… a cold … i blame the cats … adventures in house-sitting and holiday reading …

Well, I did return to the gym yesterday evening. Two trips in one day. The truth about the second trip is that I felt myself coming down with a cold. Runny nose, sneezing, pressure in my ears. I thought, maybe – just maybe – I could sweat through it and sauna it away. Alas. Did. Not. Happen.

Now, another truth is: I almost NEVER get sick. Never have. So, I am not complaining. Once upon a time, when I smoked, I used to get bronchitis – debilitating bronchitis with a spine-misaligning, wall-rattling hacking that lasted for weeks – but, I haven’t had that in – well, a really long time. I also, a few years ago, started having periodic bouts of vertigo, the first of which made it impossible for me to walk or close my eyes or recline without vomiting – but, after a few lesser recurrences, that too passed.

So, yes. Very healthy. Very lucky. And so I had to ask myself: HOW THE HELL AND WHERE THE HELL DID THIS RIDICULOUS NOT EVEN SEPTEMBER NOSE RED AND RUNNING SNEEZING LIKE A FOOL COLD COME FROM?

Well, of course; there can be but one explanation. CATS.

Bone Season Kitty

Yes, I HATE CATS. The musical and the animal. It has been my experience that cats are haughty and nasty and secretive and deceptive and tricky and just generally piss on what’s important to you when they don’t get their way – or – just are in a bad mood. Come to think of it, that pretty much describes – in my experience – the people who like cats as well. (Not you A(sq)- and sorry – but you won’t read this for two months anyway … so …).

Now, truth (that pesky thing again) is. these three here – the three cats I am watching here at this beautiful home I am inhabiting while its owners tour the continent –

(BITTER ASIDE: They’re in Italy, eating real Italian cuisine and enjoying Italian men (which are wasted on both of them – the men, NOT the food, the food they’ll LOVE – I’m eating Wegman’s takeout)

-whilst I am here with their two wonderful doggies, Tess and Gwennie, and these three not quite as awful as usual cats. (Sorry, to me cats are always just tomorrow’s special at the local Chinese place that was cited by the health department lately- so I don’t bother to learn their names.)

And, the one in the pic (you can see I have chosen the “next holiday weekend book” to which I referred in prior post) likes to sit right by my head as I am reading (or binge watching television) and so – OF COURSE – it makes sense, the damn thing gave me a cold.

Which is why I am up at 6:30 in the morning, blowing my nose and being snotty (hahahaha – shit – do I have a fever?) and just generally being pissed off about my holiday weekend being upended by a kitty.

OUT DAMNED CATS! OUT! cat mean

book talk … a reading club of one old man all alone … recent updates …

I have a book club. And like everything else in my life that most people do with other people, I do it alone. Here’s the update.

A long holiday weekend is about to begin, and while little in my current life keeps me from reading for hours at a time most any day, one of the things from my old life about which I was actually fond – to which I actually looked forward – were holiday weekends when I knew I might luxuriate in long hours of reading (or television marathons when I was too intellectually lazy or tired to read). So, heading into this Labor Day trio of unfilled days, empty of invitations – it seems fitting to catch up my two followers on what I have been reading.old man alone

When last I mentioned reading I had just finished “Beautiful Ruins” and quite enjoyed it. Since then I have read a book lover/mystery cozy by Lorna Barrett called “Murder is Binding” which was okay in that it was fast and frivolous and like a bon-bon, if not quite a dark chocolate/salted caramel delight.

After that I read Leslie Kelly’s “Don’t Look Away” (CLICK HERE TO BUY THE 3.99 EBOOK!). (TRUTH: LESLIE KELLY IS A FRIEND OF MINE – read about her here) This is a crime novel set in the future after the White House has been blown to bits and it creates a very believable world full of chips implanted in brains which can be retrieved after (and before, actually) death and – well – it’s complicated and great fun and Leslie really knows how to write and plot. She is especially gifted at relationship tension building and sex scenes.

Next in my reading came the much recommended by everyone who knows me from friends my own age to my teen niece, “The Fault in Our Stars”. I did like it very much. John Green is quite a gifted writer. The book is not exactly perky – topic wise – but it avoids the cloying mess of cliche it might have been in the hands of almost anyone. The accomplishment of writing a teen romance wherein both have terminal cancer and managing to make it about being alive is something profound and rare and I am glad I read it.

Then, just fifteen minutes ago, I finished one of the hot, new reads, “The Silent Wife” by A.S.A. Harrison. I should – after all these years – know better than to listen to hype. People (publicists, I presume) compared it to “Gone Girl” (which I thought was brilliantly composed but ultimately disappointing – as in, I hated the ending but loved the writing) and so I – idiotically – assumed this would be equally artfully done. It’s not. Far be it from me to trash a writer – that is in no way what I mean to do – I just mean that “The Silent Wife” does not have the intricacy of psychological nuance and plotting that “Gone Girl” did and feels – ultimately – contrived as opposed to lived.

Middle CSo, that’s what I’ve been reading – and now I must choose between a stack including “The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon and “The Virgins” by Pamela Erens and “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl and “Middle C” by William H. Gass (CLICK HERE to read NPR’s take on this novel and genius writer) and “The Gallery” by John Horne Burns as far as novels go. For non-fiction, I am in the middle of “Manson” by Jeff Guinn, but finding it tough going – nothing wrong with the writing, just the weight of the sorrow of the life and the lives ruined is a bit much for me right now; and I have “Zealot” by Reza Aslan waiting, along with “Fairyland” by Alysia Abbott and “Dreadful” by David Margolick … so, I’ve plenty to read.

