I OBJECT(ify)! . . . Maks and Val . . . and Alan

I confess to an unhealthy obsession with Dancing With The Stars. In past seasons this could be almost wholly attributed to my even more unhealthy obsession with Derek Hough as documented in past entries in this blog. This season, however, it was the new and improved Maks Chmerkovskiy, or, rather, the newly revealed and emotionally vulnerable Maks Chmerkovskiy, made into a teary, sweet, little-boy teddy bear by his partner, Olympic Champion, Meryl Davis, over whom I obsessed and for whom I obsessively voted.

And about whom I fantasized. I’ve always had a thing for Slavic men. And Maks and his brother, Val, well, I know I ought to be deeper than this but …

Maks-and-Val-Chmerkovskiy-clip

I think in this case a little objectification is not so wrong. The GIF came from here, at Entertainment Weekly.I would like to heartily thank them for starting my weekend off with a bang bang while, sadly, providing the answer to Mr. Sondheim’s question:

Does anyone still wear a hat?

Well, unfortunately, yes.

I suppose there are those of you who would say Maks (and Val) were too young for me. Okay. And I suppose there are those of you who would say I am too musical theatre-y for them. Well, okay, so, then, here, Alan Cumming last night getting ready backstage Broadway for Cabaret.

Cumming, Alan Cabaret

Wilkommen, indeed. And we’re within five years of one another. Alas, he already has a husband. Oh well, I’ve given up on men anyway. Which is sort of like saying, I’ve given up on ascending to the throne. I was never in the line of succession anyway.

P.S. AND ANOTHER PLEADING . . . Have you visited my PLEDGE PAGE (CLICK HERE!) for the 2014 RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER? I’m biking 150 miles in two days (I hope) in order to raise funds for a very good cause. Read all about it HERE. Thanks! AND SPECIAL THANKS to Amy Benton (of AMY BENTON PR – click HERE) and Tom Chase for their donation, and The Curious Iguana (click HERE) for theirs — I have the best friends, and some of them own P.R. Firms and Bookstores!

 

And this …

When my sort-of wonderful niece, Amy, heard about my fund-raising 150 mile bike ride (READ ABOUT IT HERE AND CLICK TO HELP ME MEET MY GOAL PLEASE!) she volunteered to join in the cause, do the ride, raise the funds, and help me train. Believe me, I’ll be T-R-A-I-N-E-D! She has the stick-to-it-ive-ness and determination I lack, so, good.

Speaking of wonderful, my nephew, Ger, periodically texts me with interesting news items, remarks, and, lately, family photos his brother, Nick, is finding while going through their Mom’s stuff, their Mom being my sister, Peggy.

Look:

Sissie wwith grandmother

This is my aunt, Sissie, as a baby, being held by her grandmother. I cannot recall ever having seen this photo. And this, he sent me today:

Brothers and Sisters

That’s me in the lower corner in the awful Levis shirt with my hair parted in the middle! Starting clockwise, behind me, JoAnne, then Leo, then Peggy, then Jenny, and seated between me and Jenny, Debbie. We used to take pictures whenever all 6 of us were in one place, which, now, will never happen again, but which, actually, hadn’t happened for quite some time even before Peggy died.

I don’t remember much about that day, but I do remember that all of my sisters were touching me when the photo was taken. I never, ever thought that I was in the least bit attractive, and I never thought there would be a time when those touching connections would be destroyed – I wish I could go back and tell that boy that he was pretty, that he was smart, and that he should not believe he had to be what everyone else wanted in order to deserve to live. And that destruction happens, and the worst are committed by the living.

But I can’t. Who he might have been had he known that is as lost to me now as Sissie and Peggy and the days when everyone touched.

And so, I’m doing this bike ride because … no matter what, only two choices, and the one I am making right now — today at least, no guarantees about tomorrow — is here I am, going.

150 miles of THIS I could do … no problem …

Earlier today (and yesterday) I posted about my participation in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and already today I have TWO donations and am $75 toward my $2500 goal. I have amazing friends.

