It was my intent to title this piece "A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SHAMELESS SLUT" but, there's a bit more to it than that.
It's really about a recent encounter that I had with a lovely young man that had come to this country in early adulthood, and just like the rest of us, is just doing his best to get by.
I've been living in San Francisco just two months shy of 18yrs. Life is different here. It's truly a parallel universe in so many ways. San Francisco really allows a person to let go, to be themselves, to reinvent, recreate, repackage, and re-label themselves at any time. Not only are your attempts to reinvent yourself tolerated but friends and strangers alike, the are quite generally embraced and supported by friends and strangers alike.
I moved from Miami, which at the time had some pretty rigid criteria in regards to the aesthetic that a gay man aspired to in order to be active on the singles' scene and be sexually viable. Youth was imperative, or at least doing your best to achieve the appearance of youth. Smooth, lean, muscular, tan, no easy feat for a 40yo man that's extremely hairy and loves Cuban food.
Approaching 40 in Miami and SOBE, I had to own the fact that if I were to get laid regularly, it would most likely involve me getting a receipt for services rendered. However, I never dreamed that at the age of 50, I'd be the one with the card reader attached to my phone and issuing the receipts... Miami is truly the Magic City, But, San Francisco is where the seemingly impossibly becomes reality.
San Francisco has prove to be a total 180 degree shift in reality and aesthetics. I've become the physical embodiment of all that I most feared. But, I've never been happier. In fact, I've gotten a bit too happy in my new found state of furry corpulence,
I decided it was time to shift gears and seem a happy medium.
It's not always easy for us old dogs to attract new tricks. We always run the risk of boring them to death with our stories of gay life when the earth was cooling. My own husband is nineteen years my junior, and I'm sure he's sick of hearing some of my tales, regaling the days when I was a disco dinosaur.I've little doubt that there aren't a few that he could repeat verbatim at rote.Most gay men of my generation that dared to leave the house was sure to have witnessed some pretty dark days. In our own struggle to survive and attempts to ensure the survival of younger men, it's only logical that many of us became walking testimonials of doom and gloom.Fortunately, times have changed. Things are looking up, we have more options in treatment for HIV today, and are discovering alternatives in prevention. This old dog has had to find new ways to approach the topic of HIV status when negotiating carnal encounters. We even have new words and terms that didn't exist just a decade ago.I'm personally am dealing quite well with the new face of an old enemy. But, I hope I forget where I came from, or those that were part of my experience.
I look back at the many years of my life that I devoted to "What if?" Living in fear of what may come to pass. Only in retrospect have I come to realize that all that fear of impending doom, all the anxiety and negativity was for naught, other than to rob me of the opportunity to experience the positive pleasure and full potential that was rightly mine for the claiming.
I have no time for that today. I don't live recklessly, but, I certainly don't deny myself certain pleasures because it may cause me to burn when I pee.
As I've said countless times. I'm at an age where I'm facing the laws of diminishing returns. This does not make me a fatalist with a pessimistic outlook on life. I see myself as pragmatist wish an infallible positive outlook on the future. But, I'm realistic. Look, I realize that were I happen to get a misspelled tattoo on my ass today, that I would in fact have to live with it for the rest of my life. But, just how many years are we talking here? It's only a matter of time before the only ones that will see it is the nurse that's changing me or the mortician.
Get out there and have raise Hell!
Give me one more chance at the midway
Let me laugh and be gay as a clown
Give me back the world I remember
One more ride on the merry go round
Observation is my very reason for being. But, thinking, pondering, and rumination are what fuel my obsession to observe.
It seems that almost all topics eventually boil down that timeless conundrum:
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Do individuals shape society, or does society shape individuals? Who and when started the whole glorious mess?
Hmmmm, not that I think about it, is a conundrum best described as "timeless", or would "perpetual" perhaps be a better choice, in that it continues to feed upon itself, like the elusive notion of perpetual motion..
See, one more thing to ponder.
And it's all Cameron Diaz's fault.
Gentlemen,sometime before you hit the age of 50, it's wise to have a list of available places to piss, particularly if you take a diuretic to control your blood pressure…
For decades we've been aware that women hit a certain age and can expect to grow chin whiskers and experience dryness yet still be prone to leaking and spotting "down there" But, nobody has much to say about the physiological changes a large percentage of us men are left to cope with.
This is for those that always complain about being bored or having nothing to do. It came to mind earlier today when a friend mentioned that she was about to venture the wilds of IKEA on a Saturday. She was not complaining, but it made me think. Yes, it sounds like a rather tedious and frustrating endeavor, but, think of the possible adventure.. Do you ever listen to yourself? Or in the case of Facebook and other social media, do you ever actually read what you right? The statements that affirm your reality and thus your truth? I don't mean to be harsh here, but you've got to accept responsibility for thing if you sincerely want your situation to change.
I truly believe it is our mission to make a sincere and diligent endeavor to truly know ourselves. Even those that are closest to us and whom we hold most dear can never know us any better than we know ourselves.
We must remain tireless in our efforts to seek the truth.
Summer and swimsuit season are quickly approaching, and with it a special focus on fitness. This is a little piece that I contributed to HIM-Magazine last year and am republishing on my own Blog. I hope you enjoy.
Note: much of the following material is excerpted from a work in progress that I hope to eventually publish as a book.
It began with the working title of "Midlife Manifesto" which was appropriate at its inception, but as time passes I'm sure I'll want to rethink that. Unfortunately, I believe "Memories of Things Past" has already been used.