Archives for posts with tag: God

Fire Island Kitchen

 

Arrived on Fire Island.  I’m here for the next few weeks… until I decamp (via Martha’s Vineyard) to Provincetown for a month or so… then it’s LA for the rest of the summer.   Nobody wants to be on the East Coast for August.  Not when one has Malibu… everyone agrees that Southern California is gorgeous in August.

I finally found an affordable and rather beautiful house near Whitstable to buy.  Just far enough to be close to those I love… yet out of harms way.   There’s so much on the market.  Everything in my old home town seems for sale.  Everything.

I’m staying, as usual, in The Pines… a guest in the most gorgeous house.  I stayed here last year.  So many pretty things to look at, art to admire and crisp white linen to drown in at night.  A fancy cooks kitchen, every utensil one could possibly wish for.

As I was winding down last night I noticed that the house is loaded with alcohol, bottles and bottles… and I am all alone.  It’s odd isn’t it?  What keeps me, and those who want it badly enough, away from the booze.  Sober.  Nobody would ever know if I took a huge gulp of something before I went to bed.  Only me.

What’s stopping me from taking a drink from the well stocked bar?  Even if it’s just me?  I suppose… I would know and God would know.  The power of ones conscience.  I’d lose the only thing I’ve ever worked really hard to keep.

I realize that many people don’t get sobriety.  The disease, the god part, the endless AA meetings.  During the past 17 years it’s been a struggle to remain interested or focused.  There’s so much to put you off.  Sober people can be a big pain in the butt.  The endless revolving door of people you meet who commit to sobriety then drink again, the deaths, the drama, the fucking rules…  but I tell you, if this is a cult (and many say it is) I’m a happy member.

I’m cooking a very old-fashioned coq au vin.  A hearty treat for a chilly May evening on Fire island.

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Williamsburg Snow
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Christina Rossetti

It’s snow day here in NYC.  Me and the man are at his place in Williamsburg.  It’s been 5 months now.  Seems to be enduring.  We are watching a neo-liberal straight man mock elderly Russians in Sochi for their old-fashioned views about gay people.  He really didn’t have to go that far to find narrow-minded people with hate in their hearts for the gays.

He could have gone to New Jersey.

As for narrow minds… just because one’s a gay doesn’t mean that you have a naturally expanded view of the world… that you are more insightful, more agreeable, less prejudiced or liberal.  Yet, the pro gay press wouldn’t dare reveal the dark side of the gay for fear of annoying their new pay masters.

Ask dumb gay people what they think about immigration, women’s rights, racism and laugh at their fucked up right wing views. Yes, do it.

What a delightful diversion the gays have become.   Whilst we fight to be in the military the military fights illegal wars, whilst we demand benefits those same benefits are taken away in the name of austerity, whilst we line up to get married the divorce rate soars.

With that in mind I thought I might share my recent queer adventures with the gays.

Given that the gays in AA pretty much write their own rules… writing about them seems perfectly ok.  After all, we are meant to keep what we see and hear in AA a big fucking secret.  The gays rarely play by that fundamental rule.

They sit before meetings gossiping and cruelly discussing what they heard at their gay AA meetings.  “My sponsor HATES him.”  I heard some bitchy queen exclaim.  So I asked what kind of sponsor hates people in AA and tells his sponsee?  That didn’t go down very well.

Nope.

Gay AA is a cult within a cult.

The man just cooked me breakfast.   He really seems to love me.  Being loved is always a surprise. Whenever it happens.  The delightful routine, the domesticity, the kissing.  Taking the dogs for long walks in the snow.

Tyler Sunday

Last Monday I qualified at an AA meeting in the East Village.  A twenty-minute qualification.

I skipped the drugs and drinking part of the story and talked exclusively about  how I got sober and how I stay sober.

Since returning to NYC I had thrown myself back into AA.  90 meetings in 90 days.  A new sponsor and a new sponsee.  I quickly realized that there was no place for me in the gay meetings and opted for the straight/mixed meetings in far-flung places.

I could blast gay AA if I could be bothered… but I can’t.  Needless to say, it’s just not for me.

Monday morning, during the qualification, I nearly burst into tears.  In fact, I nearly burst into tears three times.

Once describing seeing the word God in the written steps of Alcoholics Anonymous at my first meeting,  the second when describing how humbling it was spending time with the tranny hookers I met in jail and thirdly when I remembered the final moments of my using.

I have never ever cried when qualifying.  I knew by the end of my share that something was seriously wrong with me.

I had a fun weekend with a young Texan.  We visited the New Museum, had various lunches and dinners with friends but all the while I felt listless, irritable, prone to bad temper.

We had HIV tests, we explored Williamsburg.  We looked at art, we bought action figures.

Tyler left on Sunday.

Within hours of his leaving my pee had turned a dark umber.

I felt the return of the pain in my chest that I often commented, when ever I had it, on Facebook.

Helpful people told me it was acid reflux, they told me to go to the doctor.  They told me to touch my toes.

I told them:

Is this flu or depression or anxiety or kidney failure?  Guess what folks… the terrible chest and back cramps have returned with a fever…

The terrible chest and stomach pains that I learned to dread, that had plagued me for the past two years were getting progressively worse.

Now, added to everything else… the pale brown pee.  I knew things were… serious.  But I remained optimistic that by the morning the pee would return to normal.

On Tuesday morning, despite my optimism,  my pee had turned the colour of coca cola.

I called a doctor friend at Cornell who made an appointment to see me immediately.

In huge pain I made my way to his office on the upper east side.

He prodded and poked then had me take a sonogram which revealed the cause of the problem:  gall stones… lots of them.

One of them, he suggested, may have lodged in the bile duct and the bile was now backing up into my blood.

By Tuesday afternoon my eyes were bright yellow.

I told my doctor friend that my mother had her gallbladder removed and my father had died of pancreatic cancer.  He baulked.  He couldn’t be sure that this wasn’t cancer until they had probed a little more.

He took blood and sent me home, making an appointment to see his urologist friend this week.

When I got home I went directly to bed.  The pain worsened.  I was in difficulty.  I called my doctor.  He told me to go to the ER.

I called my landlady and she kindly drove me to the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The doctor called ahead so I was quickly admitted and given a massive dose of morphine.

Hospital Portrait

In a painful daze, during the next day, I had the blockage removed.

The young gay man who removed the stone was incredibly chipper, explained what he was going to do and soon I was asleep.

They shoved something down my throat and into my tummy.  They cut into the bile duct and removed the obstruction.  They checked my pancreas.

It was ironic: the gall bladder and the pancreas irritating each other.  My mother and father at war in my tummy.

I woke up.

Thank GOD it wasn’t cancer.  It was a gall stone.  But my pancreas was angry.  The doctors urged me to have the gallbladder removed.

The following day I was wheeled into surgery and had my Laparoscopic Gallbladder Removal.

I woke up with a dull thud in my belly and four small incisions.

The surgeon described my gallbladder as ‘severely traumatized’.

The bladder had been suffering for many, many years and within hours of surgery I knew that I was waking up without just the physical bladder but without a huge emotional burden.

I felt free. I feel free.

Little Dog

A day longer in the hospital recuperating and they sent me home.

Dear Cristina sent a car to fetch me and Stephen and Roy filled the fridge with wonderful things to eat.

My time in the hospital was made so much better by everyone who works there.

The doctors, surgeons, specialists, nurses and orderlies.

Every one of them treated me with respect, kindness and the level of care I received was without comparison.

Each doctor looked me in the eye, introduced themselves and shook my hand.  They described in detail what was going on and gave me options.

The surgeon bantered and made one feel at ease.

The nurses said goodbye to each patient when they left their shift.

Every person I met wished me a speedy recovery and good luck.

Even though the hospital remains over crowded (since hurricane Sandy) and we were housed in former waiting areas and reopened buildings the staff were sublimely professional.

The other patients, however, were terrible.  They complained about everything.  The staff remained, in the face of this rank ingratitude, resilient.

I saw drug addicts in the ER demand morphine.  I heard men rudely tell nurses that they ‘didn’t do’ wards.  I heard cantankerous men demand their diapers changed.  The nurses were treated like care slaves.  Like servants.

The lack of any kind of humility from most patients was stunning.

I apologized whenever I could for the behavior of my fellow patients.

I’m sure that fear and pain determine the behaviors of most people in hospital.

I’m sure that the entitled rich expect so much more because of the high insurance premiums they pay and the poor… well, they  never get to treat anybody as they are treated.

Still, it’s no excuse.  Bad manners prevail.

It was another peculiarly American experience, one I will never forget.

The dogs were happy to see me but I was less happy to see them.  I couldn’t deal with how much attention they demanded.

I lay in my bed watching the Oscars.  A long way away from that terrible, cruel world.

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Published today in The Fix and responded to in The Advocate….

On October 1st I will be 16 years sober.

That means that I have not had a drink or a drug for 16 years.

I got sober and I didn’t relapse.

Gay men find it impossible to stay sober. They relapse again and again. The reason is clear: sex. Sexual addiction. I am not suggesting that all gay men who claim that they are alcoholic are in fact sex addicts but most gay men who can’t stay sober cite sex as the primary reason for relapse.

The simple fact of the matter is that most of the time, readily available anonymous hook ups quickly take the place of alcohol and drugs. When a sober man walks into the apartment of a super hot man doing crystal meth, sobriety is quickly flushed down the toilet along with HIV status.

I hear the story over and over again. Yet, as a community, we think we can get away with this risky behavior. It is an arrogant vanity.

Gay AA is a sad affair. I go periodically—mostly when I flee the super charged straight stag meetings because I find the straight, young newcomers too triggering.

While many straight sober people create a new life with AA that involves abandoning bars and other locations that might lead to relapse, gay sober men often want a sober version of the life they had before, complete with dance parties, bars and gogo boys. Any reason to have a party will do—including the absurd “three-month anniversary.” Or, as one galling invitation I received said, “Help Joe S. celebrate his one-month anniversary.”

Forgive me if I’m wrong but anniversaries are a yearly celebration.

Many of these sober parties are indistinguishable from their non sober equivalent: scantily clad men line up for espresso machines manned by disco short-wearing super hot straight guys more used to shaking cocktails than dispensing coffee to gay guys jacked up on caffeine. Unable to attend drug-crazed gay circuit parties, many gay sober men in LA flock to the sober circuit parties, such as Hot ‘n Dry, which is held annually in Palm Springs. These events are more likely to take someone out than any other reason I’ve ever heard in gay AA. Yearly, after this event, bedraggled gay men turn up at meetings, their eyes blazing from excessive drug use, taking newcomer chips. Should I be surprised? After all, the Hot n’ Dry ticket salesman had assured me that it would be “a sex fest from the moment you arrive at the Ace Hotel.”

