Wednesday, January 29, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

As I suspected, I found out today that the two bar writeups I did for work were cut, though the cute, if slightly puffy-faced, editor (who I think has a bit of a crush on me, which I'm trying to work to my advantage) was totally nice about it, and even offered to pay me a kill fee for my effort, something I wasn't expecting. He also assigned me a new bar to write on--SX 137, conveniently around the corner from my apartment--so I called up L.Ho and she met me after work to check the place out. I'd been there once before, right after it opened in the summer of 2001, but unfortunately it hasn't worn very well. In fact, it looks like it's seriously struggling. Plus, the bartender didn't have the proper ingredients to make the specific drink I wanted to try. It wasn't an entirely negative experience, though: there was some Fader magazine event going on, so at least I got to pick up the latest issue for free. Then L.Ho and I jetted and caught a drink at Barramundi, after which we called it a night.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

Nothing really to report today. Well, my ongoing e-mail correspondence with Long Island Boy (he actually lives in Grammercy Park but was raised out there), whom I still haven't met up with for a second date yet (he had to work all weekend), took a turn for the worse when he asked me if I was a top or a bottom--a conversation we already had when we met online two months ago. Of course, this question came after he asked me yesterday whether he could go down on me when we hang out this Friday night (I said yes, naturally), and after we'd already agreed to go porn shopping together, also postponed to Friday, so it's not like this most recent question came totally out of the blue. It did, however, start to up the ante in direct opposition to my desire of late to get to know guys before I have sex with them, so I wanted to head off the trend ASAP. To his gentlemanly credit, he respected my wish to cease and desist, as he always does (for instance, he kept asking me to come over to his place and "chill," which means screw, and I kept resisting in favor of actually doing something, and he finally let up).

Too bad the exchange was turning me on--if only my principles got me so hard.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

I made it through another day of my new job today, and everything went fine, again. My supervisor was back from vacation, and I thought we worked together smoothly. I also submitted two short (and I mean real short) pieces that were assigned to me on Friday, but I peeked at the overall feature they're a part of before I left for the day and I think they might have been cut already, though the editor was nowhere near done with it, so he might just not have gotten to them yet. We'll see. I'm totally paranoid that I made mistakes in factchecking last week and that someone's going to notice in this week's issue, and that'll be it for me--they'll put the kibosh on me as fast as they can, and I'll be back to temp world. Which wouldn't necessarily be so bad...

I stayed in Friday night, but Saturday night I went out for a night on the town with Marvelous and Edster. We hit up Kava Lounge (on Hudson St.)--don't ask--then dropped by the Dugout all the way down on Christopher, where Marvelous was hoping to hang with some bears. (We found out that they're basically only there on Sundays, which Marvelous already knew, and Friday nights, which he didn't.) After a single drink each, we rolled by the Harmony porn shop so that Edster and I could show Marvelous the massive selection of porn and the "buddy booths," or whatever they're properly called, downstairs. Only half of them were occupied; Marvelous pointed out a fresh gob of cum on the floor of one of the empty booths.

Then we jumped in a cab and high-tailed it up to Red, that pseudo-hustler bar on E. 53rd. We'd only been there once before, on a weeknight, so we wanted to check out the scene on a weekend night, though we did have an ulterior motive: to see whether anyone would approach us about paying us to have sex. We were disappointed on both counts, as the "scene" certainly left something to be desired--the bar was only half-full, if that--and no one wanted to compensate us for the pleasure of our company. So after a drink, Marvelous (who was dog-watching and had to take his friend's dogs for a walk) and Edster bolted, while I stuck around to see if I'd have better luck by myself.

Turns out I did have some success, but I wasn't any richer for it. Pretty soon after the boys left, a thirtysomething, husky fellow from Baltimore, an architect in town for a weekend meeting, sat down at the stool next to me, and we struck up a conversation. At first I thought he might be willing to help me out financially, or at least contribute to my cab fund, but later, while we were having a drink at the Townhouse, which he wanted to check out, I actually indirectly asked him about his intention with regards to money, and he said that he wouldn't pay me to have sex with him. I could only shrug, because by that point I was so wasted and so committed to hooking up that I knew we'd be hitting it shortly back at his hotel anyway, the idea of which had something to do with my being so turned on. I don't know why I get off on doing it in hotel rooms, especially ones occupied by strangers, preferably covered by a corporate account, but I do. So of course that's what happened: we had a sweaty, messy, rough bout of sex, complete with his uttering "whore" several times. Then, within about two minutes of our cumming, he was dead asleep, snoring like the devil. I quickly went to the bathroom to clean myself up, donned my clothes, and jetted for the elevator down to the lobby, pausing only to curse the fact that I wasn't able to grab a twenty from him to subsidize my cab fare.

