Fat Post Post Fast

I finally had my Rae Earl* breakthrough today. I get that this blog post will sound derivative, but considering the fact that I’m a white faggot who moved to New York on Monday to FIND LOVE AND HAPPINESS, it’s just as well that any step forward I take will have already been taken – this year – by a British girl on TV.

I got here on Monday. It’s been fucking terrifying. People think that I’m scared of the city, of getting lost on the train, of being accosted by an ethnic person, but none of that intimidates me. What I’m scared of is myself. There’s less to keep me distracted here. I’ve been walking the streets, wondering what I was thinking uprooting my life and moving here, cursing my decision to expel myself from my community in LA, and deciding definitely that there is no career and no place for me here. I am not wanted. I am an embryo. Just potential with no purpose to serve.

But it’s more than just that. Every day, I vow to change my behaviors that I find repulsive because no man will ever want to be with me once he is exposed to:

My belly

My belly from the side

My belly when I’m sitting down

Me in a bathing suit

My blatter

My digestive mysteries

My need to eat before bed, in bed, at 4 am, and at 8 am

Having to get up and pee multiple times during sex and at the movies

My depressive mood swings, known as Mister Shadow

My “writing”

My sensitivity

My mean side

My grudges

My memory

My intensity

My need to make all lists about me

Of course, considering the fact that I’ve never been in a long term relationship, my constant case for change has become stronger over the years. But when would the day come that I would be in good shape, sit on the toilet once a week, and be super nice to everyone all the time?  It’s not coming. And neither is he. It’s been dawning on me in recent weeks that the reason I keep wondering about what man could possibly accept me is because I don’t fundamentally accept myself. And I haven’t for a long time.

I’ve watched My Mad Fat Diary* 2.5 times all the way through in just about as many weeks. It’s life changing. But I couldn’t force its lessons on me. They needed a long digestion period.

Tonight – Kol Nidrei services – was my first time at Lab/Shul, the brand new experimental community in Manhattan. They rented out the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and packed the place. And while IKAR will always be my home, it had long ago made me resign to the idea that temple was not a place to meet men, but instead to meet lesbians. But AH-HAH, they have arrived, in fucking stylish meaty droves – to pray with me! And yes, when you’re about to enter the holiest day of the year, it is still possibly to hold a silent competition of the best asses in shul. I enjoyed it!

Because of my hypoglycemia, a two hour fast for me is the equivalent of a six hour fast for others. I was fucking BUZZED by the first stage of the service. After intense singing, the leader of the community started telling a story and I felt myself levitate to a psychic plane just a hair above our own. I was still in the room, but I was totally unconcerned with everything around me. Without any transition into this line of thought, I summoned my 12 year old self forward and looked at him honestly for the first time in as many years.

After all the tongue-biting, neck-clenching shame I’ve imposed over the memory of this little boy, it’s almost ridiculous to see him now. What’s the problem with him anyways? He’s small, with shaggy hair and brown sun-proof lenses; he’s got flappy breasts and a tubby underchin; he’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt and is chasing popular girls around the Bat Mitzvah party. I understood, finally, that all the fucking blinding humiliation I feel and blame him for was never his fault. I looked at him, the way Rae Earl had taught me to, and let him off the hook.

I WILL PROTECT YOU

YOU WILL BE FINE

DON’T WORRY

DON’T BE ASHAMED

YOU’RE JUST EXPRESSING YOURSELF

YOU’RE JUST FIGURIING YOURSELF OUT

All that hatred around a little boy with a sharp sense of humor who noticed everyone and would do anything to be heard.

With whatever remaining astral strength I could muster, I summoned forth my 16 year old self – the ultimate lesbian – willing to please EVERYONE at all times for approval – and invited him to our circle.

I forgave them both, only to realize that they don’t need it; they did nothing wrong. I let them look me over, and they said the same thing about me.

I started to consider that if a man could accept me for all those things, then he would be treated to

An interesting son

A potentially good brother

A memorable friend

A powerful force on the dancefloor

A creator

A fighter

A survivor of mental illness

A Jew

A Tel Aviv spirit

A Queer warrior

A seeker

A champion

I see now that the thing that’s missing and that has been missing since before I landed in New York is me, and trust me, I KNOW how that sounds. I’ve been fucking whipping myself down this week because I feel fat and know I can’t do anything, and for what? This is the biggest adventure of my life – with some of my best friends waiting for me out of the box – and I am missing it. I see now – on the new year – that I have a fresh start, a chance to strike out and be deliriously happy and humiliate myself and actually do something for the world other than talk about myself.

I am utterly terrified. But there will be a new way now in which fear doesn’t always grow inward; a future in which I am not the victim AND the perpetrator of every great horror I survive. I’m letting my selves go. It all begins now.

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*all episodes of My Mad Fat Diary are on Youtube.

the last dance

It’s the end of an era.

The Club Scholar saga came to an end not in a death but in a divine encounter, an exultant celebration, an inner cleansing. Here in this city where I came of age do I leave behind those shreds of myself that are too damaged to be salvaged: my selfishness, my imposed isolation, my flightiness, my self-hatred, my need to change for men who have never met me, my need to always write about me.

I knew – heading in to the Lady Gaga Concert/Glam-ou-Gaga marathon – that I was getting ready to change again. I had been through a full mood swing cycle but I was coming back. With each night out, culminating at the It’s Britney Bitch party at the Block on Friday, I was becoming more aware that no matter which party I went to, nobody there would have what it takes to save me. I don’t have anything to prove anymore. I don’t care about any scene. When I come out of a showdown with Mr. Shadow, I am reminded of the fact that no one’s judgment or cruelty or violence could rival the poisonous conflict inside of me, that when you have a mental illness you are your greatest nemesis, which can give you the power to be invincible to the world.

I set my intentions for the Lady Gaga concert, strapped on a JJ Wienkers original jazzercise unitard, and headed to park hayarkon. THE HILLS WERE ALIVE and thriving with basic teenage bitches (a fact of life in all countries) – many of whom asked to take a picture with me – and an assortment of lively whackjobs. I jammed my way pretty close up in the crowd, left to pee twice, fought my way BACK in viciously, and finally settled in for the show. After forever, it was on, and like only the best live performances, it made me forget everything that had come before, everywhere I had been, all the time that I’d stood on my feet waiting.

