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…
It started with a short message and ended up with a whole bunch of choices I never expected.
Not in my wildest dreams.
I’ve read what you had to say. Now it’s my turn.
Stepping away from the mess. It’s not so messy. It seems like it was planned.
This pantomime. Look at the cast of unusual, freakish characters. Look at them.
Boys and men, trans and women.
Young girls. Yes. They are here too.
So you wrote me a poem. No title… of course.
We were connected .
When it expires we are expired.
The order? It was a good idea. It was a great way to formalize the end of our association. I can only imagine that you feel much the same way I do.
I wish we had never met.
Don’t you shudder whenever you think about it?
I understand why you needed to rewrite the narrative.
I took advantage of you?
You had far more to lose by telling the truth.
When assigning blame, I take full responsibility. I should have walked away.
Everyone I trusted advised me to do so. Everyone I trusted.
Instead, I pinned my hopes on you. I found your interest in me all at once baffling and inspiring.
A romantic relationship was impossible.
Because I am a broken, sick man. Incapable of intimacy.
You sold me:
A big fat lie.
Yet, we never talked about my lies. Yes, I lied to you about almost everything.
Lies I had held onto for a very long time.
This man is a liar. Just like me. Did you ever think that?
The last time I checked, and that was some time ago, you seemed very happy wearing your new clothes, your relationship, your job and your family.
I am delighted. You will make a much better job of being a gay than I ever could.
Your ability to form and maintain relationships will mean that you’ll have everything you always wanted. Everything you ever dreamed.
The questions I wanted to ask… I have no reason to ask.
The truth set you free and I am very proud of you… even though I have no desire to set eyes upon you ever again.
May 6th 2013
When did you have time to write that? Was it really meant for me?
Did you wonder if I should reply? Did you think I could?
There are no words left.
The storm rattles the house, thunders down the drain pipes. Torrents of rain over the mountain. Hammering down onto the wide, new leaves.
Make some toast and lime marmalade. Boil some eggs. Stand naked in the warm rain.
I haven’t written anything for so long.
Perhaps I just ran out of things to say.
Roger Ebert died. He wrote to me recently urging me to write more. I have no idea why.
The house in Malibu is filled with my things again and the garden, this beautiful spring, overwhelms me.
Moving back in gave me the opportunity to start editing once again. I threw out three huge boxes of old clothes. Cashmere, labels, everything loved for a moment back then. Helmut, Yves, Issy, Comme des Garcons… boxy shirts from another era, trousers that I can (after my op) still get into but have lost interest in.
I kept all the Helmut Lang couture. It’s just too special.
I feel myself floating over the surface of my life.
The road trip across the USA was spectacular. Chicago, Denver, The Rockies, Utah and Vegas. Just me and the dogs and a car full of art and luggage. I met lovely people and saw cities I had only ever heard of.
I never went over the speed limit.
The operation to have my gall bladder removed was painful but since having the surgery I feel wonderful.
I didn’t realize how much pain I was living with. How the pain made me grumpy, listless and intolerant.
Now, without that girdle of pain, without the imminent GB attacks… I feel perfectly happy. Peaceful.
I can concentrate. perhaps that’s why I need to write?
During the past few months so much has happened. Things I can tell you and things I can’t.
Yet, after the moment passes, I can’t be bothered to write it down.
Editing the huge amount of stuff I own to a few essential pieces. Taking my old stuff to vintage stores, consignment stores and auction houses has been cathartic and profitable. Who knew things were so valuable?
But more than that. It feels like I am winding down. Not is a morbid way.
With less stuff and less girth (since the op I lost a great deal of weight) I feel not only lighter but more agile, more energy to do important things (for me) more time to devote to others, causes, delights.
As you know, those who know me, I like my decisions to be made for me. I LIKED my decisions to be made for me.
Recently I have taken control of the reigns. Less at the mercy of Duncan Roy. Do you know what I’m talking about?
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.
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.
The doctor called ahead so I was quickly admitted and given a massive dose of morphine.
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.
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.
There is a week of mayhem to report. A week of extraordinary conduct. A week of moving back east.
I can’t show you his face.
Only in NYC.
Then, I meet a woman who KNOWS all about my film. I mean, she knows the story like an urban myth. But it’s not a myth. It’s the sad truth.
“Oh, I know this story,” she said. Her eyes sparkling with anticipation. “I think he’s my friend on Facebook. Yes, look…” she pulls out her smart phone and there he is. I push the phone away. I shouldn’t be looking at that.
“What was he thinking?” she roars with laughter.
Women love my film. It confirms everything they think they know about men. The injustice of men.
Dead five-year olds. 20 of them.
The children are shot dead by a crazed, entitled white boy. The little bodies buried this week. Lined up against the wall and executed. You know they didn’t have a clue. You know they did as they were told.
I thought about the little dog facing the lethal injection.
A horrific pendant: ten Afghan children are splattered into the mud by a drone.
Somehow their little brown faces are missing from the media. Somehow the little white children in Connecticut are worth more.
We asked you to vote for him, now he’s letting us down all over again. Surprise, fucking surprise.
I saw a man being mugged on the 5 train. Into Manhattan, a stealthy, tall, nimble black man rips an iPhone 4s out of an asian man’s hands leaving him with his ear phones on his head. The rest of us sat amazed.
The white people urged him to call the police but he said, “I’m already late for work.”
I’m buying a parker. It’s lined with blood-red shearling. Like the monkey they found in Ikea.
Dinner in the neighborhood, dinner at the Mercer Kitchen with Courtney, dinner at the Standard Grill with Brock.
Dinner with Cristina who I have not seen for 30 years on the floor of her palatial Upper East Side home. It was as if all those 30 years just melted away. That we were friends again from last week. Funny, compelling, brilliant, beautiful Cristina.
Dinner with new gay AA friends in cheap diners.
Dinner at Mary’s Fish Camp with Benoit. We stop at Boxers (gay bar) on the way home. There’s nothing for us. Benoit peels off leaving me on the street and as I wait for the green light a handsome green eyed man says hello.
At first I wonder why. Why is this stunningly handsome 27-year-old man saying hello to me.
Then we’re in Barracuda kissing each other.
I’m wearing that huge fur hat.
