Archive for category Scott stories
One Sunday night two friends stopped by my place unannounced, about 10pm. They convinced me to leave with them. They had a 12 pack of beer in the car and it was a warm, breezy summer night. As far as I could tell, they had no destination in mind but we ended up on the top deck of the parking garage at the airport. We sat on the hood of the car and drank beer and talked and watched planes take off and land for hours and hours. It was beyond awesome.
Here’s a secret: if somebody wants to get to know me, this is exactly how to do it. Take me somewhere that’s just a little unusual, talk to me, and get me to talk. We’ll leave friends.
When I lived in Los Angeles, one of my best friends was a 30ish-year-old woman named Diana. Diana was a lesbian (of the Portia DeRossi variety, not the Rosie O-Donnell or Indigo Girls varieties), but she owned a gay male escort agency.
We didn’t talk about her job often. Sometimes when we were in a bar, she would occasionally poke me on the cheek and tell me that she could make a lot of money from me, if I would let her (you can’t tell now, but I was young and thin and cute back then). And I was always telling her that I was going to steal one of her boys — I had a huge crush on one of her escorts; a tall, dark floppy haired boy named Travis. But that was it usually. Diana and I saw movies and had dinner together, we went on hikes and out dancing together. We didn’t talk about her “job.”
One day, Diana and I were leaving The Abbey. We were in my car and I had just turned the motor on when an exceptionally hot older man with two exceptionally hot guys my age walked in front of the car. They looked in and all stopped walking, then walked really slowly past my windshield, staring at us the whole time. Diana burst into laughter.
“That’s Dominic,” she said. “He owns Rent Boys. He’s trying to figure out if you’re working for me, he’s scoping out his competition.”
I was flattered but thought that was ridiculous. I may have been young and thin and cute back then, but certainly not so much so to be a West Hollywood escort (unless you’re talking about the Santa Monica Boulevard homeless escorts — I suppose I could have given them a run for the money).
Another day, Diana and I were in The Beverly Center. I mentioned that I needed a new pair of jeans. “Follow me,” she said. Diana walked me into a department store called The Broadway and into the women’s section.
“Here’s a secret tip,” she said. “Buy women’s jeans and your legs will look thinner, your butt will stick out, and your basket will look huge. I make all of my boys buy women’s jeans.”
Reluctantly, I tried them on. Diana was right.
When I lived in Los Angeles, I hung out with this “straight” guy named Jnani. I put straight in quotes because he surrounded himself with gay friends, preferred hanging out in gay bars, and while he talked about women I don’t think I ever saw him date one. He was a mechanic, but he wore rubber gloves when he worked on cars because he didn’t want to get his hands and fingernails dirty. He had great hair that was conservative yet kind of floppy and even looked good when he was in the garage. There was something kind of James Dean-like about him and in hindsight, I wish I had been a photographer then because I would have wanted to take portraits of him.
But Jnani was so gay for a straight guy what we all called him J-nay-nay.
I was with Jnani one Friday afternoon when he told me that he had to go to Target. There, I watched him walk straight to the section of the store that contained men’s foundation garments, where he quickly picked out seven pairs of underwear and seven pairs of socks. The underwear were white boxer briefs which I imagined would give Jnani a nice basket (I never saw him naked, but I have a feeling that he had a big dick); the socks he selected were five pairs of white athletic socks and two pairs of thick black ones.
After he paid for his stuff, Jnani told me that he went to Target every Friday and did this, because he refused to wear underwear or socks more than once.
I wonder where this guy is now?
On the day The Brady Bunch Movie was released, I called in sick to work and cooked a fabulous breakfast for myself, then I got stoned with my friend Kenny and we went to see the movie.
I was supposed to be in New York a couple of weeks ago, and then again at the end of this month. But I don’t think I’m going. I’m kind of just not feeling that trip right now, and I haven’t gone anywhere since 2011 that wasn’t New York or Los Angeles, I’m kind of feeling the need to visit somewhere new.
I thought I”d made a decision recently. I thought I’d decided that wherever I decide to go/live next, New York is off the table. But then I saw this video and I was reminded how much I love this city.
I tried to make light of the situation, telling myself that every artist will eventually see the inside of a psych ward if they hang out with enough creative people. And so there I was, helping a friend get help after a day-long depression-induced nervous breakdown.
A nurse and a cute, all-American-looking paramedic-on-training with a nice can walked us through a maze of corridors, deep into the inside of the hospital. We were led into a waiting room with several places to sit. There was a desk in one corner, with two sheriffs and two nurses sitting at it. All of the chairs were bolted to the floor.
We sat in the waiting room, waiting to see a doctor. I couldn’t leave until I knew if my friend was going to be admitted or not. Quickly, I realized that the waiting room was surrounded on two sides by glass walls, which looked into little pods, which I then realized were patient rooms, each of which had a person sleeping in it. Next, I noticed that behind my friend in the corner of the waiting room was a cot, where another person slept. Whether she was there because they ran out of pods or because she needed extra attention remained unsaid by the people at the desk.
As with any urban/general hospital, the wait was long. The woman in the cot that was in the waiting room started stirring. She was now half-awake. She started what became about a 10 minute conversation with herself, talking and laughing and agreeing with herself. Then her eyes popped open, her head lifted off the bed, and she looked straight at me. She was as cohesive as could be.
