After dinner a few nights ago I had a moment of crippling paranoia.

Perhaps I should not have eaten so much cheese at the Mercantile?   My grandmother Margie who died last year often warned me that too much cheese before bedtime causes nightmares.

My chest tightened.  My heart beat faster.  My mouth dried.  I tried to sleep.  I could not sleep.  I could no longer employ any one of the very many coping skills I had learned during the past 13 years when the panic comes.  I lay down in fear.  I woke at dawn with the dawn chorus.  Not birds in the palm trees outside my window but to a miserable conference of those self hating voices that used to wake me every day of my life.  These episodes are so rare nowadays that when they come upon me I get very scared..terrified.

These are the lies I tell myself:

“Being in love tends to make one feel vulnerable and foolish…and, as we all know, there’s no fool like an old fool.”

“I know that I am loved.  I believe it.  I know that I can love.  But, when more is required-what then?   You got to give the man hope.”

I suddenly felt, I suddenly knew, I was being lied to.   I was convinced.

I said, “I became aware.  More was revealed.  You can’t con a conman.”

I felt violently sick, I began to dry heave: I said out loud, “My desire for authenticity isn’t being honored.”

The voice I heard was a child’s voice.  He said,

“I understand that it takes a very long time to acquaint yourself with the truth; when a lie comes so easily to your lips.  When a lie is easier than the truth, when deception is in your nature then rigorous honesty is something to be feared.”

I said, “But I had had to train myself to be honest.”

When I tried to defend myself the child impersonated my very own voice.

“I am sick of making excuses.  I am sick of trying to see it from the other side when my side of things is simply ignored.  I am tired of supporting and encouraging and making excuses when it turns out-I am the object of deception and not affection.”

I said, “When the other changes before your very eyes?”

The child laughed out loud and wanted to know who exactly I was kidding.

“I don’t take drugs, I don’t drink, I try and tell the truth, I don’t act out sexually…therefore I never have a day off from myself.    I am always here, present, in my own body.  I never have an excuse for bad behavior.   Ever.”

I could hear other children, laughing..at me.

“When you drink and you take drugs and you look at pornography you are taking time off from yourself.  I would love to do that-take time off from myself.”

By being present 24 hours of every day for nearly 13 years I thought that I had evolved.

Remember that stuff I wrote about self-love?   That the choices I made had to reflect the respect I had for myself?

The first gay men I ever saw in film were Farnsworth and his boy friend being thrown out of their high rise apartment windows, begging for their lives, by the FBI in The Man who Fell to earth.  I must have been 13 years old.  I watched it with Linda my house mother from school,  Canterbury.  She vomited on me after seeing the film.

That’s what’s going on.

So, what’s it all about?