Saturday, November 30, 2002

Yo! Singletails just passed 1,000 on the hit meter. This deserves some sort of celebration, and a 'Thank you' to you, my readers, who have gotten me to this place. What would be an appropriate Reader Recognition thingy that I could do? I'll put some thinking into that.
Greetings from Seattle!

Oh Man. Dial up is soooooooo creaky. But here I am in Seattle. The fog outside is thick as pea soup. This city is totally not without charm. Really lovely. But, I forgot the downside of Seattle: the median age here is 16. And all those sixteen year olds are multiply pierced and tattooed. At 38, I feel like a fossile. I might as well have half-moon reading glasses dangling on a chain around my neck and be wearing an argyle sweatervest and a toupee. My Leather local Navigator buddy has failed to materialize. Oddly. I managed to hook up with a sweet Italian boy last night at the Eagle, who was happy to spend the night swinging off my dick. And that was nice. He was remarkably tolerant, too. I had just gotten off an interminable plane ride and although it was 1:30 am local time, it felt like 4:30 am to me. And I have a cold, which didn't take the flight very well, so I also had a splitting headache and that weird pressure in your ears when they don't pop to equalize pressure. I'd just as soon have gone back to my room alone, but I couldn't say no to his enthusiasm.

But, although I probably won't me meeting up with Mr. Local Leather Navigator, it does look like viewers of CageCam might want to be tuning in tomorrow between 6pm and 10pm tomorrow. I sort of feel like a story I read about Bruce of Los Angeles, the physique photographer. The guy was a longtime admirer of Bruce's work, and on a trip to Los Angeles, managed to call him and ask if he would autograph some of his work. And Bruce agreed and asked him over. So when the guy gets there, Bruce meets him at the door and says "You'll do. Come out to the studio and strip." Once in the buff, the guy is outfitted with like, a holster and a pop gun and given a cowboy hat to wear. He strikes a few poses while the camera clicks away, and ends up immortalized as a Bruce of Los Angeles model.

I've been a fan of CageCam for years and years and years. I used to be a paid subscriber. There are two ways to be able to view CageCam. One is to pay money, and the other is to spend time in the cage. So that's where I'll be. And I'll be able to tune into CageCam whenever I want. Yahoo.

Aubrey, the cage keeper, seems to be a really nice guy. I'm disclosing his real name as he's something of a public personality, the host of Aubrey's Playhouse, a sort of S/M radio talk show host. Kind of like Larry King of the bondage and flogging set. I look forward to meeting him, and spending some time in his cage.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

As I suspected, the anticipation of the thing was worse than the thing in itself. Thanksgiving with the Family was not all that bad. My parents health was, in fact, better than when I last saw them. My step mother in particular was off of oxygen and slightly more lucid. (She remembered the answers to the questions she asked over and over but asked them anyway.) My dog Prosper behaved beautifully. He was playful and sweet, and had a great time romping in the snowy fields of Bucks County. Everybody loved my turkey and my gravy was sublime. And the baked pineapple was appreciated as it always is.

And it seems I have a cold. I'm coughing for all I'm worth (non-productive coughing, sort of the respiratory equivalent of dry heaves). I was planning on going to the Lure tonight--family holidays always leave gay men in full lather to get laid. Something about reconnecting with that adolescent energy.

And tomorrow I'm off to Seattle. Looking forward to meeting up with leathercop from Leather Navigator, and, possibly, spending some time in the cage of Aubrey Sparks. That means I'll be on cagecam... a live web cam. I will have to qualify my availability... if I'm still in the throes of my cold, it probably wouldn't work. Cagecam viewers probably wouldn't appreciate watching me hacking and blowing my nose.

On the other hand, maybe I should go to the Lure. I just dosed myself with cold medicine that makes me speedy, so I probably won't be doing much in the way of sleeping. Better read the label to see if it's okay to drive and 'operate heavy machinery' while on it. I once passed out from cold medicine. (I forget the brand.) I was working out in the garden, I leaned over to grab a tray of annuals I was planting, and went out cold, my head hitting the wall of the house on my way down. That could be interesting at the Lure.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Hate that. Just got a call from somebody I met at the Lure over the weekend. I have no idea who it was. What to do? I guess, "Now, who are you?" might be a good approach. But I always respond with, "Oh, sure! I'm glad you called!"

Just got back from lunch with Special Guy. It was great. Great to spend time with him, great guy that he is. Man, I really miss Special Guy. Warts and all.

Oh. The holidays are upon us. Well, upon me. I still haven't bought a turkey. A wee bit of self-sabotage, no? Showing up for Thanksgiving with a frozen turkey. Today, without fail, will find me trotting through the streets of New York City toting a fifteen pound frozen turkey. For joy. The day itself shouldn't be all that bad. I mean, I'll be cooking, which always lowers my heart rate and gets me humming. And then eating an L-tryptophan rich banquet. Then napping. So with hope, there won't be a lot of time spent dealing with my stepmother's descent into oblivion.

Here's the question that's plaguing me: what do I get my stepmother for Christmas? What do you get for a woman who has everything except time on this planet? Probably something to eat, no? But even there... One of her meds makes her begin every meal whith a nice purgative yuke when the first forkfuls hit her stomach. So that must take some of the enjoyment out of meal time, right. And my Dad. On election day a few weeks ago, he had what his doctors called a 'mini-stroke.' ("They said it wasn't even a minor stroke; it was a mini-stroke.") He's spent a lot of time in the hospital going through lots and lots of tests lately, and by all reports he's in great shape. Good heart, good arteries, good lungs, good blood tests. So that's reassuring. Except for the stroke part.

And then there's those other stressors: money I owe to people. $215 for the assessment on the roof of my condo building; $148 monthly maintenance fee on my condo; $1000 for rent on the first of the month; a whopping $1552 for car insurance downpayment; $575 for my car lease payment; $3000 to get the work started on my condo; $150 for boarding my dog while I'm at that conference I don't want to attend in Seattle; and a miscellaney of credit card and utility payments.

So today is, or ought to be, Stay Home and Hide Under the Covers Day. Alas, it's not.

But some good news! Past President is proposing we share a room for Mid-Atlantic Leather. Everybody seems to be going to this, coming in from all over the country. Wonder if there will be a LeatherNavigator get together at some point. And I have one playdate lined up thus far for that fateful weekend in Washington DC. So there's that to look forward to.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Y'know, as I think about it. I still want a boy, even though I want a Sir.
Oh, and did I mention that I've recently made the acquaintance of a F2M transsexual that I'd like to date?

This is just getting way to complicated.

Jumping Jehosophat. A few days ago, on November 22, I was sort of awed that I was poised to break 800. And now, my hit meter reads 896. Why, after I get a handle on HTML and figure out how to put feeelthy peeectures up on my blog, I could be zipping into the thousands.

Question: Do I need to own the DVD for the Scooby-Doo Movie? I mean, I want to see it. (Even my most open-minded and indulgent friends and acquaintances drew the line at this one.) But, after one viewing, I don't think it will be something I turn to again and again. There are a few items I want to get from, including this Navy Seals workout book reviewd in The Sun today, and a CD of Messaien's Tanangalila-Symphonie. (Past President was right: it would be great for whipping.) And didn't I just put the Scooby-Doo movie in my shopping cart.

Now, I've discussed the merits of Scooby-Doo before in my blog. Succinctly, you've got to love a cartoon that teaches the invaluable life lesson that whenever you're confronted by some weird, mysterious, frightening, possibly paranormal phenomenon, it's probably just about real estate. I've wanted to rent it for the longest time, but the only video rental place I pass in my travels (Mrs. Hudson's) is artsy-fartsy and doesn't have much that was made after 1965, unless it has sub-titles. Which is the reason that I can't live on the Upper West Side, the very nest of New Yorkers Who Would Never Go See Scooby-Doo, Charlie's Angels, or Josie and the Pussycats. That said, if I joined an inconveniently located Blockbuster, rented Scooby-Doo, and didn't return it for three days, I'd probably end up spending less than I would if I bought the damn thing and watched it exactly once. Huh. It just dawned on me that DVDs don't make sense for one person. If it's two people, then assuming that you're buying the DVD instead of going to the movie, the price to beat is $20, which would be the average cost of two people going to a multiplex, exclusive of popcorn.

Short week this week, Kimosabe. Which is good. Did you happen to notice (well no, how could you since Blogger ceased to put time and date stamps as well as 'Posted by...' on my blog when I installed the hit counter)... but anyway, the last posting went down at 1:43 am. I guess my thinking (to the extent that you could call it that) was, "I took a nap this afternoon, so it would be fine to stop at Ty's for a beer (well, an O'Doul's, which is definitely not beer) and then head home. Oh. All this after I drove all the way into the city to realize that I had no money and no ATM card, so I had to go all the way back to Jersey, get those, and then come all the way back.

