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Archive for May, 2008

My ex-lover Anthony Miller e-mailed me to inform me that Harlem United: Community AIDS Center is opening a new facility in Harlem and he has been invited to the christening. He writes…

 

 

 

“Harlem United (or whatever it’s called now) is naming a new building after Willis Green, Jr. and having an event around the christening.  Patrick McGovern has invited me. I'm sure your invitation is ‘in the mail’.”

 

I never hear from Anthony unless he is writing to rub something in my face. He tries to prove, after all these years, that I’m basically a very mean person who nobody likes. His e-mail served as a reminder that I should have stayed with him because nobody likes me…

 

I worked for Harlem United when the non-profit AIDS organization operated out of a church basement with no air conditioning, back when Patrick J. McGovern, the former Catholic priest, was still the Deputy Executive Director.

 

I was Willis Green, Jr.’s “Special Assistant”--- a glorified name for a secretary. Willis and Patrick got into a terrible power struggle at Harlem United. Patrick left Harlem United for a position at Housing Works, another AIDS charity.

 

Willis’ last words to Patrick were—“Get your white ass out of here. You are a user and how dare you go behind my back and try to take over the charity I built."

 

I was caught in the middle of their fued. Poor Patrick. Nobody would talk to him at work after he made the announcement that he was leaving Harlem United… ”My time is done here…”

 

Patrick asked me to walk around the block with him after he and Willis got into a screaming match. I knew it wasn’t the smartest thing to do…Willis of course would be angry with me and think that perhaps I was siding with the white man-- Patrick.

 

When we returned to the office, Willis was standing outside of my office. He wanted to know where we were and if we were talking about him. Patrick said to me…” They could really use someone with your skills at Housing Works.”

 

To make Willis, my Black boss feel at ease I replied to Patrick, “I could never work for a white man.”

 

Willis thought it was hysterical. So did I. But Patrick didn’t.

 

Patrick left Harlem United for a new job at Housing Works. Willis died about two years later. Patrick came running back to Harlem United like a bald Sue-Ellen to take control of the Ewing Oil of AIDS non-profit corporations.

Patrick never forgave me for what I said in regards to working for a white man…nor will he forgive me for writing this, but it sure feels good!

 

Anyway, I find it strange that Patrick is naming the new Harlem United building after Willis Green, Jr. What’s even more strange is the fact that Patrick McGovern and Anthony Miller are “friends” now. When Anthony and I were a couple and Patrick, my co-worker at the time, came to our house for dinner, Anthony could not stand him. Anthony said he couldn't be trusted and was fake. I should have listened to my lover.

 

Does Patrick really believe that by naming a building after a dead man who he stabbed in the back, that the Blacks of Harlem will for forgive him for being such a piece of white trash 100 years from now after they find a cure for AIDS?

I hope Anthony has a good time at the Harlem United house warming. I e-mailed him back and told him to spit in Patrick's face for me.

 

Neither Willis Green, Jr. nor Charles George Taylor will be at the Harlem United ground breaking celebration, in body or spirit. We hope the fucking place burns down with you in it, Patrick McGovern!

When I googled Patrick J. McGovern of Harlem United, I was shocked to find that he and Harlem United has contributed thousdands of dollars to the Hillary Clinton Presidental Campaign.

What a fake!

 

 

And to think I walked Patrick around the block in Harlem like bitch!

What comes around, goes around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Like Janet Jackson, I plan to get skinny again.

I have spent my life in a constant struggle between obesity and anorexia. Janet looks good again. So will I. It’s time to take off at least 30 pounds and show these men (and women) that I’m still nasty when it comes to sculpting good genes.

At forty, a nice body is almost the only hope that is left in a world of Paris Hiltons. The grey hairs on the sides of my head are handsome, I’ve heard from a few who have passed by. Guys try to pick me up on the subway still. What if? I asked myself. What if I can be hot again, like I was six years ago? Just like Janet Jackson. Never been a drinker. I don’t have the wrinkles and red skin that comes along with alcoholism.

