After a day of resting my poor foot Andrew and I decided to go to Hollywood. Not particularly searching for a party but interested by the prospect. We met my friend Samantha and her super cute actor friend for dinner.
Hollywood seemed unreasonably quiet after the VMA’s last night. The Chateau looked busy, Sunset Tower was rockin’. The SHLA just right. I have no idea where everyone was…but where ever they were I wasn’t with them.
We did, however, bump into Adele with whom I was uncharacteristically star struck.
She was surrounded by burly security men and has a booming, luxurious speaking voice, a huge presence. Like a tiny field mouse I told her how wonderful she was and she in turn asked if I had any Marlborough Lights.
My briefest brush with Adele.
Now, I am kinda sick of being told that I am name-dropping every time I tell you who I meet or bump into. It’s Hollywood! The town is packed with names. I am a small town British boy who, at those moments, wonders how he ever gets to have so much fun.
Whenever I tell you about who I meet it’s not to self aggrandize. I thought you might be interested? No?
I saw this: a very drunk woman wearing Christian Louboutin shoes being hauled into a limousine by her uniformed driver.
Vomiting over the very same shoes that would have paid most of my utilities for a whole month.
The driver looked understandably perplexed.
There seems to be some confusion about my state of mind at present. Just to clear things up: Despite my imminent trip to NYC to see Jake in court I am actually very content, happy even. Part of that happiness comes from being at peace with the idea that…I am unlikely to ever have another relationship. Ever.
Why? Because I am impossible…that’s why.
That doesn’t mean I want to have a million hook ups…I don’t. Let’s face it..I have always loved the fantasy more than the reality. A real person by my side? I can’t do it.
I know lots of straight batchelors my age.
As I said the last time I wrote my blog, having a boy friend would be like working in an office. Do you know what I mean? I am not that guy. Unemployable maybe? Probably. Unloveable? Well, probably not…but incapable of having a relationship. Incapable of accepting love.
I am listening to Adele. Remembering what it felt to be in love. Thank God that’s over. Like sticking your hand in the fire.
When I was a kid my Grandmother and I found a diamond brooch. She handed it to the police. All my life I couldn’t understand why she did that. Now I do.
Meeting Jake was like finding that diamond brooch in the street. It wasn’t mine to have yet I did not want to give it up. It was beautiful and sparkled in the night. But what’s a man to do with such a thing? I couldn’t wear it. I had to give it back. Unwillingly.
So, I am happy. Can you understand that? I don’t think you can.
There are certainly occasions in one’s life when one wishes for a different outcome. Yesterday was one of those days.
Most of the day was just fine. Dan headed upstate to see his father and I was left with vacuuming duties. I walked the dog, made calls, wrote my blog. I enjoyed the beautiful spring morning sitting outside Mud cafe drinking their pungent coffee.
I sat in the steam room with Brendan and his buddy. Ian turned up for tea at 4 and we watched a little of the Kentucky Derby festivities on the roof of Soho House. Women in large hats and men is suits with white carnations pinned to their lapels.
After a short nap I changed into a very slimming Helmut Lang suit and headed up town where I met my friend Zack, his friend David and Austin. We ate huge New York steaks for dinner. The conversation centered largely around new incidence of HIV infection, our irrational fear of contracting AIDS and what these fears really mean. Remember, I was convinced in 1985 that I was dying of AIDS. I was so certain that the doctors who were giving me the negative results were lying to me that I ended up having three or four tests a week in clinics all over London.
I ended up in The Henderson Hospital in Sutton, Surrey. A total wreck.
The conversation shifted to how gay men in the USA tend to just fight for the issues that directly affect them and not for the community of gay men with all its various needs. It infuriates me that a) the gays are constantly worried by what their enemies are thinking about them. b) they are frightened to be seen to fight for their rights. c) The gays who are shaping whatever equality legislation is being shaped are so arrogant that they can’t begin to accept any outcome other than the one that they have defined. Gay MARRIAGE for instance. Nothing less will do…even if it means nothing at all.
After dinner Austin’s husband Jake turned up looking great and we all headed over to Ken Mehlman‘s apartment. Why? Birthday party.
Austin and Jake had the right idea, they left immediately. I waded into a vat of fascist molasses.
