Archives for category: Alcoholics Anonymous

I always want to start my blog with the title.  Today I have none.  Today has been shit.  God, I’ve been fretting.  Fretting about Gaza, Israel, Ferguson, bad white cops, arming black people, traveling, Alcoholics Anonymous.

I’ve been fretting about one beautiful man.

The Alcoholics Anonymous shit is the usual shit.  The same characters, the same stories, the same mental illness.   I sit in those rooms wondering why I’m there, if I belong to a cult?  Yet,  I never think about drinking.  I mean, I’m not looking for an excuse to drink.   That’s the very last thing I want to do.

Palm Trees Los Angeles

You see, it was one of those weeks when I heard that someone in AA killed themselves.  Someone I heard speak, someone I had spoken to.  Someone I had lunch with, someone I had hope for.  Then he blew his brains out.  No obituary, no news report.  Just another recovering alcoholic who couldn’t take it any more.  I thought about how we collectively accept the plaudits for keeping each other sober yet when a man kills himself it was his problem.  His solution.  Never our responsibility.   He had a six-year-old son.  He dressed very well.  Now he’s dead.

Since getting sober 18 years ago I have known many, many men and not so many women to kill themselves in the rooms of AA/NA.   It is never easy.   Yet, I have become desensitized from these terrible deaths and I hate myself for it.  I’m sorry.  I really am.

This week, I ate a great deal at Gjelina in Venice and these men graciously served me.

Benoit being Read to by Armistead Maupin

Last week I drove to San Francisco to see my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis read excerpts from his book Travels With Casey. After the reading we had dinner with Armistead Maupin and his charming boyfriend.  I told Armistead that I hadn’t read his famous book Tales of the City until I got to The Men’s County Jail.  I found a dog eared copy there. It was a first edition.

That night we stayed in an odd 50’s hotel/ex-motel off of trendy Chestnut Street.  The following day we drove to Napa and had lunch with Gene.  After lunch we wandered the giant redwoods in Muir Woods.  On the way back to San Francisco we watched people flying kites on Stinson Beach.

On my way home to Los Angeles I met up with my Whitstable friend Ben Clayton in Berkeley, we ate brunch then  sauntered all over the UC Berkeley campus.  We talked a great deal about home.  We talked about our mothers.

 

Back in Malibu I picked a huge bunch of bananas from the banana trees at the end of the garden, I harvested (and continue to) an abundance of figs and lemons.   I sold the bananas to my friend Nicolle the pie lady at Gjelina who bruleed them.

 

Yesterday, I went to the Norco Rodeo with Stuart Sandford.  Norco is an hour from Los Angeles.  It was the whitest event I have ever been to.  White people everywhere eating nachos and swilling beer.   The men wore cowboy hats.  The women screamed when the obedient bulls tossed their riders into the sand.

 

We wondered if there were other gays there.  The nearest gay on-line was 3 miles away.  I took pictures of cowboys.  I ate tri-tip sandwiches.  I was looking for bucking bronco Cody Gaines who I met the day before on Malibu beach.   Cody lives in Texas.  Cody loves Jesus.

Cody Gaines

Mostly I have been amusing myself in the garden.  I have been sweeping paths and mending lights and restoring order.  The dogs have been lazing all over the house during the day, finding patches of sunlight to flop into.  At night they spend too much time protecting me from deer and raccoons.  Go to sleep!

 

Michael came to visit from NYC.  He was sweet and charming.  I met the guy with a beard… and here’s a better picture of Stuart.  Stuart Sandford is a very fine artist.  He lives and works at the Tom of Finland House in Echo Park.  My friend Martin arrived from Provincetown.  He’s staying for a few days.

 

All in all it hasn’t been a bad month.  It’s just these past few hours.  I needed to sit down and write a gratitude list… and this is it.  You see, I woke up today and I’m not a hounded black teen on the streets of any city USA.  I’m not a hounded Palestinian in the ever shrinking patch of land they call home.  I’m not a fatherless 6 year old… and lastly, I didn’t blow my brains out this week because I couldn’t take it any more… and for that I must be grateful.

Latex Bondage Wear waiting to be washed at The Tom of Finland House

Latex bondage wear ready to be washed from the dungeon at The Tom of Finland House, Echo Park.

 

Go, then! Then go to the moon-you selfish dreamer!

I left Fire Island on Wednesday.  Driving north with my Persian friend Iliad.  The clouds were low, the air muggy and thick.  We took the ferry from Orient Point to New London, there was a British aristocrat on the ferry stitching needle point.  Beautiful raspberry and pistachio coloured yarn.

My intention is to return to Fire Island… maybe…. next month.  The last couple of days there blighted by torrential rain and chilly winds.  Friends came, David visited from NYC for the day and Lorne made an appearance but mainly to fetch his forgotten/lost bag.

May proved to be chillier than I remember.  Memorial Day and the biscotti queens came and went.  John, the owner of the house arrived and made everything broken… work.  I cooked a huge dinner and he and his friends the Scots seemed to love it.  Andrew from Dover Street Market swept in wearing incredibly chic pants.   John baked Halibut en cocotte.

During the week those of us who stayed were thrown together at the Canteen (I think they call it The Cultured Elephant) and it’s true when they say that one makes gay acquaintances in the city and gay friends on Fire Island.  I got to hang with the resort staff who are genuinely the sweetest, most handsome men… see above.   They have a grueling season ahead of them, working the bars, the clubs, the hotel and the restaurants.  Only the most robust will survive.  It’s a tough, unforgiving business serving entitled, demanding gay men.  The day before I headed North one of the newbies left the island in tears, torn apart by gay unreasonableness.

I met Joey the little person who is a particularly inspiring soul.  I was in awe of his ability to be the hugest man in his little body.  He has a captivating story.

Everyone has a Fire Island Pines story.   There are love affairs and breakups, tears on the boardwalk and fights in the elegant cedar homes.  There are couples and  thruples and orgies, there are undignified old men last gasping for their youth.  Wide eyed first timers arrive on the ferry, amazed that such a place as Fire Island Pines exists.  I remember that day, the first day Joe-Baily  brought me to Fire Island 25 years ago.  I will never forget it.

Everyone has a story.  I was told one hundred times by stick thin youths that they were too fat or not pretty enough to meet the man of their dreams.  They told me that boys talk to them in real life like they do on Grindr.  “Hung?” as an opening gambit.  “Party?”  “Looking?”  The single word pick up.  So lazy and charmless.  I did not envy them, these young boys… so far from serenity.   Of course, not all young gay boys are wracked with self-doubt.  I met young gay men who were comfortable and confident and conquering all… whilst the vulnerable fell by the wayside or let old men blow them at the dick dock.

There’s a degree of gay anarchy on the island.  Every one of the local laws are broken every day by almost everyone.

The AA meetings are vile.  The recovering alcoholics looking down their nose at those who drink and take drugs.   I met a dozen gay men who were once sober who now drink… taken out by a beautiful boy and a meth pipe.

