Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Learn Moon, Learn Stars, Learn Love

The year that I turned 30, I turned to Pat one cay and said "You know...we're in our thirties now; I think we should start talking about children." His reply?

"What about them?"

"Do you want children? Do you want to think about adopting one or hiring a surrogate or anything like that?" I asked. His reply?

"You know...I'm going to leave that decision to you. You may bring a child into your life any way you like. Adopt, hire a surrogate..any thing at all. As long as you take the child to another apartment and live with it there."

Not only was that the right answer, it is one of my favourite sentences I have ever heard in my life.

As a teenager, I developed a bit of a biological clock. I fantasized about being a father, having a chiold--maybe a son--and being a good daddy to that child. As an adult, I eschewed this frame of mind, deciding that I am too selfish to be a parent. I want my solitude and to be left alone when I have the flu and when I am having a nap. I realized that I don't want the responsibility of raising a child. I don't want to be responsible for screwing up a young life. Besides, I realized, I already have lots of children I take care of; they are called my friends.

And the matter was closed, as was the discussion.

We have watched as our friends have had children, some of them at great trouble and expense. In our lives we have watched miracle babies be born into the Connor and Arnold families, with great fanfare from cheering friends and families. These babies were all very difficult to come by and have circles of support that would give one pause. They are so well loved, so well cared for. They are miracle babies. We have watched our friends have babies that were more easily conceived and carried to term; we have marveled at the lovely parenting skills of friends who were, at one time, single people and party-ers. The Englands have three gorgeous sons named after Saints and they have been raised with enormous amounts of love and respect, which is what the boys offer the world because (as we all know) children learn what they are taught. I have stood in their bedroom at bedtime listening to their delightful and devout nighttime prayers, I have seen their boyish, rambunctious best at playtime and enjoyed their polite, respectful table manners. They are wonderful boys and even though parenting is a skill one picks up as one goes along, their parents have done a bang up job.

I have watched as each of my Goddaughters (one literal, one figurative) have come into a whimsical and bohemian household where they have been taught not only to respect humanity but to celebrate it. The girls have been given individuality (from the onset) with their unique names; and their individulatiy has been nurtured by parents who encourage creativity and personal authenticity. Those parents have instilled in my beautiful Goddaughters an open mindedness and a thirst for knowledge, as well as a sense of good manners, not to mention what is right from what is wrong. I have had great pleasure watching the parenting skills of various friends.

I cannot speak of the parenting skills of my siblings. It would be an unfair invasion of their privacy. I will say that I am very happy that my own parents have had the opportunity to spend so much time with my brother's children--I think it is good to have grandparents around; grandparents are allowed to parent in ways that would be considered mean (by the children) were they applied by the parents. I hope that makes sense because it is a point of fact in which I believe, greatly.

I feel that Pat and I have been good uncles to our neices and nephews, both those on the Mosher side and those on the Dwyer side. Our neices from Pat's side of the family are proof of good parenting. We consider it our role to be the male Auntie Mames , sweep into town, spoil them and teach them to enjoy eccentricity, then fly back to New York, our damage done.

Yesterday, I received an email that made me weep, weep, weep.

I have an unfortunate concept of the passage of time, not unlike living in Narnia and coming back through the wardrobe door to find that it has only been a second since you left the physical world. I do not remember (or recognize) the passage of time. Maybe that is why I look the way I do. Maybe I do not live in a place where time DOES pass...

I know that I met Stephen Kaplan when he was sixteen. I know that I met him again when he was in his early twenties. I know that a couple of years passed before he met Will Nolan. I know that we had some chances to be free spirited adults, I know that illness prevented me from attending their wedding ceremony in California (where, instead of a wedding cake, they served piles of KRISPY KREME s--HOW COULD I MISS THAT??!!). I know that they moved to California for a year, maybe a year and a half. I know that they moved back to New York a year, maybe two, ago. So, as you can see, I have known these fellows for awhile. Heck, I did the photo that was on their wedding invitation. I think you could say we have been an important part of each others' lives. The fact that we see each other, rarely, these days, is one of those things.

"Life separated us." So said Truman Capote in his narration of the film version of his immortal classic A CHRISTMAS MEMORY. Life separates us, all.

But I was aware that the boys had adoption on the brain, aware they had filled out the papers, aware that they both had great jobs and a new house in New Jersey. I AM up on the news in their lives.

Well...I am NOW.

It hardly seems possible--because adoption takes SO very long--but yesterday they brought home their son, Michael Patrick Kaplan-Nolan. And when I opened the email I began to cry. I am so very happy for my dear friends. This is something they have wanted since first they met. They are two of the most integrity filled men who have one of the most love filled relationships and that baby is going to live an extraordinary life.

For many years I said that I don't believe in homosexuals living their lives in heterosexual stereotypes. I didn't believe in gays getting married because it has no social or legal relevance. Until there are honest to goodness changes in a gay relationship because of the institution of marraige, it just feels like dress up and make believe--that's what I always said. My opinions on gays having children was the same--maybe even stronger. Why? Why, I wanted to know, would any gay man or gay couple want to put themselves through through the hassle of acquiring a child, let alone go through the transom of life RAISING the brat?! I have grown less cynical regarding these topics. Indeed, I have been dreaming of a wedding for Pat and I--even though there is no legal acceptance of it (and I crusade for a change to that); and while I do not dream of our having children, I support, in fact promote, my gay couples friends in their quests to build a family. Why shouldn't we? Why should we live lives where we are not allowed to have the same things that heterosexuals have? These amazing men want a family, want a child, a son to raise and look at, proudly, and say "that's my son."

AND THEY GOT IT!!! Stephen and Will got their dream. They are in the top one percent. They did it. Bravo. I could not be any happier. And happiness for our loved ones is the best feeling in the world. It is beter than being happy for yourself, by far. I am happy for the boys, happy for that lucky baby, happy for the grandparents and all the Aunts and Uncles (by blood or by association).

There are going to be a lot of people vying for babysitting duty...

please note that I did not do the photo of the Kaplan-Nolans; it was in the email they sent out announcing their good news. also; I may, in upcoming days, add photos of some of the other families; only after securing their permission to post pictures of their children on the internet.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Independance Day

All my life I have been a member of 'groups'. I have been a member of the group of men called homos. I have been a part of the groups of Asians living in America. I have been in the group called artists, the group of people called "inked" (tatto'd), the group called gym rats.... so many groups.

Today I joined another group; a smaller group. I became a member of the group of people who have told Tim: "I will no longer be able to enable you, to help you, to save you. Please go." The words were spoken with reason and the reason was warranted.

It hurts to tell someone you have loved to leave. It feels like a betrayal--not just to them but to yourself.

Until you remember that your first loyalty is to yourself, your spouse, your home, your safety, your peace of mind.

As the great Stephen Sondheim once observed: Every day a little death.

Like the Phoenix, though, out of death we can be reborn. And like a newborn, I am crying.

