Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Looking Back

Just looking back at what I've written. I've deleted the links to other blogs because I don't want the niece or nephew or others to inadvertantly follow links to links to sites where they shouldn't go. I'm also discovering that I wasn't aware of comments and how to publish them. Thanks for the comments. It has been too long to pick up where I left off. If I become ambitious again I may start a new blog. Till then, remember, "You don't know nothin' yet!"

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

MONOGAMY, MARRIAGE, GAY LIBERATION

A blogger had some thought-provoking comments about monogamous gay relationships. I know it works for some, but I'm not sure that it works for every gay couple. I’m not even sure that it works for most gay couples. And I’m not sure it should be held up as an ideal.

If gay liberation of the 60's and 70's was about anything, it was about gays defining our own terms, our own relationships and our own sex-positive sexuality. It was about breaking the rules (THINK ABOUT IT - homosex, in this culture, was and still is to some degree, civil disobedience and a political act - see John Rechy, The Sexual Outlaw, Rushes; Rosa VonPraunheim, Army of Lovers). It was about shaking free from the oppressors.

Many gay couples rejected the heterosexual model with its exclusivity, possessiveness and insecurities and instead experimented with open relationships, group relationships, different forms of intimacy, friendship, sexuality, promiscuity and loving.

The issues of trust, communication, jealousy, betrayal, compassion, “cheating,” intimacy, sexual compatibility, love and caring were integral to these experiments. Many men worked through these various issues to arrive at mature, satisfying, respectful, loving and often, unconventional relationships. These gay men, lovers, ex-lovers, casual sex partners, and friends were pioneers, often forming caring communities. (David Nimmons, The Soul Beneath the Skin) It was a time of discovery, joy, friendship and bonding - And yes, it was a time of excess.

The AIDS crisis was (is) a many-edged sword: not only did it decimate the population of gay men in America and elsewhere, but it also effectively put an end to the experiment of gay liberation; it brought many men reluctantly “out of the closet” and inspired a host of care-givers, political organizers, protesters and legislators. It has left a new generation of gays resenting what they missed (the “free-love” generation) but lacking real knowledge of their gay history.

AIDS has created a subculture of despair in which drugs and sex are not experienced as liberating but as desperate and addictive. The fear of disease has, for some, led to self-destructive behavior - which is at once both an act of defiance and an attempt to defuse and neutralize the danger by a ritual baptism of “total submersion”. Promiscuous sex is no longer “civil disobedience” but more a compulsion or superstition. (Fortunately, for some it is still just fun).

For others, the fear of disease has caused a retreat into respectability. Homes in the suburbs, biological or adopted children, RVs, BMW’s, monogamy, civil unions and even marriage. Those of us with a foot in this camp should be vigilant because, despite the trappings of respectability, HOMOSEX WILL NEVER BE RESPECTABLE.

As long as religious fundamentalists of any kind have influence, as long as heterosexism is part of the fabric of society, as long as breeders believe in their own moral superiority, HOMOSEX WILL NEVER BE RESPECTABLE. No matter what you do or don’t do. No matter the trappings of respectability.

The big push for same-gender marriage has pre-empted whatever remained of the experiment of gay liberation, if AIDS hadn’t done so already. Marriage (and/or civil union) is a capitulation to heterosexism. Will it create a new class of respectability or just a smaller class of people “living in sin”? (As far as the morally superior are concerned, all homosexual couples, civil unioned, married or not are living in sin, always, forvever, PERIOD.) The eventual "main-streaming" of same gender marriage will serve to devalue the gay lib experiment as irrelevant, if not evil, and make conformity the only relevant value.

Is the intentional message conveyed by the advocacy for same gender marriage that those in a monogamous, legally “married” relationship will be less likely to get or spread those nasty “gay” diseases. This may be what is most likely to convince the hetero-power-elite to allow same-gender marriage after all: if those promiscuous gay boys and AIDS are to be stopped, we’ll make them get married and keep them in line (by imposing the monogamous structure of legal marriage). This is especially disturbing in light of years of gay activists promoting healthy sexuality and safe expression.

I think promoting same-gender marriage, civil unions and even monogamy should be done mindfully. I respect those who may choose marriage or civil union as a structure for their relationship or for their financial arrangements, or for other reasons; but we must continue to affirm and celebrate the many alternative choices that gays, couples, triads, groups, bi-sexuals, transpersons and others make to live with integrity and honesty.

Can we truly say that we celebrate diversity? Or are we just advocating another brand of conformity? Legal marriage has its benefits, for sure: health benefits, financial advantages, social acceptance and the respect of (some but not all of) your neighbors; but we must be careful not to paint ourselves into a corner with rainbow colors.

I mourn the untimely demise of gay liberation.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Buona Pasqua

The first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox is designated as Easter Sunday in the Roman Church. From Palm Sunday through the Easter Vigil was the height of ritual in the Catholic Church, especially when Latin was still the rubric. In more recent years, local parishes have had less than spectacular services.

The distribution of palms, an exotic plant for those of us living in northern climates, and part of the background of the holy land, was a ritual that continued at home with the fashioning of more or less elaborate crosses from the fronds. This was a tradition more ethnic than religious, although the line between Italian and Catholic was certainly never definitive. Sunday morning before dinner was arts and crafts and thirty or forty woven crosses would be fashioned for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers and friends and palm crosses were even brought to the gravesites of dead relatives. The afternoon was a time to visit grandparents and extended family.

The solemn mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening was highlighted by the intonation of the “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” during which bells were rung and sometimes the organ and other musical instruments accompanied the Gregorian chant. After the Gloria the bells and organ remained silent and all the chants were a cappella. This abrupt withdrawal of music was dramatic and left the congregation focused intensely on the rituals of the concelebrated mass, the washing of feet and the solemn procession to the candle-lit and flower laden tabernacle where the consecrated wafers of bread were to be kept for Friday’s service.

Good Friday was not at all spectacular but rather solemn and drab with the longest reading from the gospel of the betrayal and execution of Jesus. This was the only day of the year when there was technically no Mass, only communion using the pre-consecrated hosts. Instead of bells, the deadened sound of wooden clappers announced the beginning of communion.

On Holy Saturday evening, it was as if the church couldn’t wait for Easter. The services began with the several long rituals: the blessing of the new fire, the blessing of Easter candle, the blessing of the baptismal water, recitation of several litanies of saints, lighting of candles and much chanting without musical accompaniment. By contrast, the vigil mass officially began with the intonation of the “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” with a return of all the bells and organ music and trumpets and other instruments. This was always an impressive and inspiring moment.

