the.applied.process.

wit. honesty. everyday ramblings.

Category: Art

All I Want For Christmas Is You.

“I don’t need to hang my stocking there upon the fireplace. Santa Claus won’t make me happy with a toy on Christmas Day.”

Before you even think on judging hear me out. The holidays have started. Yes, I’m big into this time of year. You name it, if it annoys you, I probably love it. I apologize for the song, but yes, I found it fitting for this entry because guess what? With the holidays approaching, the first two or three weeks of December turn into a clusterfuck of holiday parties. I don’t mean to brag but I swear! I get invited to plenty, and now that I’m no longer single, the number of e-vites just doubled. Yes, at least three things to do per night and, although I can’t say I don’t enjoy them, there are days when all I really want for Christmas is to stay home with ‘Nickle’ and ignore the rest of the world.

With that said… let the retelling of the first of two weeks of jam packed holiday goodness begin.

Mondays are my day off. Last Monday, I woke up next to ‘Nickle’ a bit exhausted from the biking and the anxiety that happened the day before. He went to work and I just laid on the couch with ‘Toto’ catching up on past episodes of my TV shows, in this case Gossip Girl. I went through 2 or 3 of them before deciding it was time to get up and maybe clean. That didn’t happen. I dilly dallied for most of the morning till a bit of anxiety started to kick in and I went into “get shit done” mode. I had a lot of paperwork to do for some personal governmental purposes and, obviously, it was the kind of stuff you postpone over and over because it’s rarely fun and never exciting.

The anxiety continued through the rest of the day. That night ‘Martha’ had invited us to the Martha Stewart holiday party, and I was to meet all of them somewhere on the west side at the studios where the magic happens. At around 5pm I left for Kinko’s (FedEx Office for my readers born on the subsequent generations after mine) to continue working on boring stuff before taking a cab to Chelsea.

I got to M. Diddy’s headquarters a few minutes before ‘Nickle’ and waited for him and ‘Judy’ to show up. After spending a good 15 minutes figuring out the very confusing elevator system, we finally made it to the party. We were greeted with lots of hors d’oeuvres and wine which I proceeded to chug to try and calm down. Didn’t work. We checked out all the different craft and cookie tables (it’s a Martha Stewart party, what do you expect?!) and danced with the etsy loving gays and gals till we decided to leave for a bar.

We all walked over to Billymark’s West for a game of pool (which I lost), and a few rounds of beers. It wasn’t a big crazy night. We walked towards Times Square to catch the trains back to Brooklyn with ‘Judy’ but made a pit stop at Chipotle for another beer and a delicious burrito which I didn’t really enjoy because the whole time I had something in the back of my head I wanted to talk about. The funny thing is:  I always do. I think. I think. I think. Sometimes, I stop myself from externalizing whatever nonsense is going on in my head. Sometimes it just slips out.

After we switched trains and left ‘Judy’ I brought it up. I mentioned how it’s a bit off putting how I feel like I’m not just dating ‘Nickle’ sometimes, but I’m also dating his best friend, ‘Seek’. He is constantly talking and thinking about him to an almost excessive point? The conversation didn’t go too well.  We were a bit drunk and as soon as we got off the train I shut down and so did he. He was about to walk away and go to a bar to drink when I stopped him and told him not to. I’ve constantly said that I hate leaving an argument in the middle, especially when there’s alcohol involved so, at the risk of running around in circles (which I often do), I like to talk about it till we reach some sort of armistice.

And so we did. I dragged him back to my apartment and we talked and talked. I understood how he feels about his friendship and it’s never been an issue of me thinking that he likes him in any other way other than friends, and he understood how to third parties it does look a bit obsessive sometimes. He also pointed out that sometimes I just need to stop over thinking things and let arguments go because I tend to talk things over and over to the point where I forget what it is that I was arguing about in the first place. With that being said, we went to bed in a happy place.

Tuesday morning, we woke up in an even happier place. Yes, we had AM sex, something we are both very into and try and sneak in every day we can. We showered and he left for work. I continued with the tedious task of gathering paperwork for my future governmental endeavors. I had to work but I called in late pretending I had errands to run. Instead, I met him for lunch at a noodle place in Chinatown, and we did some x-mas shopping for our upcoming party: OUR first official tree-trimming soiree as a couple.

We probably spent about 2 hours together. Both of us were running late but I’m pretty certain none of that matters to him, because I was feeling so good that it didn’t matter to me either. It’s moments like this when everything just seems so aligned and it just fits perfectly that I try to hold on when the anxiety of uncertainty comes along (I know I’m happy, I just don’t know why I get so irrational sometimes).

We finally parted ways when we realized that man can’t live on love alone, and thus we must tend to our jobs, even if it’s the last thing we wanted to do at the moment. Emotional blue balls.

As expected, work was a burden. I was still and am still not meshing with the retard I’ve been assigned as my boss. I cringe at the thought of seeing her badly coordinated synthetic outfits with payless square toe flats (hence her nickname ‘BoGo’). I dread the moment when her passive aggressive shrieks hit my ear drums to utter orders that she should be taking care of if she wasn’t so incompetent. I quiver in fear at the fact that I’m afraid I will be turned into stone at the first glance of her medusa-esque beauty. I…

Enough. You get the point.

I endured the grueling half day and finally, at around 7pm left to go play trivia with the Tuesday trivia crew. ‘Nickle’ and ‘Jose Maria’ joined. We were a pretty decent group of people yet, sadly, we lost this time. I was a bit drunk and, although ‘Nickle’ suggested we just go home, I for some reason suggested we go to The Seahorse Tavern to hang out a bit more with ‘Jose Maria’ since I know we don’t do much of that lately. Of course this entailed having a few shots despite saying we weren’t going to, and having two or three drinks too many.

I blacked out towards the end of the night. We took a cab back to Brooklyn and, per my suggestion, we spent the night at our summer place (his apartment). Before heading to bed, we stopped at a deli because ‘Nickle’ wanted to buy more beer. Apparently I made a bit of a fuzz about it. It doesn’t surprise me… that’s me being irrational again. *Sigh* I passed out shortly after.

Wednesday ensued more morning sexy time. After he showered and I napped for a second longer, we both recognized that we were dealing with quite the hang over and neither of us wanted to really do anything productive. He emailed work to let them know he was running late, I didn’t have to be in till noon. We left his apartment and walked to a discount store to buy more stuff for the party (side note: I’m going to discount stores, and actually enjoying it!). We then walked to a doughnut shop on Manhattan Ave and, instead of having them to go, we sat on the counter, ordered one each, and carelessly sipped on a cup of coffee. Yes, lazy and full of excuses not to properly start the day. We then strolled our way from Greenpoint to Williamsburg to go to his client’s townhouse where he was to pick up a check that was not there. Lastly, instead of parting ways and going in opposite directions, he decided to follow me back to my place and take the L instead of the JMZ. We finally came to terms with the fact that we needed to face reality and we kissed goodbye outside my door. He took the train, I went upstairs.

I got ready, called work to let them know I was going to run some work related (as well as personal) errands and thus would be a bit late, and left my apartment. Post office, bank, pharmacy, work. Upon arrival, I had a bit of my usual freak outs which made me not want to do anything productive. The unpleasing thought of sharing oxygen with ‘BoGo’ doesn’t help. I sucked it up and sat at my desk staring at facebook for a bit. I crafted the invite to our x-mas party and sent it out. I left work for a second pretending I had an errand to run, but really I just didn’t want to hear ‘BoGo’s’ voice. It really is like nails on a chalk board. I freaked out again and waited till it was time to leave.

At 6:30 I mentioned to my coworker that I might leave a tad early since I had a birthday party to attend which was starting earlier than expected. That was a lie. ‘Nickle’ had just asked me to leave a few minutes before so we could head to Solas to meet a friend of his before heading to said party. I really left just 15 minutes before I normally do.

We walked over to the bar. Two shots, two beers. Then we walked over to the other bar for the birthday celebration. More shots, more beers, fried chicken (in ‘Nickle’s’ case), two dollar slices (for me). Being the holiday season, we had another party to attend so we said our goodbyes and headed over to Williamsburg where we ended up at The Abbey. The place was packed! More shots, more beers. So much for wanting to slow down on the latter.

About an hour later, we decided to call it a night. We weren’t terribly wasted, and it was a good time to hit the sac before things started to get the almost nightly blurry. Good call. It wasn’t the early night we needed but it was earlyish.

Thursday morning blowjobs were followed by the usual: a shower, my babe going to work, and me trying to decide how I’m going to procrastinate through the first hour when I should be either A) sleeping, or B) doing something productive like writing on the blog or finishing the paperwork that’s kind of due. My solution was to catch up on “How I Met Your Mother”. Maybe not the most productive, but somewhat necessary to appease the OCD thoughts I get when I realize I’m behind on my shows.

Instead of really watching, I passed out. I guess I really needed the rest. I woke up in time to get dressed and go to work. More anxiety followed by a strange calmness and the feeling of love radiating from an Architectural firm somewhere in TriBeCa to a Gallery somewhere in SoHo. For reasons I can’t explain, I’m always perplexed at ‘Nickle’s’ timing. It’s like we’re twins and he knows when exactly to text/message/email/say the right thing.

I left work right at 7pm to head over to a Charity Holiday Auction at ‘Clive’s’ work. ‘Nickle’ joined shortly after. We hung out for an hour and a half, drank two or three beers, and bid on some prints that for some reason were deemed unbidable (to me they were some of the best ones). Consequently, we won them with minimal economical damage.

We left the auction to head over to ‘Martha’s’ for UNO night, a tradition amongst ‘Nickle’ and Co. There’s really not much to say about this. I was enduring a good session of anxiety that I was trying to drown out with more beer but was not doing very well. I love all his friends and all I want is to just enjoy the moment as much as I should be. Easier said than done. *it’s going to be ok, it’s going to be ok*.

Our holiday party extravaganza had a couple more stops lined up so we left the girls’ and took a very sexually stimulating cab ride to Ten Degrees to meet ‘Jose Maria’. I ripped a big hole in the front of my pants.

We barely even finished a drink at the bar when we decided to leave for the second to last stop. We took another cab ride to Williamsburg. This time, instead of pleasing each other orally, we used our mouths to talk about other guys in our lives and what we want. Again, we kind of went around in circles. We both want the same thing, yet sometimes we feel like the other one doesn’t. We dropped the subject and stopped by South 4th for their 5th anniversary party. ‘Fixie’ and ‘Viquers’ were going to meet us there but they had texted saying the crowd was a bit off putting and had left to Lucky Dog. Regardless, we paid our dues by having a shot and a beer before walking to the last leg of the busy night.

I hadn’t been to Luck Dog in a hot minute. Right before going we made a pit stop to pick up the check ‘Nickle’ was promised a few days earlier. I was pretty drunk by this point and, although I don’t remember going to bed, I do remember having a couple more shots and a couple more beers with ‘Fixie’, ‘Viquers’, and ‘Fixie’s’ fix for the night.

