Monthly Archives: January 2006

Lose This Skin

Listened to Fela on the way to work this morning. Another gray overcast day. If I had the money and my friends and family were willing, I’d relocate us somewhere to where it’s sunny and warm, most of the time. Maybe a month of snow. This place doesn’t exist, I know but it sure would be nice. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be willing to take them into consideration as we moved into our commune.

Been loading a lot of things into the Ipod. I used the Cool Edit Pro program and turned a few cassettes into files on my computer. I burned a cassette I made when I DJ’d at McSwells and my brother was in Speed the Plough in March 1987.Pretty good, starts off with PiL, goes into some South African music. An excellent mix. One of the few that I was able to pull off successfully.

As I was playing the South African piece, I was reminded about how when I first got the South African record and played along with it on the guitar. It was a wild time, for me at least. I thought I was fitting in nicely, not too obtrusive. I went to work the next day, feeling like I had accomplished something musically. I had the idea, to get a few other musicians, or merely people that played musical instruments together and jam, in an African style.

Seemed simple enough. Then Wolf Knapp entered the picture. Wolf Knapp, a young man from somewhere. He grew up all over the place, and was in the process of becoming a Jazz Queer as Ann Boyles called him. Wolf, who learned how to play Bass from the Punk Rock DIY approach, threw cold water on my dream, telling me that I could never play like those South African musicians and I was fooling myself.

That hurt. Didn’t really like Wolf much, after that. I still have a crumb from that dream, and if anyone was ever interested, I’d be into jamming with them. As long as it wasn’t Wolf. Years later, I told Jane Scarpantoni about what Wolf had said and she was a bit pissed off that someone like Wolf would dare dash someone’s dream like that. Jane was always very supportive of me, and she still is.

In fact, one of the first times I ever played live was at a showcase that Jane had at a pub called Tin Pan Alley, located in Tin Pan Alley, Times Square. WE wrote a song together and she asked me to play it with her. If she told me to jump off a bridge I’d probably do that too.

My part of the song was all about fast strumming, two chords tops. She was doing things on top of my playing with her cello. Ethereal stuff. It was over two nights, a Saturday and Sunday. The second night was the nerve wracking show though for I was playing guitar in front of 2 guys, Jim Mastro and Richard Barone from the Bongos. The Bongos were a fave rave for me for a few years in the eighties.

All I could do is strum and look at the floor, not at Jim or Richard. They were somewhat of an influence on my guitar playing and I’m not too fond of playing live anyhow. I usually wind up doing an imitation of a tree trying to scratch its trunk. Picture that visual.
Jane was wonderful and gracious and named the song we wrote, after me.

I played live a few times after that. And obviously I still have the dream of jamming with likeminded people with instruments in an African style. Fuck Wolf Knapp.

and here’s an ACTUAL JOB OFFER I received today:

Mr. Ozed,

My name is SGT Davis of the US Army. I was looking over your résumé on career builder. I am glad to inform you that we have many jobs available in the administration field. Attached is a flyer on what the Army can offer in regards to benefits. You can contact me any time at (877) 555-3279 or email me back.

SGT Davis
US Army Administration Recruiter

There is an actual flyer attached but I can’t seem to upload it. If you’d like you can email me at johnozed@gmail.com and I’ll send it to you.

Pearly Dewdrops Drop

Ok. This is disconcerting. I just received a DVD that I ordered. It was on my wish list for over a year at amazon.com and the price kept going up up up. So I figured that no one was going to see the wish list because I never told anyone about it, and bought it for myself. The DVD is Spalding Gray, “Swimming to Cambodia”. I always loved Spalding. Found him to be very inspirational.

The disconcerting bit is the menu, Spalding’s head bobbing in and out of water with the menu selections below. Oh it’s nearly macabre. Spalding Gray killed himself by jumping into the river January 2004. It was Very sad.

I became a fan of Spalding’s in the eighties, I remember seeing the ads for his series at Lincoln Center. I didn’t know anything about him or the series but there was something about the poster that captured my imagination. I bought a ticket to see Swimming to Cambodia by myself and I was hooked. I also saw “Sex and Death to the Age Fourteen” and “Terrors of Pleasure”.

All about Spalding sitting at his desk with a notebook and a glass of water, talking. But not merely talking, taking us all on a journey in our imaginations with him as our guide on his stories. Very funny and insightful. My sister saw him once or twice in Garberville, CA, when he was laying low, doing a tour perhaps and checking out some chippies on the side. He was a man after all.

I was working at McSwells at the time and was so enthusiastic about Spalding that I turned a few other employees and bar flies onto him. They seemed to enjoy it but not like me. He really struck a chord. More info for the memory banks. Part of the philosophy that I have about no one is actually a complete person until they die. The thing is with every person you meet, you get a little something from them, be it knowing someone for decades, or just chatting with someone in an elevator for 30 seconds.

And you get a little bit from all these people and they become part of your make up. When you die you are complete and perhaps ready for the next level, if there is a next level. I never met Spalding but read most of his books and had seen a few of his shows and also been to screenings and readings that he had introduced or read at.

Bill had taken me to see Spalding in October 2003 at PS.122 in the East Village. I was prepared for what I was going to see, having read about Spalding in a copy of GQ a month earlier. He was in terrible shape. He was involved in a serious car accident in Ireland, damage to his leg, his skull and over all, his spirit. Someone had died in the accident as well I believe.

He came out on Opening Night and was merely a shell of what he once was. He spoke in a monotone, flat and lacking in energy. It seemed to be a challenge for him to even speak. It was 180 degrees from what he used to be. He didn’t really speak too long and close to the end he started to repeat himself, reading from a notebook and saying basically what he just spoke of.

I wish Bill was able to see Spalding live with all engines blazing away, the brilliance of the manner in which he told a story.

A woman seated near us said to me that she just wanted to go up and hug him. I explained to her about what I had read in GQ. She mentioned she was going to see if it was still on the newsstands. I wanted to see him again, to see how his latest monologue had progressed, but life being what it is prevented me from doing so.

I understand it had gotten better. But Spalding didn’t seem to get better and slipped into deeper crevices of depression that not even his wife or children could lift him out of. When he was reported missing I called his residence and left a message on the answering machine stating that he showed up in Garberville CA years ago, perhaps he went there again. I was only trying to help.

A few days later they pulled his body out of the river. So now I have these DVD’s of Swimming to Cambodia and Gray’s Anatomy. Not the same as seeing him on stage behind the desk but that is nowhere near as bad as not having a father or a husband or any loved one to come home to.

Waiting for some more perfect moments.

Hudson Line

“I grew up in a bakery town. Some grow up in factory towns, but not me. Bakery town all the way. I guess you could say I have flour in my blood. When I am kneading bread, it’s like a bit of heaven in my hands. I grew up on the floor of the bakery that my great grandfather founded a long time ago.”

“I would take whatever pieces of dough that fell to the floor and try to make little statues, and then bake them on top of the ovens. Not for consumption since they were on the floor originally. One of them even made the news for a few days when it was displayed in the window. It looked like a baked Pieta. It was on the news and people descended onto the sidewalk to pray in front of what essentially was a holy pretzel.”

“That happened frequently at the time, all over the place. Images of Christ or the Virgin Mary were turning up everywhere. It was reported that a few miles away from the bakery that on a urinal cake, an image of the Virgin Mary appeared in a bowling alley men’s room.”

“It was sacrilegious to some but these deity’s just pop up wherever they want to. Underneath highway overpasses, where despite the smell of piss, the Virgin appeared in condensation. At some public housing where Jesus on the cross had quite the roving eye.”

“As I got older I tried to create a sideline in my family’s bakery business and start creating and baking religious icons and events for sale and consumption. We initially started off on the wrong foot when I was served an injunction by Pepperidge Farms for our Loaves and Fishes line. It seemed our fish looked a little too much like Pepperidge’s Goldfish. ”

“That almost finished us, but I brainstormed and came up with Jesus curing a leper with grains of salt strategically placed on the leper’s body. It was a hit. I decided to expand on the theme and had a series of collectable edibles. One surprise hit was from the Historical Events line. Lincoln’s Assassination by Booth was gigantic. ”

“Things were going too well though. Pride comes before a fall, and I was feeling too proud. My downfall was inevitable. Terror by the name of Mr. Salty. Nabisco was following our progress very closely and felt that both Lincoln and Booth as well as a few other characters from history and the bible resembled Mr. Salty.”

“It was true they did. But I had figured that Mr. Salty had retired. It was rumored that he was hiding out in a remote cabin in the woods. I neglected to find out whether or not this was true, or even to see if Mr. Salty was alive. Oh he was alive and well and filled with his salt enencrusted anger.”

“He shut us down. I was perhaps a little too cocky. I had no idea that Mr. Salty was now the CEO of Nabisco. It was said that he was also getting involved with armaments, specifically for the Navy.”

“We surrendered everything. The took all that and more. I was glad the whole thing was over. ”

“I went back and sat on the floor of the family bakery for a few days, not eating, not speaking. Eventually I came to my senses and started baking again. I have decided to elevate baking to an art form. I don’t know what’s next, but it should be controversial. I am currently negotiating to have an exhibition at a well known gallery with my latest, life size edible collectables.”

“So keep an eye out.”

Going Down To Liverpool

A wonderful night with Bill translated into a wonderful morning with Bill. I bought the bagels, he bought the eggs. We got it like that. He had to drive this afternoon and soon after he left, as I was doing some washing, I was seized by inertia. Well not really. I spent a few hours watching The Tin Drum on DVD. I had it for a few weeks from Netflix and felt it was time to finally watch.

