Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Analyze This!

I had a dream in which my father lost both his last female lover, and his last male lover, on the same day.

For some reason, we could, or did not, attend their funerals, but went to their graves. I went first, though I don't know why, and thus knew where to find the gravesites.

There was some sort of fight with my father when I returned home from visiting the graves, and I felt weak. I was lying on the couch - smoking a pipe.

It tasted like exotic berries. And cardamom. I remember thinking that I didn't know what cardamom tasted like.

We drove out to the grave-sites, located in this utopic little garden behind waist-high wrought-iron fencing. We drove there in a Miata.

I think it was mine.

The road to Fiesta Texas was a quiet little lane, like the streets around UTSA when I went there in '97. The cemetery was just off that road, two blocks from Six Flags.

We went in, found the graves, and my father asked me to give him a moment ... of peace.

And we started crying. I hugged him. And then, I woke up.

I felt empty.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Toilet humor ...

First job of the day? Investigate the smell of "flower-scented death" in one of the bathrooms downstairs. I am only grateful I was not the one to have to scrub the tagging off the toilet paper dispenser in the men's room. The staff outside my office asked for Glade plug-ins, because the men's room - upstairs - smells like urine, and the ladies' room smells like G-d only knows what.

And speaking of going down the drain, my love life took a nose-dive this weekend, which - all things considered - is really saying something.

I suppose it could be that the Frenemy and I got together for the annual audit - the yearly tradition during which he plies me with alcohol while I go through a printed out (in color, with pictures) journal of his previous year's sexual exploits. It is typically a grand tour of all the men from various websites (e.g. Craig's List, adam4adam, Grindr, etc.) that turned me down and happily hooked up with that fat, aging whore.

It is that typically; however, this year was a bit different. I am no longer on those sites (having turned my tastes toward bisexuals with mental disorders and/or looking for love on match.com and Compatible Partners), so I didn't find myself drawing comparisons, and coming up short. This year's journal - though fraught with fornicatin' and bamboozlery - read like a twisted Twilight, a sad exploration of codependence, abuse, and desperation. And those were the good parts.

I would say that I found myself wanting more - but more would have only been more of the same, and - frankly - after the second bottle of wine, I have very little recollection of wanting anything at all, other than sleep.

And so it was that I awoke, hours later, and - after a conversation with Ova the Top re. getting peed on in the dark back-room of a New Orleans gay bar (he's into that sort of thing), I texted the guy with PTSD - who is only bi when drunk or high. Thankfully, he was drunk - so, he rushed right over.

We wound up cuddling in my bed, and though the chemistry was great - none of that awkwardness about where to put arms, legs, or what to do with that erection when you're spooning with a straight guy - it did leave me wanting more, both an orgasm, and a partner who is not too straight to give me one.

But those are the breaks when dealing with bisexuals.

And maybe that's the place from which came the dream. I woke up crying Saturday morning, having spent Friday night sleeping fitfully and suffering through a dream in which I cashed in my 401(k), had a sex change, and went to Planet Fitness for a Body Pump class - all in the span of hours. One of my more hateful acquaintances wisely suggested that I was crying because I went to the gym ... but, all kidding aside, the feeling of worthlessness lingered with me all weekend.

It felt as though every choice I made for the past 15 years - since I stopped living as a woman, and including the cosmetic surgery 7 years ago - was the wrong choice. Jail, rehab, et al. notwithstanding, I don't believe that, but it seems my subconscious does.

Dreams allow us to work through, if only in obscure and occasionally deeply disturbing ways, the things we do not take the time or have the perspective to analyze in our waking worlds. So, that dream was, pardon the pun, a wake-up call.

Meanwhile, it's another day at a job that poses challenges and opportunities for growth every single day ... the toilet in the break-room is broken, and someone clogged a drain downstairs.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Zombies: Or, Getting Live in Here

I spent the weekend in bed, at least partially because I was sick (and tired), but largely because I pay for cable, and I'll be damned if the Trinity Broadcasting Network (i.e. all church, all the time) is going to cost me $60 a month.

I fell asleep last night to "Zombies: A Living History," and found myself thinking that while romantic comedies, sitcoms, and Freud may observe that our beds are haunted, the truth is not that there's a ghost town in my pants, though I swear I caught sight of a tumbleweed the other day.

No, those aren't ghosts - friendly, translucent phantasms, hovering just outside reality. Those are not spirits of my exes. And those bastards did not, I tell you, have the decency to up and die. No, as I lay in bed - warm and cozy in a house that, my nearly dead octogenarian father's health necessitates I keep at a seasonable 76 degrees - I found myself thinking that it was not the ghosts of my past that cause me grief. It is the rotting, stinking, sad-sack, shambling, withered and dying, festering corpses of my lost love that keep trying to eat my face off.

The 21 year old I was briefly doing during the Old Black Man's hospitalization - a period I affectionately call, "free at last, free at last ... Great G-d almighty, I am free at last ..." - recently sexted me at 5AM. This prompted me to think, both that I am too old for sexting, and also that he must be high, because booty calls take place between 11:30 and 3AM, unless otherwise established (or you're a stripper).

