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I feel like I owe a karmic apology, whatever that might even mean, to all the folks I’ve ever made fun of when they say they’re jet lagged after flying from one coast to the other. Oh please, I usually scoff, Wait until you fly across an ocean! Then I’ll feel sorry for you! I’m such a travel snob. Maybe it’s another sign of aging, but I’m fully in the jet lag weirdness since arriving here yesterday… So my heart goes out to you, non ocean-traversing traveler. I am sorry! I should have screamed it from the top of the canyon, where I was in the morning, happily adding myself to the cliché of hiking in the canyon in the morning. I was by myself, passing pairs and groups on my way up the cement path. More than once I heard folks talking about actors, actresses or scripts. Well it is the epicenter of the entertainment industry so why should I be surprised but it still seemed unexpected. I felt mildly out of shape in an east-coast-urbanity way but also full of energy, having not smoked a cigarette in over a month. I’m always bifurcated.

After spending way more time hiking than I expected to, and loving every moment of it, except maybe for the part when I was caught in the middle of a strange shuttle run of sorts between this inordinately fit middle aged gay latino couple and their tiny fucking ratdogs, who kept passing me then going behind me then passing me and I was like please kill me, I went to the Museum of Death, which really should be called the Museum of Murder. It’s pretty disgusting. I went there because part of what I’m doing here is working on a piece where I’m talking about killing a piece of mine, so it seemed right. Research. I got caught up looking at how good a lot of these serial killers’ artwork is. Drawings and paintings that would make great tattoos if it weren’t for the fact that the artist had snuffed out people’s lives in horrifying ways. I was comforted by my own disgust, taking it as bone marrow level proof that my moral compass is alive and well.

Earlier, on the hike, I’d been thinking about M non-stop, wondering if he would enjoy doing something like that. Maybe if you’re from here you reject all of the cliché things, like most natives of anywhere do. I took pictures I wanted to send him later and imagined us living here and hiking every Saturday morning, wearing just the right combination of sporty/hipster hiking outfits. But my visit to the Museum of Death was something to be experienced alone – although there were lots of couples there, which makes you wonder about people.

M recommended a bookstore here that he said was one of his favorite places on earth so I thought I’d check it out after lunch. I googled “Best Mexican places in LA” and picked the second place on the list and Wazed it there only to discover that it was basically a fucking Chipotle with a different name. I’m a terrible tourist and have always been. I was ravenous though so I ate my shame and then made my way through a street fair downtown. There were a couple of tents/booths… tentbooths? with gay stuff. One of them was devoted to PrEP and the cute guy/tentbooth barker was like Do you know about PrEP? All smiley about it and I said Yes of course, is this lube free? I pointed at the bottles arranged in a Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation pyramid and he said, Well yeah, so what happens here is that we talk some stuff and then we give you things! I said Ok. We’d done the PrEP convo I guess so he asked Well do you know about PEP? and again I said Yes and seeing as any further interaction was predicated on my ignorance of things I already knew about, I took the bottle of lube and walked.

M is right – the bookstore is beautiful. It was comforting being somewhere he loves and loving it, too. I wandered through the rare book annex, and then to poetry and then wandered up to Latin American History. I went to see that super famous queer theorist last night at the nice theater that’s never presented my work and probably never will, and she was giving a talk about mourning and the work of that super famous Colombian artist and one of the notes I took was “Latin American History” as in, read some more of it, dumbass. I tried telling my sister about it this morning – I went to see ____ last night and she said Who’s that? And I said, Um, just about one of the most important queer theorists alive and she said Oh well newsflash I’m queer and so I don’t need to READ about being queer I’m LIVING it. There’s no arguing with her.

I was debating whether or not to buy two if not more books and then reminded myself that I’ve got enough on my plate book wise right now so I got up and started weaving back through the aisles when he passed me. I spontaneously whispered his name as if playing a get-to-know-you theater game but he didn’t hear me. He seemed hellbent on getting to whatever section he was walking to. I paused, delighted, and for a split second almost wanted to tell him Hey! Hey! I’m so and so and I’m here doing a show and…. but immediately dismissed the ridiculousness of this. The whole store, the whole city is built on lay lines of celebrity and power that glow in the dark if you turn the lights off. It was on my mind already having seen at least three film shoots since arriving. I love it. I love being surrounded by fiction. The promise of a constructed story rather than the haphazard one I’m living. This fantastical store housing this purveyor of fantasy. It was almost shocking to consider that he reads. He reads! I read. M reads. We all read and imagine things and (sometimes) realize them. I thought about how J helms a machinery of imagination that costs and makes millions of dollars – should I judge him for that? – and we’re crossing paths in the sci-fi section of this beautifully run down store.

