Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Public Service Announcement: Absolutely there is still time to take part in my father's eightieth birthday festivities! My sincere thanks to everybody who has sent email with the subject line "I'm Not A Vicious Psychopath, I Swear" and received the mailing address in response! The email address is krrrush-at-mac-dot-com. And there's three r's in krrrush.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled SingleTails posting

I am feeling good!

Okay, first off, tonight at the gym, when I jumped on the scale, I all but gave a squeal when the digital read out said 190.1. All those months of hard work have been rewarded.

A big change I've made is keeping a training log. I have my routine all written out. In a grid, I keep track of the weights I use for each set. If I fail (and when you're lifting weights, failure is what you want to happen), I circle the number. If I get through the movement without any problem, I draw a little up arrow indicating that next time I want to up the weights. And the weights I'm lifting have gone up and up and up.

So that's cool.

But wait, there's more!

At work, one of my sandinista boys has spread his tiny wings and flown the coop! A few weeks ago, Zen boy came to me with the lastest idea of what he wants to do with the rest of his life. His plan was for him to go to restaurant school and be a chef. My advice to him was that restaurant work is really really tough work. And before he decided to make a career of it, he should get a job in a restaurant and see what it's like to do it for a living. And so he did! Oh man, I'm so proud of my little Zen boy.

...but that's not all!

What a great weekend I have coming up! On Thursday, I'm getting together with a guy I know from Inferno and his new boyfriend. We're going to have dinner at the Raven, which is participating in Dining Out For Life, to benefit local AIDS organizations. Then on Friday, this amazing man from Seattle, one of my favorite email correspondents, is going to be in Philadelphia. So I'm gonna go down and meet him, and then beat him! Saturday is softball with the Ballbreakers (we're playing at a reasonable hour, and in the fields in East River Park). That night, I'll be attending the GMSMA dungeon demo at Paddles (adieu, Spiegel!), and flogging a man who is... well, let's just say I'm awfully fond of the ground on which he walks.

...and if you think that's all, you're wrong!!!

So Saturday, my father convinced me that it was raining buckets in NYC and there was no point in me going up there to play softball. (Wrong!) But I took the opportunity to head down to the Bike Stop. And... And... I met this man! It was one of those we-talked-and-talked-and-talked experiences, totally hitting it off. He's absolutely impressive in the intelect department, and seriously kinky.

And hot?


Deep breath.

Of all the men who have appeared on Sex In The City, my hands down favorite is Harry Goldenblatt. From his first appearance as Charlotte's divorce lawyer, I though he was all that. And this... this... Man totally reminds me of Harry. Although thankfully not as pale as Harry.

Okay. And here's the skinny. I feel myself once again to be comfortably in the driver's seat.

Maybe that's not the best thing for me in terms... y'know... of Growing As A Person or whatever, but I am not complaining.

Now don't go and get all excited. We just met. Is all. Who knows where it's gonna go.

Oh, and lest you're concerned about me breaking with tradition and getting interested in a man who lives close enough to me that I can get to him on a tank of gas or less, he's off to Sunny San Diego for the next six months.

So it's all good here.

Over and out.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Howard Is Eighty

Well, not yet.

On May 7th, my father will celebrate his eightieth birthday. And I'm planning a surprise birthday part for him. It should be pretty cool. My brother and his wife are coming up from Florida and will make a surprise visit. I've called all the folks from his senior citizens group, neighbors, friends who live in the area, and they'll all be coming by here around 4 pm.

Thus far, the preparation has involved a lot of phone conversations with elderly people. Who just talk and talk and talk and talk. On and on. Blah blah blah blah blah. "Oh I haven't seen you since you were seven years old! Now I guess you would have been seven... Let's see now, when Jane your mother died... Oh she was a wonderful woman, I guess you never knew her really, why I remember once she..."

Although there was one interesting thing that came to light. Apparently, my mother, who died from cancer when I was three and a half, would tell me that she wouldn't be around to raise me. Things like, "Now I want you to finish all your peas, so you'll grow up big and strong, because after all, I'm not going to be around to see that."

Uh huh.

That's interesting on several levels.

For one thing, the long-time therapy goer in me wonders if that might have sewn the seeds for all kinds of abandonment issues. Or whatever.

For another, my parents made the decision not to let my brother and sister (fifteen and thirteen years my senior respectively) know that my mother was dying. They were just told that mother was "sick." My brother said he figured it out, but my sister didn't. Therefore, my mother's death was a huge shock to them. This lead to a sort of movie-made-for-television situation whereby in the last conversation that my sister had with my mother, my mother told her that she was a tramp and an embarrassment. And in the last conversation my brother had with my mother, she told him that no good son would disgrace his family by being a homosexual. And then, y'know, she up and died.

