Archives for posts with tag: Benoit Denizet-Lewis

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.

guy-piggy-bank-main

Here is petulant Zac Bissonnette, shaking down a pig for Glamour magazine.  His new book, Good Advice From Bad People, is a collection of poorly collated quotes by people we would rather forget.

Last year, after reading a post on the Facebook wall of dog book and minorities writer/teacher Benoit Denizet-Lewis, I had the misfortune to run into Zac Bissonnette (too many consonants, no?).

Gay Benoit is a brilliant writer, why he lauds Zac Bissonnette is a mystery to me.  Unless… of course… Gay Zac’s flaxen hair and youthful spirit and perfect teeth… no… that just couldn’t be.

Anyway, I read the essay by Zac that Benoit posted on his ‘wall’ and frankly… it wasn’t very good.  So.  I said.  Under the post… in the comments section: ‘this isn’t very good’.

Zac, in-between reading Facebook, counting the money that will keep him from moving in with his parents if everything fails, moisturizing his perfect creamy skin, preening his immaculate coiffeur and appropriating Bernie Madoff quotes… found the time to have an old-fashioned shit fit.  Apparently, not uncommon for Zac.

It turns out he is the Veruca Salt of financial self-help.  You remember her?  The demanding, selfish little kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who wants an Oompa Loompa but ends up with an ever lasting gob stopper.

Like most arrogant, entitled white american gays Zac didn’t take my mild criticism very well.  Within an hour or two Zac had sifted through the internet declaring me bankrupt, running a bad business and a bunch of other ‘designed to shame’ comments.  The one that pissed me off… you know, after having been abused for so many years, was his unsubstantiated accusation that I could be a child molester.

So.  This is who we are dealing with.  Zac gets some mild criticism and decides to accuse me of fucking children.

He is typical of his generation:  young, white gay men.  I meet them all the time.  Prone to tantrums, relying on their good looks and minimal talent.  When challenged they accuse anyone over 40 of pedophilia.  They have run out of credible insults.  Accusing a gay man of pedophilia masks two horrible truths.  Firstly, people like Zac are terminally ageist.  Secondly, puerile Zac feels ‘abused’ by anyone he considers stupid enough to challenge his ideal self.

He accuses me of pedophilia because he thinks of himself as an innocent little boy.  He feels my criticism like he imagines a child feels a rapists penis.  He suffers from crippling denial, like many gay men, denial that he is no longer a child and terrified that he will become an old man.  After all, what is he without his youth?  This particular denial runs rampant throughout his poorly educated, right-wing generation.

Not taking his pedophile accusations very well I challenged Zac on twitter to say publicly what he had accused me of privately.   He rather wisely refused.  He told me I was harassing him… even though he had contacted me!   Then, after a change of heart, he told me that he wanted to talk to me.  He said, “I think it’s better by phone. . . I promise I’m really nice on the phone.” He gave me his home phone number but told me not to call him at 3am.  Here is his number for those of you who might want to get to know Zac better… lolz… do you dare me?

I’m not going to call Zac Bissonnette… because he is an idiot.  How much of an idiot? Check his ‘financial advice’ in Glamour magazine. Advice so moronic and condescending only a man in a tight gray tee-shirt could have gotten away with it.  Perhaps the folk at Glamour thought Zac’s pecs would distract women from what he had written?

My good advice to you, Zac?  From this bad person?   Grow the fuck up.

P.S.  According to the World Health Organization 7 out of every 1000 American babies die before they are a year old.  Sadly, Zac wasn’t one of them.

oompa-loompa-2

Enhanced by Zemanta

My Pink Shoes

1.

Mark Carson was a black man and a gay man. He did not have the luxury of invisibility.

When he was shot in the head yesterday, he was already walking away from the man with a gun.

He was killed moments from where Joe and I lived on 13th Street in the West Village, NYC.

He went down fast.

This story is peculiarly American. It includes race, guns and queers.

The narrative is so familiar I am no longer shocked.

In London a white queer couple are walking home arm in arm. They are beaten to the ground.

We can kid ourselves that our ‘visibility’ has somehow made things better, that Glee and Will and Grace have improved LGBTQ functionality but frankly… that’s the lie we tell ourselves to get by.

To walk the streets.

Holding my lovers hand in the street is still an act of rebellion.

2.

The rate of HIV infection is still epidemic, around 45-50,000 new cases every year, 60% of those are gay or bisexual men.

