I would love to join AARP but I still have 18 years to go until I’m 50. Wow, only 18 years. How depressing, either way I look at it.
*Check out the summary on Google for the fifth entry.
I am good at many things; being appropriate is not really one of them.
This past Sunday I hung around with a few friends of a friend in their beautiful new pied-à-terre condo in SoMa. The furnishings were sparse seeing as they had just closed on the place a few weeks earlier. In fact they joke the only things they had in the condo for a while were alcohol and toilet paper.
During the course of the afternoon another of their friends showed up. She told us about breaking up with an Estonian man she had been dating for a few months. The breakup seemed completely amicable, just two people on different life paths.
She mentioned a date they had taken in Golden Gate Park. They went to view the dahlias in bloom. The Estonian had never seen dahlias before and upon his first viewing of the voluptuous blossoms he broke out in rapturous laughter. His reaction was curious to all of us. To me it was refreshing to hear of someone with that much uncontainable joy and I was slightly jealous. I’m cynical to a fault. It’s my shtick and a major component of my sense of humor. My friends find it funny (mostly) but not everyone understands it.
One of the condo owners looked at me. “Have you ever laughed at seeing a flower?”
“The only flowers I laugh at are the crippled ones.”
The joke bombed. Instead of chuckles I got disapproving stares. It was way too sensitive of a group. I guess if one of them dates a laughing-at-flowers Estonian my postmodern ironic sense of humor has no place.
Later in the evening, as we crowded around the kitchen island, one of the owners went about showing us the finer details of their kitchen cabinets. He said they needed to get a step stool because they couldn’t reach the upper cabinets. I mentioned they should get a “monkey helper” that could traverse the cabinets and get things for them.
“That’s a really offensive term,” one of them spewed.
And with that I was done. I literally meant a monkey helper. But since I make fun of crippled flowers, ergo: I must be a racist, as well.
This past weekend reaffirmed why I chose to hang out with very few people here in the Bay Area; because much like parents in a Will Smith rap, they just don’t understand.
Dawn had just broke and I was parking in front of the grocery store. As with most mornings a man was power washing the sidewalks of the shopping center and I was taking care not to get wet. As I jumped over a puddle I heard a gruff voice yell at me. "You jump like a fuckin' fairy!"
"Duh shit," I replied. "I am a fuckin' fairy!" I looked over and saw a man sitting on a bench, in his late fifties, with a scraggly salt and pepper beard. He was obviously homeless. He was tooth-free but had a wolf's grin.
"I could turn you into a stud!" his eye lit up and he manhandled his crotch. "Come over here and let me choke on your meat."
It was too early in the morning to get cruised by an actual tramp. I can handle advances post-10AM from any sort of person. He stunned me. I had no witty comeback so I offered up a boisterous "Ewww!" which made him laugh.
I shuffled into the store to gather my groceries for the day. Maybe it's because it's Pride weekend, or maybe because I'm not a total asshole, I thought I should give my could-be hobo lover a little something to eat. I took extra time picking up things for him as well.
Back outside the man was harassing a pigeon until he saw me. "Hey sweet-cheeks! Why don't you come on over here and let me do what I do best."
"The mind reels," I said reaching into my canvas shopping bag. "I got something for you."
"And I got somethin' for you!" He opened his mouth and started flicking his tongue.
I handed him a kielbasa sausage. "This is the only meat I'm letting you choke on."
"Here this is for you too." I handed him an egg salad sandwich, because seriously, what can a man without teeth really gum, besides sausages.
The hobo turn soft all of a sudden and looked like he was going to cry. "I love you," he said.
And all of a sudden, I felt something. Kind of like in the cartoon when the Grinch's heart grows two sizes bigger. But I was feeling something physical too. The hobo was grabbing my crotch.
I jumped back. "That isn't going to happen!"
He chuckled. "Just want to thank you."
"Words are enough. Have a good day, mister."
I turned and walked away.
"Hey," he called out. "Jump one more time!"
I jumped across a puddle and as I landed did a pirouette.
My sister Melissa is my family's genealogist. Our paternal grandmother was one as is one of our maternal aunts. Getting any information about my heritage is easily ascertained from my sister as the aunt tends to be secretive about her discoveries. Apparently to her genealogy is a competitive endeavor.
