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.



This is Bryan.  He is a sweet boy.  He is studying advertising here in New York City.

He wanted to help me make a pie.

What was I gonna do, say no?

Me:  We’re making Banana Cream.

Him:  Good thing that’s my favorite.

Me:  Yes it is a good thing.

Him: I suppose it is.

Me:  I suppose I agree.

Him:  I suppose I do too.

There was a lot of supposing going on.

Me:  So you’re a student?

Him:  That’s right.  I study advertizing at SVA.

Me:  Sounds fun.

Him:  It’s a lot of work.  I work almost every day of my life.  I have like, three jobs.

Me:  Really?  Me too!

Him:  Oh?

Me:  Yup.  I bake specialty pies for benefits and celebrities.  I do comedy.  I also do commercial acting.

Him:  What’s that?

Me:  Acting for commercials.

Him:  Have you done anything I might have seen?

Me:  No.  Regional spots outside New York, and online stuff for boring companies that do things like make pressed aluminum.  Exciting.

Him:  I suppose.

Me:  I suppose not.  But I get by.

(Uh…  This didn’t really happen.  We didn’t really have a Lady and the Tramp moment with a banana.  You’re imagining things)

Him:  I cook and clean up after a guy who pays me to do that for him.

Me:  Doioioioioioioing!

Him:  What’s that?

Me:  That’s the sound of me getting a boner thinking about you cleaning someone’s house and cooking for them, naked.

Him:  I didn’t say naked.

Me:  I have a very active imagination.  Let me have my fantasy.

Him:  I suppose I will.

Me:  What’s your family like?

Him:  My dad was a jerk.  My mom worked her ass off every day to support him.  He was a drunk to end all drunks.

Me:  Was?  Did he die?

Him:  No.  But he’s gone now.

Me:  Oh.

Him:  Yeah.  It really motivated me to get up and do something with my life.  Even if I have to work really hard to achieve it, like I am now.

Me:  That sounds about right.  I’m proud of you.

Him:  You don’t even know me!

Me:  Even so.  I’m proud.

Him:  Hm.

Me:  Hold up.  Where did that bootie come from?

Him:  Ha.  Do I have a butt?

Me:  No, you have two of them.

Him:  Heh.

Me:  Usually you don’t see a butt like that on a guy your size.

Him:  I did a lot of bike riding back in Jersey.  6 miles a day or so.

Me:  Well.  Remind me to thank the good people at Schwinn.

Him:  Why?

Me:  Doioioioioioioioing!!!

Him:  Stop it, weirdo.

Me:  Hm.

Him: I really like this neighborhood.

Me:  Me too.

Him:  I’m moving here in 10 days.

Me:  What?

Him:  I’ll be living a few blocks from here.

Me: Uh oh.  That sounds like it could be trouble.

Him:  It might be.

Me:  Uh oh.

Him:  Don’t get your hopes up.  Jerk.

Hankster Chen

Hank Chen, a friend of mine and a video blogger wanted to do an entry with me and put it on his YouTube channel.  We did it!

I made jokes about how selfish the Aids Walk is, and how self absorbed Aids patients are.  Here’s the footage:

Thanks to Hank for a fun afternoon.

Click here to sponsor me for the Aids Walk!



Hey Michael,

Before I begin on the matter of importance, I just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog very much. It’s gotten to the point where I check it everyday to see if there are any updates. 🙂

So, I was hoping maybe you could help me out with some advice. I’ve been seeing this boy…his name is Michael too. We started talking on an iPhone social networking app in January. Things were going great, and we eventually started dating. He is 18 years old. and I am 21. Our relationship only lasted one month because he ended up not wanting to be in a relationship with me. He said he still had feelings for his ex. So we stopped talking for about 2 months after our breakup. Now he is texting me a lot and we actually went out to dinner last week so we could talk things out and be on good terms. It all went great, we laughed and talked seriously about how thing ended between us. He tells me now that he really still likes me and thinks about me all the time. He told me the other day that he wants another chance with me. I’m not sure if I should tell him have it because I feel like he still has feelings for his ex and things will just be the same as last time. He will also be leaving for college in the fall…in another state. I just dont know what to do really. I like him, I think he’s a great guy. What do you think?



