This is the first 20 or so pages of my Novel called Manhattan Video Tape. Please read and give me some feedback. I am about half done with it but it is all in pieces and needs to be transcribed, edited and added to.
Manhattan Video Tape
the first 20 or so pages.
January 1992. I am a student at the University of Connecticut. I came here during the fall of 1990 to play Division 1 field hockey but things did not go as planned. My grades sucked, I had no real friends, just a bunch of back stabbing jocks from the field hockey team that liked me about as far as they could throw me. I was different than the rest of team; to them I was just some weird punk rock chic. During the early 90’s, punk had not hit the mainstream yet and anyone that identified with that culture was very misunderstood. I was not welcomed in as a part of their inner field hockey circle, but when it came down to being hazed, I was the first on their list.
The University of CT at this time was known as one of the biggest party schools in the nation. Actually I think it was rated number 3 on the list. I had been a drinker in high school, but I had not done any drugs at all except for alcohol. Pot had not hit the small town I was from yet. The Field Hockey team was known for being a bunch of drunken jocks that threw some of the best parties on campus. The only reason I was invited to these parties was because the team wanted to haze me and boy did they ever.
I was forced to drink pitcher of beer after pitcher of beer during any one of the many drinking games the team partook in. When I was so drunk I could not walk, I was beaten up, thrown around, slapped, made fun of and made to walk home from the parties that were off campus. When I think about it now I am amazed that I made it back to my dorm room at all after these off campus parties, no one had any respect for me, least of all myself.
After a few years of this, my grades suffered and because I was put on academic probation I was kicked off of the team. If I had been a starter or someone important on the varsity team, they would have hired me some tutors but I was nothing but the 3rd string practice Goalie that did not even get to travel with the team half of the time. Nothing was working out as I planned.
After I was kicked off of the team, none of the friends that I had from the team wanted anything to do with me, not that it mattered anyway none of these people were real friends of mine anyway. At this time I was starting to question my sexuality. Most of the team was either gay or in the closet. During practice, people would ride by in their cars and yell “DYKES!” at us out of their windows. I was the first among my circle of friends on the team that came out. I admitted to them that I was probably bi-sexual and it was after I made this announcement that they really wanted nothing to do with me. If I had said I was gay, they would have accepted me, but because I said I was bi-sexual I got the cold shoulder. They thought it was gross that I could not make up my mind. The funniest thing about this whole situation was that all 3 of them years later came out as being gay and apologized to me.
During the winter break of 91/92 I had gone to my first gay bar. Even though I had a miserable time at every gay bar I had gone to, I was still satisfied that I was able to finally come out of the closet. But I knew right then that I did not really fit in the gay scene at all, mostly due to the fact that I was a punk rocker and most gay people in CT were not.
With my new found sexual freedom I became very rebellious. I shaved my head, moved out of the dorms and started smoking cigarettes. There was no more field hockey and no more fucked up friends. It was also at this time that my childhood and hometown rival died. Her name was Tara Wymes and she was a punk rock legend.
Tara was a film student at SUNY Purchase when she died during the shooting of a student film. No one really knows what happened. She and a buddy were in a rowboat off of the Hamptons in Long Island New York when somehow the boat capsized. Her body and that of her friend, washed up to shore 3 days later.
Tara and I never really got along. Even though we tried to be friends many times, we could not get over the rivalry that was between us. Both of us wanted to be actors and were always in competition for parts in school plays. She was smarter than me back then and the only class we shared was Drama. It was our passion.
In high school we got into our first fist fight in the bathroom during a school dance. It was a fight over a guy, her first fuck and my best friend that I was completely in love with. His name was Jeremy Lamb. He was a skater boy who turned me onto hardcore music at the age of 15. He was my passion. I never wanted to fight her but she started it. She blamed me for the reasons that Jeremy hated her, when actually he hated her way more after the fight then he ever did before. I was his best friend and even though I lost the physical part of the fight-I won his favor.
After the fight I barely saw her. We had gone to different high schools, she went to Taft private school and I was forced to go to the public school that my mom taught at. After high school, I saw her a handful of times. It was at these times when we started to become friends. I really wanted to be her friend but it felt like we were in a century long feud. We both wanted the same things out of life. It was during one of these times that she mentioned that I had no idea who I was yet and boy was she right. When she died, almost instantaneously I knew who I was, who I had wanted to be, who I could be and what I wanted out of life. I had to get out of UCONN, without field hockey there was nothing there for me.
So I decided to leave CT to follow my dreams of being a film maker and actor. This dream had been with me since I was 2 or 3 years old. It never left me, I had just forgotten about it through the lack of support my parents showed me. Tara had now become an angel guiding me. This meant more to me than anything in the world.