I can’t kiss him any more. I can’t suck any more spit out of his mouth. I can’t look into his green eyes.
I am so overwhelmed by him I walk through the rain until I am soaked to the skin. Wondering how it happens? Wondering how it ends up like this?
All the way home I’m humming Nature Boy to myself.
In the morning my room smells of damp fur.
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.
I just put my AA ‘Big Book’ in the trash.
Does this mean I will die? Well yes, eventually.
Does this mean I will drink again? Maybe, but not immediately.
Does this mean that I’ll stop believing in god? Definitely not.
“Like any cult, religion or philosophy, AA leans heavily on the good will and participation of its members. I like the saying “if you like everybody you meet in AA, you aren’t going to enough meetings“. People should not be accountable for ideas, only for their actions. I have never had high expectations of AA, and so they are usually exceeded by the results. “Faith without works is dead”. The book is overrated, Duncan, everybody knows that. But the Love in AA is palpable.”
Dan my friend wrote the above. Men like him initially convinced me that AA was good. I was attracted to their nuanced reasoning, their warmth, their ‘spirituality’. I was not wrong, people like Dan were the reason I kept going back.
Explaining AA to the uninitiated is like teaching a baboon how to knit.
Writing this, even now, I can convince myself to haul the AA Big Book out of the trash…that things weren’t that bad, that I should look at ‘my part’, that if only I had worked the 12 steps just a little bit harder…
The comfy Palisade stag meetings, the jolly Rodeo social, the stoic recovery center.
I loved UTA owner Jeremy Zimmer’s Saturday morning industry meeting where the producers, writers, actors and directors came to flay themselves before the UTA grandee.
I was rapt by the harrowing story of child sex abuse and violence therapist Sean McFarlane dramatically told when ever he was asked to testify.
I watched ‘Big’ Robert gather his flock of new comers/sponsees at the 7am Bank meeting and take them diligently through the twelve steps.
It took five years to see through each of these scam merchants.
Jeremy Zimmer uses his meeting to ensnare and compromise celebrities in trouble. Fellow alcoholic industry folk, realizing that Jeremy is a sick man do not risk leaving the meeting, nor do directors and actors who want his patronage. Jeremy Zimmer is a sadist. Laughing and joking as men cry pitifully about their ‘rock bottom’.
The only men he has compassion for are men that mean nothing to him professionally.
Sponsorship is a service supposedly supplied ‘for fun and for free’ from elder AAers to the new comer, helping them understand the 12 steps, helping them understand the Big Book of AA…a sort of bible written by Bill Wilson the founder of AA.
Sean thinks nothing of taking huge amounts of money from naive new comers for his sponsorship services.
Sean (pronounced seen) McFarlane, provides counseling as a sex therapist but I have no proof that he has any formal training nor counseling himself, nor support, even a sponsor? If anyone has proof that this monster has any training…please provide it.
Sean oversees the fate of cheating celebrities who routinely fall from grace and into his Wednesday morning SAA meeting…needing their family back, their reputation saved, their need to disguise their pedophile peccadillos…put humpty dumpty together again.
Sean thinks he is a very big deal, a super hero, leaping over imagined cars to save his clients from tranny hookers bent on destroying his clients.
As for Big Robert, the multimillionaire ex basketball player…well it turns out that this self-proclaimed AA guru is in fact a compulsive liar who, whilst banging his sponsees heads with the big book bible…is in fact gorging on un-prescribed prescription meds. He routinely tells his group of sycophantic male followers that AA does not ‘shoot its wounded’…which is patently untrue.
I thought, when I moved to LA that finally…I had come home.
It is evident from the 2006/7 blogs that I loved it and it loved me. A family of men and women who could always forgive, would always forgive.
Well, that was the first of my mistakes. I was wrong about them. Perhaps when I moved here AA was different, I was different?
AA is a cult. Like scientology it trades on the secret lives of its members. Like scientology it requires devotion. Blind devotion. Like scientology there is a vile abuse of power. Those who want to wrestle the leadership, become gurus, lie and steal…all in the name of recovery.
Most so-called addicts and alcoholics are mental patients with no mental hospital to go to.
Look at the beautiful man at the top of this post. His name was Evan Landry. He was a friend of mine. An AA friend. Wow, I was bowled over with Evan, his aggressive, sexy ways…his vulnerability. He served in Iraq, he was an MMA fighter, I saw him fight.
He had a sexy girlfriend he shared with Mike Tyson but wasn’t above going to…how shall we say…the dark side.
Well, last night Evan Landry killed himself. Another AA tragedy. Today his friends think it is ‘sad but not unexpected’. They have buried so many friends, their indifference is as unexpected as Evan’s OD.
People like Sean McFarlane will remember him, use his death as evidence that we must never, ever leave AA.
His PTSD unaddressed, all he needed (according to his AA friends) was the 12 steps.
Like prescribing leaches for terminal cancer.
In the USA there are a hundred treatment centers where addiction can be fought with the ubiquitous 12 steps…if you have the money. In my experience getting help with any other mental condition is almost impossible.
Evan Landry put his faith in AA like so many of us did…but our problems were complicated by AA and sadly may have killed dear Evan and many men and women like him.
I don’t go to AA funerals because they are a sick joke. I might, however, go to this one. Just to laugh at the hypocrites that killed Evan with their medieval prescription for a better life.
Scintillating few weeks. I am happy. Even though I shouldn’t be. I have no idea what is keeping me so buoyant…not smoking, not eating wheat, full moon, going to AA meetings? I really have no idea.
So many little things are giving me a great deal of pleasure.
The ripe figs I picked yesterday morning, the aubergine and tomatoes, the trips into Beverly Hills with Robby. The California sunshine, the hot nights, the pool lights that I managed to fix so the water glistens at midnight.
This too will pass.
The weather has been gorgeous, the company stimulating. The future a glorious mystery…the past not jumping up at me like a badly trained dog.
A great deal is going on…but my energy is being used creatively. Will let you know asap.
Anyway, just as you all seem to think I have vanished…
Here I am.
As I embark on my 15th year of sobriety are things as I imagined they would be?
Well…they are as they are.
In God‘s perfect world there is nothing I can’t handle.
