I've wanted to write to you all for so long, but these days I rarely find the time to sit still and work on my fiction stories, let alone my own. I've been so busy with work and otherwise completely enamored with life and the new group of people I've moved in with, that time as it is, is just not enough. I often find myself cursing the universe for it's practical limitations, while simultaneously thanking it for all it's wonder.
There are a few events in particular to speak of an mention. First is the suspension party held at the loft by Lukas Has from France who's famous around the world for suspending and scarification. It was fucking amazing and beautiful, and I'm still not quite able to articulate how that experience has impacted me spiritually. I've gotten another tattoo on my left forearm. It's of a Phoenix and incorporates the words of Anais Nin into it's tail, which wraps completely around my arm. The quote says: "In accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous. I fucking love it. My passion for ink has been reawakened, and am already planning my next tattoo. Of course it helps to live with 2 tattoo artists, with 3 others that visit the loft regularly.
On a side note, I purchased this purple bubble gun a few weeks ago on a whim, as I adore bubbles and jumping through them in the street. I would (and still do) take this thing everywhere for whenever bubble-jumping strikes my fancy. One of the guys I live with who loved the fact that I brought this gun with me everywhere, and what it represented for me, eventually got the likeness of said bubble gun tattooed on the back of his head. How fucking awesome is that? I should also add that he's no investment banker; he's a circus performer. And he always has balloons in his pocket which I also adore.
Life in general is altogether pleasing. I'm partying extremely hard, but my work ethic more than matches my pleasure. I'm currently doing the whole film festival bit, followed by a few events for Pride, and recording a few tracks for an electronica/electroclash/tribal-esque record label to be released this summer. The latter of which has me extremely excited, but rather stressed out.
That's all for now. Must get back to work. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer thus far, and for all you NYers, stay dry and let me know what you're up to these days. Love to you all.
My housemates and I have just finished a rather large bottle of Disaronno Originale, otherwise known as the world's favorite Italian liqueur, and galavanting around Brooklyn at 6 in the morning barely dressed, while having a bubble war. Just so you know, I completely dominated said war, with my supremely wonderful purple three-eyed alien automatic bubble gun. It was an impulse purchase while furniture shopping last weekend, and I think quite possibly the best purchase I've made this year, if not ever. The eyes are mesmerizing and have transfixed many a passerby. If I wasn't completely off my face at the moment, I'd actually seek out a camera to take a picture for you all. "How should we like it were stars to burn
There have been a few major changes in my life, the chief one being that I've moved to a new abode. More specifically the Brooklyn artist commune I've mentioned in the past, that I was trying to construct- the reality of which hasn't hit me just yet. I live with a gaggle of equally insane artists, who also happen to be incredibly gifted, as well as just amazing fucking people. There are two German artists who among many things, are primarily circus freakshow performers. There are two people from the UK- one by way of Italy, and the other Barcelona who make films, and design clothes in addition to these radical sculptures, respectively. There's a gorgeous woman from California who's one of the most talented painters I've come across in quite some time, another woman who's a graphic designer from Israel, and another writer in addition to myself who spent some time squatting all over the world, before settling back in New York.
We have a stage in our loft which is approximately 8,000sq. ft. in it's entirety and dual-floored, a trapeze, artist studios for everyone, a massive common space, and a few bunnies among our treats. We all drink and smoke, and have a splendid time together on a daily basis which is incredibly refreshing. While on occasion, a few people have gotten tattoos done in the wee hours of the morning by one the artists here who, though he's only started tattooing recently, is fucking extraordinary at his new craft. Basically for me, this is communal bliss. I've got a new place to call home, and my creativity has spiked tremendously.
In the area, there a few other places similar to our own set-up, which makes for great late night socializing. I love that we can have these intense conversations one minute, and then party till dawn moments later. Last weekend a few of us went to party at a loft that had a fucking rope bridge, and now I'm somewhat obsessed with building one of my own. I'm not sure of what else to say, except that I am abundantly pleased with where my life is at this moment, and enjoying every minute of it.
