Things I Learned from R. B.


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Episode 4

A rehearsal camp.

It is what we called the thirteen-day period leading up to the beginning of the tour of our musical.

The cast arrived: Mittie, Dan, Ginger, Greg, Luanne, Dollie, R. B., Matt and Blythe. Unfortunately, we had to axe Blythe and Matt because we caught them sleeping together in one of the bedrooms. We had a “no fraternization” policy for the cast, and Matt and Blythe—well, they screwed it.

Somehow or another, we’d landed an amazing facility for hosting this little shindig, with six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a complete kitchen and a small gymnasium including a PA system for rehearsing. The owner of the location was so impressed with our endeavors that he only charged $150 a week. Unfortunately, I think we bounced a check to him. (We made it right.)

The mornings were spent learning music. This went great. Music was what I did. We also worked on some acting. Since all the members of the team had seen movies and television, we kind of wiggled and squirmed our way into understanding the characterization needed for their roles.

But afternoons did not go so well. They were set aside for choreography. Only one of our cast members could dance. All the others were either timid or inept, leaving our three choreographers in a constant, bitchy dismay. Two of this trio were fellows who had performed on Broadway—gay men (this was back in the time when the words “gay” and “men” never appeared in a sentence together.)

The other choreographer was a “mimist” from Miami (say that quickly five times). She was a Lesbian, though our cast was so unfamiliar with the term that they believed she was an immigrant from Lebanon.

So terrible was the movement portion of the play that a reporter from the city newspaper, who came to interview me and happened to sit in on a rehearsal, joked, “Hey. Don’t give up. You can always have the claim to fame that you came up with ‘collisionography.’”

I didn’t laugh. I should have. It might have kept me from crying.

The absolute worst of our dancers was R. B. He had two left feet, and that was just on his right leg. R. B. couldn’t dance. It’s not that he shouldn’t or wouldn’t—it needed to be forbidden.

The terrifying part of the situation was that R. B. was our most enthusiastic hoofer and believed with all his heart that he was heads and tails, if not feet, above the other cast members.

One day, in a fit of frustration, Gay Choreographer 1 screamed at him, “You dance like an elephant imitating a cow!”

The only reason R. B. knew to get offended was that the fellow was spitting angry. That night R. B. packed his bags, preparing to leave—and I consoled him into staying.

I lied.

I told him I had fired the choreographer who yelled at him, when actually the guy had quit in despair. So R. B. stood tall, stating to me, “That guy just doesn’t know talent when he sees it.”

I should have said something. I should have spoken up. But I was so afraid of losing a cast member less than two weeks from the start of the show that I remained silent and let a very cocky guy walk out of the room—setting us all up for a “Great Collision.”

The B. S. M. G. Report


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Comprehend the fight

To do what’s right

BAD

Wrong-headed: Incorrect headed in the wrong direction.

Although some people are critical of our country, I, for one, am astounded that things work as well as they do, considering how wrong-headed we are.

We are misguided. It is not malicious, but certainly is ignorant. And ignorant is a decision to ignore the logical.

Can we start with some stats?

Arguably, the most persecuted minorities in our country are the LGBTQ, Jewish and black communities.

Watching television, you are probably convinced that America is fifty percent gay, because they are well-represented in the entertainment industry and have gained the attention of politicians.

Likewise, if you listen to the pundits discussing the election, you might assume that the Jewish vote is at least thirty percent.

And in a quest to find truth, the number of shows and specials which are produced about the exploitation of the black race might cause you to think they are forty to fifty percent of the population.

Here are the real figures:

From the LGBTQ community itself, it is estimated that 4.5 percent of Americans are gay, Lesbian, transgender and such.

Just 2 percent of the country is Jewish.

And 12.1 percent of America is black.

If you add these three numbers, you come up with 18.6 percent of the census.

They are a threat to no one.

They have no plans nor ability to take over our country and turn it into black power, Zionist or homosexual.

Eighty percent of this country is white or other acceptable shades.

