Archive for the ‘New York’ Tag

Hello DC: Rubix Cube Party   Leave a comment

I’m at a Rubix cube party.
We all know the Rubix cube. It was a genius little device invented in the early 70’s by the Hungarian architecture dude. You spin the faces, line up the squares and make the colors match. We know how it works. At this party, we are the colors, and by the night’s end, we must be wearing one color of clothing. In a sense, we are squares on the cube.
Earlier in the evening, I was happily munching on Chicken Tibs at a local Ethiopian restaurant. I was eating with a good friend of mine. We spoke frankly about the diatribes of broken relationships, growth and Sean Penn’s new Movie, “Milk”.
Afterwards, we stepped out into the darkness of DC’s winter cold, and I bid her adieu. Then I hopped on the 70 bus towards Columbia heights. I spent the trip listening to dancehall, and watching the dark blobs that represent rowhouses go past in a dull blur.
I was sitting quietly, (like most people in the bus), but I was listening to sexually charged, uber-voilent dancehall music. I’m sure my hipster pants and trucker hat hid that fact nicely.
It’s really cold when I exit the bus to head towards the party, but there is something oddly stimulating about it.
Maybe it’s the feeling of the wind biting my fingertips, the little brown leaves that rustle above me whenever a gust of wind flashes by, or the fact that I’m underdressed. My fingers are burning me, and my jacket (stylish as it is) has no outer pockets for me to slip my fingers into.
I walk fast.
When I reach the party, there is no one milling outside. This makes perfect sense. Even the smokers are happily huddled inside, accepting warmth instead of tiny doses of nicotine, cyanide and a dozen other harmful chemicals.
As I step in, a guy wearing red tights, and a red dress walks past. His eyes are glassy with alcohol, and he has a wry smile. “I need your hat!” he says to a girl walking nearby. She is wearing dark leather pants, a red hat and a suede Jacket that looks straight out of a vampire movie. She chuckles and disappears into the small crowd of people occupying the space.
I personally am out of place with my outfit. I’m technically wearing full black, (even though I wore a yellow shirt to throw my outfit off) but I am determined to find matching yellow pants. I see one person dressed in yellow, a short girl with dark features. She is wearing what appears to be a yellow jacket around her waist, webbed yellow shoes, yellow stockings, a yellow hat and a yellow shirt. I groan, as I have nothing to trade. The idea of taking off my pants right there to put some yellow tights on isn’t stimulating yet. I need to get some alcohol.
I meet and greet the hosts, and I find out it’s a birthday party. I was invited by a girl I know, Ash, and she is decked out in a full red outfit; large red shirt that reads “Ameican Heritage”, red tights and a  red baseball cap. At some point later on in the night she will be completely blue, complete with a blue wig. “Would you like some whiskey?” she says to me as I step inside.
For a moment I pause, and my mind flashes back to Halloween weekend a month prior. I saw a blur of people, faces and felt the heat of different bars and houses on my face, then I remember waking up and not knowing where I was.
“I think I’ll get a beer.” I say with a smile. Ash starts talking to the girl in the full yellow. Behind me, a guy says. “She (yellow girl) looks like a creature from Final Fantasy.”
I spend the next ten minutes trying to remember what creature she  looked like. I was never a huge Final Fantasy fan, but I knew a few of the creatures.
When I was in high school and Playstation (not Playstaion two or three, not even PSOne… PLAYSTATION) was all the rage, when Final Fantasy seven came out, it was lauded as one of the greatest RPG’s of all time. I didn’t have a Playstation, I had an N64, and I forever regretted not feeding on the frenzies of my school mates. I wished I could have huddled under the tree where the nerds hung out and read backstory on the FF universe, talk about little creatures and boss fights and escape in that world of fantasy. Instead, I played games like Bomberman 64 and Turok. I’m thinking about this as i walk through the kitchen looking a cup, then a word pops into my head:
Chocobo.
That’s the thing the girl in the yellow looks like. It’s a little bird sort of creature. I walk down a narrow hallway and through six active conversations. Outside is  a keg, and I get a drink. The temperature feels like its dropped another six degrees, and I hurry up and go inside. After my first beer, I’m determined to get some yellow pants.
The music isn’t very inspiring. It sounds like slow lounge music mixed in with upbeat country or old pop songs. No one is dancing yet. I see the birthday boy (who I incorrectly called “Jesse” for most of the night) and say hello. He is wearing a hodgepodge of colors. He has an orange shirt on, tiny blue shorts and black socks, and he has an orange bandana tied on his head. “So, you are twenty five eh?” I say. “Yeah, maybe in a week it will hit me and I’ll either be like “oh god!” or “oh yeah!” He says with a laugh. “I’ve been there,” I say. “I’m definitely in the “oh god!” stage right now.”
