Archives for posts with tag: whitstable

I felt both overwhelmed and liberated in 2013.  Simultaneously.

I spent the past few hours un-subscribing from 100 mailing lists from whom I receive emails begging for money.  All perfectly decent causes, gun control, black theatre, saving the ocean, climate control, Unicef, the world wildlife fund, democratic causes, mercy for animals, slow money…

I un-subscribed from cook shops, travel companies, furniture stores and fashion lines.  I spent a few moments each day erasing my name from the lists I added myself in the hope of being better informed, no more Gawker or Huffington Post or the Daily Beast.

It was an odd year.  It was unusually diverse.  I continued writing my film tho I stopped talking about it.  I met thieving producers and film industry liars.  I spent time with weed smoking Susan Sarandon in the back of her ping-pong club.  

Away from the film I travelled to Martha’s Vineyard, to Des Moines and over the Rocky Mountains.   I travelled by car all over America.  Los Angeles to New York and back again… three times.  I was constantly surprised by American kindness whenever I found it.  

I fell in and out of love with AA.  In and out of love with the gays tho… mostly out of love.

We are presently finalizing our divorce.

During the past months I began a strange adventure with a young man who I tentatively call my boy friend.  I began to dream again… of better things… even though I am still cautious and burned.  Erring toward single at all times.

I wrote a great deal but never published a word of it.

I wrote indignant things like this…

I am queer.  They are gay.  They are white and affluent.  They want to get married and join the army.  They want to assimilate.  That’s what they say.

When you question them… when you ask them what assimilation looks like… they still want to keep gay pride, gay bars, gay apps, gay film festivals, gay morality.

They want the gay section in the bookshop, the ‘gay voice’ section in The Huffington Post.  They don’t really understand what assimilation looks like because most of them are too comfy not assimilating.

He said, “This is all about your internalized homophobia.” I smiled.  “It’s not internalized, it’s externalized.”

One can devote ones life to betrayal.  Betrayed by parents, family members, institutions, schools, by loved ones even the country of ones origin.  I have felt a smidgen from all of the above.  Yet, I forgave my family, my school, the class system, my beloved country.

Because I wanted to be free.

I huffed and puffed about the NSA, I applauded Glen Greenwald and Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowdon.  I stopped worrying about who could read whatever I was writing privately or which ever websites I was wacking to because there is nothing private.  Not any more.

I met literary heroes on Fire Island like Andy Tobias and had breakfast with John Walters, I spent sultry nights on Cape Cod.  I started Anger Management classes and enjoy them tremendously.

My counsellor asks things like, “Where in your body to you feel the anger first?”

I began to identify the genesis of my anger and feelings of uncomfortability.  It usually starts with a demand for money from a worthy cause.  A picture or video of a screaming rabbit as it is having it’s fur pulled off or a pile of euthanized dogs waiting to be incinerated.

It was the hopelessness that infuriated me, the cruelty, the stupidity, the hypocrisy.

I came to conclusions in 2013.  That I do not, have never had, am not interested in… A CAREER!   Careers, I realized, are… for other people.  For those who may be interested in a legacy.  I stopped calling myself a film maker and started telling people, if they asked, that I do… nothing.

I understood that wherever I found myself both good or bad I was meant to be.  It was all for a reason.  A reason that would one day be revealed to me.  That my life was a series of choreographed moments. The life of a narcissist.  That the cameras I learned to love whilst in the reality show had always been there and had never gone away.

In 2013 I never gave up.  I waited patiently.  I didn’t worry about the future nor was I enslaved to the past.  For this I was grateful.

Occasionally I hankered to go home but knew that after a few days in Whitstable I would find my life shrinking and darkening.  I did not go home.  Though, I spoke more to my Mother this year and was curious about my nieces and nephews.

Finally the JB entanglement came to an end one nondescript day in November.  I wanted to write to him and make amends for the mess I had caused.

But I wrote this instead… it was never sent.

An apology is owed.

I was wrong to lie to you.  I was wrong to lose my temper.  I was wrong to fight you.  I was wrong to have asked for money to be paid when you owed me nothing.  I was wrong to have blamed you for any part of our unhealthy association.  The blame must fall squarely at my feet for everything that went wrong.   The moment you came out I should have politely walked way… I did not.   I was advised by everyone I knew and cared about… to walk away from you but chose to ignore their good suggestion.   I should have thanked you and walked away.  I regret very much that I did not.  I am extremely remorseful.  Due to my weakness of character I initiated a drama that harmed you and caused distress to your family.  I should have walked away.  The moment you told me you were gay.   I know that you are happy now.   I know that your happiness will continue.

It took two years to own up.

2013.  Un-subscribing to websites, making amends, keeping my side of the street clean, owning up, anger management.

Let’s see what 2014 will bring.

As the years pass by, unrelenting, amazing, fulfilling, desperate, happy, sad.

Even though I have filled my homes with art and furniture and friends and the lingering smells of delicious feasts… even though I have made films and plays and paintings…. all I have ever wanted, really craved… was peace of mind.

I’m getting there.  Slowly.  A Happy and Prosperous New Year everyone.

Garden 3

Ha.  Don’t hold your breath.

Will you tell your grandchildren that you remember a time when people hated on black people because they were black and your grandchildren raise their eyebrows in disbelief?

Will you tell your grandchildren that you remember a time when nearly all top jobs in industry and government were taken by white men and your grandchildren raise their eyebrows in disbelief?

Will you tell your grandchildren that you remember a time when a gay man was shot in the face in the middle of the most liberal city in the western world for being a faggot and your grandchildren raise their eyebrows in disbelief?

A thousand years from now?  Maybe that’s the kind of incremental change brown people, women and queer people expect?

When will you fight for more?  Why do you put up with the status quo?

Fight for marriage and all things are equal?  No.  Fight for white men to stop taking everything, determining the agenda and we might get somewhere.

A French octogenarian shoots himself in the face because he hates gay marriage.  If he were American he would have massacred first then killed himself.  I think that this scenario seems plausible.

I wouldn’t like to hang around in gay bars right now.  Not with all these emboldened haters amongst us.

Thank God I don’t drink.

I am wearing my pink shoes.  People understand what I am when they look at my feet.

I’m trying to jettison ‘straight acting‘, I’m trying to abandon my invisibility but I know what that means.  It means hostility from gay men and straight men.

I like it when they describe drag queens as fierce.  That’s what I have spent life being:  FIERCE.  Of course, this has been perceived as angry or anti social or…  can I explain something?

Anger is an emotion related to one’s psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged, or denied and a tendency to react through retaliation.

Anger management?  The management of justified anger.

Listen to this.  I have been reasonably angry for a long time.

I was a kid and I knew I wanted to fall in love with and have sex with men (and women) but the man part of my desire was outlawed, derided.

I fell in love at school.  I fell in love and explored men’s bodies.

I remember when I was 14 I was walking along the beach in Whitstable.  I met a man.  I lay on the sea wall with him.  Furtive.  Illegal.  I never saw him again.  I wonder about him.

They hated us for something we could not change.  I ignored them.  I parried the blows.

I lived in a dream world because living in that reality was simply too painful.

Margaret Thatcher didn’t want me and men and women like me… she didn’t want us to exist.

I’ll tell you what makes me angry:  Brown people not getting a fair trial.  A third of all black men in the USA are in jail.  Women in the military being raped and sexually abused.   Drag queens damning trans people.  I am angry that some people are denied bail.  I am angry that my lover left me when I found my tumor.   I am angry with myself for falling in love with men who could never love me back.  I am angry that the breast cancer gene is privately owned, that innocent brown people are still being held in captivity in Guantanamo Bay.  I am angry that gay men think that marriage is the answer.  I am angry that I grew up with an angry step father.  I am angry that Monsanto kill bees.  I am angry that my neighbors park in front of my gate so I can’t get in and out of my house.  I am angry that two young girls are criminalized for falling in love.  I am angry that most agents (realtors and talent) are sociopath.  I am angry with gay men and straight men for over simplifying sexuality.

How do you live with that?

I set it aside.  The anger.  I find peace wherever I can.  I pull weeds.  I walk the dogs.  I feed the fish.

I forgive them for their sexism, their murder, their bullying, their insistence that they WIN.  At all costs.  Like the bees.  Winning the market means… killing the bees.

When I buy something at auction the others applaud.  They congratulate me.  They tell me that I have won.  I didn’t win.  I just paid the highest price.  It’s not hard to do.

So.  Today I am wearing my pink shoes.  There you go.  ‘Nice shoes,’ they scoff.

Oh, I’m wearing them because I’m queer and I really want you to know.  Because I exist somewhere between Liberace and Jason Collins but I’m still trying to work it out.  Working out what kind of man I am.

I don’t think I’m alone.

Men make their own history but they do not make it as they choose.

Karl Marx

Little Dog

Meeting you once.  That was enough.  I don’t need any more chaos in my life.  That’s what a moment with you was.  Whoever you are.  Was that your real name?  Did I tell you my real name.  Isn’t that the point?  

A community of liars, reinventing themselves for a wet, dark moment under the covers.

That’s what they don’t want you to know.  So many lies they tell.  They want you to believe we just are like you.  We are just like you behind the elegant front door.

The bronze gargoyle.

No women to temper our worst excesses.

Dawn.

Again.

Those yellow, silk satin curtains were bought for me by Jean Paul Gaultier on Nothing Hill the day after the IRA blew up the City of London. They are pretty threadbare at the edges.

I don’t care.

He picked me up at the Market Tavern in Vauxhall.  He sent the bar man over with a pint.  Paid for.  Caught my attention.  I had no intention of kissing him.  Making love to him.  Instead I took him to the crater in the City of London where the Irish Republican Army had blown up the streets.

We took a cab to Notting Hill and bought those yellow silk curtains.

Certain that no one would believe the story.  Still very drunk.  A pall over my forehead.  We sat in Tim’s kitchen so I could, at a later date, prove that we had been there.  I sat my god daughter on my lap.  My jeans must have stunk of beer and cigarettes and sweat.

I think he was probably into fisting.

I can feel it. You are falling in love with me but I’m not interested. I can’t pretend.  I can’t love you back.   You may as well back away from the beloved.  As you know, there’s a viper beneath the skin. Your weakness disgusts me. Those eyes looking up at me expecting so much more. Those big brown eyes offending me. I imagine pushing you down the stairs.

Lawyers, lovers, movers, electricians, renters, plumbers, real estate agents, judges, baristas.

Visitors:  from England.  My home town.  I think you forget that my home town will always be there.  Always.  The softer landing.  Regardless what you do to me.  What you take from me.  How you silence me.  The months are passing quickly.

