Back in the days of dorm rooms and keggers, when naked Colombians wandered the halls trolling for horny Insafemodes; back when straight roommates didn't want their in the closet but probably obviously gay roommates to walk in them during "special time" (generally third period); back when third period was a time for Latin Class, and did not mean you were dating a twelve year old girl; back when you just didn't feel like blowing the kid across the hall or helping him with his remedial math; back then there was a system. Each door had a crudely drawn map or a piece of construction paper with notes such as "In the room studying, do not disturb", "Decided to find out what my French teacher looked like...am actually at class", "Hockey practice" and other possibilities for where people were and what they were doing. This way you didn't have to waste your time knocking on the cute boy's door, begging for his sweet ass, because you knew he was rehearsing for some play that probably involved him wearing tights. This meant you had to go to your room and put a pin in the "Do Not Disturb" area of your map in order to go masturbate to the thought of the cute boy in tights.
I look back fondly on those times. Especially when I think of Fledge in tights.
Looking back on them fondly, however, does not mean I want to relive them. So when The Landlord casually mentioned that he'd like me to leave notes letting him know whether or not I was home, and where I would be if I wasn't home, I gave him the Spock eye. Apparently, I'm so quiet, that he's never certain if I'm home and if he'll disturb me. I pointed out that if I was disturbed I would cease to be quiet, come out of my room and say something. Still, he wanted the notes.
I debated using Post-It Notes and making various "In" "Out" "None of your fucken business, what are you a stalker?" statements for various occasions. I even debated carving the word here into the door with a question mark after it. There's your note, bucko.
I was just about to go out and buy a stack of Post-It Notes when I remembered the old map system. Ten points I could possibly be at, one pin. Here's what I came up with:
"Doing lines off a whore's ass. Please knock before entering. BYOC."
"The moaning you hear is just a TV show I'm watching. What sounds like a squeaking futon frame is a digital recording of dolphins talking. It helps me relax. I'm certainly not having sex in your house. Oh, and don't bother checking for the cute Colombian kid downstairs, he's uhhh...not there."
"It may sound like I'm home, but that's because you're a delusional control freak who hears things that aren't there. Don't worry, though, I'm not having a conversation with your therapist right now or anything."
"On streetcorner making rent"
"That smell isn't pot smoke, I'm not even home. What? Stop looking at the door like that. Don't even think about knocking! Hey, I said--"
"Out. But not all in your face about it."
"I spent all of last night/this morning on a Moonbounce with the Brazilian national college soccer team. If you even think about knocking before 8 PM, I'll have Max decapitate you with a swift kick of his soccer ball."
"Turn around. Sucker."
"In Fallujah fighting insurgent terrorists to make the world safe for Democracy, just like a Good Little American Patriot. I'm definitely not sleeping with your boyfriend at The Park Plaza hotel. That would be wrong."
"I'm just sitting on my desk waiting for YOU whoever YOU may be to come in. Don't bother knocking, just come in. I promise the rattlesnake waiting on the other side of the door has been defanged. He's really a sweet little snake. He loves to be punched, though. Why don't you punch him on your way in?"
Crush. Crush. Crush. Orange Crush. Grape Crush. High School Crush. Crushed Velvet. Crush from Demolition. Crush. Crush. Crush. I've had every sort of crush imaginable. Hot boys with no brains. Smart boys with no asses. Big dicked, boner-brained hipsters, hippies who've met every criteria associated with the word thick you can imagine, I've even crushed on dorks with overbites so big you could hang them from the Sears Tower by their upper jaw. Does anyone remember Strawberry Crush or Watermelon Crush? Back in the days of Fresca and Tab you could get any type of Crush you wanted. The options were...well...crushing. I've been all kinds of crushed. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, agnostically. I crush. You crush. We crush. I have been crushed.
The two people I've fallen hardest for, I haven't been able to write about. MAMIP and Liam. Liam was a pretty typical crush for me: cute nerd who everyone thinks is quiet, but is secretly a jaded neurotic type with a killer body and hot nerd tongue. Not that we ever kissed, but the ex-girlfriend who stole his virginity, then did the whole "I think I'm pregnant" routine with him TWICE when he tried to break up with her, she told me the things he could do with his tongue were amazing. Unfuck her for torturing me that way.
