Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gay of a Certain Age - TransLucid

I, like millions of others, sat and watched the Bruce Jenner interview
in fascination.  I was with a small group of friends and after about an hour,
my fascination turned away from the T.V. and into the living room.
One of my friends, much like Diane Sawyer (who asked about it, at least three times),
could not wrap his head around separating gender identity from sexual orientation.
He was TransFused. (Confused about Transgender)

I was mostly fascinated because you would think if there was someone who would understand it,
it would be a gay guy. We, as gays and lesbians and transgender and Republican Politicians are stigmatized because people can not let go of the idea that being male means you like females and being female means you like males and there is nothing in between.
Once you stray from that black and white notion, shit gets crazy!
It's simple really.  Just erase that notion that the two are exclusively entwined.
I understand because I know how I feel;
being a guy does not mean I am attracted to women and
being attracted to men doesn't mean that I want to be a woman.
Humans are infinitely complex beings and millennia of science and observation
still haven't taught us all there is to know about ourselves.
Why should we hold on to notions that were formed thousands of years ago,
even if today we are still discovering new things?
Why have we created a culture that shames and attacks expression of difference,
that ultimately turns out not to be so different after all?
How advanced would we be now if people who are gay, or transgender, didn't feel
like they had to hide and instead were embraced and understood.
How many miserable lives could have been spared rather than snuffed out or mutilated
by people who don't know or understand.

There'll be those who'll say God made it like this, God made it like that...
They'll praise God for the glory of multiple colored flowers, and wonder at God's
mysterious ways that put desert next to sea, or chocolate mixed in with peanut butter,
but they'll stand firm that God couldn't possibly have made one man to be different
from another or one man to feel differently than another.
They are willing to limit God with their ignorance.
They can see a rose can be red, or white, or sometimes red AND white,
but it is beyond their understanding that God could have made
men who like men and if they can't understand it, then it is not so. And if it is not so, then God couldn't possibly have done it.  And if God didn't make it (is there anything that God didn't make?)
then it is something to be feared and fought against.
They'll sooner believe words, written thousands of years ago, by men (with limited knowledge and understanding), than open their eyes and see the glory of God before them.

I've come to accept that I'll never convince the Bible/Torah/Quran/Dianetics/Holy Book of Choice
slaves that I am a creature that their God made, but what really fascinated me
was my gay friend, who lives his life as a contradiction to the "norm" as a man who likes men,
but couldn't let Bruce Jenner get away with saying that she is attracted to women.
Why would a man want to become a woman and then not want to be with men?
He's convinced that Bruce will come out later as a man-lover and blame the hormones.
He's especially suspicious that Bruce said she wants to have a glam room.
Why would Bruce want a glam room, if not to be pretty for the guys?
He could not let go of the idea that Bruce would be a woman who likes other women.
How is it even possible that he not understand that?
It's bad enough we have to fight these ideas in society, but to have to fight ourselves?
If he's having this trouble being gay and understanding that,
what awful things are ingrained in me that have yet to come out?

As a Gay of a Certain Age, I've come to accept that, even though I am different from the "straight" world, I do not know everything there is to know about human sexuality, that is to say, just because I am gay it doesn't mean I know what it is like to be transgender.  Just because I dress up in women's clothes for a show doesn't mean I know what it feels like to find solace and safety in them.  Just because I am gay, it doesn't mean I know exactly how other gay men think and feel.   I think that because I am gay, I know what it is like to be misunderstood, vilified and denied, that means I should have an open mind to understand, have open eyes, to not see all members of one group as all the same and I should have open hands to give others the chance to think as they do and eventually find a universal truth that is inclusive.

I know that I have a basic handle on gender expression, assigned gender, sexual orientation
and myriad complexities that usually get lumped into "Faggot", but I also know that I don't understand it all.  I'm trying.
If you care to learn a little more (certainly more than I can offer),
this article maybe helpful to you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This Is Why I Am Single - My Alleged Father 2

My alleged father, whether he meant to or not,
instilled in me a great appreciation for movies.
I can remember days, pre-school, or in summer that we spent in movie theaters
and nights in the backseat with pillows & blankets,
sneaking peeks at other movies around us at the Cinema Park Drive-In.

One of the nights I'll always remember is the night in 1973 when my alleged father
told me we were going to the movies.  As we left the house, it was just me and him,
so I assumed it was a rare father/son outing.
I'd say I was excited about having rare bonding time with my alleged father,
but I was a kid and I was really excited about the movies- a double feature!
That was until we made a stop before arriving at the Capri Theater down town and
picked up Minerva- The Side Cooze.

The Capri was one of a few movie theaters in down town El Paso, Texas,
where we would spend countless hours watching movies with my alleged father.
I think I remember seeing Tidal Wave, Beyond the Door, The Legend of Hell House, 
Phantom of the Paradise and many other age inappropriate movies there.
And they we always double features.

This particular evening, the fine pairing started with the classic, Ride In a Pink Car.

I was 5 or 6 years old, so I don't remember much about this movie except the title, 
car chases, foul language and a lot of yelling.  I also don't remember if I was snacking, 
but probably not, because my alleged father was cheap.
The follow up movie was the confusing Wonder Women.

I say it was confusing because when my alleged father told me the title,
I was expecting Diana Prince and her super hero alter-ego.  There was none of that.
There were a bunch of women on an island, and there was a lab set, and mutants, then all hell breaks loose, some of them fall in the water and get shot in the boobies.  I think I remember that much because it was all so fantastical.
As I sit here and write this, I'm trying to remember what the seating arrangement was, it was a week night, so the place wouldn't be crowded... was I in my own row and they were behind me, were we all in the same row...
was I all alone for the length of two movies and not even aware of it?
Anyway, as an adult looking back, I'm sure there was some hanky-panky going on between my
alleged father and the side cooze during the show.  There had to have been.  Right?