Friday was yet another pivotal day in my search for the source of my anxiety. I don’t have many notes on what I did so I’m assuming there was no sexy time. The morning must have been very ordinary.

At work, I was again looking forward to 4:45 pm because I was going to leave early to go see, per my shrink’s suggestion, a psychiatrist. Yes, I’ve been considering meds because, although I’m very adamantly against them, it’s getting to the point where I want to improve my quality of life and nothing else seems to be working. Alcohol, no alcohol, cigarettes, no cigarettes, boyfriend, no boyfriend, good job, bad job, I’m still having anxiety all day round.

As soon as the hands on the clock were pointing at the right numbers I left work without a single care. My coworker had a work related event she needed to attend and could not stay till close, and the lovely ‘BoGo’ was just too fuckin’ lazy to stay by herself so we closed early.

I got to the doctor’s office right on time. He invited me in and went through the usual first time visit Q & A’s. I talked freely and openly about my feelings, my thoughts, my concerns, and my expectations. After an hour and fifteen he diagnosed me with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is a way in which Anxiety can manifest itself. The more I think about it (and that’s what we OCD people do, we think and think), the more I agree. His solution was for me to go on Prozac.

I left the office pumped and ready to numb my racing mind away every morning by taking a pill. I took the train down to TriBeCa to meet ‘Nickle’ and tell him about the magic cure I just discovered. He, of course, acted supportive. We walked over to another one of his friend’s Holiday Auction party. We stayed for two beers’ time and saw some quasi decent student work before saying goodbye and heading to ‘Jose Maria’s’ event. He was somewhere in Bushwick hosting a short film festival. The event went great, we got to see a lot of familiar faces, drink some more beer, freak out about irrelevant things, I showed off my prescription to my somewhat disapproving friends, and left after about an hour. We still had one more leg on the tour.

Last but not least, ‘Fixie’, ‘Nickle’, and I went to another Holiday party hosted by one of the bartenders at The Abbey. At the risk of sounding repetitive, more drinks ensued which meant that ‘Nickle’ and I were even more drunk. Eventually we finally decided to cab it home. ‘Fixie’ stayed back socializing which I was happy for because I like that our group of friends is starting to intertwine quite a lot.

We woke up kind of early on Saturday. I decided to make us soyrizo scramble for breakfast since we had some food to get rid off before it spoiled. We finished our breaky and headed for beddy to have our almost ritualistic morning sexy time. We came, I showered, and I left for work. ‘Nickle’ stayed home running errands and getting things ready for our Holiday Party later that evening.

I was a bit antsy the whole time. It surely didn’t help that ‘BoGo’ had decided to host her friend’s Hip Hop Event which, to my taste, was a terrible idea. I don’t like the image this woman is giving my job and I do not agree with any of her aesthetics, from the way she dresses to the plans she has in the future for the business. I was very uncomfortably and purposely avoiding everyone. I just wanted to leave and go home and help. I kept trying to come up with excuses to take off till it dawned on me that I’d just leave to go run an errand that everybody, including me, had been dreading for quite a while. Regardless, it was the perfect excuse. At 5:30pm I left claiming I needed to run said errand before the place closed at 6pm (actual business hours? they were open till 8pm).

I took the F train to Downtown Brooklyn, completed the task in less than half hour, took the G to Lorimer and walked home. I was still a bit anxious, but the thought of coming home calmed me down a bit. I helped out for a second, took a sexy shower with my sexy man, and halted the sexiness just as we were informed that guests were arriving. We quickly got dressed and turned on the show.

The party was an absolute success! I was really pleased with it. It was a good mix of people, the tree got decorated, and everyone seemed to have a great time. At around 1pm, and after drinking whiskey, beer, champagne, and vodka, I was clearly in no condition to go out. Everybody wanted to head to The Abbey. I apparently didn’t at first but then got convinced to, and just as ‘Nickle’ realized that I was having issues trying to get dressed he decided we’d just stay in. We let everyone leave, got naked on the couch, and passed out in my bed.

At around 4:40 in the morning, we got woken up by one of the party attendees who had somehow lost track of the rest of the group and was stranded sans wallet, keys, or cellphone. We instructed him to stay for a few hours as we contacted his boyfriend and waited for the respond. He obliged and we went back to bed.

Sunday morning we picked up the pieces. We finally solved the mystery of our lost guest and helped him get back on his way home by getting him a coffee and a metro card. We went back to my apartment to clean up the less-crazy-than-expected mess and then we had a rewarding fellatio affair. A shower followed, and then we met up with ‘Occhio’ for brunch at La Esquina Brooklyn (I wasn’t aware that the SoHo Mexican eatery had a sister shop on my side of the river). The food was sub-par, and so was the service. They screwed up my order and took forever to replace it. Regardless, the bloody maria I had redeemed the whole experience.

We walked back home, sent ‘Occhio’ on his way, and picked up our bikes to ride to my babe’s. From there, we made plans with ‘Clive’ and ‘Gwen’ to go to The Museum of The Moving Image in the somewhat dreaded Astoria to see the Jim Henson exhibit. The reason why I point out that it is a somewhat dreaded area is because that’s where ‘Nickle’s’ ex lives and, just like I feel in some neighborhoods of LA, it is never pleasant to go back to places that are so loaded with memories. We biked past familiar blocks and to the museum where we decided to stop talking about it and just enjoy the day. We were about to make new memories.

The exhibit was really fun and educational. There were many things about Jim Henson I did not know, and although it seemed a bit low budget, it was still something worth checking out. It’s on display till the 16th next month.

After walking around the exhibit, we were supposed to go bike to Bay Ridge to see the Christmas light decorations, but we decided to stay in the museum to check out the other floors. The place is incredibly fun and interactive. We did some flip books of us acting silly, filmed a stop motion animation, and recorded our own sounds on different movie clips. All in all, we spent like 4 hours at the museum working out a decent appetite.

At the risk of bringing back more memories, we chose to head over to Broadway around the 30’s to find one of the many famed Greek restaurants to eat some dinner. We ended up at a place called Uncle George’s which was, again, lacking in service. Two for two for the boyfriend at picking places with rude staff. The food, however, was better this time around. I ordered some shrimp kebabs and the rest of the table ordered meat. We asked for a pitcher of wine which ‘Nickle’ and I were both gulping down at a pretty fast pace. I could sense he was a bit scattered brain and frantic, and I was getting a bit antsy too. I did, however, manage to keep it together in case my babe would need me (something which he wouldn’t necessarily easily admit).

Towards the end of the meal, and with a few glasses of vino rushing through our blood stream, we both calmed down. We left the place and walked a couple of blocks to a little pastry shop where we got some coffee and some Greek sweets.

We bid my favorite double dating couple adieu and walked back towards our bikes. I brought up the fact that I noticed ‘Nickle’ acting a bit strange but he denied it. I let it go and we biked home.

We were supposed to go to another Holiday party that night and were debating whether we thought it was a good idea or not. Eventually we decided to head over for just one beer. Right… Why do we keep trying to kid ourselves? We hopped our way to the G train and headed south to the Myrtle stop. We then walked a few blocks east to the party as we discussed our future and joked about our bad financial habits. Bushwick still scares me.

The party was cute. We drank a beer and some cider which in terms made us join in on the shots and a six pack more. We made some cute snowflakes (I made the best), chit chatted with people and after 2 hours headed home with a nice buzz. I was a bit anxious but I shut up and kept talking myself out of my irrationality. We walked over to a car service dispatcher, got on a towncar, and ended up back at my place where we had a small talk about our exes before finally catching some much needed ZzZz’s.

First week of the holiday party season over and done. It was fun but very exhausting. It’s also been a very educating week. I’ve learned that we are both humans, and as humans we both bleed when we get cut. I forget that he, too, is just like me in many aspects. We are both insecure. We are both afraid. We are both emotional. We are both our own worse enemy inside our head. As much as I sometimes think he seems invincible, he is not and neither am I, and this anxiety is a killer. I enjoy pushing myself yet I do see how sometimes I need to slow down and take a break. On that note, I’m looking forward to the next couple of days. We’ve decided it’s just gonna be us, quiet nights, and some much needed night time sexy time.

“I just want you for my own more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true: All I want for Christmas is you! You baby!”

King Of Pain

“There’s a little black spot on the sun today. It’s the same old thing as yesterday. There’s a black cat caught in a high tree top. There’s a flag-pole rag and the wind won’t stop.”

We were back in our bed and it felt great to wake up in it. Without wasting much time, we reverted to familiar habits and had our almost daily session of morning sexy time. A joint shower followed, and then work. I only stopped for a second at the office before returning to British Airways to finish our project there. After the 20 minutes of hard work, they threw a party for the inauguration of their new headquarters, and I was privileged enough to be invited.

I was feeling a bit anxious and still tired from the trip so I opted to take advantage of the free wine and numb myself normal. It didn’t work.

I tried distracting myself by befriending the sassy American-Italian receptionist I’d met on previous occasions, but that didn’t do much either.

I drank more and more till it was time to leave. Crippled, I took the train back to work where I was to meet ‘Nickle’ so we could walk the Williamsburg bridge back home and, although we’d planned a quite night just the two of us, we invited ‘Fixie’ to join us for dinner last minute.

After enjoying a cornucopia of grilled root vegetables, a couple of beers, and a few shots of whiskey, we went to the much missed Abbey to continue drinking and continue settling in to our mode de vie. Bad idea. I was still exhausted from the trip and that, plus the alcohol, plus my usual insanity ended up colliding into one massive clusterfuck of anxiety. I blew up. I am not exactly sure when, how, or why but it wasn’t pretty.

The bits and pieces I remember do not paint a pretty picture. I was uncontrollably emotional and somehow I managed to tell both ‘Fixie’ and ‘Nickle’ to leave me to my own self. Luckily, they were smart enough to fight me back and keep me in check. I, apparently, was also telling my babe not to leave because he was having a moment too and was about to step out. Like I said, I’m not really sure what went on but eventually I passed out with minimal damage done.

Wednesday I tried to pick up the pieces. ‘Nickle’ woke me up just as he was about to leave for work. Like I mentioned, I’m sure I was extremely exhausted because normally I wake up with him. He kissed me and said everything was alright. I walked to the kitchen table to find a note that read “Don’t let me fuck this up, please! I love you.” Are you kidding me!? I’m really not sure what happened, but what I am certain is that I should be the one writing such things. I laid in bed hoping I didn’t have to go to work because I was a complete emotional mess. Still exhausted. Still hung over. Still exposed.

I got up and talked to ‘Fixie’ who gave me his own version of the night. It was also spotty, but comforting in a weird way. I was not looking forward to work because I don’t like my job anymore. There! I said it. It does not bring me the joy and distraction from the rest of my life than it used to. Now I go to work because I have to. Because of my integrity. Because I care. Other than that, there really isn’t anything appealing. I practically work for free. I no longer want to be associated with the image the new boss has brought. I slowly and surely feel like I care less and less because other than me and a coworker, nobody seems to do so! Alright! Enough venting… back to the story.

