Thursday, May 27, 2010

Boyfriend #16B: Andy R.

Andy worked 4 jobs. (1) He was a waiter at the Mc Cormick Center Plaza, which is where we met. (2) He worked at UPS unloading boxes from trucks. (3) He cleaned a bar every morning. (4) He was a hired thug for different gangs.

Andy had at least 4 girlfriends as well. None of them knew of the others’ existence. It wasn’t that he was particularly clever; they were all particularly stupid. He had an infant son with one of them. Because she was black, his mother wouldn’t allow her or the baby inside the house. Because he was half Italian, he still lived with his mother.

His mother, although married to a Mexican and clearly a minority in her own right, was extremely racist, which is why she adored me. He brought me around to show me off to her a few times, and she was not inhibited about her dying wish being a holy union between her son and me. Not that she was dying; she simply had a dramatic streak a mile wide.

Over time, I had the opportunity to meet all of Andy’s girlfriends. They were all very sweet and each one of them confided in me that they suspected he might have “someone else”. I was very sweet in return and assured them I hadn’t seen any girls in Andy’s company, with the one exception of whomever I happened to be talking to that day. For some reason which I do not know and would probably not be proud to find out about, I personally was above suspicion.

Andy was quite the charmer. He had a mustache like Heraldo Rivera and the first time he ever met me, he promised me “I’m gonna lick you DRYYYYYYYYYY”, which I found rather amusing, if not completely endearing. But, like most good one-liners, it ended up getting sweeter with time/sinking in on me, and over time, the oft-repeated phrase became a reliable refrain of comfort and consistency in my otherwise manic routine.

In spite of his racist upbringing, Andy was an equal opportunity thug. He and his friend, a very large man with nondescript features and whose name I forget, were like the "Equalizers" of the Chicago gangland community, providing street justice to all -- for a fee. Not to negate their own strong work ethic and spirit of entrepreneurialism; but what really made them a hot commodity was the fact that between the two of them, they owned two coffins.

The basic drill was this: some homey needed some other homey to be taught a lesson. Andy and his friend's paid service was simple yet very effective, and in continuous high demand: they'd follow their target and knock the person out with a baseball bat. When the guy woke up, he'd find himself inside a closed coffin. Then he'd completely freak out and repent, at which point he would be released back into the wilderness of Gangland.

According to Andy's own clinical field studies in the matter, people tend to change their ways very rapidly when they wake up inside a coffin.

What worked for Andy, worked for me. He was the only guy I knew who seemed to be able to afford to buy me steak for dinner on a regular basis, and I truly respected that gentlemanly quality in him. He kind of came across as a pretty nice guy on a number of different levels, as long as you ignored the 4th job, the 4 other girlfriends and his partner's claims that he made and ate cat roadkill pizza on a regular basis. I didn't like to think of myself as "easy" or having low standards; rather I preferred to think of myself as having an open mind and an open heart, and from that point of view I'd say there were worse guys out there that I could've been dating.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

HCG Day 2: Lardass

I decided to try the HCG diet if only because (1) it's so totally crazy that it makes sense (kind of like when something is so ugly it comes full circle and it's cute again) and (2) a number of my friends have lost the collective weight of 2 elephants while doing it.
I was concerned I wouldn't have the extreme discipline that it takes to follow this diet successfully, but my fears have since been allayed by my own behavior for the first two days of this diet (also known as the "loading" days, or Phase 1). My job for the past 48 or so hours has been to eat as much fattening food as possible. Don't ask me to explain why because I'm just doing what I'm told here. The point is, I've been pigging out religiously and have managed to prove to myself that I do in fact have the discipline it takes to stick to the rigorous precision of this particular diet. I'm so fucking fat now that I can barely make it up the stairs, let alone fit into the stairwell, and I am actually looking forward to starving myself for the next three weeks. To cap off my 2-day gorge, I ate the fried skin of a chicken, half the chicken, a baked potato saturated in butter, cheese and sour cream, and now I am making cinnamon rolls for dessert. For health purposes I also opted for some red wine (the theory being that this will cut through the cholesterol and prevent a heart attack before I start Phase 2 tomorrow).
I'm feeling pretty upbeat about this diet and although I look like a monolith, I expect that by tomorrow at noon latest I'll be getting calls from Kate Moss's agent. My diet goal is the same as it's ever been: to look like a heroin junkie waiflike thing. Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eddie Love, Part II

Anyone who still has questions about whether there’s alien life on this planet has not met Eddie Love.

