Saturday, August 29, 2009
Leave it to Ang Lee to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Woodstock with Taking Woodstock which is the bio pic movie of Elliott Teichberg in 1969 who decided to get Woodstock in his own back yard in order to help save his Mom & Dad's motel business.. so to speak since the other place in upstate New York was a deal breaker.
Demetri Martin is a bit between Michael Cera and Robert Schwartzman which makes him adorable all the way through the film. To bad it couldn't have been fiction, though. I would have loved for his character to have hooked up with Nam wounded Emile Hirche's character. It would have been electric. Oh, Elliot hooks up with someone, even falls into a threesome with Paul Dano and Kelli Garner on an acid trip.
This was a thrill to watch. I enjoyed seeing how the concert came about. Jonathan Groff is Michael Lang with that amazing hair riding in ..not only on a motor cycle but a stallian or two as well, and Lang put the cash up front. Thus got the ball rolling for Woodstock. Yet again, if it had been fiction it would have been great fun to see Groff & Martin's characters hook up. I know..I'm just silly, but it still would have been fun.
Really, its a quirky film. A sweet little trip back to where it all started. With wonderful performances by Hirche, Groff, Martin and don't forget Liev Schreiber as crossdressing Vilma. Its such a cool movie.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Alex Sanchez is ground breaking in young adult fiction with his trilogy of the rainbow boys. Kyle, Nelson and Jason.
My favorite in the series was Nelson who was always changing up his hair and fearless too. His mother supported him so much. While Kyle is from a nuclear background with a Mom and Dad who were trying to understand his coming out in high school. And of course, Kyle was the luckiest guy in the world to find jock Jason who came from a background where homosexuality was not tolerated and had a girlfriend. It was great that he could find these types to write about and bring to life in the series. Too bad it couldn't be a TV series.
Naturally, I could read about these 3 characters again and again.
Really, Mr. Sanchez has put himself out there to make way in young adult fiction with real characters of teens who are coming out and of course showing strength and responsibility in their choices in life. He definitely is moving, in his writing and you can easily fall in love with his characters.
I highly recommend the trilogy.
an excerpt from Rainbow Boys
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Why hadn't he seen him before? He didn't dare ask. More snickers from his league that patroled for new blood. And they would have asked, "Well, what of you and Andrew? Isn't that set in stone?"
Heath had to keep his wits about him at the party. He'd smoked far too many cigarettes as it was, and Andrew would have told him his nerves were shot. Maybe they were, but he was away and Heath wasn't under his thumb at the moment. And, and there he was. Like a scared little lamb.
Heath was sure of it. Brand new. The freshest of the Freshman. Not doubt. Heath couldn't help but stare. A part of him felt as a vampire with a victim within his reach. He could imagine his lips on his. It was waiting to happen. But then he scared the poor fool to death.
"You are 18, aren't you?" Heath saw him nod. "And your major?" Didn't it always happen this way at a party? Someone asked you about your major. Lameo crap.
"Undeclared." Awesome thought Heath. He must have meant to have said that. And the blondie had set there staring at Heath's card with his name and number. He didn't shred it into bits and throw it back in his face. It was settled. Maybe he'd get a call back. Just maybe.
Heath wondered around in the dark of the party after that. Catching glimpses of him from time to time, but not another encounter. He didn't want to look as if he were...possibly desperate.
It was very late when he got to the all night diner which was more of a hen's fest than anything. He met up with Wyona who was acting rather aloof. She was dating no one at the moment.
All her online lovers were on vacation, perhaps.
"You mean you didn't get lucky?" She finally smiled at him with her rich red lipstick still in place. She looked like a golden age Hollywood starlet. All she needed was a cigarette, and Heath could give her one if she wanted.
"Do I ever?"
"You have Andrew." She looked at him disappointed.
"Andrew. Andrew. Andrew." Heath fumed. "Everyone acts like he's a god of some kind."
"He's head of the drama department, how lucky can you be?" She brushed her silky black chin length hair behind her ear.
"Its not perfect." Heath was a bit pouty.
"But you're such a good wife." She grinned.