Nevertheless, hoping to rekindle the "free at last ..." magic, by sneaking his skinny ass in through the broken screen on the back door, I responded. We were just getting to the point of making arrangements when Wally told me he was going to charge for our next encounter.

Y'all may not have heard the story, but this is the same boy who, in a foolish fit of ambition and hormones, plunged himself onto my manhood ... and, promptly, yelped, hunched over, and fell off. He left a broken man - talking wistfully about a hot bath, and this is the no-'ccount small child that wants me to pay for another case of blue balls!?!

He was only the second in as many days to ask for a donation.

The 19 year old with whom I passed one lovely, short afternoon, and who subsequently stole my father's pain pills, called me up and asked to meet, with the understanding I'd 'help him out' afterwards.

The architect with whom I had two dates, and with whom I cannot fathom a third, didn't ask for money. He just didn't have any cash and was slow on the draw with his credit card. Real slow.

Of course, he made up for it by being quick with the quips, the chides, the insults, and the comparisons to his dear friend - of whom I reminded him so. The dear friend, when I saw a picture, was nearly 60, fat, and wearing a caftan. Not even ironically.

And then there is that long-time plus one, who is himself pushing 60, and who I dumped - quite ceremoniously - just the other day. Like the undead before him, he won't stay down. I'm supposed to 'save the night' for Thursday, when he gets back into town.

Now, I've never seen "The Walking Dead," but I watched "Zombieland" three times. In the absence of a shotgun, or an Escalade, do you think garden shears will get the job done, or do I need to drop a piano on somebody?

In the battle of the rotting corpses of desire versus my sanity, someone's going down - and they're already halfway there!

Monday, January 9, 2012

There are some mountains so majestic ...

A dear friend noted, on the drive to a New Year's Eve bash, that all of my stories ... and there are a lot of stories ... start in a bar. She asked me if perhaps that was something in which I might want to work.

I responded that I had enough stories involving church, passing the collection plate for the pastor's sick and dying Cadillac, and my father throwing a poodle at my head. I drink to forget those stories, and - in the process - acquire a few more.

Can I help it if people like to talk to me?

Case in point, last night - while minding my own business at the often mentioned popular hell-hole - a very attractive shrimp hit on me. It started off innocently enough with him asking me if I liked to f@!?, to which I replied, "Sure - why do you ask?"

What ensued from that moment can only be described as a calamity. Paul - like the apostle - proceeded to explain his theories about the universe, his three DWIs, and how he'll take it from pretty much anyone with a penis, as later evidenced by his casual comment that the 350 lbs. man on whose couch he was crashing last night wanted him, and Paul planned to put out. Not for the sake of the couch, or a particular interest in his large host ... but just because.

He called this morning to ask me out.

Meanwhile, in a moment of colossal weakness, mild drunkenness, and because he smelled really good ... I made a date with my ex.

That he is seeing someone else is neither here nor there. That he dumped me - unceremoniously, ignominiously, and tragically - a week before Valentine's Day, and via text message, is what really gets my goat. Frankly, I have half a mind to stand him up.

The other half remembers fondly how incredibly, surprisingly, flexible he is and that he has a prodigious amount of stamina for a man the same age as my mother.

Say what you will about me, but I do have my standards. He's paying for the cheap motel.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Feast, and Famine

Happy Hour is such a complicated process in this town. It's feast or famine, given that bars are either packed to the gills, or empty to the point that it's just you and the bartender.

Admittedly, this has led to free drinks, doing lines off the bar (or the bartender) and some very interesting, if rushed, interludes in back rooms.

This was not the case yesterday, when
I wandered from the dark, wood-paneled 'gay-Rish' pub to the seedy hell-hole next door. The drinks are cheaper, and - despite the hint of vomit - it's the most popular gay bar in town. This would probably explain why I ran into my ex, Mount Gay, his fag hag, and his new beau. And watching Mount Gay and the toad make out might possibly have influenced my third and fourth drinks.

Nevertheless, when I got an eager phone call from a long-lost fling I recently friended on Facebook, I had the sense things were looking up.

That enthusiasm lasted until he showed up, eyes swollen from crying, bouncy through a veil of inebriation, and with a friend in tow who wobbled and said he wanted to throw up.

That I went home with them has more to do with the memory of what my old fling looked like naked, and that I had nothing better to do.

I should learn not to make decisions in this way.

The next two hours were spent fending off an amorous Chihuahua, taking shots from a gallon jug of Absolut, and letting the guy I was picturing upside down and ... well, anyway ... cry, whine, or sob on my shoulder while he quoted Billie Holiday songs.

Shortly after it became clear I was only going to get more of the same, I called a cab. Out of which I fell upon getting home.

Other than a bruise, and a $25 cab ride, to say nothing of blue balls, it was the usual sort of Friday night for me.

And then, in the course of crawling to the kitchen - for orange juice, grits, and aspirin - I got the impression my father was dead. He was still in bed at 2, and hasn't moved in hours. It took about an hour to work up the nerve to make sure he was breathing.