One story particularly moved and disturbed me.  A grey eyed, erudite black boy no more than 28 years old who works for a renowned artist.   We met on the beach and he described his Fire Island experience.   He was embarrassed to tell me that he had encountered a great deal of racism during his time at The Pines.  There are few black people on Fire Island and now I know why.

I made it to Ptown.  I had dinner with Benoit the night I arrived, we ate fish and chips.  The ex-gay story he wrote for the New York Times Magazine is now a film produced by Gus Van Sant, starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.  I am very proud of him.  Except… it’s another entirely white cast.   Why? Why? Why?

Yesterday, a local fisherman brought two pounds of freshly caught lobster knuckles that we shucked for dinner.

The dogs loved Fire Island.  They miss it!  Dude and The Little Dog bounding up the boardwalk, chasing rabbits and deer.  They are a little more restricted here even though we live directly on the beach and they are allowed to walk unleashed.   Today we walked a mile or so to the West End and visited the pier shack where Tennessee Williams wrote The Glass Menagerie on a stolen type writer.

The Shack where Tennessee Williams wrote to Glass Menagerie

My favorite and the most obviously poignant Tennessee Williams line from The Glass Menagerie:

I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further-for time is the greatest distance between two places.

Which made me think momentarily about Jake Bauman who I kinda owe my love of both Cape Cod and the Catskills.  Both of whom he introduced me.  If he hadn’t mentioned them with such fondness… I wouldn’t have explored them years later.   There are times when I wonder about those crazy few months with Jake.  They sure seem indelible.   There are brief moments when I wish I could pick up the phone and ask him how he is and what his life is like now.  Then I think better of it and let the memory, the moment… the past… slip back into the black, bombazine black water of what was but could never be.

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Williamsburg Snow
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Christina Rossetti

It’s snow day here in NYC.  Me and the man are at his place in Williamsburg.  It’s been 5 months now.  Seems to be enduring.  We are watching a neo-liberal straight man mock elderly Russians in Sochi for their old-fashioned views about gay people.  He really didn’t have to go that far to find narrow-minded people with hate in their hearts for the gays.

He could have gone to New Jersey.

As for narrow minds… just because one’s a gay doesn’t mean that you have a naturally expanded view of the world… that you are more insightful, more agreeable, less prejudiced or liberal.  Yet, the pro gay press wouldn’t dare reveal the dark side of the gay for fear of annoying their new pay masters.

Ask dumb gay people what they think about immigration, women’s rights, racism and laugh at their fucked up right wing views. Yes, do it.

What a delightful diversion the gays have become.   Whilst we fight to be in the military the military fights illegal wars, whilst we demand benefits those same benefits are taken away in the name of austerity, whilst we line up to get married the divorce rate soars.

With that in mind I thought I might share my recent queer adventures with the gays.

Given that the gays in AA pretty much write their own rules… writing about them seems perfectly ok.  After all, we are meant to keep what we see and hear in AA a big fucking secret.  The gays rarely play by that fundamental rule.

They sit before meetings gossiping and cruelly discussing what they heard at their gay AA meetings.  “My sponsor HATES him.”  I heard some bitchy queen exclaim.  So I asked what kind of sponsor hates people in AA and tells his sponsee?  That didn’t go down very well.

Nope.

Gay AA is a cult within a cult.

The man just cooked me breakfast.   He really seems to love me.  Being loved is always a surprise. Whenever it happens.  The delightful routine, the domesticity, the kissing.  Taking the dogs for long walks in the snow.

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1.

Philip Seymour Hoffman died this week.  The rooms of AA were full of weeping newcomers grieving his death.  Finding spurious reasons to hitch their wagon to his hearse.  Sober people with many years of sobriety rolled their eyes as crocodile tears drenched the disingenuous faces of people claiming intimate friendship with the deceased film star.

At the Perry Street morning AA meeting the press stood in packs, enduring the frigid February winds waiting for people who might have known PSH.  Many were less than discreet and sang like canaries.

The press was awash with sentimental descriptions of Hoffman, endless references to his ‘genius’ ‘talent’ and the ‘tragic waste of life’.

There were long essays by addiction ‘experts’ describing how addicts like Hoffman had no choice, that he was predestined to die with a needle in his arm, that his death symbolized something more in American culture that just the death of a ‘lonely’ junky.

You know, junkies who are taking drugs on the lam tend to isolate.  It’s hard to load a syringe, find a vein and discreetly nod off in a room full of people.  Especially when you are a household name.  He wasn’t lonely, he was alone.  He needed to be on his own to conduct his junky life.

The police arrested the guys who allegedly sold Hoffman the heroin.  They arrested the wrong people.   They should have gone after the directors of the ‘for profit’ treatment center he attended last year.  The snake oil sales men who promise relief from active addiction by cosseting addicts in expensive rehabs, re packaging the 12 steps of AA with no chance of long-term sobriety.

Criminal sober people with no interest in helping the desperate addict, just screwing them for the big bucks year after year for short-term relief.

Anyway, he’s dead.  Just like thousands of other junkies all over the USA but he gets a fanfare… they get a pauper’s grave and the shame of the addict heaped upon them.

Addicts are selfish, self obsessed monsters.  He chose to call his dealer rather than reach out to a sober person.  He chose to load his syringe rather than pick his kids up from school.

Now he has a million apologists who think he had no choice at all.

2.

Yesterday I signed up for the NYU AA men’s retreat to be held at Bill W’s house in Massachusetts.

As I walked into the room where the event was being organized the young gay white men with no more than 7 years of sobriety looked imperiously at me.  They could scarcely concealed their contempt or their bitchy sneers as I sat down and asked pertinent questions about travel and accommodation.

Their faces began to droop however, as they grasped that there was very little they could do to exclude me from coming to their cozy gay event.   The idea they could be trapped at a country retreat with me… for three days filled them with total horror.

The Gay men from the controlling gay AA cabal… who don’t even attend the NYU AA meeting are organizing the event.   I’m perfectly sure they went into isolation overdrive.  What could they do to get rid of me?

They were texting each other furiously.

We will see what shenanigans they come up with.  This is going to be very interesting.

3.

Jon Fortin/Zac Bissonnette

Last Saturday I went to the birthday party of a model publicist at The Skylark on 39th St.  It was a dreary affair, too few people bumping around a cavernous space.  Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker, a gaggle of ‘event gays’ and some asian women I convinced my friend were rifling his gym bag.  Yes, he had his gym bag with him.

After a moment of party remorse I decided to talk to some dull looking gays at the bar.  I wasn’t disappointed.  They were terrible.  Anyhow, I was introduced to one mealy-mouthed homo called Jon.  Jon who?  Jon Fortin.  He told us that he had started and had consequently left the organization GoProud the Republican gay group that represents gay conservatives and their allies.

I thought  Jimmy LaSalvia started GoProud?  No?  Hadn’t he recently renounced his republican affiliation?

Hmmm,  Jon Fortin.  Name didn’t sound familiar, between cranberry and sodas I snuck away and there on my second screen was Jon Fortin.   Google turned up very little about Jon Fortin other than a brief mention in the Gay Blade as a booth helper at the RNC and in his Linkedin profile as a Political Consultant for GoProud, The Whitehouse and John McCain.

