Rough Thoughts from an Itinerant Man

I’ve spent many years obsessing over opposites. Again and again, I’ve tried to belong and to leave. The pleasure of being accepted while moving on thrilled me—still does. During the last two decades, I’ve crossed borders not only between countries, cities, and neighborhoods, but also between corporate and art settings, luxury and practical homelessness, friends and enemies, men and women, even between bullying and getting bashed. Do these contradictions make me unique? Hardly. Does writing about them make me more honest? Yes. And it is this sharing that gives me hope for something more prized and lasting in my life.

Photos: Ioannis Pappos and Brian Reeder

After I left Greece to go to school in the U.S., I worked for smart firms and lived in hotels—small, addictive properties. I had liquor and sex in West Hollywood suites and did poppers in back alleys. I reached seven digits in my bank account, and got in line for my last ten bucks, as ATMs only dispensed twenties. My life mirrored the nonfiction-like fiction of Thompson, Miller, and Didion, writers who inspired me to battle with my first novel: Hotel Living—a story about our morally and economically chaotic recent past. Coming from a deadline-fixated corporate world, I found writing to be a frustratingly slow process. I needed time to let things sit before I could revisit them. But there was an upside. During my breaks—or better, my distractions—I was able to revisit people and places that triggered my memories and inspired me to tell stories. I went back to hotels I’d lived in, visited friends I hadn’t seen for years, and got closer to my family. I spent time on my father’s land by the Aegean and in authors’ hangouts in New York. I worked in my sister’s house and offered tips to friends at their pre-Sundance screenings. I caught myself in political arguments in West Village restaurants, and went to sex-for-drugs parties in construction sites. This website is my reservoir of the good and bad side effects of writing a novel.