"Stop it." Heath winced. He didn't like that word.
He was going home to an empty house which he was so happy about. He wanted to be gone before Andrew got back. If he had the will, he would. He should, but he knew he wouldn't. It was as if it wouldn't be a home without the fighting.
Heath woke up to the smell smoke. His t-shirt was almost on fire.
"Shit! Shit! Shit!" He jumped up from the bed and flung the t-shirt over his head and on the floor. It was on fire. "Fuck! Fuck!" He screamed then, stomping it out. He was still in his thick black boots.
He saw himself in the bathroom mirror then across the way. Even if he were still in Andrew's bedroom. His black hair was standing straight up. It looked so pathetic and beyond Elvis. Evidently. He remembered the beautiful boy's blond hair. It was real, and he was the kind of real that had no idea he was even beautiful at all. If only he'd call.
He wasn't. Heath knew. He got in the shower and decided to dye his hair. He knew a thing or two about going from black to blond. Of course, four hours later he was wondering what went wrong. He called Wyona finally.
"You should have called me when you first wanted to do this." She looked at him disappointed.
"You're right, but you would have talked me out of it." Heath reminded her.
"So true." She nodded, combing his green mess with her fingers. "I shall fix it."
"Don't take too long, I'm expecting a call." He lit a cigarette then. It was breakfast.
"Heath, you are just asking for trouble," she told him.
"I live for trouble." He smirked.
"Sure you do." Wyona smirked back.
"Just fix it. I have this weekend coming up, and I want to be ready for something spectacular." Heath closed his eyes then, imagining him as someone else with that beautiful boy. Somewhere far from here. Far from Andrew.
Of course, it took the rest of the day to get his hair platnum.
By Thursday Heath was back to his old self. Blond though. The house was in tip top shape. He could have shown it and had buyers for it. God, he hated housework. He worked out too. Trying to focus on the positive instead of the negative. He had to remember he was in his last year at the University. He had the future to look forward too. It was all coming to an end. This thing with Andrew. There was a time he felt as if Andrew and everything he ever wanted was here and now it was fading. It was time someone else took over as Andrew's boy, and it would not be that beautiful boy that Heath was dreaming about.
Of course, at the party, this Nick(the beautiful boy) was doing his best to be so not part of the program. But Heath wasn't giving up hope. There was something about him that just made Heath think he might call. He might. Heath was praying that he would.
And then just before dawn on Saturday morning. It happened. Nick called.
"What changed your mind?" Heath wished he hadn't wanted to know. "Sorry. Its just a surprise. You know, to hear from you."
"Yeah, I guess I thought maybe-"
"Maybe I'll see you at Starbucks as soon as it opens." Heath smiled.
"What? Is that too gay for you?" Heath winced.
"Starbucks is fine."
Well, it wasn't perfect. Nick wasn't quite like he remembered. His nose was wickedly bruised. Of course, it pained Heath to see him that way because after all, he knew exactly the exruciating pain he was in. He'd been there a time or two himself. Well, a lot. He just didn't like seeing himself in Nick.
Still there was more to take in even if Nick was sitting there like a bump on a log. Obviously, he was on something. Under the influence of something. So they sat there looking at each other as if nothing would happen. What a waste of time.
But then Heath found himself spilling over how he wanted him to call. How he couldn't wait to see him again. Only Nick looked like shit. What was he suppose to do with that? And Nick's story was so lame. In the bathroom with his roommate's girlfriend. At the party. Really? What was that about? Really, could he trust him?
Yet Nick was ready for something. Something. It was as if he wanted to know what it was all about on a Saturday morning. Usually, things like this were after dark. Possibly the wee hours of morning when one was so drunk they could hardly stand up and everything was so undone. But here Nick was wired on caffiene, looking so not himself, going back to Heath's place.
"What do you want to do?" Nick acted as if he were hungry. Possibly. Yet they were bumping into each other. Really, Heath hadn't planned on so much daylight. They would just find each other in the dark. It would be something mysterious and amazing. But there Nick was looking at what was on the walls of the livingroom. A game of 20 questions.
Lie.Lie.Lie. That's all Heath could do.