The absurd idea that we can behave like we have always behaved as long as we have a deluded and lackluster understanding of the 12 steps just doesn’t work. Two years ago, after I appeared on Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew, I suggested that within the gay community, we might have a sexual unmanageability problem and was flooded with vitriol. But that’s not going to stop me from sharing what I believe to be serious issues.

The other serious issue within gay AA, in my opinion, is the resistance to God or a Higher Power. Most of my gay sponsees are understandably wary of God. The Christian God—the religious God—hasn’t made them feel very welcome in the past and has actually steeped them in shame and misery. To find that at the heart of AA is a God—even if it’s one of their own understanding—is anathema to most gay men. From what I can determine, most gay men just ignore the God part of the 12 steps—a relevant fact when the God part, in my estimation, accounts for roughly 90% of recovery. Working through the God options with gay men can be excruciating. Why bother looking for spiritual validation when they can get immediate validation on Grindr?

I used to love AA in LA; my love for it was actually the reason I first moved to LA. Now I hate it. It’s like a cult—sober grandees ruling over desperate men, the film industry providing the sickest of backdrops: men flaying themselves before agents and film executives in the hope of catching crumbs from the sober table I see this everywhere from the straight stag meetings, where misogyny and homophobia are expressed freely, to the sickest meetings of all: Gay AA in LA.

For all of these reasons and more, last November, after nearly 16 years, I stopped going to AA meetings. I was exhausted, disillusioned and utterly miserable. My last meeting in LA, at the iconic Log Cabin on Robertson in West Hollywood, was a gay meeting attended by 300 gay men.

I couldn’t walk away fast enough.

And yet yesterday, after a nine-month hiatus, I walked into a co-ed meeting in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I was an hour early. I helped set out the chairs in ten neat rows and then I made the coffee. During the meeting, I shared my resentments and my fears and afterwards, a tiny woman called Dianne came up to me and let me have two full barrels of her tough love wisdom.

“It’s time for you to get fucking humble,” she said. “Come back and do fucking 90 in 90 like a newcomer.”

She was right. After months away from AA, I felt spiritually bankrupt. I stopped fighting and did what we are all meant to in the rooms of AA: I gave in.

Later that evening, the young man I helped set up the meeting took me for dinner. We talked recovery. This morning, we had sex. There I was, doing the walk of shame, doubled down. I had once again fucked a newcomer, counting days. It’s my story in AA. The younger men find my honesty irresistible and I can’t say no.

When I first got sober in London, the only gay men I met in AA were old queens at the Eton Square meeting. I met a couple of gay men in NA but within the deluded gay community, at that time, there was a mantra I heard over and over that “quitting was for losers.” Several years later, after celebrities like Boy George got sober, the rooms of AA and NA filled quickly with what we now recognize as gay recovery.

Back then I was accused, by my drinking friends, of being a contrarian—of rocking the boat and spoiling it for the others. As it happened, I was in the vanguard. I remember being hounded by drunken gay men who were outraged that I might, just by being sober, challenge their powerlessness and un-manageability. Of course those very same men now thank me for introducing them to the 12 steps.

After a few months away from AA, I am ready to start again but, as Dianne said, I’ve got to get humble, forget all those years of sobriety and do 90 meetings in 90 days. For the first time in a long time, I value my life. I should have left LA years ago but I’m a tenacious old queen; I didn’t want to let go. Just one more meeting might fix me. Just more line, one more Vodka Tonic and the crazy opera playing in my head might stop.

Walking back into AA in New York was a relief, a joy—just like it used to be. I want to be sober. The only problem getting in the way of that is me. But I know that if I’m going to be able to do it, I’ll have to learn how to say no to sex. As a single gay man, the consequences are dire if I don’t.

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So, here it is.  Up and running.

My controversial, contemporary retelling of Oscar Wilde’s 1890 Lippincott version of  The Picture of Dorian Gray.

I really hope you enjoy it.

Dear Andy Gipson Mississippi state Rep. (R),

Apparently, on Facebook recently, you posted a note advocating the murder, slaughter, deaths of homosexuals after (black) President Obama had some personal feelings about gay marriage.

Well, I wholeheartedly support your ‘put homosexuals to death’ position…you know…kill a gay for Jesus. Yay. You’ve got my support.

However, I support you on one condition. You can kill any one of us..as long as you can look us in the eye and kill us with your bare hands. Your hands around our throats. For Jesus.

You know, like vegetarians who urge carnivores to try killing their own meat before they eat another burger.

I mean, it’s one thing to say something terrible like that Andy but it’s another doing it…isn’t it?

I’ve posted some pictures of some gay people and their friends below for you to imagine shooting or gassing.

I saw you with your kids. You’re obviously a good dad. I mean…apart from wanting to commit genocide.

Have you seen pictures of the gestapo on their days off? Holding their kids in their arms?

I noticed too that you dress your kids in army uniforms. Are you training them to kill gays?

I was in a pub once called the Admiral Duncan in London that was bombed by a man like you who wanted to kill gays. He killed as many heterosexuals as he killed homosexuals. He went to prison for a very long time.

Will it make you happy or sad when you squeeze the life out of your first gay?

Andy!!! God forbid! Have you ever thought your children might be homosexual? What will you do when your children want to come out? When your children ‘come out’ will you enjoy killing them?

How will you feel? Taking their lives for Jesus? I thought you people were pro-life?

Apparently, at the concentration camps in Germany (during the last great state sanctioned homocleansing) where large numbers of gays and lesbians were murdered…the guards tortured us before butchering us.

Could you imagine doing that?

Do you ever have thoughts like that?

How exactly do you want to kill us? I mean, there are millions of us…in God’s great plan…he sure fucked things up.

Disposing of all that gay meat and bones may very well increase the deficit you despise so much.

I’ve given your problem of eradicating us gays a great deal of thought.

It occurs to a simple-minded man like me that however many of us you kill we will return.

Every generation you straight people manage to make more gay people.

If, for instance, you could determine when we were fetus that we might be gay…would you offer free abortions to women…NOOOO!!!! No abortions. Nothing FREE!!! The deficit!!

OH…yes…we’re probably evidence of the devil’s work? Is that right? But, I can eat garlic and sprinkle holy water on my forehead without turning to dust or the water burning my skin.

I must admit that I’ve thought about murdering some of my exes and if you could start…when the day comes…and you get permission to murder us…can you murder my ex first? I mean, before me. So I can see it happen maybe? Then you can turn the gun on me.

Have you ever considered just murdering gay people for fun? You seem like you might enjoy it.

Thank God Jesus has people like you to help him at difficult times like this.

I thought ‘thou shalt not kill‘ was a commandment but you people seem to make this bible stuff up as you go along.

Do you think you could help me go straight, stop hankering after a mouthful of cock?

I may renounce my gayness and come join your congregation. Come and live at your house. Ex gay. I’m too old to be gay anyway.

No. I’m not doing that. I’m a butt fucking gay. Too old to be ashamed of who I am. Too old.

I live in California. If you are ever here and feel like killing me for being gay…or any other reason…just let me know.

Facebook me.

And just in case you didn’t think it could get any worse:

The charming words of Charlie Worley, another gay killing pastor.

 

As I embark on my 15th year of sobriety are things as I imagined they would be?

Well…they are as they are.

In God‘s perfect world there is nothing I can’t handle.

I have enough.

Enough is all I have.

What was it like before I got sober?  It was a daily, living hell.

This is the day I that I yearly recommit to sobriety and this is the day that forces me to take stock and move forward unburdened.

The day where I take a thorough inventory, both good and bad.

Some things need left behind.  You know what I am talking about.

Some things need embracing.

Life needs to be lived.

For all the love/health/death/aggravation of the past year…today I am strong and secure.  Today.

It seems that although forgiveness is key…it is a hard thing to swallow.

I spent the day with beautiful Robby… out and about.   Firstly in the garden spreadingcompost around the fruit trees and the grape vines.

After lunch we headed into Venice for expensive Intelligentsia coffee.

We had tried returning a Mighty Mule 500 automatic gate opener at Home Depot but they refused our request claiming that I needed the ‘box it was sold in’.  Who keeps every box for everything they ever bought?  When I asked the manager this questions he said, “I keep all my shoe boxes.”  It was a lame reply.

I called the Mighty Mule people, the Southern man at the other end of the fractured cell phone line told me that my Mighty Mule 500 was still under warranty but I would have to pay the expensive postage to return it.

Frustrated with his reply I said, “Oh God!

The man at the other end of the phone said, “Don’t swear at me.”

“I didn’t swear.”

“You used the G-O-D word.”  He spelled out the word God.

“Since when has the word God been a swear word?”

“If you don’t stop swearing at me I’ll terminate this call.”  His southern drawl smearing the words into a verbal paste.

“I’m not fucking swearing.”

“Sir!”

“You fucking cunt.”

Click.

The Home Depot security guard who had been listening to me speaking on the phone stepped tentatively toward me.  We left.  The defective, un-boxed Might Mule 500 gate opener in the back of the car.

Apparently today is blasphemy day.

Later that afternoon as the sun began to set we were in the car driving over the Santa Monica Mountains and I said, “Do you think it’s odd that I enjoy spending my time with a twenty-one year old than with almost anyone my own age.”  He said, “Do you think it’s weird that I enjoy spending time with a fifty year old more than people my own age?”

We laughed at how our perfection would always be denied.

He is perfection.

I spent another night at the house of the troubled child who had, earlier in the day, run away from home.  When he returned home late that night he was ashen, fried, wasted…what could his parents do?

Art Platform, Pacific Standard Time and most other LA art events start today.  I am attempting to get to most of them.  Will keep you in the loop.

The decorators started work repairing the huge mess left by the renters yesterday.  I will tell you more about that tomorrow.  It’s a story I have been keeping under my hat.  Now is maybe the time to reveal all.

After a day of resting my poor foot Andrew and I decided to go to Hollywood.   Not particularly searching for a party but interested by the prospect.  We met my friend Samantha and her super cute actor friend for dinner.

Hollywood seemed unreasonably quiet after the VMA’s last night.  The Chateau looked busy, Sunset Tower was rockin’.  The SHLA  just right.  I have no idea where everyone was…but where ever they were I wasn’t with them.

We did, however, bump into Adele with whom I was uncharacteristically star struck.

She was surrounded by burly security men and has a booming, luxurious speaking voice, a huge presence.  Like a tiny field mouse I told her how wonderful she was and she in turn asked if I had any Marlborough Lights.

My briefest brush with Adele.

Now, I am kinda sick of being told that I am name-dropping every time I tell you who I meet or bump into.   It’s Hollywood!  The town is packed with names.  I am a small town British boy who, at those moments, wonders how he ever gets to have so much fun.

Whenever I tell you about who I meet it’s not to self aggrandize.  I thought you might be interested?  No?

I saw this:  a very drunk woman wearing Christian Louboutin shoes being hauled into a limousine by her uniformed driver.

