June 19, 1992
Woke up on Sunday and there was a downpour, which I love. I was ready to enjoy a Brooklyn shut-in day with the cats, a pot of coffee and the Sunday Times when the phone rang. It was Kat. I’d forgotten that I promised to meet her for brunch. It’s her birthday. I swallowed my sour mood and got on the subway to the Upper East Side.
I paid $25 for two dozen half-dead carnations. The guy who sold them to me was an ass. Kat’s girlfriend was there so it was the three of us. Her girlfriend is a gym teacher. You wonder where these stereotypes come from. I am completely at ease around lesbians. I don’t feel threatened the way I do when I’m around a girl I want to sleep with. When you’re with a lesbian, the pressure is off. We can just enjoy each other’s company.
Kat has a big apartment but it’s right on 2nd Avenue by the Queensboro Bridge. It’s only three flights up so you get a fairly constant concert of traffic horns, bus fumes, sirens, yelling and other urban horrors.
Kat asked me if I wanted to be a sperm donor. She and her girlfriend want a child. She said I’d be free from any financial responsibilities or obligations. They can certainly afford to raise a kid. It’s very flattering but I said no. What about that poor kid? Isn’t he/she going to want to know who his/her father is? What do I say when that day comes? “Oh, your mothers said I didn’t have to have anything to do with you and I was okay with that.” That’s not right! I’d feel ashamed. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I don’t like the idea. They should look past their own selfish needs and see how these other lives would be affected.
I had planned to go back to Brooklyn after brunch but Kat insisted—INSISTED—I join them for the matinee of Man of La Mancha on Broadway. I felt kind of bullied but she bought my ticket and I ended up having a nice time despite my bad self. They already had tix so I sat alone, which was fine.
Raul Julia was Don Quixote. He’s such a good actor. And a hell of a voice, too. Sheena Easton was Aldonza. She’s so beautiful and so my type that I didn’t notice whether or not she could sing or act.
In one dance, Aldonza is beaten and raped by several men. Her hands are tied together and one guy gives her the business end of a whip. The choreography included a lot of gyrating and thrusting hips that inferred penetration. It was pretty graphic stuff, especially for Broadway. It was uncomfortable to sit through. I’m still haunted by it. There were a lot of little kids in the audience. Their parents must’ve been mortified. I don’t know how my poor Sheena does it eight time a week.
Rapper Sister Souljah said that black people should take a week off from shooting each other and only shoot white people. Isn’t that pleasant? Presidential hopeful Bill Clinton went on TV and called her a racist. There’s a huge outcry in the black community. They’re saying Clinton attacked her. Jesse Jackson called it a cheap shot. Vice President and professional idiot, Dan Quayle, was making an appearance at an elementary school. After a student wrote “potato” on a chalkboard, he walked up and added and “e” at the end, thinking it was a spelling error. What an imbecile. That guy is only one heartbeat away from the presidency. What an unexpectedly entertaining presidential campaign this is turning into.
I was alone tonight and happy for it. I went to Café Mogador on St. Mark’s Place. I had a bowl of split pea soup and a cappuccino. I watched the pretty girls come and go. I’m invisible to them.
These wifi kiosks have popped up all over Manhattan. In addition to a wifi signal, they provide a touchscreen with full, free, internet access. it’s paid for by city tax dollars and advertisers.
The problem they’re having is that homeless people are pulling up chairs and watching porn all day and night.
Fights have broken out. NYC is pretty cleaned-up as compared to when these journal entries were written, but it’s still got it’s share of grifters who game the system. In a twisted way, I find it admirable.
Entertaining and enlightening as always, Mark! Hope you’re having a nice holiday.
Hi, Amy. The holiday is winding down. So long, summer and hello fall. I don’t mind one bit. Autumn is a grand season. Hope you’re well out there.
Good call on that donation decision. I agree. Bad call, Sister Souljah. Bad call, Quayle (no Jack Kennedy, that guy). Bad call, NYC with the kiosks. Isn’t that what public libraries are for?
I was flattered at first. Do you know I was such a naive dope that I thought it meant I got to have sex with her? I’d have REALLY said no after I found out what’s involved.
