The storm passes over Malibu, leaving clear blue skies. Catalina clearly visible on the horizon.
The garden dripping wet after the torrential rain.
The clouds were magnificent!
That’s all I can tell you. Is that all I can say?
It has been a very busy month. With more health issues on the horizon I retreat from normal living. With art as my salvation I hunker down and do what I do best.
Day by bay, unfolding before me…life delivers one delightful treat after another.
I am glad I am not them.
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.
My calves ache. Why?
It was much easier than one imagined. I walked off the mountain, leaving the dog in the house. I walked the long way down the steep Las Flores Canyon in the blazing midday sun causing blisters and bruising on both feet.
At the bottom of the hill there’s a very convenient bus stop.
What could they be possibly checking?
I liked the ride along the PCH…looking out to sea, watching cormorants bombing the waves and dolphins making their way west. Everything looked very pretty and southofranceafied.
On both trips I met a few disgruntled European tourists who were shocked by the patchy public transportation: how long everything took and general lack of information, schedules etc.
Had I not used my iPhone travel app I’m sure I would have gotten very lost. Maybe that’s what the the mental patients were checking…their route.
Surprisingly I still have a huge amount of shame around taking the bus in LA. Nowhere else do I feel it. Anywhere else it’s just the way things are.
Getting back to Malibu later that evening was miserable so I aborted the mission and caught a cab from Sunset and PCH waiting in a smelly fish restaurant called Gladstone’s until a jolly Georgian cabby picked me up. $30.
On the way home two large dogs dashed across the PCH. They were not killed but I don’t know how they survived. They survived the mad dash. Thank God. The cabby started shouting incoherently at the owner in Russian and English.
“Fuck you!” He screamed. “Fucker!”
As he dropped me off he said, “You can never depend on a man but a dog will never let you down.”
I spent yesterday morning in the garden, planning to hang this huge bronze lantern I found on the street. I need a sturdy chain and a butchers hook.
Capitalizing on my confidence surge I arranged to see my Important Producer Friend. It worked out really well. Before I leave LA/USA for good I have to achieve more than a couple of reality TV shows and a revenge novel…oh, and a beautiful garden.
Perhaps I’m being a little hard on myself.
Anyway, after a few moments of timidity I burst into the pitch with passion and verve. He wants to help. He is able to help. Real power in an illusory town. I felt safe.
Whilst I was with him it was easy to identify what has been missing these last two years.
Let’s look at the facts: I can write an interesting script, develop a great idea, direct a compelling movie. Sell it, promote it, open film festivals worldwide. I can really do that. I’ve done that with all but one of my films.
Because I’ve had the wind punched out of me I just couldn’t find the huge strength required to force the film off of the page and into the world. Perhaps I can? Now I have the energy and focus.
Walking down the mountain to the PCH rather than staying at home and weeding the garden…well, that’s the advice I would have given a good friend. Get off your ass and do the deal.
The miserable veil, today…for the past few days has lifted. Let’s see if it will last.
Watching that evocative twenty year old video enthused and invigorated me. I remembered just how much I have to be proud of. At the time I was making theatre, living an idyllic, simple life in Whitstable. Just returned from six months in Sydney, about to go to Film School, hanging with cool people, making love to beautiful men and mostly very happy.
My early thirties were great fun.
I think that’s obvious from those images.
I wondered what it would take to get back to that place. That happy place? Well, I have to think seriously about this blog. Because of you know who I kept this thing alive and by doing so I kept my connection with him alive. Like a daily letter to him.
It’s hard to imagine not writing this blog. It’s hard to let go.
The personal details that I pump daily into the world must stop. I have to get serious. This blog has become a destructive addiction, just like everything else I do compulsively.
My 500th Blog!
Such delight and disdain it has caused. Such heartache and joy! Thanks readers. Thanks.
There’s almost too much going on inside and outside of my head.
Firstly, the garden. Every day for the past few weeks I have worked in the garden. Pulling tons (literally) of weeds and leaves out of the flower beds. Reclaiming the paths. Defending the vegetables from the gophers and rabbits.
A bumper crop of plums this year!
For the first time in 4 years I managed to get to them before the birds.
The previous owner built the two huge tanks. Until last week I just hadn’t gotten around to buying the small, inexpensive pump. Absurd isn’t it?
Having this free supply of water means that I can clear part of the garden and lay turf which in any other situation would be immoral, irresponsible.
Everything in a tropical garden has spikes or thorns or needles. My hands are cut to ribbons. Robbie has been here twice this week helping me and his arms and legs, poor thing, are shredded too.
Dinner last night with Anna and Jeff at Nobu in Malibu.
Apparently I was mentioned in passing by Derek in the ‘A’ List last night. I can’t imagine that I will escape lightly from this situation. I am perfectly sure my posing as the ‘Mister Big’ will make me the laughing-stock of Gay New York.
The weather in Malibu is perfect. Hot as hell in the sun but a delicious sea breeze blowing onshore.
The crows are hunting chicks. They bombard the trees. Tiny dead chicks on the paths. So sad.