MAMIP was far from typical. Sweet, charming, sincere, honest, sexy. He has a voice that makes women (and ten percent of the guys) orgasm from fifty feet away just by saying the word "Oy." His Portuguese Oy has often caused me to give a Yiddish Oi. His voice. A man that hot, but so sweet and shy shouldn't have that kind of voice. He should have to talk through JAWS...with a lisp. But no, he's got Voice.
Imagine my pants splattering surprise when, after seven months of not talking to each other, he called me. When his name showed up on Caller ID, I dropped the phone on the sidewalk, then scrambled to pick it up, elbowing two old ladies, and a toddler with a clear learning disability. "Hey (let's for the fuck of it call him Mark) Marc!"
He had dialed the wrong number. "No, it's Safey."
"Oh, hey Safey. I'm sorry I was trying to dial someone else."
Imagine how disappointed I'd be if that's how the conversation had actually gone down. It didn't.
After seven months, I'd had all the silence I could take from him. So I called him when I KNEW he'd be at work. How did I know? Certainly not because I called his work first to find out if he was there. What kind of desperate psycho do you think I am? Surely not THAT kind.
When his voicemail picked up, I smoothly left him a message: "Oh, Marc, I'm sorry I was trying to call my friend Martin. Hey, I haven't talked to you in ages. I don't know what you've been up to lately, but I miss hanging out with you. Maybe I'll stop in and visit you at work one of these days. Happy Holidays."
Oh, yeah. I'm smoove like Smoove B. I combined my awkward lack of social skills, creative dishonesty, and free cell phone minutes into a looooooooooooooooove trap. And that's why I dropped the phone, and beat up a couple of septuagenarians and an infant to get at my cell.
"Hey, Marc, how are you?"
"I'm good." And the way he said good was just...soooo...gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood. It was twenty-someodd degrees and I was melting. "How are you?"
Well, I was, if not depressed, very much apathetic. No Internet access, I'm not fully moved out of my old place or into my new one. I've been couch surfing by request. A few nights with Zuzu, a few with Cali, now with Celeste. All in all this week has gone from not very good to wow, this is going to suck. Until the call.
I'd regale you with all the sensual details of our conversation, like how we're going to get together for coffee, even though neither of us drink coffee, but that sort of thing is boring. Instead I'll talk about all the sex we aren't going to have because he's probably still not out, and he lives with his close-knit family, and I now live with...
Ahhh, the new house.
The Landlord is The King of Signs. The door tells the mailman where to leave which letters. There's a sign on the bottom stair telling you to watch your step, and clean your feet. At the top of the steps, each bedroom door is marked with which roommate lives in the room. There wil be four of us, including the landlord. We certainly don't want to get all confused thinking someone lives in the wrong room. The kitchen tells you which glasses The Landlord would rather you use, as well as which spices go with which kind of food, and how long to dry each type of dish. Don't even ask about the full colored manual in the washing room. It has graphs. Plural. GraphS.
The first night that I crashed at my future house, there was a note telling me how to turn on the lights. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the sign because all the lights were out. This caused me to stumble into Roommate #1: The Frat Boy, who was stumbling drunkenly down the stairs. He gave the typical Frat Boy Mating Call "What the Fuck?" when he bumped into me. I introduced myself, he went to the bathroom, and then to bed. I haven't seen him since.
Roommate #2 is on The Real South Beach Diet. Pills. Many many many pills. Even Barry Bonds has called the house asking Roommate #2 to stop taking so many goddamned pills. It's freakish. The way he hunches over when he shuffles downstairs to smoke or take some pills. It's the only thing he leaves the house for: to get more pills from the pharmacy. Luckily, Roommate #2 will be gone in two weeks. I'm not sure who will be replacing him. Frat Boy will also be gone in the new year.
Roommate #3 is...I didn't get his name. He was talking to me for about ten minutes, but the entire time he was talking, all I was thinking was "pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty", which I'm pretty sure means he's straight.