My last semester at UCONN glided by, I had made some new friends that were also gay. It was through them that I started to smoke pot and it was also through them that I met my first girlfriend. Her name was Jennifer Edwards but everyone called her J for short. I had met her through my friend Amy’s girlfriend Reebok. Reebok had come to CT from North Carolina to visit Amy and it was my bright idea to take a road trip with my car to get her back to NC. What a long and fun trip it was. 15 hours each way. There were three of us-Amy, Reebok and myself. They had sex in my backseat as we drove over the George Washington Bridge. I wished I knew then what a sign that was because a year later I would be living in New York City.
When we arrived in Wilmington the next morning it was a non stop party with alcohol and pot. J was Reebok’s best friend and a student at UNCW. She was also a writer, a pot head and a struggling codeine addict. Later that night we hooked up and I officially had my first girl friend.
Leaving Wilmington was hard, we exchanged numbers and I promised to call. I went back to CT with a renewed sense of purpose. J and I talked on the phone a lot. The next weekend we headed down to NC again to see our girlfriends. It was that weekend where I had my first girl on girl sex. It was a fantastic weekend and she taught me to smoke pot out of a water bong. I have to laugh now as I remember how long it took me to be able to get a hit off of that thing.
We drove down to NC a lot and sometimes those 15 hour trips were bad. One time one of my tires went bald and I had to get a new one although I had no money at all so I wrote a bad check. One time over the Delaware Bridge riding over the Potomac River there was such a bad ice storm that I could hardly see at all. I was scared shitless driving through that and the same thing happened on the way back through New Jersey. I believe it was our prayers to Our Lady of the Highways that got us through some of those trips.
The last weekend we went down there I caught J having sex with some fat chic and that was it. My first relationship with a girl lasted about 2 months. I cried when she dumped me. It was after this that my parents started to figure out what was going on. My sister had asked me if I was gay and I told her that I was bi-sexual. She instantly told my parents and was the golden girl from then on. I regretted ever telling her the truth. My sister had viciously stabbed me in the back to get in good with my parents. My parents were very homophobic and my life was hell from then on.
My pot smoking and partying got heavy from that moment on. I was never without a bag of pot. My friends and I got caught smoking weed in their dorm room and we all got in trouble even though they never found any pot. For some reason I had a sixth sense and put the bag away right before they knocked on my friends door. It was my bag anyway. We all got personal probation and because I was all ready on academic probation-I was kicked out of UCONN and not only was I kicked out of their main branch of campus; I was barred from ever going to any other branch of UCONN.
That summer at my parent’s house was hell because of my sexuality. I spent the entire summer smoking weed, drinking alcohol, riding around in my car listening to punk, hardcore and grunge. 1992 was a great year for music. Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden were now main stream and I loved it.
There was some serious partying going on that summer and I was becoming known for a huge pot head. It was the summer of 92’that I met Dallas Campbell, Tara’s ex-boyfriend from London, England. We became great friends and eventually I went to London to hang out with him. It was there that I had gotten my first leather jacket and my nose pierced. I also became best friends with Chris Verdosci, another one of Tara’s closest friends. He had also come out of the closet so we had a lot in common being 2 of the only out gay people in the small town where we were from. He was my buddy and we complimented each other greatly. A pattern was emerging where I was becoming good friends with all of these people that were important to Tara. But it was one person in particular that had the most effect on me. Her name was Deidre and after I met her I would never be the same.
It happened on a Saturday night. Deidre was visiting with Tara’s parents and it was my task to show her a good time, so of course we got some booze and went to a party that some older kids were having. Deidre was a beautiful short punk rock, gothic type chic with black hair, brown eyes and cool clothes. She started kissing me, to my surprise, and instantly I fell in love with her. She captured my soul and dressed me up with poetry and punk. I learned a lot from her in a short period of time. I had become obsessed and when she blew me off for some guy a few months later I was crushed. Before this disappointment, she had given me this sweet bomber jacket that she had made from pieces of other bomber jackets. I wore this jacket every day for months. It became a symbol of freedom for me. I was unable to dress punk as a kid because of my mother, so I played the role of the jock for my mom until I left UCONN. Now my mom had no say in what I wore any more. My hair was now dyed green; I had a nose ring and was now officially the person I always wanted to be, on the outside at least.