Seventy dollars is not a lot for a monthly membership at a premiere gym on Park Avenue, considering the new price of cigarettes in the city that never sleeps.

Effective June 4th, New Yorkers will pay $10 for a pack of Newports. I plan on quitting between now and then and to inspire myself along, I decided to join the gym again.

A hospitalization for schizophrenia almost did my sexy ass in. The six pack was gone before I left Trinitas hospital. I blew up like a cow. A nasty side affect to psycho tropic drugs like Zyprexa and Lithium is that it makes the taker fatter than Oprah was before she became really famous as a talk-show host. I looked horrible. Even when I worked out three years ago at a different gym, I only lost half of the weight I had gained during forced control in the hospital. I gave up the gym after a while. Why bother? I asked myself. Why do this to yourself? The pain in your head ain’t going to go away just because you have a bigger buttocks, I reminded myself.

That membership served its purpose. I was loosened from the imaginary chains strapped around my skull and spinal chord. The drugs made me so stiff. There were times when I couldn’t bend over to touch my toes. I spent many nights rolling upon the soothing tiles of the bathroom floor to relive myself from the tortures of those medications as I came off of them. Working out again helped a little.

There was no need to keep working out after doing it for a year. I felt prettier already and was tired of being the one to turn eyes in a crowd.

I wanted to write instead. I put down the barbells and picked up the pen. My mind and soul were resurrected. I haven’t been to the gym in two years, but thanks to the four years I spent in the Army, I will forever be built like Janet Jackson under the flab that comes along once in a while during depressing times.

All I have to do is work it off– and it’s the old me, like a story written long ago.

The weight continued to fall off by simply eating and writing right. I shrank into the old me, but with a little grey hair. It’s no big deal. I still got time to write a best seller.
My stomach looks good already and I haven’t even started my four- day a week work out routine.

I feel like I’m back.

Finally!

(2 miles on the treadmill in less than 30 minutes and 30 minutes on nautilus equipment . I can’t wait to run in place again with a machine moving under my feet. Nothing to worry or think about…just run and make the blood flow.)

After my six pack returns, there will be a happy trail leading to a place where there are no grey hairs, yet. At least I’m not hairy. Still just a little in all the right places and none on my back.

Maybe there is more left to life to write about.

Chaz, the Golden Years….

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I was selfish on all accounts and there was no excuse for my egotistical sexual behavior that night. I should have never given Addie the cold shoulder and ass.

We left him out in the cold again. It was Shawn’s fault more than mine. Honestly. It wasn’t my fault that he didn’t join in on the fun. I wasn’t about to beg him for some of his hard cock. What was he saving it for? Shawn?  Such a shame to waste a load on a shaggy rug like he did! Addie should have joined our love triangle on his own. What was he waiting for? For me to say please? I wasn’t going to beg him to fuck me, not after what he said to Shawn about me. He said I was an insatiable white whore who was incapable of love or a relationship due to my unquenchable craving for one cock after another.

There were two other men in the room more than willing to do so– my lover Shawn and his ex-lover from Los Angeles, Tyre. They broke up because they both like to do the fucking, Shawn explained. I felt like I was mending old wounds and Addie was not worthy of Sharing in their pain, nor could he understand how important it was for them to share something together– someone who both were absolutely infatuated with– me of course, the muscular, butch Caucasian bottom who could hang with the home boys of Bed-Stuy.

Addie sat naked on his black knees in Tyre’s apartment on Quincy Street, acting like a slave begging his master to give the orders so that he could join in on the fun in my cotton field. I said nothing and just smiled at him when they took turns, carefully entering me, one holding me open as the other cried in savage moans.

Shawn and Tyre were not fucking me just to show off in a group, cult-like sex orgy. Addie should have known that. Shawn told me not to invite Addie up.