Here is what I KNOW … I may find it a struggle to BIKE for 150 miles, but if there was a 150 mile VACUUMING and CLEANING event — I would RULE that thing. I am once again house and pet sitting in the bucolic backwoods of Washington County, Maryland. Here was the view out the window this morning:

M30 1

Look closer; it’s a deer!

M30 1 edit

Sweet, right? But, where was I? Oh, cleaning. Yes, so here’s another thing I know, if you have a pet who sheds and you do NOT have a Dyson, you are doomed. I LOVE THIS DYSON.

M30 3

It is the model specially made for pet owners. I actually REFUSE to pet-sit at a home that does NOT have a Dyson or an equivalent vacuum. My morning routine when I house/pet sit is to rise, drink coffee, blog, and then go about some cleaning … and this Dyson has a ROTATING UPHOLSTERY BRUSH — BEST THING EVER!

M30 2

After vacuuming, worked on some pee issues. Not mine, for a change, but Judah’s. He’s suffering separation anxiety which has given him a UTI. But, we had only one event, very minor, most of the time we are together on one or another couch (thus, the upholstery attachment) or he is watching me drink wine and read — I mean — doing sit-ups, crunches, push-ups and squats in training for the bike ride — what Judah DOES not like is when I am cleaning. He looks at me with such disdain, not quite understanding why I would NOT want the place covered in his hair and urine. Sorry, Judah.

M30 4

So, I know this — I am one of the BEST cleaners who ever lived. And — confession — I really like cleaning. Today I decided after vacuuming that I would spot-clean old carpet stains and scrub the downstairs bathroom from baseboards to light-switches. It was really fun. And between tasks, I did crunches and push-ups.

There is a water-rowing-machine upstairs on which I really ought to spend an hour … speaking of training … but I’m not quite feeling it yet. Perhaps if I got another few donations?

Could you? Would you? PLEASE?  Much love to JOSH and JULIE who were my firsts! Gotta love people you met through THEATRE — the poorest and the MOST GENEROUS!

CLICK HERE FOR MY PAGE and get me to my goal people. I’ll put you on the list for the  half-naked selfies I’ll be taking closer to the race — wait – that’s not an incentive, is it?  JUST CLICK ME AND DONATE!

Thank you. P.S. I don’t have a Facebook anymore and I’m not getting one again — but if you wanted to link my donation page on YOUR Facebook — you know, a sort of “CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT LAZY OLD SLUG CHARLIE SMITH IS PUTTING DOWN HIS BOOKS AND LAYING OFF WRITING UNWANTED BOOKS LONG ENOUGH TO DO A 150 MILE RACE” approach — I wouldn’t mind. In fact, I’d take you OFF the half-naked-selfie list if you’d be so kind.

In Training … HELP ME

This is me on a bike:

rehoboth 2014 BIKE

PLEDGE ME! Click the photo!

… sort of. I am standing CLOSE TO the bike and Pat is holding me up. You can see why I need to be in training for The Ride to Conquer Cancer on September 13 and 14th. I have three and a half months to turn into this:

Olympic Biker, Ben Swift

Olympic Biker, Ben Swift — CLICK HIM TO PLEDGE ME!

As you can see, I will need all the encouragement and help you can give me. You might ask why I am doing this? Well, my deardear Sue asked me to be part of team Perry Peddlers. The team is named for Sue’s father, a wonderful man who lived an exemplary and giving life. He made a great family, the members of which adopted me when I needed a place for holidays and comfort; and prior to his death and my re-shaping of my life, he had supported my theatrical endeavors, sharing his good fortune and his family. He was a wonderful man. He died with cancer.

I never had a real opportunity to thank him, or pay it back — those things Marv Perry gave to me. So, when Sue asked me to do this ride, though I was (and am) terrified of the physical and mental challenge, I said yes.

