Friday: G.O.D. Group Of Drunks


It has been an interesting week. I’ve always wondered when the other shoe was going to drop for me. Medically …

It seems 50 is going to bring me challenges that I was not expecting in any way. Over the past few months, I have had episodes of serious pain, in my back. So severe that I had to get serious pain killers. Thankfully, I’ve only had to take one so far.

I’ve been to see a osteopath, and she worked on me for an hour a few weeks ago, so I have access to her as often as needed. At $100.00 a visit, that ain’t cheap. But insurance now covers 80%.

Two weeks ago I saw my doctor. who went into my image file when I had my osteoporosis check up and bone density tests and my x-rays of my back, and he missed this little problem, when those tests were done, because we were not looking for a problem, with my bones. So it was overlooked.

He looked again, now that I presented pain issues in a location that had not, in the past bothered me. And he found bone deterioration disease in my spinal column. Namely in L 3-4 and 5. On Sunday last, I had a CT scan on my back. This week, my doctor told me that I really needed to be seen by a spinal surgeon. He therefore took that scan to a consult with said spinal surgeon, that I am still waiting to hear from.

With that said, I am on desk duty. No heavy lifting of furniture, which means that set up has come to an abrupt end. I had to call in the reserves to help me out. My friends all stepped up to do what I cannot do any longer.

Thank God I can still make coffee …

Tonight we read about the fellowship and its humble origins. Appropriate that I started a new round of Big Book study, with one of my guys, before the meeting tonight. A.B.S.I. touched on that topic tonight.

We Should Not Toot Our own Horns, nor take credit and be self-congratulatory.

We all put our pants on one leg at a time. I am not the center of the universe. There is a God, and I know that I am NOT God.

What we cannot do alone, we can do, sitting in a room with our friends, together. If I pray, if we pray, it does not matter to WHOM we are praying, but that we ARE Praying.

A very respected old-timer once said that in a meeting …


It’s that simple.

I also know that if I pray to God, which I do … And I don’t get a direct answer from God, then I know I have to hit a meeting, and listen to my friends. With the proviso that if I go seeking an answer, I have to be attuned to listen for that voice coming from around me.

We take very seriously the work we do as a group, on Friday night. And when one of our people fades, and hits the skids, everybody steps into action. On Monday, I went to the meeting and met a friend, sitting on the periphery. Looking forlorn and lost.

She had drunk again.

Not long before, she was standing up front handing out Beginners chips…

I asked her what happened ? She told me.

Giving someone sober directions, while in an alcoholic stupor, does not work.

I gave her sober advice any ways. Welcomed her, told her we loved her and asked her to sit within the group, and NOT on the periphery.

She did not make it through the meeting in one piece.

She left before I could get to her, by the end. I did not see her go.

Tonight, as a group we spoke about what we can do together, and how we all keep RIGHT SIZED, and everything in perspective. That perspective only works when where are sitting in the same room together.

At the end of the meeting another friend took her two-year cake.

As the crowd of congratulations dispersed, my young lady was standing in front of me, all smiles. She has been sober three days. She thanked me for speaking to her and keeping her within the group circle and not having tossed her aside because she drank again.

She took a chip on Wednesday night.

What we cannot do alone, we CAN DO together.

It takes a village …

And we are a village, for sure.

You never know when you are going to save a life.

Constant Vigilance !!!

Thursday: Skets and More

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As the latest Nor’Easter wreaked havoc in points South and East of Montreal, we did not escape getting a bit of snow this week. It snowed for two days, on and off, and a considerable amount of snow is on the ground. So much snow, that crews are out at this hour, clearing snow off streets and highways.

This week, a year ago, Montreal was hit by a severe snow storm, a snow storm so severe that it rendered city management, the Police, and Fire Rescue, unable to make conscious decisions about saving motorists that were stuck, “IN THE HUNDREDS” on highways inundated by snow for more than TWELVE HOURS or MORE.

It was not pretty at all. That bungle at the highest levels of city government and public service, told the citizens of this city, that we really don’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.

But that was last year. This is today.