Here is why I am Single...  When we got home, I remember I was dropped off and my alleged father
did not come in.  I was greeted by my oldest sister, at that moment an angry 11 or 12 year old, who grabbed my arm and pulled me to my mother's room.  There was my mother, in her bed with eyes
filled to the brim with tears.  My sister said, "You did that!"  I entered my mother's room and
went to her and quietly asked, "What's wrong, Mommy?"  She took a gulp, or two, of air and
said, "Nothing. Nothing, I'm just a little sad."  I still felt guilty.
Clearly, since my alleged father's side cooze was not much of a secret in our home,
my sister figured out who I had gone to the movies with, and if an 11 year old could put it
together, certainly my mother knew.  I had no idea, that when my alleged father said, "Get in the car, we're going to the movies." he was actually saying, "Come with me, we're gonna break your mother's heart."
Looking back on it, I think he thought he was being clever
saying he was taking his little boy to the movies and the sneaking the side cooze with us.
Was he unaware that we all knew who she was?  How could that be possible?
Who did he think we thought she was?  Incestuous Auntie Minnie?
How could anyone use their child like that?
How could anyone stay married to a man like that?
Could I do that?  Could I use my child? Could I stay with a man who would use his child?
In my case, my child would probably be a chihuahua I've yet to adopt, but the questions still stand.

Despite my mother swallowing her pain and saying nothing that would make me think I did anything to hurt her, I can't help but feel a little twinge of guilt.  I know that I, as a 6 year old, did nothing wrong.  Maybe it's still in my head because my sister said, "You did this."  I don't blame her. She was just a kid, herself and I did appear to be a disloyal little monkey. There's an icky feeling it always give me to think about it and if there's anything I can do to prevent an innocent
chihuahua from feeling like this, I'll just stay single.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

He Don't Even Know! - Kerry on my Way Hot Son!

Say "Hello" to "Kerry"!
I pretend that we go skateboarding
around West Hollywood
and that we flirts shamelessly with everyone
we pass as they stare
at his shirtless glory.
I don't mind because I am very secure in our 
pretend love.

On this particular day, 
after a surprisingly hot April outing, 
a tripped out, long haired tourist made some crack to Kerry
about being you and stupid.
It all turned in to some crazy
Name That Tune contest
where Kerry surprised us all and sang
every word of Kansas'

Then, Kerry challenged
our Long Haired opponent to 
Don't Look Back.
The tourist jumped immediately to the chorus,
go two thirds of the way and quit.
He gave an exaggerated bow
in acquiescence,
and gave a sheepish smile of defeat.
Kerry took him into a big victory hug
and spun him around.
Then we got on our skateboards
and rode away singing
Don't Look Back in
imperfect harmony
as we headed to Yogurt Stop.

That Night, 
still excited about his vocal victory,
Kerry took me to the
Point Of No Return.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gay of a Certain Age - Did you See Him?

I don't know if this is an age thing, although it certainly didn't happen when I was younger,
but now, when I'm with someone who sees a hot guy with his pet
and they say, "Did you see him?", I say, "Yeah, he was CUTE!".
I'm talking about the dog. WTF?
I always end up kicking myself, because my companion will describe the delicious
details of the hunkiness embodied by the guy and all I can do is say,
"I liked the way the dog was walking with a big smile on his face, like a big idiot, who has no idea where he is going, but he just so happy to be going."
What's up with that?  Has a stoopid dog smile replaced big hard pecs
in my pantheon of things that bring me joy?
If this is part of getting older, I'll have none of it!  THAT IS INSANITY!

A hot guy is better than a stoopid dog any day of the week!
If only I could control it.  It's almost impossible.
West Hollywood might as well have an ordinance requiring any hot guy to be a pet guardian
(There's already an ordinance that prohibits one from being called a pet "owner"),
because it seems to already be the case!
Walk one block, any time of the day, and you will see at least three guys with dogs
 (that's not even counting the women I don't look at!).
You realize, of course, that would be three hot guys I DIDN'T see!

All I can do is try to remind myself, whenever I see a cute dog, to look up.
I also like the way their floppy ears bounce up and down in rhythm with their pace.
...Stoopid dogs!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

This is Why I am Single - Friday night 9:00 PM

It's Friday night at 9:00 PM, I'm wide awake, having a drink & a good time and
I am at home, alone.  This is why I'm single!  Instead of going out, perchance to meet someone,
I am in my colorful living room, watching LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (the original Ikean version), and I am fine.  I don't feel like I'm missing anything.  Maybe after I finish putzing around and finally get into bed, I might wish there was a warm body next to me (because the thought of the cold little vampire girl lying next to me ain't gonna keep me cozy), but overall, I'm content with that evening.

Going out on a weekend without a plan has become somewhat of a chore.
Even when a friend calls with a last minute event or a dinner invite, I take a   l o n g   pause
and actually consider if staying home catching up with PERSON OF INTEREST would be better.

In actuality, if I go out, I usually end up enjoying myself, and once in a great while,
meet someone nice or kind of into me.
I have no idea what it is, beyond spending so much time away from home at work and then rushing off to rehearsals or performances or evening meetings,
that I feel like I just want to center myself by being home.  I like my space.
Sometimes, I'd like to share my space with some like-minded individual or even just nice neked romp.  But I guess I gotta leave to find someone to share it with.
I'm like a super-lazy spider, who enjoys his web so much, he does nothing to get man-flies in it.
I can see me, sitting in my web chair, spewing silk strings while watching Daniel Craig
beat up bad guys, ignoring all the man-flies as they whiz by, all the while being grateful that, if I don't catch a man-fly that, at least, I have eight hands.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying my own company in comfortable surroundings,
but I guess I'd better take on the chore of going out to socialize (at least one night of the weekend) if I want to have that space in my web warmed by more than an overheated remote control. ...and someone else to enjoy my silk strings.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

He Don't Even Know! - Kevin

This is "Kevin",
He don't even know he's my boyfriend!
My favorite thing about Kevin is that he loves his 
Mom very much.
Just like me!

One of the benefits I get from this love
is that he promised her
that she will never wash another dish
as long as he is around.
Well, that promise has carried over to me!
Kevin isn't one for household chores, either, 
but we never have to wash dishes
because we always eat out!