I took the picture at the head of the post last weekend at the Piette’s. Their house is soooo depressing. Even though it’s located on the lake and the twins are living there now. It’s so dark inside at night. Gloomy.
You know what? I should be getting on with something else. I should be leaping all over my novel. I should be writing the film. You know what it’s about don’t you?
Two gay men want a baby but end up with an old man instead.
This was one of the videos Charlie and I shot when we were researching our film.
Trans Alexis, The Scarlet Empress, must be in her 80’s. She was at Triangle House, a home for elderly gays and lesbians in Hollywood. Getting old is a pain in the ass for everyone but elderly gays seem to find it particularly difficult. Most of the men and women at Triangle House have endured homelessness. Old age, as they say, is not for the faint hearted.
Lesbians, apparently, don’t seem to end up so isolated but gay men do. Lesbians are often dialed into an extended family of other lesbians and are less ageist.
Anyway, I’ll write more about Alexis and our film which maybe should be a documentary.
I don’t know.
The elder gays we met were really quite wonderful. The gay men we met who had surrogate children or were going through the surrogacy process were less wonderful. Downright awful in fact.
Robby is on his way over to help me in the garden.
Is Toby right? Do I live in the past? Am I addicted to what was rather than what is or what could be? Fuck. Maybe he’s right?
Amy Winehouse is dead. It comes as no surprise. She was an out of control drug addict and alcoholic. She dies alone. She died an addict. I am sorry for her family. It is always the family that has to pick up the pieces and go on living. Amy did not choose life. She sneered at the prospect. She thought she could get away with a dance with death. She failed.
I will remember her like this:
The huge hedge of Bougainvillea that separated the house from the garden is all but gone. It has taken Robby and me two days to chop it down and cart it to the compost at the end of the drive. The house now feels as it is floating above the forest of specimen trees and succulents. Uninterrupted views all the way to the hot tub and the drive. More importantly, as one enters the garden, the full glory of this house, this post and beam gem can be fully appreciated.
On Sunday, after my AA meeting and wander around the Palisades Farmers Market, Anna popped by. We ate a particularly foul, tasteless lunch at the newly refurbished Malibu Inn (at my suggestion) and then we walked the length of the Malibu Pier which, I am ashamed to say, I have never done.
It really is very beautiful.
Nicely decorated shops and restaurants, fisherman (mostly Mexican) fishing on both sides. A seal lazily swam on it’s back looking up at us. The water around Malibu is teaming with life. Seals, Dolphins, Whales. At the end of the Malibu Pier are two elevated rooms which might be perfect for hiring. I suddenly thought that rather than have a birthday party at my house this year I would have my party there. What do you think? I didn’t celebrate last years mile stone so this is maybe a perfect opportunity and location.
Whilst in the Malibu Inn the beginning of a rather bizarre incident began to unfold. One that caused some consternation later on that evening. A rather jolly, good-looking TV. Whilst serving us he had overheard Anna and I talking about the entertainment industry. I took the number and we started texting, agreeing to meet after he had gotten off of work at 7pm. I asked if he had a car and if he could get up here or if he needed to meet on the PCH.handed me his number. A usual occurrence here in LA. Especially if one has been on
When he arrived at the house (shrouded in marine layer) we chatted for a few moments, whilst chatting he must have received at least 10 calls from his parents wanting to know where he was and when he was coming home. “Perhaps you had better go.” I said.
We continued our conversation regardless. He wanted, of course, to be an actor. An actor who wants to be in action films. He mentioned that he had thought about modeling. He is a great looking guy but, I told him, maybe a little too short for modeling. He told me that he needed money to finish his tattoo and move out of his house. He wanted to be free of his family. I sympathised and told him to work harder at Malibu Inn. When young men start talking about how much money they need I disconnect.
Then, I noticed that there was someone looking at us. A man on the terrace looking in.
I opened the door and there was a man (my age) with a friendly looking German Shepherd and asked him what he wanted. I noticed another person scurrying up the path. A woman with long black hair.
He said gruffly, “I’ve come to collect my boy.”
I demanded an explanation. He explained sheepishly, losing some of his bravado, that he was the young man’s father and rather than the young man having driven himself to the house as he had implied, his father had brought him. I suddenly felt rather set up. As if I was part of something that had been planned rather than being as spontaneous as I had first thought.
“Why didn’t you come in?” I asked him. “Rather than skulking around the garden.”
“You should conduct business meetings in your office.” He chided.
“This wasn’t a business meeting.” I snapped. “It was personal.”
I asked the young Malibu Inn man if he was OK and he nodded, his face reddened with embarrassment. I asked his ‘father’ if everything was OK.
“For the time being.” He said. The inherent threat was not lost on me.
I heard them stall their cheap car on the steep drive, spinning their tires on the damp concrete.
My next door neighbour Jerome was in so I stopped by and told him what had happened. The more I thought about it the more I realized that this may very well have been some sort of opportunistic venture on their behalf. They must have thought that being a self-proclaimed sex addict that I would ‘try’ something. Not realizing that I only really respond to sexual advances rather than initiate.
