Raining again. Day started out dark. Sun behind clouds didn’t make it easy to get out of bed. Didn’t matter, I had to go to work. Shuffled along past Bill who was dressed impeccably which made me remember how I used to dress. It was always so much easier to wear a suit and tie, just open the closet door and you were done. But there is always a risk of getting the suit messed up and I think my wearing a suit makes everyone uncomfortable, the people I work with are more the jeans and shirt hanging out type, which is how I used to dress pre-suit days.
Perhaps when the weather becomes considerably cooler I’ll wear a suit and tie again. I mean, I have all these suits that are doing nothing but hanging in the closet. I hear them sigh sadly as I go past them towards a pair of khaki’s. The shoes sing a similar song, wondering why they don’t get shined anymore, let alone out on the street to walk the world. And the accoutrements. The ties, the braces, the over the calf socks, the cufflinks. All wasting away while I dress like I could work at the Gap or Blockbuster. Yuck. I know I looked good in a suit and certainly felt better about myself.
Speaking of closets, today is/was National Coming Out Day. A day created by some organization to enable people, not just youths to come out. Safety in numbers. I could almost see two old fathers in a bar commiserating on the fact that today was the day their child announced they were gay. October 11, a day of infamy. It’s not an easy thing to do though it’s probably a lot easier to come out of the closet when you’re younger, rather than being married and having kids and fooling around on the side with someone that plays on the same team.
Years ago, pre-internet days, the nineties I responded to an ad in the Village Voice and made a date to meet at a bar I used to DJ at in the Village. The guy was an older man, a bit on the heavy side and did nothing for me sexually, meaning he didn’t turn me on. He seemed like a nice guy, looked a little bit like Charlie Rangel. We just hung out and talked. He was in his fifties, I was in my thirties. We sat at the bar while he told me his life story. He was married though he hadn’t had sexual relations with his wife in about twenty years. They had three kids, all in their twenties.
I don’t know what set me off but I was filled with an air of self righteousness He was bemoaning his fate and I told him that he had more days behind him than in front of him. Did he want to continue living a lie? We talked about it and I encouraged him to be true to himself, and to show the world that being gay is not a bad thing after all. It was a Guinness fueled discussion about having to throw off the yoke of self loathing that is instilled in most gay people from day one. To be told that being gay is wrong, you’re going to hell etc. I heard it and even took part in it until I realized I was gay.
I led a double life for quite some time while my peers were able to walk around hand in hand without the derision gay people face. My drinking buddy and I left and I walked him to the bus to take him to Penn Station so he could head back to Shoreham, Long Island, giving him a peck on the cheek which flustered him as he got on the bus. We exchanged numbers and said we’d keep in touch.
The next day as I was working at Right Track Recording Studios I got a call. It was the Charlie Rangel looking guy from the night before. He told me he told his wife and kids. The wife was suing for divorce, and two out of three kids were cool with it. He said he felt free. I never heard from him again.