I am very not looking forward to the conference I'm going to next week. For one thing, it's in Seattle, and that's a long plane ride. For another, I'll basically be spending a week hanging with folks from the old job, and I just sort of need to purge that now. I didn't realize the extent to which the pressures of running a non-profit were making me feel like a windshield bug. And now that I'm feeling (relatively) great, it just seems like it would be a step backwards. Particularly after the Former Board Chair called to unjustifiably reem me out a few weeks ago. And, frankly, I don't like the fact that I'm going to be away from this job for three days next week. Too much is happening. And, basically, I have a lot to think about. Lots and lots to mull. And all the psychic vampires I'll have to deal with at the conference won't really allow for much of that.

Annanuthathing. I want to go to DC for MAL. But, interestingly, I'd rather share a room this year. Both for financial reasons, and because it would be more fun. So I'll start asking around and see who's going. After the outrages of the holidays, I'll need that. And, it will be in 2003, and my New Year's Resolution will be Play More! and that will be a good playground in which to kick off the new year.


Sunday, November 24, 2002

Do I contradict myself?
Very well. I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes.

So said Walt Whitman. That quote ran through my head a lot this weekend.

I am a Top. The experience of lashing a man to a cross and working his back with floggers (or, on rarer occasions, a singletail whip) is sublime. I'm high on it for weeks. I'll see a guy in a bar, and something in his manner and demeanor--an openness, a kindness, a certain warmth, and that up-for-anything-sluttiness I find soooo sexy--will just drive me wild. I want to see him gasping, hear him howling in pain, see his tears, feel the stickiness of his blood. I want to clean him up, hold him close while he shudders and rocks, watch that beatific endorphin glow come over him.

I want to feel the weight of a collar around my nec, the collar put there by my Master. I want too find a strong, wise man, who will, over itime, open me like a flower, who will deduce from me deeper and deeper submission. His pleasure will be my pleasure. As I'm unable too penetrate the suffocating curtains oof self-doubt, indirection, and an all but total lack of self-discipline, I'll give up trying, and turn it over to Sir.

(Flower? Curtains? There must be butcher metaphors available. Try this. Instead of 'open like a flower,' put 'penetrate phalanx after phalanx of my defensive forces,' and instead of smothering curtains, use 'the demons with which I wrestle.')

And there are innumerable variations on these themes. Mutually exclusive? Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not to me. Interesting. Giving up my back to ARt made me a better whipping Top. Maybe spending some time learning to be a bottom would be similarly beneficial.

Yo. Wait a minute. Shurrrlee you've learned a lesson or two about prescription relationships. Each relationship is unique, and the dynamics spring whole from the two (or more) people involved. It doesn't work to do a sort of pencil sketch of the person and then wander out into the world looking for someone who fits that description. That's what made my relationship with my Ex not work, and that's what made Special Guy special. In the latter case, it was all organic.

But will see how it goes. I think the big challenge would be in finding a man willing to take me on. And, finding a man that I could honor honestly with my submission. No rose colored glasses. So we'll see.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Oh. The music program was great. We started off with Debussy's La Mer, a piece I know, but had never heard performed live. it was marvelous. But then, (then!) they played Olivier Messaien's Tanangalila-Symphonie. Jiminy Crickets. What a piece of music. Sooooo over the top. The program notes said that "tanangalila" was a sanskrit word meaning something like "life-death-movement-stillness-love-passion."

Loved it.

Well whaddya know: Nick didn't show. Now, it could be that wires got crossed. When I made plans with Nick, I was thinking that the concert we were going to see at Carnegie Hall started at 7pm (?), so we'd be out around 9pm, and Past President (my Shaman of Live Music) and I could grab a bite to eat afterwards, and be at the Lure at 10pm to meet Nick without a hair of my moustache out of place from the mad dash from the restaurant. Then, I realized that universally, showtime is 8pm. So we'd be getting out around 10pm. So on Friday morning, I emailed Nick (far be it from him to give me a phone number) and said, 10am is unlikely, I'll see you at eleven. So all day long, I kept LeatherTribe open on my PC at work (pretty distracting), and checked email every twenty minutes, awaiting his response.

Well, suffice it to say that although I was there at the Lure at 10pm, Nick was a no show. I don't think it was the case that he just didn't get a chance to check his email. (Who among us goes for twelve hours without checking email?) (And FYI: I still don't have an answer, so he still hasn't checked his email.) I think he's a flake. He presented himself as a bondage Top. No, wait. An 'expert' bondage Top. I sort of quizzed him as thoroughly as I could on this, given my own ineptitude. I also discussed with him an area that I do know something about, single tails, talking about the scene and why I like it so much. I think I gave him reason to believe that he was in over his head. That wasn't my intention. I thought I would make it hot for him. Y'know, me, a Top, giving it up for another Top.

Maybe I shoulda seen it coming. No picture. Vague profile. On his aleged website, he had a picture, not of him, that indicated that it was apparently from somebody else.

But, remember, I knew this guy. Not well. Between 1990 and 1992, I hade the prfound displeasure of working for the General Counsel's Office of Ernst & Young. It was better than starving, but just barely. There was a a group that was called, The Night Shift. They came in at 6pm and set themselves up at desks occupied by secretaries during the day to do word processing from dictation tapes. There they'd sit, listening through head sets and tapping away. For no good reason, they were all daoncers. I was often working late, so I knew several of them. There they'd all be, delivering the finished product, heads erect, backs straight, walking toe-heel, toe-heel, toe heel. And into their ranks came Nick. I think I nearly walked into a wall when I came around the corner and saw him tapping away at 70 words per minute. Or maybe I did walk into a wall. Hair the color of brass, cropped close, strong chin, piercing eyes, nice body from what I could see beneath his oxford shirt and chinos. Weeks later (I started working late a lot), I think he fiinally said hello in response to my (studied) 'hi.' Eventually, I think after I stalked him into the coffee room, I concluded that he was pretty stuck on himself, and didn't have a lot of time for the likes of me. He was A-list, or thought he was. I, clearly, wasn't.

Or not. he was supporting himself doing typing. Now maybe he was an actor or a marketing executive or producer or designer or whatever, he was working as a typist. Now, I had an administrative job, too. But I didn't have much in the way of pretensions.

So back then, there was a difference between who Nick was and who he thought he was. And, it seems, hasn't changed much.

So I headed out of the Lure around midnight and went down to Christopher Street to pick up a sandwich. And I ran into another regular at the Factory. A guy I've had a "Hey-catch-ya-later" relationship with for about a year. Well, last night was later. So all's well ends well.

Friday, November 22, 2002

...growing sleepy... ...can't keep eyes open... I must... I must... must obey Lolita. Lolita ... must ... be ... obeyed. I... must... join TES... Must submit art ... to... Seattle Erotic Art Fair... art... of any medium. Must... must... sign up to volunteer! Yes! Yes, Lolita! I hear you! I... will... obey!

Happy Day! LeatherNavigator is again operational.

Dang! It seems just the other day my hit counter crossed the 700 threshold. When it was at 695 or so, I planned to do an entry about how now all of us constitute the 700 club. But by the time I got around to doing that, the hit counter was at 734. Now, we're at 796, about to leave the 700s behind forever.

Thanks again, Lolita. deliverd new books for me: Learning Web Design by Jennifer Niederst, Web Design in a Nutshell by Jennifer Niederst, and The Blankd Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. Slow progress in the book I've been reading for a month now, From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun. I'm only at 1848. Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful to read. Dense and well-written. The problem is crossword puzzles. I don't usually have any period during the day when I'm sitting in my comfy chair taking in a good book. I read when I'm on the train going to and from work, or sitting in a coffee place having a latte. And lately, I've been doing crossword puzzles during these times.

Doing a crossword is a unique and wonderful experience always. If it's a good puzzle, it goes like this: you get stuck. half of the blocks are filled with letters, and half aren't. You read through the clues several times. Nothing is coming. So you put the puzzle aside. Later, you pick it up and read "12. Talked monotonously" for an eight letter word, and without having to think about it, you write D-R-O-N-E-D-O-N. And then you go on a tear. While you're doing other things, the puzzle is clunking oaround in your pre-conscious mind. I love that. It teaches one to rely on that which is mysterious. To put the problem aside for a while, to sleep on it, to let your mind wander. Like when I used to write poetry. Words would alight in my mind like birds on a branch.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Fight back. Fight AIDS.

Wow. On my way home fromreening of James Wentay's documentary on ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Waiting to get into the theater, my friend Andie-grrrl and I concluded that waiting for any one of a sizeable panoply of wackos to show up was like going through a spook house. "Oh no! It's him! Eeeeeaaaaah!!!" Happily, their numbers were few.

