Thank You Should Go

December 24, 2011

“Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure.” –Tender is the Night

The Writer calls me the next day. When his name pops up on the screen, I ignore the call. My life was one way before and today it’s not. It wasn’t my choice, and that makes me feel helpless. I’ve recoiled.

The voicemail he leaves is concerning the movie pitch that we’re supposed to write together, so I give it a few minutes then call him back. “Hey,” he exclaims like a little boy, excited to hear from his father who’s been away on a business trip. “Do you want to come over and work on this outline?” “Sure. When?” “Come now.”

It’s rush hour, so it takes me almost an hour to get there instead of the usual ten minutes. He texts me as I pull up in front of his house: “Are you still coming?” I ignore it, as I hustle up the front steps. When I ring the doorbell, the door opens almost immediately. It’s Dalton, his ex. I choke Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Not My Party But I’ll Cry If I Want To, Part 2

August 20, 2011

I’d Like To Tell You All About It

“I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.” -Billy Joel

The next night, I’m feeling under the weather. I consider skipping Wolf’s party. My throat is soar, my eyes are scratchy, and I have a slight cough. But how could I miss this? What would it say about me? No one would really even notice, but I would know. Besides, all of the ridiculous drama that I imagine will climax tonight will make for a wonderful story to share over drinks with friends. So I ready myself, and get in my car. I’m pumped. I feel a little adrenaline. A little anxiety. Dread is the exact emotion I’m feeling actually. But whatever. Who doesn’t have a precise fear of the unknown? What’s on my mind, you ask. Well, I’ll be meeting Dalton for the first time, which frankly doesn’t sit well with me no matter which way I angle it. He’s predetermined to hate me. I have no idea how I’m supposed to begin to interact with him. We’re sharing what in some way belongs to the other. I’m nervous about seeing Wolf and meeting his other “boys.” It’s immature, but I’m genuinely curious how I compare. I don’t really care about seeing Turtle or Warren, but I am anxious about what they might say to or about me. I know what I’d say to either of them; something along the lines of “oh, hey.” And while I’m considering all of this, one thought lingers above the rest. It’s like a constant static shock somewhere near the top of my spine. What will I say to The Writer? I promised myself to talk to him the next time I see him. Talk about everything. And that time is tonight. I don’t know where to begin. What I have to say is simple. The situation? Not so much.

I start my car. Before I switch gears into reverse, Clark calls. Relieved, I turn off the engine and remove the keys from the ignition. “Hello?” “Hey buddy, what’s up?” I used to hate it when people called me buddy, but Clark has the kind of authority where it doesn’t bother me. “I was just calling to check in with you,” Clark continues. “Oh, I’m just heading to Wolf’s party,” I tell him. “Cool, me too. I’ll see you there then,” he says conclusively. “Great! Can’t wait.” It’s extremely comforting knowing Clark will be there. He always has my back one way or another, and my back is going to be rather exposed this evening. Especially because I’ve decided not to drink, given my not feeling so hot.

I arrive at Wolf’s about an hour after the party kicked off. But the sun is still glimpsing over the horizon…a sign that I’m here too early. I knock on Wolf’s door, and no one answers. I hear people around back though, so I let myself in. My eyes dart around searching for Turtle first. Turtle has the temperament of a scorned overweight junior high cheerleader, and while he doesn’t pose any real threat to me, I’d prefer to steer clear. Number two on my search-and-avoid list is The Writer and/or his ex. I haven’t met Dalton, but I’ve seen pictures, so I know what he looks like. I feel some kind of weird kinship with him. He’s what came before. Deep down, I pray to whatever someone like me would pray to that Dalton flaked out and The Writer would come solo. It would take a lot of stress of the agenda I have for the evening. And it’s not too much of a stretch, especially considering Wolf and Dalton never really seemed tight. And finally, Warren. At this point, I’ve come to believe he’s insane. Like truly unstable. As luck would have it, not a single one of them is present. By the time I make it through the house and onto the back patio, I know I’m in the clear. That’s when I realize…my anxiety about who would be there was misplaced. What I should have been worrying about was who wouldn’t be there. I don’t recognize anyone except Mr. Wolf, and it’s his party.

