After working 12 hours straight on Friday and then still going out to see my friend Danna, I went out after that to a club called Ha’Oman 17. It was the 10th anniversary of the popular Israeli sex dating site Atraf that everybody knows and uses.
Holy shit, you guys! I had no idea this place existed. You mean they have bi-weekly gay dance parties here, alternating with the weeks Big Boys is off?
Where as Big Boys is fun and all, but has music that would be scoffed at by true clubbers as just literally spinning the baby pop hits, this was true, serious tribal house music that flowed and built upon itself and took the dancefloor on a journey. A shirtless journey, I might add. There was a second room of spinning, for the poppier crowd – although just like Andy Anderson’s awesome top room at Roxy circa 2000, it had all the twinks, chubs and fag hags in it. The real action was in the main room, where DJ Hector Romero was spinning.
There were plenty of tweakers – peeps on Meth or Ecstasy. You can tell by their tweaked out eyes. But no matter, I got into the awesome music and being in the center of all that Sexy Jewish Guy Israeli Shirtlessness. I can’t believe this party has been going on every other week, and I am only just finding out about it. Not that I’d want to go every week, but every now and then – fo’ sho.
I didn’t really meet anyone, but then I usually don’t meet guys in bars or clubs. Not for lack of trying; I just find that usually the guys I am really into aren’t into me, and conversely I get followed around by a pack o’ trolls I can’t get rid of. Although I may have had one or two bouts of dance floor kissing and/or dirty dancing. Here’s a buncha pix. I was tweeting and sending to Twitpic like a mofo. Not like I was removing myself from and missing out on the immediacy of my surroundings, more like feeling so happy I had to share it:
It was fascinating though – inside the club, I couldda been in New York. The beats were Grade A, and the boys were a step above what I’d find on the dance floor in New York, at least for my tastes. But, then you’d step outside, and we were like in some industrial alley that looked like….well, the Middle East. Plus, do you have to pass through metal detectors when you go clubbing?
Around 7am, I got my jacket and left the club….almost. I got outside and heard a souped up version of “We Are Family” come on, to re-energize the floor now that the smaller room had closed and the separate crowds were coming together. Like any good Gay, I 180°d and went back inside. Danced for like another hour. Fun, fun times!
Leaving a club after hours of shirtless beats, fierce lighting and dangerous dBs and entering into the tranquility of a new dawn is a really special moment, I’ve always found – a real sweet spot. Something about traveling thru the wormhole of intense tribal dance journey into the calm promise of a fresh day is just presh. Of course, it’s also the reason God invented shades. I snapped these pics on my bike ride home.
I was totes ready to sleep all day. But my boy Pete needed to go out, as he was at the upper range of his bladder capacity after being crated for nearly 8 hours. Plus, since he had just gotten a ton of rest, a walk around the block wasn’t going to cut it. If I wanted to really get some shut eye, I was going to have to tire him out. So, I armored up with the shades, and we went to the dog park for an hour. Mission accomplished. We both crashed upon returning, and got up around 8:30 p.m.
I was delivered after a week of entirely too much work. Thank you, God.
I will really have to focus my thoughts, or this post could go on for days.
@ the gym few nights ago I had another spiritual awakening. I tend to go late, b/c I prefer it when the floor isn’t so crowded, and there isn’t a wait for the machines. But on the other hand, I love checking out the eye candy, which there’s not as much of before closing.
There was a guy there. Not really the kind of man I envision for myself. Who do I envision for myself? Um, I dunno…., something like
Anyway, so this guy who was there wasn’t Eric Bana. He was maybe 10 years older than me, shaved head. But there was something cute about him. And although he didn’t set off my gaydar, I did see him once in EVITA (our local SPLASH), so I knew he was gay. 5-10 minutes before closing, we were the only two in the locker room. Chill, mofos – I’m not going there. But I mention this, because although we were the only two there, and although we both knew the other was gay, and despite his non Eric Bana-ness and the fact that he looked a smidge like my longtime friend Neil Balick, there was something kind of cute about him, and clearly there is always something cute about ME. But we didn’t chat. Just the usual I-caught-him-looking-at-me-but-then-he-looks-away,-then-I-look-at-him-and-he-catches-me-and-I-look-away,-REPEAT.
When I left the gym, I didn’t go out to a club or to meet some friends. I have two jobs now (more on this in one of the next posts), and a million side projects I’m pursuing, and I’d rather get up early and be productive than stay out late amidst all the secondhand smoke, so I headed home on my bike. I leashed up the Piddley-Petester and went out for a walk around the block…with a stop at Super Baba for some junk food.
