The summer after each child graduated high school Mom and Dad would say, “Love you to death but this house ain’t big enough. Time to go.” My sister, however, lived there until she was 21 and when it finally came time for Mom and Dad to sit her down and say, “You’ve gotta go,” she cried. She ended up moving to the tiny mobile trailer across the field.
I remember very little from the time she lived at home, I was 5 when she moved out, but I do remember one thing: being obsessed with her wardrobe. Unlike Mom’s wardrobe, which was appropriate for a 46 year-old woman who had popped out 10 kids and was shaped like a jelly bean, my sister’s was stylish. She worked at the courthouse as a file clerk and had to dress nicely. She’d wear fitted one-pieces cut just above the knee with shoulder pads and high heels.
There’s still one story that she loves to tell whenever we’re around the bonfire discussing the signs of my sexuality as a child. Apparently I liked to help her get ready for dates. Before the second date (with her now current husband) I sat on the bed as she tried on clothes in front of the mirror.
“You can’t wear those,” the 5 year-old me said as she held up a pair of white jeans against her legs.
“Why not?” she asked.
“Because you wore them on the last date,” I said.
I may not have known who the Cincinnati Bengals were and this Ickey Shuffle that my brothers kept impersonating but I definitely knew what my sister was wearing on her dates.
I love bachelorette parties as much as the next gay but I totally support The Abbey’s decision. It’s just another point we have to make until shit is legal. One of my gurls was pouting and said, “But anyone celebrating their bachelorette party at a gay bar most likely supports gay marriage. We shouldn’t be punished.” In the most polite way possible I said, “Bitch, take it to Chip N Dale’s. Having it at a gay bar is like rubbing it in our faces.”
“I’m convinced we all are voyeurs. It’s part of the detective thing. We want to know secrets and we want to know what goes on behind those windows. And not in a way that we would use to hurt anyone. There’s an entertainment value to it, but at the same time we want to know: What do humans do? Do they do the same things as I do?”—David Lynch
Me: Oh, I’m fine. It’s just that my tables are very demanding. They’re making me run around a lot.
Mario: Estás triste?
Me: No. Estoy bien. Es que no tengo nada que decir. Todo está bien.
Ronnie: What’s up with you?
Me: Huh? Nothing. I’m fine. I’m just a little tired.
I was trying to be a good American by saying everything was fine. When I lived in Spain my German roommate always said, “In America, if your dog just died and your Mom was diagnosed with cancer and someone asks how you’re doing, you always respond with a smile and say, ‘Everything’s fine.’” The truth is I wasn’t feeling O.K.
Two days ago at 7 a.m. I was woken up by a police officer tapping on my car window. Sweating and confused, I unrolled my window.
“Good morning,” he said. “We got a call from some concerned neighbors. Are you O.K.?”
“What? Oh, yeah. I’m fine,” I said as I pretended to act as though I had just parked my car. I started to collect my things from the passneger seat.
“O.K., just checking,” he said and then walked back to his car and drove off.
Why was I sleeping in my car? The last thing I remember was sitting on my friend’s couch in Hollywood, drinking a Pacifico and watching the English episode of Family Guy. As soon as I got in my apartment I locked the door, closed all the blinds, and crawled in bed and stayed there for the rest of the day.
What upset me most wasn’t so much the fact that I blacked-out only after a week of saying that I was going to work on things, I’m only human, but it was the fact that I drove drunk, which makes me a mother fuckin’ MONSTER. I can stomach the idea of hurting myself but the thought of irresponsibly hurting someone else makes me vomit.
I was playing right center when there was a pop fly. The girl playing second base called it but I assumed she was going to drop it so I ran for it anyways. She had her arms stretched in the air and just as the ball touched her fingertips, I come barreling into her back. We both fell to the ground and in a dust cloud, rolled across the dirt. Tiny pebbles ripped through our skin. I heard someone in the bleachers gasp. As I helped her up the captain came over and in a low, stern voice said, “Jim, when people call it, let them have it.”
It reminded me of the time in middle school when the P.E. coach gave me detention for asking her when she was going to put the boys in the volleyball match because, “the girls are sucking.” She, a lesbian, didn’t take too kindly to it and after class lectured me for 15 minutes. I can’t remember what she said, but I do remember crying heavily. When she was finished she rubbed my back and asked if I was going to be alright. “I think,” I said as I used the sleeve of my T-shirt to wipe away the tears.
Last night my friend received his 9 month sobriety chip from AA. To show my support, I joined him at the meeting.
It was held in the basement of a Christian grammar school. The windowless room with dull grey linoleum and blank walls made it easy to focus on the situation at hand: alcohol. We went around the room introducing ourselves but many of the names got drowned out by squeaking the rickety wooden chairs made every time someone bent over to grab their cup of coffee off the floor.
