Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Wednesday 30/01/08

Skiing day two: On Sunday I decide that if I want to pass the time quicker and possibly have some fun, I need to make up some irrational stories and scenarios in my head, create some intrigue and possibly destroy a few lives.  In order to do all this, I choose to obsess over John A.  (John A's story here). 

John A is not really anything to wrote home about (even though this is literally what I’m doing right now I think), but he looks OK and he has bigger arms than all the other people at the chalet (albeit still smaller than the average gay person) and I think he has good legs too, but I can’t really tell through the skiing trousers.  Not to mention that he keeps telling us the story about how big his feet are, which to me means that he’s looking for something in that chalet, something that his fiancée Emma! simply can’t provide. 

So following this decision the highlight of Sunday for me comes when, walking past John A and Emma!’s room, Matty and I overhear Emma! shout the desperate plea: “SPEED IT UP!  SPEED IT UP”, which no matter how you take it cannot be a good sign for their relationship. 

Could it be that Emma! wants to take her turn in the shower and is asking him to get on with it, could it be that John A simply can’t go fast enough leaving Emma! constantly unsatisfied, could it be that they are both DJ’s and are mixing some tracks in their room putting down some beats which are not cutting it for Emma!, could it be that John A cannot operate Emma!’s vibrator?  Any of these are enough to drive him into my arms. 

Despite these positive signs, the plan doesn’t get to an amazing start as I miss a perfect opportunity at dinner time, when the lights go out for 3-4 minutes.  Against expectations I do not make my move then and I am not found on John A’s lap making out with him when the lights come back on. 

What does happen though is that the following day at lunchtime Matty, Nicole and I share a restaurant table with John A and Emma! and when John A walks away to go snowboarding leaving a half-eaten sausage sandwich behind, a) I take a picture of it and b) take a bite of it.  I can’t think of a more accurate description of this, than that I have done as good as kiss him. 

And here’s the half-eaten sandwich with John A’s bite marks on it plus some leftover grease on the napkin.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Monday 28/01/08

Quick note: I'm still in France and just found an internet place here, so I thought I'd post what I wrote over the weekend.  I continue writing on my laptop and might be coming back here to post during the week, otherwise I'll post things when I come back.  Here's the first installment anyway.

Also thanks to the emails and comments over the last couple of days - I'll reply to all when I'm back, because I'm a bit short of time in this place - the countdown is stressing me.

Also, what I've written below may have changed over the last couple of days (I actually feel quite mean writing my first impressions of people when I didn't really know them that well), but I thought I'd post this anyway, cause it's funny.

Here goes:

On Saturday I wake up at 0500 and still under the influence of the Zimovane from the night before I leave home, drag my suitcase to the nearest tube station, find out it’s closed for the weekend, walk to the next one, share a tube with a few dozen ethnic immigrants sleeping on their seats in their way to the meat market (maybe some factory?), get to the train station, meet Matty and Nicole, run to catch the train to the airport… 

…a two-hour drive later and we’re at Serre Chevalier, so we drop our stuff and go for a walk and in that walk we go to the supermarket and I buy a few cans of beans and lentils and some packed meat and some apples and on the way back we see this ginger guy who’s wearing a proper skiing uniform and I ask Matty, are his legs really that big or are these trousers padded and Matty says that for him to be wearing this uniform he must be a really good skier so consequently his legs must be pretty big too.  

That’s when I first get upset for not having started skiing when I was 5 and when I get over myself (whilst I’m getting over myself actually) we go to a shop to pick up our boots and skis and the guy working there is trying to make me take some boots that are tight – insanely tight – and I request the next size up because I don’t want my feet bleeding through the day and he tries to make me understand that bigger boots will compromise my skiing ability and I try to make him understand that I don’t give a fuck and I’ll be in the gym instead of on some piste by day two anyway. 

But anyway, the worse part of the day is yet to come.  A bit later, at dinner I become aware of an odd predicament that the chalet where we’re staying has set up.  I don’t know what kind of networking / swingers / group sex business they’re running parallel to this, but they’ve had this idea where all the guests are put in groups and these groups have to eat together at the same table (and socialise obviously) for the rest of the holiday.  Every breakfast and dinner. 

So our group includes two other couples whose names I really can’t remember, but I’m going to call them John A, John B, Emma! and Emma. 

Now I don’t know if this is because I’m completely anti social and miserable, but I don’t really have a great interest with becoming friends with these people.  I’m on holiday with my friends and I’m happy enough hanging out and talking to them, you know?  However, to my complete horror and disdain all other six people at the table (Matty and Nicole + The Couples) are fucking dying to befriend each other.  Not that I’m a cunt or anything, but I put this down to the fact that all these people are straight couples, have been together for more years than they wish to remember, are bleeding bored of their respective partners, and jump at the opportunity to engage is mild and inoffensive flirtation with people in the exact same demographic. 

