THE STORY OF US PART THREE

The Story of Us

The day I found out I was HIV Positive I was working security at the Faultline for a Sunday Beer Bust. It was October 13, 2013. I’m sure there is some kind of numerological magic to the date. A testing truck was parked in the parking lot. I don’t know what made me think to get tested. It just seemed like the thing to do. The tester was bored. He wanted to be inside getting drunk. He looked at the results and then at me and he said,

“Oh, I’m really sorry.” Then he looked outside and waved to someone in the parking lot.

“Excuse me?” I said. Looking back, I’m not sure why I was so surprised. There had been clues. Choices made that should have made this less of a surprise, but still…I just didn’t think I would find something like that out from such an uninterested asshole in the parking lot of the Faultline.

I think it was the banality that upset me more than anything else. And the fact that he was so unattractive. It just didn’t seem fair.

“I’m sorry,” he said, and kind of shrugged. “The results are positive. Would you like me to make you an appointment with someone?”

“Other than you? Yes. Please.”

I made up some excuse to leave work. I think I said that the sink exploded at the house, or that Alex had set himself on fire, something outrageous. I had to get home. Away. Just for a few minutes. I had to see Alex.

If I could just see Alex than maybe this might make some kind of sense.

And I had to know if he would still love me.

We had guests staying at the house. I told Alex I needed him to come outside. I needed to talk to him. And I stood there, on our front porch, and I looked at him and my heart broke. I burst into tears. He wrapped his arms around me, holding on to me and he kept saying,

“Baby, what is it? What’s wrong?”

I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to answer. I just wanted to stay like that, wrapped in his gigantic arms, forever, safe.

But if I have learned anything in life, it is that the world will keep going: life will keep flowing, and that we are never safe from the inevitable. When I found out that my mother had cancer I learned about inevitabilities: everything I love, everything I hold dear, everything that I find beautiful and wonderful will one day die. That is inevitable. It is a rule of life. When I found out I was HIV Positive I learned that I too will die. Like everything else. One day I will die.

But I also learned something else. I learned that Alex did not pull away from me, he did not tell me to leave, he didn’t yell at me and he did not reject me: instead he held me tighter, and he cried with me, and then he said,

“Okay. We will be okay. We will take care of this.”

And we did. We found me a doctor. We learned that HIV never really leaves the body, it just hides out, in the belly or the brain, always vigilant, so I have to be vigilant too. Every day I have to take my pills. Every day at two Alex sends me a text to remind me. He has been doing this for a year and a half. Together we are vigilant. Together we stand guard.

And I made a decision: that day, October 13, 2013, will have power for me. It will have meaning for me. This thing that lives inside me: it will matter. I will let it change me. I will let it affect me and alter who I am: I will take my inevitable death and I will do something with it: because what is not inevitable is happiness, or success, or beauty: I could fail. It is possible to lose everything. To end up alone. I might relapse, shoot dope, become homeless: these things are all possible with a man like me. But I decided that the world would be different for me: even if I failed I was going to try, I was going to succeed in the doing: my life would have meaning because I was going to give it meaning.

I hear a lot that being HIV positive in this day and age doesn’t mean anything: it’s manageable, it’s not important: it doesn’t mean I will die or get sick, not anymore, and they are right. I am healthy. I am strong. I am not sick, and for today, I am not dying.

But it does mean something. It is like a sign along the way: a reminder: none of this is forever. My mother will die. Alex will die. Jon will die. You will die. Everyone will die. It sounds like such an obvious thing. Of course. But feel it. Really know it. And it changes you. At least it changed me.

I am lucky. I have always been lucky. I have a beautiful life. I am surrounded by love.   I’m happy. Happiness is one of those things that comes easily to me. I want to be happy. I like it. It feels good.

Recently, when the three of us are all together: Alex is gone right now, in Spokane, working on season two of the TV show he is on: But when we are all together I like to lay in bed and listen to the two of them while they sleep. Their breathing encases me, it wraps me in warmth and love. There is a magic in those moments, a power, that is another one of those signs along the way: Yes, you will die, but you will also live. This is living. This is it. Right now.

Sometimes all we are doing is watching TV. Sometimes I am sitting at the desk writing and they are on the couch showing each other stupid tumblr cat gifs and giggling: they do that a lot: look at cat gifs and giggle, sometimes we are arguing or we are fucking, sometimes we are eating ice cream and pop tarts till we are sick, sometimes we are cleaning up cat piss or dog puke or stressing the fuck out or going for a walk: sometimes we are doing nothing and I will see them, or I will catch the light as it falls across them, and I will think: I am the luckiest man alive.

