Friday, February 24, 2012

Onward & Upward, The Sloth – Post #38

No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren’t permanent
But change is
~”Tom Sawyer,” N. Peart ‘81

Thursday 2/23/12 7:00 P.M.
At home

Normally, I’d be starting to set up for the Thursday night party right about now.  Not tonight.

Someone dropped a dime on me.  I know exactly who it is and I’m taking the time to determine what to do about it. I’m leaning toward....


My friend Basil died on Monday morning in hospice after a year-long battle with liver cirrhosis.  He was not a drinker.  His partner of 43 years (they finally got married less than a month ago), one of my closest friends in the world, left the hospice at 11PM to go home and get some rest; I left here when the party ended to go keep vigil with Basil.  I arrived at about 12:30AM and left at 6:30AM. What a surreal six hours.  I played Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for him, on my laptop, as well as some Cream, his favorite band in the 60s.  I spent most of the time propping up pillows, holding him in different positions to alleviate some of the pain, and stroking his arm, holding his hand.

I thought he would survive the next few hours, until my friend/his partner arrived, because he didn’t seem to be as close to death as I’d thought, based on my experience with being my father’s hospice nurse in 2006, who held on days longer.  Just as my friend (whom many of you know) was leaving his apartment at 10AM, he received the phone call that Bas had already passed away.

Without the two of them, I never would’ve had the courage to do what I do.  I’m not even certain I’d be alive.  Basil was part of my new family.

And it turns out that that Sunday night party may have been my last, at least for a while.


I never got an allowance from my parents, so when the ice cream man would come down our street, I was the only kid who wouldn’t gleefully run toward the truck.  They’d all be screaming, “I want a Sno-Cone!” or “How much for Bottlecaps!” while I’d be left standing on the second base manhole cover or wherever, trying not to cry.

But even as a young kid, I was a hard worker with the entrepreneurial spirit.  At age 9, I tried selling cool looking rocks, door-to-door in my neighborhood.  When that didn’t work, I colored them with crayon.  At age 10, I dug up worms in Longo’s Woods and tried to sell them to fishermen at Lake Ronkonkoma, three miles away.  Then, when I was 11, I finally found a way to make a few dollars, washing cars. I only charged $2 per car (this was in 1980), and half had to go into the bank.  At 12, I was old enough to mow lawns, so I did that in addition to raking leaves in the fall, shoveling snow in the winter (I didn’t charge the old man across the street, I just did it without telling him), and thatching lawns in the spring.  When I was 14, I had my eyes set on the paper route that was currently held by this kid Tim.  I rode my bike with him often, as he delivered the newspapers, and filled in when he went away with his family.  I inherited the route at age 15.  I never missed a day for the two years I had that job, even when I’d broken my ankle while playing Dad drove me around and I hopped up each driveway, every day until it healed.

I bought that car, a’75 Chevy Malibu, from my father when I was 16, for $1000, with the money I’d saved. 

After high school (senior year was working at Burger King), I immediately went to college while working at Sam Goody in the SmithHaven Mall and doing more odd jobs, like digging trenches for inground lawn sprinkler systems, and working as an apprentice for a locksmith.  I paid for school, myself, first two years at Suffolk Community College and the second at St. Joseph’s in Patchogue.  I bought my father’s 1981 Oldsmobile Omega, my second car.  Other college jobs included waiting tables (hardest job I've ever had), working at a psych hospital in Amityville, and as a fitness instructor at a gym. 

Nothing was ever handed to me; I had to work for it.  Even when I had a rich boyfriend in my 20s, I paid my own way.  It’s a matter of pride and independence. 


The winter of 2009 was a really tough time for me.  I’d already quit drinking two years earlier (which all but destroyed me in my 30s) and had just quit smoking in January.  The video business I’d worked so incredibly hard on wasn’t going anywhere, and then I met with a severe bout of depression.  I’ve had a lifelong condition called Dysthymia, which is basically a chronic, low-grade depression that makes one feel badly almost all the time.  With this condition, there are some peaks and valleys, but once in a while there’s a perfect storm of body chemistry and outside influence that can quickly turn into a fully blown, suicidal episode. 

That is what happened to me at about this time, three years ago.  I’d been suicidal before, but this one was the worst, the closest I’d ever come.  I had done so well since quitting drinking that I convinced myself that I had to keep going, to fix myself, no matter what I had to do.  Instead of jumping into death, I committed myself to jumping into life.

