Thursday, December 25, 2014

This one's hard

This one is going to be hard to write obliquely, but I'm up to the challenge, and it's Christmas, so here goes.

This was my outfit going to church last night. Back in the day, in my childhood, we dressed up for church, but in adulthood, I like to snub my nose at God a little with my fashion choices. Casual only, you know? But believe me, God has reciprocated in spades, and I am treated just as casually by the Almighty as I treat Him or Her. To calamitous effect.

Susan had invited me to her church earlier in the week, where she and her husband Nick were ushering for the Christmas Eve service. I got there late, fresh from some new sexual humiliation that I brought upon myself. I was greeted by Susan and Nick, and then seated myself in the balcony of the church. Immediately, two little girls came out and sang a carol and it was so sweet and sad that I began to weep, weep, weep, like I haven't wept since I saw "The Impossible" or "Lorenzo's Oil." I wept so hard that I had to go to the bathroom three times during the service to blow my nose. It was really gross. Susan held me at one point, when I was trying to find the bathroom the first time.

While I was watching the service, I started thinking about the many church services I attended as a youth, with my mother and father and brother. Like, every Sunday for most of my childhood. My mother sang those songs. Those hymns, and those rote prayers. And then I started thinking, of course, about visiting my mother's ashes in her funeral home with my father. Maxine forced me to, and I'm glad she did. In the funeral home, Dad started singing this hymn that I had never heard before. I stood there, astonished, because I had never heard him sing before, and I certainly never thought about him loving my mother enough to sing to her. You know, your parents are your parents, and you don't think of them as loving beings. The song that he sang was "And the Mighty Organ Played, 'O Promise Me.'" I looked at Maxine and thought, "Does this make you feel something, like it does me?" but Maxine was inscrutable as always. Hard as a jewel, really. Who was he singing that song for? Did it have any history for him and Mom? Who knows…they never SPOKE.

Tonight, I called Maxine at around 8 pm and told her that I'd just cried in church, that I just couldn't stop, and that I'd been thinking about Dad, and she asked me "isn't it a bit early for church?" That's what she asked me. Then she asked me what movie we were going to for Christmas. We always see a movie for Christmas, because we don't like to talk about our feelings (at least to one another). And it's usually a Hobbit movie. This time it will be the one about the five armies, or such. ONE MUST NEVER TALK ABOUT ONE'S FEELINGS TO MAXINE.

This has only happened once before in my life (shout out to Cherita!) but then a friend rescued me. Susan took me into her home and fed me and her parents were there and they were adorable. They held me there all night in their embrace and I left feeling incredibly changed. I do know that Susan knows how I feel about her, but just in case she doesn't, I want her to know that she saved my life tonight.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


What are your thoughts on Kelly Ripa? Do you have any? Weirdly, I do.

I don't mean to front. The character "Kelly Ripa," as it surely is a character, is among the most self-assured comedic portrayals in history. I rank "KR" up there with "Stephen Colbert" or "Jan Hooks." There is no moment on her stupid show where she's not ON. I could watch YouTube videos of her all day, I kid you not. But not HER insipid show. Just shows where she's being interviewed on, where she's letting the KR character out for popular consumption.

I kind of feel like Kelly Ripa, like me, is just a morbid depressive when she's not being filmed. Like, she probably goes home every afternoon and weeps and makes love to Mark Consuelos and then weeps again for good measure. She was probably born with a knitted brow. This has been sort of corroborated to me by people who know her. You can sort of tell, too, can't' you? Just look how she bad-mouths her own daughter in interviews! Who but a sad sicko would do that? But when she's on the air, she's on the f*cking show, she's a dynamo, she is taking no prisoners, damn you.