During this torturous dinner Matty and Nicole chat to The Couples, I sit there repeating “please don’t ask me any questions, please don’t ask me any questions” like a mantra in my head, The Couples tell stories nobody wants to hear, I sit there nodding and smiling to all the wrong bits, Matty and Nicole try to include me in the conversation, eventually The Couples realize I’m a special boy and nobody addresses me anymore, like I’m not even there, like I’m a 7th portion of quiche the waiter brought by mistake, like a spat out piece of cake.

It’s going to be a long week.

PS. I'll also post pictures of the holiday later.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Friday 25/01/08

Earlier this week Brendan sends me a text and talks about the post I wrote on Tuesday (here), where I describe myself living in the sanatorium in Switzerland in the first half of the 20th century as inspired by my upcoming skiing holiday.  And Brendan says that I have a talent for taking what should be a happy scene and making it something else, so I tell Brendan that he should know by now that there are no happy scenes and everything has an underlying sadness.  This is how my brain works and I’m not complaining, I like it like that – it makes me happy. 

And I can find this underlying sadness in everything (songs, actions, events, any form of human interaction) even things that appear joyful to the untrained, optimistic eye.  And I can’t think of a better example than the time I was reading an interview (or was it a book, or did I watch this on TV, I’m not sure) and somebody asked “what’s the saddest song that you know?” And I started thinking about this and I’m now convinced that the saddest song that I know is Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. 

I don’t care about the dancey 80s beat, I don’t care about the bubbly catchphrase title, I don’t care about Cyndi Lauper’s day-glo orange hair.  This is a song that includes the line “some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world; I want to be the one to walk in the sun” clearly making it a melancholic anthem for dysfunctional relationships, shattered dreams and hopes and tortured humanity everywhere.  Not to mention the title’s “Want to Have Fun” part, clearly stating that they’re not having fun right now.  Yes, they want to, they might even have the chance to have fun some time in the remote future, but you know what?  Right now they’re not. 

This perception of pop music is, of course, the polar opposite to what Scott has.  As a consequence of the same brain damage that stops him from recognizing people I suppose, he is also completely oblivious to songs.  On Thursday evening I’m playing I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen, a song worth tattooing on your forehead for the following lyrics alone: 

“sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul” 

…sang in a whisper over a pacey, yet tranquil backbeat that makes you want to take that knife, baby, edgy and dull and put it to good use around your soul area.  So I say to Scott before Bruce Springsteen sings this line “listen out for the lyrics here, I really like that” and Scott listens out – after some protest – and he actually hears: 

“sometimes life is like a knife, baby, edgy and nice” 

…so any conversation after that is a lost cause. 

On Friday I print out on a sheet of paper all the words/phrases that I want to tattooed around my body (which are: THE KILLING OF A FLASHBOY / ___ / CRIMINALLY VULGAR / VIOLENCE) and I ask Pam to draw one of them on so we can see what it might look like.  My initial thought is that I want all these words to be in the same font and font size as my BRET EASTON ELLIS tattoo (Estrangelo Edessa in Bold, size 30), so Pam tries to recreate VIOLENCE on the right hand side of my waist, just above my hip bone.  And this is what VIOLENCE looks like:

Please ignore the tacky Louis Vuitton belt, it looked passable within the context of the rest of the outfit. 

So, evidently that font size is perfect for the inside of my bicep, but it’s a tad underwhelming for the vast surface that is my stomach / hip / waist.  So maybe I should double the size of it and then some on top of that.  We’ll see.  I have a feeling that over the next few weeks I’ll be asking people to draw on me with marker pens quite a lot. 

EDIT: Thanks to Kim who played around and made up the following versions.  I do like the first one a lot (just bigger in a plain font).  The second one is way to gothic and the third one kinda bigger than my arm.  But I love the first one.

Finally for today, I started this poll on the right about whether I should move to Australia or not.  There are five days to vote left of course, but over the last two, an overwhelming 94 people (55%) have made their feelings known that I should not leave London.  That’s fair enough of course, that why I asked, but I’m just curious: the people who have voted no – what are your reasons?  Why should I not go?  Please leave a comment or email etc. 

So I’m flying out to France early Saturday morning, but the laptop is coming with me and I’m sure that by Day 2 I’ll have managed to steal an internet connection from somewhere and I’ll be on here posting.  Because, quite blatantly, it’s much better to write about your life than to be out there living it.

