A Tour Begins (In a Recap)

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This was when it began for the very last time. The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star kicked off this weekend.

It was a hot week on all fronts.

Further hotness was found in the form of male model Clint Mauro.

Cool off with a little rain.

Closer to the end of the month marks my birthday. The Big 4-0. Get me something pretty.

Drama in Chatham!

This kind of heat goes for Miles.

Cross country summer heat with Suzie.

Eric Angelo is practically an angel. A hot angel.

The soft opening.

Steve Grand gets named as Hunk of the Day for the second time.

August 1, 2015 marked the first night of the last tour.

Things are about to get delusional… and dreamy.

All you wonderful people out there in the dark.

The Preamble.

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The Entrance of a Rock Star

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I feel you. Yes, you. Out there, in the dark, holding up your lighters and your phones and all the hope in the world. You lift me up, you give me power, you give me glory. Arms outstretched, arms welcoming the sky, arms welcoming the night, the moon, the stars and the sun again.

I feel you. You, shouting my name, shouting for more, shouting like your life depends on it. You scream the lifeblood of mercy. You scream for redemption, for all the unredeemable things we’ve done. You scream to feel again. I scream back.

And I still feel you. Waves of adoration like love lapping at the shore of the spotlight. Riotous applause and raucous cheers, all that excitement feeding on itself, a frenzy of grasping hands, desperate grabs for a piece of it, ravenous appetites and the morsel of a wink and smile.

Do you feel it? In the air, in the night wind, in the height of summer, and the sprawling year before another summer arrives?

Listen for it. Wait for it. Prepare for it.

Star-fucked vainglory.

Delusions of grandeur.

Absolute annihilation.

The very last time.

THE DELUSIONAL GRANDEUR TOUR: LAST STAND OF A ROCK STAR

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The Delusional Preamble

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PREAMBLE:

It begins with a girl dancing. The choreographed abandon is limited only by the pastel confines of her bedroom. ‘Baba O’Riley’ is blasting over the stereo, and the girl thrashes wildly in carefully-executed movements. You’d almost think it was unstaged, yet this is practice. Each motion is deliberate. Each exercise is calculated. Each toss of her hair absolutely planned. The end result, though, is the look of sheer unbridled wildness, a thrashing of controlled chaos. She would make the world think she had lost control, and she’d hold that world in the palm of her hand.

She spins round and round, jumping up and down, while those iconic guitar chords herald the arrival of something magnificent. She mouths the words, “Teenage wasteland,” and stops. It won’t work. It won’t be enough. She looks in the mirror as the music plays. She pulls off her blouse, tugs her skirt down, and stands there in a bra and underwear. As the familiar musical progression sounds again, she modifies her movements now that she is free from the binds of her Catholic school-girl uniform. It is at that moment when she realizes what must be done.

A pounding on the door, and then the sharp words of her father: “Madonna, get ready for school.”

The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star

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Dreams & Delusions

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Once

upon

a

time…

Once

upon

a

dream…

A dream is a wish…

Dream away…

Dream dream dream…

I know you,

I walked with you once upon a dream

I know you,

that look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam

And I know it’s true

that visions are seldom all they seem

But if I know you, I know what you’ll do

You’ll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream

But if I know you, I know what you’ll do

You’ll love me at once

The way you did once upon a dream

- Jack Lawrence

 

“That’s the whole point.

We know the outcome, but we don’t know when, or where,

or who will be there when it finally happens.

It’s a Suicide Tour.

I’m old, I’m sad – that’s on a good day.

I want out of this mess.

But I don’t want to fade away, I want to flame away -

I want my death to be an attraction,

a spectacle, a mystery. A work of art.

Suicide is a weapon; that we all know.

But what about an art?” ~ Jennifer Egan

 

The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star

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The Delusional Grandeur Tour Kicks Off

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Kindly take your seats, and hold onto your hats.