I played on my mother’s fears for all they were worth. When I wanted to go to London to visit Dallas, they gave me money and bought my ticket-anything to get me out of the house. It was the fall of 1992. Dallas and I had a blast. We smoked hash and drank Guinness. I loved London, I felt at home there. On the streets, people actually asked me for directions! I ate fish and chips, bought my first motorcycle jacket and it was here that I wrote the first poem I had written in years. It was called-“Sitting in a London Pub”.
Sitting in a London Pub,
Reflecting upon my life
As my sorrows and dreams
Come rushing upon me.
You are not here with me,
I sit alone,
But thinking of you,
Makes the Guinness go down easier.
A scorned woman sings from the juke.
I am not a duke.
Pool table calls
And I shall beat them all.
It was in this same pub that Dallas and I sang Jane’s Addiction songs during an open mic. We met a few girls there also, it seemed like everyone in London was bi-sexual. But I was still hung up on Deidre and wanted nothing to do with these girls, much to the chagrin of Dallas. We got drunk and stoned almost every night I was there. We had talked about going to a rave and experimenting with other drugs but we never had a chance. Dallas was pretty broke and considering that the dollar lost to the pound- I didn’t have enough money to pay for both of us.
Dallas I had long talks about Tara and heroin. We both wanted to try it but did not have the nerve. He played the guitar and we sang sad songs all day. He gave me this now famous picture of him and Tara when she was at Taft. He also had a pair of army pants that Jeremy had given Tara. Boy did I want them but he would not part with them and I totally understood why. Tara was gone and he loved her very much.
When it was time for me to leave, he asked me to stay and find a job. Even though I really wanted to, my parents had paid for 2 classes at Northwestern Community College and I had to get back and finish them, although I only ended up finishing one of them. I wished I had stayed. On the way to America, I was able to smuggle some hash in my Drum tobacco, which I smoked with my friends in CT the day after I returned. My mother almost died when she picked me up at the airport and my nose was pierced. I was bombarded with insults from my mom during the trip from the airport to home. My friends were stoked about it. I felt very industrial with a piece of metal in my nose.
One day a few weeks after returning from London, my best friend Rena and I decided to take a ride into New York City. The first place she took me was to St. Marks Place where all the punks were at. I felt at home there. I had bought an earring of the Anarchy symbol because my life was all about anarchy. Little did I know at the time that everything was going to change. I knew that the East Village was where I belonged and where I needed to be. So I looked for a way out of CT.
About a week later I was reading the Village Voice when I saw an advertisement for the New York Film Academy. It was a two month intensive program in which you got to make four 16 mm films in two months instead of going through bullshit college classes. It cost around 3500 dollars, about the same amount as one semester at UCONN. When I pitched the idea to my parents, once again they were stoked, another thing that was going to get me out of the house. They asked me where I was going to live and I told them that I would find a place.
In order to get into the school you had to go through an interview. Chris Verdosci and I took a ride into NYC for my big interview. We got a little lost but I still made it in time for my interview. The building where the New York Film Academy was located was in Tribeca and was actually owned by Robert Deniro. This impressed the shit out of me.
The guy who interviewed me was named Steve. He was very nice and I was impressed with the school. This was a film school for spoiled kids that were rejects from other film schools. I had passed Steve’s part of the interview and had to meet with the director of the school who was this crazy, drunken, bearded, artsy looking guy. I think he was from Europe. He was really nice but I swear he was drunk. He liked me and I was approved to start on January 6th of 1993. They advised me to find student housing in the city. Rena actually helped me with that.
The place I found was located on 103rd ST. and Amsterdam Ave. The American Youth Hostel offered furnished rooms for students. A single cost $500 a month. The day I went to look at the place a few of my friends came with me. I really liked the place. There was always a lot of people, students from all sorts of different schools and backpackers from all over the world. I met with the manager and he showed me a certain room on the second floor. It was a single was the only single room with a balcony outside of the window. There was a desk with some drawers and a bed. I told him I would take it and filled out the appropriate forms. I was on my way. January 2nd 1993 was the day I was too be moving in. As soon as I got home to CT, I started packing my things. At this moment in time, life could not get any better than this.
The winter of 1992 was like an emotional earthquake. I had gone through a lot in one year and looking back, emotionally and sexually I was not ready for New York. Maybe if I had accepted the counseling that UCONN offered to me 6 months before I got kicked off the team, things would have been better for me. But at that time I was too into drinking, playing field hockey and being a punk then looking at what was wrong with me. My alcohol problem was really a problem but my youthful ignorance hid my issues from me. Growing up, my family did not deal with any emotional issues that we were dealing with, so I was taught to keep it in, put it away and forget about it. I was holding a lot in, more than I even knew.