Still, I was happy to be gone and on my way back to my comfy bed, with its warm, white down comforter, underneath which I could happily hide and be alone. I woke up in the middle of the afternoon, sat around for awhile, read the long, interesting cover story in the Times magazine comparing the current President Bush to Ronald Reagan--which scared the shit out of me--then headed out in the snow to Astoria to L.Ho's place to watch the Super Bowl with her, her boyfriend, and G-spot, which is turning into an annual ritual for us. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

I went five days without smoking before giving in and having a single one last night, after working my ass off all day until 10 at night. But I considered it a bit of a reward for making it through my first week at my new magazine gig--and doing, if I do say so myself, a great job. Obviously, truth is in the eye of the beholder, and my fate lies in other people's hands, but whatever, I got enough positive feedback to allow myself to feel the tiniest amount of assurance that I'll be hired permanently eventually.

I forgot how many gay guys work in magazines, though--seems like I'm surrounded by them at the mag, and many of them are highly covetable. One of my recent horoscopes suggested that I might soon be striking up a romance at work, which definitely seems possible. I need some new prospects anyway, considering that my current crush on that performer guy I interviewed last week doesn't seem like it's being reciprocated. Though we were supposed to get together Wednesday night, he ended up calling me, politely enough, twice to postpone (due to a rehearsal running long), then one more time to reschedule because he was "exhausted," and it was close to midnight regardless and I didn't feel like going out anymore. He said he would call me the next day, but still hasn't. I'm so not sweating it. My piece on him came out yesterday and it's so good that chances are he'll read it and fall madly in love with me. And if not, screw him.

I am, however, seeing another prospect for a second time tomorrow (as in Saturday): that boy I met online whom I've been e-mailing with for weeks now, and whom I first met three weeks ago when we went to Ben and Jerry's and then to the Virgin Megastore. We've been trying to hang ever since, but he works out of town five or so days out of every week, so it's been hard to schedule something. Apparently we're getting together to go porn shopping, which he proposed. It was a concept I couldn't resist, even though I've been strongly pushing for a movie or drink date versus the chilling-out-at-his-apartment (read: sex) date that he keeps advocating--and this activity is much closer in spirit to the latter than the former.

But when our movie date tonight fell through because he had to work late, we agreed to meet up tomorrow afternoon, and he mentioned going porn shopping, which I think he meant, to some degree, as a joke. It turned me on, though, and I also thought it would be fun, not least because I've been thinking lately about acquiring a video or two for myself, as a kind of novelty, as I rarely do the porn thing. So now we're going porn shopping, and he wants to watch whatever we buy afterwards, so we'll see how that goes. Oh, and we're getting brunch beforehand, so that I could feel some sense of propriety.

What the hell, even if he's no longer dateable--and by setting up this field trip of ours, he isn't--it'd be nice to have a dirty-minded fuck buddy for awhile.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

Seems like I'm starting to get a handle again on this whole smoking thing. It was really out of control for awhile there, especially during the middle of last week, when I did the unthinkable and actually purchased a pack of Parlies. (Actually, not so unthinkable, as I've purchased several packs of cigs in occasional moments of weakness since I officially "quit" smoking a year and a half ago.) I was into them until around late Thursday night when, feeling sick and congested, I did what I usually do and took the remaining cigarettes and ripped them in half one by one before tossing them in the trash. I felt much better about everything, but then, of course, I bummed a few cigs the following night, and the night after that one too. Now I seem to be in control, and am so not desiring nicotine. I'm not stressed either, which is usually a catalyst for binging.

Anyway, I made it through another day--my second--on the job today, and everything's still going well. I checked a longer, review-like piece and mostly breezed through it, which eased any feelings of trepidation I might have been experiencing. Then I sat back and tried to keep myself busy with other, non-work-related tasks, such as e-mailing a new editor of mine. Eventually the time drew near for me to leave and make my way to therapy (where, among other things, we talked about how I was feeling inspired by the fortysomething father lately, and why drinking makes me less likely to remember why I don't do something and go ahead and do it anyway, such as smoking, or having random sex). Now I'm home, having watched the tail-end of the American Idol premiere, feeling productively tired.

