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Friday, April 13, 2012

GallBladders and Chelsea Fairies

Another amazing week.  So here we are, galleries are showing my photography, some consulting work is coming in; I may be teaching again in the fall (Not at John Jay) and I will be headed out on a few wonderful little trips in the next two months to visit my niece; the lovely city of Charleston SC; see an airshow in Hamilton; and who knows what else.  Sometimes you just have to take a moment and breathe.  And, if you don't, well life will force you to. 

I made my way to the Doctor the other day, as some of life's little stresses have been getting to me.  He directed to me to, among other things, get my annual gall-bladder ultrasound.  Result: same as before. A 6MM polyp just kind of hanging out.  Only occasionally problematic, but when it is...  Most of the time, however, its just kind of there.  Sort of like an annoying co-worker or distant family member that you only see on the major holidays-- and are quite thankful for that. 

The truth is that this means that I will probably have to have my gall bladder removed For the first time in my life, a solution to a problem is going to be to have something that I was born with-- some original equipment-- sucked out with an arthroscopic procedure, never to be seen again.  I know this isn't a big deal.  But, for one who still has his tonsils, all ten fingers and toes, and all the other stuff as it was from the factory (well, except for my hair) this is kind of a big deal. 

Not the procedure itself, but the truth hereby revealed. I am getting older. I am getting close to (cough, cough) 40 and that these sorts of things are kind of par for the course.  And I suppose it also involves a level of acceptance. 

I was wondering today while walking through Chelsea (The Ultra Hip Gay Epicenter of The known Universe- or at least a place with lots of very fit guys wearing cool shoes) just what it is that makes the little gay boys so attractive.  Why do so many guys my age just go crazy when they see some hot kid in his early 20s. Why do they dream of that as though its the end-all, be-all? Kind of Like Boardwalk; A Hole-in-One; and a free first class upgrade all rolled into one package. 

Many gay men go through crazy rituals- gym, diet; drugs and god knows what else to either try and attract one of these cute kids to bed with them, date them, or at least obtain their attention. Many is the 30/40 year old guy I have known who views this as his ultimate quest-- and ultimate suggestion of failure when, more often then not, a hot NYU kid just walks right on by- never paying the least bit of attention. 

A new understanding of this came to me today as I was making peace with the concept of saying goodbye to my gallbladder.  I think for many guys, its hard to say goodbye.  To a sexy young and exciting time that they had when they were 20.  Or, a sexy young and exciting time that they wish they had when they were twenty.  A life of parties and belonging and acceptance and style that is presented by the media as the entire purpose of gay life on this planet earth.  So many buy in-- fully and completely to this expectation of reality.  They cling to it-- to its memory and its hope and its idea.  In much the same way that an five year old clings to the idea of Santa Clause. 

Thankfully,  most kids do grow up-- and out-- of the need to believe in some certain myth to hold to in order to make things right or life worth living.  I think they see this kid, this "twink" as a door to this expectation- this world that they dream of either being in still, or of having had back then-- instead of a plain old life in Ohio or Missouri or maybe even in New York.  The lust after this person becomes less about the individual than it about the symbol-- the memory and the dream-- and of immortality, or at least a few more ticks on the clock.

It is only when kids grow up, when they come to accept that Santa Clause, and the Easter bunny, and the Gay scene are all just really different sides of the same coin and when they realize the only life that matters-- the only truth that matters-- is the one beyond the pages of the Brothers Grimm that that they can find love and peace and acceptance on their own terms.  
Santa Clause and the twink passing you on the street,or chatting with you online, represent nothing that you can not have yourself or know yourself.  And its not until we move on from seeing our self as being fulfilled by others- by the fantasy- by the illusion-- that we can know true happiness.  It is not until we escape from questing after a Queer as Folk life and replace it with a Queer as Me life that real change, real miracles, and real growth can occur.

So I will be happy letting my gallbladder go.  I will be happy accepting that my body is aging, that I am aging.  And entirely content that I have moved beyond the fairy tales of Chelsea or of childhood, into a place where I am responsible for myself and to myself not to get caught up in the illusion-- but rather to build the dream of something beautiful in my own skin.  And where I get to unwrap presents nearly every day... not just Christmas Morning.

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