[A much more rested Milksop here. Faustus still at large...]
Since I have no idea where to begin this story, I think I'll begin in medias res.
There are three guys, lying on the floor naked, but then again, everyone is, so there you go. The Puerto Rican guy has "I Am Beautiful" tattooed on his arm, and all I can think of is the new Christina Aguilera song. Another guy, Lucky Brand underwear around his ankles ("What can I say? I like the feeling of underwear around my ankles...") is on the receiving end of what might just prove to be the longest blowjob in the history of the art form. (It went on, not kidding, for almost four hours while I was there. And they were still at it when I left.) The third guy - the minister of said blow job - is an Unbelievably Tall Guy with a skin condition on his legs and a jaw apparently made of rubber. He rests only once that I witness, when his knees start to hurt. (Lucky Underwear applies actual Ben Gay to Unbelievably Tall Guy's legs when this happens, a gesture I find oddly touching.) I like to think they're still at it even now, a full 36 hours later. "I Am Beautiful" and Lucky Underwear arm in arm, discussing Jackie Kennedy, and Unbelievably Tall Guy just going down, going down, going down...
Welcome to my first after-hours.
There really isn't a whole lot of difference between an orgy and an after-hours, although I think after-hours tend to have more drugs. Certainly, everybody I encounter is tweaking. (Appropriately enough, given the "I Am Beautiful" tattoo, the primary highway of choice here seems to be 'Tina.) To give you an idea of the scope, probably about 30 or 40 guys wander through during the 15 hours (15 hours!) I am there. However, with everyone generally piled on top of one another, the one-bedroom apartment of the host (and drug dealer, I'd venture a guess) does not feel overcrowded.
I arrive at midnight. I have never done anything remotely like this before. I mean, I've been stinkin' drunk on occasions, and I've gone to stranger's apartments looking for sex, and once I even ate a pot brownie. But I'm generally a clean living Sodomite. And this is utterly outside my realm of experience. So much so that writing about it now feels strangely like fiction.
There's no way I can give this experience any sort of an arc, so I think a more Dada approach is called for. (That's "Dada" not "Daddy." Otherwise, we're talking a completely different kind of after-hours.)
Around 8 in the morning, a Frizzy Blond Southern Boy arrives. He says little by way of introduction, but proceeds to strip down and give himself a "Booty Bump." This is a complex procedure involving a plastic syringe-like, turkey-baster implement filled with liquid 'Tina. (I think. Most of this I glean from other people's conversations. At no point is a pamphlet or glossary distributed. Although, for all his ingenuity, the Drug Dealer/Host could teach one hell of a course at the New School.) The Frizzy Blond Southern Boy inserts this plastic syringe-like, turkey-baster implement into his own ass, and fills himself quite literally to the brim with the liquid T. The turkey-baster, however, once inserted, doesn't want to be removed. After struggling for several uncomfortable minutes, the Drug Dealer/Host comes to the rescue. An actual round of applause erupts from the onlookers as the Frizzy Blond Southern Boy is unhoisted from his own petard.
There are not one, but two birthday boys in the house. One wants to bottom for me. One wants to top me. Both (at different points) ask me to leave with them. There just might be something to that whole Zodiac thing after all. (I decline to leave with either, incidentally, out of some strange fealty towards the Drug Dealer/Host and his minions who have taken me so generously under their collective wing.)
The shower is in constant use. There is an enema-like hose attachment, for, I suppose, the ill-prepared. Most boys shower quickly upon arrival or before departure. (A kind of decompression chamber, if you will.) One boy arrives at the party, spends slightly over an hour in the shower alone, then leaves. During this extended scrubbing down, men actually resort to peeing in empty Gatorade bottles. (Gatorade abounds. Something about the electrolytes, I gather. Whatever the reason, I stay away from all Gatorade for the remains of the day.)
The phone does not stop ringing. ("I Dream of Jeannie.") The highest turnover rate is definitely after the bars close (4 in the morning-ish) and post-brunch (1 in the afternoon, I have no idea why). For some reason, I am not on everyone else's timetable. When I arrive around midnight, there are three guys there, plus two napping in the "No Sex Allowed" bedroom. (Said bedroom is also sans bed.) When I depart, around 3 in the afternoon, I am definitely the only one on my way out the door. In fact, as far as I can see, this party only tends to grow. Very few people leave, but a relatively steady stream arrives and stays and stays and stays. Roaches check in, but they don't check out.