He took my number and we met for brunch the following day with my friend Vanessa.  The brunch was very enlightening.  Firstly, he told us that he had fucked Aaron Schock the republican to whom Itay Hod alluded in some crude Facebook posting but was subsequently roundly discredited.

Jon described how he had picked Aaron up from Dulles airport, taken him to his hotel and fucked him.  It was very convincing.  My friend and I were both entranced.

Secondly, after brunch… during the boring Super Bowl he took me to one side and with sad eyes and wet mouth revealed that he had left his wallet at home in another coat.   As you may know dear readers I really don’t mind paying for lunch but I really mind paying for alcohol.

He left, promising to make it up to me the following day.  Yet, when the following day came around he refused to meet me on the east side where I was at my 12.30 AA meeting (listening to PSH stories) preferring a spot near where I lived.

Annoyed that I was being asked to walk 15 blocks through ten inches of wet slush I balked.  I told him that it was up to him to come to me as he owed me lunch.  After a bit of text argy bargy which included him telling me that I should just forget about how much lunch cost, he decided to leave $72 in dimes at my club which they very kindly processed.

It was an amusing stunt and one that had taken some careful preparation.

He paid his share.  I didn’t care if it were in pennies or euros.  It was paid.  Republicans believe that we are all ultimately responsible for our actions and there are consequences for our mistakes.  It was only right that he paid.

That was that… I thought.  Until this morning when an unidentified source revealed that rather than ‘political consultant Jon Fortin’ I had in fact fallen foul of Brayden Forrester porn star and hooker.

I Googled Brayden Forrester and my screen was ablaze!

Of course he had ‘lost’ his wallet.  Of course he was pissed that I asked him to pay his share.  Poor love.  I felt rather sorry for him.  30-year-old ex porn star fails to secure free lunch at exclusive club.

I let him know what I knew about his porno past and he called me a train wreck, a psycho, mentally ill, insane.   The usual insults.  I’m used to them.  Yep.  Sounds accurate.

Jon.  What did you do?

I received calls from the gays.  Don’t blog about him… it will ruin his life.  Ruin his life?  How?

In my humble opinion the truth will set Jon Fortin free.  He should shamelessly embrace his Brayden past.  The gays love a good porn star and Brayden knows how to take a big cock/load.  CHECK IT OUT BITCHES.  He’s far more interesting to me as Brayden than he ever will be as Jon.  Most gays agree.  Lance Black only benefitted from those X Rated pics of him getting fucked… in the ass… without protection.

My unfortunate encounter with Jon/Brayden reminded me of the equally repugnant/misguided writer gay:  Zac Bissonnette, author of the perfectly revolting and poorly written book  How To Be Richer, Smarter, and Better Looking Than Your Parents.  Yes, he really wrote a book with that title.

This elitist prick became infuriated when I mentioned on Facebook that he didn’t write particularly well to my friend Benoit Denizet-Lewis.  This solicited from Zac the sort of invective only the gays have ever reserved for me.

Zac trolled the internet and after reading vile and libelous comments left by anonymous queens… repeated them back to me as facts.  Accusing me of being a pedophile, trying to shame me for filling for bankruptcy, suggesting that I deserved to be in jail, he reminded me that I am old and ugly.  You know, the usual gay shit.

Smelling a delicious and potentially lucrative law suit I urged Bissonnette to make the pedophile accusation public.  Of course… he refused.  “Without proof I would never say that publicly, do you think I’m an idiot?” He minced.

Yes, I think you’re an idiot… Zac.

Zac (like Jon) believes that unless you are living a life that almost exactly replicates his with his specific design for gay living you may as well be dead.   In an attempt at peacemaking Zac offered an olive branch but it’s kind of hard to forgive a man who accuses you groundlessly of fucking children.

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Kay Saatchi and Tim Willis

If a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended.  It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.

― Andrea DworkinRight Wing Women

I never met Nigella Lawson, not yet.

She is still relevant.  She is the battered wife.  The super woman who drowned her sorrows in cocaine as her former husband lay dying of cancer and her ex husband allegedly emotionally brutalized her.

I only meet women like Nigella when they become irrelevant.

In my distant social orbit, light years from the warming sun of acceptability, circle the flotsam and jetsam of international society.  Isolated by ignominy, the ex wives of current politicians, media titans and corporate mega moguls float in and out of the rooms of AA, expensive treatment centers in the Arizona desert, The San Fernando Valley and Malibu.

Aping the lives they once had with limitless funds, they buy a few stems of bruised tuba rose* from the same florist who once filled their many mansions with exotic blooms.  Sumptuous bouquets placed on valuable escritoire, on silvered night stands, on grand dining tables.

As she leaves, she stands briefly on the threshold, looking down at her guilty feet and apologizes for the frugal fist of sweet smelling blooms.  The florist looks on piteously knowing that her younger, more glamorous successor can spend whatever she pleases.

The lonely ex-wife arranges a slim vase in her well-appointed but humble apartment in Pimlico moments from where she and her spouse once lived on Eaton Square.

These cast off ex-wives, these frosty women, their faces wet with angry tears, looking to half-baked sober life coaches in first-rate treatment centers to recalibrate their lives. Drinking away their sorrows, dumped by men whose power they loved and whose money they spent.    Yoga, sobriety, macrobiotics, spending, using, crying… nothing seems to work because all these women want is the sweet taste of revenge.

This week, one very lucky ex-wife gets her dues. She waited patiently on the sidelines of her ex-husband’s life to witness the crushing downfall of her Nemesis.  Today, American born, Kay Saatchi is not only back in Charles’s life but has had the delicious pleasure of helping dispense the woman who caused Kay pain beyond description: Nigella Lawson.

Kay is delightful.  I’ve met her on numerous occasions in Los Angeles.  Of course she’s delightful!   A man like Charles Saatchi wouldn’t marry an idiot.  Kay is everything a powerful man would want, she is elegant, super smart, she has exquisite taste.  Kay, nowadays, is sober.  Yet, when Kay was drinking, she had an unpleasant habit of blacking out and talking gibberish about Charles.  She couldn’t and wouldn’t stop.  Even her best friend wouldn’t know how to stem the tirade.  Her life, it seemed, could only be nothing… without Charles.

She would disintegrate into a seething mess of Charles Saatchi resentment.

The only hook Kay had in her ex as she watched in increasing horror as Nigella used Charles as a spring-board into her own rock solid career as international domestic goddess… was her/their daughter Phoebe who Kay moaned constantly was ignored by her father.  When I asked Phoebe if her father ignored her over Christmas dinner a few years ago… she denied it, looked sadly at her drunk mother and told me that the only problem parent… was Kay.

Now, things are different.  Kay is sober (unlike Nigella) and Kay’s undying love and loyalty for her ex husband has been rewarded by his begging Kay to help oust Nigella.  Kay will never be Mrs Charles Saatchi ever again but she has made herself indispensable to him during his time of need, once again firmly cementing herself back into his life.

