Monday, June 25, 2018

Problems with Traveling

The problem with traveling is that it changes you.

The problem with traveling is that it changes you and makes you different.

The problem with traveling, if you really travel, if you travel like I do, if you travel in the way that I have learned to travel is that it makes you different a person and gives you a different reality of travel and of the world. Something that is less in the romantic and more the vagabond with no place to lay your head with nothing that really makes you.a person that is in this place in this time in this now.

Your life is hotel beds in random cities, people you don’t understand because the micro-culture is so micro and the macro culture doesn’t actually prepare you for anything, really.

You are a strange, and the strange, but everywhere you go is strange and strange and strange an unknown and you lose yourself in this place and you become who you are in that moment and it is a moment of experience and knowing and understanding and…

When you have this experience your world is both larger and smaller and harder to understand and fully resolve.

"What do you do for a living?"

"I travel."

"Wow, that must be so exciting."

And it is.

And it is not.

And it is a thing that can define you in a way that is hard to full define and yet...it is making me who I am or who I have always been.

The thing about traveling the way I do is that exposes who you really are better than any single experience ever can.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Kisses on the Bus

It’s Pride week in Chicago and This evokes a certain number of memories. Right now, the memories of are a pride weekend 8 years ago when I was working in New York.

I was exhausted from working in New York, and even though I was invited to go, I ended up sleeping in a big bed while others went to party.

I was in punch drunk in love with a girl I met in New York City and she had invited me to the pride I slept through. She smiled as she told me to sleep and that she would be back later, and she would be back later, and we would make love later and I would leave her later, because this is how my life often works.

Back in Chicago, working, trying to figure out life again, because half of my waking life is trying desperately to figure out life. She wanted to come to Chicago, and I thought why not, and so we managed to make it work. I got a hotel, she got a plane, we met in the city.

It was a few weekends after Pride, a few weekends after the world goes crazy for the gays. We walked around town together arm in arm, in love, in lust, in life, in a willingness to experience in a way that most people don’t understand experience.

At one point, we were headed to our room in the gilded elevator of an ancient lobby, hands held, kissing as we waited, and as the doors shut a hand intervened. We moved back, thinking it was someone else that needed to go upstairs, but it was just a bellhop he felt the need to stop us.

“You two are just so beautiful,” he said.

“We know.” She always had so much more confidence than I did. I had confidence in her and in my love for her. We decided to go shopping, because that seemed like the thing to do on the visit.

We got up early, got dressed for the last of the warm Chicago weather and headed towards boys town.

“Let’s take the bus,” I suggested.

“That sounds good,” she said. 


We caught the bus in the South Loop and wandered slowly up north, enjoy the lake, enjoying each other. She managed to find seats together so we took them. Holding hands. Looking into each other's eyes.

We did the only thing that makes sense on a warm day in August, things that make sense to lovers who are together and who are traveling arm in arm, and who are affectionate and who knows that this time together maybe the only time, may be the last time, may be the forever time.

I kissed her, warm sweet lips, she tastes like sun and rainbows, I loose myself in the movement of her tongue and her in-drawn breath. We don't break until we both need to breath and then we smile at each other that giddy smile of lovers. That giddy happiness of two people together that are completely in love. 
 
And then we heard the commentary from the people on the bus.

“Ewww.”

“Shhhhh.”

“No it’s gross.”

“Shhh.”

“It’s not natural.”

I look at her and she looks at me and we are both having the same moment in our different way, in a city that just celebrated Pride in a country that like stop talking about how gay it is one for one month out of the year, we sat there, two women in love, confident, strong I each other, in ourselves, and we listened as the strangers on the bus judged us for who we were.

And as much as I didn't’ want it to, it hurt me. It may have hurt us. To be so together but so outside of being acceptable, to being the kind of couple that the world.can understand.

This, is, of course, the dark underbelly of taking on something that was supposed to represent the counterculture and making it mainstream.

We didn't get anymore mainstream. If anything, at that moment we were the living embodiment of the outside, and we were being judged for our love and for our happiness and for our giddiness in each other. For what we wanted from each other and from how and where we wanted to express that love.

It wasn’t better. If anything, it is even worse, to be at the end of an experience after a month of everyone pretending that it’s A okay to be Gay.

It’s not.

I’m on a train tonight surrounded by all the pretty people attending pride. Young, and often straight, mostly allies, but only allies for 30 days. The rest of the time, we are alone with our love, living our experiences around the judgement of our allies.