Death, Darkness, and Sex and The City. Summer is upon us.
I just can’t seem to land on a topic this week. A few ideas swim around in my head…until they get tired and drown. Typically, by Friday ideas begin to form and flow. Rather than obsessing over a single topic I’m just going to riff with the few ideas that are churning in my brain. Who knows, the riff may develop and coalesce. It will likely be a stream of consciousness brain bleed. Hope it holds your attention! Let’s commence the mommy blogging.
Summer is coming. Actually here in Northern California, it started all of a sudden yesterday. After a colder than average winter and no spring, the sun decided to come out with a vengeance and bake the land with 90 degree temperatures. It was shocking. What was even more shocking was learning that we have rattlesnakes – A LOT of rattlesnakes. Shit just got real up on the hill. Big Balls and I walked onto the driveway to do chore inventory and stopped dead in our tracks upon a 3 foot rattlesnake coiled and rattling just a few steps away. I would love to say that I handled the situation bravely and with the cunning of a hunter. I did not. I saw it first and arm barred Big Balls protective Mommy style as if braking hard in a minivan. Then my heart began to race while coming to terms with the inevitable – I had to kill this thing. I resolved the inner hippie dilemma while gazing at the beast still coiled and hissing. Where’s the shovel? It’s down in the haunted cabin…I’ll go get it. BB stood vigil over the rattler while I ran down to the haunted cabin to collect the instruments of death. I came back with a spade, a flat head shovel and a ditch shovel. Options seemed important while fumbling about in the gloom of the cabin. With the 3 shovels at my side I contemplate the strike, which should be as simple as one quick blow without hesitation or remorse. Being the first rattlesnake I have ever encountered, apparently I had a learning curve to explore. I chose the large flathead shovel. My plan was to jump on the three foot retaining wall just above the snake and quickly plunge down splitting it in two. I jumped on the wall and immediately encountered ANOTHER rattler on the hill in the brush. You never saw someone jump so fast…OVER the angry rattler beneath and onto the driveway. I was apoplectic. Doing my best to manage the man shame, I decide to go straight at the rattler on the driveway…the rattler in the brush apparently slithered away out of site. Of course there was a good 15 minutes of stalling and ball gathering while I paced with the flathead shovel. I eventually made my move and raised the shovel overhead Excalibur style and landed a swift plunge…3 inches to the left. Strike One. I collected myself and did it again. This time I succeeded partially, and began hacking at it like a deranged psycho. Success. I felt like a 13 year old Native American Indian on a spirit quest. My man card was punched while a bit of the hippie in me died inside. I ominously watched the dissected rattler writhe for a solid 45 minutes before settling to a quiet death. It was chilling and oddly invigorating. Next time will be different. Perhaps to resolve the inner struggle, I’ll do a sun salutation and spread wildflower seeds just before delivering the precision slice. Or I can buy a shotgun.
I suppose I should describe the haunted cabin. Don’t want to let that just float in the ether. It’s actually more shed than cabin and was part of the original house that burned down over 50 years ago. It’s barely standing but manages to be useful as a shed. Bad things happened in there – very bad things. I can feel it. The images that flash through my mind while in the space can only be explained by the entities perpetuating the deep darkness that still occupies the space. There are shotgun blasts on the outside with acorns stuck in holes. Originally there were old motorcycles and oil drums and various other machine parts. For a while it housed the feral cats that have mysteriously disappeared. The creepiest thing was finding an old water heater hanging by a rope. It was unsettling, fitting and metaphoric at the same time. You could not possibly create a better horror movie cabin scene if you tried. It’s also my favorite part of the property.
So, I’ve covered killing a rattlesnake and a haunted shed. I’m reading a book by Stephen King, “Full Dark, No Stars” and listening to way too much NIN which may explain the tone so far. I often seek comfort in the darkness and feel there is a fine line between humor and darkness.
This is the line. Seems only fitting to transition to….wait for it….
“Isn’t it apparent by now that I am a flaming homosexual?”
