29-June-1993 23:45 TMZ-700

The official date I became a San Francisan for “real” or for “good”. Of course I prefer “good”, because it’s a more real quantity and quality.

Yes, I know…I know.

After 19 years of being a San Franciscan after nine years of having this blog, after stabbing, swiping, scything, gliding, exalting, brooding, scarpering, tramping, soaring, winnowing, estivating, winterizing, springing, falling, down-inning, out-of-ing, and otherwise action-verbnikking and my way through the years here, this year seemed not to bring any inspiration to note but two things:

  1. Two days from now, 05-July-2012 at 10:25am, I will have been a San Franciscan for 10 million minutes exactly. I am a geek for all things calendrical.
  2. I have been noting my San Francisco anniversary in this blog every year except for one, where there was ohhh, let’s say way-too-much-by-half-again going on with me—and none of it good.

So in recognizing my tradition, here are the links back through God of Biscuits Time:

My San Francisco Me is old enough now to be of parenting age. I don’t know why that thought just occurred. Maybe there’s something to that, perhaps not. That’s what blogs are for, right?

San Francisan @ 17: Whither Real Friends?

This entry is a tradition of mine: after all, anniversaries are nominative traditions. And here I note my anniversary as a San Franciscan. 30-Jun-2010 23:45 -0700 was the magic timestamp, although the magic was carried neither in calendar nor chronometer.

Never is.

Magic doesn’t work like that: it comes from Within and Without. It’s the connection between the two: the string-in-tension vibrating, from which the music of life pours forth. One only needs those Better Ears with which to hear it.

My life has been filled with song since the off, and my upbringing informed my early years that I should be grateful to a Great Someone to Whom all my songs should be dedicated. Gratitude later gave way to appreciation, which gave way to realization that life itself is the music and it’s in the listening—or the ability or sensitivity to hearing it—where we succeed or fail.

Some of us hear the music in everyone, see it, really, and despair that the beauty of this gift of sight carries the price of rarity.

What a lonely irony.

And despite what you’ve heard about the partying rapport between gay men and irony, I am a very lonely man these days.

But the music plays and plays and plays and the mellifluous genius of human kindness and decency and loyalty, friendship, selflessness, thoughtful pause, commitment, choice—all fill my ears and carry me through my worsts of times.

And though my tradition this same time every year has been to visit the past year every year, my worst of times have spanned more than five of these past years every year.

Worst times because of the worst deeds done to me, worst excesses heaped upon me, worst demands made of me by the ones who inflicted the worst pain in me.

And when the Without either went the fuck away or was sent the fuck away, it was the long-neglected Within that needed tending.

Just as my life finally became fuckhead-free and reconfigured to remove from my critical path those who could not be trusted to catch me should I fall—Friend is a responsibility, not an evanescent sobriquet—instead of catching a break, I was further broken: The shadow of the Worst Without cleared my person, my house, the backyard, the neighborhood, this magical City of mine, and my life and before I knew what was happening, the neglected Within, white and withered, was sunburnt.

The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well; but civil, Count, civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.

Sunburnt meant anxiety: all the discordant noise, plangent tones and plaintive wailing I was now hearing was what was had become of all that music.

So yes, this Count is neither sad nor sick, nor merry nor well. But civil, if grumpy.

And my grousing has been misinterpreted by others as something carrying a jealous complexion. Easier to dismiss tidily that way.

Those dismissers are the people that make me try to think of the mellifluous genius of human of kindness and decency and loyalty, friendship, selflessness, thoughtful pause, commitment, choice…however, nothing but sick noise comes no matter how hard I try to find the baseline.

I was taught that friendship is for keeps and that like everything important and worth keeping, it comes with responsibilities, and responsibilities cost you something.

Loyalty costs you something. Commitment costs. Choice costs.

And that seems to scare the hell out of nearly every gay man I know.

When others—people to whom I am acquainted only through their relationships with my friends—when others hurt my friends, I hurt with them and I am aggrieved by those who have done the hurting: they are people I want nothing to do with either.

I choose to not associate with those I know have pained my friends. Why does anyone behave other than this? Is this my peculiarity?

I know that among the gays in my magical City, at least among most of the ones of my last five years (and you know how I characterize those), those who call me friend know what’s been done to me and remain associated with the perpetrators.

This is something I do not know how to live with.

Not and still call them friends.

Not and still hear my own beautiful music. And without that, I’m nothing to myself or to anyone else.

My Worst Times still aren’t over. I need to get out of the sun and stop the burning before I can live in out in the sunshine again.


Seems to be a week for annual celebrations, huh?

In exactly two hours, seventeen minutes from……Mark! it will be exactly fifteen years that I’ve been a San Francisco Actual: several years before I had an address here I was of it. Hokey? Yes. True? Absolutely.

I have dreamt of many things, and to say that most didn’t come true comes with no disappointment. Why? Because life in San Francisco obviates concrete expectation in favor of the Possible.

It’s like making new friends unexpectedly (something I have recent and wonderful experience with) as opposed to sticking with your own contacts list. It’s also like being a software developer: you give your users what they want, but how do you give them what they don’t even know to ask for?

Enough possibilities and the world is indistinguishable from infinite from within a finite life. Of course there are good and bad points to that, and no one in the path of a rush of possibilities can remain intact and in-place without some serious mental effort to continue to exist. “Too many” possibilities and you never commit to anything. “Too few”, and you never venture out into the world.

I used scare-quotes because there are no fixed thresholds for too-many and too-few. It all depends on the talents and constitution of any given person.

Someone afraid to commit to anything or anyone fully will hit too-many quite soon. There are some who must possess and exploit the world of the possibles simultaneously by trying to have their cake (the comfort and security of a personal relationship, for example) and eat it, too (“open” the relationship instead of ending it). The math doesn’t hold for such: the non-zero game of the infinite gets bastardized into a zero-sum game here. In other words, straddle the paradox and you inevitably must steal energy from others to maintain a foot in both.

San Francisco is magical. Simply that. I thought so before I moved here; I thought so while visiting on the myriad business trips I pilfered from others while living in the Western Burbs of Chicago; I thought so that first magical morning I woke up here in my own house back in 1993.

So many simultaneities, so many moments. So many cross-linkages (S=S) and so many capricious meet-ups. White! A blank page or canvas: So many possibilities.

Still torrid after 15 years.