December 25, 2016
In seventh grade I prayed for wisdom while taking a shit on the toilet and crying about how much pain I was in for wanting a man to live in my body instead of the suffering and the puppy and the girl who did. My body lived in Baytown, TX. The old side of Country Club. A bike ride away from a dead strip mall, humid on the blacktop, holes in that. Praying For Time by George Michael is still the soundtrack for the first time I asked an idol for wisdom. Jesus Christ.
What a year. We get it. You and your friends hate 2016. Even though you sidle up to tragedy every chance you get. Me? Surprised myself. Didn’t give much energy to it. Detached. Mind the gap. I got respect for all of them who passed. David Bowie. Harper Lee. Leonard Cohen. Especially Leonard. Remove my hat and watch my head tilt, Muhammad Ali. Merle Haggard. Didn’t even let the death of the American presidency press me to comment. If this is what the collective conscious needs to gain consciousness, bring it. But I did feel the wind leave my body for a minute when George Michael died tonight.
Wasn’t all that femininity he had to wear; how it looked like the same reason I got called a fag every day for the way I walked, and talked, and the interests I had back then, way before I wanted anyone to know they were right about me. Wasn’t how happy George Michael made my mom with his song at the skate rink. Wasn’t his whole catalogue. Because it wasn’t. Was the way he’d stolen from the radio down to my tape deck, then into the cassette player in the bathroom, then sang Praying For Time while I was on the toilet taking a shit and begging God to give me so much wisdom I couldn’t ever be sad again.
Man, I can’t do Praying For Time tonight. So I put Colter Wall on instead. Sleeping on the Blacktop. Lessen my sense catches up with me.