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:
I drove through Utah during the day which was very wise. Utah is very beautiful. Devastatingly beautiful.
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.
I stopped in Chicago and met a huge football player.
I spent the 4th July in Chicago. The Fireworks terrified Dude, my little brown dog.
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.
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 met a beautiful man in the street and kissed him.
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.
I spent my birthday at the cloisters with Richy.
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.
I helped a friend edit his movie.
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.
I met cool people, and coveted their things.
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…
… in my favorite Fire Island Pines home.
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.
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.
I had a huge old man crush on this beautiful boy:
Who worked here:
I saw Justin Bond.
I looked in at the house where we lived for so many years.
And I met more men.
I spent time on my own. I found an abandoned cock ring on the board walk.
I walked miles of boardwalks with the dogs who came home covered in tiny ticks.
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.
After ten days I took the ferry, then another ferry to Provincetown.
I rented a small apartment on the beach and met more men.
I hung with my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis but the sparkle that used to exist between us has gone.
We explored the graveyard. We found Norman Mailer’s grave and a pretty headstone with a small dog carved into it.
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:
I met more men.
Eventually I drove back to New York and stayed with friends. This is their view:
I partied with Jeremy Kost…
…and his friend.
I had dinner with Dan at Mary’s Fish Camp.
I had dinner with Thom at my club on the roof by the pool:
I wore this chic watch:
We worked on my film.
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.
I stayed in The Lincoln Hotel in Chicago.
I stayed in Denver.
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.
I haven’t written anything for so long.
Perhaps I just ran out of things to say.
Roger Ebert died. He wrote to me recently urging me to write more. I have no idea why.
The house in Malibu is filled with my things again and the garden, this beautiful spring, overwhelms me.
Moving back in gave me the opportunity to start editing once again. I threw out three huge boxes of old clothes. Cashmere, labels, everything loved for a moment back then. Helmut, Yves, Issy, Comme des Garcons… boxy shirts from another era, trousers that I can (after my op) still get into but have lost interest in.
I kept all the Helmut Lang couture. It’s just too special.
I feel myself floating over the surface of my life.
The road trip across the USA was spectacular. Chicago, Denver, The Rockies, Utah and Vegas. Just me and the dogs and a car full of art and luggage. I met lovely people and saw cities I had only ever heard of.
I never went over the speed limit.
The operation to have my gall bladder removed was painful but since having the surgery I feel wonderful.
I didn’t realize how much pain I was living with. How the pain made me grumpy, listless and intolerant.
Now, without that girdle of pain, without the imminent GB attacks… I feel perfectly happy. Peaceful.
I can concentrate. perhaps that’s why I need to write?
During the past few months so much has happened. Things I can tell you and things I can’t.
Yet, after the moment passes, I can’t be bothered to write it down.
Editing the huge amount of stuff I own to a few essential pieces. Taking my old stuff to vintage stores, consignment stores and auction houses has been cathartic and profitable. Who knew things were so valuable?
But more than that. It feels like I am winding down. Not is a morbid way.
With less stuff and less girth (since the op I lost a great deal of weight) I feel not only lighter but more agile, more energy to do important things (for me) more time to devote to others, causes, delights.
As you know, those who know me, I like my decisions to be made for me. I LIKED my decisions to be made for me.
Recently I have taken control of the reigns. Less at the mercy of Duncan Roy. Do you know what I’m talking about?
The criminal matter is resolved.
Do you want to know what happened?
As part of a plea deal crafted by the DA and my lawyer, I plead NO CONTEST to a misdemeanor. My sentence? An 18 month gagging order and a 52 hour course in anger management.
There was no jail time, no fine. It was all over in 20 minutes.
I smoked a cigarette outside the courtroom. So did the DA. She sat there in her black coat. Sitting where she always sits. Behind a wall.
Like a naughty school girl. Smoking.
And I felt like it was going to be OK. Because she was smoking too.
The judge said goodbye, the bailiff smiled. The stenographer watched with interest.
I said goodbye to my lawyers and drove to Venice.
I had a lot of thinking to do.
Her name was Natalie Volk. She was very apologetic. Her husband got out of the car. Natalie must have been 80 years old, he was older. She touched the back of the car to make sure it wasn’t all a bad dream.
We exchanged personal details. I’m not going to call her insurance people. I know what they’ll do to her. How punitive they can be.
I paid for their gas. I made it seem like a terrible imposition.
Absurdly, I didn’t want other people to think I was being hijacked.
I went to buy myself a soda. The woman at the checkout said, “That was really kind of you, they were homeless.” She smiled and said, ”I’ll pay for your soda.”
I felt badly that I hadn’t been kinder to the homeless women.
On my way out of the service station I saw the most beautiful black man. A solid wall of muscle. He was walking up Lincoln Avenue. I circled around until I found him. I stopped the car and asked him what he was doing.
I dropped him off at his apartment. He invited me into his empty place.
At 5am I drove him to the gym where he worked.
Perhaps I should have given him more? More than a chai latte?
As I drove home up the PCH. Looking over the Pacific Ocean. I thought about the previous day.
All that public money wasted. All that time taken by highly paid District Attorneys, Attorneys who could have been solving real crimes.
Money that could be spent repairing a local school. Money that could have been spent investigating white-collar crimes.
