Apr 16, 2009

gentle men: how the alphabet is used

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Yes, I'm singing that old Mr. Rogers tune today, because the temperature is delicious, spring flowers and leaves and buds are appearing an an amazing pace, the sun is bright, and Beacon's little community food project is finding its feet.

I'm singing loudly, and then find myself thinking about people like Fred Rogers. Obsessed with community, how things are made and by whom, make-believe, swimming laps, and vegetarianism—like me! Fred was probably a lot more gentle to my aggro, but he was a big deal to me (kill your television and all). I was profoundly sad when he died, even though there's that weirdness over feeling you've lost someone who was actually unknown to you.

I had that same feeling of loss when River Phoenix died. To me, he was such a lesbian, a lesbian icon, even. Everything about him, aside from the silly fact that he was a straight man, was as dyke culture as can be. (Is it Kaia or River, River or Kaia?) It was the same year that Kurt Cobain died, the year I lived in the Pacific Northwest. Cobain's death was one I was on the outside of, looking in and seeing what looked like absurd public grief. He wanted to die. I thought people should be happy the poor man finally had some relief. But then, there was how I felt about River and Fred, so I get it, I guess.

Cheers to two gentle men in my life who were never actually in my life. And to those people who actually are my neighbors. It was a stunning sunrise, and it is a beautiful day.

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