Broken Bird, Part Three

2012 02 04_7465

Him: It’s good to see you.

Me: You too. I haven’t seen much of you since Thin Skin Jonny went on hiatus.

Him: I’ve been around. I’m in school, too.

Me: How’s Bobby?

Him: Back with James Blackheart. He moved out.

Me: Again? That’s a shame. How was living with him?

Him: I loved living with Bobby Finn. I used to say we ran a bed and breakfast. Bobby provided the bed and I provided breakfast. I got to meet so many new people.

Me: I know the feeling. It was a circus here, for the two months he stayed…

Him: Yes, well… That’s Bobby for you.

(pause)

Me: Why did he turn his back on me, do you think?

Him: (sighs) I don’t know. I couldn’t or wouldn’t say, even if I did know.

Me: Well, I find it extremely unfair. He freeloaded off me for months and now won’t answer my txts, phone calls, or emails. He’s blocked me on Facebook.

Him: Did you say anything nasty to him?

Me: NO! He’s been out of town for about 4 months doing that theater gig in Kansas. I asked him to have lunch with me and go shopping. I wanted to say goodbye before I left for the West Coast.

Him: Maybe he doesn’t want to see you?

Me: That’s clear, but don’t you think it’s a little rude? I give the guy a place to stay, because he’s being “abused,” and then he gets to turn his back on me?

Him: Bobby just doesn’t understand your decisions lately.

Me: So what? Neither does my Mother, or most of my so-called friends, colleagues, acquaintances or whatnot. Doesn’t matter. When someone announces a wedding you pretend you’re excited, at least. You don’t head for the hills, because you are gay and reserve the right to hate all women, categorically, except your mother.

Him: Quite a few gay men operate like that.

Me: I know that, but don’t I get to expect more of Bobby? I took him in. I put him on the most well-respected comedy stage in NYC. I held him when he cried, and bought him lunch sometimes, if it was clear he was hungry. Why does he have any sort of moral high ground, here?

Him: You’d have to ask him.

Me: That’s the problem. Rather than take me for a walk in the park and ask how I’m doing, inquire about my assault and the PTSD that triggered – rather than congratulate me on my marriage, or say goodbye to an old friend who’s moving 3000 miles away – rather than any of that, he just ignores me. No explanation.

Him: Perhaps he feels that sort of goodbye is preferable to an argument?

Me: There’s nothing to argue about. I don’t have to ask his permission to get married, man or woman. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to have a nervous break-down. When women do it, it’s called a ‘rough’ period. When I do it, I need an analyst. I like my analyst, by the way.

Him: That’s good.

Me: Here’s what isn’t good.

(pause)

Me: I ran into Clive, a few months after Bobby left and moved in with you.

Him: I always thought he was cute.

Me: Me too. Not my usual type, but super cute. Anyway, Clive told me that Bobby wasn’t abused at all – at least not physically like he claimed. Clive told me Bobby smashed the wine glass on his own face. He knew the cops were coming and he wanted to look like a victim. He wanted to force James to let him stay in the fancy apartment.

Him: What’s the difference? Does that make him an awful person?

Me: Are you kidding me? He lied to me about being abused, paid nothing to live here, and started undermining me in the band as soon as he moved in with you. He took my kindness and showed me contempt.

Him: You’re just describing human nature.

Me: All of those things I could forgive. He’s younger than me (but getting older – red heads should stay out of the sun) and I could have forgiven those annoying things, but this… How dare he turn his back on me. How dare he join the ranks of former friends who won’t return my calls, simply because I married a woman.

Him: Quite a few people don’t understand that, Michael. You were so vocal about gay rights for so long…

Me: So what? One doesn’t have to be gay to believe in human rights. One also doesn’t have to be straight to marry a woman. It’s reason to ruin a friendship? He should have hung around and made up with me. Stupid, trusting Michael would have probably made him dinner and opened some wine.

Him: Maybe it’s just not the right timing for you two right now.

Me: Exactly. It’s not the right timing because I finally have nothing left to give that selfish little…

Him: Say it. You’ll feel better if you say it.

Me: Human being. Bobby Finn is a real prime example of a human being.

(Marco Bright laughs. I start crying. Marco puts on a pot of hot water.)

(pause)

(Soon enough we are laughing and writing songs again.)

IMG_9361

Broken Bird: Part Two

IMG_2694

Me: I made eggs, are you hungry?

Him: Okay, I guess. Wait, no. I’m fine. I’m getting fat.