I have known a number of other wonderful people who died from cancer; and know many, many who lived with it, and are still living with the memories of the lost. So, I’m doing this ride, for them and for me — because, honestly, three months of intense training may not (certainly will NOT) make me look like Ben Swift, but, it will sure make me look better than I do right now — and really, when you’re a single man in your fifties — (well, depending on to whom I am speaking) — you need all the help you can get.

You can help me out by going to my page and making a donation for me — I could REALLY use the help as I am supposed to raise $2500 — which is akin to my annual income as a writer — so, help, please? Even a few dollars, nothing big. Just, you know, whatever you can do.

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE ME!

 

 

… no words … (or, just a few hundred) …

May 30 GIF 5

… baudelaire … begat the poetry of larry kramer …

May 30 GIF 1

… and both wrote of love and death and death and love …

May 30 GIF 2

May 30 GIF 3

… and ryan murphy finally brought kramer’s powerful poetry to the screen …

May 30 GIF 4

… the normal heart … all the stories told … from all that time ago when Miss Midler, the divine Miss M, sang for the boys in the baths when they were learning freedom … for free … as one Divine Miss M sang the lyrics of another divine M, Joni Mitchell …

… i wasn’t there … i was a kid in my room a few years later listening to both Miss M’s albums knowing something secret was being told … i started running so long ago …

May 30 2014 1

… i don’t run any more … except on a treadmill and an elliptical and pedal on a recumbent bike … but maybe it’s time to ride for real … to live for real … maybe it’s time to admit that my eyes have often been closed …

May 30 eyes closed

… maybe if i open them, and start training my body and my soul again — i will have the russell tovey experience … he has a personal trainer now … as if he needed one …

May 30 Russell Tovey Instagram

… i don’t suppose i will ever look much like russell nor have those fantasy dates i imagine that would get me, as in, i’ve never been wanted for the beauty of my soul (my own myth) or my mind (turns out i’m not nearly as smart as i thought i was) … so i suppose the only date i really have to look forward to is with this fellow . . .

May 30 scythe

… and he sure as shit is taking his own sweet damn time … i mean … surely he’ll be introducing me to my own disney-like happily ever after prince charming(less) — right?

May 30 TWO MEN DANCING 1984 Mapplethorpe

… i know … i’m only midway down the midway … but man oh man am i ever slowing down … Miss Raitt sings Miss Mitchell …

Good-night and good-luck.

Can I? Should I? Could I?

I have a question and I would like your opinion.

Remember that very deardear friend of whom I spoke in my previous entry? Well, whilst spending those ten beautiful days at her beach house, enjoying her company, her family, her wit and wisdom, there was a DARK SIDE! I was coerced and cajoled and cornered into all sorts of physical activities, including hiking and biking. Look here:

rehoboth 2 2014

In the middle of the FIRST bike ride — about which they lied to me concerning how far we were going. That’s me w/the orange cap and endless frown lines and wrinkles; then, from left, deardear friend’s husband (also a deardear friend) and deardear friend and deardear friend’s brother-in-law.

I am smiling in the picture ONLY because I was mistakenly given to believe (as in, I was LIED TO) that the location where we stopped for this photo was the end of the ride. BUT NO … it was merely the half-way mark of the first half of the thing … and I was on a REALLY old-fashioned bike. No bells. No whistles. No gears. Just me. Pedaling away like a mad man. Really, I was MAD. Furious, even.

And then I did it again a few days later. Well, here’s the thing. Deardear friend and her deardear daughter (who, by the way, tried to KILL me with not just lied about bike-ride distances but also, a STICK — look:) —

rehoboth 3 2014

— are trying to convince me that I ought to sign on for The Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Johns Hopkins.

logo_bc14

LINK ON LOGO TO VISIT THE PAGE

It’s a great cause but it’s 150 miles over 2 days … which is daunting enough for someone who has never done any sort of biking at all. I would need to train like crazy between now and September — which, sort of okay with. I want to lose 40 pounds and I want to be fit enough to take pictures I could put on — well — pictures I can display without being repulsed.