One boy, napping when I arrive, tries for awhile to fuck me, then abandons that quest for the internet. He is obsessed with internet chat rooms, although he is so high he can barely type or work the computer. (I cannot say why, but he always turns to me for help when he cannot do something extremely technological like, say, open Internet Explorer.) Throughout the course of the evening, the Internet Boy lures 5 or 6 various boys from various chat rooms, only to discard them once they arrive so he can go look for the next one. Fortunately, his taste is consistent, and his reject pile, almost to a man, ends up into and all over each other. When life hands you lemons ...
'Tina is irony in powder form. ("Tina's such a bitch" I hear more than once.) She makes you soooooooo horny, and hyper-sensitive, but then, nine times out of ten (by my crude reckoning) takes away your ability to have an erection. (It's like rain on your wedding day...) The three or four boys who can maintain wood are not only popular, but essential. They are oxygen. They are unbelievably busy.
Safe sex is not only absent, but alarmingly so. (Footnote: I make no judgments on this issue. I strongly believe that anyone has the right to put anything in their bodies they see fit, rubberized or not.) Two different times I inquire two different potential suitors about condom-age. Both fellows are eager to comply, but I end up feeling rather like a teacher giving out homework on the day before Christmas vacation.
A Rugged Spaniard (from actual Spain) enters around noon, lured and abandoned by the Internet Boy. He is unspeakably beautiful, and, as he is Spanish, is drawn to me. (I have learned over time that, for a white boy, I got back. And say what you will, this renders me as popular as J-Lo in gay Hispanic circles.) He follows me around for nearly two hours, repeating "I am yours." Yada, yada, yada ... He gets paged by his hospital (he's a cardiologist, but asks me to not tell any... whoops...) and has to leave. He tells me he wants to see me again. He tells me he wants to fuck me, but he also wants to make love to me. (Actual quote.) He tells me his dream is to have a three-way relationship, and he wants me to be one of his boyfriends. And, as appealing as most of this sounds, it's all a little much for me (it's a sex party, after all, and what an impossibly awkward "Meet Cute" story to tell the grandkids...) and I give him a bogus e-mail. (Footnote: There is not a direct cause/effect relationship here. I actually didn't realize I gave him a bogus e-mail until after he had left. Swear to God. But two minutes after he was out the door, my over-tired, over-accelerated brain processed that the e-mail I had given him was bogus. Don't ask me why. I don't know. And I'm not sure what all this portends, but as I also believe that there are no accidents, I'm gonna assume it's all part of some grand design.)
Last story: Porn plays endlessly on the crappy TV. Everyone is glued to the porn at all times, even when the exact same sex act is being performed in front of the TV. (It's similar to the sensation of going to a concert, and only being able to watch the large screen projection hanging above the stage.) Nobody can figure out the VCR, and as I've already proven my resourcefulness in regards to the internet, every time a tape ends, the room looks to me for help. This makes me feel like Gandalf. When I do decide to finally leave, the Drug Dealer/Host corners me to thank me "for all I did for the party." He then gives me a price list, in case I ever "need anything." I suddenly am overwhelmed with the reality that there is a gay agenda, and it's remarkably similar to a tupperware party. Leaving without buying anything is certainly frowned upon. I slip him $40. (Is this enough? How come there's a cover charge at the exit door? Is this why nobody leaves?) The Drug Dealer/Host also tells me he can tell I'm a good guy, and asks for my contact info, which he enters into his computer. Being a seasoned liar, I change just enough digits so as to render me, thankfully, out of the loop. I do, however, inexplicably give him my actual cell phone number. Why I always choose to lie when I oughta be truthin' (and vice-versa) is beyond my comprehension. But every time my cell phone rings, I wonder if it's someone from the endless after-hours, wanting me to come back over and change the videotape.
All I have to say is that I had the wildest night of my ENTIRE LIFE last night. I also think it is dangerous to write about it right now. So consider this the world's shortest blog entry, which is really a preface to tomorrow, the world's longest blog entry.
[Faustus has expressed some concern that his soul mate might fall in love with the wrong blogger, so ... be warned, soul mate. This is Milksop speaking. I think we might be allowed to mess around, but Faustus has clearly put the whole true love thing off limits. Whatever.]
I am newly bespectacled.
This is much more enormous than it seems, as I today realized I have had four (count 'em ... four) pairs of prescription eyewear in my entire life. My first pair of glasses came, appropriately enough, in first grade. They were faux-gold-framed, and looked disturbingly like a smaller version of my father's. Then, Dr. McGowan, eye doctor to the suburbanites, had the bright idea of fitting me for contacts. In second grade.
Pretty much kicked ass that day at show-and-tell, let me show-and-tell you.