This life is a kind of magic. It is a spell: we are like magicians: conjurers. My mother once told me, you have two choices in life: You either believe in magic or you don’t. It doesn’t matter if it is real. Just choose. Which seems more interesting to you?

Three weeks before we got married we asked Jon to move in. This, in retrospect, seems like a strange choice. Maybe we should have waited a few months, let married life settle in: not just for us but for our families. But things were moving: life was moving. So we kept going with it.

We decided that we would introduce Jon to our families at our wedding. This made a kind of sense at the time: I wonder though, if maybe a pizza night before hand would have been easier. I can still see Jon, in a corner, surrounded by all our family and friends, a little lost, so handsome, and people asking him, “How do you know Jeff? How do you know Alex?” And he would say, “I’m Jon. I’m their boyfriend.”

…TO BE CONTINUED

TRIAD LIVING #2

Triad Living

Recently I found myself in a discussion about sex. It was with a few guys talking about the kinds of sex they were having with their boyfriends: about opening their relationships, or closing their relationships, about movie nights and ice cream. They were sharing recent exploits and adventures. I, admittedly bragging a little, told them about this muscle bear Alex and Jon and I had gone to fuck together one night. The three of us all taking turns on him. He told us, when it was all over, that he had been so drunk on dick he had forgotten where he was. It had been a really hot night.

One of the guys looked at me and said, “When is it ever enough? Maybe the straights are right. Maybe we shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Soon you’re going to be living with twenty different guys. And then a hundred. At what point do you stop and say, ok, enough. It’s time to grow up.”

I was shocked. I hadn’t expected this outburst. Especially from a guy who had just told a story about him and his husband switching partners with another couple. I expressed this to him and he said, “Right, but it isn’t the same. Three-ways are now four ways. Four ways become five ways become fucking orgies. When is it enough?”

Later that day I called my best friend, Natasha, and told her the story and asked her what she thought. “Was everybody legal?” She asked. “Of course.” “And did you all have fun?” She asked. “Fuck yeah.” “Then who cares? It’s enough when you decide it’s enough. Fuck the whole world if you want. Now, can we talk about my wedding? I’m getting married in two weeks.”

I have had a lot of sex with a lot of different guys in a lot of different ways. Every time my boyfriends and I have sex it is a three-way. Sometimes we invite a fourth in. I’m really into the idea of finding another triad and having a six-way. Maybe I will want to fuck a hundred guys. Who knows? Who cares? That’s the question I’m left with. Who really cares and why do they care? I hope you get laid all the time if that’s what you want. I hope you find love and happiness and plenty of dick and butt. Why does anybody care?

Yes. I was bragging. But honestly, it was a good story. That line about being drunk on dick still gets me hard. It was a fun time. It was an appropriate story for the group of guys I was with. It was in context.

A few days later I ran into my friend who asked me when will it be enough. This is what he said,

“I think it’s just getting out of hand. Triads and Poly-relationships. Now guys are talking about forming packs. Guys are getting collared as pups. I know some guy in Long Beach who’s starting his own kennel. A fucking kennel of dudes who pretend they are puppies. What’s wrong with just getting married and staying married and being happy?”

“Nothing’s wrong with that. But what’s wrong with doing more if that’s what you want?” I found it strange that I was defending puppy kennels. I thought the whole pup thing was ridiculous: showing up at the Eagle in a $500 leather puppy mask and barking at people just looks idiotic. But if that’s what turns them on why do I care?

“What next? Real bestiality? Pedophiles suing for the right to marry little kids? Where does it all lead?”

I was stunned. I tried to see how my relationship, and the consensual sex we had with other consenting adults could lead to bestiality and pedophilia.

We have a profile on Scruff for the three of us. In it we state that I am HIV positive. A guy messaged us, attacking us for being whores and sex addicts and me for infecting others with my “sickness”. He said that if i really knew what love was I would go off by myself and die alone.  When I first found out I was positive I tried to talk to these people, rationalize with them, educate them, now I just block them. There is no point. They are upset about things I can’t even begin to imagine. They are furious and it has nothing to do with me.

But I still think: so what if we are whores? Why do you care?

“When do you start feeling ashamed of your behavior?” My friend asked me. “When do you start caring what other people think?”

Maybe I am a sociopath. Maybe I am amoral. Because honestly, I don’t really care what other people think. At least not when it comes to who I fuck. Or love.

I am thinking about shame. As a tool. As a device. As a weapon of control. Because that is what it is. My friend was using shame to try to control me. To try to force me to live in a way he thought I should live.

