Sunday, June 18, 2006

Heat

I wouldn't run the air conditioner at all if I had a choice. Even though it's summer, it's Florida and it's sweltering. I do, though, about a total of once a week, on Friday nights. Can you guess why? Yup, monkeys will do that. It's the night they sleep over and of course they need to be comfortable.

Right now, it's Saturday, and the AC is blasting. I have monkeys all weekend. Sort of a father's day extravaganza/give mom a break weekend. It must be hot out tonight though because I just woke up drenched in sweat, even with it on. Most times now I don't blog at home because my computer's fan goes into jet turbine mode. Because it's hot. But I can't sleep.

Monkeys crashed in the car around 6:30 on the way home after a very long day. I don't know if it was the heat or just general state of being a six year old who's not getting his way, probably some melding of the two, but the Elder Monkey had several nuclear meltdowns. Mainly about selfish things. Sometimes it's hard to keep your cool when everything around you is not, but you realize that you must.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm being too strict. Or not strict enough. Funny how either way can easily go awry. Getting to know your kid's personality is one thing, but learning to adapt to them isn't in any instruction manual you'll ever read. I threw those out long ago. They were rather useless. Adults are pretty much set in their ways. Monkeys will throw their poop at you one second and then ask you for help tying their shoes the next.

Elder Monkey just wandered in and asked if I was coming to bed. In a minute, babe. Now he's snoring while sitting up. Poor guy.

There's lots of talk of pride this month. I've been frantically trying to figure out what I feel about this new pride. It is new to me only because I never paid attention to it before. Tis the month to wave a rainbow flag and have a parade. That's fine. I'm still not comfortable with it enough to really raise my voice. Be careful not to drown in the celebration lest it lose it's meaning. It does happen.

Today (now that I see what time it is) is also Father's Day. I don't know much about being part of a gay culture or community. Of which there is certainly is one. What I can talk about is the broader and completely surreal sensation of raising a miniature version of yourself only to realize they aren't you at all. Talk about putting pride in perspective.

A friend at work is now going to be a new dad. One of the last people I expected to hear that from. For all the jokes and intense whining around my place of work I hear about being married and having kids being the end of your life, he's even said himself that he feels like he's turning into a human being. And it made me proud. It made me smile. Because I know what he's talking about. I totally get it.

It may be an odd correlation, these things, but in this sense I understand where gay pride comes from. Even though I lack the desire of pursuit, I understand it's wildfire mentality. It's power comes from connection, it passes itself on like a chain of dynamite, throwing itself from person to person in a way that makes you feel alive.

Pride is heat. It's explosive, sometimes beautiful, sometimes hurtful and always causes equally heated reaction at the opposite end of it's spectrum. I know because it's certainly hot around here.

As far as I can tell you aren't gay just one month or day out of the year. Like you aren't black or female on one month or one day out of the year. But it's good to be visible, to be jolted, to be reminded. Even though they aren't here all the time, for me Father's Day is 24/7. It's my version of pride. Go figure.

9 comments:

Michael said...

I hope that your father's day goes off amazingly sir.

As to pride? For me it's simply a time where I finally realize (again) that I am so not all alone. Don't need the parade, the parties, the extravaganza (sp?)...just that sense of a little bit of unity ya know?

Sharon said...

Happy Father's Day.

Happy pride.

Flip said...

There's nothing wrong with marching out of pride. And there's nothing wrong with not marching...just being proud. Proud of having the courage to try to figure out who YOU are instead of just trying to decide which parade you should join.

I'm proud of you. And I appreciate the role model you are for me.

Happy Father's Day! And my best to the monkeys.

Marty Gilbert said...

Be proud of yourself. Sit back and look at all you have accomplished as a member of a community and a father.

It takes everbody to make a village you and yes the Monkeys fit in there too.

How about a Fathers day portrait of you and the Monkeys. Id be proud to put that on the wall

Happy Fathers Day Simon

Brad said...

Happy Father's Day to a an honorable man and a great Dad.

Melissa said...

Thank you for being the best dad you can be for your children! Happy Father's Day!

Paul said...

Alden -

Happy Father's Day. Two comments: 1) Isn't it great to have kids! and 2) Isn't it great to have friends!

David said...

While the important ideals of Pride can get lost in a parade, I still go every year, because the feeling, however brief, of belonging, of being part of something larger than myself, that celebrates who I am like no other gorup does, is heady stuff. For those few blocks or however much space the Pride celebration covers, you can look at anyone, smile at anyone, be as gay as you wanna be and you are free.

I went by myself to my first parade 13 years ago and it felt like I was loved by the entire world. If only for one day.

hb jock said...

Hey bud, there's no need to rush into Pride. Sure, Pride is a great thing and it's definitely something that everyone in the gay community should participate in sometime in their life.... but hey, just because I'm gay doesn't mean I'm running out to the local gay pride parade. I am proud of who I am.. and I'm all for celebrating Pride, but my Pride festivities don't always include the parades... it's new to you, so don't sweat it. It'll still be here next year and the year after that and the year after that... the gay community-at-large will make sure of that :)