Monday, April 14, 2008

gay for a day

Last week I promised my wife that Friday night would be my swan song. This is a tongue-in-cheek commitment to 86 all vices and clean up my act. She reminded me that I've been singing swan songs the past 7 years and have enough material to put out a greatest hits record and launch a world reunion tour. It's true, I have battered the swan song concept to death, which is why it's sort of an inside joke now. In fact, I can hardly utter the words to her these days without giggling like an obnoxious child.

Not one night last week did I drift naturally, peacefully to sleep. Instead I passed out after too much of this or that. When the going gets tough, sometimes the tough self-medicate. At least that's what yours truly did every night last week starting with Sunday. I know, as a father of two I should be ashamed, maybe even fitted for concrete shoes and tossed into the Potomac for such behavior. Well, all of us adults (hopefully all of us) figured out once we crossed a certain age threshold in our lives that our parents are fallible and generally don't have all of their shit together. In other words, they are human, not necessarily the super heroes we used to place on pedestals. Now don't get me wrong - I am not lobbying for parents' rights to do damage to themselves and shirk parental responsibilities by any stretch. I would not even say I did that since I did not imbibe last week until the kids were down for the night. Regardless, I was in a bit of a funk and skidded on the slippery slope last week. It happens to the best and worst of us, I guess.

Not lost in that haze was the awareness that I should pull over to the shoulder and get it together, which brings me back to the latest swan song remix on Friday night.

My friend Joe had tickets to the Nationals game. They were hosting the Braves, but I couldn't have cared less since I was mostly interested in checking out the new ballpark and eating unhealthy food. I'm a baseball fan - the Cardinals come first - but this early in the season it's more about the experience than the game itself, at least for me. The best part about it, probably the earmark memory for me, is that I got to be gay for a day.

Joe is gay. That label would be otherwise completely irrelevant in my book - I don't really say my "gay" friend Joe or my "white" friend Sam - except for that fact that it's sort of relevant in this instance. As a side note to that, Joe might be the biggest sports fan I know, which seems to be unique for a gay cat. In any case, we met at Joe's house late afternoon to get the drinking and smoking started. He went out to the car, and I lagged behind. When I rolled out the door, he was sitting in his VW Cabrio with the top down. I hopped in and said something like, "We are so gay together today."

On the ride there, which took a mere 5 minutes, the glances thrown at us proved that passers-by considered us a gay couple. When Joe turned on and cranked the discotheque mix at a stoplight next to a car full of meat head marines near the barracks on 8th Street I looked to the sky and cackled. The dirty looks of judgment we caught from these dudes were priceless. I can honestly say that for a second there I experienced a faux moment of gay pride, despite the fact that I am clearly not gay. Well, my wife says that I am just gay enough. So maybe there is a slight percentage of gay in me. So be it.

The rest of the night was a mess. We didn't last past the 3rd inning, and I have foggy memories of Joe spilling onto the floor at Five Guys near the ballpark. Whatever. None of it really stacks up the ride there.

What a swan song...except that I got drunk as nuts the night after at a dinner party. Such is life these days.

1 comment:

Rye said...

Hey Bro.

I'm not much of a spots fan, but I love going to a ball game. Being outside and all that. Few people would count Formula 1 as a sport, but that's my shtick.

There's just something about watching a field full of guys whose job is to play baseball. We're going to a minor league game in May for the River City Rascals.

I remember having great seats with Uncle Tom during a day game at the old Busch stadium. 15 or so rows back from the third base line. The new stadium just doesn't have the same whatsit. I had seats there 5 rows from the Cards dugout. The difference was, at old Busch I could sit off the third base line and hear the players talking. It was really like being part of what was going on.

Anyway, thanks for slipping a car reference into your blog. The Cabrio is fine ride, but someday I hope to replace my Miata with a Karman Ghia or an e36 convertible (blue with cream interior of course).

I write this after too much Bushmills so the next time your swan song is being sung, remember your brother is with you in "spirit."