“We play with him all the time,” Shawn said, “let’s have sex with someone new tonight. Please, not Addie,” he begged. I should have listened to my lover, but I felt sorry for the 40 something African who was famous for what dropped below his knees.

Tyre with his bald head like Tupac and Shawn with his long, Big Daddy Cane dreadlocks were fucking me because they wanted to. They longed to take turns at me. Addie on the other hand, wanted to show off to them and use me; proving that with his wrist-round appendage that he could stretch an ass better than all others in the room. Shawn loved me too much to go through the nonsense of an Addie fuck again. I hadn’t had Tyre yet, and he was drop dead georgeous. Shawn said he was good, from what he remembered.

“Let’s do it right. If we have to have three-somes all the time, let’s at least do it with people I like,” Shawn begged. One look into Tyre’s huge brown eyes, and I couldn’t refuse. Addie was there at the bar tagging along as he always did, afraid he might miss something.

Addie was the last thing on my mind that evening, after we left Langston’s bar in Bed-Stuy and headed back to Tyre’s apartment. Shawn knew Tyre from Los Angeles. When they were in their early twenties, they caused quite a stir on the beaches of LA. They worked the gay section of the Pacific tides where the homosexual children gathered on summer holidays to hang out and play house music in boom boxes on the sand. Shawn said that he and Tyre were notorious for gang-banging back in the day. Perhaps, by orchestrating the get together that night, Shawn was attempting to recapture a little of his youth in Hollywood. Tyre was a porn star too. They appeared in a few magazines together after befriending Lucas Feliciano, a succesful photographer and publisher. Surely Shawn was still in love with Tyre despite his new attraction to me and the time that had passed since their days of fame. That became obvious to me that night, as I listened to them behind me talking and carefully pulling me apart while placing globs of lubricant where needed.

“Ain’t that pretty?”

I carefully squeezed my sphincter muscle, tempting Tyre.

“Hellz yeah!”

Shawn wasn’t too thrilled about our hookup initially. Tyre was someone he already knew, from eons ago, a guy that he fucked at sex parties when he was in his twenties. He got around, Shawn explained. I didn’t care. He looked fabulous to me.

It was my first encounter with the crack pipe, one that Tyre had at his place. I think it was crack. It must have been.

I lost myself all evening. In and out of conciousness, riding waves of pure imagination, I was where I always wanted to be, until I looked up, and saw poor Addie sitting on his knees across the room, just watching them do me.

I smiled.

Addie jast sat on his knees and looked at us, having fun, in a California dream.

I wasn’t going to beg. There was no way I could have possibly taken three at the same time anyway.

Poor Addie.

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The Federal Reserve has no choice but to raise interest rates. At 2%, it seems more logical for the Federal government to make loans directly to consumers, bypassing the greed of those like James Dimon, Chief Executive Officer of JP Morgan Chase, who recently announced during a shareholder golf tournament that America’s most prestigious investment house is playing it cool in its investment decisions during this time of economic woe.

The only major investment the bank made this financial quarter was for a merger of chewing gum giant Wrigley’s into the Mars candy company. Despite a $30 Billion cash infusion by the federal government to salvage what was left of Bear Stearns and the American Dream, the big bank is not being sweet to the sours of economic ruin.

Clever financial gurus at Chase know very well what’s to come. How many will skip meals in 2008 due to rising food costs? (There are people who have eaten chewing gum for its nutritional value in America.)

Fuck the mortgage crisis. Many did not own homes before the bubble broke anyway. Must America now starve due to the bottom line of cautious national investment strategies?

The solution is simple…

Close the banks and put away the clubs!

The only chance for our nation to survive in freedom and get back on its feet is this: the Federal Government must offer all Americans a 2% percentage rate on government sponsored “freedom loans”. This incentive for hope can easily be paid for after the end of the war, by using the gold that is just sitting in Ft. Knox collecting dust.

