Monday, June 09, 2008


Here's a wrinkle:

Freshly freed from his tutorial duties, the Goat drove in to Nowheresville for the weekend. If my memory serves me right, always a question around here, he has not been here since February. We did many of the usual things, and I took him up to visit my mother, who enjoys his company, but does keep asking if I am sure I have made the right choice. If she's on to something I'm not, I am going to regret all the clenching of teeth and eye-rolling that have characterized my visits in the last year or so... She was on her good behavior, aside from demanding to be given credit for a winning hand when she had flagrantly broken the rules to win...

And there had been a certain amount of aleman-left your corner before she figured out what meal we could conveniently come to, and no, we couldn't bring anything...

The Goat spent years working in restaurants: as bus-boy, waiter, baker, chef. So meals at his house are a treat; meals prepared for him at my house tend to become an exercise in paranoia for me: will he like it? will he say he does even if he doesn't? Well, there was none of that this time. Instead, we got so stoned that I put the chicken in the oven at the wrong temperature, left it in too long, and very nearly incinerated it. The asparagus was marginally underdone, and the rice was still wet. [Is it just me, or does rice never work when you follow directions?] He was, I guess, stoned enough not to care, which was a good thing. But what does it mean that we spend so much of our time together, at least when either of us is working, drunk or stoned?

That can't be a good sign...

No major breakfast items for a change, though I did finally manage to make tea strong enough for the Goat, which meant that spoons stood up in it, and the caffeine buzz put coffee to shame.

It was beastly hot all weekend. It was so hot we stooped to taking in Geriatric Jones and the Kingdom of the Numb-ish Skulls in the afternoon before high-tailing it up to my mother's for a cold dinner. In retrospect, I wish we had opted for the Kung-Fu Panda instead, though I'm not sure I can say why. We also watched, or rather, I watched, and the Goat traipsed in and out of, one of my favorite movies from the '60's, which I had not seen since then:

Morgan, a Suitable Case for Treatment.

Much to my surprise, I had in fact retained accurate, not to say photo-finish, recall of much of it, down to the dialogue I have been quoting to various puzzled friends for years: Morgan's cockney mum complaining about his behavior at Karl Marx's tomb as "disrespectfuw," his own complaint that his mum "refuses to de-Stalinize," and, my very favorite, to his Upper Class Twit Mother-in-law: "Tick-tock, poor old mom, you are sitting on a bomb," right before she sets off the bomb he has rigged under the no-longer-marital bed in what used to be his house. David Warner and Vanessa Redgrave are wonderful. Redgrave in particular is amazing: she radiates love, and the ambivalence of loving someone who has become impossible to live with.

Did I have some sixth sense way back then that this was, in fact, going to be my destiny? I certainly identified with Morgan hook, line, and sinker.

Oh, well, I enjoyed seeing it again, and it all rang true.

I couldn't tell whether the Goat was cranky because he had had to do the driving for a change, and knew that he couldn't complain after I had done it for nearly nine months, and was caught in the middle -- or whether I had in fact said or done something he didn't like. I couldn't put my finger on it, but the weekend didn't quite seem to be everything it could have been. One more weekend like that, and then we're off to P'town for a few days to sponge off rich friends who have a house there and soak up some culture.

My mother fixed me with a beady eye when the Goat wasn't in the room, and asked me whether I wasn't uncomfortable with the wall-to-wall faggotry of P'town. Actually, I am, but we are visiting dear old friends of the Goat's, and I'm not about to mess things up by getting my knickers in a knot over it. It takes some getting used to: the girl-talk ("girlfriend," "she this," "she that," etc., which I don't really feel I can complain about, having succumbed to the irresistible force of the Inner Girl myself), the letting down of hair I would be perfectly happy to see left in place, the assumptions made about what being there, then, and with him, means.

It's all part of growing up at 56, I guess...

I do sometimes wish I didn't have to bite off quite so much more than I can chew, all at one time. Well, I've been promised bike rides in the dunes, and [as long as we don't have to ride on actual sand], at least that means that some of the visit will be easy on the nerves.

Don't get me wrong. It's not like I don't know that this is what I bought into when I left home: it's just that the adjustment curve sometimes seems a little steep for an Old Guy. Especially one who left "gay life" behind thirty-odd years ago because he didn't much fancy all of what now gets taken for granted, not to say shoved down his throat. It's my life, too, now.

Well. we all do our best, and that's all anyone can ask of us. It is still too @#$%-ing hot to bear. I don't like the cold much, but my feet and legs swell up in the heat until they begin to feel like sausages boiled to the point of bursting. I hope things are cooler out in the Big Woods... this much misery needs no company.

It's a short life, but a merry one, here between Beantown and the Big Woods.

Hang in there, all.

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