But the absolute best thing that happened to me today is that that boy I interviewed last week called me!!! Isn't that great? He wants to give me some tracks he's been working on, so we agreed to get together tomorrow night and hang out. I'm so excited. Totally out of the blue. I mean, of course, he said he would call, but whoever counts on that? However, one of my yearlong 2003 astrological forecasts did say that last Wednesday, when I met this guy, was a day particularly well suited to beginning a new romance, so I'm wondering if that's what's going to happen. I hope so.

Monday, January 20, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

When I was taking the sheets off my bed this afternoon to have them washed along with my other shit by the nice Chinese ladies at the laundromat around the corner, I came upon a folded-up band aid. I don't use band aids, so it must have come from one of the guys I've hooked up with since I last had my sheets washed, which was sometime before the holidays (I know, I'm gross). I'm thoroughly disgusted by this, and am repulsed at the thought of how long it might have been stuck in the sheets, possibly trying to curl up with me at night. If there was ever a reason to stop sleeping around so much, this would be it.

So the big deal that happened over the weekend that I haven't yet blogged about is that I finally met the River Friday night. The River is a friend of my friend Court's friends M. and M. (who are also friends of mine, but they were Court's first, and she hangs out with them more), and all three girls have been telling me for months how great the River and I would get along--possibly so well that we would even fall madly in love with each other. He's the hot Indian dude I've referred to in previous posts, and he works for a major upscale fashion designer, and everyone says he's hot and extremely stylish. I was hoping to meet him at M.'s birthday party in December, but I ended up not making it; instead, I made his acquaintance at the other M.'s birthday party Friday night at Swim.

Before I went over there, though, I was having drinks with M-dash and L.Ho at Pianos, where the band of one of M-dash's friends was playing later on in the evening. Pianos, which is on Ludlow between Stanton and Rivington, happens to be right around the corner from Swim, which is on Orchard between the same cross streets, so Court met us for a drink, and then she, L.Ho, and I went to Swim. I was introduced to the River almost immediately, as well as to his cute photographer friend. Then they proceeded to ignore L.Ho and me while Court and them and the rest of the party revelers, who all seemed to know each other, talked up a storm.

Luckily this lasted for only a few minutes, and once a bigger table opened up, a bunch of us moved over to it (though not the River), and I was soon engrossed in conversation with the photographer. He was quite accomplished, actually, and it turned out that we knew several people in common in the magazine industry. Of course not too much later, while he and I, along with Court and one of the M. girls (L.Ho had gone back to Pianos), were having a quite animated discussion about bikini waxes, I managed to knock my three-quarters full vodka tonic all over the table. I tried to play it cool, even though--until I took a curtain and wiped everything up--the remains of the drink were slowly dripping onto my favorite Marc Jacobs jeans, but I suspect that his opinion of me might have been lowered. Whatever. I thought my party foul was entertainingly dramatic.

As the evening progressed I actually had a chance to hang with the River, and he was nice, although he was obviously tired and therefore not quite himself. We didn't really talk about anything substantial, but I got enough of an impression to know that we could become friends, especially with our mutual friends so keen to make that happen. (Apparently he has few, if any, gay male friends, and everyone thinks that we could be major partners in crime.) Aesthetically, he was definitely attractive, though not brutally so as I had been led to believe, and he was dressed well too, but not in an obvious, of-the-moment way, which I found refreshing. Yet even before L.Ho pointed out that his hairline was receding--and before she said I was hotter than him (though she always says that, which is one of the reasons I love her)--I'd realized that we weren't compatible romantically, despite his being an Aries. I just hadn't felt anything for him. Certainly nothing like what I'd felt for that guy I interviewed last week.

Still, as soon as his older, glamorpuss sister, who was also at the party, said that we "definitely" weren't right for each other relationship-wise (though she encouraged us to hang out as friends), I found myself desiring him. Isn't that sick? I guess I just always want what I can't have. That, and I've always liked a challenge.

I went home by myself that night and got on gay.com, where I met a 19-year-old NYU student and, after he e-mailed me shots of his huge dick, invited him over. We had fun for awhile--talk about displacement--and then he left.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Had a rather boring, uneventful day today, and now I'm in a weird mood that I can't seem to get to the bottom of. Woke up late after going to sleep late, hung around the apartment, went out to dinner with Edster and four of his friends to Caffe Torino, that gay Italian restaurant in the West Village, which seems to be Edster's fave joint. I'd been there once before with him and wasn't exactly impressed; this time I decided that it's definitely mediocre, especially when compared to such great nearby Italian places as Piadina and Tanti Baci. Fun to hang with Edster and one of his exes-cum-friends, but the other three guys were rather unstimulating. As the party headed off for drinks elsewhere, I jumped in a cab for home, where I caught the last half of the Golden Globes.

