Visiting Michael Alig In Prison: His Past, Present, & Soon-To-Be Future

I visited Michael Alig at the place of his incarceration: Elmira, N.Y. It’s about a four-hour drive unless you stop at Friendly’s or Dobb’s Country Kitchen to commiserate with locals. On the way, I stop a lot. I get gas. I buy cigarettes. I buy Redbulls, coffee, water… mixed nuts too. I pause to watch the rapid waters of the Susquehanna roll by. If I had seen roses on the way…I’d have stopped to smell them too. 

Part of me hesitates heading up to a joint. Elmira Correctional Facility is nice compared to other such places. Even the concertina wire and steel gates seem less foreboding than at Coxsackie or Rikers or the other places where Michael has been rehabilitating over the last 16 years. It’s been 16 years. 

Jeter was Rookie of the Year when this started. The Taliban had just taken Kabul. Tupac had just died. The O.J. trial had begun. Braveheart was best picture. Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, was caught. The Summer Olympics was in Atlanta, and Yassar Arafat and the Israelis dropped the removal of each other as a plan. Peace seemed at hand. Clinton was president and some people were talking Whitewater. A cloned sheep named Dolly was the buzz, and Motorola introduced it’s easy-to-handle StarTAC cellphone. The world was changing fast as Michael was forced to slow down.

Michael went in an asshole, a murderer, an out-of-control drug maniac. I had long stopped being a friend. He needed to be locked up. His world of wonder, glamour, glitz, destruction, and self destruction ended the hard way. Michael rarely chose the easy way. His moment in the sun has been filmed and written about and discussed in magazines and on the world wide web, which he has yet to experience firsthand. 

People tweet for him, spewing out his snarky, daring, and eyebrow-raising takes on everything. He is very prolific. He has a lot of time on his hands. He paints a lot. He sent me home with a bunch of good ones. He has become an artist while inside. The guard at the desk on the way out told me "we have a lot of artists in here." There’s some sort of scandal going on with some of his paintings. I’ll get to it soon, but want the opportunity to talk to "Mary" who allegedly sold some of Michael’s work, claiming they belonged to her. Life has taught me that there are at least two sides to every story. 

Michael looks better than ever. I met him back in ’83 when he was a busboy at Danceteria. He threw some small parties and rose quickly. Me and mine picnicked in Central Park with him and his. We took day trips to farm country, saw concerts at night. Drugs and the scandals that rocked our worlds would come later. We were very naive.

He is healthier now. Muscular and trim from working out in his spare time. Everything except working on his book, painting, and flirting is spare time in the joint. I am amazed at how focused and coherent he is. His incarceration seems to have rehabilitated him mentally as well. He laughs and tells tales of days of yore – the good days, not the chaos – and hate at the end. Everyone who meets with him or corresponds with him looks for remorse as a measure of the man who may soon join the living.

Around me, he is wholeheartedly remorseful. I believe in him fully, knowing that he knows remorse is the price of admission for a continued friendship with me. I wasn’t born yesterday and will judge Michael on his actions till our end. 

He is finishing a drug program aimed at preparing him for life in the real world. The real world is scary. He is worried how he will be viewed. When told "so and so" won’t want to see him again, he is visibly upset. The desire to have everyone love him which drove him to massive success and a massive crash and burn still runs deep. He needs to be loved and hates being hated almost as much as not being noticed. Although supremely informed about tech stuff, cell phones, social media, reality TV, and the internet – he has never experienced these things directly. 

We who love him for the most part understand him and fear the bombardment of food, sex, and media that awaits. I have a feeling on a possible release date, but will just cross my fingers and say a silent prayer. i don’t want to jinx it. Release is inevitable. There are those that will never accept his return to society. They have a right to their stance. They have lived for 16 years without Michael, but without Angel Melendez as well. 

A new life is Michael’s fate, while no such fate belongs to Angel.There will be books and films and TV shows. There will be interviews and public appearances. Someone is even trying to bring a musical about it all to Broadway. Those who haven’t been blessed with Michael and his charms will be made aware of them. 