AIDS education has not served to change the attitude in the general GBTQ population to bring those numbers down.

That is the cold hard truth.

No use dragging in references to children in Africa. The causes are preventable here amongst Americans.

The immune defense systems of many people are compromised and therefore vulnerable to deadly viruses such as the new strain of meningitis.

I fully support my GBTQ community, but I must also defend and uphold the bare truth:  people in America want what they want when they want it.

They don’t care to understand that they are living off the principal instead of the interest.

3.

When Jake and I were in Paris we sat on the Terrace of the Hotel Mama Shelter.  We were dining,  holding hands and kissing.

During a tumultuous and difficult relationship it was a moment of tender kindness.

From a window high above where we were lounging a man called out:  “Pede!”

Jake didn’t speak French.  He, thankfully, did not understand that we were being insulted.  “Faggot!”

I expected something to be thrown.  A shot to ring out.  My life felt threatened.

I wrapped my arms protectively around him.  Just in case.  I loved him so.

If you are queer.  You know what I am talking about.

If you are black, a muslim… anything other than a straight white male. You know what I am talking about.

You know that feeling very well.

4.

They want to march the street tonight.  They want to hold a vigil for Mark Carson.  They want to fight back.  But, what exactly are you fighting when you fight back?

The young men who want to hurt us, to kill us… are just doing what they understand: they are identifying the enemy and bringing it down.

To some they are patriots.

They are heroes from another age.

They do not understand our rarefied world because we have not done enough to explain it to them.

What do they know about us?  We may seem like a grandiose secret society… like the Scientologists or The Masonic Order and like any other secret society… we pose a threat.

We have done nothing to make our position clear except demand to oppress by joining historically oppressive institutions: the military and marriage.

They may have every good reason to hate us because they think we have everything and they have nothing.

They think we are rich, successful, they think we are celebrities… or connected to celebrity.

In this TV Quick world they see us living a dream. Why? Because we have sold them this in an attempt to seem ‘normal’.

5.

Dinner at Nobu. What a mess. Had to concentrate solely on my dining companion and not get side tracked by huge black eyebrows drawn onto Botox faces, short men with pony tails and overly developed biceps.

The creamy snow crab was delicious.

The crowd was not.

6.

My friend Benoit Denizet-Lewis has brought down Abercrombie and Fitch… a gay empire.

The morbidly obese, trapped in their mid west homes, are lifting their fat fingers and tapping one key at a time… declaring their outrage.

But, the rest of you… the gays… Mike Jeffries is gay… what did you expect?

Jeffries made a fortune from Bruce Weber’s homoerotic (bordering on pedophilia) A&F ad campaigns and the gays kept their mouths firmly shut.

What did you think that Weimar Nazi imagery was all about?

Did you see those highly collectible A&F catalogues now owned by all my gay friends?

Who complained that there were no fat models, no wheelchair bound kids frolicking in Bear Pond?

Now that Mike Jeffries is old, his face scarred with reconstructive surgery his very common gay obsession with youth and beauty is suddenly in bad taste?

HUH?

Perhaps fat people should stop eating if they want to wear hideous A&F clothing.

As for the guy who gave the stuff to homeless people. WTF? Ha Ha Ha. Not funny or clever or LIBERAL.

7.

Why isn’t the LIBERACE movie being distributed in the USA?

Why can you see this movie in European cinemas and not here?

I am told that very powerful gays here in Hollywood scuppered it.

It was they who described it as ‘too gay’ (camp) and inappropriate for audiences in the USA who might think we were all like Liberace.

In this ghastly straight acting world… we don’t want straight people to get the wrong idea.

God forbid… sportsman might not want to come out of the closet and be heroes.

7.

Today, at Gjelina, we sat next to 3 good-looking, rich, straight Russian boys on vacation from Moscow.

We charmed them. They thought I was so funny and sweet.

As we left I drained the smile off my face. I touched one of them gently on the shoulder.

I said very seriously, “When you go home can you tell your President to stop killing the gays.”

They laughed. They thought I was joking. After all, I had three beautiful women friends for lunch.

“No, I mean it… it’s really got to stop and it’s up to you.”

They looked foolish and embarrassed and that was good because the last thing you need when you are a rich, white Russian on vacation in LA are liberals making fun of your country… your government and you.

Most gays wouldn’t have bothered. But that’s the way you change the world.

