“Spring was never waiting for us dear, it ran one step ahead as we followed in the dance” — prophetic!
Spring has been irksome, plagued with cold days, friends in chemo, lovers’ breakups, suicides, newborn arrivals and deaths.
I was superstitious, I was scheduled to die in June 1994 and as I am living my second life
I cannot help but shudder each June. If disco doesn’t make its comeback soon, I might fall into melancholy.
The new Cindi Lauper tune “The Same Old Fucking Story” makes me chuckle: “People slippin’ in the rain, I watch them get up again; it makes me feel like I can too.”
I write to you trapped for two hours on a hot Air Canada plane on the tarmac of Ottawa airport. Outside, several storms sweep by with lightning and the flight crew nervously pour free wine, close full toilets, and make lame repartee to manage the crowd. Two thousand of their jobs on the chopping block due to gas prices, or so they justify it.
Once we get outside, we will have to wait one more hour to get the luggage. Next week I will have to repeat it all over again (the glamour of business travel wore off years ago).
We have tried to tame this hissy spring by socializing, by “being seen,” at the Biltmore Karaoke night on 12th and Kingsway, simply queer in a Blue Velvet sense of the word. At the Farmer’s Market on Trout Lake we purchase a dozen fastidious non-pesticide tomatoes to soothe our ennui. We briefly lighten up at the Diana Ross concert by singing along “No wind, no rain, Nor winters cold, Can stop me, babe, If you’re my goal” envying her wedding cake gowns.
We tried to find spring at a Hawks Avenue yard sale on a lovely Saturday, at the Gregor Robertson breakfast to be the mayoral candidate for the Vision Vancouver party (of course my cock guides my vote! The same good old male lust that made a foreign affairs minister forget important papers at a buxom mistress’ house).
We seek spring by traipsing between foliage and bouquet at the East Vancouver Garden Tour, digging for some queer dirt no one gave up. We go to Chuck and Omar’s lively housewarming party on Rose St and mingle with the young, queer and hip — Dorothy, we’re not in the West End anymore! — talking university theses, books, travels, renos, sensible cars and in vitro babies, all the essential accessories of today.
We go to two 50th birthday parties, yikes! We go to the car-free Sunday on Commercial Dr now diligently imitated in other quarters of the city but no party amounts to the revolution of getting off our asses, strollers, scooters or cars. At the corner of 1st and Commercial, I get yelled at by a fat being in a speeding scooter, whose yelping little dog has almost tripped me in its leash.
I get cranky at all this social fakery intended to lubricate our irked nerves with obsequious interaction. Ah! This middle class, Anglo, passive-aggressive contentment at everything contrasts the flammability of Latinos often aware that life will bring only more uncertainty mañana.
I miss the loud relajo, the squeezed private spaces, the public pandemonium, anything to shatter our Canadian everyday smug certainty that we’re above financial ruin, wars delivered mostly on newscasts, epidemics, environmental disasters. Even historical fuckups to First Nations and other groups are apparently forgiven this spring.
You may wonder, dear reader, “how can one little queen crave such big drama?” Well, I just do, sometimes.
The other morning I felt like slapping a yoga instructor — or was it getting him to spank me hard? — so sexy fitted in his inked little compact body spouting quirky yogi remarks, “Ah, the drama, so many details, ah, so many details”. What wrong had this delicious creature done to me? Nothing. It is just my knee-jerk reaction to an exasperating spring.
In trying to exorcise the edgy summer, I attend a salon on men’s health organized by my friend Zena, yup, surely some frank talk about masculinity will bring on at least an intellectual money shot.
The place was packed with hot, young, earnest men and the old wounded ones spurting ideas: how depression is the silent epidemic amongst men these days, how young men commit suicide more often than reported (many of whom are queer or “curious”), how we men feel we have to “measure up” to arbitrary virile standards, how we feel self-sufficient and possess great self-entitlement (even homos think the others are chicken for the prowl — shocking!) and lots of textbook case family shit on shady father figures (a pedophile priest in Catholic school in my case).
I heard that a new Health Initiative for Men (HIM) has pitched its tent in town and will try to appeal to men across class, region, and sexuality.
I left the salon bothered but not hot or bewildered, feeling like a whore in a church (a usual default option for me) ’cause I have a soft spot for the macho silent type. Talk of revisionist masculinity won’t do today; I must go mano a mano with this underhanded spring.
I skip town. I go to Ottawa to suck on the tit of national funding agencies and leave a cum print, er… pardon me, carbon footprint.
So here I am trapped in a plane, like a little bull before the corrida, nostrils flaring before being unleashed in a cage for a vigorous ultimate fight with bureaucrats (same viciousness,
no gorgeous wiry bodies). I bite the hand that feeds.
Spring has made my sleepy testosterone erupt. Nobody wins; for me it is about the fight, not the score, which is a very Latino thing to do.
On my way to the airport, an intensely stunning Pakistani-British cabbie gives me an analysis of civil servants based on some Max Webber he has picked up spontaneously — you gotta love our country.