The last time I was in a room with those folks was probably eight or nine years ago. Uncanny. It was like watching a Mamas and the Papas documentary, watching people get fat and old as the film went on. Or, in many cases, not.

I had forgotten what it was like. Initally, it was like watching a home movie... "Look! There I am at the NIH action! And there's Baron von Philadelphia! I got maced that day."

Then came the first kick in the stomach: "I remember him. he could have had me by snapping his fingers. I wonder what he's up to these days? Oh. Right."

I forgot what it was like. it was this incredible microcosm. Brilliant men and women. And tedious men and women. Mostly brilliant. So many sexy men. And togehter we were angry, and we grieved, and we laughed, and we celebrated, and we had sex. And together we were angry, and we grieved, and we laughed, and we celebrated, and we had sex, and we went to funerals, and we protected one another, and we let one another down, and we were afraid, and we overcame our fear. It was the full spectrum of the human condition, but viewed through a magnifying glass. What an incredible time in my life that was.

But it's all wonderful. If I could choose any life at all to live, I'd live this one.

Well, Episode 18 of Season 3 of Sex in the City is over. Time to walk my dog.

I received email letting me know that Lolita is featuring me in her column on leather page. Mad daft gracias, Lolita! And welcome to all of you who may be swinging their browsers this way for the first time. My "You Can Learn HTML!" books are on the way, and maybe then I'll be able to put up some pictures of myself wearing only boots and a smile or whatever. Until that happy day, you'll have to content yourselves with megabite after megabite of my prolix. Not everyone's cup of South African Kwazulu Tea, but some folks like it. My narrative is sort of the bastard son of Candace Bushnell and Judy Blume who grew up being read Drummer Magazine as bedtime stories. Yo. Seeing my numbers grow on my hit counter warms the cockels of my black little heart, but you can sure feel free to email me at Whine, complain, gripe, malign, or pay homage. We like feedback. Feedback makes us way happy.

Peace. Out.
...and thanks again, Lolita.
Cool. Just heard from my friend Andie-grrrrl about the film tonight, ACT UP home movies. Andie-grrrl and her partner is domesticity (whom we'll call Wifey) have been hazzarding ideas of what incredible whackos that used to haunt the monday night meetings and some of the more obscure committees. I suggested that we clump together (like a knot of toads, like a leap of leopards, like a parliament of owls, like a pitying of turtledoves), smoke cigarets underneath the 'No Smoking' sign, and wear black wraparound sunglasses and chinchilla coats.

Oh. My 'look' is coming together nicely. And I hit on just what I'm styling: the Buck Rogers TV show starring Gil... Gil... Gil Somebody from the 1980s. It's kinda all about tight manmade fabrics with zippers and racing stripes up the side (stuff that bicyclists wear) and leather. Djever notice that in all those sci-fi things where earthlings are forced to flee to the stars because they've devastated the natural resources at home that everybody is wearing lots of leather? Cows, it seems, are hardier than cockroaches. It's kinda cool. Sinister, but in a sporty way.

What do leathermen talk about when no one else is around? Group names of birds and animals, of course. Last night, we savored the whimsy of 'a parliament of owls,' a 'pride of lions,' and the like. Here's a website that indicates group names of birds: A 'murder of crows, a cauldron of raptors...' How cool is that? One of our number proposed group names for gay men and lesbians: a 'tool' of lesbians, and, same but different, a 'toile' of gay men. I love that.

Here's a url ( that has a whole list of collective nouns. A 'sounder' of swine, a 'pitying' or turtledoves, a 'murmuration' or starlings, a 'kindle' of kittens, a 'knot' of toads, a 'leap' of leopards. Birds seem to get all the goood ones. Blame those nutty ornithologists.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Names of Trees

Maple is Acer
Oak is Quercus
Elm is Ulmus
Birch is Betula
Lilac is Syringa
Pine is Pinus
Beech is Fagus
Ash is Fraxinus
Chestnut is Castanea
Walnut is Juglans
Ginkgo is Ginkgo
Sycamore is Platinus
Locust is Robinia
Willow is Salix
Holly is Ilex

When I lived by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I would walk through every day, memorizing the names of the trees I passed from the little name plates that identified them. I like knowing the latin names for trees.

More back and forth with the guy I worked with 12 years ago at Ernst & Young. (We'll call him Nick.) He's sending me instant messages saying all the right things. Back then, he was a hunka-hunka-burnin' love. So I'm looking forward to it. Oh. Back then he also struck me as being unsufferably conceited. But y'know, I've grown to sort of like insufferably conceited. It has an allure all its own. I wonder if the lightbulb will go off when he sees me on Friday. I swear, I would like pine for him, sitting there in his LL Bean flannel shirt, ragwool sweater and docksiders, (this was 1990, yunnerstan) typing away. He describes himself as being 'gym worked bear.' Bear could mean he has a gut... Which I love, although he might not.

Now that's interesting. There was a guy I lusted after when I lived in Philadelphia. He was just amazing looking. One night at Woody's, a friend of his pointed me out to him, referencing my obvious desire. He laughed sardonically and said, "That skinny kid? No thanks." (I'm five feet away, hearing every word.) At the time, the guy was... I would say... about 50. So now he'd be 63. Every time I'm in a gay bar in Philadelphia, I'm looking out for him. In my fantasy, I walk up to him and say, "So what's shakin'? Does the AARP give you a discount on the door price? I thought guys your age went to Uncle's." Of course, I won't be realizing that fantasy. For one thing, I couldn't pull it off convincingly since I've known more than a few damn hot men 63 and older and I'd probably still be drooling over him and not be alone in that. And for another, I don't do mean well, as we know. And, what a crappy thing to say to anyone. What would probably happen is I'd make a play for him, and if successful, have a post-coital exchange where I'd recount that episode. His "No way? I did? What was I thinking?" would be all I needed to make things right.

I wonder how much of that is in play with my Friday night date with Nick? An exorcism of the ghost of my former insecure, dorky self. A lot, probably. Now that I'm running with the big dogs, it feels good to see the pup that I was still sitting on the porch.
I, Roommate...

Doneee left a message on my cell this morning saying he's thinking more and more that this would be a good thing. And so am I. I think that for $1800 (which would be my ceiling rent), we could get a decent apartment.

So I'm thinking about my assets and liabilities as a roommate. Let's do a free associative list, shall we?

