The Latter Gays

October 8, 2011

“I think I need a mint or something.” -Anna Faris

The morning sun creeps through the blinds of my bedroom, across my sheets. It stops on the pillow next to my head. I stare at the empty side of the bed. It’s one of the loneliest sights I’ve ever seen. I consider my life. I’ve spent the past three nights partying. Each night I’ve gone home and medicated myself to sleep. The past three mornings, I’ve woken up, expecting someone to be warmly lying beside me. Each morning, I’ve been sharply disappointed. You don’t become accustomed to being alone. It’s comforting to think you will, but you don’t. You won’t become used to the cold, empty space. It’s just something that I have to accept and live with.

It’s pushing noon, and the rays of sun are crawling ever closer toward me. I wonder if it’s pathetic that it’s a Wednesday, and I haven’t been able to summon the strength to peel myself off my mattress yet. But considering all that’s just happened on top of the fact that I’m unemployed and less two weeks from being flat broke, I’d say I’m doing just dandy.

Staring up at the ceiling, I think about my last conversation with The Writer. It’s strange that I’ve already forgotten so many of the prickly details when every breath, every movement, every word was so overwhelming in the moment. It’s strange that those details, despite being so bright, have already dissolved away into time. They barely even exist anymore.

I do remember the last thing The Writer said to me: “Call me when you’re ready.” How do I know when I’m ready? It’s been three days. Is that time enough? With the temptation of calling him stomping around my thoughts, I grab my phone and hold it up, over my face. Scrolling through my contacts, I find his name. I press the “delete” button next to his information. There. This isn’t the first time, I’ve banished The Writer’s number from my phone since our talk. I nearly threw my phone down a hill when I left his house. But seeing as how I’m broke, and a phone is kind of a necessity, I settled on giving his number to a friend for safe keeping before deleting all traces of him from my phone. That same night, I decided I needed his number again and re-entered it. Until I realized that I was being crazy. And deleted it. Again. The pattern of deleting and re-entering continued longer than what would probably be considered healthy, but this last time, my friend deleted the number also. I have no way of getting his digits back. It’s like solitary confinement. But healthy?

With a sense of relief, I toss the phone on the floor next to my bed, and it begins vibrating. “Fuck,” I say, thinking I broke it. I pick it up and see that someone is in fact calling. It’s a number not in my contacts. It’s his number. What’s worse is, I don’t just recognize it. It’s emblazoned in my mind. I realize I have it memorized. Fuck indeed.

I stare at the phone, distantly, as it continues to ring. “Call when you’re ready.” When I’m ready. I consider sending the call to voicemail. I should. Instead, I answer. “Hey…” I say in a great attempt to sound neutral. “Hi, how’s it going?” The Writer asks. His words give me the sensation of going upside down in a loop on a roller coaster. After a short pause, I answer: “Fine. I’m fine. How bout you?” “Good. I have a question for you…” Dread is my response. Gulping, I respond, “What is it?” “You know my friend, that producer? I’m applying for a writing job on his show, and I need to write an episode of something.” “OK…which show?” “Well, that’s what I was going to ask you,” he says. I fancy myself a television expert, and no, I don’t mean like the Kardashians. “I need to write a sample script of a big drama,” he continues. I shake my nerves and go into auto-mode. He wants to write Breaking Bad, which I tell him is likely too complicated, so he settles on a science fiction procedural. “How many seasons am I going to have to watch?” He asks. “There’s three, but you can skip about half of the episodes.” “Ugh,” is his response. “You’ll thank me later,” I assure him. “It’ll be an easy script to write.” “Can I just thank you now?” He asks. “Sure,” I answer.

After a short pause, I break the silence: “Is that all you were calling about?” “Yep,” he answers obliviously. Autopilot switches off, and I crash-land back in reality. I find myself nodding as if he could hear it. “Well, uh, let’s get dinner or something later this week,” he says. Some words fall out of my mouth, and the conversation is over.

I sit down on my floor, Indian style. Then, I remember number six of my reasons why: “He’s remarkably selfish.” Got it. But I’m still having difficulty processing the fact that he just called me. Just like that. And then, I remember number seven: “He doesn’t realize it.” But does ignorance exonerate the sin? That’s a question I’m not ready to answer. I do, however, consider his honesty during our conversation. And I can’t help but appreciate how resoundingly responsible he was with me in my most fragile state. It makes me think of those victims of kidnapping, who fall in love with their captors. God, I would have the worst Stockholm Syndrome.

*     *     *

After eating dry Frosted Mini Wheats for dinner, I call Trick Bradley. “I need to go out tonight,” I tell him. “That’s fair. Where are we going?” “You’ll see.” I know Trick Bradley well enough now to know that on the other end of the call, he’s sitting there, blinking with a blank expression on his face. “O.K.” “Great,” I say. “Come by around nine.”

