Monday morning. Brooklyn. The end of this particularly hard winter is nowhere in sight. In LA the sun shines over the glittering sea, in London my friends post pictures of balmy evenings in St James Park. I run from our place to sit in crowded coffee shops. I’m writing under a pseudonym nowadays for publications that love paying him/her but would never pay me. Funny. Doing what writers have always done: assuming different names for different opinions, different styles, different genres. Consequently, I don’t get to write my blog very often… as I traverse the continent once a month. From sea to shining sea. No one understands why I love driving 2,800 miles twice over once a month… but I do. The last trip was short and sweet. I stayed in LA a few days then drove back over the Rockies and into a 50 car wreck on the i80 a hundred miles east of Chicago on the Ohio Turnpike. Trapped on the side of the road for ten hours with two patient dogs and so many bad christian radio stations. Badly educated, right-wing bigots on the radio. Wondering out loud how they will roll back the rights of women and gays and undocumented workers, how they will keep hold of their white America. The America their ancestors battled to tame. I think about those early Americans very often as I drive over the Rockies, the hardship they suffered, the dreams they had… the cruelty they inflicted on those who lived on the land they took and the slaves they owned.
I tried sleeping in the car. Minus 6 degrees. Occasionally fellow travelers would stop by to see if we were okay. They offered cookies and consolation.
I’ve been with my boy for 8 months. We cook at home and watch bad make over TV. Every day our situation gets stronger as we over come our own and the prejudices of others. I realized that most of my male gay friends are single, even the ones with the best pedigrees. The ones who are good-looking and sweet and a ‘good catch’. I, of course, am none of those things. I am the bullet you need to dodge. That’s what they say. But the gays are eager to diss all of their friends burgeoning relationships. They are disparaging about anyone who may not be ‘ideal’. This ideal that keeps them single and lonely. They look at me sadly when they find out how old L is as if I am deluding myself that my relationship could ever work. Did I think it would work? Well, not in some fairy tale way, not the way gay writers write the perfect arrangement… the ideal. We muddle through, we miss each other when we are apart, we fight occasionally but not as much as we did when we first met. All in all, I’m happy and feel love from him and let my love flow… to him. That’s occasionally a very confusing and baffling thing for me. To let myself be loved.
In Des Moines, I met Kookie Kardashian… the morbidly obese (500lb), hirsute… older sister of Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian. She is the least known of the KKK Klan. Drinking alone in a dump of a hotel bar, reruns of KUWTK playing on the flickering TV above the tequila selection, staring absently into a soupy pina colada. Text messages remained unanswered as she pulls at her thin mustache. I introduce myself, she says she appreciates the company. Apparently, when the cameras are in her Calabasas house Kris makes her leave with the undocumented servants. Kris pokes her with a stick. Kookie said that Ryan Seacrest called her a ‘fat cunt’, that if she wanted to be on the show she should ‘get a fucking lap band’. Kookie, blinded by grief, drinks herself regularly into a blackout. She commandeered Kanye’s jet and took it to Iowa. Her brushed denim and patent leather Fendi bag stuffed with cash. If she loses the weight… Kris promised her that she and Rob can have their own show.
She told me she misses her dad.
Has anyone been watching the OWN Lindsay Lohan ‘documentary’? That girl is OUT OF HER MIND. A world without consequence will do that to you. A world where nobody has the guts to confront an addict and her worst defects. A world where she believes she is still important or relevant, a world where no one will tell her that death is imminent… like Heath, Phil, River… living in a room stuffed with clothes, jewelry… evidence of active addiction.
Despicably, this tragedy is being manipulated by entertainment industry matriarch Oprah Winfrey… the disingenuous bad mum who knew all along that her little girl would let her down. Oprah’s fake outrage is utterly disgusting.
The Little Dog is, as usual, very chill. He becomes more trusting as he gets older.
I spent two days in the hospital having a stent removed from my gall bladder. Yes, I did.
I had dinner with Fern Mallis… who, as you know, invented fashion week.
After dinner we decided to attend the Giorgio Armani One Night Only event.
When we arrived we were whisked off to meet Armani who refuses to speak english but spoke english to Fern… because Fern is a legend.
On Sunday we went to the doggy Halloween parade in Tompkins Square Park but we couldn’t be bothered to wait in line.
In Woodstock we met a man wearing a lovely sweater.
I met a friend of Wendy Asher’s.
The hedge fund billionaire who owned the apartment also owned a perfect Nakashima coffee table.