Back downstairs I saw him again at the register with who I assumed were his wife and their son and I had a moment of Well look at you, good parents! Bringing your child to this beautiful bookstore. Congrats to you! Tried not to stare but took a moment to take them all in – this family at the bookstore, this man responsible for making things that I’ve given hours of my life to. So strange.

I texted M when I left. I saw ______. He wrote back You’ve been there 24 hours! And I wrote – Fame finds me.




I had my shopping list but left my pen in the car so I kept looping back to the bulk bins to use the pen there to cross things off the list as I got them. I thought about how my sexist uncle would probably comment on my weight when he came over for dinner the next day and I was testing out comebacks in my head: “Just trying to get as fat as you!”

It’s the pricier market of course but when I go there it somehow comforts me into thinking that I’m not totally off the grid of culture, which, as I write that, is disgusting I know. At least the color scheme doesn’t scream Hospital like Publix.

When I’m at my parents’ for more than a few days I start to feel like I’m in an aquarium, on both sides of the glass. I watch myself swim in circles. It’s as if I’ve never done anything with my life, am no one. What’s next What’s next What’s next. Repeatedly racing back to the hazelnuts to use the fucking pen only underscored the feeling. I only had an hour and told myself to hurry up but the water, the water is so thick. It takes so long just to turn my head.

I was in the baking aisle and, at first, just noticed her as this very petite, slim and eager shopper. She was with an older guy who I assumed was her dad. And then, as I cantilevered my head to the side, it dawned on me who she was. Like sonar coming from miles away:




I jumped from one aquarium of unreality to another, where this person, who I’d watched grow up on TV, was inexplicably concerned with the contemporary banality of Christmas dinner in this godforsaken place. (The very definition of it really. There may be churches all over but is there anywhere more uncompassionate, unChristian or unholy as Florida?)

She didn’t look at me but she knew she’d been recognized. She seemed to relish it. Her dad, too, I think? I wanted to say something but my mouth was full of thick, opiating seaweed. Mostly I just wanted to ask Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy are you here? I tried not to make it too obvious but I remembered the scene where she’s running down the hall away from Don Draper and she trips and all of the other main “female leads” come out of their offices and it’s this generational, pseudo-feminist symbolism of Look how we all struggle. It was effective. She’s so young, still! It seemed impossible to me that anyone younger than she is now could be self-aware enough to act, let alone remember to bring a pen for her own list, which she did, and she crossed things off gleefully, purposefully. “Mom will kill us if we….” she was saying, but with a real heavy reading: “Mom will kill us…” That downward turn at the end of her sentences that ends in a fry, which was always a tipoff to me that she wasn’t really from that other time. I feel like vocal fry is more modern than that.

I ran into her again in another aisle, by accident or something. I’m not following you, I wanted to say, It’s just that the tank is only so big. Saw her yet again as I was loading the trunk of the car. I slowed down to see what kind of car they had. She was texting as she walked. Black skinny jeans, black flannel plaid shirt (in this weather), sun streaked hair. Very L.A.







I was coming from therapy and riding down Broadway. The biking situation around Madison Square Eats is very confusing and even though all of the bike lanes are freshly painted, practically neon, it still feels dangerous to ride there with all of the wayward pedestrians snaking through the Bloomberg era tables and chairs smack in the middle of the road. I’d walked into therapy in a strange mood, and told B my thesis about how I can’t tell the difference between Acceptance, Endurance and Resignation. This happens – where I get caught up in a theory-of-the-moment that I stick into conversations as a way of saying “I’m SMART, and I have theories about things!” The other theme of the session was how I’d done stand up for the first time the other night, and liked it. I liked how ultimately nihilistic and NOT people pleasing it was. That theory is harder to explain.

After crossing 23rd I swerved because someone was walking in the bike lane, my ultimate pet peeve. A few blocks down I saw a young woman standing on the sidewalk in a beautiful white dress with John Lennon glasses on looking down at her phone. It looked like she might go right ahead and step in front of me, but something she was reading transfixed her. Right as I passed it looked like it might be a map, and that was when I saw who it was. Her skin was luminous and blemish free, unlike a few years ago. Even though I kept going I looked back a couple times, not sure if it was her or not, admiring the straightness and shininess of her hair and the cute layered cut she has. Suddenly her name seemed very appropriate, as it was a kind of a holy vision.

Just a few blocks later this thought spoke through me with gentle force – I miss my dad – meaning, the way my dad was before he became unwell. A rift in the universe tore open slightly, passed through me like a wave and I could remember him exactly as he was before, the sound of his voice and the strange but intimate, extended conversations we would have sometimes. I gasped a bit and my eyes welled up. I stopped riding for a moment and looked her up on my phone to see what she looks like now. Acceptance, endurance, resignation. By the end of therapy I realized that I’d been placing a moral value on each of these words and that I didn’t have to.