Easter Sunday, especially after they allowed Saturday vigil to count for Sunday, was anti-climatic, a morning service for parishioners in new clothes.

I always considered myself more of a Catholic than merely a “Christian”. People who called themselves Christians had no real roots or traditions, only borrowed and watered-down rituals, borrowed from the Roman church, hardly recognizable and totally out of context. Catholics, on the other hand had almost two thousand years of tradition and scholarship behind them. Every tradition, every ritual, every prayer, and every sacrament had an explanation, a history, a meaning and logic. The accoutrements were elegant as well: beeswax candles, gold chalices, colorful vestments, incense burners, Gregorian Chant, symmetrical processions, impeccable choreography. It was an elegant religion. No wonder so many gay boys were lured to the priesthood. What other profession allowed one to remain unmarried without question and provided a lifetime of job security? All male seminaries and the opportunity to hang around like-minded individuals was a bonus.

Everyone expected me to become a priest. There was an unspoken formula for making that determination that went something like this: (Italian)Boy + (Sensitive) + (Good Student) – (Talk About Girlfriends) – (Sports) = Priest. The irony was that sex was not a part of this equation. The absence of heterosexual interest did not necessarily indicate disgrace. The saving grace of sissy boys was the possibility of joining the asexual priesthood. These priests would carry on the traditions, provide the rest of the community with a communication network to God and the Saints, and be held in high esteem because they were chosen.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Intro

Drew's recent posts prompted me to share something I wrote years ago.

NUANCES (C) 1988,2006 (From My File Cabinet)

As a child I always wished that there might be someone, somewhere, who could understand me completely. Someone who could see the world through my eyes and senses and being. Someone who could appreciate the nuances of every emotion and the shades of meaning in each experience.

He awakened depressed and angry from a night of sexdreams. Grabbing some porno mags from the nightstand, he indulged his compulsive desire to masturbate. At some level of consciousness he knew this would relieve the anxiety of starting a new day and temporarily ward off the obsessive thoughts of sex – sex that seemed always just out of reach – real sex with real men, not just the glossy bodies of guys who really did it with each other in the porno books.

Once, it had been guilt or fear of being like those who were despised above all others that kept him on the fringes like a movie-goer, safe from all the consequences of the actors, yet able to experience vicariously the lives they lived. Now it was just fear – ostensibly fear of the disease that stalked like an invisible vapor of death in the midst of pleasure – that kept him isolated. But if the truth be known – and he was aware of the truth – it was the same old fear now transformed into faces, names, stories he would never know: now it was the fear that he could never become enough like those who were despised above all others.

Orgasm came as a relief, not only for the sexual tension that had built up during the night, but also for the confusion that seemed to accumulate along with it. He could not remember a day since becoming aware of his sexuality at the age of twelve or thirteen that he did not think of sex or of his being “different” (he had never heard the word “homosexual” until perhaps the age of fifteen or sixteen). The fact was that all of this colored his experience of himself, of events, of people, of life in general, in a way that he could only describe as confusing. His experience vis-à-vis the rest of the world always seemed dissonant, incongruous.

This morning he remembered the times, countless times, when he was in his early teens, that orgasm brought this kind of relief. The hours he would obsess with thoughts of jerking-off, of how it would be a mortal sin, of how no one else his age seemed troubled by the propensity for such evil, of how this “temptation” would not leave him alone: only by masturbating would he be freed from this tortuous game of tug-of-war. Before long he learned to do it when the desire arose; to do it without thinking too much; to avoid the struggle entirely; to do it now and pay later.

The price of this decision was the Saturday ritual cleansing in the dark confessional in the presence of a stern and faceless priest; a priest who came to know this unrepentant boy and once refused to grant the absolution, exacting a price unexpected. “Unforgivable” sank into the fabric of his identity along with “queer” and “faggot” and “fairy” and “sissy”. Was this the same priest who told him to wrap rosary beads around his hands when he went to bed? The question faded, unanswered, as he matter-of-factly cleaned up with a wad of Kleenex. Guilt was no longer a factor in the morning ritual, but the memories that entered his consciousness this morning accentuated his depression and anger.

If he could tell his story, he would recount feelings more than events in time and place; for in his mind, feelings and emotions give the only significance to otherwise ordinary occurrences. His story would be in no way extraordinary. Others might tell similar stories but with considerably more interesting detail. Even his feelings are no different than those experienced by others but he imagines that he feels more intensely, more acutely and considers himself cursed by this propensity.

This morning his depression and anger are vaguely annoying, like unwelcome houseguests one becomes accustomed to and learns to tolerate for what seems like eternity. He knows not to stare too long in the mirror while shaving this morning lest he see the ugliness show through. Others have on occasion told him that he is handsome, but he finds this absurd: his aquiline nose, narrow face, a weak jaw and small bone structure, while not unattractive to some, are not masculine or sexy by his definition. There have been times when, on close examination in the morning mirror, he and his mirror image have exchanged insults, “You ugly, ugly, ugly son of a bitch.” This morning’s toilet will be brief.

He is rarely startled by coincidence. In fact, he expects that things and events will come together in ways that trigger memories, if not to make life interesting. Like this morning, now on the way to work, the combination of crisp autumn air and Stevie Wonder singing I Just Called To Say I Love You on the car radio causes a lump to form in his throat and his eyes to become moist with grief. The particular mixture of stimuli is too powerful, even now, after nearly a year since the relationship ended, finally, for good. There is still an empty space left by that ending and he feels the time-deadened pain less often and for briefer moments, such as these, when Stevie and autumn conspire to remind him.

The grief feels more real than the depression that deadens his emotions. It frightens him when he feels nothing – nothing but dead inside, afraid it will all turn sour and hateful. The driver in front of him is going much too slow, “Fucking asshole”, his anger focused on a safe target. He veers into the passing lane, hating his anger. He is convinced he does not tell his story because he would have to apologize for his self-indulgent pity.

There is a long-ago memory that sticks in his throat this morning, connected in some strange way to the feeling aroused earlier by the song on the radio. It is a story he never told. A story he has imbued over the years with a meaning that goes beyond its apparent significance. It has become the key to all the other stories in his life.

