Dreaming of my possible pasts

© Roy A. Hammond/WLIW New York

Rain: Can I borrow your phone?
Me: (absentmindedly) Sure.
Rain: Here you go.
Me: Thanks. Hey – what’d you do?
Rain: Nuthin! So paranoid…

My mind’s elsewhere, and elsewho, again. At least it’s the weekend.

I’m in a 300 year old building in Passau that’s been converted to apartments. The ceilings are high with wooden floors and painted on the entire far wall is a pop art portrait of a blond girl crying. Honey and Katherine are there. We’d just gotten back from Vienna. A woman I love is there too. She whispers her nonsense word into my ear and I whisper mine back. We’re having an early dinner of pasta when Marvin Gaye comes on.

Honey shrieks, and jumps onto the table to dance when my girl pulls me up and says, “You too” as I laugh and follow. She smiles, turns back to me and says – (phone alarm rings, it’s 5:15AM in NYC)

Me: (sit up and look groggily at phone) Dammit Rain…dammit…

Fall back into bed and plot revenge against Rain. Sigh. Toss off covers. Flip on Ghosts of Goodbye and start doing situps as ghosts fade away.

Eins, zwei, drei…

Location: 19:00 yest, Malachy’s with Heidi and Buckley
Mood: sotted
Music: I used to go out to parties and stand around


Rain and Scottie invite me to to a party uptown. Since he never heads uptown, had to say yes. Going there, meet a blue-eyed girl named Gwen who said she can’t tell who’s mad and who’s wearing a bluetooth headset. Contemplate giving her my number but we didn’t hit the pivot point so I don’t.

At the party, make my way across to my friends and run into pair of long legs before I find Rain.

Me: I just picked up the prettiest girl for you (turn to long legs and wave; she smiles and waves back)
Rain: (laughs)

We bounce into the bar in the pic where Scottie and Rain tell me that there’s something wrong with me cause I don’t sleep with the women I date.

Me: Guys call it “getting lucky,” right? I hate that. It’s a pathetic statement from pathetic men. Women don’t “get lucky” but men do. That’s ridiculous. Boys like me sleep with a girl cause we choose to, not cause we “get lucky.”
Her: I don’t approve.
Me: (shrugging and turning to Scottie) OK, I’ll sleep with you then.
Her: (pause) Take a number.
Me: Sheeyah…
Bartender: (interrupting and pointing at me) Your friend’s right. The guys that try to get lucky never do.

Soon, we pile into Scottie’s whip. When we hit Central Park, Rain jets. Earlier, mentioned I liked Rain’s leather jacket so as he exits, he takes it off and hands it to me. It’s yours, he says. Before I can protest, he’s already in a yellow going downtown.

He’s a good fella, that one. I’m wearing it below.

Once home, I get a message that Pretty Jenny and some others’re around the way but then onea my stories I thought ended drops me a line.

You should stop by here for a spell. It’ll break your heart, NYC in the Spring.

But it’s totally worth it. If only for the people and the violets in Central Park.


Location: 22:00, 1409 York Avenue
Mood: touched
Music: Take me on a trip, I’d like to go some day – take me to New York

Just OK

Location: 22:08 yest, running home in the rain
Mood: wet
Music: Oh, how I try to be just okay. Yeah

Gshok sent me the above for absolutely no reason. Those are the best kind of gifts.

It’s nice to open the mailbox and get something that’s not a bill or junk. Or a letter from the IRS.


Seemoore thinks I’m older and more somber in this blog, yet more friendly and effusive in person.

I often wonder how I come across. I don’t mean to be somber, I assure you.

Life has been somber lately, though.

Although punctuated with the occasional chance meeting and whatnot.

Man, I live for the occasional chance meeting and whatnot.

Remembering Snow Angels and Lynda

Location: 10:00 PM, yest, fencing in Manhattan
Mood: contemplative
Music: and I say goodbye na zai jian

My college English teacher, Stewart O’Nan was a good fella and an amazing teacher. He once said to me, “Your stuff is good. Just…work on it.” I still remember. His novel, Snow Angels was just made into a film with Kate Beckinsale. I was lucky, I think, because I had a string of really good English teachers people in my life.

