Tuesday, October 29, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

It sounds like it's sleeting outside, which is a scary thought, considering that it's not even November yet. I am so not a wintry-mix kind of guy. I'm more like a palm tree--I like warm, sunny, breezy weather.

Anyway, I'm amused that the purveyor of one of my fave blogs found himself ruminating today on the meaning of love, which is the very same topic that Nicodemus and I were arguing, fairly drunkenly, about Friday night while ensconced in his cozy apartment, sheltered from the rain. We, however, were deliberating on the finer points of attraction, which, although clearly not the same as love, is certainly intimately bound up with it. Essentially, the discussion was thus: Nicodemus, romantic that he seemingly is, strongly supported the idea that there is such a thing as falling head over heels for someone--that you can be intensely attracted to a guy, which is to say that your body registers said attraction as a strong, identifiable feeling--whereas, being the jaded cynic that I am, I refuted that claim, writing such a sense of attraction off as mere infatuation, a druggy sensation (as my therapist describes it) utterly without content. I proposed that what attraction actually is is just the desire to spend time with someone who treats you well and whom you enjoy hanging out with, and with whom you can have a satisfying sexual relationship. Everything else ascribed to attraction, I said, was simply the product of Hollywood and the rest of the culture and wasn't real.

You can imagine the machinations at work in a conversation like this at 3:00 a.m. after depleting a bottle of Absolut. But I came away thinking that the truth about love and attraction is somewhere close to halfway between Nico's opinion and mine.

In other news, I lost my Cheez Whiz virginity Sunday night and I was laughing the whole time! I was relieved, as well, to find out that although the party is ending at the Parkside Lounge next Sunday, it will resume shortly thereafter at Rare (formerly the Cooler), at which point it will be called Star Tartare. Thank the Lord, because this is the best party I've been to in awhile...

Sunday, October 27, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: .5

Well, I suppose everyone knew this day would come, yours truly included, but I have completely fallen off the wagon with this nicotine thing. Smoked several cigarettes (Gauloises, of all brands!) Friday night when I was hanging out at Nicodemus's place, which we didn't leave the whole night due to the pouring rain but also to the convenience (free drinks, the ability to choose our own music, book-borrowing privileges). Had a great time. Too bad he's not interested in me romantically or sexually, because I think I'm in love with him. At least when I'm drunk, that is. Swooning my way down Broome St. after leaving his place at 4 a.m., I couldn't stop thinking about him; when I awoke early Saturday afternoon, I laughed at myself and didn't feel a single pang of attraction.

Smoked several more cigarettes last night at J-bird's party for Nangstarr's birthday, but then I was drunk and coked up, so it was excusable. Couldn't help but think of the last time I was at J-bird's for a party, about six weeks ago, when I was drunk and coked up and successfully avoided all nicotine. Wish I could reclaim that will power.

Or maybe not--am planning to smoke again tonight when L., M-dash, Babydoll (who's up from D.C. for two weeks freelancing at L.'s firm), and I check out Cheez Whiz for the first time. I read here that this evening is the penultimate edition of the party, so I gotta make it there while I still can. I'm sure it's going to be awesome and I'm going to regret the fact that I could've been going every week, but que sera sera. Something else will likely come through the pipeline to replace it.

Saw the movie Heaven this afternoon and loved it. It was strange, beautiful, affecting, and the acting, courtesy of Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi, is top notch. And the best part of all is that the script is by an all-time favorite of mine: the late, great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski. It felt good to be able to commune with his spirit again. Tom Tykwer's own direction was quite inspired, but I couldn't help but wonder what the film would've been like if Kieslowski had been alive to helm it.

Friday, October 25, 2002

P.S. RIP Paul Wellstone.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

But I'm going out with Nicodemus tonight, so my short non-smoking streak will likely end. It's a shame.

Internet boy, amazingly enough, still hasn't contacted me, via phone or e-mail, so I guess the whole things is really off now. That's also a shame. His loss, though. I was sort of expecting him to get in touch today with some lame excuse, apologizing for our not getting together last night, and I would give him some shit, then fold and reschedule, just so I could have sex with an ex-porn model with a huge tattoo blasting his name across his lower arm. Sounds heavenly to me. Too bad it's not gonna happen.

At least my fortune-cookie fortunes came through for me for a change. I got five cookies from one of the take-out joints I order from, and after being a total pig and scarfing down a huge egg roll, mounds of pork-fried rice, and some chicken chow mein (it wasn't that good, and plus I had chicken on my salad at lunch today), I proceeded to crack open four of them (I'm giving the last one to Nico when I see him in a bit) and discovered what destiny has in store for me. Looks pretty good:

1) "A chance meeting opens new doors to success and friendship."