But like that newborn, the crying makes it possible for me to breathe...


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Call The Police!! He Stole My Body & I Want It Back.

I wanted to do a completely happy and lighthearted posting. So I thought "what makes me happy"?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Start counting.....

please note that the pics of Matthew McConaughey were lifted off the internet. I would love to give photo credit but none was provided online. I am NOT the photographer of these beautiful photos

Step Out of the Panic Room

It's five-forty four on Sunday morning, the day of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Flea Market. I've been up since my usual--four am--and trying to focus. Focus has been difficult for me, of late, but I seem to always step up to the plate. This morning I did some housework in the kitchen and the bathroom, posted some auctions on Ebay and went to the Rite Aid to see what they had on sale. I bought vinegar and baking soda; both were on sale and I needed them to clean the porcelain in the bathroom. The gym doesn't open on Sundays until nine am; otherwise I would have gone there.

I have noted that Tim did not come home last night. He has his cellphone back so he has more freedom and more inclination toward using that freedom. Of course, there was a house rule laid down about him having a curfew and being in by eleven pm. But (sadly) we never said we would throw him out if he were not in by eleven--only that he would have to sleep elsewhere. So I cannot throw him out today. Though we did say we WOULD throw him out if there were any drugs. I wonder if I will be able to tell, when he gets in, if he has benn using...

On a lighter topic; as I walked to the Rite Aid, I passed through Worldwide Plaza. At five am. There was a (sort of) shocking amount of activity going on in the plaza before sunrise. What I noted, especially, was that among the groups of people hanging out on benches, fountain seats and restaurants tables and chairs were two men (one in his thirties, one in his fifties) playing a feverish game of chess and just a few tables from them was a group of four people--one black man (very attractive) and three overweight girls with crunchy hair in floral print sundresses--drinking beers they had brought with them to the plaza. A few feet away, two security guards picked away the leaves that had fallen and were falling onto their pant legs. I don't know why, but the entire scene struck me as a bit comical; even surreal.

I wanted to write when I woke up. I wanted to write when I came in from Rite Aid. I wanted to write but I have no story to tell; not today. I thought, though, that it was important to drop in and say something to let alarmed friends (like Annalisa, who has made her concern for us public by posting a reply to yesterday's story) know that it's going to be ok. It is, truly, going to be ok. The time will pass, the pariah will leave and everyone will be happy, once more. Maybe there will be happy moments in this day--who can say. The point is, I am NOT moaning Myrtle and it is important for anyone who might even tend toward any kind of overly dramatic reaction ( to Tim's ominous entry into our home and to the story WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN ) to know that they should "cool it". Just cool it.

Everything will be just fine. And when it is, you'll see me dancing again....

I promise!

please note that the photo of me dancing was done by Derik Klein

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

I have been M.I.A.

I love blogging. I love reading blogs and I love writing them. It has been my wish, my intent to sit down and write something for each of my blogs, each day this week. Mind you..I was without a computer for three days because ours had a little break down; Pat took the terminal to work and had one of the geniuses there look at it. Is plural of genius genii? Once the computer was back up and running, I could not sit down and write.

At present, I am emotionally and creatively barren. I have absolutely nothing left inside of me.

Earlier this week an old and dear friend who was down on his luck came to us for help. I will say, without modesty, that it was only out of goodness that we took him in. That hurts to say. We did it because we are good people. Not because we love him or care what happens to him or want him around. The truth is we don't want him around. He is a crisis junkie...no...he is THE crisis junkie. He is an albatross, a pariah, the idol from The Brady Bunch that brought everyone bad luck. He swept in like a foul odoured wind and turned a deliriously happy home into a pit of dispair in just two days. That is all it took; two days. Today is day five and we told him he could stay here for a month.

I'm not going to make it. And frankly, neither is Pat.

We took him in because he had NOWHERE else to go. All his friends and all his family have turned their backs on him. No small wonder because he is the most selfish, self-centered, self-destructive, greedy, pitiful, pathetic, hopeless and hapless person I have ever known. Even our adopted son, whose character I so despise, is not so horrible a human being as to take such advantage (such LONGTERM) advantage of two people who have done so much for him.

I have seen my beloved Pat Dwyer's eyes this week and I know that, finally, at long last, his spirit is broken. He can no longer fathom people doing this kind of thing to us.

My own spirit has been broken for a long time; I am beyond repair. I do not put this in print on the internet for either the purpose of complaining or seeking sympathy. I say it because it is fact. I have spent my adult life taking care of and saving other people, usually ungrateful people. This one has gone so far beyond ungrateful that my happy and peaceful home is filled with hate.

I have actually realized that I hate this person who is living with us, who USED to be one of my dearest friends but whose revolting and stupid (STOOPID) behaviour and whose ingratitude and selfishness has, at long last, taught me how to hate.

And I don't know what I am going to do with that.

The first step is the remove the goiter and heal. This new experience must culminate with another new experience: telling someone I have loved that they are not welcome, that I cannot help (anymore) and that they need to leave, effective immediately.

Lord; give me strength.

I hope the next time you read me, I am Stephen again...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Enough Already

Well, it's time for me to say what I feel.

I wish everyone would leave Tom and Katie alone.

I admit it. I am sick of his antics. The couch. Matt Lauer. The reporter with the water pistol. Brooke Shields. South Park. So, so, SO many other things. It is clear that Tom Cruise has gone a little crazy.


If you were that famous, if you had people tugging and pulling at you all the time, if you didn't know who wanted you for yourself or for your fame, money and power, wouldn't YOU go a little crazy? It is clear that fame has its price. The famous end up in rehab (Who would EVER have thought Robin Williams would end up in rehab?!), married-divorced-married-divorced-married-divorce (do I need to cite examples), on the internet (I actually have a copy of the Collin Farrell sex tape AND the Rob Lowe video), in jail (HELLO!!! Mel Gibson!!! Nuff said?) and deformed (www.awfulplasticsurgery.com). These poor people get fame and money but at what price? When I was younger I wanted to be famous. There is still a part of me that wants to be famous (so that I will have the clout to just pick up the phone and say ' I want to do a photo shoot with Jula Roberts...' and have it happen); but I think I am old enough to know how to handle it. I also know I could never be famous enough to suffer the kind of psychological damage these people are going through.

As far as Tom Cruise goes: I forgive him his ridiculous behaviour and wish he would get a therapist to help him adjust to his slightly (or not so slightly) askance perception on life and the universe. I truly do hope that this is real--that he and Katie are in love and a real couple and that the baby is theirs and a baby born from love. The rumour-mongers will always want Tom to be gay and his marriages to be cover-ups because it makes for a good story. Those who dislike scientology will always want Tom to be crazy because it backs up their feelings about a religion that they neither know nor understand (I don't either but I want neither to learn about it nor criticize it). It would and will always be easier if there were an angle.