He is, by the way, so I went back to the kitchen and started dinner.

Ain't life grand?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year, (and thanks for coming)!

When I woke up on the first day of this bright, shiny, still had the gift-wrap and the price tag day, the first day of 2012, I felt like a kid again. Actually, I felt like a 13 year old.

I had a wet dream. I woke up wet and sticky, my just purchased the day before Calvin Klein underpants clinging, and dripping, in all the wrong places.

I tried to remember the last time I actually had sex - because, when a 32 year old has a wet dream, it is surely time for some kind of accounting, and drew a blank.

It was some time when my father was in the nursing home, and my 21 year old pot-head paramour, with the oddly sexy BO came over and injured himself on my penis. Since he fell off of it do quickly, I clearly didn't get off that night - but I'd certainly come since then. While alone, and listening to Thelonius Monk, with a glass of wine and a burned copy of "Bad Boys on Duty," or in the quick, hurried, beneath the sheets, fevered style of the 13 year old lying alone in the dark.

Nevertheless, there I was at 5AM, January 1st, creeping out of bed at a Hilton Garden Inn and trying to shower and change into boxers without waking my sleeping, snoring, female dear friend. This was both out of courtesy and a hint of shame and/or confusion

So, my accounting came up short, and I wondered what it said about me that I spent the previous evening - New Year's Eve - at a sedate, suburban party, with pink champagne and kisses on the cheek at midnight.

I rang in 2011 by jumping on the bed in rehab, while my fellow inmates clanged lockers and blared gangsta rap. I'd say fireworks on the 9th hole of a golf course while smooth jazz, and children, played in the background is a definite step up.

Between the high-end suburbs New Year's Eve, and the drinks by the pool at the hotel bar where we started our weekend, between the crab and spinach dinner, and the smoked salmon breakfast, I found myself feeling luxe. I think 2012 will be a very good year, for shopping and eating, working, and travel. Houston taught me more about myself than I would expect to learn in two days.

Like most lessons, I get the feeling it's going to be bittersweet - money, yes ... sex, no. To paraphrase Robin Leach, I anticipate champagne wishes ... and wet dreams.

Friday, December 23, 2011

He Was Born With a Heart Two Sizes Too Small

It's damned near Christmas, and - give or take a little misplaced optimism - I am a tad shy of Christmas spirit. I am light of merry, and bereft of cheer. I am, however, Southern and thus possessed of a certain natural grace and wit, capable of making even my most bitter moments into a source of mirth and good humor.

Vodka helps.

So, I put on my best Southern the other day when one of my father's exes, a woman for whom I never particularly cared, and who at one time scandalized even me, called to say hello. My father dated her aunt, who I adored - until she suffered a  stroke, at which time the Old Black Man moved on to Mel. He also briefly dated Mel's mother - once Mel's father died, or at least when he was real sickly.

In any event, I was wandering in and out of the kitchen, frying bacon-wrapped egg rolls, and doing laundry - so I only caught snippets of the conversation. There was definitely flirting going on. I recognized the signs - the Old Black Man was sitting up, something he seldom does these days. He was smiling, and he was laughing with that hyperbolic 'hee-hee-hee' Morgan Freeman used in "Driving Miss Daisy," the one that's halfway between a guffaw and a donkey getting branded.

I recognized it as flirting, and yet the words were coming out all wrong - which is not to suggest he was slurring, though at nearly 90, with a regular supply of Vicodin, and a sharecropper's drawl, who could discern a slur from a Sunday morning come-to-Jesus? My father was somehow turning a conversation about sons in prisons, arthritis, and dementia into a grand ol' time.

Perhaps it was that that conversation went so swimmingly that has me twisting a lemon in the sweet tea of life. The next night, Sunday, I begged out of a family function to go tie one on with my plus one - a sweet, dapper man of a certain age (50-something, since you asked nicely) with whom I've been keeping company since before I went to rehab - either time.

We met his friends - all younger, thinner, and more gainfully employed than either of us. Hipsters are always good for a laugh, and a cheap thrill - which is how I wound up seeing the penis, and prodigious bush, of a recent college grad who, I'm fairly sure, had been drunk since Spring Break. And my plus one tried to fix me up with the only other gay guy in the room, a pale and bird-like fellow with a Jew-fro.

That Jew-fro and my plus one nearly dated sometime ago, but for mixed signals - not lack of trying - put a mild damper on things. Things were downright moist when, after Jew-fro and I exchanged numbers, my plus one voiced his thoughts on trying to make something happen with Jew-fro. And they went to monsoon when Jew-fro returned neither my text, that evening, or my call - two days later. We haven't spoken since we met.

And maybe I was thinking about that lack of attention when I gave my number to a Polish fellow from group therapy. He does have the general appearance of someone who used to have a twitch, and possibly a nervous tic - and yet he has the pale, half-dead look that sets my heart to beating. At this point, a person who twitches and has not one but two fast-food jobs seems less like an ill fit and more like a damned good Thursday evening.

The holidays make me all misty. Bah humbug.