1. I smoke. I promised my doctor that I'd quit on New Years We'll see. Not a lot at home. Two or three in the morning before I leave for work. Two or three in the evening before I go to bed.
2. I own a dog. My dog (weirdly) never barks. I walk him. I feed him. I brush him. He doesn't pee in the house, but I've never found a way to keep him off the furniture.
3. I have NPR on from the moment I get up until the moment I leave for work.
4. A promise I made to myself long ago: I don't leave the house until the bed is made and I don't go to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink.
5. I'm a really good cook, and I like to cook for people, and I have a well stocked kitchen.
6. I hate getting up in the morning. Not infrequently, the alarm is blaring (BLEEP-BLEEP-BLEEP-BLEEP) whilst I talk myself into getting out of bed.
7. I take about a half an hour in the shower.
8. I hate super-cooled interior spaces. I have lived for 12 years in New York City, through countless heatwaves, and I've never owned an air conditioner. I don't mind air conditioning, but if I need to put on a sweater or put a blanket on the bed, the A/C will shortly be hurtling towards destruction on the pavement below.
9. I'm good at taking phone messages.
10. I can tolerate a less than spic-and-span apartment, but if it's an issue for you, I'm happy to pitch in and do a clean up. In general, I'm a 'clean-as-you-go' person. While the roast is in the oven, I clean up the kitchen and take care of all the dishes and such I used before it went in the oven.
11. I don't use drugs. I do drink, and I like to be drunk, but I'm soooooooo responsible about that. It's probably been about eight months since I had dinner with a friend of mine, the wine was really good, I wasn't driving, and each of us killed a bottle.
12. I travel as much as I can. Mostly long weekends.
13. The St. Andrew's Cross can go in my bedroom, it doesn't have to be in the livingroom.
14. I don't need a lot of space. Room for a bed, a desk, and a bookcase is plenty. Oh. And the St. Andrew's Cross.
15. Closet space is another thing. I'm gonna work (hard) this weekend in culling stuff from my wardrobe (adieu, sweaters), but I need about eight feet of hanger space. Why, the leather alone...
16. I'm fairly financially responsible.
17. I can listen to just about any kind of music. But unless it's something I like, I'll want a change sooner or later.
18. I put up a Christmas tree. Decorating for other holidays (Hallowe'en, Valentines Day, etc.) is pathological.
20. I like talk and tell stories. I'll want to tell you all about how my night was. Tell me how your night was.
21. In the dumps? Having problems? Frustrated, bored, and lonely? Tell Dad all about it.
22. Down with the flu? Chicken soup, comin' right up!
23. I have a car. You wanna take a trip upstate? Absolutely.
24. I have a condo in Fort Leatherdale. You want to stay there for a weekend? Absolutely!
25. "Hi. Sorry to bother you at work. I locked my keys in the apartment, and..."
26. That incessant buzzing sound at 7:15 am is me shaving my head over a towel in my lap in the livingroom. Get used to it.
27. "Could you do me a huge favor and drop these shirts off at the cleaners on your way? Remember, box, not hanger, and medium starch, and don't deal with the really short guy, he always screws up and I had a fight with him, only deal with the woman. Okay?"
28. Would I sleep with the guy you're dating? Of course I would. Why? Is that a problem?
29. As a rule, I don't watch TV. Not because I'm dismissive of the medium but because I'm a busy guy. That said, I can totally get sucked in.
30. Yes, that's my mug of tea on the coffee table. No, I'm not done with it even though it's cold. If you put it in the sink and run water in it I'll be forced to kill you.
31. Scot toilet tissue. If you bring home soft, lotion-saturated, talcum powder infused toilet paper, I'll probably throw it right in the trash.
32. No air freshener ever.
33. I can sleep through anything. Roar like a cheetah and bellow like a bison when you're banging Mr. Boy. I'll never know.
34. I'm sorry, but I can't look at a wall that's pale blue. I like rich, saturated colors. Orange, ochre, olive, brown, and Mexican red are big with me lately.
35. My conflict resolution skills are getting pretty good, but growing up as the only child in the house has left me at something of a deficit.
36. My insane buddy, Baron von Philadelphia, will be staying here this week. He's a great guy. You'll like him. Really you will. No, really.
37. "No, I'm not gonna go through all the trouble of detaching my Shower-Shot in the shower because your nephew is visiting. He's eleven. That's plenty old enough to learn about the necessities of colonic hygiene for men who engage in anal sex."
38. As long as it won't interfere too much with my ability to get up for work the next morning, I'm happy to observe that necktie-on-the-doorknob signal and let you have the apartment to yourself for a while.
39. I see no need to cue guests about our developed appreciation for irony. The 'God Bless Our Mobile Home" sampler will go in your room if it goes anywhere.
40. The Depression-reared parents who reared me have endowed me with a fundamental insecurity in matters of money. I get wholly irrational and over-react. Feel free to call me on it, I'd ask that you do your best not to exacerbate it.
41. Life without broadband connectivity just ain't worth the livin'.
42. Yes, I know it's called a 'Dream Catcher.' My question was, what the hell is it doing in our apartment?
43. I don't recycle. Torture me to death if you must.
44. If you decide to become a vegetarian, don't expect a lot of support from me.
45. If you decide to register Republican, expect a lot of support from me.
46. A party sounds like a great idea! Let's do that. Wait'll you taste my mulled apple cider.
47. The mumbling you hear coming from my room when I go to bed at night is me saying Compline from the Book of Common Prayer
48. That schicka-schicka-schicka-schicka-schicka sound you hear coming from my room when I go to bed is me beating off.
49. Surprise! I decided I needed a break so I called in sick from work today and I'm gonna sit home and watch the entire third season of Sex in the City.
50. Good morning! I made you some biscuits.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Hair of the blog that bit you

Small World

So's anyway so's Leather Navigator is on the blink. So's I'm on Leather Tribe. Which I don't like as much seeing as out of eight thousand members all of eleven are in NYC. But I sees this NYC guy on line and chat him up, and we makes plans to meet up for a beer at the Lure on Friday. Cool. So's I tells him my name and he tells me his. Just first names, yunnerstan. So's he has this name that was common in 1915 but ain't so common now. An' years ago, whens I was breakin' my back for Ernst & Young I worked wit' a palookah wit' the same name as this guy.

"Yo," I sez, "yoose ever done time at the General Counsel's Office of Ernst & Young?"
A pause ensued.
"Years ago," he sez.

Whoa. I remember him. But I bet he doesn't remember me. Because I wanted him bad. Way bad. But *HE DIDN'T KNOW I WAS ALIVE*. *(sob)*

So I hope my back is in shape for some action by Friday.

Leather Love Shack

Oh cool. So in the cab coming from therapy, I gave a call to... Doneee. We met way back last year. I was sitting in the window of Factory Cafe and I cruised him as he was walking up Christopher Street. And he stops, crosses the street, marches in the door, and introduces himself. I was meeting a date there, or we probably would have jumped at each other. Alas, not even numbers were exchanged. Another instance of me trusting the fact that Manhattan is an island. And that principle was upheld, 'cause guess who shows up on my softball team? But, before our we could consumate, I met Special Guy. But we've kept in touch.

So I called Doneee and when I told him about my back, he offered to give me a massage on Saturday night. Although he's a licensed massage therapist, I suspect there might be a 'release' involved. (Wahoo!) And before I hung up, I told him I was looking for a share in Manhattan, and Doneee said he was looking to move, too. And that's so cool. I'm into S/M, and so is he, I'm never home, and it's okay if I smoke and have a dog. I would love to live with Doneee. We'll talk more on Saturday before my 'massage.'
No leather navigator. Perhaps it's gone for good. I'm shortly off to therapy. I'll get on the couch, but it will probably take another fifty minute hour for me to get back up again. Dang. Like this doesn't cramp my style. Maybe I'll feel much better in the morning. Wouldn't you know, I had to hear this thing on NPR this morning about advances being made in pain management. (This as I'm contorting and howling trying to get out of bed.) That's really great, but I didn't need to hear someone saying "It seemed like a minor thing at the time, but I've been in agon ever since...")

I'm also a firm believer in Back Problems = Stress. Now, I don't feel particularly stressed lately. I mean, bits of anxiety about money, about my parents' health (especially as joyless holidays loom), and that kind of thing, but nothing to make me wake up screaming. My bed is made and there are no dirty dishes in the sink. So all is well with the world. I guess. Something to explore in therapy. Stress is cumulative, so perhaps all these niggling little things have added up to lower back pain. Ay. I hope I don't have to 'heal my life' or something. What a bummer that would be.
Oh. My. God. When I plug into my browser, in the immortal words of my pal Gaetano, "I put da wingamaging in da cheese box and I getta no provolone." I hope this is only temporary. Like their server is fried or something. There's this whole network of folks across the country and around the world that will basically be lost to me if leathernavigator ("Leathermen, Bears, This is the place for you!") is kaplooie. Gosh, wonder if every three minutes I'll be trying to get into the site? Count on that.

Oh. Tomorrow is my first payday. Here's a fun thing: I'm on the payroll of the general staff, not on my bosses budget. My boss was part of a coup effort that will likely be successful. Wonder if they'll remember about li'l ol' me when they're processing payroll at the general staff offices. What larks.

Okay. Let me see if Leather Navigator is back up.



Hey... That's no muscle spasm! That's a pinched nerve!

Oh man. Took me twenty minutes to put on my socks this morning. Which seemed a breeze after the effort it took to get out of bed. I'm wearing this camoflage utility belt kind of thing (pouches for cellphone, iPod, and palm) because I thought that carrying a sbag over my shoulder might aggravate things. I popped an Extra Extra Extra Strenght Ibuprophen this morning that I had left over dental work a few years ago. That's given me some relief. And as I move around more, I think it's starting to loosen up. It feels sort of squishy. I don't know how effective I'm going to be at work today, as my powers of concentration are just about nil. But I'd rather be here (Why? Two words: handicapped bathroom) than home. For now anyway. We'll see how the day progresses.

Yesterday, I went back on Welbutrin after a six week vacation. Great move. I wasn't really feeling any of the benefits of it. Last night and the night before, I slept for six hours and woke up feeling refreshed and rarin' to go. And, keep in mind, that the three times I rolled over last night were done wide awake, grimmacing with agaony, and took about twenty minutes each time.

Dj'ever notice how sitting up ramrod straight is exhausting?


Monday, November 18, 2002

Hello, Pain

Tonight, I ended my six week long hiatus from the gym. And pulled a muscle in the neighborhood of my coccyx. Other than that, it was a good workout: I got a nice pump and my weight is 186. But afterwards, as I made my way to the Factory Cafe for dinner, it was as though I was walking a tightrope. Sitting at my favorite stool in the window, I thought it might have eased up. But when I stood up, I found that the apt verb was 'seized' rather than 'eased.'

I kind of get giggly when this happens. The pain isn't that bad, and it gives various activities (like walking the dog) a sort of sitcom quality. Also, I've come to associate muscular injury with softball, and those are pleasant associations.