I just want to establish the statistics—for it is bad to begin a discussion believing false information. By no means am I offering these facts to make you think that because the numbers of these minorities are small, that they should be treated with disdain.

I’m just saying that you’ll never reach this country until you realize you are appealing that white people be more generous of spirit.

There’s just not much you can do if you’re gay, Jewish and black to change the heart of the United States of America to make it a home more suitable for your feelings.

If you’re a politician, a minister, a community organizer or just a concerned citizen, you should be motivating your white brothers and sisters to comprehend that this 18.6 percent that receives so much ambivalence, if not anger, are indeed “the least of these, my brethren,” that Jesus referred to when he was discussing those who need the most of our love and attention.

The problem in mentioning Jesus is that even though we tout ourselves “a Christian nation,” the religion of our country is…

SAD

Americanity.

It is a blending of our cultures, our likes, our religion, our prejudices, our egos and remnants of compassion.

It has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity.

If Jesus preached today, he would not last for three years. He would stir up trouble, get caught up in the 24-hour news cycle, be declared a cult leader and disgraced in two weeks.

Americanity has three premises:

1. America was founded by Europeans—basically white people.

2. Because of that and many other factors, we consider ourselves to be an “exceptional nation.”

3. Even though we accept an amount of integration, we do not want to lose the power of our white color and composition.

I understand that most people would not admit they have bought into these principles. Nevertheless, they are ingrained in you if you are not gay, Jewish or black.

Let me give you an example:

We are a country that is proud that we freed the slaves. Matter of fact, the average white person would point out that this is acceptable restitution—our gift to the black race for stealing them from Africa.

Now let’s take a Bible story everybody knows:

The children of Israel are slaves in Egypt. Moses wants to free them. Let’s say the Pharaoh agrees to free them, but then the slaves remain in Egypt, hanging around with those people who used to be their masters. How successful would that have been? How important was it for the Jews to escape Egypt, so they could really be free?

Yet in America, we tossed freedom to the black man, but forced him to live, work and worship around his former masters.

We promised “forty acres and a mule” and instead, trapped black families in a history that held them in bondage.

Simultaneously…

MAD

Even though the LGBTQ community, the black race and the Jewish folk are only 18.6 percent of the population, there is a group that is 52 percent, and they are still treated as a minority.

They are women.

They are fighting for their lives; they are struggling for their right to be heard. They are pleading for their bodies—they are demanding an equality that should have been guaranteed long ago.

Before we solve the problems with the gays, the Jews and the blacks, we are desperately in need of a GENDER MENDER: a mingling of education, humor and understanding that closes the gap between men and women.

Can you imagine how much easier it would be to grant equality to other minorities if the treatment of women was mitigated by common sense?

Instead, we pretend that women are about one percent of the population and ask them to stand to the rear and wait their turn.

You cannot solve the problems in the black community until you address the conflict between men and women.

You will not comprehend the difficulties faced by the Jewish race until the bigotry against women is resolved.

And you will never, ever complete the journey of a free America, and open the doors to the LGBTQ community, until men and women in this country arrive at a tender, but firm understanding of their union.

I can certainly assure you, however, that I am…

GLAD

There are young humans living and breathing.

They have survived the shenanigans of twenty years of war, political lying and cheating and murder in their schools.

They have no stomach for Americanity.

And they are completely turned off to the idea that minorities must stand in line and wait their turn.

They are our hope.

Yet even the young humans out there are screwed up on the issue of men and women—borrowing way too much tradition from their parents.

It is time to deal with the BAD. Look at the stats the way they are, realize that America is mostly white and needs to be appealed to for its better angels to make our plans work.

And please, once and for all, can we get rid of the sad Americanity—which believes in red, blue and white supremacy?

I’d like to see us get MAD and start to seek out a way to GENDER MENDER the difficulties between men and women.

Then we can be glad and offer the next generation a better palette, so their painting can be filled with color.