He disappears down the same long hallway with two girls and I eye some cake. Lately I’ve been avoiding a lot of pastry, and I don’t feel like digging into a suger-laced cake while I’m drinking. Ash is standing beside two more girls who are working the Rubix. One is wearing full blue regalia and has a blue wig on. She does Madonna style poses as cameras flash in the background.
I smile and survey the rest of the party. It’s a weird mix. Some people are dressed very normal, in the usually array of jeans and jackets. Then there are a few hardcore guys, who I call the “Rubix dudes”.
For some reason, they are all wearing dresses, and I think their oufits were elaborate plans engineered by the women at the party (they are in the majority). One guy is about six foot three and wearing a green skirt, a green halter top, what looks like a shiny set of green leaves on a string around his neck and (I think) a green necklace. Another fellow, who I later find out is Mark, is wearing small,orange boy-underwear, what look  like orange tassles around his waist, and a v-neck orange shirt (above a green one) complemented by a knit orange hat. He has sharp eyes, a playfully expressive face,a moustache and goatee. He looks like Robin Hood, if Robin Hood left Nottingham to join the broadway cast of Mama Mia! And ended up doing West Side Story instead.
There are a few other guys who enthusiastically get into the Rubix-mode, but the guy that took the cake was a short, broad-chested fellow wearing a full white female outfit. It was his manliness—hairy chest and broad flat features—that made his outfit the funniest. A tiny white haltertop barley fit on his chest and he wore a small white dress, and what looked like a white hairnet…. Or head tie, I’m not familiar with what all forms of female clothing are called.
They Rubix dudes were constantly taking pictures, smiling and laughing. I was on my second beer now, but I didn’t feel like clothes swapping that much. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I wanted to get my yellow pants. I started talking to Mr. T, a friendly-faced guy with a classic Midwest disposition. Ash told me he was apparently, a rubix cube expert.
We started discussing the dynamics near the front entrance. By this time I was on beer number four or five and sipping on a Bacardi ginger ale. Needless to say, talking about the concepts behind multiple planes and matching edges were lost on me. The music changed, and I started dancing with Ash.
At some point, I start a conversation with the tallest women at the party. One looks Scandinavian, and one looks German. I mention this to them.
“Hah! One laughs. I’m Swedish.” She says. “I’m German.” The other replies.
We talk for a few minutes about their amazing athletic abilities. (The swede did decathalon, long jump, high jump, 200M ,800M and deep sea shark hunting). The German did shotput, discus and javelin. (I guessed discus correctly).
Then the German speaks about one year of celibacy, and its implications as it relates to meeting people for “who they are.” I smile as she says this. “I wanted to know how it felt you know? To just not experience that for a year.”
I laugh, and say.”Most people know that feels for a good ten, fifteen years. I think they are too aware of celibacy.”
“Ten? Try twenty!” The Swede says with a laugh.
Ash is now in blue mode, and is dancing amongst friends, laughing and taking pictures. I wear the wig for a few minutes.
I go to the kitchen, and talk to two girls wearing black trucker hats. “What do your hats say?” I ask, squinting to read the writing on them. “Hah! You though it was Japanese didn’t you?” one of the girls says.
In fact, I didn’t think that, because I can read some Japanese. I was thinking it was some kind of Arabic language (and in my defense, the girls both had that “dark-ish” look. Long black hair, sharp dark brown eyes. Which means they could have Persian ancestry or just be from Manhattan.)
“It’s a hat our friend made. Its actually in English.” She points out what it says, and it becomes as clear as day. “ohhh….” I say. Then I look down, and see that she is wearing YELLOW PANTS.
“I said I’d get some yellow pants tonight.” I say seriously. “You have what I want.”
She swaps pants with me, and we snap pictures with her friend, who also has the pants on. Technically, they are little boy shorts, but I rather refer to them as pants.
I parade around in the pants for a while, and smile broadly. Ash comes over, she rubs her small hands across the small of my back. “I see you got your yellow pants.” She said. “Yes I’m a happy camper!” I reply.
I spend the next few minutes taking pictures of all the other emasculated men, including those I’ve named the White Russian, the Green Giant, Robinson Hood and the Black Tight. Outside where the keg is, people are huddled around a grill, talking about nothing in particular. I snap a few more pictures and go back inside.
The girls in the trucker hats are heading out, and I return the yellow pants. The party is beginning to thin out, and everyone is heading to wonderland. I feel a twinge of regret as I head out with Ash and Mr. T to wonderland. I was hoping I could wear my yellow pants there.

