Today we were the guests of Molly and John Chester at Apricot Lane Farm, Moorpark CA.
Molly is a former personal chef and John a former film director.
Now, tucked away in their bucolic idyl, away from the madding crowd, devoted to the creation of a bio-dynamic 150 acre farm set in rolling countryside 45 minutes from Santa Monica.
We toured the property then sat in an etruscan tower over looking the freshly planted orchards.
Perfect way to spend an afternoon.
It feels like I haven’t written anything for weeks. Living this simple and unexpected life. I’ve no idea what comes next nor do I care. Occasionally I wonder what it would be like to be back at home…Whitstable. It is waiting for me.
Sunday, I drove 100 miles North East to the Inland Empire to meet my lover. We booked into a cheap hotel and spent the day in bed. It was languorous and passionate. We ate free ‘home made’ cookies given to us when we checked in. We left the hotel briefly to buy fried chicken. We looked at the pool but didn’t swim.
After he left I walked on my own through a huge discount mall, I saw vibrant, sequined dressed for unplanned Quinceanera.
On the way home I wondered what the ham hocks would taste like that had been slowly cooking in the stove all day. They were delicious.
I have, of late, developed sexual desires and needs formally ignored. Today my legs are weak from indulging myself.
I like driving across country. I should take a different route but the familiarity of Route 66 lures me south.
I spoke at an ACLU event last week in the lush Hancock Park gardens of a rich gay man. His large mock Tudor home filled with Arts and Crafts furniture and paintings by dead artists like Otto Dix. Even though there were many sofas and well upholstered club chairs there didn’t seem to be anywhere to sit.
The speech was well received.
One afternoon last week (May 1st) I spoke to David Cruz, the KTLK liberal chat show host. I felt primed and confident. It was easier to talk about the LA jail system than it was to talk about Dorian Gray. Ethnic Cleansing. Secure Communities. Institutional racism and homophobia.
I have not been to any 12 step meeting but was stopped in the street by the crazy Sean McFarland sex therapist who kissed me and hugged me. I told him that the deaths of his clients should be on his conscience. He wished me all the best and crawled, like the slimy reptile he is, back into the Porsche despair has paid for.
On Saturday I met another 12 step buddy at Gjelina but we didn’t talk much. I don’t want to hear about the cult. Even though he is an old friend I eyed him suspiciously. We talked about my 85-year-old friend Coach who died last week. I’m glad he never knew that I turned by back on AA.
Robby and I had lunch last Thursday. He is delightful.
I have been ignoring calls from people I’m usually happy to hear from.
We peered briefly at the Super Moon. It was large and bright. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as seeing the comet, Hale Bop.
For the past ten days I have logged onto gay hook up app Grindr to see what is going on…what I am missing. I’ve been sent many picture of cocks but had no desire to sit on any of them…many pictures of asses but have no need to fuck. Next week I am going to publish them all here on WordPress in a password protected blog.
Life is all at once full up and completely empty.
I have no idea what day it is. It may be Sunday. It is Sunday. I am on Fire Island, (The Pines) I can hear the waves crashing on the beach. The little dog is desperate to get out onto the board walks. Yesterday he chased a deer.
How we laughed.
I could have got a $100 ticket for letting him off the lead.
I am staying with Benoit Denizet-Lewis and his utterly gorgeous friends. Well, some of them are. The ones he lives with in Boston are charming. The rest, although beautiful, are a bit snippy. There must be fifty ipads in this house. The fridge is stuffed with sliced turkey.
Must walk on beach and buy coffee.
We arrived yesterday afternoon, Toby, Charlie and me. Had lunch (salad Nicoise) with Lawrence and his friends overlooking the bay. The house is charming. Surrounded by pom-pom hydrangea. Lilac coloured blooms. Ten of us for lunch.
David Collins very pretty ex-colleague at lunch bitching about his ex-boss.
It’s sadly true that when David befriended Madonna it changed his DNA. David used to be a sweet Irish boy earning a good living for himself as an interior decorator. Then he met Madonna and thought he sat amongst the gods.
Neither Charlie or Toby had been here before. So we, albeit briefly, explored the community.
I popped into Grey Gardens, the house where Joe and I used to live. It has been bought by a rather arrogant queen who told me that he had chased the lesbians away who used to be our neighbours.
The house looked exactly the same. Including all the flags and stuff hanging outside. He also bought the house to the right of the property. I will go back there today and take a picture.
After lunch Benoit and I walked via the meat rack to Cherry Grove. We met Zelko, Todd and Caroline who are staying in a rental next door to Neil Sedaka. We met him briefly yesterday. He is a legend. Also, their friend John who I have a picture of when we were really young shaving his balls in my bathroom wearing a cowboy hat that is probably still where I left it in Grey Gardens.
Cherry Grove is like The East Village. I used to hate it but now I fit right in. The boys at Benoit’s (the ones we like) all agree that Cherry Grove is less problematic…less snooty.
Since I was last here with Georgina five years ago things have changed around the dock. The Pavilion has been rebuilt. It is now a very chichi affair. There is a huge gym. It is altogether less charming than it was but not so bad. At least it doesn’t smell of rotting pineapple which I remember from before.
We ate a good lunch at a new restaurant called? Can’t remember.
There was a drinks party at the neighbours house yesterday. They had bees embroidered onto their carpet. They had navy blue Ralph Lauren interiors and discussed their silver wear like it had been designed by Faberge.
Before I went to bed I walked to the dock. The club was ramping up for a full night of joyful gayness.
Even thought I am having a great time and feel confident…I still feel a little edgy. On the edge. Like..they are not me and I am not them. I am looking for the differences rather than the similarities. Even thought I love them unconditionally I wish I would not.
I am going to look for an AA meeting. I am going to buy some coffee.
The previous day we spent with Dee and the beautiful Sean and the equally beautiful Joe.
Had dinner with Dee and Toby at the worst and most expensive restaurant I have ever been to. DEL POSTO on 10th Avenue. It belongs to Mario Batali. The space is cavernous, tacky, chilly, boring and pretentious. The wait staff are all huge and dress in ugly, ill-fitting suits: like FBI operatives.
The language they have been coached to use when describing the menu is almost old english. It is absurd. When the food arrives, in our case drizzled with different olive oils before our very eyes like they were fucking magicians…oh the disappointment! Miserable, tasteless and badly prepared.
Every dish must have been touched a hundred times by fifty different people. Had it not cost a bloody fortune it would have been laughable.
Terrible tummy later that night.
I stayed in The Standard. I have been very tired. Very tired.
Dee returned to Hong Kong the following day.
Last night I slept in a bed.
The previous nights I slept whilst they drove the car. Thomas in detention. The Dane miserable and grumpy because his best friends New York life had crumbled to dust. Lucie just trying to make the best of a bad lot.