I heard a lot about it and it was mainly true what I heard. Great story, great acting, ultimately sad. It is about World War 2, the big one. The war my father flew in over Italy and quite possibly had a nervous breakdown during. Keep in mind psychiatric help was not an option for middle class Joes in the late 40’s.

A great part of that generation saw atrocities, killed people, were almost killed themselves, and were sent home hopefully intact and told to resume their lives. Of course this would be next to impossible after all they had been through. So they reentered the work force and set about drinking, procreating and not talking about what they had seen and done.

That might unleash tears and tears simply would not do for that crowd. I’ve known a few people whose fathers had served in the war, and basically it all sounds the same, abusive alcoholics with a tenuous grip on reality. Organizations like the American Legion and the VFW sprouted up enabling these guys and their wives a shelter from reality and some cheap drinks.

I was one of a bunch of children that spent quite a few weekend afternoons in the dark basement of Post 3484 watching our fathers and occasionally mothers get their drink on. Some of us were drafted into the Junior Rifle Squad, something that I wrote about earlier and don’t want to rehash.

Now, most of these veterans have passed away, I think 10 years ago it was at a rate of maybe 1000 a day. The ones that are still vertical tend to vote right wing regardless of what the right wing maybe doing, either cutting their benefits or sending their grandchildren off to war. The my country right or wrong set. If their grandchildren come back there is a definite chance that the new veterans won’t have the same benefits that their grandfathers had.

And still they vote against their better interests. To me that is complimenting the artistry on the knife as it is about to slit your throat. The world is a dangerous place, very messy and getting messier by the day, or perhaps even by the minute.

With Bush still exploiting 9/11, doing whatever he seems to damn well please, this country is the biggest mess of all. Thousands still displaced by Katrina, and the majority of people are just so damn tired of hearing about that. The economy is fucked, Ford motors are laying off 30,000 people over the next couple of years, and I can’t forget the anti-gay backlash that just won’t go away. There is the pump and dump plan going on against Microsoft for their support of equal rights and benefits for the gay people employed in Washington State, instigated by a preacher out there in Washington.

How did this idiot get to be in charge of this country? I know how, but really, HOW? Why don’t people see that they are pushing and supporting plans for a Theocracy while saying they’re against Theocracies in the Middle East?

To end on a bittersweet note, Ocean County freeholders decided to allow the $13,000 pension from Laurel Hester to Stacie Andree, her domestic partner.

Here’s a link about that.
http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060128/OPINION/601280385/1029/POLITICS

And here’s a picture of NYC from this afternoon.

Planet Rock

Another cold day. I decided to dress up since I was going to meet Bill and his coworkers after work. Walked to work listening to the Beastie Boys, Section 25, Pop Will Eat Itself and Colourbox all quite enjoyable and with great beats to walk around Manhattan to.

Work as usual was nonsensical. Which was fine. I was through with most of my tasks by midday. Even went shopping on Madison Avenue with one of the good guys, Ahsen from IT. It was his Third Anniversary and was going to have dinner with the wife. He’s a great guy, very nice, down to earth and gives me great insight to Muslim culture and Islam.

Of course every discussion with him about religion includes me saying, “Well you know what I think about that.” Meaning my atheism. He respects that and doesn’t preach. He can be pretty deep and philosophical. We discussed the current Middle East situations as we strolled up Madison Avenue at high noon.

Waked in BCBG Macadamia and waited forever for an elevator that could barely hold Ahsen & myself. We were fortunate that the shop girl riding with us was able to fit between the closed doors. I saw an uber-twink with a waist of something in the low 20’s and absolutely no ass, but all attitude. And why not? Working retail on Madison Avenue must be the pinnacle of employment for some.

The afternoon flew by after that. It suddenly became 5:30, time for me to fly through the doors and not look back. I looked forward to meeting Bill’s coworkers. Bill has met enough of my friends and coworkers, finally I get the chance to meet his. I walked around meandering so I could get the most out of my ritual of smoking a Padron 5000 natural after work.

Rocking the Ipod on a pleasant evening, smoking a good cigar, and going to meet my man at the end of the work day. Sweet.

Bill met me outside Figaro on west 44th street as I finished my cigar. Gave him a kiss and we walked in. Met the first of many people whose name I can’t remember. They were all nice and friendly. A typical welcoming afterwork crowd on a Friday in Manhattan. Very diverse and enjoyable. Had some of Bill’s personal pizza and a few pints. Bill also had a few pints and we both buzzed home on the Path to Hoboken.

After watching Law And Order something or other and with the prospect of watching another episode immediately following, I suggested a movie, and Bill was game. He had never seen Annie Hall. He loved it, I loved it again. One problem though, the segment that has Alvy and Annie on the rooftop after playing tennis, where they’re talking and there are subtitles saying what they are actually thinking, well the subtitles were gone. Strange. Because that’s what made the scene, since they are both prattling on pretentiously.

But it still is a classic regardless. Or is it irregardless?

And Bill just keeps on surprising me. And then some.

The Overload

January has finally arrived. It is cold, but the air is clean. It was a bright sunny day. Bill spent last night at his folks and I had the bed all to myself. And like the Police song, ‘The Bed’s Too Big Without You’, it’s true, it is. And it’s really a small bed for two fully-grown men like Bill and myself.

Can’t believe I quoted the Police.

Walked to work, wind at my back like the old Irish blessing, listening to Cocteau Twins’ ‘Treasure’. A pure Jet record. Jet was heavy into the Cocktail Shrimp as he liked to call them and also enamored of their label 4AD. So much so that he bought a ton of 4AD records when he was working at Tower Records and really used that employee discount as well as the five finger type.

I stopped by 4 Times Square to drop off Bill’s Ipod. That proved to be more difficult than dropping off his Thomas Pink shirt on a hanger. Was given a slight runaround by security when I saw Bill’s friend Tom who is another security guard. He had no problem holding the Ipod until Bill arrived.

Wandered to work, listening to the Cocteaus’, thinking about how I met them briefly at McSwells when Stan had them over for some drinks years ago. Stan was good friends with the three twins and brought them to Hoboken. It turned into a low key jockeying for Liz/Robin/Simon’s attention. Who can outwit who and get a word in to one of the three.

I met Stan through Dave Bell who was friends with my brother Brian. Christmas night 1979 Dave and I were going to see ‘Neighbors’ and we picked up Stan. I was playing Wire ‘154’ that my brother Frank had given me. I didn’t know who they were but I liked what I had heard. At least side one. It took me awhile to finally flip the record, like a few months. On the way home, Stan noticed what I was playing. He was the first person that knew who Wire was. He knew more than I did.

We bonded. Stan was one of the wittiest people around. Spent many hours riffing with him, fast repartee. Don’t see him as much as I used to, maybe once every other year. Last time was at Gang of Four in May 2005. I guess that’s how we’ll cross paths in the future, at old Post Punk reunion tours. Our Woodstock in black.

Work has been ridiculously lightweight lately. I’m busy, but not letting the proctological delights bother me so much. I had an interview today, around the block from where I work. A law firm, I think I aced the first part of the interview, the second interview, perhaps not as good. The Ozed charm didn’t go as far the second time. We’ll see.

Like I said, Wanker Banker hasn’t been as painful for me though not much has changed. It’s my attitude that has changed. It was weird being around the block and seeing the neighborhood where I spend most days from literally, a different perspective. I could see into my office a few stories higher and hoped that no one looked out the window with binoculars…

Not that they would, not during the daytime at least.

Caught up with Bill afterwork and there was drama but progress is being made since we’re able to talk about what the fuck is bothering us to put it bluntly. What was originally a walk to the Path station turned into standing outside of Madison Square Garden for almost an hour. Intense talking, no solutions but a strong will get through it together. The Billy Joel fans started to trickle in and Bill had to get to his cousin’s in the Bronx, and I wanted to get home. Listened to Elvis Costello and the Attractions, ‘Get Happy!!’ Perfect.

It’s bananas, but luckily we like bananas. Start conclusion drawing….NOW.

The Listening Wind

I need to discipline myself to go to sleep earlier. The day was bookended by crabby feelings. A charming neuroses. There is the ongoing struggle with the people next door throwing their garbage in our cans. Now for some that is nothing, one should be glad they throw things in cans, but it does make the moving of the cans that much heavier.

This morning, after bottle recycling the night before, I reached in the garbage and removed a bunch of bottles and placed them in their driveway. I then scurried away after making sure I didn’t get any crap on my suit. I have to admit my fire is sometimes fueled by my neighbor, Claire’s antagonism towards the residents next door.

At work there was class in the form of Carla visiting NYC from London. Always a pleasure to speak with her, the accent is such that I would basically do anything she asked. She’s been encouraging me to visit London this year, saying she’d show me around. Basically I want to do a Beatles tour of London and visit the galleries and museums.

I have to ask Chaz about places to stay. He is closer to my budget than an English office manager and could probably recommend some decent cheap flat to stay in. Everyone tells me I should travel and I am starting to listen. Bill has even gone to London and wants to take me. Meaning accompany me, not necessarily buy me a ticket.

I would definitely love to go experience another culture though there would be the head start of knowing the language. Denmark would be swell too. Amsterdam seems to be a real destination. Bill had planned on going there years ago, but needed to cancel his trip when he jacked up his knee.

