Monday, January 07, 2008


This happens almost every day -- I'm taking a shower, there's finally enough hot water and I'm relaxing, this is where I feel the best except maybe late at night if I actually have energy and I'm outside in the cool fresh air. All this warm water around me is nice, but then I cross the line into hypoglycemia, it happens really fast and I kind of feel like I should get out of the shower, but I can't get out of the shower -- I mean it's comfortable, but also I kind of feel stuck, until suddenly there's no hot water anymore and then I'm just angry, drying myself off in the freezing bathroom.

I used to love hotel lobbies, walking in for a trick it was like I suddenly exited the rest of the world and it was just me in the lobby with all this space around me. When I went out with Jeremy, I always wanted to go to a hotel and take the elevator to the top floor to look at the view, some of the views in hotels are just startling and I never got a chance to take my time on my shorts stays, usually tricks would have the curtains drawn anyway. Somehow Jeremy and I never made it -- I mean we never made it to a hotel to look at the view.

One of the first times Grant and I got together, I suggested the hotel journey, something free and kind of surreal to do in the evening, why not? We went into the St. Francis, through the cocktail lounge in the front lobby, past the strange upscale boutiques selling overpriced trinkets, into the modern part in the back with the glass elevators, but I couldn't remember exactly where those elevators were. I felt exactly the opposite of the way I'd remembered, totally self-conscious and edgy and conspicuous. Maybe it was because I wasn't turning a trick, so I was dressed just like my normal self, or maybe part of the allure of hotel lobbies was that my destination was in place, I was a girl on a mission for two crisp hundred-dollar bills or that stack of twenties. But at the St. Francis with Grant it was different, I looked around all confused and thought: we need to get out of this horrible place immediately!

Everything is about routine -- I remember once, going to a hotel trick in New York at one of the hotels near the World Trade Center, maybe it was the Millennium Hilton, probably later it was damaged but this was 1999 or 2000, 1 a.m. or so and security stopped me, I knew the room number but not the name, I don't even think I knew the first name but I made one up -- I acted enraged, do you know the last name of everyone you meet? I wasn't going to let some security guard stop me from getting my $200, I called the trick on his cellphone and he called the front desk and I was allowed up.

Today I'm going to the Grand Hyatt to get pictures of the chandeliers in the lobby, to accompany my column in make/shift, and I'm actually kind of nervous, worried someone's going to stop me and accuse me of terrorism or something. Once I'm there it's all smooth, the chandeliers don't look like I remember, but when I take the photo it looks even better -- I was looking for something modern and surreal and it's perfect. Then I go to Borders to use the bathroom -- I'm pissing at the urinal, and some guy keeps just inhaling through his nose from one of the stalls, I know what that means. I go in the other stall, and the guy starts jerking off super fast so I can hear it -- or at least that's what it sounds like -- but the floors don't reflect and you can't see anything and I start getting paranoid that this guy's undercover and he’s trying to entrap me.

This is what I mean about routine -- when I was 14, 15, 16, 17, I went to bathrooms almost every day to cruise – I must have hooked up with hundreds and hundreds of guys that way, I was always worried about someone I know finding me, but never really about security. Then I notice the guys white sneakers with the San Francisco Giants sign in orange on the toe, right next to the stall wall, blue jeans down to the floor, chubby calves, some kind of orange plastic belt, maybe he's actually young. Oh, there’s a pen with a tissue wrapped around it, that's for me -- I unwrap it and it says what do you like?

But I'm still paranoid, so I think about it for a while, and write: I wasn't looking for anything. Which is kind of true, and anyway there's someone coming into this bathroom practically every 10 seconds, although probably this guy has a suggestion of where else to go, that's why he's asking me what I like. I wish I knew what he looked like, do undercover cops wear orange plastic belts? Eventually there's a conversation in the bathroom about how both of the stalls are taken, and so I flush, leave the stall, and there’s some smelly old guy with a walker who says that's an interesting coat, did someone make that especially for you? I say thanks, I found it at a used clothing store. He says to tell you the truth, it reminds me of a carpet -- he's trying to be shady, but I've heard that one before and it doesn't work on me -- I say you're right, all my favorite clothes kind of look like carpet, or sofas. He says well it is San Francisco.

I'm sitting in the magazine aisle, looking at the terrible gay magazines to see what books they review, or if they review books, and there's this skinny young guy with flushed skin, wearing a short-sleeved tie-dye shirt with a straw top hat, he looks over at a headline in the Advocate and says The Sissy Awards! I say I know, it doesn't make sense because it's a gay magazine. What I mean is that I can't believe the Advocate is giving out bad behavior awards and marking that behavior as sissy, but what this guy says is: you aren't gay, are you? I hold my hands up in an exaggerated state of shock: no, I mean how did you know, I mean you can't tell, can you?

He laughs, and asks if I can hand him the People, it's a special collector's edition about celebrities who have died too soon. A counterculture-looking employee walks by like he can't believe we’re sitting on the floor talking, and then this guy calls my attention to first Freddie Mercury, then the Kennedys, then some Australian guy who did something for the Discovery Channel and supposedly died in a freak accident where a sting ray jumped out of the ocean and cut him through the heart. I'm getting hypoglycemic, so I say goodbye and this guy holds out his hand, kind of sweet I think -- maybe I should socialize at Borders more often.


matty said...

I really like those pictures.

Oh, no! Not Borders! LOL! Almost as wrong and evil as The Advocate has become!

I've been reading thru your posts.

Take care, babe.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Matty, I'm so glad you like the pictures!

Oh, I think it's relatively safe to say that Borders is more wrong and more EVil than The Advocate, or at least it wields more power -- although, who knew -- they had three copies of Nobody Passes...

Don't worry, I only like to browse there (and use the bathroom)...

Love --

grantatee said...

the pictures are really glam.

i remember going to the hotel with you-- i thought it was different, and fun. and i liked learning more about you.

im excited, im about to leave me house to go see you.

see you in 35 minutes :)

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Grant, dear --

Oh, that's funny (and sweet) about learning about me on the hotel journey...

So lovely to see you earlier -- we should find more fun things to go to!

Love --

JordanV said...

O.k. press enter,"I am on my way," the email says. It has only taken a few emails to set this up. I saw his pic, he saw my pic, W Hotel, Room 850.( Not too high, but will require an elevator.) I grab my bag and head downtown.In the cab I think when was the last time I was at The W? A few months ago? A year ago? I honestly cannot recall. Much too swanky of a place for my paycheck.I don't remember if the windows open or not(even for all its swagger, a good hotel should have windows that open.MWM. The easiest kind. No commitment. He told me the bank of elevators were up the stairs on the right side. I will look like I know where I am going.The cab pulls up on 4th Avenue. I hop out, take out my flask of vodka, have a jolt,recap it,pop an Altoid in my mouth and confidently head for the revolving doors...
I love hotels. Take care Mattilda.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Oh, okay -- so I'm guessing this is not a paid trick, but an internet hookup of a different variety... Although I'm still guessing.

But did the windows open? I'm guessing maybe a crack, but with a lock that doesn't allow more, in case of suicide is what people always say they don't want to be held liable...

Hope you had fun!

Love --