2) "You will step on the soil of many countries."

3) "Romance moves you in a new direction."

4) "You will be awarded some great honor."

I wonder what Nico's fortune will say?

Thursday, October 24, 2002

To take my mind off of my Internet-date fiasco, I've been reading up on my new love, Ty Murray, the famous bull-riding champion. He's a real man. He would never stand me up like this. If we were dating and I was suffering from the cold, all I'd have to do is call him and he'd be over in a jiffy to warm me up. And if I couldn't date him, I'd date one of his fellow bull riders on the PBR circuit. I was blown away by these boys when I happened to catch their competition in Columbus, OH, this past weekend on TV. If they can ride bulls like that, can you imagine what they could do in bed? Perhaps, on occasion, just for fun, wearing their long leather chaps?
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

Apparently my Internet date has stood me up. That's right, the former Playguy model (how many times have I invoked that credential thus far?), whom I was supposed to meet in person for the first time tonight. We'd agreed that I'd call him yesterday to sort out the details, which I did, although later in the day than he probably expected (around 10 p.m., when I got home from work). He wasn't there, so I left a message, and the bastard has yet to call me back. Can you believe it?

I can, because this is what happens more often than not, to me at least, when it comes to online dating. It's like the complete lack of physical presence emboldens people to do whatever the hell they want, including dispensing with normal standards of etiquette such as returning a fucking phone call or refusing to follow through on obvious sexual chemistry. If this guy is half the pig he says he is, he would've been dying to hook up, in the fullest possible definition of the word.

Eh, I'm just being dramatic. I don't really care. What with the cold weather and all--and I'm really irked by the seeming super-early onset of winter--I don't feel like going out anyway. I did manage to step out for a spell after work, though, and catch a few drinks with one of my current editors--in fact, the only editor who's currently publishing my work. It was long overdue, but we more than made up for it. I didn't realize what a fascinating history he has. Aside from being around the block enough times that he's probably run a marathon by now, it actually turns out that we worked at the same magazine, albeit it many years apart. I thought that was cool. Alas, our get together yielded no writing assignment, but I have a few new ideas that I'm getting around to pitching him, so hopefully one of those will stick.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

I called in sick to work today, ostensibly so that I could devote the day to my own work (i.e., applying for permanent jobs in my chosen profession), but all I did was watch The People's Court, read magazines, pay a few bills, and sleep. I also got drinks with a certain ex-colleague, a social engagement I've been avoiding for several months, and watched that new legal drama on Fox called girls club. I have to say, I was entertained. It's no Melrose Place, but it's definitely got potential to be my guilty pleasure this television season.

All in all, though, nothing to brag about in the accomplishments department. The only thing of note that happened today is that I had a conversation, finally, with that guy from mygaydar.com that I blogged about last week. Unfortunately, I was majorly disappointed--he's a total fashionista who, crushingly, works as a fashion publicist! As far as I'm concerned, that's the greatest sin of all! Why do I always attract this type of guy? And in the face of the fact that I've sworn off them, because it just never works out. They're too appearance oriented (this guy actually managed to refer to the vintage Yves Saint Laurent blazer he was wearing tonight in the second sentence of our phone call), pretentious, or queeny for me--and thus far, this guy seems to possess all three traits. Plus he radiated flakiness, which is another turn off. Obviously, I'm disappointed, especially considering that his profile and e-mails conveyed the impression that he was a genuine skater boy, the complete opposite of what he really is.

But I'm going through with seeing him anyway, on Thursday, not least because of his huge cock (he posed for Playguy back in the day) and his tattoos and his general laissez-faire attitude. We'll see what happens.

In more positive news, Nicodemus is back in town after a two-week jaunt to Morocco and, no, I'm sorry to report, he didn't seduce any young Arab boys. He did, however, make an alarmingly serious effort to pick up this raspberry Stoli and Sprite-swilling boy at Wonder Bar last night while we were celebrating his return home. How you can respect anyone who drinks a drink like that is beyond me.

