The Heroin Addict’s Wife

I’m sorry I didn’t text you back. A walk sounded nice, and if I’m being honest the weather was absolutely perfect for it. Right after sunset. Right between the day’s heat and the night’s chill. I couldn’t really find the energy for it, somehow. At the time I was driving past a thick, imperious column of smoke on the 105 – a textile factory caught ablaze in Lynwood.

I spent the morning glued to Facebook – so many women coming forward with testimonials about assault, abuse, rampant misogyny in show business, and also a friend posted about National Coming Out Day in a poignant, cogent way. He used to capitulate to homophobic banter in an effort to hurry it along, to move past it with blushing self-consciousness, to bury it. The eye contact he would make with women afterward. Conspiratorial acknowledgement of a darker, unsaid truth between them. Mutual ill feelings creeping up spines – forcing laughter together at homophobic jokes or hyper-masculine energy that, unchallenged, goes way too far. A shameful, empty feeling as one contributes to one’s own subtle oppression. Awfulness.

I’ve been incommunicado and that’s nearly unforgivable. I was billing hours at Renata’s house. She, a budding, bubbling teenage girl, just coming into her own special, savage power. A bright light, affable, funny, outgoing. A charmer.

I would have answered your FaceTime request, but there was apocalyptic traffic today. Google maps showed a red line all the way past the downtown area, and I was suddenly overtaken with a taxing, almost leaden exhaustion. Nearly falling asleep at the wheel, I pulled off near Rosecrans into a 7/11 parking lot, parking in a sliver of shade beneath a billboard advertizing the Hustler Casino. Liz Flynt encouraging people to “Play Harder.”

I got the Snapchat ping – you sent me a short video, but I didn’t get a chance to look at it before it went away.

The 7/11, the angry plume of smoke rising like a bomb blast, blotting out the distant horizon. Barely able to keep my eyes open, I eased the seat back. For a while I thought sleep would overtake me. Strange, absurd visions – fantasies played out before my darkened eyelids. I couldn’t let go of sweet Renata, of the sour smell she lives in. The rankness. Inky, dark, tar-like paths cut through her apartment’s wall-to-wall carpeting. Years of oily, dirty feet tracking filth – grinding it down. Let’s be honest, if you steam cleaned that carpet you’d regret it for a week – the smell would send folks running for the hills.

I got your follow-up text. I’ll read and respond, I promise.

Renata in my mind, bringing consciousness back. Padlocks on the doors, the colony of ants, unchecked, unfettered in the bathroom, the mini fridges in each of their rooms  guarding the spoils of their monthly CalFresh benefits. Her father, moaning and shouting in the next room, (Is he drunk; it’s the middle of the afternoon?!) unintelligible even to Renata herself. She doesn’t mind. She’s glowing.

She loves when I visit, she says; I remind her of The Great Gatsby.

I saw your shout out on Twitter and I blushed at the compliment, thank you. I owe you a few likes and maybe even a re-tweet –  it’s just at that particular moment I was reclining in the 7/11 parking lot and trying to nap during an early rush hour, and it all came over me at once. The reality of Renata’s situation. Her low probability of succeeding her way out. The generational poverty morass she was born into – a life lived next to the steaming churn of a factory down by the harbor. The lowness. The squalor.

Hot, salt tears splashed suddenly, my body wracked with spasms. A gasp. A stone sewn into my heart, my gut shook to pieces. The slow tick of the Toyota engine in the heat of the cracked asphalt parking lot.

Your WeChat message came through, darling, but I was baking in the desert sun, prosessing, purging. There was a time I prided myself on having “integrity of communication.” I responded to every email. Answered every single text. I’m sorry, but I’m just not that person anymore. That isn’t me.

This afternoon, as Renata and I were trying to cobble together an outfit to wear to her job interview, there was a rapping at the window. A wizened, crone-like woman, seemingly carved out of driftwood, tapped away at the thin, sliding windowpane. Oh, Renata said, smiling with a shrug, that’s the heroin addict’s wife. She pays my dad 100 bucks a month to park her van in the back yard. She lives back there with her husband. Renata slid the window open. The heroin addict’s wife wanted to charge her iPad.

I rejected all your calls and powered my phone down. I sobbed and squeezed out all of today’s terror into a compact Japanese car in a 7/11 parking lot.

