60 hours not-in-new-york last weekend for a ridiculously short visit with my dad's parents, the smiths. they winter in destin, florida, near fort walton beach. weather: not new york 70ish, sunny. not underground.
flying. i took a creepy prop plane with my father from atlanta. see entry from long ago regarding prayer and landing. apply emotion doubly so for prop-plane landing. on the way, a woman was petting her stuffed cat with a large satin 'i love you' heart on it's neck. the litter of kids all around us were screaming the entire time. very creepy.
well, not fully. my father and i laughed the whole way. dad made fun of the in-flight magazine (journalist's satire is my father's strong point. hearing his running satire of the local sports announcer on my hometown TV station is one of my fondest childhood memories). my father makes me laugh because he has a random, stealth humor that sparkles between what is his habitual form of conversation, the interview. i noticed this trip that dad is getting more comfortable with me being a sexually active guy, obviously from the exposure to all the 40-something gay men in their local pflag group. he even asked me about david, and could tell when i was cruising air force cadets in the fort walton beach airport. he was surfing my digipics and was mock scolding when he got to the one of the backsides of two guys in uniform with nice butts: "chad! what is this of?!"
we walked the beach after our plane touched down and we got settled. it was chilly, but nice to be out in shorts.
my grandparents are getting old. grandma had a load of unexpected health problems before the left in december, delaying their wintering. they are both a lot more frail than they were a few years ago, although my grandfather still can swing a club. so dad, grandpa, and i went golfing on sunday, the only full day i was in town.
so much has changed since the last time i spent more than a christmas visit with them. i have learned how to golf, in no small part because i have some upper body strength now, and i have better control over my body. grandpa doesn't go 'hm' like he used to, which meant 'why can't that boy golf?'. they are both very forgetful. they are very proud of me and what i'm doing in the big city, and it's obvious they love me more than ever. i can see it in their eyes: my dad, their only child, has produced a beautiful family, their gift to the future, and when grandma slipped me a twenty dollar bill just before i got onto the plane, i could feel it in her hand, clasping mine like it was one of the last 20 times she would do it, the strength of their emotion, their joy, their push. keep going forward.
simply obsessed with wilde and his being famous at 27. "i could deny myself the pleasure of talking, but not to others the pleasure of listening." worried that my marketing enthusiasm at work stems from my desire to have my work widely published. knowing that influential architecture is that architecture disseminated in the world of images and words (like south america, famous buildings are known but never visited). worried that my design tendencies also may be stemming from an inadmissable, underlying impulse for fame instead of quality. knowing that knowing the difference makes all the difference, but worried nonetheless, because wilde knew the difference too.
reading blogs. dismayed at how people's lives move at different speeds and in different directions online, that being the difference between meeting them in online or in bars. in a bar, you move at the same speed, although maybe shortly thereafter in different directions. addled by the fact that my distance from david makes us moving differently. calling david j, no answer.
calling martin, no answer. calling kijak to see when the reading is. calling sturtle to ask if he gets my email (weird technical snafu to iron out). calling jocko because i adore him and to shoot the shit. kijak calls during jocko's call. promise to call jocko back, chat with kijak a few minutes. calling david j.
loving chest workout at gym. loving working that part of my body, and seeing some results. weird 70s porn star night at gym, no less than three guys doing the clone/al parker thing. complete disinterest in steam room. no sex drive at gym. because troy isn't there?
missing david j. calling david j. am i a fool for love?
calling machine. jack called.
walking to bouche bar. love that place. kissing kijak, kissing martin. listening, writing a letter to steven's M. discussing fame and emotional attachment through transmitted media with dudley. it's kind of amazing and weird how strangers get to know you through something you do. but architects never get that sort of thing; people just want to know when their drink is coming.
they all know david j. leaving into the cold air, not so cold after two beers. calling david j. calling jack back. wanting to get back and blog trip to florida. wanting to blog this. wanting to use usb cable and usb card for pci port for my camera. wanting to send pics. calling. undressing. getting hard: sex drive at home, with myself. coming, shut down.
i bought a camera yesterday. egregious because i needed to work a lot, not go shopping and spend several billable hours fiddling with my new technology, and because i bought the one that was small and sexy, not the one i had resigned myself to purchasing because it was in my budget. beautiful bodies, and what they do, always win my attention.