I kept that first pair of glasses until sixth grade, when my head got too big for them. (Insert joke here.) Since I only wore them from bedroom to bathroom, the need to upgrade was not pressing. This set was a slightly larger set of the faux-gold, father-emulating pair. But still smaller.
This pair stayed with me through my sophomore year of undergrad, when my Mom got remarried, and my StepFather (how the heck do you capitalize that and not offend any family members?) brought in a replacement optician. McGowan, out. Johnson, in. Remarkable fellow, this Johnson. Convinces me to go with faux-gunmetal-silver instead of faux-gold. (At least, I assume it was faux-gunmetal. Growing up in the South, anything is possible.) These glasses stayed with me until today, when I picked up my hip, hep black-framed faux-Weezer-lead-singer glasses.
So, class, if I had the first pair five years, and the second pair eight years, and the third pair thirteen years ... how old will I be when I retire pair number four?
The problem with having an entire day to yourself is how easily it can become a day for no one.
Case in point: yesterday, the day was (supposed to be) mine, all mine! So I logged on to a local cruise-y chatroom hotspot. (I don't know how Faustus feels about unpaid-for website endorsement, so let's just say it rhymes with "Neigh Fraught Prom" ...) And I was popular. I'm talking Faustus levels of popularity, here. 100% flyer cheerleader popular. And then, it happened.
Some guy sends me a picture of himself, but I've seen the porn it's from.
Epiphanic moment moment here. Boys in chat rooms lie. Who knew? (OK, I realize everybody knows this, but give me a break. You can take the boy out of the suburbs, but you can't take suburbs out of the boy...) Always priding myself as a glass-is-half-full, make-lemonade kind of guy, I immediately decide to channel this whole lying thing to my advantage. You know, as a kind of gay sociological experiment. So I alter my profile to become a 19-year-old college freshman fratboy swimmer with a girlfriend and a nine-inch dick.
Much more popular than before.
So I change my profile again. Leather daddy. Closeted Hollywood actor. Bi-curious Abercrombie model twins. (That one was a real hit.) And suddenly, it's 4:00 in the morning, and I haven't had sex with anyone. (Well, the twins watched each other masturbate, but I don't think that really counts.)
Lying is fun! And safe! And not very messy!
There's a big bottom deep down inside me that desperately wants to be whatever it is that the person I'm talking to wants me to be. Don't like tall guys? Prefer men from Oregon? Looking for someone with a Prince Albert? I can do that. Let me alter my reality to fit your fantasy.
Whoops. Life lesson, here. Damn life lessons. All I wanted was to get laid.
Anyway, after my second epiphany (sadly, not a euphemism), me and the twins and the leather daddy and the fratboy swimmer and the closeted Hollywood actor all crawled wearily into bed together.
I have decided to post ze very first entry with zees outrageous French accent, so as to show off ze complete functionality of my keyboard. I will also make references as often as possible to Zefirelli, Zagat's, Leon Czolgosz, and zat hirsute 80s favorite, ZZ Top. Sad how much pop culture is cut off in ze absence of a single 10-point Scrabble tile.
A little Milksopian trivia: At the age of 11, I lied about my age to get a paper route. (My mother, ever a conspirator with fraudulent doctor's notes, et al, backed me up on this.) With the proceeds from this child labor, I began the deliberate and methodical purchase of each and every Barbra Streisand album. (Note to Faustus: I am not encoding her name, because she's a public figure, and this story doesn't end with me having sex with her, anyway...) After a time, my mother forbade me to use my earnings to buy any more records. But I kept buying them anyway - one a week until I had acquired all 39 - smuggling the contraband (contraBabs?) into my house via taking the screen off my window, tossing them them (gently) through said window into my room, and then making a grand (read: theatrical) entrance, declaring how I had purchased nothing at the mall that day.
My life has only become gayer and more deceitful with time.
My Christmas had the most miserable beginning of any Christmas in my life.
I got home from midnight mass at about 1:30. (I know, I know, I'm Jewish--but I have a job singing in a church choir. I figure it's my duty to my people to take the goyim for as much as I can.) I decided to give myself a nice Christmas present by setting up my punching bag. This particular kind of punching bag, rather than hanging from the ceiling, stands on the floor, resting on a very heavy base. The base is very heavy because it is filled with water or sand. So setting up the punching bag really just required filling the base with water.
You can already see where this is going, can't you?
Earlier in the day I had bought 30 feet of hose from the local hardware store. It was a tough call--buy the narrow hose and risk its not fitting over the faucet, or buy the wide hose and risk its not fitting into the base? In the end I went with the wide hose, which was the right choice, as it just fit into the base, and the narrow hose would most definitely not have fit over the faucet.
