Archives for posts with tag: Television

You know, I just drove 700 miles from Petrolia to LA. I listened to the radio as much as I could bear it.

In between the many, many Christian broadcasts that you can hear very easily and NPR which you can’t, I listened to love songs.

Not one of them from one man to another, one woman to another.

Whilst we may be addressing our visibility in tv and film we are woefully represented on the radio… especially the love songs where I never hear my love mentioned.

Why is this so? Is the music industry a harder nut to crack than the military or sports?

I remember when I fell in love with a woman the songs on the radio seemed to make more sense. They had meaning and relevance.

When will I hear that love song? When will I see a real queer love affair on TV that isn’t the butt of some joke?

Why do I have to re-imagine every love song to include me?

The love between two men is implicit in George Michael‘s work but not explicit. It is obvious in Joan Armatrading‘s work but her songs have not been played for a very long time. Elton John is gay but mostly wrote the music for Bernie Taupin’s heterosexual lyrics.

When I hear queer love songs, lyrics that speak to my condition, on the radio… I will know for sure that things have really changed for people like me.

Bearded Straight Man

1.

Holding onto the past. Cluttering up the present.

2.

I saw athlete Jason Collins on the TV. He was being interviewed by Oprah.

As I listened to him tell his story I thought a great deal about other people I had known who lived as adults in the closet.

Collins was not involved with a woman when he came out.

He was single.

For those gay men who are married or engaged to women when they come out the trauma this causes the woman cannot be underestimated, yet somehow their trauma is ignored.

The woman from Connecticut hoards craft materials she intends to use. She never uses it. Her house is uninhabitable.

Her husband left her for another man.

A lie is revealed. The life of the lie is shared. Often those who have lived unwittingly with a liar also feel that they have lived a lie.

My important gay writer friend mocked Collins ex girlfriend Carolyn on Facebook.

He made fun of her for ‘not realizing’ Collins was gay. Not realizing that she was living with a lying sociopath?

My friend is a gay man who has had sex with women and dated women yet he can barely disguise his misogyny.

Like so many gay men he is, whether he likes it or not, a separatist.

Carolyn is an intelligent, kind and articulate woman who was duped by a liar.

I listened to Collins wondering how this man was cast as the hero?

He’s not the first athlete to come out of the closet, many women came before him and some men.

The Collins cocktail of gay, black and startlingly good-looking is somehow more intoxicating than remembering that Martina Navratilova had come out decades before.

Collins hopes that his coming out will ‘make it easier’ for others to do the same yet… it seems unlikely.

Is his coming out really a coming out at all?

He will only really know how it feels to ‘come out’ once he is back on the team.

At the moment he is cushioned by celebrity and an American media fascinated by his ‘bravery’.

Is he brave?

He is not a normal black kid from the ghetto.

He is not the normal black kid at the local church.

He is not a kid. He is not normal.

Celebrity assures him of that.

If you identify as LGBTQ then every coming out is circumstantial.

There will never be an easier time to come out because most everybody wants to fit it. To fade away. To avoid the glaring spotlight even if that spotlight is no longer hostile.

No one wants to say: I am different. Not today, not in America… where individuality is scorned.

Jason’s parents look suitably loving on the TV. They know they’re going to ‘love him no matter what’, they’re going to ‘get through it’.

I wonder sometimes what the expectation is for those new, enlightened parents who suddenly have a gay son or daughter to dote on.

Judging by those who now look sweetly at me and my partner whenever I am brave enough to hold onto my lover in the street… their reaction may have changed but the feeling I have remains the same.

They look at us… like I look at a particularly fluffy puppy. “Ah, how sweet.” They want to say. “How fucking adorable.”

I know they want to stop us and tell us how fucking adorable we are.

Those people who gawp and smile supportively are just as irritating as those who glare disapprovingly.

I don’t want you to have an opinion about us as we walk in the street.

I have no opinion about you.

Jason Collins coming out also poses questions about others who have not come out sooner.

I mean, If Jason Collins can do it… why can’t you? Why is it an issue? How could you not tell us the truth?

But Jason Collins has The President, ex President Clinton (the DOMA signer) the President’s wife Mo to congratulate him.

They are ‘proud’ to call Jason their friend.

Well, Jason Collins and those other gay people I allude to… they are adults. They came out as adults.

They can control the outcome.

They are ‘straight acting’ there was ‘no clue’, no tell-tale fabulousness, no lisp, no prepubescent flamboyance.

He was never harassed, he was never told ahead of time what he was before he knew himself.

Jason Collins comes from a ‘close and loving’ family.

Like other gay men who came out late in life… if their family was so close, so loving…why couldn’t they come out sooner?

What did they think they would lose?

The closer the family the harder the riddle.

The fantasy that one has for ones children, the perfect future… the wedding, the christening… cannot include a same-sex partner?

Well, no… not if you have invested in the lies your adult child told… again and again.

Lied to those very same people who now bathe you in their unconditional love.

Obviously, my ‘coming out’ as a teen… was very different.

Having no real option… was all at once a blessing and a curse.

I was brought up in a different age.

My coming out was an act of terrorism.

I threw it at them like boiling water and told them to get used to the burns.

3.

Meanwhile, there’s a teenager in Northern England struggling with his decision to reveal the truth.

He saw me on TV and sought me out.

He told his family he was gay… face to face.

He told his friends on Facebook

Tonight he told everyone how miserable he feels. How dark this place is.

Jason Collins has not helped him. He does not have the President of the United State to support him on Twitter.

Feeling different, facing a new world… not as an adult but as a child.

Things don’t get better… because he now has the prospect of British parochial gay life and all that entails.

He has predatory men to deal with at the local bar, he has rampant desires that remain unfulfilled.

I think he regrets not waiting.

It’s a big deal coming out when you’re a poor kid a long way from the big city.

It always will be… however many athletes steal the limelight from boys like him.

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So it was, in the beginning…forever and ever amen. Don’t cry for me Argentina.

Every dorm in the Men’s County Jail is represented by one elected inmate, that inmate is the dorm’s House Mouse.

Originally called the House Mouth his role is to liaise between the dorm and the police.   He fixes problems, discovers when holds are lifted, dates of release, learns when the police are likely to come into the dorm for unusual reasons and generally makes life easier.

If there is a fight in the dorm it is up to him to get the truth of the fight and make appropriate punishment decisions.

A fight may result in the loss of ‘Programme': TV, vending machine, late night privileges, even access to the commissary or when things really get out of hand…and the police raid the dorm and rip everything up…we end up without blankets or mats sleeping on ‘steel’ which never happened when I was there but we sure came close.

The House Mouse is a tough job, he has to command total respect from both the inmates and the police.  He needs to understand who he can ask for favours and who he needs to leave alone.

The first dorm I lived in was a mess.  The 5300 Mouse was disrespected.  When he called for silence during the time set aside for dorm business nobody took a blind bit of notice.  When silence in the dorm is required he would call ‘Radio!’ I’ve no idea why but that’s what they do in jail.   It means, shut the fuck up.

In the second dorm 5200 our House Mouse Carlton, a young, great looking black man.  An ex gang member, all he needed to do was call ‘Radio!’ once and there was silence in the dorm.

I made friends with Carlton when he learned how good I was at playing Spades.  After a couple of weeks he moved me into the bunk next to him.  Intelligent, wise and stylish he really shouldn’t have been in jail.  If he’d been white he wouldn’t have been.

The language of jail has to be learned quickly.  If, for instance, we were walking outside the dorm and found ourselves approaching a deputy we would be obliged to call out, ‘Walking!’  which alerted the deputy that an inmate was behind him.  Once, I was being escorted to the attorney room and told that I should always be more than five foot from a deputy.