Earlier tonight I was able to lay on the grass underneath the full moon, with a lover that's visiting from Europe, and a few of my housemates as we mused over the stars and eventual space travel. I wish I could fully describe the level of contentment I felt- or rather, the calmness I experienced then, but alas, I am still very much inebriated. I think I shall revisit this topic again later under the cool breeze of mid-day sobriety. A beautiful day to you all.
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me."
I wept today, for Anais Nin. As I read varied accounts of her last days battling cancer, alas, I was not able keep myself from the deep sadness that washed over me. I suppose it's because she's regarded by me, and by many of those that knew her, as a sort of fantastical enigma. She embodied femininity and charm in ways, few women can, who's dogma placed her firmly within the realm of celestial surrealism. She was otherworldly.
Yet, as I ponder her last days, and the reality of her life as it was, as opposed to the existence she carved for herself through others as well as her writing, I'm left with a strange, albeit slightly intoxicating state of bewilderment. At what point does illusion become reality, and at the onset of that transition, is specification still necessary? The idea of "reality" in my view, has always been transient, and therefore subjective. I've clung desperately throughout my life to the truth, or at least, the idea and hope for, authenticity.
So now I wonder, are the two communiqué's inherently independent of each other? How malleable is "truth" without giving way to pretense or inauthenticity? I fancy myself a surrealist and resolute admirer of Dada, but it's a strange balance within me. Or perhaps, not really a balance at all.
Hélas, I digress. I wept for Anais, because I was able to envision the decay of her ethereal mysticism, into the dank reality of cancer and chemotherapy. I've had many who were close to me perish from cancer, and my father as some of you know, has had to battle that disease himself. It brought back for me, intense feelings regarding the inevitable betrayal of our body against our spirit. Biological mortality is so completely beautiful to me in more ways than I could ever describe, but concurrently, I loathe the reality of it for it's ominous irony.
In Doctor Zhivago Pasternak writes: "Occasionally we experience a deep and strong feeling. Such a feeling always includes an element of pity. The more we love, the more the object of our love seems to us to be a victim."
When I first read this, I was offended. Namely because I equated the word "pity" with that of mocking indifference or supercilious rectitude. However, I thought about it for a few moments, and changed my mind. The definition of pity is: sympathy and sorrow aroused by the misfortune or suffering of another; or a matter of regret. Likewise, it then occurred to me, the distinct level of vitiation that our society has imposed on an otherwise laudable emotion. When exactly did shame and empathy become analogous in their meaning?
Is it because people are afraid to feel deeply about others, or perhaps people are afraid of the realizations that come with such intense awareness? As I remained in thought over this ideology, I grew amazed at how profoundly effected I was by this course of introspection. As we continue to love others deeply throughout our lives, perhaps our realization of that person's mortality (subconsciously or otherwise) grows more reticent in our minds, which consequently breeds and intensifies this pity referenced by Pasternak.
Love is it's own mystery. An amalgam of doorways leading to an infinite expanse of possibility. I mean love...love is a curious, slippery thing. Every time I think I have a slight grasp on the essence of it, I discover another empyreal grotto within myself, that subsequently challenges and sometimes revolutionizes the truths I once held evident. I'm not sure that there's a point to all this, other than to document my Tuesday evening madness, but I thought I'd share with you all just the same and would love to hear some feedback.
The complexity that is the human condition is wondrous, isn't it? I can't get enough of it, or of you.
Today was one of those days where I felt/feel exceptionally, inordinately, and exponentially good. More so than usual, which for me, results in especially erratic and anomalously ardent behavior.
