Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Walls

My mother woke me at 10 this morning to notify me that my old room has been remodeled. Not only has the carpet been removed, the stucco rubbed off the ceiling, but my ash gray walls--the ones I had painted with much gusto when I was 17 with Morrissey playing in the background--have been painted a drab white.

There are only three things in life that are unacceptable by my standards:

(1) Men who wear fanny packs.
(2) Elephant sized plastic umbrellas in cocktails.
(3) White walls.

When I think of my youth in Covina, there are few things that come to mind: touch football, 7-11s, my brother's black Mustang--my ash gray walls. "We'll see about that", I told her half-asleep, neglecting to mention that my flight has been changed to tomorrow afternoon. Rather than going home on Wednesday, bursting through the front door with Surprise! on my lips, I think I'll have a reunion of sorts.

Maybe I'll call the gang up and we can do things like sing along The Cure or drink wine coolers, our lips becoming as red as a stop sign. You know, live it up a bit: eat at Taco Bell, finagle our way into the movie theater, throw an ice cube or two at the elderly couple seated at the front, their ear pieces set on high.

Maybe I'll illegally eat a few peanuts in the produce section of VONS, uproot a few of the neighbor's dandelions, or, if I'm feeling particularly risqué, take mother's car for a spin around town, the Twinkie in my hand waiting for the first jogger to come my way.

With or without the ash gray walls, going home this weekend should prove to be refreshing. But there is one dilemma. Even though an Asshole encounter at Blockbuster video while renting the latest Sandra Bullock flick seems unlikely, I've been mentally preparing myself for slight chance of it occurring. My first thought was to run as if chased by a pack of hyenas, but that might come off as snobbish of me. Keep it short, came to mind next. Exchange a hello, a how's the weather?, and walk away as unaffected as Sea Otter. But I don't quite like that either. Instead, I envision myself as an embittered wife with three children who, upon spotting him, combs her hair from her eyes with one determined finger nail and in a Geena Davis voice utters, "Look what piece of shit the cat dragged in", the lit Salem never leaving my mouth.

Of course none of this will happen. I will end up with a plateful of hams, my overtly heterosexual cousins asking me about "the pussy in Frisco", and mother getting me up to date with the Which Husband Beat Who tally at the Greek Orthodox Church.

Save for the color of walls and the tiles in the bathroom, sometimes things never change, and maybe that's a good thing.





Saturday, November 23, 2002

I'm in a bad mood tonight.

The kind of mood that has me listening to Greek love songs.

I don't know what it was. Maybe it was the cable cart ride earler tonight and not having someone's careful arm around me as I almost flung out during a sharp turn.

Maybe it's the straight people in my livingroom playing the adult version of operation right now.

Either way, I'm depressed and I hate my life...

and I've just told Danee to give me five minutes to dress quickly and head out to the bars.

It was either that or killing myself, and I have to admit that a few Cosmos will probably do me some good.

Friday, November 22, 2002

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Monday, November 18, 2002

I called Garrett's pager today for pureley sentimental reasons and, instead of the usual greeting, I recieved a computerized voice telling me that this particular pager number was invalid.

It's funny how things work out like this--how on my "date" with Stephan my past has become invalid. I should be sad. I should feel some sense of loss in that my only connection to my past, a pager number, is no longer existent, that it in fact has been broken.

Is this what it feels like to move on? Is this feeling somewhere down in my stomach, somewhere near my pancreas, the feeling of liberation? the feeling of not giving a damn anymore?

Whatever it is, whatever it means, I'm happy that it's finally decided to make its move on me, finally decided to visit me and land on my shoulder like a parakeet, singing the kind of flute tunes you'd here during a douche commercial.

This is new. This feels good.

And like a bad haircut or country music, something I might get used to.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Hi, My Name's Horny and Ready to Go

Stephan, the insanely gorgeous gogo boy from last night with the demon blue eyes, called me tonight.

He said that he's got a man, a SWISS man, for Danee and would like to meet up with us sometime this weekend. Of course, Kirin sings almost every Monday at the university pub, the Bear's lair, and I've used that as a convenient place to meet.

Of course I know that he wants to marry me and have my children, but there's just one thing that concerns me.

He is Porno Style hot, whereas I am, well, on the cover of Daily Cal hot--a somewhat less posh status.