Last night, in a culinary experience 180 degrees from the one I had tonight, I went to Oliva, that Spanish restaurant at Houston and Allen four blocks from my apartment, with E., who was visiting from out of town. I've wanted to check it out for over two years, and I'm so glad I finally did: it's amazing. Definitely my new favorite restaurant. And it's not even that expensive. E. and I ended up dropping 35 bucks each, but we over-ate and stuffed ourselves, so it probably could've been about 10 bucks cheaper, in which case it would've been a total deal. I haven't eaten that well since the holidays: white bean soup with truffle oil; light and airy (!) tortilla espanola; mussels; cod-stuffed piquillo peppers; and absolutely perfect calamari. I hardly ever eat out anymore due to lack of funds, so it was a major treat.

Afterwards E. and I had a drink at her hotel (usually she stays with me, but this time she had a friend in tow, so they opted for a room, which I appreciated), then hit up Bar 169 with L.Ho. for what seemed to be a down-low gay party. All I know is that the music was great, and there were a couple of really cute boys there--though the overall vibe wasn't cruisy enough for me. The biggest surprise? The sleek redecorating the bar's undergone since last I was there. I'm more open to going there now that it's no longer an irredeemably nasty dive.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

So much to post about since my last entry all the way at the beginning of the week! And my apologies for not writing sooner. On top of working insane hours at the law firm (until 10 or later every night), my editor at one of the local gay weeklies called to assign me an article on Tuesday, wanting it done by Friday. Which meant that I had to do the research on the person I was interviewing--a cute, young, multi-talented performer--that night, when I came home, wiped out, from two and a half hours of therapy (individual followed by group); the interview with him, which went almost two hours, late Wednesday night; and the actual writing of the story Thursday night, which was the night before I started my new freelance gig at one of the city weeklies.

So of course I was up until 3 a.m., chain smoking (I relapsed in a major way), trying to write, when really I should have been sound asleep, recharging my batteries for the first day of my new job, one I have to ace in order to be hired permanently. But I totally pulled it off! After sleeping for a few hours, I finished the article early Friday morning, sent it off to the editor (who later told me it was great, and thanked me profusely for turning it around so quickly), showered, tried not to throw up from nerves-induced nausea, dressed, and high-tailed it up to the magazine's offices in midtown. The whole day I was zonked and headache-y from stress and lack of sleep (though I think I may be developing a migraine condition), yet I managed to check my first piece, make pleasant conversation with my new colleagues, and generally do a good job. It was so nice to be back working in the media, in my little cubicle, with my fresh new white flat-screen Mac, my telephone, and writers all around me doing their thing. I felt completely that I was back in my element, after masquerading for months as a corporate drone downtown. I also realized, anxiety aside, that I can totally do the job (which is basically factchecking--though the title is "reporter"--with some opportunity to write). I'm psyched. Now I'm just praying that they like me enough to make me an official member of the staff down the line.

The really cool thing that happened this week, though, is that I met this awesome guy--the one I wrote my piece about. He's totally my type: brutally cute, Latin, talented, smart, laid-back, funny, with a similar set of values to mine (and he has six-pack to boot). As soon as I spotted him at the cafe we were meeting at, I realized that I would fall for him hook, line, and sinker, and that's exactly what happened. Major crush. And judging from the intense chemistry, the feeling seemed to be mutual. In fact, at one point we were talking about the kinds of guys we were into, and he described me to a T. (I managed to change the conversation when it was my turn to spill the beans, because I didn't want to end up describing him and come off too strong.) Of course, I was also trying to be professional and keep the interview as journalistically oriented as possible, but eventually I ran out of questions, turned the tape recorder off, and we just chatted, as if we were on a date. He even insisted on paying for the tab, even though I was interviewing him, and when we walked out into the bitter cold to catch cabs, he leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

I haven't felt this strongly attracted to someone in ages. It made me realize exactly what was missing in dicking around with all these other guys: desire.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

I spent the whole day today obsessed with the murder of a 25-year-old man that happened less than a block down the street from me early Sunday morning around 4. He had just moved to the city on Thursday, intent on starting a career in banking (he was to begin working at Bank of America), and he was staying with his younger sister in her ground-floor apartment on the Lower East Side while he settled himself and found his own place. He was shot in the chest just as he and a friend were about to open the door to his sister's apartment building after a night out on the town. The bullet punctured his heart, and despite his sister's frantic efforts to administer CPR as he lay wounded on the ground, he was pronounced dead at the hospital a short while later.

