What You Miss the Most

I have decided that I will no longer play matchmaker for Johnny and the Rhino. I am too selfish for it and I want the Jennie all to myself.

It is with a heavy heart that I leave New York. You’d think it would be leavening that I am going to visit my family for more than a week—a King’s Ransom of time these days—but as happy as I am about it, that’s a different kind of happy and doesn’t seem to balance the sad that I feel in leaving Michael and Jennie, Bill and Edgar, Walt, Michael, Byrne, Sara, Joe, Eric.

This time in New York was different. This time I felt somewhat at home. As if I could live here. Ironic, given that Mikey is moving back to San Francisco on the same day that I return there. There’s a desperation in how much I miss Bill & Edgar and a sweet timeless quality to time spent with Jennie (or, “J’Po” as the kids seem to be calling her these days).

It’s not often in real time that you recognize those moments you know you’ll remember forever. I had an entire weekend full of them! What do you in the aftermath of that? I’ll answer my own question: I guess one just endures it and remembers that the return to Home may bring even better times—and soon.

I am out of sorts, morose. I want everyone here and now, local to me. I want my loved ones back. The world is full of people of dignity and we gather only a few to us, sips from the torrent. Too many people for too open a person. It’s not about being crowded out, for me, but mixed in. Immersed in so many different particular flows of humanity in places with familiar names: Harlem, Chelsea, Midtown, The Village. I am alternately too white and then too mundane, eyes too much like jewels and then skin too pallid.

With the humility of a guest I trudged the neighborhoods at all hours of the day and night, not in fear but in a wariness that comes from unsure footing. I do not impose myself on here and there, but rather let it wash over me, around me. Through me. And take those things with me that are accessible to a whiteboy hippie from San Francisco, a backwoods boy from the sticks of northeastern Pennsylvania. Sometimes that ain’t much. And other times I swoon with it.

Waves of people sweep through the streets; the time and tide of humanity amble past a coffeehouse window and a quarter hour is all it takes to lose perspective, for the numbers to become so large you can only understand it in terms of analogy or statistics. But the soul’s first language was never mathematics, and your grasp on sheer number loses its purchase at the mere thought of each individual and the life he or she leads, the thousand things she thinks about, the worries of her day, how joyous she feels in this glorious weather or how beaten down she is by the events of her past year.

The only conclusion is this: we are each more similar than different. This is not an insult or belittlement, but an acknowledgment that what may emerge from us all together is the only god we’ve ever needed: humanity’s collective reflection in the waters of the world.

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Night Flight

I can’t recall the last time I was in flight at nighttime. But then again, some days I don’t recall much of all. Such is what happens to me when there’s no external structure to my world. But flying at night is a different experience. For some reason, it’s more expansive than the already-expansive feeling of being in a plane at all. How can you not feel more abstract, more like the mist and less like the rock when you’re 35,000 ft in the air, high enough that you can sense the curvature of the earth and feel the black of space pressing its face against the atmosphere?

For those of you who understand even some of Qi Gong or some forms of yoga, you know what I mean when I say that there is no earth energy to be had and the soles of the feet feel opaque.

Maybe because there are no visuals that there’s more to night time flying. Maybe the inky black promises no universal energy either, and with out either earth or universal energy, what’s left but to spin up some of your own?

I finished one book that should have read when I was a younger fellow: “The Prophet: 26 poetic essays” (Kahlil Gibran), and I started another: “The Year of Magical Thinking” (Joan Didion).

The Prophet is a book that beautifully haunts all the familiar “ah ha!” moments of my life; life’s melody infuses the spaces between the sparse text of its pages. But then again, perhaps there is no shortcut. In any event, it’s a book I want to give to so many people. Or better, sit down and read it to them (but I fear there would be too many moments when I’d triumphantly point at the page and say “See!?! This is me!”)

Perhaps I should have read Didion first.

For all the ageless sagacity of Gibran, Didion shockingly dragged me into Now—or rather, into Then. The pearls of moments that form a lifetime, the ordinary comfort of the ordinary; the times that bind.

I’m not very far into The Year of Magical Thinking, interrupted as I was by the short layover (same plane) in North Carolina, but I suspect reading it will be a measure of the measureless subjectivity of the internal world. In the twenty-three or so pages so far, I am reminded of my own interruptions of the ordinary, my own experiences with the death and near-death of men and women important to me.

Sightless sighs, Deaf Delusions<br/> Sightless eyes, Deft Allusions

Put that in your homonymnal and smoke it. I honestly don’t know where those two lines came from, but they arrived front and center just after i ceremoniously—as I always do—closed the back cover of The Prophet. Go figure.

What to do between here and NYC? Read? Or write? Meditate until my thoughts run their course and I’m left with the same inky void outside my window seat?

We’ll just have to see, I suppose, how I spend my night flight.

