Monthly Archives: June 2006

Tomorrow People

I am naked. My watchband broke and I don’t have it on and I feel naked. Also entranced by my wrist. I hoped it was Saturday when I woke up, but alas, it was Friday. Need to remember that from now on, the Village Voice cannot be read before Wednesday. I puttered about the apartment, routine routine routine. Bill was puttering about as well so we kept bumping into each other, two bears in their forties.

Nice walk to the Path, it wasn’t raining anymore and the floods had basically dried up, at least on my route. Not many people walking to the train, seems a lot of them got the jump on a four day holiday weekend. Good idea, to stretch it into five, or more since with vacation time and a two day office holiday. Damn, I wish I had some vacation time. In a few weeks I should have accrued enough time to take time off, but my sister and her family will have come and gone by then.

Work was slow today, not much at all going on. Phones weren’t ringing off the hook, they were barely ringing at all. Not too many people in the office today or on the street, not exactly 28 Days Later, but noticeable. I sort of knew that the office was closing early, I found out the other day. I couldn’t really say anything because it wasn’t definite though I did put the idea out there.

It became official around noon that we were closing at 3:00. Since I knew that beforehand Bill and I had an arrangement to see Phillip Beansprout a little bit earlier, like 5:00. I took the train uptown and met Bill in Bryant Park. We sat and talked a bit, as if checking to see if we did our homework before class. ‘What did you get for question number two?’

We walked up Sixth Avenue, a really nice afternoon. I smoked a Padron while we walked and talked. We had plans to go to Prospect Park after the session to see TV on the Radio a Brooklyn band that’s been getting a lot of hype these days. They’ve been around for a few years, and signed to 4AD in the UK (which was the home of the Cocteau Twins)

We got to Phillip’s office before Phillip did so Bill and I stood outside. We were early and Phillip was on time. We walked in and got very deep very quickly. Deep enough that I’m not going next week because Bill could use a session by himself. I’ll be able to see Annemarie & Co. that much sooner.

It was an intense session so I suggested that we just go home. We walked back down Sixth Avenue, past the subway we were going to take to go to Brooklyn. It was ok, Bill kept saying how tired he was yet he was willing to go. I thought with the session going the way it did, perhaps the comfort of home would be best.

Juan will tell me all about TV on the Radio.

You’re All I Need to Get By

Rain rain and some more rain. Torrential stuff. It didn’t start until 6:00 when I was leaving work. Looking out the window at work it wasn’t raining. When I got out of the elevator and walked out the revolving door it was sheets of rain hitting the street. Everything flooding. The town where Bill and I had Thanksgiving dinner is presently underwater, Yardley, PA. I hope Hiram and Chris are ok.

Things have gotten quiet at work. I might have hit a groove. I realize what my job is and it’s a good thing since both Linda and Felicia will be out next week, and next week is only a three day work week. It’s been a very slow week otherwise. It’s taking all week for Friday to get here and it still isn’t here yet. It could be because that I got the Village Voice on Tuesday when I usually get it on Wednesday.

Today is Bill’s birthday. He’s now 42. Born in 1964, June 29. Good for him I say. Juan is over and we just had some cake and some Guinness for Bill’s birthday. Very low key. Mellow. Which is more than fine by me. I’m exhausted from all the rain and exhausted from the work situation and still somewhat sad about Arif. I’ve been playing a lot of his stuff the past couple of days. Chaka Khan and the Rascals.

On the way to the Path I was playing Chaka and ran into Glenn Morrow, an old friend of Frank’s from McSwells days when Glenn was in the Individuals. Now I think he’s the president of Bar None Records. I’m pretty sure he is. When I walk down the street and run into him he always asks what I’m playing on the iPod. Told him it was Chaka. We talked about Arif. He didn’t know I worked with him for a spell.

I wrote a letter to the Daily News about Arif’s passing but it wasn’t published. The only New York paper that covered it was the New York Times, which is fitting since Arif was an avid reader.

Now the three of us are sitting in the humidity of the night. It’s no longer raining yet there’s no breeze. Coincidentally a slight breeze wafted over my shoulder as I wrote that. Mother Nature proving me to be a liar.

We’re watching a documentary on Langston Hughes. I’ve never read anything by him but his story is quite an interesting one. A major player in the Harlem Renaissance in the twentieth century. I’ve never seen Isaac Julien’s ‘Searching for the Young Soul Rebels’, which is also about Langston Hughes or at least references Langston somehow. Or maybe I’m going off on a tangent. I do know there’s a film called ‘Looking for Langston’ which I’ve never seen either. Actually I looked it up on IMDB. They’re both directed by Isaac Julien, but Young Soul Rebels has nothing to do with Langston Hughes. So that’s –5 points, but +10 somehow.

Bill had a part on ‘Rescue Me’, not the part he was told he was going to get, that of a bus driver, but he still worked nonetheless.

Happy Birthday baby.

Pick Up The Pieces

More sunshine! Actually woke up to what sounded like a freight train going through a railroad apartment. Crazy monsoon weather, with very high winds. Didn’t need an alarm clock to wake up, the storm and a headache did the job. Bill was at his folks last night, which left me with a big empty bed to stretch out in. The headache was strong enough to make me think about staying home, but two gel caps took care of that.

I jumped in the shower, reheated some coffee and decided to wear blue jeans to work. Seems like they would be the only things that would hold up against the elements. I sat at the computer, after having breakfast, reading the emails, when I noticed I had a reply from an email I sent to Joe Mardin, Arif’s son. I sent my condolences on Tuesday, just hoping that I could express my sorrow to Joe and his family. I took a chance since I wasn’t sure whether or not he had the same email address.

Joe thanked me in his return and mentioned that there was a reception for his father at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on the Upper East Side. I was definitely going to be there. I realized that I couldn’t wear jeans to a reception for Arif Mardin. This required a suit and tie. I was fine with that, despite the humidity, the temperature and the monsoon. I put on a navy blue pinstriped Ralph Lauren suit, a white French cuff tab collared shirt, a nice silver and black checked silk tie and the old stand by, black OTC sox, thick and thin style with rubber soled dress shoes to take handle the rain.

I walked out into a drizzle, which was a torrential downpour merely a few minutes earlier. It required the use of an umbrella on and off again. One thing I can’t stand is using an umbrella when you don’t really have to. But then again, I was wearing a nice suit, going to a wake and didn’t want to look like shit at the end of the day. I took my time, not the usual hustle, trying not to overheat and sweat through my suit.

Of course if I walked an inch at a time I’d still wind up soaked, more from the sweat than from the rain. I got to the Path train and stood against the wall of the train, trying to get the maximum effect of a faint air conditioner. Got off at Ninth Street, walked down Sixth Avenue to Carmine, bought a bagel and made it into the office a little later than usual but still before anyone else. Luckily I had an extra T-shirt stashed away so I was able to change that. It made a difference. No one wants to sit in a sweaty t-shirt all day.

The office does have a strong air conditioner so I was cooled down considerably soon enough. Of course people started coming in and seeing me in a suit and tie wondered what was going on. I explained quite a few times that I was going to a wake. I needed to explain who’s wake it was and as I got into detail about Arif Mardin and his life I started getting choked up.

The day went by neither fast nor slow, just happened at it’s own pace. I made plans to meet Bill after work on 86th Street and Lexington Avenue so we could go to the funeral home together. I walked across town so I could catch a train uptown, once again taking my time. It was a lot cooler after work than it was in the morning, or maybe it was just me.

Got off at 86th Street and Bill showed up minutes later. We walked to the funeral home and the wake was on the fourth floor. As soon as the elevator doors opened and we got out, I ran into Gloria Gabriel, Arif’s former assistant. She looked good, but wasn’t doing so well. It hit her hard. She inherited Arif’s position at Atlantic after they forced him to retire. It was a position she didn’t want but she took it anyway more than likely with Arif’s blessing. She couldn’t deal with the grief and was leaving and I kissed her a hello and goodbye.

I saw Joe and his sister Julie and was able to chat with them for a few moments. Arif’s best production, those two kids. I’m sure he would agree. Joe and Julie’s mother, Latife was there surrounded by family and friends. I’ve been through the scene before of having to host a wake. So many people milling about, trying to help out as much as they could and then after the funeral they’re gone and the family is left all alone. I offered my assistance with anything Joe and Julie might need, even offering to help Julie with her upcoming art show.

I saw Barry Bongiovi and Donna Klopfer from my days at Right Track. Nice to see them still in touch with the Mardin family. They both looked good, and I always had a crush on Barry.

You can only stay at a wake for a short period if you don’t need to, so Bill and I said our goodbyes, with me offering any assistance to Joe if he needs it. He’s a good man and I’d be glad to help out in anyway that I can. We walked out into the humidity and stumbled over to the downtown trains taking our time. Karma paid off some dividends with the trains we needed waiting for us at the platforms.

They’re flying Arif to Turkey for his burial next week.

Wah Wah

Hey, how are you? Good morning. My you look great. That’s a nice top. Not everyone can get away with horizontal stripes but wow you sure can. Hey how about that World Cup? Isn’t that something? I love those shoes. Isn’t it a beautiful day? Oh I know it’s muggy and humid and about to start pouring at any minute, but hey! At least it’s not snowing!

