Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wednesday 27/08/14

On Thursday evening I go to the gym, which does tend to be my only opportunity to socialise during the week, and by socialise I mean go there, avoid making eye contact with all the straight people that I see every night and want to be friends with because I want to sleep with them and occasionally shake my head “no” when one of them asks if I’m using the weights I happen to be standing next to. Then I go home.

At quarter past midnight I get on my bike and ride down Ocean Avenue, which is livelier than I would have thought, thanks to the number of drunken young tourists falling out of bars I didn’t even know existed. I try to remember a time when I might have also done that, but it’s really very faint after having spent so many years exclusively interacting with other people via messaging on social media websites and seeking out likes on instagram. I really, really want a family.

Then I go home and eventually pass out.

On Friday it’s another one of those days where I don’t open my mouth to say a single word and then it’s Saturday.

On Saturday afternoon I go to a pool party up in the hills. Do you really want to hear about that?

Around 5pm, I leave the party in the hills and go downtown to this music festival called FYF. The bands that I want to see that are playing that day are Chet Faker, Blood Orange, Caribou, and Grimes. But the time I’ve parked and walked the three miles they require me to get inside the festival, I’ve missed Chet Faker, Blood Orange, and Caribou. I also can’t find my group of friends that I was planning to meet, because nobody’s phone is working, though I suppose it’s my fault and I should have skipped the pool party and gone to the festival early, but that would have required me not to be an insecure homosexual that needs the pool party, and it’s too late for that.

I have about an hour to kill before Grimes is on. So I go buy some food and sit on the ground and eat it on my own. Everyone at the festival is probably 17 to 27. The fact that I’m wearing white socks pulled up and a bandana does not make me blend in.

Having nothing to do, I go to the stage where Grimes plays very early and get a really good spot. The show is pretty fucking awesome and I think I might have even enjoyed it.

After the festival’s over, I text Austin and go meet him and his friends in some bar in West Hollywood. For reasons that I can’t explain right now, and only feel like apologising for, when the bars close in West Hollywood, I continue to a house after party with Austin, Henry, and a bunch of other people I know.

I try to sleep on a couch between 6.30am and 7.30am, but that’s not working out at all for me, so right before 8am, I get up, put my shoes on and leave the apartment trying not to wake up the people sleeping around me. I drive back to Santa Monica listening to Bon Iver on the car stereo. Halfway home, I stop at a petrol station to refill my car, but my credit card is no longer working.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Monday 18/08/14

My publisher asked me to put together a playlist to go with the new book, so I put together a playlist to go with the new book. 

The songs are below. Subtle.

1. Sebastien Tellier - La ritournelle
2. The Presets - This boy's in love (Lifelike remix)
3. Yelle - Que veux-tu
4. Vampire Weekend - Walcott
5. Bat For Lashes - Daniel
6. Blood Orange - You're not good enough
7. Crystal Castles ft Robert Smith - Not in love
8. The Magnetic Fields - All my little words
9. Saint Etienne - I threw it all away
10. Bloc Party - One more chance

11. 808 State ft James Dean Bradfield - Lopez

(The title of the book is taken from the lyrics of the last song; well, quite)

If you wanted to buy the special edition of the book before the regular edition comes out, here are details. Special edition.


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Thursday 14/08/14

On Saturday I aim to get up really early and go get my haircut, because the later you go, the longer you have to wait. I manage to wake up and make it to the barbershop at 1030, which is not early, not early at all, and there about eight people ahead of me. Potentially you can call up in advance and make an appointment, but the time has not come yet when I’m prepared to make a phone call and talk to somebody that’s not immediate family or current boyfriend, so that’s just not going to happen.

I used to cut my own hair between the years 2005 and 2014, but then I was suddenly 34 and I lost my youth and could use all the help I could get, so I decided to have it done by someone who knows what they’re doing (well…$25-worth knows that they’re doing).