The lounge is perfectly beautiful and looks like the Beverly Hills Hotel interior on Acid.
This is my Halloween costume:
It is a paper napkin with two slits torn into it.
The following day I went back to Woodstock to look at a lake house I want to buy.
This is me and The Little Dog in the view taken by Angelo:
I spent most of last week staying with friends on Fire Island.
The Island community has all but vanished for the season. I spent my time writing and rewriting the script… exploring abandoned holiday houses and taking pictures of them.
I walked most days to the Canteen, a little coffee shop, and sat with a dwindling cast of island stragglers.
When I returned to the city I moved into my glorious apartment on Gramercy Park.
I am having a very Manhattan experience. Doormen, broken elevators, great views, little old lady neighbours.
The best thing about this apartment? It’s so damned cheap.
Returned to see Rufus Wainwright and support a friend’s charity.
I hung at SPiN with Franck and ate sliders and spicy chicken.
I was invited to the RRL Motorcycle party and sank into a mire of Americana.
Occasionally I would take the L to Brooklyn and see old friends.
All in all it has been a very easy return to Manhattan. Heading East. Heading in the right direction.
At some point I walked the dogs and eventually I made it to my bed.
There is a week of mayhem to report. A week of extraordinary conduct. A week of moving back east.
I can’t show you his face.
Only in NYC.
Then, I meet a woman who KNOWS all about my film. I mean, she knows the story like an urban myth. But it’s not a myth. It’s the sad truth.
“Oh, I know this story,” she said. Her eyes sparkling with anticipation. “I think he’s my friend on Facebook. Yes, look…” she pulls out her smart phone and there he is. I push the phone away. I shouldn’t be looking at that.
“What was he thinking?” she roars with laughter.
Women love my film. It confirms everything they think they know about men. The injustice of men.
Dead five-year olds. 20 of them.
The children are shot dead by a crazed, entitled white boy. The little bodies buried this week. Lined up against the wall and executed. You know they didn’t have a clue. You know they did as they were told.
I thought about the little dog facing the lethal injection.
A horrific pendant: ten Afghan children are splattered into the mud by a drone.
Somehow their little brown faces are missing from the media. Somehow the little white children in Connecticut are worth more.
We asked you to vote for him, now he’s letting us down all over again. Surprise, fucking surprise.
I saw a man being mugged on the 5 train. Into Manhattan, a stealthy, tall, nimble black man rips an iPhone 4s out of an asian man’s hands leaving him with his ear phones on his head. The rest of us sat amazed.
The white people urged him to call the police but he said, “I’m already late for work.”
I’m buying a parker. It’s lined with blood-red shearling. Like the monkey they found in Ikea.
Dinner in the neighborhood, dinner at the Mercer Kitchen with Courtney, dinner at the Standard Grill with Brock.
Dinner with Cristina who I have not seen for 30 years on the floor of her palatial Upper East Side home. It was as if all those 30 years just melted away. That we were friends again from last week. Funny, compelling, brilliant, beautiful Cristina.
Dinner with new gay AA friends in cheap diners.
Dinner at Mary’s Fish Camp with Benoit. We stop at Boxers (gay bar) on the way home. There’s nothing for us. Benoit peels off leaving me on the street and as I wait for the green light a handsome green eyed man says hello.
At first I wonder why. Why is this stunningly handsome 27-year-old man saying hello to me.
Then we’re in Barracuda kissing each other.
I’m wearing that huge fur hat.
I can’t kiss him any more. I can’t suck any more spit out of his mouth. I can’t look into his green eyes.
I am so overwhelmed by him I walk through the rain until I am soaked to the skin. Wondering how it happens? Wondering how it ends up like this?
All the way home I’m humming Nature Boy to myself.
In the morning my room smells of damp fur.
New York City. September 2012.
How exquisite the weather is. How gorgeous the men are. How much the Little Dog loves the street.
I sit in Cafe Zelda on Franklin and drink coffee and eat the home-made pop tarts full of delicious raspberry jam.
I take the subway to Union Square or to 42nd Street.
Of course I’ve been taking masses of pictures… some of which I post on here.
The other part of the story?
Hanging most days at The Mercer Hotel.
I much prefer The Mercer. I am so over my private club… especially since the piss elegant renovations. The newly decorated corridors in the hotel part of my club look like the old corridors from The Shining… sans creepy twins.
The staff have all been replaced and the service was terrible. Waiting 40 mins for a cup of coffee.
The manager at The Mercer installs me at a sweet little table where I meet actors and actresses. I am currently casting my movie.
