Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tres Gentile

Several weeks ago, dear friends Jonas and Victoria sent me a care package filled with schwag as they do annually around the holidays for my birthday. At some point I must have lamented that my birthday gets lost and since this admission they have seen fit that a florid package arrives for me wherever in the world I am. I know the gesture has a bigger meaning than the occasion itself. Predictably, a thank you card is sent and in so doing am reminded that part of being a man is knowing how to receive gifts. It is not a competition.

Among the items in my gift box this season was a tester of a fragrance by Givenchy called 'Gentlemen Only' which is my newest most beloved discovery. I'm in my forties now. Am I automatically a gentleman? I thought I drank like one though I've come to believe I was mistaken. I own a tuxedo and I open doors for ladies and lend them my jacket when it's cold.

I am a gentleman when I say so.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Loose Ends

My first and final year of college I moved with my pal, Kip, into a two- bedroom apartment at 950 Steiner Street. It's the block on which the storied 'Seven Sisters', perhaps the most photographed Victorian houses in the world are. Steiner is a nice span of avenue and the view from Alamo Square Park is among the most picaresque in San Francisco so naturally there has never been a shortage of tour buses or travellers snapping pictures of The Painted Ladies, trudging,  up and down my old street...

Cafe Flore, probably- I don't remember when we met -but I once had a rangy lover named John whom I was mad for.  6'1", toothy grin,  freckled yet silky smooth alabaster skin, the most luscious mane of red hair and a body you'd sketch in an anatomy class. I'd like to say he had hazel eyes but I fell for the browns in them. An intellectual New Englander, I knew little about him from the waist up.

John was drawn to S&M and its aesthetic tensions as well as the sandpaper that was/is interracial gay male relationships in the early 90's. At approximately the time we began dating, AIDS was truly out of control. Dizzying, complex, tragic and truly frightening, there was a great deal of activism and outrage around the country's inability and unwillingness to give a shit about HIV. I was pissed, Larry Kramer was pissed, Marlon Riggs was pissed- anyone homosexual -was pissed. Act-Up had had it and became the centrifugal force for what we now call 'awareness' about the role of government. At the top of the list of primarily men to be taken from the world from HIV/AIDS were African- Americans (also around the period we began to call them that and not 'Blacks') Africans and Haitians. Men older than myself but on many levels identical to me.

The term seroconversion became part of the collective but hush- hush gay lexicon. The reaction to anything 'vanilla' with everything extreme. To have sex with as many partners as possible (in as many places as possible- at the gym, at bars, gloryholes in the Embarcadero, on BART) was the rebellious antidote to living in the dark, awful caves of fear and terror. John's interest in risky behavior was playful at best and, at worst, predictable but what was attractive to me was the eroticism in his politics. He was a chaste vicar in a tutu to my nubile yet cowardly lion. I couldn't call him my boyfriend which made our roles possible and playtime thrilling.

One early evening in the fall (interrupting mine and Kip's regularly scheduled bong rip, Red Hook and Golden Girls daily after-work program) John and me disappeared into my room to literally open up his bag of tricks. After a lovely afternoon spent fellating one another and taking black and white pictures of me and duct tape, I gleaned that there was to be a second phase of our romp. I had recently blown my school loan on a futon and a stereo and, already objectified and horny,  invited him over to christen my bed.

Our apartment was on the ground floor and basically eye level to the sidewalk outside. I don't recall any blinds and I had no furniture so my space made an artistic tableau for what John had in mind which, in retrospect, was more performance art than subversive kink. Golden Girls could be heard in the background and Kip belly laughing at it but that was soon drowned out by Peter Gabriel's 'Passion Of The Christ' soundtrack, which John cranked up. Stoned and tittilated, I heard the melodies from my bed, to which both my legs and arms were tied with rope and where I lay, blindfolded, hearing the faint clopping of the footsteps of commuters and passersby.

Every few minutes hot wax was spilled onto my naked chest, tummy and legs. Incense burned along with my flesh and I could hear my 'master' moan with excitement and the occasional honking of a tour bus or car. John's warm, waxy and lubricated hand would twiddle with my dick or finger me readying me to squirt and then.... nothing...... but the music from a bazaar or the muffled mutterings of German tourists. Fed things like strawberries, warm chocolate and whipped cream, I was really turned on as was my captor though that was just a guess because unbeknownst to me John had left the room. Tethered to my shitty futon and gagged with a bandanna, I was  powerless to move or yell and once the tracks stopped (and I felt the chill of fog waft in from the wide-open windows) I began to panic. If Kip was home he was silent and if John left, we certainly hadn't established a 'safe word'.

