half-naked men, boners and popular posts … (not part of the new york chronicles) …

WordPress is selling ads on me. I wanted to be a writer admired and followed for my insight and introspection and emotional connection and empathy – but instead, seems like I’m being followed for my penis. What The Actual Fuck?

All the introspection the New York chronicling is bringing is – I am well aware – likely to lose me readers. This year-end shit all over the place – this year-end shit in which I do not indulge because time is an illusion – this year-end shit that caused me to check my most popular posts from 2013 just validates what my friend C told me on our New York trip:

“You get enough hits on your blog for WordPress to put ads on it – so, you must be doing something right. Although I’m pretty sure it’s the naked men and dicks getting you hits.”

Well, MAYBE. Because – according to my stats on this free WordPress account which is apparently doing well enough that WordPress feels free to sell ADS ON THE BLOG I’M WRITING (which makes me want to go on a diatribe about the number of times in my life my writing has been RIPPED OFF and other people have benefitted from it while I have NOT and I’m NOT just talking about monetarily you plagiarists and freely thieving borrowers and adapters.) the most popular posts of the past year have been:

5) “… …. …. …..” THIS UNTITLED ONE (CLICK HERE TO READ) from October 5, 2013 in which I was too fucked up to speak and tried to tell my story with just pictures – many of which were personal, but, a few of which were – as C calls them, “big dick pics” – including the one below. I cannot quite imagine how this entry achieved so many hits, and I don’t really WANT to know WHY. But it did.

charlie at 3big penisCharlie attitude

4) The next most popular was “Greatest Hits 2: Joe Jonas comes out … AGAIN” (CLICK HERE TO READ/SEE) from August. And, again, any mention of a Jonas Bro coming out does wonders for my hits and sprinkling the essay with the words “naked” and “JoBros naked” and including pictures . . . well, yeah. There it was (Is) again – the whole “big dick” theory thing.

Jonas-Brothers-Selfie-400x300Joe-Jonas-Selfie

3) Number 3 makes me feel a little better. It was from May 5 and was called “SMASH-ed again: 3 Steps To Acceptance” (CLICK HERE TO READ) and while some of the unkind-er (and more attentive) among you might assume this to have been about my increasingly frequent episodes of drunken-ness – BUT NO – it was about one of my favorite characters on the late, lamented NBC television show about making Broadway musicals – SMASH – being killed off. And then it launched into some lengthy philosophical introspection about loss and discovery and telling ourselves stories. I’d LIKE to pretend it was my deeply thoughtful life advice that got readers – but I know better.

kyle & jimmy gifkyle and jimmy 2Tom & Kyle

2) Speaks for itself … and was one of my SHORTEST posts of the year. From August it was “GREATEST HITS … Blues and Boners” (CLICK HERE TO READ) about … well … you can probably catch on without my explaining it but it had that SAME CALVIN KLEIN CLAD DICK that is in 3 of my top 5 including this and …

1) … the original post from April; “WORDS TO THE WISE” (CLICK HERE TO SEE/READ) –  in which the erect “big dick” wrapped in Calvin’s was posted along with, well, my words to the wise as follows:

I knew a man once who was obsessed with the size of his genitalia. Here’s what I have learned from having known him:

big-penis

It is a genetic accident how big your dick is; it is a personal choice how big a dick you are.

I wonder if he’s learned this yet?

I still wonder. I, myself, have learned a lot about dick size this year in many different ways, both literal and metaphoric, and the PRIMARY lesson has been that if I work a big dick into my writing (or write a big dick into my working  or … not sure but somehow this should have been a better, clever-er sentence about working a big dick) I will get A LOT of hits.

The key is then to caress and finesse that big dick with some writing and HOPE somebody reads it and gives a damn about the words and thoughts and feelings and not just the dick. Which, when you get right down to it, is sort of the story of my life in a lot of ways . . . this life in which, here I am. Going.

