Here is the recurring cast of the diary.
Tony is my best friend. I tend to shy away from using terms like best friend, but if a best friend is someone with whom you get on quite well with, are like family, and hear from all the time (i.e., more than weekly), and upon whom you can rely without fail, then Tony qualifies. I suppose I have had a lot of best friends over the years, but I have known Tony since October 1990. That is almost a decade of nearly trouble-free friendship and no big gaps in contact. Tony is a xenophile polyglot like me, but much better travelled, and he is very, very funny. Tony also has his own Homepage on Geocities.
I don't want my friends unnecessarily embarassed by my writing about them, so I tend to use initials. L1 is a friend of mine from Queens College's graduate school of library science. She is, by her own admission, "a really cool chick." She and I often go on dates -- movies and dinner. Like me, she is a book egg. She also loves alternative music, like Throwing Muses and Ani de Franco.
L2 is another friend of mine, whom I have known since January 1998, and with whom I work. She was here from the West Coast, and moved back in March 2000. She is a real dynamo. In her orbit are/were her (ex)boyfriend, P2, and N, a close girlfriend of hers whom I also have grown to like a lot.
P is a friend of mine I met last year at the gay shul, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah. He is from another country, and grew up in under an oppressive regime. His thinking is a bit off now and then, but very often very on. He knows an awful lot of people. Coming from a British-based culture, he has a bit of a different outlook on things here in New York City. He also tends to just walk up to complete strangers and introduce himself. That's pretty much how I met him.
UPDATE: P became a tiresome, inconsiderate boor and bore, and unfortunately, I took the coward's way out and decided to not return his phone calls as of December 1999. Let's just chalk it up to his not being Y2K compliant.
My day job is with a publishing company. For a variety of reasons, I am keeping this stuff anonymous. It's not the worst job I ever had. It can be pretty crazy but it does not require me to work 12-hour days on a regular basis. I also get to go on some business trips now and then, including two to the UK. Of the people there, I am particularly fond of Maggie, who left our shores in April 1999. Maggie, L1, and L2 are enthusiastic followers of my written exploits. It also allows me to pursue other things, like the next entry.
UPDATE: I have since moved on to a new publishing company. The other one was sold, and after many reassurances that nothing would change, the bloodletting began. I got out before the Saracens got to my door.
Since January 1999 I have been writing regularly for LGNY, a fortnightly gay and lesbian newspaper for the NYC metropolitan area. Being involved at the newspaper has injected me into the bloodstream of local and even national gay activism, which is exactly what I wanted to do. Because their names are in the masthead, it makes no sense to "hide" anything regarding them. I don't mention anything scandalous or horrifying. They are way too busy to be scandalous, anyway. I often go in on the production evenings of the newspaper. Like my college newspaper, I find that you really get to know people when you are up all night with them. Paul and Troy are not pretentious, and if they were, they wouldn't be able to keep the pretense going for more than 12 hours. Being up all night means not being able to hide a thing. For example, everyone now knows I snore when I fall asleep on my back.
I have become a recidivist when it comes to travel. Cheap airfares. Cousins. Friends. I have lots of people to visit when I go there, whish is why I have been there three times in 12 months. Thanks to Chanton.com, I found a variety of penpals there. So I have met people in Scotland, Wales, and England.
Thanks to the Internet, I have met a variety of people, both domestic and foreign. I have penpals in North Carolina, Kansas, Iowa, Chicago, the UK, Israel, and Poland. Most of them are gay. I find it a very interesting way to share information.
I come from a typical suburban family. I am the family genealogist, and that puts me in touch with a lot of the extended family. I do notice the horrible inverse proportion of feeling. The more distant the relation, the less trouble I seem to have with them. Still, I get along with them. In 1993 my parents and brother came along to the Gay Pride Parade, since I helped with the Center's float that year of their tenth anniversary.
What can I say? The city plays a major role in this tale of my life. There's a lot of things wrong with New York, but I am lucky to live in one of the most unique cities in the world. I was born here, on Staten Island. I have lived my whole life in the archipelago here. There is a chance that before my adoption at the age of 4.5 months I was in Westchester, but since the agency won't fess up to anything, I am happy to claim lifelong archipelago resident status.
New York is full of cutiepies, and even in my middle age (35), there are furtive glances on the street, in both directions. Every now and then I am subjected to a stray bit of business, but very infrequently. They are related here as well. Nothing vulgar or vivid, but enough to remind you that this is indeed a gay website.
These are my two black cats. Yes, I am one of those cat nuts. In my experience, though, I have found that cats are more loving and loyal than...
This is the euphemism I have assigned my ex-lover. He gets mentioned from time to time, and is a major part of my coming out story. For the record: I have not seen Knucklehead in seven years. But it's good to have a bete noire for reference now and then. About every two months I dream that I have done something with him and I wake up thinking, "Thank god that didn't really happen."
Well, sadly, my only regular readers seem to be Tony, a cousin in Maryland, and some unknowns out there in Sweden, Slovenia, Germany, Spain, and Yale University, according to my Nedstat counts. So I am grateful to have you reading this far.