Tag Archives: gay

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Days without alcohol: 0

It’s nearly impossible to have good sex on Staten Island.

Nearly, but if you try a few times that totally changes. It’s some sort of law of averages that can only be computed by those within the whore phase. The whore phase is a wonderful time period in which an adult stops crawling, skips a few stages of development, and learns to outright strut in a sexual sphere. Carrie Bradshaw was perpetually in the whore phase. Evita assumed the presidency with her whore phase. Napolean conquered half the world during his whore phase. Mine got me a ride in a cop car.

It was no accident that I waited until New York to reach my whore phase, I’ve spent the last four years in a small and unattractive village, so after carefully considering the risks of sex in both an emotional (why doesn’t he like me??!?!?) and physical (you can die) sense- I quickly decided I had earned a whore phase. I have the least sexual partnes of anyone I know (except for Dr Mario) so don’t judge.

When I first hung out with TopCop it wasn’t clear that we would sleep together. Nor was it clear that he was a cop. What was clear was that he had invited me out to dinner and once he picked me up from the ferry we immediately drove off to a restaurant. Or I thought it would be a restaurant, instead it was TGIFridays… Not that this low brow chain isn’t an adequate place to eat… but in New York that’s like telling someone you’re going to sleep with them and literally falling asleep beside them. I had the culinary equivalent of blue balls!

Fortunately the meal was quick, the conversation was pleasant, and the long island ice teas were plentiful. Though a bit put off by the fact that I couldn’t use his breathalyzer for the fun of it, the evening entirely rebounded when inside TopCop’s lovely town house I discovered he had the one thing a young gay man from Michigan cares about- a hot tub.

Normally I would’ve just watched a movie and cuddled a bit before accepting a ride home. But I wanted in that hot tub, dammit. That’s why the whore phase comes with whore logic, which means you can rationalize less than chaste decisions for otherwise unacceptable reasons. In my case, sleeping with a cop who just bought me dinner was perfectly acceptable considering there was a hot tub to be enjoyed.

And continuing to sleep with someone you’re ambivalent towards is perfectly ok as long as you’re not ambivalent towards their hot tub.

On the way home I nearly missed the ferry, which meant jumping into a cop car and turning on the lights to enable my driver to pass through red lights and surprisingly respectful traffic. If there’s an ambulance with sirens blaring, no one even considers getting out of the way. When a one night stand needs to get to a ferry so that he can do the boat-ride-of-shame, the crowds part in understanding of the dire scene. New York.

Not that the entire event was a one night stand. Definitely not. It’s just getting colder out, that hot tub is more useful now than ever. And I’m learning that TopCop is actually a lot of fun… we have the same enjoyment of alcohol and cartoons. Especially alcohol and cartoons while in heated aroma-therapy massage jet comfort.

None of this would be a problem were it not for Professor Bronx. He’s a teacher. A public school teacher. In the Bronx. He teaches special education students. He teaches special ed students at a public school in the Bronx. I’m sure he’s angling for saint-hood. That’s new for me, going for the total boyscout. What’s not new- he’s too old, relationship oriented, finds me effortlessly attractive, and is way too nice for me… It doesn’t take whore logic to see that this is the exact trend that Weather Man followed, and I’m in no emotional condition to weather another storm like that one.

Strangely though, I find myself taking it very slow with Professor Bronx. We’ll shag a total stranger but keep any real prospect at arm’s length… Each time we’re together we’re sure to take things slowly, focus on something other than ending up in bed, and it’s turning into a romantic site seeing tour with a charming man who knows everything about the city. The first date on the sea port, the make out in Battery Park, the walk past the ferry for Staten Island….

Oh. Staten Island. Fuck! Why am I still taking clandestine trips out to Staten Island? Is a hot tub worth pulling myself away from someone who is actually emotionally engaging? Or is it smart to continue seeking out a relaxing hot tub instead of submerging myself into what looks like to be a repeat of Weather Man? Whore logic or human logic? Is he Professor B or just plan B?

The whore phase does not demand an answer right now. It does demand a make out buddy, asap. To the bar!

[watch your heart when we’re together, boys like you love me forever. boys boys boys!]


Bright Lights, Big City

Day 31

Peru is a hot tranny mess. In fact, South America as a whole is chock-full of transexuals, all waiting to get to the United States to surgically reassign their gender and then become extra fabulous members of the gay pride parade, which took place this last weekend in NYC. The entire affair was everything a gay man could hope for- long, in public, and coming for hours and hours. However, a rather long (yellow brick) road led up to all that was Pride 2008.

