Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Israel and the US, Partners in Permanent Aggression,"a great commentary from Glenn Ford

From Black Agenda Report

Right there for the world to ignore the US to fund the world to ignore

Today all I can think about is the way genocide works intergenerationally, of course I’m thinking of the US-sponsored Israeli annihilation of Gaza going on right now as the year turns into the next year of annihilation. I’m thinking of the way Israel was founded on this illusion of homeland disguising genocide, and especially the way leftists in the US often used to say that Israel had a right to exist, even if they were critiquing Israel, because of the stranglehold of the Zionist lobby on US politics, until relatively recently I mean the Zionist lobby stranglehold continues but Israeli genocide is so blatant and uninterrupted that now that token gesture of Israeli support falls away, at least that’s something.

Tonight the pro-Palestine demonstration makes a surprise appearance outside my building and I rush outside to catch it but people are already splintering away from the cops at least there’s that moment, I’m not sure what moment except it goes by my building and that wasn’t planned. I’m thinking about something Ali Abunimah said about how it’s important to remember that human beings are making these decisions, these calculated decisions – every lost meal lost school lost tree lost home lost limb lost life lost village lost community lost hope it’s all calculated.

I’m thinking about how these survivors of genocide moved to enact their own genocide in order to prevent genocide, the way their myths no longer work but nothing is even hidden now it’s right there for the world to ignore the US to fund the world to ignore.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Changing the sheets

Okay, I will write this before I eat, while I’m waiting for the dandelion greens to steam there was a reason I decided to boil dandelion greens instead of steaming them but today I will let go of that and see. I will write this with music, just a tiny bit in the background so that it doesn’t bother me or the voice activation software, I’m not sure why I’m writing this with music except that today is the day when I wake up feeling like I inhaled all the lint out of the washing machine wait you can’t inhale the lint out of the washing machine it’s wet. Unless you have stronger sinuses than I have so I mean the lint out of the dryer, without even opening that arena it just senses my vulnerability and I will not immediately blame it on the plane. Because this didn’t happen for the first two days, the first two days I slept and this didn’t happen so I will blame it on sleep, interrupted when I smelled something burning oh no it’s the wehani rice, I rushed into the kitchen to turn it off, keeping the lid closed so that the smoke alarm wouldn’t go off I think that was a good strategy.

But then the back pain, oh no the back pain back here in San Francisco I thought maybe I left it on the East Coast in less comfortable beds, not this one like a large pillow, billowing with me and now the back pain and then the dryer lint. When I get up I want to listen to something booming and melodic, do I have something like that? I settle on Talvin Singh, a big deal in the mid-‘90s if you were reading the UK music press or glossy club culture magazines that’s where I found out today it’s not what I’m looking for just a flashback from 1996 that brief moment when drum and bass was the answer it says 1997 but we know how they lie about things like that anyway I decide today’s the day when I have to cut the big plant in the kitchen back otherwise it might die off all the leaves in the front are turning brown while the back is still green-purple and luscious. It’s a day for a new start yesterday I cut back the plants in the bathroom that turned brown in my absence and already they’re green again, much smaller but green and I’m thinking about Derek and how he said I needed to cut back the philodendron when I moved into this apartment, cut it all the way back that’s the plant in the kitchen but then he was wrong it grew back bigger than ever so big that every time he said it’s going to take over your kitchen and I’m thinking about the way he makes things absolute just to scare me and it’s almost January maybe we’ll talk soon a new start there I’m not sure.

Oh wait it’s track five that might save me when it gets all dark and bellowing, tin drums with suspense soundtrack building into shake and rattle but then it switches to sad and classical, in the European sense at least the way Europeans own classical with string instruments. I turn around on the fire escape to face the sun, and I see someone changing their sheets.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The plane, you want to hear about the plane?

I’m thinking about how my desire feels reactivated from this tour, a presence in my body a dedication to finding sex that means something even in the moment I need to make it happen. I’m relaxed during the takeoff, but then there are knots in my ears like water from a swimming pool so I’m swallowing, then I get that allergy where I can’t stop swallowing, what am I allergic to? I turn to the side: where am I? Oh, I’m on the plane.

They like to get you drunk in first class, that’s what I’m thinking as the guy next to me gets his third Heineken in an hour, even though he only asked for one. The food doesn’t even look that bad but I don’t want to risk anything so I’m eating my quinoa and beans with the liquid squeezed out so they wouldn’t confiscate them as a potential terrorist threat like last time and I actually feel calm, they keep filling my teacup with hot water and I like that. First class is only first class because everything else is so awful, stretching in the aisle I don’t want to walk to the back where there isn’t as much air, that’s what I read in a book by a flight attendant who got cancer and so she researched all the hazards: there’s way more oxygen in the front, that’s what she says, so I’m in row 2, practicing the humming that the feldenkrais practitioner suggested, hum at exhale but don’t push then inhale fully, hum at exhale and it actually works to clear my breathing I almost feel okay. The truth is that touring saves me, reactivates my desires and imagination and engagement and now I just have to hold it, hold me.

Here’s what I bring in a sandwich bag because that’s all the liquids you can keep with you: saline spray in a metal can, this is the biggest item but it’s the only kind with no preservatives; eucalyptus oil to clear my sinuses; oregano oil as an antifungal; tiger balm to keep my body out of too much pain; New Chapter throat spray to protect me from the world of disease; liquid B12 but I forget about that the whole time so next time I think I’ll bring vitamin E. oil instead for my lips. Wait, did I just say next time?

Here’s what else helps: a hand towel to blow my nose so that it doesn’t get sore from tissue; TUMS for my stomach yes TUMS; lots of throat comfort tea I drink nine or 10 cups plus a few of macrobiotic mu tea but that one isn’t as tasty; All I Could Bare, a memoir about working at the male strip clubs that used to exist in DC, now they’ve been torn down for a sanitized stadium; the latest issue of make/shift; nori seaweed. And, of course, the rest of my food. Oh – and Fisherman’s Friend throat lozenges to keep my sinuses clear, plus a few of the ones I got from the acupuncturist even though they contain honey; an Olba’s inhaler but that’s the only mistake because it dries my sinuses out and then I have to use more of the saline spray, I’m so glad I have the saline spray! And yes, the humming practice, which I thought would be kind of conspicuous but no one notices or if they notice they don’t say anything. Oh, and don't forget about the homeopathic remedy -- that's the first thing that makes me so calm! I stand up as much as possible, dancing and stretching in the aisle, and I change into shorts as soon as I get on the plane -- I don’t know if any of this will really help but it is the first time my ears don’t shriek in pain at the landing, and when I get off the plane I feel delirious but not so bad yet, that’s what happened last time too but not the success with the ears and then I’m here in San Francisco, Jordan picks me up and we’re driving on the highway I’m trying to find something about this route that’s comforting so okay when we finally see the skyline and it looks bigger than I expected, until we’re driving through the edge of South of Market a corporate office park and people walking around from clubs they look out of place. I used to walk around from those clubs it’s Friday night, driving across Market and then up the hill so we can go to Cala Foods and this looks like such a weird little town with extreme contrasts. In the parking lot I think for a second wait, I hope I didn’t forget my shoes and Jordan looks down at my feet.

Wait, do I really live here, with all this light?




Fabulously flamboyant

I'm on Richard Labonté's top 10 list for 2008 -- here's what he says in his latest Book Marks column:

Sycamore’s fabulously flamboyant (and totally untraditional) novel charts the insouciant life of a politically spirited, sexually tempestuous under-30 San Francisco gender-queer activist—and sometime hustler—with bitchy wit, careful attention to hairstyle, and a lush prowess with prose.

What? Can you believe this view? I mean really...

But can you believe these amazing flowers waiting for me?

First class

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tomorrow I get on the plane -- wish me luck, I need all the luck I can get...

So I can see the sun better


Here's what I'm thinking in Prospect Park: I should stay out here towards the front, so I can see the sun better. Until I decide the sun is down anyway, might as well check out the cruising area and sometimes all my desire feels situational, like I'm not even horny until there’s this guy in one of those big puffy parkas, walking through the snow for no particular reason except this is the particular place. I'm thinking I'll get on my knees in the ice and mud I'll do anything for those hands on the back of my head that warmth between his legs even though up close I can tell he's wearing enough cologne to cover this whole park but I'm ready anyway I can sense the approaching mud on the knees of my corduroys but then he walks away, I follow, he walks away.

