Somewhere along the way, I lost my voice. Not because I couldn’t speak but rather because I lost interest in speaking, fearing the ensuing conversation more than anticipating the joy of self-expression.

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One of my oldest friends, someone I’ve shared a great many good times with over the past fifteen years has decided to take a stab at being normal. I don’t blame him for he has a son and parenting is when the responsibilities of life overwhelm everything. What we want, the parents, the adults, is forever subordinated to the well being of our offspring. So he’s moved in with his baby mama, who he has never gotten along with, and it giving conventionality the old college try.

The problem, from my perspective, is that this is generally how I lose friends. Not because we fight or anything but because any life that is fundamentally normal excludes me. I am not compatible with normal. I represent, I know, a wild chaos, a Dionysian force, a pull toward hedonism and devil-may-care excesses.

But he’ll be back. They always come back.

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Mambo Kings

I just purchased another copy of The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos after Bookbub let me know that Amazon is selling kindle copies for $2.99 today. One of those stray novels I picked up at a used bookstore when a blurb or something caught my eye. I had certainly never heard of the novel or Hijuelos at the time, neither had I paid the slightest attention to the film that had been made. It looked like an interesting read and I spent the $2.00 asked to give it a try.

Some books come around and just the right moment and open a whole new world and Mambo Kings did just that. I poured through the book in hours, savoring every word of the beautiful, emotionally trying novel. Once finished, I raced back to the used bookstore and picked up a copy of every novel by a serious latin author I could find.

John Rechy’s City of Night broke open gay literature for me in the same way. Reading something excellent from someone in a culture different from what I know always compels me to explore the culture further. And keeps me searching for new cultures to read, to try to learn to understand.

The movie struck me as strange, although not terribly so, for like so many film versions, it stopped in the middle of the book. Hollywood is so weird.

Anyway, just thinking as I further stock my overstocked virtual shelves.



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above all

Mistrust everybody, your friend, your brother, your mistress — your mistress above all.”

Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers

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feel casual

Theresa picked up her purse and dusted a few blades of grass from the red pattern embossed on the back of her thighs. She shook her head as she glanced at the men on the bench and started up the slow incline of the hill. The children below laughed happily as they kicked a red rubber ball over the dusty diamond. Theresa took slow steps toward the oak tree. Nervousness spread through her breast as she tried to feel casual. She tried to talk herself out of continuing, but something pushed her forward.

Lord Malinov, Erotic Romances

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pale blue volume

Theresa watched the man beneath the oak as he turned a page of his book, wondering what he was reading. The book was cloth bound, no dust cover, just a pale blue volume with a glimmer of gold embossing. Theresa felt her nipples tighten, deciding the book was probably fiction, hoping against spies or adventure. Horror would be all right, although she preferred something with a vampire. Maybe something classic, rich with allusion and poetry. Theresa stretched her lean legs out, ticking her bare thighs with the thick carpet of grass. A warmth flowed between her legs, watching him read.

Lord Malinov, Erotic Romances

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all the time

“That’s the whole thing. I can’t. No, I mean I can’t. She’s taken. I know, but this would be messy. Too close. She’s a knockout. I mean, really gorgeous. Actually, I’ve known her for a long time, but she’s …. I really like her, and if I don’t get away, it’ll be trouble. Yeah. Remember what happened to Tim and Rick? Exactly. The thing is, I like her and I have to see her with him all the time. Not only that, but she practically lives here on the weekends. Yeah.”

Lord Malinov, Erotic Romances

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