Thanks for writing in.  You’re sweet and kind, and not a douche.

At least, I get that from your letter.  Am I right?

So this guy wants you back eh?  Okay.  You seem to like him.  So maybe let him have you back?  A little.  But hey, make it difficult for him.  Make him prove that he’s not just trying to see if he can get you back out of some emotional existential boredom. On the other hand, don’t make it TOO hard for him – gay people are frequently emotionally ADD.

You think he still has feelings for his ex?  You’re right. He does.  That’s how love works.  You don’t ever stop loving someone, once you fall in love with them.  You just find ways of muting it, when it’s over.

So, okay,  here’s my advice:  Do it.

Let yourself fall for this guy.  Let yourself love him.

But only a little.

He’s leaving.  He’ll be gone in a few short months.  That sucks, but there’s a power to that.  It means that even if he doesn’t act like a douche about his ex, he’s still going to break your heart by leaving.  So, either way, it’s going to hurt.


You like him.

You should fall for him.  You’re 21.  He’s 18.  You’re supposed to be having epic romances.  Let yourself.  See where it leads?

You will heal if he hurts you.  Let him.

Do you want to go through life as an emotional daredevil?  Of COURSE you do.  You will heal if he hurts you. Always keep one eye open and know this might be treacherous. I love you.


Kinda Awkward,

Okay so im 18,and ive had sex a few times..i bottomed now for the 4th time and cant help but feel that its not for me. I hate to say it but, it just feels like im pooping :p

if it wasnt for this constant feeling of pooping when he fucks me,i think i might like it…I know what ur gonna say, poop before, but i do and i still feel it..then im worried ill poop.
is every man suppose to like anal sex? I feel like im a bottom, but i just dont know what all the fuss is about getting fucked. Is the moans and growns in porn, moans of pleasure or just discomfort?.will it become more enjoyable with practice?all i want to do when im with  guy i like is to please him,how can i get around anal sex?How can i keep a guy i like without letting him in?

-Awkward and lonely

p.s. whats ur views on unprotected sex
I bet you’re a beautiful guy.   I know you are.  All Gay people are beautiful and perfect, because all people are.  I believe that.
Here are a few things to consider.
1) Maybe you’re not a bottom?  Hey.  When you’re young and gay and pretty?  EVERYONE wants to fuck you.  But, maybe you’re not a bottom?  That’s a possibility to keep in mind.  Maybe you’re a top?
Or maybe you’re one of those weird Gays that only likes oral sex?  I love those weird Gays!
2) However, it sounds like you want to bottom, or try to learn if you are a bottom. In which case:  Keep Doing It.  Let yourself try it… oh I dunno…  ten times?  If after ten times bottoming you think it’s a nuisance, then try finding a cute boy to top.
I want to ask – are you cleaning out?  Are you giving yourself an enema before you let someone penetrate you?  That can make all the difference.  I know lots of bottoms that fuss about whether they’re going to poop everywhere.  Most of those guys just clean out, so the sex is not filled with… er… smudges…
(if you need more information about this, awkward, just email me and i’ll be more specific)
Here’s my advice:  I frequently think Gay men have the short end of the stick.  We are a cultural bogeyman.  People hate us.  We’re even prone to hating ourselves.
I think we should enjoy the few privileges we have.  One of those privileges is that we get to enjoy both passive and penetrative sex.  Please revel in that.  Please enjoy the benefits to being Gay. Seriously.
BTW.  That constantly pooping feeling?  It goes away. Keep practicing.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice Practice Practice.
P.S.  How do I feel about barebacking?
Please be safe?  AIDS is still real.  HIV is still a pain in the ass.  It’s not a joke.  It’s your life.  Please be smart?
Don’t. Let. Anyone. Bareback.  You.