At first I was aroused in anticipation of what was next. I'd seen '9 1/2 Weeks' and recall thinking Kim Basinger was lucky because Mickey Rourke was hot and hoped that I got to handle John's's unit for the second time that day. Erect with the thought of having sex with John whilst strangers watched, many minutes passed by...and: nothing. After that fantasy evaporated I began to get a bit angry. I wasn't the sort to wait around to get laid plus I had the munchies and had to pee. Later, thoughts of avarice and slavery crossed my mind and I became enraged which, when I say it calmly and aloud now, makes me chuckle. The truth was: I was pissed at myself for not working this out beforehand with John which, of course, would have been pointless.

Eventually the CD ended and it was quiet in the apartment. I was scared but couldn't call out for help. I didn't need help. I was ashamed more than anything but the fear of being left naked, humiliated and alone freaked me out and I began to sob. The tears, the product of feelings of abandonment and confusion rained heavy but lasted maybe a few minutes and then...: nothing....I was exhausted, defeated and grew serene as my head emptied of all thought I found this strange peace. The certainty that regardless of what happened next I'd be alright if I had just a little bit of faith. Then I started laughing. Big time.

I always knew John would return, that we'd likely argue as I feigned indignation and outrage and would later enjoy the best, most furtive lovemaking of my 23 year old life. John had taught me a valuable truth that day, a lesson it has taken me decades to grasp: That no matter what constraints, blindfolds or gags anyone put on me there is no bondage more punishing or exhilarating than my own thoughts of the unknown.




Saturday, October 5, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fresh Water Pearls


Last week Brody. Monique and myself went to dinner at a place called Hog & Rocks (www.hogandrocks.com) which is basically a bar that serves bacon and oysters in the Mission.
At the beginning of the year Brody and her husband Serge made homemade 'artisanal' pizzas for us. For weeks since New Years, I'd begun making jokes about all things artisanal and one of the offerings on the menu was an artisanal pretzel, which I had and was delicious and at $4 ought to be. Also on the menu were winter pickles about which I panicked when it dawned on me that I had been eating regular pickles not knowing that there were seasons or that you could charge six dollars for them. The Kumamotos were small and cost less so we got those instead. Still...


After coffee with a high school friend Guthrie the week before that at Cafe Arlequin (www.arlequincafe.com) upon returning to the lot where his car was parked we happened upon a gorgeous blue 80's Toyota Land Cruiser a car we both coveted. As we inspected the car we were reminded that it was now close to thirty years old and wondered at what point something becomes vintage. Later that night I remembered I was wearing a style of jean AG calls vintage wash. Guthrie and l lamented about the loss of regular jeans you wash yourself decrying the absurdity of the urban lumberjack fashion trend attacking heterosexual Californian men and how we've both escaped this by the narrowest of margins. At least his Lexus had heated seats. It was then that he told me he ate only organic dinosaur kale from Whole Foods. With a grimace I asked why hadn't he simply grown his own?





Thursday, January 17, 2013

Golden Globe Guys 2013

Eddie Redmayne

Jeremy Renner

Damian Lewis

Golden Globe Girls 2013

Amy Adams gets bigger...

Kristen Wiigs even more

Naomi Watts is Posen with electrics...

Finally, JLD gets it right...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Resolution

Love doesn't just sit there
Like a stone
It has to be made
Like bread
Remade
All the time
Made new

Ursula K Le Guin

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Exodus 10:22

Arkansas toothpick: large knife
Boston marriage: long-term, same-sex romantic friendship
Brazilian wax: linear pubic topiary
Bronx cheer: jeers of derision
Canadian tuxedo: denim jacket with denim trousers
China syndrome: a sequence of catastrophic events
Chinese burn: twisting skin around wrists
Chinese compliment: a pretense of deference and agreement
Chinese fire drill: when, at a red light, passengers in a car swap seats
Chinese walls: metaphorical walls of (business) confidentiality
Chinese whispers or Russian scandals: misheard overhearings
Cornish hug: a wrestling match
Egyptian darkness: 'darkness so thick it can be felt' (Exodus 10:22)
English disease: homosexuality; syphilis
English rule: that guests of a common host need not be introduced
French inhale: exhaling cigarette smoke orally before drawing it back nasally
French leave/exit: going off without asking permission/saying goodbye
Full Cleveland: white shoes, white belt
Glasgow kiss: head-butt
Greek gift: one that hides and act of treachery
Indian summer: an autumnal recurrence of warm weather
Irish confetti: bricks, stones, etc.,used as weapons
Irish exit: to leave drunk
London particular: a dense fog
Maine lawman: one who advocates prohibition
Manchurian candidate: a brainwashed agent of another
Maryland parson: one adept at fitting in with any company
Mexican holster (or Mexican carry): stuffing a handgun into one's belt
Mexican stand-off: a stalemate; a massacre in cold blood
Michigan bankroll: where a high-value bill conceals others of a lower value
New York minute: a few seconds
Ohio fever: a yearning to move west
Oklahoma rain: a dust storm
Pennsylvania caps: recapped tires with an unbroken tread line
Philadelphia lawyer: a highly skilled (and perhaps unscrupulous) lawyer
Portuguese parliament: where all speak at once
Roman holiday: enjoyment at the expense of others
Russian roulette: suicidal gambling with firearms
Sheffield finish: when a (club) singer goes to town on a final note
Spanish practices: tolerated graft, corruption, and indolence
Texas hankie: blowing one's nose into one's hand
Texas stop: slowing down but not halting at a Stop sign
Virginia vapor: tobacco smoke

