“I did not have sex with that woman, he said…”
We all remember what happened next right?
Ya think that Little Bush is in his “Ready Room” drinking a tall neat scotch with his rib eye steak?
This reminds me of “Lady Heather’s Box!” For you C.S.I. fans out there. We love Lady Heather, and you can imagine that the latest bombshell to hit Washington is about the Madame who is about to shake the halls of highest government.
Lady Heather tells Grissom about the fact that she can read men and know what they need and desire, seeing that “Lady Heather’s Box” serves as an outlet for men who wield power all day, come there at night, so that someone might have power over them…
“She likes a little tea and civility before all the needy little boys come out to play…”
From: Knotty Boy:
“Take this weekend’s news of bush’s first global AIDS coordinator Randall Tobias’ resignation. A job which drew criticism for his emphasis on faithfulness to partners and abstinence over condom use in trying to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus; where Tobias was involved with the “DC madam” as one of her clients.
An upstanding, moral, bible thumping, republican politico involved in a seemly game of hide the sausage with high-priced call girls? Naaah.”
This is going to be another smoke screen for Washington to hide war news amid the rubble of burning bodies in the carnage of the next Washington Sex Scandal of the century. Oh I can’t wait to see who Lady Heather OUTS next…
From ABC News.Com
Jeane Palfrey, dubbed the D.C. Madam, says among those she will call to testify are Randall Tobias, who resigned Friday as deputy secretary of state after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of Palfrey’s escort service.
Tobias said he “had some gals come over to the condo for a massage” but denied any sex was involved.
Tobias is the second prominent man to be identified as a customer of the Palfrey’s “sexual fantasy service.” Two weeks ago, Palfrey alleged that military strategist Harlan K. Ullman, creator of the “shock and awe” combat theory and now a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was also a customer. Ullman has said that the claim was “beneath the dignity of comment.”
Also on Palfrey’s list of customers who could be potential witnesses are a Bush administration economist, the head of a conservative think tank, a prominent CEO, several lobbyists and a handful of military officials.
“I’m sure as heck not going to be going to federal prison for one day, let alone, four to eight years, because I’m shy about bringing in the deputy secretary of whatever,” Palfrey told ABC News correspondent Brian Ross in an interview to be broadcast Friday on “20/20.” “I’ll bring in every last one of them in if necessary,” she said.
Palfrey is due in federal court Monday morning to ask the judge to replace her current lawyer, a public defender, with a lawyer who she says “will be more aggressive in fighting the government.”
The indictment of Palfrey alleges she used more than 100 women over a period of 13 years “for the purpose of engaging in prostitution activity with male clients, including sexual intercourse and oral sex in exchange for money.” She made more than $2 million running the operation, known as Pamela Martin and Associates, according to the federal indictment.
Palfrey, who ran the service by phone from her home in Sonoma County, Calif., is the only person charged. None of her male customers is named by the government.
“That’s very hypocritical,” she says. “Why aren’t these people under arrest? Why just me?”
Palfrey claims she ran a legal operation that offered sexual fantasy but not “illegal sex” of the kind described in the indictment.
She says she hopes her prominent clients will testify they did not engage in actual sex when they hired her escorts.
“This was a sexual fantasy service,” Palfrey told “20/20.” “Occasionally a client would want to go to the Kennedy Center or go to dinner, but generally speaking they went straight to the homes, or they went straight to the hotels,” she said.
Palfrey provided ABC News with phone records from her business going back four years.
Have you ever been to a meeting that was just outstanding? That the spirit of God was so present you could see it in the room? I think tonight’s Came to Believe meeting, was the best meeting I have ever chaired. I’ve chaired a lot of meetings in the last five years and I have to say that I was just amazed tonight.
This ‘little meeting that could,’ HAS. I asked two very special people in my life to share tonight. The matron of my home group who celebrated 20 years in February, was away for the Winter and returned last week to Montreal. She admitted that she has not ‘shared’ in a meeting for seven years. And she agreed to speak for me tonight, well, I really gave her no choice when I asked her. AND her groupies came from all over the city to hear her speak tonight, so it was a double blessing. I was so happy to see her friends come out on a miserably cold and blustery night to support her.
My buddy was my main speaker. I just want to grab him and hug him and tell him that he is not alone and that I care for him and I wish that I could take away the ache in his heart. I was weeping inside listening to him share. I guess we learn a lot from people we’ve never heard speak before. He is courageous and shy. He is wonderfully funny and spirited. He calls himself shy, but if you ask him about his ‘tats’ he is willing to share. I am really proud of him, and I stand behind him and I support him 100% … I’ve got you and you’ve got me.
It was just a blessed night tonight, and I am so grateful to be in the rooms because miracles happen, and people come to believe and they are saved from a life of crazy insanity and they are restored. Both of my friends have been through such horrible pasts, and they have seen such pain – but today they are both sober and they are free.
I will miss the next 6 Monday’s due to school, but I will return.
And that’s the kind of day it’s been the 30th of April 2007…
I have added new meeting times over in the ‘Meeting’s Widget.’ The Saturday Night Young People’s meeting is going through another incarnation. Please, if you can support them.
PuckTube Episode Two teaser
I actually got up at 8:30 this morning!!! Fancy that…
I had my first class of my Summer Studies this morning. It is called Comparative Cultures Anth 272. We are studying the Ethnography of the Andean (Huichol) (Inca) and the Mexican (Aztec) civilizations based on religious systems and practices.
It seems interesting and the Prof has a witty sense of humor. So we shall see how this pans out. I am glad that there are no “papers” for this class just a midterm and a final exam on the 13th of June.
The photo above is of the Mayan Ruins at Tulum, near the port city of Playa Del Carmen. We actually went to these ruins on the cruise we took for our honeymoon to Mexico in 2004. These ruins sit on a cliff that has the most spectacular beach I have ever seen.
I’m going to miss tonight’s Theology class because of a scheduling conflict with a meeting I am chairing tonight and that I have two speakers to set up. Oh well…
Montreal — The most famous family in Canadian politics celebrated a victory Sunday as Liberals chanted their name and waved red-and-white posters emblazoned “Trudeau.”
Justin Trudeau hugged his mother, brother and wife after securing a first-ballot victory in his battle to represent a Montreal riding in the next election for the party his father led through 16 years and three majority governments.
The 35-year-old called his win at the nomination meeting a reminder that he’s more than just Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s son.
The outcome on the crowded floor of a college gymnasium came after a weeks-long fight in the gritty Papineau riding that Mr. Trudeau now hopes to represent in Parliament.
He received no endorsement from the party brass and defeated two challengers with deep roots in a lower-middle-class community that is an economic galaxy away from his own upbringing at 24 Sussex Drive.
“Listen, I’m carrying the Trudeau name, yes. I’m also carrying my own name,” he said after the results were announced.
“I think what was achieved here in this process was to demonstrate that I’m not just a last name. I’m someone who has a first name, who is able to reach out and represent people.”
He ducked behind the stage to take a congratulatory phone call from Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion once the results came in.
His win was a slim one — with 54 per cent of the vote and just 56 ballots more than he needed — but averted a second ballot amid rumours that his rivals might join in an anybody-but-Trudeau alliance.
The long-time municipal councillor and Italian-language newspaper editor he defeated both said they would support Mr. Trudeau’s bid to dislodge the Bloc Québécois incumbent in the next election.
To the left of the stage his younger brother Alexandre was locked in a celebratory bear hug with a family friend, after spending much of the day wandering through the gymnasium and cradling his four-month-old son. The boy’s name is Pierre Trudeau.
Alexandre joked that the late prime minister would have had a mixed reaction Sunday.
“He would have said, ‘I guess I can’t control my son,’ ” Alexandre said.
“My father would be worried about his son going into politics but he would have blessed him, of course. Politics has its ups and downs — it’s good and bad.
“But he would be proud, of course.”
Dressed in a smart white business suit, his mother Margaret energetically worked the bustling room and signed her name on campaign posters.
Mr. Dion said Mr. Trudeau would be an asset to the party and that he was pleased the candidate entered politics “by the front door in a very proud way.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trudeau’s opponents at the nomination meeting drew attention to their long-standing ties to the area in an unspoken reference to his newcomer status.
But the former drama teacher and current environmental geography student reminded the crowd during his opening speech Sunday of something they had in common: pride in his father’s legacy.
In the fall of 1965, he said, Pierre Trudeau ran in the neighbouring Mount Royal riding — part of which is now in Papineau.
He told the crowd that some of the people present Sunday helped nominate the man who eventually gave Canada one of the most evolved tools for human rights in the world, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“What you were part of 40 years ago changed Canada forever,” he said.
“We are all children of the charter. You can understand how fiercely proud I am to be able to say that your prime minister was also my dad.”
But he quickly pointed out that his political dreams are based on future ambitions — not nostalgia.
He said he wants to wrest the riding back from a Bloc Québécois that seeks to “divide and destroy Canada.”
And he also wants the Liberal party to defeat the Conservatives, who he described as plagiarists stealing policy from the U.S. right-wing and dividing Canadians over social-justice and environmental issues.
But his carefully choreographed speech hit a snag when he tried switching from the podium to a handheld microphone that would allow him to roam the stage.
“And just who am I? I am . . . .”
Then there was dead air as the microphone failed.
After an awkward pause, Mr. Trudeau recovered and went on: “I am Justin Trudeau. I am a man with a dream for our riding, our province, and our country.”
He first drew notice for his performance in John Cameron Mitchell’s movie Shortbus (I still have to watch it). In it, he played guitar and sang a cute song he wrote called Soda Shop. So sweetly sung by Jay, you may think it’s a simple 50′s throwback, when you hear talk of sock hops and shoo-be-doobie-doo-wops. But I can tell you it’s a little more complicated than that. In fact, it’s about someone who is drinking way too much!
It doesn’t take long for the song to make Jay an online star, the video of him performing it has been viewed nearly a million times. Does the fact that he’s shirtness, performing in his toilet have anything to do with it? Umm, surely it does, but I think the rest of his songs hold similar charms and revelations. You can hear more of him on YouTube and buy his four-song EP ‘Unmastered’ via Snocap HERE.