While that transition would be perfect to explain the historical significance of Stonewall, or even a chance to explain the penny versus thong incident at the Yankees game (my bad), I will instead focus on the historical significance of an underground band known as the Janice Dickinsons- who began my personal long road to pride. As a founding member of the JDs I was thrilled when 2/3 of the other JD veterans schlupted their lazy asses all the way to NYC via piss-stained buss. The Janice Dickinsons are known for a lot of things- liquor, projectile vomit, lying, amazing live shows- but we’re not well known for traveling without incident. Fiftydollarbill and Gretchiepoo both made it to NYC without causing a raucus, so it was left up to me to drop the ball. Thus rookie NYC mistake #26: Broadway does not become East Broadway… ever. East Broadway is in Chinatown, with the noodles and delicious coffee and the 2 JDs who waited patiently in the rain for me to arrive.

Myself angry and soaked, Fiftydollarbill and Gretchiepoo both happy and a bit tipsy, we headed immediately to McKenna’s once I collected them from a seedy Chinatown hotel. At McKenna’s we drowned our problems and bludgeoned our braincells with the world’s strongest rum and coke and I was well on my way to becoming a Blackout Betty until she appeared…. or maybe he…

The week of the Hot Tranny Mess officially began when Sheman introduced her/his self to us (always with the female pronoun in front, as I learned from the legos). Not quite a drag queen so much as a hideously pock-marked woman who likely had a penis, Sheman was very drunk and very eager to make our acquaintance, though we were quitely partaking in not-so-barely-legal drinks in a tiny booth. No booth is too large or small for Sheman, though. With her powerful badunk and ugly mug she was able to clear a swath right through the bar and stumble over to our booth, where she chatted with us, grabbed Gretchiepoo’s ass, and planted an extremely wet one on me.

My first kiss in New York and it’s from a (supposed) woman. Fantastic.

I’m not positive what happened the rest of the night, but I awoke with two friends asleep on my living room floor and pizza in the refrigerator… which leads me to believe I was healthy enough to walk home on my own power that night! Well done.

After such a trashy perfect evening with the world’s best band mates, we decided to spent an evening on the other side of class and got dressed up (except for Gretchiepoo, she doesn’t dress up, she instead wore shorts and accessorized with a blow-dryer burn mark) and headed to see Phantom of the Opera. Broadway, not the East Broadway bitch street, but the real Broadway. 42nd street. Phantom, the longest running musical in Broadway history. And three liquor soaked midwest kids sitting in the nose bleeds. Needless to say, it was perfect.

An evening atop the Empire State Building, an afternoon at the Met, and a day spent drinking 5 HOUR ENERGY DRINKS on the equally classy Staten Island provided for quite a bit of amusement. For the first time in this city I had friends to play in my ball pit o’success.

And then they left.

No worries, though, as KGB came to the rescue in less than a day. Korea Going Blonde arrived in Manhattan immediately after I got out of work (a television network that is still being vague about full time employment opportunities) and we whisked around the city for quite a few days. Which is to say, we went to see a Broadway play, visited McKenna’s quite frequently, and left quite a few people confused about what to expect. One highlight would include her visiting friend, who met the same fate that everyone of my friends meets at McKenna’s… only this tag-team black out lead both KGB and her friend to train to Jersey for the night. You know it’s a rough night when you wake up confused in Jersey the next morning. Even more rough when you wake up alongside a brand new 50 dollar vibrator that you can’t recall purchasing. That little dolphin will make itself memorable in no time.

Another moment which explains my relationship with KGB quite well (aside from the meaningful conversations and actions we participate in, because those don’t count) is the night I took her out to Little Italy for a dinner with the other media fellows that I’m in NYC with for these few months. Most of them are incredibly smart and excel in media (aside from Mormonzo and Preacher Man, that is), which means they are well behaved. Thus why I keep a safe distance.

Somewhere between laughs about scary transexuals and the hilarious homeless man who sang “Ain’t too proud to Beg” on the metro- one of my fellow fellows leaned in to listen to our chat and was forced to ask “Why are you guys discussing circumcision at dinner?” Aside from the obvious answer, Italian restaurant, we had to nonchallantly explain that this was standard conversation, this particular topic is one often on our lips. The rest of the group was not as interested in fleshing out the details of preference on this one, but it’s no surprise that KGB is quite comfortable with either variety- she’s had a slew of foreign boyfriends. I explained that it was an area I wasn’t familiar with yet.