Vomiting over the very same shoes that would have paid most of my utilities for a whole month.

The driver looked understandably perplexed.

There seems to be some confusion about my state of mind at present.  Just to clear things up: Despite my imminent trip to NYC to see Jake in court I am actually very content, happy even.  Part of that happiness comes from being at peace with the idea that…I am unlikely to ever have another relationship.  Ever.

Why?  Because I am impossible…that’s why.

That doesn’t mean I want to have a million hook ups…I don’t.   Let’s face it..I have always loved the fantasy more than the reality.   A real person by my side?  I can’t do it.

I know lots of straight batchelors my age.

As I said the last time I wrote my blog, having a boy friend would be like working in an office.  Do you know what I mean?  I am not that guy.  Unemployable maybe?  Probably.  Unloveable?  Well, probably not…but incapable of having a relationship.  Incapable of accepting love.

I am listening to Adele.  Remembering what it felt to be in love.  Thank God that’s over.  Like sticking your hand in the fire.

When I was a kid my Grandmother and I found a diamond brooch.  She handed it to the police.  All my life I couldn’t understand why she did that.  Now I do.

Meeting Jake was like finding that diamond brooch in the street.  It wasn’t mine to have yet I did not want to give it up.  It was beautiful and sparkled in the night.  But what’s a man to do with such a thing?  I couldn’t wear it.  I had to give it back.  Unwillingly.

So, I am happy.  Can you understand that?  I don’t think you can.

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I had no idea yesterday was Friday. I thought it was Wednesday. That’s how disorienting the mountain can be.

I have been trapping squirrels. Peanut butter and Weetabix. My secret weapon. The little dog at my side. Spent the rest of the day under the deck clearing dead leaves.

Paid water bill in Malibu, picked up some milk.

Dinner with friends. Crappy Cafe Habana. The rudest waitress on the planet.

Cold mist over the mountain. The weather is totally fucked up.

Apparently The ‘A’ List is very amusing.  Ian had an advance screener.  I probably don’t come off very well.  Never mind.  I am, according to Ian…referred to as ‘smelly’.   Watch the show on Logo, Monday night.  More will be revealed.

Because you love me (huh?) an anonymous ‘friend’ out there decided to send a recent picture of Jake.

Please don’t do it. As you are well aware, it just inflames the situation.

I don’t want to see him or hear anything about him.  I am at peace with him. Want the best for him.

I forgave him for writing that horrible email, for lying to me.  His lies, in retrospect, were perfectly understandable.  He was in a terrible situation.  I forgive you for being selfish and insensitive….for doing what perhaps all your non-sober friends would think perfectly reasonable.

I forgive you for wanting me to be something I never was.  I forgive you because you didn’t know.

What is my part in all of this? When everyone around me was warning not to get involved I ignored you all. I ignored John. I ignored Mr. P. I ignored Dr. D and my therapist Jill.  Instead of going to meetings and connecting with dependable friends I sank into my addiction. Acting out with a straight identified man.

Regardless of what he morphed into…he was not mine to love.  It is indeed very alluring to be told that you are loved but I am old enough, experienced enough to have seen it for what it was.  I chose not to.

I’m sorry I wasn’t stronger. I’m sorry for bruising you inside and out. I’m sorry that I couldn’t stop myself from loving you. I’m sorry that I was insensitive and selfish. I’m sorry for shouting.  I’m sorry I lied.  Most of all, I was wrong to have waged this war against you, not least because I have done myself irreparable damage.

I was wrong.

I was weak.

I fell for him…as many will.

You are a beautiful, sexy, romantic, intelligent man. Above all…you are curious.  If you are not already, you will make someone very happy, very proud.  You will make some equally honorable man a great husband, you will be a good father.

I wanted you for myself. In a different narrative that wouldn’t be so bad. But you had just come out, bravely left one life to make something brand new.   I should have been a support, a conduit.

Peace comes from acceptance and forgiveness.

I hope one day you will find it in your heart to forgive.  I don’t need to know that you have.

My Whitstable mash up…I was his age when I made that video and it reminded me of what sort of man I was. Unprepared. I was unprepared and willful.

I imagine that he is out there doing his best to be honest. Living in New York, working every day.

Connecting to his new gay life.

I hope he marvels at his good fortune: his new gay life. The opportunities it affords. With marriage and babies and freedom…it’s a great time in New York to be a gay man.

Both Zach and Dan told me that I should stop writing about Jake.  Zach told me that it made me sound weak.  Well, that maybe.  Weak or not, it’s time to move on.

At some point soon I have to remove (yet again) any reference to him from this blog. Any photograph, his name etc. It just has to be.  Not because I am being forced but because it is the right thing to do.  As if it never happened. As if we never happened.

This blog and his name written here ties him to me as much as I have strapped myself to him like a suicide bomb.

So, Adieu my friend.

I am writing this at The Country Mart in Malibu waiting for Karim as he stands in line for our lunch.

He is off to Patmos, ParisAntibes and Athens for the rest of the summer. Places I love.

Some of those places we visited.  I will cherish those memories.  I will overlook the problems.  I will keep quiet now about what we loved most because only we know.

I used to be a Quaker, a member of the religious organization also known as The Society of Friends.

I went to my first meeting when I was 13 years old, primarily to get out of British boarding school Sunday morning chores.

My headmaster John Lampen and his wife Diana were running the small independent school near Shrewsbury called Shotton Hall.  They were both very enthusiastic Quakers.  They radiated that peculiar peace for which Quakers are renowned.

When everything at school seemed chaotic John would provide, in retrospect, a different kind of solution.  I was drawn to him yet baffled.  Nothing seemed to annoy him…and he knows I tried.

His alternative Oxbridge way of thinking both irritated and inspired me.   He was self-assured but never smug.

He had something I most definitely wanted.

I asked if I could go to their Quaker meetings.

Sunny Shrewsbury Sunday morning.  The meeting was held in a regency building set off the High Street.   Cobbled streets, plane trees, red sandstone peculiar to the region.

I was an unruly, difficult child.  At my first Quaker meeting I felt immediately accepted.  This was an inclusive church.  One where a young gay boy might find solace rather than damnation.

I heard, “There is that of God in every man.” and I was sold.  The God I knew existed.   No longer dressed in extravagant robes, tradition, canticles or phony ritual.  A simple room filled with love.  No more priests or clergy to funnel God into me like a goose choking back the corn, but there I was a 13-year-old boy looking within to find God in my heart.

I started going to meetings regularly, sitting silently for an hour, attempting to find and nurture a God of my understanding.   “Like a spec of gold.” Diana said.  If moved to share, a Friend would stand and speak.  Sharing whatever God Shot was on his or her mind.

This was revolutionary!  We were all priests.

It was as evident to me then as it is now that this was how human beings, focused on a power greater than themselves connected with their ‘God’ and each other…found joy.  Without the myths and tales and dogma of organized religion it was here that we set aside our differences and focused on thinking our way into right action.

I knew instinctively that when I sat quietly in a room of meditating humans I was probably doing something that we had learned to do millions of years before.  On the tundra, in the shadow of Stone Henge.

Some of us.

Reflection and God-consciousness does not suit every man.  It is apparent that not all men are created curious.

My years as an active Quaker were perhaps the happiest times of my life.  I loved the room.  I have never been frightened of old people, different people, sick people.  Perhaps that’s why I get into so much trouble?

I left school, striking out on my own into the dramatic new world of my own creation.  I left the tranquility of those Quaker meeting houses behind me.  I left God behind me.  Nearly twenty years later, smashed to pieces by my own bad choices I would once again seek out some fundamental truths and a relationship with a God I knew was indeed in every man….including me.

I did not return to The Society of Friends but to the rooms of AA where a healthy relationship with God is essential for an everyday peace.

Yesterday was my birthday and hundreds of you wished me well.  One of the great benefits of Facebook: we can celebrate our lives with an extended community of friends and acquaintances.  Amongst the notes Kevin Sessums wrote to me.

He said, “Happy b’day .. have a special day with special friends not just FB ones …”

I wondered if friends on Facebook were any less special than those I met in the real world.  I have never met Kevin yet I enjoy our Facebook friendship.  I don’t know if I would necessarily enjoy him more if I met him.

Pen Pals we used to call them when I was a child. People I wrote to in different countries who would tell me about their exotic lives and I would live vicariously through them.  Facebook is no different.  I like to engage as I do in the real world.  I like my ‘friends’ to see what I am up to and like when they comment.  I like when they share their holiday snaps, their location and trial and tribulations.

I have several real communities that I keep up with virtually.  Whitstable, Sydney, New York.  I have friends in all of those places (Jake cruelly called them my sycophants) and Facebook allows me the opportunity of enhancing and deepening my ties to those disparate people.

Real people disappoint me.  Facebook friends rarely do.  I have no expectations of those I meet on-line.  Enter my world or my house and I may not know you for very long.

I had lunch with Jennie Ketcham in Venice.  We hadn’t seen each other for an age.  She looked great.

Later that night Toby threw an impromptu party for me at his house and many LA friends arrived to wish me well.  Were they special friends?  The ones I know from AA and SAA most certainly are.   I have a deep connection with those friends with whom I sit quietly, go in peace and share a common interest in God.

I didn’t take any pictures.

Regardless of any drama that may or may not be unfolding in this real world I recognize at my core a stillness that I learned as a teenage boy from long dead Quakers on quiet Sunday mornings in Shrewsbury.  It is to you that I give thanks this morning.  Thank you Joyce, Priscilla, Raymond, Susan, Diana and John.  Thank you.

If I hadn’t met you, if you hadn’t shared so humbly what you knew to be the truth about God I don’t think I would have celebrated this last birthday nor many, many before it.

Duncan and Gabe

The garden.  Watering the garden.  Tending the garden.  Seedlings.  Deer at night.  Snakes by day.  Warm sun, a cool breeze blowing off the ocean.  It is just all so beautiful and thrilling.

I take my afternoon nap.  I write my blog.  I walk by the ocean. Gabe is here.  The tide is high.  The Little Dog runs from the waves, darting in and out of the rocks.  The surfers ride them high, crashing into the water.

News items that disturb me:  The mutilated 13-year-old Syrian boy.  The care workers in England who tortured their mentally ill charges.  The other little boy who may win a fixed British talent contest.  The corrupt and uncaring government.

Yet, despite these horrors I can still find peace.  I am at one with who I am.  Will this last?  No it wont, but why bother worrying about what may or may not come next?

Spirituality means dealing with our intuition.   The divine is looking kindly upon me?

I am here and now.  Experiencing right now.  No point in dwelling on the past or imagining the future.  This very moment.  Nothing mystical.  Precise.

Why be threatened by the now?  Jumping to the past or the future.  The now is good.

I am no longer waiting to be dead.

Trust right now.  It is very powerful.  Interacting with the now.  Everything I experience is unconditional.

Borrowing from the past and inviting the future.   No, not today.