I’ve never understood gay guys who wanted to be straight, or to live a “straight lifestyle”. I like being gay. I like the freedom it gives me. I like feeling like I can create my world and my life and my relationships in anyway I want. I do not want to have to live according to someone else’s guidelines. That was never the point.

When Alex and I got married I had people telling me it was time to settle down now, time to grow up, time to behave in certain ways, as if it were them I were marrying. As if some how by getting married I was now giving something up instead of gaining something. I married Alex because I love him. Because I know he is the man I want to spend my life with. And because it sounded fun. And because it is political and because I want to be married to Alex. Not because I want to be married to an institution. It is our marriage. Our life.

When we decided to move Jon in people said, “So soon? But you just got married? Do you still love each other?”

Another friend told me that we should have our fun now, because he’s never seen a triad last. Then he told me they tend to ruin relationships. That they are indicative of some inherent problem.

Or maybe we are just sex addicts. Or maybe I want to infect more people with my disease. Maybe because we want to be in love and to be open about that we are monsters.

Clearly, because I took the time to even write this rant, I care what people think. I want to be accepted. I want to be okay with the world I live in and I want the world I live in to be okay with me. And I think for the most part it is. I am lucky. I live in a pretty tolerant world. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live somewhere under the pressures of a society that did not allow me to be who I am even if it didn’t agree or like my choices.

No one has to agree with the choices I have made. They are my choices. I don’t necessarily understand having a kennel of collared pups. I don’t understand a lot of things. But that doesn’t negate those experiences.

I am probably not very tolerant of someone trying to shame me for being HIV positive, or trying to tell me I am diseased or infected. If that guy had said that to my face I would have hit him. I don’t claim to be tolerant. I’m just claiming to try.

And honestly, what is wrong with fucking six guys? Or twenty? Or a hundred? Sometimes a really slutty, over the top night is just what you need to get on with your daily life. I’m all for it. I think we should all fuck a little more. I know I’d like to.

b3b02ba30b1a4540c35384909bcf7f14images

Triad Living #1

Triad Living

I read an interesting post on facebook recently about poly-relationships and how this person feels we are moving away from monogamy, and traditional love, and false ideas of soul mates into more polyamorous relationships.  This person described what he would like: a loosely defined group of guys who come together  based on friendship and shared values, and who are also intimate and sexual with each other.  He said that as he gets older he realizes that romantic love and all its entanglements is an illusion: a made up fantasy.  He wrote that he felt moving away from romantic love and traditional coupling was part of society’s natural evolution, and that monogamy and traditional marriage are a part of our past: cages that enslave our sexuality.  I feel pretty strongly about this: meaning, I think it is bullshit.  I am in a triad. I started out in a traditional, monogamous-ish relationship with my now husband (monogamous-ish is what we called our relationship, meaning we could fuck anyone we wanted as long as we did it together: three, four, six, whatever.  We were in it together and enjoyed it together.  This, for me, has allowed us to have a pretty amazing sex life: there is nothing hotter to me than watching my man fuck another guy, suddenly the man I’m living with and paying bills with and dealing with all the small little aspects of domestic life with is this huge stud.  It changes him.  Makes him more than just my partner: we become sexual beings to each other.).  We met Jon two and a half years into our relationship (you can read all about it in my continuing story “The Story of Us”).   What has amazed me about being in this kind of a relationship is the way love expands, it grows, it does not feel limited in its ability to be expressed or to be felt.  And that is beautiful.  What is also beautiful is watching my husband, Alex, fall in love with our boyfriend.  Watching Jon fall in love with Alex.  Watching them kiss.  Make love.  All these  things are sexy and hot and beautiful.  And sometimes they are painful and full of jealousy and things that must be worked through.  But none of them negate romantic love.  None of this negates the idea of a “soul mate”.  It does, as far as I can tell, quite the opposite: it expands these ideas, enlarges them.  I believe in true love.  I believe in a huge, romantic, spiritual kind of love.  For me this has taken on a poly-triad aspect.  For others it appears as a coupling in a monogamous relationship.  Neither is more evolved than the other.  Being open is not more evolved than being monogamous.  Both have challenges and both have freedoms the other doesn’t.  I believe a truly evolved or enlightened person would allow for all aspects and all angles: instead of imposing their way as THE way.  Relationships are hard.  Whether they are between two people or ten people.  There is a lot that is amazing and wonderful about my relationship with these two amazing men: and there is a lot that is really hard about it.  I still struggle to find my self and my space and my own identity within this.  I still struggle with jealousy and insecurity.  And I find an amazing love and wonder and friendship.  I have no idea where this adventure will end up.  But I do not believe that a poly-relationship is more evolved or more enlightened than a more “traditional” couple.  I do not  think any of that matters: what matters is that we find love, and find a way to express love.  I am lucky.  I feel that I have found an amazing support in these two men to help me through life: that is what, in the end, I always wanted from a  relationship (that and really hot sex! I’m not kidding.  I think sex matters.  A lot.  I think having sex with the person/s you are in a relationship with matters.  I think a lot guys give up on this.  It takes work, and we have to find ways to keep it hot, but so far we’ve been successful.).  Life is hard alone.  I don’t have to do it alone.  But that takes sacrifice.  And it takes work.  But the pay off is amazing.