OK, now here’s an important part of this post. I didn’t load up at the store with $100 dollars worth of corn syrup & saturated fat laden goodies, then run home to scarf them all down in one setting, then puke them up, then go to another supermarket immediately to do the same exact thing. Thankfully, my food issues are not that serious. But. One way I know how something is up, is that – while this neighborhood block is kind of swinging at this time every night – with several bars packed and peeps out with friends whoopin’ it up – every night I buy a few items from Olga, the young woman who works nights at Super Baba, and has sort of become my friend. I’m always alone, with just my dog, and while my items may vary a little, they are always junk food. And I’m starting to get embarrassed, like waiting for her to confront me with – All the time, it’s just you and your dog…you are alone and always buying junk food before bedtime…but you’re so young and cute, WHY are you always alone, Scott, and what are you covering up ???
Sometimes, the language barrier here is really a good thing. I’ve also had the thought that: Hmm, maybe I’ll buy from a different store tonight, so Olga doesn’t have to see me doing this night after night and I can be more anonymous to a different clerk. Woah, classic alcoholic behavior !!!
Now, look – I’m an addict/alcoholic in recovery. And when I was active in my addiction, my favorite thing was to smoke pot. I wasn’t shooting heroin, or smoking meth, or losing jobs, or estranged from my family, or in&out of rehabs, or on probation, but I was like…
Seriously. Pot addiction is real. It’s such a curse, because you can function really well for a long time, and you’re getting something at least partially satisfying from the drug….enough to keep you going, but at the same time…it’s keeping you from what you really want. But you are alone and anxious and insecure, and – trust me – it’s not a good way to live.
And I see now that I’ve been repeating this old behavior with my nightly junk food trips! Now, I’m not obese. I’m not even fat. For someone about to turn 40, my body is in better shape than probably 85% of the men my age. Except for this junk food ritual, I eat very well (no fried foods, lots of protein and veggies), I work out at the gym every other day. My shoulders and arms and chest and legs and ass all look great. In a (not fitted) tank top and shorts, I’m a total Dish! But with all the work I do at the gym, I should have a nice, sexy 6-pack – Not my little belly.
Hey, my little belly’s even cute; it is tiny; it does not come close to rolling over my belt. And if Eric Bana Hotness came to me with the same little belly, I would have no problems with it and still be super turned on.
But when I’m sitting down, or laying on my side, then – ew, yeah, I don’t like it, and I want to make it go away. Plus, look at this: is this the beginnings of a double chin?
But anyway, my point is: I am healthy and not in any danger b/c of this junk food cycle. It is manageable. For real; I am not just saying that. And it’s giving me some happiness, it really is. I love Reese’s Fast Break candy bars. The peanut butter, no – the nougat!
And if I refuse to allow myself a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s creme brulee, I’m really limiting my junk intake to a candy bar or two, a danish or two, and a few cookies. I work out plenty, this assortment is not harming me, and it does make me kinda happy.
So, what’s the problem?
The problem is: while it does make me kinda happy, it’s not giving me what I really want, which is to be in a stable, caring, sexual relationship with a real partner. And the amount and type of fleeting happiness it does give me actually provides a distraction from what I am really longing for. In fact, it keeps me from seeing and facing my part in the way things are going.
It’s not that I am just not meeting the right guy yet. ‘Cause this is what I have told myself. This one is nice and kind, but not cute enough. This one is cute enough, but too young. The chemistry is great with this one, but he is too “creative” like me, and not enough of the “rock” that I want; I’m the creative one. It’s very much like how Jerry and George used to go through women on Seinfeld. This one’s got man-hands, that one’s a low-talker, this one’s bald, that one talks weird during sex, etc. I have had a few relationships. But they’ve been with men that were wrong for me. And, I have been really attracted to some men sometimes, but they’ve not been interested in me, or they were unavailable for some reason.
WHY hasn’t the right guy shown up yet?
This is the spiritual awakening part. He hasn’t shown up yet, because I am preventing him from showing up. Homo say what? Yes, that’s right. Because sub-consciously, I don’t want him to show up. I want him NOT to show up. I know what you’re thinking, and no – I don’t know why. That’s why it’s my subconscious, you dummy! (sorry) I say it’s what I want, except I don’t really want it. Because, I am such a wonderful catch, that there is no good reason for me not to already be with somebody. Something is wrong. I am preventing it from happening, and that is why I am still single, and I can see that clearly now.