The only other person around is someone I would describe as a crackhead, sitting in the bushes and smoking, just a cigarette but there’s the way his cheeks hollow into his eyes, maybe that's why the other guy ran away not just the fact that he refused to acknowledge my presence even from three steps away, Italian is what I'm thinking up close a decided haughtiness of masculinity. I follow him for another 10 or 20 or 30 steps I'm not counting but then it gets icier and I know he's not interested anyway, just that I've come to this beautiful park maybe five times now and never are there more than five people cruising it seems like the most satisfying end to my trip, and then later tonight I won't want to go out again but anyway he's gone, probably didn't need all that cologne on my clothes anyway I was thinking face I could just wash off but the coat would be much harder imagine all that cologne following me onto the plane and even out into San Francisco where there's nowhere I want to cruise, I'm thinking this guy wants a dark pea coat anyway and maybe a hat that isn't intentionally funny, a more understated scarf and I'm walking in the other direction until someone else arrives in hospital scrubs, smiling I say hello and he answers with a West African accent more friendly than I expected, for a moment I think maybe I should suck his cock because I liked his voice, because he's friendly even though I'm not attracted to him what is attraction if it's not a voice anyway. But then I keep walking.

Look, look at these -- what are they?


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Just to lose myself in these lips

Right when I walk into the Cock it feels like a different bar, different from the other night because all the lights are on I mean the dramatic white lights behind bar and on the sides and in the back and it makes everything look fancier, especially the people and immediately I regret that I took my earrings off before coming inside, left them in Paula’s car because I don't want to lose my earrings while sucking cock, especially when it was supposed to be lights off night, that's what the flyers said, lights off and no limits, I wasn't too excited about the no limits part because usually that just means barebacking but years ago this was my favorite night, Sunday night I had to come every Sunday night because the whole bar was sex not just the backroom and the music was great too, a mix of old house and industrial and runway I can't remember if people danced on Sundays usually I danced but I can't remember if I danced on Sundays. My rule used to be that at the Cock I should go right to the backroom or dance, but not hang out in the front because otherwise I would get all coked out and I didn't want coke I wanted dancing and sex and other things too but dancing and sex I could find.

Tonight the music isn't good or bad it's just unmemorable, even while it's playing you forget it. I feel edgier than last time, maybe it's the attitude and lights or I didn't eat enough but I go to the back anyway, tonight it's blocked off by a wall of illuminated white vertical blinds, almost a white cube actually because it's on three sides maybe some gallery person designed it you part the one of the side walls like a curtain and inside it's like a sex club but better lighting, sex club crowd too which I'm not too excited about since that's what I usually find, everyone fighting some sort of middle age and this time there are two guys getting fucked against the wall like maybe it’s a stable for bald guys getting fucked, ride the ride me ride me. Both guys fucking are back-to-the-wall and then the two guys in front bent over, one of the guys doing the riding looks confused like how did my dick get in this horse and I'm looking around to see if there's anyone I'm hot for.

I'm wondering about the difference between stubble and scenester stubble, of course there's the fashion that goes with it but sometimes there's the high-fashion look imitating the ‘70s clone and I'm wondering how that collides with the people who were actually working that look in the ‘70s still working it today, do they get extra points after so many years of enduring tacky alienation? Will they get six months of realness before fading into the decor again?

You know the answer, and the guy with stubble who I’m kissing, not scenester stubble this is more leather stubble, a guy in his 40s with a round smiley face that's why I like him, maybe what he's working is masculinity but with a smile I like him in spite of the cigarette taste until he says want to suck my dick, man, yes he says man -- there it is again but not like the guy from the other night a vision of gay boy femininity until that tragic utterance, this time he's not trying to prove anything or if he is trying to prove something he's not trying too hard it's like something he's heard in a porn video so let's put it at the end of the sentence, Mary I mean man his dick is short and very hard, round belly after a while I'm trying to decide if I'm turned on or if this is mechanical, maybe both and I'm rubbing someone's legs, the guy sucking the cock of the guy I was sucking earlier I almost forgot about him I touched his chest very hard and kissed him but he seemed confused a drug haze for sure I sucked his cock anyway but then got bored I was thinking this is lowest common denominator attraction I liked his chest, went for his cock. Although what is it about face that isn’t lowest common denominator, I guess because I rarely has expression -- definition, sure, but expression? I don't look at someone's chest and think I know something about him, I mean something beyond how often he goes to the gym I can't look at his it's like eyes really, although what do I think when I look in someone's eyes? No one here really looks each other in the eyes, that's what I'm thinking.

Anyway, I'm looking at the guy who was sucking but now he's standing next to me, trying to decide if he's hot -- a worn-out Euro sensibility, what makes it a Euro sensibility he's probably Latino so what do I mean anyway except another kind of stubble over contemporary fashion no longer contemporary I'm trying to decide if he's hot, the guy whose dick I was sucking is sucking my cock and he's pretty good at it but then I pull away because I don't want to come and then he's saying something about how he wants to watch me with someone else, more porn talk and then I'm sucking Euro sensibility’s cock, soon enough I can tell he's about to come maybe it's the taste or the rhythm of his thrusts and there it is, yes, and then I'm standing up to kiss him but he's running away -- I was right anyway, eating come is a good way to start -- I feel so much more present and confident, back into the bar to see who I'm hot for. First guy I kiss on the neck says aw, aw! Then I bite his neck and he says aw! I think mostly because he's so drunk he can't do much else so then I'm rubbing this preppy guy’s sweater, soft argyle I like the way the features of his face are worn but soft too and there's an anger there, that part I don't like, back into the front of the bar the hair ladies have arrived, young fashionista damage but also it's super-crowded like the moment I entered the Cock last time, without these fashionistas who allure but mostly attitude but anyway everything packed with so much anticipation and there's Sean who I ran into at the other bar and he gave me such a great hug I always love hugging Sean and kissing his neck.

I guess here is where I should mention that I left a queer space for this gay one, the queer space was filled with flamboyant characters of different genders, all dancing but then the music got bad I'm so picky about music and it wasn't crowded enough and too noisy to have conversations that meant anything so I came here, here where I thought I knew what to expect but it's different and more angry tonight, the thing I hate the most is the way all the fashion or attitude types push their way through the back room with snotty looks of disapproval or haughty I'm too good for you stares but then they're back in five minutes pushing their way through again I mean really pushing until people are falling over and that's where all this anger comes in, but first I'm looking to see if there's anyone I'm really hot for, this is after my first time going through the bar after eating come and kissing three people's necks but they weren’t feeling it or maybe I wasn't feeling it and who was the third one anyway? Maybe the guy in all red, super-skinny and even a red silk scarf around his neck, maybe-red hair too and I studied his features but decided he was too coked out, stared him right in the eyes anyway the other way of cruising the way that doesn't get me that much because people are scared we’re all scared it's better to make a more definite move, that's why I go for the skinny guy at the end of the back room, skinny with curly hair and no defined fashion choices except that nondescript European look again, this time he might be Greek and he’s talking to his friend in the white button-down I wonder about people who stand and talk in back rooms, talking while sort of standing apart so I go up to him and kiss him on the neck he's rubbing my crotch and his friend leans over and says he is my cousin, take care of him or I'll hurt you, very matter of fact and no threat in voice I figure he's joking but you never know with jokes like that and I kiss this guy on the neck some more, over to lips but he moves away so then down for his cock already hard and way too fat this is when my jaw will hurt I can already feel my jaw hurting but then there's the way he pulls my hair with his hand and I can't stop I even think of opening his belt to get all the way down but sometimes the people who think they're too good in these spaces don't want you to undo the belt, or for more practical reasons like you might lose your wallet, anyway then he's already doing it and all I know that that means is I’m going all the way down and hurting my jaw, after a while it starts to feel athletic and is he really talking to someone about a party he's throwing, there will be drugs -- all kinds of drugs -- coke, whatever you want -- I stand up to kiss him again, taking my dick out hard now before it wasn’t hard I got self-conscious with his hands pushing through quarter I but now he's buttoning up and doesn't pay attention I kiss him on the lips anyway he says thanks.

