Bruce is singing about The Streets of Philadelphia and I am thinking about what it felt like to watch the movie knowing my gay uncle was HIV positive and that what I saw on screen might become a reality of sorts.
Men sat around me crying softly and there were moments where I could feel their emotion wash over me and I forced myself not to lose control.
Not sure why I am thinking about it now other than I am enraged about a million paper cuts and reminding myself not to pour out every piece of anger and frustration upon this page.
My uncle died at about 49.5 and here I am, 50 and almost a month–I have passed him already.
Most of the these 1,000 paper cuts are about as consequential as a single paper cut and merit no significant response, but collectively they have found their way to a place where they are given more attention than they deserve.
It reminds me of a discussion from ages past when a friend asked me if I worried about another man and a woman I might have been interested in.
I told them I had no concern about a guy who couldn’t be more different than me. He was taller, very skinny and had light hair.
His focus was on math or science and I was someone who was either going to be in marketing or sales. My bicep was as big as his neck and I was twice as dark.
“What do you think?”
“I think if she chooses him over me that is her mistake. Comparison is the thief of joy. Talk to me about something meaningful.”
You’re A Scoundrel
Been called a scoundrel, a crumb and far worse than that but pay little to no attention to any of that because people have their reasons and they don’t have to be true.
Don’t have to define or describe me unless I chose to let them and so I don’t.
Part of what has set me off is the feeling that someone cut the anchor on my ship and now I have to sail through a storm I didn’t need to enter or want to deal with.
They created issues and problems that I have to deal with and they aren’t suffering the consequences of said actions so now I am forced to run inside a burning house and save what I can.
I honked at a guy in the parking lot today because he was blocking the lane and he gave me a five finger salute.
After I parked the car I had to walk by him and we made eye contact. I watched him unroll the window and reach down for something next to him.
He grabbed a magazine and waved it at me and I kept walking towards him, a hard scowl on my face. I didn’t flinch, adjust my pace or look away.
Just before I got close he started the engine and took off.
For a moment I wondered if I had dodged a literal bullet and considered whether I should have taken a different path to the gym.
Maybe direct wasn’t necessary, but then again maybe it was.
I had no one I cared about near me and there were no others near by so it was just me and my invisible bubble.
Call that practice for the very near future when I will resume a bachelor lifestyle.
You Can’t Run & You Can’t Hide
Had a couple of hard conversations with teenagers about upcoming events and life moments. Reminded them about who we are and that there are things we cannot run nor hide from.
One of the primary issues I have with the monster in the oval is his refusal to be accountable and his constant attack upon reality.
He never takes responsibility for bad news or the less savory parts of the job. He is never accountable for anything he doesn’t think polishes his over inflated ego.
There is a giant hole where compassion ought to reside and it is filled with insecurity that drives him to lash out and label whatever displeases him as fake.
And that has spilled over into society — now we see others run and hide from the truth. Now we see them use that same label to our collective detriment.
Sometimes I wonder if we have reached a place beyond recovery and if we are in the latter stages of a disease and sometimes I am convinced that is far too negative.
It is possible we occupy a space in between and that things could go either direction. So I remind myself to do as I tell the kids, be honest with myself about thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Be open to change and to being wrong but also be open to being right.
I know a few things, time to see what sort of help knowing them provides.