Saturday, August 28, 2010


So, while reading a few short stories online, I came across a story about a couple who for different reasons are afraid of storms and their affects. It of course made me think about my own fear of storms, or rather my own sense of foreboding and hesitation over them. Like all fear it is connected to a memory, a bad one.

I was a young woman, a girl really and it was storming outside. I had gone to visit a friend of mine and was spending the night. She'd gone to take a shower and her brother, whom I found incredibly attractive, was home. He'd come into the living room where I'd been watching the Olsen twins in "Double, Double, Toil and Trouble" (yeah, this was a while ago). He'd asked me how long I'd known his sister, if she was my best friend, things like that. He was making small talk, putting me at ease, which didn't take too long. I was a lot more mature than my other friends by the time I was 10. Much of which was due to things I'd experienced earlier in my childhood. I remember that it didn't take long before I was smiling and laughing with him. I'd been raised in a very strict, very correct and upstanding "Christian" household. I put the quotations because while my mother was the embodiment of a true Christian, my father was only the shell of one. But that's neither here nor there.

Because of my upbringing in this staunch Christian household, my parents had pretty much glazed over the whole sex talk thing. I do believe that when I started my monthly cycle at the age of 9, my father took me out for ice cream, told me that now I could get pregnant. That sex was where babies came from and that sex was only for married people. So when my friend's brother asked me to come to his room and then asked me if I wanted to play a game called sex, I was of course, reticent, about the whole thing.

"My mommy and daddy said that sex is only for married people and that that's where babies come from." I'd told him with sincerity and innocence, completely trusting.

"Oh no, they got it wrong. Making love is for married people. And babies come from inside of the mommy's belly. But you can't get a baby from playing sex and anyone can play it," he'd responded, sounding so sure, so certain, so knowledgeable and HELPFUL that I believed him almost instantly.

Well, anyone can deduce what happened between me, a 10 year old girl, a P.K. (Preacher's Kid) and this 16 year old "man". After getting me to take off my clothes and lay down on the bed, after hurting me, after ignoring my please and cries for him to stop, after he'd finished with me, told me to get dressed and then pushed me out of the room, I was afraid of storms. You see, it had been storming really hard in Meridian, Mississippi that day. Oh I can sleep through some of them, if I fell asleep before the storm started and I've taken the right "painkiller cocktail" I can sleep through almost anything, but if I'm awake when the storm starts, well, I stay awake through the entire thing, my hands slightly shaking, my throat tight, my mind struggling not to remember.

As I read this story, I struggled with my own memories of that night. Then I struggled with memories of the two men that I'd shared that story with and of their two different reactions. I'd shared that story with Christopher, my fiance, shortly after seeing a senior citizen get mowed down by a vehicle in the middle of the street (I still remember that incident with clarity) and with Brandon, someone I still cannot identify even after all this time (was he my boyfriend, my friend? What the hell were we to each other?). And just like the two of them, their reactions were like night and day. Brandon listened to me as I shared with him this painful story, said "Aaww baby, I'm so sorry. C'mere" and pulled me into his arms, rubbing my back as I jumped at every sound of thunder, falling asleep way before I did, forgetting the entire incident in the morning. Whereas Christopher, my knight in shining armor, listened, pulled me roughly into his arms and then demanded the name of the boy who'd raped me. When I refused to give it to him, because really, it had been 11 years by that point, the statute of limitations was up and honestly, I'd gotten past it....for the most part. Realizing that I had no plans to tell him, he'd sat down on the bed and pulled me onto his lap, wrapping his arms around me. We sat there for almost fifteen minutes just holding each other. Then he'd laid down on the bed and held me in his arms, then he began to talk to me about our future together. How many children he wanted us to have, the house he wanted us to live in, how he'd be the man behind the woman when I took over the world with my writing, acting, singing, dancing and non profit organizations.

Christopher whispered words of love to me, cherishing me as I relived the painful memory. Then he held me in his arms, singing softly to me (off-key and out of tune) until I fell asleep.

People will always have different reactions to your life story. Everyone has one, everyone has a special sort of "life hell" that they'll have to endure and people around you will respond to it and to you differently. You'll lose people from your life when they're unable to handle it or to understand you or the situation(s) you'll endure. People will enter your life because they see you going through hell and it makes them feel better about themselves and their own lives. Then there are those people, the Christophers, who want to fight on your behalf, who love you, who draw you through the thunderstorms, protecting you, loving you, until the hell, the storm passes or until you find peace.

It's the difference between those people who are temporary dwellers in your life and those who are etched into your life. In a year or so, a few months Brandon will be completely forgotten by me (and not a moment too soon), but Christopher will be remembered by me forever. He, I will never forget, and will never want to forget.

I may have met Brandon after Christopher passed away, but it's Christopher who is freshest on my mind. He is the reason why I only shake a little when I hear a thunderstorm rather than fiercely shaking and crying silently when one hits. I will remember him forever. I will love him forever. And that's just something that you don't ever forget.

Is there something in your life that's tied to a painful memory? How can you tie that thing to something positive? Who is the person in your life who can help? Think about this today.

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Challenge (via-Twitter & Facebook)

I'm going to start doing a challenge. Act as if I'm on a particular television show or in a particular movie genre. It should be fun, and I think I'll post people's reactions and some pictures. That's just what I need, for people to think I'm more weird than I already am. So if you have any ideas, I'm totally open to hearing them.


So I totally posted two, or was it three?, blogs via my cellphone over the past few days. Talking about gossip, ignorance, racism and sex....I checked my site and I see:

You get the idea.

It totally sucks because I had moments of pure "blog genius" and now they're completely erased, which only goes to show you....


Save pictures, save memories, save letters, save texts, save essays, save it all, you're not promised tomorrow, the next moment, or even the next blog.