I don’t even know for sure if it was her but I’m just going to say it was.


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I wonder if I’ll always feel shame about sleeping in. Even though I haven’t been a church regular in almost thirty years, I still feel shackled by Catholicism. I was standing in the lobby of the theater beating myself up for squandering the day and not having gotten out of the house earlier. But in an attempt to walk amongst the living rather than the digital, I’d gone out the night before to an “underground fetish” party. I was on the fence about it but then I got a text from __ who said he wasn’t “ready for a love affair,” even though we’d had this super romantic time together. I was disappointed so I thought Yeah ok, get out of the house. You had to register online to get on the list for the party and then a few hours before the event they emailed you the address. Very Eyes Wide Shut. I didn’t have any fetish wear to sport other than one of my jock straps. I did bring one my paddles on this trip just in case I met someone who was up for that but I was confused about whether or not to bring it to the party. What, I was just going to walk around carrying it? Too much responsibility – it’s not like I have a huge investment in being recognized as a person who likes to paddle other guys. I rarely even do it anyway. The party was advertised as being queer/queer friendly and for people “who can’t fit into the regular scene” or something like that. I didn’t really qualify in that sense because I’m not some big outsider who pines for the few hours when he can walk around in rubber. Honestly, in this country I am much more self-conscious about how dark I feel next to all of the ultra-white and blonde people.

I got caught up in figuring out which t-shirt to wear: Was it too much to go sleeveless or not? I thought I’d wear a t-shirt and carry a sleeveless one with me in my jacket pocket and change if the vibe seemed to allow for it. Then, as I waited for the taxi to show up, I was like, What the fuck is wrong with me? It’s a fucking fetish party and I’m a grown man. What do I care what these people think of me and whether or not I can still pull off a sleeveless t-shirt?

The driver was hyper friendly, almost unbelievably so. You’d think he was driving me to a cotton candy festival he was so chipper. I affected a dispassionate cool, like I used to do when I was younger and worked as stoned stripper. Short answers delivered in a low, breathy monotone. At some point in early adulthood this got lodged in my mind as being sexy but I think I’m wrong. As it happens now with almost anyone outside of the States, we got to talking about the idiot president, but I said Please let’s not talk about that.

The party, oh the party. I messaged my friend: “It’s like a casting call for Girl With the Dragon Tattoo crossed with an 8 year old’s birthday party.” It really was. Very happy young people all dressed in various skimpy black outfits. A guy ambled by in head to toe latex with a puppy mask. I stood behind a cute young dyke couple in the coat check line. So much unblemished skin – maybe this was just an elaborate launch party for a Neutrogena product. I wandered around awkwardly and made my way to the fairly small dance floor. The DJ was at his table with this 90’s looking projection on the wall behind him and everyone was bouncing around but facing him. I don’t really understand why people do that when there’s a DJ. Literally there was nothing to look at and the projection was as visually complex as a traffic light. I think we should all face different directions when we’re dancing, or at least, each other. But people find their bliss in commonality I guess. One young person was front and center, beaming joy, moving arrhythmically. If you took him out of his black clothes and facial piercings he might as well have been at a Phish concert.

Techno music is boring as fuck to dance to unless you’re super high so I got a soda pop and leaned against the wall. The one boy in the place who I thought was super cute cruised me – that still happens! He was in jeans and a nylon bulldog harness. He was standing with his friends but he kept looking at me with his puppy dog eyes. He came over and talked to me. He was an art restorer and Yes, he had made the harness himself. I told him I’d brought my body pillow with me to Sweden. He found this absurd and I was like, How is it absurd, I’m here for two months. Ok ok he said. We made out and his kissing style was short, shallow kisses with a light touch. I was aware of how eager I was to re-direct my romantic disappointment of just a few hours before. Fuck that other guy, I was supposed to be with the art restorer! I have to go to the bathroom he said and took off. What was the protocol here? Was I supposed to follow or ask him if he wanted company or…? I opted for paralysis and waited nervously by the wall. When I saw him next he was in line waiting for a drink and he glanced at me briefly before turning away. He got his drink and walked right by me to the dance floor to his friends. I was thrown off. What did I say? Maybe he wasn’t into the way I kissed, or smelled. Or maybe the body pillow convo really had been a deal breaker for him. I felt like a heartbroken teenager. Fuck this I’m outta here. Being blown off is bad enough, but at a fetish party? Ouch. I went home and stayed up till 6am watching The Americans.