And then Nelly Furtaco came to visit. Nearly a year after having been told “I love you” by Nelly at the MOST inappropriate time in history, our relationship has recovered and we seem to have agreed that it’s best we forget he said it and that I didn’t react so well when he did… Awkward. Anyway, nearly a year has passed and Nelly looks better than ever, which was a large motivator to come to NYC for pride weekend. I was excited for him to meet KGB so that she could put a face with the story, and as soon as I introduced them I remembered our conversation in Little Italy. I have had that experience.

A lovely night spent gawking, dancing, and sipping at a Middle Eastern club (Pride Habibi!) tuckered us out on Friday night and after getting massively lost for a bit of the day on Saturday (5th ave and 1st street don’t intersect… ever… rookie mistake #27) we arrived at a small Indian restaurant named Milon. Milon is on the second floor of a building and directly across the porch is a competing restaurant that offers the exact same menu, two men calmly wait for you to approach the restaurant and then forcefully convince you to come to their side of the porch to enjoy their restaurant’s entirely unoriginal food. These two men will split up your dinner party if you are not prepared.

Siding with the cuter of the two pushy Indian restauranteurs, KGB, Nelly and myself entered Milon, which looks less like the similarly pronounced Italian city and instead much like you would imagine a dollhouse decorated by a tranny who wanted to give her/his dolls epilepsy. It even makes that much sense. Peppers hanging everywhere, inexplicable blinking lights, wrapping paper, and a few inflatible dinosaurs in the canopy. At 7 dollars a plate, this is perhaps the most underwhelming food and overwhelming visual stimulus that you can get in the city without eating left overs in a crack den. The place is fantastic, and I will be frequenting often. The food isn’t too remarkable, but good home cooked Indian food served with delicious garlic naan and a decor that would give your retinas A.D.D.

After MIlon and a bout of Rick & Steve (rent it, be violated by it, love it) the three of us headed out to a birthday party for a friend that I’ve made in the city… the whole one friend I’ve made here in the city, actually. Half of the Harlam Harem (a kind group of media kids who now live in the city), Fozzy is a cute girl who knows how to throw a party… a party that was attended by the woman who used to be the head of the program that is footing my rent and living expenses while I work with the network… a party in which I blacked out with this woman who used to be the head of my program, and apparently a party where I started talking- A LOT.

Glossing over the blurry night (and the fact that I told a story and then immediately unknowingly retold it until a friend cut me off), life began to come back into focus when KGB, Nelly and myself all wandered out of a diner at 6 am and noticed that it was light out. As we poured ourselves into bed KGB revealed another surprise, we would soon be pouring caffeinated vodka into our gullets, as the former head of my program had unknowningly gifted us a bottle of PINK. KGB may have woken up in Jersey with a vibrator that wasn’t there the morning before, but I went to bed with a 5th of go-go vodka that wasn’t there the night before… I win. A buzz beats a buzzer for any guy in town.

Raising myself from the living room floor a mere 5 hours later was rough, but the ebbing headache demanded early morning Jamba Juice… and who am I to resist the headache throb that demands juice? No one. So I trekked my swollen brain to the nearby faux-health store and purchased myself some vitamin boosted brain freeze before heading out to the main event- pride parade!

As a midwest transplant, there was really no way to prepare for the over-the-top gala that took place, drag queens still scare me and crowded places are distinctly unlike the cornfields of my undergraduate days. However, the spectacle was everything I could’ve imagined it was, only with more glitter. It had all the colors of a dinner at Milon, all the boisterous celebration of a Janice Dickinsons concert and none of the morning after apologies, and it was spent with friends. For the first time I’m beginning to understand what a gay community is- more than the shallow sex we’re all warned about and instead a network of people who really just care about loving eachother. Not just physically, but as friends and neighbors, as gay soccer teams and color guards (self-proclaimed Flaggots, no less) and churches and parents and teachers and motorcycle enthusiasts (naturally) and politicians and foreign immigrants and stray straight folks and even a few st-st-stutterers… and just about everything else. And the event is not just for the gays, even my former academic adviser came to the event from Ohio and invited me to dinner afterwards. Pride is for the family… except the exhibisionist leather people, they’re not for the family. The parade lasts for hours and is a giant party.