But, the 2 day thing requires sleeping in a tent amongst all those other bikers one night. Oh dear. I could MAYBE get through 75 miles one day, but doing it again the NEXT day seems iffy, and doing it again the next day after spending the night in a tent among all those thousands of people seems even iffier, and, uhm, where are the bathrooms and do they have Charmin wipes?

And too, equally daunting, one is expected to raise $2500. Uhm, I know almost no one any more. I don’t know that using Twitter and this blog and my limited — not to say, non-existent — personal charm is EVER going to be enough to raise that kind of money.

But, upside … the stress and my competitive nature would likely result in a heart attack during the process … and if not, once done, I should look better body-wise than I have ever looked — so, what do you think?

Opinions?

 

 

10 days … 10 days…

I haven’t made an entry in 10 days. In 10 days it will have been one year since I quit smoking. 10 days. I have spent 10 days living in the beach home of and with one of my very dearest, dearest friends. I had such a marvelous time, talking, being, walking, bike riding, sharing time without any pressure to do or be anything. I am terribly grateful for her. She is one of the many treasures in my life. I am not unaware of these treasures.

I got home and here, waiting for me, a really cruel, mean message from someone who, quite honestly, doesn’t know me well enough that anything they say should carry any weight; but, once again, I have given people who don’t deserve it the power to hurt me. When I ache, when I hurt, when I am tired, when I need to go– somewhere — always, it seems, I have gone and I now go to musicals, always, and listen to songs that tell stories I will never have, stories I should never have given the power to move me the way they do. Which all began with Carousel. Ruined me for love forever when I was 6.

Somehow, some way, I got this idea that love was supposed to be this impossible thing where someone way too wonderful for me would see past all that was not wonderful about me to my soul — which I long believed I had, which I long believed was something beautiful — and I would, you see, see past and into and beyond and it wouldn’t — it didn’t matter what anyone thought — we would know, we would connect —

It wouldn’t matter that I looked like I look, that I’d failed like I’d failed, that I wasn’t and had never been and was never going to be — and I wouldn’t care he’d never read a book or was mean or couldn’t articulate — I would do all and enough of that for both of us …

I’m now and always have been a fucking idiot who kept believing in and believing in and waiting for and … even still … I see a musical … I hear a musical and I think … yes … you see, it can happen.

But it can’t. It’s a musical. And love is a fantasy. Not real. And life is a stupid joke. And all my life I have been falling …

Bleeding everywhere. Prolapsed soul. Collapsed heart. Every orifice weeping my essence, emptying me of all that was, cuz I ain’t no way is.

10 days ago I quit writing. 10 days from now it will be one year since I quit smoking, to save my health, for … what? Exactly. I suppose, to have gifts like the last 10 days … so I will hold on to such treasures … even though I am still, still hurting.

FLAT FUCKING TIRES and Just so we are all clear … even Heathcliff was a better choice …

It’s 4:30 in the goddam motherfucking morning and I am just — OH MY GOD — things could NOT go much more wrong — I cannot WAIT to leave for the beach in a few hours — Remember how I was all perky because the mechanics at my garage fixed my flat tire — the third in a few months — free of charge? WELL IT’S FUCKING FLAT AGAIN!

And, my “CHECK ENGINE” light has come on.

Really?

And …

Just so we are all clear on just how completely and absolutely incompetent I am in running my own life and choosing people with whom to become romantically (or, in ANY way)  involved, I present the following evidence:

