I guess I need to rewrite this post and try to explain the “bottom line.” I ate very lightly over the past few days. Monday night after a weekend of little substance I had a steak and potato dinner. Which is all well and good.
Today, when I went for coffee with my “peeps” I had a couple cups of coffee as usual.
Anyways, I went to the restroom to relieve my bladder and I “moved” but this afternoon’s movement was accompanied by “Blood” a lot of Blood!! More blood from a location that isn’t usually an issue for me. I freaked out. I invited Ms. Nikki into the bathroom with me because she works at the General so she knows about these kinds of things.
The bleeding stopped. We went on to the meeting. There was no more bloody paper after that one occurrence. What was it? I don’t know. I haven’t had another “movement” since this afternoon. And no more blood – in any case.
Tomorrow I am going to go to the clinic and drop some labs – as it is time, and while I am there I am going to see the doctor and let him tinker under the hood and tell me if I need to be worried or not. I’ve never had gastro-intestinal problems before so this might be just a cranky hemorrhoid and not something much worse.
I did have the maxi pad conversation with Ms. Nikki, as she took a handful of paper products from the restaurant to make sure if I had bled again, I’d be prepared. I’ve never had Men-strual issues before.
I’m having a momentary loss of self, so here is Brian and Justin…
Callie I loved him, knew him, Mourned him
Carl was sick, and he died.
All the men in this quad were from the bar
Jorge, Ricky and I worked in Reservations at(then-RCCL)
on Dodge Island.
Pedro Zamora – Activist, The Real World
Dennis Johnson, the bar owners lover – is spoken
of in my memoirs from the Patti Labelle Concert
at the James L. Knight Center – Before he died.
Where were you on July 4th, 1994?
We you with your family and friends celebrating the July 4th Holiday? Did you BBQ in the back yard, or maybe someone else’s home? Did you see the fireworks, like many of us did?
That was 13 years ago…
I should be dead and buried already.
Over in the Pages under “History” you can read all about it, or re-live it if you wish. To remind all of my readers why my header image is what it is right now, to remind me where I have been and to keep me vigilant of where I am and grateful for being able to look ahead to the future.
Because doctors believed that I would live – That I had that “spark of life” not to mention a different strain than the rest, that something “other” than AIDS that killed all of my friends.
Those are my flowers on his quilt – he visited many displays
when it came to Miami
Prior to 9-11, terrorists embedded into Western society. They got piloting lessons and then with a group of men, flew two airliners into the Twin Towers. One hit the Pentagon and a third plane crashed in Shanksville, P.A. And they got in undetected but the U.S. did nothing to screen them out nor at the airports.
Now, lookout terrorists from the East have come to the West and they are trained in the medical field. Doctors who took the Hippocratic Oath to help the sick and to do no harm. And now we see in the U.K. how many of these suspects worked as doctors and lab technicians in places of healing of the British population. “Pardon me doctor, but before you treat me, I need to know if you are a terrorist?”
Are we going to start religiously profiling our doctors at hospitals around the world? Do we need to fear those who work in the medical profession, because I rely on these medical professionals to help keep me alive. And I fear that in the U.K. people are going to think twice about seeking treatment in hospital because of these developments that are listed below in the BBC News Report.
As a Religion Major, I am told to stay on the middle ground and not pass judgment on those of Muslim faith, that not all Muslims are bad people, that we should not profile religiously nor ethnically. This latest terror plot in the U.K. has forced me to rethink my position on Muslim extremism. When husband and wife teams are plotting to wreak havoc on the general public, we are forced to look at them more fiercely. To regard them more closely. To scrutinize them even closer. It seems that Terrorists have found new avenues to infiltrate populations to gather intelligence, to form cells of connected peoples to do horrific things to law abiding citizens.
Now we do not know where the next “cell” of extremists are lying in wait, to start another round of terrorist attacks somewhere in the world. I think we all need to consider how we are going to move forward. There are a lot of factors in reasons that the West is so reviled in the Middle East and the Fertile Crescent.
The Muslim extremists want to wipe out the infidels and kill all those who are not of the Muslim faith. To convert the infidel to the life of a Muslim, but not everybody can walk into a mosque and become a Muslim. It doesn’t work that way. But they are angry at the West, so killing as many as possible on a “single go at it” deprives the just of life, and brings the Muslim extremist closer to his 72 virgins and a free ticket to paradise. Martyrdom is the second option. Because “Martyrdom” is “in” in the Middle East. It is a way of life, a religious act, that brings paradise to those who would die for the extremist cause.