“Hi, I’m Steven. Alcoholic,” he said quickly and then looked at the guy next to him to go. I began to get nervous the closer it got to my turn. What should I say? Should I try to blend in and say I’m an alcoholic or should I be honest?
“Hi. I’m Jim and I’m here to support my friend,” I said. But would it have been a lie if I said I was an alcoholic?
What is an alcoholic? Some people say you’re one if you’ve blacked out more than 3 times in your life. If that’s the case then slap my ass and call me Drew Barrymore. However, my definition is a little different. To me it’s someone who has to drink every day. Someone who craves it, needs it, and abuses it. I certainly don’t drink every day and I definitely don’t crave it, but I do abuse it. I normally only drink once a week but when I do I’m like a machine that goes all night until the next morning when I wake up feeling as empty as the bottle of Pacifco lying next to me. At my age, that’s not cute.
So in an effort to grow up, and not just get older, I’ve decided to take action. Does that mean I’ll never drink again? No. Does that mean I’ll never black out again? Probably not. It simply means that I’m going to work on it. I want to wake up the morning after a night out and feel proud of myself, not guilty. I want to feel as proud as I did for my friend who walked up and received their 9 month chip.
Day dates are fine if you’re meeting for the first time at a coffee joint or for the 43rd time at a pet store to pick out a goldfish together, but when it’s the 5th date and you’re still trying to figure out where things stand, it’s not the best of signs.
We went for a hike in Franklin Canyon, a really pretty and remote area nestled between Beverly Hills and the Valley just off Coldwater. For most of the hike, even on the part of the trail that was 10 feet wide, he walked in front of me. At one point he reached his hand back and right as I was about to grab it I realized he was just warning me of the giant, brown snake slithering across the trail. I let out a lil’ scream and then put my hand in my pocket and kept it there the rest of the hike.
The conversation was good but it seemed liked we couldn’t agree on anything. He didn’t agree that homosexuals have it harder than other minorities when it comes to finding acceptance at home. I read once, can’t remember the source, a guy make an argument how most minorities aren’t minorities at home becasue they’re surrounded by others just like them, but homosexuals don’t feel that community becasue they’re the only one and therefore still fee like a minority. He said, “You can’t say that, you’re not black.” I didn’t get it, so I dropped it. Maybe I wasn’t making sense but there was no way I was agreeing with him when he said that flamboyant gays are negative because they give the homosexual community a bad rep.
The distance and disagreements made me realize that we’re probably 1 date away from just being friends. Dammit, now I’m gonna have to make a video of me singing Adele or some shit like that…
Sweet D spent her 31st Birthday in Bangkok’s gay district…
The gay soi’s are narrow alleys barely wide enough for one car to fit through. Soi 2 has all of the starter bars. Imagine WeHo crammed into a single alley with bars reaching up into the sky, each balconied level containing any number of farang and thai gays leaning over and shouting, spilling drinks, raining glass bottles and cigarette ash down on ladyboys, punters, touts and Japanese businessmen wandering lost looking for Soi Little Tokyo. This tiny crowded soi is all about making the walk to see and be seen. Little round tables pour out from the front decks of the bars further congesting and choking up the little dark alley, barely leaving any room for the go-go dancers strutting up and down the street handing out flyers. I made one round up and down Soi 2 scanning the crowded decks and balconies trying to decide which end of the crazy gay buffet to start from. As usual I let my love for go-go boys do the decision making and latched on to the tannest, prettiest, most sparkly one of them all. He handed me a flyer and I was instantly blinded by his pearly white teeth and peroxide hair, maybe I was feeling a little homesick for WeHo but I had to know what lone White boy was doing working so far from home. “Whatever you’re selling I’m buying because you are adorable” I told him. He smiled and curtsied. He was wearing a pair of teeny tiny daisy dukes, black combat boots and a tight little black hoody partially unzipped to show off his bronzed, washboard abs. I asked where he was from and he said…
I was 22 and had just moved up to Los Angeles from Irvine. Things weren’t working out in Orange County. My commission only, pyramid scheme, door-to-door sales job just wasn’t paying the bills. So I packed up and drove to L.A. where I found a job at a steakhouse. That’s where I met Karla. She had her eye set on me from day 1. Three weeks later at 3 a.m. she was stealing my virginity on the living room floor of the house I was crashing at. She was aggressive. I was curious. It worked.
The cooks always ask me how I was able to get it up with women. I correct them and say, “Woman. There was only one,” and then explain that it was the first time I was actually having sexual contact with something other than my hand so I was easily aroused… but I definitely remember thinking I’d prefer she were a man. She knew that, though. We were pretty open with each other. Karla was aware that I was bisexual and I was aware that Karla had a Sugar Daddy.