Kay Saatchi

It is hard to explain to ordinary people the intoxicating effect of unlimited cash, how women like Kay and Nigella and now Trinny Woodall would willingly get involved with brooding Charles Saatchi. A man who throttled his ex wife in public.  A man so ruthless he recruits his vulnerable ex-wife to destroy his current wife.

Do yourself a favor and read Andrea Dworkin’s Right Wing Women: the politics of domesticated females.  Money and power are everything to some women.  It defies logic and rationale. The patriarch, the provider, the batterer… do what ever you will to me and for me… I am yours forever.

The harsh glare of media scrutiny is lighting up every dark corner of Charles Saatchi’s famously private life during the trial of his former employees, The Grillo Sisters.  It must be a painful time for secretive Charles.  During the trial there was constant mention of the grown women (who were no more that indentured servants) as ‘family’ yet, as Deborah Orr points out in the only pro Grillo piece on offer this week…

“You cannot insist that someone is in your family, then cry fraud when they behave as if they are.”

The rich are different.  They like to live beyond scrutiny, they operate without care for consequence.  Partially, this week, on a micro and macro level justice was done.  For servants like the Grillo sisters and for ex wives who crave revenge… like Kay Saatchi.

* Princess Diana‘s favorite flower.

Tyler Sunday

Last Monday I qualified at an AA meeting in the East Village.  A twenty-minute qualification.

I skipped the drugs and drinking part of the story and talked exclusively about  how I got sober and how I stay sober.

Since returning to NYC I had thrown myself back into AA.  90 meetings in 90 days.  A new sponsor and a new sponsee.  I quickly realized that there was no place for me in the gay meetings and opted for the straight/mixed meetings in far-flung places.

I could blast gay AA if I could be bothered… but I can’t.  Needless to say, it’s just not for me.

Monday morning, during the qualification, I nearly burst into tears.  In fact, I nearly burst into tears three times.

Once describing seeing the word God in the written steps of Alcoholics Anonymous at my first meeting,  the second when describing how humbling it was spending time with the tranny hookers I met in jail and thirdly when I remembered the final moments of my using.

I have never ever cried when qualifying.  I knew by the end of my share that something was seriously wrong with me.

I had a fun weekend with a young Texan.  We visited the New Museum, had various lunches and dinners with friends but all the while I felt listless, irritable, prone to bad temper.

We had HIV tests, we explored Williamsburg.  We looked at art, we bought action figures.

Tyler left on Sunday.

Within hours of his leaving my pee had turned a dark umber.

I felt the return of the pain in my chest that I often commented, when ever I had it, on Facebook.

Helpful people told me it was acid reflux, they told me to go to the doctor.  They told me to touch my toes.

I told them:

Is this flu or depression or anxiety or kidney failure?  Guess what folks… the terrible chest and back cramps have returned with a fever…

The terrible chest and stomach pains that I learned to dread, that had plagued me for the past two years were getting progressively worse.

Now, added to everything else… the pale brown pee.  I knew things were… serious.  But I remained optimistic that by the morning the pee would return to normal.

On Tuesday morning, despite my optimism,  my pee had turned the colour of coca cola.

I called a doctor friend at Cornell who made an appointment to see me immediately.

In huge pain I made my way to his office on the upper east side.

He prodded and poked then had me take a sonogram which revealed the cause of the problem:  gall stones… lots of them.

One of them, he suggested, may have lodged in the bile duct and the bile was now backing up into my blood.

By Tuesday afternoon my eyes were bright yellow.

I told my doctor friend that my mother had her gallbladder removed and my father had died of pancreatic cancer.  He baulked.  He couldn’t be sure that this wasn’t cancer until they had probed a little more.

He took blood and sent me home, making an appointment to see his urologist friend this week.

When I got home I went directly to bed.  The pain worsened.  I was in difficulty.  I called my doctor.  He told me to go to the ER.

I called my landlady and she kindly drove me to the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The doctor called ahead so I was quickly admitted and given a massive dose of morphine.

Hospital Portrait

In a painful daze, during the next day, I had the blockage removed.

The young gay man who removed the stone was incredibly chipper, explained what he was going to do and soon I was asleep.

They shoved something down my throat and into my tummy.  They cut into the bile duct and removed the obstruction.  They checked my pancreas.

It was ironic: the gall bladder and the pancreas irritating each other.  My mother and father at war in my tummy.

I woke up.

Thank GOD it wasn’t cancer.  It was a gall stone.  But my pancreas was angry.  The doctors urged me to have the gallbladder removed.

The following day I was wheeled into surgery and had my Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal.

I woke up with a dull thud in my belly and four small incisions.

The surgeon described my gallbladder as ‘severely traumatized’.

The bladder had been suffering for many, many years and within hours of surgery I knew that I was waking up without just the physical bladder but without a huge emotional burden.

I felt free. I feel free.

Little Dog

A day longer in the hospital recuperating and they sent me home.

Dear Cristina sent a car to fetch me and Stephen and Roy filled the fridge with wonderful things to eat.

My time in the hospital was made so much better by everyone who works there.

The doctors, surgeons, specialists, nurses and orderlies.

Every one of them treated me with respect, kindness and the level of care I received was without comparison.

Each doctor looked me in the eye, introduced themselves and shook my hand.  They described in detail what was going on and gave me options.

The surgeon bantered and made one feel at ease.

The nurses said goodbye to each patient when they left their shift.

Every person I met wished me a speedy recovery and good luck.

Even though the hospital remains over crowded (since hurricane Sandy) and we were housed in former waiting areas and reopened buildings the staff were sublimely professional.

The other patients, however, were terrible.  They complained about everything.  The staff remained, in the face of this rank ingratitude, resilient.

I saw drug addicts in the ER demand morphine.  I heard men rudely tell nurses that they ‘didn’t do’ wards.  I heard cantankerous men demand their diapers changed.  The nurses were treated like care slaves.  Like servants.

The lack of any kind of humility from most patients was stunning.

I apologized whenever I could for the behavior of my fellow patients.

I’m sure that fear and pain determine the behaviors of most people in hospital.

I’m sure that the entitled rich expect so much more because of the high insurance premiums they pay and the poor… well, they  never get to treat anybody as they are treated.

Still, it’s no excuse.  Bad manners prevail.

It was another peculiarly American experience, one I will never forget.

The dogs were happy to see me but I was less happy to see them.  I couldn’t deal with how much attention they demanded.

I lay in my bed watching the Oscars.  A long way away from that terrible, cruel world.

January NYC

1.

The definite seasons on the east coast. The passing days, changing. Slowly.

Each day has a brand new identity. New light. Color.

The bland, endless Los Angeles summer has finally come to an end. After 8 long years. I am heading home.

I wear my long, grey cashmere coat (Hermes) and fur hat (Dior).

I pull on my knee-length, woolen socks and my heavy boots.

I am going to therapy… daily. I am finally addressing the issues I have been ignoring this past year. You know, those pesky medical issues.

Strangely, without warning… even though we share the same streets. I never see him. Nor do I wish to conjure him, manifest him, make him appear… I had lunch with one of his co-workers the other day, a youngster (we met at an AA meeting) who wanted his job.

