concrete trenches
sometimes more feet than shoes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003  

Blue plate special

Today I had my first New York temping experience. I was the personal assistant for a high power fashion designer. I picked up lunch, returned shopping items for his significant other, answered phones, made calls, and generally was the butler for the guy. I wasn't paid nearly enough. And I have to go back tomorrow.

However, I did get to peek into a rare and wonderful world, a place where the genetics are of a slightly higher quality, where people are just better looking than you or I. Unless you happen to be a model. One guy came in, as they are at a stage where they have to see the clothes on a person, and he was puh-rit-ee. You know those veins you get when your muscles are particularly well toned? He had them on his stomach. He decided he should change in the middle of the office, is how I know this. I don't get why they bring in this freak of nature when he'd make a pillow case look smashing. They should throw the clothes on some schlub - me for example - and see if the clothes make the guy look smashing. That is supposed to be the idea, isn't it?

| posted by christopher | 7:57 PM

Monday, April 28, 2003  

Gimme Vitamin D

I don't want to jinx anything, really, but I think spring is finally come. Hell, this feels like summer back where I've spent the last nine years. Sunshine, mid-seventies. I'm about to get on my bike and do some riding. Yeah, baby, this is what I'm talking about right here.

| posted by christopher | 2:47 PM

Sunday, April 27, 2003  

Nile River Tours, Inc

When everyone at the table excepting the earnest young christian is avoiding your eyes when you talk about yourself for the one hundredth time tonight, would you notice? Would you choose to ignore it even if you did notice?

Ultimately, after many tense moments of examining the grease stain on the opposite wall, I began to feel pity for her. Poor thing. I'd feel bad for her, if she'd just shut the hell up.

Also, the star you mentioned was and is beautiful, and could once sing like an angel. In that respect, I am afraid you do not resemble her as much as you believe.

| posted by christopher | 11:08 PM  

Take a left the Caribbean

It's been such a long road to get here. This apartment, this city, this life. I had a decade's detour. I sometimes wonder if I would have been ready ten years ago. I'm pretty sure the answer is "not blood likely," but who knows. The question maybe should be "am I ready now?"

| posted by christopher | 1:16 AM

Friday, April 25, 2003  

Mr. Safety, pt2

Ok, bub, I was thinking that your whole homemade security system was charmingly eccentric when you first installed it. That was until you repositioned the camera to take in my front door. Now I'm feeling spied on. What is wrong with you, anyway?

| posted by christopher | 2:49 PM

Thursday, April 24, 2003  

The late nights

My iPod is playing a song that reminds me of a friend. She had a birthday a couple of days ago, and I emailed her, not really knowing it was her birthday. I knew some years ago now, almost ten, and we haven't seen each other since I left that piece of my life behind. But we have kept in sporadic touch. Nina Simone died a few days ago, and when I heard that news I thought of my dear, lost chanteuse and sent her a note.

So the thing is, I'm having this curious feeling. Many people have drifted along through my life. I've befriend some, was afraid of some, fell in love with some, fucked or got fucked by some, even had sex with some. Once they've drifted past though, or I've moved on, they are gone. Some exceptions: the chanteuse, the self-destructive room mate, X (although very quiet lately), the nutty college friend, and the old high-school gal.

All the others have passed on and through, and are gone. I wonder why I let this occur. At the same time, many of the people I have known know damn well how to get in touch with me. Even if they didn't, Google would give them a helping hand. Regardless, whenever I have a conversation with one of these long-losters, I have a hollow feeling that tells me what a bad friend I've been, and how I can't even manage to lift the phone for their sake. Is it them? Is it me? Is it because of me that it is them?

Hmmm. Maudlin. Late night. Maybe the lesson I should be learning is that there are a few people in my life that are so entwined with my own fabric that we can go years without talking, and then pick up where we left off. A handful of the hundreds of souls that have passed through my shallow little world are truly my friends, and I should be grateful that there are these few good people who will be just as glad to hear from me as I am to hear from them.

| posted by christopher | 11:51 PM  


Went for an interview, all deck out in my mustard yellow shirt, black pants and green tie, at a temp firm. Got "hired," or at least they are going to try and place me in some soul killing office job where people will cheerfully say "There he is!" as I walk by the copier, as if they are glad to see me and had been talking about me the whole time.

However, rent is due soon.

| posted by christopher | 5:34 PM

Wednesday, April 23, 2003  

Thanks, Mr. Chabon

I had a moment last night. I just finished a great book and it got me to crying. And then the strangest thing happened.

I cried until I laughed.

And I mean laugh, out loud, gut-busting laughs. And I couldn't stop. Each time I thought about the fact that I was laughing, it made me laugh even harder.

It started as the book, but then of course it was other things that decided to come out with it. I felt as if some great weight that had taken from off my chest. For the first time in years I felt happy. Truly, really happy.

| posted by christopher | 3:06 PM

Tuesday, April 22, 2003  

On the Brinks

My neighbor across the hall has never been the friendly sort. It's not like I want to invite him over for pasta, but at least an acknowledgment of the hello doesn't seem like too much to ask.

But now -- now I think there might be something interesting going on.

One day a couple weeks ago, I see that he's installed a new brass strip on his door apparently intended to keep someone from jimmying the three locks. One of those locks is about eight inches off the floor. Haven't figured that out yet.

A few days after this, I leave the apartment and see Mr. Safety atop a step ladder, messing around the transom window atop his door. I say hello and he looks at me blankly and gives a face wave -- warming up, he is -- and I go on my way. When I come home, he's replaced the charmingly dim sixty watt bulb that used to illuminate our shared third floor with a thirty gazillion watt compact fluorescent monstrosity. Atop his door frame sits a tiny electronic camera, the kind regularly advertised in those pop-up windows.

I'm starting to wonder: witness protection? psychiatric difficulties? a serious thing against peepholes? Sometimes, on my way up the stairs, I smile and wave to his new mechanical eye. In front of his door there remains the rubber mat molded with the word "welcome."

| posted by christopher | 5:54 PM

Monday, April 21, 2003  


Something in my apartment smells like a dead animal.

Please, god, please; do not let it be a dead animal.

| posted by christopher | 11:25 PM  

Metro, Metro, why have you foresaken me?

I missed an audition appointment today, mainly because the good 'ole 7 train ran about four miles an hour from my stop to the East River. I could have run faster. Also, I guess two hours isn't really enough time to run from Union Square to Queens and back again. Instead of sleeping in tomorrow morning, I'm going to be hauling my butt out of bed again to stand in line for a couple of hours. Woe is me.

On a thourghly unrelated note, I celebrated Easter Sunday yesterday by making banana bread and listening to Jesus Christ Superstar. I have a touch of the Musical Theatre Fag in me, I guess.

| posted by christopher | 2:53 PM

Saturday, April 19, 2003  

All Good Things...

She went home this afternoon, and it kinda sucked that she did. The trip was good, marred only by a cold and a nagging voice that wonders if things are going too fast. Or maybe that voice is actually saying "Hey, Brainiac, what if you're wrong this time, too?" And even though the trip was slightly less than perfect, it was still pretty great.

Yay! She left her toothbrush in the toothbrush holder.

Boo! All of her travel toiletries were removed from the bathroom, and it looked a little empty and cold.

Yay! She made the bed and left an Easter card on my pillow.

Boo! She's not going to be in my bed when I go to sleep tonight.

| posted by christopher | 11:20 PM

Thursday, April 17, 2003  

Reward systems

If you talk while the director is trying to give blocking to someone else: one punch in the nose.

If you whine about things taking too long, but while you are whining miss the director giving you your blocking: one punch in the neck .

If you are not prepared and slow things up because of it: one punch to the thigh.

If you continue to act like an unschooled idiot and then get snippy for being treated like an unschooled idiot: one punch in the back of the head.

If you make this show any worse by having a poor attitude: two punches to the back of the head.

| posted by christopher | 12:51 PM

Wednesday, April 16, 2003  

All Growed Up

My first hit from Google: spazdom.

How fitting.

| posted by christopher | 12:37 AM

Tuesday, April 15, 2003  

JFK Blues

bg arrived warly Sunday morning. Still haven't figured out a good was to the airport that doesn't involve either $30 in cab fees or two hours of my life sitting on public transportation. She didn't sleep well on the flight. She spent the rest of the day in the apartment while I rehearsed.

Today I am going to be an actor for a high school playwrighting project. I'm a little nervous about it. I'm not sure how convincing I can be in my use of the word "yo."

| posted by christopher | 10:32 AM

Saturday, April 12, 2003  

From here to Oh! Calcutta

Saw a bit of children's theatre last night. Very slick, very "broadway," and a little on the boring side. Based on some of my favorite children's books, and lovingly adapted and all, but, well, zzzzzzz...

The kids liked it, and there were some nice moments, and I think it is great that there is a show that young kids can go see and appreciate that doesn't involve singing and dancing cutlery, but one of my pervading thoughts was "would I really want to play a snail for eight months?"

| posted by christopher | 2:02 PM

Friday, April 11, 2003  

What would Don Lockwood do?

So, here's the thing: I was walking through the pouring rain here in New York this morning, and each time I had to avoid some dip with their Christo sized bumbershoot, I thought about this, from the brilliant Might Girl Margaret Berry

"Dear San Francisco Sidewalk Users:
I have tried to be patient owing to your obvious dearth of intellect and corresponding need to be coddled like a small child. However, I am only one woman. If one more of you nearly blinds me with a hideously oversized beach umbrella that you insist on using in the rain, I shall beat you mercilessly about the ears with my laptop bag. When you are sufficiently subdued, I will appropriate your monstrous "umbrella," snap it shut, and make a kebab of your brethren who will by then have gathered, slack jawed and mewling, to watch your fate unfold.
Thank you."

| posted by christopher | 1:23 PM

Thursday, April 10, 2003  


Change is good. I'm sick of the blue "rounded corners" theme. Going with something a little more dignified. A little more staid. A little less blue. Maybe I'll get around to learning more about html than how to make italics tags and do a little customizing. Until then, enjoy the template.

The archives, though, are acting all funky and don't seem to want to update. Maybe I'll be learning that html sooner than later...

| posted by christopher | 4:23 PM  

Free time

Tomorrow is the last day of my job at the theatre in the West Village. I doubt I get a better money making situation. Mostly, I've been paid to surf the web, and have done, really, about three days of actual work for them in the last three weeks I've been there. Well, today I am traveling to a school to watch students give a final presentation. So, four days of work now. Oh, well.

On the plus side, since the best girl was laid off, she's hopping a plane and will be coming Sunday morning, and is going to stay until the following Saturday. I'm going to stay out of DayJob, Inc. while she's in town.

What is nice about this visit is that I have to rehearse, so life will not stop while she is here, and it won't be a special vacation. Instead it will be more like a little bit of normal time. Maybe like it will be when she moves to the city.

I'm also exchanging emails with a nice girl from Dublin who may sublet my apartment while I travel to Edinburgh this summer. No job, best girl in town, potential sublet, in a show, sun shining. Life is good today.

If only I didn't have to go to Canarse.

| posted by christopher | 10:54 AM

Wednesday, April 09, 2003  

Memo to self

After conquering own country to rule as despot, avoid raising statues to own glory.

| posted by christopher | 12:48 PM

Tuesday, April 08, 2003  

Wash you hands

Woke up this morning, and I couldn't open my right eye. I gave it a good rub, broke the awful crust away, and discovered this bright pick orb where my nice white eye used to be. I spent the rest of the day trying to not touch it and not touch things or people until I could get to a doctor.

I now have sulfur drops and instructions for giving the eye a hot compress, but he never told me wether or not I actually have pink eye.

| posted by christopher | 6:30 PM

Monday, April 07, 2003  

Go East, young lady

So, in a strange turn of events, the best girl got shit-canned from her impossibly sweet day job gig. They told her that she was the last to get laid off, and they wanted to fight for her, but the economy as it is, blah blah, blah. She was going to quit at the end June, anyway, and this way she can apply for unemployment benefits. So there.

Of course I think she should get her fine self on the next convienient plane and come here for a short visit. Heck, she's even getting severance pay for the next two weeks (which they told her she can work if she wants to - yeah, right, thanks) so she could be paid to hang out with me! I don't think she's going to, but wouldn't it be nice.

On a totally unrelated note, it's snowing here. It's April 7, and it's snowing to beat the band. Between this and the war, can the end of the world be close behind. My kingdom for a cherry blossom.

| posted by christopher | 4:13 PM

Saturday, April 05, 2003  

To the magician on the W train

Dear freak,

No, I do not want to watch you make a dove appear. I do not want to see your magical self-coloring comic book. I do not want to see your Viagra inspired rope trick. And I certainly do not want to give you a buck, so please get your bag on a stick out of my face before I show you how to make it disappear by shoving it up your ass. Along with your dove.

Thanks you,
Chris Sly.

PS - if the sun doesn't come out soon, I'm going to to be found, naked, on the top of the Queesburough Bridge hugging myself and mumbling incoherently.

| posted by christopher | 10:12 PM

Friday, April 04, 2003  


Today my marriage officially ended. While it's been over for me for quite some time, and I have moved on, I am confronted with an odd pinching in my chest. This is it. When we were married, I thought that was it. I don't know where or when we became "irreparably broken," as the courts say.

I'm happier now, better off mentally (if not financially), in love, and living finally where I've always wanted to be. But today, it seems, there is one last bout of mourning to experience.

I would like to figure out what I am mourning. Am I disappointed in myself for not being able to make the marriage work? Should I have fought harder for equality in our union? Actually, I think there was one moment which sealed our fate only months after we wed, and no amount of work on my part could have saved us. I have been told by many that I am brave for having made the choice I did: give up total financial security for the life of a poor starving actor in New York. She was cruel to me in quiet ways I am only now beginning to understand. I hated the city where we lived, and yet she would not discuss leaving. The whole thing was killing me, slowly but as sure as I'm typing the words. Yet here I am, musing and weeping.

This is it. This is the last time. One last cry for the shattered illusions of my youth. One last bit of sadness dedicated to the couple I thought we were, instead of the people we turned out to be.

| posted by christopher | 10:42 PM  

Things not taught in the public schools

In my current money making endeavour, I am working in the education office for an Off-Broadway theatre. There are student shows, usually 10:00am, for the productions, and one of my duties is to usher the kids into the theatre without them running into the street or otherwise hurting themselves. On one side of the theatre are plain brick walls and an empty store front. On the other side of the theatre: there is a gay sex shop. When lining up the kids for the student shows, I have to line them up to the blank side of the theatre, lest they get distracted by the Cockpit video in the window.

| posted by christopher | 11:52 AM

Thursday, April 03, 2003  

A good turn deserved

Come to me when you feel small and when you feel afraid. I will stroke your hair while I hold you head in my lap, and I will tell you all of the reasons I think you are great, and good, and the best I've ever known. I will tell you why you outweigh all the others. I will tell you why you are safe. I will tell you that you are large in my life, even if you are feeling tiny. It is the least I can do, and it is the truth. You are my bebe, my red rider, my sugarbeet, my best girl. I'll wipe your tear from your cheek (and not in a cheesy movie-of-the-week way either), kiss your forehead and take you for a malted. Or a single malt. There's nothing I wouldn't do, because I know there's nothing you wouldn't do.

And then, in my best Smoove B. voice, I'd say "... damn."

Isn't it great?

| posted by christopher | 5:42 PM

Wednesday, April 02, 2003  

Burnham wood comes to Queens

Had some problems with the old blogger yesterday. I'd like to complain, but it is free.

I was looking around my apartment last night, trying to figure out how I am going to afford going to Scotland this summer, and my eyes kept falling on this great print I have of Macbeth. It's the whole play - ghosts, daggers I see before me, witches, hedgehogs. It's dark and complex and brooding and scary and nicely framed and I love it. It also reminds me of my entire old life. It reminds me of X. It is a remnent of a life I used to have, and it makes me sad and a little uncomfortable to look at it. And then I looked at the bookshelf next to it, and the prints above the couch, and the records, and and and.

I'm not going to get rid of anything. Not yet. But I do have to start asking myself some questions about what is really important to me, and what belongs in my life as it is now. Suggestions are welcome.

| posted by christopher | 5:50 PM
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