And so most of the day had gone by and I had finally gotten out of the apartment to check out a thrift store but it was closed by the time I got there so I thought I’d get to the theater early so that I felt like I’d had some sense of purpose to the day. It was in the middle of a street, sort of inconspicuous. Everything here is so design-y, considered. Even this theater’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it entrance gave it a kind of speakeasy cool. I was one of the first people there so I stood reading some art rags on the shelf and then I turned and there she was all of a sudden, just sitting on a bench. At first I thought she was someone who had been in a workshop of mine and I racked my brain thinking of where it had been. But right alongside that thought I was like No wait it’s her. But her features were darker than I remembered so I googled her on my phone and yep it was her. I know her brother is a dancer but I remembered also that she had worked with J the choreographer. T, whose show I was there to see, works with J also sometimes so ok it all made sense why this global superstar was patiently sitting in the lobby wearing a leather jacket and track pants waiting to see a dance show. Did it occur to me that it was slightly unbelievable and perfect that I was seeing the quintessential Swedish pop star on my fifth night in the country? Yes. Yes it did. But I really like her music. There was a whole season in Brooklyn when I listened to her record non stop and then when A and I did a new version of TPWD, we used her super sentimental song with the driving beat for the second half. I hate the music video – she’s running through all of these animated shapes. It totally misses the pathos of the song.

I ended up sitting just three seats away from her during the show, which was kind of distracting. I really like T but I wasn’t so into the show – it was just about his hands moving around while this thumping dance music played. I mean he is super sexy and a really really good dancer but I couldn’t find the necessity in the project. My attention lit up for a while when he came out and interacted with the audience doing this thing where he passed his hands over people’s bodies, as if he were a Magician/Reiki Master. It was hot and in my head I was like Me me, please give me your hand magic. But he walked past me and right towards her though I don’t think he did it on her either – too obvious. She stood in the lobby afterward with this tall guy who looked like he was probably her boyfriend and they waited to say hi to T. I generally think you should thank your heroes if you ever encounter them but I was struck with shyness.

I found the guy who blew me off at the fetish party on Scruff and wrote him Hey you blew me off and that sucked but I still think you’re cute and you look good in your harness. He apologized and said he’d been on drugs and was acting stupid. See that’s the thing I always forget that people are on drugs when they go out. I guilt-tripped him into buying me dinner next week so things are looking up.

Nantucket Nectars


I was crossing the street congratulating myself for responding to the homeless man’s request for money directly – Sorry, man – like I’m some fucking saint for saying hello to him and that got me thinking about ___ and about how my penchant for speaking to the indigent would make me more attractive to him when I saw her coming out of the café with someone whom I took to be her sister. Or I guess one of her sisters, the one that doesn’t look exactly like her. I guess it’s hard when you look so much like one of your sisters and you’re both a little odd-looking and then your other sister is a model and your mother is the most famous actress of all time. Maybe not so much hard as particular. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. How to validate different people’s experiences of difficulty, regardless of their privilege. Seems like you could spend all day thinking about this. I’m constantly nervous that what I take to be my “spiritual” approach to identity is some stealth neo-con shit taking over me via a slow release genetic program I’m unaware of. I never want to make my spiritual beliefs public ever ever ever. Other things I should keep to myself, too, like this morning in rehearsal when I said that most poets are sad drunks and everybody was Wow way to be judgmental of a whole group. So I clammed up while rolling around on the floor, quietly telling myself But it’s true it’s true.

Her hair was cropped in a bob and very bleached and she and her maybe-sister were wearing black leggings and cool sunglasses. I wondered if she lived in the neighborhood – makes sense – and if she makes enough money to. I keep having the urge to grab strangers on the street and scream HOW DO YOU AFFORD TO LIVE HERE cuz really how do they? Anyway I tried to stay just a few paces ahead of them to see if I could hear what they were talking about but then I sorta grossed myself out doing this so I tried to walk regular tempo. I’m sure famous people can tell when non-famous people are trying to hang around or follow them but can they tell when the non-famous person is in front? I’m writing about the both of them I suppose but really I just mean to write about the one of them, because she’s the one I’ve seen in stuff and because she’s the one I was really trying to listen to.

I crossed the street to prove yet again what a saint I was – SEE I’M GIVING YOU SPACE – but kept apace on the other side of the street just long enough to see them say good bye to each other in front of a sign that said BENEFIT.





pureDKNY-SHFT.COM NYC Pop-up Art Gallery with pureDKNY fragrance super model Angela Lindvall and SHFT.COM's Adrian Grenier

They came towards me like three amazons, sharpening into focus as if walking out of the mist. Tall people find each other in life I thought to myself. I was bleary eyed and foggy. Just moments earlier I’d been thinking about how fascinating it is that you can be pretty functional on just two hours of sleep. All of your basic body processes continue and you’re conscious enough to remember to bring all of your luggage and your passport and you’re polite with the driver if a bit curt. I’d even had the presence of mind to boil two eggs before I left the apartment to bring with me as breakfast or a snack. Whenever the urge struck.