As for her show--I remember thinking that it was revolutionary when Michael Strahan was named as her co-host. It is revolutionary, probably unprecedented. Just 20 years ago, that could have gotten the show blackballed in the South. Just 20 years ago, that probably could have started a new political party. But that is as far as it goes, revolution-wise, on "Live With Kelly and Michael,"sadly. I tuned in a few months ago to see one of the Hemsworth brothers (does it matter which?) being interviewed on "Live" and practically fell asleep. Such soft-ball questions! I like the Hemsworth brothers as much as someone could like anything--like, hard, man. But I felt nothing watching that interview. Nothing up above and nothing down below. And, being that I'm a book publicist, I feel sort of slightly put out that Kelly and Michael never have authors on their show. I mean, f*ck them, right?

Here she is wearing a shoulder-less dress. Is she pretty? Is she plain? I can't tell anymore. She's like my mom, in that I can't see her objectively anymore, but I can't imagine a world without her.

This was a transitional post. Sorry, all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The public gaze

When one is walking around the busy streets of Manhattan with a disfiguring injury to one's face, as I was today, one must prepared for the intrusive stares of one's fellow New Yorkers. I've noticed this phenomenon before. When I got into a bicycle accident in 1996 and had two black eyes, even the freaking freaks on the street were looking at me like I was the freak. Staring, even. I think that when people see a freak, they feel as though they are one rung up from the freak in life, and can thus take certain liberties in dealing with them. People gaze openly at the injured, the homeless, the people walking down the street helplessly crying. Like as though we are paintings, or small children. Give us a modicum of privacy!

When I was still in college, my friend Kristin had a binder filled with freaks. I think she curated the binder to include freaks from popular media, but she had also surreptitiously taken pictures of students around the campus whom she deemed subhuman. One that I remember was "Fetus Girl," who was a woman with soft, puffy skin, who did somewhat resemble a fetus who was born prematurely but lived in spite of that. Hers was an unfortunate lot, but I thought what I thought about her and moved on. No need for me to immortalize her like Kristin did! I wonder what happened to Fetus Girl? (She's probably dead by now.)

Whenever I see an unfortunate soul walking towards me on the street, I immediately look away. This includes people in wheelchairs, junkies partially levitating during some nod-out, and celebrities. (Although I did see Ewan McGregor on the street outside work today, and I looked at him - twice - with extreme curtness, just to confirm to myself that it was indeed him). I remember the writer Jean Rhys' book Good Morning Midnight, when the narrator, down on her luck, notices out of the corner of her eye that another woman on her train is staring at her. The narrator tries to stare her down, but the woman won't look away. The narrator wonders: What kind of person would continue to stare at you when you have caught them in the act? Her answer: The same kind who would have gone to a burning at the stake and locked eyes with the immolated as they were burned alive.

People at work kept coming up to me and asking me, "What happened?" I was tempted to reply, "I'm dating someone new. I guess this means he loves me?" But I knew that people would complain about me to my boss if I did that, so I told them the horribly simple truth: I was tripped. Towards the middle of the day, I had become so self-conscious about my near-mortal wound that I began to wish that I could go away to that place that I long for sometimes. The little white room in a hospital where I lie in bed and think about nothing, while nurses come and go, soothing my forehead with a cool cloth. But then I went to the gym and did abs, and then I didn't feel that bad.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Honey Boo Boo

Are you like me? Do you hate the phrase "white trash?" Ugh, it makes me cringe every time I hear someone utter it. We are obviously never going to achieve racial harmony until all the races stop demeaning one another. Plus, the implications in the word about class need to hit the scrap heap of history. True, the recent Honey Boo Boo scandal makes me pessimistic about the future of the human race, but maybe not for the reasons you think.

There is nothing about foolish choices that has to do with class. See: John Grisham. See: George W. Bush. See: Michael Jackson. Foolish choices happen because we're human, all of us. I can put myself in Mama June's shoes, I can see why she perhaps thought she had no other option open to her other than the vile man from her past. I can be horrified by her choice to resume dating him, but I can't pretend to be her superior in terms of morality, as I've made some pretty epically dumb moves in my day. (Including my recent wise decision to get involved with a "straight" man with a girlfriend, which I'm praying doesn't cause Jesus himself to throw me into the lake of fire). I can't so much sympathize with the Mama Junes of the world as empathize with them, you know?

