Holding onto the past. Cluttering up the present.
As I listened to him tell his story I thought a great deal about other people I had known who lived as adults in the closet.
Collins was not involved with a woman when he came out.
He was single.
For those gay men who are married or engaged to women when they come out the trauma this causes the woman cannot be underestimated, yet somehow their trauma is ignored.
The woman from Connecticut hoards craft materials she intends to use. She never uses it. Her house is uninhabitable.
Her husband left her for another man.
A lie is revealed. The life of the lie is shared. Often those who have lived unwittingly with a liar also feel that they have lived a lie.
He made fun of her for ‘not realizing’ Collins was gay. Not realizing that she was living with a lying sociopath?
My friend is a gay man who has had sex with women and dated women yet he can barely disguise his misogyny.
Like so many gay men he is, whether he likes it or not, a separatist.
Carolyn is an intelligent, kind and articulate woman who was duped by a liar.
I listened to Collins wondering how this man was cast as the hero?
He’s not the first athlete to come out of the closet, many women came before him and some men.
The Collins cocktail of gay, black and startlingly good-looking is somehow more intoxicating than remembering that Martina Navratilova had come out decades before.
Collins hopes that his coming out will ‘make it easier’ for others to do the same yet… it seems unlikely.
Is his coming out really a coming out at all?
He will only really know how it feels to ‘come out’ once he is back on the team.
At the moment he is cushioned by celebrity and an American media fascinated by his ‘bravery’.
Is he brave?
He is not a normal black kid from the ghetto.
He is not the normal black kid at the local church.
He is not a kid. He is not normal.
Celebrity assures him of that.
If you identify as LGBTQ then every coming out is circumstantial.
There will never be an easier time to come out because most everybody wants to fit it. To fade away. To avoid the glaring spotlight even if that spotlight is no longer hostile.
No one wants to say: I am different. Not today, not in America… where individuality is scorned.
Jason’s parents look suitably loving on the TV. They know they’re going to ‘love him no matter what’, they’re going to ‘get through it’.
I wonder sometimes what the expectation is for those new, enlightened parents who suddenly have a gay son or daughter to dote on.
Judging by those who now look sweetly at me and my partner whenever I am brave enough to hold onto my lover in the street… their reaction may have changed but the feeling I have remains the same.
They look at us… like I look at a particularly fluffy puppy. “Ah, how sweet.” They want to say. “How fucking adorable.”
I know they want to stop us and tell us how fucking adorable we are.
Those people who gawp and smile supportively are just as irritating as those who glare disapprovingly.
I don’t want you to have an opinion about us as we walk in the street.
I have no opinion about you.
Jason Collins coming out also poses questions about others who have not come out sooner.
I mean, If Jason Collins can do it… why can’t you? Why is it an issue? How could you not tell us the truth?
They are ‘proud’ to call Jason their friend.
Well, Jason Collins and those other gay people I allude to… they are adults. They came out as adults.
They can control the outcome.
They are ‘straight acting’ there was ‘no clue’, no tell-tale fabulousness, no lisp, no prepubescent flamboyance.
He was never harassed, he was never told ahead of time what he was before he knew himself.
Jason Collins comes from a ‘close and loving’ family.
Like other gay men who came out late in life… if their family was so close, so loving…why couldn’t they come out sooner?
What did they think they would lose?
The closer the family the harder the riddle.
The fantasy that one has for ones children, the perfect future… the wedding, the christening… cannot include a same-sex partner?
Well, no… not if you have invested in the lies your adult child told… again and again.
Lied to those very same people who now bathe you in their unconditional love.
Obviously, my ‘coming out’ as a teen… was very different.
Having no real option… was all at once a blessing and a curse.
I was brought up in a different age.
My coming out was an act of terrorism.
I threw it at them like boiling water and told them to get used to the burns.
Meanwhile, there’s a teenager in Northern England struggling with his decision to reveal the truth.
He saw me on TV and sought me out.
He told his family he was gay… face to face.
He told his friends on Facebook
Tonight he told everyone how miserable he feels. How dark this place is.
Feeling different, facing a new world… not as an adult but as a child.
Things don’t get better… because he now has the prospect of British parochial gay life and all that entails.
He has predatory men to deal with at the local bar, he has rampant desires that remain unfulfilled.
I think he regrets not waiting.
It’s a big deal coming out when you’re a poor kid a long way from the big city.
It always will be… however many athletes steal the limelight from boys like him.
The days are long, hot and sultry.
91 degrees today. A rare winter storm this weekend. That’s what they say.
My Russian friend makes thick black, sweet coffee. We sit on her verandah overlooking the sea. The dogs lay on their backs in the sun.
