Now I'm sitting under a tree at the edge of the park, listening to the rain. Thinking about my father and his hand reaching to my crotch and I couldn't get away, not even at therapy, when he fell into a trap door his hand came through and he grabbed my balls. Then he was trying to fuck me and my cock was rock hard, huge. I was trying to take that image onto the screen so I could watch the scene but more from the distance. But even when I was floating in a deep trance his hand would still reach for my balls. And then at the end of the session I was laughing and crying a bit and pop, there went my head again and the paper towel under my head on the chair became a sandwich, time for the peppermint tea to bring me back and yes, this is all scary but I think I'm on my way. And I need to find that Alice in Wonderland movie that I saw when I was three, watch it again to figure out what I can learn.
Sitting under this tree, and these guys skate by and suddenly all I can think about is how I need a boyfriend. And what does that mean anyway. How I can feel so lonely, and whether it would be different with someone to hold.
At the next session with Barry, we end up talking about style the whole time, how I need to have everything in place when I leave the house, every strand of hair, how that's the only way I can exist in the world with everyone harassing me all the time: I can feel invulnerable, even when I know I'm vulnerable. And Barry asks all these questions about my hair and my clothes, and why I think people are harassing me, which is obvious, right? All of my explaining just feels like a distraction.
It's my birthday: all I want is a cool breeze at the ocean, but I can't motivate myself to get out of the house until 3 pm and then I just start driving on the highway in the direction of the ocean, or maybe it's not the ocean but South, I think it should be here, right, and then I think about Bethany Beach as a kid, or drinking margaritas, and then I think about Colin, because I’ve brought my camera to the beach, in the same case where Colin’s ashes spilled when I came cross-country, all over the lens and I haven't used it yet. I never got used to this camera after someone stole the one I got for my bar mitzvah at senior week in Dewey Beach, Delaware, where apparently we were staying on the gay side but we didn't know it. Now I want to go back, and see, but first I need to find a beach around here.
Maybe I should do some kind of performance with these ashes. That's it – come out with the camera, snap photos, tell the audience that these are the first photos I've taken since I drove cross-country. Flamingo pink, that's what I could call it. The color of his hair, my hair, and I didn't even know him that well. They passed his ashes out at the memorial. I took a cupful, thought I'd throw them at businessmen downtown and that was a year ago in San Francisco although it feels so much further away. When exactly did Colin die? I don't know. All I know is that he died with pink hair.
Colin went to the March on Washington even though his doctors said he shouldn’t. Got arrested at the civil disobedience for universal health care, only 43 of us willing to get arrested and he got dragged off in cuffs while he was sick. Everyone in ACT UP San Francisco liked to tell the story of how, when George Bush came to San Francisco in 1991 or whenever, Colin leapt the barricade and got dragged off kicking and screaming. In jail, they gave him bleach instead of water.
In court after the civil disobedience at the March on Washington, Colin spit plastic bugs out of his mouth and looked directly at the judge and said: You're the one who is killing me. I know it's a cliché to say that I wish I could've known him better. But: I wish I could've known him better.
And then I picture the theater or wherever, maybe the ocean, maybe now, I'm not sure. Throwing those ashes and then people in the audience get to wonder whether these are real, maybe people discover chunks of bone and what would that make them feel? The ones who are familiar with these ashes. The ones who aren't.
So I'm driving along, I don't even know where I'm going, just that whenever I'm on the highway going south there’s some polluted-looking water and there's even a beach in Quincy, but that's not the ocean, I've passed that so maybe I'm getting close, yes I think I can see it, maybe this exit. Yes, a bunch of rocks and there's not much sand but there’s the ocean, let me get out.