Traumatizing, no?

My sister ran away from home to go and live with a rock band on a commune (this was 1969), and my brother started this odd process of doing a census of the little village of our train set. He would spend hours down in the basement where it was set up, scrupulously recording the deaths and births and weddings and divorces of the imaginary families who lived in the little plastic houses served by the Lionel Train that whizzed around in an endless circle through their neighborhood. And once a week, every Saturday, he would clean his room, a process that involved taking every stick of furniture out of the room and stacking it up in the hallway, then vacuuming and sweeping and scrubbing, and then thoroughly cleaning the bed and dresser and chair and carpet and nightstand as he replaced them.

My father imported his parents to come and look after me. And my Nana and Pop proceeded to do their best to Spoil Me Rotten.

And most of these people that I'm inviting to the party haven't seen me since this wacky wacky period.

And here I am, all grown up, living here again, and serving up shrimp cocktail and pigs-in-blankets for them. (I want the party to have a sort of Early Seventies feel to it so I'm planning the hors d'oeuvres accordingly. Desert is gonna be jello cubes topped with a dollop of Cool-Whip®.)

And, I've got a hell of a lot of work to do in getting the house cleaned up. And, the yard. I'm worried that the "Shucks, We're Just Two Guys Batchin' It Here And We're Not Much Good With Housework" schtick will only cover so many sins.

Oh. Listen up. Here's where you come in, Dear Reader...

Y'see, my father loves to get mail. When someone sends him a postcard, I hear about it for the next three weeks. And birthday cards are just the greatest thing ever.

So I know it's a pain in the butt and all, and I know you've never met the man (and possibly never met me), but would you do me a favor and send a birthday card to my father?

My inclination would be to just post our mailing address here. Perhaps I'm being overly cautious, but this is the World Wide Internet afterall, and Lord knows what kind of viscious psychopaths might be lurking out there. (And if you're a single viscious psychopath who appreciates... Well, I'll save that for another time.) But I guess I ought to vet you all.

So we'll work it this way.

Step One: Send me an email to krrrush(at)mac.com (that's three r's in krrrush) and put "I Am Not A Viscious Psychopath, I Swear!" in the subject line.
Step Two: Wait for me to send you our mailing address by return email.
Step Three: On your next trip to the supermarket or the drug store, pick up a birthday card appropriate for an eighty year old man. Note that my father is heterosexual. So if you want to send one of those Zany Wacky Sexy cards with messages like, "I hope you have a Hot Time on your birthday!!!" that's fine, but make sure it's a scantily clad female rather than a male that's featured. We're serving cheesecake, not beefcake.
Step Four: Inscribe "Happy Birthday, Howard!" with the writing implement of your choice. Maybe adding something like "I understand that you hate it when your son goes away for the weekend, but I hope you appreciate how much I like to have him come visit, and after all, he is a forty year old man" or whatever.
Step Five: Slap a stamp on the envelope, write out the address, and drop it in the nearest mailbox.

I see a hand in the back. Is there a question?

"Uh yeah... Could I send an email bearing birthday greetings to your father?"

No. No that wouldn't work. You see, my father refers to my trusty laptop as "That Thing Of Yours" and is forever peppering me with questions about How Do Movies Get On That Thing Of Yours and How Much Does It Cost When You Send A Letter To Someone From That Thing Of Yours and Do You Have Problems With Getting A Lot Of Spiced Ham On That Thing Of Yours (investigation here revealed that my father had seen something on the news about "Spam." We're talking about a man who has never used an ATM card. Email would not be appropriate in this situation.

Oh. And Step Six: Earn my undying gratitude!


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Blue Moon

In New York City, relationships are tricky things. I always used to say that the big problem in New York is that there's always someone standing behind you. A reasonably attractive gay man in possession of an income and a place to live must be in search of a partner. (Apologies to Jane Austen there.) So you go out and meet a guy who you like a lot, but wait... who's that standing behind him? Someone with a better body and a better job and a cooler apartment. And meanwhile, he's looking over your shoulder at the guy with the better body and the better job and the cooler apartment than you have, and so you just exchange "see ya around, be well"'s with each other and you're once again plunged into the maelstrom.

When I moved out here to the Howling Wilderness, I viewed with jaundiced eye the rural homo phenomenon of coupling. They're like oxygen atoms out here, always in dyads. But it's a matter of magnetic attraction. They come close to each other, and fffthoop they combine to form a couple. But as soon as a free radical comes to close, they part and a new coupling is formed.


