Oh My God, it is Sticky, Wet and Humid tonight. Thank God we have an air conditioner. It was the best purchase we had made a few years ago. Temps have been topping out over the (30c) mark. Today we hit a record (32c) with a humidex of (36c). It was STICKY !
Rain clouds moved in mid day, and thundershowers followed. I carried an umbrella, because it was raining when I left the house, and stopped as we approached the metro. On the other end, we were early, and thunder was rolling across the sky. We had a twenty minute pour down rain event, and that was it.
The walk home was Damp, Sticky and Miserable.
I haven’t written anything since Sunday, not that I haven’t anything to write about. I just haven’t sat down and fleshed out my ideas, but there are a few.
My friend Shawn came to the meeting tonight, he was present for the shit show last Sunday night, and he brought with him the apologies of the group and reiterated that I had done nothing wrong, and that yes, that guy from out of town was an asshole.
Tonight, we sat a crowd. But when we split the group because of numbers, the balance of folks went in the back room to talk, leaving a handful of people up front. I am hearing that the addicts in the meeting are finding safety and the ability to be open an honest with what they say, in the back, instead of having to be dubious about what their addiction is. The alcoholic/addict divide is still alive and well it seems.
We talked about Imagination …
“After all, no man can build a house until he first visions a plan for it.”
I spoke a few words when we went around the room, but later realized that I had totally missed my mark with what I did say, versus what I forgot to say. So here we go:
Story time …
My Grammy’s back yard was full of gardens. The flower variety and the vegetable variety. And there was an empty lot next door, where cuttings, berry bushes, and flowers flourished for many years before it was developed later on.
When I was young, imagination and freedom was mine to have, as long as it did not intersect with my father. When it did, my imagination, was thwarted.
I was gifted in playing music. I played for many years, well into High School. I had an $80,000 dollar organ in our living room, that I played for years. I performed at recitals, and at school, and at District competitions during those years. One day my father threw my organ seat at my mother in a fit of drunken rage, I turned to him and said:
I will never play that organ again, get rid of it.
That night, my musical career was over. I never touched another keyboard to this day. I pissed that gift away because of a drunk.
My bedroom was the only room I had to myself. I had a stereo and records to play. I used to draw and sketch for a long time. I had a passion for “The Love Boat” and anything having to do with cruise ships. I had photos plastered all over the walls of my room. And I would sit and draw them intricately in a sketch pad, partial scale.
My father was well and good with disrupting anything I was doing, and at one point was so erratic that he took the door off the hinges, so I could not lock him out when he went into drunken rages and came after me. I had, at one point, put a deadbolt on my door, and that only infuriated him more, that I would put a lock on a door “IN HIS HOUSE!”
When I moved away from home, I had big dreams, high expectations, and an ass of death. In my younger days, I commanded the attention of many. But fueled by drugs and alcohol. That did not go so well at all for me. Young gay men living in Orlando were a dime a dozen.
The night I walked into the Parliament House, and its Footlight Theatre, I was transfixed and totally enamored with the resident drag queens. I spent inordinate amounts of time in that theatre over the ensuing years. I met men, who took me in and loved me, and taught me many things about “Imagination.”
The art of female impersonation was BIG BUSINESS.
Everyone in that crowd was drawn into the lives of these men, performing and competing for crowns and titles over the years. Drag was something that followed me all the way into my sobriety the first time, because I had a job at a local club, where one particular drag queen was resident hostess, the Late Dana Manchester.
I have to say that I thought English drag queen were fierce, but they could not hold a candle to the Latin Drag Queen. Especially the young Latin drag queens. They would back stab each other, steal dresses, and even destroy them, to foil a competition.
Back to Orlando.
I fell in love with those men over the years. Dana, Rusty, Carmella, and many others. To this day, a handful of the oldsters, are still alive, and celebrated the forty year anniversary of the Parliament House, a few years ago. I found them all on You Tube. It was like reliving my youth all over again, at almost fifty.
Alcohol and drugs, in the end, killed any imagination I had, once again. And It would not return until I started working for Todd. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I never lived, until I worshiped men in Leather, dressed to kill. There are plenty of stories over —> in the pages section of the blog, you can go read, if you are so inclined.
Coming into the rooms the second time, the only imagination I had prior to that were the hazy dreams and expectations I had of the elixir of Alcohol, and what I imagined it was going to do for me in the end. Sadly, that warped imagination was sick.
When I moved here, I was sober a few months. And I started with very little to work with. But as I stayed sober and went to meetings,and listened to what was said, what was written, and what was shared, I began to hope for those PROMISES.
At a year sober, my therapist asked me what I wanted to do with my life, now that I had hit my year. I had to think a bit. Many years prior, I spent a year in a Catholic Seminary, only to end up being asked to leave. I loved it there. And I thought that if I could not get into the priesthood “through” the church, I would find my way there, from “Outside” the church.
I settled on going back to school, at age 35. And that is exactly what I did. I rode that train for ten years. Got a B.A. in Religion, and a Certificate in Theology, and then headed for the M.A. in Theology, only to break the 2 “C” rule and left education behind.
I never imagined the life I have today. I just did not have many high hopes because of my medical condition, never knowing how long I was going to live.
Funny, I am still alive.
And so much has happened in almost fifteen years of sobriety.
I’ve read inordinate numbers of books, taken a decades worth of university classes. Not to mention the hundreds of books I read when I got sick back in the nineties. Books are a world in themselves, and I devote hours each night to book reading, every night. Life without books is not a life at all.
If you had told me fifteen years ago, what this life would have looked like then, I would have laughed at you. I believe that it has been by the Grace of God, that I have the life I have, with the man I married and love.
I have the best friends anyone could ask for. I live a charmed life, doing what I do best. I help my friends, in any way I can, every day of my life. I have a home, and love. I have food in my fridge, and money in the bank, and I am ALIVE.
Is it ODD or is it GOD???
Todd saved my life. And God maintains my life.
I live simply and humbly. At least I try to.
There are a few things still on that bucket list of mine. And I am sure, in time, I will eventually knock them off of it.
All is takes is a little Imagination and a lot of Hope.