Archive for the ‘Brian Weeks’ Category

Week 52 – Brian Weeks

Posted: March 25, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 52

Well, here it is. My last submission for TGAP 3. It’s bittersweet… I am SO ready for TGAP 4 (if that actually becomes a thing).

True to myself, I needed to go out big. So, the last project was my most ambitious. The mix, the cover art, and to have it available to listen to or download.

LINK TO THE COMPLETE AUDIO FILE

http://www.mediafire.com/?upl2nk1x6oygbqo

Week 51 – Brian Weeks

Posted: March 19, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 51

The introduction to a period piece I was working on, abandoned for now, hopefully to be picked up again later…

Sitting in the examination room wearing a paper gown was not the way I wanted to start my day. It was cold, and I was tired. I didn’t get home from the bar until well after two o’clock this morning. But there I was, a little after nine in the morning, waiting for the doctor to tell me what’s been going on. Lately, I’ve been feeling very nauseous and just shitty in general.

“Ms. Oliver?” the doctor poked his head around the door.
“Yes?”
“Well, I have some good news for you. You’re going to be a mother.”
My mouth went dry. “I’m pregnant?”
“Yes, Lauren. You’re pregnant.”
“But, that can’t be. I’m on the Pill!”
He shook his head slowly. “I’m sorry, Lauren. The Pill can’t be one hundred percent accurate at preventing pregnancy. Even if you never missed a day, there is still a small chance that you can become pregnant. Are you sure you never missed a day, or two?”
Guiltily, I thought back over the past few months. “I may have forgotten a day here or there.”
“Well, there you go. I’d like to schedule a follow-up for you at the beginning of next month. As you approach your due date, you’ll be seeing me more.”
Absently, I asked, “When is my due date?”
“Right around the first of September. Since this is your first child, you may actually have the baby anywhere from mid-August to mid-September. But, you are about two-and-a-half months along. Congratulations, Lauren.”
“Yeah, thanks.” I was completely in shock. I’d have to go home and look through my date book from last year and see what happened in November and December. Rather, who had happened.

I took a sip of my Tab and looked across the table at my two best friends. “Well. Cindy, Rose, I found out why I’ve been feeling like shit for the past few weeks.” Taking a bite of my Cobb salad, I waited for a response.
Cindy stirred her Bloody Mary. “As long as you aren’t pregnant or dying, it can’t be that bad.”
I sat silently watching the celery spin in Cindy’s drink.
“Oh, God, Lauren. Please tell me you’re dying.” Rose started to giggle at the sound of her own words, then stopped abruptly
“I’m due on September first.” I stared at my plate vacantly.
“Shit, Lauren. That’s awful.” She sipped for a moment, then spoke. “So when are you getting rid of it? I mean, you’re only nineteen. You can’t have a kid.”
“Cin, I might keep it.” I saw a strange glint in her eyes as the words passed my lips.
“What?” She turned and motioned to the waitress for another Bloody. “You can’t be serious. You can barely support yourself, let alone another human being. Besides, you aren’t married.”
“I can pick up a few more shifts at the bar. And who says I have to be married to have a baby?” I couldn’t believe my best friend since Kindnergarten was reacting this way.
“Yeah, Cindy, Lauren doesn’t need a man to make herself feel whole. Haven’t you learned anything from Women’s Lib?” Rose was visibly angry at Cindy’s thoughtlessness.
Cindy had now abandoned simply sipping her second Bloody Mary, and was now almost chugging it. “You know I will support you in whatever you decide, Lauren. But just let me say this to you. Please consider getting an abortion.”
Cindy’s thin words of support seemed forced, and void of genuine feeling. We finished our lunch in silence.

After work, I came home and sat on the bed listening to an old Stones album while I wrote in my diary. In the quiet of the night, I reflected on the long day and its meaning.

Monday, February 18, 1977
Today I found out that I am going to be a mother. I can’t believe that in just a few months, I’ll be responsible for another person’s life. Cindy Lou says I should get rid of the baby, but I don’t know if I can do that. There is a life inside me. Sure, I don’t have a husband, but who needs one? Rose says I’m not the first single mother, and I certainly won’t be the last. I’ll have to find another job, though. I can’t support a son or daughter on my tips from bartending at The Chateau.
I looked back at my date book to try and find out when I might have gotten pregnant. The only thing I can find that makes any sense was that Christmas party that I went to with Stanley Drake up on the mountain. We got snowed in and spent the weekend. I messed around with a couple different guys that weekend, and I didn’t have my birth control with me. It must have been that weekend.
Regardless, I am going to be a mother. I can’t believe it. Wish me luck!