When I saw the Monster Ball Tour twice in Boston, Gaga was playing for stadium seats. Back then, she was so popular that moms were bringing their fifteen year old daughters. These people weren’t getting out of their minds dancing – they were sitting and watching dinner theatre like the conservative poo that they are. So Gaga had to up the stakes to entertain them by employing complex hair pieces that multiple strong men would have to hold up, pyrotechnics, and blood. This time, because the audience was comprised of 23,000 living non-corpses on their feet who were ready to DANCE and not text their cousins, she could make the show more 2d and actually stay with the crowd.

gaga tel aviv

SHE BROUGHT IT in the best concert I’ve ever been to. The dancing was tight and when Gaga chose to flip her goddamn hair, she did it with the slow-mo power of a mermaid goddess. “ANI OHEVET OTCHEM” she growled at us and I felt personally gratified. I didn’t have to worry about offending some Boston bros this time so I was free to unleash my body odor everywhere. I leapt and screamed and lost my voice as I recited every word with my hand on my heart.

During “Applause,” Gaga looked down upon me – me –  and reminded me that I am meant to be more than I’ve been – more than a wanderer or a loner or a bane – I am meant to be a star. Not in a fame way but in the true sense of the word – I am ready to build worlds and attract talented people and radiate new ideas and powerful feelings. No thing could stop her momentum. So long as she kept performing, she was untouchable. After six or so costume changes, we arrived at SWINE, my anthem of self-loathing and dark magic, and watching her and her dancers in perfect sync was a big bang of pure sickening power. She left the stage, and left us totally exhausted, but I knew there would be more. 10 minutes later, she returned for Gypsy, and I cried. I knew that it was time to let go of this song as my theme.

My body was creaking and dismantling with soreness from exertion but behind the wheel I was totally unfazed. I had a mission, a last battle to attend to. I had to return to where it all began: Glam-ou-Rama.

I ate, checked in with Aba and Loring, got naked, and stuffed myself into my black leopard bodysuit with no sleeves and nude paneling that doesn’t allow you to wear underwear. I beat my eyes to a pulp with black eyeshadow and hit the road. I had gotten some Israeli Molli and started breaking it into my water during the ride up there. My costume – spectacular as it was – wasn’t meant to make it this long. A crotch hole which normally would have been benign was becoming a situation because MY SCROTUM WAS POPPING OUT. I prayed that the cabdriver wouldn’t notice.

I saw the Silver Fairy as I entered. He had adorned his bare chest with a feathered streak and his eyes with shimmering sailor moon gold. He was a shining sphinx, immaculate as always, but tonight he reminded me of Hedwig at her end – ready to face Tommy Gnosis as an all-powerful self.

gaga glam

Welcome to a brimming club of freaks – in equal assortment beautiful and horrifying – dancing and exalting their queen. I felt all eyes upon me as I walked down the stairs in slow motion. The pink lights exploded behind my black visage and I felt like a slick dark avenger. I didn’t care that my waist was past beyond the point of no return in this costume – I was absolutely perfect tonight.

INTRODUCING LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MARY JANE HOLLAND!

DJ Shahaf Moran didn’t take the traditional glam kitsch route but rather stuck to the Gaga oeuvre, with a few surprises. I normally post up by the wall under the DJ booth, but for the first time ever I couldn’t remember why I ever needed to hide. I strutted to the center of the floor and let the MDMA make time my toy. Within a few songs and a few more hits in the bathroom, I was soaked in sweat thriving on music. With “Schiebe” and “G.U.Y.” I reached spastic new levels of wild thrusting and jumping and kicking and spinning. No more performance or fighting for attention or anonymity. This was our throne to share, and nobody here needed artifice. I could die here on this floor, and they would all understand what I was doing. I wasn’t thinking about who saw me or how I looked because my brain had been rewired to only hear music and see lights.

I went and hung out with the Glam founding council and we went batshit bananas to VENUS, a song I had fantasized about on so many car rides in L.A. I was here. At my arena.

The Silver Fairy

The Silver Fairy

By 3:00 AM, I decided I should just take one last really big hit and throw the rest away. That would get me through the rest of the night. I had to pee every ten minutes because of all the sweat and water and drugs. Better not overdo it.

I did way too much.

The Silver Fairy made his prophesied arrival on the floor, which was emptying quickly, and we formed a united circle. The lights went to black and white for “Applause” and I never wanted the song to end. I could see bodies coming together, crashing and rollicking in slow and fast motion and I didn’t even need to worry about my own. Her power was in our limbs, in our toes. We had to dance.

I hit a climax at Swine, and then around 3:20, Dope came on.

“NOPE,” I yelled. “CAN’T HANDLE THIS WITHOUT CRYING.”

“Well it’s the last song,” The Silver Fairy said.

Oh shit. I thought this party was going until five. I was way too high to go home.

But there was no choice. I said goodbye to the glam gang and kissed sweet, sensitive Sapir after he got me a cab.

When I got out, I knew I was fucked.

“Oh my god,” I said to nobody. I couldn’t really keep my neck still and I felt like the sky was actively pushing me into the ground. I needed to drink 39 gallons of freezing water or I was going to BITE IT. My teeth were CHATTERING like I was in a Roz Chast cartoon and my heart was running around like the monster book of monsters.

So my parents are really light sleepers, which means to say that if I get up at 3:00 AM to pee and eat a hard boiled egg, they will be able to paint by memory the shape and size of every shell peeling. I know this sounds weird but for some reason I think the sneaking around in total abject silence somehow made me more high. I could feel and hear the impact of my toe hitting the ice cold floor, hear the rickedy creak of the shower door. But it was the best shower of my life. I was sizzling.

I got in underwear and looked in the mirror. HOLY SHIT. My eyes were so dilated that I looked like fucking Dark Willow. They were HUGE. I just looked in the mirror for probably twenty minutes, trying to will them to get smaller, but THEY JUST GOT BIGGER. The cold AC, the fresh skin, my stepmom’s body wash – I felt myself as a fresh sexual creature in new ways. I didn’t know what to do with myself so I listened to “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis and half of Grimes “Darkbloom” CD. I felt like she was walking me through the forest of Snow White. There were flowers blossoming and trees growing, new creatures being born and flying by. Then it got fucking terrifying so I took my headphones off and went to will myself to vomit.

