Well, not all of them, but all of the witty, insightful, irreverent ones. I’m going to blame it on Christmas. I was going to blame it on global warming, but we've had such lovely weather lately, I don’t want to jinx it. It’s easy to blame the Holidays for all types of bad things, like depression, anger, despair and loneliness. That’s why people love the holidays. Because they can act like a total ass and then sweep it under the carpet by saying “Meh, it’s Christmas”.
But, I really do love Christmas.
I just wish it didn’t steal my stories.
The good news is that even if I don’t have the words, I have been doodling in Microsoft Paint so I can illustrate a typical day in my life with Paul. You might call it the "Gay agenda". It’s not so very different than any other couple. At night, we go to bed just like you. Except that Paul likes the room to be exceptionally cold. In the middle of winter, he opens all of the bedroom windows.
There are some people who can immediately open their eyes, greet the day and start singing. I am not one of those people. But Paul is. Because I find it so very difficult to get out of bed in the morning Paul will snuggle me for five minutes and then all bets are off, as are all of my fifteen blankets. The world is a dark and cruel place when you are suddenly laid bare on top of your mattress in a sub-freezing bedroom.
I don’t either.
The large white envelope is propped against the lobby wall, waiting. We search for the keys and stumble through the open door; after work drinks turned into late night drinks. I know that the envelope is addressed to me before reading the label. As I bend to pick up the package Paul pushes me playfully causing me to tumble.
“No, don’t. I can’t bend this envelope.” I shout; half serious, half laughing.
Indeed, I can see from my vantage point on the carpeted lobby floor that the envelope is marked with “Do not Bend” over and over again. I stand up, pick up the envelope and steady myself. Paul looks at me devilishly.
“No, now I’m serious.” I say. He can read it in my eyes: Don’t mess with me. This package has travelled through time to reach me. I won’t let it suffer more damage in my hands tonight.
We make our way up the stairs and step into our darkened condo. The moonlight falls through the open blinds painting horizontal shadows against the walls. I want to open it now, but I’ll wait until morning; when I can appreciate it fully. I place the envelope on the kitchen counter and peer through the blinds at the moon and the stars.
“Hello little boy!” He has glasses and a small white pointy beard and moustache; like Salvador Dali’s. He is wearing khaki’s, a white shirt and a black bow tie.
“What on earth are you doing?” He says.
I open my eyes, smile and say “I’m looking at stars, Pappy!”
When I was young, about five years old, I would press the heels of my hands against my closed eyes so that the pressure would cause bursts of light to form at the corner and travel to the center of my eyelids; fascinated by the lights appearing from nowhere.
“Great heavens above, there are stars in your head? Come over here and let me show you something.” My grandfather says.
2011 was a busy year, but not too busy to set aside some time to celebrate the “reason for the season” with our good friends, the Bachmann’s and the Santorum’s. Now, I know what you’re saying, “But wait, aren’t they Republicans??” The answer, of course is yes, dear readers, but new evidence suggests that they may be born this way. And honestly, shouldn’t we all practice a little more acceptance and charity during this holiday season? As long as they don’t push it on me is what I always say!! Ha ha!
Anyway, dear family and friends, as you know Paul and I have finished the renovations on our love nest in the city. A little bird whispered in my ear wouldn’t it be fun to invite Michelle and Marcus and Rick and Karen to see our new place? Oh, we’ll have the Romney’s, the Cain’s, the Perry’s and the Gingrich’s some other time, but our place is only 500 square feet as you’ll recall. And really, Herman made such a fool of himself last year that most of the wives wouldn’t dream of being around him once he’s had a glass or two of Paul’s world famous holiday rum punch!!! (Recipe to follow!!!) Last year it almost came to fist a cuffs when Mitt said his hair was prettier than Rick Perry's as you’ll remember from the Burrows-Dameron 2010 holiday newsletter. Honestly I can’t keep up with Newt’s wives, so we decided that an intimate affair might just do the trick.
Anyhoo, Paul and I scurried around all day getting the place just so. You know Paul, a place for everything and everything in its place!! We set out place cards and had just lit the candles when the doorbell rang! I gave Paul a quick peck and said “It’s show time!” I opened the door, and of course, there were Rick and Karen Santorum right on time.
“Karen, seriously, I don’t know how you do it! You gave birth to seven, oh, or is it eight? children and here you are on time wearing this lovely smock!” I said.
“And Rick look at you here all dapper and festive! It takes a real man to come back here after that unfortunate comment about the people of Boston causing the Catholic Church abuse scandal. But you are a real man, is what I always said.” Of course you know Rick, he got all “Aw shucks” and turned fifteen shades of red while shuffling from foot to foot.