Week 50 – Brian Weeks

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 50

Week 49 – Brian Weeks

Posted: March 5, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 49

Brian Weeks – Week 48

Posted: February 26, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 48

 

Kayaks – Provincetown, MA

Brian Weeks – Week 47

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 47

Psychedelic Daisy

Brian Weeks – Week 46

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 46

Silver Lake

Week 45- Brian Weeks

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 45

Kristy Lynn – Campton, NH

Brian Weeks – Week 44

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 44

Downtown Montreal

Week 43 – Brian Weeks

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 43

Shadows of the New Apartment – Moving Day January 21, 2012

Week 42 – Brian Weeks

Posted: January 15, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 42

Image

Week 41 – Brian Weeks

Posted: January 7, 2012 in Brian Weeks, Week 41

As a kid, I read woodworking magazines like others read The Bible. I’d page through my dad’s collected copies of Wood, Fine Woodworking, and others every chance I got. I was fascinated by the different projects and fantasized about having a redwood four-poster bed, or a maple bookcase with a mahogany inlay.

 

My father has been in some form of woodworking or another since before I was born, whether it be framing houses or high-end finish carpentry; even now, he is curently building a house using lumber milled from trees he cut down himself from his property.

 

On Sunday mornings, my dad and I would watch “This Old House”, “The New Yankee Workshop”, and “Hometime” – the only time we’d spend together over the course of a week, sometimes. Even though I didn’t share all of his interests, woodworking and carpentry were the ones we had most in common.

 

Dad didn’t buy furniture. He made furniture. You need a bed? Let me whip one up. A desk? No problem. Dresser? Chair? Just give me a 12-pack and an afternoon. Nothing fancy, just what was needed and necessary. Even the finished pieces he made were unfinished; that is to say that while the project was complete, he left the bare wood without a finish.

When I was a baby, my father made me a chair. Perfectly kid-sized, I took it everywhere with me, and even used it as a footstool in the bathroom to see the mirror. Over the passing years, I outgrew the chair, as children do, and it became a chair for my favorite teddy bear. An interesting bookshelf next to my desk as a teenager. A funky little plant stand in my first apartment. Then, one day, it became an item collecting dust in the barn, grey and weathered, and a full-length crack down the middle of the back. Maybe it was the natural progression of things.

 

In the midst of moving a few years ago, I unearthed the chair my father had built for me, and saw what the ravages of time had done to my chair. Not really knowing what to do with it, I brought it to the new house and thought for a long time before coming to the decision to fix and finish the chair for my two neices. I’ll never have children of my own, so it was only natural to think of Jayda and Aubrey – being in the same age range I was when I first had the chair.

I spent a week or so fixing, sanding, and refinishing the chair, and added a plaque on the bottom with the history of the chair – built in 1977 by their grandfather for their uncle, but not finished until 2009. I have a hard time expressing how it felt to present that chair to my two neices that Christmas. Over more than thirty years, it had become almost an heirloom, passed on to a third generation.

 

In Cub Scouts one year, we had an event called the Pinewood Derby. All the Scouts are challenged to build the fastest car from a kit containing a block of wood, some wheels and a couple of odds and ends. I told Dad I wanted to build it myself and rely on everything I had learned by watching him in the workshop. He didn’t seem disappointed; rather he seemed proud of me. We worked side by side for over a month – me and my car, and he and whatever project he was working on at the time. I asked for advice once or twice, but I never asked for any help. When I was finished with my silver car, I built a case for it. At the Derby, I placed second to the son of an engineer who I don’t believe even laid eyes on his car before that morning. I didn’t care about not winning. It may sound hokey, but the fact that I had accomplished my goal of just finishing the car was reward enough.

 

My father made me a matching set of short dressers when I was about seven. Again, these were left bare wood. This was a trend in the early to mid 80s, but I’m positive this was not done because it was fashionable – these were strictly utilitarian pieces. But as I’ve stated before, time takes a toll, as does a child growing into an adolescent, and an adult. I’ve been talking about this for a long time, but now I have actually started the project. I am going to finally finish the dressers.