Me: You’re never going to be fat.

Him: Where’s Karl?

Me: He left a few hours ago. He had to get to work.

Him: Work…  I know I’ve heard that word before. Work….

Me: I know, I’ve read about it, too. Who can say for sure, what this ‘work’ is? I understand everyone is always looking for it, and they dislike it when they have it?

Him: No, I think you’re thinking of ‘love.’

Me: I stand corrected.

(pause)

Me: So, I need to say this: My feelings were hurt last night.

Him: What? Why? Oh…

Me: Right. Karl and I were on our second date.

Him: I didn’t know that!

Me: I think I mentioned it, yesterday. I was excited about this one.

(pause)

Him: How did it go?

Me: Well, I dunno. It was going well. I guess I shouldn’t have…

Him: You know, I really like him!

Me: Yes. You two really seem to like one another.

(pause)

Him: Let’s just have this out. What are you upset about?

Me: Well, I kind of thought that Karl and I were on a date. I wanted you to meet us at Sugarland, because you’re living with me, and I consider you a good friend, by now.

Him: I am your friend.

Me: Right, and I feel like saying this, then – I don’t think it was very kind, or considerate of you to sleep with him in my bed, on our second date.

Him: I don’t think he thinks you two were on a date.

Me: At this point, no, neither do I. I don’t date people that fuck my friends during the first phase of the relationship. You have to wait a year or two, before you start fucking my roommate.

Him: It could have been the three of us…

Me: Yes. I know that. I felt that energy, but it’s hard for me to participate in that energy when I’m managing extreme hurt feelings.

Him: I’m sorry. I didn’t know.

Me: Right, well, I mentioned it was a date.

Him: I didn’t hear you.

(pause)

Him: You talk a lot.

(pause)

Me: I also cook and clean a lot.

(pause)

Him: I have to leave. I’ve got things to do today.

Me: I want you to know one more thing.

Him: Jesus, what now, grandpa?

Me: Just that I forgive you.

(pause)

Me: I forgive you both, and I am letting the anger for this go. My friendship with you is more important than a second date, and Karl is handsome, but not really my type.

Him: Seriously?

Me: I think so. I processed it, here, in the kitchen last night while you guys were soiling my sheets.

Him: I felt guilty when I saw you asleep on the couch.

Me: Well, you should check my blog. I blogged about it, last night, while you two were having sex.

Him: WHAT?

Me: Sorry. I had to get it out. I had to let it go. That’s part of what PIEFOLK is – it’s a place for me to put things I find awkward, sad, frustrating, or when people I care about do things I don’t quite understand.

Him: Michael, I’m sorry. Just tell me next time, or don’t invite me. You know what I’m like –

Me: When you’re drinking. Yes. And it’s hard to ask an actor, much less a drunk actor, to be anything less than the marvelous attention hound he was born to be. However, I’m a comic and a writer, and I want you to know – fair’s fair – this IS becoming material.

Him: Thanks for asking me. Looks like it already has become material.

Me: Uh, if you want to get on a high horse start paying rent.

(pause)

Him: I love you, big brother.

Me: Then give me a hug. I forgive you. I’m sorry.

Him: Me too.

20110914-113011.jpg

Tuesdate: Flashback to 2011 – Broken Bird, Part One

IMG_2725

Him: Thanks for answering the phone.

Me: My god, of course, Bobby. Of course. What the hell happened?  Do you want some tea, or… I have some braised pork in the fridge? I’m going to make some food.

Him: I know it’s way before five, but do you have anything stronger than tea?

(pause)

Me: Yes. Yes I do. I guess bourbon is okay?

Him: That’s fine. Have one with me?

Me: No. I have to teach later, but you can have my shot. I’ll pour a double.

(long pause, sets cutlery, boils water, makes food and drink)

Him: I guess you’re wondering what happened?

Me: James Blackheart happened?

Him: Yep.

Me: Who hit you? You look like you got into a fight with an elephant.

(pause)

Me: Do you need a hug?

(they embrace for a long tme, Bobby shakes, trembling)

Me: Okay, let’s sit back down. I don’t like this side of you. You’re too good looking to walk around with cuts and bruises on your face.

Him: He stopped taking his meds.

Me: And then what?

Him: He came home late at night and started throwing my things into the hallway. He was with another boy, and started screaming about how I didn’t live there anymore.

Me: Wait, what? He came home with another guy? Did you two break up?

