my office went bowling last week. you'll notice i made iron-ons for everyone to put on their team tshirts. i love bowling, and it reminds me that i went bowling with fritz once. because fritz was always out-of-order anyway, it doesn't matter that the connection to him, through bowling, is tenuous: it only need lead to him.
fritz is part three of three, the third guy i had a seminal thing-for in my college years. this is not to say that i didnt have other crushes in college, certainly, merely that these were the ones most influential to my nascent lil'homo personality.
thanksgiving 1994, cutchogue, new york. we had just finished dinner at fritz's mother's neighbor's house, warmer than his mother's house, a palatial salt box versus his mother's tiny salt box. despite the fact that this place was cozier than his mom's (which was somewhat sparse and frigid), that the delightful neighbors were enjoying my company almost as much as i was theirs, that the food was better than i ever remember from any childhood thanksgivings, that the place was very warm, fritz had that look in his eyes, the look of someone who has something on his mind, always, an eternal longing, someone who is clinically depressed, has some secret to share, yet gets to that point and still keeps it in. it's the look i saw earlier in the day on the beach: distant, completely unattached, despite the fact that his detatchment depended entirely on my presence. it was 11:30pm, just after dessert, and he wanted to take a night walk, with me. he didnt need to ask.
we walked under the stars. or written correctly: the bowl of the sky completely surrounded us only twenty yards from the house, the house a little yellow spot compared to the placid blue light emanating from the sky, from the fully lit moon. the night was cold, as only the north fork can be, ocean wind cutting through your best winter coat, freezing you, causing you to hear nothing but your heart beating. fritz kept looking up, like he had on the beach, away from me, as we walked into the plowed field behind the yard, the worked earth a grey, hard, and alien landscape we were willingly entering. i looked up too, listening to fritz tell me things, after a while, telling me about how he'd seen a ufo when he was a kid, and he had never been willing to tell anyone, and he was glad i was there, and glad i was a friend, although a very new friend he never really saw, because he could tell me things he'd never told anyone, like about roary, and when they were kids, but not about what he wrote about in the poem he'd done, but about when they were in the shed, and they'd found the girlie magazines, and they beat each other off to them, and that he wasn't sure why, but something bothered him, and part of it was he didnt know what he wanted out of his girlfriends. like the entire duration of my trip to the north fork, these revelations were cold, hard, blue-lit, fecund, razor sharp.
you see, he'd just broken up with cheryl, his love for the last four years. if he'd broken up with her eleven months earlier, i'd never have met him. cheryl was friends with my good friend danielle, and i met them both at a party she threw.
december 31, 1993, college town, missouri. danielle was house sitting for a professor who had given her permission to have a small new year's party. she invited nine people. she rented tie me up! tie me down! and women on the verge of a nervous breakdown because it was going to turn cheryl on, or fritz, or both. cheryl was trying to get danielle to do a threesome with her and fritz. it was sexy; cheryl was flirty and relentless. when they both walked in the door, danielle clued me in on what was happening.
we all played cards. fritz and i instantly took a liking to each other, something i now know as sexual tension. together we took on the other guests (the ones i haven't mentioned so far were rather boring). we got drunk right away. the evening escalated into general debauchery, with one of the guys being a semi-open homo hitting on fritz, with danielle hitting on fritz, with fritz being bored and annoyed. he kept getting away from them and chatting with me. during a loud moment in the kitchen, with the entire cast present, with much sexual posturing, he leaned up and said something only i would hear: "i wish you were a girl because i want to fuck you."
the evening progressed quickly. cheryl and danielle kissed, while i was sitting on the couch between them. danielle, unsuccessful with fritz, managed to swing another guy and took him upstairs. cheryl had her eyes on me, and did her best. i barely remember any other details, except me putting my hands on fritz's hips from behind, or him doing the same to me while i slowly, quietly kissed cheryl's lips, or me watching them neck for a while. she did her best to get the three of us to bed (er, couch), but something had unhinged, opened up, like a cold snap, and i was content to stumble to a sofa in the basement. for the first time, i consciously i knew what i wanted: fritz's sturdy, warm legs wrapped around me, from behind, under cover. i was in a new field.
