Last year I declared 2015 the year of the pull up. Well, fuck. Didn’t that go somewhat astray? I don’t know if I can do a pull up without assistance–probably not but certainly close. Long story short, the year of the pull up declaration turned into something bigger than I had imagined it would. I know I can pull up more than my own body weight off the ground… I can almost squat my own body weight. I can bench over half my own body weight. I’m pleased with those numbers. Pull ups turned into powerlifting — and I’m really cool with that. Resolutions are about finding ourselves–improving on what’s already pretty damned good.
But first, the retelling of the story–for the 17th year now. Why Valentine resolutions?
Because, my lovelies… I hope to someday find someone else to make them, too.
Cue Scenes from an Italian Restaurant… that’s where is started. A beautifully lit Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s lower East Side on a slightly snowy December evening–probably a Thursday because Rich flew on Friday. It was our Christmas dinner–and Rich loved the place because of the wine. We went to the places Rich liked–he paid. He handed me two tomes. I knew he had spent a lot of time considering which books he’d gift me; if it was possible, he was more particular about words than wine. It was that our relationship was founded on months earlier.
I’ve told variations of this story every year, and each year I probably share a little more. Some days I think about the brevity of his life in mine and how powerful it was–and the numerous ways in which it changed me. He told me once, perhaps at that dinner (wine does fade some details), that I was good for him but I often think I’m the one indebted to him. He’s been gone 16 years now and the emptiness that left still hurts.
The first person I called when I learned Rich had died was the other love of my life… and the only other person who would indulge an occasional participation in my Valentine ritual. He left us a few years ago now, too. I continue to carry on the tradition, first awakened in one of those books that snowy eve. Not what one would call a masterpiece of literature (that was the second book), but because I reminded Rich of the main character. It would be years later that I would realize how much and how hard that must have been for him.
But the passage I read in flight that propelled this years long quest, I share again as I do each year:
“Aren’t you mixing this up with New Year’s?”
“Nah. That’s nickel-dime stuff. Smoking-eating-drinking resolutions. These are the — you know — the hardcore, maybe-this-time, kiss-today-goodbye, some-enchanted-evening resolutions.” – Armistead Maupin, More Tales From The City
And now, my resolutions.
Back in November I mentioned a lifelong desire to write a song, and that I felt I needed to learn to play an instrument… or at least learn something more about just the process of words. Net: I wanted to learn guitar. I planned to begin in February. She said no, and lent me her old guitar to start now. And so I did. My grandfather wrote songs on the guitar; I want to connect with that legacy in my own way.
Stemming from that, and in honor of the friend who once got several members of the gay men’s chorus to attempt to teach me to sing around a piano in a bar, I will face one of my biggest fears and take voice lessons. I am fairly certain I won’t ever be a great vocalist, but I want to learn.
Montana. I’ve been saying for the last eight years I would visit. I’ll actually work on plans to really do that in the next year. I have my reasons.
Since this is my first blog post in months; I will plan out a new writing plan. My last one failed in 2015. I was ok with that. It was a hard decision but I am ready to write again.
Oh, and yeah, I will write a song this year. It probably won’t be great, or even very good. But it will be real.
This years resolutions are a bit heavy–so let’s also say I vow to try blue hair at some point in the year.
Until next year…be the change.