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Hello DC, old friend.   Leave a comment

I’m sitting in Tryst, a cool little tea/café place in the warm, sweaty bosom of Adams Morgan.
I’ve always fantasized about having a sweet little laptop to bring to this place; this place with its hidden speakers playing random selections from groups like The Who and the Fuguees, while occasionally glancing at the semi-yuppie crowd eating expensive brownies and gulping down green tea.
I’ve achieved this goal, but the sense of victory is lukewarm. I’ve been using my sleek little Macbook pro for a while—multiple countries of use not withstanding—and coming to Tryst with it doesn’t feel like an incredible achievement, but hey, I’ve done it.
Being back in DC is like stepping into the shade when twilight falls over the earth. Okay, maybe not that dramatic. There’s a sense in me of extreme familiarity with my surroundings. Outside, a cool, gentlemanly breeze blows in a way that makes me feel like I’m being caressed by a thousand hands. There was no one on the street when I walked around earlier, so the wind felt like mine and mine alone.
Compared to the savage, endless pace of New York, DC is like a breath of chocolate Fresh air. Already I’ve “run into” several people I know, within the span of 24 hours. A few walks here and there, and I hear “Marcus!”. Today I spent two hours with my tall Serbian friend, watching her laugh as we chat about old times. (Old times being six months prior). She saw me walking on the road, and with cute pink ipod and olive skin in tow, followed me to Tryst.
On a phone conversation with my father, I said” New York is rapid, rapacious and filled with a convalescence of high-energy individuals living in a contiguous environment.”
Oh okay, I didn’t say that, but I did use the word “contiguous” at some point.  Maybe I feel relaxed in DC because I have no more trappings here. Maybe I feel relaxed because a warehouse of memories are contained within the borders of this tiny city. Nasty, sexual memories, memories of brutal physical pain, quiet, internal agony and thick, viscous depression. I’ve run the gamut here, and my mind and body know it.
When you are familiar with a place, your mind extends in all directions. You can’t get lost. You can only get robbed. I can walk for hours and know exactly where I am, not question what side street is this, I know the price of that, and “let’s not go to that place because I might run into so-and-so”. You know the deal.
But it seems, this reunion of Jamaican and American city has some pyrrhic undertones. I feel I am truly saying goodbye to this place. In more ways that one. I used to be somewhat afraid of coming back to the city.  The memories I’ve had here roam the spectrum pretty well, but my last few months here before my departure to Europe (and many a drunken night) were filled with a kind of emotional despair the likes of which I don’t’ want to experience any time soon.
Coming here, I’m reminded of my maturity and how this place has solidly contributed to it. I remember giving the wrong kinds of girls a nice letter, the wrong girls thoughtful gifts, being unintentionally mean to an old person on the bus and promising never to do it again. I remember almost fighting a bouncer and glad I didn’t. I remember tearing a ligament in my knee, and spending ungodly hours in pain. I remember some of my cute girlfriends—they feel like old, dusty photos—and I remember people who have flickered in and out of my life, like how holograms look in science fiction movies.
But this isn’t some huge goodbye to the chocolate city. I’m sure I might return here if I have good reason to. But I have more reasons not to return.
This is a city of schools, non profits and people with politically inclined careers. For the mad artists like myself, who feed on visions of purple candy and being famous for “drawing and designing stuff”, this isn’t the place for me.
Either way, this isn’t some bard’s goodbye, or some classic like Ode to joy. This is me sitting in a little café, writing in the dim light, on my sleek, shiny (and relatively new) laptop.
Hello again DC. May you send forth your maidens, so that I may defile them.

Avenue C + Blonde Girls + Indie Music   Leave a comment

I’m leaning against a wall.

