Reading: Ten February(ish) reads

I’ve been thinking more and more that less and less of life requires comment, or, my comment. Thus, my long run of having written about each book I read shortly after having read it came to an end.  Too, I started a Pinterest page (and you can click here to visit) and my first board was about what I was reading. Pinterest allows only five-hundred characters of copy for each photo so I’ve been limited to short, concise exegeses of my impressions about my reads. That has been somewhat liberating. I considered letting this blog become — again — solely an existential traipsing through my dysthymia and adventure in going further and further (or, is that farther and farther? No. Further is metaphorical and I suppose my retreat from the conventions of modern-life is more metaphor than actual physical travel and distancing.) off the grid, but, I know some of you are interested in what I think about books and not everyone has a Pinterest account — I resisted for as long as I could but the opportunity to collect pictures of sexy Marlon Brando and men with tattoos and people’s personal reading nooks finally defeated me — so, here I am, going back into writing about what I’ve read, albeit, in shorter form. (I think. You hope.)

Chee Queen of the NightTHE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT, by Alexander Chee, Hardcover, 561 pages, February, 2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt This was the third in a troika of books by gay writers to which I had very much been looking forward. (The first two were Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You and Paul Lisicky’s The Narrow Door – read about them HERE.) Unlike the other two, Night isn’t built around a gay person, although it does take place in the world of opera, which is about as gay a milieu as one can visit – but, strangely (to me) this narrative lacked gay content. It lacked little else. Chee managed to create a huge world, a huge life, there is detail and dynamic enough for a few books. Well reviewed and much heralded by the literary literati, it is delightful that three gay authors have experienced so much success already this year. Happiness. I bought this because I wanted, very much, to support Mr. Chee. When I checked with library about availability (which I routinely do for books in which I am interested, to see if others are reading them too) I saw they had only two copies and the wait was eight weeks. I donated my copy after reading.

Those We Left BehindTHOSE WE LEFT BEHIND, by Stuart Neville, Hardcover, 320 pages, September, 2015, Soho Crime  I love the escape of crime procedurals, the comfort of a returning character, in particular one with flaws and peccadilloes, so I am always giving new series a chance, hoping to find the next “go to” sort of solace I like between heavier reads. This is the first to feature Irish DCI Serena Flanagan, and both she and probation officer Paula Cunningham were well-developed, interesting. The plot concerned two doomed brothers, one a sociopath, the other his victim, and had some twists, some supposed-to-be surprises. It was a quick read, nicely done. I think I will likely give its next entry a go. Borrowed from library.

eileenEILEEN, by Ottessa Moshfegh, Hardcover, 272 pages, August, 2015, Penguin Press As I said in my Pinterest blurb, this was an extremely unpleasant story full of extremely unpleasant characters, without even a hint of redemption or joy. I found it to be unkind. I don’t know how else to describe the experience and I am sorry to be so negative, but I would not recommend this to anyone. Just ugly. The author was compared to Shirley Jackson and Patricia Highsmith — both of whom I admire and enjoy — its milieu said to be evocative of David Lynch’s filmic work — much of which in small doses has fascinated me — but, for me, this bore little similarity to the works of those auteurs. It was relentlessly bleak of heart (which it meant to be, so, congratulations) and mean of spirit (which it meant to be, so congratulations) and strove to be tongue-in-cheek but, instead, was snide and cruel. It is censoring, I suppose, to say that life is too short and dark enough already without spending my time in a fictive world of such dark, soulless, venomous, ferocious despair — so be it, I don’t need this sort of energy in my life. Borrowed from library.

american housewifeAMERICAN HOUSEWIFE: STORIES, by Helen Ellis, Hardcover, 208 pages, January, 2016, Doubleday  I quite enjoyed this collection of twelve pieces — I wouldn’t call all of them stories — that were frequently funny, and often trenchant without trying too hard. Had I to read it again, I’d have spread them out rather than reading all at once, as in, Ellis is a writer whose work I’d like to come across regularly in magazine — her take on life is amusing and insightful — but consuming it all at once, I think it lost some of its power. So, yes, quite good, but read one a week or so, not in toto. Borrowed from library.

 

Vaschss AftershockAFTERSHOCK: A THRILLER, by Andrew Vachss, Hardcover, 368 pages, June, 2013, Pantheon  This was another first in a crime series. I gave it a try because I read many of the author’s Burke series, years ago, suggested to me back then by my dear, departed brother-in-law. So, I picked this up out of sentiment. Vigilante justice — no matter how heinous the criminal — not my thing anymore, and Dell, the main character, like Burke (who he very much resembles) takes the law into his own hands, doing away with scum. Well, I suppose it’s a release for my baser instincts to read about such a thing, but, killing is killing, and if you become the killer — even of those who are horrid — you are still a killer and horrid yourself. As I’ve aged, my ability to read about ugliness decreases (see review of Eileen above). In this, as I mentioned, ugliness is answered with vigilante ugliness and when I find myself cheering for the murder of even villains, I question reality and such and so, no. Also, tenses and grammar often purposely incorrect for “voice” – even for voice, it gnaws at me. Borrowed from library.

Hadley The PastTHE PAST, by Tessa Hadley, Hardcover, 320 pages, January, 2016, Harper  I love Tessa Hadley’s writing. She is an incisive stylist and observer of people, love, connections, desire, and despair. In this tale of siblings gathered to decide whether to sell the family home, each dealing with its histories and echoes in different ways, the ghosts of the past becoming the characters of the present – it’s divided into Present/Past/Present structure – the how we get here and how we fall apart and how we mistake the shapes of love, are so well done, it felt to me as if Hadley had met my family. She has a gift for making specific the universal. Wonderful book. Borrowed from library.

 

Williams, Diane Fine Fine FIne FIne FineFINE, FINE, FINE, FINE, FINE, by Diane Williams, Hardcover, 131 pages, January, 2016, McSweeney’s  Hmm. Collection of short – very short – stories. Gloriously languaged, chock-full of sharp-edged imagery, these stories are like shards of something broken one tries to piece together into a whole. Bleeding ensues. I liked it but a little “Emperor’s New Clothes” hipness & WTF?  Some of these were simply beyond comprehension, or, even, sense — another in a plethora of late of what seem to me exercises in journaling given publication. I should very much life my existential ramblings and prose-poems to be gathered together and  put between hard-covers and huzzah-ed as the big thing by the literati. I don’t begrudge Ms. Williams her publication – but, like I said, some (even, much) of this was sort of – “okay, but, why?” (Full disclosure: Every year I enter the McSweeney’s columnist competition and every year I lose. So, bitter much? Maybe.) Borrowed from library.

after the parade ostlundAFTER THE PARADE, by Lori Ostlund, Hardcover, 340 pages, September, 2015, Scribner   I wanted to read this because Ms. Ostlund had won the Edmund White award. Well written but awfully sad study of the many kinds of love and loneliness and abandonment: parent/child, friends, lovers. Struck personal chords for me about needing to leave someone as a matter of saving one’s own self & soul and being manipulated by someone who confuses love with control. I was irritated because my local library does NOT have it. I ordered a bargain ($2) copy from the evil empire and then donated it — when I’d finished reading — to library.