Let them know it’s not OK.

8.

The 14-year-old son of state Sen. Brian Hatfield has been charged with four counts of first-degree child rape and four counts of first-degree child molestation in Lewis County.

The boy is accused of assaulting an 11-year-old boy from November 2012 until Feb. 14 of this year, when the younger boy’s mother interrupted an incident.

According to the police report, the mother informed detectives Hatfield told her on several occasions that he was attempting to ‘enter his son into therapy’ and would also be contacting authorities in Lewis County.

The mother stated that she knows that this has ‘not occurred’.

Neither parent called authorities at that time of the alleged incident and the mother said she had not ‘witnessed any physical contact’ between the boys.

Her son informed her some contact had occurred, but the boy later told detectives he didn’t reveal the full extent of the ‘abuse’ at that time.

The two boys had no further contact after the February incident.

Was this the love affair I remember when I was 11?  

Is this pubescent messing around or… rape?

Homo sex demonized by frightened parents?

There’s something so wrong about this story and it’s not the sex.

8.

Marriage equality would not have saved Mark Carson’s short life.

The cloak of equality he may have worn later on in life was not his to wear.

Joining the army may have paid for his education… but would not have saved his life.

Marriage equality would not get him to the hospital in time.  It would not have paid the hospital bills if he had lived.

Marriage equality would not have stopped the deathly glances of those who disapprove or those who thought he might rob them because he was black.

I am praying that Mark Carson took the bullet intended for this old faggot.

Mark… I shed a tear for you today.

This is What Homophobia Looks Like

Beaten in London Walking Home

Benoit Denizet-Lewis has been staying. He’s writing a book about dogs. He has driven from Boston in a huge RV with his dog Casey.

In Northern Arizona he found another big, black dog, a stray he called Rez on an Indian reservation. Her nipples torn from a recent litter, she had a bladder infection and a bad ear but he, with Cesar Millan‘s help, put her back together again.

It’s been very busy at Chez Duncan.

Lady Rizo is in town so we saw her show on Sunday night. Her debut LA show, she had to quickly tailor it for the austere LA audience. By the end of the set she had them eating out of her hand.

Sans follow spot, her work cut out for her, she did a miraculous job. Special guest Moby had the audience rippling with excitement.

Twins had their birthday…can’t remember if I’ve already written about that? Anyway, it was a miserable afternoon (storm clouds) but we had a great time and I cooked a huge feast. They moved out of my house the following day and into their new apartment in Hollywood.

I’ve seen quite a bit of Robby..of course..since then but little of Miles who is busily writing a documentary about (from what I’ve been told) attraction.

I testified downtown at City Hall before the city deputies. Prison Violence. I told them what I had witnessed at the Men’s County Jail. They, in turn, asked questions.  They looked at me very curiously, peering over their lecture.

One of them had read the Richard Rushfield piece in the LA Weekly and quoted it.

I left down town, the fierce heat, drove over to Robby’s house and fell asleep on his sofa. I found it all very exhausting.

On Saturday I went to Honor Fraser‘s galleryon La Cienega to see the hightly anticipated Kenny Scharf show. He was in fine spirits. Showing good new work, performance art by Ann Magnuson and a great crowd.

Sam McEwan flew from London. We are all looking old….apart from Honor who just looks more wonderful and chic…wearing Alaia.

“Hodgepodge,” featured paintings, sculptures, and a Cosmic Cavern installation.

The centerpiece, a gaudy customized Cadillac served as Ann Magnuson’s stage for her performance work “Finism”.

First performed in 1984 the piece was fresh, enticing and, of course, very funny.

I liked the picnic table with an atomic mushroom cloud exploding from it that forms a parasol.

“Hodgepodge” runs until May 19.

Wish I hadn’t sold my Scharf. What a moron I am.

Then, rather amazingly, I bumped into Marius Bercea the artist showing next door at the Francois Ghebaly Gallery.  He reminded me that we had met at the Cluj Film Festival in Romania a decade ago.

He was just a kid who took me back to his studio.

I remember being impressed, writing about him in my diary, now look at him. We sat outside the gallery and smoked cigarettes and ate doughnuts off the Cadillac parked at the back of the Scharf show.

Lunch with Mike Manning, his super smart sexy boy friend and Fielder. Mike has tiny eyebrows.