Courtesy of: Ministry of Pleasure
So much for down time. Tomorrow morning I start the next phase of my educational development as a member of the Department of Theology, with my Certificate in Pastoral Ministries at Concordia University.
Summer Session 1 begins tomorrow (30 April to the 13 June) …
I will be taking Comparative Culture in the Department of Anthropology and in the Department of Theology – Spirituality- Personal, Social and Religious.
It looks like the grades are in and we have:
In Modern Christian Thought I have a (C+)
In Christian Origins I have a (B)
My GPA to date is : 2.75
Not bad for an old fart!!
I have one last bill to pay tomorrow and then we wait for the word “Conferred” to appear on my transcript sometime during the month of May.
The day that Memere presented me to God in that church in my early childhood, little did I know how much that would make a difference in my life today. Hindsight is our best teacher. I have always been open to anything and everything. I have never put blinders on my brain or my senses. I guess you could say that I am multi-talented.
Early in my childhood I was predisposed to the paranormal. I would become the medium of my family and my parents thought that I was insane and stupid so I will relate to you some stories to illustrate.
I was in Junior High when my Uncle Paul died in Connecticut and a blue jay appeared at my cousin’s house where her father (my uncle) as I had always believed, he was my father’s cousin, but he was uncle John to the rest of us. Uncle John would be the go between for my father and his parents final resting places. anyways, I digress…
The bird… yes, blue jays are not known for interpersonal skills, yet this bird was different. He followed my uncle around the house (outside) he pecked at the windows for months, and answered to the name Paul when shooed away or invoked after his death. This went on for months until my grandfather died in Florida.
Al was a bitter, sick, demented and sad man – my father’s father died unceremoniously and we did not mourn him for the abuse he heaped upon all of us in this family. But he came back to me. I had a bedroom in the back of the house against my favorite climbing trees and a view of the backyard and patio. After grampy died the bird appeared at my window one day and he pecked and he pecked.
He followed me to the bus stop and back home, he knew when I was home and when we all were in which room. The red headed woodpecker answered to the name of Al when we got tired of his pecking we could open the window and say “get lost Al!” and he would come whenever I called him. This went on for about six months. At one point the bird disappeared…
My uncle shared with us his adventures on his end. 1500 miles away. And then one day he called and said a second bird appeared on the back porch – it was a red headed wood pecker with the blue jay. They visited for a while and then they both disappeared. They were never seen again.
When my paternal grandmother died, it crushed my father emotionally, not to mention me as well. She was a great woman, who loved me and protected me from my abusive father over the years. When she died, I was living out of the house at that point. I came home for the funeral and had to take care of the final send off to the crematorium for my father because he couldn’t handle it.
That afternoon I had brought flowers from her funeral home with me – and that is when she appeared to me. She still appears to me today, many years later. Jeannie stands at the foot of my bed, she never says anything, but she brings with her a scent that only she could bring – and I know the scent. She scared the shit out of me the first night she came to stand vigil at my bedside. She has followed me all over the world as I have moved.
After I was diagnosed HIV positive in 1994, I started seeing a “reader” who taught me the art of divination and card reading, because you know, I am gonna die, I wanna know what’s on the other side, right? I had a small apartment in Ft. Lauderdale that was given to me by some friends when my family decided that I was “untouchable.” My bedroom had a wall unit A/C and I would sleep with my door closed each night. I did not make the connection here until certain things happened. The pictures on the wall would be crooked in the morning. Magazines on the coffee table would be tossed about my apartment, which wasn’t very big at all. I had no pets and I lived alone.
Miguel came over one afternoon and drew a circle and confronted the spirit in the room. Jeannie had not appeared as she had in the past. He told me that a red headed woman was in the apartment and that she did not know how to get through the bedroom door. That I should sleep with the door open from now on, which I did. He described Jeannie to a “t” and so I knew she was still watching me.
Many years later – and I had lived, my maternal grandmother, the lifeblood of all that I am and the maker of faith for me as a man, died. She was in Connecticut and I was in Florida. I had pulled all of the cash I had to buy a plane ticket for the funeral and my mother informed me that I was not to attend the funeral for God Forbid her family find out that I had AIDS. You can imagine my horror and revulsion at her insistance that I comply with her wishes. I had…
Soon after the funeral had passed, I started to commune with Camille in my sleep. She would talk to me and I wrote letters to my mother in her pen and in her handwriting, I am sure my mother kept all these letters, but she never admitted to anyone what they were or who they came from.
She once told me that she had saved my rant letters in a safety deposit box to prove that I was insane. I was an unlucky bastard to my family and nothing I did or said to them ever changed the way they saw me. Camille and I still commune to this very day.
My parents – once said that if I had died that I would have no funeral and be buried somewhere off on my own, which led me to do something seriously drastic to keep them from ever having any control, or ability to touch me in life or in death…
Jeremiah came to be…
The prophet is never welcome in his own town or listened to, but Jeremiah Preached his sermon to deaf ears. Years would pass and insanity would rule and the family resentment would carry out to this very day.
Camille once gave me a scapular that I carried in my wallet for decades until I moved to Montreal in 2002, and realized what that key to faith that would play into my life, with the finding of Sister Georgette soon after and the stories she would tell me about my past and of Camille’s life and the room she stayed in AT the Mother House when she lived here in Montreal.
It so happened that one day I was at the Mother House standing in Camille’s cell and she appeared to me and I told sister Georgette that she was in visitation, Sister G never denied that that was possible. Over the last five years Camille has visited us at the Mother House and here at home. She brings with her a scent as well. That I would recognize.
Jeannie still comes in visitation to the house here and she stands at the foot of my bed and watches over us now. Hubby knows of this and he welcomed her into his home when we started living together, because she used to freak him out in the beginning.
So this little innocent Catholic boy practices the Wiccan circle and read his cards for certain people and never for personal gain. My bedroom is a shrine – the bookcase holds all the sacred objects given to me by sister G, and it holds the gifts given to me by the nuns upon her death in August.
I believe that there is an ever after, because when I went across on my NDE the last time I was in the hospital in 1997, I was told so. My family that surrounded me and protected me from my parents and their abuse, surround me today and have been here, because unlike some of you, I have no blood kin that will participate in my life today. Blood is not thicker than water in my family and resentments and anger rules the hearts of the adults in my family.
I study religion and the ever after because when I die, all those folks whom I honor in my life today will be there to welcome me into the kingdom when my card comes up. I am not the same man I was a mere 10 years ago. I am much older and wiser and I grew up and I forgave and I moved on.
I pray that sad prayer every day, God if it is in your power to grant me one miracle – this is the one that I would wish for. God has yet to respond. Sobriety has taught me a lot about prayer and expectations from God. Eesh, I know that all too well…
On the eve of my first wedding anniversary in 2005, my mother came to me here in Montreal. She appeared in my bedroom on the 19th of November. We were married on the 20th, her birthday. She told me that she came to say goodbye and that she was going to die. Then she departed and I never saw her again.
I have only a memory of my mother from that day in 2001. I have no pictures nor has she attempted to maintain contact with me since I moved here, because she is fiercely loyal to my abusive father. I never called to confirm her death, because I have said that if she had died and my father kept it from me, I would no doubt go insane and drink!
Last year, on the eve of my second wedding anniversary she appeared again to me in my bedroom, but she did not speak. I have practiced the art of scrying her in my sleep and that has failed to give me results. I have begged her to join me in dream space because that is where we could find each other – alas, I never dream about my mother or see her like I see others, for some reason. I don’t have that answer.
All I know is that when I had my near death experience and met that man afterwards who spoke to me because I was incensed that I asked all my questions on the other side and came back with no answers, this man looked at me and said…
“Why wait till you are dead to ask your questions, at that point it is too late to do anything about them, ask them now while you are alive and be ready for answers.”
Ghosts, a good thing or a bad thing, for me its a good thing. I am somewhat empathic to a degree which is a gift and a curse, however you look at it, on any given full moon cycle, which I think we are in at the moment. We are at 62% of full tonight, which is why I am feeling the way I do, I am speeding and writing like a mad man about the paranormal!!
I believe – you don’t have to believe one word that I wrote here, but that’s my story and I am sticking to it…
I tell the story of David, my best friend. He died in the Spring of 1987. I had spoken to him prior to his death and I knew he loved me. On the night of his wake, at the funeral home, the priest had a seizure and I had to finish the prayer service for the attendees. Upon my arrival back at the seminary, it was stormy outside. I was bereft in my sadness and grief. It was really not pretty. I was kneeling in the front (right) pew in front of the altar. It was late, and dark outside.
I heard one of the confessional doors open and close in the right of the transept. I heard footsteps come around the altar stones, the floor is stone and marble. The foot steps stopped in the center of the main aisle in front of the altar. The Altar Candle exploded and lit up the mural you see behind it, it was a most glorious vision. David was standing there before me, and told me not to weep, that he was ok, and that he would watch over me. To this day, I have his Glorious Mary Medallion which I never leave the house without. It hangs on a chain I wear with my other medallions.
Every time I look at this picture, I am reminded of this story…
So in his memory, I share it with you…
I love you David…
The Quebec Pavilion
The United States Pavilion – now the Biodome
The French Pavilion – now the Casino du Montreal.
I had not been born yet, but the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Expo 67 started this afternoon. If you come to Montreal, you can visit the islands where Expo took place. The Biodome on Iles Sainte-Helene and Iles Notre Dame now house beaches, a race track, casino and other public events arenas. Very beautiful parks in the Spring and Summer months to go out and enjoy.
The Bar Exam!!!
Go Congratulate Him
Cue the music, fog the room… Time to write
M People, One night in heaven…
I’ve been stuck in this period of my head for the last few days. But what a great place to be stuck for a time. Memories are good, especially when they explain what gay was like in the early 90′s and how it deeply impacted me. Here is another memory from that time.
We are headed somewhere, so stick with me…
All will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Shift change has started and I am off the happy hour shift that I used to work. Off to the kitchen to change for the night shift that is going to start soon. Farkle is in the booth and he fires up the first song of the night.