But what if there isn't? What if he is just a man having his midlife crisis in front of the whole world? What if he loves this young woman and they have a beautiful baby and actually do live happily ever after?

Don't we, can't we, as human beings, wish that much on another person? No matter how crazy, megalomaniacal and weird they are? Don't they deserve the respect of our wishes for their happiness and peace?

Congratulations Tom and Kate. May you live out your happiest days with your beautiful daughter, seen in photos, above from the VANITY FAIR article (and don't think I don't wish that I had taken them--they are gorgeous pictures).

There's A Place Called Home

We have taken Tim back in.

Earlier this year, we closed the Mosher Dwyer Home For Wayward Actors. When we did, I spent some time thinking about the last 20 years that Pat and I have been a family. I did a little rough math and came up with this statistic: in the 20 years that Pat and I have been together, we have been alone for 3. Ok. Maybe 4 years we have been alone but no more than that. When we lived in Denton, Texas, during our first year, we were allowed to live alone as a couple. Once we moved to Dallas, though, it was all over.

All of our friends are artists, mostly actors. Most of our friends are crisis junkies. Many of our friends are homosexuals. Between those three categories, there have been any number of people who have needed a place to crash, a room in which to flop, a temporary place to live. We have hosted people overnight and we have hosted people years. We have continued to be called the Home For Wayward Actors, even though we have housed a florist and one or two other civilians. Some of our friends have lived with us rent-free and others have been tenants. It has been an interesting road, usually rocky, and it has put strain on many friendships. Some of our friendships have ended because of this practice, while others have been made stronger. It's all unique to each individual and to each circumstance.

The last person to live with us left me mentally and emotionally unstable. For that reason, we decided that the hotel would have to close, forever. After years of feeling unappreciated for our generosity, taken for granted, used....I told Pat that we had to say no, from now on. After the last border left here in a blaze of drama and unappreciation, it was clear that we needed some privacy and that I needed to be left the f#*k alone. We began, actually and actively, saying "no, you cannot stay with us, I'm sorry--not for a week, not for a night." We had gone from the parents, the caretakers of our circle of friends, the safe haven where everyone could go, to the crystal fortress. Friends who had keys to our home found thier keys being confiscated. Locks were changed, phone calls avoided, requests ignored. After a year of spectacular crises with not only our border and his histrionic girlfriend but with other friends who could not seem to step out of the drama chamber, we built a moat, filled it with lava and hired a team of trolls to protect us. We would be impenetrable.

There was no room at the inn.

Recently, though, Pat and I were talking and reflecting on the role that we adopted, years ago, within our family of friends. We realized that this is what we do. We are the hub, the caregivers, the protectors, the saviours. I don't want to be a saviour anymore. I don't want to rescue anyone. I don't want to take care of anyone, I don't want to save anyone, I don't want to babysit anyone. It goes beyond not wanting to. I can't. I cannot.

I'm reminded of two sentences connected to two movies:

THE SIXTH SENSE has a scene where Toni Collette says "I'm tired in my head, I'm tired in my heart, I'm tired in my body." That's me all over the place.

When the movie THE ROSE came out, the ads featured the sentenece " She gave and gave until she couldn't give anymore." I feel like that a lot of the time. I cannot listen to one more whine fest from the friend known as Moaning Myrtle. I cannot listen to one more litany of reasons why life sucks for certain friends of mine--or the list of things that it will take to make certain people happy. I find myself, physically and emotionally, unable to process their energy. It's them or me. I have to protect myself by saying "no. Sorry, I didn't order that whine with dinner."

Tim showed up at our home last night. He rang the bell at ten pm. He didn't call first. Does anyone who knows me want to explain for those who don't know me, what that does to me? Allow me. It is true that I have a list of rules by which I actually expect my friends to live. I can be flexible but on one or two matters I am implaccable. Do not come to my home wearing perfume. Please try not to be early for any date or appointment with me--late is fine but not early. Please do not come to my home unannounced; use a cellphone, the phone on the corner, a telegram, a homing pigeon--whatever it takes--but do not ring my bell and expect to be let in, without calling first.

Tim doesn't have a cellphone right now. Tim has hit the bottomest rock bottom there is to hit. I don't want to invade his privacy with a lot of detail in this story. All I will say is this: his family has turned their back on him and he is completely alone and without job, home or resource. He came here last night because he is ill (not hiv related, for those who might wonder) and hasn't slept in two days because he has nowhere to sleep (he is clean and sober, for those who might wonder). So when he rang the bell and the voice on the intercom said "it's Timmy", I buzzed him in. When he walked in, he began to apologize and inside of fifteen seconds I said, "Tim. Cool it." His face and Pat's face registered relief.

It has been me saying no to everyone. I say it in person, in print, over the phone or through Pat. No. I'm sorry, it will not be possible for you to stay here. No. That's not going to work out. No. The answer is no.

Pat feels a strong responsibility for Tim. I try to feel no responsibility for anyone anymore. I admit it. I am broken. I have been broken by society and by the people in my life who have lessened my self esteem by their crimes against me. Pat has been terrified that Tim might need a place--REALLY need a place--to stay and that I might say no. But something inside me last night, maybe the Peaceful Warrior that I so want to be, calmly and peacefully and lovingly said ok. It's ok. So I told him. You may stay here as long as you need. We are your family and you have come home. Your blood relatives have turned their backs on you but we will not. So, like a parent (and at this point, he needs a parent) I told him to shower and get ready for bed. He would be awoken in the morning for breakfast, there would be no drug usage while he is here, if he went outside to smoke a cigarette, he would shower again when he came back into the apartment. He would live here but he would be productive, he would get up in the mornings and he would be active. No drugs, no booze, no cigarettes, no online activity. We will help him get his health and his life back. We have become the Betty Ford clinic.

And you know what? It feels right. We are his family. He has hit rock bottom. We will not turn our backs on him the way his parents did. He has been operating these last few weeks with God and he has survived. He has kept himself (mostly) clean and sober (I can forgive the occasional beer or toke) and he is ready to start the uphill climb again. We will help him. And, as I write this, it feels right to have him sleeping in the loft above my head.

This is what we do, Pat and I. Whatever else is or is not true of us, this is what we do. When one of our own needs us, we will be there to care for them. This is their home as well as ours.

This is our life.

This is what we do.

please note that, not feeling comfortable using photos (in this story) of anyone's face, I have chosen to use a picture I did for the PMS Kookie Kompany. Anyone who has been in our home will confirm that this photo sums up what it is like to be in 2A. This is a typical scene in our kitchen....

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Don't Want to Go to Heaven, Don't Want to Go to Hell

Today is my anniversary. I moved to New York City thirteen years ago today. I (surprisingly) have no profundities to put in print regarding this event except to say that I would rather live here than anywhere else in the world. I love this city so, so very much. I love the street I live on, I love 2A, I love my man, my friends and family; I am just so very grateful for the opportunity to call this place home.