There is an old windmill that was a special spot to me by my parent’s house in Thomaston Connecticut. I use to hang out and party. I went there with my friends and by myself. As a kid it was my favorite place to drive by. As a young adult I did all my most important thinking there. It was even the place that Deidre had first kissed me at. The place met a lot to me and I had done a lot of partying there. My first time messing around with acid, my friends and I spent a good portion of the trip there. It was awesome. I had also had seen many, many UFO’s there.
Right before I left for New York City, I went there to smoke some pot and ponder what moving to New York City meant to me. At the place where I had met my youth, I was saying goodbye to my innocence. I was about to fulfill a lifelong dream but all I could think about was that I was leaving The Windmill and my most importantly my innocence. I knew that even though I was moving to New York City for film school, I was really moving there to fall in love and to party. My whole life there was someone missing in my life, even though I did not know who she was, her spirit was with me always. In the music I listened to, in the movies I watched and most importantly in my hopes and dreams. I had been searching for this girl my whole life and I had a feeling that she was in New York City. Something big was going to happen and I was just not ready for it. But ready or not there it was, that long fought for freedom I had always wanted out of life. I could hardly sleep that night.
My father drove me into the city on the day I moved in. We had to go back 3 miles away from my parent’s house because I was so excited I forgot my rent check, my portfolio and the posters for the walls of my dorm room. I realized that I was going to miss my Dad but I was definitely not going to miss his fascist attitude and all his rules like no burning candles in the house, no smoking in the house, no burning incense in the house and most importantly no lesbian sex in the house. Although it was all right for him to have many porno films that featured lesbian sex, it was not all right for his daughter. As a matter of fact my parent’s homophobia worked in my favor-they were paying a lot of money to let me live in New York City and mostly to get me out of their house without kicking me out. I appreciated the fact that my parents during the 80’s and early 90’s were upper middle class and said I love you through a 20 dollar bill. I knew what the deal was at an early age that money was the most important thing in the world to my parents and because they could not say the words “I love you”, they said it through money. This fucked me up but I was going to use it to my advantage as much as I could, for as long as I could.
On the way to New York all I could think about was smoking pot in my first New York apartment. I only had about a nickels worth but I figured I could find another bag pretty easy in New York City. The move in was pretty easy and there were carts for me to use. It took us about 3 trips and parking was a bitch. I really appreciated my Dad’s taking me there and helping me move in. When we were done moving my stuff in, we went across the street for a piece of pizza and some sodas. I got sad when he was about to leave and tears filled my eyes. He told me that everything was going to be all right and to be happy. He was right. I walked him to his car, hugged him and waved goodbye.
Putting together my room was easy. I had bought this portable closet to put my clothes in and as soon as I finished eating my pizza, I got stoned. When my stereo was all set up I put in some Ministry and ended up listening to music all night. I could tell the hostel was probably not ready for me, but I covered the smell of the pot with incense and made sure the music was not too loud. The balcony in my room was at the end of the room and looked out onto Amsterdam Ave. I had to remove wooden blocks off my window to be able to go out there. I was not officially suppose to go out there but the manager told me they did not mind it if I did, as long as I didn’t throw things to the street or make a lot of noise out there. I stood out there for a second and smoked a joint.
“Wow”, I thought “I am finally free.” If only that statement was true.
The room was smaller that my UCONN dorm room but big enough for me and my masturbating little body. I had brought my vibrator with me, thank god. It was one of those back massager ones that I had been using for at least 4 years. I loved it. I was a professional masturbator because I was too shy and confused to have any kind of sex life growing up. Getting my self off was something that helped pass the loneliness of time spent by myself, which was always. I had never really had any kind of long distance relationship and I had only had sex 3 times with a girl and 3 times with a boy. I was very inexperienced sexually and I was about to find out just how much experience I did not have. That night I had sex with myself. I made love to the city. I had come in search of love, fame and a good time. I was very happy to be out of Connecticut. There was no love for me there. I was tired of being the outcast that got picked on all the time. I was always being harassed or fucked with when I went to the store or out to eat. There was a lot of homophobic, freak-phobic redneck morons’ back then in Connecticut. There were a lot of things I hated about Connecticut. For example everything but the trees and my friends, it was a very, very oppressive, lonely place for me. Almost everyone around me was satisfied there but me. I did not even fit in with my friends. My sex life sucked and not even the trees could make up for the lack of fulfillment that I felt there. Something was stirring inside of me and now that I was in New York City, the intensity of it scared me. But that feeling was also the one thing that excited me and kept me going. My first weekend in New York City was a lonely one. School did not start yet and I did not know a soul. Perhaps I was lonely, perhaps I was scared, but I spent my first weekend there drunk, stoned and day dreaming of the days ahead.
