As my new beef rosemary broth starts it’s 5 day simmer and the smoke from my home made burnt ginger syrup clears my little inlaw, I am reflecting on 2009. The year fled far more quickly than I had ever imagined it would. It marked a year of healing and change and love for me. It also represented a re-invention of sorts. I start the first month of 2010 by beginning my 46th year of life on this planet and while I feel I have a grasp on so many things, I am finding life more mysterious than ever. There have been so many changes this past year for me.
I began my first SERIOUS long term relationship, ( Aquarians are late bloomers), and learned it was ok not to be the Perfect Couple. In the past, I was stuck in an absurd futile loop where it was important that my relationship be a goal for all others to achieve.I was quite wrong. I set myself up for failure this way. It’s about our goals and what’s right for us. It is about falling in love with my new best friend. It’s about letting it breathe. Taking our time. Respecting each other and learning not to sweat the small stuff AND MOST IMPORTANTLY-not giving a SHIT what other people think and simply allowing ourselves to laugh and love each other while making the world disappear. Farting in bed is not grounds to break up!
The Bay Area Cub competition opened a new segment to the Bear World to me.I proved age was indeed simply a number. I became a sash queen. Some would say they aren’t surprised, but those that remember the kid that was scared shitless to take his shirt off in high school were definitely surprised I attended my first Lazy Bear with Orlando and made dozens of great new friends. I think some of these cubs are gonna stick around. I still have so much to understand about this faction that I have aligned myself with. What is it to be a Cub? a Bear? Is it simply fur and a decent Paul Bunyan imitation or is it about acceptance?-Does the waistline count? Being comfortable in your own skin?Being a sexual man and LOVING being a man seems to be the common thread. Freedom. Is the increasing diversity of sizes and shapes within the Bear Community a good thing? Should we be wary of change? Do I belong as I thought I did? Am I Butch enough? Does it matter? I want to continue to explore these ideas and bring them to light with my writing and performance. Yes this year marks great change for me. I have crossed some big hurdles but there are more to go.
The most positive aspect of 2009 to me is that I feel I have truly begun recovery of my grief from the death of a friend who I was once close to. He died amidst an unresolved nasty bit of business that became too stupid and ugly to rehash now to you. It was a disastrous bit of tough love that ruined everything for me. That’s another story for another day and I assure you that you will hear every pained detail, but not now. I recovered from that pain in 09 and it was NO easy task. Time does indeed heal some wounds. It amazes me that I was beyond grief and despair a mere year ago numbing my life with painkillers and burying memories of him with more than a few pills supplied by “helpful” co-workers. The real healing began with Orlando and my best friend Drew. They helped me in ways I didn’t think anyone would ever help me. I had an unusual and close relationship with the deceased but it was unique to us. Hell- He was a unique, exciting reckless individual. I don’t think I ever met someone that loved life so dearly but had a habit of complicating it more than anyone I’ve met.His death had as profound a change on my life as my brother’s death did over 30 years ago. Everything I understood and believed in completely changed, and it is hard to focus on the happier times as a result.
What I really want to share with you is the way that he has reached from wherever he is now in an attempt to “fix” what went wrong with us prior to his death. For example, I have emptied my house of any reminders of him, but failed to miss a series of cards that miraculously appeared this Christmas where he waxes poetically about the “magic” of our friendship. He was a writer and quite talented. I have his voice from a recording he did for me for one of my Variety shows that accidentally downloaded on my ipod. In the recording he is apologizing to another actor in the show for saying an unkind remark as part of a running gag we created. I don’t know about you but I have never had my ipod play something and have it skip like a needle on a record that gets stuck. In fact, I think it is impossible. One day, on my commute to work I was staring out the BART train window in a fury as I rehashed our last communications with each other in my mind. It became part of my daily routine to be so angry that I was beset with headaches and incredible stretches of insomnia. I was listening to my Ipod and having an imaginary angry vent in my head about how incredibly unfair the whole situation was-and it happened. My ipod stuck at his voice three times saying, “I’m sorry honey” And people wonder why I am so fascinated with the afterlife. Auld Lang Syne
Twenny Ten Ya’ll -it’s my year. My friend can rest in peace now.