It was funny being at the same table as someone who works in close proximity to him. Their opinion.

They knew the story. An urban myth that they delighted in fact checking.

Oh well.

Of course there’s loads going on (Film/House/Social) but somehow I don’t have the energy to write it.

I take pictures and let that suffice.

2.

I found a picture of Joe. He’s obsessively going to the gym. A man mountain. In his late 60’s now.

I scarcely ever think about him. Isn’t that odd? To have no thoughts about someone who was once the center of your world.

Richard C

Christmas Cheer

December 2nd 2013.  Just one year away.

1.

I didn’t stay at home last night.

On the way back to Malibu I stopped in at one of those coffee-house chains.  I sat nursing a cup of hot black brew.

I sat quietly.  I am wearing my black pantaloons (Miu Miu), a Stetson, raspberry colored hand knitted socks with sky blue trim.

I sat listening to a bunch of affluent white men in their 50’s and 60’s dressed in motor cycling leathers, complaining about President Obama.

They were rudely spouting one ill-informed cliché after another, rudely condemning: green solutions, ‘cripple’ access around Santa Monica, the ‘fiscal cliff’ etc.

These same men defend Israel.  Even though this week Israel and the USA find themselves horribly isolated on the world stage.

The old white men are stuck in another age, another time… baffled by a changing world… still unable to comprehend how Mitt Romney lost the election they were convinced he’d win.

I wanted to ask them questions but I knew nothing they had to say would tell me anything I didn’t already know.

Their fears laid bare:  Black leaders, electric cars, marriage equality.

“They’ll all cry that they voted for him.” they convinced each other.

I felt like I was on the winning side.  Their Schadenfreude didn’t feel dangerous… it felt old-fashioned.

On the way home I listened to something on NPR about a group called LA Jews for Peace.

A group of Jewish Americans committed to peace in the Middle East through a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and opposition to American militarism, imperialism, and exceptionalism.

Their spokesman bemoaned America’s UN vote against Palestine.

America, like the old white men at the coffee shop, seems unable to comprehend or adapt to the changing world.

What the white men at the coffee shop don’t seem to acknowledge:  they have more in common with their President than they seem to realize.  I mean… Obama is only half black, raised by white folks… cup half full lads?  Surely?

Obama owns his whiteness in the Whitehouse and flays his blackness on the stump.

Barry Goodman (old white jew),  unfriended me on FB the day the UN recognized the Palestinians right to statehood.

Just nine nations voted against the Palestinian Authority’s upgrade to nonvoting observer state status, which passed the General Assembly 138-9, with 41 abstentions.

Voting “No” on Thursday were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The Pacific nations typically support the U.S. and Israel at the U.N. on key General Assembly resolutions.

In the face of this terrific news self hating jews like Barry Goodman reacted like spoiled, entitled children.

In a unanimous resolution passed Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet said it would not negotiate on the basis of the General Assembly’s recognition of a state of Palestine in the occupied West Bank,  East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

“The unilateral step taken by the Palestinians at the United Nations violates peace agreements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained, justifying Israel’s rejection of the U.N. vote.

Astoundingly, he bleated:

“The only way to Palestinian statehood and peace is through direct negotiations with Israel.”

Then he told the rest of the non compliant world  he was going to hold onto money that was owed to the Palestinians and build all over their shit.

2.

I don’t trust any of the gay men I meet in LA.   Industry men.

Bryan.  WTF?

I had lunch with one of Bryan’s boy toys yesterday, the second in one week.  I met a technician Bryan works with, Bryan says, “I don’t want to direct movies, I want someone else to direct them and I critique their results.”

After I started defending the Palestinians during the Israeli bombardment Guy S (second rate Bryan sycophant)  tells me that they all hate me.  That’s like music to my ears.

I call Tom.  Tom denies what I already know to be the truth.

They know, they all know that sooner or later I’m going to write everything down.

Hollywood Babylon style.

It’s just a matter of time.

3.

December 2nd 2013.   Just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait.

1.

I have been listening to Max Richter‘s re imagining of Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons.

Listen to it.

Doesn’t it inspire you?  Inspire you to write or paint or reach out?

I have been re-writing my script.  Tinkering.  It’s all about nuance now.

The balance of power shifting subtly between two lovers.

I saw new pictures of him.  He looks less grotesque.  Like he is finding his own style. Owning his beautiful smile.  Owning it.

It makes me happy to know that he is thriving.  That he is going to make a better job of this than I ever could.

That he will enjoy the benefits of being a young gay man in 2012.

I have been all over the place recently.  High and low.  Good and bad.  Always present.  Never shamed.

At LACMA I was more interested in the spectator than the art.

Some people are art.

I have been in the company of old men in those strange AA rooms.  In basements, church halls, galleries.  Yes, there is an AA meeting in a gallery in Venice.

I like old people because I am in training to be one.  Surround yourself with old people and you might learn to age with dignity.

I like getting old. Watching the lines on my face get deeper.  For those Peter Pan gays amongst you… you’ve got it coming. ha ha ha.

2.

I’m sitting in The Chateau with Elizabeth and a professional gambler.

He’s my age, boasting about the 20-year-old girls he can snare. But he’s not owning it.  He’s not proud.  He’s telling me like he tells his friends that he owns a Water Lily by Monet.

The painting just stares back at him blankly.

It has no value.  She stands at the end of his bed, naked… looking at him blankly.  Wondering what to do.

I re-imagine the grotesque freaks.

3.

I watched in awe as the audacious Israelis, once again, killed Palestinians.

They have not attacked either Lebanon or the people of Gaza since the mid east shape shifting Arab Spring.  Times have changed, time has strengthened the international hand of Hamas.  Making the incredible credible.

So, it came as no surprise when, after a week, a ceasefire was brokered by the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt.

It heralds the new order.

Within hours of Hilary Clinton‘s departure from Egypt the new president announced (temporary) extensive new personal powers.  There are popular demonstrations planned in Cairo today.

I railed against Israel on my Facebook page.  In Europe they ‘liked’ my stance, in America they didn’t.

Here their brains are fried by Israeli propaganda.  Pro Palestinian aristocrats in England wrote private notes of support.  Americans urged me to stop my public support of the people of Gaza.

Sneering at pictures of dead Palestinian children.

The temptation is to see the tragic bloodshed in the narrow terms of the Hamas rockets and Israel’s right to self defence.

Israel has that right of course… and it’s worth restating.

This is not just about rockets and self-defence. It’s about 1.3 million Palestinians crowded into a tiny strip of land (or “prison camp” as David Cameron called it), most of whose families were refugees from land now occupied by Israel and who feel that their hopes of a viable Palestinian homeland are further away than ever.

Yes, the Israelis withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but Israel’s continued blockade has strangled Gaza’s economy and only served to encourage the militants.

“When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing… You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”

~ Noam Chomsky

4.

AA.  It has been a welcome return.  Looking for a sponsor, working out a year of resentments.  Sitting in those rooms with those beautiful boys.  Refusing their interest, I cannot be trusted with it.

Based on a True Story.