THE STORY OF US: PART TWO

The Story of Us

THE STORY OF US PART 2

For much of my life I had been a heroin addict, and then, in 1998, I stopped. I had been living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn next to a dominatrix named Zanny. Zanny was saving up all her money working in a Dungeon in Chelsea to move to LA and be a movie star. At least once or twice a week I would sneak across the fire-escape that connected our two apartments and crawl through her window and steal a couple hundred dollars from the shoe box she saved her tips in. I would use this money to buy heroin.

One morning I woke up to find Zanny standing over my bed. She had a gun in her hand. It was pointed at me. In her other hand she had the number to AA. Zanny gave me an ultimatum.

She had this amazing red, curly hair, and a southern accent that reminded you of peaches and cream and sugary deserts, and pale white tits and she laughed a lot and shared her whiskey with me and she loved me and still I stole from her: I can tell you this, the fact that I loved her and the fact that I stole from her never seemed to conflict in my mind. I did love her and I did steal from her. I am surprised at how little these two realities converged until that day I woke to find her pointing a gun in my face.

It was summer when Zanny gave me my ultimatum, July. A week later, broke because of me, the man who stole her dreams of moving to LA, she moved back to North Carolina. And I had seven days sober.

Two years into my sobriety I moved to LA with my partner Jordan. I had convinced him that we needed to be in LA to get our careers started. Jordan bought a beautiful apartment in Los Feliz overlooking the park and downtown. A month later I broke up with him for a guy I met in AA.

I remained sober for 11 years. And then, a week before I was to fly to Amsterdam to meet my mother, I decided maybe I could drink. I spent weeks wandering Paris and Amsterdam and Venice drunk.

That four year relapse was the coldest, darkest place I have ever been. I met strange and captivating demons, monstrous entities inhabited my mind: a darkness flowed through me that was insatiable: I hungered for my own destruction and created palaces of despair, a life of loneliness and isolation. I believe that I had allowed a demon inside me: that I became possessed. My mother told me that she thought maybe I was cursed. It was the only thing she could think of. Someone had cursed me. She believed that by relapsing I had forfeited whatever good will I might have gained in those 11 years sober: and that I would fail. I have a clear memory of some hallucinogenic night standing in front of my bathroom mirror staring at my reflection and a voice telling me to smash my face into the mirror. To jump out the window and fall to the street. To pick up a knife and stab myself with it.

I was possessed by darkness during that time. I lost everything: my home, my mind, my life, my friends, my job, boyfriends and family, all in ways so unexpected and shattering, so horrifying that the very fact that I was eventually able to get sober again and regain even a small percentage of what I once had is mind boggling in its mythic miraculousness.

I have learned something very important from that four year relapse: inside me there is a demon, and he is growing stronger every day. The longer I am sober the more vicious he becomes: and he is waiting for me to fuck up, to make one mistake, so he can pull me back into his darkness. And it is possible that I will fuck up. It is completely possible that one day I will convince myself that I need a xanax or a joint or a glass of wine: something small and innocuous, something harmless in appearance: just to cut the edge, to smooth over the blandness of daily life: I am fucking apocalyptic and if I am not careful I am capable of destroying everything.

I can’t tell you exactly what made me get sober. I had broken up with my boyfriend. I had been evicted and was living in a strange and dark apartment in the building next door (I had created an elaborate lie that lead me to court where I was able to sue the landlord who was evicting me, giving me enough money to move and to live for a few months), my car had been repossessed, and my family was basically done with me. My father, who had been supporting me for years had finally decided, at 43 years old, to cut me off. No more new cars or rent checks or allowances. No more grand trips to Europe when I felt trapped. I would sit in my apartment alone reading old interviews with Allan Ginsberg and jerking off to gang bang porn online. My friends had all moved away. Or were just as fucked up as I was. My life was small and it seemed to just keep getting smaller.