My barbershop is run by a group of no-nonsense straight Latino bros, and I’m afraid I don’t know enough about this demographic to write about it in a derogatory manner, like I do with white bros, scene gays, and Greeks. I do know that they talk endlessly about baseball, boobs and other blue-collar topics that I don’t understand. The person who cuts my hair is my favourite, because he never attempts to start a conversation with me. I suspect that’s because he knows I’m foreign and don’t follow the Dodgers, and what the hell would he have to talk to me about? I also like going there because I’m an ethnic minority and it always feels like the beginning of those porn scenes where a clueless white guy walks into a garage full of tattooed, ethnically-diverse meatheads after his car has broken down in the middle of the desert and they proceed to gang rape him, not that I want this to actually play through, as in real life I refuse to engage sexually with anyone unless they have blue eyes or lighter and an Anglo-Saxon surname that goes back at least five generations.

This Saturday morning the barbershop TV is playing the 1977 bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. They have finally moved the naked pin-up calendar hanging on the wall from the month of April (where it was all through April, May, June and July) to November. And the most important conversation that takes place is the following:

Young Latino customer: I need to have my hair cut because I’m going to a wedding

Head barber: Oh yeah? Who you going with?

Customer: On my own probably

Head barber: But who are you leaving with?

Customer: The baddest one there

Head barber: So you want the “going to a wedding on my own, but leaving with the baddest one there” haircut?

Customer: Yessir

Head barber: Dis what I do

On Saturday afternoon Austin and another friend come over and we go to the beach. There, we play around at the outdoor gym and I decide to copy someone and do a trick while I’m crossing the rings, which leads to a horrible injury meaning that I can’t move my right arm for the next few days, but at least this is all caught on video and I can upload it on instagram and pretend that I’m really athletic and badass.

Then we go and watch a baseball game, the Los Angels Angels against the Red Sox or whatever, which primarily serves as a social media opportunity to show that we’re masc musc non-scene, and then on Sunday I go to a gay pool party, so I guess that we’re not. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Tuesday 13/08/14

On Friday I wake up just before 0800 and I decide that this is a good time to get up, because this is a time that somebody who might actually have somewhere to be might also get up and start their day.

I remember watching a Greek sitcom when I was very young, maybe twelve or thirteen, and this sitcom was about some very rich heiress who owned a bunch of factories or whatever and she never had to go to work, and there was this financial advisor guy she employed and he would sometimes come to see her at ten or eleven in the morning and he would wake her up, which always angered her, because her big thing, her life philosophy was that she just wants to have one luxury in life and nothing else: she wants to wake up whenever she feels like waking up, naturally, without anyone, alarm clock or other human being, interrupting her sleep. Because she thought that when you’re asleep your soul leaves your body or something, and when you get abruptly awaken, your soul gets rushed into your body forcefully instead of returning peacefully, quietly, in its own time, and that’s really destructive for you as a person. That was the sitcom’s big joke, anyway. That she was so spoilt that she didn’t have anywhere to be, nothing to interrupt her sleep for. And when I watched that it really bugged me. I mean it must have really bugged me a lot, I still remember it now twenty years later, because I thought, Oh my god, who is she? How can she possibly think like that? That’s not just one luxury, that’s just an impossible luxury, because it means you never have to go to work, you never have to go to school (I was twelve) you don’t have an responsibilities or commitments to anyone. So in my head, this freedom of time, this endless, uninterrupted sleep was the impossible luxury, the ultimate sign of achievement and happiness, something so completely unattainable and unrealistic that it was used a comedic device in this low-budget Greek sitcom in 1992.

Now I wake up every day whenever I want without an alarm clock and I’m still really not quite sure where my soul is left wandering, surely I would be able to feel it if it were part of me somehow, so I guess whoever wrote that Greek sitcom in 1992 was wrong: waking up at your leisure and having nowhere to go, no responsibilities or commitments to anyone will not, by default, make you happy.

I have breakfast and think about leaving the house. Then I don’t see a reason to leave the house, because the only place to go seems to be the beach and I was out on the beach most of the day yesterday and my tan doesn’t even need any more work right now, so I stay in.

