The day I met him someone had built an igloo in the dog park.
The dog pissed on it.
The sun was shining over the distant, roaring city.
Then, quite suddenly I knew I was in love.
Or at least… capable once again.
We ate stewed pear salad, grilled chicken and for dessert they served a strange, solid cake.
Of course the work I have been contributing to was just part of what was projected. I was incredibly proud to be asked to stand in front of the 1000 or so people and introduce myself.
Will Ferrell, Jay Roach, Ermin Chemerinsky and Jane Lynch all spoke beautifully on behalf of the ACLU and their various causes and friends.
During the interval both Usher (the singer) and Scooter Braun (2 million twitter followers) took the time to introduce themselves and congratulate me.
Of course, as usual, not one gay person, including honoree Jane Lynch made themselves known to me. The chasm that exists between me and the gay community in LA was even more evident than usual at this event.
Only last week the gay ‘director’ Guy Shalem texted me telling me that I deserved to be in jail… mocking the time that I had spent there, telling me that I only had friends I made in jail.
Guy Shalem is a gay Israeli fame-whore who lives in Los Angeles. I met him at some grimy gay party in the Hollywood Hills last year and he subsequently invited me to Griffith Park for a walk the following day.
The conversation on the mountain centered around his visa problems, his inability to make relationships work, his celebrity friends and his desire for younger boys.
He complained that Outfest were sniffy about his short film. When I saw it I understood why. ”Bruce Vilanch is in it.” He boasted, “They should love it.”
After all, he’s obsessed with celebrity… why shouldn’t Outfest?
So, it was mildly shocking to see Guy at the ACLU event. Wearing a bad suit and even worse shoes.
He had seen the video lauding the work we are all doing for those held on spurious ICE holds.
He heard the applause I received when they asked me to stand.
He heard Hector Villagra, head of the ACLU talking publicly about my personal bravery and commitment to the ACLU.
Guy is the perennial plus one to any gay celebrity. Last night, yet again, he was with Jane Lynch. He saw me, headed toward me and shook my hand. Apparently forgetting the vile things he said last week.
I told him in no uncertain terms how and what I felt about him coming up to me.
He motioned to his ugly short gay friends lawyer Aaron Rosenberg and his ‘husband’ that this was worth watching. They snickered, like vile bullying children, behind my back.
Let’s face it, Guy was only there for the free dinner and to stand with his famous friend and hope to ensnare other famous people with his puppy eyes and his maudlin sob stories.
The point of the evening was completely lost on him.
After I walked away from Guy other honorees came up to me and offered their hands.
One of them, an elderly female philanthropist said, “We are like kindred spirits, you and me.” I was so touched by her generosity.
So many kind people… not one of them gay.
Dude, my fat red dog ran away as fast as he could. The Little Dog stayed beside me as loyal as any dog can be.
I probably should have seen a doctor but, like my Grandmother and my Mother, a visit to the doctor is the last thing I do willingly.
It took an hour or so to persuade Dude to come back to me. For the rest of the day he looked at me differently. Like I was a stranger.
The twins are falling in love. Not with each other.
Their friend Kevin (my Oscar weekend wing man) and I are left at home, listening to the stories. They return battle-scarred from long nights with new lovers. It can be frustrating. Watching them make the same mistakes we all made.
Robby in love: tap dancing in a mine field.
The hyacinths died. The man who brought them is sick with gout.
The house is so beautiful at the moment. The pale, watery Californian winter sunlight…perfect for my English decor and sensibility.
I must have written that a thousand times during the time I have been blogging.
The twins have their 22nd birthday in two weeks. They don’t want a party, they don’t want any attention. We’ll see if they change their mind.
I have a new dog. A Chihuahua/Boston Terrier mix called Dude. A rescue, he can’t believe his luck. He peed on Kevin’s bed last night. He trots along like a Lipizzan. He has a deep, croaky bark. He follows me around like a shadow, much to The Little Dog’s profound irritation.
Washed all the sheets yesterday, the linen smelt heavenly when I crawled into bed last night.
Press conference at the end of the month. Testifying for the ACLU mid April. Dinners planned with the most unlikely allies.
I have categorically decided that I will not be sober much longer, just waiting for the right moment to take my first drink. It is possible to drink and believe in God? Many people do it. My primary concern.
