Work, Bish!

My work assignment in records ended a couple weeks back now. While it was an enjoyable and relatively easy gig, I’m glad to be back on the main floor doing my primary job. If you missed it, I was assigned to records for my Department for the last five years. And yes, it’s as tedious and mundane as it sounds. However, after 15 years it gave me a break from the daily onslaught of negativity from handling life/death calls.

I took the assignment because I recognized I was becoming bitter and resentful toward the public. I mean no one calls 911 because they are happy, right? I consider myself fortunate as I seem to handle it well. I don’t dwell on bad calls or worry about the outcome. To do so would constitute a no-win scenario. In other words, I would burn out. However, handling life/death calls day in and day out for 15 years creates a trauma all its own and I needed a break.

My hubby thinks it’s weird that I’m happy to be back. I’m going from a comfy administrative gig to live fire, so to speak. I can see how he could think that, but I am happy to be back. The five-year break was exactly what I needed to reset my clock. I also didn’t sign up to be an admin clerk for the rest of my career. While it is a fine job, I’m overpaid for that type of work. I even miss the indignant callers.1

The best part is no more alarm clock! I’ve gone back to my old shift, 1500-2300 hours (3pm to 11pm) Mon thru Fri. Because I work out 3-5 days a week, the 10-hour schedule really pulled down my mental well-being. And we know gym is like church! hehehe Every day I felt constantly rushed to get everything done so by the weekend I just wanted to veg. The COVID restrictions only made it easier to just stay home. I didn’t have to find reasons to get out of doing things because we couldn’t. I’m glad it’s over. The downside is being on my old schedule comes with a lot more rigidity and getting time off beyond my required vacation sign ups is very limited. So it isn’t all rosy. lol

The early hours were rough enough, but the constant feeling of being rushed sucked major donkey balls. I am soooo happy to be back on a swing shift. My body fought the early shift pretty much the whole time. While I did adapt a bit to the early hours, after about a week my natural clock was already back to normal, and it feels great! I’m loving going to the gym before work and not being up a daylight-thirty. Shawn noticed the first week and pointed out I was almost giddy.

So there ya have it! I’m BACK! lol

  1. It’s hard to explain but after so many years of doing this job, they bring a sense of normalcy. It would be weird to be back and not encounter them. lol []

Mask-less

I ran a small experiment on FB the other day to prove an idea. I asked, “Why did you trust the CDC recommendation to wear a mask but don’t trust them now saying it’s ok not to wear one?1 And it worked in favor of the discussion that the CDC under trump was constantly being meddled with but is now being run based on the science with no interference from the Biden HHS appointee.

The answers were varied but pretty much what I expected. A common thread was many would continue “out of an abundance of caution.” And to be clear, I’m not trying to shame anyone or even be judgmental. My thoughts couldn’t be further from that. You should do what makes you feel safe. It did validate my theory though. Human beings have a hard time updating their moral/ethical standards. They do not adapt well to standards that changes too quickly. It cuts to the core of how we process our reality. When the idea of right and wrong changes too quickly many people develop of sense of disbelief. This disbelief can lead to fear, anger, shock, judgment, and/or even a larger disconnect from the world around them. When you add in a lack of knowledge (willful or otherwise), religion, or other biases it only serves to increase the disconnect.

Just as one example, look how many gay men fought the idea of PrEP.2 PrEP has been around for years now and has consistently and repeatedly proven to be a better preventative measure to the spread of HIV than condoms. However, there are still contingents within the community who know better. The latter is often based more on biases and personal judgment than science, but that isn’t the point today. The triggers are deeper than than. After 3 decades of having the idea that “safe sex is sex with a condom” pounded into our heads, many men (and women) simply can’t process the idea of it suddenly not being applicable anymore. I see it more in older gay men, many of which witnessed the agony and suffering caused by AIDS and it’s devastation on our community. To wake up one day and be told, “condoms are fine but bareback is now perfectly fine IF you use this drug” simply does not compute. In our brains, we “know” what works. We understand the simple idea of placing a barrier between ourselves and others as a form of protection. The idea of removing that physical barrier we can see in favor of a drug treatment barrier3 just “seems wrong” to many.