PS. To TACITO who left a comment yesterday with contact details - this brings out many results if you know what I mean.  At least 16 actually!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Thursday 24/01/08

On Wednesday lunchtime I go to Boots and I buy some herbal sleeping pills, because I seriously can’t remember the last time that I had a good night’s sleep without the assistance of Valium or Zimovane, so I’m thinking maybe I’ll try to get addicted to these instead, which appear more harmless.  Of course I don’t expect them to work (nothing you don’t have to break the law to acquire does) but they might have a placebo effect which will knock me out for an hour or so. 

It doesn’t take long to test them as Wednesday night appears to be another sleepless one, so at 0045 I take four of these new pills, which leave a pleasant / unpleasant grassy aftertaste.  Then at 0145 I turn the light back on, take a Zimovane, start reading The Complete Short Stories by Franz Kafka, give it 10 minutes, turn the light back off, sleep for 5 ½ hours, wake up, go to work. 

And January has been a very disturbed month in terms of sleeping, but I’ve had quite a few obsessions in my head, more so than usual.  And looking back these obsessions have included: 

I must get plastic surgery / Why don’t I move to Australia / This guy that I know is on the cover of ___ - when was the last time I was on the cover of anything? Cue panic / Why hasn’t ___ poked me back on facebook, what’s wrong with me? / What should my next tattoo be / Do I take enough ___ / I don’t take enough ___ 

And this is when I start to wonder: how normal is this behaviour.  

Do people obsess about minor (and major) things like that an a day-to-day basis, do they fantasise and make up stories about other people’s lives (because I do), is anyone kept awake night after night because they saw me in a magazine or because I didn’t reply to their message on facebook (because I am), does anyone who doesn’t know me but has seen my picture online talk to their friends about me and plan out our future together (because I do that too), are people painfully concerned with all the cosmetic procedures they should have (because I am)?  Or should I just take another Valium and get these thoughts out of my mind. 

Either way today’s obsession is that I want four new tattoos and these tattoos – which will written in the same font and font size as my current one – are: 

1) One of my middle names (five letters), tattooed at the top of my left calf

2) The phrase THE KILLING OF A FLASHBOY, tattooed across the top of my back

3) The 8-letter word that Brett Anderson shouts on the 2 minute and 4 second mark in the Suede song Starcrazy and then again on the 2 minute and 9 second mark, tattooed on the left side of my hips where my obliques are

4) The two words (10 letters + 6 letters) that Morrissey sings on the 29 second mark in the Smiths song How Soon Is Now? tattooed on the inside of my right bicep symmetrically opposite my existing tattoo

I won’t say what my middle name is, but please feel free to investigate what the words I refer to in points 3 and 4 are.  If nobody can be bothered to look it up and comment I will tell you tomorrow. 

Maybe I’ll get somebody to write these things on me with a marker pen so I can see what they’d look like.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Wednesday 23/01/08

On Wednesday at work my sister calls me and she tells me that she’s had a zodiac map drawn for me (or something like that – I’m not really paying attention) and that the zodiac map reveals that this year my life is going to go through a complete overhaul, everything is going to shift, the changes will be overwhelming, I will come out of this a different person. Not to mention that I will have my brush with fame, a brush that was predicted to my Mother by a psychic when I was 19. And this is what my sister and Mother do with their spare time (= constantly) between gossiping about friends, family and neighbours, meddling in other people’s lives and reading décor, lifestyle and fitness magazines.

Armed with this new knowledge I go to the gym where this complete overhaul doesn’t seem to have kicked in yet, as Hairy Guy is there and still blanking me. I pull myself together and do arms and abs and some back for good measure and go home, where…

…I turn the TV on and Frederik’s new show in on Channel 4. And this is a show about dieting and slimming products, diet surgery and extreme weight loss regimes (or so I’m told by the Channel 4 website) and in this first installment Frederik oversees a magnificent social experiment, a potential breakthrough in medical science, the dieting equivalent of the movies Freaky Friday and Big: a superskinny undereater swaps diet and lifestyle with an overweight overeater.

At this point I remember that Frederik is a friend who admitted to me recently that he once overdosed on Xenical – a prescription weight loss drug – which led to a loss of bowel control with hilarious consequences (story here). So I watch this programme for a bit trying to see if he will slip that overweight overeater any Xenical at some point, but he doesn’t seem to do so or at least he doesn’t do so in front of a camera.

