Part 3: Existential Cozies, Comforts, and Joys

Well my little hall-deckers, if Christmas it must be, then the Yuletide ought always to be like last night! Maybe there is, after all, something to this keeping an account of my cozies, comforts, and joys. So, Part 3.

MEGAN HILTY

andrea and charlie

Me and my Andrea between shows. Big drinkers; me with a coffee, Andrea with a Coke. Yep. Whoo-freaking-hoo!

Big fan. First saw Ms. Hilty as Galinda in Wicked. Next saw Ms. Hilty as Doralee in 9 to 5: The Musical. Next, became rabid fan of Smash, founding member of Team Ivy. Then, my dear Andrea birthday-surprised me earlier this year with tickets to see Ms. Hilty in concert at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre. And then AGAIN, a few weeks ago, Andrea surprised me with tickets to see Ms. Hilty’s Christmas Concert at the Kennedy Center for last night’s 7:30 show. It was only yesterday afternoon that Andrea told me she had gotten tickets NOT ONLY to the 7:30, but, also, the 9:30. And so, the two of us, front row, aisle, house right — for the first show, somehow, despite it being sold out, we were the only people in the front row, and for the second show, the only OTHER person in the front row was a yawning, unkempt looking fellow in aisle seat, house left. I don’t know HOW Andrea gets these amazing seats, but, uhm, she always does.

About Ms. Hilty. Wow, the last time I saw her, my birthday concert (yes, MY BIRTHDAY concert), she was quite preggers. She delivered the girl-child, Viola, three months ago, and is back, better than ever. She can belt with the best of them but she is also able to quietly croon you to tears. She invests each song with its beginning, middle, end, telling the story with an expressiveness of voice and emotional depth I think is rarely equalled among current singers and Broadway performers. She really is a treasure. Listen to this — which she did last night in an arrangement of mostly guitar (as played by her husband, Brian Gallagher, more below).

And, MOST OF ALL, the relationship between Megan and her husband, Brian Gallagher, who plays guitar and sings with her during these concert appearances, is so freaking beautiful. I want to be one of them. The love they share just radiates from the stage, envelops you in its warmth and fairy-tale goodness. Ms. Hilty sang the song A Place Called Home from the Broadway musical version of A Christmas Carol, and she started weeping just introducing it and speaking of having found “the love of her life” and having a child. Not only was she crying, but as she sang it, so did Mr. Gallagher weep. Both shows. It wasn’t performance, it was life, and love, and so much Light on stage. Great show. If you’ve a chance to share some time with these people, you really ought to. And for me, being there last night (BOTH SHOWS!) with them and Andrea, so much comfort and joy.

COMFORTS, JOYS … quickies

  • And gas is really cheap right now, which is great, as I will soon be returning to Aftermath — where I love to be, which bucolic setting is twenty minutes from the gym. So, cheap gas is good.
  • And, thanks to a niece, found Starbucks Christmas Blend Keurig Cups for 8-something a box. This is a VERY good thing. I know it’s ridiculous, but I don’t think I could function without a Keurig.
  • And I have discovered (thank you TwitterLiterati) the Agatha Raisin mysteries by M.C. Beaton. Delightful fun. Happiness.
ford penis necklace

Tom Ford $800 Penis Necklace

  • And Tom Ford is selling what appears to be a gold phallic symbol. [See New York magazine article here.]  How cool is an $800 dick necklace? I’ll tell you how cool — Bill Donohue of the Catholic League [click here for the fucking moron] is upset about it. And, an idiot. I mean, who even THOUGHT this was supposed to look like a cross? I mean, now, every time I see a nicely arranged set of male genitalia, I’m going to connect it even more vigorously to my memories of my catholic youth — those years when my knees were hardened and trained to the tasks and sacraments for which the catholic church so lovingly prepared me. Thank you to the catholics for making me so good at so many things involving being on my knees … speaking of which ….
  • And, at the gym yesterday, a really good-looking guy came on to me in the showers. I have no idea why someone as good-looking as he was would come on to someone like me, I didn’t see any mistletoe hanging on the shower head — but — without going into details — this was not another one of my hallucinations. He actually, really and truly, did come on to me. I did not reciprocate nor respond except to politely indicate the gym-showers were not a location where I intended to frolic. Truth, I am still snotty and unwell — this cold thing — and it would have been not just dangerously undignified (and, possibly, illegal?) to fool around there but, too, I’d have been spreading cold germs. But, you know, HOPE —

