Fall has finally arrived here in the desert. I don’t mean on the calendar, I don’t give a rat’s ass about that. I mean the air is softer on the skin, even when the temperature climbs.
The mountains look a little softer, with a little bit of green in their color now, a relief from the uniform tan of summer.
The coyotes aren’t quite as evident now as they were in the height of the heat wave. With the slight cooling they’re heading back up the mountain, leaving the valley to us humans.
I’ve decided I’m willing to try to communicate with a few of the people from my past, if you promise me that you’ll respect my privacy, and above all keep the bible thumping to yourself.
There are other ways to read the bible than we were taught.
I’ve decided to rejoin the human race after all, but I’m not in any sort of hurry. I’m taking this one step at a time. I’m meeting people. I’ve talked to a few fellows and even gone out a time or two. Well all right, that may be a tiny understatement. But you need to know that I’m not “in sin”, it’s who I am and who I’m going to be for the rest of my life. It’s not a behavior or a chosen “lifestyle”, it’s me plain and simple. Can you deal with that? I hope so.
I even started going to church again. There’s this little Episcopal priest down here with the sweetest smile. I absolutely have a crush on him, but then I crush on just about anyone with a nice smile. He’s from somewhere in central Africa doing his thesis, and they had to hide him from his superiors back home. It seems the African Episcopalians are trying to kill all the faggots these days. Seriously, they’re pushing legislation back home to make it a capital crime to be homosexual, or even to speak on a homosexual’s behalf. So he’s hiding out here, taking as long as he can to finish up his degrees, hoping no one back home notices he’s been gone too long.
We had a long talk, and he doesn’t seem to mind me, he just wants me to behave in church.
So now I go down on Saturdays and clean the church to make it nice for services on Sunday.
It got out somehow that I do music, and they’re already trying to get me to do some solo work. I think I’ll leave before I let that happen. I won’t let that circus start all over again, all the promoting and performing, getting lifted up and then thrown down. I can’t and won’t deal with that, so if they’ll let me, I’ll just pretty up the place on the weekends. I really do want to feel like I’m a part of some kind of spiritual community. I just won’t be in any kind of leadership.
Another thing I love to do is walk in the mornings, just before daybreak. I go out into the untracked desert where it seems like the dawn of time, almost paradise.You can see the most incredible things here, if you just pay attention. I saw a coyote sitting motionless in front of the skeleton of a saguaro cactus in which a rabbit was sitting as still as a rock, both waiting for the other to tire so they could make their move. Neither one stirred for the longest time. I left them still sitting, as patient as the mountains. They knew that at that moment in their lives, there was nothing more important that they could be doing.
I love the huge Saguaro cactuses. I saw one that was measured at 46 feet, with dozens of branches. They said it was over 100 years old. It was slowly dying, but fighting to keep it’s hold on life.
These saguaro have the most beautiful blooms. The Indians harvest them and make a liquor out of them. They work for weeks and weeks to make this cactus juice, and then they have a 3 day blowout. After that they wait for next years harvest.
My life has been a lot like that, short bursts of tremendous activity and accomplishment followed by waiting.
Well, that’s about all the serious communication I can manage for now. Please write and send me all the latest news from Hell. I check my mail faithfully, about once a week, down at the trading post/general post office. Sometimes I miss a week, but I usually have to go for groceries.
Just promise me you won’t start telling everybody. I can’t handle people coming around wanting me to “be” something for them. I think the worst thing for me is that they want me to be what they refuse to be for themselves. It’s too much for me to try to “be” anything for myself, much less anybody else.
Maybe that’s what this season is about for me, learning to just be, not to do or to be something for someone, but just to be.
Most of my socializing is with the local desert rats. We understand each other. All being fugitives, we recognize one another.
I realized one day that they had just quit playing the game of pretense. That’s all.
I’ll be meeting the boys to pass around a bottle of something or other before dinner. I’ll tell them all Hi for you. I know you’d love to meet them. They look rough, but they’re really a sweet bunch.
Take care of yourself.