Provincetown, for those who have never been, is basically one long Victorian street… Commercial Street. Primarily an LGBT resort most everyone seems welcome here. At all times of night and day Commercial Street teems with pedestrians, bicycles and many dogs. Cars edge cautiously amongst the chaos. During the season (June-September) there are themed entertainment weeks (Saturday to Saturday) for gays, lesbians and trans visitors.
Near the Town Hall at town’s center there are bars, candy stores and tourist favorites like The Lobster Pot serving lobster rolls and oysters. Provincetown has become an unlikely hen night/bachelorette party destination. Rowdy, drunk girls dressed in cheap veils patrol the streets screaming raucous songs and hitting men on the head with large dildos… true story. Drag queens, by the way, love dildos and hate Bachelorettes.
Commercial Street is divided into East and West Ends. It’s probably best to work out which end is which within minutes of arriving here. So, facing from the bay where the ferry disgorged… the west will be to your left, the east to your right. I start my day, every day at 7am, after my beach walk with the dogs… unleashed, on the patio at:
Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Delicious, fragrant coffee served by an attentive bunch who remember both your name and what you want. Joe’s is a staple breakfast haunt for most of the cool ‘townies’ (locals). It’s common to see straight-backed, imperious Andrew Sullivan arrive with his husband on their ancient dutch bikes or watch John Waters sail elegantly by dressed in Issy Miyake. Ryan Murphy and his adorable family chowing down on their morning baked goods.
Try the delicious, freshly baked almond croissant… but get there early to avoid disappointment.
A perfect place to eavesdrop! Who fucks who? Learn all the local gossip: “They bring their terrible taste from the suburbs…” A great way to start the day with everyone who works or lives in Provincetown… and a few tourists.
Meet this man drinking coffee and eating his breakfast:
120 Commercial Street Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657 Phone: 508 413-9500
Run by Josh Patner ex Rome based fashion journalist and stylist, this charming haunt is brimming with local and international art. Possibly the chicest most eclectic store in town. Beware! By August almost everything has been sold. Look out for beautiful and reasonably priced ceramics by: Gail S. Browne.
I bought a beautiful vase by Gail Browne and a gorgeous 18th Century throw.
3. Room 68
377 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 617-942-7425
Room 68 is Eric Portnoy’s 21st century gift shop. Originally out of Boston’s Jamaica Plain – 68 South Street, originating the store’s name. Look for Debra Folz ingenious extending ash table and more of her award-winning work. For those drowning in bad art glass and cat portraits… Room 68 is a welcome high style lifeboat on the choppy sea of capey mediocrity – quite unlike any other found on Commercial Street… or on Cape Cod.
225 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-3800
Opened in 2013 Canteen continues its stunning success. This charming restaurant is perfectly situated at the heart of Provincetown, offering a simple, unpretentious menu that capitalizes on local favorites like the ubiquitous Lobster Roll but served in a wholly original way. Like the interior of this nautical themed dining room the food is fresh, clean and authentic. The deep-fried smelt with tartar sauce are not everyone’s cup of tea… but I love them. Order everything with re-fried Brussels sprouts doused in an aromatic balsamic reduction and remember to sit in the newly opened garden overlooking the dunes and the spectacular sunset.
5. Red Inn
15 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-7334
Away from the madding Provincetown crowd, either a 30 minute walk or a ten minute rickshaw ride is the legendary Red Inn. Consistency, taste and prompt service make this elegant venue an essential but expensive must see. Last night we ate perfectly prepared filet mignon, served by delightfully charming staff at the bar over looking the spectacular bay. Older bearded gay men with their well behaved hounds sit on the terrace and drink cocktails. One eats reasonably priced oysters during happy hour (4pm-5pm) or lounge in the very British country garden: lavender, roses and sweet-william perfume the early evening breeze.
6. Mimere’s Homemade
281 Commercial Street #4, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 917 670-7561
Opened by ex-banker Andrew Hood just this year to sell his vast array of delicious home-made, seasonal jams and jellies using old-fashioned techniques. I bought 6 different flavors including hefeweizen (wheat beer and orange) and red onion preserve. The chunky peach jam is particularly delicious, slathered on crusty toast from the Pain D’Avignon French Bakery found at Provincetown Farmer’s market held every Saturday by the Town Hall.
7. Provincetown Film Festival
Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-7000
This years Provincetown Film Festival, hailed a huge success, attracting viewers from all over the world. I met women from Europe and a couple from Australia who coincided their holiday with the film festival. A well-organized and international feeling festival The Provincetown Film Festival grows in reputation every year. This year I saw Andrew Sullivan rip a new ass hole in the makers of the ghastly Chad Griffin propaganda film: The Case Against 8, at a festival breakfast. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend $25.
As I left the breakfast feeling exhilarated, I bumped into a huge and handsome man, I said, “Did you see that! Andrew Sullivan is my hero!”
He replied, “Me too, that’s why I married him.”
8. Fag Bash at The Governor Bradford
312 Commercial St Provincetown, MA 02657
I’ve already written at length about this wonderful, subversive spectacle. A delightful Wednesday night basement party. Arrive at 11pm, leave at 1am. Wear your finest drag. I expect the ghost of Leigh Bowery to make an appearance at any moment. Remember, most everything closes at 1am in Ptown.
9. John Derian
396 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-1362
The queen of decoupage Derian runs a tiny showroom a world away from his NYC empire. It is packed with essential nick nacks at the back of his Greek revival Ptown home. Black, $500 paper hollyhocks are not immediately alluring or justified… but… with time… anything is possible. I love the meat dolls by Nathalie Lete and the papier-mache hippo head. At night, as you pass by, envy his candle lit parties for Martha Stuart… and other gorgeous celebrities.
This boy will serve you. His name is Kevin and he is DIVINE.
145 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA Phone: 508 487-5151
Once a week I drop into see the charming, flirtatious Joey to have my hair and beard trimmed. It’s essential whenever you are anywhere for longer than a week to locate a great barber and Joey is he. Very reasonably priced, very funny and he’s… totally gorgeous. In fact, I’m off there, right now to get my neck shaved.
There is a moment when you know it’s over. That his proximity disgusts you. That no amount of love can disguise what was or what could be. These photographs were taken at the moment, the moment I knew for sure. The fast train to Paris from Cannes. A beautiful boy sat opposite me and I wanted to ravish him. I couldn’t wait to say goodbye to the loved one. Yet, I knew, the moment we parted I would not stop thinking of him. From the moment I woke up to the moment I fell into a fitful sleep. Gone, the door slammed. He was dead to me long before I made it impossible for him to do anything but take drastic measures. It was the worst kind of grief because nobody died…
First, if you’re going to out someone, then out them. Itay Hod did not out Schock in his piece, he outed a “hypothetical” congressman who just happens to fit Schock’s resume. He also presented thin evidence, which consisted of hearsay from an unnamed journalist friend and video footage that he claims TMZ has of Schock “trolling gay bars.” Hod knows a Facebook post is the only place this cuts it; that’s why it appeared there and not at any publication.
