Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mitch.

There is a lot of speculation about what happened to Mitchell, but to me it is pretty clear now. My first instinct was to think that he ended his own life somehow. He had broken up with his boyfriend and had generally had struggles with depression and anxiety, among his health problems including but not limited to HIV. Now that his final affairs are coming to a close I realize that Mitch was far to narcissistic to ever kill himself. I think that the wear and tear on his body from degenerative disc disease, and a plethora of medications for all sorts of ailments including Adderal, became too much for his body to handle and his heart stopped. This is what his family believes and what I believe and either way, it’s very sad.

Mitch had his ups and downs. In NYC we shared that apartment, The Compound, and he would open its doors to anyone who needed a place to stay. It was truly, at times, a boarding house for the wayward, and for any amount of selfishness he displayed there was an equal amount of generosity. He was generous to a fault.

In our last conversations I encouraged him not to lose ground in his struggles with drugs and his health as the result of some stupid boy. He took that to heart. I reminded him that he was a whole person and anytime he felt lonely to remember that he was not alone.

When I moved back to North Carolina he moved back to New York. The distance and my own busy life caused me to neglect his calls sometimes, to go periods without reaching out. But when we communicated, Mitch listened to all the ins and outs of my life, and there are things about which I could only talk to Mitch, as only Mitch would understand. Despite our disagreements on certain things, Mitch was one person I could count on to know where I was coming from in what I expected and wanted from the world. Even when I was appalled by him (“MITCH!”) I knew that we had far more in common than our differences. And he loved me for both commonalities and differences, and I him.

Mitch had been on a search for meaning in his life, he searched for God and spirituality and love. I wish that he could see how loved he was, how many people have reached out to his family. How many people will be at his memorial service tonight.

My mom informed me: “It’s going around he had AIDS. Do you know?” This of course rubs me all kinds of wrong ways. First the ignorance of what AIDS is versus HIV. They are not interchangeable terms. Second, the fact that this “rumor” is “going around.” Mitch had no secrets and was pretty open about his HIV status. So while people may be gossiping about the dead, whispering that he was infected with a disease, the fact is it was no secret and while a source of conflict and suffering for him, not a source of shame.

In the South, society deems few things worse than being queer. One of those things is being a “queer with AIDS”.

I told my mom that being HIV positive does not make someone a bad person. I told her that it bothers me that people, even people close to the family, would be whispering about this when Mitch would speak about it at regular conversational volume. Unlike Mitch I have to leave well enough alone, though. I didn’t want to get into it further, for any question to turn to my obvious sexuality, or for her or anyone to say something stupid along the lines of myself being in danger by breathing his same air.

Meanwhile Mitch’s family didn’t really hear me when I shared that he was a member of the MCC in Winston Salem. They wanted the pastor at the service to be one who knew Mitch, so they got one who pastured at their church when he was a child. Nevermind that he had a pastor in Winston more recently, and many friends in that congregation, all of whom will attend his service. It would be pointless for me to advocate for something different than what they are going to do.

In Mitch’s honor I am going to make an effort to do something that he did with his family: set the precedent that I will not avoid, deny, or be silent about who I am. I told Mitch I admired that about him, whereas I have allowed there to be something easier for me, just not talking about who I am, what my views are, and how I live my life.

Mitch had his flaws, his mistakes, and his moments as we all do. In the end though I will remember him as someone who loved people, easily made friends, and made me laugh.

At his service tonight I will make sure that we are not honoring the wrong person.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

RIP Mitch

RIP my cousin and friend Mitchell "Luna", affectionately known as Lito on these pages.

"Time is the fire in which we burn."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SPARKLE!

Jennifer Saunders has a running gag in her shows, that she explains in the DVD commentary for Absolutely Fabulous, that involves the word "sparkle."



Beginning tomorrow this is my new approach.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” - Lao Tzu

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dreaming of Liza

Last night I had a dream that I was a close personal friend of Liza Minelli, who invited me to her New York penthouse to hang out for a while. While I was there she had a business meeting with a New York financier and she insisted that I attend with her. So I did, and Liza decided to mix business with pleasure -- lots of drinking and partying all over the City. The financier was a stranger to me in the dream, but had the appearance of my brother's girlfriend's mother's boyfriend. Liza had a liaison with him, and once business and partying was over, the two of them decided that enough was enough, they wouldn't need to keep contact. It was fabulous, for a fucked up crazy ass dream.

