Thursday, November 27, 2008

Another Chapter

Well dear readers as I’m sure a lot of you know this past weekend I wrote the ending sentence & put the final period into another chapter of my life. A chapter which, as so many of them are, was fraught with pain, struggle, heart break, and tears. Tears of both sadness and of joy. Tears which were necessary to be shed for me to have a happier life overall. This past weekend I ended my reign of independence I have so enjoyed for so very long. I moved out of my apartment and in with a friend as a roommate.

Since I moved from my parent’s at the age of 18 I have always lived on my own or with my lover at the time. I have never had the right of passage that comes with having a roommate. Although I think this situation will be one that will over all be a wonderful one, it is still yet uncharted territory for me. While my independence has been somewhat limited now due to a new codependence on someone for financial reasons, this foreign territory for me has already afforded me a new found freedom. As I write this post in black pen on a Boeing 757-251 bound for Fort Lauderdale, Florida I have to think that if I were to live on my own or be with a lover I wouldn’t have been able to accept this trip. This opportunity to see friends and people I consider family. A trip so graciously made possible by one of the kindest men I have ever met in my life.

Having just had a lovely exchange with one of the male flight attendants onboard named Wes. (A rather handsome man I might add.) I feel a new lease on life has begun. Skiboy and * thus far seem to be quite a match for roommates. Similar interests and a resounding fact I stay gone for extended periods of time due to first one thing and then 10,000 others. If any of you saw the schedule I posted on myspace, you know that October and November were and continue to be very hectic months between travels, love interest, theatre, and work. I have barely had time to say hello to any of my closest friends let alone take time to do any resting. For example the past month. Tech week then open then taking care of someone very special to me who is having health problems. The following week was filled with work, then performances, very limited time with friends, then more time with said special someone. The following week was more work, then Wednesday was “girls night in” with Kimmy and Molly, Thursday work and performance, Friday packing and performance then out with Kimmy, then home (drunk) to do more packing and get ready to move Saturday. Mind you the entire move had to be completed Saturday! There was no other option for a day or date to move. Everything had to be in the new place by 6pm on Saturday 11/22/08. After having postponed the start time of the move by four (4) hours, my help showed at the new designated time and we commenced. The move was completed by 4pm Saturday 11/22/08 thanks to the immeasurable help provided by dear friends and despite being stood up for help by a couple of others (you know who you are). Sunday, mandatory work due to thanksgiving. So with work Sunday out of the way, Sunday evening was spent cleaning the old apartment. Monday was work obviously, and then pick up the last of the cleaning supplies and taking out the trash at the old apartment THEN starting to organize the common areas of the new digs. Tuesday after work was spent getting the aforementioned special someone situated for the weekend while I would be away. Today is now Wednesday 11/26/08 and I have worked and am now on a plane for a holiday in the sun with dear friends. The end of this trip will mark the end of November, a month so racked with travel, activities, and general hubbub and hullabaloo. I am looking forward to December with weekends spent with friends and family. A time to relax. A time to start another chapter. A chance to scrawl the beginning lines of another chapter in the story that is the rest of my life.

Each day I’m given is a new lease on life. Each day is something that I am becoming increasingly thankful to have been given. There are many times I get down on myself or my life and think things are just so damned busy and I can’t seem to catch up or get ahead or rest. I have learned a philosophy from the continually mentioned “special someone. That being, when you think how bad things are for you, just remember that things are always worse for someone else somewhere.

I’ve mentioned my father in past posts, his disability, and how he has never let the fact he can’t walk ever hinder or keep him from doing anything he wanted to do. I told this story to this special someone and he said “wow see that is something that reminds that things could always be worse.” While I am happy someone so special to me could draw inspiration from my family…from the same person whom I draw inspiration from, I am unsure if he realizes how that comment came across. My father and my family are very proud people and I love them very dearly. My father’s disability is not something that is something to be pitied or even thought of as worse. My dad has led a full life and his disability is just another thing about him. Just like the fact that I’m gay isn’t my entire identity or but is a part or description or merely an adjective to describe me. Paraplegic is much the same for my father.