Secondly, a group of several gay journalists and activists on Twitter — including Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, John Aravosis and Josh Barro — have decided that mocking Schock for exhibiting stereotypically gay attributes, like caring about his clothes and body, or following Daley on Instagram is the way of dealing with him. This is the same sort of behavior that the same people have said is harmful when it happens to closeted LGBT kids in schools. And, when I look at this happening publicly, I know that those closeted kids could be seeing it too. If it’s harmful for those kids to see athletes say anti-LGBT things, how isn’t it harmful for them to see prominent out people teasing Schock for his pants?
Chris Geidner is the sole brave gay journalist who dared criticize the velvet mafia for their inchoate name calling and bullying… aimed at Republican Politician Aaron Schock… the reason for this gay vitriol? Hunky journalist (we only agree with the good-looking ones) Itay Hod posted some ugly, muddled references on his Facebook page to a man who might hypothetically be Aaron Schock.
I’m not a fan of Aaron, he’s a typical… loathsome republican with typically unpalatable views with an unlikely sartorial edge, an atypical personal aesthetic and a body that most gay men seem to die for.
Most gay men seem to think Aaron has a ‘gay body’ so must be gay.
Rather than homosexual… Aaron Schock looks to me like a right-wing narcissus. Remember the art of the Third Reich? Remember Die Partei, Arno Breker‘s statue representing the spirit of the Nazi Party, fetishizing male perfection? Like most young contemporary gays, young nazis were encouraged to aspire to an idealized body as proof of their loyalty to the state (the state of gay) and their undying patriotism. A common right-wing obsession.
Aaron has embraced the people’s fascination with his perfect abs and pecs whilst extolling the values of racial purity, militarism, and obedience. Perhaps that’s exactly why the white, elite gays believe Aaron is a homosexual… because he is a full on, 100%, bone fide narcissist.
And, if you are wondering… defending him from the gay mafia does not make me a self loathing homosexual. It makes my blood boil that hate speak usually reserved for gay people is being used by gay people against a man who may or may not be gay.
Aaron! If you had only kept your abs to yourself, your (some might say) good looks under wraps… and your Instagram private… the gays wouldn’t have noticed you in the first place. But all those pics of you with your bronzed pecs and tight white underwear have driven the gays wild. And, like Tom Cruise before you… all the gays really want… is… to fuck you… convincing themselves and others that if they want you that badly… there’s no chance you’re straight.
You’ve confused the average gay, blindsided him with your million watt smile.
If you had been an ugly troll saying hateful things… the gays wouldn’t care less who you were fucking. Anyway, they’d have already caught you with your mouth behind a glory hole or paying for boys on rentboy.com and dismissed you with a limp wave and a meh.
But Aaron, much to their consternation, you seem to be sexually abstinent. Nobody has caught you with your pants down with anyone… male or female. Because you don’t take your pants down? The gays NEVER understand celibacy or abstinence or how all men are not exactly like them. It drives them crazy that they can’t catch you, shame you, kill the demon of homophobia within… then fuck you.
Itay Hod and his jacked up supporters are crude, repellent people. Old fashioned bullies… judgmental and prescriptive. If you dare disagree with their group think assessment you will be damned to hell… just like Chris Geidner…
For a bunch of guys who loathe judgement in others the gays sure got judgmental about the rest of the world. Since the Supreme Court DOMA decision the gays have woken up… emboldened, embracing their power. Like children, testing their parameters, the boundaries of what can and what can’t be said or done. Sadly, after a life time of hibernation, they have taken on the attributes of their worst enemies.
Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, John Aravosis, Josh Barro.
They are, after all, just men. White gay men, looking down their noses at the rest of us.
While the affluent, white gays sink into a sanctimonious swamp the rest of the LGBTQ alliance look on at them with barely concealed embarrassment.
Their treatment of Schlock, their asinine assumption that he is gay based on pics of his bare-chested, manicured body… his trousers, his shoes… says more about them and the type of gays they are… than the kind of straight man Schock is.
Dodgy circumstantial evidence convicts Aaron Schock of homosexuality in the court of the velvet mafia. Using gossip and here say, bad shoe pics and plaid pants as indisputable proof of his gayness.
This is BULLSHIT!
I thought is was who we were fucking and loving rather than who we were aping that made us gay?
Perhaps Aaron Sch-jock is truly asexual? Maybe he’s waiting for the right guy… maybe he’s a pedophile practicing abstinence… or suffers erectile dysfunction and hates the gays because they are so obsessed with hard cocks?
What of it? It’s all conjecture until he tells us what he is if he feels so compelled.
The guy is a republican hater who dresses like a european and loves showing off his abs… have you seen Instagram or Tumblr recently? Based on this proof… this ‘criteria’… the whole world (hopefully) would be gay. All of my young straight friends are posting pics of their abs and their shoes on Instagram and Tumblr every day.
Haven’t we got past this crap? That only pansies and girls do that sort of thing?
God forbid, what happens if Aaron comes out? Like Ken Mehlman before… who caused untold harm to fellow gay people. If indeed Schock is gay and comes out? There will be a parade. It will take the baying gays about ten seconds to shamelessly forget his homophobia, objectify his abs… go to his pool parties and drink his vodka whilst he condemns immigrants, destroys women’s rights and turns a blind eye to racist colleagues.
But don’t worry… he’ll be out and proud.
Tuesday, a woman I know sent me a revolting picture of a skinned, live puppy attempting to escape a pot of boiling water.
The similarities between these two emails far outweigh the differences.
Black, known to his friends simply as Lance has been around my life as long as we have both been making gay films. Despite how we have been described, Lance and I are NOT friends. Never have been, never will be.
Recently, Lance’s films have fallen by the wayside. His famous friends and perfect Hollywood pedigree can not augment his startling lack of talent. Despite the luxury of many recuts his film Virginia remains almost unwatchable. One of his producers told me that Lance cannot and should not direct.
He claims that he loves my British Academy Award nominated film AKA. Yet, for all his ‘love’ of my work… he and me have never really connected. I’m not… a) a young blonde boy, b) a Hollywood grandee, c) interested.
Like so many gay men in Hollywood he is ruthlessly ambitious.
Lance Black (born to the Morman faith) is an affluent, white, gay man. I stress this because it defines who he is as a so-called gay activist.
We see each other at gay apartheid (white only) parties in the Hollywood Hills. I am usually the plus one.
He lives in a nice house on Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood. It is sparsely decorated. For all his riches Lance lives a frugal life. One might say the house lacks imagination which is odd for such an imaginative man. One of the bedrooms in his humble home is reserved for the two surrogate children he is planning in his not so distant future.