I wonder why I know the names "Honey Boo Boo" and "Mama June" in the first place? I am a 41-year-old man who only watches perhaps a half-hour of television a day. (But a crucial half-hour! right at the twilight between laying in bed and having the Trazadone kick in). When I told my therapist recently that my psyche is being rocked by the sheer volume of television shows out there and available for my consumption, she suggested I blog about it. I hate it that she's discovered my blog! :( What's on here is automatic writing, stream of consciousness thinking in a zone of safety and whimsy, and certainly nothing that analyzation would limn.

Today when I go to the CVS to make my sometimes-alarmingly urgent self-beautification purchases, I gaze upon the magazines displayed near the counter and wonder at the "celebrities" depicted on the covers of US Weekly, People, and their ilk. "Kris rocked by paternity scandal." "Kate locked in bitter alimony struggle." Who are these f**king people? And is America really that familiar with them that they can now be identified by first name only? Where are all these networks found on the dial? Who knows the channel numbers for HGTV, Lifetime, VH-1, TLC, etc.? I believe the only reality tv I've ever watched was the first couple of seasons of "The Real World" and the entire run of "Breaking Up With Shannon Doherty."

Tonight I am really excited to stay home and clean my apartment, and it's a Friday night (live it up, Gregory). I'd lost my laundry card, and thus I am wearing my black tank top (this is as "white trash" as my look gets). That's what I was reduced to this week, wearing things I never wear, out of necessity. Tonight I found it, and have already laundered my rock tees, my sexy briefs, my deceptive polos. I can only speculate on what Mama June is wearing, but I'm sure that whatever it is, it is very little.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Franklin Ave

I was wearing my short-sleeved black shirt from Barney's and the same Levi's jeans I've secretly been wearing for two weeks straight now when I made the trek out to Crown Heights to attend the Franklin Park Reading Series. My author Blake Butler was reading that night, and it's always fun to see him, so I was looking forward to the evening. I was almost there when it occurred to me that I was on Franklin Avenue, the site of my late brother Michael's law office. I don't know why this had never occurred to me before. I've been to that reading series at least once or twice before. I decided to walk the two blocks there to see how much it had changed, if at all.

As I was walking there, I marveled at how much the block has changed since the years I used to get taken to "the office" whenever I had been kicked out of school, which was often. Back then, it was mostly bodegas, and men peddling beef patties. Mmmmm...patties. What a strange word: "patty." Now, it's like organic restaurants and trendy bars and such. I wonder if my brother would have been happier there if the gentrification had happened earlier? He hated Franklin Avenue so much, and hated being an attorney, too. Towards the end of his life, I sat with him in his SUV in Queens and he told me that he had a dream to become the captain of a boat. I said, "well, why don't you do that, then?" "I can't," he replied, and then he started crying, and I held him. I felt so sad for him, feeling trapped in his life. I've structured my own life in such a manner that, if I ever needed to, I could just quickly gather up my books and outfits and cat and up and move to California. No kids. Just one family member left in Queens. And she thinks I'm crazy, so a sudden departure wouldn't raise any red flags with her. I would miss Paula and Luther, though. And Mary, and Kayleigh, and Cathy, and Kateri, and Heidi, and Michelle, and Sherie, and William, and Rory, and Greta, and Tina, and Amy, and Alyse. And the rest of y'all. I don't think Michael had the luxury of escaping his life. He was much more influenced by and dependent on his parents than I was. Plus he had that house and that very messed-up wife of his.