Perhaps this is why I want God to look kindly upon me?

This morning I fight with AT&T because they have over charged me.  I take the twins and Gabe to breakfast at the Lumber Yard.  I water the citrus trees. Yesterday I stayed at the house all day gardening.

Enough is all I have so I must trust that enough is all I need.  My needs are met. Right NOW.  Look around me and experience what for the past year has been so elusive.   I live in a paradise.  My own paradise.  It is no use dwelling on future catastrophes when I love what is happening right now.  It is no use hankering after what could have been. It is no use comparing what I have with what others own and despairing that I want even more.

I am a single man with far too much already.

Now.

PS My friend and backgammon foe Sam (Levinson) is dating Ellen Barkin. I celebrate their 31 years age difference.

My friend Alecia has had her baby.

This Morning on the Beach

Good God, such an incredible day. I didn’t make it to the island.

The beautiful Dane visited instead. We have a good thing going. He is incredibly sanguine. For a Dane that’s pretty damned unusual. He sweeps back his long hair, looks directly into my soul with his grey/blue eyes. When we hugged goodbye I could feel his heart pounding in his chest.

He saw that I had been hurt, that I was angry. He wanted to know what had been happening. I didn’t tell him about the recent past. I don’t want to sully this sweet arrangement with anything sour.

I went to AA meeting after he caught his train. It wasn’t a great meeting. A Brit with an attitude.

Spent the afternoon arranging my birthday party. After last years miserable fiasco in Whitstable with him and his anal leakage. This year I am going to push the fucking boat out. So, today I started planning. In a few short hours: Venue booked, performers booked. Dinner for thirty then a good old fashioned hootenanny for 50 more after dinner guests. Aleksa and Devon, Amelia…it’s going to be a blast. Publicist, photographers. Just like it should have been last year.

New York!

This evening I went to a bar called KGB on 4th Street to my friend Anthony’s poetry reading. He is definitely going to read at my party. He was fantastic.

On the way home I stopped in at This little Piggy on 1st Ave which sells, of course, roast beef. I stood at the bar stuffing myself with beef, drinking orange soda and tapping my foot to Frank Sinatra. To top it off he didn’t charge me because he recognised me from Sex Rehab. Ah, the spoils of war.

I am home now, just jumped off the phone. Amelia and I…plotting and schemeing.

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It’s sunny today and that might very well describe my disposition. We are sitting in the blazing sun eating breakfast. The dog senses that we might be going to the beach. He is jumping around, happy. He, like me, seems a great deal lighter.

Less at the mercy of my dark side.

Another very social, busy yesterday. Began with waking up next to Alex. Walked the dog. My 12am meeting at NYU, sat down next to super cute Danish boy who I ended up spending time with later. The topic was: obsession, the relief of. It made me laugh out loud. To complicate matters who was sitting in the room? JP, one of my great old loves/obsessions and someone I had not seen for 12 years.

He said, “Hello mate…” and gave me a huge hug.

After the meeting JP and I meandered down 10th street. We asked after our respective families, marveled at how we are both going to be on the island this summer. It was a God send. To meet someone with whom one has been seriously involved and now feels nothing. At least JP has not lost his looks. He looked strong. He is as tall as me and suits his stature.

I did not arrange to meet him again. To see him and smile was enough.

He said, “Are you still fighting the world?”

One day, after many years have past, The Penguin and I will bump into each other and the same will be true. Resentments and history turned to dust. We still have our September court appearance to get through. I kinda wish I hadn’t chosen that option. I should have just agreed to the terms. What was I thinking?

On FB looking at my friend Rose’s comments. I like what she posts from The Guardian and The Independent. She has a sensible view of life. She is a socialist, she believes that her principles are correct and proper. As you do, I found myself looking at her party pictures and there she was, one of many middle-aged lesbians dancing with all the lights on.

I thought rather uncharitably that even though she has good principles would I want to be her? The answer is, obviously, no. Would I aspire to be her? No.

We all have our own crosses to bear, our own opinions, mistakes, passions and ultimately death.

For months and months I have thought that death was a better option than living this miserable, unresolved life. Without much effort I am alive once again…so, I better get on with some living.

Dashed home (after a two hour steam) to get changed and meet Zach and his boyfriend Alex for dinner. Delicious pork chop at Back 40 on Avenue B. Conversation lively. Gawker party immediately after (met, kissed and fondled super cute blond) then Lady Rizo’s Rapture Eve event at Joe’s Pub.

Zack, Alex, Dan and the Danish Beauty sat in the VIP area with some moody dykes and Baz Luhrmann. Stephen joined us and everybody wanted his take on our Family Court Extravaganza which has very quickly become another mythic Duncan Roy adventure. Starring the poison dwarf, his unremarkable parents and a chorus of black and latino battered wives.

Rizo’s performance was sublime. A Nina Simone tribute. Divinely sophisticated. Less camp. Gorgeous. Her Kurt Weille moment was so beautiful it was almost beyond description.

The audience went wild…ecstatic.

Back to Gawker party where Zach got into a huge fight with another guest about a psychic. An altercation ensued and Zach called the host’s best friend ‘Swamp Trash’ so we threw our metaphorical scarves over our shoulders and left the building.

Walked to Bedlam for a last glass of club soda. I ditched the crew and walked home alone. Anonymous amongst the throng of drunken, late night revellers.

I sat quietly in St Patrick‘s cathedral.

Just me and the Little Dog strangely all alone in that vaulted place.

I have no idea how or why I ended up there. I wanted avocado on toast at Gitane not a divine intervention.

I genuflect and bow my head.

I knelt right at the front, first pew, and looked up at the painting of Jesus who in that particular church is part cherub.

I don’t really believe in Jesus.  It’s a lovely idea but nah…Jesus is not my friend.  God, on the other hand, is my friend and it was to him that I genuflect, to him that I kneel and to him that I found myself praying with some adolescent insistence.

I kept on praying for the strength to forgive.  Please let me have the strength to forgive him.  Forgive his childish letter, forgive him for so crudely lying his way into my life.  Forgive him for being ordinary.  Yes, that sounds cruel but I wanted him to be extraordinary and he just isn’t.

We only have a few more days before I face The Penguin in court and all I want is to forgive him, to look into his face and forgive him.  I am praying hard that happens.

I don’t mind listening to anything he throws at me…I know he is fighting for his life…as long as I am at peace.   He made some really, really silly mistakes.  Mistakes that not only impacted on my life but on every person around him.

If only he had the guts to just say that he was sorry, he has no idea how forgiving I can be.

I spoke to John yesterday about unanswered questions and he made a very good point.

If, for instance, I asked my step-father why he did what he did to me, he really wouldn’t know.  He didn’t know.  When I confronted him all those years ago he collapsed into my arms.  Defeated by my directness.  It was the only time I ever saw him vulnerable.

The Penguin has no idea why he did what he did so it’s really no use asking him why.  Even though I want to know so badly.

Last night I rolled around a large bed with a young man I met in the park.   He walked to my house, brought me lilacs, paid for my dinner and as people are want to do, flicked through various photographs on my iPhone left over from when I first met The Penguin.

He said, “He looks like me.”

Yes, I said.  “He does look like you but he’s not at peace like you are.”

NYC is jam-packed with beautiful jewish boys.

When I left Joe after 7 years I could not understand why he was so angry with me.

I was old enough to know better.

Perhaps he had separation issues?  My arrogant reasoning.  Whatever it was, after I felt him his fury lasted for two years.  Perhaps I deserved it?  My ‘kindly’ leaving him, after all that I promised, was worth being punished for?

I know now that I certainly deserved it.

There is no good goodbye.  There is no way to ‘kindly’ leave someone you have loved and who loves you.   I loved Joe so badly but when it was time to go I had to pack my bags and leave.  Of course…it was not going to be that simple…I had the full weight of a billionaire’s wrath focused on me.  We ended up in court…well, I ended up outside a court room negotiating with his representative.

I was a litigant in person which meant that I repped myself.  I handled my own divorce.  I was happy with the outcome.  Who wouldn’t be?

I was also, at that time, two years sober.   I couldn’t have left him if I had been drinking.   The foundation on which our relationship was built had been sodden with white wine and Maker’s Mark since we first met.

Even after we had thrown everything we could at one another during our very messy divorce I still wanted to be his friend.  My love is not so easily discarded.  Like it or not people (his friends) we have seen each other since that time.  I wanted so badly to be at peace with him.

Surely that’s not unreasonable?

I made a hefty financial and emotional amends.  I paid him over $1, 000, 000.   I refused to hate him.  Yet, like it or not, I was on a solitary path.  On my own.  From then on I just couldn’t bear the pain of falling out of love.

Not until last year did I risk opening my heart again. Ha!  Look where that ended up.  What galls me most is that I attempted, yet again, a kind goodbye and yet again I was rebuffed.

When relationships end it seems unthinkable that a workable peace cannot be achieved.  That an amends can’t be made.  That adults can’t find a solution and part amicably.

My part.  What is my part?  How do I take responsibility for my actions?  The choices I make?  I assure you that I know all too well that given the correct information ahead of time I will try to do the right thing.

Even if, as was the case, I was duped into my last relationship.

How can anyone make the right life choice when the facts have been so skewed?

When I am lied to, when the truth is withheld from me how am I expected to make good choices?  That is how we find ourselves in this present pickle.

I simply would not have entertained knowing JB if he had told me the truth.

The house smells of hyacinth.  The boys are making themselves midnight snacks.  They dragged me to the movies.    We saw Paul which we really enjoyed.  We were the only people in the cinema.

Darling Georgina, my Whitstable buddy, is sick with pneumonia.   I am gravely worried about her.  She works every hour God sends in her charming bed and breakfast, Copeland House on Island Wall.

She is a generous, kind, strong woman.  A great friend to me and many, many others.

Please, Whitstable people make sure she is safe and well.  Look out for her.  Keep her in your prayers.

Like most people in Whitstable, I have known her for most of my life.  We have been on all sorts of adventures together.  Had our ups and downs.  Who doesn’t?

She needs peace and quiet to recuperate.

I wish I could be there with her now to help but I am here.  Perhaps I should get a flight this afternoon?

I am thinking of you darling.  Thinking hard.  Good, kind thoughts.

Phil and Duncan

Scroll down for the Patmos transcript.

Look at the view!  It’s a warm morning where I am.  The sky is pale pink, the sea is almost blue.  The rain this winter has caused every Ceanothus to bloom.  Almost blue.

Not like the one I planted in my Whitstable garden which bloomed purple, fleshy flowers.

The garden herein Malibu is now Fire Safe.   They have cleared the brush and hoed the beds.   The trees are almost fully in leaf.  The tiny quail and their tinier babies search in the tilled soil for food.  I don’t know what they eat.