Many of the the younger deputies came to California to pursue other dreams but those dreams had to be set aside because of the recession…here they were marshaling men who simply hated them.   Marshaling the disenfranchised, feeble-minded, surly, mental patients…I mean…there were so many people in the jail with severe mental health issues.  They needed nursing…not policing.

Many inmates were just nuisances rather than criminals.  It’s an expensive way to look after the mental health of the state of California.

Some of the cops, of course, are unapologetic sadists.  Yet, even though I witnessed unsavory behaviour I had sympathy for those men and women.  They are, after all, in jail too.

We were allowed out of dorm 5200 a great deal.  School of course, outside on the roof once a week for three hours, church on Sundays and AA.  The AA meetings were not like any AA meetings I had ever been to in my life.  Imagine 300 trannies from 4 gay dorms catching up on gossip, not giving a damn about the ‘experience, strength and hope’ of who ever was brave enough to come into the jail and share it.

Some of those tranny hookers were really convincing.  Like really high-end chicks with dicks.  Some of them were just really ugly men with make up and long hair and over weight, crafting some sort of cleavage out of their fat pecs.

The tranny hooker market is so huge that most of them put very little effort into looking like real girls.

When Rosemary walked into the dorm the less attractive, more masculine tranny hookers looked very perplexed.

Rosemary was 5 foot tall, well cut hair, perfect tits, hips…a really pretty girl.  Even the deputies looked at her askance.  Obviously intrigued.  She commanded a huge amount of attention.  Good and bad.  She was caught telling another tranny in Spanish what she thought of a particularly fine-looking deputy.  Unfortunately he understood her, pulled her off the line, bawled at her, frisked her and threw her against a wall.

A big man throwing a small, delicate girl against a wall is not a very heartening sight.

The gay dorm in the County jail is unique, I have no idea if beyond California these dorms exist.  I know that they don’t exist in prison.  Which, by the way, was where everyone wanted to be.  Prison rather than jail.  Prison condition are a million times better.  Nobody wanted to do their time in jail.  There are three kinds of prison, the jail (run by the police) the state prison (greater freedoms) and the federal prison which by all accounts is like a country club.

The problem with the Los Angeles County Jail is that is it falling apart, it is over crowded and technically condemned.  There is no money to replace it and no political inclination.  During the boom time the jails were a luxury used to lure voters to vote for those who promised to fill them.  Now the prisons and jails are a huge financial burden and nobody has the guts or political gall to face this crippling problem head on.

The two biggest unions in California are the police officers and the gaolers.  Even if crime numbers fall the police make sure that the jails remains filled.  Consequently, There are a huge number of parole violators and drug offenders inside the jail squandering precious tax dollars.

Even more galling?  Whilst the police arrest and the judiciary hand down custodial sentences the LA schools are falling apart.

There is a correlation between these two facts.

A fearful tax payer would rather pay for more police and prisons rather than educate their kids.

Just look at the draconian Californian three strike law that keeps many, many men inside who really shouldn’t be there.

It is a totally broken system with too many vested interests.

The twins are living here with me in Malibu once again.  They are dancing downstairs.  Their friend Kevin has moved in too.  It’s raining.  I have to see my lawyer today.  Blah, blah, blah.

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
John Steinbeck

Russell Armstrong was the husband/adjunct of Taylor Armstrong…a “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” character in the Bravo reality television series of the same name.

As most of us read this past week, Russell Armstrong is dead. Hung by the neck, fully clothed, no suicide note at his best friend’s Beverly Hills home.

Did reality TV kill Russell Armstrong?

Discovered by his wife and young daughter. This ordinary looking, middle-aged man could not take it any more.

As the American dream of the middle class crumbles to dust ‘aspirational’ shows like “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” developed by producers like Bravo’s Andy Cohen become increasingly popular.

According to friends who knew them, Russell and Taylor Armstrong were living, “Way beyond their means.” He was having, “Trouble at the office.” He was under, “Increasing financial pressure.”

Russell was the sort of guy who, “Had multiple business deals going at all times.”

Meanwhile, Taylor Armstrong says, “It may look like I have it all, but I want more.

In many ways this couple are typical of many families in post recession, double dip America. Struggling to get by whilst keeping up appearances.

Yet, unlike other families, their problems were magnified on reality television.

On TV, stoicism is perceived as pretension. Fighting to survive looks to the snarky viewer, recalibrated by the producer as: pathetic and desperate.

Without the cameras, prying eyes and competitive resentment the Armstrong’s might have sorted out the messes that many Americans share. They might have had the luxury of a private chat with a financial advisor, a couples therapist.

The problem is: Shows like “The Real Housewives” are not about revealing the cracks in the facade or grown up solutions. This show is about ‘glamour’, confrontation and spurious TV paid for parties.

Away from the cameras these women talk about ‘production’, ‘air-time’ and ‘ratings’. They luxuriate in the language of prime time entertainment.

This is Andy Cohen’s dress up show. Divas, Cougars, Vixen. Andy’s fag hags that he abusively tells to ‘shut the fuck up’ when the drama he created drowns out his own ego-maniacal, shrill voice.

Some gay men love an older woman with botox to parade at parties. Like Capote before him Andy Cohen delights in exploiting families (with which he has no first hand experience) he can only guess at the financial woes that make such good TV, the divorces with which he speculates and profits.

Andy is a single, childless, gay man playing gay God in lives for which he has no care but to make money. He was laughing all the way to the bank…now he is maybe crying crocodile tears…all the way to the bank.

The last thing any reality TV show needs is a crushingly real suicide. There is nothing real about reality TV. Death, is seems, in reality TV land needs a one hour, unscripted, series premiere preamble for Taylor’s costars to explain their grief. I am sure that they will repair their relationship with the recently departed and defend their co-star as the abused victim, the tragic ingenue.

Last week Russell hung himself in the spare bedroom of his best friend one month after his wife filed for divorce.

Until CNN asked me to appear on HLN to discuss Russell’s death I knew nothing of Russell or Taylor, I had not seen one episode of any one of the “Housewives of…” franchise. My only link to the show was having met Andy Cohen on two private occasions.

The short, ebullient, producer of many avidly watched shows. Driven around NYC in his black, overly large limousine, surrounded by sycophantic boys. Lauded for his extraordinary ability to make mass market, trash television then audaciously crashing through the third wall to make himself a character worthy of his own show.

Whilst Andy Cohen plays ‘dress up’ with his housewives, bank balances are shattered, children see their dead fathers hanging from the rafters, divorces are finalized.

The relationship between Andy and his housewives needs greater scrutiny.

Since Russel’s death Andy has been uncharacteristically mute.

I wrote to him asking if he had anything to say about Russell’s death.

He asked for my ‘POV’. I replied:

I hoped you might want to say more about this incident.

There has been a great deal of discussion about just how responsible you and Bravo might be for this death.

Obviously Russell is ultimately responsible for his suicide but one might argue that he was brutalized by a wholly fictional narrative creative by yourselves.

Excluded from the show, losing his wife and child in a public way…a mere adjunct, his masculinity compromised…this could have pushed a fragile man to the edge of his being.

Whilst you are an ebullient survivor type of guy…riding your housewives wave…it rather cruelly occurs to me to ask whether your heart really does go out to the child of this dead man? Or…please excuse me…I wonder how you will benefit financially from this death?

I wondered whether you felt at all responsible for his suicide?

The pressure put on those women to perform for ‘air time’ can skew (ironically) their reality.