A few days before school started I had to go down to the New York Film Academy and get my student ID taken. I carried my skateboard and in my Discman I was listening to The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I put on my French army coat, my Doc Martin boots and took the 1/9 train to Canal St, which was the wrong stop by the way. I stood on the corner of Canal St. and tried to ask someone for directions to Greenwich St. in Tribeca. It was only one subway stop away but it took me a half an hour to get an unhappy New Yorker to help me.
After a lot of sweat I finally found the building. I strutted into that place with the biggest smile on my face. Everything felt like one big TV show, New York was the set and I was the star. Steve took my picture and it looked as if he was happy to see me, though I have no idea why. The building was quite impressive because it also housed the production company that put out Truth or Dare, the Madonna music docudrama. This impressed me because I was a Madonna fan and I was a proud owner of her erotic book called Sex. It was one of my favorite possessions and worth a lot more than the 75 dollars that I paid for it.
After the photo session I had no idea where to go to next. I was in awe at the intensity of the city. All I had to do was look around, I was really happy to be here. I ended up walking to the Lower East Side although I did not know where I was officially. I took the train back home and was totally exhausted from my first deep excursion into the city. I was still confused as to how the streets went, but I knew that if I just kept my face in the Village Voice and went out on adventures that sooner or later I would be a pro at getting around New York City.
I spent another lonely night at the hostel finishing off my weed and a 40 ounce beer. Tomorrow I was going to hang out with Rena, who at the same time as me, moved into New York City. I beat her by a few days. I couldn’t wait to see her. She was one of my best friends and I was not use to being without my friends, my few days in New York were pretty damn lonely.
That next night I called Rena but she was not there and had decided at the last minute to take a trip to Connecticut. Her roommate Michelle was there and she invited me to their place to drink some beer and smoke some weed. I could not wait to hang out and meet people. They lived at 25th street and 9th avenue. On the way there I picked up a few 40’s of Crazy Horse.
Rena had always given me a lot of love, clothes and friendship. We use to go to the Salvation Army together all the time. She was a freaky style Diva loved by all those who were lucky to know her. She had many admirers and was way ahead of her time. Ever since she was in Junior High she just had to hang out in a city. She use to get in trouble with her racist Dad for dating black guys from Waterbury Connecticut, the nearest city to the small town we lived in.
I was all ready drunk when I got to their apt. I had run out of weed and was expecting to cop some through Rena’s friends but unfortunately Michelle could not help me in the same way. I probably would not have gotten so drunk, so fast if I had some weed to level me out.
On the train downtown I did not feel unsafe at all. When I was growing up all I heard about New York City subways was that everyone gets mugged and raped. But the subways really are not like that. Everybody minds their own business. Do unto others that you’d have done to you. Basically as long as you don’t fuck with anybody, they will not fuck with you. Actually I felt like people were actually scared of me. Little old ladies grabbed their purse strings tighter when they saw me sit down near them. I looked hard and punk but inside I was a complete puppy dog.
Every second in New York felt like Deja Vue. I felt like I had been born here. Every step I took was precise. There was a voice inside of me saying-“Only the strong survive and you know how to do it.” I knew that I was not alone in this world. Something amazing was going to happen.
Listening to Ministry and being drunk in the subway made my ego pump. I felt like I was projecting the most amazing energy that really said ‘I love you people but don’t fuck with me’ and those I came in contact with felt it. The intense music I was listening to was pumping through my veins. I felt alive.
I got a little lost when I got off the subway but I found my way quickly. When I arrived at Rena’s, Michelle sensed right away that I was drunk. She said that she was worried about me because she knew I liked to party and that New York City was no place for wild punk rock chicks that like to party. I told her not to worry about me. I got kind of annoyed because for one I hardly knew Michelle and for two why did she care what I did. It was obvious that I could not get any weed from her or the people she knew.
A little while later some dudes from the projects across the way came over to hang out with Michelle and her friends. I asked him if he could get me some weed but he says-“No but I can get you heroin.”
“Heroin” I said, “I have always wanted to try it.”
“No!” Michelle interjected, “Don’t sell her any drugs!”
“Sorry.” He says, “No Fish Today!” I laughed. “It is shooters dope anyway, and if you never tried it, I am not going to be the first person to give it to you.” Enough said. I was glad he said that and I let it go.
