The last few days sure were great. I left New York in a kind of a dark place, or a weird place. New York is a dark and weird place, no? Thursday night I saw my friend Ben's brilliant show, I went to a couple of parties, felt weird about it. Friday I got my eyes examined, picked out new glasses, it's a new thing that's happening. I went to the fashion week event at Dover St. Market, drank some wine and thought about buying literally everything form the new BLACk CdG collection. Then I went downtown to Joshua Smith's art opening at Essex Flowers. It was really great, his work is hilarious and surprisingly poignant/topical, very cheeky and very cool. I had a blast. I met up with Bobo and Meli Darko and we all decamped back to my house in Brooklyn to order sandwiches and hang out on my floor, listening to the Andrea True connection. Fell asleep kind of early, feeling myself soften. Saturday I woke up, puttered around the house, went and got a haircut and came back to the house, dyed my hair blond for MAPPLETHORPE, and puttered around some more. Eventually I met up with Paps and Lola at that bar near our house for some beers. I think maybe I drank cider, I'm not sure. I had plans that night but I felt really bad (dentro de mi corazón), so I shamefully canceled my plans and bopped around by myself, deliberately. It's as if they need a new word for this; it's not actually called a shipwreck if you do it on purpose, right? Sunday I woke up early and went to the gym and did a modicum of errand-running, but nowhere near as much as I ought to have done. Eventually scraped myself together enough for Bushwig, which was fantastic. I had so so so much fun. I sang the new song I added to MAPPLETHORPE, a cover of Team Dresch's "Musical Fanzine". I don't know if the crowd got it or liked it. I never know. I saw some people there I like a lot and got to hang out, I talked to my ex for a while, it was sweet. I definitely drank too much. Here was my look at Bushwig:
I have this thing, it's like my big complaint about Fashion Week. It's not that I wish I was involved in the Fashion World-- though I do wish that-- it's that there's all these open bars and I want a piece of it. If there's anything free, it feels like it's going to waste, and I want to help avoid waste. I feel entitled to anything that's free or being given out to people just because. I'm a person, I deserve it too. I won't bore everyone with the story of how I came to perform on the Bushwig bill, but it's pretty much along these lines. Also, they had drink tickets for the performers so I definitely drank all of my free drinks as if I was actually thirsty which I wasn't. Because they're free, they're for me.
It's like at this party I was at a few weeks ago, or these events I've been to in the last month. There's this thing that happens when people get super creepy and selfish about hoarding. I mean hoarding things like attention, fantasy, drugs, clothes, magick, belief, time, power, etc. I've been in rooms lately where there seems to be a vibe of people demonstrating how full they are, how sated they are, how glad they are not to have to share. I mean, this is the other thing I hate about fashion week parties; it's ABOUT not letting people in. The whole point, it feels like, it seems to me, is that I don't get to go in. The fun thing about drugs is you can use them in front of other people who maybe ask for some and you can say "No, I don't really have much left." or you can say "Oh I only have enough for me." It's annoying, it's a scarcity thinking thing. Or like, to let me know that you have cool plans, a cool project, you're invited to a cool party later, you had so much fun last night, because you want me to know that you have it/had it, and I don't have it and can't have it.
Let's be real, this is a kind of insecurity. The having to remind you that they have something you don't, that you should be envious of them. Actual Power Functions by Remaining Invisible. If you have to remind someone how cool you are, then you're not very cool, right? The more evolved, rational, compassionate and mature way of thinking is to simply ignore this-- I know, really it's not a function of me. I'm no less deserving of free champagne and gift bags than anyone else. I know that, I can say that even though I'm so insecure. But what is the response then? I've ignored it and responded to it and I've outgrown it. There's a kind of weirdly dysfunctional, sinister thing there. I don't know. How did I get there from someone bragging about how fucked up they got. Maybe you see my point?
Like, this image:
Who the fuck cares, right? I'm being serious-- who the fuck cares if someone calls themselves an artist, a curator, deep, an intellectual, whatever? What does that take away from you? As if there're only so many artists that can exist, as if the integrity of the category "artist" depends on us being so proactive about who is and who is not allowed to claim it. It's this thing where, in the ostensible search for meaning, truth, actual real comprehensive collective consciousness, we end up being cops. It's this thing of "They say they're an artist but they're not really an artist they just want to be thought of as an artist." I really chafe at that. What this says to me is "I got mine, you get yours." It's a kind of "enlightened" republican thinking, where if you've "worked really hard" to get your so-called security, if you've put in the blood sweat and tears and your ivy league liberal arts enclave, then you get to be entitled about not sharing, you're above reproach because you made your own fortune. It's so silly and selfish, I hate this.