*     *     *

Driving into WeHo, Bradley asks where exactly we’re going. “Take us to the most crowded elderly bar you know of.” “Gross. I am NOT sleeping with some old guy,” he says sticking his tongue out. “Keep it in you pants, skank. No one’s asking you to put out. Listen Bradley, tonight’s agenda is going to be a little unorthodox. I have no money, and I need to feel better about myself…” “Why do you need to feel better about yourself?” I hesitate. “Ask me again after I’ve had two drinks,” I instruct him. “Anyway, tonight is Geezer Night. The way I see it Read the rest of this entry »


Klub Kinder

July 2, 2011

“There are two things people want more than sex and money…recognition and praise.-Mary Kay Ash

Likely off eating shrooms in Palm Springs with his friends, I haven’t seen The Writer since before he bailed on my party. But it’s the weekend, and true to my fiery young gay spirit, I’m ready to drink, dance, and get dirty! I call Trick Bradley, who answers with a prolonged “Hey.” First, I tell him that Turtle won’t be messing with us again and that Clark assured me that Turtle would apologize to us in person the next time we crossed paths. “Oh,” he says. “Did I tell you about the text he sent me when I got home Thursday night?” “No!” I exclaim. “He said, ‘I hope you enjoy your tragic fake friends.'” I bust out in laughter. “Is he serious?” But there’s more. Trick Bradley forwards me this message he got from Turtle some time after Clark “talked” to him: “You weren’t the one I was mad at the other night, I was just hurt that you ignored me because I thought we were going to hang out this week. I thought you’d at least text me and instead I run into you with The Writer’s friend? He was the one who really escalated everything by putting himself in the middle of something that was none of his business. And he took you away from me in the middle of our talk. That’s what pushed me over the edge. And I was drunk so…” There are just no words! “Did you respond to him?” I ask. “No. Should I?” “Definitely not. He’s like half ape, half mean girl.” I’m so embarrassed for gaykind that someone this immature even exists that I nearly forget to make plans with Bradley. “Wait! We have to go out tonight!”

Just before ten, I go through my wardrobe. What to wear? I consider a few outfits but ultimately decide I don’t feel like changing. However, I want to make a splash so I throw on a little black cardigan and my pink shades. A few minutes later, Bradley picks me up in his dad’s car. “Where’s your car?” I ask. “It’s in the shop,” he answers. “Oh. What happened?” “It crashed.” “It crashed, or you crashed it?” I inquire. “Technically, it crashed. I wasn’t conscious,” he shares. “Oh my god, what happened!” “I fell asleep and woke up crashing into the car in front of me going 95 miles an hours,” he says. Usually, this would be a rather alarming story, but in Bradley’s case it seems pretty typical. “Were you drinking? Were there cops?” “No the other people like got out and were like it’s fine. They didn’t want to call the cops I guess. But I wasn’t drinking, I was just like super tired,” he says. I shake my head, then facepalm.

Twenty minutes later, we’re in a gay bar that’s pretty low key. We each down a cheap drink, and I’m abruptly bored. Desperately so. So much so that I text Dan. “What are you up to tonight?” He tells me he’s in the bar next door–it has a good dance scene on Saturdays, so I tell him we’ll meet him. Hut when we go outside there’s a swarm of people waiting to get in. “I don’t do lines,” I inform Bradley. (This impatience is left over from my years in New York.) I text Dan and let him know that there’s a line AND cover, which is unacceptable. I grow impatient waiting for a reply, so I check out the bar patio wall. It’s perfectly hoppable, temptingly so. I look at Bradley, but he doesn’t catch on. Then I get a reply from Dan. “Tell the promoter you’re my friend.” Marvelous. I make my way over to the promoter and introduce myself then inform him that I’m a friend of Dan’s. “Nice to meet you,” he says. “I don’t know who Dan is.” Annoyed, I apologize and start texting Dan again when Bradley speaks up, “Oh. I know that guy.” The guy holding the list hears him, and his face lights up. “Hey! How are you?” Bradley does his oblivious act, flirting with the guy for a minute or two. He doesn’t really acknowledge me, which is fine because the guy is so into Bradley that we get to cut the line and get in for free.

I run into Dan the second we walk in, and he’s zealous as ever about our reunion. “Nice cardigan!” He says enthusiastically. “Where’d you get it?” Before I can answer, someone taps him on the shoulder, and I use the distraction to take refuge outside on the patio. Unfortunately, Turtle is also on the patio and as much fun as a public apology might be, I decide it’s best saved for another time. I grab Bradley and lead him to the bar where we take a shot. I leave the bartender a fat tip, and he starts to flirt with me between pouring drinks. Unfortunately, I’m fairly certain he’s straight. On the bright side, he tips me off to the open bar and promises to hook me up with a strong drink. Seven minutes and five dollars later, (see, I am an excellent tipper!) I’m double-fisting two drinks, one of which I pass to Bradley before grabbing a third, and we run upstairs.

