Everything is Temporary

It’s been a hot second since I’ve even attempted to draft anything for this online medium I am calling a blog. What the fuck is a blog anyway? Ugh, a glorified journal of megalomania, perhaps?

Anyway.

I’m sitting on the 6th floor of 628 Broadway at Johannes Leonardo, a PR firm in NoHo, which has employed a few temp employees to sit in their beautiful office and look busy for potential clients coming in to view the space as their more permanent staff are out on a job in Japan. Ahh, sometimes the frivolity of the creative industry and New York cannot be balked at, especially when one is getting paid to work on work from their other job. Which is not so much as true because I am not really working on anything anymore. I’m merely siting here typing away and glancing at the real employees here breaking into some 3:00 sushi. WTF. I’m creative, why the hell do I not work here? I love sushi! Oh, he’s cute. ADHD.

As of late I have become utterly disenchanted with my current real estate firm and their actions towards me, thus I have enlisted three staffing agencies to provide me temporary and permanent work solutions. Which is providing to be too much after a brief silence on all accounts. I’ve had 4 or 5 interviews over the past few weeks, been passed up by Burberry’s corporate office for an internal client, submitted to Lane Bryant, and had a few second interviews with some heavy hitting property management firms. All in all I’m pretty butt hurt about Burberry, still. And maybe about Vornado Realty Trust as their office over looking Central Park was pretty damn phenomenal.

Either way I’ve now found myself over extended in my commitments. After a few weeks of nothing I am now having conflicts involving potential temp work (one job for a week or two) vs. permanent employ as interviews are clashing with newfound temp work rigidity. How the hell am I to explain to my temp boss that I must miss work to go on a real job interview? Oh, the conundrums I put myself through.

I mean I shouldn’t be complaining. Today while on the train commuting downtown I began to ask myself why my blessings are perceptibly served with continuous sides of sugar and salt. In point, I was in a rush to go pick up a check from the office in hopes of facilitating my metro card and bam around Times Square I got the notion to get the fuck off the train because I had that ‘oh shit, I’m gonna shit my pants’ feeling. This is already after having numerous temp offers and emails/phone calls over the morning (sugar) followed by gashing open my index finger’s knuckle with nothing to sop up the blood but an orange peel from the orange I was eating (salt), to leaving 145th St early (sugar) then having the MTA kiosk eat my $10 bill at a machine with no receipts (so long $, SALT) to then having to hop off the train to find a place to shit in Times Sq (salt), to an MTA agent alerting me to a bathroom in the TSQ station (WTF, SUGAR). Get where I’m going with this?

Because on this day and nearly every other day of my typical existence I receive similar helpings of salt and sugar one after the other, ad nauseum and when I step back (just now) and add perspective to those taste profiles of yay and nay I realize, that if it were seemingly all salt or all sugar all the time I’d be in a position worse off. Maybe it is a blessing to take a day with a lot of good and bad for a balance versus a day with all bad or all good. I mean then what kind of jaded New Yorker would I be with a mouth full of absolutes.

 

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I love it when we’re cruising together

My favorite spot to stand on the subway is in the doorway, hands free, reading, fucking with my phone or just plain balancing on the unpredictable express train without entertaining a single thought. Sometimes a faltering step to the side for protection as the tracks and stations click on by unevenly to and fro in a motion that soon becomes tranquil, something of succor to a New Yorker. And sometimes faltering a step to the front right up to thoughts of a forlorn love, maybe even a man who at one time sat local train across from me bunched up with New York things, or passed me by handsome on a leaf kissed autumn street. Because there are so many places to feel at home in the city yet some of them are so exclusive not everyman may partake. The subway, our lifeblood, coursing through the veins of this city with everyone and I mean everyone in tow. From Richie Rich to the guy who took a shower in Starbucks three days ago, I believe at one time even Bloomberg was a devoted straphanger. In a city so divided by every diverse interest imaginable there are so many precious little things, mundane things that hold us arguably, and mostly with solidarity together.