It struck once before the security check in and once after so there went my eggs. It was time to get my last croissant before leaving the country so I went to the godforsaken Exki. Really what is that place. A slightly upscale cafeteria. I dutifully stood in line and once I was at the cash register realized I could have gotten what I wanted just there and that I shouldn’t have waited in the line. It’s a beautiful day. Then I was sitting in the upholstered chair next to the duty free that sells bottles and bottles of liquor. I didn’t know that till later, because I was in a reverie of recalling the video art I’d seen the day before with _, who is unbearably handsome and a great museum partner and exactly the person I would like to fall in love with (though maybe it’s really _ in New York but he never asked me out again so wtf am I talking about), which I knew the moment I met him last summer but he doesn’t give me a single I’m-attracted-to-you vibe and he has some twink boyfriend anyway and well isn’t falling in love with people who don’t fall in love back exactly my problem. When I’d told my friend/co-worker S that I was apprehensive about spending the day with a person I was too crushed out on she said focus on all of his flaws and why he’d be a terrible person to be with and I said that sounds awful I can’t do that. I mean I can if we were actually dating but when you’re pining they’re always perfect. Whatever, I saw the day as a practice of letting go and loving the FRIENDSHIP. The video art was by that super super famous guy he was fucking 26 when he made the piece and like why do I bother making art I thought when I watched it. It’s freakishly brilliant. He’s the poet of the 21st century! _ said and ok well that made me dislike him a little bit cuz I had an attack of ego and thought well so am I bitch.

So it was in this roiling maelstrom of longing, jealousy, self hating and insipid reflection that they emerged, slow motion, and once I stopped thinking about what a crappy lonely artist I am I realized it was him in the center flanked by what I took to be the model/girlfriend and a stylist. They all looked very LA. The m/g was in an oversized sweater and black leggings, the stylist wore all black and windswept bleached hair and he was wearing black jeans tucked into brown lace-up boots and a red t-shirt that, improbably enough, said REEBOK on the side. I moved from one reverie to another, appreciative, mostly because I knew immediately that I would write this and honestly I need the practice. I got up to go to my gate and realized oh they’re all probably on the same plane, too, and that’s when I saw them in the duty free considering booze options.

At the gate I noticed this side entry stealth boarding line and I went for it. A man went up to the attendant and said Are you boarding? She said yes. He flailed his arms around, But there’s been no announcement! I, too, found it disorienting but I was into the novelty. Subtle chaos is delicious. Plus it gave me more time to observe A, to assess what sort of feelings he stirred in me, and to confirm that he was wearing what I thought he was. I don’t know why I fixate so much on their clothes. He’s good-looking, not spectacular, but yeah totally cute. I tried googling to see if it really was his girlfriend but looks like he’s had a lot of them so hard to know. It must suck to be so publicly accountable for your sex life. In some online pictures he’s on vacation with girlfriends, shirtless wearing board shorts yuck. I realized I have absolutely no real feeling about him, or towards him. And yet the air had definitely shifted. The vastness of the departure hall with its curved ceilings had transformed into a secular cathedral and there he was, this unremarkable messiah, standing at the end of the priority line.

The m/g is taller than he is. They weren’t especially affectionate so maybe they’re not together. He was ahead of her on the jetway and they were both on their phones, which I determined to be a signal of how terribly they communicate. This adorable young Spanish guy (I saw the passport in his hand) in front of me looked back several times and smiled and so my heartbreak about _ (and _) was ameliorated, transubstantiated. We, the passengers in economy I mean, were subjected to the humiliation of walking through first and business classes on our way back to our sardine chamber so I saw A taking his luxurious window seat in the fourth row. It’s so fucking weird. I mean, we’re on the plane together and he’s probably all of 80 feet away for the whole flight.


photo by Marion Curtis



Radha Mitchell

Such a strange day. After finally waking up from jet lag sleep I puttered about in my apartment accomplishing only one of the five things I wanted to do before leaving to talk at Career Day at that high school way the fuck out in the outer boroughs. I thought I was giving myself plenty of time by leaving an hour plus for the commute but on my way into the city I realized that the train I wanted to take only leaves once an hour so now I was officially late. I am really trying to correct this lateness thing. I hung out with a friend of mine a few months ago who told me that his therapist said that lateness is “beyond rude” and that’s really stuck with me. But I’m fighting against decades worth of bad time management and narcissism so we’ll see where this all lands.