I left them in Austin and settled into the four-hour wait for my flight to NYC.
I had nothing better to do so decided to get my hair cut. I walked through the oppressive heat to Birds Barbershop under the freeway at the ghetto end of 6th Street. Walking less than half a mile from the city center Austin’s miserable underbelly reveals itself.
Firstly, and most oddly, dogs are not allowed in barber shops in Austin so the Little Dog sat in a shady spot outside. Lara was assigned to cut my hair.
I asked for a number two buzz all over my head and beard.
Lara, less than five foot tall began shaving my head. She told me to uncross my legs. She told me to sit straight in my chair. She told me to put my feet on the foot rest. Then, when things were obviously not finished she announced that she had finished and how did it look? It looked terrible. It was perhaps the WORST hair cut I had ever had.
I told her to re buzz it so it might at least look even. She said, “I’m not comfortable with that.” As if she had been taught in some barber class how to avoid unwanted advances.
She picked at the mess of her own creation with a pair of scissors. Then she started trimming my beard. The past few days had been so exhausting I just let her hack at my face.
I paid the $25 and walked away.
In Austin airport I sat next to a thirty something French man who I ended up in bathroom stall. He has a huge, uncut cock.
Finally, after resigning myself to a night at the Novotel in Charlotte, I found a flight to Newark. On the plane East I completed the end of my novel and started sketching out the associated film idea. Because I now know the story so well it was easy as all hell to write the treatment. In fact, it may be one of the best things I have ever written.
As I sat in Charlotte thinking about the curious French man with the beautiful penis Dan texted me to say that same-sex marriage was now legal in NY state. I had two opposing thoughts, it struck me that even though the gays would celebrate this change in the local law it is actually merely a sop to us.
So? So? I thought angrily. This isn’t going to help Zach and his Scottish boy friend. If they get married immigration will not recognise their union, no one official anywhere is obliged to recognise this marriage anomaly other than the states where segregation is outlawed.
Then I wondered if Jake celebrated the change in the law, whether he owned that this vote applied to him. I thought about him getting married to a man, taking that man to his parents house. If he could stay loyal and monogamous?
I thought about gay marriage and just because we can…should we?
Arrived in the East Village just after midnight. Walked dog. Slept really well.
Party tonight and Monday night.
I have boring admin stuff to do this week. Then…thank God…I have my party.
Austin is as beautiful as El Paso is not.
I would like to have stayed a little longer but fate well and truly intervened.
I am exhausted.
Yesterday, after I was released by the ICE guys with my passport re stamped I spent an hour by myself. It was blissful.
Reunited with my fellow travelers, back in our luxurious transportation. The Dane, Lucie and I headed back to El Paso where we parked ourselves in a coffee shop…like I am doing now…and The Dane anxiously attempted to help Thomas by calling his friends, family and officials.
As we drove into El Paso I noticed something strange and scary.
All the palm trees were dead.
Trees that formerly decorated the forecourts of the huge car dealers on Montana are now just sad, brown stumps.
The same is true of commercial and domestic palms. Palms of all varieties…dead. Their bark ruptured, waiting for the woodsman to take them down.
What killed the palm trees?
Global warming? Climate change? El Paso just had the worst winter…ever. It killed palms, mesquite and cactus. If I had doubted climate change before…this was indeed the smoking gun.
I am persuaded. Climate change exists.
We would spend all day and most of the evening in El Paso at either the coffee shop or at the alien detention center where, at 7pm, we were allowed to see Thomas.
He looked miserable and cried a bit but anyone who has been to boarding school can attest this is just first day nerves.
Unlike boarding school they wouldn’t let us sit in the same room as the ‘detainee’ so we spoke on telephones peering at Thomas through bullet proof glass.
Nor did we hand him a book stuffed with dollars.
For me it was a total waste of time.
This idiotic boy had deliberately over stayed his visa, not renewed his passport and had the attitude of any entitled prick who thinks he should be allowed to stay anywhere he pleases.
I was even more pissed at The Dane for getting me involved with his half-baked friend. His ex Lucie was really sweet and had a great attitude. I have no complaints about her.
I just knew the moment I met Thomas that he was going to cause trouble.
An immature, exhibitionist thirty-one year old man who cater/waiters for a career is not someone I necessarily want to know. No, I am not being a snob. I am just angry. You will be pleased to hear that I did not lose my temper and remained remarkably calm.
Whilst they were fruitlessly contacting embassies I wandered around El Paso in the searing 110 degree heat checking out Kinsineta couture…see above.
I bumped into Nicholas, the manager of the El Paso hipster coffee shop who offered to not only help us out by visiting Thomas in detention but also offered to show me around. I leapt at the chance. If only to hang out with a relatively normal human being.
As they were moping over poor incarcerated Thomas, Nicholas took me to the very authentic Chico’s Tacos which was amazingly tasty and cheap.
We were both well fed for less that $5. Check the wiki link above. He then drove me to a mountain that over looks not only the city of El Paso but into the violent border town of Juarez, Mexico where there are (apparently) several drug related cartel murders every day.
“It is a miracle when there are no murders in Juarez.” Nicholas said sadly. “I love my country but we are not very good to each other.”
He told me about gunmen bursting into schools and shooting students. Weddings and funerals where the same happens. Endless, brutal Cartel related murders. He told me that the children of the Cartel roam El Paso boasting who their parents are and scaring the locals.
From the mountain we could very clearly see the controversial border fence that separates the USA from Mexico.
“Everybody in this town is involved with smuggling.” He said, looking over the vast, hot landscape. “People and drugs.”
I dropped Nicholas at his car then returned to The Dane and Lucie who had now finished with Thomas.
Inspired, I took them to Chico’s which they loved. I fed the dog and for the next four hours I drove through the night toward Austin from El Paso.
Lucie took the helm at 1am and I slept fitfully in the back of the SUV.
When I woke at 7am we were in Fredericksburg. A charming Teutonic historical town, tastefully planned and well manicured. We sat in the German Bakery and ate buns and drank hot, dark coffee. It was such a fucking relief to be out of El Paso and experiencing a different, altogether more understandable world.
Frankly I couldn’t wait to leave The Dane. It was not his fault per se but he and his friend took a risk with our vacation/trip to NYC that is not easily forgiven.
Thomas will go home to Sweden where he will hopefully grow the fuck up. Even in the detention center he was imagining that he could marry his girl friend at the facility and they would let him go back to his studio life in Brooklyn.
Yesterday started off badly and ended up even worse.
We woke up in the New Inn Willcox. The four of us. Grumpy and tired.
This tiny, charming place made famous by the forests of pecans and pistachios planted around the town. There was a small street market where we baked in the midday sun.
I found a dedicated AA meeting-house.
Bagel was worried by our travelling through these southern border towns because his Swedish passport was well out of date. We scoffed. We weren’t going anywhere near the border. Yet, the proximity still scared him.
