Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I Plead the 50th?

Actually Connie does: "IF I were to attend a 50th reunion (two years away for mine), I would choose to go to the one for the school I did not graduate from - the one where I had grown up with so many people. I did a pretty good job of not establishing relationships, other than with my wife, after moving to Seattle. Even though I had gained some notoriety on the football field, I played a position that was not so glamorous. My ending up at the bottom of a pile of humanity at the end of each play did little to endear myself to the humanity of my classmates in the stands - or in the halls the following Monday. Actually, the same was true at my old school; I planned it that way. I was trying to fly under the radar, and football was mostly a decoy. I have to laugh each time I think about it, as the kid who was the quarterback, and the best athlete in the school, I have always suspected to be gay. We were, by no means, close friends, but I could sense that he was keeping a well-guarded secret, just as I was. If there were only one person with whom I might have a reunion, it would be him. Our miseries would make great company.

A center of attraction? I admit to having that desire - at least my musical self does. I started my musical "career" behind a drum set (which is usually set up behind the rest of the band). Playing the drums was yet another decoy. My "hamming it up", though, eventually moved me to center stage. Over the years, I have often imagined myself stepping onto the stage with the band at a reunion. I could express myself there so much better than in any other way, and the edge of the stage is sort of a force field - one for which I have control. Standing above a crowd of vaguely familiar and aging faces - the men fat and bald, and they women wrinkled and gray - singing from my heart and soul, seems quite a satisfactory prospect.

None of this will happen. Why should I care that people see who the awkward, enigmatic, and somewhat withdrawn boy turned out to really be? Who I am now is of little note to anyone but myself, and any accolades for my "courage" to be myself now are unwanted. My courage was demonstrated by what I did to hide myself those many years ago, but I certainly don't need to reminisce on that. Besides, nobody hires bands for reunions anymore; just DJs. People are more interested in those things recorded long ago than what is live - and alive - in the present."

Thanks Connie (again)!

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A Life in Gender Flux