Jerk-aholic

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Mallory Schlossberg is a writer and performer in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn, and blogs at www.schlossed-by-mallory.tumblr.com. You can follow her on twitter @ malloryschloss.

Me: I have to go after brunch. I have a lot to do. I have to work on my proposal, and I have to read a bunch of books for it.

Him: That makes sense. To compare it to?

Me: Yeah. I mean, but I like the book I’m reading now.

Him: Yeah.

Me: I’ve never had brunch before.

Him: What?

Me: I usually work on the weekends. And I never had somebody to have brunch with before.

Him: Well, baby, you’re havin’ brunch today!

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Him: So…what do you like to do in the summers?

Me: Um. . . I don’t know. I mean, last summer I worked on my show a lot. I did it twice.

Him: You don’t like, go to the beach?

Me: Well, I don’t know. The summer to me is just an extension of the rest of the year, except I’m wearing shorts. And I never really had anyone to go with. When I have free time, I take on projects, classes. I work on my show.

Him: I love going to the beach. I went to Fort Tilden last year.

Me: That’s the nude beach.

Him:  It is?

Me: Oh! That’s Vampire Weekend.

Him: It is?

Me: Yeah. I was supposed to see them in concert a few years ago, but I got the flu.

Him: They describe themselves as Upper West Side Soweto.

Me: Huh?

Him: Do you know what that is?

Me: No.

Him: It’s South African music. Upper West Side South African. That’s disgusting.

Me: Um, well, I like their music.

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 Him: So, there’s something that’s been bothering me.

Me: Yeah?

Him: All you ever talk about is work.

Me: What do you mean?

Him: Like. What your’e working on. Your proposal. Your show. Improv.  It’s like, all you do.

Me:  I mean… I don’t get paid to do what I love. So it doesn’t feel like work. And it’s what I love. It’s what I like to talk about.

Him: But I mean, earlier. You told me you were reading a book for your proposal. Why don’t you instead tell me what the book is about.

Me: Okay. It’s called “My Boyfriend Wrote A Book About Me.” It’s about this woman whose boyfriend wrote a book about her. And then she tells stories about her life post-break up. It’s funny.

Him: See! That’s a conversation! I’m reading a book (I tune out.)

Me: Oh. Wow. Really?

Him: Yeah. I’m enjoying it.

Me: I don’t always talk about work. I work a lot. But it’s not work. I’m bothered that you said that.

Him: Well, I did. And I was really worried about this, but then I saw you and I knew everything was going to be fine.

Me: I love what I do.

Him: And that’s great – but listen. I have passions, too. I moonlight as a video game designer.

Me:  I’m not here in New York to teach SAT prep. And you have to realize you met me at a weird time because of the holidays. It’s going to be different soon – I won’t be around as much. I’m a really busy person.

Him: But you do work a lot. And I don’t want it to be – you come home, I come home, we have dinner, and then we have sex. I mean, sex is great, but I’m not going to remember sex. I am going to remember a picnic. I like picnics. Olives, bread. I want to make memories. Go to the park. Go to that movie theater in Dumbo and get a six pack.

Me: I need to get a bike. Want to help me get one?

Him: YES! See, I love that you asked me that.

Me: I also need to get my library card. Wanna come with me?

Him: YES! See, I like this. Doing stuff together.

Me: I’ve never really had someone to do these things with. So I guess I don’t know what I like to do. Besides comedy and art stuff. I’m just not used to this sort of…

Him: Mallory. You’re writing a book about dating OkCupid boys. Now your’e dating a man. Things are different.

Me: I want to go dancing.

Him: Let’s go. Let me get your coat.

Me: (I see someone I know) Hi! How are you! (back to him) That’s someone I know from improv.

Him: Oh. Okay… Cool.

Me: I still don’t like what you said before.

Him: What? I was worried about something, and we talked about it, and I feel so much better about it now. Let’s go. (he takes out his iPhone) I want to take a picture of us and send it to my mom. (Click) Ah, came out too dark.

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photos, tri vo

guest edited by samuel lindeman.

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Faith

Myq, Julia, Eliot

Tri Vo

I know you’re stressed. I know you are. I’m sorry. I’m stressed too. We’re stressed.

It’s okay. We can talk about it. Big things are happening. It’s stressful.

They’re talking about us being maybe equal. That’s stressful. That’s confusing. Do we have the right to take that privilege? Are they just playing? Is it lip service? What does ‘gay’ mean? ‘Bi?’ ‘Lesbian?’ ‘Queer?’ ‘Trans?’ Are we ready for this?

I can’t say for sure. I’m stressed.

But I will not huddle in fear, waiting for the wind to blow. No, family. No. We deserve better.

You are my sisters. My brothers. My Others.

