Monday, May 31, 2004

Of Love and Perversion

For the gay community in Chicago, Memorial Day weekend marks the annual International Mr. Leather (IML) competition. For the uninitiated, "leather" refers to a subculture that celebrates hyper-masculinity, sadomasochism, bondage and some really bad pleather.

Let’s get this straight, so to speak, sadomasochism or SM, was not invented by the gays. This subculture of inflicting pain on someone you love has been around since the dawn of history. I can give you example upon example: the Marquis de Sade, Whitney and Bobby, God and almost everybody in the Old Testament.

Ok, domestic violence is not the same as SM, where the participants must be sane and consensual. Whitney would probably realize that she is not in an SM relationship if she stopped snorting cocaine for 10 minutes.

Gay people are used to pain. It is inflicted on us by those who love us; we inflict it on ourselves. No wonder we’re fucked-up. It is not a stretch for someone who has been bombarded with pain to confuse that emotion with love. I have read many a blog where gay men despair of ever finding love. We have become so used to people telling us they love us, all the while inflicting pain that we have difficulty dissociating one from the other.

When society tells you that your love is a perversion, that you have to hide it, keep it in the closet, never celebrate your love, then how can this make you happy? If we subscribe to these rules, then homosexuals are doomed to be unhappy from the start.

Let me put it this way, if African Americans accepted their station in life, slavery would still be in effect; we would be wearing our pants around our waists instead of our hips; Eddie Murphy would not be an Ass in the movies.

When the people who are anti-gay cite the perversion of homosexuals, they often point to transvestites and leatherfolk. What they fail to say is that the overwhelming majority of these people are heterosexual. Yes, this means that there are men who love having sex with their wives all the while thinking about wearing their lacy, pink panties. Are these men perverted? Only if the panties are cheap Agent Provocateur imitations.

If you ask me, the only thing the homosexuals are guilty of is that we have a tendency to put sequins on everything and we love parades. If people were going to hate us for being ourselves, then by God, we will look good while we’re at it. The sewing machine is mightier than the sword.

If we really want to talk about perversion, then let’s talk about the torture of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib, the majority of whom are civilian detainees. Let’s talk about how the military forced them to perform homosexual acts on each other. Let’s be clear here, the perversion is not the acts themselves, but the systematic, willful humiliation and degradation the prisoners were subjected to.

Before you say that homosexuals are perverted, let the first man in Abu Ghraib cast the first stone.

NEXT: My friend Han and I visit the IML festivities

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A Sense of Impending Doom

Do you sometimes get a sense of dread, or of some impending doom?

You’re minding your own business, following the pheromones back home, carrying your crust of bread--enough food for a month--when you feel a sudden heat, like sunstroke. When you look up, you see the sky has darkened and a white-hot spot of light is trained on you by a gigantic eight year-old wielding a magnifying glass. You scramble away only to find that there is no escaping the heat, the spot follows you wherever you go. Then the hard shell that covers your body starts turning bright red, the grey flesh inside turning succulently white, and the last thing you think of as your consciousness ebbs is that some garlic butter would be nice right about now.

I am having one of those feelings. And it’s not because I may have had some bad Mexican food.

I am a worrier. I worry about doorknobs being contaminated by bacteria. I worry about my hair falling out from showering with hot water. I worry that Christina Aguilera will get herpes because she’s being so Dirrty. I think she should bathe or at the very least, douche.

I worry about Michael Jackson. I worry that while he was having his chin and his nose done, he forgot that he was supposed to look like Liz Taylor instead of the cast of Planet of the Apes.

I worry about Courtney Love, but I can’t keep up with the amount of trouble she’s getting into. There is only a level of worry that you can deal with and when that line is crossed, you become numb and then you just become resigned to your fate. You want to let the undertow carry you away and you hope that you are swept to shore at some point. You only hope that somebody takes care of Frances Bean.

I worry about my job where I am only a temp, a contract worker, not an employee. I am a prostitute, not wife. Even though it’s not a permanent position, sometimes, it feels like one. For a while, the routine made me forget my worries, it lulled me into complacency. But now it has come back full force.

I worry that I will never be able to feel secure ever again.
To all my friends at the Rice Bowl Journals, please help me out by bookmarking me!

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Thanks to Bri at the Daydreamer's Lounge for designing this cool button!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

A Fastidious Bird

Previously: Dropping The Kids Off at the Pool
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I don’t like using public restrooms. But since I spend forty hours a week of my life at the office, and I drink lots of coffee, it is very likely that I would have to use the office restrooms. Luckily, I have worked for mid-to-large size companies for all of my career, where professional maintenance people clean the restrooms two to three times a day. I think I would quit if I ever worked for a company where restrooms are not sanitized regularly. I’m a professional, why shouldn’t my ass sit on a professionally cleaned toilet seat?