Jeans, t-shirt and chaps. The hot little stud is going to tempt the Temple of Earthly Desires once again tonight. A little tug here, and a zip there, I am ready for action. In the grand scheme of things I am a jack of all trades. Larry is in charge of liquor distribution, Kevin is in charge of incidentals, beer, ice, stock and supply. I am following up my fellows with the same.
But I have other responsibilities.
Open up your heart…
Aside from bar responsibilities, I am in charge of taking care of special guests and entertainers. I check them in at the door and escort them through the maze into the back stage area where all the real action is to take place. Nobody has access to the backstage area except employees and management. I am to make sure that they all have what they need, and that means, everything.
We are hosting the Leather man contests that are very common in the Leather community at that time. The schism of the Ft. Lauderdale leather men has not yet taken place, between the Old Guard and the New Guard. I am of the Old Guard group. I was born into this life by my Master Todd on that fateful night some time ago at the old location.
M People, ‘Don’t look any further…’
Someone to count on in a world ever changin’.
Here I am, stop where you standin’.
What you need is a lover, someone to take over.
Oh baby don’t look any further.
Strange when you think of the chances
that we’ve both been in a state of mind.
Too cool to be careless. Looking for the right thing.
Oh baby don’t look any further.
Tonight (tonight) we’re gonna taste a little paradise.
Rockin’ all night long. Rockin’ all night long.
Daylight (daylight) I’ll still be looking in your heavenly eyes.
Oh we rocked on and on and on.
I am in the position of leadership. Part of my education in those early days is obedience and respect. The hierarchy is set in stone and I know my place, I report to the Master, the guests report to me. I am in charge of taking care of their supplies and to make sure that they are treated with respect and the position that they hold in the greater community. This job, I take very seriously, because what the guests tell my boss later will reflect on my future as a man to be trusted and it will also either permit me further access or punishment. To be removed from community or silence is the greatest punishment in my world at that time. I learn that lesson the hard way at one point in the story…
Kevin has just walked in the door. He is young. He is a Leather man of the highest degree. I spent a night with him at the Caribbean Resort a few nights ago. I was caught in a moment of rapture. He is the finest specimen of a man I have ever seen and after the first introduction, I was taken. I was “Taken!” Sitting in the bar with him and his crowd was worshiping God. Kevin has my full attention and then some. There is nothing I would not do for him, and many things I would like to do for him.
He is competing tonight for the crowd, and I am going to make his competition the best of the night. In the grand scheme of things, he who is represented outstandingly is going to win this competition. But first they must prove themselves worthy of the award. A little conversation and a little performance that is going to knock to crowd off their high and mighty pedestals. This is where we separate the real men from the boys. That he is younger than most he is automatically at odds with them.
After all of my settling in work is done and everybody is checked in and I’ve seen to their comfort, I am off to take care of the rest of the bar. Everyone of our guests has a handler, and I am only to take care of Kevin. The lights are swinging at a fast pace, the music is pounding and I am dressed to the nines’ so to speak. I have rounded up all of the young leather men and we have discussed strategy for the night. As representatives for the young leather community, it is our job to look out for the interest of our club and the community at large.
As part of our education as a group, the bar has had weekly meetings of the Young Leather men. There are about 30 members and several Leather MEN to guide us and teach us about protocol, respect and personal safety. We have attended lectures and demonstrations and spent hours discussing situations and life experiences. When the bar is called on to host events, we are the first line of representation and service. I am the closest one to the center of the universe, by my position “to” my Master.
I am in charge of cleaning up the club all night. I am the one who is going to take up bottles and glasses and garbage on the main floor. It is my job to always keep the bar in a condition worthy of proper presentation. In addition to picking up refuse, I am the one who is going to keep the bathrooms up and running. Nasty pig men can be nothing but a head ache because while they are adults, they do not know how to clean up after themselves. They stop up toilets with glasses and mounds of toilet paper and this must be kept an eye on. Running toilets are detrimental to a proper nights business. This is one of the serious lessons that I must learn about because if I cannot clean up shit and dirty toilets, then I won’t be able to do it for myself.
I though about this last night after I wrote my last entry. I was dating a particular man at one time in this life. He was arrogant and yet I liked him. He did things for me that no one else had done. He made me feel things that I had never felt. He had room mates that were sick and could not go out in public without a diaper, because they were struck so hard by illness. It was very sad. They did not make it. but I digress…
The nights fly by one after the other and the job is the same. I am visible to everyone in the bar, because I have planned it that way. Part of my mystique is to get the right men to notice me. I have amassed quite a collection of gear to wear. I have collected it and some of it is custom made. This was the age of “High Leather” and I was at the center of the universe. I would troll the crowd as they came in looking at all the signs that were being flown. The hankies in the right or left pocket, what color they were, and what arm the armbands were being worn on. After a good hour of trolling I could go to my locker and replicate whatever “response” I was going to give back. It always worked. I could play the game just as well as the heaviest hitters.
Nothing pleased me more than to walk out of the kitchen in my chaps and usually by the late hours of the night, I wasn’t wearing a shirt. I could do that then and get away with it. I would be carrying a bucket of ice (they were small garbage cans) full of ice, over to a particular bar, where the heavy hitters would be gathered. I would bounce behind the bar, dancing to the music that was being played and I would fool around with a bar tender, we were all family.
What the ‘lookers’ were very cognizant of was that I knew that many of them were flying red or red brick HANKIES in their left pockets. I had responded with the same hankie in my right pocket. And we would stand there and I would watch them look at me and then they would make a fist and hold it up in front of their faces, pondering the thought, look at me, well, at my backside, and then back at their hands and then they would shake their heads, in disbelief. That was the most excellent feeling…
To know that they noticed me. I played the game and I usually won…
The music would change as mixes were played…
One night in heaven.
I’m on the dance floor, Farkle is in the booth, he is dancing as I look over to the booth from where I stand and I can see him pointing towards the speakers above the booth. He is in a good space tonight. He is playing “up” music and everybody has escaped into that place of utter bliss. It is all well tonight. We have done our jobs. The bodies are gyrating to the same beat, bodies move in unison. Sweat is falling down all around me, I feel arms around me. Hugs and pushes, tugs and tweaks. I set down my bag for a moment on the bass speakers lining the wall and I am engulfed in the arms of some of my friends, and we dance for all it is worth. I am watching the lights swing from one side to the other, and I am in heaven.
The nights would pass by, and this same story repeated itself, for many months. The music, the dress or states of undress, the games and much more important, the fact that we more alive during this period of time, than we would ever be again. We laughed and we cried, we partied and we recovered. We we loved and we were cared for by our champions, My Master Todd, gave me a life I would never have had if I was a stranger in this world. It was as close to Babylon, as we would ever get, no matter where I worked, lived and partied, this ‘place’ would never be seen again, in any incarnation or my greatest wish for it to be.
I became a light man years later and I moved from the main floor to the booth, which was a great time in my life. To be able to get a crowd on the floor to scream and shout because of ones ability to ‘play lights’ to great music was the greatest feeling. But that is another story for another night… maybe later…
From my days at the Stud (The Temple of Sin), I wrote this reflection many years later, at the end of the QAF series as it happened here in Montreal. (Mark) I refer to in this later piece is the same (Farkle) who DJ’d at the Stud during these years I have previously wrote about in the Temple of Sin.
The end of an era has come; the boys and girls of QAF have taken their final bow here in Canada. Tears rolling down my face, she sang, “What have you done today to make you feel proud!” Five seasons and two countries and a lifetime of memories set to the music of the thumpa, thumpa, thumpa.
I was on my slip during this time of my life from Summer 2000- until December 9th 2001 when I got sober this second time. This shows you how insane my life got when I started drinking and doing drugs after four years of sobriety. It was amazing, it was painful and it was another chapter that I lived through.
In my earlier life, QAF would play on Saturday nights before the bars would open for business. I would always watch and I would dream, then I would shower and shave my body bare and dress in the skimpiest shirt and tightest jeans I owned and hail the cab that would spirit me away to “Salvation!” This club was in a HUGE warehouse on the west side of Miami Beach, it was a $5.00 taxi ride from home.
I would work all week, to save enough cash to get as drunk and as high as I wanted every week without fail. This was prior to my second coming! The early boys would gather in the retaining area for free drinks before midnight and we would take the time to do our selected drugs in the hopes that they would kick in by the tolling of the midnight bell as the doors would swing open and the darkness and thump of the music would beckon.
Slowly we would file into the main dance hall and stake our claim to our section of the dance floor as the lights and lasers would begin to spin. The drama began with the opening welcome number performed by the greatest entertainers that Gay Miami Beach could offer. We would sing and dance and cheer on the show and salute the dj from the floor. As the show ended the lights would bow out and once again darkness would envelope the crowd.
The only reason one left the dance floor was to further the high or the buzz. It was just an hour till the real show began, the 1 a.m. tolling of the bell, and as it rang everyone would be pleasantly tipsy and totally spinning in the clouds as one by one we would remove our shirts and the bare cheated SOBE men would appear from under their safe and sane muscle shirts, I was one of them. I was a lot thinner and much younger looking and I thought, well, I prayed that One Day I would become one of those “Babylon boys!”
Each weekend it was the same ritual, an episode of QAF, the proper grooming and dressing with the hopes that each successive Saturday might bring me closer to the nirvana I sought. But, I would always end up dancing alone in the same spot week after week. My friend Mark would find himself too pumped up on special K to remove himself from the stairs that took one to the second dance area upstairs.
On Sunday we would talk about just how terribly high we got the night prior and we would pledge not to do that again, because Sunday’s were a bitch. I would end my Saturday night around 6 am on Sunday Morning, by pouring my inebriated and tweaked out self into a taxi, and I would come home and crawl into my apartment and I would always do the same thing, I would shower, make some food and put on The Cider House Rules to which I would pass out for the few hours that stood between me and work where I had to be at 11 a.m. each Sunday morning.