the next morning, i was in danielle's car. the doors had just shut, and we sat there in silence for several moments, things needing to be said, but the hangovers and subjects lending weight to the grey silence. she first: "i've been meaning to tell you, i'm exploring some bisexual stuff right now". it was true, and for her, a truly experimental phase. me next: "i think i'm definitely, definitely bisexual". this was no surprise to my observant friend. she had spent the evening trying to get fritz, but knew that i was the one who could have done it.
the search and discovery of the picture the other day led me through several others of similar totemic value. my mother, ever prescient, guessed what came to me when i was going through them: when i'd told her i'd written about someone i'd had a crush on in college, she guessed it was josh, not mark. i told her josh was part two of three.
i knew josh too well and too long to write as detailed a summary as i did about mark in a single entry. in fact, i could write several entries solely on the pictures i took of him.
josh was a freshman when i was a sophomore, and he lived on the same dorm floor as me and sah. that's how we met and became friends. and, like most college students, he was still growing as a person, accompanied by the upbringing he'd received as both weighted baggage and solid foundation. in his case, he had grown up in chevy chase, maryland, and was from a jewish family. he was very jock-suburban eighteen-year-old: played on the soccer team, avid bicycler, swimmer. he moved in with all of his accoutrements, including bikes and skis. he played softball on the floor's team (this image, by the way, was iconic for me, and i used it in architecture projects for years). he loved cars, and could take apart a carburetor.
this is the year that sah and i lived together. it was also the year we almost killed each other. although i don't really remember what we were mad at each other about, i'm certain that part of it was that i hung out with josh and his annoying friends constantly, and i wasnt a very good friend to sah as a result. i hung out in josh's room a lot: i spent a lot of time on the floor, because that's where josh spent a lot of his time. i went to dinner with josh and his gang a lot. josh, like albertine in proust's book, was the energy from which the gang coalesced: beautiful, virile, lively, not too inventive, not the most intelligent.
josh and i were close for a time, close the way friends are, because he always needed someone more insightful than his drunken freshmen buddies. bizarrely, this meant me, and it was a role i was happy to fulfill. he liked to talk about his problems, in a suburban lexicon with a semi-thuggish inflection. problems included his parents moving away from his friends in maryland, his unhappiness with our college's engineering program, his inability to get good babes. i had a good ear for josh's problems, because some of them i could identify with (i really hated the studio classes i was taking, and the math/science courses were so peurile they were not worth my effort, and i too could not get good babes and had no idea why). i was still at the stage where i saw these relationships as friendships/brotherhoods, so i wasn't fully clued into the sexual subtext. yet it is astounding to me that he never really dated anyone in college, and had almost no sexual encounters that i knew of, given his attractiveness.
of course, given the lens this method supplies, it's tempting to read josh this way: head-case of a closeted guy who had all the other problems of college aged people (including myself). but that wasn't even on the radar at the time, and i'm not entirely comfortable with that assessment now. what i do know is what i see in the pictures: i took a lot of josh partially clothed, or after working out. he loved to go around shirtless, and when we'd be chillin in his room, he at his desk, me at the window seat, listening to classic rock on the radio, him complaining about something, he would usually have nothing on but his sweat-short cutoffs. in the images he's somewhat uncomfortable with the presence of the camera, but is also drawn to it, a nascent curiosity in his eyes about having his body projected. this curiosity was encouraged by my role as author of the image, too.
after some years, we grew apart. some of his frat-boy friends (who didnt like me) i'm sure thought i was a sissy in training, and a nerd (the shoe fit, and still does), and i know they had nothing but terrible things to say about me. and josh had to go be a guy. this was somewhat painful too, but by the time it really happened i was too busy to notice. i had discovered my artistic voice, and could use it to explore some uncharted waters, and i'd gotten a nice sized group of real friends to be with.