I dug through my computer looking for any digital images I have shot around the city (I usually save my ARTwork for my real camera and not the digital one) and what you see above is what I have onhand. Not some of my best or favourites; but enough for me to say

Thank you, New York, for letting me call you home.

The Hell's Kitchen Story

"Tracy sets exceptionally high standards for herself, that's all... and other people aren't always quite apt to live up to them."

So says Mrs Lord in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. This is one of my favourite plays, one of my favourite movies, some of my favourite fictional characters, most especially Tracy Samantha Lord--created by one of my most favourite actresses. That, though, has nothing to do with the reason I have tended, over the years, to set exceptionally high standards for myself. It is, simply, the way I am and not my attempt to emulate Tracy Lord.

No. This is not a story about Katharine Hepburn, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY or Tracy Samantha Lord. It is a story about standards.

I have, indeed, been accused (with almost the same sentence as quoted above) of setting standards that are too high....standards that others cannot possibly live up to, causing dismay and loss of friendships over the years. I have, indeed, been accused of expecting too much from the people in my life. For awhile, I protested. For awhile, I took umbrage with this--may I put quotes around this?--"criticism". For awhile, I apologized for setting the bar too high. I stopped, apologizing a few years ago when I realized that people shouldn't have to live life on anyone's terms but their own. I should not have to compromise my standards of behaviour, of etiquette, of decency, just because people are irritated by constantly having to meet them. I feel that I have met high standards in my personal relationships. I am generous and loving, I am honest and I am present. I have brought integrity to my friendships--I don't say these things to brag. I feel that if you ask the people in my life what it is like being friends with me, they will say that I an a stand up guy. I am not being immodest. I think that I am a good friend.

So why should I be friends with people who will not operate with my range of standards? Do I allow people in my life, people with energy that spills into my life, if I find out that they are lacking of integrity or character? I don't mean little things like..I don't know..just...little things that don't matter. I'm talking about the big things. People who lie. People who cheat and steal and people who commit crimes of deliberate cruelty. People who do not live by the standards of decency. As a man who wants to live as a person of integrity, can I allow that energy into my world, Pat's world, our world?

My heart has been broken. It is not a romantic heartbreak, though there is romance in the story..

There was a man. There was a boy. Well...he was a young man, a boy trying to become a man. There. That's what he was. He was boy trying to become a man. We met. We liked each other. We became friends; we became close friends and then we became a family. He was nearly twenty years younger than Pat and I, yet we spoke a language that was unique, in my opinion. He was the third person for whom Pat and I have searched for our family. In the past, we have (actively) searched for someone that could become our third. We have dated separately and we have dated as a couple. We have not had success at adding to our family. This was not a full success, either, because the boy was not one inclined to a romantic relationship with us and we were not looking to convert a straight. Simply put, we fell in love. We all fell in love without sexual attraction. Oh, he was attractive, physically. It would be easy to fall in love with him, physically; but I am not attracted to straight men and I am not attracted to the idea of conversion. Nevertheless, we all fell in love with each other as people and we fell in love with the idea of becoming a family. So, he asked to move into our home after his graduation from college. Pat and I discussed it and we said yes, for one year.

It would have so wonderful. Well... COULD have. But things change.

The details of our year together are not important. There was good. There was bad. There was never, ever, any sexual impropriety, though we were a tactile family. There were hugs and cuddles and lying on the sofa together watching movies. There was good.

There was bad.

I received warnings from people about befriending him. I chose to ignore them. It was a mistake.

He called us his dads. The first time he did it, it bothered me. The second, third, fourth, fifth time he called us his dads, introduced us to friends as his dads, it bothered me. I went to him and said "that is disrespectful to your father, who is still alive". He told me that he did not have a good relationship with his father, that he always wanted a DAD; now he had two. I accepted this and even began referring to him as my son. I introduced him to people as my son. When their faces dropped I would add...by adoption. It wasn't an official or legal adoption but it was an adoption. We all adopted each other. We loved him, so.

We loved him, so.

That warrants saying twice. After all, I introduced him as my son. He honoured me by deciding to call me dad. I didn't ask for it but I came to like it. But in as much as he wanted a father figure, I felt it was important for me to set a good example. I am far from perfect. I am selfish and I have a temper and, yes, I set exceptionally high standards for myself. I told him before he moved in that I was impossible, that I like things in my house where I want them and if they are moved I get angry. I told him that I liked things a certain way--my way--and if I didn't get them my way, I was vocal about it. Fill the Brita when you empty it. Don't make me clean up unsuccesful flushes. Don't break my things. Don't open a closed door without knocking. Don't answer your cellphone and sit in my living room, talking, while I am trying to watch SURVIVOR. These are silly little persnickety things that we all have--the rules of our daily life. We learn how to adapt and how to live with other people. That wasn't the problem. The disrespect I began to feel at having to, repeatedly, say "don't spray cologne in the house, it gives me a headache" DID become a problem. There were some other persnickety things that DID become a problem. Not problems big enough to end our relationship. His laziness bothered me but not enough to come between us. His vanity and arrogance reviled me but not enough to ruin our family. We all have flaws. I am not Tracy Samantha Lord. I am not rigid. I accept flaw and welcome change.

I do not accept dishonesty in my home.

There were lies. There were infidelities commited against his girlfriend and lies told to his girlfriend; and he began asking me to lie for him. Periodically, I lectured him about honesty and about respect. There were even times that I thought I might have gotten through to him. For a year, though, I listened to him disparage his girlfriend--and I listened to her disparage him; and I had to keep it all inside. She called me to check up on him and his whereabouts; he asked me to cover for him. All this drama--drama I begged him not to bring to my house--was his. It wasn't mine. I found ways to deal with it (mostly by staying in my room with the door closed; mostly by not being available when the drama cropped up). There was professional lies told to get jobs, to get out of jobs, to auditions. There were a lot of things that happened, upon which I frowned. They were forgivable because we loved him so.

There came a day when that changed. It didn't stop. I didn't stop loving him. I still love him. I do not, though, respect him.

During his final year at college, during the winter semester, the boy I proudly called son had been accused, by a teacher, of cheating on a midterm. The boy was called before a tribunal and threatened with disciplinary actions. He went before the tribunal with his parents (his real parents) and declared that the male teacher had fabricated this accusation after having his sexual advances rebuffed. The boy I called son had been the victim of sexual harrassment. Pat and I were outraged that our boy would be treated in this manner and we offered our full, unconditional support, as did the girlfriend and the boy's real parents. We all defended him and stood by him. He was, nevertheless, found guilty and made to take a failing grade in the class, do a make up assignment and was prohibited from performing in any school productions for the rest of his college career. We were all heartbroken and indignant. However, he finished out the school year and left that horrible place and came to live with us.