The only fly in the ointment? He will not have children unless married. Sadly, his seeming inability (like so many gay men in Hollywood) to keep just one man, a man to marry… the bassinets remain empty. He is drawn predominantly to much younger gay men. The subject of child rearing, when discussed, often leads to amicable separation.
It seems that Lance may have found in Tom Daley a young man he can marry who shares his desire for an immediate family. Let’s wish him all the best and that child-birth comes quickly… he doesn’t want to be an old dad, too old to play football with his young child.
Lance’s pre occupation with a nuclear family is at odds with how I would determine an activist. But Lance is no ordinary activist. He passionately wants for all gays to perfectly ape what heterosexuals seem to have. Nothing less than full integration will do. He fights vehemently for the gays to participate in the traditionally right-wing institutions of marriage and the military.
He hangs primarily with a gang of affluent white men who share similar mores.
Gay activists like Lance Black were quick to blame California’s African-American voters for the defeat of Proposition 8, the anti gay marriage amendment. People for the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert, criticized “the speed with which some white gay activists began blaming African Americans—sometimes in appallingly racist ways.”
Black is wedded to right-wing gay organization the HRC who once famously refused to support the rights of trans people then issued a groveling apology. Not learning from their white gay mistakes the HRC recently silenced the voices of trans and queer undocumented activists outside the Supreme Court during the DOMA Supreme Court decision, again… apologizing after the fact.
The gays at the HRC, it seems, have a very narrow view of sexuality. The LGBTQ coalition leaves many affluent, white gay men feeling uneasy and confused. Unsurprisingly, like so many gay men, Lance questions the legitimacy of bisexuality. A nettle the gays prefer not to grasp…
Read more about the dark practices of the HRC here.
“In recent years, HRC has been working to contradict its former reputation as an organization overly focused on issues of concern to affluent white gay men, combating long-simmering charges of transphobia within the organization.”
When Lance first started calling himself an activist and regularly going to Washington to meet President Obama I bumped into him at Cafe Solar de Cahuenga on Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood. Solar is a tatty south American coffee shop/restaurant popular amongst young actors and writers within sight and sound of the busy 101 Freeway.
I praised him for his film Milk which he valiantly produced and won an Oscar for writing. I didn’t ask him about the controversy whirling around the gay gossip vortex in which we are both hapless victims.
Amongst the back stabbing gays his success and authenticity were being questioned.
Hadn’t he stolen the Milk project from another gay producer? Did he in fact write the script that won him the Oscar? Some people said that Ron Nyswaner had in fact written the final script that Gus shot? The gays told me that he took his Oscar everywhere. That he couldn’t put it down. They scoffed that he used his power and prestige within the gay community to snare impressionable young boys. They said that he should have been wearing a condom when he was fucking his ‘boyfriend’ in the infamous shots of Lance with a cock in his ass… if he was at all interested in being an ‘activist’ he should have been wearing a condom. They said that he should practice what he preached. They said that the original documentary about Harvey Milk was far better than the film.
Harvey Milk made Lance Black famous. What Milk would have made of Black personally… I wonder. What Black would have thought of Milk if he had met him contemporaneously… I wonder. Milk was a charismatic, bombastic, driven, older jewish man. Lance channels Milk’s political inclusivity when he claims that all he wants to do is ‘give people hope’, this wholesale appropriation of Milk’s legacy… sticks somewhat in the caw.
Lance hangs with Milk’s contemporary and true activist Cleve Jones. Lance riding Cleve’s activist coat tails? Cleve seduced by Hollywood glamour?
What kind of political activist is Dustin Lance Black?
Whilst whistle blower and trans hero Pvt. Chelsea Manning rots in jail, ‘activist’ Lance Black lead the ‘human rights’ charge on The Castro for San Francisco Pride. SF Pride chose to controversially exclude Manning from the official Pride demonstration in fear of upsetting Pride’s corporate donors.
Back in Hollywood, Lance sits writing on his own in the middle of the coffee shop sipping green tea. Everyone could see him there. We talked about British equality legislation fashioned by Waheed Ali. I told Lance about British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. He seemed enthralled by Peter’s unique brand of direct action so I organized an introduction. When the time came for him to meet with Peter… Lance bailed.
I sent a dismissive note.
We didn’t speak again until he started dating a dear friend of mine who was at that time living at my home.
My friend is perhaps one of the sweetest man I know. Kind, considerate, thoughtful, intelligent, curious and recently out of the closet. In fact, history repeating itself, my friend came out for Lance. My friend made the first move.
Knowing that my friend was falling for Lance I tried to stay as impartial as I possibly could. It didn’t last long. I was furious. I was supportive and kind for as long as I could be. I asked Lance over to the house for his new boyfriend’s birthday lunch. Lance bailed.
During the next few months of their relationship I watched my friend fall apart. My friend started therapy. He was torn and confused and miserable.
At one particular gay pool party Lance rudely left without telling my dear sweet friend that he was leaving. Lance ended up at another Hollywood party, at Roland Emerich’s surrounded by more young boys.
My friend was distraught.
Thankfully, when Lance took my friend to The White House he didn’t bail. They ran around with Don Lemons stealing Christmas cookies. They had access all areas. They hung in the Oval office. My friend was delighted to see history being made… for affluent white gay people.
I maintained my impartiality.
I have no opinion about Lance and Tom. Sadly, others do.
Tom Daley is being scolded in the bully chat rooms by the petit bourgeois gays for ‘making the first move’ as if his teenage innocence and delight can be construed as a devious attempt at star fucking.
The British public love Tom Daley and they will not let him get hurt or tangled in anything other than a relationship they deem appropriate. For the time being they will give Lance Black the benefit of the doubt. I am sure that the British press will keep tabs on Lance. If he thinks for one gay moment that he can get away with any duplicitous behavior around Tom Daley… he had better think again.
The problem is: no one expects gay men to have morals, or stick to the rules. Gay white affluent man have written their own rules and nobody dares question them. They have become a super elite, their access to the world stage unparalleled. But with wider acceptability comes broader scrutiny.
Elton John once said in front of me, “10 gay men run the world… and I know all of them.”
Tom Daley is a beloved young British boy. We may begin to see this corrupt, elite gay world through his teenage eyes. It is a shadowy world of sexual un-manageability, pedophilia and other unsavory obsessions.
It is not what the elite gays want you to know, whilst they paint a public picture of themselves that makes them seem… just like you.
Sunday 23rd 2012.
New Harris tweed trousers. They are so thick and keep the cold wind from whipping around my legs.
I had two very different experiences on Friday.
The first, an unfortunate spat on Facebook with a Canadian writer called Michael Rowe.
I think you know, those of you who read this regularly, that I struggle with marriage as the means by which gay and straight people find parity.
That marriage in of itself doesn’t seem to work for many of the people who sign up for it… so why do so many men and women in the LGBQ community want it so badly?
