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…
Is everything hunky dory?
It better be.
Fern asked how I spent my days and I was hard pressed for an answer. I didn’t have an answer for her.
I collect coupons. I should have said that I collect coupons and write yelp reviews about coffee shop loyalty. I should have said that I tinker with my script and have long conversations with my expensive, world-renowned lawyers about THE LAWSUIT.
I should have told her about the house I want to buy upstate. I should have told her that I dream most of the day and that’s ok.
That my day is full of dreaming and dreaming and dreaming and that’s okay.
I should have replied that I have long lunches with beautiful men that I meet in AA.
I should have told her that I found this piece by Robert Indiana.
I should have said that I go stay in The Hamptons with show girls and equity trading billionaires. Billionaires who say things like, “I saw them at Frieze and I bought all of them.” Showgirls who, knowing someone else is paying, fills up the super market cart with pies and cream and cookies. Knowing that someone else is paying.
I should have told Fern that for the past month I have been seeing this man/boy who makes me laugh so hard I nearly pee myself. That we dress up and take pictures of each other.
We have been hanging out in bars with models and freaks and transsexuals. We have been exploring Williamsburg. We have been to book launches and fancy lunches.
Michael Costiff had a book signing at the Marc Jacobs book store on Bleecker St. There was an after party at the Soho Grand.
Diego arrived from Paris and we ate lunch with Hamish in The Gramercy Park Hotel.
I should have told her that I met Orlando Soria who is a dream and has a huge, winning smile and writes a fantastic blog that you can read here.
My friends from New Jersey supported a young artist so I took Ryan. Ryan comes everywhere. Like a sweet puppy.
Philomena, starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, is the story of a teenage girl who gets pregnant, is sent away to a convent to have her baby. The baby is consequently sold to rich Americans. It is a gut wrenching film. I cried nearly all the way through. Fern stayed dry-eyed throughout. I thought about my own mother and remembered that this was her story too. Teenage pregnancy, sent away to a local convent to scrub floors until I was born into a pool of blood and shame.
After the film we sat 30 floors above Manhattan in a bar called The Skylark. I met Sophie Kennedy Clark the girl who plays the young Philomena Lee. We smoked rolled cigarettes on the terrace and she explained that Vivienne Westwood had dressed her. That Vivienne had told her to take a pair of scissors to the dress if she needed or wanted to.
I met Philomena Lee and told her about my mother. She held my hand.
It is a black day for the international LGBTQ community.
He is presently kept alive by a tangle of opalescent tubes.
In Russia activists are targeted by government sponsored bullies.
In London intellectuals are beaten to the ground by members of the EDL.
Trans people are murdered every day all over the world, often without investigation.
Have you heard? There is, amongst the general population, a perceived inevitability about LGBTQ equality.
Some amongst us are becoming complacent. Bloated on the success we think we have.
Basking in the support we think we get from the President. In fact we are silenced by him.
His words over deeds have silenced us.
We must speak up. Continue to challenge. Continue to be seen.
We must not shirk our responsibility to queer martyrs like Clément Méric.
Speak up. Heckle.
I congratulate Ellen. Finally, a voice for the queer poor heard over the screaming voices of the queer rich.
Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.
Remember. As we strive for parity there will be those with equal and opposite views.
There will be violence.
There will be those who will kill an 18-year-old queer boy because they can.
The women’s movement of the 1920s, side-tracked for a generation until the 1960s, with so many needlessly broken lives and life expectations as a result.
Queer people are being attacked all over the world: Paris, Moscow, New York, London by increasingly emboldened haters.
As we demand equality in the workplace, the home and in the establishment these attacks will become more frequent.
We must, whether we like it or not, form a true LGBTQ alliance not only in name but in practice.
It is too late for fear to drive us into the shadows. We are out. We are visible.
We need to be more fearless and more visible.
This means YOU.
This means ME.
Reading about Clément Méric this morning, looking at his sweet, boyish profile… I began to question my own behavior.
I have, of late, let resentment toward the gays shape my own kind of homophobia.
For those of you who have read my blog these past couple of years the provenance of this loathing may seem understandable.
Today, I need to jettison those resentments.
If I truly believe in this fight… I have to accept those I detest as my queer brothers and sisters.
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.
This morning Robby picked me up from the house and drove me to Van Nuys.
The handsome deputy in the court room gives me a cheery wave, the clerk courteously holds open the door and even the wicked witch looks softer… more agreeable.
She’s only doing her job. I can’t be too hard on her.
After our short stint in the court we had coffee with my lawyer who is, it turns out, covered in tattoos.
Since 1984 I have been regularly tested for HIV. Since I was Robby’s age.
It has always been a fearful time for me. I’m sure it is for everyone.
I was given the wrong diagnosis in my mid thirties. A confused New York nurse told me I was HIV positive. For three weeks I thought I had it. Until I fled to London and the doctor told me I was perfectly ok.
In those days an HIV positive result meant certain death. The kind of death that included cancerous lesions inside and out. Opportunistic diseases caught from potted plants, cats and canaries. Dramatic weight loss and the most painful end.
Now, of course, HIV just means being wedded to big pharma for the rest of your life, a huge liver and for most people… a new closet to live in.
It occurred to me, as I sat waiting for my result, how I would tell you all if I had contracted HIV.
I live a public life. I am sure that the shame I have heard others talk and write about would envelop me too.
But, as I sat there I decided to tweet the fact that I was there and what I was waiting for. I gave myself no option but to come out and tell you… if I was HIV positive. I knew it wouldn’t be like telling you I had cancer.
I asked the counsellor what would happen if I was HIV Positive? He gave me the medical facts. It didn’t seem that bad. But we all know: it’s not the medical implications… it’s the social implication that packs the negative punch.
In the gay community there is huge prejudice around HIV and AIDS. The frank discussion we need to have about HIV is not being had.
After he read the result I looked obviously shocked. I really did not expect to be negative. In fact, I rather thought I might be seriously ill.
“Why?” He asked.
Because, and it grieves me to tell you this but after JB and I saw each other that last time… I had no way of drowning my fury so I trawled the internet and transformed from the ‘curious top’ to the ‘pig bottom’.
The pig bottom who wants to be fed. I think you know what I mean.
“Just cum in me.” I said. They were very eager to please.
“It was a suicide bid. The only one I knew would work. I hated him so much…”
“Did you hate him? Or you?” The counsellor asked kindly.
I smiled wryly. “I’m still HIV negative.”
“You dodged the bullet.”
You see, I have never been like most gay men… craving sex many times a day. I have never visited a bath house or a cruising park. I rarely meet the men I speak with on-line. I am not like you. I tried it once… not so long ago and it made me feel sick.
Pre bug chasing… I didn’t want to have sex with someone I didn’t know. It kept me negative. I wasn’t about to be shamed into having sex with anyone.
When I was a kid, men would invite me into their homes. The mere acceptance of a cup of tea somehow meant agreeing to full on butt sex.
They try to shame you. Get angry with you… but I fought back. Fuck off. I’m leaving. It saved my life.
Now the youngsters who get HIV are similarly shamed. My friend told me (he’s 24) that a guy he really wanted told him they had to fuck ‘raw’ (unprotected)… when my friend protested his amour said, “What? Don’t you believe me? I’m HIV negative.”
He wasn’t. Now… nor is my friend.
Are we kidding ourselves when we say that we are having protected sex?
There’s outrage because Paris Hilton is disgusted by Grindr. She’s right. We should all be disgusted. My women friends say, “There should be a Grindr for straight people.”
I tell them that a usual Grindr introduction consists of one word: Hung? Then: Clean? Then: Dick Pic?
Women are usually appalled when I tell them the way gay men cut to the chase.
I’m happy that I am HIV negative. I’m happier that my death wish has been thwarted. I’m happier still that all that hate and self hate came to nothing.
Writing my film has had a wonderfully cathartic effect on me. He is just a distant memory.
Even though I see him daily on the page he now exists as I want him to. Suffer and thrive the way I want him to… without ever having to suffer myself.
Today… today was a good day to be HIV negative.
1. Phil bought me a string of Baroque pearls for my 26th birthday. They vanished. As Coco Chanel lay dying on the Rue Cambon in 1971, her friends stole the jewelery she was wearing from her fingers and from around her neck. The same happened to Barbara Hutton the Woolworth heiress.
2. What does it feel like when one assumes that someone they loved is dead and gone and then they reappear? What changes, adjustments have to me made? When one has already grieved. The shock of the living far outweighs the shock of the dead.
3. I did not sleep last night. The demons were upon me. Yet, I would describe myself as happy.
4. I wear dark glasses. I am reading the Martin Kippenberger biography.
5. It is so cold at night I fear the succulents will die.
7. I am optimistic.
8. Stringing together the visual DNA on my blog. I find myself abruptly halted. How can one leap from a formal portrait of a disgraced Duchess to snowy Stonehenge? What is the connection? Either the Duchess goes or I’m stuck.
9. The final act of my film needs rewriting. Truth is stranger than fiction.
10. Not sleeping has a powerful effect on my libido. I have unwanted erections.
The weeks and the months pass by.
Since my release from the county jail, life has become…tranquil…passes effortlessly…with relative ease.
I imagine this is what Percocet feels like?
I have settled back into my life but scarcely write about it.
The twins are living here with their friend Kevin. They move out on the 26th. We cook, we prepare good food. We eat at the table, we use the linen napkins before they are packed up or sold.
They drink red wine from crystal glasses they have no idea are as valuable as they are.
I know that these formal dinners are at odds not just with these youth but with all youth.
I am trapped in another universe, insensitive to their discomfort. They have no use for anything I know.
I am not sad. All I have to do is re-imagine life in jail and I am delivered from self-pity.
I have tried going back to AA but I’ve no stomach for it, nor the people. I am done with AA in LA. It’s over. Over.
Occasionally I have to go back to court and they hand me more papers to add to the huge stack I already have on my desk.
You can feel that neither the judge nor the DA has the enthusiasm for the case now I am not incarcerated.
Certainly, with the serious press and the ACLU in pursuit of answers re. my illegal incarceration and with a huge law suit in the offing…I can’t imagine that it’s party time at the DA’s office when they mention my name.
Anne Marie the special DA looked positively miserable when we saw her yesterday. Her hair looked good tho. Nicely quaffed and bouncy.