Libraries aren’t HALF as convenient as a street corner internet kiosk. Plus, you can’t tune in to babysitter porn at 2:30 a.m. in a library.
Did they ever find a donor?
I really do wonder if city officials ever listen to the possible downsides of their ideas anymore? It used to be common practice to always present all possibilities, pro and con, to every piece of legislation proposed. (Jesus, I am getting old!)
Bring on the Fall, I am so fucking ready! xoxoxxo
No, they never did and it’s a good thing because they broke up not too long after that. I’m still friends with Kat. I wonder if she remembers this episode?
I’m ready for fall, too. Man, I love it. Football starts this week and soon the leaves will change. I can put away my short sleeve shirts and get out the sweaters. Goodbye summer. I’ll miss the beach but I’m ready to move forward.
Oh, I had forgotten about the “potatoe” incident. Thank you for that reminder. Presidential campaigns sucked then. They suck now. The circle of life.
I wish I could reach back and tell my younger self, ‘If you think THIS campaign is entertaining, just you wait. You ain’t seen NOTHIN’ yet.
More than any other “journal visit” this pins it to place, time, people.
Back in my much younger days, I had several homosexual men friends. At a time when it was still very dangerous and illegal to be openly queer(no one said gay then) they were fabulous company.And, as you say, no pressure to head for the bedroom.
You made the right decision on donating for those girls.
I wonder how easy it would’ve been to adopt? Remember, this is 25 years ago and I don’t know if the world was as evolved as it is now. I have no idea why they chose me. It’s not like I was setting the world on fire. Maybe I was a last resort. No matter. The play was good, albeit a bit violent in places.
That’s quite a compliment Mark – to be the baby’s Dad. I feel the same way you do though – nt unless I could be a part of the child’s life. Excellent writing, as always,, Mark.
Thank you, Paul. I was flattered but I also felt a little used. I make a deposit and then off I go, never to be bothered again. Like the unpleasant aspect of a medical procedure.
As others have pointed out, good decision in the donation. What would you tell your daughters — well yeah, you have a sister/brother …
I love Man of La Mancha, but I would have been uncomfortable with the rape scene you described.
I can’t believe I actually entertained the thought for a bit. That kid would be 25 years old right now and probably hating my guts. Can’t say I’d blame him/her, either. What kind of father bails out like that?
I remember the graphic scenes in Man of LaMancha being controversial. It didn’t add a damn thing to the story. Why did they do it?
Good ole Dan Quayle. Yep he wasn’t very smart and now we have a smart ass running for president. What has become of this country?
Reading your journal entries is always entertaining. Gee you knew some characters back then. Baby daddy indeed. I can only imagine. I find the thought dreadful knowing you had a child that you could not claim as your own. You were a very smart young man back then when you nixed their invitation.
It seems the G.O.P. can’t pick a VP to save their lives. Never mind Dan Quayle. He was a harmless dope. Remember what Dick Cheney did to us? And Spiro Agnew wound up a tax dodger. Who next?
If you move to New York, you can’t help but to meet some characters. It’s part of this city’s DNA. It’s what both attracts and repulses people.
NYC still got it’s share of grifters who game the system – I know, one of them is even running for president this year and making the 1992 campaign boring and dignified in comparison.
I’ll settle for the comic relief of the 1992 campaign over this any day. After the election is over, we’re still stuck with that guy. Presuming he doesn’t win, that is. Maybe Washington will be stuck with him. They were floating the idea that Trump’s son would run for mayor of NYC in the next election cycle. God help us.
Sheena Easton… blimey there’s a memory. She was on probably one of the first reality tv shows in the UK. The Big Time – showed this struggling Scottish lass trying to earn a crust working the then still in existence working men’s club scene. Tough gigs frankly full of curmudgeon old farts who expected you to sound exactly like ELO on Mr Blue Sky and the exactly like Elvis for Are you Lonesome Tonight. I did a bit of it in my younger days but whilst you earnt money I hated the philistine audiences who were only there for the £10 top prize on the bingo and to win a joint of meat in the raffle.
Anyways – she shot to stardom on the back of the show. There’s some irony in that somewhere.