Above me strobe light casts a spasmodic, reverberating glow of multicolored light on pale bodies, all dancing to the frantic beat of The Killers. I’m in a club near Avenue C, a place called 40 C, and I’m standing quietly, watching everything and nothing.
As I close my eyes, I imagine myself running hand in hand with the girl of my dreams through a mystical meadow, naked and insouciant, as our body parts flap in the breeze like tissue paper caught under a car tire. This hasn’t been my first stop tonight. But for some reason, it feels like the thousandth stop in so many nights of my life.
An hour and a half earlier, I passed through a bar. As I walked in, a girl grabbed me by the arm. “Let’s get out of here.” She said. I sized her up briefly. She was tall, blonde, with dark piercing eyes, a long almost hawkish nose, and thin yet protruding lips. “I’m thinking of heading to this bar across the street,” I said. This wasn’t a lie—even thogh I’d just went into this bar for no more than thirty seconds—the bar across the street had better light and cuter girls.
She starts following me and then her eyes pop open like someone pulled the light switch in her head. “I have to find my friend.” She says. “When you see her, you’ll be amazed. She’s the most beautiful girl ever. She is amazing.”
This reference made me pause. Number one, why was this girl pitching her friend to me, and number two, why would I find this girl attractive? or even beautiful? Thoughts immediately came to mind of a tall, hideous woman, with sharp grating teeth and meaty breath. This thought flew away pretty quickly. We move through the thick crowd, wet with the smell of beer and sweat and went to the bar. There, I saw a girl with a head of large curls with dark features. Like her friend, she had piercing eyes. But I didn’t find her that attractive. Her friend (who remains nameless) says something to her and then grabs my arm again and heads towards the door. Then, a tall guy who looks like Mowgli from Jungle book (if Mowgli had grown up and started modeling for Armani) grabs “the beauty” and starts talking to her. We all go outside as a group and the friend (blondie) repeats the beautiful friend pitch. “Isn’t my friend the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen?” she said.
I look briefly at her friend, and she gives me a look that can only be described as “eww”. I find this repulsive. “Hey lady, I didn’t say you were beautiful!” They say they are heading to some bar up the street. Mowgli gives me an uneasy look and grabs the “beautiful” girl around the waist.
I have known this group of people for all of three or four minutes. They leave, I don’t follow them.

As they leave, two cute girls walk past me to go into the bar. One of them girl rests her hand on my shoulder. “g’night fabulous.” She says nocomittaly, and disappears down a pair of dark steps. I’m tempted to follow her inside and say hello, but I decide not to. I have no energy to do this. My social desires to interact with people occasionally get scooped out like old moldy ice cream and tossed into a back alley somewhere.
I have a quick drink at a bar across the street, a place called Max Fish, and watch people play pool. At some point I realize all I do these days is people watching, walking around like a wraith, all but invisible, if it weren’t for this pesky thing called a body I’m wrapped up in.
I end up at this spot where a guy I know asks me what I’m trying to do.
“What kind of girls do you like?” he asks. “Women.” I reply with a smirk. “But generally, tall ones, with interesting dispositions, but generally girls who like me.” I say this with a smirk as well.
“Well you need to head to Nublue, a spot on Avenue C between seventh and eighth.” He said. This was coming from a guy who owned a bar in the area—mandatory ponytail included—and I thought about it. Avenue C was a good ten minute walk from where I was, and this place might not even be jumping. But face with another boring night of the same ol’ bars in the LES I decided to go. I walk slowly past a few clubs, seeing throngs of people outside talking, smoking and laughing.
When I reach Avenue C, I’m in a blank zone. I walked a block too far and ended up almost on Avenue D, had to sneak a tinkle in front of a bush (directly in front of what I think was a church), and then felt annoyed by the time I reached where I was supposed to be. I stop at a place labeled 40C, and ask a few girls in the line if this is NuBlue. “No,” a cute girl with platinum blonde hair says. The guy checking IDs, a flaming guy with straightened hair and pants that would make Dave Navarro blush tells me NuBlue (which, up to this point I believe is spelled “New Blue”) is a block down the road. When I reach, a (obviously black) bouncer sits in a cheap plastic chair, and gives me an indifferent look. Admission is ten bucks, and I don’t feel like making the investment. I ask him what kind of music is playing inside, and he says Brazilian and house. I’m still not tempted.
A few guys come out and tell me there are very few ladies inside. At 40C, the line was chock full of little indie chicks. I head to 40C.
This brings me back to me leaning on the DJ booth. After paying five bucks to get into the spot, I become lost in the noise around me. The girls here are dressed very nicely, but they aren’t any friendlier than girls anywhere else. Lots of guys with Pete Wentz hairstyles, float around with big smiles on their faces. It seems everyone has black hair, tight pants and an “interesting” fashion sense. I see one other black guy in the entire place, a man that looks like he’s in his forties sporting a head of thick locks and a sharp jacket. The music is very good, but this doesn’t inspire me to dance. I stand near one of the bathrooms for a few minutes, watching people interact. The indie crowd always fascinates me. People are more energetic and lively. The occassions are trumped up with energy and riddled with a hazy sense of the status quo. Everyone knows how to dress, people dance for the sake of dancing and the DJ looks like Edward Scissorhands. I can’t say it was surreal, but in some way it was cool.
At some point a song plays that I can’t name that takes me back to Barcelona. For a split second, I’m there beside my then-girlfriend, happy and blissful without a fucking care in the world. Then I blink, and I’m back on the dance floor, somewhere off Avenue C.
At some point, I end up leaning on the DJ booth disinterestedly staring at the people dancing in front of me. I find how sad this image must look—the tall (other) black guy in the indie club standing in the most obvious place in the club staring at nothing—and I think someone else notices it too. A girl beside me says something, and I realize it’s the girl I had spoken to earlier in the line. “Hey, didn’t you ask me earlier if this was NuBlue?” she says. I give a stilted response and entertain light conversation. She introduces me to her friends, but my social radar doesn’t’ inspire me to keep talking. She is cute, verily so, in a nice black skirt. She reminds me of Brittany Murphy, but that comparison doesn’t make me feel anything. She’s with two other friends and I my energy is low. I suddenly feel like sleeping, and lean against the DJ booth once more.
At some point, a woman talks to me. “I can hook you up with any guy or girl you want.” She says with a smile on her face. I’m not sure if should be flattered or wonder if I’m projecting a bisexual vibe. I ask her why she’s good at this sort of thing. “I’m freshly divorced,” she says, her eerie smile never losing its brilliance, “and I’m happy!”
I take this into consideration, nod, and lean against the wall again. I see the blonde and her friends leaving. She waves to me, and somewhere inside me, I curse briefly. The chick liked me.
After another ten minutes I leave. The music was getting better and the DJ was amped up, but I didn’t feel like staying, even after he shouted “Okay you sexy motherfuckers start moving! Two for one drinks for the next hour!”
When I went out side, ironically it was raining. It was fitting, as if the earth was aligned to my somber mood. I spend five minutes standing in a group of people that curse a lot. A drunk girl kept bouncing into me. She was literally inches away from me and acted like I wasn’t there, and in that moment, I felt truly invisible. There I was, standing in a group of seven people, all talking around me, while I watched light reflect on falling raindrops on Avenue C.
I say screw it, and head out into the rain. By the time I reach my pizza place for my ritual slice, I’m soaked. I walk inside with a wet head of hair and a light chill running up my back. I wolf down the slice and go home.
Another wonderful night.