If you send me home.  My mouth is wide open.  A siren.  From Whitstable.

Oh, Whitstable.   I am coming home.

Leaving behind these savages.  I would rather face my demons there.

Savages, blowing up there own people.  Blaming the boys.  The muslim boys.  Demonizing islam.

It’s a drill… wait… no it’s not. There is a third bomb… wait no there isn’t. We’re looking for a dark skinned man… wait… actually two white ones. We need help identifying them… wait we’ve had one of them on a list for years and we know where he lives. Ok, we found them but we killed one… no wait his brother killed him… wait… no he didn’t. We captured the other one after a firefight but he shot himself… wait… he didn’t have a gun.

Savages, without opera.  Savages, white and clean.  Chained to their guns and their christianity.  The lies they tell:  the deficit.  The heroes they claim.  The heroes they abandon.

The gays are picking out their black shirts, their golden hair and musculature.

Being in jail radicalized me.  Hanging with the Trans hookers. No longer gay.  This queer, with other queers.  Behind the women and men of colour, of indeterminate physicality.  Liberty leading the people.

There is so much outraged.  Outrage!  A line has to be drawn.  Robby, my darling ally.  Now he is Dustin Lance Black‘s boyfriend, well… he had to be jettisoned.   The trophy boyfriend.

I really loved him.  Like a son.

There he is with the gays (black and white) at the White House.  Looking uncomfortable.  His hair slicked back.  His beautiful flaxen hair.

Meanwhile his ‘husband’ Lance Black, is a grand marshall/special guest star/nazi youth at San Francisco Pride.  The same organisation that abandoned Bradley Manning last week.  Turned their back on a world hero in favor of an illusionist.

Lance is a man who writes about history rather than participates in it.

A bunch of Iraq gay vets (murderers/terrorists) took it upon themselves to complain and the corporate Pride org buckled.

It was a sad day.  A terrible, sad day.

One day films will be made about Bradley Manning and we will wonder, with a degree of homo incredulity, how Lance Black and the organizers of SanFrancisco Pride found themselves on the wrong side of history.

Hairless, blond Lance with his hairless, limp, blond husband.

So the argument rages.  Is Bradley manning a hero?  It seems that if he is… not many gay people agree. He broke the law they caw!

Well, did he?  Whistle blowing (as it turns out) is an honorable, protected act.

Executive Order 13526, Section 1.7 pertaining to Classifications Prohibitions and Limitations clearly states that:

In no case shall information be classified… in order to: conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency… or prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

Thus, what Bradley Manning did when he disclosed cables that revealed extreme corruption and major breaches of diplomatic goodwill was, in fact, quite honorable, and he deserves protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

My friend Robby is part of a homosexual elite.  Able to shape and destroy lives.

The bitter and resentful gays turning on their own.  They daren’t turn on straight people.  Why? They still want to be straight.

Meanwhile a black man comes out and the gay, white elite are thrilled.  It’s embarrassing that they have no black friends.  It’s embarrassing that they have no black friends on Facebook.

Thank God!  A black man, playing basket ball.  He’s making it seem so comfortable.

Fuck HRC.  Fuck GLAAD.

I am understanding now.  Who those gays are.  They never wanted to put up their hand and tell the world they were different.  I did.  They wanted to be teachers pet.  I didn’t.  They wanted to be perfect.  Nope, not me.

Their only act of bravery is telling the world they are gay.

Astonishing. These absurd gay men screaming about how Bradley Manning broke the law. We who were born criminals… born gay, who every time we kissed or made love also broke the law. Would you have suggested abstinence until the laws magically changed? Did we deserve to go to jail for being gay, after all… we knew the consequences? Who do you think broke the law on your behalf to fight police and break windows at Stonewall? Sadly. it turns out, not many gay men. They were hiding in the back of the bar whilst the trannies broke the law. The gays are still hiding in the back of the bar whilst honorable men like Bradley Manning fight important battles against iniquity and injustice. By dissing Manning you merely collude with, support the illegal actions of the US military. Make your choice, but remember those of us who fought on your behalf once upon a time did so without regard for the law. Bradley Manning may or may not have broken laws. Without doubt, his actions helped liberate millions and hastened a US military withdrawal from Iraq. You must honor him.

Let’s face it.  It wasn’t gay men fighting the police and breaking windows the day Judy died.  The gays were hiding in the back of the bar or running away.  Terrified of breaking the law.  Terrified.  They are still hiding in the back of the bar whilst others do their fighting for them.

One day, there will be men owning up to not wanting to be gay, staying in the closet because… they will say… ‘I’m not like that… look at what the gays have become…’

This week I purged myself of white, elite gay ‘friends’ on Facebook and I wished I knew… what I could do next.

For more about how we are evolving… read this: Steven W. Thrasher’s great piece in Gawker today.

NA 13

When I first started going to gay bars in Britain in the late 70′s we drove (with those lucky enough to own cars) twenty miles to Margate, a larger town near my home in Whitstable.

Margate is famous for being the birth place of conceptual artist Tracy Emin.

Margate was a derelict, regency ex-holiday resort.  Butlins had closed, Pontins was on the way out.  British people wanted to go to Spain where sunshine could always be assured.

The sweeping, majestic Palladian mansions were being torn down or turned into multi occupancy dwellings for the unemployed.

The crowd at the gay bar, run by morbidly obese Shirley was divided in two groups.  Two distinct crowds:  older, local men who had stayed local and younger men and boys who were using bars like this to spring-board into a metropolitan gay world.

The older men were routinely described as ‘bitter old queens’ by the younger men and there was indeed something bitter and suspicious about these older men that intrigued my teenage self.

Always the contrarian I hung out with them rather my teen peers and learned about these older men, their lives and their failed ambitions.

Older provincial gays who had been mocked, beaten and subjugated.

In Britain Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1965.

To me those old queens seemed incredibly brave for staying loyal to their home town communities.

To my younger ‘friends’ these men were simply stuck or foolhardy for not moving to the big city where their gay dreams could come true, their gay lives could be lived fully, openly and without fear.

My interest in them proved fruitless.  They may have been older but they were not very wise, stripped of ambition by soul rotting low self-esteem.

They wanted to be like everyone else.

I wanted to be different.

They mocked me as they had been mocked, they chastised me as they had been chastised, they still do.

Those older gay men waiting for younger gay boys to emerge from the shadows.  Supping gin and tonics.  Bacardi and coke.

Hanging around the local ‘cottages’ (public restrooms) waiting for straight boys to unload.  Playing an endless game of cat and mouse with law enforcement.

“So and so was sent to prison for cottaging.”  So and so would emerge a year or so later, jaundiced, older looking.

It seemed to me that these men had every right to be bitter.  They had every right to harbor resentments against a cruel society that deemed them criminals even after they weren’t.

The swinging 60′s, the sexual revolution, the progressive explosion, the post war boom really only affected my generation who grasped hold of the bucking bronco and held on for dear life until, of course, AIDS came along in the 80′s and we were all thrown far, far away.

The AIDS pandemic.  Fear in men’s eyes.  Disco dancing queens learning to dance to a different tune.

If I had taken pictures of those old gay men in the late 70′s they would have looked defiant, like those pictures of native Americans by Edward Curtis.  They were fat and badly dressed, their teeth were rotten, they were working class, they were left behind.

So, it amuses me now when I am described thus:  A Bitter Old Queen.

The advent of gay marriage, the normalcy of children for gay men (if they can afford it), the regular inclusion of gay men in prime time TV shows.  All of these changes have heralded a new acceptance, a new normal, a new peace of mind for young gay men.

Or has it?  A new generation with a new set of fears and anxieties.  “Will I ever earn enough to buy a surrogate child?”  “Am I pretty/handsome enough?”  “Should I be totally hairless?”  “Is my penis big enough?”   “Am I ‘straight acting’?  Will I get married?

A generation of gay men comparing and despairing.

What of us?  My generation?  Those of us who survived the great epidemic.  It seems that many gay men still feel left behind.

Shamed.

Last week I met a 55-year-old man who told me he was recently diagnosed with HIV even though he had, he assured me, never indulged in risky behavior.

He told me that older gay men were being revealed to be HIV positive because of a latent strain of HIV that only makes itself apparent after the age of 50.

A strain that has been there all the time, undetected.

I was shocked.  Perhaps I hadn’t dodged the bullet after all.

The man way lying.  I researched the claim.  There was nothing.  I asked my friends on Facebook if they had heard of this anomoly.  They had not.  They scoffed at the idea.

No, I reasoned, this man is a well-respected gay advocate.   As it turns out you can be a well-respected, well liked gay advocate and not be at peace with your HIV status.

Being gay for many men remains a hard task.

If I ever think of my ex boyfriend I still wonder what is was that kept him in the closet for so long.  Even now, after the revolution.  Why he created and maintained such an illusion? Risking his girlfriends health?  Lying to his family?

Then I wonder if we are all illusionist?

How easy is it in 2012 to tell the truth about being gay?

There seem to me like there are so many dirty little secrets that we hold onto.  That we continue to live shame based lives… even the youngsters, even when there is no reason to hide?

I wondered what we were striving for?  To join the military, to get married…

I got to thinking about David Petraeus resigning because he had an extra marital affair.  Adultery is illegal in the military but would those rules apply to serving gay men?  Would we, once married, be held to those same strict hetero rules?  Is this what we want?

Today I posted something about Israel.  Like most Europeans I find myself erring toward the support of the Palestinians.  I find the Israeli treatment of these falsely imprisoned people abhorrent and ironic.

What is the difference I ask myself between The Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza?

My American gay friends react with comments like:  all muslims are terrorists.

Just like I was told when I was a child that all homosexuals are pedophiles.

Those older, less educated, less principled, men were from a different time.  Embittered by circumstance, godless, hopeless.  Drowning their sorrows in great vats of beer, their greasy faced pushed against the window of life without ever joining in.

“No kissing at the bar, dear.”     Shirley would tell her clientele.  “No kissing at the bar.”

20120720-065857.jpg

1.

It is dawn again. Dawn in the desert. The smell of the earth and the dew. The sounds of the chirruping birds.

The pervasive silence of the long black night coming to an end.

My night blindness is getting worse. I sat on my spectacles so am guessing, largely… where the keys are.

The days get hotter and hotter. The sun beating down relentlessly. The lawn toasting, the dogs roasting, the mountain tightens around us as it bakes.

Hot days in Dorset/ hot days in Malibu. Hot days on the sleepy ocean, lapping around me.

