HAPPY NEW YEAR
got my outfit ready, just need to figure out where to put my money...........
SMELL YA NEXT YEAR!
and a very cool OFFICIAL remix of Pagan Poetry - Matthew Herbert Handshake Mix
oh yeah, how could I forget, my great new t-shirt! - and no smart remarks from you who shouldn't even get the unintended irony of the shirt's design!
awwwwwwww crap! I accidentally listed some of the mags under "Lesbian"! Shit, I hope I haven't traumatized anyone, seeing pics of Michael Brawn, David Burrill, Lee Ryder, or R.J. Reynolds! all 90's issues of INCHES, so you can imagine (or not, just click the links)
this just in.... looks like I'm having Japanese with a good pal, so may have to postpone even longer dealing with the "not cumming" issue - think I can handle it, though...
so, I'm off to Chicago to celebrate Xmas with some very cool nieces and nephews, and brothers and sisters, and MOM ( who I know I'll be staying up late into the night with, gabbing and eating). Plus a nice Xmas eve with the extended family.
of course, you know that's me on the right (like I'd ever show my naked ass on the internet!)
oh yeah, another Xmas fave - this one from Jimmy Smith
Speaking of fun, have you checked out Shane's dirty art - either I hadn't been paying attention, or he recently added a LOT more great stuff!
Have you ever had a tree salesman NOT find a tree for you at 3 a.m.? Not me! And where was the white trash guy who's usually here at this hour, anyway? Shit, I remember paying that guy with a ten, a few singles, and a couple of subway tokens one year - grrrrrrrrrr. Hoping on the bike, heading home, I knew I could check out a few places on the way. Ahhhh, the lot across from The Cock. Our Lady of Perpetual Sinners or something like that was selling trees - yeah! I pull up, the guy smiles widely, asks "How Can I help you?" and I say "I want a big ass tree, this kind ( I point to one of those short-leaved ones), and I have 17 dollars" "Oh, well, I work for The Church of Perpetual Sinners (or something like that) and they've instructed me to make sure everyone walks away with a tree" - My kinda guy!
"Wanna take a walk through the forest?" Teetering a bit on the bike, I thought "what kinda pick-up line is that?" but aloud I merely said "huh?" - "Why don't you look through the trees, pick one out you like, and we'll take it from there" So, I pedal a few steps, pull out some nice-looking big-ass tree and I hear: "WHOAH WHOAH!! - er, I mean, you sure you like that one?" "What, don't you think it's nice-lookin'?" he agrees, but asks about the size of my............... apartment, I think, showing me skinnier, smaller trees. Chuckling, he pulls out this tree that you see pictured, and he assures me it won't take up too much space (I don't remember saying I didn't have much space, but, it's closing in on 4am, and I want a tree, goddamnit!) OK , cool, I relent ( I really do prefer the goofy-shaped ones anyway, but it's all part of the game of buying). He then gives it a "fresh cut" handing me the piece he just sawed off, insisting I sniff it, and take off my glove and feel how moist it is. I half-expected to have to swirl it in my mouth for a few moments before swallowing, but I made enough ooohs and ahhhhs to make him happy knowing I was happy.
Biking home, getting a few stares from other drunks (er, Happy Holiday Celebrating folks), I got into the apartment quickly, put my tree in the corner (knowing it would be too dangerous to try to set up the stand at that point) and began my late-night search for food. Hours later, I wake up, apartment smells great, remnants of food near my bed, and my head pounding, pounding pounding....... So, later, after the tree gets a chance to breathe, it'll get a ton of lights and ornaments I have collected over 19 Christmases in New York.
OK, so maybe Earring Magic Ken is "gay interest"
but a 6 inch penis? "gay interest"? I DON'T THINK SO!