For everyone out there who reads this and actually seems to enjoy it (why I can’t fathom), remember that each chapter of your life is a direct result of how you write it. Each chapter is what you make of it. So take the proverbial pen to hand, accept the task of writing your own destiny and write yourself a life story that you will be happy with. Perhaps a life story so grand that everyone will think of you and wonder how you did it. Perhaps a life story that is modest and happy. Your life story is what YOU write it as. Take the pen, take control, make your life what you want it, and remember only you can change who you are or what is wrong in your life to make it for the better.

~Preston

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Change is a comin'

It’s been eight days since I’ve made a journal entry. I thought I’d do a little one to let everyone know how things are going in my little corner of the world.

As of this morning I started a new medication that hopefully will remedy an ongoing problem I’ve been having. YAY for that! Also this morning I stepped down to the 7mg patch in the adventure of quitting smoking. Yes that’s right folks, I’m quitting smoking yet again and this time it has been much easier than I had anticipated. Two weeks on this tiny little patch then I’m free! During this process I haven’t gained any additional weight, as a matter of fact, I’ve lost a couple pounds which brings us to our next topic, my body. I will soon be joining a gym or going to school or both depending on how crap goes. I have to get some questions resolved first. I’m currently at 156 pounds. I want to weigh around 190 and be built like a brick shithouse. So that’s the next thing on my list of personal improvements to make.

I am moving this Saturday and I desperately need boxes. I think I’m going to have to resort to snagging some from work in order to make the move. Casa de Skiboy HERE I COME! Moving will be an adventure. We have to figure out exactly what is going where when I move. May have to finagle a few things around once we’re in but all in all I think we’ll be fine.

Work is going okay. No major surprises or developments there.

Love life can be summed up in one word…CONFUSION!

So feel free to leave me some love! That means you better leave me some love damn it.

~Preston

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Complacency

Each and every time I hear of someone fighting for one cause or another, I often ask myself, “Do I want to get involved in this?” Sadly the far too frequent answer I find myself is “no I really don’t.” Whether it be because I don’t want to cause waves or I don’t have time for a cause or I simply don’t have the energy to put forth I find myself complacent and content in my own little world. I go to work, I come home, I pursue love…it’s my routine. On November 4th, 2008 I heard of something that I never thought I’d hear. I heard the state of California approved proposition 8. When talking with one of my straight friends about the ramifications this has and how it saddens me that if the state of California can’t keep the state out of gay marriage then there must be little to no hope for the rest of the states, he posed the question “well does this amendment allow for civil unions? A compromise of sorts where the religious right can have something and gays can have something?” I researched Prop 8 and read the entirety of this proposition. I was shocked and dismayed that it was less than a paragraph. The actual verbiage to be added to the California state constitution is ONE (1) sentence! The power one sentence has on an entire minority in society never really struck until that very moment. One sentence has no obliterated all hope for people like me, people who are gay, to be able to share the same rights afforded to those of the heterosexual persuasion. Below is the entirety of proposition 8 courtesy of www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov.

PROPOSITION 8
This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the
provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.
This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by
adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are
printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.
SECTION 1. Title
This measure shall be known and may be cited as the “California Marriage
Protection Act.”
SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution,
to read:
SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized
in California.

I watched a video from Keith Olbermann from MSNBC. I think he summed up our position and why we want equal rights very succinctly. While chatting with the aforementioned straight friend, I mentioned the past struggles of other groups for equal rights. Women, blacks, etc. Roughly 50% of our population is made up of women; they achieved equal rights before blacks. Blacks at the time made up a smaller percentage of the populous and the struggle for equal rights for blacks took even longer. Up until the 1960’s and even 70’s in some places. Gay’s make up (last statistic I heard) rough 10% of the populous. As a result our fight has taken even longer, and will take longer yet to achieve the same rights of marriage. The percentage of the populous that the minority fighting for equal rights makes up is directly proportionate to the length of time they must fight and struggle to achieve said rights. The struggle and fight for equal rights takes not only just those who are outspoken enough to stand up and be called radical nuts, but a community effort. We all have to pull together and fight for the rights we want and deserve.