SPEAKING OF HOT MEN … Russell Tovey is cheating on me …

russell tovey nude looking

Russell Tovey on top of the home-wrecker and fantasy-killer, Jonathan Groff

Andrea broke it to me last night that she’d seen a preview for Season 2 of HBO’s Looking and it seems as if Russell Tovey — who I claimed as my own YEARS ago when he was in The History Boys on Broadway — is continuing — in the plotline — to have sex with Jonathan Groff’s character. I am not happy about this. And, clearly, the universe and all the demons of hell sent after me because of my lapsed catholicism and ever-increasing atheism (wait, that doesn’t make sense, well, so what) have conspired to torture me because this morning, Russell is everywhere. He posted this one of himself:

Tovey, Russell Dec 2014

Tovey by Turner

CLICK HERE FOR the website Cocktails and Cocktalk, and a whole series of new hot Tovey photos.

And, as if that wasn’t enough to get me all … well, whatever it is a man my age (who, I hasten to add, was COME ON TO in the showers yesterday — WHILE NAKED) gets, then, I was assaulted by this photo to the left in my Twitter TL. An entire new set of Tovey photos. Dear god (in whom I do not believe) STOP!

SPEAKING OF GOD … final comfort and joy of the day …

Andrea. My dear, dear Andrea, she who allows me stays at Aftermath with her dear, dear Judah, yes, Andrea is a Pastor. Pastor Andrea. A person of the cloth.

I know, right? I can hear many of you exclaiming — as did my family and some other friends when I spoke of Andrea and they inquired as to details — “How is a Pastor friends with you?”

Well, here’s how. In a life you meet/have a very few people — if you are lucky, and I am INCREDIBLY lucky in this way — who “get” you. These people see you, who you are, at the soul, at the source, at the center of your Love and Light. They don’t judge you, they don’t try to change you, they don’t forgive or accept, they don’t have to — they KNOW you. They never see anything but the Love and the Light. If I believed in God — and when I did believe in God — it was that sort of seeing I thought defined God. My complicated cosmology didn’t have room for sin or hell or right or wrong — but, rather, had space only for the aim of seeing only the Love and Light at the source, at the core. Not saying there aren’t people who behave in heinous ways, saying, instead, the job of a God — the job, I think, of everyone, all life — is to believe PAST all of the heinous, to believe that — ultimately — the Love and the Light, no matter how distorted they may become, are all that are. All That Is, the truth of the Love and the Light. Everything else is illusion, temporary, words, labels, not important.

How does Andrea stay my friend? Because for Andrea, that is all there is. Andrea is what anyone who wants to do God’s work should be, a person who works always to live in and see in others that core of Love and Light, and believes in it — no matter how those others parse it or fuck it up or hurt themselves and others or fail at life — Andrea sees and encourages and cultivates and BELIEVES in the Love and the Light.

That’s faith. Faith. That’s God. And I am incredibly blessed and comforted and cozied and joyed and un-deserving of having found this late in life (although I hasten to add I was come on to when naked in the shower yesterday by a very attractive much younger man — ARE YOU LISTENING RUSSELL TOVEY?) a friend, a dear one, a treasure, like Andrea. Andrea, a Pastor who doesn’t measure me by whether or not I profess to believe in God; Andrea, who doesn’t measure me at all except by the glow of my Love and Light, and finds me to be friend-worthy. I love her. So much.

Here’s wishing all of you have an Andrea and such blessings as do I to count, and, my dears, at least one who sees your Love and Light like Andrea sees mine.

Love and Light kids.

 

 

 

ZeitBites: Stritch and Me (And Alec Baldwin)

ancient-greek-wine-drinkingLast night I debauched with my DB. (That’s DrunkBuddy – which is like a FuckBuddy, only instead of indulging in orgy-ass-tastic, no-strings-attached, no commitment sex, you intemperately imbibe in no-holds-barred, no judgment, crapulence inducing dipsomania.) Despite his tender years, DB and I have known each other for decades and nary a bout of boozing goes by without discussion of our improbable bond.

We are interesting inverses of one another, in the Latin-root (though it is important to note we are not now and never have been Greek-rooted) sense meaning turned inside out. And while we both profess an abhorrence for labels, there is no denying that reality requires making the infinite possibilities of “all that is” bite size by demarcating lines of definition and categorization, and by those measurements and cultural norms, we would seem to have little in common.

He would likely be described as youngish, straight, in many ways conservative, bro-ish. While my adjective list would include oldish, gay, uber-liberal, best-girl-friendish. Now, just in making those lists I have employed ageism, standard-cultural hetero-normative presumption, classism, and sexism – all of which I claim to eschew. Those labels limit, and in the case of DB and me, though each list is accurate enough on the surface, when and if we let people past the surface, those “accurate enough labels” are exposed as woefully inadequate, even, in some ways, the opposite of true, and, at the very least, only a little tiny portion of the picture of who we are.