Is it just because they want the ‘benefits’?
I thought about it a great deal this week.
For those of us gay men and women who are now in our early fifties marriage was never an option. I never hankered after it, nor cared to think about it.
I read this in a British newspaper.
British MPs are planning to create an “exception” in marriage law for same-sex couples and will not alter the definition of adultery.
Either they don’t take us seriously or we don’t take us seriously?
Perhaps gay marriage is indeed separate from straight marriage because we can’t be trusted with monogamy?
Those I respect seem to value marriage equality… so I have been posting thoughts and feelings on my Facebook page.
I am perturbed by how many angry responses I get whenever I write about my marriage equality concerns.
If marriage equality was all we needed or wanted are we selling ourself short? Are we like any cultural minority that lives side by side the majority needing to be tolerated rather than nurtured? Do we need to be understood? Do they need to learn our language? Or, like Hasidic Jews do we evolve separately once we are ‘equal’. Somehow this is not attractive to me.
This question incensed Michael Rowe.
Where are you getting “all we needed or wanted” from? It’s a basic right. That’s not “tolerance,” that’s equality and strength.
The conversation continued privately.
Talking to Michael was like talking to a Zionist. Realizing that his problem with what I was saying was more about me than the conversation I decided to tread carefully. He is the sort of man who believes that any gay who comes out of the closet is an unqualified hero.
I’m not an intellectual, nor am I particularly bright… but I am willing to listen… and I am desperate to understand why I am so conflicted about marriage equality.
Because, I think, it doesn’t seem like equality at all.
So, why am I bothering to fight for something I simply don’t believe in?
It feels like another way to join another elite gang. A gang that will, if given half the chance, bully you mercilessly.
I’ve seen straight women do this. Brag about their married status to their unmarried friends. Causing those unmarried women to burst into tears when they are far enough away from their persecutor.
I asked Michael what he thought marriage would do to our gay culture. I said, I really want to understand your position.
Not sure what there is to “understand.” Until there is no foundation of complete legal equality for LGBT people, the rest of it, worrying about “our culture,” is frosting with no cake. That’s my position.
Our gay culture is very important to me. Even if it is on a separate page, in it’s own section at the book shop or the video store or on Netflix. I enjoy the separation. You see, I’m not very interested in what straight people make of me or the culture that has sprung up around me.
What will marriage equality do to the gay community?
How will these huge changes affect us and our behavior toward other gay man and women.
If a gay man tells his straight friend that he is getting married will his straight friend feel a flush of envy?
I asked if Michael felt ‘more equal’ than his American friends? He said:
Of course I do. I have approximately 300 more rights than American gay couples whose relationships are not legally recognized, rights that have financial and legal implications.
And no, I don’t feel sorry for gay couples who aren’t married by their choice, but I do feel sorry for those who don’t have that choice.
I don’t think that screaming about how proud you are not to be married carries a lot of weight when that right isn’t even on the table.
Like employment protection. Or do you also feel that a law that protects LGBT Americans from being fired also hurts “our culture?”
Oh dear, Michael was watching the NRA press conference at the time so his irritation may be excused.
He is, as you know, a very important Huffington Post blogger.
A ‘gay voice’. In the separate but equal ‘gay voice’ section of the Huff Post.
There is a great deal in this last quote that may make you wince… as I winced.
I come from England where Tony Blair gave Waheed Ali carte blanche to equalize the lives of hetero and homo sexual people.
I remember eating lunch in Malibu with Waheed who explained to me how the legislation was written.
He explained that the word Marriage may have been attractive to some but perhaps a little too divisive. They chose civil unions as the way forward.
Total equality (excluding the word marriage) was a great incremental step in the right direction and one that the majority of my gay friends in long-term relationships were happy to embrace.
Michael is not so sure.
“Civil unions” aren’t marriage, and they’re not equality.
He continued inaccurately:
They weren’t “chosen,” they were all they could get because no one would allow them to be married, with full marriage equality, including the rights of citizenship for spouses.
Just to be perfectly clear: the British do have rights for citizenship for spouses and UNMARRIED partners.
Now, that’s what I’m talking about.
After many years of legal parity, the British gays… from a position of strength are asking for the word marriage and asking a very conservative government to boot. They are certain to succeed.
Civil Union may be the best incremental baby step on offer?
What are the incremental baby steps that seem to get American gays no closer to federal recognition of same-sex marriage?
Married Michael Rowe is very proud of his life.
He has achieved what his parents probably wanted for him all through his childhood. The dream of a heteronormative existence.
The rest of the conversation disintegrated into name calling. He called me tiresome, I ended up calling him a cunt and he blocked me on FB and that was that.
If I were in my early thirties I might think that this is a golden age for gay men and lesbians. That I could enjoy a fully ‘out’ existence, meet the man of my dreams, marry him, buy some surrogate children and live happily ever after.
That is a perfectly lovely dream to have.
But I am still in two minds. Shouldn’t we all be fighting for something more than marriage, that marriage should not allow those who are to have so much more than those who are not?
This is not equality.
Some married gay men (like Michael) are already behaving like my mother and grandmother behaved toward their spinster/old maid/barren friends. Looking down their married noses.
Do I feel cheated out of different sort of gay life? If I had grown up around gay men getting married would I have thought differently about the men I dated and the future we could have had?
I have, undoubtedly, missed the man/man marriage boat. Joe and I talked about it briefly.
When I was growing up the thought of marriage (one man to another) was simply not a consideration. Like an orthodox jew would never think about eating bacon. I didn’t really think anything of not being married.
Being brought up in a small town where the majority of my straight peers had children but no marriage… marriage seemed Victorian and absurd. The people who were getting married were not… cool. They were… boring.
My straight friends who remained unmarried with many children did very well for themselves. They ran successful businesses. Their children went to great universities. They struggled and excelled equally along side those children who came from married families and broken homes.
There really was no difference between them and any other child.
The emphasis on family values seems to have gripped the gays as firmly as the straights.
What ever family means we don’t want to be left out of the explanation.
We all have a family of sorts. Some have blood relatives, others have an extended family of strangers.
Obviously, I have invested in the latter and have never been let down.
Which brings me to the final part of my blog today.
Sitting with the dogs on Franklin outside my coffee shop of choice I met a young Rabbi.
Charming, Cambridge educated and very enthusiastic.
He invited me to Shabbat the following Friday night.
I had, of course, enjoyed many a Friday night with the Cohen’s in LA. David, his wife and their 6 children. 40 people for pot luck dinner around a huge table on the lawn then talking about world events with a talking stick. It was perfect.
This Shabbat was very different.
There were several rabbinical students. I arrived mid prayer. For an hour we prayed.
The most exquisite boy with the most beautiful voice (and a baby) sang something on his own before the others joined in. When he started singing I began to cry.