Being the only gay person in the place where I work, I have found out several people’s views on gay marriage and surprisingly some did have the courage to tell me what they really thought on the issue. Some were flat out against it for ridiculous reasons. The view it’s sacrilegious was one. The ability for people of the same sex to defraud companies (insurance policies) and the government (taxes) for money was another. I couldn’t help but laugh literally in the face of these arguments as I turned each and every one around and perforated them with holes so numerous they could hold no more water than a sieve. While I know I didn’t change anyone’s mind I did make them think. What if the heterosexual community were in the minority? What if they were the ones who were told that they can’t be married because it’s against whatever religious text you chose to read? What if they were the ones that were denied the chance at for committed, legally binding, happiness? I look back on how many failed marriages I have seen and how many marriages I have seen endured because the couple didn’t see a way out or they had children. I look back and I see that in my own family both my brothers have been divorced and remarried. Yet I will probably never be afforded that right to even have a chance at wedded bliss.

At the same time I have spoken sometimes at length about the issue with gay friends. Some are very much for gay marriage; they want to go out and hold signs and petition the senators and various entities for help in the fight. While others, are more complacent…more “laid back” if you prefer. They tend to think “well I don’t think I’m a marriage type” or “I don’t want to get married so why should I fight for that right?” It pains me to hear of our own community having these views. There is no sense of the greater good. Personally, I don’t know if I want to get married. I honestly could probably live my life with my partner (once I find him) whom I would love and cherish with every fiber of my being without the pomp and circumstance of being married. But for the government to step in and enact legislation that limits its citizens' life, their liberty, and their ability to pursue happiness is a defamation and affront to the very foundation our nation was established on. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – The Declaration of Independence, Congress July 4, 1776.

We as a nation and a community must stand up and take notice of the rights of the gay community which are being trodden upon. We as a nation and a community must stand up and unite for what we believe in. We as a nation and a community must not stand idly by in our own complacency while there are entire groups that are denied the same rights and privileges afforded others. Stand up, speak out, take a stance, and live for something! Strive for a higher purpose…for the greater good and betterment of our society.

~Preston

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The World As We Know It, See It, and Want It To Be

A little less than a year ago, I posted a blog expressing my concerns on the increasingly rapid degradation of the state of our world. The direct link to that post is http://prestontatum.blogspot.com/2007/11/time.html Yesterday was a truly historic event in our country and our world. One in which I hope with all sincerity and earnest that my generations and the others involved made the right decision. A decision which will help to place the country on a course to return to grander times. Or maybe even help us march forward to a time where everyone is truly equal…the sustainable utopia mentioned in my previous post. In any event, the ballots have been cast, the quick votes have been tabulated, and even if there is some egregious error in the initial reporting, I don’t believe it will be one on such a magnitude as that of Bush/Gore in 2000 some eight years ago.