I have enough.
Enough is all I have.
What was it like before I got sober? It was a daily, living hell.
This is the day I that I yearly recommit to sobriety and this is the day that forces me to take stock and move forward unburdened.
The day where I take a thorough inventory, both good and bad.
Some things need left behind. You know what I am talking about.
Some things need embracing.
Life needs to be lived.
For all the love/health/death/aggravation of the past year…today I am strong and secure. Today.
It seems that although forgiveness is key…it is a hard thing to swallow.
The poor little darling was in worse shape than I thought. The coyote bite was much deeper than it looked. Today Jason and the kids took him to the Malibu Coast Vet and Dr. Victor made it better. Whilst he was asleep Victor cleaned his teeth and cut away a skin tab behind his ear.
We love Dr Victor. He is incredibly handsome.
I am in pretty bad shape. I can only crawl. So I am crawling to the bathroom.
We are laying in bed together. Time will heal both of us.
The more I think about that brazen coyote the more it scares me. He was waiting a few feet from us. Waiting. It was very frightening.
Must buy a gun. It could be me next time.
Pain is very exhausting. The shock really compromised me. Anyway, we’ll get through this.
This is a picture of the drain and the scar. I could show you my swollen foot but that’s more disgusting than this:
I watched the end of Jacob’s Ladder and the end of The Accidental Tourist.
Both films, at their heart, are about fathers and sons. Death, coming to terms with death. Letting go. Dying. Returning to the empty house. Taking the taxi through Paris. Allowing ones self to love again after being ‘shut down’.
It’s been a fucking tough two years. The Big Dog, The Cancer, The Penguin.
Not necessarily in that order.
I think about her everyday, her tangled bloody body. Waiting for her to die after the lethal injection. Carrying her home to the grave we dug for her in the garden. Now she is just skin and bones under the rock, hidden so the coyote couldn’t dig her up and eat her. Laying there with her collar on, wrapped in my shirt, laying by my shoes.
Waiting patiently for us to join her.
I just couldn’t stop crying. Apologizing. She was innocent!
As I write the Little Dog is dreaming. Yelping in his sleep.
It’s been tough to concentrate, to make anything happen, to imagine any sort of future. I need all my wits about me to make things happen. I don’t have the energy.
If by chance I look in the mirror, I don’t recognize the man staring back at me.
I don’t really know who I am. Drifting inconsolably since she was killed. Inconsolable when I saw the truth about him. Me reflected in him. The grueling hospital. Private desire that it would kill me.
That the doctor would say, “Mr. Roy, you have six months to live.” He didn’t.
I let myself believe that it was all over and frankly, I was furious that all my body wanted to do was teach me a lesson.
Then I got involved with him. He was nothing. A sick, lost man. I thought I could help. He was nothing. He wasn’t the one. Like crumpled paper. Like chewed gum. A crude, inelegant parasite come to suck my blood.
Then I got involved with him. I was nothing. A sick, lost man. He thought he could help. I was nothing. He wasn’t the one.
I was never going to be good enough for him. For anyone. Let’s face it.
Letting life and its dangerous current drag me across this angry ocean. Untethered.
It feels like I am finally waking up from the past two years. Waking up, yet desiring, desperately to sleep. I don’t want to wake up. Why in hells name is there any reason to be awake?
There is no child waiting to deliver me from madness. There is no innocent boy to take my hand and lead me to a better place. There is no Big Dog because I was a bad owner. There is no lover because I am a bad lover.
I did not leave the house today. I filled another can with weeds. Compulsively weeding the garden. I close my eyes and all I can see are weeds. Panicking that there is one last weed to pull…and I may have missed it.
No, I don’t want to kill myself.
There have been times recently when I have seriously thought about suicide but life always delivers so much more than death ever could. Why would I want an endless night when I have the glorious day?
This too will pass. A tiny rule that reminds me daily that life is worth living. That love, lust, hate and anger all have a certain shelf life and it’s only a matter of time before relief is found or misery returns.
U.S. Suicide Statistics
1.3% of all deaths are from suicide.
On average, one suicide occurs every 16 minutes.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 year olds.
(1st = accidents, 2nd = homicide)
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 25-34 year olds.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.
More males die from suicide than females.
(4 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide.)
More people die from suicide than from homicide.
(Suicide ranks as the 11th leading cause of death; Homicide ranks 13th.)
There were over 800,000 suicide attempts in 2010
When I was a kid things were so confusing, so traumatic I made two attempts at taking my own life. Once with a knife and secondly with pills. I failed to complete my mission on both occasions. Thankfully.
When I had my breakdown during my mid twenties I met young people, at the Henderson Hospital, who seemed determined that life was not worth living and had made far more serious attempts at ending things than I had.
Sarah’s story, particularly, sticks in my mind. I may have written about her before but let me refresh your memory.
Sarah was a young, pretty blond girl who had been serially abused (sexually and physically) by both her parents, foster parents and finally by her adopted father.
By the time I met her she was a husk of what she should have been.
She trusted no one. Why would she?
Every day at the hospital we would congregate for an obligatory house meeting. Sarah was missing. I was sent (by the nursing staff) to her room to find her. When I opened the door I was met with a blood bath.
There was blood everywhere, on the sheets, the floor, sprayed on the ceiling and the walls.
Sarah saw me and said sweetly, “I’ll be down in a minute.” She was pathetically dabbing with a blood sodden rag at the mess on the walls. “I just want to clear this up.” She smiled at me. Softly. She had severed an artery in her wrist and as fast as she mopped up the blood more spurted out.
I grabbed her wrist and called out for help. Screamed for help. Eventually someone arrived. We were hustled (still holding her as a human tourniquet) into a car and to the local ER.
By the time we got to the hospital I was welded onto her and had to be surgically removed from the congealed, bloody wound.
I have no idea what happened to Sarah. Perhaps she succeeded and did indeed kill herself. I have no idea. She didn’t come back from the emergency room.
I don’t remember ever asking about her. Out of sight, out of mind.
Those who threaten suicide are frightening people. A disregard for their own life could very easily become a disregard for yours. A suicide is a murder. A murderer may kill you too.
During the past decade of sobriety I have met many men and women (mostly men) who managed to kill themselves. It always amazed me that even sobriety could not save them.