That’s how I have to speak at work. I don’t have to, but it’s preferred. Apparently looking at someone sideways can be misconstrued as menacing. So I look at various people straight on, eyes forward. It’s an act, but an act that pays and it beats having to wear a banana costume handing out flyers on the street. It beats joining the armed forces and killing or being killed.

I do my usual do, just want to get through the day with as little stress as possible. I am more visible now, I say hi to everyone and smile smile smile though the day. The UPS guy, Isaiah is a Rasta and I slip into some patois when I see him. Today Isaiah was doing his rounds dropping off packages and we were chatting briefly when Felicia sidles up. Isaiah leaves and Felicia says, “You know, you should be more like how you are talking to the UPS guy”.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “You know, you just put out this positive energy when you were talking to him, you filled up the room with it.” Felicia replied, “You should do that more often.” I said, “Well I have been like that all day yesterday and today.” Brilliantly Felicia says, “Well now you’re being defensive.” Hmmm. That actually happened.

I was flustered by this and went out for a smoke and tried to call Bill at work. Got his voice mail so I called Juan instead. Juan couldn’t believe the fact that Felicia could say something to me like that, in the guise of constructive criticism and when I respond in kind, being kind it’s seen as defensive. I should never have gone through the looking glass.

I tried to spend the rest of the day under the radar. Smiling and shufflin’ along. I spent some time with a temp who’s been delegated to shredding files in the copy room. I helped her out making up some bankers boxes and told her she should ask to see if it would be alright to wear her headphones for her cd player while she was all alone in the back room.

She was wary, but she went ahead and asked and probably got the look of ‘go ahead. why the hell are you asking me?’ Her name is Shanelle and she fits in even less than I do. She’s black in an all white office. No really, the walls are white, the desks are white, the ceiling is white and the floors are white, and the people are very white. She laughed quietly at my joke when she said she never seen an all white office before. She laughed when I asked her what she meant.

If only Felicia was there. She could’ve told me to be more warm like I was with Shanelle. I admit, I made an extra effort to be warm to her, because she’s a temp and it’s nice to make someone’s experience somewhat pleasant. And I’m warm to her, because no one else would be. She’ll be gone by the end of the week and searching for a new job next week. She’s a good worker and will probably be picked up soon if there are intelligent headhunters out there.

I just remembered my first interview at McMann and Tate. I was of course, a few minutes early and was waiting for my interviewer. The next scheduled applicant after me came in early herself. She was nicely dressed, as I was in my suit and tie. ‘She’s probably a better receptionist than me’ I thought. She was a black woman about the same age as me. No way would she fit in with this crowd. They wouldn’t be able to deal with what I perceive to be a no nonsense attitude. How did I fall into it? Why did they pick me? I’m all nonsense.

I Feel For You

I remember the first time I heard ‘I Feel For You’ by Chaka Khan. It was 1984, and I was still living in Lodi, traveling to Hoboken to hang out with the Colgate Crew. I don’t remember what station I was listening to on the radio but the song came on and I was blown away. I heard Chaka Khan’s voice singing a song by Prince with a rap by Melle Mel and a wicked harmonica by Stevie Wonder. I was shook. I had to pull over. That is the only time I ever stopped driving a car to devote my attention to a song.

The next day I went out and bought the single and the twelve inch. I scanned the sleeves and saw a name on it, Arif Mardin. That name had cropped up a few times on various records in my life. I used to drive a lot back then, it was my job to drive back and forth from Saddle Brook, NJ to Manhattan. After 4PM I used to listen to the new wave/punk rock stylings played on the NYU college station, where I heard quite a lot two songs by a band from England called Scritti Politti, singing Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) and Absolute. Of course I snapped those up when I got the chance, and sure enough there was that name again, Arif Mardin.

Eventually I did a little research and found that I had quite a few records and heard even more that were either produced by or were involved with Arif Mardin. Songs like She’s Gone, Son of a Preacher Man, Jive Talkin’, Nights on Broadway (two of the best Bee Gees songs, ever) among many others. When I was sort of pursuing a career in the music business my first job was at a recording studio called Skyline Studios. One of the sessions that were booked soon after I started working there was the Manhattan Transfer. Skyline was a low key top shelf studio that was soon to hit the skids, but not yet.

Jimmy B, a sweet guy who was managing the studio mentioned to me it might be a good idea to run out and get as many papers as I could. The producer of this session loved to read newspapers from around the world. It just so happened I loved to buy newspapers from around the world. Makes one well traveled when using the papers as packing materials. Anyhow, it was for Arif Mardin who was producing the session. This man was what the term ‘Legendary Producer’ was created for. Ok I know there are bigger, more boldface names, but Arif operated in the background, letting the band or the singer, be the star.

He was very much down to earth, a real gentleman. He was from the old school of record production, working with Aretha Franklin, on so many classics. After Skyline Studios sank I made a lateral move to Right Track Studios, another top of the line studio. An introduction to madness and the back biting that was rumored to be so prevalent in the record business. In the midst of this strode Arif Mardin with his engineer Michael O’Reilly. I remembered to buy a stack of newspapers and set them in the studio for Arif.

He recorded at Right Track frequently, and when he couldn’t get time there, he didn’t have a fit, he just went to another studio and booked time at Right Track when it would be free. He and his assistant, Gloria Gabriel never pulled any star trips though Arif was definitely entitled to have a fit every now and then, I never saw him get upset. Ok, once he got angry but he was upset with a console, not with anyone in particular. I remember asking him about the song ‘A Beautiful Morning’ by the Rascals. A great song that was being used in a Burger King commercial. I thought it was by the Lovin’ Spoonful when he corrected me and told me it was by the first rock and roll band he ever produced.

A while after that, he produced the original Broadway cast of ‘Rent’. That was a fun time for all, the cast were all rather new and were in awe of someone like Arif Mardin. Oh those kids, at least they knew they were in the presence of a legend. In case they didn’t know I’m sure Stevie Wonder who sat in on a session would definitely told them so.

Soon after I was let go from Right Track, Arif liked me enough to hire me to work on his production company. It was ill fated though. Not through any falling out, more through budgetary concerns. I still kept in touch with Arif and his family, becoming friends with his son Joe. I met Arif’s wife Latife, at an art opening that their daughter Julie was presenting. Very nice and welcoming.

After the day that I had at work today, what with me having to tell Felicia that I do really want to continue at McMann and Wanker, err…Tate. (McMann and Tate, that’s it. Freudian?) after that kind of day fraught with smiley faced me, don’t want to be rude after all I get an email from my brother Frank. Arif Mardin died yesterday after a year long battle with pancreatic cancer. Very sad news indeed. My heart went out to his family. I was honored to meet and work for this kind gentleman, this legendary producer, Arif Mardin. Ten years ago I was working for this great artist, now working for a bunch of people who’s lives fall apart if they think you’ve looked at them crosseyed.

Here’s to you Arif, thanks for a lot of great music. I think he measured his life in love.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arif_Mardin

http://tinyurl.com/kt2xu

Temporary Like Achilles

Another dreary day, at least the day of the week is correct, it being a Sunday. Not much to do but sit and read the papers, drink too much coffee, and watch the rain pour down. Oh and think about what work will be like for me on Monday. Not exactly the best way to spend time away from work. I’ve checked the night phones a few times for McMann and Tate and the service that was supposedly performed by Demetrius, the phone guy, wasn’t completed. I’m sure Felicia checked.

Yes Felicia, the bearer of bad news, the one who insists on hugging me and telling me she loves me, I’m sure she was on top of it. She strikes me as a basically good person, albeit with a lot of baggage, you know, with the cancer and the seizures and all. She’s constantly mentioning that we dislike the very same people for the very same reasons, with her saying she’s been with McMann and Tate for over three years and still hasn’t gotten closer to some of the people. Some people just don’t want to get close, some people have an air that they don’t trust anyone, even if they are running systems for the company.

It’s funny, when Sean Combs’ former boss, then protégé was in the office I mentioned to Senor Marx and some slag that I was surprised to see Mr. So and So coming in. They weren’t impressed with what I knew about Mr. So and So, in fact they just laughed at my statement. Really. They didn’t try to hide their amusement for my earnestness, they laughed in my face from about 10 feet away. And I’m rude. I decided not to let them know about Mr. So and So. I’m sure they will find out if and when it turns into King Midas in Reverse.

I have a wealth of information that they just don’t know anything about, and as anyone who knows me will tell you, I do love sharing information. I know I’ve taken precautions and chatted with a lawyer friend at the department of labor who seems to think I may have a case. Funny thing that the department of labor is right around the corner from where I work now. It’s where I won the hearing last year with regards to the fraudulent claim charged by the Department against me. Whether or not I pursue it is up to me. I do like some of these people and wouldn’t want to see anything happen to them legal wise.

Mr. Root Beer who told me I was doing a sterling job might be surprised by what goes on, but I’m not a rat. Merely a rope seller.

I will go to work with the best intentions and whether or not they recognize my efforts is up to them. I showed several times and even have on tape some people saying good positive things about me. And even some things not so favorable. Got to tape the good with the bad.

check out:

http://www.pamspaulding.com/weblog/

http://www.republicoft.com/

Happy Gay Pride 2006

Four Sticks

A dreary day that’s for sure. Perpetually grey. Might as well be a Sunday. It’s so damp and muggy that it’s going to take a few days for the clothes that are hanging in the kitchen and bathroom to dry. Lightning just flashed, followed by thunder. I have feelings alternating between feeling ok, knowing where I stand with McMann and Tate and a sense of dread.