Today I downloaded Mellow Man Ace ‘Mentirosa’ the extended version, Mad Lion ‘Take it Easy’ and Lisa Stansfield “Change’ and ‘All Around the World’. Listened to deep deep DUB from Tappa Zukie. Been a while since I played some Blood and Fire Dub plates, and even longer since I played it without red eyes. Dub on headphones still affects my equilibrium, where I lean while walking in whatever direction the bass is pushing me.

Now Jamie Foxx is on NBC. Catching the last few minutes. I forgot all about it. I like Jamie Foxx, he is really talented. Funny man and decent singer. I got a few emails from some Afro centric groups I subscribe to stating that NBC isn’t promoting it, scheduling it against American Idiot. That is nonsense. I doubt there is a conspiracy to silence Jamie Foxx. And if there was it wasn’t successful since it’s being aired right now anyway.

From what I see it’s a throw back to 1970’s variety shows that were quite commonplace.
Like Flip Wilson or even Andy Williams or Cher. Jamie’s emoting and humming as he sings about his grandmother who raised him. Nice. He seems like a nice guy. I could hang with him. But could he hang with me?

Well I caught the last 5 minutes of the show. It was nice. He’s really a fortunate man to be able to have an Oscar, the number one record in the country and a special on TV.

Shout out to Julio for reminding me about crunch time.

It’s a strange world Jeffery.

Seen and Not Seen

The Costanza rule works. Just look frustrated and everyone will think you are busy. I constantly look frustrated, thereby creating the illusion that I am constantly busy. But I am busy despite what it may look like. Today was relatively busy with quite a few activities that kept me away from the office. Lot’s of running around midtown, and I timed it well enough to be able to do whatever it was that I wanted to do within the proper time frame.

The sun was out, the Ipod plugged in and I was boppin all over the place. I even had to go back to the same place twice due to a mistake that I had made and was able to mosey on over. Plenty of friendly glances that I am getting better at returning. I always look people in the eye if they’re looking at me. Straight men avert their eyes, gay men will look right back at you.

Lot’s of eye candy out there today. Nice shirts and ties and exceptional suited men. A wonderful Manhattan afternoon that I was able to use fully to my advantage. I had a hankering for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles singing Tears of a Clown, but it somehow never got loaded into the Ipod over the weekend.

I settled for the English Beat covering Tears of a Clown and that set me off on a 2 Tone binge. Perfect. Great stuff. Thought about Miriam and thought about Susan Sher. Two women I know who were both into Ska almost as much as I was. And when I say Ska, I mean 2 Tone, meaning The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and the English Beat. The British Ska Revival of the late 1970’s.

The Special were it for me man. Interracial, singing about politics, violence and having babies at too young an age. I sent my nephew Earl a cd of the Specials first record, hoping that it would make an impression. Whether it did I don’t know. I even turned Julio onto the Specials. For me the Specials were amazing. I never saw the original band, just a reconstituted line up in the 1990’s. No Terry Hall or Jerry Dammers, but the rest were there with a room full of mainly guys singing as nasally as they could to sound like Terry.

Some of my personal politics can be traced to the Specials first record. It made an impact on a lot of people of my generation. I even remember the day I bought it at Korvettes in 1979 the same day I bought The Pretenders and Wreckless Eric, all records I treasure to this day even if I have no idea where they physically are.

I even sat waiting for the bus at the Bergen Mall talking to an elderly woman about the records I had just purchased. I was so enthusiastic and I guess it was noticeable. I started dressing in tight peg legged pants that I paid someone at work, Emma Fairnot, 5 dollars a pair to hem. She did the best she could and I didn’t know any better.

Most everything started to get 2 Tone, black and white checkerboard in my life. Even turned a metal head at school onto the Specials. Turned him onto PiL and the Clash as well. Whatever happened to Tom Pressey?

It was just great to walk around sunny Midtown Manhattan grooving and bopping to 2 Tone. I should’ve done it 25 years ago, but things don’t always work out as planned, even in hindsight.

Walked down to Chelsea after work to see if the guys who told me about the Gauloises coming in today, were telling the truth. He seemed sincere and was mad cute, but didn’t have them in. He told me to try tomorrow and he’s cute enough to warrant a walk for 45 minutes to stand in front of a counter for a minute or two.

I opted for a phone number instead.

Houses In Motion

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one getting burned.” That’s a saying my sister taught me years ago. Annemarie, my sister is truly a wonderful being. She was the one who got me interested in music initially though there was always some sort of music playing in the house.

I remember one time she asked my opinion of this song, something called ‘Crocodile Rock’ by Elton John. She liked Elton a lot. I don’t think she was doing market research. I liked the song, not one of his best as I look back on it now, but then I liked it a lot. The fifties type of vocals from the chorus was catchy as all hell. That year I bought Annemarie an inflatable Elton John pillow from Spencer Gifts for Christmas.

Annemarie was on vacation, or perhaps not working one summer and she got me out of the house frequently. Just day trips to Darlington County Park, which was exotic for me then. It still is. The suburban myth is that Annemarie once swallowed a worm as she was looking up out the back window of the station wagon that my father was driving and a worm fell off the tree and down her gullet.

Great story, she denies it. Memory has created the imagery of her leaning back, mouth agape and the worm or perhaps caterpillar slipping off a leaf and falling into her mouth. There was no worm or caterpillar swallowing on our day trips. I would just swim or sit on the beach with her. Maybe a walk around or the pedal boats for a while. Then we’d make it home in time for dinner. I was usually just so exhausted from the sun that I more than likely passed out after dinner.

On weekends Anne and I would go bicycle riding to far off Paramus. There were no bike lanes then. A lot of it was on roads not friendly at all to cyclists. She would ride our brother Frank’s ten-speed, I would ride my no speed bike with a sissy bar and a banana seat. That might explain a lot of things….

But I digress. We would ride, just get out of the house, not tell anyone where we were going and ride ride ride. There were no cell phones or pagers then, we were totally incommunicado. These little adventures brought us closer. We had to cross Route 4 by carrying our bicycles and running across the highway. For some reason it was the safer thing to do.

I have fought with both my brothers, but I can never recall fighting with Annemarie.

Annemarie was the first person on the planet that inquired about my nascent sexuality. Like about a few months after I had discovered it myself. Of course I followed on my first instinct. Deny. She asked why didn’t I have any girlfriends. I had just started at an all boys’ high school, and that was a deterrent for meeting girls.

I did have a dalliance with Donna Rinaldi between eighth grade and freshman year of high school, but it never amounted to anything but a chaste kiss, which was fine with me. I never even got to hold her bags of sand. But the distance between me living on Riverview Avenue and Donna living on Massey Street was too great a gulf for me to cross.

I was adamant that I was straight, or at least enough to convince Annemarie. I knew I wasn’t but didn’t want anyone except for whomever I was having sex with to know. She never brought the subject up again.

Annemarie moved out of the house and eventually wound up in New Hampshire. That was great because I’d flee Lodi for a week at a time and go up there. We’d go to the movies or various stores in Brattleboro, Vermont. I bought a ton of used Beatles LP’s original label stuff, which is now lost somewhere, but oh how I cherished it then. We saw Annie, Star Trek and a few other movies.

One time we had even gone to a gay bar in Brattleboro when I was older and out. That was probably the last time I went up there. I had a lot of hash at the time and once when Annemarie and her guests went out one afternoon I would up smoking way too much and had to lie on the floor in the sun inside her house so I wouldn’t die. Oh, good times.

Almost a year to the day I met Bill, we were driving from Lodi to Frank’s house in Garfield. She asked me if I was ever going to settle down, find a nice guy, and do whatever it is gay people do when they decide to settle down. I told her my life was so complicated and if I wanted sex I knew where to go, and god help the guy I decided to settle down with. A year later I met Bill.

Annemarie is still my favorite person in the world. She’s in California now, with Rex her husband, and their son, Earl. She’s great and I love her. I love all of them out there in Arcata, and wish they were closer. I think they feel the same way.

I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will.

Once In A Lifetime

A lazy Sunday. What makes this? The fourth this month, third if you don’t count New Years Day. The weather has been hospitable, sunny, and not too cold. Not 60 degrees like yesterday, more like 40 something. Like me! Had lunch with Julio at the greasy spoon, last of the greasy spoons actually, The Spa Restaurant, located on Hudson by the Path Station.

With Starbucks around the corner and a for sale sign on the side of the building I fear that time is running short for the Spa. Had a decent Tuna Sandwich, Julio reminiscing about the chicken salad he had in Copenhagen. Not the same chicken salad in Hoboken. His tears made the chicken salad that much more salty.

I paid no mind and ate French fries off his plate. Oh how that man loves Danish Chicken Salad. We wandered around Hoboken, passing dozens of football fans yelling on the street hoping the Steelers would win. Or the other guys. We walked around Pier A taking more pics with our digital cameras.

Bill stayed home. He looked great. Not exactly at 100% yet but he’s on his way back. He’s going to work tomorrow and on Thursday I am supposed to meet him and his coworkers at an after work affair. That should be fun. I will definitely dress to impress.

It’s been a mellow weekend. Mellow and repetitive, which is fine by me. As with the previous two entries, Julio and Bill sit on the couch watching TV as I sit and type.

I’ve been trying to send Lewis Lapham a note, or rather an email thanking him for lighting the fire under my ass and getting me inspired enough to write this everyday.
I don’t know if he’d be able to receive email at Harper’s now that he’s no longer editor in chief.

