April 26th, 2013


Howard Hughes and Cold Spring

Twenty years ago yesterday, almost one million people showed up for the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. I was twenty-eight years old. The night before, I'd driven up from Birmingham with a couple of friends, Jada and Katharine. The sun was bright, and I got an astoundingly bad sunburn. I snuck away from the crowd for about an hour to race through the vertebrate paleontology halls at the Smithsonian. I saw much of the AIDS quilt spread out on the Mall. It was a long, strange, sad, and hopeful day. It was a life ago. And day before yesterday same-sex marriage was legalized here in Rhode Island. Well, pending Governor Lincoln Chafee's signature – which will come next week. The Senate voted 26-12 in favor of the legalization, and those twenty-seven included all five of RI's Republican Senators. Which means gay marriage is now legal in every New England state. Of course, in Alabama, not much has changed since April 25, 1993. Except there are fewer gay bars. Most of the country, twenty years after the march, remains determined to enshrine bigotry and homophobia in the name of "protecting" heterosexual marriage (though the current het divorce rate is ~40-50%). To quote the article I linked to above:

Thirty-one states have enacted Constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage and undoing those could take a lifetime or more. (Dorothy J. Samuels, the New York Times)

But I was there, and the sun was hot, and it was something to see and to be a part of. Maybe it helped and maybe it didn't. But we tried. Twenty years later, I no longer march, and I am in New England where GLBT people are treated better than most places. And, sadly, I'm not the idealist I was.


Still cold spring here in Providence. Currently 61˚F and clear. Fuck you, cold and wide carnivorous sky.

What the hell did I do on Wednesday? Oh, Kathryn sat at The Desk and typed in line edits to the latest Drowning Girl ms., the one for the Centipede Press edition. She's faster at this sort of thing than and I, and, besides, I can't stand to look at that book anymore, not even in ms. form. She's made it through 7. By the way, expect this edition to sell for somewhere in the neighborhood of $250. Just want to warn folks upfront about the sticker shock. I sat in the middle parlor and tried to read a few short stories from Ellen Datlow's Blood and Other Cravings. I managed to make it through Kathe Koja's "Toujours," Michael Cisco's "Bread and Water," and Carol Emschwiller's "Mrs. Jones." I liked the Koja and Cisco quite a lot (no surprise there). Also, I read (from the November 2012 JVP) "The taxonomic identity of the type specimen of Crocuta sivalensis (Falconer, 1867)." But it was, all in all, a very shitty day and night.

Yesterday, I wrote the first four (of eight) ms. pages of Part 9 of Alabaster: Boxcar Tales (1,967 words), as the script is due on the 29th. I am determined this third part of Boxcar Tales will be, by far, the best of the three stories. It will take its time, which, unfortunately, I can't say about the first two. I should finish it today – if I can set aside this black mood and these evil memories. Then, tomorrow, I have to go back to Red Delicious. I have about 5k words remaining to finish the novel. Then, I'll be getting the remaining four installments of Boxcar Tales written for Dark Horse.

I don't want to be here. I don't want to be writing. Not anything at all.

My weight has, since February, dropped from 195 lbs. to 178 lbs.

Yesterday, I read (also from the November 2012 JVP) "Fossil evidence for earliest Neogene American faunal interchange: Boa (Serpentes, Boinae) from the Early Miocene of Panama" and "The braincase and inner ear of Placodus gigas (Sauropterygia, Placodontia)—a new reconstruction based on micro-computed tomographic data." That was yesterday, more or less. Spooky made a Thai curry stir fry for dinner: ground pork, coconut milk, garlic, asparagus (in season now), red chili paste, and portobellos. I haven't left the house in eight days (if we count today, and maybe we ought not).

Okay. Enough of this.

Aunt Beast