Okay, I'm going to go sort the color copies I made of my writing clips the other day in a last-ditch attempt to salvage an otherwise wasted day.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Between last night and the course of today, I have encountered a medley of boys that I've had and that I have not had but would like to have. In fact, this afternoon, while sitting on a bench on the Brooklyn-bound platform of the 1st Ave. L train stop, I was literally nauseated. Sitting next to me was this 100% fine guy, absolutely beautiful, stick thin, wearing a sexy outfit, who I believe checked me out as he sat down. As I was meditating on the serendipitous cruelty of having to sit next to him and yet not be able to do anything about it, I caught out of the corner of my eye the visage of some Internet trick of mine from way back in the middle of the summer who was walking past me with two girlfriends. Unfortunately I think he saw me look but thankfully didn't stop to say anything--I hadn't really dug him, and when he asked for my number as he was leaving my apartment after the dirty deed had been done, I refused to give it to him. In this present moment, the combination of the powerful distaste I felt seeing him and the powerful attraction I felt for the hot number to my right made me want to throw up. To make matters worse, the hottie didn't seem to look at me once when we were actually on the train.

Later on, after scoping out some cuties at Beacon's Closet in Williamsburgh, one of my two fave vintage clothing stores, but failing to purchase anything stellar (I almost snagged this funky beat-up old brown pleather jacket, but it didn't fit quite right), I was back in the city, buying an over-the-door hook rack from Surprise! Surprise! and a new bottle of Ultra Facial Moisturizer from the Kiehl's store (I got samples of their rosewater skin toner!!!). I checked out the new Japanese supermarket further down Third Ave., then stopped in St. Mark's Bookshop, where I discovered Butt magazine--as well as another boy I wanted, a member of the scruffy trio at Wonder Bar from Friday night, who was right in front of me on line and who was also getting a copy of Butt! I wanted desperately to talk to him--I saw that he noticed me too--but in the quiet atmosphere of the check-out area, I felt extra-insecure at the prospect. I saw him take a right as he exited the shop, so I thought I could follow him, but, alas, when I turned right, he was nowhere to be found.

On top of these events, I had a fairly disorienting and depressing time last night at my friend T.'s housewarming party at her new apartment in Prospect Heights, to which I brought M., Nicodemus's friend whom I had sex with and who later disappointed me that Saturday afternoon a few weeks back. I guess I thought he was worth another shot, and, sure, I wanted to get laid and I enjoyed our hook up the last time. Plus, he's college friends with the editor of HX, so I'm hoping he can introduce me to him so I can start writing for that rag. However, though we did have really hot sex again after the party and though he is a genuinely nice guy, I've concluded that we're simply not compatible, so I'm going to have to kick him to the curb.

That revelation--yet another potential paramour come and gone!--was one reason I had a bad time last night. The other reason was the presence of T.'s Cousin, a short Lebanese guy who teaches at NYU and who possesses the most beautiful, deep, inviting eyes. I hadn't seen him since the first week in August, when we fucked right underneath the nose of his long-term, live-in boyfriend. All day yesterday, when I realized I was going to see him at the party, I was hoping I was going to be able to withstand the spell he usually casts over me; as soon as I arrived, though, I realized that would be hopeless. He kept talking to me, leaning in close, touching my stomach, complimenting the new shirt I was wearing from Vice, calling me sweetheart in Arabic, even with his boyfriend hovering nearby, and it was clear that he still harbors a crush for me. He was endearingly attitudinal towards M., less endearingly passive aggressive when he introduced me to this awful, older professor friend of his, then split. (The professor proceeded to nearly obliterate me with his boring conversation and later groped my crotch, which set off minor controversy when I told T.'s Cousin, who broadcasted the info to everyone.)

Not even the fact that T.'s Cousin and his boyfriend were dressed almost identically in black leather pants and black tops was enough to prevent me from feeling like I was in love with him.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

I went five straight days without smoking, actually, then broke down last night, when out with Benji, G-rod, Marvelous (and his friend from out of town), Edster (and his friend from out of town), and, of all people, the 48-year-old father from my therapy group. He'd heard I was going to see Potty Mouth, directed by a fellow group member of ours, and e-mailed me to meet up at the show. Which was fine, if a little weird. So that's what we did, me with Benji and G-rod in tow (Marvelous's friend's train was delayed so long that they had to miss the show). They seemed rather amused by Father, as I usually am, but were great sports about his tagging along after the show when we went to Wonder Bar. That hadn't been in the original plan, but as soon as I sat down at the show, he happened to mention that his friends keep telling him how great that joint is (which is strange, if you ask me, considering that they're all older, and W.B. caters to a much younger crowd), as if reading my mind, because we had already agreed to meet Edster and co. there.