I got bored pretty quick without weed so I left. Michelle and Rena were actually straight edge but not in the straight edge hardcore type of way. They just did not drink or do any drugs. Rena was never into drinking mostly because her racist Dad was also an alcoholic and a pretty bad one at that. I had never seen him do anything but cook once or twice a week at his restaurant or just sitting and drinking absolute vodka on his expensive leather chair. He was the kind of drunk who was just drunk all the time and red faced every second of the day. I totally understood why she did not drink. My parents never drank and when I would get questioned for drinking I just smiled and said everything is ok I am not dumb like my friends, even though I was one of the biggest jock drunks in high school. But now my life was about weed, I had to have weed. I was too drunk to be without it. In hindsight I wish I had given up the booze and just smoked the weed. I would have been better off.
Michelle was worried about me so she walked me to the subway. The only thing on my mind that night was finding some pot. I had no idea where to look, so when I got off the 1/9 at 103rd street I asked the first junkie I saw. It ended up to be a homeless young black lesbian named New Jersey.
“Hey girl, do you know where I can get some weed?” I asked her.
“Yeah” she says. “I can get you some weed for two dollars so I can get some Night Train.”
“Sure,” I said. “No problem” and I handed her the two dollars and she took me on a walk down a few blocks up into Harlem and the upper west side. As we were walking she told me that she was gay and that her girlfriend was following us because she though she was going to cheat on her with me. I laughed hard and told her that I wasn’t into her girl that I just wanted weed. I laughed hard at this situation.
Of course I had to wait around the corner and when they came back I was pretty sure they dipped into my bag but I didn’t really give a fuck. I was too stupid to realize that I should have gone to Washington Square Park where they had weed 24 hours a day. But no one I knew ever told me this. I guessed I should have found out before I moved to New York where to buy pot, but the only people I knew that knew anything about New York was Rena, whose first priority was not getting me weed and Tara who was dead. The town I was from was criminally small.
On the way back to the hostel I got harassed by this group of young black dudes drinking 40’s on a stoop. They started throwing bottle caps at me as I walked by. I turned around to say something and New Jersey told me not to do that. “They would have raped you if we were not there” she said.
“Well then thank you very much.” I said and high tailed it to the hostel.
I was hella drunk when I got there and the first thing I saw was the cutest little grunge guy I had ever seen. He was working at the desk and lived at the hostel. He was short and had long curly black hair. He was wearing an old brown sweater vest and a flannel. Totally grunge, a little Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of pearl jam, look alike. We started talking and he asked me if I wanted to go to a rave. I told him sure and he said he would meet me at 11 O’clock when he got off of work. It was about 10 o’clock when I went to my room. I was stoked to hang out with this cutie. So I went up stairs and smoked a bowl, finally after all that work. The room started spinning and I knew I was definitely too drunk to go to a rave. I put some early Nine Inch Nails on my stereo and I tried to sober up.
At 11 o’clock I went down to meet Andrew. We decided to not go to the rave but to smoke some weed on a balcony instead. We went and bought some more alcohol and I drank Southern Comfort I bought when I went to that liquor store with New Jersey, the crack ho that got me the weed.
The balcony was beautiful but I could literally hear gun shots from the direction where I had just bought the weed. That was sort of a quick wake up call for me. The night air was chilly but being with this little cutie warmed me up. This kid was totally my type and I had not made out in a long time.
After a little while it got too cold in the midnight January night so we went around visiting to the other people that lived and worked in the hostel. This one guy I met was a real asshole. He was a white spoiled, gay asshole. For some reason he just did not like me and when I spilled some of my drink, he made fun of me for about a half hour.
After we ended up back in my room and listened to some Smashing Pumpkins. He started looking at Madonna’s Sex book. I could see his cock get hard. I jumped on top of him and we humped each other until we both got off. I was so relieved to finally get some action. New York was definitely good to me and I had not even been there a week yet. We both passed out and when I woke up he was gone. I was completely satisfied with that. The rest of the weekend I just relaxed and got to know my neighborhood. I mentally prepared myself for the start of the New York Film Academy on Monday.
I was super stoked about starting the New York Film Academy. Being a film maker and actor was something I had wanted to be my whole life. Ever since I saw the original King Kong at the movie theater in 1977, I was obsessed with films and film making. My background in film ranged from the recent classics of 1970’s and the 1980’s, but my main cinematic passion was (and still is) the black and white films of the 1930’s and 1940’s. I was very drawn to the feel of black and white as a kid. My first heroes were Humphrey Bogart and James Dean. My parents picked up on this at a young age and at every holiday or birthday, I got something that had to do with those two legends of Hollywood, Humphrey Bogart and James Dean.
