Shana Tova (Happy New Year)

Photo on 9-14-15 at 10.45 PM

To those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah, I wish you a good new year!

Scotch brought in a little floor fan for me because I get so hot in the night. I radiate heat most of the time in fact but if I can’t be cool at night, I really have trouble sleeping. That made Iraq a complete joyride, let me tell you. Since, especially at my rank, the Marine’s sleep schedule is anything but regular, you really have to learn to sleep when you’re allowed the opportunity, even if it’s just for a few minutes and even if it’s in the hottest part of the day. We were sleeping in little pup tents when I was there so I figured out a system whereby I could manage to get to sleep even when it was 127° outside. I’d go inside my tent, zip up all the windows, have a little “exercise” which would leave me soaked to the bone in sweat. Then I’d open up the windows and let whatever slight breeze might be blowing cool me just enough for me to fall asleep. The fact that I was usually far past exhausted helped as well. I never want to go through anything like that again and I had it much easier than most.

Tonight I heard from a friend in Auburn. He’s pretty down on himself and I hated to hear it. All his language was so fatalistic and self-loathing. From where I’m sitting he’s the victim of a couple decades of societal homophobia and racism. I was pretty tough on him– mostly because he sounds a lot like I did in the not-too-distant past. This guy is an incredible soul and I really want the best for him. I found myself encouraging him to get out of The South. I kind of hate to give that advice because after all, in Alabama today, there were non-white, non-straight, non-male babies born and just because there’s such rampant oppression of all these groups– does that really mean the best option is to just get out? And what about those babies? Are they destined to be raised without any examples of “their kind” around them until they are fortunate enough to flee themselves– that is if they get to that point before chosing slow or fast suicide?

And before you even go there, I know that these problems are not peculiar to the South. But it is generally easier for women, non-whites, and queers in a whole lot of places other than in “Dixie.” I actually was surprised at how firm I was with him. I do have a lot of empathy and compassion for him. But I couldn’t seem to bring myself to approach the problem any other way. I think that there’s still such a fair amount of anger that beautiful young folk are still beat down by such a sick system. I hope he gets out. I hope he finds his tribe.

Being back in LA has been wonderful. Moving back here is a definitely possibility although, as I said before, I’m waiting until this jaunt around the world is finished and I’ve collected all the data before I make a decision. There are other factors at play that weren’t there when this whole process began. I did love driving around Hollywood today though, looking at my old haunts, noticing how things have changed and the ways in which they haven’t. I don’t find LA as friendly a town as New York. Maybe that’s just my projection but it seems to demonstrate over and over even when I’m trying to keep an open mind on the subject.

Two young Jews did approach me on the street today and offer to blow the shofar for Rosh Hashanah. I told them thanks but I drove myself. They didn’t get the joke. I’m sort of glad they didn’t. (And yes, I did allow them to blow the shofar for me after explaining that I wasn’t Jewish but was very Jew-frienly. I wished them all happiness and prosperity in the new year.)

I went to Brick CrossFit in West Hollywood this afternoon and they put my dick in the dirt. I worked so hard I felt like my lungs were bleeding. That happens pretty much every time I go to CrossFit. CrossFit, for me, is a lot of things but a big part is regularly finding the “I can’t wall” and going over it (or if need be, through it). I hope you’re finding something that regularly gives you that experience in your life.

Okay, speaking of which, I’m going to an early WOD tomorrow so I need to get my rest. The final call of the day has come from Australia and I’m happy and grateful and quality-tired.

Please keep my friend in Auburn in your good thoughts and prayers. He deserves good things like we all do.

See y’all tomorrow.

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