"Of course, its my place." Heath told him. After all, he had to be somebody. Not just anybody. He poured him something with vodka, but Nick didn't want it. It was as if he wanted to be apparentely awake for everything.
"Well, then." Heath stared at his honey brown eyes, for some time. Trying to get past the bruised nose. He touched Nick's chin who immediately resisted.
"What are you doing here?" Heath looked at him frustrated.
"I dunno." Nick shook his head. Nick looked so sad. He suddenly lunged in to a kiss as if to get it over and done. Heath fell back. He thought his upper lip might be bleeding.
"Not so fast." Heath stared at his eyes. So sincere yet uncertain. Heath kissed him slowly then. His tongue touched his so delicately. They stayed that way for a moment. It was something to savor. Heath thought he might get teary eyed.
Heath pulled back finally and knew then that he was Nick's first guy kiss. He couldn't help but smile.
Heath put on the Best of David Bowie then. They could improvise. Put on a show. Sing to their hearts content as if they could be rock stars. Then it was time to jump on the bed. Such fun. In the air. Stupid shit that just made you laugh out loud. Things that Andrew never let him do. Honestly, Heath just wanted to forget the seriousness of it.
Finally, Heath's head rested next Nick's on fluffy pillows on the bed. Just some time to catch their breath. And in the stillness he heard his heart beat, and he'd never been quite so happy as he saw Nick smile. He laid there almost in a sweat. The lights on. But it was clouding up. Possibly a thunderstorm on the way. Something turbulant flowed through his veins, as well. As if this was the chance to take. Heath turned off the lights.
"Why did you do that?" Nick said a bit breathy.
"I like it dark." Simple as that. Wasn't it?
"But I wanted to see you." Nick told him.
"Its not that dark." Heath removed his shirt then as if Nick had asked him too and the rest of his clothes. Nick just watched.
Heath slid under the cold covers quickly as if Nick would have to find him. He waited. Finally, Nick got up the nerve to do it. Heath wanted to ask him what he was thinking about, but suddenly Nick shucked everything as if he were going skinny dipping and dived under the covers.
Heath wasn't sure he wanted to be the one who had to show him. Everything. And then Nick touched his abs as if he needed to know he was there, and Nick kissed him as Heath had shown him. Heath was certain he'd burst with happiness. Nick's hot flesh on his. It was so inviting. Nick's touch. A yearning to know it would be the best.
"You know what to do, don't you?" Nick simply asked.
Heath bit his bottom lip.
"Sure, I know." He just wanted Nick all over him. Couldn't it wait. It could wait. "But we don't have too."
"Isn't it what you asked me over for?" Nick let go for a moment.
"Yes," he barely said above his breath. Heath kissed him back hard as if maybe it would tell Nick to go away. Did he want him to be a monster? He knew what a monster was suppose to do. He lived with one. "You won't like it." Heath slightly scowled.
"But I like this." Nick told him.
"Me too." He'd never been with someone who just wanted to touch him so. He kept kissing Nick as if to forget what he'd ask of him. He hated to tell him it was worse than everclear for the first time. It might make him sick. It might ruin him for life. And as much as it hurt, he didn't want Nick to become him.
Friday, August 21, 2009
By Liz Cross
A friend of mine sent me this story a long time ago, but I kept it. I don’t think she’d mind if I shared it with you.
What was he trying to do? We’d laughed all the way to Family Dollar Store and now he was trying on hats— bucket hats.
“That’s what they call these?” His was tan. Mine was blue. The tag hung in my face. I couldn’t see my eyes, but Zed looked quite naughty with the ends turned up like a rap star.
“Let’s pose,” he said looking into the hat mirror. The hat covered his short sun-licked hair, but his freckles shown on his lean nose.
I crossed my arms and he leaned his back against me. We giggled.
“You’re just so not a Jonas brother.” I laughed a hearty laugh. I felt alive, not numb anymore.
His smile was genuine and it made me laugh, again. His smile always did.
“God, these are so cheap!” I noticed the price, hardly three bucks.
