Family

The Dating Game: Florida and My Mister Roberts

Monday, July 18th, 2011 | Family, Friends, Gay, The Dating Game, Travel | No Comments

Last week I was in Florida, visiting my sisters with my brother and his family. My parents also drove down from Alabama, and we rented a beach house on Indian Shores. The trip this time was very mellow, just hanging out on the beach and with each other, eating grouper sandwiches, bitching about our siblings, building sand castles. And then along came this dreamy bipedal humanoid cryptid whom we shall call Mr. Roberts. Mr. Roberts and I had been conversing online for several months, but having seen only one picture of his fur-ensconced upper half, I had no reason to believe that such a creature could actually exist outside of a fetishist’s CGI enhanced imagination. He lives a few hours away from my sisters, and drove over to spend a day on the beach with me and my family. He was indeed real, and as hairy as his photo suggested, no CGI enhancement necessary. I couldn’t keep my hands off of him, for in addition to looking like something that should be petted, he was just so accessible and welcoming, a 6’2″ shaggy pooch. We drove to Fort deSoto, a beautiful undeveloped island near the mouth of Tampa Bay, and waded and bobbed around and got to know each other better, before heading back to the beach house and a yummy dinner with fish that my brother and brother-in-law snatched from the Gulf that morning. We watched the sun set, one of those spectacular pastel fiery blood orange Florida sunsets, as my family danced in the makeshift cabana/disco they set up behind us. Feigning tiredness, Mr. Roberts asked if it was okay if he could stay the night, so we pushed together the sofas and tried our dangdest to bridge the gap between the two couches, but my sister, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew kept coming in and out of the room. Like, all night. An exasperated Mr. Roberts breathed “Is your family name Kockblocker??” Somehow we ended up falling asleep, various limbs noiselessly entwined, our interaction unfortunately more Hardy Boys than X-Tube, the next day coming way too soon.

Empty Nests

Friday, May 27th, 2011 | Family, Travel | No Comments

A pair of mourning doves made a nest in a planter of ivy on my parents’ deck last month, laying two eggs. Shortly before I arrived to visit with my folks in Birmingham, the eggs hatched. Every day we watched the parents feed the quickly growing chicks with their crop milk. The whole family seemed fine with us sitting only a few feet away, enjoying our iced tea while they regurgitated and pooped, wiggled their wings, and sang us their mournful tunes. After being out with friends one day, I returned in the evening to my dad’s excited announcement that the chicks had flown the coop. I was so excited, I ran up to the deck to see if I could see them around and noticed that dad had taken their nest away. “They’re so messs-ssy,” he complained. Shocked, I ran out and returned the ivy to its former place, and squawked that the chicks were going to be traumatized if they tried to return to their home and it was gone. I had no idea if this was true or not, but they had become part of our family, we had watched these chicks grow, regurgitated meals together. The dark forest behind my parents’ house seemed like a scary place for them to be, I wanted them to know that they had a secure home to return to.

Flash back to 1985. When I returned home the first time after leaving for college, the reproduction Peter Max mural in my bedroom had been painted over, my first edition Hardy Boys books sold, letters from my 6th grade girlfriends and other treasured memorabilia tossed out… no trace of me. Mom and dad, the extreme opposite of empty nesters.

Reese and Shakespeare

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 | Family | No Comments

Saturday night Reese’s high school put on its annual Shakespeare competition and Elizabethan fest.  Reese competed, the first to perform.  He entered the stage, kissed the bust of the Bard, introduced himself, then laid down on the floor and performed Sonnet 44 and one of Edmond’s monologues from King Lear.  His performance was of such searing intensity and confidence.  At one point he ripped off his shirt and strutted across the stage like a runway model.  A tear came to my eye.  Reese is no longer Little Reesey but an Abercrombie & Fitch ad.

Family Portraits

Thursday, June 18th, 2009 | Family | No Comments

The Dating Game: Another One From Los Angeles

Sunday, November 25th, 2007 | Art, Family, Friends, The Dating Game | No Comments

This morning I had breakfast with a guy who stirred that stupid part of me that I’ve been trying to calm since age 8. I was so overwhelmed by hormones and endorphins that I consciously had to not say “I’ve fallen in love with you” as we got up to settle the check. We’ve been chatting online for a few months now, he’s up from southern California for the weekend. (Yes, another one.) This morning’s breakfast was our first contact without computer screens between us. I’m salivating as I write this, a sudden hunger for his flesh, to lick the nape of his neck… I feel so victimized by evolution, by the years and years of subtle mutations that have resulted in the synaptic and hormonal storm that is raging in my body right now–and just to produce a few involuntary muscular contractions. Did anyone see La Grande Bouffe? It’s a story about several men who get together for a weekend to eat themselves to death. I could imagine our relationship following a similar narrative trajectory, the two of us collapsing from our inability to quell our insatiable hunger for each other. Despite my attempts at restraint I blurted out, “I think you’re just adorable” as I hugged him goodbye. For one second I didn’t feel in my life anymore, but in the big-budget romantic comedy version of it and I was Meg Ryan and the camera was circling around us as we kissed and I had finally arrived in the scene that I’d been preparing for all my life. I didn’t kiss him, the world stopped spinning, he walked off toward his destination without uttering “Coco, I think you’re adorable, too!” and I got in the CocoMobile and sped off into the gray day.