The morning of April 1st 2009, I took an earlier train on the LIRR to meet with a psychiatrist before heading to work in midtown.  As the train was pulling in, a regular-joe office type stood in front of the doors, directly centered so that I, or anyone else, could not find the room to stand next to him.  It’s obviously not a big deal, but on that morning it was.  As the doors opened, I walked past him and purposely bumped him.  He made a comment, so I pointed my finger in his face and repeatedly screamed at him, “Pick a fucking side!!!”  As I turned to walk up the steps, he said, “Oh behave.”  I turned, and when he saw the look on my face, he ran away.  It seemed to happen in slow motion; I could see his legs and arms pumping like he’d just hit the ball and was running to first base.  It wasn’t until I got to the top of the stairs that I realized he was actually running away from me.  My mind was in such a state that it seemed like a dream. 

Sitting in the psychiatrist’s waiting room, I distinctly remember staring at the arm of a couch and wondering if this would be a moment I’d remember for the rest of my life, the day I got real help.  “Fucking doubt it.”  But it was.  I began taking Lexapro that day and everything changed.

Unfortunately, so did my libido, but that’s a different post.


A couple of weeks later, I received a text from my close friend (Basil’s partner, whom I’m obviously not naming for privacy purposes), that was simply an address on Perry Street and a phone number.  I texted him back saying he must’ve meant to text a client; he replied, “Harry found an apartment for you. Call the number.” 

Harry Koutoukas was one of the most interesting people I’ve ever known.  Also another post.

If I hadn’t been on medication, there’s no way I’d have even called, much less followed through.  I left a message for the agent.  That evening, before we headed up to Troy’s Monday night party, my two friends and I found the apartment, a ground floor space.  It was almost dark out and drizzling, and we three stood silently looking through the window.  It wasn’t the largest space ever, but it still put us in a state of awe.  It was so beautiful.

I finally got the agent on the phone, next day.  Harry had led me (or perhaps I’d led myself) to believe that the rent was super-cheap.  When the agent told me how much it really was, I felt immediately deflated.  I texted my friend to say it was too much, paced for a few minutes, then texted him again with, “Unless I have parties there.  It’s big enough.”  He replied, “Then why don’t you?”  This was coming from a 70-year-old man who’s led an amazingly interesting life, and who knows a few things about how to live it.

And so I did.  I put the proverbial “one foot in front of the other” and didn’t stop.  I had to do a lot of juggling and resource-pulling.  The night before I moved back to Manhattan, I stood outside and looked up at the moon, fully appreciating the moment, and fully believing in myself (desperation can make one believe anything).  Next night, I was spending my first night in that apartment.  I hadn’t lived alone since 1997, so just having my own bathroom was incredible.  It was absolutely the happiest I’d ever been, and it was happening just as I was about to turn 40, which had been my goal since I'd quit drinking.


At Perry Street, we had 253 parties.  I’m still so amazed at that.  The apartment was right by the front door, whereby every tenant passed it, and the building agent (whom I affectiontely referred to as “Mr. Roper” because he was so nosy and ubiquitous) lived above me.   This is a testament to the type of men who come to my parties: grown adults who know how to behave properly.  I mean literally thousands of visitors, up to 35 in one evening, but usually around 20.  Not one tenant ever complained, most of whom had been in that building for decades; if even one had, “Mr. Roper” would’ve made me stop having them...and he certainly knew I had them.  He never stopped me because we never gave him a reason to.
I screen mostly on personality and maturity, rather than exclusively on body type, so that there aren’t any issues with other tenants.  My guests are grown, consenting adults, who just want to spend a fun evening away from the often overwhelming stress of the day.  There’s no yelling, no loud music, no loud TV.  I’ve managed to come this far, in part due to my work ethic and tenacity, but mostly because of you guys.
Thank you so much.