It took place when he was fourteen, during the summer when his mother was hospitalized for a lung removal. It was not her first prolonged stay in a hospital. She had suffered from tuberculosis since his infancy and had spent years at a time in the sanitarium.

This particular summer he was experiencing a degree of independence as well as a significant amount of responsibility. When he was not off swimming or riding his bike, he was expected to take care of his younger brother and do chores around the house. And it was the summer of his sexual awakening. It was during this summer that his fascination with the male body began to define itself as an indisputable fact. He remembers seeing for the first time with distinctly sexual interest, a naked black man in the dressing room at the pool. His interest in swimming and beaches grew proportionately that summer.

He was invited by an aunt to spend a few days with his cousins at their cottage on the lake. It was here that his story begins:

My aunt Antoinette was a dark, earthy woman with two young boys: James, who was twelve and Nicholas, who was seven or eight. She was not easily upset by the antics of growing boys and her displeasure, when she showed it, was short-lived. She seemed to prefer a laisez-faire approach, with tacit approval of boyish behavior. She had taken firmly to heart the belief that “boys will be boys” and that mothers should not interfere too drastically in this mystery. She gave her affections freely, with hugs and kisses. It was obvious that she delighted in such shows of affection with her own children and seemed to have enough left for a visiting nephew.

Although I could not articulate it at the time, I sensed once again the unfairness of life’s circumstances. My own mother was hesitant with her displays of affection and seemed to keep her children at a distance. She felt that the disease that ravaged her lungs was too communicable to risk the health of her children by being physically close. But she kept her fear and her sadness secret. Thus her hugs always seemed brief and uninviting, and although she would allow us to peck her cheek at bedtime while she held her breath, her body language defined the limits of intimacy.

In my aunt’s home I experienced, as if for the first time, a profound difference in the quality and quantity of love that I and others might enjoy depending on the fact of our birth into a particular family. Then of course, there was James.

James was a dark-skinned boy with straight, almost black hair and dark eyes. Although James’ had a mostly Italian heritage, there was some French/Indian blood on his father’s side. I was intrigued by the romance of James’ being part Indian.

(He no longer has a clear image of James: it has been blended with the images of a half dozen men with whom he has had sex or been in love, or with whom he has had an infatuation – not to mention the countless others: nameless strangers in passing cars, or fashion models or movie stars.)

James, though younger than myself, was more confident, unhampered by self-consciousness and thoughts of “what might happen if”. For a few brief days I began to share this possibility, delighting in the opportunity to walk everywhere barefooted and not to worry about getting the sheets soiled with dirty feet.

James and I would buy Lickum-Aide at the corner store when we went for milk and bread and Aunt Antoinette’s cigarettes. We would pump water from the well outside the cottage. We would swim and dive from the wooden raft in the lake for hours at a time and eat sandwiches for lunch at the cottage. In the evening we would wash with soap by the lake and then dive in to rinse off.

For me, being with James was different than being with anyone else. Being with James began to feel more real than identifying with Spin or Marty or with Joey on the TV series “Fury”, more real than being lost in the book “Old Yeller”. Being with James began to feel like being a part of James’ family, of being just like James, of being James. Being with James was a feeling that had no word to describe it.

Reality has a way of intruding, despite efforts to ignore or deny it. And so it happened one day that James challenged me to dive from the raft to the bottom of the lake and, as proof, to retrieve a stone.

James and I dove together on our separate missions. The water was deep but clear and I swam down, the brightness of the surface behind, till the bottom was in sight. The distance under water was difficult to judge – enough so as to cause me to wonder whether I could hold my breath long enough to return to the surface. My confidence shaken by this doubt, I turned to swim back to the safety of the raft. Only seconds later, James bobbed up with a handful of pebbles.

For James it was no big deal – neither that he had produced stones, nor that I had not. He neither bragged nor teased. But for me, it was not so much that I had failed in this contest, but that now there was an indisputable difference between James and I – a difference that could not be breached, not even if I dove again and again and brought up every stone from the bottom of the whole lake. I was aware of the separateness suddenly, painfully but with that momentary delay, like the realization that one has been cut, only after noticing the blood. I quickly buried the awareness in my gut.

When, a few days later, I was at home, alone under the maple tree in the backyard, I experienced the separation and the pain acutely. My tears were not those of a child hurt, or teased, or merely disappointed. I sobbed, gasping for breath, from my gut which felt empty in a way I could not describe….

Monday, March 27, 2006

La Nonna: The hermit



When I decided to apply for unemployment upon our return home, I knew that my former employer would contest it. I could elaborate on that theme but won’t. Suffice it to say that my lived experience of my stress breakdown differs from what others perceived. (Who can argue with that? Your perception is as real to you as mine is to me. They have done psychology experiments asking eye-witnesses to describe events in detail. No two people perceive things in exactly the same way. For Example, click. Remember The Six Blind Men and the Elephant.

I do not consider myself an evil or violent person. Sometimes even good people do and say things under stress that they might not do or say otherwise. I cannot help but be reminded today of a story my grandmother told. Her stories often had a Catholic, old world flavor and a lesson:

There once was a man, a hermit of sorts, who lived alone in a small house in the countryside, a great distance from his neighbors. He was a good man who practiced his woodcraft on his own and went to Mass and received the sacraments every week. Every week, before Mass and communion, he would go to confess to the priest who was considered by all the parishioners to be a wise and holy man.

Every week, it was the same story. The man would say, “Bless me father, it has been a week since my last confession…I have no sins to confess. I go to church every Sunday, I don’t eat meat on Friday, and I don’t get drunk or curse or swear. I honor my parents and have no lust in my heart.”

Every week the priest would tell the man, “For your penance, say three Hail-Marys and give alms to the poor.” One day, the man confessed to the priest as was his habit, “Bless me father, it has been a week since my last confession, but I have no sins to confess…” The priest, who was becoming a bit impatient with the man’s pride, instead of assigning the Hail-Marys and giving alms to the poor, told the man, “For your penance, go out and buy a chicken and bring it home and keep it”. The man had never heard of such a penance but did not question the holy priest.

So the man went to the chicken vendor and bought himself a nice young chicken and took it home. The following week, the man went to see the priest in confession. He began as usual, “Bless me Father, it has been one week since my last confession” but he then said, “for I have sinned”.