I will have to look into that this week.

I was just trying to download the Colin Farrell sex tape but all I could get was ads for girl on girl Sapphic desires. That got Julio’s attention. That Colin, such a bad boy and rumored to be distractingly hung. Colin and myself disprove the Irish myth. Or at least I know I do.

And now a discussion with Julio about the amount of words that I write. He asked if I wrote 499 or 498 words what would I do? I told him it would give me an opportunity to think things out a bit and perhaps stretch something here or there. He didn’t see the point of that. I think he was saying that I would be fine with 498 or so.

I told him it was the discipline of writing the 500 words, and also that I hardly ever count the words until well after 500. He was pushing being concise about what I write, not going off on tangents. Nice sentiment, but it might actually mean more if he actually read the blog.

Perhaps if he started a blog I’d be able to see how it should be done.

The Great Curve

Gauloises hunt. Running down to my last few packs. How I lasted so long since that day in August is anybody’s guess. This was motivation enough for me to hop on a bus into the city and hit some small stores that used to carry the Gauloises. They were out at every store, never to be seen again, and would I like some Drum or Bali Shag instead?

The city was bathed in sunlight, about 60 degrees. I strolled around on my hunt and inadvertently picked the most appropriate music, The Raybeats ‘Guitar Beat’. Guitar instrumentals, surf and a spy flick sound. I felt like a cop when I’d walk into a store and hold up a pack of Gauloises, asking if you’ve seen this tobacco lately?

I walked over to 22nd and 8th Ave around where my friend Rita used to live. They didn’t have any but the guy said that he could get some from the wholesaler, but he doesn’t have any customers for it. Only a few left. A few? Boxes? Packs? In any event, he suggested that I come back on Tuesday. I told him, thumping my chest, that I would be his customer and expect to see me on Tuesday.

As I hit a few more newsstands on 8th ave, I spied a hot looking, thick necked guy. Salt and pepper hair, beefy. I was smoking a Padron with my antennae up and fiddled with my Ipod trying to linger unobtrusively, just in case it wasn’t who I thought it was.

It was. I am 99% sure it was this guy, Mike, or Malik. I have him on an x rated DVD. Smoking a cigar in tight gym trunks. Yum. Works for me and about a hundred or so other guys on line. But he wasn’t smoking or wearing tight gym trunks. Shiny Pelle Pelle gear which is almost as nice.

But for some odd reason I hesitated and he started walking away. I certainly didn’t want to run up on him. I saw the thick neck walk off, the gray Pelle Pelle football shirt. I have no idea why I hesitated. I even had my camera. And it was Chelsea, so even if it wasn’t him, he probably had a good idea what kind of neighborhood that was, what with all the rainbows…

Perhaps if I was 100% sure it was him I might have shook his hand. I would’ve needed to see the tell tale tattoo on his chest.

Overall it was a dry run. No Gauloises anymore. Or maybe on Tuesday. I headed back on the PATH, listening to Talking Heads ‘Remain In Light’ once more. I had asked Bill earlier if he could call the Smoke Shop in Hoboken as a very last ditch resort. He called me back after speaking to them telling me that they had a couple of packs and they’ll hold them.

A blue pack of tobacco at the end of the tunnel. But I was wary. You see back in the day, when I was living in Weehawken, I called them once to ask the same question, and they said they did. I got William, my roommate to drive me down there in his van. We made it down after telling the guy on the phone that I’d be there in about 15 minutes.

William double parked outside and I ran it. I told the guy who I was and what I was there for, and he said he didn’t have any.

I asked him what happened? He said on the phone 15 minutes earlier that he had it. He told me that some Russians came in and bought everything. I cursed him as I left and William cursed him after I told him.

So I walk up to the store, different owners, but I think stupidity is pumped in through the vents. I bought the two packs he was holding for me. I asked if he had any more and he said that he placed an order a month ago. I told him that they don’t make Gauloises anymore. He didn’t believe me. I quoted chapter and verse, from the August 31 article from the New York Times.

I don’t think he’d ever heard of that paper before.

And now some pictures, notice the lack of porn stars.

Crosseyed and Painless

Friday night, watching The Day After Tomorrow with Bill and Julio. Wine has been imbibed, Pizza has been ingested and a jazz cigarette consumed. Laughter ensues, despite the serious message of the movie. It’s a nice night. Good times, fuzzy edges. All rather pleasant.

The working day was book ended by weirdness. Mercury in retrograde type of cosmic thang. The Osama Bin Laden tape was all the rage the past few days so memories of panic and fear started to register on a low level. Just when you start to think everything is going all right, whammo.

I made it to the bus after a short jog to catch it and settled into my usual spot right above the left rear wheel well. Quite roomy. I take the aisle and gladly offer the window to anyone who would like it. Very few opt for it and I occasionally offer it to people, but there are few takers. Which makes my ride that much more comfortable.

Read the New Yorker, and got through the tunnel and then sat on the ramp for about 15 minutes. No buses were moving in or out. Everything was totally stopped.

Bus Jam.

Eventually everyone was let off their buses, hundreds of people at 7:40 in the morning all staggering up the ramp into the terminal or onto the street. I have a partner who knows things about the buses and traffic, and also was sitting in front of the TV when I called. A bus had broken down in one of the tunnels and caused an immediate freeze on the system, so it wasn’t a terrorist act like originally thought by me.

Osama Bin Boogieman, you did it again. But the over saturation of the media played a heavy role as well, perhaps surpassing Bin Bong in the long run. Or maybe it could be an exercise in fear, perpetrated by the knobs in DC.

Work was relatively painless with a glimmering of lower case hope. Don’t get me wrong, the right job comes along and I am outta there. And that was recognized by Jamie. She says she’s really pushing for me to be the office manager, and I believe her, but I really believe, it ain’t gonna happen.

I’ve grown accustomed to flying under the radar. I know, it seems weird, but I really have no other options at this moment. When life gives you lemons, throw lemons at life. And a raspberry or two. And at work I was able to leave and drop off bagels, muffins and fruit at St. Bart’s Food kitchen.

Talked to my brother Frank who lectured me about cigars while reminiscing about seeing Talking Heads in Central Park in 1980. An excellent magical show on a warm summer night at the Wollman Rink. It was so fantastic and I remember very little of it besides being overwhelmed. It was the first time I had ever seen them and there were 9 or 10 people on stage.

It was very groove oriented and every one, and I mean everyone was dancing. He moaned about my smoking cigars. I really love smoking cigars. A treat at the end of my day. I don’t know what he does at the end of his day. I don’t think his as stressful as mine. At least, work wise.

And as always, I left work and had a cigar that I enjoyed greatly. Walked to 30th street and got to the PATH station where there were no trains going to Hoboken. Lots of people on the platform, and in the cars with the doors open, but no one was going to Hoboken.

Osama Bin At it Again? Signal problems. I could relate. I overheard a plan to take a Journal Square train and get off at the first stop and catch the light rail back to Bokeyland. It was a surefire plan and it worked. Lot’s of bewilderment among the people who had never taken the light rail. I told one of them to just follow the crowd to the station.

Made it home, picked up some ginger root for Bill and wound up watching the Day After Tomorrow with Bill and Julio.

And people should boycott Ocean County NJ if they don’t approve the $13,000 pension from Laurel Hester to Stacie Andree, her domestic partner. Laurel is dying after serving as an investigator for Ocean County PD and would like her partner Stacie to receive the widow’s pension. This has been denied by Ocean County freeholders. More at the link below.

http://gfn.com/channelArticle.cfm?channelDesRecordID=151

Born Under Punches (the heat goes on)

Bill is on the mend. I’ll say it again, Bill is on the mend. Today was ok for me, not the best, nor the worst. Merely a day that I will never see the likes of again. Fine by me, no hard feelings. No big deal either.

A stupid day. It was also a fun day. Work was dumb as usual, usual ratchet faces screwing about. Had a plan to have some cigars at a cigar bar with an auditor from a company that is auditing the monkey heads I work for. I’ve hung out with one auditor, Dante who is really cool. Former marine, happily married and the father of what seems to be a two year old.

If he wasn’t 2 of those things I’d be erotically interested, but he’s a good guy to have some drinks and some cigars with. He was with another auditor and a friend, all from Los Angeles. The plan to go to Club Macanudo, sight of a romantic Valentine’s Day way back when, was waylaid when Dante’s friend Jim, all 6’8” of him wore jeans and could not gain admission. Dress code nonsense. So we strolled across town, skirting Central Park, headed for the Carnegie Club.

They granted us admission, Dante, his partner David and Dante’s friend Jim. We sat down, the club somewhat crowded, a nice spot in Manhattan where people can smoke. If you want to smoke a cigar, you’d best be prepared to buy an over priced cigar since they have to have a certain percentage of tobacco sales in order to qualify for Cigar Bar status.

They all ordered Scotch and wines, I had a Heineken. I picked out a La Gloria Cubana, made in the Dominican Republic of course, Dante had a Padron, and David had a Hyde Park. Jim wasn’t smoking, but not judging or complaining either. It was a lot of fun, I was being funny, and they were laughing. That’s what means a lot of fun to me.

I was being myself, which for once, wasn’t such a bad thing. I can be such a raconteur. We talked about Wanker Banker and I gave some witty thumbnail sketches on some of the personalities they had interviewed. I don’t think any laws were broken, compliance-wise.