Russell ended up a ‘featured extra’ in his own life. The bad guy who may or may not have injured his wife but certainly not able to imagine a time where he would be able defend himself against the inevitably huge wave of negative press a network like yours can generate.

That was my POV.

Hope you are well Andy.

Andy replied:

“I don’t think you know me or this situation at all so it is quite bold of you to speculate as you do.”

We all, of course, live in a world of speculation.

Perhaps Russell saw himself as a failure who couldn’t even get Reality TV ‘right’. Shamed publicly for his bad choices, his bad temper, his un-American solutions. If Russell and Taylor thought that they would discover untold riches under the bushel of reality TV then they were wrong.

Reality TV takes any problem and blows it up. Producers, directors and performers are all interested in one thing: drama. Usually that drama is manageable: tardiness, a sly look, a bitter word…then the inevitable reconciliation. Tearful, hugs, eyeliner smeared over acid washed cheeks.

Did reality TV kill Russell Armstrong?

We must take it seriously. Our insatiable desire to see women like Taylor Armstrong shop for things she could no longer afford, a marriage that no longer served her purpose. Her leading man tarnished, her husband a mere co-star who had to be recast.

“You’re a good looking woman, you could do so much better.” One might speculate that there is a far more telegenic husband waiting in the wings to whisk Taylor away from the funeral and onto a tropical island where her only stab at grieving might be a black bikini.

Many people, escaping their own misery, live vicariously through the noxious drama of the vacuous, crude and tasteless lives of these desperate housewives that may very well have killed Russell Armstrong.

I, for one, regret his passing. There will be no reconciliation for Russell, no ‘to camera’ explanation.

Like Willy Loman, Russell Armstrong killed himself because he was proud and foolish and could not take it any more.

Nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide.

Finally, Russell and Taylor’s child will not have the luxury of private grief. There will be cameras trained on her young face eager for tears that will make someone, somewhere a great deal of money.

 

Damn..this is the last thing I needed.

Yesterday CNN fetched me over to their Sunset Blvd building to discuss the death of reality adjunct Russell Armstrong whose estranged wife Taylor is part of Andy Cohen‘s Housewives Of…circus/franchise.

Are you aware of how many reality TV stars commit suicide?

The problem with reality TV is that it’s never real, so when something real actually happens the reality TV community…reels.

I was on the show with Omarosa from the The Apprentice.   I really liked her.  She is so beautiful

Her take on Russell was more pragmatic than mine.   He should have gone for the cash.  I felt that Russell probably saw his wife’s involvement in the show as an opportunity for them both to do well.

Taylor threw her husband under a bus.   Claiming all sorts of headline grabbing reasons why her marriage wasn’t working…except the glaringly obvious problem…reality TV.   Essentially thrown out of the show poor Russell, swimming in debt and hideous accusation hung himself.  Fully clothed.

No more red carpet for Russell.

Reality is all at once intrusive and life affirming.  Getting the big bucks for being ones self.   As I have said many times before, I found the entire experience unexpectedly validating.

Would I kill myself naked?  I suspect I might.

Having been in two wildly different types of reality TV shows I felt very relaxed discussing my experience.  Of course, I mentioned the restraining order.  It was the perfect opportunity.

My segment here.

Had coffee at Groundworks with a friend.  The excessively large limo they sent  gliding back up the mountain.

Had dinner with Robby in Santa Monica.  We ate huge raw steaks.

When I got home I walked the little dog.  He was being tentative.  At the edge of my terrace, no more than ten feet from my front door, a huge coyote lunged at The Little Dog puncturing his back.  I lunged at the coyote screaming like a banchee but in my haste falling down a flight of stairs as I fought back.  As it ran into the night, I felt my ankle go.  I felt that huge muscle in my left leg tear.  In extraordinary amounts of pain I sat on the step and sobbed.

Then something weird happened.  I started to shake violently.  Teeth chattering, body convulsing I crawled back up to the house.  I tore off my clothes and dragged myself into bed.  I called Robby who came back almost immediately and very kindly iced my foot and leg.  That boy is a fucking dream.

Finally my body calmed down.  The dog was/is petrified and it will take a few weeks for him to recover.  Damn it, it will take me a few weeks to recover.

I thought about Michael Landon in The Little House on the Prairie.  He always carried a gun.  I always wondered why…now I know.

Slept badly, my swollen legs sweating.  Unable to go to the bathroom I pissed in a cup.  A portent.  Prematurely infirmed.

Jason is heading over this way.  I am staying with the Piette’s until I get well.

What was I saying about naked suicide?

Apart from astronomically good but addicting blog figures, rancour toward Jake and a gopher issue (he/she is presently tearing up the vegetable patch) I am very well indeed.

I am enjoying ranting against JB’s lawyer, leaving vile reviews about his restaurant on Yelp and Tripadvisor. Who would have thought Ross (of all people) would have been a slasher?

There’s twitter consternation. Some guy who thinks I should give a shit about my character on the show. Apparently his friends, over a cocktail in the local gay bar, think I lured Derrick into my web with ‘shiny things’. They have built an entire world around my one appearance in one episode of The ‘A’ List.

I love TV. Perhaps I should get one?

My twitter friend wonders why I am asking Restraining Order advice from my blog readers. Babe, I am not asking advice…I’m asking for shared experience and so far I’ve had really useful responses.

Thanks everybody who took the time to tell their stories.

A woman wrote asking if I thought her BF might be gay. Send me a picture.

In the real world…far beyond planet Jake. I am having a laugh.

Joe is staying here from NYC so we are having a very cozy time at home. Six foot of pure Jersey muscle. I will post some pics tomorrow of his perfect bod, great ass and sweet smile.

Met Sharon at The Chateau with Joe and Henry. We sat in the sun, enjoying Arnold Palmers, giggling. We hung out at Urth Cafe on Melrose. We changed for dinner. I met CC with her friend Patti LaBelle who was more than complimentary to me. In fact, she said things that made me blush.

She asked my age and I mumbled it. She said proudly, “I am 67 years old.” But you are Patti LaBelle, I thought. You can be 100 years old and you’ll still be a superstar. The rest of us struggle with getting older.

CC was with gay boys who wanted to go to The Abbey but I really didn’t want to go. Joe would have been mobbed. He has that look that gets him mobbed in gay bars…I really didn’t want to share him.

So we stayed put and Russell Brand sat nearby and then Leo Dicaprio rolled in with his buddies.

Home by 3am.

On a serious note. Those of you who sneered at my ‘Palin and her ilk’ prediction…take a look at Rick Perry. The newest warrior of Christ who wants to be President of The United States. If you thought Palin and Bachmann were bad…read this.

Again, we may laugh at how absurd it is that these people would want to lead the free world or be elected in free and fair elections to do so…but that’s what the intellectuals did during the Weimar Republic. They laughed at Hitler. They ignored the desperation of the beleaguered German people desperate for change…any change.

Change they could believe in.

Obama hasn’t delivered. Rick Perry and people like him just might do the trick.

Stop laughing. This is NOT A JOKE.

Only three weeks until I am yet again due in Family Court to fight the spurious accusations, lies, falsehoods from that dwarfish, dishonest man who lied his way into my life, my wallet, my heart and my underwear.

This vile fame-whore will rip me out of paradise.

Some cheap liar who had devoted every day of his 30 years to deception.

When he saw me on TV he merely saw his next victim.

Someone else he could use in his war against a woman he said he loved.   Risking her health, her sanity.   Someone I heard blaming for his shortcomings.  He was so angry with her that she didn’t see things his way.  A woman who had blindly believed in her man, who will never do so again.

The bigger problem when you let a liar into your life…you end up never trusting.