Other than meeting the Man of My Dreams, the weekend has been busy with visiting parents and sisters, my brother’s turducken, chipped dishes, Grace Cathedral, butter, a really good turkey pot pie last night, and Bob’s mom’s visit–all the exes giggling and hunkered down with Bob’s tarte tatin. I’ve had a birthday since my last entry. I’m now 42.  Gloeden came to town from Chicago and charmed us with his intelligence and wit–Resse, especially. Reese told me later that he wanted him to move to San Francisco and go to his school and be his best friend. My show closes on Friday. No reviews, no sales. My next show will be in a padded cell with me the only audience.

My soon-to-be 80-year old mom asked the now 14-year old Reese if he had any girlfriends. “It’s complicated,” Reese replied. He went on to tell my mom about a schoolmate who had recently asked if he was interested in being her “friend-with-benefits” which segued into a conversation about how his friend could only be bisexual if she had produced orgasms with another girl. Reese insists on specificity in sexual matters.

Maybe when they release Max Ophüls on dvd will I find true happiness. Or if some money gets dumped in my lap–I know what to buy to make me happy. You’re all wrong and so are all of my therapists: I’m not the only person who can make me happy. It’s that guy from Southern California.

Pizza, Tales, Gigggles, 21 Year Olds

Saturday, October 13th, 2007 | Art, Family, Food, The Dating Game | No Comments

Can there be a better pizza in town than Little Star? (I’m talking deep dish here.) The crust is like running through the corn fields at dawn with nothing on except a chopped tomato and mozarella blanket. I had 4 pieces last night–half of a large pie. Since Viccolo closed, I’ve been in pizza limbo, yet Little Star is a little slice of heaven right here in San Francisco.

Reese and BC and I have been watching “Tales of the City” on Friday nights. Reese gets kind of bored and starts doing contortions on the floor, and covers his eyes during the nudes scenes. When it was broadcast originally on Channel 9 (the year Reese was born, I keep telling him) I remember they used some sort of optical zoom to crop the nude parts out. Reese resists his time as much as we yearned for it.

I finished my sound piece for my show yesterday. It’s an hour of me giggling, that I plan to play as a loop during the course of the show. I love the idea of it catching, and everybody giggling at my opening. Since I’ve never sold a sound piece, I plan to distribute free CDs, “Chris Komater Giggling,” at the opening, so you can giggle along with me in the privacy of your own home and think of my furry flowers. And for nothing!

I have a 21 year old chasing after me. A 21 year old. I keep telling him that my stepson has more in common with him, and that he should chase after his boyfriend, the one he already has. That seems to turn him on more, my repeated rejections. And he keeps asking for pictures. Like everytime I see him online, “Do you have any pics?” I don’t get it. And he’s always always horny. What is that nogoodnick boyfriend for? I tell him, more or less, look, grasshopper, we’ll have a few laughs, and then what? I’ve had my laughs, I want a boyfriend, you already have one, now scram. “lol, UR hot!”

I Left My Heart on Red Hollow Road

Friday, August 24th, 2007 | Family, Friends, Travel | No Comments

Wednesday…
I’m on the plane from Dallas to Birmingham, zipping across the south to visit with my parents. The flight’s not full at all–who goes to Birmingham in August? The plane to Dallas was jam-packed, and the guy with the hairiest forearms in Texas sat right next to me. His elbows extended slightly into my space, and my arm, moving up and down due to my accelerated breathing, gently brushed against his furriness. He was wearing shorts, too, and had gorgeous thick brown tree-trunk legs covered in blonde fur. I didn’t look at the rest of him. I didn’t need the rest of him. I was suddenly relieved that I hadn’t brought my first reading choice, I Love Dick, by Chris Kraus, and could hide behind less-suggestive titles. Instead I read about the more appropriate bonobos, ape cousins of the chimpanzees–distinct from chimps with their smaller heads, dominant females, easy-going peaceful nature, and frequent and incessant copulation.

