Archives for category: Brooklyn

1.

While few of us would think to ridicule Jews for still harboring less than warm feelings for Germans some 70 years after the liberation of the concentration camps—we would understand the lack of trust, the wariness, even the anger—we apparently find it hard to understand the same historically embedded logic of black trepidation and contempt for law enforcement in the USA.

Revealed, these past weeks, for the world to see: America’s racist underbelly.  News stories narrated by dumb white folk, binging unashamedly on their justified racism.  The condescending white news anchor asks a black man to explain his fear of the police… then scoffs at his reply.  Others crudely condemn the dead black men “He was no angel.”  “His parents were known to the police.”  “He was resisting arrest.”  The same ‘news’ shows use the millions of crowd sourced dollars raised for the white murderer as proof, as if any were needed, that Darren Wilson and men like him are: “Innocent until proven guilty.” “The grand jury proved there was no case to answer.” “Let him get on with his life.”

The KKK leave cruel and hateful messages wherever they can all over social media, proudly letting the world know: ‘a good nigger is a dead nigger’.  Black men doubly assassinated, in life and death… white supremacists proudly spew vitriol over the bodies of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.

They demand, “This isn’t about race.”  “Why do you bring race into this?”

White folk have no incentive to let go of their white power, their white privilege, their sense of superiority… their entitlement.  White people remind you with their slippery smiles that slavery was abolished in 1865.  “It’s up to the blacks to help themselves.”  “If we weren’t killing them, they’d be killing each other.”  “They have the same opportunities as everyone else.”

2.

Every Mexican, working illegally in California, is a slave.  White people loathe manual labor.  White people love slaves.  Everybody needs a slave in SoCal.  The fruit growers would have nobody to harvest fruit without Mexican slaves.  Slaves stand outside Home Depot offering themselves for hard labor.   Mexican slaves mow my lawn, scrub my hot tub.  Slaves clear brush in the Santa Monica Mountains under the midday sun.

Serried ranks of plump Mexican women smelling of disinfectant and carbolic soap clean house, serve slim, white wives their afternoon mint tea.  There are thousands of them!  Thousands of enslaved, undocumented maids.

Have you ever seen a white person use a mop, hand wash dishes or polish a crystal glass?  Have you ever watched a white person try removing a stain from a carpet?  Have you noticed how inept white people are?  They don’t know how to look after their own stuff.

“Do you know how to remove a stain from a carpet?  When your dog pees on your rug?”

He shrugs, “Mexican people know how to do that.  I don’t need to know.”

Those Mexican slave women used to be black slave women.

Last week President Obama liberated 5 million slaves by giving them the opportunity to ‘come out of the shadows’.  Watch the white elected officials in Congress and the Senate balk.  Their fat, pink cheeks huffing and puffing indignantly at the partial liberation of more slaves.

Without slaves the USA ceases to function.  The USA is addicted to slavery.  The USA was built on hard work… the hard work of unpaid black slaves.  Conveniently written out of white history.  California’s false economy is carried on the backs of Mexican slaves.

When the black slaves were freed the white folk wanted them to go back to Africa.  “The slaves are free… free to go home.”

Those black folk who thought they were equal to white folk were outlawed, harassed.  If they had entrepreneurial ambitions they were made to think again.  When they opened stores on main street, their stores were looted by white folk whilst the police watched… and did nothing.

There was no opportunity given to black people which could not be taken away.

3.

A black face reminds America’s of its not so distant violent racist past (black neighborhoods were being bombed and burned in Boston and Chicago by white police as recently as 1970).   To liberal white people a black face remains a shameful embarrassment: liberals never did enough for black people.  Liberals turned from the thorny problem of race to an easy fix: marriage equality.

White people who claim to hate racism are privately racist.  Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin at Sony Pictures are revealed to be private racists… when this is discovered from hacked emails they call Jesses Jackson so assuage their guilt.  They publicly call prominent black people to apologize for being private racists… but they merely confirm what we already know: white liberals say one thing then do another when they think they can’t be seen or heard.

For the dogged racists a black face reminds them of an unfinished problem… a problem they tackle every 18 hours when another black man is murdered by the police.  Shortly after the shots are fired, the body transported to the morgue… the excuses begin, the character of the dead black man maligned, the Grand Jury is called and the murder justified… forgotten.

Did it seem this time… after Eric Garner’s Grand Jury refused to indict… fewer people agreed with the decision… or made excuses for the police?  Was it my imagination that after the whole world watched the video of Eric Garner’s murder a million times on TV and the internet that people who might have before… did not want to forget.  In fact they cared a great deal for murdered Eric, his dignified widow and their forgiving daughters.

