The Former Traveling Spotlight

The tales of a "30" something gay former stand-up comic living in NYC who is searching for his soul mate or soul...which ever comes first.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Scott and Social Media

It's Friday night and I'm sitting here, working on a project for a class on how social media has changed society.  Yes..I'm living the dream!   In light of Scott Barnes' death, this takes a personal meaning as social media is how we met.

For those of you who don't know...I am The Traveling Spotlight, which makes me sound like some type of gay superhero on vacation.  Except I'm not wearing spandex (although I can leap on a tall man in a single bound).  The Traveling Spotlight was created as a way for me to clear my head post heartbreak, and perhaps get some comedy ideas, something I was trying to get back into after taking a hiatus.  My tagline was that I was "searching for a soulmate or soul...whichever came first".

Surprisingly I found the latter while writing the blog.  Sure, I got to work on some comedy ideas, and even got a few shows based on my writing, but surprisingly, I got a group of people who listened, offered advice and didn't judge.  Ok...they judged, but it only made me strive for better.  And in the first two years of my blogging in Cleveland, I found myself finding a group of people that were so ingrained in my life, I honestly have difficulty remembering when they weren't there.  I'm probably not the best at giving thanks, but  they were there for me, and I appreciate them.

Karen and her family offered me a home, when I was very close to approaching homelessness, but she likely doesn't know that the experience of getting back on my feet has changed me profoundly.  The kid who wouldn't amount to anything is moving in a direction now, and hopefully I can help other people in the future.

Byrne let me live on his floor for a month while I searched for an apartment here and we had only met in person a few times.  He's as much a brother to me as I could have being an only child.

Rob gave me my first job here, and Pua had sent me a t-shirt that ironically I was wearing when I lost that job.  I was sad that I let Rob down, but that t-shirt was like having a friend with me as I walked out of that office.  I'm still glad that Rob and I have remained friends.

I've watched Marc and Jess grow as a couple, and have been honored to both travel with them and visit their home.  When I was at my saddest and most depressed point of my  life, they held me as I cried.

And Scott was my sounding board, and I was his.  We would compare crazy ideas, share some of the most sarcastic comments, and talk through things.  He was the guy who would have woken up in jail next to me and say, "Well...least was pretty fun!"  I have 9 years of text messages between us saved on my cell phone, which has been bittersweet to read.  Breakups, boyfriends, anger management...from an outsider's point of view, we were some vicious queens that spared nobody, but it reality,  it was about seeing who could make the other crack up and actually call the sender of the text.  Case in point:

  • Scott:  I woke up on the couch at 4am with the remains of a roasted chicken on my coffee table.  No plate... just a chicken on the table.
  • Patrick:  I once woke up next to someone and had to ask if we had sex.  So was this "chicken" at least 18?

Patrick (1)

He once said to me that I had a talent of coming up with titles that made you have to read a blog matter how NSFW it was.  It was with this in mind that I started writing this post...something I've not done in years.

Scott Barnes has been with more naked men in my apartment than me.

It's true...I seen the photos.  He had contacted several models and set up photo shoots while I was at work.  I get back to see photos of naked men in my chair, my shower, my roof, next to my bed.  He could have thrown me a freaking bone and kept one around...but nope!

I spent the night with Scott, my back hurt for a week!

Our first in person meeting, I drove the 6 hours from Cleveland to Indianapolis to meet both him and his partner Jay.  They opened their apartment up to me, and I was never once nervous about meeting them.  Scary considering they could have been  murderers or power tops.  Instead I found gracious hosts that lent me their sofa and showed me the best of Indy.  There are nice spots.  Wow.

Scott wanted me to be fat

I had gotten out of surgery and wasn't allowed to eat anything solid, and I had lost a whopping 18 pounds.  I was pretty!  He sent Jodi and Kristin to visit me, one bringing a recipe book of soup, and the other bringing me juices.  Did you know that some soups go with juice?...Yeah...they don't....but I didn't care.  I loved both and those pounds came straight back to my ass.