It is a fact that Muslims who emigrate West are not being treated fairly in many European countries because of the ethnic and religious divide and this only furthers the anger and the cause for terrorism and violence as we have seen in Spain, the UK and France. But the more acts of terror these people perpetrate on foreign soil just furthers the divide between them and US. Act responsibly, follow the law of the country you live in and assimilate without forgetting what you are religiously.
I’m just disgusted with terrorism and those who perpetrate such carnage and terror on those who are innocents. May they rot in hell … You don’t like where you live, well we can surely deport you and repatriate you to the country of your origins.
If you are so god damned angry – then get the fuck out !!!
Terror suspects all linked to NHS
Police made two arrests at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley
Eight people arrested in connection with failed car bombings in Glasgow and London all have links with the National Health Service, the BBC has learned. Seven are believed to be doctors or medical students, while one formerly worked as a laboratory technician.
A suspect in hospital after the Glasgow attack has been named as Khalid Ahmed, who is believed to be a doctor.
A man arrested in Liverpool on Sunday has been named as Sabeel Ahmed, 26, who trained as a doctor.
Two men have been arrested in Blackburn under terror laws but police have not confirmed a link with the car bombs.
The pair were detained on an industrial estate and are being held at a police station in Lancashire on suspicion of offences under the Terrorism Act 2000.
Controlled explosions were carried out on a car in Glasgow
Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 4 has reopened after a suspect bag sparked a security alert.
BAA said the departure lounge was partially evacuated and departing passengers are being rescreened, leaving thousands of people facing delays.
Tube trains on the Piccadilly Line were not stopping at Heathrow Terminal 4, but the station serving terminals one, two and three remained open.
Seven doctors or medical students have been arrested in England, Scotland and Australia in connection with the attacks. All worked in NHS hospitals.
Australian media have identified a man arrested at Brisbane Airport as Dr Mohammed Haneef, 27, who has worked at Halton Hospital in Runcorn, Cheshire. He was detained while trying to board a plane to India.
On Wednesday morning, the Metropolitan Police said a counter-terrorism officer was travelling to Australia to liaise with authorities.
30 June Two men arrested at Glasgow airport after burning car driven into doors of main terminal
30 June A 26-year-old-man, Dr Mohammed Asha, and a 27-year-old woman arrested on the M6 near Sandbach, Cheshire
30 June/1 July A 26-year-old man arrested near Liverpool’s Lime Street station
1 July A 28-year-old man and a 25-year-old man arrested in Paisley
2 July A 27-year-old male doctor is detained in Australia, and a second doctor is questioned
3 July Second doctor questioned in Australia is released without charge
Dr Haneef worked at the Gold Coast Hospital in Southport, eastern Queensland, and was previously based in Liverpool.
A second doctor who was being questioned in Australia over the failed attacks has been released without charge.
Marwah Dana Asha, 27, who was arrested on the M6, is thought to have worked as a lab technician at an NHS hospital in Shrewsbury.
She was arrested with her husband, Dr Mohammed Asha, 26, who worked at North Staffordshire NHS Trust’s University Hospital.
Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdullah, arrested at Glasgow Airport on Saturday, and two men, aged 28 and 25, arrested at accommodation at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley on Monday have been handed over to the Metropolitan Police. Dr Abdullah was employed as a locum at the hospital.
A forensic team was at the scene of the Glasgow Airport attack
Khalid Ahmed, detained at Glasgow Airport along with Dr Abdullah, suffered severe burns and remains in a critical condition under armed police guard at the Royal Alexandra.
The man arrested in the Lime Street area of Liverpool trained as a doctor at the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore, India, the same place as Dr Haneef.
Six of the eight people arrested are now being held at London’s Paddington Green police station.
Sian Thomas, deputy director of NHS Employers, said she wanted to reassure the public there were “thorough and robust checks” in place before doctors were employed by NHS trusts.
In other developments:
A green Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas cylinders crashed into the doors of Glasgow Airport’s main terminal and burst into flames on Saturday afternoon.
The previous day two Mercedes containing petrol, gas cylinders and nails were found outside a nightclub in London’s Haymarket and at a vehicle pound after being towed from a nearby street.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said 19 locations had been searched by police including premises in Houston near Glasgow, Merseyside and Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.