Sunday is the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This year, the track of the parade was shifted to another artery, namely De Maisonneuve. A street that runs East – West, With traffic coming One Way, Westward. For the parade, the traffic will be reversed moving Eastward, with the step off, beginning one block West, On St. Mark.

St. Mark is the drainage point for the Highway off ramp in this neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the city continues highway rebuilding over the weekend, as the new Champlain Bridge is not yet complete, and the continuing demolition of the raised highway, that runs East – West (the Ville Marie Highway).

The rebuild of the arteries of the Turcot Exchange has been going on for years now, and is far from being complete. With the Parade changes, and the Step Off being moved to an artery that takes traffic OFF the highway, and the entire closures of highway ramps for access to and access from the highway, are going to paralyze the city for the entire weekend, with the parade on Sunday afternoon.

The weather will be good, however a bit cold at (-3c) the low Sunday night dropping to (-16c). On Parade Sunday, in the past, it had been much colder, with snow. At least the snow that is on the ground, will be cleaned up by Sunday. It should be alright.

Tuesday and Wednesday are my days off. And I take full advantage of not having to be anywhere or have any work that needs to be done, save chores and grocery shopping.

This afternoon my new Skets came in the mail. Ebay had been telling me that they would not be here for another week. I do know that the Ebay collection Center in Erlangar, Kentucky had been snowed in for many days, and I was sure the mail would be hung up until things cleared out.

Nothing usually stops the USPS from delivering the mail. Through rain, sleet, snow and blizzards, nothing stops the USPS from delivering the mail …

Got to see old friends tonight, and one of them spoke for us.

I have not seen this particular friend in a long time. He hangs on the West end of town, and does not usually come East, into Westmount or up on to the Plateau where I hit meetings. This friend is just a few months older than I am. But what shocked me, when he walked in tonight, was that he went totally grey. I was like Holy Shit …

Is that what 51 looks like ?

I mean, I have a shock of grey hair that hangs in the middle of my forehead.

I call it my Jamie Lee Curtis grey look. I love that she accepted her ageing process and welcomed it, unlike so many in “the business” who color their hair to death, to stave off even the littlest bit of hair going grey.

My stylist and I joke about my streak of grey, it is stylish I think.

Tomorrow is Friday. The nest day/night of the week.

More to come.

Tuesday: Implants $33,000.00 DOLLARS


Today’s adventure is brought to you by Centre D’implantologie Montreal – Rosemont.

I was hoping to sleep in today, and make my two thirty appointment to price out the dental work, I so need at the moment. I got a call early on, this morning, saying that an opening came up earlier than my appointment time, and could I make it ?

Hell yeah ! I can make it.

I have to say, I’ve never met a more gracious team of professionals in my life. It’s not like I am a unique patient, they see these kinds of problems every day.

But from the moment I walked in the door, people were gracious and kind.

My anxiety level was cranked at a TEN PLUS. Just knowing I would be sitting in a dentist chair, gives me the willies …

The appointment lasted about 90 minutes. They took an x-ray of my mouth and processed the film, right there. In the office, the design secretary has a very large HD screen over her desk, where they do all the work.

I saw the dental specialist who looked me over and said that the bones in my jaws were good to go, and that they could do all the work in ONE DAY.

The time challenge is the family wedding in May, that may be off the table, now that we know exactly how much this whole shebang is going to cost us.

But they told me that they could do the work, the extractions, and give me a temporary bridge that would look normal, so I would be presentable at the wedding, and that the final fitting would come 4 to 5 months on in the process.

Getting implants done involves several steps, in a certain order.

  1. The Preliminary appointment – information gathering
  2. Filling, Cleaning, upkeep of teeth prior to Phase One
  3. Phase One – Placing the implants
  4. Phase Two – Abutments of implants
  5. Phase Three – Insertion of Prosthesis

Once the process begins, the timeline is seamless. Once I commit to the project, I am locked into a timeline of 4 to 8 months. Start to finish.