So what the hell is he doing calling me at 12:30 am wondering what I was doing?

Either way, I have to admit that the possibilities are buzzing around my head with the fury of a thousand flies, and I just can't wait until Sunday comes and goes and I find myself at the Bear's Liar, Kirin singing about some guy in Costa Rica, and my arms lost somewhere among Stephan's body.

Everything else can go to hell because I'm getting laid on Monday. I can feel it in my bones and 24 hours has never felt like such an eternity away.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Crossing Out Hate

After having a somewhat adventurous night with Danee at gay club in Berkeley, which included meeting insanely gorgeous gogo boy who decided to come with us to a party after wrapping up his final fifteen minute dance, Danee, Marl, and I woke up at nine this morning and, determined, steadfast, somewhat hungover, headed out like troops in Operation Desert Storm.

Keeping with their promise, the Westboro Baptist Church showed up with eight of its members, each displaying obscene banners, and was met by 50-60 of us. It was difficult to stand there, struggling to keep the large rainbow flag from wavering in my hands, and not yell something obscene in response, something that would hurt, ridicule, cause some thought—anything. We had agreed to keep it silent, keep it peaceful, but every cell in my body wanted to cross that invisible barrier separating us from them and beat their heads like a piñata.

Sadly, “Go back to Mervyns!” was the only violent thing I could muster up.

Time magazine was there, as well as NBC and other local stations, and Kirin, who made her picketing appearance in three inch heels and a bust-enhancing top, thought it the least bit strange as she posed each time a cameraman neared in on us and our flapping-in-the-wind flag. Regardless, it was an inspiration to see Kirin standing for over two hours in her Loui Vuittons, chanting Prada, Gucci, and Chanel, God Hates Fags can go to hell! with the best of them.

For two hours the crowds came and went, some hurriedly passing by, others mouthing “what the…?” as they stopped to read banners, and a few, enraged, ran to the forefront and exchanged bitter, harsh words with the Westboro gang. My favorite, in fact, was, to give her a name, Betsy the housewife who darted towards them, eyes almost filled with tears, with her son trailing behind, begging, “Mom! MOM!

During a more Touched by an Angel moment, an elderly man, clearly affected and perspiring heavily, approached us and admitted to being a Christian but added, “I want you know that this doesn’t represent us.”

It was a nice gesture.

The football game started at 12:30, and they left. We gathered our flags, our banners, and went our separate ways, going to do whatever it is people do on Saturday afternoons. Some of us would go home and sleep the lazy day away. Some would go to the grocery store, to the bakery—get a haircut.

After having lunch, I ended up walking home alone. As I crossed through campus, I couldn’t help but wonder if any of it, the shouting, the banners, had really made a difference. In the end, they would leave, feeling that they had accomplished something noble, and we would leave carrying that same feeling with us too. No one would have a change of heart. There would be no crossing over of camps. There would still be “Not In Our Name” flyers stuck to lampposts, still be University Affirmative Action petitions to sign; there would still be 99 homicides in Oakland this year.

And with all this in my head, I could do nothing but clean my bathroom, because what more can you do when things are out of your range of influence, when being human has never been so far from being simple?

What else is there to do when hopelessness, that cold paralysis, hovers over you like an elephant: dark, adamant, and as immovable as a river with volumes of water behind it?

Friday, November 15, 2002

MORTIFIED

Everything was going fine today until I happened to bump into Melina on the bus who, after rummaging in her bag, handed me an issue of The Daily Cal.

I am on the cover in all my peace-signing glory. I wouldn't mind being on the cover of a newspaper if (a) I didn't have that stupid grin on my face, (b) I didn't look like an Asian tourist by the dolphin aquarium at Sea World, or (c) I didn't look like a shmuck from a Verizon commercial.

It was somewhat bizarre walking across campus and noticing my face on the ground with a Sketchers footprint running across it. I managed to grab the last 10 issues in hopes that I could minimize the possibility of being detected on campus as the "God Hates Fags" fag.

Either way, Danee, seeking retribution from my openly speaking about her sexual escapades, decided to post the picture on her blog.

I hope you enjoy it because God knows I'm never showing my face in public again.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Enough with the tortured soul, emotional turmoil, he left me and my life's gone to shit stuff; there are much bigger fish to fry.

