Fornicon: Wednesday to Wednesday

Wednesday:

Still image from Felini's Satyricon
Still image from Fellini’s Satyricon

11AM – Leave Pittsburgh for New York via Megabus.
12PM – Watch the Fellini movies I torrented a week ago:  CasanovaSatyricon.
7PM – Arrive in New York, enjoy my habitual “I’m in New York again” martini.
7:30PM – An ex living in Boston contacts me. Says he’s being abused by current boyfriend, kicked his boyfriend out of their apartment that night, tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists, and is calling from the hospital. I console him.

Toilet Paper Suicide
Toilet Paper Suicide

7:40PM – He emails me a picture of his wrist. It’s wrapped in toilet paper with an iPhone cable running over his hand. I call him and say that I wasn’t aware hospitals currently treat people with toilet paper and iPhone cables in lieu of bandages and an IV. He screams at me. His boyfriend mumbles in the background and then calls me a ‘nigger.’ I hang up. He calls back five times. I block him.
9PM – Dinner at an Irish Pub with the friend I’m staying with.
10PM – Return to the apt and watch 1/3 of the movie Brazil.

Thursday:
11AM – Wake up. Coffee. Wander around.

Minister of Arts and Culture's Card
Minister of Arts and Culture’s Card

7PM – Tomi Ungerer premiere. Meet Tomi and his daughter. The reason for this trip is to get him to sign a handful of prints from his Fornicon series that I acquired awhile back; his daughter and I had been emailing about it. She says he isn’t signing anything tonight. She says it was wonderful to meet and we exchange a European greeting. I was expecting a single cheek kiss, she goes in for a Western European double. My mouth is misaligned; I nibble her ear.
8PM – Tomi tells a joke, “When men have an orgasm it’s an outcome, when women have one its an income.” He introduces us to the 70 year old ‘Franco-German Minister of Art and Culture.’
11PM – My friend and I get drinks with the ‘Franco-German Minister of Art and Culture,’ I call up another friend to join.
11:30PM – Nobody wants to sit by the 70 year old ‘Franco-German Minister of Art and Culture’ due to unrelenting attempts to grab our thighs and/or penises.
12:30AM – Return to the apt and watch 1/3 of the film Max and Mary.

Friday:
12PM – Wake up. Coffee. Wander. I message a kid I’ve been talking to on Facebook, tell him I’m in New York, and we exchange numbers.

Club Monaco Corduroy Shirt (In Navy, Needs Pressed)
Club Monaco Corduroy Shirt In Navy (Needs Cleaned)

1PM – Go to Club Monaco to see if they have any more navy corduroy shirts as my current one is dirty. They don’t have any. They instead have an overly eager 50-year old staff member who keeps walking in while I’m changing. He brings me clothes that he “owns and loves!” I try them on out of politeness; this goes on for an hour. I suspect he just likes walking in on me in my boxers.
6PM – Get dinner with an old friend from college.
6:30PM – Get lectured for not wanting to get back together with an ex.
8PM – Get a group together: 2 exes, 2 college friends, 3 friends I made spontaneously a few years ago. We bar hop and I text another female friend of mine to invite her along. She’s at a birthday party. I text “Come on girl. Just tell em you’ll be with more fun people.” I call her a handful of times. I discover that I wasn’t texting/calling her, but instead the kid from Facebook. I attempt to explain the confusion; I come off as as weird and eager. He does’t respond.
1AM – Return to the apartment and watch 1/2 of the first episode of Death Comes to Town.

Saturday:
2PM – Wake up. Coffee. Wander.
4:30PM – Carry the portfolio to the Drawing Center for another Tomi event. A line forms for signatures as he walks out for a cigarette. I walk out for a cigarette too. I walk back in to stand in line; an employee tells me that the line is at capacity.
6PM – Call a female friend from the night before. Find out that one of my exes slept over. They hooked up. He is currently still in bed with her. At first annoyed, I realize that he gained some weight so I don’t really care.
7PM – The three of us get sushi.
10PM – We wonder around to a few clubs and bars.
12AM – We go back to the friend I’m staying with’s apartment and meet his new boyfriend.
3AM – My friend and his boyfriend make out aggressively on the couch. For the sake of inclusion, his boyfriend leans over and makes out with me for a moment. I reciprocate, I turn to my friend and make out with him for a moment as a lead-up to whatever might come next.
3:05AM – He throws his boyfriend off of his lap. He shouts that his boyfriend was waiting to kiss me all night. I offer to leave but he tells me to stay.

A Starbucks Napkin
Starbucks Napkin

3:30AM – They’re fighting. I have a cigarette outside with his roommate. We go back inside and they’re sleeping, or arguing quietly, or something, I can’t tell. I lay on the couch.
4AM – Bored, I open his roommate’s door. He’s jerking off and tells me to leave.
4:01AM – Inspired, I go back to the couch and jerk off into a Starbucks napkin I find in my pocket.