* * * * * * *

Here at home, I'm icing my coccyx. Sadly, I have a growing list of 'Things To Do' outside of work that just aren't getting my time and attention. Hate that. Among them, going into Citibank and appyling for a Home Equity Line of Credit for my place in Fort Lauderdale. That will make me feel pretty groan up. When I was with my Ex, together we went and applied for a HELOC on the house we owned together. Drawing down on that was one of the things that made my leaving possible (rent and security deposit on the new apartment, moving expenses, some new furniture). I really should have a job making twice what I do now, but... well... I don't. And, I doubt I would welcome the pressures that would go with a job like that.

Archangel the Bad Kisser said (among other things) that he felt that everyone should take a year off at some point. For him, that year was disability, and it turned into five,and now he is climbing the walls hoping to return to work. (I'm going to see if I can't help him out with that. Perhaps there are contacts I can make through the New Job.)

I've been getting 'disk full' error messages on my trusty iBook. Surely that can't be true. Well, then again, I have over a thousand MP3 files loaded on there. I did a brief purge this evening, but I doubt that bought me many megabites.

If I get a HELOC, maybe I can buy a G5... Yo. No way to think.

After this week, I work for three days, then I go to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents (I'm being very generous with the use of that term; it'll be all about service; my step-mother's health is such that I'm going down on Wednesday night to cook dinner for my family and let her think she did it). Then, I head off to Seattle for the Harm Reduction Conference to give my presentation on barebacking. I suppose I should put my thoughts on the subject in some sort of coherent order before I head out. Egads. Former Board Chair will doubtless be there. Not looking forward to running into her in the elevator.

This Thursday night, I'm attending the screening of a film called 'Fight Back! Fight AIDS!' It's a documentary of ACT UP. It'll basically be sitting in a theater mostly filled with people I haven't seen in about ten years, trying to spot myself on the screen. Or rather, a ten year old version of myself. Talking to Past President earlier, I was reminded of the Hoffman LaRoche action we did in Nutley, New Jersey, shutting down their vast campus in February but chaining ourselves together inside metal pipes at each of the many entrances. Those were heady days, feeling conviction and a rightness of purpose that I haven't felt since about any thing. If I had the time and attention, I'd do a series of entries on this blog of ACT UP reminiscences. Shouting down Dan Quayle, chaining myself to the gates of Gracie Mansion in the pre-dawn hours, marching across the Brooklyn Bridge with 10,000 other people to preserve the Division of AIDS Services, doing an illegal Activist March Against AIDS in the Tradition of Stonewall up 5th Avenue on the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, wrestling a ladder away from cops in front of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer's Association HQ in DC, and, trying to fulfill the dying request of a guy who wanted his body dumped on the lawn of the (newly elected) Clinton White House. Yeah. Really. That was me. At times, I felt like I was part of an elite commando squad in the fight against AIDS. Many of the results we achieved actually did change things. But, as I've come to realize, the march of history is beyond anyone's ability to compass it. We are able to barely tinker around the edges. It's all in God's hands. But think of the Doctor in Camus' The Plague: Act As If.

Anyway. Gotta be up early tomorrow.

I put in a call to Does Mean Well tonight, who will be visiting shortly. I like him.
Blog we must

I just got out of the GMSMA novices group. I have about forty-five minutes before Archangel the Bad Kisser shows up for our date. I'm a little short circuited today.

Here's why. I made it to the Lure last night. Despite the thin crowd due to the crappy weather, at one point I had two boys working my boots, and I met a way hot boy who likes it "rough and nasty." (I gave him my card.) And then I met this guy with six gauge piercings in his tits I went home with. I wanted my kitten punched, and I got it. Beautifully.

But here's the thing. When things were moving in that direction, he said 'let me get some grease.' And I chimed in, 'and get a rubber, too.' And he got a condom and some lube. He opened up the condom and had me sit on his chest. He greased up my hole, and put a condom on. I worked around for a while, got in a good position, and took him into me. It felt great. So good. I played around with thrusting my pelvis in different ways while he worked my dick. I came pretty quickly. Convulsively, I rolled off and got next to him, working his tits until he shot. I thought about staying over, but it was 5 am, and I was parked at a meter that started running at 8:30, so I got dressed and headed out.
When I hit the sidewalk, I thought, "He didn't take off a condom when I got off of him." Huh. That would mean he did me raw. Now, while I was riding him, a thought flashed through my head, something along the lines of: Did he put a condom on it doesn't feel like it it feels soooo good damn that's good.

Oh hell. That pisses me off. I mean, I doubt that I've been exposed to HIV. He was probably HIV negative and employed the same strategy as I do about Topping raw (I ask, though). Even if he's positive, he was actually in me for not too long and I didn't see any precum. And even if there way precum, his viral load is probably in the basement if not undetectable. So I'm not checking my lymph nodes for swelling and imaging 'flu-like' symptoms or signing up for Post Exposure Prophyllaxis. It just means that round about President's Day I'll have to undergo the indignity of getting tested again.

Here's what's got me nervy: I can't banish the thought of the consolation prize. Namely, if I did seroconvert, I'd get to have hot sex and not have to worry about condoms. If I didn't view HIV prevention counselors with such contempt, I'd think about signing up for a group at GMHC or something. And I think this issue is kind of an Issue for my therapist.

When I got tested before, the counselor asked me how I would feel if I tested positive. Definitely I wouldn't be jumping off a bridge. But I would be embarrassed. "He should know better" people would think. And they'd be right. I could make up some cover story. (I was talking to someone who seroconverted three years ago who had a completely implausible cover story.

Oh, and Six Gauge? I have no idea what his name is. If and when I see him I'll be sure to ask him.

Okay. Bring on Archangel the Bad Kisser. Time for our date.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Alrighty. Off to the Lure. Conditions are not optimal. It's cold and raining. But, maybe the leather gods will favor me. Found out tonight that I can't get a membership based out of the New York Sports Club at 8th Ave and 16th Street, but I have to join where I signed the membership, at Sheridan Square. Maybe I'll do a day pass at Sheridan Square, but from what I saw, it was pretty house-wifey. Sic transit gloria West Village.

Had a nice date last night. Did a bondage scene that worked pretty well. Although, I've really got to practice making square knots (left behind right, then left behind right again) upside down and sideways. That kind of threw me. The man I tied up looked beautiful bound. I would have preferred he be a little more responsive, but it was a Friday night after a long work week, and I think both of us were stifling yawns.

I'm thinking of not going to church tomorrow. I've got the GMSMA novices group from 3pm to 7pm, and then I've got a date at 8pm with Archangel. Wondering how that will go. There are a few complicating factors. Number one, I think he's looking for a Steady Eddie, and that would not be me. Number two, he's a bad kisser. He bites. Chews really. A nip here and there is fine, but he approaches my lips like beef jerky. Uh uh. Sort of amazing how many men are bad kissers. I had a boyfried who would work up a mouth full of spit and feed it to me. Again, can be hot, but not all the time. Than there was my Ex. A little voice would tell him 'Open Wide!' and he would. My tongue would go exploring in what seemed like a vast cavern. Now kissing is definitely a 'What a giftee the Laird to gi'e us, to see oorselves as others see us' (a little Rabbie Burns there) experience. But I have reason to believe that I'm a good kisser. For one thing, men who are great kissers have told me I'm a good kisser. And for another, back in highschool when we used to have drunken games of spin the bottle at parties, the girls in my group decided that I was the best kisser. Later in my high school career, I made quite a name for myself as a practioner of cunnilingus, but given the relative inexperience of the girls I was going down on, I don't really know if I can trust that. But, out of a group of about ten guys, I was the best at kissing. Even if I, too, were looking for a Steady Eddie, it would probably not be someone who kisses like a puppy with a rawhide bone. I'm also sort of suspicious because I heard this guy once say he wanted to be tied up the way men I hang with would say, "I've always thought it would be hot to be forced to give a blowjob at gunpoint." In other words, an unspoken coda of "...or at least I think I do."

Anyway, I'm sort of in a weird mood. All the topping I've been doing lately has left me sort of wanting to get my kitten punched. Always the tall order as I'm tightly wound as a watch spring.

Had a moment of missing Special Guy tonight, reflecting on the men that I've been dealing with lately. Mr. Last Night called out while I was fixing the coffee this morning, "So, are you a former priest?" (Surveying my bookshelf, no doubt.) "No," I said, "I'm sort of a former future priest."

*sigh* That was a great thing about Special Guy. Sharing a relationship with Christ with him. That must sound totally bonkers to anyone reading this who's outside that loop. But I'll put it this way. The season of Advent is upon us. The scripture readings at church will have themes of darkness awaiting the coming light, water, pilgrimage, transition, and waiting for the dawn. I'll be meditating on my longing and my incompleteness, my need for a Saviour and Redeemer. Christmas is about God breaking into our dark, despairing lives, bringing love and renewal. Now, my life isn't particularly dark nor despairing, but I can focus on that aspect of it, go to that place and let it seep into my bones. And thus prepare myself to welcome Christ. In John's Gospel, it's phrased, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." That's the King James version. I've heard it translated as 'The logos took on our human nature, and came to live in our neighborhood." God dwelling among us.