I peered inside the office, which is now some kind of investment firm. The front entryway seemed unchanged, but further in, it was totally different. They had gutted my brother's office, it was all hip now, like a f*cking loft or something, and I suddenly was going to cry. There were, like, these people inside, sitting and working. Like he once did. I wanted to run inside and scream at them and tell them to get the hell out, but instead I snapped this selfie of myself in front of the old office at 722 Franklin Ave. And then I went and saw Blake read a passage about the deaths of a million people in America, and Nikki was there, too, and I felt better for some strange reason. For the first part of the reading, I was sitting at the bar, gazing at the bottles, facing away from the readers. Then, I remembered that my purpose on earth is to help other people, and that one of the readers might feel slighted if they spotted me facing away from them on their night, so I turned around at that point. I feel very moved and grateful every time I think of my brother and how his job and his wife killed him, while my job and the people I work with restore me to life--every day--and the sociopaths I date have very little affect on me. I don't think it's luck--I haven't lived a good enough life to deserve luck. It's more like grace.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


On the second day that Alia granted me access to her on her visit to NYC, I went to meet her and Paco in Brooklyn for brunch. I haven't seen Paco since she dared to challenge me to a sing-off during my birthday karaoke party two years ago, and I demolished her with a cover of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." Paco, still embittered, spent the entire day trying to make me uncomfortable with excessive body contact, kissing, putting her face thisclose to mine during casual conversation, etc. Little does Paco know, I was not made to feel uncomfortable, though as the day stretched out I began to become a little confused why she wasn't getting tired of her own joke. That said, both Alia and I have an alarming fondness for our own senses of humor, and sometimes our running jokes go on for years, so I guess I can relate. Alia's been doing farting noises when I walk since high school, cracking herself up as though each time she does it is the first time. I've been saying "pound THIS" and "collate THIS" since 1995, when Rebekah from MultiPlan first hipped me to that jive.

I wonder where Rebekah is today? She is one of the few people in my life to have dropped me as a friend because of my sense of humor. She had explained to me her paranoia that she had been secretly filmed for the Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" (she was a drug rep when I knew her). She was so worried that she would be featured in that movie. So, to make fun of her and try to bring her to her senses (because I was worried for her sanity), I kept joking that I would visit her soon, unless she was attending the gala premiere of "her movie." I called her and left messages for her twice after that, but she didn't return my calls, and I got the message and never called again. I feel that when people stop speaking to you, it's the least you can do to respect them and go along with it. I also feel that sometimes people who call themselves "neurotic" should actually just tell the truth and call themselves "egomaniacs."

Last year I stopped speaking with two friends of mine. Both were sober, and I think that in both cases, I was consciously trying to take a step away from that insane sober world where no one shows up and I was always alone, or trying to talk to people with no interest in me at all. But also in both cases, they were sort of control freaks who wouldn't do anything with me unless it was their idea. I'm not the world's best friend, but I sometimes go along with group consensus. These were people who would just not show up unless the activity was their idea. Do you have friends like that? I don't anymore, but I do wish them well, and I do still love them, albeit from afar. It really sucks. :( (And I also think that Johnathan has left me for the gays.)

I told my therapist recently that I have a weird lack of curiosity about people's life stories. Sometimes I'll be talking with people at parties or meetings or such and they'll ask me about my family history. Usually I'll demur, because nothing could derail a party or meeting like Gregory detailing his family's history. But recently I told a couple of people my story--Caitlin Moran and Hanna Rosin. Hanna immediately told me that I had to read A Change of Climate by Hilary Mantel, which I actually already own, but hadn't read yet. (It's now next in my queue). I need to get more curious about other people, I think.

Still, conversations that I prefer to conversations about family and death and so forth are the kind of conversations I ALWAYS have with Alia and Paco. We keep it light, for the most part, and nonsensical. We mocked the host of the so-so restaurant we went to. I was chased, as always, by a bee. We played "you like that?" in Brooklyn, and they both got into it, even Alia, who usually chooses death as the unspoken fourth option in "marry, fuck or kill," rather than having to marry or fuck someone she deems substandard. (Most people). She'll kill willy-nilly, though. Over the course of the day, I got to know a little more about Paco, which was one of my main goals of the day. When I was saying goodbye, I grabbed her by the hips and pulled her close to me, to show her just how uncomfortable I was with her, but I wasn't sure what to do next. Then she spun me around and kissed me, as Alia snapped this pic. I made a funny face, as is my wont, but believe me, I was into it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dressed in black

Alia flew into town recently, and we went to see her friend Mick play a show at Fontana's. I believe that Mick and Alia "hung out" in the 1990s, although I do not believe that their relationship was ever really defined by either of them. Relationships are very mysterious to me, and, since the 90s, whenever I have tried to "name" a relationship ("boyfriend," "lover," etc.) I have been swiftly and irrevocably corrected by the party I am referring to.

