The Past, Etc.

I'm sitting here feeling weepy and sad, happy and nostalgic. Like one does on a rainy Thursday afternoon in the city. Some poet or other said that there can never be too much love. I disagree, on logical grounds. The more love, the more loss, and I know for sure that, at least for my taste, there definitely can be too much loss.

I haven't had much success writing the last couple months, nothing I sit down to write about seems important enough to spend the time. For a long time I couldn't concentrate to read, either, but slowly I'm finding myself able to calm my mind enough to read fiction if it's not too dense.

I'm reading Dancer From the Dance. I want to say re-reading, because I'm almost nearly certain I've read it before, but I have no recollection. In my twenties, I frequented A Different Light book store on Hudson and burned through the gay canon. Rechy's City of Night and Numbers, all the Edmund White, all the Isherwood, E.M. Forster's Maurice, all the Genet. Somehow I skipped Faggots. I think even at that age I'd heard that Larry Kramer was reactionary and to be avoided, and besides I leaned more toward the transgressive, like Pat Califia's Macho Sluts, all of Dennis Cooper, and a lot of non-fiction, including a great book of essays on leather culture called Urban Aboriginals which contained an explanation of why fist-fucking feels good that I can practically quote to this day.

So I may have read Dancer from the Dance then but I know for sure that, though I'm sure I would have loved the gorgeous camp, the glimpse of a rarified world that maybe I thought myself a part of but really only glanced the death throes of, I was in no state to appreciate the deep sadness of it, the absolute realness of the longing and grief.

People who know me, or who don't know me but read the things I write here, must think I'm obsessed with the sadness of aging and loss, the passage of time, and I guess often I am. I don't know how one could be 54 years old and not.

I saw two plays last week. One was a new musical. I write musicals, so I'm supposed to keep up with what's new and this one got a lot of positive attention, so ... I hated this show, thought it was just all hip, cute surface with nothing to say, and I somewhat condescendingly attributed its shallowness to the youth of its creators, though as I type this I realize I have no idea how old they are, I'm just surmising based on the fact that the music sounded like Mumford and Sons but with no happy songs.

And the other show I saw, which made me laugh harder than I've laughed in ages and sob, too, was a new play called "Steve," produced by the New Group, about a group of, basically, theater queens in New York and their lesbian friend who is dying of cancer. I loved this play.

C and I are spending Thanksgiving with my family in Indiana. When you get married and have 2 families you want to spend holidays with, you come up with a system, and our system for Thanksgiving, successful so far, has been to alternate years. This year, which only coincidentally happens to be the first Thanksgiving after my mother's death, is our year to go to Indiana. So for the last several days, my brother and sister and I have been coordinating menu and travel plans and trying to get used to saying "Dad's house."