The Search for Love in Manhattan
A gay odyssey of neurosis


Thursday, July 31, 2003

I posted twice yesterday.

That's all I have the emotional energy to say at the moment.

posted by Faustus, MD | 10:25 PM |


Wednesday, July 30, 2003

N.B.: This is, unexpectedly, today's second post.

He e-mailed me.

Poison it is.

posted by Faustus, MD | 2:19 PM |

Last night I did the bravest thing I've ever done in my life.

I asked the anaerobic physicist out on a date.

I left the following message on his cell phone:

"Hey, N., it's Faustus, from your Friday step class. I'm calling because I heard from M.O. that you're not seeing anybody at the moment, and I wanted to seize the opportunity to ask you out on a date this weekend. And I'm a fabulous date, so you should say yes. Call me at 917.xxx.xxxx and let me know, and either way I'll see you in class on Friday."

This might have been a little braver if I hadn't written the message ahead of time and checked his web site to make sure he was teaching when I called and therefore unable to answer his phone.

It also would have been a little braver if I hadn't called him earlier in the day from the phone at work, hung up when he answered, and answered his call back (damn caller ID) by pitching my voice higher, putting on a Southern accent, and telling him I'd called the wrong number.

Baby steps, Faustus. Baby steps.

Stay tuned, in any case, for an invitation either to a wedding or to a game of Drink Poison, Drink Poison, Explode With Joy.

I'll be the one drinking poison.

posted by Faustus, MD | 7:06 AM |


Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Every Malaysian man I've ever known has been talented, witty, and incredibly hot; by now, my knees start to go weak as soon as a guy tells me he's from Kuala Lumpur.

However, this recent news item combined with this one makes me wonder if I shouldn't reconsider my stance on this issue.

posted by Faustus, MD | 8:19 AM |


Monday, July 28, 2003

Positive response
To the gay dating haiku:
The pressure's awful—

Pressure to go on
In a similar format—

Oh, crap, a man can only do so much.

I seem somehow to have survived the Blogathon. If you're impressed enough by the haiku to want to make a pledge, and haven't done so already, you can still sign up here until 9:00 a.m. EST tomorrow morning.

By which point I may have recovered enough from the weekend to have something to say again.

posted by Faustus, MD | 5:36 PM |


Sunday, July 27, 2003

posted by Faustus, MD | 9:50 AM |

That small thing moving
Faintly just out of my sight—
Could it be mercy?

posted by Faustus, MD | 9:02 AM |


Saturday, July 26, 2003

Unfortunately, I have been contractually obligated to remove the blogathon haiku from this blog. Unless something goes terribly awry, however, you'll be able to read them in print soon enough.

posted by Faustus, MD | 5:59 PM |


Friday, July 25, 2003

Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., I start the blogathon, during which I will post every half hour for 24 hours. No setting up scripts to post automatically allowed; every post has to be made manually.

Since the idea of coming up with ideas for 48 posts on the spot, especially at 4:30 in the morning, strikes terror into my heart, I have come up with a theme for my blogging.

I'm going to post 48 gay dating haiku.

I've written some of these ahead of time; others will be written in the heat of the moment. Some of them will be restatements of things I've discussed in this blog before; others will be entirely new thoughts. I'll be observing some but not all of the traditional rules for writing haiku: all of them will stick to the traditional 5-7-5 syllabification; most will also obey the rule of cutting; few, if any, will contain a kigo indicating the season. (You can go here for a basic but nonetheless informative discussion of haiku technique.)

If you're interested in sponsoring me (all donations go to the Generator Theatre), you can go here. You can sign up to sponsor me up to and even during the blogathon.

Wish me luck.

posted by Faustus, MD | 1:47 PM |


Thursday, July 24, 2003

I have been informed by a mutual acquaintance that the anaerobic physicist is once again single.

The state of emotional upheaval into which this has sent me has rendered me unable to recite the alphabet, much less think rationally, but I have come up with a plan, which I have already begun to implement.