Now what's the purpose of that rift? (Particularly disappointing, no doubt, for readers who are hoping for more tales of single tails.) Just this. My faith is really important to me. And Special Guy was the only man I've ever dated with whom I could share that important part of myself. And, he'd always be available to drop to his knees and take my piss, not spilling a single drop. Yo.

I still have the Pride Day pictures of him and me in my wallet. I still have the roses he gave me.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Thereapy last night was great. Usually, (mostly) I wreck it by having a preconceived idea of what I'm gonna be talking about, scripting out the entire thing as the M15 bus makes it's way up 1st Avenue in fits and starts. Last night, I was even an hour early arriving on the Upper East Side. Went to Starbucks and fell asleep journaling. That catnap may have had something to do with it being a good sessioon. Anyway. I realized that perhaps the first time in my life, I'm feeling things. Usually, for me, it's all about insight and figuring it all out. But now, I'm just sort of feeling. And I'm empathetic. I'm wondering what the people around me are feeling. Oh. And here's an interesting therapy item: I was talking about how I feel myself growing into the role of being a dominant. I compared it to when you're in your twenties, and people start responding to you as an adult. At first, it feels sort of weird, when the woman at the counter of the Dunkin' Donuts says, "Will that be all, Sir?" But over time, it feels less so. Because you are a Sir. Anyway, I was thinking/talking about What I Want.

I'm at the Lure on a Saturday Night. At my side is a man wearing a collar. His hands are clasped behind his back. His head is bowed slightly. He's my boy. I'm his Sir. Earlier in the evening, we watched a movie at my apartment. I sat on the sofa. He sat on the floor, his arm curled around my booted feet. I would absentmindedly stroke the nape of his neck. Over dinner afterwards, I listened to his frustrations about his work. I tell him that he undervalues himself, that his work is excellent, and that he shouldn't hesitate to ask his clients to charge his clients top dollar prices. Not that I'm so terrificaly advanced in my life skills, but I can provide coaching: an objective observer, watching and listening closely, making suggestings for improvement, and building esteem with encouragement. I decide how we spend our time together--a trip upstate, or to DC, or tooling around the city, or down to Fort Lauderdale. I view this as a responsibility demanding my attention and creativity. I don't want my boy to get bored. Once a week at least, like early evening on a Saturday, we do a scene. I do my best to vary these as well. Improving my skills in a variety of facets, so I have knew things to spring on him with regularity. I push his limits. In our play, I strive to create a safe place where he can feel secure in testing himself, letting him explore and discover new aspects of his inner workings. With time, if we're lucky, our relationship will deepen. I'll decide that this is a man I want to own and possess. He'll come to the conclusion that he wants to give himself over to me completely. He'll want to be my slave. What'll that look like? I'd want to give him a new name, a slave name, re-baptising him to makr this transition. His body will be my property, so I'll make decisions about how it looks and what he does to it. And service, keeping his Master's other possessions in good working order. And more of a public identity, a heavier metal collar, visible most of the time. I'll take on responsibility of taking care of him, making sure he's clothed and fed and has sufficient intellectual stimulation and that he feels loved and appreciated. He'll never not have marks on his back from my whip.

Well, that's a bit more detail than I discussed with my therapist last night, but basically it's the same structure. And there I was, lying on my therapists couch, with a big ol' hard on. My therapist is a cultured and tailored jewish woman in her sixties. I guess you could say I'm comfortable talking to her about anything.

My date last night was really, really nice. The duck at Sazerac is stupendous. The company was great. Tragically, it got pretty late, and I made the mistake of opting for the chocolate pudding for desert. About eleven seconds after I finished, I crashed from the sugar. So, it was a solo ride home on the PATH.

Tonight another guy, (we'll call him Commish), is meeting me at the Eagle around 10:30.

Y'know. Enough. I have got to get back to the gym. I am just terry-fied to get on the scale. How the mighty have fallen! But, nonetheless, I bounce back pretty quickly. A week from now I'll be a strapping Jean-Claud Van Damm. And this time, I'll push right past 190 and go all the way to 200. Yo.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

I'm ten people away from 600 readers. Dig.

Can I just say I love the New Job. Yeah yeah yeah it's only been two and a half weeks, but it's sooooo great. Soooo much fun. Here I am in the mix. Big drama going on, a 'regime change' of sorts. High stakes. You'll have to read the papers for details. It's so much fun reading the Metro Section of the Times to find out what your day will hold.

Big date tonight I'm looking forward to. After therapy, so I'll be all centered and shit. Can't quite get a handle on this boy's work schedule. I'd sure be up for some company tonight. Say, some mummified-with-duct-tape-and-mummified company. Well, that might be a wee bit elaborate for a work night. If in doubt, restraints and padlocks work pretty well.

Okay. Back to work.
So what's up with me being light on the wit and wisdom lately? Well, I'll tell ya. Not only does the New Job take up a lot of time, but it also has my imaginative and intellectual faculties engaged as they haven't been in years. So, a lot of my excess thoughts and ideas that I couldn't quite pour into doing budget modifications to our various government contracts in the last job are now finding a deep reservoir in the New Job. Which is great. Feels wonderful.

Oh. And one other thing, too. About a man. We've communicated some, not a lot. But I am totally liking what I've seen so far. Totally. Tragically, my work life is decimating the hours I used to spend hanging out in coffee bars and flirting and going on dates and bellying up to bars and the like. So, I haven't been able to speed off in hot pursuit. Which might be a good thing. And, this guy very could be a reader. Sooooo... I don't want to go spilling too much here. A guy with whom I had one of those prolonged 'yeah-we'll-definitely-have-to-get-together-sometime' relationships recently told me he would basically never date me because he didn't want to show up in my blog. "But... but... but... it's anonymous for everybody else but me... your name would never appear." Regardless.

How come Carrie never has these problems on Sex in the City? None of the men she dates read her column? Big or Aidan never mind seeing themselves in print?

Why was this never an issue for Special Guy? Because he never read my blog. I told him--several times--that I had a blog, even describing it as an on-line diary, but he never, ever expressed any interest in reading it.

Here's an entry I wrote on my Visor about my trip to Chicago this past weekend to attend the Chicago Hellfire Club's Associate Member Applicants weekend. (I am an apple-li-cant.)

Life is good.

11/10/02 11:31 pm.

I would have been touching down at Newark about now, but no. I'm still at O'Hare. I won't be home until about 3 am.

Regardless. The Chicago Hellfire Club Associate Applicants Weekend was a blast. I will live my life for love alone.

I was worried (of course) that I'd spend the weekend standing quietly by. Consumed with shyness and lack of self-confidence, disturbed about a phone call from my former Board Chair that I got at work on Friday, and the perpetual phobia of being evaluated and judged.

On Friday night, feeling pretty sprightly despite the fact that I got off a plane, took a taxi to the club house, and basically had nothing to eat that day, I was watching a whipping scene when I got woofed by a way hot man. So I ended up flogging him. One stroke was off (got his ear), but overall, I did well. He was a wonderful, wonderful bottom.

So then, as we were finishing up, one of the elder statesmen of the club called us over. He proceeded to complement me, and went on to compare me to a younger version of a world famous German whipsman of whom I am in awe. Oh. My. God. Or as Joe the Barber would say, "Hello!"

I was--and still am--pretty stunned by that.

And I and the gentleman (a fellow Miss. Manners fan, I learned) I flogged continued to bond. And what better way to do that than by him hopping up in the sling and having me fist him. Which was wonderful. (And later in the weekend, a boy who had watched me at it complemented me on my technique in that area, too.

Anyway, it turns out that Gentleman is a former president and longtime member of the club. And a great guy. The next night after the banquet, back again at the clubhouse, I asked Gentleman what he would recommend as far as getting a full member sponsor. He proceeded to grab every full member who passed, tell them I needed a sponsor, and extol my virtues. Extoling my virtues included showing them his back, where there was a red mark in the shape of a heart. Several members voiced their enthusiastic support of my application.

Earlier on Saturday, I had gone with my hospitable host to see the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio in Oak Park. That was really wonderful....

Yo. Me again. The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio was pretty wonderful. But there was also a surreal element, too. The guid talked about the fact tha Frank had lived there with his wife and children from (something like) 1889 to 1927), but they never mentioned that what broke up that happy home was when Frank left, abandoning his wife and children. The place was broken up into apartments for decades until a trust was formed to buy the place and do extensive restoration work. Those apartments were necessitated by the fact that Mrs. Wright had no income when Frank left. Now, speaking as a spouse-and-home-abandonner myself, I don't entirely condemn Frank. Although, making sure that my Ex would be able to make things work financially (i.e., contributing to the mortgage even after I wasn't there for several months) was something that I made sure was in place, I can totally get behind what drove Frank to take such a drastic move.

