It’s Not Enough

January 30, 2012

“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” -Marilyn Monroe

What is that noise? I think to myself. I decide it sounds like a car alarm and then realize I’m still asleep. I awaken to discover that it is in fact a car alarm. Pulling my comforter all the way over my head, I roll over. And up. There’s an incline on my bed. I’ve piled clothes and bags and pillows on the empty half. A few nights ago, I discovered a little trick based on the supposition that it’s harder to be lonely when there’s no empty space. It worked for the first few nights, but as many Grindr users know, tricks are fleeting.

Rubbing my eyes, I reach over and dislodge my computer from the small mountain of junk beside me. I’ve received precisely three emails from The Writer and zero calls or texts since the premiere party. I secretly hoped that he might show up out of stubbornness as some valiant apologetic gesture. But wishes like that are stupid, and wanting someone to be who they are not is doubly so. Checking my email, I see I’ve received a fourth message. His emails are slightly desperate pleas of forgiveness disguised as attention: “These outline notes are great.” “We should get lunch some time.” “I started reading your script.” The one I wrote on my birthday. Truthfully, I’m dying to know what he thinks. It’s the first completed piece of mine he’s read. This morning, I decide to cut him (and myself) a break. Besides, a free meal sounds pretty nice to this unemployed homo. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tic-Tac-Tequila

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 »


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.


Meant For Each Other. Except…

April 13, 2011

“But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” -Catwoman

I wake up the next morning at a somewhat decent hour with my arm draped over The Writer. I smile and decide to leave him alone but inch a little closer. I love this. But by noon, I’m starving so I poke him. “I’m sooo hungry,” I bemoan. “Five more minutes,” his typical response. So I wrap my leg around his and squeeze his torso and we lie there for fifteen more minutes. “Get up! Get up! Get Up!” I demand playfully, but he just rolls over. “Fine!” I noisily exit my bed and head into the kitchen to brew some Java, hoping the steaming grinds will lure him out of bed like some 50s cartoon floating through the air incited by the scent of bacon. My attempts are once more met with utter failure, so I violently jump onto the bed and flip The unflinching Writer onto his stomach. Position myself on his lower back, I reach up to his shoulders and give them a tight squeeze, massaging him. “Mmmm,” he moans. Finally! I think to myself. I love The Writer’s body–he says he used to be more built, and he definitely has some muscle but with slightest bit of doughiness to him, so that he’s both firm and soft. Sometimes I fall asleep with my head on his chest, which, if positioned just right, is better than a pillow. And I can listen to his heartbeat. “You’re really good at massages,” he says. “Where did you learn how to do that?” “At the ‘Happy Endings Spa’ in Chinatown back in my New York days,” I retort. “They taught you well,” he laughs. “I do what I can,” I tell him. “Well don’t stop,” he says. “Alright, but when I’m done you have to get up. I’m starving!” “Okay, okay,” he complies, so I finish my work. Happy Ending-less.

The Writer and I head to a rather vacant diner for a would-be lunch (although I don’t think it qualifies as such at 4PM). The sky is apocalyptic grey today, clouds swirling. Looking out the diner window, I notice a small circular hole that penetrates the thick glass with a cauterized border. We debate on how the hole got there without shattering the pane, and The Writer decides it’s a bullet hole. “That’s why it’s so empty in here,” I joke. When the waitress comes to take our order, The Writer orders his coffee with milk, but she brings it black. “Oh, can I have some milk with this?” He asks. “Sure darlin’,” she says sweetly and returns a few minutes later with a tall glass milk. We snicker, and The Writer attempts to pour the milk into his coffee without spilling it, but he’s unsuccessful. We get some work done, and I help him brainstorm on some script ideas he’s been working on. I have a few good notes, and he gets really excited about the characters and situations, which does something to me although I’m not exactly sure what. I have an appointment with my new psychiatrist at 7, so I drive The Writer back to my place to retrieve his car.

The psychiatrist, who I’ve only seen once, asks me about my personal life–sex and friends. When I first met with him, I was concerned about not connecting to anyone in my new city. I didn’t have anyone I could confide in or truly relate to. I tell him that I’m sexually active, but I can’t find the words to tell him about The Writer. “I think I’ve made one friend,” I say. “That’s excellent,” the doc tells me. “He uh…is a writer–” “Something you have in common,” he chimes in as though he’s reassuring me of something very important. I tell him a few more details about The Writer, including his age, which garners a slightly suspicious response from the doc. He then asks, ever so delicately, about the nature of our relationship, and I am a little floored, not knowing how to answer. I do my best to stumble through the story of how we met (select details only) at a party and how The Writer knows my cousin, but I find myself slightly bewildered by my inability to piece together what the implications fr my relations with The Writer really mean, so I change the subject.

When I get home, I message The Writer: “I kind of want to get really fucked up Read the rest of this entry »


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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