It was more like, “oh that guy who we interviewed today, hostile and belligerent” Oh that must be, Klaus Strychnine. Looks like Pugsley Addams. “Yes! That’s it! I told you he looked like someone!”

We also talked about movies, I being the only one who saw Brokeback Mountain, had them in tears after my synopsis and they wound up making major contributions to Marriage Equality and Lambda Legal.

Jim was meeting his girlfriend, and Dante and David decided to get some dinner. I opted for Bokeyland, to see Bill who is almost 100% back to health. Got 2 crappy slices on Washington Street and walked home playing the remastered Remain In Light by Talking Heads.

Can’t seem to get past side A though.

Had most of the crappy slices and talked on the phone with Rand who is busy with work. Had a talk with Bill about Valentine’s Day, and the ghost of the past year or so. We recognize the ghost and wrestle with it, bite it, kick it, and try to heal from the wounds it has inflicted on us. So it’s battle with the intangible but with feelings involved. He gets hurt, I get hurt, we question.

We’re almost at 100% back. We are on the mend.

I’ll Be Your Mirror

Fell asleep to the rain last night, woke up later than usual and didn’t panic. No running around ala Dagwood Bumstead. If that were so, Bill would be Blondie, and I don’t really see him fitting into those tight dresses. He’s never done drag before either.

I did once. Susan Sher popped over to Jane Street and with blood shot eyes applied make up. I think I looked rather grotesque. There were some photographs but they are lost to the ages I hope. When I grow my hair long, shoulder length, I look like a lesbian. So I wear my hair short now. Mod-like. Or so I would like to believe.

I tried to get dreadlocks in the nineties. I was in my Rasta phase, Rasta Johnny, as I was known then. I was growing my hair long and hanging out with the Dreads, so it seemed like the thing to do. I fancied myself looking like the singer from the Wolfgang Press, a handsome white dude with great cheekbones and immaculate hair.

That was going to be me. Somewhere I bought a tin of bees wax and set about applying and twisting my hair into dreads. It was summertime. I tried it for a few weeks, when I noticed I had an itchy rash all over my body. The dreads weren’t taking and I looked rather dorkish.

Being it was summer and my hair is quite thick, I felt the dreads were never going to happen. It was very hot out, and I decided to chop it all off. Mostly. I got a really tight fade. Within a day the rash disappeared. I think I was allergic to bees wax.

Tonight while walking through Hoboken I passed a woman I used to work with, Lorraine Schwartz. We worked together at Take One Video in the early 90’s. Unbeknownst to everyone, including myself, I was over indulging in various substances. I was also giving away the store to various bartenders and barflies. Of course I got caught and of course I got fired. Not my best moment.

Passing by Lorraine this evening I realized that bridge was burned a long time ago. In fifteen years or so, she’s the only one I’ve ever seen. And Hoboken is a small town. I do regret doing what I had did, and though it’s no excuse but the owner was heavily involved in his own powdered abuse. He eventually got busted for bootlegging videos, and now is a fireman in town. I hope to never cross paths with him. I remember when he was firing me, he was stroking his face with a letter opener telling me how he was going to call the cops but decided against it.

It wasn’t me best moment, but being it was 1991 and the year had taken a disastrous turn, I lost control of a lot of things. Mostly my integrity. It took me a while to get at least some of that back, thanks to good friends that I am fortunate enough to accumulate. These friends have stood by me through thick and thin. Some know me well enough that they can tell something is going on with me by the sound of my voice.

When they ask, ‘What’s up’, I usually say, ‘Nothing’. They know that if they hang in there all will be revealed in about ten minutes. Bill is starting to get that concept as well. Like I said, I am fortunate to have them in my life.

I am also fortunate with the fact that they don’t read this.

Day Dreaming

Back to work today. Not so bad though. Juan headed back to Trenton, Julio came back to the States and Bill has flu like symptoms if not the actual flu. I didn’t have that bad a morning, and I made sure Bill would have what he might need throughout the day. He’s been run down, working and the drastic change of temperature over the weekend hit him with a whammy.

Coughing up colors, which is actually a good thing since his body is expelling whatever viral things have taken up residence in his chest. I missed yet another bus but really didn’t care, another one appeared soon after. Decided on taking the train with Juan mentioning earlier that he hoped my subway wouldn’t be blown up. Nice sentiment, especially since it didn’t blow up.

It felt like a Monday but it was actually a Tuesday. So I expect to lag behind a day until Saturday. Four day work week’s rock. Caught up on the drama that coworkers went through over the weekend. Some inconsequential, some sad. Called Bill to let him know I had made it to work safe and sound. He sounded weak and tired. His fever has been fluctuating between 99 and 102.

I planned on a visit to the Post Office but it didn’t look like it was going to happen. A bit cold out through most of the day. Talked to a coworker about the shingles he is suffering from. Had them bad enough that he went to the emergency room. I told him how I solved my shingles problem a while ago with urine. It worked, the shingles were gone within days and they never came back.

He didn’t seem shocked by my solution. He did seem shocked when I offered to pee on him.

No, I didn’t really offer to pee on him. I’m not that kinky.

Had the chicken, pesto and penne lunch. Heavy and a bit pricey but keeps me sated throughout the afternoon. Spoke to my brother Frank on the phone. He’s pushing the counseling. I haven’t given up on it, not at all. It’s just that Bill and I would be more comfortable with a gay person rather than Carol Howell, who we had to explain a lot of things to.

It’s funny, when I had discussed my previous therapy with Frank, he mentioned that I should’ve simply gotten a different therapist. Now that Bill and I are doing that, Frank is making me feel like it’s the wrong move. Hey for me it’s either this or nothing. The woman simply made me feel that uncomfortable. And Barbara the woman who seems to run the Washington Square Institute tried laying a guilt trip on me when I discussed this over the phone.

She felt I should tell Carol Howell myself. I told her that I didn’t want to, that she should do it. So presently we are on hold until they could find a gay person to be our counselor. It could take some time according to Barbara. If it takes too long we’ll simply take our neuroses somewhere else. Somewhere gay. Maybe San Francisco. That would be cool.

Or Amsterdam. Julio and Stine had gone to Amsterdam on their honeymoon and I saw the pictures with Julio the other night. He also sent me an email with a photo of a flyer showing they have psilocybin on sale. That could be an excellent couples therapy medication. Maybe Terrance McKenna can write a prescription.

Also a shout out to my lawyer pal, who gave me some really good advice this weekend…

Watch Your Step

Louise walked down the street artfully avoiding piles of dog shit. From a distance it looked like she was doing an intricate ballet. There seemed to be a lot of dogs with irritable bowel syndrome. This was disgusting. From what Louise gathered, since it was raining so hard last night, a lot of people decided to not pick up after their dogs.

Louise hated that. She didn’t mind the dogs but hated the people that couldn’t handle the responsibility of owning them. It seemed wrong to have a big dog in the small apartments of this town. The owners seemed to get them because they were chic. The “in” item to have this season.

Moving along, sidestepping shit, she scanned the sidewalk ahead looking for errant feces. All seemed clear. It was like walking though a minefield. She increased her stride and headed around the corner. There she was, Louise’s dreaded ex roommate, former friend, Alex.

With a dog.

Louise just smiled and hurried along, nodding a hello as Alex’s dog began to squat. Louise noticed that Alex didn’t seem to have anything in her hands to pick up after the dog. Oh she hated Alex. And she hated Alex’s dog. A small foo foo dog. A dog that would not protect you should you need it. These types of dogs are the kind that gets you into trouble.

Louise always thought of these dogs as being either ‘kickers or steppers’, meaning they are the kind of dog that you either kick or step on. Not that Louise would do anything like that, but those dogs are so irritating sometimes.

As Louise was walking away she turned to see what stage Alex’s dog was going through. No stage at all actually. The dog was done. Alex was about 20 feet from the steaming pile on the sidewalk as Louise made note of another mine to avoid should she come back this way later.

She was trying so hard to have a good day but with all this shit around her, both literally and figuratively, it seemed like a losing battle. She was trying to put her financial situation behind her. Her lousy dates that she had been on, she was desperately keen to forget. Work was a drag, no challenges, just the same boring routine.

Louise wondered if this was what it was all about. Life. Avoiding the piles of shit on the road of life ahead of you. She laughed silently to herself as she thought of a saying that she had heard in her neighborhood a few times over the years, ‘Oh He really stepped in shit’.

Apparently it meant that someone had some good luck happen to them. Usually involved winning the lottery or some sum of money and sometimes said with a tinge of jealousy. Louise started to laugh to herself. It really was a funny saying. When she thought about it, that if it were true, there’d be a lot of people stepping in the piles she so artfully avoided.

Above her, a few floors up, a tenant was trying to adjust an air conditioner in the window. One hand was on a window, the other on the far end of the unit. Louise was walking directly below when it slipped.

Louise was hit and landed face first into a pile of never before seen dog shit. So much for good luck.

French Film Blurred

We had a good time regardless. Juan arrived, soon followed by Bill. All safe and warm inside. Outside it was a monsoon with temperatures falling fast and barometric pressure rising. Winds from the west about 30 miles per hour. I didn’t say anything, and would’ve gone if Bill wanted to. But after settling in and hearing the wind howl and the rain fall, it was decided to stay in. Juan had never seen the 40 Year Old Virgin, so we stayed in and watched it.

Of course it was funny. Juan enjoyed it more than he expected and Bill and I thought it was even funnier with each viewing. Lot’s of laughs, combined with cocktails and occasional munchies.