Another common answer was people “couldn’t trust others to be honest about their vaccination status.” That is an admirable approach; however, why is it your responsibility to protect those who are willfully ignorant or refuse to get vaccinated, especially since we don’t do this for other vaccinations? Why is this one suddenly different? Is it really caution or the disbelief in a suddenly changing moral standard? Hmmm? And looking at the risk, it is no longer an equal equation. We collectively make a social contract to protect each other by each person respectively doing their part. When it was equal you saw me constantly encouraging folks to wear their masks and social distance. I’m all about harm reduction. As a vaccinated person I’m not really keeping anyone else safer now by wearing my mask.4  As an unvaccinated person, you should continue to wear your mask and avoid overly crowded places. However, if you refuse to get vaccinated, it is no longer an equal equation and you are shifting the burden onto others. The social contract is broken.

If you are still worried for yourself due to other health issues that is certainly ok. Again, at no point is this discussion meant to dissuade anyone from doing what they feel is right for themselves.

Vaccinations are readily available almost everywhere in the US now and availability is increasing every day. Vaccinations are free and you can now get a free Uber/Lyft ride to your local vaccination sites. You have no excuse not to get vaccinated. We have so many doses of the vaccines now we are sending them to other countries still in dire need.

The last popular argument was a lack of trust in the CDC over pressure to reopen. I do think the CDC feels some pressure to ‘open up’ society, but not at the expense of a rising death toll. They know some will still become infected and potentially even die. However, our safe guards are about harm reduction. From a medical viewpoint, we will have to COVID in our lives for years to come. The degree of danger from it is lower every day now. We have reached an important threshold, even at just 50% immunity. Our emergency response systems, including hospitals, are unlikely to be overwhelmed by new patients. It is likely we will eventually reach over 60% of the country being vaccinated, 70% if we are lucky. And while still below the “herd immunity” threshold, that just means, as alluded above,  we will end up with yearly booster shots, much like the flu virus. It could be with us indefinitely due to variants or just a few years until we reach a real herd immunity. Eventually, those not vaccinated are likely to contract it. They could also suffer reinfection from variants, but again much like the flu, they are less likely to be hospitalized or die after surviving a first infection.

There are always other health variables for an individual to consider, so you should do what makes you feel safe. For myself, I trust the science and am comfortable with my decision to go mask-less where it is allowed. I think many of us aren’t really worried as much as we are conflicted on an evolving standard.

  1. If you came here from the FB post, thanks for your response. []
  2. Pre-Exposure Prophylactic []
  3. that many often do not understand completely []
  4. Yes, there are exceptions but those are in the small minority. []

Assignment

I got my final orders today. I return to my main job on July 5th. What the hell am I talking about? Well, let me ‘esplain’. I’ve been assigned to records production for my department for the last 5 years. It is a voluntary assignment we bid for and I was fortunate to be selected, but now that assignment is ending. In my assignment we handle subpoenas for criminal/civil litigation, freedom of information requests, human service agency requests, and various other types of requests for records relating to dispatch.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it but my biggest struggle has been the hours. When I originally signed up, the hours were more to my liking. Due to the typical broken internal communication of civil service, I discovered after I was reassigned my hours would be earlier and longer than originally planned. If you read here with any sense of regularity, you know I am NOT a morning person. More astutely, I’m not an early to bed person. To be fair, I could have declined the assignment once I discovered the error; however, I had already made a commitment and I really needed a break from operations. I decided to stick it out. I could have also pushed for different hours from my counterpart in the office. That would have most likely led to friction and an uneven work load. I didn’t want friction or drama and I got lucky in that I get along really well with the other person assigned to records. I’m fond of saying, “we get along like two peas in a pod”.