This is us at Basix
in West Hollywood.
Other favorite daily eats joints
we frequent are;
Salt's Cure, Joey's Cafe, WeHo Bistro, 
PHOnomenal, Pinches Tacos, Le Zinc, Hedley's
and, of course Hugo's

If there's one thing I love to do with Kevin, 
that is 
eat out!

Friday, April 24, 2015

FU Cupid - ManShunt

I'm not one to invest much time in the on-line dating sites,
and I'm even less likely to spend any time on the sex getting sites.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting sex
and if I could just pick up the phone and order in exactly what I want (legally...and for free)
I certainly would.
Simply put, I find that these just for sex sites are insufferable, if not just downright damaging.
Now, it may come as a surprise to you, but I am not an Italian swimsuit model
who hasn't eaten in two weeks with 12 pack abs,  and it seems that that's what you need to be
in order for these sites to work optimally for you.  I'm not gonna get into "wah, wah, wah, poor schlubby me," because there's something I can do about my appearance,
I'm not even going the fantasy route and "Wah, wah, wah why don't guys super hotter
want to have sex with me?"  I'm just thinking, why can't I put my stuff up and shop around
without feeling like I'm walking an ISIS gauntlet.  Today, I'm specifically talking about MANHUNT.

I knew what that site was before I entered my email and started creating my profile.
The main reason I was signing up is I had a friend who seemed to be having great success,
he was encouraging me and there was a free three month trail period.

Despite said friend's advice, I put up my face pic as my profile photo.
SIDE BAR:  Said friend used his very nice & hot body pic for his profile,
got into messaging foreplay with another nice & hot body headless profile and when it
finally came to "your place or mine, let's trade face pics" it turned out to be
someone he knew and really disliked.  I like to avoid that.

My profile was honest and "what you see is what you get", with hopes of finding other realistic
average to schlubby guys.  If God created me for any reason, that reason is for me to tell you
In any case, seeing as how I had only 3 months to determine whether this is a service I'd continue to utilize and pay for, I set off on my International Male catalog shopping adventure.
As some of you guessed, I spent hours scouring profiles, sending initial messages,
avoiding messages I didn't want and other frustrating activities for that one "Maybe" that
always disappeared by the end of the night.  So I stopped after a week.

Then, I was in Las Vegas for a weekend, still within that 3 month trial, so why not?
If I thought that it was disappointing to swim through the "no fats, no fems" at the end of
the LA profiles, I was in no way prepared for the wade through
the landmines of HOSTILE Las Vegas!
Most of the profiles consisted entirely of what they didn't want.  At least 90% started with,"no one over 30 years old!"  95% started with the phrase "If you are..."
I didn't even get passed the first page and already I was ready to jump out the 12th floor window.
Maybe the strategy there is that if everyone knocks you down to an insecure puddle of
goo on a multicolored, polka dot-diamond-paisley patterned carpet, then you'll just be grateful
for whatever you get if you're brave enough to approach someone.
I bravely stuck it out and I did get a response.  I had a guest in my room that night, who didn't
look quite like his profile pic, who was well over 30 and just odd enough to make this
former Story Whore, share something at brunch not long after.

During the three month free period, I had 4 hook ups, only one of which looked like his picture,
was a genuinely nice person and a fun romp.  As much as I enjoyed him,
I don't think it was worth the hours of torturous assaults from anonymous men letting me
know how much they didn't want me, without even having spoken a word to me.
I don't think that the three month was free, there certainly was a price that my self-esteem paid.
Lucky for me, my self-esteem has a strong survival instinct and it pulled me away from
my computer and into the streets, where the super hot guys are less likely to be so hostile to my face.

DISCLAIMER:  I've met and know some very nice super hot guys.  They are real.
...and they have faces!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

He Don't Even Know! - Magic Mig

Meet "Miguel"!
We pretend met at the Arclight in Hollyood.
We were both leaving the theater
with our own gaggles of gays when
I fired off a delicious bon mot about
the movie we had just seen.
He turned to me and said, "Right?"
That's how we both knew that we were at the same screening

We hit it off right away 
and the very next week I was at Miguel's place
for a movie & Thai take-out.
When I got there, 
the place was all set up and all I had to do
was curl up on the sofa next to him
and let him press play on the remote.

He didn't tell me
what movie we'd be watching
and I was delighted to see it was
The best part of the evening was
when he jumped off of the sofaat the end of the movie
and did the final strip
along with the guys in the movie!
Yes, he went the Full Monty.

Then, he was kind enough to fill my Monty.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Is Why I Am Single - My Alleged Father 1

This is my favorite photo of the man I call My Alleged Father.
I call him that, playfully, because he wasn't around much
when I was growing up and when he was around,
he was usually a drain for my mother.  My mother, and relatives on his side
of the family would tell me that I looked a lot like him as I was growing up.
Some said that we were very much alike.
Being that he wasn't around much, I never saw the similarities.  I do now.

I like this photo because it's one of the few similarities I don't mind.
It shows his sense of humor and hamminess.
I started realizing our similarities when I stumbled upon one of my mother's
high school year books and discovered that my father was a member of the Drama Club,
just like I was.  Then, I realized my love for movies came from him.  I remember he used to
take us to the movies ALL THE TIME!  Sometimes it was even a triple feature.
(I used to think he was cool for that, until I realized a little while back, that he did it
because he didn't know how, or want, to interact with his children.)
One time, I stunned myself when I started plucking stubble from my face
with my fingers.  Gross. Why was I doing that?  It became an uncontrollable habit.
Then, I remember seeing my father do it all the time.  Do we really inherit our parents habits?
If I inherited that dandy gross habit, then I must have gotten my dreamer tendencies from him, too.
My alleged father always has a dream ready to go.
Most of them manifested as money making schemes, that never lasted very long...
That is, once the money didn't immediately materialize he was out.
That made it very difficult to support a wife and kids, but it didn't stop him.
Where I think a more responsible person would just give up the schemes and get a steady job
and, at least, help raise four kids, he would just move on to the next project.
That's where I started to notice how selfish he was.

