I found myself debating a point of etiquette the other night.
We'd had a long day in our household, Friday. We'd run errands, we'd been exploring, we'd done a little shopping, and gotten back home and no one felt like making dinner. Okay. I didn't feel like making dinner, since I'm the dinner-maker around here.
So we walked down to the little pizza joint on the other side of the railroad tracks—a family-owned spot where they sell enormous New York slices with all kinds. Now, I've been in the pizza joint several times before and always found it welcoming and tasty, but I've never seen it busy like it was on Friday night. The restaurant's twenty tiny tables, crammed together in a little annex where the Weather Channel seems to be on all the time, were all occupied by noisy families gobbling down their pies. Another half-dozen people crowded the counter. The fresh-faced delivery boy elbowed me as he attempted to slide a large pizza into his insulated container. And that's when a table opened up.
I entrusted my pizza order (one sausage slice, one water) and went to grab it. I had to wend my way through the crowd to the very front of the annex, to a small table wedged between a family of four on my left, and a family of six on the right. When I finally assembled enough chairs and slid, rattled and a little exhausted, onto the vinyl-covered bench, I leaned back and exhaled with relief. Then I looked at the man sitting across from me on the left, and thought to myself, Hey, I know you.
I had a few alien seconds of trying to associate a context with the face, because I'd never seen this guy dressed up before, or with a pretty wife and two adorable munchkins, but then I realized I'd watched him for over seven seasons on the prison drama, Oz. It was the actor who played Cyril, whose real-life brother was also on the show and now makes quite a career getting beat up on television commercials. Cyril was a mentally-challenged character who spent most of his time performing crimes for his brother and never really understanding what he was doing; he was fundamentally sweet, in that way the mentally challenged always are on television. And I had a vague memory of him getting the electric chair or something in the final season.
I recognized him because he hadn't changed at all since the show went off the air. Same stringy blond hair, same ponytail. So I did what anyone would do in those circumstances, which was to play it cool and text OMG we r sitting next to that guy from Oz.
I didn't say anything through dinner. I really wanted to, but I didn't want to be obnoxious. Besides, I was a little afraid that it would come out like, You weren't the one that Christopher Meloni raped with a spoon, were you?
Because I'm sure his little girls hear that all the time.
On to some questions from formspring.me. If you've got some burning issues, you should really see a doctor about that. Or else jot them down in question format and I'll answer as best I can.
I don't recognize one of the words you've used. Will you please explain what "serostatus" means? (I hope you don't mind my vocabulary-related curiosity)
You can find a definition at http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/serostatus
WTF? Why are people sending you offensive questions?
Because they feel that although they're obsessed with a sex blog themselves, anyone who engages in an active sex life, and has no particular shame about having one, is automatically an easy target. It's a form of self-loathing on their part.
Have you checked out the bathhouses in ny yet?
I have not. When I've inquired about them among people in the know, opinions seem to be divided. About half say that they've enjoyed one of the two, and the other half make it sound as if when I step into the place I'll automatically break out into a scorching case of scabies. I'm not really sure which camp to believe.
Your thoughts on Samuel Beckett?
I've seen some productions of Beckett plays--Godot and Endgame especially--that have been both moving and thought-provoking. I've also seen some productions that were merely frantic and gimmicky. The material's there, and it's really good material. I think a company's approach to it is what makes or breaks it, though.
If I was a porn studio and I was going to ask you to star in an upcoming film which studio would it be?
I hope you'd be Treasure Island.
Have you ever been outside naked? If so, when?
Oh, many times, starting when I was a kid. My folks were casual nudists, and the first time I remember going to a nudist gathering was when I was 3 or 4. Being outside in the nude makes one feel more alive, I think.
What have you learned about the bars in your new locale?
Gay bars? I've learned that there are none.
What sport best describes you physique; American football, soccer, track, rugby, hockey, wrestling, swimmer, midget wrestling, baseball, basketball or a coach?
I don't see the option for 98-pound weakling.
Don't know where in CT you are, but you may want to check out the bathhouses in Providence instead of NY - much more welcoming and people actullay hook up!
I've had several people recommend the Providence baths, and the city is on my to-do list. Unfortunately, I like at the far end from the Rhode Island state line. But it's not that big a state.
What have you done so far for cultchuh in CT?
I've visited New York city, where I've been to museums, saw the Alexander McQueen exhibit, and seen some theater. Oh, and I attended one frantic and poorly-acted production of Shakespeare in some Fairfield County park.
When you are home alone do you generally stay nude?
During the summer I have a tendency to sprawl nude all over the place, or if I'm getting chilly in the air conditioning, a T-shirt at most.