Archives for posts with tag: Dog

On the Phone

As the elderly gray-haired gays tittle-tattle at Joe’s Coffee shop on Commercial Street, making snide comments about those they like and those they don’t… like so many teenage girls, bullying, name calling and whispering. The lesbians remain dignified and polite.  They say good morning or make easy conversation. They comment on the weather or ones choice of croissant in such a way that improves the quality of the day.

Not all lesbian are like this of course but my experience here in Provincetown is irrefutable.

We chanced upon a lesbian memorial at Herring Cove a few nights ago, a memorial for a woman who died last October.  There were photographs of her set around the fire on sticks.  I sat with her wife of 30 years and she reminisced.  She told me their story.  I wondered how she would cope on her own.

“Oh, you get used to it.”  She said.

I didn’t believe her.  Dude sat on her lap.  She loved Dude and Dude loved her.  We ate her Red Velvet gluten free cup cake and sprayed ourselves with insect repellent.

Memorial

Last night I stopped for a slice of pizza with Brent and Derek, my crime fighting buddies.

Derek

We’d had a long day, I was up at 5am.  I’d spent an hour or so on the phone with lawyers.  I spent time answering emails.  I filled in forms and scanned them.   I made time to have a pair of sandals made here:

Sandle Workshop

Like most days I walked the dogs in the graveyard with Benoit.  I walked the dogs on the beach.  I walked the dogs to Joe’s coffee shop.  I walked the dogs to the West End and back east again.  Dude is still fat.  The Little Dog is lithe and eager.

Dude in a Grave

I found a beautiful dusky gray/mauve tamarisk at Captain Jack’s Wharf.

Tamarisk

Brent and I poked our noses into John Derian’s home/shop.  His little shop of curiosities.  He sells French glass cloche and rattan and decoupage.  Who buys decoupage?  Everyone apparently.

I ordered the slice of Pizza and sat with Derek.  It was delicious.  As I was leaving, I heard a Northern English accent.  Two elderly women from Manchester… eating the largest pizza I have ever seen.  They looked embarrassed.

They said, “This is too big for us, d’you want some?”

I overcame my English reserve and sat with them and ate their pizza.   They were retired PE teachers from Bolton.  They had lived together the past 15 years.  They had a small house and garden and took the bus into central Manchester which, they assured me, was very safe and had loads to do.

I wanted to know what they were doing with their retirement.

They said they went to concerts and the theatre and sat outside ‘weather permitting’ enjoying Manchester’s ‘cafe society’.  They rode their bikes and looked after their cats.  Mostly they travelled, this year they had been to The Galapagos and seen the giant tortoise and snorkel with penguins, they had taken a safari in Africa and showered out doors under the stars.  They had visited a brother in Sydney and driven to Melbourne along the coast, like I had with that beautiful boy… all those years ago.

I found myself talking about getting older.

Old people aren’t the same as when I was growing up.” I wondered.  “Yes,” they said, “Not the same at all.”

“They retired and spent time just waiting to die.” I said.  “Yes.” They nodded in unison.

I told them about my grandmother who was widowed when she was in her 50′s and at that very moment became an old lady.  Cut her hair short, permed it and let it whiten.   She died when she was 96.  I didn’t cry.  My mother did, she sobbed like I sobbed when the big dog was killed.  She was inconsolable, as was I about my dog.

I thought a great deal about my grandmother, chatting with these dear old lesbians.  I wondered how she could have lived so long feeling so miserable, stuck in one town, complaining about this and that… isolated from all her daughters (how can a mother hate her own daughters?) other than my mother.  I remembered just how much she didn’t want to die.  She was terrified.  I wondered if my uncle Norman killed her.  There was little love lost between them and he was with her at the end.  She would have been too weak to fight.

We said our goodbyes and good nights.  I’m sure I’ll bump into them again.  I hope I do.  I wish I was an old lady.

