Archives for posts with tag: Paul Haggis

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New York City. September 2012.

How exquisite the weather is. How gorgeous the men are. How much the Little Dog loves the street.

For the first time in my life I am staying with friends in Brooklyn. I’ve always been a bit of a snob about staying anywhere other than Manhattan but Brooklyn is a revelation. I love it.

I sit in Cafe Zelda on Franklin and drink coffee and eat the home-made pop tarts full of delicious raspberry jam.

I take the subway to Union Square or to 42nd Street.

Of course I’ve been taking masses of pictures… some of which I post on here.

The other part of the story?

Hanging most days at The Mercer Hotel.

I much prefer The Mercer. I am so over my private club… especially since the piss elegant renovations. The newly decorated corridors in the hotel part of my club look like the old corridors from The Shining… sans creepy twins.

The staff have all been replaced and the service was terrible. Waiting 40 mins for a cup of coffee.

The manager at The Mercer installs me at a sweet little table where I meet actors and actresses. I am currently casting my movie.

I had lunch with Lady Rizo and Alexander. Great fun catching up.

I bumped into the perfectly charming Josh Hartnett and his girlfriend Tamsin. Malibu friend. Josh is very excited about the film he’s directing and Tamsin was off to Spain to make a movie.

Bryan Singer fell into the lobby a little hung over and after a big, sweaty hug sat with his LA friends.

Powerful LA people seldom manage to maintain their power once in NYC. Especially during fashion week. The cheap veneer falling away for all to see what lays within.

Met a very frosty Olivia Wilde with the perennially cheerful Paul Haggis. It was probably my fault she was so grumpy. I said, “Oh hi, I know Tao… your ex-husband.” Her face dropped. “My EX husband.” She stressed.

When are you not meant to mention the ex? I thought their divorce was amicable? Then I made the situation worse by telling her how wonderful she was in People Like Us… considering what a ghastly film it was.

Paul just looked at me fall deeper into the shit storm… of my own… making.

Dinner at Bond St. with CM.

A wonderfully romantic walk by the piers with an occasional love.

All the obvious Fashion Week partying. Mostly fun. Everything except the US Weekly party which was terrible.

Housewives of NYC and second-rate rappers. Food was good tho.

Chatted with a new gay dad who told me emphatically that I should support ‘gay marriage’. He showed me a video of his kid crawling. The video was taken from across the room. He told me that he rarely sees his kid during the week.

I asked him what I ask my straight friends: “Did you take maternity leave?” No! He guffawed. Why would he do that?

The kid is being brought up by nannies. Of course.

It made a bad party worse. I tried not to react… I really tried.

Currently writing my AA expose piece. It’s proving harder than I imagined.

 

Since I was released from The Men‘s Country Jail earlier this month I have noticed changes, changes in myself, changes in others.  Even though I have been occasionally combative and resolute when writing here…this may not be the whole story.

The story is revealing itself, the narrative unfolding in ways I did not expect.

There was an occasion in the jail when, after I heard that the immigration lawyers I hired previous to the wonderful Esperanza Immigrants Rights Project had fucked up.  I felt really desperate and powerless.  Carlton, the 24-year-old House Mouse. sat on my bunk and, seeing that I was beginning to flounder, took me in hand and firmly reminded me that The Country Jail was no place for desperation.  He reminded me that if I gave into weakness I would either go mad or die.

He said, “There are too many personalities in here.”  I knew what he meant.  I had lived in Los Angeles for a long, long time.

The other inmates understood that I had a greater purpose for being there and yesterday that purpose became apparent.

Crawling back into life has been challenging.  I feel tender, as if my whole body is bruised. I feel my age.  I am quieter, less prone to irritation, grateful for everything, trying to be kinder.  Becoming vulnerable for all to see, not just those who are the closest to me…everyone.

I had lunch at SH the day before yesterday, saw friends from London who are here for Oscar week.  I saw local friends who knew what had happened but were either too polite or worried to ask details.  If they asked where I had been I blurted out, “I’ve been in jail for three months.”  Then I tell them to read the piece in The Independent.

I sat down with those who needed to know and explained the whole story.

I am not spending every day on the mountain, I am making the effort to live.  I am not making the same mistakes.

Last night we went to a charitable art event in Beverly Hills.  I bumped into Paul Haggis, explained where I had been, the experience of jail.  I told him about Carlton and the men I’d met there.  I’ve no idea why, perhaps because he is a director, I told him things I had not previously mentioned. I painted a more complete picture.

Paul said, “There must have been a reason.”

My jail friend Steve reminded me daily that I was in jail for a purpose, he knew that someone like me doesn’t end up in a place like that without a reason.  That reason is being made clear both on a micro and macro level.

Steve told me, “You can help these people.”  So, it looks like I may very well be able to help.

That purpose will be made clear to you soon.

When I have my ducks in a row.

What is it to be vulnerable, kinder?  What will I lose?  What will I gain?