Mick is my favorite of Alia's "friends." Once, in the 90s, when the three of us (!) were hanging out late-night, and Alia had excused herself to go to the bathroom, Mick looked at me seriously and asked if I would like it if he went with me and Alia to the gay night at Don Hill's, so I could find someone, too. I gazed thoughtfully at Mick, and replied that I had no trouble meeting people (by my estimation, at that point I had bedded 200 men, and I preferred the fellows I encountered at XXX video booths, to be frank) and he said that he hadn't thought so. But I was so touched by his offer! Mick is a rocker, and all the rocker guys I knew before him were complete assholes or so clueless that they didn't even realize I was gay. (Once, at Tonic, I was chatting with the lead singer of Trans Am about recent rumors about Ash Bowie from Polvo when he suddenly offered me the job of playing guitar with Trans Am! I cracked up. How would it have looked if I was suddenly playing, like, the Knitting Factory in a band that people actually cared about? That would have altered my whole world, the trajectory of my life, which is going according to plan and getting more and more myopic and isolated).

I saw Mick play a few shows in the 90s. One was at Irving Plaza, where he covered a Dead Boys song so convincingly that I got over-excited and emotionally congratulated him on his performance afterwards, shaking his hand, even, if I remember correctly, and then burned with embarrassment at my lack of cool. Like, you fucking fanboy. His performance at Fontana's on Saturday night wasn't like the Irving Plaza gig. He wasn't playing a character, really, just playing with some friends he's been playing with for years. I loved it how the other guys in the band sang along with him--it was like they were a band of brothers, attacking the audience with a song. Bananarama was like that for me, too, all of them singing in tandem, without the slightest hint of harmony. Mick's was the loudest gig I'd been to in years, the most rollicking. I think one of them was using a Wizard amp, maybe? They are called The Threads, and if Mick posts their gigs to his Facebook page, I will be attending more of them.

I don't think that Mick would mind if I said that he and I share a problem, which has only endeared him to me over the years. I find myself wondering if Mick and I could help each other with our mutual problem, but in the world of Rock, there is no helping, really, and certainly not between the rocker and the--what am I? WHAT AM I

Mick in this picture has removed the black sunglasses and hat he performed in earlier in the set. To my mind, this was an improvement. I don't trust a man in a hat for some reason. During the set, he gave shout-outs to Alia, her brother David, and to me. When he was finished playing, he came and hung out with us and, when we were saying goodbye, he said to me: "I love you." I fucking love you too, Mick. Hero of my youth. Rocker with his heart on his sleeve. You look the same as you did in the 90s, although that's not saying much, because so do I.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


For some months now, I've been playing a game with my colleagues. I wear the same pair of Levi's to work every day, to see if anyone notices. But no one notices! I suppose this is one area where men have an advantage over women? If a woman wore the same pantsuit to work every day, she would be quickly gathered into a chokehold and escorted noisily out the door by security. But no one cares what I wear, as long as I don't smell. (That's an in-joke for you, Tina and Amy!)

I guess no one really notices jeans. But there was a time when wearing a jean was revolutionary. Jeans have been around since the 1700s, but I believe that in reality they were only fully integrated into our culture post-WWII when factory workers demanded comfort as they inhaled their deadly fumes, enjoyed early mortality rates, and made our Rockefellers rich. And, strange as it may seem, I believe they were only fully cemented into the cultural melange when Ariana Grande was forced by the NFL to wear them instead of her planned super-short skirt, when performing at the Super Bowl a few mere months ago. She ROCKED those jeans. Are you shocked that I, 41, know who Ariana Grande is? You shouldn't be, because the old have...Google...! How else would we know where to search for cheap Boniva and Cialis amongst the pharmacies of Canada?

