I’m trying to write everything down but somehow the past few weeks have blurred into one long delicious adventure.
NYC and back again in the car.
Let me remember.
I drove east through death valley and this was the temperature:
I drove through Utah during the day which was very wise. Utah is very beautiful. Devastatingly beautiful.
You see. I can’t find the words.
I stopped in Des Moines and enjoyed the state building and the wonderful contemporary sculpture park given to the community by John and Mary Pappajohn, a Des Moines venture capitalist and his wife.
I met a young hair dresser with blue hair.
I stopped in Chicago and met a huge football player.
I spent the 4th July in Chicago. The Fireworks terrified Dude, my little brown dog.
I arrived in NYC. Just in time for the horrible heat wave.
It was so hot I had to leave the dogs inside the apartment during the day or risk them dying of heat exhaustion.
I sat uncomfortably in AA meetings.
I stayed on the upper west side. A block from Central Park.
We walked every day off leash at dawn around the Great Lawn. We saw beautiful young men exercising. We, being me and the dogs.
I met a beautiful man in the street and kissed him.
Why was I there?
I had gone east to reclaim my gayness after months of feeling like an ex-gay. Hanging onto the word queer as the only way to describe my isolation from the gays.
I spent my birthday at the cloisters with Richy.
I read from my blog at a Lower East Side gallery and they paid me for doing so.
I met more interesting people on the street.
I helped a friend edit his movie.
I rented a small house on Cedar Walk but didn’t spend any time there at all.
From the moment I arrived I had one extraordinary experience after another.
I met cool people, and coveted their things.
I was invited into their homes and onto their yachts, I met their friends and ate their food. I returned their hospitality by paying for them as and when they would let me.
I walked to Cherry Grove where I had breakfast with John Walters.
I had dinner with Andy Tobias…
… in my favorite Fire Island Pines home.
I met a gang of charming gay men from NYC who were kind and considerate.
I spent time with all of them in the city once I returned.
This one is called Jon.
As I let myself fall into the gay Fire Island days I began to remember how much fun being gay is. Even if I was sober and a little bit older.
I walked the beach.
I had a huge old man crush on this beautiful boy:
Who worked here:
I saw Justin Bond.
I looked in at the house where we lived for so many years.
And I met more men.
I spent time on my own. I found an abandoned cock ring on the board walk.
I walked miles of boardwalks with the dogs who came home covered in tiny ticks.
I finally met a beautiful man who left for India but lives in Paris who stole my head/heart.
I was so god damned happy.
The morning after the Pines Party I prepared to leave.
After ten days I took the ferry, then another ferry to Provincetown.
I rented a small apartment on the beach and met more men.
I hung with my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis but the sparkle that used to exist between us has gone.
We explored the graveyard. We found Norman Mailer’s grave and a pretty headstone with a small dog carved into it.
I ate a great deal but didn’t put on any weight as I walked so many miles every day.
I found this beautiful ceramic mirror frame:
I met more men.
Eventually I drove back to New York and stayed with friends. This is their view:
I partied with Jeremy Kost…
…and his friend.
I had dinner with Dan at Mary’s Fish Camp.
I had dinner with Thom at my club on the roof by the pool:
I wore this chic watch:
We worked on my film.
Then, after another week in the city I took the car all the way home again.
I met a hitch hiker who travelled all the way to California. His name is Albert.
I stayed in The Lincoln Hotel in Chicago.
I stayed in Denver.
I stayed in Utah.
We drove from Cedar City to LA in half a day.
We drove up the mountain in Malibu, up the drive and finally slept in our own bed.
It has been misty and cool.
The house looks so beautiful. Totally rearranged, crammed with stuff…another load of art off to auction this week. The gilded hall table, the 18th century credenza…my Gio Ponti lamps…should make no sense but does.
New art by Dustin Yellin and Danika Phelps. I covered the 18th century Napoleonic chair with latte coloured silk..a sort of duchess satin.
I can’t believe that I have sold only a third of the art formerly hanging on the walls. It is astounding that there is so much still here.
A gorgeous breeze from the sea today after several days of blistering Santa Anas.
After my meeting this morning (saw an old friend from Whitstable) Mel and I had breakfast by the Palisades Sunday farmer’s market then walked the dogs. I dropped in on my young neighbour who was having a party. His friends wondered if I was his uncle.
Last night on my way home from Brentwood (middle eastern dinner with Dom who now works for new Oprah channel) I stopped at a red light, smiled at a very cute boy standing on the sidewalk. He promptly got into the car, kissed me fully on the lips, took my number and has been texting ever since. Now, if I never see that boy ever again he managed in that one moment to trump every pathetic attempt Jake ever made at a romantic gesture.
We are going to the beach this afternoon. Point Dume, we can take the dogs. Going to take a picnic. My last days before I leave on Wednesday. A daunting trip home. Taking the same route he and I took which, frankly, I am not looking forward to for that very reason.
Such a beautiful day here.
Plane home to LA. Lovely few days in NYC. Returning Delta. Man had panic attack and had to be removed just as we were taking off.
Really lifted my spirits. (The trip not the panicking man.)
Upon my arrival in NYC and the ghastly Comfort Inn I had a few moments of bitter disillusionment (the cause of which was mainly in my head..actually the cause of which was totally in my head) I had the best time with Jake, Dan, Lady Rizzo, John and Jamie. The little dog hated the rain but didn’t like being left at home.
Drank far too much coffee in the East Village.
At the behest of a new friend Bernard, who works for the Judd foundation, John, Jamie, Jake and I privately toured the Donald Judd private residence at 101 Spring St, Soho and reminded myself that on that very corner one cold winters afternoon in 1983 Fred Hughes and I saw John Gotti smoking a fat cigar.
We brought expensive cookies and marveled at the Japanese themed bathrooms and kitchen. How come the HUGE Dan Flavin in the bedroom felt like it was spewing microwaves? That thing, however beautiful, must have fried Judd, his wife and children.
I was recognized by one of the staff who LOVED the sex rehab show. “How you doing now?” she asked with a sympathetic crumpled brow and puckered lip.
After The Judd residence tour Jake and I celebrated his birthday with a dinner at the restaurant of his choice and the waiters brought him his desert with a candle on top.
Last night Dan and I attended a charity auction at the Milk Gallery to raise funds for the Stephen Petronio Dance Company. I was in a spectacularly good mood and was seen to be so. I met Cindy Sherman who had donated a huge, dark work, which raised over $20k for the troupe.
I bought 3 works including a very beautiful Dustin Yellin.
Dan and I had a late dinner at Westville where we saw Sam Rockwell.
Back in LA soon where I have a traffic court date, a returning lover and Mary the organic gardener has her new driving license which means she can continue tending the garden. I have a great deal to look forward to and a huge amount to be grateful for.