Archive for August, 2002

half a hundred

Saturday, August 31st, 2002

Plodding on.

I need to take a shower, get dressed for work, and then spend eight hours making strangers happy, soothing the anxious, encouraging the terrified, saving lives and, generally, changing the face of the earth. 

Will resume ‘a hundred loves’ soon, at 48.  Be done by Tuesday.  Promise. 

a hundred loves (continued)

Saturday, August 31st, 2002

Haven’t forgotten about the list of loves, though I have realized—sitting on the edge of my bed, I balled my eyes out after writing the first thirty-seven—that I have forgotten about most of the ones I loved. 

Remember, this is my list of a hundred loves:  Before the semicolon is who; after the semicolon is why.  So, to continue…

38.  Sean, the red-haired, blue-eyed, big-for-his-age convenience store boy who would not let me pay him for coffee when I went there during breaks from work (across the street); because his face lit-up every time he saw me, because he was kind, generous, open-hearted, and because he’s gone since the night the store was robbed and I can’t find out what happened to him. 

39.  The timid, sensitive, slightly goth, slightly dweeby convenience store boy who replaced Sean; for being bravely vulnerable despite being timid and sensitive, and for being different.  I love him. 

40.  The one-month Pope, John Paul I (not II); for being a saint who will never see sainthood, and for doing in one month what it took Jesus the entire three years of his public ministry to do—get self-centered powers pissed-off enough to kill him. 

41.  Daneane (dg), a companion in the riot of life, and a visitor here; for her consistent wisdom, unflagging faith, incessant encouragement, and for the time she demonstrated her trust (infinitely flattering me) by asking me for advice. 

42.  Fr. Bob, who introduced me to a deliciously secret gay-underground, who tolerated my excessively dramatic lamentations for Jimmy (previously mentioned, number 12), and who revealed to me that I really do have a pretty big cock; for being a courageous friend with an open heart, for being honest and faithful to important truths despite their unpopularity, and for sporting a bad toupee with dignity and panache. 

43.  From the same time period as the previous Dave (number 13), the other Dave, who I didn’t dare love because it probably would have gone somewhere (Yup, there.); for having me as his best man, for trusting me absolutely and unhesitatingly, and for loving me despite this disability of mine that prevents me from ever telling him these things. 

44.  Tim H., who was a van driver where I work; for sitting with me in an emergency room for 12 hours while I laid there, mostly unconscious, after one of my seizures.  The world is full of people who don’t have somebody, but fortunately, the world is also peppered with people who are able to be somebody. 

45.  The retired lady who ran the bed and breakfast in her home on a former farm in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia where Bobby (number 21) and I stayed in 1987; for treating us with impeccable hospitality despite her husband’s obvious but unstated objection to her playing host to a 27-year-old fag and his nine-years-younger lover, and because deep down she disagreed with her husband, and matched his objection with her equivalently obvious but unstated acceptance. 

46.  Billy Percival, the murdered, accused murderer, who you can get a snapshot of here; for never once surrendering.  Ever. 

47.  Lorraine Gustavson, ‘Gus’, a nurse at my first job, in an emergency room, who saved my life in 1978 by knowing intuitively that I was gay without saying she knew, by hearing in her heart and soul all the things I needed to say but couldn’t, and by loving me without limit or condition, which was a whole hell of a lot but very nearly not enough; for these things I love her, and for allowing me to glimpse through her the stunning brilliant joy of the universe. 

Sorry.  I wanted to make it to at least 50 tonight (this morning), but dawn has preceded that goal.  Not only that, but I vastly overestimated my capacity to traverse these reminiscences and emotions.  I thought I would be done by now, but these things seem to move through me at their own pace, like a receiving line at a wake. 

a hundred loves

Wednesday, August 28th, 2002

Out of bed.  Considered writing yesterday (like everyday).  In fact, I just remembered that I had actually opened the Movable Type new entry page.  Never stroked a single key, though.  Some more important diversion (which I can’t recall now) distracted me. 

Considered writing of love–that was two days ago.  I wonder if this will catch on (like the original 100 things, maybe): make a list of–lets make it challenging–100 people who you love or have loved, and why.  Be brief. 

Let me clarify my format for this list: Some identification of the person loved precedes the semicolon; my motivation for loving, brief and vastly oversimplified, follows the semicolon. 

