I agreed to address the cult. You know how I feel about LA AA.
I spent the larger part of the day at home, packing. I bought a coat from RRL. A beautiful navy pea coat with brass buttons and a dramatic pleat in the back.
At lunch time I have a conversation with a financier and discuss tax credits.
She has good casting ideas.
She is generous and interesting and interested. She doesn’t get recognized.
I drive with the Little Dog to Beverly Hills. Outside the church I notice people I know from the past… smoking. People with small amounts of recovery. Limited time in AA. People who can’t stay sober for longer than a few months.
Leading the meeting means that I have to direct the format of the meeting as written then tell my story. The story divided into three parts: Experience, Strength and Hope. How it was and how it is now.
Well, you are meant to have a great story. I don’t have a great story. Not this year.
Inside the hall my mouth dries, I can see the bloated face of a gay film producer who just cannot stay sober and will die drunk. His equally incompetent sober friends will mourn his death. They will say things like, ‘Peter struggled so hard to stay sober’.
They will cry for the duration of the memorial then they will scamper like hairy children to another miserable dying addict who can’t stay clean or sober.
The same people are found laughing at the back of meetings. Unable to take anyone seriously other than themselves.
Peter has four pitiful months. He mocks my struggle or the struggles of people like me because he has never had more than a few months clean. He will never know what it is like not to drink for a decade or more or what tribulations that incurs.
I didn’t tow the party line. I told them what was going on. A public flaying.
I flayed myself.
What am I doing here? I thought. What am I doing here telling these people my secrets? What the hell do I do this for? I sipped at my bottle of water. I wore my new spectacles.
On the way back to Malibu I listened to NPR. They were playing Bridge when I got home. Eating marzipan mice.
The speaker of the Ugandan parliament has promised she will pass the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill in the next two weeks — she called it a “Christmas gift” for the Ugandan people.
How will she achieve that? There’s one born every minute.
Listen to it.
Doesn’t it inspire you? Inspire you to write or paint or reach out?
I have been re-writing my script. Tinkering. It’s all about nuance now.
The balance of power shifting subtly between two lovers.
I saw new pictures of him. He looks less grotesque. Like he is finding his own style. Owning his beautiful smile. Owning it.
It makes me happy to know that he is thriving. That he is going to make a better job of this than I ever could.
That he will enjoy the benefits of being a young gay man in 2012.
I have been all over the place recently. High and low. Good and bad. Always present. Never shamed.
At LACMA I was more interested in the spectator than the art.
Some people are art.
I have been in the company of old men in those strange AA rooms. In basements, church halls, galleries. Yes, there is an AA meeting in a gallery in Venice.
I like old people because I am in training to be one. Surround yourself with old people and you might learn to age with dignity.
I like getting old. Watching the lines on my face get deeper. For those Peter Pan gays amongst you… you’ve got it coming. ha ha ha.
I’m sitting in The Chateau with Elizabeth and a professional gambler.
He’s my age, boasting about the 20-year-old girls he can snare. But he’s not owning it. He’s not proud. He’s telling me like he tells his friends that he owns a Water Lily by Monet.
The painting just stares back at him blankly.
It has no value. She stands at the end of his bed, naked… looking at him blankly. Wondering what to do.
I re-imagine the grotesque freaks.
They have not attacked either Lebanon or the people of Gaza since the mid east shape shifting Arab Spring. Times have changed, time has strengthened the international hand of Hamas. Making the incredible credible.
It heralds the new order.
I railed against Israel on my Facebook page. In Europe they ‘liked’ my stance, in America they didn’t.
Here their brains are fried by Israeli propaganda. Pro Palestinian aristocrats in England wrote private notes of support. Americans urged me to stop my public support of the people of Gaza.
Sneering at pictures of dead Palestinian children.
The temptation is to see the tragic bloodshed in the narrow terms of the Hamas rockets and Israel’s right to self defence.
Israel has that right of course… and it’s worth restating.
This is not just about rockets and self-defence. It’s about 1.3 million Palestinians crowded into a tiny strip of land (or “prison camp” as David Cameron called it), most of whose families were refugees from land now occupied by Israel and who feel that their hopes of a viable Palestinian homeland are further away than ever.
Yes, the Israelis withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but Israel’s continued blockade has strangled Gaza’s economy and only served to encourage the militants.
“When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing… You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”
AA. It has been a welcome return. Looking for a sponsor, working out a year of resentments. Sitting in those rooms with those beautiful boys. Refusing their interest, I cannot be trusted with it.
Based on a True Story.
This is based on a true story. Everything you see has some basis in truth. The sun is shining. I am in bed. Over looking the Pacific. Getting older, a performance artist. A sober man.
Not dead yet. I wondered who would love me and the love (when it comes) comes from the most unlikely source.
Last night we sat in the Chateau Marmont with a professional gambler. We ate pumpkin pie. We drank hot chocolate. Vincent arrived with two beautiful Swedish boys. I was in bed before 12.
The fridge groaning with left over Thanksgiving food whilst the starving homeless roam the streets like so many tatty zombies.