This is The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star

The title is both facetious (I’m not really a Rock Star, duh) and prophetically accurate (I am delusional, and grand). As the Tour goes on, you’ll see that something deeper is at work, and it’s the culmination of all the other tours that came before this one, neatly tying things up with one of the boldest confessions I’ve made. It wasn’t an easy journey, and there may not be a happy ending, but there is magic to be found along the way, and the sort of enchantment that only comes from taking a trip together.

Let’s begin with a tease of what’s to come:

The Table of Contents

  • 1) INTRO/CURTAIN
  • 2) SUNSET POOL
  • 3) ON THE ROAD HOTEL
  • 4) ROCK STAR ADDICT
  • 5) ANIMAL DEMONS
  • 6) STEAM PUNK BIRDCAGE
  • 7) RED RIDING WOOD
  • 8) WINTER TOP HAT
  • 9) WARRIOR RETRIBUTION
  • 10) GLAMOUR FASHION
  • 11) SAMSARA HEALING WATER
  • 12) SPRING SALVATION
  • 13) FLOWER BOMB BALM

As the curtain rises this one final time, I invite you to come along for the ride.

Something special is in the offing,

something poignant rides on this wind,

and something tells me this is going to be the best one of them all.

The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star

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Hunk of the Day: Steve Grand, One More Time

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Sometimes a Speedo is just enough to make you a Hunk of the Day for a second time, especially when someone like Steve Grand is filling it. The featured photo here has drawn some questionable criticism from the ridiculously-critical gay crowd, who feel he might be playing up to gay stereotypes. Personally, I’ve never heard anything so ludicrous. The guy looks hot in skimpy swim wear! Show it off!

So many people are so quick to find fault with anything and everything, typing away behind their anonymous screen names, trolling and scrolling with ill-intent and self-serving sassiness. I piss on all that. Mr. Grand, you are fierce and fine and you rock that swimsuit better than anyone. Let he who can fill such a Speedo cast the first bone.

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The Soft Opening

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Tomorrow marks the kick-off to The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star. To celebrate, we’re having a few people over for a little gathering, a smaller more-intimate vibe to open things up. Such a ‘soft opening’ is a lady-like dipping of my toes into the touring pool, a gingerly testing of the water so to speak. I’ll open hard in Boston and Cape Cod a few weeks later, but for now we begin at home. The way the Delusional Grandeur Tour posts will work is that whenever I go somewhere, I’ll post a few more pages from the Tour Book, along with more expansive photos that weren’t included. In other words, don’t fret if you don’t get to see the Tour Book in person – you’ll get to see much more right here. (Of course if you want your own hard copy, I may be putting up a misprinted version for sale – one of the pages is out of order but otherwise it’s practically perfect. Inquire directly if you are seriously interested. Or look for it on eBay one of these days.)

In between the official Tour Book posts will be the Tour Stop posts, in which I’ll regale you with tales from the road. (In essence, it will be the same shit I post here whenever I go away, simply marked under the umbrage of a ‘tour’. Hence the ‘Delusional’ aspect of just about everything you will see here.)

Basically, we’re going to do this tour together, you and I. Come along for the ride, if you would. The road is far less lonelier that way.

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Hunk of the Day: Eric Angelo

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His fans are hailed as Angels, and our Hunk of the Day seems more than heavenly enough to earn his accolades. This is Eric Angelo, a photographer and model who knows both ends of the camera, and knows them quite well. Witness his sultry gaze, the way he plays to his best angles. Witness the contour of his poses, the way he finds the light. There is a skill and an art to posing. You can’t just stand there. Or lie there. Not if you want results. Not if you want to make magic. Even looking pretty requires a little work.

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Summer Memories: Montana

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We’d left Seattle in the morning, having loaded most of what Suzie had into the big white Volvo not quite worthy of the name Bessie. The start of our whirlwind cross-country trip, transporting her back East after a year of food prep in Seattle, was on a sunny day in August, auspicious with its bright skies, but quickly overbearing in the heat once we distanced ourselves from the West Coast. Such heat came on strong, and left the oversized Volvo gasping for overheated breath. Do you know what you are supposed to do when a car overheats? Turn on the heater. Yeah, I know. Me in a Volvo, in the high heat of summer in Montana, with the fucking heater on. It was 85 degrees outside, and 90 degrees inside the car. I was not having it, and but for Suzie I would have ditched the whole idea and high-tailed it to the nearest airport. But Suzie has a way of making even the unbearable a worth-having adventure. After a few hairy pauses to let Bessie cool off, we glided into a beautiful afternoon.