So save people. Whatever you do, just save.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

His Story

He was born Justin. Half French, half Italian, he was gorgeous. He IS gorgeous, atleast he was the last time I saw him. Now his body is being covered with black sores, his body, usually a hard mass of muscle and physical perfection is losing its definition as he loses weight during this hard time of his life. We met in high school, he was just another addition to my ragtag bunch of friends, all of us different, gay, transgendered, straight, bisexual, Wiccans, Atheists, Christians, Buddhists, Agnostics, Spiritual, Hermaphrodite, Cripple, we were a bunch of people who became friends because of our love for the theater, drama, music, sex, alcohol, and amazingly enough our mutual love for Brad Pitt.
Justin, Ryan, Angel, and I naturally gravitated towards each other. We were far and away the most dramatic and flamboyant of our little makeshift "family" of 15. We were all outcasts, the black sheep, who just happened to be the most popular people around. All for different reasons. Angel, the gorgeous Puerto Rican boy who women desperately wanted to turn straight and for whom men were willing to turn gay, was always known as being the life of the party, with his flair for fashion, he was Lady Gaga before Gaga existed. I was the chameleon, able to blend in with my surroundings yet staying true to who I really was. I was popular because of my talent, my ability to accomplish whatever I truly set my mind to and because while I wasn't considered "beautiful," guys were still drawn to me. Ryan, the hermaphrodite of our "family" was popular because of how smart he was, his sarcastic wit, and because he was one of the few open-minded, TRULY loving Christians that existed. Justin, however, was a force to be reckoned with. A hulking mass of sexiness, he was popular because he was beautiful, his smile could stop traffic, he was the biggest sweetheart in the world and while girls were often brokenhearted when he told them he was "a flaming homosexual" they were only too happy to consider him a friend.
Justin was free-spirited. Then again, we all were. Spending our days skipping class or daydreaming about moving to Los Angeles and becoming "Super-Celebrities" in our own ways. Justin wanted to be the highest paid porn star in the world and be President of the United States....simultaneously. He dreamed big and often. He was also one of my biggest supporters/fans. Justin could never understand it if a guy didn't find me attractive, or if someone told me "no," or if I got turned down for anything. He always seemed truly shocked. That was Justin's thing though, he believed that all of his friends were the best thing walking and could never believe it when someone disagreed with him.
Justin grew up in a family where his parents were just as free-spirited and flighty as he was. They changed ideals, beliefs, religions, and values about as much as they changed the furniture in their house. Perhaps that attributed to Justin's restless spirit, or perhaps it was always there, regardless, Justin was not one for committing to anything, not a job, not a place, and especially not a relationship. So it was to the shock of all of us when he told us that he had not only been in a committed relationship with the same guy for a year but that he was in love with him. Being the type of friends that we are, we immediately teased and berated him for it before asking to meet the guy in question, Isaac.
Isaac was your typical rich boy, spoiled, entitled, arrogant, thinking he was God's gift to men AND women and I of course had a problem with him dating my best friend, especially when he hit on me one night and told me not to tell (which of course I did). Isaac and Justin's relationship was fraught with violent arguments and fighting, excessive drinking and drug usage, and other addictive behavior. Isaac also cheated on Justin....repeatedly. Justin always took Isaac back, much to the chagrin of the rest of us.
So I wasn't too shocked when Justin called to tell me that Isaac had confessed to having an affair for four months, not even when he told me that Isaac had been cheating on him with a woman, I wouldn't have put it past Isaac to cheat on him with a dog if giiven the right motivation and circumstances (gross I know, but hey, I'm being honest). However, I was shocked when he told me that Isaac had gotten this other woman pregnant and the two of them had decided to keep the baby and to try to be together.
Justin was devastated and rightly so. So, being the family that we are, we all pitched in and helped to fly Justin from New York over to London, England where Angel and James lived with their own house, thinking to help Justin heal over his harsh breakup by indulging in the life of a British man. It seemed to work for a while, Justin began laughing and smiling again, returning to a glimpse of his former, vivacious self.
So I was shocked when he called to inform me that he'd had to go to the doctor....again, to get bloodwork done. Then when he told me why, my heart stopped.
You see, our family started off with 15 in 1997, and now in 2010, we are just 5. Losing the other 10 to drugs, jail, and AIDS. So when Justin told me that he was having another "outbreak" of sores, weakness, and feeling sick, I felt the air in my world being sucked out.
Justin is a big, huge, important part of my life. The results of his test came in and when he called me, sobbing openly on the phone, my heart broke. I am so afraid of losing him and so angry that he didn't get tested sooner, earlier, yearly. He knew his partner was unfaithful and yet chose to remain in denial rather than face reality and get tested. His partner put his life on the line by sleeping around and yet Justin is not completely innocent because he didn't use protection and he didn't get tested.
Now, our days will be filled with nostalgic memories, hospital visits, medicine, attempts at trying to cram as much of Justin's "bucket list" into what remains of his life, trying to be hopeful, and all of us will spend our days with this black cloud looming over our heads as we try not to focus on the fact that we will be losing another family member to this horrible disease soon.
We have a responsibility, not just to ourselves but to our partners, our loved ones, the world and our family to get tested as often as possible, to stay healthy, informed and aware.
Justin hasn't lost his vivaciousness or his flair for life, he's wiser now, he's sicker, but he's still the same guy who tossed me over his shoulder and carried me to my Drama class, one day, our freshman year in college, because he said that "Divas don't walk."
His story has motivated those of us who remain to get tested but to also tell his story so that through his life and impending demise, we might save the lives of others.

By the way, Justin's favorite movie is "Rent" and his favorite part? The restaurant scene where the cast sings "La Vie Boheme." Favorite line: "Actual reality, Act now, FIGHT AIDS!"