Trio fuelled al-Qaeda propaganda
Three men have become the first people to be convicted in the UK of inciting terrorist murder via the internet. They helped conduct a propaganda campaign for al-Qaeda. They distributed films of beheadings and bomb-making instructions which were to be used for attacks on non-Muslims.
Al-Qaeda has its share of propaganda specialists who stoke up the violence with their incessant exhortations to “good Muslims” to obey the call to martyrdom and their twisted version of “jihad”.
Tariq Al-Daour, Younes Tsouli and Waseem Mughal ran such an operation in the UK and were brought to justice at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday. They all admitted inciting terrorist murder. They also admitted conspiring to defraud banks, credit card companies and charge card companies.
They ran a series of Islamist extremist websites and also made videos in support of “jihad”.
When police raided Mughal’s flat in Chatham, Kent in October 2005 they found a Powerpoint slideshow entitled The Illustrated Booby Trapping Course.
THE GUILTY MEN
Younes Tsouli, 23, from Shepherds Bush, west London
Waseem Mughal, 24, from Chatham, Kent
Tariq al-Daour, 21, from Paddington, west London
It had details about constructing a suicide vest, including making the explosive charge and attaching ball bearings to act as shrapnel.
All three men wanted to be “in the trenches” fighting the British and Americans in Iraq.
In one cyber chat Tsouli, whose online nickname was Irhabi007 (Arabic for Terrorist007), told Mughal: “It sucks we are here and not there. But I suppose someone has to be here.”
Mughal urged him to continue with his “media work” which was “very, very important”.
‘Important media work’
The “media work” involved producing and editing video clips of beheadings by insurgents in Iraq, instructions on how to make bombs and other advice for budding terrorists.
In on exchange Mughal said: “A lot of the funding that the brothers are getting is coming because of the videos. Imagine how many have gone (to Iraq) after seeing the videos. Imagine how many have become shahid (martyrs).”
Tsouli told Mughal he had been asked by “AQ” (al-Qaeda) to translate their official “e-book”, known as Thurwat Al Sanam, or the Tip Of The Camel’s Hump, into English.
It led to a close affiliation with al-Qaeda in Iraq by a man known as Zarqawi (pictured) who gained notoriety for the gruesome killing of those it branded disbeliever enemies
Mark Ellison, prosecutor
Mark Ellison, prosecuting, said the three men were closely affiliated with al-Qaeda in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Zarqawi, who was later killed by a US air strike, was the man responsible for the beheading of British hostage Ken Bigley.
Tsouli and Mughal had Ken Bigley execution footage as well as film of US journalist Daniel Pearl being beheaded.
Mr Ellison said: “Since the coalition forces entered Iraq each of the defendants developed a particular interest in the application and promotion of ideology and the call to join it in Iraq and to some extent Afghanistan.
Al-Qaeda logo design
“It led to a close affiliation with al-Qaeda in Iraq by a man known as Zarqawi who gained notoriety for the gruesome killing of those it branded disbeliever enemies.”
Tsouli reportedly helped design a logo for al-Qaeda in Iraq.
But it was not just Iraq that the trio’s message was being delivered.
In October 2005 a Swedish national called Mirsad Bektasevic was arrested at a house near Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The authorities also found 18kg of explosives, electrical wiring, timing devices and detonators and a suicide bomber’s belt loaded with explosives.
A video found at the house had been prepared by the three men and they were also in a “buddy list” on Bektasevic’s computer.
‘Prepared to attack’
A voice-over on the video says: “Here are the boys preparing for the attacks.
“They are showing us the stuff they are going to use for the attack. These boys are prepared to attack and Inshallah (God willing) they will attack kuffar (non-believers) who are killing our brothers and Muslims in Iraq, in Afghanistan, Chechnya and many other countries.”
All three were charged under the 2000 Terrorism Act of possessing documents or records likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
Tsouli, 23, from west London, and Mughal, 24, from Kent, changed their pleas to guilty halfway through the trial but Al-Daour, 21, from west London, changed his plea to guilty on Wednesday.
Tsouli, who was born in Morocco, had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK only shortly before his arrest.
The three men will be sentenced on Thursday.
Rosie O’Donnell has quit “The View” early, thus ending the daily duel between America’s most recognizable lesbian and Elizabeth Hasselbeck, a Bush apologist.
Democracy-lovers understand the importance of kitchen-table forums, and “The View” had become under O’Donnell a model of political discussion for an audience usually more interested in hearing talk about popular entertainment. She’ provoked daytime controversies for her viewers – which include many thoughtful women – that were then edited down and rebroadcast at night accompanied by critical review on the part of mainly male pundits.