Coffee, editing, read the daily news. It sure looks bad in Syria.

We cruise down to the beach and play in the surf. We are tangled at night in the white linen sheets. We read side by side in silence. A familiar smell, a beating heart, the man I want but do not need.

He asks what we are. Nothing. We are nothing, I say. He struggles with ‘what it means’ to love another man.

My struggle is over. I am too old to give love a second chance.

He sees me thinking. He will read this and tell me to talk to him as if talking will solve everything. Just shut up and make love to me. Stop asking me what it means. Don’t expect me to know anything. Work it out yourself.

I don’t really care.

For all the terrible, meaningless cruelty I am still besotted with him. And, like the parent of a missing child, I wonder daily about his safety. Even though he is undeserving of my worry and considers my concern an intrusion..

I continue to fret about him, however violently I have tried to expunge the memory.

2.

I am mostly happy. I know you don’t believe me. I know that you think I am lying to you about my happiness.

Well, if you could see me… if you were the one laying beside me… you would understand.

Island Wall. The tiny cottage there. It was enough. It was perfect.

Now I lay my head down and it is enough.

Perhaps, you say, you could be happier? How much happier?

Facelifts, apparently, make women happier.

Then I realize that you are confusing your own thoughts about getting older with what you think happiness is. How can anyone be that old and be happy? How can anyone have so little and be happy?

Then, you try convincing me that I should want to be young again. Forgetting, of course, that I was never young. Always old. Always.

I have a spectacular ability to get on with what I have and be happy with it.

I don’t want more. Even in the jail. I found comfort. I found solace.

So, you think I am unhappy because you do not know what happiness is.

Could you imagine a happy person killing themselves? I could.

Come death.

3.

I had another dream about the DA. This time my thumb was in her mouth. She was sucking my thumb. Pressed down on her tongue. Like a calf. Her big brown eyes looking up at me.

Whenever I dream about her, her cheap gold jewelry tinkles like ice cubes in a crystal glass.

4.

I am writing my screenplay. Finishing it. I am enjoying a social life. I let the man beside me massage my neck.

I understand that I am in love with struggle. Struggle is sustenance.  It feeds me everything I need to live. I am alive when I fight to survive. I am alive when I feel myself emerge victorious. Even though you could not imagine what I experience as victory.

I dream that I am walking by my primary school in Whitstable. The black, tarmac playground is always empty. The lawn is green. The classrooms, I assume, are full.

I remember the boy who ate coal, the butcher’s son. He looked like a pink pig. Fat, pink, bespectacled. He drowned you know. You knew that… didn’t you? When he couldn’t take it anymore.

5.

Hush, the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers, the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican, the undertaker and the fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker, preacher, policeman, the webfoot cocklewomen and the tidy wives.

Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the organplaying wood. The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrogered sea.

And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wet-nosed yards; and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly, streaking and needling, on the one cloud of the roofs.

The Transit of Venus

A black spec traverses the sun..not to be seen again until 2117. I will be long dead, long forgotten.

Yesterday, I sat with the producer of the Italian film and made my pitch. Novel good. Script…wanting.

An admirer sent a Balenciaga dog collar for the recovering Little Dog. It is a little too big but he doesn’t seem to mind.

The swelling has gone in his leg. He has a red rash all over his swollen belly and chest. The bite marks on his paw remind me that a big rattle snake and the Little Dog came face to face.

Robby is in San Francisco with Lance.

Having an assistant forces me to be more industrious. He takes notes, emails…arranges appointments and reminds me where I am meant to be and when.

I spend less time looking at the phone and more time focused on my dream.

We travel in an elevator with Casey and Ben Affleck. We sit with Salim Akil and discuss his film…Sparkle.

We go to a screening of Prometheus on the Fox lot. The film doesn’t make any sense. The rambling musings of an elderly man unconvinced by humanity.

A crazy bloke from Whitstable reminds me why I have no reason to be there. He is trapped, I am not.

I meet with a production company to discuss a comedy show idea. TV, they say, it’s the way forward.

We drive downtown to pick up my passport, we eat in the car. We drink coffee and meet friends. The sun is shining. I stop in to see Jennie at the ACLU and we talk about lentil soup.

I speak with the detective about my lap top. It sickens me. I say, “Are your family proud of the work you do?”

Dinner at home then crash at 11pm.

I have promised a young man that I will wait for him…so I will.

I am convinced that (like Venus) I have a short moment in the sun, before I am plunged back into darkness.

20120606-111517.jpg

Whenever I return home I am relieved.

Leaving the distractions and the doubt behind.

Cruel thoughts, many miles away.

Whitstable, it takes me a day or so to crawl back into my own skin.  The scale of the town needs adjusting to.  I feel like a giant towering over the small, clapboard houses.  I cannot fit into the tiny shops.

The vitrine has not changed for many years.

The town has kept its original character.

Good and bad I know everyone on the street.  Now I see people who I knew formerly in London.  Gallery owners, actresses, commercial directors.  They strut around thinking they own the place, which of course, they do.

“What are you doing here?” They say.

Last week I was dwarfed by skyscrapers in New York, today I am shrinking rapidly into my Whitstable self.  No coyote to eat the dog, nobody to distract me from my task.

The children sit at their desks on tiny chairs in the same infant school where I learned about the autumn leaves, the saints and the sinners.

This morning we walked the grass paths on the freshly mown downs.  In the thin sunshine the skin on my arms and hands looks brown and weathered.  The fierce Californian sun, long forgotten.

Tomorrow we are driving to Dorset.  Past Stonehenge, to the sea.  Staying at The Bull Hotel in Bridport.  Traveling the well maintained motorways.

I may just keep driving.  I have everything I need.

Just head north through Bristol to Wales where I want to walk Offa’s Dyke.  Find me a B&B in Clun.  Eastward from the unspoiled Welsh counties to Shropshire.  The Stiperstones, this earth is my grave.

Fried eggs and thick bacon, marmalade.

Northward again through the black country.  Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire,  Cumberland to the borders.   I love you England.  I love you.

I bought a pair of secondhand, brown velvet trousers and an ebony cane with an engraved, silver knob.  I found a dark green cashmere and silk scarf, channeling Fanny and Stella in Burlington Arcade.  It is cold enough to wear a beautiful hat, an autumn gown.

I am willing the winter moonlight.

I don’t want anyone else with me. This is mine.

I could not be further from the madness.  England!  Where my heart lies.

There is no easy way to tell you this. No easy way to write these words.

Whitstable. September.

My brother Martin’s 35-year-old, long-term partner Juliet has died. A sweet-natured, complicated woman who wanted a baby very much, finally conceived two years ago.

She was a wonderful mother to my nephew Oscar. A really lovely child.

We heard the results today (13th Sept) of the autopsy. She died of acute kidney failure which lead to a heart attack.

Not one to complain she may have been in some discomfort for months but failed to tell anyone.

She lay dead on their kitchen floor for a very long time before my brother found her body. My infant nephew sat by her, maybe for 24 hours.

The neighbours heard him crying but did nothing.

My mother told me that the little boy had opened cupboards looking for something to eat. He found a pot of yogurt.

My brother broke down the door. He found her. Found them.

There are no suspicious circumstances.

Oscar has gone to live with my mother, his grandmother. My mother is a really great-grandmother.

The local newspaper report here.

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

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

Paid water bill in Malibu, picked up some milk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was wrong.

I was weak.

I fell for him…as many will.

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

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

Peace comes from acceptance and forgiveness.

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

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

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

Connecting to his new gay life.

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

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

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

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

So, Adieu my friend.

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

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

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

My calves ache.  Why?

As an experiment I took the bus from Malibu to Hollywood.

It was much easier than one imagined.  I walked off the mountain, leaving the dog in the house.  I walked the long way down the steep Las Flores Canyon in the blazing midday sun causing blisters and bruising on both feet.

At the bottom of the hill there’s a very convenient bus stop.

On the way there the bus was crammed with migrant workers and mental patients.  By the way, even mental patients have smart phones that they check compulsively every ten seconds.

What could they be possibly checking?

I liked the ride along the PCH…looking out to sea, watching cormorants bombing the waves and dolphins making their way west.  Everything looked very pretty and southofranceafied.

On the way back, the bus was full of homeless people keeping out of the unusually evening cold.  Bad move.  The air conditioning made it colder inside than outside the bus.

On both trips I met a few disgruntled European tourists who were shocked by the patchy public transportation: how long everything took and general lack of information, schedules etc.

Had I not used my iPhone travel app I’m sure I would have gotten very lost.  Maybe that’s what the the mental patients were checking…their route.

Surprisingly I still have a huge amount of shame around taking the bus in LA.  Nowhere else do I feel it.  Anywhere else it’s just the way things are.

Getting back to Malibu later that evening was miserable so I aborted the mission and caught a cab from Sunset and PCH waiting in a smelly fish restaurant called Gladstone’s until a jolly Georgian cabby picked me up.  $30.

On the way home two large dogs dashed across the PCH.  They were not killed but I don’t know how they survived.  They survived the mad dash.  Thank God.  The cabby started shouting incoherently at the owner in Russian and English.

“Fuck you!”  He screamed.  “Fucker!”

As he dropped me off he said, “You can never depend on a man but a dog will never let you down.”

I spent yesterday morning in the garden, planning to hang this huge bronze lantern I found on the street.  I need a sturdy chain and a butchers hook.

Capitalizing on my confidence surge I arranged to see my Important Producer Friend.  It worked out really well.  Before I leave LA/USA for good I have to achieve more than a couple of reality TV shows and a revenge novel…oh, and a beautiful garden.

Perhaps I’m being a little hard on myself.

Anyway, after a few moments of timidity I burst into the pitch with passion and verve.  He wants to help.  He is able to help.  Real power in an illusory town.  I felt safe.

Whilst I was with him it was easy to identify what has been missing these last two years.

Let’s look at the facts: I can write an interesting script, develop a great idea, direct a compelling movie.  Sell it, promote it, open film festivals worldwide.  I can really do that.  I’ve done that with all but one of my films.

Because I’ve had the wind punched out of me I just couldn’t find the huge strength required to force the film off of the page and into the world.  Perhaps I can?  Now I have the energy and focus.

Walking down the mountain to the PCH rather than staying at home and weeding the garden…well, that’s the advice I would have given a good friend.  Get off your ass and do the deal.

The miserable veil, today…for the past few days has lifted.  Let’s see if it will last.

Watching that evocative twenty year old video enthused and invigorated me.  I remembered just how much I have to be proud of.  At the time I was making theatre, living an idyllic, simple life in Whitstable.  Just returned from six months in Sydney, about to go to Film School, hanging with cool people, making love to beautiful men and mostly very happy.