…the new york chronicle … prologue part 2 … home again, home again, 250 miles away …

My home is 250 miles away from where I live. So, what does “living” mean? A soul-mate takes me on the MegaBus to Manhattan to remind me.

NYC megabus

I am a creature of habit. Nothing like beginning a blog post with a cliche, eh? But, I am.

Example: In my primary residence —

(doesn’t that sound fancy? But I’ve a lot of house and dog sitting regulars with whom I am quite close, in addition to a foundational “feeling” that there is a home base waiting for me to build it and so, it feels as if I am – in many ways – un-moored – but that is another blog and and I FEEL you saying, “Why are your tangents and asides PARAGRAPHS long?” So, back to the story – which isn’t really the story but the intro to a story … and now this is so long I need to separate it visually and … oh dear . . . )

— the kitchen trashcan is at the northern end of the kitchen island and opens by means of foot pedal. The result of my nearly chronic need for (not to say “addiction to) habituation is that here, where I am house-sitting, here, at a home I know quite well, here, when I have gone to deposit something in the trashcan I have repeatedly walked to the northern end of this kitchen island and readied my foot to press the pedal to open the lid of the trashcan. Which, here in this house, does not reside at the north end of the kitchen island. Here, in this house, there is a bag arrangement/attachment on the cabinet door beneath the sink.

I laugh now, every time I do this . . . or something like it; occurrences which are not infrequent and which I have been doing my entire life – but, again, more later. I offer this story now as illustration both of the degree to which my pathological need for order has physically manifested as well as my awareness of said pathology. And too, to make you aware of the anxiety I feel whenever I am doing something outside of my daily, regular routine.

A trip to New York requires getting there. Getting there from here, the going, is not particularly problematic, and while trains are the most comfortable mode of transport, they are ridiculously pricey and require getting to the station and parking costs and all of that. My preferred mode has of late been the MegaBus which departs from White Marsh Mall. One parks in the West Lot. The bus comes – and while some have complained of it being always late – usually on time or near enough, you get on, you sit, and some three and a half to four hours later, you arrive on 28th Street in Manhattan. Sweeter still, it’s quite cheap.

Not only had my pal Cody bought the theatre tickets for “BIG FISH: THE MUSICAL”‘s final show (more later), he had also bought our Megabus tickets. He had taken care of everything. I cannot tell you the warmth and happiness by which I was caressed when living that sentence: “He had taken care of everything.” So, on the night of the 28th, Cody and my sister both arrived here where I am Judah-visiting to prep for our four in the morning departure to catch the six thirty a.m. MegaBus.

Of course, showering and going to bed at eleven-ish, knowing I had to waken at three-fifteen-ish meant I would barely sleep. Which, I didn’t. Lots of waking and paranoia that when I ought to wake, I wouldn’t. That we’d get lost or break down on way to White Marsh and miss the bus. That . . . on and on with the “what ifs”  of disaster and plan flaws and what next.

We got up. Cody, too, who I have known since he was a child and who – frequently – accused me of responsibility for much of his own crazy – had not slept either, paranoid about waking/missing/alternatives/what if.

We met in the upstairs hallway at four a.m. and we were wearing outfits almost identical. Jeans. Blue-ish sweater over black and white un-tucked Oxford button-down shirts. J’accuse, indeed. And odder still, as we left the house, both of us bag and backpack free, having determined we would not take anything that could not fit in our pockets, we headed toward our cars and both looked at the other and said, “Who’s driving?” Neither of us had our keys. Neither of us had directions. Maybe we SHOULD worry about things.

Long story (750 words already, or, as I have been told by an editor, “450 words more than anyone reads – over 300 is masturbation, EDIT, CHARLIE, EDIT! Fuck editing.) long however; determined Cody would drive, went into house to get his keys, determined we needed my GPS, returned to house to get my keys, my GPS has a smashed screen (and yet another blog-tale) and Cody – frustrated by my inability to find directions through crushed screen – used his phone and – boom, boom – we made it to White Marsh West MegaBus Parking Lot an hour before the bus.