Wolf and I haven’t really spoken in a couple weeks, and all of a sudden I feel guilty. Other than a couple of simple misunderstandings, he’d always been very genuine and kind toward me. Not to say that I plan to rekindle our fling, but I displaced frustration I had with myself onto him. My shoulders tense up and my breathing becomes shallow. That’s when Wolf notices me. I do have impeccable timing like that. “Hallo, you!” I give him a weak smile and a strong hug. “Happy Birthday,” I muster up with appropriate sincerity. “I see you’re cooking. Your favorite!” I inch closer. “Well, grilling but yes.” He has to correct me. If I wasn’t so uptight at the moment, I’d find it charming. I even go as far as to grin but imagine my expression looks more like a wince. As more people arrive, Wolf greets them, and I stand, watching for a moment unsure what to do with myself. I lean on one leg and pull out my phone, pretending to text someone like I used to do at high school parties where no one wanted to talk to me. I’m literally making myself crazy. My shoulders are so tense, they’re practically touching my ears, and I think of more things, more reasons why I can’t free myself from the man I care for so deeply:

16. He’s the only person I’ve ever liked sleeping next to.
17. He made me fall in love with cuddling.
18. How weak I’ve become to not give that up.
19. How hard he tries to do right by me.
20. How often he fails.

I hear a laugh. That’s when I snap out of it. Clark and Noah are sitting at the table right behind me. My chest heaves a heavy sigh. I slap on a smile, which I hope is big enough to blanket my enormously exposed insecurities. “Hey cuz,” Noah says with a wink. I bend over to give him a hug before embracing Clark. He hops over to sit on the cooler, offering me his seat. “You’re the best,” I tell him. “What have you been up to?” He asks me. I tell him about New York and we talk family matters, which calms my nerves. Then Noah interrupts to introduce a friend. “I don’t think you’ve met The Model,” Noah says. I turn to shake his hand and nearly swallow my Adam’s apple. The Model is gorgeous. Perfect teeth. Perfect hair. Perfect skin. Perfect jaw. Everything. The reason I’m really so faint though is his uncanny resemblance to Jake, the first boy I ever fell for. Same facial hairline, beauty mark on the same spot on his cheek, exact hue of his eyes. Noah elbows me, getting the wrong idea. The Model, just like Jake, is way out of my league. And for those of you tuning in, I’m buried under a mountain of someone else’s emotional rubble. “H-hi,” I sputter. “Nice to meet you,” The Model says, making me feel much more comfortable. The four of us carry on some conversation, and I mostly say things that make me feel stupid. I actually feel kind of drunk despite not drinking anything but water.

When I feel I’ve worn out my welcome with the people I know, I do the rounds…only to discover I know no one else. I recognize a couple of lesser-known actors, who I have a lot of respect for but can’t summon up the courage to introduce myself. Everyone’s mingling, so I lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes. Where is The Writer?

21. He uses wipes instead of toilet paper.
22. He only takes baths.
23. If he was here, I’d probably be just as quiet. But I’d be content just standing beside him.
24. He expects me to wait.
25. But doesn’t care if I don’t Read the rest of this entry »


June 23, 2011

“Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer sex raises some pretty good questions.” –Woody Allen

The rest of the week is turbulent at best. There’s no more talk of plans for my birthday, and The Writer and I don’t seem comfortable together. Except when we’re sleeping. Thursday morning, I ask him if he wants to go dancing at Tigerheat, but I don’t get a response until I’m leaving work: “I don’t know.” I’m uncertain how to feel about the weird air that I’ve returned to, but the tension makes my insides feel like twisting scrap metal. Regardless, I won’t let this keep me down. Instead, I call Trick Bradley, who I’ve been getting along with recently. We went out for a drink in WeHo and hung out a few other times. He broke up with his boyfriend, which was a bummer, but he handled it well–better than I would’ve–and he’s actually pretty fun to hang out with. Nice kid, too. “Let’s go dancing tonight,” I say. “Okay. Is The Writer coming?” “No,” I say decidedly, “we’re going by ourselves.”