Stephen, Kristian’s one time boy friend send me a collection of his writings that I have not had time to read yet.  Kristian Digby.  Where are you?  I wish you were here.  I wish you were alive.

I think that it may be Jean’s memorial today.  I’m not going.  It would be hypocritical.  We were once friends.  I want to remember what it was like to be his friend.  Sit quietly with the memory.

Too many deaths recently.  Too many unnecessary deaths.  Each time they tell me that someone else is dead I have to look at my own fingers and imagine them bone and parchment.

I want to find you that page in my diary when we were on Patmos, Phil and I, and we looked into the charnel house and saw the desiccated remains of… people.  Tangled together, wearing their simple peasant garments.

I couldn’t sleep.

Phil splashed cologne around our bedroom.  It soothed me.

It’s a beautiful day today.  Best I concentrate on that?

I felt the shame.   Shame is like scraping meat off the bone.

I’m writing about one isolated man being saved by less isolated men.  Was this past year such a waste?  This was the year when obsession became my higher power.  Now I have a chance to know God once again.  Will I ever get home?

Here are the Patmos diary entries for August 1990.

I am with my darling Phillipa Heiman.  We are staying in her mother’s beautiful summer house overlooking the Aegean.

We are lovers.  We visit the charnel house.

Wednesday August 15th 1990 PATMOS

The masseur said that I should wear something loose.  I opted for my frog boxers, Victoria Whitbread gave them to me, green frogs hopping all over my genitals.  She poked and prodded and soothed, she twisted my arms and legs, her breasts pushed into my face, “I hope I’m not suffocating you.”  She said.

Her fingers glanced over the end of my dick.

“Your lymphatic system is now working.”  she declared as my stomach rumbled for more cold chicken.  She told me that, like many people, I had been frightened as a child and had reacted with my right side.  This reaction has begun a slow deterioration of the tissue in the areas seized and now they were completely ‘blocked’.

After a fag break she told me that I shouldn’t drink, that I should do Tai Chi and should have six more sessions costing a further 3000 drachma per session.  Thank the lordy for new age medicine!  The alternative society has got it made.  I am rushing back to London to learn anything I can to lay a few letters after my name.  D.P. Roy Alternative money-maker.  A.M.M.

As a final booster she poked me with an electric prod.  Very nice.

Philippa returned from a walk around the village, she had been to a church service which, from her description, sounded delightful.  We ate what was to be my last unfettered meal.  We stepped, after lunch, into the hot afternoon.

Through the alleys, to the monastery.  My spirits were high.  We faced the wind together, holding her breasts through her thin silk dress, letting her feel my stiffy on her thigh, she said that the monks would be shocked.

We found a fig tree and picked fresh figs, they tasted of nothing.  We found a pear tree and the fruit tasted of nothing.  We saw an English couple removing their shorts under a very unshadeful tree on top of a windy promontory.  Like the middle of a motorway, next to the rubbish dump full of plastic – not rotting, away from Xora there were plastic bottles, scores of them, strewn over the brown grass.

The hot afternoon my spirits are still high.   I’m making a lot of jokes at everybody’s expense – mostly  Philippa’s.  She’s enjoying it, her period has started so she’s happy again, woe betide me if I’d mentioned this as a contributing factor to the tears.  The tears were so terrible to see.  I am a broken man when I see my lover cry.  I see my mother and grandmother and aunts Evelyn and Margaret in her tears and I am a broken man.

We walked on, she wanted to see the graveyard which you can see clearly from the window in the drawing-room.  I am sitting opposite that window, all I have to do is to stand up and I can see the graveyard walls, a couple of white crosses, the blue iron gate and some white box out-houses.

We went the long way round, over prickling grass and clumps of brown dry plants and plastic bottles rolling around on the parched earth by the Meltemi which is a wind, a wind called the Meltemi.

We found the gate.  Most of the graves were new, some had photographs of old people.  One old man sitting on his chair outside the front door.  He looked like a loved man.  A candle burnt in a tiny marble and glass casket.  An eternal flame.

The graves were made, in this concrete covered place, of tiny man holes.   A ring pull on top.  We looked inside an abandoned tomb.  These were obviously used over and over we concluded.  We thought that the bodies rested here for a bit, with the flame and the photographs and the plastic flowers and the crucifix.  We concluded that they would be cremated and scattered over the Aegean or the terraced island.

Our spirits high, we looked into one of the empty tombs.  Under the concrete.  A hollow waiting for its fill.  Maybe it would be Petula (our maid) with her twisted hair and apron.  Her bare, dead legs under the stone.  Petula, Petula compromised because we rearranged the cushions, the red, gold and orange ikat instead of pink delicate John Stefanidis print.  We’ve made the home ours now Petula.

Old Petula can rearrange the cushions under here.  Under the stone.

We made our way to another gate at the back of the graveyard.  We balked at an old coffin laid beneath a tree, we saw that it was laminated maple, birdseye maple effect.  A birdseye maple effect coffin to be transported from the village to the hole, there to be cremated and the little old man to be scattered into the Meltemi and over the sea.  Not a bad end.

“Wait a minute,” Philippa says, “Let’s look through here.”  I was on my way out, my spirits were high.  I looked past the evergreen where she stood ahead of me.  So beautiful!   Her large smile and eyes sparkling out to me – all radiant and all mine.  I don’t want her to go any further.  I want to leave there and then, our spirits high, home to a plate of cold chicken and potatoes.  Maybe our bed.

She turned into the other plot and I followed, ran ahead.  Past a small, stone, white building, to a shack stacked high with coffins.  Eww I said, how horrible, a shack full of coffins.  I wanted to get out.  I wanted to leave there and then.

“Look.”  She said gaily, “Bones.”

I ran ahead to where she was pointing, I ran right up to what was undeniably a thigh bone sticking out of the ground.

“They’re human.”  I said, my spirits no longer high, as high.  Not hit rock bottom.  Just a bone.  We looked into a pit.  An open hatch, like a cellar door straight into the ground.  It was not just a bone, it was a whole man or woman with clothes on, maybe two men or two women or three, with their nylons still sticking to bits of dead flesh.  With the sun on the white bone, the flesh torn away.

Fascinated, I looked into this death-bed, this corpse mine.  Looked at the big bones, no sculls and it was occurring to us what the godforsaken truth was.  There was no scattered ashes over the Aegean but this ossuary.  We stepped back from the pit stuffed with bones and slippers and old nylons pulled over what was once a plump thigh.  I retreated past the small white, stone building with steps that lead up to an open window.

“Look that room up there is full with these.”

I ran ahead, up the steps, my tee-shirt over my mouth.  I didn’t even think about it, it was natural that I shouldn’t breathe the same air as the dead.  I looked into my own hell.  Through the open window into a huge room crammed with rubber shoes, cheap by any standard, the paper liners eaten by maggots.  More arms and legs and ribs, all forked into this place.

Strewn into this terrible room.

I couldn’t leave it alone, I couldn’t leave it.  I couldn’t pull down the tee-shirt over my face and run away.  I couldn’t be sure that these weren’t donkeys or dogs somehow tangled up with jumble, that my eyes didn’t deceive me I needed to see a skull.

I stepped up higher so I could see past the mound of bones and clothes and shoes full of maggots.  I looked past all this and into the face that confirmed exactly what we already knew, what I had to see and wish I had never seen.  My spirits drained out of me, my anal sphincter winking in fear, my feet wanting to run as fast as they could from this Byzantine holocaust.

Phillipa, still smiling and flirting and dancing around.  Her belly just about to empty its bloody dead contents into her knickers.  The old man sitting by his front door, Petula the maid, her hair all snaked up around her head with her old, thin fingers.  Forked into that room.  This heaving room, where flies and rats can come and live off of the dead.

We walked out of the graveyard, past the blue, wrought iron gate and into the hot alleys and the afternoon sun.  We trailed back home, my spirits drained away.  My mind working on the image of death.  We could hear the bells calling the faithful to their pews, to the holy water, to the Festival of the Virgin whilst the tangled remains of granddad, children, motorbike accident victims all hugged one another unwittingly in that terrible room.

Back at the house I fell asleep on Phillipa’s stomach.  When I woke up I tried to make light of what we had seen.  We couldn’t.  My mind working on that image of death.  We had a rather bright dinner with the French.  I couldn’t eat much, the meat festered in my mouth.

I could see the grave candles burning from the night terrace, comets burning over our heads, my feet burning inside my silk slippers.  The twins arrived, showed us photographs, we drove into Skala.

Phillipa went to church, I went to the bar so I might forget.

I drank.  Sprayed with champagne.  It was our table that drank the most booze, our friends who danced the hardest, our friends who fell into the sea drunk and all the time my mind is working out that image of death.

Into the eyes of death, a death’s-head, not facing me.  Leading me into further horrors.

Olivier the sickly twin and I had a long talk about his girlfriend, what he felt for her.  How he became her.  I gave him a big hug because he seemed to need it.  He stroked my face, he told me that he didn’t need to be ‘superficial’ with me.  He told me that I was a friend.  Sometimes I didn’t understand him because he used a language that only a twin can understand.  A description of one life as two people.  They are an extra-ordinary couple.

I went home to Phillipa.  We drank tea and then they left.

I got into bed and great waves of fear passed through me, my mind working on that image so that the bones started moving.  The dead sat waiting beside the front door, sat in the fridge disguised as roast chicken, the maggots danced inside the rubber slippers, the nylons gnawed by fat rats.

Phillipa felt me cold sweating there in bed, listened to my fitful cries and sprinkled perfume on the mat and offered me kind conversation and squeezed into my back.  I fell, finally into an unfettered sleep.

PS We met the rich Greeks who are building their ‘luxury’ home next to the graveyard.

“Fantastic views.” said she. 

Can you imagine who empties those graves? The man we see in the street?  Maybe the tall, mad man we see in Vagelis – the restaurant with the garden.   Can you imagine seeing the graves being exhumed?  The contents pitchforked into that place?  The man couldn’t sell the plot. 

“Fantastic views.”

Phillipa returns yearly to Patmos but I never did.   The beautiful house was sold.   Phillipa and I split up on the way home from Greece and when we arrived in London Amoury Blow picked us up from the airport.  I was all over the press.  Again.  Front page of the Evening Standard.


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1.

Before I hit the doctor’s office I stepped into Regen Projects on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Owned by Shaun Regen this is by far the most interesting gallery in LA and consistently shows challenging and stimulating work.

Regen Projects is currently showing work by German artist John Bock.

Born 1965, Gribbohm, Germany

Lives and works in Berlin.

The show reminded me (inevitably) of fellow German Martin Kippenberger.

Kippenberger is one of my favorite artists.  His work has been inexcusably and crudely plundered by the YBA (Young British Artists).

Bock influences  include: Paul McCarthy, Otto Muehl, Paul Thek and Maurizio Cattelan.

John Bock is a performance artist and sculptor whose three-dimensional works often serve as props for his performances.