Unless I find alternative meetings where there are people more like me? I don’t mean gay meetings. It’s bollocks…this AA shit.
Good intentions ruined by a bunch of alcoholics.
“Between August 2010 and March 2011 Roy wrote a 50,000-word blog to Bauman.
Roy coldly examines his career to date, how he had been a colourful agent provocateur, his art, like his paradoxes, seeking to subvert as well as sparkle. His own estimation of himself was of one who “stood in symbolic relations to the art and culture of my age”.
It was from these heights that his life with Bauman began, and Roy examines that particularly closely, repudiating him for what he finally sees as his arrogance and vanity: he had not forgotten Bauman’s remark, when he was ill, “When you are not on your pedestal you are not interesting.”
Roy blamed himself, though, for the ethical degradation of character that he allowed Bauman to bring about on him and took responsibility for his own fall.
The first few months of the blog concludes with Roy’s forgiving Bauman, for his own sake as much as Baumans’.
The second half of the blog traces Roy’s spiritual journey of redemption and fulfilment. He realised that his ordeal had filled the soul with the fruit of experience, however bitter it tasted at the time.”
…I wanted to eat of the fruit of all the trees in the garden of the world… And so, indeed, I went out, and so I lived. My only mistake was that I confined myself so exclusively to the trees of what seemed to me the sun-lit side of the garden, and shunned the other side for its shadow and its gloom.
Thank you Oscar Wilde, thank you Bosie.
This summer has not delivered the early morning, glittering sea views we are used to. It is gray and wet. The dew is so heavy that it drips like tropical rain off the plane trees.
By 10am the sun has burned off the marine layer but somehow never really recovers. The weather is totally messed up. The garden thrives although I worry about the cacti.
We lost three this year, rotting in the damp air.
I have huge and beautiful squash growing on the terrace.
Henry is dropping by today. He is taking me to the doctor. My foot is still very painful. Swollen. I can see that it gets better. Slowly, slowly. I take a stick with me into the garden. Ever since the coyote attacked the little dog he stays close to me.
There is a very destructive squirrel chomping on anything and everything but mostly he/she picks oranges and peels them very carefully.
The plums have all been harvested. The figs are ripening. There are so many this year.
Tomatoes and beans, lemons, limes and grapes.
Late last night the dog started howling at the moon. It’s impossible to get back to sleep.
My god daughter’s brother Max wants me to adopt him. He spent the past few days here.
At home he is, as Zack would say, a hot mess. Once he gets here he is calm, attentive, polite and charming. He is the right size. He washes dishes and clears up after himself. He chats animatedly to the twins and one would never imagine that this is the boy who is facing all sorts of trouble at school and at home.
He is very much like I was when I was a kid. I just loathed my parents and took every opportunity to make them aware of it. At school he doesn’t really fit it so over compensates with lies and boasting. Consequently he has a horrible time.
Whereas I had good reason to hate my step-father his parents try their best to accommodate him. I know that this will end badly because as much as he tries to be a stand up guy he is now cast in the ‘bad boy’ role-and that only has one conclusion. The authorities are aware of him, the school doesn’t want him, his peers are frightened of him. His parents, poor things, are at their wit’s end.
When he is with me he understands the boundaries. We speak the same language. The language of the addict. I wish I could take him to an AA meeting but he’s 13 years old.
Yesterday Max, Miles and I planted melon seeds and watered the garden. The Little Dog found a young rattle snake and we killed it. It has been snake crazy up here. Rattlesnakes, California King and Garter snakes. A huge California King Snake dozing on the path. It looks worse than it is. Apparently non-venomous. Unless you are a small mammal.
I guess there are many more snakes this year because of the rain we had all winter. More vegetation means more rabbits and gophers which in turn feed the snakes.
The Little Dog did something very funny. We were listening to the coyote deep in the valley screaming and howling, when ever they do that the Little Dog hears his call from the wild and barks frantically. Robby started howling like the coyote and to our amusement the Little Dog started howling too. It was a revelation, I had never seen him howl. It was so sweet to see him lift his little head and howl. The howling dog. I will try to film it next time it happens.
When we finally took Max home via the ice cream store at the Lumber Yard he reverted to his usual surly, frightened self. Rude to his parents, unhelpful, aggressive to his sisters. It was sad to see. The twins and I adore Max when he stays here with us. Now he wants to come live here full-time. When I get back from the East Coast this autumn we will think about it.