It started at around 6am, in my friend Adam's loft in Brooklyn. I don't know if anything triggered it, per-say, but we were painting at the time while listening to opera. His playlist eventually switched over to an electronica/electroclash type mix. I'm not quite sure how this happened, but we ended up dancing for the next few hours non-stop, with 12 other people (I think), completely covered in paint. I do however recall dancing on top of Adam's kitchen island with some guy whose name I can't remember, to Bjork's "Isobel", and just feeling incredibly fortuitous to be alive right at that moment.
We made pasta for breakfast, that ended up being really fucking soggy because we forgot about it, and went to the park to lay in the grass under the rain. I quickly lost track of time, and ended up rushing to work to meet with clients, still partially covered in paint. Before I left, Adam surprised me with a book he'd purchased for me entitled: Recollections of Anais Nin by her Contemporaries. As most of you know, I simply adore Anais and have her words tattooed on my body. So you could imagine my excitement. As I opened the book to read the first page, I felt a strange and enticing brand of anxiety wash over me. The type of nervousness you feel prior to meeting an old lover mixed with that moment of anticipation, just before a roller coaster makes it's plunge.
I was immediately engrossed in the book, and had to keep from bumping into people on the street. While on the train, I would giggle intermittently and gesture to strangers, who had no clue as to what I was going on about. It was like rediscovering an old friend, and many things became new. I had to put the book away once I got to work, but I would steal moments whenever I could, to read additional passages. After work, I had dinner with a new friend and potential new roommate, Stuart. He's a computer genius and scientist, but also completely mad, which I of course find endearing. We talked for a while about philosophy and physics, our eccentricities and what keeps us sane, and eventually about the artist commune we're attempting to put together in Brooklyn.
After we parted ways, I immediately pulled out the book, to reenter the literary journey I'd started that morning. I was so excited, I also pulled out my yoyo, so that my right hand had something to do, to help expel some of the frenetic energy surging throughout my body. Apparently people aren't accustomed to seeing someone read and "yoyo" simultaneously, because I was stopped a few times and questioned, and even got a request to do trick. The trick request came from an older gentleman named Giuseppe, who was in the process of towing a Lincoln. I agreed, but only if he told me how he was able to make the lights on the car blink so sporadically, to which he agreed. I did "walking the dog" and "around the world", and in return, I got to ride around in an FBI issued vehicle with an agent for about half an hour.
I begged and pleaded and pleaded and begged, and charmed and bargained and begged and pleaded, and yes folks, I was allowed to run the siren (blinking tail lights and all) and drive the car through Times Square. That is, with no license and certainly no badge. I'm not sure what was more absurd: the fact that I was driving in midtown, in a government vehicle, in the front seat, with an FBI agent- OR- the fact that Agent Josh (short for Joshua) said I should call him, whenever I go to "one of those crazy Brooklyn loft parties". Hm...perhaps I slipped into a Twilight Zone k-hole, when I wasn't looking.
Nonetheless, I was quite appreciative of the joy ride, and bought him some McDonald's ice cream as a show of gratitude. After that, I decided to walk from Midtown, all the way down to the Lower East Side, so that I could talk to more strangers and take complete advantage of this wonderful weather we're having right now. With Anais and yoyo in hand, I just about finished the book before getting to my apartment. Literary ambrosia indeed. I love life. Especially when it's so motherfucking unpredictable. Besos to you all.
There's so much to say, about so much that's happened, but I'm too blissed out at the moment, to do anything but smile.
I will say one thing though, kindness is underrated. Tuesday evening I was in the Meatpacking district for an industry party, when Cara and I passed a gentlemen peddling roses. "Roses here, get your roses here, and keep romance alive!" That's what he would shout in a very distinct New York accent, as we approached his corner. As we stopped to review the menu of a nearby restaurant, he came closer, and repeated "Keep romance alive, by each other a rose." After the fourth time, I couldn't help but turn around and ask his name.