Like the shadows, dear Brutus….   Leave a comment

A man with tight plaid pants on shakes his ass to the groove of break beats. Behind him, a girl with long braids mimics his moves, aligning herself to his gyrations without ever touching him. I’m seeing this out of the corner of my eye, and as I stand in front of a shadowy column in The Darkroom, a club on the Lower EastSide, I find myself wishing I was somewhere else.

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New York is many things. For some is spark of opportunity. Hidden between the folds of the highly contiguous buildings, packed streets and bright lights is a glimmer of hope. Hope of a dream of making it, doing what thousands (or more correctly hundreds of thousands have done in the past) which is make it big.
I’m not sure if I have these visions of grandeur. The pace of New York is getting to me. I thought girls in DC were flaky, but New York takes flaky o the Nth degree. I live in a world were people don’t answer their phones, sent stilted text messages to convey a point and only seem to want to say hello if they happen to see you online in Gchat.

.Quite disturbing.
Tonight, I floated between a few bars. I watched TV at this bar where the bartender, who is normally quite friendly, gives me a perfunctory hello. I’ve been going there for almost ten weeks and I sent her an e-mail, but something about me bothers her I’m guessing.

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On nights like these I feel like the shadows themselves. I stand in the darkest corner, watching bodies float by like wraiths. Voices are obscured by loud music, and they all coalesce and sound like the humming of bees overlayed by whatever the DJ decides to play. Its all good and well to enjoy the night life, (I for one, go out mostly because I am bored), but its becoming increasingly pointless. I’ve found myself in various parts of the world doing this same activity; walking around, talking to people, listening to music, sipping on a nameless beer brewed in a factory I’ll never visit… and its becoming meaningless.

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Tonight I met an English girl who is a designer for Urban outfitters. This brings the number of English women I’ve met since I’ve been in New York to probably fifty. She seems nice enough, telling me that “North England has the nicest people.” But I have no way to verify that. I have no sexual interest in her, even though she is cute. On nights like these I might say hello to certain girls to answer a pressing question. She didn’t look like an American (I thought her outfit looked ‘Mod’ style, and I was correct, but some would say it’s a lucky guess) so, I asked her. Therein lies the rub, dear Brutus.. or should I say Hamlet.