My early thirties were great fun.

I think that’s obvious from those images.

I wondered what it would take to get back to that place.  That happy place?  Well, I have to think seriously about this blog.  Because of you know who I kept this thing alive and by doing so I kept my connection with him alive.  Like a daily letter to him.

It’s hard to imagine not writing this blog.  It’s hard to let go.

The personal details that I pump daily into the world must stop.  I have to get serious.  This blog has become a destructive addiction, just like everything else I do compulsively.

OK, so here are a few interesting clips from 1991.

Starring the various boys and friends who ended up in Whitstable at my house on Island Wall.  Notably Jay Jopling, Nick Love and Damien Hirst.

There’s quite a bit of nudity and cock…so beware.

Bournemouth Film School…the house I shared with Lawrence and Charlie.

There’s some great stuff from Green Street, Orlando’s club in London.

Damien Hirst, Maia Norman, Orlando Campbell etc.

There’s the traveling, Sydney, Forbes NSW to stay with the Wilsons.  And…more boys.

Kevin at City Gym in Sydney. The beautiful Dane I met in Florence and spent the summer. Whatever happened to him?  I wanted to weep when I saw him again.  He was beautiful.

The local Whitstable boys.  Luke, beautiful Luke.

If any of them ever loved me I was blissfully unaware.

And…there’s a lot of…hair.  During most of this…I am drunk or fucked up, remember that.  I wouldn’t get sober for another 6 years.

There’s a lot of dancing and dressing up.  I seem to be lip synching to Judy…missing some man.  Again.

What a destructive theme.

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

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

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

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

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

He had something I most definitely wanted.

I asked if I could go to their Quaker meetings.

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

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

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

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

This was revolutionary!  We were all priests.

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

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

Some of us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t take any pictures.

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

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

Stayed over at the Lake House.  Woke early.  Made coffee.  Fed Max.

Two sets of novel notes arrived yesterday…both were extremely promising.  One from the publisher in London and the other from my friend who teaches at NYU.  Very positive.  I am still undecided about the end.   Wish I could write about it without spoiling it.  Something good is finally emerging from my time with him.

That pustulent, suppurating, festering, odious, limited…ugly little man.

Something beautiful is being born.  From out of the shadows I will make something glorious!  Eh up lad.  Where there’s muck there’s brass.

Today I am in pursuit of beauty!  In all its many forms.  A row of freshly planted melons.  A perfect cup of tea. A beautiful penis.

I have a friend on FB who takes the most beautiful photographs and yesterday he shared a picture of Thomas Heatherwick‘s Beach Cafe at dusk.  Too perfect.  This man Heatherwick is a genius.  This is exactly what Whitstable needs.  A fantastically bold architectural something.

I met a boy yesterday.  A brief assignation with a 22-year-old from Maryland.  A hotel room in Santa Monica.  He was on vacation with his parents.  He was my height, muscular, masculine.  He had the most enormous penis.  Incredible shape, thick.   He wanted to ‘role play‘ but I refused.  He was deaf.  I did not want to know his name.

Robby waited outside until we had finished.

After I left the beautiful boy we headed to Home Depot where we bought plants.

Spent the rest of the day planting neat rows of cantaloupe, honeydew and water melons..we planted far too many.  We also planted far too many ‘heirloom’ tomatoes.   There are other bits and pieces in the raised beds in front of the house.    Squash, pumpkin etc.

I am perplexed.  There is a bare patch of land where the huge Bougainvillea used to be.  Needs filling.  Needs something.  What?

We weeded and watered and dug compost into the dry earth.  We trimmed the grape vines.  The sun began to set.

Joined the Piettes at The Malibu Community theatre for Hannah’s performance of Tweedle Dee in Alice in Wonderland.  The play was great fun.  The girl who played The Mad Hatter (Sage?) was not only very beautiful but incredibly talented.  Ate pizza during the interval.

We stayed until 10pm.  Hopped straight into bed when I got home.

Tom suggested that I reprise my stage version of The Baron in The Trees.

The first time Joe ever took me to Fire Island Pines I was immediately convinced that something I had always hankered existed: a place where gay men and women of all ages could live together, experience life together and express themselves without shame.

I have heard from black friends who traveled to Africa for the first time that they experienced a sense of truly understanding how it might be to live an unfettered life.

There are exceptions.

I have just finished reading A Black Man Confronts Africa.

From 1991 to 1994, Keith Richburg was based in Nairobi as the Africa bureau chief for the Washington Post. He traveled throughout Africa, from Rwanda to Zaire, witnessing and reporting on wars, famines, mass murders, and the complexity and corruption of African politics.

Unlike many black Americans who romanticize Africa, Richburg looks back on his time there and concludes that he is simply an American, not an African-American. This is a powerful, hard-hitting book, filled with anguished soul-searching as Richburg makes his way toward that uncomfortable conclusion.

I am a gay (adopted) American.   I do not belong.  The laws of the land preclude me from being truly equal.  The streets are periodically mine but not consistently.  Really?  I thought things had changed for the gays?  Strangely, post Will and Grace things have not changed.  I urge any one of you (gay or straight) who think things may have changed for gay people in contemporary USA (and I have said this many times over):  Try holding your same sex friends hand in a street anywhere other than NYC or LA.

See what happens.

Returning to Fire Island this summer for the first time in a decade I am excited to see how things have evolved since I lived there and if the idyl I first experienced still exists.

The beautiful beach, the beautiful boys, the sunset and sunrise…no cars.   Dinner prepared by groups of men who sit down together and share.  Share being the operative word.  What ever share you may have in the house you are renting…doing things collectively is the modus operandi.

Have I idealized my memory of this slim sand bank set at the edge of the Atlantic?  Have, within a decade, my memories been burnished?

I wonder.

Firstly, finding a house to rent has been quite hard.  I guess my demands are not normal by gay Fire Island Pines standards.  When searching for a house I made it quite clear to the realtor that I am sober.  I do not drink and I do not take drugs.  I told him that I was not interested in the big gay beach parties (drug festivals).  That I am going there to write.

Almost every house that I looked at was a ‘party’ house.  Almost every person I spoke to told me that they wanted to have fun…read that as excessive drinking, drug taking and sexual unmanageability.

Having a sober person around might mean curtailing the ‘fun’.

I have heard that The Pines has become quite trashy.  I have heard that they have ruined the ambiance.

The über gays have long since deserted The Pines for The Hamptons.  Aping upper-class American straight people rather than investing in the peculiarities of The Pines.

What is it that draws me back there?  What is it that I loved so much?

Well, Joe and I had a wonderful time together in our pretty little house.  It was the nexus of gay culture and me.  For the first time in my life I saw both old and young gay people going about their business (during the day) just like common people.  Fetching their shopping on small, red carts.  Dressing up, holding hands, not dressing up…alone.

For the first time in my life I felt as if I owned the space around me, that I could not be judged in this place.

Until I got there I believed those things to be true but I had been kidding myself.

Just getting there from Manhattan was an adventure.  The car to Sayville.  The ferry ride from Sayville to the island,  the palpable excitement of the passengers.  The great piles of supplies and dogs and suitcases.

Thank you Joe for taking me there.

The first man I saw when I scrambled down the gang-plank was an elderly man with a stick walking slowly along the board walk.  It delighted me.  “Is everyone gay here Joe?”  I thought to myself that there was indeed a place where I could be free when I was his age.  I knew even then in my late 20′s that being old and gay was going to be difficult.  My premonition has come to pass.  Being old and gay is going to be horrible from what we found out when researching The Scarlett Empress.

Unless, of course you have a spare $160, 000 to buy a surrogate child who might look after you.

I had thought about going back to Whitstable in my dotage but not even Whitstable holds much allure to me.  Being the old gay man in town…I have seen the way we are treated.

When I arrived at The Pines I understood how life might play out.  The options.  I looked around and even though the bars were full of very drunk gays (I was one of them) the look on their faces was different.  They looked relaxed, they looked happy.

We went to gay bingo, we involved ourselves with the gay fire department.  We had opinions about dune reclamation.  We walked barefoot to the beach and watched the beautiful naked men play ball and walk their dogs.  We paid for limousines from JFK for our friends and delighted them with our house, our gay lives.

Our routine rarely altered.  Watching the sunset, hanging out on the dock to see who would get off the ferry.  Buying expensive food at The Pines Pantry…the store was just like any store but crammed with fancy queens buying $100 steaks.

When I got sober the AA meetings were quite small on Fire Island…now they are huge.

I really have no idea what it will be like to live out there once again for the summer.

I am excited at the prospect.

Of course there are other places where one might feel free, where YOU might feel free.  Perhaps you have already found your very own utopia elsewhere.

The Fire Island Pines experience is short-lived.  In September this utopia is disassembled.  The grand houses are shuttered, the store closes, the ferry comes but once a day.

There are other places for us to go.  Unless we vanish.  Those of us who look kindly upon our strange ‘culture’ can find our tribe elsewhere.

Not until I got to San Francisco did I have that sense of belonging once again.  Where the streets were mine.  The neighborhoods belonged to us.  Where fear and shame were banished.

Like Keith Richburg I am aware of the anthropological problems but still happy to have experienced the adventure.   Let me for a moment love it all without criticism, let me love what we have carved out for ourselves both good and bad and celebrate our difference.  Celebrate.

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

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

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

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

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

New York!

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

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

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

20110523-101516.jpg

Hannah

Lunch with Joan L at The Standard Grill. Last time I was there? This time last year, I ate the rabbit pappardelle and was as sick as a dog. This time I managed to keep the fondue in my belly.

This time last year I was with The Penguin about to celebrate his birthday. We stayed at The Jane Hotel. I don’t know if we had a good time, I can no longer differentiate between what was good and what was bad. All I remember for sure was just how uncomfortable I felt, trying to keep that relationship alive even though I knew he was lying to me.

Loving without trusting is a bitch.

After lunch Joan and I looked at $800 leather bracelets and I bought a globe from Martin Margiela.

I could not find beard wax anywhere in the city. Consequently, I combed conditioner into my beard and it held for the duration of the shoot. What shoot? What are you talking about Duncan Roy?

Yesterday I dipped my toe back into the murky waters of reality TV.

As you may know I have been ‘seeing’ this boy. Did you know that or have I been very discreet?

Yes, you betcha I’ve been discreet.

I met Derek Lloyd Saathoff a few months ago. A cast member on a torrid reality show called the ‘A’ List. I’d never seen it.  The show is, I am told, a sort of gay version of the ‘Houseives Of…’ franchise.