I had lunch with Lady Rizo and Alexander. Great fun catching up.
I bumped into the perfectly charming Josh Hartnett and his girlfriend Tamsin. Malibu friend. Josh is very excited about the film he’s directing and Tamsin was off to Spain to make a movie.
Bryan Singer fell into the lobby a little hung over and after a big, sweaty hug sat with his LA friends.
Powerful LA people seldom manage to maintain their power once in NYC. Especially during fashion week. The cheap veneer falling away for all to see what lays within.
Met a very frosty Olivia Wilde with the perennially cheerful Paul Haggis. It was probably my fault she was so grumpy. I said, “Oh hi, I know Tao… your ex-husband.” Her face dropped. “My EX husband.” She stressed.
When are you not meant to mention the ex? I thought their divorce was amicable? Then I made the situation worse by telling her how wonderful she was in People Like Us… considering what a ghastly film it was.
Paul just looked at me fall deeper into the shit storm… of my own… making.
Dinner at Bond St. with CM.
A wonderfully romantic walk by the piers with an occasional love.
Housewives of NYC and second-rate rappers. Food was good tho.
Chatted with a new gay dad who told me emphatically that I should support ‘gay marriage’. He showed me a video of his kid crawling. The video was taken from across the room. He told me that he rarely sees his kid during the week.
I asked him what I ask my straight friends: “Did you take maternity leave?” No! He guffawed. Why would he do that?
The kid is being brought up by nannies. Of course.
It made a bad party worse. I tried not to react… I really tried.
Currently writing my AA expose piece. It’s proving harder than I imagined.
Another beautiful day spent walking the city streets, meeting friends old and new.
There is so much happening that I am finding it almost impossible to remember where the day begins and how it ends.
Woke late. Walked to Mud for my daily cup of their aromatic coffee. The cute Brooklyn guy was serving in his pixie hat. “Milk, one sugar?” I nod.
Walked the dog drinking my coffee . We stare at squirrels in the trees. This daily Mexican Standoff between The Little Dog and the squirrels.
At 12.30 I go to NYU AA meeting. A very drunk man sat next to me. I was a bit worried that he was going to vomit on my leg. He left early. People cried who had known him sober. We can get very complacent. He’s a good reminder of what can happen. Men like him keep me sober.
The Big Book of AA was written for people who can’t stay sober…not for people who can.
After the AA meeting a young gay new comer wanted my number. I congratulated myself for NOT giving it to him. I know what these boys want. Don’t think I went through all I went through this year without learning something. He can offer his sad ass to some other sucker. Listen, I am not that guy. I may sound like a sage when I speak in AA, I may look like a caring person on TV…but let me make this perfectly clear for anyone who may be listening…those are mere aspects of my personality.
I AM NOT THAT GUY.
I am not boasting when I say this…well..I might be…but, I am looking pretty damned good. I am strong, svelte, confident, happy. I am pleased to tell you that I have welcomed myself back into my own body. It’s great to be back on good form. Caustic humor, acerbic wit..all evidenced yesterday both at lunch with Peter Evans, then with my new cub friend (friend of Brendon’s). All afternoon sitting by the pool..receiveing people like the stately homo I have become.
Hung with actor friends Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters) and Anatol Yusef who plays Meyer Lansky in Boardwalk Empire. Anatol and I are talking about doing the Wayne Sleep bio pic together. Anatol….playing Wayne of course. Meg Ryan as Princess Di.
Anatol and Wayne could be twins. Those two boys were separated at birth.
Joke. That was a fucking joke wasn’t it? It was…wasn’t it?
Dashed home for a quick shower, took dog to park for a poo and a wee…met charming green-eyed boy who made small talk about wanting a dog, then met Zack et al at The Bowery Bar for the final Beige party night ever. I wore the jacket that Hedi Slimane designed for me when he was at Dior. I wore slim pants and patent leather boots and a black tee shirt. I looked fucking GREAT.
We arrived at 8.30 bribed the hostess, tranny person to get us a table but I didn’t sit at the table once. I felt like the Belle of the Ball. I was chatting with dozens of super cool gay men. Flirtatious yet dignified. It just felt great, validated. Comfortable. Some of the men we met at Ken Mehlman‘s apartment were there. Amanda Lepore was sitting in a booth getting her fake tits out. I have met her so many times in so many different locations. Miami, LA, Paris…with David LaChappelle mostly.
There were so many people. It was jammed. So many, many people I remember from years and years of going to Beige.