And please, nothing, NOTHING, short of a divine order from the holy Madonna Louise Ciccone will make me use a port-a-potty. I would rather crap in my pants; I pray this would never happen on a day I am wearing a thong.

In the public restrooms out in the wild, concrete jungle, I do all sorts of things that I don’t do at home. I’m a fastidious bird, inspecting every toilet seat in the restroom before I make a choice on which one to use. Then, I carefully wipe the seat down before I start building my nest of toilet paper. I systematically lay two-feet strips of toilet paper across the seat so as to cover every inch of its surface. Only then am I ready to sit and lay my "eggs."

I am always amazed at people who can walk in a stall, pull down their pants, do their business and walk out in two minutes flat, like it’s a competition. Men are so weirdly competitive. We can make a contest out of anything. Peeing contests, farting contests, masturbating contests. Name a bodily function, some 17 year-old is out there challenging his buds:

"I betcha I can out-shit you"
"No way, man"
"ok--GO!"
Pffffffffftt-prrt-splat-pfft-PRRRRRTT-plop-pow-kachow!
"I win, sucka, woo-hoo! Check it out man, it stinks worse than yours!"
"Yeah dude, that is huuugge!"
(high fives all around)

And then there are those who have to greet everybody on their way to the restroom. You’d think they were Belle in the opening sequence of Beauty and The Beast:

"Bonjour!"
"Good day!"
"I’m on my way, monsieur!"
"Where to, Belle?"
"To the restroom!"
"Très merveilleux, Belle, have a good time!"
(music swells)
"There must be more than this pro-veen-cial liiiiiiife!"

I’m more like a secret agent or Anne Frank hiding from the Nazis. I skulk silently towards the restroom, stopping at the copy room to throw people off. I keep my head down, trying not to make eye contact when I am in there. It really makes me uncomfortable when people try to make conversation with me, as if we were at a gentleman’s club, smoking cigars.

The worst are the ones who decide to chat when they are in the next stall, as if you were a priest in a confessional. I want to say, "Listen buddy, when my pants are around my ankles, the only thing your mouth better be doing is sucking my dick."

Nobody is more considerate than me. I never pee without raising the seat. I always check afterwards to flush down any "left-overs." After I have had Indian food, I make like a space shuttle bay, forming a airtight seal with my thighs while I am seated to create a vacuum so that no odors escape, flushing it into outer space in-between "drops."

Why am I so hung up about this? Other men seem to be very nonchalant about the whole thing. I wish I could be like that. I think that sometimes, being "civilized," having "good etiquette" has made me too self-conscious, plagued with self-doubt.

And women, do they even take a crap?

Sometimes, I just want to let out a big, stinking log and just leave it there without flushing.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Dropping the Kids Off at the Pool

This post is exactly about what you think it’s going to be about. This is your only warning.

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I wish I was like some people who can go do their business in the toilet with efficiency. For me, it’s like negotiating a cease-fire between the Palestinians and the Israelites: it’s a long drawn-out process and just when you think it’s over, somebody drops another bomb.

Some people are like bowel movement Nazis, they really have their digestive systems whipped into shape. When they "drop their kids off at the pool", the "kids" obediently comply: one, plop! two, plop! three, plop! These people must eat a lot of whole wheat...stalks.

Why can’t I be like that? Mine are more like recalcitrant children:

"Get into the pool, dammit!"
"I don’t wanna! It’s cooooooooold!"
"Goddamn it, if you don’t get in, you’ll get a spanking!"
"Nooooo! Noooooooooo!"

It’s like they don’t like to be separated from me, their dad, who raised them from small little turds to nine-inch motherfuckers. Have I been remiss? Should I have been more strict about what they watch on TV? I should have banned them from watching Star Trek, they wouldn’t have turned out to be such Klingons*, hanging on to your ass hairs. It makes it such a mess to wipe off, coz it smears.

BM Nazis probably don’t even have to wipe their asses. That’s why I can never be a millionnaire, I’m spending all my money on fucking toilet paper. I have to use half a fucking roll coz the shit clings. A woman said in a newspaper article somewhere that she uses only a foot of toilet paper to wipe her ass. Yeah, I bet her husband also tells her he’s got "eight inches." She’s probably also one of those people who "lets the yellow mellow" and only "flushes down if it’s brown." I flush the toilet before I sit, after I clean the toilet seat, after I do my business and a last time just to make sure there’s no "residue" left in the bowl.