I e-mailed him asking if I could pick his brain about becoming an aerobics instructor. He will either answer this e-mail, in which case I will set up a time to take him out to lunch, or fail to answer this e-mail, in which case I will drink poison. If he does answer the e-mail and I take him out to lunch, I will at some point lead the conversation around to his recent trip to Italy and ask him if his boyfriend was there with him. If he says no but makes no mention of no longer having a boyfriend, I will drink poison, because this will mean that he doesn't consider the information that he's single important for me to have. If he reveals that they've broken up, I will ask him if he's still in mourning (giving him an easy out) or if I can ask him out. If he says he's still in mourning, I will drink poison, because, come on, he's a fag in New York, plus they weren't together that long, there's no way he'd wait more than three seconds before jumping back in the dating pool, so clearly he's taking the out I'm offering him. If he says I can ask him out, then I will explode with joy.

Hmm. Drink poison, drink poison, drink poison, explode with joy. Somehow none of these seems likely to lead to my eventual happiness.

But taken together they'd make a damn fine replacement for "Duck, Duck, Goose."

I think I'll go check my e-mail.

posted by Faustus, MD | 7:49 AM |


Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath.


My God, how glorious would my life be if I could find a way to believe that?

posted by Faustus, MD | 1:53 AM |


Tuesday, July 22, 2003

I have returned to New York. Somehow, magically, I seem only to have gained two pounds in my weekend of Caligulan feasting.

However, I seem to have lost the ability to be interesting. I've tried all day to come up with something worth posting, and I have failed.

I'm choosing to see this as a marshalling of inner forces in preparation for this Saturday's blogathon rather than the incipient evaporation of anything of value I might have to say.

posted by Faustus, MD | 5:50 PM |


Sunday, July 20, 2003

I am at a writers' retreat in a small town in Delaware. Since arriving here on Friday evening, I have done nothing but eat ice cream and, presumably, get fat. I say "presumably" because my hosts, a lesbian couple in their sixties, have no scale in their house, so I have no way of knowing. Luckily, the ice cream is good enough that I don't mind.

But I suspect most of upper Manhattan will be able to hear my screams of despair once I step on my own scale when I return tomorrow night.

And thank you to everybody who has been sponsoring me in the blogathon. Keep it coming. I have a lot of free sex to deliver, but I have faith that I'll be up to the challenge.

posted by Faustus, MD | 3:10 PM |


Thursday, July 17, 2003

If my sitemeter statistics are to be trusted—and I am inclined to believe they are, especially as they never told me we had to attack Iraq because of the weapons of mass destruction apparently spilling out of every kitchen cupboard in that country—271 people have visited my blog today, and exactly one of them pledged to sponsor me in the blogathon.

I can think of three possible explanations for this:

1. The idea of sex with me is not as appealing as I imagined it would be. If this is the case, I will have to reevaluate what I'm doing here, because I don't think I'm capable of being any wittier or more charming.

2. I wasn't clear enough about the process. I do not see a dime of the money you pledge. It all goes to the Generator Theatre, a nascent not-for-profit theater company dedicated to developing and producing new and exciting musicals. It's a good cause—perhaps not as profound as Doctors Without Borders or Amnesty International, but still worth your 25 bucks.

3. People don't think I mean it.

I mean it.

Seriously—whether you've been a reader of my blog for a long time or have just tuned in recently, if you enjoy what I write I'd very much appreciate your making a pledge to sponsor me. I'd hate to think that the labor of sleeplessness I'll be going through July 26-7 would be for $25. Plus I have a fabulous theme for my posts.

You can make a pledge here.

In the meantime, I hope he enjoys his free sex.

posted by Faustus, MD | 10:48 PM |


Wednesday, July 16, 2003

After yesterday's cheerfiasco, I spent much of today trying to decide whether to swallow arsenic in the manner of Madame Bovary or to become a recluse and devote myself to a life of service to the deserving poor.

Then I remembered how messy and unpleasant Madame Bovary's death was, and that made my choice much easier.

Then I remembered how messy and unpleasant lives of service to the deserving poor tend to be, so I figured, what the hell, I'll just do the blogathon instead.

The general idea here is that participating bloggers post every half hour for 24 hours, in return for donations from sponsors to the charities of the bloggers' choice.

This means that, starting at 9:00 a.m. next Saturday, July 26, I will blog every half hour for 24 hours. No cheating. No entries set to post automatically. In return, I want you to pledge money to the Generator Theatre, which is a writers' collaborative theater some friends of mine and I are forming to foster the creation, development, and production of exciting and meaningful musical theater. You can read more about Generator here.

What I need from you, aside from continual assurances of your love, is money. Go here to figure out how to sponsor me. In return, you get not only the pleasure of reading my insomnious ramblings but also the joy of knowing you have helped a worthy cause.

