A quick hello from the MacDowell Colony, where I’ll be holed up for the next month taking stupid Instagram photos of icicles and writing. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Pornography — so thank god I committed all of those clips to visual memory. The scenery is incredible, the food amazing, the people very kind. I’m doing lots of napping and putting papers into piles and running through the dark woods back to my studio in sheer terror every night after dinner. There’s also a grand piano in my studio, so I’ve been trying to play Puccini from a book someone left behind and it’s not going well. I’ll see you in a month — and if any water-cooler moments are happening in gay porn right now, please email me a link for later.
I got a shitty $95 haircut last week. I always have such intense haircut anxiety, and I think a high price will ensure high quality, a fallacy you’d think I would have recognized after wasting countless amounts of legal tender on every bullshit organic conditioner at Whole Foods made from crushed boysenberry seeds and local elephant cum.*
“I want to try and round out your head,” the stylist announced at the beginning, “you know, and help with your jawline.”
I smiled, nodded, and died a little.
“Have you ever thought about coloring your eyebrows?” she asked a little later.
“No,” I replied, “I haven’t.”
“I think it would really help,” she said, not specifying with what, but we both knew.
$95 for that, for 35 minutes of someone standing over me chewing gum and vaguely insulting me — an experience, for the record, that I can get on OK Cupid gratis. $95! That’s nine lunches, that’s three copies of Justice Sotomayor’s memoirs, that’s one Broadway show. I’m an idiot.
* All elephants are humanely-coaxed.
This Friday at 8pm — only a few tickets remain! Click here or on the poster for tickets.
with appearances by
JOHN BEHLMANN • LUCAS HALL • DAN LOESER
MARIA McCONVILLE • WIL PETRE
and musical guests
THE GAY AGENDA • HEATHER CHRISTIAN
I just watched a porn clip in which one boy happens upon another in afternoon repose, curled up with his faithful dog, and wakes him up with
an impassioned plea to help canvass for Obama sexy advances.
What I loved most about this scene is how long the dog remains in it, desperately trying to remain contextual:
STORY OF MY LIFE.
ZAC EFRON: “It stinks in here.”
MACY GRAY: “That’s ’cause that blonde lady peed all on your face.”
ACTUAL DIALOGUE: You read me right.
NICOLE KIDMAN: (writhing) I’m hawny I’m hawny him in dat jayul and me awoot heyah –
THE DIALECT COACH: What? I don’t know. Something.
THE PAPERBOY: I’m wretched and lazy!
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY: (bloody ass in the air) Hey, it worked for Mo’Nique.
NICOLE KIDMAN: Wheyen I be his wahf he go’on be mah huzzbend –
JOHN CUSACK: (foaming at the mouth) BLAASEEGHHHHH.
NICOLE KIDMAN: Y’all y’all puddin’ pie sassafrass magnohlya mmhmm hawny hawny — (tears at her panties, pees)
ZAC EFRON’S NIPPLES: (perky in the heat) We’re investigating a murder.
THE NINE OF US IN THE AUDIENCE: There was a murder?
THE PLOT: What? I don’t know. Something. It’s fucking hot, leave me alone, Homeland’s on.
THE PAPERBOY:I’m sexy like a dishrag! I’m lurid like day-old cum!
I am down to marry him; my dowry is cheese. Power-gays, I know you’ve got him on file. Does he live in New York? I’ll relocate.
During a particularly lengthy late-night subway ride home from Brooklyn the other night, I watched this man empty a gift bag from whatever party his girlfriend had seriously outpaced him at, puff it out, and hold it near her lolling, wasted head as she lay passed out on a pregnant homeless woman. (Digestive horrors aside, I was almost excited to maybe watch her puke into a bag from a place called Dry Bar.) He watched her the whole time, his pale sweet brow furrowed, and even though I’m sure he was thinking don’t you do it don’t you throw up the whole time, he was calm and even ran a thumb along her hairline every once in a while.
Nice. She didn’t need the bag, nor will she remember his thoughtful repurpose of it, but that’s OK — I will.
MY THERAPIST: You seem to be forecasting your life in only worst-case scenarios.
ME: I was worried you’d say that.
Last Monday night I was invited to gay cocktails at the Rubin Museum to raise gay money for Obama’s reelection campaign. Obama, after doing The View and delivering the Barnard commencement address, was going to be in attendance.
John, my friend and January sidehunk, came with. Outside and giddy:
Inside the pinot gris was flowing and attractive people were carrying around trays of even more attractive food. A beet salad particularly thrilled us, and whenever a tray of it passed we’d eagerly grab another serving spoon. During one of the beet salad’s later laps the man and woman next to us hesitated above it, and I leaned in and said, “Oh, you’ve got to try it, we can’t stop eating it.” The woman replied, “Well, these boys sure are hungry,” diamonds and derision dripping from her every extremity.
Moments later she was but a distant memory, because:
Outside we were interviewed by a Japanese television crew (if anyone finds that video, please send it to me — I’m really hoping they caption John and me as “Disney Prince and His Spittoon-Carrier”) along with a few other journalists with tape recorders, and, full of pinot gris and beet salad, I came out in the Post.
For the record, I was not a campaign volunteer in the New Hampshire primary, John was. I’m just thankful they didn’t malign me, but I’m also fairly certain “writer from Manhattan” is Post code for “commie fag.”
(ISAAC is selling tickets to an OLDER MAN.)
ISAAC: And how did you hear how about the show?
OLDER MAN: I was just Googling gay plays, and this one came up.