I’m sure Andy Cohen would be pissed if I describe it like that.

Ironically, when they were casting the first series The Penguin suggested jokingly that we would make excellent cast members.

Everyone who has seen the show is appalled that I agreed to be on it. Everyone is always appalled at every decision I make. That’s par for the course. They describe the show as a ‘train wreck’ they tell me that Derek is a ‘bitch’.

I don’t say a word. He’s just a different kind of gay.  All we really have in common is cock.  Anyway, we have an arrangement.  I’m going to be his…Mr Big.

I am not doing this show for me but to support Derek.

As much as they say they hate it…they seem to watch it, watch it enough to know who everyone is and have an opinion about all of them.

I think appearing on the ‘A’ List will be fun.

Last night I pulled on my McQueen pants and my trusty Paul Smith jacket and walked to 24th Street where a small but well-organized crew were waiting for Derek and me to go on a ‘date’.

Actually, the crew wasn’t that small. Lesbians mostly, which was great. The ubiquitous straight boy producer who everyone finds very attractive. If he were gay would they?

I hadn’t seen D since my last trip. He’s been in the gym. No longer super slim (too thin) and boyish he has put on some very well needed weight. His arms are fleshy, firm and muscular. His ass has filled out very sexily. He feels great.

The last time we met, he was a hot mess.

We picked at the weird-looking food and sampled the virgin cocktails. We discussed our ‘relationship’ and his tanning product. We discussed his imminent trip to LA. I gave him a beautiful watch. Fans came up to him and had him hug them for the camera.

“We are great fans of the ‘A’ List.” One very attractive woman said.

She pushed her fat, gay friend at Derek who hugged him willingly, smiling that winning smile for the camera.

It was all very amusing. A video camera validates ones existence. How can that be? I remember that feeling from Sex Rehab. Just how thrilling everything was. Just how much I loved being filmed.

I was probably a little too bumptious for Derek.  Too…rude.  Not deferential enough.  I made some joke about his Mother being in prison which seemed to shock him.

We talked about getting involved with an LA based charity. I suggested The Triangle Center for the elderly in Hollywood. He liked that idea, he said.  Actually, he looked appalled.

We talked about monogamy.  He looked baffled.

After the shoot Derek returned my Cartier watch and I popped it back on my wrist.  I like acting.

I walked home alone after the shoot as I had to fetch the dog. I came crashing down. The intensity, the joy of being ‘on set’ the focus that one requires. I felt nostalgic…but I have no idea for what.

Perfectly adrift I called Stephen and chatted about his testicular lump. He is scared.

Then, quite by chance, we bumped into Aaron who invited me and The Little Dog back to his apartment on Avenue B where he sang songs and serenaded us with his guitar.

I would usually hate to be sung to but I wasn’t embarrassed because Aaron has a gift, he can really sing.

Bed at 2.30 am.

Let’s not forget shall we that I was nominated for a BAFTA for my film AKA.  However insane you might think me now…there was a time when I could get things done and to a certain extent I still can.  I only mention this because some people would like to forget that it ever happened…rendering me and my life utterly useless.

So, I decided to fetch out all of my awards put them on my desk.

Last day of the vile tasting chinese herbal medicine yesterday.   No more foul-smelling pee.

There seems to be a small window of creative opportunity that I can mine the first thing in the morning.  Just after I have had my coffee.  If I am lucky I can spin this into a day of writing.  If I fail to act then I tend not to write a thing.

I bought a small publication at The New Museum called For Lonely Adults Only.  A pictorial diary by Regis Trigano.  It is very beautiful.  Documenting this gay artists various hookups.

I feel sad.

Set adrift in an ocean of self-pity.  FUCK!

I am often asked where one can buy my version of Dorian Gray.  Well, we only really played it at festivals.  When the cast becomes more famous (as they are doing) we may very well release it.  It is proving nicely.  One day it will be released.

I am in LA.  At the house.  Another huge rattle snake in the garden resting on the step.  I hit it with spade but it slithered away.   Thankfully the Little Dog didn’t see it.   He may very well have chased it.

The twins are a joy.  So sweet to me.  The house was perfectly well-kept when I got home.  The larder well stocked and the fridge full of things I would never eat but hey ho.

I bought the most beautiful new hat.  A Derby from Stronghold on Abbot Kinney.  Dinner at Nobu with Miami Henri.   He looked better in my hat than I did.  See above.  Damn.

Sharon S came by and I made cauliflower cheese and pasta ripiena.  The twins need to learn how to cook.  I taught them how to make a roux then showed then how to turn that into a delicious cheese sauce.  They don’t even know how to boil pasta!  Miles makes the most inedible, lumpy, often burned scrambled egg.

I forced them to watch Rachel Maddow.  They are self-proclaimed born again christian republicans.  Once they understand what is really going on they are amazed at how the world really is.

One of them said, “Obama is trying to cut funding for education.”  No, I grimaced, he’s not.

The other said, “Is there a Republican Rachel Maddow?”  I balked.

I think that they were anti-abortion.  Hmmm.  Not for much longer.  I feel like Socrates corrupting the youth of Greece.  Let’s hope that I don’t end up like him.  Oh why not?

Will be back in NYC in two weeks then Cannes, after Cannes I will spend a week or so in London and Whitstable.  I bought a ticket to Sydney for next winter.   I need me some Southern Hemisphere.

This is great!  Please listen to this lecture from the good people at TED.

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

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

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

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

She needs peace and quiet to recuperate.

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

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

The smell of damp tweed.  My collarless shirt and felt braces.

A mantle with fabric that may or may not be Bloomsbury.  Mismatched luster wear cup and saucer.  Chipped.  These things used to delight me. Treasures found at the edge of the Thames.  When did I cease to be a mudlark?

Is it Duncan Grant or Vanessa Bell?

  • I bought the fabric from a junk shop in Stamford a month ago. Would dearly love to find out who it’s by… 

  •  

    Simon I’ll check in a book on Bloomsbury textiles at work. It could be one of those designs they did for the Queen Mary that were then mass-produced. That would be v exciting! 

    7 hours ago
  •  

    Christopher It’s Bloomsbury I sure of that 

    5 hours ago
  •  

    Christopher My only other thoughts is that it could be by Cressida Bell but I do feel it has something of Vanessa about it 

    5 hours ago
  •  

    Ed How exciting! I think it’s possibly more Vanessa in style too.

White linen bed sheets, feather pillows, pale pink, satin, quilted, stuffed with down.  Hot water bottle.

Laying the table for breakfast.  Poached eggs.  Marmite on my toast.

That tribe of gay men still delight me.  I used to know them.

My cottage in Whitstable was full of tiny, beautiful things.  With more money came larger, expensive things.  Now I sit under a decade long avalanche of avarice.

More stuff.

Remember when we didn’t have radiators in the cottage?  Frost in the sitting room before we lit a fire?  The smell of coal and crackling kindle.  Wrapping up warm before we left the bedroom?

I think this is how one might start again.  Renting a room at the back of a house by the sea.  I don’t have to live in Whitstable.

I am wondering hard again.  Torn between two worlds.

The conversation from Facebook (above) that I have taken the liberty of reproducing made me feel homesick for small mercies…for a butler’s sink, for the sound of a mop bucket.  For the back stairs in a country house.  For sea views that may include the ghosts of women once dressed in white tulle and parasols.

Phil and Duncan

Scroll down for the Patmos transcript.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I couldn’t sleep.

Phil splashed cologne around our bedroom.  It soothed me.

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

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

I am writing about one isolated man being saved by less isolated men.  Was this past year such a waste?  This was the year when obsession became my higher power.

Now I have a chance to know God once again.

Will I ever get home?

Here are the Patmos diary entries for August 1990.

I am with my darling Phillipa Heiman.  We are staying in her parents beautiful summer home overlooking the Aegean.

We are lovers.  We visit the charnel house.

Wednesday August 15th 1990 PATMOS

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

Her fingers glanced over the end of my dick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Look.”  She said gaily, “Bones.”

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

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

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

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

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

Strewn into this terrible room.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Fantastic views.” said she. 

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

“Fantastic views.”

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


Related Articles

Gary Winick (Tadpole 2002) died.  He was 49-years-old.

Gary once introduced me to Mark Ruffalo.  Mark wouldn’t remember me, Gary would.

Gary was one of the forward thinking guys who set up the ground breaking film production company InDigEnt.  He was a really, really sweet man.  No news as to how he died but I think, from what I can remember, he may have had a serious illness that he kept quiet about.

He was very discreet.

Crikey, so many deaths!  I just diligently report them.  It’s rewarding to find something nice to say about the recently departed like poor Wally in Whitstable.

In Jean’s case, it was quite hard.  We hadn’t spoken for ages because we had a money issue that neither of us wanted to resolve.  He was a terrible drain on his friends and family.  Let’s put it this way: it was very hard for Jean to enjoy his gifted life without endlessly complaining or taking drugs.

People die.  I just put on my bombazine shift and write the bleeding obituary.

Perhaps I should try writing my own?

I would entitle it:  WEAK TEA  or  LOUD AND DIM or NOTHING REMARKABLE.

To be run in the Whitstable Times in the event of my death:

Surly Duncan Roy (65) found dead in his Swalecliffe bed sitting room.  Former Lord of The Lies refused medication for obvious mental illness and made unremarkable films.   Campaigned for the Red Spider Cafe.  He will not be missed.

I have not written a last will and testament so the fuckers can squabble over what is left.   I may leave it all to that little girl or to a bat charity or Jake’s ex-girl friend.  That would be funny.

Watched Oscars.  Was James Franco stoned?  No!  He’s been sober for YEARS.  He just looked a bit unprepared.  I would have preferred if Social Network had won best film.  It deserved to.  The Kings Speech is constipated TV tosh.   Tom Hooper is a director of no importance.  Why does Colin Firth KEEP telling the world how important Tom Ford is to him and how he wouldn’t be receiving these awards without having met him?  I thought that Firth had a rather long and distinguished career before meeting Ford?  Are they or have they been…fucking?

It occurred to me why Portman trumped Benning…Portman has more mileage in her and will generate more cash for CAA.  Poor Annette Bening so obviously deserved that Best Actress Academy Award but she’s an old mare and who writes great roles for old mares that Meryl Streep isn’t getting first refusal?

Clip Clop Annette.

You know how much I love Whitstable?  That would be one of my ‘weak tea‘ successes:  my relationship with Whitstable.

I love it there.  I know everyone.  We really know each other.  For good and for bad.