 

Oliver, Mary FelicityFELICITY, by Mary Oliver, Hardcover, 96 pages, October, 2015, Penguin Press  I am only just beginning to read poetry on a regular basis after many years of not having done so. In the long ago it was Erica Jong and Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara and Dorothy Parker and Edna St. Vincent Millay and Patti Smith and Rimbaud. The theme of this slim volume is love, of the romantic and nature varieties. I am not much a believer in romantic love – its categorization outside and over and above other loves – especially lately I am annoyed by the cultural insistence on its primacy – and nature I can take or leave as well, I refer smog and city sounds, so, perhaps I am the wrong person to talk about this book. On the other hand, Oliver’s facility with language, the spare beauty of her imagery, quite stunning. But then again, given my general ignorance about poetry (I am studying now) and love (I am a life-failure and no amount of study will remedy that, this I have accepted), don’t listen to me about poetry. Borrowed from library. (Still have it, actually, plan to renew all five allowed times as I continue to re-read, examine, think – because, it’s poetry.)

Pinckney, Darryl Black DeutschlandBLACK DEUTSCHLAND: A NOVEL, by Darryl Pinckney, Hardcover, 294 pages, February, 2016, Farrar, Straus and Giroux  Not going to lie, I had a tough time getting through this. I got it because it was blurbed by Edmund White and compared to Isherwood. No. Aside from troublesome syntax and construction, it really didn’t have anything to say (to me) & far too much meandering detail, seeming — again — as if the narrative was interrupted with pieces from his journals about which Mr. Pinckney said, “Oh, this is lovely” and wanted to use but which added nothing. It needed to be better edited and the time jumping was unclear, a muddle. I kept falling asleep while I read it and wishing I had stopped early on. The last eighty pages were such a slog, but I was determined. Again, sorry to be negative, but Mr. Isherwood’s Berlin Stories is one of my favorite books and to compare this to that, well, no.  Borrowed from library.

And now, I am up to date on up-to-dating you on my reading. I know, dears, quite a lot of comment for one who says he is questioning the need to comment at all on anything, and just more dumping on the grid for one who says he is considering further grid-self-removal. But, if I am nothing else — and certainly not a McSweeney’s columnist — I am a conundrum (or two or dozens). In any event, I leave you with this — because, you know, I may not believe in love, but I do believe in fantasy love.

 

Brando shirt on

And with that, darlings, dear ones, loves, lights, here I am, going.

Reading: The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Swans of Fifth AvenueThe Swans of Fifth Avenue, by Melanie Benjamin, Hardcover, 368 pages, January 2016, Delacorte Press

I’ve always had a weakness for celebrity gossip. While I claim the mantle of politically-correct (more below) socialist-libertarian-egalitarian, count myself among those who believe capitalism has run amok, a behemoth become evil empire overseen and heavily-hand-ruled by a small cabal of venal, heterosexual white men who are determined to enslave the rest of us and lay waste to equality and democracy, much of my righteous indignation comes from the truth that I am poor, will always be poor, and have never had a path to gain foothold among the haves and one-percenters. There is little doubt I would gladly have compromised my morality for a Fifth Avenue apartment with a view and the opportunity to hobnob with the upper echelons of society, to rub elbows (and anything else to which they’d give me access) with the beautiful people.

It’s that aspirational acquisitiveness that makes novels like The Swans of Fifth Avenue so seductive. Reading this novel’s pre-publication publicity, I’d hoped for a juicy roman a clef in the Dominick Dunne tradition; his Vanity Fair columns (most of Vanity Fair, come to think of it) and novels like The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, A Season In Purgatory, An Inconvenient Woman, People Like Us, were thinly veiled exposes of people we commoners — the hoi polloi — had always envied but could, thanks to Mr. Dunne’s admittance and spy-work, now also pity and pooh-pooh and sanctimoniously tsk-tsk, patting ourselves on the back that we did not indulge in such malignity, malice, and evil even as we wished with all our avaricious little hearts that we could have those Porthault linens and hot, available, sexy chauffeurs and lawnboys.

Well, I’d still sell out for a Fifth Avenue view, high-thread-count sheets, and available and willing hunky, horny servant types — you can’t get much commoner than am I — and so I thought I’d have more fun reading The Swans of Fifth Avenue than I did. And damn damn damn this evolution of self, since I didn’t, I have to figure out why.

For those of you who read “reviews” for synopses, here’s what the publisher says:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Aviator’s Wife returns with a triumphant new novel about New York’s “Swans” of the 1950s—and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley.

Escape by Amputation … but I digress …

Your not-so-intrepid blogger is going away. He really needs to. I really need to. So, it’s off to some rehab again. They tried to make me go and I have said, YES YES YES. I’ll be taking the sea air. And reading. I haven’t long to write, as I must determine which 30 books I’ll be packing to take along. Back to nature for this old man — my nature, lost in a book. Much love, dear ones.

UPDATE MAY 17: I AM, OFFICIALLY, A NEOLOGIST – AND MY NOM DE GUERRE AS SUCH IS OSCAR PARKER ISHERWOOD — AND MY COINING AND DEFINING OF “DICKPANIC” HAS BEEN PUBLISHED BY URBANDICTIONARY — CLICK HERE TO SEENow, I grant you, this is hardly the OED we are talking about, but, LITTLE THINGS, people, LITTLE THINGS! Now, gotta run, still trying to cull the stacks of books I want to take along to the beach … I don’t want to hurt any of their feelings by leaving them behind, so, it’s rough going here . . .

UPDATE P.S. MAY 17: I informed my idol, the esteemed Duchess Goldblatt (follow her HERE on Twitter) of my etymological accomplishment and Her Grace replied: “Congratulations, dear. And I LOVE the new avi.” In reference to my updated avatar, which, in keeping with my return to basics, is a photo of me when I was in my prime and at my peak: age 5. It’s been rough sledding since then. Here it is:

baby foot charlie_edited-1 (2)

Thank you, Your Grace, Duchess Goldblatt, for Madam’s kindness and model of civility and good breeding. Would that the entire world would bow to Your Grace’s wisdom as have I. Now, it’s off to the beach . . . well, after a quick jaunt to the liquor store for the case of wine I’ll need for the next week.