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Sometimes I talk to break the monotony of my thoughts. At some point I was punching notes into my Ipod about what to write. Beside me, while I was doing this, a girl bounced into a tall fellow, spilling some of his drink on her arm. Of course, the guy she was with (quite wrongly) took offense to this most egregious circumstance and proceeded to confront the tall guy. What made this scene funny was the fact that the guy was French, and spoke broken English. The girl was fine, the guy didn’t spill much beer on the girl to begin with, but the French guy started going on off about something involving his “girlfriend and his sister” which I didn’t understand. Maybe he meant to say “lover” and got the words mixed up. Either way, the tall fellow laughed, patted the French guy on the shoulder and walked back to his friends, who were both a good three inches taller than he was. But you guessed it, the French guy returned, filled with the indignation that has been put on so many television screens in my lifetime. No fight broke out, but a part of me wished the French man would produce a glove, and slap the tall guy in the face, shouting, “Sur incompetent Americaaan!”
Sadly, my life isn’t that interesting. I knew tonight was a lame night because I didn’t even eat my ritual slice of pizza. New York, New York. Oh how I love this love and hate relationship I share with the big apple.
Tomorrow I’ll probably wake up blearly eyed, feeling better about my situation. I’ll forge on towards bigger and better things, or find myself in another shady bar in some other part of the city, standing  as always in the shadows, watching life pass me by. Or maybe I won’t do that. I might be jogging down park avenue, looking at the opulence around me, and find myself thinking about the past. Screaming to myself, “What the fuck did I do wrong?”

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I’ve completely changed. I can’t even play video games anymore to interest myself. TV is boring and I find myself wanting to be far, far away. Maybe I was meant to be a world traveler, one of those guys who grows a thick beard and roams the earth, leaving mostly children in his wake. Maybe that’s my destiny. Who knows.
Yesterday I watched Forrest Gump for what must be the tenth time, and I found myself almost tearing up at certain scenes. The first time I watched the movie, I didn’t really know what love was, nor did I have a strong grasp on the concept of death. Now, watching it after losing people in love and death multiple times, the move seemed completely fresh. I knew exactly how he felt when he was running. I’ve had my ‘Jenny’ on the mind too, and I’ve watched someone close to me die, seeing their life fade away in a few choked breaths while people around them screamed as if the resonance of their voices would trap the soul into the broken body.

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I like the fact that even a simple man like Forrest Gump can find love, and find a wife. Since I’ve been in New York, I’m truly convinced that American television perpetuates the ideal of extreme beauty being the most desirable attribute of a mate (male or female)  is wrong. Real life shows you that most people are average, and like average people. Above average is scary, a frightening visage of something you can’t compare to. Run with the average joe and you are safe. Go with the smart intellectual, and things get fuzzy.

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Either way, if we live in a world where Forrest Gump can get laid, then there is hope for anyone isn’t there? Who knows. Like I said before, I’m a fly on the wall. I stand in the shadows, watching people go by, hoping a big fucking swatter doesn’t mess with my flow.
Hah. Fly on the wall….

SILENT RAVE: NEW YORK+   1 comment

me at the silent rave

me at the silent rave

A man in a large costume that resembles a jar of mustard runs past me. As his yellow figure bobs oddly through a throng of sweaty, pubescent ravers, the crowd erupts into a cacophony of cheers. Somewhere, a voice shouts out. “Mustard man! Mustard Man!”. Then, a Japanese guy in a hat expertly designed in the figure of a chicken floats past. He spreads a pair of thin arms wide.
“Who wants to suck my cock?” he shouts. Behind me, a group of guys giggle. I stand in this chaos, snapping photos and floating quietly through the crowd. That’s the most interesting thing about this experience. Around me, hundreds of people are dancing excitedly. Bodies covered in sweat glisten under dimly lit New York street lamps. Tiny emo girls toss their dyed hair back and forth, strange shirtless guys do very homo erotic dances, and guys like the chicken man—there are a few of them around—all prance around, dancing to some quiet, unheard music. This is because they are dancing to their own music.
I’m at my first silent rave.
To see hundreds of people dancing with their telltale ipod headphones in their ears, all grinding to their own beat, is like seeing a music video on TV with the mute button on. But not only am I in this music video, but I’m an active participant, snapping photos, not trying to brush against too many of the girls present (many of them are teenagers). This would probably count as the second rave I’ve been to in the states. Like all raves, there are tons of very attractive women.
To my left, a Heidi Klum look alike wearing headphones straight out of an 80’s movie grooves beside her equally hot Asian friend. In front of me, a tall red head makes me think immediately of Berlin. All around, cute teeny-boppers, people with shaved heads, tatoos and t-shirts that read “I love NY” are all dancing.

