Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Bounty

The entire house smells like shrimp creole, which is great because I love shrimp creole.

Mom calls my name from downstairs, so I climb off my futon and trot down to the kitchen. She's sitting at the round, wooden table with two plastic bags from Rouse's in front of her. She's peeling from one bag and discarding the shells into the other. On the stove, she's got a red roux going, and the rich aroma of butter and seasoning makes my jaw sore.

"That smells incredible," I say.

"Are you going to hang around and eat with us, or do you have somewhere to go?" she asks, rhythmically tearing shrimp from shell and sorting accordingly.

"I plan on it," I say.

"Going out?" she asks.

"Probably. This guy wanted to take me to dinner, and I don't think I'm going to like him, so I said I'd meet him for drinks," I say. I can tell she's trying to figure out what to say next.

"You don't think you're going to like him?" she says. "How do you know him in the first place?"

I sit down, pick up a shrimp, and say without looking at her, "From my blog."

"You're meeting someone for the first time who found you through your blog?" she asks. "Please tell me you haven't done this before."

I tell her I haven't, but I'm lying.

Without looking at me, she sighs and says, "Don't write about us, please."

"I already do," I say. "It's nothing bad, though."

She's still fixated on the shrimp. "Just please don't use our real names."

"What if I just call y'all 'mom' and 'dad?'" I say. "That way, no one with know who you really are."

It’s not surprising that some people (guys I’m trying to bang, in particular) find my blog threatening. Maybe threatening isn’t the word, but definitely repellent. One time, I was introduced to my friend’s friend from Dallas or Tampa or whatever and his immediate response to my handshake was “You’re not going to write about me, are you?” His tone was serious and he had genuine fear in his eyes. “I’m just meeting you,” I said. “My name is Ryan Rogers, by the way. And no, I don’t think I’m going to write about you. Unless you want to do mouth stuff in the DJ booth.” He did not.

But I get it. I write about people, change some details, and then put it on the Internet. I completely understand why you wouldn’t want to get involved with me. Which is why I’m pleasantly surprised when people (guys I’ve never met before, in particular) read my blog and then want to meet me. Most of the time, I say thank you and chat a while, but sometimes, the guy is too hot to pass up, and I invite him to dinner. I’ve met quite a few guys through exboyfriendmaterial.com, and many of them turn out to by nice, well-meaning gentlemen who just think I’m funny, or insightful, or smart. They compliment my writing and ask me if it’s all true. And I blush and squirm because I really hate discussing my writing without a computer monitor to hide behind.

First, there was the guy who picked me up outside of F&M’s for dinner that one night. In pictures, he was handsome and chiseled, but in person, he was lanky and reminded me of a praying mantis. In the morning, he drove me from his place in Mid-City to my parents’ house on the Westbank, and we didn’t speak throughout the duration of the ride. I saw him a few weeks ago and he made me laugh a few times when he talked about the way I amplify my sexuality when I’m drunk. “You wiggle,” he said. “Like you’re listening to music.”

Next, there is the guy who came from Monroe on a Friday and stayed at my house in Lafayette until Sunday. I really liked this last guy, but I didn’t watch his car drive away because I knew it would make me sad. He drove back to Monroe, patched things up with his boyfriend, and I haven’t heard from him since. I’ve written two blog posts about him, and he didn’t deserve either. And I won't give him another sentence after this one.

In April, there was the Jewish guy with the beautiful apartment and the stellar taste in music. He liked The Weepies and I did, too. We draped ourselves across his bed and he played songs I’d never heard before by Foals, Husky Rescue, Deb Talan, Blackmill, and Timmy Curran. He had a lovable face; which made me think he had a lot of friends. We showered together and I split my focus between trying to identify the colored flecks in the bar of soap and sucking in my stomach. Even though this guy had just seen me naked from multiple angles, standing upright in the shower with a thin veil of steam between us made me feel overwhelmingly aware of every imperfection. My marshmallow fluff chest, the birthmark on my pelvis, and my thin, skeletal wrists were all exposed under the pale glow above us. He didn't try to kiss me in the shower, but I preferred it that way. If he were someone I loved, I would've wanted him to kiss me. And maybe we’d even slow dance. It would've felt natural with the music playing; an Alice Smith song I recognized from when I used to bartend. But instead of kissing or dancing like people with tomorrows, we passed the speckled soap and traded places when it was time to rinse off.