In the rain. With no umbrellas. Needing to stand in line to guarantee early entrance to bus so we could sit together. Bus early. Got on. Sat together near the stairs on the second level (Cody, on return trip, informed me he hated sitting near stairs. I always sit near stairs on bus because at their bottom are both the doors to the restroom and the exit door – but on way home we sat further back) and the bus took off and we were in New York City twenty minutes ahead of schedule.

I am crazy and a creature of habit and habituation and paranoia and worry and what if and what next about ALMOST everything in my life but when it comes to New York City, I am home.

New York City is my trash can at the north end of the kitchen island habituated comfort zone. In my head and heart, in my soul, in the matter of which I am made by whatever force in the universe makes things – I am home in New York City.

NYC 1940s

I am never afraid there. I always know where I’m going or trust that where ever I am heading – even if I don’t know where that is – is where I am meant to be. I am free of doubt there. I am free of fear there. I am filled with Charlie there. In New York City, I am the Charlie I always meant to be, always think I am. I am never REALLY Charlie anywhere else but there.

It’s always been that way. Despite the fact that I was born in Frederick, 250 miles away from Manhattan, from the moment I heard about “New York” – as a child – something at the center of me sang and knew – BELIEVED – understood – that was me, that was where I belonged, that was where I was Charlie.

NYC Times Square

I am a creature of habit, some of those habits seemingly inculcated, implanted in me before my birth. It was my dear Aunt Frances, Sissie, who recognized that New York City was my home and first took me there and too, Sissie who first saw me, really saw me in that connected to the soul empathic way. I seek those kinds of loves and connections out. I flourish and blossom with those people. Like Sissie, Cody too connects with me there, and – as I said – I am a creature of habit, and so it makes perfect sense that for the first time since Sissie took me there as a boy, the next person to plan and take care of everything in taking me to New York City would be another soul-mate, dear Cody.

Aside – tangent – but not really; Sissie died ten years ago. It feels like yesterday. It has only been in the last three months that I have realized how I had for the last ten years been worshipping and living in a draining death-cult in which Sissie was one of a holy trinity of the gone, the dearly departed. It was only in the last three months that I realized I had been trained since before I had rational actual memory to genuflect at the altar of the missing, to create a ghost presence with which the living could never compete. It was only in the past three months that I realized I had – perhaps – just perhaps – missed parts of a life I might have LIVED because I held so tightly onto things that never were or had DIED – and so, it was only in the past three months that I have been able to have Sissie again, by finally, FINALLY, letting her go.

And when I let her go, my life started to change. I don’t know where it’s going now – and for a creature of habit, like me, that is not an easy thing. But I do know that there is space inside me where there was none before. There is a level of acceptance and forgiveness – of myself – and the courage to experiment and expand and explore that had been gone before.

Ironically, because of another death, I have learned to let go of so many things and so much loss and death and sorrow that there is now room for LIFE again.

And soul-mates hear that. Know that. And so, Cody, of course, for Christmas 2013, took me home.

My pal and genius, loving, amazing Christmas gift-giver, Cody and that's me - the old one with the COOL glasses - having after show-pre-show dinner at Sardi's in NYC.

My pal and genius, loving, amazing Christmas gift-giver, Cody and that’s me – the old one with the COOL glasses – having after show-pre-show dinner at Sardi’s in NYC.

(…to be continued…)

… the new york chronicle … prologue …

I want to share details about my whirlwind-one-day trip to New York City – well, more accurately, to a 20 block chunk of Manhattan in which is concentrated the Broadway theatre and tourist trade – however, in the last 36 hours I have had a total of about three hours of sleep and my brain is not anywhere close to writing mode.

Alas, neither is my mind anywhere close to shutting down enough from the glories of the NYC trip to segue into sleeping mode.