I did end up taking a shower, freaking out, sucking it up, and going to work. Refer to the title. The bf and I made plans to have dinner together and have an early night. That thought lasted for a second. The lovely ‘Jose Maria’, ‘Viquers’, and ‘Fixie’ asked to meet for drinks, and ‘Nickle’ suggested going to Solas before venturing off to the ramen spot where we ate the second date we ever had. I, of course, obliged. I used to get mad about stuff like this, but I’ve come to realize that I shouldn’t. Although I often wish we could just go home, I can’t deny that I love to drink and go out. Maybe that’s the whole problem, it annoys me that I can’t say no although I really think I should sometime… but then again we go back to the thinking. I think too often. I think too much. I’m thinking. Right now. As I’m typing. More on that later…

And so we did. We ended up at Solas where, despite having agreed that maybe we should stop on the shots, we backtracked to “we’ll only take shots when offered, and not ask for them ourselves”. Who am I kidding? We are our own worst influence.

We left after a couple of beers and a couple of shots. To be honest, I did not feel anywhere near drunk. We nixed the noodle bar and somehow we ended in the middle of a shut-down 12th street at Motorino’s. Obama was dinning a few blocks west. We talked about the previous night and he reassured me I had his full support. It was all going well. I fell in love again. Deeper. Harder.

After the presidential caravan sped down the street just as we were ready to leave, we were allowed to step out into the sidewalk. We took the train back to Brooklyn and off into The Abbey we went. More unnecessary drinks and after taking a wrong turn somewhere between sanity and typical me, I lost it again. There was a little intervention performed. To my luck, everybody loves me and was trying to calm me down and be there with ‘Nickle’ who I feel like sometimes gets scared and does not know what to do with me. I’m not sure how much longer we stayed out.

Thursday morning we woke up to find all of our clothes strategically scattered around my room and spilling into the living room. We both could not remember what happened. And just like the weather, after the storm came the calm. We were being extremely affectionate with each other to the point where we fooled around, passed out, fooled around again, took a shower, and ‘Nickle’ ended up being late to work. He suggested we meet for lunch, but since we had already had our share of eating ass and sucking on dick, we figured we were pleasantly satiated for the afternoon. Instead, I skyped with ‘Jose Maria’ who gave me his always insightful two cents to the evening: we need to stop this cycle because it’s not going to be pretty later. I agreed.

I went to work with the same attitude and excitement I’d been having the past few days except this time I was a bit distracted daydreaming about the fact that I was going to see my old shrink for the first time in 21 months right after work! Right at 7pm I flew out the door and into the uptown 6 to go to 43rd and 2nd for a much needed paid 90 minutes of venting.

I should probably not disclose the exact details of my now reinstated weekly visits, but I will say this: the first time was eye opening. I was anxious and unstable the whole hour and a half and, although I felt somewhat comforted, I also felt more scared. I suppose it’s normal to feel that way since I was about to start tackling some skeletons that, just like I did, need to come out of the closet.

I left the shrink raw. First thing I did? I updated my Facebook status to state just that. I called ‘Jose Maria’ who instructed me to do anything but meet ‘Nickle’ since I was probably too emotional to do so. Instead, he suggested I come to Balthazar to meet him and the Greeks for ‘Tiny Narcissus’s’ going away dinner. I followed instructions.

The whole time I kept debating whether I wanted to drink or not and what time it would seem fitting to leave without making it seem like all I wanted to do was run into my baby’s arms and fall asleep on his chest. I drank. We ate. I calmed down for a second and before I knew it, we were paying for the bill and on our way out. The Greeks were going to The Standard and, although that sounded somewhat appealing since I hadn’t been there in months, I opted to join ‘Jose Maria’ for a couple of drinks at 10 Degrees so I could give him my two cents on the bartender who he currently fancies.

We took a cab to the bar and I continued to try and make sense of the plethora of emotions I was feeling. Nothing was coming out as expected. I wasn’t making much sense. I continued drinking and blabbering and going back and forth between thoughts. Useless. I made plans with ‘Nickle’ to meet at 11:45pm. It was 12:15am and I was still at the bar. I took a cab back to my place where I was supposed to meet the boyfriend, but I texted him right after getting off the bridge to find out that he was still at the bar where he’d been. I was a bit disappointed because that’s what I do. Sometimes I expect people to read my mind, and in my  mind I expected him to be home or at least on his way there. I let it go and just decided to meet him for a couple of more drinks. We cabbed it back home at a semi-decent hour and went to bed.

Upon waking up that Friday morning, ‘Nickle’ brought up a much obvious point: shots get us too crazy and we should probably refrain from taking them every single time we go out. He attributed his moment of Eureka to a talk he had with an old friend the previous night. Whatever it was, I was happy that one of us was actually thinking. No, I’ve never been a shot enthusiast, but I also don’t mind them, and I too practice other unwise behaviors I should probably reevaluate.

We were being lazy and really hung over so we didn’t shower. We’d been getting a lot into the intoxicating natural sent of our pits and, with that being established, we decided to skip the morning primping and instead add insult to injury by biking to work. Also, the bike ride would mean that later that night we’d have to bike back, and thus not get as wasted as we usually do. Yeah right…

I spent my day at work nursing my ill liver. I wanted to have a somewhat chill night so I emailed my boyfriend about a movie that had just opened and that I really wanted to see. The email went to Bulk Mail and right before I was about to leave, I texted him to ask why I never heard back. He mentioned he never saw the email and that he’d already made plans with friends to which I was, of course, invited. Drinks ensued at Solas.

Upon arriving, his friends noted that I was a bit off. They were right. I was. I’d been. On occasion, I still am. I blamed tiredness and the remnants of our exhausting Midwest road trip. They bought my story which bought me enough time to drink myself sane.

We were all hungry so we walked over to a ramen spot for some noodles. After food, some of the wiser crowd went home, the other went to a club, we were going to pick up our bikes and ride home but instead ended up back at Solas. We stayed for a couple of drinks till I received a text from the Greeks begging us to come to The Chelsea Hotel for ‘Tiny Narcissus’s’ last night out. With our best interest clearly in mind, we decided to oblige.

After the drunken bike ride to Chelsea, we finally arrived to our destination. We went in and danced and drank for a bit. I was a tad concerned of ‘Nickle’ and the Greeks getting along. They’re from two separate worlds in many different ways. I, being somewhere in the middle, can go one way or the other, but asking either of the other ends to trek to the opposite side is a bit more challenging. Regardless, he did better than I expected and, after losing himself in a few good tunes (I knew he’d like the music), we left to bike home. Big mistake.

Less than a block into my bike ride I stupidly ran into a parked SUV and hurt my leg. The numbing ethanol flowing through my veins provided just the right amount of anesthesia to allow me to get back on the bike and ride to the L train to somehow get home crippled but safe.The whole trip, ‘Nickle’ insisted on helping me out but I stubbornly kept trying to prove myself I could do it on my own so I wouldn’t let him. I ended up paying the price the morning after.

Saturday morning was my second of three intensive visits to the shrink. I woke up early and took a cab to her office as my man stayed home to run some much needed errands. The session was more intense than before. She commenced our talk with an apology for having, according to her, fallen for my showmanship and having spent a year worth of therapy dealing with issues which she claimed I used to mask the true underlying source of my anxiety. I’d go into the specific details regarding my homosexuality, money, codependency, and emotional withdrawal, but basically, it all boils down to daddy and mommy issues.

I left her office even more raw than before and even more terrified. The first thing I did was I called ‘Nickle’ to ask him if he was sure he wanted in because, if I was going to do this, I was probably going to have to do this with him by my side and, although it’s my own battle and I’m good at doing things on my own, sometimes I do need the support. He said he would and I firmly believe his words.

I left therapy and headed for work with an open wound. The day was not easy. What else is new?

That night, we made plans to go to the movies and then have dinner with ‘Martha’ and ‘Mrs. O’. After our first option was sold out, we ended up at The Angelika watching Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene which left a very sour taste in both our mouths and made me feel both hopeless (that I’ll never get better) and hopeful (that I’m not as fucked up as the main character). After the movie, we ventured to the awfully camp Hell’s Kitchen. We had a sip of wine at ‘Martha’s’ and then some food at a restaurant around the corner somewhere on 9th and the 40’s. Dinner was pleasant. From there we went to a dive bar a few blocks north to have a nightcap before heading back to Brooklyn. We took two shots and downed two beers. I received a text from a friend who used to live in the city but now lives in LA to inform me she was in town for the night and invite me to my other friend’s apartment for a drink since it was on the way home. We left Hell’s Kitchen and hailed a cab. Apparently, I had a moment in the cab. I do not remember the ride quite well. I do remember, however, stopping by my friend’s. I’m not sure how long we stayed but I assume it wasn’t long. We took another cab home and next thing I know (or… don’t know, actually) I was passed out and wasted.

I woke up on Sunday morning earlier than I wanted to because I wanted to make breakfast for us. I finished the remainder of the soyrizo ‘Ceviche Mama’ had mailed us from LA and made another scramble. I nixed the shower and ran out the door to my third and last shrink appointment. This time around, I felt more reassured than the previous two, and actually left feeling hopeful instead of devastatingly hopeless. I’d like to say that I think this is a good thing, but “worst case scenario” me irrationally thought already that it’s just that I was on a high, rather than a low, and that eventually it’ll all go back to the shitty usual. C’est la vie. The funniest thing about this is how I can totally recognize my behavior patterns, yet I feel completely powerless against them.

As planned, I walked over to the southeast corner of Central Park to meet ‘Nickle’ for a daytime date at the Guggenheim. On my way there, I spotted the holiday Lady Gaga workshop entrance at Barney’s and suggested to my babe that we check it out because, you know, that’s what the gays do. We spent about an hour and eighty-five dollars and then we got back on track. We decided to walk up by the park on 5th ave towards the museum because, you know, that’s what cute gay couples do on a Sunday afternoon. We got side tracked yet again, and instead of heading to the Gug, we ended at the Met. I became a member of my favorite museum in New York and we dilly dallied for a few hours till we decided to forget about the Maurizio Cattelan exhibit and just head to The Seahorse Tavern  for some early dinner before heading back to Brooklyn.

Dinner was splendid. We obviously had drinks but we limited the shots to just two. We were doing progress.

Our Sunday all day date continued with the obvious: a movie. We met up with ‘Fixie’, ‘Clive’, and ‘Gwen’ for a double (and a half) date to watch The Muppets. The movie was exactly what was needed to redeem the experience of watching the other utterly depressing movie the night before. It was light, it was witty, it was funny, it was right. My only complaint was that I was feeling a bit anxious and sometime towards the end a girl sitting right behind me had an epileptic seizure that scared the shit out of everyone inside the theatre. All I kept thinking as I stared in fear was that I was even more afraid of being in a similar situation and not knowing what to do. Yes, sometimes the anxiety is that much.