Rehoboth-Boardwalk

Once upon a time, many long lifetimes ago, in another world —

(Do you remember that soap? And Beverlee McKinsey, who played tortured villainess, Iris, whose love for her father, Mac, and desperate need for his approval led her to commit unforgivable sins and behave in reprehensible and opprobrious ways? She — Ms. McKinsey — after the cancellation of Another World, ended up on The Guiding Light as Alexandra Spaulding, a character not unlike Iris but never as iconic and mythologically fraught. I loved Iris. Oh, wait, I think she — Iris, well, and McKinsey — also briefly moved to the short-lived Texas, a failed daytime attempt to ripoff nighttime’s Dallas — in any event, I so identified with her suffering and rooted for her to be understood by and triumph over the typical goody-goody heroes of the soaps in those days. And, too, on Another World were Constance Ford and Victoria Wyndham, two more iconic daytime geniuses, but, I digress…)

Iris and Mac

Beverlee McKinsey and Douglass Watson

Victoria Wyndham

Victoria Wyndham

Constance Ford

Constance Ford

— I was near death and the only solution was a radical change to my life. The only way to cure and heal what the matter was required a lopping off and cutting away huge parts of my life; an amputation, if you will, the sort of spiritual/cosmic equivalent of what occurs when gangrene has infected a limb and in order for the patient to survive, the diseased, dying flesh must be removed and, in the process, some living flesh is sacrificed as well, not to mention, after the operation, the patient must learn whole new ways of being. And, deal with the echoes of pain in places of the heart, the soul, now lopped away … that inexplicable ache coming from a place that is no longer there … the ghosts, those things that lurk at the edge of night …

(Do you remember that soap? I’m obsessed today with old soaps. I watched The Edge of Night only near its ending, when SharonGabet played Raven. Oh man, I loved her. Loved that character. When I thought she had died — Raven, not Ms.Gabet — I wrote to the soap, by mail of course, there was no email then, and promised I would NEVER WATCH IT AGAIN. Lol, the character was not dead and Ms.Gabet sent me a lovely personal note and autographed photo in response. Long since lost. But, I digress …)

Sharon Gabet and Larkin Malloy

Sharon Gabet and Larkin Malloy

I needed, then, to learn to “be” and “walk” in a new way, in that new life, after the amputation. I don’t really ever write about it, even in my novels I am not using it — which may explain why my novels are turning out to be so shitty — but, that’s another digression — because I don’t want anyone, ever, to feel I am invading their privacy. So, although it was my life, the amputation affected others, and the events leading to the amputation involved others, so, no. Not writing about it.

However, after the fact, a dear friend, seeing that I could not walk, could not speak, needed to rehabilitate, she picked me up and took me away to her family’s beach house and made me rest and sit and calm and listen to my heart.

Now, it is no secret that of late, I have been having a great deal of pain, brought on by many things, more ghosts and echoes of those I’ve lost … physically and psychic-ly … people who played important and, too, some not so important but memorable roles in my life; those actors.

(Lost actors … Beverlee McKinsey and Constance Ford have both died. Victoria Wyndham is an artist now, and Sharon Gabet seems to have stopped acting, I can’t find her. I seem to recall that she did a lot of crusading for AIDS patients rights after Edge was cancelled; many of the male actors on that soap died from AIDS-related complications; Dennis Parker, Joel Crothers, Irving Allen Lee, and there were rumors about others as well. Larkin Malloy played Raven’s great love, Schuyler Whitney — Sky and Raven were like Nick and Nora Charles combined with Bonnie and Clyde combined with Abbott and Costello combined with Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin — an amazing duo. I can’t find anything about Mr. Malloy after 2010, 2011 — but I digress …)

Joel Crothers

Joel Crothers

Irving Allen Lee

Irving Allen Lee

Dennis Parker

Dennis Parker

And so, my dear friend has again asked me to accompany her to the shore, acting as if I am doing her a favor by keeping her company.

And, once again, as soon as she asked me, good things started happening.

GOOD THING #1: I walked outside yesterday morning and there, staring at me, one of the brand-spanking-new tires which had cost $250 less than a month ago, FLAT. Not just a little flat — totally, completely, horribly flat. Called my favorite garage. While I used another car to cart around my Momma, the garage came, towed my car in, assessed the tire from which they removed a HUGE two inch bolt that had penetrated it — patched tire, put back on car, but the GOOD THING — while this is my third flat tire in as many months, I have had a decades long driving career with no flat tires, and, I’ve had SO MUCH work done on my car lately that I’ve accumulated enough service points to have made this tire service and tow COMPLETELY FREE! So, yay, good thing.

GOOD THING #2: I was in the gym yesterday, in the locker room getting dressed and ready to go, when three late-teen boys arrived, obviously high school age. They started in with that loud talk that so annoys me — I mean, OTHER PEOPLE HAVE NO INTEREST IN YOUR CONVERSATIONS SO KEEP IT DOWN — why do so many men in locker rooms talk at such intense volume? I think it is because they go into “dick panic” — when around other naked men they want everyone to know FOR SURE that they are bros and no homo — or, so I thought.

[WAIT – IS “DICKPANIC” A THING YET? BECAUSE I WANT TO COPYRIGHT THE WORD!– It’s mine. DICKPANIC is mine, so to speak — you read it here FIRST! I JUST PUT THIS ON URBANDICTIONARY,  UNDER THE ALIAS OSCAR PARKER ISHERWOOD, BECAUSE IT IS NOT YET THERE!!!  We’ll see if they post this: HUZZAH: 

DICKPANIC (or DICK PANIC); noun; a sudden, overwhelming and irrational fear that produces hysterical, overly-loud, overly-bro, definitely no-homo behavior in straight or wanna-pretend-to-be straight men when in close proximity to other such men with their dicks exposed such as in locker rooms or bathrooms or — you know, a “just-bros-no-homo” circle jerk thing.] locker1

Then, the boys started talking — as it seems the teenboys in the locker room inevitably do — about sex and a girl one of them wanted to get with, but, alas, she had returned to her boyfriend. The talk was SURPRISINGLY evolved but they then began to segue to, “Hey I have a huge secret” talk. Turns out the “huge secret” was that another jock friend of theirs had gone “bi” — ONLY, and here’s the GOOD THING — seems that the two of these boys who were not the speaker telling the secret already KNEW and said, “Dude, where have you been, everyone knows he’s bi — he came out about it months ago.” To which Dude replied, “Fuck, is everyone bi but me?”  To which one of other two replied, “Get over it, whatever, who cares?” I WAS FLUMMOXED AND OVERJOYED. I wanted to rush over and embrace all three of them — but, yeah — I didn’t. I just smiled in my heart and head.locker room

GOOD THING #3: I am at 9992 Tweets. In 8 Tweets I will be at 10,000. This seems SO HUGE to me — in a hilarious way — that I have STOPPED Tweeting — LOL — because I want 10,000 to COUNT. Oh, Charles. So, it seems apt that I should Tweet it from Rehoboth,  where I went when all of this amputation rehab began and where I am going now, feeling a sort of setback in my rehab process.