The level of discomfort I felt is almost impossible to articulate. 200 gay men who usually wear suits now dressed in overly tight tee shirts, chinos rolled up to mid calf and brightly colored accessories.
In the very heart of this wasps nest I saw Herndon Graddick a creepy representative from the absurd, self-congratulatory, gay organization GLADD. Another smug, gay clique that gives out awards to straight people for being our friends. Why do we give straight people awards for being our friends? Because we are so damned grateful. Thanks straight people.
Anyway, when I arrived there was Herndon Graddick sucking up to Ken Mehlman. Apparently I had fallen out with Herndon years ago. I couldn’t remember why. Apparently I sent him nasty text messages. He probably fucking deserved them.
Ken Mehlman’s apartment was so devoid of personality I thought maybe it was being staged for sale. His sterile bedroom was decorated in brown and beige and the bed looked like it was cast in concrete. Like him, his environment was hostile and ugly.
He is perhaps one of the most repellent individuals ever to come out as gay…apart from The Penguin. It made my blood boil that he had selfishly put his self-serving career ahead of his own needs as a human being or the needs of others (like the Penguin) and cruelly turned his back on his gay community, the same community that now sat around drinking his vodka served by a grumpy straight boy.
Ken Mehlman is morally bankrupt yet, because he has money, these vile, insipid queens flock around him with gay abandon. Ignoring that he betrayed every one of us.
To my knowledge he has never apologised, he has never acknowledged his part in the ongoing homophobic carnage during his tenure as chair of the RNC.
True, this vile man acknowledged that, had he come out of the closet earlier, he could have impacted Republican efforts to pass state initiatives and referenda banning same-sex marriage. Fuck you Ken Mehlman.
NOT ALL CLOSETS ARE CREATED EQUAL!
His guests were just as disgusting.
Met this small, Jewish man who works for some gay rights organization. He was so fucking naive. He told me in all seriousness that they had found out through a ‘study’ that most straight people site ‘love and relationship’ as the reason for getting married and not (as the gays are always demanding) for rights and benefits. Hey buddy, tell your gay friends to start asking for their love to be recognized rather than a bunch of nebulous rights and we may very well get our message heard.
He was trying to persuade me that his mission was to get Ken to convince George W Bush to come out in favor of gay marriage. Think about that for a moment… think about it.
The same dwarfish, Jewish kid mocked the British for their Civil Unions. I was simply appalled. What a CUNT. I should have punched him.
As we left Zack and I decided to say goodbye to Ken and thank him for having us. Zack said, “You are my hero.” Ken made him repeat the line three times.
We left the party. Headed over to some deserted bar. Met up with cute boy from last night. I was so fired up by the inequity of the evening that I walked home, took dog to park and went to bed.
I am in Whitstable. It is really cold. The water-butt is frozen. I slept under two comforters.
Carol woke me this morning with a fresh lemon and ginger infusion and a big plate of steaming porridge. Ate another breakfast at Copeland House with Georgina.
It’s later on Saturday morning and I am laying under a blanket at George’s house. Feel very beaten up. I managed to wear myself down so badly that I now have bronchitis.
Terrible cough, phlegm, headache. Best thing is: I am at home so everything seems very dealable with. I am so glad that I don’t own anywhere here. It’s so much nicer crashing at Carol’s or laying here on George’s sofa.
My head is too painful with real pain to concentrate on anything else.
Whitstable. Last night. Sitting with Georgina and her grand-daughter Poppy eating shepherd’s pie. Do you remember Poppy? Poppy!
Carol and Marc dragged me out to a small town on the other side of Canterbury to watch a ska band. Even though I felt pretty bad it was nice to be included.
Feels safe here. I arrived from Paris on Friday morning. I rented a car, drove to Calais on the A1 toll road (20 euro). Ferry to Dover (120 euros) then drove to Whitstable. Dropped in at Wheeler’s, Dave’s and Carol’s place.
There is a cute gay boy running the new coffee shop.
Dumb man that I am…I decided to watch Brokeback Mountain again on the flight to Paris. I could scarcely get through the first few moments without having to change channels and watch Friends reruns.
Went back to it and still cried buckets.
Remember when we left for Paris on July 4th? That seems like it happened decades ago.
Why did it take me so long to leave NYC and why didn’t I write about it? Well, we didn’t go because the Little Dog wasn’t well and vomited all over the place so it wasn’t prudent to go anywhere. Anyway, the vet advised me not to.