I really think that this may be the only way he holds onto his family, his liberty and his sanity.
I spent the rest of the day plotting the final chapters of my book. It does not turn out how one might think. However, crafting a sting in the tail is my aim and that is harder to write than it seems.
Thanks for all of the helpful Novel feedback. Thanks for those of you who took the time. Thanks especially to Joanna in London from a certain niche publisher who liked it enough to want to read it all.
Woke at the usual time.
Nothing unusual about the rain, the gray sky, the walk around the park. Empty, wet streets. Nothing unusual. The Little Dog did what he was meant to do. He was subdued. I am perfectly sure that the leash must have communicated my apprehension. Today is the day.
The first time in 10 months since I last laid eyes on him.
Perhaps we can both solve something today?
Last night I met Zack for dinner. His friend Pony joined us for desert. We explored a little night life after. Ended up at some club on 21st and 5th.
A very tiny, very drunk man approached me and said, “You can fuck me but I don’t want to end up in your blog.”
I reassured him that he would never appear in either my bed or my blog.
Mike Tyson once told a bunch of men I was hanging out with that a sexual encounter only really meant something when the sheets were covered in shit, blood and cum.
He really said that.
I am going to get a tee-shirt made with that Tyson inspired mantra printed on it. Blood, Shit and Cum.
Robby suggested that I call todays entry…well..you can see can’t you?
The twins are home and the house is full of twin energy and plans and smells. The washing machine is stuffed with their weekend laundry. Miles is falling in love with a young lady he met on his trip. It is so sweet to see him delicately negotiating these new and powerful feelings.
Robby is off to Hollywood for an audition. He looks great.
The weather is incredible and the hillsides are vibrant with spring flowers and tiny baby rabbits who hop dangerously out into the road. This is the first year that I have seen so many rabbits. Either the coyote are fattening up elsewhere or the rabbits have migrated from another part of the mountain.
I saw a dead bobcat in the road last week. They are such beautiful creatures. Even the dead animals in the road are beautiful.
Therapy this morning, listened to an ex homeless man tell his story. Very restorative. Humbling.
Collecting my thoughts for next weeks trip. There is not much to think about other than what to take to wear. Which, as you can imagine, is more of a headache than it should be. I have no idea what to expect, it’s just going to be great to be back in NYC.
Peace of mind. No longer the roiling mess I have endured for months.
I spent the night in Hollywood. Had breakfast with John but didn’t go to therapy. I had the dogs with me and wasn’t going to leave them in the car whilst I was inside getting my head fixed.
Finally, just three months late, summer is here and despite all the drama of the past months I find myself feeling positive, upbeat, fearless.
I described it yesterday to Frank as no longer being possessed.
Frank and I had dinner with friends in Beverly Hills. We sat next to Stevie Wonder..which was kinda wonderful. As they were eating their desert he and his friends sang to each other so we were treated to an impromptu performance. This is LA.
My friends are film finance wizards from the UK so, after we deconstructed the British Film Industry, we talk love lives. They were fascinated by the Sex Rehab show.
Two women with very differing pathologies. One said that when ever she falls in love she becomes unrecognisable. The effective, fully functioning business woman becomes needy, obsessed and emotional. Huh..I nodded a lot as she described the symptoms of obsessive love. The other woman couldn’t be more different, trusting her man to the point where she becomes suspicious of any man who asks her randomly what she is up to. She, of course, is very happily married. The other woman..is not.
Dinner was BETTER than therapy.
I ate a small cobb salad. They very kindly paid for dinner. So sweet.
I spent the day in Malibu being that handyman I had wished daily would just come with a screwdriver and do all the things I had been putting off ever since I first got here four years ago.
I put up a mirror in the bathroom, a shelve in the hall and a hat rack too. I hung curtains over the double doors and whilst I did all this Ashley cooked the most delicious breakfast which we ate on the back terrace. I had scrubbed the huge, wooden table with vim and a scrubbing brush like a mad man until it was a delightful silvery grey color.
This morning I filled the truck with books and draws and cushions and the remainder of my shoe collection and here we all are at the house. It’s 80 degrees. The dogs are slumped on the marble floor…panting.