Every man I have subsequently met I have looked upon with suspicion.

If YOU have had experiences of spurious restraining orders or false orders of protection let me know by emailing me on duncaninla@mac.com or leaving a message here.   If you want to come to court in NYC and support me on the 8th September 2011, let me know.

If you want to cover this story for your gay publication…let me know.

If you have been fucked over by an ex, lied to, cheated to, infected with HIV by someone who said they were clean…if you have never had recourse to get revenge.  Let me know.

Men or women.

Let me know.

If you are sick of keeping quiet about the way gay men…men treat each other or women.

Let me know.

Dan Savage‘s It Gets Better campaign may save teens from killing themselves, but what next?  We don’t treat each other very well.  Sometimes I think that Better than Death is not good enough.

I used to have compassion for that man.  I used to make excuses for him.  I stayed up waiting for him to call.  Worrying about him.  I urged him to tell her the truth. I convinced him that the truth would set him free. Until recently I thought he should be forgiven.  Some people can never be forgiven.

He may have learned his lesson, maybe he tells the truth nowadays?  Regardless, he has unfinished business.  We need to deal with it.  Some day soon the truth will be revealed.

Orders of Protection are well-known for inflaming benign situations, creating malignancy where there was none.  He has done just this.   The cells of resentment, hatred and revenge are multiplying before my very eyes.

Hey..and before you lecture me about how stupid I was to fall for him.  That he was just a 30-year-old kid…look at the men who are killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Teenagers. If you think that love has logic?   Take a look in the fucking mirror and tell me you haven’t done the same.   Before you advise me to let go of my resentment, tell me why I should.  This may be eating me alive but that’s better than being dead.

He could have killed me.

Before I get advice from angels…take your own inventory.  Your own moral pulse.

P.S.  No, I don’t have HIV but I hear plenty stories of men who have been cheated out of their negative status by lying queens.  Just another thing our fucked up gay community wont talk about.

Here are some of the pictures Dan took last week at my party…I will add them as and when they arrive.  I am having my LA birthday party tonight….should be fun.

Lady Rizo

Lady Rizo sang Lilac Wine, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend and a Brittany Spears mash up.

Devon, Aleksa and Me

Aleksa came with her husband Devon…straight from the set of Boardwalk Empire

Dan and Stephen

Dan took all the pics but thankfully had one of himself.

Ian and Bradley

Ian Drew and Bradley from US Weekly…who told me yesterday that I am indeed in the upcoming A List.

Rob Roth who sang ‘I’ll Melt With You‘ rather wonderfully and the legend who is indeed Chandler Burr.  The performance artist and NYT scent editor…

Duncan and Robby

This trip to NYC changed darling Robby’s life.

Sweet friends from LA Jess and her lover.

Victoria Whitbread and her friend Tom with Dee Mansfield who flew from Hong Kong for my party.

Yaniv, Michael (GLADD) and Cyndi Stivers who started Time Out NY

The Black Soft

Chase and Joey from The Black Soft came and not only performed their new song for me but totally wowed their new audience.

Zach and Alex

Joan, Lady Rizo and Joe

Greg Lucas and David Stillman Meyer

Kaolin, Friend and Zach

Lady Rizo and Donovan.

Duncan, Charlie Parsons and Tom Desanto

Jeff and Robby

And over to you LADY RIZO!!!

OK, that’s it!  More tomorrow from tonight’s party.

Breakfast with the beautiful Dane.

We stepped out of the restaurant for a moment to smoke and a young woman approached me.

She said, “I saw you on the show.  You’re very brave.”

I felt like a total fraud.

I wanted to tell her that since the show I have broken every rule, every principal I had ever committed or adhered to.   These past few moths I have run roughshod over all the progress of the past 13 years.

I feel like I am at square one.

Sure I didn’t drug or drink.  Sure it was brave of me to reveal myself on TV…but look at the trouble it has caused.  I let myself succumb to the vagaries of love.  With a chimp.

The beautiful Dane wanted to know what she was talking about.  I told him.  I suppose now he’ll see everything.  I wonder how he’ll feel about it?   Time will tell.

I love talking with him.  We talk and talk, his stories are riveting and compelling.  This is more like it.  He’s only 33.  Suddenly we are surrounded by people we know.  Friends we know rather than he or I.

Feel comfortable, relaxed and happy.

So happy I begin to cry, my nose stings, my eyes fill with tears.  I think about what Jon said when I first got sober in SAA.  He asked me to imagine what a relationship ‘looks like’ I cried then too.  I just didn’t think it was possible.  A healthy relationship with a healthy, kind man.  Then, by way of alcoholic sabotage, I proved to myself and the whole world that I was incapable of making good choices.

Enter The Penguin.  Exit The Penguin.

I am so happy to be in the bosom of AA.  Surrounded by men and women whose language I respect, whose journey I relate to.  Listen, there could be an argument made that every relationship I have ever had (except Matt) has been with active alcoholics/addicts.

Last night, after the poetry reading, I walked the dog…wrote this blog and went to bed.  I woke at 6am to arrange the apartment for the return of the decorators.   After our rather wonderful breakfast I caught a cab to JFK and am now on a plane to an undisclosed location for a couple of weeks in the sun.

I may have been brave (I was brave) when I told you all the truth about my childhood suffering but the consequences of being on that show have been very severe.  I would never in a million years have met or absconded with, danced with, dillied or dallied with that terrible man.  I would have remained ignorant of his ugly face, his dishonest world.  I would never have worshiped his stinking hole or kissed his lying mouth.

I would certainly never have risked losing my sobriety.  I came THIS close!

I would rather be single than take those risks again.

What does a relationship look like?  I don’t know if it exists.   Not because I am unworthy but because the damage has been done.   If only you could see it on my face like a burns victim.  If only you could see the ravages of child abuse on my face.

A relationship?  The damage maybe too severe.  I have to look at it like that.  The war is over but I am limbless, traumatized, impotent, angry.  There is nothing I can do other than STAY AWAY from normal human beings who say they love me.

They just can’t see.

They think I am healthy, able bodied, sane.  Until they uncover the truth.

For the time being I will stick to my own kind.  I am never lonely with my own kind.  I never have to kid myself when I am with my own kind.   My own kind never try and kid me.  They treat me carefully.

What does a relationship look like?  Well, it’s me, myself and I.   That’s all I can hope for.

That’s all I will ever need or be able to depend upon.

Remember, if you meet me, that I am covered in the most terrible scars inside and out.   You should think twice about getting involved.  Alcoholics seem to see the scars and hold out their hands so I can walk proudly amongst you…but don’t be deceived.

I am not what I am.

Too busy to write 500 words.

Briefly, yesterday was spent with my yoga/park friend Alex.  We walked…and walked.

Lunch at Northern Spy on 12th St between A and B.  Appalling food.  I will eat pretty much anything but the watercress and potato soup was so bitter I had to send it back.  My friend’s risotto was bland and uninspiring.  The grilled cheese was ok but I couldn’t get the bitter taste of rancid watercress out of my mouth.

We chipped before the desert and the entire fiasco still cost $70.

After lunch we walked via Soho past my old apartment on Varick St to the Chelsea piers and looked at the sweaty runners.    Oh yes…we also popped into the Rem Koolhaas show by The New Museum on The Bowery.  It was like an art school architecture demo.  I suppose that’s what he wanted.  I was underwhelmed.  The theme was RESTORATION.

There was one photograph that really moved me.  A table in the St Petersburg summer palace groaning with gilded paste figurines.  Each one worth a fortune but each a nightmare for a conservator.   What to do with so much stuff?