  • Option One – Porcelain Implants – 6 implants, fixed bridge $33,000.00
  • Option Two – Acrylic Implants – 6 implants, fixed bridge $19,000.00
  • Option Three – Dentures $18,000.00

Hubby about fell over when I called him after the appointment to tell him how much this little doctors visit was going to cost us. He is sure that our insurance is NOT going to cover one penny of this, however, the dental specialist sent all this working information to my insurance company, saying that we should get a response in three weeks.

From that point, whether we get a Yes or a No, we will figure out what to do next.

Hubby called and spoke to the specialist I saw, to reiterate his fear that insurance was not going to fit the bill. So we will see what happens now.

Monday: The Infinite Ocean


It was a very wild weekend here. Knowing that Daylight Savings was going to begin on Sunday, did not dissuade me from living my life as I always had, before.

Going to bed early, just for the sake of going to bed early, seems to be, beyond my capabilities. I just have to crank out a couple more hours out of my twenty-four, THEN go to bed, WHERE I grab a book and I read for ANOTHER hour, before shutting off the light for the night.

Sometimes, we just need to GO TO BED ALREADY !!!

Saturday night, I was burning the AFTER-Midnight oil. Knowing that I HAD to be up at SEVEN in the AM, to be at the Hospital, at Vendome by EIGHT in the AM.

I stayed up to fart around as usual, so it wasn’t until around 2 that I finally went to bed. I set my phone for SEVEN, and sure as shit, SEVEN did come around, sooner than I would have liked. But who am I to listen to conventional wisdom ?

I got dressed, and headed through the tunnel to the Orange line, which is a straight shot to Vendome, three stations up the line. I took the tunnel, the new access for everyone, including the Handicapped patients who visit the new MUHC Hospital.

Let me tell you how much grief was wrought because they built that entire hospital project, but did not have the foresight to build an accessible tunnel FROM the Metro station to the Hospital, in one fell swing …

That would have been too esasy!!!

They did not plan accordingly. And after much wringing of hands and complaints lodged to the city, the city caved and spent extra millions of dollars to tunnel from the station to the hospital, AFTER the FACT.

I get to the hospital around 7:30 and get lost trying to find my way into the hospital, because getting in, is half the fun.

On a Sunday Morning no less.

The only people AT the hospital at 7:30 in the morning are those working INSIDE, and Security. The halls are all devoid of life. I want to get outside for smoke before hand, because you CANNOT smoke on Hospital property.

I quietly Exit the building, wherein I get locked out of said hospital, and after trying three separate entrances with locked doors, and only a security button and a speaker to talk to, I find my way back into said hospital, trudging through MUD and SNOW on the far side of the building, having to find my way BACK to where I really needed to be for my appointment.

I get to the department, and the lights are off. The desk is devoid of life, thankfully, I see a young man exiting the same location and ask him where I can find a sign of life, and he says to me… “OH, they will come and get you … just have a seat and wait…”

Ten Minutes later a nurse comes to fetch me and the CT Scan takes all of five minutes.

I just spent the better part of an hour navigating the damned building for the climax of a FIVE minute CT Scan of my back…

Thank you for making your appointment this morning, have a nice day.

I took the Metro back to Atwater to drop off some scripts that needed to be refilled, that I would pick up later. I walk back home and gather my granny cart, and walk BACK to the mall to do my grocery shopping for the next few days …

BECAUSE ??? You might ask ??? There is SNOW in the forecast for the next three days.

I don’t want to be stuck without ample supplies and have to go out in a snow storm to grocery shop trying to pull a wretched granny cart through the snow.

Been there, Done that already.

I get home from my shopping trip and crawl back into bed. I sleep for the entire day and into the night. I had turned my phone off and was comatose for hours. I got up for dinner and some tv. By 11 p.m. I had such a head ache that my head was spinning and I was nauseous.

I took some Naproxen and crawled back into bed. I felt so sick. Not sure where that came from but, that was a thing.

I slept through until my haircut appointment this afternoon.

I have a HIGH and TIGHT haircut, that we tweaked just a bit. My friends, this evening seemed to like it. Because several people commented, which was unusual.

We read from the Big Book, and the topic of Resentments.

