. . . birthdays . . . life, death, and all that jazz (the movie) . . .

Today is the birthday of my very best male friend. I only have a very few male friends, so, I’m afraid it’s not much of an honor being “the best” but I am quite honored to count him as my compatriot, my confidante, my companion through the journey of life. We don’t make sense as friends; he is decades younger and I have known him since he was in the single digits; and while we have much in common, we also have wildly divergent beliefs about some things, and extraordinarily different areas of interest, but, somehow, we work. And somehow, through all the decades I have known him and he me, we have managed not to betray one another. He, almost entirely alone, of all the children I have known and helped to raise, has never done the “turn on” and “abandonment” and “destroy your maker” thing. I adore him and I wish him many happily ever afters. I hope he finds the woman he deserves and of whom he dreams, I hope they find fairy tale joy and raise many wonderful children, and I hope he uses his sensibilities and intellect and empathy (and, my god, never have I met anyone with more empathy – he FEELS so much) to change the world to a better place. happy birthday, C, and finally, we can have cocktails together without me feeling like a criminal.

ImageSo, that said, today I am making birthday dinner for another relative. He requested Oreo cheesecake (which I made last night and which we have already had for breakfast!) and all-day country green-beans (lots of bacon fat and country ham and cooking until there is not one vitamin left) and mashed-potatoes (my special ones full of secret, decadent ingredients so they are like a savory dessert almost) and I am enjoying doing all this, enjoying spending a few days here at home with what’s left of my family.

About that, never mind.  Connected to which – I de-activated Facebook a while ago and I am finding – I think I am okay with this. I have retreated from what people think is reality: the shit posted on FB and Tweeted, most of the news, most TV. I haven’t been reading papers or watching/listening to news or looking at social media. I’ve been reading. Thinking. Spending time with dogs. Going to the gym.

I think I am okay with this. My life is winding down. This morning I rose and being in a home with others who DO watch and DO listen, I was greeted with the news that Trayvon Martin’s murderer was exonerated.

Trayvon and his father

Trayvon and his father

I can’t cope. He profiled and targeted the child whose only crime was being the “wrong” race and wearing a hoodie. No, I can’t cope. And Cory Monteith died. Finn from “GLEE” – not connecting the two deaths, nor comparing, but, the world is such a difficult place and I become attached to these people I don’t know personally and their lives, their tragedies, all affect me too much.

The thing is, I can’t cope with or deal with the people I DO know personally. With few exceptions, most of those relationships are what I would call – well – I’m not going to call them anything.

I’m saying this. I’m watching Bob Fosse’s semi-autobiographical “ALL THAT JAZZ” again and there, Miss Jessica Lange, playing death, to whom he is inexorably attracted, also calls to me.

Jessica Lange as DEATH in Fosse's "ALL THAT JAZZ"

Jessica Lange as DEATH in Fosse’s “ALL THAT JAZZ”

After all the shows and the loves and the efforts I have made, and the way I have recently been dismissed because I was inconvenient to the agenda of others or got in the way of their addictions or self-aggrandizement, or because I am too old, too ugly, too poor, too difficult, too unconcerned with the things that people think OUGHT to be important and TOO concerned with things I think matter – like loyalty and truth and love and honor and listening to your heart –

Well, a little song a little dance, I guess – BYE BYE LIFE!

it isn’t suicide my friends, it is that I am done. And I am planning on dancing with Jessica in the not too distant future, because I have had more than enough of all this jazz.

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