This is based on a true story.  Everything you see has some basis in truth.  The sun is shining.  I am in bed.  Over looking the Pacific. Getting older, a performance artist.  A sober man.

Not dead yet.  I wondered who would love me and the love (when it comes) comes from the most unlikely source.

Last night we sat in the Chateau Marmont with a professional gambler.  We ate pumpkin pie.  We drank hot chocolate.  Vincent arrived with two beautiful Swedish boys.  I was in bed before 12.

The fridge groaning with left over Thanksgiving food whilst the starving homeless roam the streets like so many tatty zombies.

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Published today in The Fix and responded to in The Advocate….

On October 1st I will be 16 years sober.

That means that I have not had a drink or a drug for 16 years.

I got sober and I didn’t relapse.

Gay men find it impossible to stay sober. They relapse again and again. The reason is clear: sex. Sexual addiction. I am not suggesting that all gay men who claim that they are alcoholic are in fact sex addicts but most gay men who can’t stay sober cite sex as the primary reason for relapse.

The simple fact of the matter is that most of the time, readily available anonymous hook ups quickly take the place of alcohol and drugs. When a sober man walks into the apartment of a super hot man doing crystal meth, sobriety is quickly flushed down the toilet along with HIV status.

I hear the story over and over again. Yet, as a community, we think we can get away with this risky behavior. It is an arrogant vanity.

Gay AA is a sad affair. I go periodically—mostly when I flee the super charged straight stag meetings because I find the straight, young newcomers too triggering.

While many straight sober people create a new life with AA that involves abandoning bars and other locations that might lead to relapse, gay sober men often want a sober version of the life they had before, complete with dance parties, bars and gogo boys. Any reason to have a party will do—including the absurd “three-month anniversary.” Or, as one galling invitation I received said, “Help Joe S. celebrate his one-month anniversary.”

Forgive me if I’m wrong but anniversaries are a yearly celebration.

Many of these sober parties are indistinguishable from their non sober equivalent: scantily clad men line up for espresso machines manned by disco short-wearing super hot straight guys more used to shaking cocktails than dispensing coffee to gay guys jacked up on caffeine. Unable to attend drug-crazed gay circuit parties, many gay sober men in LA flock to the sober circuit parties, such as Hot ‘n Dry, which is held annually in Palm Springs. These events are more likely to take someone out than any other reason I’ve ever heard in gay AA. Yearly, after this event, bedraggled gay men turn up at meetings, their eyes blazing from excessive drug use, taking newcomer chips. Should I be surprised? After all, the Hot n’ Dry ticket salesman had assured me that it would be “a sex fest from the moment you arrive at the Ace Hotel.”

The absurd idea that we can behave like we have always behaved as long as we have a deluded and lackluster understanding of the 12 steps just doesn’t work. Two years ago, after I appeared on Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew, I suggested that within the gay community, we might have a sexual unmanageability problem and was flooded with vitriol. But that’s not going to stop me from sharing what I believe to be serious issues.

The other serious issue within gay AA, in my opinion, is the resistance to God or a Higher Power. Most of my gay sponsees are understandably wary of God. The Christian God—the religious God—hasn’t made them feel very welcome in the past and has actually steeped them in shame and misery. To find that at the heart of AA is a God—even if it’s one of their own understanding—is anathema to most gay men. From what I can determine, most gay men just ignore the God part of the 12 steps—a relevant fact when the God part, in my estimation, accounts for roughly 90% of recovery. Working through the God options with gay men can be excruciating. Why bother looking for spiritual validation when they can get immediate validation on Grindr?

I used to love AA in LA; my love for it was actually the reason I first moved to LA. Now I hate it. It’s like a cult—sober grandees ruling over desperate men, the film industry providing the sickest of backdrops: men flaying themselves before agents and film executives in the hope of catching crumbs from the sober table I see this everywhere from the straight stag meetings, where misogyny and homophobia are expressed freely, to the sickest meetings of all: Gay AA in LA.

For all of these reasons and more, last November, after nearly 16 years, I stopped going to AA meetings. I was exhausted, disillusioned and utterly miserable. My last meeting in LA, at the iconic Log Cabin on Robertson in West Hollywood, was a gay meeting attended by 300 gay men.

I couldn’t walk away fast enough.

And yet yesterday, after a nine-month hiatus, I walked into a co-ed meeting in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I was an hour early. I helped set out the chairs in ten neat rows and then I made the coffee. During the meeting, I shared my resentments and my fears and afterwards, a tiny woman called Dianne came up to me and let me have two full barrels of her tough love wisdom.

“It’s time for you to get fucking humble,” she said. “Come back and do fucking 90 in 90 like a newcomer.”

She was right. After months away from AA, I felt spiritually bankrupt. I stopped fighting and did what we are all meant to in the rooms of AA: I gave in.

Later that evening, the young man I helped set up the meeting took me for dinner. We talked recovery. This morning, we had sex. There I was, doing the walk of shame, doubled down. I had once again fucked a newcomer, counting days. It’s my story in AA. The younger men find my honesty irresistible and I can’t say no.

When I first got sober in London, the only gay men I met in AA were old queens at the Eton Square meeting. I met a couple of gay men in NA but within the deluded gay community, at that time, there was a mantra I heard over and over that “quitting was for losers.” Several years later, after celebrities like Boy George got sober, the rooms of AA and NA filled quickly with what we now recognize as gay recovery.

Back then I was accused, by my drinking friends, of being a contrarian—of rocking the boat and spoiling it for the others. As it happened, I was in the vanguard. I remember being hounded by drunken gay men who were outraged that I might, just by being sober, challenge their powerlessness and un-manageability. Of course those very same men now thank me for introducing them to the 12 steps.

After a few months away from AA, I am ready to start again but, as Dianne said, I’ve got to get humble, forget all those years of sobriety and do 90 meetings in 90 days. For the first time in a long time, I value my life. I should have left LA years ago but I’m a tenacious old queen; I didn’t want to let go. Just one more meeting might fix me. Just more line, one more Vodka Tonic and the crazy opera playing in my head might stop.

Walking back into AA in New York was a relief, a joy—just like it used to be. I want to be sober. The only problem getting in the way of that is me. But I know that if I’m going to be able to do it, I’ll have to learn how to say no to sex. As a single gay man, the consequences are dire if I don’t.

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At this time of life it is time to take a good hard look at what is and what could be.

The obvious frailties: reading glasses, aching joints, the prospect of a life without enduring love.

If I had only invested in a surrogate child. All my fears may be allayed.

That, for the uninitiated, was irony. You know how I feel about those surrogate gaybies. Abandoned to nannies until they can talk. Dressed up like performing monkeys.

“They spent every weekend on Fire Island this season and didn’t take the baby once.”

I am judged by what I own, by the company I keep, the baby I can afford, the art on my walls, the boy in my bed, the ideas in my head, the club I belong to, the house of my dreams, the car in the drive, the clothes on my back, the God of my understanding. I am judged.

Who am I? Take all of this away and leave me on the streets of Brooklyn and I am content. I want to be just like you. My history erased. My name changed. Once again.