She was wearing a very chic black, cashmere coat belted at the waist with dramatic lapels and long hem line.
I was a bit hard on her in earlier blogs. She is prettier than Michelle Bachman.
I am most eager to go to court. To clear my name. To start the law suit against the realtor who started all this mess.
I am not allowed to sue him whilst we are in this criminal tangle. That’s the law…apparently.
Yet, even that may be taken out of my hands by HSBC, my lender.
The twins birthday on Monday. They will be 22 years old. Remember last year? How they bounced down stairs in the morning and sang Dave Mathews songs?
I met Miles when he was 19.
Robby has fallen for someone and my surrogate child spends nights on end away from the house with his new love.
I want him to be safe, he looks at me like I’m an idiot when I remind him to be true to himself.
Watching Robby grow into a fully formed young man, the young man he wants to be…not who I want him to be.
He reminds me of another young man who liberated himself from the closet not so long ago. Before my very eyes.
There are so many similarities. Robby and Jake. But the outcomes are so different.
Again, I play over those past events. The events of that doomed love affair. Wishing I had done things differently. Wishing I could have helped rather than hindered.
The death of love.
Mostly, as Robby reveals who he is, I have the same feeling I had when Jake came out. That he shouldn’t be betrayed, that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I made.
It was so hard to let him go.
He was tortured by self doubt. Guilt.
Sometime, I wish I could call him and listen to his voice, listen to his loves and losses. How he has evolved.
Then, seconds later, I know that I don’t want to hear anything. That it would still be too painful. Isn’t that absurd?
We are strangers. We are strangers. We will remain forever…strangers.
If I had lived in NYC when I was seeing him things would have been different. We both needed continuity. The goodbyes destroyed me. Every time he said goodbye. I was bereft.
Well, that was then…but even so, just writing about him again…my whole body ached. He was consuming and passionate and never mine to have.
Meanwhile on twitter Roseanne and I have been publicly sharing our philosophies and mutual revulsion of the way things are. Two old people meeting in the virtual town square putting the world back together the way we think it should be.
I like Roseanne.
Sunday morning, children all over the bed. Asking questions. They want to know everything. Inquisitive little things. The sun is bright and warm. My hostess is making blueberry pancakes and coffee.
Lily, their youngest, had dreams about heaven and hell. Hell had something to do with a supermarket. She said, “There were people in hell who shouldn’t have been there.” Which was a very astute observation for a 9 year old girl.
She’s Jewish, Jews don’t believe in heaven or hell.
The Little Dog is confused. He’s a one man dog. He’s been with J and J these past few months so his loyalty, understandably, shifted. We are re-orientating him. He slept with me last night. Hung out at the house yesterday. He lay on his bed as we toiled in the garden.
Robby and I spent the day doing errands. I have my phone! The garden is tidy! The house is returned to normal! The art is back on the walls! Lost things have been found! There is food in the fridge! The dog is happy!
Saw Safe House at the Malibu cinema with Robby, bumped into AA folk. The film was ok but had one huge and unforgivable plot flaw.
Before the film we wandered down Cross Creek. Wondering at the night. The cold, damp breeze on my face.
Robby is the only person I tell everything. He has seen me vulnerable and survived. Not like Jennie and the others. No room! No room!
Last night we watched September Issue. Anna Wintour really is an extraordinary woman. She is also incredibly generous. You know, don’t you, that she lent us her NYC house when we made Dorian Gray. Hamish, I wish we had seen more of him. I remember meeting Grace with Patrick Kinmonth when they worked at Vogue in London and again, rather obscurely at a house in North Wales years later. She stole the show.
God, Andre Leon Talley is such a twat. The least interesting character in the film…just because he tries so hard to be fabulous. Inauthentic. I knew him when I lived in Paris, we met at Karl Lagerfeld‘s house when Karl lived on the Rue de la Universite in the early 80’s. Gerard Falconetti and I stopped by unannounced.
Falconetti’s brilliant grandmother Maria played Jean d’Arc in The Passion when she was 19 years old.
For some reason I remember touching Andre’s face, his skin was cold and soft. Like an old handbag.
Gerard was a generous, extraordinary friend. He played Montserrat Caballe singing Tosca when I was sick with flu, he lifted my spirits with delicate macaroons from Carette. He showed me the Paris I would later show those who have never been. The secret places we all need to know when we discover a city for the first time.
I have, somewhere, a note Karl sent Gerard referencing his grandmother.
That was then this is now…
I have a million things to do. A great deal of catching up and making good.
I promised to write about being arrested. Well, I will…but after conversations yesterday with my journalist brethren I’ll let them do the reporting and I’ll take a rest. There’s still so much to tell you.
As you may know this entire being arrested thang was to do with this very blog. What can or cannot be said.
Meanwhile on another part of the internet…you simply have to check out what is being said about me by identifiable enemies: an ex-employee calling me a sadist, a gross individual from Province Town who attempted to malign me last summer, some cretin accusing me of killing my own dog…these people are wrought with life affecting, overwhelming resentment. It is so extreme it makes me laugh.
Baying for blood. Send him back to jail! Throw away the key! If only, in some way, they could find a way of getting me locked up for ever…the death sentence even?
I am chuckling to myself.
Chris Lewis of Sydney Australia thinks I want your sympathy. If I looked like Chris Lewis I would want your sympathy. Even when he was young he was ugly. You know very well that I report as I see…as truthfully as I am able. It is my unalienable right to do so. I don’t want sympathy. I need your support. Those of you who have stood by me, my God! I never expected such amazing gifts.
Marilyn Monroe, of all people, said that for every fan excited to see her there were 10 enemies waiting to bring her down. Being hated is an occupational hazard for those of us who do not live in the shadows. If you think what people write about me is outrageous…try being Rachal Maddow.
Somebody called from the jail yesterday, he is as well as can be expected. How quickly one forgets. Yet…you know me. The lure of the uniform…the smell of ruminating men…ransacked sexual fantasies.
Do you know what a Nonce is? It’s a slang word for a child molester. I taught the men in my dorm at Men’s County Jail this very English word. By the time I left they were calling each other Nonce, it was quite inappropriate…but very funny.
By the way, I didn’t get any Christmas cards whilst I was at the jail, I thought you didn’t care! I now know that many of you sent cards and letters of support. Apparently, they were all returned as having inappropriate content. What were you sending me?
One’s body is weakened by three months of inactivity. Working in the garden was exhausting yesterday.
Thank God for Robby.
As I lay here, at what ever time during that constant night…the ghosts of Wilde and Cocteau, Rimbaud and Verlaine come to me. The fragrant, aromatic smoke he blows to me through the tiny hove carved between cells. The great poet cries, “Hard labour!” And all…for love.
A famous passage from the Ballad of Reading Gaol:
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard.
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
The line is a nod to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, when Bassanio asks, “Do all men kill the things they do not love?”
A passage from the poem was chosen as the epitaph on Wilde’s tomb.
And alien tears will fill for him,
Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.
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.
It’s 4am and I can’t sleep. My head is full up with doubt and death, my heart remains broken. I don’t think it will ever be fixed. It was herculean, the task of keeping what I thought was worth fighting for.
How long does convalescence take?
There are solutions to deal with this…like prayer…but it’s not always easy to get the path cleared sufficiently.
Yep, after a week of gardening, path clearing…well…the path in my head that leads to clarity and peace of mind is still cluttered.
I had dinner with Toby on Saturday night and he asked if I had any desire to go to places I hadn’t already been and the answer is no. I don’t want to visit anywhere I don’t already know.
Who isn’t shocked by the angry white man who murdered all those people in Norway? I am not often shocked. Angry white men who can’t bear the way the world is changing. Turning on his own to make a point. What’s the point?
I have a painful bite on the back of my head. Mosquito I hope. Itchy.
The A List airs today. Why did I get involved? I know why. Part of my Jake madness. Making so many bad choices. Then I saw Midnight in Paris, it’s a sweet film. Charming. Going to Paris with a man you think you love only to find out you can’t stand each other.
I wish him well.
I began to have the same feelings for somebody else recently. Banished them. I will not go through anything remotely like the misery of the past year. I can’t.
Then I thought about the film Charlie and I started writing. My idea, he developed it. Neither of us had the stamina to complete it.
It was a beautiful idea.
I am going to write the research this week. Let you know what we saw, who we met.
I may try sleeping more. Crawl back into bed.
I am flying to LA today. My work here is done. I will be in LA for the rest of the summer. There are tomatoes to look after. Twins to tend. Well, not all the summer…I’ll be back.
I am going to have a dinner for my actual birthday next week.
Yesterday I returned to the city from Fire Island. I woke at 7am and after my rather wonderful encounter with Neil we cleaned the house, made breakfast and fought our way to the ferry through the invading drag queens. Do you know about this Fire Island tradition? Every Independence Day the trannys of Cherry Grove invade The Pines.
That’s it really. A bunch of trannys get on a huge boat, one full ferry boat after another, land in The Pines and start drinking…and drinking. During all the years I lived on Fire Island with Joe I only ever saw the Invasion once and that was as I was leaving on a ferry for higher ground.
FJ invited me to his apartment to see the fireworks but we decided to walk to the river with the people and watch what turned out to be a remarkable display. Bumped into various friends including Alexei Muniak from LA. Ate middle eastern food and chocolate.
I really wanted to see the fireworks. Last July 4th Jake and me were flying over the very same fireworks on our way to Paris. I remember quite clearly being very fearful. Before we left I sat him down and told him how worried I was that when we came back I would miss him badly. I was really scared. He said, “We’ll deal with that then.”
We never dealt with it. It festers in me to this day. In September I return to the city and we will yet again face each other in court.
Is this the way he ‘deals’ with things?
Dawn. Crows cawing. Dawn chorus.
There is so much dew it looks and smells as there has been heavy rain. I spend an hour every morning watering whatever I can from the path at the top of the house. I enjoy this.
There are so many snails.
Had lunch in Hollywood yesterday with a writer. Actually, we didn’t eat lunch. I drank some iced tea. Met the man who owns Mama Shelter in Paris. I have known him for years but I just didn’t know that he owned that hotel. You know we stayed there don’t you? This time last year.
How can I spend so much time wishing away the past?
Long conversation with a man in Sonoma who makes chicken coops. They are expensive but look great.