Scott got me on my knees in front of 18 different men in one week and it cost me $2,000

Yes...and I was very tired afterwards.  Not that I'm a stranger to being on my knees, but this time it was different.  We had been talking about photography and I said I was interested in learning the skills, so he persuaded me to buy a camera, and sign up for a course.  During this course, I found I was having difficulty getting interesting shots of people.  He suggested I drop to my knees and take shots pointing upwards for a different angle.  This juxtaposed his own shots of taking pictures of men in somewhat submissive positions.  The shots I took turned out better than I thought...and got me a few "dates".

Scott pulled a Cher and turned back time.

Seriously...when he came to New York, it was like we were in college.  Horny frat boys downing shots and serious drinks.  After one particular night involving body shots and some type of blue drink (NEVER DRINK SOMETHING BLUE), we woke up and went out to eat  After we ordered our Lumber Jack breakfast, he took a sip of his coffee and said, "Every time I go out with you, I get even more hungover that the last time".
"That means I'm doing a good job.  Now excuse me while I go throw up before our food arrives".
What can I say?  I'm Irish.

Scott showed me the kindness in other people

While going home from work today, and thinking about writing this, I started crying on the subway.  I didn't realize it at first, but the people around me did.  New Yorkers don't speak to each other on the just doesn't happen...especially during rush hour.  Yet in mid sob, a woman about 30 years old put her arms around me and asked if I was ok.  I explained that my friend had died, and that it was just hitting me.  The man on the other side of me handed me a napkin to wipe my eyes and both just sat with me on the local train from downtown to 50th street.  The woman got off with me at my stop, and when I asked if she lived in the neighborhood, she told me that she just rode with me past her stop and figured she'd take the next train back down.  Yes...New Yorkers can be gruff, but moments like these are things you never forget.  I never even caught her name.

So has social media changed society?  Yes...I'd never be where I am today, in a city that is super expensive, with friends I wouldn't trade in, but feeling cared for and thought about no matter where I go.  We don't see each other that much anymore, and the world of Twitter (the downfall of journalistic standards) and Facebook has changed our communications, but there were real friends created in that space.

Patrick - 8:29 PM -

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watching My Weight.

During a lot of my catering events, I've had a running joke. Most of the events I've worked are high end, often with ticket prices of $1,000 or more. It's ridiculous, and I've jokingly stated that somewhere out there is my rich gay husband. The security guards have pointed out the rich gay men, and the captains have often put the rich cute guys at my table. It's a funny fantasy.

So when it's a reality, it's not as funny. The boyfriend will always be at a higher income than I am. It's fair...he went to school for a very long time to get where he is...and I know I couldn't do what he does for a living. I can accept that, but suddenly I'm in a position where he's spoiling me a bit...and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I have been a fiercely independent person for most of my life. My philosophy has been if you can't afford don't get to have it. And that meant a ski trip that is on my birthday. It's not really a smart choice when I'm not employed full time and I haven't been able to even score an informational interview. I need to conserve money...perhaps take in a roommate...sell my body to science...not take a Vermont trip.

The boyfriend felt differently, and has generously paid my way for the trip. And I'm shell shocked. Rarely am I at a loss for words...but this moment is one of them. It's one thing if he had bought the trip and I could have paid for it on my own...but in this case, I'm not able to.

Yes...we will always be unequal in incomes, but taking a gift like this is a very difficult thing for me. I just don't want to be that guy. The one that says "I need new me them. I need a better me it. I want this...I want that." I don't want to look in the mirror and see that perceived kept man. I have this need and drive to pull my own weight...and this is an uncomfortable place for me.