There have been some great perks to the assignment. The work is tedious but not hard at all. It becomes routine pretty fast. We do have a manager but we are mostly left to ourselves. We are experts in our assignment and no one in our department can really match our knowledge base. Perhaps the biggest perk is the flexibility with my daily schedule. I will definitely miss that. My normal schedule can be very rigid and getting time off can also be very hard due to staffing shortages. In my assignment, I only need to make sure my coworker can cover for me or isn’t taking the same time off. If we finish our work early on a given day, we can take discretionary time and leave early. If we need money we can work overtime on the floor at our choosing. For myself, if I want to go the gym mid day I can. I just need to ensure I still put in the required workday hours before I go home. I can’t workout on the City’s dime obviously. That would be really rude, not to mention unethical. And we go out of our way to ensure our hours are properly accounted for and tracked. But yeah, the flexibility has been nice. I’ve also learned a lot. Knowledge is power and the more you have the better you are at making good decisions. I know so much more about the inner and outer workings of my department and my own work now.

All that aside, I am ready to go back though. Shawn is surprised I would rather go back to handling emergencies vs keeping a nice comfy office gig. And I can see how that might sound, but I didn’t sign up to be a general clerk cranking out paperwork all day. It has been a much needed break, but that is over. He also tends to think I’ll hate going back to my normal job as I routinely bitch about calls I deal with in my current assignment. In my regular job taking phone calls is my job. So while it can be stressful, I still feel productive. On my assignment taking calls is a distraction from my work so it is way more frustrating. It may some conflicting, but in my mind it is clearly defined. I love that he worries for me though. And it isn’t like a I have a choice anyway. My assignment is up, it is someone else’s turn. My replacement has already started.

The one good thing about dispatch is never worrying about what’s on my plate. When I’m in Ops, I do not think about work until I show up. And when I leave, it is forgotten until I return. In records, I find myself often worried about incoming work, how much work is on my desk, etc. Every time I get a news alert for a major crime or incident in the city, I audibly groan knowing my next work day is going to be overly busy. I am definitely looking forward to having that care-free attitude when I’m not at work.

I decided to go back on my old shift, which was 1500-2300 hours (3pm to 11pm). I have seniority so I still get weekends. I can actually pull weekend days off on any shift I choose now. Better still, no more alarm clock and no more feeling rushed every day on a 10-hour shift. I can go to the gym without feeling rushed and I sleep in as needed. It is amazing what that 2 hours in a day can make. I didn’t realize it but the shift combined with the very early hours was damaging my emotional well-being. I rarely want to travel or do things on weekends. Shawn gets credit for basically dragging me places he wants to visit. I just never feel motivated to do much at all beyond local events. And being in SF can leave you a bit spoiled as we have so many events here every year. The pandemic only made it worse as I got really complacent with my video games. I think the only reason I still have an ass I can measure is I had cut out most carbs right before the pandemic hit.

As I return to a schedule I really want, I am hope to get some of that eagerness and excitement back outside of work. Ironic, I know but I’m excited. If it ever affects how Shawn and I spend time together, I would of course reevaluate it, but for now I’m looking forward to it.

Post Pandemic Travel

I took a trip last weekend for the first time since the pandemic hit. It was our firstbesties trip since January 2020 when we went on the cruise. Of course, I had to go see my bestie. It was supposed to both besties but Mikey had to work and couldn’t come down from Dallas. (We were in Houston)

At least Trev and I got to spend quality time together and reconnect our friendship. Overall, it was a great trip. Prior to the pandemic, we had two trips planned to spend time together but that all went to sh*t obviously. It’s been roughly 2 years since we’ve all seen each other. I’m headed back in July for Trev’s birthday and Mikey will be there then.

Our friendship has spanned a lifetime and I am grateful it has survived so long. We didn’t do anything crazy, just dinners, socializing, and a small pool party on Sunday.1  I was pleasantly surprised how many places still required masks. Pretty much every restaurant or business we visited required masks to be worn for entry. No one was being an ass or making a fuss about it. It was an affirmation that while Texas politics might be crazy, many of the folks who live there are still very sane. Well, except the bars. We went out Saturday night and it was like there was no pandemic once you got indoors at the bar. Barely a mask insight. Even half the staff weren’t wearing them.