For some reason, each weekend, I was fixated on one thing and that was to retain my SOBE party boy, Babylon seeking youth. I wanted that life, it was all about looking good and being seen in a sea of men who were no less than perfect in every way, shape and form, except for one thing, the entire weeks efforts were spent working out, tanning on the beach and buying the most fabulous clothes to dress to impress the goggling men who would come to Salvation to find their Salvation.
At one point in my SOBE experience I worked for a friend in his tanning salon, just across the street from where Salvation stood. And you’d never guess this, but a tanning salon on South Beach did incredible business on Saturday afternoons and evenings.
I wanted; well I coveted many things in my younger incarnation. The hot “to die for” body, I wanted the affection of those men I so followed each weekend. Fuck my HIV and the whole being responsible bit, I didn’t care if it meant for a few hours on a weekend that I could be just “one of the Babylon Boys.”
The music was thumping, and for a few hours I could “escape” and that is what it really was, an escape from reality. Sad though, how reality always wins when it comes to fantasy. The fantasy “escape” ended for me on the night that I prayed for the eternally nasty Hangover. God did not disappoint me on that prayer. He made sure he made his point perfectly clear. “THE PARTY IS OVER!!”
I got sober shortly after that response from God.
After I left Miami for the bright lights and big city for Montreal I was sober. And it’s funny that Salvation closed its doors, and here I thought that they closed because I was no longer a paying, drinking customer! HA, HA, HA, HA, the bar closed when the drunk left the establishment.
It’s all about me right? Wrong! Funny huh, I went from the life of Brian Kinney, the bar hopping wonder single boy who lived for Babylon, in Miami, I MOVED to CANADA and met a man whom I eventually MARRIED and became Brian Novotny, but I never forgot who I was, or left that person and memories behind.
There are really bad and nasty memories in my past, but there are also some
Wonderfully special great memories as well, As Melanie and Lindsay reminded us that it good to have bad memories because they keep us grateful for the good ones. Miami was NOT a bad place, I mean I grew up there, emotionally and sexually, and I would not have changed anything at all, save for one thing, I would want all my friends who have died since then to be here again, for one last night at Babylon.
So we say so long to the crew from Liberty Avenue and we say Thank You for what you did for the gay community in the United States and in Canada as well. I thank you for reminding me that as Michael said “Maybe some things are meant to stay the same!” but as Brian has said, “life changes we grow up and get older” but still at age 38 I refuse to grow up and let go of the young man who used to dance until the sun came up, and the boy who STILL appreciates good dance hall music, and the boy who still needs to be seen and loved for all his flawed humanity.
There will never be another series like Queer as Folk, and I for one will miss your visits on Monday nights, but I am forever grateful, that for a little while I was able to dance and party as if I were in “Babylon” itself. Brian said it so eloquently “No apologies and No regrets!”
Good bye boys and girls…….
I am sad that it’s over but as they say
All Good Things Must come to an End!!!
By NORMA LOVE, Associated Press Writer
CONCORD, N.H. – The Rev. V. Gene Robinson became the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop. Now, he and his partner want to be among the first gay couples in New Hampshire to officially unite under a soon-to-be-signed civil unions law.
New Hampshire is set to become the nation’s fourth state to offer civil unions for gay couples after legislation approved by the state Senate on Thursday was sent to Gov. John Lynch, who has said he would sign it.
“I think this moves us one step closer to the American promise to all its citizens of equality under the law,” Robinson told The Associated Press. “My partner and I look forward to taking full advantage of the new law.”
Robinson, 59, was elected as Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire four years ago, a move that made him a household name but also divided the Anglican community. Earlier this year, Anglican leaders demanded the U.S. denomination step back from its support of gays or risk losing its full membership in the world Anglican fellowship.
Robinson said his long journey began as a boy in Kentucky when he found he was not attracted to women. As an adult, he spent two years in therapy seeking a “cure” for his homosexual urges.
He told his girlfriend, Isabella, about his struggles, but they married anyway in 1972, moved to rural New Hampshire and had two daughters. Robinson eventually realized he would not change and the two divorced.
“The hardest thing is coming out to yourself. You’ve internalized the same homophobia as the rest of the culture,” he said in an interview four years ago.
Soon after the divorce, Robinson met Mark Andrew, who was working for the Peace Corps in Washington. A year and a half later, the two settled in Weare, where Andrew began accompanying Robinson to his daughters’ after-school activities.
The two have been together for 18 years now, and Robinson has said they would marry if they could. Andrew, 53, is a state health care administrator.
To many, Robinson has become a symbol of progress. He was welcomed two years ago at New York’s gay pride parade by marchers and spectators who reached out to touch his hand, cheered, cried and thanked him.
Robinson praised New Hampshire’s move toward civil unions but said more needs to be done. In particular, he said gay couples should have full civil legal rights under federal law.
“I don’t think it will happen until we get several more states,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be a majority, but it has to be a significant number embracing full marriage rights until we can expect that at the federal level.”
So far, three states offer civil unions: New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont. Massachusetts in 2004 became the only state to allow gay marriage. Washington, Maine, California, New York City and Washington D.C., recognize domestic partnerships, and New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer this week pledged to introduce gay marriage legislation.
Robinson predicted gays would have full equality in 20 years, and he attributed the gains to gays being open about their homosexuality.
“Fifteen to 20 years ago, most Americans would have told you and been reasonably honest that they did not know a gay or lesbian. Now, there’s not a family left, or a co-worker, that doesn’t know someone,” he said.
Cue the music – start the fog machine – blue light GOBO slow pans across the floor through dimly lit space, and the first beat comes…
I am alone, it is early, the bar is not yet open, but I am there alone. Just me, the music and the spirit of God. Well, what little spirit of God there was at that time of my life. It is mid-summer in Ft. Lauderdale. I have just told Todd that I was going to die…
Over the next few weeks, the teaching would begin. The team rose to the call, one of the boys was sick and was left on the side of the road with nothing but what little dignity was left in his soul. All I needed would be provided come hell or high water. Wild Horses would never stop the charge for life. We were all sick, we were all dying. Save for two people in the entire organization. My champions would save me, if I wanted it or not. Death was not an option and I would either get it or I would die…
So it began…
At that time, the temple of sin was alive and things happened so quickly that if you blinked you would miss it. The temple was filled with every earthly delight, Bosch would have been pleased with our Garden of Earthly desires, carnal, profane and truly sinful. I loved every minute of it.
The rule was set…
You have a life, outside the temple. When you come to work, you leave your baggage at the door, do not bring it in here. No exceptions. Come to work, and you will serve me your Master and do whatever you are told without question without complaint, is that clear!
I took that time of my life as sacred and profane, but that is another story. You can read about the Sacred and the Profane over there in Pages… This is another thread to a long running story of how this boy was made a man, a saved man, a profane man, and in the same vein Sacred. You never know where your lessons are going to come from, and you are grateful for the wisdom and time people took out of their lives to care for you and teach you lessons that nobody else was going to teach you. So pay attention Little One.
This is your life we are talking about…
The gobos are tracking across the floor slowly through smoke and mirrors as the music plays just for you. I learned very early on, in that space that music would identify particular moods, paint particular pictures. Farkle and I had a ritual. He IS the only one left from the fray of men who lived and died from the temple of sin. We began each shift in our own way, begging god another night, another day, another minute. I was surrounded with warriors fighting their own significant battles with AIDS. I was not hit by the KS demon. I was not plagued by things I saw and witnessed, thank the creator. It was ugly. It was brutal and it was most importantly the fight of the century for all of us. Many men went to their deaths in our arms. We bathed them, clothed them and in the end we buried them.
When I got sober there was a man with AIDS named Larry, he was a drunk like me. But he was unique. He sat with a bottle on the table and a loaded revolver to shoot himself. He carried that gun with him and showed it to every one of us, and he told us relentlessly that he was going to kill himself. He got sober with the rest of us. Over the years following his spiritual awakening, he did something that no one else thought to do.
People with AIDS were being left in the streets. Mortuaries would not process sick people, they would not touch a body that had been infected with AIDS. Families would not bury their children. We did that. Larry opened his services to the community and he became another champion of the cause. I knew him. He eventually got rid of the gun, so I heard.
For a few minutes during transition, I would warm up the smoker, fire up the turntable and start the computer so that I could worship my God to the music of my soul. I did that every night. I worshiped whatever was going to save me.
I was servant to the men. I was servant to my Master. I was a slave for God, be he dressed or undressed. You never saw God until you witnessed true beauty of the soul in all its carnality. There is something sacredly profane about this part of my life. What went on inside the temple stayed in the temple. Many months would pass and I battled my demons of alcoholism before I finally fell into the pit of death, and there happen to be somebody watching from the sidelines.
Danny saved me that night. He was the man who cradled me in his arms, oxygen mask on my face and had called the paramedics to try and revive me. Danny took me home that night, and did not leave my apartment for a week. He fed me, bathed me and cared for me, under that watchful eye of my Master Todd. When the word was spoken, action was taken, and hell hath no fury if you did not jump when told to. Todd was very protective over his boys and men. Especially me…
We were reminded that Todd had lost love to AIDS. Bob was buried across the street in the cemetery that faced our building. It was hard – it was painful, and it was sacred. Kevin and Larry did things for me that no man ever did for me in the real world. We were the three musketeers. We were the team to beat in bar management and service. We ran a tight ship and we were accountable, respectable and reliable. We proved a mighty force against the odds we all faced.
Let’s get it on…
Shift was begun at eight. The wells were filled the beer was stocked and the ice bins were full. Put your money in the drawer and let’s get the music thumping. Like clockwork at the strike of eight bells the first note hit the turntables. They were lined up around the building. Cars were parked all over the place. The temple worship had begun. Heaven was found amid the souls of suffering men who knew they were all marked for death, but for tonight, whatever you desired was fulfilled. You could drown away your sorrow and dip into the well of living water if you wished as well. You have never lived until you party like your dying with crowds of undulating flesh as far as they eye can see. The ghosts of those men now inhabit the fantasies and dreams I have still to this day.