The priest smiled imperceptibly as he asked the man, “Tell me my son, what sins do you have to confess?” The man replied, I have sworn and cursed many times every day, I have entertained thoughts of revenge and of violence, I have cursed my mother and the day I was born and I drank wine last night till I passed out.” The priest was not surprised in the least, but pretended to be so, “And why would a good man like yourself do such things?” The man replied, with some disgust, “It’s all because of that godamn chicken who's always getting in my way, constantly cackling, crapping all over the place, knocking things over and is possessed by the devil himself. I would have killed it for dinner days ago if I didn’t have to keep it to fulfill your silly penance.” The priest replied, “For your penance, my son, say three Hail-Marys and give the chicken to the poor family on the hill.”

Damn chicken.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Day of Our Lives

Like sand through the hour glass...revising a resume, filling out applications, on-line job searches, exploring health insurance options...the days go by quickly.

Meanwhile the Dog had to go for his yearly vet visit and we're told that surgery to remove a large fatty tumor is now recommended. Because of its size, we should expect it to cost at the "high-end" of the estimate of $500 to $1100. I can't help but think that if we had had the tumor removed when it was smaller and though we were told that surgery was not necessarily indicated, it could have been done at the "low-end" of the estimate.

Going through imaginary job interviews: how will I answer the question "Why did you leave your last job?" I won't describe how this fantasy goes.

This has also been a time for questioning our financial and "legal" arrangements. Our state has legalized civil unions as an alternative to the real thing. Does this mean that we have less legal standing as an un-married, un-unionized couple than we did before civil unions were made legal. This is not an idea entirely without merit. Some companies are now requiring those previously recognized as "domestic partners" to enter into a civil union in order to keep health benefits. Are our wills now obsolete? Is our joint ownership of our home different than if we were civil unioned? What kind of mess is this anyhow? I can see the day when we will not be fighting for the right to marry but for the right not to have to marry.

Enough for one day of our lives.




Monday, March 20, 2006

ROAD TRIP: BACK HOME

"L" Back Home Again


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Returned home this evening after a long but pleasant drive from Winchester, VA where we spent the night in a Wal-Mart’s parking lot. Noisy, windy and wintery, we left springtime several hundred miles behind us.

Leon, the Dog and I were ready to be back: the Dog, visibly delighted to be in his own backyard, us, feeling grateful for our safe trip and a home to come back to.

(Oh, how I hate to end a sentence with a preposition. Which reminds me of a joke: Two women who didn’t know one another were seated side by side on a plane. The more outgoing lady decided to start a conversation and, turning to the other woman asked, “so, where y’all from?” The other woman replied without parting her clenched teeth: “Where I come from, we do not end a sentence with a preposition.” The first lady thought for a moment, then asked with all her Southern friendliness and charm, “So, where y’all from, bitch?” So forgive me if I end a sentence with a preposition from time to time.)

Thursday, March 17, 2006 to Sunday, March 19, 2006

Saint Patrick’s Day and Friday were spent going through a month’s worth of mail, restocking the fridge and cupboards which we cleaned out the day we took off on our jaunt, paying bills, taking care of personal business like health insurance options and looking at want ads. Feeling calmer and more confident than I would have expected. At this stage in my life I am less concerned than ever about a “career”, a concept I never quite mastered. Health insurance is a joke. Retirement is a fantasy. And I don't have children to become highly educated and wealthy who can support me in my old age (or at least give me a room in their McMansion).

We question the wisdom of taking a long road trip when we can least afford it. It has something to do with my theory of "pleasures of the lower classes". Those who can least afford to: smoke, drink, do drugs, subscribe to cable TV, have their nails done, eat junk food, do so because of the immediate gratification those things provide. If you have a buck, spend it on something that provides you pleasure now, because if you don't, someone will come along and either steal your buck or demand payment for what you owe them. Save your meager wages and you're screwed. Someone else will get their hands on it and you'll be left with nothing. If you spend it as soon as you get it, at least you've had the satisfaction of the temporary pleasure it provided.

As members of the lower middle classes we are now in a similar situation: there is no possible way we can ever save enough for retirement. (I did one of those on-line calculations that revealed that if I retire at 68 and work part time, my savings and Social Security along with a part-time wage will put me about $13,800 in the red for each year I remain living, or more as the cost of living increases.) So the conventional wisdom about working and saving begins to break down...there is some impetus to enjoy the pleasures of the moment - for us, travel and leisure, rather than entertain the possibility that a single major illness will wipe out our entire "nest egg" in a matter of weeks. Eggs are fragile.

Saturday we had friends over for hiking, drinks, and dinner (corned beef and cabbage which needs no recipe) and to thank them for looking after our house while we were away.

Today, Sunday, we're off to a Lambda Car Club meeting.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Road Trip: Arkansas, Tennessee, the Carolinas



Thursday March 9, 2006

Drove on Thursday till we got to Little Rock: destination the Clinton Library. Leon was practically in tears as he heard about all the achievements of the Clinton presidency while at the same time realizing that they’ve all be Bush-whacked. Hell, we’ve all been Bush-whacked.

I certainly understand the importance of documenting history, of preserving the memoirs and mementos, of showing the world your best side and presenting a positive spin. But I could not help getting the impression that Bill was completely full of himself. The Clinton Library is decidedly a monument to the Greatness of Bill. My only disappointment was that the Blue Dress was not among the memorabilia.

Woke up to news that tornadoes devastated parts of Arkansas. We probably wouldn’t have noticed because the truck traffic over the highway bridge practically above the RV park was such a constant rumble.

Friday March 10, 2006

We’re both a little tired and cranky after last night. Talking to neighbors who travel in their RV for 6 months a year. Have encountered several couples who full or part-time in their RVs. They talk about work-camping: working at a campground in exchange for a campsite; or other work/travel arrangements. Those who sold their homes, all the furniture, the pots, pans and dishes, even their great-grandmother’s handmade quilt and their first-born’s baby shoes. They now travel the interstates and backroads to adventure, or to warmer climates: Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Mexico, where they play cards or golf with their comrades. They are baby-boomers and the “tint and rinse” (thank you Michael) crowd, retirees with pensions and kids who are doctors and architects to care for them in their old age. The word pension is not, nor ever will be in my actively experienced vocabulary.

So, yes, I do think about my current predicament. Yes, I do experience some anxiety, resentments, existential questions: being who I am has brought me here. I wasn’t born with corporate genes, or secondary sexual characteristics of competitiveness and one-up-manship. I was never taught about financial security, wealth management, trust funds, or tax loopholes.