Anthony calls and talks my ear off. His brother is in NYC with Amelia enjoying his birthday.
A 5 year old boy shoots his 2 year old sister with a gun recently purchased for him by his father. I find a website devoted to pictures of white children/babies holding firearms. It reminds me of Somalian and Iranian militia children holding semi automatic weapons.
Here it is: Kids With Guns. I just checked and unsurprisingly ‘kids corner’ has been removed since yesterday.
These people, so it seems, are waiting for the government to come and change their lives irrevocably.
Part of me sympathises with those folk. The high minded elite looking down upon them scornfully.
At 8pm I take the car into Venice and meet Anthony at a gallery called Obsolete. Amanda Demme’s vernisage.
The rather beautiful photographs are printed on textured paper. Like canvas. It is distracting and tacky. It’s a problem.
We eat meatballs and salad and fresh almonds.
A tribe of scarified women in their 60’s huddle on a $100k sofa and gossip. Their surgeries performed to be seen. What’s the point of spending that much money on plastic surgery unless you can see it?
Amanda introduces me to Sara Gilbert and her other. Many people are wearing hats. Wide brims. Beaver rather than rabbit.
I am wearing a midnight blue velvet suit and red shoes.
A young actor greets me with a hug. He asks me in that way what I’ve been up to. He knows. I tell him anyway. “I read about that.” He exclaims. “You’re the real deal.” That’s the difference between the gays and the straights.
Straight people know I’m a fucking hero. The gays, huddled around teacher are fucking terrified of me.
And so they should be.
Outside we meet Joaquin Phoenix. Anthony made a film with him. I have not seen him since before Heath died. A flicker of recognition but no more. He looks like he is made of pale green wax. He is stick thin. He looks like a Shropshire farmer.
He said to Anthony, “I hear you’ve been making sober calls. Don’t call me.” We laugh.
After the show we have dinner at Gjelina with two art collectors. Pizza and pudding. Everybody at the table knows someone else in the restaurant. We receive. I forget to stand for one grand dame. She stares at me frostily.
I know what she’s thinking. She’s wondering if I left my manners in the jail.
I am obsessed with my Tumblr account.
Sitting with 12 year old Hannah learning how to do it properly.
Sitting up all night searching for images, videos, quotes from a long life.
Constructing a narrative where all events harmonize. Where color and texture blend from one image to another. Telling public and private stories simultaneously.
As for the rest? My other life?
I had tea with a producer on Friday ostensibly to talk about my new film…then unexpectedly he asked me to read a script which they are looking for a director.
I drove back up the 10…happy, joyous and free. Perhaps the hell of the last two years is truly coming to an end?
Dinner in Venice, then bumped into my ‘friend with benefits’. He said, although drunk, that he was embarrassed to introduce me to his friends because I am so much older. I told him that was like me being embarrassed by his being a jew or gay…I walked away. He’s a kid. What do I expect?
He needs to learn to own his own life.
I explained to Robby why I was feeling so optimistic, hours before the script was mentioned. Looking out over LA from the 13th floor.
I explained why seeing the man I once loved in love was so reassuring.
To be excluded from the life of one for whom I had been so instrumental…had driven me insane.
The emotional investment in another, even when that relationship changes into something else…well…one is always looking to recoup.
The dividend…was to see him happy. I saw irrefutable evidence that all our hard and painful, beautiful and passionate time together…was worth it.
I don’t need, nor do I deserve to have the enduring love of another to make me happy…all I needed to know was that he, he who I love…was loved.
It is very simple to me…though confusing for most.
My ‘failed relationship’ has meaning now. A context.
During the past two years I have written so often about finding peace. Peace and understanding. This is it! I announced grandly…this is the peace I have been searching for! Well, I was wrong.
It was merely an illusion. A false hope. The glaring eyes of many storms…a momentary peace…which I mistakenly assumed would last. The 100 foot waves continued to break over the bow and I was lost again.
Seeing those two men pressed together, harmonious, happy…well…who couldn’t want for them what I was never able to achieve?
I know what you think…that I deserve what I get, that I am not very nice, that I have been very cruel. Well, it’s true. I have been cruel and mean but I don’t think it was anything other than necessary for us to go through what we went through.
The only people, as I have written before who are deserving of my apology…are his parents and sister who I demanded into our violent storm, who I insulted and maligned.
For that I am truly sorry.
I have no idea, ultimately, if he intended for me specifically to see those things but he must have known. Wether he intended to try making me jealous..well..that’s another consideration and we’ll leave it at that.