Oh My Lord Jesus- It's A FIRE!


Friday, August 10, 2012

R.I.P. Anna Piaggi 1931-2012


Toxic Forest

The results of a toxic sludge which swept through Hungary this year.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

More Lucien Freud: Bowery

Click To Enlarge

Not My Sentiments...Exactly.

“The nice thing about being a celebrity is that when you bore people they think it’s their fault”. Henry Kissinger

“Democracy is good. I say this because other systems are worse”. Jawaharlal Nehru

“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove you don’t need it”. Bob Hope

“In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant”. Charles DeGaulle

“Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for”. Dag Hammerskjold

“The penalty of success is to be bored by people who used to snub you”. Nancy Astor

“The opposite of talking is not listening. The opposite of talking is waiting”. Fran Lebowitz

“Three o’ clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do”. Jean Paul Sartre

“The meek shall inherit the earth but not it’s mineral rights”. John Paul Getty

“I hate being late. Those who are late are punished”. Mahatma Gandhi

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Eleanor Roosevelt

“Impelled by a state of mind which is destined not to last we make irrevocable decisions”. Marcel Proust

“You can kill a man but you can’t kill an idea”. Myrlie Evers

“To be Black in America is to be in a constant state of rage”. James Baldwin

“I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating and in fourteen days I lost two weeks”. Joe E Lewis

News is what somebody somewhere doesn’t want you to know. The rest is advertising”. Unknown

“That’s not a lie. It’s a terminological inexactitude”. Alexander Haig

”Don’t believe everything you think” bumper sticker

Black History: DC Sniper


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Things

Home

Where Do You Live? Charlottesville Virginia
Favorite Artist? Tom Sachs
Sheets? Area
Luggage? Flight 001
China? Gibson
Coffeemaker? Bodum
Stationery? Rock Paper Scissors
Favorite Flowers? Ranunculus
Favorite Gadget? iTouch
Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant? Tavola
Favorite Drink? Cucumber Limeade
Favorite Dessert? Coconut Cake
Favorite Snack? Fruit


Clothes


Jeans? AG
Sneakers? Vans
Watch? Timex
T-Shirt? American Apparel
Day Dress? A.P.C.
Day Bag? Jack Spade
Evening Bag? Joseph
Favorite Accessory? Chan Luu
Favorite Designer? Dries Van Noten


Beauty Products


Lipstick? M.A.C.
Mascara? Rimmel
Shampoo? Malin & Goetz
Moisturizer? Cetaphil
Hair Product? Kiehl's
Perfume? Acqua di Parma Profumo di Mirto
Toothpaste? Crest
Soap? Fresh
Nail Polish? 'Lincoln Park After Dark' by O.P.I.
Exercise? Biking
Where Do You Get Your Hair Cut? Home

Inspirations

Favorite Place In The World? San Francisco
Who Inspires You? Family & Friends
Necessary Extravagance? Maid
Favorite Charity? Warby Parker
Favorite Movie? Easy A
Favorite Shopping Mecca? Brooklyn
Favorite Hotel? Ace
Favorite Color?Aquamarine

Cocteau Twins featuring Massive Attack

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nouns of Assemblage

a malapertness of peddlers
a spring of teals
a  gang of elk
a murmuration of starlings
a suit of sails
a wilderness of monkeys
a doping of sheldrake
a clutch of eggs
a coven of witches
a staff of servants
a field of runners
a sheaf of arrows
a chattering of choughs
a cete of badgers
a bench of bishops
a murders of crows
a bundle of rags
a barren of mules
a pontification of priests
a rag of colts
a walk of snipe
an exaltation of larks
a muster of peacocks
a desert of lapwing
a drift of swine
a stud of mares
a parliament of rooks & owls
a glozing of taverners
a covey of ptarmigan
a business of ferrets
a drunkship of cobblers
a sounder of wild boar
a nye of pheasants
a fall of woodcock
a sege of herons
a herd of curlews

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Jones Family: 5+ Years Ago

Click To Find Brothers Here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012