So… here I sit, slightly groggy, only a partial cup of coffee down, and I start this. What to write about this week. Um… well… I haven’t the slightest idea. I guess it’s going to be a fly by the seat of my pants… shorts this morning.
Let’s get started… but another cup of coffee is in order first…
This week I hit a milestone: I became a speed limit, hit the double-nickel, in other words, I turned fifty-five. Ugh… There wasn’t a big party or a lot of hoopla. To be honest, I slept through most of it, thanks to an early morning massage that I received as a birthday present from TAT, (The Aussie Tart) Oh, I do miss getting a regular massage. I really do need to remedy that. Anyway, it was a pretty average day over all. Trust me when I say, I was perfectly okay with that.
But there was something niggling me, in the back of my mind, something that was bothering me. It took me a while to figure it out because… well I’m not very bright sometimes. I was depressed, but why? It wasn’t that I turned fifty-five. Pfft… I’m an old fart now and I’m okay with that. So… what was it?
It hit me last night while at happy hour. I know I’ve mentioned this weekly event before, but I’ll touch on it again. There is a fairly vibrant gay community here and a lot of men gather on Friday for happy hour. Yes, there are some men close to my age there, but for the most part, they are older than I am. I have to admit, that kind of makes me smile to think I’m a younin’ there.
Anyway… It finally dawned on me why I was feeling the way I was: remorse. Now I’ve heard of it before. Could empathize with it, recognized it in others but never actually felt it. It was survivor's remorse. I lived through one of the biggest health crises’ this country, the world had ever seen.
It was political. It was dirty. It was argued that the men, the gay men who were dying left, right and center, deserved what they got because they were perverts, vile creatures in the eyes of God. It was God’s way of cleansing the earth of such abominations. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was God’s way of punishing the wicked sodomites!
However, this was the first time that I’ve actually felt guilty for surviving, and living through the nightmare that took so many of my friends and some colleagues. How did I escape it? Why was I not one of the first to go? Trust me; I was out there having just as much fun as everyone else, if not more than some. So how was I so lucky to have made it? It isn’t as if I was some great artist. I’m really not all that smart or funny, or good looking or… anything really special. I was just an average guy trying to make his way in the world, who happened to be gay. So why? Why me?
I once knew this guy, an acquaintance, a friend of a friend of a friend, who really had a bad case survivor’s remorse. He felt it was a punishment to be left behind. I thought he was being a little dramatic at the time. Okay, he was pretty crackers in my opinion. He was one of those people who was gloom and doom all the time. I personally never felt that way and still don’t. Do I? Was it a punishment to be allowed to live when so many other talented, smart, funny, gifted men were cut down in the prime of their lives?
The simple answer is no. I’d never felt I was being punished for not dying such a horrendous death. Do I now? Hmm… Was that what was bothering me? I don’t think so. I think what I’m really feeling is loneliness. A loss of all the friends I knew who are no longer here. Is that what was bothering me? Sort of I think. It was also the feeling of lost youth, of having so many good times with those friends, those lighthearted times. It’s the loss of staying up dancing all night. It’s the loss of the T-dances on Sundays. It’s the loss of going out, carousing with them. It’s the loss of the laughter that we all shared. That was the remorse I was/am feeling.
Yeah, yeah… I know I’m going to hear ‘But you’re not that old!’ Pfft… in gay years you might has well be invisible. Well unless you’re one of those hunky gym-daddies, which is so not me and that still won’t alleviate the loss I feel. No, I may not seem that old in general society and in general I don’t feel that old. I just wish someone would tell my poor beat-up old body that! LOL
“Mary, crawl off that cross, someone needs the wood!”
“Miss Self Pity, table for one!”
“Honey, would you please come out of the pity pool? You’re all shriveled up.”Okay, I didn’t just write all that for any kind of sympathy, or oh poor, poor Max. No, I think it was my way of paying tribute to some of the fabulous gay men I was fortunate to call friends and in my way, letting them know that they are missed but not forgotten. No, it was me remembering, subconsciously, those who I loved and wish could have been here for my birthday. I know without a doubt that they’d have given me total shit for being a speed limit. There would have been old fart jokes from start to finish. Yeah, yeah, yeah… bite me you bitches. I made it!
I am a proud gay man. I’ve lived through one of the most horrendous, catastrophic health events know to mankind and I survived. I still laugh, cry and feel. I have people who I love and who love me. I love the feel of the sun on my face and the dirt under my fingernails. I have a life and I intend to live it!
So, this tired ol’ nag is gonna trot his ass around the track at least one more time. I’m gonna throw my tits to the wind and dare anyone to tell me not to. Damnit, I’ve earned the right to say ‘fuck you’ to anyone who wants to try and put me down. Don’t tread on me. Oh wait, there’s a snake involved in that, isn’t there? Okay… might not go that far then. I hate snakes. Alrighty then… I will survive. There. ‘Nough said.
Okay, this is running a bit longer than usual but I did want to share something with everyone. This made my day and actually made me a bit weepy.
A Bear in Paris – A French ReviewRhett Beaumont arrived in Paris to make the dream of a lifetime, this should have been done in joy but it is with a heavy heart the memories of the past that puts his first look at the city. It is immediately amazed when he discovered Paris, its boulevards, this special ambiance of the capital of love, of glamor and romance.
After a quick installation, stay a month can finally begin. At the street corner, pastries irresistibly attracted. However, when his eye catches a completely different kind of sweetness that would be enjoyed with relish, this is a new world that awaits him!
To my surprise, this story has literally snapped up, it is very refreshing. I loved the character of Rhett. Outside it is beautiful, intelligent and tender with a cracked past, he is finally ready to conquer, discover, explore and live his dream.We will follow the whole time wonder.
Descriptive emerge elegantly Parisian charm, I was enrolled in a trip to the heart of the story. It almost would feel the vibrations of the city to our reading and the wonder of Rhett each discovery of a new place to visit, the most tempting specialties as each other. It eats everything around it, drinking at every moment of every detail.
His morning routine was already very nice, pastries to die for, the smile of sexy pastry chef and player chewable.
Luke is charming, pleasant to the sight, direct and enterprising so that he gets to overwhelm the American of his deep gaze. It is also on the defensive, not knowing whether he can be trusted again.
All crescendo rises like a heartbeat accelerating with emotions. This romance is languorous, simple and tasty. The story takes its time, it is a pleasure to follow these two wounded beings groping bruised face their doubts and pain of an experience but do not let down!
The authors make a beautiful tribute to the city of Paris, I felt the attraction they have for it to through their words so enthusiasts. This is why it makes this moment so unique, special and exciting. They reveal extreme delicacy with a splendid history, euphoric and fulfilled.
Your feathers Max and KC Wells combined are very pleasant. A delight for the senses. A sumptuous alchemy of letters, a bookish escape that will transport you and delight you fully.
The end ... Oh the end is simply magical, beautiful and radiant.
This book is a sweet romantic jewel to be enjoyed without moderation!
Thank you Karine for such this review. A Bear in Paris is being published in English, French and Italian. All proceeds to go help LGBT youth. Your purchase price of only $2.99 will help young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth get off the streets and get the help they need. You get a pretty good story for that price and help kids at the same time. I’d say that is a win-win situation. Why don’t you go, get the story, have a good read and feel good about the Karma Coins you’re collecting.
Thanks, y’all. I think that is about all I have for this week.