To be fair, Houston has been pushing vaccines hard. Plenty of billboards were advertising for free vaccines and where to go. New cases are stable so while part of me was a bit shocked, it was my hope many of these folks were vaccinated. SF is now 70% for their 1st shot and 45% fully vaccinated. A few people I spoke to indicated they had had their shots so the overall experience was net positive in my mind.2  At this point, I’m pretty much over the ignorant folks.

Since originally it was supposed to be three of us, I didn’t feel the need to torture Shawn by making him go with me. (The two besties and I together is more than poor Shawn can handle.) He ended up traveling to Phoenix the same weekend. Ironically, he encountered a similar experience at an outdoor bar there as well.

The trip home was uneventful, but I was absolutely giddy when I got home. It felt so good to get away and do just normal things. Socializing and seeing friends and just being out in the world felt so good. I definitely came back feeling like we are really coming out of this now.

Sadly, it is looking like we won’t reach heard immunity because of all the idiots refusing to get vaccinated. We are still ahead of the curve at least. The current crop of vaccines are effective against all the variants out there so far. There are a few variants now that could potentially allow a person to become contagious or sick, but they would not get sick enough to die or even require hospitalization. And with speed the vaccines can be modified to incorporate immunity to new variants, I’m resigned to just getting a covid shot every year with the flu shot.

It was a great trip and I feel rejuvenated in many ways. I’m so excited to get back out into the world this year. Every day, we get news of more and more events being allowed due to dropping case numbers. SF is expected to reach herd immunity by the end of May. We could end up having no restrictions ahead of even the rest of California if this trend continues.

Hope springs eternal…

 

  1. Everyone in attendance was vaccinated. []
  2. Both Trevan and I have had our shots and with the current CDC guidelines we didn’t feel like we posed a risk to anyone. []

Terrible

I admit it, I am a terrible person. Why you ask? Well, because I gloated to myself over another.

Ok, so I don’t feel terrible but I also know I shouldn’t gloat. Let me ‘esplain’. There is a guy at the gym who pre-pandemic was all about his fitness. That, of course, is a good thing, except he was always humble bragging about how important fitness is to one’s health and side-shaming everyone around him. He would routinely make rather insulting comments about anyone he didn’t think put in as much effort as he did. I personally witnessed him fat shame a couple ladies on treadmills to one of the few guys in the gym who would socialize with him. I could go on but I think I conveyed the point.

Oh, and he is also a grunter. Any and every exercise was like he was dying to get that last set in, except it was every set. The worst, right?!

After seeing this guy and his snotty attitude for years at the gym, imagine my surprise upon seeing him lately. OMG! He gained like 40 or 50lbs of chunk. Yes, I know this is the “I’m terrible” part but I can’t help it. And maybe gloating isn’t the right word. I mean, it isn’t like I ran up to him and said, “hey fatty” or made any of the off-hand comments in his presence he used to make about others.  No, I did not do any of that. I’m just a little gleeful to see him get some comeuppance after years of his shitty attitude.

So while I work on keeping the smugness off my face, my hope is that whatever experience he had during the pandemic has taught him a lesson. Yes, fitness is important. However, it isn’t always easy for someone to dedicate themselves to the gym. And talking smack about people on a fitness journey sure as hell doesn’t encourage them to get better or stick with it.

I’m terrible.

 

8 Years

The hubby and I recently passed our 8-year anniversary. There wasn’t much fanfare or hullaballoo this year because….COVID. He doesn’t like a lot of fuss anyway. We’ve settled into a life together so the milestone seems almost unimportant.