He wanted to have money.  I'm not sure if he wanted to make money, I'm sure he wanted to have it.
He is a classic "Have your cake and wear it, too" type of man.  The time he did have a steady job, (That I was old enough to remember) he was a manager at a famous boot company.
During that period, my parents' bedroom walls were lined with pairs of every exotic boot there was.
He had boots made out of snakes, alligators, ostriches, sharks and many more of the ilk.  I'm sure there was one pair fashioned out of real genuine Mogwai!  Even though he had a job and all these fabulous boots, it was still up to my mother to feed and clothe us.  Of course, he felt welcome to that partial full refrigerator, too.  The boots were only a small example of this selfishness, there are others.

You see, my alleged father is also the classic, "Have your Jane and eat her, too" type of man.
As a child in Kindergarten, I knew that my alleged father had a mistress, or Side Cooze as I call her.
I knew exactly what a mistress was, while other kids were still learning that a kitten is a baby cat.  The Side Cooze, Minerva, was not exactly a beauty and she had a voice like Minnie Mouse swallowing glass, so even as a child, I could hardly imagine why my alleged father would favor her over my darling mother.  But there it was, I'm not sure I understood the dynamic, but I understood that there was another woman in my alleged father's life, who wasn't my mother and it hurt her.
I don't remember my mother being particularly dramatic over the situation, or even embarrassed,
but I do remember it hurt her.
What a selfish man.  I don't know how it came about, but there he was, a man with a wife, a mistress and four children ( with my mother, anyway), but it still didn't seem like enough.
Growing up with it has made me worried and This Is Why I am Single.
It's not because I worry that I will end up with a man like my alleged father,
who would cheat on me and flaunt it in my face and drain me like a leech in snakeskin boots,
it's because I worry that I could be like him.
If we have so many similarities, what if that is one of them?
What if I can be that selfish?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

He Don't Even Know - In his yard

This is "Brody"
He's named after Roy Scheider's character in JAWS.
His dad loved the movie THAT much.
(Actually, that name is second choice because his mother 
put her foot down on Rooster or Cogburn)

We've been together for twenty-four fabulous
and imaginary months!
We met when I was seated on a stool
at the counter
and ordered a cherry malted
from him at the hipster diner where he works.

He was giving me flirty face
when the whipped topping canister
slipped, projectile style, from his hands.
As he reached to keep it from smacking me in the face, 
he knocked the cherry malted all over me.
He was relieved when I laughed
at the situation, instead of being angry.

I lifted up the bottom of my t-shirt 
to cradle the sliding malt, so that no more spilled on to the floor.
He grabbed me, to help me to the restroom, 
but pulled too hard and I crashed right into him.
We made a nice cherry malted sandwich.
More laughs, then he literally dragged me into the restroom,
said, "Stay" and disappeared.

A moment later he returned from his locker
with two shirts in hand.
A replacement work shirt for himself,
and the t-shirt he wore in to work 
for me.
Without warning, he grabbed my shirt from the bottom 
and pulled it off of me, over my head.
He pulled off his own, cherry malt gobbed shirt.
He used the cleaner portions of that to wipe excess
malt from my exposed torso.
Then he held it to my face and joked,
"here's your malt, cherry."
I instantly pulled a bit his shirt into my mouth
and sucked some of the goop of of it.
I smiled and said, "tasty".
He blushed like crazy 
and softly wiped a dab of malt from the corner of my mouth
with his big thumb.

He got some paper towels, 
cleaned us off properly and tossed his personal t-shirt to me.
He put my soaked shirt in a to-go bag and
then put his clean work shirt on, to my disappointment.
He escorted me back to my stool, 
went behind the counter and made me a new malt.
When he handed it to me he said, 
"This is on me."
To which I replied,
"I would enjoy that."

...And later that night, I did!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gay of a Certain Age - The Hummer

There was a time when being in the middle of Times Square
with the hustle and bustle of so many people
would be exciting to me.
I'd feel like a part of it all,
like this is where I should be,
with all these people helping New York be what it is;
a melting pot with so many different people
from so many different backgrounds
and cultures.  Everyone around me speaking different languages
talking about how excited they are for the same reason I am,
that we're all here in one place at the same time-
creating this fabulous hum that vibrates throughout the city!

As a Gay of a Certain Age, I find that this is not so exciting anymore.
I'd rather be in a hotel room with the air-conditioning blasting and a
Rhoda rerun on the T.V., waiting for dinner time & my next show.
Now it's just too much!  A cacophony of languages expressing frustration, exhaustion or
just plain stupidity.  I don't want to navigate around this horde of sudden stoppers or
path blockers.  I want to move at my own pace and walk like I'm going somewhere.
I want to get a clear shot of whatever photo I'm taking without having to wait
for a mob to pass by or Gladys to decide that standing directly between me and my target
is not really where she wants to stop and ponder the magic of neon.
I don't want to listen to whiny children or angry parents.
I don't want to take a shiny card and bracelet from Buddhist looking folk,
who are spreading peace and love, but then demand it all back when you don't have any cash to donate.  That's because printing and handcrafts cost money- Peace and love cost money.

No, I'd be happier in a quiet lounge with a Campari & soda in hand,
where there's a piano playing nice and slow, uninterrupted
and it is the loudest thing I hear.
Have people just become more loud and obnoxious, or have I just outgrown
my patience for it?
Anyway, now I listen to the hum...
 and then I wait for the gun shot.   Ahhhhhh...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

He Don't Even Know - Officer Pete

Hello, Officer!
This is my "boyfriend", "Pete".
We met as I was coming out of the Broadway Musical,
a while back.
There was a large crowd in a hurry to get out
of the theater
and they shoved me right into him.
I got very afraid of the angry look he gave me 
as he grabbed me by the arms.
Then, there was a strange pause and he said,
"I'm taking you in."

I was relieved to learn that "in" was his apartment.
He was just off duty and walking home when everyone
escaping Spider-Man made us meet with excessive force.
He quickly got out of his uniform, 
then gave me a playful strip search, 
"You never know where people will hide dangerous Raisinets."