Jennifer bought fresh garbanzo beans which seem like they might be easy to grow in my garden. The melons are growing. The black tomatoes are doing well. Something ate the pumpkin seedlings. The lemon trees, after the wet winter, are laden with fruit. There are figs and plums and ruby grapefruit.
There are roses blooming all over the property.
What else can I tell you? I write my novel as per suggestion. It gets better and better. Perhaps I get better? It started as one thing and already, with a little intelligent coaxing, is evolving into something quite different. It started with vengeful intentions. Now it is getting funny. It started with a view to kill. Now it embraces the will to live. These are not my ideas.
I would prefer my original plan.
I have just a few weeks to finish writing The Scarlett Empress. It is by far the most commercial thing I have ever written. It is helping me though. Helping me think in a different sort of way.
The more I write the other stuff…the less I want to write this. Yet, this spurs me into action.
Three days until the ‘NYC on Sunday.Adventure’. The Dane arrives from
Becoming a Pilgrim. You’ll enjoy reading about it. I have had to keep the plan a big secret. I don’t want anyone ruining it.
The twins are running around the house in their boxers.
Pains in chest and arm. Balls ache once again. Nasty cough.
Yesterday we went for a long hike though the Malibu Canyon State Park.
Beautiful wild flowers. The Little Dog in 7th heaven. Drove home via the Malibu Farmers Market and prepared fresh chard for dinner. Bought delicious goats cheese flavoured with lavender. Made dinner for three of us then slept FITFULLY as the dog was up and down the stairs all night barking at wildlife in the garden.
Saw Chris Cortazzo the local, gay celebrity realtor wearing jeans that were far too tight for a man of his shape and disposition.
Did you know that I am the eldest of 11 (maybe 12) children shared between my Mother who had my half brothers Stuart and Martin and my errant father Kuros Khazaei who had 8 or 9 further half brothers and sisters with 4 or 5 other women depending on which story you believe.
I have met all of my half siblings except Jonathon (no contact) and Natalie who I have spoken to on the telephone. So, here goes, here are the rest of my half blood brothers and sisters born in wedlock/legitimately by my father: Dominic, Michael, Natalie, Jessica, James, Rebecca and Jonathon Khazaei. Illegitimately by my father Karen and there maybe another called Roya…but this might be a paternal myth. Like the diamond heist. Can anyone shed any light on that? Or that the Kray twins threw him out of a window? Or that he carried a tape recorder everywhere with him?
That’s all there is to tell you about them. Just wanted you to know. Some of you think I am an only child.
The beautiful Dane arrives from NYC next Sunday and a couple of days later we will head off on our ‘Great Adventure!’ all of which we will document here and on YouTube. Obviously it was at about this time last year that The Penguin and I went to France. I’ve been reading over my rather romanticized blogged version of those weeks.
My anger refreshed. Remember, the night I arrived in NYC he was already (I later discovered) seeing someone else in a ‘non exclusive relationship’ and decided to fetch his stash of meth from under his bed and snort it in front of me. I feel so angry writing this. That he would take such a risk with my sobriety.
By the time we left for Paris he had no respect or love or care for me what so ever. He just wanted the free ride.
Whilst we were in Europe he was hooking up with other men when ever he could, using internet pornography, skyping with his ‘non-exclusive’ boy friend and lying to me every single day.
I think of those weeks in Europe and my heart sinks. Mind you, how must his ex girl friend feel? That on every vacation they ever took together during their 7 years he would do exactly the same. Hooking up with random strangers in bathrooms then slipping into bed with her. Her sucking a cock that had just been up a strangers ass.
I have just been writing the final pages of my novel so this revisited fury has some provenance.
As for the novel? Anything I put my mind to…my heart into…what seems for others a long and painful process has become quite effortless.
I am now working with a book editor from the not so niche publisher. It is most often described in the press as a ‘leading independent publisher’. The time difference means that notes were waiting for me this morning when I woke up. My first notes. I was so excited I almost couldn’t look at them.
Wow, this editor thang is a revelation.
Working with someone who helps shape, define and redefine the work I am doing. Helping me be less self-conscious.
As for the imprint by whom I will be published..their rosta of edgy authors is very impressive indeed.
I just heard that Laura Ziskin died of cancer yesterday. Now I feel terrible. She was a great friend of The Penguin. I’m so sorry.
Yesterday I wandered the garden taking pictures. Here are some of them:
After Stephen left yesterday afternoon for some appointment somewhere…I lay on the sofa and mulled over the days events. One thing was certain, The Penguin no longer rents space in my head.
I kept marveling at how I had once found him so intoxicating. I finally saw him as others saw him. When Charlie said, “He wasn’t like anyone I had met you with before…” I felt vaguely insulted. “The boys you usually introduce me to are beautiful.”
Yet, Charlie was right. My love for him made his fascinating. The pictures I took of him made him look like a model. The life I handed him. The strengths I imbued. When I took him to Paris all he brought with him was his mediocrity.
I realized that I had never seen him, in all the time we knew each other, with anyone other than my friends and family. To see him interact with his parents was a revelation. They looked at his iPad and laughed. The sham, It might have worked if his Mother didn’t look so incredibly sad. Amongst them The Penguin looked for all the world like the entitled brat who would think nothing of taking drugs to their house, using their kitchen as a porno web casting studio or telling them bare-faced lies.
Their ‘unconditional’ love created The Penguin. I had hinted before that this may have been the case but just seeing them together confirmed my worst fears.
I suddenly understood Jessie’s fury in a way that I had never understood it before.
“Well, it’s over. She came home, got me to confess a bit more truth–that i have had sex with men before–then after a lot of kicking, hitting and screaming, she kicked me out. I took the train to my parents’ house, where I told my mom everything (my dad is out of town which made it all a bit easier actually), and she held me and told me it will all work out. Jessie called her to make sure I’d gotten home, which gave me some hope that she might not hate me forever…but after she got home tonight it became clear that there is no going back. She accused me of ruining her life, of being a deceitful sociopath, of being a bad person who she wishes she never met. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.
Part of me feels like I wish I’d never met you–your were a catalyst of sorts and without that catalyst everything right now would probably be as it was. But I know that “as it was” was not as perfect as I wanted it to be, and beneath all the pain right now I know I did the right thing. Thank you for guiding me towards the truth,,,you are so incredibly strong…I can hear it in your voice, your words. I hope I can be as strong as you and I really want to thank you for being here for me. I cannot fucking believe this happened today. Love you a lot.”
The truth is: he would never have ‘come out’ if I had not been the crazy man I am. I had threatened to ‘un-pick’ his life and he knew that the truth had to be told. I forced him to tell her the truth.
His lies made me physically sick.
Whilst he was with Jessie I wrote:
You are making me unhappy. There is no fucking hope.
I refuse to be the other person in your life whilst you selfishly shit on other people.
It is not fair on any of us.
I refuse to be the levelheaded guy who just puts up with you. Then, when and if it suits you, you turn on and accuse of craziness.
I can’t do it.
Yes, today I felt fed up with you because I don’t trust you. Why should I?
Why should anyone?
What the hell did you expect from this? That I just have no feelings? That we just fuck? That you sit in your room and jerk off on camera and that was going to be enough for me?
Jake, PLEASE stop living a lie. Leave that poor woman. Be single for a while then find a man to love.
I think often about Jessie. How he treated her.
Let’s talk about who I became yesterday. I didn’t really like me yesterday. I didn’t like the goose-stepping, mad man who took obnoxiously loud telephone calls in the court waiting room. It seemed like I just had to be THAT GUY. It seems like it’s the only way I know how to protect myself.
I was the wrong size when I left the court. So it was that I had to get back to being the right size. Not too big, not too small.
Alex called. We had dinner at Angelica’s Kitchen. I ate steamed vegetables. We talked briefly about the day but I was done. Done talking about The Penguin.
We fell into bed and I kissed him. Everything felt so different. Fresh.
Just two men in bed, two men in bed without any expectations.
I am on Fire Island this weekend house hunting for the summer. Very excited.
So it was that yesterday, after I walked the dog, I made my way to China Town to find sulphur soap. I popped into the Family Court to get a feel of what to expect next month. Another tawdry location. It takes a long time to file a petition. It can take all day. The Penguin must have sat in there for a long time. It would have given him ample time to reflect on his shortcomings.
Again I had to walk up Varick St risking bumping into him. The Subway at the back of my building must surely disgorge him every single working day. I had a late breakfast with Pierre. I met with my lawyer who was on sparkling form. This evening we discuss strategy with the very expensive litigator. The expensive, mean litigator.
The Penguin is forefront in my thoughts. I spoke to Jill and Drew the day before yesterday when I was feeling less stable. Thankfully I feel good again. Apparently it often happens that TV people are ensnared by crazed fans. Drew was so helpful.
I sat in the steam room for an hour. On my own. I lay naked on the black marble, sweating and groaning in pain from the searing heat then, enduring a different agony, under the icy cold shower. My heart pumping. I lay resting under thick, white towels.
I had lunch with handsome Philippe and at 6.30 I met Ross at cafe Gitane fresh from his weekend in Barcelona. He is such a funny little dude. We ate their ‘signature’ avocado on toast and I drank hot chocolate. A drunk, homeless man started talking to us. He must have been 70 years old. He shook my hand. He told me that he respected those who could care for a dog. My patience for humans is worn quite thin. My compassion for any dog is evident.
I had my head shaved at the barbers on 9th Street. Boris trimmed my beard a little too extremely. I look like a Spanish conquistador. I wanted to look good for my trip up town.
I have not been north of 30th Street for many years. Remember when I first lived in NYC I found myself on Columbus and 86th. The day I arrived was the only time I ever saw a man raise a firearm in anger. That was years ago.
I took a cab. That part of town looks less salubrious than it did when I lived there. A bit broken. Dinner with an Armenian friend of my lawyers at a greek restaurant on Columbus. Lamb shank. It was passable but nothing special. We had a nice time. After dinner he showed me his apartment: a few rooms carved out of a giant mansion that was once very beautiful. Thick architrave, cornices, creaking stairways.
I fell asleep on his bed whilst he collated his resume. Woke up at 1am.
On a whim I decided to walk home. I walked via the Ace Hotel. Thumping music. Pretty boys. Pretty girls.
82 blocks to contemplate. An 82 block contemplation.
I thought a great deal about what The Penguin and I will say in court. I was torn between two stalls: pity for the boy and derision. The more one finds out, the more one realizes that he mixed a catastrophic cocktail of deception/desire and would not stop until he got what he wanted.