And it’s raining so damn much that going out isn’t an option. I presently have the Velvet Underground on DVD from Netflix. It’s being used for musical background. Not really anything visual about the reconstituted Velvets back in the nineties. I worked with Lou Reed at Skyline Studios. He was something else I tell you. The Velvets circa 1993 sound remarkably faithful to the recordings from the sixties.

I watched the Ice Storm the other day. That was very good, directed by Ang Lee if you didn’t know. Incredible detail to the seventies. The fashion and culture they had down pat. I don’t think there were ‘key parties’ where I grew up but who knows? Lot’s of things are done on the down low, that’s why I think Blue Velvet is such a great film, because it shows what is right under the surface of things, under our noses. And I suppose there are consequences or events that occur when presented with the light of day.

Unless Julio and Stine want to go to a movie, I think I’ll be staying in and watching the telly all night long. Can’t even take a walk it just so damn wet out. I wish the weather reports, the forecasters were wrong. They are 50% of the time. This just happens to be when they are right. Humbug!

Now it’s not raining. Hoboken can be quite swampy during the summer and today is one of those days. It is below sea level I believe and parts of it are landfill. Nobody around, rather blasé, left alone with my thoughts and the telly. My sister phoned earlier and asked me what was I going to say on Monday? I really don’t know. Should I say I’d like to stay here, but it seems whatever I do will be misconstrued? I have been trying to fit in, in fact last two Fridays ago I did go out for drinks with a few coworkers. I don’t think I was rude then. Only stayed for one pint anyway, not enough for rudeness.

Or should I say I think I should go? I don’t see how things will go in a favorable direction for myself. I suppose it is rude to agree with Felicia on certain people. I wonder if she was just the messenger? Not my concern though, since the message was delivered. Ideally I’d like to stay until I find another position. I think they might need me since Felicia just had a seizure and Linda is flying back to the UK to take care of her mum. But they seem like the type to not know about what lies ahead…

Oh Shit

And it goes a little something like this. Slept well last night, got out of bed all right. Put my glasses on for some sight, had to take a piss ‘cause my drawers were so tight. That’s my attempt at a rap lyric. I won’t do it again, I promise. Today was a busy day, but not busy enough for Felicia to tell me that I have to make up my mind if I want to stay there. I should take the weekend to think about it. I’ve been told that I’m rude also. I told her that I was planning to get through a year, since I started in April. I reminded her that she asked me during my initial interview that she asked me if I was willing to make a commitment and not leave after three months. I wonder how many receptionists they go through? She said that I needed to think about seeing if this was the right job for me.

Harrumph! This happened around lunchtime so I went out and had some lunch, while talking to Bill who was incredulous. I then called up Mark who got me into Wanker Banker and told yesterday to take me out of the running for a job he was pushing me for. I told him not to, to keep me under consideration. Turns out he asked someone in his office to do just that and they didn’t so nothing had changed. Called up Lawrence who kept trying to get me something, and once again he sounded sincere and said he’d start looking. Also called up Mindy at another agency and told her the same thing. She even went the extra mile and made noises that sounded like she was looking for my file. I think she did because the print was too small for her eyes and needed another size font.

I have to admit it actually felt good knowing where I stand at work. Yes, it’s right by the door, but knowing what they think of me after two months of trying to ingratiate myself to them, and then being called rude, I have a clear picture of what’s going on. They’re not really a welcoming group. The conservative financial world was a lot warmer than this crowd.

I did pour on the sweetness from then on. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was offered a slice of Dominos pizza by a few of the people that I’ve never had more than two minutes of conversation with and it wasn’t for my lack of trying. I politely said no thanks, adding that I already bought a salad. Here’s another odd thing. You’re in New York City, where there’s a pizzeria on almost every corner and you go out and order Dominos? That is fucked up, I’m sorry. Also the guy that owns Dominos is a psycho Catholic who wants to build a town in Florida, a town for Christians only. He’s also a major funder of groups that are anti-choice.

Oh how I long for Wanker Banker. A touch of regret.

I thought it would take some time to fit in, but they seem to be closing that window of opportunity. As tired as I’ve been trying to fit in there, I kept at it. But all these things that Felicia and I talked about regarding various people, these people are probably the ones behind it. Fear and loathing in the world of corporate branding. How the hell did I get here? If I knew then what I know now…. two months. Shit.

Nobody Told Me

What went right today? The appointment with Philip Beansprout. That’s about it. Everything else was a mess. Well waking up and starting up the day was good, Bill’s loving arms were very good but I had to tear myself away from them as I always have to. I also sent an email to Mark who placed me at Wanker Banker to take me out of the running for that other job. It’s not because of the proximity that Bill and I would have to each other, it’s mainly because I just didn’t want to have to start jumping through hoops again, decided to give McMann and Tate a year. And today I regretted telling Mark to forget it.

Man that seems to have been a mistake. I really can’t take this dysfunctional workplace anymore. I got a phone call from a Wanker Banker employee in San Francisco, Jessica Locke. She’s always been supportive of me and left wing causes. We provided the liberal (read radical) voices in a chorus of conservatism. She’s having another baby and that was good news. I mentioned the fact that a conservative investment bank will take Bill on as my partner and enable him to have a part in my insurance benefits, yet an oh so hip advertising branding consultancy will not. If he was a woman and my spouse he could be covered. I should have looked into that before I left Wanker Banker. But I didn’t and Bill is unprotected.

McMann and Tate are driving me crazy. I can see why Felicia asked me during the interview if I could make a commitment for more than three months. I guess three months is de rigueur for front desk personnel. I can barely get past two months. These people are loathsome. I have a theory that they were nerds in high school and were picked on as most everyone was. But it’s sure is a weird situation where people barely look at you and can’t even say hello. It’s getting to the point where if I see people I don’t like walking in my direction, I pull out my cell phone and look at it as if I had a text message or a call. A 3 and a half inch piece of circuitry and plastic is better to look at than them.

Such a trendy crowd too, with their Diesel jeans cuffed about four to six inches. It does look ridiculous, I mean, do you go out and buy a pair of jeans with a 34 waist and a 40-inch inseam? And they’re men. Straight men at that!

It’s true, if they said good morning to me, or even a hello I would probably singing a different tune, albeit slightly. Perhaps a remixed tune, 12 inch DJ only promo copy. But they don’t. I have to pick up after these people and they can’t meet me half way, meaning perhaps turning around and putting it in the garbage can instead of leaving it for me to throw it out for them. If they were pleasant and said something kind or socialable as they exhaled, c’mon, it only take less than five seconds really.

They see me moving stuff around and they stand in my way and when I say excuse me, they act as if I were begging for one of their kidneys. And I have to support them, being support staff. I’d rather be a staph infection if that’s the way it’s going to be.

I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there. I strolled through Soho into the Village and smoked my Padron. I hoped to see Bill before the session but he had to run an errand to his parents apartment where he was spending the night. I sat in front of the building where Bill and I used to see Philip. It’s where he is situated on Thursday nights. We met Philip and immediately I caught up on the last two weeks that I had missed, saying how upset I was that I didn’t know about Bill’s solo session until the day before, about Bill’s embarrassment to talk about sex in front of me. I said how tired I was trying to get Bill interested in me sexually and how I am giving up on that. I said we are great partners, roommates, but lovers? Questionable. Philip isn’t going to give up on me and that. He feels that there is still hope.

Bill has a ways to go so he can come back to feeling that I was sexually attractive. I don’t want sexual validation from a stranger. I want it from him, but if he’s not going to give it, I will give up and focus on other aspects of our relationship. Philip thinks that’s being hasty.

We talked afterwards, Bill and I walking around and sitting on a bench in Union Square having a really deep conversation about how much we really do love each other. Bill said he can’t not love me, a double negative and you know what that means. We have got a lot of work to do. It’s worth it. I love him and he loves me.

As we sat there we were approached by an older man who asked if we wanted our shoes shined, saying it would last two weeks. Bill said no thanks, I said yes please. He said it was three dollars and I put my foot on his shine box. He was shining my shoes and I asked him if it was three dollars a shoe, or for the pair. He looked up and smiled and said, ‘You’re going to the moon Alice.” I pointed to Bill and said this is Ralph Kramden, I’m Ed Norton, eerily echoing Juan this afternoon who said that I wasn’t Ed Norton.

I mentioned that Bill drives a bus making him Ralph Kramden and the older gent shing my shoes said that he was a retired bus driver. Get’s a check for $1300 a month and shines shoes when he wants to make some extra cash to make ends meet I suppose. The two of them spoke bus driver talk and I sat and listened. His price was $3.00 and if I could spare anymore it would be so kind. I gave him $10.00 and he went on his way.

I was supposed to meet up with Juan but Bill and I got caught up in this emotional & sexual drama. It would have been nice to have Juan over, I feel he needed his escape from his own dysfunctional situation.

It was just one of those days.

