Right On Time Little Saint


It’s the first thing I did. i just got up and started typing. My arms were both numb because I must have slept on them which made typing a little difficult but I just kept going anyway. I had prayed to God to help me get out of the paralyzing fear that had kept me from writing for so long. Part of me knew that the fear was attached to a lifetime of trauma beginning with events in my youth. I also had the profound sense that beyond all the trauma that I did remember, there were also things that I couldn’t. Beyond that, I had the sense that I could get past any and all traumas of the past.

I tried to set the timer so I could call the typing my morning pages that day but the phone just rebooted and the little white apple came up so I decided to start typing again. My throat was not as sore as I feared it might be when I woke up. My throat (not to mention the rest of me) had gotten a lot of exercise during the three weeks I’d been in LA. The purpose of the trip to LA (I had first thought) was just to visit and see my friends there. It also had something to do with deciding if I wanted to move back there instead of New York. (It was definitely time for me to leave Alabama again.) I did and do love my family there and have absolutely no regrets about being of service to my family in the way I have been able to this year but somehow, being in the place where all the trauma began had become sort of fuel to the fire that was burning between me and the door. I knew it was time to go. I was determined to make that happen— or rather to let The Great Mystery “happen” it for me. For a minute over the three weeks I had been in LA I thought that the place I was moving would be back to LA instead of NYC. Then, in the last couple of days of the trip, It had become clear to me that NYC was the place I was to return to and not LA— at least not for now.

(several hours pass)

Now I am flying high at 35,000 feet. I’ve had a very nice meal in First Class thanks to Scotch and Kit and the seat is large and comfortable, built for a man who is built like me. It has taken me literally years and lots and lots of conversations with Scotch to get over my reluctance to fly in First Class. Maybe if they called it something else it would help. I’m not going to ramble on and on about why. Those who read my blog know me by now— and if you know me, you can imagine why. It took a bit of  “processing” to get me here which is absolutely so happy and grateful for the wonderful meal, the included-in-the-ticket-price entertainment, the exceptionally friendly service and this comfortable Jeff-sized seat. (smiles and sighs)

(As a side note, I am also so very happy and grateful that it is absolutely no problem whatsoever for me to turn down all the free booze— I consider that a miracle for a once homeless alcoholic like me! Thank you God.)

(changes subject)

When people regurgitate spiritual platitudes or Hallmarky pop-pscych idioms to me,  it mostly just annoys the pig. I know they’re coming from a good place and the people really just want to help but mostly I think it is actually as part of a well-developed defense mechanism inside of them to help them convince themselves that everything is alright. Even that is perfect though as it affords me an opportunity to do more spiritual work within me about my feelings toward them and what they’ve said to me. God bless ‘em there are actually people out there that will say things like, “You know Jeff, you can’t really love anyone else until you love yourself” or “Are you sure you’re not trying to fill that emotional void with sex when it’s really something else you’re looking for?” I often wonder what my face looks like when one of these “help bombs” land. I try to at least keep it neutral. I often think if I could see myself as another person, I’d be able to see that “You gotta fuckin’ be kiddin’ me” is right behind my closed-lipped smile/slow, seconds-long nod. I mean Jesus, Lady! I been at this shit for over thirty years— and by “this” I mean the trying to get better bit. There is almost nothing that I hear that I haven’t heard before. People suggests rituals and potions and political movements— again, all well-meaning I’m sure and I kinda feel like an asshole for— no I don’t that’s not true, I don’t feel like an asshole for saying it. I absolutely love that I’m saying it. Finally saying it.

I avoid killing people by amusing myself inside my head when it happens. The other day somebody told me, “Jeff you just really need to let go of Adam.” I smiled politely and sort of looked sideways down at the ground while (again) nodding the slow nod. “Yeah,” I sighed, “you’re probably right.” But the reason this person still has their head is because inside my nodding head I was playing out another scenario and laughing my ass off at my own dark humor. Inside my head, I imagined that I start jumping up and down screaming, “Oh my fucking God, Denise! You’re absolutely right! How in the world have you held onto this helpful and heretofore secret information for lo these many months since the “divorce” when all that ever really needed to happen is for you to tell me that I need to ‘let go of Adam’?!?!” And then I drop to the floor and start kissing her feet saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you” until she realizes that I making fun of her and drags herself away– angry, hurt, and determined never to speak to me again. (I have a rich inner monologue as you might have imagined, sometimes a rich inner dialogue, sometimes a cacophony.)

The most fucked up thing about this “people saying helpful things” is that sometimes, even on the same day (as in yesterday), two different people will reach out to me, will say things I’ve mostly heard before but with the intention to help, and it will hit me in completely different ways! One possibility is that I’m just mentally ill and the state of my biochemistry at the moment their words dock in my port is the variable factor. Another possibility is that I like one of the people more than the other. Another is that I find one more sexually attractive than the other. Another is that the particular way someone presents said information is offensive while another is presented in a way that I am able to easily receive it. Another is that I am a very empathic person and most of the time I believe I can look into another person’s soul and see where they are coming from and if a person is trying to “help” me by saying something to me about the way I live my life and I believe that indeed they are sort of wrapped up in their own distress patterns (addiction, et al), they might as well be asking to shit in my pocket. But, on the other hand, if I have opened my (wait for it, it’s about to get very airy-fairy up in here) “soul eyes” and seen into the experience of another person and seen that they have “done their work” and they are showing up just on time to remind me of something about which I need to be reminded, I’m all heart and ears. One such occasion occurred yesterday.