One by one, two by two, they died in our arms. We held them until they took their last breaths. Memorialized in the careful and blood soaked threads of quilts, as the years went by, they started collecting by the dozen, then by the hundreds. If you’ve ever seen the entire quilt unfurled, all the men who were part of my life in those first years of my epidemic life, they are all together in death, as they were in life. Memorialized until the end of time. And we remember each of their names.
So many young boys torn from life before they knew what hit them. Men who infected them had died as well. Many of my friends were taken on trips that were detrimental to them, and just robbed them of life that was still left to live.
Todd saw to it that I would never go there…
You come to work, dress as you will, you obey me and do not waver from my eye, for I know your carnal desires and you are too young to tempt the devil with his dance. Because I surely did not know what could befall me if the right charmer enticed me into his web of desire, and they all knew I was fair bait. But in order to dine from my buffet, you needed explicit permission of my Master, who never allowed any man to defile me like many had been. I was off limits. I never crossed the line provided because that meant disrespect and I could never bear to break my Master’s heart with disobedience.
I loved Him, and He loved me – I had many problems. I was depressed and angry and resentful. I had the scars of traumatic visions of my dead lovers corpse in my head, and the words of his mother still ring in my ear today “I hope that every night until you die, that you see the corpse of my dead son in your field of vision.” That curse still lives with me and will go with me to the grave. Five day old corpses are not pretty. I had to identify the remains when all was said and done. Save that he was wearing jewelry that I could identify and part of him was still recognizable – God forgive me…
I remember that day, it was early afternoon the morgue called me from work to come and do the deed. I drove in and looked upon him in that room, I wept tears that burned into my soul forever. I just could not imagine – the pain was so hard to bear. I drove over to the bar. Bill was working behind the bar. I drank until I could not stand up on my own. I drank for a week, straight…
Todd and Bill needed to find me a solution and quick, because I was on the outs.
I started suicide therapy in a group setting that lasted 32 weeks. Nothing like rehashing death week after week, until the pain was purged from your soul, but is it ever? Months went by until I got my news.
But they cared for me in all my brokenness. A young angel would earn his wings back. Come hell or high water. In the end, when all was said and done, at the end of the day I survived, but so many did not. And each night I offer them prayers in hope that when I meet my death that all of them will be waiting for me in the Temple Of Earthly Desire in the promised land of the Kingdom of God, where the sacred and profane are mingled with the blood of the Almighty and the blood of my friends who have gone before me, on that day we will be cleansed of our sins.
And forgiven by God…
Goodnight angels of men
In a church,by the face,
He talks about the people going under.
Only child know…
A man decides after seventy years,
That what he goes there for, is to unlock the door.
While those around him criticize and sleep…
And through a fractal on a breaking wall,
I see you my friend, and touch your face again.
Miracles will happen as we trip.
But we’re never gonna survive, unless…
We get a little crazy
No we’re never gonna survive, unless…
We are a little…
…Crazy yellow people walking through my head.
One of them’s got a gun, to shoot the other one.
And yet together they were friends at school
Ohh, get it, get it, get it, get it no no!
If all were there when we first took the pill,
Then maybe, then maybe, then maybe, then maybe…
Miracles will happen as we speak.
But we’re never gonna survive unless…
We get a little crazy.
No we’re never gonna survive unless…
We are a little…
No no, never survive, unless we get a little… bit…
Oh, a little bit…
Oh, a little bit…
Amanda decides to go along after seventeen years…
In a sky full of people, only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
In a world full of people, only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
In a heaven of people there’s only some want to fly,
Ain’t that crazy?
Oh babe… Oh darlin…
In a world full of people there’s only some want to fly,
Isn’t that crazy?
Isn’t that crazy… Isn’t that crazy… Isn’t that crazy…
But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.. crazy..
No we’re never gonna to survive unless we are a little… crazy..
But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.. crazy..
No we’re never gonna to survive unless, we are a little.. crazy..
No no, never survive unless, we get a little bit…
And then you see things
Of which you’ve never known before
They’ll break it
Only child know….
Of which you’ve never known before
Wow, Landlords are going to begin amending their leases. Is this legal and can they do that? This does not bode well for tenants. We hope that the Rental Board thinks very hard on this issue, because if this decision is made it will change the ability of people to rent new lodgings, with Move day approaching in July we must stay on top of this story. There is a limit to banning smoking from tenants. This might be all in well for business establishments, but to extend the same ban to landlords pushes the boundaries of the Charter… In my opinion…
This could back fire on Landlords if they are not careful…
The Quebec rental board has been asked to rule whether a landlord can force a tenant to not smoke in a rented apartment.
Olesia Koretski and Matthew Newland went to the board this spring to enforce a no-smoking rule in their building.
The couple rent an apartment to Sandra Fowler, who is a smoker but moved into the duplex last summer after filling out a form that stated the building was non-smoking.
The landlords said Fowler’s habit is affecting their home, which they say fills with the smell of smoke and exacerbates Koretski’s asthma. Koretski is 33 weeks pregnant and concerned about second-hand smoke.
Fowler is fighting the case, arguing there is no clause in her lease that forbids her from smoking. “If it was that important to them, they would have included it in the lease,” she told CBC News. “If it’s important to your life and well-being, you make sure it’s there. It wasn’t there.”
Fowler said she would have never signed the lease if there had been a no-smoking clause. The rental board is expected to rule in May.
I can’t begin to tell you the gratitude I feel at this very moment. Be careful what you ask from God, because if He thinks you are ready, it shall happen, and sometimes much quicker than expected. You never know when you are entertaining an angel…
Left: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
Right: The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
Left: He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the
arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.
Right: The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.
Left: He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his
mercy, according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Right: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and
to the Holy Spirit …
All: As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.
V. Panem de coelo praestitisti eis.
R. Omne delectamentum in se habentem.
Oremus: Deus, qui nobis sub sacramento mirabili, passionis tuae memoriamreliquisti: tribue, quaesumus, ita nos corporis et sanguinis tui sacramysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus.Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum.
Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail,
Lo! oe’r ancient forms departing
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.
To the everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns on high
With the Holy Spirit proceeding
Forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honor blessing,
Might and endless majesty.
R. Thou hast given them bread from heaven.
V. Having within it all sweetness.
Let us pray: O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament left us a memorial of Thy Passion: grant, we implore Thee, that we may so venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, as always to be conscious of the fruit of Thy Redemption. Thou who livest and reignest forever and ever.
What a wonderful day it has been.
“Your church is bigger than a building, for it reaches world wide!”
Topic courtesy of Scog Blog.
Where do I start to talk about this subject. It is entirely too painful to imagine, because at the end of this story, even you will want to know the truth, yet like me, you probably don’t want to go there, as I don’t today either.
First we need some music to distract me while I write. Ok, ready, set, GO!!
My mother is Canadian, my father is American. A war veteran of the viet nam war, a father of two and a raging alcoholic with issues that never saw the light of day. He imported a wife gave her an ultimatum and got her pregnant. Little lies come back to haunt you later in life, so be careful the lies you tell your children, because eventually those little lies become BIG lies that may fracture your family beyond the hopes of any repair or reconciliation.
For twenty five years my brother and I were under the impression that all was well under our roof and that everything was on the up and up. Until the anniversary that we bought an item and had it engraved only to find out that the dates were wrong! What did you say, the dates were wrong? My mother had been impregnated prior to the wedding and on that day she said those vows, I was inches away from the rings that passed from him to her. This revelation will come to bear much later in the time line.
So we can surmise that my grandmother on my maternal side probably swung her bag at my father’s head and barricaded him into a corner and made him marry her, now that she was carrying his baby, this was 1967, and premarital sex was a SIN, punishable by the Catholic Church in ways that today are still practiced, but probably not to the extent that they were in the 60′s.
Can you imagine a 4 foot two little Canadian powerhouse to be a force to reckon with. Legends speaks of Memere being a little powerhouse of strength in a little tiny body. My father abused this woman until the day she died. He called her a frog, and an old goat. He made her cry every time he spoke to her with his vile tongue. My father’s abuse of the women in his life was legendary. God forgive him…
My mother was boxed into a situation that there was no escape, no option and no complaint. The fact that she wasn’t naturalized until 1974, she was still a Canadian Citizen, a citizenship she gave up for my father – and the agreement was that she would have no contact with the Quebecers in the family from that point out. He was mistaken. Sadly mistaken. Who was going to babysit his kid while they both worked jobs around the clock? My grandmother’s and my aunt’s and uncles. (Who were Quebecers!)
My father was the lone white boy in a French Canadian family, since he was an only child he was the odd man out. They had the balance of power in this family dynamic. He was at a loss to do anything, so what did he do? He, on many occasions, tried to kill me. There are stories that I learned in this life where they stood against him so that he would not hurt me fatally. Stories from my aunts and my own memory of my grandmothers threatening him with jail and death if he hurt me or my mother. While I was in their care I was safe. But when I was home, my mother and I were fair game.
Being a third generation alcoholic (in recovery) I have dealt with the past for years now. When I came to Montreal, I spoke to all of the family that I could find to corroborate all the stories I had ‘heard’ and the things I witnessed myself. My paternal grandfather was a raging alcoholic. My father was one too. They BOTH beat their wives and children. And they enjoyed it.
My father’s favorite condemnation was that “I was a mistake and should never have been born.” He beat those words into me every chance that he got. I screwed up his plans. He was forced into marriage because he screwed around and he got caught. My father had a skeleton in his closet, that I am today convinced within a shadow of a doubt that I am right. I’m a gay man, I have spent my life studying “gay!”
Growing up was difficult. The saving grace was God and the faith of the women who stepped in to shape the boy I would become. There were few instances in my recollection that men played crucial roles in my life. They freaked me out. They made me uncomfortable. Something happened to me as a child – a sin that should never be uttered because the damnation from God would be exact and total.
There are crucial memories that I can think about where my father was chasing me through houses with a bat in his hand, and my grandmothers stood in door ways from allowing him to enter into room where I was hiding. My mother never said a word. She never did anything – in front of me. I don’t remember ever seeing her or hear her say to him, ‘please stop, don’t do that!’ She knew better than to say anything to him, because if she did he beat her harder. She would never leave him or ever address the situation with anyone, because back then, wives married for life, like animals once they bonded it was forever.