Day after day after day, you just think, "I hate my life." You feel like you're playing a role, cast in a play, but you have to make up the script as you go along. You focus on activity, stuff to do. You keep your head down (if you're living with someone for whom flying into a rage is like water seeking it's own level, anyway). It's mostly pretty negotiable. But every once in a while, like when you get junk mail about retirement communities in Arizona, and you think, "Gosh, I'll be retiring in only 23 years," and there it is all spread out before you, like the fog clearing and revealing the road ahead. At the end of the road is death. You can see, clearly and unobstructed, everything along the way. Life without adventure, or novelty, or mystery. For along time, you think that you've made your bed, and now you've got to lie in it. Like some Bronte heroine. But then, you think, "Anything has got to be better than this," and that's the beginning of the end of the your life. Then, you realize that all you really have to do to change your life is to walk away. To go. Head out the door. Popular culture is tough on people who do that. In movies, they usually end up coming crawling back, or falling back in love, or getting punished (a la Thelma and Louise) for walking out.

Here's what I've found: it's great. It's fantastic. You get the wisdom of experience, and having taken that bold step out the door, you find yourself waiting on the other side of the threshold. And then it's all wonderful; the world is your oyster. Possibilities open out in front of you. Anything is possible.

Tillie Olsen wrote in her essay, 'Ironing': "She resolved that she would never give up her solitude, never again to have to move to the rhythms of others."

Here's a thing I love: it's midnight; I'm walking down some street in New York, or Chicago, or Fort Lauderdale, or Seattle, or Amsterdam, or whatever. I can, if I wish, go home to bed. I can, if I wish, go have a beer. I can, if I wish, find a place to get a cup of coffee and read a book. I can, if I wish, go talk to that sweet looking bear that just cruised me. I can, if I wish, sit on a bench somewhere quiet and notice how night smells and feels differently than the day. No one knows where I am. If I get mugged, or my cell phone rings and I get terrible news, I have to take care of it myself. But I'm good like that. I am my choices, and my choices are mine, clearly and unambiguously. And that's just great.

Life is good.

Monday, November 11, 2002

I have been remiss in my blogging. Apologies all around. I've been journaling, rather than blogging, sitting in coffee places and pouring out my soul into my palm.

Here are a few entries...


What is it about mea and death? At the organizing meeting for Leather Pride Night, the group was sort of reeling fromt he death of one of their number, a man I knew only slightly. Yesterday, I learned that an employee of the old job passed away yesterday.

Y'know, I feel nothing. Not the pain of loss, not a shiver at the memento morii. It's almost as if I'd received news that someone was relocating to Oslo.

I'd like to point out that I don't believe in an afterlife of any kind. No medieval conception of heaven, no reincarnation, no surviving cosmic energy.

Although I've never been in a situation where I thought, "this is it, this is the end of me," when the risk of death increased (a mugging, airplane engine trouble, '80s HIV scares), it wasn't the end of life that got to me but the possibility of the end of enjoying life. Suffering people I find compelling (especially when they bear suffering with grace and dignity).

Before I was old enough to drink legally, I attended the funerals of four uncles, one aunt, four grandparents, one mother, and one step mother. If my family decided to have a family reunion we could all go in one car. In fact, it occurred to me years ago that given the fact that my only surviving sibling is fifteen years my senior, I'll probably spend the last decade(s) of my life with no family other than some second or third cousins in Texas and South Carolina.

Relatives of course, aren't replaceable. Literally speaking. I've lost my sister, and she's gone forever, never to be repaced. I do have many wonderful, close relationships, but with Kathy went a set of experiences that only she and I shared. And, she knew me in a way that no one else did. In solving the great karmic riddle, she has a lot of insight that I'll now never know. A selfish way of looking at it, perhaps, but ultiimately, all of our journeys are solitary. Perhaps that's why friends, and even just people I know socially, have always played such a significant role for me. A sort spreading out my emotional investment portfolio. Am I just avoiding intimacy because of the fear of loss? Yeah, maybe. But I've had some truly intimate, moving, transformative experiences (and conversations) with people I've known for all of an evening.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Well, enough of that. Now, I have a dentist appointment (here, I could do a rift on Why I Am Not A Masochist), and then at 7pm I have therapy. I think in the time in between, I'm going to go up to the Whitney. And, I'll need to stop by Kinko's and fax my Hellfire Associate's application to Does Mean Well. I'm a' gonna just trust the process. If I get in, I get in. If I don't, I don't. I've been over-thinkking this way too much, letting it have too much power over me. If the gods of leather want me to be in this brotherhood, than it will happen. If not, well, there's not too much I can do about that.

I'm actually more concerned about the dentist appointment right now. Here's the deal. I used to never get cavities. And then, in my twenties, they hhit. Every time I went to the dentist, there was something for him to drill and fill. I forget the number of root canals I had. My eternal lament was, "Why? I brush, I floss, I don't eat much in the way of sweets." Most dentists just sort of shook their heads. One of the reasons I've been loyal to my current dentist is that he offered an explanation. He asked about my job and my sleeping and eating habits. He said that he had recently attendede a symposium at Harvard where someone put forward an idea (I forget the latin name) of a syndrome called 'Yuppie Mouth.' Basically, people in their 30's and 40's with lots of dental problems. These people worked a lot, ate on the fly, and didn't get enough sleep. The mouth is essentially an organ of the body. When you don't take care of yourself, your immune system is weakened, and you're less able to fend off disease and infection. Cavities are just a breaching of your bodies defenses by infection.

So now, not only am I living better, but, when I started shaving my head I bought a Braun electic razor. In the same box came a surprise gift of a Braun electric toothbrush. Now, my ideas about electric toothbrushes sort of gelled when I saw the movie Private Benjamine with Goldie Hawn. At one point, she approaches her DI in bootcamp and says, "Excuse me, Ma'am, I can't find any place to plug in my electric toothbrush." Well, actually, no. It's amazing how clean this thing gets my teeth. In between cleanings, I used to have plaque building up, like barnacles creeping up a pier. No mo'! So I'm actually hoping that after my teeth get cleaned, my dentist will give me a smile and a handshake and say "I'll see you in six months." Probably not, but I can dream, can't I?

I used to comfort myself by saying "Everyone in my family has great teeth and bad hair. I got great hair and bad teeth." Well, then The Spot started taking up more and more real estate on my scalp, so I shaved it all off rather than opt for the tonsured look. And now, I have no hair and bad teeth. Alas.


Monday, November 04, 2002

Why I Am A Christian

This is a fairly old rift of mine that I'm suddenly considering in an entirely new light.

Attending church as a little boy, my anglo-catholic Episcopal parish had the tradition of reciting a verse of scripture as the congregation was lined up at the altar, preparing to receive Holy Communion. Together we would say, "Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." This was taken from the 8th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, wherein is described an encounter between Jesus and a Roman general...

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented."

And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him."

The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,’ and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour.
(NKJV version)

When I was in my 20's, I read a book by John J. MacNeil, a gay man, a Christian, and a scripture scholar. MacNeil claimed that the Aramaic word used for 'servant' was not the usual word used in New Testament writings (which was actually the term for 'slave'). Rather, it was unique in the Scriptures, but was used elsewhere in Greek writing of that era to describe the younger male lover of an older Greek man.

Learning this was powerful and profound. As far as I am aware, Christianity is unique among world religions in that the foundational text offers an affirmation and a blessing of Love Like Mine.


But here's something else. I wonder if the relationship between the 'younger male lover' and an 'older Greek man' was a Master-slave relationship, as was normative in the First Century? Could it be that the relationship that Christ was affirming was not just a loving, sexual relationship between two men (significant in and of itself), but a loving, sexual, Master-slave relationship between two men?

I don't know how I come down on the issue of whether homosexuality is a recent social construct (as queer theorists argue), or whether from time immemorial there have been men and women for whom same-sex attraction was a key component of their identity (that under totalitarian political framework that mandated heterosexuality would force them into a sub-culture with other men or women similarly situated. The past, as they say, is a foreign country. But whatever the case, here we have two men who are part of the Kingdom of God, and the fellowship of faith.

I wonder if there is a good book available on the dynamics of slavery in the greco-roman world? Something I'd like to read up on. The Mr. Benson variety of slavery has always been something in which I can't see myself reflected. (For starters, I'm not fabulously wealthy. Or even fabulous.) But, more and more I'm drawn to the idea of owning a slave. I had an interesting conversation with a Master I met at Inferno this evening. He described how his early life experiences have left him with care-taking tendencies, and this is an obstacle to a fulfilling and rewarding Master-slave relationship that he very much wants. (I described it as a challenge similar to an alcoholic working as a bartender. You've got to be really strong in your sobriety...) But, it's seeming more and more possible that I could come to a way of being a Master that would work for me.