I chugged bottle after bottle of water but pee was not coming out. WHERE WAS ALL THAT WATER GOING? WHERE? My head was imploding just like the Witch King’s does when Eowyn stabs him in the face at the end of Return of the King. BITCH I AM NO MAN EITHER, considering the fact that I was silently holding in a rupture with reality on my stepmom’s rug. WAS I DYING? Was this what overdosing was like? I didn’t lock the bathroom door in case I started having convulsions.

If my father, who is the world’s best physician, saw my eyes, it would all be over. There was no covering it up – I looked like Dracula from Penny Dreadful. And if I vomited, he would definitely wake up. But I had to throw up.

It felt good, and no, not in a bulimia way, to get it out. I was saving myself, cleansing myself. But this would be the last time I’ll do it alone. I astral projected Candestiny standing behind me the last time I tripped too hard, rubbing my back and giving me water to gargle. She wasn’t there this time. I knew that next time, she’d be back by my side. No more wondering if I would die alone as it was happening. The future will be shared.

I looked in the mirror and my eyes were just a little bit less fucking terrifying – some more light green was starting to materialize around the edge of my pupils. By some miracle my parents didn’t wake up.

I turned to my new panacea, the biggest show in my life since Girls – My Mad Fat Diary. Rae Earl was my new companion and I knew that we had each other’s backs. She helped me calm down. My heart stopped throbbing.

I went to sleep and spent the next day in a clear delirium. I knew that a new cycle in my life was coming. This would be my last move for a while. I recognized that Mr. Shadow could return, and at any time so could my self-hatred, my anxiety. But there will be no more escaping – to distracting practices or to new cities. I would become a part of the greater world, not just spiral around in my own mind, worrying about myself alone.

Whatever I need won’t arrive at to me at the club. It’s within me, and with those who love me. The music is the herald, the dancefloor the temple. New York is my Mecca.

But I am my own Messiah.

Tel Aviv Rebirth: by manic scholar

TIME OUT’S OVER BABY. WE’RE BACK IN THE GAME.

lucy lui

In my darkest hour I have been given new breath. I’m ready to fight again. How could I believe that the city of my birth and rebirth would fail to save me one last time? I wrote yesterday that my relationship with Tel Aviv had reached its inevitable breaking point. I was wrong. It’s not over. It’s never over. The story of this trip was supposed to be my downfall and last bloody breath of life at the Lady Gaga concert. But now the narrative has changed. I have fallen and shall rise again and the concert will be my resounding breath of TRIUMPH.

I resigned myself to a dismal shadow-week of bumping into furniture and taking three hour naps. No more nightlife, no more sex goals, no more trying. In terms of succeeding at failing, I smashed it today. I got a pomegranate/strawberry/banana/orange juice at TAMARA, bought books by Junot Diaz and Miranda July at Tzomet Sfarim, and walked Dizengoff listening exclusively to Garbage. As “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” stormed in my ears, I finally embraced my revulsion for the happy couples, hot bodies, and people who walked with purpose before me. I raised both my arms in the air and chanted to my inner Hecate. I had crossed over to Mr. Shadowland, where I may take the throne whenever I wish. It wasn’t a rush of happiness by any means – but it was certainly an apotheosis of a brewing inner darkness – like when Phoebe got bangs and became Queen of the Underworld during season four of Charmed. Everything made me nervous and I got so scared when I was approached by a kiosk saleswoman that I just bought what she told me to.

            I came home, didn’t speak to my parents, and watched My Mad Fat Diary, which FUCKING GETS ME RIGHT NOW, then headed to bed and scribbled some pathetic diary entry about how this is the worst I’ve felt in a year and how everything is falling apart, bob lablaw. Afterwards, Aba and I headed to dinner with Safta.

You see, because of my broken tailbone, I can’t run. If I don’t run every morning, I get depressed. Welcome to now. I asked Aba when I would be able to run again.

“You can run whenever you want. You just can’t sit or stand right.”

So, of course, like all of the worst of times, this saga of mental instability has been imposed exclusively by me. This whole week of inertia, melancholia, and muscle loss was a waste. While Aba was telling me the good news, Safta was FUCKING INHALING her Bolognese. Woman can eat. Safta can get weak and cloudy, but as soon as you feed her properly, she inflates like Popeye. You could see her eyes sharpening; her vicious power returning. As she started picking up her conversation, I looked just behind her at the hot restaurant owner. His faded jeans clung tightly to his tender thighs and an ass like eggs poached in perfect hollandaise. Blocked pathways of blood to my penis opened up and the world of color returned. This too could be mine! TO ME, MY X-MEN!

mmf cool as fuck

Tomorrow morning, I’m running and doing pushups. And tomorrow night, I’m going out and dancing the crease of my knees is dripping sweat. And yeah, I’m going to try to get hit on by a non-homeless person. And by the time I arrive at the Glam-ou-Gaga weekend of POWER, I will have risen and reclaimed my star in Tel Aviv’s sky. Sure, whatever muscle mass I did possess has transformed into soft gelatin and my breasts are now developing mammary glands, but I can STILL CASE THIS FLABBY SHIT into a sleeveless bag of some sort and sell it to somebody. Or at least to myself.

Even if I fall back into darkness tomorrow, there needs to be some account that in my greatest point of dissipation and incoherence, one part of me wanted to be alive, and that I wasn’t ready to give up before even getting to New York. I have no idea what I’m going to do there, but it’s time to buck up and make my impending destiny worth all of this change.

Grimes-Go-Music-Video

I’m writing from a cafe on Rothschild at midnight. I have Grimes blasting on my ipod. Yeah, life isn’t going to get better than this. I can see that now.

club scholar no more

I was walking up past Lilenblum to some “new” “party” called “Top,” and I couldn’t remember why I was doing this. Why was going out feeling like such a fucking task? I’m living ON Rothschild boulevard and I’m allegedly in my prime. I tried to SET INTENTIONS for a night out at a GAY PARTY, so I think we can all establish my level of emotional maturity and priority management. MY GOAL FOR TONIGHT IS TO EXPRESS MYSELF, I affirmed in my head. How fucking lame of a goal is that? It doesn’t mean anything. I could eat ice cream and express myself. I could fall off of a bike and express myself. It’s not like I’m forcing myself to get laid, or make friends, or do a high kick.