Fields of sunflowers lifted their faces to their namesake. Golden and resplendent in the light, it felt a little like Oz, and my wonder at the world, in of all places Montana, raised my sweaty spirits. I was racing back to see a boy I barely remember, and at the time barely knew, but we’d had a very enjoyable first date, and at my age I was ever on the verge of being crazy in love, and wanted nothing more than to believe that this was The One. I didn’t tell Suzie that was the reason for my hastily avoiding every stop or proposed diner-pie moment. I was in no mood for the dinosaurs of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and if I have the slightest regret in my life it may be in not stopping along the way.

We ducked behind high outcroppings of rocks that hid us in shadow, but there were no trees to shade our way. It was so different from the East Coast, and I was fascinated and entranced. We had driven most of the day, and most of it through Montana. Vast, unyielding, relentless Montana. The name still conjures endless vistas of clay-colored rock, and unmitigated sunshine. As it neared sunset, we started to feel a little peckish for dinner and a place to lay our heads for the night.

A silly pop song – the song of that summer – played on the radio, and neither of us had a boy to call our own. Not yet. My heart hoped, of course, like it always did, and who knew what rumbles of yearning ran through Suzie’s hidden emotions, but we were happy enough just being together on the road, in that enormous Volvo, and suddenly panicking that we might not find a hotel even this far removed from the great National Parks below us. Eventually we did, just as the light left the sky. A sad and sterile Motel 6 or Super 8, whose worst affront was not the small pack of fruit flies near the bathroom sink but the sheer dullness of such massive mediocrity poised unspectacularly in the midst of our sprawling country. This was why people killed themselves, I thought briefly, before giggling at the drama of it all.

We slept well that night. The sleep of summer is often misunderstood to pale in comparison to the warm slumber of winter, but I’ve always known that summer sleep is the deepest sleep, especially after a day at the beach, or the pool, or an overheated car. The next morning we were speeding east, leaving Seattle in our memories, hurtling toward a few more summer memories-in-the-making. Like the season itself, our cross-country trek was over much too quickly. Like college. Or my relationship with that sweet boy. Or those endless fields of sunflowers that now only occasionally tease and taunt me with their whorls of seeds to come.

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Hunk of the Day: Boston Miles

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Born in Atlanta, GA and raised in Mystic, CT, I’m not sure who or why Boston Miles chose his name, but it’s a good one, so just enjoy it. As an adult entertainer, Mr. Miles has several pre-conceived notions against him, which I’ve always thought was unfair. We are so quick to judge and condemn. I’m more concerned with how he treats other people, and the fact that he abhors incorrect grammar. That’s what’s important, not how a man makes a living. Every profession is noble if you take pride in your work. That goes doubly for gay porn. Congratulations to Miles on being named Hunk of the Day.

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Crack of a Devil’s Ass

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This video always cracks me up, and on a day when it’s supposed to hit 96 degrees it’s a very fitting one. I want to hang out with this lady.

One question: Who the hell is paying for this damn meat??

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Summer Memories: Drama in Chatham

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The first time I went to a production at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham, NY was the day I told my parents that I was gay. Well, it was the day they read the first draft of a letter-to-the-editor in which I said I was gay. It was also the day they told me they wished I wouldn’t publish it. That night, my Mom had tickets to some musical revue at the Mac-Haydn, purchased and planned at a prior time, so we took the long awkward ride into the beautiful rolling hills of Chatham. It was a quiet drive, one in which I contemplated keeping silent to appease my parents, while struggling with the very real need to reveal who I really was.

