Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Low down

I feel lower than an old sow's dugs right now. I need to get busy and write and for some reason I'm getting a lot of requests to review books. Must be that time of the year. I'm saying yes but what I want to say is leave me alone right now. I hope something can pull me out of this silent funk.

I did talk to another old friend from high school that lives in the plains in eastern Colorado. He grows flowers. He also told me there is another one of our classmates here in Colorado and said he'd find out where so all of us could schedule some time to get together up here at my cabin--a little mini reunion of people who don't go to reunions. Interestingly, I'll be the only female -- at least so far.

The minute we started talking last night I realized something I didn't know in high school; he's gay. We talked about everything and nothing and even sex. We talked about the difference in relationships between gay and straight. I asked him how gays started relationships and he said they say "hi". Then they have sex and talk afterward, finding out about each other's likes, dislikes, etc. If there's anything there they move to a relationship and if not they say hi to someone else and start the process all over. He thinks it's easier for straights than gays and I think it's easier for gays. The grass is always greener.

Unfortunately, he is HIV-positive and has been for 25 years but is not in full blown AIDS. He also has a cast iron bathtub in his front yard and I accused him of being a redneck Fred Sanford and he laughed. He actually takes baths in the tub in the front yard under the tree when the weather's nice. That sounds at once sexy and weird. Something about the idea of a warm breeze and water on naked skin makes me weak in the knees. He lives on 15 acres and his neighbors aren't close enough to see (so he says), but I reminded him of telescopes, binoculars, and other spy devices. He laughed. "If they want to see me that bad they're welcome to watch."

He is that rare mix of innocence and openness that is so refreshing. And he's still a virgin at 49. For him, girls have a big YUCK factor and that's so funny, especially when he told me about the girl who chased him into the shower intent on changing his virginal status. He won. She lost. I told him he was safe with me.

I am still amazed how quick the connections are repaired between old friend who haven't seen each other in over 30 years and how much we remember. I've always believed the memories of youth are hard wired, branded into the synapses. Looks more and more like I was right.

Strangely enough he remembered me. I wrote him last week since I couldn't find an email address--and he isn't wired into the net. He has a laptop and it gathers dust on a shelf. Fine situation for an ex-computer programmer. He said I could teach him and bring him up to date.

He told me that several guys considered me out of their league. I can't figure out why. He told me it was because I was so smart, talented and pretty. Wish I'd known back then. I thought I was the original ugly duckling, but that I'd never turn into a swan. He said I was silly. Well, I think the boys were silly for keeping me in the dark.

In some parallel universe there is a Jackie who knew she had value as a youth. I wonder if she's happier?

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