Saturday, April 7, 2007

Fear and tanning in Jackson County

"Spring won't come / the need of strife to struggle to be freed / from hard ground." - Type O Negative, 'Green Man'

My profile picture was taken a whole year ago - that magical age of 25, with Guster and Mates of State and Suzanne and I at the bar. It seems like a world away, and in a lot of ways it is. A lot's changed.

* * *

If spring won't come, then I'll leave. I took a look at my agenda for the Orlando conference and things will be...easy going, to say the least. I fly in Wednesday evening, with nothing to do but swim and drink and lounge and enjoy. Friday, I get the whole afternoon to explore one of the Disney parks. And on Saturday, when the rest of the card service officials are golfing, I'll be doing...something else.

* * *

I'm going to do battle with Detroit again tonight. We'll call it the rubber match, because last time Harpo's got the best of me. A slashed tire, a scary drive home, all after the great KMFDM show Don and I saw. Now we return to see Type O Negative.

And to think the guys from Type O pick Harpo's as their favorite place on Earth to play. Maybe they've never driven there. Maybe they don't have to worry about parking.

* * *

The show tonight wraps up birthday week 2007. It's been decent. Last Saturday felt more like my birthday than yesterday did, but it was nice to have the extra day off. And I've eaten pretty well over the past few days, thanks to good friends.

* * *

Thursday's blog started quite the discussion (see the comments section if you have any doubt), but I think it was the last comment that summed it up for me. How would my friends have felt if I had deleted a comment I didn't like, before it had a chance to be read?

It's too bad when people have to experience something before they identify with it. I always think of Dick Cheney in cases like this. The president is all for outlawing gay marriages, probably because he doesn't know anyone who's gay.

The VP doesn't hold the same epistemological outlook at Bush, lacking the born-again label, but he doesn't stray into outlawing rights because he has a gay daughter. So why does it take having a gay daughter to identify with people who don't sleep with the opposite sex?

Locally, I have a feeling we'd all be pretty angry if one of our transgendered relatives were treated like Julie was treated. Or we'd really be angry, at Adrian, if our beloved College World was ever stolen from the bins.

Maybe I lack a definite prism through which I see the world. But I like it this way. Makes me sound less dogmatic and self-righteous in arguments.

* * *

My good friend Josh came to see me at work the other day. We used to be the best of friends, and now our jobs and lives take us away from each other.

But he still makes it a point to stop in and see me when he's working out at the YMCA or testifying against some law-breaker at court.

I'll never forget when I first started working at American 1, Josh came in and asked for Dave, the president of the Gay Club of Jackson (or something like that). He freaked our receptionist out, and gave me a good story to tell. He knows how to embarrass people, a skill I think we've shared and perfected through the years.

He thought it would've been funny, on my first day, to wheel me in Hannibal Lecter-style - with the mask and straps and gurney.

* * *

Today I went tanning for the first time.

I was nervous about the whole thing (nude? lotion? do I cover "it" up?), but the friendly lady at Bronze Villa was really helpful about the situation.

Tanning comes pretty easily for me, thankfully, but I tend to burn the first time I greet the sun. I figured that before I head to Florida I should build up a base or something.

There's something about lying naked in a bed of glowing tubes that frees the spirit. I'm not really any darker (I only made it to level 1, with its UVB rays, today), but I am wiser.

Twenty-six years wiser, to be exact.

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