you'll know us by our trail of dead . literally. in early 1980 , no one knew what AIDS was. cancer? the flu? no one really knew how you got it besides just from being gay . imagine coming out, being in your late teens/ early 20s and everyone you know, love, or have fucked starts dropping dead? apocalypso.
it wasn't an 'oh mickey' sort of time so wake the fuck up. while you were watching MTV , we were dying miserable pathetic deaths and most thought it was just as well.
for a time, i went to a funeral every week. i was generally strung out and of no use for moral, comforting support to anyone particularly not to nice normal middle age couples from the midwest whos' sons became and daughters and died unspeakable deaths. i sat long heavy hours being shown bureau tops completely covered with pill vials...
" oh and this one will kill me if i take it long enough but it stops the trush from growing up my throat so i can eat.."
i stand in line at the funeral homes, dazed or drunk from the night before, and shake some dads' hand and mumble how," i'm so sorry" and that their son was "so very kind..."
for the first time i see i inhabit a different world- i know their average normal SOP world but i can never cross over into it. i'm too far gone. i can never go back. i don't think i was ever there- trapped in a jar inside it maybe.
when i see people from this past , first we sort out death- who's still alive? im not THAT old and we weren't combatants in a war. or were we?
i'm walking home with berlin, who's in jail now for car theft somewhere in the now mythical midwest from whence every homosexual and transsexual in boston hails. 4 football players from northeastern see us- we're pretty much done for. we're walking down boylston street toward star market. this means- youre a fag, fag!
of course, one shouts, " hey, fags!"
berlin stupidly opines , " shut the fuck up" . translation=" please beat the fuck out of us."- which they proceed to do. i've never been very big. i suppose i could be fast but not this night. i recall the pebbles from the street as they crunch into my cheek . the police come ,somehow , and Officer Closet Cocksucker picks me up by the scruff of the neck and hurls me, blood and all into the back seat of a police car. slowly ,i realize i am being arrested for being beat up.
that taste of blood in your mouth and your teeth gouging your own skin.
completely unscathed, barely rumpled , mr no neck steroid junkie is explaining how he and his girlfriends beat us up because and this is a direct quote:
" hey , they're only fags...RIGHT?!!!"
the cops clearly agree and i watch, under arrest ,while they waltz off to the dorm to suck each other off to visions of beating the shit out of outnumbered people half their size .
so new years i see andrew and this is good because here is someone who knows all this. who can understand this. who accepts. not judges. he was there. and for the many parts of my life wherein he wasnt around - he can hear that too and it just is. but it opens a river of things to remember.
sheila- you completely fucking suck. you manipulative rich bitch.
elise- give me the ring.
berlin- do you need anything?...a few packs of cigarettes?
dark mark- did you really kill women in san francisco?
gogo jojo- they still haven't adequetly replaced you at manray. those nerds they sometimes hire dance like donkies with cement booties on.
Linda Lawrence was the best dj man ray ever had and SHE KNEW HOW TO MIX>>>>>
I miss the 1270 downstairs and boy night at axis and charlies diner in kenmore square
jimmy- i just think you're dead. are you?
joie camille-i don't even know what to say.
i sit in the window of a loft across from aga's- a strip joint on washington street. there's no tv. with a 6 pack, i watch out the window at night. probably the cheapest blow job to be had in boston... the hos are either really young or very old, wearing dirty sweatsuit ensembles with puppies printed on the front.
they still call you' honey' and there's no prevarication- it'll be about 5 dollars. the cops almost completely refuse to enter this neighborhood at night. everybody knows. the area is popular with truckers. you can hear the semis running in the dirt lot in back of the building while they get services rendered.
scary young boys on bikes with baseball bats, aluminum ones, ride up and down the street. there's a wedge of a graveyard diagonal to me , rising above the street ,old, out of place, ignored. the botanica next door sells giant plaster santeria statues ,herbs, and good luck to a place that has none whatsoever.
a woman runs at a tear around the corner and ends up screaming in front of the club. she looks bedraggled. after some time it becomes clear she's screaming that she's been raped. i scramble to the phone and call the police- i know they won't come but i can't figure what else to do. i watch as a man comes from around the building- from where she darted from. he has something in one hand but i can't see what it is.
she just screams at him- no words just a piercing accusatory shreik that goes on and on. he reels back and hits her hard on the side of the head with whatever he's holding. he drops it . it breaks on the ground. he runs into the club. the thuggy security guards- who can't have not heard all this, let him in.
she manages to drag herself around the corner again.
i go outside with a blackjack in one paw- no one is out, especially not the police i'd called 25 minutes earlier. under the street lamp, at the front door of aga's, are pieces of brick- a standard red brick. he'd hit her full-on with a goddamn brick. i imagine it felt similar to having your head smashed against the pavement.
the bike boys are out again so i get chased away from the club. 3 police cars came nearly 2 hours after i 'd called. by that time, the rape victim was long gone. she reappeared and flagged down a trick and went off with them.
in a lincoln continental.
so we find another trick and move on. maybe we die. maybe we don't.
perhaps, it seems, i don't care and perhaps that's true. in most cases, i just don't care about someone's hangnail or self -constructed emotional drama/ projections or about whether anyone likes me or not. i'm simply too old for any of that to matter.
once you get smashed with the brick , if you're not high on crack, the hierarchy of important, meaningful things gets switched around.
' the queen of faeries caught me when from my horse i fell".
enchanted, i slide into other areas of conciousness- like looking askance at reality, the here and now. it's the never -never. were's my janet? probably enchanted too.
" will we, have we done the right thing?/ i know how hard we tried"
i'm not even trying anymore.