As I write this I post up at the giant windows of FIKA off 7th Ave in Chelsea watching the leaves dance down the unseasonably warm autumn pavement. Or more realistically as I periodically look up from my ultra light silver machine to see some of Chelsea’s finest stroll on by. I mean how can one from time to time not indulge in the act while temptation parades mere feet away with purpose and gym membership bodies, with their meticulous gaze glancing into coffee shops, and restaurants browsing for what catches the crotch. For as great as the art of cruising (hell, pastime) is in any city I think I’ve become so typically jaded in the sport since on the regular there is almost anywhere, at any given moment an opportunity for the gay male to have an encounter (no matter how trivial or in depth). After a while this constant peacocking becomes routine and the routine becomes normal or expected which then typically leads to a higher percentage of dismissal and boredom, if not a sardonic tone between lesser exchanges.

I recall once when I was 18 and funning around in Chicago easily commuting on the elevated train from Lincoln Park to the bastion of Boystown and I experienced my first subway cruising. It was awkward, and unfruitful but I still remember it vividly to this day. Down to the guys worked out form filling out a t-shirt and Diesel jeans (back when gay boys actually wore Diesel jeans). This is so way back when I thought anything was possible. You know, like love, affordable housing, and global understanding. The Chicago cruising culture seemed so exciting and foreign to a Kansas City kid, I thought they were so aggressive, and gorgeous. I thought it was fun. The act of reading Edmund White in the afternoon at Starbucks off Belmont and Clark in a reasonable armchair was an appetizer of the evening’s main course at Roscoe’s or later on at ugh, Hydrate. I didn’t live there, I didn’t catch these boys at the gym in the steam room like I so often do today, here I had minimal time before the siren of house music in a crowded dark room introduced our eyes and bodies. And it seems so old school today. The coffee shops used to be a great meeting spot for the gays and I suppose even the breeders.

To this day I always seem to have a crush on a guy in any given coffee shop (okay, so on any train, retail shop, or basically um anywhere), something independent single origin in the Village or somewhere bright and trendy in Chelsea; there is always one, somewhere behind a counter with dark hair and dark eyes. Waiting to unleash a bookish look subtly declaring they adore a good dark roast, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and art galleries on the Lower East Side. But now it seems the fun is gone and perhaps I could blame my bucolic age of 33 or even the hook up apps like Grindr but instead I just lament the last great time I casually encountered more then eyes on the street, bus, steam room, library, coffee shop, Crate and Barrel, bodega, FroYo line, wine bar, or um the Internet. There is something that seemingly connects the gay culture in New York City other than the missed connection ads on Craigslist, something more than the ubiquitous steam rooms and wet towels. And anymore I think its because we’ve moved out of the gay ghetto’s into the streets and in the local shops of everywhere NYC, everywhere USA. We’re so visible and invisible that the challenge, discretion, or protected neighborhoods are gone. Which occasionally provides the seasoned gayer an annoyance when we utterly are just tired and not in the mood because somehow and somewhere there will be proverbial eyes gazing with the question begging DTF?

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uptown we say flaco and guapo

Two cups of coffee and the Beatles, the fucking Beatles because when one needs answers one must consults the greats. Which might be why I’m currently reading Jung’s musings on Synchronicity. That brilliant endeavor explaining that there is more than the explainable in our universe. I get off on that shit. Non-Fiction is my raspberry jam and reading about humans and the universe is my chunky peanut butter. But I beg to ask myself what is my 9-grain bread? What in my life is the sturdy end cap keeping the flimsy together? Nothing, because I am afraid, abhorrent, adverse to those ostensibly heterosexual carbohydrates the food guide pyramid claims importance to.

I’ve had a healthy eating disorder since my freshman year of high school when I would take vitamins, drink water, and only eat frozen Snickers bars from our cafeteria but as I’ve entered my astute 30s something has faltered in my resolve of – nothing tastes better than skinny. Somehow, surely through some slick advertising tactic or molly induced fervor I have given less than two shits about eating a pint of ice cream, dipping into some pesto pasta, or skipping a session at the gym.