Raving, in complete silence.
The silence is broken by screams which have no purpose. In rave music, people normally scream when the bass drops. Like most music, rave incorporates a specific tempo that keeps the crowd going for hours on end, ecstasy, cocaine or no. After a minute or so of the introductory song loop, a bass kick drops. This is where people scream and dance faster. Tonight, people are raving telephathically. The bass kicks in on one person’s headphones, and they broadcast it to everyone else with a scream. This spreads through the crowd like wildfire—people jump, run around and even mosh—and then the silence falls once more.
There is a natural tendency for human beings to feel threatened in the presence of large groups. If you’ve ever attended a large arena where a fight started, you might have “felt” a ripple through the collective consciousness of those present. You sense the anguish of those around you, you are caught in the bubble. For a moment, you and the crowd are one. Tonight is one of those nights.
I slip on my headphones and start playing a few trance tracks from a top 100 album I have. Almost instantly, I am in the bubble. As the sounds of voices, screams and bodies hopping around fades, I am part of the collective. All I hear are the snares, break beats and heavy basses while I look through my own personal windshield. Somewhere, a conga-line starts, and dozens of people begin sprinting in a sweeiping arc around the other ravers. For a second my radar gets tweaked. I get sensation of danger again. The groups of bodies darting through the crowd resemble the scene of a brawl. Bodies moving rapidly, touching, colliding. But the feeling subsides. These people are all here to have fun. They are happy being separate yet close.

A part of me wishes the rave was louder. At least I would have more to say.

The Constantly Contiguous Conflict   2 comments

I’m listening to Christina Aguilera’s “Hurt” over my office’s Itunes shared network. I’m not sure if this is a sign of depression, of the slow recession of my testes into my stomach. But I’m sure it means something.

Yesterday I watched Home Alone 2: Lost In New York for what was probably the 18th time in my life. I watched it for two reasons. One, I’ve never watched the movie IN New York, (which is pretty cool in itself) and secondly, I wanted to revisit that nice, quiet place we like to call our childhood.

The trappings of adult life are really all people say its cracked up to be. Flaky people, taxes, sexual frustration, shattered dreams, bad fast food and being hit by automobiles. Its all there folks, scattered amidst the chaos of what we like to call “daily life”.

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Time itself seems to be flying. This year is shooting faster than a premature ejaculate in bed with Megan Fox.

.Events from a few weeks ago seem like years ago, and the events of a few months ago feel like a world away. I’ve sat on a street side in Berlin saying to myself, “Did I really mess with that chick? And read some Pulitzer prize winning literature on her bedside table the next morning? “
Sadly, no one can answer that question but me. But I don’t’ think I’m depressed. Or even lonely for that matter. My mental state is a mixture of uncertainty and the sense of impending doom that comes with realizing not only am I (again) in a densely populated city trying to “find” myself, but it looks like we are possibly headed to World war 3.

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World wars, those are things I don’t like to think about. That involves interrupted food supplies, no more traveling over seas, shoddy internet, and more Hollywood movies based on wars.
I was sitting on a rooftop on early Sunday morning discussing what I’ve labeled the “contiguous plight” with a few cool people I’ve been hangin with. My friend explained it in a few words. “In such a densely populated area, “ she bega. “With so many people pushing to be the best at everything, a lot of people are thinking short term.” I nodded. “People are saying to themselves, I’ll be here for maybe a year, two years tops, and then I’m out. I don’t need any relationships, I don’t need anything more than the occasional hookup. So its not easy to find people who are rooted in New York, who have a vested interest in a future in the city.”
I agreed with that statement. But that wasn’t just NY. It sounded like DC all over again. If Chicago is the city of Angels, DC is the city of flakes. An overwhelming number of the people in DC aren’t from Dc, and will be in the city for only a few years. Its all short-term, high-ambition drivel that keeps on churnin.
Does me knowing this make it easier to integrate elsewhere? I say nay. Like most people I desire the basic things. Food, a good movie and a girlfriend with enough of a sleazy side to keep my attention from week to week (with the occasional introspective thought tossed in the mix for good measure).

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But honestly, at the end of the day that’s what we want folks. A wife that will bang us mentally and physically, a few kids to live vicariously through and a house big enough to house all of you and your egos.
It’s a bit sad when all I have to look forward to is the release of the upcoming will-be-megahit, Dark Knight.
In the last few weeks I’ve been tempted to write some very juicy blogs involving a few cute foreigners. Australians gilrs, English girls, Irish women and the occasional Bostonian.

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But at the end of the day its me sitting here typing away for what? A strange document of my social activities? I don’t know. Let’s hope Batman can tingle my spine make me chase after my dreams too.

.Don’t call me Marcus, you can call me Bruce.