During the rocky year with us, his rocky relationship with his crisis junkie girlfriend (guilty of just about as many relationship crimes as he--not as many but just about as many) became rockier. She and I became friends and spent hours talking about the boy, about how much we loved him, about how much we wished he would change, stop telling lies and be the man we knew he could be. It was during those long talks that she told me.

He did cheat on the midterm. When caught, he filed false charges against a teacher, a homosexual, for sexual harrassment as some kind of defense. The teacher (like the student) was put under scrutiny; and even though the student was found to be in the wrong, the teacher must watch his step, every single day that he goes to work. That charge will always hang over his head. These facts all came, directly, from the girlfriend.

I am heartbroken.

The boy I introduced as my son..even told my mother that I considered him as a son..knowingly accused (falsely) a gay male of sexual harrassment.

At the end of our year together, we could barely speak to each other. I could barely look at him, let alone touch him. I could not look at or be near either of them. Eventually he left us earlier than his one-year move out date. They have moved uptown to the upper west side and he will have nothing to do with us. My Pat is heartbroken. He misses our son so much that I can actually see the pain he is in. I am heartbroken for losing this boy, heartbroken for Pat's pain and heartbroken for the loss of a beautiful family and a beautiful thing.

There came a day, several weeks after he left 2A, that I could hold my silence no more. During a heated phone conversation I told the boy that I knew. I told him that his lover had told me the truth and that, as a human being, I was appalled; but as a gay male, I was made physically ill by the news. He replied by telling me that he knew, in his heart, who he is and that he is a good person; and that he could not believe that I was going to let our bond, our relationship, our love for one another be so deeply affected by my socio-politcal reactions to one isolated incident. He didn't make even a veiled attempt at denying it. He so much as confirmed that the story I had been told was true and suggested that I dismiss his actions.

That was the final crack in the break. I was, absolutely, heartbroken and it was clean break, right down the middle.

He's gone now. Peace and happiness have been restored to my, to our home. It's like the experience of pregnancy that I have been told of: once the baby is here, you forget all the pain. He is gone and I don't really even remember what it was like to have him here. I rememeber that I was miserable much of the time; but I also remember incredible kindesses and great love. I do not, though, remember the actual feeling of having him here. Perhaps that is my way of healing. Sometimes, in the cool gray of the dawn, I think of him and I miss him and I wish to reach out; he has, though, made it clear that he wants nothing to do with us.

I think it is probably best this way. I will never be able to look at him the same way again, no matter how much I (still) love him.

I do miss the sensation of introducing him as my son. It always gave me pride. No father, birth or adoptive, could be proud of so vile an action. Perhaps there are fathers who can lower their personal bar, lower their standards, and accept an act so dishonest, so repugnant. As a human being I have difficulty with it, as a gay male, I am impervious regarding this matter. I need neither validation nor explanation. This is the way things are and the way I am. My standards of decency, of integrity, are intact. My standards are still impossibly high.

If you don't like them, you have my permission to call me Tracy Samantha Lord.

please note that I took the picture of Katharine Hepburn from The Philadelphia Story off of the internet. I do not know the photographer's name; for that I am sorry.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wind's In The East

I've been depressed. Oh, it's not the time I was depressed because I couldn't find a publisher for The Sweater Book and I got in bed for eighteen months. Didn't know about that, did you? Some people did; others didn't. That's because I prefer to keep that kind of thing private. I have no secrets (really and truly) and will write about almost anything because I believe that a writer (one who writes about life and experiences, rather than creating fiction--which I am not good at) cannot be a good writer or show the lessons in life unless the writer is willing to be unfailingly honest. There is such a thing as discretion, though. I will write about my personal good, bad and even my ugly--but that's writing; it's not living. In the place where I live, I'm actually a very private person. And when I am depressed I prefer to keep it private. Laurelle has complained that I don't share my life with her; her reasoning for this is because I don't go running to her to unload all my emotional baggage, as she does to others. She wants a friend like that--and I want friends like myself, who keep their drama at their house, rather than bring it to mine. None of this is what I sat down to write about though. Oh, yes, that's right: I have a tendency toward tangent....

I've been depressed. I don't know why. I've been tired and listless and unable to focus on everything, during all my waking hours. I can focus for a few hours and then I crash like a child coming down from a sugar coma. I haven't been weepy or moody, though I have wanted to emotion eat. It's a good thing I have removed all dangerous foods from my home. The worst I can do to myself is gobble down handfulls of raisins and I have decided that good body or not, health fanatic or not, I want no part of a life where I am not able to eat some freakin raisins or an apple when I want one. I have decided to NOT beat myself up for cheating on my diet with some natural fruit sugars. It's not like I am sneaking off to La Gulee for Marzipan, right? I am, though, craving foods--something I go through when I am emotional. I have been falling asleep in the middle of the day--well, it's not REALLY the middle of the day. Since I get up at four am, falling asleep on the sofa around three pm isn't really the middle of the day. I view it as an energy boost. I go to the gym at six and I really need that 60 to 90 minute nap so that I will have the energy to lift the heavy weight. I refuse to feel guilty because I sleep while everyone else is at work, slaving over a hot computer. I have made lists of things to do during the day and only gotten half of the list done. At least I am getting them done, though... It's just the strangest thing, though...

I've been depressed.

What's strange about that? I'll tell you....

I have nothing about which to be depressed. I'm happy. I have the life that I want. As Pat says, "There's nothing wrong with my life that a million dollars and a little more sleep won't cure." I like that. Could I use more money? Yes. Could I use more sleep? Definately. Other than that, is there anything about which I should be depressed? No. I know that I have been down on myself these last two months for an eating binge that took my weight from 153lbs to 170; but I have my food and workout routine back on track and have reclaimed my waistline, as well as owning the fact that some of that weight gain is muscle growth.

I have been down in the mouth because I am impatient and want my business to be very productive so that I can feel like I contribute to the financial upkeep of my family's household. What I must remind myself of, though, is that I DID take two years off and when you take that much time off of a career in the arts, they forget about you. It will take time to remind them who I am and time to re build that career. I'm scared, though. I'm scared that people won't hire me because I don't do digital photography. I'm scared that it will be like last time--that I won't get chosen by potential clients; something I have never understood because I think I am a damned good photographer, and more, a damned FINE headshot photographer, not to mention a really nice fellow. I think people should WANT to hire me. Unfortunately, technology has replaced talent and people want that damned digital photo just because it is the rage, rather than a great photo, whatever the format. I will admit it: the rejection is hard. I talk a good talk about it just being a part of the business but it is hard. When you spend an hour of your day giving a free consultation to someone who seems to like you but who leaves and doesn't hire you, for whatever the reason, it's a rejection--and everyone knows how well I handle rejection... But I am determined to stay focused and not let it be like it was before. I am determined to make my business a success this time and not let my ego get wrapped up in things like perceived rejection or friends squeezing me for free shoots or any kind of negativity regarding this career of mine. I love it too much to let the negativity set in.