I was listening to John Martyn. Solid Air. Synthesized sea gulls. A heartbeat. My heart is still beating.
Whatever may happen. How ever bad it gets. It is is up to you… yes you… you can turn the worst things that happen into the most extraordinary adventure.
As anyone who has a creative bone in their body knows, to carve something artful out of wherever you find yourself… well. It’s up to you.
So, it was no coincidence that, after I spoke to the reporter about The Trust Act, after my involved and specific conversation with the lawyer, after I had recorded the Youtube video….
I sat down at my desk and rewrote the ending of my script.
What a killing crime this love can be.
This is for you Daddy. You bad, bad man.
On Friday at 10am I will stand before you all again, on your televisions, in your newspapers, sparking up the internet.
Damning the authority.
On behalf of the brown people.
And after it is all over? I am left on my own. Well, that’s not entirely true. Because I have you.
I want to tell you about my neck. The arthritis in my neck. The arthritis that makes my arms numb. My fingers tingle.
I am pleased not to share that with anyone.
The audience is singing along with the familiar tune.
It is 2am. The dog is farting. He’ll want to go out in the middle of the night.
The day passed slowly and uneventfully.
I watered the garden. “Why don’t you have an automated system for that?” I hear you say. Well, I do. But…a bit like our mad bad Prince of Wales I like watering the plants individually and chatting with each of them. The citrus trees especially respond to gentle coaxing.
There is something charming and rather annoying about the ‘we’ pathology of twins. We are with each other a little too much. Consequently, when we left for Lake Malibou, I wasn’t in the best of moods.
We all helped Jennifer with her Out of The Box Wednesday pack then Miles set off with the delivery.
Robby and I drove into Hollywood. I wanted to stop in at Fresh and Easy where I buy English staples. Tea, bacon, marmalade etc. I can’t do with out them. We, me and the Little Dog, sat in the ugly court-yard outside the supermarket drinking coffee waiting for Robby watching lithe men heading for 24 hour fitness.
A woman from Chicago, who had arrived in Hollywood two nights previously, looked down at the dog and said, “There’s a little person trapped in there.” She fed him chicken breast. “This has got to last me two days.” She told the Little Dog. She was plump, dyed black hair and red lips. She told me that she was here in Hollywood to pitch reality TV ideas to…God know who. She was going to pay to pitch her ‘concepts’.
I was overcome with pity for her. She told me a couple of ‘ideas’ she had thought of pitching.
It occurred to me that for forty years not one original thought had been formed in that sappy brain.
I went for a walk.
Hollywood is grimy. There is nothing of any beauty to look at…to be inspired by. I yearn for my garden.
Robby picked me up after an hour in the gym. We had planned on going to an art/film/glamour party in Beverly Hills but I was tired and irritable so we drove home.
Well, we drove back to Malibou Lake and I helped Jason cook dinner for the children. After dinner, as the children were going to bed, I sat at their Steinway and tried playing the piano. I had not played for thirty years. I was shocked by how clumsy my fingers were. No longer able to slide effortlessly over the keys. I began to sweat. Evidence of my old age. Evidence of my own mortality. It was so frustrating! My left hand refused to even practice the scales in unison with the right.
I lay in bed last night thinking too much. Waiting to be dead.
Not so fast Batman!
Next week I set off on my ‘great adventure’ culminating in the birthday hootenanny. There are people flying from all sorts of wonderful places to help me celebrate my 50th Birthday…before I am not. I am stunned that so many old friends even exist for me let alone want to jump on a plane and be with me. You know, this is what I should have done last year…but last year I was with him in the back parlor of Wheelers.
Last year there was no room for anyone else. WTF?
I looked in at a couple of empty homes. I wondered if they had been foreclosed on. 1 in every 135 homes in the USA is now in foreclosure. Whilst the banks are saved the people are not. It is a sickening thought.
Credit default swaps, sub-prime, hedge-fund, derivatives. Like pure mathematics these products are distinguished by their rigour, abstraction and beauty.
They are perfect lies.
When I moved here I expected to lose everything. I expected it. It’s that kind of place. Everyone wants what you have. Everyone. Once you get a handle on what this country is no one in his or her right mind would want to stay. A squirming mass-maggots feeding off the carcass of humanity.
I had no idea.
I came for an adventure. I had no idea what that adventure would be. I severed all financial ties to the United Kingdom and set myself adrift. There are high seas to negotiate right now. Perilous swells. Huge storms ahead. I can feel it. This is not catastrophic thinking. Just look at the evidence.
Homeless, jobless, desperate. The people will galvanize sooner or later. They will think as one: the change that they have been promised (that still has not been delivered) will be fought for. The Berlin Wall is a great example of how the state finally gives in to the will of the people. The state and the corporation are as one-tethered in a ghastly dance of death. Revolution, when it comes, is always fearless. The people will learn to die to save themselves. Not in some God forsaken Bagdad souk but on the streets of Tampa, Chicago and Albuquerque.
No left no right no up nor down. Once chaos is upon us money and contract have no meaning. The baker reigns supreme. It would take one harsh winter to kill off the soppy populace.
They brought it upon themselves.
Communism, fascism socialism: all have failed, as will capitalism.
Saw commercial for our VH1 show. It was exciting. I have a lot of wrinkles.