My mad Irish sociology professor scribbled the word onto the chalkboard.
As he explained the meaning I felt the guttural pain of being classified. Deviants violate cultural norms. It was this moment where it all made sense. Post-pubescent confusion fell off me like an old snake skin.
I was on a beach in Los Angeles reading Moby Dick when I decided to start this blog. I pinned grains of sand between my feet as I wrote in my notebook the words "Deviant."
I was 18 years old.
After several entries I started to share my blog, and it was found by the editor in chief of XY magazine. Several of my entries were published including one about my first love who I met at a Pride fair. I showed my love the article and we kissed in the back of my car. He later broke my heart.
The editor in chief of XY offered me a job as managing editor, and I accepted. I quit school and moved to San Diego and lived in a hotel paid for by the company. I spent my first Christmas away from my family in a house full of queers. My friend made me rip up the photo I carried of my first love.
I was 19.
XY's editor in chief wanted to move to London, so I went along. London was the last place I thought I'd end up in being a poor boy from Inglewood who was raised in a studio apartment with 6 other people. I did Special K in the stall of a bathroom with friends and I felt like I was walking on gravy.
I was 20.
I was supposed to move to New York with the job but the job fell through. Nevertheless I had visited New York and fallen in love with the city when I saw a Burger King employee give a rude customer the middle finger. For the second time in my life I felt the same guttural pain I'd felt when my sociology teacher wrote the word Deviant on his chalkboard, but this time it was stronger.
New York is what I was, and I was 21.
I made quite a few friends and acquaintances here, as well as more than a few loves and enemies. I met Fly G--one of my best friends--and in his mania I found a home for my restless soul. When my roommate in Harlem threatened me with a knife I called the cops and left with a few bags and I went to Fly G's apartment, he let me stay over as I sobbed uncontrollably.
I was...well I don't remember. New York is where I forget my age. This city has a way of making you feel eternal.
And I look at this blog and it isn't quite who I am anymore. The wangst of yesteryear has been replaced with something different and maybe a bit more perilous.
I am 27 and will be 28 in about a week. Deviant ends now. I have owed this blog my life because without it I wouldn't be sitting in this apartment in Brooklyn. This little blog has actually shaped my life, do you understand? But it no longer is my life.
Deviant, it was real. I thought the black background with white text was a good idea at the time so I apologize for all the eye straining it caused. I know better now though.
And as this blog closes I continue. What happens to a Deviant that has to grow up? You can find out along with me.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
My mad Irish sociology professor scribbled the word onto the chalkboard.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I'd done everything correctly.
After every major update to facebook I diligently researched the changes and clicked off the correct privacy flaws in my newly vulnerable facebook page. When statuses were made public I switched them off, when galleries were made individually public I individually made them private. It was like a swapping of virtual flies in cyberspace.
And yet I watched my newsfeed with stupefied curiosity. A friend of mine in LA had invaded with farmville. Farmville animal requests were sent, and I blocked them, but then they would still appear on my facebook reader like rats to a barn.
The Lost finale happened and my feed was filled with posts from my less than scholarly batch of friends. I maintain that Lost is a show for people who are deprived of good narratives. One Lost fan told me he rarely read fiction, well of course you don't, I thought, you watch Lost!
"Look have you seen this?" Fly G said as he showed me his iPhone. "It's PhoneSquare! I can sign into any place and it let's everyone on my facebook wall know."
"I think that's called FourSquare," I corrected, "and yes I've heard of it. Why would you want people knowing you aren't at home anyways?"
"Well, it's no different than if you update your status saying you're out somewhere."
"No, I could be lying or talking about an event in the past tense. With that program you are telling everyone that you are most definitely not at home at this very moment."
I watched my newsfeed and I made the personal realization that I did not give a shit for the majority of the drivel that was being posted by the alarmingly large amount of derivative people I had friended. Song lyrics there were, and someone posted about how they hated life and how they were sore.
And then there was bloating, headaches, nauseau, I was surprised to see no mentions of fluids leaking, but that was implied, and these were people my age!
It was always inane, but we had now reached new heights of inanity, and so I no longer clicked off privacy settings, I started to delete. I deleted my fan pages, and some friends, I deleted the people who just linger and don't say anything, and I deleted the ones who overshare.