So at about 2:00 this morning, I attached the hose to the faucet, shoved it into the base (my experience shoving wide tube-shaped objects into tight holes stood me in good stead here) and turned the water on. I couldn't find the instructions, but I figured, how hard can this be?
All was well for several minutes as water entered the base of the punching bag, splashing mellifluously. Every so often I turned off the water and checked to see if the base was full, but it wasn't. So eventually there was no more splashing sound, and I waited a while (because water still seemed to be going into the base) and then figured it was time to take the hose out.
This was a terrible, terrible mistake.
Within seconds, my walls were covered with water, a bulb from my lamp had burst, my notebooks were sopping wet, and my brother and his houseguest had run out of towels to mop things up.
Because of course, the water had been going into the base and creating intense water pressure, because there wasn't any room for it but the faucet was still forcing the water forward.
Eventually, I was able to dry almost everything out and finally made it to bed at around 4:00. The only casualties seem to be the lampshade (irreparably stained) and my computer, which now refuses to type the last letter of the alphabet. This wouldn't really be so much of a problem, since it's not a particularly common letter, but the concentration camp I am writing a musical about is spelled using that letter and so I am at a loss.
Speaking of this musical, I am going back to Prague tomorrow to do more research; I'll be back on New Year's Eve. In my absence, a good friend of mine will be guest blogging. According to the latest report, he will be identifying himself as Milksop. He doesn't have a blog, but he has become a devoté of this one and I suspect he will do a wonderful job.
At the very least I bet his computer will type the last letter of the alphabet.
I signed up yesterday for an online dating service at www.gayjews.net. It has the virtue of being far less comprehensive in its questions than some of the other online dating services I've signed up with, which means a) it requires far less effort to write a profile, and b) since there's no room for the profiles to be scintillating, you don't develop unrealistic expectations of others based on their profiles.
Unless you're me, of course.
So somebody whose profile I responded to today sent me back an e-mail asking if I had a picture. I went to my profile and saw to my horror that I had somehow managed not to upload my picture. Which means, of course, that anybody who saw my profile between when I signed up and when I posted my picture will think that I had no picture because I am hideously ugly, including a few really cute guys I'd already sent messages to, even though I'm actually rather cute instead of hideously ugly, but it doesn't matter because they will already have written me off as a gay Jewish Quasimodo and never look at my profile again and I will live out the remainder of my life friendless, unprotected, and alone.
My office crush has decided that I am the perfect person to give him advice about the boy he's in love with. I sent him an e-mail full of wise but fairly obvious advice. This was, in part, his reply (keep in mind that I am just days shy of 30 and he has just turned 22):
"i REALLY do not mean this to make you feel anything but happiness in knowing that you have helped a friend, but i want you to know that your experience and years have really helped me."
Clearly I must check myself into a nursing home first thing tomorrow.
Plus, at cheerleading practice tonight there weren't enough bases for me to fly, so I had to learn base type things, which I was pathetic at, since I am about one inch taller and three pounds heavier than the flyers (for those of you joining us in the middle of our story, I have been designated a "mid base flyer"). So I had to watch other people do what I wanted to do while not even being able to participate competently in any way.
What if last week's stint as a flyer was a fluke and my entire cheerleading career is like tonight?
Let's look on the bright side, though: at the nursing home, at 5'6" and 135 lbs., I will be a terrific base, able to hurl everybody into the air effortlessly without even taking a break from gumming my apple sauce.
I am about to cry. I realized all of a sudden yesterday that I don't have a single pair of pants or jeans that isn't too big for me. When I lost a quarter of my body weight a year ago, I bought new clothes, but I didn't wait quite long enough, and lost a little bit more, so every single article of clothing I put on my legs makes me look like a homeless person.
So I've been wandering around New York looking for jeans that fit me (28 waist, 28 inseam) and there isn't a single fucking pair. Old Navy carries them but they're out--big fucking shocker, since it's two days before Christmas. Lots of places have size 28 jeans (H&M, in fact, has size 28 jeans and lots of other attractive size 28 pants) but they all have at least a 30 inseam, which means they cover my feet and make me look like a deformed merman. Of course I could buy them and have them hemmed but I want clothes that fit RIGHT NOW. I'm going to Prague the day after Christmas and if I have to go in clothes that don't fit I will have a seizure on the airplane.
Don't ask me why I've had absolutely no problem wearing ill-fitting clothes for a year and now all of a sudden I would rather eat my own snot in public than go out wearing the clothes I own. Because I can't explain it.
