The water in the middle of the Caribbean is a deep, dark blue, that is almost purple.
I've wiped my eyes so many times in this lucky ocean that I don't need to open them.
You see out here there is so much expanse, so much reflection, so much no-land, that the point of seeing, which is of course orientation, is negated. I can feel the sun on my face and the water below my belly. The only act, here at this point, is to touch myself.
And to record it with a camera. Jorge and I have been swimming out here since we were ten. It was the first time we kissed one another, in the ocean. He looks like me: black hair, dark eyes, a little chest hair, skin that is sunned, and a love of the innumerable colors the sky and sea become, every minute. Twelve years ago we reached out toward each other as we were swimming, little touches at each other's sides in the cool so-much-expanse, the swim an underwater reflection, encased in water. When we reached no-land, we stopped in the water, looked at each other, and put our lips together. We tasted like the ocean, like glass, like sun. There was nothing to look at, so we closed our eyes.
We always close our eyes, being so lucky.
when i was in college, i used to grouse about philip johnson now and then. it annoyed me that he was poking his head into decon, after a lifetime of architectural styles that seemed bound by no theory. his work seemed opportune, but not terribly important. he was old.
of course, i was 22, and living in saint louis as a straight man. it just goes to show, people see the world as it occurs to them, and rarely any other way.
at 33, as an openly gay licensed architect with his own office who lives in the far west village and works in soho, i tend to admire people like philip johnson. he was a tireless advocate for good architecture. he was a new yorker. he was gay. he shaped institutions, in addition to making buildings for them. he was an omnivorous experimenter, doing as he pleased, unshackled by any way of thinking, in search of any good idea anywhere. he built some bad ideas: and so what?
and he helped other architects get their designs built. there is an anecdote shared by charles gwathmey in ANY magazine issue #90, the issue commemorating mr. johnson's 90th birthday, about how the executives of sony wanted gwathmey to enclose johnson's public space and expand the retail store, in effect eliminating the public amenity johnson had created. gwathmey couldn't convince them to keep it as public space, citing aesthetic reasons. he shared some powerful words (which are sadly missing from my little post here) from mr. johnson, who convinced the executives of sony by simply asking if they want their brand to be associated with the disappearance of public space from new york. as a result, the ground floor collonades are still open to public space (next to the sony store, of course).
one. was in the same room with philip johnson the semester after i came out. i walked into the architectural exhibition space in buell hall, at columbia, on a quiet afternoon. no one was there. then, hidden around a corner, i saw a little man. it was philip johnson, looking at student work, his shoulders hunched. he looked small and frail, but my mind created an intensity in his gaze, which i could not see. i was too frightened to say anything to him. but i observed him for a moment, from behind, thinking is this really the guy i dislike so much?
two. a year ago i redesigned the floor plan for the new residential building he designed on spring street, the "Urban Glass House". the plans were awful (the exterior an extrusion of his house), and i turned them into flowing, modernist spaces by studying his own Glass House. i enjoyed the process, redesigning something for an architect i've never met, my former office in a tense relationship with his, yet my design clearly winning the day over a design some lackey in his office had put together, a design that looked like a developer's apartment layout. i figured that mr. johnson would appreciate the promiscuity of the process, and the fact that in the end, the best design wins. a fitting homage.
and now he's dead.
Overheard in Starbucks just now:
What if marriage licenses had to be renewed, like driver's licenses? That way, if you didn't want to be married any more, the couple just wouldn't renew. There'd be a lot less messy divorce.
At first, I thought this Jersey townie was being cheeky. But I've learned to park that first impulse (sorry Jack Kerouac, but First Thought is not always Best Thought) and considered that it would be a brilliant structure for having conversations about your relationship. There would be a lot less messy divorce, and a lot more conversation about why people were married.
