by searching “teacher themed gay porn.”
I guess I’m pretty thankful for that.
by searching “teacher themed gay porn.”
I guess I’m pretty thankful for that.
Clark and I had been together for less than two months when Thanksgiving rolled around. We decided that we’d each spend the day with our respective families (I hadn’t met his mom yet), I’d drive back on Friday, pick him up, and we’d head back up to Pennsylvania together for the weekend.
At this point in our relationship, Clark and I were spending every moment I wasn’t at work together, holing up in Nikhil’s apartment above the Galaxy Hut, which he was subletting, and exiting only to drink beers downstairs. The rest of the time we watched marathons of “The First 48″ and “Intervention” in our underwear while eating takeout. One day Clark went to the Whole Foods across the street and returned with two bags full of expensive pasta, bread and olives. That was the only time we cooked.
I remember going home on Thursday and spending it without him and missing him so badly. He had left his phone charger in Clarendon and told me to call him at his mom’s instead. I remember dialing into the habits I’ve come to know — phone off the hook so everyone could nap and screened calls. I hesitantly left a message in a tiny voice.
I retrieved him the next day. Halfway through the three-hour drive up to my house, Clark pulled over in a panic.
“I can’t do this … I can’t meet your family. I’m barely divorced, we’ve only been together for two months … this is moving too fast,” he said. I remember repeating “OK … OK … OK …” over and over, and then somehow convincing him to keep driving, smoking and staring out the window instead of looking at him.
We finally arrived and I got him through the door and into a handshake with Bill. My mother had already made a pitcher of mimosas, and she handed him a full goblet while hugging him at the same time. I remember timidly meeting his gaze across the island counter in my kitchen, and him mouthing to me “I’m fine” before winking. We spent the rest of the weekend watching bad movies and drinking, and we all went out and got a Christmas tree on Saturday.
Clark wore all black, all the time. He wore this black jacket, black Dogpile jeans, and black Camper shoes. At this point he hadn’t had a haircut in months, and his curls flopped around on his head in a mess of grey and brown. I had dyed my hair black a few weeks earlier on a trip to Los Angeles because I thought he’d like it, and he did. This picture of us at the Christmas tree farm is one of my favorites – city kids in the country, black leather against the landscape.
I started working at the Washington Blade in May 2007 when they snatched me up from AOL based on a recommendation from Brian Moylan (who now blogs for Gawker and used to work with me at the 9:30 Club). All I did at first was search the Internet for gay news and sometimes write a blog asserting my opinion and taking down the fundies. I had my own office and ate at Sparky’s every day. It was a pretty sweet deal.
We never had direct deposit for our paychecks, and on payday, they waited until 3 p.m. to hand out the goods. Everyone was always hopeful, though, and we kept having Christmas parties and Best of Gay DC parties and chugging along. Eventually we moved to the National Press Building — a move which, at the time, seemed like an indicator that things were looking up. It made me feel official to be downtown in an office not plagued by roaches and their sticky traps, but I had kind of liked the dingy feeling of the U St. location.
People began to leave — including my beloved, former arts editor Greg Marzullo and my friend Katie Volin. We never really filled their spots. We started to lay people off. My duties as “online editor” tripled — I was now building galleries and uploading the entire print edition of the paper to the site. I was reporting and writing the music column. And all without a pay increase, but at least my days were full.
When Clark became sick, the Blade, for all my gripes, was more understanding than I could have ever hoped. I was pleased because I am one of the only straight people to have been recently employed by the Blade. But they understood that Clark and I weren’t married. The lack of that piece of paper wasn’t going to get in the way of what he needed, and what I in turn had to do to take care of those needs.
I worked from home for 3 – 4 weeks, and then didn’t work at all for 2 months. And they paid me the whole time. People gave up their vacation days for me. When I came back, people left me alone when they sensed that’s what I needed, but comforted me when I held out my arms for them. There was a collage hanging above my desk to welcome me back made of photos from our parties and Pride.
The late and bounced paychecks over the past few months stressed me out to no end. I was actively looking for other work. But I can’t believe the whole thing is gone. I can’t believe this has been my year.
In the past people have told me how great yoga is, but I didn’t really believe them, shunning physical activity in favor of repeated watchings of “Mean Girls,” cigarettes, red wine and cheese. It wasn’t until Jessica, who doesn’t like working out in the gym and kind of hates running outside, started going and told me I really had to go. She said she felt so physically and mentally amazing after class and it helped put her right to bed.
So I went. And I cried. We keep a lot of tension in different parts of our body — immediate tension is in our shoulders and neck, and buried tension is in our hips. So when we did pigeon pose, I openly wept. It wasn’t the kind of crying that involves your whole body, or even your face, though. It’s the kind that just involves just your eyes, loosening the screw with one or two turns of the wrench.
Jessica and I have come to the conclusion that when one of us finally masters (or comes close to mastering) crow pose, we’ll be in a fight.
Now it’s become that the walk to and from yoga is too dangerous. I saw what I look like when I’m about to cry because I did it in the mirrored elevator at work today. I think I must look like that for the entire trek down 16th, Columbia, and onto 18th. At 16th and Irving there’s an apartment Clark and I once looked at for maybe 20 minutes. At 16th and Columbia is the Argonne, where we lived for a year. Then the CVS where I picked up his prescriptions. Then Crumbs & Coffee, where he’d pull up and I’d run in to get sausage, egg and cheese bagels and coffee before every early morning journey we took to the oncologist in Baltimore. The Safeway, where he went after an outburst spurred by the fact that our apartment fridge contained none of his favorite condiments. He came back with kimchi, brown mustard and real mayonnaise. City Bikes, where he bought his Masi, and the crappy bodega-type store next to it where he’d mock the jewelry in the window by offering to buy it for me for my birthday or for when we got engaged. Asylum, where we had twice weekly taco nights. Even from the yoga studio, I can see Biltmore Street, which I haven’t been down since I left that day in May after Jon carried him down the stairs and into the back of the car. I went to one of my favorite places to eat, Open City, after yoga the other day, and had to walk across that bridge. One of Clark’s old doctors from NIH lives on Lanier, she once told us, and I wonder if I’ll ever run into her, and if I did, what she would say to me. Then the bridge, and the other end of Biltmore Street. I would shuffle-run across that bridge from the Metro station at Woodley every day. Sometimes I’d do it twice a day, because Clark couldn’t wake up at noon to take his pain medicine, even though I’d call his phone between 10 and 20 times. I’d have to be there, shake him, watch him down the pills and go back to work, which was always harder than leaving in the morning.
We ate there once. Grabbed coffee from that place. Peered in the window of that store together. Don’t step on the grates, he’d say, you might fall through. And I still can’t.
1. I cried in the Corner Bakery today because “Let My Love Open the Door” started playing as I was spooning honey into my tea.
2. Clark’s old friend Robert has an art show in Richmond, and, as Leigh said in his email to me, C’s overseeing the proceedings:
3. My little brother gave a speech in class yesterday about melanoma and how the public is misinformed about it. He said girls in his class cried. Then his professor said he’d never seen anyone look so intense while giving a speech.