I suddenly felt quite vulnerable.
Thankfully the twins arrived home. It was a spooky night, the man emerging from the mist. The strange boy who needed $150 to finish his tattoo of a skull in the shape of a dollar sign.
Spent most of Monday taking down the last of the Bougainvillea. Breakfast on the PCH. Dinner with friends.
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.
The young twins arrived last night. Spent a couple of hours making beds and sorting where they are going to stow their things.
Because of the terrible storm I could not get up to my house until late yesterday so as I was staying over at J & J’s house. I drove with Jason to Venice through the Santa Monica Mountains. The storm has caused huge amounts of damage. Thankfully CalTrans have dealt with the worst of the mess. Did I mention that during the storm we saw 5 Pepperdine boys surfing the steep lawn on their campus. Wetsuits in the rain. Looked like fun.
I dropped Jason off at work then arranged to meet Sinatra and Hilary at Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney. After an hour and some extraordinarily expensive Rwandan blend coffee and an ‘artisan made’ orange and cranberry muffin I picked Lily up from school in Malibu and drove her home.
The logistical nightmare that is having three kids in different schools all over LA.
Found myself alone with Max, we sat at home discussing rap music. He is 13.
My stomach ached all day. A mixture of anxiety from having JB at the forefront of my thoughts once again and exhaustion from staying up all night at the Sober Living facility.
This morning I woke early and made tea for us all and set about doing long overdue desk work. All three of us are tapping away quietly on our macs. Must go buy loo roll. These boys sure get through it.
I find myself in limbo once again.
However beautiful the twins are I am discombobulated. Absent. Sad.
The heaviest rainfall Southern California has ever recorded. 8.5 ins last night.
The road to my house is impassable, strewn with boulders fallen down the mountain and smashed on the road. So…no go to the house. Thankfully, the roof was repaired exactly one day before the storm so even though my house is probably, at this very moment, sliding into the ocean…at the very least it will be dry inside.
I am staying with J and J and their lively children. Their lake overflowed and I had to wade through sewage water to my ride…where to? You may very well ask! Where would I be off to on such a rancid day?
We throw ourselves even harder into helping others when we cannot shift our stinking thinking. So, with this in my nutty mind, I volunteered as a night carer in a sober living in Malibu. Awake all night, chatting with recovering addicts.
This morning I felt loads better. A bit tired.
There is nothing better than helping those who cannot help themselves.
Look!! Loads of people searching for JB on the internet! Whatever for?
JB…dear Oh dear.
This morning I spent a few moments looking at a picture of us together and I can still remember what it feels like to kiss him. From the very first to the very last. Pity that what I was kissing was such a cunt….and not in a good way.
JB!!! What have you done to me? I felt loved and complete. I will never feel like that again. Ever. Should I feel happy to have loved or resentful that I am never likely to love again?
Today…my spirits are high. Not as high as this tide tho.
According to the CHP report two other vehicles were involved in the accident which happened at approximately 12:25 p.m February 26th 2011.
The Lexus driver lost control of the car and sideswiped Perramon’s Ferrari parked on the right shoulder.
Jean had stepped out of his vehicle because, according to the report, he thought he had hit a piece of metal. As he did so, he was instantly struck by the Lexus.
He was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The driver of the Chevy has been identified by the CHP as James Pershing Flynn, 67, of Thousand Oaks, and the driver of the Lexus as Antonio Castillo, 37, of Montebello.
“Tonya Nicole Toma, 37, of Agoura Hills, was present in Perramon’s Ferrari at the time of the accident.”
Jean introduced me to Malibu. Showed me around. I discovered the house I would end up buying with Jean. We were once very good friends…for many months inseparable. Running up and down that bloody Malibu mountain in his Ferrari, attending AA meetings all over LA.
An unwitting child prodigy, Jean began his career earning money drawing chalk pictures on the streets of Paris. His creative talents did not go unnoticed. After completing art college he was hired as an art director by the important French advertising agency Oscar Mors et Varout. This would lead to his exclusively overseeing the world-wide advertising account for L’Oreal.
He moved to the USA where he became a production designer for the Richard Williams Animation Studio, becoming one of LA’s premier digital directors and designers working with artists and animators to create eyecatching, entertaining projects for clients such as Kellogg’s Froot Loops campaign.
Incredibly successful but mortally wounded by rarely discussed childhood events.
Jean lived with his wife and elderly mother on two lots on Rambla Pacifico. His Mother doesn’t speak perfect English so I would stop the truck and natter with her in French whenever I saw her.
Jean’s Mother remains a charming local character who walks the neighbourhood waving at passing cars. Jean was forever shouting at her.
I called his wife this morning. She sounded understandably exhausted.
Forever remodeling his home. I wonder if he ever finished it? Apparently he did, the house stands as a testament to his creativity and endurance.
His struggle to overcome active addiction was legendary to anyone who knew him. I hope that he died sober.