Death seems so alluring to some people. There is nothing alluring about death: a premature death is just absurd to me. We are dead all too soon and for those of us who do not believe in heaven we may as well find heaven on earth.
Anyway, I am too much of a coward to kill myself. Too much of a coward to drink or take drugs. Too much of a coward to be successful. Too much of a coward to say no…to open letters…to say goodbye.
I have learned to live with depression (without drugs) mental illness (without therapy) inertia (without fear) and love (without conclusion). Some people cannot face the power of life itself. The beauty, the grandeur, the mystery seem so threatening to them and end up dead by their own hand.
Perhaps they cannot/will not respect this extraordinary world, this abundant place.
Recently, as documented here, I have felt vulnerable and sad. I felt (falsely) as if life could only be lived in a certain way…with a lover at my side. On those occasions I am blinded to what I have and drawn to those things I do not have.
These past weeks since the great ‘closure’ my eyes are open, I am bathed in light. The night is no longer a terrible and foreign place. The day begins without yearning nor ends with tears.
God damn it…
This too will pass.
- Suicide higher among young adults (psychologytoday.com)
- Roommate of gay suicide student pleads not guilty to intimidation (pinkbananaworld.com)
Breakfast with the beautiful Dane.
We stepped out of the restaurant for a moment to smoke and a young woman approached me.
She said, “I saw you on the show. You’re very brave.”
I felt like a total fraud.
I wanted to tell her that since the show I have broken every rule, every principal I had ever committed or adhered to. These past few moths I have run roughshod over all the progress of the past 13 years.
I feel like I am at square one.
Sure I didn’t drug or drink. Sure it was brave of me to reveal myself on TV…but look at the trouble it has caused. I let myself succumb to the vagaries of love. With a chimp.
The beautiful Dane wanted to know what she was talking about. I told him. I suppose now he’ll see everything. I wonder how he’ll feel about it? Time will tell.
I love talking with him. We talk and talk, his stories are riveting and compelling. This is more like it. He’s only 33. Suddenly we are surrounded by people we know. Friends we know rather than he or I.
Feel comfortable, relaxed and happy.
So happy I begin to cry, my nose stings, my eyes fill with tears. I think about what Jon said when I first got sober in SAA. He asked me to imagine what a relationship ‘looks like’ I cried then too. I just didn’t think it was possible. A healthy relationship with a healthy, kind man. Then, by way of alcoholic sabotage, I proved to myself and the whole world that I was incapable of making good choices.
Enter The Penguin. Exit The Penguin.
I am so happy to be in the bosom of AA. Surrounded by men and women whose language I respect, whose journey I relate to. Listen, there could be an argument made that every relationship I have ever had (except Matt) has been with active alcoholics/addicts.
Last night, after the poetry reading, I walked the dog…wrote this blog and went to bed. I woke at 6am to arrange the apartment for the return of the decorators. After our rather wonderful breakfast I caught a cab to JFK and am now on a plane to an undisclosed location for a couple of weeks in the sun.
I may have been brave (I was brave) when I told you all the truth about my childhood suffering but the consequences of being on that show have been very severe. I would never in a million years have met or absconded with, danced with, dillied or dallied with that terrible man. I would have remained ignorant of his ugly face, his dishonest world. I would never have worshiped his stinking hole or kissed his lying mouth.
I would certainly never have risked losing my sobriety. I came THIS close!
I would rather be single than take those risks again.
What does a relationship look like? I don’t know if it exists. Not because I am unworthy but because the damage has been done. If only you could see it on my face like a burns victim. If only you could see the ravages of child abuse on my face.
A relationship? The damage maybe too severe. I have to look at it like that. The war is over but I am limbless, traumatized, impotent, angry. There is nothing I can do other than STAY AWAY from normal human beings who say they love me.
They just can’t see.
They think I am healthy, able bodied, sane. Until they uncover the truth.
For the time being I will stick to my own kind. I am never lonely with my own kind. I never have to kid myself when I am with my own kind. My own kind never try and kid me. They treat me carefully.
What does a relationship look like? Well, it’s me, myself and I. That’s all I can hope for.
That’s all I will ever need or be able to depend upon.
Remember, if you meet me, that I am covered in the most terrible scars inside and out. You should think twice about getting involved. Alcoholics seem to see the scars and hold out their hands so I can walk proudly amongst you…but don’t be deceived.
I am not what I am.
Gorgeous day here in Malibu. Another day on the beach with the twins. They are dragging me out of the house and making me laugh. More to come. A heat wave with record-breaking temperatures. I may go into rehab sooner than I thought. Long chat with therapist/admin at Pinegrove Mental Health Facility in Hattiesburg Miss.
The film is progressing. We have a title at last.
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)
Gary once introduced me to Mark Ruffalo. Mark wouldn’t remember me, Gary would.
Gary was one of the forward thinking guys who set up the ground breaking film production company InDigEnt. He was a really, really sweet man. No news as to how he died but I think, from what I can remember, he may have had a serious illness that he kept quiet about.
He was very discreet.
Crikey, so many deaths! I just diligently report them. It’s rewarding to find something nice to say about the recently departed like poor Wally in Whitstable.
In Jean’s case, it was quite hard. We hadn’t spoken for ages because we had a money issue that neither of us wanted to resolve. He was a terrible drain on his friends and family. Let’s put it this way: it was very hard for Jean to enjoy his gifted life without endlessly complaining or taking drugs.
People die. I just put on my bombazine shift and write the bleeding obituary.
Perhaps I should try writing my own?
I would entitle it: WEAK TEA or LOUD AND DIM or NOTHING REMARKABLE.
To be run in the Whitstable Times in the event of my death:
Surly Duncan Roy (65) found dead in his Swalecliffe bed sitting room. Former Lord of The Lies refused medication for obvious mental illness and made unremarkable films. Campaigned for the Red Spider Cafe. He will not be missed.
I have not written a last will and testament so the fuckers can squabble over what is left. I may leave it all to that little girl or to a bat charity or Jake’s ex-girl friend. That would be funny.