When I heard on the news this morning that this had happened, I was shocked, and scared. At first, as the news anchor stated, I thought the shooting was the result of an argument, perhaps some drunken altercation outside one of the cheesy bars on Orchard Street up closer to Houston, but later, as I scoured the papers and the Web, I learned that it was apparently totally random, and that it occurred on the more deserted stretch of Orchard where I live. As I was getting ready for work, my brother called and asked if I'd heard the news; he also inquired about my well-being. That's when I realized that the whole thing was more serious than I initially suspected.

One of the reasons I was so affected, I suppose, is the striking resemblance the victim bore to me, and to many of the other young dwellers of this vast urban metropolis. His ancestry was Irish, as mine mostly is; he was 25, which is close to my age; he was ambitious; a sibling of his lived in the city; he had his whole life in front of him, all that promise. I don't mean to sentimentalize what happened, or my feelings about it, and I don't mean to neglect the memory of all the other, less heralded (read: not white and affluent) young people who are killed on a regular basis in other parts of town, many of whose deaths never make any paper, let alone the front page of The New York Times metro section. But the incident really drove home for me the fact that it could have been me who was murdered that night. If I had left Wonder Bar a few minutes earlier, walked a little faster, I might have inadvertently entered the scope of the killer, and I might not be here now to write this.

The thing is, I returned home that night about ten minutes after everything went down. I remember seeing Broome Street cordoned off, and vague flashing lights beyond, but I was too tired and drunk to think anything of it, or to worry. My key stuck in the vestibule door as always before unlocking it. I stepped inside, walked up the stairs and into my pad, and went to sleep. I think my only thought was whether I'd be able to get up at a reasonable hour the next day, or whether I'd be able to drag myself into work for a few hours.

I called the 7th Precinct police station in the early evening and asked if they were planning to increase the police presence on the streets tonight. The officer told me pleasantly enough that he couldn't go into detail about such plans, but he advised me to not worry about it too much--that what happened was probably just an isolated event. In the car on the way home from work around 9 p.m. I spoke to my parents, who were concerned but not overly so. When I got home, I took a shit, quickly changed my clothes, and headed out to Urge to meet Nicodemus for drinks, which I was looking forward to. Walking back to our apartments afterwards (he lives in Nolita), we parted at the corner of busy Delancey and Chrystie, rather than at Broome as we usually do. I didn't feel like taking any chances.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

I just finished watching Alias for the first time in weeks, and I loved it as always. For some reason I'm hardly ever around to watch it on Sunday nights, but I dropped out of the world today, so I was home. Major hotness in the form of Michael Vartan, who plays agent Sydney Bristow's C.I.A. handler. When I fantasize about having a French boyfriend, I'm often visualizing him, even though he's only half-French. At least he was raised in France.

I was such a slug today that I think I watched seven hours of continuous television, which is so unlike me. It's excusable because I had a hardcore night out last night, which followed three days of working around the clock, but still. I first turned the TV on around 3 p.m., when I finally decided to wake up and face the day, and I didn't turn it off until five minutes ago. I watched the second half of the Tampa Bay/49ers game, which I was only mildly interested in, then the entire tragic loss of the Jets and the beating that my cutie pie Chad Pennington took at the hands of Oakland's defense (sacked four times!). Then 60 Minutes, which kept me company while I ate wonton soup that burned my tongue and the most aromatic chicken with basil leaves from this take-out joint that says it's Vietnamese but on whose menu Chinese dishes predominate. It's wonderful, regardless, but the factchecker in me is frustrated.

I guess I was still in an Asian food mood after last night's delicious dinner at Chow Bar in the West Village, where Marvelous's sardonic sister Mademoiselle and his friends L., M., and I kickstarted his 24th birthday celebration. (Even more delicious was our waiter, sporting a faint Mohican 'do and leather cuffs on either wrist, and darkly foreboding facial stubble. We had occasion twice to touch each other, once midway through dinner when I stopped him and asked if he could bring out a special dessert with a candle for Marvelous and he grabbed my arm; the second time as we were making our way out of the restaurant, and I put my hand on his back and thanked him for everything he did. If I hadn't been so drunk already on Veuve Clicquot and hefeweizen, I might have been more crafty and slipped him my number.)