My mother lived with the fear that if she ever tried to leave that my father would kill her, and he used to say that to her countless times over my life, when things got bad. Men like my father were running ragged through the lives of many, and they blame this kind of behavior on ‘shell shock syndrome’ like the fucking war had anything to do with the choices they made after the war… Bull Fucking shit !!!
When I hit my teen age years, my father became somewhat an animal. His drinking was exacerbated by years of denial and anger. My mother’s family had systematically been surgically removed from us as a family. For the first part of our lives (my brother and I) we had summer vacations away from parents 1500 miles away to be exact.
When I turned 13 – illness hit the family like the plague. My grandmother fell first being hit by a stroke that turned a vibrant and most incredible Italian mother and grandmother into a atrophied mass of slurring misery. She was hit so hard that she never recovered. My father took me out of school and flew me 1500 miles to be at her bedside, hoping that the apple of her eye would rouse her from her silence. My mother stayed behind to care for my brother. That day is burned into my soul, a bad dream that I never woke up from.
Neither did she…
That morning I walked into that hospital room and there she was, lying in her own diaper, drool falling from her mouth, that was contorted and deformed, she was right side affected and her face had slid apart in opposing directions. The shock was so instantaneous that I passed out cold, hitting the floor like a rock. I woke up in the ER being looked at because my head hit the floor like a stone. I was ok, she would never be. For a week I sat by that bed begging her to wake up and talk to me, that never happened. I don’t think my father ever forgave me for failing him…
He never let me forget that…
They brought me home, failure that I was. My father’s drinking started severely and you know who he came after right? Me!!! Over the years I got away from him, saved by friends, and the church, and most importantly the Youth Group. My mother was a silent witness to all of this. She remained detached. I learned that I was my brother’s keeper, I was a maid, a yard boy and a bar tender… And my father’s whipping post.
My father’s father had a stroke a year to the day of my grandmother. My father was devastated. They both died years later, fractions of the people they were in life. My father was inconsolable, yet he continued to take out his shit on me and my brother and also our mother. Life was not kind to anyone…
I escaped into music. I escaped into reading, I escaped whenever I could with whatever I could get my hands on. Alcohol!!! My parents taught me that drinking was ok, it was part of life and better that I drink at home then anywhere else. Drinking was a food group in our house. Both my brother and I indulged in the ‘drink.’ Excessively…
Watching my parents get shit stinking drunk and do stupid things with guests and family was an event. It was ‘must see tv.’ I remember one night in particular that one pair of aunt and uncle were visiting from Canada, and they polished off lots of liquor and wine and set off for one of those ‘big box’ stores that we had close by. They were all shit stinking drunk, my aunt mistakenly shop lifted a kitchen spoon from the store and when we got home my mother was on the kitchen floor trying to stretch a sandwich sized zip lock bag to fit the garbage can in the kitchen. That memory is burned into my soul too…
My family was a mess of alcoholics… I did not escape…
My father beat my mother, he beat my brother, and first and foremost, he beat me senseless. He had a dedicated room in the house where the ‘beatings’ took place and God forbid my mother intercede. I went to task to save them both from him. In order to keep him away from them, he needed a reason, and I gave him several. He would start an argument, and I would egg him into a room where he was not with them. It got so bad that I put a lock on my bedroom door, to keep him out, and he took the door off the hinges.
My father wanted 24 hour access to every room in the house, nobody was safe and nobody had the right to their own space. And for that infraction, I was punished relentlessly. My mother did nothing to stop it. When I turned 18 – I became a man. And at that point I was on my own. When I graduated high school, my father was finished.
He had driven a wedge so deep between my mother and I that it was never reconciled. I moved away and started my life, alone and clueless. What did I know about the world? Nothing. I had also had sexuality issues which I never spoke about because I knew where my parents sat on that issue. My mother knew. She knew damn well what was going on and what time it was. And she did nothing. My mother worked in home health care, taking meds home to sick people at home. On countless occasions she came home from a hard days work, with her boss and along with my father used to sit and get sloshed on beer and talk about those faggots who were sick and were pathetic and should die quickly because my mother hated serving the sick…
This little truth deeply affected me later in the time line…
I hit several bad patches in my young life and had to rely on the charity of my parents and that was a bitter pill to swallow. I made several crucial mistakes as a young man. Never default on car payments when your father is the loan holder, because if the car gets repossessed, as it happened to me, that pissed him off forever. Hey I was an alcoholic, what did I know about responsibility? As long as there was alcohol and boys in my life, who knew the wiser???
I never told my parents that I was gay. But I made a second crucially tragic decision. I went out one night and got sloshed and brought home a boy I was sleeping with, in my parent’s house… Never bring a boy home to your parents house. My father walked outside and with a grease gun wrote the word FAGGOT across the side and rear of my pristine white Mustang…
The relationship was severed at that point…
I moved out to live with a series of failed attempts at life. When I was 25 I moved to Ft. Lauderdale to find love, this ‘moving for love’ would be a recurring theme for a decade. I met the boy who would change my life for good. He was a swindler, a liar and a cheat. He was screwing his ex and me at the same time. He was a diabetic who was sick, so I handled his blood strips and his soiled items. He kept one truth from me until he killed himself.
He had AIDS, and didn’t tell me…
In July of 1994, I was diagnosed with AIDS and given 18 months to live… Cue up the statement by my mother up there in this post… I had to tell them. You want further family fracture, your gay son, now had aids and was going to die. I lost my then boyfriend, all the friends that I knew, the family was besides themselves when I finally told them. If it were not for my then BOSS who became father, mentor, caregiver and Master, I surely would have died. Todd is the angel who saved me from immanent death.
My parents always worried what others would think of them and that preoccupied them, what others thought was more important to them then doing the right thing. I called a family meeting, I asked for support and love and that was all. I got not one thing….
Only heart ache…
What will you tell your friends? NOTHING…
In 1997 I went home for Christmas for the last time. My mother had locked me in my room at night. She bade me eat off plastic plates and drink from plastic glasses. She placed bleach in all the bathrooms and forbid me from talking to anyone nor using the phone or the car. I was 27 years old…
My parents closest friends watched my parents humiliate me on Christmas night at dinner by forbidding me from eating at the table with everyone. They set up a card table in another room, with plastic utensils, and there they left me. The son of that couple, got up from the table and came and ate with me so that I would not eat alone on Christmas. The next day, I was taken out on their boat for a day with father and son alone, and I told them my truth. That same visit, I bought the son some gifts for his kindness to my mother over the years, because my father was working out of state screwing a woman in his office, behind my mother’s back. I called him on that later on… he never admitted it. But I am a witch and I knew … I wanted to take these gifts to him one afternoon and my mother had a fucking fit. She accused me of many things, that will remain unspoken.
After that I never went home again. My mother visited me once when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale and they spent a night at my place, however painful that was for them. That never happened again. My father and mother made several strategic decisions that cost them dearly over the years after that. I got sober in 1994 and stayed sober for four years.
When My mother’s mother died, I was inconsolable. It was the worst news I could ever bear. I had enough money to fly up for the funeral – but my MOTHER told me that I was not allowed at the funeral service, because God forbid that the family find out I had AIDS. That sealed the deal for my mother, I hated her for that decision. She was resolute in her decisiveness. She was a woman on the edge…
That was one crucial decision that cemented my hatred for my mother because of the ways she treated me – although I wanted so badly over the years to forgive her, which I eventually did. I never vocalized these feelings to her ever. But the resentment simmered for years and years…
In 1998, I had a moment of clarity holding my bible and a Pearl Jam cd in my hands one night, the message was clear. ‘Jeremy’s spoken.’ I set forth the damning act that would show my utter disrespect and contempt for my father, I legally changed my name…
I would never carry my father’s name from that day forward…
I knew that if I got sick and my parents came in legally to do away with any memory or vestige of me and secret my corpse to some godforsaken graveyard or better worse no proper burial because I was now paying for my decision to be Gay and that God was now punishing me with his greatest curse AIDS… I had to act decisively. And I did…
They would never be able to touch me by any means…
When I decided to ‘move for love’ again, this trip cost me everything I owned and almost my life. I slipped into alcohol and drugs this time… it nearly killed me…
In the summer of 2000 I landed back in Miami, sleeping on the floor of my best friends apartment for three months until I found a place of my own to begin rebuilding. I did not speak to my parents much at all. I was working in a club doing lights and maintenance.
One morning I woke up and looked in the mirror and saw my father looking back at me and that traumatized me. I called the nearest salon and started a transformation to make sure he never looked at me in the mirror again. This dark haired boy became a platinum blond. I was trying to dye away the pain.
On New Years Eve 2000-2001 I was working an all nighter at the bar. I got home around 6 a.m. and went to bed. Around 9 a.m. my mother called me. “We are in Miami and we’ve been here for a week, and we are on our way home and I wanted to come see you!”
Well, fuck me raw, I didn’t know they were in the same city over a holiday and they never called me…
They drove across the causeway to the beach half an hour later they arrived. I was surprised to say the least. I asked them to stay for lunch, that I would pay for parking and take them out for a meal. My father said emphatically NO. He was in a hurry to get on the road, it was a four hour ride home. God forbid they take an hour to visit with me. He parked the car in a fire zone and bade my mother 20 minutes to visit with me. We walked around the block and talked. Then she got in the car and they drove away…
Come in from the rain…
I never saw my mother again…
On December 9th 2001 – I got sober a second time… I am still sober today.
In April 2002, I came to Montreal to visit another “friend” who wanted to love me. I set an action in motion that rocked my parents to the core. The little lies my parents told us so many years prior, NOW came to bear. I obtained a “birthright” application because I fell inside a date window to apply for my Canadian citizenship because by law, my mother still retained her Canadian Citizenship until 1974, well after my brother was born in 1970. I would use my parent’s lies as my exit from the United States. I would not die in some hole, hungry and sick, with no one to know that I was alive or dead.
I came to Montreal for a week. I loved it so much I stayed for two…
That was Easter of 2002.