My pal and genius, loving, amazing Christmas gift-giver, Cody and that's me - the old one with the COOL glasses - having after show-pre-show dinner at Sardi's in NYC.

My pal and genius, loving, amazing Christmas gift-giver, Cody and that’s me – the old one with the COOL glasses – having after show-pre-show dinner at Sardi’s in NYC.

So, having returned to my house-sitting, dog-loving gig (which my sister took over for 24 hours so I could visit NYC) and unable to sleep, I had just spent the past hour vacuuming and starting laundry (sheets and towels and such, a good house guest CLEANS and erases him or herself before he or she leaves!) and settled into my reading chair with Alan Gurganus’ “Local Souls” (as recommended on NPR and boy am I loving this so far, HOW have I never read his work before?) when there came from the basement “apartment” a guest I did NOT know was there! The girl who lives there – who I knew had left for work pre-dawn this morning – had invited someone else over (I guess the extra car outside should have been a hint) and she came toddling up and out, probably no less surprised (well, she MUST have heard the vacuum) to see an elderly man crotchety-curled in a chair, hugging a book and a cup of Earl Grey tea, than was I to see a jeaned, hoodied, young woman traipsing through!

The shock isn’t going to help me sleep. But, who can sleep after seeing two of the VERY BEST Broadway shows I have EVER seen; a few lovely meals; the horrors of the Marriott “evolved” Algonquin (I have documentation of the ruination they have perpetrated); the fabulosity of being stopped on the street by a beautiful woman and told my glasses were really cool; and all the Manhattan energy?

But, I will sleep – eventually – and after that I will write in detail about the trip – and revel in it having been a thoughtful, touching, wonderful gift from a dear friend (and don’t let me forget to tell how the two of us managed somehow to wear almost identical outfits – by accident) – and how amazing it is to again, as in my childhood with my dear Aunt, have someone know and love me enough to “take me” to New York when – so often in life – I have been the one doing the taking – and – well, in any case, until then . . . thanks for checking in . . .

… the view from here …

This is my “reading” view, here where I am house sitting: look how gorgeous:

View 1 View 2

I miss it already.

It is part of my nature that I start to mourn that which I have not lost while I have it … or, worse, mourn that which I will never have, never had a chance of having, as if, somehow, I ought to have had it and am entitled to feel bad about its loss – that which I never had.

A little crazy, I know. I am. And, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today, I had – briefly – to leave this house and return to my regular haunt to retrieve an outfit for tomorrow’s New York jaunt. While driving, I was having conversations with imaginary people: these people are part of some stories I’m writing (multiple projects) and too – as is usually the case – in part – people from the past, from real life. I came upon a discovery whilst working on a monologue for one of the characters and – well – here’s the monologue. (ish – it will, no doubt, morph and change a million times before landing in one of the pieces for which it is intended)

“For years, Richard, you’ve made me feel less than – guilty – because I get depressed and you don’t; as if somehow that was proof that you were sane and I was not. I let you make me feel bad – no – wait – not your fault – not blaming you. But now, since – well, since it was so easy for you to turn me into a villain because I stood up and needed to be me; so easy for you to open up a catalogue of horrific spins on stories about me that once were endearing; so easy for you to flip a switch on me, the way I’d seen you do on so many others who dared to say no to you, disagree with you, question you; only then did I finally get it. Yes, I am depressed. Often. Sad. Often. And no, you are not. But here’s why: I get sad and disappointed and shocked by the ways in which people betray and lie and cause pain and do bad because I believe – truly and honestly and completely believe to the core of me – that people are actually good and loving and kind and full of light – and so, when they don’t act from that place, when the good and the light and the kindness and the love are subsumed in greed or cruelty or selfishness or any of the other million things – when someone opens fire on a room full of children or flies a plane into a skyscraper or bombs a country or drowns a child or lies about me – I am always surprised. I am always hurt. I am always, always, ALWAYS fooled. And that, my dear Richard, causes me to be sad. Not that I am fooled, I am glad I still believe – I don’t want to live if I stop believing. But you, on the other hand, you expect the worst, you don’t believe in love and light and kindness; you think everyone operates from selfishness and duplicity and you believe no one can be trusted and you think it is fine to be mean to anyone who does not agree with you or bow to you or do as you wish; and now that I am that person, now that I have dared to say to you “Why?” – it has given you permission to make me into something else and pretend I was always that, and at the same time, claim you are some sort of victim who has been disappointed in love – but you never loved me. You loved your story of me, and once I wouldn’t read the lines you’d written for me, I was no longer useful, and rather than bother to actually see me who I am – you just did a rewrite. And you call me a liar? I would rather have been me, and been depressed because life is sometimes sad and hard than be you, and this cold person who can never be surprised by the sorrow and cruelty of people because that is your bottom line; that’s what you see. What a sorry man you are, to never have trusted anyone enough to love them; and how sad I am for you that all the years I tried to be that someone, tried to be your story, tried to believe in and reach the light and love and kindness in you – which, by the way, I still believe is there – how sad that you have turned it into this. And yes, I think, it does depress me quite a bit.”