I got lost in an unsettlingly quiet part of the Florentine district at around 1:30 AM, and then found myself being trailed by the first person on this trip to approach me – A BIKE STALKER. That’s right: for at least six blocks, I was trailed – within feet – by an ambulatory ragamuffin. He was not cute, but he thought I was. Every time he’d circle around and call me a hamud, I would tell myself that this was it – I was going to bark him off and wish him A GOOD NIGHT SIR. But considering the fact that I have – on multiple occasions, IN THIS CITY – bike stalked men within an inch of their personal space, I couldn’t do anything. I just kind of kept walking and tried to find populated spaces so he couldn’t dismember me and make a necklace with his u-lock and my severed fingers or something.

So, fine, can’t find “TOP,” which sounds like MY KIND OF PARTY if you know absolutely nothing about me; I’ll head to good old Lima Lima, which supposedly would be hosting a “Multisexual night” for men and women. The CHARMING bouncer informed me that tonight’s event was girls only. AMBUSHED BY THE LESBIANS! I’m so proud of them.

Who cares. Honestly I don’t have anything to prove here any more. Tel Aviv doesn’t belong to me the same way it used to – I have reverted back to being a tourist, or at least a frequent visitor. Our story, for now, is over. Thanks to mood swings, general boredom, a new wave of body image dysmorphia, and total uncertainty over the future, it is becoming harder and harder for me to simply bask in the sheer romance of the city, the way I imagined I would on the plane. And yes, I have been visually saturated on an unprecedented level by the endless perfect sets of bodies that pass me by every day, but I just don’t really see me getting with any of them at this point, and even if I did, I can’t imagine that I’d perform well enough to have my life blown up by the experience.

I think I’m ready to just be performing. If I go out, maybe it can be one of those once every three months on molli with friends things. I don’t want to fight anymore. Dancing alone in a club can be beautiful and freeing and self-affirming, but if I can find more ways to show the world what is inside me, to make my dance resonate, then at least there will be more of a point to it.

The problem is that I no longer live in L.A., Houston is a fucking dump, Tel Aviv and I are letting go of one another, and I have no idea what New York will be, besides a probable total failure and implosion. So I’m just hitting my old backups of watching My Mad Fat Diary and trying to find release on a night out. If I knew what I would be doing in New York, then I would at least have somewhere to focus all this dark energy. But I don’t know anything. I don’t know what I want. I want to be healthy, yes, and it would be nice to get back to the no-mood swing zone again, and I’d like to be with my friends, have adventures, and be spiritually fulfilled, but then what? The whole point of this move was to live something completely new and different from anything in the past. How am I supposed to look for work and imagine a new life if I can’t even conceive of it?

The time has come – at least until New York – for me to EMBRACE my shadow-self existence in the Phantom Zone. It’s not like my anxious plans and fears about men, jobs, or destiny are actually affecting their real life counterparts, is it? It is time to let Mr. Shadow win, to indulge in the void, the do nothing for nobody and make no difference in the world. I am free to not make meaning of every single moment. I am free.

Tel Aviv Strikes Back

nicki-minaj-victorias-secret-anaconda

It’s been five days here. Friday night was a return to form for me at the BlackMilk party at the Block, where I pushed my broken tailbone to the limit with Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”

tailbone

That’s right. I have a broken tailbone. AND DUE TO SAID SPINAL INJURY, TWERKING CAPACITY IS AT A MINIMUM. I had to skip out on Lima Lima Monday because I was too tired and sore. I’ve just been wandering around for a while, taking two naps a day and watching my “get hot for Tel Aviv” plan crash into dysmorphic hellfire.

Tonight was a chance for redemption, though. Drek is a Wednesday night standard, and the music is hit or miss. Arriving there at 1:30, descending into the dungeon underneath Dizengoff square, I had to keep reminding myself to fight, to prove that I was still alive. Dizengoff 9 is an underground bunker about the size of the subway platform that Keira Knightley drowns in at the end of Atonement. The bars rise up like naval vessels and one’s only hope of support is to hang onto their wooden edges. Even though it’s the first week of school and blab la, the place was elbow-to-elbow, and the passage to safety was rough.

Boys boys boys – dark boys, pierced-ear boys, thick boys, pretty boys, boys from Europe, groups of boys, boys who know other boys but who won’t even look at you, tall skinny boys, short stacked boys, really unattainable boys, nasty boys. I just want one.

anorexic at 18

OK let me just apologize in advance because I know exactly how this is about to sound but can I just say that Israeli men were much more interested in me when I was 18? I was freshly devirginized, clinically underweight, and willing to take any public harassment for attention! Of course, I mainly only drew the eyes of the ancient ones, but I respect the fact that perverts are always outgoing towards their prey. And, by the way, a few hot guys did approach me back then. In 2008, an American slice was considered a valuable collector’s item. Now that Tel Aviv is a tourist nexus, I’m worth nothing next to the busloads of power bottoms down the block. Does anybody want me now that I’m 24 and my sole achievement is being an “independent mind?”

And after everything, is this really what I am living for? Leaning on a chair and staring at some German guy’s foot, praying that he’ll come talk to me? What the fuck, you know? Aren’t there badder fish to fry in this region of the world at this time of the year than whether or not David Goldberg can successfully contract an STD this summer? Who do I really think is going to rescue me from my loneliness? I keep saying that this next phase of my life will be about actually contributing something to the human race, yet here I am standing in a dark basement for two hours thinking about how hard it is to be me while Ariana Grande mashups make me deaf. I don’t know if this is my mission anymore. But as I can’t figure out what the next one is, I don’t really know where else to go on a Wednesday night to feel like a living thing.