Anyway, there was a fun crowd at W.B., though they weren't really that down with dancing, except for this trio of scuffy boys (whom, if I weren't trying to be celibate lately, I would've made an effort to bag) and this other tall black dude who danced with me, while singing the lyrics, to a No Doubt track. It was too crowded to dance properly as usual, but that's pretty much the only reason I go to this bar. Edster and his friend departed for Starlight; Father got a booty call (!) and jetted (which I found ironic); G-rod and Benji called it a night. Marvelous, his friend, and I went to Urge, where we found Edster and his friend sitting by a pack of brutally cute, majorly drunk college boys, who kept making eyes at us. They were all talk and no action. My friend S., who I bumped into, was also all talk and no action: he kept calling me his little "boo boo" while fondling my ass and trying to rub my nose with his, yet never actually said he wanted to hook up. Not that I would have, but still, it would've been nice if he had asked.

At the end of the night, it was just me and Edster's friend, who desperately wanted to get laid and who was then, at 3:45 a.m., playing tonsil hockey with a seductive Latin guy named Alvaro. I was surprisingly unmoved. I was also tired and had to get up at 10 to let my super in to investigate what I thought was a gas leak in my apartment, so I bummed a smoke from Alvaro, said my goodbyes, and walked home, braced by the cool night air.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

I'm exhausted and should be asleep, but, as usual, I can never seem to go to sleep before 12:30. On rare occasions I'll conk out at 11:30, but that's the earliest I remember retiring in a long ass time. And what have I been doing that's preventing me from bedding down? Certainly not job search-related shit, like I'm supposed to be doing. No, I was reading other people's blogs and fussing with my own.

Anyway, got a nice surprise today when checking my messages at mygaydar.com (an automated e-mail showed up in my inbox reminding me that I hadn't been to the site since June, when I created my online ad, and saying that I had several new messages). Apparently some super cute, 26-year-old, "inked sk8tor boy" (his description), horny as hell, has the hots for me, and after reading his message and accompanying profile, I feel the same about him. He's like the man of my dreams, almost too good to be true. My favorite line in his ad is "I like a boy who's a pig on the inside but who's still nice enough on the outside to bring home to mom." How romantic. He posed for Playguy a few years ago and has the pictures to prove it. He only likes uncut dick, which, thankfully, I have. I wrote him back, so hopefully he'll respond, even though it's been more than four months since he originally contacted me. I've always had a fantasy about getting with a skater boy--maybe it'll finally come true?

In other news, the new member of my group failed to show his face today, and didn't show up at the solo appointment he had scheduled before the meeting either, so I think he might have freaked on the whole psychotherapy thing and bailed. I hope not. We could use some fresh blood. Spent the whole time discussing the financial and career woes of the member I have a crush on, problems I strongly identified with. Afterwards, before he invited me to a book reading by Dan Savage on Thursday (which unfortunately I can't make due to a "fall harvest" drinking session with colleagues that evening that I've already committed to), he told me, when we were by ourselves by the elevator, that I made a lot of great comments and he really appreciated it. I was touched. I felt he was looking deep into my eyes and I wondered, for the umpteenth time, whether he was attracted to me. I forgot to mention that his hair looked amazing tonight.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Failure, again. Failure of a different kind a moment ago when, after spending an hour carefully composing an e-mail to this features editor at a downtown fashion magazine I've been trying to write for, all four of her plausible e-mail addresses didn't work, and said e-mail bounced back to me. Four times. Reminding me what a stupid idiot I am. Because, of course, I could just call her and ask for her address instead of wasting all this time. I did speak to her once before, over the summer, after I sent her some clips at the suggestion of my friend who works with her (who, inexplicably, hasn't returned my queries about her e-mail). But calling her is scarier than just e-mailing her, even though the latter option now seems impossible. Guess I'm going to have to get some balls and do it anyway. At least I followed up with this guy at this hip hop/street culture magazine that I also want to write for, who's a friend of J-bird's. I can't wait to see his reaction after he reads my decidedly queer clips.

Yesterday turned out to be a fun-filled, long day. Got brunch with E., who was back in town but thoughtfully stayed with G-spot this time because she knew how much I had been working. Then we went shopping (we always go shopping--sometimes I think it's her only bona fide cultural pursuit), dropping by the Triple Five Soul sample sale (nada) and then Barney's Coop, where I was surrounded by attractive, attitudinal, fashionable gay boys, just like I love/hate them. Discovered that the Seven denim line now makes men's jeans (as does Earl Jeans), though when I tried on this dope pair they basically looked like girls jeans, and I don't like that look on me, or on any guys for that matter. I was secretly thrilled that they fit, considering that they were a 30 and they run very small. Alas, the pair of jeans I did want, by Paper Denim & Cloth, they didn't have in my size.

E. departed fairly soon after that to visit her relatives in Jersey and I went home to deal with more Amsterdam accommodations shit. Talked on the phone for almost two hours with Best Friend, who unsettled me by strenuously arguing, completely out of the blue, that I should move out of my apartment into a much cheaper space, possibly in Brooklyn, with roommates. Then went to my book club meeting, in which Court did a great job of contextualizing the The Body Artist's idiosyncrasies for me, which I had mostly found repellent. Still don't like the book that much, but have a greater appreciation for it.