So actually this is the moment when I walk back into the bar and think this is the moment, the moment when it's packed with attitude and frenzy and Sean who I know from San Francisco says he's overwhelmed but he wants to make out with someone, I bite his neck a few times and then say we can make out but when he kisses me it's kind of like a joke like we're sisters so I ask him who he wants to make out with, first guy he points to is the guy whose dick I just sucked so I feel accomplished I don't say that but I do say I think I just sucked his dick and Sean says you've accomplished a lot in 45 minutes, see I am accomplished but I don't say more no need to scare him with my jaw breaking feats and then he points out another guy, similar look -- thick, curly hair, dark features, maybe Greek, neither super-fashiony or not fashiony I'm wondering if Paula is trying to call me so I go into the bathroom to see if I can hear my voicemail, no messages and then back to the back room where now everyone is pushing and I hug this guy with scenester stubble, big nerdy ‘70s fashion glasses, thick black rims but not like the black rims from the other night that guy was more ‘90s designer glasses, what was once on the edge now in the middle. I hug him but he pushes through and I stand in the back and hug him again the next time he comes through since he's the one I really want see I fall for that scenester stubble, kiss on neck, kiss on neck the third time and then the fourth time I just say do you want me to suck your dick and he does, it's funny how three times of rejection doesn't mean rejection it just means I was trying the wrong thing, no intimacy just action, anyway I'm there until this other guy sucking pushes me back so hard I can't figure out why, my neck bent at some strange angles so I stand up and I'm talking to the first guy in the corner asking why do they push -- I realize I sound delirious I mean I am delirious this guy is probably thinking drunk and maudlin so I exaggerate it to play up the character which is really me, why do they have to push it hurts it's tiring me out it's annoying why can't they just participate and he’s not quite amused, that's when I try for soft sweater again, I hope I don't turn into one of those guys who keeps pushing I keep my gestures soft and intimate, not like the guy who grabs my dick and holds, grabs my dick and holds, grabs my dick and holds, yes each time I push him away but remember everyone's pushing. Back to soft sweater, he's just outside the back room, one of the guys who lurks outside, right outside so therefore guilty and not guilty why not choose one or the other I wish these people would choose. And this is when I realize his distance is partially because of coke, the way his eyes look out and in everywhere and nowhere and that's part of what makes everyone so pushy, aside from the fact that they've never dealt with the way desire can create something else in these spaces they don't want that, maybe a room alone the way it's supposed to be but not here with everyone looking touching grasping it could be so much more. Soft sweater is fixated on someone working long-haired ‘70s blond, more confusing when they're almost but not quite old enough to have been there instead of 25 so then you know immediately it's just fashion, anyway he's fixated on this guy and his fashion, or more precisely his crotch and this is when I end up sucking scenester stubble’s cock, maybe part of the scenester in the stubble is the way it’s so even all around but wild and outgrown gives extra points at least in San Francisco, haven't seen that look here yet but when I stand up he's kissing another guy working ‘70s blond, this one has curly hair I noticed him earlier but wasn't sure about something in his eyes maybe that's what it is about faces you think you see something you might know.

Anyway I'm good at sensing an opportunity when I see one so soon it's the three of us making out making out making out, even while everyone pushes up against us, past and around us until we're against the wall and then thinking about all this attitude directed towards the guys sucking like it's some degraded position that's another thing I hate about tonight I'm already hating it even while making out and realizing this is what I've been looking for the whole night, just to lose myself in these lips and tongues and teeth, throats, mouths, hands but really the way everything pushes together even if this is the guy who didn't want to make out, maybe because I was one of those degraded, three times in a row until after I started sucking his dick, which I'm doing again until it hurts too much because of all the pushing and eventually the blond guy is sucking until I come all over his face and hair and people are grabbing for the evidence they want evidence on their fingers instead of a carress to take me further to take us all further, no caresses here.

Then I'm kissing these guys goodbye, back into the bathroom to look at my hair and that's when Paula calls, perfect timing, did I mention they have a smoke machine, I saw it earlier and went to hide in the back room, white smoke to go with the white lights and white walls but we all know it's my downfall anyway, coat check and the guy is still giving me attitude for so many layers in spite of a three dollar tip and there's Sean again, in the front with the guy from the back and two others he introduces me to one, the second I say I think we met and he says yes, definitely, which is not quite sweet but definitely satisfied, another kiss on his lips because he might not want it and the third one with the curly faux hawk type thing all coked out in distance remember I always used to say avoid the front of the bar but I'll admit my attraction to these boys anyway, physical attraction I mean and then I'm out the door with all my layers in my hand and Paula's laughing because my hair is messed up, earlier she said she liked it messed up you look so cute so I pose for the camera phone and then I'm in the car, grateful that she's rescued me and I’m saying oh, why do they have to push and I already know tomorrow I'll hate that place even more and the next day I'll long for it

A sense of renewal

My mother wants to know what I'm writing about, if I've gotten any new ideas. I'm working on this project of trying to regain a sense of hope in my own sexuality, it's a long-term project. My mother: that sounds interesting. Me: it's about the public sexual cultures I inhabit and the ways in which they let me down. My mother: what don't you like about your culture? Me: Not my culture, but the sexual cultures that should give me hope but instead feel limiting and exhausting. My mother: why does it feel limiting? Me: because of the way people treat each other, it just feels like the endless repetition of dissatisfaction and there's no accountability or care. My mother: that definitely sounds interesting.

Of course this conversation gives me another wave of hopelessness, because here my mother is asking me questions about something she doesn't really understand, probably wouldn't really want to read but in some ways she's trying to connect and I sense that and then just sadness and longing. What I really want is to tell my mother how I'm really hoping that she creates this account for me, in January she's talking to her financial planners and she doesn't know but she's going to ask them. How in January I'm going to be a complete mess, an absolute disaster and it would be especially helpful if I could feel some sense of security, here I mean financial and she knows that but I feel like I keep needing to remind her, does she forgot or does it just roll to the back of her throat and get stuck there, my throat I mean it's why I can't speak and then I think about calling her back, just in case, maybe I can ask her if she'd pay my January rent it's kind of stressful to keep spending money while knowing that eventually it will run out, I do have time but the limitations of my body make everything seem less hopeful, there's that word again.

So I call my mother back to talk about the mundane, there's that stressful tone in her voice that comes whenever there's money involved, yes she'll send a check for my rent. And I say that I’m sure she'll check in with me as soon as she talks to her financial planners, but she cuts me off before I get to say I know she's not doing that for a few weeks, so then I say: I know that won't be for a few weeks. I say I’m thinking about it now because I know I'm going to be a disaster when I get back. She says you're going to be -- what's that word? I can't remember it, something that sounds like disaster but it means a financial mess.

Destitute. How ridiculous -- here I am asking my mother for support and she wants to know if I'm destitute.

I say no not financially I mean my body, and she says what are you going to do to feel better, which isn't a bad question actually and I'm not entirely sure, other than feldenkrais, but then my mother really surprises me when she says: I think it's unbelievable that you made this trip, your spirit and your courage, that you were able to do it is quite excellent and you should give yourself a pat on the back -- no, more than a pat on the back for a great achievement, you should never forget all of that and maybe when you get back it can be kind of like an inspiration to carry through with more of your work.

What? Who is this person? She says: the other part that's important is your connection with people and I know you've been feeling terribly disappointed and this connection from your trip probably helped you a lot, this contact and a sense of renewal.

A sense of renewal? That's actually kind of eloquent. Then she wants to talk about how maybe I can start a study group to talk about gender and sexuality, how people think of their own sexuality and gender and even sex work, by forming your own group and joining others, and at first there’s something slightly interesting about what she's saying, even if it's just that she added sex work as something casual and maybe even positive about my experience, but then she goes on and on about this study group and eventually she says: I'm on a roll, listen to your mother, I'm on a roll, and I'm not sure that I entirely disagree.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blood on the sidewalk

This is old news, yet somehow always new, news, I mean I sit down to write finally write writing is what I've wanted to do all day and now I'm finally sitting, sitting in the right place and boom my whole head closes off, sure I've lost a lot of blood today I mean literally because I was walking to meet Killer at Angelica’s and something pouring out of my right nostril too warm for spit and then I saw it on my coat: red on orange or orange-pink, red on orange-pink and it looks dark on the coat but lighter in the white sink or white paper towels before then I just keep inhaling so it goes into my mouth and then I'm spitting blood onto the sidewalk people are watching I keep thinking they're watching me spit blood on the sidewalk but they're just watching me, they don't even notice blood on the sidewalk it doesn't even reach the sidewalk it reaches the soot on top of the snow or ice on the sidewalk, but anyway -- old news, new news, it's still news: I'm too tired to write about what I want, the way the spaces of my sexual dreams keep letting me down and I know this is a dominant theme in my work which means I need to keep writing it, now I have a bit more energy maybe now, okay wait...