What I have learned these past few years is that (in a quieter less public way) so many men and women are tortured by love…in and out of love. Choosing inappropriate partners, chasing hopeless dreams.
Sadly, there is no cure for curiosity.
It’s my new obsession.
Spent rest of morning with ACLU.
Breakfast with Ivan downtown.
Lunch with Robby. We ate octopus.
Love this picture of me.
Oh yes, I seem to have pissed off the cult. AA people…in LA.
The weeks and the months pass by.
Since my release from the county jail, life has become…tranquil…passes effortlessly…with relative ease.
I imagine this is what Percocet feels like?
I have settled back into my life but scarcely write about it.
The twins are living here with their friend Kevin. They move out on the 26th. We cook, we prepare good food. We eat at the table, we use the linen napkins before they are packed up or sold.
They drink red wine from crystal glasses they have no idea are as valuable as they are.
I know that these formal dinners are at odds not just with these youth but with all youth.
I am trapped in another universe, insensitive to their discomfort. They have no use for anything I know.
I am not sad. All I have to do is re-imagine life in jail and I am delivered from self-pity.
I have tried going back to AA but I’ve no stomach for it, nor the people. I am done with AA in LA. It’s over. Over.
Occasionally I have to go back to court and they hand me more papers to add to the huge stack I already have on my desk.
You can feel that neither the judge nor the DA has the enthusiasm for the case now I am not incarcerated.
Certainly, with the serious press and the ACLU in pursuit of answers re. my illegal incarceration and with a huge law suit in the offing…I can’t imagine that it’s party time at the DA’s office when they mention my name.
Anne Marie the special DA looked positively miserable when we saw her yesterday. Her hair looked good tho. Nicely quaffed and bouncy.
She was wearing a very chic black, cashmere coat belted at the waist with dramatic lapels and long hem line.
I was a bit hard on her in earlier blogs. She is prettier than Michelle Bachman.
I am most eager to go to court. To clear my name. To start the law suit against the realtor who started all this mess.
I am not allowed to sue him whilst we are in this criminal tangle. That’s the law…apparently.
Yet, even that may be taken out of my hands by HSBC, my lender.
The twins birthday on Monday. They will be 22 years old. Remember last year? How they bounced down stairs in the morning and sang Dave Mathews songs?
I met Miles when he was 19.
Robby has fallen for someone and my surrogate child spends nights on end away from the house with his new love.
I want him to be safe, he looks at me like I’m an idiot when I remind him to be true to himself.
Watching Robby grow into a fully formed young man, the young man he wants to be…not who I want him to be.
He reminds me of another young man who liberated himself from the closet not so long ago. Before my very eyes.
There are so many similarities. Robby and Jake. But the outcomes are so different.
Again, I play over those past events. The events of that doomed love affair. Wishing I had done things differently. Wishing I could have helped rather than hindered.
The death of love.
Mostly, as Robby reveals who he is, I have the same feeling I had when Jake came out. That he shouldn’t be betrayed, that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I made.
It was so hard to let him go.
He was tortured by self doubt. Guilt.
Sometime, I wish I could call him and listen to his voice, listen to his loves and losses. How he has evolved.
Then, seconds later, I know that I don’t want to hear anything. That it would still be too painful. Isn’t that absurd?
We are strangers. We are strangers. We will remain forever…strangers.
If I had lived in NYC when I was seeing him things would have been different. We both needed continuity. The goodbyes destroyed me. Every time he said goodbye. I was bereft.
Well, that was then…but even so, just writing about him again…my whole body ached. He was consuming and passionate and never mine to have.
Meanwhile on twitter Roseanne and I have been publicly sharing our philosophies and mutual revulsion of the way things are. Two old people meeting in the virtual town square putting the world back together the way we think it should be.
I like Roseanne.
For some reason best known to WordPress my entire private collection of blogs (over 350) suddenly became readable. Past blogs that had been hidden from view.
I am now undoing what was done. Annoying.
Yesterday was altogether the most satisfying day I have had for a long, long time.
Early mornings with the boys, lunch in Hollywood, afternoon with lawyers (more will be revealed at a later date) and finally a spectacular party in the hills. A gay party, you know the kind…the sort that usually terrifies me…but on this occasion was great fun.
It was a cold night in LA and I was the only one wearing a coat. The first time I have been appropriately dressed at that house.
I felt, yet again, as if I had left that judgmental Duncan back in the jail so was free to enjoy the party. This has been a long time coming, this freedom. A delightful French actor to sit with. Many people told me how sorry they were that I had been in jail, that it seemed so wrong.
I was surprised by the reaction. Part of my fear of going there was the fantasy I had that people disapproved…in fact, the opposite was true.