My first day of school I wore my favorite army pants, my Doc Martin boots, my French army jacket and a Nine Inch Nails long sleeve hooded t-shirt. It was my favorite shirt at the time and I had worn it in London. The shirt still held some rips and tears from a drunken stoned night at The Australian Doors show in London England. The Australian Doors were a huge Doors cover band from Australia and I swear the singer looked exactly like Jim. It was really tripped out going sick for The Doors or the closest thing to the real thing possible at least.
I was nervous but completely confident and excited for school. New York City was instilling a confidence in myself I had never felt before. The buildings, the people, the subway, the buses, the taxis, the parks, the girls, the streets, the newspapers, the alcohol, the drugs, the clubs, everything was very exciting to me. It had been my dream since I was a little girl to move to New York City before I even really knew what New York City was. King Kong had a huge positive effect on me, more than I even knew. Plus I was having
intense episodes of deja vue almost everywhere I went. I was floating on air but there was also something else stirring inside of me that had been trying to get out for a long time. As much as I felt the light of my love for the city, I equally felt the darkness inside of me slashing its tail with the same intensity as I felt the love inside of me. These were important days ahead. I never felt more serious in my life as I made my way to the 1/9 subway downtown to the Greenwich Avenue stop in Tribeca, equipped with my portfolio, my discman and a pack of camel lights.
The first day of classes we all met in the big screening room that the building had. There we were to find out the course schedule and how everything worked. We were told we were going to be split up into two groups and from there 5 groups of 4. In these groups of 4 we would make our 4 films with each person rotating jobs when working on the others films. It all sounded awesome to me. The first task at hand before they broke us up in two was for everyone to get up in front of the class and tell some things about themselves. I looked around the room and surveyed the other students. None of them really interested me except for this one girl who got up before me. I had seen her shoes walk by first because I was looking down and I noticed she was wearing Doc Martins too. Back then you could tell who was into punk and the underground if they were wearing Doc Martins. I had the boots on; she had the shoe version of the boot I was wearing. She and I were the only people in the class wearing Doc Martins. What she said when she spoke went completely threw me. I was a bit transfixed at this girl who was about 5’4” (the same height as me), big breasted (like me), long gorgeous black hair, big brown eyes and a face that was curvy in just the right places. She looked like a cross between an old movie star diva from the 30’s and a old school punk rocker. She was wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket and tight black jeans. But when it came my turn to speak, I forgot about her and concentrated at the task at hand.
I felt all the eyes on my as I strutted towards the stage to speak. I looked around the room before I began to sum up the other students in the audience. I wanted everyone to know that I was not someone to fuck with. I could feel their souls understood and I started my speech.
“My name is Kim, I am from a really small town in Connecticut. I have wanted to be a film maker and an actress my whole life. I recently went to the University of Connecticut and it was there that I realized how full of shit mainstream college was. I am very happy to be here and I am up for everything and anything film wise. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be here.” When I was done a few people actually clapped. This blew me away because no one else got clapped for. I guess they liked what I said about college considering that most of us were spoiled rejects from other schools.
After everyone was done, we took a small 15 minute smoke and bathroom break. I went outside with a group of about 5 boys in my class. We all stood around in a small group on the steps of the building. A short time later, the girl with Doc Martins walked outside and stood by the door for a moment. She looked at me and I looked at her. I turned to talk to some of the guys introducing myself again and getting their names, when I noticed the girl was standing by the door still looking at me. She was holding a cigarette in her hand.
“Do you have a light?” She says.
“Yes I do.” I told her. We met each other half way and I lit her cigarette for her. We stood there looking at each other for few seconds while we smoked our cigarettes.
“My name is Nico.” She said.
“I am Kim.” I answered back. There was something very familiar about the way standing next to her made me feel. I was transfixed by her and the way I felt next to her. We sat near each other when break was over and talked some more about where I was from. She seemed genuinely interested in me. I felt as if someone just hit me over the head with a notebook.
Later that day after the break for lunch, we met in another building uptown in the west village a short distance away in a building called the Kampo Culture Center. I ate lunch by myself because after that intense first part of the day I needed to take a walk by myself to process everything that had just happened.
The second half of the day was spent talking about the lecture part of our 2 month program. I was stoked when Nico and I were put in the same half of the class. After we got that list, she asked me if I wanted to be in the smaller group with her. I said “yes of course.” Then there was another girl a bit older than I and obviously bi-curious that asked Nico to be in her group. In over hearing this I said-“You’re not going to leave me are you?”
“No.” she said and she kindly told the other girl that she all ready belonged to another group. I was so glad I spoke up at that moment. Something inside of me just could not help it. There was no way I was losing the opportunity to work with a girl that made me feel like superman when I stood next to her.
