As I have said before in this blog, when I was a kid, we lived at various postings in Texas while Dad pursued his career (he would say, “made a living”) at various places in Texas. We spent every bit of vacation possible in Malvern, Arkansas, Mother and Dad’s (and my) hometown.
While Grannie (Mother’s mother, who lived with us) spent her time over at her other daughter’s (2 blocks down the street), we stayed with Dad’s parents on Sullenberger. Granny (Dad’s mother) had her house fixed “just-so”; she had (after 4 kids and the grinding poverty of the Great Depression) finally gotten nice stuff in a nice house. She had “set-outs” everywhere (breakables) and antique furniture.
I’m sure kids rampaging (with muddy feet) through her pristine house gave her hives, and I’m sure she was glad when it was time for us to go so she could get back to normal.
But, in a never-varying routine, as we’d make final preparations and start loading ourselves into the car, she’d start crying. She and Gramp would stand in the carport, on the steps, and she’d boo-hoo into a white linen handkerchief while we drove away, looking not unlike the Joads in “The Grapes of Wrath”, station wagon packed, kids, dogs, Grannie, etc. I’m sure she cried on and off the rest of the day while she cleaned and tried to “re-set” her house.
I always thought it a bit silly; I mean, come on, we’ll be back shortly! And we’ll be getting muddy and running through the house and playing the stereo too loud and getting called down—again--
Matt came to see me for a week! He had planned to stay longer, but it worked out that he needed to go home on Monday, so Monday morning, I drove him out to Bush Intercontinental Airport and put him on a plane. We hugged several times in the airport, and he turned to get in the TSA line and I turned to walk out (old superstition: never look back, and never watch them all the way out of sight).
I bawled all the way to the car and all the way home. The house was so empty when I got home; his smile and sunny presence lights up any room he’s in.
So now I know how you felt, Granny.
Work has been rough this week, so there’s certainly that---welcome back to my stressy life.
Finally, my dear friend Paul Williams “membered” me in a Baylor Gay Former Student organization on facebook. I glanced through it; I’ll remain a member of it but I think I’ll hide the updates. Reading through it brought back all the hurt and trauma I suffered as a student there. Princeton’s Review listed it as the 12th most unfriendly college/university in the nation for gay individuals (right up there with University of Dallas (the private catholic institution), Texas A&M, and Auburn).
Just this week, the student body President vetoed legislation that would make life easier for “homo-sexual” students (really? REALLY? It would break your fingers to type LGBT?), saying that “homo-sexual” students were basically in the same boat with child-molesters, rapists, and mentally-ill individuals.
While I applaud the group’s goal of trying to get the university to demonize us a little less, I don’t really know why that’s a good idea. Those people hate us. Hate. Us. They’re not “Christians” in any sense of the word, at least not the way I thought Christians were supposed to behave. Let them live in their own evil little land, spewing hate, and spend efforts instead to get gay students to consider going to college in a more open-minded atmosphere, where they can openly socialize (walking down the street holding hands at Baylor is a “Homo-sexual act”, punishable by expulsion; I’m sure they’d prefer “execution”). Young gay people: go to a school where you can meet other gay people, have friends, maybe meet a boyfriend or girlfriend! Where you can have real dates, instead of furtive middle-of-the-night meetings for quick sex under the Chi Omega bridge, then dying of fear that someone might see you.
^^^Smiling on the outside, crying on the inside—You have no idea how miserable I was when this picture was made…. I had had a “date” 3 days before. The “date” consisted of meeting this guy at Denny’s. We couldn’t talk about anything a normal “date” conversation might cover, because someone in one of the surrounding booths might have heard and turned us in. We both lived in dorms with roommates. We wound up walking down the creek and, um, the rest of that story you can figure out. Point is, we couldn’t have a normal “date” because, had we, say, held hands at Denny’s, that would have been presumption of homo-sexuality and we’d have been expelled—AND told how our souls were going to burn in hell…. And people wonder why I don’t believe this rot any more…. Meanwhile, all our little straight friends were doing the horizontal mambo any way they wanted, any time they wanted. They’d have been cautioned, had fingers shaken at them, etc, IF caught IN THE ACT ITSELF. Otherwise, perfectly ok for them to be all over each other in public….
If you’re gay at Baylor (or one of the other hate-filled Christian schools, or Texas redneck establishments like Texas A&M), TRANSFER. That’s one of the two real regrets I have In my life; I wanted to transfer, decided people would think I was a “quitter”. I should have done it. If you discover you’re gay WHILE at Baylor et al, find another school. Don’t waste a minute of your life on misery.
So what’s the point of this blog? Emotional roller-coaster for me this week—love and sunshine with Matt (who’s going through some things himself, but generously shares his light, his laughter, and his smile with everyone he meets), pang at his departure, stress at work, then re-living all this Baylor crap.
Not to mention the condition of the Arkansas football team (we’re going to have to give Bielema time to build his system), the Dallas Cowboys (no relief as long as Jerruh has Romo), and the Texans (what a bomb-out)
It’s not all bad.
Nathan called me yesterday. He’s my adopted “son”. We had a great conversation about not much, just visiting, but it made me feel soooo good to see his name on the caller-id.
I decided to go see Dad this weekend. Dad is pushing 90. If Matt’s visit gave me that much love (and for the prurient, there’s nothing going there other than friendship), and Nathan’s call picked me up so much, maybe mine do the same for Dad.
So, ending on a high note.
Next blog will be some of the pictures Matt and I took while he was here. He’s an enormously talented photographer; I loved his photos. Next time, happy thoughts!