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March 30th, 2024

Out Of It

This was something of an ad hoc trip to California. The initial plan was to wait until August maybe and do the road trip there and back then, after I’d had a chance to do Disney World around Gay Days. But then I lucked out on getting a Disneyland annual pass and that combined with the depressed state I was in after February/March gave me motivation to do California now, and work in a trip to Disneyland along with it.

I really needed something to pull me out of the gray dismal state of mind I was in, and I thought a stay with my brother and a nice road trip would pull me out of it. It hasn’t. I’m still pretty depressed. I can’t seem to work up a head of steam for any artwork or photography, though I’ve brought all my tools with me.  I’m just vegetating here like I was back home. I try to sit down and draw something, I put down a few lines and then I can’t go on. I haven’t touched my cameras since I’ve been here. It almost feels like that period back in the 1980s/90s where I stopped doing any art because I couldn’t stand to look at what was coming out of me. But it isn’t that exactly. I want to work, the energy just isn’t there. I feel like nothing inside.

I know what it is. Or at least I think I do. It’s end of life depression. Any hope I might have ever had for a love life is in the rear view mirror now. I’m 70 years old, and I’m seeing all those jokes about old men losing interest coming true for me now. I’m a heart patient, I’m on drugs that keep my blood pressure and heart rate down. I’ve no stamina anymore, but a lot of that might well be I just don’t keep myself active. The sexual interest is evaporating. My libido, which was never a hot volcanic chamber of magma to begin with, is shutting down. I will have walked from one end of an adult life to another without ever finding a lover, a true love, even if just for a short time. Just a lot of near misses in the rear view mirror, and gay friends who really didn’t care about the human I am and the life within me.

Theoretically, I’ve had a wonderful life. I got to be part of the space program. I spent 23 year immersed in space and science and all the wonders therein. My signature has been in space three times, on posters the astronauts took with them into orbit that we all signed…a small thing but a very very cool thing. I got to speak with the astronauts and listen to their stories firsthand, along with lectures given us by the scientists and astronomers working a Space Telescope. I was a part of all that. I have a little house of my own, and a car I’d always dreamed of owning. I have a small, but surprisingly (to me) excellent body of artwork and photography to look back on. I did photojournalism at some major political events in Washington DC. My photos and political cartoons were published in local papers across the country. I have screen credit as Associate Producer and for Still Photography, and an entry in the Internet Movie Database. You could say I’ve had an interesting an amazing life.

I’d trade it all, like Alexander Hergensheimer in Heinlein’s Job – A Comedy of Justice, and wash dishes for eternity for a boyfriend, a spouse to come home to, that I could have and hold. But fate does not give us those sorts of choices, and I feel like I’ve lived a completely worthless life. Remembering the gay “friends” who basically told me to my face that I’m too ugly to have those kinds of hopes doesn’t help my mental state. I trusted them. It was a mistake. But I always got left behind. Somehow, despite everything I had to offer as a friend and lover, everyone seemed to know I wasn’t worthy. I try to hold on to what I know about the person I am, and that yes I was, but it’s a lost cause now. I’m 70, everything that might have happened is in the rear view mirror now, and it’s all lost to me. I can’t not know at this point, that it will never happen to me.

It’s very hard to care about anything now.


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