When I was a young(er) fledgling homosexual, a very dear friend of mine turned me on to the novel Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. His books espouse his philosophy that our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance. I didn’t really buy in to all the psychic mumbo-jumbo, in fact, I thought most of the book was hard to follow. There were some really interesting ideas in it though. The book was given to me at a time in my life when I was isolated from my family. I had moved out of my folks house and didn’t have a relationship with them or my sibs for quite a few years. The friend, Grant, that gave me the book wrote on the inside cover of the book, "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof”, which is a direct quote from within the book. And this really touched me at the time. In fact, it touched me so much that it formed the basis for pretty much every relationship I’ve had since that time. Grant, to this day, is still my “papa bear”.
I also think Richard Bach is full of shit since most of his later books revolved around his real-life wife, Leslie Parish and their “soul-matedness” and how perfect and happy and blah, blah, blah they were. At the time I was jealous of Richard and Leslie. At the time I was searching for MY “soul-mate”. I bought into his line of shit hook line and sinker. IMAGINE my surprise when he and Leslie divorced in 1999 and he remarried his THIRD flavor of soul-mate.
While I didn’t buy into the whole “wrinkle in time” theory, wherein our lives take off in different tangents from multiple points throughout our existence, I’ve been having these little daydreams ABOUT this theory lately. I’m not saying that I have a death wish or anything, but when I’m alone in my Jeep, or on my motorcycle, and I pass through certain events I have these reoccurring thoughts about the end of my life. And it goes something like this...
This morning it rained in Austin for the first time in 5 months. I HATE riding my motorcycle when the roads are wet. ABSOLUTELY hate it. But I had to get to work this morning, quickly, so I hopped on and rode down through Lamar. For you out-o-towners, Lamar is a major artery here in Austin that winds and curves through the center of the city. It’s a beautiful road, and one of the views that I remember so vividly about my first visit to Austin that inspired me to move here permanently. So I’m whipping through traffic on freshly wet roads and taking my curves at 40 mph. And once the bike was straightened back out and I was in a straight-a-way, I had this thought that I was looking back on my laying up against the curve with my neck and body broken as a crowd of curious people hovered over me to see the dead fool who took the damp curve too fast.
Similarly, I have the same thoughts as I’m driving down the road and a car appears to be pulling out of a dead stop, I get the same thoughts. Most of these thoughts involve me dying, and they leave me wondering, “what if”? What if I DID die in that moment, would Jed know how much I really love him? Would the kids know how much I love them? Would they know how very proud I am of them? What would their lives be like in 5 years? 10? What kind of citizens would they become as adults? Would they be tolerant of life and love? Would they even remember me? What impact have I made up to this point that would help form their ideas when I’m not here?
In this thought, I am already dead…but I’m not, because clearly this isn’t writing itself. In this thought I am living in Portland because I grew tired of searching, hopelessly, for love in the pretentious faces of the gym-bunnies in Austin…but I’m not, because I’ve found perfection. In this thought I never had kids and am a lonely alcoholic having anonymous sex in a bathroom at the airport…but I’m not Larry Craig, I’m still (F)reddy.
I’m not really sure what the point of all of this writing today is. I’m not depressed, I’m not lonely. I am, truly, grateful for waking up this morning, truly grateful for my life, truly grateful for the family that I’ve made for myself. I guess my hope is that each of you live in the moment and be equally grateful for the things in your lives, regardless if you think things should have ended up differently than they have. Because, really, that moment is already gone.