Bock creates entire universes using a wildly eclectic range of materials, described in multiple languages, and presented with an antic energy that is equal parts mad scientist and Buster Keaton.

A dizzying mix of pseudo-scientific, aesthetic, social, and political commentary,  Bock’s works defy logic.

This view of the world has various precedents, notably in the post World War II Theatre of the Absurd, a movement whose goal was to shock audiences into facing up to life “in its ultimate, stark reality.”

Bock believes the pre-conscious associations inherent in words are unavoidable and that only through experience and empathy can we penetrate what he terms the “heavy numb dumb world” of daily life.

Bock’s lectures seduce and confound, simultaneously proving perhaps, the inexplicability of the interrelationship of man and his universe.

2.

When I let God take the reigns of the humble buggy I drive down the promised path of happy destiny I am sure of one thing: things are going to turn out just the way they are meant to.  Good and bad.

When I angrily push him out-of-the-way and drive myself I am sure of nothing.

I used to think that if I let God take control of my life, my life might be ever so slightly boring but that simply isn’t the case.  God and I can still go on a wild ride, we can still have excitement and ambition.   We just do it the right way.

I get to have all that life has on offer without paying the terrible price I seem to pay when I wilfully drive the buggy myself.

I used to think (convinced myself) that doing the right thing meant that I had to live a pious life.

This simply isn’t true.  God doesn’t want me kneeling at his feet all day praying that his will be done.  He knows that I believe in his will being done, but what I have come to understand of late is that his will needn’t be dull.

Everyday things get better in my head.  Everyday without the grip of obsession, compulsion and the like I am calmer, more centered, more and more in my own skin.

Getting back to work and in touch with my God-given desire to create (and a means to do so) I feel more like the man I was meant to be rather than the man I have been lately.

Yesterday I went back to the doctor, had more scans and lo and behold there are yet more problems to deal with.  The difference between this time and the last is that I now have a skill set to deal immediately and healthily with these problems rather than the last time when I associated the problem with him.

It is remarkable to me that for nearly a year I let somebody else rule my head and my heart.  By so doing I allowed the deep shadow cast by another to blot out the sunlight of the spirit.

When I talk about God I don’t mean a christian…organised religious God.  I mean a God of my understanding, a higher power to whom I must defer at all times if I am going to live a healthy life.

Robby R

Perfectly lovely day in So Cal.  The blue sea, the warm breeze, the humming birds in the Bougainvillea outside my window.  What more could a man want?

With all obsessions now safely stowed, with all unsavoury thoughts banished, with the metaphorical razor wire restored for my own safety, with God back in charge…I could just sit quietly and enjoy the day.

Started out with breakfast and therapy.  After so many months of anger it was as if when the storm passes I hadn’t experienced anything negative during the past year at all!   I am making huge progress with my mad head.

We discussed steps 8 and 9 of the 12 step programme which are all about making amends.  Admitting when we were wrong.   Making a list of all we had harmed.

I love those steps.

Moreover I knew that I was a billion times better because I didn’t fixate on yesterday’s ‘comment’ – I just let it go..now, like it or not, that’s PROGRESS!  I didn’t spend the day wondering who it might have been and how I might defend myself.  I just didn’t care.  Let’s put it this way:  I have finally flushed that toilet.

After breakfast I met Jennie in Venice.  I am so proud of her, she has her book deal and is writing avidly.   We sat in the sun drinking coffee and eating delicious French pastries.

I remember when I first got sober how much pleasure it gave me to feel the sun on my face.  Simple pleasures.

I drove home and filled the plunge pool.

Agent meetings to organize after lunch.  We are trying to find the right writer for our film.  Not an easy task.   We discussed some structural problems in the treatment (synopsis) and the potential remedies.

Dinner with the God Children:  Lamb chops, quinoa tossed with nuts and slivers of fennel and snap peas.  An odd combination but perfectly delicious.

I have to see the doctor on Wednesday as I am experiencing some discomfort down below…sure it’s nothing to worry about.

Madness, when it comes upon me is a grueling mystery to solve.  For months now I have been gripped with what started out merely as a broken heart.

When one begins to feel the onset of ones own brand of insanity it is always impossible to make sense of the confusing depth and range of emotions.

In the midst of the maelstrom it all feels so incredibly real.  Yet, as we are well aware, once sanity returns:  FEELINGS are not FACTS.

Regardless of how and why I experienced such a destructive wave of emotion I could only wait, as one does, for the storm to end.

It was galling that I had not suffered a comparable emotional torment for many years, fourteen in fact.  As you have read on these pages, when I first got sober I had the same misery, the same terrible sense of powerlessness that has overwhelmed me every day since last January.

There is no way to prepare for such misery.  One can only pray that it passes.  That it passes swiftly and without too much damage being inflicted on either myself or others.

I have learned so much these last few months.  Learned the very good and the very bad about myself.   It is so incredibly lonely when one is gripped by such furious indignation.

After the storm inevitably there is the wreckage.  After the storm, picking up the pieces of everything that has been smashed and knowing that it is impossible to mend what is so utterly broken.

Salvaging first and foremost ones dignity.

On this occasion I know that I have done irreparable damage to myself.  I used to have hope and I no longer do.  The reserve of hope that I was born with is exhausted.

In many ways I have been returned to that moment last January before we met when I had everything to look forward to.  It is now up to me to start again.  Start building, start a positive dialogue with myself that may include some sort of sanctuary.

My body is wrecked from these past few months.  Fighting, fighting, fighting.

Fighting what was growing inside me, fighting the feelings, fighting my true intentions to be a good and better person.

I have no idea what comes next.  I know in my heart, in the pit of my stomach, in my soul…that I will never attempt to have another relationship.  I seem truly incapable of that basic human connection and unable to deal with the associated feelings of inadequacy that swamp me once I meet any person I value.

I dare not take that risk.

I know that all familiar avenues others take for granted are now closed to me.

When I was a child, the only way I could express my fury at the world was to smash everything in my room.  Everything I held dear.   It was my only option.  There was nowhere to run, no place to hide.

And what of him?

Well, I hope and pray that he is already living a wonderful life, that he has great and extraordinary beauty ahead of him.  I know that he is capable of things I can only dream about.  I finally expunged his name from this blog and worked hard to uncouple him from me in the virtual ether.  His ‘bit of fun’ turned into a nightmare for us both but I am determined to forgive him…the alternative will merely drag me into further insanity.

He is not the problem.  He must be part of the solution.

If I am truly over this catastrophe then I must love him as much as I must love the unfair world around me.  He is a stranger now.  He will remain a stranger.

For what once felt so beautiful, as I predicted, must now be an inconsequential blip.

To this end I must accept any and all of my own shortcomings.  I must see my part in this drama.  Own my part in it.

I must let God take back the reigns.

There are other more important lessons to learn, adventures to be had…but I will not learn any of them unless I can truly forgive.

My darling God Children give me so much pleasure.  Here is a glimpse of them.   They have moved to Lake Malibu which is  just PERFECT.

Loads going on in SoCal…but just H’wood shit.   On HLN again tonight with my valued opinions about Charlie Sheen.   SAG awards…blah blah.  Aleksa won with her Boardwalk Empire colleagues.  She texted me after…so excited.  I am so proud of her.

Just a quick note about the repeal of DADT:

This gay male ain’t impressed. Like everything Obama does the goodwill gets lost in the detail.

I am not holding my breath for better treatment for gays in the military.

Of course DADT was absurd but repealing it does nothing when you get to thinking about the real and immediate problem for gay men and women in the USA:   The Christian Right hates us (along with the devout Muslim and the Orthodox Jew)  and would like us to self destruct in a cloud of holy vapor.

With the advent of fascist Palin and her ilk…who intellectuals love to laugh at as the German intellectuals did at Hitler…laws like this can be very easily repealed.  For Goodness sake, they are already discussing separate dorms for gays!

Now, let’s start talking about the real issue: legal parity, matrimonial parity and stop gawping over the death of a ridiculous law that affected a tiny number of men and women compared to DOMA which affects us all.

There’s something else, something I always forget to write:

The gays and the lesbians ain’t going anywhere.

We ain’t asking and you ain’t telling.

You murderous, repellent christian/muslim/jewish folks can kill every black man, every white man, every asian, every jew, every muslim, every christian, every aboriginal…but as long as there are humans on the earth we will be there too.

Get used to it!  Get fucking used to it!

We are your children and your grand children.  You can hunt us down and kill every one of us but tomorrow another gay will be born.

It is God’s Will you crazy Christian/Muslim/Jewish Cunts..it’s God’s fucking will.

As for the gays…

Parity, unity and now.

Get off your fat, lazy, complacent asses gay America and start breaking windows until you achieve equality.   Stop relying on bloated lawyers to fight unwinnable cases.  Do SOMETHING!!!  Do it NOW!!!

I know you won’t.  There’s a boy you’ve seen on Manhunt..a martini waiting for you at the bar…weights to lift at the gym.

I live in the USA. I am appalled by the lack of political initiative that gay people take or are engaged in.

Frankly this DADT repeal is small cheese.   American gay and lesbian equality is leagues behind the rest of the developed world because they refuse to engage in direct action.   They refuse to seen to have an opinion…refuse to fight in any meaningful way and, just as Obama attempted to engage with the Christian right with his ill fated consensus politics..reaching out to his adversary, the gays have their agenda prescribed by their homophobic enemies rather than doing what government hates most: insurrection.

Governments hate their own people on the street demanding to be heard.

Gay men especially still live in a great deal of  fear.

Look at the way radical British gay human rights activist Peter Tatchell fought hard and visibly for all to see, worked in tandem with Stonewall lobby type groups and allowed the oppressed a voice in the streets.

In America we are regularly stoned, beaten, insulted and killed.  It is time to fight back, it is time to be heard and a smidgeon of compassion is simply not good enough.


Totally trapped in Whitstable!  So many old friends to be trapped in the town with.  Lovely seeing everyone.  Had tea in Wheelers with Anita and Michael.  Adam and I drank more tea and ate mince pies by the fire at Carol’s house.  Saw Tim at Tea and Times where Ronnie came a’visiting and I caught up on all the local gossip.

Ronnie showed us pictures on his phone of a dead polar bear.

Meant to be in London today dealing with Jake’s iPod fiasco but God dumped a trillion tons of snow on Kent so we are all stranded.  Hurrah!

The Little Dog just LOVES the snow as you can see from these pictures.

I am rather hoping that I get stranded here for Christmas!

By the way, did I ever mention to you that whilst I was in the police cell that miserable day in July Jake met a man from Manhunt and sex with him.    That was supportive wasn’t it?

I sometimes wonder if it is me or the planets that determine my relationship with the world?

With Venus in retrograde (huh?) I have a lightened spirit today.

Actually, regardless of the orbiting planets, nothing has really changed other than the volume of the conspiring demons in my head.

