Arriving in Seattle in the middle 60’s, I found no lasting friends, but my family, about whom I’ll write something soon, found me. For the rest of that decade, besides my academic career, they were the focus of my life. I do regret not having even one close friend from those years, just the family. At least frequent letters to and from Lee in New Orleans were an emotional connection to the world outside the ever-growing family.
In Milwaukee in the summer of 1970 when my wife and I split up, I rather quickly I found gay friends. Make that lovers, who became lasting friends. They’re gone now, Ken and Kenny, my simultaneous loves. Ken and I were close through many decades, particularly the 70’s in DC, until he passed away around 2010. My dancing boy Kenny only survived until around 1994. The plague, of course. Both will be in a future memoire about my Hippie Poet persona.
As far as the 70’s in DC went, Lee/Chas and Ken, from New Orleans and Milwaukee respectively, were my old comrades. As was Charles from Tulane, my platonic partner in the house and myriad interests. I had some very special lovers then, but either the affairs or they themselves ended far too soon. I hope someday that all these lost friends can live again in a memoire about my Courtesan persona.
After a brief sojourn in New York, I arrived in Santa Fe in 1981 as a mature gay gentleman and ran smack dab into my lover/partner of the next 11 years. That’s also a tale that must await a memoire—if I live long enough and the creek don’t rise.
As you may notice, my two high school friends, Cookie and Dennis, and two “lady friends,” Jane and Frances, all mentioned in the previous post, are my only surviving auld friends. However, you couldn’t really call them close after so long and across all the distance.
Besides my family, here in Santa Fe I now have newer close friends. Don, now 83, may qualify as auld, or at least old. He and I met at a gay dinner group years ago and started our own dining tradition most Monday evenings. We share many opinions, concerns, perspectives, previously married backgrounds, and a healthy appreciation of nubile youths. Don is amused that I go out dancing and imagines that some night some guy is going to snap me up. I don’t.
There is one other amigo here in New Mexico you might call auld, or at least viejo, though he’s a bit younger than I. Douglas and I met back in 1981 when he was the roommate of that partner mentioned above, and our friendly association drifted lackadaisically along through the 80’s.
After I got single again in the 90’s, we forged a real, warm friendship, sharing events, trips, and outings all over the place. Witness the silly fact that I call him by affectionate nicknames. He calls himself Doogie, but I’ve gone through Doogaloo and Dugalug to Great Doogly-Moogly (per The Simpsons). All along I’d considered the Dugless One an appealing and interesting Santa Fe new-age type, not too whacked out, and charmingly peace-love and nature connected. Doogie’s spiritual enterprise has long been running a program of intercultural outings called Earthwalks, and he’s focusing on it again in his retirement.
Well, I guess that’s it for any auld friends. Thank goodness I haven’t lost them all yet. Those lost ones are always with me, be they long-time or only temporary human connections. Often when this old dame goes out, like I will tonight to Molly’s Kitchen, they’ll come and ride with me in this old but still kicking body, living again in our dance.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!