 

Catchy (Sitting 61) M, Leo and the First Meeting…August 11th, 2018

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Grateful he was.

Matthew sat quietly in his overstuffed and overpriced first-class seat on the midnight flight from Washington, D.C. to Las Vegas.

The plane was dark. It was quiet. Most of the passengers had taken their tiny element of a sleeping pill and disappeared into slumber.

That was also true of Leonora, who quickly explained that she was exhausted from the audition and needed to get some solid airplane z’s on the trip because she had a meeting the next morning with the symphony coalition, to discuss health benefits.

Her excuse, like every performance in her life, was well-rehearsed and inadequately presented.

As Matthew had gotten to know her, he liked her less and less, and so found himself burying his interest and passions into their sexual adventure.

She was opinionated. Matthew had always viewed himself as open-minded–easy to get along with–but in her presence felt defensive. He hated it when she insisted he start calling her “Leo,” because she viewed herself, in the realm of business, intellect and art, as a lioness.

“You are what you claim to be,” she mouthed.

Matthew nodded, quite certain that many claims were being made every day by mortals which made the heavens laugh.

What really troubled him was when she started calling him “M.”

Just the letter “M.”

When he asked her why she was doing that, she said, “I’m encouraging you to grow. You need to realize that you’re on a journey to fill out your name.”

Matthew didn’t know what the hell that meant, but was in no mood to have it explained further and end up with more dents in his body work. He was also afraid that if she started in trying to become his psychoanalyst, he would have to be more forthcoming and tell her that she was much less than she presumed.

Her oboe playing had never been great, but had become even less proficient as she started to complain about the fellow-members of her quintet and the unwillingness of the symphony conductor to listen to her suggestions on seating and tone.

She viewed Matthew as an ignoramus, even though he had spent many years enjoying classical music, and had a very good friend at the university who was an oboist. Matthew kept his mouth closed except when they were kissing.

It was especially difficult that day, when she met him at the airport, explaining that the audition was long, she had to wait, and then it turned out that she had some sort of microscopic, tiny split in her reed, which prohibited her from gaining the full height and depth of her range. She requested another time to audition but the committee refused. So she failed because they were inconsiderate.

Matthew listened to her rail for a solid hour–against the walls, the furniture, the paint and the chairs that surrounded her, blaming everything she possibly could for her setback–except for the fact that she was insufficient for the moment.

It was the strangest relationship of Matthew’s life. There was a deep-rooted part of him that loved her madly; an exotic jungle passion that nearly left him breathless. But as a human being, she had selected the portions of intelligence that she revered, while ignoring the virtues that make such knowledge applicable.

Matthew remained silent.

Sitting in the darkness of the airplane, glancing over at his sleeping lover, he began to cry. It actually turned into a tiny sob, which he hoped nobody else heard.

He was so embarrassed. He was ashamed–but also enraged, because here he was, with a defunct liver in his body, battling for his life, simultaneously apologizing for breathing.

How in the hell had it gotten so complicated? What was he going to do?

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his own remedy for insomnia–a tiny flask of a brandy which included a shot or two fo sherry. He downed the remainder of the contents and put his head back. Sleep still refused to come–so he cried.

Matthew finally dozed off, with tears streaming down his face.

*****

The following morning, in Washington, D.C., Soos decided to get started on her project.

She thought she had the easiest assignment of all. Michael Hinston, who had been a Congressman, wining and dining lobbyists who were salivating for his vote, now had a humble one-room efficiency at the YMCA. His marriage to the Lutheran minister had been annulled when she discovered all the trials and tribulations chasing him, threatening to destroy his life. She loved him, but she still wanted out.

So he was alone with his twin bed.

Soos called Michael and he agreed to meet with her at ten o’clock A.M., at a little diner he claimed had the best waffles and scrapple on the East Coast. Soos explained she had never eaten scrapple–avoiding it because the ingredients seemed to be the rear-end of every barnyard creature. But Michael said she would probably enjoy this batch.