The good Sisters of Mercy taught us to “feed the hungry, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned”; they told us that “blessed are the poor”; that “it is more difficult for a rich man to get to heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle”. We read wisdom words about how “sanctity is like humility: as soon as you think you have it, you lose it”.

At the same time Walt Disney was teaching us to “wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are” (I'm beginning to think it was the particular star that mattered, 'cuz I'm still waiting).

Later President Kennedy would ask what we could do for our country and start the Peace Corps. Even the hippies were anti-materialistic. So, what has happened while I worked in a group home with disturbed youngsters, in a children’s psychiatric hospital, in AIDS programs and volunteering with gay youth and working in non-profits?

Today they announced that more than 100 individuals were added to the “billionaire list” (but they did not mention how many were added to the poverty rolls).

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Arrived last night at Leon’s mom’s house in SC. Had a lazy day today.

Road Trip to Texas, Oklahoma

Cadillac Ranch



Wednesday March 8, 2006

Put miles on through NM and Texas: a quick roadside pilgrimage to the Cadillac Ranch. Spent overnight at Wal-Mart in Oklahoma where we were attacked by no fewer than 23 shopping carts in what looked like a scene from the Twilight Zone: it's 2:00am and there is a heavy wind-driven rain, distant lightening and a swarm of animate shopping carts having communicated with one another, simultaneously exiting thier corrals and willfully charging across the parking lot at 35 miles per hour headed toward our truck and camper. Fortunately only one hit the truck wheel-well molding causing minor damage. I wish I had video.

Trucking is an unbelievable phenomenon: the sheer quantity of tractor-trailers constantly on the move over interstate highways, especially in the south is mind-boggling. How much diesel fuel is consumed daily? How many truckers are there? Are any of them cute? Do all of them talk like Boomhauer? Could someone do the math? Are they all transporting useless junk made in China by folks who go home and laugh about the things that Americans buy: talking fish, tacky souvenirs, collectable teddy bears and plastic lawn ornaments?

Truckers in Texas

Road Trip: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Alamos

Monday March 6, 2006 and Tuesday March 7, 2006

Headed for Albuquerque, NM and actually landed about 30 miles west of there at a funky little RV park in Moriarty. Revisited Santa Fe on Monday afternoon but seeing it with different eyes. In 1990 it was the fascination with history, adobe, hanging chile peppers, turquoise and Santa Fe blue. Now it seems a bit tired: like how much Indian jewelry, pottery, cowboy boots and saddle blankets can the world need? Like other “most desirable places to live” more and more people move there, demand all the hassles and amenities they thought they wanted to get away from, and end up re-creating strip malls, traffic and crime, only with a view. Desirable real estate ranges from almost affordable to out of sight.

Funky Campground



Los Alamos held our interest on Tuesday: a science lesson at the Bradbury Science Museum and a history lesson at the historical society. Los Alamos is the home of Pandora’s Bomb, the weapon that was to put an end to war. But War, in one form or another, wages on, while our mis-guided head of state searches in vain for weapons of mass destruction. He fails to recognize the real weapons of mass destruction: poverty, injustice, intolerance, greed and power: as effective as a nuclear bomb but quieter but less of an event.

The private school and camp that was taken over by the government to house the Manhattan Project scientists had been for “frail and delicate boys” who were taught outdoorsy activities, went on long camping trips on horseback, and often swam in the nude. “Selected boys”, would accompany the headmaster to Santa Fe for overnight trips. This sounds suspicious to me. Or is it just that I’ve become cynical?

The drive back to Albuquerque through the Jemez Mountains via Jemez Springs was so enchantically typical of New Mexico: the unique scenery changing around the bend or just beyond the next rise; spectacular colors, awesome mountains, an adobe village or pueblo, a expanse of flat earth with a single geological monument making a statement to mere mortals passing by; thirsty vegetation, from prickly pear to ponderosa pine, juniper and pinon, dotting the landscape depending on altitude and region.

Pandora's Bomb
Santa Fe

Jemez

Road Trip: El Morro

Friday March 3, 2006

We departed our gracious friends’ company this morning with a certain feeling of sadness: for Leon, in his stomach, for me, making its way to a moist eye. We headed to Flagstaff where we spent a couple of hours browsing the streets and shops and looking at expensive real estate in glossy Homes For Sale magazines. Stayed overnight at a local RV park.

EL MORRO





Saturday March 4, 2006

Arrived at El Morro, New Mexico where we set up camp by the Ancient Ways Café. Spending many hours driving is OK, but we need to STOP, settle in, and take in some local attractions, not just to break the monotony but to experience being here. El Morro is really “out there”. The campground was somewhere mentioned as LGBT friendly, so that got our vote even though it is way “off the beaten path”. We decided to stay for two nights.

Sunday March 5, 2006

Hiked at El Morro National Monument: high cliffs and bluffs, once an oasis in the desert where Spanish and Mexican and American travelers of the 16th and 17th and 18th centuries would stop for water from this natural cistern in the course of their journey. Back then, it took days and weeks to travel the distance we drive in hours. We hiked up the paved trail and along the cliff with our plastic water bottles and camera while reading the graffiti of centuries carved in the rock. Great views.

It reminded me of “Hospital Rock” in Connecticut, where early colonists carved messages of memoriam and ideas of Liberty at the site of a smallpox quarantine hospital in the 1700’s. I never understood how this historical site, lost in the woods, was left to deteriorate from the weather and not preserved.

The young woman who takes care of the campground and café came to El Morro from the Midwest in search of spiritual enlightenment. New Mexico has more than its share of seekers and believers: she believes in a mixture of science, pseudoscience and metaphysics that defies description. Suffice it to say that Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica is probably much simpler and easier to understand.

Except for a “trading post” (read gift shop/coffee shop) next to the campground and café, and a gallery across the road, there is nothing in El Morro for miles around. The Zuni Pueblo is miles away as is the nearest “town”. The Malpais or Badlands are close by – an expanse of lava fields to rival those in Hawaii. Although cooled for centuries and dotted with grasses, the lava is still jagged and rough: as likely a place as any to find spiritual enlightenment.

Road Trip: Tucson 2

ANYONE HOME?



Friday February 24 to Thursday March 2, 2006:

MK, a mutual friend in the Bronx made us swear not to tell Paul and Michael that we were about to show up at their house in Tucson. Springing such surprises would ordinarily not be considered polite or considerate, but MK insisted that it would be great fun and so we deferred to his judgment.