Mobilization of gay troops against Topeka, Kansas bigots began today. I stood in front of Sather Gate with a large banner reading God Hates Fags. Evidently, not everyone noticed the large red X I've put through the slogan. So, initially, I got my fair share of mean-spirited looks coming my way. Unexpectedly, I got my picture taken and was interviewed by the Daily Cal. I can predict that the picture, which I hope to dear God never makes it to publishing, will come out goofy, as I am standing there, struggling to keep the massive banner still, and flashing the peace sign. Nice Angelo, nice.

As it turns out, other campus organizations are planning a protest as well. Speaking with the head of the Queer Resource Center, I was informed that they are attempting to borrow the acre sized rainbow flag housed in the Castro to be used at our rally.

In about half an hour I will attend an informational meeting in which we are going to discuss our protest "theme". I was consciously trying to avoid the making of a "theme", but it seems almost sacrilege to gather a large amount of gay people and not have a theme.

I only have one concern. If I hear any proposals for "asexual angelic figures with massive, bed sheet wings" or even "Gloria Gaynor on loud speakers" I'm going to have to kindly remove myself from the congregation and declare that if I were God, I would rightly hate them too.

(PS: there's still a handful of you in the area that I have not heard of; you know who you are. Drop me a comment or email at BerkeleyLovesFags@yahoo.com. Don’t think I was kidding when I said I'd expect you there in full gay pride regalia).


Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Maybe it's the double latte you had, that after-nine-pm peppermint patty, the caesar salad with too much balsamic vinegar that didn't sit too well with you at lunch? my inner voice hypothesizes as I lay on my bunk as alert and cow-eyed as an owl strung up on speed.

Maybe it's the gas pipes leaking again, the moon screwing with your internal, circadian rhythms--maybe the walls are reverberating disrupting sound frequencies? the voice continues.

And even though it does, I know the real reason why sleep is the furthest thing from my mind tonight. I know why my bed feels like a mound of unrelenting dirt, why my pillow rejects me like a transplanted kidney, but I didn't want to admit to it, as if admitting to it, like alcoholism, would only strengthen its grasp of me.

It's been two some hours since I began this internal conversation with myself, and I can't take it any longer.

I had done well these past months, thinking of him only when certain smells reached my nose, when certain songs played on the radio, but it seems that all my memories have come out tonight and are prepared to rally for my attention. Each of them hold banners: some with dates, particular nights, others with places, motel rooms, park benches--the day in the hills. And I can't help but lay there on my back and watch segments of this silent film play itself out before me on my bare white ceiling.

Like remembering the death of the family parrot or the time you shaved off your eyebrows in high school, there's nothing particularly joyful about this particular walk down memory lane. Instead it has me wondering when it ended, has me wondering when it stopped being my life and began being my past. Since he left, I can't tell whether I'm the same person who would wait for his call, wait for the sound of his voice on the phone, or whether I'm somebody new now; somebody changed, in another place, and supposedly over it. At times it almost feels as if I only have to blink and I'd be back in that green Honda again driving to Laguna, to Hollywood, to his house--always driving--with all four windows down and him by my side. At times I feel as if I'd wake up and find myself in my old room, in that same old bed, and with that same arm around me telling me where I belonged.

It's hard to get these thoughts out of my head long enough for REM sleep to hit me. It's hard to get his words out from beneath my sheets, to sound out his babe's, his I Miss You's--his way of saying my name.

But what's hardest, even more than battling with MS or Parkinson's, is pretending not to notice that lump of dead matter in my throat. It's not paying attention to how sunsets or nights in the city no longer thrill me.

It's biting lip and tongue, attempting to keep the mouth from pointing out the obvious, wanting for it to say anything but the truth:

that since he left, since I left, life has never felt so lifeless.


Monday, November 11, 2002

I have a lunch date with Omar the homeless man tomorrow.

You might rightly wonder why it is I am having a lunch date with a homeless man, and for this I do have a valid answer.

In my Cultural Anthropology class we were given the assignment to diagram the genealogy of a person. My professor also added that we might want to find an interesting character to base this genealogy on. So, in an effort not to be outdone by my classmates, I have chosen Omar, the homeless man living beneath my apartment, to be my subject.