Watched Oscars. Was James Franco stoned? No! He’s been sober for YEARS. He just looked a bit unprepared. I would have preferred if Social Network had won best film. It deserved to. The Kings Speech is constipated TV tosh. Tom Hooper is a director of no importance. Why does Colin Firth KEEP telling the world how important Tom Ford is to him and how he wouldn’t be receiving these awards without having met him? I thought that Firth had a rather long and distinguished career before meeting Ford? Are they or have they been…fucking?
It occurred to me why Portman trumped Benning…Portman has more mileage in her and will generate more cash for CAA. Poor Annette Bening so obviously deserved that Best Actress Academy Award but she’s an old mare and who writes great roles for old mares that Meryl Streep isn’t getting first refusal?
Clip Clop Annette.
Madness, when it comes upon me is a grueling mystery to solve. For months now I have been gripped with what started out merely as a broken heart.
When one begins to feel the onset of ones own brand of insanity it is always impossible to make sense of the confusing depth and range of emotions.
In the midst of the maelstrom it all feels so incredibly real. Yet, as we are well aware, once sanity returns: FEELINGS are not FACTS.
Regardless of how and why I experienced such a destructive wave of emotion I could only wait, as one does, for the storm to end.
It was galling that I had not suffered a comparable emotional torment for many years, fourteen in fact. As you have read on these pages, when I first got sober I had the same misery, the same terrible sense of powerlessness that has overwhelmed me every day since last January.
There is no way to prepare for such misery. One can only pray that it passes. That it passes swiftly and without too much damage being inflicted on either myself or others.
I have learned so much these last few months. Learned the very good and the very bad about myself. It is so incredibly lonely when one is gripped by such furious indignation.
After the storm inevitably there is the wreckage. After the storm, picking up the pieces of everything that has been smashed and knowing that it is impossible to mend what is so utterly broken.
Salvaging first and foremost ones dignity.
On this occasion I know that I have done irreparable damage to myself. I used to have hope and I no longer do. The reserve of hope that I was born with is exhausted.
In many ways I have been returned to that moment last January before we met when I had everything to look forward to. It is now up to me to start again. Start building, start a positive dialogue with myself that may include some sort of sanctuary.
My body is wrecked from these past few months. Fighting, fighting, fighting.
Fighting what was growing inside me, fighting the feelings, fighting my true intentions to be a good and better person.
I have no idea what comes next. I know in my heart, in the pit of my stomach, in my soul…that I will never attempt to have another relationship. I seem truly incapable of that basic human connection and unable to deal with the associated feelings of inadequacy that swamp me once I meet any person I value.
I dare not take that risk.
I know that all familiar avenues others take for granted are now closed to me.
When I was a child, the only way I could express my fury at the world was to smash everything in my room. Everything I held dear. It was my only option. There was nowhere to run, no place to hide.
And what of him?
Well, I hope and pray that he is already living a wonderful life, that he has great and extraordinary beauty ahead of him. I know that he is capable of things I can only dream about. I finally expunged his name from this blog and worked hard to uncouple him from me in the virtual ether. His ‘bit of fun’ turned into a nightmare for us both but I am determined to forgive him…the alternative will merely drag me into further insanity.
He is not the problem. He must be part of the solution.
If I am truly over this catastrophe then I must love him as much as I must love the unfair world around me. He is a stranger now. He will remain a stranger.
For what once felt so beautiful, as I predicted, must now be an inconsequential blip.
To this end I must accept any and all of my own shortcomings. I must see my part in this drama. Own my part in it.
I must let God take back the reigns.
There are other more important lessons to learn, adventures to be had…but I will not learn any of them unless I can truly forgive.
Too much to sort out before I get there.
Manhunt Date number 9. A 28-year-old Kuwaiti doing a PhD in architecture at UCLA. He drove from Brentwood in the thick fog arrived at 10.30 was gone by midnight. What do people think they are when they describe themselves as masculine? What in heaven’s name does it mean? Needless to say this was a huge queen under the thinnest veneer of ‘straight acting’.
The last ten minutes of the ‘date’ he was looking at his kindle and I was staring into the fire willing him to leave.
Poor lamb, driving up my foggy wet mountain in the pitch black only to be sent home because he didn’t meet my exacting standards. He asked me about my past relationships. Of course I told him the Jake saga but as I told him I thought..why am I telling you this? Not even I am convinced by this story.
One interesting note, when JB was kicked out of his apartment by his long-term gf for being a lying, sociopathic, cheater Jake’s ex-gf told him he had to pay his part of the rent until the lease expired..I think it expires this November from what I can remember…anyway. When I told the Kuwaiti that he had been thrown out and had to live with his parents in Westchester the Kuwaiti was outraged that the gf had demanded half the rent.
The gays never get that bit of the story..why he couldn’t just walk away without paying her anything. They never get the commitment/contract part of a relationship. They squeal, as did the Kuwaiti, “Why should he continue paying his part of the rent in an apartment that he didn’t live in?”
When Jake complained to Pal the artist he was fucking with (allegedly) HIV behind the gf’s back about the rent issue…(Jake told me that he only found out after they stopped fucking that Pal was HIV positive..but I doubt it. Pal doesn’t look like the kind of man who would keep quiet about his HIV positive status knowing that Jake was in a sexual relationship with a woman? No, he looks like a responsible kind of guy.)
Pal, allegedly, told Jake to stop paying the rent and cut JA out…like a cancer. This was a woman who had cancer scares ALL THE TIME!
Thankfully Jake did the right thing…he continued paying his part of the rent and the electricity bill despite casting himself as the victim to me and his gay friends. He was so pissed when he got kicked out of the house…because it meant that he had to live with his parents.
He might have to behave responsibly. Of course the moment he moved in he just did what he always did, acting out with drugs, alcohol and online hook ups. But with the added advantage of having parents who would now co-sign his bullshit.
What a fucking moaner! Unable to see his part in anything. Complaining about his sister Emily’s wedding and the part he had to play in it. Complaining about going to Cape Cod. Complaining that he didn’t live in the East Village anymore.
You should have told the fucking truth! How about that as a radical idea?