Of course, who’s to say that I won’t end up prone, binge-watching television? I’m feeling a bit neglected and unloved – which has nothing to do with the marvelous people in my life and everything to do with my peckish and peevish inability to like myself.

Can I just say, I have already been once to the gym today and am thinking of going again because I caught sight of myself while changing clothes earlier and I cannot fathom how I can be spending the amount of time I am spending on cardio-machines and weights, keeping my heart rate at a ridiculous (and ever increasing – I keep challenging myself) level and STILL LOOK LIKE A SAGGY AWFUL UGLY OLD MAN?

Yeah. Not a good time here. Happy Holiday! (P.S. I have been stripped to my boxers and t-shirt since mid-afternoon, lazing on couch, reading and looking a slug – I am only waiting for 7pm to start having wine. If only I had been invited out for cocktail hour, I’d have started at 5. Alas. Still waiting for a strapping youth on the downlow to show up and knock on the door for some never to be revealed homo-fun. Alas, they all get so busy on a holiday weekend. Of well, if you qualify – and have nothing better to do- message me – but hurry, I’m about to start another book!)

… oh … it’s a holiday … and I’m alone …

One of the benefits of living in my own little hermit hut is that the concerns of the outside world really have to work hard to find me and get in the door. One of the disadvantages of living in my own little hermit hut is that the concerns of the outside world really have to work hard to find me and get in the door.

For example; I really didn’t register until this morning when a friend told me that she and her family were leaving for the beach that this was one of those “holiday weekends”.

In the olden days, in the olden life, I used to have “things to do” on this (and other) particular holiday. No more.

This morning I read a quote on Twitter from Maggie Nelson; “Loneliness is solitude with a problem.”

I’m not sure.

I have always had a gift and a need for solitude. Growing up in a small house with so many people, I think, gave me early on an appreciation of the treasure and luxury of alone-time. Solitude is beautiful. There is time to read, there is space to just be with no one watching or wanting or needing or expecting.

I learned about loneliness not in those periods when I was blessed to experience solitude, but, rather, loneliness happened when I found myself with a person or people who either did not understand me and my needs, or, worse, did not respect those needs.

I confess that when i changed my life in order that I might not suffer that sort of over-populated loneliness, I very much expected that taking such a positive, affirming step (despite its rather high cost on many levels) would open a space in my heart and life that would be filled with people (or a person) who would assuage those years of that sort of loneliness.

It seems that I was quite wrong. In fact, quite the opposite has happened. It turns out that all those years I was willing to compromise myself to serve the needs of others had the effect of warping my soul and heart into things that – having so long been denied and twisted to the purposes of others – no longer are strong enough to hold shape, to sustain me.

This is a warning, my friends: the Heart and Soul and Psyche are NOT so elastic. And when you have spent enough time denying yourself joy, denying yourself expression, putting your needs on hold to serve others; well, eventually you will have lost who you were – and the fact that you SO disrespected YOU, tacitly gives the Universe and others the same permission.

And that betrayal of self is a kind of loneliness that echoes louder than all the picnics to which you are not invited, the parties you are never told about, the crab feasts that go on without you, and all the other events from which you will find yourself disincluded – and what, after all, can you expect? When by doing and being and bending yourself to what all those people needed and wanted without taking into consideration what YOU needed and wanted, what did you do but DISINCLUDE yourself?

Ok. Back to my books. And that silly fantasy about some secret someone out there who will show up to help ease this alone-ness.

… 140 characters … cuz I think I should shut up …

My Tweets.

2pm: I loiter in the x-walk, daring the white-haired doyenne driving the BMW to make me her hood ornament. I’m all death-wish, all the time now.

5pm: Should I go to the gym? Or troll Craigslist? Decisions.

7:30pm: Compromise reached: 2 hours at gym. 2 bottles of wine & 2 dark chocolate/salted caramel candies purchased on way home from 2 hrs at gym.

8pm: “Can I again see you in year? 3 days I leave to sail boat for 12 months. I wish we had met last 6 months.” MY FUCKING LUCK.

2 min later: PS. NOT that kind of sailor. He’s an OLDER THAN ME-HA! Brazilian architect whose wife died 2 yrs ago & he can’t ever be with another woman.

1 min later: Don’t tell me I don’t know how to pick em!

1 min later: Why is it that 90 minutes on treadmill/bike w/my heart rate over 170 hasn’t made me forget everything? MORE WINE! MORE CHOCOLATE!

5 min later: Petite Sirah. It’s what’s for dinner. Who needs food?

SOOOOOO … here’s the thing … I have been trying to “get back out” in the world but doing so without anyone to whom I can talk about it. (I miss Steve.) And – here’s the thing – I FINALLY met someone I really really REALLY liked who wasn’t a felon or married or – in fact – TWO people I really liked – and – here’s what happened –

1) It was clear after a few evenings that he was NOT into me in the way I was into him; he was WAY better looking than me, too good looking to waste time with me, and – I guess, 35, maybe, too young. Even though I am now 42. And, P.S. – named Sebastian. And so – well – no more details – but, yeah …

2) He was older than me (can you believe that? Maybe a first.) And I really REALLY liked him – although his grasp of English was in the formative stages – his wife died a few years ago and he’s seen NO ONE since then. He ONCE – when he was fourteen – had a “thing” with a male friend, and he loved his wife SO MUCH – he cannot stand the thought of being with another woman, so, he thought, “Okay, maybe I should see if I can date a man again.” And, I was that man. And we REALLY hit it off. And then he told me he was leaving because the world was too much for him – had been too much for him – he was going to sail by himself for a year – which he’d been planning for six months and he “did expect not to someone meet who would make me smile – but – sad – you are so sad like I am and – can I again see you when I come back from the ocean?”