GOOD THING #4: I got another house/pet sitting gig for one of my empty summer weeks yesterday; so I have only a very few un-booked weeks left for June-August, which makes me very happy. Not only do I seriously need the money, but, too, I LOVE being around animals and, I think, a lot of alone time is really very good for me, what I need right now, and loads of full-body sunshine and since I am shy about taking off my clothes in front of people, these house sitting gigs afford me the privacy to sun bathe in private. Nice. And the beauty of other people’s lovely homes … entrusted to me.Flowers 2

GOOD THING #5: Because I am going away for two weeks, my dear A wants to have lunch Saturday, which makes me very, very happy. I need to assure her — and all my other A’s and loved ones — that I am, or rather, WILL ULTIMATELY be okay.

Look, I’m not actually sure I will be “okay” — but, what I mean by that is, I am not sure that anyone else’s definition of “okay” serves any real purpose or matters. I chewed off part of me to escape a terrible trap, and the dream I had of running free was purloined by my past, by wasted time, by the lost limb — so, I could have died in the trap, or I could lose the limb and try to find a new way to be and live … a new definition of “okay” — and so, yeah, you see, it is that search, that quandary that eats at me.

And the ghosts that haunt — the phantom limbs and phantoms and specters from that another world at the edge of night — I sometimes get trapped in an echo chamber of their voices, and believe that what they think (thought) is “okay” and “success” and “sane” and — all those other words of approval — are what I should be. Should do. But I never was those things, I was never going to be those things, and the playing of a game as if all those things really did matter, that fantasy world those ghosts wanted me to continue to forever pretend was true — I couldn’t.

So, yes, I do have a limp, some trouble now getting around in this new another world I am in, but it’s better even so than slow death by cosmic gangrene. And so, I’m going away for a while, and I think I may stop blogging for a while, and I think I need — somehow — to figure out now where hereWEaregoing, but, rather, hereIam.

So long, friends.

rehobothrehoboth history2

 

ZeitBites: The Personal is …

P.S. Before I even start – I DESPISE April 1. In a world gone as mad as this one, who the holy hell knows when outlandish claims and ridiculous stories and the profession of idiotic beliefs and commission of acts of hate are supposed to be a joke or put-on or joke? So, I do NOT do April Fool shit. There are too many fools on every day of every month – I only wish we COULD reduce it to one day.

The personal is … I wish I knew. Is it political? Is it didactic and dull? Is it pornographic TMI? Is it pointless to go on?

I want to be KNOWN as a writer. I want to be Joan Didion Edmund White  Charlie Smith. Yes. But, who is Charlie Smith?

libertytown coverUnable to get anyone to pay any attention to my novel – okay – maybe it does stink – I’ve been struggling with the contour and tone of this blog for more than a year. I needed an outlet once I’d lost my paid gig as weekly Ranter and Raver and theatre reviewer at the late, lamented Want to Dish, and HereWeAreGoing was meant to be that. It has morphed repeatedly. What began as hubristic on-line diary with appeal only to the approximately five people who gave a fuck that I’d lost my regular gig and killed my Facebook account, grew into a more gay-centric-pseudo-activist-political mish-mash combination musical theatre-esque fansite, from which it segued into long-form, long-term suicide note, the natural next step of which became a semi-nude celebrity worship/half-naked model-type with the occasional dick-pic adventures in the life of an aging, lugubrious gay man with sharp tongue site, and now, finally — or, rather, currently — it has become a literary leaning, book reviewing, author and agent stalking site – which still sometimes has pictures of half-naked men and bits and pieces of all the sorts of things my blog and I have been up until now.

It is, HereWeAreGoing, finally, the record and memory and shades and shadows (and pseudo-long-form suicide note) of my own personal Zeitgeist.

Thus, the Zeitbites entries. I see so much other really interesting stuff each morning as I troll sites,  Zeitbites I think ought to be shared with a wider audience, with those people whose sensibilities intersect with mine. I assume that if you are reading my blog, there is some connection to something about me, some identification of mutual or like interests. My hits and visits continue to rise, so, I must be appealing to someone — well, in my virtual life anyway — but enough about me, here’s MORE about me, in that, it’s the shit that appealed to me today . . .

Good, right? But if I could GET A LITERARY AGENT (Alice Tasman – HERE is her Twitter, she tweets about a lot of cool, add to your TBR pile books] or anyone at JVNLA LITERARY AGENCY [Click Here for rejection letters] – are you reading this? Of course not, why would they?) they would — no doubt — tell me that leading with my own 300 word precis into an essay on the same topic is NO WAY TO GET HITS. I was, when still Dishing,  REPEATEDLY told about myself by a former New York Times editor that ANYTHING LONGER THAN 300 WORDS WAS JUST MASTURBATION. Hmph. Apparently I have a rather prodigious gift for lit-jacking-off. Again, I say, HMPH. But, to prove that I CAN INDEED TAKE ADVICE – here is something short and sweet and freaking hilarious.

He’s a funny kid. A seventeen year old funny kid. A seventeen year old funny kid who knows what sells.

  • Speaking of which, here is a link to Andy Towel’s Towelroad item today about now 43 year old author,  Marcus Ewert, [CLICK HERE] who, at 17, stalked and bedded Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. I wish that I – at 17 – had had balls (and looks) enough to have taken off in pursuit of my gay-lit-icons. I can’t really remember what I was doing at 17 in any detail – although I have joEwert Ginsbergurnals and folders and boxes full of shit I wrote then somewhere in storage. Pretty sure that at 17 I had run away to California and was being rejected by flannel-shirted men in San Francisco and fucking “straight” marines I’d found eating alone in restaurants over Thanksgiving – a bad habit, that. Not eating alone, I actually miss that, but, rather, the whole “straight” marine thing. Ah well . . . seems I should have been like Marcus and been stalking Edmund White and such.

But, I didn’t. In fact, much of my life was spent surrounded by very few members of my own “gay” cohort and far too many seventeen-year-olds — who most certainly did NOT stalk me — and far too many “personal essay” types, if by personal essay one means people whose self-interest and selfishness and myopic sense of right/wrong/compromise had all to do with the world revolving entirely around their needs and wants to which all others must bow … yeah. That.

But, as my blog has morphed, grown, changed, segued, so has my life. For example, my birthday month has begun – it is now April 1, and last night I went with some dear ones to dinner at one of my favorite boites in downtown Frederick (people use the acronym DTF – but for reasons I should think perfectly obvious, I just can’t), Olives [click HERE to visit] which is usually deserted on a Monday night but was SLAMMED last evening because Roseanne Cash   [click HERE for her website] was in concert at the Weinberg Center down the street. Luckily, thanks to the MANY hours and MANY Mondays my DB and I have spent falling off renting space on barstools at Olives,  I and my friends got pretty fast service – and it didn’t hurt that my favorite bartender was working AND my favorite “I am stalking you” twenty-something waiter took care of our table. I would like – someday – to type another sentence about something that sweet, young, barely-bearded one took care of for me – but, I wouldn’t, because my specialty is discretion.