There will be no need to worry about the real estate mess anymore. Get rid of the credit agencies, collection agencies and all agencies while you are at it. Stop sending tax rebate checks and cut to the Chase, Uncle Sam.

Let us all start with a fresh slate– $200,000 for each adult person with citizenship. Stop giving extra credit for those who have children. Make it simple – a $200,000 revolving loan of credit for the grown people.

Do away with loan applications that are judged unfairly by those who work for people like James Dimon. Please, no more credit scores that make us all appear to be criminals. Give us a fair democracy, in the land of milk and honey.

Tax the rich. Tax the rich. Tax the rich!

No longer will the wealthy be entitled to loans from the Federal Government, nor will they supervise the financial institutions that outspent our democracy.

If one makes more than $200,000, they simply are not entitled to loans of any kind.
It’s as simple as that.

Let’s put a filling in the cavity that JP Morgan Chase has caused in the mouth of America.

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Forget Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend was no cause for celebration. I try not to reminisce of childhood holidays. In my opinion, they were merely days on a calender noted in bold letters. School would be closed Monday. Most kids were thrilled at the start of summer. The long, warm weekend was filled with horrors for me. I’d rather forget them.

Our step-father was home for three days in a row too. I would have rather been in school. Construction work along stretches of Pennsylvania highway came to a standstill so that the roads could accommodate holiday traffic. Bob put his jackhammer down and came home from his job far away. He worked in Allentown. It was a four- hour drive from Three Springs. He didn’t come home every day. He worked in the hot sun, often in overtime, for twelve consecutive hours. We saw him only on weekends and holidays seemed to go on forever.

He was so mean when he came home. I could hear the sound of his Chevy truck approaching the driveway. The hum of the tires on his truck caused me to cringe. Here he comes again, I thought. I’d brace myself emotionally.

“Clean the beer cans from my truck bed, Charlie.”

I turned from him as I reached into the back of the pick-up, tossing out the cans from his long ride home. My hair, covered with long Mick Jagger-like strands fell over my face, covering half-closed hazel eyes that blinked rapidly as I faced the ground, recycling his rubbish.  Instictively, I  made no eye contact with him, knowing he was watching me, waiting to say something hurtful.

I crushed the aluminum into tiny cylinders, trying my best to stomp on them perfectly, folding them round rather than flat. He might get mad if my foot slipped. More than likely, he was about to start yelling again, anyway. Usually at me first. I stamped my foot with all my might, just waiting to get my beating for something or other.

“I hope you boys got rest. We got lots of work to do this weekend. We’re going to be plantin’ potatoes, boys. I hope you are ready.”

Mom was on the back porch, leaning over a two-by-four that formed a railing around the green-painted deck. She wore a white t-shirt, one of Bob’s that was stretched from heavy construction work. My bother Bill picked up Bob’s tool boxes and carried them into the garage in case of rain. Bob kissed mom. She was so happy to see him.

They went into the trailer. I kept crushing cans. Bill nearly tripped from the weight of two huge tool boxes that even a grown man would have difficulty carrying.

“I hate plantin’ potatoes,” Bill said.

“Me too. Just think of all those rocks we are going to have to pick out of the ground first, after he plows.”

“Maybe we won’t have to. Mom might have her baby this weekend,” I said, hoping and praying.
Moments later, Mom and Bob came out of the house with suitcases. They jumped into our blue Chevy with the letters SS on the steering wheel and grill. They took Barron with them. Bill and me were like men anyway, we could take care of ourselves.

“Be good. I’m taking your mom to the hospital.”

It was a wonderful summer holiday in 1979. Bill and me stayed up late and watched television, way past midnight. Bob came into the trailer and broke the news…

“You have another brother. Come on. Wake up. Get off the couch and get your baths! How many times do I gotta tell you about sleeping on the furniture?”
I brushed hair out of my eyes and followed Bill back the long, carpeted hallway, following the glow of a nightlight in the distance.

“What did you call him?” Bill asked.