This last year has been rough because…COVID. He hates working from home and I don’t blame him. I could not work from home. Or let me rephrase that, I could not work from home successfully. Home is sanctuary and there are simply too many distractions and no motivation to keep me working. I could not imagine being tortured into working from home full time. Maybe, and I stress the maybe, if we had a big enough space to have an office setup that we only did work in. It couldn’t be a multi purpose room as anything else would probably distract me. Then, maybe, I could be productive. Maybe…

Having had our vaccinations, we are both finally venturing out there again. In the beginning, I almost felt guilty for not having to worry. We had a friend visit from Florida that wanted to have lunch while he was here and we agreed.1  That seemed to be the impetus that pushed us back out there. We both were so pleased to have such a simple social interaction it was like a breath of fresh air. I think that lunch made us realize we had passed a milestone. Now we are both eager to get out there again. And now that the CDC has clarified vaccinated people cannot inadvertently spread the virus, we’ve planned trips for the end of this month!

I just hope we keep up the pace of vaccinations before a wild variant pops up fully resistant to the current crop of vaccines. Shawn seems to think it won’t happen, but I am not so sure. I guess my faith in people has been damaged because I am definitely worried about it. And yet, I’m so eager for some normalcy again. I honestly don’t think I could survive another year of isolation. And in a bit of good news, even with the isolation depression, we didn’t have any big fights! I guess that is a good sign we are well suite for each other. I mean 8 years! Who does that?2

 

 

 

  1. I’ve had friends I’ve met up solo with for lunch but this was our first outing together since the beginning of the pandemic. []
  2. Of course I’m being sarcastic. []

Awkward

**Disclaimer – an adult rant today about gay shit, you’ve been warned.**

I’ve been navigating the “apps” again recently. I haven’t settled on any hard and fast rules that guide me as of yet, other than honesty. Having had my vaccination shots, I’m relieved on so many levels. However, I still need to worry for those around me as the science isn’t clear yet on the level of protection. Going thru a year of very limited human contact takes its toll. And things are moving so quickly now, it may be moot by the time I figure it all out.

Anyway, I was on one such app when a rando decided to send me a long winded message telling me how non-masculine he felt I was. He was particularly detailed, which would have been comical if it weren’t so sad. He clearly lives local and has seen me around1 as he listed a varied “suggestion list” of things I could do to butch it up. I’m not willing to dwell on the idea he may have actually thought he was being helpful as it would make me very sad.

The joke is on him though as I wasn’t bothered by it. To be fair, there was a time in my life when I would have been secretly devastated. However, that was a long time ago and that particular insecurity has left the building, so to speak. Lawd knows I’ve beaten that horse here often enough.

Our little letter in the alphabet mafia has had a continuing obsession with the idea of masculinity. Ask 10 of my fellow homos the meaning of the word and you’ll most like get 10 different answers. Western culture has become so dependent on the broken idea of hyper-masculinity I doubt we’ll ever sort it out.

I keep getting off topic, sorry I am a bit rusty at this.

The guy listed out my demeanor in public as a ‘dead give away‘. Well, no shit Sherlock!  I do not mold myself in the view of how others see me. I didn’t struggle with the shackles of one broken stereotype to take up another. In a word, I can be awkward at times. While I still have a few small triggers to put on my “big boy” voice, I strive not to put on a facade. My hubby calls it my work voice. Anyway, some random task or action can invoke my rather absent-minded approach to things. There isn’t a lot of forethought put into it, I just act. If that destroys your image of me, oh well. We have a saying for that where I’m from…bless your heart. I’ve learned my demeanor also has the affect of putting people at ease around me. People rarely feel threatened or triggered by me and without realizing it often relax into a more authentic version of themselves.2  It was quite a revelation when that little kernel of knowledge dawned on me all those years ago.

Of course, now that I’m an elder and on the council I do have to maintain an image. lolol I politely told him his ‘advice’ was not needed. I didn’t feel the need to thank him though. *giggle* Was I too subtle?

 

  1. His profile was of course devoid of any photos…I know, right!? lol []
  2. There are few who have the opposite reaction and think I’m an easy mark. They often find out quickly I’m also not stupid. []

Fine

I’ve been so serious here as of late so I thought I’d share something funny that happened to me this past week.

An attorney calls up one day a couple weeks ago about a records request we had produced for him. One of the discs had some erroneous data on it. No biggie, while rare it does happen, we made a mistake. We promptly sent him a new copy.

