October 10, 2015


Early Saturday, October 10th, cool fall breeze drifting in, finding me rested (I think?) from having taken two days (Thursday, Friday) away from the InterContinental Hotel Project where I'm now functioning as a temporary superintendent in the project's time of need, punch listing guest rooms. Punch list. Oh, how I recall what that does to one's soul, eyes and body, from doing so at Dodgers Stadium years ago. It becomes customary, automatic, even, to walk into any room, anywhere, and peer at grout joints in the floor for imperfections (pinholes, shallow grout), to view painted walls for uneven patching, to run your hand along a doorframe in search of any chips, damage.

And I suppose, in ways, is that what life can be summed up as, generally speaking? One massive eternal punch list?

I walk through these days scrutinizing not only rooms and their floors and walls but my own substance and its contribution to the greater good. This calendar year has shed a massive deal of light on a number of items: love-related, health-related, work-related, creativity-related. Ambition-related. Priority-related. And on.

Love, for me, this year, has been, well, patchy. In the very early days of 2015 Greg and I reconnected, and did so with grace and brilliance. We had a series of unforgettable dates. That one where we didn't speak for over five hours yet communicated with eyes and note cards. The one where we ate fancy sushi at a Trump Tower restaurant and followed it up with a hotel stay overlooking the Freedom Tower in Manhattan. The freezing cold (bone-chilling) adventure to Montreal for Valentine's Day weekend, wherein we stayed at a brilliant (haunted!) bed and breakfast hosted by two wonderfully queer lovers who entertained us over their homemade morning meals (for lack of memory of what those even consisted of.)

And we have stomped through some very serious issues between us. With great minds. And willing hearts.

But Jon. Jon has remained a constant throughout this process, wanting nothing more than for me to be happy. He is around, a fixture, reliable, gentle, hilarious, soothing. He sort of lets me run the show. I suppose I am harkened back to my younger days wherein being bossy was my method. I'm not a shoving around kind of bossy, rather a gentle dictator? (Ha.) Jon bends to this, but not because he's easily persuaded or weak. He just wants me to have my way.

Much has happened in the way of me and Jon. We've shared intimacy. I've become kindred spirit close with his son, Fitz. We've together, as a rather dysfunctional not-family family, created K Pool, my super hero personality who wears striped tank tops, floor length polka-dotted skirts and wields a long pencil as her weapon, a mimic of Dead Pool who is Fitz's favorite comic character.

He makes me macaroni and cheese in his little one-bedroom apartment in Forest Hills. He lights my cigarettes. He runs his fingers along my spine like he's sculpting me.

Yet. Greg.

In the later portion of August, Greg invited me to a 3-day music festival of his favorite band (Phish) in a place called Watkins Glen (upstate New York.) I've been seeing a therapist, Robin, to discuss my addictive personality issues (alcohol, emotional, creative, life addictions globally) (fueled entirely by a recommendation from Denise, Greg's therapist, who gently but firmly encouraged me to do this, and, for record's sake, and with a back story behind it, G has funded a great deal of with no promised reward in return.) Going to this festival with G would mean me stepping *very far out* of my routine, which is something Robin and I perpetually aim to review. I have a thing, many, many things...I need structure. I need to wake up each day, turn on my shower to get hot water generated while I then make my bed, lay out my clothes, check to ensure my apartment keys are where I left them the night before. Shower. Even in the shower I have structure: wet hair, shampoo hair, rinse shampoo, condition hair, soap skin, rinse soap, rinse conditioner, in-shower lotion, rinse lotion. Step out of shower. Dry my skin and hair with my towel in the same order. Every. Single. Day.

(It's like I'm a bad episode of one of those OCD shows.)

But these "steps" maintain my sanity. Sort of.

The music festival invite from G was obviously going to shake all of this up, tremendously. Not only would I be in a car (his '99 Volvo, an endearing character in our story) (we took it to Montreal, also) for what would almost seem like 100 hours (it actually was an amazing road trip, I was just terrified going into it) but we would also be *CAMPING*...camping? What the?...in a tent (which we bought along our route up north; that is how unprepared he can tend to be.) Driving, camping, Phish...talk about a shake up.