Him: We were talking about it, but he’s constantly talking about that sort of thing. He’s not stable when he doesn’t take his meds.

Me: Or even when he does…

Him: He works very hard and makes a lot of money.

Me: So did Kim Jong Il.

Him: He’s a good provider, Michael. You don’t see that side of him, or when he’s sweet for days or weeks on end. He’s a good man.

Me: Good men don’t beat their boyfriends.

Him: It was complicated. We were shouting at each other, he was destroying things – throwing my things out of the apartment. He screamed about how he’d always paid the rent and he was evicting me. He asked the boy to stay and he did for a while, but then it got so ugly – the boy left. The neighbors came over, threatening to call the police. We argued with them. They called the cops.

Me: How did you get those cuts and bruises?

Him: James hit me. That had happened before.

Me: Wait, how often does he hit you?

(long pause)

Him: It had happened before. Not often, but often enough to make me afraid of setting him off. He’s got chemical imbalances.

Me: Bullshit. He’s a dick. He’s an evil man. That’s not a chemical imbalance – that’s a character flaw.

Him: People go through phases, Michael. People aren’t always kind.

Me: But kindness is always an option. There are folk who won’t treat you like that. There are nice, rich guys that would pamper you and spoil you, and not keep you on high terror lockdown.

(pause)

Him: But I love James.

Me: Did your father hit you?

(long pause)

Him: We were terrified of him, growing up. He wasn’t a nice man.

Me: Okay, so you’re now in a cycle of the same pattern with your boyfriend. Your ex-boyfriend.

Him: Can I stay here for a while?

Me: Obviously. You’re moving in today.

Him: Thank you. I knew you’d help me.

Me: We don’t know each other that well, but I can’t have you walking around like an abused housewife. You’re talented. Have you been singing?

Him: Not really.

Me: You’re joining the band, for a while. You need to get back to what brings you joy.

Him: I can sleep in your bed with you, and we can –

Me: I think that phase of our relationship is over. You can take the couch, or if you have  a date that goes particularly well, I’ll take the couch. We’ll split the chores, and for the first few weeks I’ll buy all the food. If you need to stay more than a month, we can talk about rent, etc. – is that okay?

Him: That’s more than…   Thank you!

Me: How did you get that gash?

Him: He smashed a wine glass on my head, right before the police showed up.

Me: This relationship is over.

Him: We both stayed the night in jail. Different holding cells.

Me: Good lord.

Him: He’d wanted me to get a job, and the funny thing is I’d gotten a retail job, but it wasn’t good enough, or the money wasn’t coming fast enough. I’d only been working there for 10 days. It’s not enough time to develop a clientele, or anything. Plus he was jealous I was ‘flirting with old men in Chelsea’ for a living.

Me: Flirting with old men is your favorite pass time!

Him: Preach. Anyway, I think it’s over. I hope he hasn’t destroyed my things.

Me: We’ll get you new things, or if need be, we can go over there with a bunch of people so he can’t hurt you. Here’s an extra set of keys.

Him: Thanks mister. Do you have an enema? I need to get ready to go out tonight.

Me: Oh Jesus, this is gonna be trouble.

Him: I can behave, too.

Me: No. Just no hard drugs in the apartment, please, and don’t bring over anyone who looks like a junkie or a thief? And no singing after 1am. I have a coke-head neighbor who’s pushy and demanding about his quiet time. Every time I go over there he’s watching porn on multiple screens and cracked out of his skull.

Him: Is he cute?

Me: He’s like… if you smashed Chris Farley together with Golem. Is that your thing?

Him: No, but I like porn.

Me: Look. Here’s the enema. Please don’t leave it out.

Him: Don’t worry, I will!

(pause)

Me: I know, baby.

(pause)

I know you will…

(pause)

You’re safe now.

DSCN1301

Advice

Martin 1 Amber

Hi,

 

My bisexual friend, ‘Jake the Jerk’ spent some time in rehab recently. Before he left, we had been spending a lot of time together smoking in parks, eating french fries, and watching how dilated each other’s pupils could get. I don’t have many gay friends and it became apparent to both of us that I liked him. I set a (friend) date with him to go see a movie after he came home, mostly so I could gather my balls and the courage to ask him out officially but it didn’t happen. Our cigarettes were lit as I stared into his big beautiful brown eyes, I hugged him, and I ran into my car as fast as I could without making myself vulnerable in the slightest. (I’m an idiot, I know.) Later that day he did some Grindr work and found himself a man twice his age (he is 21, and I am 20) whose cock he has been sitting on since. Let’s call that man Sketchy.