The monsoon raged on outside, I figured that since the New York Guitar Festival was promoted in the Daily News and it was free it would be packed. And then to deal with the storm going to Leroy Street and that event wasn’t going to hit its stride until late. We made the correct decision and hunkered down. We ordered pizza from Grimaldi’s and promptly inhaled it.

I timed it so immediately after 40 Year Old Virgin, I threw in The Shining which neither Bill or Juan had seen in it’s entirety. Quel horror! Wonderful tracking shots throughout, classic camera work. So influential. Supremely creepy. I saw it the first weekend it came out with my sister in law Elaine, and it had a slightly different ending. Shelley Duval and the kid wind up in the hospital. Nowadays it doesn’t end that way. They altered the ending a week or so after it was originally released.

Sort of like when I saw Ghost Dog with RoDa when it came out. There were no subtitles for the French dialog. We had no problem with that despite the fact that neither RoDa nor myself spoke French. We saw those parts by watching the expression of the actors. And we thought it was brilliant that there were no subtitles. But apparently that was a mistake of the distributor. Jim Jarmusch the director had them fix it a week or so later when he got word.

The Shining ended perfectly on time and we then switched over to Saturday Night Live. Juan wasn’t lasting too long and split soon after. Somehow swimming up the hill in the rain. But like me, he has his Ipod and will go out on a night not fit for man or beast. Well, not like me, for I stayed in and wished him a good night.

I didn’t last too long after that, crashing after Weekend Update. Said good night to Bill who told me to get ready. I lay in the bed and drifted off almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Then Bill came to bed and woke me up and gets me awake, aroused and amazed for the next hour. A gay old time indeed. Wow, making up for lost time I tell you. Fantastic and with some new twists and turns. Macho Man, he put me to sleep soon after.

Like most of the things I’ve written, and like life, things change day to day, sometimes minute by minute. Sometimes once I’ve written something, the entire situation or the perspective changes. And this is one of those situations. Kudos to Bill, I’d stand up and give him an ovation, but well…you know…

It snowed a bit overnight and this morning. All the rain had frozen and made the sidewalks sheets of ice. So we walked up to Washington in the middle of the street, Bill for the bus, me for the bagels and papers. Came home, chatted with some oddballs and friends online and then ventured out into the Hoboken Tundra for some pictures.

I walked around playing Wire, their second album Chairs Missing. Decided to wander around and play the entire album before I came back home.

Nice and brisk and clean air and not many people. It was cold and windy and only nutters outside like myself and young people playing football. Who was crazier? They were. I wasn’t falling to the ground or throwing a ball around. I was being artsy. Or so I would like to believe. You can judge for yourself, can’t you?

Rain

“When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads, they might as well be dead, when the rain comes, when the raaaaiiiinnn comes” That’s been the weather today. Still balmy. I’ve been quite busy. Woke up at 7 not being able to sleep anymore, lay in bed with Bill who came home last night after his stays with his cousin, Carmen in the Bronx (Hello Carmen) and his folks in Stuy Town. I’d say hello to his folks but they don’t have a computer. Bill is doing the right thing by taking a more active role in his parent’s lives. I am proud of him for doing so.

We talked quite a bit in bed and through out the apartment, even danced a bit. I sang along with Rufus Wainwright’s song, Poses at the top of my lungs, after dancing to Jamiroquai. Today I received the Rufus DVD ‘All I Want’. I was hoping to get it for the holidays, but since I didn’t, I got it for myself after checking it out on Netflix.

“Don’t steal my Merry Christmas with your Happy Holidays”. A magnetic sticker on three sides of a van, a few weeks after Jeezy Creezy’s birthday.

My sister called me up earlier and asked if I read the latest New Yorker and if I was going to the Winter Garden to the New York Guitar Festival’s Tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. And it’s free. Perfect. Free and easy to get to. Like me.
Ba Dum Bum!

Juan is coming over and he seemed interested in it too. So that could be something cool to do. Bill and I have been discussing going out dancing one of these days, and it’s turning out that one of these days is today. A DJ friend of his is spinning at a Martin Luther King party tonight in the West Village, which could be easily accessed from The Winter Garden.

It looks interesting. Bill’s friend, LA Thomas has a website www.djlathomas.com. It looks like an evening of house. House music, which I flirted with in the late 80’s early 90’s. This purports to be Deep House, which from what Bill has played for me, sounds like something I might really get into. Anyhow if we pull it off I will do my best to have a good time.

This sounds like fun. I’ve taken Bill to various things that I’m into, and since he likes to dance I am making the effort to go dancing. Why am I nervous though? I’m going to be with my man, and Juan. Sometimes I am So Raven. I’m quite sure we’ll have a good time regardless.

Looked up the info for the NY Guitar festival, and it looked good. I was thinking that it was only mentioned in the New Yorker, but while reading the Daily News, I turned the page and saw a big article on it. So it might be crazy packed. The New Yorker said Me’Shell Ndegeocello, but the news made no mention of her. They mentioned Michelle Shocked, who while still a good singer/songwriter, isn’t in the same league as Me’Shell.
But if both women will be there, I guess Ms. Shocked gets more name recognition by the Daily News.

The Rufus Wainwright DVD is phenomenal. Seeing more than I saw when I rented it from Netflix.

To be continued…

Love Comes in Spurts

Blancmange. Loved those guys. Very inventive synth pop, with exotic touches from the eighties. Here it is twenty years later and I’m listening to them on the Ipod. I specifically remember driving back from the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows with Andrew Feldman, Rand’s roommate at the time, where we had visited Laurie Anderson’s exhibition. Andrew loved the line, “my baby’s got a face like a long wet Sunday”.

It is a classic line I must admit. When I hear it, I think of Andrew.

This morning I played what seemed to be absolutely perfect for walking to work. I played the Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady record. Yes record. I know it’s digital, it’s on the Ipod, but saying the Buzzcocks cd, (and cd’s are nearly obsolete) just doesn’t ring true. From Orgasm Addict to Harmony in My Head, the walk encompassed all of side one of Singles Going Steady. Walking through Manhattan and watching the fog roll in, instead of out and listening to classic Punk Pop, it was perfect.

I strolled into the lobby of Four Times Square and dropped off Bill’s shirt for an audition he had this afternoon. Just grooving on the Punk tip and strolled back out, walking down 42nd street. It was a Friday and I was smiling. Work was inane and stressful but somehow I got through it relatively unscathed. I did complain about the job that I do, how much of it is managerial, and how I don’t get paid for those duties that I do every mother fuckin day.

I said this to Jamie, minus the mother fuckin, and she agreed with me, stating if it weren’t for me she wouldn’t be able to do her job. Then she surprised me. She apologized for thinking that I was a pain in the ass and a lazy person when she started. You see, she was tainted by Bleedin Hope and Fat ass Deborah. Deborah is still fat and expanding with the universe and Bleedin Hope is now bleedin on the west coast in San Francisco. She then said she now knows that I’m not those things.

Enough of the trash. I got through the day, the fog stayed and got thicker. I loved it. It made the day quite balmy. I left work, feeling good and of course strolled down the street carrying a Brookstone Back Massager which is a lot of fun. Rub a dub dub. And of course, the Padron 5000.

Came back to Hoboken, everything going according to the plan of Bill and I having dinner at Arthur’s. We walked up to Washington Street, had a nice meal, great service and great company. At the next tables were about 20 to 30 Asian guys, all having beers and enjoying steaks. They looked like Steven’s students and they probably were. At another table sat 3 young women with a young boy. I think it was the first time at a restaurant for some of them because they ran across the street and came back with McDonald’s for the boy. Tacky.

After taking Bill to dinner, we decided to stroll up the Boulevard and smoke some cigars. It was still balmy and great for walking. Hoboken was crowded with traffic, but it was a Friday night and that meant soon the bars would be filling up. We walked past the funeral home at 7th street where we saw Damian and Anna Uva. Damian’s an old friend of Julio’s and my friend too. Bill and I almost moved into the building Damian’s father owns a few years ago, but that plan fell apart soon after it was thought of.

Damian and Anna were paying respects to Tommy King’s sister. Tommy was a neighbor of mine in Weehawken and also an old friend of Julio and Damian’s. Damian told me Tommy’s sister was sick most of her life. I made a note to send a card to Tommy and his father tomorrow. After talking with them on the street and having a few laughs, and also telling Damian that Julio had gotten married last week in Copenhagen. He was taken aback more than I was when Anna told me their daughter was now eight years old.

We parted way and Bill and I ambled up Washington, intending to say hello to RoDa who was working at McSwells. Luckily for me, Ro was outside smoking a Clove. We chatted and wished each other a happy new year when Ro was called back inside to perform his managerial duties. We started strolling away, when I heard a familiar voice yelling. It was Tony, Roda’s cousin and a fellow cigar smoker. Talked with him for a short while and I laid an extra Padron on him. That’s’ what cigar guys do, when you have some good ones, you usually share them with other cigar men.

Bill and I then walked home, finishing our cigars and getting clocked by various guys on the street. Very nice.

Today is Friday the Thirteenth and a Full Moon Weekend.

And now here are some pictures of foggy Gotham.

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

No Iliad today. Last night I had a play date with an old friend who I last hosted back in the Weehawken days. Steve aka Mr. Bubba Jones and I have been chatting. Since I was fruitlessly promoting monogamy, Steve was one of the many that I had kept at arms length.