… what do i think? … here’s what i think …

It’s that time of year where so many seem to feel compelled to make best of lists and recount the past twelve months . . . not so much. Besides the fact that time is an artificial and arbitrary construct, measuring the heft and weight and meaning of anything … let alone a swath of “months” – is a fool’s game.

I did go to the gym yesterday. I did spend an hour on various cardio machines, monitoring my heart rate, and I visited some weight machines as well, sat in the sauna – blessedly alone and quiet – and then came back here to my house-sitting gig, hung with Judah, wrapped myself in a blanket and read, sipping wine.

Sometimes I worry that I don’t have more of a drive to get out, to go out, to be with people. Other times, when I am longing for people, I worry that I am not more contented when alone. In between those poles, I sit comfortably in myself and realize that I am who I am and it is what it is, and wondering, pondering, worrying and trying to parse it all is – most often – a waste of the is-ness of it. Just be where you are, who you are, when you are, here, going.

So, in less than 24 hours I will be in New York City for the first time in a very long time. I will be seeing a matinée of “The Glass Menagerie” and in the evening, the final Broadway performance of “Big Fish: The Musical” which stars a young man who grew up and first trained and performed here in this area.

It seems people are curious to know what I think about this year in movies and books (congratulation to anyone who managed to make one) and marriage equality (I don’t particularly think government or religion should be involved in personal relationships to any degree) and most recently the whole bigoted speech gets suspension from reality television show and then protests get bigoted speechifier re-instated (this is not a surprise, really, is it?).

Listen, here’s what I think, not that what I think should matter to anyone. I want to live in a world where no one wants a gun, where no one feels the need to shoot, where no one considers that harming another is ever an answer to anything. I don’t particularly want to live in a world where that has to be legislated. I want to live in a world where belief in a higher power is never used as a battering ram or excuse to deny the humanity and beauty of others, and where it is acknowledged that belief in a higher power has nothing to do with being a decent, moral person. I don’t particularly want to live in a world where the need to parade one’s beliefs to prove one’s morality seems to be a requirement, but, rather, want to live in my world where no matter the sound and the fury and the shape and the shots and the shit and the whatever comes from someone, I believe that they are the same stuff as me and doing the best they can with what they have.

Sometimes I am right, sometimes wrong. Sometimes I am smart, sometimes dumb. Sometimes I get hurt, sometimes I hurt. Sometimes I am wise, sometimes idiotic. Sometimes I am empathetic to a degree almost psychic, sometimes totally out of touch with what others are thinking and feeling.

I’ve less and less interest anymore in debating and attempting to shape the zeitgeist or fulfill the “should” and “ought” and expectations of a world I believe to be – mostly – dizzyingly out of touch with its source of Love and Light. I am happy to let everyone else debate and argue and spew vitriol. If I don’t like what is said, I won’t listen. Turn off the tv. Don’t go to the movie. Don’t read the book. Don’t invite them into your home.