I’m never going to become an expert furniture restorer, nor do I want to, but somehow I feel closer to my dad when I’m sanding, staining, varnishing. It’s cathartic – kind of therapy. Very soon I will have new antique furnitre that I can be proud of; because they will look great with the new dark stain and shiny top coat with some new pewter hardware, and also pride from finishing a project myself, albeit not one I originally started.

 

Week 40 – Brian Weeks

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Brian Weeks, Week 40

I am currently packing to move (just half a mile away to a really nice apartment complex) and in going through my things, I found an unfinished work of art I started around this time in 1995. I graduated high school in 1995, along with a couple of our fellow Geekz. While this was hardly my “favorite year” (That would be 1987 – long, involved story) there was so much that I felt needed to be documented, that I started doodling some of the private jokes, big events, and other such nonsense onto a large piece of melamine board. I penciled it in, and filled in a couple of areas in colored pencil.

Sixteen years later, I have finished the project. I re-outlined everything using black Sharpie marker, and then colored it all in using my vast array of colored Sharpies.

It’s pretty humorous to me now what I felt was important sixteen years ago, at the ripe old age of 18. Will I hang this up in the new place? Hell no. It’s going to storage, but I won’t get rid of it. This is a part of my history – now completed.

I finally came up with a design for the quilt I plan on making from the vintage fabric I picked up from my grandmother’s home last summer. I have five various fabrics in a blue color scheme. I chose a very basic design to highlight the fabric itself. Now, I just need to learn how to use the sewing machine, and I’ll be in business. (See, THIS is why I could never be on Project Runway. I have the desire and the design talent, but not the skill in sewing…)

I think the design could work with solid fabrics in the same colors, also. To be honest, my least favorite color is blue, but the only fabrics that worked together happened to be in that hue.

Week 38 – Brian Weeks

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Brian Weeks, Week 38

A second flashback/vignette from my novel-length work in progress – the working title is Time Is Standing In The Shadows

It was during Christmas break from college during their freshman year of college, in December 1987. Jack was trolling around the Pleasant Valley Mall, checking out the after-Christmas sales. He was very uncomfortable being back here. He was hoping he wouldn’t run into anyone he knew. They probably wouldn’t have recognized him anyway. His hair was in a crew cut, which he preferred now that he was at the Police Academy. He was wearing a ratty black Sex Pistols T-shirt, faded blue jeans, military boots, and a dangling silver cross earring. He suddenly realized he forgot to put on eyeliner this morning. That’s when Jack stopped short in the middle of the walkway. From across the mall, he spotted his friend Jason Barnes. He wanted to turn around and run away. He couldn’t face Jason looking like this. Wait a minute! What the fuck is he wearing? Jack thought to himself. He walked a little closer. Too close. He was spotted.

“Jack Marsh?” Jason ran over to Jack at top speed, dropping what he had in his hands. “Holy shit, man! You look different!” Jason gave Jack a hug.

“I could say the same for you, Jase. How the fuck are ya?” Jason touched at his hair, frosted blonde, in a modified duck’s ass style. “Doing well, Jack. Very well. I love art school. It is so fun. So,” Jason spun around for approval. “What do you think of my outfit? I made it myself for my fashion design class. I got an A.” Jack wished desperately for sunglasses. Jason had on a ridiculously oversized canary yellow blazer, complete with shoulder pads, a black and white checkered shirt, and baggy yellow trousers. Completing the ensemble were black and white saddle shoes from the 1950’s.

“It’s um… interesting. How many batteries does it take to light it up?” Jack smiled. “No. It looks good on you. But it’s a bit bright.”

Jason flushed and looked down at his shoes. “My instructor said bright primary colors are in this season.” He gave Jack a quick once-over. “Nice threads you’ve got on. Did they let you out of the concentration camp early today?” Jason laughed.
Jack shook his head. “Okay, so we’ve both changed a bit. I’m headed to the record store. Do you want to come with me?”
“Sure.”

They walked along in silence, not really knowing what to say. They hadn’t seen each other in three months, but time and distance had made them two different people. The rest of the time they spent together in the mall that afternoon was uncomfortable and awkward. They both wanted to tell each other all about their new lives and new experiences, but they each thought the other wouldn’t understand, and then they would lose what little was left of their friendship.

Week 37 – Brian Weeks

Posted: December 11, 2011 in Brian Weeks, Week 37

This is a vignette from something I’ve been working on, off and on,  for the better part of fifteen years. This is going to be a novel-length work when it’s finished.

