Pride [sic]

THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2012

On Pride Sunday I had kind of come full circle. The day promised to be rainy anyway: despite the cloudless beginning, there was a dark woolly blanket pulling its way up over my head and it looked to be a wet blanket.

In the beginning I watched Boston Prides from a distance so great that it was only met by my reading in The Phoenixabout “the homosexual activities” on Charles Street. The visits I made to Charles Street during the rest of the year had only slightly prepared me for what a full day of concentrated Pride would look or feel like. (“Try new Concentrated Pride, the laundry detergent for all your fine feminine washables.”)

I guess, having ultimately gotten up the courage to go to the Church on Charles Street those Fridays to the dances they held there, I finally realized that what I was feeling wasn’t so much apprehension as — this might sound odd coming from a recovering Catholic — communion; this being an unfamiliar-enough feeling that I didn’t recognize it.

Suddenly it was all so easy: those Friday-night dance-ins were so full, so crowded, so exuberant, so energetic and so freeing. It wasn’t long before I had a coterie of pals of all sorts, amorphous though it was, expanding and contracting from day to day or week to week. Still, there was a core, a corps; and there was comfort and encouragement in that. There was also a lot of laughter, and wall-breaking: for the first time ever I could open the door and not only look out furtively, but go out, to venture, and bring with me all the stuff of all those years that begged for expression.

An explosion of riches followed, including the requisite bruises that failed relationships — and even in some cases, mere failed acquaintances — brought, but they all became facets of a glorious, gorgeous gem, although a gem with some sharp, hardened edges.

And there were many Prides after that where I participated vigorously because I felt it.

Too many adventures in between to recount before arriving at this year’s Pride, but there I was, thinking “It would be nice if it rained today.” I guess I’m just not sure any more of what it is I should be proud of, and to stand there in my onesies trying to infer some, even a little, of that exuberance threatened to be fruitless (an irony of great proportion.)

Still, I was feeling guilty about all those who had looked forward eagerly to the day. Even though I had no business thinking my influence on matters cosmic is so great that I could will up a rainy day, the guilt was there, just part of my makeup.

I had thought to spend part of the day at a bookstore: I have a thirst for an Icelandic grammar book — a beginners’ book, to be sure — because I just watched an Icelandic film (who knew they even had movie theaters up there?) about a soccer player in a small town who announces to his team that he’s gay. Listening to them speaking I could pick out enough of the words (but not enough of the sense) that I’m now intrigued by how close Icelandic is to Scandinavian languages and in some ways, English.

Anyway, when I got up that morning, I was thinking I would do that: go to Barnes & Noble.

Then I realized it was Pride Sunday.

And then all that garbage tumbled out, and so I ended up doing neither, nothing.

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