Arriving at the diner, they found a booth in the back. They embraced–the kind of embrace that merged “old college friends” with some tenderness of man and woman, and a huge immersion in fellow-travelers of faith.

As Michael pulled away he had tears in his eyes.

“Why are you crying?” asked Soos.

Michael chuckled. “Because I can–and I am the luckiest man in the world to be able to cry this morning.”

Soos took the next ten minutes to explain to Michael what had transpired with the abduction and the request made to her–to contact him, the goal being some secret discovery about his involvement, which was beyond her comprehension.

“Well, since neither one of us know what it means, or have any idea of the significance, I think it’s good that we came to eat waffles,” said Michael.

And eat they did. Soos ended up actually enjoying the scrapple, though she thought it was a little salty.

They just talked. It was a conversation that would be difficult to explain to a stranger, so filled with tenderness that it would always be remembered as priceless.

“There was a time in my life,” Michael said, “when if you had told me that some organization or guy had chosen me for special attention, I would have assumed it was just great foresight on their part. I wasn’t just arrogant–I was religious about my arrogance. I actually believed that God wanted me to be the best father in the world. The best husband. The best extra-marital lover. The best Congressman. And of course, the best cheater in Washington, D.C. Sometimes when you’re going for the best you forget that it has to begin with good. You know–good, better, best?”

Soos smiled. She had always loved Michael because he was clever. Unfortunately, cleverness could have dangerous blow-back.

Michael continued. “I almost lost everything. Let me edit my own statement. I did lose everything–but I never actually had it. I just pretended. I pretended so hard that, honest to God, I could not imagine what was happening when my first wife left me for a Lesbian and my second wife left me because I was a criminal. Everybody leaves me.”

He grinned. “And I really can’t argue with them. They’ve got really good reasons.”

“So I don’t know why anybody would want me to do anything. I did fix the radiator in my room, so when winter comes I’ll be warm. That was pretty nifty.”

Michael paused.

“Will you talk to me about Matthew?” he asked. “I don’t think I ever loved a man as much as I love Matthew. I don’t think I ever told him that. I was afraid he would make fun of me.”

Soos giggled and spit out a little bit of her coffee. “He would have.”

Michael chuckled. They sat for a moment. Soos reached over and took his hand.

“He’s dying,” she said.

Michael lifted his head, shocked.

“Not quickly,” she explained. “But his liver is shot to hell, and gradually, he’s just poisoning himself. “And he has a new girlfriend that has the personality of a prickly pear.”

Michael laughed. “What you’re saying is that she is difficult to sit down on and talk to.”

For some reason, Soos found that statement hilarious. She laughed and snorted, gaining the attention of half the diner. A dirty look from the proprietor finally made her sober up.

“I don’t want to get you kicked out of your favorite diner,” she said.

Michael waved her off. “Forget about it. I waffle on my favorite diner.”

He smiled with the innocence of a ten-year-old boy. “What can I do for Matthew?”

Soos considered and then injected, “Got a black market liver in your pocket?”

Michael crinkled his brow. “No,” he said, “but I have a liver in my body.”

“Don’t you need that?” mocked Soos.

“Yeah, but not all of it. I could give him a piece of mine.”

Soos shook her head. “That’s ridiculous, Michael. Anyway, you probably wouldn’t be a match.”

“But what if I was?” queried Michael. “What if I held the key to Matthew’s life the way Jesus held the key for mine?”

Soos groaned, a little disgusted. “So now you think you’re a savior?”

“No,” said Michael. “That job is filled. It just seems like if you could save someone, why not go ahead and do it?”

A lightbulb went off in Soos’s head.

“Oh, my God,” she said. “Is it possible that your part in this, whatever…mission…is to help Matthew and bring him to Jesus?”

Michael teared up again. He took the final bite of waffle laying on his plate, seemingly deserted. He chewed, swallowed, and looked Soos in the eye.

“My dear sister,” he said slowly, “I can’t imagine a greater calling.”