Forgive me, I  whispered into my black, sleeping iPhone.

Forgive me, I haven’t been myself lately.

-3

MonDATE: Bisexuals, and the Right to Privacy – Part One

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Him: Hello, are you Michael?

Me: Yes. You’re Sam?

Him: Yes. Hi. Nice to meet you.

Me: You too, Sam, I like your shirt.

Him: It’s Hollister.

Me: I like it anyway. Wanna take a walk?

Him: A walk? That sounds so weird and creepy, in the middle of the night.

Me: Is it? I just don’t really want to go drink right now. I’m trying to shed the winter layer.

Him: But isn’t a bar… Safer, somehow?

Me: We can stick to Colorado – it’s well lit. I’ll try to resist the urge to take you to a park and chop you into small pieces.

Him: That’s what I meant when I said weird and creepy!

Me: Let’s operate off the assumption neither of us is a murderous sociopath?

Him: You don’t seem like a sociopath to me.

Me: Thanks, man! I like your attitude!

(We walk for a while, chatting. I find out things about him. He’s in medical school. He’s into extreme sports, hiking, and surfing. He seems nice enough, and he’s no dummy. He’s read most of Kurt Vonnegut, so he gets points.)

Him: So, I guess you’re wondering why I’ve contacted you?

Me: I guess I am, now that you mention.

Him: I wanted to ask you a question. Do you mind if I ask a personal question?

Me: No, I guess not, as long as you don’t mind not getting a full answer, depending on the question.

Him: Haha, fair. Fair enough.

Me: What’s the question?

Him: Well, I have a few questions. Firstly, are you bi-sexual? I read your site for a long time and I always assumed you were gay, but now you’re married to a woman, and what’s the deal? Is she a lesbian? Does she need a green card, or whatever?

Me: Oh wow. I thought personal question meant something like ‘boxers or briefs?’

Him: No. You clearly wear briefs. I’ve seen your Instagram.

Me: Fair enough.

Him: Are you bisexual?

Me: Let me ask you a question. I’ll answer yours, but let me do the rudest thing and follow up a question with another question. Does it matter?

Him: What?

Me: Does it matter? The difference between me being Gay or Bi? Or even straight?

Him: What do you mean? Of course it matters. Of course .

Me: How so?

(There is a pause. He looks confused.)

Him: Do you realize, I’ve read you for years?

Me: No, I usually go into these meetings pretty blind. When I meet with people it’s much more likely they’ve lurked or stalked me, whereas I might only have a brief email and a fuzzy photo to go on.

Him: But how can you do this? You talked about Gay dating, alienation and minority rights for years. How do you just get to marry a woman and continue on like nothing happened?

Me: Because nothing happened. I got married. It was pretty important to me, in the scope of my life, but in the grand scheme of human events, it’s not even a blip on the radar. It’s just a marriage. Most people do it at least once.

Him: But why a woman? Are you Bisexual?

Me: Again, I don’t see how that matters. It’s clear that I’m definitely a member of the LGBTQ community. Right? And, consider this: you haven’t told me your sexuality, yet you seem to think it’s fine to pry about mine and my wife’s?

Him: I’m Bi.

Me: Okay, good. I’m Queer.

Him: What does that mean? In what sense?

Me: It means I am as Gay as Kurt Cobain.

Him: What about your wife?

Me: She’s whatever she is.

Him: Stop. This is frustrating.

Me: This is nobody’s business. One of the perks of marriage is people stop prying about who does what, when, with whom, and how.

Him: But I’m curious!

Me: Well, that’s flattering. Are you openly Bi?

Him: What?

Me: Do people know you’re Bisexual?

Him: Some people do.

Me: Your family?

Him: No. My brother knows, I think, but by and large, no.

Me: Your work friends?

Him: No. I don’t want them thinking I’m weird, or off.

Me: Your friends from school?

Him: No.

Me: So, pretty much, just the people you have sex with.

Him: You make it sound sad.

Me: No, you make it sound sad. You’re the one who made those choices.

Him: It’s just what happened. I’m a victim of circumstance.

Me: You’re what? 28? 27?

Him: I’m 30 this year.

Me: Okay, well, welcome to the club. I’m going to say something, and I hope you don’t get offended.