1.   My third grade teacher, Mrs. Tupper; because she loved me first. 

2.   My brother; he was my first best friend. 

3.   Not Elton John; he lied when what I needed most of all was the truth. 

4.   Not me; same as above. 

5.   Andrew, my landlord’s grandson (he manages the building); because he’s sweet and sincere and beautiful. 

6.   David Ackley, who was the very first one; because he was beautiful long before I had any clue how to appreciate beauty. 

7.   Juan Valdez; coffee. 

8.   Duke, my dog when I was a teenager; for being absolutely innocent, and for being a dog. 

9.   The shirtless young man with the tattoo and the necklace, who I see on his porch from my kitchen window; because he’s cute.   (And, apparently, straight.)

10.  My friend, John, in Boston; because he’s as loyal as a dog—and probably as innocent, too.  Oh, and because he loves me. 

11.  Anne, my supervisor at work; because she sees behind my disguises and its OK. 

12.  Jimmy B., a straight boy who I had a crush on in my twenties; because he was irresistable to me then, I still have no idea why. 

13.  David F., another straight-boy crush, earlier than Jimmy, when I was a teenager; because Dave accepted me loving him, and he loved me.  He probably still does. 

14.  The Thompson Twins; for Hold Me Now

15.  Neil Michael Medin, who is not remarkably pretty but is terribly attractive, who has sold me every bike I have owned for fifteen years; for his sincere kindness and integrity, and for his knowing without saying. 

16.  The cab driver who comes over for sex; for knowing where to go, how to get me there, and for always coming back, no matter how many times I told him not to. 

17.  My great-aunt Helen; for staying kind against all odds, and for teaching me—when I was nine—how to crochet and how to love no matter what. 

18.  My kindergarten teacher, Mary Winning; for inventing the world for me. 

19.  Boy George; for always being himself, unfinished, unconventional, unapologetic. 

20.  My ex-friend, Scott M.; for letting me love him, sans sex, which must have been more difficult for him to do than I can possibly imagine.  (He was a hustler.) 

21.  Bobby, the love of my life, with whom I realized that making love did not necessarily make anything at all like love; because he’s guilless, abused yet endlessly forgiving, strong as a rock and good to the core but as delicate and sensitive as the morning’s most fleeting and precious dream. 

22.  Mary, the Half Mad Spinster; for laughing and smiling and reading and writing, for occasionally crying right out loud (and hearing me when I do), and for being a person as sturdy and honest as anybody I have ever met—in person, or not. 
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23.  A bellboy/pianist I met when I worked on Cape Cod in the summer of 1989, Christopher Castle; because he had nearly as much—or perhaps even more—affection for me than I had for him. 

24.  Peter, the pastry chef, who was my best friend during that same season on the Cape; because he loved me and because I never told him that I loved him. 

25.  Tim W., my boss that year on the Cape (it would seem I love just about everyone I met that year!); I love Tim because he was tough, open-minded, hugely energetic, playful, sweetly charming, kind, understanding… and he told me at the end of the season that he wished I would stay through the winter and be his friend. 

What is broken in me that I keep failing to grab such ropes of love thrown to me here in isolation drowning? 

26.  And of previous fame in this blog, also from that year on Cape Cod—I need a break from this reminiscing—Peter Wiedenman; for being the one person who, even though I thought he would never notice the likes of me because he was so cool, not only noticed me, but focused on me. 

27.  Tara, who is a spectacular person, a nurse where I work, an actress, an athlete, and a person with C.P.; because she has a heart of gold, and because she shows it to me, often. 

28.  reX; because he shares everything, and that is no small gift to me. 

29.  Stephanie, the one I work with, who I am so close to that I can’t see her, and whose death I worry about irrationally; for being light, life, and love in flesh. 

30.  Tommy, Stephanie’s brother, who is hot as hell, and possesses a fair amount of Stephanies best qualities in his own right; because he put my shoulder back in its socket with a simple gentleness—even though he hates doing that sort of thing—after I dislocated it dancing at his brother’s wedding. 

31.  Paul, the owner of Tech Pizza, where I get most of my meals when I am at home; for just being kind, always kind. 

32.  Paul’s (I think oldest) son; for being not only kind, but for possessing a particular gentle compassion, borne of a secret personal suffering of his own that I wish I could heal. 