Today I received an email from my sister detailing a conversation she had with our youngest nephew. He wanted to know what one of Melissa and my cousins was in relation to him. She explained our cousin was his cousin once removed. The cousin's children would be his second cousins.
The talk got her to thinking. In our paternal line there were two first cousins who married and had children. So what does that mean? I am not only myself, but I am my 31st cousin once removed, 33rd cousin once removed and my very own 34th cousin. Funny, since I always did feel related to myself.
And yes, several generations of our paternal line were from the South. So feel free to make the requisite incest jokes. I know I will at the next family reunion I attend.
The SF Chronicle reports that Mayor Gavin Newsom is showing up at the houses of chronically truant students, along with the school's principal. Oh how I wish I were younger! I'd love for Gav to visit me in my home so I could seduce him. Wait, what?
I was a teenage truant. I managed to miss over two-thirds of my senior year in high school. Granted I only had four classes: American Institutions & Economics, English, Public Speaking and Photography. On the one or two days I'd go to school I didn't even have to show up until around 10:30am. I take two classes, break for lunch and then take two more classes and leave for the day. Talk about a rough schedule. It's no wonder I skipped classes most days.
So what was I do with my free time? Most of it was spent in Santa Rosa with my mom shopping and playing tennis. She'd take a tennis lesson from one of her friends and then we'd all play doubles until it was time to break for lunch and cocktails. Afterward we go shopping or just run around town before making the hour long drive home.
On the days I stayed in town I mainly hung around our house making sure when noon rolled around I hid from my father who'd come home each day for lunch. He did not like me missing school but he was easy enough to fool. All I had to do was make sure I turned the TV off in the living room a half hour before he came home, so it was sufficiently cool to the touch. I'd go to my room, close the door and lay on the floor by my bed furthest from the door, thus out of his sight. I'd hear him come home, he'd walk to my room, open the door and look in. I'd see his work boots from the view I had under the bed. He'd turn around, walk out and close the door. After an hour he'd leave. I'd get up and start doing whatever it was that I was doing before he came home. I've never asked him, but he probably knew I was home regardless of how I tried to keep myself hidden. Maybe he just tolerated the ruse.
Despite being a truant I had stellar grades and managed to have a 4.0 grade point average. Of course it wasn't like my course load was filled with advance placement and honors classes like it was the year before, so earning stellar marks was easy.
Despite showing up to classes infrequently, I didn't realize how many days I had missed. One day during the spring semester I got a note from the Attendance Office notifying me I was getting a detention for cutting a class and having an "unexcused absence." How could that be? My mom always signed notes for me. All my absences were "excused" because of it.
So off to the Attendance Office I went to talk with the main secretary.
"Hey Shelia, I got a note here that says I'm getting detention for cutting."
"Yeah, and?" She questioned.
"I always have a note, so why would I need to cut?"
"Let me grab your file."
What I didn't know was the A.O. kept every note written by a parent or legal guardian during the current school year. Shelia scanned the cabinets. She opened one up and fished through the files. Most were thin manila folders. Mine file however was an accordion file, the three inch expandable kind. When she opened the file it almost exploded like a ticker tape parade.
"Wow, that's a lot of notes!" I exclaimed.
"And this is only half of this years file," she moaned. "You should get some sort of award at the end of the year."
"You flatter me."
Of course she found a note written by my mom that excused me on the day in question. Despite seeing the number of notes I had I wasn't dissuaded from taking more days off from school. If anything, I took even more.
When it comes to meeting men lately, I’m a failure. In public I never check guys out because I’m too caught up in getting to my destination. Unless a guy is hanging out at my doctor’s office, the Vietnamese place where I eat lunch or at the gas station, I won’t notice him. I’m completely blind to (normal) people on the street. Of course it’s harder nowadays to meet anyone because I hardly leave the house. Still I check Craigslist Missed Connections on the off chance the following message will appear:
I’m a cute short Jewish guy with tattoos and a beard who saw you, the handsome guy with a reddish beard dressed in jeans and a blue t-shirt, hanging out around your bedroom. I’d love to hang around your bedroom too. We could spin your vinyl and play video games, though that certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of what we could do. *wink, wink*
Being dateless hasn’t always been the case. For a time I was quite open to meeting guys. A few years ago while buying doggie biscuits I met a guy named Kevin. He was easy on the eyes and had a great personality. I figured we’d get along great. Nothing seemed to faze him. It turned out that was completely not true.