It is Friday night and I’ve caught language from two friends because I chose to take a spin and weight conditioning class rather that partake in early evening libations, which is odd and annoying because I claim this schedule almost every night. Today I’ve had an apple, a bowl of gumbo, and some wasabi peas. Fine, perhaps but I’ve gained two pounds since yesterday and my belly is still soft and unfit for a Chelsea stroll. This is the wonderful gift begat to the thirty-something gays. One can eat nothing for two days and gain weight, one may eat minimal things for two days and gain weight, and obviously one can partake in healthy low calorie high protein regimen and still gain weight.

To be fair I’m not sure I’ve ever been in shape nor had decent body image but damn, genetics why are you fucking with me so? I cannot wait as I approach my mid-thirties and fate deals another cruel blow with some sort if not a plethora of mental or physical set backs. As I look back on my life, I actually miss the strength I once had to simply not eat high carb/sugar/fat foods or to momentarily nibble on anything at all. What has changed in my life to make me think this common food chewing is acceptable for me? I cannot blame it on the ubiquitous frozen yogurt shops that have taken over Manhattan in the past few years as I don’t frequent them. So then, why, why have I compromised years of dedication to be this guise of a guy needing to shed those last ten pounds and add some muscle?

I don’t get it, how do straight guys get away with walking around looking like shit? I mean I understand a certain amount of money scientifically makes one more attractive, I voraciously have delved into The Science of Sex Appeal. Yet what I want to know is how I may get back to my steadfast and unreasonable standards of beauty? Do I need to go back through gay basic training, perhaps see a will power coach slash drag queen, or just start throwing up everything whether I eat it or not. Yes, gay men are under and have been under as much pressure as women to be an advertising ideal. In fact, yesterday as I was crossing Houston and I swear I was catcalled by a construction worker. But what gets me is me and my ability to let go of a culture I’ve clung to for so long.

Maybe I’m just growing up. Going through the Gay Change where I transition from a commodity on the city streets to something more invisible and a semblance of a bygone day. Just like so many before me and so many after rallying around in this Manhattan prison fighting for an early parole barely seeing the forest full of trees. But at least for the next few weeks there will be no ice cream, cookies, bread, or pesto pasta because why should there be, I’m not over yet?

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democratic socialist

Back when I lived off 50th and 10th Ave in the apartment of all apartments, well strike that, I’ve been fortunate to have two apartments of all apartments over the years of numerous cities and few states. I am not counting two significant places 1169 Webster Ave and 726 1/2 Massachusetts St because they trump all apartments and would not do justice to their lofty status by being grouped with their inferiors. Although, all four dwellings provide no matter what ranking a signal to me of an era of unconditional joy and drama in my life. Yeah, pretty much like everyone else’s life.

In another time I used to inhabit a large one bedroom with patio in a small set of row houses on the beloved Huntoon Street in Topeka fucking Kansas. I maybe lived there for a year? And in that year so much happened in the confines of those row houses that it must have been a metaphorical New York minute. Actually it was a New York minute as it was my launchpad to NYC. Had I not been there, would I be here? Whatever. Anyway, the place was dope and the community was amazing. Or at least my small section of it, the outsiders and front-runners of a capital city. There I had a foosball table in my kitchen and a fire pit out back. Life was good and the raucous times we had were only nullified as my downstairs and upstairs neighbor regularly partook in an open door policy of the building as well as the other tenants in the five houses. Misfits of mayhem and life amongst a space that would cost a fortune to rent in Manhattan.

We grilled out and hung out several times a week, meeting up with the much larger extended gang on the weekends at the local watering hole in College Hill for diversity and karaoke. Your business was everyone’s business in the same small town precedent that exists across the world. Drama wasn’t just drama, our lives were a novella and all roles were equally important. There were times when I didn’t eat, sleep, or speak and converse moments when I over loaded on all three. I learned so much from these people and that dilapidated dud of a city.

The second epic living situation was in Hell’s Kitchen and that one was a doozy too. Unmentionable nights or more appropriately early mornings spent or often enough waking up on the rooftop slightly debauched and maybe a little fluid. The roommates who walked through the door and the ones who stayed in that ethereal bubble of pop scotch party rock, the bars, the booze, the boys, the back rent.