Back in Brooklyn, I'm not early enough to catch the snow today I mean the sun but I do like the snow...


Friday, December 19, 2008

Before the plane, that flying I really want

Yes, the Cock, yes I'm there paying the same person who took the money 10 years ago, at least on certain days, a woman with a British accent probably so not too many people would get in for free I don't remember her letting anyone in for free but she’s always friendly and polite not the other kind of New York I mean not New York really except this is New York and we know she's been here for at least 10 years but the point is that yes, the Cock, and actually there is no smoke, they've changed the decor so that it looks like it looked like when it was at the original location not dislocation which used to be called Fat Cock and it was fancier but now it's gutted and dark and so packed it's hard to get anywhere, especially to the coat check way in the back but you won't believe what they’re playing, Andee you won't believe it Andee they’re playing I got my education. I got my education. I got my education. I will take early ‘90s nostalgia any moment I mean I don't miss the early ‘90s but I do miss the music.

Anyway, then of course I'm looking for the sex, not like before with a back room now there are no back rooms this is the new New York although that was the new New York too but this is newer: more pea coats and cologne. Anyway I'm loving the music but ready for sex, swallowing someone's come is such a great starter I don't feel crazed just confident. Two guys on the bench making out, I say why don't you suck his cock? But they're shy, people are shy now it’s flirty but everyone's waiting. The first guy leaning somewhat against me isn't the hottest one around but why am I looking for standards I mean he's hot this big guy with a soft muscularity maybe more Chelsea then East Village but what is East Village now except for pea coats anyway, shaved head and I kiss him on the neck and then we're making out and he's grabbing my dick, hard, and he wants to go in the bathroom, why the bathroom -- there are too many people waiting in line to do bumps in the bathroom.

Do you see what I mean about the newer New York? He’s from the Dominican Republic, which is old New York but I'm not sure when he got here, in this bar, if it was before or after and I say why don't you suck my dick right here? Here, he says, like I just said something desirable but impossible, false naïveté of course that's New York forever. So I take my dick out and he squeezes it, lets out one of those sounds of desire I can never quite name it somewhere in between a moan and a grunt and a groan and I pull his head over and I'm kissing him and the two guys on the bench are leaning forward to see and trying to look like they're not leaning forward but then the guy I'm kissing gets shy and goes to the bathroom.

I sit down on the bench and say people are shy here, that's to the two guys making out and one of them has had his hand on the other guy's neck the whole time I say what’s that hand for? I say you could keep your hand on his head just like that while he's sucking your cock.

This is what I like about my mood and I want it to be a turning point, I mean not in my mood here tonight where I'm still assessing the air periodically with a deep inhale just to make sure but really no smoke. It doesn't smell good or anything -- there's no air everyone's sweating but there's no smoke and so I kind of love it. But my mood, a turning point, I mean I'm going right up to everyone and right away hitting on them, like I'm waiting in line for a urinal and I keep kissing guys on the neck, talking to people about the music yes the music, laughing, at first I think the guy next to me is the guy I was kissing, do I really say I thought you were someone else he says there is no one else, you're right I say and I'm kissing him while he’s pissing not so much cruising as a kind of friendliness that maybe only happens in 2 am bars known for sluttiness where I have a history and therefore a sense of place that makes me feel like I can make things happen. Or maybe something has changed and I can just go right up to guys like this, here or anywhere that's what I'm hoping.

When I'm done pissing, there's this guy with black glasses and a collared shirt with some angles maybe a soft leather suburban urban but cute I start kissing him but he's waiting for the urinal and then when I'm back near the bench there's that preppy guy with the white button down, the one I mentioned too early but forgot to mention on the way to the bathroom, kissing his neck and he’s wearing the other kind of cologne, not vetiver the kind that just smells like cologne and nothing else like you'll never get it out but I kiss his neck twice anyway, once on each side, a little bit of a bite but not too much because there's this other guy with his shirt off, waxed chest Chelsea wannabe who's already got him looking at something in his boxers I don't want to interrupt but he says are your friends? Then he says it again: are you friends?

Aren't we all friends?

Here’s the other thing about this bar and other bars like it in New York: I'm totally an item, and I don't have to perform one particular thing in order to stay that way -- I can make a queeny jokes, laugh about the music, and then get down for someone's cock I mean that hasn't happened yet but you know it's on the horizon I love that horizon when it's so certain. But let's back up for a second to talk about this factor of being an item, even though the bar’s gone more mainstream with a mix of mostly Chelsea types looking for edge and preppy college types, some black and Latino fags who don't particularly fit one of those categories, and then some East Village stubble types but not much of the fashionista attitude that's what surprises me -- maybe because it's a weekend.

But anyway then I'm on my knees for the guy with the white button down, I can’t tell you exactly how it happens because first it's waxed chest who's over there but not for long and I’m giving him white button-down all sorts of extra rubbing on legs and stomach and chest just to tell him I appreciate him and then the best part is when I stand up for all that crazed kissing with the fruity taste in his mouth, later I realize it's probably what he was drinking but it doesn't taste like alcohol it tastes like purity. I love all this kissing the way his time reaches forward and stays there and I grab his head when he starts to pull away then down for his cock again hands inside pants going up calves until he starts to pull away I grab his head for more fruit but he has to look for his friend and I know that means I won't see him again but it's okay.

I think I started in the wrong place, because it doesn't make sense that that was the first guy whose dick I sucked, hands grabbing my hair it's funny because when I had hair that looked messy I didn't like people messing it up but now that my hair is in a neater style I'm okay with it. Or maybe I'm just okay with this guy grabbing my hair, and then the next one, and then the next one, and then the next one. I mean there really are that many, that's what so amazing it's like I stand up and into someone's arms or mouth around their dick, tasting the difference of size and thrust and motion. Then falling down onto bench for the guy in the striped shirt, shaved head a lot of shaved head here and his is receding at first his dick remains semi-hard which means semi-soft so not that exciting but then when I sit up and I'm kissing him, really grabbing his head and making out that's what’s so hot about this place the making out in so many sex spaces there's no making out. I mean it's also hot because there are so many guys you I mean I want to make out with and that makes the making out hotter and then when he pushes my head back down for his dick suddenly there's that thickness at the base maybe that was the urgency, the thing that hurts my jaw but usually I just get into the role anyway and let my jaw hurt but this time I'm proud of myself for pulling away and going back to kissing him.

But the guy from the bathroom, I don't even know if I really met him in the bathroom but he’s the one most into me the one with the black glasses I can tell by the way he's kissing no that's not true because the preppy guy was the most crazed about kissing but this is the guy who's most into me who isn't also going to run away or wait maybe I don't realize that until later because first he runs away and then I end up sucking this other guys dick, this cute young guy whose neck I first kissed in the bathroom when these two hot guys in tank tops were blocking the door by making out, almost like an action because they were both black guys and not so many black guys here in the bar if so they’re not making out with one another and this other guy walked by, a young Latino with wispy coiffed hair and they grabbed him and said isn't he cute but he seemed shy except now there's his dick in my mouth and then someone else’s no wait first someone else's mouth and then my mouth and then someone else's again oh the choreography on this bench of home in the back and every now and then a bright light but it's just someone checking his cellphone.

I want to talk about my facial expression, there's something about the way I look at guys here that tells them you’re mine yes get over here just kiss me right now I mean I do this weird thing where I kind of nod my head or not nod but the reverse where you lean up and then down with your chin not down and then up but mostly my eyes and the way I feel completely fearless. This is something I need to study and hold and keep for other places not known for the manifestation of desire in quite the same ways. The Cock is like a sex club except better -- crowded with the guys who I actually want to have sex with and they want me too, remember what I said once about the places where fashion trumps masculinity, this isn't quite one of those places but it's something about the way it's supposed to be edgy that forces down the traditional boundaries of gay masculinity or maybe it just lets me inside. Or maybe the boundaries still exist but they are crossed more, across age across fashion across demographic. Probably I could go to a bar with more inhibitions maybe even one of the bars next-door and no longer would some Chelsea guy or college realness or casual stubble fashion be reaching back for my crotch, instead that more common look of surprise mixed with disdain.