But I did it. And it was undeniably one of the most magical weekends of my life. So simple, right? Just a long weekend in a car sleeping in a tent listening to lots and lots of jam band stuff, riding a carousel, snapping photos of beauty.

An aside: my very, very dear friends from high school, Adam and Jenny, with whom I spent a huge deal of time in my brooding teenage years, are radically enthusiastic music fans. In fact, I'd love to just see their house, because I'm certain it is music-riddled, vinyl, posters, books. And I owe them a few pieces of artwork, topic yet to follow. Oh, and yeah, by the way, they are married. Essentially high school sweethearts in some fashion. (I LOVE THEM.)

Phish is a band that I've never much been on board with. But I do remember in the 90's that Adam became infatuated with them. And I remember all of us, that small group of us, supporting his obsession. And I remember trekking off to college and never thinking of Phish ever again.

So at this festival, dubbed "Magnaball," there would be, available, a limited number of copies of the album called "Rift." Circa year 1993? Maybe? Blue vinyl, limited edition artwork...that kind of thing. Adam caught news of this fact, and knowing that I was going, had arranged, with me, a way for me to get him one (there was a mailing station on site for pure convenience.) I absolutely, unequivocally would do anything for long, old friends. Jump in front of a truck? Which one? Etc.

But it was an ordeal...as G and I were riding in the car toward this festival, Adam and I were sending texts along the vein of...OMG, they are selling out of that vinyl already...and so on. The festival had actually begun Thursday yet G and I were en route Friday. Not only was it an approximate 5-6 hour drive, but we also had to stop for basically everything: provisions (cheeses, Greek yoghurt, cucumbers, bread, *A TENT*...to name a few items) therefore we wound up not arriving until nearly first set time on Friday. Just in time to set up camp in the car lot, build tent, and so forth, and motor over to the stage area.

At that time, Adam and I had text-given up hope on the vinyl. And I wanted to go to the merch tent but I also wanted to stand by G while his favorite band burst the beautiful weather with song.

Bear in mind: way, way out of routine. Way way out. WAY WAY out. And I was in a state of panic nearly the entire first few hours upon arrival there in Watkins Glen.

After the first set, which was incredible, filled with glow sticks in the air and happiness, Adam sent me a random text, reminding me gently of my mission. I tugged on G and we traveled to the merch tent, pretty much thinking it was a lost cause.

We walked in, and holy lands: there were plastic milk crates filled with Rift vinyl!

I was so pleased. I couldn't wait to purchase the merch, then text Adam the news.

The entire next set (an hour later) we were texting and he did not believe that I secured it.

(KB accessories at a Phish show...slightly glowing against a grass mat)

Anyway. The entire experience was brilliant. I definitely crossed some personal security boundaries that I've been reluctant to cross. I took a huge leap of faith, doing that with him.

Not only was it Phish, like...a time or two...it was Phish FOR THREE FUCKING DAYS. Does anyone out there understand how much Phish that is? It was like ten sets or some shit.

But honestly? I loved every loaded minute of it. It was *splendid.* It was like being in someone's living room listening to them just enjoy strumming instruments and singing. It was fabulous, actually.

And they did this thing that they tend to do (from what I understand) called a "secret set."

Now granted, G and I had partook in some substances at this juncture. You know, cheesy pretzels and iced water. I think I had a Diet Coke? But this secret set thing was *UNREAL*. It wasn't the kind of thing you just go home and throw on your stereo (is "stereo" even still a word??)

And after all of this, the beauty of our Magnaball experience, so much more has happened. I sometimes feel like my life is a never ending story of trailing off detail.

In summary:

(oh! painting! didn't touch on! see above portraits for detail...I've been a creative banshee for weeks now.)
(Poetry Class! Prospect Heights! I love it and love my classmates in huge ways...)

Life is what you make of it, and what it makes of you.