Here’s the set-up: The main character, Jack, is back in his Connecticut hometown for his 20-year high school reunion. This is a flashback sequence to 1985, involving Jack, his girlfriend, Diane, and Jack’s friend, Jason. 

Everything was perfect. Jack’s parents were away for the weekend, dinner was almost ready, the table was set, REO Speedwagon was on the turntable, and Diane would be arriving any minute. Jack did a quick once-over in the mirror.

“Yuck.” He hated the skinny yellow tie Diane gave him for their anniversary last week, but it did go really well with his turquoise silk shirt. He fussed with his hair as the doorbell rang. “Just a minute.”

He ran over to the table and lit the dinner candles. Jack opened the door slowly, and was completely surprised by Jason Barnes pushing the door open wildly. So surprised was Jack that he fell backward onto the floor, landing with a loud thud.

Jason was in hysterics. “OH. MY. GOD, Jack, turn on the television! Quick!”

Jack lept up off the floor, and scrambled for the remote control. The batteries were dead. “Goddamn thing,” Jack muttered, and ran to the TV, flipping the knob. “What channel?” He was panting wildly.

Jason breezed in from the kitchen with a large plate of Beef Stroganoff, a can of Tab, and Jack’s pack of Marlboro Reds. He set down the food in his arms, lit a cigarette, and looked at Jack as if he should already know. He threw his hands up on the air. “MTV! The new World Premiere video by the Thompson Twins is starting in like, three minutes! Hello? We talked about this in Study Hall today!” Jason sat down on the sofa, and shoveled a forkful of food into his mouth. “Now will you turn it up and move, please? I have to see this video.”

Jack flipped the dial. He looked at Jason with surprise, then anger. “You fly in my door like your clothes are on fire, knock me right on my ass, and scream at me to turn on the TV. Here I am, thinking Russia just bombed Hartford, and all you wanted to see was a fucking Thompson Twins video!?!? Are you out of your FUCKING mind? And another thing! I ought to throw your ass right out…” Jack stopped abruptly. “What are you eating?”

“I don’t know. Some noodles and brown sauce. It’s barely edible.” Jason shoveled more food into his mouth.

“Where did you get it?”

“On the stove,” Jason said in between bites.

Jack’s mouth dropped open. “Do you even know what that is?”

“No, but it’s not very good.”

“You fucking moron! That’s the Beef Stroganoff that I spent all afternoon making for my DATE tonight with Diane! And she’ll be here any minute! How much did you take? There was only enough for the two of us!”

“Jesus Christ, Jack. You’re pretty wound up tonight, aren’t you? There’s still some left.” Jason continued eating. Jack went into the kitchen, and screamed.

“Goddamnit, Jason! There’s three fucking noodles left in that pan! What am I going to serve to my girlfriend?”

“Shit. I’m sorry, man.” Jason said from the other room. “Hey, will you get me another Tab? Preferably in a glass. With ice.”

Jack ran out of the kitchen and into the living room, leaping over the couch and onto Jason. He grabbed him around the neck and began shaking him wildly. “You fuckin’ son of a bitch! You ate our dinner! What the fuck are you doing here anyway? I didn’t even invite you!”

“Jack!” Jason gurgled. “I can’t breathe!”

“Good! What the fuck were you thinking! My girlfriend is going to be here any minute!”

Diane tapped Jack on the shoulder. “She’s already here. I arrived just as Jason turned from blue to purple. Let him go, will you?”

Jack released Jason’s neck, and pushed him onto the floor. Jason was coughing and gasping for air.

“Diane, he ate the nice dinner I spent all afternoon making for you.” Jack said.

Jason piped up from the floor, “Honey, I did you a favor. It wasn’t all that terrific.” Jack kicked Jason in the head. Jason winced in pain. “Diane, I can have pizza or Chinese in thirty minutes.”

Diane put down her purse on the hall table and smiled. “Pizza would be great, Jack.”

Jack picked up the phone. “What would you like on it?”

“Ham and pineapple. I’m feeling Hawaiian tonight,” said Jason from where he was sprawled on the floor.

Jack got up off the couch. “What are you still doing here? GET OUT, Jason!”

Diane laughed. “Jack, let him stay. Just don’t kill him, okay?”