He chose the wrong man to fuck with. His timid, delicate, winsome, coquettish facade masking the hard assed sociopath that lay within. He compartmentalized his life: home, family, perversions/drugs/drinking.
If only I had been like the others and just seen things his way. Poor boy, trapped in a heterosexual relationship that he didn’t know how to escape from. That girl paid half his rent so he could live an East Village life, cheat on her with endless men.
My heart bleeds for him.
I kind of blame his hapless parents. No…I do blame his parents. They are not idiots.
Then, when I am done being angry, I imagine how embarrassed he must be that the whole world knows that he chose me of all people to come out to, to tell that he loved. To be involved with. What an idiot!
He doesn’t want you to see the picture I have of him sucking my cock. My fat white cock in his mouth.
At least with most/all of my ex’s they were equally abnormal.
He wants to re-write the past so I am no longer in it. The Penguin will even attempt to censor this blog, challenge my first amendment rights. Tricky, if you work for a publishing house that must surely enshrine the values of FREE SPEECH. Nice press angle…for me.
Dinner conversation inevitably turned to him.
Almost every gay will ask if his ex gf suspected that he was cheating on her, then congratulate him for an excellent piece of deception.
The view that all women are essentially worthless to gay men, indeed maybe even a threat…is a view commonly held but very rarely articulated. The Penguin’s relationship with his ex ‘best friend’ (how do you treat your ‘best friend so?) was an excellent example of how gay men abuse women.
He had no regard for her.
One might say that all men who cheat are the same…but I am not interested in what heterosexuals get up to. I am interested in the way gay men treat women. Since interviewing so many of them for our film I understand better that gay men still have little or no respect for women. They treat them like brood mares when going through the surrogacy procedure. They are expunged from the surrogacy story.
They might have fag hag friends who dote on them but to me that is the most lethal symbiosis. A no win situation. Like marrying Jesus.
By the time I got home it was late, late, late. I took the dog to the park. I cadged a cigarette and smoked it.
The Penguin was bullied as a child for his short stature and beak-like nose. His fingers are fused together, resulting in flipper-like hands. He waddles like a penguin when he walks. He was forced as a child to always carry an umbrella by his over-protective mother. In keeping with his pretensions of being a refined gentleman, he prefers to wear formal wear.
I never met John Galliano. Nope, never met him. If I looked for him on FB, if he was even on FB, we would probably have buddies in common but to my recollection I have never actually pressed the flesh with John Galliano.
Love, love, love his women’s wear, never cared for the men’s line.
John Galliano! The man is a fucking genius and a total KNOB. He just did that gay, alcoholic cliché thing of totally sabotaging his entire career.
A genius, iconoclast, nihilist…alcoholic.
An alcoholic knob. I mean…he just flushed that amazing career down the toilet.
He will lose everything.
In a brief statement, Dior said because of his “odious behavior” Dior has sidelined Galliano and initiated proceedings to fire him.
I just LOVE the word ‘odious’.
Galliano, in the video I saw of him in that super cool Parisian bar La Perle on the Rue Vieille du Temple…apart from looking totally PISSED (drunk) he reminded me of David Bowie playing the alien with no finger nails Thomas Jerome Newton in the Man Who Fell To Earth.
Lonely, beautifully dressed, politely out of control.
With great poise he told the people he was insulting that their ancestors should have been ‘gassed’.
Unlike Mel Gibson who was screaming anti-Semitic insults at the only jewish cop in the LAPD.
John…darling…lovey, you’ve come so far. Humble beginnings…your dad was a plumber. Want a solution? Want to deal with your grandiosity? Go to AA. You don’t want to end up dead like Alexander McQueen or Isabella Blow? Do you?
Go to AA based rehab. FAST.
Alcoholics Anonymous was designed for people like you.
You probably don’t even remember your rant.
A sober speech by Christian Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano and a finale bow of applauding, white-robed seamstresses and craftsmen bookended today’s Dior fall-winter fashion show, which went ahead under the shadow of the anti-Semitic outbursts that led to the ousting of its couturier, John Galliano, earlier this week.
“It has been deeply painful to see the Dior name associated with the disgraceful statements attributed to its designer, however brilliant he may be,” Toledano said, in the only reference to Galliano, never mentioned by name. “What happened last week has been a terrible and wrenching ordeal for us all.
“So now, more than ever, we must publicly re-commit to the values of the House of Dior.”
The show, held in a giant tent in the gardens of the Rodin Museum, had little of the usual front-row hoopla, but the usual thumping music and army of models.
“What you are going to see now is the result of the extraordinary, creative, and marvelous efforts of these loyal, hardworking people,” Toledano said of Dior’s teams and studios.
As reported, Galliano is to stand trial this spring in a French criminal court on a charge of public insult after three people filed complaints alleging Galliano hurled racist and anti-Semitic remarks at them.
Galliano has apologized “unreservedly” for his behavior in causing any offence, assured “anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society” and reiterated he denies the claims made against him and has commenced proceedings for defamation and threats made against him.
PARIS — The show must go on.
That seems to be the mantra at Christian Dior SA, which is soldiering ahead with the Dior fashion show today despite John Galliano’s dramatic ouster over anti-Semitic outbursts.
It is expected to be a straightforward affair, with little of the usual celebrity hoopla. News organizations have been instructed that photographers will have no access to backstage or the front row. That hasn’t stopped what Dior’s public relations battalion describes as “overwhelming” demand for invitations. (For more on the Dior brand, see page 6.)
According to sources, the attendance of luxury titan Bernard Arnault — typically flanked by glamorous Dior ambassadors such as Charlize Theron and French government figures — is not assured, owing to the tug of other business obligations.
Meanwhile, the John Galliano fall collection is to be presented on Sunday in its appointed time slot, but in a different format and venue. Sources said plans for a runway spectacle in landmark Left Bank brasserie La Coupole have been changed in favor of a tableau vivant format in a hôtel particulier. The designer will not be present.
Dior, which controls the John Galliano company, has yet to disclose its intentions for the business, now that its namesake designer is to stand trial this spring in a French criminal court on a charge of public insult after three people filed complaints alleging Galliano hurled racist and anti-Semitic remarks at them.
If found guilty, he could face six months imprisonment and a fine of 22,500 euros, or $31,207 at current exchange, according to the Paris public prosecutor. Galliano has apologized “unreservedly” for his behavior in causing any offence, assured “anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society” and reiterated he denies the claims made against him and has commenced proceedings for defamation and threats made against him.
Dior initially suspended Galliano from his duties on Friday and then ousted him on Tuesday amidst the mounting allegations and an explosive video depicting the maverick designer saying in a slurred voice, “I love Hitler.” Dior condemned the statements made in the video and commenced termination procedures.
Galliano, a London-born wunderkind who was the creative architect of Dior’s rejuvenation, has been its couturier since 1996. Succession rumors continue to swirl in the hothouse atmosphere of Paris Fashion Week.
It is understood Dior is in no hurry — and is legally unable —to name a successor until it has completed its procedure to terminate Galliano’s employment.
Under French employment regulations, the procedure to terminate employees can go quickly for what is known as faute grave, a serious misdemeanor. If the reason for termination concerns a personal matter or incident off the company clock, it can take several weeks.
Delphine Arnault, deputy managing director at Christian Dior and the daughter of the billionaire LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman, is said to be a champion of Tisci. In a splashy cover feature in Madame Figaro magazine in January, Tisci coaxed Arnault to be photographed among five women said to be under his spell. (The others were Liv Tyler, Isabelle Huppert, Vahina Giocante and Lou Doillon.)
“There won’t be any choice for quite a while,” said one source familiar with the French luxury group. “They’re receiving offers.”
It is understood overtures have been made recently to Ackermann as a possible candidate for Dior, or to succeed Tisci at Givenchy, should he be moved over to Dior.
Approached at the Ann Demeulemeester show Thursday, Anne Chapelle, chief executive officer and owner of Bvba 32, which controls the Haider Ackermann brand, declined to comment, saying the focus for now should remain on Ackermann’s own show, scheduled for Saturday. Asked whether the designer would contractually be free to work for another house, should he be offered a role, Chapelle replied: “Everybody is free.”
As principals at LVMH hunt for a successor to Galliano, some are hoping to make a profit from their final decision. PaddyPower.com, the British online betting site, has odds on Stefano Pilati (11-8) or Hedi Slimane (9-4) getting the top job. The odds are lower, however, for Tisci (3-1). Meanwhile, Nicolas Ghesquière, Kris Van Assche and Roland Mouret are all tipped at 4-1. Alber Elbaz trails them with odds of 6-1. The site specifies that all bets apply “To the next permanent, top Dior Creative Director after John Galliano.” The person must be confirmed as a permanent appointment by the ceo of Christian Dior.
- Dior Fires Designer John Galliano Over Anti-Semitic Remarks (towleroad.com)
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.
Jess and I decided to put on our best togs, book into the coolest hotel we could find (Hotel Amour) and spend the weekend in Paris.
I woke early on Dean Street and to my delight a young man popped over to say a sweet goodbye. He stayed a few minutes. His lithe, hairless, Irish body for my delectation.
I packed…a punch and my suitcase. After a HUGE English breakfast, we were on the train to Dover. When we got there however, this grey miserable Kentish town, we realized that we had missed our last train from Calais to Paris.
Good naturedly we decided to press on and agreed that once on the boat we would ask if anyone, by any chance, was going to Paris and could we cadge a lift?
Well, one might think that would be a hard task to accomplish. Initially it was. I sent Jess (red tight sweater, full lips) to schmooze the lorry drivers but they were mostly Polish so immune to her pigeon French and hand gestures. She cut no ice with these gruff eastern Europeans.
Whilst she was gesticulating wildly and grinning like the Joker at fat men…I met a beautiful 24 year old soldier called Nick with blue eyes and the sweetest nature. Surprise, surprise!
Nick hung out with us for the duration and I couldn’t stop thinking about him…he was/is gorgeous.
Anyway, finally, we found a British coach driver with abnormally bad teeth, pallid complexion and a weasily midland disposition called Leigh. He wanted our cash so we willingly handed over 200 euros for a lift to Paris. What he failed to tell us was that the majority of the other passengers on the coach were so drunk that they could not sit squarely in their seats, farted continually and made conversations that made even me blush. Not because they were lewd but because they were so puerile.