After parking (squeezing) our fifth wheel camper in our friends’ driveway, we settled in for a week’s visit in Tucson: spending time in the Saguaro National Park West and East; tooling around Tucso; buying eats at the local Farmers’ Market; making a quick tour of the Tucson Botanical Garden while Leon and Paul went to the junkyard; getting a haircut from an old-fashioned barber; stocking up on groceries; making a day-trip to Bisbee without stopping in Tombstone’s tourist trap; and generally having a pleasant, laid-back time with friends, Paul and Michael. Their friend Tom invited us, sight unseen, to his place Thursday evening for dinner. It was brave of him to invite strangers for dinner…

My impression of Tucson was very dry. The city is small with a variety of charming amenities: music and theater, a University with a vibrant student district, a quasi-gay, bohemian village, spectacular scenery, interesting architecture and nice layout. But very, very dry. One could see it and/or feel it everywhere: the fine, gritty dessert dust and the moisture starved air. The barber said that water would definitely become an issue before long. Despite current efforts to reclaim water for irrigation, water reclamation alone will not be adequate as the city grows. One has to question the wisdom of building and expanding cities in the desert and how the presence of millions of people with their unquenchable need for water is impacting the balance of life in the dessert and in the rivers.

Certainly for us, the warmth in the middle of winter was not hard to take. Tucsonians were urged by the morning weather forecaster to “keep their fingers crossed” when a chance of rain was predicted. The actual precipitation merely dampened the dessert dust overnight. It was hard to imagine that New England recently received 2 feet of snow and our gardens have sometimes suffered from too much rain in May and June.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Road Trip: Tucson

Sunday 2/26/06
OK, So I'm not dealing with issues.
Girl Cactus
Boy Cactus
Here in Tucson enjoying the weather and occassionally discussing life options.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Road Trip to New Mexico and Arizona



Wednesday, 2/22/06
Left camp at San Antonio around 8am. Some wet weather and a drab landscape. About an hour into the drive, the scenery improved somewhat - more hilly, with juniper and oaks, more like parts of New Mexico. Things flattened out again at 3200 feet, but there were mountains in the distance.

Having flashbacks of moments during my 8+ years at the agency...the dysfunctionality that is never addressed, the discontent. How often I've imagined it should have been such an exciting, cutting-edge, fun, radical place to work, but was always stifled, "managed" into being crippled and unimaginative. Watching staff go from enthusiastic to either leaving or conforming. I was so often the symptomatic child, the weakest link, the one who stayed on while having the least tolerance for the dysfunction. I am not unconvinced that the stresses of the office were a contributing factor in one staff person's having a heart attack. The sad part is that nothing changed, it only got worse in terms of office stress. And the one who was hired to do maintanence and odd jobs who literally didn't know the meaning of stess, now knows what it means. There was growing frustration and discontent there when I was dismissed following my burnout incident.

Well, I'm now free to make a new start. People older than me have done it. Had to get out of Texas today. It just doesn't feel hospitable. Made the New Mexico border.

SUNSET - ANTHONY REST STOP




Thursday 2/23/06
Spent the night at Anthony, NM, rest stop, a no-cost campsite. Slept really well and had vivid, weird and silly dreams like I haven't had in years. Could it be the "Land of Enchantment"?

Just glad to be out of Texas. I don't feel comfortable or welcome there. And that is a part of my country; I am a tax-paying citizen. It is dispicable that there are parts of this country where I, as a gay man, would feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, unsafe.

New Mexico has always felt warmer, more inviting, more welcoming. They have a gay aesthetic: the architecture, the palate, the landscaping convey thoughtfulness and attention to detail. It is a more pleasing place. But there is still a sense that one is just a visitor in a foreign land. United States of America: "red" states and "blue" states, perhaps less united than ever.



INTO ARIZONA

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Road Trip to San Antonio




Well, the weather is not what we expected in south Texas. It remains cold, damp and dreary, like New England in late November. Even so, San Antonio is a pretty city, at least the tourist area from the Alamo to the Mercado. The River Walk is quite a landscaping and engineering marvel, with natural and man-made features blending into an artist canvass at every turn.

For what seems like such a progressive city, the LGBT population is quite subdued. There is no LGBT press but the San Antonio Current did a gay /lesbian issue. The climate here is oppressive to say the least. It is like turning back the gay liberation clock to 1960's. Texans take this "don't mess with Texas" crap seriously and they apparantly resist any progressive changes. They passed a law to prevent same sex marriage, just to be sure. Well there's one Texan who's been messing with the rest of us, and it's about time we all wake up.

Have been feeling a hint of depression in the wind and trying to keep it at bay. Wondering what my options are. I need to deal with feelings without letting them cripple me. This trip is maybe 50% escape and 50% personal journey. I really need to leave the overwhelming stresses of that job behind me and feel the strength that comes with relief and freedom.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Road Trip from Cajun Country to Corpus Christi

"CAMP TESTOSTERONE"




Friday 2/17/06
Spent last night at “Land O’ Pines” campground in Covington, LA. When we returned from New Orleans about 10pm last night the camp was filled with work trucks, heavy equipment and lots of reconstruction workers who commute the hour into New Orleans to work on rebuilding the city. Unfortunately, most of the guys were already asleep, though a few were still sitting out in the warm evening air. We unofficially renamed the campground “Camp Testosterone”. “L” and I had some interesting fantasies last night.

Stopped at Zoe’s Bakery on the way out of Covington this morning to get a King Cake. (my first attempt to do a link) It is a Mardi Gras season specialty and it will be our breakfast for a week if we keep it in the freezer. Zoe was hiring and I was briefly tempted to stay. There is plenty of work here, with lots of places offering sign-up bonuses and benefits.

When traveling I am always struck by fact that there are so. so many people, (perhaps too many people) all doing people things, all filled with self-importance and totally myopic. How in the scheme of things our individual lives are pretty insignificant, “It’s a Wonderful Life” notwithstanding. Our lives are lived for the most part within a small geographical circle, familiar territory. We are consumed by our own needs, crises, passions and drama. Even with TV and instant news from around the world, we aren’t aware of the pervasiveness of the quotidian and mundane. We are bombarded with stories of “important people” doing “important things” (like for Vice Presidents shooting lawyers). Not passing judgment, just an observation.