Also I bought a great jacket at H&M but it's too big too.
Being thin again is usually great but right now I want to curse God and die.
N.B.: This is my second post today. See, I can be a man of my word.
My body is in mortal agony. This is not, as one might hope, from the ecstasies of physical love, but from exercise. In my determination to be a flyer come hell or high water, I went to a gymnastics class at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday, another on Thursday, and a dance class at the Broadway Dance Center yesterday. At first I was terrified that my legs were going to be in screaming pain forever, but now it's clear that they're going to fall off, so I won't have to worry about it.
The Chelsea Piers web site lists several different gymnastics classes: Beginner, Beginner/Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced, and Elite. Since the Beginner/Intermediate class claims to teach students rolls, cartwheels, round-offs, and handsprings, all of which I remember how to do from summer camp at the Jewish Community Center when I was six, I figured that the Intermediate Class was the way to go.
(A tangent here: at JCC summer camp, we each signed up for two activities of the twenty or so that were offered. I, nascent homosexual that I was, signed up for Flower Arranging and Needlepoint. I was not permitted to take either one of these activities. So I ended up in Gymnastics and something else that escapes me at the moment. I suppose I'm glad now, given that I can still do rolls, cartwheels, round-offs, and handsprings, but at the time I was extraordinarily bitter.)
Unfortunately, when I showed up for the gymnastics class I realized that there had been a misprint on the Chelsea Piers web site and that "Intermediate Class" should actually have read "Olympic-Level Gymnasts Who Will Scare the Shit Out of You Class." There were two teachers: the main one and one who said, "If anybody needs any help, I'm in this lane." After about three seconds, he came over to me and my cheerleader friend who'd come with me and said, "Why don't the three of us work together over here?"
I felt as if I had shown up to summer camp wearing all my clothes backwards thinking it was Backwards Day, when actually Backwards Day had been scheduled for the following week, but then one of the counselors put all his clothes on backwards and said, "Let's have Backwards Day together, just the two of us." Both totally retarded and yet cherished and special.
(This actually happened to me, by the way. Except for the part about one of the counselors putting his clothes on backwards. So I just felt totally retarded and neither cherished nor special.)
By the end of the evening at Chelsea Piers, I was doing a round-off followed by a back handspring. Admittedly, this was on the tumble track (a long trampoline) and not the mat, but still. At the end of the class, the teachers very gently suggested that my friend and I try the Beginner/Intermediate Class, which met the next night. I went back, and once again I had to go in the remedial corner, but the people who were in the regular class weren't nearly as intimidating as the people the night before had been. By the end of this class I was doing a round-off followed by a layout back flip. On the trampoline, but still. And my feet were bleeding. But still. All the triumph with half the mortification.
Unfortunately, I couldn't quit while I was ahead, so the next day I went to a Beginner Jazz dance class, which was none of the triumph and all the mortification. Once again, the brochure had a misprint and instead of "Beginner" should have read "People Who Will Obviously Be Dancing on a Broadway Stage Very Soon." This class was made doubly terrifying by the fact that the teacher looked exactly like James Earl Jones. Imagine taking a class in which you are by far the suckiest person there and James Earl Jones keeps staring at you and shaking his head impatiently. And there was no remedial corner--I had to suck in the middle of everybody for the whole hour and a half. [Insert group sex joke here.]
But there was one time when I did something right and James Earl Jones nodded and I just about exploded from joy.
So I spent three days in a strange combination of ecstasy and humiliation. At first I wasn't sure whether the one was worth the other, especially with the bleeding feet thrown into the mix.
But then all doubt was removed from my mind when I weighed myself and saw that I've lost two pounds since Wednesday morning.
A year or two ago I wanted to get business cards but then I couldn't decide what to put after my name. I came up with a long list: "cad," "ne'er-do-well," "bounder," "boor," "blackguard," "bad influence," "roustabout," "malefactor," "evil genius," "reprobate," "miscreant," "varlet," "rapscallion," "rake," "libertine," "debauché," "roué," "voluptuary," and "serpent of sin" topped the list. Somehow none of them seemed quite right.
However, in light of my promise yesterday to post twice and my subsequent failure to do so, it's clear that "black-hearted fiend" is the only appropriate choice.
In hopes that you can forgive me for not being a man of my word, I will post twice today.
The best thing I have discovered in my lackadaisical Christmas shopping is this, a solid gold replica of the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings.
I think they're missing out on some marketing possibilities: "You, too, can own the source of all evil in the world for five easy payments of just $59.99!"
So of course I bought five.