He was one of the most tormented men I knew.
He will be at peace now.
P.S. A few months later his frail mother died in her sleep.
“The Sea! The Sea!” Thalatta! Thalatta! was the shout of joy when the roaming 10,000 Greeks saw Euxeinos Pontos (the Black Sea) from Mount Theches (Θήχης) in Armenia in the year 401.
The Egyptian people are free! I couldn’t help myself from crying with joy.
My favourite Egyptian quote of the day, “I am a free man! Thankyou Facebook!”
Yesterday was one of those packed days of meetings that I have not had for many years in Hollywood.
A Hollywood day.
Meetings, coffee, driving, meetings (agents, manager, lawyers, casting agents)…and a passion that has eluded me for years. Finding oneself in strange offices, department stores and hotels with one aim: to tell the story.
My investment in this city finally paying off.
When things get the most interesting I am least interested in writing about it.
All I can tell you: I am doing what I am meant to be doing and not living in the half-light. What more can I say?
It was EXHAUSTING.
By the time I arrived at the house it was well past 11 and I flopped into bed and fell into a deep sleep. Content. Woke at 6am as usual…bright as a button. Doing something I never usually do..I am jigging around the house listening to very loud, very happy, very HAPPY LOUD…music.
PS Am I missing sex, pornography and the like? No! I have Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels!
When Jennie and I moved into The Chateau de Fleur we did so to escape the lives we had and wanted to change when we went into rehab. For Jennie it was the beginning of a life away from being a porn performer. For me it was to escape the exquisite monotony of Malibu, the pornography, the internet hook up sites and the gruelling symptoms of sex addiction.
Amazingly, for the longest time, I steered clear of the worst of my sex addict tendencies. Until, of course, I met Jake and collapsed..once again..into active addiction. As much as I try..I cannot forgive him. I was doing so well.
I tell you, I hate him now more than anyone I have ever been wronged by. More than the vile people who ran over The Darling Big Dog and more than I ever harboured for my step-father.
Masquerading as an innocent, timid boy JB knows exactly what he is doing. I would urge anyone that gets involved with him never, ever believe a word that comes out of that mouth. His lies are not even very amusing. An amusing liar, like Leigh Bowery or Diana Vreeland can enhance a dull world but a tepid, self-serving liar like Jake can only make the mediocre a paler shade of taupe.
The only good thing that came out of his mouth was my cock.
I though I might write about the day my dog was killed in front of that building, in front of me and the little dog..but I can’t, not least because the memory of her written on the same page I write his name would sully the memory of her.
To think, he left his gf and flew to me. I tended him, looked after him, cooked for him, dabbed at his tears. I reassured him again and again that things would work out fine..and I am sure they will for the conniving little cunt.
Goodbye Hollywood. Hello New York City.
Letter from Susan:
I drove my father to the Stiperstones last Saturday – creamy golden late afternoon sunshine lighting all that hilly beauty – he was so happy. But all I could think of was the time we drove up there in his little Mini – I rammed the car off the road at a funny angle and we then draped ourselves around the seats and dashboard. Do you remember how much we laughed when people came to help and we woke up ? I still find it quite funny.
I do remember..and it was really funny.
I have complained before about owning too much stuff. Unable to throw things away. Yesterday was no exception. I moved more stuff into the Malibu house from Hollywood and find it impossible to let things go. Throw things out. Dump the junk that in some cases I have dragged twice around the world.
It amazes me that I have now sold over thirty works of art and you really would not notice the difference. Every spare space on every spare wall is covered with art.
I have just one small box of knickknacks that I have left on the drive waiting to be sold when in fact they need to be thrown away. I need that TV intervention show where kindly looking therapists gently pull ‘precious’ things away from me and throw them into a dumpster/skip. I am not, obviously, a 3rd degree hoarder but my inability to let things go one might use, at this crucial time with Jake, as a metaphor.
What’s the difference between shame and embarrassment? I am embarrassed by the things crammed into my cupboards, closets and wardrobes. Under the stairs I keep an archive of every film and theatre project I ever worked including two 35mm prints of AKA. I attempted to donate this thorough personal collection to the Outfest Film and Television Archive but at the last moment did not get around to.
I have a shelve, a rather deep shelve, in the kitchen where I have put things that I know need to be thrown away. Every time I open the cupboard door these things look at me pathetically, ‘please don’t throw us out’ they plead.
All this stuff from Hollywood fucks up the aesthetic. Cluttered, overwhelming and all the wrong colors. I am trying for less and all the time have to deal with more.
Yesterday Ashley and I cooked dinner for Frank and Stephen. Delicious. Both Frank and Stephen didn’t know what St Tropez was. I was mildly shocked. The Architect text messaged me asking, in lieu of dating, if he could be my slave. I am considering my options.
I am so happy that Ashley lives here. She brings such verve and life to the house. This Sunday she is inviting friends over for lunch, it’s going to be a great deal of fun.
Yesterday I realized that in the post Malibu Hill Billy from last December was the first time I heard from Jake. Compare the lightness and optimism of those early posts. I wish I could reclaim that mood. I will eventually.