But his persistence and the fact that I’m not in a monogamous relationship anymore made it possible. Steve is a handsome guy, with a great size in most every sense of the word. And highly intelligent. I tried to get Bill interested in a ménage a trois with Steve a few weeks ago, but Bill wasn’t feeling it. In retrospect, I suspect it was because I was one of the players.

I’m really starting to think that sex between Bill and myself is kaput. I’d love to be proven wrong, but actions (or lack thereof) speak louder than words. I had such hopes for this not to happen, I wished that we would have sex once a week and that would make a lot of the open relationship thing cool. But sexual desire has cooled. It really is a shame.

I’ve resigned myself to this fact of life. It’s ok. No tears shed. I am desirable, hot and a lot of fun. And being with Steve last night reminded me of this fact. Like a few friends had said when Bill and I separated in September, I am the catch. I am worthwhile, good looking and quite sexy. I get bonus points when someone I don’t know says it in person.

I’ve even toyed with the idea of joining a gym to improve my looks and be even more desirable to various men. But me being me, I am quite reluctant to join a gym. After work I am just usually so bushed, too bushed to play in another guys bush. The desire, once I get to Hoboken is to go home and chill out.

I do know that there is a lot of cruising and sex in the gyms. Bill was telling me about how uncomfortable he was when a guy in the locker room, semi aroused kept talking about how he was bisexual and found his son was bisexual when he walked in on his son fucking his best friend. The father was very turned on by this. It was all so Savage Love, therefore probably a lie, or at the very least, merely a fantasy.

It all sounded funny too.

Steve came over a bit late, halfway through The Colbert Report. He was supposed to arrive at 8 PM, but with the nightmare of parking in Hoboken wound up 45 minutes late. That was fine. I knew there would be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. He came up the four flights of steps and settled in.

He wasn’t going to have much time for a friend of his was in a talent show at Oscar Wilde, a bar in the city. We started watching Lost on ABC, and almost got engrossed. We talked through most of it, me drinking Absolut and diet 7Up and Steve drinking water, both of us smoking cigars. It was fun.
Steve lighting his cigar

We had a great time, doing things that we had done about 10 years ago. Almost like no time had passed. I forgot how somethings he was doing were so much fun. Lot’s of growling and man to man action. Very erotic. Enough so that I had reminders throughout the day.

Of course, good times don’t last, he had to leave, but it certainly wasn’t anticlimactic. Steve’s a great guy, very smart and we made plans to do it again. He’s in an open relationship too so that should work out fine for all parties. I almost went to the city with him, would’ve been a good time but it was terrible out and I wanted to catch my breath as it were.

Slept like a rock. Like the Richard Pryor sketch, Macho Man! He made me fall asleep soon after.

Woke up, drowsy and was able to get out of bed even earlier than usual. Not a bad way to start the day. I surprise myself with the fact that I can get my shit together in about a half and hour (give or take a few minutes) and make it to the bus.

Been reading the New Yorker on the bus, that is when the overhead light is functioning. The New Yorker is from last month, which means last year. It’s odd reading a magazine with Santa Beansprout and the melting ice caps on the cover after Christmas. I get so self conscious that I fold the cover so no one else can see it. And I take my time walking to work and wind up only being about 5 minutes late. I really don’t care to hustle to work. I take my time, I know where the cute, hot men are and check them out on my way in, occasionally lingering. All it would take is a suggestion and I will call work saying that I’m going to be late.

Did that once before, met some guy and went to the Doubletree Hotel in Times Square for a morning quickie. So if I did it once, I can certainly do it again. And damn it, I’ve been looking bangin’ in the morning. The suits have been impeccable, the shoes shined and goddamn it, I’m handsome. A smile goes a long way, and often produces long results in the short term.

Been finding more reasons to not be at work during the day. Jamie, the manager of the office, has been feeling beaten up and asked me to buy some cakes to celebrate birthdays of wankers born in January. I knew our usual spot was on vacation and all I can do is go to Grand Central Station.

That was fun. It was a brilliant sunny morning, and I looked great in my black pinstripe suit. Caught a few knowing glances which I returned. I am definitely back in the swing of cruising. I forgot how good I am at it. I went to the basement, or the lower level of Grand Central. Ordered three cakes, and ran to the loo before I could pay. It’s like it used to be, cruisy. Didn’t stay, just looked and washed my hands.

Picked up the cakes and walked back to the office looking and lusting at the suited hotties going out for lunch on Park Avenue, even actively cruised one. The looking in the shop window while glancing sideways. Not that I could do much carrying Applesauce Carrot Cake, Chocolate Cake and the dreaded Cheesecake. But I sure would’ve liked to try.

“Hey there handsome. Follow me to the 35th floor, let me show you the stairwell.” Almost tried that on the guy who fixed the coffee machine the other day. 99% sure he was on the down low.

Even followed him out of the building but he had other appointments. I really am enjoying my libido once again.

A lovely walk home, Ipod playing B-52’s Mesopotamia album and an excellent Padron 5000 in my jaw.

Medicine Show

Ducks and dates. Getting them lined up. I fear that once again, I’m not sexually attractive to Bill. Sad but this is the future. He’s not going to be around until Friday, staying in the Bronx and Stuy town respectively, and I know what lies between those two points. In the meantime, I’m a hot property for a few guys, all I have to do is pick the ones that I want to play with. Easy Peasy. I certainly won’t be heading to the East Side Club while Bill’s away, lest I run into him there, and I certainly don’t want to do that.

And even if I’m wrong about what lies between the two points of the Bronx and Stuy town, I have a knowledge of the history of what Bill is capable of. He’s done it over the past year and a half. Other guys turn him on, other guys can put him in a state of arousal. I can’t lately. And despite my attempts, my overtures, he’s not feeling it, or me.

I admit that I didn’t believe him when he said it wasn’t me. He couldn’t even play with Rob, he said, the guy that he would like to create a ménage a trois with. I don’t believe that. I have a feeling in my heart of hearts that yes we love each other so much, so deeply, but hey, we ain’t gonna have sex anytime soon

I’m none to happy about it, but this is our future. The future is always changing and that makes me hopeful but after a year and change of sitting around waiting for Bill to make love with me, or to play with me I have to get my own groove on. Luckily when I was not into seeing other guys, I would let the guys that were interested in me down easy. I didn’t slam the door shut, left it open a crack. And hopefully they had done the same.

Apparently they had though. I still chat with some of these guys every now and then and it’s cordial. So after years of saying to them, ‘No no, I’m in a monogamous relationship’ I can finally say, ‘Yes yes, I’m in an open relationship’. And from what I read, these guys are definitely into me.

Bill’s always fond of saying that he didn’t care if I played around, because he knew he had my heart. That’s true, he does have my heart. The other guys can have the other organs and I can have some fun.

Last night, wasn’t fun. It was cold and lonely. Granted he was tired, I was tired, but I know when someone’s not diggin me. Bill should know that I know. There is his saying, when dealing with someone in the clubs who is into him but the feeling isn’t mutual, the saying goes something like, “Not ‘NO’, just not ‘NOW'”. So as in the clubs, so in the bedroom, the attitude has to be, just move on and maybe you will find someone to play with later.

So I’ve got my ducks lined up and I’m getting my dates lined up. I want to have fun and have sex, and I got to go out and get it.

To my advantage, Hoboken is also Homoken. Quite an array of gay men, and all within walking distance.

And while in the city, the East Side Club is only 200 yards from where I work. So I am surrounded by sex if I want it, and oh yes, I do want it.
The plan Bill proposed about us joining ESC, or actually, Bill renewing his membership and me signing up isn’t going to happen since Bill went ahead and renewed alone. So I can always go on my own.

I just don’t want to run into him there. Going together and playing together is fine, but now that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I don’t want to see him there, like I told the counselor the other night, because I’m going there specifically not to have sex with him, and certainly not to think about him. And as I said the other night and also mentioned previously to Bill that if I do go and see him there I will probably just put my clothes on and leave and eat the fucking admission fee.

The ménage a trois doesn’t seem likely, especially since I told Bill that there was a good chance, that since Rob and I like the same things, and Bill doesn’t, that he might be the odd man out. So I guess we’ll never know. It was all up to Bill. Rob dug me, I thought Rob might be a good playmate, but Bill doesn’t seem too keen on the idea, at least that’s my take on the matter.

And this is my future, now.

Pidgin English

La la la. Wrote this morning so I don’t have to write as much. And this morning was so soul baring, that this paltry sum could be totally nonsensical.

I saw Spike Lee yesterday in a Mercedes SUV being driven somewhere. Saw Ed McMahon this afternoon.

I said, ‘Hi Ed.’ He said ‘Hi-yo’ What else could you expect Ed McMahon to say? Offer me a million dollar check from Publishers Clearing House?

Hubba Bubba Jones.

Juan is mad cool. Song is great. Bill is my heart. Julio is married. My sister is in California.

Tick Tock

It really makes a difference when the sun is up when I wake up. Not that it was up this morning when I woke. It just gets harder to get out of bed. So much easier to sleep. But I had to stir, get out of bed after hitting the snooze button three times, equaling 30 minutes. The only time I listen to the radio, unless it’s my brother’s show on WFMU, is for about 30 seconds Monday through Friday. And it’s whatever the classical station is, maybe WQXR.

Walked to the bus, playing the Ramones. That was fun. Of course, too rowdy for a morning bus ride. Got into the city, where I switched over to Katrina and the Waves. Power pop that I got over the weekend with Bill prodding me to treat myself. Of course, like most cd’s I play, they get uploaded into Itunes and then into the Ipod and I never play the cd again.