Then a couple of hours pass and my friends DA and DJ, who are visiting from San Francisco, ask me to meet them for lunch at this restaurant down on Ocean, so I wear a t-shirt and shorts instead of a tanktop and shorts (even though it’s really hot and sunny) because DJ is a bit precious and he likes people to wear sleeves when they’re eating at restaurants even if those are ocean front oyster restaurants in Santa Monica in July on a Friday lunchtime, and I don’t like to disappoint.

After lunch DA and DJ go to the gym and I go back home, because I’m trying this new thing where I’m trying to find some self-worth outside what my body looks like, so I’ve reduced my gym going to five days a week, and I stay there until 8pm talking to people on the phone or online and watching all seasons of 30 Rock from the beginning and I don’t give up even when it becomes stale.

My friend KG says that he may come chill the eff out and watch a movie with me, so we text back and forth for about an hour trying to arrange this, then KG decides that it’s too far for him to drive to Santa Monica and I leave my place to go get some food at Whole Foods.

At Whole Foods I see a gentleman that I find very attractive, who’s not just age appropriate (30+) but also doing a full-on grocery shop on a Friday night at 2100, which means that he’s perfect and ready to settle down. He is muscular and has tattoos, so I’m making the initial assumption that he’s gay. Then I look at him for a few seconds and he catches my eye, then I walk away and pick up some food and walk towards the check-out and bump into him again on the way and we look at each other again, but perhaps only because I’m forcing it, and then I get to the check-out and pay for my teriyaki chicken bowl. I decide to take the long way out of the store so that I can see him a third time, and I see him a third time and we look at each other again, then he raises his arm and mouths something in my direction, which sends some very brief shockwaves through my stomach and heart, until I realise that he’s actually trying to talk to somebody behind me – the person that he’s here with – but I don’t turn around to see if the person is male or female, gay or straight, age appropriate or not and I just exit the store quickly looking intensely on the ground.

When I get home, I eat my dinner and head to the gym.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Thursday 07/08/14

There will be a key moment in your life when you’re 34 and have started to lose your looks and some of your wit and you haven’t been as successful or rich as you once though you might be and you haven’t even been around your family that much since you were 17 and you’ve made several wrong decisions which have left you living alone in a new continent surrounded by people who either don’t know you that well and don’t care about you or know you pretty well but care even less and you’ll be fully aware that the nearest people who truly love you live back in London where you came of age 5,400 miles away…when you will consider that this is it, things couldn’t possibly get worse, you’ve seriously reached the bottom and the only possible way is up. Then you’ll get on an 8.30am Air Canada flight to Montreal and your personal screen on the back of the seat in front of you will not be working. And this is something that you’re going to have to deal with.

I deal with this by reading some of the book that I’ve brought with me, Never Mind by Edward St. Aubyn, but then about seventy pages in there’s a gruesome rape scene that makes my stomach convulse and also pisses me off, so I stop reading and go leave the book in the plane bathroom, because I don’t want to own it anymore.

Then we get to Montreal.

The immigration person at the airport gives me a hard time, which is surprising as she’s a girl my age or younger and I expect her to just flirt with me and wave me through, but I suppose that’s just because I’m conceited and sexist, and sometimes these attributes might bite you in the ass. She doesn’t like the fact that I’m traveling on my own, she doesn’t like the fact that I’m meeting friends here (how can I possibly know these people if they live THERE and I live in LA – she asks, like she’s never been to a circuit party before) she doesn’t like the fact that my job is writing. Then she slowly comes to terms with all those things and she lets me in.

Then a truck with three men and two dogs comes to the airport and picks me up. Then we have dinner and then we go out to “the gay bars”, but I’m too tired for all this, so I stay for an hour, have a Subway and take a taxi home.

On Friday my friend Potato, his fiancé, some other friends of theirs and I go to Osheaga, which is a music festival and also “the Canadian Coachella”. In reality, Osheaga is the Canadian Coachella as much as I am the Greco-English J.D. Salinger. Yes, we both formed some thoughts in our heads and wrote some words and somebody printed them, and yes somebody booked all those bands to play and sold tickets to masc musc brauxs and entry-level cute girls with festival looks, but you’d have to be very, very drunk or high to take these comparisons further and I’m straight edge now.