So I went to an AA meeting and I found a sponsor and somehow, a few months later, I got sober.

I was also evicted again and ended up, in some kind of magical moment of grace, moving in to a large and beautiful Silverlake Mansion in the junction with views of the Hollywood Sign and the Observatory and on those incredible clear LA days maybe even a glimmer of reflected sunlight off the Pacific.

And here is the other thing I know about sobriety: there is a grace to it, something strangely magical and miraculous. If I can just get out of the way and let it happen: life seemed to fall into place for me. I went to meetings. I did step work. I meditated and jerked off endlessly and watched a lot of TV and went on epic midnight bike rides through Los Angeles. There were some nights, still detoxing and unable to sleep, that I would ride my bike all the way to Santa Monica and back. Or through the hills of Silverlake, my calves burning. Anything to escape the screaming panic that was my head. For me, that bike, was faith. It was God. It was magic. I rediscovered the world: I rediscovered color and hope and beauty on that bike.

That period in my life, when I was just getting sober, was incredibly magical. But no more or less magical than the dark magic of my relapse. Both events, relapsing and getting sober again, opened me up to a world of spirituality and magic and endless possibility. I learned that I am capable of things that even I, on a surface level, can’t understand. That I make choices and bring about futures that seem unimaginable to me. Every single day I choose between annihilation and success. It is that simple. But around me there are forces rooting for me, pushing me ever forward, hoping for my happiness: just as there would seem to be forces rooting for the opposite: parasitic entities: leeches that have latched themselves to me, feeding off my pain.

Three weeks before my relapse I was walking home from work, east on Sunset Boulevard, toward Silverlake. I was happy. I felt free. I felt connected. I had been meditating and casting spells of intention and I thought I understood the world, I felt strong and good. I looked up into the sky: blue, cloudless, and I watched as a large black bird soared: wings expanding and merging with that endless blue, and for a moment it was as if the layers of reality were pulled back and I could see behind the curtain: an endless flow of energy where time and matter were the illusions, creations of thought. I stumbled and fell, and all the world melted into color: shifting forms, people like burning stars exploding and reforming before my eyes: the street was a river of golden light. In the distance the hills shimmered like diamonds: the world was aflame in light and color and I could feel it all move through me, become one with me and than separate: I understood that that was the constant play of the Universe: becoming one and separate, endlessly moving between the two.

When I got home I sat on my couch and tried to understand what had happened to me. I was completely sober at the time. To this day I sometimes wonder if I had a glimpse at God, at who we really are.

It is strange that three weeks later I decided that I could have a drink. A glass of wine at Stella’s Café with a friend of mine, a new ageist who affirmed for me what I already knew to be true: I didn’t need AA or some God outside of myself: all I needed was will power and intention and to believe in my personal strength: she kept saying, over and over, “The world is what you believe it is. What you say is what you are. We create our realities.”

I now know this is absolutely true and complete bullshit at the same time.

When I met Alex I was a week short of seven months sober. We met on Scruff. He was supposed to be a trick: just a fuck: a really dirty fuck. The first thing we established was that we were both tops. Alex said he was versatile, which, I was later to find out, was a lie, but he has a seduction tool: he has one of those famously large Dominican dicks, what I’ve come to think of as his bottom maker.

We spent a few days talking on scruff. Alex was working on a movie for SciFi at the time: he does special effects make-up and I was spending a lot of time in prisons and jails talking to criminals. We made a plan to get dinner: he insisted we go on a date, I had been hoping we would fuck right away. I like to get the fucking out of the way first: how else do I know if I even want to go on a date with you if I haven’t fucked you? Somehow, over the course of those days, I went from being the top to being the bottom. We had a solid plan: dinner than sex. I hadn’t been fucked in over a year. He sent me a picture of his dick. It made me nervous. But it also turned me on. I liked the idea of getting owned. Of being dominated. Taken.

I was suddenly in the mood to be seriously and righteously fucked.

Alex showed up and still insisted on dinner. This was a date. Later he told me he knew that I was going to be more than just another fuck. He had a feeling about it. I was living in that run down, decayingly beautiful Silverlake Mansion.

We went to a Thai Restaurant in Hollywood.

While at dinner he gave me his card. Which I thought was strange, but somehow endearing. I had recently had some interest in a horror script of mine. He was learning how to network. Looking back, of course, he was networking with me. Months later he told me he thought I was out of his league, “I kept waiting to step into some bad lighting and for you to see me clearly and realize you’d made a mistake.” This idea, of course, is ridiculous. Alex is stunningly handsome. Breathtaking.

