Saturday, December 25, 2010

Here Come's Santa Claus...


Though often viewed as a time of celebration, of family and friends and thanks and togetherness, of forgiveness and new beginnings, can also be seen as a time of over-whelming sadness, when we as humans are forced to examine our lives, facing our loneliness and the true nature of our fellow man, when greed and depression can so easily overtake the joy and spirit and blessings of the season.

I find myself torn between these two facets of my own personal holiday, deciding between two options that end the page of a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Both choices are choices of extremes, one dark and moody and assuring danger and destruction, the other one of rejoicing and sentiment and cheer. But life isn't as simple as, say, turning to page 84.

I am in a city... a city full of strange places and even stranger faces, a city where the dark is alive with light and my days are spent in search of a future. Here is where I call home, home away from home, away from my family and friends and everything simple and common, lovely and lazy, and missed.

I'm making the most of it while I can. I find the light in the darkest places, and the life I've forgotten or lost or never known... It is here I find my holiday, my Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's Eve. It is here where I learn, after so many years, what it truly means to be thankful for all that I have, and not want for more: a roof over my head and a blanket on my bed, clothes on my back and food in my belly, knowing that however far from my reality I have come, that I am loved beyond measure and can love in return. I love those who need it, those who want it, those who deserve it and those who don't. To wake up in the morning and see the sunlight of a new day, and forgive those who have trespassed against me, and forgive myself for those trespasses I have made... That is what being truly thankful is all about... so far from all that is familiar yet finding myself all the same.

I am thankful, and hopeful and making a joyful noise.

So, as I sit here, typing this and flipping between pages 84 and 129, trying to choose my own adventure, I close the book in my mind. My life is an adventure, one big enough without having to limit my options to simply black or white. I think I'll stay grey for a little while longer. I look good in grey.

Happy holidays, wherever you are, whoever you are, from wherever I am. I love miss, forgive, cherish and thank all of you.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I have not written anything in quite some time due in most part to my recent exodus to the Big Apple... now, after having lived here for more than a month, it is high time I put thoughts to paper, or in this case computer, and fill the world in on my progress.

This is a hard city, towering masses of steel, glass and stone that I am constantly drawn to smashing my head against as though it might wake me from some dream... but no, this is no dream. It is real. It is my life.

After a short two weeks of job hunting, I've landed a part-time gig in reception at a great gym. This does little but to afford my weekly financial stability, and that is more attributed to the generosity of my family, with bi-weekly additions of cash to my quickly depleting bank account. But I won't give up... an exciting world of possibilities greats me every morning when I wake, and I can either grab it by both ears and make it my bitch, or I can let it consume me like it has so many before and will so many after.

Subways are still a great beast with which I do daily battle. I am slowly learning to ride it, but it does, on occasion, throw me off balance,putting me into positions where my sanity and safety are at greater risk than my poor time management skills. A few examples, in no particular order:

A few days ago, I attended the employee party hosted by the parent company for whom I work. After many drinks, a tango, and a face full of plastic, crushed velvet-clad stripper penis, I whisked myself from the bar, and into the subway, where I settled into a seat, popped in my earbuds and rocked out to the hyper-real sounds of Daft Punk and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. In and out of attention, I overheard a passenger asking for a light. My thoughts didn't focus on his need for fire in a well-lit and properly heated subway car, until the smell of cigarette smoke drifted into my nose, sharp and grey-brown. Mind you, gentle reader, that I had been given liquid courage in the form of Mexican cactus juice, and felt the warm rush of uncaring flood my veins. Boldly, I said to the smoker "Would you please put out that cigarette?"

Of course, this was not taken too kindly by him or his cohorts. He stood before me, a menace of five foot eight in aviator glasses, calling me his "nigga" and questioning my authority as to what should be done with his cigarette. I calmly explained to him that I was not, nor had I ever been his "nigga" and that it wasn't just bothering me, but the thirty or so other denizens who shared the cramped space. I further enlightened him to the fact that I was an ex-smoker who understood his need, but that the street or his home would be a much better locale in which to partake of his smoke.