Well, today I received some very, very sad news.  My Mother‘s friend Carol who owns the Tudor Tea Rooms on Harbour Street…well..and this is terrible…her son Tony died.

Known affectionately as Wally to everyone who knew him, he was only 40 years old, tall, gentle, ran his mother’s business with aplomb.

When you order a pot of tea at The Tudor Tea Rooms you get a pot of tea made with loose tea and a strainer.  Quality.

We used to say that they served school dinners at the Tudor but we loved going in there.  Fire burning in the hearth all winter.  Closed on a Wednesday.  Real steak and kidney pudding with a thick suet crust.

Wally was killed during the day on the train tracks at the end of Glebe Way.  Struck by the coast-bound 11.22am Victoria to Ramsgate train just before 1pm.  I have no idea if he committed suicide or not.  That’s what people are saying but I really don’t want to believe it.

He was such a nice man.  Wally and his sister Sue had run that Tudor Tea Room since they were kids.  Since we were all kids.  Serving Steak and Kidney Pudding…opening the tea garden.  He was the sort of bloke you’d see in Prezzo Pizza Place with his young family.

As every Whitstable pub and every other shop front became yet another super chic gastro pub or seasonal/organic eaterie…the Tudor kept the same decor, the same menu, serving the same Whitstable us who didn’t want the bother of seared scallops or poached samphire.

My Mother and I saw Wally just a few weeks ago when I was home for Christmas.  He served us a good old-fashioned English roast.   My mother mocked me for drinking tea with my lunch…like ‘some one from a council house‘ she said.

He stood at the till and asked after my life in LA.  I felt embarrassed to tell him what my life was like in California.  What he didn’t know…what he could never have known…was what I was thinking that cold December day a week before Christmas:  that I would have quite easily traded my life in Malibu for a chance at running the Tudor Tea Rooms.

From where I was standing…his life looked perfect.

When I was a kid we would sit in the Tudor Tea Rooms and spy on Peter Cushing eating his poached eggs.

Poached eggs on toast.  Every day.

My mother accidentally pushed Peter Cushing off his bike one day when she was getting off the bus from Canterbury.

Anyway, Wally was killed on the railway lines.  The third person killed in the same spot in less than two months.  What’s happening?  What a waste of a good life, a sweet family man.  I feel for his wife and children, his sister Sue and his lovely mum Carol.

If you get the chance listen to this Jellybotty’s track, Peter Cushing Lives in Whitstable.

It mentions the Tudor Tea Rooms.

.

Goodbye Wally.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The past few weeks have been really interesting.

Annoyingly I’ve not been able to write about most or any of it and will not be able to in the foreseeable future.

As I have said before, as life gets really interesting the blog becomes less relevant.   Real life interrupts blog life and for that I am very grateful.

Eventually, when I am allowed, I will explode all over the blog and tell all but for the time being I am keeping my BIG MOUTH SHUT.

I am having to be covert.

Presently staying with friends whose main morning preoccupation is to read really bad news out loud off of the internet.  The corruption, the greed and the misery we create around the globe gleefully read out loud to their increasingly cynical children.

Frankly, there is no reason for a young child to have the worst possible news read out to them first thing in the morning as they prepare for school.  Scares them.  Scared me when I was a kid.  All that bad news about nuclear weapons.  I had a recurring nightmare about the atom bomb exploding.  On my own walking home from junior school up Windmill Road, Whitstable just in sight of my family home…when the atom bomb detonates.  A blinding light then a fierce, hot wind.  All I could think about was that I had to get home.  Of course, there was no home to get back to.

Right now my friend is telling her 8-year-old, “Brain damage is linked to cell phone use…”

Like a fairy story.

They had a lunch here on Sunday for two German friends.  A well-known actress and her film industry husband.   Within two minutes of arriving he announced the death of Perry Moore a man I knew in passing from New York.  Perry produced the Narnia films.  Years ago Toby Mott, Noreena Hertz and I had lunch with Perry and Tatum O’Neal at Freeman’s on Rivington when it was hot to have lunch there.  Perry and Tatum were both very drunk and weirdly abrasive.  Terry Richardson joined us for coffee.

Toby Mott, Noreena Hertz and? NYC

I was not shocked to hear about Perry’s death as it was somehow gay inevitable.  His father sadly telling the press that his son was on fine form the day before.  Well, nobody ever expects the death of a healthy young man, no father ever expects to bury his son.

Unless, of course, their son leads a double life.  We live, as gay men, lives away from our loved ones. Compartmentalized, fine one day..dead the next, slumped in the bathroom…oxycotin overdose.   It is too familiar to me.  So sad.

It would not surprise me if Jake ended up like Perry.

Anyway the German made some flip remark about Perry dying and gay people in general.  He didn’t realize that I was gay.  He didn’t realize that I was half Iranian so later made equally racist, inappropriate remarks about Iranian films winning the Berlin Film Festival.

Sometimes you just have to take the bullet so…I challenged him.  Within minutes he was threatening to punch my fag lights out.  His wife apologized for his behaviour.

They left.

Scratch most white Germans and a jackbooted Nazi goose steps out of the wound.

Samia Saouma my Lebanese ex-friend, gallery owner who lives in Berlin and is arguably one of the chicest women in the world was once applying her lipstick in the back of a cab when her white driver told her that she was a rag-head whore who should prepare for her next trick out of his cab.

Nice.

Recently I took down a whole heap of posts from this blog.  Blogs about him.  Removed until they had no internet traction.  Yesterday I reinstated them without his name attached.  Self censorship is not a good thing.  I also reinstated the Angry Reader blog that obviously came from ‘you know who’.

It amuses and disturbs me in equal measure that he would think that every achievement, everything of which I am proud he considers worthless.  This coming from a man who has achieved NOTHING before he was thirty years old (17th May) when I, in comparison, achieved so much!  Much more than anyone ever predicted.

By the time I was thirty years old I had written and directed plays, opened a restaurant, renovated houses, travelled the world.  Christ!   I did all that as well as being mentally ill, making enemies, etc. etc.

Achievement is not to be judged by others but rather owned by oneself.

I know that he gets drunk, stoned and lonely.  I know that deep down he would prefer to resolve rather than reload.  Time will tell.  Time, as I have often quoted, is the greatest distance between two people.

I know that the we he suggests laugh at me has always laughed.  They want me imprisoned or dead.   They condemn me and they condemn my friends for being my friends.

He, on the other hand, may be surrounded by friends, family and lovers but at the end of the day he has to face himself, as we all do, in the mirror.  I saw him wrestle with his conscience.

At that moment when I was most proud of him I should have just walked away.

As for the film?  It takes shape before my very eyes.  Working with CP in quite a different way than I have before.   That’s all I can say.  That’s all I want to say.

I still have no interest what so ever to meet, engage or have sex with any man.

Oscar party week.  I am not involving myself until Saturday.  Kick off festivities with Sharon…we will do the do…the merry dance.   Still, if I am honest, I can’t really be bothered.

I want to make my own film now…not celebrate the achievements of others.

P.S. Tatum O’Neal wouldn’t remember me.   She and Melanie Griffith once broke down together in an AA meeting.  Crying about the relationships they had failed to have with their children.   Meg Ryan looks like Melanie Griffith.  They must have had work by the same surgeon.  Meg Ryan wouldn’t remember me either.

Before I start my regular blog I want to write about Whitstable and The Red Spider Cafe.

The Red Spider Cafe was a charming shack on Whitstable beach that, throughout my childhood, served tea and cake.  It closed some time in the late 70′s and stood derelict for many years.  The Red Spider was finally demolished in the 1980′s during the massive beach renovation and sea-defence construction.

I have always dreamt of the Red Spider being rebuilt.

There’s something non-Whitstable people need to know about Whitstable Beach: it is an anomaly.   Unlike most beaches in the UK which are owned by the Crown Whitstable Beach is owned privately by my friend Barry Green’s company.

There’s something else non-Whitstable people need to understand.  If Barry had not bought the Whitstable Oyster Company and preserved it and the surrounding buildings the Oyster Stores would have been demolished.  They were slated for demolition.  Barry saved the building and by doing so saved the town.

Barry is not a philanthopist..he is a businessman.  The Red Spider cafe will make a profit.  It must be rebuilt because Whitstable needs to continue evolving and growing.  People need jobs.  Especially now.

Barry’s eldest son Richard and I instigated the restaurant at the Oyster Company (Royal Native Oyster Stores) that almost single-handedly regenerated Whitstable’s fortunes.

Nobody local took the restaurant very seriously when it first opened.   I cooked,  Richard served.  Within a month it was packed.  Every day.

During those early years I begged Barry to rebuild the Red Spider and now, twenty years after it was torn down, the Red Spider may indeed be rebuilt.  However, Whitstable and the people who now live there, has changed.  Middle class, ‘keep it as it is‘, ‘terrified of change‘ type people now vocally oppose the rebuilding of what was once a great, water-side resource.

 

Red Spider in the snow

They are frightened of alcohol being served at the Red Spider even though just a hundred feet away stands the Neptune Pub which is a very messy, unkempt affair.

They are scared of the suggested long opening hours even though the building is further away from homes than the nearest, noisy pub.

They say that the rebuilding of the Red Spider will have an ‘environmental impact’ which is just bull shit and proves how far these detractors will go to stop the Red Spider cafe from being rebuilt.

The Red Spider Cafe 1950's

Obviously I am totally in favour of the rebuilding of the Red Spider Cafe as I am also, unfashionably, in favour of Barry rebuilding the beach huts along the beach.  As one can see from the photograph above there were huts all over the beach when I was a child and they enhanced the charm of the town and more importantly the beach.

The sort of people who complain about The Red Spider are the sort of people who frankly don’t understand Whitstable and more importantly resent the difficult, unruly Greens and their stunning success.

Did you notice that the crude painting of the ‘red spider’ looks more like a tick?

REBUILD THE RED SPIDER

Oh yes, and before all you new Whitstable people wonder what business it is of mine…I am presently buying a property in Whitstable after only 4 years of absence.

Yesterday ended up being more fun than I anticipated.  Occasionally things happen that inadvertently make sense of uncomfortable feelings.    What started out as a day where I couldn’t even raise my head ended at an AA meeting where my perspective changed, my positivity regained.

What seemed important in the morning was less so in the evening.

This is the AA reality.  It is almost impossible to burn ones bridges.  The door is always open.  It is a club where anyone is welcome…forever.  The friendly faces may change but they remain friendly and welcoming.  It really is the best club in the world for a person like me.