So Sunday night I came home very very drunk from my free drinks. Nauseous, even. I was curled around the toilet when I remembered that I had ordered Thai food as I do every Sunday night. I got the Thai food and ate it and kept it down. I passed out. I woke up only a few hours later to hurriedly pack for my trip up to Provincetown.
I met up with Erin and Matt and Colin and Amber and Nath-Ann and we all took the 7am train to Boston. I got shushed by someone on the train, before even leaving the station, because we were evidently on the quiet car. The guy was really passive-aggressive and mean, it did upset me, I gotta say. We got to Boston, had some sandwiches, then got on the ferry, where I was reprimanded again for sitting backwards in one of the seats.
What is it with pathetic white men who seem to get off on trying to publicly shame or humiliate me? I mean, I realize maybe I present in a kind of threatening way-- I'm tall, I have European features and can have a loud voice. I'm effeminate, I sometimes wear gaudy clothes. But I'm really nice! I seem to be a target for white men's ire, I don't know why.
SO on the ferry, they announced that it would be a choppy ride. I've never been seasick in my life so I didn't pay it much mind. Amber and I split a bottle of very expensive but not very good (very overpriced) champagne on the ferry, thinking that the bubbles would keep our stomach settled during the trip. Not so much. I didn't puke but other people definitely did. It got very weird on that boat. I was basically choking back vomit the entire second half of the ride.
Anyway we made it into glorious Provincetown and went to the hotel, then sound checked, ate dinner and did the opening night cabaret of the Afterglow festival. I had a blast. It's such a supreme honor to get to go to Provincetown, let alone as part such a fantastic festival. I was in the company of some of my favorite performers, and I met so many fantastic new people whose work I didn't know or didn't know well. It was so magical and I felt and still feel actually overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for being part of it.
On the opening night there was a really cool gala for the festival performers and the organizers/sponsors/attendees. It was so fucking fancy and chic and nice. And oh yeah, it was in Provincetown so at sunset the sky looks like this:
I performed on Tuesday night, right after the brilliant debut of Stella Starsky's first one-woman show, and opening for Erin Markey. I was in heaven. I really was. I had a small but sweet audience and I did MAPPLETHORPE and it was nowhere near as hard and painful as I thought it'd be. I think everyone pretty much got what I was doing. Performing at the Crown & Anchor as part of the Afterglow fest, performing MAPPLETHORPE in this context, was truly a perfect dream come true. Nothing can fuck with that. I've so loved seeing the other performers on the bill, and am very sad to be missing the second half of the festival, as I am. On the plus side, we're doing a big group reunion bill at Joe's Pub on 9/21, more on that soon. I hung out on Wednesday with my friends Marya and Jane in Truro, then my friend David back in Provincetown. The people there have for the most part (99.999999%) been so overwhelmingly welcoming and inclusive and sweet to me. It's really funny.
At night we went to this fun party called FAG BASH in Ptown, there were lots of cute boys and girls, none of whom particularly wanted to make my acquaintance. That's okay though because I did actually get cruised real deep slow and heavy by a cute boy on a bike in Provincetown the other day, and he was cruising me so intently that I honestly had no idea what was happening. I'm so insecure and out of it that I was about ready to compose a tweet about how some hot guy on a bike keeps following me and smiling at me and saying hi and calling me ginger, like assuming he was making fun of me, trying to mock me, and then realized I should have, you know, tried to marry him and stay in Provincetown forever. Anyway back to FAG BASH-- my favorite new york band WITCH CAMP performed and were fantastic. I am so obsessed with them. I'm heartbroken to miss their show on Sunday night. Eventually the crowd thinned out and I started walking home. I was soon joined by Amber and Nath Ann of Witch Camp who offered to ride their bikes while I walked. It was perfect. It was a really perfect moment.
I left New York in a kind of a dark mood. I've been in a dark mood a lot lately. Probably for a lot of reasons. I feel so happy for this week, though. I made a note to myself-- remember, the next time you feel freaked out and lonely. The next time you feel anxious and worried. The next time you feel like some random white dude is taking his anger with his mom out on you-- remember how it felt and how it looked and how it sounded to walk down Commercial Street in Provincetown, all alone, at the end of summer, with nothing but a just-barely-past Full Moon to light your way.
I feel like there are some things I need to be a little bit more explicit about. I thought I knew about generosity. I thought I knew about how to make someone understand something, but in fact I've been repeating the same mistakes I complain about here and elsewhere.
I'm ready to tell you.
I'm ready to be real. I'm ready to ask you.