By this point, several other riders had taken up my cause, and while stopped at an off point, the young man was escorted from the train, amidst much applause, by a subway security officer. Now, the lesson is this: Everyone on the subway gets pissed off. However, I wish I could say people were equally thankful for my somewhat aggressive and upfront nature, but after the young man and his cigarette were removed, one passenger thought it necessary to point out that we had been stopped for ten minutes due to the altercation and we would have kept moving had I just kept my mouth shut. This sent another ripple of descent through the car, as the other passengers, annoyed at the mere hint of sitting through more noxious fumes, informed him that he should "Shut the fuck up because that kid is the only one on the entire train who had the balls to say anything about it!" Needless to say, I made a few new friends that night.

Other ordeals, less harrowing:

A mother was dragging her screaming daughter down the stairs at the 42nd St. Uptown platform. The child wailed "Daddy! Daddy!" while the mother assured her the man she was screaming for was not her father. "That's not your daddy," she said. "That's Julio. Your daddy is Jamal. Your daddy is Jamal." The child continued her sobs and screams, her mother's words punctuating every drowning cry, the passersby not knowing whether to laugh or turn away. I was struck with this strange sort of amusement, much less about the little girl's antics and more about her generation as a whole: It seemed all at once to me sad and disturbing that this child was so unfamiliar with her own father that she mistook another male figure in her life for the man who gave her life. Perhaps Maury is in her future...

I, as so many others, am anxious and terrified about the concept of "just missing the train." So, upon arriving in the subway, again at the 42nd St. station, I heard the train arrive, and ran, tripping down the stairs, and flying through the subway doors just as they were about to close and smashing into a wall on the other side. As I righted myself, and plopped into a seat next to me, I was met with amused titters and giggles, rippling throughout the car. I thought it was pretty damned funny too...

A woman sat on a set next to me. I had intentionally missed sitting there, as more than just the seat, she sat in a huge loogie the prior passenger had left behind. She was wearing very expensive pants...

I am sure many more adventures await me. The city is a beast and I am in its belly, and while it may try to pass me from one end to the other, I just need to keep hanging on and giving it indigestion. It can let me go or turn me to shit, but one way or the other, I'm never going to get out unscathed.... I can't wait.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Its A Bird, Its A Plane, Its... Grandma?

God has an amazing sense of humor... Let me rephrase... God has a sick, twisted, dark and demented sense of humor. When we are at our lowest, our highest, or any of the many emotional states in between, he manages to send us dreams and events that flip our entire world upside down.

I am moving three days from the date of this post. I am uprooting my life, packing my few belongings into grey Rubbermaid containers, and questing across vast distances, beginning life anew in the great city of New York. Its already going to be a hard enough journey without small added stresses of everyday life, but God... see, he likes to fuck with my head. I have a very VERY vivid imagination and an active dream life, and God likes to use this to his advantage. Let me elaborate...

For starters, I suppose I should describe my Grandmother. Her name is Helen, she weighs about 300 pounds, has white, poofy hair and rather resembles the drag queen Charlie Brown... Resembles her quite a bit, actually. As a matter of fact, the first time I ever saw Charlie Brown as at the Carousel 2 in Knoxville, Tennessee. I had gone with my two new friends, Tommy (my past and future roommate) and his friend Steve (always friendly but never really my friend, just an acquaintance), and they had prepped me on the fabulousness that was Charlie Brown.

We are standing in the darkened bar, techno music blasting in between show numbers, the crowd of glittered queers pushing against one another, when all of a sudden, the DJ announces "Ladies and Gentlemen! Please give a big Carousel welcome to our special guest for the evening... the amazing CHARLIE...BROWN!" At this point I expected a small, bald, yellow-clad oaf to wander onto the stage, attempt to kick a football, and fall on his ass, much to the drunken delight of the audience. I moved slightly closer. The music began. The curtain parted, and out walks...

GRANDMA?! I was in such shock at the resemblance that I literally fell back into the arms of Tommy and Steve. They asked what was wrong, and I yelled, above the music "Charlie Brown looks JUST like my Grandma!" Of course, they laughed, and didn't believe me... that is, until Tommy joined me at her house for Easter dinner... He took one look, fell back and whispered "Your Grandma looks JUST like Charlie Brown!" I digress...

I've been having nightmares and dreams about moving for the past few nights, and last night was particularly interesting. I was woken at 9:00 a.m. by my mother calling, and I relayed the entire dream to her. I'm pretty sure she hung up because she had pissed herself from laughing so hard and needed some new panties.

