Archives for posts with tag: Mexico

Austin is as beautiful as El Paso is not.

The people in downtown Austin look like they just walked out of the East Village.

The last time I was here Joe and I stayed at The Driskill Hotel. This time around I am spending the day writing before I move on.

I would like to have stayed a little longer but fate well and truly intervened.

I am exhausted.

Yesterday, after I was released by the ICE guys with my passport re stamped I spent an hour by myself. It was blissful.

The Dane and his ex picked me up from the small Sierra Blanca cafe at the edge of Interstate 10 where I had eaten unexpectedly delicious Huevos Rancheros with the cops.

Reunited with my fellow travelers, back in our luxurious transportation. The Dane, Lucie and I headed back to El Paso where we parked ourselves in a coffee shop…like I am doing now…and The Dane anxiously attempted to help Thomas by calling his friends, family and officials.

As we drove into El Paso I noticed something strange and scary.

All the palm trees were dead.

Trees that formerly decorated the forecourts of the huge car dealers on Montana are now just sad, brown stumps.

The same is true of commercial and domestic palms. Palms of all varieties…dead. Their bark ruptured, waiting for the woodsman to take them down.

What killed the palm trees?

Global warming? Climate change? El Paso just had the worst winter…ever. It killed palms, mesquite and cactus.  If I had doubted climate change before…this was indeed the smoking gun.

I am persuaded.  Climate change exists.

We would spend all day and most of the evening in El Paso at either the coffee shop or at the alien detention center where, at 7pm, we were allowed to see Thomas.

He looked miserable and cried a bit but anyone who has been to boarding school can attest this is just first day nerves.

Unlike boarding school they wouldn’t let us sit in the same room as the ‘detainee’ so we spoke on telephones peering at Thomas through bullet proof glass.

He held his hand up to the window like Billy Hayes in Midnight Express but unlike the film Lucie didn’t rub her tits over the glass and Thomas did not jerk off looking at them.

Nor did we hand him a book stuffed with dollars.

For me it was a total waste of time.

This idiotic boy had deliberately over stayed his visa, not renewed his passport and had the attitude of any entitled prick who thinks he should be allowed to stay anywhere he pleases.

I was even more pissed at The Dane for getting me involved with his half-baked friend. His ex Lucie was really sweet and had a great attitude. I have no complaints about her.

I just knew the moment I met Thomas that he was going to cause trouble.

An immature, exhibitionist thirty-one year old man who cater/waiters for a career is not someone I necessarily want to know. No, I am not being a snob. I am just angry. You will be pleased to hear that I did not lose my temper and remained remarkably calm.

Whilst they were fruitlessly contacting embassies I wandered around El Paso in the searing 110 degree heat checking out Kinsineta couture…see above.

I bumped into Nicholas, the manager of the El Paso hipster coffee shop who offered to not only help us out by visiting Thomas in detention but also offered to show me around. I leapt at the chance. If only to hang out with a relatively normal human being.

As they were moping over poor incarcerated Thomas, Nicholas took me to the very authentic Chico’s Tacos which was amazingly tasty and cheap.

We were both well fed for less that $5. Check the wiki link above. He then drove me to a mountain that over looks not only the city of El Paso but into the violent border town of Juarez, Mexico where there are (apparently) several drug related cartel murders every day.

“It is a miracle when there are no murders in Juarez.” Nicholas said sadly. “I love my country but we are not very good to each other.”

He told me about gunmen bursting into schools and shooting students. Weddings and funerals where the same happens. Endless, brutal Cartel related murders. He told me that the children of the Cartel roam El Paso boasting who their parents are and scaring the locals.

From the mountain we could very clearly see the controversial border fence that separates the USA from Mexico.

“Everybody in this town is involved with smuggling.” He said, looking over the vast, hot landscape. “People and drugs.”

I dropped Nicholas at his car then returned to The Dane and Lucie who had now finished with Thomas.

Inspired, I took them to Chico’s which they loved. I fed the dog and for the next four hours I drove through the night toward Austin from El Paso.

Lucie took the helm at 1am and I slept fitfully in the back of the SUV.