i'm about twenty pages from finishing the book. i'm faced with the literary dilemma of diving into the next volume or getting into something else. although i've got several vague ideas of other books in mind, i'm more motivated by the fact that the book, when it is about love, is where it diverges from my life the most. proust's narrator is foolish at it (like me) and obsessive at times (like me) but fundamentally believes that his life will be miserable because of it. not like me.
as i wrote on august 27, the book is often a wonderful parallel to my life, in that it's life is that of impressions, urban events, memory triggers, habit, social interaction, meeting strangers. however, his understanding of his own sexual desire is unfamiliar to me: i'm completely exuberant about the sex i have, my sexuality, my desire, my emotions. they're the things that can make me truly happy, even above my work, which itself is often a determining influence of my emotional state. proust's narrator has weak confidence in himself. for me, self-confidence is something i've both had (design ideas) and have had to learn (body, sex, and emotions), but something i don't even think about anymore.
thanksgiving day always reminds me of my first crush on another guy. it was fall 1989, i was in college, in acting 1, and there were two rugby players in my class. one was nate, who i dearly loved, because he was from ohio, but from the south, so he had adorable appalachian melisma in his speech. he was about 6'2", 200lbs, lean, muscular, always beat-up from his game, always shuffling like he was tired. he had dirty-blond hair, straight and silky, that often hung over his eyes, with a elfin nose that completed the contrasts he embodied: big and small, thuggish and childish, fighter and reader. we did a mutual massage exercise together in class once, he my partner.
the other guy was mark, nate's best friend, also ohioan, not as tall as nate, but still strong. he was 5'8, 170, somewhat lean, but very pugnacious and completely over-sexed. he taught me to smoke, and smoke a cigar, and was always trying to get me to go after a woman. he was fearless about his sport and about sex, and i clearly remember him provoking our mid-40s-but-attractive acting teacher, and she provoking him back, with things like "i know you mark, and you're just not attracted to this sort of thing, but i want you to do it anyway", things that were obviously drawing on a shared sexual experience the rest of us were only then being clued into. needless to say, i was madly smitten with this guy.
by the late fall, when we were in a scene together (i played a gay character) with our other friend jennifer (yes, he'd slept with her, too), i'd seen mark and nate out and about. meaning in the basement bar/club at my gothic college for this or that saturday night party. i never missed a party here: the beer was free (and for some reason, my freshman year was the last year college kids were allowed to drink underage), my other college friends were there, and of course, i'd get to see mark. i have endless fond memories of indebriated october nights, walking between the fragrant autumn trees, and shadowy gargoyles watching me everywhere.
once, while i was at the requisite non-salty-foods carrot tray, my friends sah and ming looked beyond me as if to say "uh-oh", and i got picked up by mark/nate, spun around, etc, and we wrestled. we were all drunk. when we were finished, mark whispered in my ear "we wouldn't fuck with you if we didn't like you". another time, i was stumbling into the men's room, visibly drunk off my ass, and mark was coming out. he grabbed my shirt with both hands, and not gently pushed me up against the wall, and said "hey, you're too drunk to get laid tonight". he was super-drunk too, and had actually bruised my chest where his hand had hit it. it didnt hurt at the time, but i had the bruise for a week, and in my strange state, i cherished it. it's not far from where i have a new mark on my chest.
by the late fall, i'd seen mark in other places too. this was because i, like proust's obsessed narrator, would rearrange my life and schedule so that i would be in the places i'd seen him frequent. he spent most of his time in our main library. as an architecture student, i had so little reading to do that i had almost no reason to go there, but i still managed to spend hours and hours just hanging out, often not saying hi (hoping he'd say hi, listening in on who he was talking to, etc), trying to think of something clever to say. day in, and day out, i was consumed with where i'd see mark. i was so attached to him, and had a huge fantasy about being his best friend, doing all sorts of cool stuff together. the reader may know that i spent my entire college years in the closet, completely clueless, and that it took a sucessive string of these crushes before i even had an inkling.