This morning we ate breakfast in the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and Third. Ordering scrambled egg and sausage…the deal is you sit down and they call your name when it’s ready. They called my name very loudly. I was aware that some people thought they knew who I was but having my name operatically yelled over the terrace confirmed their suspicions.
I chatted with a young fan. He was adorable.
Anyway, very excitedly expecting my box of meat and veg from Jennifer’s organic delivery service.
P.S. Forgot to mention that I went to the Prism opening (vernisage). The gallery belongs to my friend Jared. I had a lovely long chat with Stavros Niarchos about Spetses and the Russels and Engenio Lopez. Bumped into Degan Pener who wants me to write something about art for The Angelino. Saw Kevin from W but he was frosty. You can’t win them all.
The problem with Prism is that there is no frisson. It needs to take itself seriously rather than be the gallery ‘toy’ of two rick kids. Remember going to Tracy Emin‘s White Cube show? There were a thousand people in Hoxton Square..even class war demonstrators?
Where’s the audacity? The verve? Those boys need to cut a dash.
My friend Ashley moved in last night. She arrived with Thai food and a pillow.
Almost immediately felt a trillion times better about everything. Being on my own is not good for me. Just me and my head. We lit a huge fire, watched interesting film clips on my computer and life felt a great deal better.
The marine layer shrouded the house all night so everything this morning is wet and sparkling. The gray light, as I have said a million times, suits all the colours here in the house.
I get my watch back today, the big gold one I broke last year but forgot to pick up. I should fetch my grandfather’s ring that is still in repair.
I bought a family box of food from my friend Jennifer’s company Out of the Box Collective which arrives Saturday week. She has sourced the best of what is available from local farms including organic meats, vegetables and raw milk/yogurt etc. I am really excited about this!
Three of us living up here cooking great food, making art and doing what humans do..supporting one another..and I don’t mean through bad times but supporting one another to do the best of what we can possibly do.
The great thing about Ashley is her connection to everything happening in the new arts here in LA. Performance, film etc. We watched clips of things on YouTube that inspire us. She showed me a really interesting animation/performance that I loved.
I understood that I had not just isolated myself from people but from my life blood..art. I simply stopped going to anything. I stopped turning up. To have a life in the arts you have to be present. For nine long months I have been a dead man. Jake became my life and the poor lamb head just couldn’t be my life.
Manhunt date number 4 was a funny latino boy. 27 years old and HIV positive. Hmmm. We didn’t have much to say so he left. He was a bit pissed that he had driven all this way and didn’t get any.
I feel so much better about everything.
Suddenly all of my anxiety, obsession and resentment has slipped away…at least for the time being.
This morning I thought about writing which I have not thought about for a long, long time. Just having someone around keeps me focused.
Let him have his life and I will have mine. I wish we could have had a kind goodbye.
You see, I went from having a dear, dear friend to having nothing…whilst he was surrounded by his family. Never on his own. A family to fall back on. I had nothing. When I lived in Whitstable the people there, they were my family for good and for bad. I just had to step outside of my front door and I would engage with people who had known me all my life.
I saw a property for sale today in England that I can’t stop thinking about. Hastings is a small British seaside town. I have always really loved it. There’s a house there that looks amazing. Huge. Lots of space.
You see! Already my head is in a different, more positive place. Just wait until Anna arrives and we will be cooking, as they say, with gas.
At 8 this morning Jason popped by with Lily (my god-daughter) and her brother Max for breakfast. Hot chocolate. I think this maybe a regular event as they have an hour to kill most mornings between dropping the kids off at their various schools.
Somebody asked me what I seek in a man. I think he wanted to know about sex but I replied: intelligence, wit, kindness, fortitude, patience.
Have a great day everybody!
You know what I’m doing? I’m going out! Started the evening feeling sorry myself. Fuck that.
I sent an SOS to Amanda that I may or may not need. But most of all, I am not going to be beaten by 5mm of something black on my balls. It’s not a death sentence. It’s black on the scan. I wonder what color it is in real life?
I’m listening to very loud music.
Old fashioned shit. I know. But I’m allowed to. I don’t have to answer to anybody.
I bought Jasper Conran‘s beautiful book Country. Packed with so many beautiful images. Try looking at THAT on a fucking kindle.
I cleaned the apartment. I sorted my papers. I totally forgot that I had to call the police station in London to deal with the iPod incident. Never mind. I would rather be in a cell than have this maggot growing inside me. It’s all relative. I read Michael’s brilliant script. After I finish writing this I will take the little dog to see the cats on Cherokee so he can squeal like a pig with excitement. Cat! Cat!
