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June 2009

I woke up as I usually do in Key West, leisurely in fashion, the clock somewhere between ten and eleven in the morning. Morning rituals for me include some mouthwash (I’m strangely particular about what brand I use), tooth scrubbing (been using Marvis Jasmine for years), face-washing (whatever is available) and a moderate amount of Visine, strategically placed to brighten, de-puff and take mere minutes off my just-woken face. Some people snort a line of cocaine for their pick-me-up… I have Clear Eyes.

Just the thought of their Costco-size bottle gives me a slight erection.

My usual Island Gym was closed today for repair, leaving me to meander down the scooter-laden Truman Avenue in ridiculously short workout shorts in search for America’s Next Top Workout. I momentarily thought about putting on something more, as the French would say, ‘less overtly whorish’ but then realized that this was in-fact Key West: The storied city of yellow brick roads, friends of Dorothy and custom-made electrodildos sold in bulk discount by Leather Masters (just off Duval). I remembered a small gym that I had used early on in my visits to the Keys, then called Iron Bodies and definitely as ‘old school’ as they come.

This was the kind of place where your hands were crippled with rust after your workout, the guys had necks that perhaps put them in close relation to middle-aged elm trees and, best of all, there was no working air conditioning. You didn’t just sweat at this place: You flooded. The icing on the cake you ask? No water fountain either.

Like most meathead gyms, this one was shirt-optional and I am one of those young guys who works hard on his body, likes to show it off and takes full advantage of any chance to strip half-naked in public. I advise working out shirtless to anyone wanting a better, more effective free weight experience: You can directly see, concentrate and focus on the working muscle group, finding out immediately if you’re doing the exercise correctly. Added, those working out around you with better bodies will only serve as motivation for you to get stronger and more healthy. For me, it served dual-purpose, playing into my ego as well as my pumped muscles.

I love how straight guys react to each other in gyms like this. I was working out in the company of some pretty built guys, all shorter than me, but outweighing me by at least 20lbs. One in-particular looked like a more proportionate Mark Dalton in his younger, less jailed days. For those unfamiliar with Dalton, just Google his name and Wiki should have his picture next to the definition of ‘a mass schmuck, gay-for-pay scammer with repeat-offending wife beater tendencies.’ Yeah, he’s a real class act.

So: Guy at gym…

He was good looking guy: late-20s, perhaps early 30s, blond cropped hair, a light covering of white-blonde hair on his legs and arms. A perfectly tapered torso, culminating in some of the best adonis belt muscles I’ve ever seen. He works hard on his body and it showed. Rock hard calves. A perfect tan that only living, working and, perhaps, go-go dancing in Key West can provide.

So, getting into my workout, getting a nice coating of sweat on my body and working into an insane day of upper body, I noticed that he kept watching my sets. Every time I caught him looking, he quickly looked away. While I don’t think it was anything akin to him ‘checking me out’ in a sexual sense, I do think he may have had his own body issues at play. I just find it incredibly interesting that even with those who put in a tireless amount of work into their musculature always find the grass just that much greener on the other side. Subversive human nature hard at work, I guess.

Got delayed on my way back home in Miami: I’m aware that 2% of their air traffic control guys now speak english as their primary language, so I’m thinking that sitting on the tarmac for two hours had something to do with a breakdown in communication. Luckily, the cabin looked a little brighter from the confines of seat 2E and the flight attendants did their level best to accommodate me when I loudly suggested we all play ‘beer pong’ to pass the time.

I’m spending the next couple of days in hiding, working on a mound of email, attempting to get my July/August/September travel schedule in order and enjoying the confines of my newest purchase: An $800 LoveSac (a ridiculously large bean bag). It’s deep red velvet hue invokes the great Texas whorehouses of yesteryear… That is, if whorehouses ever invested in gigantic, overpriced bean bags. What’s most important is that my dogs find it comfortable, which really now turns it into the most expensive pet bed I could have ever bought. Recession? What recession?

For those following my image exploits, I have gone and shaved my head (almost totally) for the summertime. It’s just too damn hot to deal with hair. Thankfully, I’m being told I look quite chiseled with this new crop and I’m starting to like it quite a bit myself. I embrace anything that saves me some time and prevents me from buying any more Bumble & Bumble hair product.

Heading to Las Vegas this weekend. The typical goodtime trip: Encore-Bette-Spa-Gym-Dinner-Sex-Repeat. I’m sure it will provide lots to write about and I’m hoping to find a new spin from a city I’ve become quite used to. From here on out, look for regular, shorter postings on 15mm detailing aspects of my irregular life. I’ll still be feeling out the new format for awhile, but hang in there and always feel free to email, letting me know what you like and dislike. If you’ve been a reader of 15 for awhile, you’ll realize that this column is in constant morph. As for my writing, some days are more inspired than others and it’s a real chore to find that balance between sardonic wit and outright bitterness. I enjoy outing the idiocy within the stereotype, but abore becoming the ‘old’ fool who’s so set in his ways than he can’t see the train approaching.

June brings us a whole month of gay pride, which, for me, means more eye-rolling than usual at the now-dated circuit party events that take place across America, all in the name of expressing ‘gay pride’ and ‘what it means to truly be gay.’ Ah, there’s nothing quite like getting together with a thousand of your closest, overly-botoxed, sweaty, drugged-out friends, shoehorning themselves into swimwear tight enough to open up a diamond-making factory and generally trying to look as fashionably uninterested as possible.

Wowzer… If that’s not summer fun, then I don’t know wh
at is!

What could be more fabulous than listening to the same old DJ’s play the same songs at each and every event? You know, it really gives me a great sense of self knowing I’m being publicly represented by throngs of go-go dancers, vulgar drag queens, ‘porn stars,’ aging hipsters and washed-up vocal divas who see the gay community as their final shot at making that monthly mortgage payment. My heart swells with pride.

Are you kidding me? Pride isn’t a month. It’s not what you wear, who you know, where you travel or how much you spent on that new car: It’s about knowing who and what you are… Accepting the good and attempting to change to bad shit that makes you a social pariah. Pride in yourself is the most important thing you can have. Ultimately, it’s not a gay issue, but an issue of knowing where you stand in life. I don’t need parades, rainbow flags, flamboyant behavior, targeted advertising, protest marches and GLAAD to tell me who I am. Living in that bubble is unfortunate for those who can’t seem to function within the real world without that crutch. Way too many gay men have what I like to call ‘fat kid syndrome,’ which is when you work insanely hard on the outside of yourself, eventually morphing into something that doesn’t disgust you when you stand in front of the mirror, but leaving the mental mess that’s truly the issue at heart. Knowing who you are is the most important thing you can achieve in life: Diagnose why you’re a schmuck before working on that washboard stomach.

I think this pic just about says it all. Buyer beware.

Also, a word of caution to everyone’s favorite West Hollywood drug dealer-slash-escort: It’s likely not in your best interests to talk business over Twitter, especially to those who are openly known to have a torrential cocaine habit. I’d also stay away from Twit-speak of painkillers, how much to take, what mixes with what best and all of that talk that might violate rules of probation. I hear they’ve got your laptop kiddo: That means client lists, emails, everything. Time to put the toys away and clean it up. You’ve hurt some of my friends with your sold illegal crap and you can either end this the quick and private way or the very public, very documented way. Your choice. Your doublespeak days are numbered.