Not being able to afford the solid gold kind, I got the cheap kind that turns your finger green if you actually put it on. But presumably if the people I give them to as gifts put them on, they will become invisible and therefore discolored fingers will not be an issue.
Can you imagine the thank you notes I'll get?
"Thank you very much for the Ring of Power. As you may know, I am finding it very helpful in my quest to dominate the world. My favorite use for it so far has been to find the three rings for elven kings, the seven for the dwarf lords, and the nine for mortal men, and in the darkness bind them. I look forward to hours of fun creating Ringwraiths of men foolish enough to believe my deceitful promises.
"Wishing you a joyous holiday season, I am sincerely yours, etc., etc."
Maybe I should have knitted people socks instead. Or given them lube.
I don't quite know how this happened, but yesterday's post showed up as being written by David Buscher, who writes Upside-down Hippopotamus and who has guest blogged for me in the past. Lest you impute my feelings about my colon to David, let me hasten to assure you that it was I and not David who got the colonic irrigation.
In other news, today has so far been a day full of disappointment and embarrassment. Which means it must be Wednesday.
Standing in the 0 Kelvin cold outside of the movie theater where my friends D.R., B.N., and I had tickets to see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, I got into a fascinating conversation with the very handsome man standing in front of me (fascinating not least because he was so handsome) and was within seconds of asking him if he wanted to get hot chocolate some time when he said something about his wife.
I instantly stopped talking to him.
Then I got to work, where my crush asked me if I wanted to go to Starbucks. Heart a-flutter, I agreed; I started trembling when, after we got outside, he revealed that he didn't really want to go to Starbucks but had something he wanted to talk to me about.
Then he told me all about the date he had last night with this guy he's now totally in love with.
When I got back to the office from our hope-crushing nonvisit to Starbucks, I saw that some very considerate soul had placed the bottle of lube that I carry with me (and that must have fallen out of my bag) neatly in the center of my desk. I'm terrified that it was my boss, but I can't very well go around asking, "hey, were you the one who picked up the bottle of lube that fell out of my bag and so considerately put it on my desk? If so, thanks a million!"
Certain aspects of it were, of course, familiar to me, while other aspects were new and different. I am used to having phallic objects (and sometimes phalluses themselves) inserted in my body, for example, but usually it's men who do the inserting. If you had told me even this morning--this was a spur of the moment decision--that I would be paying a woman to shove what was essentially a dildo up my ass, I would have mocked you mercilessly.
But you would have gotten the last laugh.
I asked her how long she had been doing this. "Two years," she said. "Before that I was a corrections officer."
I can't even begin to frame all the scenarios one might envision.
She said that colon hydrotherapy was her destiny. I think--my rational mind doubts that she actually said this, because what sane person could, but it's what I'm remembering--that she said she had been called to be a colon hydrotherapist.
On my way out, she gave me a badly photocopied handout about colon health. It contained things like blurry photographs of unhealthy colons and (annotated) essays by people writing in the Snake Handler Style--you know, commas missing, eccentric capitalizations, that sort of thing. I quote:
"Our greatest enemy to health is constipation! I have No Cure For Constipation! . . . I think the toilet is the most abominable device ever invented in our civilization. We find that the Indians never had any rectal troubles; they had no hemorrhoid troubles whatsoever. Why? They squatted to defecate." Portions of the text were underlined. Next to the underlined portions, someone had written things like "EVERY YEAR AMERICANS SPEND OVER 800 MILLION DOLLARS ON LAXATIVES. WOW! FRIENDS, THAT IS A LOT OF CONSTIPATION!"
But she had a really fabulous hat, so I'm going back.
I have a zit on my nose. This is the first zit I have had in fifteen years. When I was an adolescent, I had terrible, terrible skin, far worse than your standard adolescent skin. I eventually went to a dermatologist, who prescribed an acne medication that, though it evidently put me at risk for damage to my liver, intestines, eyes, ears, and skeletal system, as well as serious psychiatric problems up to and including suicide (none of which anybody told me at the time), had the virtue of banishing my acne once and for all.
Or so I thought.
Now I have a zit on my nose, and I'm terrified that, if my acne is coming back, the rest of my adolescent miseries can't be far behind. Soon I will be having dozens of conversations every day that mirror this one:
W.E.: "Hey, Faustus, where'd you get your pants?"
FAUSTUS (smiling proudly at his bright green pants with white piping on the side): "J.C. Penney."
W.E.: "They're really . . . spiffy."
(W.E. bursts into poorly muffled laughter and immediately starts talking to his friends, pointing at FAUSTUS. FAUSTUS looks down at pants and knows people hate him but doesn't understand why.)