Last appointment of the day was a tete-a-tete with an old college friend of mine who was visiting town. After almost two hours of chatter at Bouche Bar I was pretty much ready to call it a night, but he wanted to check out that wine bar Simone on 1st Avenue, and as I hadn't been there in ages and I was drunk (I'd been drinking wine since book club), I said what the hell. Got more drunk there and found myself fancying having sex with him, wondering what it would be like, even though he's straight and developing a gut (then again, we all are) and a bit ungainly and someone I frequently hated in college and, again, straight, and I'm never attracted to straight guys in principle. I'm sure part of that desire had something to do with my feeling pity for him for having such a hard time getting laid, being straight and all, as he told me at length, and part of it was surely due to the alcohol in my blood. In fact, most of it was due to the alcohol in my blood. I think I need to stop drinking. It's one thing if I'm tempted to smoke when intoxicated, but it's an entirely different ball game if I'm tempted to screw straight people. That could kill me.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

Spent the whole day relaxing after a punishing week at work--I was there past 11 p.m. every night since Wednesday, and until 5 a.m. Saturday morning. Managed to scuttle my whole schedule today, giving myself the day off, which I desperately needed. Read most of The Body Artist for book club tomorrow night (it's short) and caught up on bills and this week's issue of The New Yorker. Even washed some of the dishes in the sink, which I hate doing, and researched and queried places to stay in Amsterdam over New Year's, which, with seven people (a crew of three from New York and four from London), is not as easy as it would be otherwise. We bought our plane tickets this week so it's mega-important that we get this accommodations shit sorted. Slightly scared that all of our choices are booked already.

Still pondering one of the topics at group this week--the possibility that some of us might be attracted to one or more of the others. I initiated the conversation accidentally (or not--I've been meditating lately on my own attraction to one of the members, which comes and goes, so perhaps there was a half-conscious motivation there) by asking, after our shrink mentioned that one of his new clients is interested in joining our group, whether he was attractive (apparently he's 27 and an actor, so I thought, what the hell, might as well prepare my expectations as much as possible). Next thing I knew, he reflected the question back to all of us, trying to make us talk about what it would mean if an attraction surfaced among us. Awkward silence. One member, who lives with his long-term boyfriend, volunteered that he was attracted to all of us at different times on different levels, but ended his comment at that. No one else said anything at all, or anything worth remembering. Meanwhile, I was sitting there practically burning up, hoping I wasn't betraying my little crush by blushing. Of course, my little crush didn't say anything, so who knows how he feels. He once said that his physical ideal, embodied by his boyfriend (now ex) at the time, was tall, well built, and clean cut, which isn't exactly me. Then again, from our group conversations, I know he likes sex a lot and has it frequently, often hooking up with online mates, so his libido would clearly be amenable to the prospect. The whole question is moot anyway because romantic and/or sexual relationships between group members is strongly discouraged, and I love the group so much that I wouldn't want to ruin our dynamic, honed over so many weeks over so many months, with an ill-advised affair, which probably wouldn't even last.

Friday, October 11, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

As the statistics plainly point out, I'm not doing too good with this whole anti-nicotine kick I've been on. Copped one--a single one--leaving the Townhouse Tuesday night when I was more drunk than I realized at the time (I realized it about 10 minutes later when Marvelous and I stopped to catch a cab back downtown and I felt wobbly). It was good, but was it worth ruining my streak?

We'd started off that night at Red, where we've never been before, at the Jocks party that this dude K.C. Guy promotes. Apparently McGovern & Johnson were throwing yet another raunchy party that night at Happy Ending, this cool bilevel bar about five blocks directly west of my apartment, for some porn star or some shit like that (I didn't read Formika's e-mail carefully enough to remember), but I wasn't feeling it. In fact, I slightly resented their taking over of a fairly unknown, favorite bar of mine, and I balked, as I usually do, at their 10-dollar cover. It also made me wonder if they're worried at all about becoming overexposed, played out. They're starting to get that way for me.

So instead Marvelous and I caught the M-15 bus up to Red on E. 53rd for what I hoped would be a nice contrast to the two-and-a-half hours of therapy I had undergone earlier in the evening, first in a solo session, then in the group. I was talking to El Mar (who moved to L.A. two months ago) as I walked to Marvelous's and he said he once tried to go to Red but was freaked out after seeing a hooker enter. That only made me want to go more, to see if all the hype about the hustlers and sugar daddies was true.