The way I see it, if God wanted us to conserve water, he would have made the color of shit clear instead of brown, he would not have invented explosive diarrhea. If he wanted us to save the rainforest, he would not have given us the intellect to invent the triple-ply, quilted, scented double roll. I mean, this is the reason I believe that God exists, that he had a higher purpose for man, because otherwise we would be wiping our asses with leaves, like monkeys.

And God was on a roll (pardon the pun) when he created gay men. He created gay men to spread forth ass cleanliness. He created gay men so that we can teach straight people the intricacies of ass hygiene. Without gay men, straight men would not be enjoying a clean, refreshing anal sex-perience with their girlfriends. Who else would have thought of inventing the enema? I mean, don’t get me wrong, if you enjoy dirty, dirty anal sex, all the power to you. It just burns me up when people say that gay people are perverted after all we have done to help civilization. The real perverts are those who think that consensual sex between two adults is somehow bad, when the expression of love, the highest form of emotion, is questioned. If you think being gay or lesbian is about sex, then you really, really, really do not understand that it is all about designer fashion.

But shit, doesn’t it make you think? I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel where they said that schools of fish follow around hippopotamuses to feed on their shit. It’s like their main source of food. I mean, why do you think organic vegetables taste better? It’s not because they don’t use pesticides. It’s because of all the hippo-size shit they put in the soil so that your tomatoes come out red and juicy. Shit is part of the Circle of Life man, and sometimes, that’s all I can think about when I sit on the can...

Continued: A Fastidious Bird

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*Cling-On's, get it?

For your further enjoyment:
The Big Shit List
What Kind of Shit Are You? - The Shit Quiz
For those with an Iron Stomach: Rate My Poo

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Won't You Come In?

"The story of our life is never an autobiography, it’s always a novel—that’s the first mistake people make. Our memories are just another artifice: go on, admit it." —Julian Barnes, "Love, etc."

So I admit it, Julian. It is not the complete, unvarnished truth; I've watched too many episodes of Trading Spaces for that. My truths have been varnished, painted, stripped, and painted over again. I am of the Hildi Santo-Tomas school of decorating: why use wallpaper when you can use hay?

I have art-directed the scenes of my life and then presented them for your perusal. I have filtered the lens, adjusted the shot and placed myself in a good light. Even when I am covered in dirt, I want for you to want to fuck my brains out. I want to fuck your brains out too, but maybe that would be too presumptuous. May I, please?

Brian asked me, "Why is it that the first thing you do whenever you get home is to check your blog?" I know the answer to this question even if I don't want to admit it: it is because each comment you put in my posts is like a stroke to my ego. And given enough strokes...ahhh, you know where this is leading to, but before I let your imagination finish the rest of this sentence, let me remind you of the length and girth of this beer can...

I hope I have not turned you off now, especially you straight male readers, all two of you. You know reading this won’t make you gay, just like having a finger up your ass won't make you gay. But I wouldn’t tell your buddies anyway, they might get the wrong idea. It'll be a secret between you and me. Like Vegas, what happens here, stays here, as long as your girlfriend or wife doesn't have my URL. But please make sure to clean under your fingernails.

I hope y'all won't think less of me for using the words "fuck," "stroke" and "ass." I'm just keepin' it real, n'est-ce pas? Plus, it really helps in getting hits from search engines. They are the literal counterpart of breasts unencumbered by bras: your eyes are drawn to the jiggling, like a worm on a hook. My mom always said, "Use your boobs to get him to the altar. Save your mind for when you are negotiating the divorce settlement." Wise words.

I have provided you with the flashing signs, the garish neon lights, the late night advertisements, all directed to my blogwhore-house.

Now, won’t you come in?

Monday, May 10, 2004

Steal These Buttons

Hey y'all. If you like my site, you can now link to me using some fun buttons that I made! Please save it to your own server, if you can.

Thanks for your support, I really appreciate it. :)

80x15 button


35x35 buttons
   

88x33 buttons


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Here's an 80x15 button maker.

All About My Mother (Compendium Edition)

Part 1: Where my mother becomes aware of my father's cheating. She schemes and plots and becomes a Master Spy.

Part 2: My mother continues her investigation into my father's affair, breaking all rules of privacy, all in a time before caller ID and *69.

Conclusion: A pair of sullen twins realize that they are gay and their mother (mostly) doesn't care.