Here it was about a tax-break one of the victims wives was advocating, and while I still have trouble with the particulars of that plan, my comments were more about her, and we got into a whole, awful argument about deserving, nondeserving, comparison of pain and loss, etc. What troubles me is that I went in the direction of thinking of her as just another political animal, like the big airlines that were ready with their hands out only hours after the attacks. Clearly, that is wrong-headed on my part. And while we all make mistakes, and beating myself up doesn't necessarily do much good, what really bothers me are the implications of this. If only 3 months after the attacks, someone who lives right here in NYC, who pledged to be "better" and "different" and more caring and all that crap, can't sustain that feeling, what is happening in the rest of the country, the world?
And I think that the way we express ourselves is very important, that we need to make distinctions between differences of opinions on ideas, and getting personal and second-guessing agendas and motivations. While I still feel it's reasonable to scream and name-call Saudi Arabia, American Airlines, this current government and the past few administrations, baggage-check companies, etc etc etc - that's a no-brainer - these folks didn't do what they should have done BEFORE these attacks, and in some way (and we can argue how much, but certainly there is blame here) their deriliction of duty made it easier for the "evil ones" to stage, and succeed, in this attack. And some of the victims are being used by these folks, and others, for their own agendas (i.e estate tax breaks up to $8.5 million seems excessive, but you know which political party wants to open the door here, and then expand it..), but we (I) need to be careful about name-calling the folks who took an unbearable loss, and are struggling with how to go on, how to "give meaning" to this, or honor thier loved ones, etc. It's easy to see a middle/ upper-middle class woman hobnob with Senators trying to get a tax break and then sneer, but how do we know that her intentions aren't more than self-aimed, that she may be aware of the inequities, and sees that while people ARE still paying attention, she needs to be out their, advocating for something that may well help others like her who can't be out there, or god-forbid, future victims of this "war" that takes only a few military casualties, and thousands of civilian ones.
meanwhile, check out these great pics of a lovely snow-covered home (grrrrrrrrr, I'll keep my nasty envious comments to myself, it looks sooooooooo nice!)
pretty good day today - got 15 porn packages shipped out (probably a record for me!) got a package from a great online pal, with these delcious cookies (pecanmeal as the secret ingredient - fuckin' amazing!), and some beautiful homegrown walnuts - whadya think? wonder how often someone tells her - "nice nuts"?
plus, got a rare, brief, live netmeeting glimpse of blogcrushboy (i think he came after like 5 seconds, then disconnected, oh well) - it's cold and rainy, finally feeling more like December in New York, so time to look through the xmas stuff, and it's SATURDAY NIGHT IN MANHATTAN - you know what that means!!!!!!!!!! PIZZA! yeah, two boots pizza - my usual: fresh garlic, sundried tomatoes, spinach, mushroom, and crawfish (see, sometimes it's really nice not to have to worry about what a boyfriend might think about your eating habits)
Porn-wise, I got a video called Tease Me which claimed it starred Casey Donovan and Val Martin (one of, if not the first, leather daddies) - fortunately, I figured it must have been a scene from a 1974 Wakefield Poole film called Moving, and not only was I right, but it has at least one more scene from the old film - (I only watched the Casey/Val poolside scene yesterday morning - quite "inspiring").
think I'll just listen to Bjork, and watch porno until all this stupid shit is over - I guess I'm never leaving this apartment......
On 16th street is Beth Israel, where Paul died many years ago. He lived right on 14th st, just off First, right across the street from where I get my Xmas tree. Paul was the first person I knew who took AZT, back when you had to take shitloads of the stuff; he was also the first friend who I thought "why him and not me, he's been a good guy, sweet, monogamous; I've been the slut, cheating, sleeping around". He had been in the hospital for awhile, and I was in one of my unemployed periods, so, while riding my bike, I thought I could stop by, mid-afternoon, and visit when no one else was around, just a nice, casual, unplanned visit. I had done it before, sometimes he'd be asleep, and I'd just watchover him, looking, hoping. Anyway, pulling my walkman off, I approach his room, and see his boyfriend, and a woman, in the room, Paul sleeping. the boyfriend spotted me, pulled me aside, quietly telling me that it was "that time" , Paul's sister was there, the rest of the family would be here soon - and would I tell the others, so they could say goodbye. Naively stunned, it was probably one of the few times I'd gone into a hospital and didn't think about death. I went home, and before calling my boyfriend, or the other friends I was assigned to tell, I sat on the couch, having put on The Buzzcock's I Believe, for no reason other than I had just seen them at a reunion gig. I don't think it was anything Paul liked, but it was a good blast-the-stereo-sing-and-scream song. I played it several times, screaming the lyrics "There is; no love; in this; world anymore" over and over, blasting it louder each time, trying to force myself to get the tears out of the way, so I could properly make my calls to my friends, and tell them Paul would soon be dead.