Maybe you were born with a penis, but you feel like a girl? Maybe you have a vagina, and you’re a boy? Fine with me. We’re family.

Here’s what I know:

Barack said, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well”

An American President, has never, ever, said that before. Never. Bill Clinton was a great man, but he wasn’t living in a time where he could say that. President Obama doesn’t have the same restrictions. He’s not the same man. Barack can say this is not right. He can say, you deserve better. Mister Obama is the right man for this job. He sees you.

Yes, Supreme Court. We already have our dignity. We already have our resolve. We need you to get on board. We hope you’re ready, liberals. We hope you’re ready conservatives. We hope you’re ready old fashioned bigots.

That’s what = means.

You are beautiful. They lied when they said you were a freak. They are the freaks. You are perfect. They are the sinners. They are saving face, at this point. This is a stressful time.

I hear you. I see you, siblings. But what can we do? We can have what religious people have always had. Faith.

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But we are tender. We are sad. We are joyful, and oppressed, and kind. We are angry, and silly. We are growing ranks. We are siblings. We are legion.

We are side by side, siblings. We are strong.

They are afraid of us. We are all together singing in harmony and we will be heard. They will hear us because there are now too many brave men and women and transfolk to ignore.

They were unkind, for thousands of years. They will try to act like it was a small clerical error. Yes. They will.

We must allow this. It is hard to swallow, but we must let them save face.

Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Why do we have to?  Why do we have to show them love? Because.

If we want equality, we have to show them love. That isn’t the hardest thing. It’s so human.

We must have faith. We must conduct ourselves with decorum. There will be times when you don’t have faith. There will be times when it seems like the bigots always win. Those are the times when you turn to your brothers and sisters and ask to borrow some faith. If they don’t have any, you can borrow some of mine.

I see you. They see you. We all see you there, suffering and inequal. And we won’t tolerate it much longer.

Things are going to change. Things have already changed. We see each other now. They see us.

We have arrived.

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L.A. Story #3: Where’s Your Voice?

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Him: It’s steep. I told you not to wear Converse, Michael.

Me: Eh. I’ve hiked the Adirondack trail in Converse. I bet I’ll be fine.

Him: I forgot to tell you how steep it is. Where’s my car?

Me: I don’t know?

Him: I took a photo of the street signs. It’s okay. I know how to find it. Don’t worry so much?

Me: I wasn’t – Fischer –

Him: I’ve been here for 6 weeks, Michael I know how to get around.

Me: Okay.

Him: Don’t walk over there! It’s really steep! What if someone came up and pushed you?

Me: I’m four feet away from the edge. Also, if someone pushed me that person would be a murderous sociopath. I prefer the company of narcissistic sociopaths, personally.

Him: This is way deeper than it needs to be. Look at the canyon!

Me: I’m looking. It’s beautiful.

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Him: Look around – do you see any recognizable faces?

Me: Yeah. Everyone sort of looks like everyone else. Part of that is conformity, probably. Part of that is surgery, probably.

Him: Do you know that to be true?

Me: I’ve been in town four days, three of which I was sequestered by Network.

Him: So you’re just making blind assumptions.

Me: I’m just making jokes.

Him: Well, people could be listening.

Me: Good. I think my jokes are funny, sometimes.  Maybe they’ll give me a dollar? You’ve only been here three weeks, by the way.

Him: Doesn’t mean I’m not careful what I say and when.

Me: Let’s yell really loud into the canyon and listen for the echo.

Him: OMG no! Is that Aubrey Plaza?

Me: No. Aubrey is prettier than her. Also, she’s gabbing away. Aubrey listens and judges.

Him: How do you know?

Me: I might’ve been on an improv team with her, once upon a time.

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Him: REALLY?

Me: Who can remember? Ancient history.

Him: Introduce me to her!

Me: She’s not here! But that’s Gus Van Sant.

Him: Let’s get a photo with him.

Me: I’m joking. That’s not him. He lives in Williamsburg. That’s a Pilates instructor that takes screenwriting classes on Thursday afternoons.

Him: Michael, people could be listening to you!

Me: They should be listening to you. Are you singing?

Him: I don’t sing anymore. I want to write television and that’s the only thing I care about.

Me: You have a lovely voice. Frank and I had our eye on you. You probably would have made a team.

Him: You’re not my teacher anymore, Michael. This is Los Angeles.

Me: Yes.

(pause)

Me: It certainly is, Fischer.

(pause)

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Me: Even at Peg’s apartment you wouldn’t sing. Even just in front of the dogs.

Him: I don’t know about my voice. It has problems.

Me: It’s a legit musical theater voice. You have a great voice. I want to hear you sing my songs.

Him: Could we make money selling songs?

Me: We certainly could.

Him: How’s that done?

Me: I imagine you go over to Gaga’s house and sing her a song you wrote on your uke.