Jesus fucking christ.

I wish someone would shoot me. And then again, my dearest dear dear dear friend, one the A’s(squared) – gave me 10 – YES TEN – OH MY GOD – Pupitre notebooks. So now – shit – I owe it to her to write a novel I can dedicate to her – I’ll write it while waiting for my sailing Brazilian architect to come back …  unless, of course, he’s lying.

I hate my fucking life. I knew I should NEVER have started “dating” again.

… i have to go soon … when I stopped believing in god(s)(and men) …

I met the man I want to marry and in all probability, I will never see him again. I will always remember him saying, “I have to go soon.”

I haven’t believed in anything in such a long time except for not believing and now, to hear the echoing plaint of, “I have to go soon” in my head, the thing is, it’s another take-away, another subtraction, even if it is just a memory. It took me (again) takes me (over and over) to that place where … I stopped believing in god(s).

I was on the way home from my mother’s birthday party. Given the vicissitudes and mutations of truth and practiced emotional manipulation which pass for “love”, along with the casual betrayals borne from such dishonesty, not to mention the resultant near legendary level of dysfunction, denial and delusion required to pretend it’s all okay in which most of my family members operate, and considering I had been talked against my better judgment into attending this – her 85th – the first “family” gathering to which I had gone in a few years: I thought it had gone as well as might be expected.

I didn’t cry. I managed – horrified that life had come to this – to locate myself at the end of the table and walk to the buffet and eat with and speak to those who came to that end or approached me on the way to or from buffet without breaking into pieces. I thought this a good thing. An accomplishment. Because – inside – I was vibrating with horripilation, and feeling that all too common to my life of grinding glass, gut-level evisceration, twisting and tearing  through my viscera, what little was left of my belief in love and faith and loyalty bleeding out. A screaming ache of “how could you have done what you did?”

But, I had managed to maintain – mostly – my dignity. When people who knew what I had been through chose to disregard that, determined that loving and supporting me meant – for them – that my dignity and their loyalty were negotiable, that I was not entitled to have my soul and the reality of my experience honored; well, I tried NOT to talk about it. I didn’t – as I hadn’t in the initiating experience – start canvassing for votes, or spinning the story.

It is what it is. You know me or you don’t. If you need me to explain myself, if you need me to campaign for you, then, well, you see, there we are.

But, having said that and learned that and experienced JUST HOW MANY people want to be spun; just how many people who have claimed to love you and know you will gladly throw you under a bus and then, on top of it, when you refuse to plead a case – a case you should NEVER have had to mention in the first place – they will then feel not only justified, but entitled to trash you further (thus relieving themselves of guilt and responsibility) – I had become increasingly more reclusive and distrustful.

I was not interested in proving anything. Nor, frankly, in trusting people. Or God. Still a capital “G” then. I had believed in a greater power since early youth. Sure, its shape had changed. And by then, my mother’s birthday – by which time I had lived through quite a few betrayals and casual cruelties from those who had once claimed themselves my dearest and nearest – my belief in even that sort of vague, omniscient but mostly disinterested bottom line of Love and Light had faded into – well. Faded.

And so, there I was, in the car, with my mother, on the way home. My phone buzzed. Long story short, someone from half away across the country had been contacted by someone who had been at the party who determined that I had been purposefully cruel and not spoken to them. I was – in no uncertain terms – told about myself.

The. Last. Un-bloodied. Un-scarred. Piece. Left. Of. Me. Broke.

And I knew there was no God. No god. No foundation of Love or Light. That love and light and god were not things that should be capitalized. I had been demonized. I was – in yet more people’s stories – “wrong” and “bad” and should explain myself and should do this and do that and –

No. No, I shouldn’t. I should have lived a life in which I wasn’t constantly asked to calibrate my needs to adjust for everyone else’s. I should have surrounded myself with people who didn’t think they were doing me a favor by letting them use me as a character in their story, and then get pissed off when I had my own plot that needed to be told.

These are not “bad” people. And, whatever the reason, the plots they need to tell and live require that I be cast as a villain; that my reality be fungible in accordance with their needs and twists and spins. Okay. It is what it is. But whatever it is, was, whoever was there and whoever they were and I was, it bled me dry for a very long time, and when I tried to stop the bleeding, those who might have carried me on a stretcher, salved or bandaged, instead – many of them –  thought instead it would be better to dig at the wounds, or blame me for having been stabbed and dug at and picked at.

Okay. But if there was a “G”od or a “L”ight or a “L”ove – those people – they would NOT have done what they did (and didn’t) – and I would not have been in that car on that way home from that birthday party feeling like I’d survived something, made a step, had a small victory on the way back to normalcy only to be attacked.

