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Friday, March 30, 2012

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 12 Back in Albany New York


Jonathan never admits to the mess he’s made and can’t seem to come to terms with what he has done. He avoids the topic every time it comes up. He looks at the floor and shifts his weight from leg to leg. It is more than clear to me that he has done it but I can’t get him to say it.

I feel like living with Jonathan is taking a toll on me. I feel alone and helpless from having an emotional cripple looking to me for strength. I need to find somewhere to fit in. Nights are the worst when I am alone with him.

I find the Gay and Lesbian Community Center located off Lark Street. It is located in a bizarre and slummy looking building. I climb the stairs and find the lobby is peppered with old men. They look at me as if I am a piece of candy and one by one slowly make their way over to hover near me.

‘Sit here honey,” a voice calls out to me. I turn to look at where the voice came from.  The old men slowly move closer to me and some even bump into me. I am reminded of geriatric sharks, slowly swimming in on their prey. I don’t have to be asked twice and walk briskly across the room.

I am a nervous wreck and plunk myself down on a seat in front of a sign that tells me that I am at the welcome desk. Sitting behind the desk is a curious looking man. He is the one who called me over to sit. He is about 6’5, gangly with bulging eyes and buck teeth. His legs don’t really fit under the desk and they pop out on the sides. He throws his hand out to me. “Hey Honey, I’m Bill,” he says giving me just a couple of his fingers to shake.

One of the sharks brushes up against me and hisses “You have a sweet ass.”  Bill rises back up and yells out “Move on Pops before I throw you out on the street.” The old shark shuffles on and the rest hover back. I am clearly 60 years younger than this crowd.

“What brings you in here?” Bill asks. “I am here to find myself,” I say. “Good luck,” he says, “I’m still looking.”

Several hours later Bill and I have become good friends. Several people have walked in who are more my age and Bill introduces everyone to me. One of the people I meet is Andy. He has sparkling eyes, an amazing smile and is clearly fascinated with his accomplishments. Andy is a performer and grew up in the area. He told me in the first five minutes, that he has a brother, a mother and a lot of family money.

Andy tells me about an upcoming audition for Annie Get your Gun at the Four Seasons Dinner Theatre. The theatre is located on Washington Avenue extension and it will be hard to get to because I don’t have a car. Andy helps me map out my route. It’s clear that I can catch a bus that brings me close to the theatre but I will have to walk home every night.

“I can pick you up and drive you to the theatre for the audition,” Andy says sliding one hand onto my leg and leaning in really close. Bill reaches across the desk and yells out “3 foot rule,” while pushing Andy back. Bill winks and mouths the words “He’s cute!”

The next several days I see a lot of Andy. Leo see’s a lot of me the minute Andy leaves and Jonathan continues to throw temper tantrums. Andy comes to the group home so that there are no secrets between us. He is a little worried after meeting Jonathan who glowers at him the whole time he’s there. I do neglect to tell Andy about Leo. I’m not sure how that would go.

On the day of the audition, Andy shows up early. He is excited and has a gift for me. I close my eyes and when I open them he has placed a cage with two white mice in it. “Surprise,” he says. “I have named them Mickey and Judy.” “They will take care of you when I can’t.” I look in and Judy looks up at me with her pink eyes.

I place the cage next to my bed and hug Andy. For some reason I pull him closer and hope this moment never ends.

To be continued…….
Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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