Sunday, March 20, 2011

Life is Good


These are some of the things I like about living:

Family
is essential to me but also difficult.  To live so closely with the same people over the period of a lifetime requires a lot of forgiveness, a lot of respect for boundaries, a lot of tolerance of differences, and a willingness to stand up for yourself.  Hard work, but with the best rewards.

People
are fascinating to me.  I worked in personnel for a while (oops. . . Human Resources) and I got to know a lot of people, some as friends, a few as close friends.  Each one was a gem.  Each one had a story.  Each one had pain, and each one had joy.  With enough time, and sometimes with enough booze, it all comes out, like a five–act play of Shakespeare, sometimes a comedy, sometimes a tragedy, sometimes an historical epic.

Men
are my favorite people, as a rule.  They are puzzles inside riddles and wrapped in enigmas.  It’s a challenge trying to get to know a man as a real person, with feelings and a history.  But it’s a challenge I enjoy.  The challenge is especially daunting when we’re talking about straight men!!!  Those dudes seem to keep everything under tight control.  Men of either orientation, in my experience, have a harder time making friends than women do.  I’m not sure exactly why this is so, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the way boys are raised.  When boys can’t cry, then boys can’t easily show who they are and what they feel.  Without that ease of sharing, friendship with men takes a while.

Gay Men
are the best of the lot for me.  I love being with gay men and sharing in the fraternity.  I love sharing coming–out stories.  I love the honesty I’ve found gay men to have with one another, not only about their sexual lives, but more importantly about their secret hurts and secret ambitions.  I like the way so many gay men are open about their bodies, not only in a sexual way, but just as human beings.  My closest friends have been gay men and straight women.  These two groups, it seems to me, share an honest and sometimes acerbic view of life that matches my own.

Women
are funny and fun.  Many, I have found, enjoy friendship with a gay man, and it’s my experience that women seem to know—better than men—how to be friends.  Unlike gay or straight men, women seem to me to be more willing to get to the nitty–gritty quickly and with precision.  I have learned a lot about my sexuality through frank talks with women.   I’ll never forget an evening I spent alone in a hot tub with a lesbian couple.  Those three hours (in and out of the tub) are one of the highlights of my life, and probably the most educational few hours I’ve ever spent doing anything.

Sex
is great.  Gay sex is the best.  I love the male body.  I enjoy it dressed, undressed, and everywhere in between.  I’m fond of the sexual things two men can do together.  I like the openness, the obviousness, of male sexuality.  Female sexual expression, it seems to me, is like their sexual anatomy: hidden and mysterious.  Male sexual expression is also like the male anatomy: up–front, out–there, on display, no question.

Electronic Toys
like Blu-Ray’s, iPhones, iPads, computers of all types, my new Roku, HD television and movies, Wii. . . I am enchanted by these things.

Books
teach me about life, open whole universes of ideas to me, and let me escape.  I can’t imagine a life without books.

Movies
are THE American art form and I love them.  I like all kinds of movies, except for those with obscene violence.  I mark the times of my life by recalling the movies I’ve seen and loved.

Theater
is my favorite art form.  I am swept away by a good play and I remember just about every one I’ve seen in my lifetime.  I especially love American musical theater.  I’m not one of those old farts who complain that the American musical is dead.  I believe it’s thriving as it finds its new forms in each generation.  Look at Rent and Spring Awakening.

Life is good.  I’m happy to have lived as long as I have and to have had the experiences—good and bad—that I’ve had.  I hope I have many more.

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