Monday, January 25, 2010

Ring, Ring, de Banjo!

Let's be honest. There comes a time in each new year when promises become real. Or mosttimes, these days, forsaken.

Tonight, I got mine. Real. So SOON.

I've a man. Tom is brilliant, the light of my life.

Friends, I've had a few. Dear, dear friends. One particular friend who has brought me through so many hard times comes to mind as I write this. Let's call her Rita. I have let her down so many times and she has built me up to many times to mention. Thank you, Rita, for the way you have, and continue to shape my life. And put up with my frequent absence.

Then there's this new person. And the people that surround her. And she has made my new year's promise real.

One of Her rules is: If you have a birthday, she makes your favorite meal. And she means it. She's so golden she actually let's you CHOOSE when it happens.

It happened tonight.

Come with me. Remember that time when you walked around an unexpected corner of a home and saw, before you, a beautiful candle-lit table set just for YOU. A place at the table set by a card with YOUR name on it? When the food was at your bequest and the host defines every Be Our Guest Disney song because you know she absolutely, positively means it. For YOU.

This has been that kind of night. DAYS after my actual DOB and love is on the table. She decides Fiddle should stop by, because he loves me, too. And this other; an awesome English New Media Professor, on her way to DiscoKroger for God only knows what people of Academia shop for on a Monday night.

As IF the meal itself were not delicious enough, another friend brought over maybe the best coconut creme pie I've had since my Granny passed.

And, so, thank you, Banjo. Ring, Ring de Banjo!

My lub, I'll hab to leabe you

While de ribber's runnin' high;

But I nebber can deceibe you

So don't you wipe your eye.

I's guine to make some money;But I'll come anodder day

I'll come again my honey, If I hab to work my way.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Milk Day

When I taught elementary school, there was always a bulletin board in the lobby that announced upcoming events.

Depending on the season, the board was particularly full or empty.

ex (full):

Holiday Bazarre Fundraiser: December 3

PTA Gift Wrap Drive "Wrap Up": December 6

Choral Christmas Program: December 7

Report Card Day: December 12

Christmas Break: December 17

ex (empty):

MLK Day : January 19

So I'm walking my primary class back from lunch one day at Meadowthorpe Elementary past the bulletin board and this January calendar date catches the attention of a just-turned six-year old who has begun to grasp the notion that letters mean something and come together to be words and have meaning. A particular after-holiday break moment for many five/six-year-olds, by the way, for parents who might be reading this.

She looks up to me and says, "Mr. Miller. Don't we have milk every day?"


Well, then.

Shouldn't we.

Have MLK. Every day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pepe le PEW

The Herald-Leader decides to print a story on page three this past Sunday about the PEW study from last autumn that says: Social Network People are Not Evil. We maybe are as connected, if not more so, than the average person.


Really. A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to undergo a "procedure" that is justifiably "normal" and "not to worry about".

Within MINUTES of posting about said procedure (OK, colonoscopy) on my Social Network I had immediate support. They came out of the literal would-work. People who know what I was going through. People who, online, stayed up with me throughout the night before "it" offering support. And, yes, humor, in the time of angst.

Last night, I received a *sad* post. A beloved from my Social Network was having a really bad time dealing with something and simply posted: *sad*

I called immediately. Because that's what we do, we Social Network People. We are there for each other, even though we've barely even met.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jesus Saves Used Tires

I love it when my partner, Tom, announces, "You're responsible for the corn bread."

This says: I trust that what I am creating needs something really something Southern Comfort sop-wise and I need for you to do it.

When it comes to cooking, my wound is geography. Barbara Kingsolver can have her fear of putting air in tires ever since she saw a tractor tire blow up Newt Hardbine's Standard Oil sign.

I have Corn Pone.

People of Somewhere Else, listen. In every Southern home there is a cast iron corn pone skillet displayed, fiercely elegant. Typically hanging on a wall. It is a thing of Lucretia Clay beauty. The Women of the House NEVER used it to actually make corn bread.

They save it for their gay sons to some day grow up and try to make it real.

"Michael," Tom's grandmother says in my dream thought tonight, from whom our corn pone came, "You can DO this, I never could, it STICKS."

"Michael," my own Matriarchs say, as I once again try to season the damn thing and it still STICKS, "If you ever want to know one thing, know this about life...."

"Yes," I reply, even tonight, as once again the corn pone sticks but it still is delicious because that's what I do and what Tom wants:

"Thank you."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Attend the Tale

Dad was a barber.

I grew up as a gay boy knowing this and knowing that my hair somehow did not deserve this atrocity. Seven years old is when I first, really, knew. Wanting to "grow my hair out" was NEVER an option. This was 1969 and the only boys who had the Hair of Dreams did not have Barber Dads. They had Moms who would bring them in and have their "bangs trimmed". Boys, mind you. Bangs. Trimmed. Jealous. Angels. Jesus.

They would come into his northern KY barber shop with their beautiful hair and I would be sweeping up after their gorgeous locks and wanting to save it. Savor it.

Not me. I had a buzz cut. Like a son of a chef who eats, not the lasagna served at the restaurant that evening, but whatever. Because, well, that's what I do for a living and not for you. I'm tired.

My dad was awesome in so many ways, but not in Hair Ways.

I found some redemption and solace last week. I needed a hair cut, and tired of the whole Lexington Hair Scene (which I respect, no offense intended, Hair Gays), I decided , on a major South Broadway Starbucks mocha buzz to do something fiercely freeing.

I used the wePhone to search for "Barber" and ended up at Image Barbershop on Waller. 8am. They open at 7am. THAT, friends, is a Barber Shop.

Sat in The Chair. His tender care was immediately my Father. Gentle. Closed my eyes and completely relaxed.

Then, in a moment of It Can't Get Any Better Than This, it got: Better.

He steamed hot lather on my neck. And used an honest to Dad straight razor. And used talcum. Turned me around to look in the mirror and said, "How's that?"

I have not felt that beautiful in a very long time.

Thank you, Dad.