You’d never know how many of us drunks, YOUNG and OLD, have serious DADDY ISSUES. Everybody shared on the topic. And as usual, our trusty time-keeper kept us all to a three-minute time limit on sharing.

Which at the end of tonight’s meeting, spoke to him about.

Another of our kids went back out. She was hanging on the periphery of the room when I spoke to her before the meeting. I gave her some sage advice, and asked her to sit among everyone, and not on the back wall, as some do, to stay out of the fray, for all intents and purposes.

She did not make it through the entire meeting. I think the topic was a bit rough for her, so she bolted before the meeting even ended.

A friend of mine, lost his mother recently. We are kin to the same problem. Parents with memories and resentment lists like ELEPHANTS.

They NEVER Forget …

As sober people, what is done is done. Carrying around resentments is like carrying rocks around our necks, in sacks only we can fill, OR empty, whenever we choose.

My friend realized, long ago, what game she had been playing. And he chose to take the high road, and access the infinite ocean of power we have within our reach, when we get sober. Taking that high road, was not always the easy road. But he walked it.

He made peace with his parents and escorted his mother to her death, valiantly. Because he embraced love and compassion, and the infinite ocean of love around him, and he carried that love back to his family, doing good, small things, OFTEN.

I don’t have that luxury of doing Good, Small Things, Often.

One, because my brother hates me as hard as my parents hate me. And Two, I cannot even get him to acknowledge my humanity as a human being, let alone, answer any of my texts to him, beyond his …


So fuck me for trying.

My friend talked to me for a bit after the meeting and when I got home, I caved to pressure of compassion and emotion, and I texted my brother AGAIN.

I give him three days before he tells me to fuck off again…

I have not spoken to my mother, not that she wants to even talk to me, but I wished to express my condolences to her, but if I cannot raise my brother, as he is her gatekeeper now, and he isn’t speaking to me, I will never get to my mother.

So she will go to her grave even more angry and bitter than my father was.

Sometimes sobriety and the truth sucks, because there is not a snowball’s chance in hell, that I will get anyone to recognize that I am ALSO a human being, with feelings of my own.

I might have made the bed I am sleeping in right now, by choices that I made twenty odd years ago, but they were direct results of my family telling me to fuck off and DIE ALREADY when I was very sick and closer to death than I am today.

It isn’t ALL my fault for the state of family affairs today.

I would love to believe I have access to my friends INFINITE OCEAN of possibilities, but that just AIN’T the case with my family. For my family, you can NEVER go HOME.

Tomorrow I have a Two O’clock appointment with the smile specialists. I HATE, with all my soul, the dentist. But I need serious help, and it’s gonna cost serious money, that we know we don’t have, to complete the job successfully.

I am praying for small mercies and maybe a little miracle of financial ability of the part of an institution to be able to finance what I need IN HOUSE, and not using an outside firm where I am going to pay interest for years, before I can even think of paying off a job that is probably going to cost THOUSANDS of DOLLARS, start to finish.

UGH !!!

It’s time to go to bed already.

More to come. Stay tuned …

Friday: We are not meant to do this alone


Another week has gone. It was a good week. Lots of things accomplished. I found a good deal on a pair of Nike Shox sneakers, which I have been wanting for the longest time. They were located in the U.S. but still I had to pay import taxes on the purchase. Some things you buy online do not have extra taxes tacked on. Oh well. They are on their way tonight.

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I dropped labs a couple of weeks ago. And received phone calls from BOTH my doctors. It seems my A1C has come down considerably, with all the drugs I am taking, insulin and pills. In December, my HIV doc put me on a new once a day Prezista Pill at 800 mg a day.

I’ve been on this KETO diet for more than a year now. And over the past two months, my diet has been on a roller coaster, so to speak. I crave foods like a mad man. One thing I was craving was BREAD. So for a couple of weeks, I was eating cold cuts sandwiches for lunch.

Not thinking … really …

If you want to gain weight BACK and FAST, bread is your ticket to hell. Bread is pure sugar. And I have to keep an eye on my sugars.

I ate BREAD. BREAD is NOT your friend.