Kingston Advice

I was out cold last night. Slept like a rock. I was hurtin’ from the Chiropractor so I took a Tylenol PM. By 11:15 was having difficulty keeping my eyes open. Bill went to bed at roughly the same time and we cuddled as I fell into the arms of Morpheus. So deep was the sleep I know not of what I may have dreamt. But I woke up feeling all right, a little groggy, but otherwise samo samo. Puttered about, not bellyaching about having to go to work, for I wanted to see what condition Felicia might be in. I tried calling her last night but got no answer.

I walked to the Path, got some bananas from Plantain man with his pup tent. He’s been looking pretty good lately and has been smiling a lot when I get my bananas. I was listening to the Clash, ‘Sandinista’. A great record, I was playing disc two. One big regret I have is never going to see the Clash live, though I’ve had a few opportunities. What the fuck was I thinking? I mean, they played about 25 shows at Bonds in Times Square in 1980 and I never got it together to go. I suppose I was afraid of having to go alone. That prevented me a lot back in the day. I got over it a short time later.

I got off the Path train at Ninth Street and walked down Sixth Avenue, stopping to get a bagel on Carmine Street. Got the free newspapers and the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal for the office. Set about starting up the office, making a ton of coffee, changed into the extra t-shirt that I keep there since I turn into a big Irish sweater when the temperature goes above 75 degrees. People started to dribble in about 45 minutes later as I sat at my desk. Felicia came in and didn’t look bad at all, no outward signs of having had a seizure.

We chatted and discussed the events that happened yesterday. I was really glad to see her, since I wouldn’t have to be running the show by myself. She was up for the task when all of a sudden, I just lost interest in most everything. I was really fed up and disgusted with working there. Granted I had been in contact with Mark and been leading him on, and I realize that tomorrow I’m going to have to tell him I’m not going to leave McMann and Tate.

I had an epiphany. You see, I said I wasn’t feeling too well and they sent me home around 3:00. I wasn’t physically ill, just wanted to get the hell out of there. I feel better now. The epiphany is that this is my job. I have to hang in there. This might be a symptom of the last fitting in pains. I certainly don’t want to have to go through the whole process of starting at a new job all over again. I came up with the plan to stay at McMann and Tate for a year and decide what to do next April. Seems like a good plan. Anything could happen between now and then.

So the mantra today, and probably for the rest of the week/month/year, will be to hang in there. It was the same mantra last month. Maybe I’m having my period. I don’t know.

There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards

At wit’s end whatever that means. Pretty miserable. Work sucked big time today. Instead of politely telling Mark, the counselor that got me the Wanker Banker gig, thanks but no thanks, I said, ‘Tell Me More’. Really, that was the subject on the email. It’s a law firm in the heart of Times Square, which may be too close for Bill’s comfort. This job is at 7 Times Square, Bill works at 4 Times Square. It actually may be too close for me. Anyway I don’t have the job so that’s not really a concern.

The snobbishness of the office is appalling. So many noses in the air, granted they are busy fucking beavers, but would it hurt to throw something in the garbage can two feet away from them? Apparently it would. It’s getting annoying. I know it’s my job to help keep things tidy and neat, but man they don’t meet anyone halfway. And it’s so bad that I’m not caring anymore. That cup of coffee that was sitting on the counter for over an hour? Pour it down the drain? No, I poured it into the iced coffee.

And I fart whenever I have to, no matter where I am. The passing of gas has to happen, silent but deadly. I don’t care anymore. It took me three and a half years to feel like this at Wanker Banker, now it’s only taken a little over three months at McMann and Tate. I don’t know it could be because Felicia wasn’t in today. She has been an ally at work. We both dislike the same people basically, and with Felicia out, there was no ally.

I texted Felicia this morning to let her know that we needed milk and ask her to pick some up. It has to be organic milk. The delis and stores in our vicinity don’t carry organic milk, they carry milk milk. At the usual prices, so regular milk just won’t do. Oh they’ll drink the milk in front of them, put it in their Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter cereal, or in their coffee, but man they grumble and moan about how horrible it is. Then they’ll put the empty container back in the fridge rather than the garbage can directly behind them.

Felicia responded that she was throwing up and will be in a little late. Turns out she wasn’t going to make it in at all. She had a seizure and had to go to the hospital. I didn’t know this until she phoned from the pharmacy were she was picking up some medication. This morning before I knew about what happened, I did my usual job of sending out an email, ‘the morning announcement’ pertaining to who’s out sick, on vacation, traveling or running late. I mentioned that Felicia was running late. As far as I knew at that time she was.

Hours later, some dingle berry asks me what was Felicia’s story, did I hear from her. I told them I didn’t and I was a bit worried. I tried calling several times and left voicemails asking if she was alright. Like I said I didn’t hear from her until after the hospital, when she was waiting for her prescription. I sent out an email stating that she was at the hospital and she’s better now. A few people came up and asked what happened and I told them that Felicia had a seizure.

They seemed concerned, after all they’ve been through this with Felicia’s cancer before. That was nice of them. Of course these were the people that Felicia and I agree are good people. None of the nasty bitches and that’s a non gender specific term bitches, asked about Felicia’s well being.

Well I got out of there as soon as I could, had an appointment with the chiropractor and wound up feeling worse than I did when I walked in there. I don’t think I’ll continue treatment with the doctor. It’s like an assembly line in the office, always someone next in line, in and out. The doctor attempts a conversation, but doesn’t listen to what your saying, just a lot of ‘Yeah, uh huh. Yeah’ If you can’t even fake carrying your end of the conversation why bother?

After leaving the chiropractor’s office feeling misshapen, I walked to the Path train, head throbbing and rather miserable. Bill came home and gave me a hug, which really helped a lot, emotionally, mentally and physically. These are the moments where it’s all worth it.

Bachelorette

A very busy Monday. It was ok since I did not bop Bill in the nose last night. I was out cold when he came in from driving the bus to and from Atlantic City. It was a busy day yesterday what with the beach and Folsom East. I heard from an online buddy that he was there looking for me, I was there looking for him, but we must’ve passed like two ships in the night, both smoking cigars.

Slept really well and woke up doing the usual routine of breakfast, coffee, shower and out the door. It was already hot walking to the train. I didn’t stop in to see Plantain man since I had bananas left over from the bicycle ride on Saturday. I did wave to him and he waved back. No sign of the pup tent, which was sad. It could’ve been there but I didn’t see it. I guess some guys who are straight would go to stores with girls who have their high beams on, i.e. erect nipples. Me, I’ll take a pup tent.

Path was crowded with guys in suits. Very few guys wear suits with the attention to detail that I did, but then again it was/is a fetish. I occasionally see a well dressed guy that I have difficulty taking my eyes off him, I scan from the head to the toes. The square toed shoe is a turn off and I can abide rubber soled shoes only if there is inclement weather. Most of the men that dress well are older. Sometimes there’s a thirty something kind of guy who dresses to perfection but I see these other guys, who will probably wear suits for the rest of their careers looking like it’s such a chore. Granted, for me if the temperature is over 80 degrees it is a chore.

This morning was over 80 degrees and I wore shorts, a Guyabera, and tan Airwalks. All that was missing was a skateboard. That’s how casual I can dress. Felicia floated into work, not high or anything just seemed to be in good spirits. We were chatting in the pantry when I got a phone call. I answered, and it was Mark, the counselor that got me the job at Wanker Banker in 2002. I called him a few times in the past year as the shit started to hit the fan, begging him to help me get a new job. I left voice mails and emails and never got a response. Today I got a response.

Some funky law firm who prides itself on not being your average law firm is looking for someone that Mark believes is just like me. The pay is in the same range that I am making at McMann and Tate, and probably is a suit and tie job. I told Mark I’d think about it, but never got back to him. Hey, he’s a day late and a dollar short. The man in a coonskin cap wants eleven dollar bills and Mark’s only got ten.

I’ll give him a call and politely decline, thanking him for his effort. I told Felicia who it was and reassured her that I wasn’t planning on leaving, and I’m not. Things have gotten considerably better and we’ve become something that resembles a team. A team, with me as Father Confessor perhaps. Funny thing is, Harpy my old boss from back in the day called later on and Felicia was around for that call too. She seemed concerned that something was going on with me, but once again I reminded her that I told her in the interview (the one that she said I was more animated during) that I wouldn’t be leaving.

I think the reason for my being uncomfortable in the initial month was from going from one work environment to another. Before I started working at Wanker Banker I was doing temp work, no real work place, it just changed every day or every week. That made for an easy transition, going from being rootless to having an actual job. In April I went from one situation where although difficult, it was relatively easy to a job that was 180 degrees from Wanker Banker. It seems to be getting better now.

Felicia and I worked side by side, and even had lunch together while unpacking boxes and file cabinets that were shipped from the now closed San Francisco offices. I like to make her laugh. Nothing it seems is off limits and that’s fine by me.

When I’m Sixty-Four

Last night I downloaded a remix of ‘Situation’ by Yaz. Despite the fact that I sometimes try to communicate with Bill vis a vis music, I was not trying to tell Bill something with the ‘move out’ refrain. Just wanted to clear the air. It was a decent remix, nothing to write home about, but disconcerting with that playing and Bill sitting a foot or two behind me. And I don’t want him to move out.