But then it rained… It rained for quite a while and everyone was soaked. People responded by cheering everytime there was a thunder clap and parade floats responded by blasting “Its Raining Men” and taking off more clothes. PFLAG kept marching and old women kept passing out condoms, just to people who were wet. And it was encouraging, with a straight friend and gay friend, a friend from home and a friend from city life, and with New York, that I felt content for once. No striving for the ball pit o’ success, no more hangover, no more choosing words carefully, no more running around the city nonstop, just lots of good friends and supportive folks.

Except the Peruvians. They were busy applying waterproof mascara. All of them.

[so the day Noah’s ark floats down Park my eyes will be simply glazed over]

The Master and Margarita

Day 13

Richie Rich lost his brown-rimmed Gucci sunglasses, which is pretty much the worst tragedy to occur in the history of man. Just so you know. Fortunately, his former co-chair of the croquet club from his prep school days bought him some passable Ray Bans. …I’m not kidding! This is exactly what’s taking place in my apartment. He also refuses to leave the apartment while it’s hot out because “New York will still be there when it’s cool” and has Whole Foods delivering food here later today. This kid is lucky I’ve just had multiple mimosas, otherwise my disgust would be visible.

The stories begin to get richer and the characters deeper as we settle into the summer. For example- objects in NYC are older than they appear. Sure, the subway system functions very well for it’s age and a few ultra-modern buildings exist, but most everything here is way older than you think. Never has this been more true as when the entire group went out to celebrate a birthday at a nearby Mexican restaurant. The food didn’t look appealing so I passed it up and instead obtained my daily calories through some viciously strong margaritas. Don’t judge. After everyone catches their buzz (or pretends to) it is decided that everyone will reveal an embarassing story about themselves as an ice breaker. The game is funny but benign for quite some time until Mormonzo (of course) stands up and starts telling a story about getting beaten up that was only mildly funny. Then, just to provide a reference date for the story he says, “yeah, that was when I was in 8th grade, about 14 years ago.”

Wait. What? Yeah, it turns out Mormonzo is in this program (mostly populated by graduates or grad school students) and is actually 28. That stalled the embarassing story game as everyone needed time to push through the margarita buzz to do a little bit of math. 28 years old and still ridiculously awkward. That’s tragic.

The group recouperated a few days later with a blurry game of “I Never” (or “Never Have I Ever” for Jersey kids) over at McKenna’s Pub, which has the best happy hour of all time. The game definitely peeled off the innocent veneer so many people had laquered on, revealing that pretty much everyone involved in the broadcast/media community has given or received oral sex in a public place. Classy. I definitively came out the loser, sipping to such top-drawer phrases as “I never messed around with a TA” which provoked more than a few questions.  But please, Burkeman does not mess around and tell. It’s tacky. Despite the group proving my lack of good judgement, I have been saintly since arriving to New York. I’d like to think of myself as a reformed drinking drugging hedonistic (solely because of boredom) gay man. Of mixed race…. who’s vegetarian… and Buddhist. Ok, so I don’t fit into a demographic easily, but the point to focus on is the “reformed” part of the drinking and drugs here. I have a running bet about how long it’ll take before I become unreformed. It’s me versus New York City, and thus far I happen to be winning (minus the drinking, but that doesn’t count in New York!). I’ve also revaluated my relationships with a few people in the group, solely based upon drinking experience (which is the true way to gauge friendship) and have slowly begun to fall in love with a beer swilling girl who enjoys cheap pubs and happy hours just as much as I do. I cannot be positive, but I believe Hard Coors may be a good drinking buddy for the weeknights when sobriety is just too much effort.

Life at work is fairly good, I’ve conquered the first few tasks and at this point I’m legally not allowed to talk about the work I do… Yeah. I can say that the software I learned during my first week costs 42k a month to keep… wow. I’m in the “information business” more than anything, according to my boss. Honestly, the interviews I have set up with other industry figures are also very promising, so my professional life is in a good place (for now). I suspected my boss of being a drag queen for a brief time, but I put those thoughts aside when she told me about her love of Jersey and yogurt. Drag queens don’t do Jersey. I’ve also weaseled in with a few other people in the department who’ve become fond of me during this first week, largely because they all enjoyed my story about waking up covered in blood. BTW, that mystery was solved! I sleep right next to the air conditioner, which frequently wakes me up because it is freezing but I don’t dare turn it off lest Richie Rich have a tantrum and throw one of his Keds (he has a low heat tolerance and I high tantrum potential). At any rate, apparently I sometimes turn the air conditioner off while in-between the waking and sleeping state, which I can never account for in the morning. The other day I casually turned the air conditioner onto fan (because the Republicunt can’t distinguish the sound difference if you just turn the fan on) and immediately hurt my finger. Upon inspection I discovered three very large shards of glass next to the regular controls. That’s how I cut my finger open. All that blood and hoopla was just because my roommate cannot tolerate a room above 65 degrees. I think he owes me something to make it even. A quarter pint of blood would make us just about square.