cameras, jealousy. the office keeps visiting my desk to see my new baby, which matches my phone. riding the subway home i took several things i see, and like, but have never had the right apparatus to take it with. i really resent palm pilots, and for once know why people say such silly things about cel phones when it's really just someone WITHOUT a phone commenting on normal rude behavior. for the longest time i thought i didnt need a digital camera because i didnt really want to lay out the dough for it.
i had owned it for less than 20 hours and already i was taking pictures of myself. and before my morning coffee, i must be excited. i am an image whore: i want to see people in pictures as much as i like to know them. i want both at the same time. i'll let my future biographer/psychoanalist unravel what that bodes for david and i. i got to see his pictures after briefly meeting him in 1999. now, the roles are reversed, and he gets a feed from me now and then to keep the sun shining up there in massachusetts. this is my perverse way of being there.
i like to see people on my computer screen, especially people i know, who are more beautiful than people i don't know. i like to see beautiful people on my computer screen. i like those pictures in my email. i like an image that was sent to me but no body else, or, at least, for a few hours wasnt posted on the web (wow, what a way to save myself from trouble on that one. write the theory that fits, every time).
i've been talking about the nature of art and museums and buildings all day, and have no capacity to judge any of this cogently. is it possible to intend nothing and still write?
i find it very charming when people post on the subject of a personal correspondance, especially when it's better suited for the blog anyway. (i'd ask jocko if i could be HIS wondertwin, but i guess being first on his link list with an asterix is satisfying enough for me.) i also go to the gym to look hot, and a bonus is that it relieves stress and makes my heart feel good. i feel unencumbered by my body now, and almost always want to take my clothes off. i'll admit something else: i like having pictures of me so i can exchange them for pictures of others.
i want my friends to post more pictures of themselves online, any pictures, quotidian pictures, especially those taken in the bathroom mirror.
gym diary month ten.
ten month anniversary. status: still hovering between 135 and 137. the fire to gain more is either temporarily or permanently subsided. i can bench 155 for 5 reps without a spot, and appear to be steadily getting stronger. i do squats all the way to the ground, and in a lovely bit of symmetry, do as much as i flat bench. during the past six weeks, i've gone to the gym no more than ten times. i've had no pickups and have cruised only a couple of times in that period.
david and i worked out together twice last week. our workouts were good, although light: we were both exhausted from not sleeping enough, from all the parties, events, fucking, openings, and attendant inebriatedness. while there, i asked david who he thought was hot. he lightly scanned around in that lovely detached and addled and amusedly carefree look he has, and shrugged. i asked him several times if he thought specific guys were cute: each time, he would say no not cute or 'kinda' but meaning 'nice body but way too generic'.
i was mildly surprised at this. not because he's generally not into guys who are beefier than him, or because he was right, the guys i think are hot they do have nice bodies but have a generic edge to them (albeit generic in that quasi-east-village-muscle-queen kind of way). i guess it was because he was into his workout, and just wanted to get in and out of there. he didnt even want to shower, much less steam, and this was exactly where i was (well, except for the shower and steam part). what i was really looking at was the core to david's beauty: the sense that he's full of infinite wonder and amusement, and its intensity makes him stand out in contrast to the people i'm used to meeting.
truth be told, although i still enjoy working out more than anything, and being in that workout rhythm even more, i've been the very same way for several months now, trying to get my personal workout goals achieved and get on with my life, which includes a great deal of design work. so that i'm not disappointing any readers, know that i give myself the pleasure of looking at everything, and that there's a guy up there i saw a few weeks ago who i cruised like a hound to no success, who would've ended up here if it had gone somewhere.
while doing squats friday, david came over and demanded i listen, mid-squat, to his caution about going down all the way with the bar. (there are two schools of thought on this). i ignored him because i had a lot of weight on my back, and when i finished, i politely listened and told him i was comfortable with this way of doing it, although i have to keep the weight light so i don't destroy my lower back. he smiled a "you're so lovely when you do what you damn well please" smirk, grabbed the back of my neck, opened his mouth, and gave me a short but patient kiss before scampering off to his cable flyes. only troy has dared to kiss me up there, and that was a peck on the lips, perfectly expected of a fellow girlfriend. i was stunned by silliness, and just grinned. i did only one more set, although i had four to go, because i was unable to concentrate. gym, whatever: all i wanted to do at that point was go home and play. his gorgeous childlike and evergreen affection had convinced me.
