Archives for posts with tag: Gjelina

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.

DOP

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It feels like I haven’t written anything for weeks. Living this simple and unexpected life. I’ve no idea what comes next nor do I care. Occasionally I wonder what it would be like to be back at home…Whitstable. It is waiting for me.

Sunday, I drove 100 miles North East to the Inland Empire to meet my lover. We booked into a cheap hotel and spent the day in bed. It was languorous and passionate. We ate free ‘home made’ cookies given to us when we checked in. We left the hotel briefly to buy fried chicken. We looked at the pool but didn’t swim.

After he left I walked on my own through a huge discount mall, I saw vibrant, sequined dressed for unplanned Quinceanera.

On the way home I wondered what the ham hocks would taste like that had been slowly cooking in the stove all day. They were delicious.

I have, of late, developed sexual desires and needs formally ignored. Today my legs are weak from indulging myself.

I may drive to NYC next week to fetch the art that remains in the East Village. Dan has been looking after it.

I like driving across country. I should take a different route but the familiarity of Route 66 lures me south.

I spoke at an ACLU event last week in the lush Hancock Park gardens of a rich gay man. His large mock Tudor home filled with Arts and Crafts furniture and paintings by dead artists like Otto Dix. Even though there were many sofas and well upholstered club chairs there didn’t seem to be anywhere to sit.

The speech was well received.

One afternoon last week (May 1st) I spoke to David Cruz, the KTLK liberal chat show host. I felt primed and confident. It was easier to talk about the LA jail system than it was to talk about Dorian Gray. Ethnic Cleansing. Secure Communities. Institutional racism and homophobia.

I have not been to any 12 step meeting but was stopped in the street by the crazy Sean McFarland sex therapist who kissed me and hugged me. I told him that the deaths of his clients should be on his conscience. He wished me all the best and crawled, like the slimy reptile he is, back into the Porsche despair has paid for.

On Saturday I met another 12 step buddy at Gjelina but we didn’t talk much. I don’t want to hear about the cult. Even though he is an old friend I eyed him suspiciously. We talked about my 85-year-old friend Coach who died last week. I’m glad he never knew that I turned by back on AA.

Robby and I had lunch last Thursday. He is delightful.

I have been ignoring calls from people I’m usually happy to hear from.

Everyday I drive along the PCH to Venice where I drink coffee at Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney. I take pictures of strangers for my portrait project updated daily.

We peered briefly at the Super Moon. It was large and bright. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as seeing the comet, Hale Bop.

For the past ten days I have logged onto gay hook up app Grindr to see what is going on…what I am missing. I’ve been sent many picture of cocks but had no desire to sit on any of them…many pictures of asses but have no need to fuck. Next week I am going to publish them all here on WordPress in a password protected blog.

Life is all at once full up and completely empty.

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