The fellow with whom I last and lately found myself thinking I was in love — despite the fact that I had planned to carefully guard against any such feelings, meant it all to be a casual, meaningless fling, the sort of which I had too long been denied whilst trying to be what everyone ELSE needed and wanted me to be –that fellow, the one, as I said, with whom I found myself falling into my version of love, he who had not graduated from high school until he was 19, and then, only with the intervention of a Marine recruiter, after which he had become a trained killing machine. Yes, that one, who came to me, it was going to be a casual fling, and he had no interest in men, really, HE HAS NEVER IN HIS LIFE READ A BOOK BY CHOICE — it is not, really, an exaggeration to say he can almost NOT read — and I had no interest in 25 year old trained killers who could barely read, thought gun collecting was a great hobby, and mocked “those green-type hippie people” — of which, I explained, I was one. By the time he was done telling me his story, his long, sad, horrible story, I was in love. I, too, was going to collect guns and NEVER AGAIN RECYCLE or care about nature — yes, dammit, I would be a redneck republican right winger if it meant he would be happy — well, that was when he told me he had been demoted — alcohol and drug issues — relieved of his post, was leaving the Marines (not clear on EXACTLY whose idea that departure was) and going home to — wait for it — Lakeland, Florida for a month — (IF YOU COULD HAVE SEEN THE LOOK ON MY FACE WHEN HE SAID LAKELAND, FLORIDA — and told me there was nothing there but poor trailer trash and rich old retirees — well — I can’t go into this except to say that the meanest, cruelest, most heartbreaking letter I have EVER gotten came from Lakeland, Florida ) until he could move to — even worse, North Carolina. He said, and I quote, “I wish we could be together, but people like me from places like that, we don’t do this. I love you but it would never be enough.”

He left.

I told no one. Not really. I cried for a few weeks and sang eleven o’clock ballads non-stop — I had been seeing him for months and no one knew. He left me — no one knew. He still writes — such as he can — once a week or so. He misses me. He’s thinking he MIGHT start seeing a guy if he can meet one LIKE ME — But … you know … anyway …

So, I said to myself, “Charlie, you have GOT TO STOP thinking it’s your job to save all the damaged people in the world.”

By happenstance, I started seeing another someone, really casually, and I PROMISED myself it would remain casual. I started to feel things. I pulled back. He said, and I quote, “I really like you — you’re not like anyone else — you get things. I don’t have to say them. You just — like, you read me.”

I knew. STOP. The last person I read — well, let’s just say I thought I was reading Wuthering Heights and instead, he turned out to be one of those awful, frat-ass, stupid asswipe comedies about dickbrained twenty-somethings who never think of anyone but themselves and go into DICKPANIC (it is a word — a new one — LOOK IT UP HERE [and like it, while you’re at it] — that’s me, yep, read all about it HERE, I MADE THAT WORD BECAUSE WE NEEDED IT, alas) make fun of the fags, using them up like butt-wipes. So — I try NOT to listen to ANYONE who claims I can read them — which is apparently code for “You’re an easily manipulated sucker and I’m going to play to your empathy card and pretend you understand me like no one else ever has. Har-dee-har-har.” (NOT, mind you, that ANY OF THEM would BEGIN to know what an EMPATHY CARD was; their only familiarity with cards being those of the Master and Visa and Gift types, not even an Amex — yes, I dwell in the lower echelons — don’t worry, not a one of them would read this and if they did, they’d never understand it, so there is no danger of hurting their feelings – which, to be fair, they’d have to HAVE SOME OF in order for me to HURT them — and they most emphatically DO NOT because I have TRIED — but, again, me, being me, I digress.)

Fucker. Not this one — the last one — no, not the marine — never mind.  About this one, he’s a mechanic. (NOT from my garage — I’m not THAT stupid — although his specialty is tires — JESUS — has he been flattening my tires? No. My life is stupid-bad but it’s not QUITE a Lifetime Movie. Yet.) He has NEVER IN HIS LIFE READ A BOOK BY CHOICE. And still – STILL – I have continued to see him. I have told NO ONE.

I asked him, tonight, when he wanted to see me after eleven again, because that, he said,  was when he could … why all the weird hours? And I quote:

“My fiancee works weird shifts.”

YOUR FIANCEE? YOU HAVE A FIANCEE?

Yes.He does. I don’t know, did I learn NOTHING from all the Elizabeth Montgomery Movies of the Week I watched during my misspent youth? I mean –HOW DID I MISS THESE SIGNS?