And honestly, recently, I’ve begun to miss my old concept of god. I prayed, every night, before I went to sleep – for decades. I talked to god, a lot. And you know, one needs a god with whom to talk about those things that are too private for – oh, forget it – back to my mother’s birthday and the texting I received –

Did I cry? Yes. Was I angry? For a moment. But, finally, what happened is, I went numb. It was a level of hurt I’d never imagined and it came from the very last people I’d ever have expected could have caused it, and, with that, finally, I realized that there was no safety, there was no one who could be trusted not to break what little heart one could keep safe. And so I closed it. No longer open for business.

Which, well, I should have been better about meaning. I should have sealed things, hermetically. Because, somehow I was snuck into, somehow I believed someone  – however briefly and foolishly – and those few, too – oh forget it. I, too, have to go soon – if only I had gone soon enough to avoid all of this.

War, did you say? … but I’m having lycanthrope withdraw … or, WHAT, NO DYLAN O’BRIEN TONIGHT?

Well, I survived Monday night without a new TEEN WOLF on MTV.

Greeks & Greek LoveI know. I’m a cliché. But my devotion to these ephebes is nearly ascelpiun (that is more commonly “aesculapian” – but that’s Roman, and my yearning is TOTALLY Greek, my friends) and – in particular – Dylan O’Brien, who plays Stiles. Yes. I know. He only just turned 22, and I have turned – well, let’s not talk about my recent de-aging – that’s what fantasy is about people. This is why I am reading James Davidson’s “The Greeks and Greek Love: A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World” (Click here for a review from Slate, CAVEAT – it’s from 2009, so some of its zeitgeist-ian info is outdated). Sometimes – often – the cultural bias in which we are all drowning closes off too many doors, creates too much tension, distracts us to such a degree that – well, wait.

Not today.

I cannot bring myself to snark and ruminate on those topics I’d planned; so, the accusations of misogynist bias and cant in the criticisms of Miley Cyrus at the VMAs will have to wait (except to note that while some of it was that, indeed, I wrote an almost identical critique of Bieber of late, and thus, I feel my feminist cred is unassailable – but all you SEX-FEAR-ers out there, watch out when I get around to this topic); and too, on hold, the spate of essays and articles discussing the pathologization of almost EVERY mood other than “Happy” (CLICK HERE) – and the sub-text of this movement: it is being encouraged and funded by investments from multinational drug corporations that they might turn everyone into a junkie by the age of likely to be diagnosed ADD-HD ten or eleven. And too, let us not forget the continued screwing of the average person by the elite, rich and ever more powerful ruling class, evidenced by the increasingly inequitable distribution of wealth in the world (CLICK HERE).

All worthy and important topics on which I’ve a lot to say. However. They pale. In comparison to: Syria. Egypt. Chemical Weapons, War. Drones.

What the hell?

A strike on Syria is likely to come within the next few days. Read here. But, there is no good option in Syria – probably none of the “solutions” likely to be chosen will do much good (READ HERE) – and all of the options involve killing and choosing sides among “sides” who have behaved despicably; sides, I might add, all of which have been partially funded by – and, in many ways, created and encouraged by the United States CIA. I mean – what in the world sort of world have we made?

And, if I am a part of that “we” – what can I do – actually DO – today – in my REAL LIFE – to somehow fix this?

I am, usually and determinedly, shallow. I have spent a great deal of life-energy disconnecting myself from a culture – the norms and assumptions of which – hold very little interest for me; I consider myself well on my way to being above the fray and out of the rat race and off the treadmill of that ridiculous quest to belong to the “successful” – I like to think I have seen what a sham this is, what a carrot in front of the never going to get there horse kind of world we live in – a world where we are all seen – truly – as just so much future glue –

But now, this Egypt and Syria thing; on the heels of the release and non-responsibility bestowed upon Trayvon Martin’s murderer; and the ongoing “far right” demonization of gays and minorities; and – all the rest. Oh, all the rest … it is exhausting me.

And I want to be in a place – in a state of mind and heart – where I can make jokes about “Teen Wolf” and go Greek on Dylan O’Brien and other 22 year olds for whom I lust – but, soon, if we go on this way, those 22 year olds are going to be off killing one another – for what?

FOR WHAT? AND WHAT CAN I DO? I’ll tell you – and this is definitely TMI – but, in the past few years I have come to see every relationship and define every connection by measuring what its loss will do to me; all my love, all my connection now is about anticipation of its inevitable end; how long will you last? What are you worth? Ten minutes and without a name? Two hours and an alias? A weekend and … or, a few years and then the breakdown born of having trusted and believed again or …

And so, this new coverage in which everyone seems to agree that more people must die and even with that, there is no good answer or outcome – HOW DID WE COME TO THIS? As usual, when I need to self comfort, I turn to musical theatre. From Andrew Lippa’s “THE WILD PARTY”, here is the inimitable, unbeatable, glorious, Julia Murney, singing, “How Did We Come to This?”

… Miley … get off the (bleeping) Molly …

I watched the VMA’s last night. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the red wine I was sipping. Maybe it was because I was feeling old and out of touch and found solace in the notion of watching a video music awards show sponsored by a channel that no longer actually shows videos; I mean, there’s some resonance there with my life, right? I’m still deluding myself that I am somehow relevant to and have a place in modern culture, and use this blog to comment on the zeitgeist. Yes, I’m not so different from MTV and this, my blog, is my daily VMA thingy.