Alex insists that two weeks later I gave him the keys to my house. I’m pretty sure I made him wait at least three weeks. He also likes to remind me that I didn’t invite him to my birthday party. We met on May 4th, my birthday was May 8th. I had decided that I couldn’t invite him: what if he bought me a shitty gift? I could never forgive that. It was safer to just not invite him.

I still think that was the right choice. And I still think I made him wait three weeks to give him the keys to my house. Either way, I definitely made him wait 8 months before he could move in.

Magic is strange. The way the world works is strange. Somewhere in the middle of my relapse I met a Persian boy named Arman. He was a dark and violent young man: painfully beautiful. I believed he was going to be the love of my life. The first time we fucked I woke up covered in bruises. Arman liked to hurt me. He enjoyed it. He had a long fat dick that I loved to feel inside me: at first the biting and the brutality seemed sexy, passionate, but there came a point where I thought: can’t we ever just fuck? Like people? Can’t we just have fun and kiss and get off and then go to bed? Does everything always have to be so fucking epic? Sometimes, late at night, I would wake up to hear him in the living room of his West Hollywood apartment talking to himself. I would walk softly to the door and listen to him madly whispering to ghosts or demons; I was never sure which. We spent a weekend at a friend’s family’s estate on Lake Tahoe where we dropped acid and sat on a dock in the lake, looking up at the stars. Arman held me tight, telling me strange stories and somewhere in the middle of that night I knew: he was not mine. He was dangerous. This knowledge flew through me in shadows: as if I were seeing a reflection of the future; I could see the future the way it would play out with us. It was a future neither of us would survive.

Arman’s family was wealthy. They were art dealers and he spent a lot of time with his father in Tokyo and Hong Kong, Paris and Rome. Once, after a trip to Lisbon, he returned to meet me in New York City.

“He’s evil,” my mother said, and I laughed. She said things like that sometimes. Hyperbole was a way of life with us. “He’s dark. Susan saw him standing over you. A knife in his hand. Bloody. You were gasping on the floor, dying.” Susan was my mother’s psychic. She channeled an entity named The Omega. While the name was stupid, something about Susan’s predictions always came true. She had a way with the future. Omega said that time was like a flat plane. It was like looking out over my front yard. That is how he saw our lives. Like blades of grass flickering in the garden: whole existences existing simultaneously: all time like a magnificent pond, shimmering in the afternoon sun. “He will kill you if you stay with him.”

Two nights later he pulled a knife on me. I ran onto the street, and east toward 7th Avenue. I called my mother. I was terrified. She told me to keep heading east, toward the River, where she would meet me. You’d think that would have been the end of Arman. But it wasn’t. He bought me Rayban sunglasses and a beautiful Cartier watch and cried and told me he loved me. We flew back to LA. For a week he was amazing. Gentle and loving. But then the voices came back, the late nights locked in the bathroom, chasing me through the apartment with scissors.

I bring Arman up to say that I was not always the best judge of men. Sometimes, if they fuck me right, I can lose whole years of my life to a man. But Alex…he was different. I felt it in my soul. He was my partner from the beginning.

I have thought a great deal about the idea of a soul mate.  The idea that one person can be everything to me, that there is one person who is magically created to fit me perfectly.  My other half.  This idea gets even more complicated when you know the future and know that we end up with Jon, the three of us coming together to form something new, something larger: but still…I can’t seem to shake the magic that surrounded the events that lead me to Alex.  He protected me.  Sheltered me.  Carried me.

Maybe I believe that there are souls that call out to each other, and once united they are stronger together than they are alone.

I became stronger with Alex.

This is not to say that there hasn’t been darkness.  Remember, I am possessed.  I have a demon living inside of me.  Gnawing at me.  Chewing at me.  Clawing its way out.

But I also have a lightness in me.  And sometimes, in those darkest moments, if I stand really still: I can feel Alex’s love for me and I feel that maybe there is a purpose to all this.  That maybe love does matter.  And that maybe I might find some kind of redemption for my past.

It was almost a year and a half into the relationship that I found out I was HIV positive. And again, I think, the world moves in strange patterns.

To Be Continued….

IMG_0770

The Story of Us (Part One)

The Story of Us

IMG_1235

Lately there have been articles all over the internet, on Vice, or in the New York Times, about Poly-relationships.