After lunch everyone was in great spirits, the road was clear, we were making good time. Lively, intelligent conversation. That was until we were funneled into a homeland security border control and everything went to shit.
We were routinely stopped and asked if we were US citizens.
None of us are.
Then, to my horror they told me that my passport had problems and I too was detained.
Detained. For the next twenty hours I underwent a harrowing scrutiny.
I must say however that all of the border control agents, the ICE patrol guys and every single official I came into contact with was courteous, kind and helpful.
Quite unlike any British police officer..except the detective I met last summer with the sociopath.
These men and women have a tough, demanding job but, from what I saw, within that tiny little office at the edge of Interstate 10 there is a good family atmosphere. They seem to mainly deal with cannabis infractions. The sniffer dogs leaping on anyone with weed in their car.
Each dog is an official agent and has it’s own badge.
Just as I was leaving they brought in ten young goth men and women. Their tattoos and piercings at odds with the uniformed officers.
Again, I only saw the agents be utterly polite, once going out of their way to fetch an elder lady a wheel chair.
My situation was more complicated than Thomas’s as he had simply over stayed. So, after many, many phone calls I was released with my passport re-stamped correctly.
Thomas was not so lucky and is now languishing in an alien holding camp with a thousand other illegal aliens.
Of course all I worried about was the Little Dog who had to sit in a huge cage whilst they were processing me. He looks a little traumatized this morning. If I had been traveling on my own they would have called the pound.
It does not bear thinking about.
So, here we are. In El Paso at a cool coffee-house near the convention center hooked up to the internet waiting for 6 o’clock to roll around so we can visit Thomas. The Dane is obviously worried about his friend so we are obliged to curtail our trip.
I have a great deal to achieve this coming week. I have hospital appointments, friends arriving from London and LA for my birthday party.
I am just thankful that the border immigration folk expedited my passport problem.
I have not written this diary properly for a few days. A great deal is going on. Traveling East.
It seemed like I said yes to far too many dinner invitations and ended up cancelling all of them.
I am talking to sales reps about The Picture of Dorian Gray. Finally. It is time. David Gallagher is the breakout star in Super 8 so we may very well sell it. With David looking so amazingly fit and grown up and Aleksa in Boardwalk Empire…perhaps we can sell it for what it is worth. Anyway, I’m talking again to sales agents so let’s see. I just want what it is worth. Not selling it for anything less.
I am still not happy with the edit.
The desert. We drive into the night. The Freeway. Homogenous America. The same 6 restaurant chains, the same names…again and again. Nothing to differentiate state by state. The desert is beautiful. Desolate, hot, 110 degrees yesterday.
I am now in Willcox Arizona, sitting in the Safeway Starbucks where coffee is twenty cents more than The Palisades. To prove that people must be BORED beyond reason living out here I have been recognized more in the past ten minutes than the past ten months.
So, we left LA yesterday morning. The previous day we spent dozing on the beach then had dinner at the rancid Taverna Tony’s. Flayed shrimp. The Beautiful Dane’s Swedish friend arrived and we all stayed in Malibu that night leaving early the following morning with Robby.
The Swedish friend (whose name I refuse to remember) is a clumsy idiot and I don’t expect revising my opinion any time soon. They call each other Bagel. Within ten minutes of meeting me he had knocked my phone out of my hand.
Robby and Miles returned from their wedding weekend, apparently the bride and groom washed each other’s feet in the Christian ceremony. Robby looked great. They are such sweet boys.
Very clean feet.
The Dane sings Riders in The Storm in Danish which is funny.
Picked up a huge SUV at The Dane’s insistence. Expensive, gas consuming behemoth.
We drove to Glendale Station where we picked up another Dane, a girl called Lucie who used to work in the fashion and textile department at the Met in NYC. We had a great deal to talk about.
It seemed like a good idea to fill the car with friends but as it turns out the idiot friend and the Dane have a very specific sort of relationship and Lucie is his ex gf who he took two years to get over.
I began to reassess. My farts stink.
We drove from LA to Phoenix. Dinner at The Royal Palm Resort which is incredibly beautiful. Taco Tuesday. Luxury on a budget. The Swede nipped off with his good-looking friend and bought two dresses from H and M for him and the Dane which they changed into in the parking lot.
We stopped in a gas station and a man told his friend very loudly that the dress wearing men should be arrested. As we drove deeper into Arizona the dresses caused me some panic as I really did not want either of them to get shot.
As you can tell from my voice. I am trying a little too hard.
Stayed in a small motel with wi-fi and a big black dog. The room cost us $60.
If you want to see all of the videos from this trip…go to my YouTube channel.
We are off soon. Long journey ahead. They are playing Joe Jackson’s Stepping Out. The Starbucks girl is blending caramel frapaccino and I will never see Willcox Arizona ever again.
“If something pleasurable and strongly desired is prohibited, it becomes an obsession” – Kinsey
So, this will be my life for the next week or so as we aim toward NYC. Cute, sexy men. Yum, fucking yum.
The Dane and I picked up Bagel from LA and now we head east.
The smell of damp tweed. My collarless shirt and felt braces.
A mantle with fabric that may or may not be Bloomsbury. Mismatched luster wear cup and saucer. Chipped. These things used to delight me. Treasures found at the edge of the Thames. When did I cease to be a mudlark?
Laying the table for breakfast. Poached eggs. Marmite on my toast.
That tribe of gay men still delight me. I used to know them.
My cottage in Whitstable was full of tiny, beautiful things. With more money came larger, expensive things. Now I sit under a decade long avalanche of avarice.
Remember when we didn’t have radiators in the cottage? Frost in the sitting room before we lit a fire? The smell of coal and crackling kindle. Wrapping up warm before we left the bedroom?
I think this is how one might start again. Renting a room at the back of a house by the sea. I don’t have to live in Whitstable.
I am wondering hard again. Torn between two worlds.
The conversation from Facebook (above) that I have taken the liberty of reproducing made me feel homesick for small mercies…for a butler’s sink, for the sound of a mop bucket. For the back stairs in a country house. For sea views that may include the ghosts of women once dressed in white tulle and parasols.
Scroll down for the Patmos transcript.
Look at the view! It’s a warm morning where I am. The sky is pale pink, the sea is almost blue. The rain this winter has caused every Ceanothus to bloom. Almost blue.
Not like the one I planted in my Whitstable garden which bloomed purple, fleshy flowers.
The garden here is now Fire Safe. They have cleared the brush and hoed the beds. The trees are almost fully in leaf. The tiny quail and their tinier babies search in the tilled soil for food. I don’t know what they eat.
Stephen, Kristian’s one time boy friend send me a collection of his writings that I have not had time to read yet. Kristian Digby. Where are you? I wish you were here. I wish you were alive.
