After dinner, before the last US election, I sat in a ‘circle’ with a bunch of my Jewish hippy friends who live in Northridge, California. They were praying quietly and not so quietly for the Obama presidency.
An African healer sat silently with us wearing traditional headdress and multi colored robes. He had been flown to their house from Africa so that he might share his wisdom.
In turn they held a gnarled wooden ‘talking stick’ and gravely shared their optimism for the creation of Obama World. The Obama paradigm shift, the liberal equal and opposite reaction. A world where sanity and fairness would be restored. Where this young black man’s promises would come true and Guantanamo would be shut down and wars would be ended quickly not slowly. Where Bush/Cheney corruption would be revealed and the culprits brought to justice.
Some of the women cried.
When I was handed the talking stick I advised them carefully not to worship false Gods, that I did not share their optimism and that they would only be disappointed. The hippies laughed at me with desultory guffaws but the silent African suddenly spoke up, “He is right!” They looked at him aghast! He pointed his long bony black finger around the room. “He is right. It is you all who are wrong.”
Duncan: 1. Hippies: 0.
Stunning naivety, ignorance and blindness have kept liberals in the USA an amateur political sideshow, they remain inchoate and powerless. They do not realize that they will never be represented by any established political party. Ever.
So Obama has not, as I suspected, provided the ‘paradigm shift’ that so many of my crystal loving film industry friends thought he would when they rushed to elect him.
Indeed, quite the opposite has happened.
After 10 years of Bush/Cheney there was no equal and opposite reaction, there was just more of the same. This time from a sweetly smiling, articulate black guy rather than the gruff inarticulate white guy. He has let you down and it is all the more galling.
In Britain another altogether more intriguing story is unfolding..
I am oddly optimistic about the Cameron/Clegg coalition. With no real power Prime Minister Cameron will have to toe the line and be more representative of the British people and their desires than cow towing to the ruling elite. Even though he is cut from aristocratic cloth he seems rather more inclusive than the scarily evolved Tebbit/Thatcher type of Tory who changed Britain over three decades ago.
Watched the England/Germany game. Proving that the squad seem more interested in their hair than scoring goals. They are an unruly mob of shopping addicts who have lost their passion for soccer and developed an expensive taste for power and prestige. Arrogant bunch of wankers.
Had a long chat with Dan in NYC. I was describing how my newly gay friend was evolving. I noted that he seemed to own and accept his power and beauty and acted accordingly.
We both agreed that if we had been that sure of ourselves when we were younger both of us would be dead. It was people like my newly out friend (not that I am suggesting he is sleeping around) who died first of the mysterious disease that became an epidemic and withered away the most beautiful boys.
AIDS, thankfully, never got me. I was always too much of a prude, never realized quite how beautiful I was and mostly too much of a snob and star fucker..unable to go near the average gay. In retrospect I think things turned out just fine for gay men like Dan and me. We survived. Might not have had as much sex as the others but certainly never paid the ultimate price.
I have come full circle. He, unwittingly brought me full circle. Being in love then not being in love. Wanting to own to letting go and enjoying, from afar, his freedom.
I have always fallen for the impossible. Yet, unlike before, I do not want to punish him for being who he is and instead just take a small amount of satisfaction from his evolving self. Like a bird trapped in oil in the Gulf of Mexico he is now cleaned up and ready to fly.
As he flies into his future..what of mine? Well, I am ok. I really am. A great deal could be a lot better but I am OK.
We are off to Paris next week and part of me wants never to come back.
I loved being in love. It has happened so rarely of late. As I draw down the shutters on a gay life that I really have no reason to be part of I instead, sit at the edge of that world.
Perhaps there will be a time in the near future when he will come to me and I will be able to hear all of his conquests and heart breaks without my own heart being quite so broken.
Yet, even writing that, I know that he cannot (any longer) break my heart.
I knew with certainty that Obama would never satisfy the lust for change some of my friends thought he might, just as they knew that I have been naïve about falling in love with him. He was not sent to be the great love of my life.
He was sent, actually, to be my friend and for that I am very grateful.
P.S. So Arrianna Huffington is bemoaning Obama and how frustrated people are with him. How dare she! It was her daily attacks on Hillary Clinton and lauding of Obama that galvanized so much support for him. She was short-sighted and more overly impressed by his ivy league nerdyness than his ability to lead. She wants 5 words to accept her webby award? How about: I was wrong about Obama.