When I woke at 7am we were in Fredericksburg. A charming Teutonic historical town, tastefully planned and well manicured. We sat in the German Bakery and ate buns and drank hot, dark coffee. It was such a fucking relief to be out of El Paso and experiencing a different, altogether more understandable world.

Frankly I couldn’t wait to leave The Dane. It was not his fault per se but he and his friend took a risk with our vacation/trip to NYC that is not easily forgiven.

Thomas will go home to Sweden where he will hopefully grow the fuck up.  Even in the detention center he was imagining that he could marry his girl friend at the facility and they would let him go back to his studio life in Brooklyn.

Yeah right!

I am in Sierra Blanca, a two-horse strip of nothing near El Paso Texas.  I should be in Marfa looking at art but life has a remarkable way of getting in the way of ones intentions.

Yesterday started off badly and ended up even worse.

We woke up in the New Inn Willcox.  The four of us.  Grumpy and tired.

We set off for Marfa, ended up in Las Cruces by the Rio Grande.

This tiny, charming place made famous by the forests of pecans and pistachios planted around the town.  There was a small street market where we baked in the midday sun.

I found a dedicated AA meeting-house.

Bagel was worried by our travelling through these southern border towns because his Swedish passport was well out of date.   We scoffed.  We weren’t going anywhere near the border.  Yet, the proximity still scared him.

After lunch everyone was in great spirits, the road was clear, we were making good time.   Lively, intelligent conversation.  That was until we were funneled into a homeland security border control and everything went to shit.

Big time.

We were routinely stopped and asked if we were US citizens.

None of us are.

Of course within minutes they discovered that Thomas’s (Bagel) passport was out of date and he had over stayed his welcome in the USA.

Then, to my horror they told me that my passport had problems and I too was detained.

Detained.  For the next twenty hours I underwent a harrowing scrutiny.

I must say however that all of the border control agents, the ICE patrol guys and every single official I came into contact with was courteous, kind and helpful.

Quite unlike any British police officer..except the detective I met last summer with the sociopath.

These men and women have a tough, demanding job but, from what I saw, within that tiny little office at the edge of Interstate 10 there is a good family atmosphere.  They seem to mainly deal with cannabis infractions.  The sniffer dogs leaping on anyone with weed in their car.

Each dog is an official agent and has it’s own badge.

Just as I was leaving they brought in ten young goth men and women.  Their tattoos and piercings at odds with the uniformed officers.

Again, I only saw the agents be utterly polite, once going out of their way to fetch an elder lady a wheel chair.

My situation was more complicated than Thomas’s as he had simply over stayed.  So, after many, many phone calls I was released with my passport re-stamped correctly.

Thomas was not so lucky and is now languishing in an alien holding camp with a thousand other illegal aliens.

Of course all I worried about was the Little Dog who had to sit in a huge cage whilst they were processing me.  He looks a little traumatized this morning.  If I had been traveling on my own they would have called the pound.

It does not bear thinking about.

So, here we are.  In El Paso at a cool coffee-house near the convention center hooked up to the internet waiting for 6 o’clock to roll around so we can visit Thomas.   The Dane is obviously worried about his friend so we are obliged to curtail our trip.

This means that I will be in New York for the premiere of Transformers 3 and other choice events.

I have a great deal to achieve this coming week.  I have hospital appointments, friends arriving from London and LA for my birthday party.

I am just thankful that the border immigration folk expedited my passport problem.

Today I am staying at the house all day.

An Australian friend may come over but if he doesn’t it’s no big deal.

I like being here.  It’s a beautiful spring day.  The garden is blooming.  Sadly, the HUGE agave planted just as you enter the main part of the garden is beginning to send out it’s once in a life time flower spike which means that after it has bloomed it will die.  I am going to miss it.  It looks like a huge spear of asparagus.

The twins are out all day.  Robby is at an audition and darling Miles has a job interview with a production company.  I am so proud of them.  They work so hard, they are both so focused on making their Hollywood dream come true.

As much as I didn’t want the role of mother hen I actually quite enjoy nurturing them both.  Cooking, washing etc.  In turn they make me laugh and insist that I jump in the car and go with them when ever they go on an adventure.

This morning Miles and I walked to the PCH down the new road and had breakfast.  We met a couple from Carbon who had lost their dog.  My heart wept for them.

