A Rose By Any Other Name

June 15, 2014

I have been watching a lot of gay cinema lately–and no not the kind that most of you are thinking of right at this moment. I have watched quite a few films like Role Play, The Men Next Door,  and The Normal Heart. And I really like these films. There are some that are way over the top and some cheesy ones, but that comes with any genre (lets talk about the cheese that spills over from any Lifetime Television Saturday night.

While many of the films have great gay actors, I wonder with big production films why they choose straight actors to play the gay roles. In the movie The Object of My Affection, the gay character was played by a very straight actor. In the film The Normal Heart, again the main character, the gay activist was played by a straight actor. I am not taking away the validity or credit, both actors did incredible jobs, however, we have our own gay actors as well and from some of the indie films I have watched, really good ones too. It just makes me wonder, are we not so accepted that even in our own roles, someone else is also cast to portray the character?

He Likes Me, He Likes Me Not

May 6, 2014

Have you ever gone out on a couple dates and have somewhat fallen? But you are unsure if the other person likes you? I think that he does. He will say something that will make me think that he does. The dates are prolonged. He finds a way to keep the conversation going. But then, he will do something that makes me feel like all we ever will be are friends.

Ugh! So confused.

Happiness in a Picture

March 15, 2014

One of my friends posted on his Facebook page a picture of a kid eating ice cream. The kid is the son of his friend. The smile not only on his face, but in his eyes told a wonderful story. At less than 5 years of age, his body posture exudes confidence. His smile mixed with what appeared to be laughter exemplified happiness. And the beam in his eyes, said “I am loved”.

This is the portrait of a kid being raised by a gay couple. I didn’t know that this kid was the son of a gay couple. I asked my buddy about the picture he posted. I assumed it was one of his sisters or brothers kids (or else the nephew of his partner). He explained that he was the son of a friend visiting and that just like in the pic, the kid was truly a happy one. It is the reason he posted the picture. The smile and laugh were contagious. He wanted to share it. I suddenly realized that it wouldn’t have mattered who raises a child, if the child is raised with love, compassion, understanding and support, their smile will tell it all.

The pic of this kid, is the subject of one of my favorite posts by my buddy. There is no other way to describe the pic except with the words beautiful. It warmed my heart to think there is one lucky kid. It saddened me to think that there are so many other kids who could be just as happy, if only every couple, regardless of orientation, were given the chance. The gay couple were lucky because they didn’t have to go through an adoption, but were fortunate enough to have a surrogacy.

I can’t wait to meet this couple and their son. 

A Little Miracle

March 8, 2014

Yesterday I met the man who received my cousin’s kidney. This in itself is a miracle. A miracle because modern medicine has allowed another person to continue living. My cousin passed away. It was a tragedy and an extremely sad time for my family. It was like a cloud covered my vision and thoughts. I understand now what people mean by a black cloud surrounding them. It was no longer just a description of sadness, but became concrete.

He committed suicide. He was kept alive for almost a week, while we prayed that he would come out of this coma. I sat by his bed, holding his hand and speaking to him, then pleading with him and finally begging him to return. I played a beautiful song about being invisible (assuming that is what he must have felt, the reason that he attempted to take his life). It was a song sung on the Grammy’s but a new younger singer. The fact is, I will never know why he did it. I don’t think any of us will ever know. His family searched his room and found diaries, journals and letters. I don’t believe that this will truly give an answer.

The man who got his kidney certainly deserved it. It was grateful. He endured our stories about my cousin. He allowed us to take pictures with him and his family. He patiently answered questions about his life, never declining to answer anything anyone asked him. At times when I asked him about his life, I felt like I was invading his privacy. But he smiled, and answered them. His body language never once told me that he was uncomfortable with us. He didn’t need to come forward to thank my cousin’s parents or grandparents or any family member. Yet he asked to meet with us. 

It is still difficult, more than a month ago to think that my cousin was with us. He too was kind. He had an amazing smile. I have no doubt because of his compassion and selfless demeanor, that he is more than happy to have given this life to another family.

I will always miss him. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. 

Good Days And Bad

February 19, 2014

We lost my cousin.  A neighbor had found him and called an ambulance. He was taken to ICU and put on a ventilator. And we sat by his bed day after day. I held his hand hoping he would wake up. It made me sad to know that he felt he had no alternative but to end it all. He was loved. I hope that he knew that he was loved. He wasn’t bullied. He had a lot of friends. There won’t be answers.

I don’t think I want an answer. I don’t feel like any answer would be good enough. I watched his parents agonize over what to do. Physicians kept saying there is no brain activity. But there are miracles right? We are a religious family. We believe in miracles. I swear I could feel him in that room. I played some music for him from an iPod. I talked to him. My other cousins talked to him. I never asked why. I just kept saying over and over again, repetitively “please come back to us”.