Sunday:
10:30AM – Wake up. I don’t have time to shower even though I reek of smoke.
11PM – Take a cab back to the Drawing Center to get Tomi to sign the prints.
12PM – Immediately I get in line towards the front. The curator says, “Tomi requested that today we let children skip the line.” Wait in line for forty-five minutes. The woman in front of me brought seven brand new copies of his books for him to sign.

To Michael

12:40PM – Finally at the front of the line. I explain I have been trying to get these prints signed for a year and would love if he would sign my nine favorite. Amazed that I managed to acquire a copy of the portfolio, he asks how much it cost me. I tell him. He shakes his head in disappointment. He asks where the title page is. I pull it from the bottom of the stack. He starts writing on it. Having neither asked him for an inscription nor reminded him of my name, I look down to realize that he has inscribed it to someone named “Michael.” His daughter corrects him, and he writes “oops – (excuze) Lucian.” I ask him about signing the nine actual prints again. Not sure he can hear me. I turn to his daughter. She says ‘not today, but I’ll hold on to them and get him to sign a few later on if you want to pick them up.’
5PM – Pack my stuff and migrate to a different apartment.
8PM – Get Indian takeout.
8:45PM – Eat Naan and Lamb Korma with my friend in her bed. Watch the film Isabelle.
3AM – Cuddle. Sleep.

Monday:
12PM – Wake up.
4PM – Still lying in bed.
5PM – Take the subway to pick up the DSLR that I left at the last apartment.
6PM – Small talk.
7PM – Sit at a cafe. Read. Look out the window. A friend calls. He invites me to an event at a “private social club.” He says it’s a $400 a plate affair that the club is comping. It starts at 8PM.
8PM – I make my way to the subway.

The Elusive Tomi Ungerer
The Elusive Tomi Ungerer

8:30PM – Arrive. Have drinks and dinner with a mix of young professionals and weathered club personalities. The chicken is a little dry but the macaroons are fucking phenomenal. I eat a half dozen.
10PM – Overhear that one of my currently married exes isn’t as ‘into’ the marriage as he would let on. I’m delighted at the news, but then worried that my delight might make me a bad person. I resolve that it doesn’t because that particular ex was sort of a dick. I realize that I have too many exes.
12AM – Migrate to another apartment.

Tuesday:
6AM – The friend who I’m now staying with’s alarm goes off.
6:30AM – Alarm goes off again. This continues every half hour even though he doesn’t work until 10. I resolve not to try to go back to sleep so I play ‘Trivia Crack’ on my phone. I win one game and lose another.
9AM – I walk into the kitchen and get a glass of water. His roommate emerges from another room and glares at me. “Hi, I’m Lucian” I extend my hand. “Yea, OKAY! That’s fine, don’t worry about it!” he snaps. Reenter my friend’s bedroom. I discover that he and/or his guests aren’t allowed to use the kitchen for some peculiar reason. His roommate says he wants to evict him.

Iced Coffee, Yogurt, OJ, AIDS Pill
Iced Coffee, Yogurt, OJ, Truvada Pill

9:30AM – I walk him to work. We stop at a cafe. He gets yogurt, iced coffee, and an orange juice. I get a black coffee and a pastry. He sets three pills on his orange juice: two are vitamins and one is that AIDS preventative they just came out with. I remark that wearing a condom is still a more proactive measure than taking a horse pill.
9:40AM – I help him compose a text message to ask for his deposit back.
12PM – I tour, and interview, at an arts/advertising grad school in Brooklyn.
2PM – I pick up the collection of prints I dropped off for Tomi to sign. I set aside nine for him to sign, he signed four. I can’t help but wonder if this is a result of the ear nibble.
3PM – I schedule drinks at 6 and set up a Tinder date for 7:30PM.

The Goldfinch
The Goldfinch

6PM – Drinks with an acquaintance in the ad industry. We catch up. He tells me he is currently reading ‘The Goldfinch’ and that I remind him of the main character. I look up the book on my phone and find out that the main character is misanthropic youth addicted to prescription medication. Flattery?
6:30PM – One of his friends shows up, a pompous 29 year old that is dating a 55-year-old Middle Eastern man with a beard. He ruminates on how everyone should date older guys.
7:00PM – I leave, walk to a close by café for a latte and book a ticket home for later in the evening.
7:30PM – Tinder date is delayed; I discover it’s his first time on the subway and he got lost.
8PM – He is still having trouble getting to where I am. I walk to a café closer to the Broadway train stop. I tell him to enter the name of the shop into his phone to find it.
8:30PM – There are two cafes with the same name. He is at the other one. I give him a third location, an address in Chinatown.
9:30PM – We meet at my friend’s apartment in Chinatown. I’m amazed that he is willing to come to a sketchy back-alley address and follow a relative stranger up a flight of stairs in a slum building to help them pack.
10PM – We leave looking for a bar or café. Everything is closed. We keep walking.