What are you going to do about it?
Pray. I’ve started asking God: God, please give me the willingness to allow a true partner to come into my life. Or, because I’m not entirely sure that I even really want to become willing to have him show up: God, please give me the willingness to become willing to allow a true partner to come into my life.
It felt so good to be this honest with myself… to see clearly and accept my role for what’s (not) been happening in my life.. and to take this action. I had prayed before for God to send me a boyfriend, but this was a totally new thought for me: to ask for help becoming willing to receive my partner. That’s the real Awakening part -to think this new thought for the first time. Yay, me. And thank you, God.
Postscript: I told a recovery friend of mine about this spiritual awakening, and she said it sounded to her as if some recent formal spiritual work I’ve started is already paying off. I hadn’t considered this until I heard her say it. Wow, the program really can do some amazing, 4th Dimension shit.
It’s hard coming up with new ideas for columns every week. Especially when I kinda do the same things: work, walk the dog, work out, do my creative writing. You think people would read a column about flossing?
My friend Simona DM’d me over Twitter that I should write about the Israeli gay scene. Well, it was either that or a column about flossing, so I did. I wrote about what I know, which is all I can really ever do. And as I was writing, I figured There’s a million and one gay travel stories on Tel Aviv that just mention the gay beach and main bars…I should write about the stuff you’d never find online, the stuff potential gay Olim or tourists really want to know – you know, sexyshiz and the like.
But Zoinks! Do I really need my mom knowing there are more Tops than Bottoms in Tel Aviv? Well, she does now. Fuck it, writers are supposed to be fearless. No turning back now.
Check in out here. P.S. Like the new iGoogled Xmas banner?
If you read G-Fish regularly, you’ll know that Petey practically thinks his name is Ehzay Chamood (Hebrew for What a cutie!). Girls and guys are powerless to his cuteness charms. But so far, it hadn’t translated into putting a ring on my finger.
There’s a very cute physical therapist I went out with back in April. I really liked him. It wasn’t just his (very good!) looks. It was this über kindness & chill vibe he exuded. So, I asked him out again, but he told me he had a boyfriend.
But did he really? I had reason to suspect this wasn’t true. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. He lives in the neighborhood, and we have always been friendly when we bump into each other.
Well, last week, Pete and I ran into him and his dog on the island/walkway in the middle of a boulevard. Of course, he was very taken with Pete. We caught up while Petey and his dog played with one another. I was thinking it, but rejoiced inside when he said Wow, they play so nice with one another. You should both come over sometime, and we’ll have a coffee while the dogs play.
Even if he was thinking only of the dogs and not trying to just get me to come over –
So what !?!
Petey and I are so going over there and colluding to make him my husband! So, I waited a couple of days and then texted my future husband him Hey, Petey and I would really like to come over for a playdate. He responded pretty quickly with Great!
So, we aimed for this weekend, but it didn’t happen, because I had such an incredibly booked weekend. But we did speak, and we’re going to make the playdate happen this week.
Petey is eating filet mignon this week.
Filed under: Amerijones, Exploits, Feelings, Identity, Struggles | Tags: family, gay, men, nightlife, Thanksgiving
I have the greatest family ever. Seeing so little of them is definitely my least favorite part about living here. But video Skype chats and Facebook photo comments are wonderful things, and they’ve been enough for me to get by. It’s stuff I’ve written about here & here. As far as celebrating holidays go, I would like to be with my family for these, but I can’t be, and that’s mostly been OK.
Thanksgiving is different.
For the past five years my cousin Jennifer has been holding it in her huge, beautiful 19th century home in suburban North Jersey. I love it because it’s the one holiday where my whole fam schleps up from Philly, instead of me having to go down there. To get to Jennifer’s, I only had to hop on a 20 minute bus ride from the Port Authority, drink deeply from all that family goodness, then say sayanora and head back to NYC to play with my friends for the long weekend intead of being trapped in surburan Philly hell.