the period just before thanksgiving i was devistated, utterly miserable, knowing that the class would be over in a matter of a week or two, after thanksgiving, knowing i'd not be able to see mark three days a week anymore. it was really painful, and no one could really figure out what was bugging me, and even if i did manage to open up to my really close friends about it, i was only able to portray it in enigmatic and platonic language. to solidify my shaky definition of 'friendship' (and thereby, like proust, solidifying my misery) i wrote two long, romantic letters, and act i'd find unthinkable today directed toward the good acquaintances they were. one for jennifer, who i also adored, and one for mark, telling them i was very thankful to have such wonderful people in my life. at the time, a nascent homo just months out of semi-rural ohio high school, i was unable to distinguish between who were my real friends (my still-friends ming and sah, who mercifully stayed close despite the horrible ignoring i gave them that semester) and who were my crushes, who i wanted to hang out with and who i wanted to sleep with, and most importantly (and what i refered to in my entry a couple of days ago) who i wanted to be and who i wanted to be with.
our final scene was a hit: mark and jennifer's off-stage sexual liason made it to on-stage sexual tension, and my gay foil was convincing. the teacher loved each of us, jennifer because she was talented, mark because he was a good student lay, and me because i had begun my career in theater, so we got high grades. we posed for a picture: mark in the middle, me and jennifer on each side. after that one, he picked us both up when the flash went off again. flash-back: standing on the scale yesterday, two solid weeks of weighing 138, eyeing covetously the 140 mark, from my confidence and abiding self-love i could finally admit that i wanted to be mark, not be his friend at all, or be his equal, but be him himself, wear his worn adidas sambas, be the guy who had made those shoes worn, be nate's best friend, be the guy who challenged his surroundings with confidence, unafraid confidence which appeared to emerge out of his body and his sex.
this is not an entry from the gym diary. this is something different
to: L from:me
although i had several things to do today, none of them managed to capture a significant portion of my mental energy. my mind kept drifting toward the same subject, you, as if it were drawn, inexorably, like gravity draws a planet. or, more precisely, like a woods in the fall draws you to walk in it, your body and mind certain that the direction you want to go is that-a-way, somewhere enjoyable.
like some kind of woodsy rumination, i was sifting through the events of our evening together, thinking about them, unable to fasten onto anything in particular because i was fastened to it all, thinking large while looking at the details, delighted all the while.
in the materials library, or waiting by the printer, or making photocopies, or between doing web research and formatting a presentation, or getting coffee, i kept going back to wander. on the train ride home, i realized part of it was the same mode i'm in just before i write. i mentally prepare the blog, collecting the impressions, and perhaps a few phrases. i want to write about you, i want to write you in.
gym diary month eight, continued.
i returned to the gym for the first time since saturday today. it was difficult: i got sick saturday night, i got drunk the same night, i got drunk tuesday, didnt sleep much that night, i got drunk last night (during office bowling party), didnt sleep much last night either. i've been eating badly, or poorly. needless to say, i was not at top form.
while i was working out, and later in the steam room, i was getting cruised by this very sexy, very lean young guy, promiscuous, cruising me heavily in the steam room, standing in front of me so i could take in his ass, then his front, me being catapulted out of my post-work post-workout fatigue-induced steam reverie by this violently attractive boy, after a week of youngsters flirting with me like i could be their little daddy, hard in an instant. it was dirty, and lovely.
on the workout floor, i was also getting cruised by a veritable posse of post-chelsea muscle queens (they all live in the east village, dear), and it made my already-tough workout difficult, vying for my attention. even more addling was the fact that they were guys who i so glibly implied in my last gym diary entry as guys in a different class, not my own. that was not only shallow, but disingenuous. what occupied my mind between workout and steam (called shower) was the need to be more honest, less trite.
i was reminded of the last half of the proust volume i'm reading, which has referred to what people say about others, and how what we say only, only, only refers to ourselves. it is the window to our soul. my november 11th entry examines silly issues i have, and obviously are not scintillating observations about others. to be fair, i wasnt happy with the entry when i wrote it. indeed, i edited it (thank you blogger for this feature) an hour after i posted it, but i just made the entry palatable, not believable.