What got lost in the translation was the deeply moral argument that O’Donnell was making about war and the human rights of non-Americans. Occasionally celebrities will speak of dead innocents, but criticism of the Iraq war is usually about strategy, and the fiascos in its execution. We get stuck on the missing WMDs, but talk no further about our own greed, deceit, and murderousness in roughly 100 years of policy and policing in the Middle East. O’Donnell stands out for rejecting the war because of civilian casualties and soldier casualties alike – and doing so not on the cable talkfest, but rather on an “entertainment” program.
O’Donnell’s pacifism is ridiculed when it questions the morality of the American military and of the decision-makers that send young people to kill and die in America’s name.
The fury came from comments made on the May 17 show, during which O’Donnell reminded Hasselback that “we’re invading a sovereign nation, occupying a country against the U.N.” She also said that she believes “6,000 dead Americans from 9/11 and from this war is a lot less than 655,000 dead Iraqis.”
Hasselbeck ignored the lives of the civilian dead O’Donnell focused on, and probed her about why she was mentioning them. “Who are the terrorists?” Hasselbeck asked.
O’Donnell’s moral starting point – that human life from any nation is equally valuable – and her other objections regarding needless deaths among American soldiers and the horrible treatment back home of those who are wounded were soon lost in a semantics dispute about the word terrorist, via Hasselbeck’s reductive question. Hasselbeck hinted that O’Donnell was revealing a sympathy for enemy ideology as part of a slur on American soldiers, when she was in fact reflecting empathy for Iraqi people subjected to our illegal war – launched in the name of liberating them.
Hasselbeck was relying on distinctions long ingrained among Americans – opposites that become ridiculous as the horror unfolds. Terrorism is suicide-bombing in cities. Soldiering is risking one’s own life to drop bombs from the sky on cities. Terrorism is gunning civilians on purpose.
Soldiering is gunning civilians because the soldier is some scared kid that panicked. Terrorists started it. Soldiers finish what politicians started. Terrorists are trying to build a caliphate. Soldiers may go on offensive to defend the homeland even as they advance an empire of freedom.
Terrorists have evil ideas that would make the world a bad place. Soldiers defend true ideas that make the world better.
By denying any equivalence between the bloody gruesomeness of the two enterprises, we can ignore the consequences of soldiers’ actions and harp on terrorist atrocities. Soldiers represent the righteous sword of progressive American idealism. Terrorists are disruptive wasters, bent on backwardness. So goes the romanticization of our current war.
What if the romance is swept aside? Rosie tried to make it okay for average Americans to look behind the hijab of words like terrorist and freedom with their own common-sense tools of analysis. She was offering another perspective on our national identity – not from the prevailing media perspective of us and our boys – but from one that takes human account of those we have harmed.
And if we are able to make that accounting, perhaps we will also be willing to look at a 100-year policy based on oil, not democracy – in fact one that, as in the case of the Shah of Iran and the House of Saud was only too willing to sell out progressive reformers.
Rosie O’Donnell may speak as normal people speak – sometimes sweepingly, sometimes brilliantly, sometimes on shaky legs. She may embarrass the liberal cognoscenti. That does not destroy her moral perspective. She is a mother thinking of Iraq’s mothers, and that is a perfectly valid intellectual principle. O’Donnell said, “I believe every human life is equal.” Does anyone in this country but an American idealist believe such a thing?
All people are created equal, and it might take a loud lesbian to apply that truth to all nations, including those with indigenous rights to lands with oil.
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!!!
Thousands of demonstrators across Canada and the United States held rallies on Saturday to protest the fourth anniversary next week of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
The Canadian marches also took aim at the country’s mission in Afghanistan.
Demonstrators move down Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal to protest the fourth anniversary next week of the start of the war in Iraq.
(Ian Barrett/Canadian Press)
Raymond Legault, a Montreal protest organizer, said he believes the anti-war movement in Canada will eventually succeed in convincing the federal government to pull Canadian troops out of Afghanistan.
“It’s a long-term struggle unfortunately, and this is just one more step in that struggle,” he said.
Canada has more than 2,000 troops in Afghanistan, with the majority stationed in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. Forty-five Canadian soldiers, plus one diplomat, have died in the last six years.
Legault said activists will step up pressure until the Canadian government withdraws the troops.
Other protests Saturday were held in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton and Winnipeg, and planned for Edmonton and Vancouver.