But, same-saminess is really my thrust here. WHY do I delight in wearing (mostly) the same outfit to work every day, give or take a variation in blouse? Why do I eat exactly the same thing every day during lunch hours for months, and then loathe when I start getting comped (to my great shame) by eateries? Do I have a form of OCD? (Yes. And I have a doctor's note as proof).

Today, I got emotional with a colleague, and I regret it now. I prefer the same-saminess of placid greetings and pleasant exchanges with work acquaintances. I don't regret at all what was said today (I was merely defending myself--and my colleagues). But I regret the emotion my words were said with. I don't get emotional much. As many people know, my primary battle in life I fought with my mother, and now that I have literally vanquished her, I don't really entertain many other emotional battles. None could really compare. I really wish I could say that I was comfortable living in a world in which I was submissive, where my commitment to my job could be called into question as a matter of course, on a regular basis, but I can't. That's just me.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I like wearing a wrinkly shirt. Perhaps it's because I've never been able to keep my room clean, and my idea of putting away the laundry is just balling my clothes into my dresser, hoping that my sweat will smooth them out when I wear them.

When I was a kid, my mother sent me to a series of psychologists because I couldn't keep my room clean. For years, I thought it was because I was fond of starting small fires in our backyard, and stabbing kids in my schools with pens (just every now and then, mind you). But no. My sister Maxine, in my adulthood, confirmed to me that the trait of mine that most vexed my mother was my untidiness. She would often send me to my room to clean it, and I remember making a real production out of it, with cobbled-together pulleys that I would transport soiled clothing with, as though I was afraid to touch my own detritus. Assembly line procedures from a boy with a strange fondness for repetitive tasks. Today, when I clean my room, I'm all over the place, using a strange philosophy gleaned from my abortive experiences with 12 step programs. Just clean the next right thing, I tell myself, and as a result, I wash that one dish, I put away that one pair of socks, I wash that next dish, I scoop that one kitty litter thing, I put away that blouse, that top, that simple shell, etc. It's very OCD, and my apartment gets clean very gradually. No one area is completely clean ever, I don't think. It's just on the way there. I wonder sometimes: do I like the disarray? What in it speaks to me???

Once a fellow came over to sample my wares, and as I let him in, he looked around at my messy apartment and said "no," and left. I remember being affected very deeply by this, very ashamed. Today, there is very little that the fellows could do that would affect me deeply, or cause me to think much of anything about it, although I must admit that often when my apartment is going through a dirty phase, I am alarmingly celibate thanks to a certain faint voice somewhere deep inside of me that I suppose you could call shame if you want. I wish the fellows would get apartments of their own that I could visit for our loveless couplings, but in Manhattan, I am apparently the only gay who lives alone.

When I was unemployable in the early aughts, I used to wake up (or, more aptly, come to) at 10 am or so and watch Martha Stewart's show with a strange, delicious horror. Everything was in place with her, as they say, as it never was with me. I watched her show, I went for a brutal, punishing run, I went to the Food Bar for a meat lasagna, and then it was off to the races, as it were. EVERY DAY for, like, two YEARS. Repetitive tasks, repetitive tasks...

For a while in recent years, I employed a cleaning lady with an alarming lack of boundaries, and my room was as clean as it could possibly have been with Gregory living in it. My untidiness, however, extends into my finances, and now I clean my room solo, pining for Olga, pining to be able to afford a put-together look. I often say that my room at times looks like a homeless person lives there. But on some nights, like tonight, when I've been cleaning up a quiet storm, it goes one notch up and looks like a college student lives there.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Do you know how touching it is when you're dating someone, and they know you like to see them in a jockstrap, and so every time you hang out with them, they wear a jockstrap? Like, a different one each TIME, even. I get so touched when I think about how Elias looks out for me that a tear comes to my eye. Well, okay, maybe not my eye, and maybe not a tear, but you know what I'm saying.