I think that it may be Jean’s memorial today. I am not going. It would be hypocritical. We were once friends. I want to remember what it was like to be his friend. Sit quietly with the memory.
Too many deaths recently. Too many unnecessary deaths. Each time they tell me that someone else is dead I have to look at my own fingers and imagine them bone and parchment.
I want to find you that page in my diary when we were on Patmos, Phil and I, and we looked into the charnel house and saw the desiccated remains of…people. Tangled together, wearing their simple peasant garments.
I couldn’t sleep.
Phil splashed cologne around our bedroom. It soothed me.
It’s a beautiful day today. Best I concentrate on that?
I felt the shame. Shame is like scraping the meat off of the bone.
I am writing about one isolated man being saved by less isolated men. Was this past year such a waste? This was the year when obsession became my higher power.
Now I have a chance to know God once again.
Will I ever get home?
Here are the Patmos diary entries for August 1990.
I am with my darling Phillipa Heiman. We are staying in her parents beautiful summer home overlooking the Aegean.
We are lovers. We visit the charnel house.
Wednesday August 15th 1990 PATMOS
The masseur said that I should wear something loose. I opted for my frog boxers, Victoria Whitbread gave them to me, green frogs hopping all over my genitals. She poked and prodded and soothed, she twisted my arms and legs, her breasts pushed into my face, “I hope I’m not suffocating you.” She said.
Her fingers glanced over the end of my dick.
“Your lymphatic system is now working.” she declared as my stomach rumbled for more cold chicken. She told me that, like many people, I had been frightened as a child and had reacted with my right side. This reaction has begun a slow deterioration of the tissue in the areas seized and now they were completely ‘blocked’.
After a fag break she told me that I shouldn’t drink, that I should do Tai Chi and should have six more sessions costing a further 3000 drachma per session. Thank the lordy for new age medicine! The alternative society has got it made. I am rushing back to London to learn anything I can to lay a few letters after my name. D.P. Roy Alternative money-maker. A.M.M.
As a final booster she poked me with an electric prod. Very nice.
Philippa returned from a walk around the village, she had been to a church service which, from her description, sounded delightful. We ate what was to be my last unfettered meal. We stepped, after lunch, into the hot afternoon.
Through the alleys, to the monastery. My spirits were high. We faced the wind together, holding her breasts through her thin silk dress, letting her feel my stiffy on her thigh, she said that the monks would be shocked.
We found a fig tree and picked fresh figs, they tasted of nothing. We found a pear tree and the fruit tasted of nothing. We saw an English couple removing their shorts under a very unshadeful tree on top of a windy promontory. Like the middle of a motorway, next to the rubbish dump full of plastic – not rotting, away from Xora there were plastic bottles, scores of them, strewn over the brown grass.
The hot afternoon my spirits are still high. I’m making a lot of jokes at everybody’s expense – mostly Philippa’s. She’s enjoying it, her period has started so she’s happy again, woe betide me if I’d mentioned this as a contributing factor to the tears. The tears were so terrible to see. I am a broken man when I see my lover cry. I see my mother and grandmother and aunts Evelyn and Margaret in her tears and I am a broken man.
We walked on, she wanted to see the graveyard which you can see clearly from the window in the drawing-room. I am sitting opposite that window, all I have to do is to stand up and I can see the graveyard walls, a couple of white crosses, the blue iron gate and some white box out-houses.
We went the long way round, over prickling grass and clumps of brown dry plants and plastic bottles rolling around on the parched earth by the Meltemi which is a wind, a wind called the Meltemi.
We found the gate. Most of the graves were new, some had photographs of old people. One old man sitting on his chair outside the front door. He looked like a loved man. A candle burnt in a tiny marble and glass casket. An eternal flame.
The graves were made, in this concrete covered place, of tiny man holes. A ring pull on top. We looked inside an abandoned tomb. These were obviously used over and over we concluded. We thought that the bodies rested here for a bit, with the flame and the photographs and the plastic flowers and the crucifix. We concluded that they would be cremated and scattered over the Aegean or the terraced island.
Our spirits high, we looked into one of the empty tombs. Under the concrete. A hollow waiting for its fill. Maybe it would be Petula (our maid) with her twisted hair and apron. Her bare, dead legs under the stone. Petula, Petula compromised because we rearranged the cushions, the red, gold and orange ikat instead of pink delicate John Stefanidis print. We’ve made the home ours now Petula.
Old Petula can rearrange the cushions under here. Under the stone.
We made our way to another gate at the back of the graveyard. We balked at an old coffin laid beneath a tree, we saw that it was laminated maple, birdseye maple effect. A birdseye maple effect coffin to be transported from the village to the hole, there to be cremated and the little old man to be scattered into the Meltemi and over the sea. Not a bad end.
“Wait a minute,” Philippa says, “Let’s look through here.” I was on my way out, my spirits were high. I looked past the evergreen where she stood ahead of me. So beautiful! Her large smile and eyes sparkling out to me – all radiant and all mine. I don’t want her to go any further. I want to leave there and then, our spirits high, home to a plate of cold chicken and potatoes. Maybe our bed.
She turned into the other plot and I followed, ran ahead. Past a small, stone, white building, to a shack stacked high with coffins. Eww I said, how horrible, a shack full of coffins. I wanted to get out. I wanted to leave there and then.
“Look.” She said gaily, “Bones.”
I ran ahead to where she was pointing, I ran right up to what was undeniably a thigh bone sticking out of the ground.
“They’re human.” I said, my spirits no longer high, as high. Not hit rock bottom. Just a bone. We looked into a pit. An open hatch, like a cellar door straight into the ground. It was not just a bone, it was a whole man or woman with clothes on, maybe two men or two women or three, with their nylons still sticking to bits of dead flesh. With the sun on the white bone, the flesh torn away.
Fascinated, I looked into this death-bed, this corpse mine. Looked at the big bones, no sculls and it was occurring to us what the godforsaken truth was. There was no scattered ashes over the Aegean but this ossuary. We stepped back from the pit stuffed with bones and slippers and old nylons pulled over what was once a plump thigh. I retreated past the small white, stone building with steps that lead up to an open window.
“Look that room up there is full with these.”
I ran ahead, up the steps, my tee-shirt over my mouth. I didn’t even think about it, it was natural that I shouldn’t breathe the same air as the dead. I looked into my own hell. Through the open window into a huge room crammed with rubber shoes, cheap by any standard, the paper liners eaten by maggots. More arms and legs and ribs, all forked into this place.
Strewn into this terrible room.
I couldn’t leave it alone, I couldn’t leave it. I couldn’t pull down the tee-shirt over my face and run away. I couldn’t be sure that these weren’t donkeys or dogs somehow tangled up with jumble, that my eyes didn’t deceive me I needed to see a skull.