the other side of the story is that i'm simply jealous as all the super-fuck when i don't get asked to play. i'm not sure if it's a nascent feeling of entitlement or a holdover of the need to get attention from those guys by going to the gym. the other part of that side of the story is that working out, having a nice body, being well-dressed and well-groomed, in new york city, manhattan, isn't easy, it's constant work, not something that is the end, but something that is enjoyable nonetheless. the connection was uncovered by the younger guys cruising me this week: to them, i'm an image of something they want to be, but think they can be by being with. it takes quite some work to do both.
i have been spending some time doing something i've been meaning to do for a long time: adding content to my site. not just blog content, but a lil'ole html-authored content: i added minxlinx to the authors section. no, the porn section isnt quite working yet (but soon). someday, somewhen, i will add images to the authors section, and to all the other sections.
on the other hand, considering that i've had two or three people (people who know my site from the blog) tell me recently that they hadn't seen 'decks', it is within the realm of possibility to simply forget the rest of the site, and have all content be transitive, blog- or linx-accessed.
press forward. looking forward to all the things you want to see. seeing the air, up in the air, coolness projected, projecting everything, yourself everything, twice, your repetitive view, repetitive now, release of immediate purity, inside, your now is my surroundings, extended, tomorrow.
if it wasn't for them songs
i hear you all sing
i'd put a crown on my head
and i'd say i'm your king
i'd kidnap some
and i'd blackmail others
gym diary month eight.
lots of fun at the gym yesterday. friday night, they all came to the gym to play. there were lots of cuties, many not on my former list of hotties.
of note were two that i overlapped in the steam room. one is a guy troy and i call "mister green shorts" for his consistent workout clothing choice. he's the guy i've mentioned before, in encounters where he gets hard, but refuses to exchange looks, or to look at your body when you're looking at his, but steals a glance anyway. for a long time, i mused that he was closeted. i forgot to mention that troy and i saw him at the butch ball, with two huge guys. mmm-hm.
second guy was they guy i mentioned way back when as the "bite-size jonno". he's lately gotten bigger, more muscular, and is more like a jonno clone. and jonno, i mean a real clone. i always think he's you. however, he's unattractively too-clean-cut-acting, even though he's a dirty whore like the rest of us, and he comes across as snobbish. i like to watch him, but i move away when he starts talking to someone.
(what's great about troy's former immediacy is that i could actually just call him and say "hey, i saw mister green shorts and bite-size jonno playing in the steam room. green shorts DOES get busy in there, but they're both very stuck-up". end of story).
he and green shorts were playing together in the steam room, with me looking across #9 in order to watch. bite-size had walked in, with green shorts in the corner. the guy sitting next to me moved away so he could sit, but he walked over to sit on the small corner bench with green shorts (impossible to do without touching that person). sheesh.
anyway, they both vacated after a while, for a cool-down shower. jamie left. green shorts came in, sitting where jamie just had been, next to me. long pause. i'm casually stroking as he sits there, looking to the shower where bite-size went, intentionally ignoring me, in a way that wasnt really ignoring me, but was meant to actively show that he wanted to not pay attention. he starts to lose patience, appearing irritated somehow that he has to wait for the guy to come back. a tall skinny guy comes in and takes the corner bench, and green shorts lets out a sharp sigh and leaves in a huff for the shower. freak.
next, bite-size comes in and sits down next to me, thinking green shorts is in the corner again. he sees that he's not, and watches me play with myself for about two seconds, and gets up and struts out (he struts everywhere). freak, too.
the whole encounter made it seem that there are people at the gym who are part of a small faction of the gym culture, with extremely narrow tastes and who are sometimes stereotyped as chelsea muscle queens, who sometimes stereotype to fulfill what they're looking for. and that i'm obviously not mistaken as part of that group (in this instance), and that most of the guys i've played with don't seem to care much about that. i'm extremely clear about the paradox i still grapple with: because i started out from the same motivations--the need to be seen--and i'm comfortable with that, and i enjoy that, i can be seen as a close cousin to green and bite. and i still don't have an answer to the question "am i really a lot like them, but simply use self-criticism as a way to mask it?". i don't know, but i think about it a lot.
still, it's amusing to watch.
