May 18, 2005

Adam’s Visit: Part III
Continued from the May 11, 2005 entry.

At that time, my grandson Adam was visiting me at The Big Needle because his father, Samuel had complained to him that you, my dear journal are pornographic. Sam knew that would get my attention since Adam is my favorite of the grandchildren. On May eleventh I had stopped writing in the middle of a conversation with Adam that took place on Saturday morning, April 30, 2005.

“Look, both Mom and Dad have been upset ever since you came out as a gay man. Mom is always asking, ‘Why now? Why when he’s so old that he can’t perform anyway? Why not when Mother was alive? Why not before I was born? He can’t have it both ways.’ And, I love to respond, ‘First, he had to fight all his life to figure things out because people like you told him it was a sin and he was a bad person if he responded to his needs. Second, I doubt he’s too old to “perform” as you put it. Third, if he had decided he was gay before you were born, you and I probably wouldn’t be here.’ ”

“Adam. I’m glad you came to my defense, but try not to be so hard on your mother.”

“Why? How can you defend her? She had Sanctuary taken apart and stored in a basement somewhere in Pittsburgh. Some of your stuff was torn up and burned. Don’t you wonder if it was my mother who did that?”

“Honestly. Yes. I do. But, you must admit, she had a difficult childhood. Me, running around dressed in silver foil, writing about Varnastrama, which I believed and still believe to this day was and is a real place. All her friends thought I was a mad man, and she was teased unmercifully in school.”

“So, we all grow up, we discover who we are, we learn to deal with life, , and we put those things that can’t be helped behind us.”

“Well, perhaps your mother has not been able to do that because my behavior traumatized her as a child.”

“What, grow up, or put those things behind.”

“Both, I think.”

“I get mad…”

“Angry.”

“Okay, I get angry thinking about all those ignorant people who can’t or don’t want to think past the end of their nose, and so, they punish anyone who does. And, I guess it bothers me that my mother and father are just like all the rest, except they should be able to see past it and don’t bother.”

“It’s just so much easier not to think for yourself, Adam. Don’t you wish sometimes that you didn’t have to? Don’t you wish that you could be the kind of Christian that believes in a set of rules prescribed by God that tell you who to like and who to dislike? The rules would tell you exactly who is right and who is wrong, who is good, and who is bad. Wouldn’t life be so much easier?”

“Yes it would. Which brings me to a question I’ve been trying to answer for myself and I can’t. I’m stumbling all about, and I don’t have an answer, and I think I’m more than a bit scared by it.”

“Do you want to tell me about it?”

“Yes, but it’s hard for me. I don’t really know where to start.”

“Remember when you were little and we went to Rehoboth Beach several times every summer.”

“Yes.”

“Remember how in June the water was often in the low 60’s.”

“Yes, and you just had to run in and jump into a wave, or you’d never get in.”

“You’ve got it.”

“Okay.

“In your journal you write about Stephen Gulliver’s world, where they try to turn gay people into straight people, and if they can’t, they kill them.”

“Yes.”

“There’s that Personality Reassignment Room story about Stephen being tortured to death, and it happens to him over and over again.”

“Yes.”

“I think that’s one of the things that really bother’s Mom and Dad about your journal. Dad said that it’s one of the most disgusting things he’s ever read, and Mom won’t even talk about it. It bothers me too, but not in the same way it does them.” He paused and stared at the huge pine trees outside my living room window.

“How’s that,” I urged.



(to be continued)


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