I stopped going out in L.A. After a while, because I just didn’t want to be the outsider anymore. And with RAID, I could satisfy my lust for dancing and feel supported and loved. I thought that would translate to the city I was born and reborn in but this time I just feel like I don’t know anyone anymore and nobody even wants to look me in the eyes. This shouldn’t be a solo mission anymore.

I was getting slammed around while trying to find a viable space on the edge of the bar. IS THIS WORTH IT – I thought as someone’s tricep jammed into my nose. WILL I MAKE IT – I asked myself. By the way, I get that this thought cycle may not have occurred if there had been good music, but I’M POWERLESS TO EFFECT CHANGE, apparently. Finally, “We Found Love” came on – even though it was mashed up with Whitney Houston, which is fucking lazy, but we’ll continue anyway with this blog post – and I asked Rihanna out loud to save me as she had so many times before – as she had at the Estate in Boston on 2011 and as she had on my birthday this year with Lesbia at Evita. I put my hands up in supplication let her take me away for a few seconds. It was bliss, but it was short lived, and like she had so many times before, Rihanna left me reeling in solitude, with neck cramps and vertigo-induced nausea.

riri

I don’t really have anything to prove anymore. Nobody knows me here. Nobody notices me. My usual nightlife cronies – like my friends Amit or Omer or my cool cousin Michael – aren’t around for this type of nonsense. I shouldn’t be either. Every time I step forward I assume that my old hangups will fall away – my neediness, my insecurity, my self hatred, my laziness, my anxiety – and that I will never go back. But here I am, in clubs I’ve outgrown and around men who have outgrown me, trying to find something that I might not need anymore in the same way. If I am meant to save myself from this descent, then I fear the truth I see on the dancefloor is becoming more and more evident: my savior is not strong enough to rescue me. He’s not coming anytime soon.

doing just great

roger-sterling-drunk-for-pearl-harbor-day

Yes, yes, I am ascended and enlightened and have learned lessons about love and self-worth and the power of stuff – but you DO NOT understand what it is like to be back in Houston with my family. I NEED SOMETHING to look at on a screen when I can’t have another conversation about Hamas. PLUS, I figure that someone who failed at grindr and jack’d in L.A. would MAKE A SPLASH in Houston. I was… right?

For the first time ever, I was getting a lot of messages. I barely had to troll around. It’s because I posted a picture that didn’t make me look like a Trevor Project story. It’s a shot of me in the bathtub. I highly recommend a bathtub selfie; the bubbles hide your protruding belly, and the extreme heat makes your already puffy cheeks look like undercooked ahi tuna! And OH, THE RESPONSES! What TOTAL BABES Houston has to offer!

I knew that if it was going to happen it would have to be tonight. I’ve had TOO FAT FOR HUMANITY days all week until today, when, for no reason, I actually didn’t hate my body as much. Maybe it’s the full moon. Don’t think about it – just roll with it. I had been chatting with a guy for a while, but his body was way too good to deal with.

AND THEN I MADE A HORRIBLE DECISION and got into a conversation with someone who has no profile picture or information. When I asked for some visual reference, he refused because he was “too discreet” but he insisted that he was “damn goodlookin” and that he “never had a guy not wanna hang out if we met.” He insisted that he was so VERY handsome that he didn’t even need a picture.

PLEASE, count me in!

Considering the fact that I was going to a faceless stranger’s house based on his word, I needed to call in the cavalry. I always text the guy’s address to my friend Bettina and tell her that if I don’t text her by morning, that my head and limbs are in a freezer and to call the authorities.

Today’s gay sex culture is all about being casual. It’s CHILL. We’re all relaxed. OH, TOTALLY. That’s why I was practicing yoga nose-breathing while hastily chopping off pubic hairs – HE SAID HE LIKED THAT I LOOKED SMOOTH – and seeing how much of my stomach medication I had left for the next hour. I JUST NEED A SHOWER, AND I’LL BE RIGHT OVER!

Who goes to meet a stranger and has to actively remind himself that he’s doing this for FUN and PLEASURE and not just to test his blood pressure? ME? Your guess is right!

I’m too neurotic for this.

I got to his highrise, received JUST splendid looks of approval from the fat doormen, and took the prostitute elevator up.

OK, HE WAS NOT HOT. He was just like not hot. He had a belly and his “great arms and legs” did nothing and he had some kind of a tacky necklace and an “art collection.” I was expecting ROGER FUCKING STERLING or HARRY HAMLIN. This is why restaurants that put pictures of their food on the menu really are the best. Anyone who falls for a promise without a preview is A DUMB BITCH like me.

The thing that I really love is how confident he was about himself. Like, he guaranteed me that all the guys who had come through his door had been so dazzled by his beauty that they stayed the night. I do think that because of the full moon and the quality of the mesh I was wearing tonight, I could be considered empirically decent in a city like Houston. But if you were to ask me what I think of myself, I would describe something between the obese people in WALL-E and a Ralph Steadman illustration. Why is it that the hot one in this arrangement hates himself and the old earwig gets to have all the self-love?

Anyways, I saw his ridiculous king-size bed and his tacky art collection – is this really what single gay men spend their money on? GET A DOG – and I was done. I told him that I was simply too nervous. He understood. “Want to get off on some porn instead?” How gallant. I said I was too in my own head. He rubbed my hair and said goodbye.

Just to clarify – I wasn’t nervous at all. I only get nervous and in my own head when I want to fuck the guy. If I am repulsed, I am steady enough to do neurosurgery.

So, because I had told my family that I was at a friend’s house and it had only been fifteen minutes since I left the house, I sat in this old man’s parking lot and tried to make different arrangements with other strangers. Of course, nothing. “ARE YOU AROUND RIGHT NOW?” I asked. ANY MINUTE NOW, I’m sure I’ll get a good response.