Him: Are you going to call me a Jerk?

Me: I don’t do that anymore, Jerk. Just kidding. No, just this: There’s no such thing as a victim of circumstance. Not really. I believe life is a series of choices. It’s in the art of choosing we discover what kind of man or woman we become. If you don’t like your circumstances you have a right to make a different choice. It might be more difficult to make a courageous choice. It might, in fact, be stupid to make a courageous choice. It might make your life more of a struggle to make an honest choice, or to have enough integrity to look your family in the eye and say, here’s what I am – here’s how I was born and here’s the way things are for me. I’m sorry you feel differently about how I should live my life, but then again, my life is the only thing that is arguably entirely mine – and I’m the one who has to live it.

Him: What’s that have to do with the way the world is?

Me: To say you’re a victim of circumstance is a bit misleading when you’re the one creating your own reality.

Him: That’s arrogant. That’s incredibly arrogant, and I knew you’d say something like that. I knew you’d come up with a way to make me being down low about my sexuality my fault. My sexuality doesn’t define who I am anymore than my liking baseball defines who I am. Why do I have to make a huge issue of who I’m sleeping with? Doesn’t my mother deserve a good birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving without me ruining everything by talking about sex with dudes? Why are people so obsessed with where I’m putting my penis? It’s nobody’s business.

Me: And yet, you’re so very obsessed with where I’m putting mine.

(There is a long pause. He starts to speak, then stops, then looks confused.)

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

Letters

2013-04-30 16.00.12

We are commenting on this blog post: https://piefolk.net/2012/01/12/rice-queen/

This blog post gives an introduction to the “rice queen” term and identity, which is used predominantly to describe white gay men who are primarily attracted to Asian men. The blog post outlines a conversation that Michael Martin has with an older fellow, and illuminates the problematic that exists in the fetishization that is inherent with the “rice queen” moniker. The fellow that Michael converses with frequently reduces entire national and racialized identities into a few characteristics, and denies the complexities that these folks have as human beings. Additionally, Michael Martin comments on the imperial aspects of what many “rice queens” do: travel to Asia in search of cheap sex workers.

In this blog post, Michael does nothing to combat the overt racism that his conversation partner is spewing, but rather voices his discomfort with the rampant racism being perpetuated in the conversation. Though the blog post breaches the “rice queen” topic and label, Michael does not begin to implicate his admitted dominant attraction to Asian men in this system. He seeks not to deconstruct his own location in a racial hierarchy and the imbalance of power in his own relationships with Asian men, but merely frames the fellow whom he is having the conversation with as the evil person, and upholds himself as the one that recognizes and stands against racism.

This blog post speaks to the fetishization of coloured and racialized bodies, which, while deemed disgusting, undesirable and ugly by dominant white society, is also positioned as being for the purpose of white sexual consumption when it is so desired. 

Anonymous 

Hi. Thanks for writing. “We” who? Are you the Borg or something? Also, why would you refer to me in the third person? Creepy. Okay:

I don’t think it’s my job to combat racism in America, but I do write about things that happen to me. Conversations I have, etc.

I’m not responsible for racism in the gay community, or in the world at large. I have a blog that is well attended, and I do my best to remind gay people to play nice with each other. Ultimately, however, the blog is just my outlet to process my own feelings of alienation. I’m a member of an oppressed minority who has not yet garnered its civil rights. Let me say that again. Gay people have not yet garnered legal equality in the United States. That makes us (and trans, or gender queer people) the bottom rung of the civil rights ladder. If I feel like processing an awkward, but polite conversation I had with an older person from a more racist generation – that’s what I’ll do. And I’ll do it online to call attention to the issue.

I am not ‘required’ to start a shouting match with an old gay man who just wants to cuddle with someone on a Friday night. I have respect for people, even racist people. If anything, I’m interested in hearing his perspective, because it’s so foreign to me. It makes me feel good that society might be slightly different now than when he was my age.

I’m not interested in ‘getting my head in the right place,’ if that means people from one oppressed minority are attacking people from another oppressed minority. I don’t quite think I deserve a kick in the nuts for talking about racial politics on my blog. I think calling attention to the issue is valuable for its own sake, and I won’t change my format or apologize.