Is there more, though? I mean, really, what is there that would make me depressed? I have a great apartment, even though it is in desperate need of rennovating. I have the man of my dreams. I have a lovely family that (for the most part) is a source of happiness for me (as long as I do not place a lot of emphasis on attaining my father's approval). I have a family of friends that makes me feel loved, and even liked.... I have... wait. That's not quite true. Uh oh. Revelation. Eureka in the bathrub.

I miss my friends. I talk to Tom and Annalisa, either on the phone or online, at least every other day. I communicate with Lisa-Gabrielle through our blog postings. I have a handful of other friends who MySpace with me. That's it. I know that I have talked about the fact that, as we age, our families, our spouses and our children, become our comfort and our company. I spend all of my time with Pat, as my parents (especially my mother) spent all of her time with my dad and the children. I am happy to have Pat be my constant companion. However, there is a standard of friendship that has been set by shows like SEX AND THE CITY and QUEER AS FOLK, where the characters in the show do things like have breakfast together every day; where the characters are in each others' lives to the point where it is almost a form of marriage. These are relationships that I have found almost impossible to maintain. Not only can I NOT sit down to breakfast at the same time every day with the same group of people--I don't think I want to. Sadly, most of my friends are crisis junkies and I cannot have their crises in my daily life--it is bad enough having them in my weekly or monthly life. I still love them, though; and I miss them.

It feels like the flowers in my garden have moved away to new gardens; and, indeed, they have. A few years ago Brady and Peter went to California and I never see them anymore. A month ago, Steve and Domonick moved to the Bay area of California, as did Theo. Tash and Michael married and moved from 49th Street to Queens. David has been out of town doing plays for seven months and by the time he gets back he will have been gone ten months. Leslie is (apparently) shunning us because we told Mark that we didn't want to be friends with him anymore because of his negativity. Dan used to live on 48th stret, around the corner, as did Paul Tigue; they were an arm's length away from me and now they both live in Los Angeles. The Conners are only on Long Island but that is a much further distance than you can, really imagine. Paul J went back to Texas. Mark T went back to Texas. Faye has shut herself off from all of us, for whatever reasons. Even my best friend AJ lives three blocks away and we have seen each other five times in 2006. Vince and I have to plan museum dates twice a year just to look at each other and put our arms around each other. Michael and Mithcell are both so busy at work that we never see each other; but when we do we promise that we still love each other. Mike Babel is in California and I see him a few times whenever he is in town...which is never enough. David moved to Australia, Kate moved to Spain and Marci is wherever the work takes her.... And friends that I could see because we DO both have the time and inclination, I won't see because I can no longer be around their self-inflicted drama and misery.

No wonder I am depressed.

I'm lonely.

It's not like the loneliness of the cat lady down the street who has no one in her life. It's not like the loneliness of an agoraphobic who can't leave their home. It's not any kind of melodramatic loneliness that makes us feel sorry for someone. I just miss the past. I miss the days when we all got together for each other's birthdays. I miss the days when someone threw a party and people actually showed up. I miss the days when LGG, MM, BB and Morgana and I would kidnap each other on our birthdays. I miss gossiping with Miss Laura every night. I miss my family.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that life and time and people all change. It's the Mary Poppins philosophy on life. People drift together for a time when they are meant to be together...a time when they need each other. When that time is over, they drift apart again. Maybe they will drift together, once more, maybe they won't. It's the Mary Poppins philosophy of life and it is one I have been aware of, and have lived with and accepted, for a long time.

But I'll always remember the birthday kidnappings, or The Posse game nights, or the summer that the Forty Ninth Street Fags spent lying around our living room watching Mo'Nique and reciting her act along with her; and I'll remember that there is an energy that we started, we and our family. And even though Mary Poppins has taken us off in different directions, there is a place where that energy will continue forever, like a shooting star in space that never stops...

I'll always remember... and I will smile

please note: the above photos were taken by different photographers and are photos I had stored in my computer; they were chosen, randomly, for this piece and not to show any favouritism within my circle of friends. had i a scanner and the space, I would have added photos of all my loved ones--eventually photos of each of them will turn up in one of my stories, anyway....

Monday, September 04, 2006

Love Changes Everything

What is it about love that changes us so much? What is it about love that makes us new? I have seen intelligent people turned stupid, serious people turned goofy, misanthropic people turned gregarious all in the name of love. I realize, of course, that love is the driving force of our society. I realize that living creatures are designed to couple--in the animal kingdom there are species that are designed to couple, repeatedly and often, with many partners, while others are stricly monogamous (for a complete list, see the movie LOVE AFFAIR in which Katharine Hepburn uses the unforgettable phrase "...fuck a duck..."). I guess the point is that living creatures are not meant to be alone. Animals, though, approach their partnerships with each other in a way that does involve a certain amount of logic, of tradition within their species (this much is apparent to anyone who studies animals or who even watches the programs about them on The Discovery Channel). The logic, the habit, the routine of behaviour that the animal kingdom follows must give them a great deal of ease and comfort that we humans are not afforded.

Instead, we were given the ability to think and feel. Yay for us. So we have the luxury of lovely things like unrequitted love, flat out rejection, fear and loneliness, desire, hatred and all the other pockets of human relations that leave us sitting in the dark watching Goldie Hawn movies from the sixties and eating whole boxes of Peanut Butter Oreos with half, no, whole gallons of milk until we fall asleep out of the sheer desperation of escaping the bloat of our bellies. We spend our lives looking for someone who will love us.

It begins when we are children. We don't even know what love is at that point (do we? I don't remember the first few years of my life--do children have the presence of mind to know what love is and what it is to pursue it?). We require some attention from the grown ups--even if that attention is merely being fed or being changed. Think about it, though; that is our first exposure to love. We are a child and someone who loves us (presumably) feed us. How many women (how many men, for that matter?) become quivering masses, warm and runny with emotion, just because the person they are involved with cooked them a nice dinner and served it at a table that has a bouquet of dying flowers and candles dripping wax on their nicest linen tablecloth? This is one of the ways in which we say I love you, isn't it? We have a date...we cook the date a meal. We have a date...we take the date to an expensive restaurant. We have a date...we take the date on a picnic. This behaviour starts as a child. We learn to love in the manner in which we are taught to love.

As we grow into our formative years, the first word we learn is NO! It's true. The first word we learn should be love but we are pushed to learn Mama, DaDa and NO! We are told what not to do, what is not acceptable. We are taught a tone of voice that shows us that there is something called disapproval, even if we cannot say the word we can certainly peg the emotion. And if there is disapproval, then there must also be approval. Don't we spend the rest of our lives chasing approval? Haven't I spent my life chasing the approval of others because it was so difficult to get at home? Didn't I break down in tears during LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE when the father put his hand on his son's shoulder and told him that, no matter what happens, I'm proud of you; because I never got that moment with my own father? Aren't we ALL terrified of being judged, of not being approved, of being disliked, of not being loved, of being rejected?