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Sunday, May 09, 2004

All About My Mother, Conclusion

CONTINUED FROM: Part 2.

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When I was fourteen, I went through what any teen who was questioning his sexuality did: I was into Goth.

Goth reflected my deep feelings of isolation, of societal rejection, of my yearning for thick, black eyeliner. Those were the years when I begged to God to change me, to make me straight; my anguish evidenced by the smudged make-up running down my pale, white face. I looked into the mirror and realized in that moment that I could never, never be a heterosexual—I looked too good with eye make-up.

My twin Peter, also dealing with the same issues, became a die-hard Durannie.

My dad was clueless of course. He thought my dark clothes, my sullen looks were an indication that I was running with the wrong crowd, probably snorting coke. I wanted to scream at him, “Yeah dad, I am snorting coke! I go to my dealer and buy drugs with the 50 cents you give me for lunch, you fucking tightwad!”

My dad went around demanding “Are you doing drugs? Are you doing drugs?” To which Peter and I would reply, “Yes!” My dad, expecting vehement denial didn’t know how to respond to this admittance. He would retreat mumbling, “If I ever catch you…”

Peter and I, who then shared a bedroom, came up with the idea to fill little baggies with cornstarch and leave it strategically “hidden” in our bedroom. We had debated whether sugar, flour or baby powder would look more convincing as dope. We smiled maliciously, anticipating the mocking we would do to my father for being duped. In the end however, our brilliant plan was wasted. My dad was too lazy to rifle through our belongings.

My mother would never have been taken in by such a transparent ploy. She knew our twisted teen-aged minds. She would have looked at the baggies and decided to bake Butter Cookies with them and put it back.

Far wiser, and armed with knowledge gleaned from a story arc in “All My Children,” she knew that we dealing with issues that are buried deeper than Peter’s stash of muscle magazines hidden under his bed. While she didn’t understand “it”, as most people didn’t those days, she never wavered in her love. She never did anything stupid. She just quietly locked up the make-up kit.

This couldn't have happened at a worse time, I was going to a Cure concert. I silently cursed her and the sparse eyelashes I inherited from her. Boys don't cry unless they are the only ones going to a goth concert with healthy, glowing skin.

My mom was of the opinion that "it" was just a phase. Maybe it is appropriate that "it" is sometimes called "the love that dare not speak its name," as if we didn’t speak of it, it would go away.

Mom, Dungeons & Dragons is a phase. A mohawk and a pierced eyebrow is a phase. An eye for matching patterns and accessories is most definitely not a phase.

a mother's day cardMy mother’s almost sixty now. I sent her a cheery, sappy Mother's Day card—just the kind she likes. I wrote in every available space inside the card, even around the margins of the trite verses. I wrote of current events, of job hunts, of small victories—no female evident in the story. She knows there won’t be any. She’s my only gal.

Maybe she’ll turn misty-eyed. Maybe she’ll pull off her glasses and wipe it with a kleenex to draw attention away from her face.

Maybe she’ll read it just once and then use it as a coaster for her coffee, just so she can have it near her every morning.

I hope she does.

Friday, May 07, 2004

All About My Mother, Part 2

CONTINUED FROM Part 1.

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Annie, my friend and personal librarian, a source of great books, lent me her copy of "Bird by Bird," a wonderful book on creative writing. In it, author Anne Lamott encouraged writers to mine the depths of their despair, to use their pain to find creativity and inspiration. I wholeheartedly agree—some of my best posts were written after a bikini wax.

My mother mined her despair: she’s donned the denim overalls, the hardhat, took a flashlight and a pick ax, and gone deep into its coal mines. Maybe she went a little crazy in there after confirming her suspicions of my father’s infidelity. All I know is, after a while, she dusted off the grime and dirt and emerged determined to get to the truth.

It was quiet for a month or so. Then suddenly, a flurry of activity.

My mother would disappear into dubious hardware stores. Sometimes she would take me shopping deep into Chinatown. The stores smelled musty and earthy or thick and greasy. They had weird, dried things stuffed in jars and bins. There were ducks roasted whole, impossibly orange, naked and hanging by the neck in the window. In my head, she was either concocting an untraceable poison or putting together a device that would blow my father and his whore to smithereens.

I don’t know if that is the truth, or just my penchant for lurid comics coloring my memories of that time. After unwittingly becoming her confidante, she would sometimes give me clues to her endgame. Maybe she didn’t want me to know the complete story in case I had to testify. In my mind, I was already the star witness, ready to be presented by the defense, dramatically, at the last minute, with a spotlight trained on my scrawny, twelve-year old frame as I walked slowly to the witness stand.