People seem to be uncomfortable that I’m eroticizing Asian men on my blog. Too bad. It’s about time we as a society started looking at Asian men as sex symbols. There are very few Asian male sex symbols in the media today, though things are slowly changing. I don’t think I’m helping make great strides in racial politics, but then again I’m just a comic. I say what’s on my mind and some people listen. I’m grateful, and on a good day, humble.

I do think it would be useful if you folks went after straight white people, instead of a working class gay guy, but that’s your prerogative. Enjoy complaining to your friends about my blog, and as always, thanks for reading!

Michael

2013-04-30 15.31.19

Passive Aggressive, Part 1

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Sponsored by Girbaud

Him: Don’t involve me in that ever again.

Me: Excuse me?

Him: You heard me. I don’t want to be part of your circus. I don’t care to sit there while you open a bank account, on a day when we’ve planned to meet for a picnic. You’ve been extremely passive agressive today and I don’t want to be part of whatever game it is you’re playing.

(long pause)

Me: Well… It’s a nice day, and we finally made it to the park. Eat your sandwich, maybe, and you won’t be hangry anymore?

(long pause. we eat. i start to play ukulele.)

Me: Hey, we wrote this song together. Do you remember writing this song?

Him: Yes.

(pause)

Me: Right. We wrote it. Where were we?

(pause)

Me: You don’t remember? We were at your apartment in Cobble Hill. I was complaining about your tendency to hoard things – it’s a real fire hazzard, and I’d twisted my ankle in the clothing/furniture/old paper maze to your bed. It was hot and you had rigged up a ‘fan contraption,’ remember?

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Him: It was two fans working in tandem to circulate the air.

Me: That’s right! I was asking about American Hwangap at the Magic Theater. You said you’d written a chord progression for the end of the show, remember?

(pause)

Me: I said we owed it to Thin Skin Jonny to turn it into a song. Surely you remember?

(pause. i start singing.)

If I said more often,

How good you look…

In the morning time, boy

Wouldn’t that have been fine?

If I told you,

How good you cook

You make your own beef jerky.

Who makes their own beef jerky?

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Would you let me stay?

Would you let me stay?

Hey hey hey.

Would you let me stay?

Ah haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…..

 

And if I said I’m sorry,

For all the fighting last December,

Would you say, It’s okay –

As far as you remember

If I said I was a lonely boy

Who really really misses you

Can I be the only boy who

Gets to hug and kiss you…

 

I wanna be the only boy-

Would you let me st-

Him: That’s enough.

(pause)

2013-04-30 15.33.05

Me: I’ll stop singing that song, but not because you told me to.

Him: Michael, I’ve moved beyond this. I have completed my grief cycle. I’ve come out the other side a better man.

Me: And I kept singing the songs that made us feel immortal. What’s your point?

Him: You can’t hold on to love for too long. It will burden you. It will anchor you down.

Me: Oh really? I was thinking the opposite. I was thinking that I’m a writer. I’m a songwriter. I’m a playwright. I write comedy for television and star in sketch shows. I was thinking I might keep singing my songs, because you know what? People are buying them now.

(pause)

Do you want writing credit for this, or no? Because I don’t want to deal with a lawsuit later on.

Him: You’re ridiculous and passive agressive to the nth degree and I’m not your boyfriend any longer. I don’t have to put up with it.

Me: Oh. No. You did not. Gurl, you better hold my gold.

Him: You have to let this go.

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Me: No, I don’t. You’re not my boyfriend anymore and I don’t have to put up with you telling me what to do. I can love whomever I want. I can keep loving you, Norman. I can love Carson, too. I can love Andrew forever too, if I want to. I don’t have to do what you tell me to do. How’s that for passive aggressive? Or was that just agressive?

(pause. i play more uke.)

So if I do all the laundry…

If I go and buy all the paper towels,

Will you rent a hall?

Will you write some wedding vows?

If I pick up all my dirty socks.

If I go and put back the toothpaste cap,

When our kid has chicken pox

Will you pick up a midnight snack?

 

And would you let me stay?

Would you let me stay?

Hey hey hey? Hey.

Would you let me stay?

Ah Haaaaaaaaaaaa ah.

2013-04-30 15.58.01

 

Maybe I’ll change?

