Dear Lord / God:

Please take me off Your dating shit list. I mean, I’m willing and able to love. I really am. I brush and floss. I volunteer. And except for that two year lapse when I couldn’t lift another receipt and write “business meeting” on it, I pay my taxes by the 2nd extension.

If I believed in You, there might be a chance that I could love even You. And as much as I enjoy a spicy work of fiction, rich with conveniently interpretable metaphors, rivers of lamb blood and loads of Thou Shalt Nots, your bible thing just never really nabbed me, like, say…Sandra Bernhard’s Confessions of a Pretty Lady. Oh wait, I like The Book of Revelations. More or less. At least that part has some relevance to gay dating. Who better understands “the life apocalyptic” than a homosexual?

I was excited to receive a MySpace message from the elusive international artist PRVTDNCR. Not only have I always been a shameless cheerleader of his work, he looks really nice in off-brand jeans. True to form, the message was VERY him: “You’re gross. Let’s eat something retarded. I’m not paying.”

Swoon. Since I’ve never had a boyfriend, I thought, “This is it! PRVTDNCR loves me. We will form a total holy love union, you know, soul mates. We’ll get married at Burning Man (the Venice Biennale of the desert, really) by a transgender / transfriender pastor. And my art career will get that surge it needs because, well, he’s really famous. And notice that even in emails, my new husbear can use the proper contraction of “you” and “are” when appropriate. Most homosexuals can barely spell “PNP.”

It took a long time to figure out what to wear. I wanted to put together a look that found that winning space between “a real catch!” and “desperate.” I’ve been thinking a lot about how few clubs are still really fun like they were in the 80s (jaded dinosaur thinking). Most of them were in unused hotels and warehouses in and around downtown Los Angeles (all now converted into pricey lofts for a mostly homosexual population, some of them non-starving artists, and others, students with rich parents who don’t know that their kids are dancing with heroin. Honey, look at those circles under your eyes. You’re studying too much!). I blame the Internet for killing off a lot of nightlife, as kids would rather spend hours re-arranging their MySpace pictures than going out. Kids, why not do both?

One of my favorite clubs of that era was The Surprising Taste of No-Wax Formica, held in an abandoned downtown hotel. Everyone dressed up and if you didn’t, you weren’t getting in. The dj’s were imaginative and the music inspired. Plus, the crowd wasn’t nearly as racially segregated as LA clubs are now. I think I was 16 or 17 years old. One night, the lights dimmed to almost darkness. The signature music from the shower scene in “Psycho” started playing throughout the club. A dozen men dressed as Norman Bates (in his mom’s wig and bathrobe) appeared. They moved towards a row of pre-installed, circular shower curtains and pulled them aside, each one revealing its own Marion. The Normans proceeded to stab the Marions with fake butcher knives. Once the Marions were all dead in non-existent tubs of non-blood, dancing, drugs, and drinking resumed.

In getting ready for my engagement dinner date, the following key words came to mind: sexy, pasta, easy access, black, hustler, bread, beer gut, elastic panel, black is slimming, easy access, not slimming enough, chest pocket for a firearm, uniform perv, Sandy Dalal, wax No-Wax, easy access, art star


I pulled together a clean, simple look…


…and waited in the foyer with one of my best friends. Whiskey.

I guess I was more nervous than I realized about my date. Before I put on my boots, I grabbed my best friend (I mean, the whiskey bottle), from my liquor cabinet (I mean, my sock drawer). The bottle had been full but now look…

PRVTDNCR was late. He probably got stuck in major art world traffic. I saw his Suzuki Samauri pull up. (A Suzuki Samauri = a quirky, late 80s vintage make of car, for those who pretend that cars and the ability to drive aren’t necessary.) I would love to say that I casually hopped into his passenger seat and off we went.

What actually happened was not so suave. I think I had a little too much of my “best friend” while waiting, as when I pushed myself up from the seat, the whole foyer dipped to the side, then back, then forward. Many earthquakes go unreported in Los Angeles and I’m willing to bet this was one of them. I quickly slipped off that big, puffy arm chair and onto the tiled floor. Splayed out across the tiles like a beached sea lion, I noticed that the floor was really wet. The nice concierge (okay, whatever) the lipless janitor who never speaks to me had been mopping the floor around where I had been sitting. “Que puto,” he swore, plunging his mop into the rolling wash bucket. He reluctantly came over to help me get up.

Acting as if I do this frequently in his foyer, he muttered something like, “Otra vez? Pinche borracho gordo…..” He helped me into PRVTDNCR’s car. I quickly noticed the pungent odor of my favorite cleaning product: Fabuloso. So piney. So astringent. So pleasing to a germ-loathing Virgo. The janitor slammed the passenger door and whipped me the finger. I heard him mutter “puto” before closing the door to our building. I waved back to him through the window, as two old friends do. See you tomorrow!

“Hi, I love you,” I said to PRVTDNCR, smiling so hard my face started hurting.

“Hi, Dino. Nice to see you. Have you been drinking?”

“No! Yes. A little. Hi!”

He made a funny face. “Are you wearing Pine-Sol?” He pulled the Samurai into traffic.

I felt the leg and butt of my trousers, both very wet. “Hahaha. No, stupid. I’m sure it was just the janitor. He was mopping the lobby. Hahaha. ” My eyes started to water. I usually love the smell of pine, but oh, jesus, PRVTDNCR had the heater on in his car. It quickly started to smell like we were in the middle of a pine forest set ablaze. I opened my window a crack for some ventilation.

