Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

All About Mike

It’s strange how some people can look at something or someone and see fire and music while others, to paraphrase Margot Channing, will see only an old kazoo with bit of sparkle. The latter will be the phrase that I will refer to myself as. It’s not something that I want, but I’m not ashamed of it either. What I would be ashamed of, would be to act like the other old kazoos who hang out in the locker rooms of my gym.


In the men’s locker room at a gym, you will often be surrounded by youth and testosterone, muscle and power, supple bodies and lithe limbs. You will also find older trolls lurking about, leering at what can be seen and hoping to approach those that can be easily had. These men are the ones that think they are the only grown faggots in Boys Town. They are the ones that stare in the mirror imagining what it would be like to touch you. These are the ones that linger in the shower a little too long, gawking behind the half closed curtains with their dicks saluting the midday sun. Milkman Mike is one of these people.

Mike, of course that is not his real name, is a middle aged man of average height. He has a lumpy build with pale and pasty skin. I have seen him at my gym for the last seven of eight years and I am still looking for some sign of physical improvement. But what he does do well is make himself known to almost everyone there. He speaks to all, from employees to management and from students to senator. He makes banal and forgettable statements that interest no one all the while searching for an opportunity to ingratiate himself with you.

I first noticed Mike when he would stand naked in front of me, legs akimbo, blow drying his balls in hope that I would take notice of him. It wasn’t difficult to keep my eyes above his waist or even turn away in complete disgust and ignore the show. But when he started following me into the sauna or steam room he began to get unbearable.

When I was in the sauna I would always be wrapped in a towel if I was sitting up or completely naked if I was lying down like many of the guys who go there. My eyes would be covered or closed as I tried to relax and take in the heat. Then Mike would walk in, dressed in his work out clothes and bottle of eucalyptus oil. He would pour the oil somewhere on the furnace so it would stink up the room to open up the sinuses or annoy the shit out of me, I’m not sure which.

After a while when he had finished saying how good it was to see me and I had turned my head towards the wall, I would hear the sound of his hand sliding rhythmically up and down flesh. If I turned suddenly or looked up, I would catch him either be staring at my dick or tucking his own into his pants.

The idea of being stuck in a room with him nauseated me, but he soon got the notion that I was not interested in him and started to leave me alone when newer and fresher dark meat started to come to the club.

Now I look at Milkman Mike and laugh to myself when I see him trip over himself chasing the younger guys. I see him wander in out of the sauna from ten to forty minutes trying to get someone to nut with. It amuses me that he still doesn’t realize that very few people are interested in him or his antics. I entertain myself by wondering why he doesn’t grasp the idea that he is just an old kazoo with NO sparkle in him.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Brother can you spare a dime?"

After I left the gym tonight, I was feeling hungry. What to do? Get something from a fast food restaurant or pizza place? Quick and easy? No, the best thing would have been to go to a supermarket and get what I needed so I could actually have something nutritious, possibly fresher and in the long run cheaper. So I went to the Whole Foods Market on South St. in Philadelphia and got some vegetables and something to drink. The purchase was small and was done quickly. I was in and out of the store within minutes.

As I left the store, I passed a man, taller and younger than myself, as seems to be the case more and more these days, standing outside. He was only a few yards away from the exit door and while he looked clean and well mannered, if there is such a thing, I knew that the first thing out of his would be the plead for money as I passed him.

Sure enough, even though I had my iPod on trying to shut out the world and keep what I didn't want to be seen away from me, I heard him ask, "please, can you help me out so I can get something to eat?" as I got closer.

Hah, the nerve. Asking me for money so he could buy food outside of a supermarket. Everyone knows that people in his situation want money for only two things, drugs and alchohol. I wasn't going to fall for that line, so I just shook my head and walked on my way. "Happy Thanksgiving," he said as I left him behind.

"Mother fucking bitch," I thought. He was trying to make me feel guilty for having what I had and he didn't. That was another line that I wasn't going down for. You have to wake up pretty damn early in the morning to think of something that would make me feel bad, or guilty over something that I had no control over. I walked away fuming, but solid in my commitment not to fall into his trap.

However, as I reached the corner and I began to hope that the few dollars that I had in my wallet would be enough for me to get a pack of cigarettes at the Korean store on 10th St. I know, cigarettes, a dirty habit, I've heard it all before, but if you're not sleeping with me, lay off. Anyway, I also began to wonder what made me so holier than thou. I thought, "how can I get my drug fix and look down on him? How do I even know what he really wants to do?" I didn't and even if I did what difference would it have made?

So I turned back. I walked over to young man and handed him two dollars. He said something to me, I didn't really hear, either the iPod had become louder or the blood was rushing in my head. I'm not quite sure. But I did know leaving the area that no matter how "happy" my Thanksgiving would be, I woud not feel guilty about my new found friend this season.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you...

I saw Philadelphia's Mayor-Elect, Michael Nutter today around lunch time.

Well when I say I saw him, I don't mean we had a power lunch together to sort out the present ills of Philadelphia, or even its' future goals. When I say I saw him, I mean exactly that. I saw him on 13th Street standing outside some store a few stores away from the adult book store and across the street from the gay movie house. (Does anyone actually watch movies there?)