Maybe I’ll change.

Maybe I’ll look at myself

I’ll re-arrange things when I change

Ah Haaaaaaaaaaaaa ah.

 

I just realized,

When I saw your eyes.

I don’t want to… Stay….  

2013-04-30 16.00.12

 

To Be Continued…

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-3

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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Starbucks: Part One

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Him: Let’s grab a coffee. Oh, ew, nevermind.

Me: What?

Him: It’s not Intelligensia.

Me: Oh yeah. I’ve read that name a lot. What’s Intelligensia? It sounds like a philosophy about fair labor practices, or something.

Him: Um, I don’t know about that. I just know that Intelligensia coffees are fresh roasted daily in vintage German roasters. This is a Starbucks. That’s not the same thing.

Me: It’s not, but it’s New York in February.

(long pause)

Him: Okay fine, but I’ll get a tea. I’m kind of a coffee snob.

Me: That’s becoming clear.

Him: Oh, sorry. We don’t all have blogs about progressive gay thought.

Me: Don’t apologize. Some of us are coffee snobs. That’s cool. It takes a village.

Him: What?

Me: It’s a saying. “It takes a village to raise a child.” Although I might amend that statement so say “It takes a village of gays to raise a child right.”

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Him: Ew. Gays don’t want children.

Me: Ew. Yes they do.

Him: Ew. Who told you that?

Me: Ew.

Him: Ew, what?

Me: Just ew we keep saying ew.

Him: Who told you that gays want children?

Me: I guess I told myself that.

Him: Sounds so heteronormative. No thanks.

Me: No thanks?

Him: I don’t want to live in a world where gays want to have children. Why should we emulate the behavior of people who oppress us and treat us like there’s some sort of sex hierarchy, where their sex is perfectly normal, and in fact wonderful, and our sex is shameful and dirty?

Me: That’s a good point. We shouldn’t emulate that sort of behavior. But what does that have to do with having children?

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Him: To want to raise children is to support the narrative of that sexual hierarchy. That’s how their sex is so pure and gentle, because it leads them to their precious children. Meanwhile, we keep having sex for the fun of it, because it’s all we can do, and they label us as ‘forever adolescent.’

Me: I think they’re just jealous. How’s the tea?

Him: It’s mundane. Starbucks Chai. I’ve been there, done that.

Me: So, how –

Him: It’s trite.

Me: I get it. I get that you don’t like Starbucks. I actually really like the coffee here.

Him: Ew.

Me: Ew. So, wait. Can I ask you a question?

Him: Okay.

Me: What about adopting? Doesn’t that not-support the heteronormative paradigm?

Him: Wow that’s terrible grammar.

Me: Ew.

Him: Ew what?

Me: Correcting grammar in an interesting conversation.

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Him: Oh. You think this is interesting. That’s cute. Okay. No. It doesn’t not-support the heteronormative paradigm.

Me: Why’s that?

Him: They’ve been using us for thousands of years to clean up their messes. To write their philosophies, their theater, their music, to cut their hair, to design their living spaces, to make their clothing, to act in their movies, to fight their wars, to farm their fields – they’ve been using us to clean up after them.

Me: Okay…

Him: Now they’ve gone and overpopulated the world – vanity. Their own vanity has driven them to overpopulate the world. And now they want me to pitch in and love their children and raise their children? No. I’m sorry. No thank you. I’ll keep my job as a graphic designer, and I’ll go to Fire Island in the summer. I’ll sleep with twinks and I’ll do too much blow on the weekends and I’ll get along just fine. Yep.

Me: Wow. You, uh… You have some opinions.

(pause)

Me: Can I say something? Can I make one observation?

Him: I don’t know, can you?

Me: Right. Grammar.

Him: It’s important.

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Me: Not as important as where your heart is. Hey – if you did adopt a child – wouldn’t that be like taking a child away from their influence? Wouldn’t you in fact be taking a child and raising him to be less heteronormative?

Him: I don’t know. I just don’t know if I could take the heart break. What if the child turned out straight?

Me: Best case scenario she doesn’t.

Him: She? A girl? Jesus.

Me: Maybe a girl. Why not a girl?

Him: EW.

Me: No ew. I did some research. There’s sound evidence that girls are actually just people.