It’s more than that, though. For starters, Thanksgiving at Jen & Harry’s is called TURKEYPALOOZA. Each year, they send out a new goofball invitation heradling the event. Here’s this year’s:
Jennifer’s husband Harry is an amazing chef and we eat like The Biggest Loser contestants kings. You can’t tell by my darling, slim figure, but I have one hell of an appetite. Jen indulges my goober sense of humor by helping me art-direct increasingly elaborate staged pics of me hoarding and binging on desserts. Some of our past work includes:
Jen & Harry plan out a new craft for us to complete each year. In the past, we’ve painted our own ceramic dessert plates (not unveiled until the following year!), designed our own napkin holders, and decorated our own turkey feathers, which were assembled to create a picture of the full bird:
It’s gotten so we don’t even refer to it as Turkeypalooza anymore. Not unlike a big-budget Hollywood franchise sequel, we refer to them now as T3, T4, T5, etc. So this year I missed out on T6. *sad face* But I was going to plan something really special to connect with them all. I bought my cousin a cheap webcam onamazon.com, set up a gmail account for her and used it to set up a Skype account for her. While I have Skyped my mom, bro/sis’n’law/niece, and dad individually before, I had never Skyped the whole fam in one place at one time. I thought it would be totes awesome to have peeps just rotate in and for me to speak with the whole mishpacha this way.
Only, I think what happened was I didn’t set it up far enough in advance. My cuz did manage to log into her Skype account, and the last message I got from her the day before Thanksgiving said she was exhausted from all the planning but she wold plan a test Skype with me sometime before everyone arrived. Then…I waited by the computer all evening, but never connected with her. I used Skype’s SMS feature to send txt messages to her cell, my mom’s cell and bro’s cell. Still nothing. 😦 [I found out later that peeps who get txts from you via Skype can’t respond to them. I thought everyone was ignoring me, but they probably just had no way of responding.]
I wasn’t sure what to do. I had plans to attend a screening of a lesbian romantic comedy called “I Can’t Think Straight” as part of TLV Fest‘s “Alternative Movie Nights” monthly film series, AND I was supposed to stop by Max Brenner’s chocolate restaurant to celebrate my friend Jeff’s birthday. I’d gladly miss both those events if it meant being face-to-face with my fam (via video Skype). But no one was responding, and I didn’t want to sit at home and not connect with them and also miss both my plans. So I figured I would go and could always try them at my 1:00 a.m. (their 6pm), after everyone was in their trypophan comas. I was running late to make the screening, so I painted on my vintage GAP jeans (the ones that make my ass look great), walked the dog, hopped on my bike and was off. See, since I was late and this was a film fest screening, there would likely be an introductory speech before the film screened. If I was going to inch my way through the crowd in a front row seat (excuse me…’scuse me, sir…pardon me…sorry, thank you…) and draw a lot of attention to myself, might as well make sure my ass looked good.
So I got to the cinematheque, which is sort of Tel Aviv’s arthouse multiplex…and it was dead. The guard told me nothing was going on, but I insisted the screening was going on. He let me in, and I went upstairs and into an in-progress screening of….Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works.” 😦 Sure enough, I checked the Cinematheque guide, and the screening was LAST NIGHT.
How I got that wrong, I’m not sure. But, oh well. I txt’d my friend Ronnie, and asked him if they were still at Max Brenner’s. He txt’d me back Dude, that was last night.
Eff, man !!! There actually was a Plan C. My friend Danny had introduced me to this weekly gay party in 2012 Bar called “Beef,” and I really liked it. It’s a leather party. Hot guys, amazing music. And it’s on Thursdays, so I could always go there. And had I gone straight there, I probably would’ve been fine. But, you know – it was a big double-whammy I just had. Not connecting with my whole fam at T6 like I had been expecting to was a big disappointment. But I thought I had plans (natch, double-plans), and so I wasn’t gutted about the whole thing. But when I took the back-to-back hits of finding out both the screening and birthday parties were last night and I had missed them both, it was like *WHOMP !*, and I was suddenly feeling sad & lonely. Sad & lonely is not a good mindset for me to walk into a bar with. So, thankfully I remembered to do the next right thing, and I called my friend Anna. Voicemail. Dang, but I left one. Then, I did the nexter, righter thing and called my sponsor. He had gone to bed early (it was 11:00 p.m. by this point), but picked up. I brought him up to speed. It was a short phone call, but it was all I needed; just not to be alone with the feelings and to tell another person how I was feeling really stabilized me. I told him what I planned to do next, and he told me to have a great time. And so I hopped on the bike and was off! (It was a good week for music, what with new albums dropping from Glambert, Gaga, SuBo and RiRi, so I was jammin on the bike ride over.)