When in motion, it was beyond question that Eddie was, in fact, an alien. In a non-ambulant state, Eddie’s looks were certainly passable: a large-ish, hawk-shaped nose (on a good day, a Roman nose; on a bad day it was a Jewish one), warm, sincere brown puppy eyes, and a not overly short build that could certainly pass for somewhat muscled and sound.

Once he started walking, it was all over. To my well-trained anthropologist’s eye, it was evident beyond any reasonable doubt that Eddie had only very recently joined the human race. Clinically speaking, he definitely displayed a number of symptoms characteristic of arrested evolutionary development. He still had proverbial egg yolk behind his ears.

Eddie’s body lacked not only definition, it seemed to lack perimeter. He had a slow, methodical gait best described as something between lumbering and plodding. It was less one foot in front of the other than like one of those wind-up toys whose feet sort of mechanically loop, or rotate, in front of each other.

Although he did not, I could never shake the eerie impression that Eddie had webbed feet. Especially with his toes turned slightly inwards, he walked almost exactly as if he were wearing scuba flippers.
But the worst part about Eddie in motion occurred above the waist, not below it.

Eddie stuck his ass out when he walked. I don’t mean a little bit. I mean he put Black Ghetto Mama to shame. He had a fairly sizeable ass for a white human male, and if he’d worn it tucked somewhat in, it could have even have been considered an attractive physical feature. However, Eddie walked his ass around as if there were peacock feathers sprouting out of it.

But like I said, the worst part of Eddie in motion was above the waist.

What I’m getting at is Eddie’s hands. When Eddie walked, he tucked his elbows up and wore his hands at just above shoulder level, wrists extended back to expose his palms gleefully facing front. From the waist up, his body language was a perpetual expression of a pleasantly surprised Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Maybe he used his hands to counterbalance the weight of his hyper-extended ass. But it was very, very certain that Eddie was simply not used to inhabiting a humanoid form and that he just didn’t quite know how to pull it off.

After a few weeks of watching this, any possible remnants of novelty had worn off and all that was left for me was the grating chafe of embarrassment of being associated with a half-hatched human amoeba. Eddie wasn’t one to take subtle hints: if he were, he would’ve noticed that my tendency to walk on the opposite sidewalk of him when we were going somewhere in public bespoke of an underlying situation that would require eventual address. After all, I lived in Southside Chicago, and any reputational considerations aside, it was an actual safety hazard to be seen walking down those streets with a white man who walked like a blissed-out, oblivious fag.

I tried to enlighten him; to appeal to his senses, as it were. “When we walk down the street together, you are supposed to protect me from real or potential threats”, I lectured him. “This is how you walk” (I imitated a large bird with a spear stuck in its ass). “It does not make me feel safe and protected to walk with you”.

I allowed a few minutes to let the weight of my words penetrate, visualizing a brain deep inside his skull of a consistency, density and color not unlike the ancient peat bog from whence I imagine he had emerged. (In spite of how amazingly dense he was, I was to find out later that Eddie had a genius-level IQ, which made him the closest thing to an idiot savant that I’ve ever dated – or known otherwise). I then launched into the first of what would become a series of walking lessons for Eddie.

My only real goal was to teach him how to walk like a human male, not even so much out of self-interest or to “change him” than for the purely altruistic goal of helping him escape detection for a few more years until his work on this planet was complete. It was painfully obvious that Eddie was new at this human thing, and it was my job to do right by my expensive cultural anthropology degree to teach him our ways so he at least had a fighting chance.

Every woman wants a guy to make her feel special. Eddie definitely did this for me. I felt like he was an important project which, once complete, might change the course of human history as we know it. For the first time in a long while, I felt historically relevant, probably not unlike Rudyard Kipling, when he expressed his sentiments towards his responsibility for the civilization of savages in his famous poem titled “The White Man’s Burden”. Eddie was my savage little alien, sent to me for reasons I had yet to fully understand.

Eddie Love, Part I

I first met Eddie Love on my way to a Grateful Dead show. Between swings on a swing (where else), we arranged for my transportation issues to be solved by means of an available seat behind him on his motorcycle. This seat is generally called “riding Bitch”, but it beats walking and in my opinion also beats the front seat of a motorcycle and its attendant liabilities of snagging bugs with one’s teeth.