They prayed and sang (they sang in Hebrew) and faced East, my rabbi friend was particularly enthusiastic. I sat beside him and he kept apologizing for everything, as if it were a trial for me to be there… when in fact it was beautiful.
I sat there thinking about the gays. After my run in with Michael.
I wondered if they would have confused my thoughts about how beautiful the singer was with wanting to fuck him. That most of my gay friends wouldn’t have just enjoyed him, they would have wanted to fuck him. “He’s hot…”
We ate a huge dinner. We washed our hands ritually. After the dinner and conversations with truly wonderful people (I avoided talking Palestine) we sat together for more prayers and a fascinating chat about the Torah.
The young rabbinical students and scholars discussed in a really modern and interesting way what I had been taught was the Old Testament.
Jacob, Joseph and the blessing of the Pharaoh:
My years have been few and difficult.
They talked about other things.
A young man with thick, raven black hair told us he had just visited Sandy Hook. To offer ‘solace’.
At first I was irritated by the apparent intrusion, it seemed so arrogant.
I was wrong.
He explained that the town was packed with people from all over the world. That he had witnessed a funeral of one of the murdered children and the parents of the dead child were holding up signs in the car that said, very simply: “THANK YOU.”
I found him after dinner and thanked him for reminding me that it’s easy to let other people do the difficult tasks.
If Sandy Hook had been an isolated incident then I might have felt differently but Sandy Hook is part of a macabre American theme and we must all, collectively… own it.
It is our responsibility.
That young Jewish man and his five friends had taken responsibility and travelled to Sandy Hook.
By doing so, they had a spiritual awakening. They were thanked by the parents of dead infants.
They understood (unlike those of us who did not go) something more about America, about bravery, about priority, about consequence.
The two parts of my day could not have been more different. The childish spat with an entitled gay man and the spiritual warmth of new family offered me by a group of heterosexual strangers.
Inclusion versus exclusion.
Last night Lady Rizo and I had dinner with Winston Churchill’s granddaughter. I was not the only gay at the dinner for 50. I avoided the other gays.
I have nothing to say to any of them.
I don’t mean you dear. Not you.
This post is all about children, real or imagined.
Since Obama’s toothless benediction, the gays have become emboldened.
However, this spurt of new confidence has not translated into any sort of useful direct action or changed the argument in any important way.
All that has happened?
The gays decided to take on the owner of Chick-Fil-E because he doesn’t agree with marriage equality.
Good God. All they managed to do was make that guy a whole heap wealthier. Thanks gays.
I hadn’t heard of Chick-Fil-E before the fuss now all I want to do is sample their factory farmed chicken sandwiches.
Damn you gays!
That’s not true. I’m not going there any time soon to eat anything.
Meanwhile, Elton is on vacation with David and his kid… and David and Neil and the twins… all wearing matching white cruise wear. Each surrogate kid costing $160k. A fleet of nannies back on the boat.
Elton laments that his kid will never know his mother. He’s quite right. Erasing mothers from the picture… is just wrong.
Amongst the gays I notice a new theme emerging, something that used to be hinted at, implicit… but recently… in polite circles… made explicit… there is amongst a broad swathe of the gays I meet… an appalling misogyny.
“I don’t hate women, some of my best friends are women.” they say (without irony) when challenged.
Those who have surrogate kids grumble that the women who sold their eggs or carried the child might want something more than the money. They might want to ‘see’ the child. They might want a relationship with the child.
They would prefer that the baby not see the mother at all, that the baby be delivered from vagina to the hands that paid for the baby, like a UPS parcel.
Apparently it’s now possible to take the DNA from two men and create a child without any genetic material from a woman. I was told this frightening news triumphantly by a gay man the other day.
“You would still need a womb.” he told me sadly. “But it’s only a matter of time before that (a womb) can be replaced too.”
I was uncharacteristically speechless.
Is erasing the mother from the picture just wrong or am I being old-fashioned?
I met gay Ian, a young CAA agent manque.
“I suppose that’s the benefit of being gay… no women.”
A perfect world for Ian: married, baby, no women.
He, ‘Didn’t see the point..” of women. “Women are our natural enemy.” He giggled.
“Are you single?” I asked him. He looked appalled. My question implied that I might want more than a conversation.
I reassured him that I tended to fuck people my own height.
His modern, bourgeoise anxieties included: he would never be able to afford a surrogate child.
That he would never meet a perfect man and marry him.
His friend Zach chimed in helpfully, “Surrogate kids are only 8 grand in India.” No problems with permits he assured us and the women can’t find you.
The gayby industry is being outsourced.
The vitriol spewed over me (as usual) in the Data Lounge is worth noting.
Writhing with xenophobic zeal these queens who hate me seem to hate me for all the things us gays are meant to aspire: beautiful men, money and uniqueness. Ill informed opinions about my house etc. can be ignored.
I feel sorry for the young gay guy who wanted to celebrate me then ended up apologizing for all the nastiness.
Those resentful old poofs who hate me? Well, you’ll have to try little bit harder. As you simper at home writing anonymous shit about me… I’m out and about having a great time.
Thank you very much.
Remember, after ten years a resentment has more to do with the person harbouring it than the intended recipient. Get over yourselves.
Of course, some resentments are fresh and well deserved.
My ex has every reason to loathe me and I wouldn’t expect anything else. I made his life hell after we split up and increasingly, every day in fact, I wish I could put that genie back in the bottle.
P.S. Do I think I’m better than most people? Nope. Do I look down at you from a lofty place judging you? Would I want anyone else’s life? Nope. I don’t envy anyone… ever. I really love my life… good and bad.
And finally, something more to celebrate.
As I’ve written before, I saw those amazing pics of the ex bf with his current beau. They looked great.
They are unashamedly gay.
I applaud his apotheosis.
It is time for us all to jettison the mantle of straight acting, embrace our gayness in what ever form that takes.
That ex of mine has come a very long way since I first met him, from the artificially deep voice, the bad clothes and heterosexual relationship (he even berated my occasional gay flourishes) to dating a man who skips around his closet in 6 inch heels.
Some of my friends who viewed the style u like vid wondered how a man like that could call himself a jock… well my dears, he can call himself anything he likes.
When you have really loved someone and they fuck you over… however long it takes, the aim must always be to forgive and forget.
Loving him gave me a great deal of pleasure and pain but it was something.
We sure had something. And, when they ask me what that something was I can look them in the eye and say, with all honesty, that it was nothing they would want… but it suited me just fine.
However an impossible fantasy it was.
He was like an imprisoned child back then, in desperate need of parole. Boxed in by lies and deception. He became my child, my gay child.
Like every daddy I wanted the best for him.
When I didn’t know where he was, I worried about him… like a child.
Now I know that he is happy… I am happy.
Wasn’t that always my intention? To make him happy, however he wanted it?