I shopped for granola.  Watched TV.   Still can’t write.  Still unable to think about anything creative.  Just enjoying the wind on my face.  My feet ached from the long walk.

Met Donovan later that night and we hung out at Eastern Block with a bunch of moderately ok looking gays.  I looked good again…so garnered more unexpected attention.  Thank God for drunk boys with beer goggles.

It always helps to have a hugely attractive, similarly aged man with you…as bait.

Dan returned from LA.    He looked exhausted.

Miles inadvertently looked like Little Edie this evening.

A cold outing to Venice after a good 8 hours in the garden.  Our third day of chopping, dragging, pruning, raking…a hard, hard day doing man work with Robby.

The vast, dense Bougainvillea finally vanquished so the house doesn’t end up looking like Grey Gardens.   There are now new views all over the estate.  It looks a bit bare on the terrace but we shall wait for the grape-vine to grow across the newly denuded arbour.

I wore a very fetching outfit into town.  See below.  Wore my Derby rather than my cap.  Miles said, “I want to dress like you Duncan.”  Which, as you may have guessed, is the greatest of all compliments.

We ate dinner in Venice.  Food trucks.  Not the greatest food truck food but filling and cheap.  Then we headed over to Santa Monica and walked the length of the Third Street Promenade.  I am quite happy doing these simple things knowing that very soon I will be back in NYC up to my eye balls in Penguin shit.

What a fucking tosser that man is.  When I told Toby that The Penguin was attempting a restraining order he said, “Oh, so you’ve won.”  Which is one way of looking at it I suppose.

There are no winners here I am sorry to say.

P.S. Did you know that JBC’s house in the Pines was called Grey Gardens?

I shaved my beard.  I am watching TV.  I am going to bed early tonight.  Clean white linen sheets.

A Beautiful Moment in Europe

It was a lovely day.  Nice people came to see the house.  Really nice.  This afternoon I worked with JA on the film which just goes from strength to strength.  It’s very reassuring to get ones writing mojo back.  As I mentioned before, it just FLOWED.  I have something to say and I know how to say it.  During the past few years I have written a couple of  scripts but I wasn’t motivated to direct or produce them.   They were bad scripts.  Today I am writing from my heart.

We mapped out all three acts and it works on so many different levels.  I will really enjoy producing this new film.

It’s not usual for me to write  two blogs in one day but as so many of my blogs recently have been hideously miserable I wanted you to know that I feel great this evening.  Very peaceful.

JA is not only my friend and producing partner he is also a fellow addict who really gets me.   So, after we had finished cooking lunch and writing he asked me why I was still so angry with Jake and I was forced to admit that even my anger is running out of fuel.

I cannot really remember all the resentments I constructed into my hateful narrative.

Yet, having said that, my anger has to be addressed.  What I have not talked about is perhaps the most sensitive reason for why it all became so nasty.

As some of you know if you saw me on the TV show Sex Rehab my sex issues have always been a problem.  For as long as I can remember I have never really enjoyed or felt connected sexually with anyone.

From erectile disfunction to an inability to be held Jake and I managed to overcome many of my problems.

Even though Jake and I had ‘issues’ what bound us when we were together was our physical connection.  Well, for me it was pretty amazing.  For him it was probably just routine.  He once said that he was only good at skiing and sex and he really was very good in the bedroom.   I never saw him on the piste.

He, like most of you, had no problem expressing himself sexually but I have never had the kind of wonderful sex that I had with him.  So, when I finally understood that it was over I felt (and still feel) without self-pity that I will never ever again have the connection that I had with him.   Now, you may say, Oh don’t be silly..you will.  But, I know deep down in my soul that this gorgeous time with Jake may have been my last chance at connecting with someone I loved and had a stab at fulfilling sex.

Once  you understand this missing part of the puzzle you may very well see the root of my frustration and sadness.  I tried to do everything I could to keep hold of a man who was patently wrong for me but with whom I had a profound sexual connection.

I really do want my money back but ultimately does it really matter?  What matters is that I must grieve for a life devoid of sexual connection.  It just made me so angry that I go on paying the price for my childhood abuse.  My distrust of men, my fear of expressing myself sexually.

My fury with him stems, almost certainly, from his understandable but insensitive desire to share stories of his sex life with others whilst we were together.   It was horrific listening to someone I loved describe something I knew I could never give him.  For me he was the only man I have ever made love to.  Ever.

It was unthinkable to have sex with anyone else.  It still is.

You may think me pathetic for trying to love him but I tried so hard to separate myself from him on many, many occasions as I documented in this blog.

He knew how addicted to him I was and he would play mercilessly with my emotions.  Knowing that I would always pick up the phone.  Knowing that I would always respond to his text because I knew that he was deeply sad after he left his girl friend.  That he was lonely and despondent but I also knew that if I felt similarly I could not rely on him to be there for me.

As was proved that fateful day in August.

Every morning I pray that this obsession, this anger, this grief these resentments will end.

As I was reading part of the new script to JA I started, finally to cry and the pressure cooker of emotions began to express themselves. I began to express myself.

I tell you again for those of you who might not believe it:  He made me very happy and I was prepared to overlook his flaws.  There were moments of pure joy for me whilst we were away in Europe although nowadays I really have to work hard to sift those moments from the crushing disappointments.

Lastly, I don’t really want to write this blog.  It had become, like most things I do, yet another symptom of my addiction.    As I read the earlier entries, before he bust into my life and I let him in…I let him in…well I remembered what it was like to be happy and I have been so very far from happy these past few months.

Even though he has been cruel and insensitive  he was also very vulnerable and turned to me for help when he needed it most.   You know, I tried to help but I am not a therapist nor am I the most stable person in the world.

Addiction for me is a daily emergency.

What have I concluded?  I need to be on my own.  I cannot begin to have relationships.

He never gave me the opportunity to say a kind goodbye…ironically, the very thing he wanted from his ex-girlfriend, even though that seems unlikely.  I really tried to say goodbye to him with dignity.  To end it in a civil and kind way.  To let him go.  I really did.   I was exhausted.  To end with kindness was my plan.  A plan he did not share.

So, JA unlocked the pain and by doing what I do best I can let go of my heavy heart.  I don’t have anywhere else to go with this other than forgive and forget.

I hope I can.  I really want to.  This is making me really ill.

Flying back to LA.

That was quite a chore!

Now, all I have to do is pack up remaining items and move out of LA.  Then it’s the dog orientated trip home flying via Paris to London.

There I will have my operation and hope that it hasn’t spread.

You know that I like to tell you the truth here on these pages.  Well,  I want to share that I found being in NYC really miserable.  Why?  I was anxious that I might bump into him even though I had texted him telling him that I would be there and to avoid where I live and SHNYC.

Even so, I felt terrible and dreaded dread dreaded bumping into him.

I dread the small claims case in October too.  I dread seeing him.  I wish that these painful feelings would just go away.  I wish he had never contacted me.  Why did he fucking contact me?

Manhunt date number 3 was good fun.

A giant of a man turned up…it turned out that we had friends in common.  We talked about Jake.

It’s funny that even though he had been through a similar experience with a man his immediate response was to chastise me for getting involved with someone who was BLATANTLY unready to be gotten involved with.

Yet, as I have found out..we ALL seem to make really bad choices in love.  My straight men friends routinely describe the females they get involved with as insane.  The women I know describe the men they get involved with as douche bags.  People make mistakes in love.

It is very hard to control a yearning heart.

I am just so angry with myself that, a. I believed him.  b. fell in love.  c. took him home.

Why the hell didn’t he tell his friends that he was gay rather than me?  Why?  Somehow my TV confession spurred him on to confess..yet, as I pointed out to manhunt date number 3..I am NOT a TV character..I am a man.  I am profoundly UNLIKE the way they edited me on TV.

