Archives for posts with tag: Lesbian

On the Phone

As the elderly gray-haired gays tittle-tattle at Joe’s Coffee shop on Commercial Street, making snide comments about those they like and those they don’t… like so many teenage girls, bullying, name calling and whispering. The lesbians remain dignified and polite.  They say good morning or make easy conversation. They comment on the weather or ones choice of croissant in such a way that improves the quality of the day.

Not all lesbian are like this of course but my experience here in Provincetown is irrefutable.

We chanced upon a lesbian memorial at Herring Cove a few nights ago, a memorial for a woman who died last October.  There were photographs of her set around the fire on sticks.  I sat with her wife of 30 years and she reminisced.  She told me their story.  I wondered how she would cope on her own.

“Oh, you get used to it.”  She said.

I didn’t believe her.  Dude sat on her lap.  She loved Dude and Dude loved her.  We ate her Red Velvet gluten free cup cake and sprayed ourselves with insect repellent.

Memorial

Last night I stopped for a slice of pizza with Brent and Derek, my crime fighting buddies.

Derek

We’d had a long day, I was up at 5am.  I’d spent an hour or so on the phone with lawyers.  I spent time answering emails.  I filled in forms and scanned them.   I made time to have a pair of sandals made here:

Sandle Workshop

Like most days I walked the dogs in the graveyard with Benoit.  I walked the dogs on the beach.  I walked the dogs to Joe’s coffee shop.  I walked the dogs to the West End and back east again.  Dude is still fat.  The Little Dog is lithe and eager.

Dude in a Grave

I found a beautiful dusky gray/mauve tamarisk at Captain Jack’s Wharf.

Tamarisk

Brent and I poked our noses into John Derian’s home/shop.  His little shop of curiosities.  He sells French glass cloche and rattan and decoupage.  Who buys decoupage?  Everyone apparently.

I ordered the slice of Pizza and sat with Derek.  It was delicious.  As I was leaving, I heard a Northern English accent.  Two elderly women from Manchester… eating the largest pizza I have ever seen.  They looked embarrassed.

They said, “This is too big for us, d’you want some?”

I overcame my English reserve and sat with them and ate their pizza.   They were retired PE teachers from Bolton.  They had lived together the past 15 years.  They had a small house and garden and took the bus into central Manchester which, they assured me, was very safe and had loads to do.

I wanted to know what they were doing with their retirement.

They said they went to concerts and the theatre and sat outside ‘weather permitting’ enjoying Manchester’s ‘cafe society’.  They rode their bikes and looked after their cats.  Mostly they travelled, this year they had been to The Galapagos and seen the giant tortoise and snorkel with penguins, they had taken a safari in Africa and showered out doors under the stars.  They had visited a brother in Sydney and driven to Melbourne along the coast, like I had with that beautiful boy… all those years ago.

I found myself talking about getting older.

Old people aren’t the same as when I was growing up.” I wondered.  “Yes,” they said, “Not the same at all.”

“They retired and spent time just waiting to die.” I said.  “Yes.” They nodded in unison.

I told them about my grandmother who was widowed when she was in her 50’s and at that very moment became an old lady.  Cut her hair short, permed it and let it whiten.   She died when she was 96.  I didn’t cry.  My mother did, she sobbed like I sobbed when the big dog was killed.  She was inconsolable, as was I about my dog.

I thought a great deal about my grandmother, chatting with these dear old lesbians.  I wondered how she could have lived so long feeling so miserable, stuck in one town, complaining about this and that… isolated from all her daughters (how can a mother hate her own daughters?) other than my mother.  I remembered just how much she didn’t want to die.  She was terrified.  I wondered if my uncle Norman killed her.  There was little love lost between them and he was with her at the end.  She would have been too weak to fight.

We said our goodbyes and good nights.  I’m sure I’ll bump into them again.  I hope I do.  I wish I was an old lady.

The light is beautiful here today.  The sea is sparkling.  I want for nothing.  Happily looking over the Atlantic, the Cape swinging around me teaming with life.  Lobsters, basking sharks, oysters, cod and herring.  I had fish and chips for lunch yesterday.