Towards the end of the day we were given our schedule for the rest of the week. The second day of class we were to learn how to load and use the 16mm black and white Bolex cameras that we were going to use to make all 4 of our films. After class I walked a bit with Nico to the subway. I told her that I lived at 103rd Street and took the 1/9. She happened to live off of the 1/9 also on 22nd street between 7th and 8th avenue but that she did not like taking the subways all that much. When we arrived at the subway I said goodbye and told her that I was stoked to start making films. She agreed with me and told me that she would see me tomorrow. I waved good bye as I descended the steps to the 1/9 uptown train.
When I got home I was astonished about what had happened that day. Everything was perfect and I found Nico entering my thoughts often that night. I could not wait to go to class. I was so excited I could hardly sleep; masturbating had always helped me with that but this night all I could do was stare at the ceiling as the lights from the street danced with the shadows on my walls while my stereo played soft, dark music. I finally fell asleep late into the night. I was really tired the next day and I almost over slept.
The second day of classes was really fun. In our 4 person groups we got together and learned how to load the camera and film with them. I understood that camera right away. That afternoon we were to go out with our 4 person group and shoot a five minute scene. Nico and I definitely wanted to go with an urban feeling to the shoot, so we found an empty lot in soho and did some taping. At first we took turns with the camera. When it was Nico’s turn, she had me walk across the street and then film me walking for about a block down the other side if the street. While I was waiting for them to set up the shot, somebody drove up in their car and asked if she could take a picture of me. I noticed that Nico was watching me and was very interested in the little punk rock girl that was being asked by a stranger for their photograph. Maybe it was my green hair and my look, but that photographer was definitely a professional and she saw something in me that I had been fighting for my whole life. After we finished Nico’s contribution to the scene I walked back across the street and joined the rest of the group.
“What was that all about?” Nico asked me.
“Some lady wanted to take my picture. She had a real nice professional set up.” I answered.
“Wow.” She said, “You’re famous.”
I laughed-“Not yet, but soon I hope.”
When it was my time to use the camera I taped Nico standing against a wall as I panned the shot to the left into the empty lot. I could tell that she was impressed by my camera angles and the ease at which I could pull the focus and set up the shot. Being a cameraman had always been my specialty in high school. I use to video tape Jeremy and his friends skateboarding all the time. I also belonged to the Audio Visual club in high school, but what film geek wasn’t in AV in high school.
The more Nico and I worked together, the better I felt. She also smelled amazing. One day when we were walking together after school, we went into the Bodyshoppe and she showed me what she wore. An essential oil called White Musk. She must of known somewhere in her mind that I was obsessed with the way she smelled because without me saying a word she led me into the store and showed me. All I had to do was breath around her and I felt fucking amazing. For the first week or so I craved her scent. It put me at ease. I have never since that time been attracted to someone’s scent like I was hers. It intoxicated me. I secretly was falling in love with her. I started to become depressed when she wasn’t around and I could not bask in the glory of the pheromones she was giving off, mixed with the scent of the white musk, she completely drove me to the brink of ecstasy just standing next to me. I felt myself falling really hard for this girl. I had not even been in New York City for two weeks and all ready I had met the woman of my dreams, the person I had pined for my whole life. This also scared the shit out of me because I was very inexperienced in matters of the heart. I had been in love with Jeremy, but it was nothing like this.
The next week was spent in class learning film theory and arranging the schedule for the first of our 4 films to be shot. The first assignment was a 3 minute film in one shot. Each person in the group rotated between jobs. One day I would do lighting, the next day camera, the next day I would be a grip/gaffer and then finally as the director of my own 3 minute film.
Nico and I started spending lunch together and walking home together after school. One day we were learning about lighting and we had to shoot a practice scene in this room with a doctors table and a bunch of couches. Our group decided to do a little fatal attraction, S and M scene, with me as the jealous partner and Nico as the one I go over the edge for. The scene basically went like this-I walk in on Nico and some guy making love on this table. I get jealous and fight the guy, he ends up taking a knife out, stabbing me in the chest and the scene ended with me dying on the table as Nico cried over my dead body. How we ever came up with this idea I will never know but since I was all ready in love with Nico, playing the scene was easy.
There were a lot of little scenes that our group shot that ended up with Nico in my arms or me in hers. When I had her in my arms, I wanted to kiss her so bad and if we were not in class I probably would have. The sexual tension between us was now becoming apparent to both of us and to the other 2 guys in our group.
It wasn’t until I decided to shoot my first film on St. Marks Place that things started to get really deep between us.