Tag: Malibu California
What A Treat
The storm passes over Malibu, leaving clear blue skies. Catalina clearly visible on the horizon.
The garden dripping wet after the torrential rain.
The clouds were magnificent!
That’s all I can tell you. Is that all I can say?
It has been a very busy month. With more health issues on the horizon I retreat from normal living. With art as my salvation I hunker down and do what I do best.
Day by bay, unfolding before me…life delivers one delightful treat after another.
I am glad I am not them.
Such a perfect day…see more here.
Am I Weak?
I had no idea yesterday was Friday. I thought it was Wednesday. That’s how disorienting the mountain can be.
I have been trapping squirrels. Peanut butter and Weetabix. My secret weapon. The little dog at my side. Spent the rest of the day under the deck clearing dead leaves.
Paid water bill in Malibu, picked up some milk.
Dinner with friends. Crappy Cafe Habana. The rudest waitress on the planet.
Cold mist over the mountain. The weather is totally fucked up.
Apparently The ‘A’ List is very amusing. Ian had an advance screener. I probably don’t come off very well. Never mind. I am, according to Ian…referred to as ‘smelly’. Watch the show on Logo, Monday night. More will be revealed.
Because you love me (huh?) an anonymous ‘friend’ out there decided to send a recent picture of Jake.
Please don’t do it. As you are well aware, it just inflames the situation.
I don’t want to see him or hear anything about him. I am at peace with him. Want the best for him.
I forgave him for writing that horrible email, for lying to me. His lies, in retrospect, were perfectly understandable. He was in a terrible situation. I forgive you for being selfish and insensitive….for doing what perhaps all your non-sober friends would think perfectly reasonable.
I forgive you for wanting me to be something I never was. I forgive you because you didn’t know.
What is my part in all of this? When everyone around me was warning not to get involved I ignored you all. I ignored John. I ignored Mr. P. I ignored Dr. D and my therapist Jill. Instead of going to meetings and connecting with dependable friends I sank into my addiction. Acting out with a straight identified man.
Regardless of what he morphed into…he was not mine to love. It is indeed very alluring to be told that you are loved but I am old enough, experienced enough to have seen it for what it was. I chose not to.
I’m sorry I wasn’t stronger. I’m sorry for bruising you inside and out. I’m sorry that I couldn’t stop myself from loving you. I’m sorry that I was insensitive and selfish. I’m sorry for shouting. I’m sorry I lied. Most of all, I was wrong to have waged this war against you, not least because I have done myself irreparable damage.
I was wrong.
I was weak.
I fell for him…as many will.
You are a beautiful, sexy, romantic, intelligent man. Above all…you are curious. If you are not already, you will make someone very happy, very proud. You will make some equally honorable man a great husband, you will be a good father.
I wanted you for myself. In a different narrative that wouldn’t be so bad. But you had just come out, bravely left one life to make something brand new. I should have been a support, a conduit.
Peace comes from acceptance and forgiveness.
I hope one day you will find it in your heart to forgive. I don’t need to know that you have.
My Whitstable mash up…I was his age when I made that video and it reminded me of what sort of man I was. Unprepared. I was unprepared and willful.
I imagine that he is out there doing his best to be honest. Living in New York, working every day.
Connecting to his new gay life.
I hope he marvels at his good fortune: his new gay life. The opportunities it affords. With marriage and babies and freedom…it’s a great time in New York to be a gay man.
Both Zach and Dan told me that I should stop writing about Jake. Zach told me that it made me sound weak. Well, that maybe. Weak or not, it’s time to move on.
At some point soon I have to remove (yet again) any reference to him from this blog. Any photograph, his name etc. It just has to be. Not because I am being forced but because it is the right thing to do. As if it never happened. As if we never happened.
This blog and his name written here ties him to me as much as I have strapped myself to him like a suicide bomb.
So, Adieu my friend.
I am writing this at The Country Mart in Malibu waiting for Karim as he stands in line for our lunch.
He is off to Patmos, Paris, Antibes and Athens for the rest of the summer. Places I love.
Some of those places we visited. I will cherish those memories. I will overlook the problems. I will keep quiet now about what we loved most because only we know.
It was perfect this evening in Malibu, I thought I would share it with you.