“I must look like a big mess to you,” she said to me. “I know it looks terrible, but I’m not this crazy.”
I didn’t know what to do. She touched the top of her head and started rubbing her visible scalp.
“I cut off all my hair,” she said to me.
My inclination was to tell her that she was beautiful and to go back to sleep, but I was afraid that any interaction could result in only God knows what kind of response — anything from a prolonged and unwelcome conversation to a bath salt-induced attempt to eat my face. I looked away. My friend started crying again.
“You can’t let them put me in one of those rooms,” he said to me. “You just can’t.”
And fortunately, it didn’t come to that. A physician and the hospital psychiatrist talked him down and he was calm enough to be released. Granted, by now it was the middle of the night, but he was free for me to take home.
I felt like I had spent the evening in the kind of penitentiary that I thought disappeared in the 1980s. And while it was interesting in a way, I hope this is a place I never have to see again. And I am still thinking about the woman in the cot.
I broke up with Jay in early October. I spent October and November collecting my thoughts, and then December and January became a rush of boys. I had a series of crushes, sometimes two or three crushes at a time (Michael, Kyle, David, Scott, Jeff, Jay number two, James, Larry . . .).
These were all good guys — a manager, a nurse, an artist, a radio DJ. Some of them were on the young side (okay, one of them was REALLY young — there were more years between my birth and his birth than there is between his birth and today), but they were good guys all the same. One of them, I have to admit, would be exactly the kind of guy I could see getting serious with, if he was 5 years older and I wasn’t 20 minutes out of a long relationship.
But that didn’t happen. None of that happened. Regarding two of these guys, I could tell immediately that they wanted a LOT more of an intense relationship than I was ready for (gay men are always making fun of lesbians, but we’re just as bad when it comes to that). But for most of them just the opposite was true, we were playing this weird/flirty, endless cat-and-mouse game. He’d be all over me one day and then ignore me for three days. He’d be in my bed one minute and then talking about another guy the next. And so around Valentine’s Day I decided that dating any of these guys was “stupid” and I dismissed them all. I’ve been on my own since then.
It occurred to me while I was having lunch with a friend today that maybe my wanderlust has played into this. Just as fast as the news that I was single hit the local community, it became known that I might explore alternate living options sometime this year. People are still coming up to me and asking if I’m moving to New York (or Chicago). Maybe I’ve got some good guys who are interested, but they don’t think I’m going to stick around so they’re not expressing their interest like they would be otherwise?
And I was talking about this at lunch because there’s a new guy right now, who’s confusing me a little bit. But it doesn’t really matter. For what it’s worth, I’m still happy being single, and I think I need to be single for a while. Still, this is all interesting to me.
One year when I was about 29, I met a good friend in Chicago on New Year’s Eve. We got a hotel room downtown and were planning on ordering expensive room service for dinner and going to the bars and being out most of the night and having a great time. As it turns out, my friend didn’t tell me that he needed to have gall bladder surgery, so two hours into our excursion he was in excruciating pain. Four hours after checking in, he looked at me and said, “I fucking hate to do this, but I have to go home.”
So there I was, alone in a hotel room in downtown Chicago. It occurred to me that the room was paid for and I could stay and have my own adventure, but I wasn’t the going-out-alone kind of person then (okay, still not) and especially on New Year’s Eve.
So instead, I drove 45 minutes to the suburbs and walked into my parents’ house, arriving about 9:30 pm. My mother was already in her nightgown. “What are you doing here? It’s New Year’s Eve!” She gasped.
“My plans changed and I was kind of in the neighborhood,” I said. “I’m staying here tonight.”
My parents were delighted. My mother went into the kitchen and made a bunch of appetizers and opened some wine, and my father reached into a side table next to his recliner and pulled out the cribbage board. “Want to play cribbage with us?” He asked.
My parents and I ate apéritifs and drank wine and played cards that New Year’s Eve. And it was one of the best I ever had.
Back in the late 1980s, Medusa’s was the first real night club I ever set foot in. It was in Chicago on the corner of Sheffield and School streets, just around the corner from Berlin (another favorite night club, which is still there) and just outside of Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood (which was nothing like it is now — I think Little Jim’s, Sidetrack, and Roscoe’s might have been the only gay bars on Halsted Street).
Sadly, Medusa’s is long gone (the building is still there, but it’s lofts now I think). This club along with the Chicago industrial music of the 1980s were huge inspirations to me in my college years and early 20s. They’re the reasons why I still love music and dance clubs (although now, you’re more likely to see me watching the dance floor rather than on a platform in the middle of it, and I’m more inclined to leave at 1am as opposed to 4am).
Last week, a DJ friend of mine from Chicago showed me this video that was taken from inside the club. Although the video quality is terrible (it was the 1980s, after all), it still makes me miss Medusa’s. There is no place today that’s recreating the vibe and feel of it. Medusa’s makes the dance clubs of the 2000s feel soulless and hollow.
Kids today don’t know what they’re missing.
My psychoanalyst keeps trying to get me on the same subject:
- I can be judgmental and critical of people (and sometimes downright dismissive).
- I’m a photographer because it lets me watch rather than participate.
- I make most of my friends contact me first.
- I’m “divorced” three times now.
I get it, I really do: I have problems connecting with people, which probably stems from some simple stereotype like “fear of rejection.” And while I’m not sure I’m ready to talk to him about that yet, if I were, I’m not really sure what to say?