OLDER MAN: Is it a good play?
ISAAC: It is! I loved it.
OLDER MAN: And it’s gay?
ISAAC: Well, yes, some of it is.
OLDER MAN: Great. Thank you.
ISAAC: Sure. And if I could just get your signature on the line by the X.
OLDER MAN: (signing) Aaaaaand notthatyouwouldnecessarilyknowthis, but.
OLDER MAN: I’m in town from Culver City with my “friend.” Where can we … go after the show?
ISAAC: You mean to, like, a –
OLDER MAN: (leans in) — a gay club.
ISAAC: Ah, yes –
OLDER MAN: No offense intended, if you aren’t –
ISAAC: No, none taken; I am gay –
OLDER MAN: OK, whew.
ISAAC: I’m just not good at the clubs, really.
OLDER MAN: Guide us, we are helpless.
ISAAC: Are you looking to stay in this neighborhood?
(The older man nods.)
ISAAC: OK, well, hmm. There are a ton of places in Hells Kitchen. I’ve been to Industry and Therapy on 52nd, or there’s the 9th Avenue Saloon and Posh, those are supposed to be OK –
OLDER MAN: Do they have dancing?
ISAAC: Um? Maybe? I’ve seen people define the space around them as space in which dancing occurs.
OLDER MAN: Will I feel uncomfortable? I’m in my fifties and I’m not out.
ISAAC: Oh, well, see, I’m out, but I stay in, so you might not want to take my nightlife recommendations.
(Isaac hands the older man his tickets.)
OLDER MAN: We’re staying at the Element, and right next door is Hunk-O-Mania.
OLDER MAN: I read that they only allow women in, but the other night I watched a ton of men go in.
ISAAC: Well, maybe you should check out Hunk-O-Mania.
OLDER MAN: (small laugh) Perhaps. Sorry to trouble you.
ISAAC: Oh, it’s no trouble –
OLDER MAN: (overlapping) Thank you for your help. (waving with his ticket envelope) Thank you.
ISAAC: Enjoy your weekend with your friend.
OLDER MAN: We hope to.
I told myself I didn’t have a cupholder for it, but that shit is fresh. Hats off, Lena Dunham.
I was lucky enough to be invited to an Obama campaign event at Chelsea Piers the other week where I got to, you know, meet Michelle Obama and stuff:
She’s beautiful and she glows like a well-spoken sun. She looked me right in the eye and said that the campaign needed my help, could they count on it? I gay-gasped in her face, and cried a little on her hand, and she moved on. It was a moment I’m sure we will both cherish for years to come.
Micah and I went to see the Roundabout’s excellent revival of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger on Friday night. Sitting directly behind us was a young straight couple, and the male half made his displeasure known immediately: “Oh, man, they’re British?” he asked his girlfriend at full volume. “This is boring. Can we go?” She told him they could go at intermission, so at each scene change, as if willing it to happen, he’d say, “Intermission!”
“This is boring, let’s go, let’s go, I’m bored,” he kept saying. Finally, one of the characters said (and I paraphrase), “I heard from Helena,” and another said, “Helena who?” and the guy behind us said, “Helena Rigby!”
WHICH ISN’T EVEN THE NAME OF THE SONG.
Micah looked back at him, theater aficionado code for kindly shut up, you are not in your living room, and in response the guy said, “Faggot.” The air around us went dead. “What?” Micah asked, in disbelief. “You faggot,” the guy repeated, “turn and look at me again. Turn and look at me again and I’ll knock you out.”
Micah and I faced the stage, both in shock. Now, I’m terrible with confrontation. I much prefer an icy dinner party where, say, my uncle’s new girlfriend is being openly ignored by the entire family. Micah, on the other hand, fashions himself a gay sheriff and thrives on the thought of justice being served — I still chill at the memory of a heated interchange he had with the manager of a shady smoothie place – so I thought to myself, there’s going to be a fight, my glasses are going to get broken, and everyone in this theater is going to hear me scream for help and think an elderly woman’s husband needs a doctor.
The guy continued to rant to his girlfriend: “He takes it in the ass, but he turns and looks at me? Fuck that. Fuck that.” And he just kept going, emitting little angry blips every two minutes: “Fucking queer. (two minutes) Fucking snob.”
Finally they zipped up their coats and left. We allowed ourselves to breathe again and, for the first time in thirty minutes, paid attention to the play. We’d missed some really key contextual shading, and a whole new character was onstage (“Helena Rigby,” if you will), but to the production’s credit we were easily drawn back in. At intermission two adorable nearby straight guys informed us that they would’ve had our back had things escalated. Nice to know, and hopefully the girlfriends at their side, endeared by their mates’ modernity, rode them after with extra liberal arts vigor.
Two things in closing. First of all, taking it in the ass is extremely painful and therefore anyone who can withstand it is REALLY FUCKING TOUGH*. Second, I don’t know for a fact that one of the slurs he hurled was “snob.” It is, after all, a five-dollar word, and I’m pretty sure he spent his five dollars on tolls coming in through the Lincoln Tunnel.
* Except for me. I am not tough.
I’m off to the Middle of Nowhere, Ohio with my parents and brother to visit family, write my show, and count Bachmann bumper stickers. Maybe I’ll see a shirtless farmhand, and maybe he won’t beat me with a tire iron for taking a Hipstamatic picture of him with my phone. Safe and happy holidays to you all. Back in a week.
The MTA should have them on payroll — god knows they’ve got everyone else on. Also, swoon for the Alexander Skarsgård doppelgänger on saxophone.