Perhaps I should explain. First I need to send out a big BITE ME to HMM for doubting I would address this. Didn’t think I had to. After all, I’m 9 episodes deep into the adventures of Big Balls and Hippie Jethro – We are both men by the way. HMM received a private message after the last Tuesday’s with Gooley, asking her to shine light on my “situation.” She of course giggled and dragged me into the mix. With GRAND HYPERBOLE I responded with the above quote. This is a recurring theme in my life and I try to handle it with humor AND honesty. It’s actually fun to play with the form. I mean really, I am far from the stereotype. Clearly if you’ve read the posts, I don’t fit in the homo box very well. Just one look in my medicine cabinet would reveal the truth and get my card pulled; Dr. Bronner’s soap, a toothbrush, Tom’s of Main toothpaste and generic disposable razors – 8 remaining in a pack of twelve purchased last year. That’s it – seriously. Oh, there’s still the unopened Old Spice Swagger I’m saving for emergency purposes only. If stereotypes did apply then I’m really more of a lesbian. I’m good at softball, have a mastery of all things Home Depot, and have enviable leg hair. I’ve been called, “The Worst Gay Man in the World,” HMM says that I’m barely gay. Even Big Balls refers to me as his straight boyfriend. It’s all funny and helps describe a dilemma I’m just now, in my 40’s, becoming comfortable with. I really don’t identify as a Gay Man – culturally anyway. Sometimes I describe that I am masculine identified having disproportionate affinity to all things testosterone. Let’s just say I have a complicated psyche. Perhaps my sexuality became galvanized at some cosmic moment in my youth. Maybe I was watching Planet of the Apes at the exact moment Mars aligned with Venus during a full moon while having my first erection – who knows. I stopped searching and just roll with it. Even people with highly evolved “gaydar” don’t get a vibe from me so occasionally I have to blow a gasket in order to create clarity. It’s usually funny and leaves a mark. Like the one other time I chose to use the above demonstrative quote. I was teaching an earth plastering class to a group of women who all worked at the same green design store. The class was fun and flirty. Because I organized the class with one of the employees, who is a gay man, I assumed everyone knew my sitch – Apparently not. I later found out that I was the unassuming prey in a competitive Cougar Den. We all sat down for lunch at a local restaurant and the conversation was initially flirty and then dovetailed into the shocking. Turns out one of them had been a dominatrix and another had a sister who is a dominatrix. These are the sort of unexpected conversations that I love and wish happened more often so I jumped in while letting my guard down. The conversation became graphic and intense for those participating and incredibly uncomfortable for a few others. Oh well. Chris, the gay guy, chimed in detailing some of his proclivities so I echoed in solidarity and understanding. That’s when a quiet naïve housewife type lady asked, “How do you know about that?” I didn’t miss a beat, “Because I am a flaming homosexual.” This resulted in a tidal shift in energy – From being the male prey in a cougar den to instant enigma. The poor quiet ladies eyes nearly popped out into the guacamole. Chris laughed hysterically, and Elektra (the one with the dominatrix sister) literally high fived me and we became instant friends.
One dynamic I often struggle with is with the instant and seemingly invariable assumptions people tend to make armed with knowledge of my sexuality. If any of the cultural stereotypes rang true I could adjust, but none do so it often leads to awkward moments. Once, Big Balls and I were invited to dinner by a common friend and a cadre of his friends – all gay. 8 guys at a table in a LA restaurant. I’m in the middle. For half the night I’m ensconced in conversation with BB and our common friend at one side of the table probably about quantum theory or philosophy. During a lull in conversation I switch my attention to the other side of the table and make an attempt to participate. I am quickly asked, “Which one are you?” Scoozy Whatzit? Huh? I wasn’t following. So they clarified with all eyes on me, “Which one of the girls from Sex in the City are you?” I honestly and neutrally answered, “I don’t watch Sex and the City.” (Never mind the shear ridiculousness of the question, which I politely chose not to address). I didn’t get the memo that one’s identity and social strata is ultimately determined by personality proximity to one of 4 female fictional characters. Wow! It was as if I had broken all Ten Commandments at once. I felt actual seathing anger and was instantly shunned. They confronted me and accused me of being some sort of traitor…actively ignoring me for the remainder of the evening. Inwardly I laughed at the obvious silliness of this scenario being played out – I had no backup so I simply smiled in comfortable acceptance. I was able to shake it off as a sociological observation and not at all upset that I didn’t make new friends. It was probably a good thing that Big Balls was on the other end of the table as he would have delivered an epic swat which, in retrospect, would have at least been entertaining.
So, did this post coalesce? No. I’m ok with it. I blame the rattlesnake incident for shaking my equilibrium and preventing a common theme from emerging. On the other hand I enjoy rambling to see where I might end up. I hope you did as well. Oh, I will not be apologizing this week. So if PETA, Cougars, dominatrix’s, lesbians, and all fans, gay and straight, of Sex and the City are looking for a mea culpa. You can all BITE ME too!
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Filed under: Tuesdays with Gooley
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