Eddie was a postgraduate student of Business Administration at a college (THE college) in Madison, Wisconsin. He had graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Physics. He seduced me with his ramblings about how molecules under a microscope do the beautiful dance of the universe and other far-out platitudes which grooved very nicely with the overall pre-Dead concert vibe.

And I’ve found it to be true that motorcycles generally tend to add a point or two on a guy’s hotness scale ranking. I have many stories about motorcycles. Not all have ended well, but so what – they had a motorcycle, and I had them, which invariable makes for a great start. In fact, I could write a book about men and the art of relationship maintenance. But I digress. Which I generally do when encountered with a man and a motorcycle.

After Eddie’s Dead show motorcycle chauffeuring of my super-friendly, peace-loving white ass, he started visiting me in Chicago on the weekends. He’d ride his bike through sub-zero temperatures to my cute little studio apartment in Hyde Park (he could handle the cold – Eddie was a self-described “Bronx Baby” who explained to me that if you don’t resist the wind and the chill, it doesn’t stay inside you, it just kind of goes through you) and we’d have sex and sleep in and in the mornings, he’d walk over to the European-style deli and come back with orange juice, a fresh baguette, smoked Gouda and occasionally, when they were available, an avocado. Then, still camping out in bed, we’d pig out on these delicacies, always to the extreme delight of my taste buds.

Eddie and I didn’t talk about the future or the past. We didn’t make plans. We didn’t take steps to step up the relationship. I enjoyed the simplicity of the arrangement. He’d show up, we’d have a good time, he’d leave and chances are, we’d do the same thing the following weekend – but we never scheduled our time together and we never planned for it. Very basic, simple and free-lovey – a perfect recipe for a young nubile eighteen year-old college student who was more interested in the theoretical negative space of astrophysics than in boys. Boys were a dime a dozen back then. Call it “sex for retards” – literally a no-brainer. It was easy to follow, a convenient mutual pleasure, and we both enjoyed it for what it was and no more and no less.

The most memorable part of the whole thing was the smoked Gouda. That discovery kind of changed my life.

On one weekend, I made the mistake of releasing Eddie into the wilderness of my college partying network. We got drunk, as was generally called for by the social environment. Nothing unusual about that. This was, however, the first time that I was together with Eddie in a social setting with people other than myself present. I left Eddie to his own devices, and he left me to mine. He didn’t make it back to my place that night, but I did not consider this a cause for alarm.

The next morning, I got a phone call from my friend Chandra telling me to pick up Eddie from her place. Her tone of voice betrayed that there was a bit more to the scene. I got the distinct impression that if I didn’t get my ass over there posthaste, her next call was going to be to the Humane Society.

It turns out that Eddie had a proclivity, or penchant if you will, for pissing. He literally had pissed all over Chandra’s room. Everywhere. Every last corner. Eddie had pissed on her bed. He had pissed on her pillow. He had pissed on her floor, her curtains, her clothing, her furniture. From all appearances and from the results of my own amateur forensic investigation of the crime scene, he had spent quite a bit of time diligently hosing down, in excruciating detail, everything my friend Chandra owned. It was almost mystical. I mean, we are talking gallons of the stuff – everywhere. If he’d been around when the Chicago fire started, no one would have ever heard of the fire.

This was the thanks Eddie had given my friend, in his inebriated, dog-like state, for taking him in when he was too out of his head to know where he was supposed to go. According to Chandra, his manic micturations were also not enough to dampen his more debonair side, and at some point between whizzing all over her carpet and her bedding, had also offered to satisfy her every sexual whim, which, under the circumstances, failed to impress her or fill her with longing.