But rather than denigrate those with whom we disagree, wouldn’t we all be better off if we spent our limited lives and energy loving and celebrating those with whom we get along? Build a world that way.

I still believe, in the end, Love and Light will out.

… it’s the end of the … well, nothing really; I know nothing and I feel fine …

If it’s Christmas week … must be near time for all those end of the year lists and if it’s this peaceful, it must be Boonsboro … adventures in house-sitting and Judah sleepovers continued … and what is up with all these ladybugs?

gym guys 3 EDITI never did go to the gym yesterday. Here was the calculation: it takes twenty minutes to drive into town, then, having arrived, another ten-ish – depending on traffic – to get from highway exit to gym. Once there, after having worked out for the required ninety minutes and showered and saunaed for another thirty or more depending on the looks of the population therein, I would then have stopped at the grocery store – which is at least a thirty minute adventure – and I thought I really needed to do so because I wanted some iced tea. Once inside Wegman’s, I’d have determined that I should pick something up for dinner. I’d have spent money and calories on something pre-made, probably added a bag of chips and dessert to the cart along the way, and so by having gone to the gym I would not only have lost something in the area of four hours of Judah and reading and in the middle of nowhere quiet and peace hours – but also ended up in a calories ingested > calories burned situation for the day. Going to they gym would have resulted in weight gain and so, it was only sensible to continue being a couch slug. Which doesn’t get me any closer to hot naked men, but then again, does the gym REALLY help – or, just dangle (so to speak) what I will never have nor be in front of me?

How much better to stay here, way out in the middle of what passes for nowhere in these parts, slog up and down the driveway a few times to return the emptied trash and recycling cans to their rightful place in the garage, and eat one of the many diet dinners from the freezer?  Bonus: I found teabags and made my own iced tea. Best. Day. Ever.

Gym guys 2 EDITGranted, there was no possibility of seeing hot, naked men in shower and sauna, or surreptitiously spying on those grunting home for the holidays college types in the free-weight section, but, you know, those guys are all just as likely to speak with me and live out any of my imaginary scenarios as are the infinitely buffer ones available on multiple websites – and website boys don’t require that I actually exert enough effort to sweat for ninety minutes to justify taking the before-sauna-shower and sauna and after-sauna-shower so – WIN WIN.

Thus, I saw no hot men yesterday. In fact, I did not see nor speak to even ONE other human being. I did converse some with Judah, and he did some sighing and grunting and even shared a bark or two, but, mostly we remained quiet; reading, napping, SNACKING. And a little TV watching … and web-trolling …

teen wolf…speaking of which, speaking of locker rooms and hot guys and T.V. – Teen Wolf returns with new episodes January 6 and once again my passions have predicted the zeitgeist as the front and center character in the newest ad campaign is NOT one of the wolves, not the title character, but the hot-nerd-best-friend, Stiles as played by the incredibly sexy Dylan O’Brien.

obrien dylan -theinternship-02O’Brien has an aura of ambiguous and plastic, needy uber-sexuality and the added allure of a bromance vibe with co-star Tyler Hoechlin – all of which has conflated to make him a HUGE sensation – and all of that despite the fact that he is practically the ONLY male actor on the show who has NOT had his shirt off EVEN ONCE. Luckily, the internet exists to remedy that situation . . .

Speaking of situations … and no I am not going THERE (but you can by clicking HERE) … this morning I woke to find what I thought were un-popped popcorn kernels here and there on the kitchen floor. Except, I soon realized, I hadn’t popped (or NOT popped) any popcorn and so that couldn’t be what these were. On closer inspection, turns out the place is LITTERED with dead LADYBUGS. What?