In any case, maybe this series is worth watching just to see if the Xenical story will resurface at any point, perhaps told by Frederik to some unfortunate binge-eater, as form of encouragement in a touching one-on-one moment sitting behind the desk at his surgery, leaning forward holding the overeater’s hands: “Yes Sharon, I, too, am concerned with maintaining the ideal body weight. But unlike you, I have access to potent prescription drugs smuggled from Venezuela”.

Finally for today, have I bought the world’s biggest skiing mask or do I have the world’s smallest head or are they all supposed to look like that? Try to picture this surrounded by snow and mountains and French though, don’t just look at me lying on the floor in my London flat.

PS. Thanks for all the hits so far, yesterday the blog went over 250,000 visits which in some parts of the world is a quarter of a million. That sounds so much better so we'll call it that. A quarter of a million.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Tuesday 22/01/08

So as we all know this weekend I’m going skiing for a week and I’ve never been skiing before and I don’t know what to expect, so on Tuesday Matty helpfully sends me a list of things that I may or may not need.  Most likely may though. 

And these things are: 

1)    Hat

Of which I have plenty, how do we think I went to Iceland.

2)    Goggles & sunglasses for when you get confident

Sunglasses I have plenty of course but skiing goggles/mask I don’t, so on Tuesday lunchtime I go out to buy some and I go in Oakley and find a mask that costs £140 and I text Matty and I ask: “Is £140 for a skiing mask reasonable?” and Matty replies, “For a week? More like £20 I would think”.  But I can’t bring myself to buy one for only £20 so I end up getting a £69.99 one and we’re all happy.

3)    Scarf


4)    Jacket

I presume he means a waterproof jacket so I’ll take my Polo Sport one that I also took to Iceland, which is white and will look fucking ace in a snowy background.

    5) Long sleeved under tops, eg t-shirts, jumpers

Yes, we get it, dress in layers.  Nothing Mummy hasn’t told me before.

6)    Gloves – we’ve brought some from home for you if you fancy

Yes I do fancy, because I don’t have any skiing gloves and even though I did see some brilliant ones in Oakley again (white) they cost £60 and I would normally have gotten them, but right now I’m trying to save money for Australia so I didn’t.

7)    Skiing trousers/salopets

I don’t know what salopets are, but I do have some skiing trousers which I bought two years ago from TK Maxx by mistake, thinking they were tracksuit bottoms and I haven’t been able to wear since because they’re fucking boiling.

     8) Ski socks – at least 3 pairs

This is another thing that I’m missing and I’ll probably have to go and buy, because I asked Matty if I can substitute them with football socks and he said sorry no, that just won’t do. 

So these are Matty’s eight recommendations of essential items, but I have my own shortlist and this shortlist is: 

1)    Shorts, vests, trainers for the gym – where I will spend most of my time when I realize I can’t be bothered with all the skiing malarkey 

2)    Swimming shorts for the pool – where I will also spend a lot of my time 

3)    My laptop so that I can write my views on skiing and life in general shut in my chalet room 

4)    Seven boiled eggs for a healthy bedtime snack, one for each night 

Matty also points out that I will have to take skiing lessons and I will probably have to do that with people I don’t know, because him and Nicole are already pretty good, so am I ready to make friends? 

And I reply that no, of course I’m not ready to make friends unless they are muscly strangers from Sydney, but I don’t expect this is a demographic I will come across very often on the French Alps. 

Finally, I don’t know about skiing, socialising and all that, but my plan for this holiday is to spend considerable time in the chalet on my own, looking out the window, pretending that I’m an anguished tuberculosis patient trapped in an excusive sanatorium in Switzerland in 1917 with only my memories to keep me from losing my sanity.  Like a tortured Sylvia Plath character, a resentful anti-hero with a grudge against the world, a former lover, a fallen soldier clutching my sole war medal in a bleeding fist. 

And for this activity ideally I will be wearing basic cottony comfortable clothes in earthy tones, for example soft brown trousers held up with a primitive belt – perhaps just a rope tied around my waist – a very worn white cotton shirt with missing buttons and a warm lambs wool sweater with moth bites.  

I don’t own any of these items, so perhaps this is what I should be doing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunchtime.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Monday 21/01/08

So over the last few days I have been concentrating on making contacts in Sydney, so that when I go there I have a full-on social life and places to go, people to see and things to do, so that I don’t get depressed and lonely straightaway; not that being depressed and lonely is such a bad thing, but in Sydney I won’t even have my big TV to keep me company and help me through those hard times.

And as all of us, I need three different types of friends: Normal Straight Friends, Normal Gay Friends, Destroyed Gay Friends. 