Elias has been leaving things at my apartment for weeks now. Little gay periodicals, an unassuming little packet of cocaine (eww). I leave them in a pile in my kitchen, a little shrine to our burgeoning love. I know he is going to break my heart, and it is going to hurt, because he is so good-looking. And then he can collect his shrine. This is not him in the photo, by the way--he hates for me to photograph him, because I think he thinks I'm going to post the photos on some lurid German porn site, WHICH I WOULD NEVER DO.

Elias likes to fight his lovers, verbally. I have known him for nine years, and during that time, he had epic battles with two longterm boyfriends, he ran down endless alleys at night, screaming at his lovers in Portuguese. I would come pick him up to romp through a game of "Space Invaders" and listen to his tales of love woe. Should I see that as a red flag? That he cheated on his lovers to spend time with me? Spell that out for me: "r-e-d f-l-a-g." What do those words mean? They have no bearing on my life, begone with them. Now I sit in cafes with Elias and effortlessly parry his incessant attempts to bicker with me. And then we go home and he has, like, another fucking jockstrap on. I think he loves me.

I went with Kateri and Kayleigh this week to see the movie "Obvious Child." Go. I swear, you'll thank me later. I cried laughing, and the love interest was soooo SWEET. Like, he warmed Jenny Slate's butter before passing it to her. I immediately thought, "I want to be that sweet! I want to be that guy. I will warm someone's butter." And what perfect timing--I'm dating again. Now I get to warm the butter.

Elias is working tonight at Posh. We texted earlier and now I'm home cleaning my apartment (my cleaning lady is coming tomorrow, and I would be ashamed if she actually had to do any real cleaning, which tells you a lot about my complicated feelings about class and my being a slob). I move around my apartment for two hours, doing the next right thing, and things get better, gradually. I know this feeling I'm having, this feeling of not wanting to see someone less, and being comfortable with not seeing them more. Some people call it love.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Minor Alps

I took Steven to see the Minor Alps play at the Bowery Ballroom. Steven is the young man I was "falling in love with" last summer. It didn't work out, but I expected it not to, and anyway, I was never really falling in love with Steven, so it's okay. He was sort of dumb when I really think about it, but that's my type, after all. I felt bad when our affair ended, but only for two weeks, and then I was myself again. Whatever that is.

Steven got back in touch with me a few weeks ago, down on his luck. He'd quit one job and then was fired from the next. He honestly seemed confused about how to be. I am super-familiar with this kind of fellow, so I was unperturbed. I got him an interview at the company I work for, and I coached him on how to look for a job. I coached him on how to look at the world, at life itself. I took him out for dinner a couple of times, because I knew he was broke. We ended up at the Minor Alps show.

OMG, I loved this show, which I wasn't expecting. I had streamed the album and it sort of left me cold, but hearing the music live was different. The sunny boy-girl melodies were so sweet and sad that I found myself in my least favorite situation: yearning for human connection. I made the fateful decision to put my arm around Steven's shoulder, as one would with a friend. Steven immediately shrugged my arm off.

"Um, did you really just push me away?" I asked him, incredulous.

"I just don't want you to get the wrong idea, man," he replied.

The sunny boy-girl melodies reached a crescendo. Words fell. I explained to Steven exactly what I thought of him for a good few minutes, while he stood there looking at me. His face's arrogant quality (not an arrogance purely his own, but merely the arrogance of any 25-year-old) faltered a bit. As I methodically spoke my awful, awful sentences about his character, I could see a thought dawning on his face: Maybe ... I am not who I think I am. I'm sure my attack was a complete surprise. I played a passive role in our relationship - whatever he wanted to do, I would do. Even (shudder) in bed. I'm sure he had no inkling of the mild hatred I harbored towards him, the mild hatred I harbor toward anyone I sleep with, lurking under the surface like a cyst.

No matter! When one pushes a Scorpio away, one must prepare oneself for a retaliation totally out of proportion to the initial slight. As I rode home alone in a cab that night, I thought how strange it was that sometimes I forget how frighteningly mean I can be. But then I start dating again.