(If you want to ACTUALLY read about the VMA’s – click here for an article with pics in The Daily News)

So, the VMA’s deigned to exalt Gaga into the opening spot, from which holy perch she appeared, looking strangely Little Edie-esque (I kid you not)  her face protruding from what is commonly called – in public restrooms and certain sub-cultures familiar with Little Edie and Stephen Sondheim(not just his musical theatre oeuvre – but his rumored proclivity for the seamier side as well) – a glory hole (definition: click here), which she blessedly shed in order to up-tempo herself into an overly-choreographed, costume and wig changing spectacale; her usual exhibitionist extravaganza of flash and phantasm, fondling the audience into an appreciative orgasm.

I came too. But I’d had a lot of wine by then (I know – it was only 9pm – but …) and it wasn’t even the morning after when I started feeling cheap and used; it was, in fact, but a few minutes later, and I was a melancholy damn mess – thinking GaGa little but a bus and truck troupe-type imitation of Bette Midler – who used to really know how to do this sort of thing. No one has any real emotional heft anymore; no one has anything of depth to say; and there I was, red-wine soaked, all alone again, sadly without the cellphone digits of the fellow who’d felt me up in the sauna earlier in the day (read about it here), my mood deteriorating into MacBeth territory: All that sound and fury, signifying … what? Oh, right: NOTHING.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5

But, I didn’t really understand NOTHING until I had “watched” the rest of the show – and finished that bottle of wine. I don’t know. I guess I am irrelevant. I guess I am old. Lord knows I’m older than James Van Der Beek and Bobby Cannavale – both of whom Tweeted through the show (along with me) and said they felt old.

Miley Cyrus at VMA'sEh. Meh. So there it is. Almost. I was unmoved for the most part. I mean, sure, I’d do any of ONE DIRECTION – they are the newest flavor of twink-delight for teen girls and aging gay men (two sub-categories which are frequently the canaries in the pop-cultural coal mine – Perez HIlton agrees with me – click here for PICS!) and the whole Justin Timberlake thing was vaguely interesting, in particular, the broner thrown by Jimmy Fallon while introducing him. But my only real moment of being nonplussed – as in baffled, dismayed, dumbfounded and actually ga-ga-ed – was when Miley Cyrus performed – well – uhm – trotted her sorry, drugged up ass across the stage and twerked Robin Thicke and SOMEHOW seemed to have lost muscle control of her tongue.

What the actual fuck was that? And does it just horrify you wondering just where has that tongue been? And of all the things MTV might have chosen to bleep, they chose to bleep Miley’s lyric about MOLLY (click here if you don’t know what MOLLY is)? That girl has clearly had one too many sleepovers at Lindsay Lohan’s. Holy shit.

Joesph-Gordon-Levitt-nakedBy the time Miley was done, I already felt dirty – like I had watched someone who’d been destroyed by an abusive childhood behaving in a self-destructive manner, spiraling toward certain disaster – in short, like me dating someone. And – just as in those instances – I am helpless to stop it. Just as I was helpless to stop myself from thinking the HIGHLIGHT of the show was the appearance of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s clearly amazing penis. Well, it didn’t actually APPEAR – but it was CLEARLY outlined in that silky, shiny suit he wore. JGL is my new imaginary boyfriend – (well, not exactly new – I’ve had a thing for him since MYSTERIOUS SKIN and since I heard about his rumored audition/masturbation/porn – CLICK HERE – tape for SHORTBUS – ooh – and too, I loved him EVEN MORE when I heard that he and Michael Pitt – who I worship – had had a thing and he broke it off and crazy-Pitt went PSYCHO-STALKER (click for details) – ahhhh, GOSSIP!) – and now that my age has been miraculously re-calibrated, he is only ten years younger than I am – which – if Robin Thicke can buttfuck Miley Cyrus on the VMA’s – then I can certainly – BUT I DIGRESS – and too, Neil Patrick Harris – who is – NOW – only two years younger than me – also has a hot crush on JGL and his rumored to be huge penis – so, I have joined yet another club.jgl & nph

SO, I had another glass of wine. And watched until the end when Katy Perry performed – for some reason on which I am still not clear – in a boxing ring set up in view of the Brooklyn Bridge from which – by that point – one too many glasses of red wine and not nearly enough Molly in – I wished I could jump.

Happy Monday.

… rushes, surges, urges and yens … and plucking the fruit off the vine …

State fruit - Tomato

State fruit – Tomato (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Fresh tomatoes eaten off the vine and married men offering to blow you in saunas … yes, they are connected.)

There’s a garden here where I am house/pet sitting right now, a garden FULL of tomatoes. I went outside tonight with a metal bowl, the kind my aunt Sissie used to have, the kind she and I used to take outside on summer evenings – like this – and fill with tomatoes from Pop-Pop’s garden. I was known for eating fresh tomatoes like potato chips. I’d eat them until I was sick. I’d eat them until all the acidity gave me sores in my mouth. I’d indulge in the sensual pleasure of them until I was forced to stop, by circumstance of season ending, or someone forcing me to stop, or crippling myself with mouth sores or stomach ache. This is an apocryphal story in my life; when it has come to the rushes and the surges and the urges and the yens of the pleasures of fruit, hanging there for me to pluck from the vine and devour- I have never had the slightest bit of self-control.

And long have I longed to again have a garden where the fresh, sort of dirty, hot off the vine taste of just plucked tomatoes could pleasure me each day, bursting in my mouth, all runny, potent seed and firm but pliable flesh, delicious and delicate and yet, somehow, so vitally alive, new, a promise and urgently calling, pleading, made to be swallowed.