Saturday 2/18/06
Big traffic jam due to construction from the Texas boarder to Beaumont, TX. Signs of hurricane Rita all around. Even where hurricanes haven’t hit, it seems that humanity has succeeded in trashing 90% of the land that is occupied. The sheer volume of junk amassed by humans: rusting vehicles, machinery parts, assorted appliances, and miscellaneous garbage form prominent landscapes along America’s highways. Mismatched buildings and hideous structures that don’t deserve being described as “architecture” serve as dwellings and businesses. There is little, if any aesthetic for the masses, and it seems, little desire for it. The world so desperately needs more gays, if only to make it prettier!

CAMP WALMART


Spent the night in WalMart’s parking lot in El Campo, TX because it was getting late and we had a long rough ride into Houston, through Houston and out of Houston. One word this morning: “cold”. Two words this morning: “wet”, “cold”. There are palm trees here, it is not supposed to be this cold.






Got into Corpus Christi this afternoon. "L" keeps calling it "Corpus Crispie"; it's his Pennsylvania "accent".















Still cold, wet and windy. Drove out to Padre Island. Granted it is winter, but the scenery here can’t compare to Cape Cod and Province Lands or the coast of Maine. It’s a shame New England summers are so short.

We only partially realize how totally irresponsible the decision to travel cross-country with our camper was. Given we are not financially in great shape, with “L” not working steadily during the winter and me, without any job at all. This trip will cost us. But, life gave us some “lemons” so we are “making lemonade”. Was this gutsy or just plain foolish?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Road Trip: "Saved"?

Along Rt 90 in Biloxi

Riding along through the “Bible Belt” reminded me of a trip I made to Wisconsin back in the mid to late 70’s. Rob, a guy I worked with was planning a move back to his hometown in Wisconsin with his wife Jeannie, and asked me to accompany him and share the driving on what would be an advance, one-night-stop-over trip to move some furniture and household items before they moved out there for good. I had some time so agreed. The vehicle he took was an old milk truck packed with stuff. The rickety truck’s steering wheel had so much play in it, you almost wondered if it was connected. In spite of this and a few other mechanical problems, we arrived at our first stop-over at Jeannie’s parents’ house somewhere in Ohio at 3 o’clock in the morning.

Jeannie’s parents were up waiting for us. Her mother, a friendly, warmhearted woman fed us a great meal, provided us with a hot shower, and comfortable beds. Her dad was congenial and friendly as well, welcoming his son-in-law and myself to bed and board. Conversation centered on family, the current trip, the state of the vehicle we were driving and the upcoming move.

When we got up the next morning Jeannie’s dad, a country guy with a variety of necessary skills, had already made several repairs to the truck that he deemed vital for our survival. He apparently hadn’t slept at all so that he could work on the truck. His wife had prepared us a good country breakfast and after hearty handshakes and hugs we were soon on our way to Wisconsin with sandwiches and soda’s. They couldn’t have done more.

I’m guessing the next leg of the trip was about 20 hours. Arriving around six in the morning in a town in Northern Wisconsin, we were to meet Rob’s family at their home for breakfast. We entered the austere house. Several people were seated around the dining table. After a non-exuberant greeting we joined the group at the table. There was little if any talking. Someone began praying a grace after which it was permitted to begin eating. I was introduced to Rob’s parents, a brother and sister-in-law, and one or two other people. The suspicion in their eyes, when they looked at me, spoke loudly.

Rob had explained to me before we got there, that his family all belonged to an Evangelical Christian denomination and believed in a literal interpretation of the bible and in personal salvation. Every aspect of their lives and their friends’ lives centered around the bible, the church and worship.

It seemed obvious that outsiders were looked upon with suspicion and that I was allowed into their presence only because I was accompanying Rob. I wasn’t sure if it was it my “hippie” long hair and beard, my dark Italian features, the assumption of my being Catholic or just the fact that I had not been “saved” that made me feel like they intended to perform an exorcism on me at any moment. To say the least, I was a bit uncomfortable. And this was long before I was “out” as gay.

A week or so later, back at home, I was talking with Jeannie about the trip. When I mentioned her parents, she expressed worry and concern. I asked why. She and Rob had accepted Christ, she said, but her parents, she feared hadn’t been saved. My response to Jeannie was that her parents, much more than Rob’s, had exemplified what I had always been taught were true “Christian” (human) values. They took us in, fed us, displayed complete and unconditional acceptance and did so with great cheer and kindness.

I told her truthfully that if there is some kind of an afterlife, I would much prefer to throw my lot in with that of her parents and end up wherever they do, than to be condemned to spend eternity with the so-called “Saved” clan from Wisconsin. And that opinion hasn’t changed. The only thing different now is that there seems to be more of “them”: the rigid, unthinking, bible-illiterates, who condemn and judge others and try to maintain a morally superior illusion.

They, including many mainstream, traditional Catholics, have usurped religion, theology, the churches and the pulpits and forgotten what used to be their mission statement: “Love God, Love Your Neighbor”. For some reason their anger, their insecurity, and their threatened worldview, seem to center more and more on gay, lesbian, transgender persons. Why is the "gay issue" so important to them and why does it bring out such venom? “SAVED”? I don’t think so.

Road Trip to Biloxi and New Orleans

Along Rt 90, Biloxi


Wednesday 2/15/06
Left South Carolina heading south and west. Uneventful trip into Alabama. Signs on a run-down shack of a store along the highway: "Adult Movies" "Guns". Only in the South.
Thursday 2/16/06
Traveled into Mississippi and stopped along Rt. 90 in Biloxi/Gulf Port. Walked along the road viewing the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina and now, the rebuilding. Months after the storm and it seems like they’ve only just begun.

Lonely Toys



You can walk along the street and along the beach and find bits and pieces of peoples lives: video tapes, photo albums, a recipe book, children’s toys, pots and pans, a high heeled shoe, a bikini, a kitchen sink. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands and add bricks, beams, pipes, shingles and tons of indescribable debris. The stuff of our lives.


"Even after you're dead, you don't know nothin' yet" my Grandma used to say.







On to New Orleans: Boarded up homes, traffic lights not operating, trailers and reconstruction workers. FEMA trailers lined up in vacant lots, all new and unused.