I was being dropped off at work by some random older man (I'm thinking he and I had gone on some type of vacation, for whatever reason) and I have about 45 minutes until I have to clock in. It was surprising to me that I was working, especially 11-7, since my last day had been the previous Sunday. Regardless of my reasons, I had a job to do. I went inside the building, which was a cross of my television studio and a local community college... it also had a secret, but that will come.

Once inside, I made my way to the control room, and began my day, working utility, downloading satellite feeds, among other daily duties. Suddenly, I was with my Grandmother, walking through the building, searching for my mother. I had met Grandma in the lobby, and we took the elevator down (and up) to other floors, looking. Eventually, we end up in a sub-floor, which has a very clean, stark design and layout. I direct her to a set of double-doors, and she mistakenly goes to another set, trying to find my mother on her own. I say "No, Grandma. She's through these double doors."

"Well, Patrick, I'm just trying to find your mom," she said, poking around where I knew she had no chance to find her.

We finally make it through the double doors, and are in a very large warehouse. Its been stripped bare. What had once been something, was now nothing. I began having flashes of memory... stark, white walls, with large tiles, computers, people... and my mother. She had been here, and now she wasn't but I had a good idea of why.

"Grandma. Mom was here. This is where they held her, but she's gone now. I don't know where. We need to go, before they come back."

I lead her out of the room, her short heels clicking on the floor. I noticed she was walking funny, kind of weaving back and forth, like a teeter totter. As we approached the exit, she burst through the doors, ran down the flight of stairs outside, pushing through students and leaping, jumping, taking off and flying into the distance. I stared after her in disbelief, then ran back inside... and right into the government agent I knew had done something to both her and my mother.

"What have you done!? Where is she going and what did you do to my mother?" I screamed at him, his face placid, mine a mask of anger and fear.

"We did nothing. We know nothing."

"Bullshit. I know what you did! It was a trap, and you lured us here. You had my mother but you've moved her somewhere else, and you set up some kind of signal that did something to my Grandmother!" I was finally understanding...

"The blood in your family line is very powerful, and your Grandmother's was particularly so. All we did was activate her latent abilities. What happens now is up to her."

At this point, my mother called and I woke up. I guess I'll never know what they had in store for me or my family, but I don't think it was good.

Now I am left with this... the unanswered questions. What does it all mean? What was going to happen? Where was my mother, and how does this all translate into my real life? I think the answers are pretty obvious, but as an overly analytical person, you can see how I would read even more into it... God is such a mean kid sometimes...

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Origin of My Fabulous Species

My morning work routine is as such: wake up, shower, coffee, breakfast and then to work, where I catch up on my early morning assignments, and get caught up on my favorite blogs, !! omgblog !! and Towleroad. The following video was something that caught my eye, and, after having watched it, I was reminded of my own childhood, dealing with and accepting my differences, the acceptance of my family and peers, and learning what it meant to be the person I am today.

As a child, I was always slightly more mature than my age. I felt more comfortable in the company of teenagers and adults, rather than with children my age, give or take a few years. It was not uncommon for me to shy away from other kids and retreat to the side of my parents, their parents, a teacher or family friend, and on occassion, a teddy bear, with whom I'd share a snack of sticks and grass.

My unconventional nature was further detailed by my love of ANYTHING Oz (particularly the Wicked Witch of the West, because she could fly), sewing, and wearing under-used frocks and heels that I would find by digging through my mother's closet. I remember specifically her exasperation as she would catch me running through the house, her stilettos clacking across the hardwood floors, lipstick and eyeshadow smeared across my face, trying to escape her "wrath" at my investigation into the life of a not-so-fabulous housewife. She would eventually track me down, having followed the scuff marks left by the shoes, or simply spying a chunk of silk or lace hanging around the side of the couch, as I had not yet mastered the art of hiding in a floor-length funeral gown. Needless to say, her shame and anger were far outweighed by a light, yet fearful, sense of understanding and acceptance... She never put things out of my reach, especially when they made me so happy.