The light is beautiful here today.  The sea is sparkling.  I want for nothing.  Happily looking over the Atlantic, the Cape swinging around me teaming with life.  Lobsters, basking sharks, oysters, cod and herring.  I had fish and chips for lunch yesterday.

Here are my finished sandals:

New Sandals

 

The day I met him someone had built an igloo in the dog park.

The dog pissed on it.

The sun was shining over the distant, roaring city.

Then, quite suddenly I knew I was in love.

Or at least… capable once again.

IMG_3876

 

Orange1.

The ACLU 2012 Bill of Rights awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.   I sat with my lawyers Barry Litt and Peter Eliasberg.

We ate stewed pear salad, grilled chicken and for dessert they served a strange, solid cake.

During the dinner they projected various videos describing the work they do for Homeless Veterans, Immigrants Rights, The LGBTQ community.

Of course the work I have been contributing to was just part of what was projected.  I was incredibly proud to be asked to stand in front of the 1000 or so people and introduce myself.

Will Ferrell, Jay Roach, Ermin Chemerinsky and Jane Lynch all spoke beautifully on behalf of the ACLU and their various causes and friends.

During the interval both Usher (the singer) and Scooter Braun (2 million twitter followers) took the time to introduce themselves and congratulate me.

Of course, as usual, not one gay person, including honoree Jane Lynch made themselves known to me.  The chasm that exists between me and the gay community in LA was even more evident than usual at this event.

Only last week the gay ‘director’ Guy Shalem texted me telling me that I deserved to be in jail… mocking the time that I had spent there, telling me that I only had friends I made in jail.

Guy Shalem is a gay Israeli fame-whore who lives in Los Angeles.  I met him at some grimy gay party in the Hollywood Hills last year and he subsequently invited me to Griffith Park for a walk the following day.

The conversation on the mountain centered around his visa problems, his inability to make relationships work, his celebrity friends and his desire for younger boys.

He complained that Outfest were sniffy about his short film.  When I saw it I understood why.  “Bruce Vilanch is in it.” He boasted, “They should love it.”

After all, he’s obsessed with celebrity… why shouldn’t Outfest?

So, it was mildly shocking to see Guy at the ACLU event. Wearing a bad suit and even worse shoes.

He had seen the video lauding the work we are all doing for those held on spurious ICE holds.

He heard the applause I received when they asked me to stand.

He heard Hector Villagra, head of the ACLU talking publicly about my personal bravery and commitment to the ACLU.

Guy is the perennial plus one to any gay celebrity.  Last night, yet again, he was with Jane Lynch.   He saw me, headed toward me and shook my hand.  Apparently forgetting the vile things he said last week.

I told him in no uncertain terms how and what I felt about him coming up to me.

He motioned to his ugly short gay friends lawyer Aaron Rosenberg and his ‘husband’ that this was worth watching.  They snickered, like vile bullying children, behind my back.

Let’s face it, Guy was only there for the free dinner and to stand with his famous friend and hope to ensnare other famous people with his puppy eyes and his maudlin sob stories.

The point of the evening was completely lost on him.

After I walked away from Guy other honorees came up to me and offered their hands.

One of them, an elderly female philanthropist  said, “We are like kindred spirits, you and me.”   I was so touched by her generosity.

So many kind people… not one of them gay.

2.

There was a moment in Beverly Hills recently when my body decided enough was enough.  7am, Beverly Drive, walking the dogs… I fainted.

The last thing I remember:  kicking a fresh pine cone.  The next thing?  I crashed to the ground painfully twisting my wrist under the weight of my body.

Dude, my fat red dog ran away as fast as he could.  The Little Dog stayed beside me as loyal as any dog can be.

I probably should have seen a doctor but, like my Grandmother and my Mother, a visit to the doctor is the last thing I do willingly.

It took an hour or so to persuade Dude to come back to me.  For the rest of the day he looked at me differently.  Like I was a  stranger.

 

 

The twins are falling in love.  Not with each other.