He accused me of liking musicals too much, 
then said he was going to give me a punishment to fit the crime.
He sat me down on his sofa,
and held me tight, 
making me watch 
on YouTube.
I loved the way he held me down.
 Since then, he's sworn to protect and service me, 
and I promised to always let him keep the piece. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

This Is Why I Am Single - No Fun at the Fun Home

Tonight I saw FUN HOME at Circle In The Square Theatre.
This show is a sweet memory play (musical) in which the main character,
a lesbian cartoonist, recounts her story of discovering her sexuality while
wrestling with the memories of her fragmented relationship with her father.

The cast was great, the younger cast members were remarkable, the music and story
all worked very well together.  The show was funny, sad, touching, moving, thought provoking
and inspirational.  I was moved to tears a few times throughout.  I teared up at the sadness, the beauty, the discoveries, the tragedies and the performances.  I might be an easy audience, but Cripes!  I haven't been moved like this in a long time.
This show shook me up in such a great way, that instead of going out and hitting the Eagle NY,
which I have yet to visit, I headed back to my room, grabbing some Prosecco, cheese & crackers and chocolate candy on the way.  Seriously...

So, instead of eyeing beardy men in leather jockstraps as I had planned, I am here, recounting this experience for you (getting a little wet eyed as I do).  I certainly brought my own issues to the theater,  but I was very aware of the audience around me, and I was not alone in my weepy response.
This show is performed in, what we in the Biz call, the round (where the stage is in the middle of the house and the audience is seated around it ), so I could see the entire audience, save for the five rows behind me.  Now, you might think this is a This Why I Am Single about me crying in shows and movies and tv and some dog parks, but no, this is just the opposite.

I could see the entire audience, especially the fuddy duddy in the front row.  This guy looked like the cliche older, white, privileged Republican stereotype that is in the news often, lately.
It seemed that he went out of his way to look so bored and suffering that I wanted to go over
and kick him in the face as tears crawled down my face.  He sat there, literally with his chin
resting in his palm as if he were Dr. VanPelt in her fifth hour listening to Charlie Brown.  Charles Schulz might as well have drawn him there!  During the most funny/lovely song about changing a college major, I glanced over at him- still VanPelting, as the audience laughed and cooed.  During an amazingly on target rendition of a song about a very young lesbian experiencing her first silent crush, the audience beamed and he was still that stick in the mud figure- uninvolved, unfazed and unmoved.
Maybe undead!  The show takes place in a funeral home, maybe he's that surprise character that pops up at the end of the show, to show that despite our different orientations, we are ALL humans, with human emotions that confuse us and we are all looking for some kind of connection.
No, he was just a tired old fuck who didn't even clap at the end of amazingly performed numbers.

So, we get to it.  This why I am single, because if I thought, for one second that the man I call my
husband, or partner, or boyfriend could be such an unfeeling, impenetrable block of shit, I would dump him in an instant.  This ass was so boorish, that he couldn't even muster polite applause, or wipe off that fucking condescending, "why is everyone standing up and clapping?", look from his face.  It made me sadder for his wife than I felt for any of the characters I had just gone on an amazing journey with.  It's weird to see and love a show so much, knowing it's based on someone's actual life, then seeing someone else live it out right in front of you.  I won't live that life.  I won't live with that person. I'd rather die alone.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

He Don't Even Know! - Puppet from Kell

I'm in New York only one day
and already, my "boyfriend", "Kell",
has gone pretend shopping 
for me!
He bought me a smart outfit to wear to
HAND TO GOD tonight! 
It's a for reals, actual hilarious play
about a demonic hand puppet
on the Broadway.

I tell Kell to stop buying me
all these fancy clothings, 
but he said in return,
"What good is having all this good taste
if I can't share it?"

And with that, 
I slipped on the crotchless
leather undies he got me.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Too Busy For Love! - New York

I would love to go out with you, thank you for asking, but I'm too busy!
You see, tonight I have my commission meeting, then tomorrow morning
I'm hopping a Virgin and heading to New York to see some shows.
I'll probably have some delicious food in some usual spots, like Vynl,
and have cocktails at some hip bars, where I'll keep to myself, not talk to anyone and leave in frustration.

I'll probably walk Central Park, since my last few visits have been dominated by
the sites of the High Line!
I can go to Chelsea and see how many other favorite gay haunts have withered away and been replaced by a nail salon, bank or drugstore!  ...Heck, even the Starbuckses are starting to tremble with fear of disappearing from 8th Avenue.

You don't have to worry, I'll post pics from the New York trip that is keeping me
too busy for love!
...There's a lot of men there who don't even know they're my boyfriend!

He Don't Even Know! - Tender Tender

This is my "boyfriend", Marcus.
He can mix a mean vanilla lemon drop,
but on nights after I've performed 
brain surgery on our most
important Presidents and saving their lives,
Marcus is waiting for me
in the Spider-Man undies I got him for Christmas,
with a perfectly blended
Campari & soda
and a kiss.

Then, he gives me his special
Harvey Wallbanger.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Single Perks - The Message of the Shoes

One of the perks of being single is that when I trip over shoes that are laying
on the living room floor, I think, "I should put those away."
Then, I'll move them or not and move on with the rest of the day.
Surely, if I had a husband and tripped over his shoes, it would become an event
filled with frustration and suspicion.  I wouldn't just think, "Oh, he or I should put those away."
and move on.  Instead, I would immediately begin to wonder how he could do that.
He knows I hate tripping over his stuff on the floor!  Why do I always have to pick up after him?
What is he trying to tell me by doing this?  Does he just not respect me anymore?
Why didn't I know I was marrying a slob?  He wasn't like this when we first moved in together.
He hid this from me.  And if he hid that from me, what else is he hiding?  Who did I marry?
Is our whole marriage a sham if he lied to me about who he is?  Why do I let myself be fooled by people who just want something from me?  Oh my god, is he going to quit his job so he doesn't have to work and we live on my paycheck while he lounges around all day?
Is that why he married me?  I'm such a fool!

No, when you live alone, you know your shoes are sending you no message.
I like that.  Them's the perks!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gay of a Certain Age- There's a site for that?