Alex and I hung the bronze lamp this morning. I found it in a Beverly Hills dumpster..where they throw this sort of thing away.
My calves ache. Why?
As an experiment I took the bus from Malibu to Hollywood.
It was much easier than one imagined. I walked off the mountain, leaving the dog in the house. I walked the long way down the steep Las Flores Canyon in the blazing midday sun causing blisters and bruising on both feet.
At the bottom of the hill there’s a very convenient bus stop.
On the way there the bus was crammed with migrant workers and mental patients. By the way, even mental patients have smart phones that they check compulsively every ten seconds.
What could they be possibly checking?
I liked the ride along the PCH…looking out to sea, watching cormorants bombing the waves and dolphins making their way west. Everything looked very pretty and southofranceafied.
On the way back, the bus was full of homeless people keeping out of the unusually evening cold. Bad move. The air conditioning made it colder inside than outside the bus.
On both trips I met a few disgruntled European tourists who were shocked by the patchy public transportation: how long everything took and general lack of information, schedules etc.
Had I not used my iPhone travel app I’m sure I would have gotten very lost. Maybe that’s what the the mental patients were checking…their route.
Surprisingly I still have a huge amount of shame around taking the bus in LA. Nowhere else do I feel it. Anywhere else it’s just the way things are.
Getting back to Malibu later that evening was miserable so I aborted the mission and caught a cab from Sunset and PCH waiting in a smelly fish restaurant called Gladstone’s until a jolly Georgian cabby picked me up. $30.
On the way home two large dogs dashed across the PCH. They were not killed but I don’t know how they survived. They survived the mad dash. Thank God. The cabby started shouting incoherently at the owner in Russian and English.
“Fuck you!” He screamed. “Fucker!”
As he dropped me off he said, “You can never depend on a man but a dog will never let you down.”
I spent yesterday morning in the garden, planning to hang this huge bronze lantern I found on the street. I need a sturdy chain and a butchers hook.
Capitalizing on my confidence surge I arranged to see my Important Producer Friend. It worked out really well. Before I leave LA/USA for good I have to achieve more than a couple of reality TV shows and a revenge novel…oh, and a beautiful garden.
Perhaps I’m being a little hard on myself.
Anyway, after a few moments of timidity I burst into the pitch with passion and verve. He wants to help. He is able to help. Real power in an illusory town. I felt safe.
Whilst I was with him it was easy to identify what has been missing these last two years.
Let’s look at the facts: I can write an interesting script, develop a great idea, direct a compelling movie. Sell it, promote it, open film festivals worldwide. I can really do that. I’ve done that with all but one of my films.
Because I’ve had the wind punched out of me I just couldn’t find the huge strength required to force the film off of the page and into the world. Perhaps I can? Now I have the energy and focus.
Walking down the mountain to the PCH rather than staying at home and weeding the garden…well, that’s the advice I would have given a good friend. Get off your ass and do the deal.
The miserable veil, today…for the past few days has lifted. Let’s see if it will last.
Watching that evocative twenty year old video enthused and invigorated me. I remembered just how much I have to be proud of. At the time I was making theatre, living an idyllic, simple life in Whitstable. Just returned from six months in Sydney, about to go to Film School, hanging with cool people, making love to beautiful men and mostly very happy.
My early thirties were great fun.
I think that’s obvious from those images.
I wondered what it would take to get back to that place. That happy place? Well, I have to think seriously about this blog. Because of you know who I kept this thing alive and by doing so I kept my connection with him alive. Like a daily letter to him.
It’s hard to imagine not writing this blog. It’s hard to let go.
The personal details that I pump daily into the world must stop. I have to get serious. This blog has become a destructive addiction, just like everything else I do compulsively.
The Scarlet Empress
My 500th Blog!
Such delight and disdain it has caused. Such heartache and joy! Thanks readers. Thanks.
There’s almost too much going on inside and outside of my head.
Firstly, the garden. Every day for the past few weeks I have worked in the garden. Pulling tons (literally) of weeds and leaves out of the flower beds. Reclaiming the paths. Defending the vegetables from the gophers and rabbits.
I have planted Datura and Hibiscus. Salvia, basil, onions, beans and tomatoes.
A bumper crop of plums this year!
For the first time in 4 years I managed to get to them before the birds.