Fast forward to this past week. The guy calls back and this time one of the discs is blank, or so he says. I’m a bit less cordial (without being rude) this time as I begin to suspect he is playing us. It isn’t unheard of for an attorney to try and get one over on our office for a variety of reasons. Being devious, I offer him the option to swing by and drop off the disc so I can give him the new one vs making him wait while we mail him yet another disc. Now our lobby is currently closed to the public due the pandemic, but with the lower cases lately we have some discretion. And in my head I’m thinking I’m going to catch him in a big lie. Well, the joke ended up being on me.

He swings by and I get a call from the Sheriff desk he is here. I put on my best bitchy “I caught you in a lie” face and head down. And then it all just falls apart. I first had to pick my jaw up off the floor as the MF’r was FINE as hell!  I mean, “drop an egg and it roll down my pants” fine! I mean slap yo momma fine! He was stunning! Imagine Tom Ellis from the show Lucifer, but a bit shorter, dark blond hair, piercing green eyes, a slightly stronger jaw line covered in stubble and slightly more bulging muscles. He is wearing a well fitted shirt/tie with slacks. I actually caught my breath because I was so utterly shocked. If I had pearls I definitely would have clutched them in that moment. hehehe It was made worse by his completely calm and friendly demeanor, no gaydar pings unfortunately. He was nice and had these big paw like hands on him as he reached to shake my hand. (We aren’t supposed to shake hands but lawd baby jeebus I’ve had my shots and I couldn’t help myself.) I tend to have a firm handshake and guys will often comment on it. He did comment and I melted like butter inside. You could have scraped me off the floor.

And sure enough the disc was blank. So then I felt about two feet tall for thinking the worst and was falling all over myself to apologize, all the while taking in the breath-taking display that is this M-A-N! It is made worse because I think I actually felt myself blushing, which is just not something I do. As I repeatedly try to untie my tongue, I hand off the disc and he has an ever so slight humorous smirk on his face. Of course, I turn away quickly so he cannot see my full on blushing! I pretend I’m coughing so I can recover myself. Once I feel I’m at least not bright red, I turn to thank him one last time as he saunters away with his damn near perfect butt bouncing in those slacks.

I go back upstairs to collect myself and I’m quite sure the cleaning crew had to be called to clean up the slime trail I’m sure I had left in my wake. lolol I don’t know if it was the isolation, the testosterone boost from being back in the gym, my naturel gregarious nature, or all of the above, but I was flustered for a good 15 minutes after it was over. I’m sure he delights in knowing he has that affect on women and men as his smirk looked positive and had that knowing realization with it. Hell, it’s been days since it happened and I think I still might need a moist towelette after I finish this post.1

Of course, I had to call my husband and laugh with him and then blow up my coworkers texts on her day off to thank her for the blank disc she sent him. I was so tickled and it was a definite mood booster for the rest of the day.

Even an old dog like me can get flustered at times. Now you know…

  1. TFA if you are reading this post, remember the first time we met? Yeah, I would have begged him too! []

He Was Nice to Me

A somewhat well known racist in our community passed away recently. I won’t mention his name, nor will I link to anything about him here. My rant today has more to do with all the gays1 falling all over themselves to defend their friendship with said person as they mourn his passing.

As a bit of back story, I met this person multiple times in my tenure here in SF. Sometimes it was here in SF and others while I was back visiting in Texas, where he lived for a length of time. Without fail, every time I met this person he managed to tell me in various phrases and words about his racist views. It should come as no surprise he was also a rabid trump supporter. Granted, our first meeting didn’t go so well when I asked why he had a confederate flag tattoo on his chest.2 He gave the typical BS excuse about white heritage.

Fast forward to his recent death and the eulogies about how “they didn’t always see eye to eye but he was a good friend.”  It was almost as if they all got together to work on a standardized message. It would be comical if it wasn’t so pathetic. I encountered the same phrasing from various folks on IG multiple times; talking about how “genuine” and “what a great friend” he was prior to his death. He was a proud racist and made no bones about it and these sycophant fa**ots are touting his virtues.