I have a date for my operation.
The Lil’ Dog is a bit suspicious and requisitioned both his own bone and Willie’s and guarded them both jealously all day.
The Lil’ Dog knows the deal. He looks PISSED OFF as I try making Willie feel at home by having him on my lap, calling his name. The Lil Dog is and will be always my most adored dog but Willie very quickly carved a place in my heart. Within hours.
The Lil’ Dog, however, will never have the sort of relationship with Willie that he had with our Darling Big Dog.
Willie is without doubt my dog. As much as Luna was not my dog and now lives in a huge mansion in Beverly Hills with a butler and her own dog walker Willie is happy to chase around after me all day. He is watching the garden as I write. You can see how happy he is.
It is delightful how I immediately loved himand he loves me. It is wonderful to aim my unconditional love at this little dog. He accepts it without question.
I wish humans could be like this. Fucking humans.
Yesterday, a few hours before Willie arrived, I woke up in Hollywood and packed the car with more bits and pieces. I am determined not to bring everything from that place back here. More than I anticipated will be going to auction.
Anyway, I picked up with the beautiful Brazilian I met yesterday at Solar and we drove to Malibu via the 101 and up through the magnificent mountains. We had to take the back route as there was a house fire on the PCH so it was closed. Ricki Lake‘s house burned to the ground.
When we got home Ashley was pottering around, making coffee and already the house seems full again. This is how I remember Whitstable (No 13 Island Wall) when I first lived there. You see! I can reclaim the essence of what I loved about living.
As Ashley and Frank (the Brazilian) made friends I sat quietly on the back terrace and just enjoyed my home. I have not done that for a long time. There has been so much drama. So much to distract me from simple pleasures.
I spent a little time on Manhunt and made a couple of appointments for next week. Perhaps I will meet someone? Someone like Willie who is kind and loyal and intelligent? Hahhahaha.
Willie has a great deal to learn about this household. Who and what and where. We live a very active life, most days we walk four or so miles around the mountains. Everything is very new for him.
I have to get him to the vet on Monday and begin the passport process so he can come to England with me.
Left a message on MySpace for Jake. There was nothing much to say other than we were now strangers. I know that in time I will forget him entirely because I never really knew him. He was a refugee, all I had to do was help him on his way. I fell in love with an idea.
As I was sitting quietly on the terrace overlooking the ocean I wanted to counjour up a beautiful moment from our time together that I could hold onto. Just one. Something we had shared that would have made the last few months worthwhile. I could not. Every one was marred with something or other that made it feel incomplete. My spastic love affair with an idea was over long before I ever dealt the death blow.
I was kidding myself.
There ain’t no fool like an old fool. When am I going to get wise? Probably never.
Willie sort of reminds me of when I first met Jake. Adoring eyes, keeping close, shaggy hair, a clumsy gait. The difference is? I have a chance of maintaining a relationship with Willie because he will never lie to me, he won’t be looking over my shoulder for someone richer, younger, better looking etc….
Thank GOD for Willie.
Yesterday I had my fourth and fifth Manhunt dates. The first was a youngish Asian who didn’t have a car or a conversation and giggled nervously. He had been to the gym but I have no idea what he was doing there unless he goes there to eat doughnuts. He had ‘attitude’ which was amusing. He knew he was totally out of his depth. Even though we were totally incompatible he still insinuated that we should fuck. We didn’t.
Listlessly waited for the watch to arrive. The moment I left the house it arrived. I will get it on Monday.
I drove into Hollywood and packed several more boxes with essentials. I had coffee with Michael B in Solar. He can be very tricky. Met a charming Brazilian called Frank who is here with me now in Malibu helping me and Ashley with the endless moving chore.
I tidied the larder organizing the pulses, baking (flour, baking soda etc.) and cans into neat rows.
So, had dinner with Manhunt date number 5. A black man from Miami. Very intelligent, great company. Not very sexy. He too wanted to have sex. What is wrong with these people? Didn’t they read my profile? I am flattered but Christ Almighty…give a man a break!
The only man I could or would consider making anything happen with was the first man..the one I couldn’t look at in the eye.
It sure is odd living in Malibu again. As if the past 18 months in Hollywood just never happened. It has been raining and chilly all day today. The gardeners came yesterday. 8 of them buzzing around the property dealing with the last 18 months worth of growth. Today they returned to attack the larger trees and make them fire proof. Lets face it though..there are no fires imminent. This year has been British damp. Poor little dog is shivering on the sofa.
12 people for lunch yesterday. I flayed a chicken and cooked it with rosemary and lemons from the garden.
A great bunch. Lots of love. Surrounded by a great deal of unconditional love and conversation. JAR and me are about the same age and have trodden the same path for many, many years but only really met here in LA. She is possibly one of the most gorgeous women in the world. Beautiful on the outside and equally beautiful on the inside.
