Archive | February, 2013

Under observation

14 Feb

I’m not sure which is eerier — standing around naked being watched by middle-aged ladies at the Glassell School, or standing around naked being watched by Patrick Palmer heads.




Palmer asked me to model so he could work on the Adam half of an Adam-and-Eve diptych that was already in progress. The prop I’m holding will be a dead snake when the painting’s complete. Given the casting, presumably I’m Adam after the fall.


Intermediate life drawing class

7 Feb

Here’s where Zen training back in the day comes in handy: When you have to hold your pose for a half hour. Also: It’s always freezing in the zendo, as it was yesterday in this classroom at the Glassell School of Art. Whatever the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is spending its admission fees on, it’s not frittering them away on space heaters. I was only kidding, but I’m told they do have space heaters.





After I’d held my four poses — actually the same pose four times — for the local students’ figure drawings, I slipped into my clothes, crossed the street to the MFAH and looked at international abstraction.

Installation view, "The Abstract Impulse" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Installation view, “The Abstract Impulse” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Flashback: Metro-asexual monk – July 11, 2004 (Taunton State Hospital)

5 Feb

Hugues Merle, French, (1823-1881).  The Lunatic of Étretat, 1871. Oil on canvas. Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia.  Museum purchase with additional funds from Landmark Communications 2009.13

Hugues Merle, French, (1823-1881). The Lunatic of Étretat, 1871. Oil on canvas. Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia. Museum purchase with additional funds from Landmark Communications 2009.13

I wrote this diary entry during my stay at a forensic psychiatric hospital where I spent a few weeks being medicated, observed and evaluated for my competency to stand trial. It turned out to be a very enjoyable stay because I loved many of my fellow patients, including J.

What follows is not one of the renegade blog entries I managed to make when sympathetic nurses let me get on their (wired) computers. Instead, I would have typed this on the unwired computers we were allowed to use and mailed it to one of my clients who posted it on the diary for me.

It’s a mess — I want to start highlighting and removing huge chunks of text — but still it reads fairly lucidly for someone who was hallucinating in his jail cell just 11 days prior. There’s a sweetness coming in to temper the lingering, crystal-induced notes of irritability and menace in my tone. The crystal, I’m guessing, would also have been largely responsible for whatever synapse misfire was leading me to declare asexuality. (Like a lot of things, it didn’t last.)

J. and I lost touch soon after I left, mainly because I fell into a crushing post-tina-crash depression a few weeks after being discharged. I wonder where he is and how he’s getting on. Our hospital was said to be a five-star hotel compared to the alternatives. — Devon Britt-Darby

J. is a gorgeous 22-year-old Blatino kid from Brockton (where I was, depending upon whom you ask, either detained or arrested — but not charged — for the incident that went down when, impoverished and homeless, I attempted to catch up on my badly needed beauty sleep on the lowest of the back steps of the Catholic Church on 621 N. Main Street. It was a metrosexual-era church, established in 2003, and apparently such new-fangled congregations don’t do Catholic charity, at least not for homeless people who show up unannounced). Despite my advanced age, he’s been like a big brother to me, both as a more experienced patient at Taunton State hospital and on the basketball court, where, I’m afraid, I slavishly conform to Wesley Snipes’s degrading stereotype of white men when they shoot hoops. Still, my learning curve has been steep. My hook shot can be quite good (as you’d expect), today I beat J. and Chris — another African American kid, one I shared a cell with for awhile during my long day in the Brockton jail — in a game of HORSE (they only got me as far as HO — hmmm). And when we played ‘New York’ with ‘Oops’ rules, I didn’t disgrace myself much at all.

Yesterday J. came up and asked if the rumor that I was gay true. I said I used to think I was, but that I’m not very interested in dicks, assholes and shopping.

So you’ve never been fucked? he asked.

Well, I have, but I hated it, I said, which was, for the most part, true, though not every single experience was as excruciating as my sweeping recollection would have it.

Okay, well, do you like — and he made the internationally recognized bump-and-grind gesture to symbolize fucking ass.

Nope, I don’t feel a thing, I said. (Viewers of my one, and thus far only, porn feature, Lord and Master now know why there were a lot more shots of my abs than of any penetration during the portion of my scene which involved me topping Mike Austin. At one point, Jett Blakk, the director, asked if I could try pulling back from the bottom’s bottom, which I was hanging onto for dear life, and I looked at him helplessly and he nodded with understanding and wisely kept the camera moving. Despite the lack of documentation and my omnipresent deer-in-the-headlights expression, Lord and Master was still nominated for Best Bondage Video at the Gay VN awards. Go figure.)


So you just like –– and he made the internationally recognized bump-and-grind gesture to symbolize fucking pussy. It didn’t, apparently, occur to him to ask about eating either ass or pussy, with or without condiments. This is, of course, just as well, since I wouldn’t have been able to reply in the affirmative to any of those questions either.

Never done it.

Then I explained that I liked men’s bodies and told him what frottage was. I also told him what asexuality was, and said I was basically a funky monk.

He said, That’s cool, man; there are too many babies in the world already — and too many fucked up parents, and we clasped hands in friendship.

That’s what I think, too, I said, thinking of the juvenile delinquents who carjacked my rented Jeep in New Bedford. Don’t get me started.

He’s got an incredible story of his own, and last night I told him I want to tell it on my website once I’ve gotten out of here.

Damn, that’s sick, he said, meaning ‘sick’ as a compliment, or, more precisely, to say that he felt he had been honored with a compliment.