As it turned out, the hype wasn't true--there were definitely lots of older gents there, and many very young guys (some of whom were obviously trying to mack on their more mature counterparts), but there were guys of ages in between those two extremes present as well. And although a hustler aesthetic was prominent among some of the patrons (including yours truly), there were no, at least to my eye, bona fide hustlers actually working the crowd. There was, however, a crew of extremely youthful guys hanging out in the back room of the bar who seemed to have been plucked straight from the ghetto and instructed to look as cute as possible while dancing like *NSYNC and eating Doritos (and giving back massages to their girl friends). Marvelous and I theorized that they were queer runaways who were drawn into prostitution and were currently being loaned out by their john to add some flair to the festivities at Red, much like up-and-coming models would be. But, man, they had their dance moves down! These dudes must have watched that instructional teen-pop dance video for weeks while they nailed down every aspect of each routine. When "Oops, I Did It Again" came on, three of them launched into a perfect, harmonious rendition of the video's choreography. They were so cute I could've eaten them.

Anyway, Marvelous and I dug the strange, mixed crowd, the hustler ambition, the faux exclusivity (the glazed-over door is unmarked), and the downtown decor so much that, upon departing Red, we vowed to make it our regular joint, at least for the time being, before we get bored again. I was getting sick of the East Village circuit; this could be a way to jazz up my routine.

We dropped by the Townhouse next, where we had a drink and nothing exciting happened. The last time I was there with Marvelous, two days before 9/11/01, we managed to lure a fun thirtysomething business traveler into a hot threesome in his hotel room (it was his idea). I was disappointed that nothing similar happened this time.

Monday, October 07, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Didn't make it to Jonny McGovern and Dean Johnson's new party The Rambles last night due to the continued presence of straight girl friend in town and my own exhaustion (and the manuscript that Marvelous, who was going to be my partner in crime, has been editing for days for work). Haven't read any reviews from any of the blogs I've been following yet either. Whattup with that?

Woke up this morning super early to a) see my friend off and b) let my super in to replace the lightbulb in my bathroom ceiling lamp and ended up catching Natalie Krinsky, sex columnist for the Yale Daily News, on the Today show. This Carrie Bradshaw/Candace Bushnell wannabe was featured in the Times on Friday on the cover of the metro section (read the article here) along with several other collegiate sexual muckrakers, and Today picked up the story, which only fueled my curiosity about her. So I spent a good chunk of the work day covertly reading her columns (you can do the same here) and was totally hooked. I'm fairly jealous--of her gig, her writing talent, and her new-found fame. Bitch.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Got back into town around 5 p.m. today after spending almost 24 hours in Atlantic City, where my friends and I had a blast. L., G-spot, E. (visiting for the weekend from Boston), and I met our friends A. and C.B., who came up from the D.C. area, to celebrate A.'s and L.'s birthdays, which occurred within a week and half of each other. I was psyched because I've never been to AC before, though I've been to Vegas once (to celebrate another birthday, my dad's, because he loves to gamble) and loved it, so I was sure I was gonna dig AC--and I did. Not as amazing as Vegas (I'll never forget, descending into the airport, the view of the Strip in all its garish splendor isolated amid the non-descript urban topography and, further out, the empty desert), but at least there's a beach, and it was fun strolling down the boardwalk checking out the sights and people, none of whom were remotely attractive or hip.

We had a good time regardless, hanging in Trump Taj Mahal, Caesars (where we caught this amazing lounge act that did groovy covers, fronted by a middle-aged man and woman wearing black shiny pseudo-leather pants and remarkably similar long curly haircuts), and the Tropicana, all the way downbeach. We even took a spin through the mini-amusement park across the boardwalk from the Taj Mahal, where A. and L. drove go-carts and L., G-spot, C.B., and I went on this other ride that I can't describe but that is a staple of such venues. Eventually we ended up at the Top of the Trop bar on the 20th floor of the Tropicana, ensconced in a corner overlooking the ocean directly beneath us on one side and the city stretching out in glittery light on the other. It was, to allow a cheesy term in keeping with the overall campiness of the entire experience, breathtaking. We were entertained by a delightfully zany old waitress with an unidentifiable actress as well as by her, who in addition to a pleasant singing voice possessed enviable hand gestures that nicely complemented the songs. As someone who knows the value of a properly timed body motion, I was impressed.