Perhaps I was a wee bit too free with my derision. (I know... Me??? Unbelievable.) Because what I've come to understand is that being single here in the Howling Wilderness is way way way different than being single in Gotham.

Y'see, it can be crushingly and excruciatingly lonely.

We're talking, No one to go to the movies with ever. Nobody to make dinner with. Nobody to go canoeing with. When you see friends and acquaintances, it's out at the local watering hole, and that's because you're all there hunting up the next Little Mister.

The obvious answer is to lower your standards. If he has a pulse, he's Mr. Right. But I spent way too much time as New Yorker to have that meet with much success. Be an asshole to our waiter or dis Starbucks and I'm punching my fists through the arms of my leather jacket as I head out the door.

And, I'm soooo leery of making an Unwise Choice. (Jane Austen again. I really ought to re-read some of her stuff. Or, y'know, watch some of thhe movie adaptations. Decision: Rent Clueless!) Things just seem so much more frought out here. I mean, in Gotham, you meet, you fuck, you date, you hang out, he mistreats a waiter or bemoans a Starbucks opening up on his block and you're gone. But out here, it would probably require A Conversation and stuff. And they're probably all about monogamy out here.

So, y'know, I have nobody to go to the movies with.

But I make due. I've got the krew at Starbucks, I've got trips to NYC for softball and such, I've got the Bike Stop down in Philadelphia. I've got a garage to clear out.

And I've got a Blockbuster membership card.

Remember the Carrie Bradshaw principle: "The most important relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And in the event that you find someone who appreciates everything about you that you do, then that's just fabulous."

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Where The Hell Have I Been?


Nothing cataclysmic has gone down here.

Be reassured, life is much the same. With a few new additions. Fr'instance, I now have a kayak. On hot summer days (and maybe this summer we'll have a couple of those), I'll be paddling around at nearby Lake Galena after a long, hard day at the unairconditioned woodshop. And maybe getting arms like anacondas and deltoids like cantaloup in the process.

And I am making a lot of progress cleaning out the garage. I've decided everything must go. And I'm pricing welding machines. And then I'll just have to take possession of my St. Andrew's Cross and my amazing cage--still in Providence, RI--and then I'll be all set up to whip local boys.


Why the prolonged silence?

Okay. I'll spill.

There was the guy from LA that I met the last night of MAL. And we did this incredible, mind-roasting edge play scene. And then, a couple of months later, he was in NYC, so I went up, and we spent an incredible weekend together. More edge play. And I whipped him. And I just run out of superlatives and favorable adjectives describing that and don't manage to do it justice.

And about this time I made The Error. And what was The Error?


Y'see, I mistook connection and intensity in the context of a scene with emotional availability.

In pretty short order, I was all kinds of obsessive. Things had that Life Is Elsewhere quality, so detrimental to peace of mind when you're living out here in this howling wilderness.

It was bleak, lemme tell ya. And I was hurtin'.

I was feeling disregarded, and unappreciated.

So I gave a call to Special Guy. Now living in San Francisco. My purpose in calling was to thank him. Because all the time we were together, and even still, Special Guy made me feel like I was something special.

So I offered that little pronouncement, and then Special Guy asked what was up. And I told him. And he had some words of wisdom to offer.

"Look at it from his point of view..." began those words of wisdom.

Oh. Right.

Imagine the boot was on the other foot.

Let's say it's a few years back. I've got this great, busy life going in NYC. And I meet a guy whom I like a lot at MAL. And he lives in... let's say a small town in Eastern Oregon. With his aged father. Whom he takes care of. And there he'll be for the next half decade or so.

I probably wouldn't be busying myself picking out patterns for the diamond plate to install in my relocated dungeon in Puyallup, OR, now would I?

I'd let the guy know I like him, and if further opportunities to get together present themselves, I'd jump at it, but I'd make sure that both of us were being realistic about expectations of where this is going. Cuz in the short run, it's not going much of anywhere.

With this in mind, reflecting back on my interactions with Edge Player, he's been nothing but perfect. Always honest, considerate, thoughtful, and filthy minded.

So now that things have snapped back into focus, now that I have a little bit of perspective, I'm ready to move on.

Clean out the garage and set up a dungeon and welding studio. Spend as much time as I can this summer on the water in my new kayak. Meet men. Tend my garden. Get krushes. Play softball.

And, post a little bit more frequently now that I'm not a whirling vortex of emotional turmoil!