A few days later, we're sitting in Paul and Mark's apartment, discussing plans for the service - Lesbian Rabbi, Frank Zappa cassette (I was assigned that), a checklist of things to do, arrangements to be made. I was useless, not at all interacting, as everyone acted like it was just this thing that needed to get done, and I felt the room get smaller and smaller, and the fact that no one was SCREAMING was making me more and more insular, and angry. We certainly didn't discuss our feelings, our loss, our anger, nothing. I know, I guess it's pretty obvious that you can assume all that, afterall, we're friends; but I just felt this huge gap between myself and the rest of the world, I wanted to explode, and instead I am dutifully jotting down a few notes of the tunes to record. When the service was over, and everyone was leaving, and just the boombox was up there, Frank Zappa noises screaching out, I began to realize why we had all just gone through the motions - it was too scarey to articulate what we were really thinking, looking around this room, or the livingroom a few nights earlier, "who's next?"
Bellevue is up around 27th and First; Rick was there only a short while. He hated the place, probably because it was a Public Hospital, and he had "issues" with stuff like that. Each person who came into the room commented on the great view he had of the East River, and he grimaced each time he heard it. Each time I'd come, I'd be taking cans of Ensure out of a bag, trying to find a place for them, encouraging him to drink them, like he was a little kid who needed coaxing. His sister had moved in with him, to help take care of him. He had bought a "fixer-upper" apartment (we all wondered how he lived there so long without a toilet......), and soon his parents were in town, finishing up his apartment, buying a refrigerator, carpeting, comfy easy chair, all this nice shit, so that whatever time he had left, he would be comfortable. Eventually Rick was in St Vincent's in the Village, and one evening, just the two of us, we had a talk about how sorry we were that we had that stupid fight the previous summer about welfare, and poor people, not speaking for months, and all the time we lost. Rick didn't express his feelings often, and it all poured out, each of us challenging the other "no no, I was the idiot, I'm sorry" and we laughed, and cried, and hugged, something we had never done before. This was the roughest; he was the closest friend who had gotten sick, and we were panicked, not knowing what the hell to do for him, but his folks were great, sweet people. I can even remember the outfit Rick would wear to WonderBar on Wednesdays for the cheap beer/backroom. This dingy knit cap, dingy yellowish t-shirt, his "grunge" look. And I remember when he and Mark quit drinking, occasionally going to those meetings, and talking about the cute guys afterwards, and our replacement activity: Scrabble. We'd just listen to music, and play Scrabble late into the night - I still can't listen to the Cranberries since then, Mark and Rick would do this stupid sing-along during the chorus of Linger, simulatameously irritating the crap out of me, and making me laugh my ass off - and now it's the quickest way to get me to cry, playing that song. But then, one Saturday at work, I got the call. "Come to the hospital, Rick wants to say goodbye." Apparently, he had had enough, too much time in the hospital, not getting better, feeling like crap, he wanted to go home to his parents house, and just see what would happen. We all knew what would happen, of course. The doctor's told him explicity that he was unlikely to survive the drive. I got there, got out of the cab, and standing there, on the corner, was David Byrne and a small child, who got into my cab. I have no idea why that sticks out, but I got into the hospital, found Mark, Rick's best friend, and we stood at the elevator for a minute or two, looked at each other, and ran to the stairs. Just as we began to go up, I stopped him, and said "I need one minute, one minute to be ready to pretend I'm not totally against this, and angry as hell at him for quitting, and giving up, and not trying hard enough; we have to go in there and tell him that whatever he decides is the right decision, and it's cool with us". We got upstairs, and of course, several friends, the whole family, our good friend Larry, the social worker. We had to take turns. In the waiting room was his father, stoic all this long time of trying his best to do whatever needed to be done; his eyes full, he very quietly said "I can't believe I'm letting my son do this, it's the wrong decision, but what can I do, it's his life, and it must be awful for him."