We got to talking for a bit, and I found out that his name is Jason, and he'd been selling roses for the past 20 years in NY. It was his only job, and he had accumulated much over the years, by trying to keep romance alive. As we listened to his stories, I couldn't help but feel privileged to have met him. Passerby's would shake their heads in disbelief when they saw us talking to him, and scurried by as he interrupted his tales, to try and make a sale. How silly of them, they had no idea the wealth of knowledge this man possessed.
In the midst of one of his stories, I interrupted him to tell him that I thought he was beautiful. He paused for a moment, and I wondered if he'd somehow taken offense to my description of him. He put his head down, and I soon noticed that he began to cry. He eventually divulged that his wife and he recently separated. The very woman who had inspired his vocational passion, had left him for someone else. He said that every day had turned into a struggle, and he wasn't sure how his life would retain any meaning, absent of her presence. He also revealed that I was the first person outside of her, to ever compliment him the way that I did.
I told him, that I was just being honest, and I was. However unusual it is to tell strangers that I think they're beautiful, I do it often, just the same. As a group of yuppies began to pass us, that familiar smile returned, and he pivoted towards them to try and make a sale. Before following them down the street, he turned back towards us, and handed Cara and I the entire stack of roses he had in his hand, keeping only a single rose for himself. With a simple thank you, he turned, grabbed some more roses from nearby container, and skipped off (quite literally) down West 13th street shouting "Roses, get your roses here, and keep romance alive!"
That really just made my night.
"Crime like death is not confined to the old and withered alone. The youngest and fairest are too often its chosen victims." (Charles Dickens, 1812-70, Oliver Twist)
I spent Tuesday morning with David Blaine, who I now regard, as a kindred spirit. Perhaps some of you might have heard about the recent tragedy involving the grad student from John Jay College. If you haven't, you can read this article
. Basically, Imette St. Guillen, a girl of only 24, was found choked to death in Brooklyn Saturday morning, near the Belt Parkway. She was naked with her hands bound, as well as her legs, and her entire face was covered in duct tape. Although news of her death hit the local media during the weekend, I didn't find out about it until Tuesday morning as I was heading to work. As I'm sure all you NYers know, free copies of the AM newspaper are given out every morning, and I grabbed one before hopping on the F train. As I sat down and unfolded the paper, I was greeted by a large picture of a girl with a friendly face. I smiled slightly because her pose reminded me of a photo recently emailed to me from Cara. However, my reverie was cut short as my eyes shifted to read the headline "Slain student might have been gang raped". Instantly my heart dropped. Rape in general is sore subject for most people, but I've always been extra sensitive to the topic for various reasons. Of course it has to do with known child abuse issue I struggled with, concerning those children that lived in my grandmother's building. And some of you may or may not recall, that about 2 years ago, I was dating a woman who was gang raped while out at a club in Los Angeles.
I begin reading the article and absorbing all of the details, against my better judgment. I soon began to wonder about her life and her aspirations. Whether or not she knew who did this to her, or if she suffered long. From the picture and description, I was able to conjure images of her in my mind- buoyant and full of life. I wondered if our paths had ever crossed in this chaotic city, or if they might have some time in the future. Before long, my ethereal portraits of her began to decay and I was left with the reality of what had become of her; the images of which were frighteningly vivid. Scorned by my over-active imagination, I was quickly overcome. Trapped in an emotional narcosis, I quite literally stumbled out of the train, and into work. My co-workers both curious and concerned, thought that perhaps something had happened to me, or that I was attacked by the creepy misogynist from last week. Unable to speak coherently, I just held out the newspaper and pointed. I have the most magnificent fucking colleagues. They didn't think my sensitivity strange, they just embraced me.