Then over the rest of the weekend a lot of embarrassing things happen that I wouldn’t even dream about writing here (and there you were, thinking this guy over-shares) but I suppose I can save them and use them in my next book, changing names, genders, situations slightly, and making myself come across as the victim and call it a novel.

On Monday evening I’m back home in LA and my main bro, TN, has made me a rap playlist to listen to at the gym, and during this playlist I somehow discover an unnatural connection between myself and the Notorious B.I.G. where I can relate to everything that he's ever rapped about and start planning a long-term obsession, weeks and weeks of listening to nothing else but his first two albums, and possibly a tattoo, as well, because somehow I want to be the guy whose three favourite artists of all time are: The Smiths, Björk, and the Notorious B.I.G.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Wednesday 06/08/14

On Wednesday morning I wake up and go to the gym and then the beach and I’m sure I was supposed to also write something for my blog or my next book or whatever it is that I write for, but suddenly it’s 2000 in the evening I’ve completely run out of time and a masc musc bro from Grindr is about to come over to mine. Yes, this masc musc bro is 6’2” and yes he’s studying at the moment and working part-time as a model and yes he’s got all the muscles that you want him to have, but primarily the reason why I want it so bad is that his blurb on Grindr is that he refuses to accept messages from anyone who has a visible face on their profile picture because those people are out and shameless and clearly non masc enough, which means that he has gigantic issues about his sexuality, is self-hating to the nth degree and his internalised homophobia might just be surpassing mine. Add to that the fact that some of his messages to me have included, “aight bro”, “yo”, “right on”, “down to wait”, “for sure bro”, “solid”, “I’m horny bro”, and “leaving in 10 bro”, and I have no choice but to collapse into a heap and meet this guy.
Then he turns up and is completely masc musc in real life too and gives one-word answers and even those or so mumbled to the point where I think that he might be mentally impaired and doesn’t smile even for a second or show any human emotion that might indicate he wants to be there, and I don’t even know that he’s into me or completely repulsed and has completely changed his mind and is trying to make a quick escape, until his tongue is in my mouth and our baseball caps are clashing against each other.
Then I call TN and give him the lowdown and fight with him for a bit, because he also refuses to explicitly state his affection towards me despite us because bromantically obsessed with each other (not that I would have it any other way) and then it’s 0100 so I take three Xanax and pass out in bed, because I have to wake up at 0530 to go to the airport.
When I wake up I feel exactly like somebody who’s has four and a half hours of sleep on three Xanax would feel, not that y’all would know, because y’all never take any prescribed medication or any other drugs, not to mention that you never meet anyone off Grindr and you just play sport and lead wholesome lifestyles and under no circumstances do you get flown across the country for free to spend sex weekends with rich couples you met at pride events, no, not ever.
When my uber to the airport arrives, I’m lucky enough that my driver is a Ukrainan immigrant (yes, I know I’ve mistyped Ukrainan, but give me one reason to type it correctly) who’s been in the US for seven months and is an aspiring stand-up comedian. In very broken English. I don’t ask details about his move to the US or how he’s allowed to live here, because I feel that from a legal point of view, I’m in a much less precarious position not knowing. Then the Ukrainan uber driver and stand-up comedian tries some of his jokes on me and I can’t say I remember all of them, but I certainly remember a couple of them and those are:
“I was in the church the other day ushering. An old woman came in and said, ‘where should I sit?’ I told her to sit at the back in the last two rows. She said, ‘do you know who I am?’ and I said, ‘no, thank god!’” (end of joke)
“I had a weird passenger the other day. I went to a house and the woman there gave me a soup and said, ‘will you deliver this to my friend who’s sick?’ I said ‘yeah, a soup as a passenger, what great company. The soup is cool and it’s cool. Get it? It’s cool company and it’s cool in temperature” (end of joke).
Then we get to the airport.