They got an ambulance to take him from Manhattan to Rhode Island; the next morning his sister called, he made it home, he died in his bed, the bedroom he grew up in, it was peaceful, he was happy to be home.
Alden wasn't really a friend of mine, but we had that Act-Up connection, having done several "actions" together, particularly on Day of Desperation (just as the Gulf War started). I actually fucked something up on our banner over the FDR Drive that Alden had to fix, and then he got stopped by the cops. Oh yeah, and he had an affair with my boyfriend. Even friends of mine said I couldn't blame Jim, after all Alden was that cool Act-Upper who always knew what to say, what to do (and it was true, he was amazing). Anyway, here I am, standing out in front of NYU Medical (in the 30's somewhere?) talking to Jim, who I had just spent part of the day with, and I hand him a tupperware container of oatmeal cookies, thinking maybe Alden could eat them, I didn't really know. While they weren't "dating" any longer, they had become very close, and when he got sick, Jim did everything and anything he could for him. He went to the hospital all the time, did errands, took care of stuff. Here he is, taking care of an ex, someone he dated while he was seeing me, really weird, but this was not the time to worry about my own discomfort, of course. I don't remember how long he was in the hospital, but sometime after he got out, Jim called me in a panic. He hadn't heard from Alden in a day or two, no answer at his apartment, on his phone; totally unusual for him. We called the police, and our fears were proven right when we got into the apartment - he had passed away, alone, at home, watching t.v. There was the memorial through the streets of the East Village, very loud, very angry, very disturbing having his face on these huge placards; of course, this time, I wasn't chanting loud, or holding a placard, just quietly walking with the crowd, lost in my own thoughts - the image of that very strong man naked on the floor, frail, dead. The next few days, weeks, were tough; Jim was very depressed, and unable to talk to me. But he had other friends, friends who were closer to Alden like he was, friends he could talk to, and cry with. Sometimes I would be making something for dinner, and he'd be on the phone, crying, and I knew that it was good, at least he had someone he was comfortable sharing this with. I just made sure Jim ate, and had my warm body to sleep with, and just made sure I was available, not being able to take the pain away, but just in case, just in case I could say, or do something....
Up on 66th st, just east of First Avenue is the church where they had the funeral for Paul (a diferent Paul from the other pal above). Paul worked for MTV, and when he got sick, he managed some disability arrangement that helped him live in Brazil for awhile. Paul was the guy who I invented the "east Village handshake" with - no one really remembers it, cuz it was just a little inside joke for a few of us, basically you went up to your buddy and just stuck your hand in his crotch - obviously we thought of it at one of the many drunken parties Mark and I had on Norfolk St. Not sure when Paul got back to the States, but when he died, his family came here, and had the funeral at this little church on the upper east side. I remember everyone in the family had little red ribbons on. This was the first time I had seen them and didn't snear - all us cocky Act-Uppers thought it was just some trendy Hollywood fashion thing "look, look, I'm concerned" - but here was his family, in a not very supportive Catholic Church, making sure it was clear their son had died of AIDS. They talked about it from the pulpit, that while they were robbed of their son, he had had a good life, good friends, etc. They took genuine interest in meeting us all. Several of us went out together, to some pub restaurant nearby. Very odd, but somehow fitting, to be in this Irish saloon , on the day of a friend's funeral, drinking beer in the middle of the day, telling stories.
I think about stuff like that when I'm on this bus, going uptown, the bus stopping to let some old folks off, or taking forever while a wheelchair unloads, the rest of the bus riders clearly irritated by these delays; ah, if only it was a matter of a brief inconvenience, eh?