We earned our breakfast with that exhausting 5 mile walk.

Yesterday I watched Dorian Gray with Toby at his home in Hollywood.  I am thinking of recutting it.  We are going to recut it.  Parts of that film are so clever, mostly the parts Joel Plotch cut.

We ate lunch at Joan’s on Third with Miami Henri.  Roast chicken and grilled vegetables.  We ate some very unpalatable mushroom salad.

After lunch I sat with John who I had not seen for a month or so.  Not for any other reason that he has been on a long family holiday.  I have been in NYC.  We had a great deal to catch up on.  I told him about my session with Jill on Monday.  I found seeing her very rewarding.  I had forgotten just how a therapist can take the sting out of ones tail.

I told him what was going on in NYC with The Penguin, he looked very pleased with himself.  “I told you so.”  He never ever liked The Penguin.   The Penguin knew John didn’t approve.

Yet, for all of his self-congratulation he was compassionate and kind.   He doesn’t/didn’t want to see me suffer but equally he could see what was going on from the very beginning.

I talked with Jill about this next touchy subject and shared it with John.

Can I mention the touchy subject?

Nope.

Apart from the touchy subject Jill called me a ‘late bloomer’.  She said that my heart had been broken.  We talked about love addiction.  Making a person your higher power rather than God.  We talked about going into Pine Grove and getting my power back.  I talked about having no consequences…or at least any that scare me.  We talked about nihilism.

I don’t know if I can mention the touchy bit.  It is so freshly revealed.

I can’t.  All I can say is…it’s about grieving.

Dan called to tell me that the shelves I designed for his apartment look spectacular.

I was in bed by 10.30.   Up at 5.30 this morning.

Keeping what is in effect a public diary can have it’s glories and it’s defeats.  Ups and downs.  Well, we have all recently witnessed the downside.

When Jennie K was having a hard time with crazy stalker monsters contacting her she turned off her comments option.  I am considering doing the same.  What I realize now though is just how much the comments mean to me.  I enjoy that so many of you check in with me every day and it is those people who I imagine when writing this blog.

I have been thinking about the comments by Tres Triste.  It is most odd that he/she insinuated that I take down the pictures of Jake.   I mean, why should I? I have pictures of most of my friends in this blog.  He was not only my friend but also my lover.  The only reason that I hadn’t posted pictures of him before was that I had effectively climbed into his closet.  When I crawled out gasping for air I realized just how manipulated I had been.

It’s odd to think that someone who supposedly doesn’t know Jake would consider it an affront to his dignity to have his pictures on my blog.  Our holiday pictures.  I am guessing that Tres Triste thinks he would be ashamed to have his pictures associated with me.  Well, that may very well be the case but I am not buying into his shame.

30-year-old men are not children.  In fact, most 30-year-old men have children of their own.  They have responsible jobs.   They cannot claim to be naive adolescents.   They make decisions about who and what they want to do and then face the consequences of their actions.  As do I.

There is a beautiful line in the Stevie Nicks song Landslide that he might consider when he thinks about her, he could consider it..so might she.

“I’ve been afraid of changing because I built my life around you.”

Did you think I was thinking about Jake when I considered who or what I built my life around?  Well, I thought about drink and drugs and my lost daddy.  I thought about him too.

“I’ve been afraid of changing because I built my life around you.”

Every decision I take or make has a consequence.  It is up to me to think that through.  When he contacted me the outcome was clear.  When he kissed me he departed, once again, from his monogamous commitment to his girlfriend and would have to face a consequence.  We must never, ever underestimate the consequences of our actions.  Wether he was cheating with a woman or a man he was cheating.   As for him claiming youth as an excuse for his actions?  Honey, 29 is no youth.  Look at the lists of men killed in Iraq..most of them are younger than 29.

We are all naive about some things.  I was naive about Hollywood.  I was never naive about life tho.  I think I have always lived in the light.  It was his desire to crawl back into secrecy that finally made me ditch him.

I have no truck with secrets.  You know everything because I want it to be that like that.

There are moments when I think of him..but not in any way other than one might miss a drink after being a heavy drinker.  We had communicated almost every day in some way since we first met.  He is in the fabric of my being.  He rested in my most sacred heart for many months.  I am slowly washing that man out of my hair.