As the others shuttled off to the hotel room (G-spot had called it a night before Top of the Trop, pleading exhaustion), A., the only real gambler in the group aside from myself, and I hit the casino one last time. By the time we retired, I had successfully made back all the dough I had put out, plus one dollar--for which, in this town at least, I was grateful. My net gain also included a set of plastic Caesars drink stirrers that I collected from my friends' drinks earlier in the evening, for which I was really grateful.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

Failed again, I know. But what could I do? I was in such a good mood after we left the sushi joint (Takahatchie, one of my two faves) at 11:30--happily digesting all the sushi, shumai, shrimp, and shiitake we'd just scarfed down, feeling productive from working hard all week and applying for two jobs, hanging with my old friend visiting from out of town, going out of town myself in less than 12 hours--that I couldn't resist. As Nicodemus pointed out, if I only have one or two cigarettes a week, there's practically no health risk. It's like I'm not even smoking.

A few blocks further, though, on Essex right past Houston, my mood got an exponential boost after I had a very enthusiastic mutual checking-out encounter with this brutally cute guy walking past me going uptown. One moment I was listening to what my girl E. was saying, the next thing I know, I'm making make-out eyes at this boy, who's making them back at me. I hadn't noticed him until he was almost right next to me, but as our paths crossed I looked over, saw how cute and hip he was, and smiled--which caught his attention, and he returned the favor. A beat later, I made the all important look back, and to my geeky delight, he was looking back too! How many times in the two-plus years that I've lived in this city have I looked over my shoulder after passing an attractive man only to see the back of his head, quickly receding into the blur of street scenery behind me? Then tonight, for once, totally out of the blue (as these things usually are), the attractive man is looking back at me, grinning!

I flashed a goofy grin in return, laughing, almost beside myself, and turned back around. Trying to compose myself, I started to explain what had just happened to E., who missed the whole event and couldn't figure out what was going on, but then I did one more about-face and discovered that, in spite of the growing distance between us, he was looking back again, this time standing still, completely facing me, teeth as white as the overhead moon. I didn't know what to do--I was with a girlfriend of mine (who was staying with me), he was with a girlfriend of his, and, to make matters worse, he was too far away for me to do anything. I was too excited to think straight, of course, so knowing what to do was impossible. It wasn't until a few blocks later, when I had composed myself somewhat, that I realized I should have just waved him over, traded numbers, and went with the flow from there. But by then, he was long gone, and I was doubtful I'd see him again.

When we got home, we popped in the first season of Sex and the City, which we had rented en route. I watched Carrie's fateful series of run-ins with Mr. Big unfold and felt inspired. Will this guy show up in my life again? Better question: If he does, will I recognize him?

Anyway, we're going to Atlantic City in the morning--I won't be back til Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

Tonight I am really drunk. And I mean it: I'm really drunk. Not that I had that many drinks when I was out--only about three or four. But then, when I got home 10 minutes ago, I had a shot of Russian vodka that my dad had brought back from his business trip to Moscow this summer and that really pushed me over the edge. Talk about putting hair on your chest! That shit genuinely burned as it was going down. My lips can still feel the heat.

Anyway, nothing that interesting to report tonight. Just hooked up with Marvelous for the first time in ages, after his three-week cruise to Alaska and back with his long-term, long-distance boyfriend. It was great to see him. He admitted to feeling estranged from me, but that's only because he's always out of town. We met up outside Urge, but ended up jetting when we walked in and were confronted with a) a $5 cover charge (which included a drink ticket, but nevertheless) and b) a lack of people, even though Shequida's Treasure Hunt thing was due to start in a half an hour at 11. So we went to the Boiler Room, which we hadn't been to in ages, ever since it started its downward slide into oblivion. I hate to say it, but it still sucks. Not crowded at all, and the people who were there were of the the older, disgusting variety. But well drinks were three dollars all night, so that was the redeeming factor. Still, we were sufficiently grossed out that we downed our drinks and left to go to Phoenix, which, to my great surprise, was actually totally packed. I made a note to myself to come back here on future Wednesdays. Marvelous and I had some drinks, selected a few songs from the jukebox (one by Golden Boy, one by Manu Chao, "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar, and "Debaser" by the Pixies, none of which, I should add, were actually played in the time that we were there), and scoped out the guys. The vast majority of them weren't up to par. One guy was, though, despite the fact that he was wearing capris (hello, that trend died over a year ago!). He and his boys kept returning our stares, but needless to say, nothing happened. Eventually we left, only to spot said boy having a serious conversation on his mobile phone outside sitting on a car. Marvelous suggested he was having an argument with his boyfriend, which, in the absence of any other plausible explanation, made sense to me. He wasn't worthy anyway.