We left the theatre and walked over to a bar called The Boat where they were having x-mas craft night. We started drinking without any shots in mind and I frantically tried to keep myself busy to keep myself from giving in to the extraordinarily high levels of anxiety I was feeling. I was on the edge and neither the alcohol, nor the crafts were helping with my manic state. After a few drinks I managed to control it to the point where it was bearable. Because of my mania, I outcrafted everyone in the room and the bartender rewarded me with a shot. Just before leaving, two more followed.

We all disbanded and we walked back to the G train to head north to Williamsburg.

The train ride was a bit better. My babe noticed my state and commented on it. I told him that sometimes I just really want to control it all by myself so that’s why I chose not to ask for help. We went home, talked for a bit, I freaked out for a few, and then we crowned the amazing day with some much wanted butt sex just before going to bed. I didn’t use a condom.

That week is probably one of the most emotionally draining weeks I’ve had in a long time. I ripped some bandages, created new wounds, and reopened some old ones. It is the first time in a really long time that I’ve felt scared. Scared of myself, but not in a “teenage crazy” kind of way. I know my place in this world, and I’m not going anywhere. My only comment is that, just how I told my shrink, I never did plan for much of a future, and now that things are going great with work and the boyfriend, I’m just absolutely terrified of it. I don’t know how to act, and I fear I’m just going to make mistakes and lose everything. Mom and Dad issues.

I love my man, and the whole condom situation meant more than a careless act (like many people might think). I had promised myself I would never do that again after my ex, not because I was cheated on, but because I didn’t think I could ever develop that level of trust towards someone else. Am I worried about STD’s? Of course! I’m the king of hypochondria. Do I think he will give me something? Absolutely not! Unless he’s very secretly having random unprotected sex when he’s at work, I know he’s clean and he wouldn’t ever think to jeopardize us. How would I react if something happened? To be honest, I can live with an STD, you take a pill and you go on with your day. The real killer is the loss of trust. There are definitely no pills in the whole universe to recover that.

“I have stood here before inside the pouring rain with the world turning circles running ’round my brain, I guess I’m always hoping that you’ll end this reign, but it’s my destiny to be the king of pain.”

Combat Baby.

“Said it all before. They try to kick it, their feet fall asleep. I want to be wrong but, no one here wants to fight me like you do.”

Stone cold sober. I smoked my last cigarette, I drank my last shot. I started meds last Tuesday. Nothing too serious, just an annoying skin infection I’ve apparently had for 10 years and had never really dealt with. The time I’ve had it goes to show how mild it is but, like most things, there comes a point when you have to deal with it and, after delaying it for several months (I was diagnosed and prescribed treatment last August), I finally decided to man up and embark on my 6 weeks of sobriety.

I was excited to go to work on Tuesday morning. I knew it would be a busy day and I was looking forward to it keeping my mind off things. Unfortunately, with a big load of work, comes a big load of stress, and with a big load of stress comes a big load of cravings for a damn cigarette! It was a long day. I probably bought every single type of gum and candy I could find to keep my mouth busy. I’ve quit before and I’ve never felt the urge to light up as bad as I have this time. Texts went back in both directions between me and ‘Nickle’. We were fighting the same war but in different fronts. It was somewhat comforting to know I wasn’t the only one, but still a task harder than I imagined.

I got done with work and went home. I had made plans earlier that day with a friend from college to give her two more full packs of cigarettes I had found in my jackets that morning as I was getting ready to leave my place. We were meeting for dinner. My babe biked to my place and we walked to Wild Ginger. I had not seen this girl in a really long time, probably a year, and I had not properly hung out with her since… probably college. It was a great evening. She is effortlessly beautiful inside and out, and one of the easiest people to connect with. I gave her her present, she gave me some advice on not drinking. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, she’s been sober for two years. The evening continued and, as it often happens, there was a point when ‘Nickle’ went to the bathroom and she took the time to say what I always here: he’s great, he’s really nice, we look good together. Again, it never gets old.

Dinner ended and we headed home. No one was drinking so there was really no reason to go to a bar or keep hanging out (how sad). We went home, laid on the couch, and tried to watch Crazy Stupid Love. We were unsuccessful and kept falling asleep so we opted for bed. Once in bed, one kiss led to another and we ended up fooling around. A pair of orgasms later, we were both sound asleep.

Wednesday morning was another early day. It was the first morning in a really (and I cannot stress that enough) long time I woke up completely sober. No morning cigarette. No morning chugging of two bottles of vitamin water to rehydrate. No morning trying to remember what happened the night before. Instead, I was somewhat productive and went to pick up some business cards for my boss right before heading to work. Again, the stress of my day along with the stress of not smoking made my day long and arduous but I made it through. The thought of seeing the boyfriend definitely helped.

After work, we went to a charity auction in SoHo. Free drinks and hors d’oeuvres. I, of course, was sipping water, but I still had fun. I bid on a handwriting analysis, and a few day laters I was notified I won. We didn’t stay for long. We left after about an hour and headed to Mooncake Foods for a proper dinner. Sadly, my sandwich was oozing with onions and, having the pet peeves I have about restaurant food, I went into a fit, I picked through the pieces of fried tofu and left the rest. Regardless, the baby enjoyed his meal so it was all worth it.

We headed back to Brooklyn and made a pit stop at Saint’s Alp for some bubble tea before heading to The Abbey. It was one of the bartenders’ birthday so we stopped for some cake and a shot of champagne. I was a bit delirious because it had been two full days of sobriety and I was stressed and annoyed. My handsome man had been trying his best to be there for me, but still I felt alone and annoyed. A part of me just wanted to lock myself in my room and not come out for 6 weeks. Thinking back on it only makes me rant more, so I’ll stop now… In all fairness, I’m glad my babe stuck around. It significantly helped to not feel I was doing this solo.

We went home and passed out early. Another dull night. Another notch on my advent calendar.

Thursday morning was more of the same. No drinking, no smoking, and work. For the evening, I had plans of going to Elmgreen and Dragset’s play “Happy Days in the Art World” at NYU’s Skirball Center. I met ‘Nickle’ and ‘The Lady of Derbishire’ outside the venue 15 minutes before, and without a cigarette, we walked in. The play was absolutely amazing. Entertaining. Funny. Witty. Challenging. Concise. I’ve always been a fan of their work, but this just made it even better.

Still not being able to drink or smoke, we left and went for some burgers at Stand4 near Union Square. They had a margarita special that I was unable to partake in. I was annoyed and stressed. I painfully downed my salmon burger and sweet potato fries and went home with my papa. Again, he’s been the best sport. We went to bed early.

Friday, ditto. After work, I met ‘Nickle’ and co. for an art show somewhere off Clinton and Grand near the Williamsburg Bridge. Again, drinks were passed right in front of me but this time I decided to have one. I was stressed and annoyed. A glass of cheap gallery white wine was not going to kill me, and if it did, so be it! ‘The Lady of Derbishire’ had invited us to dine with her and one of the people from Marfa who was in town. We said we’d meet her sometime around 9 pm, but plans, of course, never go as planned. Me, ‘Nickle’, and two of his friends ended up at my place where we waited for ‘The Lady of Derbishire’, then at The Abbey, later at Vinnie’s for some pizza, and finally at some bar near Metropolitan and  Union where the spastic cowboy artist was crashing a wedding. He wasn’t really paying much attention to us, and I was still annoyed and tired so I asked to leave. The girls who were with us went home, and ‘Nickle’ suggested we go back to my place. I responded with a “Let’s go back to The Abbey” because I felt like I was boring the shit out of him.

And so we did. And I somewhat regretted it. We stumbled into a really good friend of him who, do not get me wrong, I love! But, he was very drunk and got kicked out of the bar so we took him back to my place. All was fine, I would totally do that for any of my friends, any of his close friends, or anyone who really needed it… but a slight part of me just really wished we had just gone home so I could get lost on my babe’s chest as I fell promptly asleep… regardless, I was glad to lend a helping hand.

Saturday morning my love had the day off, I had to go to work. He spent most of the day running errands around my place. There was a lot of production work to be done at my job and I was busy for most of the day. The cigarette cravings were subsiding. Towards the end of the day, the new boss decided to pull out our old habits and offered to have a drink with the rest of us. I finished my beer and headed out. I wanted to see a movie with ‘Nickle’ but he was uptown drinking at The Seahorse Tavern so I opted to go meet him. I was still annoyed I couldn’t drink and I was a bit worried that everyone was already going to be of their way to alcohol induced amnesia. To my surprise, they absolutely weren’t… or didn’t seem to at least. I ordered a beer and joined in. All was fun and good times till my babe kept insisting for a cigarette. At first I told him not to think about it and just have gum (our substitute for nicotine), but eventually, and I knew exactly when he changed his mind, he came out of the bathroom with a fag in mouth letting me know he was going to smoke it. I insisted I wouldn’t be happy but, of course, he’s his own person and can do whatever. After a slight mental tug-o-war, he decided against smoking. I was very happy yet a bit perturbed. I obviously didn’t want him to have the cigarette, yet at the same time I was being weary of sounding nagging, and I also didn’t want him to resent me for asking him not to. Later that evening, he thanked me, and I was glad to have stuck to my guns.

We had agreed to go to the movies after a drink, but one thing led to another and we ended up at The Abbey. One more beer, one more shot, and then off to Sugarland, because we’d also agreed we wanted to dance. The club was empty. Regardless, we acted like complete fools and jumped and pranced around the empty dance floor to some pretty awful remixes of gay dance classics, and left as soon as it got crowded (about 8 more people than when we started). We went back to The Abbey to see if ‘Nickle’s’ friend was still there and what her plans were. She decided to stay, we had one more round and went to bed.

I started to feel guilty about my drinking. It wasn’t a lot by my standards, but I’m sure anyone would disagree that 4 beers and 3 shots is nothing when you’re not supposed to drink. ‘Nickle’ got a bit emotional as well and in his inebriated state stated he wasn’t going to let me drink or drink with me for the rest of the time I wasn’t supposed to. I took this with a grain of salt knowing we had a future Thanksgiving trip to Chicago to visit his best friend who, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, is also quite the drinker. Never the less, I took his word and reminded him the next morning.

Sunday was my first official weekend day off since I’ve changed my schedule at work. Now I’m doing Tuesday – Saturday so I can have at least one day free together with ‘Nickle’. We were still not drinking and, after the previous two nights where I had decided to ignore the surgeon general’s warnings, I was ready to continue that. I felt a mix of guilt, and physical pain for having so irresponsibly overlooked the doctor’s suggestions.

Continuing my usual Dominical traditions, the babe made us pancakes. Delicious. We later had some sexy time and then took showers. The day started slow, but picked up a bit since we were hosting a sober game night later in the evening. I got a call to go to work to drop off some stuff, so we decided to kill a few birds with one stone and walk with ‘Toto’ across the Williamsburg Bridge  to the Lower East Side,  pick up some Vanessa’s dumplings, stop by my job, and walk back. It was exactly what I’d been needing. ‘Nickle’ had been such a great sport about my drinking conundrum, and I just wanted for him to be happy, and I think the activities of the day helped.