We all choose what we show of the whole picture of who we are, and with whom we share it. Sometimes, some of us, don’t really have any clear idea of who and what we are, and so we show the world all facade because we haven’t yet found our own truth, or we fear it, or we fear people’s reactions to it should we share it. Every day, we all walk fine lines of moral and spiritual and social ambiguity that are difficult to discuss openly with most of the people in our lives. That’s why everyone needs a DB. With us, between us, there is no real shaming – and yet, we faux-shame one another relentlessly, viciously, constantly, calling each other out on hypocrisies and indefensible dichotomies and asshole moves, and this more and more often occurs while we are being lubricated by a couple of bottles of wine. Like last night.

winetast460We decided to have dinner delivered to the suburban Maryland condo where he was weekending, during which call he was making on my phone (he left his charger at his home) I managed to break the corkscrew. Luckily, he has bro-skills, and managed with a tool kit, long screw, and pair of pliers to open that bottle. And the next. And the next. We watched episodes of How I Met Your Mother – his choice, not mine – and then Jeopardy – my choice, not his. Then, things get a little blurry, somehow we were watching SharkTank – he loves, I hate – and I tried to watch Hannibal – never seen it, he didn’t want to – and then, his choice, we rented a movie called Date and Switch, for which the elevator pitch from IMDB is:

Two guys who make a pact to lose their virginity before prom find their friendship tested when one of them comes out of the closet. (CLICK HERE FOR IMDB ENTRY FOR MOVIE)

Frat BumpWe kept pausing it to argue. I found the movie to be a facile and false hetero-culturized telling of the coming out experience, in addition to which, the newly out guy almost INSTANTLY met a really, really cool and attractive boyfriend and BOTH OF THEM were stereotypical “straight acting” about which they remarked, repeatedly, bonding over how they’d never watched the Tony Awards and loved hitting people and shit. Please. In addition, the just out guy did the “gay as imagined by straight” culture trope of accidentally sleeping with a woman in his tortured, lonely, coming out process. It was that which caused our biggest Pause/Argument as I posited it was proof of male-hetero-presumptive brainwashing that it’s common in pop-culture entertainments and no big deal for gay guys to have sex with women, and for straight women to have sex with other women, but it is almost NEVER portrayed where a straight guy has sex with another guy, and if it is, that is assumed to be MAJOR and he is no longer “straight”. After which rant of mine, DB launched into his “well all you gay guys think EVERY guy is gay anyway so what difference does it make?” Which is a point, but a point in an entirely different argument.

Stritch, ElaineWe, once again, moaned about living in a world where labels fuck things up so badly and suddenly it was after ten (and two empty bottles) and we decided we needed a second dinner and more wine and so, pizza and bottle three were gotten and we argued about what to rent next. I won this one. Sadly. It was the documentary, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, about the Broadway legend. I wish I had read a review or two before I badgered DB into this. (CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEW YORK MAGAZINE/VULTURE REVIEW OF DOC BY DAVID EDELSTEIN)

Here’s the thing, and I quote myself from above (now, there’s some HUBRIS for you!):

We all choose what we show of the whole picture of who we are, and with whom we share it. Sometimes, some of us, don’t really have any clear idea of who and what we are, and so we show the world all facade because we haven’t yet found our own truth, or we fear it, or we fear people’s reactions to it should we find and share it. Every day, we all walk fine lines of moral and spiritual and social ambiguity that are difficult to discuss openly with most of the people in our lives.

It is crystal clear from the documentary that Stritch lived her life suffering all sorts of  terrors about who she was and whether or not she belonged and was loved, and, because of that, she could be a terror. And, on the other side of that terror – or because of that terror – she could be a vulnerable, needy, adoring, loving, boisterous mess of a best friend and DrunkBuddy. It pushed all sorts of buttons for me and DB, and he ended up – as he always does – knowing when I was crumbling, at which point he reaches out and holds my hand (and holds me up) without hesitation. It is who he is.

Stephen Sondheim and Elaine Stritch

Stephen Sondheim and Elaine Stritch

But not everyone sees that in him. Or, sees what he sees in me. But we agree that how and what we see of each other is closer to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth than most other people we know can or will ever see. Some people think me a horrid, awful person, and a terror with whom to work, and an embittered, nasty, vile thing – just the way some people see Stritch. Then, others, see us more whole. Without denying the so-called dark sides, they see the light too, like Mr. Stephen Sondheim sees in Stritch.

