My best friend Aaron and I try to do the “cocktail” thing every now and again. We're both incredibly busy so the last few months we had kind of slacked off in this area. But lo and behold, there we were, sitting at our tavern of choice, he with his beer and I with my Pepsi (I don’t drink), trying to de-stress and catch up on lost time.
After filling him in on the latest with me (a story involving a go-go boy, his “girlfriend”, and the Catholic church, but never mind), he admitted he had been so busy with work, sitting here was the extent of his social life. Just when I started to feel sympathetic towards him and his plight, he had to go and fuck it up by launching into a rant about the wickedness of Dubya and his Winged Monkeys (I’m assuming by that he meant Mr. Bush’s Administration) and how the gay community will be in ruins unless we all stand up, make our voices heard, and do some serious boat rocking.
As if the price of a Pepsi wasn't obscene enough.
As he continued this diatribe, a cute bar boy caught my eye. As he reached over to clean off a table, I marveled at how fantastic his ass looked in his William Rast jeans, and wondered if it looked as fantastic out of them. Apparently, I was more than a little obvious, as cute bar boy turned to me and smiled, and Aaron, incredulously, shot me a frosty look that would make Bea Arthur wince.
"Is that all you can think about? Getting a piece? The world is falling apart and our people are being ignored!" he said.
"Oh, don't be so dramatic," I replied, in between sipping my cola and telepathically seducing cute bar boy. "The world has been falling apart all of our lives. But that’s not why we are here. We are supposed to be catching up and relaxing. If I wanted to discuss politics, I would be having drinks with Hillary Clinton right now."
That's not entirely true, mind you. First of all, I don't know Madame Senator. Second, if I found myself in a situation that involved me talking to her, I imagine our chat would quickly dissolve into something like, "So Hill, I adore your husband and all, but seriously - girl to girl, was there ever a point where you just got so frustrated with his behavior that you wanted to cut the damn thing off? I mean, really. I would have gone ape shit has I been you.”
I know dear readers. I just can’t help myself. I would probably talk to the Pope like he was my girlfriend, too.
But I digress. My evening of chilling and letting my hair down became tense. I'm sure my friend was not too enthused with my care free attitude regarding the state of the union, and I know I sure as hell was less than thrilled that, with alarming severity, every conversation I had with another member of my own tribe lately seemed to center on the battle between George W. and the gays.
How I long for the days when the only man I talked about with any regularity was Tom Cruise.
I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about me. I do care our current President is perceived by many to not know his ass from his elbow when it comes to both foreign and domestic issues. And no, I’m not okay with his continued refusal to open his eyes and ears to issues affecting someone of my particular orientation. I also care we are probably sending a not so favorable message to the rest of the world in how we handle our affairs. And of course, no one believes in freedom of expression and opinion more than I do. HELLO? Have you read some of things I’ve said in these pages?
But I ask you, isn’t there a limit to this all consuming madness? In spite of my excessive nature, I do believe there can be too much of something. This is where my problem lies.
As I listen to people speaking out and protesting the ills of the world, whether their arguments are in support of equal rights or whether they are expressing their displeasure with our involvement overseas, I more often than not see valid points getting lost by the volume of angry people screaming and carrying on. Sometimes I think people, like my friend Aaron, become so incensed by something, they work themselves up so much into a tizzy, they no longer remember what the hell they're supporting or protesting in the first place, BUT FUCK ‘EM ALL! I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! They get hostile and loud. I think that's how they finally ended up carting old Ethel Merman off the stage.
I’m all for encouraging debate and dialogue, especially when it pertains to politics, humans rights, and “moral” values. I just don’t really want to talk about these things every twelve point five fucking seconds. Isn't that what we have Barbra Streisand for?
Right now I’m ready to turn off the news (I know, without me Katie’s ratings will surely plummet), put down the paper (not this one!), and think about and be thankful for the opportunities and the good things this country has provided me. I think a reasonable compromise is to stand firmly in your convictions, but also not get so wrapped up in them you start to not enjoy the life you have these convictions for.
Now back to de-stressing and unwinding. Maybe I’ll curl up in bed and watch some of my girl Paula Deen. What that woman can do with a stick of butter!
And no, I don’t really care that she lives in a RED STATE.
And neither does cute bar boy laying next me.
Essential Download: "We All Sleep Alone" Remix
Available On: Believe
Originally published in the November 2006 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published GLBT Newspaper, published since 1973 by the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.