 

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Cracked 5 … July 10th, 2018


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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Due to years and years of startling mental and emotional abuse, these are some of the things that Charlie Brown from the “Peanuts” cartoon might have done when he grew up and became a serial killer

 

A. Suggest that Peppermint Patty and her lesbian lover camp out in his murder van

 

B. Break Schroeder’s piano into tiny little pieces and force-feed them into his mouth, causing him to choke and die in his overstated, melancholy way

 

C. Cut off Lucy’s head, carve out the brain and fill it with nickels

 

D. Continue his bizarre relationship with Snoopy, his dog, even allowing the beast to become his partner in crime, barking out favored victims

 

E. Cut the voice box out of all the annoying parents and teachers–and once and for all get rid of the goddamn squawking

 

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Catchy (Sitting 8) Cleanly Rich … July 30th, 2017

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Paul didn’t waste any time.

Before blankets could be spread, cushions situated and all snacks and drinks divvied among the three, he had already begun to drone out his story. It could have been a very interesting tale, but Paul seemed unimpressed with his own reputation.

He had married three years after college–only the fourth lass he had ever seen naked. They had two children who apparently were soldiering on to do their best with the process of growing up to join the ranks of those in file. Paul did not have many hobbies–actually, Paul had no hobbies that he shared. But as he sipped on a bit of diet root beer, he popped off a question.

“Don’t you think there are better ways to spend two hundred and fifty million dollars than propagating the myths of Bedouins who seem to have nothing better to do than kill one another in the name of their mythical gods?”

Matthew chose not to answer. After all, it wasn’t a question. It was a statement of disbelief. Somewhere along the line, Paul Padwick had consumed a sour communion wafer and was still wincing from the experience. Realizing that he was the killjoy of the little airport soiree, Paul rolled over on his Cornhusker cushion and went soundly to sleep.

That left Jo-Jay and God-guy–otherwise known as Joanna and Matthew. The two of them had briefly been a number back in college–a three-week period when neither of them was sexually ravaging or being ravaged–so they cast a glance each other’s way. They made it all the way to the bedroom and even to breakfast the morning after, but then, without any treaty, discussion or negotiation, the accidental collision was never spoken of again by either party.

So Matthew was curious about what would initiate their chatting and was relieved to discover that Joanna had planned all the dialogue, with most of the lines written for herself. She launched into her story.

Two years after college, she met a young fellow who showed great promise–except when it came to keeping promises to her. He had been a rather quiet student in college, but once he got married and realized there were many vaginas in the world, like Columbus of old, he launched his ship to discover new worlds.

Jo-Jay put up with it for a while and then asked for a divorce. She was a little disheartened that he immediately agreed. Because of his unfaithful status, she was granted alimony.

So she tripped along and cavorted for a couple of years, even considering trying to transform herself into a lesbian–but found the experience rather distasteful.

Four years ago she met The Duke. Duke was not his nickname, but rather, his title. He was a Duke of Something-or-other that she could not remember–but it came with much bearing and money. He was thirty-two years her senior. She said that she didn’t really marry her father, but rather, his father.

But he was gentle. He was kind. Generous to a fault, if such a thing is possible. And just about the time Jo-Jay’s hormones were beginning to itch for a scratch outside the mansion, he just up and died, leaving all of his earthly goods to a very earthly Joanna Lawrence. She was actually very surprised at how much she missed him.

She decided to play a game with herself. Every time she withdrew a stack of one-hundred dollar bills from the bank, she pretended it was his face instead of Benjamin Franklin’s.

“So you’re filthy rich,” said Matthew with a tinge of sarcasm.

Jo-Jay smiled. “Actually, I’m clean rich. The difference is, when you’re clean rich, you enjoy the money but you’re constantly trying to do penance by giving much of it away, to apologize for being financially over-nourished.”

All the time that Jo-Jay was sharing, it appeared that she was becoming more intoxicated (though she was gulping nothing more than club soda and orange juice). She was an exciting person. She had the quality of a young girl–the kind of little miss you know isn’t very attractive right now, but someday would be a hellcat.