What transpired was completely at odds with what I first wanted… Because I fell in love.
I tried not to… but I couldn’t help it.
I let myself fall like an olympic diver into a magnificent pool of crystal clear love.
Sadly, I hit the bottom of the pool and bashed my brains out.
I am obsessed with my Tumblr account.
Sitting with 12 year old Hannah learning how to do it properly.
Sitting up all night searching for images, videos, quotes from a long life.
Constructing a narrative where all events harmonize. Where color and texture blend from one image to another. Telling public and private stories simultaneously.
As for the rest? My other life?
I had tea with a producer on Friday ostensibly to talk about my new film…then unexpectedly he asked me to read a script which they are looking for a director.
I drove back up the 10…happy, joyous and free. Perhaps the hell of the last two years is truly coming to an end?
Dinner in Venice, then bumped into my ‘friend with benefits’. He said, although drunk, that he was embarrassed to introduce me to his friends because I am so much older. I told him that was like me being embarrassed by his being a jew or gay…I walked away. He’s a kid. What do I expect?
He needs to learn to own his own life.
I explained to Robby why I was feeling so optimistic, hours before the script was mentioned. Looking out over LA from the 13th floor.
I explained why seeing the man I once loved in love was so reassuring.
To be excluded from the life of one for whom I had been so instrumental…had driven me insane.
The emotional investment in another, even when that relationship changes into something else…well…one is always looking to recoup.
The dividend…was to see him happy. I saw irrefutable evidence that all our hard and painful, beautiful and passionate time together…was worth it.
I don’t need, nor do I deserve to have the enduring love of another to make me happy…all I needed to know was that he, he who I love…was loved.
It is very simple to me…though confusing for most.
My ‘failed relationship’ has meaning now. A context.
During the past two years I have written so often about finding peace. Peace and understanding. This is it! I announced grandly…this is the peace I have been searching for! Well, I was wrong.
It was merely an illusion. A false hope. The glaring eyes of many storms…a momentary peace…which I mistakenly assumed would last. The 100 foot waves continued to break over the bow and I was lost again.
Seeing those two men pressed together, harmonious, happy…well…who couldn’t want for them what I was never able to achieve?
I know what you think…that I deserve what I get, that I am not very nice, that I have been very cruel. Well, it’s true. I have been cruel and mean but I don’t think it was anything other than necessary for us to go through what we went through.
The only people, as I have written before who are deserving of my apology…are his parents and sister who I demanded into our violent storm, who I insulted and maligned.
For that I am truly sorry.
I have no idea, ultimately, if he intended for me specifically to see those things but he must have known. Wether he intended to try making me jealous..well..that’s another consideration and we’ll leave it at that.
What I have learned these past few years is that (in a quieter less public way) so many men and women are tortured by love…in and out of love. Choosing inappropriate partners, chasing hopeless dreams.
Sadly, there is no cure for curiosity.
New York. May 2012
There you are. Finally. For all to see.
Like bumping into you in the street. That’s how it felt.
But you were where we met…virtually…on the internet.
Peony, the rain, the winsome songs.
If we had bumped into each other in the street, I think I would have felt the same. I left the page with a sweet smile on my face. I felt proud of you. I know how exciting life must be for you.
And if I had bumped into you in the street and you had told me that you were in love…inevitably you wanted me to know that you were in love and inevitably I crumbled.
I am indeed that cliché you despised so badly. ;)
I called Robby and he listened. I called Joan and we looked into your life and we all agreed that it was swell.
The end of the film needs rewriting.
All the world can see your love. Ironic huh? Now you know how I felt when I wanted to publicly celebrate what we once had, when I wrote about us.
There you are, together…pressed together. In love.
You looked great. Your hair well cut, your pants the right length.
Your boy friend looks extraordinary and familiar. Celine is a great brand.
I know you didn’t put that Tumblr page up for me but you knew I would see it. You knew I’d have an opinion.
It was a perfect way to let me know.
If we hadn’t ended things so badly and we’d met in the street…I would have hugged you. I would have thanked you. I would have smiled gently. I may have shed a tear.
I loved you very much…you know that. But, we knew what we had was fleeting…needed to happen for you to set yourself free, free for this relationship that you celebrate so publicly today.
The metamorphosis is complete and you have emerged fully into the world…a beautiful young man capable of great love and glamor…and your underwear was chic as all hell.
I know that you will make something amazing one day…something I would have never guessed.
A film or a book or a room or a garden. You are capable of all those things.
Of course I still love you. But not like that.
This is all I ever wanted, to know you are happy and to share your happiness
By publishing your life so publicly I am relieved…even though I cried, I cried because you were there on the street telling me what I needed to know.
That you are happy and in love and…of course…beautifully dressed.
PS I bought the book.
Woke up early. Wanted to get the daub onto the stove. It’d been marinating all night.
Then, something about the process, the action of stirring the pot, as it began to simmer…broke something in me. Like I was having a rare moment of clarity, sanity…and I felt a terrible guilt for the way I had treated…not him…but his parents…drawing them into our drama. Collateral damage.
I wanted to write to them and tell them how sorry I was.
They were innocent.
Then I found that Avadon picture of Ginsberg and his long-term lover Orlovsky. And I thought about them ‘long-term’ and what they were thinking, or not thinking when they kissed for the camera.
I thought about the way they, we…I…describe what we have as long term.
Long term insists that we take what they had seriously. Ginsberg had not just met some man on the street and taken him into the studio. He had made some sort of commitment. Long term.
And I thought that marriage would be just that…long term. That our beards would grow long together. That I would never ever tire of looking at you. Kissing you.
Then I remember that I am here in LA. You send me a picture of Washington Square. It’s all I need right now. A picture.
The whole house smells of beef in red wine, fresh herbs, fresh garlic.
I had lunch with Robby on Monday. We ate a lamb burger at Gjelina. I drank ginger and mint italian soda.
He has been having a wonderful time. Earning masses of cash, loving his man and roaming with his homies. Yes, I wrote that.
On Wednesday I met a friend for lunch, a lunch that didn’t end until 3am. He is 23, he lied about his age. He told me he was older. A masculine dilettante.
Have you heard of Red Medicine? It’s that restaurant, Jordan Kahn’s place…that everyone is talking about.
We ordered far too much. Each baffling plate arrived covered in flowers or Dadaist condiment.
We ate: DUNGENESS CRAB / passion fruit, brown butter, black garlic, Vietnamese crepe, hearts of palm $32
We ate: BEEF TARTARE / water lettuce, water chestnut, nuoc leo, chlorophyll, peanut $15
We ate: AMBERJACK / red seaweed, buttermilk, lotus root, tapioca, succulents $16
Then, after dinner, we lay in the back of his SUV by the beach and kissed each other until my face was raw, my heart was racing, my legs were trembling. I was so completely overwhelmed that I could not drive for ne’er a mile before I had to stop and beg a cigarette from a passer-by.