“Why do you think we came here, Lisa?” He made me think I was a doofus. “We don’t have our parents to spend money on us.”
I frowned. Why did he have to bring that up?
As it was, I doubted there was even an APB out on us. We’d been here for weeks. We could spend the whole summer stranded in the heartland.
No one lived in my Great Aunt Nola’s farm house. So it was like a vacation, the two of us. It wasn’t really running away. We really weren’t running away from anything. But I didn’t know what to say. I put the hat back and went to look at shirts.
Naturally, I went straight to the WHAT WOULD JESUS DO stuff.
“Not another one, please,” he begged. “How much of this stuff do you own?”
“I don’t have that much.” I didn’t think about my collection, but the rainbow bracelets made me happy. I felt better when I had one even if I didn’t wear them anymore. It gave Mom the creeps when she saw me with one. Like she did something wrong, or maybe there was just something silly about me. We weren’t religious at home.
“What about that WWJD T-shirt you sleep in, huh?” He gave me the look. The look as in when are you going to give it up? You can’t be a virgin forever. “It’s a real turn-off.”
“It is?” I stared at him wondering if he really meant it. I picked up a tie-dye shirt with the logo on it and held it for a moment thinking everything might be beautiful with the world in baby blue and neon yellow.
“I’m sorry.” He sighed. “You don’t really need that, you know.”
I shook my head. I knew. He was working hard for the corn detassling money, up before dawn, and dead tired in a dusty tan when he came home. The company hadn’t even paid him. We barely had enough to go out on from my pay at the truckstop. I put it back.
“But we can get the hats. The hats will come in handy.”
“Oh yeah, you think so?” I edged a smile.
“Yeah, bucket hats are so cool.” He took them to the counter and paid for them.
I waited outside staring at the pay phone.
“Why don’t you call?” He found me tempting to grab the phone. “You know you want too.”
“Not yet.” The feeling had to be right. It just wasn’t yet. What was I going to say? My head was empty. Besides, I’d come all this way to meet someone I’d never known, and I couldn’t do that either.
We walked across the parking lot and waited at the busy intersection. Strangely, there was no fear crossing the highway with Zed. I felt safe even if trucks zoomed by. I never felt like that at home.
“Your father’s Jewish, isn’t he?” We walked a ways down the dirt road into the shade of the cottonwoods before he said anything.
“That’s why you have this fascination with Jesus, isn’t it?” He grinned. His teeth were so perfect. Sometimes that perfection bothered me, like he had everything figured out. He was the one going to college not me. Not me. No, I was the girl who dropped out my last semester. He still hadn’t asked me why I did that.
“What does Jesus being Jewish have to do with anything?”
“I don’t know, you tell me?” He leaned in closer and I stepped back not wanting him near.
“I just want to understand it, that’s all. What’s with you? You don’t even go to church.”
“So you don’t have to go to church, you know.”
“Well, maybe, if you’re in some third- world country, but they even have places to go to worship. They might be a bit run down, no running water or anything, but at least they have a place to go.”
“So what are you saying, I need to go somewhere to be close to God?”
“I don’t want to talk about this. It makes you cranky.” He shrugged.
“Well, you brought it up.”
“You’re the one who’s the Jesus freak, not me.”
“I don’t know why this upsets you.”
“It doesn’t, not really. It’s just are you or aren’t you?” He walked ahead. I watched his footsteps in the soft dirt.
“What is that supposed to mean?” I ran to catch up.
“What does it mean when you wear your WWJD T-shirt to sleep in?”
“It doesn’t mean anything. I just like it, that’s all.”
“No, no there’s got to be something. There’s just got to be. You just want to make me feel guilty, don’t you?” His face soured, but he messed with the bucket hat, and was silly once more, dancing in a jerky hop.
“Zed, it’s just a shirt, okay.” I crossed my arms and watched. He was so harmless, really. But this stunk. And he thought I was moody.
“Forget it, okay. I just asked. You know, maybe it means nothing to you. Just forget it.” He did a strut, wiggled his shoulders. God, I hoped he wasn’t planing a drama major in college. He might do okay as a comedian. He might. It just sank into me that I was going to have to let him go. I had too. He had places to go. Places to go without me.