I spent forty-five minutes in that garden, and I missed Sissie – which I do every single day – and yet, felt as if she was talking to me, because here I was for the first time in years in this sensual, tomato indulgence after what happened to me this afternoon.

It’s Sunday. Despite my protestations and a rather lengthy, whining argument with myself in which I complained that I was exhausted from the long, difficult weekend, and it ought to be a day of rest to which I countered; “Well, you rested Friday.”  Not willing to surrender, I responded, “Not fair! You know I was moving between two houses and trying to watch both of them and a total of eight animals that day.” But, I have no mercy, no pity, and so snapped; “Yet you managed, somehow, that night to stay up until five, drinking wine and watching an American Horror Story: Asylum marathon – oh, and, uhm, again, last night. GET YOUR LAZY, SLACKER-ASS TO THE GYM BEFORE IT SAGS ANY CLOSER TO THE GROUND.”

So, I lost the argument with myself (I almost always do) and groused and grumped and harrumphed my way to the gym – which, by the by, is five minutes – TOPS – from this current house/pet sitting gig, so I have even LESS of an excuse to skip it. Which is how I found myself on the recumbent bike, from which vantage point I realized I could see a total of fifteen television screens transmitting at least ten different streams of programs and information. At which point I further realized that the sound by which I was being assaulted had absolutely NO CONNECTION to any of those programs, but, rather, was an entirely unique music and specific-to-this-gym ad programming. And, that not being enough, some of those people NOT plugged in to any of the audio-feeds from the available screens, were playing their whatever they were playing – loudly enough for bleed-out from their ear-buds.

It was A LOT of input and stimulation coming at me. This,of course, doesn’t include the stories I make up about all the people there. It is impossible for me NOT – after years of being an actor, singer, acting teacher, director, writer, and crazy paranoid, dysthymic bi-polar-ish nut-job – NOT to hear the voices in the heads of EVERYONE I see – and with all those voices (and stories) and all the music and the tv’s and the noise of the machines and the weights and people actually CONVERSING (of which, there are, in fact, VERY FEW) – by the time I am done working out, I really, really, REALLY need the peace of the sauna.

And so, into the sauna I go. Most days, there is no one there. I have discovered – and am always tweaking – very specific times of day to attend the gym when it is the least crowded, when the locker room is not full of business-y men on lunch break or overly-eager teens in pre-sport-season-team-tryout-training, and thus, USUALLY, I have the sauna to myself.

Now, it’s important to preface the next part of this story with a backstory. Early on in my gymming, when first I used the sauna, I entered it wearing my glasses. The heat from the sauna melted the protective coating on the lenses of those glasses, ruining them, and forcing me to purchase new ones to the tune of more than 400 dollars – I am blind in a particularly difficult to adjust way – and so the bi-focals I require are quite pricey.

THUS – I now do the sauna thing without my glasses. This means that my vision is blurry at best. I can see your shape and know you are a human, but the subtleties of your facial expressions and the intent of your body movements are – for the most part – lost to me. Which is fine in the sauna because – as I said – I am usually alone, and, when I am NOT alone, it is clear from my closed eyes and semi-recline in my favorite corner, that I am discouraging conversation. I never say hello when I walk in if someone else is there, nor do I say hello when I am in there and someone else walks in. I mean, I DO respond if they offer a greeting – but I don’t INITIATE conversation.

Another backstory (and digression – I am so sorry but, well, it’s just who I am):

My lack of initiating conversation and contact has to do with many things but the PRIMARY reasons are: 1) I am INCREDIBLY shy and awkward when talking to people. Just NOT a social animal. And talking to people I don’t know (or, even, people I DO know) makes me uncomfortable to the point of physical illness. And; 2) From a VERY early age I was called names indicating that the general population – particularly its MALE element – knew me to be OBVIOUSLY same-sex inclined, and so, the few, torturous times I had – in youth – to spend in places where men were dressing, undressing, partly naked – were places of GREAT FEAR AND DANGER for me – I did NOT want anyone thinking I was cruising, ogling, etc – and this has carried over to the gym. So, in locker room and sauna I try NEVER to look at anyone – and – honestly – even if I did – without my glasses I can’t REALLY see them anyway. So …

Imagine my annoyance today when I had JUST gotten into the sauna after what had been a particularly grueling workout – by which I mean I was a pouty bitch and had a REALLY REALLY difficult time making myself do the correct number of reps at the correct weights, and TRULY difficult time forcing myself to go the speed and level of difficulty I needed to go on recumbent bike to get my heart rate to a reasonable place, and then, oh my, on the treadmill – every two seconds I was trying to convince me to give it up and go – which, in the end, made me incline it WAAAAY more than I usually do and speed it up WAAAAY higher than my normal – and so, in the end, my heart rate was near that “you’re too old and need to slow down” warning place. BUT I DIDN’T.

So, sauna. No glasses. And, bam, within two minutes of my getting in there the door is opened and in comes I guy I could SWEAR had just gotten onto a treadmill near me when I’d been finishing – as in – he was just arriving as I was nearing the end of my two hours of torture today – because I’ve seen him before. He’s hot. Mid to late thirties, dark hair, not cut – as in – the model abs thing – but, that reasonable body – as in, his stomach is a bit convex but reasonable – and – anyway – he wears a wedding ring. So, he’s married. And, he’s in his sneakers, shorts, t-shirt – I mean, he isn’t even sauna clothed so – what? Confused. Well, okay, some guys like to sauna BEFORE they work out – I guess – to loosen up. Okay. It’s cool. He’s hot but I’ve seen him there with his wife. Yeah, I know, I pay attention. I write backstories. IT’S WHAT I DO. So, I think nothing of it.