I opted for taking the subway the whole way. There were these very loud teens in my train car – I suppose they should have been in school but what do I know. I find loud teens on a train reassuring, charming even. All that life pushing the decibel limit of good taste. I love it. I like to pat myself on the back for being into it, like I’m some cool dad. Keep screaming, kids! Staring at my phone, I pored over the different possible outcomes of my lateness. I might be 7, 12 or 17 minutes late depending on which bad decision I made. Suddenly the kids were screaming about somebody riding on top of the train. I had read about this a couple years ago in the paper so I was hip to it being possible, but still, it felt refreshingly renegade, or like the closest I’d ever come to Spider Man. Our adventurer dropped into the space between the train cars to readjust his… headphones? Impossibly enough, yes. He was surfing the train to a perfect soundtrack he wanted to make sure he didn’t miss. Don’t look at him! shrieked one of the girls to her compatriots. Superhero guy had on grey leggings/sweats that gave him a lot of room to move and he was up and out of sight soon enough and the kids were gawking once more. I wondered if he would tumble off the side, affording me my first ever real life “I saw a guy die once” story. But he was fine. Later, though, they held the train for a bit at the station cuz there were “reports of someone riding the train.” Duh. We saw the guy. After the investigation was “resolved” we were on the move again and they played an automated message saying “Please don’t ride outside the train,” but those announcements are ridiculous.

Career Day was underwhelming. Let me tell you, if you ever worry that you’re riding too high in the SUV of your artist ego go talk to a group of high schoolers about what you do. That’ll bring you back to earth. I took it in stride, the kids napping or on their phones or gawking at the images of my work like they were the most useless things ever. After about twenty minutes of this the teachers waved their hands at me and said Ok that’s enough, we have to move on. Wow. Next up after me was a lawyer who dances salsa in her free time.

I walked back to the train through the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the world. I feel like I’ve heard people say about this area, It’s like being in _______! and you plug in the name of whatever country stands out to you. For me, it just feels like being in New York. Diversity comes as no surprise. It is overwhelming though. The squeeze through the people on the sidewalk is real. I was looking for the train I never take, power walking so that I would at least have made it to one thing on time that day. I found the entrance in a space between buildings made remarkable by its patch of dead grass and tall weeds. The train platform itself held a special melancholy of cracked pavement and few passengers. I scanned left and right for a ticket machine. Can I buy one on the train? I asked this middle aged white guy. Yeah. There’ll be a penalty but yeah.

As we rode back into the city we passed stadiums and parking lots and scores of squat houses out of which at one point I saw this goth exit and walk down the street in platform boots. Can’t believe there are still goths. So much work to assemble the layers and the makeup and the hatred of sunlight. Who knows where a goth goes at 330pm? The train pulled away. Then we were in a tunnel for a long time and I wondered if there are still mole people or if once there’s a book about your subculture you all disperse.

I was starving. I wanted to go to the gym. I had to sort out the food to workout timing cuz I didn’t want to puke on the treadmill. There was a salad place. Suddenly I remembered my friend J who I’d just seen overseas. He’d looked so healthy and springy – he said he was doing paleo. In a fit of transatlantic co-dependency I decided right then and there to do paleo, too. But first I had to find out what it was. I got an app. Ok. Basically eat everything I don’t ever eat or don’t like to eat. Perfect. I sat and ate my “this will fix me” lunch while working briefly on some work email, a task that takes every cell of willpower I can summon.

This is all taking too long to tell but the day was so full of words.

After a reasonable amount of waiting I walked down the street, went up the flight of stairs and got physical. I figured that now that I’d gone paleo one serious incline speed walk on the treadmill should take care of the rest and I’d wake up the next morning with my waistline from fourteen years ago. I thought about all of the great advantages my new skinny self would bring. Photo shoots, invitations to movie openings, access to the hidden stock in the back of the very expensive clothing store, and, of course, gangs of men throwing themselves at me. I huffed and puffed my way up across no distance to my new life as fit 20somethings triathloned around me. This gym is so great I thought. Nobody bothers me and they had the presence of mind to get TWO pec decs.

All of this was just about gearing up to go to the play I’d heard so much about. __ had raved. It was at a theater I’d never been to, a new space. It’s always a shock to walk into a theater that’s been recently built rather than hearing about another one closing. What Faustian bargain gives any arts organization the opportunity to acquire real estate here? I walked in and noticed right away the thing I’d heard about how there’s barely any space to hang out in the lobby. Oh shit I was seeing a play. Actors go see plays. Suddenly very garrulous overexcited over-enunciators were all around me greeting each other as if it had been centuries since they’d last seen each other. I glumly slalomed through them to get my ticket and thought I should go to the bathroom cuz I’m sitting in the middle of the row and it’s a two and a half hour show so I went to the other side of the lobby to the bathroom, rounded the corner, and there she was, her cherubic face looking straight at me and then smiling as if I was the one being recognized. I must have looked puzzled – I’m sorry do we know each other? almost came out of my mouth. But of course I knew who she was, even though she does have that name that eludes you at first. I instantly felt bad for her in some way. I’m sorry you’re not as famous as you maybe are supposed to be. I half wanted to go up to her and tell her that the movie she’d been in about the drug addict changed my life, sort of. Well it helped to tip the scales. The scene where the photographer almost does drugs but then picks up the camera instead. The recognition came fast and I’d half gasped, quietly, in the movie theater, thinking that’s me fuck that’s me.