My HK life began almost as soon as I moved to the city, after all where is a Midwest gay to go in New York. I hit the ground running and hit numerous happy hours even harder. It wasn’t until my third or fourth year of cosmopolitan life that I actually moved there and there in that 4th floor walk-up I truly became a New Yorker. Pounding the 9th Ave strip with another motley crew of seemingly random individuals who would become a part of my urban family and of course lest I forget the hosting of pre-game and after-hours on end. Here I learned my prowess, had my heart broken, and eventually changed into a resemblance of a man more mature. It was in apartment 4N where I turned 30 and also survived the death of my dog Kira. It was a rambunctious interval of my life that could have been a mosh pit or even a compost heap but ultimately it was a place where I became free. Well, free in all other senses outside debt. The financial choices I made while living in Hell’s Kitchen cost me greatly.

Both of these places were so similar, the friends obviously distinct and independent but situations in numerous aspects were the same. We partied. And not like some amateur college porn either. We were poor, full of life, and happy, until we were depressed. Agents of our own fortune and destruction. Or at least I was.

I can remember clearly all the names and faces that came through those apartments in my various states of drug and or yoga induced starving stupor. The bonds that were forged in the molten pit of my 20s which are now still bubbling red only with a slightly cooler thin crust around some of the edges. The moments of squalor when my boyfriend and I were reluctant to change the sheets, or the omnipresent dishes by the sink, and even the seconds of clarity when we all cleaned up and went to work in the morning after the jazzed up hours with the white lady. I was a mess and of course still am a mess.

This really isn’t about nostalgia as it is admiration for the people and places whom have danced alongside me, whether there was any music playing or not. It’s about acknowledging those grand life stages that have brought me into the lives of so many. It’s gratitude. And simply not divulging too much for anyone to take offense to or get arrested over. Because damn, how are any of us not in jail or on fucking reality television.

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The Monkey Cup

As I sit in the sunny morning window of Hamilton Heights’ newest independent coffee shop noshing on a chocolate almond pastry and sipping some dark Italian roast I start to wonder should I really venture into a life in the Brooklyn. Albeit, Carroll Gardens is quite beautiful but in a way Harlem is just as beautiful if not more so and vibrant. It’s almost as if I feel I am putting myself out to pasture, fucking knife and fork, done. I think ultimately I would be happy to move back to the East Village but I’m there all the time anyway, do I really need to live there again? Is that convenience or laziness?

Putting some distance from Manhattan and myself is seemingly scary, okay, not like the clown from IT scary, but almost a foreign concept to me, for years I championed the navigability and supremacy Manhattan has over the outer boroughs and now, now I am on my way one storage unit at a time to Brooklyn. Weird. Sell out. Eating my own words. For as much as the city is dead and gone, isn’t Brooklyn too, aren’t I too late for all of this New York shit, the 70s are over. Fuck this city. New York if I could I would break your heart just for spite even though I’m not even sure how to break a heart, I’d fucking try, just to try.

Leaving New York is like a break up, a torrid teary-eyed event that slowly dries and leaves it’s remains on your face and heart. New York is my home and the only lover I’ve ever known so exasperatingly well. Even though I haven’t been able to turn my back on this lover even after all these salty-sweet years I have close friends who have chosen to stretch the umbilical cord to San Diego, Austin, Boca, and beyond. I greatly respect them for their endeavors but also understand that there is this voice, this staunched but restrained voice inside them. And that voice is a fucking New Yorker kvetching. And it’s lovely.

I sound as if I’m leaving the city altogether and in a way departing from this island for a technical part of Long Island is leaving enough for me. Manhattan is the one I’ve been holding out for, the one whose bed I’ve woken up in so many times for so many years yet have never been able to leave more than just a tooth brush in the medicine cabinet. Because I’m not permanent. I am a wanderer. The boy who consistently craves something new and unknown and one of the most beloved parts of my fair city is that if one chooses to move a block, let alone a neighborhood away, one’s whole world changes. Newness abounds in the cafes, wine bars, and in the men.