One day, I found her in their bedroom sitting by the telephone, with a tape recorder and a wire connecting the two devices. Those were the days before Caller ID and *69, when you could be lazy in hiding your affair, when short of a lipstick stain on your collar, you could rest easy knowing you won’t be caught. These days, all it takes is for someone to look at your cellphone call log and find some evidence.

She could have locked the door, I suppose, hid her activities from the children. But by this time all my siblings already knew of her machinations, only my poor father left in the dark.

She had been testing to see if the phone jack she bought could record conversations while somebody was using the other set. It did. She could tape my father’s conversations while she sat innocently in plain view knowing that the phone in the guest bedroom was rigged to tape the sonofabitch’s every word. And even though I was already twelve, I (and my siblings) had no concept of privacy, or of needing any. We did not question my mother's actions. It would be a couple more years before we would yak endlessly on the phone about rock stars or the hottie in class.

This went on for months. Maybe my father’s lover didn’t call him at our house. All my mother needed was that one phone call to use as evidence to confront my father. It became so common to see my mother rewinding, fast-forwarding her little cassette recorder, listening to the conversations taped in her headphones.

Whether or not she found the evidence, I cannot tell for sure. When the fighting, the screaming, the crying started, I couldn’t listen. I tried not to hear the words, the recriminations trying to get past my bedroom door, through the thick, down pillows that I covered my ears with.

All I know is that my dad, even up to now, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, has denied all charges. My father would have stood in front of Congress and not buckle against evidence of his DNA on a stained blue dress.



Knowing what I know now, I would rather know the truth of my parent’s unhappy marriage, than to grow up believing that I was a prince living in a castle with benevolent and doting parents. I would rather grow up believing that even though people love each other, they can also hurt each other terribly at the same time. I would rather learn at an early age that when you say "I do," the story is just beginning, that the romance is only a prelude...

NEXT: Conclusion on Sunday, Mother's Day, 5/9.

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I highly recommend Anne Lamott's book for all writers:

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

All About My Mother, Part 1

My mom is just like any other mom: when I was a kid, she drove us to school with rollers in her hair; she has that special dish, so perfect in my mind that no chef, no culinary master can ever match or copy.

My mom is not like your mom: she is a super-sleuth, a hard-nosed detective, a Master Spy.

When she first suspected my dad of infidelity, she used all her powers of deductive reasoning to try to divine the truth. Her (then) twelve-year marriage was at stake. If you had asked her what her opinion was of the gay marriage debate, she would have looked at you square in the eye and told you that gays were not a threat to her marriage—it was the straight bitch who was fucking her husband that was. The worst a gay ever did to her was to convince her to get bangs. It was criminal, yes, and her hair took six months to grow out, but it was certainly not worthy of a constitutional amendment.

When I was in sixth grade, I walked into our garage and saw her sitting in the passenger seat of my father’s car, fiddling with something. When I asked her what she was doing, she matter-of-factly told me that she was rigging the vents of my dad’s a/c to blow directly on whoever is sitting in the passenger seat. This is after she had already moved the seat back to fit a seven-foot tall man.

It’s a brilliant ploy. Let me explain it to you as she explained it to me:

One: My dad is one of those people that liked to have the a/c blowing at full blast whenever he’s in the car. I don’t know why. Maybe like me, he liked the feel of the a/c in his hair as he pursed his lips and slowly smiled for the imaginary camera in front of him. Never mind, if you aim the passenger side vents just so, the person sitting there will feel the full force directly in her face. Since it is out of my dad’s reach, only she could adjust the vents to evade the cold air, unless of course she’s menopausal, then she wouldn't want to.

Two: By pushing the seat farther out, the person would have to pull the seat up to a more comfortable spot. While I may find seven-foot tall Yao Ming attractive, my dad was decidedly attracted to a more petite build.

In this manner, while my dad was taking a shit, my mother was able to deduce by studying the position of the vent and the passenger seat that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he took a woman, probably shorter than she, out possibly for a “nooner”.

Granted, she had no hard evidence. But her heart, heavy as stone was its own truth.

I don’t know if she had thought out what she would do at the end of her investigation.

Did she have some nebulous fantasy, possibly involving a butcher knife and male genitalia? Did she plan out in her head how to pack up four kids, carefully picking out each child’s prized possession? Did she have a speech written ready to be flourished at the appropriate time, designed to cut him down to size?

Or maybe she just found herself in my father’s car, sitting utterly alone, in a dark, damp garage...

NEXT: Part 2.