She was there with a guy who I guess was her boyfriend and their gay best friend. They sat a couple of rows in front of me. Every now and then I checked to see if she was enjoying the show. Of course she was. We all were. The play was so fucking good.


Cameron Diaz

My friend and my other friend were going on and on about the ridiculousness of real estate in the city, the impossibility of ambition in the face of so much economic difficulty, the brokering of power and the abuses wielded by the wealthy. I wasn’t so much listening as I was witnessing, nothing to insert into these obvious topics and I wasn’t being asked questions anyway so I sat there like a fool while my mind constructed another plane, a moving topography of uneven grass, moss covered walls that rose and fell to make an indeterminate labyrinth, twinkling moving lights and tilting earth – a teletubby world I guess only more jagged, pulsing and alive. I felt myself breathing in the chair, smaller than I actually am, ageless and heavy but also empty, like a subway station at night you don’t get off at. Out of the shadows on the street side of the window, left to right, C strode by, shrouding herself in an ivory colored scarf, at a pace that signaled – I’m going home. I sensed the sweep of her pass but only recognized her at the tail end when she turned and glanced into the restaurant, maybe to see but probably sensing being seen, and I locked in on her sucked out cheeks, dark concavities that gave maturity and pain to her face despite often being cast as golden and carefree. She’s beautiful I thought as she moved out of the frame. Most people forget she’s Latina but I don’t.



Jonathan GroffMurray Bartlett

M and I were on a tear walking from the showing to the train. I’ve seen so much art this week, most of it really fucking good. That day alone I’d been to a museum for a few hours, then saw the one show and was on my way to the other. I told M I was having “advanced perceptual training” day. I’m lucky to get to see so much right now. It’s not always the case, I miss a lot cuz of traveling, rehearsing, blah blah blah poor me. I told my PT, and then M, that for a while I’ve been fantasizing about taking a year off from seeing dance so that I could just go see other kinds of shows like music (though I hate drunk people and I get bored standing around), art openings, classical shit. But then I forget how much I like seeing dance shows and anyway, these “clever” ideas I get about not doing X for Y amount of time… I dunno they just seem like excuses, a conceptual platform to make me feel smarter. If I wanna see a music show I can just go nobody’s stopping me. I don’t need to make some big announcement about it.

M and I can really fucking WALK and TALK. It’s alarming. It’s Olympic-level ping pong, which is just one of the many reasons I love her. I had the wherewithal to suggest walking down one of the quieter streets. I get these eruptions now – Turn now and find serenity! Find trees! I guess it happens when you get older, or so everyone says. Anyway it’s funny that I wanted a chiller detour given that we were being such manic freaks, chatting away as if we were earning miles for how fast we could speak. Suddenly there he was, walking towards us, wearing a t-shirt, khakis, a backpack. He’s so regular looking and so cute at the same time. As I realized who it was it was like I was fitting some outsized image into the body of him. He’s just a person walking down a street duh. Was he singing a little bit to himself? No that’s not true, I just have this idea he’s singing to himself all the time. He looked like he’s been hitting a keg. Or maybe the hotter weather doesn’t agree with him. It kind of just made me want to hug him and lick his neck. He totally cruised me! I swear. We locked eyes for a bit but when I looked back he didn’t turn. I think I was giving off something special that day, maybe it was my boots. They make me feel confident and grown-up. I’d gotten cruised that morning for the first time ever by the barista at the café I go to and I was so thrown cuz usually he plays it so cool and aloof. It’s exciting to get cruised. It’s so ancient, a lost art. I found myself wondering if J is filming the next season of that show anytime soon or if he did already and do they put pressure on him to be a certain weight or whatever. When I looked back I got caught up looking at his hips – I feel like there’s so much story in a guys’ hips: discomfort, hope, frustration, ease. If any of you know him tell him I’m available. That face.