The oversharing on facebook made me start to dislike people, and maybe it was because they'd lost some of their mystery. I knew what new people were thinking about, and what they were thinking about numbed the mind.
And the other part was that I do believe we were talking less. Facebook is taking our innocent instinct to overshare and turning it into something ugly. We were being sold off to advertisers and losing the bonds of intimate communication.
I can't delete my profile though because I still get invites to parties on there.
Meanwhile, twitter is where it's at. I have moved on enthusiastically to tweeting and the reason is two-fold:
1) It makes no bones about being full of crap.
2) I have heard lots more "I saw what you wrote on twitter" than "I saw what you wrote on facebook." It seems like people who read twitter are more open to actual conversations about what you wrote than people who are reading facebook, at least in my world.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to tweet about Celebrity Rehab, now available on Netflix instant streaming!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It'll be proper spring in seasonal cities, and that means the majority of us are starting to face the fact that we're too fat for Spring. You shed a layer and you expose a previously unseen groove of flab that mounds of jackets had helpfully hidden before. The only cure for this is a frantic exercise routine that targets your problem areas, you hope it'll work in 3 weeks but see nothing, so you eat instead.
Exercise and I never mixed together. When I was a kid in grade school we had Physical Education which is a special section of school set aside for torture from demented adults who use shame and fear like medieval weaponry. I went to an inner-city type school, the kind where I only saw two white people and I used to think they were just sick kids, and it was the same there that it was everywhere.
"You boys, we'll play dodgeball. You girls, skip rope."
And I played with balls and boys and watched forlornly at the girls because I wanted to jump rope. It seemed like fun, and there was so much pressure to the games that boys played, and there was only fun to the games girls played. Those girl games had no consequence, and the boys games were all consequence, you won if you didn't suffer any humiliation.
My mother took me to a communal pool later on, the sort where all the kids piss in (she encouraged it of me too, why use the bathroom?). I stepped out of the kids locker wearing a tacky speedo, I fell into the pool, and I became a fish. The water was my home. There weren't rules here, and the only humiliation was if you hit a floater, but there was joy in the movements and it felt like I was flying.
"That's great exercise isn't it?" She asked.
Exercise, I thought, what a curious thing.
My curiosity dissipated when we had to do such exercise in school. We ran laps and miles for vicious gym teachers, we climbed ropes that went nowhere, and I climbed onto a balance beam which shook violently under my nervous feet.
At this time I was fat. I was eating-a-happy-meal-every-friday fat. My mother would supply me with happy meals because I begged her, but she worried, and she worried when all I drank was soda, and when I did nothing but run home from school and stay in the house. How could she know that I didn't leave the house because I'd notice the sharp mood the neighborhood was changing into; neighborhood boys now dressed like gang members, gang members loomed closer to houses and away from alleys, gangsta rap became popular.
So my mother purchased a bike and pushed. I fell over and cried because a dog had scared me. In Los Angeles people buy vicious dogs who will run towards you, hit their fence, and bark loudly (this only happens if you're foolish enough to walk around LA, or bike on sidewalks as a kid). I imagined dogs leaping over a fence and tearing my head from my torso.
When I got older my mother forced me to take Tae Kwan Do. FORCED me! Imagine that, spoiling your only child your entire life and then so rudely forcing him to go and join an inner city dojo. I went and I punched and kick things, the smell of sweat, gi, and pre-pubescence was palpable and the stuff of nightmares. I faked an illness, I faked it for 2 years. It consisted of gagging myself. My mother took me to a doctor, and the doctor told me to see a therapist, and the therapist said I wasn't sick but I told him I was. I could lie, I was destined to be an English major.
If only mom had seen the Michael Phelp's-like potential in my swimming, if only we could have a private pool, but alas, all we had was a communal pool in the apartment complex that had long become a cement pit. I had no hope until I wandered into a video game store and discovered my salvation, the one thing that would change me from a chubby kid into a contender.
It was Dance Dance Revolution
A dancing video game? You mean I can be active doing something I like to do?
Hours of play and sweat ensued, and I was an expert. I had enough confidence in my dancing abilities that I would play the game on the Santa Monica Pier arcade and show off to the beach-goers, I even got a round of applause once.
We bought the home edition and I continued to use it until I'd lost so much weight that my own mother couldn't recognize me from the kid she dumped into Tae Kwon Do.