If we are lucky, we make it into our teenage angst years, aware that we are (soon!) going to have to begin dating, coupling, learning to socialize in ways that are confusing and scary. Uh Oh. Those happenings bring to us new exposures to the pain of love. What is it about love that makes us so needy? What is it about love that makes us so stupid? We behave in erratic and irrational ways; and I guess that is ok when we are in our teens because we have barely learned social skills, let alone social skills for the romantically socialized. But once we are out of our teens and grown ups, shouldn't we be able to adopt a little rationalization and not become Alex Forrest if a love affair doesn't work? Why DO we become obsessive, stalking people and boiling their bunnies? We don't HAVE to be alone, you know. There are other people out there who are interesting and smart and funny and some of them might actually like us back. I realize that there are those of us who are such social misfits that we probably won't find someone and we will have to spend the rest of our lives alone. I'll tell you, straight out, that I have known social misfits who have found someone. They coupled and lived happily ever after, two social misfits living in bliss, til death do them part. There is, there can be, someone for everyone. I also know, though, people who have spent their entire lives alone. Oh, maybe they have dated, certainly they have engaged in sexual congress, but they have spent their entire life single. I don't know the answer to their particular circumstance (some of them I know well enough to know that the reason that they are single is because they are too high maintenance for any one person to say "I want to spend the rest of my life with you"; others I know are simply too picky and set themselves up for disappointment). It's a personal thing, you know; and each of their personalities sets the bar for their situation.

My belief, though, is that they cannot find love and companionship because they cannot offer it to anyone--beginning with themselves.

I don't know why we cannot love ourselves. I cannot speak for the masses. I can speak for myself, complicated though it may be. I have spent much of my life not loving myself. That isn't to say that I have spent my ENTIRE life not loving myself. Somewhere, I must have loved myself--even on the days when I hated myself. Oh, I hated myself, too. Haven't you? I don't want any medals for survival or self awareness--I'm just a guy. I'm no different than anyone else on this planet and I have had it no worse than anyone else--in fact, I think I have had it easier. And it all made me who I am, today, so why bemoan it? It is all just a matter of fact, now. I have hated myself because I was taught to. I was told by school mates that I was not worthy of love and respect because I was not caucasion (you cannot know how much bigotry there was in the school system of the Cleveland suburbs of the 70s); later I was tormented for being a sissy (especially nice in the seriously underpopulated society of private schools in Portugal and Switzerland). There was the matter of society itself, always preaching that homosexuality was wrong. There was the question of a mean spirited Aunt who hurled insults at me, as a spectator at the zoo hurls peanuts at a monkey. There was the matter of a father who ignored me and didn't hide his disappointment in me. None of these are complaints. They are simple facts of matter that illustrate how I came to hate myself. I also, though, loved myself. I had a mother and grandmother who showered me with affection and attention and who taught me to be an artist and an intellectual. I have found myself fascinating, complicated, all my life. I wore the badge with pride and waved the banner, high. I did live with the duality of self-loathing and overwhelming conceit.

As an adult gay male of the 1980's I dealt, more, with the public point of view that (as a gay male) I was a second class citizen (hell, we are still dealing with that, thank you very much, Mr President). And then there was the regrettable rejection that is showered on almost all of us when we enter the world of dating. Self loathing was my occupation. So what. Over the last two decades I was able to add rejection in my profession, more rejection based on race and new rejections based on physical appearance.

This is, none of it, any more rejection or self loathing than is heaped on the rest of the individuals of the world (except for Matthew McConaghey who must have--I am convinced--experienced, at some point of his life, SOME form of rejection, unfathomable as it must seem). I'm actually grateful for it because it made me who I am and gave me the strength and the journey to become a survivor and to learn, finally(!) to love myself. I didn't do it alone. I had OB1 on my side (God) and I had Pat. When someone loves you like that, it's kind of hard to not begin to love yourself, too. Oh. And I had Tom. I still have them all. OB1, Pat and Tom. My three guys.

I realize, as a gay man, how lucky I am. How's that for a change? No complaint about the traumas of being a homosexual. An accolade for the chore of being gay. Gasp. Not because it has given me permission to be fabulous or because it gives me the chance to be artistic. There are a lot of great things about being a homo; I love it--unlike when I was younger and it was my crucifix. I understand gay pride. I understand it and I champion it: I wear it on my (invisible) sleeves and I show it off by holding Pat's hand whenever we are in public. What is it, you ask, that makes me say I am lucky? It's because we, as gay men, get to play by different rules. There is all this talk about equal rights. I don't really like the phrase equal rights. I like HUMAN RIGHTS. You see, equal means the same. We are not the same. We are all different. There should be human rights for women, for blacks, for latins, for asians, for people of varying spiritual backgrounds, political views, sexual proclivities. We should be allowed to live and be respected; but we are not equal. We are NOT the same. I don't want to be equal to Ward and June. I don't want the picket fence and 2.5 children. I am very happy in my deviant lifestyle.

You see, within the gay community, there is a permission slip we have been given (or perhaps written ourselves) called non-monogamy. Some of us just use that slip to have sex with as many people we like. That's all well and good and isn't it fun; but there are those of us who have taken it a step farther and formed new types of relationships. We have friends who are in committed three-man relationships (Pat and I call this a 'throuple', others call it a trinity or triad--we like our word, it's more fun). We know two couples, to be exact, who began dating a third person and, now, they are a family. We know another couple who sees other men--as a couple, never apart. We, as gay men, have been allowed to make our own rules, to set our own precedences. I think it's wonderful, indeed, quite groovy. I admire and respect our friends who have been able to make these multiple partner relationships work. We have dated as a couple but been unsuccesful at creating a throuple. There have been recent articles in magazines (no doubt inspired by the HBO Morman/polygamy show BIG LOVE) about gay multiple partner relationships. These are families that have had to make it up as they go along and their decisions have caused wonder, awe and a lot of judgement. I know what that's like. We, at 2A, have inspired wonder, awe and a lot of judgement. Friends have turned game nights into the Oprah Show, asking questions about how we handle it when a third (or even third and fourth) person becomes involved, questions about jealousy and safe sex and etiquette and protocal... There have been questions about the difference between Pat and I dating a man or Pat OR I dating a man. Friends have applauded us for our lack of jealousy and our sense of adventure. Friends have openly criticized our practices, judging and deriding us. Everyone has a reaction. I let them. They are welcome to their thoughts, their opinions, their reaction. It belongs to them, not to me.