I was his most ardent supporter, his rock when he needed me.  I was on his side. I thought I could be there for him as he matured into an out gay man but I could not.  I regret having made that committment to him.

I return again and again to this question:  why didn’t he tell the truth sooner?

There is no reason in a liberal household in the modern world for a man not to be true to his nature.  To tell the truth about who he is.

It is a conundrum that has no end because only he can answer that question.   Frankly I am not interested, any longer, in anything he has to say about anything…so…I am left with the question.

I am left with the Manhunt account too.  It amuses me but I must tell you I am a little bit too eager to see who and what messages have been left for me.  A little bit too eager to meet new men and a little a bit too eager to revisit the site again and again.

Must keep this in check.  The paths wont get swept if I don’t.

I write every morning just before I start my day.  Presently I am looking over the ocean in Malibu. It is going to be a beautiful day.  Yesterday I swept and hosed the drive and the paths.  I wanted the garden to look beautiful for Jenny A who is presently staying in the guest apartment below.

I spent almost all of yesterday pottering around the garden, scrubbing the terracotta tile in the gazebo, weeding and generally decluttering the house.  I have a different attitude to being here since I last lived here.

Jenny arrived and we walked down to the new road with the dog.  We came home and Eric arrived for dinner.  We lit a huge fire and listened to Herbie Hancock and drank English tea.  I cooked and everyone went to bed.  It was simple.

We discussed Jenny’s cancer.  She was only given a 38% chance of living.

She said, “They gave me ten years to live.  Of course, that was five years ago..now I want another five years..”

Jenny saved my life.  It was she who I called this week 14 years ago to tell her that I couldn’t stop doing coke. It was she who took me to my first meetings and it was she who eased me into the recovery community.  I will always be thankful for that.

Our relationship has had its ups and downs.  We didn’t talk for two years after having a huge fight on a dusty road in Mexico but true friends always come back to each other.  Eventually.

It sure is odd living in Malibu again.  As if the past 18 months in Hollywood just never happened.   It has been raining and chilly all day today.  The gardeners came yesterday.  8 of them buzzing around the property dealing with the last 18 months worth of growth.  Today they returned to attack the larger trees and make them fire proof.  Lets face it though..there are no fires imminent.  This year has been British damp.  Poor little dog is shivering on the sofa.

12 people for lunch yesterday.  I flayed a chicken and cooked it with rosemary and lemons from the garden.

A great bunch.  Lots of love.  Surrounded by a great deal of unconditional love and conversation.  JAR and me are about the same age and have trodden the same path for many, many years but only really met here in LA.  She is possibly one of the most gorgeous women in the world.  Beautiful on the outside and equally beautiful on the inside.

It was a wonderful welcome back to Malibu.  Tomorrow night I am having dinner with Jenny A at SHLA.  She just drove from Mexico en route to London.  I am trying to fill my days with old friends.  They seem to more than adequately fill the void.

I am going to Palm Springs this weekend to a gay sober convention.  Meetings, meetings meetings.  Trying to connect with my tribe.  Then, rather annoyingly I have to go to NYC.  I am REALLY not looking forward to that.

When one can peek through at the various secret paths and vistas this place becomes magical.  You know, don’t you that I am putting the house on the market?  I am SURE it’s going to be impossible to sell but hey, let’s try shall we?

If I can get everything here and sell the house I will then try selling everything IN the house.  I wanna get out of here with one small bag of treasure and the Little Dog.

Travel light from now on.  Too much stuff.  Far too much STUFF.  Inside and outside my head.

The best part of that insightful comment I received the other day was the advice about getting strong around my health and finances.  I really have to deal with shit in those areas.

My back aches.  My balls ache.  My head hurts.  My fingers are dry.  My tummy is swollen.  My eyes are sore.

Yet, I am going in the right direction.  I really DO try and make a better life for myself.  I am not going to drink and take drugs but sometimes I think it would be a whole heap easier.  I bet I could meet a drug fucked loser in twenty seconds if I towed the line..went to gym, took drugs, drank at bars.

That was a joke everybody!

Just a joke.