Patrick - 9:26 PM -

Monday, December 29, 2008

Giving and Receiving

To start: Supposedly 500,000 people lost their jobs in November. I'm number 499,993. It sucks, there isn't anything I can do about it, and I can only look forward from here. I'll survive. But it does mean that I can't really afford Christmas. The boyfriend (there...I said it), who is still working could spoil me a bit. It's sweet and I'm flattered, but leaves me feeling awkward. I know that he can afford more, but I like to keep things a bit equal. I joke about wanting to be kept...but in reality I'm more inclined to be an equal.

Thus this Christmas he gave me 2nd row seats to Wicked while all I could afford to purchase was a $5 spoon rest, and I was scrambling for ideas until Christmas Eve. At the last minute, I thought of something I could give as a gift.


My Christmas Morning Conversation:

Him: Oh...My...God...
Me: Well I couldn't afford to buy you a I thought that was a good idea.
Him: That was your idea of a present?!?
Me: Um...well it is illegal in all 50 states.
Him: Thank god I'm not a cop.

Some gifts are better left to the imagination.

Patrick - 1:26 PM -

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Warning...there is a rant in here...but I rarely do this.

Last night, I worked as a waiter at a major insurance and retirement company. My table consisted of the Chairman and CEO of the company, as well as 6 additional board members for this company. For the most part, I treat these people like anyone else, but since I had the CEO, I was supposed to follow him around the entire evening, refreshing his drink at all times, or getting anything he needs even before he notices that he needs it. Basically...everything but wipe his ass for him...and even then...I'm sure the company would prefer I do it rather than he risk dirtying his hands.

It's an awful gig...but I'm very good at kissing ass. Thus, half way through the meal, he decided to pay me a compliment. It was a simple one.

"You're a great career waiter. I want you serving me all the time."

I stared out the 35th floor window and luckily noticed that they wouldn't open, or I would have launched myself off the building. I fully understand that in the professional world of my day job I am a nobody and my thoughts and opinions matter about as much as monkey poop. Belive's pointed out to me often. But I did not go to college for as many years as I did to be considered a career waiter. I understand that you were trying to compliment me, but it's a fairly backhanded compliment. Like telling a prostitute that they give great head for being a hooker!

I work as a waiter to survive, because CEO's like you have fucked up this god damned economy so badly that I will likely never be able to pay off my fucking 150k in student loan debt. I work as a waiter, throwing away nearly 6oz of that 10oz filet mignon because I know that if I'm lucky, the chefs will save me a few vegetables that I can shovel in my mouth for dinner and save on grocery bills.

I don't work as a waiter because I enjoy standing 3 feet from your sorry ass for a 5 hour party, without breaks, on hard sole shoes! Who do you think actually likes doing that?

You're the CEO of a major corporation, and I'd expect that you were intelligent enough to not assume that everyone doesn't have higher aspirations and dreams. Not all waiters are actors and not all waiters do this because they love it. Ask me about my purchasing skills, or my negotiation skills...or about how I can still quote federal regulations in educational financing? Better yet, give your director of purchasing a week off and see if I can't do their job better than they can?

Until about a nice cup of "Shut the fuck up!"

Oh...and yes...I'll be here in two weeks to wait on you for your board meeting.


Patrick - 2:17 PM -

Monday, November 17, 2008

3 Things

During my routine dental cleaning and exam, my dentist gave me some harsh news. I'm drinking too much coffee. Personally, I don't think 15 cups a day is too much, but my dentist disagrees. He's issued the following initiative:

No more than 2 cups of coffee a week.

There are three things I can not live without in this world. Alcohol, sex, and coffee.

If my dentist tells me no more alchol or sex...I'm jumping off the Queensboro bridge.

Patrick - 1:44 PM -

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


When I was a little boy, My neighbor Lisa convinced me to play a game with her that she created. The games rules were fairly simple. We'd walk into the small space between her house and the house next door and then would each show a normally clothed area of our body to the other person. It's an innocent game that lots of kids likely play, and after about 8 weeks of this, I still have images burned in my head (could this be why I'm gay?).