Also if you're a cute boy you get free sex.

posted by Faustus, MD | 5:51 PM |


Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The captain of the cheerleading squad told me last night that there are a lot of really small flyers (see this post for an explanation of the positions on the squad) trying out—enough to give us more flyers than bases next season—and that I'm therefore not going to be a flyer.

And they're eliminating the position of mid base flyer.

Which means I'm going to be a base. And a more or less useless base, since I'm too small to throw anybody up in the air.

After having felt how glorious it is to fly, even in my limited capacity as mid base flyer, I'm now going to be permanently earthbound.

I don't know that I can bear it.

I have at least a passing familiarity with eight languages, and I don't know a word in any of them that describes how bad I feel.

posted by Faustus, MD | 12:44 AM |


Monday, July 14, 2003

Saturday, after the cheerleading squad cheered at the New York Sharks game, one of the flyers revealed that, because of other things going on in her life, she's going to be taking time off from the squad.

I hugged her goodbye and told her I'd miss her but secretly I spent the entire subway ride home—a long one, as the game was in Queens—trying not to let my nearly uncontainable glee show on my face, because naturally I am the obvious choice to replace her.

Then I remembered that there are tryouts for the squad next Thursday, and since then I have been consumed with fear that people smaller than me will show up and make the squad and that I'll get passed over for flyer status.

The solution, of course, is that I'll have to go to the tryouts, get the names and addresses of all the people smaller than me, and arrange for them to meet with unfortunate accidents.

Because I'm going to be a flyer if it kills me.

Or, more accurately, if it kills others.

posted by Faustus, MD | 5:13 PM |


Sunday, July 13, 2003

So the anaerobic physicist has returned from his trip overseas. (For those of you who are joining us in medias res, I am referring to my step aerobics instructor who also has a Ph.D. in physics and is fluent in Italian and is my soul mate, though he doesn't know about the last part.)

Due to poor planning on my part, I was unable to go to his Friday night step class. Since I'm going to be out of town next Friday, this meant that it would be weeks before I saw him, and he would think I had stopped coming to his step class because I am in love with him and can't deal with the fact that he has a boyfriend, and I would then never be able to go to his step class again because then I would have to see him and be utterly humiliated. I was about to go mad with frustration until I checked his web site and saw that he was going to be subbing for another instructor's class this morning.

So instead of sleeping in, I woke up early and went to Union Square. When he saw me, he seemed pleasantly surprised; I of course pretended to have had no idea he was going to be there, and claimed (lying through my teeth) that I had a meeting in the neighborhood and figured I'd just stop by the gym beforehand. I'd practiced several amusing things to say off-hand in Italian once he mentioned that he spoke Italian (my knowledge of his skill in that area having come from stalking him rather than from his ever having said anything about it), but by the time I realized he wasn't going to mention that he spoke Italian I'd already said all the amusing things in English, and my Italian is rusty enough that I didn't trust myself to improvise, so I pretended to have to get a drink of water and fled the scene.

When I came back, there were still a few minutes before class started, and he was entangled in a conversation with a woman taking the class. She had evidently been a regular at one of his classes some years ago and was catching up. She asked some question too quietly for me to hear, and he answered, with a laugh, "No, not yet. I think it'll be quite some time." I couldn't decide whether she'd asked him if he'd gotten tenure yet, in which case I could go on with my life, or if he'd settled down with somebody yet, in which case I would have to kill myself, because of course if he was dismissive about the idea of settling down with somebody, then that means he's not serious about his boyfriend and yet he still doesn't want to date me, which means he doesn't love me and never will.

Such was the state in which I started step class. It actually went quite well, and I managed to keep the semblance of a smile plastered on my face for most of the time, though this was made more difficult by my constant uncertainty about whether my staring at him would come across as appropriately watching the teacher or pathetic and undisguised doomed love.

At one point the tape ran out, and he went over to change it, muttering rhetorically, "What's next?" I said, "Chocolate!", which was about the level of humor of which my brain was capable at the moment. He stared at me, baffled, and said, "What?" Thinking that I must have spoken too quietly, which I often do, I croaked "Chocolate!" with more volume and projection. He said, "What?" again. "CHOCOLATE!" I screamed. He continued to stare at me, and the woman he'd been talking to before class said, "Abs!" and he turned to her and said, "No, abs is later." Then he put in a new tape and I committed seppuku.