My Diabetes doctor called to tell me the good news, and the NOT so GOOD news. My triglycerides went up five points. She wanted to know if I had done anything in particular to have them rise so fast, so far ? Well, I was on a new pill, and all HIV pills come with triglyceride warnings. They are going to go up.

The next evening as I was on my way out to a meeting, my HIV doc called, to tell me my numbers were good, and I asked about the triglycerides. He told me that I trend high and they go up and down like an elevator.

He said, it was not the new pill, BUT ME … in this case.

I told him I fell off the wagon and ate bread for an extended period of time. He responded, telling me that I need to be very careful what I am putting into my body, in the way of food. Because HIV and Diabetes medications run a precarious balance, if they are to work together, as they have been.

I’ve been off bread for a few weeks now, and my weight is slowly coming back down. Today I cracked the 160 mark, down from high 170’s. I gained all that weight back and it didn’t dawn on me why ?

I was eating BREAD for God’s sake.

Pictured above, is Bill Wilson’s headstone. A few years back, my sponsor, at that time, on the way to a weekend retreat in Vermont, took me and my friend Joe to East Dorset, where Bill was born, and where Bill and Lois Wilson are buried.

Notice the chips that visitors placed on his marker. Tradition holds that if you visit Bill’s grave, that you leave a chip for someone later to find, and if they need that particular chip, they can take it, provided they leave one in return.

I do not know any other human being, here in Montreal sobriety, besides my old sponsor, my friend Joe, and myself, who have stood on that hallowed ground. This thought came to me during tonight’s Friday nigh meeting.

We cannot do this alone. We need outside help. The reading tonight, touches on Step Five, and the moral inventory. It also talks about having the right people in our lives, who can call us on our bullshit and tell us the truth.

Shares were all over the board on this one.

I just know that for over sixteen years, I have been doing the SAME THING, week in and week out. Month after month, and year after year. I do service three times a week. I have friends. I work with others. And when push comes to shove, in sobriety, I know that, my best thinking, brought me here, and when I get into my head, I know I need to hit a meeting and listen to my friends. Because that is where I am going to hear God Speak.

I know, many folks, would rather I just shut up already. And many of those people who have said that to me in the past, have disappeared from the rooms all together.

I’ve survived all of them.

Some of us talk about doing what we were told to do as newbies. That some of us, took all that information, on beard, and did as we were told. Many of us in the over fifteen years, through the twenties are still sober, because we followed directions, to the letter.

Today, You cannot tell many people to follow suggestions. They just don’t want to be told what they really need to do, despite themselves.

There are few people who listen when I talk. When any of us talk.

So I keep talking, and I put my information out on the table for popular consumption. Some may take it, many won’t. Few people want my help beyond my friends, and the men I work with.

But I’ve got one up on my friends … I’ve visited Bill and Lois. I’ve stood and prayed on their graves with other alcoholics. No one here, has had that particular gift bestowed on them. And I can take that one to my grave, in confidence.

Working with others, has its challenges. A particular extension of my little sober circle, includes a few souls, who need a little extra help. Mental illness in the rooms, is a real problem. Many of those men and women, do it all by themselves.

You cannot do sobriety OR mental illness, or any illness for that matter, by yourself.

But especially, mental illness requires a second set of eyes.

For a couple of friends, I am that second set of eyes.

It always pays to be kind, whenever possible. People are suffering, and if I can bring, for a little while, some modicum of serenity and kindness into their lives at a meeting, then why not ?

There is only so much talking that I can do. Some of my friends need to take concrete action in their lives and actually do what is suggested of them.

A particular friend lives in an apartment that is in shambles. There are dirty dishes piled in the sink, there is garbage piled high and pizza boxes. There are Timmy’s cups all over the place, the bed is a mess and there are clothes strewn all over the bedroom.

For the life of me, I cannot teach him how to wash his dishes. That mundane simple task is beyond his mental capabilities at the moment. Where in the past, every time I went to his house, I cleaned his house, dishes. clothes and all.

He called, out of the blue the other day, and asked me to visit him. And this was the way his house appeared to me.

