Thursday, August 25, 2016

One Last trip to the cabin

I remember when Will came out a gay across the pulpit in church.   I think the room was silent for 15 seconds, the congregation  stunned that this all American boy was homosexual, and Will, like an astronaut taking his first step onto the lunar surface, in a  new place, and he wasn't sure how to react.

I caught up with Will after the meeting, he was surrounded by well wishers, which no one thought was odd, but should have been, seeing what was normally taught across the pulpit.   There was a dissonance there, that couldn't stop our love for him, but would never leave him.

Our pastor compared Will's situation to a paraplegic in a wheel chair.  He sees others having fun, living life, but he can't get up and run.   The irony was not lost on my.   We asked Will to sit in that chair.   We told him he could not get out.   Why should we be surprised what happened when he did.

The drive to Will's family's cabin was long, and simplifying.  We started on a 8 lane high way, gradually it became four, then two.   Asphalt gave way to gravel.  An old cattle gate kept hunters and ATV's out.

Will was hot and cold as usual.   One minute he had us, Ryan, Josh and I, rolling in laughter, then he'd retreat into his deep sunk eyes.   I don't know if he spent more time in virtual isolation than normal that trip.  If he did, I didn't notice.  It was just normal for him.  Hot and cold.  Prone to outlandish humor with a waiter, and then stuttering when you asked him to change the radio.

But he always planned great adventures.

It was our last trip before school started and tests, and studying and girls,   For the three of us at least,  I hadn't seen Will date, boys or girls. But he was a great bro, always down for adventure, and sports.  I think he thought that would be enough.  I think we all though it would help him in his unique situation.

"Welcome to the Brohaus," Will exclaimed as we pulled into the wooded lot, that bordered the lake.  "No jobs, no school, no women, am I right?"

We all agreed and got to the work of emptying the old ford bronco that had been our loyal steed on the journey thus far.

Later that night, the campfire was roaring, the Dutch oven was empty save the crumbs of cobbler still clinging to the side, Will disappeared for a bit, as he was wont to do.

I think he was down by the lake for 30 minutes are so, as the three of us found more and more things to burn.

"Hey, guys, Check this out."

Will brought a large jug.

"Is that what I think it is?  Josh said.

"Oh my gosh, you brought the root beer.   I love it when you make this stuff"

"Yep, Drink up.  No one can go to bed before we drink this all." Will said.

"Dude' we'll be peeing all night"

"You know the window in the bedroom opens right?"

"Haha ok cool."

And the imbibing began, as much as some tee totaling Christians can imbibe.  it was a great batch.  Enough anise, molasses and honey to both have the bite and be sweet.

I blacked out.  I don't remember what happened next.  Ryan was still able to see, even though most of what he was was blurry, like a dream.

None of the three of us could move.  Will moved around with precision.  He drug us into the house, and lay us all in the beds.  Ryan said he stared at us for what seemed like hours, but in his state of numbness he couldn't be sure.

Will said things, to us.  Ryan couldn't understand it.  Several teams Will would walk up, and stand right by someone on the bed.  And just stare.

Ryan blacked out.

We came to the next day, I had the worst headache ever.  Ryan told us what he had seen.   We never saw will again.    Someone, most likely him had taken an ax to the living room and kitchen, wrecking the place.  The Ford was still in the parking lot.  We looked for him for hours.  Then his family, the congregation, and many volunteers.

I don't know what happened to my friend Will.   I like to think got up from the chair and walked away to some happiness.  But part of me thinks we'd find him at the bottom of the lake, still resting in the chair.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Str8 Fri3nds

His eyes light up in the comic book store.  “Come here Give me a hug.”  My friend, comic book guy, is pretty legit.   I go to read comics and buy them, but also saying hi to him is a cool side benefit.

Some days he wants to hug me.  Some days he doesn’t. 

He always initiates.  He is straight after all.   I have allowed all my straight relationships form with them taking the lead on stuff like that.   They know I’m gay.   I worry I’ll be “too gay” if I go in for a hug.  I worry their wives will freak out.  Yeah, I know I have issues.

I hate how I feel like I can’t trust myself with friends.   Not in a “gonna kiss them all night while they protest” type way.  But how I can’t trust myself to not go full on crush on them.   I hate how it flavors all my straight friendships.   I don’t blame them.  If anyone is to blame it’s me for worrying about it so much.

It’s like, I want more closeness in it then they do.  So I always just take what they can give.  Always watching, always being careful to not freak them, or their wives out.


And I do have good friendships.  But my damn gayness leaves me unfulfilled.   

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Direbirds

Scorched desert,  dried cracked land,  pale skeletons the former plant life roll on by, pushed by a dry, lip cracking wind.

I slowly lurch along an uknown path.   Maybe I’m going further from help, but staying here is certain death.

How many have fallen on this hell floor.   How many have succumbed to it’s inferno after their bodies have given their last moisture to the immortal fire in the sky

I see them know.   Circling.   The direbird.  Harbingers of hopelessness.   This desert cannot take yourlife.   You must give it.

The Birds come when they know you have lost.  How many hours have I looked at the unchanging horizon.   No mountains,   no bumps, no changing,  just heat, and dust, and cracking skin, and dried blood.

Why do I keep moving.

They will say I gave up.   But what if I just chose to end the pain.


And so I bare my chest to the vultures above, and let them have me.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Gazing

I'd say hi to you, if it wasn't a sin.

