Dan Paul Roberts

http://www.flickr.com/photos/105324876@N08/

(Follow the link for photos: Genifer Michael Studios)

I write music and draw because it’s my creative impulse. I’m almost always making something. If one art form feels too big or stuck in limbo, I’ll try something else out. Different mediums are like different voices of the psyche. Often, my musical urge is the more somber, sentimental side of my expression, while drawing can bring out the sillier, more exaggerated voices within me.

For me, making work is a joyful experience inherently. Even writing a sad song involves some kind of catharsis that, in time, makes me feel better and strengthens me.  In that same vein, I do process pain through my art (mostly songwriting). Singing can give a voice to pain and allow it to transform. You can see the beauty in that poignant moment and thus see past your problems.  Being a singer/songwriter terrifies me. I think that’s why I do it. Whenever I have a really strong impulse to do something–like serious desire–there’s typically a high level of fear that accompanies it. Why else would it be worth doing if there weren’t a risk involved. So I’ve devoted my life to it, because it makes me feel the most.

Injustice usually pushes my buttons. I don’t like people being taken advantage of.
Nothing is wrong with the world, only our perception of it. 
One time, in early high school, I peed in my pants driving home from the video store in Wichita Falls, Texas. I was renting rated R movies to jerk off to and had deliberated too long in making my selection. I thought I could make it home, but I was wrong.”
Btw my album is called The Make Up and it comes out Oct 1st “
 
 

Passive Aggressive, Part 1

2013-04-30 15.58.07

 

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?

2013-04-30 15.31.19

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?

2013-04-30 15.44.23

 

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.

2013-04-30 15.44.21

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…

DSCF1357

 

-3

TuesDATE

Him:  So this is Brooklyn.

Me:  That’s right.  Oldest borough. You look cute.

Him:  Thanks.  Oldest borough?  You mean Manhattan, right? 

Me: I’m pretty sure Brooklyn is older than Manhattan.

Him:  That doesn’t make any sense.

Me: Um…   (short pause)  You have really nice hair.

Him:  I ought to.  I spent like 120 dollars at Kiehl’s the other day.  I hate when I do that.  That store is so easy to go crazy in there.  I went in there for eye cream and 120 dollars later, right?

Me:  Right.  I feel that way about my deli.  I go in there for Kim chi, and I wind up buying Kim chi and watermelon like a Rockefeller.

Him:  What do you use for eye cream?  Who’s a Rockefeller?

Me:  They’re like Donald Trump.  Pretend I said Donald Trump.

Him:  What about the eye cream?

Me:  Lotion.

Him:  What??

Me:  I use hand lotion.  Cetaphil, to be exact. They make a face lotion but I just use the hand and body lotion on my face too.  Why not?

Him:  Ew.  Doesn’t that clog your pores and dry out your skin?

Me: Nope.

Him:  I don’t believe you.

Me:  You shouldn’t.  I lie to people just for the sheer pleasure of it.  I like to see the moment of shocked betrayal when they find out I’ve been playing them for a fool.

Him:  Oh my god, do you?

Me:  No. That was a joke.

Him:  I don’t get it. 

Me:  It wasn’t a good joke, is why.

Him:  Why did you tell it? 

Me:  I had to try it out, to see.

Him:  Is that what your life is like?  Failure?

Me:  Um.  What?

Him:  I don’t mean it like that.  Wow.  That sounded bad – don’t blog about that.

Me:  I will, don’t worry.  That color looks good on you.  Really brings out your eyes.

Him: This is a one-of-a-kind garment.  The designer only made three of these.

Me:  So, it’s more like a one-of-three-kinds garment.

Him:  Um.  What?

Me:  You said the designer made three of them, so by logic, it can’t be one-of-a-kind.

(pause)

Him:  Um. It’s unique.

Me:  I’m sure you’re right.  The other two were probably lost in  a house fire, or the Holocaust, or got sucked into a temporal worm hole.

Him:  This shirt was 400 dollars, on sale.

Me:  Jesus.  That’s how much my guitar cost!

Him:  Really?

Me:  No, my guitar was a hundred bucks.  BUT.  That’s how much four of my guitars cost.  But you’d never be able to buy more than one of my guitar because it’s one-of-a-kind.

Him:  Is it?

Me:  Yes.  The manufacturer only made thousands.