When the people watch the unnecessary take down and murder of Eric Garner for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on the streets on New York they are forced to acknowledge 350 years of racism:  state sanctioned torture, murder, rape, abuse, theft…

The people (all ethnicities) began to drag themselves out of apathy and onto the same streets.  The people saw a black man bullied to death and none of the usual excuses from the police or the mayor or the kkk were very convincing.  The people saw Eric Garner bullied and murdered by the police in a country where the police are meant to protect the people from bullies and murderers!

Fear underpins the systematic oppression of America’s black minority.

4.

This week people understood that the criminal justice system isn’t broken,  that police brutality, secret and corrupt grand juries, the deliberate disenfranchising of black men and the unreported/undocumented incidence of murder by police force… is not evidence of a broken system but the system functioning exactly the way it was designed.

Did you know that once convicted, in many states (11 southern states) a felon is never allowed to vote again… ever.  Why don’t you know that?  Most people don’t.  When a black man is convicted of a felony in 11 southern states he is never allowed to vote again.  He is excluded from the democratic process.  How many black felons did you tell me presently reside in jail and prison?  How many of them are working for free (cotton picking, uniform stitching) in American jails and prisons?

America’s untreated racist wound stinks like Michael Brown’s uncovered, bloated corpse on a humid Ferguson street… and no amount of Fox News deodorant will take away the stench.

Did you know, that until modest changes were made to the selection process, people of color were excluded from the Grand Jury?  Those modest and unenforceable protocol changes were made within the last few years.

They say, the secretive Grand Jury was originally conceived to weed out malicious prosecutions.  That’s just a big fat lie.  The Grand Jury is now as it always was… a secret court used by the police and police friendly prosecutors to help crooked cops out of difficult situations so they can continue waging war against the black minority.

The cop’s unwritten law of the street:  all black faces are fair game.

The Grand Jury is unknown anywhere else in the world. It works so effectively because there’s no one in the room defending the victim. In the case of Darren Wilson he was presented as the victim by the prosecutor rather than Michael Brown and this wholly spurious narrative persists.

5.

Criticize racists and the police at your peril.

The police say they have been ‘thrown under a bus’ by Bill de Blasio, Mayor of NYC because Mayor de Blasio told the world he advised his black son Dante: should he ever have occasion to be stopped by the police, Dante should be very polite, not reach for his cell phone or make any other sudden movement.  Dante should assume, like all black young men stopped by the police, that at any moment the police may kill him.

The following day white, bull necked cops feign indignation.  They know they’ve been rumbled, their credibility smashed to pieces.  They’ll have to do what bullies hate having to do: next time they’ll have to think twice.

Bill de Blasio has been warned by the police union not to attend Police funerals killed in the line of duty.   The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association posted a link on its website telling members not to let de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito “insult their sacrifice” should they be killed. The union posted a “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver officers can sign requesting the two politicians not attend their funerals due to their “consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve.”

Good cop?  Bad cop?

Are there any good cops?  There’s no incentive to be a good cop.  The good guys are weeded out.  It’s a tough time to be a good cop.  Crime figures diminishing, the police have to justify their huge organization, their overtime.  They say policing is a dangerous job.  How dangerous?  Policemen are not all killed by criminals,  30% are killed in road traffic accidents… the police are too arrogant to wear seat belts.

Whilst men like Eric are being harassed and murdered on the streets of New York for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes by police thugs, a couple of miles away in another part of the same city the most audacious crimes this century go unpunished.  Wall Street steals a world of wealth and gets away with it.  They say white-collar crime is too sophisticated for most regular cops to grasp.

The cops protect the rich, protect the 1%… as it turns out they’re protecting them from us…  from you and me.

Cops are used to raise revenue for local government, make politically motivated arrests, used by the rich to silence and poleax their enemies.  Cops illegally hold undocumented workers without opportunity to post bail then deport them after lengthy stays in private jails.  I’ve met undocumented workers who were introduced to their mule (a mule illegally smuggles an undocumented worker back into the USA) by the same border patrol guy who originally arrested and deported them.

The cops take their cut, trafficking slaves.

6.

The conspiracy theorists I scoffed at 10 years ago… well, they got it right.

The jails are kept artificially full to justify more cops.  The artificial wars on drugs and terror are in fact… a war on us.

There is a profound connection between criminality abroad and criminality at home. The so-called “war on terror” and military aggression abroad are linked to repression within the United States.  The drive by the American ruling class to build up the infrastructure of a police state is in preparation for the inevitable confrontation with the working class. This is what lies behind the unprecedented levels of domestic spying, the assault on basic democratic rights, the CIA’s trampling on legality and the Constitution, the militarization of law enforcement and the ongoing police rampage against working class youth.