I have not been in such ghastly company for ages. Jess described them as ‘pond life’.
They all suffered, like children, from the disease of more. More food, more alcohol..and of course Penny from Wolverhampton, sitting directly behind me could not think of anything but her suppurating vagina as she tried hopelessly to blow one man and coax another into the bathroom..neither of whom would have anything to do with her.
Penny (Pennoy) then grabbed my head and told me to look at her. I said, “Have you met my wife?” She then leapt out of her seat to kiss Jess, her alcohol sodden body falling onto my poor, sober friend.
Anyway, seething with resentment, my jaw clenched for three hours we finally disgourged in Paris…as it happens a few kilometers from out hotel so, in a few surprisingly short moments, we were eating delicious cheese and drinking Badoit before falling into a deep and deserved sleep.
I slept with Jess because of a room issue. She does not snore, fart or talk in her sleep. I, on the other hand, could not stop thinking about my blond squaddy and what I would do with him if it was he and not her laying beside me.
The room issue is now resolved…so perhaps…nah…well…maybe.
Today we shopped. Collette, Lanvin, Comme…etc. My post tumour life. We ate lunch at Costes. Hanging out with Jess is so much fun. Last time I was here I was with the HIM who I rather cruelly but accurately described as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille the guy from the novel Perfume in my vlog.
Slinking behind me like a crippled, foul-smelling, dwarf.
Amanda Eliasch is very, very rich. The ex-wife of Johann Eliasch, owner of tennis racket and sports wear company Head.
Currently Amanda is trying to get me to remove a blog reference made last week after she posted some nastiness about me on Facebook. Sadly, as Jake found to his dismay, even if I removed any or all evidence…the blog will remain in the virtual ether forever and ever. FOREVER.
Then, she persuaded some weird friend of hers to say that I only have 3 readers a day…that’s like telling a man he has a very small penis.
Let me remind you how I know this woman Amanda Eliasch…she was/is going out/hooking up/in confused hyper emotional ‘relationship’ with my old friend the genuine article…writer Tim Willis.
Poor Tim, the first time I was summoned to her house he was a quaking, smoking and drinking wreck. Exiled to the tennis court at her architecturally significant, now recently sold Beverly Hills house. His already weakened body covered in welts from Amada’s sharp little tongue.
The 1st and least problematic problem with Amanda: she is a bully.
In some lame attempt to stop me from posting anything about her on my blog she reminded me that she had let me visit her home. OK. So? I reminded her (pompous hag) that I let her visit mine. The next barrage of emails, no doubt, will include reminders that she paid for a couple of lunches.
The emails after that will include homophobic slurs.
Well known to architects, and interior decorators as a person who loathes paying her bills. (I know two personally) She is currently working with ‘interior designer to the stars’ Martyn Lawrence-Bullard who told me that he went to Eton..does anyone know if that is true? I met ‘interior designer to the stars’ Martyn Lawrence-Bullard with Chris Cortazzo the “The King” realtor.
Why will ‘interior designer to the stars’ Martyn Lawrence-Bullard definitely get paid for renovating Amanda’s new home in LA? The simple fact is: ‘interior designer to the stars’ Martyn Lawrence-Bullard is far too well-connected not to get paid.
As well as converting Amanda’s new Wimpy home (ex Janet Leigh) into a white clad Wimpy home ‘interior designer to the stars’ Martyn Lawrence-Bullard is also converting a small apartment in Sierra Towers Los Angeles as something ‘nice’ for Elton’s Nanny and child.
I really did not want to start the year slagging an old slag but hey, at least I’m not writing about Jake eh?
The most perplexing problem with Amanda: she is totally bonkers…and not in a good way. She has no style, no friends and leaves a nasty taste in ones mouth whenever one may chance upon her.
Her conversation is limited and punctuated with barking noises…is this some sort of tick? I have never once been able to get a reasonable opinion or for that matter ANY opinion out of the woman that hadn’t been cribbed from some Daily Mail commentator/op ed…consequently her politics are slightly right of Hitler’s.
Amanda once complained to me, like many of her ilk, that there wasn’t a decent right-wing newspaper in Britain.
Now, I know that she will take issue with the ‘no friends’ claim but after her $500k fiasco of a birthday party last year where half her Facebook friends didn’t turn up..and, like an eastern European traveler, she tangoed for her startled guests then..to their growing horror played a sycophantic film ‘produced’ by her friends waxing bout how wonderful Amanda is. I wonder how she manages to keep the friends she has!
Good God! You can’t make this stuff up!
Amanda is surrounded by a certain type of woman, the ball breaking Aliai Lady Forte, the ball breaking Tracy Emin and the drunk most of the time but harmless..unless sober when she too becomes a bone fide ball breaker…Kay Saatchi.
Throw a few insignificant men into the black lacquered pot and bob’s your uncle: Amanda’s World.
The unforgivably huge problem with Amanda (and British social-climbing women like her) she is ever so slightly homophobic. She likes to remind gays that in Amanda’s World they have no right to demand rights or equality ‘what ever that is?’…that we have no place in the army or in sport…she questions our integrity in the school room and she tells us that we are of ‘no use’ to her…unless we are ‘decorating’ or ‘making things look pretty’.
Amanda, like her ball breaking friends, is also a low-grade racist and treats her black chef with imperial disdain.
Amusingly she has a desire to be close to film stars and celebrities but they are not eager to be seen with her. Her life interminably chasing yet another film festival, film opening, red carpet event…film star etc. is pathetic at best…tragic at worst.
Amanda, if she doesn’t mend her ways, will end up like Wallis Simpson who, though remarkably chic, died isolated and miserable. At Wallis’s funeral the bulk of the wreaths came from vendors all over Paris who, without doubt, missed her very generous patronage.
- Amanda Eliasch ‘Peccadilloes’ Exhibition At Leadapron Gallery, Los Angeles (huffingtonpost.com)
Absurdly expensive, mildly uncomfortable but distinguished all the same.
Alma and I cooked a leisurely breakfast then we drove to Canterbury so that we might buy presents for her family.
Once in Canterbury (surprisingly packed with good looking young men) we ate Panini, found free wi-fi, met a beautiful man in the Zara store called Alex (huge and blond) and another one at the till who resembled Jake Gyllenhaal. When I told him who he looked like he asked who that was…ah..charming.
“I hope that’s a compliment.” He grinned.
“Don’t worry,” I said, “It is.”
We shall return to Zara.
I mentioned to Alma that we might get verbally assaulted because of my shoes.
As we were walking through the Dane John Gardens a bunch of unruly youths screamed, “Why you wearing pink shoes, mate?” I screamed back, “Because I’m a fucking poof, why d’you think? You fucking idiots!”
The screamer then became the object of derision. His mates thought it very funny that I had given as good as I had gotten.
Very satisfying. Wear pink shoes, expect a reaction.
As I have written before, I am unphased by being seen to be gay. I am an out gay man. I refuse to be shamed by a bunch of foolish youths. This is as close as I can get to being a drag queen as my suburban taste will allow.
Wearing anything outside of London that determines who or what I am will solicit comment. Don’t tell me that ‘things have changed’ for gay men, that it’s easier to be gay nowadays. From where I’m standing nothing much has changed at all.
The pistol remains primed night and day.
You know, when Jake and I were in Paris we were sitting on the terrace at the back of our hotel, Mama Shelter. We were kissing. I was kissing him. As I was kissing him I heard a man call out, “Pédé!”
I looked up at the apartments above. I didn’t tell Jake that we had been gay bashed. I didn’t want to spoil his moment.
That was when I wanted everything to be perfect for him, when I would have moved a mountain…
n.m. pédéraste (pédé); homosexual, gay
Carol cooked pheasant tonight with Brussel sprouts and swede. Good GOD that was delicious.
Going up to London tomorrow for more fun and games.
Still no word from the oncologist. No news=Good news.
I am in Whitstable. It is really cold. The water-butt is frozen. I slept under two comforters.
Carol woke me this morning with a fresh lemon and ginger infusion and a big plate of steaming porridge. Ate another breakfast at Copeland House with Georgina.
It’s later on Saturday morning and I am laying under a blanket at George’s house. Feel very beaten up. I managed to wear myself down so badly that I now have bronchitis.
Terrible cough, phlegm, headache. Best thing is: I am at home so everything seems very dealable with. I am so glad that I don’t own anywhere here. It’s so much nicer crashing at Carol’s or laying here on George’s sofa.
My head is too painful with real pain to concentrate on anything else.
Whitstable. Last night. Sitting with Georgina and her grand-daughter Poppy eating shepherd’s pie. Do you remember Poppy? Poppy!
Carol and Marc dragged me out to a small town on the other side of Canterbury to watch a ska band. Even though I felt pretty bad it was nice to be included.
Feels safe here. I arrived from Paris on Friday morning. I rented a car, drove to Calais on the A1 toll road (20 euro). Ferry to Dover (120 euros) then drove to Whitstable. Dropped in at Wheeler’s, Dave’s and Carol’s place.
There is a cute gay boy running the new coffee shop.
Dumb man that I am…I decided to watch Brokeback Mountain again on the flight to Paris. I could scarcely get through the first few moments without having to change channels and watch Friends reruns.
Went back to it and still cried buckets.
Remember when we left for Paris on July 4th? That seems like it happened decades ago.
Why did it take me so long to leave NYC and why didn’t I write about it? Well, we didn’t go because the Little Dog wasn’t well and vomited all over the place so it wasn’t prudent to go anywhere. Anyway, the vet advised me not to.
I was offered a very kind room in a very beautiful hotel to rest my weary body…for free. They really looked after me.
I stayed on 10th St for a few nights. During the day I would practice what it would be like to live in NYC again.
I sat with friends outside Mud, I hung out at the Derby and Joe’s Pub with Amelia. I made many, many new ‘friends’ on line and met with them at obscure locations.
After a few days of being in the city I totally forgot about Jake unless, of course, I found myself on 1st Street or outside the Judd Foundation or on the roof at Soho House which is cleared away…just like the memories I have to clear away.
I no longer thought that any man who resembled him was him and instead marveled at how many men there were who might be him. Cute, short, hairy men with winning smiles. On occasions, as the days passed, I realized that I told too many people about him…that it was obvious to them that I was having difficulty letting him go.