That's when I realized a hard truth; it's easy to lose weight, it's super hard to get fat. To get fat takes dedication and perseverance. You must not only be inactive, but you must also eat creatively and for maximum pleasure. We as humans get bored when inactive, and so you must find creative ways to be entertained when fat.
Losing weight is so easy any stupid person can do it, and let's face it most fit people are downright stupid, comparatively some of the most clever people I've met are fat slobs. They're well read and watch lots of movies, all a fit person does is repeat the same actions over and over and "eat until they're full." How simple is that?
Since the snow has stopped in New York I have taken to running half an hour every other day. I own weights but I rarely use them, also I sometimes sleep in a day here and there, and that's fine. As I wake up my roommate Big Nig has remarked how I seem to be so full of energy in an envious tone.
I'm not. While I'm skinnier I still feel that a part of me is a wily fat kid, faking illnesses, not fitting into gym class but confounding it--defying it--still enjoying the ravenous pleasures of food as vice, and taking in other vices as food.
I have not traded the stupidities of being fit to the complexities of fatness, that's the man I am.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
One of the central concerns when trying to grow up is figuring out whether or not you are sane. You can't possibly become what society refers to as a "responsible adult" if you are indeed a lunatic.
For the last week since my last entry I was attempting to try and figure out if I had a pre-existing condition preventing adulthood. If anyone deserves adulthood, it's me.
Had I jumped the gun on my initial assessment about needing a therapist? Was I too crazy to get into a cocoon and emerge an over the hill butterfly?
Circle of Manias
It was Fly G's birthday as I joined him and his closest friend J_____ for dinner. J______ is a mean girl in male form; lithe, fresh faced, white trash evolved, with an upturned nose, he is Fly G's raging ego whom Fly G dated during the Mesozoic era. J_____ met us with a boy in turn, his "boy of the week" according to Fly G. I wished Fly G a happy birthday as we walked to our dinner spot. The boy and J______ walked in lock step and whispered unsavory nothings in the other's ear as we entered the restaurant.
Once there we took our seats.
The unnamed boy grappled onto J_____ as if the world was a spinning top. I suspected the boy was untrained in the ways of lust and mania, Fly G had seen similar delusions before.
"Where'd you two meet?" I asked.
"Manhunt?" Fly G interrupted
They were silent and enthralled with each other, and it was made clear that they would remain enthralled with each other throughout the birthday dinner where they were not the center of attention.
"Who else is coming?" I asked Fly G
"Jose." He answered
"Oh fuck Jose," I said. The unnamed boy looked at me and I explained, "We don't like Jose, he's a bit trash."
"He wasn't that bad last time we all hung out, he was almost tolerable," J_____ said.
We waited for Jose and soon enough the unnamed boy had to excuse himself to use the bathroom.
Fly G started the interrogation:
"So does he have a big cock?" Fly G said.
'Huge' replied J______
"Like sucking on it?" replied Fly G
"How big is it? Show me with your hands"
J______ expressed a robust looking size that wavered between tree trunk impressive and 'not bad for a white guy' as the champagne coursed through his veins.
"Does it hurt going in? Is it fat?" Fly G asked.
"I wouldn't know." J____ said.
The unnamed boy came back as I sipped on my drink and looked at Fly G who had taken off his jacket revealing a necklace studded with bling and shaped like a key.
Circle of Shit
It was two days after Fly G's birthday dinner and we sat at a familiar bar we always accuse of slipping us mickeys (they're just actually generous with their alcohol).
We'd taken a walk around the park during that day where it was 80 degrees and everyone came out but unfortunately that also meant that all the douches were out.
We ordered and sat, and I heard the following story from Fly G's friend;
"Oh I get off on having guys circlejerk on me. I'm serious, I have a black book full of names, and they are listed by city. When I land in a city I go to the hotel, I check my book, and I call them all up. They show up and they jerk off until they go on my face...It's so hot! I think it's a submission thing."
Fly G and I thought for a milisecond before we both asked questions:
Me: "Do they touch each other?"
"NO! It's all about me"
Fly G: "Do you say things while it's happening?"
"No more than usual."
I thought about it and resolved it, "well no one is getting hurt right? It seems like you're having some relatively safe fun."
Although I don't think I said the above as I remembered that he had also previously suggested we all visit the Rambles, a practice that hasn't been considered safe since the 60's.