“His name is the same is mine– Robert, but listen, he ain’t no junior. I hate that. You can call him Robert, or you can call him Bobbie. When he grows up, we might call him Bob, I don’t know, cause I’m the Bob in this house.”

Bob was incredibly happy. It was his first kid. He seemed so sick of us. I was glad for him.

“When is Robbie coming out of the hospital?” I asked.

Bob slapped me hard. I fell over backwards into the tub, landing on Bill who had already drawn water for us to share.

“I told you his names. Who told you that you could call him Robbie? I don’t like that name. Don’t ever say it again. His name ain’t Robbie!”

When he left the bathroom, Bill moved from his perch at the front of the bathtub and let me wash my long hair first, under the flow of water that was already turning cold.

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The Golden Door

During the first few moments of the recent recession, it seemed the New York City real estate market was immune to the infection of deteriorating home values. Not even September 11th scared those who love living in skyscrapers from their plush nests in this town. When foreclosures hit all time records everywhere else in America, they continued to build and buy condominiums here. Perhaps New York City is the best city in the world, because even in Los Angeles, a home is not where the fortunes are in 2008.

The New York Post reported last week that finally, rental costs are going down here. However, with the average cost of one bedroom apartments in the gay West Village still well over $2,000 a month, it seems unlikely that I will ever rest my head on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge again.

There was a time in the early ‘90’s when people of all social classes could find a place to live here. Back then we had a Black mayor. He seemed to care about everyone of all social status. Perhaps with a Black president, America will return to its motto.

There were lots of abandoned buildings around then, and even the homeless became squatters in dens known as crack houses. It was an exciting time when the city was filled with beautiful people from small towns across America. They came here chasing dreams of stardom and wealth. A few found it, but many were lost to the inflation of Rudy Giuliani and the first Clinton Administration. It seemed the higher the stock market climbed, the lower mankind sank into the depths of greed and selfishness.

Our Republican Mayor made New York City ‘safe’ again. He cleaned up our streets and ripped the homeless from their cardboard boxes and shipped them out of town. Although the story was never reported on in detail in the many tabloids in this town, the method that the mayor used for disposing of street people here was ungodly. He offered them a free bus ticket to anywhere– just not here. Those who slept on benches in public parks or in dark secluded areas of the subways were arrested and sent to prison for the night. I know, because I spent a night in Manhattan’s Central booking station one evening for a domestic dispute with my gay lover and smelled lots of homeless men in the cell block with me. I was there for hours with nothing to do but wait. I talked to one man who was homeless and he told me how he often spent the night in that prison, that many referred to as ‘the tombs’ or ‘Guantanamo on the Hudson.’

The old man with tattered clothing and a white beard was wise beyond the foolish clothing that clung loosely to his back. He was the one who informed me of the tactics that legislators at city hall were using to clean up the city. They offered the free bus ticket incentive to many. The city saved millions of dollars by sending their Medicaid needy elsewhere.

The stranger informed me that more than likely, after he saw the judge the next morning, he would again be offered a free bus ticket out of New York, but he would again refuse it, because it was his mission to remain here, because he had not choice. “There is no place like New York City,” he explained, “I love it here.”

For those who managed to survive the city’s new no tolerance policy on the homeless, the situation became helpless. Giuliani passed a law which made it illegal to give to the homeless on the subways. Strangers who once rattled paper cups for change between swings on silver straps soon disappeared from the New York City aura.

Most New Yorkers seemed relieved to not have guilt brush by their highly pressed suits and expensive pumps each day. They loved Guiliani here. That’s why they elected and re-elected him.

 Never again would morning commuters fight with stinky homeless people for a seat on the subway. They had gone. All of them. The poor. The homeless. The children of God.