The fire sweeps through the apartment building. The fire captains excited by the prospect of a real fire, manageable, heroic. Nobody is injured. The windows are smashed. The art deco facade blackened.

The jews are on the streets blowing their horns for the new year.

“Are you Jewish?” The young Hasidic Jew asks me.

” No. I’m not a Jew.”

I change my mind the next time I am asked. “Yes,” I lie, “I’m a Jew.”

He takes out the ram’s horn. I stand there in front of this eager youth with boyish whiskers and a large black hat, (the bastard child hat of the sombrero and the fedora) and for ten minutes he chants incantations and blows his horn.

We walk to Park Slope, enjoying the multi-million dollar mansions, the Art Deco Brooklyn Library, the renovated Museum with oddly placed Rodin in the foyer.

Delightful Prospect Park adjoining the Museum could have been designed by Capability Brown but was (of course) designed by Frederick Law Olmsted the designer of Central Park.

We ate at the new burger joint in Park Slope. My burger was made of Elk.

As I was ordering my elk burger I opened an urgent email. My friend’s brother had been shot dead on his farm in Maryland. He was found, partially eaten by animals, on his tractor. They have no idea if it is suicide or murder.

I filed the tragic news as ‘pending’.  I called his Mother and offered condolences and help.

These streets. They yield all manner of fine opportunity. I can disappear on these streets.

Today it is dark, wet and grey. The wind is warm however, the rain splashes onto my face. The Little Dog sits patiently outside the coffee shop.

Yesterday I lay in the arms of a beautiful boy who wanted me to fuck him. His cat curled up in a shoe box.

After he came we lay watching Glee in bed.

Mawkish, sentimental nonsense, a world invented by gay men where periodically an entire orchestra will appear from nowhere and youngsters will start singing hearty cover versions of popular tunes. A world run by the LGBT community. Bullying each other with waspish bon mot.

The drama is lackluster and situational.

The one-dimensional characters problems are slight, their solutions are wholly achievable. They worry to the point of suicide about their home town until they are saved by the gay hero.

This new gay frontier, where blue-collar dads talk like Kant, where black trans boys walk freely and unchallenged around a mid-west high school in full drag… this homo-utopia merely betray the dreams these gay writers had about their own youth. The dream of freedom.

The episode starred Whoopie Goldberg and Kate Hudson as teachers. Teachers masquerading as judges from America’s Got Talent.

“You’re Fired!” “You’re Cut!”

But of course Kate has a drinking problem and a lost dream and Whoopie wants to be Maya Angelou.

I took the dog and the train into Manhattan where I met with old friend Oscar Humphries who looked amazingly well.

We have had our fair share of adventure (all over the world) these past ten years:  Driving 24 hours into the Australian bush to a Bachelor and Spinster ball  for the Sydney Morning Herald.  Louche nights in Paris and London…

Son of Dame Edna Everage creator Barry Humphries he is perhaps one of the most talented yet self-destructive people I know. We went to an NA meeting on Prince St. Then dinner at Cafe Select.  I just adore him.

I had a late date after dinner with a charming man. We brought cup cakes and drank hot chocolate on West 4th St.

I climbed into bed at midnight and fell straight to sleep.

Nightmare: The Cohen’s, David and his 6 children are looking after The Little Dog. I bump into the youngest son who tells me without compassion that “You’ll probably be sad when I tell you this but…” they had to put The Little Dog to sleep because it was too ‘nippy’.

Were I the Moor I would not be Iago.
In following him I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so for my peculiar end.
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, ’tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at. I am not what I am

 

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Dawn. So much to be grateful for.

One day, when the storm has past, I will tell you everything. Not just the pretty pictures. Not just the elegant parties.

1.

Saw Premium Rush with John and Valoree Papsidera at a plush private screening room.

An exciting, gritty movie with a huge problem at its core: The bad cop played by Michael Shannon is not really a bad cop… he’s too funny.

So, come the last scene, the conclusion… I was left feeling cheated.

The last scene is terrible.

I did not feel as engaged with the story as one might have hoped.

There were too many chances for the main character Wilee (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to make different sorts of choices. He could have called the police. He could have returned the package. He could have stayed at home.

Great use of New York and great ethnic casting.

2.

Perhaps, like so many people, I am in denial?

It is not far off… the conclusion.

I have had a lingering cold/flu. Sweats.

Script notes arrive and I am loathed to open them, even though I know that they will be good. Brilliant.

How does one turn a life event into a work of fiction? Well, obviously, you have to jettison the truth.

I spent the larger part of yesterday in Venice. My favorite location. Stalking my favorite haunts. It’s like Whitstable. I know so many people. Casual acquaintances. Unlike my home town, where they have known me all my life, their understanding of me is based on what they read.

After the LA Weekly piece they are well aware of what is going on and mask their desire to pry with small talk.

Sometimes I wake up and think I should go to an AA meeting but I’ll wait until I am in another city.

It is the truth: art heals. Remember when I was sick five years ago with my leaky spine? Good God, that was painful.

Convalescing, I stayed with David Philp and his wonderful wife (art critic and broadcaster) Hunter Drohojowska-Philp in their gorgeous Beverly Hills home. She brought beautiful books for me to look at and set art work at the end of the bed.

The pale yellow room designed by Jenny Armit became a temporary sanctuary. Until I was well again.

3.

I had a long chat with an old buddy in London, someone I worked with repeatedly in the old days. A great benefactor.

It’s cold outside and hot inside the house. I open the door and let the mountain in.

The garden, this year, has matured into the garden of my dreams.

Bumped into Drew Pinsky at CNN, we were both sprayed orange for our various TV appearances. He was sweet, as he always is. We hugged and gossiped. He asked if I had read Jennie’s book. I told him that I hadn’t but I’d get around to it sooner or later.

The children make me laugh. I sit with them watching Barbie cartoons and they mock Charlie’s new girlfriend (Charlieissocoollike) children can be very cruel and very funny.

Weird clicking on my telephone. I think my phone is being tapped. Why?

I love this picture.  Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud in Wheelers.

1.

Waking up at Robby’s apartment.  West Hollywood.  Feeling like I have a hangover.  I haven’t.  I’m still not drinking.  Waiting for the right moment…but it never comes.  The sanctity of sobriety.

It’s hard after nearly 16 years to think about the right time to start drinking.

A woman I know from the programme called yesterday.  I told her that I had renounced AA.  “How’s that working out for you?”  She pried condescendingly.

I faked a dropped call.

2.

Saturday pre pride party.  Good fun.  The über gays.  The fake NYC producer I mentioned in an earlier post sitting at his table wondering how I manage to surround myself with such beauty.  He looked exasperated.  Staring over at us.

Pride was a great deal of fun.  On the streets.  The floats have not changed for 30 years: muscle boys and drag queens.  Not very inventive.

I stayed at the London Hotel courtesy of my Kuwaiti friends. They pitched up at 8am.  We ate smoked fish and Quiche for breakfast.

3.

Nothing is obvious.  Just when you thought you’d never kiss anyone meaningfully ever again.