So I begin the process, almost like manifest destiny, it is my god given right to live in Brooklyn. And of course it is my neurotic New Yorker right to come running back to Manhattan (should I choose) to feel the pulse of downtown and taste it’s many wares living alongside the mayhem. But in the interim I look forward to the new faces and new places of sleepy Carroll Street where the townhouses are perhaps not as majestic as the Village, UWS, or Sugar Hill but still boldly beautiful and reasonably attainable for a Joe like me at $2.5m.

I am the perfect juxtaposition of town mouse and country mouse. A simple fuck who always get’s his cheese. Assorted Gouda.

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I wear my headphones at the disco

This morning I was alerted by a bestie to a miracle that 30 something’s used to get by on with great purpose and conviction to only have it ruined by Metallica, I mean among the many things they’ve ruined. Yes my loves, I have been downloading free music all damn day. I’m almost loath to mention it or be excited as I feel the NSA will be on my ass and retrieve all my music. Fuckers.

I, for a long while have had a very tasty curated collection sountracking my life and over the past few years I have slacked off leaving my iTunes with an oh so average grade C. But today I have redeemed myself back into an esoteric status through 4 hours of analyzing, listening, and downloading. Suddenly, I now look forward to taking the train and walking the streets of the city because of the fresh that will be pumping in my ears. Now my worldly problems seem much less worldly and I can put my heartache on the shelf, as someone else’s heartache will be ear and center.

There is seldom a better gift than the gift of music.

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Morgan’s Barbecue

I’m somewhere in between Park Slope and Prospect Heights because guess what, I now speak perfect Brooklyn. Although, the bartender already asked where I’m originally from. No one ever asks anymore. While Unfoolish by Ashanti featuring Biggie pours out the overhead speakers and turns into the Bulleit Bourbon in my glass, I contemplate this Brooklyn equation. Perhaps it’s the beautiful day all sun-shiny and agreeable or else it’s the Birkenstocks, apartment previewing, and the actual small town slash medium hippy city feel I feel here. It’s so not Manhattan and it’s so not upstate or Vermont tiny and per usual the crowd funnels in this unassuming hotspot as I typity type away. They gather to the patio and open spaces on restaurant that spills out, large open windows to Flatbush Ave. Where am I?

Every question ever…who am I?

I mean I just came in because I love barbeque and I love my name, this place has both, and cute industrial rustic design. Did I mention the bourbon? I mean, the barbeque, no, the massive expanse of openness onto a lovely New York, no Brooklyn day. WTF? I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. I am turning into a Brooklyn sympathizer, which if you ask anyone is seemingly one pair of Vans, or Converse away from a full-fledged Brooklynite. Shit, the lady to my left just received this sexy brisket sandwich and side. Fuck, I’m supposed to go to the gym today.

My focus is here as there was an open house today particular to one of my clients, I sauntered over from Carroll St and 5th Ave in the Slope at 10am, previewing my Marc Jacobs client while she was at work. Yesterday we were here as well, saw a very cute place and got the run around from another broker. Yet highlights of yesterday aside from loosing an apartment to an all-cash offer we enjoyed a scrumdidlyumptios Latin brunch and a mani/pedi in the hood while also strolling the 5th Ave strip for boutiques and whatnots. Today I’m back to scope out more…I don’t understand the Brokers in this area, they don’t seem to operate off fairness, I mean I expect that in Manhattan but perhaps the appearance of neighborhood idyll confused me.

And as I navigate full circle I realize that this is not the neighborhood to be single in. I feel so barren, unwanted and maybe cast off, and actually that’s okay. I’m not on the radar here. I’m merely blending in as the person who doesn’t have a stroller, or a vegan diet, let alone a gorgeous townhouse. Because I don’t need that/this life. No one like me wants a quaint Farmer’s Market or Flea Market situation within walking distance of their gym, boutique second hand store, or wine bar. And that’s the crux. There is not one wine bar here! or is there something and I just don’t know about it because the community hasn’t quite yet, if ever, taken me in.

I won’t let them take me in. I belong elsewhere. In a vat of fuckups on an island unforgiving and less contrived. Brooklyn I remain steadfast and impervious to your wiles, you’re not Morocco, but in this instance I’m still here for sex, drugs, and books.

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