Then, there was Mr. Talented; a 19-year-old gymnast/singer/cheerleader from Shreveport. I was ambivalent about meeting him until he actually showed up at my house, and then I started tripping over my dick trying to impress him. Mr. Talented was sunshine personified; extremely handsome and radiating confidence. We ate together and then met my friends at Art Walk. Outside one of the galleries, I talked to a Production Assistant from Malibu while he took a phone call. Mr. Talented interrupted our conversation and said that his grandmother had suffered a heart attack. He looked genuinely disoriented, like someone had just struck him in the head with something heavy. I drove him back to my house and forcibly put him into his car to begin the long ride back to Shreveport. After he left, I got drunk with my friends and we voted on whether granny really had a heart attack or if Mr. Talented was just having a bad time and needed an escape. In the end, it didn't work out, but I don't remember why.

Tonight, I'm meeting a guy who has the same name as my dad, but I can't say the name because my mother forbid me from doing so. He plays softball and he's twice my size. He thinks I'm funny, or insightful, or smart, and I think he's too hot to pass up.

In the kitchen, my mom finally looks up at me, stands, and brushes the errands shell scraps onto the floor where the chihuahua and the pomaranian tear into them. "The ladies I work with have daughters. They follow you on Facebook. I don't want to hear about myself in one of your gay sex stories, understand?" "I swear," I say. "I won't use your real name and I won't talk about you having gay sex."

There used to be a seafood restaurant in Belle Chasse called The Bounty. It was known for serving huge portions of fried catfish, oysters, crawfish, and shrimp, and even though it's been closed for nearly 15 years, I have vivid memories of stuffing myself until I had to be carried out. I really hated fried oysters, but I ate them anyway because they were there; mixed in with the catfish and the shrimp. It was difficult for me to pass up the oysters, even though I didn't have a taste for them, simply because they were in front of me. "Maybe I'll like them this time," I'd think. "And there's so much other stuff on the table that I can always get the taste out of my mouth with something different. But who knows when I'm going to have the opportunity to eat oysters again? And maybe one day, the oyster will be extinct and I'll always wonder if I ate enough while I could. But right now, there's an abundance. So I'm going to give them another shot."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just A Quick Note

Sometimes, the notes I take in my phone are way more interesting than any piece of writing that I might labor over. The following is a selection of stray thoughts that may cause severe boners.

Live every day like it's your bachelorette party in Vegas.

Hey, if you watch more than five minutes of Dance Moms, you develop what physicians call Permanent Noodle Dick (PND).

I could totally angryfuck to every song on Yeezus.

Create a series of greeting cards that all say "I Blame You" on the cover. Perfect for Father's Day, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, or condolences.

Watch Mermaids: The Body Found on Animal Planet. Now.

Is Guy Fieri actually the guy from Smash Mouth?

LMFTO (Laughing My Fucking Tits Off)

If I see you wearing an untucked button-down with a tie, I swear to God I will hit you public. I'm looking at you, North Louisiana gays.

Use spit. It'll fit.

Buy a bar. Name it Public School.

Is God lonely?

Velveeta Shells & Cheese is the easy way out, Mom.

Apparently, I fake it with hairdressers.

This morning, I had to pick up two condoms off my floor from two separate occasions. I'm disgustingly cool.

Poem for my boner:

Ahoy, old chum. You’ve grown up fast.
Since morning have I seen you last.
Across my balls, your shadow cast.
I am the ship. And you, my mast.

I have not fathered lass or gent,
Though I feel paternal sentiment.
For you, my little pole-of-tent,
My love for you knows no extent.

But like a father, I will know
The disappointing, crushing blow
That comes whenever you don’t show.
But rest assured, I’ll let it go.

And sometimes when you do show up,
It’s not the time, my eager pup.
Into my waistband, you’ll turn up.
Next time, I’ll maybe wear a cup.

Nothings says "down to fuck" like a shark tooth necklace.

From Kroll's Show: "Excuse me baby? Are you 9/11?"
"Because I could never forget you."

He's giving me Little Facebook Boners (LFB).

Black people love making up nicknames for themselves, don't they?

Why do people go to college to study landscape architecture, again?

When I see a picture of three gays together, I immediate decide which two have already slept together.

This buffalo sauce isn't going to shotgun itself.

Say girl, you want some fries to go wit that dick?

"My friends from Los Angles are in town and I'm going to meet them at a bar in the Warehouse District," is the coolest sentence I've ever said.

I just farted and the force could've easily knocked down a toddler.

Moral is just oral with a little mmmmm.

Send money to thepuppychannel.com.

I can barely function as a human, let alone a top.