A shambles.

I keep telling him that his outward life, is a direct reflection of his inner life.

His home is a mess, therefore his life is a mess.

And I postulate that id he cleaned up his house, that his inner life would brighten considerably. Right now, he is unable to do either. Clean his home nor clean his life.

I can only talk so much.

Some people just do not have it in them to get better, no matter how hard I try or the talking I do with them. The message is just not sinking in …

It snowed this week. We forget that in March, we get the lion’s share of snow for the season. March is only a couple of weeks in. And the weather people warned us that Winter would evolve directly into Summer this year.

With a very short or non-existent Spring …


Not sure of either at the moment.

Everybody is well, all things considered. Well, as well as can be expected, challenges included.

More to come.

Call Me By Your name – Conversation


As I wrote earlier, I watched this film today. It brought up many memories and feelings that I have not thought about in a long time. Here is the transcription of the conversation between Elio’s father and Elio himself, after Oliver leaves Italy. This conversation, in my opinion, was the most important conversation between a father and his son, I have ever heard.

You two had a nice friendship.


You’re too smart not to know how rare, how special, what you two had was.

Oliver was Oliver

Parce que c’etait lui, parce que c’etait moi

He is more myself than I am …

Oliver may be very intelligent,

Intelligent? He was more than intelligent. What you two had had everything and nothing to do with intelligence. He was good, and you were both lucky to have found each other, because you too are good, Elio’s father speaks …

I think he was better than me Papa.

I’m sure he’d say the same thing about you, which flatters the two of you.

What lies ahead, Elio’s father continues – What lies ahead is going to be very difficult. We don’t have to speak about it, but not let’s pretend we don’t know what I am saying.

Fear not, it will come. At least I hope it does. And when you least expect it. Nature has a cunning way of finding our weakest spot. Just remember I am here. Right now you may not want to feel anything. Perhaps you never wished to feel anything. And perhaps it’s not with me that you’ll want to speak about these things, But feel something you did.

Look, Papa interrupted – You had a beautiful friendship, maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you. In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their son’s land on their feet soon enough. But I am not such a parent.

In your place, if there is pain, nurse it and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching other forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste.

Have I spoken out of turn, says Papa ?

Elio shakes his head.

Then let me tell you one more thing. It will clear the air, I may have come close, but I never had what you had. Something always held me back or stood in the way. How you live your life is your business. But remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. Most of us can’t help but live as though we’ve got two lives to live, one is the mockup, the other the finished version, and then there are all those versions in between.

but there’s only one, and before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now there’s sorrow. I don’t envy the pain. But I envy you the pain.

He takes a breath.

We may never speak about this again. But I hope you’ll never hold it against me that we did. I will have been a terrible father if, one day, you’d want to speak to me and felt that the door was shut or not sufficiently open.

Elio wanted to ask how he knew. But then how could he not have known ? How could anyone not have known ? Does mother know, Elio asks?

I don’t think she does.But even if she did, I am sure her attitude would be no different than mine.

We said goodnight.

On my way upstairs I vowed to ask him about his life. We’d heard about his women when he was young, but I’d never had an inkling of anything else.

Was my father someone else? And if he was someone else, who was I ?

I won’t spoil either the book or the movie by saying anything further about the story.

Call Me By Your Name …


I bought the book. It is sitting on my bedside table. I’m part way into the story. And I broke my own rule about first reading the book, before seeing the film.

There are films, that I have seen, from this particular genre, over the years. Each one of them evoke particular emotions and feelings. As I began reading the book, the other night, one particular emotions was drawn to the surface.

It has happened in my life, that feeling of crossing the divide into love, for the very first time. Happenstance, if you will. Once, when I was nineteen. And on another occasion, when I was just a bit older.

It was the Summer of my 19th year. My mother was in a resentful battle with her sister, miles away. My mother, ever the bitter bitch, forbade me contact. I ignored her.

Her battles were not my battles. And her resentments were not my resentments. Just to be clear, I never carried forwards the hatred that my parents carry to their graves.