But still, I mean, he DID just get there. I know from upstairs. But, whatever. It is what it is. I sit. Two minutes. Silence. He speaks.

“So, it turned out to be a really nice day out, right?”

Really? The Weather? Nice day? I mean, were we supposed to have a Tsunami or something?

I reply. “Yep.” And back to my slouch. Time passes.

I hear him, sort of, well, breathing heavily. I glance – really surreptitious – and, it SEEMS – now you know I am blind without my glasses – but – it SEEMS that he is – how to put this – well – MANIPULATING himself through his shorts – and looking at me –

Now – ANOTHER BACKSTORY – I am NOT attractive. I have spent my ENTIRE post-pubescent-sexual life WISHING I were – in fact – the kind of person to whom people came onto in saunas – but I am just NOT –

But, it seemed – well – he was – and, I’m not going into detail but once he knew that I noticed he made it quite clear what he was doing and what he wanted and he touched me and – HERE’S THE THING – I said,

“Is your wife here?”

And he said, “She’s away for the weekend.”

And – honestly – I thought about it. But I didn’t. And, this is NO MORAL VICTORY – believe me – I have NO HIGH GROUND HERE – I mean, at first, I was EXTRAORDINARILY excited that someone found me – me in a towel – attractive – BECAUSE I AM NOT – but me – being me – (see above – crazy paranoid, dysthymic bi-polar-ish nut-job) it took me about one tenth of a millisecond to say to myself “HOLD ON – I AM BROADCASTING SOMEHOW THAT I AM BIG HUGE DICK YEARNING SLUT WHEN I HAVE BEEN SO FUCKING CAREFUL NOT TO DO THAT! – and, yeah,  I was out of there.

Sensual, sexual fresh, sort of dirty, hot taste of just waiting to be plucked, bursting in my mouth, all runny, potent seed
and firm but pliable flesh, delicious and delicate and yet, somehow, so
vitally alive, new, a promise and urgently calling, pleading, made to
be swallowed – NOPE, not gonna happen.

And, I think Sissie was happy about it, and so, tonight, she walked me out into the garden. I have – thus far – eaten about twenty baby tomatoes and god knows how many regular sized ones and will soon be stomach achy and sick – I’ve no doubt – but – I had to do it. I had to do something.

I am so lonely.

… the Sunday edition … I take DUMBRAGE to that! …

(It’s Sunday. I’m EXHAUSTED from the weekend. I wish this could be attributed to irresponsible frolicking with men who are out of my league who I tricked into spending time with me by use of witty bon mots and Tequila; alas, I barely left my house or checked social networks because there was an AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM marathon on Friday night into Saturday morning and again Saturday night into Sunday morning – and since that is prime-trick-time and since I never bring anyone to my own home and since one can’t exactly say, “Do you mind if – while we are having cheap alcohol and perhaps a liaison in which neither of us will use our real names we ALSO watch AMERICAN HORROR STORY?” – then, well, yes, here I am … having gone almost nowhere all weekend long but my couch (well, someone else’s couch) and the gym – DAMMIT. I’d get upset about this – but, really, HONESTLY – that would be DUMB and we have bigger things about which to worry – so, yeah, DUMBRAGE – see final paragraph! NEW WORD TODAY!)

Best thing EVER: this house/pet sitting gig includes home delivery of the Sunday New York Times. All it needs to make it better is home delivery of lox and an everything bagel (or a dozen donuts) by that guy I see every day at the gym with the nearly-shaved head, who wears the McDaniel Baseball t-shirt with the cut-out, down to his rocking abs, sleeve-holes.

Gym Guy introducing himself to me on-line

Gym Guy introducing himself to me on-line

“Best thing ever…” Yeah. Well, no. That’s hyperbole. An enlargement, exaggeration, something I obviously know not to be the case, a rhetorical device employing  intentional distortion meant to create a strong impression but not to be taken literally.

Unless, of course, it’s that kind of hyperbole used to lure and seduce people via social networks and on-line hook-up sites. Then it’s called, uhm, “everybody does it”.

(CHARLIE ASIDE: I have received a rather snarky “reminder” that periods belong INSIDE of quotation marks and parentheses, and to that I say, “It’s my fucking blog in my fucking world and I like them OUTSIDE – so, you’ll need to comfort yourself with the knowledge that I know the difference between TO, TOO, and TWO, as well as THERE, THEIR and THEY’RE, and let’s not forget ITS and IT’S”. Please. My quirky, individual, preferred use of punctuation is no one’s business but my own”.).BITE ME.

Apparently, not one man in the world who means to meet people via on-line postings has a penis less than 6.5 inches (CHARLIE ASIDE: I mean, about me, all I’m saying is – would a person with the cajones to make up his own rules of punctuation usage have a penis smaller than 6.5 inches? Think about it. And how about this period INSIDE the parentheses? Hmmmm….) DESPITE the fact that the latest study (which agrees with past studies) indicates that the AVERAGE size is, in fact, 5.6 inches. (Read it here, thank you Huffington Post.)

