Thursday, October 18, 2007
Black And White Pictures Of Each Other
In high school, most of my male friends were gay, not out, mind you, but most assuredly of the love that dare not speak its name, at least not in Mineral Wells, Texas in the late eighties. It wasn't that hard to hide -- this is the decade that embraced George Michaels as a straight man in his teeny-tiny white shorts dancing with his old school chum in video after video imploring us "to wake him up before you go go." I spent a fair amount of time sitting around exquisitely decorated bedrooms of my buddies, talking about movies and art and whether Morissey was superior to the The Cure. One of my friends said that we should call ourselves "the funsters" (if this wasn't a tip-off, I'm not sure what would be) even though all we ever did was dress up, take arty black and white pictures of each other, and pick out ensembles to wear to Captain D's when we got to go to the big city of Ft. Worth. I said we should be "the gloomsters" (given the music we were listening to, those dreary longing-filled songs that sound so good now -- just like big Texas hair and Members Only jackets -- here taste gives way to nostalgia) but that never stuck. The funsters it was.
My straight male paramours were of two minds about my friends. While understanding instinctively that they provided no sexual threat, they also understood that they would be sized up under the funsters' ever-watchful eyes and often found wanting. That guy is a jackass, one of the funsters would proclaim about Boyfriend A. I miss Boyfriend B, one might lament. He could do cartwheels. (I often dated gymnasts in those days and their athletic prowess awed the funsters.) I can do a cartwheel, I'd exclaim, but they did not care. I'd been doing cartwheels for years. No one gave a rat's ass even when I learned to do back flips. But I couldn't complain. I had great friends who would sit around and talk. I never had to do anything to impress them; they accepted me completely, my total dorkiness and all. As for back flips, those would come in handy later -- as I got older and my romantic relationships demanded more time and attention, sacrifices that I would have never imagined making in my younger, idealistic days, I'd think back to the back flips, how hard they were to learn and how if you didn't keep doing them, you'd lose the skill completely and have to start over from the beginning.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones." Stephen King
Drinking memoir suggestion: Waiting for Daisy Peggy Orenstein
Benedictions and Maledictions