Their friend Kevin (my Oscar weekend wing man) and I are left at home, listening to the stories.   They return battle-scarred from long nights with new lovers.  It can be frustrating.  Watching them make the same mistakes we all made.

Robby in love: tap dancing in a mine field.

The hyacinths died.  The man who brought them is sick with gout.

The house is so beautiful at the moment.  The pale, watery Californian winter sunlight…perfect for my English decor and sensibility.

I must have written that a thousand times during the time I have been blogging.

The twins have their 22nd  birthday in two weeks.  They don’t want a party, they don’t want any attention.   We’ll see if they change their mind.

I have a new dog.  A Chihuahua/Boston Terrier mix called Dude.   A rescue, he can’t believe his luck.  He peed on Kevin’s bed last night.  He trots along like a Lipizzan.  He has a deep, croaky bark.  He follows me around like a shadow, much to The Little Dog’s profound irritation.

Washed all the sheets yesterday, the linen smelt heavenly when I crawled into bed last night.

Press conference at the end of the month.  Testifying for the ACLU mid April.  Dinners planned with the most unlikely allies.

Charity dinners for the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s Homeless Youth Program and a Freedom to Marry event in April.  Trying to throw myself into the melee.   Trying to be of service.

I have categorically decided that I will not be sober much longer, just waiting for the right moment to take my first drink.  It is possible to drink and believe in God?  Many people do it.  My primary concern.

Unless I find alternative meetings where there are people more like me?  I don’t mean gay meetings.  It’s bollocks…this AA shit.

Good intentions ruined by a bunch of alcoholics.

The poor little darling was in worse shape than I thought.  The coyote bite was much deeper than it looked.  Today Jason and the kids took him to the Malibu Coast Vet and Dr. Victor made it better. Whilst he was asleep Victor cleaned his teeth and cut away a skin tab behind his ear.

We love Dr Victor. He is incredibly handsome.

I am in pretty bad shape.  I can only crawl.  So I am crawling to the bathroom.

We are laying in bed together.  Time will heal both of us.

The more I think about that brazen coyote the more it scares me.  He was waiting a few feet from us.  Waiting.  It was very frightening.

Must buy a gun.  It could be me next time.

Pain is very exhausting.  The shock really compromised me.  Anyway, we’ll get through this.

This is a picture of the drain and the scar.  I could show you my swollen foot but that’s more disgusting than this:

My god daughter’s brother Max wants me to adopt him.   He spent the past few days here.

At home he is, as Zack would say, a hot mess.  Once he gets here he is calm, attentive, polite and charming.   He is the right size.  He washes dishes and clears up after himself.  He chats animatedly to the twins and one would never imagine that this is the boy who is facing all sorts of trouble at school and at home.

He is very much like I was when I was a kid.   I just loathed my parents and took every opportunity to make them aware of it.    At school he doesn’t really fit it so over compensates with lies and boasting.  Consequently he has a horrible time.

Whereas I had good reason to hate my step-father his parents try their best to accommodate him.  I know that this will end badly because as much as he tries to be a stand up guy he is now cast in the ‘bad boy’ role-and that only has one conclusion.  The authorities are aware of him, the school doesn’t want him, his peers are frightened of him.  His parents, poor things, are at their wit’s end.

When he is with me he understands the boundaries.  We speak the same language.  The language of the addict.  I wish I could take him to an AA meeting but he’s 13 years old.

Yesterday Max, Miles and I planted melon seeds and watered the garden.  The Little Dog found a young rattle snake and we killed it.  It has been snake crazy up here.  Rattlesnakes, California King and Garter snakes.   A huge California King Snake dozing on the path.  It looks worse than it is.  Apparently non-venomous.   Unless you are a small mammal.

I guess there are many more snakes this year because of the rain we had all winter.  More vegetation means more rabbits and gophers which in turn feed the snakes.

The Little Dog did something very funny.  We were listening to the coyote deep in the valley screaming and howling, when ever they do that the Little Dog hears his call from the wild and barks frantically.  Robby started howling like the coyote and to our amusement the Little Dog started howling too.  It was a revelation, I had never seen him howl.  It was so sweet to see him lift his little head and howl.  The howling dog.  I will try to film it next time it happens.