We need people who don’t judge. Speaking of which, I try not to judge too much, but I do not pretend I succeed at being Buddha-like, and lately ranted about Mr. Alec Baldwin – or, the part of himself he recently allowed to escape – but, there was his name as Executive Producer of this Stritch documentary. I can only assume he was instrumental in its getting made, in acknowledging her importance to the culture, and for that, he deserves much praise and honor. Well done, Mr. Baldwin. And perhaps the press and your anger have caused you to appear to be someone and something you are not – heaven knows I have appeared as someone and something I am not if one listened to certain stories or, yes, read certain of my writings. So, I deign in my powerlessness to cut you a break.

wineCutting breaks is still a breath too late though, isn’t it? Because the fact that we think we need to (or can) cut someone a break means we have already sat in judgment. And we need not to judge, especially our loved ones. But there again, fine line between supporting someone no matter who they are, no matter the mistakes they might make or have made, and enabling them in bad and destructive behavior.

Which DB and I have discussed before and will, no doubt, again. Because we all have a little Elaine Stritch and Alec Baldwin and Charlie Smith and DB in us, whether we like to admit it or not. We all have those days and those doings born of the terror we feel inside about whether or not we are seen, whether or not we are loved, whether or not we are of enough value to stop drinking (or smoking, or drugging, or shopping, or eating, or some other self-destruct method) ourselves into oblivion. And we need to own them, look at them, and make decisions about the next step on the journey – without judging ourselves.

Now that – NOT JUDGING OURSELVES – is much, much more difficult than not judging others and something on which I really, really, REALLY need to work.

But, not tonight. Tonight, I am drinking alone. Well, with my books. And my puppies. At my house sitting gig. And feeling pretty judge-y about a couple of ME-things. So, is it too early to open the wine and start the bacchanal? Nah. I’ll be all bro about this. Or, girl-friendy. Either way, the corkscrew here works. Later.

Zeitbite Tuesday … I can’t blog, don’t ask me …

I really need to spend LESS time blogging and more time working on other writing projects.

As soon as I typed that I was self-snarked and taunted with the question, “Why? Who says?”

You know, I don’t know. After all the energy I have spent trying to de-program myself from being a slave to cultural assumptions about fame (you’re not a writer unless you are published in hardback by Knopf which is really Doubleday owned by Random House owned by Bertelsmann and – see, well, it’s all a huge corporate game, right? It’s not like the legendary “literary world” of which I dreamed) and economics and sex and every and anything else … still I think, “GET PUBLISHED IN HARDCOVER!”

Lol. So hard to escape the brainwashing and the zeitgeistian MUST SHOULD DO NOW YOU FAIL ALWAYS BE THIS BE THAT BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN CONTENT IN WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE.

I do want, however, to be read. And I am. (AND I THANK YOU FOR THAT) But, not by tens of thousands. My blog numbers are growing but I’m not viral, hell, I’m not even a germ.

Nonetheless, I PROMISED myself I would keep this under 500 words today. Because I do have to do my 1500 words and get to the gym (although during my web-trolling today I saw this and determined – ONCE AGAIN – I really need to find the gym where the cool boys go)

gym boys

and finish the novel I’m reading

SHOVEL READY by Adam Sternbergh - so good so far!

SHOVEL READY by Adam Sternbergh – so good so far!

and make dinner for everyone

nutribullet

Started BACK on healthy eating yesterday, I am IN LOVE with this NutriBullet blender – it makes spinach shakes you can actually enjoy.

and watch President Obama give The State of the Union tonight.

I know, it's President Obama and First Spouse, Michelle, but I LOOOOVVVEEE Michelle so much.

I know, it’s President Obama and First Spouse, Michelle, but I LOOOOVVVEEE Michelle so much.

So, only a few zeitbites.

I can’t blog because … after I read this article in New York Magazine (the only magazine to which I STILL subscribe, which says something since I used to have fifteen magazines regularly delivered) called What is it About Middlemarch by Kathryn Schulz (CLICK HERE TO READ – really, CLICK HERE because the column is KICKASS!), I was overcome by that uncontrollable GET THAT BOOK hard-on. Now, I have that book – but it’s somewhere in storage and I don’t know how long it would take me to find it and so … yeah, at 2a.m. I was downloading three different Kindle samples to see which version to buy (although there is a free one, but, I’m capitalist brainwashed and am sure that one would suck) or if I REALLY needed a hardcopy in which to note my oohs and ahhhs of pleasure, appreciation and new insight.