Needless to say, I am NO LONGER SEEING HIM, but I would be remiss if I did not tell you that SOMEHOW I HAVE BECOME THE KIND OF PERSON TO WHOM SOMEONE THINKS IT IS OKAY TO SAY — “Well, I thought you knew I was straight? I mean, I don’t get why you’re upset — I still want to see you after I’m married too.”

I have NO USE for labels — but I am PRETTY CERTAIN that the WORD FOR YOU — a person with a FEMALE FIANCEE who is ALSO regularly SEEING a MALE FRIEND is NOT straight. I have ALL SORTS of words for you — but STRAIGHT is NOT among the choices.

Really? I mean — WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? What am I? Some combination of Susan Hayward and Charles Nelson Reilly?

I think, truly, flat tires, check engine, all the loss I’ve had, everything I signed away, jesus fucking christ, and THESE are the people I meet?

I. Am. Done. It’s to the moors for me. A ghost. Only I won’t be beating on any windows, begging to be let back in. Fuck you, Heathcliff. Fuck all of you Heathcliffs.

Escape by Amputation … but I digress …

Your not-so-intrepid blogger is going away. He really needs to. I really need to. So, it’s off to some rehab again. They tried to make me go and I have said, YES YES YES. I’ll be taking the sea air. And reading. I haven’t long to write, as I must determine which 30 books I’ll be packing to take along. Back to nature for this old man — my nature, lost in a book. Much love, dear ones.

UPDATE MAY 17: I AM, OFFICIALLY, A NEOLOGIST – AND MY NOM DE GUERRE AS SUCH IS OSCAR PARKER ISHERWOOD — AND MY COINING AND DEFINING OF “DICKPANIC” HAS BEEN PUBLISHED BY URBANDICTIONARY — CLICK HERE TO SEENow, I grant you, this is hardly the OED we are talking about, but, LITTLE THINGS, people, LITTLE THINGS! Now, gotta run, still trying to cull the stacks of books I want to take along to the beach … I don’t want to hurt any of their feelings by leaving them behind, so, it’s rough going here . . .

UPDATE P.S. MAY 17: I informed my idol, the esteemed Duchess Goldblatt (follow her HERE on Twitter) of my etymological accomplishment and Her Grace replied: “Congratulations, dear. And I LOVE the new avi.” In reference to my updated avatar, which, in keeping with my return to basics, is a photo of me when I was in my prime and at my peak: age 5. It’s been rough sledding since then. Here it is:

baby foot charlie_edited-1 (2)

Thank you, Your Grace, Duchess Goldblatt, for Madam’s kindness and model of civility and good breeding. Would that the entire world would bow to Your Grace’s wisdom as have I. Now, it’s off to the beach . . . well, after a quick jaunt to the liquor store for the case of wine I’ll need for the next week.

Rehoboth-Boardwalk

Once upon a time, many long lifetimes ago, in another world —

(Do you remember that soap? And Beverlee McKinsey, who played tortured villainess, Iris, whose love for her father, Mac, and desperate need for his approval led her to commit unforgivable sins and behave in reprehensible and opprobrious ways? She — Ms. McKinsey — after the cancellation of Another World, ended up on The Guiding Light as Alexandra Spaulding, a character not unlike Iris but never as iconic and mythologically fraught. I loved Iris. Oh, wait, I think she — Iris, well, and McKinsey — also briefly moved to the short-lived Texas, a failed daytime attempt to ripoff nighttime’s Dallas — in any event, I so identified with her suffering and rooted for her to be understood by and triumph over the typical goody-goody heroes of the soaps in those days. And, too, on Another World were Constance Ford and Victoria Wyndham, two more iconic daytime geniuses, but, I digress…)

