June 28, 2018
After a long morning (CrossFit, followed by driving to Studio City to walk my friend’s dog) I head to the supermarket to get stuff for the week. There’s a guy at my local Sprouts who hangs out in the parking lot looking like he just barely escaped the rapture: He holds up his spray bottle and rag and says, “Wash yer winders?” One of these days I’ll take him up on it, but I never have cash.
Inside Sprouts I’m getting some looks, mainly from older people. This is normal. I’m wearing a striped onesie or “hoeveralls” that are basically backless and are the closest I can reasonably come to leaving the house naked. They do, however, put my top-surgery scars, and resultant genderless nipples, on full display. I don’t have an issue with this, but other people sure do. I pick out all the stuff I need and get out of there as quickly as possible. I keep my headphones on the entire time, which makes me “that asshole.”
At home, I buy my plane ticket for a residency I’m going to in September. It’s the one thing in my life I’m looking forward to, and without it, I think I’d be in danger of losing my mind. It’s not LA that’s the problem. It’s that when you’re working for yourself, you’re never “off.” Creative work doesn’t get a chance to have a regular, scheduled place in your life. Residencies are life-saving tools that everyone needs to take advantage of, because they basically say, “Hey, how about living rent-free in my weird hut in the middle of nowhere? You can do edits on that novel!” This hut in the middle of nowhere is in Montauk. I’ve never been there, so my points of reference are really just The Great Gatsby and that Sex and the City episode where Charlotte gets crabs.
It’s a big day, because I find that someone has uploaded the four-hour reconstructed cut of Greed to Vimeo. This movie is fucking great: it has everything you’d want in a movie, including shameful ethnic stereotypes and a murderous dentist in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. The book is written by one of my favorite authors. I avoid my other responsibilities (many) by watching about 30 minutes. My dog has been a jerk lately. This week alone he has destroyed half a door, a phone charger, a vibrator charger, and a space heater. I have to be on my shit about taking him to the dog park.
The dog park is actually hell. There people there aren’t actually terrible, but they’re a bit too precious about their dogs for my liking. Getting into a conversation about your dog just isn’t a fruitful exercise. After about three sentences, you’re going to hit a dead end and start actually having to get to know each other, which quite frankly I’m not interested in. Again, yes, I’m the asshole. I put on my headphones and listen to Michael Ian Black’s new podcast, where he reads from Jude the Obscure. It’s everything I never knew I wanted.
On the drive home, Charlie insists on sitting in my lap, which is dangerous. At the red lights I text my friend. Between Gchat, text, and phone we’re always in the middle of a long bitch session about how the world sucks and nobody can have a real conversation anymore because everyone’s a giant baby. I tell him what I really think: The internet is Rashomon. Everybody has a different story about what’s happening, and everybody thinks theirs is the right version. Nobody listens. The other day I watched Nanette, the Netflix-filmed version of Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up masterpiece, and it hasn’t left my head. She’s everything I’ve ever wanted to be: masculine, vulnerable, brilliant, and unafraid to be ragingly angry. But her story is a sad one, and everything she says about raising a child to feel coated in shame is true. When shame goes that deep, from the time you’re born, you never really stop hating yourself. Maybe that’s the issue I have with Pride, which has thankfully come and gone from LA. I’m more ashamed than happy about being queer, and that’s my issue to deal with, and even though technically I have a whole community to talk to about it, I feel totally alone in it. With something like that, it’s far easier to retreat into yourself than ask for help, and even if you were to ask for help, how would you ask for it? I always do the easy thing: I don’t ask for help. Instead, I watch movies I’ve seen a thousand times before and hope they will make me remember who I am.
My dinner is a testament to the fact that man needs nothing more than a toaster oven and a rice cooker to survive. I make German potato salad (potato salad with mustard instead of mayo, plus chives, white vinegar, and bacon.) If this sounds disgusting to you, I don’t know what to say. It’s magnificent. I pair it with couscous, naan, and a weird chicken salad thing (again, mustard, no mayo) composed of grilled chicken, mayo, scallions, dill, and Persian cucumbers. I “roast” green beans in the toaster. Eating my meal in front of Greed, and later, Glee, I feel smugly pleased with my stupid Robinson Crusoe life. I realize it’s got to change at some point, but I’m holding on as long as I can. To tell the truth, I don’t think my life is that much weirder than anyone else’s.