We got back to my place around 6 pm and started making food. People showed up about an hour or two after that. The night, which was completely atypical to say the least, was actually fun. I was very weary about boring my guests and, more importantly, my love, but they were all great sports. Other than ‘Mexican Paddington’ and ‘The Queen of the Dammed’, no one drank a drop of alcohol. ‘Fixie’ and ‘Viquers’ were actually mad at me for having slipped the past few days. To my utmost surprise, ‘Jose Maria’ was completely sober, and ‘Occhio’ and one of my coworkers, who weren’t really getting in tune with the rest of the crew, were sober as well.

At around midnight and after about five rounds of Apples to Apples later they all went home. Me and the bf hit the sack and passed out rather quickly. I think I was starting to get used to falling asleep sans ethanol.

Mondee, without me knowing, would turn out to be my last officially forced sober day. We woke up rather early, and being completely sober and without a hang over, we enjoyed another round of sexy time. I love morning sex and I’m glad ‘Nickle’ does too. There’s no better way to start my days. I received a very early message from ‘The Lady of Derbishire’ to go meet her at school so we could film the last interview of the documentary we’ve been working on. It was a bit last minute but Mondays are my day off so I had no reason not to be able to do so. After cumming, I showered and headed to CUNY. We picked up the equipment needed for filming and took the A train south to Chelsea. We met the people involved with the Marfa project at Hotel Americano somewhere on the high 20’s between 10th and 11th ave.

This time, the interviewees were the artists behind the project. They were unbelievably nice and helpful. The filming went flawless and after we joined them for lunch. I didn’t have to officially work, but I did have to stop by at some point and open the place for other people who needed to be there, so at around quarter to 2 pm, I left 40 bucks on the table, excused myself, and headed to SoHo.

I arrived 5 minutes late, and people were a bit annoyed, but I ignored their moodiness, open the doors, and decided to stay the day and work on personal projects. I updated the blog, and scheduled a few other fun sober nights for me and ‘Nickle’. We are going to see Warhorse on the 15th. I also waited for him to get off work so we could have a quiet night. We were going to cross the Williamsburg bridge together again, rent a movie, and have a night in. I, however, stupidly suggested we go to Beauty and Essex for dinner to have some grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings that I had heard they served but had never tried. His response to that was happy hour oysters, dumplings, and then a hamburger pizza. A bit gluttonous for my taste, but not something I wouldn’t normally be fine with, except my stomach was killing me. To that point, I’d been having a bunch of side effects from the medicine and was not feeling sexy or in the mood for indulging too much.

He picked me up and we did walk to the oyster bar. Within minutes of getting there he asked if I was OK with him having a beer. I lied and said yes. The reason I say I lied is because, normally, I wouldn’t care, except he had promised a couple nights earlier he wouldn’t drink in solidarity with me, and now he was instantaneously asking for a beer the moment we walked in. I didn’t say anything and just let myself get in a weird mood.

After a few minutes of mentally debating whether I should speak up or not, I finally did. It didn’t create much of a problem but it did put a slight damper on my already psychotic state of mind (it was harder than I thought to quit smoking and drinking at the same time). At the end, I think he did understand my point. We left and went to Beauty and Essex, had a few appetizers, talked a bit more about the night, and worked it all out. The thing I love about us is how vocal we are and how we will talk it out till it’s sorted out.

Sometimes I feel really controlling, crazy, and demanding when I let these things get to me, but I just feel like I shouldn’t need to point them out because, first of all, I am incredibly giving and I do things without others even expecting or suggesting me to do it; and second, because he did promise me something, and to me promises mean so much that sometimes I’d rather people not make them because I hold them in a higher regard than I think most people do.

I snapped out of my mental jam, and became a bit more accommodating to his needs. We left the restaurant and walked over to Rosario’s for his slice of pizza, and then across the bridge. I wasn’t feeling the best stomach wise, but the physical activity helped. We rented “Paris is Burning” on the way home. We didn’t get to watch it, we had food coma and just wanted to go to bed.

Like I mentioned a few paragraphs above, this was my last day of forceful sobriety. It was a tough week. I kind of wish it would’ve lasted longer, yet at the same time, I was glad to have done it, even if it was just for a bit. I was losing my mind and I was taking people down with me and did not feel like continuing to do so. I’m not making excuses for myself, I really didn’t know how hard not drinking was going to be. Maybe one day in the future I’ll give it a second shot? I guess, for the moment, I’m just not as strong as I thought I was.

“Combat baby! Come back baby!  Fight off the lethargy, don’t go quietly. Combat baby! Said you would never give up easy”

Stand By Me

“So what’s the matter with you? Sing me something new. Don’t you know the cold and wind and rain don’t know, they only seem to come and go away.”

My week started great. Last Monday, on my day off, I repeated last week’s pattern to a point and met ‘Mexican Paddington’ and ‘The Queen of the Dammed’ for lunch at the same Korean fast food joint we had met 6 days prior. This time, I was much more relaxed. I hadn’t had my usual anxiety episode with ‘Nickle’ and things were going great.We made plans to meet later that night for couple’s dinner.

After lunch, I walked over to Smythson of Bond Street on 56th and 6th to purchase a 472 dollar Kelly green leather bound notebook for ‘The Cock of the North’. As I’ve mentioned, he’s leaving the city to move back home for health reasons, and me and my coworkers decided to get him something special. I then walked back with ‘Mexican Paddington’ towards his office but first we made a pit stop at Barney’s. I spent a pretty penny on four pairs of socks and was surprised at how my spending habits have changed. I was questioning the price of good design, and could not manage to be as careless as I was before and spend $300 on a shirt. What’s going on with me!? I suppose it’s a good thing, and I think it all has to do with dating ‘Nickle’. He makes me look at things from different perspectives and come up with new convictions.

I left Barneys and took a train towards Chelsea to go look for stuff for my Halloween costume. I got off the A train at Madison Square Garden and decided to walk over to the free clinic and get my usual check up. I had no specific reason to do so other than I wanted to eliminate the window period since last time I got tested so I could be as clean as a whistle for my man. Again, he makes me want to be a better person.

After reading about 30 pages of the book he’d lent me a few months ago, I got my results. Clean as a whistle indeed. I texted him a picture of my bandaged finger and told him the obvious news. I left the clinic and walked to some costume shops on 23rd street and scored more pieces for my ensemble.

Having a few hours to kill, I stopped by the movie theatre near Union Square to watch 50/50. It had been a while since the last time I had been to the movies by myself, and I’d forgotten how good it makes me feel. It is empowering. The movie, despite being great, was unbelievably depressing in so many levels. From the story itself to the production, I found myself getting sadder and sadder. It also made me think a lot about my babe because one drunken night I’d ask him how he felt about terminal diseases and he didn’t take it well. I, of course, do not want that for either of us, but I did think that no matter what, I’m sticking around. After all, I’ve always ended up being a good nurse to those close to me.

I left the theatre and walked to the art store to purchase more accessories for the weekend festivities. I ran into a couple of friends who coincidentally were going to join us for dinner, and told them I’d catch up with them later. As scheduled earlier that day, I met my papa at Urge for a couple of drinks before walking over to Peels.

Dinner was weird. It was really fun to hang out with everyone in different circumstances, last time ‘Nickle’ had met this group of friends it wasn’t the best, and I wanted to change that impression. The food, however, was horrible, and the service was even worse. After staying there long enough to close the place, we all decided never again. It was expensive, and other than the company, it was not something I’d ever want to repeat. The lesbians, ‘Mexican Paddington’ and ‘The Queen of the Dammed’, went home to have lesbian time. The boyfriend and I took the rest of the group to Swift for a few more drinks. We didn’t stay much longer. We had a few cigarettes and a few nice talks and left for my place. Bed ensued promptly.

Tuesday, having neglected my house guest the whole time she was here, I started my second day off by having brunch at Five Leaves with ‘Titi’ and then continued to look for the final touches of my last costume. Sadly, thrift store shopping proved futile and managed to disappoint me yet again. Instead, I put my college degree to use and went to the garment district, purchased three yards of tacky stretchy sequined fabric in different colors, and went home to make my outfit. For the parade I’m going to be one of 6 or 7 Richard Simmons hybrids (I’m thinking black face).

Later that evening, I had plans for dinner and a show with the babe. I sewed till the last minute and left my apartment around 7 pm. I met ‘Nickle’ and his friend in Union Square and we walked to Rai Rai Ken for some noodle yumminess. We then walked to Webster Hall, but realizing the show wouldn’t start for another hour, we continued walking to Phoenix for a pre-gig drink. A couple, literally, of ‘Nickle’s’ friends met us there and the night really began.

As mentioned, we had a show to catch so we only stayed for a bit. Then we returned to the venue for the performance. It was fun and funny both at the same time, and the thing I appreciated the most is that my love took the time to plan it out.

Wanting an unnecessary nightcap after the show, we marched to nowhere where we did just that. Have a nightcap. His friends left and we headed to Brooklyn. Another pit stop at The Abbey, another brief anxiety attack, and then we passed out.

Wednesday morning I woke up a bit hung over and spent from the attack. I went to work and had lunch with ‘Titi’ who was leaving later in the evening. My day was going really good, actually, despite my psychological issues, and for some reason shit just kept happening left and right. For instance, I found out that ‘Fixie’s’ man was breaking up with him (again!!), but had forewarned him via email. The man scheduled the break up! Also, ‘Jose Maria’ informed me he might have to move back to Greece in January because he hasn’t been able to find a job. A part of me wants to slap him! I am aware it’s hard, but not impossible, and to be frank, I think he’s just not really trying hard enough. Last but not least, it finally dawned on me that ‘The Cock of the North’ is leaving, and I’m having a slight problem readjusting to my new boss and the work ambiance.

That night I had plans with ‘Fixie’ to get wasted and blur the shit day he was having. ‘Nickle’ had said that he really wanted to see me, even if just for a bit, because he was feeling really good about us. Without a doubt I obliged. Like I mentioned, I was having a good day and I wanted to make it even better. He picked me up at the gallery and we walked to Solas for a few rounds. I hadn’t eaten, so I also ordered delivery whilst at the bar. ‘Fixie’ was going to call me when he was done with his ex and on his way to me. Surprisingly enough, he called me about half hour before expected and I rushed to meet him without any time to eat my freshly delivered food. I had invited ‘Nickle’ but he wanted me to have one on one with my friend, so he said he’d meet later.

We met outside my place to drop off our stuff and headed to The Abbey. We followed the plan we’d deviced and started drinking more and more, shots and beers, at a steady and constant pace. My babe met us after going home for a second and taking care of some personal business. When he got there I was clearly intoxicated. My head started fucking with me and I started having anxiety. What can I say? I really don’t know what to say… wish I knew how to change it (other than the obvious “don’t drink”).