As we walked away from the bar, however, we noticed this cute, seemingly gay guy at the corner of 13th and 1st in the midst of an encounter with what looked to us like an undercover police officer. He looked like your typical troll--squat, rotund, sporting a nasty Hawaiian shirt and shorts--only his metal cop badge was gleaming in the street light. We couldn't figure out what was going on, but it was alarming regardless. Are there undercover cops staking out gay bars now?

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

I'm pooped! It was a long day at work, dealing with attorneys left and right, cursing them and myself for working at a law firm, my brain hurting from photocopying and indexing. Then I went to my therapy group, for which only one other member bothered to show up (the fortysomething father from Long Island), and he had to leave a half hour early at 8, leaving my shrink and me alone. So we had an abbreviated solo session, which I desperately needed. Basically I just vented about the group, unleashing all this pent-up frustration that's accumulated over the last month--shit about how I'm disappointed that it seems we can never have all the group members present at the same session any more; how I resent the fact that the father has been dominating our hour-and-a-half long discussions lately, how I disapprove of another member's aggressive approach to dealing with the father about his issues. Of course my shrink wants me to bring it all up during our session next week. He says we're close enough now (and after eight months together, we are--I love these guys) that a little interpersonal confrontation would do us good, which is true. Plus, it would be a positive exercise for me to practice such confrontation. But already I'm feeling like a pussy just thinking about the prospect of talking about any of this, which, unfortunately, is itself a good reason why I should do it.

Anyway, on a juicier note, I haven't yet recounted the story of how the host of the series of parties I've been promoting in the East Village tried--and, because of his own neuroses, failed--to seduce me after the party Saturday night. I've never been exactly sure what his role as "host" entails--my two friends spin and organize the promoting and take care of the day-to-day business--but he's always running around doing something at these parties. I just don't know what. One thing he's never done is actually talk to me, and I've been involved with the event since June. So it came as quite a shock to me Saturday night when, minutes after I arrived with my crew, he came by, touched my elbow, and smiled at me. Later I saw him checking me out while I was dancing near where he was sitting along the perimeter of the dance floor; something must have clicked in his head, because for the rest of the night he was in full-on flirt mode, coming up to me and saying the stupidest shit, playing around, etc. It was loud enough inside the club that most of what he said was unintelligible. But when he came up to me as the last record of the evening spun down, no one around, and asked if I wanted to come home with him, that I understood. This totally hot, hip, older black boy was trying to bone me--the only answer possible was yes.

He lived in Williamsburg, though, so we cabbed it to my place where, once inside, he poured two screwdrivers, lit some candles I had left out and a joint (which he provided) and turned off the lights. I put on Coltrane's Blue Train, one of my favorite red-light soundtracks, then sat down on the sofa. He pulled my head onto his chest and started tapping his fingers on my arm in time to the beat of the jazz. I thought I was in love. Then, fifteen minutes later (I was stoned, so who knows), all mayhem broke loose as he got up to put on his shoes, announcing that he was gonna go and that we could play another time. I was like, What the fuck, holmes? I thought we were going to play now! He goes, with a sly grin on his face, "Oh, really?"

The next thing I know, he's taken all my clothes off and I'm lying naked across his legs on my couch and he's feeling up my legs, my ass, my back, my arms, getting all turned on. Then he stops and says he has to go again, that I work for him (which isn't technically true, for a number of reasons) and that we shouldn't do this, yadda, yadda, yadda. All this bullshit. So of course I throw myself at him in a last-ditch effort to convince him to stay, and we end up on my bed, his shirt off, wrestling, then him sucking my dick. Then he decides he has to go again, promising that we'll "definitely" get it on another time... It went on like this, back and forth, for awhile until he finally left, my hard-on as stiff as it was when this dumb, drunk dance of ours began. You could imagine how frustrated I was. I think he was really fucked up--he did say he couldn't read the giant glowing time display on my stereo when he was standing right in front of it. What else could explain the fact that on the one hand he really wanted me (he kept saying I was so hot, and how he couldn't believe he was leaving) and that on the other, he was an indecisive mess. The most retarded thing he said came right before he left, when he claimed that S., one of the party's DJs and our mutual friend, wouldn't approve of our hooking up, adding that he (the black boy) would get teased for it. "Way to be a man," I slurred. Then I tried, futilely, to suck his dick, and he departed. We traded business cards, but, really, it's up to him to call. I never wavered.

In comparison, it was absolutely heavenly when one of my clients called the next afternoon (Sunday) saying he was in the neighborhood biking around and asking if he could come over and suck my dick. I said sure, and he was over less than five minutes later, his face in my crotch, happily going at it. Ten minutes later I was a hundred dollars richer, and he was gone. No drama. Nothing like the night before. Not bad at all.