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Voting and the Single Man

Tuesday was election day. I have not been apprised on any of the hot button topics lately. In fact, I have been out of touch with a lot of what’s going on in the world for quite some time now. I never thought I would get to this point. When I was younger, I would think of my great grandmother or even older people living the rest of their days up in the mountains, in their houses, way out in some cotton field someplace without electricity or a telephone or a radio or television and think how much of a lonely, pathetic disconnected existence that would be. Now that I’m officially 39, I imagine it to be a wondrous state of existence! I will admit that I do feel a bit disconnected, but I also feel that what I’m connected to is as equally valuable, if not even more so. I haven’t watched television for about two years now, and the only time I turn on the radio is to listen to the smooth jazz station when I go to sleep. At this point, I primarily get my news via the internet, magazines, and the intermittent newspaper I’ll pick up when I feel like it. There have been some significant undertakings that have gone on in this country that I can’t really explain or conjure up an opinion about. Like the BP Oil Spill, I read a little about that, but I don’t know the full story behind it, the main game players, or the effects. I do know that it was the biggest oil spill in the history of the United States and that an innumerable amount of animals died. But again, I don’t know how I feel about that. I mean, it’s fucked up, but I don’t know enough about it to blame anybody outside of circumstance… or maybe it was a collaboration between man and fate.

I have been slowly trying to educate myself on the Tea Party Movement, which has gained momentum ever since Obama got in office and is now the buzzword for any politically aware American nowadays. From my understanding, the Tea Party’s goal is for America to maintain the ideals of truth, justice, and liberty for all as dictated by the United States constitution regardless of political party affiliation. Which you know… sounds good. But I don’t think you can interpret the Constitution literally any more than you can interpret the bible literally. They were both written by naturally flawed heterosexual White men trying to do the best they could with the information given to them at the time. The underlying intonation with the Tea Party is that they are America’s Neo-Racists, a classification that Tea Partiers seem to thoroughly resent. But those dots are really easy to connect. Once Obama was elected, they started this movement of “Restoring America to the way it was supposed to be.” What person of color could consciously want America to resemble its past? At what time in American history was there more of an abundance of financial/spiritual growth for people of color than right now? Or rather, when has the playing field been more equal? The Constitution was written without consideration for people of color or women or homosexuals or transgender people, or people of other faiths because they weren’t even considered people. And yeah, life was fucking great back then… if you were a straight white Christian male. And the past election gave a lot of control back over to the Republicans. This is where the ego comes into play. I try not to fall into ego versus ego “child play,” but when the victor controls policy… that’s a different scenario. That’s probably why I have “unplugged” myself now that I think about it. Ever since that whole Proposition 8 brouhaha, I just felt so passionate and helpless at the same time. And instead of trying to be that one snowflake that makes it in hell and encourages his brothers and sisters to fight the flames and join me, I just melted and enjoyed my little puddle of bliss. But it still bothers me. It always bothers me. For the most part, I don’t mind that there is a section of the country that thinks I am nothing but an immoral nigger faggot. But it’s when those connotations are translated into policy that affects my livelihood, housing, and family… that’s when you have to take to arms. I have been trying to exist on this “No arms ever” plane, but… I think in certain instances… you got to fight. I guess I just need to redefine “arms.” I don’t plan on shooting every Tea Partier… but I'm not going to hug/love their discretions away either. The only other ammunition I can think of is the law and my own happiness.

So I’m going to vote at every given opportunity. I’m going to go to the Faultline and look at hardcore gay porn, drink beer, eat a beef sandwich, and God help me… make out with a complete stranger that looks like Dan from “Roseanne.” I’m going to go to the nearest coffee shop and order COFFEE, not TEA, and drink from every water fountain around in remembrance of the time when we couldn’t.

And if not the Faultline, maybe the Spotlight, despite the fact I’ve got about $25 to last until Wednesday. Technically, I could still get a couple of drinks, but I feel like I could use a break from my la vida loca. Speaking of that… I don’t think I went into anything in regards to my birthday! No big whoop, really. My actual birthday was on a Thursday. I went over to Mark’s house, and he cooked this huge dinner for me and his niece and nephew; all of us share birthdays within a week of each other. It was really great being with those guys. I absolutely adore his family and his mom. He’s a very sweet guy, and I care for him deeply… despite the fact he’s not the “one.”

Saturday rolled around, and I wound up at the Spotlight, where Stephen brought me this double layer deep thick chocolate birthday cake that I appreciated more than life itself. Santos and his boyfriend bought me these expensive fancy cupcakes as well as a $25 gift card for Target. Dale and Donald showed as well as Lisa Holly, this woman who I met at the Poets Jazz House a long time ago. It was a really sweet and small little celebration that I enjoyed immensely. Everybody bought me drinks; I think I spent about maybe $5 the whole evening, and that was just on the jukebox. Well, no, $15. I spent around $10 on the cab home… I was FUCKED UP. As soon as I got in the door, I stripped naked and flopped in my bed. It felt like I was rolling around on a waterbed for hours. In reality, I was lying completely still for about maybe 10 seconds. That’s when I pulled myself to the side of the bed and vomited like my life depended on it… again and again and again. Pure liquid, no chunks, that was the problem… I had eaten nothing at all that day and had about seven cocktails. I retained maybe 6½ of them after I finished.

The next morning, I woke up from what seemed like a century-long sleep, but it was like 13 hours in actuality. I imagined my floor to be carpeted with vomit, and in actuality, it was… carpeted with dry vomit. But I was very thankful… thankful and grateful. Just for everything. That I had good friends and good family, that I had the opportunity to indulge in too much liquor and sweets, that I had a place to lay my head, and I woke up safely. The main thing I was really grateful for was the fact that I was SINGLE. That I could go out, drink too much, smoke too much, curse too loud, come home, vomit all night, and have no one to answer to about the whole excursion at all. When I woke up, I very quietly got a bucket, filled it with warm water and soap, got a sponge, kept the smooth jazz radio station on, and began to clean my carpet. I continued to clean the entire house from carpet to ceiling. Took a shower, got some breakfast, then went to the Faultline for its beer bust to continue my birthday weekend… and did not have to answer to anyone. I felt free and alive and grateful. Yeah, 39 is okay…


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