“Polyamory is the practice, desire, or acceptance of intimate relationships that are not exclusive with respect to other sexual or intimate relationships, with knowledge and consent of everyone involved.” Wikipedia.

Polygamy makes me think of Mormons, or rich old white guys with a hundred adolescent wives: the word sounds so ugly, so unglamorous, so unlike what I am involved in.

I am in a triad. I have a husband and we have a boyfriend and the three of us all live together in our tiny yellow Craftsman in Hollywood with our three cats and dog and our roommate Rene and somehow, against everything I believed in, we have, and are in the process of, falling in love.

This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I have been against the idea of this kind of a relationship ever since I first heard of them. I’m not the guy who can handle an open relationship. Threeways took a while for me to warm up to. I get jealous. I’m controlling. I want all the love and all the affection. I want everything to be mine always. I don’t share well. I never have. I am volatile and competitive and basically, if I’m not careful, an all around fucking nightmare.

I’ve been in relationships where we had threeways. I’ve had lovers spend the night with me and my boyfriend. I’ve enjoyed waking up to my boyfriend blowing me and some dude we invited over to spend the night. It was hot watching the guy I love get off on some other guy. I even  remember once having to drive the guy we were fucking back to Tustin in Orange County, and having my boyfriend at the time, get in the back seat and make out with him. The two of them ended up fucking while I drove him home. I almost killed us all; I couldn’t stop looking in the rear view mirror.

But then we would fight. And I would get jealous: that ugly kind of jealousy that turns your whole world black.

Or some guy would want him more than me, or me more than him. It was hard to find the perfect match. And I always wanted reassurance. That I was the one loved, that it was me he wanted, that they all wanted.

When I met Alex a lot of that changed. I’ve always felt safe with him. Loved by him. I’ve always known that he wanted me. We had threeways. Lots of threeways. We’ve picked guys up in bars and fucked them in the bathroom. We’ve gone to bathhouses and made out with rosy-cheeked Canadian boys in Vancouver hot tubs, we’ve fucked around with other couples. We’ve done a lot together. We’ve had some amazing adventures as a couple. And mostly it’s gone really well. And sometimes it hasn’t. Sometimes it’s gone really weird (there was that guy on the way to Sedona who wanted us to fart on him, or the dude who turned out to be homeless….even though, honestly, he was super cute, and times when I got mad or he got mad or times when it just didn’t happen, didn’t work out), but mostly it’s been fun. A lot of fun. And now I can’t imagine my life without those adventures.

We aren’t open. We’ve never been open. We have very clear rules. We are allowed to do whatever we want together. Once I sent him to fuck this fuck-buddy of ours without me, but he had to tell me all about it, so it was like I was there. Because I initiated it, I am in control of the situation. He wasn’t just fucking some guy. He was fucking a guy I picked out, a guy I arranged. He was living out my fantasy.

And for us, this has always been monogamy-ish. For us this has been the truest way to honor our own individual sexualities and yet still remain a couple, involved in each other’s sexuality. I never wanted Alex to just go fuck some guy and not know about it. I want to know. I want to fantasize about it, to play with it in my head. I love watching Alex with another man. It turns me on so much. I love watching him kiss another guy. Suddenly, in that moment, he isn’t just my boyfriend: he is more than what I think he is: suddenly he is himself. He is this sexy man, and I get to watch, I get to participate, I get to be there and see who he is with someone else. And that really is the amazing thing: I get to see him in ways most of us never allow the ones we love to be.

He’s different with me, not in any way I can express clearly in words: it’s just something I feel, something I know. Alex is different when he is fucking me. But, and this is key: he is a stud when he is fucking someone else. Three years in and I still think my boyfriend (Now husband) is a stud. Because I’ve seen him. The way he fucks another bottom. Alex is the kind of top who wants his bottoms to love it. He wants them to beg. He wants them to get off on it.

When we met Jon I don’t think any of us saw the changes that were coming. Jon was supposed to just be another adventure, a threeway with a guy we could eat pizza with and watch a movie with. Maybe a friend. We decided early on Jon wouldn’t sleep over. If it moved to “far”, if we began to have feelings, we would end it. Those were the rules we had. If we wanted to negotiate them we could. I think maybe we made those rules because we knew: this was different. And if we continued it would change everything.

The first day we met Jon I was working at the Faultline Bar in East Hollywood. It was a Sunday Beer Bust. The bar was packed. He pulled up in his silver Volkswagon Bug. I remember watching him get out of his car. The way he moved, his shoulders slightly hunched, kind of lost looking, beard and hair writerly unkempt, his lopsided smile when he saw me waiting for him, his off centered crooked nose I learned later was like that because he had broken it.