The French Quarter is as decadent as ever but only on a much smaller scale. It is only a few days before the first of the Mardi Gras parades and the streets, bars and restaurants are practically empty. There are people living and working there, and tourists to be sure, but compared to what it used to be like, not even close. It looks like New Orleans, but you know that something is definitely missing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Road Trip

Saturday, 2/11/06
Got everything packed in record time and Leon, the Dog and I were on the road in less than 24 hours to beat the blizzard. It's 9am and we are getting miles under our wheels. A diesel stop or two, and the snow is coming; find a motel in Haggersown, PA. at about 5:30pm. Almost 400 miles from home.

Sunday, 2/12/06
On the road at 9:00am with 6 inches of snow on the ground.
I am feeling suprisingly relieved of my job responsibilities and stress. I don't think I really appreciated the degree to which the stresses of the job were effecting me. It is such a dysfunctional system we adapt to...where the financial remuneration is adequate but by no means enriching, where there is the ever-controlling "Health Insurance Plan" that we fear ever losing, and a few weeks of vacation time that we end up living for, and using like it were the rare and precious commodity that it is.

These things keep us locked in and conforming even while our work load increases due to insane federal and state goverment paperwork, absurd record-keeping and agency staff shorages. We adjust, we adapt, we lose sleep, we have backaches, we "somaticise", we over eat, we become grouchy, depressed, and hopeless. We are trapped in our security. The thing that gets me is that I have said it before, many times, that the work environment was stressful, dysfunctional, unhealthy and unhappy, not only for myself but for co-workers as well. And it needn't have been so. It should have been a happy, pleasant place to work; it could have been a dynamic, cutting edge, exciting place but remained static, demanding and stressful. Right now I am free of it all!

Arrived at Leon's mom's house in South Carolina about 8pm after a snowy ride through the mountains of N/S Carolina. The camper and truck are filthy with slush and mud.

Monday 2/13/06
Record cold, which is most often the case when we've been south in the winter: We've seen the ice storms in Georgia and frost in Florida on more than one trip. I am convinced that the southern states engage in misleading and deceptive advertising and creating myths that lead northerners to believe that it is warm here all year long.

Did some camper chores, cleaning, organizing. Dinner with the family.

Tuesday, 2/14/06
Happy Valentine's Day. Yeah, Right! I don't get chocolates or flowers. It's just not Leon's thing. We are almost always traveling on February 14 (last year it was Hawaii, before that Italy) We usually enjoy our time together, sans chocolate or flowers, which is romantic in a quiet sort of way.

Truck maintaninence scheduled for today at Leon's brother's garage. Beautiful day, sunny and spring-like. Still enjoying my liberation.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Fate or Folly?

I received official notice yesterday that I no longer have a job. Whether by fate or folly, it is a fait a compli; thinking it is some of both. There won't be any details right now. So my life changes radically, with little warning. Leon and I decided to take the opportunity to get some needed rest and relaxation. The RV is almost ready to go. We will be pulling out for warmer climes today or tomorrow. Will post as WiFi is available.

Friday, February 10, 2006

La Nonna

When Grandma said "You don' know-a nuthin' a yet" she usually meant that our young lives lacked a range of experiences that would teach important lessons and that, in time, we would live them and learn them. She would always add, (depending on her age at the time), "And I'm-a eighty years old-a and I don' know-a nuthin' -a yet." She had that Southern Italian accent that made her seem so ancient, so wise, so venerable. When once we questioned why she would say that even she knew nothing, Grandma told us a story that went something like this:

A long time ago in Italy there was an old woman who was dying. She had always been a very beautiful woman from the time she was young even until then in her old age. And because she was a good and devout woman she prayed, thanking God for a good life and good fortune, for her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. "Dio mio", she prayed, "I am dying and I am ready to join my husband and the saints in heaven. I thank you for sparing me the awful death of my sister's husband Salvatore, who was crushed by falling stones in the earthquake, or the unthinkable death of Zi' Maria who was burned in the fire so badly that her family could not know her face in the casket. I am thankful to be dying here, my body, old, but still without a blemish. Grazie, Dio." And after a little while she passed peacefully as the priest performed the rites and her family kept vigil.

The old woman's funeral began with a procession from her home to the church. In the hills of Calabria the churches were often built on the highest hill in town and have many stairs leading up to the entrance. And so it happened that while ascending the steep steps to the church, quite near the top, one of the pallbearers tripped and sent the rest of the men off balance as well. The casket was let go and went tumbling down the stone steps, expelling the body of the old woman, whose flesh was torn and whose bones were now broken and twisted from the mishap.

"You see-a," Grandma concluded her fable, "even aft-a you dead-a, you don' know-a nuthin'-a yet," thereby proving her hypothesis beyond further argument.

Was it just an obvious lesson? Even a good old woman can be guilty of hubris. I am reminded each day that at any moment, within the space of seconds, lives can be, and are, regularly altered, changed forever: either by personal folly or by fate, or because of the compulsions of others.

As I write this I reflect on whether it was by folly or fate that events conspired last week that may result in my losing my job. My life could be altered, changed significantly if I lose my job.

I see myself a kind of "post-existentialist" (is there such a thing?) and as having less in common with Satre than with Sophocles: my perceptions have shifted from the sense of being “thrown into a random world” to that of the world (or everyone else’s worlds) “being thrown at me" with an inevitability that defies randomness. Truly, at this moment, despite the double negative, “I don’t know nothing yet”.

My ancestors, more ancient than Grandma, sitting in amphitheaters at Paestum or Agrigentum understood the inevitability of fate as they experienced the pathos and tragedy of Oedipus dramatically portrayed: how the Scheme to thwart his fate as foretold by the oracle puts into motion the very events that lead inevitably to his fate's fulfillment. My folly and my fate may seem insignificant next to men who, like Oedipus, or presidents, wield power: men who are compelled by their own hubris to set events into motion; men who, unlike Oedipus, experience no angst or honesty. Will the gods take notice?

Hello

By way of introduction, I will say it has taken me several weeks to get familiar with blogging and some of the technical aspects of the blogger dot com. I have not yet mastered formatting, posting pictures or links. I downloaded a new browser because Safari does not support some features.

I’ve been following a few of the (gay) blogs regularly and thought I’d give it a try. I don’t intend to comment much on current events, however meaty they might be…I’ll leave that to “rjr” who does it so well….my focus is self-centered (but I won't tell you about what I had for dinner last night UNLESS I cooked it myself and can share the recipe)…not that my life is so interesting but sometimes my thought processes scare me…and my grandmother was a great source of wisdom.

I reserve all rights to the content posted in this blog, unless otherwise noted.
- FDeF

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