Thankfully, since my AA Big Book burning tirade most of my AA friends have unfriended me on FaceBook saving me the time and effort. I think my blog has caused some amusement and consternation…judging by the number of people reading it. Fuck AA LA.

I’ll write at length some other time about my years in LA AA, the cult with a smiley face.

Look at the gorgeous things from the Out of The Box Collective vegetable delivery. The spring flower box. Delicious.

The small screening room on Greenwich Street in Tribeca was packed with worthy NYC based gays.  Sweaty, moustached Gawker hacks.  Vanity Fair worthies.  Fledgling, GQ wet mouthed boys.

A fairly obvious NYC taste making, career determining gay crowd skillfully imported for the screening by Adam Kersh, the eager beaver publicist.

I arrived with Benoit Denizet-Lewis and the Little Dog stuffed into his traveling bag.

I had heard ahead of time that The Weekend by Andrew Haigh was ‘severely flawed’, so not to expect much.

Immediately it started I was drawn (homesick) into the spare, urban, British landscape.  Set in the east Midland town of Nottingham.  The neo-brutalist, ex-council estate provides a gritty working class back drop for this very British film.

The concrete tower blocks and congested ring roads determining the drama as much as the delicious dialogue.

It’s Friday night and Glen and Russell have met for the first time.   They do what so many of us do…pack an entire relationship into one weekend.

Russell, late twenties, is a charming, meticulous man who likes ‘old things’.  He never came out to his parents because, as a foster kid, he never knew them.  Glen, a more experienced, angry man (also in his late twenties) has been severely hurt by a lying, cheating ex lover and is unwilling to let himself believe that he can love again.

They burn through the weekend with passion, drugs and frantic conversation.  They fuck and suck and talk and snort and smoke and gaze.  Like so many gay men they are just trying to work it all out, what it means, where they are going…who they are.  In less adept hands these long, rambling conversations might have seemed pretentious, stilted or boring but Andrew Haigh is a skilled film maker and there is a palpable tension throughout the film that made it compelling and at times…glorious.

Americans have exalted the performances which are indeed pitch perfect but as a Brit I really wouldn’t expect anything less.  These actors are trained at what they do.  It never amazes me when I see a good British actor do his thing.  I expect it.

Americans slaver over the ‘realism’.

When the film ended Benoit introduced me to the nay sayer.

“You thought the film was bad?’  I asked him.  He nodded.  “You’re an idiot.”  I snapped.

The Weekend is an elegant, charming portrait of something many of us do and few of us bother remembering let alone shaping into a work of art.  The film could be defined by the small amount of money that made it.  Static shots, minimal coverage etc. but it shouldn’t.

If you have the inclination, please see this film.

We headed to Spring Street where the after party took place at ex pat Nick Denton‘s (owns Gawker) large Soho loft.

The gays settled into their cocktails.  They talked about the film, were amused by the differences.  “Nobody ever made me a cup of coffee and brought it to me in bed.”  one sneered.

I thought to myself, how sad, I love a cup of tea or coffee in bed after a long night of passion.

The gays noticed the instant coffee.  I noticed the saucers.

They didn’t understand British drug nuance.  Bowl verses rolled joint.  They were a little taken aback by the real bodies of two ordinary men who obviously don’t spend hours in the gym.

Nobody really talked about the conversations these men were having.

I met the director Andrew Haigh who knew my films and was very sweet to me.

We talked about The Film Council, BAFTA etc.  It is a delight to see him doing so well.  Being so well received.  We talked about how they gush over you when you first arrive in America.  Their compliments seem disingenuous.

We laughed that at home in Britain both of us were told that our work wouldn’t ‘mean anything’ to anyone other than ourselves. That’s what they say at home…then suddenly you’re at Sundance and they change their minds.

We both won the Outfest audience award.

I was proud of him.  I know what it feels like to make that first film.  To have it well received.

There is a moment when the two men, in bed facing one another, role-play a ‘coming out’ for Russell who doesn’t have parents.  It is touching and beautiful.

After the after party I took the Little Dog home and then uncharacteristically decided to go out again.

I hung at The Standard with Benoit’s gorgeous friends and drank expensive diet coke.  It was total freak night at The Bain.  Like a Nina Hagen tribute party.   I flirted with the beautiful blond, met a photographer I thought I knew.  Two black boys came up to me and asked if I was ‘Duncan from the ‘A’ List New York’.

The view over Manhattan from that roof top is sublime.

I took a cab home at 2am.