I can’t blog because … crap, I only have forty words remaining. Okay. Done. Follow me?

… putting it together … art isn’t easy …

I’m writing a story about what happens to a man who has spent a life trying to find the “why” in reality through making art and then, suddenly, stops. He reaches a point where he no longer believes in the efficacy of finding patterns or telling stories, where he no longer has enough faith to believe in anything. Since I am that man, I’m not certain I’ve the skill to tell the tale, and, isn’t the attempt oxymoronic? Since I no longer believe there is any point in trying to explain the world or exploring the truth and light of it, then, why bother? It’s a pattern I suppose. A habit. I would much rather that Stephen Sondheim explain it to me in a song than I have to write a novel about it, but, there it is. Here I am. Wonderful article by Frank Rich about Mr. Sondheim in New York Magazine recently (CLICK HERE FOR IT).

Sondheim, Stephen

Stephen Sondheim

Have I mentioned how much I love New York Magazine? I do. Heartbroken they are going from weekly to bi-weekly, but, at least they’re continuing to publish.

Where was I? Oh, right – should I be writing this story? I’ve been trolling the web (as usual) looking for inspiration – looking further into the Narcissus myth – and I found the work of the artist Daniel Barkley (GO TO HIS WEBSITE HERE). Look at these pieces – gorgeous.

Daniel Barkley; Narcisse

Daniel Barkley; Narcisse

Daniel Barkley; Brother's Keeper

Daniel Barkley; Brother’s Keeper

Daniel Barkley, Untitled

Daniel Barkley, Untitled

Daniel Barkley; Conversation: Anthony & Paul

Daniel Barkley; Conversation: Anthony & Paul

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

I think his use of color and light and the re-imagining of myth- to say so much without a word, to tell a truth, to communicate in such a powerful way: I am in awe of such artists.

And wish I could approach their level, their genius. I too have written a great deal about “blue” – but spending hours looking for inspiration in their work on “blue” – in the subtleties and genius of the songs of Sondheim- I mean, listen to Heidi Blickenstaff singing “I Remember Sky” from Sondheim’s score for “Evening Primrose” – how gloriously gorgeously dreamy and sad and insightfully regretfully rueful and wise and silly and stupid and aching and melancholy and longing and … all the things we are when we run away from reality and hide – good god – just listen, these lines:

“I remember days/  or at least I try. / But as years go by / they’re a sort of haze /And the bluest ink / isn’t really sky. / And at times I think / I would gladly die / For a day of sky.”

Then notice the details and dangers in Barkley’s paintings (read an interview with him and see more of his work here) … especially these with the same theme of BLUE as did Sondheim’s “I Remember”

barkley, daniel blueBlue VincentBarkley, Daniel Icarusbarkley, daniel untitled 4barkley, daniel untitled 5barkley, daniel untitled 6

These works – they both intimidate me and allow me (force me, even) to procrastinate … care to join me?

 

… morning zeitbites … Thursday, December 12, 2014 …

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.

I’m feeling snarky and mean this morning – haven’t had enough coffee and my gym schedule is being thrown off by having to do some driving and hair salon duty with the Mother-unit – which will be lovely, I’m sure, but before my brain is further addled by hairspray and perm solution fumes, I wanted to do my first morning zeitbite – which I’m thinking I’m going to do daily. But maybe not. What’s the difference. I live in a cave and the world is full of mean people and shitheads so … yeah, we need one more bad-attitude daily with pics of near naked men. My luck, this shitty attitude side of me will catch on – it usually does – it’s the Good Witch in me no one can stand. Well, Galinda this, my friends.

MACAULAY CULKIN IS NO LONGER HOME ALONE.

Macaulay - not swallowing - by Terry Richardson

Macaulay – not swallowing – by Terry Richardson

Because I live with people who have yet to discover that the holiday season is the most GUNderful time of the year; when more suicides than at any other period occur; that period during which family and personal traumas are accumulated until one is eventually despairing and defeated enough to either off one’s self or a group of deserving strangers; I was FORCED to watch parts of “Home Alone” starring Macauley when it was just his Mom and Dad fucking him, before he had done enough drugs and been butt-reamed by enough movie execs to turn addict. He’s been wandering around seedy New York nightspots and leaking cum out of his mouth in Terry Richardson photos(CLICK HERE FOR HIS PHOTO DIARY SITE) while shooting heroin for a long time, but now, he’s making a comeback in a pizza-themed rip-off of a Warhol Band and if BuzzFeed(CLICK HERE) and Vulture(CLICK HERE) are writing about it – IT MUST BE TRUE.