It was a wonderful welcome back to Malibu. Tomorrow night I am having dinner with Jenny A at SHLA. She just drove from Mexico en route to London. I am trying to fill my days with old friends. They seem to more than adequately fill the void.
I am going to Palm Springs this weekend to a gay sober convention. Meetings, meetings meetings. Trying to connect with my tribe. Then, rather annoyingly I have to go to NYC. I am REALLY not looking forward to that.
When one can peek through at the various secret paths and vistas this place becomes magical. You know, don’t you that I am putting the house on the market? I am SURE it’s going to be impossible to sell but hey, let’s try shall we?
If I can get everything here and sell the house I will then try selling everything IN the house. I wanna get out of here with one small bag of treasure and the Little Dog.
Travel light from now on. Too much stuff. Far too much STUFF. Inside and outside my head.
The best part of that insightful comment I received the other day was the advice about getting strong around my health and finances. I really have to deal with shit in those areas.
My back aches. My balls ache. My head hurts. My fingers are dry. My tummy is swollen. My eyes are sore.
Yet, I am going in the right direction. I really DO try and make a better life for myself. I am not going to drink and take drugs but sometimes I think it would be a whole heap easier. I bet I could meet a drug fucked loser in twenty seconds if I towed the line..went to gym, took drugs, drank at bars.
That was a joke everybody!
Just a joke.
Jason and Hillary, quite separately, popped by and both brought lunch. Hillary arrived with a friend’s dog called Willy who decided to pee on everything the moment he came indoors.
Hillary made a delicious gazpacho and Jason brough chevre and smoked salmon. Three mad brits eating an Enid Blyton lunch in our tree house over looking the ocean.
I ate bread which I bitterly regret having eaten today. I am bloated and my tummy aches.
The house after dark can be a little noisy. I lay in the dark listening to the raccoons squabble, the coyote’s howl and the owls hoot. The little dog had a restless night, so, of course did I. He was up and down the stairs shouting at anything that disturbed him. After an hour of this nonsense I closed the windows and he slept peacefully.
It was meant to be in the 100’s all week but by last night in Malibu it was colder than Whitstable. I am sure the firemen are very happy as there have been so few wild-fire warnings. Everything is very damp in the morning from the thick mist that rolls off the sea.
Jason left and Hillary and I decided to take the dogs for a long walk along the length of the new road (Rambla Pacifico) that leads to the PCH. The house is now walkable from the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and since they started building the Rambla Pacifico extension empty lots are now for sale, lot owners who abandoned their lots 26 years ago are on the mountain with contractors discussing driveways and bedrooms with ocean views. There is a certain excitement up here which cannot be ignored.
I applaud myself for paying so little for this house. I just KNEW that one day the road would be built..who knew that it would be so soon?
Apparently I am not the only resident who regularly walks the muddy track which will one day be our new road/life line. We saw a man armed with shopping bags marching over the hillocks. Everyone is so impatient to feel less isolated.
It is only a few weeks until the rainy season starts so they must get a move on and finish this project. The worst that could happen is that heavy rains come before it is finished and all their hard work is washed away.
If only Malibu would buy the road so it can be used by everyone rather than a select few.
Watched TV until midnight…yes there is a TV here and fell into bed. I watch home improvement shows and laugh gently at how cheap and ill-conceived the ‘improvements’ are.
The Lil Dog was exhausted from running after Willy all day and his long walk but not, apparently, exhausted enough.
P.S. The despicable Glenn Beck is holding his reclaim America from anyone who isn’t white rally today in Washington. For those of you who underestimate the ambition of people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin I urge you to take notice of their message. They are determined to undermine the goodwill and inclusive character of this great country and, my friends, they will succeed just like their right-wing predecessors. They will use all the usual tactics: fear mongering, false patriotism and the invocation of their malevolent God. These men and women are not clowns, we cannot afford to grandly sneer at their absurd antics. For as the liberal elite laugh in their grotesque faces they are gathering speed. If we are not very careful it will be soon too late for those of us who believe in freedom to stop them for we were too busy laughing.
We say that to each other in the UK all the time. It doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just the way we check in with each other. I check in with you and you check in with me. Even if I am not OK I thank you for asking.
When I taught him, the companion, what it meant he played at asking me if I was OK but the effect was still the same. I felt good, checked in with, placated.
Americans, when you ask them if they are OK, worry that something looks wrong with them. It worries them, disrupts their day.
So, don’t ask an American if he/she is OK unless you think that there is something wrong. You’ll do more harm than good.
It’s Monday morning. I have just been to therapy.
The weekend was a delicious blend of fun, laughter and me feeling better than I have for 8 months. I am just so happy. Happy doesn’t necessarily mean well-behaved. I have been delightfully rude.
Ivan Massow is in town, such an unpleasant man who was the ‘source’ in the Caroline Roux article about me for the Guardian. The source who was too scared to be openly vicious about me. Anyway, there he was yesterday having lunch, slimeing all over my straight friend Ben. Who in their right mind gave that man the ICA to run? WHO in their right mind thought he should stand as Mayor of London? Crazy!
