What is Love #4
It was about 10 days ago when someone went into a club and murdered a bunch of gay people. No one is talking about it anymore. That was it. It’s all over.
It was also my father’s birthday. I don’t talk to him much because on the one hand I love him, he is kind and funny and smart and generous and community oriented and caring. On the other he believes gay people are going to hell and there’s not much he can do about it. He would never want someone to go into a nightclub with a gun. He just doesn’t know that you can’t say that homosexuality is a sin against God without someone going into a nightclub with a gun. One does not exist without the other. I don’t talk to him about this. I guess you could say I don’t show up with him. I guess you could say I don’t love him. Even if I do.
I have expected to die for being who I am for most of my life. It does not frighten me. I don’t even think about it. You have to be at peace with death in order to be free. I am lucky. I am loved. I am in danger. I am alone. These are the contradictions of life.
I often think about getting a dog. My ex-wife periodically sends me posts from the local animal shelter. I feel like this is the one for you she says. And when I make some excuse about how I travel too much, she says I’ll babysit.
Of course I am terrified of getting a dog. Terrified of loving, being attached, being needed. Terrified of needing, of being left, terrified of being alone, more alone than ever, more alone than I was before I tried not to be alone. See if you are always alone, then you can never be left alone.
I also don’t like looking at the animal shelter website because I get overwhelmed. All these dogs, broken dogs, abandoned dogs, dogs with three legs or one ear or a missing eye, dogs with scars and fucked up histories and secrets, all of them carrying cute names and little backstories so as to appear adoptable to you, as you sit right there, scrolling at home with their entire fate in your hands. I get overwhelmed because it reminds me of how I felt like that when I was a little kid. Alone, in shelter, fucked up damaged goods, hoping to be pleasing enough to you that you would let me live in your home. There is no feeling from my childhood that is as clear as the…