Old friends and companions hopefully have outgrown the "old" Michael. The fans, zealots, and losers who worship at the old alter must not have a say. Michael will be lifted in a sea of attention. 

Will all this attention unleash the long-buried, controlled-by-incarceration Party Monster, or will the Michael I hung out with on visiting day with Victor Corona and Amanda Noa emerge? We’ll see.

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Morning Links: Derek Jeter & Minka Kelly Seemingly Back On, Beyoncé Is Probably Still Pregnant

● Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly were caught out and about and looking pretty couple-y in Paris over the holidays. Are they back on in 2012? [Huff Post]

● Beyoncé was still very pregnant when she was spotted out in Brooklyn for a New Year’s Eve dinner with Jay-Z. Our money’s on a January 4th baby, 4 being her favorite number. [Gothamist]

● Aretha Franklin is engaged to her "lifelong friend" Willie Wilkerson. But no, the 69-year-old Queen of Soul assures she is not pregnant. [RS]

● The now bang-ing Kim Kardashian has resolved to always follow her heart in 2012. "I think I’ll never stop doing that," she says. [Us]

● Courtney Stodden’s New Years resolution is to, uh, read more books. [DailyMail]

● Octomom Nadya Suleymon needs a new manager stat, as her old team has up and quit, claiming mostly that she was "unmanageable." "We no longer wanted a part of any of it and we feel sorry for the children," they said. [TMZ]

● Demi Moore is slotted to play feminist activist Gloria Steinham in the upcoming Lucy Lovelace biopic. [Variety]

Morning Links: Lindsay Lohan Misses Her Flight, Gwenyth Paltrow GOOPs Her iPhone

● Lindsay Lohan missed her flight and, subsequently, her big Playboy reveal taping with Ellen DeGeneres. [E!]

● Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom are headed down to Texas, and for some reason, they are taking grown-brother Rob Kardashian with them. [Us]

● Word has it that New York Yankee captian Derek Jeter sends his one night stands off into the new day’s light with a basket full of signed swag. And maybe a good bye kiss. But mostly autographed baseballs. [NYP]

● Cam’ron has been thus far honest about his feelings for Rihanna’s "We Found Love" ("That’s my shit," he tweets, adding that "’yellow diamonds in da light’ dats my favorite kind"), and so it comes as no surprise that he’s hopped on with a remix of his own. [NahRight]

● Gwenyth Paltrow has finally GOOPed-up her iPhone, expanding her popular newsletter into a city guide app filled "with all her favorite places, services, and people across the city"–her OBGYN and "more affordable" suggestions from Chauffer Rudy included. [Vulture]

Time names "The Protester" as their 2011 Person of the Year. [Time]

● Less pricey tables at Rick Ross’s very swagged out New Year’s Eve party in Miami include the "Aston Martin VIP" table and the "I’ma Boss" table. No plans yet? Get booking! [Page Six]

Morning Links: Derek Jeter & Minka Kelly Break Up, Justin Bieber Is Putting Out a Christmas Album

● Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly have split up, marking what’s more or less the first newsworthy moment in their nearly three-year relationship. [NYDN] ● The battle between Chris Brown and his neighbors has escalated – now they’re trying to get Brown in trouble with his probation officer for “incessantly” parking in handicapped spaces. The judge, unfortunately for the neighbors, doesn’t seem to care. [TMZ] ● Kim and Kris’s post-wedding trip to the Amalfi Coast — a trip they seem to be enjoying — is only a little honeymoon. “We want to take our big honeymoon later,” says Kardashian, who has dreams of palm trees and tequila sunrises. [People]

● Justin Bieber announced yesterday that he’ll be releasing a Christmas album for charity, which is actually big news because 1. he’s really only ever put out 1.6 albums (My World/My World 2.0/My World Accoustic and the Never Say Never remixes, which was mostly songs from My World still) and 2. this means we can start thinking about our Christmas lists! [Vulture] ● Write a joke for Saturday Night Live, make a $100 dollars. Easy? This guy’s written 1,1000 and they’ve bought just one. Day jobs aren’t so bad. [WSJ] ● Lil Wayne isn’t worried about Jay-Z and won’t be mad if you don’t like his new album. Because really, it’s all relative! “I know for a fact music is about perception. You can’t do anything but perceive what you hear. I know that for a fact. So I can’t ever be upset about someone’s reaction,” he told Vibe. [Vibe]