Meeting Seb at SHLA at 11pm. Fuck this sitting around shit. I need solution! have I LEARNED nothing from all those years sitting in church halls and masonic lodges reading the recipe of the 12 steps?
Take action my friends! Get out of that shit relationship. Don’t be bowed by illness! Eat! If you feel lonely get out onto the streets! Don’t give in to the furies. TAKE ACTION.
December 21st, 2009-August 12th, 2010
Jake has been in my life..for months…for most of it was an acting out dream come true.
Oh I WILLINGLY gave up my sexual sober time.
We talked almost every day. Why trash those precious few months? For the time being I will celebrate the time we spent together. Although, sooner or later it will just feel…embarrassing.
In the long run it will mean far more to him than it will to me, Try as he might he will never be able to unstitch me from his story. I am, after all, the one who tore him out of the closet and in so doing rescued that poor girl from just one more day of deceit and lies.
I said to him on February 9th:
All I know is as the years pass this will weigh heavier on your mind and every time you look at J your girlfriend/wife/mother of your child you will know that there is a fundamental deceit.
If it is not me or the Hungarian it will be another man..and another and the outcome will always be the same.
One day you will meet a perfect man and then you will resent her, begin to hate her because it is not him…
I am the FUCKING HERO. Beautifully written…don’t you think?
And for all you guys and gals who have been shat on..here is a shitty, campy song for you to remind yourself that we can all laugh at how stupid we have been:
We say that to each other in the UK all the time. It doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just the way we check in with each other. I check in with you and you check in with me. Even if I am not OK I thank you for asking.
When I taught him, the companion, what it meant he played at asking me if I was OK but the effect was still the same. I felt good, checked in with, placated.
Americans, when you ask them if they are OK, worry that something looks wrong with them. It worries them, disrupts their day.
So, don’t ask an American if he/she is OK unless you think that there is something wrong. You’ll do more harm than good.
It’s Monday morning. I have just been to therapy.
The weekend was a delicious blend of fun, laughter and me feeling better than I have for 8 months. I am just so happy. Happy doesn’t necessarily mean well-behaved. I have been delightfully rude.
Ivan Massow is in town, such an unpleasant man who was the ‘source’ in the Caroline Roux article about me for the Guardian. The source who was too scared to be openly vicious about me. Anyway, there he was yesterday having lunch, slimeing all over my straight friend Ben. Who in their right mind gave that man the ICA to run? WHO in their right mind thought he should stand as Mayor of London? Crazy!
Anyway, supposedly he is sober so I am trying not to hate him too much.
Thankfully he is losing his looks.
Saturday spent nearly all day in Malibu. Lunch in the Lumber Yard with Jon Aubry. I went to bed early Saturday night.
Breakfast on Sunday with Will and his dog Rocco. Stephen popped by at about 11 and then lunch with Sharon Swart. Delightful. She attended a flower arranging class and brought to lunch a huge bouquet of roses and hydrangea.
Sunday night Michael and I went to a party in Silverlake. There was a performance piece for us to watch. Three 10 minute sections of a larger work about a man accused of burning down his house and killing his daughters. The first part was indecipherable. The second and third part, although messy, were much better and had good, strong ideas. The director asked what I thought..so I told him. Bad idea. Nobody wants to hear the truth.
We were meant to meet Jamie Lee Curtis after that party but we did not.
Taka came by late on Sunday. He is a funny one. Editor, Japanese..chatty.
Oh, before I forget..the new Malibu renters arrived on Saturday and are very happy in the house. They are the SWEETEST people from the UK who loved the house the moment they stepped through the door and from whom I have not heard since..no news is GREAT news as far as renters are concerned.
I made a ‘to do’ list for Monday that includes all the boring stuff I have been putting off for weeks but essential if I am going to stay on top of things.
I went to therapy on Saturday morning and shared my good news. My only worry about therapy is that I am surrounded by so many miserable, desperate men.
It’s now Monday morning and I am positioned at my ‘desk’ at SHLA. Papers and briefcase open and ready for action. My list of things ‘to do’ is already half eaten. THICK lines scored through the things already done.