When they asked if I was still in love with him it was difficult to say no without crossing my fingers.
The emotions are far more complex and seem to exist on a far deeper level than I ever planned which is why I took time away from my blog because it just riles me and I find myself posting things that I regret.
I had a number of dates with really extraordinary men but one in particular made my heart sing. I ate dinner at Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village and met some good gays. A producer, a stockbroker, a TV anchor and a journalist..I found myself thinking: Jake would like these men.
He would get a kick out of these intelligent, ambitious men.
The anchor (Don Lemon) was a cool black dude who said that in his opinion Obama was frightened of white people. Which explains, he said, why Obama is such a loser. The anchor’s bf of 3 years was 20 years younger.
I don’t know how I felt about that.
Aleksa P and I had supper in Chelsea. She talked candidly about how much fun it is for her making Boardwalk Empire. I told her that I get hundreds of people a week looking for references in my blog to her hairy armpits. She showed me how shaved they were with a wry smile but lamented how she must start growing them again soon.
We talked about our absent dads and how this shapes our view of ourselves. We talked about her gorgeously happy marriage. We laughed a great deal. She showed me the pictures of her in Vanity Fair and I felt as proud as any dad could ever be.
We talked about Jake. She was sad for me.
Brokeback: I had forgotten that Ennis and Jack had that fight. That their fight had more to do with their love and their frustration and how much they would miss each other.
Dressed as cowboys their fight seemed more romantic than ours on the King’s Road.
The last night in NYC I met a man who I could imagine being with. Just like that. I have no idea if it will turn out like I want it…but we connected. I am excited to see him again. One thing is for sure: I ain’t writing about him. Not any time soon.
TSA pat-downs are really thorough. At JFK the rather good-looking man who inadvertently (or maybe not) held my balls whilst looking for what ever they are looking for looked up at me and I said seductively, “My balls have been held by a lot worse.”
Confined to my room with painfully torn ligaments.
Ashley has been running around fetching and carrying.
Paying gardeners, buying logs, feeding me pain pills.
This evening she and her friend Aaron Rose sat by the roaring fire whilst my blue eyed friend Bowdy entertained us with unusually funny impressions. When he started his ‘performance’ I was dreading that he was going to be terrible. He was GREAT!
It’s incredibly unusual in LA to meet a young actor who can actually act.
Aaron is curating a street art show at MOCA. Next week he is in Paris working with young artists. A commercials director..apparently they make a ton of money. Do I wish that I had the ability to make commercials? Just talking about it, the prospect of it…made the inside of my mouth dry up.
With Ashley making busy around the house life is filling up again with unusual and interesting people. She is such a doll.
We discussed these three words: Nigger. Cunt. Faggot. The impact each word has and the power we invest in them. It was a fascinating conversation. We felt really naughty talking about each of them…as if overheard we might be arrested or torn from our lives. It felt subversive.
We were talking about the concentration camps and Aaron revealed that he didn’t know that the pink triangle, symbol of gay pride, originated there. The pink triangle (German: Rosa Winkel) was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, used to identify homosexual men, as well as those imprisoned for sexual offenses such as rape, bestiality, and pedophilia. Originally intended as a badge of shame, the pink triangle (often inverted from its Nazi usage) is second in popularity within the gay community only to the rainbow flag.
Alan Davies the British comedian and I had a fight in the Neptune Pub, Whitstable twenty-five years ago when he started wearing the Pink Triangle to prove his solidarity with gays and lesbians. The problem was, he was homophobic towards me. After a huge shouting match and a bitchy struggle he removed the pink triangle.
I have been reading my old blogs. The ones written when I first arrived here in the USA. Not only are they a very good read but life sure was full up with people places and things. Of late (and more contemplative) the written journey has been internal rather than external.
Every day I get closer to my goal of exorcising the ghosts of past love. Things are getting so much better. Not so very long ago I didn’t think I could go anywhere that we had been together..not Paris nor New York or Whitstable. I feared that just walking down the same street we had strolled would ruin it for me. But, you know, that was the voice of shame whispering seductively in my ear. The shame I felt about failing to keep him. The shame of making bad choices in love.
I am better than that. Paris is a big city. I am a bigger man.
I sometimes wonder in whose arms he rests now? Placating him. Telling him the lies he needs to hear. Is he happy? I know in my heart, I know that he will never truly be happy. He has made terrible mistakes and those mistakes may never be forgiven. He will try to put it right but not for her. He wants her to forgive him so he can feel better about himself.
He will be in perpetual torment until he truly understands a selfless apology. Equally, she needs to fully embrace the act of forgiveness. Can she forgive him? Eventually she will. She has no option.
Living with hate or resentment in one’s heart can ruin your life.
Forgive him for being frail and flawed and weak and cowardly and for telling inexcusable lies? Yes, we can do that. Eventually.
We are connected forever. A dance with death. A marriage with the Devil. There is something oddly Gothic about it.
I called the small claims court to have the date moved so I can go to London and deal with this bollocks stuff. Directly to London.
Sooner or later Jake and I will face each other. Whether it is in the court room or on the street he will pay what he owes me. He would be such a fool not to.
We will bump into each other. I know that scenario. If he has worked properly on himself he will have undergone the change he so badly wanted. He will be gay. Not like when I first met him: A gay man sheltering in the husk of a straight man’s life. He will be true to his own nature, to the mannerisms and voice that he was so scared to reveal. I began to see the occasional gay moment when we were in France, the twist of the mouth, the limp wrist, the effeminate draw on the cigarette. All quite normal for a delicate, passive homosexual. Endearing.
Like so many ‘straight acting’ gay men he is petrified of being seen to be gay.
He will be revealed. He will find happiness. I pray for it.
Thankfully Ashley was at home and wrapped me in ice. I dare not go to the hospital because it will bankrupt me. Now at home totally incapacitated.
Began to panic about getting back to the UK with one functioning leg and a dog.
Have to go via Paris again. Not even directly to Paris but via NYC to go to court to get the money that Jake owes me. This really stinks. Everything conspiring to make life more difficult than it needs be. It was such a silly thing to do. How did I do it? I tripped up the path and instantaneously I could feel the tendons detach. Pop. Oh God.
Ashley cooked dinner for us. Her friend Emma arrived. They made steak and greek salad. After all that meat we ate chocolate and drank hot tea.
It rained heavily all night.
The night. Plagued with nightmares. A kitten hidden in a chair. Me as a child wandering into the road outside my Grandmother’s house in Herne Bay overlooked by my step-father. Torrential leaks from the ceiling coursing unchecked through the house.
This year has been ghastly. Made more so by Jake’s despicable antics.
Unthinking, callous, selfish.
I sometimes wonder how his parents put up with his lying shit? Of course! They love him unconditionally.
I wrote to Jake’s father asking him to persuade his son to just pay me the money. We have a court date fixed now. This is fucking bore. He is holding onto me. Refusing to let go of the final tendril. The last vestige. Let me go Jake. Pay me the money so I can go to the UK and get on with my life.
I am sure that he feels the same way…we were perfectly synchronised.
The drawings are by Jennie. She sent them yesterday. Drew them when we were in rehab. They have a real Picasso feel about them.
That was quite a chore!
Now, all I have to do is pack up remaining items and move out of LA. Then it’s the dog orientated trip home flying via Paris to London.
There I will have my operation and hope that it hasn’t spread.
You know that I like to tell you the truth here on these pages. Well, I want to share that I found being in NYC really miserable. Why? I was anxious that I might bump into him even though I had texted him telling him that I would be there and to avoid where I live and SHNYC.
Even so, I felt terrible and dreaded dread dreaded bumping into him.
I dread the small claims case in October too. I dread seeing him. I wish that these painful feelings would just go away. I wish he had never contacted me. Why did he fucking contact me?
Manhunt date number 3 was good fun.
A giant of a man turned up…it turned out that we had friends in common. We talked about Jake.
It’s funny that even though he had been through a similar experience with a man his immediate response was to chastise me for getting involved with someone who was BLATANTLY unready to be gotten involved with.
Yet, as I have found out..we ALL seem to make really bad choices in love. My straight men friends routinely describe the females they get involved with as insane. The women I know describe the men they get involved with as douche bags. People make mistakes in love.
It is very hard to control a yearning heart.
I am just so angry with myself that, a. I believed him. b. fell in love. c. took him home.
Why the hell didn’t he tell his friends that he was gay rather than me? Why? Somehow my TV confession spurred him on to confess..yet, as I pointed out to manhunt date number 3..I am NOT a TV character..I am a man. I am profoundly UNLIKE the way they edited me on TV.
This is ripping me apart. It is just so unfair that I let some crazy fan into my life who wanted me to be like I was on TV and I…fucking IDIOT..fell in love with him.
I was on Dan’s lap top today checking a friend’s Facebook page and there he was making some Camille Paglia comment. His new profile picture was weird. Mugs and fruit. His hair was all flat and he looked thin.
You may think me mad but really what you are reading is the real and daily trial of being an addict. That I can have all at the same time huge compassion for him and a consummate loathing.
There was a moment is Sanary sur Mer in France where he was sitting at the end of a jetty looking at the sunset. I slipped quietly away. He was thinking about her. He was sad.
Thankfully there is still one sacred place I didn’t take him. It remains mine. Unseen by crazy fan eyes.
I pray every day for the obsession to be lifted but I guess it will vanish in God’s time and not mine.
We open the first book on this day September 5th, 1982. I am 22 years old.
I am in Greece, on the island of Spetses staying with Sir John and Lady Russell. I am still, at this time, Lord Rendlesham and have flown from Paris to Athens with an older nobleman called Guy de la Bedoyere of whom I had tired.
It was Guy’s Turner that I had marveled in Paris a few days earlier and whose butler, much to my horror, had washed in a washing machine my new Crolla ties.
The magazine Harper’s Bazzar had published the pictures of my infamous birthday party thrown for me by Scott Crolla at the Almeida Theatre. Word was just reaching me in Greece that people were not at all happy. Not at all.
If you click on the diary pages you can read the original entries.
I am in love with a beautiful Swiss boy called Robert and it is he that I wave goodbye to at the beginning of the entry.
The following year September 1983 there is no diary entry until I am released from prison on the 18th November.