So, as I said, yesterday began with a feeling of uselessness.  Even though I have more going on than I have all year (the film) I still felt like a husk, a useless, unevolved husk.   I had a beard trimming accident in the morning so lost my beard.

The little Dog and I went for a long walk to the new Rambla Pacifico road which has come once again grinding to a halt.

I sat at my desk and ticked more things off of my moving list.  Roger stopped by and ate pfeffernusse which are spiced german cookies.  The choreographer visited later.   He was a great deal of fun persuaded me to buy an album by Concha Buika (beautiful) and by so doing goaded me out of my bad mood and my house and into the aforementioned AA meeting.

Before AA I decided to go to the last few days of the RRL sale at the Malibu Lumber Yard.  I bought a shirt, waistcoat, vest and a pair of gray woolen trousers.  Ended up wearing this very fetching outfit sans beard at dinner with the choreographer.  We ate at Sauce in Venice.  We ate a huge plate of excellently prepared green vegetables.

Looking in the mirror this morning I do indeed look very puffy and unattractive but hey, that’s the way things are and at my age things are only going to get a whole heap worse so I may as well get used to it.

I don’t feel ugly on the inside.  In fact, I feel very good indeed.

Billy Childish 2/1/2011

I spent the morning writing lists.

Decided NOT to go to Florence as I couldn’t make the bloody SNCF website take my frigging credit card.  So, I booked into Dean Street Town House and decided to spend some days in London instead.  After all..London is by far a more exciting city than Florence.

By Midday I had made all manner of plans with various friends.  Toby Mott, Tim and others.

Whilst in town have resolved to throw myself into AA meetings, which I have been loathed to do since I arrived.

The day could have ended there but, on a whim, decided to pop in on artist/writer/rocker/father of two Billy Childish who is enjoying something of an art world reprise.

The day would get not only very much better but also very expensive.

I have known Billy since we were at Medway Art College Foundation Course in the late seventies.   Another one of my up and down explosive relationships…but I have always been a great supporter of his and he me.  An unlikely friendship.

When I lived in Whitstable I would spend most Sunday afternoons with Billy and his Mother June.  Delicious roast chicken lunch every Sunday.

For the longest time I thought that he would end up like artist and dandy Sebastian Horsley:  successful once dead. Thankfully that has not come to pass.

Billy’s monumental new work has become monumentally well received.  After a sell out show at the Basel Art Fair and a major New York exhibition in an important gallery planned for the end of the year I can perfectly understand why he seems so confident.

These new paintings are unbelievably beautiful and really hard for the Art Establishment to ignore.   The new work has an impeccable provenance.   Obvious influences include German Expressionists: Erich Heckel, Kirchner, Nolde.

Dreamlike reworking of earlier paintings as well as bold painterly portraits of Billy’s great heroes (Jean Sibelius) and when I was there, an epic series of paintings reworking images from the Battle of Wounded Knee.

Billy has been cruelly left out in the cold for nearly thirty years.  The art world added insult to injury by choosing to patronize the second-rate antics of Tracy Emin over her acknowledged mentor and ‘inspiration’.

I remember introducing Jay Jopling to Billy in Whitstable one Sunday afternoon and was shocked by Jay’s indifference.  Jay told me after the meeting that he thought Billy ‘aggressive and tricky’.

It brings a tear to my eye to see him finally and rightfully accepted into the fold.

Today I filmed him painting in his studio.

People ask him how long it takes to paint a painting.   “What can I say?”   Stabbing at a ten foot high canvas with his charcoal.   “An afternoon or thirty years?”

The new work is huge.

Of course it’s huge!  He is no longer restricted…physically…no longer painting in his bedroom.  He is being acknowledged.  He has a huge studio.  His wings no longer clipped.

These paintings are important.

We talked at length about Tracy Emin his long time ex girlfriend…who, when he saw her the time before last, rudely told him that she could not be bothered to hang out with anyone who ‘hadn’t realized their potential‘.

Tracy!  What a pompous cow!  Liar to boot.

Anyway, since the upturn in his fortunes she is suddenly very friendly with Billy.  He will, by far, crush her with his fame and fortune….even though he has no intention of doing either.

Tracy is a silly girl…she believes in her own greatness whilst all the time using made up stories to fuel interest in it.    Tracy, you mad cow…listen to me…we all realize our potential sooner or later…sometimes quickly…sometimes slowly.

I have a huge collection of Billy’s work.   Beautiful things.

Julie, Scout and Billy 2/1/11

New Years Eve ended up being more active than I planned.

After a leisurely dinner at home Carol, Marc and I drove to Herne Bay, the next village east along the Kent coast, and dropped in on my photographer friend Dylan Woolf who’d organized a huge NYE party with dinner and fireworks for a hundred or more local people.

Dylan’s sister Julia and her husband Sim (edited Shrek and Nanny McPhee) are old friends and have the most gorgeous house in LA.  Julia is very funny so I hung out with her almost all of the evening.  Delighted to see an old teacher of mine, Peter Latham (Julia and Dylan’s uncle) and his kids…great to spend time with all of them.

Rather amazingly I bumped into Easterly and Matt Cox who are Kent aristocrats and the cousins of my local nemesis Susanna Atkins.  Not only were they rather incredibly at this party but, as it turns out, have just bought the pile opposite Dylan…the hugest architectural gem of a house, faced with flint, wide floor boards,  elegant architrave, quirky crenellations and gothic mullions.  It is a mesmerizing puzzle of a derelict house with Victorian additions to a Georgian frame.    Huge potential and a million headaches.

Heavily pregnant Easterly is on her way to India for an adventure before the baby is born.

Great to see them..we snuck away and celebrated a quiet 12 o’clock in their vaulted, semi derelict, drawing-room away from the herd.  They handed me a piece of Christmas cake that was so laced with rum I couldn’t eat it…and then quoted one line from my blog that always makes them laugh out loud when ever they say it:  “Yum Fucking Yum!” (Haloooween)

Very Heartening.

It’s very English to live on a building site with two babies and one on the way whilst you are renovating an historic home.  I totally admire their guts but wouldn’t expect anything less.

New Years Day has been, thus far, just as one would expect…eclectic.

My friend Georgina who owns the Copeland House B&B where Nicola stayed last week had staffing issues.  She has been so incredibly kind to me since I arrived ferrying me to the hospital etc. so I gladly got up early to help her out of a tight spot this morning.   I was in the kitchen at 8am peeling smoked salmon onto plates and filling the tea urn.

Georgina told me that her friend Pauline the barrister found the gay references in my blog ‘sickening’.  A little bit of friendly advice Pauline…if you don’t like it..don’t read it…you homophobic cow.  Next time I see you in the high street…walk the other way.

Two faced hag.  You’d think with two faces she’d have learned how to put on make up?

After helping Georgina we headed off to Pamela Leung’s and her husband for a new years breakfast party.  Pamela is an amazing, world-class ceramicist.  I couldn’t help myself from buying a very beautiful sculpture to celebrate the new year and the sale of my Cindy Sherman which made three times what I paid for it.

Pamela’s work: mythic creatures, allegories, thick glazes, exquisitely modeled.  Will take picture before I leave tomorrow.

After our wonderful breakfast (full english) we decided to drive to Margate to see David Chipperfield‘s new Turner Contemporary Gallery on the harbour.  It is DISGUSTING.  It looks at best like a supermarket at worst like a neo-brutalist nuclear power plant.  Admittedly it isn’t finished but the scale, choice of materials are just so at odds with the landscape.

It is neither challenging nor audacious…it is simply a big glass blob that Chipperfield obviously asked his tea boy to design while he was doing something more prestigious.

We drank hot chocolate and ate perfect Victoria Sponge at The Mad Hatters on Love Lane.   If you ever find yourself in Margate on a wet New Years Day…there’s no better way to spend it.

Fell asleep in the car on the way home with little dog on my lap and Alan Bennett on the Radio.

Still sparkling!  Last day in Whitstable.

Have no plans for tonight and happily so.

My friend Blair drove 30 miles from Wingham to take me to breakfast.  We hadn’t seen each other for 20 years and pretty much picked up from where we left off.  It was really wonderful to see him.  He’s still married to his wife and has three kids.  After breakfast we went shopping for his boy’s 18th birthday.

Blair reads my blog and told me to stop moaning so much.  It was funny and heart warming..he said, “I know that’s not you..”  Which is true..I have not been myself for some considerable time.

Honestly, I think that the Sex Rehab programme/experience really went to my head.

I changed in many ways after I left the show..some good…some bad.  The limited fame and attention, the intoxicating buzz I had every day whilst being filmed…and then the crazed fan who I thought might love me.

With the all clear comes the ALL CLEAR!!

Blair and I wandered up the High Street.  I must have chatted with 20 people of varying ages.  Each of them asked what I was up to and if I was happy…some of them read this..so they knew LOADS.  One of my favorite Dengate boys (rugby player) and his sweet infant stopped me outside Budgens and  warmly greeted me.

I always feel so honoured to have these people in my life.

Something really has shifted.

I got caught up in something peculiarly Hollywood.  I got caught up in the inconsequential periphery of the industry and the unhealthy effects and lost my way.  Now I have to put that all to rest and own up to some glorious mistaken identity.

We watched a bad TV documentary about Michael Jackson last night and the various fixers and characters around him..of course I know the real players in that story and none of them were in the show.  The guys who make the real money, make the real decisions.  It was fascinating to see how the documentary maker had the wool pulled over his eyes..yet, it’s true that the bigger the family you belong to in LA the more likely you are to get on.  SAA, AA..Scientology etc. each a legitimate family for the waifs and strays washed up on the west coast.

My legitimate family is here in Whitstable.  They can and do absorb the greater part of my ego.   I am sitting with Georgina at the B&B trying to repair her tumble drier.  Does that seem absurd?  That this makes me happy?

I missed my nephews birthday party because I was sick with this flu.

New Years Resolution Number One:  Don’t write blog until I have completed a stiff walk up a steep hill.

I bought two new hats:

 

Congratulations to Tanya Sarne and Wendy Dagworthy..my new OBE friends.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Laying in my bed with this fever..seems like a bad time to start cleaning house but that’s what I find myself doing.

As the New Year approaches we all attempt to make changes in our lives, commit or recommit to breaking old habits and focus on what we know is good for us.

Looking back at this eventful year…wasn’t it just?  Of course I think about you-know-who but how I think about him must change.

Already I am wondering why a man I knew for so little time and spent even less real-time became so bloody important to me.

That’s a question I need answering with the help of a therapist.

I can dress it up as a huge romance..or I can tell it as it is…two addicts clinging onto one another for safety.   So few words to describe something that has bugged me all year.

