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 …

Friday …There are Options, Its Your CHOICE



This afternoon, I got a letter from a friend. My young Elder Friend who returned home to Idaho, prior to the holidays, wrote me, sitting inside the grand library at Brigham Young University.

The hallowed institution B.Y.U has educated some of the finest young men and women in all of North America. Our Elder served his two year Mission here in Montreal, where we met, just a few months before his departure.

What little time we spent together was jam packed with Love, Faith and Hope. The Elders had a purpose coming into my life, and in the end, the fact that the LDS church states quite clearly their view of “one man and one woman,” has prevented me from becoming a full and baptized member of the church.

But, his words to me were thus … “You came into our lives for a reason, and Heavenly Father knows that reason. We are converted to the Gospel, and NOT the church. So whether you are baptized or not, there is a place for you, and Heavenly Father will never let you down. There were just too many God moments shared between us to discount the hand and spirit of Heavenly Father. So believe me when I tell you that he loves you and so do I…

**** **** ****

Last night, I began reading The Dispossessed, by Szilard Borbely, Translated from the Hungarian, by Ottilie Mulzet. I was hooked on the first page. The first page.

I have a stack of books on my bedside table right now. All going at some point. I am expecting a follow up tome by Viet Thanh Nguyen, titled “The Refugees.” I had read, a few months ago, his first novel called “The Sympathizer” which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for literature. Along with Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, also a Pulitzer Prize winner, was the best book I had read last summer.

The Refugees, comes out in February. I almost missed the title, thanks to Indigo’s Pulitzer Prize listing, saved another book for me to read.

**** **** ****

I said this as the Holiday’s began. I gave a dire warning to my friends. All of them, over a series of weeks. I made sure that every single one of my friends had my number with solid directions to call if they needed to, at any time, for any reason …

My phone did not ring save for Rafa and Juan calling to check on me.

Tonight, was the best night of the week, because it is the best meeting of the week. As I said, my phone did not ring. One of my friends, who lives not far away, offered to drive me out and back tonight. He was, WAS, clean and sober just a short 4 months, this time.

When I got in the car tonight, he was visibly shaken. New Years came and went, and on New Years Day, his lady friend packed up and left him high and dry. Instead of calling, as he was told, he took a chunk of money and got HIGH and DRUNK. Alcohol is one problem, it is the COCAINE that is the real killer.

That started the night off with a bang.

The meeting we talked about Faith without works is Dead … If a man does not expand his Spiritual life and turns around, and works with others, and gives it away, he will surely drink again …

As was tradition, we split up, and the discussion went around. Those who needed to know he had gone back out, knew. So it was a night of protracted song and dance around the room, cross-talking among ourselves, but quite directly talking to him, but not TO HIM.

After the meeting I spoke to my handful of men whom I work with directly. The men who I choose to support directly, even if they don’t want it. I am there. All those conversations led to the same conclusion …

The Holidays sucked, everybody is miserable. Thank God the holidays are over, and I wish they had never come.

Like I said, my phone did not ring except expected calls from my guys.


The way I have stayed sober for so many years, is that, First, I did not make the stupid decisions that my friends did. And Second, I did not do many things I watched my friends do. This holiday, I warned my friends, I gave them my number, told them to call,

Nobody called…

Thank God I am sober, and that I don’t make really bad choices.

I am never alone. You are never alone. Whether you stay clean and sober or drunk and high all comes down to A CHOICE.

Your Choice !

YOU make that choice to be sober or not. I can’t make that choice for you. Tonight I spoke to many miserable men, (all straight) by the way, who had horrible holidays, yet they did not even think to call when they could have, but chose not to call.

Fuck me for trying, I mean God the Fuck Damn …



This afternoon I was trolling Face Book, as I am wont to do. And I came across this image… Mario in Marbella at Borussia Dortmund Winter Training.
SNEAKERS, well TRAINERS !!! Orange. Sleek. New. WANT !!!
Do you know how hard it is to find a pair of shoes in the world ? Knowing that I probably could not find them here on Amazon or Ebay, because I did not know what they were called, so ZOOM the photo, get a good look, and load that image into Google.
Search all the images known to NIKE … I find an image that led to a website, that did not actually have the trainers I wanted, in style or colorway. But a further search landed me on EBAY UK. Which led me to not ONE but TWO UK shoppes online that had the trainers, AND IN MY SIZE …

Classic men’s Orange/Neon Green/Black Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31’s …

For a cool $160.00 CAD shipping included.

Next week …