With plenty of things to do, and clients coming in shortly, I needed to try and get myself together quickly. I was trying to hold in my tears, but was altogether unsuccessful, so I called Cara. She has a calming effect on me, and stayed with me until I calmed down. Her method? Telling all sorts of bad jokes in Portuguese in an effort to cheer me up. It works temporarily and I figure that I'm ready to begin the day. Sergei hands me a cup of coffee, and we prepare for incoming clients. For the first few minutes I'm good. I'm smiling and even chatty. I think great, I've got it under control. Even though my colleagues are some of the coolest motherfuckers in NY, this is a fairly new position, and I rather not appear like a complete emotional basketcase. Unfortunately, there's soon a slight lay in traffic, and I'm once again left alone with my thoughts. As I revisit sections of the article in my mind, I'm soon overcome once more. I wasn't full on weeping, but the tears were pretty constant.
A few clients walk in, and I immediately refer them to a colleague, paying no attention to who they are. I sit down and try recompose myself, when someone walks up behind me, and taps me on the shoulder. I turn around and am greeted by an handsome man with prodigiously congenial eyes. He looks familiar, but I'm unable to identify where I might know him from. His cap, although pulled low beyond his brow, is still unable to shield his phrenic scrutiny. He says hello, and his voice immediately puts me at ease. It's like a cross between silk and the vocal purple haze afterglow, of a person who's just smoked a fattie. I introduce myself as Candice, he says his name is David, and we chat for a bit about video, editing systems and the like. As I'm answering one of his questions, I notice that he's just staring at me. Slightly perplexed I pause and ask him what's wrong, to which he answers "I was just about to ask you the same thing".
I won't bother describing in great detail the content of our conversation because this entry is already pretty lengthy, but it was resplendent. He too is incredibly empathetic, and thought it a dying quality, especially in a city like New York. We talked for a little while longer, as he ate some of my gay goldfish (read: rainbow colored), before he left to go meditate. He told me he was an illusionist, but I had no idea as to the extent of his popularity, until a star-struck pedestrian accosted him as I walked with him down the street. Anyway, it was a pretty fucking exquisite end to an otherwise depressing morning. The dichotomy that is humanity...it's a strange balance, but always intense.
Later that night, I hung out with Jeffery Wright a.k.a. Baquait which was fun. Went out boozing on the Lower East Side at a fantastic Brazilian joint with Angel after work. We eventually rendezvoused with Cara and Giovanni and danced the night away, courtesy of many delicious white russians. The morning ended at a local pizza joint, with us chatting up fellow drunkards about the war in Iraq and various political policies. Angel got so rowdy, that he ended up pumping his fist on top of a table, and was soon joined by a visiting Aussie with spikey hair. As Cara and I walked home, I got a call from Nadeem who informed me that three days into his arrival in London, he was arrested during a drug raid, and was released a day before his birthday. No, he was not high at the time (thankfully), or holding, but was indeed innocent and just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He apparently spent the entire night listening to the screams of a crazy woman, the banging of some deranged criminal, and observing the *conspiratory* actions of fellow delinquints.
Sunday night is the alternative oscars party in Chelsea. There will be a full red carpet, paparazzi and all that jazz. Eric is going as a Brokeback cowboy, Everet as his cowboy lover Johnny Cash/Joaquin Phoenix, and the rest of us as a gaggle of sexy sociopaths a la A Clockwork Orange
. Anybody know where we can get jock-strap like underoos?
« back 7
I'm standing outside on 23rd and 6th alongside my friend Raphael, while smoking a fag and discussing Saturday's attire for the Dr. Suess themed "Whoville" party. I'm in a rather heated argument with him over which thing is hotter, Thing 1 or Thing 2, when out of nowhere a stranger standing nearby and also smoking, looks at me and says "You're really fucking beautiful and sexy. I'd bet you'd never date a guy like me because I'm fucking ugly". We both pause for a few beats, until Raph breaks the silence with an extremely boisterous "huh" followed shortly thereafter by me laughing somewhat hysterically. The guy continues on and is clearly misogynistic, and soon, frighteningly so . He continues to lament over how in his view, no woman on earth will ever want him, and that "I'm just like the rest".