Weinstein pay him $7k to rewrite/line edit scripts for them. He did three of them the fortnight before we left for Paris and he was still loathed to put his hand in his pocket to buy anything. The day we drove all day to Cannes he bought me a Mars Bar. I drove all day and he bought me a lousy MARS BAR? And you are wondering why I am taking him to small claims court? The day we drove from Sanary Sur Mer I packed the car with inexpensive and delicious food.
The first time I told him definitively that we should break off our relationship was when I realised that he was drinking and driving. He would get totally DRUNK in NYC then take the train all the way to Katonah then drive to his parents house..drunk as a skunk…then call me moaning or crying about how TERRIBLE his life was…or text me from the train because he was lonely and I would (foolish me) always be there for him..because as he mocked in one of his last emails…”you find me irresistable…admit it.”
I did. I found him irresistible.
Jake lived on the filthy underbelly of life because he chose to.
BTW art lovers! Do look at Pal’s fantastic paintings…they are fucking GORGEOUS…if you are decorating a hospital. He’s a handsome man. Pity that he fell into Jake’s ‘straight boy honey pot’. I wonder if he really did lie about his HIV status as Jake claimed. Jake lied about everything.
If I were her I would sue that piece of lying shit.
My producer comes today to shape the treatment. My friend RF tried to visit yesterday but blew a tire on the way up here. I drove down the hill to find him forlornly at the edge of the road. I had a long chat with Sharon about film funding. Things seem to be picking up. I worked more on the script and loved it.
I ate two bowls of corn flakes and felt tired in my bones.
My heart has been broken and rather than cry gently to myself I am so fucking angry.
That entitled prick has got away with murder and I am daily incensed by how he treated me and others. Even 6 months after he came out he was still regretting his decision. He would have been perfectly happy to stay in his vampiric relationship with her whilst he fucked men on the side. That was a choice! He knew exactly what he was doing and used her. Don’t you dare lecture me about collateral damage! I didn’t cause this mess.
JB is a reptile.
Guess who I received a long letter from yesterday when I got back from the Emmy do at SHLA? Yes, you guessed it…Jake. What a smarmy bastard..of course he couldn’t just let it all go. He couldn’t leave me alone. He had to reach out. Just as I was NOT thinking about him, getting right with our situation. DAMN. I was in such a positive mood.
I went to bed feeling all confused and mushy again. Thinking all manner of absurd things.
He timidly suggested that we don’t meet for the time being. How about we never EVER meet? Why don’t you just fuck off and lean on some of your other friends like you lent on me for support? They’ll get sick of you too, bleating and moaning and missing her.
So, why was he writing? He asked for his full name to be removed from the blog which I did ..then I re-read his letter. It was all about him. Blah fucking blah about his coming out and how much I meant to him. Bullshit. If I had meant anything to him he wouldn’t have contacted me. Not once did he enquire about my continuing health problem..not once. The more I thought about it the more annoyed I became.
He asked after the ‘darling’ little dog which nearly made me PUKE.
So, I called him and left a long message on his phone. I told him never ever to contact me again. That his mate had emailed me from Mt. Kisco to tell me that he was laughing at me with Jake and other friends behind my back. That I hated him. I wanted him to hear my voice. That I meant what I was saying. That I am serious. Like when you call your dealer and tell them to lose your number. Like when you tell your friends that you are not coming out for a drink.
The funny thing was he didn’t want to demonize me..well Jake, that’s very reassuring. I am having NO TROUBLE demonizing YOU.
So annoying! I had been really getting my head together.
Had dinner with Toby at Pace..his steak cost $50. My soup $8. I drew these:
You know what I’m doing? I’m going out! Started the evening feeling sorry myself. Fuck that.
I sent an SOS to Amanda that I may or may not need. But most of all, I am not going to be beaten by 5mm of something black on my balls. It’s not a death sentence. It’s black on the scan. I wonder what color it is in real life?
I’m listening to very loud music.
Old fashioned shit. I know. But I’m allowed to. I don’t have to answer to anybody.
I bought Jasper Conran‘s beautiful book Country. Packed with so many beautiful images. Try looking at THAT on a fucking kindle.
I cleaned the apartment. I sorted my papers. I totally forgot that I had to call the police station in London to deal with the iPod incident. Never mind. I would rather be in a cell than have this maggot growing inside me. It’s all relative. I read Michael’s brilliant script. After I finish writing this I will take the little dog to see the cats on Cherokee so he can squeal like a pig with excitement. Cat! Cat!
Meeting Seb at SHLA at 11pm. Fuck this sitting around shit. I need solution! have I LEARNED nothing from all those years sitting in church halls and masonic lodges reading the recipe of the 12 steps?
Take action my friends! Get out of that shit relationship. Don’t be bowed by illness! Eat! If you feel lonely get out onto the streets! Don’t give in to the furies. TAKE ACTION.
December 21st, 2009-August 12th, 2010
Jake has been in my life..for months…for most of it was an acting out dream come true.
Oh I WILLINGLY gave up my sexual sober time.
We talked almost every day. Why trash those precious few months? For the time being I will celebrate the time we spent together. Although, sooner or later it will just feel…embarrassing.
In the long run it will mean far more to him than it will to me, Try as he might he will never be able to unstitch me from his story. I am, after all, the one who tore him out of the closet and in so doing rescued that poor girl from just one more day of deceit and lies.
I said to him on February 9th:
All I know is as the years pass this will weigh heavier on your mind and every time you look at J your girlfriend/wife/mother of your child you will know that there is a fundamental deceit.
If it is not me or the Hungarian it will be another man..and another and the outcome will always be the same.
One day you will meet a perfect man and then you will resent her, begin to hate her because it is not him…
I am the FUCKING HERO. Beautifully written…don’t you think?
And for all you guys and gals who have been shat on..here is a shitty, campy song for you to remind yourself that we can all laugh at how stupid we have been:
I am going home. There’s stuff here to sort out here. Practical stuff. It may take a few days.
Financially it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
I heard the news this morning.
It’s odd how the news made my balls feel tender. They began to talk to me. Whine and complain.
You know who I wanted to tell first? Well of course I did even though he wouldn’t have given a damn.
This is not great.
My father was his hero. His description of Kuros almost perfectly matches how I have heard myself described. He cut quite a dash, he was impeccably dressed and when he entered a room people took notice, he could also be very, very bad-tempered.