The boys are here, living here.  Three of them, taking their responsibilities seriously.  Occasionally they clear up without being asked.  Yet, their mess that would have previously pissed me off, scarcely affects me.  Who cares if there are socks all over the place, piles of towels in the bathroom?

What does that matter when I am so grateful they are here.

The life I lived before I was arrested seems like another time, like another place, like a different me.  I am wondering who he was, what interested him, what in hells name I was doing?

I was wondering how he could have got himself into such a mess?  Then I remembered that I left that Duncan back in the jail, the Duncan who was scared of being seen, the Duncan that made unhealthy choices, the Duncan who knew Jake.

When I write about death and suicide, I am really trying to articulate what it is to cast off something already dead. I am not interested in dying.  I have things, suddenly and without warning, that need to be achieved.  Things that before I was arrested never occurred to me.

Am I killing that part of myself that has bedeviled me for so many years?  Can you understand that?  Can you see what I’m talking about now?

Don’t fret my darling friends.  I am emerging from this experience with a different set of principals, new standards of living and unusual priorities.

What was previously important is now worthless.  Clothes, possessions, jewelry, power and prestige.

In jail I learned to get used to the idea of nothing and in nothing I found something I never guessed existed: that very thing after which I had been hankering a whole lifetime.

In nothing I found a peace of mind.

Day after day the sun shines and the people shed their winter clothes revealing their creamy skin.  The dog and I traverse the city, traveling from one exciting assignation to another.  Yesterday was no exception.

I woke early helping Dan with his luggage.  He is off to LA until Wednesday.  I really don’t like it when he leaves.  We get closer and closer.  He is kind, generous and appreciative.  We are the same age.  Our perspective is very similar.

I have been thinking a great deal about how I am going to spend the summer.  I continue to write my film.  Bumped into Paul Haggis yesterday who asked about my film.  He loved the story…as most people do.

Remember holding his Oscar at the Crash party at the Chateau Marmont wishing it had been mine?

I couldn’t go back to bed after Dan left so I walked the dog around the deserted East Village until I bumped into a young friend of mine.  A yoga teacher.  We drank coffee and ate pain au chocolate at Ost on Avenue A.  He is the sweetest young man.  Looks directly into your soul.

We are going to spend the day together tomorrow.

Met Lady Rizo for lunch (chopped salad) then we took a cab to my lawyer on Wall Street.  Driving the West Side Highway we passed office workers taking their lunch walking the water front.   A brief moment in the sun.

I had to sign a bunch of papers.  I signed them whilst Rizo bought us ice creams.  As we were in an unknown part of town we decided to explore and ended up in a tiny Italian Deli eating profiteroles and singing show tunes out loud.  She has a hugely exciting gig in June.  In the mean time come see her perform on May 20th at Joe’s Pub.

Took Subway (I never do) back home and rested for an hour.  Met Rizo’s friend Gilly on the corner of Tenth and A just as a skateboarder was nearly run down in front of our very eyes.   He escaped death by jumping over the hood of the car.

My second ‘scene’ for the ‘A’ List. Austin is throwing a ‘party’ at this cavernous restaurant called Almond.  It seemed designed for me to explain why Derek Lloyd Saathoff had wanted me to be his ‘Mister Big’.

I was uncharacteristically nervous meeting the other cast members.  They are all very charming.

Obviously they have their on-screen personalities.

TJ is very ebullient when the cameras are on.  Thrown directly into the ‘A’ List mix, TJ positioned me like an on set director and asked acerbic questions and about me and Derek.  I came clean.  He was quite strident.  Off camera he is affectionate and warm.  They all are.

Reichen Lehmkuhl seemed reticent and quiet.  He has a troubled soul.  Very beautiful, great story, gentle.  I liked him.  His brother lives very close to me in Malibu.   I spent the most time chatting with him.  We talked a great deal about how one can get ones needs met in a relationship.  I told him The Penguin story as my very own reality cast member cautionary tale.

Crazed fans who think you are what you are not.

We talked about how we are edited, how one is perceived.  The reality and the fantasy of ones on-screen and off-screen persona.

I really enjoyed meeting Ryan the salon owner.   Blond, sweet-natured and very genuine.

This is their second season.  They have become very adept performers.

I have no idea if I will ever see any of them ever again.

Stephen joined us and Rizo, Gilly and I ate dinner at Westville.  I bought The Little Dog a chicken breast as he had been so good all day.

Tonight is the very last night of Beige the long running weekly party held at The Bowery Bar.  It must be twenty years old.  I went there first when I was still drinking so it must be ancient.  Remember dragging Joe there?  I think he enjoyed it despite his protestations.  I will be there tonight if anyone wants to serve papers.  Zach said, “Nobody gets laid at Beige.”  which was never my experience.

I have had amazing Tuesday nights on The Bowery with Boy George, Issie Blow and Leigh Bowery.

I remember staying at The Mercer and dragging a drunk straight boy back from Beige for oral gratification.  Oh God, that was many years ago.  I remember…do you?

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