OMG, those lips.
Damn, those lips.

10:20PM – We find a bar and sit down. Revealed that he’s 19, the bartender doesn’t serve us. We leave. Walk around for a bit. I realize that I need to get to the bus stop. I hail a cab. He offers to join. I notice that he has incredible lips. I contemplate kissing him. I decide against it. He seems too innocent to corrupt with a back-of-the-cab make-out session involving a relative stranger leaving for Pittsburgh.
10:40PM – We arrive at the bus stop, he inexplicably offers to pay for the cab. I turn down the offer, laugh, and apologize for the terrible date. He offers to wait in line with me. We talk.
11:20PM – The bus arrives and we part ways with a *single cheek kiss. I manage to fall asleep shortly after getting on the bus.

Wednesday:
12AM – I wake up. the bus driver is screaming something over the speaker system. I can’t make out much of it aside from his frequent use of ‘ladies and gentleman’.
12:30AM – I wake up to another ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcement.
1AM – I wake up to another ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcement.
1:30AM – I wake up to another ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcement.
2AM – We are at the 1/3 of the waypoint outside a Subway Sandwich/Shell station rest stop. Somehow, someone has stolen one of the ‘sandwich artist’s sandwich knives.’ Everyone on the bus is a suspect. Many ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcements follow: “ladies and gentleman, I’m sure it was an accident when you picked up the sandwich artist’s sandwich knife, but ladies and gentleman there is still time to return it;” “ladies and gentleman, keep in mind there are cameras in the Subway Sandwich shop, so ladies and gentleman it’s not too late to just return the sandwich artist’s sandwich knife that you accidentally took.” These continue for half an hour.

Rendering of a 'Winged Marsupial'
Rendering of a ‘Winged Marsupial’ (not real, still terrifying)

2:30AM – I put in headphones and listen to Bob Dylan’s Biograph. I fall asleep.
3:30AM – I have a nightmare: I live on a rooftop, my neighbor has a pet ‘marsupial,’ although this one has wings and can talk. It won’t stop talking. I ask if there is a way to get marsupials to shut the fuck up; it attacks me. With loud gnashing noises, it covers me in deep cuts and consumes my leg. I wake up. A blaring and obnoxious clicking is prevalent; it sounds like the bus is falling apart. I think for a moment we might be about to crash and that I might be about to die. I come to degree of ambivalence. I conclude now is as good a time as any; I realize I just need a cigarette. The clicking intensifies for a few minutes, then subsides.
6:30AM –  Another ‘ladies and gentleman’ announcement. Although we are still an hour from Pittsburgh, he decides we all need to wake up . I switch from annoyance to humor over the perpetual announcements, and decide to record this one on my phone. He switches the lights on and tells us not to take anybody else’s luggage, a message most likely intended for the Subway sandwich knife thief. The clicking starts again mid-way though.

7:30AM – My mother picks me up. She asks about the bus ride. I summarize it for her. She digs for more detail. She pulls out her iPhone, opens the Voice Memo application and presses record. She asks, “Tell me more about these marsupial dreams?” I raise my voice, “They weren’t ‘marsupial dreams,’ it was a marsupial nightmare!'” I apologize for getting upset, and explain how tired I am. I get home and promptly fall asleep.
2PM – I wake up, unpack, and respond to emails.

Missing Eyelashes

7PM – Begrudgingly agree to leave the house for a game of pool and a few drinks. A guy sits alone at the bar. We invite him to play pool with us. He says he just moved here from South Africa. I ask him why he has an American accent. He says “yea, it’s weird. Isn’t it?” I don’t believe him.
8PM – Take an Uber to a kid I’m seeing’s house.
9PM – I take photos of him with my DSLR (non-erotic).
10PM – We hook up.
11PM – I take photos of him with my DSLR (semi-erotic).
11:30PM – We walk to the corner store for condoms. They don’t have any. We get Cheese Puffs and Vanilla Coke instead. We head back.
12PM – We watch a few videos on our phones.
12:30AM – He lights up a cigarette. I tickle him. He flinches and burns me in the eye. A few of my eyelashes scorch. I have trouble opening my eye for an hour.
1:30AM – I put an ice cube on my eye and fall asleep.

Comments (5)

  1. Interesting, Lucian, and firmly grounded in the “confessional” tradition. An engaging look into a zeitgeist that isn’t actually all that different from the NYC I remember from the early 90s.

  2. I love this entry! Witty, fast-paced and altogether hilarious. I would love to read more renderings of your daily life, whether of your travels or just everyday experiences. Super relatable and inspiring for someone who loves to write as well 🙂

    • lwintrich

      Thank you! I’m working on another entry now – should be up in a month or so when I can really sit down and fix it up.

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