Alex was bartending at the time.

Jon was so shockingly handsome I wanted to kiss him right then and there, but I knew I had to go get Alex so I did. This was just supposed to be a quick “hi nice to meet you” hug. Jon was driving back to Orange County from his mom’s house in Bakersfield. Hollywood was basically on the way.

We took him into the green room (that’s the room where the strippers prepare themselves) and took turns kissing him. It was all very quick. Alex had to get back to the bar and I was in charge of security. And Jon had to get home to his ex-boyfriend and his cat, Dorian.   We made plans to meet later in the week to watch a David Bowie Documentary, Cracked Actor, and eat pizza, than the two of them were going to fuck me.

I proposed to Alex in May of 2014. We had taken a day trip to Laguna to go for a walk along the coast and then have dinner. Sitting in the middle of town, on a bench at a cross section, I said,

“Look, I know we’ve talked about this a lot, and I don’t know…I love you. And I’ve been thinking off all these ways to ask you this, and honestly, now seems as good of a time as any, right? So maybe…what do you think about getting married?”

I had had all these romantic ideas about how I was going to ask him to marry me. Huge and elaborate plans. Filled with poetry and beauty, but suddenly, there in that Laguna cross section, a fog rolling in off the Pacific, traffic building up around us, I suddenly understood something: I was in love. Deeply and truly. Spiritually. I was awesomely and completely in love and I suddenly knew that I couldn’t wait one more second, I couldn’t wait for that perfect moment because every moment with him was perfect and I wanted him to know, in his fucking bones, how much I loved him.

He laughed at me. And he said, “I’ve been waiting for you to put a ring on it.”

I didn’t have a ring. I hadn’t even thought about rings. I had once given my mother’s wedding ring (she gave it to me when she thought she was dying of cancer) to a boyfriend of mine, and had asked him to marry me, only to later, in a fight, throw it into the middle of Santa Monica Boulevard, losing my mother’s dying (she didn’t end up dying) gift. I was drinking back then and a mess, and throwing my sick mother’s wedding ring into the middle of a busy street was just the kind of thing I would do to punish my boyfriend.

“I’ll get you a ring. I’ll get you whatever you want. I just…I fucking love you.” In retrospect I must have sounded like an idiot. I should have at least waited till dinner. Or till we were on the cliffs over looking the ocean. Or somewhere more romantic than a busy Laguna intersection: Paris or Rome, or maybe on one of those arched bridges over some forgotten Venice canal that my mother and I used to find ourselves on, talking about the future and the past, she would always channel her spirit guides out there, staring into those darkly flowing waters: her face changing in strange ways, her voice growing deeper: Venice made her darker somehow; but like I said, I didn’t think I could make it one more second. It was that kind of a moment. Most moments are like that for me. Urgent. Impossible to withstand.

I am continuously aware of my impending death. And of the death of those I love. These things happen. Guns shots and cancer and car accidents: at any moment one of those Laguna BMW’s could have driven wildly toward us, hitting Alex and killing him while I stood there, helpless, or maybe he would be struck by an aneurism, or a comet would appear in the sky, or an earthquake, the big one finally taking out Southern California and I would not have asked him. Any moment could be our death. Death is like that.

And I would have rather died knowing I had asked him than not.

It was that kind of fucking moment.

When I was a child there was a tree that grew outside my bedroom window. At night, if I opened the window, I could reach out and touch the branches. I once dreamt of a little old man who lived inside that childhood tree. He knocked on my bedroom window, three soft raps. My room was exactly as it had been as a child: bunk bed, purple rug on the floor, my stuffed zebra, the only thing not the same was me: in my dream I am grown, my legs to long for the child-size bed, my feet hanging over the edges. The window glass is cold, frozen with frost. The little old man was dressed in a navy-blue suit and an orange tie, red shoes and a yellow fedora. His ears were pointed and his eyes were slanted like a cats.

I opened the window and stuck my head out into the cold darkness of the night. And the little old man told me a secret. He predicted the outcome of my life only he did it in a language that made sense only in my dream. When I woke up I had no idea what any of the words meant, and I found it impossible to recollect the visions that flew through my mind as he spoke to me.

But I do remember clearly the feeling I had as I struggled back to consciousness, sleep fading away: I had the sense of possibility, that the world was open to me in ways I had never imagined: and I was excited.

This is exactly what I felt the first time I met Alex in person, as if he were the prediction made to me in my dream: as if here the manifestation of all my dreams.

TO BE CONTINUED….