‘We’re just hoping that Harper will know how to listen to the Canadian people.’—Montreal protester Dorothy Hainault
“This is not rebuilding Afghanistan,” said Legault. ”This is not about protecting our freedoms and our way of life. This is about aggressing another country, controlling its agenda.”
Peace message goes to kids
Montreal protester Dorothy Hainault said she has attended several demonstrations since Canadian troops arrived in Afghanistan in 2001. Its troops are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, a coalition of about 30,000 troops from about 37 countries.
Hainault said she thinks the Canadian public does not support Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper should follow the will of the people.
“We’re just hoping that Harper will know how to listen to the Canadian people,” she said.
Neir Nourisodey, another protester, brought his four-year-old son Maded to the rally. Both held a white peace flag.
“I have to teach my son just peace,” he said.
Take to U.S. Consulate
In Toronto, about 200 people gathered outside the U.S. Consulate for a peaceful demonstration. In Halifax, about 100 marched through city streets, then stopped at a park for a peace rally.
Former U.S. marine Dean Walcott, 25, who served in Iraq, spoke to the Halifax crowd. Walcott, a U.S. war resister, is trying to claim refugee status in Canada.
“I believe individual nations have the right to establish themselves as they see fit, and I believe they can do that without interference from the West,” Walcott said.
“There’s got to be a better way for nations to be free rather than us putting a gun in their face and demanding it of them.”
Halifax protest organizer Stu Neatby said the rally was held to denounce the leaders of both the U.S. and Canadian governments for military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively.
“We are here to condemn the leaders who send these people into failed, ridiculous and ill-thought missions to fight their own kind of colonial wars,” he said.
The U.S. invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003. Since then, more than 3,200 U.S. troops and more than 59,000 Iraqis have been killed.
Protesters aim at Iraq War
Saturday’s U.S. rallies were held in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and other cities.
In Washington, more than 10,000 people denounced U.S. foreign policy while attending a peaceful rally outside the Pentagon.
Thousands crossed the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial and gathered near the Pentagon to express their opposition to the war in advance of its fourth anniversary Tuesday. Vietnam war veterans held their own gathering while police on horseback kept the two sides apart.
“We’re here in the shadow of the war machine,” anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan told the crowd. ”It’s like being in the shadow of the death star. They take their death and destruction, and they export it around the world. We need to shut it down.”
According to the United Nations, the war has displaced about 1.9 million Iraqis within the country, while an estimated two million Iraqis are seeking shelters in neighbouring countries, including Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
Many years ago, during the ‘sickest’ era of my AIDS experience, things were really bad for me. I was hospitalized many times from 1995-1998. Tonight on Coast to Coast, they are talking about (O.B.E.’s and N.D.E.’s) This was last nights show, since we are 24 hour tape delay here in Canada.
Below is one of my tether experiences.
The N.D.E. I talk about is the one that happened when I was last in the hospital, I was having severe migraines that were so bad, that I would crawl around on the floor banging my head against the walls of my apartment trying to alleviate the pain. In such cases, I would have to call for help and usually end up in the E.R. for a shot of Toradol I.M. to stop the session from progressing to fruition.
I remember being in the isolation ward, that’s where they always put me – for fear that I would catch something from someone in the E.R. they were very careful with me, because I was a repeat patient. I was laying on the gurney and the doc had been in for triage and he left me to go get the meds I needed.
I was in so much pain, that at one point I separated from my body and rose out of the room, I could see myself and it was up through the tunnel and into a place that was peaceful. I landed on my feet in a garden of immense beauty. I could smell the flowers, I could see hills and green grass as far as the eye could see. I must be sitting in the garden because I was met by a feeling of immense ‘Godliness.’ The garden was beautiful, I can still see it in my minds eye. The closest we come to this is a visual from “What Dreams May Come.”
You know at that point, we have our list of questions to ask the almighty, that’s where I figured I was. I wasn’t at the gate yet, but I thought I should get the questions out before that experienced either ended or I died on the table.
I asked my questions, that was then. And afterwards, they sent me back to my body, telling me that “it wasn’t time yet.” I returned to my body, and in the time that I left my body and returned, they had come back with the shot for me and it was given to me, and I had about an hour to myself to recharge my steam and they would release me to go home.