When I made it a goal to actually leave my home,
part of that was in hopes in meeting folks.
I was at a pool party when I met Tony Davis.
It was a brief moment, but we enjoyed the spirit of the spirited event.
I have a super cute pic of us at the pool party, but that may not be appropriate for this post, so I stole this pic off of his Facebook page.

I've seen him around here and there, and I appreciate a good, hearty "Hello",
which Tony is good with.
We don't know each other that well, but we learn from reading each other's writings.
I want you to know him more, too.
I'm reluctantly posting this essay from him for you to enjoy.
I say reluctantly, because I worry you'll get so much from it, that you won't return to me.
So, visit this site about Gay Life After 40 and read his essay,
but come back - don't learn too much!

You can read it by clicking HERE

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Gay of a Certain Age - BASH!

I know, that as a gay of a certain age, I should probably be excited about another
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD movie, seeing that it is a classic story of
A single woman and the three (3!) men in her life, but my excitement is all building
for MARVEL'S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON! I'm like a school kid,
waiting for the final bell to ring on the last day of school!

I never was into comics as a kid,
I couldn't even bring myself to buy The Walking Dead graphic novels
when they first came out because the action blocks with scattered dialogue boxes
Didn't appeal to me at all.  Now, here I am, a huge fan of the zombie infested TVshow
and chomping at the bit for the supe opera on May 1.

Maybe the hunky men in tight, form fitting costumes appeals to the gay in me,
But I also love the adventure and the BAM POW action.
Should a 47 year old man be so excited about these living cartoons?
Is this a sign of immaturity or is it showing a healthy & active imagination
allowing itself to be caught be stories of heroism, betrayal and friendship?
Isn't it a straight guy thing, in its machoness?
Surely, the gay sensitivity would scoff at handling these problems with such violence.
(I will admit, I actually worry about each individual in that falling skyscraper or falling bridge...)
Certainly my gay sensibility would push me toward more artful fare.
Sure, some of my gay dollars go to supporting the period costume dramas and
indie coming-of- GAYge movies, but I'll be darned in I haven't helped fund a new
wing at Marvel/Disney.

Actually, I'm quite confident in my childish excitement for these movies,
Because I don't think it's an age thing, or a gay thing, I think it's
a fun thing and a willingness to let go and enjoy the ride.
So, I hope you'll join me on this ride,  regardless of your age, sex, or orientation.

(Actually, when I was young and had imaginary playtime that included superheroes,
I was always being rescued and being held safely in the arm of the superhero of the day.
That makes it somewhat gay, no?)

Friday, April 10, 2015

He Don't Even Know - I See Your Tattoo Colors

This is my "boyfriend", Derek.
We have a lot of imaginary fun together!
While our absolute favorite activity is 
rescuing Chihuahua puppies,
a good amount of our playtime
is spent in the kitchen.
Here you can see Derek texting me:

"Hey, Fkr, i hop ur feeling Mondriany.
I got yur colors!
C U soon, Saylr Moon"

Derek likes to get totally naked
 and let me color his tattoos
with these delicious markers
then eat him.
Since I have no tattoos, 
when it's his turn
he has free reign.
My favorite tasty tattoo that he put on me
was a dead-on perfect portrait of Golda Meir on my chest.
(It was supposed to be Henry Kissinger, 
but a slip of the wrist after giggling
put longer hair into play).

My favorite flavored tattoo
to lick on him
is the chocolate starfish!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

This Is Why I Am Single - The Vanishing

This is something that has happened to me more than once,
so I know it is a phenomenon for the ages.  What happens is,
I go out with a guy, we have a great time, he says what a great time he's having,
we make out at the end of the extended date, he says he can't wait for more, leaves,
then falls off the face of the earth.  He vanishes.

What is that about?  Why do guys vanish after having, what they'd lead you to believe was the
best date of their lives? What's going on in their heads?  I know when I'm not having a good time on a date, I'll be polite, but I won't let them believe for a second I'm having a great time with more to come.  I try to be kind, but honest and won't say I'll call them if I don't intend to do so.
I'm an experienced actor, but I don't think I can fake chemistry- I certainly wouldn't want to.
So what is it with these guys?  Did they honestly have a great time, then after they got home thought, "Wow! that was....nah, never mind. Ooooh, look! Shiney!" then forget the whole thing even happened?  Is there some weird thing where guys get off by having a great time with someone, leading them on, getting them hard, then just dropping them?  Usually, if I've had an average date, but don't get a call back, I don't waste time wondering what I could have done, or who I could have been to get a second date.  But these cases really confuse me, because it' wan't just an okay date, it was an AMAZING experience where you feel like magic is real and someone totally gets you and wants you.

It's a mystery I try not to spend too much time on, but it does drive me nuts sometimes!  Could I have unwittingly done this to someone?  Could I have had just an okay date, that the other guy thought was amazing?  I am a fun guy, but I don't think I'm that fun or unaware of the energy during a date.  I have had the dates where I could tell the other guy was way into it more than I was and I tried to find a nice way to cool the jets and reverse the sharks.  Even in that case, even when I do chicken out and avoid dropping the axe at the moment, I'll either call, or respond to a call, to let them know I just wasn't into it.   I don't just vanish.  That's just crazy and rude.  Do they give a phone number because they really wanted to pursue a relationship, or did they do it just to make the vanishing more surprising?  Yeah, That's right, I've been the schmuck who will call the number I've been given, more than once, leaving a fun and hopeful message only to realize a few days later, that he's gone.

I have a fairly healthy self esteem, so when this happens to me I've learned to do a brief evaluation of my actions, survey my level of cleanliness, check my desperation meter, answer honestly when I ask myself "Am I an asshole?" and then get to imagining what really happened to them.  Sometimes I imagine that I was part of a Douglas Sirk type real life drama, wherein this guy finds me, the love of his life, has one wonderful day then returns to his home in the valley, to his three children and his chronically (but not terminally) ill wife, whom he could never leave, even though he only loves her like a sister.  He thinks of me on sunny Saturdays and when he smells cotton candy in the air.  Another common scenario for me is the sexy secret agent who was looking for a cover, but found a lover he couldn't keep.  He leads such a dangerous life and loves me so much, that he stays away, only for my protection.  My absolute favorite is the thought that they electrocuted themselves to death in the tub by dropping their iPhone in the water because it slipped from their hand while they were masturbating, looking at my profile picture.  Their final thought was, "I should have called."