It shouldn’t surprise me, but because some of the people involved I used to admire, it did. Granted, after I reflected on why I admired these guys it was mostly due to their prowess in the gym and/or attractiveness to me. So yeah, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Seeing some of these guys just falling over themselves to qualify “he was always a good friend to me“, or “he was always nice to me“, etc was pretty disgusting. So that makes it ok? In other words, “I knew he was a racist but because he liked me, it didn’t matter.” Hitler was nice to white people, did that make him ok? The most laughable argument was “I wish people knew him in real life vs his social media persona“.  Yeah, I can personally shoot that weak argument down. And to bear, it is just code for he knew we were uncomfortable with his views so he avoided talking too much about them around us so we could pretend he was a good guy. 

Are we so broken as a community that attraction is more important than morals? Or maybe I’m deluding myself that we were ever anything better. There are a lot of things we can agree to disagree on but racism definitely is not one of them. If you’re butt-hurt for being called out on your friendship with a vocal racist, maybe you should spend some time examining why his views weren’t a deal breaker instead of shrugging it off with comments like  “we should respect the dead”. He might be dead but the rot in our community is alive as ever.

  1. read as cis-white gay men []
  2. A tattoo he later had covered up for some “unknown” reason []

Melancholy

This time of year gets me a little down.1  Today, marks the anniversary of my beloved Coopers’ death. I am not sure how he touched me so deep, but I still long for him. The intensity of his death has diminished but the longing for him is as strong as ever. He barreled into my life like a little dynamo and I was better for it. His absence is felt often but more so this time of year.

Next month also marks the anniversaries for the death of both my father and mother, albeit decades apart. Their anniversaries are less than 2 weeks apart. I’ve mentioned before the memories of my mother have become dull. I still have a funeral card to keep her face alive in my mind; however, the memories themselves tend to blur after so many years. I was 5 when she passed. I’ve always wondered how my life would have turned out had she survived her battle with cancer. I can’t honestly say I knew her well enough to know what she would have thought of me being gay. I like to think she would have come to terms with it. The story of my adoption leads me to believe this. For those of you who have not read my history here, I was abused/neglected as an infant. In a defiant act to my birth father, my birth mother asked her friend, my soon to be Aunt, to adopt me. It was out of the question for various reasons so she brought me to her brother, my soon to be foster dad. The story goes that once my foster mother held me in her arms and saw how terrible I looked, that was it it was decided. So yeah, I like to think, however much it might have pained her, she would have come to terms with it, or at least that is what I tell myself. I do remember my mother was gentle but utterly fearless when confronted. I’ll never know and I’m ok with thinking she would have accepted me.

My father and I were estranged for a long time after my abrupt departure from home. We didn’t speak for many years and even after that it was always strained. We never regained the bond that a father/son normally reach to some degree in adulthood. We did get closure together before his death. I say we because I got a closure I didn’t realize at the time that I needed. I now remember him with sorrow for the relationship we could have had together had he not rejected me at such an early age. I find the pain/trauma of my childhood has taken a backseat to the regret of never having a better relationship with him. I do wonder if I had tried harder to mend fences and be closer after our reconciliation if things would have been different between us. I didn’t feel the onus was on me, but now that he is gone it is one of my regrets nonetheless.

It was several years after the death of my father before I realized my melancholy moods around this time of year had meaning. When I notice the turn of my inner mood I now reach for the memories. There is some joy in it as well. In recent years, my memories of Cooper have tended to blend with my thoughts of the past. I guess with the anniversaries being so close it makes sense. As I’ve aged, I have also found many of the good memories from my childhood sprinkled in amongst all the painful ones. I discovered I find solace in remembering the past. In a weird way I think I look forward to it. I am not one to dwell on the past, but pulling up the memories strengthens me today in the now. I pull the memories up, even some of the painful ones and I remember. I remember what got me here and I remember who I am because of my past.

Be well, my friends.

  1. As apposed to the madness we are slowly coming out of now in the political world []