Bradley suggests we go early, given the line at the club can be utterly ridiculous. Normally this isn’t a problem since I go with LAGs of status, who have connections on the inside or who are on the inexplicable perma-list of V.I.P.s. Despite arriving early, there’s no parking to be found, so Bradley and I go splitsies on a sketchy pay lot a few blocks away and make our way to the venue. It’s 10PM, a little more than an hour earlier than I’ve ever been, and there’s no line. Despite this, the bouncer makes us wait for a couple of minutes before acknowledging our presence. What’s worse is, I have to pay for admission, something I’ve never done before–liberation is a luxury that comes at a cost. And that cost is $10. (But honestly, don’t they know who I am by now?) The steep cover is ridiculous considering when we walk in, it’s a ghost town. It’s like being the first one to show up to a high school dance. So we retreat to the upstairs “bleachers.” Sitting alone and bored to death, Bradley’s phone buzzes. It’s a text from The Writer: “Pick me up on your way.” “What should I say?” Bradley asks, probably embarrassed by how early we’re here. I grab his phone and write back, “We’re at a bar nearby, so I can’t.” I’m annoyed that The Writer ignored me all day and that he’s now trying to piggyback on my plans for the evening. Plus, why did he text Bradley instead of me? He’s acting strangely. But tonight isn’t about The Writer–it’s about fun. And since it’s cinco de mayo, I’m on a tequila kick (warning: danger), so I order a shot and a margarita to chase. And we’re on our way.

…Only not, because the place is still empty 30 minutes later. Even as it starts to fill in, I don’t see anyone who I recognize from our birds eye view. Probably because everyone I know is smart enough to know not to go out dancing before ten. “Give me your phone,” I demand of Bradley. You know how scientists design some substance that can withstand like a million degrees of heat, but they only use it for some dumb experiment then it sits in a lab for a decade until someone from the military is like, “oh yeah, we definitely could’ve used that,” so they buy the patent and spray said substance on everything they can find? Well I’m pretty sure grindr was created under similar circumstances prior to its proliferation as cruising gaydar. Yes, grindr might finally do me some good, so I launch the app to see who’s nearby. It looks like The Writer is a little less than a mile away. I can’t help but read through his profile…which says he’s “24” (not even close, although I thought he was 26 when I first met him) and “straight-acting” — his words. I hate this term. So what? You’re into vag? Great, then go fuck a girl, asshole. There’s nothing that isn’t condescending about the phrase, which in every way connotes that there is something inferior and behaviorally wrong with being gay. I look at his picture one more time, then go back to searching for another recognizable face. And I see one: Turtle. “Fuck,” Bradley says. “That guy keeps texting me.” “He’s such a creep,” I say. Turtle’s kid friend has since returned to wherever he came from, so Turtle has moved on to searching out any new potential too-young-to-drink boys to victimize. I was wrong. Nothing good ever comes of grindr.

“Let’s go downstairs,” I suggest, and we do. And it’s our lucky day! A random tequila-sampling booth is set up in the lobby, so I New York my way through the crowd of sleeveless pretty boys and shrieking queens up to the table and down what I can get my hands on. “I’m feeling better now,” I tell Bradley. He looks at me like “whatever,” and I lead him to the VIP lounge. “How are we going to get in?” He asks. “I pulled your ass over a bar patio wall last week, this is easy apple pie,” I tell him, not particularly sure what it is I’m saying. It takes less than twenty seconds for the bouncer to be so engrossed in some mundane distraction that we walk right past him.