I had finished my workout at the LA Downtown Gold’s Gym and headed to the locker room. The “wet area” of this gym, like most wet areas in most gyms in most cities can sometimes be pretty cruisey. As I approached the shower I locked eyes with this beautiful man about my height dripping wet having just finished his post-workout hosing off. He had sensual, kind eyes with lazy lids and a big fucking Adam’s Apple. (I need to consider calling that particular part of anatomy by its proper name, the laryngeal prominence, since the name Adam has sort of been spoilt for me now.) Whatever you want to call it, his was big and I like big ones (yes, I’m still talking about his Adam’s Apple… er, laryngeal prominence.) He was lean and fit and moved like a cheetah.  He nodded toward the hot tub instead and we ended up having a real and meaningful conversation (spiritual and dietary in nature)  for about a half an hour. There was real connection and to say I enjoyed our conversation would be an understatement. When I left, I thanked him for giving me what I was really looking for instead of what I thought I wanted even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time— no, no, that’s bullshit too. I knew it. I was just ready to opt for the cheap and sleazy alternative. Wait a minute, that’s not fair either. There can actually be something beautiful and real and mutually loving about anonymous sex— but that’s another blog for another time— in fact, that’s probably a book or a play or a movie— at the very least a poem.  But yesterday I got what I needed. I got the sense he did too. And I’m grateful.

[Incidentally, all throughout our conversation, I had the sense that I knew this guy. I even said so to him. I had the sense that we’d meet before, perhaps in a previous life. (This is likely true as well, what I’m about to tell you notwithstanding.) I knew that he sort of reminded me of my cousin Kieth but there was something else too. Sometimes when I’m trying to figure something out like that, it’s best just to let my brain relax, to stop trying so hard, and let my subconscious work on it for a while. Eventually, something connected in my brain and I said, “Do you know RuPaul? Ru’s a friend of mine and I think I might have met you through him. Some synapse in my brain just connected the two of you for me.” It was only then that he said, “Have you ever watched RuPaul’s Drag Race?”  And then I realized it was Santino Rice I was sharing this wonderfully healing hot tub tete-a-tete with. I further loved that he hadn’t pimped his success as his identifier and rather had connected with me on a personal level. A lot of people you meet in Hollywood, you hear about their entire resumé and every famous person they’ve ever met in the first five minutes of talking with them. To me, that’s a great sign of insecurity, an essential lack of belief in oneself. I’ve certainly been guilty of it before. This was not the case with Santino. He was down to earth, personable, and very patient with my initial lecherous behavior. What a fucking awesome dude!]

We exchanged numbers and later that night (and also this morning) I got a string of texts from him full of spiritual truths, kind words, and affirmations. In truth, if pressed to do so, I couldn’t find anything in the texts I hadn’t heard before (except with the possible exception that I should only eat Pink Himalayan salt and never any other kind). But it was the source from which they came, this right-on-time angel who’s clearly done a lot of his on work that made the difference. I needed to hear everything he had to say— in the order he said it— at just the moment he said it— and later when he texted them— and generally at this very crucial point in my life. I’m grateful for my interaction with this Little Saint (“Santino” means “Little Saint” although let me tell you boys and girls, there ain’t nothin’ little about him, wink, wink.) Oh come on now, I was mostly talking about his heart— mostly. I hope our friendship lasts forever. (We’ll see if it last ’til tomorrow after this blog, haha!)

(later on)

I’m on a layover in Houston and I can see the little plane outside the window that’s gonna fly me Birmingham. Good Lord, I  have boots bigger’n that little thang! Oh well, I was able to find the blessing in that First Class seat from LA. Now it’s time for me to find the blessing in this one. Oh! They’re calling my flight.

(at 31,000 feet between Houston and Birmingham)

So now I’m on the EMB-145 on the last little leg of my trip. I joked when we boarded that “EMB” must be short for embryo because that’s about how big this plane is. I had to bend over to walk down the aisle which got a few chuckles from the other passengers. I’d mentioned to you when I was about to board that I’d need to “find the blessing” on this flight so here it is: I’m in the exit row and there’s no one seated beside me so I actually have every bit as much room on this flight as I did in the First Class Cabin on the way to Houston from LA and the seat is equally comfortable. It’s a short flight so I can definitely make it without having the flight attendant warm my nuts for me or hand me a wet washcloth. More life lessons. Metaphors abound.

We’re starting our decent into Birmingham. Back in the land of my birth! God help me I do love Alabama and I love a whole lotta people who live there. It’s been great and interesting and hard being here this year. I’m sure the deeper ramifications of it all will continue to reveal themselves in the coming years. Let’s just hope that’s in the form of some award-winning plays, movies, and TV shows and I can parlay the Southern Gothic Surrealism that is my life into a way to make a living! Speaking of RuPaul, I’ll close with a quote from her because it seems to fit so well.

“I gotta make some coins, Gurl!”

See y’all tomorrow!