What would the period of the license be? Yearly, to coincide with the anniversary of marriage? Every five or ten years, like our vehicle operator's license? What about monthly? Weekly? Daily? The last one is the one I like. Choose your relationship every day, forever.
the placemats came today. you will understand this note when you see them.
they are a gorgeous, extrememely well-crafted felt, one that is soft and vibrant. the red field has tiny orange flecks, which is the same color as the orange centers. the effect is totally like a rothko painting. they are maddeningly irregular in size: some are 13x13, some 12x14. it totally works. the edges are also very irregular, with hints of amputated tails here and there (much like galli's tail): the prefect compliment to the table top, and perfect contrast to the yanagi dishes. or not: they have rounded edges, just like the placemats. there is a beautiful golden thread that loops around the edges of each of them, in an arc that is freeform and lyrical.
these placemats are going to make the table look unusual, like a sculpture, or a fantastic fairy land, much in keeping with the BDDW showroom, where it's as if someone only trained in woodworking and paint-by-numbers has taken their fantasia to the whole environment.
the next step is to be sure the rest of our furnishings, and books, and lives, compliment these placemats: childlike and evergreen.
With Galahad curled up next to me on the bed, in his favorite position, perched next to my belly, his beautiful snout leaning on my forearm as I type on my 17" G4 Powerbook, his head able to see the entire bedroom, but me holding him in a doggie-headlock he loves, I quietly break the news that he did not win the 'cutest dog' contest. He softly huffs at the horses on television, and looks at me while twitching his soft terrier eyebrows, and lets out a long sigh. Then he closes his eyes. He is always present. When we leave, we've died. When we return, we're alive again! He does not know what 'cute' is, because he is just Being. Cute is what I add to it. Silly daddy that I am.
Help me, please. Galahad, our beautiful welsh terrier, is in a contest for cutest dog. If you like my dog, and my blog, please go to Juan's Blog and vote for Galahad in the comments section. There's no way a rotweiler from the pound can beat our little puppy for cutness. Of course, a daddy's love may be skewing my judgement. That's why the vote is so important. The poll ends soon, so hurry!
(You will notice, dear reader, that when this blog is in a competition, that I am perfectly silent. Get our dog involved, and it's all over: I beg.)
A week ago, I was flying by Iapetus. Our relative speed was great: two kilometers per second, or Manhattan every ten seconds. I prefer to think of the moon as being stationary, while I fly by at this great speed, because my camera stabilizes on the moon for 82 seconds so that all my friends can see it too (they are so very far away). It is a conceit, this willful positioning, this willingness to be the object moving while another object (also moving) is regarded as stationary. The conceit makes me work very hard--so that the picture is crisp, and not blurred like a bad digital pic taken in someone's bedroom--but it makes me so very happy.
Forget what other people are saying about their dog. Our dog is the cutest. I took a vote.
It's been a while, but I've begun to keep track of these things again. Please note there are three new New York bloggers that I am enthralled with. In addition to Jennie, of course.
I'm assuming you got my message
On your machine
I'm assuming you love me
And you know what that means
[wilco muzzle of bees]
Yesterday: I heard things from a therapist that really upset me. They upset me because I heard a great deal of truth in them, and I've managed to avoid discussing those truths with anyone.
Today: I had walked into the subway car, strode to the opposite doors, turned around, leaned against the doors, reached for my blackberry, and lifted my eyes. While I was walking in someone said “does this stop at Prince Street?”. I always have to look at the map too, because I can never remember where the N stops.
And then, I was face to face with a guy I had an extremely painful breakup with three years ago. He didn't appear to see me: he was turning away as I was turning around. I hadn't recognized his voice. I hadn't seen him in town since we last spoke. Which feels strange: I now fully expect to encounter an unexpected friend or acquaintance in lower Manhattan at least once a day.
Our breakup was painful because he'd called me names, and I hadn't taken responsibility for a fundamental deception at the time: I had avoided telling him, in the entire two months we'd spent together, that I was completely indifferent to him. He had called me on it, and even then I refused to admit it, instead saying that I had only recently come to the conclusion that I felt nothing. He then said some really mean things about a friend of mine, and I let that little lapse blot out my own cause in the matter. I only fessed up to the whole thing, to myself, early last year. Two years ago is a long time to blame someone else for something I did.
