One individual, who shall remain unidentified, felt it was necessary to extoll the fact that they WOULDN'T be going, as they thought dancing and partying, in light of all that happened, was "inappropriate":
"I think it's great to have a collection but in poor taste to be celebrating with music and drinks this weekend. Everyone is entitled to my opinion and this is only mine. I do not believe having a party is in keeping with what the president says in "business as usual." I will not attend a celebration this weekend."
While I am not one to dictate one's method of mourning, his need to word his note in a way that made it clear that he disapproved of anyone who would be attending. So, in my own inimitable way, I responded:
"You know, you ARE entitled to your opinion...but I, for one, need all the help I can forgetting, if only for a little bit, that some major assholes fucked with MY home town. I won't bore with all of the near misses as far as people I knew, family AND friends, who managed to dodge this bullet: Too many people have died for that to be much in the way of consolation.
"But I guess it's my Irish blood -- I refuse to wear black and sit in the dark. That doesn't honor the dead, it makes a mockery of the light that was their lives. If we're to heal, we need to celebrate that shining, however brief it was.
"I know if it had been me, I'd expect people to party like complete maniacs...laughing, maybe some tears (I'd be selfish to say not to cry!) but mostly the sound of laughter. That's what would lift me to whatever's next."
No response from the original poster...I admit, at the time I was hoping he WOULD try and respond. I was raring to fight, even if only virtually.
The irony was *I* almost didn't go. I felt tired and heavy, almost too drained to even think about going out. SO I redoubled my efforts to go, partly because I didn't want to be a hypocrite, and partly because I needed to be around people. Especially people I trusted.
I went with Roni, who also didn't go...but I suspect went because, in the end, she was worried about me. As it turned out, she had a better time than she thought she would. As for me...
I have successfully gotten drunk a total of 4 times in my life. The first time was the '79-'80 news year eve party, where I drank the equivalent of a fifth of rum. The second was in '81, when I discovered that everclear in the punch would do the job. The third was almost 12 years later, when my friend and lover Myra (two years younger than I was) died suddenly. The fourth time was last night, as I kicked back Rum and Cokes as fast as I could take them.
Since it was only the second time I was deliberately trying to get drunk (the first time I didn't know better, the second I was not informed of the altered state of the punch in question) I was actually a bit surprised I was able to pull it off. Having ADHD gives me a bit of an edge when it comes to burning through drink. However, I do weigh only 195, and the bartender was making the drinks doubles (tho' toward the end of the night they started to taste like triples...I think he was hitting the booze that night himself), and Roni gave me permission to make her a designated driver, so...
Of course, it didn't help at all. I only began to mood swing wildly, between wildly celebratory to downright hysterical and in tears. It's a time like that when you discover who really cares about you...and I wasn't surprised. Gene, Roni, Karin, Kathleen and others all seemed to pop up, either one on one or in a group, just when I needed them to be there. In a way that went a lot further to help me through this than any chemical substance known to man.
I went out at one point to get some air, and I felt myself begging to lose it...and Karin was there, holding me, letting me bawl into her ample bosom (a sure sign of my emotional state was, it didn't interest me as anything more than a safe, comfortable place to bury my face as I sobbed). When we were called inside for a moment of silence, people were checking in with me. Kathleen(still waiting to hear if a high school chum made it or not) and Roni slow danced with me. We all got crazy when the full length version of tainted love was played (I remember screaming and whipping the crowd into a frenzy...it was one of my "up" moments).
Throughout the evening I was intrigued by the workings of my own brain...it really is like you have two minds. One was in full grief mode, while the other was being lecherous and knavelike, ogling the cute boys and girls surrounding me. There were several cuties I had never seen there before, including this one black woman named Kim, who seemed intrigued with me...tho' I'm sure I was NOT at my best. In fact, I was blasted...a fact that I was aware of the entire time.
I never could understand how my step-father was able to convince himself he was "ok" to drive when he was in this condition. I could never seem to turn off that part of the mind that seems to control that sort of judgment. In fact, I remember everything, and certainly didn't stop feeling anything the entire night. Booze simply doesn't work as an anesthetic for me...something that I regret sometimes. Most times, I'm relieved.
Any way, Roni poured me out of there around 11:30 PM (an early night by any account). I said my fare wells, gave everyone hugs, and wobbled to the car. Roni drove us off, stopping by a Jack in the Box to grab us some food...and was I hungry.
When I awoke today, I felt fine. No hang over, no sense that I had injured myself while dancing. Of course, I did mentally wince when my behavior the night before came to mind...But first Roni, and then Karin (who called to check on me) and Kathleen all pretty much confirmed that, as a drunk, I was completely harmless. Roni, who has known me five years, has never seen me like that...and she still loves me.
Today, I still feel a little weepy at times...but No where NEAR as bad as I did over the last week. It re-affirms my belief that the Irish Wake is still the best way to go. However, I think once every ten years is enough.
On another front, I discovered that one of Roni's roomies, Darwin, knew one of the guys on Flight 93. In fact, he had been partying with the guy two weeks earlier, in New Orleans. He hadn't realized it until Friday, because all the news stories showed a picture of the boy without his trade mark hat. The Bay Area Reporter (one of the many Queer News Rags here -- they haven't updated their pages yet) had him on the front page, for the first time with his hat...and THEN the coin dropped. He was the guy who called his Mom and his Aunt from the plane. He played Rugby. He once was attacked, and took down his attackers himself.
Makes Falwell's little gaffe all the more onerous...turns out a fag was a hero, or so we assume. I hope those cockpit voice recorders prove that he helped drive that sucker into the ground.
If you haven't already heard, there's a petition condemning Falwell and Robertson, and trying to get George W. to denounce them specifically. If it turns out our boy on the plane is a hero, the shrub may be in an untenable position. Only 1500 people have signed it in 24 hours...well, let's see how much I can get those numbers to rise over the next week.
Yes, even as I support my country and condemn these acts, I still think he's an idiot, especially since it's looking more and more like he and his family did everything they could to make this happen short of coming up with the attack plan for bin Laden himself. Mind you, I am NOT one to say "we asked for it": Even if a woman walks nude down the street, rape is still a horrific crime. But if we are to keep this from ever happening again, we need to know ALL of the details of what happened and why. Once again, American training and money went to someone who turned around and shoved it up our proffered exteriors, wrapped in sandpaper for maximum pleasure...his, not ours.
Gad's, I did run on a bit tonight. I should save the rest for tomorrow...