Archives for posts with tag: Central Park

I’m trying to write everything down but somehow the past few weeks have blurred into one long delicious adventure.

NYC and back again in the car.

Let me remember.

I drove east through death valley and this was the temperature:

Death Valley 118 Degrees

I drove through Utah during the day which was very wise.  Utah is very beautiful.  Devastatingly beautiful.

Emery Utah 2

You see.  I can’t find the words.

I stopped in Des Moines and enjoyed the state building and the wonderful contemporary sculpture park given to the community by John and Mary Pappajohn, a Des Moines venture capitalist and his wife.

I met a young hair dresser with blue hair.

Capital Building Des Moines

18 Year Old Des Moines Hairdresser

I stopped in Chicago and met a huge football player.

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I spent the 4th July in Chicago. The Fireworks terrified Dude, my little brown dog.

July 4th Boys

I arrived in NYC.  Just in time for the horrible heat wave.

It was so hot I had to leave the dogs inside the apartment during the day or risk them dying of heat exhaustion.

I sat uncomfortably in AA meetings.

I stayed on the upper west side.  A block from Central Park.

Central Park

We walked every day off leash at dawn around the Great Lawn.  We saw beautiful young men exercising.  We, being me and the dogs.

I explored Red Hook and saw a band at Dustin Yellin‘s place called Guerilla Toss.

Guerilla Toss

I met a beautiful man in the street and kissed him.

Sparky

Why was I there?

I had gone east to reclaim my gayness after months of feeling like an ex-gay.   Hanging onto the word queer as the only way to describe my isolation from the gays.

New York.

I spent my birthday at the cloisters with Richy.

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I read from my blog at a Lower East Side gallery and they paid me for doing so.

I met more interesting people on the street.

Michael 2

I helped a friend edit his movie.

Then, unable to stand the searing heat a moment longer, I drove to Sayville taking the first ferry to Fire Island.  The Pines.

I rented a small house on Cedar Walk but didn’t spend any time there at all.

From the moment I arrived I had one extraordinary experience after another.

Pines Domestic Life

I met cool people,  and coveted their things.

Beautiful FIP crockery

I was invited into their homes and onto their yachts, I met their friends and ate their food.  I returned their hospitality by paying for them as and when they would let me.

I walked to Cherry Grove where I had breakfast with John Walters.

I had dinner with Andy Tobias…

Andy Tobias

… in my favorite Fire Island Pines home.

My Favorite FIP House

Duncan Roy

I met a gang of charming gay men from NYC who were kind and considerate.

I spent time with all of them in the city once I returned.

This one is called Jon.

John Stevens Naked

As I let myself fall into the gay Fire Island days I began to remember how much fun being gay is.  Even if I was sober and a little bit older.

I walked the beach.

Fire Island Pines Beach

I had a huge old man crush on this beautiful boy:

Ian

Who worked here:

FIP Barman

I saw Justin Bond.

Justin Bond an Joan Fontein

I looked in at the house where we lived for so many years.

Grey Gardens FIP

And I met more men.

Blue Eyes

I spent time on my own.  I found an abandoned cock ring on the board walk.

Abandoned Cock Ring

I walked miles of boardwalks with the dogs who came home covered in tiny ticks.

Boardwalk Fire Island Pines

I finally met a beautiful man who left for India but lives in Paris who stole my head/heart.

I was so god damned happy.

The morning after the Pines Party I prepared to leave.

The Morning after the Pines Party

After ten days I took the ferry, then another ferry to Provincetown.

Provincetown Beach

I rented a small apartment on the beach and met more men.

Beautiful Man

I hung with my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis but the sparkle that used to exist between us has gone.

Benoit Denizet Lewis

We explored the graveyard.  We found Norman Mailer’s grave and a pretty headstone with a small dog carved into it.

Dog Grave

I ate a great deal but didn’t put on any weight as I walked so many miles every day.

I found this beautiful ceramic mirror frame:

Owl Mirror Frame Provincetown

I met more men.

Bulgarian Boat Boy

Eventually I drove back to New York and stayed with friends.  This is their view:

NYC View

I partied with Jeremy Kost…

…and his friend.

I had dinner with Dan at Mary’s Fish Camp.

Dan Hyman

I had dinner with Thom at my club on the roof by the pool:

Thom

I wore this chic watch:

Rolex

We worked on my film.

Franck in the office

Then, after another week in the city I took the car all the way home again.

I met a hitch hiker who travelled all the way to California.  His name is Albert.

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I stayed in The Lincoln Hotel in Chicago.