“Nice to see you too,” I said, staring through the windshield. My quiet burp tasted of warm whiskey. Did I forget to put in my contact lenses? The world seemed blurrier than it should have, the lights a bit streaky, as if I had slowed down the shutter speed of my eyes.

I stopped fumbling with the seat belt tab when I realized I was trying to repeatedly put it into my pocket, and not the seat belt latch. Note to self: must curb impulse to steal when drinking. Last week, I woke up the next day after a big party, finding someone’s portable CD player and a small digital weight scale in the pockets of my jacket. I woke up in someone else’s bed (…happens). Before falling asleep, I apparently said to the person who owns the bed: “It was a great party. These are for you,” clumsily unloading the CD player and scale onto his night stand. He later told me that the scale was a drug scale and that attached to it was a fat chunk of white powder. I’m told that I now owe someone about $ 85, according to my friend’s calculations using his new scale and a quick phone call to some guy in East Hollywood named “V.”

We pulled up to this new vegan steakhouse in the San Fernando Valley, so Minimalist in design that it had no door. To enter, we had to shimmy sideways through what the Japanese architect referred to as (lost in translation, naturally): the “passage slice.” The maitre d’ told us it would be about 40 minutes before we could get a table. Cool. The wait could have been 4,000 minutes for all I cared, because me and PRVTDNCR had a lot of getting-to-know-one-another to do. Not in a sexual way. I mean, I was down for some intense, high art cuddling. In case you haven’t been reading Schindler’s Craigs List recently, gay men now engage in two kinds of intimacy: bareback-PNP-breeder-seeder style-where-no-one-comes-out-alive or….. “cuddling.”

We sat on a crowded black padded sofa in the lobby, with some other people. Not normal people, but, you know, famouses. Brad Pitt and his wife (name??) were sitting on the other side of PRVTDNCR and Courtney Love and some other dude were sitting to my right. PRVTDNCR and I were essentially pre-cuddling and I couldn’t have been happier. It felt nice and normal, like we were really meant for each other. No game playing. No drama. You know…like longtime companions should feel. I suddenly felt really bad for single people. Ha ha, sad single people. Always on the lookout for love. Hey, nice profile! TV dinners. Dying alone without fresh flowers on the grave. Single and sad. Not like us. Not like me and my husband: PRVTDNCRRRRR.

While I stared at his beautiful male nurse fingers, I considered removing the vowels from my name as well: DNDNC. Hmm. Maybe I need the vowels so I don’t get mistaken for the Democratic National Convention. Or a Dunkin’ Donuts in North Carolina. But if I use my middle name (“Antonio”) and remove the vowels….DNNTNDNC. Shit… “Downtown Dunce” is way too obvious. Fuck it. I’m keeping my vowels.

I heard Courtney say, “Ugh. Why does this place reek of pine? Are they burning shitty candles?” I quickly touched my leg and realized that I was still soaked with Fabuloso. As I was leaning in to agree with her, to say something like, “Oh, I know, Courtney, don’t you hate cheap candles?” she looked at me and said, “You’re sitting on my coat, mannn.” I sat up to liberate her Rick Owens unfinished virgin goat hide (shut up, I didn’t need to see the label, it’s Rick Fucking Owens) from under my ass. Courtney gave it a yank and walked away. I started to wave goodbye to her and pulled my waving arm back with my less humiliating one. I felt myself getting really warm. The maitre d’ handed us two green cocktails with a straw made from hollowed out frozen watermelon rind. “On the house….enjoy.”

A photographer came by and snapped this photo, hoping for a shot of Courtney. PRVTDNCR threw up his hands and said, “FUCK OFF, ASSHOLE.” Using two middle fingers, he made a gang sign I hadn’t seen before. Hot. I already know what I’m getting my man for Xmas: A sunglasses case embroidered with his name: “El Shy Boycito”


“So tell me about what you were like growing up?” I asked him. I was hungry, more for information on my new love than cruelty-free fusion food.

“Well, you know I grew up in Japan, right? My two moms had started this lesbian socialist graphic arts collective in Kobe….Damn, that busboy is fucking sexy…”

I went deaf to the busboy comment and took another big sip of my green cocktail. Fuck, it’s warm in here. I took another sip. And oh, hell, one more.

“Then when I was nine, we moved to New York and my moms invented New Wave.”

“Oh wow! I love Nude Ways.” My vision started to appear as if I were peering through cheap binoculars. Fuzzy middles and black around the edges. My body was drenched with sweat but I refused to ruin this totally perfect moment with my new life partner. Is that Parker Posey over there? I took another slurp of green crazy juice while PRVTDNCR described his teenage years as a Congressional male prostitute page. Uhhh, I feel sleepy.

This is the last image that I can remember:


When I woke up, the sun stabbed at my eyeballs. I closed them fast but the pounding started in my head and moved down my spine. Five minutes later, I dared to open them again and realized that I was next to a smelly dumpster. Beautiful. I got to my feet, finding strange comfort that I had been behind the Tacos Mexico I had noticed before we got to that fancy steakhouse. I must have been about eight blocks from there and about eight miles from home.

I brushed some cold rice from my arm and noticed something on my leg. It was PRVTDNCR’s writing. I’d know it anywhere.

It said:

(Image by PRVTDNCR)

At least my pants were dry.