This is ripping me apart.  It is just so unfair that I let some crazy fan into my life who wanted me to be like I was on TV and I…fucking IDIOT..fell in love with him.

I was on Dan’s lap top today checking a friend’s Facebook page and there he was making some Camille Paglia comment.   His new profile picture was weird.  Mugs and fruit.  His hair was all flat and he looked thin.

I know that sooner or later this mess will pass.  That I will start to forget.

You may think me mad but really what you are reading is the real and daily trial of being an addict.  That I can have all at the same time huge compassion for him and a consummate loathing.

There was a moment is Sanary sur Mer in France where he was sitting at the end of a jetty looking at the sunset.  I slipped quietly away.  He was thinking about her.  He was sad.

Thankfully there is still one sacred place I didn’t take him.  It remains mine.  Unseen by crazy fan eyes.

I pray every day for the obsession to be lifted but I guess it will vanish in God’s time and not mine.

The house by day is magical.

Jason and Hillary, quite separately, popped by and both brought lunch.  Hillary arrived with a friend’s dog called Willy who decided to pee on everything the moment he came indoors.

Hillary made a delicious gazpacho and Jason brough chevre and smoked salmon.  Three mad brits eating an Enid Blyton lunch in our tree house over looking the ocean.

I ate bread which I bitterly regret having eaten today.  I am bloated and my tummy aches.

The house after dark can be a little noisy.  I lay in the dark listening to the raccoons squabble, the coyote’s howl and the owls hoot.   The little dog had a restless night, so, of course did I.   He was up and down the stairs shouting at anything that disturbed him.  After an hour of this nonsense I closed the windows and he slept peacefully.

It was meant to be in the 100’s all week but by last night in Malibu it was colder than Whitstable.  I am sure the firemen are very happy as there have been so few wild-fire warnings.  Everything is very damp in the morning from the thick mist that rolls off the sea.

Jason left and Hillary and I decided to take the dogs for a long walk along the length of the new road (Rambla Pacifico) that leads to the PCH.  The house is now walkable from the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and since they started building the Rambla Pacifico extension empty lots are now for sale, lot owners who abandoned their lots 26 years ago are on the mountain with contractors discussing driveways and bedrooms with ocean views.  There is a certain excitement up here which cannot be ignored.

I applaud myself for paying so little for this house.  I just KNEW that one day the road would be built..who knew that it would be so soon?

Apparently I am not the only resident who regularly walks the muddy track which will one day be our new road/life line.  We saw a man armed with shopping bags marching over the hillocks.  Everyone is so impatient to feel less isolated.

It is only a few weeks until the rainy season starts so they must get a move on and finish this project.  The worst that could happen is that heavy rains come before it is finished and all their hard work is washed away.

If only Malibu would buy the road so it can be used by everyone rather than a select few.

Watched TV until midnight…yes there is a TV here and fell into bed.  I watch home improvement shows and laugh gently at how cheap and ill-conceived the ‘improvements’ are.

The Lil Dog was exhausted from running after Willy all day and his long walk but not, apparently,  exhausted enough.

P.S.  The despicable Glenn Beck is holding his reclaim America from anyone who isn’t white rally today in Washington.  For those of you who underestimate the ambition of people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin I urge you to take notice of their message.  They are determined to undermine the goodwill and inclusive character of this great country and, my friends, they will succeed just like their right-wing predecessors.  They will use all the usual tactics:  fear mongering, false patriotism and the invocation of their malevolent God.  These men and women are not clowns, we cannot afford to grandly sneer at their absurd antics.  For as the liberal elite laugh in their grotesque faces they are gathering speed.  If we are not very careful it will be soon too late for those of us who believe in freedom to stop them for we were too busy laughing.

Duncan and Jake bauman

Well, that’s that. I ended it. My relationship with lying Jake is over. That would be Mr Darling NYC and the mysterious travelling companion. That would be the man I paid to take to France.  My literary agent.

He is gone and I am relieved. As relieved as they say you feel when you file for bankruptcy. The tension and holding on and making good is over. The plans, the desire, the moments of hope that things will turn out better are turned to dust.

The very fact that I want to call it a relationship is somehow absurd. He didn’t want a ‘relationship’ because he is ‘protective of his independence’ one can read that as: wants to do whatever he pleases, just like he always has. Before by deception, now by finding an idiot who’ll put up with his shit.

It seems to be true that sometimes you can’t be friends with those you have loved. There is simply too much baggage.

I really loved him and I loved making love to him. I loved holding him in my arms but I often wondered who he was really thinking about when we made love. After all, you were so often drunk or stoned or, on that one ghastly occasion, high on nitrate.

As the days passed since we returned from France my serenity began to slip away. I was less happy with our arrangement, with our situation, with our open relationship, with the just enough rope he let me have that tightened exponentially around my neck.

What I didn’t want, upon our return, was how things were before we left: a chasm that could only be filled with jerk off sessions on Skype, even though he was without doubt a genius at performing on his web cam. That was our staple until we got to France. Sex webcasting, firstly in his old place when he was with her then in his parents kitchen whilst they were out at work. Hygienic eh?

I realised that John was right..his ‘smidgen of compassion’ remark hit me hard. He saw that I was prepared to put up with not a great deal and be happy when actually I wanted and deserved a whole heap more.

You know, when the axe falls it falls swiftly and all communication must be cut. No more texts, no more Facebook, no more telephone call or emails. It is the only way I know how. I don’t hate the guy. Of course I feel used. I feel let down. The absence of reassuring emails before I went to have my testicular scan was evidence, irrefutable proof that he really didn’t give a fuck. Complete strangers seemed more interested in my health than he did.

More importantly I had enough. His final email summed it up:

I realize a large part of your life is devoted to confession and full disclosure but though honesty and directness are important to me, I deal with things differently than you do–not by speaking in front of large groups or blogging about my life…

He had seen me on TV then met me through my blog, deceived me into believing that it was my blog and not me that he was interested in then moaned when I wrote about what was going on between us. Suddenly privacy was paramount. You might be wondering why he went to France with me? Well, who in their right mind wouldn’t want a free trip to France with a doting fool?

As for honesty being important to you? I think others might think differently. When I challenged you in London during our street fight that you had lied to a woman for seven and a half years you kept on telling me that I was wrong, ‘I didn’t lie to her’ you cried, so deep was your denial.  Every time he fucked a man behind her back he lied to her.  A woman who expected to marry him.

He told me once that he was ‘addicted to lying’.  He certainly seemed addicted to drugs.  Using weed daily.  Crystal meth during sex.

He said that he didn’t want a hyper-emotional relationship yet the first five months were spent listening to him, willingly listening to him, divulge every detail..often in tears..of his coming out. He was always crying.

I lost my usefulness to him. he seemed to forget that I was there for him in his darkest hour yet he could not be here for me as I embark on what could be mine.

This morning was the final straw. “Why are we talking about me?” he whined when I asked about him. Suddenly he was off-limits. From the incredibly intense weeks of his ‘coming out’ where I made myself available to him 24/7 his story was suddenly secret.

Oh Jake, what a silly billy you are. You think ‘freedom’ means meeting endless fuck buddies on Manhunt. You thought that I would put up with that because just a smidgen of compassion would do. You thought that you wouldn’t bring two very different people to the same conclusion about you.

You were wrong.

I totally get why she doesn’t want anything more to do with you.

There was a moment in an airport somewhere in the world when I was irritable with you about something or other and you looked sad, sad that you had treated her like I was treating you.