Of course not everyone is inside the boundaries of desirability, especially the guys with obvious facial wasting, guys not passing as 40s or younger who lurk in the shadows, literally lurking and waiting and lurking until they’re inside just by proximity and you feel that sudden mouth or hand before you see it, also the guys not passably muscular or skinny, especially when weight and race or age and weight combine like the fat black girls who join the lurkers right at the end where were they before? Or not quite lurkers because they’re pushing and grasping and taking too but still lurking and therefore getting but the end is the sad part I don't want to get there. So let's stay here, here on the bench in the back of the Cock with this guy’s cock in my mouth it doesn't matter whose cock really what matters is that I get to hug him soon or if I don't get to hug him at least I get to eat his come and then hug someone else or even make out with someone else's come in my mouth, what could be better? And when I kiss someone's neck and he's not interested, that's just part of the routine there's no fallout I'm not sure that would be the same in other places but here people lean into you and then you hug them and bite their necks and rub their chests and suck their cocks and sure people run away from time to time but there's always someone else.

When is the guy who was waiting in line for the coat check at the very beginning, I mean when does he come into the story, because I asked him if I could check his coat because I was getting in front of him the way everyone pushes forward and I could tell he wasn't pushing. And he said thanks, no one ever does that they just ignore you, and then later, yes later he comes up to me and says there you are and we're making out and then maybe it's him or maybe it's not him whose cock I'm sucking later later, after everything shifts to secretive and territorial but maybe eating his come is worth it I'm eating a lot of come tonight it's like some crazy fantasy except I wasn't even fantasizing about it I mean I wouldn't fantasize about eating this much come sucking this much cock it would seem like a joke, right? Although, truthfully, come just mixes with wet with spit with the liquid air and it's all that pain we are breathing.

Maybe the borderline is when the music changes from jumpy ‘90s queeny bitch house to bad top 40 diva rap, maybe that's when I should leave. Maybe right after I'm talking to another guy while I'm pissing, another kind of kissing, talking about how the music just became crap and he says it's just good dance music but then realizes I just called it crap and he gets confused. Maybe a language barrier he's European I like all the surprises in accents here when people talk I don't remember that as much before. I’ve already told myself that I'll leave before last call because that way I can get my coat before the rush and it's already 3:25 I should leave but I'm crazed for more this never happens this expansive flow of falling into arms and legs around cocks and eyes but eventually everything has quieted down except this group in the corner I can't tell if they're doing drugs or it's sex but they're pushed right up against each other like they're creating a secret space and when you try to look you can't quite see it until I see that someone's on his knees and then I'm there too, kissing this guy with mod hair, square bangs he's one of the cutest ones but ignored my earlier kissing, sometimes I realize that when they ignore me it makes them more excited later, I'm not sure how to explain it except the way he's kissing me, yes for more tongue and his cock, wow his cock I don't know how to explain what makes his cock so hot except wait, I guess it's him he's so pretty and cocky too there's a reason those words are the same but also the thickness and the way it’s so surprisingly hard, maybe surprising because he’s so coked out and that's probably where I get the coke in my mouth, he was the one creating the territory in the beginning and I should've stayed away for all those reasons but instead I'm on my knees for his cock, yes his cock is he one of the guys who comes in my mouth I'm not even sure.

But wait -- before this is the guy with the black glasses, he's back in he says you're fun and I’ve got him up against the wall until I say do you want me to suck your cock, I say it because there's something also shy about him and I can't say that I wait for him to answer but I can say that I'm down there, that's just before the one with the square bangs but this is where everyone is kind of frantic to come which is kind of hot when it's the guy up against the wall who was maybe in line with me, hot when it's just us but when people are practically pushing you over to get somewhere something now this they need it now pushing for one corner when it doesn't have to be in this corner before it felt like it was opening up to the world and now it feels secretive and desperate and there’s that numbness in my mouth just before or just after I come, not the way I would like to come, frantic too and not even hard because I've waited so long past blow jobs that weren’t working when they came from the people I wanted where they weren't coming from the people I wanted and anyway I like waiting I should keep waiting that's what I'm thinking after I come but I worry that later is when I'll feel more frantic but then there's that annoying part where all these people are pushing forward to get their lips around my dick or their hands on a little bit of that gunk and I have to push them all away just so that I can have something like an orgasm. Why can't it be all of us holding each other letting it all out with one collective sigh I mean not all at once but I don't know just present for someone else's needs this is the part where it doesn't feel like that it feels sad. Except then I’m making out with the guy with the black glasses again and he wants to go home with me but I don't want to go home with anyone at 4 am, you remember that from the beginning and then I'm in line at the coat check, worried that someone’s coke got in my mouth, worried that I didn't leave early enough because now I can smell smoke from outside, pot smoke just a few minutes before, I could've left earlier and everything would be fine I hate thinking this way.

Outside into the cold yes cold but it doesn't even feel cold anymore and some people are waiting around while others are frantic in the street for cabs and there's the guy with square bangs not mod but preppy, the bangs are actually quite short not all that much longer than a crewcut I should have mentioned that earlier, there he is in a tailored pea coat and I kiss him on the neck and you won't believe this, you really won't believe it. He says: thanks man.

Really. That's what he says. In this ridiculous butch dude voice like we’re in the frat together and I'm startled because I thought he was one of the queenier looking people in the bar. Oh well. The taxi driver is one of those straight guys who wants to talk about how gay guys flirt with him, this one goes to FIT, says he's probably the only straight guy fashion design student, can you imagine that? Gay guys are the best people to go out with, he says. Didn't I have this cab driver before?

Okay, so I'm trying to get in bed as soon as possible, after taking my immune tincture, throat spray, more amino acids, eating, worrying about whether I'm wired because of the coke, hating myself for not leaving earlier just a little bit earlier just a half hour earlier, amazed that when I stretch I can actually do this one thing that I haven't been able to do since my back locked up two weeks ago it seems like a long time but it was only two weeks maybe all the sex helped my back instead of hurting it, wondering if my sinuses will be destroyed, sad that I don't have someone to make out with that I don't have phone numbers that no one wants phone numbers at places like that where they think they shouldn’t give them out I mean almost no one, sad that it's over, wondering whether I should go back again before I leave even though the second time is never like, you know what I mean, wishing I didn't come and then I would still feel that amazing charge or at least that's what I tell myself, sad already because I was sad before and I'm sad again, sad that I didn't leave at exactly the right moment and when will I ever get back there, back to so much of what I want but I never get I mean I mean it's been years since something like this so flawed yet so perfect nothing nearly so perfect in years and I'm wondering again if I'm wired because of the coke even though it could only be a tiny tiny bit still I'm so fragile yet strong for those two hours I want that strength I want that piece of my heart that's missing without that space that kind of space I'm already missing and so often I feel like I've given up. Remember I was trying to regain a sense of hope in my own sexuality, a sense of hope I've lost and over the past year I feel like I've only lost more of that hope but then there are moments or make that hours like these when I get back to what I want, not quite the hope I'm looking for but at least a sense of opening and then I think oh, I have to get to that place I really really have to get to that place in me in so much I need to take all of the steps no matter how stupid or awkward or scary or lonely or desperate they feel, all of the steps I need to take them but I'm about to get on a plane, this is a week later it's already a week later and I'm really about to get on the plane I mean tomorrow. Already my sinuses are destroyed, nose running throat itching this morning even something like a cough in spite of all the remedies and herbs and formulas I've been taking in spite of all that I still feel congested and even without the congestion there’s that wall that spreads through my head that wall of longing to feel something other than this feeling that everything can only lead to this feeling. I'm getting on a plane tomorrow and I want to get off into dreams yes dreams two-and-a-half months away from San Francisco and I feel like now I can really do something I mean I know what I'm lacking and maybe I can do something to fix that lack that's how I feel now, before the plane, in spite of all the congestion, in spite of all the walls all the falls in spite of all the longing and collapse and more walls I think I'm ready for the search yes the search, before the plane.

Everything that fits everything

When this guy asks me why I'm at the Phoenix, I say this may sound strange but I'm here because I know there's no smoke. He wants to know if I read science books, or science fiction, or this other book that's not really either one but it’s about the way people with mental illnesses were treated at the turn-of-the-century and it's very sad. It's still sad, I say, maybe in a different way but it’s still sad. You're right, he says.