Have hooked up a pump to the spring water reservoir. It’s located at the bottom of the garden, now watering parts of the estate I can’t usually justify irrigating with expensive, potable water.
The previous owner built the two huge tanks. Until last week I just hadn’t gotten around to buying the small, inexpensive pump. Absurd isn’t it?
Having this free supply of water means that I can clear part of the garden and lay turf which in any other situation would be immoral, irresponsible.
Everything in a tropical garden has spikes or thorns or needles. My hands are cut to ribbons. Robbie has been here twice this week helping me and his arms and legs, poor thing, are shredded too.
Dinner last night with Anna and Jeff at Nobu in Malibu.
Apparently I was mentioned in passing by Derek in the ‘A’ List last night. I can’t imagine that I will escape lightly from this situation. I am perfectly sure my posing as the ‘Mister Big’ will make me the laughing-stock of Gay New York.
The weather in Malibu is perfect. Hot as hell in the sun but a delicious sea breeze blowing onshore.
The crows are hunting chicks. They bombard the trees. Tiny dead chicks on the paths. So sad.
I took the picture at the head of the post last weekend at the Piette’s. Their house is soooo depressing. Even though it’s located on the lake and the twins are living there now. It’s so dark inside at night. Gloomy.
You know what? I should be getting on with something else. I should be leaping all over my novel. I should be writing the film. You know what it’s about don’t you?
Two gay men want a baby but end up with an old man instead.
This was one of the videos Charlie and I shot when we were researching our film.
Trans Alexis, The Scarlet Empress, must be in her 80’s. She was at Triangle House, a home for elderly gays and lesbians in Hollywood. Getting old is a pain in the ass for everyone but elderly gays seem to find it particularly difficult. Most of the men and women at Triangle House have endured homelessness. Old age, as they say, is not for the faint hearted.
Lesbians, apparently, don’t seem to end up so isolated but gay men do. Lesbians are often dialed into an extended family of other lesbians and are less ageist.
Anyway, I’ll write more about Alexis and our film which maybe should be a documentary.
I don’t know.
The elder gays we met were really quite wonderful. The gay men we met who had surrogate children or were going through the surrogacy process were less wonderful. Downright awful in fact.
Robby is on his way over to help me in the garden.
Is Toby right? Do I live in the past? Am I addicted to what was rather than what is or what could be? Fuck. Maybe he’s right?
Amy Winehouse is dead. It comes as no surprise. She was an out of control drug addict and alcoholic. She dies alone. She died an addict. I am sorry for her family. It is always the family that has to pick up the pieces and go on living. Amy did not choose life. She sneered at the prospect. She thought she could get away with a dance with death. She failed.
I will remember her like this:
The huge hedge of Bougainvillea that separated the house from the garden is all but gone. It has taken Robby and me two days to chop it down and cart it to the compost at the end of the drive. The house now feels as it is floating above the forest of specimen trees and succulents. Uninterrupted views all the way to the hot tub and the drive. More importantly, as one enters the garden, the full glory of this house, this post and beam gem can be fully appreciated.
On Sunday, after my AA meeting and wander around the Palisades Farmers Market, Anna popped by. We ate a particularly foul, tasteless lunch at the newly refurbished Malibu Inn (at my suggestion) and then we walked the length of the Malibu Pier which, I am ashamed to say, I have never done.
It really is very beautiful.
Nicely decorated shops and restaurants, fisherman (mostly Mexican) fishing on both sides. A seal lazily swam on it’s back looking up at us. The water around Malibu is teaming with life. Seals, Dolphins, Whales. At the end of the Malibu Pier are two elevated rooms which might be perfect for hiring. I suddenly thought that rather than have a birthday party at my house this year I would have my party there. What do you think? I didn’t celebrate last years mile stone so this is maybe a perfect opportunity and location.
Whilst in the Malibu Inn the beginning of a rather bizarre incident began to unfold. One that caused some consternation later on that evening. A rather jolly, good-looking young man handed me his number. A usual occurrence here in LA. Especially if one has been on TV. Whilst serving us he had overheard Anna and I talking about the entertainment industry. I took the number and we started texting, agreeing to meet after he had gotten off of work at 7pm. I asked if he had a car and if he could get up here or if he needed to meet on the PCH.