Him: That’s too twee. Also she writes her own.

Me: That’s true. Gaga has actual writing talent. But quite a few pop stars don’t.

Him: People could be listening.

Me: Fischer.

Him: What?

Me: You’re my friend.

Him: So?

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Me: So, I know this is L.A. but let’s just pretend this is New York, for a sec? Let’s just pretend, Fischer, that it’s totally okay to just talk without getting incredibly paranoid Stephen Spielberg might be listening to us. He has bigger problems than two homos talking philosophy. Trust me.

Him: It’s not the type of conversation you have on Runyon Canyon.  I think that’s Omarosa.

Me: It’s not. It’s Michelle Obama.

Him: Really?!

Me: Who cares?!

(pause)

Me: I think it’s Serena. No – Beyonce. No – Miley. It’s Miley.

Him: Don’t walk so close to the edge!

Me: Why did you stop singing? Where’s your lovely voice, Fischer?

Him: I don’t. I don’t want to perform.

Me: If you want to sell a song, you gotta sing a song.

Him: I just want to write.

Me: All the best comedy writers I know perform all the time.

Him: I don’t have to. Don’t walk so close to the edge!

Me: You’re right. I’m going to run the rest of the way.

Him: What? Why?!

Me: We have to remind ourselves to do brave things, sometimes, Fischer. Otherwise we wind up moving to Hollywood with a beautiful voice – and then become too shy to even sing.

Him: What? Stop! Don’t!

Me: See you at the bottom of the canyonnnnnnnnn!

(I run away, singing, and flailing my arms. Fischer looks mortified. Paris Hilton is amused, then annoyed. Also, she wasn’t there at all.)

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Piefolk Salon Party

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Once or twice a month we have a salon party. I invite notable New Yorkers over to my place and we bake and podcast in the afternoon. Then, we serve the pies to our guests that evening. Artists, singers, poets, comics, essayists – storytellers of all types are invited. It’s a big hearted affair.

video by naruki kukita

It used to be ‘gay men only.’ But, I’m expanding the mission statement. Lesbians, trans folk, cis-boys and girls, straights, bulldykes, bears, otters, radical faeries, log cabin republicans, and homos. Anyone feeling a little ‘queer’ that day can come share, as long as you’re willing to play nice, show some kindness, and make our hearts shine.

Straight boys can expect some light hazing.

Big thanks to Naruki for this surprise video.

Love for all you boys and girls. And gurls.

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naruki kukita

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L.A. Story #2: Take Your Time

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Hand Made Whipped Marshmallow Ganache with Graham Cracker Crust – by Jocelyn Guest

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Me: Tao Yan! Thanks for answering! You sound so pretty.

Him: Oh, brother.

Me: You do!

Him: People don’t sound pretty.

Me: You do. I love your voice. I can picture you in my head, now. I was forgetting what your face looked like – scary. Now it’s so clear in my mind. You’re the prettiest guy I ever…

Him: Michael. Please don’t –

Me:  See, now, see – thing is, I’ve had a lot of time to think, and I think we should just think about that fight as an accident, right? Like an emotional accident. Forgive and forget, right?

(long pause)

Him: I can’t do that.

Me: Stop. I forgave you the next day. It’s not the first time a boyfriend has Sherlock Holmes’ed my phone.

Him: Sherlock Holmes’ed?

Me: When you look through someone’s phone. Because Sherlock Holmes is always looking for clues and schmausing around where he wasn’t invited.

(long pause.)

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Me: I already forgave you for that. We’ve all read Anne Frank’s diary, after all. It’s the modern equivalent.

(long pause)

Him: …….. yay….   you made a joke…..

(long pause)

Me: Come home?

Him: You’re not even home. You ran away to L.A.

Me: It was a job interview! They had me sequestered in a hotel for three days and wouldn’t let me talk to other people. It was bizarre and kind of scary. I missed you the whole time.

Him: You fucked that guy, and you told me you didn’t.

Me: No. I didn’t.

Him: Yes you did.

Me: I didn’t.

Him: Yesyoufuckingdid!

Me: NO. I forgot to mention the awkward-grope-of-a-non-fuck we had. It was late, and we’d both been socializing a lot that night. Boners were hard to come by. It was more like rolling around.

Him: The rule was you have to tell me everything.

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Me: Untrue. Stop grandstanding. I love you. Please, just let it go and love me back?

Him: You were supposed to tell me everything!

Me: According to what conversation? We talked about this a million times and set forth a million ways for it to work! You said you’d want to know every single detail, and I thought a kiss-and-tell model would be un-weildy.

Him: And look what happened. You’re gone, and I’m dealing with your mess.

Me: Stop it. We had an STD scare. Stop making it a huge thing. Seriously. I’ve been a fag for 20 years. This is level 3 panic mode. You’re giving me a 9.