When we finally took Max home via the ice cream store at the Lumber Yard he reverted to his usual surly, frightened self.  Rude to his parents, unhelpful, aggressive to his sisters.  It was sad to see.   The twins and I adore Max when he stays here with us.  Now he wants to come live here full-time.  When I get back from the East Coast this autumn we will think about it.

I really think that this may be the only way he holds onto his family, his liberty and his sanity.

I spent the rest of the day plotting the final chapters of my book.  It does not turn out how one might think.  However, crafting a sting in the tail is my aim and that is harder to write than it seems.

Thanks for all of the helpful Novel feedback.  Thanks for those of you who took the time.  Thanks especially to Joanna in London from a certain niche publisher who liked it enough to want to read it all.

Amanda Lepore

Amanda Lepore

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.

Let’s see…hmmm.

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 Hilary brought Willie to live with us.  He’s a small, wire-haired pup with big brown eyes.   He is incredibly intelligent.  Desperate to be loved, immediately loyal.

The Lil’ Dog is a bit suspicious and requisitioned both his own bone and Willie’s and guarded them both jealously all day.

The Lil’ Dog knows the deal.  He looks PISSED OFF as I try making Willie feel at home by having him on my lap, calling his name.  The Lil Dog is and will be always my most adored dog but Willie very quickly carved a place in my heart.  Within hours.

The Lil’ Dog, however, will never have the sort of relationship with Willie that he had with our Darling Big Dog.

Willie is without doubt my dog.  As much as Luna was not my dog and now lives in a huge mansion in Beverly Hills with a butler and her own dog walker Willie is happy to chase around after me all day.  He is watching the garden as I write.  You can see how happy he is.

It is delightful how I immediately loved himand he loves me.   It is wonderful to aim my unconditional love at this little dog.  He accepts it without question.

I wish humans could be like this.  Fucking humans.

Yesterday, a few hours before Willie arrived, I woke up in Hollywood and packed the car with more bits and pieces.  I am determined not to bring everything from that place back here.  More than I anticipated will be going to auction.

Anyway, I picked up with the beautiful Brazilian I met yesterday at Solar and we drove to Malibu via the 101 and up through the magnificent mountains.  We had to take the back route as there was a house fire on the PCH so it was closed.  Ricki Lake‘s house burned to the ground.

When we got home Ashley was pottering around, making coffee and already the house seems full again.  This is how I remember Whitstable (No 13 Island Wall)  when I first lived there.  You see!  I can reclaim the essence of what I loved about living.

As Ashley and Frank (the Brazilian) made friends I sat quietly on the back terrace and just enjoyed my home. I have not done that for a long time.  There has been so much drama.  So much to distract me from simple pleasures.

I spent a little time on Manhunt and made a couple of appointments for next week.  Perhaps I will meet someone? Someone like Willie who is kind and loyal and intelligent?  Hahhahaha.

Willie has a great deal to learn about this household.  Who and what and where.  We live a very active life, most days we walk four or so miles around the mountains.  Everything is very new for him.

I have to get him to the vet on Monday and begin the passport process so he can come to England with me.

Left a message on MySpace for Jake.  There was nothing much to say other than we were now strangers.  I know that in time I will forget him entirely because I never really knew him.  He was a refugee, all I had to do was help him on his way.  I fell in love with an idea.

As I was sitting quietly on the terrace overlooking the ocean I wanted to counjour up a beautiful moment from our time together that I could hold onto.  Just one.   Something we had shared that would have made the last few months worthwhile.  I could not.  Every one was marred with something or other that made it feel incomplete.  My spastic love affair with an idea was over long before I ever dealt the death blow.

As I look over the past months of blog entries there were times when I would go to bed happy because he was in the world.

I was kidding myself.

There ain’t no fool like an old fool.  When am I going to get wise?  Probably never.