Natural blonde hair, pretty rare now days, especially with your mellow tan.  Not a tan you worked on in a booth; no one that came as a side effect of living.

Oh my. Those books you're reading. I've read them too.

Both of us, Alone on a Friday night in this cafe

Id say hi to you if the impulse wasn't born in sin.  

But oh my.  All black clothing.   Collared shirt. Just enough scruff. Almost enough to do it anyway.

What makes you a sin.

What makes this a sin

You don't look evil. But my nature makes you the same as stealing or idolatry.  

We are not promised to women but that doesn't matter.  It would be worse than cheating on a wife.

But then I see your smile,  it's not the smile of a heathen.  It's the smile of an angel.

 But if I say hi you will fall from heaven.

So if I stare at you Across the cafe, is that a sin?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I am a rope

I am a rope.

Pulled, constricted, ratcheted, fraying.

I am a rope.

Made taut by the warring sides of my world locked in a ne’er ending tug of war.

I am a rope.

The gay says to date men, to mine own self be true.  And they pull with a sincere fervor.

The Mormon says to stay true to God, their grip is strengthened by the all mighty

The gay says a true god would want my Joy.

They Mormon says, that is the path to misery, that homosexuals are a construct of this world, non-existent in the next.

I am a rope, my fibers are fraying, tugged and stretched, never a rest.  The pulling escalates, the words become tinged with venom

The Mormon says your family loves you, and I believe them.  The gay says they hate you, should I believe them?

The gay says I deserve to have love.  The Mormon says, it’s cheap sex, not love.

I am a rope, stretched across a gulf of hatred.

I just want to leave.  I want to be done of this contest.   But I cannot.   Over the months, seasons and years, I hear their words, their hatred of the other, I am in the middle.  They fight for me, or is it the fight over me.  I don’t care anymore.  I am a rope.   A mere tool in their war. And I want to be set down.  But they won’t set me down.  Neither side will give an inch, and I cannot dismiss either.  My soul cannot choose, it cannot become one.  I was born this way, Mormon, I was born this way, gay.  My DNA, the very fibers of my being are both.   They cannot be expunged.   I fill the shame when I look toward the gay, I feel anger when I look toward God.

I am a rope. I have no rest.  I have no peace, if one side would just let me go, then I could rest.  If one side would let go for just a minute I could regroup.

But they are always there, fighting pulling, stretching constricting, telling me my existence is a somewhere along this line.

There is but one option left.  I am a rope.  I make a loop, I circle the base thirteen times.  Hoping someone will see what is happening.

I am a noose.   But without the tension, I have no power.  Will someone please let go?

They each pull tighter.  No one has interest in the middle ground.

And as they pull, the noose grows tighter, until I am hanged.

I dangle.  I sway in the breeze.  The gay and the Mormon look at each other across the expanse of my life.
For a moment, they lock eyes with compassion, sorrow, and acceptance.  Then they see how far the gap is, fear grips them.  They have never traversed that terrain before.

Uncomfortable they leave the swaying body. Look, over there is a new rope.   The uncertainty breaks.   They know what to do.  Hands grip with renewed fervor, if only they had pulled harder they might have saved me.

Are you the new rope?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Sage Covered Chair

What do you hear old sage covered chair

What styes of the spirit have healed on you.

The forbidden passion

The anger at Father

The pain of stolen agency

The repentant thief

The sorrowful abuses

The sinner who perhaps you think out not to have his soul cleansed

They have all sat on you.   What have you seen.   What have you heard

Do you feel the weight lessen as they speak to the old man

do you hear his voice perform spiritual extraction

Does the weight on you shift, with each new confession

Does the silence scream to you as they try to blurt out the unspeakable acts they committed

Do you recognize their rump, as it rests on your cushions.

Do you miss them when they come no more.

Do you recognize the ones when they return once more, this time with profuse praises to above

Are there enough joyous times, old chair friend of mine?  Do you see enough souls mend their ways.

Do you see them progress, from the heap of a mess, to a man known and loved by his Pa.

When they come in to marry, does you thread bare seat, know the joy of the Union they'll form?

I guess the answer is no, for down here below, The Old man must hear tales alone

These walls, floor and chair, and the light fixture over there don't lend their strength more than their form.

And only to them can he tell, of his  battle with hell, to keep souls on our Dear Savior's side.

Oh God let him know, that down here below, his work helps lost ones come to you.

Keep your hand on his back, keep straight his bent neck, and whisper what you want him to do.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Forty-nine Smiles

Forty-nine smiles made straight on the dark night in Orlando.

Forty-nine smiles met hate on the gay family's dance floor

Forty-nine smiles frozen broken never speed joy again

Forty-nine smiles slaughtered by the monster they thought they left in that dark closet so long ago.

The voices that raked their eardrums as they sought protection in the hanging coats were suddenly made manifest in an inhuman human  who thought a human soul less valuable than a round of ammunition.

A family, a community, a nation and a world all paused.  Their brows furrowed.  What do we do when the monster of the closet becomes all to real.  Do we hide?  Do we retreat? Do we let his hatred burrow into our hearts and paralyze our smile?

No.  We send the monster back to the infernal depths from whence he came.   And we smile.   We smile to show him he may hurt us for a season but we will crush him.

From now until the end of time when hated of those different seeks to crush the smile we will fight back.  We will love.   And we will unite.

In the closet we were alone, with only the monster to keep our space,  in the world we are surrounded by brightness love and peac