Make it so Numba One [monk’s Abbey]   Leave a comment

I’ve been searching for inspiration lately, and no I didn’t find it in the face of a beautiful woman.

I’ve been floating in between that head space most artistic people reach at some point in their lives. In inevitable top o’ the mountain. We hear the sonorous voice that could be any number of black actors ask us that question: “What are you doing?”

(if aforementioned sonorous voice said “What is real?” then it would be Laurence Fishburne. He was also Mr. deep voice in Fantastic Four two. Betcha didn’t know that!)

My only achievement this week was completely frightening a cute girl in a bookstore named Abby. There she was, walking around with a cute yellow bag, looking for books. There I was, looking for a new book to read with a great excuse to say hello. I’ll scratch the details, but the conversation ended with me asking for her opinion on something. Not her number.

She reminded me that this city is a place for artists. She’s the third girl i’ve met who works in an art gallery, but the first who actually looks like a piece of art. She reminded me of a little porcelain doll. The kind that have organs, and studied Art History in North Carolina. Yes, I frightened her, with my high-energy Jamaican wit and obvious comfort with myself. That ladies and single reader of this blog, is the most frightening thing to a woman, the idea that a man is comfortable with himself. Especially if he isn’t forty-something and flush with mutual funds and crazy levels of disposable income.

Frightening miss A didn’t bother me that much. I was actually glad I frightened her in some ways. I was glad that I came off a little too happy, too endearing, because the truth is I haven’t felt like that in days. I was experience what my friends and i like to call “frownzing”.

Frownsing: (adj. frown-zing) the act of, or activities related to frowning. Contemplating life, being generally jaded, or driven to watch porn. Facilitates lower states of energy, higher solitary presence at movie theatres and the Taco Bell line. Watching Sex and the City.

So not only was I happy to have met a cutie like Abby, I was happy to scare her away. It justified in my mind that my reality was doing the right thing. I was projecting an air of confidence I didn’t have, even if the cute girl who works at the art gallery MIGHT have given me her number if i had just turned down the man-juice a notch.

Randomly, but not coincidentally, after I left the book store carefully protecting my copy of Lost World, I leaned against a wall and started talking to my friend on the phone. We were talking about the usual madness. Women, success, money, not having either of the three, you know the deal. At some point, Abby walked past–wearing a black shawl or something–but it was her. I saw her look at me, then look forward.

I made no attempt to say hello, or “de-man-ize” myself by saying. “Hey Abby!”. I could just as easily do that by shouting “Hey Abbot!” for no reason, and i’d draw more stares. Abby walked off into the distance, reasonably tall and attractive, gone to probably manically paint in some studio apartment somewhere. Then I turned around and resumed my conversation.

The abbey thing reminds me of something. One of the key features of New York is women, women women. In fact this phenomenon can become a little bit annoying. Not the fact that the city is filled with beauties, but the fact that they walk so bloody fast. By the time you stop a girl to say hello, she’s half a block away. Its that bad.

In the last few days, I’ve been sharing my apartment with super-author Michael Crichton. He’s been in my bed, on my floor and once or twice in my bathroom. I’ve been reading a few of his books. I just read Next and Jurassic Park, and I grabbed Lost World yesterday. I’m not sure if I’m the laziest book reader ever–I don’t like searching through books hoping i don’t find a lemon–or if I’m just in a dinosaur/genetics mode right now. Either way, I need to feed my mind so I can start up my writing process. I need to kick start myself like an aging guitarist needs coke before a show. I need that high.

I think six to eight good books should get me writing again. Earlier this year, I read about fifteen or twenty books in the month of January, and not only did I write some of my most interesting blogs, but I was writing constantly. Ideas came from the depth of my insides, and spilled onto my keyboard into MS word and on dozens of tiny scraps of paper. I need that again. Time to contribute to the creative commons. I can “frownz” later

On a side note, this “scary” side of myself is pretty humorous. I went to a bar on Monday night and some girl started talking to me. A few minutes later the shortest Asian guy i’ve ever seen pats me on the back and tries to tell me to lay off the chick. (I didn’t even know her name). I didn’t find the event funny until two days later, when I remember some random dude asking me about his Russian friend who was visiting town. “You can see where i’m going with this right?” he says to me. It was hilarious. Not only was he cock-blocking me from a girl who’s name I didn’t know. But he was also being semi-threating about this girl, who spoke to ME and whom I didn’t even remember.

.Maybe I really am scary

.Maybe I walk into places and people wonder who the f*ck is this maverick come to steal and impregnate our women! On Karaoke night nonetheless.

I wish.

Cheers to better days and less cock-blocking from dudes.

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