The Hollywood street performer shot in the head by the police, the Down’s syndrome kid choked to death by the police, the homeless woman repeatedly punched in the head by the police, the deaf guy trying to sign tasered by the police, the countless murders committed by the police remain uncounted.

A pattern emerges, you better be a healthy, able-bodied white male to survive the streets of now USA. You better not be black or disabled or deaf or performing or homeless. You better blend in, become invisible, forget any aspirations you might have to be extraordinary.

White Americans may protest that our racial problems are not like South Africa’s. No, but the United States incarcerated a higher proportion of blacks than apartheid South Africa did. In America, the black-white wealth gap today is greater than it was in South Africa in 1970 at the peak of apartheid.

America: it is still a nation of slaves and slave owners. The system that perpetuates this must be deconstructed and if you are white that deconstruction starts with you… asking yourself this question: am I willing to give up my slaves? My white power? My white privilege? My unfair advantages? Am I willing to acknowledge that implicitly and explicitly I colluded with the historical suppression, bullying, false imprisonment and murder of a minority?

My gay friends believe that winning human rights for black people will be as polite as winning human rights for gay people. They think it’s THE SAME.

There must have been a moment in 1945 after the American’s liberated the concentration camps, when the German people were forced by the allied forces to watch news reels of what was found there… there must have been a moment when the German people collectively owned up.   A moment when they realized what they had done. I’m waiting for white people in the USA to own their part, their collusion with a system that murders, brutalized and demeans a minority… then blames them when they complain.

It never really occurred to me until yesterday that the mass murder and incarceration of black men in the USA is deliberate, systemic, entrenched and unlikely to change until white men learn to share their power.

7.

I bought my first house when I was 20 years old. Remember that cottage? 13 Island Wall, Whitstable. 15 years later I sold it and bought Peter Cushing’s house and the house beside it. 2 and 3 Seaway Cottages, Wavecrest. That was a pretty address. I sold them both and moved to California. 2828 Hume Road, Malibu. Now, it’s time to head east. It’s Time.

I sold my house. Goodbye Malibu. I hope the new owners are happy here. It has been quite a ride up (and down) this mountain… literally and figuratively. This is where I buried my dog and this is where I will leave her. This is where the twins lived, this is the location of many spectacular parties, lovers and probably the worst decision I made in my life… to reply to Jake.   But there you go, it’s sold now. The furniture has been packed, the art wrapped and stowed in boxes. I am relieved.

I am only a few months away from having the gagging order lifted so I get to tell my side of the story… how another rich man used the police and the prosecutor to hide the truth.

Peter

Happy Sunday

 

Wendell Castle

Des Moines

1.

Monday morning.  Brooklyn.  The end of this particularly hard winter is nowhere in sight.  In LA the sun shines over the glittering sea, in London my friends post pictures of balmy evenings in St James Park. I run from our place to sit in crowded coffee shops.  I’m writing under a pseudonym nowadays for publications that love paying him/her but would never pay me.  Funny.  Doing what writers have always done: assuming different names for different opinions, different styles, different genres.  Consequently, I don’t get to write my blog very often… as I traverse the continent once a month.  From sea to shining sea.  No one understands why I love driving 2,800 miles twice over once a month… but I do.  The last trip was short and sweet.  I stayed in LA a few days then drove back over the Rockies and into a 50 car wreck on the i80 a hundred miles east of Chicago on the Ohio Turnpike.  Trapped on the side of the road for ten hours with two patient dogs and so many bad christian radio stations.  Badly educated, right-wing bigots on the radio.  Wondering out loud how they will roll back the rights of women and gays and undocumented workers, how they will keep hold of their white America.  The America their ancestors battled to tame.  I think about those early Americans very often as I drive over the Rockies,  the hardship they suffered, the dreams they had… the cruelty they inflicted on those who lived on the land they took and the slaves they owned.

I tried sleeping in the car.  Minus 6 degrees.  Occasionally fellow travelers would stop by to see if we were okay.  They offered cookies and consolation.

2.

I’ve been with my boy for 8 months.  We cook at home and watch bad make over TV.  Every day our situation gets stronger as we over come our own and the prejudices of others.  I realized that most of my male gay friends are single, even the ones with the best pedigrees.  The ones who are good-looking and sweet and a ‘good catch’.  I, of course, am none of those things.  I am the bullet you need to dodge.  That’s what they say.  But the gays are eager to diss all of their friends burgeoning relationships.  They are disparaging about anyone who may not be ‘ideal’.  This ideal that keeps them single and lonely.  They look at me sadly when they find out how old L is as if I am deluding myself that my relationship could ever work.  Did I think it would work?  Well, not in some fairy tale way, not the way gay writers write the perfect arrangement… the ideal.  We muddle through, we miss each other when we are apart, we fight occasionally but not as much as we did when we first met.  All in all, I’m happy and feel love from him and let my love flow… to him.  That’s occasionally a very confusing and baffling thing for me.  To let myself be loved.