Him:  Oh.  I get it.  You’re being a dick.

Me:  I’m being a dick.  You move really gracefully.

Him:  Really?  Thanks.

Me:  You’re welcome.

Him:  All these hipster types around here.  Ugh.  Makes me nervous.

Me:  Does it?  Why, I wonder?  It’s just a sub-culture, like hip hop, or redneck, or ivy league.  It’s just a small subset of a larger culture.

Him:  First of all – why do they want to stick out?  I just want to blend in and be accepted.  Second of all, if you look at them, they all have the same style which doesn’t make them unique at all.  There’s a conformity to the non-conformity.  It all looks the same to me.  I don’t get it.

(These cuddle bugs were all over each other on the C train.)

Me:  Well…  I don’t get hip hop culture.  But it’s a counterculture to the mainstream, right?  To me, it’s not appealing – the narrative that seems to arise from hip hop culture.  I think it relies heavily on misogyny. But on the other hand, it doesn’t bother me that other people participate in it.  I just don’t get it.

Him:  Shhh.  Don’t say that. 

Me:  What??

Him: You shouldn’t say that you don’t ‘get’ hip hop culture in public.

Me:  Why?

Him:  That’s racist!

Me:  Are you being ironic?

Him:  What’s irony?

(pause)

Me:  Me saying that I don’t keep up with hip hop, or respond to the narrative isn’t racist, darling.  It’s the same as someone saying that they don’t like bluegrass music or the culture surrounding it.  I will admit to being ignorant about hip hop, though.  I don’t follow a lot of it.

Him:  See.  You shouldn’t be ignorant.

Me:  That’s a reductive statement.  Everyone is ignorant about a whole shit ton of stuff.  Most people are ignorant of the nuances of expert level Scrabble play, for instance.  But, you don’t see Scrabble players getting offended by that ignorance.

Him:  What?  Scrabble?  Do you like my shoes?

Me:  Yes.

Him:  They’re vintage Kenneth Cole.  They cost a lot of money.

Me:  Mine too.

Him:  Who are your shoes?

Me:  Who?  Oh.  You mean who designed them?

Him:  Yes. 

Me:  They are from K-Mart.  I got them for free.  They were a costume in a play.

Him: Ew.  You’re an actor?

Me:  Yes.  I mention on the blog that I act and do comedy.

Him:  I only watch the videos.  I don’t like reading.  I like the pictures.  This might not work.  I don’t know about dating an actor.

Me:  Tell me about it.  I dated one. What do you do?

Him:  I work in the accounting section of a popular women’s fashion magazine.

Me:  Which one?

Him:  I prefer not to say. 

Me:  Is it a fashion magazine for lady CIA agents?

Him:  No.  I just prefer not to say.

Me:  Okay.

Him:  I know it’s okay.  It’s my prerogative whether I tell you exactly where I work or not.

Me:  Know what?  It’s getting late.  I have to be up early.  Let me walk you to the train.

(long pause)

Him:  No.  I’ll take a car.

Me:  What?  It’s six blocks.

Him:  I’ll take a car. 

Me:  I’ll call you one.  Jerk.

Him:  What did you say? 

Me:  I said you’re one-of-a-kind.

(Jerk.)

ThursDATE: Aphasia

Place:  The L Train.

Time:  Afternoon

(What appears to be a Homeless Man is talking very animatedly to a creeped-out stranger.  He is speaking gibberish.  He looks terrified.)

Homeless Man:  Otamad Krik.  Ayulac!  Niwre! Enialb Sonaj!

(This goes on for a long time, the whole train ignores it.  Then suddenly:)

Him:  Yes brother!  Let it out!  Let her hear the pain!

(A couple of people titter)

Him:  He’s telling the WORLD!!!

(pause, nobody laughs)

Me:  I think we’re witnessing aphasia.

Him:  What??

Me:  When someone has a stroke they sometimes can’t speak right.  I just thought you should know what you’re ridiculing.

Him:  Oh are you a doctor?  Can you go and help him?

Me:  No.  I’m not a doctor, smart ass.

Her:  Don’t talk to him.  You don’t have to talk to him.

Me:  You should know what you’re making fun of, at least, right?  I think it’s aphasia.

Him:  I was just being positive!

Me:  You were ridiculing him.