Unfortunately, he didn't notice my ritual suicide, so I had to finish the class.

After class was over, a thin ray of hope entered my life. We were doing abs and had gotten to a part where our legs were supposed to be up in the air. This being a position with which I am quite familiar, I figured I had it down pat, but as he walked by, he adjusted my feet.

He touched me.

I mean, he touched my shoes, but still. I almost fainted right then and there.

Then I went and had lunch with a cute (but unfortunately unavailable) guy who also takes his step class regularly, and I told him about the momentous event, and he said, "Oh, yeah, he adjusts my feet all the time."

It's too bad I've already committed seppuku today, because I don't know what else I can do to put myself out of my misery.

I'd throw myself out my window, but I'm only on the second floor, so I'd probably just break my hand again.

posted by Faustus, MD | 3:46 PM |


Thursday, July 10, 2003

I thought I was gay as I could possibly get. I mean, what with the orgies, the knitting, the cucumber and mud masks, and the general super-homosexuality—I would provide links to various posts detailing these and other illustrations of my entertaining if occasionally excessive fagginess, but I can't work the new Blogger interface—I figured I'd gone as far as I could go.

I figured wrong.

On August 17, I will reach the zenith of my queerness; I will achieve, if you will, my gaypotheosis.

I'm taking the test to be certified as an aerobics instructor.

No need to crowd to kiss my hand or touch the hem of my robe; there's enough of me for everybody to share.

I know this from experience.

posted by Faustus, MD | 10:10 PM |


Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Last night I decided to make banana bread (from scratch, naturally) for the first time in my life.

So I got some overripe bananas, mashed them up, toasted some walnuts, etc., etc., and ended up with an appropriately curdled-looking batter, which I poured into two loaf pans and put in to bake, after which I busied myself with various other activities for the 55 minutes called for by the recipe.

Then I went to take the bread out and found I'd forgotten to turn the oven on.

The bread I eventually ended up with tasted delicious, but maybe next time I'll skip the extra step.

posted by Faustus, MD | 6:01 PM |


Tuesday, July 08, 2003

If I have to work street corners every night from now until August 17, I am going to get the money to go here.

posted by Faustus, MD | 10:53 PM |


Monday, July 07, 2003

They took my cast off today.

I never knew that it was possible for washing one's hands to bring one to the brink of orgasm.

posted by Faustus, MD | 11:53 PM |


Sunday, July 06, 2003

Oh, what the hell. This is technically today's second post, but really it's just a reposting of yesterday's deleted post. For a discussion of why I deleted it in the first place, see today's first post. For a discussion of why I'm reposting it, see my subconscious.

Before my assignation early this morning with a married man, I was planning to write a post about how scandalous and titillated I felt having an assignation with a married man. (It hadn't happened yet, but I was sure I would feel scandalous and titillated once it did.)

However, though I did feel moderately scandalous and titillated, something else happened that seemed more interesting, which is that I learned something.

What I learned is this: though being ordered around in bed turns me on more than I can possibly say, being called a whore in the middle of sex does not.

Not that I fault him; he was clearly participating in the game of sex rather than expressing his actual opinion of me. And, after all, his understanding, of however recent a date, of my other preferences could easily lead him to believe that I would be aroused by name-calling as well. How I've managed to reach the ripe old age of 30 without discovering otherwise is a mystery to me.

But at that moment, what had been theretofore a delightful, if somewhat smarmy, experience—or perhaps delightful because somewhat smarmy—acquired a tinge of unpleasantness. Just a tinge—certainly not enough to cause me to put a stop to the activity in which we were both enjoyably engaged—but, still, I was taken aback.

The problem was, what to do about it? To say anything would completely destroy the tone of the encounter, which was otherwise most satisfactory. And I couldn't meaningfully refuse him access to my inmost depths, as there was no part of my inmost depths into which I hadn't already welcomed him. But I had to do something to defend my honor.

And then circumstances provided me with the perfect opportunity, and my mother wit was for once quick enough to take immediate advantage of it.

For the first time in my life I spit instead of swallowing.

I feel so triumphant I could burst.

posted by Faustus, MD | 12:21 PM |

I have deleted yesterday's post about spitting vs. swallowing, name-calling, and my assignation yesterday morning because the comments led me to believe that the post shared so much information as to embarrass both its readers and its author.