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Overlaid

Airportmenu I just landed in Charlotte. She says hi.

The men are prettier in San Francisco than in the Charlotte, NC airport. I’m just sayin’. And a t-mobile wireless network taunts me by showing up in the list of accessible networks here, but refusing to establish a connection. Bitches.

I paid the $150 to upgrade my seat to first class (so yes, I have a first class seat…smack!) and I’m glad I did it. The ribs don’t hurt nearly as much as I expected them to after five hours sitting generally upright. I wonder if I can deduct it as a medical expense.

The MacBook Pro got a respectable 3.5 hours on a single battery. Battery number 2 is in place now, though hot-swapping the batteries didn’t work on this like it did on my PowerBook G4.

Off to NYC in about 40 minutes. Another almost two hours in the air.

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Squee!

In 24 hours I will be with my former next-door neighbors, Bill & Edgar.

Eight to ten hours after that, Mikey and Jennie!

And sometime (hopefully soon) after that, Walt and Byrne and Michael!

And JoeMyGod and hopefully plenty of others after that!

Oooooh! I could just pee!

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Facts Are Never Enough

Naïve, stupid, Dummy McStupidstein God of Biscuits.

Who would have thought that pointing out lies so that others would be wary would turn into a game of brinksmanship? Not me, folks. But maybe you all did.

Maybe drama is the lifeblood of blogs. Maybe there are too many people these days whose introduction to the internet has turned it into the pool that everyone pisses in but doesn’t ever admit to it. Or maybe it’s a personal Las Vegas: whatever happens on the internet stays on the internet?

And maybe that’s just a sign that I’m getting old. Kids these days. They think that just because there are two people at odds, that each automatically is as meritorious as the other. That there’s no endgame. No resolution. Just ongoing “can’t we all just along?”

It reminds me quite a bit of Intelligent Design. Just because it was an alternative to evolution and at least two or three were gathered in its name, it must be “valid” and must be given “equal time” to evolution. Well, except that evolution is based on referenced research and can be checked by anyone because the path backward is provided and anyone can reach objective conclusions or at least participate in informed discourse. Not so much with the Intelligent Design folks. No published papers. And every argument ends with: “God did it”.

I expected people to resist the idea that they had been duped—seems the only thing worse that being duped is being reminded that you were duped—but I also expected people to click on links to verify what I’d said. I guess that click is too much to ask, instead I’ve been relegated to being no better than the Al-malgam of Bents.

What’s more to say except, sorry, Moby? I was just trying to resolve a lie aimed at me and to save you some pain.

P.S. I totally stole the tag-line from my favorite Pastry Chef, who got it from somewhere else.

P.P.S A reminder: I let anyone post any comments they want here so long as a) they are on-topic and b) they don’t contain allegations of illegal behavior of others, demonstrable or not. It’s still a free country, folks. Take advantage while you can.

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Open Call for New Yorkers

So it looks like a few of us are meeting up:

<br/>WHERE: Ty’s Bar in the Village<br/> WHEN: Friday, May 19, 2006 @ 10pm

I don’t recall if I’ve ever been there (though I did do a bar crawl a few years back with Crashiepoo), but I’ve heard it’s a good place to be on a Friday night.

Hope to see a whole bunch of you there.

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I ♥ NY

Look out, Manhattan, the God of Biscuits will be Big Appling it this week. I arrive late on Wednesday night, and will be in town until Saturday during the day.

Your GoB and Savatier (ok, I use gay fists and I wear capezios, but otherwise…) will descend on NYC like the Plague Peter Pan Jebus and bring cookies and good will to all humankind.

No, not really.

But I would like to see as many folks as possible while I’m there for my visit. I will be hangin’ and swangin’ with the DogPoet and Johnny mainly (and who doesn’t love ‘em some Mikey & Jennie deep fried action?), but hey, we get around.

Joe is gonna suggest a place to meet up on Friday, so I’ll post date and time stuff when it’s settled on. This means you, you, you and you and anyone else I may have missed…

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And Here’s Where the Trap Is

Just to put a cherry on the Steve/Al/Karen Bent Collective drama cake, all of you with blogs out there, you might want to block a specific IP address: 70.28.157.151

For those of you with Movable Type installations, you have to enable a couple of things in order to block this IP address from making comments. I don’t know the specifics of banning this address from Blogger or WordPress, but I’m sure there’s a way.

If you’re getting email notifications of each comment made to your blog, no matter what blogging system you’re using, look at the details and I’m sure it will tell you what IP address the commenter is commenting from.

Do yourself a favor and just ban the IP address, 70.28.157.151, which belongs to the rogers.com domain, from even reading your site. It’s the IP address that Al “and” Steve have both commented from on my blog.

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Take Off, Eh?