I hadn’t realized that people cared as much as they do. Why is that so hard for me to believe?
Let me get back to privatizing my blog.
“Don’t pester old film makers about your film making. I don’t care about your process, your poverty or your inertia. All I care about is that you make a film. Just do it and make it good.” Duncan Roy June 2011
So, here I am again. Good morning hipsters! I spent an hour in the garden at 7am weeding and watering. It looks just dandy. Then I came in and within two minutes I had broken a sugar bowl, a cafetière and jammed my fingers into a draw.
I AM ONE CLUMSY QUEEN.
Yesterday Gabe and I went to Paradise Cove Beach Cafe on the PCH for lunch. We were charged $5 each for walking from the PCH where we parked into the restaurant rather than paying $3 to use their car park. I thought they were kidding. A $5 ‘walking fee’? Rip Off USA. It made me so mad. Gabe just looked bemused as I let the manager have two barrels of shit. In turn the manager just looked at the crazy man and rolled over like a puppy.
He offered us a beach side table, a waitress with psychiatric training and a refund.
A $5 walking fee? How can they get away with that shit?
We ate their mediocre ribs, drank their weak tea, sat on their grubby beach. Thankfully we sat next to an attractive married couple from Hollywood who really were worth meeting. He sells sex toys on-line. They were like a gay couple. Hot tub parties and three ways. I really liked them. She said that when they have a baby they might calm down a bit.
Gabe sat on my lap and held my hand, massaged my fingers. It was so sweet. We were the only gays on the beach. The out of towners looked at us suspiciously. Yet again I felt uncomfortable. Fuck! When I was with the Penguin/Matt/Jamie I didn’t care. Because, I suppose, when I was with them I didn’t care what other people thought. It was just us…and as I have said before: I would have defended my love with my life.
After lunch we investigated the pier, the peace paddle (some hippy event) we talked for ages to a lady who had worked in India on an ashram who now sells South Indian food from a food truck. She told us dolefully how the city of LA is targeting the food truck community (there are 500 of them) with all sorts of horrible rules. What ever happened to American innovation being encouraged and celebrated?
(Even the sex toy guy is despondent about how small businesses are treated. He is moving his cash to Brazil.)
Food trucks are a recessionary necessity. A perfect response.
The previous day Anna and I had been on Abbot Kinney. The first Friday of every month the streets has a kind of street party. The galleries open late and every thirty feet there is a food truck. It was so much fun. We bumped into Meg Ryan and her friend Laura Dern.
Anyway, we ate all sorts. We struggled through the crowds. Some man who thought he knew me. Said, “Hey! How are you?” I let him think he knew me. At the end of the conversation he realised who I was and the meeting came to an abrupt ending. This happened in Ojai too. It seems to happen more and more.
Last night I was talking to a young film maker and gave him the advice quoted at the top of the page. Very Ayn Rand of me.
Today I am hiking with Tom. Gabe is coming over to relax. Miles has recovered from his binge. Cooking dinner for us all tonight.
I feel rather wonderful. Having fun. At peace.
I wonder if Arun remembers my dire warning for him to run as fast as his little legs would carry him when Elizabeth introduced us. Much to his chagrain I sat him down like a good brother and told him that no good would come of knowing Elizabeth…only public shame.
That was when we were filming The Method in Romania when she was publicly toying with him to the amusement of her snotty friends and family.
Dressing him up in Mao collars at Richard James.
Shagging him in her trailer…you know the story.
I wanted to write a bunch of stuff about Elizabeth being a sex addict but I wrote a thousand words and then the computer crashed and it all vanished. I can’t be bothered to write it again.
I was reminiscing about the first time I met Elizabeth and she was laying on the floor of her sitting room…her legs apart, her lips pink and swollen.
I wonder if she remembers telling me about her whipping club in LA? How she loves to ‘take a man in hand’. I wonder if she dominates Shane? He looks like the sort of man who needs to be dominated, coerced, his power stripped from him by a woman, a good..strong woman like Elizabeth. And..of course, we never mention the lesbian interlude. Know about that? I do.
I hear that she was in San Lorenzo last week looking a bit worse for wear. Drunk.
I wonder who is looking after the kid?
The problem with Elizabeth is that she is a mere actress/celebrity when in fact she was born to be a high priestess or warrior princess, acolytes tugging at her skirt. Gladiators hand-picked from the forum to pleasure her.
Poor Elizabeth! She’s the straight equivalent of a gay ‘power bottom’.
Oh, I have seen it with my own eyes warrior princess!
Until you get yourself a kingdom I’m afraid it might be rehab for you dear.
On an entirely different note…do you like my new socks?