I played a very stern hand with Eddie at that point. Eddie was already well into the self-mortification ritual of a million “I’m sorry’s” before I arrived on the scene, but let’s face it, sometimes “I’m sorry” doesn’t quite cut it, and this happened to be one of those occasions when a little more action was called for before he had any chance at obtaining forgiveness. He was the embodiment of hangdog. He spent the entire day scuttling back and forth from the laundromat with mountains of urine-soaked clothing and bedding, like an apologetic and massively hung-over (Jewish) coolie. After he finally finished cleaning whatever could be cleaned, I sent Eddie away in true German “don’t fuck with me” style, with my finger pointing to the door. On the one hand, how was I supposed to know that the guy I was having a sexual liaison with peed everywhere the second he was released into public? I mean, this is one of those things you can only learn the hard way. It’s not as if he’s going to disclose such a fact to you, and it’s not as if it’s one of those questions one think s of to ask. Although my own father had surprised me in the past with the in-depth nature of the grilling interviews he subjected my romantic prospects to (before I learned to never bring them home, that is), asking pointed questions such as “What is your GPA? What’s your major? Here’s the remote: you have 3 seconds to find the sports channel; What do your parents do for a living? What is your estimated net worth?” not even once did he ever ask the burning question: “When you find yourself in a somewhat delicate social situation, do you consider saturating all available surfaces with your urine within a ten foot, 360 degree radius as a valid form of stress relief?”. I guess you just have to fuck with one eye open, and monitor your guy’s urination habits for a while, an eventuality I was simply not prepared for at the time.

My momma never told me that just because a guy's lovemaking skills are no guarantee that he is housebroken.

That was the last time I saw Eddie. For a few years, anyways. Until we moved in together, that is.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Random musings

-If men were left to rule the world, there’d be no one left to rule the world.

-The only medium that can encompass the terrific depth and breadth of life is the experience of, and participation in, life itself. There is no substitute for living out loud.

-A true artist has the ability to actually become something or someone else, to rise up to a level of KNOWING the object or subject of one's art, to where one has the ability and willingness to embracively BE it. It's a higher level of grokking something than "merely" understanding it. I think this is true for any medium a true artist excels in, whether it's writing, music, painting, etc. Your thoughts?

"Daddy Gio, I want my mommy". "Why?" "Because I like her". (5/18/10)

My 2 year-old's GI tract never ceases to amaze me. (5/17/10)

Definition of Purgatory: sitting in front of a blank computer screen, waiting for the page to load. (5/17/10)

If you need some ideas for fixing a nagging problem, watch a few Road Runner reruns. The Road Runner just cheerfully turns whatever is aimed at him back at his aggressor. It's so zen. (5/17/10)

It's hard not to become a racist after visiting Walmart. Every time I go, I become super prejudiced against white people. (5/17/10)

When I was 5, there was a kid in my neighborhood named Carl Gunderson whom I did not like because he was dirty and his buttcrack hung out over his brown Toughskin jeans. So I devised a plan to rid myself of my enemy: Being that he was a dirty boy, it was only logical that he would like dirty things. So I made a brew of mud and sticks and bigs inside a pail and put the pail in the middle of my back yard.
The plan was, Carl would come lumbering through my yard on his way back from school, see the pail with yucky stuff in it, say "yum yum" and drink it all. Then he'd die. The logic was impeccable and the plan seemed absolutely flawless. When it didn't happen exactly like that, I couldn't believe it.

Carl survived. He never even walked through my back yard as planned. I was so taken aback that my perfect plan had been foiled, I'm still in a bit of a slump over it. What's odd about this incident is it totally stuck me in this utter disbelief when it didn't pan out exactly as I had planned it. I'm still obviously not over it. (5/16/10)

Just yelled at my kids because it's obvious they can't hear my "indoor voice". (5/16/10)

Hard Rock Cafe my ass. More like Fat F#@% Cafe. I don't get it. Made me want to become an expat postehaste. (5/15/10)

Drove "all" the way to Tampa Whole Foods to buy my favorite soap in the world. Realized at the cashier that I'd forgotten my wallet and only had $15 in cash. Unloaded the entire cart --
"just the soap, please". The soap came to around $23 -- for a few slices, mind you. I left the store $9 poorer with 2 slivers of the pr...ecious stuff and with my tail between my legs. Retail therapy backfired. (5/14/10)

My daughter proudly informed me this morning that she "got out the big fish!". I went upstairs to investigate and said fish was flopping around on the dining room table next to a spoon, clearly not enjoying himself. Inside the aquarium were a salt shaker, a suction cup and two rubber duckies. I rearranged a few things ...and am happy to report that the "big fish" seems to have survived his little adventure quite well. (5/13/10)

I feel like a human blotation device. (5/12/10)

I don't beg to differ. I'll just differ. Differing away after a busy busy day (5/11/10)

Survey question for Italians: is my fiancee the only Italian guy who hides a few pounds of imported Parmesan cheese in his desk, or is this some common Italian thing? (5/11/10)

"Mommy, are you and Daddy Gio getting married?" "Yes". "Oh. But mommy, I want to marry you". (5/10/10)