i left work today before six, unfortunately when all the people from the traveller's building leave, so i was surrounded by a messy group of bad dressers and impolite space-needy sidewalkers who enveloped me and continually cut me off profoundly while i was comfortably strolling toward the subway. i tried to cross the intersection in a different direction (the one that was lit WALK), only to be bumped into by some fellow racing to wait at the intersection lit DONT WALK. i said excuse me, he didnt. i crossed, went into the slush, waited to cross again, people going left and right, coming at me, all the while cars racing down varick, cars racing out of the holland tunnel traffic interchange, and even at the edges of my bundly carhartt hood i could perceive a network of traffic that had the density of new york and the particular multidirectional chaos of north tribeca. how did i get to this point, where i'm perfectly comfortable strolling, even though i have to get somplace that closes by seven, when only last friday i was marvelling at how i walk approximately twice as fast as anyone without any visibly added effort?
notes on writing about not writing 1
saturday, david took me to his favorite jeweler's, frakie gibson jewelry. i got to meet frankie, the guy who's made lots of stuff for the ramones, van halen, kiss, and others. the little shop on east ninth street is packed with a mix of neo-gothic pieces, magical-inspired pieces, semi-satanic symbols, and some other weird stuff. we were looking for a chain for the charms david gave me from new orleans, the virgin of guadelupe tin from st louis cathedral and a silver sacred heart from a jeweler down there. david was answering all the questions, partially because i was still hung over after a long night the night before (we got up at 3pm), and partially because i had nothing to look at to base my decisions on. frankie was in my face after twenty seconds "excuse me, do you speak at all?" i do, and i did, and politely told him i'm a visual person, i don't really know what anything is called, and need to be shown what he has for me.
part of the reason i've not been writing is because the subject i need to write about i have no names for. i had this problem in november and december, when i was seeing L: i had so much to say about discovering another person, what it's like to learn about someone slowly, to learn about their insides, really understand their psyche, their reasons for things. but with L things were going slowly enough for me to live other parts of my life and write about those, some. also, things were going so slow, i'd not talked to him about any of them, and it's really rude to put something in a blog that are better expressed in a conversation first.
things are not going slow with david j. his stay this week concentrated what should have happened in the past three if he lived across town. as a result, i've gotten very close to him in a short time. i'm stunned that all my misgivings about such an event were completely disappeared with the onset of the budding relationship, that all my resistance and silly preconceptions turned into flowers, spray roses all blooming differently or at once on a single branch, in all directions. i am high in that i don't care, i only know what i want, and it's so clear and focused it would appear flat and uninteresting recorded. i don't have names for things in relationships, and i have no names for david. i called him 'my boyfriend' a couple of times this weekend (once in particular when i had my teeth on his salt-and-pepper jaw stubble), and i barely registered that i'm always unwilling to even consider calling someone this until many months have passed.
i guess have a few names that wrote to jocko in december, in an exasperated wishlist: trusting completely, or honest communication, or mutual fierceness, or mutual freakness, or 1,000 little gifts, or completely animal sex. that most of them apply now, that they approach a description through a messy, overlapping collage, is cause for further astonishment.
part of the reason i've not been writing is because i didn't want to construct david through writing, i didn't want the writing to be the thing that happened before life happened. now, coming home to a made bed (the last time until david returns, i never make the bed), a bathroom that smells faintly of sandalwood oil, all of my dishes washed and put away (last time for that too, i hate doing dishes), my towels folded, and a postit note on my computer monitor that begins "to my special boy!" i want to write everything that happened, enter into all the wonderful moments we have together, understand some of these directions-all-at-once, or at least their intersections, by looking at them slowly, keeping them going between my newly heady work, my lonely sleep, catching up on my very neglected email, my walking slow, and my telephone calls to my baby.
i remember when clinton won the election in 1991; i was watching television with college friends, and it was ohio's electoral votes that has put him over. picture of ohio, electoral votes, picture of presedential seal, picture of clinton's head. i jumped up and down: in an instant, hope had been delivered.
i'm sad to see clinton go, running very quickly up the red steps to air force one to fly to a place not to far from where i am now, new york city. he never failed to inspire me, especially when he compromised and failed, because he was like me, an idealist who navigates the course of power as best he can, all the while believing in his direction and his values.
things are continuing differently, and that makes me sad too. but not much. it's ten years later and i'm of the age where i participate in opinion making and spending and power, with relation to the realm of my city, and i'm one of the little, little voices of power that is learning to navigate.