Him: EW. EWEWEWEWEW!!!

Me: No ew.

Him: Yes ew.

(pause)

Him: There’s gum under this table.

(pause)

Him: Starbucks.

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Kevin Allison, Dale Cooper, Adam Gardiner – Episode 1

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adam gardiner

Me: What’s being a porn actor like? What about your fans?

Dale: Well, actually most of what I do now is basically research and reading. I have a wish list that my fans can sort of provide my reading material for me. The wish list is very common for adult films, for fans to get things for the actors. I only have books on there. It keeps me very busy reading and writing notes.

Kevin: Wow! Where are these ‘wish lists?’

Dale: It’s on Amazon. I actually feel kinda bad – there’s a really awesome communist bookstore in Baltimore called Red Emma’s. (Shout out!) I was hoping to get them to be the purveyors of the books, but them being a small business…  they can’t. You can’t argue with the convenience of Amazon.

Me: If you get any bigger will you put cars on your list?

Dale: I made a decision to just have it be books.

Me: Yeah, but those things grow and change and evolve as you grow as an artist!

(laughter)

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Dale: Well if anyone out there has a couple thousand dollars lying around they don’t need!

Me: There you go! NOW you’re being a capitalist! So, Kevin – you’ve been able to sort of ask the universe for something and get it on your podcast, right?

Kevin: Yes indeed. RISK – the whole idea is that people come on and tell stories that they can’t tell anywhere else. You couldn’t tell them on NPR or you’re not even supposed to share in mixed company – some of the stories are really emotional, some are X-rated and some are just… ridiculous!

Me: Ha!

Kevin: I have told a few stories about my recent explorations into kink and there was an episode several months back where I said, oh, let me just put this out there: I would really love a naked Asian housecleaning boy.

(sheepish laughter)

Me: AND YOU GOT ONE!

(more laughter)

Kevin: And I got one. Now you have to understand there’s a context here. BDSM service kink is common. There are a lot of people who are into cleaning your house and getting a sexual charge out of it. The Asian part – that was just part of my own personal, you know…  I’m attracted to Asian guys.

Me: You and I share an appreciation for Asian faces and bodies.

Kevin: Well I felt bad, because it sounded like I was saying… you know, ‘I want an Asian to come clean my house.’

Me: Did it? Because, if you were into gingers and said that no one would blink, right?

Kevin: Right. Right, right. What I meant was I would like someone who was into this sort of thing to contact me. A kid from Malaysia did! He was 23 years old… was going to be a student at Parsons. He was like, I’m moving to the States, I’m super into this, I saw you also on the BDSM sites. Let’s start having Skype sessions and talk about how we can make this happen! And… he did move in with me about a month later, and you know what? I was too… damn… nice.

Me: Oh!!!

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Kevin: Once he moved in with me, I was like – here is a 23 year-old student who is new to the United States and I just started encouraging him. I was like, you know, I’m poly – you should probably give dating guys your own age a shot. I just kept encouraging him to do nice things and I think I dropped out of the zone of being mean and domineering.

Dale: You weren’t fulfilling the sexual needs of your Malaysian slave boy.

Me: “I didn’t come all the way from Malaysia to get a mommy, now let’s make with the butt smacks!!!”

(laughter)

Kevin: Well that’s the thing. When it comes to kink, I’m very good at improvising. I’m good at going into the scene. We were enjoying sex together, but otherwise I wasn’t a 24/7  hard ass asshole to him and I think he grew bored with me.

Me: Can I ask a question?

Kevin: Yes.

Me: How clean was the apartment?

(laughter)

Kevin: That’s the other thing; it was purely practical. I’m terrible at keeping the apartment clean!

Dale: And he was very good at it.

Kevin: Yeah, and I know a lot of ProDoms who are women, who – there are straight guys lining up out the door to clean their apartment – who pay them! Who pay the women! So I’m like, why should I be paying a Latina woman down the street, when I can find a dude who gets off on it?

Me: Right. To qualify, you live in a [predominately] Latina neighborhood?

(laughter)

Me: I wanted to qualify that Kevin doesn’t think….

Kevin: I actually do have a Latina woman who cleans the apartment now.

(pause)

Kevin: And there’s no sex involved.

(laughter)

Me: At least, not yet.

(laughter)

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