It is Sunday.
I awoke early after going to bed late. The mist of Saturday still lingers here. All is wet.
I'm 400 miles from home, but I really don't know if anything classifies--at least in the truest sense, as home anymore.
Not post graduate degree. You know, now that I'm newly minted as a Masters of something.
I remember the morning after graduation in Santa Fe, I spent it having coffee with an Ivy League educated escort who wears a wife beater and who gets paid, a lot, to beat people who have tremendous self-worth into a state of worthlessness. He towers over me, having triumphed at every athletic skill known to farm boys with two helpings of good DNA. He has degrees upon degrees, and yet his biggest and best talent is making big, wealthy people feel super small and yet hopefully, not leave a lasting mark on their equally toned, sculpted and sucked into perfection bodies.
An hour later I'm in Albuquerque as a Christian hockey coach exits my life and an ex Lutheran head trauma nurse gets in. I will let you ponder the math on such a diverse collection of comings and goings, but regardless of faith or status, this is how I roll and there is no shortage of diverse people I love. I am engaged and betrothed to humanity regardless of status or salvation or price charged per hour for services that can never be fully rendered.
Yet I am also no stranger to divorce courts. This is that bookmark that maybe isn't so easily left at the end of a chapter, marking a nice tidy place to pause. There is no pause in this story.
The morning after graduation, now almost two months ago, seems both enchanting and like a collision. As I sit writing this, I do not know, more than a couple days out, what lies ahead. My best memory of the summer, is cruising down an avenue in Santa Fe with Katy Perry going all California Girls and four straight happily married guys, cell phones extended, turning my ride into a strobe lit chic magnet. Each of them is unrestrained and they are God's children being loved on by summer, Taco Bell, and no need to run for the border. I thought the gay guy was always supposed to be the unrestrained one but I guess that is sorta out now with the rise of the metro sexual and hair product and gym memberships that don't mean anything other that you can bench your entire family tree without needing a protein shake.
Yet in my mind, I still sit on a Santa Fe Taco Bell concrete curb, staring into the stars, and wishing upon more moments like these and wondering if I could, just for once, let myself go into the land of unrestrained freedom better known as unlimited grace and compassion that passeth all understanding.
I sit back down on a big king size bed that isn't mine. I should do something, but I don't know if this will be good day or a bad day, and I think about the meds I should be taking, and decide, to put them off just another day, in case, alas, this is a "good" day.
The sabbath is about resting. For me, it is about pacing, checking the fuel gauge and wondering where the mountain lions are. Me, still being all wanderlust, and should I or shouldn't I take this exit, and what'll it mean if I do? And now that dawn is finally here, the fog falls and obscures the sky's ceiling, I ask myself what gives. Why are you so good at being such a mess? Why can't ya just quit thinking about everything? Let it go. Better yet, let go and let god!
And then I think, as if.
And what is this constant craving for alienation about?
I pull open the blinds, all the way now, and instead of looking through plastic vertical slats, I see the universe of Tacoma. Only to realize that I am in an urban scape and people are expected to wear clothes when gazing out their windows first thing in the morning. I try to let gravity straighten things out, but alas, as usual, it isn't happening and I find myself doing the strangest happy dance as legs won't find holes in underwear and the tag is on the wrong side of my chest, and there will be the sound of ripped stitching as I try to rectify that.
As I bling up and blink, tousling straight- to-hell hair, which I still have, and which only a baseball hat can tame, the lights of a twilight in arrest catch me in full queer guy looking like a 70's straight guy. The rise of the peaks and the massive intrusion of a giant glaciated volcano are hidden from the view now, but I know that if I could look east through all this marine layer horsesh*t, that millions label as romantic, that a few mountain ranges and dry range and scab lands separate me from "home". What I rise to acknowledge is a confirmation that on this morning, just like the last morning, and tomorrow morning, everything and nothing is at stake.