Anyway, supposedly he is sober so I am trying not to hate him too much.
Thankfully he is losing his looks.
Saturday spent nearly all day in Malibu. Lunch in the Lumber Yard with Jon Aubry. I went to bed early Saturday night.
Breakfast on Sunday with Will and his dog Rocco. Stephen popped by at about 11 and then lunch with Sharon Swart. Delightful. She attended a flower arranging class and brought to lunch a huge bouquet of roses and hydrangea.
Sunday night Michael and I went to a party in Silverlake. There was a performance piece for us to watch. Three 10 minute sections of a larger work about a man accused of burning down his house and killing his daughters. The first part was indecipherable. The second and third part, although messy, were much better and had good, strong ideas. The director asked what I thought..so I told him. Bad idea. Nobody wants to hear the truth.
We were meant to meet Jamie Lee Curtis after that party but we did not.
Taka came by late on Sunday. He is a funny one. Editor, Japanese..chatty.
Oh, before I forget..the new Malibu renters arrived on Saturday and are very happy in the house. They are the SWEETEST people from the UK who loved the house the moment they stepped through the door and from whom I have not heard since..no news is GREAT news as far as renters are concerned.
I made a ‘to do’ list for Monday that includes all the boring stuff I have been putting off for weeks but essential if I am going to stay on top of things.
I went to therapy on Saturday morning and shared my good news. My only worry about therapy is that I am surrounded by so many miserable, desperate men.
It’s now Monday morning and I am positioned at my ‘desk’ at SHLA. Papers and briefcase open and ready for action. My list of things ‘to do’ is already half eaten. THICK lines scored through the things already done.
Listen, I have no idea why I am so happy but one thing is for sure..it has nothing to do with anyone else. In fact, I was briefly annoyed by the actions of the other last night but after a few seconds ceased to be. There was a time in the very recent past when the other could ruin my entire evening by being snippy. Not anymore.
Whenever one has a meaningful relationship one tends to ignore when things don’t add up. Denial gluing disparate parts of one story into something believable.
I am not annoyed with him..a little disappointed in me.
Disappointed that I have been so desperate to make our relationship work. Just writing that down makes me feel sick. That I would have done anything to make another man love, want and care for me. For the past 8 months I have devoted my time, energy, love and money to a stranger who bust his way into my life after seeing me on TV. It is a testament to my own low self-esteem just how much I was prepared to ignore in order to feel loved.
I am grateful that I fell in love and really got to know a man, be seen by another man. You may think that I have been foolish but in fact the last few months have been some of the best of my whole life. I miss him. I do. But what I miss doesn’t really exist. I miss being cared about, thought about, fantasized about, included and lastly, but most importantly, I miss being loved.
Every decision I made these past few months has been inspired by my love for him. Consequently I now have to make decisions based on my needs, my desires and my career.
I have vowed not to work out our stuff here in my blog so I won’t.
All you, my readers, need to know is that I am ok..are you ok?
My apartment looks like an art gallery, paintings neatly stacked and waiting to be sold. Everything here is for sale. I am slowly getting ready to move back to Malibu and all that entails. As I have written previously, my pack rat collection of more stuff is getting me down. It all needs to be sold.
Last night I decided that I couldn’t see Mr. Darling NYC ever again, that it was doing me in. Yet, for all the hopelessness there is still an unavoidable truth-we love each other. What am I meant to do? Just walk away from what may very well be the best thing to ever happen to me?
I am prepared to wake up alone every morning until he can wake up with me. I loathe waking up alone, alone is not good for a man who obviously has so much to offer.
I long to try something I’ve never had..lover man oh where can you be?
We both have so much.
Up until now I craved a companion on my terms. After our conversation today I now crave a lover on our terms. As he was quick to point out-this is not just about Duncan Roy. My beautiful boy has feelings too, feelings that until today I was ill prepared for.
HE DOESN’T WANT TO MOVE TO LA.
So what of Malibu? I would move anywhere if it meant we could be together. I looked online at houses in Upstate New York, London and Paris. After our long and emotional conversation I understood just how selfish I had become. Yet, sometimes you just have to go with your heart.
This morning, after writing yesterday’s sensible blog, I woke up alone and angry. Angry with him, angry that our fragile love affair could be so easily tossed aside, unless of course I fully appreciated his situation. I shouted at him. He burst into tears.
He is lost and terrified of loneliness. And that description could so easily be mine.
His wracked, desperate sobs silenced and shamed me.
After he tearfully described his fears I knew that things were not as simple or solvable as I had kidded myself. The thrill of romance will not solve this problem. Resolve, strength and patience on my part may be all I can offer him.
I prayed for guidance this morning. God can and will set me straight. Even if it can’t keep him..straight.
I love a married man. A married man loves me. Send in the fucking clowns.
I read a really great blog called Love in The Time of Foreclosure. The blog charts the ups and downs of a couple facing the loss of their house and staying in love. Adversity, so it seems, keeps people fighting for what they believe in.