I met a few really interesting fellows last week: one a corporate executive in New York with tattoos that you can barely see under his dense body hair; the other an artist bodybuilder who sells a “product” that sounds a lot like steroids; another guy whose moniker is something close to “largeorganedbottom” who sounds too good to be true; and about three guys who are all the same age, with the same look, jobs, dispositions, and male-pattern baldness. I’d love to take the last three out on a reality-series type date where a panel of Coco Libido Specialists eliminates two for me.

On the plane I’ve been catching up on not only the apes, but also the problem and history of spam, Gustave Courbet, honey bees, and Gerald and Sara Murphy. You know, there’s a major die-out of bees that’s been going on, with whole colonies of honey bees just disappearing. They call it Colony Collapse Disorder, and the bees that have been examined seem to have something like Bee AIDS, their entire immune system wrecked as scores of parasites, mites, and viruses attack their whole system. There aren’t a lot of pollinators like bees, who’ll go for just about any flower. Our entire (commercial) food chain depends on them. I love bees. The males are just around to mate, then after being tolerated by the female workers, are systematically destroyed by them.

I am arrived. It is hot. At 10pm the temperature is 100 degrees. My cute little mommy made salmon patties, salad, and miniature low-fat strawberry cheesecakes for me! It’s hot as hell, but I’m in heaven!

Thursday…
Today I spent the afternoon with James, my total-queen high school buddy. They don’t make queens like they do in the south. His house is Fabu-Chic White Trash, all the walls different saturated colors, whimsical thrift shop furniture and paintings everywhere. He even has a complete Avon after-shave chess set. He lives in Adamsville, which is about a 40 minute drive from my parents’ house. In the absence of markers like rivers or town grids, I never know which way is north or south, just which road leads to which road, which ‘dale is next to which ‘ville. The countryside was absolutely beautiful, lush rolling hills and bright green kudzu. On the way to Adamsville I listened to country music turned up real loud. …two peas in a po-od—me and Go-od… I listen to country music unironically here, and feel the sincerity behind all the Jesus-loving and wife-cheating.

Sofia and Her Shoe Thing, Japanese New Wave, Out of Control dvd Madness

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 | Family, Film | No Comments

Sister Sue is still here, the last of the lingering Thanksgiving visitors. We saw Marie Antoinette the other night, and completely loved it. The film creates a vision of adolescence confined by excess and formality. If you could imagine. What else to do but buy shoes, eat fabulous pastry, and stage little performances in your Petite Trianon? It’s Sofia Coppola’s Picnic at Hanging Rock–the same kind of tension and sensual immersion, but with butter!

Face of Another, Teshigahara’s masterpiece (with screenplay by Kôbô Abe, from his novel!) played last night at the Castro. I didn’t see it, but was so excited by the possibility of seeing it again, I had to tell you. It’s one of my favortie movies about identity. Another favorite Japanese film dealing with identity from that era is Death By Hanging, by Oshima, about a man sentenced to death by hanging. He survives, and his executioners, as well as a doctor, a lawyer, a priest, and the dead woman herself, decide what to do next…

I’ve maxed out my dvd shelves. It had to happen. Actually, it has happened several times, but now the floor below and space above the shelves are full. It’s all ready to topple on top of me in the event of the slightest tremor. I’m in the process of replacing the thicker covers with the thin 5mm deals–except for my beloved Criterions, OOP’s, and box sets–filing away the printed covers, and making my own printed covers with titles in Standard Coco Futura Condensed. Do other people do this kind of thing? Am I scaring you away?

Mangia! Mangia!

Friday, November 24th, 2006 | Family, Food | No Comments

Sisters Sue and Carol; Carol’s husband Bruce; their kids Megan and Aimée; and Aimée’s boyfriend, Jeremy are out for a Thanksgiving visit. I’m learning how to let go of the spatial tension that I’ve created in my bachelo-sphere, letting them spill all over the house. I’ll spend several hours figuring out which angle the new Cobra Lamp should be in relation to the curve of the Milo Baughman chair, so it’s a test to have things randomly moved to fit some need other than aesthetic tension. It’s the problem with being me at the moment. I need a sloppy husbear to disrupt and challenge my obsessive compulsive feng shui illusion of harmony.

Prior to the family’s arrival, birthday activities occupied much of my time. BC took me to the Last Supper Club, where I am sad to say, and despite Big Chrissy’s charming company, the food was only so-so. The fried artichoke appetizer, for instance, should have been about artichoke, salt, extra virgin olive oil, and fried-ness. Instead, they mucked it up by drowning everything in a sugary raspberry vinegar. Some italian mamma ancestor of mine is rolling in her grave, cursing misguided American innovation. The pasta with the pork ragu was pretty tasty, though, as was my salad.