Near the VIP bar, William is waving at me. William is a Tigerheat regular, friend of The Writer, and politically angry. And usually not in the good way. The Writer also informed me (on the night that he told me he just wanted to be friends before trying to get me to have a threesome with him) that he gave William his permission to sleep with me. Which through the lens of sexual politics I find completely appalling, but in the moment works well for me because William is looking fine tonight. “Want a drink?” He asks wrapping his arm around my neck, his big bicep bulging out of his shirt and against Read the rest of this entry »

Fuck Or Flight

May 31, 2011

“Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.” –Sophia Loren

It’s Saturday, and Wolf wants to “hang,” but I have plans. “Maybe tomorrow,” I suggest although I hold more than a tinge of reluctance. At first I don’t know what it is, but then I realize a pattern developing. It started with Dan. If I have a recurring hook up and no emotional connection with the guy, I begin to resent them. I pick apart every little thing I don’t like about them. But if an emotional connection does develop, I like all of their dirty little habits to the point that they amuse me. So I decide in my mind that I really don’t want to sleep with Wolf anymore. But do I fuck or do I flee? I’m really in need of a good lay, so I think we know how this story goes…

After spending the day with a friend, I return Wolf’s call. “Want to get dinner?” He asks. “Sure,” I say. “Alright come over.” I’m tired and a little sick of always going to him, so I ask him to come to my part of town. “But I wanted to ‘hang out.’ Do you just want dinner?” I’m confused by what he’s saying. “No, we can do whatever,” I say. “Then why are we going to your place? Don’t you live with like five people?” I’m not really surprised by this. “No, I live alone.” “Oh, I thought you lived with Chase and all them,” he says. Chase is in his early thirties and lives alone in Hollywood with his boyfriend of a decade. I don’t say this, but you understand what I’m getting at.

Wolf says he’s on his way and I begin preparing my usual deadly chicken dish with broccoli when I realize I’m out of lube and condoms. Wonderful. I race out to the grocery store and see that they are in a glass case by the pharmacy. As I slide the glass door open, it makes a screeching sound. I don’t see the usual lube I buy…probably because I’m buying sex supplies at a grocery store. So I spend a minute evaluating the inventory. Finally, I grab one and decide I need a few more food items, so I dash through the store, receiving some uncomfortable glances. I manage to avoid one of those awkward price-check moments and run home, but when I walk through the gate of my apartment building, the landlady, an elderly woman with a hint of Betty White to her, is there. “How are you?” She says with a warm smile. “I’m great!” I say. “Just about to cook dinner.” “Oh! Wonderful! What are you cooking?” She asks, looking at the bag. Grocery bags are mildly see-through. She totally sees the condoms, but I don’t have time for this. “Chicken,” I say as I continue toward my apartment. “It was good seeing you! Have a good night,” she says waving. What a hoot.

Wolf takes a while to finally arrive, but when he does, he tells me he’d been drinking–not that he was drunk, but there’s a little buzz going. He tells me how my building should change the structural integrity of its stairs (“It would only cost them a few thousand dollars”) and maneuvers his way into the position of captain of the kitchen. Not that I mind. Cooking is not my forte. As we know. “Can I get you something to drink?” I ask politely. “If you don’t mind, I’ll have a vodka something.” I make it for him, knowing this will likely be the end of him for the night. He’s not going to be driving home.

We eat the uneven meal and both enjoy it–that fucking chicken is a homerun! But while we’re eating, he drinks more, getting flush in the face. We make out on the couch, and he rests his head on me before actually passing out on my lap. I’ve never watched someone sleep so closely with the light on before, and his REM is insane. I’m totally infatuated with watching the creepy movement of his irises through his eyelids…for about thirty seconds. And then I’m bored. So I slowly lift his head and switch out my lap for a pillow. I go into my room and decide I’m going to play dress up. I put on a gold bikini/speedo thing from American Apparel that my friend got me as a (sort of) gag gift for my college graduation. It doesn’t cover much, and stuff is popping out from every angle, but I’m amused. Peeking out my bedroom door, I check to see that he’s still asleep and tip toe into my living room. I’m extra quiet as I approach the couch and slowly mount him doing some kind of ridiculous pelvic thrust lap dance. He wakes up, smiling before his eyes open. I put my hand over his eyes as he feels me up. “Guess what I’m wearing.” He removes my hand from his face. “I was guessing just that!” He says laughing. We make out some more as he feels me up and down. “I want to do a body shot off you,” he says, so I comply, laying on my back. His tongue slurps on the vodka slowly, then drips down on my stomach. “I’m drunk,” he says with an embarrassed smile.

