JWG's Done and Not Begun July 1, 2011

Wherein JWG and René are proud to become "The Bookends" in their library full of memories.

Bunny! Bunny! (2:28 a.m.) Zwerglipatch July 1, 2011  2:19 p.m.

The events of this past week have got me thinking about what those who passed before the legalization, in New York, of Gay Marriage would have thought. Personages of our past — Oscar Wilde, Christopher Isherwood, Gertrude Stein, Beverley Nichols, Walt Whitman, among many others — would have been sought after for sound bites to add color to tawdry reporting.

I, myself, received a phone call from one of the first Gay Men to go National about his open sexuality.

David Rothenberg, who came out on a David Susskind show, was the person who called. René and I got to know this sage, for lack of a better word, through one of our dearest friends, Virginia. David Rothenberg’s wit and verbosity has always been insightful and entertaining. Years ago, he was always prodding us on our marriage plans. He was the first to hear that René and I were, indeed, going to get married. He said he was going to give blenders as gifts. I told him we wished for nothing but Aloha. He laughed. He couldn’t believe that I still say, “Aloha!”

When I answer a personal call, most often I say, “Aloha!” This is what I said when David called. He was used to the message on my phone machine when we lived in Manhattan. After a pregnant pause, I heard him say, “Is this a machine or live?” That’s our David.

At the beginning of last month, as you may recall, René and I saw the theater broadcast of Brian Bedford in Oscar Wilde’s play “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Brian was both director and Lady Bracknell. I stated when we were in the air going to New Mexico I was going to say more of this play. The performance has stayed with me which is good. Whether or not this is a good play, at this point in history, I tend to think it is not. I shall explain as it is only proper.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” was an earnest attempt, in its day, to poke fun of types who, unfortunately, are still with us. I use the pointed “unfortunately” as there are no characters in that piece which I would like to know personally. The characters have quirks, yes, that are classic. The characters are greedy and lie. The characters have egos that would sink a ship. They are not a nice lot. Nor are they evil per se. If they are performed with honesty, then, and only then, can I, the viewer, forgive their words and actions.Good people, as I have said, are not necessarily nice people.

I have written my views and thoughts on Wilde. I do admire his wit. And the rest I need not repeat. I have not wavered.

I have wavered on a subject I did not respect as it was always thrown at me with forced pomp and a great deal of unnecessary ceremony. I will admit to willingly joining in the festivities of marriage. This man-made institution referred to as “marriage”, for me, has never had good publicity. Our publicist friend, David Rothenberg, has stated that he wishes he, himself, had someone to settle down with — to marry. He admires that René and I have been an “item”, or, in his words, “The Bookends”, for over three decades. Yes, we are The Bookends holding together many stories and much research. Our Lives are full of observations.

Before I met René, I observed many couples who seemed to adore each other. Adoration, as I witnessed, does not last and is easily turned to, as I have named it, abhoration. When I first saw René, as I have said, I was infatuated. Was this lust or love? It is odd how a brief look into another’s eyes can sear memory. It is a good thing, for me, that René had the good sense to pursue his feelings that matched mine. Otherwise, I would be roving my eyes all throughout this World in search for those two eyes which cast a spell which began my transformation from a Loner to a Bookend. I have always enjoyed bookends. Needless to say, René and I have lived a married life for a few decades. We are tighter than most we know. True, we have had a few slippery slopes which have made us vulnerable to desire and appreciation of what we both bring to the volumes we hold up. Our books are filled with fact, drama, and comedy. Our pages are etched with scenes that can only be played once. Those who return again and again to an unchanging attitude are those who find Life, as a whole, miserable. This is not for us. We have to grow stronger as our shelves become fuller — yet, never filled. We always have the room for one more experience.

As René and I prepare for the cementing, most legally, of our “relationship”, we laugh at our preparation which consists of a small handful of must-dos. We must acquire a marriage license and hire a justice-of-the-peace; plus, have a witness. Silly, yes? I think that these products of law are useful in their own way to signify a finality to others, not to the unifying couple. I can already see where our lack of ceremony may disturb those who delight in partying. My party days are over and René’s have always been nil. We shan’t even discuss the usual wedding arrangements of invitations and who will sit next to who and the color array. We plan puppet shows — not weddings.

In the Eighties, Out-Loud-Proud was a mantra. It still is. René and I may not be loud, we are proud and out to the World.

I was never one to discuss sexuality for it seemed unnecessary to explain who one was beneath the sheets which, unfortunately, is where most keep their sexual experience. A great deal has changed for the better. I, myself, can think of no greater word than “Pride”. I am Proud of my Love, my Self, my other Bookend. Our library is chock full of our collected memories — even those we have forgotten. Experience can never be forgotten. Our collective knowledge is chronicled.

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