Tracking Omar down, however, had been somewhat of a challenge. When not sleeping in our basement storage area, Omar is to be found gallivanting around Berkeley, sometimes on campus, begging for money. I had not anticipated this difficulty of tracking him down, as our campus is relatively large and always bustling with people. Luckily, one night, as I was having a late night cigarette on our makeshift balcony, he stumbled in "home", drunk as a skunk.

"You wanna do a genea-huh?" was his first concern, the Gin still clinging to his breath. He was still unsure of what this genea-huh stuff was all about when he agreed to be my subject, but the promise of money, a Big Mac, and a few beers was all that he needed to be convinced evidently. "Leave a note on my door" he urged me when I had figured out a time to "do dis".

Leave a note on his door?

I don't know which bothered me more, the fact that he referred to the slight crevice which he crawled through each night to get to our basement as a door or that I was developing a note writing system to communicate with a homeless man.

Either way, today I made my way down to his crevice, his door, with note in hand, only to be met by Omar's slightly hungover, inquisitive eyes. "Good Morning!" he shrieked in his half Otis Redding, half lung cancer patient voice. It was two in the afternoon.

So we made plans to meet at the McDonalds around the corner at four. Call me crazy, but I think this is why I can't sleep tonight. Am I nervous about having lunch with a homeless man?

Dilemma number one was the smell. I wonder if he would mind if I hosed him down with deodorant before pursuing any ethnographic questions. If so, I might have to be crafty and find some means of diverting his attention as I spray the area with Aqua di Gio, all the while acting surprised at the newly introduced aroma: "Is that a new milkshake?"

Dilemma number two was whether we would become overemotional and not wish to continue with my line of questioning. As I will be posing questions about his parents, possible spouse(s) and children, I'm wondering if this is mental territory he might not went to necessarily revisit.

Dilemma number three was whether he would get any fresh ideas about the whole affair and cop a feel as I am busy filling in genealogical schema. Though he's been nothing but honorable in my presence, judging from my track record, you just never know.

I guess there could be worse things that having the only date since I've moved up here be with a homeless man. I could be paralyzed and stranded in front of a TV that plays nothing but Rosie O'Donnell re-runs, a remote control, even if I could move my paralyzed fingers, nowhere in sight.

Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'll need it.


Sunday, November 10, 2002

I feel the need to warn people of Punch Drunk Love.

It was a loss of two hours from my life which I will never be able to regain. In those two hours I could have read a book about AA Meetings in Mexico, learned how to fold origami, or even taken an online crash course on how to speak MANGKONG, an Austro-Asiatic Vietnamese dialect.

Anything would have been more productive and entertaining.

Therefore, I feel the uncontrollable need to alert people of this before they go spending their 20 somewhat dollars it takes to see a movie. Luckily, because of Danee's subversive online habits, I was able to watch a bootleg of this on her computer screen.

There's a slight chance my opinion of this movie might be related to the horrible resolution quality, but I highly doubt it.

I don't know why I feel so agitated, but I do. This has nothing to do with the fact that it was a Saturday night and I spent it counting up the caloric impact of garbanzo beans, popcorn, and carrots (you wouldn't think so, but a can of garbanzo beans packs a mean 220 calories).

At any rate, I cleaned the apartment today and went so far as to, consciously and with the sole intent to, buy bath mats for the bathroom. This might not seem, um, outlandish to anyone, but as I made my way to (insert cringe) Ross, I couldn't help but feel lame--my only consolation being the great anonymity that comes with discount shopping.

And so, dissatisfied with the superficial nature of my life, I've decided to fuse all my creative yet practical creativities together in order to combat homophobia. As it turns out, the God Hates Fags crew is coming to my campus, and Danee (honorary fag hag since she's shacked up with me) and I thought this to be unacceptable. We stayed up until 3am last night, after our fabulous Rolling Stones concert in the city, making flyers.

They read:

GOD HATES FAGS
Coming to a Town Near You!

It goes on to describe their intent to "picket the fag infested University of Cal. Berkeley". The best part, I believe, and this--to place due thanks--was Danee's idea, is our email address, BerkeleyLovesFags@yahoo.com, which we've created for additional information.

Before making my decision to attend Berkeley, I swore to myself that I would (a) continue to bath on a regular basis, (b) not become a soy-loving hippie, and (c) under any circumstances not turn into a protest aficionado, but here I am, not attending a rally but organizing one.