Willie sort of reminds me of when I first met Jake.  Adoring eyes, keeping close, shaggy hair, a clumsy gait.  The difference is?  I have a chance of maintaining a relationship with Willie because he will never lie to me, he won’t be looking over my shoulder for someone richer, younger, better looking etc….

Thank GOD for Willie.

The last picture of the big dog..

October 11th 2009

Runyon Canyon 8am.

Many dogs, did not count exact number. Fewer people. Overcast but from the top of the canyon I am able to see the ocean through the light mist.

On the way up I overheard an industry type talking with his female friend about our VH1 show. It was oddly satisfying. The last days of anonymity. I don’t suppose people here or in New York will see the show. Few of my friends watch that kind of TV, even if I am in it.

The little dog scampered through the dry brush hunting for small mammals. In London we had the privilege of Battersea Park. Dogs unleashed charging around the huge, manicured lawns. In Whitstable he explored the beaches, in Paris the Tuilleries and the Jardin des Plantes. It really was a magical time for the Little Dog. After all he has been through.

The Little Dog was found behind a trashcan in east LA. 8 months old, his eye badly cut, his paw broken, traumatized by cruelty. Thankfully he was nursed to health and not murdered at the pound. When I first met him he was angry and distrustful. My friends urged me to get a less damaged dog but I recognized in him what had been so badly lacking in my early childhood. He was desperate for love. For three weeks he barked at me and pooed in the house and peed any time I would go near him. Then one quiet night I lay on the sofa and he hopped up beside me and our great love began.

We have had quite an adventure. We drove to New York and back (twice), visiting the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque (where we smuggled him into a hotel room), Memphis (where he ate at the interstate barbeque) and other cities along the way. We arrived in New York to frozen pavements and new snow. The Little Dog loves cities, he checks every path and every bush. He screams like a child when he sees a cat or a squirrel and leaps acrobatically at pigeons. He doesn’t appreciate being taken to a dog specific park, he sits beside me looking at the other dogs disdainfully. Once, in Tompkin Square Park he caught a rat but when it squealed he let it go.

The reason we drove to New York rather than take the plane, as we do now, was that at that time I had another dog. A beautiful Boxer/Pitt originally called Maggie but became my Big Dog. She arrived a month after The Little Dog. The three of us carved a life for ourselves in Malibu. Maggie was the most sweet, intelligent, funny dog. Everybody who met her immediately fell in love with her. She loved the Little Dog and taught him how to hunt, routinely catching lizards and gophers and squirrels. She really was a remarkable dog. She would go to any lengths to find a thrown ball, and if there were more than one she would herd them with her huge paws until they were just where she wanted them. The little dog and the big dog were inseparable. They would spend hours patrolling the huge Malibu garden then come home at dusk and lay happy and exhausted by the roaring fire.

She would have loved Whitstable but God had other plans for us.

On June 30th at 7.50am she was killed by a truck on Franklin Avenue. Unable to control her urge to catch squirrels she leapt across the road. She didn’t get killed on the way over. She was making her way back to me. When I saw her on the other side of the road I asked what she was doing? She tried to make her way back but the truck, unable to see her, tangled her in its wheels and scraped her across the road. From her face to her waist she was fine but below her waist she was torn to pieces.

She was desperate to live and held on until we got to the animal hospital but the vet could not save her and my darling Big Dog died in my arms.

We buried her in the garden in Malibu. My friends came from all over LA. Paul dug the hole and Sarah sang a beautiful lullaby.

I think about her every day. I remember her velvet brow. I miss her in the evenings in Malibu when she would fearlessly chase away the deer and the coyote. We both miss her. I had never been so sad, not when my grand mother died, not when relationships had ended. I cried solidly for a week until I had no more tears.

The most important thing the big dog taught me was to go into any situation with my tail wagging and if people don’t want anything to do with you not to take it personally.

Some day soon we will find another dog for The Little Dog to play with but when the time is right.

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