My friend saw the pictures on Facebook that I posted of us and he said, ‘He doesn’t even like you.’ I felt sick because often I felt that, that I was doing the loving for both of us. That at the end of the day you would and did tell me I was too old and difficult and all the other reasons you gave me for not letting me have a hope in hell..then you’d come crawling back when things weren’t working out for you. A drunken text on the train home. I knew that when you were with the other Manhunt men I just became an irritation. Like she was when you met me. She was just getting in the way.

It is vaguely irritating that I let him so close to everyone I hold dear in my life. It is even more irritating that he has made friends with my friends yet I know not one of his. Telling isn’t it?

You met me here, we’ll say goodbye here.

For more information on JB please see Adam_Patch on Manhunt. He is looking, so he says, for good people. Oh yeah, and don’t be a cliché.

Avoid this man.   He will lie to you.  He’s cute but he’ll only be interested in you if you have money and let him get away with doing exactly what he pleases.

I am happy today.  You know there are so many good things happening to me and more importantly to those around me.

It’s so easy to write about being miserable.  It’s easy to indulge our fears.  It’s easy to blame the world for all of the bad things but I ALWAYS forget to tell you when I am happy.  Perhaps I am not sitting at my desk when the happiness comes?  I think that may be the truth because I am out in the world experiencing my joy.

I am with friends, climbing the canyon, writing and reading.

My joy is NOT dependant on any one person.  My joy comes from listening to Joni Mitchell, sitting in the sunlight of the spirit and reveling in the triumph of watching my friend Jennie celebrate her one year of continuous sobriety.  Oh, and before you say it, I am sure I am not meant to be discussing her ONE-YEAR publicly but I am.  After all she has worked so hard to get to this place of authenticity.

Most of you witnessed how she changed on TV.  How we all began this remarkable rescue mission-rescuing ourselves from oblivion, self-hatred and isolation.

Change comes in great gobs never in dribs and drabs.    So this change is all about not wanting to be at the mercy of others, understanding that I can never trust my perception.  It is always wrong.   This change comes from giving into not wanting to change the way I feel.   I have put a lifetimes of effort into separating myself from everyone.  Emotional Boom and Bust.

By watching Jennie flourish I can hitch my wagon to her well planned recovery.  I learn from everyone who comes into my life.  Everyone.

If I have to be on my own then so be it.  But I needn’t punish the world by keeping those around me at arms length.  It’s time to let you in.  Let you be my friend, my colleague, my lover, my mother and my brother.

Being happy does not mean that I ignore suffering, ignore inequity, ignore insensitivity but I don’t have to make it mine.  I needn’t own the suffering of the world and use that as a reason to ruin my own chances.

There are hurdles, great ravines and deep chasms that hinder the direct path that any man needs to take in the great journey of life.    But rather than dwell on what may or may not get in my way I can enjoy the wind in my hair and the sun on my face as I get to where I am going.

I would rather wear a compass than a watch-after all it is best to know where I am going than what time I get there.

When I am scary I am most probably scared.

I don’t want to be that scary man I can be.  I want to be free and if I only get a glimpse of freedom today and just for a few hours then as least I have experienced the feeling and have something to work toward, something I am capable of.

Have a great day everyone.  Remember that there is a solution-so start living in it.

Staying in Soho House before moving to Jane Hotel.  Soho House is like coming home.  Hand written notes and presents from the manager Pierre.   The burgers we ate last night were delicious.  The staff are kind and considerate and incredibly helpful.

I had bad news and good news yesterday.   The bad news was about going home-the good news was about staying home.  I am being deliberately obtuse.

God, it was a very long day.  Up at 4am for my 7.15am flight.  Up in the air for 15 minutes then turning back mid air with instrument problems-something to do with the altitude meter.  I don’t know.   It meant that we didn’t take off until 1.30pm so I got to know my fellow travelers very well-too well.  I also became acquainted with the appalling customer service on offer-or not on offer-from American Airlines.  American Airlines, shit service, shit planes, vile attitude.  My fellow travelers were so incensed that airport security had to be called.  I, on the other hand, did not lose my temper once. I was a paragon of virtue.

Arrived in New York at 9.30pm, Soho House by 10.30pm.

Slept turbulently in my huge bed, the tossing and turning on the airplane revealing itself as I slept.  Full of fear, dreaming my house in Malibu was burning-the second apocryphal dream about that house.  The last included a bunch of women.  My nightmare was so bad a few nights ago my screaming out actually woke the neighbors.

Sophie Dahl’s cookery show is a sham-so say the Brit TV cook clan.  Not really surprising-she must be one of the most inauthentic people I ever met.  What the hell does she know about cooking?  I threw a dinner party for her, Zoe Tryon and Alecia Moore (Pink) at my house last year.  Sophie was sulky, bad tempered and rude.  Gosh, how the vile are rewarded.

Apparently one should never invite just women to a dinner.

Staying in Jane Hotel on Hudson.  Very basic, but lots of fun.  Full of cute young Spanish boys, half naked in the corridors on their way to the shared bathrooms. My room has a bathroom.  Elevator smells of disinfectant, the corridors of fresh paint.  The restaurant downstairs has been designed to look a little like it was very old but actually just looks unfinished.  The ballroom is charming as is the Moroccan influenced bar.  I have a corner room over looking the river.  I like a view.

Dinner with Joan and Joe last night at Kenmare.   All round disaster.  Food had to be sent back; my chair was pummeled by wait staff that seemed to lack any basic spatial awareness.  The vegetables were simply inedible.  The steak over cooked.  The pudding… instantly forgettable.

Lastly, why are there so many insipid, suburban gays?   When I was growing up all the gays I knew were sophisticated, arty and fabulous-it occurred to me that the dull gays might have tended to stay in the closet.   I wish they’d stayed there.

These beautiful days in NYC were spent with Jake but I wasn’t allowed to write about it.

My friend (briefly my lover) Kristian Digby died yesterday; apparently of auto asphyxiation.

Kristian was a sweet, thoughtful intelligent man.  Not intelligent enough, he would have scoffed, to think twice about pulling a bag over his head, a belt around his neck and deprive his wonderful brain of oxygen.

By inducing a lucid, semi-hallucinogenic state called hypoxia-combined with orgasm, the rush is said to be no less powerful than cocaine, and highly addictive.

Kristian and I met in 2001 at the International Cannes film festival waiting in line for the Soho House annual Cannes party-bonding over the sight of Andi McDowell being pushed and shouted at by her surly, over weight publicist.  After becoming immediate friends-later that night, very drunk and having gate crashed a very grand yacht party, Kristian told actor Ray Winstone that he had always fancied him and tried, much to my horror, to kiss him.  Like most of his antics it was very, very funny but realizing how inappropriate trying to kiss Ray was we ran like mad children into the night and had a very romantic time walking bare foot back to his hotel room along the deserted beach at dawn.

I introduced Kristian to one of his many and varied heroes, the glorious Marianne Faithful. We were at Will Self’s house.   He sat at her feet.  She spilt red wine on his white linen trousers.  Whilst she fussed over the stain he was delighted that Marianne Faithful had spilled red wine on him.  Delighted.

He did not have one bad bone in his gorgeous body.

Creative, funny, erudite.  He had so much further to travel.

Kristian loved the films and books of Dereck Jarman-his true hero.  We had great fun exploring the dead filmmakers garden at Dungerness.  We ate a very high tea (english expression not drug induced) at a local hotel over looking the bleak gray sea.

I was always in awe of Kristian and those of us who knew him very well knew that there was much to be in awe of.