This is the guy who came up and asked if I wanted to talk to him, the guy sitting by the door that I clocked as someone with a speed problem, one of the other lonely characters in the bar I imagined and he wasn't drinking either. Lonely in a different way because maybe it's more obvious that he doesn't belong -- he's older, and doesn't fit any of the fashion types -- he's from Riverdale but he lives far out in New Jersey, he likes it better because of the trees. I know where Riverdale is because Andee worked there as a nanny in this enormous house that a married couple of anesthesiologists were renovating, Andee had a glamorous suite but I'm guessing this guy is from a different part of Riverdale not the rarefied mansions but the working class part he wanted to escape. He's a writer too, he writes contracts for ConEdison and when I tell him why I'm in this bar he wants to know if I’ve been to Christopher Street, sure it's right where I'm staying but it seems kind of quiet. I might go to Ty’s later, he says, and I could drive you over there. No thanks, I say -- I think I'm just going to walk around. Then he wants to know if I want to go to 311 Irving Plaza, what's 311 Irving Plaza? It's a gay bar, he found it on the internet and we could walk over there.

I'm getting hypoglycemic -- before I was talking to this guy I was staring out at the people at this bar and thinking oh, this is what a gay bar is like. There's nothing for me to do at a bar like this without dancing or sex and I'm talking to this guy whose eyes stare awkward and jerky and just then someone calls, unknown number, I'm going to answer this call I say and no way it's Andee, kind of late for her it’s close to 8 am in London. Hold on a second, I say, I'm going outside, and I say to the guy: it’s my friend Andee, who lived with me when I lived in New York I mean we went out together but now he lives in London, I'm going to go outside to talk to him but it was really nice meeting you. I like your sweater, he says, and touches my chest gently. Then I'm outside and Andee says where are you?

This is where I'm really sad, leaving this guy who everyone leaves I mean he's scared and no one's talking to him and then he touched my sweater and I hate gay bars there's no reason for me to go to gay bars and Andee says where are you?

I'm on Avenue A, walking by all the places we used to go together although to tell you the truth I wish Wonderbar was still open but if it was open there would probably be smoke and then I couldn't go there anyway and I'm going to that convenience store where we used to go because they had water that wasn't cold, lined up in the window, where is that convenience store is it this one? No, maybe it's not there anymore, oh here it this -- dammit I need to get something to eat but I don't want to go back to 2nd Ave. to the place with the vegan pizza because I'm going somewhere on Avenue C. to see if there's any smoke or maybe I'll go to 7A and get steamed vegetables.

I wish I were there with you, Andee says. If you were here, I say, we could go to the place with the vegan pizza -- you would like that place.

Okay, I need to get past steamed vegetables and past the bar that used to be Wonderbar maybe I should go in just to see but while I'm getting past there I notice that maybe mainstream gay people look at me differently here, they kind of seem interested like they're cruising me I mean the ones who aren’t immediately making fun of me but anyway I'm getting past that and past Avenue C. where the bar I'm going says it's closed for renovations now I'm getting to that point where my body is hurting from too much walking, even without a bag I left the house without a bag I was saying to Andee that's one thing I like about New York, that I can find something late at night that I can eat and Andee said a plane?

I know. A plane. She says it's the same distance to London, you should fly to London.

But then I wouldn't be able to get back.

New York is even preppier then I remembered, I mean it was always preppy but it seems preppier, even the fashionistas are wearing pea coats just something a little more tailored. Or one of those army-type jackets with big hoods, lined with fleece or fake fur, what’s the difference between an anorak and a parka? Gina has one that everyone wants and I have to look at it more closely to figure out exactly why. She wants it because it fits her, and it's warm she doesn't even have to wear a scarf but I know that's not why everyone wants it.

Anyway, then I'm walking towards a bar, just to go to a bar for a moment and flirt with someone and I need to piss anyway but maybe I should just go home I mean to where I'm staying but then I'm pissing on the corner because I can't decide and then I realize oh, the porn theater, that's better than a bar, and then I'm downstairs even though they're charging $10 and there's probably no one there but then there is someone, with one of those big army type jackets with a hood, the type of cologne which is maybe supposed to smell like something natural, here I'm thinking vetiver even if I don't know what that smells like and I kiss his neck, rub his chest but I can tell that's not what he wants so then down for his cock, yes for his cock yes finally it feels like finally even if I haven't been looking it feels like such a find, yes my lips and this moisture, this open mouth for everything that fits everything. Thrusting into my mouth this is my mouth and thrusting, hold, thrusting just what I need just this. He says I wish we were out there in the open, I'm not sure why since he wasn't cruising anyone else then he wants to open the door, sure, poppers but yes I could stay here forever except my feet will hurt and then he wants to take a break, maybe he's about to come or maybe drugs mean he's not going to come, why are you going to take a break here where there's no one else you want to have sex with it's empty except for three guys passed out and two brooding bruisers I know you weren't hot for because you were looking for me that's what I'm thinking but I say okay, wait I'll just go softly for a moment but then he's fucking my face yes he's fucking my faith until hand on the back of the head, yes on the back of the head and yes I can tell he's coming but I can't taste it maybe because it just goes right down my throat, yes.

I stand up to kiss him on the neck again, and then out of the booth I ask him if he's getting any exciting messages, since he’s poking at the phone, poke poke, he says he's checking his Facebook, I say this is a pretty nice space how come more people aren't here? He thinks maybe it's because of the arrests, there was a sign upstairs about people getting arrested for prostitution although it's hard to imagine much prostitution here and I think it's something else people are afraid of. I'm thinking about tailored pea coats and anorak jackets all slim and stitched all over the place, his is bigger, the tougher look but a gay voice unafraid and when I'm putting my layers back on, pulling up from sucking his cock he likes my sweater. This is the yellow one, women's cardigan with cable stitching although what is cable stitching? I want to know where else is fun, he says he's probably going home in a few minutes but I don't mean that I mean where to go for sex and, okay, the place of my former dreams the dreams when I lived in New York not quite dreams because I lived in New York I felt suffocated hard to dream except in those moments, dreams are always moments anyway and I'm right around the corner, he says there's no smoke should I trust him?

New School in Exile...

I didn't even know about the student takeover beforehand, but it was definitely exciting to join the festivities...




Thursday, December 18, 2008

Texture or appreciation or sensation or the other things that eating should nourish

But my craigslist posting, I want it to say let's keep making out, right that's what I want it to say. I mean he wanted to go home with me but it was already 4 am so I said let's get together later and then he was waiting outside I already knew I should've given him my number right away but I think he was waiting to see if I'd take him home anyway but then he wasn't waiting. That's not what I'm sad about. I'm sad because I'm sad.

This night became a long night, but it started out a short one, when it starts I don't even know if it's a night at all but I figure I should go out just to see. Out in the cold yes I love the cold when the air actually seems fresh I mean once it's over 45 or so it doesn't feel fresh anymore but 27 frigid degrees it's hard on my shoulders because I hold them up too high but oh the air yes the air yes. If I say that the subway feels like magic then maybe you'll think I'm having some kind of New York nostalgia moment except I hated the subway when I lived here but this is a short ride, a short ride is magic and the rest is everything that leads easily to despair. So anyway I get off the subway, magic into the East Village of long-ago dreams, dreams that started in high school when I wanted to live in a commune in this very neighborhood it seemed possible in my dreams even if those 1980s days were the beginning of the end for this neighborhood. Much later, in 1995 I stayed with Glenn when he lived across the street, before I lived in New York and it was a week of nonstop clubs and drugs and visits to the juice bar across the street which was Angelica's Kitchen. I don't remember eating there, and I'm not sure why.

Glenn was the other flaming fag from my school, I want to say high school but actually we went to the same school together from second grade through 12th and it was second grade when we were already the flaming fags not by choice but by something like choice, except without the possibility. Anyway I’m at Angelica's Kitchen in the overwhelm of the overheated, luckily I have a lot to take off -- two scarves, one wool coat, two wool sweaters, one longsleeved cotton shirt, one t-shirt, one sparkly plastic belt, one pair of corduroys, cotton boxers, wool socks, fake leather shoes. I don't take off the t-shirt, the belt, the corduroys, the boxers, the socks, or the shoes but if we lived in a better world then I would.

The hostess is wearing a short vintage dress that's exactly the same color as my coat and I love it. I would say a ‘60s dress but my grandmother said oh, that's like a coat from -- and when I said the ‘60s? She said the ‘40s, and I'm sure she was right because it's probably the kind of coat she might have worn and anyway this coat would look great with that dress but the coat would be too big for the hostess and the dress too small for me so let's leave it at that.