We go back in the bedroom, and I find myself doing more work than usual, which displeases me considering my reluctance for this night in the first place. Wolf is kind of hammered and keeps pseudo-apologizing despite my promising that I don’t care. As long as he can keep it up, we don’t have a problem. And luckily that problem doesn’t occur. (I’m kind of a fox like that.) We’re going at it when he stops for some more lube. “Hey, we buy the same products,” he tells me incoherently. “So we do,” I say impatiently. We start going at it again, and it’s good. Real good. But not as good as last time. Maybe he’d be trying harder if he knew this would be the last time we’d be doing this. I think about telling him, but I’m not serious about it–it would kill the mood. “I like fucking here,” he says to me in a dazed voice. “Why’s that?” I regret asking almost immediately because I’m sick of conversing. “You like to take control here,” he answers. Actually, I have to because you fell asleep on my couch, but I suppose I should be putting in my fair share. We both finish and hop in the shower. I get out fast and get in bed. Wolf comes out in a towel and seems expectant of a toothbrush, but goes for the mouthwash when I don’t offer one. “Sorry I got so drunk,” he says again. “Really, you’re fine,” I assure him from my bed. He climbs in next to me as I read a book, and he passes out pretty quickly. I don’t want him to touch me, so I sleep on the edge of the bed. Not that it matters. I’m fairly certain he doesn’t move all night.

The next morning I wake up before my alarm goes off. I take another shower (because I always have to take a shower in the morning) and get dressed. Taking my computer into the kitchen, I read the news and drink some coffee. A few minutes later, I go back in and wake Wolf, who is still sound asleep. “I have to go to work in ten minutes,” I tell him. “What?” He seems disoriented. “I heard you stirring, but I didn’t think you had to leave!” He throws his clothes on and we leave together, going out opposite ends of the building, and I drive to work. I’m an hour early.

*     *     *

I think about my pattern of booty-call resentment. I don’t like it, and I realize that the real reason for pretty much all of my hook ups since I’ve moved here have been motivated by low self-esteem. And for the most part, I feel like they’ve been bad decisions for my friendships, my mental health, etc. It’s like your mom says when you’re little: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Only it’s more like, “If you can’t make good decision about sex, don’t have sex at all.” I decide I’m going on an indefinite vow of celibacy. The first leg will last two weeks, and I’ll reevaluate things from there.

The Better To Fuck You With, My Dear

April 26, 2011

“A weed is no more than a flower in disguise, Which is seen through at once, if love give a man eyes.” – James Russell Lowell

It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I head over to Mr. Wolf’s house. “I’m hungry,” I tell him. Between last night and not completely wanting to be here, I’m being a little abrasive. I want to eat now. “We can grab a bite before the movie,” he says. We’re going to see Red Riding Hood. Oh, the irony. Wolf says he has to watch it for “research.” If he didn’t already have a free ticket, there’s no way I’d agree to this. He’s always trying to get me to see movies with him. I hate movies—they’re so finite. Television is much more my speed: enduring arcs, emotional investment, but not procedurals. Life isn’t formulaic, or at least mine isn’t.

“How was your week?” He asks, looking into me. “Hard,” I say, and we kiss. “I’ve been letting my insecurities get the better of me.” “Poor thing,” he says, “and yesterday you thought I stood you up.” Of course he thinks this is about him. We kiss again, long and deep. “You kiss like you need it,” he tells me. “Maybe I do,” I say. “Maybe I need it to.” He rubs my side. “What do you want to do?” “Just lie here for a while,” I tell him, turning over. I’m feeling particularly fragile today and after about five minutes, my stomach starts rumbling. Loudly. Another reason for my irritability. I kiss him again, and he insists on getting me something to eat.

