Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank you for not noticing I'm about to start screaming.

This is my first posting on a new blog. I've had an old blog for many years but it's outworn its use.  Plus, I was so depressed it wasn't being read by anyone I couldn't figure out why they hell I should keep writing.

I'm staring up a new blog because after nearly 13 years in a relationship (and my only relationship, mind you) I am single.  I am a cliche, a Hallmark greeting card and it really fucking sucks.

Now, here is the interesting part. I wrote a very funny and (I'd like to think) well written opening to this post, but after sitting with it I realized I had to erase it.  

The truth is it was snarky.  And if there is one thing I've learned, it's easy to be snarky, but it's a hell of a lot harder to be funny and genuine.  And to bare your soul. Something I've never had a hard time doing.

I may not be happy with my ex right now and we may be very much over, BUT we did share many years together AND he's a good, sweet man.  

"You're like one of those war brides," my Buddhist shrink told me two weeks ago.  "It's like you've really only had one man your whole life. Maybe that's why you're so frigid."

It's okay my shrink called me frigid. He's right. I am. Plus, I hate psychoanalytical 'safe talk'.  I like shrinks to lay in on the line.  I was one of those obnoxious teenagers who wore buttons that said "Question Authority" and "Who Died and Made You Fucking God?".  My mother hated the latter. 

"It's not very becoming, Mike," she said, rubbing her feet on the carpet of our living room, her toes reminding me of tiny, burnt sausages.  "You can't meet me after church wearing those you know."  

My mother found God when she started taking Paxil.  I told her I've always been rebellious against anyone in authority. She said my need to act out comes from being in a family where our record of attendance in therapy is greater than the National Debt.

One thing: from my previous blog, I learned a very valuable blogger lesson. It is this: Make sure whatever you write you are fine with being printed on the front page of the New York Times.  Because whatever you put out there is stayin' out there.  End of story.

That said:


This blog is a means for me, as an artist, to express myself.  There is no other objective.  It is informative, funny and, hopefully, enjoyable to read.

To those of you reading this with intentions that are not nice and warm and fuzzy but vindictive and poopy, listen to me: don't be a dick.  If I don't explicitly name you and I'm only expressing myself because I have no choice, then that is what an artist does, right? So this is art, not real life and has no bearing on you, does it? 

Nothing in this blog has anything to do with anyone I work with, engage with, play Tiddlywinks with or ride with on the subway or smile at.  It is my opinion and solely my opinion and doesn't represent the opinion of anyone in any form in my life.  Ever. At all.  I'm totally serious. So be nice!


Okay. Good Blog Karma spread. 

Namaste, motherfucker.

Gay men love to tell me I need to fuck my sorrow away.  I know society thinks gay men and straight are vastly different, but I hate to break it to the homophobic men of the're wrong, breeder.  

Now, yes, I'm a man. I was born a man, I'm happy to live in a man's body (the increase in body hair I could totally do without, I mean, you coulda warned me, Dad), I have a penis that likes to say hello to people and likes to be admired and occasionally dressed up...but during a breakup I've learned a startling truth...I have grown a vagina.

I can hear overly analytical New Yorkers cringing and pushing their designer glasses on their nose, saying, "What does that mean?"

It means I can't push past my feelings of sorrow, regret and building anger to spread my seed.  "Spreading seed."  Not  my term.  It was a term given to me by an old therapist years ago when I told him my ex and I were discussing the possibility of opening up our relationship to have casual sex on the side.  He was as freaked out as me about the idea.

I know, totally weird.

I always had a very, very conflicted view of sex outside of a relationship, something considered a 'norm' for modern gay couples. I was raised very old-fashioned and the idea sorta freaked me out.

BUT, what was fascinated was the different opinions straight men and straight women had on the issue of monogamy. Women were deeply offended when I would politely bring it up for simple discussion. You'd think I'd asked them to sign a petition to support legally killing children during Labor Day.   

And we see where not discussing it gets people...

The therapist's name was Dave. He had an office near 23rd street and 5th avenue in Manhattan.  The entrance was sandwiched between a Taco Bell and an Antique Shop. I always thought that was appropriate for a gay, older Daddyish therapist.  Grab a $2.99 bean burrito and buy a new throw rug for your 2 feet by 4 feet wide bathroom.  What more does an Urban Bear need?

But the thing which fascinated me about Dave was his head.  It shined.  He buffed his bald head to such a degree I could make out the titles of the psychoanalytical books on his bookshelf in the reflection of his flawless, pink skin.  

The most disturbing image I saw distorted on Dave's big, shiny gay bowling ball head was the cover of Desmond Morris's "The Naked Ape". There was a hardcover perched two rows above him and its location offered a perfect reflection.  

I loved the book as a child.  I know, some kids went to Star Wars, I read Desmond Morris. Not sure if it was the content of the book or my repeated attempt to see the penis on the model shadowed on the cover which was the root of my obsession. 

I realize this confuses some straight people, but straight boys try to see boobs, gay boys try to see dick's.  Why does that freak people out? I mean, I know why but really -- why

I told Dave my ex was starting to get the '7-week itch', aka, the '7 year itch' in heterosexual life.  He was 25, I was 37 -- I knew his young penis needed to feel the wind on it's face, but I was worried at how jealous I was feeling.  I knew I needed help.

"Well," said Dave, twisting the turquoise ring on his pinkie finger over and over, "This is an issue all gay couples must deal with. But really, it's a non-issue."  

He leaned back in his chair and looked at the ceiling. I shielded my eyes. I'd been obsessing over a tiny bit of thread protruding from a button in the center of his massive belly. I was sure it would unravel, the button would fly and I'd have to say to the ER technician, "See, my gay therapist was making me a better gay man by telling me how my lover wanting to fuck all men below 14th street is a good thing. I got confused, anxious, he got mad, lunged at me, the button popped...will I need stitches?" 