But I digress …

I flew home to Connecticut for a few days. One night there was a party. Drinking ensued.

Yukkafutz …

Yukkafutz, is a 2 gallon mason jar, with a cup of sugar at the bottom, all kinds of fresh fruit, and on top of that, ice. Followed by 2 gallons of Vodka.

The top is sealed, and the jar is covered with a towel. Everybody in the drinking circle takes turns shaking the bottle, as the ice melts, the sugar melts and the vodka infuses the fruit, in the jar, the jar eventually ices over …

Everybody has a straw.

The jar goes around and around until the vodka is gone. Another cup of sugar is added, more fruit, and more ice, and another 2 gallons of vodka follows.

By the end of the second round, everyone is pretty plastered.

There was a particular man, at this dinner party. Blond hair, tanned physique, I did not know if he was gay or not. All I knew was that, he was not going to drive home drunk, and that eventually he would end up in my bed that very night.

Hell, I wasn’t sure if I was gay either. I’d never acted on my sexual orientation up until then, not even with a woman. I mean I’ve kissed a girl, but that is as far as my womanly education went.

We drank, and hooted and hollered. As the night wore on, I moved closer and closer to where he was sitting, until I was practically, sitting on top of him. With teenage lust in my heart.

I took his keys from his pocket, and I hid them where neither of us would find them until we at least sobered up, by the next morning.

As darkness fell, people who were staying, went to bed. Others left, quietly, by car. Alas, my man friend, was not going anywhere.

As the house grew quiet, I pulled the sofa bed out, and my friend took the sofa, off to the other side of the room. Not knowing quite sure what to do, I followed the guidebooks, that my father had left for me to read.

I will never forget that night, as long as I live.

We saw each other over the next few days before I had to return to Florida.

Our parting was as bitter-sweet as Oliver and Elio.

I kept that secret for more than two years. Nobody knew that I had slept with him that night, under my aunt’s roof.

That was, hands down, the boldest thing I had ever done in my life up to that point.

Gay men, of my ilk, of my day and age, had a particular philosophy. One, that it only takes three drinks to turn a straight man gay, and Two, some believed, that a coupled man, was more of a hunt, than a single man.

Meaning … The hunt was much better, if you could bed someone, who was already dating, or involved with someone else in particular, if you did bed that man, you win the grand prize.

On top of my medicine cabinet, to this very day, sits a bottle of OBSESSION, by Calvin Klein. A memory of an act I perpetrated, long ago.

I had two room mates, older than me, in that year. We had three friends, who worked at the Tragic Queendom. Charlie, Dustin, and David. Charlie and I were riding the hobby-horse, until he left from his contract season. Dustin was gay. David, on the other hand was straight.

David was terribly attracted to the scent of Obsession.

Every time he came to our apartment, I would douse the bathroom and my pillows and sheets with Obsession. My devious plot, was to bring David, over to the dark side.

After a night of drinking, and a little concentration of Obsession, I put my plan into action. That was the one and only conquest I ever attempted, in my life.

David swung…

Let’s just say I was in heaven for about a week. Floating above the clouds, because David was particularly good-looking and sweet.

My bedroom was in the back of the apartment. One of my room mates had the Master Bedroom, just inside the front door, of the apartment. My third room-mate had the middle bedroom off to one side.

One afternoon, I came home from work early, and walked into the apartment. As I walked in, I noticed that my room-mate was entangled in his sheets with someone.

That someone happened to be David …

Unbeknownst to me, my room mate decided that he was going to bed David too, behind my back. Color me surprised !!!

That was a particularly bad scene, to say the least. I had to continue to live under that roof, until I found someplace better. I never spoke to David again.

Gay men, of my day and age, had no scruples. They would stab you in the back, in the blink of an eye, if they felt they could get one over on you.

That would not have been the first time, in that particular time period that I got burned badly, by another gay man. Because it happened more than once.

I was a stupid naive gay boy back then.

I wasn’t the backstabbing kind of boy, and I am not that kind of man today.

Call me by your name, and I will call you by my name …

Elio, Oliver, Elio, Oliver …