Author Leslie Leyland Fields would be rolling her eyes at this proclamation and Author Robert Clark would already be pointing me toward the kitchen sink and requesting that I take a few more clean things out, before I put more of my dirty dishes back in. Oh yes and there is still a Tim sized hole in my writing, and I believe it points toward all this mess I've got going between the church and the state of my sexuality and the state of my not yet being a head of state. The West Albany Class of 1983 expected so much more from me.
I should take inventory as they say in AA and survey the wreckage of all that has come before, and all that will follow, but I won't. I don't have that kind of courage. Instead I will do as I always do and dance around "it"; whatever "it"" is; with lots of talk of trucking and finding my religion and wanting some good one night stand to be willing to make it a lifetime and instead I am having none of it. That's resolution baby. That's a Tim sized hole.
Yet let me assure you, even as I look rode hard, put away loved, even as I've finally managed to get dressed, and I know I had lots and lots of options last night, I'm not the one reeling from last call even if I might look like I crashed the gate doing 98 mph for seconds.
Nor am I, on this Sunday awaiting the Altar Call.
In a random moment earlier in the week, watching a parade of beautifully unattainable addictions, going all catch and release at a Capital Hill Starbucks, it stuck me that I'm running out of safe zones where I can try to sort my life out. No room at the altar. No room at the Cuff. The leather bar and the cowboy bar are not my Shepperd's, they do still want, and even as I idle up to the trough at the Starbucks near the intersection of perfect ville and upwardly mobile; and even as I dabble in three shots, and yet, damn it if the weapon in my holster, still, shoots blanks; I can't, not really, write my way out of this.
I will post on face book later that day that the two loneliest places on the planet are the altar call and the last call, and yet even in broad daylight, there is one that is far lonelier and that is my heart.
In squinting through the steam of a triple Carmel salted mocha with a five spot price tag, and no extended warranty, I realize that I am not sure relief from all the thoughts circling in my head is possible. I am just not all that into me anymore. I am not into the church. I am not into the gay "scene". I am not into $5 buck a gallon diesel to find something I might be into, and in losing all of my religions, I keep thinking about the mess that faith, as seen on the Interstates, with the"just-passing-thru" good view, and yes, the visual of a cross dangling from a CB mic, has always represented.
Briefly last night, I entertained the mental temptation to visit the merriment of the where the boys are, realized there is a dog dependent on my safe return, and then, instead, I lingered in a chat room haze as the east coasters were coming home, logging on, reeking of what I knew were the tell tale signs of getting their drink and bump on and now, their hook up on.
Some were passing out mid key stoke. Others lingered in a dim hope that somewhere close they might find a reasonable pic, a reasonable attraction, and a reasonable notch on a headboard, before slipping out just before dawn, needing a shower, coffee, and just a little more humane put back into the stalemate of human contact.
Of course I was multi tasking. Reading on a back screen as another Christain author, outlines a first draft of his position of faith in writing. And as I ride this express elevator toward the dark side of the tomb, and I'm reading about miracles, I am also chatting with a drunk, closeted gay Kentucky coal miner who just dumped his gal, and who is describing the act of crawling five miles underground, to find 22 inches of coal worth keeping, and suddenly "He is Risen" has context.
Life, it is dark and tenuous, and as I keep learning. not for the faint-hearted.
This call to faith and reason and the place of Christ in any man's heart, much less a gay man's heart is not what the brochures promised. I've never seen the painting with Christ reaching out to me under the glitterball or in the lot lizard outreach line up nor have I seen him knocking on my rigs door when I was parked in the party row at the truck stop. The glory hole has no context in the world of Glory Glory hallelujah, but just like in Brokeback, I can't seem to quit Christ either and thus, I am living suspended in no man's land.
I'm not finished with any of this. I am marching off to whore but I won't be getting any slap and tickle before the next wave of alienation washes over me. I see fall color and leaves in distress, and now in the full burn off all this fog, the aroma of Tacoma reassures me that life is not always sweet. Even though I'm told eventually we all will emerge front the darkness and the skies will clear, I feel as if I'm on my stomach, deep underground, alongside that coal miner. My hardhat lamp is flickering, the batteries are draining. And yet despite that, I still crawl. Forward.