33.  Julie, the admissions department nurse where I work; for coming to work—like me—in utter dread and agony every day but, despite this, appreciating even more than I do my sense of the absurd. 
Scratch that.  It stays in the list because I believed it when I wrote it, but I was oh, so wrong—oh so very wrong.  Lesson learned. 

34.  My sister; for loving me even in my estrangement. 

35.  Bill Lyver, my only friend when I was a teenager who I did not want to sleep with; for being, very simply, an excellent friend. 

36.  Paul M., who was the other first one back in 1984; for touching-off in me a desire that never was and, fortunately, never will be fully satisfied or extinguished. 

37.  Kenny A., who fanned that desire into a fucking conflagration; despite the burns, I love him for the fire. 

I have wrung from my heart as much as I can for today. 

no time

Sunday, August 18th, 2002

There’s no time.  There never is.  I really don’t want time, I want stopped time.  Just hold still for a minute, so I can figure all this out, OK?  Don’t you realize there’s babies under this train, getting smeared all down the tracks from here to Henrietta Ville? 

Yeah, I know; it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter at all.  There’s no stopping now. 

call me a cab (driver)

Tuesday, August 13th, 2002

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There is nothing like a cab driver to make one want to keep living, …or at least want to clean the house (I have just discovered dust bunnies under my keyboard). 

Is sex really supposed to be this good?  bigO.ico.gif (1K)

yet untitled

Monday, August 5th, 2002

I will die depressed.  That, at least, is what the depression would have me think.  Who knows?  It may be right.

Also, I will die unpublished.  Hah!  That’s rich.  One needs to have written something to be ‘unpublished’, doesn’t one?  I mean, if I am an unpublished insurance salesman, what does that mean?  Or, more precisely, an unpublished bleeding-heart liberal, doesn’t that place me right in the middle –no, not the middle, that would be a special kind of anonymity; I would be somewhere off-center, even among the anonymous, perhaps more toward the rear of the middle– of a crush of thousands just like me?  Oh!  The humanity! 

Oh, the opressive boredom of it all. 

If I did what scared me, I might be interesting.  I do absolutely everything that does not scare me.  That’s where I have been, pretending that inconsequential things were crucial, manufacturing arabesque complexities and imposing them upon the moments of my life as if such moments were worthless without the application of a rude and vulgar disfiguration of my own creating.  Like an adolescent brat. 

I like adolescent brats.  Adolescents who are brats, are so mostly because they are scared.  I like anybody who is scared and admits it.  I especially like anybody who is scared and has not yet gained the sophistication (or corruption) necessary to produce denial.  Unsophisticated + scared = adolescent brat.  I like them. 

Of course brattiness is not the only way in which adolescents express being scared.  Some cry.  I hate that.  I mean, it’s like they want somebody around them to act like an adult and be responsible and care.  Jeesh!  Others flee into dark gothic isolation and silence –with a sidelong glance to see if you might persue.  That intrigues me, but in order to figure it out it usually requires far more concentration and energy than I have handy. 

But brattiness –now there’s a behavior I can get behind.  It says, unequivocally, “you all suck!” and, “I wouldn’t trust an adult if it was the last person on earth!”  The latter is brattiness’s way of saying that it really wants someone to trust, only it is getting fed up not finding anybody.  Oh, how well I know the brat. 

The brat and I are friends, even if he doesn’t know it.  Indeed, the brat and I are brothers, borne of the same unsophiticated cynicism, and sharing the same hope that we might find in another the rescuer we need.  We brats doggedly refuse to resign ourselves to the inevitable –is it inevitable?– that we must build our own rescuer within ourselves. 

I’m bored already.  We brats hate when our stories take a turn toward positivity.  What are we, little goodie-two-shoes?  NO!  We are infantile and self-centered, and we are not going to do anything about it! 

It’s not the brattiness I love so much as the camaraderie –the not being alone.  I love the “we” in “we brats.”  We brats don’t want anybody; we brats are brats forever; we brats are family.  And it is a permanent brotherhood, too.  I mean, what goodie-two-shoes-loathing brat is ever going to grow up and reject my vituperously pro-brat platform? 

All of them.  The answer is that all of them grow up and reject the brats life.  And the ones I miss most are the ones who left first, the ones who knew better than to invest any more than a season –much less, a lifetime– in the brats gang.  What are they, adults now?  What’d they do?  Rescue themselves? 

Huh.  Damn adults can’t be trusted.