I got there early, and the place was still empty. But I saw my friend Russell there, so I went to his booth and started talking with him and his husband Avi. Actually I didn’t really know Russell yet. We were FB friends and had been introduced, but never really hung yet. Russell’s kinda famous in the gay community in Tel Aviv, I think. I didn’t discuss this with him yet, but his lawsuit to have his marriage (to a same sex partner) recognized in Israel went all the way to the Supreme Court in Israel and was successful. Anyway, we got a chance to talk, and I really like him.
So, it’s only recently that I’ve really started going out in Tel Aviv. My first six months, I was doing full-time ulpan (intensive language school) in the mornings, then working afternoons-thru-evening, then doing Hebrew homework at night. Throw in blogging and my articles for iGoogledIsrael, and there just wasn’t much time for it. But I’m taking a break from my Hebrew education, and – although my mornings are still packed with creative writing and working on a memoir of how I made Aliyah in a span of 5 minutes – there is some time to sleep in now, if I want to go out. And I’m starting to meet some people, and see them out and about and get introduced to more people, and then introduced to more people through them, and…
So, anyway, the place starts to fill up, and I’m having a good time, and then suddenly my BlackBerry vibrates. OMG, it was my cousin Pamela returning my instant message !!! When I was trying every way I could think of to connect with the fam, I remembered she was a BBerry Girl, and I tried I.M.’ng her, but she didn’t respond. Until now, that is! So, suddenly we’re IM’ng and I come alive. I mean, my heart is just filled with love and meaning.
It may not have been the connection I was expecting – with the whole family in full-on video and audio – and instead it was typing with thumbs on an itty-bitty keyboard to one cousin while being surrounded with men in leather, but it was enough.
More than enough, actually. It made my whole night. (Thank you, Pammie !!!) And so, my cousin sends me through the I.M. first a pic of my first-cousin-once-removed Dayton. And then, she sends me my little niece Alexa; both from the dinner table. And so, I snap a pic of my surroundings to send back. but – even though the flash goes off and sort of embarasses me – it’s too dark for it to come out very good. So, I have to go for this: there are three bartenders in the main room. An ugly one, a really cute one, and an *cue angelic music* truly holy Adonnis type one (in the pic above that opens the post). I tell a friend my plan and get the boost of encouragement I needed. I go up and explain to him that I’m I.M.’ng with my cuz from the Thanksgiving dinner table and she’s just sent me two pics of my little nieces, and I just have to reply with a pic of my surrounding – namely, hot men in leather, and it’s gotta be him and well, would he pose for me? Luckily, he’s not the shy type, and he gives me a good one, and I snap it. I tell you, it was more embarassing having the flash go off and looking like a goober cheeseball tourist in front of everyone else doing what they wish they had the balls to do photographing the hot bartender. But it was worth it. After this, I was feeling some serious mojo kick in, and I later went back up to the bartender and showed him the I.M. thread, and he told me to friend request him on Facebook.
Seriously – why shouldn’t I be with a guy this hot ??? So, after this my whole night just kicks into overdrive. I’m so high from the family connection that my vibes make me really attractive to everyone in the bar, and I’m meeting guys left and right. I ask Pam what we should do – is a Skype still possible at this point? She’s like Yeah, but hurry. Jen wants to put the kids to bed. But I’m about 15-20 minutes away from home by bike, and then I’d have to take the dog out, and then boot up the PC, and I couldn’t make a Skype happen before at least a half hour at the earliest. Plus, I kinda didn’t want to leave the bar. The night was in full swing, and I was lovin it. Pam didn’t twist my arm and said, Nah, let’s just bag it. Right answer, PammiePoo !!
I saw my friend Ron, and I talked to him a little bit in Hebrew first, and he paid me the hugest compliment. He said You know, some people might make fun of your [totally sucky] Hebrew, but let me tell you something: I think it’s a really brave thing you did, moving all the way here and starting a new life at your age, and so does everyone else. They won’t admit it, but everyone looks up to you for what you did, because it’s really important for Israel, and we appreciate what you’ve done. You’ll have a better life here, more opportunity than you would in America. I was not expecting this from him, and it made me feel terrific.
So, anyway, then I rode home, walked the dog…and surfed the ‘Net for two hours, b/c I was so wired up. I still wished I’d had a chance to see and talk with everyone in my amazing family, but it was amazing in its own right how my night went from sad & lonely to maybe my best night out in Tel Aviv yet.
Thanks to H.P., Shuki, Anna, Russell, Jacques & Shoham, שמאי, Eliad, Danny, & Pamela !!!