I love Mademoiselle, who's a big-shot television news producer, immensely, and L. as well, but I rarely see them, so it was nice to hang. After dinner (and if you're curious, the special dessert turned out to be chocolate fondue with an assortment of small sweets and fruit to spear and dip) we headed to Bar d'O, where I haven't been in ages, to take in Raven O, Flotilla DeBarge, and some transsexual cowboy chick whose name I forgot (Joey Arias was on vacation, or "in jail," as Raven O put it, as she always does whenever Arias isn't there). It was fun, despite my loathing of musicals. Then, after watching all four shows, we split to the east side and had a nightcap at Wonder Bar, which I found seriously lacking. Where were all the cute hip boys I've come to associate with that bar? Though there were a few there, including Marvelous and me (touche!), most of the crowd was more wannabe than with it, and there were a plethora of straight people, not to mention over-the-hill trolls and too many trendoid college kids.

At least Barback Boy was there, as ever, and we made major eye contact as he passed me on his way to pick up some empty drink glasses. If only I had the guts to actually smile, or smile detectably, or even say something for a change. But as usual, I just kind of stood there, frozen, as he walked in and then back out of my life. Later, after the bar closed and I'd parted with the birthday gang and I was walking down Avenue A towards home, I wished that he were a reader of this blog, or that he would discover it and start reading it, and that he would e-mail me after reading this post. Then we'd go on a proper date, somewhere romantic and obscure, we'd talk for hours about our lives and ambitions (wouldn't it be great if he were a brilliant writer who works at the bar to subsidize his creative pursuits?), he might lean in to kiss me when I wasn't paying attention, he wouldn't pressure me to have sex, we would fall in love, and we'd live happily ever after, always maintaining separate apartments.

A boy's gotta dream, doesn't he?

Friday, January 10, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

Hey--I'm not flaking out, I'm just working like mad at the law firm, like working-until-4-a.m.-tonight mad, so I haven't had time to post a proper entry. I promise to soon. Please don't hold it against me. Until then, meditate on this: is Tobey Maguire gay? The guy I hooked up with Monday (who hasn't contacted me since, by the way) said that he was--that his friends in L.A. see him out with his boyfriends all the time. I've heard that Tobey, who's one of my favorites, is gay before, but never quite believed it, despite the fact that I'm always proposing that so-and-so cute young actor is a fag.

Anyway, that's what I've been thinking about lately.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

So of course I ended up having sex with that guy I went on a date with last night, even though I told him that I didn't think we should have sex because it was my New Year's resolution to not hook up on the first date. I've been thinking a lot about it, and I realized I've been sabotaging the normal routine of courtship by having sex too quickly. I want to stop doing that, even though most guys seem like they couldn't care less about courtship and just want to get laid. I'm all for that as long as it's a one night stand, but if it's a guy I think I might want to date, I've decided to hit the brakes.

So last night we're having a really nice time at Bouche Bar--three hours of a nice time, in fact--and he's holding my hands, wanting to kiss me, and right after I tell him we shouldn't have sex, I find myself inviting him back to my apartment just to hang out and "see what happens." What happened is that we had sex, twice, the second time at dawn when I was half-unconscious, the grey early-morning light glinting across the bed. He sucks dick really well. He also came all over my chest without warning, which I can't help but consider tacky.

Anyway, in the morning, when he rose and was putting on his clothes, I tried to pretend I was deep asleep so he wouldn't wake me--so I wouldn't have to deal with saying goodbye, or negotiating when we'd see each other next, or any of the other sordid details of dating. Because I don't think I'm interested in dating him anymore, despite the fact that I was into him before the sex transpired. I believe my brain is wired now to immediately reject anyone I have sex with right away, even if I might be attracted to him.

I was discussing this for a good part of my therapy group today, and it was good to get it out of my system, even if it resulted in my shrink saying, and I'm paraphrasing (but not by much), "I can imagine how confusing this must be for you because it's so confusing to us hearing you talk about it." Ouch. Isn't he supposed to be providing clarity, not simply affirming my own confused state of mind? To his credit, he did help me to conclude that I need to feel more comfortable with guys before I have sex with them--which is exactly what I'm doing with that computer guy I went out with Saturday night.

In other news, my financial crisis looks to be resolved: I'm going back to my old law firm as of tomorrow (er, today, considering that it's already Wednesday), and I'll be working there until the start of my new magazine gig next week. Apparently they're mad busy, so I should make some major bank, which I desperately need.