I stepped up higher so I could see past the mound of bones and clothes and shoes full of maggots. I looked past all this and into the face that confirmed exactly what we already knew, what I had to see and wish I had never seen. My spirits drained out of me, my anal sphincter winking in fear, my feet wanting to run as fast as they could from this Byzantine holocaust.
Phillipa, still smiling and flirting and dancing around. Her belly just about to empty its bloody dead contents into her knickers. The old man sitting by his front door, Petula the maid, her hair all snaked up around her head with her old, thin fingers. Forked into that room. This heaving room, where flies and rats can come and live off of the dead.
We walked out of the graveyard, past the blue, wrought iron gate and into the hot alleys and the afternoon sun. We trailed back home, my spirits drained away. My mind working on the image of death. We could hear the bells calling the faithful to their pews, to the holy water, to the Festival of the Virgin whilst the tangled remains of granddad, children, motorbike accident victims all hugged one another unwittingly in that terrible room.
Back at the house I fell asleep on Phillipa’s stomach. When I woke up I tried to make light of what we had seen. We couldn’t. My mind working on that image of death. We had a rather bright dinner with the French. I couldn’t eat much, the meat festered in my mouth.
I could see the grave candles burning from the night terrace, comets burning over our heads, my feet burning inside my silk slippers. The twins arrived, showed us photographs, we drove into Skala.
Phillipa went to church, I went to the bar so I might forget.
I drank. Sprayed with champagne. It was our table that drank the most booze, our friends who danced the hardest, our friends who fell into the sea drunk and all the time my mind is working out that image of death.
Into the eyes of death, a death’s-head, not facing me. Leading me into further horrors.
Olivier the sickly twin and I had a long talk about his girlfriend, what he felt for her. How he became her. I gave him a big hug because he seemed to need it. He stroked my face, he told me that he didn’t need to be ‘superficial’ with me. He told me that I was a friend. Sometimes I didn’t understand him because he used a language that only a twin can understand. A description of one life as two people. They are an extra-ordinary couple.
I went home to Phillipa. We drank tea and then they left.
I got into bed and great waves of fear passed through me, my mind working on that image so that the bones started moving. The dead sat waiting beside the front door, sat in the fridge disguised as roast chicken, the maggots danced inside the rubber slippers, the nylons gnawed by fat rats.
Phillipa felt me cold sweating there in bed, listened to my fitful cries and sprinkled perfume on the mat and offered me kind conversation and squeezed into my back. I fell, finally into an unfettered sleep.
PS We met the rich Greeks who are building their ‘luxury’ home next to the graveyard.
“Fantastic views.” said she.
Can you imagine who empties those graves? The man we see in the street? Maybe the tall, mad man we see in Vagelis – the restaurant with the garden. Can you imagine seeing the graves being exhumed? The contents pitchforked into that place? The man couldn’t sell the plot.
Phillipa returns yearly to Patmos but I never did. The beautiful house was sold. Phillipa and I split up on the way home from Greece and when we arrived in London Amoury Blow picked us up from the airport. I was all over the press. Again. Front page of the Evening Standard.
Now that I am here.
It’s been so cold. Where’s my beach in the sun when I need it?
Last night I went to the theatre with Amelia. The Soho Rep below Canal.
Dinner after the show at Macao Trading Co. paid for, very kindly, by the owners.
The theatre show was called Jomama Jones: Radiate. Jomama (drag queen) is a returning seventies singing sensation.
Glittering costumes, huge fro. Jomama lives in exile in Switzerland because she feels alienated from her mother land.
When asked to return to perform by a new generation of fans she agrees. The show is that show. It was really beautifully conceived. Great set and costumes…amazing music. Beautifully performed.
The story really worked except the end which was a bit mawkish and sophomoric. Even so, probably the best fringe theatre show I had ever seen in NYC excepting Weimar New York…which I ended up producing in LA. The Green Door never ever paid us for putting on that show.
My favorite part of Jomama Jones Radiate was when she described how she fell from grace. When the record execs heard her angry political ‘new’ album…”They told me to relax! They told me to relax my lyrics, my performance and…my hair.” When she refused her record label let her go.
Lady Rizo and I were invited up on stage to dance. It was quite liberating to do so in front of a packed house. Loved it.
Spent today receiving friends. Getting into it. Selling art. Going to make my movie.
Spent the past few days looking at the remaining films on the BAFTA shortlist so I can vote fairly. Without doubt my favorite film this year (so far) is Social Network.
I love the editing, the music, the photography, the script…THE TENSION…the performances…especially that they made Zuckerberg borderline Aspergers. It must have been the first American film I ever saw that addresses or hints at class war, that white protestants still abhor/distrust jews, etc. It was such a heterosexual film.
(funny aside..sitting in SHLA last year listening to a bunch of jewish talent agents discussing the dearth of jews in the British film industry)
I remind myself that because of Facebook I met Jake. So modern.
Now he has vanished from the internet…apart from what I write about him here of course…and his job…if he still has it.
As hurt as I am, the more I recover from him the more I want him to have all the riches life has to offer. Just like I used to..when I first met him. Whatever he gets…peace of mind may always be beyond his reach.
His troubled, beautiful head.
Now we live in the same city.
The reality is, it’s a small city so the chances are we will run into one another. Not like living in a huge city like London…mind you I’ve only ever seen Richard Green once in tiny Whitstable since we stopped talking and that was twenty years ago. So, it’s possible but unlikely.
Lots to think about. I am not going to drive my stuff to NYC. I am going to pay to have it moved. Just take everything that’s presently in storage and the beginning of this new art collection. So many exciting new opportunities!
I really don’t want to go back to LA but I suppose that I must.
The past few days in Paris have been so much fun!
Jessie, my very successful actress traveling companion is usually quite frugal but currently inspired to be profligate by her accountant who routinely tells her that she doesn’t spend enough. Remedy: she ends up in Paris and spends a fortune on the Lanvin spring collection and bits from Collette.
On the other hand, I was uncharacteristically reserved having bought a great deal of art and stuff in the UK…anyway; I have far too many clothes.
Lunch at Costes. Our waiter…James. What a dream. EVERYWHERE we turned there were dreamy French men. Yet, as much as you might think…it was good to just look, to appreciate. I didn’t need to own any of them.
Jessie and I met a very handsome, young, aristocratic, redheaded boy who organized a huge dinner for us with his equally handsome, aristocratic friends. One of them told me that I had been ‘stained’ by the United States. Of course…this is perfectly true.
After dinner we took our redhead to The Baron, which, as you are very well aware, is a very cool/exclusive club. Jess, wearing a new Lanvin dress, danced until dawn…literally until dawn. I think the redhead wanted us to seduce him but neither Jess nor I have the kind of relationship that can sustain a threesome.
I woke late on Sunday morning to the Gifford attempted assassination news and I was shocked back into the politics of my adopted home. It made me so angry.