Which beings us back to Marc, who isn't straught, but who plays one in his social groups. I've missed him like astronauts miss gravity. He wants to see my new place. In my mind this means we're going to fuck all day, fall in love, make beautiful Brazilian-Irish-American babies. But I know in his mind, he's just curious about where I live. I'm fairly pessimistically certain that he's incapable of loving me with the furor that I love him.
Next week, I'll be back in his orbit. He will pull every bone, muscle, and organ into a new alignment. I will be so atrophied that the gravity of his kiss will tear through my body, leaving me as a pile of bones on the carpet of my new place. Crushed. Again.
I've got about sixty pounds of books, paper, and an industrial strength stapler on my back; on my shoulder is a bag carrying a 1998 era Compaq Presario, a CD RW drive, and accompanying computer paraphernalia; in my left hand is a duffel bag filled with clothes, assorted art supplies, and a pillow. It's cold, and I'm wearing neither a hat nor gloves. As I say goodbye to Zuzu, to head into Boston, she remarks how cold it is. Because I am incredibly daft, I say "At least it's not sno" fuck "wing."
It could be worse. I could have said "at least I haven't tripped over a rock, and caught my balance just in time to get a face full of explosive diarrhea from a cow" or "at least I haven't been abducted by Ann Coulter and had video screens that play only Jennifer Lopez movies and Old Navy commercials implanted on the inside of my eyelids". At least I didn't say either of those thi---shit.
Fortunately, the snow had the approximate duration of the Nu-Metal craze.
My mission of the day was simple: write an Insafemode entry, buy black thread. I decided to tackle the thread issue first. I checked art stores, craft stores, goth stores (for all of your black needs), sewing stores, thread stores, spool stores, adult toy stores (my ADHD kicked in), and an urban clothing store called Black Threadz. Most misleading store name ever. There was no black thread to be found anywhere in Boston. I had to settle on Wilting Christmas Tree Green thread and hope it would match the project it was needed for. It did.
With thread in pocket, I headed out to meet Celeste for dinner. And, though the food we ate made us both a little ill, we did have a good time hanging out. She wanted me to recommend band names for her. Here is a partial list of the names she rejected:
Sad Cookie Jar
Soup for Breakfast
Sharpie Mustache and The Cockslappers
There was more that's happened since my last update, and most of it is interesting to live, not so interesting to read about. Once assorted guests leave my new place, I'll be heading over there to begin the move in process. In the nicewhile, I'm having fun visiting with various friends who I never get to spend much time with...and stealing their underwear.
The band geeks are discussing how one of them got a 98% in band even though all he did the entire semester was sit between the two most talented trombonists and copy their arm movements. "I never once played a single note unless I was asked to demonstrate something solo. When I inevitably screwed up, I told my teacher I didn't work well with pressure. So I ended up with an A in the class despite the fact that I can't even play my instrument at all."
The pretentious know-nothing is discussing why he didn't like the night's poetry event. "Poetry is meant to be read on a page. Performance is sooo unnecessary. Because poetry should be like music. And the people performing had a guitarist, which is music, but it's not the kind of music that I like, so it's not musical. And anyway, the dick with two belts just cried the whole time while the other guy wasn't being as subtle as poetry should be. Poetry is meant to be performed, and I felt like I should have had paper in front of me to understand what he was saying."
I'm on the phone with Nerdy Punk Rock Anime Hair who says "'I'm so bummed you haven't come and visited me. I'm hanging out with your friend Jud, and we're gonna go to this dance club in a few minutes, and I'm gonna get him drunk and let him fuck the hell out of me. What do you think of that?" And since I'm The Other Guy that the Know Nothing was talking about, and I wasn't in a very good mood to begin with, I tell him, honestly, "I'm not sure which one of you two to feel sorry for. You're both terrible in bed."