You see, my life isn't all sexy bars, gorgeous co-fiend, and an adoring welsh terrier. It can be quite ugly.
Lower Manhattan, like my relationship with co-fiend, and like the coached part of my little mind, and the people who coach it, won't let me see anything except the true conditions of my life. The impact of all my actions are brought to my eyes, quite literally, for me to fess up to.
I'll have a Tapioca Traditional Iced Jasmine Green Tea with Milk, please.
and then, i was with jennie alone and i told her i loved her. because i do.
and then, i had lunch with sturtle.
and then, a client sent me a big check.
and then, another client promised to send me two.
and then, co-fiend and i closed our eyes on the bed for a minute.
and then, our friends came over and we had a pajama party, with pizza, in bed.
and then, we geeked out watching sci-fi movies.
and then, i goofed off all saturday.
and then, i went to a party.
and then, i got wet because jennie was there, and i got to introduce co-fiend to her.
and then, sturtle came and we all giggled about how we used to write about each other when we started our blogs.
and then, co-fiend and i went home and slept.
and then, i had a coaching call.
and then, a quiet brunch with the NYT sunday edition.
and then, a little work.
and then, battlestar galactica on DVD, worrrk.
and then, eagle beer blast, to see sturtle and two others who didn't make it.
and then, running into a new blogger who writes about his other blogging friends.
and then, bedtime.
"It's comforting to start the new year in the hands of a party that cares so much about morals and values."
I don't care if posting this makes me look bad, because my heart can be silent no longer. Except for the times that I get tired of reading her, I never get tired of reading Maureen Dowd. She's my second favorite Times columnist (my love of Frank Rich shall be understood. Sturtle already devoted a shrine to him). She's been getting repetitive about the Republicans, but I chalk that up to the Republicans being consistently repulsive.
Getting up early in Manhattan.
I feel as if I have the city to myself. Just getting breakfast is a pleasure, because there's no one up yet. The bakery's goods have just been baked. No coffee-line rage. No sidewalk rage on Canal Street walking to my studio.
It's as if I've shifted states, to this altered city that is the same as last years', except there are fewer people.
I feel more connected to the few people who are up at this hour. The baker has just finished baking and smiles. The coffee is fresh, and she's drinking it.
I feel like the day belongs to me, because I woke up before it showed up. Finders keepers.
Thursday, we made out at the Panty Revolution. Simply, unbelievably fun. When everyone is in their underwear, I find it impossible to be serious. Combine the levity with some cute nastiness in the dark, and a substitute for going anywhere on New Year's Eve in New York has been concocted.
Of course, I would never have expected to go out twice in one weekend. But we sauntered over to Candy Land at Capitale on saturday. It had been billed as "east meets west": East Village rock meets Chelsea circuit followers. We arrived. The coat check line was long and slow. Downstairs in the "main ballroom" (from which all traces of character had been effectively erased) was a shapeless circuit party that someone has needlessly inserted Amanda Lapore into. The music was awful. The reverb made it unlistenable. The people were on drugs that made them boring. I became nauseous and longed to leave immediately, so that we might have another all-night session of Rise of Nations.
But we machete'ed our way through the crowd and took a small stair upstairs, only to find a fantastic party in an all-white room. It was bright enough to see. And the whole East Village demimonde was there, dancing and actually having fun. The drugs made them happy and social. We danced. There was a dirty video, with a very silly theme, being projected. There were fortune-cookie sized bits of white paper everywhere, and when people threw them around, the place had the feeling of a winter wonderland palace that we had all been secreted away to. We paused and found a balcony off the room we were in that looked over the ballroom. The music had slowed, there were more people, and almost no one was dancing. It was sad down there, so we returned to our room. We danced some more. At one point, I thought give me this anytime, this groovy beat and happy folk who make me wanna turn my wiggling ass into a fun-dip bowl for the crudites! Yes, I did actually think that. We danced till we were too tired to. I wanted to stay all night, but realized that the reason these parties are fun is that I leave before the fun is finished, and take it home with me till bed.
Happy 2005. Minx is home.
ps all work in this domain is copyright chad the minx.