Fifteen minutes later, I was where I should have been all along: ordering a thick milkshake at 59 diner. The nerves were gone – I didn’t have to make anything happen. I was myself again. The milkshake cooled me down. I thought about my family, friends, future, and recent past. I felt gratitude. There was no need for self-hatred, because nobody was coming to my door to judge me. No more distractions would be necessary tonight.

other side of the road

L.A. is gone. My connections there are still real and missed but they are no longer in my circulation. Until my last hours there, I was FIXATED on one guy or another from my saga – from the first men I ever met to the last ones – the ones who stirred all this up again. As I said goodbye, I saw some old faces. SOME OF THEM looked so fine that they made me wonder how I’d dropped my crushing grip on them. WHY do they all start new perfect body regimens WHEN THEY ARE NO LONGER touching me?  I may be in love with one of them, now more than ever. But instead of cleaving to the men in my orbit, trying to take one more bite to keep my spirit alive, I can put them behind me, or at least, inside me. I found my center this year only to learn the hard way in July that as soon as my affections come into play, ALL IS LOST. Now that I am myself again, I reject my standard M.O. of embracing celibacy and WORKING ON ME for indefinite periods. It is time to learn from past encounters and to incorporate these men into a higher, more integrated self. Romance makes me crazy – WHO ARE WE KIDDING – getting requests for shots below the nipple on grindr make me crazy. But it’s been proven that six month FOCUS ON PORN droughts only leave my heart in a more sensitive and swollen condition, so that when an incubus of any kind rolls in, I burst open. No. There will be no more division between smart virginal Club Scholar and psychotic lovesick Club Scholar. I AM REBORN as a composite self, a Fifth Element of creative love. If this summer of delusion has taught me anything, it’s that I need TO LOVE and I need TO BE LOVED in the greatest of all ways. I get that I’ve never had a relationship and that all I know is infatuation, but now that August is done, the fever has passed. My skin is stronger from this latest cycle, but I have a comprehensive understanding that this time my feelings are here to stay. I must love – not just in the frantic, lonely, desperate ways I usually do – but in the way that I must exercise to stabilize my sick mind. I need to find someone who wants what I have to give him, to balance me out, so that I am not an overflowing vessel. My love is in me, daily, physically, and in my spirit. It must be recognized and stoked and consumed, or it will burn me alive. L.A. is gone. I must let go of my old emotional links. If I’m meant to collide with one of them again, it will happen. And now, I have something very few people have – a clear present and a future full of possibility. I shall have everything I need. There is no alternative.

Three Part Epic

Seeing photos of the two of them together on my feed IS A FUCKING DISASTER. You see, they showed me a window of thoughtless presence, and, after it ended, they get to remind me that it is theirs to enjoy whenever they want, and that I can never have it again. No matter how far I come in these last days – kissing my tribe goodbye, dying onstage for the last time with my supportive dancers by my side, reconciling with the pain of having family and friends in a warzone, ending a chapter of my life with measures of understanding – there needs to be a reminder that I am low, I am alone, I am unfixable, and I am not attractive. And I’ve found two of them.

When I approached them at a shul afterparty it was obvious that I had come too late. It seemed to me like I had missed my chance at either of them by months, but in reality it had only been moments. Their connection was preceded by a greater something. It’s obvious in their complementary looks – Dan is golden and tall, with wilting plaids over broad shoulders. Andy is dark and compact, with a firm little body in stretched cotton. But they weren’t like me. They cleaved to a world of shared summer camp acquaintances, dogmatic disagreements, and exhaustively acronymed Jewish non-profits.

Two weeks later, at the Bootie LA Madonna Mashup Night, I ruled the stage. I reached my greatest highs and pushed my body to my deepest physical defeats. My wobbling legs, fast-pumping heart, and ever-present vertigo couldn’t handle me. As Britney Spears and Chumbawumba combined their powers in “Thumping a Tub of Gasoline,” I whirled my waist and slammed my arms, commanding my audience of excited Asian girls to obey.

Dan and Andy were there. And the person that they saw on that stage – the euphoric angel of movement that I was, finally at break from lifelong insecurities and burning with possibility – may not exist anymore. I hate them for wanting my confidence because I believe that they took it away from me.

But they wanted me. I didn’t even care, really. I was nauseated from my vertigo. There was glitter in my tear ducts. I couldn’t play the game. But as I jiggled around in the wings, they tried to initiate contact.

“WE – WANT – YOU,” Andy mouthed to me while Dan kissed his neck. It took me a few seconds to realize that they were serious. This was happening. “Come home with us,” Andy said. “I don’t know,” I said, and agreed to take their numbers. We shared a warm kiss. I turned my neck over and clunkily fit into Dan’s hard embrace.

By the time I was back home, barely digesting my Jack in the Box shake, the vertigo had proven itself to be the only man for me. I could barely stand up, let alone get ripped in half. My return to male contact would have to wait.

For the next week, I remained coolheaded about the impending convergence – I knew it was coming. But as I drove to pick them up on the following Saturday night, I felt the flaps of my diaphragm plunge open so that my throat could lurch into my stomach. I actually felt ill. Just that easily, they were inside me.

 

All my encounters with men have gone one of two ways. If I know, on some level, that this is a person I want to connect to, that this man can be blank flesh for me to project all my longing and romance and repressed sensitivity onto, then I will not reach orgasm in front of him. For to expose my most vulnerable, intoxicated underbelly would constitute an empathic defeat. It would humiliate me. By that logic, any time I have released and found an answer to my pleasure, you can bet your ass that I didn’t care about the man who was wiping me up; that gate had shut. So there’s good sex with men I can’t feel anything towards, and incomplete consummation – always with a quiet end – with men in whose loving embrace I find myself enchanted – and neutered. To the men out there who have never seen me reach completion – I still long for you, because I never let the finality of real intimacy cut away my love for you. And to those who saw me release my true self, even for a moment, I’m sorry you had to pay for it. I wish that I weren’t myself for you.

The night was filled with long versed arguments about rabbinical marginalia. ARE WE ERECT YET?

I hate FUBAR, but they have parking. We talked about bubbies and hypoglycemia. Their fast dynamic allowed me to be the collected anchor – my normal hyper performativity wasn’t necessary this night.

Sometimes we would gather as two and then roll into three. The DJ favored me and played Missy Elliot and Iggy Azalea. I’d start to roll myself up on the wall and I’d be enveloped in a thick embrace. We’d be talking about nothing at all and suddenly find ourselves chest to chest, biting ears and unzipping trousers. As the two of them wrapped themselves around me and covered me whole, their teeth on my neck and their hands on my ass, I tipped my head back and looked around at the fat club patrons. I can have pleasure too, I declared inside. I can be worshipped for once.