But then the kicker was later that night I saw the other one! The other out gay one I mean and yes I wrote kicker. I think I heard that most of the other ones are straight. Gay for pay. I was with J (a different J obviously) and he was like let’s go to the club even though I really just wanted to go home but she’s visiting from outta town so we went to get coffee at fucking midnight and well if I’m gonna do something I’m gonna do it all the way so I had a double espresso and we were singing Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks songs in the rain and this cute couple we had run into had to endure our caffeinated lunacy as we harmonized onto the train and we made it over into the Kingdom of the Hipeoisie and right before we arrived to the club J and I turned around to realize that we’d lost the couple and that was when I saw him arriving with some young friends, wearing a black t-shirt oh it had a word on it what was it fuck I can’t remember and he had on some very regular pants almost like cargo pants but not cargo pants but the same idea without the big pockets and that signature moustache and I thought about how J says that in Berlin people dress way down to go clubbing, which made me imagine being at home trying on successively less impressive t-shirts. With M, different than with J (obviously now I’m talking about another M but now also the previous J) there really was a direct one to one correspondence between who I saw him as on the show and who he was in person. Aura, character, everything. It was unnerving actually, the congruency. Inside he met up with a taller, swarthy guy who he knew and soon they were on the dance floor all up in it and I thought, good for him. I’ll admit that I grazed his ass with my forearm on purpose as I passed him, which was inappropriate and I felt weird about it then and I still do. That club was so silly. Like a club wearing the costume of a club.

People really talk about that show on the internets. I feel sorta whatever about it. I mean, I watch it, I like it. I feel only slightly guilty about it. It’s pretty as hell and I like the music, especially when it bleeds into the end of the episode and the sexy font of the credits comes up. It’s utterly inconceivable to me that, set in THAT city, these guys never cross paths with dykes or transpeople. I mean they say that city has changed a lot but please. It’s laughably myopic. When we saw M, J said slowly the politics of that show are. so. problematic. I mean of course. Maybe it’s some basic mistrust in me that says I should never expect what I see on TV to be realistic. Probably from a lifetime of not seeing “myself” on it, as if I even know what that means, as if I’m one thing anyway. Nevertheless it’s terrible that you get used to it, all these shows where POC, women, transfolk are peppered in like decorative cushions on the enormous sofa of white gay guys’ dramas. But I know that the show’s a vessel. It serves a basic biochemical function for me when I’m sitting in my kitchen at night drinking tea and pining for a bf or needing a good cry. I get seduced like so many others, suckered into believing in the coherence of cause and effect, even though I know otherwise. That’s why I love what I do, not telling stories. Well I’m certainly not telling one. I could never live up to a single story. They’re all incomplete. People want too much from them, put so much pressure on them. I do much better with confusion and fragmented myths where you get what you want or don’t or fill in the blanks.


ben stiller

I saw him again. What are the chances. Technically it’s only the second time we’ve seen each other. Or is it the third? No, he didn’t see me what am I thinking. It’s maybe the third time I’ve seen him and possibly he has seen me once but he wouldn’t know that because nobody remembers waiters.

I was on my bike. It was a hard day. Everyone was irritating me. From the moment I got to my training I was annoyed with people who wanted to talk to me. Even as I felt my annoyance at others I felt annoyed at myself for being annoyed. What is wrong with you I thought. Don’t be such an asshole. Sometimes I just want things to go a very certain way. Mine. My mood changed throughout the day. I got good feedback from the person I partnered with at the training. I felt like maybe I’m good at this thing I’m studying after all. Why is it so hard to accept being good at something? Or believing it. Everything I learned as a kid was about doubting yourself. I never got an unequivocal compliment from my parents. That must mean something. Meanwhile, my god this record I’m listening to right now is good.

I was thinking about how I almost ran into a car on that block earlier this year. I remember the look of horror on the driver’s face as I careened through the intersection. It seems like every time I ride my bike I have at least one near death experience. How do people do this drunk or stoned. There was some kind of festival or party happening in the park. Bands playing, people going crazy in the sunlight. It was just going to be a day where I rode by a lot of groups of people doing things that I felt alien to. It would be the same that night after the show. The rhythmic sensation of flying by vitrines full of laughter and impenetrable sociality. Right before I left my friend at dinner I felt a wall slide down inside me that signaled it was time to go.  There’s no not listening to it. My efforts to push past it come across as half-hearted at best.

He was hunkered over like a linebacker. Is that the guy who plows through the crowd? Now that there’s a gay football player I might learn the rules before I forget them again. I know they have to keep the ball moving at least ten yards at a time I think. My father once watched an action movie and shouted at the screen It’s just war propaganda! B had a duffel bag over one shoulder. That sounds absurd but he had the hunch of a person walking with a big duffel bag. A steely expression of determination. An unkind face. Leaving wherever he’d been or whatever he was doing to go on to the next thing. My whole fucking day. Why do I mostly see white ones? Mostly men. Is it an indictment of my eyes or my contexts? Both probably.

I googled “Rimbaud on loneliness” and found this:


Through the blue summer days, I shall travel all the ways,
Pricked by the ears of maize, trampling the dew:
A dreamer, I will gaze, as underfoot the coolness plays.
I’ll let the evening breeze drench my head anew.

I shall say – not a thing: I shall think – not a thing:
But an infinite love will swell in my soul,
And far off I shall go, a bohemian,
Through Nature – as happy, as if I had a girl.