Valentine's Day Card concept:
[Front of card] "This Is An NSA Valentine's Day Card."
[Interior of card] "There's absolutely nothing you have to do for me. Just enjoy it. Just lay back and enjoy it."

Think with your guts. Not your nuts.

Mary Poppins. Is she like a witch or something? Why don't we ever go the bottom of that in the story And why don't they do a movie where we explore the source of her magical abilities?

I've screwed half the people in this bar. It's like I'm having gayjà vu.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pieces Of Sky

In the beginning, there was me without you. Then you. Then the two of us.

After that, there was me without you again. And then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then them, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him, and then him.

Now, it's me without him or you, and sometimes without myself. Thankfully, God never gifted me with the capacity to feel loneliness, so I don't ever feel isolated when it's me without you or him. I just sleep alone and read more and eat less and spread love around to the people who aren't too far away. I take work home with me and stay late at the office, occasionally stepping outside to smoke cigarettes and feel crowded by the stars. This isn't making do. This isn't trying to pass for busy. I'm not channeling anything. I just operate outside of us, now.

I still miss you, though. I miss the beginning; not the way-way back, but the time when it was the two of us. Before it was me without you for the first time. I miss the way I felt when you stood next to me in my parents' living room; you meeting mom and dad for the first time. We were in the place I grew up, with the people who raised and nurtured me from birth, but for some reason, standing only inches away from you while you talked to my mother about your dreams to one day own your own architecture firm, I felt like a piece of your mass. You didn't noticed, but I rocked back on my heels and let my shoulder blade graze your chest. You were so much bigger than me, and you made me feel small. But not insignificantly small; small in the way that I could live in your orbit and eventually collide with you. I remember wishing I could see us the way my mom saw us: your body framing mine with the light from the ceiling fan bouncing off of me and onto you and then the wall behind us. My shadow. My mountain.

And then there was the time we had sex on the floor of your townhouse. You'd just moved into the place and the furniture we'd picked out from Pier 1 was due for delivery the following morning. I was rushing to make a closing shift at Johnny Carino's and you were sitting cross-legged on the floor of the living room, tinkering with a glass vase in an attempt to turn it into a lamp. You drilled a hole into the base and fished a cord through it, while I watched you from the kitchen, brushing my teeth over the sink, as you switched it on and blinked at the the new glow. I loved you often, but I felt it profoundly in that moment. So I spat into the sink, rinsed out my my mouth, and went over to kiss you goodbye. I was wearing my uniform, a black button-down tucked into black chinos, and you were in loose-fitting gym shorts and a backwards cap. You'd forsaken a shirt. And when I bent down to kiss you, you grabbed me by the shoulders and shucked me down on top of you.

You were much stronger than me, and the best I could do when you were aggressive with me was to squirm and escape. Years of high school varsity wrestling had taught me how to kick ass and defend myself, but you were well out of my weight class, and I didn't have the upper body strength to muscle you into submission. So I usually just took your wrist and swept my legs around, pulling myself from under you and then I'd face you in a staggered stance, motioning for you to come and get me. Either that or I just let you win. In that instance on the floor of you townhouse, I let you win. My consolation prize was you. And I didn't care that my shift had started without me and that I'd have to re-style my hair before I left. I would remember this forever. Because it would never be as good as this ever again.

When you broke up with me, you were wearing a shirt the color of Merlot and it was somewhere around four in the evening on a Sunday. We didn't cry and we didn't make a lot of eye contact. I didn't accept your hug and let you leave with so much as a "fuck you." Then, I changed my outfit, met my friends for drinks and met someone else. He was everything you weren't: skinny, simple, present, unburdened, stupid, loving, modest, unobtrusive, innocent, and happy. I loved him very much, and after he moved away, we tried to make it work until I broke his heart like you broke mine, and a few days later, I received a letter in the mail with an engagement ring inside. You would've hated it. No diamonds or anything. But I loved it, and I let it break me down.

He was the first in a long list of your successors, but he was the only one to live in your wake. You don't haunt me like you used to, but sometimes I wish you would. I still scan pictures for your face and survey parking lots for your car. Your absence has made you more present than ever before.

And every now and then, I have to face that reality. I have to close my eyes and relive old memories. I have to allow myself to love you from afar. I have to write all this down, and be honest with my words, and hope you'll read it, and hope you'll miss me, and hope you'll show up. I have to take long drives, and pick out specific pieces of sky to focus on, and put all my dreams there. Maybe you've picked out the same patch. Maybe they can live there together; on a plane far and away from us.

Far and away from you and me.