However, I do want to point something out, for the benefit of those who left comments about the relative safety of letting somebody come in your mouth. While it's true that there is some disagreement about how safe unprotected receptive oral sex is, the consensus from all parties seems to be that it's significantly safer than protected receptive anal sex, because of condom breakage, slippage, etc. Letting somebody fuck your ass while wearing a condom is, in other words, two to three times more dangerous than letting somebody come in your mouth. So to participate in the former but refrain from the latter seems to me to be letting sensationalism rather than science dictate your behavior.

Of course, in my case, both sensationalism and science take a back seat to neurosis and paranoia, but I have to assume there are some people out there for whom this is not the case.

(The CDC Collaborative HIV Seroincidence Study is pretty clear about the numbers involved, and here is a more recent document that discusses in detail the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex, with a comparison at the end to other sexual practices, including protected receptive anal sex. One passage in particular details the relative safety of a range of behaviors: "You know, the principles on individual risk reduction have always been to move people along toward a safer part of the spectrum. So to move them from unprotected receptive anal, to receptive anal with a condom, to insertive, to insertive anal with a condom, to receptive oral with ejaculation, and if I was dealing on an individual level with a patient whose primary risk behavior was oral sex with exposure to ejaculate, I would counsel that individual to try to reduce their exposure to ejaculate.")

posted by Faustus, MD | 9:27 AM |


Friday, July 04, 2003

Ordinarily, I avoid thinking about the political climate in America, as doing so reduces me almost immediately to a quivering mass of rage and despair. However, on this Fourth of July, reading this essay by a twelve-year-old about the American flag gives me a tiny shred of hope for the future.

posted by Faustus, MD | 10:48 AM |


Thursday, July 03, 2003

A few days ago, I found out that, when you join the Radical Faeries, you have to get to take a Radical Faerie name. Since then I have been unable to think about anything except what my Radical Faerie name would be in the extremely unlikely event that I became a Radical Faerie. Examples I've encountered include things like Persimmon, Cup Cake, and Sparkles.

I'm leaning towards Bile but am open to suggestions.

posted by Faustus, MD | 6:07 PM |


Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Un mot à dd: hélas, je n'ai aucune intention d'écrire un article tout en français; j'aurais trop peur de me tromper. Je jouirais—je choisis le mot avec soin—vous faire rigoler davantage, surtout si vous êtes beau, mais je crains que l'on est destiné d'être déçu tous les deux.

Mais avoir su la douleur, n'est-ce pas pouvoir identifiez mieux la joie?

Stay tuned to see if I can do it in German and Italian. I'm not sure I'll be able to work the sexual pun in, but I'll give it my best shot.

So to speak.

posted by Faustus, MD | 6:26 PM |


Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Here is the lyric to a song I wrote recently.

I was at a gay bar
In East Berlin.
It was four o’clock a.m.
And I was dancing with a seven-foot tall German transvestite
Right across the street
From the only part of the Berlin Wall
That hadn’t fallen down.
The DJ started playing
A disco remix of a Hebrew folk song,
And I thought, this is the most surreal moment of my life.
And the song (in English, in case you don’t speak Hebrew)
Went like this:

(disco music)

Please let my brothers and sisters
All dwell in peace together.
Please let my brothers and sisters
All dwell in peace together.

I was off of Prozac—
A bad idea,
Since my mother had just died
Without giving me her recipe for chicken au poivre.
I was having dreams
That my dad abandoned me at Auschwitz
And that I forgot my name.
And everybody smoked
In Berlin, which gave me an allergic reaction.
But at the bar, at the most surreal moment of my life,
I forgot the nightmares, the smoke, the diabetes,
And I danced:

Please let my brothers and sisters
All dwell in peace together.
Please let my brothers and sisters
All dwell in peace together.

But now I’m back in America
In a room where you are my sisters
And you are my brothers—
Well, mostly my sisters.
And the Moviefone guy is my brother
And Matthew Shepherd is my brother
And Osama bin Laden is my brother
And George W. Fucking Bush is my brother
And I—I am my brother’s keeper.
But what can I do
In a world where my mother is dead
And my sister is Condoleezza Rice?

I can start by singing

Hinei mah tov umanayim
Shevet achim gamyachad.

Hinei mah tov umanayim
Shevet achim gamyachad.


Now if only I knew what to do next.

posted by Faustus, MD | 8:11 PM |
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