Listen, we know I’m a little crazy, so when I wake in the middle of nowhere country and the floor is littered with dead insects and I haven’t really seen nor spoken to another human being in more than 24 hours – I start with the end of days sort of shit. You know, the ladybugs are super-sensitive to some lethal gas which has somehow infected the atmosphere and in due time we will all start dropping like – Ladybugs? Technically known as COCCINELLIDAE –

LadyBug infestation

My collection of dead ladybugs … shit … one of them just MOVED!

…because I started Googling to try to figure out WHY all of a sudden there was a carpet of them and if anyone else anywhere else was experiencing this phenomenon and . . . well, after many a convoluted – nay, death defying – synaptic leap, I arrived at the conclusion that this infestation (the perfectly logical seasonal weather inspired explanation for which I have chosen to ENTIRELY ignore) is a sign from the universe that I am about to be DROWNING in good luck and fortune. Although, thinking that – and being me – resulted in this: “Wait, good fortune? If things are going my way then surely the next logical occurrence is THE END OF THE WORLD! after all.” And the REM song started dancing in my head.

Did you ever actually READ the lyrics for this song? I did, this morning. Wow. I have to say I find them oddly relevant – even more so now, perhaps, than when first recorded. In any event, end of the world or not, it is the end of the year, and I am being bombarded by all these “best of” lists – particularly those of a literary bent – and this proliferation is making me feel anxious. I confess: I did not read 100 books this year. Usually 100 is my minimum. I came nowhere close. I did, however, go to the gym almost every day – or – well – okay – pretty much every day – and I did lose weight and tone my body – and I did come to some emotional closures and I did –gym guys 5 edit

But see – this is one of those END OF YEAR summations – and I HATE them because I think time is an illusion – finally – and another of the arbitrary ways in which we divide and label because we are afraid of the ALL of all that is and must somehow divide the circle of being into tiny bite-size portions which – I think – distort and deflect and distract and  – well – I won’t – don’t – NOT GOOD AT IT – sort of – and –

I think I’d better go to the gym and look for some naked guys to get me through the New Year . . . or at least until January 6 when Teen Wolf comes back with new episodes . . . oh my . . .

… hiatus … hi … ate(the)US … or it feels like it …

Well, I am now far out in the country with my buddy, Judah. I should be getting ready to drive myself into town for an hour or two on treadmills and ellipticals to try to undo all the eating I have done in the past week (or two) but I am – instead – reading and resting. And Judah is enabling me.

Judah and I have ABOUT the same energy level. But we both WILL get up for treats.

Judah and I have ABOUT the same energy level. But we both WILL get up for treats.

I had NO IDEA how exhausted I was until I started falling asleep on the drive out here yesterday. I make it sound as if I trekked cross the tundra or something, when, in fact, Boonsboro is only really 20 minutes of beautiful drive from Frederick. Often – on bad traffic days – it takes me longer than that to get across town to the gym. Still … it SEEEEEEEMS like a long way out here.

And once I arrive, it FEEEEEEEELS like a long way away. In a good way, a good long, peaceful way away. Judah was happy to see me and after a few hours of his regular strolls to the window to check for the return of his immediate family – and my assurances (along with regular bribes of new Christmas treats he’d received) they would be back soon but in the meantime we’d have a quiet bacchanal, he ended up on the couch with me while I “read” – which lasted about five minutes until I fell asleep.

I gave up the reading thing and started watching a “Pushing Daisies” marathon. Or, actually, sleeping. Then catching up on season two of “Girls” or, well, sleeping. Until finally at 9:30pm I gave up and went upstairs to bed to read. Or, sleep. Judah and I got up at 1:30 and 4:30 to go out (and have a treat) and then, finally, at 7:00ish we got up for good.

And I am STILL tired. As, apparently, is Judah.

Judah is waiting for the late morning constitutional and the requisite after-treat.

Judah is waiting for the late morning constitutional and the requisite after-treat.