Listen, I have no idea why I am so happy but one thing is for sure..it has nothing to do with anyone else. In fact, I was briefly annoyed by the actions of the other last night but after a few seconds ceased to be. There was a time in the very recent past when the other could ruin my entire evening by being snippy. Not anymore.
Whenever one has a meaningful relationship one tends to ignore when things don’t add up. Denial gluing disparate parts of one story into something believable.
I am not annoyed with him..a little disappointed in me.
Disappointed that I have been so desperate to make our relationship work. Just writing that down makes me feel sick. That I would have done anything to make another man love, want and care for me. For the past 8 months I have devoted my time, energy, love and money to a stranger who bust his way into my life after seeing me on TV. It is a testament to my own low self-esteem just how much I was prepared to ignore in order to feel loved.
I am grateful that I fell in love and really got to know a man, be seen by another man. You may think that I have been foolish but in fact the last few months have been some of the best of my whole life. I miss him. I do. But what I miss doesn’t really exist. I miss being cared about, thought about, fantasized about, included and lastly, but most importantly, I miss being loved.
Every decision I made these past few months has been inspired by my love for him. Consequently I now have to make decisions based on my needs, my desires and my career.
I have vowed not to work out our stuff here in my blog so I won’t.
All you, my readers, need to know is that I am ok..are you ok?
I attended my first acting class this evening in a squalid theatre on the east side. Sixteen of us, two of us were over the age of 35, Mary-Elizabeth and me.
As I sat listening to the instructor I was so frightened it almost took my breath away. I had an allergic reaction to the fear. My throat closing, my face flushed, my knuckles swollen.
I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want anyone to see how clumsy and inept I am.
Yet, after a few minutes, I began to feel comfortable and after 30 minutes I was totally at peace. The instructor encouraged us to make fools of ourselves and I relished the opportunity. The instructor told us that we would feel insulted, that we shouldn’t THINK. He told us to ‘go with the feelings’ he insisted that we didn’t manufacture jokes. That we learn to cut each other slack. The youngsters didn’t know how to do that-to look after each other. Mary-Elizabeth and I knew how to make space for the others because we came from a different time in space.
After the first 30 minutes I could no longer hear the internal critic-you know the one-the one who tells you you are a bad writer, bad person for trying. He looks at me knowingly, with my grand mothers eyes, wanting to know who the fuck I am to think I can TRY. Who told you that you could TRY? Could fight back? Could make art? Who told you?
The others were very cautious of me. I liked that I understood their caution. I understood them. They were so frail and sensitive. Not the two old farts. We weren’t frail or sensitive. We were just having fun. You could see that they were sniggering at me but I just didn’t care.
I was having a blast.
Some of them, the others, some of them sparkled, some of them were just lousy. I knew immediately that I was lousy. I knew I was bad but I didn’t care. I didn’t have any shame whatsoever this evening.
Tonight the class was about freeing my soul not tethering it to shame.
We poured out onto the cold street laughing and happy.
The good news: I can keep goats and hens on the property in Malibu. I spoke with a very polite lady at the Malibu Council code violation department.
I was expecting a very long conversation, instead, it was very short.
“Can I keep three goats on two acres in the Santa Monica Mountains?”
“Yes.” She replied, adding. “You can keep 3 goats on your property as long as they’re 50 feet from anything humanly habitable.”
Silence. She cleared her throat.
“Is that it?” I said, expecting more. “Yes.” she replied, “that’s it.”
“I think I may very well be in love.” I murmured. She giggled like Marge Simpson.
The last vacation tenants just left the property leaving a rather unpleasant egg smell behind them. Perhaps they were vegetarians or something. There was orange peel on the paths and some child had broken a faucet that cost $85 to mend. I shall take it out of their deposit.
This morning, after breakfast with John and the others, I started my list of things to do for the New Year. Suddenly I was thinking about yield per acre, chicken coops and chevre.
Malibu house. The dogs just love it here. Luna spends hours exploring the garden-just like the Big Dog. I missed darling Big Dog so much today. Jerome left pictures of her in the mail box that I could not bear to open. They remained unopened since Christmas in a large pile on my desk marked ‘urgent things to do’. I thought I better look at them.
It made me feel sick with grief when I saw her sweet face.
I wish I felt that way about my grandmother.