Moving forward in time, but backward as the stomach churns, D treated me to a nice Thai lunch and lots of pink roses. And then Philip treated me to some tasty pancakes at a birthday breakfast the next morning at It’s Tops. Blueberry buckwheat. Yum-babba!

I’ve been listening to teen emo-chick music lately. I’m totally in love with Camera Obscura, and their sweet ballads about heart ache & break.

Meanwhile, the family and I loudly munched along towards Thanksgiving. For the big day, Brother Mark made a turducken–a duck stuffed in a chicken, stuffed in a turkey. It was so very strange and delicious. I was an appetizing dish myself by evening’s end–a plump and juicy tur-Coco-ducken! I made a wild mushroom pate as appetizer, and a salad of arugula, fennel, and persimmon. Aimée shocked me senseless with her chocolate crinkle cookies and kiwi and raspberry goat cheese tart. While we were cooking, Aimée never noticed when the timer went off, seemed distracted by having fun, and then, as if completely by random, out pop some of the most tasty treats I’ve had this millennium.

I hope you all had lots of Thanksgiving goodness, and are enjoying the tryptophan-driven groggy stupor that we’ll all be in for the next few days!

Serious as a Heart Attack!

Thursday, October 26th, 2006 | Family, Film, Friends | No Comments

Greetings from Alabama. Alabama the Beautiful, the license plates say. Dad’s had a triple coronary bypass, and I’m the last of the siblings to make the pilgrimage to Birmingham to help nurse him back to health. He’s been cranky the last few days, contrary to the mood of his post-operation survival euphoria. Yesterday during his checkup, the doctors found that half of one of his lungs was filled with fluid, hence his getting winded so easily, and genetic predisposition for crankiness aside, the root of his recent crankiness. So I’m sitting in the Same-Day Services Waiting Room while he gets checked in for the procedure. They say he’s going to be here for a day or two. Two days just to stick a needle in his lungs? Can’t they just turn him upside down? I’m experiencing the paranoia of an early 30’s heroine told that everything’s going to be fine, and then the next scene the doctor’s turning to his assistant and shaking his head.

S_ picked me up at the airport. Her daughter’s having a rough time, going through the rebel teen years. She’s fallen head over heals for an unexceptional little dude from, as S_ puts it, “an unexceptional family,” unexceptional except for their criminal records–a murderer, an alcoholic, a registered sex-offender. “But the mom’s a Christian,” S_ was quick to add. Little 16 year old C_’s passion seems entirely hormone driven, and given blind forward momentum by her dad’s steadfast refusal to bless her little love. I respond to everything with, “Family counseling, family counseling,” but according to S_, C_ adamantly refuses, failing to understand that a counselor is going to actually listen to her and guide her through living harmoniously with mom and dad and her feelings for the unexceptional little dude. I’m afraid that she’s not going to be able to set aside her willful rebellion and see this guy with any clarity until they’re living in someone’s tool shed with a bun in the oven and a minimum wage job at Wal-Mart. In a way it’s very romantic, or could be, but I’ve seen the movie, and since 1938 the ending has always been tragic.

Someone in the waiting room has a telephone with a series of warbly histrionic country love song ring tones. Turned up full blast. The phone’s owner has temporarily disappeared, but left his bag behind with his clueless but you can tell tender-hearted beer-bellied baseball-hatted totally-my-type friends, so every like two minutes there’s a new tear-jerking tune jolting me and the blue-haired ladies out of our seats as the buddies shift nervously.

Tyra’s on the TV here in the waiting room. It’s a show about straight girls who like to make out with women, with some lesbian wanna-be’s and a panel of expert lesbians. The guys in the waiting room are all totally turned on, and the women look occasionally at the TV and let out exasperated huffs. I watched Fassbinder’s Fox and His Friends the other night. It’s like Fassbinder never happened in this country. A thing that I love about his films is that most of them are really structured like standard Hollywood melodramas, but with an unapologetic gay disposition transposed on the directorship and narrative. He’s my total hero of the moment. When I get back, I’ll screen his BRD Trilogy, so let me know if you want to join me at the Coco-Plex.

The Lesbians are riding horses on Tyra now.

Look who just walked in. Omigod. He’s like 7 feet tall, teetering on cowboy boots, with a 10-gallon hat, horseshoe mustache, and a tiny little girlfriend who fits at his side like a polyp. He mumbles an incomprehensible southern scramble of words to her occasionally as his eyes shift from under his hat towards me. I blush and squirm under his intense but sweet honey gaze and focus on my laptop. His little belly wobbles as he fills out his admission form.

There don’t seem to be any single men around, just a lot of married men looking for “friends.” And what is it with those half-naked married guys who are just “looking for friends?” I’m ready to start perusing the Convicted Sex Offender list.

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