Sunday, January 23, 2005


Love Story

It's fairly obvious that the sight of Steve pulling himself out of Central Park lake and rushing up to me as I headed (at a leisurely pace) toward the Rambles will stay with me forever. Never learned why Steve fell (or was he pushed?) into the lake. He was so happy to see me -- unusual in itself. In school we talked, but not that much. We weren't "friends" in any real way. He was "nice enough" yet somehow never held my attention. Perhaps it was because he didn't seem to need it. Steve was very assurred. Or rather he seemed that way. "Hail Fellow Well Met" defined him. Deep voice, hearty laugh, moved through the halls with complete control. The world was his -- or so it seemed. For anyone pulling themself out of Central Park lake can't really be called "assurred" or "controlled" -- even though everything else about Steve's manner was as before. But there he was suddenly wanting to talk to me -- suddenly wanting to pour his heart out to me about Nelson who he'd loved and lost years before. This was 1975. Their affair had come to a very dramatic halt in the mid-sixties. That he's known Nelson at all seemed so strange. Nelson was a Golden Boy -- the Perfect WASP. Blonde, tall, snotty, impervious, impregnable, gorgeous-beyond-belief. Steve was a Mook. Everyone wanted Nelson. Steve got him. In the yearbook there's a photo of Nelson and Steve, leaving the building one fall afternoon. Nelson is to the right of the shot staring directly into the camera. Steve is to the left staring at Nelson and gesturing with his hand, much like a figure in a Caravaggio. Behind them and approaching fast is Margot -- looking partially at the camera and partially at Nelson, who she wanted. I recall a party this future Wiccan priestess and NPR commentator gave at her mother's apartment where several kids were invited over only to find that its real purpose was for Margot to try to find a way to get herself alone with Nelson. Rather embarassing -- but that's what adolescence is about, isn't it folks? Steve wasn't at that party. Steve was seldom seen in Nelson's public presence -- which is why the yearbook photo is so rare. It's almost like a snapshot that the Red Squad (perpetually parked in front of Music and Art to keep an eye on the "Red-Diaper Babies" who went there) would have taken. It complimented Steve's tale of woe -- getting thrown out of Nelson's wedding, with Nelson locking himself in the bathroom until Steve was shown the door. How do you love a man who didn't love back, who didn't known how to love, only how to fuck? Needless to say this was the last time I saw Steve. In the yearly class announcements he's listed as "missing." Nelson's still around somewhere. He didn't show at the '99 reunion (the last one I went to), but others did. And none of them knew a thing about Nelson and Steve.

I am the keeper of this love

Saturday, January 08, 2005


Day for Night

It's a late afternoon in the early 70's on the Upper East Side of New York. I'm walking on Fifth right alongside Central Park. I stop in at a townhouse owned by someone whose name I can't recall. How I met him I can't remember either. Or what he does. But he's generally available in the late afternoons for a fuck. He doesn't want to admit he enjoys it as much as I do. He connects joy with loss of "masculinity" and hence loss of power. Silly of course, but I tolerate it because I love fucking in the afternoon.

In some ways it's just like fucking late at night. Time stands still. Context vanishes. Just bodies moving together for pleasure that is at once mutual and distinct. What is he thinking? Does he care that i wonder what he's thinking? Possibly. For a moment sex makes him present as it won't be once the moment passes. In that moment he's alive. And real. And provisionally mine.

It's late afternoon on the Lower East Side and I tumble into Allen's apartment for a quick fuck. Allen's much nicer than the Upper East Side guy, but his apartment's much tattier. And in a funny way he's just as remote. No "masculinity" games with Allen, but power games nonetheless. He wants to think of himself in control of the situation, and I don't protest. Why? because he's so pleasant. At least superficially. For subtly he pushes me around in his mind. And with his body too. It's like wrestling in many ways. I pin him. He pins me. And he laughs all the while.How can I object? Still he recedes. Much like the Upper East Side guy-- whose indifference cum hostility is at least honest.

But one gets what one doesn't pay for: a nice fuck. They remain "inviolable." I maintain my solitude. I drift off into the city, and the next thing I do -- which can be as banal as buying a book (a Huxley novel, a collection of Mallarme prose poems) -- seem exciting. It's like the sudden rush after a good meal -- but without the slight sense of bloat. I am satisfied and I am alone in the half-deserted city.

Thoughts race. To love without being "loved" is not without value. O you who've "given yourself to me" without really doing so -- my love. Stay as you are, "untouched." Inviolable in your "power." I love you all the same. Just as much.

Now it's night.

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