I was offered a very kind room in a very beautiful hotel to rest my weary body…for free. They really looked after me.
I stayed on 10th St for a few nights. During the day I would practice what it would be like to live in NYC again.
I sat with friends outside Mud, I hung out at the Derby and Joe’s Pub with Amelia. I made many, many new ‘friends’ on line and met with them at obscure locations.
After a few days of being in the city I totally forgot about Jake unless, of course, I found myself on 1st Street or outside the Judd Foundation or on the roof at Soho House which is cleared away…just like the memories I have to clear away.
I no longer thought that any man who resembled him was him and instead marveled at how many men there were who might be him. Cute, short, hairy men with winning smiles. On occasions, as the days passed, I realized that I told too many people about him…that it was obvious to them that I was having difficulty letting him go.
When they asked if I was still in love with him it was difficult to say no without crossing my fingers.
The emotions are far more complex and seem to exist on a far deeper level than I ever planned which is why I took time away from my blog because it just riles me and I find myself posting things that I regret.
I had a number of dates with really extraordinary men but one in particular made my heart sing. I ate dinner at Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village and met some good gays. A producer, a stockbroker, a TV anchor and a journalist..I found myself thinking: Jake would like these men.
He would get a kick out of these intelligent, ambitious men.
The anchor (Don Lemon) was a cool black dude who said that in his opinion Obama was frightened of white people. Which explains, he said, why Obama is such a loser. The anchor’s bf of 3 years was 20 years younger.
I don’t know how I felt about that.
Aleksa P and I had supper in Chelsea. She talked candidly about how much fun it is for her making Boardwalk Empire. I told her that I get hundreds of people a week looking for references in my blog to her hairy armpits. She showed me how shaved they were with a wry smile but lamented how she must start growing them again soon.
We talked about our absent dads and how this shapes our view of ourselves. We talked about her gorgeously happy marriage. We laughed a great deal. She showed me the pictures of her in Vanity Fair and I felt as proud as any dad could ever be.
We talked about Jake. She was sad for me.
Brokeback: I had forgotten that Ennis and Jack had that fight. That their fight had more to do with their love and their frustration and how much they would miss each other.
Dressed as cowboys their fight seemed more romantic than ours on the King’s Road.
The last night in NYC I met a man who I could imagine being with. Just like that. I have no idea if it will turn out like I want it…but we connected. I am excited to see him again. One thing is for sure: I ain’t writing about him. Not any time soon.
TSA pat-downs are really thorough. At JFK the rather good-looking man who inadvertently (or maybe not) held my balls whilst looking for what ever they are looking for looked up at me and I said seductively, “My balls have been held by a lot worse.”
Not sad about Sebastian. Not sad about anything. Loads of messages from friends re. Sebastian. I had long chat with PH this morning about the trip home and how amazing it is that we survived at all.
I have been miserable about turning 50 in three weeks but better to be turning 50 than turning in my grave.
It was such a tonic chatting with my darling PH, she has always been there for me. Always. Anyway, that’s just the way I need to start my day with a bit of loving validation. Suddenly I feel like I can cope with ANYTHING.
Held here in sunny LA aspic. Suspended in solid jelly. I can see out and they can see in but I’m waiting for the jelly to melt around me.
Last night’s dinner with friends was delicious. We played a few games of backgammon after. When John realized he wasn’t going to beat me he ran off leaving his wife to try her luck. Nope, she didn’t win.
My diet means that I can wear clothes I have not worn for a few years. Last night I wore a pair of crisply pressed silk Prada pants and my Comme cardi. Lovely.
From the 26th floor I stared out over LA as dusk fell. The car lights on Sunset Blvd snaking for miles East, white and red. A huge black cloud from the west hastening the night.
Really making an effort to get out of the house. I am not sitting indoors for 12 days. Interminably long days. Perhaps I should just take the car and drive across the USA? Actually, that isn’t such a bad idea.
I could stop off in Nashville and see Joan! How about it Joan?
Very exciting European prospects ahead. I am particularly looking forward to seeing my friends and walking the streets. July is always such a glorious month in London. Did I tell you that I ran into Orlando Bloom at breakfast the other day? Now, he is a sweetheart. Sat next to Alanis Morrisette at Cholada on PCH. That’s the extent of my starry life here in LA.
