eXTReMe Tracker

Saturday, September 20, 2008


It was a neighborhood bar, in the shadow of a freeway overpass. One time, a working mans bar, now, a pastel and fern version of Cheers. If Norm wore eyeshadow.

The job consisted of tending bar...and being the token 'straight guy'. A sideways affirmative action. I was a novelty...and it brought in customers.

(Years later, working as an Investigator for an Attorney in Dallas, I travelled back to the city on a case. I made my way back to the neighborhood and found the bar to be boarded up. The Bakery was still on the corner and the Chinese owner was still there, and he actually remembered me. I asked him if anyone from the old days was still around. No, he said. They all died. He looked down at the counter...AIDS, he said.)

Most of the younger guys thought they could convert me. I started dating a red headed Irish girl who worked at the bakery on the corner. She would sit at the bar after her shift and drink red wine, and confirm the suspicions that I was indeed with her.

She left me when I started drinking again. The novelty had worn thin and I had become mean, and trapped in this alternate reality. I craved heterosexual contact.

To this day, I twitch when I hear a show tune.

I started going to meetings again, and as fate would have it, met another 'her'.

This time, things would get ugly.

When opportunity knocks...don't be afraid of the noise.

I had another coffee. Seattle may be known for it's java, but for my money North Beach has it knocked. I watched traffic and tried not to think.

That's when Bill Cosby sat down. If he were a light skinned, flamboyant homosexual, that is.
He wore a camel hair topcoat and horn rimmed glasses. He had a deep voice with a Southern lilt.
He asked if he could sit down and he called me darlin'. Oh shit. I was not in the mood.

"Look, I'm having a nice, quiet, cup of coffee, minding my own if you don't mind."
"Please," he said, drawing it out into three syllables.
"You're too old for me...," and he laughed , a deep, booming laugh.

Now my head hurt, and the idea of a drink sounded great. I stood up to leave.

"Have you ever tended bar?" he asked as I was standing.

I sat back down. My principles have a price.

I gave him the short answer, and he flipped me a business card. He owned a small bar in a section of town called Hayes Valley. I was naive enough still to wonder if it was a gay bar.

"We open at 11, come by and we'll talk...if you're man enough. " He laughed loudly, stood up and sauntered away. He actually sauntered, and having never seen that before, I thought it noteworthy. I later learned it was more of a sashay, but I was new in town...

That was weird. Did he just cruise around town looking for young, tanned, blond guys to tend bar? I remembered where I was. Hmmm...

Maybe he did, it beat putting an ad in the paper.

My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.

Thank you all...