Anyway, I spoke to a very eager sounding vegetable garden planner, my architect and a lady who lives near Sacramento about buying goats. Our call was dropped so I’ll call her again tomorrow. She is a ‘grazing service provider’. I met the plumber at the house who mended the faucet and tomorrow, first thing after breakfast I need to make a list-like call Lewis for instance who will reconfigure downstairs so I can start living there in April.
There is just so much to do! I just need to do it.
At breakfast I confided in John that all my life, my real career has been the maintenance of my addiction and anything else I got up to was a hobby. Making films was a hobby, making theatre..a hobby. A distraction from the disease of addiction.
My primary purpose has been the pursuit of selfish pleasure.
Today, I have only good news to report even if Luna trotted out of the long grass covered in ticks. Everything was very dealable with, not nearly as scary as I expected-and I never once had to take a nap.
October 11th 2009
Runyon Canyon 8am.
Many dogs, did not count exact number. Fewer people. Overcast but from the top of the canyon I am able to see the ocean through the light mist.
On the way up I overheard an industry type talking with his female friend about our VH1 show. It was oddly satisfying. The last days of anonymity. I don’t suppose people here or in New York will see the show. Few of my friends watch that kind of TV, even if I am in it.
The little dog scampered through the dry brush hunting for small mammals. In London we had the privilege of Battersea Park. Dogs unleashed charging around the huge, manicured lawns. In Whitstable he explored the beaches, in Paris the Tuilleries and the Jardin des Plantes. It really was a magical time for the Little Dog. After all he has been through.
The Little Dog was found behind a trashcan in east LA. 8 months old, his eye badly cut, his paw broken, traumatized by cruelty. Thankfully he was nursed to health and not murdered at the pound. When I first met him he was angry and distrustful. My friends urged me to get a less damaged dog but I recognized in him what had been so badly lacking in my early childhood. He was desperate for love. For three weeks he barked at me and pooed in the house and peed any time I would go near him. Then one quiet night I lay on the sofa and he hopped up beside me and our great love began.
We have had quite an adventure. We drove to New York and back (twice), visiting the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque (where we smuggled him into a hotel room), Memphis (where he ate at the interstate barbeque) and other cities along the way. We arrived in New York to frozen pavements and new snow. The Little Dog loves cities, he checks every path and every bush. He screams like a child when he sees a cat or a squirrel and leaps acrobatically at pigeons. He doesn’t appreciate being taken to a dog specific park, he sits beside me looking at the other dogs disdainfully. Once, in Tompkin Square Park he caught a rat but when it squealed he let it go.
The reason we drove to New York rather than take the plane, as we do now, was that at that time I had another dog. A beautiful Boxer/Pitt originally called Maggie but became my Big Dog. She arrived a month after The Little Dog. The three of us carved a life for ourselves in Malibu. Maggie was the most sweet, intelligent, funny dog. Everybody who met her immediately fell in love with her. She loved the Little Dog and taught him how to hunt, routinely catching lizards and gophers and squirrels. She really was a remarkable dog. She would go to any lengths to find a thrown ball, and if there were more than one she would herd them with her huge paws until they were just where she wanted them. The little dog and the big dog were inseparable. They would spend hours patrolling the huge Malibu garden then come home at dusk and lay happy and exhausted by the roaring fire.
She would have loved Whitstable but God had other plans for us.
On June 30th at 7.50am she was killed by a truck on Franklin Avenue. Unable to control her urge to catch squirrels she leapt across the road. She didn’t get killed on the way over. She was making her way back to me. When I saw her on the other side of the road I asked what she was doing? She tried to make her way back but the truck, unable to see her, tangled her in its wheels and scraped her across the road. From her face to her waist she was fine but below her waist she was torn to pieces.
She was desperate to live and held on until we got to the animal hospital but the vet could not save her and my darling Big Dog died in my arms.
We buried her in the garden in Malibu. My friends came from all over LA. Paul dug the hole and Sarah sang a beautiful lullaby.
I think about her every day. I remember her velvet brow. I miss her in the evenings in Malibu when she would fearlessly chase away the deer and the coyote. We both miss her. I had never been so sad, not when my grand mother died, not when relationships had ended. I cried solidly for a week until I had no more tears.
The most important thing the big dog taught me was to go into any situation with my tail wagging and if people don’t want anything to do with you not to take it personally.
Some day soon we will find another dog for The Little Dog to play with but when the time is right.