When he arrived at the house (shrouded in marine layer) we chatted for a few moments, whilst chatting he must have received at least 10 calls from his parents wanting to know where he was and when he was coming home. “Perhaps you had better go.” I said.
We continued our conversation regardless. He wanted, of course, to be an actor. An actor who wants to be in action films. He mentioned that he had thought about modeling. He is a great looking guy but, I told him, maybe a little too short for modeling. He told me that he needed money to finish his tattoo and move out of his house. He wanted to be free of his family. I sympathised and told him to work harder at Malibu Inn. When young men start talking about how much money they need I disconnect.
Then, I noticed that there was someone looking at us. A man on the terrace looking in.
I opened the door and there was a man (my age) with a friendly looking German Shepherd and asked him what he wanted. I noticed another person scurrying up the path. A woman with long black hair.
He said gruffly, “I’ve come to collect my boy.”
I demanded an explanation. He explained sheepishly, losing some of his bravado, that he was the young man’s father and rather than the young man having driven himself to the house as he had implied, his father had brought him. I suddenly felt rather set up. As if I was part of something that had been planned rather than being as spontaneous as I had first thought.
“Why didn’t you come in?” I asked him. “Rather than skulking around the garden.”
“You should conduct business meetings in your office.” He chided.
“This wasn’t a business meeting.” I snapped. “It was personal.”
I asked the young Malibu Inn man if he was OK and he nodded, his face reddened with embarrassment. I asked his ‘father’ if everything was OK.
“For the time being.” He said. The inherent threat was not lost on me.
I heard them stall their cheap car on the steep drive, spinning their tires on the damp concrete.
My next door neighbour Jerome was in so I stopped by and told him what had happened. The more I thought about it the more I realized that this may very well have been some sort of opportunistic venture on their behalf. They must have thought that being a self-proclaimed sex addict that I would ‘try’ something. Not realizing that I only really respond to sexual advances rather than initiate.
I suddenly felt quite vulnerable.
Thankfully the twins arrived home. It was a spooky night, the man emerging from the mist. The strange boy who needed $150 to finish his tattoo of a skull in the shape of a dollar sign.
Spent most of Monday taking down the last of the Bougainvillea. Breakfast on the PCH. Dinner with friends.
Great weekend in Malibu. Loads going on.
Therapy Saturday. Lunch with filmy people. Another lunch with Gabe and Toby in Venice.
Met two very sweet Redondo boys in coffee shop.
Writer arrived at 1pm. Twins came home on Sunday as I am working with writer. Both of them had a great night in Hollywood. They got so drunk and sick and in trouble but separately. They lay down looking worse for wear.
The writer left. I vacuumed the house.
Miami Henry popped over. Made dinner for the four of us. Twins surprised that I made the salad dressing.
Henry left after dinner. Bed at midnight.
Nothing more to report. I have been writing like a crazy person.
I am thinking of checking into rehab. Seriously. I can’t go on like this.
The young twins arrived last night. Spent a couple of hours making beds and sorting where they are going to stow their things.
Because of the terrible storm I could not get up to my house until late yesterday so as I was staying over at J & J’s house. I drove with Jason to Venice through the Santa Monica Mountains. The storm has caused huge amounts of damage. Thankfully CalTrans have dealt with the worst of the mess. Did I mention that during the storm we saw 5 Pepperdine boys surfing the steep lawn on their campus. Wetsuits in the rain. Looked like fun.
I dropped Jason off at work then arranged to meet Sinatra and Hilary at Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney. After an hour and some extraordinarily expensive Rwandan blend coffee and an ‘artisan made’ orange and cranberry muffin I picked Lily up from school in Malibu and drove her home.
The logistical nightmare that is having three kids in different schools all over LA.
Found myself alone with Max, we sat at home discussing rap music. He is 13.
My stomach ached all day. A mixture of anxiety from having JB at the forefront of my thoughts once again and exhaustion from staying up all night at the Sober Living facility.
This morning I woke early and made tea for us all and set about doing long overdue desk work. All three of us are tapping away quietly on our macs. Must go buy loo roll. These boys sure get through it.
I find myself in limbo once again.
However beautiful the twins are I am discombobulated. Absent. Sad.