Something utterly shocking, horrible and completely unbelievable happened to me yesterday while I was out walking. The whole ordeal happened so fast, 45 seconds tops. I felt something hit my shoulder. I thought a seagull had shat on me. There was that much heavy feeling gunk. But unlike bird crap, this gunk wasn't opaque and it smelt like bleach. Bewildered I looked up at the row of lofts I was passing by. In the window of a lower story was an older man, completely naked, ejaculating out the window.
I know, I know. Remember I said it was completely unbelievable. I was out walking? But this is true. And that jackass came on me!
I was livid. I remembered that spiting on a person is considered assault so naturally I figured this guy cumming on me meant rape. I yelled every expletive I know at the guy who seemed to just get aroused by fevered rant. What happened to the refractory period? He probably considered what I was saying "dirty-talk" because he wasn't going limp and he was still shooting out buckets. Damn Viagra! I fumbled for my phone because I was going to call the cops-- but I want to get his joy juice off of me so I ran back to work (ok, walked really fast) which was right around the corner.
Before I went off the deep-end I sent off two emails to trusted gay friends to see what they thought I should do. Geof advised me I should call the police unless I didn't want to explain the situation to a cop, who "will no doubt look at you in horror, like I am at my screen right now." Jim, who also believes in my life motto of "find the comedic lining to every tragedy cloud" said I should count my blessing because I wasn't walking a few inches to the right while yawning.
Well I didn't call the police, which would have fleshed this anecdote out into a story. Instead I just laughed it off as another unbelievable account of what can happen in SF on any given day. Had a bird crapped on me, it might have been seen as a sign of luck, like many cultures believe it to be. A stranger cumming on me, well maybe that's lucky too. The last time someone came on me was in August of 2006. Maybe this is officially the end of the dry spell (though I'm sure that's actually considered a drought).
In other news: Have you heard that David Beckahm is getting his own brand of bottle water? I don't get why they need to re-brand Massengill, though putting his picture on the box does make sense.
I'm pretty convinced a lot of people only invite me to dinners and parties because they know I'll be funny or the attendees will be "shocked" when they find out what I do for work. Inevitably when meeting someone new, the host of the event will say, "This is Eric. You're never going to believe what he does for a living. Go on, take a guess."
Oh if only someone said that. That'd be hilarious and wildly inappropriate and I'd probably stalk that person for real. But no, usually they guess stuff like "Black-ops? Circus clown? Bruce Vilanch impersonator?" (Seriously, guy-- FUCK YOU for saying that! Bruce has way nicer t-shirts.)
The host will continue, whispering loudly while looking right and left, "He works in porn."
The guests' eyes will bug and then comes a string of questions: are you a performer? (No, way behind the scenes, I'm a porn-paralegal.) Are there really fluffers? (Not really, performers fluff other performers.) Does your mother know what you do? (Yes, not only does she know, she's delighted to tell people what I do.)
Straight guys go limp when they find out the porn I work in is gay, or as the industry tries to pass it off, all-male adult erotica. But that's fine because I go limp talking to straight guys, period. If I wanted to talk about sports and pussy I'd hang out with even more lesbian friends.
I can't say I mind playing the part of a token-- at least I know where I stand at events-- usually in the spotlight holding on to a highball glass filled with liquor. Of course I'm much more comfortable blending in with the wallpaper, listening in on converstaions and then interjecting some innapproriate comment.
The other week, Courtney and I were out getting a drink and talking about comedy. We share the opinion that to stifle a joke because it's seemingly inappropriate is, well, paramount to murder. Even when we know the joke isn't going to go overwell, we still put it out there, because at least it will make us laugh (even if we're the only ones) and we have to be true to the joke. It's comidic integrity, we've convinced ourselves (well I've convinced myself.)
The other day I was doing a team building exercise. The leader of the exercise wanted us all to revel something about ourselves that the other people in the group did not know. As the others spoke I started getting really bored. I didn't care that so-and-so is dyslexic, or so-and-so had a twin that died at birth, so when it was my turn I decided I'd spice things up just a little.