He is beautiful. He gnawed at my neck until I could not bear it any more.
So, that’s what love looks like in a warm climate. For a moment. Not long-term. Not to be taken seriously. Just a moment. I have trained myself not to yearn for more.
So, the daub will cook for four more hours until it is tender. We will eat it with home-made noodles.
“Gagged by snobbery.” I like that. That’s what happens in England. I’d forgotten.
I deleted my Facebook to see how it felt. Well, it feels pretty damned weird. Just suddenly cutting out a whole world of communication. Can I do it?
Like stepping back in time. I am an Edwardian Gentleman. Another procrastination eliminated?
I began decoupling myself from social media. Facebook was kinda easy. Twitter less so. I can ‘protect my tweets’ what ever that means.
I wonder how long I can stay away from Facebook?
Give me some time. What else? This. I can set this to private. I’ve tried before but failed.
The dog is farting toxic farts this evening.
This weekend I met someone I had ‘friended’ on Facebook some time ago, we had sparred, ‘liked’ and written to each other. When I actually met him he was short, rude and surly…and orange…like a bald snookie.
I want real people in my life…not virtual ones.
Part of the problem I had with fuck-face was: he thought I was one thing when I am without doubt totally different from what he imagined me to be. Mind you, he did what many of you have done, he confused what he saw on TV with the real deal.
As for seeing him again last week? Same venue, usual shit, the same absurd grin…these people are like petulant children. He told his father (the shrink) that I was crazy. Uh? Crazier? More crazy than when he met me? Who is the crazy one?
There was a moment when I walked too close to him and he began flailing his short arms. Pointing at me…calling over the deputies. Well, Jenny and I just left the building and had lunch.
I wonder if he will ever realize how absurd this all is? That it means nothing.
What did he want me to be?
I am neither sophisticated nor particularly educated. I take what little I have and spin it into a life.
Other people tell me that their ex lovers try to blame everyone other than themselves for their wrongdoing. He tried blaming his ex too, it was her fault for not realizing that he was gay…because he had ‘no interest in sports’. He was so angry with her.
It is a common theme…not to accept ones part…amongst those who mistreat their lovers.
Forced to listen to absurd justifications. I used to think that everything he did was somehow original because I had never encountered it before.
Now, more than ever, I see that he is merely unevolved.
I know that as he grows older, has other meaningful relationships…he will learn.
Waking up next to a beautiful boy this weekend.
Having beautiful boys to look at first thing in the morning…always charges the soul.
Here he is:
Spent time with Z and T. We had a lovely time. Read Vanity Fair whilst traveling. Conrad Black, unashamedly talking about his time in prison. I don’t know how I feel about that. There are real crimes…and he committed them.
By 4am I began to feel totally bereft and reinstated Facebook. An exercise in futility. That’s how pathetic I am. I have an English friend called Craig who deleted all but 500 of his 2000 ‘friends’. I envy him. I am naked out there. Too many people know too much. Obviously they only need know up until today. After today they need know nothing.
I am already blogging less. Revealing less.
I had not prepared before I deleted my Facebook account. If I ever do it for more than 12 hours I will prepare. There are some friends I see in the real world who I make plans with on Facebook.
This weekend was dramatic in other ways. Started out well enough then disintegrated.
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.
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.
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.
It’s 4am and I can’t sleep. My head is full up with doubt and death, my heart remains broken. I don’t think it will ever be fixed. It was herculean, the task of keeping what I thought was worth fighting for.
How long does convalescence take?
There are solutions to deal with this…like prayer…but it’s not always easy to get the path cleared sufficiently.
Yep, after a week of gardening, path clearing…well…the path in my head that leads to clarity and peace of mind is still cluttered.
I had dinner with Toby on Saturday night and he asked if I had any desire to go to places I hadn’t already been and the answer is no. I don’t want to visit anywhere I don’t already know.
Who isn’t shocked by the angry white man who murdered all those people in Norway? I am not often shocked. Angry white men who can’t bear the way the world is changing. Turning on his own to make a point. What’s the point?
I have a painful bite on the back of my head. Mosquito I hope. Itchy.
The A List airs today. Why did I get involved? I know why. Part of my Jake madness. Making so many bad choices. Then I saw Midnight in Paris, it’s a sweet film. Charming. Going to Paris with a man you think you love only to find out you can’t stand each other.
I wish him well.
I began to have the same feelings for somebody else recently. Banished them. I will not go through anything remotely like the misery of the past year. I can’t.
Then I thought about the film Charlie and I started writing. My idea, he developed it. Neither of us had the stamina to complete it.
It was a beautiful idea.
I am going to write the research this week. Let you know what we saw, who we met.
I may try sleeping more. Crawl back into bed.
After a late breakfast I met Michael L at Mud. He was wearing a DIVINE pair of Prada shoes…an extraordinary wing tip/espadrille hybrid with Nike soles.
I LOVE YOUR SHOES.
I told him that I had seen JP at my AA meeting.
On the spur of the moment we decided to go to Savage Beauty, The Alexander McQueen retrospective at the Met. Sunday afternoon, it was OVER RUN with people. JAMMED.
Jammed with people who may or may not love fashion but certainly not enough to line up for two hours!
Thankfully we were Met members so went directly to the front of the line.
I didn’t give a damn how many people were there. I just loved the show from beginning to end.
This enchanting, inspiring exhibition gave me a great deal to think about.
Firstly, let me tell you that I hadn’t seen McQueen’s work up close like that. Why would I ? I don’t know Daphne Guinness.
Not a single photograph anywhere does his work justice. It really has to be seen to be believed. I was utterly dumfounded by the drama, the workmanship, the unexpected depth of emotion it inspired.
There were a million obvious references: Balenciaga, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier (fucked him once after the IRA bombed The City of London). Regardless, it was uniquely beautiful. Uniquely Lee. Westwood without the bustle. Balenciaga without the cassock. Gautier without…
I loved the fabric woven for the Plato’s Atlantis collection. Fabric woven to look like the re-imagined skin of mythical serpents.
The Razor Clam dress was exquisite. The dress sprayed by ballet dancing robots…heavenly.
My most favorite costume were from the spring/summer 2005 collection, It’s Only a Game. Using burlap, hessian, raffia, leather, crude mechanical embroidery. I loved, most particularly, an appliqued Japanese inspired, floor length dress. Lilac tulle softly billowing out of the structured bodice around the feet. Sublime.
This entire collection (as curated) left one breathless.
Eshu 2000, a simple shift made of tiny yellow beads and black horsehair. The yellow beads spread like caviar on crisp toast, dripping provocatively onto the horse hair.