  • What? Right, after dinner we went to the Roseanne Cash concert. Have to say, loved it. Her rendition of Ode to Billie Joe is just EVERYTHING one wants it to be.

I want – so much – before I die (personal essay time again) to do ONE MORE cabaret, and I am including Ode in the set list. In any event, great night. And she did an encore of 500 Miles which – for some reason – moved me to tears.

I was moved to tears again after I got home. Minding my own business, catching up on episodes of Bates Motel, about which I am unsure how I feel, and I am assaulted by an ad for an upcoming program at the Weinberg Center, from whence I have just come. No details and no worries, but the ad pushed memory buttons – some of which were unpleasant – which is what upset me. Let me clarify without clarifying – it wasn’t so much the content or the acts behind the content, but, rather, that I thought I had cleaned all that up and it makes me feel “less than” to realize I still have some residual infection. So, I cried.

But, EVERYTHING moves me to tears. I, who don’t even like basketball, somehow got caught up in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen thing (and wouldn’t this have a much sweeter, cooler flow if that was SWEET SEVENTEEN and I could tie it all together? But, alas – as usual – sports are NOT my friends.) and on Sunday, when the Kentucky team won with that final shot by one of the Anderson (I think) twins and the camera caught his Mother in the stands . . . yep, I wept. I’m not a “straight” marine. I’m a weeping fool. No bro, all homo, here.

Like I said, ALL HOMO BRO. Or, at my age, really more ALL BROMO, HO.

In any event, this post is WAAAAAY-OVER 300 words — in fact, it is OVER 300 WORDS TIMES 4 — which I guess means I have a chronic multiple masturbation problem? Or, at my age – a gift? No. Not really, maybe when I was a seventeen year old and lacking the sense to actually search out Ginsberg and Burroughs and do something about it. Damn that was a long time ago.

Like the beginning of this entry . . . so I guess I ought sign off and do some living so I have something new about which to write. Later. Much love,

Charlie

 

 

 

 

 

friday … saturday … sunday … weekending … weak-ending …

My last day at this house/pet sitting gig.

I have just spent thirty minutes erasing the evidence of my presence; disposing of the empty wine bottles and delivery-food containers, washing the sheets and towels I used, consolidating into a semi-organized storm-pile the myriad stacks of books, notebooks, clippings, reference materials, charging Kindle, non-charging phone, lap top that I have spread all over this gorgeous antique-wood kitchen farm-table located by plantation shuttered windows (I LOVE this house) I use as my desk.

Why? There is a house cleaner on the way, and I needed to tidy up before she arrived. Which started the following loop in my head:

“And so he killed himself, the final straw having been the classist guilt he felt when turning off the alarm system and opening the door to the Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Pier 1, Ethan Allen catalogue-looking home he was being paid to sit in order to let in Rosario, the house cleaner, and the voice in his head looped into ‘Goddamn motherfuckballz I am more likely to BE a house cleaner than HAVE a house cleaner – or a house.’ Which gave way to, ‘Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with being a house cleaner. I mean, I’m a house SITTER. But if I HAD a house I could not possibly hire someone to clean it of Latin descent because it is just too Lifetime television. HOLY FUCK I AM A RACIST.'” 

You see where this is going? And even as I am THINKING the above (and guilt-ridden-ly type-confessing it in an email to one of my few remaining friends) I am wondering – CAN I USE THIS IN THE BOOK OR MY BLOG?

And, scene.

Carry MeSort of. The Sunday New York Times is DELIVERED here so I don’t have to go driving all over town looking for it. Which is good. Because my paralyzing agoraphobia has kicked in. I am – officially – depressed. Again. Motherfuck. I NEED SOMEONE TO CARRY ME. WHY CAN’T SOMEONE CARRY ME? I HAVE CARRIED A LOT OF PEOPLE. CARRY ME GODDDAMMMMIT. I mean, of course, someone who looks like George Clooney. Or, you know. OH FUCK. I have felt it coming on for a while and been fighting. Really. Fighting. HARD. But, the universe seems determined to plunge me into sorrowful, rueful reflection.

How? Well, “Echo Springs” – which I loved (read my review here) was all about alcoholic writers, and while I was prepared for the Tennessee Williams (I know, I over-identify with everything about Mr. Williams, most especially – I am such a cliché – Blanche) and F.Scott sections (and – confession – not a big Hemingway fan, so that didn’t much get me) I was not at all prepared for the John Cheever section to move me – gob-smack me, even – as it did. In particular, I knew NOTHING about his later in life liaison with a younger writer he mentored, Max Zimmer (although, in “Echo Spring” he is mis-identified as Max Zimmerman which seems odd for a book so carefully wrought, but, there we have it) with whom Cheever fell into that sort of disastrous love of the kind where one BELIEVES one is dealing with the soul of another, only to find, later, that the other canNOT deal from the soul. After it was over, years after – Zimmer re-wrote the life-story and said Cheever had disgusted him, that Cheever had manipulated and coerced him. In fact, that seems mostly a lie of Zimmer’s, in fact Zimmer was probably the one manipulating and coercing, in fact Zimmer had come on to Cheever’s son. Anyway – reading about this – hurt.

THEN, reading Barbara Vine’s “The Child’s Child” and its brother/sister despairs and the travails of a character, homosexual in the early twentieth century, who falls hard for a fellow lesser educated, less worldly, a fellow who eventually turns on him, betrays him, and laughs at the way in which he loved, using and mocking and belittling and finally killing him – again, into my very core, my soul: Bad. Lacerating. Hard.

And too, I spent the day watching ice skating, which has ALWAYS made me cry. Not sure why. I have forever been enchanted by the magical gliding across the ice. And I am OBSESSED with Meryl Davis and Charlie White and felt their record breaking sixth national title had something to do with me personally. BECAUSE I AM INSANE!

Ice Dancers

I will be watching it again today. Men. On ice. Which is the only way to have them, yes? But do I want Brown or Dornbush? Either will do. Or, both.

Jason Brown Richard_Dornbush_lwcppdra_ll5rkeke

And then tonight, Golden Globes. If Tatiana Maslany does NOT win for her multi-roles in “Orphan Black” – I may do something ugly.

orphan-black-tatiana-maslany-tca

Well, as long as I can do it without going outside.

hilton_alsIn the meantime, I have started reading Hilton Als’ “WHITE GIRLS” (HERE IS HIS WEBSITE – CLICK IT) and that, too, struck me like a slap. First of all, the prose is fantastic with a voice entirely unique. Second, again, someone is ravaging my head and heart and writing about it better than I could (apparently – since I have been ignored by another batch of literary agents – please shoot me) – listen, from the opening paragraphs:

The truth is, I have not been myself lately, and for a long time. … He is my second but longer-running we. This did not come about without its share of relationship noise. I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to apprehend – in the blind, awkward, and ultimately solipsistic way many of us strive to articulate why the beloved has become just that – how SL came to fill my mind like no one else on earth.