Jack grumbled, and picked the phone back up, lighting a cigarette and glaring at Jason, who was now getting himself and Diane a Tab.

Week 36 – Brian Weeks

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Brian Weeks, Week 36

Dream A Little Dream of Me

I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamt I went back in time to 1987, as I am now, knowing everything I do right now. It was a very surreal experience. I saw people I know now, but hadn’t yet met. However, it was twenty-five years ago, and they were all twenty-five years younger. It was strange to see what our world looked like, and how much we have changed. If I had the chance, I’d redo the dream a little bit, and take advantage of the resources I had around me then.

I was ten years old in 1987, so I’d have a bit of a problem when I wake up in the past. But for purposes of this dream sequence, I go to bed the night before with simple basic jeans and plain T-shirt (so I don’t look weird when I get there), a wallet full of cash and credit cards, and a set of keys to the family vehicle in May, 1987. And I’m bringing you along for the ride.

My clock radio goes off at 9:00 am, blasting Bananarama. I open my eyes to see I’m in my old bed in my old room in the house where I grew up. My feet hang over the edge, of course. I sit up in bed and look around, still groggy from last night.
After a quick shower, I get back into last night’s clothes and head out to the car. As soon as I get outside, I am stopped dead in my tracks. We haven’t gotten the cool car yet. Damn. I am facing a 1978 Dodge Aspen station wagon. Avocado green with faux-wood grain paneling. Yuck. Oh well, I’ve got to get to the mall somehow. I head down the road to the gas station on the way into town.

I pump a full tank of 85-cent-a-gallon gasoline, get myself a Jolt Cola in a glass bottle, a carton of Ring Dings, and change from a twenty-dollar bill. I am quite pleased with myself as I head to the mall in the nearest city. Were cars ALWAYS this big and boxy? I wonder as I pull into a parking space at the mall.
A teenage girl with frosted blonde hair three miles high walks by in her painted-on acid wash jeans spraying a helmet of Aqua Net onto her hair. Walking with her is a dead ringer for Tiffany; stone wash denim from head to toe, and hot pink sneakers. I had forgotten how truly ugly, yet interesting 80s fashion was.

Once in the mall, I am overcome with the urge to buy some new clothes to go out tonight. I finally narrow my choices down to a turquoise silk shirt, skinny yellow vinyl tie, and acid washed Guess? jeans. I’ll get some sneakers at Foot Locker when I go by, but I have to check out the music store first.

Synth-pop blares out of the store speakers as I pick up the latest albums by Rick Astley and Samantha Fox. I also pick up a 45 by The Smiths and another by Depeche Mode.

Oh, there’s so much I want to do while I’m still here. I see posters of Madonna when she was still, like, a virgin, and Debbie Gibson when she was still famous. The Olsen Twins can’t talk yet (Thank God) and Bill Cosby rules Thursday nights. AIDS isn’t yet the epidemic it is today, but Ronald Reagan is our President. I can still see a Grateful Dead concert, but I can’t surf the Internet. I can buy a new car for $3990, but the minimum wage is three dollars an hour. I can still purchase New Coke, but I don’t want to.

The stock market hasn’t crashed yet, and sex, power and greed are the only way to live. Drugs are everywhere, but no one is addicted, of course. Dynasty is still on the air, but then again, so is Murder, She Wrote.

I can’t stay here in 1987. As much as I’ve enjoyed my day here, I can’t live without the things I have in 2011. I need my cell phone and the Internet. Yes, it was a simpler time, but even amid the chaos we face today, I’d rather be back home.
I decide that when I go to sleep tonight, I’ll somehow return to 2011. So I need to make this last fling in the 80s last forever. I do run over to Foot Locker, but to purchase all kinds of Air Jordans to sell on eBay when I get back. Same with the LP’s I got at the record store. My last purchase in the mall is one I won’t get rid of again. An Atari 2600 and an armload of games. I got rid of one once, and have had withdrawals ever since.

I drive to Boston for one last night to party. Dancing from club to club, I see so much happening around me, and I wish that I could stay here a little longer, trapped in the beat of days past. But, unfortunately, home is calling me.

I listen quietly to the radio on the way home, announcers telling me about news events that happened long ago, and I begin to realize I can’t stay in the past very much longer. I’ve been spoiled by my surroundings and I know too much to remain here.