We drove along the verdant roads, past tall fields of corn on the verge of being harvested, by ponds dotted with wild geese. Nodding umbrels of Queen Ann’s lace drooped after the hot sun of the day. Fuchsia-tinged thistles lifted their sharp leaves upward. The sky was a bright blue, holding a few puffy clouds, and the air was still. In the heat of high summer, it was better not to move too much. It was easier that way. More comfortable. The effort of sending out ripples sometimes feels more onerous than letting things lie.

I don’t remember much of the performance that evening. One thing that does stick out in my head was the oppressive heat, still lingering even after the sun went down. Sweat was pouring off the performers. One must have wiped it off between numbers a little too quickly and carelessly, as he returned to stage with a big piece of paper towel still stuck to his forehead. It was all I could focus on; my mind was entirely elsewhere. Bothered by the expected, but still unexpected, lack of support by my parents, bothered by the confines of upstate New York, which seemed to stretch out and sprawl forever, but held onto its small-minded lack of acceptance as if it was all that mattered, I couldn’t pretend to care about singing and dancing. I wasn’t that strong yet.

At intermission, I mulled around the little lobby area, lingering until the last possible moment. The lights went down and we were shrouded in darkness. The show began again, and for another hour we could pretend that nothing was wrong. And really, what was wrong? The simple fact that I was gay? Or the act of me wanting to tell the world? It was probably a little of both.

The ride home, in the kind of all-enveloping darkness that can only be found in the country, was equally quiet.

The next day I hand-delivered my letter to the local newspaper. I was directly defying my parents’ wishes. I was deliberately disobeying the two people who raised me. I felt guilty, and sad, and hurt – and like the biggest weight had just been lifted from my shoulders. It was one of the best decisions I’d ever made in my life – and it saved me. When you can’t count on anyone else to do it, sometimes you have to save yourself.

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Even Her Out-Takes are Gold

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This past weekend, an amazing archive of some lost footage from Madonna’s ‘Vogue‘ video hit the web, and it was a mesmerizing reminder of what made the woman such an icon for such a long time. Recently, this additional footage from her ‘Rain’ video was posted. Together, they are like a forgotten bag of jewels, brought to light and polished up for a new generation.

Who knows what other gems lurk in the archives of Madonna’s creative output? Surely there are riches beyond our wildest imagination, rare and unseen snippets of other classics. Little glimpses behind the curtain, a subtle lift of the veil. I live for this sort of thing.

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Hunk of the Day: Clint Mauro

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Does it hurt to be so pretty? I wonder if the physically perfect feel the weight to be perfect in other ways, if it weighs down on them, or simply elevates the way they feel their place in the world. It is a gift to be blessed with such beauty, or so I would imagine, but I can’t say I know for sure. Clint Mauro, our Hunk of the Day, may have more insight into that. He is probably best known for an impressive Armani underwear campaign, in which he put these poses to good use.

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Time to Sweat

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The heat is on, and it’s not just on the street. It’s absolutely everywhere. Every-fucking-where. Like, there is no escape. It reminds me of a heatwave that swept through Chicago when I visited one summer. It was the kind of sticky heat that soaked you in sweat within minutes of walking outside. It literally took me hours to make it halfway through the Magnificent Mile, as I ducked into every store along the way for the sanctuary of air conditioning. I went into places I never wanted to see – Nine West, Escada, every single bank (because banks are the coolest places in the summer). Foot by foot I padded along in the oppressive Chicago heat, seeking relief wherever it could be found. (Notably in an extended stay within Crate & Barrel, where I think they began to fear I had moved in.) I’ve been in some hot places over the years – the Philippines, San Juan, Miami, and an overheated Volvo on a cross-country jaunt in August – but I’ve never been quite as hot as those few days in a Chicago heatwave.

This week looks to be a hot one here. My ties only last about half the day. My thoughts wander to water, to lapping waves, to a sparkling pool. Everything sweats in this heat. Windows, glasses, grocery bags. We seek out respites of coolness, shadowy spots of relief, and when we find them we pause. Summer has a way of stilling things like that. It’s one of its best secrets.

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