My abandonment issues, separation angsiety…all makes sense.

Jake lingers in my nutty mind because in March I will be carrying the can for the both of us in court.

As irritable as I am about the court date..March 25th (I will be really pissed as the date approaches) I am in the sort of mood where if I were a King I would be pardoning all manner of prisoners.   The prisoner I am pardoning today..is me.  I deleted my Manhunt account, my Adam 4 Adam account and lastly..my Gaydar account.    I must say..it’s a tremendous relief.

All I have to recommit to is my porn problem…which is not as bad as it was but still figures in my fantasy life.

The great thing about AA or SAA or any 12 step programme is that we can always start again.  You know as well as I do how topsy-turvy everything has been these past few months..how thrown off course I have been.

Wandering up the High Street today, a light rain on my face, even though I am really sick..I felt happy.  Incredibly at ease with everything.

I am not in competition with anyone.  Not for a better time, not for a bigger house, not for more money or a better job.  I have quite enough of everything.  I always have.

You know, I am going to tell you something:  I have been praying hard for Jake to be okay.  Praying for his career, his love life, for adventure and peace of mind.

Would I want to be him?  No.  Would I have wanted his life thus far?  No.  Instead of hating him I have been getting some perspective.  Sure, I wasted a great deal of time on that young man, and it feels like not much has been learned..but I am sure that as time passes I will think differently about that.

I can see that not many people anywhere, how ever rich they are..are very happy.  On the face of it Jake had everything a young man could possibly want but just pick at the surface and there’s nothing there.   Happiness is so elusive for so many.  The folks I know here in Whitstable are especially grumpy.   They drink too much, they feel trapped, they are ignorant of so much…yet they live in harmony.

I sometimes wonder if it would have been better for Jake to stay in the closet..if you want to call it that.   They were happy together.  They were soul mates.  He just wanted a bit of cock on occasions…or did he?  For as much as he dismissed what he wanted from me as a ‘bit of fun’, I know for sure that he wants to be loved.

I never really understood what it was about his Father or Mother that made him lie to them.  Were they hideously judgemental?  Homophobic?  Unlikely as his dad is a psychiatrist.  Most probably they are as entitled as he is.  What happened to little Jake?  Precious Jake?

I chatted with someone Jake knew at University last week.  I asked if it was a particularly macho anti-gay university…as Jake had described it.  My friend laughed out loud..he said that it was like going to the Castro in San Francisco.   Ithaca is a private upstate liberal arts college.

He must have lied to me all the time.

He must have been really unhappy.  I hope he gets happier.

Hanging with Tom the other day…he’s happy…his wife and kid seem happy too.  That’s something to aspire to.  I have always wanted the mince-pie, brocade and topiary sort of comfort he has and then I look around and see that I already have it.

As you may have noticed…the blog didn’t go private because there doesn’t seem to be a way on WordPress for me to do that.  Oh well.

BTW, it’s that time of year again where I get to vote for who will win this years BAFTA for best film, director, etc.   I realized, as I was voting for the best male actor, that I knew every one of them personally and had slept with two of them.

Strange but true.

I was informed you were dangerous and to only speak to you when chaperoned.
AMANDA ELIASCH

You know who coined the phrase Mad, Bad etc?  Lady Caroline Lamb of course… about Byron!  Although my fun friend…  sadly departed Matilda, Duchess of Argyll thought the same of her predecessor,  the even more glorious Margaret, Duchess of Argyll whose husband found Polaroids of her sucking a huge cock… naked but for a string of pearls.  Frankly my dear… I would rather have been Margaret than Matilda.

She said once. “If you have to be a Duchess you may as well be the Duchess of Argyll.”

I loved my Duchess adventures in Edinburgh and The Highlands playing back gammon and drinking whiskey…  even though she hated paying her gambling debts.

Tell me how brilliant that is?  That Amanda was warned off of me?  Most people are in no uncertain terms.  It certainly separates the chaf from the corn.  (The Chav from the Thorn)

The people who remain in my life are up for the adventure of knowing me.   My new friend Ed, for instance, who I am spending tomorrow evening with…  what a sweetheart.  Of course there’s a long list of oafs who cannot bear the heat in the kitchen…  more fool them.

When I left Joe he told the friends who remained my friends that they were ‘spineless’.  I am PERFECTLY sure that I would do EXACTLY the same.

I am excited by my own life all over again.  What adventure will I have next?

Amanda and Tim are once again breaking up…  but the truth of the matter is that Amanda… poor old bird… can’t bear to be separated from Tim.  I know THAT feeling.  I hate to be separated from the man I love.  I want to punish the fuck out of him… so now she’s upon FB slagging him off like an old fish wife.

I was never so lonely as the moment I left him.

Tim’s being very discreet but really!!  These two star crossed lovers must decide what they want to do!  I can’t be the sacrificial lamb every time they fetch out their AK 47‘s.

Amanda’s beef?  Tim bought her a voucher for a ‘Garden Center‘ turns out that the ‘voucher’ is for her to buy something from the glorious Chelsea Physic Gardens a stone’s throw from her Cheyne Walk home.   Now, I would love that as a gift.  I don’t really care if Tim berates me behind my back.  It’s his prerogative but the simple fact is… I don’t care!   He’s in excellent company.

What’s been going on in FREEZING COLD Whitstable?  Had breakfast at Windy Corner Stores.   Wandered home along the  beach.  In the very short time it took me to get home something of a miracle  happened…I began to inhabit my own skin once again.  Every time I pray for something it is swiftly delivered.  The only problem is… I don’t pray enough… because I’m frightened that the magic won’t work!

Typical Boxing Day… cold meats, TV, pickles, a trip to the pub.

Whitstable, my darling home town grounded me.  Everything is going to be OK.  This is where I have lived and I will die.  The people who know me..know me.   I am so happy here..even though it is not my current home there is always, and will always be room for me.

PS You’ll need more than a chaperone to keep safe around me.

Boxing Day 2010

A lot of what artists do seems to involve watching and waiting to see what will happen. When I’m desperate enough just to do anything, even if it seems completely stupid, it’s such a relief.

Bruce Nauman

Seems like an odd quote to start my Christmas blog but without doubt much of this years nonsense would have been resolved sooner if I had thrown myself all the more harder into some sort of work..paid or un paid.

Firstly, I want to thank you all for so loyally following my blog.  I bumped into my friend Josh last night at the Pearson’s and he told me how much he loved reading it.  Such a surprise!

Christmas in Whitstable has been a great deal of fun.  The pubs packed with revelling youths.  All the chavs are dressed in padded country jackets.  Caps and Barbour type padded jackets.  They look great.  Consequently I can no longer wear mine.

Met my mother for lunch.  I gave her a lovely etching by Wendy Croft that I found in the Caxton Gallery that my friend Tom’s cousin owns and where I am negotiating to live next summer.

Alma and I are off to Church this morning to sing Hymns.

St Alphage is a blunt, crenellated,  Anglican church on Whitstable High Street where, as a child, I sang in the choir.

I took Alma for communion and we sang hymns very heartily.  There was one very good choir boy..too good.  Amongst the ancient old ladies this tall, mop headed youth..like David Beckham playing on a local 5 a side team.

After the service we hung out in the vestry with the choristers, some of whom were in the choir when I was a little boy.   I showed Alma the picture of me back then dressed in my cassock and surplus.  I will see if I can scan it for you.

Alma teared up during the ‘peace be with you’ segment of the Anglican Christmas Service.  We all shook hands and hugged.  Everybody seemed very genuine.

I had a blog comment about my continuing, yet more occasional (indeed diminishing), mentions of Jake.  I now only mention him when I want to share how obsession/addiction/compulsion ruins my life.    I don’t really care what he, or if he knows about it.   As for how long we were together..that really doesn’t matter.  If your heart has been revealed and riven…well, I’m just telling you…it takes time.

I could write about the big dog being killed every single day.  The two incidents are sort of similar: the death of something special.  I think about both of them every single day.  I don’t care if that inflates his ego.  In some way, whenever I am inactive or having a quiet moment I will either remember the moment she was killed or the moment I understood that he would never be my boy friend.

The death of love.

When the Big Dog was killed I couldn’t stop crying.  It might have been the realest thing I ever experienced.  As a result it brought up every painful moment I ever felt but refused to cry over.  The death of my Grand Mother, my real father’s death…oh the list goes on and on.

It is TIME TO FEEL.  I am happy that I am coming out of it but it was essential to experience.

Before I left NYC I met a young man who has been emailing me and with whom I am building a connection.  He is a really special man.  An artist and an intellectual.  I am not keeping any of his emails.  They are immediately burned after reading.

Yes we did fuck the first night we met which is not ideal…and maybe that will impact on our future liaison but I am seeing where this one is heading.  Let’s hope that this next year will be productive, considerate and filled with love.

Christmas Day was okay.  I found a blond wig and clowned around for the kids.  We opened a million presents and May bought The Little Dog a reflective coat for the miserable New York nights ahead of us.

Alma, May, Me, George Christmas 2010

I forgot to mention that I met my brother’s beautiful little son who had his first birthday on the 1st December.  His name is Oscar and had a ready smile and a charming disposition.  He LOVED the Little Dog.  Perhaps I should leave everything to him when I die?

I have to leave my money to someone…maybe him.  I really liked him.  That’s an odd thought isn’t it?  I have to think about it sooner or later.

Ended up helping with the cooking of Christmas lunch.  The turkey was great..really moist and cooked through.  Cooked for 11 people.  I felt a little distant.  I wonder when I am going to sink back into my own skin?  They asked me why I was so ‘subdued’ I felt that the correct word might be contemplative.

We devoured the St John’s Christmas Pudding with lashings of clotted cream.

After lunch hung out at my friend Sasha’s cottage. Her dog Pip and her friend’s dog played with the little dog who tried fucking them both.  He was very funny.  Saw some very good British TV…however my once friend David Walliams (Clancy’s Kitchen) has a new show that isn’t at all funny.  A mocumentary about airports…terrible.

A few more days in Whitstable.

Need the results of further tests from last Wednesdays hospital visit.

I am going to Florence next week for NYE then I am in NYC apartment hunting.  So, lots to do.

Have a very happy Christmas everyone…unless you are jewish…or a muslim..or don’t give a fuck.

BOXING DAY update.  My friend Rachel Weisz is all over the news today…leaving her husband for Daniel Craig.  I could just tell that was on the cards.  She looked miserable the last time I saw her.

St Alphage Church 2010

 

Alma, May, Me, George Christmas 2010

Sasha

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,891 other followers