During the time that we knew each other best (when I moved to LA permanently we saw each other less often) we explored ideas, cites and over coffee in Old Compton Street the state of our gay lives.

He was a regular visitor to my house in Whitstable.  Everyone that met him there loved Kristian-I have been overwhelmed by sad emails from friends he met from my old home town.

He was not without his dark side-a troubled childhood and un-accepting parents blighted his early years as a gay man.

Lastly, let us not forget how much enjoyment he gave to those who never knew him personally: his loyal TV audience.

Oh Kristian, you silly billy, what did you do that for?  I will really miss you.

Lil Dog in the Snow

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?

WHO?

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.

Before I signed my contract to appear on Sex Rehab I told my friends that what ever happened to me during the editing of the show I would stay out of the result.  That I would let God deal with the details and I would not let any of it be my business.  That was until..

OMG!  Today, moments ago, I discovered..and I just had to write a blog about my extraordinary discovery..a reader alerted me to a website devoted to people who give a shit about TV!  So much of a shit, in fact, that the same sad people spend hours not just watching reality TV but getting so involved that they form ‘opinions’ then spend hours sharing LMAO with complete strangers their ‘opinions’.  The fact that these opinions are misguided, uninformed and mostly sophomoric is neither here nor there.

This reality TV viewer web site is like..REALITY TV PORNOGRAPHY!  It got me hard.  Really.

Amongst some occasional intelligent analysis I read about ‘haters’ (apparently I am one) and a huge amount of second rate Kari Ann/Jill/Selma/Kendra ‘diagnosis’ from a bunch of avid reality TV addicts.  I really had no idea that people took this stuff so damned seriously.  I am DESPERATE to throw my hat into the ring and take on these virtual dumpster divers!  IMO I think I could have quite a scrap.

I learned so much!   Punctuated with LMAO, LOL, OMG and IMO I learned that I was snarky, immature, ugly, a misanthrope-but probably because I was sexually abused.  I learned that I hated James and did not teach him to knit.  That I bullied James and ‘hated’ on him.  I had my words maligned, insulted, ‘hated’ on.  I am, apparently, a disgrace to gay people.  I learned that there were people trawling my facebook page-so all the people I don’t know have now been removed.  I learned that homophobia is alive and KICKING!

For people who seem to hate the haters there sure is a great deal of hate!

LMAO!  Oh you people!  How you have amused me during the past few weeks.

“I’m 24 and I’ve heard that my generation and people that are teens right now are some of the most narcissistic people ever. But I think it’s just because with more technology and things, the people who might have been overprotective or felt stifled as children who want to raise their kids the opposite way might be able to spoil their kids more. There have always been people like that, it’s just more noticeable now..”

LOL.  And with scintillating insights like that who needs 19th century literature?

One particularly astute commentator opined that the British were apt to be socially insensitive.  Rude.  Well, we’re not rude..we are direct.  We say what we mean and we are not, as a nation, or as individuals so sensitive to the naked truth as you the Americans.  I spent hours in my dorm at school being viciously rude to my class mates and they to me.  It made us howl with laughter.    We LOVE a good insult/irony.

Consequently, we will punish Tony Blair for war crimes and tax our bankers for profiteering.  What, you may be thinking, does that have to do with price of cheese?  Work it out amongst yourselves. I am sure ONE of you will have an ‘opinion’.

OMG after reading the posts-and I could not stop they were so addictive-I thought to myself, well producers-you did a great job!  An amazing job of creating the goodies and the baddies and I am one of the baddies!  To many, many viewers I am just a vicious queen!  And so be it. What you think of me is none of my business.  It’s true!

“Between his blog, his twitter page, his facebook page, and God only knows what other type of self promotion he’s doing he has got to be the most vain S.O.B. out there! UGH! His whiny, childish behavior is disgusting.  Honestly, grow up honey. And yea I will admit when the show first began I found Duncan very charming, funny, etc. and so I did read his blogs, twitter page, etc. but its like the more he talks the more I dislike him.”

LMAO every time I read a vile comment like that my cock got harder.  LITERALLY.  I look at my own reaction to the hate and I realize that I still have a very long way to go.

And lastly..for you clever, clever people-a little context:  When making Sex Rehab there were 350 hours of real time footage shot on 20 cameras.  That’s approx 7,000 hours of footage squeezed into a chilling 344 minutes of TV.

LOL.

And finally my most favorite line:

“Duncan has a meanstreak that he gets away with because his sex appeal is soooo appealing. The reason men face-fuck him and leave him is because a meanstreak is only tolerable for as long as it takes to orgasm.”

A woman could only have written IMO the idea that I would want a relationship with anyone I had blown is frankly absurd.

LMAO

IMO

LOL

OMG

Jennie and topless gay boy toy

October 12th 2009.

Overcast, drizzle. Chilly.

Sirens screaming through the streets.

When the dull, lifeless cloudy days come to LA the American’s say-‘remind you of home?’ Well, no, it does not remind me of home. Cold, bright, winter days-lawns sparkling with frost remind me of home. Sultry August evenings strolling through freshly harvested fields of wheat remind me of home. Bracing walks by the sea remind me of home.

At breakfast, in Brentwood, with the lads a waiter (who usually ignores me) sheepishly asked if I was that guy from the TV. I had a flush of amusement, excitement and fear. It had to happen sooner or later. Just not now. Not yet. It was too soon. VH1 are doing a sterling job of marketing the show. Twittering, Facebook and black and white commercials play endlessly now. Black and white commercials imply that this show might have to be taken seriously. Dr Drew is ‘serious’; the confessions are ‘serious’. The condition is Sex Addiction and we need to take sex addiction very seriously indeed.

Whilst I might take sex addiction seriously my co-revelers at yesterdays benefit for the housing of aged gays and lesbians did not.

I had not been to a gay event for some time, probably because ‘they’ know that I have a withering disregard for most gay events.

Jennie and I decided to go together. We arrive to the leaden thud of vintage disco. We walk the red carpet. Beyond the red carpet lay shrimp skewers, a silent auction with, amongst other things, tickets to Ellen and Melissa Etheridge‘s guitar. Beyond the red carpet half naked boys are selling raffle tickets and there’s a huge spackled house filled with 30 ‘professionally designed’ sofas and jars of spiced lemons. We are advised NOT to sit on the sofas, to admire the spiced lemons from a respectful distance.

We saw Rosie O’Donnell who is a giantess. We tormented the shirtless boys, one of whom is called Lenny and comes from Wisconsin. He moved to LA to fight in cages. I told him that Jennie was a cage fighter. We did not buy any raffle tickets.

We ate the shrimp skewers and engaged, as best we could, with the other guests. Finally, we met an Austrian and his boyfriend who were funny and engaging. They were almost identically dressed.

They, in turn, introduced us to their friends. I began to really enjoy myself.

Jennie had to leave so I left with her. I changed and drove back to the party. It was then that my new friends noticed that I didn’t drink and began looking at me curiously. Why don’t you drink? Did you have a ‘problem’ the word falls on me like an anvil.

A gay who doesn’t drink=damaged goods.

I want to fit in with them but it’s really HARD. I just yearned for my sober breakfast buddies who understand me. I was told later that I really had no chance of meeting a man if I didn’t drink.

We ate dinner at a lesbian owned tex mex spot. The food was cold and uninspiring.

By the time I left Here! Bar in West Hollywood it was half past midnight and I was way past my expiration date. My new friends were going to a house party where they would pour tequila down male model backs and drink it from their asses-or something like that. Where porn stars would wander around with erections. Where landscape gardeners and their friends would fuck in hot tubs until dawn.

What kind of gay man wouldn’t find that alluring? Sadly, not me.

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