I remember several key moments of my youth where, looking back, I now see the beginnings of my true self shining through. I always had this innate sense of self and self-recognition. I knew the things I liked to do, the things that made me feel good, and the things I had always felt I must keep a secret. My first crushes (even though I had a MULTITUDE of girlfriends throughout my earliest years) were on other boys, and occassionally men. I remember becoming upset when my cousin and I, at the age of 5 and 4 respectively, were in the bath, and she rubbed it in my face that she had a bagina and I did not... My tears were numerous and sorrowful, for I wanted on for myself... I knew this was how boys and girls fit together and while I did not, and do not, want to actually be a girl, I knew that I would one day want a boy the same way my female counterpart could have one... As I mentioned, I was slightly mature for my age, and my knowledge and wisdom ran deep for a child. On several occassions, I would pretend that I was a mermaid (man) and would pretend that prince, much in the vein of The Little Mermaid, would rescue me for the horrible sea witch that is life. I would play cowboys and indians... and I was always the Indian, although not because of my Native American heritage, but because I enjoyed running around in the loin cloth I had made from scraps of fabric, carrying a spear I'd fashioned from a tree branch and an arrowhead.

As I just discussed with a co-worker, I was raised in a masculine household, learning such skills as car repair, fishing, building model rockets and making my own toys. Along with these, I taught myself how to sew, paint, style hair, and do makeup, along with numerous other typically "non-masculine" hobbies. I played sports one minute, and would make and serve lemonade to the workers around my house, dressed in a bedsheet turned sarong.

For me, being gay, and understanding my differences from the other boys my age, caused significant turmoil. I was often quiet, untrusting, shy and ashamed for what I was. Though I couldn't put a name to it at the time, I never did hide from it. Even in my secret shame, I accepted who and what I was, as my family did much later when I finally was able to say the word: Gay.

This is how I began, young, carefree and fabulous, and I will end older, wiser and all the more proud for the journey I have made, the feats I have accomplished and the love of myself and others I'm so willing to share.

For another intresting video, check this out:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sweet Dreams Aren't Made of This

 I had bad dreams last night... very bad. Moreover, the content of the dreams aren't the scary part, it was the feelings behind the events within. I'm pretty good at dream interpretation, but some of these images just boggle my mind... Perhaps someone who reads this may offer a tad more insight... Here goes:

Dream 1*: I was on my front porch, laying on a bed with an old, morbidly obese white man, being forced to have sex with him... I remember specifically... his "member" reminded me of a long, flaccid white snake, and was probably the most grotesque thing I'd ever seen...

*Mind you, this is in reality one LONG dream, but was separated by moments where I would "wake up" within in the dream, thinking I was finally back in the real world.

Dream 2: I wake up and am immediately standing in the street, talking on the phone to a friend of mine, losing my mind due to the fact that he's decided to have gender reassignment surgery. I'm snotting and crying, thinking about the fact that my friend, who is very masculine, would be going through this and its upsetting.

Dream 3: I awake in a version of a home that mixes elements of my childhood home and current residence. I decide to go to the bathroom and dance around in the mirror. I discover that I have a hole running through the center of my chest approximately the size of a dime. I flail about in the mirror, quoting lines from Death Becomes Her ("You are a walking lie, and I can see right through you!"). Suddenly, my reflection stops mimicking me... It takes on a life of its own, the air surrounding it grows dark, and I'm suddenly terrified of the fact that it is no longer me, that I'm being looked at by some creature that I can't describe.

Dream 4: I'm standing in the road outside my parents home. It is dark. Storm clouds circle and I can feel the creature somewhere in the distance, speeding down the road towards me... My only hope is that I can wake up before it reaches me.

Dream 5: I wake in bed, again, in a combination of my parents house/current room. My roommates dog lies in the bed next to me, and I shoo her out. As I'm closing the door and climbing back into bed, all the stuffed animals in my room (some real, from my childhood, other simply taking up space) are all sitting around my floor, looking at me. I know the creature is near. I call for my mother, who doesn't answer, and out of the corner of my eye, I see a brown teddy against the wall wave its arm, and all the stuffed animals soar back into their respective places. I'm scared of that bear.
I gaze into the closet (which is very small, the overhead light is on, and has shelves filled with toys) and a ceramic bull jumps out. Its roughly the size of a medium sized dog. It proceeds to attack me, goring at me with its horns. I call my mother again, and as she enters the room, it stops.

I wake up for real and call my best friend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010