I went back to Miami to close up shop, sell everything I owned, packed what I could into boxes and mailed them North. A week later I was back on a plane to Montreal. You see, I waited until I was 34 for my father to drop dead, I even prayed that God should smite him because he was an evil troll. I was going to wait until he died and then move to my mother and rebuild what I could of a relationship. That never happened…
That move into ‘love’ died as quick as it started. I was sober, he was not. Yet we had other issues that could not be resolved. I moved into Montreal on my own.
My parents were livid.
I had driven the proverbial “Last nail into the Coffin.”
In 2002 I met the man that I would marry. In the Fall of 2004, I proposed marriage after the Gay Marriage Legislation was passed in the Canadian Parliament. We were married on November 20th 2004, on my mother’s birthday…
Isn’t that a kick in the rubber parts…
We had had several phone call conversations. I mailed my mother a letter every other week for a year, hoping she would reply, but never did. How dare I move to Canada and give up my American roots and as my father so eloquently put “Spit in his face!” How dare I disrespect him by following my mother’s roots and my faith history!!
We invited my parents to the wedding.
The card came back “We do not do GAY!”
Catholicism was alive and well in my family even if they had not walked into a church in over ten years. They were indignant. The last conversation I had with my mother went like this:
We don’t condone homosexuality and we won’t come to your wedding so stop trying. And let me tell you this, if either one of us gets sick and dies we will not contact you nor tell you when the funeral is or where we are buried…
That was that. So let it be written, so let it be done…
I never spoke to my mother again after that.
On the eve of our first wedding anniversary, my mother appeared in my bedroom to me, she came to tell me that she was sick and that she was going to die. She said her words then disappeared. I never called to confirm, because the truth would have killed me.
A year later on the eve of our second wedding anniversary, I saw my mother again in my bedroom, she did not speak this time, she just stood there and looked at me, and disappeared. I never saw her again…
I never called to confirm what I had seen – but I did on occasions troll the obituaries to see if she was listed. To this date, I have never found one. The last email conversation I had with my father many months ago, I asked him referential pointed questions that answered in a particular slant would tell me the truth. His words confirmed the truth but I never ever called to confirm.
I have only a memory of what my mother looked like on the last day I looked upon her face, and said goodbye. I could never bring myself to make that call because if my mother is truly dead and I am told that – knowing what they told me, that I would not be notified after the fact, that I would go insane and do something really stupid…
I can’t afford that kind of grief and sorrow, so I live with the vision I had and the voice of my mother who said goodbye to me in her own way… And God forgive them both for what they chose to do to the family that was theirs to care for and foster…
Many years later during my sobriety I worked my steps and made several attempts to make amends and build bridges, all those attempts failed miserably. But I became a Canadian Citizen, I got married, went back to school at age 35, and in June I will graduate with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Religion.
I pray for them and I have forgiven them because they did their best with what God gave them. They were in my life for a brief period of time, then it was over. I cannot fault them or be angry with them. They say that in some cases the people we came into the world with may not be with us for an entire lifetime, so we should respect the time we do have.
I have many mothers today that love me and care for me beyond my wildest dreams, and I have made them proud by becoming the best man I can be to them, the world and especially my husband, who is my life.
So ends the sermon on Mother…
One solid foundation of any young persons life, is that of Youth Ministry. It was the one place where kids from different backgrounds, lives, and ages came together once a week to sing, to congregate and to celebrate what it means to be a young person and a Christian. For many of my friends at that time, broken homes was something of a phenomenon. Everyone I knew during those days had parents either coming to, deep within, or on the outs ‘of’ divorce. I was stuck somewhere in the mix of ‘they have no clue what to do!’ They will either kill each other or they will end up in separate ends of the house until the end of time. But I digress…
We had fearless leaders, who took us on journeys of personal growth and discovery. We were taught the ABC’s of Christianity, and back then, when I was a teenager, disclosure of ones ‘following of Jesus’ was damn near impossible to maintain, because you know those ‘Jesus Freaks!’ I look back on that time in my life and it pains me to think about it. How hard it was for Christianity (the being born again in Christ) life was so foreign to kids of the 80′s who were all about rebellion and Satan and all things ‘profane!’
Yes, even at the high school I attended we had our cliques of people. The preppy boys and girls, the jocks and the sporto’s, the sinners and the titty girls. We had our local 214 dead heads who smoked pot in the parking lot. The geeks who gathered in the science labs, and we also had our share of ‘Satanists.’ This was serious business. These guys were not fooling around with the dark arts, they ‘were’ the dark arts incarnate.
They at one time had such fear running throughout the school that teachers were afraid of them, one case in point, I had an amazing Algebra teacher who just had a new child, and these kids threatened to kill that child and the teacher. This was no simple kids threat. Needless to say they posed quite a conundrum to the ‘new Christians coming up through the ranks.’ They haunted and shadowed us like demons where very we gathered to pray and read our bibles. I took a bible study class in a high school setting in my junior year of high school. And I am rambling…
I’m headed for the ‘Born Again’ theme.
After these past years in the pursuit of sobriety and then the years spent acquiring a four year degree in the study of religion, I have some hindsight to a specific period of my life and I can look at my youth as a ‘burgeoning’ young Christian boy, I can appreciate what it must have been like for the first Christians to identify themselves on a wide scale within a society and community of ‘others.’
They took us away to Camp Get Away for weekend sojourns with our friends, peer leaders and leaders. Trusted servants to the church community, who took time out of their busy lives to feed us spiritually. They ask me, if there was one time you could return to, as it was, to relive once again, (like the diet Pepsi commercials) it would be to my years during high school, because it was so hard, and so difficult, but at the same time so sacred and the most incredibly amazing time of my life.
The program followed you through your first year in the youth group where we were the newbies on the block. Each year a new crop of kids were brought to Christ through a finely orchestrated plan of action that was the Youth Ministry of my home parish. That was 10th grade, the same year I was confirmed into the Catholic Church.
I remember the night – that first night, after a four hour bus ride far away from the lights of the big bright city, we got to the camp, lit by candle light. It was the most incredible time of my life. On that weekend we were broken and brought to the Master through talk, testimony and service. We learned what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus, that meant something particular at that time, seeing that so many of us were living in homes that did not bode well for the fostering of Christian youth trying to follow the message and teaching of Jesus.
Can you imagine what it is like to come home from a weekend at Camp Get Away – bible in hand, profession of faith on your lips, and a testimony before two thousand people sitting in the church upon our return to hear a parent say “Jesus Christ, what have they done to you?” Imagine how hard it was to maintain Christian values when your parents constantly fight, your father constantly up your ass with his hatred, bigotry and racism and disdain for all things noble and Christian and Holy!!
Not to mention the life you were re-entering back in school on Monday morning, when you tell your friends that you met Jesus over the weekend and wasn’t it swell!! As they roll their eyes and walk away in disbelief, you try your might to stick with your friends that went to school with you – that just came off the mountain, with that glow of Jesus still alive on our faces and in our hearts.
The finding Jesus on the Mountain experience was the most incredible point in my young life. Short lived as it was, I had the youth ministry to help me along the way. A haven of sorts that I, we, could go to and hang out on any given night – all night in some cases. We used to find ourselves sitting on the hoods of our cars in the parking lot of the church until all hours of the night talking about life, safe within the property of Mother Church. The chapel was open all night long, the blessed sacrament always there to give us strength.
Not long after our first ‘Mountain Experience’ we were invited to return to that mountain to get another glimpse of the Holy of Holies, through the veil of the Holy Spirit. We packed hundreds of kids on 5 mega size buses and made the trip to Camp Get Away again. The second time up the mountain was so much sweeter because we knew where that ‘mountain’ was now. We learned about being ‘baptized in the spirit’ and we were all there in that ‘Upper Room’ waiting for that Pentecost to come for us too. The Spirit would be called down upon us and we would see and know for sure the Love of Jesus once again.
The second time coming ‘down the mountain’ was not as painful as the first time, because we now knew what to do to maintain that ‘mountain top’ feeling when we got home. We had begun to build that community of faithful kids that knew where to find each other at any time of day or night. We created safe places for each other. I spent A LOT of time in other people’s houses and bedrooms during those years of my life, because my father went through a very ruthless period in his life. I knew too much and he had to stomp me every chance that he got. God bless him…
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path…
There happened to be one particular portion that made this journey into Christianity a little softer. That was the dawn of Contemporary Christian Music. Singers like Amy Grant, (whom I am listening to at this very moment on my pod), The Imperials, and groups like Petra and many others. Contemporary Christian music was the soundtrack to our lives back then. We had a DJ that carted hundreds of ‘records’ (yes we had records back then) with his stereo and turntables to Camp Get Away and he would serenade us with Holy music that was uplifting and sometimes painful.
Much of the life of a young Christian boy or girl was shaped by the music that was the backdrop to any retreat. Even today, if I hear a particular song, (I collect Contemporary Christian Music from the 80′s) I will be transported directly to a specific point in time – I can see it, feel it and can describe in fine detail exactly who I was with, what was going on and why that piece of music impacted me so deeply.
Where do you hide your heart???
The entrance to any meal was met with – Come on in the Waters Fine, Leave on shore your troubled mind…
Amy Grant was one of those artists that was coming up the pike when I was a teenager.
My Father’s Eyes, was one of the first albums we all had to have because she was the singer that led us into our Christian lives. We used to sit at each others houses just listening to her sing, because that music was played during Camp Get Away weekends, and music had instantaneous capabilities of transporting you right back up the mountain, as if we were standing there right now.
Sing your praise to the Lord …
One of the duties that I wish I had the ability to do today – would be to take young people up that mountain to find Jesus – like I found him so long ago, because today I can share a complete journey of coming into my own ‘Christianity.’ That journey started over 25 years ago. What a journey it has been – what a life it has been – and Jesus is as alive today for me as He was then.
I have come full circle now. That first introduction to Jesus in that church as a child, by my grandmother on the sanctified day and hour, grew to a high school boys meeting Him once again as a teen ager, and now as an older adult I understand what Christianity means to me as the man I am today in the words I teach my fellows who stand on the path with me.