i walked the aisles of my supermarket tonight as i usually do: listless, addled, anxious. like most housework chores, this one presents enormous difficulty when i'm not in the mood to do it. despite the fact that i have in the past routinely theorized/fetishized the supermarket (the circus of delirious shopping carts), i lose almost all my orientation and my ability to make reasoned judgements regarding anything when i'm in a large-scale retail format. this goes for malls, wal-marts, k-marts, meijer, anderson's, macy's, bloomingdale's, you name it. it must be my time in new york: large-format selling spaces weird me out.
my supermarket, around the block from where i live (handy in nyc), had a previous incarnation as an A&P before it became a "Food Emporium". when it was the former, and i was newly moved to my neighborhood after graduation, despondent over moving away from all my friends at columbia, having a terribly failed relationship with a CU guy that fall, who used to make fun of me getting confused in the store, i used to walk around the place in a trance, barely able to put my food in a basket, wheeling the cart very slowly, as if i were an old person, somehow clearheaded yet almost crying at the same time. needless to say, i was mildy depressed.
how strange that i should remember such things tonight, when my emotional well-being is such healthy turf compared to what it was three years ago. the mind works in strange ways: i think something in the frozen foods section set me off, that and the fact that i was also very sober-headed today. perhaps it was caused by feeling satisfied in about every area of my life as i could be. not "there" everywhere, but "going in the right direction," which is all i really care about anyway. career: i found out today that we made the cut to the next round for the art museum, i've been asked to pursue some major fashion work, i'm putting together a p/a awards submission that i feel really good about, and i just got a big raise, complete with we-really-appreciate-you note from my employers. family: my brother's wife is pregnant again, and i'm to be an uncle again! health: read my blog.
or perhaps it was the presence of so much trashy, frozen, food that made me feel a last, dying pang of upset stomach from eating mcdonald's yesterday (before running on the treadmill, no less), and having burger king today (my state of mind is always "clear headed and sober" after recovering from any illness). but the pang had the effect of reminding me of the singularly wonderful meal i had last friday, food that you remember, with a date who made it even more singularly wonderful, and that after a unique night-visit to the met to discuss constructed identity. as i reached into the freezer, i could feel the distance around my fingers, between the frozen pizza i was taking and my meal friday, between my three years ago sullenness and my current deliberateness.
gym diary. pause. month eight.
remarkable: i'm lifting record weights. tips from jocko are valuable. if only he could spot via email.
remarkable: i'm extremely focused, hence above. i've learned to quit looking around, or even at myself in the mirror, especially when i have 155lbs on my shoulders, i'm doing squats, and #4 is sitting in the shoulder-scrunch machine directly behind me, just to take in my ass as i go down and come up. when i go down, my eyes, perfectly level so that my torso stays straight, would meet his in the mirror with only a minor degree of eye movement. i keep looking at myself, and notice his almost-in-my-gaze gaze in my peripheral vision, and then only remember it later. otherwise, i'd probably get back injury from losing my balance.
remarkable: the utter lack of locker-room coincidence. the very frustratingly few cuties i actually have overlapped with lately. the fact that when i do overlap with them, they seem to just get dressed instead of shower and steam like me, even though they've apparently been pursuing the moment for weeks. there's this tattooed latin muscle daddy up there that has waited for me to finish, but not long enough, and last weekend he had a chance, but didnt take it. and girl, i was ready for him, too.
remarkable: the utter lack of need on my part for any-ole locker room coincidence i can find. of late, i've only been interested in a few specific encounters, which haven't happened because, well, they haven't. opportunity is not knocking, so to speak. there's more to this story that i'm not saying, because i want to glide over it, like that i've been very focused on what makes me happy, and i've been very conscious of what i will pursue and not pursue. i'm over the pursue-everything phase, because most of the time it's pursuit out of habit, not out of desire. and honey, i'm all about desire. the rest of the story is patience: see previous entries regarding career satisfaction. i'm not feeling the need to prove myself, there or here. there's more to this story, too, involving an unflattering discovery in myself regarding a need for affirmation from people i want to be, whether from muscular guys at the gym, or from guys i perceive as cooler than myself that i want to date me, etc. i'm aware that this may not be the most exciting thing to read, or write, but it's true, and it's partially responsible for the lack of sex/looking activity at the gym.