YOU SHOULD WATCH ORPHAN BLACK FOR LOTS OF REASONS ALL OF WHICH ARE EXPLAINED HERE AT THE BACKLOT (Click now DAMMIT) – Learn this name: Tatiana Maslany (and follow her here on Twitter)

I don’t have a lot of time this morning – which is unusual since, here in Elba, I rarely do anything but scribble stories and ideas onto expensive French notepads, the contents of which eventually are transcribed and transformed into computer bytes on flashdrives where I keep all my stories and dreams that I might send them off to Literary Agents who might – in return – have the pleasurable masturbatory experience of reading the first five sentences and saying, “I think not, darling” and neglect to ever send me that rejection so I wait in a state of endless anticipation for the one who will recognize my beauty and worth and love me at last – oh wait – I’ve conflated and confuschristmas naked guysed my failure to find a publisher with my inability to find and ineptitude at love – well, same fucking thing, except, when it comes to men, at least every once in a while I can find a desperate down-low married man with three children who is happy to get a bit on the side. WAIT – ARE THERE DOWN LOW LITERARY AGENTS WHO’LL REPRESENT ME AND THEN PRETEND THEY DON’T KNOW ME IN PUBLIC PLACES?

Fuck it. It’s the holiday season. Which I hate. Maybe if this was going to be waiting under my tree I could get into it. It’s from the Tumblr HEROBOIS (CLICK HERE) which is definitely not safe for work – unless your job is being in Macaulay Culkin’s new band – then go for for it.

… staying in … hermetically sealed satellite … Hermes floating alone between worlds …

The snow days have prompted one of my periodic withdrawals into ascetic seclusion. Solitude. Contemplation. Obsessive focus on effluvia; those hypothetical imponderables from which I try to educe the meaning and purpose of my life.

For instance; I meant this to be a quick Tweet-length post but then used the word “hermetically” in the title and decided I should check the etymology to be certain it was what I meant and have now spent three hours researching and reading about Hermes and wondering why – today – I chose to use “hermetically” and what deep, synchronistic semiotical message I’m meant to glean from its eruption in my brain, that bubbling to the surface to explode onto my virtual page.

I just wanted to say that I am feeling the need to hide. Again.

Would that I could manage to achieve true Hermit status; that tracing to Hermes Trismegistus:

Herm of hermesHermes_warrior_Louvre_G515

Hermes: inventor of a magic seal, moving freely between worlds mortal and divine, protector and patron of wits, orators, makers of literature and poetry, protector of miscreants, harlots, and crones, arbiter of intelligence, bestower of the gift of eloquence to lovers, symbolically the gateway between the conscious and unconscious mind.

Would that I could go there without the nagging sub-textual suspicion that my doing so is a ruse and pose meant to obfuscate the fact that I am a castaway, without a home or homeland, a wandering wastrel, pariah, leper, outcast.

I’ve printed out the above (and below) photos of Hermes icons and paintings. I am fascinated by the story of his obsessive love for the mortal young man, Krokus, and how while playing discus with him, and accidentally killing him with the intensity of his play, Hermes then turned him into a flower, the crocus. I have loved too intensely and destroyed as well; had I the sense to make the corpse of my emotions into flowers? I don’t know.

Hermes and Crocus

In any event, Hermes and Crocus have been hung on my bulletin board, the one here in my writing alcove, the one full of shots of loved ones I personally know (and knew) and see (or once saw) and those loved ones the outlines of whom I admit to making up in my head – Joan Didion, Tennessee Williams, Jane and Paul Bowles, Little Edie Beale in her fur, William Burroughs on Jack Kerouac’s lap, etcetera. Already this week I had hung there a full-page from New York Magazine which boasted a photo of Dorothy Parker at her typewriter.

Parker, Dorothy New York magazine

This is why I re-subscribed to New York Magazine. (You should too. CLICK HERE. Their website is amazing as well.) Well, that and a pathetic hope that doing so would assure my winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.

It did not. And I was quite sad that day. When I did not hear from PCH. Or, from the latest literary agent to whom I had submitted things. The deadlines happened to fall on the same date.

Yes, I am definitely hunkering down into isolation. Again. I need to confine myself to a separate place, a walled off room of my own in which the distractions of the daily and all those silly “real-life” rules and concerns – which I long ago learned were stratagems of deceit and subterfuge meant to keep us from noticing we were missing the point of life – do not apply.