In a Little While – We’ll be with the Father Can’t you see him smile…
I have decided,
I’m gonna live like a believer,
Turn my back on the deceiver,
I’m gonna live what I believe…
More tomorrow… maybe
I went for coffee this afternoon with my ‘pod’ of friends as I always do on Tuesday and we had a lot of fun. It is good to laugh and to spend time with ‘my people.’
On the way into church there were cars parked all over the place and we soon realized that a reception was being held in our ‘space’ and that we had to figure out how we were going to get the space ready for our ‘people’ in time for the meeting. We called on the gate keeper to find out how long this reception would continue for, and the family asked for 45 minutes more, which was manageable.
People say that I am really good at ‘winging it’ that I do my best work when I am flying by the seat of my pants at 60 miles an hour with no real destination in mind. So thinking fast on my feet, I decided that we (my pod) would become banquet workers. So we sized up the crowd after a few minutes of observation and then set off…
We cleaned up all the dishes, plates and spent coffee cups, “may I clear your table?” Why yes, thank you, you are so kind… On it went. The leader of the family came and talked with us and asked us to share in their reception, which we kindly participated. We got the room cleaned up like any good banquet operator would, efficiently and swiftly, without a word to the wiser.
After while, the people began to depart. In the end, they left two huge flower arrangements in the reception hall because they decided not to take them. The church gatekeeper told us that they did not want to put the flowers in the church because they had too many already.
Well, this little seminarian was once a ‘flower power,’ I was in charge of flowers and altar decoration in my day. I also did this at my home parish. So waste not want not. I could not see throwing away hundreds of dollars worth of orchids, roses and lilies, all white of course. So I broke down the arrangements into bite size pieces and made several bouquets of flowers and greens and I was going to give them to the ladies at the meeting.
Superstition as it is, they all declined the offer of beautiful flowers.
So I brought them home myself since nobody else wanted them. And here they are. They say flowers are for the living, the dead can’t see them, right? What better way to honor someone than to respect the flowers that were provided for them. I just could not let all these flowers go into a waste bin. All that beautiful work for what? So I brought an armload of flowers home. People were staring and commenting as I walked down the street with them.
So like last night, I played with my ‘little web cam that could’ and here they are…
Flowers for my hunny…
And that’s the way the meeting went too. I had a topic ready and waiting, I had planned on talking about the ‘revolving door syndrome’ that so many of our young people are stuck in, and wouldn’t you know it, none of them showed up for the meeting…
I hate when that happens…
Needless to say, I had to ‘wing it’ again. We welcomed back into the fold our snowbirds that have returned from their winter sojourn in the tropics for the last six months, and also, some of our ‘oldie but goody’ past members showed up – so I had a new crowd to entertain, as I was chairing this month.
Flying by the seat of ones pants in a meeting is exhilarating. We talked about retrospect, hindsight and sobriety. Which ended up in a really great meeting. I love my ‘people’ they are always willing to share their lives so freely.
It was a good day today… All is well in my world…
We must pray for the soul of the departed.
He was a doctor, a great man, a father and friend to many. I know this because Ms. Nikki reminded us of who’s reception this happen to be. She worked for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital before they closed many years ago. He was Egyptian and will be buried in Egypt in the days to come.
Eternal Rest grant him and may Perpetual Light shine upon him.
My Celtic Cross – Anglican Prayer Beads
Rose Wine in Color – the Cruciform Beads are Black
A Celtic Prayer
Cross: In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen
O God make haste to save me,
O Lord make haste to help me,
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and
to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the
beginning is now, and will be forever.
Be the eye of God dwelling with me,
The foot of Christ in guidance with me,
The shower of the Spirit pouring on me,
Richly and generously.
The Weeks – Pray each Phrase on a separate bead:
I bow before the Father who made me,
I bow before the Son who saved me,
I bow before the Spirit who guides me,
In love and adoration,
I praise the Name of the one on high.
I bow and adore thee Sacred Three,
The Ever one, the Trinity.
Last time through:
Invitatory Bead – The Lords Prayer
Cross – Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God.
These beads came from The Solitaries of DeKoven in Texas.
Vigeat Radix Hermitage
A Community of Hermits in the Episcopal Church
Each Rosary is hand made and comes with the prayers of the person who made it. I really love this set of beads, I carry them with me every where I go. I can pray these prayers while I walk. A moving meditation, and at night before bed I recite them each night. They are exceptionally beautiful. In turn I pray for the person who made these beads and the community as a whole.
NASA’s 2-D Visual of the sun…
NASA’s 2-D visuals of Active areas on the Sun
Another active sun image in 2-D
Every time I stand before a room of alcoholics, I have to first pray and then wait for the first words of inspiration to come not knowing where I should start to tell my story. Each room is different. Each group is different. But the message is the same. Depending on who is sitting in the gallery, I moderate my story slightly to make sure I don’t upset the fine sensibilities of those who might get bent with certain words, identifiers or differentiations.
Recently the topic of compassion has come up with my writing about “Fear and Trembling.” And I maintain my point that people are not bred to be compassionate. We all have our faults and issues with each other. Children are compassionate because of the fact that they have not been jaded by the world’s indifference to suffering and illness.
It has been my experience and part of my religious studies to learn much about men and women. The fact that I am gay and HIV positive, gives me clear insight into how people are from the get go, because I know what people are capable of. I have seen men and women become “compassion-less and heart-less.”
People do not think about death and dying until they are faced with it in their own lives. People have no clue about what illness is until it touches them directly or indirectly, and then they attempt to rally around us for “the cause,” whatever cause that is, but do they really get it or understand? Some do, most don’t. And until you have walked a day, a week, a month or a year in my shoes, don’t even think you can second guess my experience. You may disagree and that’s fine by me.
Death and dying or disease is not really coffee table discussion. Gay and AIDS is definitely not coffee table discussion and even today, those two words polarize people when they are faced with truth and reality. Some people cannot bring themselves to share in the experience, but for the most part, most are willing to listen when the story is part of their microcosm.
Compassion is learned behavior – like all lessons of behavior. We are taught to hate, we are taught to be rigid and unforgiving. We are taught to differentiate and to judge – but real compassion comes to those who have seen hell and know it for what it really is, and only through the spiritual path can we learn what real compassion is and how we are to be compassionate to our brothers and sisters.
So we pray,
God grant me the Serenity
to Accept the things I cannot change
the Courage to change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference
Grant me Patience with things that take time
Appreciation for all that I have
Tolerance for those with different struggles
and the Strength to get up and try again
One day at a time…
Tonight I spoke about hindsight. What I have learned in 5 years of sobriety. What I have learned about the past and the time line that happened and why it happened that way. I have a gift of hindsight and understanding. I can see the past for what it was, and today I have made peace with the past. I have forgiven and I have moved on. Sobriety is a gift that I treasure and protect fiercely. I honor it and I take care of it.
Men and women of today were children who were forced, in most cases, to deal with the baggage that their parents carried into their adult lives. It was my experience, that my parents had a lot of baggage and also, they never admitted anything nor let go the truth of what they were going through, because back then, parents never talked about anything.
It took a long time to get here. I have some wisdom and I have some knowledge because I kept showing up. I listened to men and women share their stories over the years, and I have learned from them. Today I give back where ever and when ever I am asked. It is cathartic to stand up in front of a room of alcoholics and say those words…
“My name is Jeremy and I am an alcoholic and an addict…”
I am free today because of the grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The prayers of an alcoholic:
1. Give me the hangover that I won’t soon forget
2. Put an alcoholic in my path
3. Get me to a meeting
4. God grant me the gift of desperation…
Tonight I remembered Troy, the young man who got me to the meeting that started my sobriety, the second time around and as I talked of him in my story of sobriety, I wished silently that he is still sober to this day, and that life has been kind to him.
Thank you for my sobriety…
By Philip Pullella – Reuters Online
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican’s second-highest ranking doctrinal official on Monday forcefully branded homosexual marriage an evil and denounced abortion and euthanasia as forms of “terrorism with a human face.”
The attack by Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was the latest in a string of speeches made by either Pope Benedict or other Vatican officials as Italy considers giving more rights to gays.
In an address to chaplains, Amato said newspapers and television bulletins often seemed like “a perverse film about evil.” He denounced “evils that remain almost invisible” because the media presented them as “expression of human progress.”
He listed these as abortion clinics, which he called “slaughterhouses of human beings,” euthanasia, and “parliaments of so-called civilized nations where laws contrary to the nature of the human being are being promulgated, such as the approval of marriage between people of the same sex …”
Amato spoke at a time when the Vatican and Italy’s powerful Roman Catholic Church are at loggerheads over plans for a highly controversial law that would give unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples some form of legal recognition.
The Church and Catholic politicians, even some in Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s centre-left coalition, see the proposed law as a Trojan Horse and say it could lead to gay marriages.
Amato, who is said to be very close to Pope Benedict, criticized the media’s coverage of ethical issues.
After denouncing “abominable terrorism” such as that carried out by suicide bombers, he condemned what he called “terrorism with a human face,” and accused the media of manipulating language “to hide the tragic reality of the facts.”
“For example, abortion is called ‘voluntary interruption of pregnancy’ and not the killing of a defenseless human being, an abortion clinic is given a harmless, even attractive, name: ‘centre for reproductive health’ and euthanasia is blandly called ‘death with dignity’,” he said in his address.
Gay rights group have criticized the Pope and Catholic Church officials in the past over such comments, accusing them of interfering in Italy’s domestic affairs.
Groups opposed to gay marriage and recognition of unmarried couples are planning a national rally in Rome next month.
Italy’s Roman Catholic Church, set up on diocesan and parish levels, has the organizational machinery to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people. A huge turnout, which is expected, could be a major embarrassment for Prodi’s government.
Well Preacher Boy, all that bitching about my Kierkegaard paper garnered me a (C+)
Oh well, it’s a passing grade.
I slept all day, because I could
I am speaking tonight, so I will write more later after the meeting.
In the words of Rudge, “It’s one fucking thing after another!!!”
The History Boys…
A view of High Street from the roof of St. Mary the Virgin – Oxford