Circle of Blood
It was the night of Fly G's birthday dinner when Jose arrived 40 minutes late. Jose looks like John Leguizamo if John Leguizamo was hit in the face with the ugly stick until his face was locked in a fake grin full of cerebral palsy.
I hate him because of the fact that any decent intellectual person SHOULD hate pure evil. You would hate pure evil if you met it, and pure evil is willful ignorance, would you not agree?
Fly G sat between Jose and I
"Hi Jose!!" I said
"Hi Kevin!!" was his reply.
After a few more silenced stares into our menus J_____ broke the silence, "Well aren't we an interesting bunch...you know the dynamic of the table?"
Fly G and I looked up at him, then back down to our menus.
After we ordered Fly G remembered he had cigarettes to smoke, and because he had a pack then J_____ would follow and the unnamed boy.
"Play nice you two," FLy G said to me and Jose.
And we sat alone, and then we looked at each other, and I broke the ice with conversation because this particular burden falls on me 100A% of the time.
What's new with you Jose?
"I've gotten into Special K," he said, "Man I was into it so much, last week I was in a k-hole though. I've been in trouble though because I hit my boyfriend. He's only 17...and I feel bad. Still that's because that's the Evil me, you know? I got that side of me that comes out, it's fucked up man.I just gotta have fun you know "
"Do you have any drugs with you?" he asked.
Eureka, I think. I've learned something...
I don't need therapy.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I stirred the ice cubes around my drink for a few seconds. I looked down on it away from Fly G for a moment. We were seated comfortably at a bar for a surprise round of drinks. Fly G had caught me leaving work and I gladly joined up with him. After taking a sip of my vodka tonic I looked up and said to him:
"I think I need therapy."
"You're not anybody in New York until you have a therapist!" Fly G gleefully informed me. "I just got all of these pills just now!" He took out a suspicious looking white back and shook it, it made a rattling sound. My insurance paid for all of it, I just had to pay 10% of the visit. Let me see your insurance card."
I showed him my card and he compared my card to his card while I leaned on the bar to order another drink. "Yes, I think you might be covered, you might have to pay 20 dollars, but paying 20 dollars a day every week isn't so bad, that's just 2 nightclub drinks."
We measure money in units of booze.
I saw the Sopranos where Tony's mom finds out that he's going to therapy, and she freaks out because she thinks its a condemnation of her. That's the cliche, so I'd like to make it a point that I had a very well adjusted family who raised me....they just so happened to be poor.
I suspected something was up as I walked home one day having been dismissed from class early and told to stay home because black people had started rioting due to the Rodney King verdict. As I walked the street alone from the public transit bus to my house pulling on my tacky large backpack strap, I walked past a Church's chicken that displayed a large sign through its window written in crisp black thick font; "BLACK OWNED."
I was 9.
Reginald Denny was the name of the man who I saw on the TV get dragged out of his truck and get kicked and thrown around the street. As he was trying to get up another man came up and threw a very hard object at his head. As he fell back down the attacker laughed, pointed, and disappeared down the street.
I'm worried that I somehow internalized this as something that was normal. I watched Salo on Sunday and I didn't blink, partially because I knew what was going to happen (people eat shit and die in that movie, literally), but maybe I read the book because I had been curious about the extreme nature of it. The man who wrote the book was named the Marquis De Sade, he was crazy, and we share the same birthday, month and day!
I mean, Salo did stay stuck in my mind at least, it made me a little grumpy that night.
"Look at this dick" Fly G said as he flashed me a picture of someone's black penis he was talking to via his iPhone.
"Good one I guess."
"Hmm...I bet this is about you not being out to your mother." He said
"My mom never asked!"
"It all comes back to that," Fly G said.
Well maybe he was right, but the main point is that there seems to be baggage there, and I can't become awesome with a psychosis, can I?
That last one wasn't a hypothetical, feel free to answer.
Fly G and I sat down on a comfortable bar couch. He got me a drink and I scored him a cigarette from an unsuspecting smoker using only my charms ("I still got it") and I start to think that maybe I'm making mountains out of prairie plains.
Maybe this right here is enough?
Oh btw, fun fact that let's me sleep well at night, Reginald Denny was saved by four people who saw his beating live on television.
All four were black.