3.

In Des Moines, I met Kookie Kardashian… the morbidly obese (500lb), hirsute… older sister of Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian.  She is the least known of the KKK Klan.  Drinking alone in a dump of a hotel bar, reruns of KUWTK playing on the flickering TV above the tequila selection, staring absently into a soupy pina colada.  Text messages remained unanswered as she pulls at her thin mustache. I introduce myself, she says she appreciates the company.  Apparently, when the cameras are in her Calabasas house Kris makes her leave with the undocumented servants.  Kris pokes her with a stick.  Kookie said that Ryan Seacrest called her a ‘fat cunt’, that if she wanted to be on the show she should ‘get a fucking lap band’.  Kookie, blinded by grief, drinks herself regularly into a blackout.  She commandeered Kanye’s jet and took it to Iowa. Her brushed denim and patent leather Fendi bag stuffed with cash. If she loses the weight… Kris promised her that she and Rob can have their own show.

She told me she misses her dad.

4.

Has anyone been watching the OWN Lindsay Lohan ‘documentary’? That girl is OUT OF HER MIND. A world without consequence will do that to you. A world where nobody has the guts to confront an addict and her worst defects. A world where she believes she is still important or relevant, a world where no one will tell her that death is imminent… like Heath, Phil, River… living in a room stuffed with clothes, jewelry… evidence of active addiction.

Despicably, this tragedy is being manipulated by entertainment industry matriarch Oprah Winfrey… the disingenuous bad mum who knew all along that her little girl would let her down. Oprah’s fake outrage is utterly disgusting.

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Hannah

Jacob Brown and Andrew Durbin

1.

Yesterday the HRC hijacked another celebrity coming out to further their own white, elite agenda.  Shame on you Chad Griffin.

So, Ellen Pagecomes out‘ with Chad at her side and (as scripted) is immediately hailed as ‘brave’ by the neo liberal media for telling her truth.  Big fucking deal.  Did Ellen Page come out in Uganda, risking her life?  Did Ellen Page use her power and prestige to help those less fortunate lesbians in other parts of the world who risk being imprisoned or worse for the luxury of telling their truth?  No, she talked about how hard it was for her to crash stereotypes.

Poor Ellen.  My heart bleeds for you.

As more and more celebrities come out it is no longer good enough to expect and prepare for fanfare without their truth becoming a political gesture.   It is not good enough for a celebrity in the free world to expect a ‘small gesture’ toward acceptance to be adequate.

Small gestures need to get bigger.  It is the responsibility of every lgbtq celebrity who comes out to address the disparity between their free lives and their oppressed brothers and sisters else where.  For Ellen Page not to mention Uganda, Russia etc. was willful and selfish.

After all, what did she expect… a fucking medal?  No, all she was doing was safeguarding her job and her position and her fame and fortune.

2.

Party last night at Jacob Brown‘s East Village duplex.  Celebrating his birthday were cute thin people, two old farts… me and the perfectly adorable producer Hunter Hill.   Crowd included (amongst others) the delectable poet Andrew Durbin and former MOCA head honcho Ari Wiseman.

I loved that my controversial green fur hat found favor with this cool, queer crowd.

3.

Valentine’s Day, enjoying my burgeoning relationship.

We decided to have dinner at Isa in Williamsburg.  We’d heard good things and it looked very lively when we passed by this summer.

We popped in at lunch time to make our reservation and the young lady maitre’d dutifully jotted it down, took names and numbers and the promise of a two top.

At 8pm we arrived at Isa.  The booking was lost, we were given the end of a community table under a loud speaker playing the most intrusive music, the waiters seemed to be very eager to process EVERYONE in and out very quickly.

We were asked by 4 separate people if we were sure we didn’t want alcohol.

Anyway, I ordered the rustic tomato soup and the skirt steak.  The soup was ok but served in very small dish.  The skirt steak entree was ghastly.  It was like chewing through a shoe.  A rubber shoe.  I sent it back and the duck special was whisked to our table in its place.  The duck was ok, not very well seasoned, the polenta was soupy and badly prepared and $30.  The tiny dish of $7 brussels sprouts were tepid and badly flash fried leaving most of them untouched by the pan… temperature issues at Isa became an irritating theme.