On Thursday 2/2, after the party had already ended, a late guest rang my bell.  As I normally would, I buzzed him in so I could see who it was and let him know, face-to-face, that the party was already over.  He was a first-timer and he asked to use my bathroom.  The lights were on and I was in the middle of cleaning up, but said “Sure, just please be quick,” my usual response in that situation. It isn’t exactly prudent to have a stranger in one’s house right after a party, gnome sayin’?  Anyway, he spent an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom, but I didn’t really care because I was able to continue cleaning up.  He finally opened the bathroom door, so with a rag and a bottle of Clorox in hand, I went to meet him at the door to see him out.  He proceeded to stand in front of the mirror, presumably not to fix his hair because he’s bald, but doing something that took a minute or so.  When he came out, he just stood there.  My hand was on the knob of the apartment door and he tried to start a conversation with me.  He knew I wanted him to leave, but he purposely took his time.  I thanked him for coming and opened the door for him, but he just stood there.  I told him I needed to get back to cleaning up, to which he sarcastically replied like a petulant teenager, while walking out, “Sorry I came so laaaate,” and rolling his eyes.  He’d told me his email address, which I kept repeating in my head as I was cleaning up, to remember it and remove it when I turned my computer back on.  The fact that he wasn’t height/weight proportionate wasn’t the problem for me; it was that he came across as a real creep.  I recall thinking what my friend Glenn used to say, “He ain’t riiiight.”
He came back on Sunday 2/12 when the party was in full swing.  The straight guys across the hall from me, for whatever reason, like to leave their door slightly ajar most of the time.  When I opened my door, I saw this same guy from the week before, peering inside the apartment across from me.  Sometimes a guy will tell me, “Y’know, the apartment door across from you is open,” but they don’t stand there and try to see in.  This person did.  So, of course, I was immediately annoyed.  It was a particularly busy time with guys arriving, so with such a small place to undress, any reasonable person realizes he shouldn’t dilly dally there, blocking guys from using the bathroom or getting a drink from the fridge.  We all just make it work.  This guy, though, purposely just sat there, totally taking his time, taking breaks between shoes, those sorts of things.  I told him that I need to try to keep the area clear for new guys coming in.  However, this was the type of person who evidently prefers to do the opposite of what he’s being asked to do.
By the way, men who were in the military or even Catholic school are the best; they see what the deal is and fall in line like clockwork.  I love those guys!  My father was in the Korean War, so I get it, the way I was raised.
The Sloth,” as I’ve come to call him, was certainly never in the military.  This guy was a nightmare.  It took him about 20 minutes to give me his clothes bag (as well as his knapsack with a laptop, which I promptly hid in a safe place for him), then proceeded to stand directly in front of the apartment door and wouldn’t move.  I finally said, “I’m this close to giving you your clothes back, sir.”  He pushed my buttons all night.
Toward the end of the evening, when the last guys were getting dressed, he started making sarcastic comments about my use of the computer.  I finally called him a piece of shit and told him to get the fuck out.  I gave him his bag, which he held up over his head and dropped on the floor, then walked through the curtain to the back.  I picked the bag up and took it to him.  There was one other guy here at that point, who was leaving, but The Sloth isn’t exactly an intimidating guy (tattoos are just tattoos, yo, they don’t make you tough), so I wasn’t worried for my safety.  He actually didn’t take much time to get dressed in the back, but when he came out, he nervously stuttered a threat about shutting down the parties.  By that point, I’d already started doing a background check on him.

....publishing his information, if I’m forced to leave my home.  This person is, by far, the worst guest I’ve ever had, and I would strongly urge anyone not to associate with him.  395 parties and literally thousands of guests, The Sloth is the most reprehensible.  He made “Inappropriate Guy” seem like a dream date.
People don’t realize how many guys we hosts have on our lists, how many people we can reach out to.  When I first started hosting, I thought a list was like 300 guys.  I said that to a host and he replied, “300?  Try 3000.”  My active list is 2026 and my inactive list is 3129.  They come to a grand total of 5155 gay men, in NYC and beyond. 
This is ultimately my responsibility and my own doing, but this guy has tried to ruin my life, as well as take away your parties; he has no idea how many people are now infuriated by him.  Maybe y’all should have the opportunity to tell him what you think.  At the very least, I should give his information to the other hosts, eh?  Feel free to write a “Dear Sloth” letter and I’ll publish it.

There’s nothing illegal about having a bunch of guys over for an orgy.  The problem is asking for a donation; it’s not lease compliant.  The landlord hasn’t said anything, yet, but I don’t anticipate being in this apartment much longer.  Someone tipped me off that he knows about the parties, that The Sloth made good on his threat.  What a stupid bitch.  5155 email addresses, not to mention this blog and the inevitable chatter.
This is a time for me to redefine myself, to rise above the piece of shit who ratted us all out.  In which case, I’m selling the DVDs from the °X° parties, instead of giving them away.  I hope you’ll support me.  The DVDs are very hot.  Shoot me an email if interested.  I’ll probably be using the Google version of PayPal, which is called Checkout.
I have two young kitties depending on me.
And thank you so much for all of your support through the years.  You’ve given me a happy life.
Peace out.

The Örgy Guy

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