Iris and Mac

Beverlee McKinsey and Douglass Watson

Victoria Wyndham

Victoria Wyndham

Constance Ford

Constance Ford

— I was near death and the only solution was a radical change to my life. The only way to cure and heal what the matter was required a lopping off and cutting away huge parts of my life; an amputation, if you will, the sort of spiritual/cosmic equivalent of what occurs when gangrene has infected a limb and in order for the patient to survive, the diseased, dying flesh must be removed and, in the process, some living flesh is sacrificed as well, not to mention, after the operation, the patient must learn whole new ways of being. And, deal with the echoes of pain in places of the heart, the soul, now lopped away … that inexplicable ache coming from a place that is no longer there … the ghosts, those things that lurk at the edge of night …

(Do you remember that soap? I’m obsessed today with old soaps. I watched The Edge of Night only near its ending, when SharonGabet played Raven. Oh man, I loved her. Loved that character. When I thought she had died — Raven, not Ms.Gabet — I wrote to the soap, by mail of course, there was no email then, and promised I would NEVER WATCH IT AGAIN. Lol, the character was not dead and Ms.Gabet sent me a lovely personal note and autographed photo in response. Long since lost. But, I digress …)

Sharon Gabet and Larkin Malloy

Sharon Gabet and Larkin Malloy

I needed, then, to learn to “be” and “walk” in a new way, in that new life, after the amputation. I don’t really ever write about it, even in my novels I am not using it — which may explain why my novels are turning out to be so shitty — but, that’s another digression — because I don’t want anyone, ever, to feel I am invading their privacy. So, although it was my life, the amputation affected others, and the events leading to the amputation involved others, so, no. Not writing about it.

However, after the fact, a dear friend, seeing that I could not walk, could not speak, needed to rehabilitate, she picked me up and took me away to her family’s beach house and made me rest and sit and calm and listen to my heart.

Now, it is no secret that of late, I have been having a great deal of pain, brought on by many things, more ghosts and echoes of those I’ve lost … physically and psychic-ly … people who played important and, too, some not so important but memorable roles in my life; those actors.

(Lost actors … Beverlee McKinsey and Constance Ford have both died. Victoria Wyndham is an artist now, and Sharon Gabet seems to have stopped acting, I can’t find her. I seem to recall that she did a lot of crusading for AIDS patients rights after Edge was cancelled; many of the male actors on that soap died from AIDS-related complications; Dennis Parker, Joel Crothers, Irving Allen Lee, and there were rumors about others as well. Larkin Malloy played Raven’s great love, Schuyler Whitney — Sky and Raven were like Nick and Nora Charles combined with Bonnie and Clyde combined with Abbott and Costello combined with Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin — an amazing duo. I can’t find anything about Mr. Malloy after 2010, 2011 — but I digress …)

Joel Crothers

Joel Crothers

Irving Allen Lee

Irving Allen Lee

Dennis Parker

Dennis Parker

And so, my dear friend has again asked me to accompany her to the shore, acting as if I am doing her a favor by keeping her company.

And, once again, as soon as she asked me, good things started happening.

GOOD THING #1: I walked outside yesterday morning and there, staring at me, one of the brand-spanking-new tires which had cost $250 less than a month ago, FLAT. Not just a little flat — totally, completely, horribly flat. Called my favorite garage. While I used another car to cart around my Momma, the garage came, towed my car in, assessed the tire from which they removed a HUGE two inch bolt that had penetrated it — patched tire, put back on car, but the GOOD THING — while this is my third flat tire in as many months, I have had a decades long driving career with no flat tires, and, I’ve had SO MUCH work done on my car lately that I’ve accumulated enough service points to have made this tire service and tow COMPLETELY FREE! So, yay, good thing.

GOOD THING #2: I was in the gym yesterday, in the locker room getting dressed and ready to go, when three late-teen boys arrived, obviously high school age. They started in with that loud talk that so annoys me — I mean, OTHER PEOPLE HAVE NO INTEREST IN YOUR CONVERSATIONS SO KEEP IT DOWN — why do so many men in locker rooms talk at such intense volume? I think it is because they go into “dick panic” — when around other naked men they want everyone to know FOR SURE that they are bros and no homo — or, so I thought.