Oh, and I saw The Hours tonight, by myself, after therapy. It was awesome, and moved me almost to tears. Afterwards I walked home from Union Square, snowflakes falling on me, and I began to feel that my dating dilemmas weren't so bad after all. At least I was alive, and living.

Monday, January 06, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

I just counted, and in the past 45 minutes I've eaten 15 Hershey's Miniatures chocolates. Too bad I quit my membership at Crunch a few weeks ago, eh? The apartment still smells, faintly, of all the smoke emitted from the numerous cigarettes M-dash and I lit up last night. But at least the pad is clean, after I spent two-plus hours working to make it so yesterday. Living in such a small space, the tidier it is, the more I like.

I've been experiencing a low-grade anxiety all day today due to my ongoing brokeness. Not working the past two-and-half weeks, traveling to Europe--it's been great, but now I'm paying for it, or not, considering my funds are so low. Thing is that I quit my temporary law firm gig right before the holidays when I got called about that reporter gig at the weekly city magazine, which I was supposed to start today. Of course, this being the flaky magazine industry, I'm not starting until the end of next week now, which totally leaves me in the financial lurch. I'm praying that my temp agency can hook me up with short-term work between now and then, and if worst comes to worst, I can probably go back to the case I was working on. I'd like to avoid that, though, considering my departure was much ballyhooed. Thank God my dad gave me some dough last week. Now I just need a sugar dad to come to the rescue and really give me some dough...

Anyway, I'm going on a date tonight with yet another boy I met online late Saturday night. He's older (mid-30s), and intellectual, but also cute and youthful, so we'll see what happens. Nicodemus told me today that he has four dates in six days lined up, which blew me away, all the more because he wasn't aided by the Internet. I'm dying to find out how he did it.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

Made the mistake of going into the Crate & Barrel at Broadway and Houston today, where I encountered innumerable gay male couples acting out repulsive scenes of received domesticity--and all I wanted were a few wine glasses! It was totally gross, and if I can help it, I'm never setting foot in there again. All sorts of couples too: older/younger ones, Chelsea clone ones, fashion-forward ones, hipster ones, even some inexplicable combinations that boggled my mind. I tried to avert my eyes, but sometimes that didn't help too much because I could still overhear their dreary conversations about other things they had to do later in the day, together. I couldn't figure out why all these guys, most of whom seemed inferior to me, were involved in a relationship and I'm not.

Not that I'm bitter; I'm just making an observation. I guess I was in a bit of a bad mood anyway after failing to purchase the coolest pair of boots at Omari due to their only having one pair left, size seven (I'm a nine--the cute sales guy even checked the sole of the Omari boots I was wearing to confirm). And I guess I've been a bit bummed these past few days about my impending birthday, and about another year gone in which I didn't satisfactorily date anyone. I think the sight of those seemingly happy couples made me jealous, even if their copycat domestic rituals made me retch.

M-dash and I were discussing tonight the fact that we're both total catches and yet we still haven't had serious, long-term relationships. We decided, perhaps half-heartedly, that the delay only means that each of us is going to find someone really special, maybe not tomorrow or the next day, but eventually. We have to believe that at least. She'd come over to watch movies (we ended up only watching one, a wack French flick from last year called Baise Moi) and to give me a set of pictures she took on our trip to Amsterdam, as L.Ho (formerly known as L.) had done earlier in the evening. We totally bonded in Amsterdam, and I'm so glad, 'cause she's awesome. We even joked about having a child together, and in my experience with straight women, that means you're really tight. I think we'd have a cool kid.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

I suck that I keep smoking cigarettes. I tried not to smoke too many in Amsterdam, after not having smoked any for two straight weeks, but I'm practically addicted again. I didn't smoke any yesterday, but that's because I didn't do anything social. Tonight, when I was hanging out at the Bar with Marvelous, his visiting boyfriend (he lives in San Diego), and a friend of theirs also visiting town, I smoked at least four. And, because I'm actually allergic to smoke (not that it mattered when I was smoking a pack a day), my nose is all stuffy and itchy now. Poor me, I know.

It was nice to see Marvelous, though, after more than two weeks of being apart. We've really grown quite close since he moved here a year and a half ago. Aside from Nicodemus, he's the only gay boy I consider a good friend in New York--and I'm better friends with him than with Nico, mostly because we've known each other longer. His friend D., however, was a bit of a nightmare. Marvelous had feared that we might hit it off and hook up, but his inane blather against affirmative action in university admissions, not to mention his idiotic opinions about the gay former NFL football player Esera Tuaolo, completely turned me off. Then again, with his beady, bespectacled eyes and Rascally schoolboy haircut, he totally wasn't my type. Thank God he gave me cigarettes.