I could waste time mentioning all the great places we’ve been and the great things we’ve done, but those were all sober moments, so I’ll avoid it. Regardless, there’s a sweet international candy store, a badass poetry cafe with a slam poetry contest that one of my friends rocked last night, french toast beer (just one), Vietnamese dinners, Ukranian mimosas (just two!), Dumpling Man, Red Mango, and a homeless man named Meth Mouth who’re all part of the Burkeman New York Tour. But why talk about all that when I can talk about the world’s least favorite blond kid…

Mormonzo’s insatiable appetite for making people look at the ground and say “anyway…” did not end there.  A few days later the entire group of media kids was invited to the headquarters of a major news / political entity for a mixer with industry bigwigs and a chance to nab a few more worthwhile business cards (and free drinks to fend off this heat wave!). Everyone calmly introduced themselves to a group, but Mormonzo had to be the stand out. The memorable kid. Or… that guy. Now, you must imagine a deceptively old religious fanatic holding a microphone, but I think just writing his script is sufficiently uncomfortable. – Taps microphone – “Aloha!” The crowd does not react. “Alooooooha!” The unamused crowd responds with an “aloha” that is so unenthused you would think that Hawaii had the cultural appeal of a potato. “Yes, aloha! I’m having a great time enjoying all the heat here in Hawaii.” Smattering of socially kind laughter. “Yes, it’s great in Hawaii. Of course I haven’t gotten leid yet, but I look forward to it.”

Silence. Shock. I may’ve blushed a little.

Our group director was, again, mortified. There’s no fixing that one. I think he’s been banned from introducing himself at this point.

Mormonzo shouldn’t be the only one with tragic decisions while in New York, though, and quickly a few of us followed up with ridiculously awkward moments of our own. A fine one arrived when Preacher Man revealed that he was actually 25, and then asked me if I could get him a job at the network I was working with, as he didn’t like his network. Um, no. I can’t, and I don’t want to. We’re too different to work in the same area- you’re a biggoted faux baptist, and the only thing I discriminate against is half-proof drinks. However, this entire conversation was taking place in front of Preacher Man’s boss, the man who happens to be the national president of sales for a major television network (I’ll give a hint, the middle initial is B). Attempting to distance myself from Preacher Man, I go speak with his boss, who I’m hoping to arrange an interview with despite our rocky start- I spoke with him a week ago at a cable network’s brunch, where a slip of the tongue led me to swearing at him.

I make my way over to the intimidating and vaguely weird salesman and put my beer down on the table to avoid nervously sipping it the entire time. He does the same, which lets me know I made a wise decision. Good for me. He asks me about my first day at a rival network, which is encouraging because he remembers where I’m working. All things that are good. Until I gesture just a little too emphatically, because I was finishing my second beer in about 30 minutes and having skipped dinner (again) because apparently the media mega-mogul throwing our cocktail party didn’t believe in vegetarian food. I blame this on him, it’s always the media’s fault! Regardless, my large gesture sends my beer clear across the tiny table and directly into the lap of the network executive. And not just a little bit, the whole thing. Down the suit jacket, on the shirt, across the tie, and on the pants. I immediately lung not for a napkin, but for my beer, which I grab and sip before retreating to another table to grab napkins.

The whole series of events happened so quickly that few people observed the blunder, but when waitresses converged on the pres sales extraordinare the entire room stopped to see what was causing a stir. There I was, next to a major network executive, patting his suit jacket dry with a wadded napkin in one hand and half a beer in the other. At this point the soggy salesman looks at me and says “you need to learn how to hold onto a cocktail even if bumped into, that’s when you’ve made it in the sales business.” With that he grabs his beer and walks away, leaving me the awkward center of attention. I suppose there’s no use crying over spilt beer.

Yeah, Mormonzo might be 28, but he didn’t test the Scotch guard on a prospective employer’s suit. Richie Rich lost his sunglasses, I lost my dignity. Well, shit.

[you’re so cute when you’re slurring your speech, but they’re closing the bar and they want us to leave]