Yesterday morning Bill mentioned going to Arthur’s Steakhouse for dinner. Sounded like a good idea. Then he went off and did what he did, came home and crashed. I came home from cycling and found him asleep in the bed. He woke up around 9:00 and didn’t say anything about dinner. I brought it up, asking if he said something about going out to Arthur’s. He said he did, and then he didn’t say much else. Now it was 9:30, and I was hungry.

Finally as I mentioned that I was going out to get some food, he mentioned that we could go. I reckoned that by the time we get there, wait for a table, and sit down and eat it would be too late. So I went out and got some chicken from the Chicken and Rib Crib. Came home, and me being a nice guy offered him some of my dinner. He ate as we watched some telly, not really taking about anything. I did mention that I might not be able to make it to next Friday’s session since I had something to do with work. Something like going to Coney Island on an office outing. I have to call Phillip to reschedule. Either that, or its week number three without going to our couples counseling.

Today was a day at the beach. Julio, Stine and I all talked about it briefly last night and there we were, on the sand before noon. We were joined by Julio’s sister Maria and her fiancé, Paul. Bill was driving somewhere, and he knows that if the weather is permitting a trip to the beach is usually in order. Bill has his passion, which is driving buses. Mine is being at the beach with good friends.

I was very happy that the iPod adapter I got Julio for his car is working phenomenally well. I love playing the DJ.

It was very windy and the water was cold. Too cold to go in, 60-65 degrees with a way too cool breeze. We didn’t go to Sandy Hook, we didn’t go to Monmouth beach, we went to Sea Bright, which left Julio and I aghast with the amount of people. Stine and Maria preferred public facilities, Julio, Paul and myself, being men could pee anywhere. Rather than risk Sandy Hook being overcrowded, we heeded Paul’s suggestion and wound up in Sea Bright.

As the hours passed it was getting more and more crowded. We guessed that Sandy Hook had reached capacity and Sea Bright being the next public beach, was soon filled with people on line, headed out to the street about 100 yards in the sun waiting to pay seven dollars a head to get in.

The beach was definitely family oriented so jazz cigarettes were not to be enjoyed. That was a drag, or rather it wasn’t. We had a few beers and watched umbrellas fly down the shoreline due to the fact that they weren’t anchored properly. The flying umbrella could be a dangerous thing if you’re not paying attention.

We wound up leaving earlier than we usually do. We left at 3:00. Julio couldn’t deal with the crowds and they kept straggling in. We got back to Hoboken around 4:30 and went our separate ways. I jumped in the shower and decided to head into the city to Folsom East. It was crazy hot in the city as I walked the Chelsea border of 23rd street.

I ran into Tony, someone I knew (not biblically) in the nineties. Similar interests you see. He’s had a hard time the past few months and today was his first outing since his partner died in October. Alas he was heading back to Jersey City and I was headed to a bunch of leather queens. I wandered around, looking good I must say, but not seeing anyone I knew. Still awfully hard to met men, even if they are wearing a leather harness and a leather jackass, erm, jock strap.

I had a La Gloria Cubana and strolled around, excusing myself if I had to brush past some hairy back. It went unheard, courtesy and politeness just aren’t done at leather functions. It was humorous to see some men dressed totally from head to toe in leather and it’s in the nineties, the sun beaming and no breeze or flying umbrellas in sight. I saw a few online contacts that are not much bigger than their thumbnail photographs or otherwise way too tall and creepy in real life.

I walked back to the Path train and was home at 8:00. All in all a pretty good day.

It didn’t start out that way though. At some point last night as I was turning over in my sleep I elbowed Bill right on the nose. I woke up instantly as I heard Bill say, ‘Ouch! That hurt!’ Immediately I said, ‘Sorry Dad!’ I guess I was dreaming about my father.

It was Father’s Day after all.



and now, a turtle crossing the street in Rumson.

Dance of the Screamers

Last night, had a few beers at the office and met up with a few of them afterwards at the Cub Room. Not my thing to do, hang out with the office crowd, but a really nice person was leaving and it was her last day and she asked me personally to go. After work I walked over and joined the crowd who are generally nice excepting one or two snobby types. I was congenial and chatted with some of the nice ones.

I do know this crowd can party long and hard into the wee hours and it could be disastrous if it’s on the company tab, and it was. After about three Corona’s at work, I switched up to Stella Artois at the Cub Room. I had one pint before I made me excuses to leave, and I needed one. I told them the Bill was cooking dinner and I better get home before he burns the kitchen down. It was a partial untruth. Bill was cooking dinner, albeit for himself. And he doesn’t burn the place down. He keeps things under control. But we don’t cook for each other.

I said my good byes and left with Natasha a sweet young thing from Russia and a recent graduate of the School for Visual Arts. She lives in Jersey City, or at least trying to. She’s on the lookout for a new apartment, preferably in Chilltown, so if you hear or know of anything, let me know and I’ll forward. She’s looking in the Grove Street area.

Also yesterday I ran into my old friend Martha Griffin. Martha and I go way back to when I used to bar back for her and she used to bartend at McSwells. She’s a beautiful and inspiring woman. Always saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. She’s a movie producer now. You can IMDB her. She’s there. Very impressive resume if you ask me. And she was also in Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days video, directed by John Sayles. Martha still looked great. She and another woman were outside of the building where I work waiting for something film related I’m sure. It was a brief rendezvous and it was good to see her.

Came home last night and wrote the blog. Didn’t do much else, Bill and I watched the telly, and I crashed a little after midnight. Woke up this morning, got some bagels. Bill was off to see his father and celebrate Father’s Day a day early. He’s driving tomorrow. I’m going down the shore with the Lopez’s. I was toying with the idea of going to Folsom East before beach talk came up and I tried weighing the two ideas. One was something I thought long and hard about for a long time. Hell, I thought both of the ideas for a long time. I last attended the Folsom thing with Bill maybe three years ago, I would be going alone this year, which was fine because there was the chance I’d meeting guys I had been chatting with. Or I wouldn’t and would walk around dejected and leave quite bitter.

The beach would be good for the mind, body and soul. Period. Who wants to be in Manhattan on a Sunday when it’s supposed to be 95 degrees out? Not me that’s for sure. I’m 99% certain that I would have a great time with the Mr. and Mrs. That’s it, my mind is made up. Actually it’s been made up since Thursday, just ask Juan.

Ok, I did it. Things went according to plan. I rode the bike over to the Ninth Street Light Rail station and took an elevator to Union City. That was fun. I rode up Palisade Avenue, then over to Hudson via Dodd Street where I rode past my old neighborhood in Weehawken. Somethings have changed but it’s still a quiet as a tomb neighborhood. I continued up Hudson to Broadway through Braddock Park (named for the Cinderella Man) through Cliffside Park, Palisades Park and Fort Lee, where I rode onto the George Washington Bridge. Over the Manhattan side, to Central Park where I heard Teddy Thompson sing a very nice set. No skate circle so it was to the World Train Center Path train for a ride home.

Very nice ride today, meditative, even when you’re riding with other people you’re really alone and have to pay attention to everything that’s going on around you. I was definitely in the zone, so to speak. 31 miles of it.

And here are some pictures.

Inbetweenies

It’s Friday. Been a good day. No stress really. Rather relaxed. No session with Phillip Beansprout tonight. So that’s two weeks without psychotherapy. I’m handling it ok I guess. Phillip has his issues this week so there was no session. I am as ambivalent as I was last week.

Hung out with Juan last night. We tried watching yet another DVD about the New York Dolls but neither one of us cared much. Their story is compelling but I don’t find the music to be as such. I explained to Juan, I love the Beatles and don’t like Elvis. I love the Sex Pistols and don’t like the New York Dolls. Basically I like those who have been influenced by people I don’t particularly care for.

Work was easy. Felicia was in a pretty good mood. Since I had no session to attend to I was able to partake in the Happy Hour they have every Friday. I had a few Coronas and smoke some cigarettes on the roof with Felicia and a new girl, Natasha. A very nice panoramic view from up there, twelve stories up. A bit confusing when I got upstairs to the roof after climbing up a myriad staircase. Where I thought I’d see Brooklyn, I saw the Empire State Building. Where I expected to see downtown, I saw Jersey City. Maybe it was the beer that messed up my sense of direction.

We hung out, with Natasha and Felicia talking about breast sizes. Felicia whips out her mastectomy scar. Interesting. She’s outwardly comfortable with her battles with cancer. When Natasha left Felicia proceeded to tell me of her story of her parents. Mother committed suicide in South America, Father owed money to some hoodlums. He wound up in jail with a missing finger.

Harsh story but she seems to have a grip on it. I haven’t even told you the whole story of her, for it’s too gruesome for words. Let’s just leave it at that.

I am planning on checking out Teddy Thompson tomorrow at Summerstage. I had hoped on seeing him then heading over to Prospect Park to see Laurie Anderson, but I think that might be too much to ask for. Felicia invited me to her place in Chelsea for a barbecue she was thinking about having. I told her to give me a call. Maybe she will. I might have my bicycle because in the back of my mind I plan on doing a bike ride up to the George Washington Bridge and down the Manhattan side to Central Park. Been a while since I’ve done that.