Jess doesn’t really know anything about American politics…why should she?
On Sunday we decided to walk from the Hotel Amour in Pigalle to the Tour Eiffel..we let the dog off leash in the Tuilleries and he scampered after the pigeons whilst we enjoyed the view.
Crossed the Seine at the Assemblee National, walked past the brand new Musée du quai Branly, dedicated to indigenous art from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Commissioned by Jacques Chirac and designed by Jean Nouvel the building is unbelievably gorgeous even though the gardens looked a bit scrappy.
A hop skip and a jump later and there we were at the Eiffel Tower.
I hadn’t realized that there was a small lake almost directly under the tower.
We walked back over the river to the Trocadero and sat in Carette, drank hot chocolate ate delicious macaroons…my favorite being the raspberry. There was so much to see. Young people jumping up and down on the back tire of their bicycles, break dancers from Senegal, all sorts of kids, all very well dressed…kids dancing and singing and providing a lively, entertainment which was both unexpected and free.
We both remarked just how much freer the French are. Free to enjoy their lives. As much as I am loathed to admit it the English are becoming more like the Americans…plagued by petty resentments and very controlling.
I am sure that the French have their problems too but hey, I can’t understand enough to engage with their shit.
Sitting there I was reminded of an incident years ago…with John Jermyn, latterly The Marquis of Bristol. Frustrated by the traffic and eager to get to the other side of the Seine he drove in his Range Rover down that huge flight of steps through the Palais de Chaillot that lead from Trocadero to the Eiffel Tower.
I don’t remember being arrested. I wasn’t driving. I was also in the car when John tried shooting a man from his range Rover on the Place de la Concord. That was scary. John died of aids and heroin.
We walked back up the Champs Elyse and through Place Vendome until we were safely home.
We loved staying at the Hotel Amour. The staff are super cool and very friendly, the food was excellent, I LOVED my little room. They treated the little dog like their very own little dog and there were Kiel’s products in the bathroom.
Unlike my time in France with Jake, Jessie would open her purse and gladly pay her share. In fact, as a most lovely gift, she paid for our chocolate and macaroons at Carette.
The entire trip proved to be a most wonderful surprise.
Sunday night we had a quiet dinner with our smooth skinned red-headed boy. I was in bed at 11…my legs were killing me from having walked so far (nearly 7 miles) and the magical night before at The Baron.
Jess and I decided to put on our best togs, book into the coolest hotel we could find (Hotel Amour) and spend the weekend in Paris.
I woke early on Dean Street and to my delight a young man popped over to say a sweet goodbye. He stayed a few minutes. His lithe, hairless, Irish body for my delectation.
I packed…a punch and my suitcase. After a HUGE English breakfast, we were on the train to Dover. When we got there however, this grey miserable Kentish town, we realized that we had missed our last train from Calais to Paris.
Good naturedly we decided to press on and agreed that once on the boat we would ask if anyone, by any chance, was going to Paris and could we cadge a lift?
Well, one might think that would be a hard task to accomplish. Initially it was. I sent Jess (red tight sweater, full lips) to schmooze the lorry drivers but they were mostly Polish so immune to her pigeon French and hand gestures. She cut no ice with these gruff eastern Europeans.
Whilst she was gesticulating wildly and grinning like the Joker at fat men…I met a beautiful 24 year old soldier called Nick with blue eyes and the sweetest nature. Surprise, surprise!
Nick hung out with us for the duration and I couldn’t stop thinking about him…he was/is gorgeous.
Anyway, finally, we found a British coach driver with abnormally bad teeth, pallid complexion and a weasily midland disposition called Leigh. He wanted our cash so we willingly handed over 200 euros for a lift to Paris. What he failed to tell us was that the majority of the other passengers on the coach were so drunk that they could not sit squarely in their seats, farted continually and made conversations that made even me blush. Not because they were lewd but because they were so puerile.
I have not been in such ghastly company for ages. Jess described them as ‘pond life’.
They all suffered, like children, from the disease of more. More food, more alcohol..and of course Penny from Wolverhampton, sitting directly behind me could not think of anything but her suppurating vagina as she tried hopelessly to blow one man and coax another into the bathroom..neither of whom would have anything to do with her.
Penny (Pennoy) then grabbed my head and told me to look at her. I said, “Have you met my wife?” She then leapt out of her seat to kiss Jess, her alcohol sodden body falling onto my poor, sober friend.
Anyway, seething with resentment, my jaw clenched for three hours we finally disgourged in Paris…as it happens a few kilometers from out hotel so, in a few surprisingly short moments, we were eating delicious cheese and drinking Badoit before falling into a deep and deserved sleep.
I slept with Jess because of a room issue. She does not snore, fart or talk in her sleep. I, on the other hand, could not stop thinking about my blond squaddy and what I would do with him if it was he and not her laying beside me.
The room issue is now resolved…so perhaps…nah…well…maybe.
Today we shopped. Collette, Lanvin, Comme…etc. My post tumour life. We ate lunch at Costes. Hanging out with Jess is so much fun. Last time I was here I was with the HIM who I rather cruelly but accurately described as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille the guy from the novel Perfume in my vlog.
Slinking behind me like a crippled, foul-smelling, dwarf.
New Years Eve ended up being more active than I planned.
After a leisurely dinner at home Carol, Marc and I drove to Herne Bay, the next village east along the Kent coast, and dropped in on my photographer friend Dylan Woolf who’d organized a huge NYE party with dinner and fireworks for a hundred or more local people.
Dylan’s sister Julia and her husband Sim (edited Shrek and Nanny McPhee) are old friends and have the most gorgeous house in LA. Julia is very funny so I hung out with her almost all of the evening. Delighted to see an old teacher of mine, Peter Latham (Julia and Dylan’s uncle) and his kids…great to spend time with all of them.
Rather amazingly I bumped into Easterly and Matt Cox who are Kent aristocrats and the cousins of my local nemesis Susanna Atkins. Not only were they rather incredibly at this party but, as it turns out, have just bought the pile opposite Dylan…the hugest architectural gem of a house, faced with flint, wide floor boards, elegant architrave, quirky crenellations and gothic mullions. It is a mesmerizing puzzle of a derelict house with Victorian additions to a Georgian frame. Huge potential and a million headaches.
Heavily pregnant Easterly is on her way to India for an adventure before the baby is born.
Great to see them..we snuck away and celebrated a quiet 12 o’clock in their vaulted, semi derelict, drawing-room away from the herd. They handed me a piece of Christmas cake that was so laced with rum I couldn’t eat it…and then quoted one line from my blog that always makes them laugh out loud when ever they say it: “Yum Fucking Yum!” (Haloooween)
It’s very English to live on a building site with two babies and one on the way whilst you are renovating an historic home. I totally admire their guts but wouldn’t expect anything less.