Here are my finished sandals:

New Sandals

 

IMG_5993

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I thought I might write about marriage equality today.  Marriage, fidelity and misogyny.  I may write about that tomorrow.  Instead, I’m going to post some boy pics, something from the garden and tell you all about meeting my long lost lesbian sister.

Yes.  My little sister has turned up.  Of course I knew about her.  I had been told about her.  Perhaps Natalie or Jessica or Rebecca told me… I can’t remember.  All the stories I heard about my father have melded into one.  From one sisters mouth.  All the stories about him spewed out of one mouth.  So, I knew about Roya and finally she revealed herself.

She has lived with her girl friend for the past three years.  She doesn’t drink much.  She can speak Farsi.  She came out when she was 11.  She has a sweet voice.  Her mother was a singer in one of the clubs my father owned.  She is perhaps the most forthcoming and inquisitive of all my siblings.  She doesn’t like being called a dyke.  She’s a lesbian.  She insisted that my brother James tidy our father’s grave and replace the headstone.  She told me that I had a small inheritance.  She told me that my father had mentioned me to her mother.  That was the sweetest gift of all.  That he spoke about me to someone he cared about.  That he remembered.

So all the other stuff, the gay marriage stuff that haunted yesterdays news… well, I had my own gay news and she was it.

Of course there was the usual vitriol about anyone who doesn’t agree with SCOTUS from the gays… and I took time to placate my rabid gay brethren and remind them that the way we treat the vanquished will determine our victory.

The day of the decision I took myself down to Weho with the dogs to watch the crowd.  Everyone looked very happy, quietly jubilant. Sort of fatigued. You know, after a fight is over.

Now what?  The war is won.  American gays will have to work out what it all means… this equality.   They have redefined marriage, will they redefine morals?  Will they mock the single man like straight people do?

For those of us who are single we enjoy the peace of mind that being single affords us.

I urge you not confuse single for lonely… or lonely for single.

Donny, my friend, killed himself last night.  He had struggled with sobriety, struggled to stay clean, struggled to stay out of trouble.  Handsome, sweet, kind-hearted Donny just couldn’t stay alive.  During the past 13 years I have lost many, many friends to the disease of addiction.   It is always tough to reconcile but their loss keeps the rest of us alive.   The truth is I always knew that one day this call would come and so remained aloof.  I learned early on not to totally give myself to those wedded to the idea of death.  The other men we know, who knew him, his friends my friends a community of sober men-are devastated.  I can be there for them.   I am there for you because you choose to live, to wake up every morning and face life on life’s terms.

I learned this shocking news at dinner last night.  Dinner with Benoit Denizet-Lewis, Lady Rizo, Rob Roth, Cooper and Benoit’s boyfriend Nick at Soho House.  We ate a $44 chicken.    Earlier in the day I had lunch with Pierre the general manager of Soho House New York and very old friend.  Recently in love he looks very happy and ten years younger.  We ate delicious cauliflower soup.

The recession touches all of our lives in some way or other and no more so in the home where I am staying.   My friend has been made redundant and after years of getting up and going into an office now finds himself carving an ersatz routine out of a long, jobless day.    It is particularly hard to watch as I feel utterly powerless and wish that I could do something to make it better.  A remarkably placid, gentleman my friend owned up to feeling very rageful in some situations when asked some sorts of questions about his predicament.

Benoit’s book event at the Gay and Lesbian Center on 13th Street was very enjoyable.  His new book American Voyeur is well worth reading.  He is a great essayist.  I particularly liked the experience of going into the Gay and Lesbian Center.  A warm hive of gay activity.  Benoit’s event, a dating workshop, some sort of dance workshop, a twelve step meeting, men and women hanging around reading on the stair.  It had a feeling of community, which is so sadly lacking in my gay experience.

Roque came to visit and it was lovely to finally meet him.

I still have not gotten around to having my haircut.  It looks very shaggy.

Ended Tuesday on the roof of the Standard Hotel overlooking the frozen river.  We were eating fascinating deserts in the Boom Boom Room.  It was a lyrical end to a tragic day.

Cooper and I shared a cab home.

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