By the time we got kicked out of the bar, my nerves were gone. This was awesome. They wanted me, and there was nothing to it.

 

My bedroom is my own. A map of Westeros hangs above a framed nude of Judi Dench in the bathtub. A black wig airs out atop an Aquaman figure. Thelma, Lousie, and Hermoine stand sentry over my mattress. Bulletin boards show the work of either a comic book writer or a serial killer.

I lit incense. We began quickly.

It was the last balmy night of the summer. Royksopp and Goldfrapp thumped soothingly in the background. The room was lit only by the bold light of my computer. We came in and out of one another’s arms and lips and underarms and necks – again and again in kaleidoscopically moving geometric combinations. All sex is a performance, but in this case, two could make a show for one, wink at each other, and laugh it all off. Within minutes, we were doing things I’d only seen in porn, things I didn’t believe would be so fun, so fueling, so driving. Each of us had a turn to be treated like a slave, and each a turn as an idol.

Dan would close his eyes and yelp with the lightest flick of my tongue, while Andy remained satisfied as the narrator. He’d encourage and embolden us. Their bodies were polished and toned – far more than mine.

It kept going, with or without you. I got up, went to the bathroom, returned, got up again, grabbed a cliff bar, watched while they rolled around, and ate it as fast as I could. After a while, I felt safe enough to admit that I was having performance anxiety. I don’t know if it was the inability to reconcile their pleasure with my own or if an inevitable wall was closing in on a moment of genuine connection, but I couldn’t get there. I was into it, though. I didn’t want it to end.

As Robyn’s “Monument” rose around us, I rested my head and looked up at them like they were my gods. They fell into each other’s lips. Dan’s flat stomach tensed. Andy touched his pleasure with experienced hands. Their kiss was perfect. All of them was upon me – melting down and around. They were all I could see and smell and taste.

I washed up. Suddenly, my bed fit all of us very well. Now that I didn’t specifically have to worry about their pleasure, mine was becoming apparent. There was a perfect moment when I was lying flat and they were both leaning into me, pouring hot breath onto my shoulders and sticky words into my ears. If we had only stayed that way a moment longer…

Now it was 4:30 AM.

I never fall asleep with contacts in. I never sleep well if I don’t read first. I never sleep well when sharing a bed. Yet as I sunk into the center and wrapped my arms around Andy’s tight chest, I felt free to venture into unknown dreams with the safety of two lovers on both sides. I turned over later on and threw an arm over Dan’s matted fur. It worked. Four hours later, I awoke in the same position, turned over, and started over again.

We stirred at 8:30. I was starving, so I took my pill and brought in a bowl of salad. They checked their phones. The bizarre adornments on my walls became apparent to them in the daylight. We were no longer horizontal, and we were no longer together.

After I dropped them off, I was better than fine. The timer on my cyclically neurotic brain had been slammed off, for a time. I was clear. It was what it was, and I didn’t have to examine it.

But as the week started, I needed Saturday night again. I had been let into their coven, and I craved its intimate practice. When I prodded them a few days later for a second round, I got the answer that anyone but me would expect.

The rejection bit like ice. I had barely slept, and I was getting depressed. The situation in Israel was deteriorating rapidly, and I was ashamed of my weak voice. After getting the uncomfortable text from them, I went down. Within hours, I had a fever. I was in bed for days.

I don’t know if I even really like them. It was one night. I don’t know them. But I know that they are inside me. My pangs of longing gall me because I tasted rich emotional wholeness, or my closest image of it yet. Instead of performing in my own imitation of a relationship, I was welcomed to experience a real one. I was flanked on either side, held, adored.

I saw Andy at shul a few weeks later. He had the upper hand. In one conversation with him, I forgot about my community, my future, and the real people that love me. I only wanted his approval. That evening, I had another fever, and days later, a viral infection. I’m still sick with it.

Can I fall in love. Can I complete an encounter. Will these passing fevers last, and for whom should they? I distrust myself. If I had reached satisfaction, I wouldn’t be writing this. But some part of me reached out to my lovers that night, and didn’t want intimacy to sever our connection. So here I am, trapped in my own cycle, dreaming of men who could never have all of me, never ever.

I am supposed to move to New York, find my voice as a messenger for change, and fall in love. But I fear that another cycle like this, as small and silly as it was, will finish me for good. I say that I’m going celibate again; that I don’t believe the world is safe. But that’s bullshit. One day, this will be sorted out. And I can have what I’ve never had, and be what I never could before be-

Perfection.

It’s All Happening

UPDATES ON MY PRIVILEGE

I didn’t wake up to the fact that I was living on my own in Los Angeles until about a year in. It was last June. I was depressed and had conditioned myself so far into bullshit liberal arts independence that I couldn’t see the friends, the spiritual community, or the fellow dancers that loved me at all sides.

The next year, leading up to this post, has been my greatest ascension. I started in a place of confined rage, not knowing why my mind felt like an exploding sun. I wasn’t in L.A. to succeed, but rather to win against the city that I blamed for so many problems – my loneliness, my career frustration, my fear of being colonized. When you wage a war against a city, you cannot win. But when I started to see that my problems were within me, I embarked on a quest to restore balance to the force.

I had to leave my job at IKAR, where I was loved and ceaselessly supported, to get my act together. I was crazy depressed and I also wasn’t exercising. I wanted to spite the legion of perfect gay men who had scorned me at the West Hollywood gyms. After Thanksgiving, six months of horizontal living later, I started running every day, and the depression was gone instantly. There wasn’t anything fundamentally wrong with me after all. I just needed to scramble my brains around a little.

But I wasn’t fixed. I was still distrustful, uptight, and terrified about my future and career. I was exhausted all the time, sometimes only able to eat special K cereal, complete an application to Sprinkles, and go to bed. I would see interviews with Lena Dunham or Amy Poehler and I’d have to break the news to myself that I could never work as hard as they did because my body wasn’t strong enough. By March, I was at a new convergence point: I had been diagnosed with hypoglycemia. I wasn’t some sad tired hag; I was just killing myself by eating brioche rolls. Therapy was hitting on new pressure points and as I started to restore my energy with controlled eating, my thoughts become bracingly clear.