This is the future, for now.

Had a good walk, finished up with Fatboy Slim, and left me thinking about how I’d might like to go dancing sometime with Bill. Bill does love to dance, and I was quite the dancing fool at my sister in law Karen’s party in December. So apparently I can do this, but the thing is, Bill and I would actually be able to dance with each other. We’ve had some dancing around the apartment. It would be inevitable with all the music that exists between the two of us.

All different types of music. Even Heavy Metal, which I got when I worked with Metallica years ago. Never really played it more than once. Barely used. Avoided all the right people as well.

Spoke with brother Frank on the phone about therapy. He has a lot of experience with it, and a good friend of his is a psychotherapist. Frank had the suggestion of perhaps getting another counselor since we obviously didn’t mesh. I agreed and mentioned it to Bill who thinks that perhaps a gay male counselor would be the best since we wouldn’t have to explain various gay things.

Which ate up some time last night. It’s weird. I was looking forward, if that’s possible to going to therapy, and Bill was resistant. Then afterwards, I was not as keen on it as I thought I would be, and Bill certainly was. A transference. We talked about it when we got home, very civil talk. It was a rough day for me that’s for sure.

I got through it with a lot of Bill’s help. Today wasn’t so bad, so I didn’t call as often as I did the day before. I don’t want to sound corny, but he’s getting to be like music to me. So much for tonight’s posting having an edge. Too tired to bite or even growl. Let this sleeping dog lie.

And Jon Stewart was the perfect tonic to the high wire act of yesterday.

Dizzy

Ok, time to break a pseud resolution. My workday was book ended in the morning and the evening by the same Persian CUNT. Where are the psychopaths and why are they throwing the wrong people in front of subways?
That’s all I have to say on that matter. And I’ll throw in an apology for the female reader(s) that loathe that word.

I was able to escape the pit of employment by going to the post office. See, they raised the price of stamps and it’s always good to have 2 cent stamps around. You never know when you’ll need a 2 cent stamp ya see.

This morning Bill stayed home, and he wished I could’ve stayed home with him. Then chatted with Juan for a minute as I was getting ready for work this morning and he wished I could’ve stayed home so we could hang out. It would’ve been nice to stay with Bill and later hang with Juan. I hate waking up and it’s still dark out.

So I ambled to work, listening to the Who. Perhaps it was the wrong choice, because for all their bombast and power chords they can be a touch morose. Won’t Get Fooled Again, indeed. In hindsight, yes they were the wrong choice. Too many choices on the Ipod sometimes. I’m bound to occasionally make the wrong one.

Bill stayed home and tidied up the apartment somewhat. Then we made plans to meet after work and stroll down to the village for our very first couples counseling session. He was right on time, and depressed. We had missed opportunities last night, and he couldn’t let up on himself despite my telling him that it was alright.

And it really was, I wasn’t just telling him that. I’ve been there for him and he wasn’t, He’s been there for me and I wasn’t. Shit happens, let’s face it. We have a lifetime of being there for each other and there’s bound to be more times when we’re not. The law of averages.

So we walked, Bill sad, me trying to be encouraging. And considering the day that I had, it wasn’t easy. We strolled and sat in Union Square, didn’t want to be too early and have to sit with people who seemed more far gone than us. Had a slice of pizza before we took the elevator to the gallows.

Had to get on line at the center. Many people depressed these days. If not depressed, then something else was bothering them. I didn’t want to know. In fact, I felt that Bill and I had been making good progress on our own, perhaps we didn’t need this. Bill was apprehensive. I was getting skeptical. I did the therapy thing in the 80’s for a few weeks. It didn’t work for me. Might work for others, but one size doesn’t fit all.

So we sign in, pay our money, and told to wait for Barbara. Turns out it was Carol. Carol Howell ♪.

A counselor with a first and last name that rhymes sort of. A good sign?

We follow Carol Howell ♪ to our designated room and I have the realization that if everyone was wearing towels, we might as well be at the East Side Club. Same set up, minus towels and strolling horny through the halls. All that was missing was various guys showing states of arousal or waiting on their bellies for anal penetration.

Carol Howel l♪ had a similar speech pattern to Lois DiLivio, a dear friend of mine. She sounded like Lois would in about fifteen years, only more of a mumbler. Lois speaks clearly. But that was all, similar speech patterns. Carol Howell ♪ was a bit scatter brained it seemed.

She tried to find the notes on Bill and myself, but couldn’t seem to find them. She had read it at some point, but wasn’t able to pin point who was who. She was able to guess that Bill was an informal version of William, and that Bill was comfortable, being called Bill. I mentioned that it’s hard to loosen up the name John, but she proved me wrong, by stating that someone in her life, named John, prefers J. And then there’s Jack too. So she proved me wrong. I should’ve checked the diploma on the wall but instead focused on a poster for a David Hockney exhibition at the Met in 1988.

I started the session off, telling her what’s been going on in the past year or so, and where we’re at now, my unease at the open relationship thing. It has the benefit that if Bill wants something that I can’t give or do well, he can go somewhere else and I can do the same thing.

Bill had his turn and then I spoke and then Carol Howell ♪ asked a question. She made us aware of the time passing previously and then Bill answered her, saying ‘ma’am’ and she wasn’t too keen on that. ‘Call me Carol’ said Carol Howell ♪.

Bill mentioned that he was raised basically by Puerto Rican women and how he was taught to address them with respect. I thought that this might be going off the track and tried to steer the conversation back to the question. Carol didn’t seem to like that. I said it was because of the time we had remaining and wanted to stay on the topic. I told Carol Howell ♪ that I was basically mimicking her notice of the time remaining.

I mentioned that Bill and I had this idea of going to the East Side Club together, but if we accidentally bumped into each other while going separately I would leave. She didn’t understand. I tried to explain that the sex club was set up with guys walking around in towels and I didn’t want to stumble onto Bill there.

It seemed that she wasn’t getting me. Bill knew what I was talking about and tried to elaborate, but I was getting frustrated. Frustrated enough to get up and show her how guys walk around the East Side Club. This seemed to frighten her, like I was going to hit her. Not my style, at all.

But she didn’t know that, and as Bill pointed out later, perhaps she was hit by a patient before. For me it was downhill from then on in. One minute we’re talking about Bill’s anger issues, and next thing you know, she’s calling me angry. I said I wasn’t angry, only frustrated.

The longest hour ended. And she escorted Bill and me halfway down the hall. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. To me it was a fiasco. I figured Bill would’ve felt likewise. Nope. Bill got a lot out of it and looks forward to the next session, which will be in two weeks, after Carol Howell ♪ gets back from her vacation next week.

I thought it was funny, Bill was resistant to the idea of therapy, of paying someone to listen to your problems, while I was pushing the fact that it’s good to have an objective ear, someone who has no ties to us. Now, on the street, he’s all for it, and I’m thinking that it’s bullshit.

I said that it was maybe my punk rock Do It Yourself ethos, that we’ve been talking a lot lately, really upfront with our emotions. Maybe we didn’t need this. Maybe we do. Time will tell I suppose.

I don’t feel angry though.

Soka Loka Moki

Yet another in a series of lazy Sundays it seems. Bill went out and got the papers and the bagels and I have not left the apartment at all today. Not for any particular reason, just felt like staying in. Bill went to the gym and came back and all we’ve been doing is hanging out, watching TV.

I had Bill turn on his favorite movie, or one of them “Mr. Holland’s Opus” decent movie. Bill gets very moved by it. I thought I was the only blubberer. My movies that are blubberific are lately, “In America”, “Grave of the Fireflies”, and “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

West Side Story is a movie that gets me too. I always hold out the hope that Tony and Maria will finally get away. Spoiler alert: Of course they don’t get away. They marry and divorce and stay in the West Side to this day.

Speaking of Blubber, a few years ago while riding through Central Park, Julio and I had separated while cycling and we were supposed to meet up at the rock. I had ridden my bike in front of a runner by about 10 feet. Crossed his path. Of course he thought I was going to hit him, but that wasn’t my intention, so I didn’t.

I kept riding as he stood there cursing me. I flipped him the bird and rode over to the rock where me and various friends usually hang out while cycling or listening to Summerstage shows. He came running up to me screaming about, ‘How dare I cut him off like that?’ I said I didn’t cut him off, there was a wide enough space to accommodate both of us. He insisted that I almost hit him, and by that point I wished I had.

He started calling me fat, that I was, and I quote verbatim, “An insult to blubber!!!”
Whatever that meant. He had an accent which sounded vaguely British so I said, “Fuck off you limey bastard!”. He was insulted, screaming that he wasn’t British, he was from South Africa.

Then he started going off on how he runs for a living. I couldn’t resist. I said, “If you run for a living, why the hell are you standing here? Get to work!” Left him at a loss for words, almost speechless. Almost. Every time he’d say something I’d just say, “Get to work lazy ass”.

He finally sputtered his last and ran off.

Julio showed up a few minutes later.

An insult to blubber. I asked Julio if he knew what that was supposed to mean. “I think he was saying that you are fat. Which you’re not. You could lose a few pounds and get in shape, but you’re not fat” Nice of him to say, but he didn’t exactly use those words.

I agreed. The runner was high strung and nuts. I of course was cool, calm and collected. Julio raised an interesting point. Why does this happen when he’s not around? Or when anyone else is around? I wish I had an answer. I don’t. These things happen though.