remarkable: somebody was playing old disco hits today instead of the crappy remix '99 cd shit they've been playing since i joined.
remarkable: my friend gio, who's a trainer, is now teaching and working out at my gym. he's a sexy, juicy, lovely, about my height, 155lbs, muscular, slightly crazy (this is new york, y'all), disco-dancin' puerto-rican baby who continues to call me papi even though we haven't slept together since july. i hope i can get him to spot me; troy left for milan yesterday.
remarkable: that anyone might mistake this as a cue that i'm not going to have some gym, post-gym, or otherwise trick-like action again, and that i won't be writing about it. just not today.
other things occupying.
i'm literally biting my nails over these elections. this past year or so has seen me become a voracious follower of politics. i'm now to the point that i visit the polling report every couple of hours, both electoral college maps at abcnews.com and cbsnews.com every couple of hours (further entrenching my obsession with the state map of the US, electoral college map in particular. hey, you only get to see the damned thing every four years, and it elects a president), and scouring the new york times every couple of minutes for new york state senate race news.
this may all be a surprise to readers of this blog: i don't recall ever writing about politics. part of me feels that the last thing anyone wants to read (the last thing i want to read) is anything second-hand regarding a race, as if there arent enough amateur analysts out there. but i want to write about the races, because they are occupying a great deal of my thoughts right now. i'd be lying if i were to write that i'm simply fascinated by the races, intellectually stimulated as i am by the fury between the desire to get something done and the things you must do to get there (i am an architect, after all). it's actually more accurate to simply say that i'm emotionally involved in the races, and i feel a palpable, personal stake in them (and being a gay man, i've the luxury of having a very short litmus test for a candidate).
where to begin? i just deleted a paragraph of trite civics sophisms.
president. i am very enamored of the office of president. the executive position is awe-inspiring because of its uniqueness as well as its actual power. and i'm continually looking for the limits of that power, its edges, its contours. there are times that i believe that a president can do little more than use commander-in-chief powers. there are times that i'm awed at what clever wonderful uses to which those powers can be put (national guard in the civil rights era). i'm constantly looking to see a person behind the president's image, which is why i was day-to-day, blow-by-blow hooked on president clinton's impeachment. not to discover his "failings" (i find that an absurd and condescending standard whoever it's applied to, especially when it's about sex), but to see the part of him that is alien to what we're given by his staff as our leader, the leader of the free world.
i don't believe a president elected by a within-the-margin-of-error of the popular vote, or a close run in the popular vote, with a congress that will have a technical majority, which we all know is no majority at all, can promise anything like a tax cut, health care plans, social security whatevers, education reforms, etc. i do believe a president sets a national tone, and appoints supreme court justices, even with a neutral congress, and that's where i must agree with the times calling nader delusional for saying the candidates are indistinguishable.
[helpful note to reader: skip this paragraph if you like nader and want to read well-written stuff]. it's also the moment where i must state my extreme distaste for nader. after studying several appearances and recent interviews, i feel he speaks as if americans at large are somehow complacent regarding their choice of candidates, as if the whole election system is an inside joke that he's calling us out on. yes, he is talking straight, but it feels like someone saying that we communicate with language: politics is not about the present, or naysaying about the system. it's about the future, what you want to make of the world out of our systems of government. it's not pure, you don't control it, you have to answer to the other voices in the land. he also has the ring of privileged white guy's issue: women's rights, gay rights, affirmative action are also real things to many people.
furthermore the diversity in our country is not reflected in a multi-party system, which may be nice sometime but we don't actually have right now (and adding a third or a fourth like small appendages does not a multi-party system make), but it does have the unfortunate effect of making candidates appear alike to those without the will to summon the mental energy to read what a candidate will do in the future. i guess the brilliance of the two big parties is that they try to embody all the issues, for better or for worse, by at least attempting to outline a broad spectrum of values and issues, and realistic-appearing plans, which end up sounding shallow and hollow yes, but they are for a majority of the voters, which you need to become elected, even if those outlines are nothing more than placeholders for virtue.