Finally, Jo-Jay wound down. Or at least, Matthew assumed she did–because he passed out on his cushion in exhaustion.

The next afternoon, the Lincoln airport was opened. Matthew looked for Paul, who apparently had already departed.

So he reached over to hug Jo-Jay and asked, “Where are you off to?”

“San Francisco,” she replied.

Matthew crinkled his brow. “Well, that’s where I’m going.”

Jo-Jay jumped up and down like a little girl and said, “I know, I know. I bought the seat next to you.”

“Don’t you have somewhere to go?” asked Matthew.

“Now I do,” said Jo-Jay. “You see, one of the things about my Duke is that he had a fascination about the Galilean.”

“Galilean?” asked Matthew.

“Jesus,” replied Jo-Jay. “He never called him Jesus. He referred to him as the Galilean because most of his life was spent near the Sea of Galilee. The Duke believed that this Galilean had the solution to mankind’s problems because he refused to let us escape the philosophical juggernaut statement, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Matthew peered at her. “So you’re coming with me to. . .?”

“To. . .” Jo-Jay paused also. “To see where it goes.”

Matthew gave her a quick hug, then pulled back, admiring her like she was a kid sister. “So here’s to wherever the hell it goes.”

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Catchy (Sitting Five) Michael…Row — July 9th, 2017

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Michael Hinston was a first-term congressman from the state of Ohio, representing farmers, bankers, mothers, daughters and computer technicians.

He certainly had the background. Raised on a farm in rural Ohio, he had graduated in the upper twelve per cent of his high school class and ended up two years at Ohio University in Athens working and struggling because of a lack of scholarships and financial aid. He transferred in his junior year to Ohio State.

He always knew what he wanted to do–work in a business long enough to build up neighborhood recognition so he could enter politics. Therefore his major was business with a minor in political science. He purposely took one semester of graduate school so, in conversations, he could allude to pursuing his Master’s Degree. For a time, he worked as an investment consultant with D. R. Smithers—the one with the large moose in their ads—with the aspiration of making contacts with the more wealthy and elite, attempting to build a database of future contributors to his campaigns.

He got married at the age of twenty-five, fulfilling statistics without much of a biological urge, to a young woman named Rachel, who was the perfect political wife. She was smart, semi-attractive, well-educated, well-bred, doting, loyal, with a good business sense and willing to bear enough children to qualify as a family, which in this case, ended up being two daughters, Alisa and Bernice (A and B–easy for the electorate to remember).

It was a well-formulated plan by a well-organized man living in a time when well-meaning was … well, everything.

Michael carefully made selections for his life–the right church, the right clubs, the right car, and the right schools for his girls.

Mr. Michael Hinston worked a plan. He was a habit resembling a creature. He never went to the grocery store without a list and never started his car without knowing where he was going. Perfection was in sight.

That is, until his wife, Rachel, met Connie.

Rachel and Connie became fast friends because their husbands were men busy grinding away. They worked together, played together, laughed together and eventually made love together. Two women in their early thirties found out that they were more attracted to softer hands and softer lips and were willing to jeopardize the softer lifestyle.

When Rachel told Michael of her love affair with Connie, he just sat and stared at her. She looked for twinges of anger and signs of disappointment, but what she sensed in Michael was bewilderment.

Michael was dumbfounded. He had recently been elected to the school board—his first political venture, but this diddling by his spouse was not in the plan. He was stymied. Where does a lesbian wife fit in to the great scheme to be elected to the U.S. Congress?

“You really don’t care that I love a woman, do you?” Rachel was incensed.

“Oh, I care,” responded Michael. “I’m just trying to figure out how we could work it into the grid.”

Rachel resigned from being part of Michael’s master plan. She packed her bags and moved with Connie to California, where girl love is a thing.

Michael and Connie’s husband formulated a story. Their wives had temporarily moved to the Golden State to open up a coffee shop. They knew the tale would not hold up very long.