Hyperbole. Otherwise known as “dating”. Otherwise known as fibbing, evading, fabricating, getting your foot (or some part of your body) in the door (or some part of some body – or, somebody) so one has a chance to get to know someone after which you can tell them the truth? But, wait, isn’t this backwards? Nope.

It was ever thus, my loves. People have been preening and posing and posturing and peacocking since time began. It is only natural that it would be refined to a new level of emporer’s new clothes prinking with the just being discovered world of virtual “it’s always last call” two a.m.-ing- on-line hooking-up.

I can't very well ask him if he minds if we watch AHS:ASYLUM marathon while we hook up, now can I?

I can’t very well ask him if he minds if we watch AHS:ASYLUM marathon while we hook up, now can I?

We live an a world of fables. We are all fabulists. How else to explain that we are obsessing on Ben Affleck being cast as Batman and J.D.Salinger’s posthumous book releases, while doing nothing about how the Egyptian “police” are now declaring  EVERYONE who dares question or disagree with them “Radical Islamists” so that they might further abrogate due process and human rights, massacre and disappear and murder people; or, that we are doing the moral-political-outrage-twerk wind-up to start ANOTHER invasion in Syria, citing the horrendous and horrifying poison gassing of people – gassing we FUNDED – we FUNDED multiple sides of the warring parties in both of these countries – WE GIVE EVERYONE MONEY except the poor and starving people.

We’d rather fund guns and posion gas than feed or give health care to the needy. I mean, I’d like to take umbrage with the fact that men lie about the size of their dicks and their ages (CHARLIE ASIDE: of course I would NEVER do either of those things – although I do confess, I have exaggerated my I.Q. on occasion – perhaps it’s NOT after all, 500 – but, honestly, if you bought that – you deserved it – where was I?) – here’s my new word (to go with my new punctuation rules) –

DUMBRAGE: When people get upset about RIDICULOUSLY meaningless, pointless, trivial bullshit when the world around them is crumbling to dust. I.E. Twitter-trending BenAffleckBatman on the 50th anniversary of King’s March on Washington in the same year voting rights have been eviscerated by Scotus; people are being gassed in Syria; and untold thousands killed and arrested and disappeared in Egypt without due process or notice. WHAT THE FUCK?

Okay, time to read the paper, and, since shaved-head boy has yet to show up and finding someone to bring me lox and bagel isn’t likely to happen on Grindr, guess I’ll get dressed and go out to get my own.

… three hours of sleep … but who’s counting? ….

Yesterday was a very busy day: well, for me. I moved from one to another house/pet-sitting gig but was really juggling both houses, with a dear one taking over one for me (until this evening) while I started another; lots of driving and packing and meeting and etcetera and saying goodbye to the mountain home and its two dogs and one cat, and hello to the in-town home and its two dogs and three cats (blessedly free-roaming felines) and there I was … so busy that I never managed to fit the gym in … and here I am, going nowhere now because I am SO EXHAUSTED.

Leslie Kelly, "DON'T LOOK AWAY" cover

Leslie Kelly, “DON’T LOOK AWAY” cover

Why? Well, not exactly and only because of all that running, but, rather, because at 10pm last night, as I was comfortably settled in with my wine (thoughtfully left by my “hosts”) and my Kindle-version of author Leslie Kelly’s thriller, “Don’t Look Away” – I receive this Tweet from a dear friend:

MARATHON OF AHS ASYLUM NOW.

What? Yes, it’s true. The first seven episodes of the BRILLIANT, 17 Emmy Nominations, Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk production, “AMERICAN HORROR STORY” were running from 10pm to 5am and guess who had to watch them all (almost)? Yes. Me. Even though I have seen them – TWICE at least – before – what could I do?

I am POWERLESS in the face of Ryan Murphy’s plotting and production, the acting of Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, James Cromwell, Zachary Quinto – and, oh yes, did I mention Evan Peters ass?

So, there I was, most of the night long, on the couch, entranced, enchanted, and – I had forgotten this part – TERRIFIED by “American Horror Story: ASYLUM”. The exorcism scenes. The caning scenes. The Jessica flashbacks. The Sarah Paulson subtleties. And, did I mention, Evan Peters’ ass?

Making it EVEN more exciting were the previews – well – 15 second teaser trailers – for the upcoming AHS season of COVEN – which starts in October. Not that I haven’t already obsessively watched and re-watched and even blogged those trailers – but, something about them being on actual TV instead of my computer – I’m an AHS geek. Just can’t help it.

And I needed the marathon. It softened the blow of reading yesterday that Chandler Massey has left “Days of Our Lives”. I only watched the show because of his portrayal of Will. I usually watch it while I’m at the gym, timing my visit to bike or treadmill during DAYS. Alas, he will be gone. And so, the last soap I have anything to do with, I will now have nothing to do with. Wow.

But, okay. Soaps are the past, Limited series like AHS and PROJECT RUNWAY and such are now my thing. And, frankly, the fewer things I have to watch, you know – the better off I am, really, I mean – READ A DAMN BOOK! Speaking of, back to Leslie Kelly’s novel – my Kindle tells me I’ve an hour left – which is good, because I need to finish that, and visit the gym, and take a nap so I can be ready for TONIGHT’s 10pm to 5am part two of the AHS:ASYLUM marathon – because – you know – it’ a freaking amazing show and  – oh, did I mention Evan Peters’ ass?

evan peters underwearevan peters frontevan peters ass