Our coffee was also cold so I left it.

The staff were the kind of people who try to shame you for making a complaint.  Condescending young people who are used to old people putting up and shutting up.  “Do you think you’ll like the duck better.”  He asked after I sent back the inedible steak… he asked as if I had some sort of learning disability.  No, I’m just past 45 years old.  I can hear and understand just fine.

We attempted to leisurely enjoy our dinner but the waiter was eager to snatch our unfinished dishes, “Still working on that?” they pestered.  YES!!  Leave us alone I wanted to scream but I didn’t.  This was obviously the worst choice for a Valentines dinner.   A total waste of time and money.

Here are some recent moments:

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

Christina Rossetti

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

He could have gone to New Jersey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope.

Gay AA is a cult within a cult.

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

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.

Catie Lazarus, Lady Rizo, Our Lady J

The Little Dog is, as usual, very chill.  He becomes more trusting as he gets older.

One bright Sunday last month we visited the Brooklyn flea market and looked over the river to Manhattan.

I spent two days in the hospital having a stent removed from my gall bladder.  Yes, I did.

I had dinner with Fern Mallis… who, as you know, invented fashion week.

Duncan Roy Fern Mallis

After dinner we decided to attend the Giorgio Armani One Night Only event.

When we arrived we were whisked off to meet Armani who refuses to speak english but spoke english to Fern… because Fern is a legend.

On Sunday we went to the doggy Halloween parade in Tompkins Square Park but we couldn’t be bothered to wait in line.

In Woodstock we met a man wearing a lovely sweater.

IMG_6357

I met a friend of Wendy Asher’s.

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Lady Rizo and I went to a party in a penthouse on Gramercy Park.

The hedge fund billionaire who owned the apartment also owned a perfect Nakashima coffee table.

Lady Rizo Duncan Roy

The following week we sat with Courtney Love in the Baby Grand, a new lounge at the back of the TriBeCa Grand with Paul Sevigny for a Roger Vivier event.

The lounge is perfectly beautiful and looks like the Beverly Hills Hotel interior on Acid.

For Halloween proper we hung with Cynthia Rowley who looked like this and loved my Asprey tie.

This is my Halloween costume:

IMG_6393

It is a paper napkin with two slits torn into it.

The following day I went back to Woodstock to look at a lake house I want to buy.

This is me and The Little Dog in the view taken by Angelo:

Woodstock

Today we watched the NYC marathon. This morning at 7am we ate breakfast bagels in Crown Heights.  We ate two further brunches later on in Williamsburg.  After my haircut.

Blair Thurman

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Michael 2

 

Vincent NYC

dude

Flowers 2

Tyler Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tyler left on Sunday.

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

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

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

I told them:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Tuesday afternoon my eyes were bright yellow.

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

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

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

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

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

Hospital Portrait

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

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

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

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

I woke up.

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

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

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

The surgeon described my gallbladder as ‘severely traumatized’.

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

I felt free. I feel free.

Little Dog

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

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

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

The doctors, surgeons, specialists, nurses and orderlies.

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

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

The surgeon bantered and made one feel at ease.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TSA BLUE

TSA New Museum 2

The day I met him someone had built an igloo in the dog park.

The dog pissed on it.

The sun was shining over the distant, roaring city.

Then, quite suddenly I knew I was in love.

Or at least… capable once again.

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Kent Street

Lady Rizo and Taylor Mac

Paw and Finger

Lady Rizo

Little Dog

East River

January NYC

1.

The definite seasons on the east coast. The passing days, changing. Slowly.

Each day has a brand new identity. New light. Color.

The bland, endless Los Angeles summer has finally come to an end. After 8 long years. I am heading home.

I wear my long, grey cashmere coat (Hermes) and fur hat (Dior).

I pull on my knee-length, woolen socks and my heavy boots.

I am going to therapy… daily. I am finally addressing the issues I have been ignoring this past year. You know, those pesky medical issues.

Strangely, without warning… even though we share the same streets. I never see him. Nor do I wish to conjure him, manifest him, make him appear… I had lunch with one of his co-workers the other day, a youngster (we met at an AA meeting) who wanted his job.

It was funny being at the same table as someone who works in close proximity to him. Their opinion.

They knew the story. An urban myth that they delighted in fact checking.

Oh well.

Of course there’s loads going on (Film/House/Social) but somehow I don’t have the energy to write it.

I take pictures and let that suffice.

2.

I found a picture of Joe. He’s obsessively going to the gym. A man mountain. In his late 60’s now.

I scarcely ever think about him. Isn’t that odd? To have no thoughts about someone who was once the center of your world.

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