Not many people have very nice things to say about my father. My mother, his business colleagues, some of my brothers and sisters and their mothers all of them seem a little too ready to condemn him yet, strangely, I am not. Even though he wanted nothing to do with me and treated my Mother very badly I am still willing to forgive him. It is touching that he had such a profoundly positive effect on Sebastian.
We are without doubt very similar in temperament but unlike when I die…when he died he died very, very rich.
He was without doubt a colourful/controversial figure.
Sebastian’s father owned a restaurant in London where my father met all of his wives. I still don’t know a great deal about him but I know for sure that his second wife disappeared one night with her children never to see him again. I know that his third wife had a terrible time with his temper and cavorting. I know that he loved backgammon and opium. I have been told, although these might be myths, that he was thrown out of a second floor window by the notorious gangster Kray twins causing him to have a life long limp? That he wrapped a sports car around a lamp-post severely damaging his eye? That he was implicated in a massive robbery but never formally charged?
He certainly owned a restaurant and an antique shop and his big break came when he met a profligate Saudi Prince who bought everything my father could lay his hands on and sold to the Prince at exorbitant prices.
Isn’t it odd that whilst he owned an antique shop in London (only feet away from where I would one day live with JBC) I was trawling through the antique/junk shops in Whitstable and Canterbury. That his restaurant was only a block away from where I would settle with Phil. That we may very well have passed each other in the street and never known who one another was.
I met a man on the train to Shrewsbury I was convinced was my father.
He was not my father.
I felt as if I were not allowed to ask Sebastian questions about my father, as if the topic were still off-limits, disallowed, forbidden. There is still a huge amount of shame surrounding his name. As if even the barest mention of him a terrible catastrophe would somehow happen.
Yet, there is nothing more I need to know about him. I know that I am his son, that we are cut from the same cloth and that it scares me to hear about him because in some way I am forced to accept my own flaws/defects/shortcomings.
That, my friends, is incredibly uncomfortable.
My father died in 1998 of pancreatic cancer. I never met him although I feel as I have. A protracted and messy financial battle ensued after his death. There are all sorts of stories about who stole what from whom but my four younger siblings seemed to do OK. He left at least 8 children behind, two ex-wives (did he ever bother getting a divorce from any of them?) and a widow.
It was a pleasure discussing him with Sebastian because Sebastian has fond memories and…I believe him.
A friend called me a ‘drama queen’ after reading this morning’s blog. Thanks friend. The fact is: I was sick with a migraine, the first real one I had ever had. Nausea, blinding headache and dizziness. Silly me, I decided the best way to solve that particular problem (after writing my blog) was to drive 30 miles to Gold’s Gym and work out with my friend David. Bad idea. Hillary met me after the gym to eat lunch at the French Market in Venice. Bad idea. My reasoning was that if I could just behave as normal everything would get better.
I am sure that my migraine was actually a combination of stress, high blood pressure and depression. It followed soon after some particularly loaded conversations. After I posted my blog the comments came thick and fast. You guys were all so sweet to support and love me. The reason I write this blog? Because you are all there to read it. To understand, to reach out, to condone and condemn in equal measures.
After lunch I went back to bed and slept deeply. The phone woke me three hours later… my friends from England arrived in LA but decided to stay elsewhere. I can’t say I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t in any mood for 10 days sharing my life with English people. Laying in bed feeling so sick, the bathroom floor unwashed.
Woke up to an email from a disgruntled Malibu renter and his blousey girlfriend/fuck buddy. I knew that we would have some sort of disagreement about the return of the damage deposit. When he left the house he left it in a terrible state: broken coffee pot and coffee cups, 5 huge red wine stains on the carpet. Thankfully Jerome was with me when I checked over the house and the moron was forced to admit what he had done.
They were the sorts of tenants who couldn’t do anything for themselves and were constantly summoning me to look at things they could have fixed… like the stove top they locked by accident. As usual it is the cheap skate tenants who nickel and dime that seem to cause the most problems. On the first occasion I was asked to go to the house the tenant was so drunk he couldn’t stand up. I should have chucked him and his lady friend out there and then. I was embarrassed for him.
When they, rather amazingly, asked to come back to the house I made it so prohibitively expensive… I knew they wouldn’t be able to afford it. The letter I received from them was littered with quotes from this blog. Well, blog on this bitch! I was in no mood to deal with bullshit, no mood to be lied to or manipulated and certainly no mood to deal with a woman (not on the contract) the renter had confided in me he couldn’t wait to see the back of.
My anger toward these nasty, cheap people had the affect of shaking my headache and forcing me out of the house.
I walked briskly down Sunset. I had my hair buzzed and beard trimmed at a barbers on Ivar and began looking for appropriate BEAR WEAR as I now intend, whilst I am in NYC, to attend the Urban Bear Weekend which will be fun-exploiting my tiny celebrity for a bunch of hairy bears and their bear cub boy toys. A friend of mine suggested the Urban Bear idea as a kind of joke but it looks like a great deal of fun. This may be my future!
Now all I need is a cub to drag around by the belt loop.
Anyway, by the time I got home it was time to get dressed and head to WeHo for dinner with Spencer my very intelligent British friend. Over beef burgers and fries trying to understand the cultural DNA of the average citizen of the USA. My new theory? That the ‘puritan chromosome’ is not nearly as dominant or as influential in the American genome than the ‘wild-frontier chromosome’. That the majority of people who live in the USA came from simple European ancestors who, for their freedom, had to combat rattle snakes, bears, hostile climate, native Americans as well as their brutal own. The threat, real or imagined was always there.
Suspicious and mistrusting by nature these people believe that government is good for only two things PRISONS and THE MILITARY. White settlers distrust Obama, discrediting his empathy.
After dinner Spencer and I wandered around WeHo and met a couple of handsome cops. Handsome but dull. We wandered aimlessly back to the car and outside the Abbey some young man threw a can of vile smelling alcohol at me from a yellow school bus yelling homophobic rhetoric. The full can hit me squarely in the chest. I can still feel where it hit me on the sternum. At first in shock, I grew increasingly angry, then I buried the anger under a seething fury, quietly determined that ‘they’ can’t hurt me, that they can’t hurt me any more.