So Michael consulted with his campaign manager, who also happened to be the local high school football coach, Mack Johnson.

Mack offered a suggestion. “Now that your wife is with Connie, it will be no time at all before the public will know that Rach has become a titty-bobber.”

Michael nodded, not sure what a “titty-bobber” was. He was less pessimistic. Rachel was obsessive, having once eaten oysters for six days straight. Perhaps she would lose her taste for lady.

Mac continued. “I would suggest that you go ahead and run for city council before this story breaks, because people will be much more tolerant of a city councilman having a lesbo wife than a school board member.”

This made sense to Michael. He waited a couple of months and ran for city council, which he won handily against, ironically, a lesbian candidate campaigning on “equal pay for the gay” in the workplace.

 

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … April 23rd, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Not all men are gay.

 

Dear Man: Of course not.

 

Dear Woman: Not all women are lesbians.

 

Dear Man: Is this some sort of homophobic rant?

 

Dear Woman: No, not at all. My point is, men get along really well with each other without sex, as do women.

 

Dear Man: That’s why society insists that men and women have differences which create incompatibility.

 

Dear Woman: No, that’s wrong. That’s not the reason. The reason is that heterosexual men and women lead with sex. They try to find a passion of romance instead of a reason for conversation. So in the gay or lesbian community, they have the same problem. They fight like cats and dogs, just like heterosexuals.

 

Dear Man: Well, actually it would be cats and cats, and dogs and dogs…

 

Dear Woman: Very cute. Our culture has taught us to look at the opposite sex as a means for gratifying our physical needs. And then we wonder, when the thrill of that sexuality plays out, why people grow disinterested.

 

Dear Man: Well, how would you change that? Men are always going to look at women as potential partners in the bedroom. And women do the same thing in their own style.

 

Dear Woman: It doesn’t have to be that way. Men who aren’t gay still have passion for each other if they become involved in a common cause–like war, family, politics, sports, business…

 

Dear Man: Well, women, too.

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. But it works because the passion is always in the third position, not the primal one. If you try to get football players worked up to win a game, and they have no business or friendship with each other, nothing clicks.

 

Dear Man: I see what you mean. You’re saying that the problem is that we advertise sex so much in this country, that once the impact of the original fling is over, we have no real interest, so we terminate the overwrought passion.

 

Dear Woman; I couldn’t have said that better myself. Whether you’re religious or not, the tale of the Garden of Eden does lay it out correctly, and shows where things went astray. God gave Adam and Eve business and friendship, and He assumed that passion and family would spawn from that. But the minute Adam saw Eve, he was sexually drawn to her, and because the relationship was “bone and flesh,” as he put it, they didn’t develop the business and friendship that was necessary to keep them from falling apart.

 

Dear Man: That’s wild. And so true. So at a very early age we should have boys and girls work together, develop friendships, and then see what sparks in passion.

 

Dear Woman: It’s why when people have affairs, they usually happen with someone they work with. The work stimulates closeness which leads to a friendship with laughter and interaction, lending itself to passion. But if you start off with passion, you’ve got nowhere to go.

 

Dear Man: Or you end up trying to force a friendship and a business.

 

Dear Woman: So even though folks think it’s immoral, people living together before marriage might be a successful project, if there was no sex involved. They could prove that working their business together could grow into a deep-rooted friendship.

 

Dear Man: So if it begins with passion, it will soon lose its fashion.

 

Dear Woman: You rhymed!

 

Dear Man: I’d like to say I did it on purpose, but that would be a lie.

 

Dear Woman: We begin with business–a common goal, which leads to friendship–a common feeling, and ends up with passion–a common pleasure.

 

Dear Man: I like that. Common goal, common feeling, common pleasure. If we take that path, we are constantly feeding the excitement for one another with the new experiences of our business and friendship.

 

Dear Woman: And if we don’t, we’re depending on our bodies to keep it interesting.

 

Dear Man: That’s too much to ask of “any-body.”

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