I was in shul one Friday night and the Rabbi asked us to close our eyes and think of something we were grateful for. I didn’t have to say the words or visualize the names, but rather to conjure the feeling of joy that only the newly resurrected can muster. I closed my eyes and felt my head bob back as I melted in gratitude. I was fully alive.

Over the last few months, I’ve started to see in color all the time. A 10th anniversary screening of Mean Girls felt like a glorious cult sacrifice. At my last Bootie L.A., I took count of my brethren in R.A.I.D. -  joined together like true color warriors – before stepping out on stage and exploding with passionate dancing. During a trip to Vermont with the Rehovot Ragers, I experimented with partying enhancements and levitated to Sky Ferriera levels of Club Scholaryness.

I’ve spent a full year working on my comic book, and though it has gone slowly and hasn’t yielded much legitimate success, it has taught me that I don’t need to give a blowjob to a producer to have something of my own made. I’m already making it – published or unpublished – on my own. There’s nothing anyone can give me – besides education and connection – that will suddenly allow me to start my life. It’s already begun.

And, just like in any hero’s journey, I’ve gotten the chance to return home – back to my old job at IKAR, if only for the summer. It’s been surreal and wonderful, a chance to truly commune with my mentors and sisters.

I’m finally here. Like, here here. I realize that all the months I spent hating L.A. cost me the chance to truly appreciate my tribes and my supporters. Even though the city has little culture, a humiliating gay population, and no romance whatever, I could continue on here and be happy. Not stupid happy; I’ll always be a neurotic mess who can’t sleep enough and can’t handle a single relationship.

But for the first time, I’m not killing myself about my future. I still think about it a lot, but I am not cleaving to it desperately the way I used to. There are many people in L.A. who want to be studio executives so badly that they will work at William Morris Endeavor until whatever is left of them reaches the top. But can I even handle caring about making it anymore? I want to do be doing it right now –  whatever it is that makes me happy. So, I’m kind of out of the industry. I am a writer, and nobody can take that away from me, but what the hell am I even doing with it? Where is this going? What is important about this? What’s the fucking point?

After nearly three years in Los Angeles, I’m at a crossroads. I could renew my rent and try to decide what I’m looking for here, sticking around to be with my tribes, or I could crudely uproot myself and launch into a frightening creative maze all in service of a romantic notion about what a city should do for me. Newly revived and out of the fire, I could restart everything properly.

New York is an inane notion. I can’t even support myself in L.A., and this isn’t even a real city. It terrifies me. But that fear never occurred to me when I moved to Israel or Boston or L.A. I wasn’t really in the driver’s seat. What if throwing myself into chaos, armed with best friends and a new nightlife, will allow me – the rebooted me – to find new ways to create and to be of service to the world, to discover activism and culture and inspiration? Leaving L.A. would break my heart, and risking New York would blind me with terror, but at least I could really feel do it, really experience all of it. If I don’t go now, maybe I never will. Or maybe I will, but as some stressed 40 year old head writer. Will I be bald then?

I may last for one month in New York, but at least I won’t have denied myself the chance. I think I will return to L.A for professional reasons, and I comfort myself by knowing that the people who love me won’t really go anywhere that I can’t see them again.

There are hypothetical futures where my break arrives at the last minute, where a showrunner chooses me as his or her assistant, where I get to New York eventually, but not right away, where I end up back in Tel Aviv, where I move back to Houston to be with the family, where I quit writing and go to grad school for gender studies. I used to be able to stack up these potential futures with all kinds of backing, and it helped drive my writing forward. There was always an end goal. Now that I’m back in the present, the shape of things to come is not spelled out. The future is now. I have to take wild steps to write what could be into my immediate present. I trust that you’ll be along with me for what comes next. Because, for a while, I’ll finally have something to write about.

a year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll be 24 in a few weeks, and, apparently, I’m still alive, pigs! And I’m not your fucking assistant, either. I’m sure there are steps I should be taking to “make it” like your cousin who worked crew on a Vince Vaughan movie two years ago, but it’s too late for that now. As Ashlee Simpson once said, I am Me.

I was depressed for a huge part of 23. His name was Mr. Shadow, and his operating philosophy was If I’m going down, you’re all coming with me. Mr. Shadow comes out when I don’t exercise for months at a time to spite the Hollywood gym system(I showed them!), when I don’t tend to my postprandial hypoglycemia, when I attend family functions, and when I lose sight of where I’m going. I quit my job and finally got some glimpse of perspective. I’m going back for the summer, and I couldn’t be happier. To go forward, you must go back. Everything is coming up Targaryen.

You know, it doesn’t have to be your 23. I don’t need to know that you had so much energy when you were my age and that none of my worries matter now because I am a baby. I will melt because it is my only option and because everything is as critical now as it has ever been. I’m sorry I’m too talkative and scared to sexually function all the time with the man who goes to spin class every morning at five am. I’m not blithe.  But get this: everything I want to do, I’m already doing in some miniscule fashion. I’m writing my own comic book, even though no human being may ever read it. I’m exercising, or something. And there are moments, caught in the spiraling vortex of Gaga’s Venus at Glam-ou-Rama or during my feminist rabbi’s exultation, when I feel elevated by gratitude.

Of course, if I’m not famous by the time I’m 28, I’ll kill myself. I’m sure I’m still destined to sabotage all major relationships that remain, and I still think that every one of you is competition. My parents support me because nobody will employ me. I still look in the mirror and see a pathetic chubby twelve year old who had no shame. Mr. Shadow has left me with an empathic sensitivity that makes me unable to connect with too many people because I’m already absorbing their pain before they’ve expressed it. Nothing about me can be certain.

But with each stacking moment of clarity I build towards a larger apotheosis; a true integration of all my powers and traumas and ideas and impulses, into a greater person or work, a higher being than I ever was before, like Cordelia or Daenerys or Buffy or Willow or Starbuck or Echo or Jean or Amy or Peggy or Katara or Lisbeth or Diana or Leeloo or Dinah or Claire or Frances or pretty much any of the women in my comic book, I will have my ascension, and you are invited to watch ever ember light up until I burn myself down entirely. Until then, a nap is in order.