If I do that I was also planning on taking the elevator at the Light Rail station to Union City so I could avoid the hills going out of Hoboken. Is it cheating? Only hill wise, since I’ll be adding a mile or two in distance. The hill out of Hoboken is not very bike friendly and it goes through the entrance ramp for the Lincoln Tunnel so the elevator would make things safer.

I also had a plan on attending Folsom East this Sunday. I mentioned it to Bill a week or so ago and he didn’t say yes or no, but I should’ve realized that since he didn’t drive at all last week, having a church service to perform at last Saturday and then spending most of Sunday at Tekserve, that he’d be driving this weekend. So Folsom East would’ve been a solo visit for me. Now given the option of going to that and being disappointed and merely dissed, or going to the beach with Mr. and Mrs. Lopez, getting out of town, chilling out and clearing my head while cleansing my soul, I think I’ll head out of town. Nothing to keep me in Hoboken. Bill’s driving. Might as well go and have a good time.

Sounds like an excellent plan.

53 Miles West of Venus

Bill was up and moving about before me this morning, despite my kicking him in the shins and hitting him once in the face while sleeping. It wasn’t intentional, that’s for sure. He told me about it as we crossed each other’s paths this morning. He understood that I didn’t mean it. He even made me coffee this morning, which was sweet. The gesture, not the coffee.

Bill split as I puttered about. He had a job today, acting as a stand in on the Denis Leary show, Rescue Me. I’m sure it’s a good show, but I can’t stand that Denis Leary. I’m leery about Leary. He reminds me of those bad Fallon kids who lived on Avenue F in Lodi. You didn’t want to get into trouble with those Fallon kids. They were bullies. They lived next door to the Harrops who were from the same church as my family so we sort of knew them.

The Harrops were related to the Neidhardts who my family had some close ties for a time, when my family was more active in parish affairs. My father was a member of the Holy Name Society. An Opus Dei type organization for suburban dads who wanted to associate with other milquetoast dads. I think it was also a group for men that either couldn’t get into, or aspired to join the Knights of Columbus. A group that raises the hair on the back of my neck.

My disdain, to put it way too politely, is because of the United States Knights of Columbus efforts to prevent same sex marriage in Canada, sending money and activists from the States to Canada trying to get Canadian citizen to write Parliament and argue against Marriage Equality. Catholic schools are being shut down because they don’t have enough money to keep them open and the good old Knight of Columbus raise funds to send to Canada to instill bigotry and prejudice. It didn’t work. Same sex marriage became law in Canada and the world didn’t end, Canada didn’t fall apart and the Knight of Columbus had what might have been egg whites on its collective faggot face.

So where was I? Yeah, my father was in the Holy Name game, my mother was in the Rosary Society. A group of Mary devotees, hence the name Rosary Society. Their big thing was the Wednesday night Novenas. Hot stuff, doing the decades. I didn’t realize until years later, between my agnosticism and atheism that we had to say the Hail Mary for each bead and perhaps a few Glory Be’s. I was too wrapped up in religious fervor and very happy to be out of the house away from my father to notice. This was exotic for me even though it was a church I had gone to since I was born. The exotica was from being there on a Wednesday night. Wild stuff. Also got me out of homework.

My family eventually got tired of going to St. Francis parish. It was on the other side of town and Sacred Heart was closer. The next town but only about two miles away. It also had a giant Jesus in a glass elevator. Very cool. But we didn’t know anyone there, not like at St. Francis. After I graduated from grammar school my family stopped going to St. Francis altogether.

Pablo Picasso

Another comfortable night in bed with Bill leads to a strange day. Not really roller coaster, more like Tilt-A-Whirl. Didn’t realize I left my cell phone at home until I was nearing the Path train. Too late to turn around and get it, decided to forego instead. In the back of my mind I thought today would be the day that I’d really need it, massive blackout, or a terrorist attack. Thankfully these things didn’t happen, at least not in New York.

Reading the New Yorker, only three weeks behind in reading it, about the search for artificial sweeteners. They weren’t too nice about Stevia, which is my sweetener of choice these days. They focused on aspartame and the like, made in laboratories, instead of the natural Stevia. It is an acquired taste. I didn’t like it much at first, last Thanksgiving, but after talking to my sister about it, I came around and really don’t consider putting anything else in my coffee and that’s all I use it for anyhow. The New Yorker article was interesting, with the brain equating sweetness with pleasure and bitterness with toxicity and death.

That about sums up a lot of things in my life, though it’s usually tempered and makes things bittersweet. No more big wigs in at work, they all flew back to England in the night. It was back to the standard crew of creatives. Some are nice, others a bit flighty. I didn’t mind. A few people were out so that greatly reduced the stress levels. Felicia and I have been getting along rather well. She’s a character that I’m learning to enjoy. Not one hundred percent, for there is still some pins and needles that I walk on, but we’re meeting each other half way.

The walk to the Path train was quiet and uneventful. I played Elvis Costello and the Attractions, ‘Armed Forces’. Brought me back to 1979, when I played it to death. I was so wrapped up in Elvis Costello that I bought the domestic album, the British import with some fantastic packaging and an added song, as many singles I could get, including a one sided single that Columbia Records was experimenting with to stem the tide of lost revenue from the advent of cassettes. I bought so much product that I’m sure I made up for a nice percentage of the corporation’s losses.

Armed Forces was originally called Emotional Fascism, but the powers that be felt that fascism wouldn’t go over too well. It definitely has a crisp clear 1970’s sound courtesy of Nick Lowe. The story regarding Elvis Costello and the tour is documented in an earlier entry called, (Take Your Elbow Out of the Soup) You’re Sitting on the Chicken

No crap Eels show tonight, just hanging around at home watching the American Film Institute’s 100 Most Inspiring Films, which occasionally moves the bladder near the eyes and a lump in the throat. I can be such a softie. Juan called, he’s at the Tilly and the Wall show, one of the bands from the great MamonoMania cd he made me. Tilly and the Wall feature tap dancing percussionists, which I’ll have to talk to Juan about tomorrow. He asked if I wanted to go but it is a school night and I’m not 18. He phoned from the Bowery Ballroom. It’s a sold out show. Lot’s of teenagers there. He said he felt old amongst them.

Imagine if I went? I’d be a Grandfather to these kids.

No session with Phillip Beansprout this week. He needed to cancel, due to a family thing. Two weeks without therapy. So much to figure out.

Speed of Life

Woke up hugging Bill. That was a nice way to start the day. We talked a bit last night, but I think it’s best that Phillip Beansprout puts the match to the flame. Stirs things up. Things like emotions. Also good to use the place as a confessional of sorts. Not that I have anything to confess, but I’m not dragging around a lot of baggage. No that was last week. With time, the load gets lighter. Hugging Bill in the morning helps lift some of that load.

I neglected to mention that yesterday we had special guests in the office special, meaning Bobby Shriver who looks more like his cousin Christopher Lawford. Doesn’t look like Eunice, or his sister Maria. It was an odd thing. It’s probably as close to meeting a Kennedy, as I’ll ever get. Do Shrivers count? It would have been nice to have met John Kennedy Jr. he was a hottie and from what was said after his death, an aficionado of the herbal cigarettes. My brother told me that someone told him that John Kennedy Jr. would go up to Washington Heights and pick up some reefer. The cops would see him and they knew what he was doing but he was who he was, loved by all, the golden boy, so the police would simply look the other way.

Of course none of this could be verified. More than six degrees of separation on that tale. It was sad to have him die so young. I remember hanging out with my girl Miriam in Central Park, reminiscing of the times we never saw John John playing touch football, riding his mountain bike along the pathways, or asking us if we had any extra Rizla. Oh what good times we never had with him.

I recall driving down to Cape May with my sister to stay with our parents for a few days, listening to Kate Bush ‘Hounds of Love’ and talking about how it was to see Jackie get choked up after her daughter Caroline’s wedding. We both agreed that it was bittersweet. Jackie was probably wishing Jack was there while John walked her down the church steps. They all looked great. What can I say? Growing up Irish Catholic, the Kennedy mythos loomed large.

Work had the usual big wigs from Britain in. The CEO paid me a compliment, saying that I do a sterling job in the office. Awfully nice to hear from the man who’s running the company and signing my paychecks. I guess I am doing a sterling job. But I’m not the type to rest on my laurels since I have never had laurels before and wouldn’t know how to make them comfortable enough to rest on.

After work I walked a different route, down by the riverside. I was headed down to see the Eels, who I heard enough about to warrant seeing a free show. Granted I saw some pictures of E, the leader of the band who was smoking a cigar. I thought him handsome. I’ve learned a lesson tonight though, just because someone is handsome and smokes a cigar doesn’t mean they make good music. Man this band sucked. Not what I expected. Read some reviews of them at Town Hall last year, seemed like a mellow type show then. Now it’s was quasi grunge, smugness being driven around in a Prevost bus.

Third rate at best. I think the opening band Smoosh, played a better set and they only played 4 or 5 songs. Then I took the ferry home to Hoboken, into the sunset on a beautiful night.

If You’ve Got Trouble

Man I couldn’t wake up this morning. Perhaps too many jazz cigarettes last night. There’s an unease between Bill and myself lately. I need to keep reminding him to communicate. And it’s an odd thing to say to someone who usually has a lot to say. He claims to be embarrassed by talking about some things, embarrassed in front of the one person on the planet whom he shouldn’t be embarrassed in front of.