i like al gore. i find him likeable. he has a sense of humor; he cannot tell a joke. the two are not mutually exclusive. i think he is a man of courage, mildly distinguished, honorable to a fault, and believes he somehow deserves the highest office, but is eminently qualified, and lets you know it, and is someone pursuing what he knows to be right, which corresponds to what i'd have my representive in the oval office know. that's all i ask for.
i like george w. bush. he's very funny, and tells very good jokes, especially the ones about how silly politics are. i also believe that like his father, he has good intentions, and pursues what he believes is right, and is a moderate. however, he hasnt been tested, and like his father i don't see his courage translated in courageous acts, and furthermore i don't trust his conviction, because when push comes to shove, he won't be on my side as a gay urban dweller. advisee-in-chief (nytimes.com) is not the job description.
i like hillary clinton. actually, i love her. she's wildly ambitious, knowledgeable about whatever interests her, and politically foolish until recently in her senate run (although i liked the listening tour). i find her to be a good mother, i wanna be chelsea clinton's best friend. hillary is a good dresser. she has become very savvy to new york politics, and did it in record time. however, making lazio look like the kid in your highschool who was "into politics" that you wanted to strangle because his form of virtue was outrage at non-issues does not take much skill: it's kind of like a training race for her. and, mostly, she embodies the fullest spectrum of a politicians' character: the deepest conviction matched with the cleverest disguises for it.
politics, like my profession, is flawed, dirty, imprecise, always in-your-face. yet, it's motivated by our desire to make our world better, and our desire to be heard, each of us at once, and sometimes each of us in unison, or whatever passes for that these days. i'm mostly indifferent to politics, as i am to any particular design of mine, not because i'm apathetic, but because i tend to have great faith in our democracy, and the world. i believe the cacaphony of our voices keeps things mostly in balance, even if it keeps us from being heard clearly.
occupied by several things this week, keeping my creative side in 'soak' mode (as opposed to 'make' mode). i manually switch to make for a few minutes to relay things.
troy is leaving friday for milan for three months, possibly more. he's my best friend in new york. i have several best friends, because no two best friends are alike. he's best in several ways.
ways that troy is a best friend (also, ways that i will miss troy) these are in the order they were typed. honest.
1. best at calling my on my cel phone regularly.
2. best at nicknaming me "cee-cee?" on the phone, to which i respond "tee-tee!"
3. best at helping me learn something about soul, with dancing, and flirting, and being dirty, and getting into a groove, and letting it take you out of your silly shyness, even if it makes you look silly, because you've done something that came from deep within you.
4. best at watching the x-men with me, and when magneto crosses a chasm and the metal plates come up so he can walk, wagging his finger and his head and saying "wo-oork! you work girl!!" spontaneously.
5. best at ironic understatement (this goes for other friends too, but this is about troy, o-kay? o-kay.)
6. best dressed. that means best vintage clothes, best clothes he made himself, best shoes alone puts him ahead, best jeans.
7. best same last name as me. he's black, i'm not. when people do a double take from the same-last-name introduction, i say "we're not related" which i and probably my mother find funny, and troy thinks it's "just a thing you say, that's kind of cute" but it's not really all that funny, but i never get tired of saying it.
8. best at telling me when i'm not fierce though i think i am. mostly applies to clothes i wear.
9. best workout buddy at the gym.
10. best friend from ohio, who went to the same college as me in st louis, who now lives in new york.
11. best at giving me a kiss on the lips anywhere, anytime, and not just for show, and not a second thought, either of us.
12. best model for someone who listens to the creative voice inside him, and has the courage to tell the world about it.
13. best sexual confidante, calling each other after every trick so we may relive it. if i only had permission to reprint his stories. what i can say is...
14. best at getting tricks, in volume and quality. (friend to troy: "i guess you're giving the boys in manhattan a rest")
you are giving manhattan a rest. but don't stay away too long, or it will get sleepy.
ps all work in this domain is copyright chad the minx.