Dave put both of his pudgy, pink fingers together and this is what he said:

"It's like a field of bulls." 

I frowned.  "A field of bulls?"

Dave nodded as if I were a four year old who'd just realized Santa wasn't real and come to him for confirmation. "Yes, just like that", he said with a smile. 

He leaned back in his chair, his hands floating on his belly as if here were in a pool in Fort Lauderdale drinking a cheap, dirty Margarita serve by a houseboy with no gag reflex who was also two semesters away from getting his Ph.D. in Human Sociology at Miami State.  

"Men are like the bulls," he said.

I knew where this was going. But I was intrigued.  "Go on," I said.

Dave nodded again. He was doing an awful lot of nodding.  Was he trying to stay awake? "Men are like bulls. They like to roam around, eat grass -- you know, be part of things.  They must show off their beautiful skin, their lustrous coat; they like to see and be seen."

Did he just use the word lustrous in a sentence?  "How does this relate to confusion over monogamy?" I asked.  I heard my voice. I sounded annoyed. But I wasn't. I was filled with anxiety.  Feeling anxious is the most natural thing I know. My anxiety disorder and the anxiety disorders running rampant through my family are legendary.

Dave nodded again.  He was like a gay Bear bobble head on the back of pick-up truck. I wanted to slap him over the top of his head just to hear the sound it would make.  Like a pancake on a griddle.  Two eggs in a pan. 

"They like to be seen and they also like to spread their seed," Dave said, leaning forward, his eyes wide, the veins on his neck sticking out.  What do you know, I thought. He looks like a goddamn penis sitting very erect in a chair with glasses on and a goatee.  "It's primal, Michael, it's real," he declared, his penis veins on his neck bulging. "It's who they are and it can't be denied!"

He finished, sat back in his chair, clearly proud of himself.  The leather in his chair crinkled, making me think Dave needed to lay off of the Taco Bell specials.  

"So let me see if I get this right," I said, sitting upright in my chair. The anxiety in me was growing to such a degree I could have done jumping jacks if I didn't think it would freak Dave out. "Men are bulls. Bulls are men. Men are animals and it's in their, um, OUR nature to show off and spread our seed."

"It's natural."

"Perfectly natural."

"So my boyfriend having sex on the side but coming home to his favorite tuna casserole is perfectly normal."

"It's part of natural evolution," he said. 

I shrugged my shoulders. "Like a walk in Central Park in Springtime."

"He's spreading his seed!"

"And his legs!"


"I don't think I can see you as a therapist anymore, Dave."

"Time's up!"

I paid him (I wasn't sure if I should use money or hay) and got ready to leave. As I walked out of his office, he said to me at the door, "And if one night he's home late and he smells, you know, different -- just smile and say nothing and let him shower and settle in.  It's the way men are made."

After he shut the door I stared ahead and shook my head in wonder. I muttered "seed..spreading seed..." all the way back to Queens. 

In the end, my ex and I worked out the seed-spreading dilemma pretty well.  We were both fairly conservative compared to most gay male couples and we were honest.  

I remember when I was very young and older gay couples would talk about how they navigated having an open relationship.  I felt like a nun thrown into a brothel.  I was shocked, upset and repulsed.  

Now...well, let's just say I understand why gay men need to roam and spread their seed and rototill until their blades fall off but I am, unfortunately, not built for such intense gardening and like to have one garden and one tree to tend as it were.

Gardening metahpors aside, I worry how this will bode for me in the future when I meet a new man to date.  God knows I'm not popular in the Uber Gay Circles with my Larry Kramer 'Stop Having Sex' Manifesto...

Don't get me wrong. I've had my slut days. All gay men have no matter what they tell anyone, but it's lost it's luster.

Plus, I have a very love/hate/more hate relationship with my body. 

My face is bigger than the moon. My legs are muscular, sure (I taught aerobics in the 80's...on concrete...wearing Donna Summer...dear God, I really am that gay), but I got a small male stomach which never seems to go away and nothing I do makes it smaller. 

I got a big, dimpled ass that looks like two pieces of Pillsbury Dough swooshed together and then cut down the center with a pie cutter.

My feet are my mother's feet - very much like something you'd see on The Simpsons.  My hands are thick, Irish and stubby -- ask me to thread a needle and I might cry.  When I was a kid my mother used to say to me "You're very substantial.  Your body is so damn thick!  Are you sure you're my child?", she'd say in a high-pitched laugh as she'd press on my flesh as if I were a prize turkey being plumped up for Thanksgiving Eve.

And I wonder why I got body issues.  

But you know?  I'm not going down that road.  That was the old me. The new me is doing all he can to love what he's got, now what he still wants.  I know, very self-help writing, but what other choice do I have?  We all know the victim mentality and poor me mentality only makes our life more difficult, so I'm avoiding that all together. This is the mantra I"m trying to live by now and if that fails I'll become a professional wine taster for boxed wine in New Jersey.

There is also a project I'll detail more about later, but for now let's call it my Secret Project.  What is the Secret Project?  Something that I've always wanted to do in my life and am now doing.  But since I have to expect this blog to be published in the New York Times, I can't write what it is. 

Soon. Very soon.

I can just hear my mother if I were to tell her about my Secret Project.  She used to bite the inside of her cheek and she'd say, "Don't count your chickens before they've hatched, Sonny Boy. You never know!  And watch your back!"  

If she were here I'd say to her, "Can't you just point to where the fucking eggs are? Because right now, I'm kinda lost..."

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