Ever been on a great date? What’s that like?
H. Alan Scott (Huffington Post, Celebrity Twitter Directory, Time Out’s “Joke of the Week,” SRSLY LOL, and Oprah said his name), brings you a webisode about a gay man searching for a traditional romance in a world filled with assholes. (Ed note: No, really, literal photos of assholes, on the phone. On MY phone.)
WARNING TO FUTURE NYC TRANSPLANTS: You will be charged a New York City tax to live here. It’s true, and kind of ingenious. Not only is the rent “Too Damn High,” but they stiff with you a city tax. I learned this horrible reality last April when I filed my taxes.
“You owe the city of New York $870,” the H & R Block lady told me.
“The city of New York owes me a competent Mayor and a reliable transportation system, but you don’t see me billing City Hall!”
I finally got around to paying the bill (figured I’d make them beg for it, turns out they don’t beg, just issue warrants), but they don’t make it easy.
I was prepared to pay online, but a magical assessment number was needed. Naturally I waited to do this whole process until after the tax offices were closed for the evening. I went through mounds of paperwork, nowhere was this magic number.
Hour after hour I searched, through papers, online, nothing! With each passing hour it became more and more apparent, I’m totally an adult. Yes, at 28, I am still young. Sure, I could call my Mom for help, but that’s pathetic. At 28 you can still claim to be young, but you’re too old to fuck up. It’s the “No Fuck Up,” age. If this happened to me at 22, people would think, “Okay, you’re stupid, but young.” Now I’m just stupid.
The next morning I talked to a lovely woman in the tax office who promptly gave me my assessment number and explained the process to me. And then I paid the man, aka the state, their money.
Essentially I gave New York a $870 Christmas present. Honestly though, it’s sort of worth it, because no other city in the world compares to New York City (except for maybe Atlanta, but that’s only because it’s where Fresca comes from).
I used to hide the music that made me seem gay. If I had a friend (or “friend”) over, I’d make sure that Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, especially Bette Midler, were all well hidden in the closet (typical, right?). What was left were a handful of Bob Dylan albums, some Tom Petty, and a Led Zepplin album that I never listened to but got from my brother for the very purpose of masking my actual musical interests (strangly enough, that Led Zepplin was the catalyst that sparked the interest in the dude I lost my virginity too, so, thanks Led Zepplin! wait, it’s probably not a person.)
Music continued to be the ultimate indicator of gayness, even as I got older. Back in the day, everybody was into Dave Matthew’s Band. I never got it. I gravitated towards the alternative rockers, a lot of them lesbians. Indigo Girls were big, Tegan & Sara, Tracy Chapman is another one. But again, when you’re trying to be cool, just one of the guys, it’s really hard to make a convincing argument for Melissa Etheridge.
Then I discovered R&B. Wow! The very essence of old school R&B was just feeling the music, no matter who you were. The music made you move, feel, get sad, get crazy. Aretha (oh holy hell, Aretha!), Sam Cooke, Rufus Thomas (“Walking the Dog), Otis Redding, The Supremes, Carla Thomas (“Any Day Now”), Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, etc. This is the universal music, it inspired everybody, mainly because it was created out of respect for artists before them, respect for truth, respect for emotions, and respect for whatever makes you feel something (even if it is just to dance). There’s a reason why it’s often called “Soul,” it comes from the soul, it comes from truth, and it comes from the freedom to be who you are and what you feel.
And it was R&B that gave me the courage to stand up for whatever I thought was good. I can love Madonna, Indigo Girls, Tina Turner, Sam and Dave, Bright Eyes, Jenny Lewis, and Aretha, with pride! There’s something pretty amazing about jumping from Lady Gaga to Carla Thomas, and then seeing the similarities between the two.
Music is meant to make you feel something, not make you feel insecure about what everybody else thinks is good or bad.
FYI – if you’re ever in NYC on a Friday night, go see Naomi Shelton at Fat Cats in the West Village (75 Christopher St), at 9pm. You will be blown away!
“Ok! See you there. I’ll text again when I’m close. Yay, so exciting,” said the text.
I got to the bar early. (waiting. waiting. waiting. phone rings, it’s mom)
“Scott, I had trouble getting a hold of you earlier so I wrote the message on your Facebook wall.” (do they make a facebook for dummies book? they should!) “But I just wanted to let you know that your father has had a mini heart attack.” (what?! this is such bad timing! and you wrote that on my facebook page?!)
Turns out he’s fine, needs rest, can’t exert much energy on anything. Bed rest, best medicine.
Then he appeared.
“So nice to see you.”
“I know, it’s so good to see you too.” (he’s cute. should I tell him about the heart attack? no, don’t be a debbie downer.) “So my mom just told me my dad had a heart attack.” (i’m a fool.)
We pushed through, got a drink. Conversation going well. (wow, he’s really cute.)
“Yeah, so I try to stay healthy, I’m an avid runner, work out a lot, eat right.” (except for those 2 massive slices of pizza i had earlier in the evening. do not mention this, it is not attractive.)
He’s looking into my eyes. He likes how blue they are. There’s silence. This guy is into me. It’s still silent. (should i say something? do i have something in my teeth?) “Engage,” I say, then laugh, awkwardly. (note to self, do not dramatically say engage to spur conversation, you’ll just wind up looking like a douche bag).