01.09.01 to 01.16.01 chicago school competition, my plan that looks like territories from the air, inspired by how children transgress adult boundaries in neighborhoods. i worked for a week straight on this with several others at the office. lots of deep thinking, the only writing that was generated was from delirium from sleep deprivation.
01.11.01 to 01.19.01 several social engagements, all overlapping work time, many work social engagements, preventing me from writing or thinking about writing, but much talk about writing, either to the press, or to friends in the press interested in my blog. single most addling question to minx: "what are you trying to get out of that" from a very smart homo freelance writer.
01.16.01 (afternoon) recovery with a lil'nap.
01.16.01 (8pm) david j arrives. [insert several future entries here]. we're spending every waking minute together. and every sleeping one, too. he is in the unfortunate position of receiving my partial attention during the one week i'm expected to shine brightest at work.
01.17.01 to 01.19.01 part one. mobilizing the office to participate in this which is kind of my project, i helped get it for our office, i'm setting the agenda, guiding the process. it's my big project, could be groundbreaking. no kidding.
01.17.01 to 01.19.01 part two. see previous note regarding david and my time. i wanted to take the afternoon off, because i haven't had a day off in two weeks. i'm still at work, 5pm, to keep eyebeam on track, and my only treat is the 10 minutes to write this.
short answer: i'm busy with other things, things that occupy my mind as much as my writing, but are not my writing, and are not online.
sleepy and almost gone one fine day in my odd past as the big C train rolls into the station soundlessly, only low under of hissing, sound of urban second nature, eerily silent interior fully transparent and slowly floating by mise en scene interieur guy leaning over a seat toward the window, two fat ladies looking at calendars, man with missing leg, skinny black guy in a hood, latin grandmother, young couple, old guy in leather last night the wife said Oko when you're dead you don't take nothing with you but your soul, sing drifting and gliding until the interior stops and the doors, open, shiny metal reflecting a glare.
i know i'm asleep now because i'm in a bright, white, metal staircase, with metal walls and rivets like old cruise ships, a transparent and glossy ceiling at the landing, a pool of water suspended up there, above me, i know what this is, there was a fire up in my rooms, the firemen always use so much water it fills up the space between your floor and the ground floor youre on, but i need to get up to my rooms, there's so much i can save before they put out the fire, my rare Barcelona espai public and the book jonno and richard gave me, can i get through? i say as i turn around and the bearded hotel keeper from casting central looks at me with index finger to his lips but saying it doesnt last long, just hold your breath and you'll get through it and then motions me to do it with his other hand. i try to take a deep breath but i'm already holding it you're already explaining it and move through the surface of the floating water plane, my vision becoming a streaming blur as my eyes look in the water, the pressure on my neck rises, i can't really navigate the white stair like this, but i'm suddenly in my rooms, the dark and ornate wood paneling dirty but okay, very high white ceiling, widow up high, magazine pages attached to walls, my easel with the Honcho issue on the floor, blue china in the corner, the velvet sofas and beds a mess, my cabinet with my books open, books strewn everywhere i smell like he's near and magazines on top of the cabinet, those firemen put out the fire so all this is a mess now, i furiously sort through old cassettes and my books still in the cabinet looking for my important books, where did the star wars people go, new version of taun-taun under one book, my porn videos are all on unmarked tapes but okay, my important books and papers, the sketch i did of the perfect church, the drawing of mythic states that look like a school there, i can work it all out in my head beforehand and just put it down, holding my breath.