‘Drama Queen’ that I am I sank into a pit of man hating quick sand. I hated the entire crew of my Wednesday morning therapy meeting with their frat house homophobia, their cheating ways co-signed by a dodgy ‘therapist’. These men miserably attempt to patch up their sham marriages to avoid alimony and see their kids whilst yearning after mistresses, transexuals and sophomoric freedoms.
Eating cheese and pastrami with lashings of piccalilli smeared over the top. The inside of my mouth is burning. My lips are burning with desire. Not really. My lips are just bored. I am waiting for the mail to arrive so I can walk to bank and get on with the day.
I just scaled Mount Runyon with Sherpa Lil Dog, we saw two gorgeous yeti and had to: Alert! Avert! Affirm! It’s simply no good for me to gaze longingly at the perfectly honed abs of my fellow Runyon climbers.
Yesterday I realized, after chatting with a friend of mine with HIV that the average drug company will make over $2, 000, 000 out of a single person with HIV during their life time. Where is the incentive for those drug companies to educate gay men about staying negative? Anyway, I am fast realizing that the sexual health education that gay men need is nothing to do with safe sex and everything to do with self-love.
The drug companies have no compassion for gay men, no desire to educate an underclass with no real rights, who are despised by most Christian bigots and have so little respect for themselves that they routinely get infected with HIV and become another $2, 000, 000 meal ticket for big pharma.
Pharmaceutical executives must be rubbing their hands in glee when another gay man converts from positive to negative.
This has to stop. We must start educating the next generation of gay men to love themselves enough to make good sexual health choices.
I got to thinking about my friend Amanda and how we recently hit a bit of a rock. I think deep down, even though she has gay men around her to dress her, she really has no respect for gay men. For many people we are clowns who have no right to complain or behave as anything other than grotesque queens. We are, to her, useless absurdities. Her notion that it is somehow ridiculous for us to have children, for us to have politics, opinions, etc. She’s not alone; I think many people are outraged by all of that and more.
Whatever I may have written about gaybies in the past I now see gay men having children as a delicious act of rebellion. It confronts homophobia head on.
Day two of having no boy friend, even though he wasn’t actually a boy friend because he told me so. Not feeling quite as good as I felt yesterday. Wondering if I was just too eager to say goodbye. I know, deep down, that it was the right decision but I just miss talking to him. I see him out there in face book land and I want to say hi but daren’t. I just don’t want to get sucked into our weird co-dependent, obsessive love affair that has no name.
I had dinner with a friend yesterday evening but I really could not summon the energy to engage. Almost fell asleep at the table. Everything he said irritated me. That night I had more erotic dreams about you-know-who. I can only imagine having sex with him. The idea of just taking my clothes off in front of another man fills me with icy horror.
Dane came by and massaged my back until I fell asleep. I like that he blows out the candles, turns out the lights and locks the door when he leaves.
This morning went to Palisades’s men’s meeting-full of monstrous egos and bad hair plugs. One particularly vile Hollywood agent sitting smugly on his fat ass. He isn’t really fat; he’s just pudgy really, like a Rubens nude. Solid fat, not the kind of fat that squidges. Firm fat but FAT all the same. Not ‘precious’ fat. Not morbidly obese either. Just enough fat, that one thinks ‘I might catch the fat’, like a disease. Thankfully he kept his mouth shut.
I don’t know what I would do if he were brave enough to get onto an airplane and come to me. I think I might just forgive him-which is stupid as he obviously has a drug and alcohol problem. Oh FUCK!! It’s so damned hard to fall out of love when you don’t have a big bottle of whiskey to wipe the slate clean.
Party tonight, parties all weekend. Can I really be bothered? I should be mourning the loss of my non existent boyfriend.
Perhaps I should not have eaten so much cheese at the Mercantile? My grandmother Margie who died last year often warned me that too much cheese before bedtime causes nightmares.
My chest tightened. My heart beat faster. My mouth dried. I tried to sleep. I could not sleep. I could no longer employ any one of the very many coping skills I had learned during the past 13 years when the panic comes. I lay down in fear. I woke at dawn with the dawn chorus. Not birds in the palm trees outside my window but to a miserable conference of those self hating voices that used to wake me every day of my life. These episodes are so rare nowadays that when they come upon me I get very scared..terrified.
These are the lies I tell myself:
“Being in love tends to make one feel vulnerable and foolish…and, as we all know, there’s no fool like an old fool.”
“I know that I am loved. I believe it. I know that I can love. But, when more is required-what then? You got to give the man hope.”
I suddenly felt, I suddenly knew, I was being lied to. I was convinced.
I said, “I became aware. More was revealed. You can’t con a conman.”
I felt violently sick, I began to dry heave: I said out loud, “My desire for authenticity isn’t being honored.”
The voice I heard was a child’s voice. He said,
“I understand that it takes a very long time to acquaint yourself with the truth; when a lie comes so easily to your lips. When a lie is easier than the truth, when deception is in your nature then rigorous honesty is something to be feared.”
I said, “But I had had to train myself to be honest.”
When I tried to defend myself the child impersonated my very own voice.
“I am sick of making excuses. I am sick of trying to see it from the other side when my side of things is simply ignored. I am tired of supporting and encouraging and making excuses when it turns out-I am the object of deception and not affection.”
I said, “When the other changes before your very eyes?”
The child laughed out loud and wanted to know who exactly I was kidding.
“I don’t take drugs, I don’t drink, I try and tell the truth, I don’t act out sexually…therefore I never have a day off from myself. I am always here, present, in my own body. I never have an excuse for bad behavior. Ever.”
I could hear other children, laughing..at me.
“When you drink and you take drugs and you look at pornography you are taking time off from yourself. I would love to do that-take time off from myself.”
By being present 24 hours of every day for nearly 13 years I thought that I had evolved.
Remember that stuff I wrote about self-love? That the choices I made had to reflect the respect I had for myself?
The first gay men I ever saw in film were Farnsworth and his boy friend being thrown out of their high rise apartment windows, begging for their lives, by the FBI in The Man who Fell to earth. I must have been 13 years old. I watched it with Linda my house mother from school, Canterbury. She vomited on me after seeing the film.
That’s what’s going on.
So, what’s it all about?