… With it all though, though, I know I will lose sight of SL eventually. I have before. To the movies and movie kissing. To his love of women. To his interest – unlike me – in the plural aspects and manifestations of the world, from its vastness to its multitude of worms. To his politics. To his various subjects (he is a photographer and filmmaker). To his migraines. To his social drinking. To his lack of interest – unlike me – in delineating who we are. To his lack of interest in speaking of our friendship – our twinship – to anyone at all. To his lack of interest – unlike me – in seeking anyone’s validation for what he thinks or feels.

WOW. That is simply and complicated-ly glorious writing. And describes much of my life. Too much.

And still my fucking phone won’t charge. And I can’t seem to DO ANYTHING about that or all the other things about which I need to DO something. De. Press. Ion. But, I DID manage to change my Twitter background from a picture of me outside the Algonquin (from years ago) to a picture of me in the White House Press Room, sitting in the New York Times press seat. So, the day is not a total loss.

DC Jan 2014 3 NY Times Press Seat at White House CROPPED DC Jan 2014 3 NY Times Press Seat at White House

Although, it’s not over yet. Give me time, I can probably fuck it up worse than I have. It’s not even noon yet.

 

… i happen to like new york … so quit DESTROYING it … oh, and naked priests and fratboys

Last evening I had one of those epiphanies of the not-very-lovely variety. I will spare you the details except to say that it started while standing in five degree weather at a gas pump and reading a rude unto purposely corrosive and belittling message on my phone and continued as if orchestrated by some evil force in the Universe with messages that didn’t come and Tweets that did and realizations that I was not and would never be something I very much thought I wanted to be and, worse, I was addicted to wanting that “state of being” in that particular circumstance in ways that were quite damaging and not only not affirming, but, destructive. And …

Today, I woke up with a cat on my head.

Well, not technically ON my head, but right by my pillow, purr-snoring away. A couple of things about this;

  • 1)Last night was my first on this house/pet sitting gig and usually night one is marked by an inability to sleep soundly. Nope. Tucked in at midnight, intending to breeze through some samples of books I’ve let back up on my Kindle, made it through one and was off to dreamland (which is no reflection on the book – which – SURPRISE – I bought.)
  • 2)I am not REALLY a cat person. Felines are all too like recalcitrant, presumptive, stubborn, sneaky teens and just when you relax into thinking one can be trusted, the claws draw blood. In addition, I have stayed with this cat before and it has had little interest in spending any time anywhere near me – which is okay with me – so I was SOME confused when I woke at 5:30 to its purring by my head. (I went right back to sleep and didn’t get up until 7:30 – which is ALSO odd, since my two doggie friends here – in the past – have asked that I rise no later than 6a.m.)
My buds, all three sharing the couch, and through the doorway you can see the kitchen table - i.e. MY OFFICE - piled high with my books and bags of writing supplies. LOVE THIS HOUSE!

My buds, all three sharing the couch, and through the doorway you can see the kitchen table – i.e. MY OFFICE – piled high with my books and bags of writing supplies. LOVE THIS HOUSE!

So, weird – though not unpleasant – energy is coursing through me and this house. My friends also have “gotten” that I read and write from the time I get up until late morning, early afternoon and have relaxed themselves, allowing me my work time. That’s all three of them on the couch we share later in the day and in the evening to watch T.V. – speaking of which

Evan Peters - my future husband - and Jessica Lange - my future BFF -in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN

Evan Peters – my future husband – and Jessica Lange – my future BFF -in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN returns tonight. I’m ridiculously anticipatory about this.

So, I woke up thinking about New York … I know I still haven’t finished sharing my thoughts about my pre-New Year’s trip, which is why I woke up today thinking “NEW YORK” and I meant to tell the tale but first, I had this COMPULSION to hear Cole Porter’s “I Happen To Like New York” and who better than Audra McDonald (CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER) to sing it? Here you go. You’re welcome.

Who doesn’t love New York? (That’s rhetorical. If you don’t – or you know someone who doesn’t – please, don’t tell me. Although, if I can remain friends with Republicans and Evangelical Christians, I guess I can remain friends with people who don’t like New York City – but, really? Maybe not. There have to be LINES DRAWN.) But it’s disappearing. Nina Garcia (CLICK HERE FOR HER TWITTER) sent a Tweet this very morning linking to an article on Gothamnist about the closing of a Barnes & Noble. READ IT HERE – TRAGEDY!

Tragedy like THE ALGONQUIN HOTEL which has been DESTROYED by the Marriott Corporation. I cannot – CANNOT – tell the entire story yet because it is still KILLING me – but suffice it to say that from the moment I walked in and saw the bullshit furniture with which Marriott had seen fit to pollute the lobby and then had to wait nearly thirty minutes for a drink – which I REALLLLLLLLLLLLLY needed after seeing the so-called updating that had been done by some tasteless, corporate pretend-designer – I was (and remain) flabbergasted and – well – look at this:

The godawful rug and table and lamp - those tables and lamps are THROUGHOUT the lobby - WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GORGEOUS INDIVIDUAL LAMPS AND TABLES FROM BEFORE?

The godawful rug and table and lamp – those tables and lamps are THROUGHOUT the lobby – WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GORGEOUS INDIVIDUAL LAMPS AND TABLES FROM BEFORE?

The so-called chandeliers - I MEAN WHAT THE HELL - which my companion said put him in mind of anal beads. Yes. That.

The so-called chandeliers – I MEAN WHAT THE HELL – which my companion said put him in mind of anal beads. Yes. That.

And as if these HORRID and UNCOMFORTABLE chairs weren't bad enough - all over the lobby - ugh - WHERE ARE THE OLD ONES? -these "new" ones are already torn, tattered, and exposing their cheapness - ARGHHH!

And as if these HORRID and UNCOMFORTABLE chairs weren’t bad enough – all over the lobby – ugh – WHERE ARE THE OLD ONES? -these “new” ones are already torn, tattered, and exposing their cheapness – ARGHHH!

I can’t go on. I will describe the whole HORRIFYING Algonquin Hotel experience later. Some day when I can do so without wanting to slit my wrists.

In the meantime, I needed a laugh this morning after all this disappearing New York City of my youth breakdown. I mean, I used to FIT in New York City and the Algonquin. Those were my places. Those were my people. Now, where do I go?

orthodox calendarWell, I have NEVER had any use for sororities or fraternities. To me, they were (and are) discriminatory organizations meant to affirm those habits of exclusivity based on gender, race, class, and some level of assumed superiority and qualifying difference of class or “our kind of people”-ism which just further inculcates the biases and bigotries of a fascist patriarchal hetero-normative society and its traditions of classism, sexism, racism, homophobia, etc, etc, etc . . . Feel the same way about almost all religions. In fact, feel the same way about almost any group. So, imagine my delight to come across (so to speak) the following two videos. The first is from BuzzFeed about an Orthodox Church Calendar (CLICK HERE) – and the second is from The Daily Grind about a frathouse I might actually enjoy being a part of (CLICK HERE)

Yes, so, I’m thinking . . . I have this great reputation for being responsible, reliable, supplies his own liquor and loves them like his own house and pet sitter – so, maybe, just maybe, there’s a frathouse somewhere that needs a sitter? I’ll bring my own liquor (and I am a giving person – so I’d probably share) and with any luck at all … instead of waking up with a cat by my head, I’ll wake up with a fratboy in close proximity – now that I could pet.