For this instance, my anxiety revolved around being with my boyfriend and one of my best friends, two people who I love, and two people who I feel are way more relationship material than I am. I stupidly started convincing myself that it makes much more sense for ‘Nickle’ to be with someone like ‘Fixie’ who is more sane and can handle relationships better than I can… and it all went downhill from there. We eventually left and, in the confines of my apartment, I made my anxiety attack more public. Again, my babe calmed me down. Again, I felt stupid and feared that he one day will get sick of me. Again, I more and more firmly believe part of the anxiety has to do with a chemical imbalance. Again, I’m confused.

Thursday morning I woke up feeling a bit better. The night had passed, the anxiety was subdued, and after my almost-daily sexy time with my hon, I went to work. Again, he surprised me with plans for a play at BAM that night. He picked me up and, in the midst of a rainy day, we headed to Brooklyn. I was really tired and, although the play was lively and entertaining, I snoozed off a few times. Nevertheless, I was feeling better. I like having dates like this with my boy, dates where all we do is hang out just the two of us and do dinner and a movie, or some other cliche chain of events.

On that note, after the play we walked over to a cute little French restaurant a few blocks away and had a quaint little dinner. Escargot, beet salad, and fish, I believe. I wasn’t in a big plan of drinking because it’s been too tiring and taxing on my anxiety, and I want to keep it under control so that it doesn’t interfere with me and my babe but… I’m an alcoholic, and I’m also in a relationship that was about to turn a month old, so of course drinks ensued. First, we went to a bar a couple of blocks away, then I believe we went home, but we might’ve stopped by The Abbey. I wasn’t drunk, I just can’t remember.

Friday I had a relatively early day. I had to meet with ‘The Lady of Derbyshire’ for more filming of the Marfa documentary I’ve been helping her make. This time we interviewed the women in charge of Art Production Fund who sponsored the project. It was, as has the rest of the project been, a unique experience. Both girls were such characters. Their outfits, stark black and designer clad from head to toes, along with their strikingly straight hair, was a nice contrast to their welcoming personality. They were both superbly nice, and completely helpful and enthusiastic about the project, which was surprising considering it’s hard to come across people like that in the art world.

The interview ended at around noon. I called ‘Nickle’ since I was close to his work and met hit at his office where he introduced me to all his coworkers who, as expected, loves him and has heard wonders of me. I’m still not tired of this. We were going to grab lunch, but we didn’t due to lack of time. Instead he drove me to work.

The day went by ridiculously fast. That night, we had plans to meet at the office for some farewell cocktails for ‘The Cock of the North’. Not everyone who should’ve showed up did, but a couple who weren’t necessarily supposed come to came, and it all turned out nice. ‘Nickle’ met up at some point, because he wanted to say a proper goodbye to my boss. They’ve really hit it off right away, and it’s a shame we didn’t get to have more time to hang out ensemble.

I got a bit emotional. I drank myself stupid and reminisced on the days a year ago when I first started working here… Oh how I’ve grown with them.

One by one we all started leaving. I was given the task of making sure everyone left at an appropriate time. Despite being wasted, I believe I did a good job and, at around 11 pm, we were out and on our separate ways. Me and ‘Nickle’ went to The Abbey for a nightcap and then home. Just like a depressingly melancholic feature film, I was the last one to go. I shut the lights off, set off the alarm, and walked our the side door. Me and ‘Nickle’ went to The Abbey for a nightcap and then home.

As with most of my time in this earth, this week proved to be a series of ups and downs, but somehow none of it surprises me anymore. I’ve come to terms with the good and the bad in my daily routines. Yes, anxiety is a big part of my life, and a part that I’ve been dealing with on my own. The scary issue now is opening up and dealing with it with someone who wants to be there for me through the good and the bad. I just need to convince myself that there’s people out there who feel just like me.

“Stand by me, nobody knows the way it’s gonna be.”

After Midnight (pt. 1)

“I can’t get my feet up off the edge, I kinda like the little rush you get when you’re standing close to death and you’re driving me crazy.”

It’s been forever since my last entry. I’ve been a bad writer but in my defense, I’m in love. I’ve been busy with ‘Nickel’ and although I have great things to write about, I’ve also been swamped with work and too hung over to focus… but fear not, here’s the first part of my past week and some change.

Last Wednesday was a long crazy day at work. Crazier than usual. We had one day between private events so I was overloaded with crews from both events packing and unpacking for the respective soirees. I had made plans with the Greeks to maybe have dinner at the Fatty Crab but for one reason or another it didn’t happen. Instead I called my babe and met up with him and his friends at Solas, he had plans to go with his friend to somewhere in south Brooklyn to check out the neighborhood before his friend settled on an apartment there. Of course we had more drinks than necessary and at about tenish we took the train to suburbia.

The hood was fine. Lots of brownstones, lots of brown people. We wanted to have dinner at some fried chicken place but sadly it was closed so we just walked till we found a bar we found appropriate and ate some southern food there. The bar, cheaply but aptly decorated, was nice, a potential good spot for future meet ups.

The whole night, I could sense ‘Nickle’ wasn’t in the right mood. After leaving the neighborhood we went back to The Abbey, as usual. We had a few more rounds of drinks and yet another long talk. For the first time ever, I managed to freak my man out. I casually mentioned that I see myself coming home to our apartment and seeing him waiting for me. He didn’t take it as casual as I meant it and got scared about the idea. Later I found out why, part of his baggage has to do with moving in with his ex, and it all made sense. I reassured him that I wasn’t pressuring him, and that I just meant that if he plans of having a life together with me, it only makes sense that at some point we need to stop paying two rents and start sharing closet space. A few days later, I cleaned a drawer for him.

Thursday the combination of alcohol and touchy conversations had me feeling a bit sick but, again, I was drowning in stuff to do at work so I barely had time to indulge my anxiety. That night we hosted an event by NASA and I got to meet Buzz Aldrin. I’d made plans to go see Sleep No More with my babe and his friends for his first time (and my second), so I spent the first two hours of the evening devouring the bite size hors d’oeuvres and drinking the various free cocktails I was being passed so I was in the right mood for the play.

I left at around 7 pm and met ‘Nickle’ and his friends for my second go at the previously underwhelming show. This time, I had a better experience. We gave it the first go together and at some point, despite wanting to be attached to his hip, I told him he should explore on his own. We all met back at the lobby bar, interchanged our annecdotes (mine much different that my first time there), and left to a nearby bar for a couple more drinks.

Before said bar, we grabbed a quick bite at a nearby deli and smoked a few ciggys. The night was slow from there. A few rounds later we were on our way back to Brooklyn and ready for bed.

Friday I purposely showed up to work a bit late. Again, I wanted to avoid the post-event clean up. I spent most of the day nursing my hang over and preparing for the night. ‘Nickle’s’ best friend was in town and judging from the first time I met him, I knew we’d be puking and stumbling back home. Not very different from our usual tho.

The babe picked me up at around close time and we walked over to Solas to dive into the craziness. Shots. That’s all I have to say. I was a bit nervous about the night. I of course wanted to hang out with the boyfriend, but I also wanted to give him some alone time with his bestie and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna feel left out. Being the amazing man he is, he did make me feel how he always says I should feel: “like the center of his world”. Shots.

The night turned into an insane, free and vastly flowing alcohol feast. We were rolling about 20 deep and I had more fun than I thought I would. Shots. His best friend, ‘Seek’, was already drunk, just like the first time I met him, except this time I got more quality time with him. I had a great time bonding and rebonding with my papa’s crew.

The plan included a dinner which never happened. Instead, we just picked up a quick refueling slice and walked over to The Boiler Room. Shots. More friends showed up. At some point I threw pepperonis at the crowd. Shots. ‘Seek’ was clearly in need of a soft place to lay before he lost complete control and crash into something hard. ‘Mrs. O’, ‘Seek’s’ beautiful sister, responsibly took him home. We left as well and cabbed it back to where else, The Abbey.

I’d continue trying to write about the night but by this point it would all be a work of fiction. I don’t remember what happened.

Saturday my babe got his ink cherry popped. We went to Three Kings, a tattoo shop in Greenpoint, to introduce him to his new addiction. Both him and ‘Seek’ got a unicorn on their leftarm. Again, I wanted to give him his space, but I just can’t get enough of him, and despite my stupid fear of feeling left out or intrusive, I wanted to start making memories with my lover. I constantly get a bit jealous of his relationship with his friends, I just wish I had met him earlier and had been around for all the insanity I’ve been told has happened.

The tattoo sesh went spectacular. I was running very late for work but I was glad to have been there. I finally got to my job 4 hours later than my scheduled time, and I was only there for a brief 180 minutes. I did nothing productive.

I left and rushed back to meet with the motley crew at The Abbey. As expected, they were already well on their way to booze land. ‘Nickle’ was MIA. Earlier that day I’d given him my keys so he could pick up his bike and take it home. Of course that didn’t happen. They’d just started drinking right after the tattoos and continued steadily for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. He showed up a bit later after being at my place and taking a shower. He mentioned he felt uncomfortably comfortable doing so and said he’d love to share a place with me one day. I smiled.

More drinks, more shots. ‘Jose Maria’ showed up for a bit, I left the crazies for a split second and went to a friend’s birthday for a drink’s time, and hurried back to my handsome. By that point I was beginning to black out and forget parts of the night. ‘Seek’ and company were physically gone. ‘Nickle’ and I were mentally gone.

At around midnight we went back to mine and passed out.

Sunday was one of the best days I’ve had in a really long time. I purposely took it off so I could spend the whole 24 hours with my man. I work Wednesday to Sunday, and he works Monday to Friday so we never actually have a free day together.

We woke up and watched ‘A Single Man’. I wanted him to see the movie because there’s a scene where the main character and his younger boyfriend are sitting on a couch across from each other reading a book, and I’d mentioned to him that scene makes me think of us.

After the movie, he made me pancakes with cinnamon apples. I’m sure they’re always delicious but… doesn’t food taste even better when you’re in love?

The original idea was to stay in all day but, to my pleasant surprise, he’d  scored us tickets to The Creators’ Project in DUMBO which I was planning to go to, but had opted not to because my day was reserved for my babe. We finished eating, fooled around on the couch, took a shower, and biked to the bike shop to get our bikes fixed, and then to the art show.

We spent most of the day looking at the exhibits, running into familiar faces, and hanging out one on one. Sure, we weren’t locked inside my apartment all day, but it was still just the two of us. Mission accomplished.

At around 6 in the evening, we grabbed a bite and a drink with his friends, went back to see one last installation that required no day light to be fully appreciated, and biked over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan to then get on the 5 train and up to The Seahorse Tavern, one of his friend’s bar, in the Upper East Side. Again, more craziness ensued. I was drunkenly making declarations of love to anyone who would hear (or anyone who I could force into hearing me), we turned the gastropub into a club, and drunkenly danced to the best of our abilities.

At the end of the night, we took an emotional cab ride home. My baby was tearing up and sad to see his best friend go back home, and surprisingly enough, I was too. The weekend served it’s purpose. Despite being secretly jealous of all the years and memories they’ve had together, I really enjoyed ‘Seek’, and I was ready to make some of my own with both of them. I have a hunch we won’t be remembering many, ‘Seek’ seems like my kind of lush.