Bartender

Christian

I stayed in Denver.

Zach

I stayed in Utah.

We drove from Cedar City to LA in half a day.

We drove up the mountain in Malibu, up the drive and finally slept in our own bed.

It has been misty and cool.

Malibu Marine Layer

19 Years Old

If gay marriage had been an option when I was young would I have made different sorts of decisions?

Would I have behaved differently?

Would I have looked for a serious relationship with another man to whom I would have proposed, married and had children..rather than leaping from one man to another…exhausting each and every one of them?

If that narrative had been on offer, as it is now, would I have married Joe or Matt or the beautiful Dane?

Joe and I were as good as married but it was a marriage of convenience.

If I had believed that a commitment between men was possible or respected or had some kind of future, perhaps I wouldn’t have wasted other opportunities.  I may have stuck around.

Did I even trust the love that dare not speak its name?  The legitimacy of love between men?

When I hear a man say, ‘I love you’ it turns me on.

Tell me that you love me.

I will make love to you.  Be part of you.

When I was a young man I felt hopeless, convinced that this strange love was simply…pointless. That to say ‘I love you’ to another man…meant nothing, could never mean what it meant when I loved a woman.

But you’re gay!  Did she know?  This woman.

One woman in particular.

When I fell in love with PH, it was a surprise to everyone…me included. She was so beautiful. She was so beautiful and she wanted me. There are very few things I do not write about here. She is one of them. Our relationship that spanned half a decade.

After years of enjoying a gay life I saw the world renewed. I looked into her eyes and I never wanted to forget her face. Every time I left the house I would memorize an indelible snapshot of her.

When we were in love every record played on the radio meant something. Holding hands in the street and never once a strangers savage glance…my love blossomed. Without the withering contempt of strangers my love blossomed.

Do you know what I mean? Whenever I held a man in my arms in a public place I felt the withering contempt of others. Have you ever felt that? It soured me. What other people thought.

Biracial couples know what I mean.

The artist, Marc Quinn said to me when he saw me and Phil together, “I knew you weren’t gay.”

That was then. This is now.

Before he and I stopped speaking he told me that he had met a man in Central Park and kissed them. They held him in their arms. He told so many lies yet somehow this lie was forgivable. He told me that it had happened before I met him…but I knew from the look on his face how new and exhilarating it had been.

An experience that he wanted to share but was too afraid of hurting me.

Well, we may never know how it might have been if I had the luxury of marrying a man.

Time has past, now I am too old to fall in love and make a man my husband.

Darling PH, even though we are estranged at the moment because of what happened last summer with him.  I want you to know that had you not been in my life I would never have experienced a brimming heart.

You trusted me and nurtured me and protected me and loved me unconditionally.

Watching my young gay friends emerge into the light, they have a different sort of gay life on offer.

During the past 50 years life for gay men has changed radically. When I was born homosexuality was still a criminal offence. So, I was lucky to have grown up without my sexuality outlawed.

This generation of gay men are freer than any generation before them. I salute the work we did to make a more equitable life for them.

Occasionally I am pissed that the young don’t recognise the sacrifices we made..but I am also aware that I seldom give a thought to those who fought for me to live a free and abundant gay life.

As much as I hate to remind you, these rights and freedoms could be taken away just as easily as they were given. We must not take our good fortune for granted. There are dark forces at work against us.

It’s election time!  Here they go again, debating my future, my expendable rights.  Using their disdain for our lives to get votes.  Championing gay hate to ‘motivate their base’.

Listen to what they say about us.  The cruel rhetoric they use.

I am tired of being the liberal hot potato thrown around at times of national debate/election.

Gay marriage, gays in the military, hate crimes, equality.

And finally mr/mrs republican candidate…what do you think of the gays?  Is this the kind of America we want to call our home?   We want our country back from the niggers and the faggots!

We are once again the devil’s proof of an evil, liberal America, a decadent America, a democratic America that Jesus would never sanction.

Apparently, like abortion, we must be outlawed.

I am sick of having my nature, my rights, my existence used by others in some heartless polemic.

Read my lips:  My rights are non-negotiable, un-repealable….mine to keep.

If you vote Democrat I am not proof positive of a better America. If you are Republican I am not responsible for every natural disaster.  I am just what I always was…alive. Doing what I always did…living. Hoping like I always will…that you leave me and my sexuality alone.

Some woman on FB reassured me that Jesus loved me but hated my sin.  The sin of homosexuality.  The Jesus I was taught about on Sunday mornings in St Alphage church Whitstable never really hated anyone.

All he wanted was a fair and equitable life for us all.

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