BTW – I thought she was hot too back in the day… I wonder what she looks like now?
Do you remember he work with Pince? Some of it was very salacious. Sugar Walls. C’mon. What do you suppose they meant by that? I had a genuine crush on her and watching the play was pretty upsetting. Beating on my poor Sheena like that.
I did a quick Google search and she still looks pretty good. I think she’s in her late 50’s so you have to take that into account but she seems to have held up pretty well.
Hah, I remember the Dan Quayle “potatoe” incident! P.J. O’Rourke said he was too much of an idiot to avoid being mocked even by conservatives like himself. I suppose your lesbian friend wanted the deed to be done by artificial insemination. How would you have reacted if she’d asked you to impregnate her the natural way?
I’d take Dan Quayle over what came after him. Dick Cheney. Quayle was just a dope but Cheney was dangerous.
Erm…when they first asked, I thought the insemination would be done au natural. It never occurred to me that it could be done any other way. Can you imagine the look on my face if I’d accepted their invitation and came to realize it didn’t include a candle lit dinner followed by sweet romance?
Man I hear you on Sheena Easton… I’m a big Bond fan, and while I didn’t love For Your Eyes Only, Easton’s theme song was crazy wonderful. Love love love her breathless singing.
Do you ever wonder who the two girls did get to be a sperm donor? I know I would have. But yeah, I wouldn’t have done that either.
The free internet screens sounds like a really bad idea, for the most part. It’s hard to fathom that they’ll really be put to any good use… but then, what’s a good use?
So speaking of elections, Donald Trump’s ahead in the most recent polls. Has there ever been a more startling, more watchable campaign than this one? But then again, that’s the point isn’t it.
I’m a sucker for the girl-next-door and Sheena personified that in my juvenile mind, except for the borderline pornographic material she did with Prince. She was the girl for me and watching her abused on a Broadway stage (of all things) rattled my cage for a couple of days.
No child for them, thank goodness. They broke-up soon thereafter. I am still friends with Kat to this day, but I don’t know if she would remember this episode. I don’t think I want to run it by her.
I don’t know who the internet kiosks are FOR other than homeless people. Are you supposed to be walking by and think, “Oh, I need to surf the internet right this very second?” I can understand the wifi signal. That comes in handy. But why the touchscreen? What a waste of money.
I am genuinely despondent over the campaign. I don’t like either candidate so no matter who wins, we lose. It’s going to be a long four years.
I wonder if the wifi kiosks will come here? I think they would get vandalised.
Yep, I’m sure you are now living through an incomparable election campaign. All the best to you! I’ve had enough of politics for this year!
Would that really happen?! I picture London being a more civilized (or, if you must, civilised) place. That sort of routine hooliganism is a thing of the past.
This campaign has been going on for 18 months. It’s debilitating. Do you know it’s entirely possible that Trump could be out next Prez?
Really enjoyed this one, and agree with you on the lesbian energy, at least I mean I can relate to that. I knew a couple lesbian cooks from the first bar where I worked and got the same feeling hanging out with them, really nice. They never asked me to donate though, that’s something. It’s funny, the Wi-Fi thing. Wouldn’t they have thought of that first? What were those discussions like, I wonder? I like the recklessness, the edge and rawness to it too; it’s real I guess.
Thanks, pal. We aim (and edit) to please.
I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have a gay friend or two. I find them endlessly fascistic. And an artist. Everyone should have an artist friend as well.
I believe the kiosks were mainly an attempt to put illuminated billboards at street level. Because that’s what they really are.
I agree about having gay or artist friend. It is a whole different point of view and makes for great conversations. I have an artist friend. He is such an elitist. He likes to make up lies about people and thinks he’s funny. But do not joke on him because he will pout like a baby. Very sensitive.
You sure knew a lot of women back then. And they wanted your bodily fluids inside them. I never like to see rape scenes. It’s unnecessary to show that violence. We already get it.
How come Obama gets a pass for saying there are 57 states in the USA? Nobody ever brings that up. Who cares how you spell potato 25 years ago!
I’m for the politician, regardless of their party affiliation, who’s against the people who do me harm.
NYC should install portable johns with those kiosks.