New Years Day has been, thus far, just as one would expect…eclectic.
My friend Georgina who owns the Copeland House B&B where Nicola stayed last week had staffing issues. She has been so incredibly kind to me since I arrived ferrying me to the hospital etc. so I gladly got up early to help her out of a tight spot this morning. I was in the kitchen at 8am peeling smoked salmon onto plates and filling the tea urn.
Georgina told me that her friend Pauline the barrister found the gay references in my blog ‘sickening’. A little bit of friendly advice Pauline…if you don’t like it..don’t read it…you homophobic cow. Next time I see you in the high street…walk the other way.
Two faced hag. You’d think with two faces she’d have learned how to put on make up?
After helping Georgina we headed off to Pamela Leung’s and her husband for a new years breakfast party. Pamela is an amazing, world-class ceramicist. I couldn’t help myself from buying a very beautiful sculpture to celebrate the new year and the sale of my Cindy Sherman which made three times what I paid for it.
Pamela’s work: mythic creatures, allegories, thick glazes, exquisitely modeled. Will take picture before I leave tomorrow.
After our wonderful breakfast (full english) we decided to drive to Margate to see David Chipperfield‘s new Turner Contemporary Gallery on the harbour. It is DISGUSTING. It looks at best like a supermarket at worst like a neo-brutalist nuclear power plant. Admittedly it isn’t finished but the scale, choice of materials are just so at odds with the landscape.
It is neither challenging nor audacious…it is simply a big glass blob that Chipperfield obviously asked his tea boy to design while he was doing something more prestigious.
We drank hot chocolate and ate perfect Victoria Sponge at The Mad Hatters on Love Lane. If you ever find yourself in Margate on a wet New Years Day…there’s no better way to spend it.
Fell asleep in the car on the way home with little dog on my lap and Alan Bennett on the Radio.
Actress Fay Ripley has moved into the house opposite my old place. Saw her today in the most elegant shearling coat and big glasses. Celebrities stalk my home town…jabbering away loudly on mobile phones.
Even the little houses beyond the High Street that I never thought would be interesting to London people are now 300k and never on the market for longer than a few weeks.
Recession? Where is it?
I am still really pleased I sold both my houses.
I never really liked the Peter Cushing house (number 3 Seaway Cottages) it was large and draughty and I think I must have been to the beach maybe twice in 13 years. The beach was the front garden..but I am not a beach man.
I really loved the other house (number 2 Seaway Cottages), the house next door that I renovated from scratch. It looked superb by the time I finished with it.
I poked my nose through the door yesterday and the Anthony Gormley coat pegs are still in place. The rather beautiful kitchen lamps have been replaced by ugly, modern, cheap looking, brushed aluminum sconces. Everything else is just as I left it. The fig tree in the garden has been severely pruned as it should be.
I had an unfortunate incident on Sunday night. Went to see my friend Cathy for dinner but she was so drunk I turned on my heels and left the house.
Last night, through a genuine blizzard, walked to an NA meeting. I looked like a snow man when I got there. Expecting the worst (crack addicts) but instead met with a group of sober people with surprisingly good, modern recovery.
It was great.
Sometimes I think that NA has more to do with SAA than AA. The Step work and traditions of NA as written in the Green and Gold Book have really appropriate text for addicts of any kind sex/drugs/drink.
I had lots to write about the past couple of days but…the memories escape me right now.
Long walks with the little dog around the golf course. Tea with Georgina and family. Sunday lunch time went to the Monument Pub and ate roast pork with crackling. Entertained myself with the Monument Football Team who are all, every single one..to a man…GORGEOUS.
Ate home-made pate today for lunch with Carol before she crawled into her workshop…you know she’s a potter? A ceramicist?
Back in LA Ashley tells me that the waterfall that thunders under the Malibu house drive is thundering nicely. By the time I get back the garden will be a jungle. I was worried that the new road would be washed away. I bloody hope not.
The sun’s gone dim,
The moon’s turned black,
For I loved him,
He didn’t love back.
21/12/09 – 21/12/10 Adieu my darling.
I am sitting at my architect friend Keith’s house in the most unlikely location – Deptford. An unruly, charmless, largely destroyed by Nazi bombs area of South East London. His tiny terraced house a laboratory for the work that has defined his career.
After 10 years of messing about with the house…it is finally finished.
We drove to Shoreditch for another wander around the back streets and do a little Christmas shopping. The shops are heaving with customers. There is NO evidence of a recession here. I bought a huge Christmas pudding from St John’s and some great socks. Everything else that we wanted to buy, like a sweater in All Saints, was irritatingly sold out.
We had lunch at Shoreditch House where I bumped into Robert. I knew I would. Very handsome.
Ate gorgeous traditional Sunday roast beef. Dog in a bag under the table.
Last night Carol and I walked to our local labour politician’s Christmas party. It is amazing how they, like so many local Whitstable people, read this blog. I am delighted! Our host and his wife are good, old-fashioned socialists..the sort McCarthy and now Sarah Palin HATES.
Surely I couldn’t possibly be surrounded by so many devilishly intelligent left wingers who were, like me, excited by the wholly unexpected political reinvigoration of the young we saw last week in London? This, after so many years of inertia from our traditionally vocal students.
We salute you British students and urge you to continue to daub, poke, shout..etc. I give you permission to make this government as uncomfortable as you possibly can.
Apparently the mad, bad Duchess of Cornwall was ‘poked with a stick’ by a demonstrator. It was positively revolutionary! Tim’s great friend David Gilmour‘s son was photographed hanging off the cenotaph (our national war memorial) great! Polly and David are very embarrassed, the son, apparently…isn’t.
The Duchess of Cornwall poked with a stick..like something dead in the road.
What else have I been up to? Good God…the most beautiful man in Wheelers last night. A cabby from Essex. 29 years old, navy blue eyes and the reddest lips. I resisted taking his number but I know for sure that once a path is crossed it will cross again. He was beautiful. We chatted on Whitstable High Street and you know when a man looks directly into your eyes…you know that feeling.
What else? Went to local farmer’s market and bought a shoulder of goat for dinner this week.
Keith, when we got home this evening, gave me a pot of Medlar jelly that he made with fruit he found at a friends country house..it had a wonderful taste. Another strange coincidence ? Only this week I learned what a medlar was. Now I have a pot of it.
We ate stilton and delicious Christmas cake made by his boy friend of six years.
Driving to Paris tomorrow to get rid of car as the hospital treatment kicks in on Tuesday. Can’t say that I am looking forward to it but hey ho.
Stopping over in Phoenix. The very best thing about this airport..free wi-fi. Genuinely free. Flight to Arizona on route to Burbank. Excruciatingly early flight from Newark, but Newark seems so much closer to Manhattan than JFK. It only took 15 mins. to get from the East Village to bag drop off in the rather elegantly designed 70’s terminal.