It’s odd how much one can learn about oneself when love is at stake. I have not really been in love since Matt and I broke up 10 years ago. The sort of love that makes one desirously wild with anticipation. Delirious. Desirous.
Listening to him cry made me love him more. After all, when one is craving authenticity to hear another man cry is as about as authentic as it gets.
I usually write my blogs when I get up in the morning. I breach the surface of the new day with a description of the previous day but this evening I am sitting at home with The Little Dog listening to old tunes and eating Swiss chocolate. Somehow, my darling man crying has settled something deep within me.
All of me, why not take all of me, can’t you see I’m no good without you. Take my lips I want to lose them, take my arms; I’ll never use them. Your goodbye left me with eyes that cry. How can I go on my dear without you?
My ambition this year is to make the house in Malibu fully self-supporting.
I bought the Malibu house two years ago after selling the property I had owned in Whitstable for nearly thirty years.
The Whitstable house was a slim, 1880’s, three floored, terrace. Clad in white ship-lap it looked over the Swale and I would sit on my wide, all weather balcony watching the sea crawl over the long, shallow beach. Sea Gulls wheeling over the ocean, huge cargo boats on the horizon.
The Malibu house could not be any different. Built in 1972 the house was originally one large family home but had been divided into two apartments in the mid 80’s.
Frankly, it was the ugliest house I had ever seen: Big Sur interior meets Scandinavian sauna. Acres of dark wood, bad carpet, virulent yellow paint and stained glass windows. When I moved in I threw away thirty clinking clanking wind chimes. The downstairs apartment, where I originally moved, was beautifully proportioned and very cozy but upstairs, where I now live, had towering ceilings and mahogany Shindleresq detailing.
By far the most beautiful aspect to the house was the view over the Pacific. I traded cargo ships for schooners and sea gulls for pelicans. In February, every year, the great hump back whale migrates across my view.
The house is either ‘wonderfully isolated’ or ‘terribly isolated’ depending on who you have visiting. It was made more isolated in 1984 when a portion of Rambla Pacifico, the road that leads directly to my house, was destroyed in a landslide cutting off hundreds of people from their homes-mine included. Thankfully, this April, the road will be rebuilt after 26 years. So, instead of a 7 minute drive through the Santa Monica Mountains from the Pacific Coast Highway it will take two minutes.
Why, you may ask, did you buy the house in the first place? Well, the house may have been ugly and isolated with no direct road from the PCH but the three acres of garden was an oasis beyond description. The moment I stepped into that garden I realized that I would have to buy the house.
A long drive, planted with palms and lavender and fruit trees, leads past a deep fish pond to a wide granite path weaving through grandly planned terraces stepping from the top to the bottom of the property. Under a canopy of Brazilian orchid trees the paths are dappled with sunlight.
In the spring, after the heavy rains, waterfalls gush down rough-hewn gullies and then a miracle happens the arid mountain is transformed, becomes lush with wild flowers and green grass.
There are fruit trees planted all over the property and my first year in the house I harvested bananas, plums, grapefruit, figs, lemons, mangoes, guava, oranges, nectarines, peaches, walnuts and tangerines.
There are foxes, coyote, deer and bob-cats. There are hummingbirds, hawks, and quail. At night huge white owls feast on gophers and field mice.
I pride myself on knowing the names of trees and shrubs where ever I live. I could tell you the name of every species that makes up an English hedgerow. I knew nothing of native Californian flora and fauna so I threw myself into learning what was what in my new garden. I found Rye, Coast Live Oak, Black Live Oak, Baby Blue Eyes, Morning Glory Wild Lupins and California Poppy to name but a few.
With my possessions arriving from Whitstable I had to make upstairs livable.
The first great simplification! I painted everything in the huge, upper apartment a pale cream, covered up the stained glass windows, painted the kitchen cupboards a pale blue-gray and one accent wall a Sottsass pink. I hired migrant workers and planted empty parts of the garden with native grasses and drought resistant cactus and the like.
My furniture arrived from London and seemed to suit it’s new home.
My friend Maury Rubin who owns the legendary City Bakery in New York moved into the apartment below and I got hooked to the Internet and the parameters of my Malibu estate.
Today, instead of abandoning Malibu I have decided to move back into my home to enact the second part of this Californian story of how the west was won and hopefully I can take you all along with me.
My intention is this: to get off the grid, to be fully self-supporting, to grow vegetables and graze goats on the property. I want chickens and a pig. I want more than fancy fruit. I want tomatoes and onions for chutney and green vegetables to keep me moving. This year will be the year of the great growing and cooking experiment and we’ll throw some personal drama into the pot no doubt-but this year is about growth of the natural and the personal kind and it will all begin on January 1st 2010.
I am quite sure there is a community of market gardeners and goat owners only moments from my house and to whom I am going to reach out and make this dream come true.
I have no idea if I am even allowed to do any of this-or what laws I may break or if any or all of this is possible but that’s what this new blog is for: to bring you along as my trials and tribulations unfold. I know that you’ll help me, you’ve helped thus far. Let’s have another adventure shall we?