nowhere near Talking Heads ‘Remain In Light’ or the B-52’s ‘Wild Planet’.

After bowling that Monday night in December, on my way home, I stopped off at the 711 and bought a copy of Playboy Magazine. Major interview with John and Yoko inside. I heard there were pictures of naked women in the magazine, but I don’t recall seeing any.
I got home and settled into my room while my parents were downstairs watching Monday Night Football.

I was laying on my bed, actually reading Playboy when my mother yelled upstairs, that Howard Cosell said that John Lennon was shot in New York. I figured, he had a gun and was cleaning it and shot himself in the foot. The Beatles still grabbed headlines, even caused Howard Cosell to say that John Lennon was shot cleaning his gun.

I didn’t really worry about it. I figured he lost his little piggy. I continued reading Playboy, reading John’s words.

My mother yelled upstairs a little while later. “Howard Cosell just said that John Lennon’s dead”. No way. Impossible. It’s not in my script. No, he’s going to live to be an old man. I will see him in concert. I will perhaps meet him. Perhaps he’ll show up in Lodi. Hey it could happen. Anything could happen. Anything but this.

This was wrong. I turned on the radio. Vin Scelsa was on, talking, sounded like crying. What the fuck? People were calling in, crying. Beatles songs were playing. Lennon songs were playing. I sat next to the radio for a few hours waiting to hear that it was all a hoax. I was shaken, but still harbored the belief that it was for publicity.

Oh that crazy John and Yoko. What will they do next?

I woke up a few hours later and got ready for work. My mother listened to WNEW 1130AM. They played the songs she liked mainly, Sinatra, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Andy Williams. Today they were playing the Beatles. The newspapers were on the table, nasty headlines. John Lennon Shot. Pass the sugar.

I was gutted. Shock. I somehow got to work, but could barely function. I was driving a forklift then, picking orders. I preferred that to College. But I kept breaking down, having crying jags.

Little did I know that this would be the first of several truly horrible moments that would occur in my life.

I couldn’t stop crying. The dream of a Beatles reunion was dashed forever, but I just felt so bad for Yoko and Sean. A brutal murder on your own doorstep. I shut myself off from the world and just kept playing the Fabs and Lennon over and over.

A day or so later, Frank was coming over for dinner. I heard him come in and started walking downstairs to see him. He looked up at me and asked how I was doing. Bam! Instant crying, all over again. My brother Brian had gotten quite tired of it and let into Frank for bringing up John Lennon’s death again. Like it was never going to be mentioned again.

The following Sunday, six days after John’s murder there was a vigil in Central Park by the band shell. Me and a few friends caught the bus to the city and trekked up to the park. There were thousands of people. We walked by the Dakota and then into the park. There was a long moment of silence ended by the playing of ‘All You Need is Love’. Or maybe it was ‘Imagine’. I’m putting my money on the former.

The crowd dispersed, we straggled back to the Port Authority, to the bus and to our cars.
I continued listening to Beatles/Lennon stuff for quite a few weeks.

In February 1981, Perry and I went to the Meadowlands Hilton for the Beatle-Fest. That was scary. Hundreds of people whose lives revolved around the Beatles. People that listen to the Beatles more than the Beatles. “Let’s give a big cheer for John Lennon” Hurrah. Too corny for me. I, at least listened to other music. I loved the Beatles but I loved other things too. I think my grieving period ended that weekend.

I did become more active about Gun Control, and John’s message of love and peace is needed today. I do miss John. I miss George too, and I miss a lot of people and I am grateful for the one’s that are still here and aren’t hiding.

Give Peace a Chance

G’oo g’oo g’joob

Ain’t That Peculiar?

Last night turned out to be amazing. Very lovely. Love and sex. Intense, really fun sex. Woo hoo! Fantastic. Sorry if I’m gloating. Fuck it. It’s my blog. I am an American artist and I have no guilt. Whee! Things are presently pretty good with Bill and me. Work is not so bad. It must be the beginning of the holiday season. I hope I don’t peak too soon. I held out last night, that’s for sure.

Interview tomorrow, looks promising. I had a pang of sadness when I thought about leaving the company that gave me so much and is taking twice as much. It’s certainly not the same place I started at all those years ago. A lot of people have moved on. More expected to leave.

Very few friends and allies there. After the holidays and the feeling of something that resembles goodwill, the bullshit will most definitely return. Ideally I’d like to get the job and tell everyone at the Holiday party. A flair for drama, no? Me floating around the bar, slightly inebriated, whispering sweet ‘I’m leaving the company in two weeks’ into various friendly ears. And perhaps some ambivalent ones as well.

I can keep really important secrets, but as many of my friends will tell you, I can’t really keep any of my own. Hence, this blog.

The problem I have with my writing sometimes, is that I often write with trepidation. I worry about what certain people will think when I post this. Last night I didn’t. I was rather balls to the wall. And several other times as well.

I figure (and it’s a major point with me), that if you don’t want to read it, don’t read it. It’s certainly not mandatory. I mentioned that to Bill last night and he agreed. Bill has been reading the blog. He says he’s read every post and I believe him. A lot of it is about him. Anyone would read what someone else has written about them. It’s a natural curiosity.