Also, this guy that works at my company that I see at the gay bar every once in a while who I am TOTALLY hot for had an appearance but I don't remember much about that part.

Dr. Freud? Anything? Anything?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zen Habits

My two new favorite websites are Zen Habits and Mnmlist. I can't believe I didn't discover them sooner as they are wildly popular. They are both created by the same dude, who lives in Guam of all places if he hasn't moved to San Francisco yet. Anyway, they are filled with good information, simple tips on happiness and a more fulfilling life. Sounds like the stuff eye rolling is made of but I totally buy into it and love hearing it from someone who does not come across as high-and-mighty or douchy.

And truth be told, most of it is stuff that I've really tried to do in my life, believe it or not. Of course I've failed a lot, but I'm making it my New Year's resolution (New Week's Resolution, since I actually started on Monday) to Do Something Productive Every Day. This will keep me from wasting time and being a sloth and in the long run will generate more positive habits. I'll work my way up to that Quit Smoking goal. I'll be working on productivity and creativity. In the meantime, I will be working on living with what I have and making the most out of that, which is plenty.

Friday, June 04, 2010

RIP Rue McClanahan

It's a sad day. In memory of Rue, here is a collection from her most famous role of The Best (and Worst) of Blanche Devereaux.



Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Monkeys Banging Cans Together and Hitting Hard

I spent a lot of the day in bed, until about 1:40, at which point I dragged my ass up and proceeded to spend hours doing nothing and "getting ready". I went looking like a homeless person to Lupie's where I engorged myself on food and then swung by the ole Food Lion for the weeks lunch items. Since it has been raining profusely I have not gotten around to cutting the grass. The gutters are cleaned, though, and even still one of them leaks. This week I will have to find the time to push the mower around and stir up a tsunami of caulk and sealants. It's always something.

Tomorrow is my return to the workplace, my schedule has returned to "normal business hours", and I kind of dread it. I had my monthly "review" last week and my boss, who I am convinced is full of lies about where I'm headed there, could not let me out from under her wing without putting a scar on my papers (she will no longer be my boss upon my return as I move on to train for something else, with the "I'll believe it when it happens" promise from her that I'm intended to end up on the new project. My endless stack of papers that the corporate world keeps, tracking every time you take a piss or don't send an email that you did.

I've been depressed. I do try to think about the positive things. I try to take the advice of "three simple steps" from Ralph Martson. I just can't find the thing that I'm supposed to be good at and I can't avoid being distracted. I have a hard time mustering productivity in my daily life. I'm very concerned about work, and as a result, money. Both the stock market and the housing market have made me even poorer lately. My coins are oil and my life is the BP oil leak: I try to clog it up with a bunch of shit but nothing really works yet. I need to find a new avenue to fulfillment and security.

Owning my house is a wonderful part of my life. Despite the constant need for maintenance inside and out, I take pleasure in having it and keeping up with everything. I like the yard work, and I like cleaning. You can see your progress as you go. In most areas of life I can't. I can't see any progress or any going. That said owning this house anchors me in Charlotte in a way I've never been anchored anywhere. My horoscope (no, I don't believe in astrology) today said something about missing freedom that struck a nerve. I had just been talking about how I miss the freedom of not owning a giant hunk of bricks. I saw Sex and the City 2 over the weekend and though it was the empty, misleading burst of color and fashion that I expected, it did make me miss New York City. There's a lot I don't miss but the big thing I regret is leaving behind all those options.

In addition to Ralph's advice, I'm trying to incorporate a new philosophy. In the game of pool there is a saying that, "if you can't hit well, hit hard." If there's nothing that I'm really "called" to do, no passion of my own, no one true talent that pushes me to go on daily, then I'm just gonna start hitting hard. God knows it works wonders for some, who, like one of Jane Goodall's monkeys, get to the top by convincing everyone they're confident and making a lot of noise banging kerosene cans together.

The little spider in the bed of my truck was just gone today. The torrential downpours lately, the flying around in the bed of a pickup at 70 miles per hour, the high winds of the thunderstorms -- these things could not move the little spider. But of its own accord, it just abandoned it's home there and went somewhere else. Oh to be able to do that in my own life.