We had no sooner closed the door when “ding dong!” the doorbell rang again! I opened the door and no one was there!! Just as I closed the door, the doorbell rang yet again!!! How odd I thought to myself. This time I opened the door real quick and caught sight of the Bachmann’s just in stitches laughing, I might add, trying to hide behind the bushes!!!!
“Well now aren’t you two just a bird in this world” is what I said.
|Michelle saying "Where da' bitches at?"|
Me, Rick, Paul and those crazy Bachmann's
“Michelle, honey, is there something wrong? Your eyes are just about to bug out of that head!” I said.
“Oh, ‘miss thing’ wouldn’t stop at a gas station rest stop” Marcus said while rolling his eyes. “She’s like all afraid some lesbian might be hiding in one of the stalls.”
Well, I told her to come in this instant and take care of business! She lingered outside the bathroom and started twisting her legs together.
“Paul, sweetie, would you just go and turn on the light in the bathroom and convince Michelle that there are no lesbians in there!” I yelled to Paul, who was preparing glasses of his world famous holiday rum punch!! (Recipe to follow!!!!!!) Honestly, she’s just like an eight year old, but don’t talk to her about eight year olds!
“Marcus, don’t tell me you haven’t Googled yourself.” I said. Marcus started making some lewd gestures referencing a certain body part and moving his arm up and down like he was cocking a gun. “And no Marcus, I’m not talking about that kind of ‘Googling yourself’! Now we all know what we’ll find when we Google Santorum.” I said under my breath. At that point Karen made a little coughing noise.
“Karen, you’re always so good to remind us about manners.” I said and rolled my eyes. Since she wrote that book, she thinks she is the end all be all on manners.
Paul brought in his world famous holiday rum punch (Recipe to follow!!!!) and I saw this little sad puppy dog look on Marcus’ face. Well he always has to have a little umbrella in his drink, so I motioned to Paul to fix his drink and then Rick starts whining, so long story short, we all had Paul’s world famous holiday rum punch (Recipe to follow!!!!!) with little umbrellas.
“It’s personal enslavement is what it is…” Michelle started blah-blahing her campaign speak.
“Well. no. it. doesn’t.” Michelle finally admitted and then burst out into a heartwarming, slightly maniacal laugh.
“That’s right Michelle.” I said and then we all stood up as Michelle delivered a lovely holiday toast:
“No matter gay, straight, or bi
lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive!”
You sing it Michelle!
From our family to yours, Happy Holi-gays!!!!!!!
“Tell me Bill, do the surroundings amuse you?” Serene smiles as her outstretched hand glides across the scenery.
We are overlooking the Singapore River. The equatorial night air is warm and heavy. A slight scent of smoke, not unpleasant, from an Indonesian forest fire drifts across the South China Sea. I lean back into my wheelchair as an Asian woman dressed in hospital scrubs delivers an IV filled with a bright colored fluid.
“Things are well at home?” She asks.
It is November of 2007. What is home? I live alone for the first time in my life. Images flicker; a basement apartment, boxes still unpacked. Sunlight pouring through a stained glass window colors my grandmother’s coffin; the new house that my daughters live in without me. Here on the other side of the world, I am a time traveller; living in tomorrow.
“Yes, all is well” I lie.
“And tomorrow Bangkok; you go shopping-la!”
Singaporeans love to shop and when they love something, they add a “la” to the end of it for emphasis. They also love eating-la and drinking-la, which is why I feel so fat-la and tired-la.
The next day four of us, a gay man, a New Englander, an Irishman and a German board a flight for Thailand. There is no punch line.
“You handsome man, big!”
“That OK, I like gay.”
“There you are!” I hear someone say in a British accent. He is talking to me. He has a broad smile and kind eyes. “We should go for a walk. We’re going to DJ Station.” He puts his arm around me and the Thai prostitute vanishes.
I thank him profusely. We spend the rest of the night together dancing, talking and laughing. At four AM the club is beginning to close.
“I’m going to the bathroom; you should join me or wait here.” He says.
“I’ll wait here.” I say and as he walks away, I walk out of the club and into a taxi. During the ride to the hotel I argue with myself. What were you thinking, why did you leave? Even if there is no possible future, did you get a good look at him? What are you waiting for?
In the morning I fly home to Boston. I climb into bed and sleep for thirteen hours, the time difference between Boston and Bangkok. When I wake up and look out the window a layer of pure white snow blankets the world.