Him: You hurt me!

Me: You don’t know this, because I was busy calling you a thief, and a liar, and just generally awful the night I found out you betrayed my trust – but me and Kyle didn’t even have sex.

(pause)

Me: Sorry. The word ‘betray’ sounds biblical. You just had a lapse of judgement, probs.

(long pause)

Me: You read what you read, Sherlock. You think you know what went down? Judge, jury, executioner?

(pause)

Me: I didn’t fuck him.

(long pause)

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Me: We were tipsy. We could barely even get our clothes off. It was a mistake.

Him: I told you about Skinny Guy, and you told me about Montreal Jimmy.

Me: And we had a threesome with Art World Guy, don’t forget.

Him: Exactly. Things were getting out of control.

Me: Stop. That’s your fear talking. That’s not so much indiscretion. I fucked up cause I didn’t tell you about one thing that was ultimately a debacle. You’re using this as an excuse to try to leave me because you feel abandoned. I’m coming back in a week, whether I book this gig or not.

Him: This won’t work for me. You don’t believe in monogamy.

Me: Maybe I don’t, but I believe in you and me.

Him: What’s that supposed to mean?

Me: It means I’d be monogamous for you, if you wanted to settle down. Pay a mortgage. Grab a foster kid and see if we’re good dads? Start a business?

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(long pause)

Me: We have a few weeks until March 1st. Will you think about it?

(long pause)

Me: You’re the first person I’ve been able to give my heart to in a long time. This is awful, being away from you, having you break my heart when I’m trying to book the best gig of my life. Just come home.

(long pause)

Me: Will you think about it at least? I need you on my side. I love you so hard. All this bickering lately will settle down once we live together. I’ve been through this phase of a relationship before.

(long pause)

Me: Think about it?

(long pause)

Him: Okay.

Me: Take your time. I’ll be home soon.

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Barbara Mensch

South Street

Lately I’ve been fascinated with the South Street Seaport. I’m a big reader, so when I picked up this book I was drawn in immediately by the historic and architectural richness of the area. The seaport is an enigma, of sorts – traditionally tied to the Fulton Street Fish Market, commerce, industry, and even organized crime.

I’m also getting fascinated with the author of the book. It would seem that Barbara is more than just a writer. Indeed, she’s been exhibiting her photography for decades in Manhattan galleries.

Here’s just one of the images from her site. Check her out. This book is riveting, as are the photographs she presents. It’s worth a look.

Vinny An Unloader

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The Last of It

That’s the last of it, probably, right?

Winter’s loosening it’s grip.

It’s not over, but you can feel it in the air.  It’s almost over.

There’s still a chill, here , in my kitchen. Winter’s hooks are still right outside the window.   I haven’t yet taken my shoes off from outside, for fear my feet would suffer. They take much longer to warm up, now that I’m older.

I’ve been thinking about the internet a lot lately. I’ve had some real, vitriolic haters emerge. Don’t get me wrong — there’s been much much more support and kindness, but a few nasty jerks have reared their heads, too. I’ve gained a lot a friends and lost a few.

That’s to be expected, I guess. But I’ve been thinking about the internet. Hey folks? What if we’re on the verge of something great here? What if we’re on the precipice of a huge leap forward for humankind? Hear me out on this:

What if humanity is about to move to a more golden age?  Dictatorships are toppling across the Middle East.  The democratic murmurs arise from a new, powerful middle class in China.  The stirrings of a new type of human experience?

But you understand what I’m driving at.

You do. You get it. Because you’re kind, and I see you. I see you.

We’re at that golden age we always dreamed of. All we need is a few more dictators to fall, a few more people to open their hearts, and a few more women elected in the senate.  Seriously. They’re under represented. Gays too. Get on board gays, ladies, and gay ladies.

Yes, I’m telling Ellen to run for office.

I always thought of the internet as a human scream – the loudest ever heard.

What if that scream is just a symptom of its infancy?

What if it mellows out into a deep hum?  What if we take that hum and build off it, until it rises?

Mighty and mature.

A heavenly chorus of voices.  All singing at once.  What if we become heaven?  What if we all become the horizon?

John Paul Sartre said in his play No Exit:

“Hell is other people.”

If that’s true, then the opposite is also true, right? Heaven must also be other people.

That’s a story we could write, together.

We could. We could write that story. If we were all together.

The internet is in its infancy, still. It’s helping to trigger revolutions. Not just political ones;  economic and social ones.  Look.

Look at us.

Humanity – we’ve arrived.

We have.

It’s anybody’s game now.

Tell your story, brothers and sisters. Tell it loud.

And, tell it proud.

Let’s make some music.

“Side By Side. All Together; In Harmony.”

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