Let’s do a little inventory.

Firstly, having Ashley living at the house makes everything more fun.  The truth is if she can get to me with coffee and fags before I write my blog the whole tenor of this blog changes significantly.  I tend not to dwell on Jake for instance….who ever that (Jake) is…so much time has passed since we communicated I am just left with a few shards of unresolved resentments and a few hundred pictures of him in various states of undress.

What the hell were we doing together?  Two desperate renegades or two men who had a genuine connection that I should learn to honor?  If I compare him to the men I meet now, have met..then the attraction is obvious!  I loved his pickled brain, his logic, I was even attracted to the shadow in which he lived as it heightened the emotional chiaroscuro.

I hope I get to the point when I can think about him fondly, not skip over the many, many pictures of him in my photo library, not endlessly relive the betrayal,  get some perspective….some forgiveness.  What am I writing?  Have I forgiven him?

Today I absolve you Mr. B.  Just for today.

So, what forced me out of the hideous funk?

Getting out of the house sure does help.

Yesterday,  JA arrived after the therapy group that we were meant to go to together but I haven’t been to for some time.  We drove to PC Greens and bought a delicious lunch.  I saw Sarah.  We hugged.  I cooked two steaks on the grill and tossed organic vine tomatoes and spinach together with a salty vinaigrette.  We sat on the terrace overlooking the sea and ate it.

I have this idea for a film.  The sort of idea that I know will end up on the screen.  I may not write it myself or even direct it but I sure am going to be its midwife.

I tentatively discussed the idea with JA.  He loved it!

So, after we talked it through I offered to write the treatment and finish it by the end of the week.  A little research..but mostly it’s there in my fingers waiting to be written.

I spent a little time on a gay hook up site and arranged to meet a particularly attractive young man in West H’wood.  We shall call him Manhunt date No. 8.  JA also invited friends.  One of his friends turned out to be a small, timid, New York Jew.   29-years-old.   Talent agent.  Very intelligent.  SOUND FAMILIAR?  I laughed at how God plays games with the heart.  I was very nice to the NYC Jewish guy and knew that had I not gone through what I had just so recently been through I might have gotten further involved.

After all..a good brain is worth a thousand abs.

No.

My hook-up arrived, tall, willowy, perfect face and body..lovely demeanor.   The attraction was mutual and before very long we were headed toward Malibu.  I invited him home on the understanding that I did not want to have sex but after a few hours asleep I woke up feeling like breaking that particular promise.  The problem is: the passion that Jake and I shared in the bedroom/forest/shower does not transfer easily to another.   Our passion was based on knowing each other.  A magnetic attraction.  A profound level of connection.

Sexually, I am very aggressive.  I am not interested in being taken.  Never have been.  I know what I wanted at dawn but I also knew what I was doing: bringing the passion I shared with Jake into another bedroom…it simply does not work.

By the time Ashley brewed the coffee this morning the beautiful stranger was gone.  Will I see him again?  No idea.  Up to him really.

Birthday party today.  I WILL go.  Eli Roth etc.  Maybe fun.

Of course I am thinking about the treacherously intelligent agent.  Funny little man.

I did not hear back from my old love yesterday.  He is in Vegas so probably very busy.  I would adore to see him but strangely just having a brief chat on the phone gave me confidence that there is always closure however long it takes.

Then, when the resentments have been laid to rest, only love remains.

I have a treatment to write.  Let’s see if I can write the diary of a film getting made with the same verve as I have Jake these past nine months?

A film getting made rather than a doomed love affair?  I don’t doubt that some of you will be interested in this process but not nearly so much as you were in my imploding relationship.

Everybody loves a train wreck..

Andrew

Had to take a couple of days away from my blog. Firstly, I think my reason for writing it had become skewed.  Secondly, when all one has to write about is the blog itself..hmmm.  You understand.

Malibu.  The garden has been totally cleaned up by the new gardeners.  This annual sweep gives me so much pleasure.  The most rewarding $800 a man could ever spend.

Exciting news:  friends are seriously thinking about buying the house.  When they contacted me I was relieved then I began to wonder why I was selling it?  Where else in the world would I be able to live like this?  The view, the land, the house…it’s all so beautiful.

The repaired road will make it so much better living here (I can walk to the local shops) but rather than thinking it would make it better for me..my fucked up head thinks it would make it better for someone else.  That’s insane!  I deserve it too.

I had to get away from the blog because I was indeed writing about Jake far too much and whilst I needed to I also have to stop.

This is the problem with obsessive thinking, and who ever wrote that I should get off the Jake thang is right..I really have to start thinking beyond the object of my obsession.

Just when you run out of good ideas God throws you a life line.

My friend Anna is moving into the house with me.  She is having a blast with her new film (traveling all over the world) but needs a place to live.  We are very similar in as much as we both daily invent our lives.  So, next Tuesday I have room-mate.

My friend Ashley needs a place too so we are all going to live here together.  The only remaining booking is for October so we are going to vacate for that.

I achieve so much more when I am with other like-minded people.  Whenever Anna is here I get important things done that would otherwise remain undone.  I can be mother hen, make breakfast, organize walks, sit down and write.  All I have to overcome is the obsessive urge to clean the house and keep order.  I have to let that go.

Because I know that he reads this I often think of him when I am writing.   It’s horrible.  Trying to keep the flame burning.

Fragile, timid beautiful Jake.  I want to remember him kindly.  I really do.  I don’t want to believe that he came into my life to take whatever he needed.

Manhunt?

I want to be on Manhunt because he was on Manhunt.  I want to meet men because he met men.  I want to in spite of my own healthy needs.

The Manhunt thing is interesting.  It has taken no time at all to be totally disinterested in that site.  It cannot serve me.  Why do I go there?   Real people can serve me.  Living in fantasy around what could be only leads to disaster..as we have witnessed these past few months.

So, I have been attending gay AA meetings, connecting with my sober comrades.  Trying not to be negative, understanding that I still sit in a great deal of fear around gay men..I begin to relax.

There is a community of men and women at my disposal who are more than willing to open their arms to me.

I am, after all, a rather well-known gay man in recovery.

Lead by example.

Coming up to my sober birthday on October 1st.  Traditionally this has always been a time of great reflection.   A time to remember what I gave up to become the man I am now.

If I had continued along the path of least resistence…I may very well be dead.  I will write about that last day of using on October 1st.

Fly East tomorrow for a few days.  Have to take art to NYC.  I really dread being in the city just in case I bump into him.  I don’t know what I would do.

It’s like when I got sober..those first few months I could be around people drinking but I could not be around anyone taking drugs,  it was too triggering.   As I have said before, he is not real..he is a cypher.

As he shrinks away I attempt to own the possibilities.  I am left with so much!   I am left with all of this..the view, the hope, the love and of course the very human fight to survive.  The fight to live.  The fight to make art.  The fight to breath in the new day.

I may very well have thrown away this past year obsessing over him.  I pray that I learned something useful from knowing him.  Please don’t let it have been a total waste?

My Australian friend Andrew visited yesterday.  I met him in Sydney ten years ago.  What a delicious man he is.  I think you would all agree?

My AA sponsor told me in no uncertain terms that I was shirking from the very real health issue I have.  He told me that I have to get it seen to as soon as possible.

Reading over this entry I am reminded that perhaps a more pious life might suit me better that a life devoted to intensity.  Piety, we tend to use the word pejoratively,  saying more about our Godless world than the idea behind the action.

Today I crave piety, humility, silence..

Tres Triste urged me to go into one on one therapy.  I will have nothing to do with that.  I am bloated on my experience of one on one therapy.

I am, however, recommitted to the rooms of AA.  I know that they understand because I am just like them.  One on one therapy obviously suits many people but I don’t trust doctors, I don’t trust therapists who profit from the misery of others.  I resent paying them.  That I become their blank cheque.  In fact, I resent paying all doctors because I come from a country where visiting a doctor is free.

AA is free.  For fun and for free.

The simple fact is: I chose to abandon the principles of AA during the last few months.  Not taking a drink is just a small part of what we do in those rooms.  The rest of the time we help and guide each other toward sanity.  During the past months I deliberately abandoned my principles and let my alcoholic head run the show.

Many people ask why I moved to LA.  It really had nothing to do with film making.  I came to LA to be closer to the rooms of AA where I found comfort, solace and peace.  I made friends and found an extended family of people who understood me, who were always willing to forgive…no matter what.   I felt as if I needed, as if I NEED a great deal of forgiveness.

After a few years I became disgruntled and disillusioned with AA and went to fewer and fewer meetings.  As I did so my mind became more and more confused.  If I do not do the work to keep me sane I very quickly unravel.

I believe in the power of AA.  It is a church. It is my church.  For all to see during these past months I threw away my sanity because I wanted to use..so I did.  I used HIM.  He is not even real.  He is a bag of coke, a bump of crystal, my works, my baggy, my bottle, my paraphernalia.   He is not real.  Do I miss him?  I miss him like a glass of Montepulciano.  Full bodied red wine that I secretly want to drink when that day comes…and it very well might.  Never take your sobriety for granted.

You think that I have been cruel but I needed him out of my life and sometimes keeping your dealers number is the way back to active addiction.  If I had not jettisoned him that day I KNOW what would have happened.  We would have remained friends, we would have hooked up, my head just could not take it.

I napalmed the poppy fields.

This morning I chatted with Tim about the past.  A place one tends to reinvent as one gets older. It is invigorating having him there at the other end of the phone/skype.  He is in Worcester waiting for his triple bypass.  We are both waiting to have our skin cut open and our insides messed with by experts.

We talked about the power of prayer.  Our spiritual lives.  I needn’t tell you how important a loving God is in ones life but even though I know that prayer really works I am loathed to pray just in case is doesn’t.

That even God might let me down.

There is no doubt what so ever that for the past few months I used another man as my drug.  Intensity, fixation, obsession etc. etc.  Remember when you spent your last cent on drugs? When the getting and using was your main focus?  Remember the risks you took?  I am a crazy addict.  Yet, it is somehow easier for us to understand a man who cannot say no to drugs than a man who cannot say no to his addiction to people.  It is a far more complex and ultimately destructive addiction.

I think you have all been my witness to that.

I crave a healthy relationship with people who ever they might be, lover, family member, friend, shop assistant, telephone banker etc.    I am powerless and my life becomes unmanageable.  I am powerless over people, places and things.  This powerlessness causes me such misery. Powerlessness, vulnerability, weakness of any kind cannot be tolerated and as you have seen…I will bring you down if you challenge who I am, get to the heart of me.

I don’t think I am so different from most of you?

Yet, I most definitely am.  I do not think like normal people.

The idea that somehow, someday I will control and enjoy my thinking is the obsession of every abnormal thinker.

That was a quote from Bill Wilson with the word drink switched out for think.

