Monday, November 2, 2009

The Dregs Of Halloween


Halloween aka the gay Christmas, I worked first shift and then stayed in for the night and watched monster movies on TCM. My ex (Rob) was having a huge party but since I don’t really drink anymore and I had to get up at the crack of dawn for work the next day, I didn’t really see any point in going to the party. Plus, I get tired of ducking the seemingly innocent, catty remarks his partner (Wayne) drops when my ex leaves the room:

Wayne: “So Ken, how’s work going these days?”

Me: “Things are good. Business has really picked up.”

Wayne: “How long have you worked there, Ken?”

Me: “Five years. Remember, I started working for Barnes & Noble when I lived in DC.”

Wayne: “Wow, that's a real record for you. I mean, working for the same company for 5 whole years!”

Bitch! See what I have to put up with, ladies? When Wayne comes back into the room he’s all sweetness & light. I really don’t know why he treats me like that. I’ve never done anything to him but be nice to him and I house-sit for these guys at a moment’s notice so they can go on gay cruises and vacation at clothing optional, gay campgrounds. And do they ever invite me along? Hell fuckin' no (and I'd look a damn sight better tromping around naked in the kudzu than them, to tell you the fuckin' truth).

The next morning when I got to work, I noticed that one of my usually jovial coworkers was very quiet and moody (very much unlike him). Carlson is an older gay man of about sixty but with a killer body from working out at the gym constantly. He sort of has the Mr. Clean thing going on and don't you know all the little bottoms in the area cream when he walks into the room (probably because he’s fucked them all. He’s what you’d call "sexually generous". He and his partner have an understanding, ya know ?). Carlson and his lover of 25 years share an old restored Victorian in downtown on one of older streets and are very much beloved in their little neighborhood because they entertain so often and throw an open house at least every other month. That morning he had awakened to a huge sandwich board style sign in his yard saying :

TWO FUCKING FAGS LIVE IN THIS HOUSE. WE KNOW YOU GOT AIDS TOO. YOU CAN LEAVE FOR VACATION CAUSE YOUR FUDGE HAS BEEN PACKED.

He was shaken and felt betrayed, beaten even. One of his so-called neighbors that he invited to his house regularly for parties and dinners surely must have done this. Only the people on his street knew him to be gay. After I questioned him about it for a while, he admitted that there was a new couple that had only been to his house for dinner once and they had never spoken to him again. Seems they were “religious” and we all know what that means here in the south, they don’t want to be hangin’ around no fags, not unless it involved saving their poor wretched souls (and even then they’d put on rubber groves first so they don't catch the AIDS. You know they think all gay people have AIDS). Carlson added that they also have a 15-year-old son that was always getting into trouble with the law as well. Bingo! The boy must have heard dear old mom and dad bad-mouthing the two fags that lived down the street, so him and some of his buddies thought this sign would be a hoot. They crept into Carlson's yard on Halloween night, set the sign up on the front lawn facing the street and then went to bed laughing and joking about putting a scare into the old queens at the end of the block. Now folks, I can't swear that this is exactly what happened, but I'm pretty good at figuring this kind of shit out (I had afterall, read all 64 Nancy Drew books by the time I was 12. I hated the Hardy Boys, btw). I felt so bad for Carlson, that he should live so long to build up this life, reputation and circle of friends only to have some assholes try to publicly shame him for being himself - an out and proud gay man that is loved by so many. I have to say that Carlson has alway been my role model for older gay men, that they don't have to be bitter old queens. His life and example show me know that they can still be vibrant, sexy (and extremely sexual in his case), active and respected. I was especially dismayed to see him degraded and shamed by these young, ignorant rednecks. We laughed about the bad grammar on the sign and the feeble attempt at being witty with the “packed fudge” reference the rest of the morning until the store became too to busy to think (thankfully) about personal issues.


I wonder sometimes if we’ll ever be treated decently but a guy can dream, can't he ?

Anyway, that was my Halloween. Ya'll be good and don't be eating too much of that nasty old candy corn (yuck)!

3 comments:

SteveA said...

That's sad and depressing - I mean - the sign. Ignorance is everywhere!

DELLA REESE said...

I hate candy corn

Geoff said...

That story about your coworker literally made me cry.....and that doesn't happen often.