Wolf picks a place that is a little too pricey for me with a bizarro menu. “Whatdya’ll want to drink?” Asks the flavorful waitress. “And where might I ask is that accent from?” He inquires. “Indiana,” she replies with a sweet sass. “I’ll have a chocolate milk,” Wolf says, “and you should get one of the juices,” he tells me. So I do. (When the check comes, I discover the juice is a ridiculous $5. He doesn’t offer to pay.) While we’re waiting for the movie to start, the  mood settles with some banter as we comment on our fellow moviegoers and they’re odd habits. Fortunately, he doesn’t try anything during the movie…I think that kind of thing is tacky. Unfortunately, everything about the movie is embarrassingly bad. On the drive home, I try to have a technical conversation, deconstructing the film’s elements. “That’s not exactly right,” he says definitively of one of my opinions, so I shut up. I diffuse the situation by pointing to the attractiveness of the male lead. Wolf then goes on to explain several terms that I’m already very familiar with, so I zone out.

When we get back to Wolf’s house, we go upstairs, he pulls my shirt off and traces my body with his fingers like an artists defining the negative space. It’s foreign to me how this man is so genuinely intrigued by my physical form and yet so absent and unaware of my personality. It’s a different kind of shallowness than one might expect, but Wolf has never truly conformed to my expectations of him. On the one hand, it makes him a more interesting person, but his lack of engagement simultaneously disgusts and scares me.

As things move along, Wolf asks me if I can achieve a certain unspeakable sex act that most men can’t do. “I used to, but I don’t know if I can anymore,” I reply. “Oh, I believe in you,” he says. Turns out I can. We finish, and lie still for a minute, but I’m antsy, so I hop in the shower and take off. “I have work early tomorrow,” I tell him. When I get in the car, I call The Writer, who I haven’t seen since our talk on Thursday. “Want to come over for movie night?” He asks. “Sure,” I say, my insecurities about “us” still swelling.

An hour later, my back is killing me. “Do you have any Advil?” I ask The Writer. “Yeah,” he gets up and shovels through the mess in his drawers. “Headache?” “No,” I say, “an unspeakable sex act.” He smirks, and I know that I’m playing into some kind of game, but I don’t really mean to. We’re watching E.T., which makes me cry. I don’t let him see.

How Would You Like That Cooked?

April 22, 2011

“My favorite animal is steak.” -Fran Lebowitz

The Writer and I wake up late and get up even later–as usual. “Hit me up later,” he says on my way out. I get in my car and my mind starts to wander. This is never going to work. For SO many reasons. But that only makes the whole situation that much more alluring.

When I get home, I watch television for a few hours and remember that I’ve made plans with Wolf tonight. Yes, I’ve double booked. I text The Writer asking what he’s up to (and get no response) while trying to think up an excuse to tell Wolf. I’m nowhere even approaching exclusive with The Writer, but I feel a certain reservation about my sex life all of sudden. My stomach is in a knot about the whole thing–I don’t want to see Wolf, and I’m becoming overly anxious having not received a response from The Writer, so I turn off my phone. Because that’s the healthy thing to do–avoid your problems. I take a really long shower and when I get out, immediately turn my phone back on to discover no message from either. I plow through a pint of ice cream, which provides momentary relief to my prickling anxiety. At 8:30, I take two sleeping pills and pass the fuck out.

The next morning, I wake up groggy and a little upset about being blown off. The Writer’s on-and-off creepy friend Warren starts sarcastically sexting me, so I play along because it’s harmless–Warren has nicknamed me the prude. Also, he hasn’t had sex in a year. “Get on Skype,” he tells me. I do and when he turns on his camera, his dick is on my screen. “Put your penis away,” I tell him dryly. “Show me yours?” he suggests. “I’m hanging up now,” I reply annoyed. “Please?” “Fine,” I say, leaving the room for a minute. When I come back, I unzip my pants and a dildo flops out. “Very funny,” he says. “I’m so glad you think I’m going to show you my penis.” “Let’s hang out tonight,” he says. “I’ll let you know if I can,” I say, mostly planning not to. “You might as well just say no.” What’s the harm? “Fine,” I say, “but if you try anything creepy, I’m leaving.”