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…)

Morning Zeitbites … killing your uncle . . . and getting off . . .Friday, December 13, 2013 … wait, Friday the 13th???

Just those links that made me laugh or loiter or lament why I continue to live as I troll from the exile of my own personal Elba with my morning coffee.

Friday the 13th. Really? Not caring. I’m not superstitious and when it comes to bad luck and mishaps, I hardly need a special day. Seems as if the fates – whatever the hell they are – have had it in for me for quite some time now. SO, bring it on.

SOMEBODY PUT SOMETHING IN MY MOUTH, PLEASE?

Tom Daley and Lance Black; exclusive to Just Jared, Cosmo/Fame Flynet Pictures

Tom Daley and Lance Black; exclusive to Just Jared, Cosmo/Fame Flynet Pictures

Ages ago I wrote a blog post called “I WANT A CUTE RELATIONSHIP” (CLICK HERE) and I still do. Really. But in lieu of me getting one of my own, I revel in the cute relationships of others. I am particularly obsessing over Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black (and NOT JUST because of the age difference – about which you should read Michelangelo Signorile HERE you big fucking ageist bigot ass) and Just Jared (CLICK HERE) has exclusive first photos of them together since Mr. Daley announced he was in love with a man (WATCH THAT YOUTUBE VID HERE) – I love the way the world is changing and holy fuckballz I would just about kill for someone to give me a sip of their drink like this BEFORE IT ENDS UP BEING THE AIDE IN THE INSTITUTION WHERE I END UP ANY DAY . . . get me a cute lover NOW.

OR PUT A KNIFE IN MY HAND AS OPPOSED TO MY BACK . . . CUZ I WANNA GET IN ON ALL THIS GETTING OFF . . .

Seems that murdering people is getting a lot less dangerous than it used to be, and not just in Florida. I mean, there was Trayvon Martin’s murderer being released so he would be free to abuse and batter his estranged wife and new girlfriend until one of them irritates him enough that he shoots them and gets off again – so to speak. And then Jordan Linn Graham shoves her husband off a cliff ON THEIR HONEYMOON and pleads down to second degree (READ HERE ON BUZZFEED) which I TOTALLY blame on her parents spelling Lynn as Linn – I mean, what the fuck is with that spelling? And speaking of blame, now we have the “AFFLUENZA” defense? A drunk-ass punk-ass rich Texas kid mows down four people with his pick-up truck and gets $450,000 a year rehab and probation (READ HERE IN DAILY MAIL UK) while the same judge who agreed to this deal sent a14 year old BLACK child to prison for ten years for one death (READ HERE) – so, uhm . . . I’ve been stabbed in the back by any number of people and should have stood my ground; how about I get drunk and stab back some backs by which I’ve been stabbed . . . if I can’t “get off” one way, maybe I can “get off” another?

AND SPEAKING OF GETTING OFF … GET OFF THE SCREEN YOU TWAT … MEGYN KELLY …

What the actual fuck? She actually says with her straight, Fox-lies-news face that Jesus was a white, historical figure and that is a verifiable fact? ARE YOU ON CRACK? There is SO MUCH wrong with and about this that I can’t even BEGIN to . . . holy shit . . .  QUICK, SOMEONE PUT SOMETHING IN HER MOUTH OR BACK . . . these FoxNews people are demons . . . speaking of . . .

TEEN WOLF IS COMING (BACK) . . .

I am unable to control my lust for Dylan O’Brien who plays Stiles on MTV’s TEEN WOLF. And he is front and center in the Season 3, Part 2 teaser trailer. Here:

I am only disappointed that he is kissing a girl. I was SO HOPING the producers would go with all the fan-fiction hook-ups of Stiles and Derek – or as we they call them “STEREK”. . . some Wolf on Boy action.

Sterek Ship STEREK KISS Sterek Ship Gif

Anyway, see, were I a famous author (HEY LITERARY AGENT I AM STILL AWAITING A REPLY – pretty please) then I could “meet cute” Dylan O’Brien and he could fall in “love at first sight” with me and do a nice YouTube coming out like Tom Daley did and – IT COULD HAPPEN – Tom is 20 years younger than Dustin, and Dylan is 20 years younger than my stated CraigsList age – so there. Where was I? Oh, right, alas, Stiles and Derek seem not to be hooking up in Season 3 … nevertheless, I will be TV-glued January 6 and binge-watching the past seasons prior. Past seasons prior? What the fuck sort of syntax is THAT?

And finally, in the Friday the 13th bad luck sort of fates have it in for you sort of department . . .

AVUNCULICIDE … JANG SONG THAEK, I FEEL YOUR PAIN …

When I heard that Kim Jong Un had ousted his uncle, it was worrisome enough. Now, it seems, he’s executed him for treason (READ HERE IN HUFFINGTON POST). I worry. AVUNCULICIDE – the killing of one’s uncle – (not to mention Fratricide – the killing of one’s brother, and the lesser known OEDIPIAPLATOCIDE – the killing of one’s older male lover who one used to get over one’s father issues) going mainstream? Now, granted, Uncles (and brothers and older male lovers) being thrown under the bus and slanderously accused of crimes and misdemeanors and sins against the family (and whomever else) – not exactly a foreign concept to me. I hope when the time comes it’s a firing squad … which, actually, would be better than the slow freeze-out of love being used to kill me thus far . . . and the way people are getting off for killing folks lately . . . I’m sleeping with one eye open . . .

Ryan McGinley : Oliver 2/ 2012

Ryan McGinley : Oliver 2/ 2012

Or – not sleeping with both eyes open and searching for my gratuitous half-naked man photo of the day . . . and here it is . . .by Ryan McGinley, who has ALL THE BEST NAKED PEOPLE (go to his site HERE – lots of pretty naked women and men). This one is Oliver 2/2012. Loves it. Happy Friday the 13th my friends. And enemies.

And if you can’t have a happy Friday (and lord knows I probably won’t) at least enjoy the brisk weather and winter wonderland … like these fellows are … now, finally, a kind of snowman I’d be interested in playing with.

winter wonderland

… crush(ed) … the Sunday zeit-wrap … and half naked men with books …

ZEITBITES SUNDAY:

No bother to read, really. I had a crush this week. I was crushed this week (as recently as this morning) and I found a new Tumblr with naked men reading books (sprinkled liberally through this week’s Zeitbites) after I got sad in the grocery store because I wasn’t making dinner and cleaning house for a hot boyfriend – the latest candidates for which all moved to Texas or are planning on marrying women or hate my guts even though they really love me.