In the end, his parents decided to take him off the ventilator. The doctors basically said there was no hope. He was an organ donor. He was so young. He didn’t drink. He didn’t do drugs. He was healthy. Everything was considered “mint” condition. I remember someone coming in and announcing the different states the bigger organs  (the heart, the lungs, liver, kidneys) would be going to. We were told if the recipients wanted to come forward, we could meet them. If they didn’t, we would never know. It was a blur. We said our good-byes and then he was wheeled out. In the movies, when a there is a grieving moment, the sound becomes inaudible. The music stops and the screen becomes blurry. And there is silence. I experienced that moment. 

I will be alright. I think about his parents. I think about his Mom, especially his Mom. The high pitched cry she let out when he left the room. It makes me so sad that she will never get to see him grow up. I see his grandmother’s face, my aunt. I always thought of her as extremely strong. Suddenly she looked small, vulnerable and weak. His Dad stood stoically and said “he isn’t here anymore…that isn’t him”. I don’t recall where his brothers were.

He was 22.

At Least For Now…thankful for little things

January 21, 2014

My cousin tried to kill himself today. 

While I sat in the waiting room, with other family friends and relatives, all I could think about was what would cause a person to do this. Of course we’ll never get answers. And I’m sure that even when my cousin is ready to speak about it, we won’t get entire answers. I don’t think speculating is going to help anyone. It will just drive us out of our minds trying to figure out why.

I feel bad for him. And a part of me knows that there was nothing we could have done to stop it. And I would do anything in the world to have been able to.

 

The Wonderful World of TiVo

January 14, 2014

With such a busy schedule, I don’t know how I would have kept up without TiVo or whatever recording device it is that direct tv uses. So now I can watch my shows on my time, whenever I want. It makes life a little stressful (just give me this, I know that television shows are not the answer to the stress, but for me they are an escape).

And I have also bought this little device that connects to my television and I can watch HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu Plus and a variety of other channels on it. So Really enjoying that too.

I just realized that I am watching too much television!

Ha! Maybe fitting all those shows in is what is making me stressed out!

Don’t Let It Snow

January 5, 2014

I do agree that Christmas would not be Christmas without the snow. However, too much of this stuff is a bad thing. I have friends in New York who are braving the winter weather to get to work, and friends in Boston who missed work on Friday because they couldn’t get downtown.

Although we were hit with some fluffy white stuff in West Virginia, it was not too bad. Our snow trucks were out and about hours after the first of the snow flakes fell and the streets were basically clean by the time I got up for work. I did have to clean my car off, but that was no biggie. Well, I’m lying, I hate scraping snow off my car, but comparatively speaking and because I love my friends in New York, New Jersey and Boston, I’m going to say that if all I really had to worry about was cleaning off my car, it was no biggie.

What I don’t like about the slush and the snow are the jerks who think that just cause they drive some sort of flat bed truck, they are invincible and drive like maniacs on the road. Some of them were barreling down the highway like it was their job, or like they were playing a video game. I don’t know who they are trying to impress or where they are going that is so important. And I really hate saying this, or even implying it, but this word pops up in my head “uneducated redneck”. Is that horrid that I think that? And clearly it is out of anger that I even would stereo-type a wreck-less driver with that word.

But I’m glad that at least in my area, we didn’t get too much anger out of Mother Nature. I do hope this is the worse of it.

I Want It Now

December 8, 2013

     Much like the character Veruca Salt on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when I want something, I want it now. My mind goes pretty numb and I can’t think of anything else. If I crave a certain food, I will ultimately have it for dinner, lunch, or whatever meal comes next. Usually my cravings range from pizza to Indian food, so these are easy to obtain items. 

     It is when something like slow internet connection or horrid cable connections due to weather are the problem, I become a problem. Just now, I was trying to open this page to write another post that the situation of waiting arose. Normally it comes up quickly and I am able to log in. However, this time it took several minutes. I kept closing out safari and then reloading to no avail. This frustrated me enough to forget what I originally came here to write about, to write this little vent/rant.

     This is not a good quality. Impatience is not a virtue. I was told that when I was younger, when I was being fed, I would make cooing noises until the spoon was in my mouth. And then there was the slamming of my hands on the high chair tray to hurry. My parents tried to stop this, however at times my Dad would end up laughing at my impatience. I have learned not to let it show. In fact I’m such a good pretender that people often think me patient. This is not the case. If they could only read my mind which screams “HURRY HURRY HURRY”.

     This maybe should be a New Year’s Resolution???

Without Rhythm

December 1, 2013

My cousin got married today. It was absolutely gorgeous and the reception was beautiful. I did my duty and helped with some of the arrangements and kept her stress level down. 

During the dance portion of the reception, I noticed how many people danced without care! They didn’t have rhythm and either didn’t care or did not know it. I’m one of those who do not want to look silly, so I don’t dance. I can’t really remember a wedding I danced at. When I was younger, I didn’t dance because I thought that by dancing, I would give myself away as a gay man. I remember dancing in front of the mirror in junior high and thinking “you look like a woman” shaking like that. So since that time, I didn’t dance, not even at my proms or siblings weddings. I did slow dance, but not much else.

Maybe it is time to shake my booty. To not care…and just enjoy myself…


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