“All along we talked of forever, I kinda think that we won’t get better. It’s the longest start, the end’s not too far away. Did you know? I’m here to stay”

Home

“Well, hot & heavy, pumpkin pie, chocolate candy, Jesus Christ! There ain’t nothin’ please me more than you”

On my first day as a coupled man, I was beaming and happy and somehow got to work in time. It was gonna be a long day and I was anxious (in a good way) to get it done or at least get it started. Upon arriving at the office, I told ‘The Cock of the North’ I now had a boyfriend. His first response was asking me “who?” and “why?” since I’ve been so adamant about staying single. After I mentioned it was ‘Nickle’, who he’s met, he said: “Congratulations!”. It felt good to hear he approved. I also called ‘Jose Maria’ who gave me an “I know”.

Wednesday night my friend ‘Geordie-Mo’ was coming to town from London and staying with me. Sadly, I also had the work anniversary dinner to attend and I was leaving to film a documentary in Texas the next morning, so I wasn’t going to spend much time with him, but I told him after dinner I’d meet for drinks at “the church” and also introduce him to my new man, who I wanted him to meet, but also I was just looking for excuses to see ‘Nickle’ again.

And thus the plans happened as planned. The coworkers and I met at the office, toasted to some champagne, and headed to dinner at Norwood Club. It was a nice soiree. It went on for slightly longer that I would’ve wanted to, but only because I had other engagements to attend. ‘Nickle’ kept texting me constantly, I believe he was a bit drunk, and at some point he texted me the three little words a lot of people dread: “I Love You”. I excused myself from the dinner table, went to have a cigarette and called him. I told him not to say such things.

*side note: here’s my thing about the “I love you”. I do not mind it at all. I believe that especially in America, it has a stronger meaning than what it should have which was my main reason why I wanted to talk to ‘Nickle’. I have said “I love you” pretty early in a relationship, and although we’ve only been officially dating for a day, we’ve been hanging out for 7 weeks now, so I can understand why he could potentially go there but, like I said, I just want him to be sure he’s saying it because he does, and not because he’s idolizing me or something of the sort, after all, I do have my flaws. The way I see it, I do reciprocate, but the fact that I love him does not mean “I LOVE HIM” in the sense most people tend to think. I love him and I will continue to do so and that love will continue to grow, which I feel is healthier than a loaded “I love you” which has been held back for a while for fear of releasing the meaning we’ve attached to it.*

Back to the story. So yes, I told him not to say that, but I told him I wanted to see him in person later to talk about it. I went back downstairs, had another drink, split the bill with my coworkers, and cabbed it to “the church” where ‘Jose Maria’ and ‘Geordie-Mo’ were waiting. I greeted my brit with a huge hug and a kiss. We hung out and caught up over about three drinks, and a few more cigarettes. Even though he was here, the night was pretty standard. We left because I mentioned I wanted to go see ‘Nickle’ so he could meet ‘Geordie-Mo’.

We cabbed it to, where else, The Abbey, where I also greeted my new boyfriend with a huge hug and a wetter kiss. I introduced the respective parties and continued drinking. Anxiety decided to knock on my right temporal lobe’s door. I went into panic mode over the fact that I was now dating someone. I won’t delve into this right now, I want to write an entry about it, but at some point ‘Nickle’ mentioned he could see I was really scared, and I think I shed a couple of tears. We all went home. I went to bed with my man (it feels good to say that), and ‘Jose Maria’ and ‘Geordie-Mo’ slept together on the couch.

Thursday my handsome boyfriend left early for work. ‘Jose Maria’ left shortly after. I woke up, finished packing, and headed to Union Square to drop off my dog at a pet hotel and then grabbed a bite at Fatty Snack, the Fatty Crab owned food stand on Madison Square Park. We then walked over to ‘The Lady of Derbyshire’s’ apartment to catch a cab to the airport and head to Marfa, Texas. God was I not ready for this.

The Marfa experience was a cluster fuck of desolate West Texas ghost towns, constant fear of desert critters, interesting (and I cannot stress that enough) insane characters, no first world commodities,  run-ins with the border patrol, and one of the most amazing experiences ever all rolled up into one with a scary Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque vibe.

Let me begin by mentioning how excited I was about this. ‘The Lady of Derbyshire’ had mentioned she had a documentary to film as part of her graduating project and had asked if I wanted to join. The subject would be Dragset and Elmgreen’s Prada Marfa installation in the Chihuahua desert, as well as a story on the site representative and artist, Boyd Elder. I’d been obsessed with said installation for a few years now and, realizing it was in the middle of nowhere, figured I wouldn’t make the trip solely to see it unless an opportunity like this presented itself, so I agreed. We’d planned the trip for a while and that Thursday we started the 12 hour long journey that turned into 15 because of all the flight delays.

We got to El Paso quite late. We quickly headed to Walmart, picked up a few indispensable items (wine and cigarettes in my case, food in hers), and started the 3 hour drive to Marfa. It was scary. I’m talking about driving in the middle of a two lane highway with no lights other than the car’s with the occasional eerie sighting of things you can’t quite seem to describe what they are.

Sometime after driving for 2 and a bit hours we saw it. RIght there, in the middle of the road, a bright chartreuse rectangular beacon illuminating the barren landscape. We passed it and stopped, then reversed towards it. It was magical. My first impression tho, I was expecting something bigger, but there’s definitely no denying its striking presence. Obviously, we took a few pictures until we got approached by border patrol (for the second time so far) who asked for our ID’s and after proving our legal right to be in this country, wished us luck on our project.

We drove for another half hour to the town of Marfa where we were to spend the night. The apartment we rented was nice, except for its name and what it entailed: the yellow door. It was aptly decorated by hues of the aforementioned. I hate the color yellow. I drank a bottle of wine and dozed off.

Friday we woke up early and drove to the sight to begin shooting. I was in charge of the more “creative” shots. I had never handled a semi-professional video camera in my life, but somehow, I was surprised how natural it felt. Then I remembered how nifty I am and the surprise fade away. After about an hour of filming, Boyd Elder, the man of the hour, joined us with his mother. First impression: the guy looked insane but right off the bat I liked him. He was very nice and quite the character. His mother, a 90+ year old woman, was the same: incredibly nice and keen, yet she looked scarily aged. He invited us over to their place in the town of Valentine just a couple miles south of Prada Marfa. Again, his house was just like a set of a slasher movie: old, run down, and in the middle of nowhere. I have to make it clear that I am not trying to be demeaning here, to say they were incredibly hospitable is an understatement. I’m just pointing out the shock I experienced due to the contrast of what I’m used to.

We talked for a bit as he gave us a tour of his property. His studio was insane, but the stories were even crazier. This man has had such an amazing life, and the list of names he mentioned as close friends are enough to make any dumb big city socialite stick their head in the ground. The Eagles, Joni Mitchel, Ed Ruscha, Donald Judd, Razorlight, you name it. Old and new. Music and art. Hollywood. New York. Europe. He has it covered, and yet you’d never expect it from looking at him. Never judge a book by its cover has never been more true.

After a few hours we headed back to Marfa to get ready for an art opening at Ballroom Marfa, the nonprofit local art space. One of the things that struck me the most about this town was how even with its population of two thousand, it feels very international. People from all over fly to either of the two closest airports and drive for a couple hours to come to the different events that happen throughout the year. I met a lot of people from New York, and the east coast. I saw a few more that dressed the part so I assumed were also from out of town. We stayed till close and went back to our apartment. Boyd called us and invited us to the after party. We obliged and walked to Capri Lounge, another great old adobe building converted into a spectacular space that marries traditional with modern so seamlessly it almost feels indigenous.

We mingled a bit more, met a few key pieces of the Marfa community, and watched an all girl mariachi band perform. Still tired from the trip we called it an early night. I drank another bottle, ‘The Lady of Derbyshire’ conversed with the pillow. I briefly talked to ‘Nickle’ who’d been texting me like crazy all day. He’d been professing all these things to me that to be honest made me more anxious. I don’t know where he’s getting all these strong emotions from, but they’re scary. It feels nice, but almost too nice to where I want to run away. I had anxiety all day, but somehow, the thought of that nightcap made me somewhat hold it together. I talked to ‘Jose Maria’ as well and passed out.

Saturday we had plans for more shooting and at some point in the evening head 2 hours south west to some hot springs. I am not the biggest nature fan, and after hearing from the locals that these hot springs had no phone reception at all, I was a bit more apprehensive about going. Nevertheless, I always give things a shot. We spent the day with Boyd at his studio taking some more video, and driving around his town to other parts of this decaying community of less than 50 people. He took us to an abandoned theatre he plans on restoring and making his new studio. Again, it was very different from what I’m used to so I gladly welcomed the experience. At around 4 pm and after receiving lots of food from his garden, we took off and headed back to Marfa. We interviewed some of the people behind the Ballroom who sponsored the Prada Marfa project. Their house, again, was an amazing restored army barrack who’s original structure was left intact, and was just restored to rival any fancy apartment in New York. It was stunning.

The interview went on for a bit longer than expected, but by around 6:30 pm we were on our way south to Chinati to disconnect from the world even more.

The trip was a pain in the ass. The sun was slowly but surely setting, and we had limited amount of time to get there before we were left again in the dark, except this time it was off road. Unfortunately, the sun beat us and we ended up driving in a very scary dark dirt road for about 45 minutes till we finally found our destination. Naturally, we didn’t go in the hot springs. It was already dark, we were terrified of desert creatures, and there were lots of children around. We just drank wine, chatted a bit and passed out. I tried contacting ‘Nickle’ who was being a bit crazy (by my weird bias I have) but not as much, but was quite unsuccessful because of the lack of signal.

The next morning we woke up and went to the springs for 45 minutes. We had an interview to shoot at around 1pm so we left the “resort” and headed back home. Another run-in with border patrol.

We got back to the apartment and freshened up and headed back out to record the ex-mayor of Marfa talk about the piece. The man was also very nice. It seems like everybody who’s there is there because they truly love the town, and they all seem quite happy. I’m baffled because I think I’d go crazy… then again, they all are significantly older than me.

After the interview he took us to another house he owned that was, just like the house we’d seen the night before, amazingly restored and enviable. I’m beginning to notice a trend here, and maybe a reason why these people love this little shit town so much. Funny thing: you will find a yarn store, but a decent place to eat food in the morning or night? No sir, no way.

We went to the neighbor town of Alpine to buy some DVD’s to burn and dump some of the vast files we’ve amounted, and after doing so, we headed back to Prada. This time we planned on actually interviewing Boyd, but despite being an angel, the man is not the easiest person to work with. That, on top of the fact that we weren’t properly prepared with charged batteries or free memory cards, prevented the interview from actually happening. Instead, we went to the installation site and filmed a time lapse of the sunset. It turned out nice.