Him:  Yeah.  Well.  Yeah.  I…

Her:  You don’t have to be such an asshole.  You don’t have to turn the whole train against my boyfriend.  The guy is (whispers) homeless.

Me:  And therefore less than human: I get it.   Sure.  He’s had a stroke or brain damage, but let’s consider your boyfriend’s feelings here! You’re right.  I’m an asshole.  In this whole situation, I’m the asshole.

Him:   Hey, if you’re such an altruist why don’t you go help him?  You have a chance to prove how good you are!!

Me:  Oh no.  You’ve got it wrong.  I’m not an altruist.  I just couldn’t process my shock and anger at your behavior without pointing out that the man is clearly brain damaged.  I’m just processing it.

Her:  Are you taking photographs?  DON’T TALK TO HIM.  (then, to me:) He was just having fun.  You made everyone on the train uncomfortable. 

Me:  Did I? Did I do that?  Was it me?

(The train stops.)

Me:  I believe this is your stop.

Conductor:  Bedford Avenue.

(They leave the train.)

(I try to gather the courage to photograph the Homeless Man, but I feel icky about that, so I don’t.)

(I get off two stops later and tell the station agent there’s a sick passenger on the train.)

SaturDATE: I’ve Already Figured You Out

Sometimes people ask me on dates.  They tend to go horribly.  These are their stories.

(Law and Order Sound Effect)

Him: Come home with me.

Me: No.  Do you think this sweater is too heavy for the springtime?

Him:  Come on.  Come home with me.

Me:  No.  It’s late and you’re drunk and I’m not and I’m tired.

Him:  Come home with me.  We’ve been flirting with each other for a long time now.  Come on.

Me:  No.  9 months is a long time?

Him:  Come on. (hails a cab)  Get in the cab.

Me:  No.  I’m going home.

Him:  Yes.

Me:  Okay fine.

(Montage:  Snuggly cab ride.  Surprised cab driver.  Deli visit for food and beer. Fumbling with keys.)

Him:  Do you want a beer?  I’m having a beer.

Me:  Yes.  I’m going to start drinking at 3 am.  Good idea.

Him:  Great, I’ll open you one.

Me:  No, wait.  I changed my mind.

Him: Fickle.

Me:  More like, sarcastic.

Him:  I like that.

Me:  I like you.

Him: I know.

Me:  Don’t worry.  I don’t get weird.  I let things develop naturally.  We’ll have two kids, one Korean girl named Ellen, and one African boy, named Sh’Africa.

Him:  Sounds like you’re telling Africa to be quiet.

Me:  I’m not.  I like the names Sean and Africa.  Sh’Africa. If anything, I think Africa should be louder.

Him:  Why?

Me: All that suffering?  Isn’t there a lot of suffering and economic inequality?

Him:  I’ve never been.

Me:  Me neither.  I’m operating on what I’ve read in liberal news media and what I’ve seen in movies like Congo.

Him:  Take your coat off.

Me:  Certainly.  I’ll just throw it on the floor here.

Him:  You’re funny.

Me:  You’re pretty.

Him:  Make out with me.

(We do.)

Him:  Take your shirt off.

Me:  Yessir.

(We take our shirts off.  Bitchin’ make out session.)

Him:  Take your pants off.

Me:  Yessir

(We take our pants off.  Bitchin’ make out session.  It’s getting hard to contain ourselves.  Get it?)

Him:  Let’s get naked.

Me:  How dare you.  No, wait.  I changed my mind again.   That’s a great idea.

Him:  Are you a bottom?

Me:  What?  Oh.  Sex?  Oh!  Sex!  Okay.  Yes.  No.  I’m versatile.  I’m the opposite of whatever your favorite thing to do is…

Him:  Then you’re a bottom.

Me:  I am indeed!

(We get naked.  Bitchin’ make out session.  Then, suddenly – he loses interest entirely. The evening goes limp.)

Him:  I was afraid of this.

Me: What?

Him:  I was afraid that this would happen.  My penis stops working after a while.

Me:  No!  Stop it!  It’s okay.  Cut yourself some slack.  You had a lot to drink.  I watched you.

Him:  No.  What?  No.  I don’t have whiskey dick.  Hahaha.  No.

Me:  What?