My experiences in exercising my civic duty as a registered voter in the United States of America have been varied. I have vote in now three presidential elections. The first of which was the aforementioned Bush/Gore debacle of 2000. Having just turned 18 I was very excited to let my opinion be known via my ballot. I marched into the polling location, showed my ID and voter registration card and filled out my ballot. I chose what issues and taxes I wanted to pass or fail. I chose what local candidates I wanted to see in office. I even chose what person I thought best to lead my country. At the time being so young and na├»ve I chose George W. Bush. Yes you can hold me partially responsible for the current state of country since I am one of the millions who voted for what some call the anti-christ for his first term. As I’ve grown older, and I’d like to think somewhat wiser, my views on politics, though seldom discussed or expressed, have changed and grown into what they are today. I fervently believe the religious right has no authority to tell me how I can live my life or whom I can be married to. I also believe that we are free to express our opinions and views without fear of punishment because of the groundwork our forefathers laid some 221 years ago and the continuing effort of our armed forces who keep our country free and our land safe. I believe in a world united and full of peace. I believe also that sometimes a belief may be so strong that action must be taken and at times, that action must be radical. While I do not condone violence, I believe we should not simply roll over or back down when attacked. I believe the United States should not be the world police, taking it’s young men and women on “peace keeping” missions to the far reaches of the world unless absolutely necessary. Our ever vigilant occupation of foreign soils I believe must be curtailed and people the world over should be allowed to live free; free from oppression by a religious right, free from oppression period. Our allies should step up and assist in each and every way. The US, being the youngest of the world super powers is overzealous in it’s pursuit of democracy and equality for all even though, we are not a democracy. (For those of you who know a little about the definitions of government, you know what I’m talking about). I could prattle on for quite an extended period of time on this subject but I won’t. I will spare you the anguish of reading all of that.

I sincerely hope that the elections results, having a young democratic president and a democratic congress, will help to take this country in the direction it needs to be taken. Towards that sustainable utopian existence. A country and a world which I can be proud to pass on to the children of today. One which I can proudly say, I cast my vote for the leader who started it all.

~Preston

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mirrors

A common household object that is also a metaphor for looking inside oneself. As of late I have had the unsettling feeling of looking into a mirror and wondered exactly who was looking back at me because it wasn’t me. Maybe another facet of my personality, maybe I always viewed myself differently than what I was seeing at that time. Who knows right? Only I can answer that question. Only I can be the one who goes on the grand adventure of discovery of just who Preston is. I mean lets think about this….who am I? Lately I can’t really say for sure. I mean there are always the standard things of what I am; I’m caring, I can be sweet, I am gay, I am very sexual, I am a mess. But just WHO am I? I find myself as of lately asking that question a lot. Am I a lover? Am I a husband waiting to be found? Am I another nameless face in the crowd? I can say what it feels like I am as of late. I feel as though I’m just simply another nameless face in the crowd. Just another gay man who is struggling to get by one day at a time. I feel like I’m nothing special. I honestly haven’t felt special in a long time. I feel because I am one who wears his feelings on his sleeve; because I’m one who will tell someone I like them if I like them; because I am someone who trusts that someone will do something they said they would do that I am always going to be a play thing for those who are more guarded. Something they can dangle and bat around for their amusement. I fear I am talked about more in whispered conversations than one should be. More of a “watch this, I’m going to say I’m going to hang out with this person” or “I’m going to flirt with him then completely ditch him…this’ll be fun!” It feels as though it’s my lot in life lately.

In the past I have written about becoming or wanting to be greater than the sum of my parts. I feel actually less than the sum of my parts tonight. As if I’m another play toy in a game of vengeance and hurt that perpetuates itself onto the unsuspecting victims who simply want to find love. I feel video games take precedence over me. I feel as though alcohol has a greater value than me. I feel as though everything in this world has a greater emotional and monetary value than me. It’s both a disturbing and sickening feeling. It makes me ask “is this all I’ve ever been my whole life?” Is this all I am destined to be? Some pathetic faggot wanting to find love which doesn’t exist?

Tonight it feels like that. Tonight it feels like the only option to deal with this constantly battered heart of mine is to cut it out. To remove all emotion from my life except anger and bitterness. But that’s not what I want to be! And while it’s not what I want to be, it’s what I’m becoming. My heart I don’t think can take one more blow before it falls to shreds. I have little left to offer someone who I want to be with besides a bleeding fleshy mass that was once full of hope and love. Tonight I feel as though I’ve been bled dry of all caring. It’s time for someone to build me up right now and I will do the same in return.

~Preston