The guitarist is being smoked out by a trio of girls who haven't said much to me when I've stayed in their apartment. When they leave to go to The Dance Party (which turns out to be one semi-cute Latino guy playing bad reggae and not wearing a shirt), the Guitarist says "It's good to be in the band, everyone always smokes out the band. And since I am the entire band tonight, it's gonna be awesome. Did you see those girls? They think they're so much better than every one else who lives here. Especially the two conventionally pretty ones. They hang out with the fat girl because they think it makes them look hotter. But even though she's a snob and kind of a slut, the fat girl is much prettier than the other two will ever be."
I'm on my way up to the computer because, apart from the guitarist, there is no one downstairs yet that I want to hang out with. Asterisk (the dick with two belts), Ellen, Paula, Arthur, and all the other roommates who weren't cool enough to be part of the Snobs Smoking Out The Guitarist aren't back from the show yet. I'm nearly there when another girl I've never seen before says "I loved your show tonight." I give the obligatory thanks. "My brother has your CD on my computer." At first I'm flattered that her brother not only has my CD but has been playing it for his sister and saying how good it is. Then I remember I DON'T HAVE A CD. "My CD?" I ask. "Yea, my brother bought it in (location withheld until I raze it) from (name withheld until I pummel him into a little ball and kick him until he burns up in the atmosphere). It has the Math Poem that you did tonight, and five or six other tracks." So someone recorded one of my shows, and is selling it without my knowledge or permission for a profit. If I wasn't angry a minute ago....
After I've calmed down and written a fairly terse e-mail to Mr. Copyright Violation, I go back downstairs where everyone I wanted to hang out with has shown up, the Trio of Snobs has left as well as The Band Geeks (now who's the snob Mr. Mode?). Asterisk is telling me about this guy we both barely know who "has a cock only about average length but it's wide as" and here he takes his tall Pabst Blue Ribbon Can and fellates it. This is my cue to wander to another conversation.
Over on the couches, which I will dub The Cool Corner, people are talking about other poets who've crashed with them. Steggy's name comes up as another good feature. And someone says "The first time Steggy was here, he was being all cool and really touchy-feely, and drunk...definitely drunk. And he turns to someone and whispers in their ear and the person shouts out 'ARTHUR? BUT ARTHUR'S STRAIGHT' to which Steggy replies 'I'm so confused, I've never seen so many gay seeming straight guys in my life.'" Amen, Steggy, wherever you are.
At 1 AM, Asterisk decides he wants pizza. He lets us all know by screaming "PIZZA!!! I WANT PIZZA DAMNIT!!!" So, I go and get the number of the local pizza place, which is, naturally, closed, it being 1 AM. Domino's is open until 4 AM, however, so I begin asking for the number for Domino's. This gets all of the Politically Aware in a tizzy because the owner of Domino's supports the Pro-Life movement, so no one wants to support them. Whatever. Every corporation has owners or prominent members who have political values you're probably going to disagree with. Boycotting them for that is inane. If you want to boycott Domino's, boycott them because their pizza sucks.
An hour or so later the pizzas arrive. While we're sitting in the kitchen, munching on slices, Mustache Screwface (he wanted that nickname...don't ask) tells the story about how he lost one of his teeth during a stagefighting accident during a production of Cabaret. He says "I didn't really mind losing the tooth. It's kind of a manly thing to lose your tooth in a fight." "You didn't lose your tooth in a fight." I say "You lost it during a stage fight that was part of a musical. The only thing gayer would be if it got knocked out by a cock. Wait a second. Actually losing your tooth in a musical stage fight is gayer than losing a tooth to a cock. I could see how someone could lose a tooth while accidentally coming in contact with a cock. No one has ever accidentally been in a musical."
By about 3 AM, people start to head to their respective rooms. Astri follows a cute straight boy who doesn't even seem gay to his apartment. The guitarist and I each take a couch. Upstairs, Pretentious Know Nothing has returned to bashing on poetry, which he clearly has never been exposed to in his miserable, keg party existence. He is trying to impress some girl and make out with her. I know this because he's also discussed his "making out prowress". I envision him on stage between Arssssss and I, copying our hand movements and mouthing along with our poetry, hoping to get an A in Seducing Hampshire Students. I wish him all the luck in the world. And syphilis. I wish him syphilis, too.