When I pull into the driveway at my house, it’s late and everyone is asleep. I go upstairs and down the hall to my parents’ bedroom. Did my mom always snore like that? God, she looks so young. Well, she should, she’s 5 years younger than I am now. I pass through to my sister’s room. She’s just a baby; thirteen months old. I look down at her, a peaceful smile on her face. She’s so small. I can still remember when she looked like this. I can’t believe she’s a full-grown woman now with children of her own. She wakes up, but doesn’t cry. She looks up at me.

She waves at me, and says, “Hi, B’ian.”(She couldn’t say Brian.) Holy Jesus, she recognizes me! But I’m so much bigger, so much older. Does she know what’s going on?

“Hey, babe.” I say, tears in my eyes. She’s so innocent and small. She holds out her hands, wanting me to pick her up. I do, and I hold her tightly in my arms. I whisper in her ear, “It’s hard to believe you were ever this tiny. I have a couple of things to tell you. It’s just you and me now. Mom and Dad are off in their own little worlds. They aren’t even together anymore. But here and now, you don’t know anything about that. Remember that I love you. You’re all I’ve got.”

“Wub-oo.[Love you.]” She says, falling back to sleep.

My last stop is my bedroom again. I am surprised to find sleeping there a smaller version of me, snoring away. I sit down on the chair by the desk and think to myself. Boy, there are a few things I’d like to say to you. Pay attention in school; don’t screw off like you’re going to. Take the time to get to know your oldest relatives. You’ll be sorry when they aren’t there anymore. Don’t take shit from anybody, and don’t let the kids who will make fun of you win. (But they will anyway.) Don’t make the same mistakes I did. And one last thing, little Brian. And this is SO important. Whatever you do, DON’T get that mullet haircut in 1989. You will regret it till the day you die.

There’s a brilliant flash of bright light, and I am sitting in my apartment today, the sun shining on my face. I jump up out of the recliner, knocking a $4.50 coffee drink to the floor. I breathe a deep sigh of relief. Or is it a sigh because I learned an important lesson about life?

You can’t go home again. Things were never as great as they once seemed. Live in the moment, and seize each day as though it were your last. This isn’t a dress rehearsal, folks. This is a one-shot deal. Twenty=five years have passed me by in a moment’s time, and I do regret it. But I am now more determined than ever to make the next 25 the best years I can. You should do the same.

Week 35 – Brian Weeks

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Brian Weeks, Week 35

Thin, Blond, and Fabulous

 

“I don’t want to be a stereotype of a typical gay man,” he said softly as he arranged a fabulous flower arrangement; his frosted hair billowing in the Provincetown summer breeze, Barbra Streisand playing in the background.

“You are such a fag!” my friend Jayson said to me one day, as I was getting off the phone to go watch Days of Our Lives.
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Hello? You’re going to go watch soap operas? Could you be any more gay?”
“I wouldn’t be throwing any stones, Mr. Musical Theatre. Didn’t you tell me once that you can sing every song from any Broadway show ever produced? And you call me the fag.”

We both laughed, but the conversation got me thinking. There are so many stereotypes connected with gay men. We are a big, lisping group of disco-dancing, dress-wearing, flower-arranging, drug-addicted, interior-decorating hairdressers. We all secretly dream to actually BE Judy Garland (Wouldn’t that be faaaaaabulous?) and we were too close to our mothers. We all collectively throw like a girl and have AIDS. We can barely pump our own gas, but are exquisite cooks. We are all blond, have blue eyes, weigh 8 pounds, and are barely eighteen years old. We all attend the circuit parties, have S&M dungeons in our homes, and know Sigfried and Roy personally. Our lives are one big rainbow-colored disco ball. (And if you believe that, I’ve got bridge I’d like to sell you.)

At one time in my life, I thought that this was reality, and I had to become Liberace to be accepted by my queer brothers and sisters. I’m not by nature a stereotypical gay guy. Sure, some of the things I do and say can have me pegged as bent, but for the most part, I’m just a regular guy that likes other guys.

When I was 21, a drag queen and a lesbian I was friendly with took me to the Frontrunner, a gay club here in New Hampshire. Kevin was in a dress and heels, and Heather was in a crew cut and combat boots. We were in the ladies’ room (don’t ask), and I was introduced to a guy that Kevin knew. I can’t remember his name. He kissed the air by my cheek, and asked me if this was my first time in a gay club. I said it was, and he said he could tell. I didn’t look very comfortable. Kevin mentioned that I had come out a few years earlier, but hadn’t been out to any of the clubs yet because I’d just turned 21. He said, “You’re gay?” He looked me up and down. “Hmm,” he said, “I would have pegged you for straight.” Then he turned on his heel and left the rest room.