Doubtless, more later on this. But now, it's tomorrow already. And I've got to be up early on a street corner helping elect a Democrat to the State Senate. I forgot about this aspect of working in politics...
Saturday, the Baron and I went to the Lure. A really good night for them. Excelsior MC (I think that's who it was) did a bar night. The place was packed. I ran into none other than Schlitz. Back from DC, about to go jetting off for a month in Australia, then back, then down to the Dominican Republic. I guess that dating Schlitz is pretty much a hopelessly unrealistic fantasy. But, having him swinging off my dick is still within the realm of possibility. We talked about hooking up for dinner on Sunday, but it seems that was not to be. ARt and his boyfriend were also at the Lure. Great to see them both. Yeah, I doffed my shirt so ARt could admire what remains of his handiwork.

Sunday morning, I made church, and then went off to the GMSMA novices group. Which left me grumpy. It could have been all of the cookies I ate for four straight hours. Or it could have been a vague discomfort with being a novice. Because I'm not. For sure, there are several things I could do better, and it wouldn't be correct to say that I know all there is to know, and certainly learned lots yesterday... but somehow 'novice' just doesn't sum it up for me. And, I wish there was more discussion, rather than just 'How To.' This is profoundly unusual for me, pragmatic soul that I am ("Praxis! Not theory!"). Or, it could just be all that sugar.

The Baron and I had dinner afterwards. Then we went to the Dugout (love that place). It was actually sort of sparse. Then, I had to run up to the office, so I could fax off a press advisory to get into the AP Daybook. Luckily, that was pretty uncomplicated.

The Baron admitted to me over dinner that his purpose and intent in coming up here for the weekend was to provide support and comfort in the wake of my getting dumped by Special Guy. He found me to be not in much need of that, and asked what was up. I considered, and came up with an answer of sorts. Men are like foreign countries. Let's take Nepal as an example. Let's say you decide you'd like to visit Nepal. So you read up on the place, and even read the experiences of other people who hav ebeen there. Fine. But ultimately, you'll have to go to Nepal if you really want to know the place. Doubtless, there will be wonderful and sublime expreiences, and a whole history and people to learn about. But, there's also really awful aspects, and the whole disequilibrium of being someplace strange. Now, I'm not looking to move to Nepal. I just want to learn more about it (and thereby learn more about myself), and come home. Now, if I were to go to Nepal and find out after spending a decent amount of thime there that it was a great place and I never wanted to leave, then sure, I'm open to that possibility.

So, too, with men. I'm not looking for a relationship, but I do want to get to know them. I want to spend time. Doubtless, there will be things I like, and things I don't like. And, if I were to find someone I'd want to be in some kind of ongoing relationship with, that would be fine. But until then, it's all about variety.

I think that still makes me a Toxic Bachelor, though. Well, no. I'm not. Well yes, I am. I have to think up a less perjorative term. How about, Conscientious Objector from the Great Relationship Crusade that 99% of the people around me seem to be caught up in? Like that better. Conscientious Objector from the Relationship Crusade.
My first press conference went pretty well. All the electeds showed up, as did lots of tv and radio. (Not much in the way of print reporters, unfortunately.) The evildoes that was the target of the press conference was Toys 'R' Us. We had a guy in a giraffe costume representing Geoffrey the Giraffe (the spokes model for Toys 'R' Us), who made a statement saying that he was resigning in protest. That worked pretty well.


Saturday, November 02, 2002

Last night, Baron and I went to see the Big Apple Circus. Tickets were provided gratis through work. I love the circus. It evokes memories of my dad taking me to the circus when I was a little boy, and, just seeing feets of daring-do on the trapeze or trampoline or whatever make for incredible entertainment. It's also one of those experiences where you have to choose to participate. I imagine you could sit there bored... when the guy swinging around on the bolts of fuscia cloth in the apex of the big top suddenly hurls towards the ground, he's gonna stop himself before he hits. But, you can decide that you're going to suspend disbelief and cry out in horror and then cheer in response when he comes to a stop with his nose six inches off the ground. I noticed last night that I was really getting into it. I feel more attuned to my emotions, and more expressive as well. The after-effects of the catharsis of getting whipped? No doubt.

After the circus, it was back to Jersey City to change so the Baron and I could head out for a night on the town. First stop was Urge, a bar in the East Village. When the Baron was apartment sitting for me while I was at Inferno, he was delighted to learn that there was one surviving back room in New York City, and there it was at 2nd and 2nd. So that was our goal: anonymous blowjobs given by well-formed East Village lads. Alas, the only thing going on in what was formerly the back room was a coat check. The jig is up.

So, we headed to the Eagle. I continue to warm to that bar. Especially after last night. Good energy. Hot men. The Baron was sulky at the closing of Urge's back room, which he saw as being emblematic of all the trouble and sorrow on this pathetic little blue green orb spinning purposelessly through the void. I, on the other hand, got busy with a hot daddy in a harness (gave him my card--thanks, Lolita!, and met a guy I used to cruise constantly when I was an habitue of the Bar on Second Avenue. Back then, he didn't know I was alive. Last night, there he was rushing up to light my cigaret, chat me up, and promising to call. Hope he does. He liked the coiled stock whip that graces my card. I told him, "Yeah, so do I."

The Bad Thing That Happened Last Night: My jeep stalled as I was going through the Holland Tunnel. Luckily, PATH was doing their endless, pointless work in the tunnel, so traffic was moving slowly. I shifted from Drive to Neutral and restarted. But, the Transmission light came on. My car has been stalling out since last Spring. Once, I gave him a few quarts of oil and the problem stopped. I'm hoping that I'll drive to a service station and find that the transmission fluid is low, put in a quart, and be on my way. I hope I don't have to take it in to the dealership for service. I hate the dealership. That's the place that I walked out of with an obligation to pay $575-per-month for the next 48 months of my life. (36 to go.) If the transmission light doesn't go off, it'll have to wait until sometime this week when I can take it in. It's all the way in Union City, so it's a cab ride back and a cab ride out to pick it up.

The Good Thing That Happened Last Night: Schlitz called. He called during intermission at the circus. I'm gonna call him again. Hopefully we can spend Sunday evening together. Talking and finding creative ways to work each other to climax.

The Baron, on his way to the shower, told me about an old boyfriend of his whom he last heard from when he called from a halfway house in Bristol, Pennsylvania. He was arrested after jumping out of a cab without paying the $20 fare. The old boyfriend is a heroin user. That's what depressed me often when I worked at my last job. Old Boyfriend's life is pretty much shot. The same situation with so many of our clients. Nice people, good hearts and good heads on their shoulders, who pretty much blew it. Old Boyfriend will never get any kind of a decent job. If he really tries to get his act together, he'll manage to find some low-wage job. His life will be television and want. Wonderful experiences like going to Paris and sitting in a cafe on the Boulevard St. Germain won't be available to him, but getting together $20 for a bag of dope will always be an option when he wants a little escape from the humdrum. So he's pretty much going nowhere. The Baron argued that he believed in the possibility of redemption. But so do I. If, however, Old Boyfriend had robbed a 7-11 and killed the poor young woman working behind the counter, then redemption might be available to him, either while serving his 20-to-life, or with the horror at what he'd done in the event he didn't get caught. But, God doesn't waste time on meting out redemption for petty thievery. Mediocrity is the sin that brings damnation without hope.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Nice night last night tooling around Manhattan with Baron von Philadelphia. Outside of a head shop on Christopher Street was a guy with an enormous metal phallus that shot flames out the end. I'd love to have one of those. ("Need a light?") I was very much without a costume. So I took my chain wallet out of my left pocket and put it in my right pocket: I went out for Hallowe'en as a bottom. Baron was keen on dissecting my relationship and the termination thereof with Special Guy. I indulged some of that. But, I explained, ultimately I've come to follow the credo of my stoner buddies: It's all good! As in, you live, you learn, life is short, so enjoy it. Special Guy dumped you? Yeah, but it's all good.
Last night I bought plane tickets (United. Ick.) to go to Chicago next weekend for the Chicago Hellfire Club Associates weekend. I have not yet begun to get nervous about the event. Past President, Does Mean Well, and ARt will not be there. Who will be there? Will it be junior high school dance? Me standing on my own in a corner in a room full of people talking to each other? Given my experiences at Inferno, probably not gonna be the case. Still, I'd have a little more confidence if I had someone I could pal around with.

Another thing cutting into my self-confidence is the fact that I have been to the gym exactly twice in the month of October. I'm watching my buff body melt like wax. Not really. But sorta. When I do my schedule for next week, I'll have to be sure to include gym time. With the into which the new job has thrown my routine, I've got to put effort behind getting back on track. Or else I'll be a headcase in no time.