I can’t help but believe that eventually we will all receive a bus ticket out of this town. With the price of gas skyrocketing and tax revenues receding like an elevator on the Upper West Side, I cannot help but imagine that my friend from prison is standing on a street corner somewhere today shouting ‘the end is near’ and I bet he has his eye on a building to squat in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

 

 

 

 

I lift my lamp beside the golden door

 

 

 

 

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Dirt Burgers

The charcoal grill survived the rusts of winter. With a little rinsing with the garden hose, the black, outdoor stove that is shaped like a UFO shinned up like new. Last fall, my partner’s little brother Arden, used the grill as a ‘cement mixer’. Ten year- old Arden was playing in the dirt in the back yard and decided to use the grill. Another summer seemed so far off. I didn’t care if he ruined the grill. I imagined I would buy a new one when the weather warmed again.

Arden reminded me of my own childhood. In the sandbox that my father had built for me, I worked with buckets, plastic shovels, and anything else I could get my imagination and little hands on. I was building the castles of dreams, and so was Arden. The memories came rushing back to my mind as I watched him alone in his imagination back there—simply building like grown men do.

Like a mason laying bricks, he used my silver garden shovel as a trowel and built a wall of stones that miraculously withstood the winds, snows and rains of the winter. He didn’t use all the ‘cement’ that was mixed in my charcoal grill and the dried, caked mud preserved the paint of the grill quite well during the winter.

 

Arden came over again this past weekend. He traveled on foot from his permanent home, just a few blocks away. He’s big enough now to come over here on his own, and often does just that.

I cry silent tears now that he is almost my height. No longer does the little boy believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. He has moved onto imaginary construction jobs and cannot wait to get out of school so he can get rich. Adulthood is just moments away for him now. If only children would remain children, and not rush off to playing games of grown men.

Arden insisted on hosting a bar-b-q last weekend.

“Let’s grill and make Smores, Chals,” he insisted.

“I’m tired and don’t feel like crawling in and out of the window,” I explained.

“Don’t say that. You can’t be tired. I’ll do the cooking,” he insisted.

His older brother, B. said, “Not today, Arden. Maybe when it gets warmer.”

 

Despite B.’s orders, Arden talked me into cooking outdoors again. I looked at the facial hair that is growing above his lip and realized that it will not be long before he is fully grown and, like his older brother, will not be over to visit as much. He will have girlfriends and adolescence to tend to.

It was warm outside, the sky blue and the winds were relatively calm. We went to the supermarket and purchased a bag of charcoal that lights without the need for lighter fluids, a large pack of boneless chicken breasts, sausages, salmon, hamburger meat, red peppers, onions, marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars and non-stick aluminum foil. It proved to be an expensive outing, but worth every dime.

B. blames me for all the trouble Arden gets into at school. He said that Arden runs all over me and I do for him whatever he asks. It’s true, but I object to Bradley’s assumption that I created a bully monster in his little brother. Arden grew up in the neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

 

He’s naturally hard core. Arden tells me that he has never lost a fight in his life and he knows how to punch someone if he has to. I tell him “That’s right. Don’t let them walk all over you.” I have no desire to see Arden grow up to become a man that everyone walks all over, like me.

In the kitchen, Arden is more talented than a gourmet chef. He knows exactly how much seasoning to add to the ground beef and he makes perfect patties with his bare hands. Even though I was too tired to grill, it didn’t matter, Arden was doing all the work.

I sat at the bedroom window after lighting the grill for Arden and watched as he carefully turned the chicken, hamburgers, salmon and sausages on the grill. Nothing burned. I handed the sauce out the window to him when it was time. He knew exactly how much to use.

I concluded by the time all the grilling was done Arden would be too tired to make the Smores. But, just as we had done when he was five, he stirred what remained of ashes of the charcoal and cut himself a roasting stick from the cherry tree next door.

He ran to the window with marshmallows on fire, like the little devil he is, and screamed, “Quick, Chals. Get the crackers. This one is ready.”

“Watch out! You are going to catch the curtain on fire!” I cried.

He laughed and quickly blew out the fire stick, spitting in my face.

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