A Flow

RehearsalTomorrow is my anniversary. Almost no one knows this. But it is. Tomorrow will be 32 years. 32 years ago I made a decision. I decided I’d change.

I was a coward.

I was a liar.

And I was a dick.

And on August 24, 1985 I knelt down underneath a crucifix and bent at my waist until my torso was parallel to the floor – and I vowed to reach my potential.

I’m not going to lie. It’s been a ball crusher. Do you know how difficult it is to shed all artifice and be truly authentic in every moment? I’ve forgotten the sensation of serenity. I feel the flush of shame climb my throat every day of my life.

I have a friend. Friend? That’s not truest. As close as a blood brother. A couple of years ago I said to him, “you know me better than anyone on earth.” And he replied, “I do.” I sat stunned. I knew that; I didn’t know he knew that. But he does. He knows the Roman Catholic me. Roman Catholicism is the essence of who I am. Every thought, every act, every deed. So, he knows my immortal soul. I don’t edit with him. Complete disclosure. Confession without the grace. I saw him today. Today I needed his perspective. Today I needed his wisdom.

Last night. Last night I held rehearsal. I live across the street from the rehearsal space. Less than a block. I decided to walk. By the time I crossed the street – not 50 feet from my door – I felt so tired I had to silence the shivers of my lungs and force myself to remain dry cheeked. I got to the building – and I stood next to the stone pillar near the door and I willed myself to stand erect. My phone trilled. An actor wondered where he should meet me. I looked up and he stood on the other side of the door. I didn’t have time to gather my strength; so I had to offer explanations.

That wasn’t the kind of authenticity I’d vowed.

Later while hearing my words from the mouths of the actors, I realized that I’ve shed all my securities. My privates are naked and without shield. All my privates: all my private thoughts, my private conversations, my private fears, my private hopes, my private failures, and my private sins. Exposed.

At one point in the rehearsal, I revealed something I felt to the cast and I cried. I cried. I don’t cry. But I couldn’t prevent the tears. These are good people, but I don’t know them. They must think I’m insane. I’ve kept the stress and the fears and the apprehensions all under wraps – and I couldn’t prevent the expulsion. I stood before the actors like a teenager in the midst of an erotic dream. I couldn’t prevent the ejaculation.

When I had my first ablation, I was surprised how vulnerable I felt on the table in the operating room. Uncovered except for a strategically placed sheet – I sprawled on a table as a catheter was snaked up my groin into my heart.

Last night I felt that raw.

After last year’s performance of my play, I stepped back and realized the play ended most of my friendships. My phone doesn’t ring like it did. I’m not included like I was. I’m not asked anymore. I asked my friend. My confident. He said my play was so emotionally raw that it made men uncomfortable. Like gluttony at a trough, it’s all too much. And so they ran. Away.

Am I hurt?

No. I’m humiliated.

And now I’m beginning the cycle again.

Now there’s less to lose. Now there’s less of me to whittle away.

I thought about gay men today. It must be so difficult to “come out.” It must be so difficult to expose something that they feared. Freeing? I guess. I don’t know. I’m not gay but I am envious. I envy the courage. I envy the comfort of emotional exhibition.

I have a plan. A schedule. The play: October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14. On the 18th of October– the procedure. The epicardial ablation.

I’m devastated by my heart. I’m afraid.

I’m trying with all my strength to remain a man.

“Many people live 10 to 15 years!”

I’m trying to be more optimistic than that.

Statues of Limitations

virginia-protests-statuesOkay surf my wave. Look let me help you out here. You can’t have it all. So. Think about it. Walk away from the cat pics. Close the porn sites and zip. Take your hands off the “share” button of your favorite pundit’s blurts. And just think about it. You can’t have it all. Things are right or they’re wrong. Something is either true or it’s false. And people who deny boundaries want permission to wander and wane.

You can’t have it all.

Pulling down statues. It’s literally a monumental problem. Hell there’s a rich history of that in the world. Hebrews pulled down false figurines. Christians pulled down indigenous idols. Protestants pulled down Roman Catholic pageantry. Germans pulled down the divisional wall. The Taliban is pulling down antithetical antiquities. Out of sight – out of mine: beliefs, symbols, expressions, words, statuaries, and ethics that differ from “mine” must be destroyed. Apparently that’s where we’re going here. You either think symbols and artifacts that represent a belief/conviction should be on public display or you don’t. You don’t get middle ground. It’s either right or wrong.

If you want a monument to The Ten Commandments at the public courthouse – then I get to have a statue of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God there too. And we’re going to erect a statue of Stalin there and the satanists get a statue, and apparently we need an impression of Kim Kardashian’s ass because there are people who think she’s worth emulating. One group doesn’t get to decide the sacred, the venerable, the idol, or the one worthy of remembrance that all citizens must genuflect before.  All or none baby.