Another guy who's currently forcing me to think about my type is this boy I met online weeks ago with whom I finally went on a date tonight, before meeting up with Marvelous and company. He's this totally sweet computer software consultant, and we've managed to keep up an e-mail correspondence for about a month now, which is pretty good. But he's been working on some project on site in Minneapolis, so he's there about six days a week and consequently, we hadn't been able to meet in person until today. I wasn't sure what to expect, especially considering that he didn't want to get a drink at a bar because he doesn't like them--something about the smoke, he said. I found that strange, not only because EVERYONE goes to bars, but also because all I do is go to bars. It's my favorite pastime.

Instead, he proposed that we go to the Ben and Jerry's on Third Avenue (he lives in Gramercy Park) and get ice cream, which struck me as an endearingly cute and unusual thing to do for a date. So that's what we did. He was pleasant, definitely cute, but in a mutt-dog kind of way, and totally Long Island, where he was raised. He had the accent going, and he was rough around the edges--a bit less sophisticated than the guys I typically date. But he couldn't have been sweeter, and plus he paid for my ice cream, which was impressively chivalrous. (He also makes mad bank compared to me, so I felt it was justified.) After we ate, he wanted to go to the Virgin Megastore, which I thought was even more unusual, but I accompanied him anyway to see what would happen. We ended up listening to CDs (the new Roots album is awesome!) and walking around, looking at DVDs and casually chatting. It was rather fun. I was surprised. And despite the slight acne scarring on his face, I felt something like attraction towards him. He clearly felt it too--in fact, he said as much, both as we parted and later, in an e-mail. I'm not sure where this is going to lead, mostly because I've never imagined myself dating someone like him, but one thing's for sure: I'm definitely going to be discussing this in therapy on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1.5

I'm back from Amsterdam and back in business everyone! Well, not totally back in business, considering that I slept for almost 16 hours last night and then left my apartment for only five minutes today, barely communicating with anyone, trying to shun the world and decompress. (All that weed--and alcohol, cigarettes, ecstasy, lack of sleep, and overall merriment--has left me a mess.) But at least I'm back in the city and back to my precious blog again, to which I'm rededicating myself after slacking off in recent weeks.

Needless to say, Amsterdam was a blast, thought I didn't meet a Friedrich, or a Hive, or a Hans, or a Dave (as one of the hot security guards I tried to flirt with at Schiphol airport was named) or any other Dutch guys for that matter. I didn't even really do the gay scene, as expansive as it is, save for two bars, but that's what happens when you travel with six women, and when everyone wants to do nighttime activities together. (I know what my own reaction is to a fag bringing several chicks with him to a bar, and I didn't want to provoke that reaction in others, especially in a foreign locale where I would've especially wanted to be accepted.) The guys I noticed, however, were mostly hot and stylish, so it was a bit of a missed opportunity. I plan to make it up in the future, the next time I hit the city, my own boys in tow.

Many of the boys in Amsterdam did seem to be experiencing a bit of confusion about their own sexual identifications, at least on New Year's Eve, when I flirted in vain with several revelers who weren't sure if they were gay or straight. The setting was the neighborhood bar around the corner from our hotel called Twsted (no "i," in some kind of punk shorthand), which was hosting an intimate, festive party. Three of the culprits were from Australian, and despite their various come-ons and queer stylings, they were all ultimately all talk and no action. Another was a cute Amsterdammer, just returned from a jaunt to Paris. He had seemed more promising initially, kissing me three times (albeit on the cheeks) and saying he wanted to visit me in New York, but in the end it was bullshit too. I gave him my card, though, so maybe he'll contact me.

That's a big maybe, I know. Earlier in the evening, in a more positive outcome, we'd celebrated the arrival of the new year in true Amsterdam style: outside on the street, right in the middle of the city center by the national monument, underneath a hailstorm of fireworks set off by people on the ground. Happy new year, Communism's dead. This, I thought, must be close to how it felt in Berlin immediately after the Wall fell, or how it felt in Romania after Ceaucescu was executed. Everyone was drinking, smoking, and singing (I believe I sang parts of the Moroccan national anthem at one point); it was quite a beautiful example of international brotherhood at work. When we walked down one of the main roads to the party at Twsted, skipping sometimes, yelling "happy new year" at every passing person and car, the sky alight, I felt like I was in a Kieslowski movie.