Last night, I went to Modell's Sporting Goods and bought a punching bag. I did this because my therapist has been after me to find a form of exercise that was "metaphorically appropriate" to the emotional issues I'm dealing with; namely, my vast stores of suppressed rage. He thinks that "moving the energy" in a "metaphorically appropriate way" will do me no end of good.
I have to say that the idea of having something in my home whose sole purpose is for me to beat it up makes me very excited.
Then tonight I went to Our Name Is Mud, a pottery painting store, with my friend D.R. D.R. painted a beautiful vase for his brother and his brother's fiancée; I painted a mug for a friend of mine whose husband was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. She told me at one point that she was glad she didn't have to do her Little Mary Sunshine act with me, and I told her Little Mary Sunshine could rot in hell. She loved this image. So I painted a mug with the following (illustrated) text:
"Little Mary Sunshine went out for a walk one day. A safe fell on her and crushed her stupid head. She suffered terrible agonies before she died. Now Little Mary Sunshine is rotting in Hell forever."
My Little Mary Sunshine was a pathetic stick figure (as is, in fact, any human being I try to draw) but she had the distinction of having repulsively curly blonde hair and a blue dress. To depict her rotting in hell, I turned her smile into a jagged line and added green and red dots to her face. The illustrations will certainly require explanation when I give my friend her mug, but I think the impact of the gift will be undiminished.
After I finished the mug, I went to join the cheerleading squad at an LGBT sports team mixer at XL, a bar in Chelsea. Now, I hate bars. They always make me desperately unhappy. They're loud, so I can't talk to people that I know, and smoky, so I can't breathe, and intimidating, so I'm terrified to approach anybody. I went to this mixer fully prepared to spend a miserable hour not mixing with anybody before hightailing it out of there.
Instead, I had a totally great time.
From the instant I walked in, the cheerleaders were so supportive and welcoming that I felt like I was at a party with good friends where the music just happened to be too loud. I got a "Cheer Loud, Cheer Proud" t-shirt, which I immediately put on and then tied very tightly so as to expose some bare midriff, and a really gay silver sparkly Santa hat. The cheerleaders were the most touchy-feely group I've ever been a part of, and within moments I was leaning all over people, hugging them, putting my hands in their pockets, and generally being swishier than I've allowed myself to be in fifteen years, sucking my teeth and saying things like, "she's such a bitch!" while pointing dramatically at a big, burly cheerleader.
I've said this before: it felt like home.
The only even mildly unpleasant element in all this was that I had to sell raffle tickets to people at the bar. Now, I am a reasonably attractive man; I know this. But settings like this deflate my self-confidence to such an extent that asking me to approach strangers and even engage them in conversation, much less get them to buy raffle tickets, is like asking Calista Flockheart to eat a 30-scoop Earthquake sundae from Swenson's. It's just not within my power to do.
So I just bought ten tickets myself and wrote the names and numbers of my friends D.R., B.N., N.M., and Y.E. on them.
But then it turned out that we hadn't sold enough tickets, so I had to go and actually attempt to sell some.
And I succeeded. I hung out by the bathrooms and swooped down on unthreatening-looking guys, gave them a winning smile, and said, "can I sell you a raffle ticket?" And two or three of them, after some sweet-talking and eyelash-batting on my part, said yes.
I was actually able to charm men into buying raffle tickets.
I have never felt more desirable in my entire life.
So I finally left XL--having been there for over two hours and having enjoyed myself for virtually the whole time--and checked my messages on my way to the subway, and a guy I have a crush on had called me for no reason at all, just to say hi and he hoped I had a good time at the mixer.
Plus, I haven't weighed myself in TWO DAYS.
I should probably burn myself as a heretic for saying this, but I am beginning to wonder if perhaps there aren't some small happinesses to be found in this world.
On a cheerleading squad, there are two positions. These are not, as one might expect on a gay cheerleading squad, "top" and "bottom," since everybody on the squad is very clearly a bottom, but "base" and "flyer." A flyer is, of course, somebody who gets thrown in the air, and a base is somebody who does the throwing. From the moment I realized there was a chance I could be a cheerleader, the dearest wish of my heart was to be thrown in the air. Since I am short and fairly slim, this seemed to be a reasonable thing to hope for if I made the squad.
So they sent out an e-mail today about squad positions. I eagerly scanned the list for my name and was shattered to see next to it the words "mid base flyer."
Clearly they think I am TOO FAT TO BE THROWN IN THE AIR.