Yesterday I was hoping that we could spend some nice quality time together, hell, I would’ve gone to Tekserve with him if he had asked. He was there most of the afternoon, in the audio department playing a piano. Nice. Would have liked to have seen that. Would’ve been nice to walk around the city, even Chelsea with him. But I wasn’t asked.

The summer has a lot of fun things happening this summer and I plan on going to these shows with various friends, or even going alone. Tomorrow night, there is a show at the World Financial Center featuring the Eels. I’ve heard some good things about them, and the singer E, smokes cigars onstage, which should give me liberty to smoke a cigar in the audience while watching the show. It’s something to do, its outdoors and it’s free. This weekend Teddy Thompson will be at Summerstage and he falls in with the Wainwright crowd, Rufus and Martha. Teddy is the child of Richard and Linda Thompson. He’s sung a duet with Rufus on the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack, King of the Road.

Talented children from broken homes. Oh why wasn’t my house broken? Why wasn’t I house broken?

Work was ok, walked down Hudson listening to selections from the Beatles Anthology discs. Songs that never made the cut, songs with one of the Fabs joking about before launching into a nearly adequate version of one of their hits. Some were understandably never released, only available to feverish collectors of all things Fab.

Got to the office, major big wigs in from the UK. Nice blokes they seem to be. Felicia returned from her four day weekend which didn’t seem to be much fun for her since she was the planner for a coworkers wedding. She’s not too keen on the coworker, and according to Felicia, this coworker has a habit of saying the wrong thing. Apparently the coworker made a comment about it being a good thing that Felicia had cancer since planning for the wedding would enable Felicia to devote her depleted energy to the event.

Felicia does seem to be rather cool and I found we both agree that some of the Brits that work in the office really have some snobbish aspects. It’s mainly two women, two slags as they’re called over there. It’s almost as if they have titanium rods up their arses, all the way to their stiff upper lips. We ran down mental lists of who in the office we like and who we don’t and our lists were almost identical. Granted, Felicia was on top of that list when I started, then she started falling lower on the list, eventually winding up off the list completely.

It’s a good thing I wrote the list with a mental pencil.

Felicia and I have made plans to check out Me’Shell Ndegeocello next week in Madison Square Park. You’re welcome to join us.

Precious and Few

Sunday. Blasé. Slept until 9:30, which was nice. Nothing planned. Did the shower, coffee thing before heading out for bagels and the newspapers. Lazy morning, I ran into Mike and Clara with their toddler. They were off to the river, they were planning on heading out there. I was more interested in getting some coffee and breakfast in the apartment. Got Bill some bagels, none for Julio and Stine since I didn’t know if they were even around.

Kevin Aviance, a drag queen that I met years ago at People magazine for a gay and lesbian seminar was on the front pages of the Daily News and the New York Post. Seems that he was jumped by four or five idiots in the East Village after a performance at the Phoenix. They caught the fuckers, but now Kevin won’t be performing for any pride celebrations since he was left with a broken jaw. He wasn’t in drag when the morons started calling him faggot and sucker punching him in the head. But like I said, they caught the assailants.

Sad to say but in the 21st Century, a gay person still is not safe sometimes, even in the East Village. I have been lucky, never been around shit like that though back in the day I was in a bar on the west side, Keller’s, with Jet when someone threw bricks and smashed the window. Thankfully no one was injured. Gay bashing goes on, and is sometimes unreported.

When Bill and I used to go out, walking around the Village holding hands, we felt relatively safe. I remember telling Pedro what we had done, just strolling, and he had gotten very upset. Not upset at the thought of us holding hands, but upset at the thought that someone could’ve attacked us for just doing that. It happens, but more than likely to guys smaller than Bill and myself. 6’2” or so, both averaging over 200 pounds, but we could be in trouble if confronted by a group. I can understand Pedro’s concern and it’s appreciated.

Bill and I don’t walk around holding hands anymore, anyway.

It was a brilliant day weather wise, very sunny and very breezy. I walked out of the apartment over to the river and sat on Pier A, reading Mojo and smoking a cigar. I played Rubber Soul by the Beatles on the iPod and decided to stay there until the record ended. Actually until the music file ended. Lot’s of young people pushing strollers. It used to be when a couple had a baby they left town to raise the kids in the suburbs. Now they linger in town. Sometimes it can be a chore, navigating around various strollers and toddlers. Sitting down, smoking a Padron usually keeps them at bay.

After Rubber Soul finished I got up and played Revolver. Made sense. The Beatles are also the cover story for Mojo this month, regarding the 30th anniversary of Revolver’s release. So for the past few days, just been reading a lot about them and opinions by 100 musicians about their favorite Beatles songs. One of my favorites, ‘You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) was added by Frank Black from the Pixies.

Juan’s new haircut is Beatle-esque. I mean that as a compliment. He won’t read it as such probably.

Peach Trees

So many things lately, or for the past few years, have happened in Bryant Park. Right now, I’m listening to Rufus Wainwright singing ‘Peach Trees’ from Want Two and he mentions a long walk through Bryant Park. It’s a nice slice of green in midtown Manhattan, directly behind the Public Library on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. I used to meet Bill for lunch when he was steadily working for the Really Big Law Firm and I worked for Epoch Mark, a staffing agency diagonal from the Library.

Today I met up with Sarah, a dear friend I used to work with. She’s really smart and pretty and has a great sense of humor. We both worked together at Wanker Banker, though she left in February of 2005. We both started out working side by side underneath Robert McWacco, who was the office manager. We made a pretty good team the three of us, with Robert and I butting heads, and Sarah running interference for me at least.

She now lives in Hackensack around where I came from. She lives there with her husband Bob. I can never find the time or the mode of transportation to get me out to visit so meeting in Manhattan was ideal. A neutral territory with more options of things to do than Hoboken had to offer. And it was what should have been a 15 minutes bus ride into the city, turning into 45 minutes. But I had a good seat and plenty to read and an iPod so I was content to be occupied.

Before I left Bill and I had a good long talk. Nothing was settled of course but it seems to take a lot of effort to get Bill talking. And that is quite odd since Bill is known for all the talking he does. The man can talk your ear off, and not in a bad way. He’s just that animated when he’s telling you a story. There seems to have been a misunderstanding with Phillip and myself regarding Bill’s session on Friday night. I think I was supposed to have been there after all, and Phillip was supposed to have time to prepare for a solo session with Bill.

But apparently they made do. He came home, I was chillin’, and reading Mojo with the TV was on just for some colored lights. He came home, gave me some fantastic Godiva chocolates and we sat next to each other watching a movie on IFC. He told me the session went well and that was about it.

This morning he was sticking around, not driving anywhere, which was odd. I’m getting used to weekends alone since he’s off driving somewhere. It’s his passion to be a bus driver and he likes to drive long distances on weekends. I usually miss the bus. He’s hoping for a three day trip to Canada. If he wants to do that, fine. I’m not getting in his way. The majority of our time together is spent sleeping next to each other anyhow. With Bill’s driving passion for getting away, I have lots of free time and available for anyone or anything.

Bill said he would make plans to take some time off in July or August, but I reminded him that we tried that last year and wound up sitting on a cold gray rainy beach. It was nice to be with him but overall it was a drag. We also talked about sex. Though I had to explain that talking about sex doesn’t mean that I want to have sex with him right then and there. No, I wanted to talk about sex. And I don’t mean dirty sex stories like the pillow talk we used to have all those years ago. I meant talking about the issues of why we just stopped having sex. It seems to be true, familiarity breeds contempt. We both have lost sexual attraction for each other. It happens. He can drive a bus and I can drive someone else. I have to say it made things clearer about what happened when we saw Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.

It was in my final months at Wanker Banker and I was having a bad day and hadn’t eaten so I was king crab. I did meet a phoine man named Lawrence who was dressed to the nines, wearing a fedora and smoking a nice big cigar, not too ostentatious. Turns out he was doing work for Wanker Banker in some capacity. I ingratiated myself and gave him a bottle of water and laid a Padron 5000 on his fine ass. He was just so damn hot.

I had plans to see the Chappelle movie with Bill afterwork and hustled my way to Times Square to meet him. I was still on a high from meeting Lawrence and as I met up with Bill, we started crossing the street and I blurted out how horny I was. I was talking to Bill like he was my friend, and he assumed I was talking as a sexual predator, something a few years ago he enjoyed. He thought I was horny for him and wanted to have sex with him, right then and there if possible.

But I wasn’t horned up for Bill. I was thinking about Lawrence. So apparently anytime I talk about sex in Bill’s presence, he thinks I want to jump his bones. Nope, not the case. Not anymore. I don’t even think the lack of sexual relations is that big a deal after all. It would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath, or waiting to exhale. Zoom zoom zoom.

Here’s to nunchuckles. A great help. Origato.

And here are some pics!

We All Feel Better In The Dark

No Philip Beansprout for me tonight. To my chagrin, Bill is going to the session solo. This was told to me yesterday. Fine. My ambivalence towards everything includes psychotherapy. Still unhappy with the human race. Not much redemption in order it seems. Haven’t seen any redeeming qualities as of late. If we continue therapy, great.
If not, no big deal. I’m in take it or leave it ville.