Look. The artifacts of the Confederacy should be eliminated – not to erase history or not to pander to the politically correct – they should be eliminated because they lost. Get that? The moment they lost – they became treasonous. The Confederacy lost. They declared war on the Republic and they lost. I’m curious. Should all those who’ve declared war on our Republic get public symbols? Are Hitler statues next? Are we erecting Hideki Tojo heads and putting them on school library shelves to hold up the books? Mussolini mugs sold in souvenir shops? They lost. Traitors. Treasonous. I’ve never once viewed a trophy case and saw tributes to the losers of the games. The confederacy declared war on the United States of America – committed treasonous acts – became enemies of the state – and lost. Honoring what?

Now – White supremacists are in schism with God. Yeah. I said it. Yeah I’ll defend it. Why are they working against the Holy and the Good? Because Racism bears false witness against God. It denies His paternity. It denies His artistic ability. It denies His creativity. It limits His image. God places a soul in each of His aspirants. Racism judges whether God has placed a soul and where He has not and it decides that only white souls are the sole heirs of God. Racism asserts God’s preferences and puts words in His mouth and monochromism in His eyes. God made a rainbow, why assume He rationed all but one color from mankind? Racism is a reaction. The action is creation. It is neither a cultural nor a societal reaction. It’s a theological rejection. As man is created in God’s likeness and image, imagine His anger if we deem His child as less His reflection and more a defection. White supremacists are evil and work against God.

And Mark R. Trost just said so.

(Photo courtesy of nydailynews)

Wasn’t Anymore

“I don’t understand.”

“We can’t do it right now. We can’t. It’s the wrong time. We’re not ready for it.”

“Ready for it? We’re not ready for it?”

We’re not.”

“How can you say what we’re ready for? How could you decide without talking to me? We decided this was real between us. We decided to live together. We decided you should get your masters and I’d work two jobs. We decided we loved each other. How could you decide we weren’t going to have a baby anymore?”

“It’s the right decision. It is.”

“It was our decision.”

“No. It was mine.”

“I’m not some guy you hooked up with. It was our decision.”

“I made my decision.”

“Jesus. You know, at first I was afraid of having a baby but then the last couple of days it sunk it. I got used to it. And then I got happy. All of sudden I was just so goddamned happy and now it’s all gone. Fuck I even bought my brother a cigar.”

“We agreed not to tell anyone yet.”

“Oh fuck you! That’s what you’re upset about? Don’t even start.”

“I think we should put this behind us and go on. In a couple of years, when the time is right, we’ll start a family.”

“Go on? You think we can go on? You think you can decide my life without me and we’ll still go on?”

“I decided my life. I decided what I wanted.”

“You think this is all about you? Don’t you know I’m going to look at a calendar and think how old our kid should be? And when I am a dad and people ask me how many kids I have, when I don’t include this one, you think I’m not going to feel like a liar? Or disloyal or something? This baby was not only yours. It was ours! It was mine too!”

“It wasn’t a baby. Not yet.”

“Don’t tell me how to define the people in my life. Or fuck! Gone from my life.”

“You think this was an easy decision for me?”

“I don’t know. How could I? You never told me. We didn’t discuss it. All I know is we were happy and then you decided we wouldn’t be.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Nothing. I don’t want you to do anything. You’ve done plenty. Now I get to decide. I’ve got to decide if I love you anymore.”

“I still love you.”

“How can I love someone who’s treated me the way you have? How can I? You didn’t even talk to me. You didn’t even include me. All this time letting me talk about getting a house and neighborhoods and schools and college funds and not even telling me it’s not coming true? How can I love someone who’s made this big fucking hole in my heart? How can I? I got to get out of here. I can’t be around you right now. I can’t.”

Walking Wounded

NurseI just had a conversation with the nurse who’s taking care of me. I’m very open in my life so people share with me. She’s very sick. I won’t reveal her illness. But it’s severe. We talked about two things. We talked about having an illness that isn’t noticeable. The wound nurse treated my foot ulcer last night. It’s an open bleeding sore. It’s obvious. But when you have an illness someone can’t see, it’s dismissed. We talked about not wanting sympathy – merely wanting acknowledgement. I told her that I’ve lost most of my friends since I’ve been sick. I didn’t know why. And then she told me. I love she had my answer. “People don’t want the emotional responsibility of you.” I love that. So true.

And then we talked about hatred. I’ve noticed there’s an undercurrent of snide and snippy in conversations. I feel like people are ready to pounce. I had a conversation with a buddy the other day. As I spoke I felt like he snatched the words from my air. It was nearly violent. And the nurse and I talked about it. She feels it too.

Lately I feel sad and bitter and hopeless and full of hate. That’s not like me. That’s not who I am. I need to change that. I won’t let my soul become wounded. And I can’t inflict my sadness and hopelessness on others. So. Hopefully the docs will be able to adjust my meds to a reasonable and livable baseline. I’m going to concentrate on my play. And I’m going to tuck my writing aside and not gush until I’m certain I can control the flow.