The flight promised to be bumpy but is anything but. Smooth, calm, good coffee and cute neighbors.
Woke up early yesterday. Too early. Walked around Tompkin Square Park with the dog who just freezes when ever he sees a squirrel, transfixed by so many squirrels in the trees. Once in the park he sits rather regally with me and refuses to run around with other dogs unless there is some sort of barking palava going on and then he’ll join in.
I met a very sweet man in the dog park yesterday, Greg. He has a wire-haired puppy, incredibly good-looking with big brown eyes. Greg or the dog? New York is chock full of very sexy looking people and dogs.
On the walk home from the West Village to the East Village last night I was stopped by a very nice man who chatted with me and Dan and gave me his email address. It is so very good for the soul to be noticed, looked at, validated – although I must keep that sort of behavior in check. I imagine that the hunt for a bf is on again.
So, what of the mysterious travelling companion? The one who loathes me writing about him? Well, we are friends I suppose! He is very supportive and helpful and encouraging. He is off with his parents enjoying his family vacation. That’s all there is to say. We will see. No plans to see each other any time soon.
I think that the little dog may just have farted..though I think it may be the humans in the row in front. I spoke too soon about how comfortable this flight is.
Yesterday, after Greg and the dog park and coffee with Anna at Mud I had a busy day in the city. I had morning meeting with auction house about selling the rest of my art, stopped in at Alexander McQueen and tried on a pair of terribly expensive trousers that I could not justify buying. Dogs still interdit at Soho House so had lunch with Michael at the dog friendly Mercer, we bumped into Nadine Johnstone and her PR crew then randomly Meg Ryan who I had met at TED event last year. That woman needs a job! She looks great.
After lunch I had a quick nap, took dog for walk, had first of two dinners at the Hummus Place then met Dan over on West 4th for second dinner.
When I opened my email I found an offer to perform in another film! Two in as many months. I dare not think about acting as a late start career as it can be so painfully, miserably tough. Actually, talked about just this issue with John Lyons last night. He is off to London today to see Cary F’s director’s cut of Jane Eyre. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that screening.
Anyway, let’s talk about me being an actor. If I pull it off and make a career from it I would have come full circle as that, my dear readers, is how I started. I am certainly unable to write at the moment. I need to get out of my head and be a human doing rather than a human being. Thinking too much causes me too much sadness and perhaps this writer’s block is just a sign! Gods way of getting me out of the house and away from my laptop.
I really did speak too soon! The flight is bumpy. Yuk.
Just spilled water all over my lap top which after a few shakes is now working again. So clumsy today. All over the place.
Firstly, I have to tell you THIS: The NYC heat is frying my brain.
Now, I must tell you this:
I have been sitting on/keeping from you an insane and shocking moment the past couple of months. I just didn’t know how or if I should even mention it.
One of my freaky Hollywood neighbors text me after we had dinner before I left California asking if I had ever ‘been intimate with the little dog?’ it was NOT a joke.
He intimated that he had ‘feelings’ for his kitten.
I really didn’t know what to do.
I urged him to get help.
This is just one of the many reasons I don’t want to go back to LA. I missed my flight – overslept. Had to buy another ticket. It’s all the same. There must be more insane/lonely/desperate people per square mile in LA than any other city in the USA.
I know that this might sound a bit racist but every time a Korean looks at the little dog I wonder if they are thinking what sauce they would eat him with. Once, outside the Mud Cafe on 9th a Korean told me with a smug smile that she could not understand our absurd preoccupation with an animal that they grill.
Saw the Kids are Alright yesterday evening with Amelia. We had a lovely lunch in Williamsburg. We made plans after her genius performance at Joe’s Pub the previous night. I had to walk over the boiling hot Williamsburg Bridge as it was unexpectedly closed to traffic. Walking over the bridge made it all the more exciting adventure.
After our lovely lunch in Williamsburg– omelets and watermelon/mint juice we, Amelia and I hunted the shops for exciting sale items. I bought socks and underwear at the 70% off Paul Smith Shop.
This is the performance from the night before:
Saw Amelia perform Lady Rizo with Jake. He loved the show.
Afterwards we hung with Amelia and her husband at a small bar on Lafayette.
The following afternoon me and Jake bid our adieu. I have absolutely no idea if or when we will see each other ever again. We have not made plans. We will see each other if it feels right I suppose.
Last night, the streets were boiling hot and humid. At night the thunder, lightning and torrential rain cool everything down for a few glorious moments.
Anyway, The Kids are Alright: Annette Benning is marvelous in Lisa’s movie. A totally convincing alcoholic dyke. The other performances were wonderful too but Benning’s was by far my favorite..and there again was Mia Wasikowska! Our Whitstable lunch condiment. I assume she is well on her way to getting an Oscar, possibly next year?
Julianne Moore lacked control in A Single Man, her talent all over the place like a prolapsed labia. Compare that asinine performance with the very genuine, tight..measured performance in the Kids Are Alright. I would have preferred Olivia Williams of course but who the hell wouldn’t?
My ONLY gripe with the movie was the wholly unresolved issue of Ruffalo’s character who just vanished in a puff of metrosexual angst, ferociously seen off by Benning’s well observed impression of an alpha male. Unfairly berating Ruffalo on her doorstep, telling him that he was an ‘interloper’.
He was the sperm donor. After all they had been through, he should have been included in the family at the end of the movie. The kids wanted a relationship with him. It seemed unfair and churlish to jettison his character..although probably quite realistic. After all, it was they that contacted him. Moore who seduced him, Benning who suggested the ill-fated dinner at his house etc. etc.
I wish, when I had found my real dad he had been like Mark Ruffalo rather than the lying villain on offer.
Somebody suggested that if it had been a straight couple who had cheated with a surrogate mother..would the mother be part of the family? Well, if the kids wanted her..I suppose so. It posed many interesting and complex questions about what family means. What it could mean.
I loved everything about this exquisitely crafted movie but one thing above everything else totally blew me away: all of the characters took turns being the persecutor/rescuer/victim. Genius. There was so much at stake for all of them.
Saturday after the movie met Ian at Soho House NYC, which was jammed with gays. One particularly drunk, gay in swim short was making a total fool of himself. He should have been chucked out but everyone was a bit scared of the repercussions I think. Ate pork chops. Took cab to The Phoenix, a gay bar in East Village. Drank sickly diet coke. Met 20-year-old Persian boy. Nice for the ego.
This morning I saw Mike Z, a friend from LA, at the park whilst walking our dogs. Now I am waiting on him to come pick me up for lunch. He may forget. I am really hungry. Ravenous.
Ended up eating polish sausage on my own. Never trust a drinker to do what they agree to do.
Busy week ahead. No idea what’s in store. All I know is that once I get home I am going directly to the new road to see it being built. I can’t wait.