Paul used to have a B-Team of friends that were fun but he learned that you should only have an A-Team because you only got so much time and energy.

Remember when I said that your friends are mirrors to yourself? If you’ve changed and your friends haven’t, maybe it’s time to start cutting. Or call the ones that matter.

I should have called Stewart. Had his digits – just never got around to it. He was a good guy. Probably won’t remember me now.

But I remember him.


Thomas Mann once said that A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.

Lynda was murdered ten years ago by a guy in my college circle of friends. My friends who knew her well never talk about it but it’s always there.

She and I only met a few times so it was more consoling my friends than anything else. But I did want to write something – if only to confirm that what the reporter wrote was true. She was beautiful.

Yeah, call your friends that matter.

Terribly Romantic


No slappage, guys, sorry.

Hazel crashed on my couch the other night and we grabbed brunch the next day. The weather? The conversation? The morning? Perfect.

So over some freshly baked Portuguese bread and steaming coffee:

Me: This would all be terribly romantic if either one of us was even remotely attracted to the other person.
Her: (laughing) It’s ok, I like what we have. Speaking of which, you should meet my friend…

We’re gonna keep looking, she and I.

Wonder what her friend’s like.

Location: 17:00 yest, church
Mood: doubting
Music: You’ve got to push all the doubt to the side of your mouth


We live in a Cliff’s Notes society where we think we know things

My friend Mike passed away; I just heard the news this weekend. Very sudden.

An older guy, he looked like he was 45. He had a six-pack! Paul and I joked all the time that he looked better than botha us. He was a student in my fencing class; 65 years old and still training hard.

I remember that when everything went down with me, so many people said, Well, the only way is up. Which is yet another one of those sayings that only has the air of truth but no real truth to it – dude, there’s always more room for down. Always.

Mike didn’t say that; he said: I’m an old man, I’ve seen a lotta things. You never know what Life will give you, but good or bad, you take it anyway.

We live in a Cliff’s Notes society where we know the punchlines, but never the whole saying:

  • Fools rush in (where angels fear tread)
  • Curiosity killed the cat, (and satisfaction brought him back)
  • Speak of the devil (and the devil appears)

Y’know the sayings: for whom the bell tolls and no man is an island? They come from a John Donne poem:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Mike, you bastard, you made a room fulla grown men with pointy sticks and aggression issues cry. We’re diminished.

I hope when I go, I’m half the man you were.
Location: writing this with a glass of rum for Mike
Mood: grateful
Music: Well, if it rains, I don’t care Don’t make no difference to me
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Recent Conversations

Nightlife Conversations in New York City

(c) Victor Kung

Her: What do you do again?
Me: Ruthless businessman.
Her: Me too! Except…I’m a girl.


Her: So I’m intrigued about this blog of yours. Do the women know you write about them?
Me: Only the ones that stay.


Me: I got a camera. What’d you get for Christmas?
Her: My parents got me a Glock 23. It’s beautiful!
Me: (pause) You don’t…you don’t have it on you, do you?
Her: I wish!
Me: I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m a little turned on right now.


Me: I got a camera. What’d you get for Christmas?
Her: Eh, the usual. Oh! Alicia got me a bag of coke. That was awesome.
Me: I really have to record my conversations with you.
Her: Well, it wasn’t all for me, we shared it.


Employee: Why do you need her contact information?
Me: I might need it.
Employee: You don’t need it.
Me: I might need it.
Employee: I’m telling you, you don’t need it.
Female supplier: (sitting uncomfortably then laughing): Here, I’ll write it down.
Me: (grinning) Thanks – you never know, I might need it.
Employee: (rolling eyes) Sheyah. I’m taking a break now.


Watching Planet Earth with Cain:

Narrator: …few signs of life and a desolate environment, there’s little activity for months at a time.
Cain: Much like Logan’s bedroom.
Me: I hate you.

Location: 3:00 yest, having a gyro on Broadway & 78th
Mood: still @#$@# sick
Music: had to make it happen They never thought that I would make it


Holidays are hard, yeah?


I did alotta living last Friday night after work.

Event 1
I went to another office party – I think maybe my fifth? It’s one of the perks of being a consultant. The usual: food, handshakes and drinks.