So to anyone I know in the area, rest assured that I EXPECT you to be there next Sunday at Berkeley vs. Arizona game at the Memorial stadium, fully prepared with a God Hates Bigots banner and a rainbow flag at 10:30am sharp.

Even though I'm fully capable of pulling a Elizabeth Taylor and carrying on with the parade on my own tired heels, a martyr in oversized hangover glasses, it would be truly depressing if I find myself alone that morning, surrounded by a squadron of Topeka, Kansas hicks, and me yelling something to the affect of "Go fuck a cousin!" before cowering behind the shoulders of some oblivious football fanatic who happened to be in the wrong place at the oh so very right time.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Forgot to Mention

To add to my list of embarrassing and unbelievable-but-horrifyingly-true occurrences in life, a homeless man in a Counting Crows circa 1992 t-shirt propositioned me for sex the other night.

Imagine scene:

Me: Lugging grocery bag with grapes and bananas (on Hollywood juice diet) and with a cigarette in mouth (not part of Hollywood juice diet but very Hollywood nonetheless).

Him: A Black man in his forties, fumbling toward me, hand on crotch in a very Who’s Your Bitch? manner.

“Give me a cigarette, and I’ll give you a good time”, he proposed and added a wink of the eye.

I had to pause.

Granted, “give you a good time” has been given a standardized meaning since the advent of Vietnam War inspired movies, I had to wonder if there was room for interpretation in that statement. But as he neared in and proceeded to attempt to lay his hand on my shoulder, I knew I was terribly, terribly wrong about that one.

So, like any rational and sane homosexual would do, I hurried home and, with the help of Origins Active Charcoal mask, exfoliated.

Unclogged pores and a vibrant complexion, I hoped, would deter the advances of any other homeless men who happened to encounter me on the street.

I don’t think I could take another advancement from a homeless man. There’s only so much a sexually starved individual can take, and, frankly, my penis has had enough of all the ridicule and jesting and “I had WILD sex this weekend with some WILD guy who I met on the street and, and, did I mentioned we had WILD sex for 5 WILD hours?”

People who have wild sex should get syphilis and die…or at least feel a stinging sensation when the pee, or something.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Weekend at Home

My mother bought be a liter-sized bottle of KY lube.

She presented it to me after dinner saying, "You might need this for all those dirty Oakland children you deal with."

I didn't know how to respond. Maybe she was finally accepting me and was revealing this acceptance through her concern for my anal sex practices, I thought. But where were the condoms? Surely, if I were having sex with all those "dirty Oakland children" she'd be more so concerned about protection rather than adequate lubrication.

Noticing my confusion, she quickly added, "You know, it's that antibacterial stuff" and carted away the dirty plates into the kitchen.

I didn't have the heart to break the news to her, and besides how would I go about explaining what lube was to a woman who thinks that oral sex is an act only performed by either (a) Jewish (non-Christian) peoples or (b) prostitutes?

Save for driving on Sunset blvd. with Chrissy, the archetype of a blond drunk girl, exposing her breasts to random passersby, having my mother give me a bottle of lube was the highlight of my weekend, and the fact that I will most likely consume this bottle alone only serves to further depress me and cause me to dream of a loftier life where I am Brooke, the head cheerleader at Montclair High, and where nineteen-year-old guys in El Caminos are just dying to hit this.

The only thing that rivals this desire is the opportunity to witness Denise, the fifty-year-old VONS checkout lady, scanning my mother's tomatoes, her Feta cheese, and, when encountering the KY, hesitating and giving it a perplexed look--my mother, in turn, noticing this hesitation and appropriately chiming in with, "It's for my son."


Friday, November 01, 2002

In the kitchen, I was informed by a wild-haired Danee that he is only nineteen, and he is still sleeping, half-naked, on our couch, attempting to regain his strenth from what appears to have been an arduous night.

Danee seems to be walking somewhat funny and bowlegged this morning.

Oh Hell No

I woke this morning with a hangover the size of Delaware and found Danee and a guy she just met on the street last night curled up like two Russian lovers.

She will no doubt spend most of the afternoon with this very mysterious and, from the peek I took this morning in shock, handsome man, whereas I have class to attend, packing to be done, and a plane to be caught at 5.

Not only that, the only recollection I have of last night is being gay-bashed by a straight cowboy after I had sought out his attention with "Hey Country!"

Once again and in unison this time: Oh HELL no.