I will hide here, stay here, be alive here, with my pictures clipped from magazines and printed from offline. Like a fanpic worshipping youth slapping shots of hot musicians and actors, I hang these images of my idols – not that I’m above sticking up an image of a hot actor or musician – but, they tend to be long ago shots of those now dead.

What was I talking about and where was I going? No idea, so, I’ll have to settle for here … where I am … NOT (today) going anywhere. I’m a satellite alone in my own universe.

Zeit-Bites: Who’s been sleeping in my bed? No one. Whose bed have I been sleeping in? EVERYONE’S.

Call me Goldilocks. Always sleeping in someone else’s bed. No, not like that. I mean house-sitting. And when I’m house-sitting I sit alone and sleep alone. Actually, I pretty much always sleep alone. When I’m in a bed with someone it isn’t usually – ever – about sleeping so much. In any event, the point is – was – somewhere – I have been sleeping in some pretty beautiful places – alone, of course – and wishing I had my OWN place like these to which I might some day invite someone – which is another long, sad story – but, the point is – I can’t invite people to OTHER people’s houses. So, I enjoy these nights in these rooms made from love – like these below:

benton-chase bath 1 benton-chase bath 3 benton-chase bed 2Yeah, Goldilocks indeed. Or, well, once upon a time I  might have been called that, when I had long locks and they were gold. Now, I keep my hair cropped short in a misguided and failed attempt to approach Anderson Cooper/Andy Cohen gay-zeit-status. Not going as well as I’d hoped. Perhaps it’s not the haircut but the television platform and personal trainer that make the man? I’ve been thinking a great deal about what it is that attracts people and what particular combination of things I am missing. For years I worried about my gaypeal being low because the only organ I had that was oversized was my brain. Not alone in that fear:

However, Patrick, you should maybe trick with a couple of guys, because it has been my experience the experience of a friend that tricking guys during moments of passion will frequently tell you – when their mouths are not full, or, semi-full anyway – that your balls are huge or your dick is thick or big when I my friend knows perfectly well that is not really the case. But, then again, that would be another documentary since Patrick is, it seems, straight. A label that I my friend can tell you from experience does not really apply as much as many purportedly heterosexual men would insist in public. And I am not alone in wondering why.

Speaking of popular words on gay-hookup sites, what the fuck? Having read a lot of posts on various sites I my friend has gotten disgusted with all the “isms” used to pre-filter responses. The admonitions of “No Blacks” or “No Fats” or “No Old Guys” or “Asians Only” or “8+ only” or – my his FAVORITE – “MASCULINE ONLY” or “STRAIGHT GUYS EXPERIMENTING ONLY” – and other equally ludicrous exercises in label-mania which extend to demands for qualifications hilariously unlikely to EVER be met from fellows RIDICULOUSLY un-situated to REQUEST such things – to outright, blatant ageist, racist, bodyist, homophobic, self-hating bullshit – so vile and so foul it has made me my friend abandon the sites – even as a source of amusement.

Maybe I’m on the wrong sites?

Here’s Kenneth Walsh’s (my pretend buddy) article about Grindr vs Jack’d (CLICK HERE) and here’s the article at the Fortune site to which he linked about this new hook-up app (CLICK HERE). And here is the Jack’d site (CLICK HERE).

Goldilocks . . . once upon a time

Goldilocks . . . once upon a time

So, where was I and why did I write this? Oh, right, I’m Golidlocks-ing, sleeping around – ALONE – in other people’s homes and burnt out by the quest for company and affection in which I have my friend has been engaged for the past while. I wonder if I’d known when I was more Golidlocks what I know now – what I might have done differently? But, that’s not REALLY the question, is it? No. The question bothering me is what do I do now? What does “alone” really mean? Because in some very fundamental, basic ways I have been “alone” for all of my life. There is no one now and there has been no one for a very long time with whom I could share the “most” of me, the “least” of me, the “best” of me, and the “worst” of me – let alone the “short” and the “thick” of me. And for years, I was deluded and deceived (for which I have only myself to thank) into thinking I could share parts of me, could share my dreams, could believe my back was had  – if not rubbed – because, let’s face it, I’ve always been the one doing the rubbing. But if they did have my back, it was only because they wanted unfettered access when it came time to stab me in it. Still have the scars.

Enough. Blah blah blah with the self pitying shit, Goldilocks. Time to find what I want for me and what I want is someone who can share with me my most least best worst short and thick without ism’s or ist’s and DAMMIT TO HELL I want no beds or hearts too hard too soft or too anything else BUT INSTEAD FOR ONCE IN MY FUCKING LIFE LET ME HAVE SOMETHING “JUST RIGHT”.