At around 8:30 pm, we drove back to Marfa in the pitch of darkness. We cooked the food we planned on grilling the night before at the springs, I drank another bottle of wine, and talked to both ‘Jose Maria’ and ‘Nickle’. The former helped me relax a bit, the latter wasn’t being as crazy, which I attribute to him not being as drunk as he sometimes is. I feel like I should talk to him about it, and I probably will. I’m just not sure when because I feel it’d be hypocritical, but I do worry sometimes. Regardless, always happy to talk to him, and despite the massive anxiety I’m getting about him and the trip, I wouldn’t change it. I went to bed with yet another smiley face.

Monday was a long day. We woke up early and, as promised to ‘The Lady of Derbyshire’, I made a soyrizo scramble for breakfast. It wasn’t as good as usual, but still better than most the food we’ve been having. We started the day by interviewing the architect of the installation, and then the head of the local newspaper. Nothing really stood out about either, except for maybe the kindness of the first, the nervousness of the second, and the trio of turkeys crossing the road in between both interviews.

As expected, we rushed back to Valentine and the Prada Marfa site. We met up with Boyd and finally got some kind of interview. We then went with him to the theatre he’s restoring to meet with a group of Architecture students from some University in the north of Texas who were doing a project helping restore the site. Me and ‘The Lady of Derbyshire’ started joking about deciphering the boys’ sexuality. We headed back to Prada, did some more sunset shots, and another interview with Boyd, and then drove him back to where the students were camping. We had a delicious dinner with them. Probably the best food I had the whole time I was in Texas, which is disappointing considering I was expecting gaining a few pounds of amazing Tex-Mex morsels. We drank a couple of beers, saw a baby tarantula, and drove back home. Another bottle of wine, a few episodes of TV shows I’ve been meaning to catch up on, another lovely call to my boyfriend who was sober and going to bed surprisingly early, and I called it a night.

Tuesday all I could think of was going home! Like I said, I had my ups and my downs, definitely an experience I was glad to have had, but not sure it’s necessarily my cup of tea for more than 3 days. This city mouse is ready to leave the country vermin to their own environment and head back to rummaging the New York City Subway tunnels. We did a couple of last minute shots in the morning, one of Boyd’s art at some rich lady’s expectedly beautiful house, and another one of the Chinati foundation and Donald Judd’s sculptures. We stopped by a gift shop, bought a couple of souvenirs, and headed to Valentine to bid adieu to our West Texas friends.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. No waterworks despite the fact that I got surprisingly attached to some of the characters in the documentary.

We drove back to El Paso, had lunch at some awful pseudo-Mexican restaurant, and boarded a flight back to Dallas, and then New York. I am typing this on the latter. It’s almost time to land and I cannot be more excited. I get to see my boyfriend. I get to see my dog. I get to see a decent bar. But above all, I get to come to my own personal haven. I believe that the recent changes in my relationship status have a lot to do with how bad my anxiety has been, but also, the trip drained me. I love traveling and I enjoy my friends but every now and then I like to know I can just go and lock myself in my room if I need a moment to breath. Again, where were my ruby slippers?

“Ahh, Home! Let me come Home! Home is wherever I’m with you.”

Get Myself Together

“It’s all over like steps in the first snow. Something’s been building up and it’s gonna blow.”

Anxiety.

Friday morning ‘Nickle’ had left before I woke up. He wrote me a note saying he was sorry but he had to go to work. It’s all good, I had to do the same. I got to work a bit late on purpose because I didn’t want to deal with the clean up from the event the night before. The day was uneventful.

I left work at around 7 to go meet ‘The Lady of Derbishire’ for yet another art opening. This time: Andy Warhol at Gagosian on 21st. The show was amazing, to say the least. It was only about his screen prints of Liz Taylor, and ‘The Lady of Derbishire’ and I got inspired for our Halloween costumes. Without giving much away, they are going to be amazing. We ran into ‘Afterline’ who, in his usual way, suggested we go to some “hip” party at the hideous Dream Hotel in Chelsea where James Murphy, of LCD Sound System fame, was DJing. I was hungry and so was she so we told him we’d go eat and meet up later. We left promptly and walked to Blossom on 9th and 21st for some upscale delicious vegan yumminess and to talk about our future trip to Texas.

After dinner we went to Dream hotel for a drink and to wait for ‘Afterline’ and co. I was texting with both ‘Nickle’ and ‘Jose Maria’ to potentially meet either of them if I didn’t end up staying for James Murphy. Three drinks and an amazing conversation later, we decided to leave and I decided to go home. I was tired and I wanted my time alone.

I got home and drank all the open bottles of alcohol I could find. Wine and vodka mostly. I had been getting overwhelmed with the whole ‘Nickle’ situation feeling like I was losing myself and my independence so I wanted to find someone on Grindr, go meet them at Metro, and have a random make out session with a complete stranger to prove to myself that I’m still my own person. Stupid perhaps, but I thought it therapeutic. Sadly, the Grindr boys did not deliver.

Once I had a decent buzz, I took ‘Toto’ for a walk and stupidly strolled in front of The Abbey. I ran into ‘Nickle’ who greeted me with much excitement (as usual). He asked me to stay but I mentioned I was tired and would go to bed soon. He asked if he could come over later, and I, being the nice idiot who never says no, told him to text me when he was going to leave and if I was still up he could. I thought that was a nice compromise although to be honest, I shouldn’t have compromised my night at all. I was a bit annoyed at myself and anxious.

I went back home and continued my quest for some fresh lips to kiss. It was still very unsuccessful. I decided it was time for bed when destiny slapped me in the face and just as I had turned off the lights and plugged my phone to charge, he texted me saying he was coming over if I was still awake. I should’ve not replied, but for some bizarre reason I did. What’s wrong with me!? I turned the lights back on, went on facebook and firmly convinces myself that I was only going to wait ten minutes or two songs’ time, whichever came first, and then I’d really go to bed. Again, just as the second song was about to finish I heard the bell ring. The handsome Floridian had arrived.

I’m not sure if he was expecting more but I told him I was still very tired and would just go to bed. We kissed for a second and cuddled the night away.

Saturday morning we got smoothies and he took a cab with me to work. The trains weren’t running and he needed to get back in the city to pick up his bike. ‘The Cock of the North’ was outside smoking a cigarette when we walked by. We all had a brief conversation and then I went to work and ‘Nickle’ went for his green vehicle. At work I was interrogated whether this man and I were boyfriends. I said no, not me, no way, no sir. I only stayed for a couple hours because I had made plans with ‘The Wife’ to go to Philly so we could then go to Camden, NJ and see our favorite band in the whole world Blink 182. Don’t laugh. I made it to my train just in time and I slept the whole ride west.

While in Philly, we quickly grabbed a bite to eat at some tapas restaurant that was actually surprisingly good, bought a bottle of whiskey, turned it into road sodas, and cabbed it to the venue. We got just in time to see My Chemical Romance open for the boys. I wanted to puke, not because I was drunk, but because of the music and the crowd, so I decided that if I was indeed going to vomit it would be out of too much drinking and went to get another unnecessary drink. We then finagled our way to better seats and waited for our teen idols to perform. I was more drunk than I thought I was and a bit sad because I really wanted to remember the show so I started texting myself the names of the songs so I’d at least know the set list. Somehow, we got even more drunk and did something quite embarrassing that we managed to block out of our memories for the time being. We peed on the bleachers not once but twice!

The show ended and we uselessly tried to get a cab. There were nowhere to be found. Then we tried hitchhiking but I don’t think Jersey people are very fond of New Yorkers or Philadelphians so that proved futile as well. We eventually just went to a bar to let everything die down and wait, but after some quasi sobering food we decided maybe we’d try and walk the bridge. Luckily, we found a cab around the corner, pretended to be whoever the cab driver was supposed to pick up, and stole it. ‘The Wife’ passed out on the way and my pigeon-like sense of direction kicked in so somehow I lead us home. Our plan was to stay up for a while, but again, we were more drunk than we’d like to admit it and by half past midnight we were already in bed.

Sunday we woke up and went for bagels and juice. I was supposed to catch my train at noon, or so I thought. Again, I didn’t have the best luck with cabs because I forget we’re not in New York and we actually have to plan ahead, so I ended up getting to the train station fifteen minutes past my alleged departure. When I tried to change my ticket, the lady pointed out that I was actually 12 hours and 15 minutes late as I was supposed to have left the night before. Silly me. I paid the extra twenty bucks for the next train and left 13 hours afters I was originally supposed to leave.

When I got back to the city, ‘Nickle’ had texted me that he wanted to see me. I reluctantly agreed I would. He suggested we meet by the ferry, take the boat to the city, and bike to the West Village to meet his friend who was about to finish an HIV/AIDS charity bike ride from Boston. Although I still wanted my alone time, this sounded fun so I accepted his invitation. When he rode in to the dock he was looking extremely handsome in his gold bike helmet (which he recently spray painted), aviators, a blue sweater, jeans, and chucks. How can I resist this man?! To add insult to injury, the boat ride was too damn romantic. Again, how can I?

We rode for half hour till we got to 13th and 7th. His friend was just coming in. I started getting really bad anxiety for some reason. I did not feel comfortable. ‘Nickle’ knew a lot of the gays present, which is fine, and is why I like him, because he’s so different from all of them, but there was something about the whole thing that just rubbed me the wrong way. I felt odd and was ready to make an excuse to leave till the damn mind reader suggested we go eat and then meet his friends for drinks. I reluctantly accepted. Again.

Off we went further into the West Village. We ended up at Tortilla Flats for some very mediocre Mexican food. Another one of his friends joined us, this one I really like. We then went next door to some bar for the post race celebration. Again, my anxiety started fucking with me. I was briefly introduced to some of the older more “established” gay men I often try to avoid. There was something going on because I felt so out of my element, I couldn’t socialize with any of these people so I told ‘Nickle’ I would go because I had to meet a friend for some birthday drinks. The friend in question? ‘Latin T’. He offered to come with. I wanted to run away and scream but whatever, the bike ride over the bridge helped calm me down. We dropped our stuff off at my place and meet some of his friends, the ones I actually like, at some bar near my yoga studio. I didn’t stay long, they invited me to karaoke but I said I was going to meet my friend as promised and I’d catch up with them after.

I biked to Union Pool to a ‘Latin T’ surrounded by all female hair stylists. It was a nice time. I had a couple drinks, ate some tacos, bought him a shot, and then tried to stop him from getting into a fight. The man gets crazy when he drinks and has been banned from many a establishments. The altercation as well as some very personal revelations he was making were my cue to leave so I said my goodbyes and biked back to ‘Nickle’ and co. They were at some karaoke bar two blocks away from where I’d left them. I got drunk and sang Miley Cyrus – See You Again. They loved it. We dance and chanted and acted retarded amidst a rain of glitter that ‘Nickle’ had purchased for his biking buddy but had forgotten to give to. Me and ‘Nickle’ stepped outside and had yet another heart to heart. What can I say, he knows what buttons to push. Keep on digging that damn dagger into my chest, handsome, one day you might actually penetrate the concrete cardiac walls and get somewhere. We spent the night ensemble.

“I got, got to get, get my head back on. I got, got to get myself together.”