What belongs to me is a world without jealousy, a world of trust, a world of experience and adventure. If it were not for our decision to live this way, I would not have known the sense of pride I have felt when Pat has bagged some truly hot guy that I couldn't get (it has happened often--good for him!) If it were not for our decision to live this way, I would never have met Tom. That's Tom in the photo above, with Pat. Aren't they gorgeous? I talk about Tom often in my writing and in the 'get to know your friends' surveys I do on MySpace. I don't explain Tom because people who know me already know about Tom and our history. People who don't know and are confused usually just ask -- or they do their own math. Tom is Tom and that is all there is to it. Just as Pat is Pat. I am not as simple as that. Ste is not just Ste. I believe Pat refers to me as Hurricane Mosher. You know me. Gotta stand out.

For the sake of clarity in this story, I should state that Tom and I were involved for a few months but it ended (romantically) when he met the love of his life (nope--it wasn't me, much to my disappointment) and I sent him off to be with that man. We could not, though, have a life without each other; so we are still a great couple---just a different kind of couple, now. And he and Pat are a different kind of couple. And in our own way, we are a throuple. Not the throuple I thought we would be, but a throuple, nonetheless. To tell the details of my relationship with Tom would ruin the book I am writing (called, aptly enough, THE STORY OF TOM) but what I will say here is this: Pat was there the night I met Tom and saw that something was happening and facilitated it. In fact, when I didn't have anything to write on, Pat went and got a pen and paper from the bar and wrote down my info to give to Tom. Pat was there to support me and to listen to my incessant pissing and moaning when things weren't going well. He helped me to have an adventure, an affair, that showed me that I was worth being loved, that he wasn't the only man out there who thought to offer me some esteem. He helped me to find the lesson that I was to be taught because the universe brough Tom and I together. Together and apart, Pat and Tom changed my life. And there was a fair amount of time, during the journey, that I was acting stupid--because of love.

I feel badly for the people out there who don't get the adventure of experiencing love. Some of them are the victims of circumstance; but some of them are the victims of their own bad behaviour,their own selfishness, their own rigidity. I wish that they could have the adventures, the experience. the lesson. I'm so grateful I had mine--which is ongoing, by the way. The adventure never stops--not with Pat. Together we make every day an adventure. Yay.

I'm 42 years old. I've loved, really and truly loved, two men in my life. They were complete opposites and brought absolutely different things to our relationship(s), to my life and to my personal growth. I acted stupidly, at times, with each of them but, happily, I could be smart when it was important. Being always honest with Pat has been smart. Telling Tom to go to Robert and actually letting go, immediately and with joy for his future happiness, was smart. In the end, I handled all of it with a sense of logic, which is a good thing because it has kept us close, kept us a family. I realize, as a gay man, how lucky I am. This kind of relationship, these kinds of happenings, probably don't happen every day in the heterosexual world. I got this great adventure and Pat and Tom and I got a family that may not be the same as all the other families (and, indeed, it may not be the family I wanted--I won't lie; if Tom called tomorrow and said he wanted to come back and be with us, I know that Pat and I would say "will you be home for dinner?") but it is a family that works.

Yesterday, Tom came over and was hanging out and he and Pat were lying in each others' arms on the sofa and I realized what one of my great joys of the experience has been: it has been sharing them with each other. I am overwhelmed by happiness when I see how they love each other. He comes over and hangs out. We don't need to talk. We just go about our day, being in one room together or being in different rooms, but still together. I have watched them help each other with grooming, I have seen them make out on the dance floor, I have seen them laugh over silly stupid cartoons that I don't get the humour of. Pat and I have slept in a bed with Tom between us--together, scratching his hair (his favourite thing). Because of the love each of us feels for each other, because of the love we feel for each other as a unit, because of the love we feel for each different couple that we are, we have been changed. We have been stupid, we have been smart, we have been strong and weak.

We have been, and are today, lucky. I have to admit though; I feel... I think... I believe....

I have been the luckiest.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I Love A Film Cliche

But I hate being one. Ech. I try so hard to be an individual. Well, I don't TRY but I do take a certain amount of pride in not being part of a crowd. I feel that I already AM a unique individual; but a little concentrated effort to assist in the quest to stand out never hurt anyone, right?

I mentioned in a recent story on one of my blogs (or it may have been one of those fabulous survey/questionaires that I get on MySpace) that I didn't feel that I had a "type" but that Pat Dywer had pointed out that I DO have a type. I disagree but I agree. Disagree..agree. It's one of the things about myself that people have come to love. I can be contradictory in ways that no one dreamed existed. Dichotomy. You see, there are latin men I love (Cheyenne); there are asian men I love (Jason Scott Lee); there are black men I WANT (LL Cool J) and men from the east that I think are gorgeous (Naveen Andrews, Oded Fehr, Kal Penn--who is actually from New Jersey). As far as caucasians go, there are blondes (Eric Szmanda), redheads (Seth Green --DO NOT LAUGH AT ME, Seth Green is hot!), brunettes (throw a rock...), shaved (Vin Diesel), there are bookish (Breckin Meyer) and there are gym rats (Eddie Cibrian). There are men of all types that I find attractive, it is undeniable.

But Pat Dwyer has drawn it to my attention that there is a type I tend to favour: dark hair, light eyes, creamy white skin with rosy cheeks (negotiable), eyeglasses. Muscle is nice but negotiable. I also tend to like them a little taller than I so that there arms wrap around me and make me feel protected (I know what that's about--it's a subconscious thing about getting me away from the feeling I have from spending my LIFE taking care of other people).

So, finally, while watching an IMAX screen yesterday and sighing EVERY TIME Brandon Routh smiled (oh, it's not about the muscles--it's about the smile), I realized...

I have a thing for Superman.


I didn't get to see the early Superman(s) because I didn't grow up in America and missed the reruns. I did get to fall in love with Christopher Reeve (who-by the way-I met once and he was such a gentleman..such a gentle man). Then there was Dean Cain (who was a personal favourite of Pat's and mine because he is mixed--NOT 100% caucasion--we loved that in a Superman). I find Tom Welling beautiful but I admit it; I do not watch SMALLVILLE. I thought the two different Superboys were handsome. But I gotta tell ya, Brandon Routh (as Truvy would say) melts my butter.

I have said that I prefer Batman to Superman because he is a human; he is flawed and he has his dark side (I bet that makes him a wildcat in the sack) but I think that, at the end of the day, I must be wrong about that. I have become a cynic in recent years. A lifetime of being hurt by others has made it difficult for me to trust easily and I have spent a lot of my life angry at the world. However, like Ann Frank, there is a place where I still believe in goodness and in purity of heart. Superman is just about that. He is a hero. He is good and he wants to help. And then there is the whole duality thing (no, I don't know a thing about duality--not much I don't!) and the hiding who he truly is (no, I don't know a thing about that either--not much I don't!) and the whole disguise thing (eyeglasses and shy demeanour! Have mercy!).

Yup. There it is, ready for analysis.

I have a thing for superman.

By the way, has anyone noticed how mild mannered Pat Dwyer is? How about his dark hair, light eyes and creamy white skin? How about the way he has taken care of me for twenty years.

A super man can be found--anywhere you look. You just have to be able to see him through the lead....