McQueen bejewels the constellation of dead couturier that include Christian Dior, Yves St Laurent, Paul Poirot, Madame Gres etc. Twinkling stars inspiring us from above. Isabella Blow is sitting right there beside him laughing with her protégé at how mortals now wait in line to worship at his alter. They were never meant to. The world of high fashion, like the world of high art, is exclusive by design and inclination.
I thought about the very few times we met. Check on Wire Image for the picture of me, he and Lucy Ferry. If you don’t believe me.
I thought about his suicide. How lonely being that much of a genius can make you. How protected he was by the women in his life who never really approved of any of his boyfriends because they felt ‘married’ to him. Lucy, Sam, Naomi, Kate, Isabella, Daphne, Anna etc.
No one was ever good enough for Lee so he became more and more isolated.
Too embarrassed to introduce the kind of boy he wanted to those grand arbiters of taste. How could he spend all day designing beautiful things and bring that home.
Fag hags think they are doing you a big favor by keeping trashy boys out of our lives…in fact…all they did was keep Lee McQueen lonely. I hold all of those women partially responsible for his death. If he had only been allowed to fall in love…but those kind of women are little bit too eager to have an opinion about a gay love life thinking that Lee was just one of the girls.
Straight women really don’t understand gay men as much as they claim they do.
Ben Cohen is a straight British rugby player who is making a name (and a great deal of money) for himself by championing LGBT causes. Beloved by the gays he has a cherubic face and huge chest.
“I can’t understand a word he’s saying…but he’s gorgeous.” One man cooed.
Ben was making an impassioned speech about bullying and homophobia. The gays just looked on in awe. Objectifying poor Ben and gorgeous Taylor. They didn’t give a fuck. “Take you shirt off!” They screamed as he appealed to them for a more tolerant world.
GLAAD gave him some award. ‘Cute Straight People Who Like Us’ award…or something. Michael (?) the head of GLAAD NY was there last night. “It’s not political.” He reassured me.
Then something rather irritating happened. Zack’s really dull friend arrived. The sort of boy who thinks he’s attractive but hasn’t got two damp sticks to rub together to get any fire started….anywhere. He pissed me off sufficiently to make me shout at him.
Apparently my present anger is quite healthy. I am so…fucking angry. With myself. I have NO ONE else to blame. I used to be angry with The Penguin. Now I am angry with me.
Livid that I let myself be duped. Blinded by love. Blinded by compassion. I don’t blame him. I can’t blame him. There’s nothing to blame. Other than the CON. I don’t blame him for making me fall in love with him…he is just a child, as was evidenced when I saw him with his parents. Bouncing on his mother’s knee.
A sad situation existed in that house. I realised why I found the father so interesting…he reminded me of someone. Rather than concentrate on his son and wife, he was staring at us. Not because he was trying to intimidate…he was just…more interested.
Emotionally absent father, more interested in solving his patients problems than focusing on the needs of his son. The Penguin wanted his father’s love so badly. It’s not his fault. Shame on them! I can imagine that he wasn’t just absent for The Penguin but for the entire family.
Mother and son thrown together in some emotionally incestuous swamp. Hanging onto each other for dear life.
If I can’t have you my husband….I will have him. My darling son.
He looked…like an aspergers boy when he was with them. Which is odd because isn’t that his father’s speciality?
Let me tell you how things have changed since I saw him. I blame myself for being so damned stupid. I blame myself for letting a petty conman/thief run rampant through my life. I blame myself for constantly letting him off the hook. I blame myself for convincing anyone who would listen that I loved him. I blame myself for thinking he was beautiful. I blame myself for not running out the door the moment he took heavy drugs from under his bed and asked if it was ok.
I have been a fucking idiot….and I am really, really pissed off with myself.
Great weekend in Malibu. Loads going on.
Therapy Saturday. Lunch with filmy people. Another lunch with Gabe and Toby in Venice.
Met two very sweet Redondo boys in coffee shop.
Writer arrived at 1pm. Twins came home on Sunday as I am working with writer. Both of them had a great night in Hollywood. They got so drunk and sick and in trouble but separately. They lay down looking worse for wear.
The writer left. I vacuumed the house.
Miami Henry popped over. Made dinner for the four of us. Twins surprised that I made the salad dressing.
Henry left after dinner. Bed at midnight.
Nothing more to report. I have been writing like a crazy person.
I am thinking of checking into rehab. Seriously. I can’t go on like this.
Gjelina with friends…$97.
When I left Joe after 7 years I could not understand why he was so angry with me.
I was old enough to know better.
Perhaps he had separation issues? My arrogant reasoning. Whatever it was, after I felt him his fury lasted for two years. Perhaps I deserved it? My ‘kindly’ leaving him, after all that I promised, was worth being punished for?
I know now that I certainly deserved it.
There is no good goodbye. There is no way to ‘kindly’ leave someone you have loved and who loves you. I loved Joe so badly but when it was time to go I had to pack my bags and leave. Of course…it was not going to be that simple…I had the full weight of a billionaire’s wrath focused on me. We ended up in court…well, I ended up outside a court room negotiating with his representative.
I was a litigant in person which meant that I repped myself. I handled my own divorce. I was happy with the outcome. Who wouldn’t be?
I was also, at that time, two years sober. I couldn’t have left him if I had been drinking. The foundation on which our relationship was built had been sodden with white wine and Maker’s Mark since we first met.
Even after we had thrown everything we could at one another during our very messy divorce I still wanted to be his friend. My love is not so easily discarded. Like it or not people (his friends) we have seen each other since that time. I wanted so badly to be at peace with him.
Surely that’s not unreasonable?
I made a hefty financial and emotional amends. I paid him over $1, 000, 000. I refused to hate him. Yet, like it or not, I was on a solitary path. On my own. From then on I just couldn’t bear the pain of falling out of love.
Not until last year did I risk opening my heart again. Ha! Look where that ended up. What galls me most is that I attempted, yet again, a kind goodbye and yet again I was rebuffed.
When relationships end it seems unthinkable that a workable peace cannot be achieved. That an amends can’t be made. That adults can’t find a solution and part amicably.
My part. What is my part? How do I take responsibility for my actions? The choices I make? I assure you that I know all too well that given the correct information ahead of time I will try to do the right thing.
Even if, as was the case, I was duped into my last relationship.
How can anyone make the right life choice when the facts have been so skewed?
When I am lied to, when the truth is withheld from me how am I expected to make good choices? That is how we find ourselves in this present pickle.
I simply would not have entertained knowing JB if he had told me the truth.
The house smells of hyacinth. The boys are making themselves midnight snacks. They dragged me to the movies. We saw Paul which we really enjoyed. We were the only people in the cinema.
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 Malibu garden is 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, sent me a collection of his writings that I have not had time to read. 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’m 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 the 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 meat off the bone.
I’m 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 mother’s beautiful summer-house 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.
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.
- Pretty Patmos – Pátmos, Greece (travelpod.com)