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gay of a Certain Age - Narratus Interuptus

As a gay of a certain age, I've certainly had my share of adventurous sexcapades.
I didn't come out to myself & others until I was 28 years old, and soon after I was making up
for lost time.  Every weekend seemed like prom night, and since I was young(ish) & vanilla was my flavor of choice, finding someone to bounce jangly parts with wasn't very difficult.  In the past ten years, or so, my adventures have slowed down drastically and seem as likely as The Wizard of Oz being shown on Network T.V.  I nailed a cardboard sign that says "Special" that I twirl whenever I manage to have someone in the bedroom.  The drop in my adventures can be attributed to a few things including, self body image, lack of interest in the pursuit, really good T.V. shows, a great relationship with my hands... But, I would say the biggest reason is that I've stopped being a Story Whore.

I used to be a prolific Story Whore.  That is, if I was not having a good sexual experience I would stay in it so that I'd have a story for the brunch table the next day.  So, if my sex life wasn't great, brunch with friends would be, because who doesn't love a story about sex gone terribly wrong over a protein scramble with avocado?  I used to enjoy reliving the awkward experience, like the time a guy I confessed to that I liked toys (i.e. collectible vinyl figures) invited me to his place where he had toys to show me.  His were building blocks with baby Muppets on them.  He also had rubber sheets.  Also, our sex consisted of him blowing me for 90 minutes, to where I was less erect and more puffy & swollen, followed by a request for me to leave my mark on him.  Apparently, peeing on him is where I reached my cut-off.

I'd never set out to have a crazy or lousy sex experience, but when it started going south in the south, instead of leaving I'd buck up because, I think I had convinced myself that it was my duty.  It started happening before Carrie and her friends sat around sharing their sex stories on HBO, but I will say my high tide of Story Whoring was during the run of SEX AND THE CITY.  Whether we meant to be or not, we gay folk were the model the NY foursome who found themselves in many different sexuations.  I suppose that the fun spirit of the show made it more appealing for me.  Why wouldn't I stick around and see how the drunk groom to be, who somehow stumbled into a gay bar in South Beach and wanted me to plow him the weekend of his wedding, would end up? (The ending includes the quote, "Stacy's gonna kill me," at 7:00 am, as he awoke.)  It had to be better than returning to my hotel room alone, right?

I'm not sure when it happened, but I do remember being in the throws of shallow passion and the guy I was with started doing this weird thing that was very much like a blow fish and I consciously told myself, "Leave. Fight the curiosity and leave.  No more."  And with that, I lightly moved his pucker off of me and made a polite excuse and left.  I did not promise to call him later.  I just said, "thank you." and left.  Now, my few sexual encounters are not as easy to come by because of age, and less time spent looking for it in obvious places, but mostly because I'm not as likely to accept just anything.  I no longer think that bad sex is better than no sex.  Bad sex for me is not a matter of judging someone for an odd bit that they are into, or a weird move they are trying out, it's simply a matter of how well we are connecting.  If we're not connecting, being present with each other or I feel like I'm just a handy hole, it's bad sex.  Having someone want to spread orange marmalade on me while wearing a metalic jock and a Mexican wrestling mask is not necessarily a deal breaker, if we're both into it and connecting.

So, I'm still up for an exciting one night stand or friendly sex encounters while I'm single, I'm just not going to go through the motions waiting for the amusing hook, especially because there isn't always one.  I have no problem cutting it short and heading home, or showing them the door.  Now at brunch, my stories of personal empowerment don't get the same reception as my regular bad sex stories did, but my gluten-free french toast tastes a little better.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

He Don't Even Know! - All that Chaz

Say Hello, to my "boyfriend", 
whom I think is a Chaz.
Chaz is very silly and loves a good laugh, 
I imagine, one time, 
that we were at an electrician friend's 
Welcome Home From Narnia party
when this very annoyingly flirty 
and drunk set decorator guy
was shamelessly throwing himself at Chaz.
I didn't feel threatened at all, 
mostly because Chaz never gives me any reason to fret.
The set decorator made it clear that he had designs on Chaz's crotch.
I turned to Chaz and said, "Go ahead, show him your nuts."
Set decorator's eyes widened with anticipation.
Chaz promptly stuck his fingers in his own ears
and twisted them as he stuck his tongue out
and crossed his eyes.
I did a spit take on Set Decorator,
and yelled, "You're nuts!"
Set Decorator was turned off on so many levels.
Chaz took his fingers out of his ears, 
but left his tongue out as he licked the tip of my nose
and pulled me into a hug.
We never did see that Narnia movie...

Monday, April 6, 2015

This Is Why I Am Single - Me vs Me

Here's a nice photo of me at some street event, probably in 1999.
Dang, I had abs.
This is back when I had a job as a temp and had a friend who was a writing and a work-out partner.
I would work until 6:00, then head to his place where we would write until 8 or 8:30, then head to the gym, then get get a lite dinner.  I usually got home and in bed by 11:00 and started all over again.  Looking back, I think that steady schedule really helped me keep things in perspective and goals in sight.  Maybe a year or so later, our differences became more apparent so we stopped writing together and eventually stopped working out together.  That, coupled with me getting hired full-time, making me able to afford lunches and dinners that I couldn't have as a temp, led me down the road to Chunky Town.
I was still working out, but other things got in the way, like acting, networking, socializing , T.V. watching and shoe cleaning.  When I look at photos from that period, with my 2015 vision, I still looked pretty good, even if then, I thought I was fat.
Currently, I'm not  a gym goer (I still pay my monthly dues, which I call my Fat Tax), and I'm actually fat.  Not the exaggerated Hollywood - HaHa Funny Fat Guy fat, but the Dr. BlueEyes saying, "You need to lose 40 pounds," fat.  If you looked at me walking down the street, you might think you're seeing an anthropomorphic avocado strolling along, but you probably wouldn't think, "Wow, that guy is fat!". Granted, the fact that not doing crunches in a long while has me walking with my stomach out, as if it were Toucan Sam's snout sniffing for Fruit loops, which enhances the belly image, but if I suck it in, it ain't so bad.  Therein lies the danger. I can rationalize that it's not great, but it's not that bad.  But it is.
So here I am, late forties and looking at a pic of myself in good shape wondering what went wrong.
I find myself very easily thinking, "No wonder nobody wants to date me! I'm a chunky schlub."

