Friday, December 23, 2011

He Was Born With a Heart Two Sizes Too Small

It's damned near Christmas, and - give or take a little misplaced optimism - I am a tad shy of Christmas spirit. I am light of merry, and bereft of cheer. I am, however, Southern and thus possessed of a certain natural grace and wit, capable of making even my most bitter moments into a source of mirth and good humor.

Vodka helps.

So, I put on my best Southern the other day when one of my father's exes, a woman for whom I never particularly cared, and who at one time scandalized even me, called to say hello. My father dated her aunt, who I adored - until she suffered a  stroke, at which time the Old Black Man moved on to Mel. He also briefly dated Mel's mother - once Mel's father died, or at least when he was real sickly.

In any event, I was wandering in and out of the kitchen, frying bacon-wrapped egg rolls, and doing laundry - so I only caught snippets of the conversation. There was definitely flirting going on. I recognized the signs - the Old Black Man was sitting up, something he seldom does these days. He was smiling, and he was laughing with that hyperbolic 'hee-hee-hee' Morgan Freeman used in "Driving Miss Daisy," the one that's halfway between a guffaw and a donkey getting branded.

I recognized it as flirting, and yet the words were coming out all wrong - which is not to suggest he was slurring, though at nearly 90, with a regular supply of Vicodin, and a sharecropper's drawl, who could discern a slur from a Sunday morning come-to-Jesus? My father was somehow turning a conversation about sons in prisons, arthritis, and dementia into a grand ol' time.

Perhaps it was that that conversation went so swimmingly that has me twisting a lemon in the sweet tea of life. The next night, Sunday, I begged out of a family function to go tie one on with my plus one - a sweet, dapper man of a certain age (50-something, since you asked nicely) with whom I've been keeping company since before I went to rehab - either time.

We met his friends - all younger, thinner, and more gainfully employed than either of us. Hipsters are always good for a laugh, and a cheap thrill - which is how I wound up seeing the penis, and prodigious bush, of a recent college grad who, I'm fairly sure, had been drunk since Spring Break. And my plus one tried to fix me up with the only other gay guy in the room, a pale and bird-like fellow with a Jew-fro.

That Jew-fro and my plus one nearly dated sometime ago, but for mixed signals - not lack of trying - put a mild damper on things. Things were downright moist when, after Jew-fro and I exchanged numbers, my plus one voiced his thoughts on trying to make something happen with Jew-fro. And they went to monsoon when Jew-fro returned neither my text, that evening, or my call - two days later. We haven't spoken since we met.

And maybe I was thinking about that lack of attention when I gave my number to a Polish fellow from group therapy. He does have the general appearance of someone who used to have a twitch, and possibly a nervous tic - and yet he has the pale, half-dead look that sets my heart to beating. At this point, a person who twitches and has not one but two fast-food jobs seems less like an ill fit and more like a damned good Thursday evening.

The holidays make me all misty. Bah humbug.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


My posts are growing fewer and farther between - partially because I find myself at a loss for words, and also because - as the old saying goes, "if you ain't got nothin' nice to say, you might as well hold your tongue ..."

For the past few weeks, I danced between - 'oh, thank G-d nothing too ridiculous happened this week' - and 'Please, G-d, just get me through this week.' There has been nothing nice to speak of.

My father had major surgery and was briefly in a nursing home, which gave me an unceasing peace, several nights of damned good sleep, and three glorious half-hours with a 21 year old whose name - Wally - made me giggle, but whose parts and labor made me a very happy homo indeed.

There was even a tryst with a man whose kisses made me weak, and whose story about gunning down an 8 year old suicide bomber left me wrecked. He has PTSD - and just maybe that explains not returning my calls, or maybe it's that he's straight. He just forgets every third or fourth weekend of the month.

I think I forgot what it's like to be kissed - as Rhett Butler once said, "often ... and by somebody who knows how." He kissed me, and I had this vague memory of what it felt like to be liked and cared for, considered interesting and capable of complex, secret, happy things.

It felt like there was a secret passing between us that no one else in the whole world got to know - that even other people, who'd each and all shared kisses with each of us still could neither know nor get what our kisses were, what they contained or conveyed.

In other words, it was good.

And that, I think, is part of the problem. This recent crop of great sex - harvested - is just a memory. Wally, in an ambitious moment, got a little carried away and managed to injure himself. The last time I saw him, he fell off my penis and stumbled out the door - hunched over and promising to try again next time.

The Soldier, on the other hand, left with a bang, not a whimper - when - after rejecting me, for a tranny hooker he was attempting to do in my bed - I threw him, his pants, and his hooker with the five o'clock shadow, out at 4AM.

The end of the affair, unceremonious though it was, was still more interesting and, arguably, appropriate than the one-week-before-Valentine's-Day text message that ended my one and only relationship, to-date.

So why, upon seeing my ex, Mount Gay, do I fondly recall the way we slept together - spooning, a tangle of his long, skinny legs, and my short, thick ones? Why do I remember the breakfasts in bed and the naked bacon frying, or the duck a l'orange?

the Frenemy met with an attorney yesterday - jumping on the bandwagon of an idea I had, in response to the news my wages are being garnished - because my $100,000+ in student loans are in default. The decision, or option, is bankruptcy, and the idea - at least in the case of filing Chapter 7, is a complete restart.

Given that I work in IT, I really should have considered this sooner. CTRL+ALT+DEL is the first line of defense solution to nearly every problem I encounter. For better or worse, sometimes, our phones, laptops, and PCs need to be reset.

So, why shouldn't it be the same for our daily lives? I realize it's drastic, or seems drastic - but I'm not necessarily talking about the rehabilitative effects of a near-death experience. I do not suggest jumping off a bridge; however, in the face of a hot mess, maybe it is best to find the necessary combination of buttons (e.g. therapy, prayer, cocktails, or moving cross-country) to take us not forward to a future free of trouble, which will never exist, but instead back - to a time, say two weeks hence, before that Trojan horse virus, or wage garnishment letter. Take me back to a kindler, gentler two weeks ago, knowing what I know now ... and watch me shine?

Maybe not shine - but at least manage to open my email and buy some shoes online without a complete breakdown. Maybe the Frenemy went back to his barely legal, bipolar, bisexual, bed-wetting beau, precisely because of those idle thoughts about the times - between restraining orders - when their love was golden. Maybe that's why Mount Gay smelled so good last night.

When we were together, the Czarina was still alive, I had only been to rehab once, and I wasn't blogging in IT metaphors.