I must admit that I have never felt at ease at Beige. In the words of my friend, “This has always been a bit of a cunty crowd.”
Last night it was my crowd.
I left just as the party was getting messy. I walked home. Happy as the day was long.
I have been off kilter for so long. Last night, it was different. I felt great, I felt like I deserved the compliments.
That’s a change isn’t it?
Yesterday was fun. Lunch with friends. Met with my lawyer. Drank far too much coffee. I feel excited, a bit apprehensive, occasionally sad. Compared to this time last year…who would have guessed?
Aaron dropped by at 8pm and we headed into Brooklyn for dinner. I had underestimated the time so, as we were ultimately headed for a gay bar thingy called The Metropolitan, it turned out that we were in Brooklyn far too early.
So, we explored and ended up in a sweet coffee shop further up Lorimer called the Second Stop cafe which served delicious coffee and good-looking baked goods. It was nice to be out of Manhattan. The scale and detail of Brooklyn somehow makes it feel as if it is a lot further from the city than it is.
We found a bar full of trendy straight people and Aaron ordered a whiskey and raspberry cocktail that smelt ok. I found myself wondering what it would taste like. I found myself congratulating myself that throughout this debacle I didn’t drink or take drugs. I found myself hankering after a time when my head was less clouded. I found solace in my continuing sobriety.
We ate a late dinner at Pies and Thighs. It was OK. Does it deserve its cult status? I don’t think that the fried chicken is better that the 101 Thursday Fried Chicken Special in Hollywood. Nor is it any better than Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles also in Hollywood. It was just ok. The deep fried pickles were inedible. The home-made cherry pie was again..just ok. Not a great deal on the plate and a bit mashed up. I think our server was stoned or had spent the day surfing. Tousled blond hair and vacant expression.
After dinner we walked back up Riggs to The Metropolitan. We met some friends and their friends and had a fun night out.
This morning Aaron left and I walked the dog. Jenny called and I called Hilary, Jess, Manu and John.
‘Just for Today’ is the mantra we repeat in AA. Today and only today I am going to stay sober. It can be applied to anything.
I am writing and in between writing I am trying to stay present. I was looking forward to going into rehab next week. I am not allowed my lap top or my phone. I am not allowed anything that will distract me from the work I have to do. Never mind. I will check in after the 19th.
Humans have always fought for their freedom; whether religious, political, racial. Finding themselves and their ideas in conflict with the majority, no longer able to live with their fellow man or persecuted and driven from their homes.
In recent times the minority were able to emigrate, find sympathetic others or start their own like-minded group in fresh pasture or foreign lands.
Sadly this is no longer achievable…singularly maybe as a political refugee but no like-minded group can move as one and find virgin territory to freely express their differences.
Migration has always been key to human success and innovation. Stifling this primal desire to up sticks and move is patently detrimental to the human race.
We are tribal by nature and proudly so. Most are happy with the tribe they were born into.
By fixing communities in one place the negative effects are plain to see. Dissatisfaction reigns.
I have never been a proponent of integration. I am a loner but my adopted tribe, the gay tribe, has enthusiastically created comfortable ghettos where they feel safe and valued. The same can be said of Asian communities in Northern England, Hasidic communities in Brooklyn, Posh people in Gloucestershire etc.
Where we are trapped together in unhealthy union fights between opposing tribes become not only more frequent but also more relevant. Forced to share increasingly limited space, integration and multiculturalism become the buzz words for panicked community leaders and governments all over the developed world.
There was no more room. Nowhere to run.
One tribe hacked the other tribe to death. It is what we do.
In Thomas Hardy‘s desperate last novel Jude the Obscure, there is a small boy nick named by his Father, ‘Young Father Time’ an anxious little thing who murders his siblings then commits suicide upon hearing that his Mother is worried at how they might all be fed.
He hangs himself with this tragic note pinned to his vest: “Because we are too many.”
Genocide may be a valuable part of the human story. It maybe a very healthy part of our story, as unpalatable as that may sound.
If we are unable to migrate we are unable to evolve. Our ideas become increasingly inward looking, we become prone to mysticism, religion and superstition.
At this moment in the history of man we are all, unfortunately, Native Americans forced into reservations, like Inuits and aboriginals obliged to accept the limitations of an over crowded and over regulated world.
Bedouins, gypsies, nomads no more.
I have always felt separate from everyone. Separated by class and circumstance, by wit and intelligence, by impatience and sobriety.
My tribe of one has found his place in acres of rolling scrub overlooking the Pacific. The tribe of Me walks safely in my own home town.