Tuesday, April 19, 2016



The man at the head of the hall speaks, in laid back unison the 3 lines of people act out the motions he proscribes. Smiles on faces, the group tries to figure out how this dancing puzzle will fit together, bringing them back to their partner in sixty-four beats

A spin with the girl across from you, eyes locked in flirtatious mad robin pose with your partner, as you circle the other couple. Your group of for forming the world for this repetition of the dance. 

There is another man here. Partnered with the other girl. The voice from the head of the hall tells you to "give weight" and alamand with him. You grasp right hands and lean back, both of you rotating relying on the other to lean with a effort matching your own. Too weak and the experience is like eating cold floppy pasta. Too strong and you struggle to keep your body from falling into the girls waiting for you to rejoin them. But this man--this lean young man with a buzz cut and worn boots, attacks this dance step as he has all others, with exuberant joy and precision. For 8 long counts, you spin, connected only by the hand grip. The caller ends the move. You must return to your partner. You draw the spin out for a half count longer, but react appropriately as you each give the other a push off, spinning back into a swing with your partner. 

For me, that is the highlight of the contradance. The brief physical interactions with some guy I've seen weaving in and out of the dance lines all night long. I enjoy the entire process. The live band, infectious beat, the happy faces, and even the proscribed flirtatious looks as I gypsy around my partner. But those all to short moments when I interact with another man, I see how the others live. I see what it's like to have the music move you in tandem with another you seek connection with. I see why dances are found in every society and time around the planet. The music feeds a connection.

It takes two to tango they say. Life, relationships are about give and take. Moving sometimes together, sometimes separate from your partner. I think Contradancing as a gay Mormon, is a pretty good shadow to romantic life.

I am expected to find a partner. While Contradance does allow you to dance whichever role you would like, the majority of couples are male-female. And that fear of asking a man to dance is present. Will he think I'm coming on to him? Will he turn me down? Will I commit some grave sin by doing so? 

So dance with the lady-folk. And its' fun. The dancing is fun regardless of whom it's with. Like in life, I usually let the ladies approach me. Why not? I don't do it out of nerves as much as lack of interest. I have fun, I do the moves with my partner, but my enjoyment isn't because of them. It's the interaction with the entire hall. Maybe I should feel bad. But contradancing isn't about them coupling anyway. It's about mixing with everyone. In a dance you repeat the same moves probably 15-20 times, each time moving with your partner to dance it with another couple. The ways the moves are strung together to accomplish that are masterful.

So I dance with this woman. Who is nice. We have fun. We make small talk, but there is no spark of attraction. No tension in that manner. I am more excited to see which men are coming down the line. Will I get to interact with one of the ones I think is attractive. Invariably I do. And that is the interaction that I find myself thinking back on as my mind drifts back to the memorable evening. That connection with men, so fleeting, so intense. And so foreign in my life. An individual dance will at most have 8 beats of the 64 that involve that direct connection. Kinda like my life. I move around men and women, do what I am instructed to do. It's not bad. But it' salsa not the spice. THe fire comes in that 1/8th of life. When I connect with a man. In a way yearn for. But alas...it isn't to be had for a gay Mormon.

As I leave the dance, the man with the buzz cut says, "hey, good dancing!" I reply "you too". And we go our ways. Until the next month, when the magic of contradance pulls us back to the out of the way gymnasium on a hill overlooking Salt Lake Valley. Each month, I wonder if I'll go back. I always do.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


I see you in the dream dimension. I see you in the flat dimension. But when we meet in the 3rd dimension, my body fills with apprehension, the screen reveals I can't mention, the air is tight with one way tension; our friendship stolen by unseen henchmen; who sell your secrets to pad their pension. ~~~~ I see you in the flat dimension I see you in the dream dimension But then we meet in the third dimension. I cannot speak, I can't remember have we met in this one before. Have the things we shared, been solid and real? Or all the fancies of the lonely mind. Are we friends? I sure feel it. I feel like I know you well. But when I see that blank look on your face, I know nothings happened before. We were friends once, but only in ether. Our adventures were dreams, no more. I'd like to have met you, here in the real. I'd like to have been your friend. But now things are odd. I know far too much, and of me, you know nothing at all. I jumped too far ahead, knew all of your life, and even though the pictures you freely shared, the fact of it is, the journey of one should be matched by the other, if the friendship will last in the end.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hidden Corpse

A broken will.  A broken man.  The minimum to survive.  The minimum to feel good about oneself

 I used to fight against the gay.  I used to believe there was an end to the conflict.   If I worked hard enough, prayed sincerely enough, or placed my life in the hands of a wise therapist.

But it didn't work.  The mind raking continued unabated.   I wasn't perfect.   Maybe if I would have done one of the afore mentioned solutions I would be changed.

I used to think I could change through force of will.  Isn't will the key to all of life's problems.   Isn't will how we become better, get good grades, stay in shape, keep the commandments.  It's all force of will. 

Years of willing it gone turned to hate.   I hated my gay.   I still do.   Perhaps if I showed enough hate toward the manfire I would be accepted of the Lord.  He would see my desire for righteousness and change me.

It never happened and I gave up on it.  I didn't give up on the gospel, but I gave up on changing.  I still keep the rules.  I still do the minimum for what I need to do to be a "good Mormon."  And I do feel the goodness of the church.  But I abandoned my desire to change.  The battle was too pointless.   It was futile.  The harder I fought, the stronger desires came, like a demonic hydra there was no success in cutting off the head.  It just came back stronger.

Then I thought I needed to be wiser, so I told people.  I told therapists.  So many dang therapists.   The therapists who promised if I did the things they said I would be straight.  I would forget my homosexuality.  That eventually I would look back at this time in my life as a small blip on the radar.

Their wisdom failed me.   Their promises were flat.  Their exercises were clownish, humorous if it wasn't a matter of life and death. 

Along side both these paths was the spiritual.   The weekly fasting.   The comprehensive confessions of every thought, act, and fleeting biological response--oh those biological responses.  How they damned me in my head.  How they came at the most random of  times.   So I damned them.  I forbade them.   But they found a way.  They still came.   And with them weeks of hell on earth.   Weeks of shame with each one.

Righteousness eluded me.   No porn addiction.  No self stimulation.   But I was still evil, vile, less than all those around me.  And the gay flavor of my feelings made them immediately of a deeper  sin category.

Then I gave up.   I stopped the fight to change.   I don't have the energy anymore.  Life isn't better. I still have the mind raking digging deep furrows into my self image.  Fag!  Pervert! Unholy!  Those are the valleys it has made.

And I have lost my drive.  My ambition.  It has left me.  I failed in this battle of life, so why do other battles matter.   Why should I lose weight, when my belly is a chastity belly.   Why should I try to advance my career when I don't know if I'll even be around in five years, and will never had a kid to train up.  Why should I write a novel.  Effort does not bring results. It brings sorrow.  It brings frustration.  It brings stronger armies to fight.  So why fight, when I can lie on the battlefield amongst the corpses pretending to be dead, and the enemy ignores me.

I am the walking dead.   I care not for my future, please, just don't hurt me anymore

But there is some warmth.  A spark of life.

 This corpse we found in the pile of dead still responds.

All it takes is an ember.   As long as we can find the faintest glow, we can tend it.  Feed it.

All is not lost.  This body may once again move with passion.  He may once again enter the battle and win another prize.

Nourish the little flame.  Do not blow to strongly on it.   This soul is beaten but not gone. 

We will watch over carefully.  Who knows? Maybe he has a light to spread.