I am so happy she called. So happy.
East 10th St, New York City 2010 again. The little dog and I traversed the city (east/west) three times today. It makes us very happy. My feet hurt. The little dog is curled up, fast asleep, beside me. I flew out of LAX yesterday afternoon, arrived late at JFK and miserably stayed at the JFK Comfort Inn as amazingly could not find a single room in any hotel near to where I usually stay in NYC, in fact, there wasn’t a room anywhere in Manhattan less than $1, 800 a night.
The Comfort Inn is a bit of a misnomer as it isn’t very comfortable nor is it ’in’. My room stank of old cigarettes and feet. Even the little dog was suspicious of the bed and refused to get under the covers. There was a $250 fine for smuggling animals into the rooms apparently.
Thank God we didn’t know.
When I arrived I was warned not to leave the hotel because it was dangerous. Hmmm.
“Is this the hood?” I asked innocently.
It delights me! Everyday I get his beautiful loving emails. All this comfort and joy from a man who loves me and is not ashamed to say the words: I LOVE YOU. He is sure to tell me that he loves me, to make sure that I understand what this means. That it means something.
I came to NYC to help celebrate the birthday of a man who said he didn’t have anything to do. Now, apparently, he is sick and unable to leave his house so it looks like I am in NYC spending money needlessly. Call me foolish, call me an idiot tell me that I shouldn’t have made the effort! Remind me once again; wagging your fat pink finger at me ‘what did you expect?’.
The following morning I took the subway from The Comfort Inn into the West Village where I met J&J for lunch. It seems that VH1 is very well watched by the residents of Queens as once on the Subway I was stared at, talked about and asked for autographs. Once up on the Soho House roof we ate an emotional lunch due to my realizing that if my friend had known he was sick the morning I flew here why didn’t he just let me know?
So, there I am on the roof of Soho House telling my best friends that I am a fucking idiot and hating myself more than any one of you could ever hate me.
I was pleased to have two of my closest friends in town. I couldn’t actually eat my lunch because I was so ‘emotional’ and a ‘drama queen’. I am so sick of being treated like an idiot by a man who obviously has no respect for me and considers me some kind of sappy pushover.
Oh fuck it. I can’t be bothered to work it out. Anyway, he got what he wanted-I am now disengaged at a much deeper level than I was before. Totally. It is hard not to feel like I have been used. Needless to say my gesture of friendly goodwill has massively backfired. Some things are just not meant to be.
That all said of course, I am happy to be home in NYC and immediately lose weight pounding the streets. It is wonderful to be back in the city. Wonderful to have all those faces to gaze, everyone is so handsome. Windows to stare into, the anticipation of rain, city life at my fingertips.
The little dog loves NYC and we were up at 5.30am in Tompkins Square Park where we saw a feral cat and NO RATS. He fixated on squirrels and I on the vagaries of this mad and exotic city.
Back at home in the East Village now. Dan and I are catching up.
Dinner at Prune last night, I ate the mussels in lobster broth. Delicious.
Yesterday morning I found myself explaining what made me happy to a large group of men. I said, “I know when I’m happy because I don’t want to change anything. I don’t want to change the way I feel with drugs or sex or shopping. I don’t want to change where I live or rearrange my apartment. I am just happy with things the way they are right now.”
Lunch with Eric at the Mercantile on Sunset where we ran into Bryan and his friend Carly Chaikin who is the second lead in the film The Last Song starring Miley Cyrus. A very sweet girl. Delicious lunch, lots of fun, I ate duck.
As the day progressed I felt more uncomfortable. There were practical irritations like: HSBC in the UK had closed my bank account for no apparent reason (apparently my crime was dormancy) with money still in it. I cannot pay bills, transfer money, now I expect long conversations with random, computer generated Indian customer service advisors that must take place before I get to the bottom of this.
I received another nasty email from a woman claiming that she was at Kristian’s funeral and that my blogged account of it is all lies. The Mother and Father must be furious that I continue to report how they disrespect our friend in death. I have spoken to many, many people about the funeral and how Kristian’s boyfriend of SEVEN years was told to stay away, how he is now having to fight the family for what is rightfully his-his share of the property that he and Kristian owned in France and his part of the London property.