Him:  I have a thing that happens.  Once I get someone naked and it’s obvious that I can sleep with them, I lose interest.

Me:  Heh.  You’re funny.

Him:  Please don’t make fun of me.  It’s a real problem.

Me:  I was going to say, why don’t we just go to sleep and give it a shot in the morning.

Him:  Ha.  Right.  No.

Me:  What?

Him:  I think you should leave now.

Me:  WHAT?

Him:  It’s like this.  I already got you naked.  You already said you’d give me what I want.  It’s kind of like I’ve already figured you out.  I’m not going to be interested anymore.

Me:  What?  Heh.  Ha.  I uh…  hm…

(He starts putting on clothes.  He starts handing clothes to me.  I start putting on clothes.)

Him:  Yeah.  It’s best if you just go home.

Me:  I’m much farther away from home now than when you talked me into the cab.

Him:  I’ll call you a car.  You should go home.

Me:  No.  I’ll take the train.  I should never have come here.

Him:  Oh stop.  I had fun.

Me:  Yeah it was a blast.  You’re a real great host.  Thanks for having me over.

Him:  It’s a real problem, okay?  I have a problem with sex.  I’d appreciate some sympathy.

Me:  Awww… Sweet baby…  Hey.  I’m going to say something – please don’t take it the wrong way, okay?

Him:  Okay.

Me:  You’re an asshole.  I don’t mean like self-absorbed like me and my comedy friends.  I mean for real.  You’re a real, true, asshole.  I’m going to leave my card.

Him: What is this?

Me:  I want you to check out my site, but wait a few days…

Him:  Why?

Me:  Because when people act like assholes on dates with me, I put it on the internet.  Is that my coat?  Thanks.

Him:  What?

Me:  Yeah!  You’re famous!  Congrats!  And hey.

Enjoy playing mind games with someone else, Jerk.

(Surprise ending:  I laughed about him the whole train ride home.  I didn’t feel bad about myself.)

People Send Me Stuff

Hunter Kazorowski made this needlepoint and sent me a photo online.

People send me weird stuff online now.  Some of it makes sense, given that this is a pithy gay pie blog.  Some of it doesn’t.

But I love my readers, and you guys can continue to send me stuff.  Just not creepy stuff, okay, guys?  Seriously.  No photos of poop.  Unless, you know, it’s a miracle dump and the Virgin has appeared in it.  Then, okay.

No, wait.  Not even then. No poop.  I want zero pictures of poop.

Oh poop.  What was I talking about?

See?  This is fine.  Perfectly handsome young guy sent me a nice shot of his lean body.  It was coupled with these pies he made:

What a nice guy.  He wants to come bake with me.  Maybe I’ll let him…  He’s being pretty nice so far.  We’ll see…

I love the freedom of the internet.  I love how people are getting less afraid to live their lives openly.

I love that there’s something about my site that stirs people to send things to me.  I feel lucky.  I feel grateful.

Here’s a letter from  a guy in Montreal:

This is an apple pie,as denoted by the apple decoration.
I picked the apples myself, they are cortlands.
I have a tendency to put a blend of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon into an apple pie, a balance that does not overwhelm the apple taste is essential.
The crust also has some old cheddar in it.
It was very good, though the application of egg wash was not very uniform.
I would bake a pie with you sometime if you would like, sometime when I am in New York.
I live in Montreal, ever been?

This be me last time I was in New York.
I like your site, very entertaining.
Tell Kazu we have a very good izakaya bearing his name in the city, people are lined up out the door all the time.
Blake

Did you hear that, Little Brother?  Blake (pictured above) says there’s a good izakaya in Montreal.

Aren’t my fellow gays sweet?

This guy is pretty beautiful, right?  He lives a few states away but he wants to come bake with me this summer at some point.  Okay, I said.  Then I said, are you over 18?  Then he said, 22.  Then I said, bring ID.  We can’t have the neighbors talking, after all…

Oh yeah:  remember that artist, Lex Millena?  He finished the watercolor he was making for me.  It’s beautiful.  Lex is beautiful.

Thanks Lex.  Thanks, everyone.  You guys are pretty awesome. Jerks.


SaturDATE: Heteronormative

My name is Michael.  Sometimes people ask me on dates.  Maybe they see me online and think I’m the answer to their life problems, or lonliness.  Invariably I prove them wrong: