Sxip and I were sitting on the mattress of his East Village apartment. He had let me play with the new set of bells he had gotten and we were discussing good covers of songs and our art. I was in red velvet coming from Gabriel's birthday dinner and he was settling in for the night after composing all evening. I remember I was on a yerba mate kick while he sipped his beer. "You're going to be up all night." He said. It was already midnight and I had just started to drink it. I looked over at the small Eshu head on the shelf, something the tenant he was subletting had left. This was a composers apartment. This was the type of apartment you expect an artist to live in. It was full of NYC charm, one brick wall, and a bathtub in the kitchen. His instruments set up on tables and various sound equipment occupied the tables. He had set his computer on a chair as a makeshift table so we could watch our newest obsessions in music without moving. I was envious and told him so numerous times. The night made me wish I had my film camera, so I could document these kind of moments in black and white. "These moments, moments like these are the ones we live in New York for." Sxip said and I nodded my head.
We start talking about Patti Smith and he's asking me about Just Kids. I told him I never read it.
"But you love Patti, I thought you did."
I shake my head. I was afraid to tell him why. I made up a story, not sure what but I know I made up something. The truth was, I just wasn't ready for it. There's certain books or films that you have to prepare yourself for. You know they are going to impact you. You know the moment your fingers touch the page and you start to take it in that you will cry, that it will cut and bleed you. That this is a part of you too, that it's a univeral message in a personal journal. So I lied and badly too.
But it stuck with me and I knew the time was coming. That was a few weeks ago.
A few days ago I met Laura McLaws Helms at Cafe Pick Me Up, one of my old haunts from college. I had forgotten how good it feels to have home bases. We had tea and read tarot, we talked fashion and business, one of those conversations that feeds you. This was the beginning of a very big shift.I came home and painted.
I told Laura before I left. "I feel like I've lived this book and the creative passionate relationship Patti had with Robert is one I'm living right now with Shahriar. Nothing is done until I show him."
Friday brought another reading and a night out with the amazing and wonderful Maria Headley, Zay Amsbury, and Kat Howard. Melissa and I headed over to the Anyway Cafe (another old haunt) for an evening of music, conversation, mulled wine, and exchanging ideas. I like to tell people that Maria and I met after one of Sxip's shows but we fell in love over twitter, bonded at a gay bar in Chelsea, spent the night celebrating at the bar at Sleep No More, and fell asleep holding hands. She is an amazing friend indeed. Maria also gave me an amazing present of Dolce & Gabbana which I will be photographing very soon. There's something really wonderful that happens when you get a group of people together that instantly get along. It's good to be creative in the city. We live joyful passionate lives. Late night a cover band took the floor as a woman named Rita celebrated her birthday. Rita got up and danced, more joined and soon everyone was up and dancing. Maria and I held each other and laughed. You can usually find Maria and I with our heads held back in laughter.
There's Maria giving me a kiss. As you can see I'm blissed out by it.
Saturday brought rehearsal for Speakeasy Dollhouse and the return of the Swimming Cities crew. Orien and Angie invited me and a few other people over to his Mom's place to celebrate. Being back at Val's brought great comfort to my heart. Orien was one of the first people I met when I moved to New York and that apartment has always felt like a second home. Angie and Orien showered me with gifts and hugs. It was good to be back with them.
I really like ferrets.
Me and Angie.
Orien and I wearing matching noserings.
Val and I love each other.
Me and Val again.
Orien and his dad Malcolm.
My favorite apartment in the world.
Later I met up with Mani and Jason Price to celebrate Jason's birthday. We ate delicious Chinese food and ate incredibly yummy cupcakes (okay I had flourless chocolate cake) at Magnolia bakery. I came home and started to write.
Sunday brought a full day of art modeling. I hadn't modeled in a while so I forgot what it felt like to stay still for so long. But I felt grateful because the life I live is pleasing. I enjoy every moment of it and it nourishes me to no end. We create our lives as we live them and it's up to us to decide how we live them. There are no barriers if you tear them all down. I thought about Patti and Mapplethorpe and how they lived to create. I thought about why I moved to New York and how my life mimicked theirs in certain ways without even knowing. Things are changing, shifting.
Tonight I sat in the same cafe Laura and I sat in sipping lattes with Anya Kless and discussing spirituality, art, and life in general. I feel blessed to live this life in this time and space. I feel blessed to be living in NYC.
Photo by Mark Krawczuk