I have been thinking a lot today about this work I heard Dan Fishback read last evening at Dixon Place. The work talked about what it means for him, born in 1981, the same year as the AIDS crisis began, to grow up gay in the shadow of this thing, in the wreckage of this thing. It was an insanely beautiful piece and really moved me a great deal. To see someone work with such big themes in such successful ways, someone working the theme of being born in 1981, the year also of my own birth, really made me want to get my shit together and take writing more seriously, that there are really great things to be written, to attempt to say, and to witness one of my peers articulate things so well and in such a lovely fashion really made me want to spend more time in front of my laptop (and not on Facebook).
I sat next to Diego in the space, had gone with him to happy hour earlier at the Stonewall, where some young kid had proudly showed off the staples in his head to me while I was alone at the bar and awaiting Diego's company. The kid was real young looking and was sort of bragging about this "design," telling me in too flip a fashion that his boyfriend had broke a glass over his head the other evening at Barracuda and he had to get staples in his head at the emergency room. I eyed the clock behind the bar out of the corner of my eye, wondering where Diego was, wondering why this person was so crazy, wondering where I was.
The work that Dan read talked about a lost generation of gays, things and people and a culture lost. It talked about awkward adolescent moments of sex. It talked about Catwoman and Madonna and gays being persecuted currently around the world. After the reading ended, I gave Diego a gigantic hug, pulled him close to me, and wanted to feel connected, knew that I was connected to this person, that I cared so much about him, and wanted to make this known, so gave him a hug, shared a moment physically to somehow convey the impression left on us by the reading.
I had another drink in the lobby of the place, walked with Diego to Parkside Lounge and left there quickly, not really wanting to be there and walked up to Erica's house, bought some whiskey along the way, and thought about this life I am living.
I have Pandora on and "Nada Personal" is playing right now. I am losing the focus I had intended to bring to this thing, distracted by this song, by my hunger, by the fact that Jacob is coming over very shortly and that I told him I would make him dinner and that really I should get to that project, the project of feeding our bodies rather than this thing, this Internet thing. But this feeds something in me also, less easily identifiable a hunger than the one that food sates, but a hunger still.
I was cleaning my bathroom earlier this evening and there was a Virgin Mary trinket from a necklace that was here when I moved into the apartment and I had too much guilt then to throw it away, thought it a bad omen to do so. Raised Catholic and the thought of sin and sacrilege still present, some idea of consequences, of the sacred. Today, I decided though that I didn't purchase the thing, that I didn't need to hold on to it, and tossed it in the garbage.
A couple weeks ago, my aunt, my dad's sister, mailed me a box of things of his. She asked me not to throw it away if I didn't want the stuff, to send it back. They were cheap and tacky knick-knacks, a couple of religious necklaces. I left the box underneath my bed for a couple weeks, really not wanting any of it and not wanting to mail it back to my aunt who would have been real offended and even more sure that I was out to piss all over the memory of her brother, who she has some religious devotion to in her own aging state now. I threw the box away, wanted it out of my house, out of my space, that to even store these items somewhere buried in a back corner would have some energy in this space that I didn't want. If it was a Pink Floyd album or something else of his that I remember of him, I would have kept it, but they were these maudlin items that I could only imagine him buying when very near death from lung cancer and wanting to somehow atone for a life of sin. I don't carry things with me. I am trying not to. I let them go, set them on curbs on trash days. I am trying to travel light.