I saw you in the bar and knew you were the one.  A brief conversation.  Kisses, glances, then you pissed on me.  That was new to both of us but so damned exciting.  A mouth full of piss.  Then we spent the afternoon talking.  Eating.  Each other.

You left an impression.   Creases in the bed sheets.

4.

Without me even noticing it LA is full of gay men with beards.

Does this mean that they/we are growing up? That men are trumping boys? The aesthetic is not only very pleasing but means I get looked at all over again. I have some currency…if you know what I mean.

5.

I don’t have time to write this very often.  There’s a great deal to do.

I’m helping those boys in the jail, even though they don’t know it.  Meeting lawyers down town who are investigating conditions in the jail.  They seem shocked.  Young lawyers.  Fresh faced.  Idealists.

I try balancing my complaints with a broader understanding of the jail dynamic.  The deputies are not just cruel…they are frightened.  They do not treat the trans population with contempt because they hate gays, they are confused by the feelings the girls bring up in them.

Ernest lawyers ask how I would change things in the jail.  I am always prepared for those questions.

Last week I sat with Senator Ron S.Calderon who is co-sponsoring a bill in the State of California that would basically abolish the situation in which I found myself.  Protocols would have to be adhered to.  States right to decide trumping the draconian Immigration Department.

I drive for hours to get to the meeting and speak clearly and concisely.  I know that I am speaking on behalf of thousands of wrongly incarcerated immigrants.

I go to cities I would never usually visit.  I am introduced to people I would never usually meet.  Immigrant rights advocates, Methodist ministers.  I am familiar with Secure Communities.  I hear terrible stories.  They tell me that ICE operate like the Gestapo.  They spread fear in the immigrant communities, wrecking homes, lives, marriages, separating families, sending children into foster care.

6.

Then, there is the other work.  Kevin, my incredible new assistant, and I…running all over town.  Putting this show together.  Holding things together.

Today I see the doctor.  No good news all over again. I’m sure.

Wish me luck.

I just put my AA ‘Big Book’ in the trash.

Does this mean I will die? Well yes, eventually.

Does this mean I will drink again? Maybe, but not immediately.

Does this mean that I’ll stop believing in god? Definitely not.

“Like any cult, religion or philosophy, AA leans heavily on the good will and participation of its members. I like the saying “if you like everybody you meet in AA, you aren’t going to enough meetings“. People should not be accountable for ideas, only for their actions. I have never had high expectations of AA, and so they are usually exceeded by the results. “Faith without works is dead”. The book is overrated, Duncan, everybody knows that. But the Love in AA is palpable.”

Dan my friend wrote the above. Men like him initially convinced me that AA was good. I was attracted to their nuanced reasoning, their warmth, their ‘spirituality’. I was not wrong, people like Dan were the reason I kept going back.

Explaining AA to the uninitiated is like teaching a baboon how to knit.

Writing this, even now, I can convince myself to haul the AA Big Book out of the trash…that things weren’t that bad, that I should look at ‘my part’, that if only I had worked the 12 steps just a little bit harder…

The reason I moved to LA? The reason I uprooted my home, my life…myself? Alcoholics Anonymous.

The comfy Palisade stag meetings, the jolly Rodeo social, the stoic recovery center.

I loved UTA owner Jeremy Zimmer’s Saturday morning industry meeting where the producers, writers, actors and directors came to flay themselves before the UTA grandee.

I was rapt by the harrowing story of child sex abuse and violence therapist Sean McFarlane dramatically told when ever he was asked to testify.

I watched ‘Big’ Robert gather his flock of new comers/sponsees at the 7am Bank meeting and take them diligently through the twelve steps.

It took five years to see through each of these scam merchants.

Jeremy Zimmer uses his meeting to ensnare and compromise celebrities in trouble. Fellow alcoholic industry folk, realizing that Jeremy is a sick man do not risk leaving the meeting, nor do directors and actors who want his patronage. Jeremy Zimmer is a sadist. Laughing and joking as men cry pitifully about their ‘rock bottom’.

The only men he has compassion for are men that mean nothing to him professionally.

Sean McFarlane, perhaps the worst scam artist in the AA SAA organization, effectively getting rich men to pay to sponsor them.

Sponsorship is a service supposedly supplied ‘for fun and for free’ from elder AAers to the new comer, helping them understand the 12 steps, helping them understand the Big Book of AA…a sort of bible written by Bill Wilson the founder of AA.

Sean thinks nothing of taking huge amounts of money from naive new comers for his sponsorship services.

Sean (pronounced seen) McFarlane, provides counseling as a sex therapist but I have no proof that he has any formal training nor counseling himself, nor support, even a sponsor? If anyone has proof that this monster has any training…please provide it.

Sean oversees the fate of cheating celebrities who routinely fall from grace and into his Wednesday morning SAA meeting…needing their family back, their reputation saved, their need to disguise their pedophile peccadillos…put humpty dumpty together again.

Sean thinks he is a very big deal, a super hero, leaping over imagined cars to save his clients from tranny hookers bent on destroying his clients.

As for Big Robert, the multimillionaire ex basketball player…well it turns out that this self-proclaimed AA guru is in fact a compulsive liar who, whilst banging his sponsees heads with the big book bible…is in fact gorging on un-prescribed prescription meds. He routinely tells his group of sycophantic male followers that AA does not ‘shoot its wounded’…which is patently untrue.

I thought, when I moved to LA that finally…I had come home.

It is evident from the 2006/7 blogs that I loved it and it loved me. A family of men and women who could always forgive, would always forgive.

Well, that was the first of my mistakes. I was wrong about them. Perhaps when I moved here AA was different, I was different?

AA is a cult. Like scientology it trades on the secret lives of its members. Like scientology it requires devotion. Blind devotion. Like scientology there is a vile abuse of power. Those who want to wrestle the leadership, become gurus, lie and steal…all in the name of recovery.

Most so-called addicts and alcoholics are mental patients with no mental hospital to go to.

Look at the beautiful man at the top of this post. His name was Evan Landry. He was a friend of mine. An AA friend. Wow, I was bowled over with Evan, his aggressive, sexy ways…his vulnerability. He served in Iraq, he was an MMA fighter, I saw him fight.

He had a sexy girlfriend he shared with Mike Tyson but wasn’t above going to…how shall we say…the dark side.

Well, last night Evan Landry killed himself. Another AA tragedy. Today his friends think it is ‘sad but not unexpected’. They have buried so many friends, their indifference is as unexpected as Evan’s OD.

People like Sean McFarlane will remember him, use his death as evidence that we must never, ever leave AA.

His PTSD unaddressed, all he needed (according to his AA friends) was the 12 steps.

Like prescribing leaches for terminal cancer.

In the USA there are a hundred treatment centers where addiction can be fought with the ubiquitous 12 steps…if you have the money. In my experience getting help with any other mental condition is almost impossible.

Evan Landry put his faith in AA like so many of us did…but our problems were complicated by AA and sadly may have killed dear Evan and many men and women like him.

I don’t go to AA funerals because they are a sick joke. I might, however, go to this one. Just to laugh at the hypocrites that killed Evan with their medieval prescription for a better life.

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