I’ve always gotten along with women better than I have men. I don’t necessarily like it. I wished I had more guy friends back then and I wish I had more right now. I don’t do a lot of guy things, is the problem. I don’t hunt or fish. Don’t play sports or fix cars. I’m barely a man at all.
The potato story is just so damn funny it’ll never be forgotten. Admit it. The memory gave you a chuckle, right?
I think they tried portable johns but they were destroyed. Your best bet is any decent hotel. There’s always restrooms just off the lobby.
Were you ever wary after that, thinking they might slip you a mickey and have their way with you, condom-and-turkey-baster-wise?
How did Raoul Julia die? I’m too lazy to look it up.
Being given a roofie and then sexually assaulted actually never occurred to me. Either I was I naive or they didn’t think of all the possible angles.
I don’t remember how Raul Julia died but he didn’t die on stage that afternoon and for that I’m grateful.
Nothing says I care like a bunch of half dead carnations. God, you had swag back then 😉
Kat and her girlfriend the gym teacher….oh yeah?
Haha! homeless people watching porn at wifi stations – that’s hilarious.
There weren’t any healthy floweres available. What ever happened to ‘it’s there thought that counts?’ Don’t that have that in England? I had swag back then and I’ve got it today, as well. What is swag, incidentally? Is it contagious?
Very contagious. You’ll catch loads from me 😉
Potato, potatoe. Tomato, tomatoe. Let’s call the whole thing off. 😉
It’s one of those frozen moments that I wonder what my life would’ve been like today if I’d said yes instead of no. All I can do is speculate.
Take it from someone who gave a child up for adoption–it’s basically a nightmare.
It looks awful. I think I might’ve saved myself a lot of heartache. I don’t know if the nightmare can ever actually end but I hope you’ve learned to live with and manage it so you’re able to sleep at night.
As a former grifter who once gamed the system, thank you. And really what else are they gonna watch? the shit show that is the election cycle? fuck that, porn all day and all night!!
Why they even provided free iPads is a mystery to me. Who did they think was going to have time to sit there and surf the Internet? The free Wi-Fi is a smart move but I don’t get the hardware.
That’s quite a compliment – that your friend thought enough of you to want your sperm. Bizarre, but flattering. Good call on your part.
You can probably see me shaking my head through the screen about that NYC free internet deal. Why, oh why, do we EVER think that the bureaucrats actually running our governments are qualified to do anything involving thinking???
Here’s how young and dumb I was: I didn’t know anything about the procedures for donating sperm and thought I was going to get to sleep with her a bunch of times. Hooo boy, would I have been surprised!!!!
As far as the burrocrats, it’s a comfort to know their intentions are good.
I guess that’s what I would have thought, too, not being familiar with the process. I would have assumed you’d adopt a Three’s Company type living arrangement, except something really WOULD have been going on behind closed doors like Mr. Roper always suspected.
‘What an unexpectedly entertaining presidential campaign this is turning into.’ Little did you know what was to come.
I wish I could reach back in time an tell myself that those politicians were just playing pitty-pat as compared to what would happen 25 years later.
25 years. My god. Where did it all go? Where’s my masterpiece?
I don’t think it’s a compliment to be asked to have a wank and then stick it up some woman in a turkey baster. Even by my low standards I’d find that too deracinated from anything enjoyable or meaningful.
I’m a bit like you in knocking about almost entirely with women. Unfortunately, I tend to go for intelligent, good-looking, articulate, well-dressed, straight ones. The boundaries between friendship and desire are difficult ones to conform to sometimes.
It’s a desperately hard lesson that I’ve had to learn, that friends do not become girlfriends. You meet someone, you hit it off, and desire comes very quickly thereafter. Once you start getting to know them as a friend, it’s game over.
Well, I didn’t think it would be me wanking into a cup. I actually thought I was going to be allowed to sleep with her as many times as it took to knock her up. I surely would’ve bailed out once I found out what was involved. That’s no fun.
In addition to the lesbians, I also knocked about with intelligent, good-looking, articulate, straight ones. The problem–the CONSTANT problem–was that they’d have little to do with me, as these journals have attested to.