Once I take off all the layers that are permitted by polite restaurant behavior, and the food comes remarkably swiftly, maybe because I've arrived right before closing so they're thinking about getting away but anyway I'm sitting there eating, thinking there's something so meditative about eating out by myself, more calm than eating with someone even if beforehand it seems like it might be lonely. It's never like this when I eat at home, probably because it's the same food over and over I get bored even right at the beginning sometimes because of the lack of anticipation and maybe because I just eat so that I won't fall apart not so much for taste or texture or appreciation or sensation or the other things that eating should nourish so anyway if it wasn't so hot at Angelica's Kitchen it would be perfect.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New York, New York...


Fruit or something like it

This piece will start and end in the same place -- in bed, of course, and the second time feels better so does that mean I feel better too? Whatever might feel better fades into sinus sadness and I'm thinking about how my sinuses have actually stayed relatively undestroyed on this trip I mean they get bad but then they get better, maybe actually better than at home when I always wake up with at least one nostril closed and on this tour that hasn't happened as much. Makes me want to have more control over the interior of my living space, bring in an allergy expert and redo everything that needs to be redone but that would mean a different place that maybe I would own and that's not exactly on the horizon.

But what I'm thinking about is whether I felt this sad yesterday, could I have felt this sad? Yesterday I didn't write anything so there's no way of knowing. But wait -- I didn't write anything yesterday because I felt so sad, so sad I couldn't even write. So maybe today is better, although I can't deny that today the sadness is centered in my sinuses my sinuses I'm preparing for the onslaught of a plane.

I need to take a break, so I can steam some collard greens I'm going to take a lot of breaks so that I won't end up in too much pain but I'm not always going to tell you. You know that. It's hard to take breaks when there's so much to write, when I'm tempted to give it some start-to-finish linear structure that's tempting because you think it's not giving anything away. Like now, when I want to write a post on craigslist that says we were making out last night and you went outside to wait for me but the coat check took too long I mean it took forever because it was so crowded and that's after my lips didn't feel numb anymore but I got this rush in my head and I’m still wondered if that was someone else's cocaine residue I've wondered that before but this time with the numbness and then the rush and then standing in line and I got so annoyed and drained I couldn't speak it could've been hypoglycemia but I worried it was someone else's cocaine.

That didn't give anything away, not even what I wanted to give it. I meant to say: it's easier when something ends if you don't think it's the end. That was the guy who maybe I connected with the most, but he kept biting my tongue, ouch, and I said ouch even though really it didn't hurt it just seemed like it might hurt but not the way I might want it to hurt. I mean I don't want my tongue to hurt. The other one with a fruity taste in his mouth, the boy with a white button down shirt and jeans, who wears that kind of look at a slutty bar in the East Village, really? Apparently at least three guys in a similar demographic, because when I tried to find him again there were three guys who looked just about the same -- relatively short and skinny, short light brown hair almost a crew cut, white button down shirt untucked over jeans or something like jeans and I don't even think he was one of them. Or, if he was one of them, he wasn't the one who I kissed on the neck a few times thinking it was him but this new guy ignored me. Or maybe he was the original guy, you know how original he is but I didn't taste his tongue again in search of fruit or something like it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'll keep trying

I decide not to take the train. I would like to say that I decide to take the train at a later date, a later date when I might feel better, but that's just not the case. What’s actually true is that I decide not to take the train, I mean I decide not to take the train because it's not an option, other than on the date when I'm scheduled to leave, until after the holidays, because sleeper cars on the train are fully booked until after the new year. And I can't take the train now because of this back pain that wakes me up in the middle of the night and then I'm destroyed, every night it seems now, and it's pretty likely that this pain would get way worse on the train. Plus I'd have to wake up earlier than usual to catch the train, which always means that I don't sleep because I keep worrying that I'm sleeping too late, then I would arrive in Chicago at 9:45 am which is like arriving at the end of the world, and then stay in Chicago for only two days to somehow get groceries and cook for two extra days, and then get up too early again to catch the train with probably more back pain and who knows what else.

So I decide not to take the train, and I guess you probably know what that means. I'm having trouble saying it, because when I say that a plane destroys my life for two months I really mean it, really really mean it and. And I'm taking a plane. A first-class seat, just in case that helps, but still a plane and I want to think it will be okay, I mean I'm doing it so that it won't cause me more pain, I want to feel great on the day that I get on the plane, I want to feel like maybe this time will be different and when I get off the plane it will be like nothing bad has ever happened to me, blue sky inside and outside or maybe that's too much I'm getting carried away I just want to think that maybe it'll be okay. I thought that last time, two years ago when I got stuck in Chicago and ended up taking off in a plane and even when I arrived it felt relaxing I thought maybe this is the answer. And then. And then.

So it's hard not to feel like it's the beginning of the end. I have a week to rest, and I'm hoping that helps, but it hasn't helped yet I mean maybe it would help if I could rest I mean sleep without interruption that's rest, right? I'll keep trying.

Today there's not as much sun or I don't get out early enough

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This is the night

There's something so amazing about that moment when I get in bed and think oh, this is what I should be doing all the time this is the best thing I've ever done in my life this is what I need thank you thank you thank you. Sometimes that moment even lasts into sleep that comforts and when it's interrupted I sink right back in and think oh, this is the night, this is the night when everything.

Except. Except it's not that night, because then I'm turning back and forth and at first that's okay too I just tell myself I'll fall back asleep soon, soon I'll fall back asleep it's okay I'm just awake for a moment it's okay. But then there's that pain in the middle of my back, that pain between my shoulder blades and then. And then. And then there's that pain, that pain between my shoulder blades. And then I'm awake, really awake and thinking about everything that's gone wrong just little details every little detail and it all leads to how the hell am I going to leave to go back to San Francisco on the train when I'm already in all this pain how the hell am I going to get back to sleep with all this pain how the hell am I going to get back to San Francisco?

So then tonight's the night well now it's day I might as well admit it’s day it's day it's day! It's day and I get out of bed to take amino acids maybe amino acids will calm me and then back in bed to call Gina to say not today, today I can't meet I can't meet today even though it's the only day to meet and edit our movie there's too much pain. And then I'm laughing because I'm delirious and I can't form full sentences I know what I want to say but it doesn't come out right. Delirious is better than panic I’ll take delirious any day oh it's okay in this big white bed white sheets white comforter white walls white shutters and not too much light because it's raining and it's the ground floor this is New York there's not too much light anyway and on days like today that's comforting.

Oh, but I can't meet today I mean I think I can't meet no I can't meet I mean what am I saying? That's how my sentences go, eventually I'm talking about that moment right when I get in bed and I think oh this is everything I've ever needed everything here between my body and these sheets my body in these sheets sometimes I even like my body in that moment but I don't say that. I say and then it never lasts, it never lasts it never lasts it never lasts.

And then it takes me a few moments to notice I'm not just laughing I'm crying too, crying in with the rhythm of the laughter the laughter the tears and the white sheets the comforter too warm except now it actually feel comforting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Republic Windows and Doors, hopefully only the beginning...

After a five-day worker occupation of the Chicago factory, apparently the workers' demands have been met and the sit-in will end. Of course this is an exciting result, but it seems that the workers will still lose their jobs and the factory will still move elsewhere -- here's to more inspiration from South American factory occupations -- five days, five years, or permanent...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A few discreet photos from the reading...



Here's where I used to live, when I lived in New York, but they've seriously upgraded it...

The balconies are brand-new, they moved the entrance around the corner, got rid of the lampshade factory on the first floor (just below my former apartment, great for my sinuses!) and somehow redid the brick exterior on the first floor so now there is a two-story apartment -- there are three apartments per floor instead of two now, and they replaced the windows and took the bars off -- now the apartments go for $2700-$6000, depending on the view (when I lived there it was $890 for a huge loft and I split that with someone else) -- but what's across the street is still the same...



Soon enough, I know -- but first...

Some famous messes sang all you need is love but all I need is sleep, that's what I'm thinking today when I feel better I mean at first it's confusing outside because there are so many people, is it a weekend? No, it's a Tuesday, and I don't feel better yet just confused about the warmer weather which means more pollution and all these people coming right at me I'm trying to get fresh basil for my lentils but they don't have it at either Lifethyme or Integral Yoga so I'm on the way to Hell Foods but when did Hell Foods get so far I mean I know I'm hypoglycemic and it's the beginning of the day, when I throw on an outfit with a hat so I can get outside before showering and of course I haven't eaten enough.