1) Normal Straight Friends: 

This is the core friend category, comprising people who know me very well and like me regardless.  Examples of such people are Matty, Mean, Ace, Enid.  I’m not sure I’ll need to meet many Normal Straight Friends when I move to Sydney, because I will already have Matty and Nicole, a couple of guys I used to work with and possibly Pam also moving there at the same time.  

And I don’t know how easy it is to make new Normal Straight Friends anyway, because most of my current ones have known me for many years, and had the opportunity to like me before I became a twat (and then came back to being less of a twat, but still not completely non-twat). 

So we’re kinda set for Normal Straight Friends. 

2) Normal Gay Friends: 

This is another very important category, because it comprises people I socialize with in gay places (clubs, bars, gyms), but they are still decent enough to have an interest in me outside those.  And vice versa.  Examples of such people here in London include Donnell, Brendan, even Scott. 

I guess I will meet such people through common friends (Donnell used to live in Sydney so surely he can recommend somebody), or even my blog and of course Australian gays who lived in London for a while and have now gone back home. 

So we need to work on Normal Gay Friends. 

3) Destroyed Gay Friends. 

This is a brilliant category that will form the basis of my going out life over there.  These people might not know my second name or care if I’m dead tomorrow, but they are essential for big nights out, big nights in, big nights everywhere.  Hopefully looking like a self-obsessed, gym-fit, vacant gay with a mind for self-abuse will help me infiltrate those prestigious circles. 

In order to meet those guys I have started an extensive search on gaydar (where I’ve changed my location from London to Sydney) and facebook (where I go through everyone’s friend list and poke anyone with a half-naked profile picture with allusions to self-destruction and steroid abuse).  I have to say it’s going pretty well so far. 

If it all fails, I will just have to wear my new swimming trunks – seen below, original idea stolen from Bobby’s blog here – take a bus to Bondi Beach and sit there until some drug-addicted, muscled podium dancer from the Arq come up and talks to me.  And I’ll even be understanding enough to reply that Bret Eaton Ellis is the name of the new diffusion line by DSquared2 or the guy who succeeded Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Olympia in 1978 if they ask me about my tattoo, to avoid putting them off with my tedious literature tall stories.


Sunday, 20 January 2008

Sunday 20/01/08

On Saturday I wake up at Scott’s place and I have breakfast and before going to the gym I drink two cans of Red Bull, which are bound to keep me up, but that’s OK because I’m not planning to sleep on Saturday night anyway. 

At the gym I do back and abs and the Gossip Guy is there and I say to him, you know how we talk about all the other people in the gym and you tell us their stories, well what do other people say about us (Scott and me).  And Gossip Guy says on nothing really, people just comment that you’re in the gay press a lot.  

Which reminds me that when I move to Sydney maybe I should be in the gay press a lot there too, so that then I can recreate this persona whereby people see my picture here and there and I pretend that I don’t care or it bothers me – when I do and it doesn’t.  Well I did care when I was in the magazines a lot more, not anymore.  But maybe I should care in Sydney again. 

Later at home I’m on gaydar and I see the profile of this guy who’s from some country in Europe (I don’t want to say which) and visiting London for the weekend.  And he’s kinda hot so I message him and say hi, and then he doesn’t reply and about half an hour later I message again (because I’m mental) and I say “Excuse me, you seem to not have replied to my message.  This doesn’t make any sense to me, can you please explain”.  And he replies this time and says sorry, he didn’t hit the reply button properly or something and he forwards me the original message he had sent. 

And he says that he’s going to this club called __ and do I think this is a good idea.  And this is a club that I never go to, because it’s for kinda younger, non-muscly people who haven’t destroyed their lives yet, but I say to him, sure maybe I’ll go there too.  So I call the manager of the club and tell him that maybe I’ll go down there tonight and he says cool, guestlist and drinks on him - because I'm so fucking A-Gay of course. So fucking A-Gay that I scare myself sometimes. Let's not mention that this is the only club where I could do that because I know the guy. Let's pretend I can do this anytime, anywhere.

Then I meet Donnell and Brendan and Scott and we go to the Box and then Donnell goes home, but Brendan and Scott and I go to this club, mainly because we want to see if this guy will turn up and are his muscles as nice in real life as they are in his pictures. 

Then the guy does turn up and he’s not 5’11’’ as it says on his profile, he’s more like my height, but the muscles are still good. 

In the club it’s not very exciting, the crowd is very different to the crowd we know and love, nobody’s passing out in the corner, there are no groups of four people in every toilet cubicle, you can actually walk around without rubbing against naked sweaty flesh endlessly, people are posing using their clothes instead of their abs, nobody gets carried into the medic room. 

Then we go. 

…it’s 0421 when I take a Valium and 0430 when I take a Zimovane…I wake up at 0930…