Event 2
Met up with Hazel for a drink on the UWS where I ran into a woman, Cia, I just met earlier on in the week. I also chatted up two British girlies but I was beat and hopped home at midnight.

Event 3
At 1AM, I was still up so Cain and I decided to grab a drink in our local bar. So out I went again. There I ran into Cia for the third time. My hood is tiny.

Event 4
As soon as I got home at 2AM, Gio rang me. He got his Xmas bonus and wanted to hit the town. “Dude, I’m beat, I just went to…,” I started when he interrupted, “I got a car, a wad of cash, and you never turn down an invitation.”


Soon, I’m hurtling down the West Side Highway and grab superstar parking outside an underground club. There I got shut down for the second time since I became single. The last time it happened the same way, “You’re a talker, go talk to her.” I swear, fastest way to get self-conscious. Twice in 18 months is not bad but still – Totally. Shut. Down.

Gio was amused. Me, not so much. Ah, who am I kidding? I know what I am. We called it a night at 4AM.

Event 5
But Gio’s hungry and I’m a pig. So we grabbed the whip and hit up Blue Ribbon for a late night seafood dinner. I accidentally ate all the lobster. I was amused. Gio, not so much. We sat next to this gorgeous twenty-something blond and her older French date. Gio and I chatted with her a lot, something French dude wasn’t happy about.

He kept trying to hold her hand and I wanted say, “Dude, dude, dude, please…have some pride. She’s a fetus.”

Just as we were getting up to go, she engaged us in conversation again so we sat down and chatted with her a bit more. I contemplated slipping her my card but I reconsidered. Gio told me I should have. Eh…

I woke up four hours later on his couch, stretched and went home. Stepping outside I thought, My friends rock so hard, before I slipped underground.

Location: 19:00 yest, coming home
Mood: exhausted
Music: Heartbreak, cigarettes and songs, with a winter’s chafe

Bachelor Cooking III

Location: finally back home
Mood: freezing
Music: I foresee terrible trouble And I stay here just the same

I should note that I (a) really needed a haircut, (b) was wearing a REALLY large tee-shirt and (c) I had little sleep before the shoot. But I thought it was funny, even if I look terrible.

This week, I’m posting nothing but vids – no pics.


I worked most of the weekend however I did venture out at night. Friday was a story in itself but I ended walking some two miles home in the cold just because I was awake. For a moment I almost called someone that I knew I shouldn’t but by then I was already sober. Just as well.

Saturday, I spent about four hours in the gym. I met up with in_a_silver_bag at night because she was in town. She and her friend were troopers and braved the freezing cold to have some of my favorite aged rum with me.

She told me that I was pretty much like I am in my blog. I think that’s a good thing.

Sunday I saw Rain, L and company for a short holiday party after church. It was good to see them again if only for an hour.

There’s never time enough.

Cappy got hitched

My old college buddy got married

Why do you got the friends the friends you got?

I met Cap in HS at a party in, of all places, a Jewish synagogue. One of us bummed a cig from the other. Don’t remember. We were both going to Cornell. He’d look me up, he said.

We kept running into each other – even once at Broadway & 8th over a weekend – but were never really close. While he became a BMOC, I was hustling in the City most weekends.

But, causa some drama, Junior year I was living outta my whip when I ran into him again. He said I could crash with him and his crew for whatever I could spare – I think I paid about $150 a month.

My clearest memory from all of college is of this one absolute crap night. I remember sitting in the kitchen hating when Cap walked in. Like me, he was always up causa this or that.

The worst part, I said, my CD player broke. How’s that for a kick in the head? He thought for a bit, walked into his room, and came out with his old CD player. He handed it to me and said had another one.

Here’s the thing; he and I were just about the two poorest kids in the house. This is when they cost as much as an Ipod. It meant more than you can imagine. More than I’m capable of writing. I’m just not that good. 14+ years later, I still remember what CD was in it.

Speaking of 14, Cappy eloped with his chick of 14 years. Yeah, you read right. I heard the news today. I’d wish them luck if I thought they needed it.

Ah, just as well – my luck’s not the kind people want anyway.

Location: 19:45, emptying the wastebaskets in my office
Mood: nostalgic
Music: Who’s gonna come around When you break?