We were finishing the last of the mushroom soup. The house was practically scraped. It might have been nice if we could have made the place comfortable. As it was, it barely gave us shelter from the rain and the heat. We wouldn’t be here much longer. It would be the end of July soon and corn detassling would be over.
“I was thinking about what you said,” I attempted to give him my lame theory. It would sound totally bogus, but it was something I wanted to believe even if he couldn’t understand. “I used to think my dad looked like that guy in Serpico.”
“You mean Al Pacino?”
“Yeah, my mom used to have this poster of him. I loved that poster. For some reason I just thought if Jesus was around he’d be a real cool Serpico.”
“Did you ever watch the movie?” He sighed.
“You should have, it’d blown your whole theory. Serpico is definitely not Jesus.”
“Oh,” I swallowed my soup and watched the drop that slipped back into the soup.
“You wish Jesus was your dad?”
“God, that sounds so sacrilegious. I don’t know what I want.”
“You could go back to school.”
“What does that have to do with Jesus?”
“It’s not your fault your step-dad can’t keep a job. But you don’t want to know your real father, either, do you?”
“Maybe he doesn’t want to know me.” I felt cold suddenly and felt bad about dragging Zed on this cross- country trip. Here I was thinking something was going to change. When really nothing had changed. Zed was going to the University of Texas in the fall.
“Well, you won’t know if you don’t call, if you don’t show up.” He took the bowls away and rinsed them out to let them dry.
I just felt numb. It didn’t have to be this way. But it did. Some things, I couldn’t change. But how was I going to act when I got home? Would they ever trust me again?
He brushed my hair. Each stroke was with care. Not too hard but strong enough to straighten the frizzy ends of my heavy hair.
“You really think you could live like this everyday?” I stared into the shadows and imagined a life once here. Now there was just gray fraying wood and chipped floors.
“Sure I could.”
I knew he couldn’t.
“I can’t believe you actually went in those corn fields just to detassle,” I said. “I couldn’t even last a day. You’re going to have so much to look forward too, you know, when you go to college.”
“Come with me.”
I shook my head, no.
He began to braid my hair.
“I can’t, not just yet.” I shivered wondering what was I really afraid of.
I must have thought I was brave, but I wasn’t. Just chicken shit, really. I bet I would have turned around at the bus station if Zed hadn’t met me. His crazy ideas for the summer. We should have gone to the beach, but I had it in my head I was going to be a detective or something. I found his phone number and his address on the Internet. This was the summer I was going to meet my father. But I knew I couldn’t do it in the end. It would be wrong. He was supposed to be looking for me. Not the other way around. Not like this.
But even now I could barely sense where I came from or even what I wanted. I was only going on for Zed. If. If I were here. Alone. Maybe I’d just try to plant some roots right here in this old house, or maybe I’d die here on a blade of glass and fade into midnight. Even the stars were too bright in the dark.
The bedroll resettled. Zed’s breath changed. He was awake, barefooted and frail in his cotton briefs.
“I thought-” He yawned. “I thought you might be gone.”
He hugged me from behind as I stared up to the stars in the broken roof.
“Not yet, but maybe I will, you know, soon.”
He breathed in my ear.
“What would Jesus do, huh?” He kissed me.
“What would Jesus do in a bucket hat?” I sighed, wanting to sleep with his arms around me.
“Jesus is not a taker, you know. He frowns pretty much on prejudice. You get the picture.” I shook my head. “So that leaves just one thing.”
“One thing?” I nodded. He kissed my chin then. He was definitely making it hard to think.
“Have you given anybody, anything lately?” His warm mouth nuzzled near my ear again.
I turned to him.
“You’re too much, you know that.” I gave him a playful shove. Was there only one thing on his mind? I don’t think it had anything to do with Jesus.
“No, no, that’s not what I’m talking about.” His fingers intertwined with mine. His skin was blue and he looked splendid in the moonlight. “I’m saying, the more you give the better you’re going to feel. It’s got nothing to do with me.”
He held me close again. I couldn’t say a word. It was like that when he was right.