When I get to Warren’s, I’m hungry but he wants to continue the mock-sex banter. “Oh, oh, oh, I’m going to fuck you so hard,” he says in a weird voice. “Too late. I just came,” I say shortly. Warren tells me I’m sardonic, and then we leave to go to a burger joint. “You don’t mind walking?” He asks. “Of course not, it’s a beautiful night. Plus, I’m a New Yorker. Walking is what we do.” We sit at the bar and end up ordering the same burger. “And how would you like that cooked?” Asks the waitress. “Medium well,” he answers. “Same,” I say.

Most Los Angegays are unusually private about what and whom they do. Not Warren. He spills his guts on a boy that he’s in love with, but who is selfish and emotionally detached. Sound a little familiar? This is the reason he hasn’t had sex in a year. “Maybe you should just fuck the last person you slept with to help you get your mind off of him.” “I can’t,” he says. “Why not?” “He’s dead,” Warren says oddly. “What?” I laugh nervously. “It’s not funny. He fell off a building.” “Oh my god.” “That’s part of the reason I’m so fucked up,” he tacks on.

While we wait for our food, Warren recounts his previous night.  “I had dinner with Wolf and then I went home and was depressed,” he says. “I was supposed to hang out with him,” I say. “You’re the one who stood him up?” He nearly yells. “I did not stand him up. I didn’t hear from him. And I’m honestly kind of glad that I didn’t.” “And why’s that?” Warren asks. Without thinking, I tell him I’ve started to develop feelings for someone. “Who?” He demands. “No one,” I say. I’m smarter than that. Warren then relates the conversation back to his tragic romance, much to my relief.

When we get back to Warren’s house, his friend, Ralph, comes over to interview him for a law school project. Ralph, who is recovering from some kind of cold, asks several standard questions. The conversation steers toward criminal law, and I ask, “Is it true there’s gay jail in L.A.?” (I’ve heard this during conversation with some other LAGs and found it oddly comforting.) “No, but they do in New York,” Ralph tells me. “Yeah, you spent the night there!” Warren chimes in. “Really?” I ask, a little impressed. “Yeah, it was more of an after party than jail,” he says with a rasp in his voice. “Who were your cellmates?” “Lots of trannies, some cute boys, and this one teenager who beat up his aunt for hitting him and calling him a faggot. I was like, ‘good for you, honey!'” The interview then devolves into boytalk, which devolves into Grindr. Which annoys me because a) I don’t know who they’re talking about b) I don’t care who they’re talking about and c) Grindr pisses me off. While Ralph and Warren assess the attractiveness of familiar strangers, I get a text from Wolf. “What happened you last night?” “I didn’t hear from you,” I respond, having to stand by the window to get a signal. “Who are you texting?” Warren asks, and I tell him. “Oh, are you gonna go fuck him?” “You are so obnoxious, and no,” I reply. My phone buzzes again: “You’re phone was off, and I sent you a text.” “My phone was off for a little while, but I didn’t get a text,” I reply. “Do you want to do something tomorrow then?” “Sure,” I say not really caring.

Warren goes upstairs for a minute, and Ralph starts up a conversation. “Where did you go to school?” “NYU.” “Me too!” He graduated before me, so I don’t know any of his friends, plus I was too cool to hang out with NYU kids most of the time. I think of all of the well-known gays I know, and he shit talks most of them. I’m not necessarily a big fan of them either, but I don’t like that he’s trashing the only familiar thing between us. Warren comes back, and the boys continue on their Grindr spree, recounting who they’ve seen naked. I check my Facebook and see I’ve been poked by someone I’m not friends with. “I know him,” Warren says, “want to see his cock? It’s huge!” “Yes!” Ralph exclaims. “I’m indifferent,” I say honestly.” Warren shows us, and it’s true, he has a rather large member. “How did you get that?” I ask. “He sent it to me,” is his only response. I immediately drop out of the conversation again as they look at more boys.