September 1984 I am in rehearsal for Pornography: a Spectacle at the ICA in London. There are huge articles about us all in Time Out, The Face and a now defunct London mag called City Limits. I am living in Balham with a girl called Victoria. By day I am in a play about gay pornography and by night I sleep with what was effectively my girlfriend. So was the complexity of my life. “Every gesture must be full and complete.” says Neil. Neil Bartlett, director of the show. During these days he and I began to fall out. Irrevocably as it turned out. When we left each other in Toronto months later after our North American tour we would never speak again.
September 1985 I am writing whilst stuck in a tunnel under the alps on a train from Paris to Venice. My and Ivan Cratwright’s great adventure to Venice. Staying, en route with Fred Hughes in Paris.
The diary for 1986 was missing but now found. I will transcribe the entry. I am yet again in another heterosexual relationship with a woman called Louise. Why?
“Oh dear, I am in The General Trading Company off Sloan Square – Louise by my side. Firstly I did not expect the Bahamian bombshell to come back to Whitstable to see me. I rather thought that she might have given me a miss.
Yesterday before Louise arrived my pinks from Kingstone (?) Cottage arrived, they came to me in a brown cardboard box wrapped in local newspaper. I planted them carefully, laying a foundation of stones for good drainage and surrounded the root system with peat. Maria helped out the best she could but spent the best part of yesterday drawing on the beach. The day before that too she had worked hard on minimalist drawings incorporating the seascape – noticeably the foreshore and the horizon, terribly witty references to dead fish – (?) a family with prawn.
Ivan (Cartwright), we collected him from Whitstable station – Korda (Marshall) and I, he was in such a good frame of mind . He prattled on about being arrested for car thieving and told a remarkable story about having been picked up on Park Lane (London) dressed only in a full length pink, synthetic fur coat, cowboy boots and a micro polka dot bikini! He was picked up by a vast black men in a Buick.
Korda was completely freaked out by Ivan and as soon as he had the opportunity – left. However, Ivan enchanted both Rachel (Whiteread) and (?) with his wit and intelligence. We left for the pub far too late. Ivan was wearing a pair of black cotton stockings, a black tee-shirt and short black sweat pants all topped off with this platinum blond hair and that face which as you know contorts like nobodies business.
We all slept late and woke early, that’s why when big bertha arrived (Louise) I was knackered. We took off for a long adventurous but utterly fruitless journey to a closed park. We did go to Beech House (Hospital School in Chartham) I remembered yet again the horror of being taken there when I was a child – I remember that it was in that place that my life changed direction and I began to fight, so it was rather apt that I went there – my life again on the edge of a potential nightmare. India, 8th October 10.15 – 9 months. It rings in my ears.
As we drove to London yesterday Louise and (?) wrote that evening’s narrative. For she as an eye for the ironic. Firstly we locked ourselves out of Louise’s car and house then we saw the corpse of a man freshly killed, his legs crossed at the ankles, in the road. His clothing partially hidden under a green waterproof police modesty blanket. All of us knew that ambulances take only the living to be mended as best they can. Death has no care. I wondered about his family. The pulse stopped and the narrative ending for him. We drove slowly. Later the image of the corpse quietened me and made me listen.
Louise is my strength whom I do not deserve. Late last night I felt truly happy and secure. That’s enough isn’t it? Enough for a man who rarely lives safely, who is destined to become a lonely old man with personality problems.”
September 1987 I am a patient in the Henderson Hospital in Sutton Surrey where I spent the majority of that year. I had a breakdown after a particularly bad bout of Hep B. The Jay who would be fetching me from hospital is, of course, Jay Jopling.
For some odd reason I did not keep a complete diary in 1988. I am not fully well from my breakdown but have decided to go to New York to see Ana Corbero and Colin Cawdor. Paul Benny the artist was also staying in the huge apartment. An entire floor of a converted girls school just over the Williamsburg Bridge.
There is no entry for these dates in 1989.
1990, my thirtieth year. Living in Chelsea with Phillipa having what looks like a rather glamorous time.
1991 Coppers Bottom has opened at Sadler’s Wells. Karen, the lead actress is threatening to walk. I am now living with Anthony H. in South London.
1992 Tim and I are laughing about Damien Hirst not winning the Turner Prize that he seemed so certain to win. I rather cruelly called Jay and told him how sorry I was whilst sniggering with Tim.
Not long before I get sober. Just another 5 years.
After 1992 I kept a journal less and less. I began every year enthusiastically writing everyday like I do now in the blog but by July had lost interest or life was simply too overwhelming.
Anyway, that was fun?
My point, contrary to the other more morally confused commentators, was that it is perfectly OK for Montana to make a pornographic film. That her father Laurence Fishburne‘s career will not be hampered by difficult questions on the red carpet. That as far as I was concerned Montana’s decision was a ‘feminists dream’. Of course I was being deliberately incendiary but it’s a news entertainment show. That’s my role.
Seriously though, we are only ‘shocked‘ and ‘outraged‘ because a rich girl decides to make a pornographic film. Why are we shocked? Because our preconceptions about pornography and women in pornography are blown out of the water. We still believe that women who make a choice to go into porn have no choice at all. That they are the naive victims of unscrupulous men and to be sure, there is some truth to this on some occasions but not all porn is the same.
I am perfectly sure that when my friend Jenny Ketcham made porn she knew exactly what she was doing.
Montana Fishburn legitimizes pornography and scaily, for some people, may encourage a different sort of woman to make pornography a legitimate career choice.
Montana’s choice blasts the lie of the ‘sex tape’ out of the water. Let’s face it, both Paris and Kim knew exactly what they were doing when their sex tapes were released. They were complicit. The tape would never have been released without their consent. To be sure Rick Hilton never lost any sleep about the impact on his career after his daughter’s tape was released.
We live in Hollywood, fame and celebrity (even notoriety) is the goal for most people who live here. To live in your father’s shadow when you too crave what he has but your options are few…what’s a girl to do?
Porn has become a legitimate way for a starlet to reach a mass audience and become a star. The press is more than willing to collude with the associated lies. That both Paris and Kim shot their sex tapes covertly merely attempts to disguise the truth.
I take my hat off to Montana Fishburne. Let’s hope she makes a whole heap of cash. The kids of the rich and famous are notorious wasters. If this girl is as clever as she seems to be she’ll never ask her father for another cent. For the time being Montana Fishburne will glory in the spotlight that until now has been reserved exclusively for her father and my guess is that more people, in the long run, will see her film work than his.
After a delayed, bumpy, listless, sanguine (huh), laconic train-ride to Marseille with little to eat other than the ham and cheese I bought at Monoprix we finally arrived on the Riviera at 2 in the morning.
Of course the taxi driver tried to charge us 20 Euros for a 6-euro trip but I refused point-blank to give in to his extortion.
Marseille is the oldest city in France.
The Hotel Tonic, accommodation that Eric very kindly found for us, was directly on the Vieux Port, which, unsurprisingly, was less romantic than I remembered it when we – Richard Green and I – visited here 20 years ago.
At 3am bawdy groups of handsome Arabs sit around the harbor, some wearing dejellaba, gesticulating and smoking.
We walked the dog then fell into two tiny beds and fell fast asleep.
The first part of the first day was incredibly frustrating.
Our plan to rent a car and drive to Nice was scuppered by Hertz et al who said they had no cars. They told us gravely that there were in fact no cars to hire in the entire region!
After the preceding days of London drama we fell into an immediate funk. Being forced to stay an extra night in Marseille, getting on each other’s nerves. When we finally returned to the Hotel Tonic I slumped into the elevator and told him that I wanted to go home.
Tired and demoralized after all that had happened in London, unable to rent a car, sleeping in a miserable room, not hearing from the people we were meant to be staying with in St Tropez..
As it turned out it was really the best thing that could have happened.
Circumstance has a rather wonderful way of shape shifting.
Firstly, the good people of the Hotel Tonic upgraded us from our tiny room to a huge room in the attic with a majestic bathroom.
Once there we set about trying to rent a car on-line and immediately did so. The car paid for, as was a train from Nice to Paris on Thursday, we could relax for the first time in 48 hours. I unpacked my suitcase, had a long shower and washed the little dog.
Once settled, we decided to walk up the steep hill to the Notre-Dame de la Garde, the church with the huge golden angel on it overlooking all Marseille.
On our way there we explored the tiny, cobbled streets, leaving the tourists at the port, having my hat blow off my head many times in the refreshing gusts of wind that grew stronger as we climbed the hill.
It occurred to me, once we got there, that my climbing Runyon and praying was obviously a very human spiritual solution. Climbing clears the mind, exhausts the body and once at the top one is somehow prepared to pray.
There was a beautiful boy leaving the church when we arrived, pulling his shirt off for the decent. He had fluffy black hair and perfect disk like nipples. We were both entranced. Walking on either side of him two older men complimenting his perfect body. There was something utterly erotic yet innocent about all three of them.
Dogs not allowed in the church I briefly sat on my own and prayed for serenity.
On the way down the hill we chanced upon and made a reservation at the Passarelle on the rue du Plan Fourmiguier, a small yet intriguing looking restaurant tucked behind the Radisson Hotel on the Vieux Port.
I knew immediately that the Passerelle would make us both very happy. With blue and white awnings over the decked al fresco tables and chairs it all looked reassuringly authentic. As if to prove my point a very chic woman was cooking in the kitchen and took our reservation.
We discovered, quite by chance, a famous bakery called Four des Navettes on the rue Sainte that has sold scented loaves and hard, rose smelling/tasting bread sticks since 1781. I bought the hard sticks of byzantine ecclesiastical ‘bread’ and a sugary ‘brioche’ that was, in fact, a huge doughnut. The bread sticks were disappointing…like eating deodorant.
After a well-deserved nap we dressed for dinner and walked the half-mile back to the Passerelle and ate the most delicious food in the most perfect circumstance. I started with the salad of jambon Palme, melon, mozzarella, rocket and basil sprinkled with toasted seeds. After my salad, a tagine of lamb and couscous (I hate the word garnished) but it was indeed garnished with a delicious stewed pear. He ate grilled Loupe and ratatouille.
Unable to choose between the four deserts we ordered three of them. Yogurt with honey, chocolate tart and fruit salad.
During the dinner there was a children’s fashion show, ten very sweet infants paraded, hand in hand in the most charming crocodile showing off very pretty, beautifully made dresses.
After eating every last mouthful we sat under the awning chatting for a very long time. Drinking coffee and smoking aromatic French cigarettes. The walk back to the hotel, past throngs of happy, drunk holidaymakers was a rather wonderful way to end what promised to be a rather miserable day.