I hoped he wasn’t offended but he realizes that these writings are of the moment. Sometimes heated, sometimes maudlin. Rarely entertaining. (This is where you’re supposed to jump in and say, ‘No johnozed. You are highly entertaining. The five readers that you have are all highly amused. We had no idea you were so smart and funny johnozed’. Or words to that effect.)

I do enjoy this. The writing. Bill is definitely in my corner on this. Regularly asks me how many words did I write. He orchestrated this whole shebang. From inviting me to the Evening of American Satire in October, to his constant encouragement, and the earth shaking sex, he’s going the extra mile.

So thank you Bill for all this. The good and the bad, the thick and the thin. I know I’m not that easy to deal with sometimes, and you have seen some sides to me that hardly anyone else has. And then there’s the sex…

Uncertain Smile

Love and sex, so confusing. Both cause problems, both bring happiness. Last night after I wrote, it wasn’t all peace and love. The intake session with Jamie Jones reopened some wounds, for me at least. There is still the issue of an open relationship. I find myself surprised at the traditionalist stance. Me, Mr. Iconoclast. We discussed the issue over steaks at Arthur’s. I devoured my steak, Bill didn’t have much of an appetite.

Bill is clearly into the free love thing, I am the romantic. I have had my fun playing at an early age, from about 1977 to about maybe 2000. Quite a run. But it had gotten tiresome. And when I met Bill I had hoped that it wouldn’t be that way anymore, the running around and stuff. I was wrong apparently.

I don’t have to go to a Bathhouse or a Sex Club to bust a nut. I know where to go, granted it’s usually a hit and run scene, but it’s what I know best. Bill knows the Sex Clubs and bathhouses. I had done a lot, just never made that leap to the sex clubs.

Last week Bill had a plan to go to a club in the city and I have to admit it was enticing, yet there was a fist of anxiety in my gut. We had discussed it before, how I felt that it would be like the atrocious film, ‘Summer of Sam’ when Mira Sorvino and John Leguizamo go to Plato’s Retreat and Leguizamo sees Sorvino messing about and he turns out to be repulsed by what he sees, despite the fact that he encouraged her to do it. Life imitating art is what I am afraid of.

There is the love between us, and also the fear that each has, that one could fall in love with the sexual partner of the moment. It has been a feeling I’ve lived with for a long time. Not an easy situation, loyalty versus promiscuity. The knowledge that the one you love is in bed waiting for you doesn’t lend much credibility.
This tends to happen when you think with the smaller head.

It is a great concept. I told Bill when I was trying to get him to have sex with me over the summer, that Sex is Sex and Love is Love and when you have the two together it’s incredible. That was verbatim.

Back then, in July, he was very angry with me for over a fucking year and didn’t say anything to me, just shunned me. Rebuffed any advance that I had put out. That was truly a definitive character building exercise in my life.

I’ve whored around quite a bit and there was a dalliance here and there but they were mainly unconsummated. The Old Catholic guilt hangs around this atheist’s neck like an albatross.

I also look at relationships and how society bases itself on fidelity, between two people.

I based Bill and myself on those principals, and look what that has gotten me.

It was baseless of course because it was entirely one sided. Bill likes a lot of sexual partners. I like one. I could easily find one to play with, they’re always around. I have my pics online, but instead of just chatting it wouldn’t take much to go to the next level of meeting and fucking around. I didn’t want to prove to straight people that gay men are dogs and will fuck around at the drop of a hat.

I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t fall in love with someone else through sex. I don’t know if anyone can, especially if it’s really good sex. Hoboken is such a homo town it’s really not a problem to go over to someone else’s apartment and fool around. It can be so easily done.

For me it’s simply a matter of falling back into my old habits and predatory ways. Since this all started, and I did have my rendezvous a few weeks ago, it’s easy.

Bill and I are both HIV negative. Safe sex is the key. That’s what I would do. My friends say that I’m a catch, meaning, good looking. I just got to motivate myself and get out there and sample the world. I was going to go to the Townhouse this evening, a gay bar a few blocks away from work. But Bill said he was coming over tonight so I didn’t go.

This (blog) is more important than sitting in a bar and turning off any intellect I may possess. But it is a nice ego stroke to be admired and lusted after.

All anyone would have to do is say something intelligent. And believe me, that never happens in gay bars. Somebody might think I’m good looking and me, being me, doesn’t believe it. But I love to talk, and not small talk. I love good conversation. Not many gay men do it seems. The day of and the myth of the witty gay man, i.e. Oscar Wilde is over. And I don’t think I’m going to run into David Sedaris at the Townhouse.

The Townhouse by the way is on east 58th Street. It was three bars, and really resembles a funeral home. Instead of a casket there is a piano, and show tunes.

My company’s holiday party is this Friday in Chelsea, the belly of the beast. I was toying with the idea of going to a bar in the area, and checking out the meat. I just have to anticipate the horrid music that will most definitely assault my ears. Now don’t think I’m making bold assumptions. Go to any gay bar, especially in Chelsea, and you will see and hear virtually the same music and chatter and patrons in each bar you go to. Check your intellect at the door.

I’m sure one of the guys that I work with that are ‘queer’ will go with me if asked.

So many hurdles. Go to a gay bar with some neck I work with and pay a wad of dough for beer and listen to dreadful house music while not fitting at all in the gay scene that exists and that I have never been a part of.

Sounds like fun, huh?