First off, in the interest of full disclosure (and for Ted’s sake), I did bring up the topic of Steve and Al at the Lone Star that weekend that several bloggers, including Homer, Moby and BrettCajun. Homer remembers me saying something to the effect of “Just a warning, what do you really know about Steve and Al? They seem to have the same writing style”. I don’t remember issuing a warning, but the general gist is there. Certain flags have gone up for me over time, and I wondered if I were the only one who noticed. I do, though, remember following it with “but I hope I’m wrong. It’d be better if the world had that kind of person in it.”

That’s all, folks. That’s the cruel and hurtful, hateful bile that I’ve been spewing.

I will also admit to having gone to check on Steve’s claim that his dad had certain, uhhh, successes in the Summer Olympics of 1968 and 1972. I came up empty-handed, but I dismissed that as either shoddy research effort on my part, or I let it slide as a little white lie/brag, or I just wanted to believe in Steve.

So let’s recap this whole sad, sordid, histrionic tale:

  1. I was genuinely happy to have “met” Steve online
  2. We had what I thought were very rich and deep discussions about topics that most people don’t even consider, like having had partners die, about the need for raw, absolute language about medical facts, about how lonely it must be sometimes to have such a rare genetic deletion, even if it appears to be a huge win, etc.
  3. Along the way, Steve’s life appears to be more and more star-crosssed, more and more fabulous, more and more incredible.
  4. And then more and more in credible. If you know what I mean.
  5. Still, I said nothing to anyone about it, other than the cock of my head to a few people whom I trust, for whatever reasons I trust them.
  6. I read Bent Collective less and less over time, that regardless of adding authors Al and Karen, all the writing appeared to be from the same person.
  7. Then Steve, whose primary hallmark is a no-nonsense, call-‘em-on-it, link-to-it kind of aggressive argumentativeness suddenly becomes coy about some “SF blogger he thought was a friend” saying hateful bilious things about him.
  8. This does surprise me when I read it, so I ask about it and tell him he should go after this guy.
  9. Karen decides to post that, in fact, this guy is me!
  10. So I’m dumbfounded, GoB-smacked, if you will.
  11. Then I realize: hey, this guy who is likely a fake, likely writing using three different personae, is now saying false things about your favorite god of the biscuits.
  12. It was like there were so many things wrong with it that I didn’t know where to start.
  13. So I started posting comments on their blog, only to be met with “we said we’re done talking about it!”
  14. Queer stuff, from queer stuff.
  15. Truth Will Out, I always say (and did say!)
  16. But then Al has to have his say, and does. He doesn’t like the fact that he’s being put upon to produce evidence of what I said. Certainly it was never in the cards to produce evidence to Who They Are.
  17. Garbage In, Garbage Out, I say.

Which brings us to Now. Right here. Whew!

Now, I have this thing about personal integrity and presenting what I think is an accurate (if incomplete) picture of myself on here, in email and in life. So what to do about someone whose identity is in question anyway, who then turns around and makes shit up about you? Who lives with libel, even from the crazies? I mean, disagree with me all you want, but if you’re going to argue something that is not a matter of opinion, you better goddamned well have the references to back up what you say.

What to do? Well, you go internet spelunking. You google. And it turns out, it takes very little time to uncover lies. And then when other people email you saying they share your suspicions and offer their own research, what to do?

Why, you make a list of falsehoods:

  • Stanford doesn’t offer an MPH. Like, at all.
  • there is no military hospital in Maui
  • Steve never appeared in the doco or book, “I Missed Flight 93”, a work which was painstakingly researched
  • it appears there was never a news story about the accident involving the death of “Sera” and her son
  • there was never an O’Brien in the 68 or 72 summer Olympics, nor did any male win back to back gold medals for those years, much less set an Olympics record while doing so
  • it strikes me that the whole “secure medical feed” is overkill, since SSL works for most corporations and most government agencies. Why is a mission of mercy so much more in need of security?
  • both steve and al have commented multiple times on my blog from the same IP address
  • many large canadian cities have their own police, but there is no national police force for canada save the Royal Mounties
  • Karen uses American spellings, not UK/Canadian spellings, and all three seem to make the same typos.
  • medical professionals never misspell medical terminology.
  • Al lists ‘twink bars’ as a dislike of his and when Karen wrote about drug use, she referred to general big gay danceclubs as “twink bars”, a potshot of a put-down

And, the coup de grâce:

  • the man who discovered the genetic deletion that Steve possesses—and Al, too! OMG!—is called Dr. Steve O’Brien.

Does all this add up unequivocally to Steve, Al and Karen being fakey-fakes? No, of course not. Does it convince me that they’re fake? Sure does.

Is this malice? No. It’s an answer to their libel. Are they dangerous? I don’t know, you tell me. Go read ‘em and see. They dispense medical advice and flatly state they are qualified and credentialed to do so. And in my own opinion, that’s dangerous.

Your mileage (or kilometerage) may vary.

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