I liked her Sugar Daddy, he was generous. I never officially met him but one time he gave her his MasterCard and she used it to rent us, just her and I, a room for the weekend at the Standard on Sunset.
At one point we were intertwined like two rattlesnakes fighting. I was on top of her and she had her legs wrapped around me. As we were kissing I felt my nose start to run so I took a strong sniff to clear it. I felt it slide down my throat and it tasted like copper. I ignored it and continued kissing her. I felt another drip come out my nose and smear across her upper lip.
“Oh no,” I said as I pulled away.
“What?” she said while squeezing her legs tighter so that I couldn’t pull-out.
“I think I have a bloody nose,” I said squirming and grunting.
“Who gives a shit,” she said and pulled me back in.
The kissing became so messy that at one point it felt like our faces were two ice cubes rubbing together. When I finally finished I jumped out of bed and made my way to the bathroom. It was pitch black and I couldn’t see a thing so I rubbed the wall to help guide me. She came roaring behind and stubbed her toe on the suitcase. We finally made it to the bathroom and I flipped on the switch.
It was the most horrific hysterical sight I had ever seen. Reflecting in the mirror were two hyenas that looked like they had just finished devouring a zebra. Except for the circles around our eyes, both faces were completely covered in blood. We cleaned ourselves up and then had sex on the balcony. It was a weird, yet insightful, weekend.
I finished work early today. Since it was so nice out I decided to go to the U.C.L.A. campus and do some reading. As I passed Royce Hall I saw two college bros sitting on the stairs.
“Excuse me, guys.” I said. They stopped talking and looked at me. “Could you tell me where Wilson Plaza is?” I knew exactly where it was, I just wanted to ask them something else.
“Uh, right there,” the one wearing a backwards hat said while pointing past the fountain.
“Oh! Cool,” I said. I stood there for a second as they stared at me. “Can I ask you guys something,” I said.
“Sure,” the one not wearing a hat said.
“What do you think about Obama announcing that he supports gay marriage,” I said.
“It’s cool,” he said. The other one nodded. And that was it. I smiled and continued on my way.
What president Obama said today should in no way get criticized for not being enough. Right now we’re in the middle of a Civil Rights movement and as history has shown, they’re not won overnight. This has been a long process and there’s still plenty to go but we should be happy with the progress made today. As I sat on the grassy hill in the middle of campus, playing with a dead bee, I thought about my contributions. I listed a few but one thing that I regret not doing, something that I believe is the duty of every gay person who wants to make a difference, was coming out of the closet earlier. Exposure is key in movements like these, so COME OUT!
When I’m nervous/uncomfortable about having sex I’ll do things that I think are desensitizing the situation but are really just making it worse. Like when he was laying on the couch and I told him to strip off his clothes and masturbate in the middle of the room. That’s not me. He refused, saying that he wasn’t a piece of meat. I stopped pressing the issue because I realized what I had just asked him to do. I did it again when he asked me if I had a condom and I said in the most believable way, “Um, actually I don’t. I don’t really like using protection.” I waited for his reaction. He got uncomfortable and said, “Really?” I kept a straight face and said, “Sorry.” Right before he was about to turn me down I laughed and kissed him and said, “Of course I have a condom. I’m just kidding.” That’s not the type of stuff you joke about. The next morning I woke up and thought to myself, “Who the fuck were you? Gross.” I’m the monster master of self-sabotage.
Reuters recently conducted a poll of 16,262 people around the world — and found that almost 15 percent believe the world will end in their lifetime. In the U.S., that number was higher; 22 percent said they’re banking that the end is near. The end of the Mayan calendar has contributed to heightened end-of-the-world prophecies, but some say they believe a natural disaster or political unrest will bring about a mass extinction of humanity.
I’m sometimes that guy at the party who will interrupt a light and airy conversation about palm trees to ask someone where they’d hide if the “Big One” hit RIGHT NOW! Talk about a buzz kill. So in an effort to be less pessimistic I’ve been doing exercises and one of them is to ask yourself, “Was this just a thought or was it a fact?”
Was Thinking Before The Date: I’ve got a friend who works there that can hook us up.
Was Thinking During The Date: What if it seems like I’m already trying to introduce him to my friends?
Was Thinking After The Date: I won’t bring a boyfriend around my friends until after at least 4 months. The server that works there is more of a friend of a friend. Sweet D used to work there so we’ve all hung out together a few times. Her and I don’t hang out alone but I will go to her house and feed her cat when she’s out of town. She’s a friend, but not the first person I’d introduce a boy to. On a completely unrelated note, my date mentioned that he’s not looking for anything serious. We both agreed on casual hanging out with occasional body contact. Should be a nice way to ease my way into the summer…