Its not that I have anything against cross generational relationships, its just that these two have nothing in common. He’s gone from being my only queer friend, to practically being a figment of my imagination since I hardly see him anymore. I miss our close friendship. My best friend and I had dinner with Jake and Sketchy the other night and it nearly broke my heart in two. Jake had a shiny new bruise below his left eye and whispered something to me about “being punished” before Sketchy could catch up to being within earshot. He seemed drunk, discontent, and distant. Sketchy insulted my best friend several times at dinner and might have lied about some of his credentials (I did some internet work myself).

IMG_0821

I can’t break Jake out of this relationship, I understand that that isn’t my place, but as his friend how do I learn to tolerate this new phase of our relationship? Furthermore, how am I supposed to engage with Sketchy when all I want to do is to punch him in the face repeatedly. Clearly, my conflicted feelings for Jake and my single sad boy lifestyle is making accepting this much more difficult than it need be.

 

HELP ME,

– Bitter Barry

PumpkinPieFolk (35)

Barry,

Bitterness leads to stank face, and stank face leads to going home from the all ages club alone. You shouldn’t be bitter. It sounds like your friend is going through a difficult time right now, and doesn’t want you to be part of that. Sure, you’re making him sound like an abuse victim, and I have had my experiences with trying to help abuse victims, but we don’t KNOW that for sure.

Maybe he’s in a very healthy S&M relationship? Maybe it’s co-incidence? We don’t know. You’re right not to judge cross-generational relationships, too.

The point is, we don’t know what his deal is – only that he’s with a man that sets your Spidey sense tingling. Maybe you’re right about Sketchy, maybe not, but let’s mind our own relationship for a second and focus on your friendship. We can’t make someone spend time with us if they don’t want to. We can make efforts to reach out, but if we do that a few times and our efforts are ignored, c’est la vie. He seems bent on self destruction, in any case. Perhaps it’s for the best that he’s not your stoner buddy any longer.

photo-39

Let’s focus on you. You said you don’t have a lot of queer friends. I want you to take 2013 and change that. Queer people need each other so we can work together to normalize our behavior, so we can get back to what we do best, which is make pals at the all ages club, or in my case doing dumb dumb comedy shows.

I love you.

Michael

Martin 3 Amber

-4

Salon Party Part One

allison michael orenstein

Ack!  The dollar store was out of mini-pie tins!

What’s a guy supposed to do??

Well, we bought disposable four cup muffin tins, and cut them down with scissors.

Ghetto style?  You bet.

That’s Chuhan.  He’s a real sweet kid from Atlanta.

He’s new to the whole Gay thing and we’re doing our best to try to socialize him.

He’s got a bright spirit and a kind heart.

He loves to eat bacon.  I had to stop him from eating all my quiche filling.

That’s Clayton.  He came over to help us out.

We had 40 pies to make for as many hungry homos.

Clayton is gaining popularity as a DJ in New York City.

He works at The Ritz and other venues.

Clayton and I had a fun time harassing Chuhan.

We don’t do it on purpose, but Chu has this way about him.

He invites abuse.  Not domestic abuse.  Casual ribbing and teasing.

But if he doesn’t start listening, I’m going to hit him in the face.

You know, so he knows I care.

Guys.  It’s a damn heat wave.

I don’t have A/C.

These boys were really nice to come over and help me bake in this abusive heat.

We teased Chuhan relentlessly while we all sweated and took our clothes off.

Then Clayton and I started talking about abuse.

Clayton had a few insightful things to say about it.

Clayton pointed out that people (in general) tend to receive about as much abuse as they invite.

For instance, he said, when he encounters a person who complains, whines or mopes, he says it automatically makes him act mean, or abusive.

I think there are exceptions.  People marry someone and don’t know they’re violent, or whatever.  But I couldn’t help but think that there’s a fundamental truth to Clayton’s philosophy.

We get the amount of abuse we invite.  Hm.

Kinda made me worry about a few friends I have that have a tendency to seek abusive relationships.

I mean, I know some beautiful, bright, talented young Gays that seem to want to date obnoxious emotionally (or physically) abusive dudes.

That’s a tricky space to put yourself in, over and over again…

Hey.  These mini-quiches turned out okay, after all.  Despite our ghetto baking techniques.  Good call, Chuhan!

More on the Salon soon!  Enjoy the Bacon, Collard, and Sharp Cheddar Quiche.