The holidays – wonderful as the opportunity to stop for a moment, to change gears, to – have a day off? – are rough, stressful. All the cooking and the gatherings and the should see and must see and must do and family – who – nice as they are – still – bring back all the patterns of childhood (and adulthood?) and the past and any unresolved issue or rarely pushed button – and one ends up being whirred and stirred and whorled and – well, it is tiring.

And, I’m going on a whirlwind trip to New York on Sunday – 24 hours of bus rides and two Broadway shows and finally braving the Algonquin Lobby to actually witness what Marriott did to it . . . so, I need my strength. So, I am going – I think – to just follow Judah’s example and stay HERE – where I am NOT going anywhere … except back and forth to the Keurig and refrigerator and the treat counter. I am – I guess one could say – taking a hiatus – as in, “Hi, I feel like I ate the whole of the U.S. and now I’m going to rest on this couch for a week or so!”

Happy Holidays.

… reaching for those rainbow sleeves …

So many memories of past Christmas days. I have exhausted myself. With remembering. With trying not to. I am depleted, sapped, lost in reveries and lost in the “why”? And, my friends, the “why” becomes ever so much more difficult to ask – let alone answer – when there is nothing left in which one believes. And so, I must be on my way, from one empty house to another today, where I sleep with lovely dogs who do not really belong to me in beds that are not mine.

But the blessing is, these empty houses are full of the energies of people who love me. I am deeply, truly loved and seen by some deeply, truly blessedly wonderful people. That is a great gift. And sometimes, it is enough – and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS I am grateful to be loved and seen, but, still, there are those times when:

i dont want to meet a lot

So tired. Really. Of “why”? And the same mistakes. And being that one that isn’t that one. Ah well I am still a man very lucky in his life and in the people who have loved me as dear, dear friend . . . and so what if the moon does not belong to me; even so, I so, so, want to believe . . . and I try hard to pretend I believe the heart that has been broken will be stronger when it mends . . .  hang on to that rainbow . . .

… twas the night before the night before and . . .

I’m heading out to stay with two dog friends today for two nights, after which I’ll move to a new location to stay with one dog friend, during which I will be heading to New York for a day with one of my dear ones to see “The Glass Menagerie” and the final performance of “Big Fish”. So, very busy next week.

And – frankly – I am looking VERY forward to the quiet moments of couch sitting and bedrest with my dog friends. Some silence will be nice. Not that I don’t love being with people and not that the crowds or the season have been awful, but, I do like my peace and quiet and routine.

I have been eating entirely too much and gymming entirely too little. I feel unfit. So, I need to do a few things today before I head to my doggie friends, and I am going to try to talk myself into one of those things being stopping in at the gym for an hour or two on my way. We shall see.

Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus

However, much as I would LOVE to think I’ve the discipline to go work out – and much as I have missed the locker room – the truth of the matter is, I will more likely end up heading to dog sitting with a bag of books and skip the gym entirely.

Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus

I actually have a book about the period during which Paul Cadmus lived and painted and the crowd with whom he ran and created a world.  I STILL think I was born at the wrong time.

Paul Cadmus as photographed by Carl van Vechten

Paul Cadmus as photographed by Carl van Vechten

Read all about him by clicking the photo. Gotta run. Well . . . running is probably out. But, gotta GO.

… such beauty and truth … i love people who “get it” …

Every so often there is something so perfectly “right” and in tune and attuned with what I am feeling and knowing and living that I am convinced we are all connected and I am given again to believe in … whatever it is one calls it … that something greater … and how often those somethings come (for me) in the form of music … here is one …

It’s Bette Midler and she wrote this … “Come Back Jimmy Dean” – listen:

Isn’t that gorgeous? The lines that moved me most (then and now):

  • ...and everyone’s lonely cuz everyone’s free…
  • …all our loves are loved and gone / our hearts all hung with rust / golden girls and lads all must / like chimney sweepers come to dust …
  • … i have no expectations but occasionally … i need someone … you were someone … come back jimmy dean …

Isn’t it beautiful? And such truth. What a talent.