However I had a Roman Catholic grandmother that I faced, and with that...I had guilt. Big guilt. When it came to the display of her snatch...I snitched. And my grandmother made feel incredibly ashamed about the whole situation, forcing me to promise that I would have to tell the priest of my transgressions on my first confession, which I'd be attending 3 years later.

For the next 1095 days, I dreaded that first confession. During the catholic school training where we had "practice" confessions leading up to our real one, I used to imagine what would happen if I had to tell the nun that I had seen and touched a girl "down there". I imagined her dragging me out into the hallways, so that everyone could see the little devil monster I was...doomed to fire and brimstone.

We had gone through the basic sacrament training (which I have no real memory of now) and had been explained that our first confession would be in the "booth". The booth at Sacred Heart Church was the standard priest in the middle with two side booths that had lights over the top. If the red light was on...somebody was in there confessing their sins.

My last name is Doyle, which is fairly close to the front of the alphabet, and because of that, I was told I'd be in the first group. We were brought to the church for a final dress rehersal the day before the big event (and the day before the priest would drag me before the class screaming what a dirty boy I was), when the nun in charge told us of the exciting news.

The Roman Catholic Pope in all his wisdom had approved "FACE-to-FACE" confessions and that my group would be the group facing Father Unger when it came time to tell our sins. I nearly fainted. The last thing I wanted to do was tell Father Unger (the stern one) that I touched Lisa's pussy (although I didn't understand why my dad called it that). Instead, sweating, I went home and stressed about it quite a bit.

Enough to call my mom and tell her my issue. Her suggestion was to just not tell that sin and then she asked to speak to my grandmother to likely bitch her out for scaring the hell out of me. Relieved at her advice, I was able to relax enough and try to eat a little dinner before getting ready for bed.

I should have known it was too good to be true. My grandmother, upon tucking me in for the night, informed me that I should tell the priest EVERY SINGLE SIN or I would not have absolution and would burn in hell. She pointed out that my mother was not religious and would likely suffer on her death.

Catholicism...good times.

The day of our first confession, I dressed in my Catholic school uniform, considered faking sick and seeing the school nurse. I would have done nearly anything to not have to face that man in black. Walking into the back area, I got on my knees and started with the Pre-prayer. (on a side note...I recently heard that one of the priests had molested some kids in that back area...but I'm not completely sure if that's true).

And then I launched into the big sins. I lied, I cheated, I stole, I disobeyed my family, I jay walked, I swam without waiting a half hour after eating...I tried to think of anything else that I could tell that would put off the inevitable. And then...staring at the monhogany paneling on the wall, told him that I had seen Lisa's Poonany.

25 "Hail Mary"'s and 50 "Our Father"'s and I was forgiven. That was the scariest thing I had ever done and would be that way for a very long time.

Giving the boyfriend this blog address and saying he could read the entire thing was scarier.

Patrick - 2:20 PM -

Monday, November 10, 2008


Recently I received the following invitation.

VIP Botox Party!

Spa Night Special - Friday, November 14th, 3-8 pm

Fall into beauty this season and join Dr Javier Zelaya and his staff for a Botox cosmetic VIP party on Friday, November 14th from 3-8pm!

You and a friend are invited to receive Botox at a special discounted rate!

Enjoy a savings on Botox Cosmetic at these rates:
$300 per zone (regularly $500)
$900 full face ( regularly $1500)

Space is limited to the first 40 clients.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find this to be completely unethical?

Society defines beauty as young and athletic, and let's face it. You can't fight time. My friend is currently celebrating his 29th birthday for the 14th time, and he's so sensitive about his age. He searches the mirror for wrinkles and grey hair, and is starting to take HGH hormones so he can prolong what is inevetible. He's signed up to go to this event and it's crap like this that really pisses me off. What's next? A liposuction party?

Patrick - 3:16 PM -

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