After about five minutes, I say, “I’m leaving,” with a hint of annoyance in my voice. It’s midnight. “Why?” Warren asks. “Because I’m bored,” I say plainly, standing up. “I could make you not bored,” Ralph says seductively but nasally as he stands (with a hard on). He gets so close that he’s nearly pressing against me, and then squeezes my crotch. My eyes slit with anger as I slap his arm away. “It was so nice to meet you,” I hiss without eye contact, and I shove him out of the way, storming out the door. I’m not a piece of meat. I am not a fucking piece of meat. It’s one thing when I’m drunk at a gay bar, but it’s another thing when I’ve already say “no,” I’m sober, and we’re at someone else’s house. And then I realize: all of the excitement and advantages of this gay new world are going to be met with having to deal with assholes like this. Everything has its consequences. I wonder if I have the stomach for the entirety of this life.

The Cheap Trick

April 3, 2011

“I wish that I could have this moment for life.” -Nicki Minaj

I wake up late Saturday. I’m starving, so I call The Writer to invite him to a strictly eating-only lunch (Saturday afternoons have become prime writing time, and I’m full-on anti-work today), but he is of course still asleep because he sleeps always. When he finally gets up, I drive over to his house, and we select The Waffle in Hollywood as our dining destination. On our way, he calls his creepy friend Warren and invites him to eat with us, which makes me cringe. “The thing about Warren is he’s insane when he’s drunk. Like mad scientist bat-shit crazy, but he’s normally a very sweet person.” I nod discouragingly, remembering our last encounter, which ended with him drunkenly yelling something about Wolf and I on the street in WeHo.

When we arrive, The Writer insists on sitting next to me in the booth because we’re by the door and it’s quite drafty. He then stands and wanders around the establishment for the next five minutes in search of a different table until finally someone leaves. His shamelessness both embarrasses me and amuses, but this is why I like The Writer—he’s weird and unapologetically so. Just as we settle at our new table, Warren joins us and turns out to be an enjoyable conversationalist, which makes up for a less-than-stellar brunch (because what I really want is a cheeseburger.) Conversation turns to boys, and they pull out their phones to check Grindr.

What is Grindr? According to its website, it’s a “Free Gay iPhone App [that] finds local gay, bi and curious guys for dating or friends for free on Grindr. Meet the men nearest you with GPS, location-based Grindr.” Basically, it’s an actual gaydar. Grindr locates the nearest hundred gays and displays their profiles, which contain, among other things, naked to semi-naked photos of the user, their sexual roles, and other excruciatingly personal details. Users can then message whoever is in the vicinity and potentially hook up. What’s more is pretty much every gay I’ve met in L.A. has Grindr and uses it with as much frequency as Facebook. Grindr grosses me out, but the concept is admittedly fascinating.

Warren leaves to meet his personal trainer—he’s making big strides to improve his life, including not drinking and working out six days a week. The Writer and I leave shortly after, and I let him in on my anti-work leanings, so we agree to see a movie. “We have an hour before it starts,” he informs me. “Let’s go back to my place and take a nap.” “I’m not tired,” I tell him with legitimate naivety. When we get back to his house, The Writer suggests I read Diablo Cody’s Candy Girl while he naps, and we climb into bed. He reaches his arm out. “Come snuggle,” he says in a cutesy voice before scooping me over to his side. I’m a little cold on this given our history, but I don’t resist. I make it through a page and a half of the stripping memoir before I drop the book and reciprocate his embrace.

Half an hour later, it’s time to leave for the theater, so I poke The Writer. “We have to go,” I whisper. “Five more minutes,” he begs. “Fine.” Five minutes later, I shake him. “We’re going to miss the movie!” I exclaim. “No we won’t.” He rolls over. Yes we will, but I’m not going to win this battle. I kind of don’t want to anyway. Four and a half hours later, it’s nine, and I decide we really should get up, if for no other reason than my hunger–despite consuming every crumb of my last meal, I am already starving again.

Turns out waking him up was only half the battle. The Writer missed about twenty phone calls and thus spends the next half hour playing catch up. While he is texting, chatting, whatevering, his ex calls. The Writer answers, and I’m silent Read the rest of this entry »

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