This Hell Foods really is Hell, with the produce in the basement and a color-coded video screen at the checkout line to tell you go to one of the 50 counters, but let's fast-forward to afterwards, when I'm sitting at the bus stop, that’s something new a bus stop here on the corner since I can't sit in Union Square they’ve covered the whole thing with the holiday gift booths I mean you can't even find the stairs. But wait, after I eat the brussel sprouts I actually feel calm and clear and ready for some kind of sexual adventure it's so different when I'm horny and I’m not just trying to get out of exhaustion I mean I know that will come soon enough like even now as I'm writing this but still I like this moment of possibility.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A drill -- getting drilled? No, just this drill in my back not that kind just ouch no more drill!

So here's the thing: I always say that when I'm in DC or when I see my mother I sink into this deep, dark depression and I start thinking that's the only reality I should just stay there who am I kidding by trying to find anything else? but then once I leave it actually clears, even if I don't believe it will clear it does or maybe it doesn't clear but it gets better. Which happens right when I get off the train in New York and immediately I'm all excited I guess New York is exciting, exciting upon arrival, and then I actually sleep pretty well so the next day is smoother than I thought but then there's today, after waking up in the middle of the night without a way to turn without pain, this drill right in the middle of my back between shoulder blades it's worse when I'm on my side, either side but it's not so much better on my back either. Usually I talk about sinus pain as a drill through my head but this is a different kind of drill: turn, no, turn the other way, no, get up? I don't want to get up.

Then the next day it's hard to do much I mean I don't want to do that much anyway but I don't want to feel like I can't do anything. I’ve banned myself from craigslist because in DC I went there when I was so tired I couldn't function and that didn't exactly help me to function. Usually on tour I go to a lot of sex clubs but this time I've been too tired or maybe it just seems like a distraction or maybe I'm too tired and it seems like a distraction. You know the drill between loneliness and alone, that one hurts too. There's nowhere to go in New York, anyway, nowhere that would be fun except maybe a few places with too much smoke and I'm not going to risk that.

Of course there's that other kind of drilling people talk about, on knees or bent over and I wouldn't turn it down if it were approaching me on the street sometimes I see it in people's eyes but then there's the cold and everything else and I don't know if it's really what I'm seeing anyway.

This drill comes from inside, in the middle of my back it's strange how, as soon as I mention the construction metaphors of sex then this pain sounds funny too but it's not funny so I'm going to have to go back and think of different words or make them work in a different way it meets with the words I can do that. It almost seems like everything I can do aggravates this pain, sex too I'm certain though I'm not certain I can do that. Definitely when I'm sitting at this table or holding my shoulders up high in the cold, or sleeping I guess, sleeping seems to aggravate it the most and I'm thinking of going to a movie except I think that might be just as bad, I have to sleep but I don't have to go to this movie. Or not now, anyway. Although I'm not sure what else to do. Here I am trying to catch up on writing, but really I don't have enough energy for writing either.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Two more events in New York -- please spread the word...

These are the final two events of my tour before I head back to San Francisco -- please help make them special...

QT Reading Series at Dixon Place
Tuesday, December 9, 7:00 pm
(with Douglas A. Martin and Magdalena Zurawski)
161 Chrystie Street (just above Delancey)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-0736
www.dixonplace.org

So Many Ways to Sleep Badly in BROOKLYN
Wednesday, December 10, 7:30 pm
WORD
126 Franklin St.
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 383-0096
www.wordbrooklyn.com

It might be the earrings

When Rose answers the door, she has a big bruise on her face like someone hit her but I know it's from falling -- this is the first time I've seen her when she doesn't look made up and ready for the glamour shot. I'm guessing she's letting go of that or maybe she's in too much pain. Probably too much pain. She says where did you get those pants I've never seen pants like that in my life -- and that belt! And, to my mother -- can't you afford to buy him some clothes?

No, my mother says, I can't, as if the issue isn't my self-expression but my mother's finances. This is the game my mother is playing with Rose because she wants to make sure she inherits whatever Rose has to offer, which is certainly way less than she already has, like maybe a quarter as much is what I'm guessing. But she acts like Rose is the one with the money. I have to look at you because I haven't seen you in so long, she says. Rose says oh those earrings, do you have to wear those earrings? We're at the kitchen table with the bright fluorescent light and my mother is busy acquiring things -- oh, these glasses, they’re beautiful -- there are 12 of them, Rose says, they’re from my wedding but I still have the whole set -- they’re champagne glasses and I have another set of wine glasses and another for brandy, and you can have those glasses any time you want -- I won't be using them anymore. Oh, my mother says, that would be great because you know I entertain.

I'm wondering if my mother wants to sell the glasses -- what will she do with three sets?

Upstairs in the studio, we’re looking at Rose’s art, more things my mother wants to acquire and I'm supposed to put my name on the paintings I want, want when Rose dies I guess because that's what Allison and my mother do and I don't totally understand this process because what will any of us do with dozens and dozens of paintings and paperworks and collages, hundreds altogether but I pick a few for my apartment and then I guess I am putting my name on things but I'm not sure why -- it's not like I have anywhere to put big oil paintings, but I don't know when I'll be back here so I'm trying to find this one series that I like the most but there are none from that series around.

Back in the kitchen, Rose wants to tell me that all my health problems might be caused by my earrings, so I go in the other room. When I return, she's talking about how she has to eat more, if she doesn't eat more then she won't get stronger so the doctors tell her to eat every hour on the hour but she can't do that -- but I gained 4 pounds, she said, now I'm all of 90. Then she says: you're getting a beer belly. I say what, I don't even drink. She says but that's what they call it, you're getting a beer belly, you'll have to exercise. I say I can't exercise, I keep trying to find something that I can do without hurting myself but I can't find anything. She says why? I say have you not witnessed anything that's been going on for me in the last 10 years? She says if you're talking about the fibromyalgia... I interrupt her: then I should take Lyrica.

I can see Rose smile at the corner of her eyes, exactly like my father, she's smiling because she’s succeeded in getting me angry. Like all those childhood battles over dinner, battles to get me to eat more but of course what really mattered was control, I can feel myself flushing and maybe that's because it's so hot in here too but now my mother is maybe studying my body or maybe it's just the way I become self-conscious and hate myself, hate my body there's nothing I would rather do than exercise the only time I kind of liked my body and then. I go in the other room. This is when I realize that childhood ends and it never ends, we can escape but we never escape.

The next day, Rose wants to know if I remember one of the pictures that's on her refrigerator, where I’m maybe six which is as old as I get in these pictures no I guess I get up to 12 or 13 that period when I looked traumatized at all times. In this picture I’m maybe six and Rose says you and Allison were excited about the idea of an electric blanket so you got under the covers and you were watching the American Ballet with Baryshnikov -- this was the first time you were staying somewhere without your parents and they called to see what you were doing. Allison said we’re watching Baryshnikov!

Rose points to a picture in the top left corner of the refrigerator -- that's your father, she says. With the dog we had at the time, on Milford Avenue, I guess that must have been 50 years ago. We had every pet you could have -- dogs, cats, fish but we had to get rid of those because they would eat the guppies so I would stay up all night scooping them out and putting them in other bowls. What are those small rodents that don't live very long? Hamsters. That's right -- hamsters, we had hamsters. Rabbits, we had rabbits. One time Marvin brought a live chicken, a tiny little chick -- but we had to get rid of that pretty quickly because you can't give a little kid a live chicken -- you eat chicken all the time.

Back in the studio after my mother leaves, this is where my grandmother and I can connect -- when she takes out a painting and says it's not finished yet and I say maybe that part in the middle stands out too much and she looks and says I think you're right. Or, on another: do you think that red is bright enough? Or, on the third one, when I say that I don't like the gold diamonds in the top left corner because they stand out too much and she says those are one of her favorite parts but then, a few minutes later, she says you might be right about that. It's funny that I might be right about her artwork, but never about myself.

I want something more emotional and present but I don't know how to get there I mean I don't know if Rose is interested. When we’re facing each other at the table again, I say: it's good to see you. She says: it would be good to see you without those earrings, you're welcome to visit any time without those earrings.