Wether you believe it or not the rooms of AA are filled with men and women just like me.  When we sit together sharing our similarities and not our differences then I become aware of the presence of God.

I have struggled with SAA.

There is a big difference between being an alcoholic and a sex/love addict.  Alcoholics share the experience of abstinence.  Sex addicts do not.  The differences between sex addicts, when we share our stories, are all too apparent.  The similarities..scant.  Where there are few similarities I find myself divorced from God.

As I have reported in earlier posts, as the years pass and ones last drunk become a distant memory I am forced to deal with other more pressing, more destructive addictions.

The consequences of my actions are all too apparent.  I have rampaged like a spoiled child through another mans life.  Regardless of his part in it..I have only myself to blame.  As I have said before, it is none of my business assigning blame or becoming an interventionist for others.

We all learn by our mistakes, by the lies we tell, by the havoc we wreak.

So, today’s prayer:  God, relieve me from the bondage of self.  Help me be kind.  Let me be present.  Let me tell the truth.

Bind me so my arms do not flail,  gag me so I cannot speak, shackle me so I cannot walk, lay me down in some quiet place so I do not think.

OK, it’s really time to forgive.  It’s so fucking hard to forgive someone you have loved. I don’t know if it’s the right thing?  We had such an intense time together.

I dealt with the unresolved financial aspect today but it gave me zero pleasure.

I think..why the fuck should he get away with anything.  Here it comes again..the wave of resentment.

I wish on more occasions that I care to admit that I could remove every single mention of him on my blog just like he wanted but now look..the pages are covered with him.   Mentions and pictures and insults.  I know that it must have hurt him terribly.  For what?

Because I loved him.  Because I don’t want to love him. Because I want to let him go..forever and this seemed like the only way.

I broke my promise to celebrate every moment of his new gay life.

Two people come together for what ever reason and try to make something happen.  The moment the heart is engaged it becomes treacherous.

Toby and I went out last night to WeHo where I thought I wanted to be happily surrounded by own kind.  It was GHASTLY!  I LOATH mediocrity!  Jake wasn’t mediocre.  He wasn’t deliberately cruel.  He was just confused.  I should have known better..but why should I?  Why should I know just because I am older?  I keep thinking about The Velvet Rage.  How we become who we are shaped in a hostile world.  Having to invent ourselves as we go along.

I don’t know the answers…why should I?

I tried to be there for him, to help him but I couldn’t help myself..I fell in love.  So, every time I eat a tomato I think of him because we bought those beautiful tomatoes in the market in Sanary and ate them like peaches.

Every time I sit opposite another man on a ‘date’ I compare them to him.   Every time something good or bad happens I want to share it with him..yet I have no right.  I never had any right.  You see, he always made it perfectly clear after he left her that he wasn’t leaving her for me.   The damage was already done.  I was already in love, I believed him when he wrote to me telling me how much he loved me.

Even though I urged him to get honest I think it suited me that he wasn’t.  When he finally told her I was in SHOCK.  It seemed like the most brave yet foolhardy thing to do.  There were other ways of telling the truth.  But that’s just my fucked up head getting in the way.  He did the right thing.

When I told John the Saturday morning he told her he was gay we both looked at each other in SHOCK.

As we became more involved I couldn’t just continue with things the way they were.  I couldn’t bear listening to him tell me about other men and not be profoundly hurt however generous I wanted to be.

I didn’t want it to end but it had no future and if it had no future I couldn’t continue.

I need either to be on my own or to share my life with a man who gives equally, kindly, compassionately.

This will make you laugh:  I met a man (my age) at dinner the other night who wanted a date but cancelled after reading my blog.  So, it’s just me and my blog.

As for the money? I don’t care about the money, I just care that he’s not getting away with anything.  Then of course..I do care.  When I am feeling angry or resentful I care so much about the fucking money.

It’s 110 degrees in LA.  At the end of the week we return to sultry days and chilly evenings.

Where are the grand romantic gestures?  Should I have moved to NYC ?  I simply couldn’t.  I couldn’t shift my life east because I loved him so much.  I always knew that I would eventually have to let him go.

Now look, these pages are littered with every mean thing I could have written about him.  But inside my crazy head every mean thing I think about him is balanced with a good thought, a lovely memory, a kind gesture.

I just don’t want you to think I am weak, laying in bed this morning and trying to conjour up good thoughts of Jake, wanting to remember all that was sweet and let the loathing go.

Toby and I went into Weho last night.  It was a cluster fuck.  The Abbey was throwing a birthday party for its owner.  We left a few minutes after arriving.   It was shirtless night there.  Just more flesh.  More male bodies, shaved chests, cropped hair..like walking onto the set of an endless porno shoot.  Aspirations reduced to one thing: cock.

When I craved, in the 1980’s, more openness for our gay culture so we were not hidden from those who might harshly judge us..did I ever imagine this:

From the sidewalk we could see into Mickey’s where half-naked men gyrated on podiums with dollar bills stuffed in their knickers.  At East West more half-naked men on podiums wearing cowboy hats trying to dance unsuccessfully to country and western music. In Fiesta Cantina karaoke boys sang moody songs very badly and worst of all, just a few doors away in Rage a man was being bound and gagged in the entrance of the bar and hoisted above the audience by a vile, tattooed queen in leather.

I, like the dumfounded straight people around me,  looked in at this horrible spectacle.  I felt sick that this carnage was the public face of our ‘culture’.  The freaks, the mediocre, the wet brains, the fools..and (however beautiful they were) all so ugly..so inauthentic.

That we had all fought so hard to be taken seriously…and crave marriage and equality.

I let the little dog out of the car and he ran like a lunatic around the West Hollywood park and I felt as if in some small way my faith could be restored in the world.

This morning I woke up and felt different. Something had happened. It was like waking up after a….catastrophe.

There was an ominous silence. Of course I knew immediately what had happened. Anthony had let off a huge bomb. Destruction all around. Now he was gone.

Anthony has left the building.

How did I know he had even been? I need look no further than these pages.

Oh well, God doing for me what I could not do for myself. Jake is dispensed with. Sad really as he was kinda sweet.

Anthony was right, the kid was not only too young, he is in a different league.

I am in SHLA waiting for inspiration.

Still have not made another appointment or even called the doctor. This entire cancer palaver has just polaxed me.

The Him episode. The cancer scare. The house. The money.

5am Friday.

Hunting around the house for a forgotten smoke. None to be found.

I spent the day yesterday in my apartment. It was brutally hot outside. In the evening I met J and J for a light snack then Will for dinner. Home and in bed before 12.

He and I have spoken nearly every day for the last 8 months. We have expunged every detail of our lives. Even though I cannot have him near me I miss the familiarity.

I made coffee and read over the emails I threatened to publish but they are simply too revealing. About us both! I am shocked by our behavior. The anatomy of a failed relationship. The ups and downs of my mad head and him emerging into the light.

He is indeed a fragile man. He is the first American that I ever really felt I knew. They speak English but they are not like us. They are just wired differently.

I am going to have to let this go. Really!

I found an email that I hadn’t read before. It was his penultimate email. It made a lot of sense.

This is what I think is going on: You are cutting me off because
you’ll take nothing if you can’t have it all I suppose it was naive
of me to believe that we could function as anything in between. You
are a perfectionist.

I wish I had read that email. I just had a lot on my mind. I didn’t read his penultimate 17 emails because I wanted to sort my head, my thinking, my feelings. He sent 17 emails.

Then he sent the final email, email 18 was the very one I decided to read and I couldn’t stop the anger.

I just needed that day, a little bit of solace. To know that he still cared. Like in the endless stream of emails when we first met. When he was wooing and seducing me.

Anyway. Anthony has left the building and at therapy today I shook with fury about addiction and Anthony and wished it wasn’t so…but it is.

Oh dear, he really let off an atom bomb. Oops. Sorry….

Dione Sofa

8am.  I didn’t go get the biopsy.  Something is stopping me.  I don’t want to know the truth.  Just like I didn’t want to know the truth about him.  Some truths are just too hard to face.

I am aware of the dull thump in my ball sack and in my lower back.  Like somebody is gripping my left testicle.

One of Jake’s friends wrote to me saying, and even though inaccurate, I really liked the quote, “We have all had diamonds thrown in our face.”   It was lyrical and charming.  He could have added darling to the phrase.  It would have worked perfectly.

Anyway, interesting day yesterday after I published the Irene blog.  She, of course, is threatening the IRS and an internet fraud investigation.   The problem is..I do my taxes, really thoroughly.  It’s not worth doing them any other way.   I am not feeling so feisty today.

I remain teachable.

Last night something rather remarkable happened.  I met a man a year and a half ago who is perhaps a dream of a guy.  That dream of that perfect man.  Beautiful in every way.  When we first met he explained that he was anxious about his sexuality, we had talked it through but nothing happened.  I had wondered about him occasionally, mentioned him to Jake even,  but had not contacted him.

Yesterday I received a blunt email from him asking if I wanted to explore his curiosity about men.

I thought about it for a nano second and invited him over.

So, last night we had a very steamy session with each other but I wasn’t engaged.  I felt distant, absent..and not really ready to have sex with anyone else.  I didn’t even want to kiss him. It is odd this morning to wake up with the smell of some other man on your fingers.   I knew that it had to happen sooner or later..somebody else but it’s still too early.   I tell you, I don’t envy men like Jake who can sport fuck but the healthy alternative is such a lengthy process.  We all agree that if I had been a sport fucker I would have been dead a very long time ago.

Why was his coming to see me last night so remarkable?  Because I was always warned in AA to be careful what I prayed for.  Getting what you want when God wants you to have it rather than when you want it can be very ungratifying.

Peter Doig painting in my bedroom 1982 Boom Boom Boom (The Sublime)

Is getting to know a man before you sleep with them so bizarre?   So when the moment happens, one is present and authentic?  After all,  Jake and I talked for months before we finally fell into each others arms.

Perhaps he can do that with anyone?  Perhaps a period of total abstinence is what I need?

I could have let things just stay the way they were, letting him tell me about his conquests but by the time we returned from Europe I just knew that merely having him in my life would be too disruptive.

I did not want that young man to stick around last night.  He left and I lay on the red Victorian sofa I have owned for twenty-six years.  I began to doze.  There was something very comforting about laying there.  The over stuffed arms, the familiarity.   The constant presence of that sofa in my life.  Dione bought it for me in Edinburgh in 1984.  It was on the street outside a junk shop and it was desperate to be loved.  I covered it in white ticking, the first of 4 times it has been reupholstered.  Jake was three when I bought that sofa.  Unexpectedly Dione’s daughter wrote to me yesterday.  She’s a sweet heart.

Things have given me more pleasure than the men I have loved.

So, the young man left the house at 2am.  I don’t think I’ll be seeing him again.

The picture at the top of the page was taken in my Whitstable house, the house that belonged to Peter Cushing.  The red sofa wearing it’s blue slip cover.

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