Library Art 2FML. Now then …

It’s Sunday, and I need to (want to) catch up with about six months worth of New York Times and magazines and … so, I have a lot on my mind but the development of the theme and finding its beginning, middle, and end without writing far too personal essays involving stories about people who have a right to their privacy would require far too much effort today. So, I’m doing a highlights and hints reel.

Theme of the week: Holiday and relationship stress. 

Let me say this about that: Love comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It is my considered opinion that this culture in which we live has missed the mark when it comes to Love and Sex and Relationships – by confusing and confuting and instilling Fear where there should be Love, and Dark where there should be Light, and Secrecy where there should be Open-ness.

This morning I was walking around a grocery store, alone, which I almost always am, and had a brief conversation without words with someone who was also – sort of – alone – in that “with someone but wish I wasn’t because they don’t really validate who I am” sort of deer in the headlights look in his eyes – and I was struck – IT QUITE LITERALLY FELT LIKE A PSYCHOLOGICAL EMOTIONAL SLAPPING – by the number of hours and amount of heart and emotional energy I have spent making worlds for people who did not validate who I was, who thought I should bend and shape and be what they wanted and needed, and who never acknowledged or returned the energy of Love and Light I put forth for them.Library Punk

And I was really sad. And I was wishing I was shopping with and for a book reading hot man. And lo and behold, perusing BuzzFeed(click here) I saw an item about the plethora of penis stories this week(click here), one of which referred me to this site, a Tumblr called (sorry) “Eat A Bowl of Well-Read Dick” (click here – lots of naked dick, some erect by the way) – and, wow, I started crushing on lots of these guys (who are used to illustrate this column.)

And thinking about that word; CRUSH.

Library Explosioncrush (krush) vt to suppress or overwhelm as if by pressure or weight; to oppress or burden grievously; to reduce to inactivity or passivity; to press or squeeze so as to squash, deform or break; to beat down or overwhelm; to subdue; to defeat soundly; to ruin; to extinguish; to reduce to particles by pounding or grinding;  AN INTENSE AND USUALLY PASSING ATTACHMENT OR INFATUATION; a crowd that produces uncomfortable pressure; pulverize; pulp; conquer; humiliate; DESTROY

I know, right? You know what this proves? I own waaaaaayyyyy too many dictionaries. And that’s only about one tenth of the definitions, carefully chosen to illustrate the point I am not making out loud.

I had a long week of crush experience as in feeling and being and it reminded me of a past column in which I discussed what a friend had said to me about my tendency to feel crushed by the weight of the worlds of OTHERS I carried. And here is a quote: Because the shit you’re carrying doesn’t even belong to you and it is crushing you and I’m afraid you’re never going to recover from the weight.” (And you can click on the quote for the whole column: …words (not that they mean anything) from the wise”)Library Man 2

And as I checked my archives, it was THAT COLUMN which got a lot of hits this week … along with the ever popular “WORDS TO THE WISE (Click here for that)” which continues to get huge hits because it has this picture of a huge dick wrapped in Calvin Klein tighty-whities and so all those tags get porn hits.

big-penis calvinkleins

Should I feel bad about that? No. I mean, it’s good that SOMEWHERE IN MY LIFE I am getting hit on instead of rejected because of my dick – and, too, also typical that it’s only the dick they’re looking for – ENTIRELY SKIPPING THE WORDS I SHAPE INTO BRILLIANT PROSE. (I know, but somebody has to compliment me.)

Library ManWhich, again, THIS WEEK was about… so here they are (going nowhere)…

My Tweet-highlights for the week:

  • Just when you THINK you’ve met someone nice – they ask you to piss on them. To me – NOT romantic.
  • I should either have died in 1985 or been born in 1920 but I definitely do NOT belong here in 2013.
  • UN-following anyone mean. Stop trying to gain followers by being cruel & cutting. We need LOVE AND LIGHT. I am so tired of nasty.
  • This week I was told by person 1)”I have never met anyone nicer & kinder than you” and person 2) “You’re the meanest person I’ve ever known”
  • I can’t be bothered by the people who hate me, cuz they’re the same people who claimed to love me best. So, uhm …love, hate both=bullshitLibrary Boys
  • tomorrow i win publishersclearinghouse $7000 a week for life…then EVERYONE will want me. Im gonna buy a 20 yr old. Eff dating
  • Wow … CW and the Greens all in one day – this is turning into a good holiday – unfortunately someone just called me a liquor soaked whore
  • I mean…if you want to call me a liquor soaked whore you should either be a blood relative or buy me dinner first.
  • How early is too early to drink a glass of wine when you’re alone for the evening? Happily alone, but, alone? Is 6:30 too early?
  • I am surprised (& a little ashamed) to confess I am weeping while watching the MAKING of the Sound of Music Live. I am way too sensitive
  • Who says I need to know a person’s real name? I knew lots of people’s real names who managed to hide EVERYTHING from me so trying this now
  • Working on project & realizing there is no one currently in my circle who’s read Jane & Paul Bowles collected works.
  • I tried to make so many Frankensteins, & each one I shocked into being eventually tried to kill me for birthing them.
  • I love being around people: And I love getting home AFTER being around people to the QUIET even more.
  • Love people’s holiday photos BUT why do people think tongues sticking out & middle fingers sticking up cute? Why the urge to F.U. everyone?
  • It is AMAZING how quickly the story of an underdog & a little coincidence can render me completely defenseless and STUPID
  • Oh dear… 24. Can’t read. Can’t come out. Grew up in 2 rooms. Wants to keep it a secret. I’ve done it again. I am hopeless.Library Art
  • At least he’s not married. Yet.
  • Oh for a world w/an intellectual-hook-up site where people listed IQ & lit preferences instead of genital size & preferred sex acts
  • Oh for a world in which whether you are a “top” or a “bottom”matters less than whether you’ve read Jane & Paul Bowles.
  • Seen on a social-interaction site: “U have the intelect of a nat. I have good education so eff u.” Oh my. The level of discourse . . .
  • Furthermore, on the theme, I am confused by writing “Eff U” instead of “F You” which seems far more logical?
  • How many times does 19 go into 52? I mean … 42? Always been really bad at math.
  • Where you’ve been needn’t dictate where you’re going; it’s the journey, not the destination; don’t let anyone else dictate your map.
  • Being young & pretty is an accident of nature & temporary gift; you can throw attitude when you’ve earned it by becoming mature & beautiful
  • It is so difficult for me not to point out to you the irony & intense Meta quality of so many of your Tweets. Library Bed
  • I am often gobsmacked by the ridiculous suggestions for “who to follow” I receive. Twitter needs to tweak its algorithms. Or, stop tweaking?
  • Forgive yourself for the things at which you think you’ve failed; Forgive yourself for not being able to make everyone love you; Forgive YOU

See you next week . . .