Morning Links: The Beckhams Welcome a Baby Girl, Rebecca Black Readies New Single

● David and Victoria Beckham had their fourth child and first daughter, Harper Seven. Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy also welcomed another this weekend, a “healthy baby boy.” [People/People] ● Betty Ford, former FLOTUS and co-founder of the eponymous celeb-favored recovery center, passed away on Friday at the age of 93. [NYT] ● Derek Jeter made his 3000th hit over the weekend and a really excited Jay-Z was there with his camera-phone to catch it on tape. Speaking of phones we wouldn’t mind hacking… [HipHopUpdate]

● Oh, you haven’t forgotten yet, have you? Because Rececca Black says she’s debuting her second single, “My Moment,” next week on YouTube — and finishing up a five-song EP for August. [THR] ● Rihanna brought heat to Dallas, literally setting the stage at American Airlines Arena on fire with a prop, forcing the entire place to evacuate. [RapRadar] ● Bow Wow’s name isn’t on his daughter, “the illest gift of [his] life”‘s, birth certificate because his baby mama was mad at him that day. [TMZ]

Afternoon Links: Kiefer Sutherland Returns to TV, Derek Jeter Builds a Palace

● Kiefer Sutherland is officially returning to TV with the Fox pilot Touch. It’s about a man whose son can see into the future, and to honor the occasion, here’s Sutherland diving into a Christmas tree, because it never gets old. [Deadline] ● Rolling Stone has a written preview of six tracks off the new Lady Gaga album, because this is the biggest deal since the invention of water. [Rolling Stone] ● Yikes. Melissa Leo is backtracking on those horrendous ads that might have cost her an Oscar. We haven’t seen a fiasco this ridiculous since the invention of water. [Daily Beast]

● There’s photographic evidence that The King’s Speech was partially shot on the same set as a gay porn movie, which reminds me of the time a gay porno movie was shot on the set of my bedroom. [Gawker] ● Drew Barrymore apparently has a new boyfriend, who’s being described as “a socialite type and a playboy.” So she’s dating Khloe Kardashian? [Us] ● Have a look at the $7.7 million mansion Derek Jeter built for himself in Tampa. It’s the same mansion Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner recently criticized him about, and the same mansion I hope to one day lose my virginity in. [TMZ]

Links: Fergie Renews Vows With Stripper-Loving Husband; World’s First Sex Robot Premieres

The New York Daily News gossip page doesn’t need jokes, because this is a real headline: “Stripper cheating allegations behind them, Fergie and Josh Duhamel renew wedding vows.” [Daily News] ● Comedian Aziz Ansari sent a Facebook message to a girl who called him a “giant douchebag” in a Twitter update. “Are you basing this on characters I play on TV?” he asked. “That is pretend.” [ONTD] ● Yankees star Derek Jeter will marry actress Minka Kelly on November 5th. A New York Post “reporter” scored the scoop by sneaking into the “reception palace” pretending to be a bride-to-be. Is that journalism or Drew Barrymore movie? [NY Post]

● The “world’s first sex robot” debuted at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, featuring five “girlfriend personalities” and a $7,000-$9,000 price tag. Its creator claims his inspiration was 9/11; the terrorists win. [Gearlog] ● You can now watch video of Kate Gosselin’s 20-hour hair makeover, though the clip is condensed to under 4 minutes because Andy Warhol is dead. As are art and culture, apparently. [The Sexist]

Where the Yankees Partied After Winning the World Series

Jeter, A-Rod, CC Sabathia, and (hip hip) Jorge Posada celebrated at 1Oak last night. Here’s video of Jeter and Sabathia poppin’ bottles. You can too, if you win the World Series. So now you know who parties at 1Oak. The Yankees. That’s me to the very left, making out with Kate Hudson. Kidding, A-Rod! She can have the Centaur. I spent last night blacking out at the Cherry Tavern. A home run for everybody. L’chayim! More video after the jump.

[Via GoaG]