[WAIT – IS “DICKPANIC” A THING YET? BECAUSE I WANT TO COPYRIGHT THE WORD!– It’s mine. DICKPANIC is mine, so to speak — you read it here FIRST! I JUST PUT THIS ON URBANDICTIONARY,  UNDER THE ALIAS OSCAR PARKER ISHERWOOD, BECAUSE IT IS NOT YET THERE!!!  We’ll see if they post this: HUZZAH: 

DICKPANIC (or DICK PANIC); noun; a sudden, overwhelming and irrational fear that produces hysterical, overly-loud, overly-bro, definitely no-homo behavior in straight or wanna-pretend-to-be straight men when in close proximity to other such men with their dicks exposed such as in locker rooms or bathrooms or — you know, a “just-bros-no-homo” circle jerk thing.] locker1

Then, the boys started talking — as it seems the teenboys in the locker room inevitably do — about sex and a girl one of them wanted to get with, but, alas, she had returned to her boyfriend. The talk was SURPRISINGLY evolved but they then began to segue to, “Hey I have a huge secret” talk. Turns out the “huge secret” was that another jock friend of theirs had gone “bi” — ONLY, and here’s the GOOD THING — seems that the two of these boys who were not the speaker telling the secret already KNEW and said, “Dude, where have you been, everyone knows he’s bi — he came out about it months ago.” To which Dude replied, “Fuck, is everyone bi but me?”  To which one of other two replied, “Get over it, whatever, who cares?” I WAS FLUMMOXED AND OVERJOYED. I wanted to rush over and embrace all three of them — but, yeah — I didn’t. I just smiled in my heart and head.locker room

GOOD THING #3: I am at 9992 Tweets. In 8 Tweets I will be at 10,000. This seems SO HUGE to me — in a hilarious way — that I have STOPPED Tweeting — LOL — because I want 10,000 to COUNT. Oh, Charles. So, it seems apt that I should Tweet it from Rehoboth,  where I went when all of this amputation rehab began and where I am going now, feeling a sort of setback in my rehab process.

GOOD THING #4: I got another house/pet sitting gig for one of my empty summer weeks yesterday; so I have only a very few un-booked weeks left for June-August, which makes me very happy. Not only do I seriously need the money, but, too, I LOVE being around animals and, I think, a lot of alone time is really very good for me, what I need right now, and loads of full-body sunshine and since I am shy about taking off my clothes in front of people, these house sitting gigs afford me the privacy to sun bathe in private. Nice. And the beauty of other people’s lovely homes … entrusted to me.Flowers 2

GOOD THING #5: Because I am going away for two weeks, my dear A wants to have lunch Saturday, which makes me very, very happy. I need to assure her — and all my other A’s and loved ones — that I am, or rather, WILL ULTIMATELY be okay.

Look, I’m not actually sure I will be “okay” — but, what I mean by that is, I am not sure that anyone else’s definition of “okay” serves any real purpose or matters. I chewed off part of me to escape a terrible trap, and the dream I had of running free was purloined by my past, by wasted time, by the lost limb — so, I could have died in the trap, or I could lose the limb and try to find a new way to be and live … a new definition of “okay” — and so, yeah, you see, it is that search, that quandary that eats at me.

And the ghosts that haunt — the phantom limbs and phantoms and specters from that another world at the edge of night — I sometimes get trapped in an echo chamber of their voices, and believe that what they think (thought) is “okay” and “success” and “sane” and — all those other words of approval — are what I should be. Should do. But I never was those things, I was never going to be those things, and the playing of a game as if all those things really did matter, that fantasy world those ghosts wanted me to continue to forever pretend was true — I couldn’t.

So, yes, I do have a limp, some trouble now getting around in this new another world I am in, but it’s better even so than slow death by cosmic gangrene. And so, I’m going away for a while, and I think I may stop blogging for a while, and I think I need — somehow — to figure out now where hereWEaregoing, but, rather, hereIam.

So long, friends.

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