Now, I have the pic on a vision board I see every day to tell myself I can get back to that.
And that is going to help me get back to that!  
Isn't it?
Or am I sabotaging myself by competing with a me that is 15 years younger and in a situation that really lent itself to staying thin?  Seriously, would I have chosen to eat a can of kidney beans or tuna for lunch if I could have afforded more?  I'm not saying that I can't get in better shape, or that I can't buckle down and set up a strict schedule that has me going to work, then to the gym, then to bed.  I'm not saying I can't make better food choices.  I'm just wondering if I'm giving up before I start because I'm trying to literally be 15 years younger!  My heart & spirit say, "You can do it!', but my head says, "Dude, don't even!" and the head has my lowered metabolism, aching back, growling stomach and X-Box cheering it on very loudly.
Somewhere in between the spirit and the head, I need to find what it is that'll get me back into being interested in being fit again, along with realistically living the life I enjoying living.  I realize I'm not the schlub I get to thinking I am, and I know I'm attractive to some guys, but I do desire some more confidence in that area.  So, when I do get back into the fitness fray, I will be competing with my current self and not the self that I can no longer, realistically be.
Who knows, maybe when I'm in better shape and finally have the confidence to approach that guy I couldn't have before, it'll turn out he was really attracted to the schlubby me.
At least I'll be healthier...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

He Don't Even Know - The Provider

This is my "boyfriend", "Dom".
My favorite thing to imagine 
about him is illustrated in this photo.
See the cash he has in a band around his arm?
Well, whenever we go swimming,
he wants to be sure that
I never do without,
so, he always carries cash!
This particularly hot evening,
he jumped out of the pool 
and into the street as soon as he heard the ice cream truck
(which was playing our song "Music Box Dancer" on the loud speaker)
to get me a Creamsicle!
He knows I love the creamy middle.
He's so sweet!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Gay of a Certain Age - Mail

As a gay of a certain age,  I remember the days before email.  Today, I can rest assured that my two email accounts will be chock full of stuff for me to sort through.  I dare not put it off, else the task becomes too daunting because letting your email go for two or three days could leave you sorting through 300 or 400 messages to find the ones that actually mean anything to you.

In the old days, you had only one chance a day.  If my box didn't have anything in it by 11:00 AM, I knew I was going to have a lonely rest of the day.  I felt like this particularly in the summer of 1985, when I was shipped off to Galveston, Texas to babysit my sister's two baby daughters while she worked.  I became anxious and looked forward to the daily 2:00 PM mailbox check.  Did I get a letter from my mom?  Did I get a post card from a vacationing high school buddy?  Was there a sale at Penny's?   It was an excitement that built as the day wore on and I could barely stand to sit through all of Santa Barbara with out jumping out of my skin.  I couldn't worry about whether or not Gina was gonna pull the plug on C.C.'s life support, I had to worry about whether or not the cast of Miami Vice responded to my fan letter!  I didn't particularly care for that show, but their fan mail address was easy to find and I wanted someone to write to me!  I honestly didn't know who was Crocker or who was Stubbs.  On days when there was no mail, I was truly let down.  On days when there was a colorful advertisement or coupon I'd be content and stare at it for a few minutes, taking in the comfort it brought me.  When there was something in the mail addressed directly to me, I would dance around like Snoopy.  I guess being in a strange city, away from everyone you know with no one to hang out with but a one and a two year-old, will do that to you.  I loved getting something in the mail- and I swear that is the only reason I subscribed to the International Male catalog.  I swear!

Today, even though I may go a day or two without checking my physical mailbox, I still enjoy receiving stuff in the mail.  That is why I still send some handcrafted cards through the post office, now and then.  I like sending a little happy surprise addressed directly to someone I love & care about, hoping it'll give them a little thrill.

I must confess that the flood of email every day, and the trickle of physical mail that comes has made me a little blasé about what's in my box.  Fliers for stores I don't shop at, special offers for cable in Spanish and unneeded insurance offers don't thrill me, although I do get a thrill anytime I get a chance to recycle!  I guess I don't appreciate the junk as much as I used to because it's not "just for me."   I think I just dislike the incincerity of it all.  Every time I get a piece of mail like the one above I think, "If I'm so valued, why don't you know my name?"  Still my every day is buoyed by the chance that I will open that box and find a new International Male catalog waiting just for me!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Too Busy For Love! - Chico's Angels Easter

I would love to go out with you,
thank you for asking, 
but I'm just too busy!

I couldn't even possibly think about a date, 
what with rehearsing and performing 
in CHICO'S ANGELS this week until Sunday.
We're doing 7 shows in 5 days all of which are sold out,
and I don't know how I'm going to do my full time job in the day,
 then rush to the theater to do the show right after!

Of course...
seeing this guy all through it helps...
(Even though he, Duke Shoman, cut off two of my lines & gags last night!)

Also, there's always the hope of snagging some nice, hot
"Stage Door Johnny" with LTR potential after the show...

But how can I be sure he's into me, the person, Danny,

and not my not-clownish-at-all, glamorous and notably trampy character, Frieda Laye?
I guess the ideal is take 'em all and sort 'em out later!

Let's be honest folks, at this point,
 I'll take any kind of attention that comes my way.
Well, not that Kardashian type of attention.
Come to think of it, there are so many different kinds of attention, 
I'd explain them all to you, 
but I'm too busy!