I was glad that I had met Russell and Glen.

I had identified with both of them and had healed for doing so.

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.

20110703-112718.jpg

Alexi Muniak at Cafe Gitane

Another day with Benoit and his boyfriend in NYC.  Benoit read the Abercrombie and Fitch essay from his book American Voyeur at the Powerhouse Arena in Dumbo.  It was very funny.  The guy who owns Abercrombie sounds like a total nutter.  After the event we all ate dinner at the Lesbian owned restaurant Superfine near where I shot Dorian Gray.  I ate a pork chop and lentil soup.  It was delicious.

I thought I was leaving NYC today but I made a mistake so I’m actually leaving tomorrow.

It was hard not to spend the day remembering Donny-my dead friend.   My friend who killed himself.  I spoke to other men who knew him and it was difficult not to say, “I told you so.” Because I’d known all along that Donny would succeed one day.  Like Heath, DJ AM, Brad Renfrew and my other Hollywood chums who seemed hell bent on an early grave.

People who want to kill themselves become very determined once they set their mind on it.

Issie must have tried 5 times before she drank the weed killer.

I’ve always been a little bit scared of people who express an interest in suicide.  If they have so little regard for their own lives they might very well have little regard for yours, after all, they’re going to kill someone whether it’s themselves or you.

When I was in hospital during my mid twenties-after seeing all my friends die of AIDS-I had a mental breakdown and ended up in The Henderson Hospital in Sutton Surrey.  There was a sweet girl there called Sarah who wanted to kill herself and she was, like Donny, determined to do it.  Anyway, we were having a group meeting and I was sent up to her room by one of the nurses to get her and when I found her with slashed wrists, blood pumping everywhere.  She said, “I’ll be down in a minute, I’m just cleaning my room.”  She was dabbing at the great pools of blood with some tissue paper.

Had lunch with Alexi and his wife.  Bumped into Christian Coulson in Soho who was an actor and is now a photographer.  Had hair cut-not very well-at Freeman’s.   Alexi and I drank more coffee in Cafe Gitane in Nolita then, after a nap, met Benoit and crew in Dumbo at 7.  It was a full day overshadowed by the events of the preceding day.

Donny, my friend, killed himself last night.  He had struggled with sobriety, struggled to stay clean, struggled to stay out of trouble.  Handsome, sweet, kind-hearted Donny just couldn’t stay alive.  During the past 13 years I have lost many, many friends to the disease of addiction.   It is always tough to reconcile but their loss keeps the rest of us alive.   The truth is I always knew that one day this call would come and so remained aloof.  I learned early on not to totally give myself to those wedded to the idea of death.  The other men we know, who knew him, his friends my friends a community of sober men-are devastated.  I can be there for them.   I am there for you because you choose to live, to wake up every morning and face life on life’s terms.

I learned this shocking news at dinner last night.  Dinner with Benoit Denizet-Lewis, Lady Rizo, Rob Roth, Cooper and Benoit’s boyfriend Nick at Soho House.  We ate a $44 chicken.    Earlier in the day I had lunch with Pierre the general manager of Soho House New York and very old friend.  Recently in love he looks very happy and ten years younger.  We ate delicious cauliflower soup.

The recession touches all of our lives in some way or other and no more so in the home where I am staying.   My friend has been made redundant and after years of getting up and going into an office now finds himself carving an ersatz routine out of a long, jobless day.    It is particularly hard to watch as I feel utterly powerless and wish that I could do something to make it better.  A remarkably placid, gentleman my friend owned up to feeling very rageful in some situations when asked some sorts of questions about his predicament.

Benoit’s book event at the Gay and Lesbian Center on 13th Street was very enjoyable.  His new book American Voyeur is well worth reading.  He is a great essayist.  I particularly liked the experience of going into the Gay and Lesbian Center.  A warm hive of gay activity.  Benoit’s event, a dating workshop, some sort of dance workshop, a twelve step meeting, men and women hanging around reading on the stair.  It had a feeling of community, which is so sadly lacking in my gay experience.

Roque came to visit and it was lovely to finally meet him.

I still have not gotten around to having my haircut.  It looks very shaggy.

Ended Tuesday on the roof of the Standard Hotel overlooking the frozen river.  We were eating fascinating deserts in the Boom Boom Room.  It was a lyrical end to a tragic day.

Cooper and I shared a cab home.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,123 other followers