Day 1- "I resolve"!

I'm in my grandmother's cozy, pale pink house, nestled in small town Iowa.  I'm maybe three years old and  and I need to use the bathroom.  I'm still of the age that I can't do it by myself and so my Uncle takes my hand and leads me across the faded wooden floor past the piano in the darkened living room into the restroom and as we go we are having a conversation, which is kind of new for me.  My uncle has never really stopped to ask me questions.  Men usually don't.  Women do.  Women talk to me, wipe my face with a Kleenex, bend down and put their soft faces next to mine to talk, play pretend if I ask them.  Men always seem too busy.  But today my uncle asks what could be a harmless question.  The kind of question you ask a kid that you don't really have anything to say to.  "What's your favorite color?".  "Purple", I answered with certainty.  Purple was plush, welcoming, dusky.  My favorite.  "Oh you don't want that for a favorite color", he laughs as he helps me off with my pants, "Purple is an old woman's color". 

And here I'm thinking "I like old women.  Old women are nice."  I think of Grandma Duck in the Disney comics.  She wears purple, and glasses and bakes piles of chocolate chip cookies.  And still, I guess I wouldn't want to be her.  So, as directed, I pick a new color to make him happy, and not feel his scorn.  I pick blue, I think.  (Blue was still my acknowledged favorite color up until a couple of years ago, when I decided, after seven years of being admittedly gay, that it was safe to reclaim purple) I finish peeing, zip up my pants and head out the door having had my first experience of shame for who I am.  At least the first one that I can remember. 

There would be others, I mean we all have them.  Adults are constantly shaming kids for one reason or another.  Shouting at them for picking their nose, farting in public, or in my case for wearing a red table cloth around my waist, kicking up my heels and pretending I was Mary Poppins in front of the television as my stepfather walks in.  And each of us, I hope, slowly realizes that a time comes to tell the world of scorners which has come to include ourselves, to fuck off. 

I read a quote recently by E.E. Cummings that really resonated with me.  It says "To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

I fight it all the time.  I fight it as a writer ignoring that ever present critic within long enough to sit in front of the computer.  I fight it as a singer trying to find my own voice and not just parrot the great voices that have been crooning in my ear since I was a kid collecting old swing records and listening to them in my room.  I struggle with it as a dater, pushing down the urge to tone down any flamboyant quality until I can suss out exactly the kind of guy my date will be attracted to...that's the fight.  It's also the fight when I find myself riding that swinging pendulum to the other side and exaggerating those selfsame gestures and bitchy phrases in rebellion against a world that has told me that kind of shit is unattractive.  I also fight that fight when I meet who I think at the moment is the man of my dreams, and I find myself waist deep in their thoughts, passions and philosophies, leaving my own behind to dive into their world.  I fight it as part of a crowd, when that crowd is metaphorically pissing on someone I know doesn't deserve it and it would be so easy to just piss along with them, go with the proverbial flow, in order to be accepted. 
It's a good fight, an inevitable fight, and one I sometimes win, and sometimes, not so much win.  It's a great big part of being happy and at peace in this world, and jotting down my thoughts and foibles, successes and the surprises I encounter along the way, that's the loose aim of this blog.  And I hope, in writing it to be fair and compassionate to everyone I write about, but to be truthful as well.  People are funny, me included, and safe writing is deadly and unfulfilling, and would be another way to lose the game of being one's self.  So I'm vowing right here and now, not to do it.  Hopefully it will bring you some amount of pleasure, and make you feel cozy and comforted as you fight your own good fight.