Break the tension, “Wow, I’ve got indigestion from that pizza I had earlier.” (way to not bring up the pizza from earlier!)
Awkward moments galore, but things are still going well. A kiss is on the horizon. Well, more than a kiss, good, old-fashioned making out will happen. I can feel it in the air. The silence is back. For a comic, silence is not golden, it’s when you’ve lost your audience. (kiss me already!) Bite the bullet, “If you wanna kiss me, you might as well go ahead and do it,” I say. (smooth)
Commence make out session.
More making out.
Make out some more.
(did I floss?)
Time to leave. We walk together down the street. (it’s so nice to be back in new york city. no city is better to date in than nyc.) I’m a lady, I don’t give up this jelly on the first date. mama taught me well. and by well i mean how to be a prude) But he digs my crazy Mormon influenced standards, which makes me dig him more. This guy is hot!
“Goodnight.” Makeout more. “Okay, really, goodnight.” Kiss again. ”Seriously now, I gotta go.” Kiss a little more. (i wonder if a terrorist homophobe is watching this blaent public display of affection and getting ready to lay some hate crime action on me? oh, who cares, this is fun!)
Commence walk home. Better said, commence giddy walk of joy home.
New York Magazine has this great feature in its current issue about noteworthy people’s arrival in NYC. I consider myself noteworthy, so I’m sure the invitation to take part in the article from NY Mag got lost in the mail. In any case, I shall share my story here.
I moved to NYC on Wednesday, November 17, 2004, however I didn’t know it at the time. I worked in politics and I had just concluded a failed U.S. Senate race in Missouri. Before my anticipated move back to Chicago, I planned on visiting my friend Lori in Philadelphia, and then my friend Dylan (and future roommate) in NYC.
I took the Chinatown bus up from Philadelphia. Dylan told me to find the Q train, but didn’t give directions through Chinatown. After many failed attempts at asking for directions (FYI – never ask for directions in Chinatown, everyone is either Chinese or a tourist), I finally stumbled upon the Q train.
It was late afternoon, the sun was just setting. The Q train came out onto the Manhattan bridge. The view of lower Manhattan took my breath away. There was no way I was going back to Chicago.
A week later I moved into a 4-bedroom apartment overlooking Prospect Park in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. It was a total culture shock for me. Here I was, a fat, gay, white, man moving into a predominantly black and Hasidic Jewish neighborhood with 3 straight guys from Little Rock, Arkansas. I wasn’t in Boystown anymore!
I took a job with a closeted gay man running for Manhattan Borough President, but didn’t really do anything at the job. I hated it, and the only reason I took it was because it paid well, I got my own office and it was in Midtown. For the first few months in NYC all I did was work and watch marathons of TV on DVD. Eventually I put down the pizza slice, discovered the benefits of living right on a park, and lost 100 lbs.
I owe NYC so much. Without it, I probably never would have lost the weight or have shifted from politics to comedy. NYC is my inspiration.
And now the American Express commercial can begin!
I’ve seen 2 Broadway shows this week. Color me cultured, right? I saw Jane Fonda in 33 Variations and then Shrek: The Musical last night. Really enjoyed both. Jane Fonda is hot, enough said. I think I shall pick up her auto-bio, she’s kinda, sorta, fantastic! And Shrek was just fun, plain and simple.
But Shrek wasn’t without a little awkwardness. Of course a lot of children were at the show, which was lovely. It was so nice to hear a kid laugh at a fart joke. That sound of utter enjoyment of something, without pretense, is amazing. Kids are so pure, I love that about them. Adults get tainted by social norm shit.
Anyway, I digress. At intermission I had to use the restroom. Standing at the urinal doing my thing, I was bookended by children. They were both at crotch level, overtly staring at what I had to offer. As I stood there, I just kept telling myself, “Do not look down Scott, don’t look down.” First off, my gay hat and scarf combo screamed faggot (however, the clogs probably were enough of a spotter), and secondly, I didn’t know if there dad wasn’t standing behind me. It literally could have been a hate crime waiting to happen.
But alas, I made it out and alright and enjoyed the rest of the show. Phew, that was a close one!
Packing stresses me out. It’s not like I have a lot of things. I have a fair amount, certainly not a small amount, but it’s pretty average for a bi-coastal fella (everytime I say “bi-coastal,” I snicker).
It’s just that, this is my life I’m looking at. Everything that I own (which isn’t very much), is laid out in front of me. I am made of H & M clothes, used books and way too many DVD’s. Of course I am worth more than that, but to literally see all of my possessions in one pile, more mound I suppose, it’s overwhelming.
I found an amazing apartment (I haven’t seen it yet, but my new roomie is fantastic, and my friend Bryan has seen it, so I feel pretty safe in saying it’s amazing).
I get to start over now. A new location. A new friend. A new bed. It’s moments like this in life that typically just float on by, it’s greatness missed on the stress of the situation. I often say, whenever I’m nervous about a performance or something, that it wouldn’t be real if I weren’t nervous. The anxiety is part of what makes stand-up comedy great. The same goes for this situation.
I am so happy.