I was devastated. Weren’t these the very people who were supposed to open their arms and welcome me into the community? Where the hell was my toaster oven and rainbow flag? I felt rejected and alone. Later on, the guy came up and apologized to me for hurting my feelings. He explained that because of my clothing and build, he figured I was hetero. My clothing and build? I’m six foot one, 275 pounds, built like a football player, have a beer belly, and was wearing a sweater and khakis. I wondered if I was giving off “straight vibes” by being overweight and wearing basic non-designer clothing.

I also don’t find myself attracted to the stereotypical gay man, either. I like guys like me. Big, stocky, guys. More John Goodman than John Waters. Guys who can change their own oil and enjoy watching hockey. Guys that would rather be in a log cabin in the woods that high on Ecstasy on the dance floor. Regular, everyday average Joes who happen to be gay, like me.

Don’t get me wrong. Like I said, I do have some Obvious Gay Traits. I watch soap operas (One of them, every day.) I really like disco and techno music. I’m a great cook and am talented at interior design.
On the flip side, I cannot stand Barbra Striesand, I have no interest in ever going to see a Broadway musical, have never been to a Pride parade, and I dress like a homeless person. And the number one thing…. I HATE to shop.

When is he going to get to the point of this ranting, you may ask. Right now. There is no such thing as “normal”. Stereotypes are just that. Generalizations made without the benefit of fact on a small group of people. Some may measure a person’s “gayness” on a sliding scale depending on how many times he has watched “All About Eve”. I don’t.

While I don’t buy into most of the stereotypes, I don’t look down on anyone who does. That is a form of prejudice. And isn’t that what we as a community are fighting against? I’m Irish, too. Does that mean I’m a drunk? (The fact that I am a drunk has nothing to do with being Irish. It has to do with having too much free time on my hands and too many cheap drinks to be had in my town.)

I’ll leave you with this parting thought: When you label someone, you take away their individualism, and segregate them from everyone else. It shouldn’t be necessary to teach tolerance to guys like us, but sometimes it is.

And now that I’ve finished rambling on, I’d like to go back to my needlepoint.

Week 34- Brian Weeks

Posted: November 23, 2011 in Brian Weeks, Week 34

Imagination

A blizzard of thoughts fill my mind,

A dizzying snowglobe of unfinished fragments and underdeveloped ideas

I stand at the door to imagination, fumbling for the key,
Time and again, I fail
Until, finally, the lock turns
slowly
slowly
Do I open the door to my inner self?
Or do I stay here, frozen immobile by the cold winds of mediocrity?
With careless abandon, I throw the door open, and explore all the colors of my mind.
The white nothingness of “just being” fades…
It fades into a brilliant rainbow of all the mind has to offer.
I find MY color,
And experience the joy of pure imagination.

Week 33 – Brian Weeks

Posted: November 13, 2011 in Brian Weeks, Week 33

Something I always talk about but never have done until this past Sunday… When I’m visiting my hometown, I always wanted to get up early, go get a cup of coffee, and go to Center Harbor Beach and enjoy the morning.  Something has always prevented me from doing that, but I was bound and determined to make it happen this time.  I took advantage of waking up very early from the time change, and took a ride down…

I spent a lot of time at the beach as a kid, the memories come crashing back like the waves of a passing motor boat when I turn down Lake Street. (I am 34 years old and just noticed that street actually has a name. I always thought it was just ‘that street that goes down to the beach, right before Heath’s.’)

For those that do not know me well, it would be meaningless for me to recount tales of tripping over my own feet and losing a large Tupperware cup of pilfered booze to the sand, or “relocating” the lifeguard stand underneath the raft in the middle of the swimming area. (It was discovered about a week later. I was planning to go back and get it the next night, but by then local media had begun reporting on it, and CHPD was out in full force. Had I actually gone back like I had planned, there never would have been a need for the town to buy a new one. It would have dried right out in a few days.)

Adolescent discretions aside, I spent the better part of 25 summers at that specific beach. A quick walk or bike ride would transport me to my New Hampshire version of the Riviera.

I took some photos to capture the beautiful morning. I hope you enjoy them.