For most of this one-sided conversation Raphael and I laugh off his polemic tirades on both women and the "good looking men of the world", whom he threatens to shoot in the head. He mentions that he's attempted suicide several times, and eventually raises his coat sleeve to show us the scars. Up until this point, we both thought that this guy was just incredibly sarcastic and your basic, run of the mill, romance cynic- as there are many of those in NYC, but we underestimated his neurosis. Raphael had even suggested that he sing to me, to try and win me over. When I told the guy that I was involved with someone already, he countered with "if I was the only man left alive, all of the women would turn lesbian." Raphael being his usual antagonistic self replied with, "too late, she already likes women too".
Now that he knew that I found women sexually attractive, as well men, he grew even more irate. He added that he wished Osama would blow up the world, because he didn't care. During this entire ordeal, I'm unable to get over just how fucking ridiculous and absurd this conversation is, and as a result I'm laughing periodically. Each giggle countered with "go ahead and laugh, that's all you women fucking ever do". As Raphael finishes up his fag, the guy starts to say repeatedly that he hates himself and that if he had a knife, he would stab himself in the neck. I try to convince him that impaling himself isn't such a good idea, when get this people: HE PULLS OUT A FUCKING DAGGER, LIFTS UP HIS COAT SLEEVE ONCE MORE, AND STABS HIMSELF IN THE FUCKING ARM!
I shout "what the fuck", Raphael shouts out "cabron", and a woman walking by with her husband screams "what the shit"- which in turn, makes me laugh. As the guy, who couldn't have been older than 25, continued to jab himself in the arm, I felt as though I was outside of my body watching the whole thing go by in slow motion. It was so surreal. Blood is gushing, passerby's are horrified, and Raphael is cursing in spanish. He then pauses to hold out his arm to me and says "See, do you like that? Look what I did for you. That's not fucking funny is it? I think you're beautiful, so beautiful I'm willing to bleed for you, but I bet you will wouldn't date an ugly motherfucker like me."
I opened my mouth, but nothing came out, and soon Raph was in front of me telling the guy to back off. I told him that I was sorry he felt that way, but that I didn't know him and he didn't me, but more importantly- I had to go. We then ran inside Tekserve and sent out a security guard to go chase him off. Why oh why oh WHY do I attract all the crazy people. Usually I don't mind, but damn, stabbing yourself in the street is just a little too crazy, even for me. I was just trying to enjoy a nice smoke with a friend.
After the guy left and I told the story to an NYPD officer (at Raphael's urging because the guy said he worked nearby, had seen me before, and *hopes* to see me again), I took off for downtown to rendezvous with Cara so we could head to Kiyon's and booze it up. She wasn't at all amused by my ordeal, but when I got to Kiyon's apartment, George remarked that he could only believe such a story because it had happened to me, and was highly amused by the whole affair. So now, when I'm greeted by Raph and those who know the story, I get an "I love you" followed by a rapid jabbing motion made to the forearm. Oh how my friends love me so. My mom has demanded that I carry my taser with me when in the area, and my step father wants to go find the guy so he can *talk* to him.
Other than that, the weekend was relatively normal, or as normal a weekend as I could have. I've been working non-stop and apologize to all of you whom I've neglected to call back this weekend. I have some free time on Wednesday & Thursday, so you'll definitely be hearing from me. Michael I got your message! I was still working when you called, lo siento. If we can squeeze in some time for dinner during the week, or like Sunday, that would be preferable. My schedule is insane. Dan, the tattoo design is fucking phenomenal. I cannot wait to ink my body with your art. I will call you Wednesday so we can rendezvous to work out the particulars. Laney, get a motherfucking job with some decent damn hours so you can have dinner with the crew. We missed you Sunday night. Caz, please remind me in a text or something when that party you mentioned is happening. I need to make a mental note or mark it down in my blackberry, cause I'll be damned if I miss the blue kool aid or any of your purple haze, again.
I'll do another real update some time soon. I just had to share this ridiculous Friday night story with those of you who hadn't heard about it already. Such is my life.