The Mayor-Elect was surrounded by the 3 or 4 mayoral lackeys that you usually find around a mayor. You know the type, clean shaved and dressed in 3 thousand dollar suits. Looking for all the world as if nothing could touch them now. Standing as if all their hopes and ambitions were about to be met.

I walked towards Mr.Nutter and I noticed people would go up to him as he spoke on his cell phone and shake his hand. I assumed that they were congratulating him on his recent victory. I kept getting closer and closer to him until finally we were at each other side, an arms length away from one another when I turned my head, looked in a store window and kept walking. I had places to go, people to see. Shady? Well I don't know.

This was not the first or even the second time that I have acted this way with the Mayor to be. There was some street celebration earlier this year, the Jazz festival on Broad St. I believe, when he and his entourage walked up to where I was standing. People around us congratulated him on winning the Primary. I merely turned my back and tried to listen to the music.

It wasn't that I was sore that as city council man he was responsible for putting the ban on cigarette smoking in bars into effect and now, if I were so inclined, I would have to stand out side and smoke, looking like one of those dogs you see tied up outside a grocery store. It wasn't that I had kept a grudge from 14 years earlier when I had applied for a job at his office and have never to this day received an answer. No, I'm not upset. In fact I really want him to be successful in turning the city around. It's just that I don't know him; and what is the point of speaking to a man if he will forget who you are within 30 seconds?

So if any of you out there know me and knows the next mayor of Philadelphia, introduce us. What harm will it do? I swear I wont speak about smoking, lost job opportunities or grudges. Promise. I wouldn't embarrass you.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's Yesterday Once More

When I was young... I mean younger, I thought that if you had a radio and was not listening to music, then you must have been considerably old, World War II generation. You were someone who was completely out of touch with real life and would gossip nonsense with others just to make yourself feel good. Everyone who was "with it" had a television set. Some of us even had a color one. All the entertainment and instant news and information could be got just by sitting in front of the box a few hours a day.

Now, I still don't listen to the radio, but I do listen to what's produced on it. I listen to podcasts. These help me listen to shows that I could not otherwise listen to because of scheduling conflicts. The shows that I want to listen to are played while I am at work, or when I am underground on the subway, or when I want to do something else at that time. National Public Radio (NPR) has become a favorite of mine because of this new technology or fad. Their podcasts sometimes give me a different perspective on subjects that I had thought I had already known about. I will agree that they are often politically liberal in their approach to things, but I don't think they are politically biased and they will often show both sides of an issue.

So think of my surprise when a few days ago when I was listening to a podast about, "How the Internet is changing how we think about our reputations," when they started to talk about websites like Don't Date Him Girl.com, a website dedicated to outing men who did their women wrong. Can you imagine a website where all your dirty laundry will be out there for everyone to see for maybe who knows how long. The entire idea sends chills up my spine.

It's a good thing that they don't have a website where gay men could do that sort of thing. It would be brutal. The things some vicious queens would say about their men would shock you into the next century. I mean take for example my last 3 exes... Oops, sorry got to run.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

No man is an Island

I am not one who will go to all the Black Gay Pride events that are out there. In fact apart from this year, I have not been to one since the 90's. Sure, I have done the Pride Parade in New York and the little kind of festivals they have here in Philadelphia, but none of those have been about black people getting together to celebrate just the thought of getting together.

Well this year was different. I went to the Black Pride events in New York City, but I'm not going to talk about that just yet due to some personal issues that I am still not over. No, instead I will talk about the Fire Island Black Out.

Now Fire Island is a strip of land just south of Long island in New York. To get to it, you either have to drive or take the train to Sayville and catch a ferry from there. The whole trip can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours one way from Philadelphia depending on what day and time you leave. When you do get there, on most days you will find the part that you're interested in will be split up into 2 parts, the Pines and Cherry Grove. Mainly men on the Pines and women on the other. It's a rather laconic type of place, what you see is what you get. There is little to do but strip down to what you dare, or even less, and lay about and think of things to do to amuse yourself. Most times, you are going to see mainly white people laying around, many of them taking in the sun, the surf, or the view. Some even heading behind the Dunes for some illicit adventures. But during the Fire Island Black Out (FIBO), you will find a large black spot on the sand where brothers will be loving brothers and sisters co-mingling with sisters.

This year was the first time that I had attended the event. I was told by a fellow gym member that he and a few of his friends and had been renting a house on Fire Island for a few years and that they were tired of being the only African Americans around. So they started to organize an annual event where they would encourage more black people to go to the island.

I arrived shortly before noon on the island with some friends and was immediately struck by how I was surrounded by so many black men of all types. Big and muscular, small or fat, fem and butch, the young and the not so young. All were there, showing off what they thought were their best assets the best way they could on what ever small patch of sand that they could claim.

Men with their tumescent dicks extended so far out of their bathing costumes, that I can only surmise that they must have been wearing cock rings in their trunks, were beaten out only by the men who dared show part of their ass cracks, some of them all of their ass crack. And then those men were out numbered by the big titty women who came later on in the afternoon, letting their large naked pendulous breasts swing freely in celebration as they joined the group.

Then everyone started playing with one another, meeting old friends and getting to know new ones. All of us recognizing that we were all part that great diaspora and the petty conflicts and rivalries that usually accompany such gatherings were put aside.

I have not enjoyed myself so much in such a long time. Being there in the company of good friends and good people. But I left before the night's entertainment began knowing that I would return again, soon.

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