"Well," I deadpanned "it turns out I have more in common with Michael Jackson beyond molesting pre-pubescents with cancer. We both collect mannequins."
Holy shit, I never had a room turn on me so quickly. "That's offensive!", "Are you for real?", "What's wrong with you?", "So... fucked up."
Still a couple days later, I don't understand why people have such hate for mannequins.
The last few months I've felt very out of sync with everything. My blood, which betrayed my body last year, is back to what my specialist considers "normal levels". As I tapered off medications which were keeping me alive I decided I wanted to taper off medications which were keeping me sane, mind you sanity is a relative term. I can't say it's a good decision. I also can't say it's medically approved. But I can say it's my way to feel alive again even if the place I end up in is bat-shit crazy-town on the banks of delusional bay.
Mood stabilizers had been balancing out my dysphoric episodes. They lightened my mind and rounded the edges of my feelings. However after awhile I felt terribly blunted. The vitality I gained was sanded back down by the meds leaving me feeling shapeless. Since my ego wants me to be unique, the only feelings I had were frustration which led to depression. I hate being flat.
Several weeks have passed since I took my last bit of brain candy. Marked differences were noticed immediately. I've become snappy and confrontational. I get choked up at silly things. I shed a tear the other day watching a video of a munchkin kitten, not because it was sad, but because the kitten was so cute. On the flip side, I now can belly laugh at more than just schadenfreude which makes me seem, if only slightly, less like an asshole (that is at least when I'm not confronting people).
There probably is never a good time to go off medication. Too much happens in modern life to make it convenient. I still have to earn a living and can't check into a hospital, not that I'd want to anyway, or that it's necessary. This is all about freedom from the drug induced bars in my head. Coming off the prescriptions made me realize that if I weren't to take a vacation from work, as it's been five years since my last one, I might end up like some Hollywood movie loon, in the middle of traffic in just my underwear, brandishing a gun and honestly, no one needs to see me in my underwear.
Taking time off from work is tricky. I'm out of PTO to use for vacation having used it all up getting blood transfusions and the alike. I told my job I was taking one week off unpaid to visit my family in Idaho. The reaction was mixed. My supervisor told me that I could work some Saturdays to build up vacation time before I left. I decided the responsible thing to do was to take him up on the offer. It actually is killing two birds with one stone: I'm accruing hour-for-hour PTO and I also have something to do on Saturday mornings so I'm not laying in my bed being flat.
This past Saturday I worked for seven hours. I realized before coming into work that Courtney and I had tickets to see Carrie Fisher's one woman show "Wishful Drinking" at the Berkeley Rep. Despite reading very favorable reviews I didn't feel like going. I was tired and cranky. I emailed Courtney hoping she wasn't up to going— but she was. I decided to bite the bullet and go.
On our drive over Courtney filled me in on her recent trip to Spain. The site-seeing and coquetry were enough to make me a little jealous of her trip. I was glad she enjoyed herself and it seemed like it was a transformative experience. As our time together passed I lost most of the apprehension I had before leaving SF.
Carrie Fisher was fantastic. While her life experiences are truly her own I found myself relating to much of what she’s gone through. Fortunately I've never had a gay republican die in my bed from a mixture of Oxycontin and sleep apnea. She has a very dark sense of humor and a gift of writerly detachment that allows examination of her life (sounds familar.)
After the show, as Courtney was driving us back to the city, we chatted about the usual things. But in a moment of silence, out of no where, Courtney and I sang the same note for five seconds.
"What the hell was that?" Courtney asked me.
I cursed, “I have no fucking clue!"
We laughed. Courtney laughed so hard tears blurred her vision. It was the first time in a long time where I shared a synchronous thought with someone and acted upon it. It was as though we were taken over briefly by a puppet master, his left hand on Courtney his right hand on me (and not up our butts, sheesh.)
Had the note been sung earlier in the day, when I was alone and grumpy; I would have called it a B♭. But seeing as my mood was brighter and I felt as though I could relate to both Courtney and Carrie, I think the note most definitely was an A♯.
Yes, I'm using B♭ and A♯ in an enharmonic way and do know on the diatonic scale they are really different notes. Suck it music nerds.