sleeping in my bed last night for only the second time this year was blissful, make no mistake. yet having my immediate space devoid of company while i was going to sleep last night was a sensation that took some getting used to. true, i was still missing my new friend david j, especially missing sleeping with him, but at least i had my close friends jonno and richard in the same room with me to keep me happy. but after hanging up the phone, having called david (housesitting for j and r), as jonno and richard arrive on the phone, i felt eerily alone. today, i've made the transition from "call them and they are across town" mode to "check their blog every 30 minutes for updates on their lives" mode. (of course, i'll begin "call them and they are not in town" mode, because we all have phones, but i'm burning up my minutes on david right now, and will need to conserve a little.)
i can feel my consciousness very literally drifting toward the digital realm again, the place where my friends are, as the logistics of communicating with my friends takes over that component of my emotional life. what's real about this drift is that most of my really good friends are elsewhere: the divergent paths of life and moving have taken them elsewhere. and e-ness allows just enough immediacy to fill in some of the gaps between visits. in fact, as i survey my scape, it's rare finds like jocko and phil or cooter who i've become close to but actually haven't spent much time with. in fact, i've never met jocko at all.
close friends. i've bonded with jonno and richard in a way unlike any of my other friends, dear to me because of their charm, specialness, sensitivities, boldness, fine characters, imaginations, dreams, hallucinations, eccentricities: at each of these facets, at all moments, dear and unique. they make most things in the world seem dull in comparison, which is often when they're near, because their aphorisms outstrip most quotidian wittiness. it is often when they're far, because their websites, voicemail, and cel phone calls do the same.
because david isn't staying at their telecommuncations-equipped house anymore, i'm also having to transition from "dozens of amorous e-bons mots" mode to "no email and revolving phone number" mode. i'll be glad when he's in nyc next week so we can get to know each other better, spend some time, see some things, let life happen to us.
a wonderful evening that began at hell and moved to several locales, with the wonderful urban millieu providing leading roles and supporting cast through the whole thing.
enter michael and kerry and kyan! surprise cameo by unknown person who bought us champagne but didnt say hi before secret exit. small but scene-stealing role by dante woo. stage right enter beau who heard me utter the words "what's your URL" for the first time in public (it was completely unconscious and innocent). spotlight julian whose work on the kiki and herb album makes him more of a superstar when combined with the fact that he knows both henning and jonno. end blogger gathering scene. buzzed.
act two, alley's end, martin tending bar, kijak running around, eric polito and flame at the bar. so many new orleans babies, who all know the lovely david j, and polito who has a couple similar tattoos (stars), all volunteering compliments of dj (word gets around fast), and because martin keeps filling up my glass for free, my role is to get very drunk before we leave, and to think about david j a lot, so much so that i accidentally call kyan 'david', my second faux pas of the evening unfortunately uttering the one word that could have hurt him a little. very dramatic, but it was all very underplayed.
quick scene on the street saying goodbye to all except jonno and kyan. segue action to barracuda, where the three of us were feeling all extremely attractive, because we actually were, and amused by 97% of the crowd, as you always do when you've been over the particular scene you're in for a long time. forward cruisiness toward cute late-20s innocents in chaps sweater as my stage direction, new and deep longing over a particular but distant fave as my character motivation. cameo by andrew's buddy jesse. kyan leaves with result of boy-hungry efforts. jonno and i cab home, i check my email, frown because i'm missing someone who has filled my inbox with 15 messages today alone, jonno notices, i pass out. toss and turn till next engagement.
rolling my eyes into my head as soon as i sat down on the plane not sleeping much in the last 32 hours filled with delight at my goodbye kisses i was walked to the gate deliciously unwashed we smell like sex and feeling like i'd spent another week in new orleans i miss you already when it was really only a long weekend that can be measured in hours 94 not in many days, weeks, or months. not much time to get to know someone i met briefly in 1999 why hello there young man seeing his pictures in a magazine shortly thereafter i'm not a 'fan' at all because i liked you before i knew about your press then more pictures by jonno. someone part of the larger circle of people-who-know-my-friends down there, someone jonno and richard tickle me with news of.
(richard: i'm not sure how literal your missive about fixing me up with a boy i could take back with me to new york was, but you're free and clear to say you knew something was going to happen)
as usual, flying over beautiful manhattan on a sunny day, back from my babies down south, the city seemed like just another part of the landscape i'd seen for the rest of the flight: indifferent and ready to accept whatever i wish to project upon it. this trip's projection:
i can't believe i came back.
ps all work in this domain is copyright chad the minx.