I returned to the world – minus the answers to my questions. Needless to say I was mift! I went back to my life, and proceeded to live. I guess that experience did not change me in ways that most are changed when they go across and return to talk about it. I made several really bad choices, that I came up a real looser. It took another ‘near death experience’ to get my attention – and that one had nothing to do with heaven, but closer to hell.
It was years later that I was at a workshop with a friend, and I met this man who walked up to me and told me he knew where I had been, and he saw that I was ‘frustrated’ it was like he looked into my soul and saw everything that had happened to me since. And he told me these wise words: “You went across and you asked your questions, and you came back unfulfilled, didn’t you? I told him yes. He then told me that I should take those questions and ask them to the living, and not wait until I was dead to seek the answers. Because once you are dead, there is no need for questions is there?
Since then I have always had those “soul” questions in the front of my brain. And I communicate those questions as they come up to the universe and I wait. I guess there is a reason I am re-printing these stories for you, because life is a journey. The more questions we have, the greater need we have to answer them now, rather than later.
I saw that man once, I never saw him again after that.
I once met a man who knew things about me and spoke to me and told me something wise in a public place once before, when I was much younger. I was working in a grocery store, my first job, to be more exact. I was in junior high school then. I was bagging groceries in a store by my home. The cashier I was bagging for was being stubborn to a woman who did not speak very good English. This elderly man with a black beret and a red and black checked jacket and black pants walked up to me and said “You speak a second language, you should use it because it is a gift for you. Don’t waste the gifts given to you.” Ok, I said, and I translated for the woman standing there.
That elderly man walked into the store and never walked out, he had to pass me to get out of the store because there were no other exits. At the end of the shift I went looking for him, and never found him. He disappeared and I never ever saw him again…
Ok, so now, he’s gone off the deep end…
No not really. These are my experiences. Maybe someone else has had them too…
I wrote this on June 12, 2005 while at my inlaws on an old blog.
In reading Dr. Brian Weiss’ Many lives – Many Masters, I can honestly say, “been there, done that.” For the last few years I have had these nap sessions, my dream states come during intense power naps or at the END of my sleep periods, usually the last 3 hours of my nightly sleep cycle. Anyways, I finished reading the book this afternoon. After everyone left and we broke down the patio and put everything away, Peter and I laid down for a nap, we were exhausted running around all day with 2 kids.
This nap session was 4 hours long, when we both woke up. But I have to say that this session was the most “terrifying” astral trip I have ever been on. As my title says, snapping the tether was necessary to get “across” the divide. This has been happening at home for the last, oh, I would say 6 months, like clockwork every time I went down for a nap. It scared me because i did not know what it meant when the “snap” would occur in my brain, and I would float free out of the bedroom, and my consciousness. Today I understood what the “snap” was and why it was necessary.
On the way out – I noticed the “SNAP” it shook me as I laid in my bed, it always comes as a “JOLT!” as I move from this “plane to my Astral plane, which allows me to move from one place to another, as I wish or as my consciousness selects.
I found myself standing on a platform in the cosmos, kind of like a clear platform “rushing” through space, along with other “astral” travelers. I could see the stars and the planets, yet I was safely “standing” in my little astral travel capsule. I could see that EVERY decision, a “yes or no” and a move forward, move backwards, transfer from one “plane to another” as discussed in the book, was possible. I have traveled “backwards” but only rarely, and those spaces were always in “black and white.” My grandmother’s houses are always shown to me in that mode. They are the only two houses that I go back to and I can “walk” through the house, but I am not allowed to open ANY of the doors. I cannot pass through any portals, and I am told in these spaces that I can only observe and take what I need, that no information will come from “people” in this place; I am always alone in these spaces. I cannot communicate with anyone from these dreams.
So I traveled to this particularly “horrible” place. It scared me so badly that I was hyperventilating in my sleep and it woke me violently when I reached the “end” of this period. The place was very sadistic in nature. The person I “was” then is not the person I am today. What I did to people in this place was truly horrible and sadistic. There were moments of torture and fear, well, allot of torture and fear. Like getting strapped in for a “terrifying train ride from Hell.” There were trains in the dream, traveling at speeds unknown to man, which made it particularly “STRANGE!” because I could not “place” his time anywhere on the logical past life, present life, future life time line. But it was familiar to me. Maybe this has to do with the area of my life that I don’t talk about at all. Because in reflection, I knew “things” as a child that no child should know about. This relates back to my abuse as a child and what my father had done to me early on in my life, possibly!
Anyways, I don’t want to go back to this place ever again, because it was absolutely the most terrifying area I have visited.