By the time I took my nap I was feeling decidedly testy.
Had brief chat with NYC friend who seems eager to go bar hopping/hooking up. Whatever he has in mind for himself who am I to judge? He wants to be like all the other gay men with penis privileges.
I tried explaining to him the 12 steps, which was as satisfying as trying to teach a baboon how to knit.
So, a friend of Kristian’s came and took me to dinner-once again at the Mercantile. (I am trying to work my way through their delicious menu.) We talked about Kristian and I shed a tear. This was the first person I had actually sat down with since his death rather that being on the phone or random conversations on Face Book with people who had been denied entry to the funeral and had watched in amazement as Kristian’s coffin was dragged into the church, as Kristian’s mother laughed at the funeral, as she made Kristian’s boy friend of SEVEN years feel so uncomfortable at the wake he had organized he left rather than them.
As we left the restaurant I bumped into a good-looking strawberry blonde man with huge arms. He introduced himself and we exchanged numbers. Later that night the strawberry blond man came over and we talked until 3am. It turns out that he is a porn performer who wants to get out of the porn performer business. I told him that I would introduce him to Jennie. I looked at his work on-line. Getting fucked by men with names like Xavier and Brett. Eagerly blowing other men with huge arms. I thought that maybe my NYC friend would like to hook up with him at a bar.
It was good to talk to him about my own relationship with pornography.
I felt comfortable with him. We were not about to have a conversation about God, he did not have a complicated story. He told me about the men he had dated. The life he has. He looked tired so I told him he could stay over. I hid my gold watch. He slept on the sofa.
Earthquake the following day. I lay in bed as it rumbled through town. Dinner with Anna at Canele on Glendale Blvd. Excellent roast lamb and equally delicious roast vegetables. Met delightful Amanda and delightful Daniel.
Staying in Soho House before moving to Jane Hotel. Soho House is like coming home. Hand written notes and presents from the manager Pierre. The burgers we ate last night were delicious. The staff are kind and considerate and incredibly helpful.
I had bad news and good news yesterday. The bad news was about going home-the good news was about staying home. I am being deliberately obtuse.
God, it was a very long day. Up at 4am for my 7.15am flight. Up in the air for 15 minutes then turning back mid air with instrument problems-something to do with the altitude meter. I don’t know. It meant that we didn’t take off until 1.30pm so I got to know my fellow travelers very well-too well. I also became acquainted with the appalling customer service on offer-or not on offer-from American Airlines. American Airlines, shit service, shit planes, vile attitude. My fellow travelers were so incensed that airport security had to be called. I, on the other hand, did not lose my temper once. I was a paragon of virtue.
Arrived in New York at 9.30pm, Soho House by 10.30pm.
Slept turbulently in my huge bed, the tossing and turning on the airplane revealing itself as I slept. Full of fear, dreaming my house in Malibu was burning-the second apocryphal dream about that house. The last included a bunch of women. My nightmare was so bad a few nights ago my screaming out actually woke the neighbors.
Sophie Dahl’s cookery show is a sham-so say the Brit TV cook clan. Not really surprising-she must be one of the most inauthentic people I ever met. What the hell does she know about cooking? I threw a dinner party for her, Zoe Tryon and Alecia Moore (Pink) at my house last year. Sophie was sulky, bad tempered and rude. Gosh, how the vile are rewarded.
Apparently one should never invite just women to a dinner.
Staying in Jane Hotel on Hudson. Very basic, but lots of fun. Full of cute young Spanish boys, half naked in the corridors on their way to the shared bathrooms. My room has a bathroom. Elevator smells of disinfectant, the corridors of fresh paint. The restaurant downstairs has been designed to look a little like it was very old but actually just looks unfinished. The ballroom is charming as is the Moroccan influenced bar. I have a corner room over looking the river. I like a view.
Dinner with Joan and Joe last night at Kenmare. All round disaster. Food had to be sent back; my chair was pummeled by wait staff that seemed to lack any basic spatial awareness. The vegetables were simply inedible. The steak over cooked. The pudding… instantly forgettable.
Lastly, why are there so many insipid, suburban gays? When I was growing up all the gays I knew were sophisticated, arty and fabulous-it occurred to me that the dull gays might have tended to stay in the closet. I wish they’d stayed there.