Happy weekend.

. . . out of the mists . . . into the fog . . . Heathcliff . . . let me in . . .

I have just driven home at 1:30 in the morning. Long story. There was, along the way, this combination of mist and fog and roiling, rolling moisture obscuring the landscape, blurring my vision through the windshield.

I am distracted, as always, by discursive flights of metaphor and symbol. I don’t so much live, anymore, as I do narrate whatever this plotline into which I’ve fallen is – or, rather, I see it written; the pages of this novel called – On The Way to the Use-By Date  or, no, that’s too – I don’t know – fey or something, so, perhaps, Looking for Mr. Kit-Kat. No, too derivative. Too confusing, don’t want Isherwood’s hated adaptation of his I Am A Camera (otherwise known as Cabaret) mistakenly referenced. This novel has nothing to do with musical theatre.

In any event – so not the point – back to the mists, the fog, and the way I keep imagining I am seeing people or spectres or just – things – these, just THINGS in the fog, in the mist, always ready to jump into the road – and my mind starts leaping. To a Bronte. Of course. Which would make sense could I tell the whole story, which, I cannot.

Wuthering Heights. Kate Bush. Heathcliff, it’s me, I’m Cathy, I’ve come home. I’m so-o-oh cold, let me in your window-oh-oh-oh. Oh, let me have it, let me grab your soul away. You know it’s me; Cathy.” Heathcliff. I once told a man who I thought I loved how much I loved Heathcliff, and, typical of the men I have thought I loved, he missed the point ENTIRELY, and mistakenly thought I meant the cartoon character – a possibility that had NEVER even occurred to me as I’d been speaking to him – and, he bought me a stuffed Heathcliff. Which I did not get at all as I had never seen the comic strip. And so he explained it to me and I pretended that it was – in fact – what I’d meant all along. I hid the truth from him. The truth that we lived in very different worlds with entirely different languages and realities. I hid the truth from him: that he was an idiot. And he hid me from the world. He made me promise never to tell anyone about us. He said to one of my friends, “Would you want anyone to know you were sleeping with Charlie?”

He chose the wrong friend to tell, because, in fact, she WOULD have liked to sleep with me. Still, it was cruel – I think – of her to rush to tell me what he’d said. But we were all young and – well – cruel. In fact, years later it was suggested to me that perhaps he had NEVER said that, that perhaps, just perhaps, she was the kind of person who would tell a lie like that to get me away from him.

You see where this goes, right?

Actually, you don’t. Because, I don’t. I have no idea how I got here from where I meant to be.

This was going to be about how I can do whatever the hell I want now, how I no longer have anyone to take care of, no one who depends on me.

This was going to be a blog-entry about having the freedom to be on the road at 1:30 in the morning.

This was going to be about having the freedom to fill my days with books.

This was going to be about having the opportunity to read LucretiusThe Way Things Are and the National Book Award winning study of the way it changed the world, The Swerve: How The World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt.

And too, this was going to be about how I just this week got around to the January 14 issue of New York Magazine in which Elizabeth Wurtzell’s article/essay My One Night Stand of a Life, moved and frightened me and prompted me to re-examine what I was writing and reading. And what I was doing with my nights. And my ones. And my stands. And my ridiculous fucking screaming shouting out loud keening wail of a “WHYYYYYYYY” existence – from which I keep chasing people away. Or, rather, by being ME – I somehow manage to lose them – because ME is more than they can handle. What? Right, Ms Wurtzell talks about being born unhappy and she speaks of her disdain for the empty and unexamined trivialities people call “lives” now – and she sounds an awful lot like me, except, of course, she has managed to turn her despair into some measure of fame and limited fortune.

What the hell was I talking about?

Here’s the thing this was going to be about: A half block from the home where I am staying, I again thought I saw something in the fog, the mist and said to myself, “STOP IT – THERE IS NOTHING THERE!” At which point, the deer jumped out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes. We stared at one another. She slowly walked away.

It is all fog and mist and misunderstandings, my darlings, but you must hasten to remedy, to fix, to forgive, to finish, because soon enough there will indeed be something in the shadows on those moors, waiting to jump out, beating on your window, beckoning, wakening the past, begging to be let in, haunting, it’ will be me, Heathcliff, I’ve gone home.

(OH MY GOD – AS I TYPED THAT LAST WORD AND STARTED SPELL-CHECK, UP CAME THE INFORMATION THAT THE POST WAS 666 WORDS LONG. MISTS. FOGS. OR THE FIRES OF HELL?)