We spent a very long time making love that night. It was perfect.
The following morning we woke late, fled to the station collected our car; kangaroo hopped (stick shift) back to the Hotel Tonic where he manhandled the luggage into the tiny Ka and off we went.
Weaving our way East along the coast we discovered La Ciotat a small tourist town where we saw yet another beautiful man with a perfect smile and even more perfect body/nipples than the man on the steps leading from the church.
There were beaches and beaches covered with equally beautiful, tanned men…we gazed out of the car longingly. Gay men on vacation in the South of France looking at beautiful men. What could be more normal than that?
Interestingly and appropriately for us La Ciotat was the home to the first publicly projected movie by the Lumiere Brothers.
After a few hours of driving we settled into Sanary Sur Mer, a simple town that transformed at 7pm into a huge craft market and fete. In the Victorian bandstand a French rock band sang very spirited covers of amongst many, many others Maroon 5, The Band and Santana.
I upset the kebab shop man by buying kebab meat for the dog. The kebab man was a rude, nasty piece of work and I delighted in feeding the little dog his dinner even though the traveling companion ate half of it before the little thing had a chance.
We ate dinner in a small restaurant near the town center called (I can’t remember sorry). We started with the Moule Marinere then had the freshly caught grilled Tuna. He had the Paella, which had rabbit and chicken and huge prawns in it.
Two glasses of Rose for him only cost three euros. This made him very happy as he is incredibly careful about money.
Walked around the port back to our hotel and fell into a deep and immediate sleep.
I left LA last week (July 2nd) though it actually feels like months ago, so much has happened. I flew into JFK with bags and dog and chaos. He was waiting for me and whisked me off to a beautiful house set in perfect woodland and rolling lawns.
We ate and walked and talked. I never tire of listening to him. We have done our fair share of soul-searching these past few months and now it is time to have a few laughs. I know that at the back of his mind he worries, that he is not truly free.
Two days later we were in a taxi back to JFK and onto one of Air France’s spectacular Airbus A380. The huge plane was almost empty! Deciding to fly on July 4th was a great idea. Taking off over a million 4th July firework parties. Fireworks exploding all around us.
The first part of the journey was not without drama as we managed to get delayed for 3 hours by a bomb scare at JFK. The entire airport emptied out just minutes before we were about to fly. We were herded outside and sat around smoking cigarettes and drinking water. After a couple of hours in the sun we stampeded back into the building directly onto our planes and landed in France 6 hours later.
It is delicious to be back in Europe. Away from the tangled life I have left behind in the USA. Once in Paris we checked into Mama Shelter in the 20th, seconds from the cemetery Pere Lachaise. We loved it!
Although I smuggled the dog into the hotel-actually we had no need as dogs, we later found out, are allowed. The food and service were excellent. The only vaguely irritating thing was the Internet wi-fi connection which was linked to their rather modern but baffling Apple TV. Apart from finding it impossible to get on-line their sophisticated interconnected system meant that the TV remote would also remotely control our lap tops..hmmm.
It is so easy to concentrate on what is wrong in life or in others without noticing how beautiful things are. The staff at the hotel were gorgeous and we drooled over them everyday.
First day of Couture shows in Paris. We had lunch with William Stoddart at Hotel d’Amour near Pigalle. Gosh that area has changed so much! When I lived there with Claire Sant it was ghastly. Last week it was wonderful. The weather has been gorgeous everywhere we have been.
The beautiful Edouard joined us afterwards for coffee. We had dinner with him the night before and 6 others at Italian restaurant. Very pretty German model who was obviously rooting for Germany in the World Cup..she was tall and womanly and intelligent. We talked France’s ignominious exit from the competition and sneered at the British teams pathetic attempt to get into the last 8.
Three days in Paris followed by a train ride to Calais and a ferry to Dover after a short taxi ride home to Whitstable we were sitting on the beach eating venison burgers and the travelling companion couldn’t believe how beautiful it all was and complained that I had underplayed how Whitstable really is.
Today there are warnings that old people may overheat. We are going to take a train to London.
I am sitting writing this from my room overlooking the sea in Georgina’s home in Whitstable. It was my birthday yesterday. The day started well enough with coffee at Dave’s deli catching up on gossip and drinking his perfect latte. I left the companion in bed. He is not really a morning person. We met my mother for lunch at Wheelers where Mark Stubbs the chef there continues to surpass himself-this time with delicately spiced soft shell crab.
I really had no desire to see anyone other than who was at that table. I am certainly not interested in tangoing in front of 500 people like an eastern European gypsy. My mum and Georgina bonded over their hatred of Asylum Seekers. My mother pointed out that some asylum seekers were pretending to be gay so that they could stay in the country. If it’s not the Mexican’s it’s the Eastern Europeans..there always someone to blame for never having enough.
I thought that the fear of others getting something for nothing was an American phenomena but no! It’s British too.
After lunch Adam took my picture as part of his photographic Whitstable project and his lovely mum cut my hair. We sat in their lush garden drinking lemonade and lusting after his gorgeous, recently tattooed, diver brother. After the pictures were taken we walked the couple of miles home up the beach. I have never been so happy.
When we got home the companion had a drama unfold which he needed to deal with. When he finally tore himself away from the Internet we sat in the garden and ate dinner with Georgina. We ate huge organic pork chops that I managed to burn on the bbq. After dinner we sat outside the Neptune pub with Barry and other drunksters. The dog was tired and lay on the beach and fell asleep. The night was balmy and the sea lapped lazily over the shingle.
This morning I woke at 6am and walked the dog up to the harbor. He loves it here. The Greens who own the Oyster Company scrawl unfortunate notes on black boards all over their property. Don’t do this and don’t do that. Those black boards used to be charming now they just look vicious.
Some people like to get their own way..I am one of them. When you finally meet your match, as I seem to, it can be less than comfortable. I am trying to be sensitive to the needs of others but I am a stubborn old fool.
As for him..the traveling companion..he’s finding his feet and I am finding mine.
After dinner, before the last US election, I sat in a ‘circle’ with a bunch of my Jewish hippy friends who live in Northridge, California. They were praying quietly and not so quietly for the Obama presidency.
An African healer sat silently with us wearing traditional headdress and multi colored robes. He had been flown to their house from Africa so that he might share his wisdom.
In turn they held a gnarled wooden ‘talking stick’ and gravely shared their optimism for the creation of Obama World. The Obama paradigm shift, the liberal equal and opposite reaction. A world where sanity and fairness would be restored. Where this young black man’s promises would come true and Guantanamo would be shut down and wars would be ended quickly not slowly. Where Bush/Cheney corruption would be revealed and the culprits brought to justice.
Some of the women cried.
When I was handed the talking stick I advised them carefully not to worship false Gods, that I did not share their optimism and that they would only be disappointed. The hippies laughed at me with desultory guffaws but the silent African suddenly spoke up, “He is right!” They looked at him aghast! He pointed his long bony black finger around the room. “He is right. It is you all who are wrong.”
Duncan: 1. Hippies: 0.
Stunning naivety, ignorance and blindness have kept liberals in the USA an amateur political sideshow, they remain inchoate and powerless. They do not realize that they will never be represented by any established political party. Ever.
So Obama has not, as I suspected, provided the ‘paradigm shift’ that so many of my crystal loving film industry friends thought he would when they rushed to elect him.
Indeed, quite the opposite has happened.
After 10 years of Bush/Cheney there was no equal and opposite reaction, there was just more of the same. This time from a sweetly smiling, articulate black guy rather than the gruff inarticulate white guy. He has let you down and it is all the more galling.
In Britain another altogether more intriguing story is unfolding..
I am oddly optimistic about the Cameron/Clegg coalition. With no real power Prime Minister Cameron will have to toe the line and be more representative of the British people and their desires than cow towing to the ruling elite. Even though he is cut from aristocratic cloth he seems rather more inclusive than the scarily evolved Tebbit/Thatcher type of Tory who changed Britain over three decades ago.
Watched the England/Germany game. Proving that the squad seem more interested in their hair than scoring goals. They are an unruly mob of shopping addicts who have lost their passion for soccer and developed an expensive taste for power and prestige. Arrogant bunch of wankers.
Had a long chat with Dan in NYC. I was describing how my newly gay friend was evolving. I noted that he seemed to own and accept his power and beauty and acted accordingly.
We both agreed that if we had been that sure of ourselves when we were younger both of us would be dead. It was people like my newly out friend (not that I am suggesting he is sleeping around) who died first of the mysterious disease that became an epidemic and withered away the most beautiful boys.
AIDS, thankfully, never got me. I was always too much of a prude, never realized quite how beautiful I was and mostly too much of a snob and star fucker..unable to go near the average gay. In retrospect I think things turned out just fine for gay men like Dan and me. We survived. Might not have had as much sex as the others but certainly never paid the ultimate price.
I have come full circle. He, unwittingly brought me full circle. Being in love then not being in love. Wanting to own to letting go and enjoying, from afar, his freedom.
I have always fallen for the impossible. Yet, unlike before, I do not want to punish him for being who he is and instead just take a small amount of satisfaction from his evolving self. Like a bird trapped in oil in the Gulf of Mexico he is now cleaned up and ready to fly.
As he flies into his future..what of mine? Well, I am ok. I really am. A great deal could be a lot better but I am OK.
We are off to Paris next week and part of me wants never to come back.
I loved being in love. It has happened so rarely of late. As I draw down the shutters on a gay life that I really have no reason to be part of I instead, sit at the edge of that world.
Perhaps there will be a time in the near future when he will come to me and I will be able to hear all of his conquests and heart breaks without my own heart being quite so broken.
Yet, even writing that, I know that he cannot (any longer) break my heart.
I knew with certainty that Obama would never satisfy the lust for change some of my friends thought he might, just as they knew that I have been naïve about falling in love with him. He was not sent to be the great love of my life.
He was sent, actually, to be my friend and for that I am very grateful.
P.S. So Arrianna Huffington is bemoaning Obama and how frustrated people are with him. How dare she! It was her daily attacks on Hillary Clinton and lauding of Obama that galvanized so much support for him. She was short-sighted and more overly impressed by his ivy league nerdyness than his ability to lead. She wants 5 words to accept her webby award? How about: I was wrong about Obama.