I'm trying to decide whether to lose fifteen pounds or to eliminate the pure flyers on the squad one by one until they are forced to promote me to pure flyer status.
The latter would be both healthier and much more fun.
I told him I knew it didn't matter but I still felt betrayed, just like when it turned out that Atkins protein bars are actually full of carbohydrates, even though they're the kind of carbohydrates that don't have any effect on your blood sugar and therefore don't count as Atkins carbs. But still. They're full of carbs.
After trying in vain for two days to summon the mental focus required to blog about the cheerleading clinic, I've come to the realization that I am simply mentally unfocused. Perhaps I require mental contact lenses. Or mental bifocals.
I was accompanied to the cheerleading clinic by my staunch and loyal friend D.R., who claimed he was coming along for moral support but whom I suspect to have joined me simply to see the cute guys jumping around in athletic shorts.
I was actually late meeting him because I couldn't decide whether to bring my regular athletic shorts or my athletic shorts that are way too short and tight. In the end I decided to bring both and wait and see what seemed most appropriate. When I got there it very quickly became clear that the too short, too tight shorts were the way to go.
So of course I had left both pairs at home and had to do the whole thing in jeans. It was mortifying and I wanted to die.
Plus, I have really cute legs, and I had been counting on them to give me an edge.
One very fascinating thing was how multiethnic the squad and squad hopefuls were. Of about thirty people in the room, exactly five were white. Given that the gay community tends to draw racial lines very strongly, this was both surprising and heartwarming.
Also heartwarming was the fact that these were the queeniest queens ever to queen their way down the pike.
Now, nobody who spends more than three seconds in my company can say that I am in any way a paragon of masculinity. But next to some of these guys, I was positively Schwarzenegger-esque. My gay mentor, the first person I came out to and the guy who helped me be okay with everything, was also incredibly queeny, and so in a very real and very comforting way, this felt like home.
I really don't understand it at all. Given the fact that I hate everyone, you'd think that cheerleading was the very last thing on earth I would enjoy doing. But there I was, clapping and jumping and shouting "Go, New York, let's go!" and "New York, let's hear it! Yell go, fight, win!" and having the time of my life. It could be a Molière play: The Misanthrope Cheerleader.
Of course, since I am insanely competitive, I spent the entire time with a look of grim concentration on my face, hoping that my cohorts would trip or fall while I got everything right. Every once in a while I would remember that I was supposed to be cheering, and I would grin like a madman for a minute or two, and then I would go back to wishing my competitors ill.
The one thing that makes me sad is that this is clearly not going to be the place where I meet my soul mate.
As a service to my loyal readers, I would like to point out that virtually any statement or question in English can be turned into a come-on by the addition of the word "sailor" to the end. For example:
"Do you know what time it is, sailor?"
"A stitch in time saves nine, sailor."
"I'm rereading the complete works of Jane Austen, sailor."
Until a few days ago, I believed that this method could turn any statement or question into a come-on; this belief was shattered, however, when my friend R.A. came up with:
"I've just been diagnosed with Legionnaire's Disease, sailor."
If there are people who would be aroused by hearing this, I can only hope I never ever meet them.
I spent the day today writing a song about duct tape.
The Duck brand duct tape company is sponsoring a contest for the best song written about duct tape, with a first prize of $2,500. A brilliant collaborator of mine and I decided to write a song about being abducted by aliens.
Get it? AbDUCTed, DUCT tape? Get it?
So it's this guy who gets abducted by aliens, who tell him that they have seen how powerful duct tape is, and so it must clearly be a weapon, though they can't quite figure out how, but they're going to destroy Earth rather than allow this weapon to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting galaxy. All the hero's protests about the usefulness of duct tape are in vain. The aliens are about to pull the trigger . . .
. . . when all of a sudden a meteor strikes their ship, leaving a huge gash in the side, which our hero REPAIRS WITH DUCK BRAND DUCT TAPE.
So instead of destroying Earth, the aliens invite us to join the Galactic Federation.
We had better fucking win this contest.
If we don't, I know where to send the aliens first.
I should note that the Honorable Mention prize in this contest is a year's supply of duct tape. I would really rather have my half of the $2,500, but if I get the duct tape, I suppose I could use it to bind the disfigured man so that he's no longer capable of following me to orgies.
When I was six, I picketed my house, hoping to be allowed to eat breakfast before getting dressed rather than after.
I marched back and forth in front of our front door, carrying a sign that said "BREKFAST FIRST DRESSED LATER."
My parents, being civil rights workers, didn't cross picket lines, and that was the only way into or out of our house,
so they were trapped there until they acceded to my demand.