Having chugged half of my what is essentially cranberry flavored vodka on the way up the stairs Read the rest of this entry »


I’ve Had A Little Bit Too Much

June 18, 2011

“You know what they say: You can’t teach a gay dog straight tricks.” -South Park

“I want to go out tonight,” The Writer says. “Oh my god, me too. I’ll be right over.” I’m in bed naked and most all my clothes are dirty, but I manage to scrounge up an outfit: uncomfortable underwear that are reserved expressly for planned slutty nights, mismatched socks, a deep purple v-neck from American Apparel, and hygienically questionable black jeans. Oh, and a big black coat because it’s randomly freezing tonight. Not cool L.A. I grab my stuff and rush out the door, blasting the radio in my car. I make it to The Writer’s in record time (I’m serious about this wanting to go out tonight thing,) and scamper up his front step. My face is glowing–not my typical expression upon arrival at his house. That is until I see who answers the door. It’s Trick Bradley, that vapid kid with the fake ID. “Hey…” I say, trying my best to pull the drooping grimace on my face up into a inauthentic smile. The Writer is right behind him and smiles at me. “Is that a ballerina shirt?” He asks me. I look down in the second it takes me to realize that he’s talking about the shirt I’m wearing. My head shoots up: “No! You are such an asshole.” “It’s not a bad thing,” he says defensively. “Bradley, do you think this looks like a ballerina shirt?” He looks away and shrugs. Whatever. L.A. people have no sense of fashion.

On our drive to the bar, The Writer and I discuss writing stuff, further muting Trick Bradley. Fortunately. Unfortunately, Trick Bradley can’t get into the bar. “This isn’t real,” the scruffy bouncer says. My initial reaction is shock that a guy that looks this dumb is able to identify such a forgery. My secondary reaction is insufferable annoyance that we’ve come all the way here only to be turned away. I don’t make eye contact with Trick Bradley because if I do, my facial reaction will be unpleasant to say the least. The Writer and I scoot in anyway, pretending not to know him, as to avoid any awkwardness with the bouncer.

Inside, we are greeted by a man I will refer to as Turtle. Turtle is probably in his early 40s and is “good” friends with Wolf. He also has a ridiculous reputation in that literally everyone in WeHo knows his (creepy) game. He’s incredibly insecure and super jealous. Also, he’s not particularly attractive. By which I mean I literally cannot think of single individual that I know who would hook up with him. Remarkably, a young cute-ish twink stands at his side loyally. He’s clearly from out of town. The pretext of why they might be together is beyond me. Until he goes on stage.

It’s karaoke night and the kid selects a cheesy Kelly Clarkson ballad to sing. The performance is propped up by his above average voice. This pisses me off. No one wants to hear/watch someone with relative talent get up on stage and sing some boring ass song about how you’re in love for the first time. Shoot me. Or at least buy me a drink. No, if we wanted to see that we’d watch American Idol. Karaoke is the sacred Japanese tradition of embracing the characteristics of an alcoholic for a night, shamelessly screeching out an epic tune to the point of butchery, and falling off stage when you go to take your bow. Everyone knows that. The Writer informs me that Turtle is a “music industry executive.” Turtle is definitely not a music industry executive. He’s a bottom feeder who lives in one-person apartment. But it would appear that this kid doesn’t know that. (The music executive part. It seem like he knows all about the apartment. More on that later.) As the song reaches it’s climax, The Writer gets a text from Bradley, and we regroup outside, deciding to make our way down the block to Stripper Circus.

Stripper Circus is kind of what it sounds like although Stripper Carnival would probably be a more apt name; strippers do their thing on platforms like in most of the other bars in WeHo, only at “Circus” there’s a gimmicky row of ridiculous carnival games, hosted by…well, guess! If you guessed strippers, you’re wrong. The answer we were looking for is drag queens! So I guess a truly accurate title for this “party” would be Carnival Game Queens or something like that. Regardless, Stripper Circus works like is this: you buy a drink, get a ticket, play the games, win shitty cheap booze, get drunker, lose the games because you can’t see straight, buy another drink so that you can play again. Rinse, wash, repeat.

Bradley manages to get in, but Stripper Circus is packed. Partially because there’s a spontaneous, limited open bar meaning I’m double-fisting whiskey cokes while some guy’s bulge dangles above my head like mistletoe. The Writer breaks through the pack, pulling me with him through the sea of gays. Bradley gets left behind. “I think we lost Trick Bradley,” I inform him once we’re in the clear. “Haha! You still call him that?” “You have like 3,000 facebook friends. If I don’t use your mnemonic devices, I’ll never remember anyone you introduce me to.” “Trick Bradley is a smart kid…” he starts, and I interrupt him with a chuckle. “…I’m sure he’ll figure it out.” We continue away from the chaos, when The Writer sees a big group of guys he knows, sitting at a table with a bottle of Grey Goose. He introduces me to a few of them–I immediately forget the names that I can actually hear. Then he sits down to chat. I’m left standing, holding my two drinks. Which very quickly become one drink. Another guy walks over and sits down next to the boy on the end. The new guy whispers something to the other, who turns to me. “What’s your name again?” He half yells. I remind him. “This is my boyfriend, Sam,” he tells me before turning back to Sam. I manage to make out what he says next. “He’s The Writer’s boyfriend.” I don’t correct him. 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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