Work was slow and boring and made the clock crawl, I’m cut off from everyone in the office so didn’t have a chance to participate in the World Cup office pool at ten dollars a head, teams pulled from out of the hat. I don’t know how I would’ve responded if I was asked anyway. I do enjoy the isolation. No back up either, meaning if I’m not answering the phone, no one is answering the phone. Just a receptionist after all.

It’s an odd position to work in. It’s a position where you have to tell someone you’re going to the bathroom and then ask him or her to answer the phone. And of course, working with creative types, with their blue jeans cuffed about six inches, it can be difficult since the don’t know where to look to see what extension they are sitting at. This actually happened when I asked someone what extension they were at and instead of lifting the handset, lifted the actual phone to see is it was on the bottom.

Creative types. Normal rules don’t apply. This is the world of the trends. The trend of the world. Major corporations that want to revamp their image, make it hip and timely. The clients’ come in, people that are there to make the right choice of change for the CEO and the company. Image needing tweaking. And tweaking sometimes happens in the early hours.

Presently I am writing about work to an online friend who’s looking for a job for him and his boyfriend in Chicago. Poohbear, his name online, is looking for a new job and his partner is looking to get out of Chicago. Could be odd. Who knows? Who cares? Definitely be interesting that’s for sure. Wow, it peculiar. Chatting with Poohbear online has greatly reduced my amount of hatred for the world. Oh that Pooh. Nice guy. Never met him, but could probably arrange an interview if he has the skills that he’s talking about.

Just chilling now, relaxing. Looking forward to not working over the weekend. A very good thing indeed. Just the usual routine, laundry, food shopping, attempting to clean the apartment somehow. A bike ride would be ideal and that would have to be Saturday since the Puerto Rican parade is Sunday, bringing uptown Manhattan and Central Park to a standstill. Very vibrant, that’s for sure. As far as parades go, the Puerto Rican parade beats the St. Patrick’s Day parade by a mile. They have the better weather.

Tired and red eyed and emotionally exhausted. That’s me right now.

Addicted to Love

It sucks. Life sucks. People suck. Drop the bomb I say. Finish them all off and start all over again. Probably happened already. Just so disappointed in humanity today it could all go away and I could care less. Totally fed up and sick of it all. Really. I’m not in a bad mood, just sick of most everyone. Brushed up against a realtor and now I feel unclean. I should’ve known it was going to be a crap day. Waking up at 4:15 should’ve been the tip off, but no, I wrestled with sleep and pinned two more hours to the mat.

I woke up and I did the right thing last night by getting my coffee ready, i.e. opening the can. After that it was all downhill. Took a shower, towel in the kitchen. Small things started adding up at like 6:45. Bill was going to his parents tonight so I said that I would see him tomorrow night at Philip Beansprout’s office. As I was leaving and wishing him a good day he mentioned that tomorrow is his solo session. Something I didn’t know before. Apparently he and Philip worked it out, unbeknownst to me. Me? I had issues that I wanted to bring up and now I have to wait another week. Perhaps I will perhaps I won’t. Right now I don’t give a shit.

Before I left I checked my emails and found a comment waiting for authorization. It was from some crazed bitch reeking of god knows what, so pungent the foul odor it permeated the computer screen. I figured it was an evangelical screed post mark of the beast type of thing. Or yet another Nigerian official. No this was a whole other type of grifter. But I vaguely knew this hairy backed bowlegged no ass syphilitic parasite. Chupy Draga made 3 million not from blowing off trolls under highway overpasses, but from suing some cancerous financial institution. For who knows? I’d think it was a lack of sexual harassment.

She claims her ‘problem’ was no laughing matter, but seemed to make for an easy grift if you catch my drift. An accusation of Narcissism also was levied upon me. It was all rather funny in a car crash kind of way. The poor thing, suffering so. Her pharmacologist should really give her a call. I showed Juan the email and he couldn’t believe what a loser she is. I guess that’s how he might feel, but personally I think there are so many other words out there to describe her illicit existence. So she’ll just be a footnote, not even worth writing her name. Let’s just let her have that illusion of power, it’s probably all she has left.

It’s been that kind of day. A roller coaster, nearly literally. At work there were so many clients it was quite busy and there is a certain protocol about how things are. It really gave me an indirect glimpse into the British class system. Not all the Brits though just one or two. Snooty types. Prats I think they’re called. The funny thing is, the ones you’d think would be snotty or snooty are cool and down to earth. It’s the other two who think their shit don’t stank.

And tonight, this wasn’t homework. This was a pleasure.

Within You, Without You

Wednesday night in the rainy season. Very wet despite precautions. So sick of the rain. I could never live in Arcata I would go insane so kudos to them that do. Today was busy and I was running around quite a bit. Major client in the office today and four more expected tomorrow. I will be a jugglin’. The day slid into stupidity as it wound down with more and more contact with people.

Sitting at home after a day like what I just described. Juan and I watched Sarah Silverman’s ‘Jesus is Magic’ DVD that Juan had bought yesterday. She’s very funny, and I hate to use the term edgy, but she is. She spins things on their head. It’s hard to describe but she’s quite outrageous. Bill watched some of it but couldn’t bear to watch too much since he’s tired and wasn’t really feeling her particular type of humor. She’s a lot like Sandra Bernhard back in the eighties.

Juan’s wisdom teeth are coming in and he’s in a bit of pain. I sympathize. Mine came in without a problem, low pressure. So much for being the same person.

I was thinking the same thing the other day about this blog. It felt like homework. I remembered the type of student I used to be, a C student. This caused my parents, actually my father a great deal of anguish. He came up with the brilliant idea that I should sit at the dining room table and do two hours of homework each school night. My brother Brian had to do the same thing. It didn’t matter if there was homework that could be done in 10 minutes or a half hour or if there was no homework at all.

We would have to sit at the table with my parents twenty feet away in the living room watching television very loudly. My father was slowly losing his hearing and the TV had to very loud. We were supposed to hunker down and study in these conditions. Eventually Brian graduated and I was alone at the table. When there were nights with little or no homework I would simply go to the encyclopedia and copy whatever was on a page or interesting subject word by word.

It helped make 2 hours go by a bit faster. The were the occasions where my parents would go out, or to the store or god forbid parent teacher night at school. I would freak out on those nights hoping that the teacher would like me enough and perhaps have some insight that if they said the wrong thing I would more than likely come to school scarred in some way or another.

I usually went to school unscathed, perhaps a ringing in my ears from being yelled at. Report card time was nightmarish. Never forged the document but man that piece of paper caused a lot of stress and strife in that house in Lodi. Really ugly scenes. There was always the reminder that my father was spending x amount of dollars on my catholic school education. Not like I asked to go.

Will it Go Round in Circles?

It’s Tuesday. An ok day. Difficulty waking up despite the fact that my body clock had adjusted to the new job, or at least the hours I keep. I pried myself from Bill’s embrace, he doesn’t want to talk but has no problem with body language. The language he’s been speaking lately is ‘don’t get out of bed, stay with me and sleep’. It’s a language I could speak but bills have to be paid, I have people counting on me. Plus once I’m awake it’s awfully difficult for me to get back to sleep.

I shuffled off to work listening to Beggars Banquet by the Rolling Stones, a gift from my sister and her family for the holidays last year. I had to stop and vote in the primary and in order to step into the electronic voting booth I had to declare myself as a democrat. Still in my heart I maintain my independence. I have to thank Juan for filling me in on who is pro choice and who isn’t. Joe Vas is (and looks great in a suit, which is odd for a democrat), Albio Soares isn’t. Juan knows of these things from his work with Planned Parenthood or some other group like that. Yay Juan! Fighting the good fight, fighting for women’s rights. Must be a bisexual thing.

So I voted for Menendez, despite my misgivings. His support of the credit card industry and his vote for tougher bankruptcy laws really pissed me off enough for me to fire off an angry email to his office last year. Now he’s a Senator, filling in John Corzine’s seat when Corzine decided to be Governor instead. I did see Menendez in March getting bagels before he was off to Red Bank to march in their St. Patrick’s Day parade. I’m a democrat, albeit and disgruntled one.

Work was harried, lot’s of planning on my end since we have some major clients all coming in at the same time, and Felicia will be out. That leaves Linda and myself to batten down the hatches and guard the fort. Felicia let me know she has a ring on her clit. Nice, and that would be considered a little too much information. She’s a wild one that Felicia. I wonder if she’s looking for some guy with a Prince Albert. Oh the sparks that would fly.

I had a chiropractic appointment today. Actually it was yesterday and I spaced. The chiropractor called me up last night and asked if I was supposed to see her. I said, no it was tomorrow, meaning today. I couldn’t get out of it. I was feeling fine, but got into a relationship with her. Sort of like joining a record club. Sure, who wouldn’t want a dozen cd’s for a dollar? Instead of the cd’s it’s a release from pain, a pinched nerve. Once you get better, you got to keep going. Every month there will be a notice offering the new Ashlee Simpson cd or relief from a herniated disc. And if you don’t stay on top of it, then either you now own an Ashlee Simpson cd or you will have to pay for the session you missed.

Billy Preston, passed away at 59 after being in a coma since November, from kidney complications. Rest in Peace.