Author Topic: Shakesthegrounds Rumblings  (Read 925030 times)

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Shakesthegrounds Rumblings
« on: April 08, 2006, 02:35:30 pm »
My own "Brokeback Mountain" began in 1996, and is now drawing to a close.

Back in the time people were just begining to get online, I met Curt. We did not meet online, we met the old fashion way-phone sex. I lived in Virginia, he in Tennessee, not too far from where I had gone to college. After talking a few times we agreed to meet, part way in between, in Roanoke, Virginia. We spent the night together ther, and then I took him to my house, where we spent a rainy afternoon laying in bed. He told me later: "I didn't know a rainy day could be so nice".

We hit it off from the start, we had many things in common. We were both 33, I was in fact, only about 20 hours older than him. Our life experences had been remarkably similar, with the exception that he had been married, and was currently seperated from a wife. I had never been married. I fell for him like the proverbial ton of bricks. I, who had always been so cautions decided the hell with it. I rushed in and declared my love for him before the weekend was over. What was the worst that could happen?

Our relationship lasted about a month. Long distants phone calls every night, finding the best long distance plan for "us". Letters, written every day and anticipated every evening when I got home. Curt was a jack of all trades, working for his brother in law in a family business that included a marina, a trailer park and several construction ventures. he had plans to build a house for us on the shore of Cherokee Lake in East Tennessee. He told me about his houseboat, named "Night fever" after the BeeGees song (he was a huge fan). He had plans for us to go to Atlanta for New Years, he even had his drivers license renewed years ahead of time so his picture would include a necklas of mine he wore.

I also saw inconsistancies in his personality that concerned me. I noticed that if we were discussing something and he didn't get an answer he anticipated, he would sulk, he would stew and suddenly he would be over it. It was a challenge, but I was ready to face it. I loved him. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

We got together about the end of September, and by the middle of October I went to visit him in Tennessee. I met his mother, who lived next door to him and to whom he was extraordinarilly devoted, I met a couple of his sisters, and his brother in law, a stand-offish country boy entrepenure. He carried me on rides thru the country in his gigantic 1975 Powder Blue Lincoln Town Car that he loved, as we were unable to go out on the boat due to wind. The radio was tuned to a country station, and the song of the day was Deanna Carter's "Strawberry Wine".

Everytime we parted, it got harder. We would both cry, but I was positive thru it, I belived in what I thought we had. That parting was especially painful. We were planning to see one another the following weekend I consoled myself.

We talked thru that week and that Friday night he agreed to help out a friend by taking their shift at an all night conveinence store near his home. I knew it would throw off his system. I talked to him that morning when he got home, he was upset with his brother in law over something. He was going to go talk to him about it.

Later in the day I received word from him he had got in a fight with said brother in law and was no longer working for him. I was shocked by the news and felt like it would past, but proposed an alternative: bring all your stuff and come stay with me. He had to think about it, think about a great many things. I didn't think he would take me up on it unless his mother could come along with him. She would have been welcome. I told him I hoped he didn't mind Sunday mornings I usually went and ate breakfast with my mother. I had no idea what I was handing him.

I didn't hear from him later. It was halloween and I went to the party we'd been invited to by myself. I got no reponce to my calls. The next day I tried his mother, no answer. I called his sister, she was upset with him I could tell. She told me he had problems, this was not the first time he had shut out everyone. The following week, I got the letter. Curt accused me of never loving him. He accused me of being ashamed of who I was because my mother did not know about our relationship. He said he could not continue like this in such an unfair state.

I wrote him back, not addressing any of his off the wall comments. I simply told him he had completely broke my heart. The phone calls start not long thereafter. I got home and saw theywere comming at a frequency of one every two minutes. Then the phone rang. When I answered I could hear him crying on the other end. "I had no idea you really loved me" he said.

I told him I couldn't undertand how he had no idea, I told him every chance I got. Demonstrated it when ever we were together. I told him I thought he had a problem and he should get help for it.

"I am not crazy" he said sternly.

"I'm not saying you are, I am saying we all need help from time to time and I think you could benefit from it." He repeated that he was not crazy and that he was going now.

The following week I received a very "curt" (no pun) letter saying this would be the last contact we would have, that I needed to be true to myself, yada, yada. Fine. I had taken the risk, I knew now what the worse that could happen was. I was very sad for weeks there after. I packed up every sign of him into a box and put it in my closet. I raked the leaves and wondered how I could go thru the rest of my life without him in it, knowing he was out there, out of reach.

Time past, and a few months later I met someone at a Winter Solstice Party. He gave me a ride home and I asked myself if I were still on the rebound. "No" I decided. We began our relationship, which was totally different than my earlier experence.

Then the cards started.

The first one came in the early spring. Curt said simply "Thank you for being my friend". Okay, fine, I was not taking the bait.

A month or so later a letter arrived, it was sad. He said his life was a mess and he had no one to blame but himself. He said he couldn't  even talk to his own mother about it, and she had cancer. I sensed he was sorry, but had decided he was probably bi-polar, and I had moved on with my life. I decided the best thing to do was nothing.

The last one was a birthday card. "I hope this year is your best ever" he wrote. The following day was his birthday. I sent him no reply, and silence ensued. He had finally got the message.

Years rolled by, I couldn't tell you were the time went. I grew and matured. My relationship had its ups and downs. I buried a sister, I buried friends. In 1999 while in Rome I thought about sending him a post card telling him how much he would enjoy it there, if his mind would let him get on a plane, one of his paranoias. I decided that was too mean a thing for me to do even from another continent.

In the 21st century "googling" people became a way to kill time. I located many a college buddy thru their websites, but when I googled Curt's name, nothing. Not even a white pages look up turned up anything. I would check ocasssionally, and then one day, on a whim, I checked the Social Security Death Index. There he was. He had died on the first day of February, 2000.

I was so sad, for days. I had told my partner about him, I explained to him it was a strange sadness I felt. I didn't really know how to feel. He had  been the love of my life at one point, but that had been long ago.  I resolved that when I went out there again for my alumni weekend, I would take an afternoon and drive down there and see if I could find his family. What had happened to him, I wondered. Did he had Aids? Was he murdered? Was he killed in in some sort of accident? Did I really want to know?

Alumni weekend came, and I got so rip roaring drunk the first night there it ruined the whole weekend and I came home Sunday, angry with myself about that and other things. The following year I didn't get drunk, but it just was not conveinent for me, I wanted to hang out with my friends, people I reasoned who had not turned their back on me, so why should I go try to find out about Curt, who had?

The next summer I thought I would pass thru there as I was returning fom a cross country road trip. By then time I saw the exit sign on the interstate, all I could think about was getting home that night. When alumni weekend came that year, I didn't even consider it. I just won't know-I told myself-let it be a mystery.

Then I saw Brokeback Mountain.

The film effected me in many ways, on many levels. I deffinatly identified with Ennis Del Mar, minus the kids. One of the things I had brought up for me was the unresolved mystery of what had happened to my old boyfriend. It was closing in on six years since he had died. I felt guilty about not knowing. The time had come for me to go to Tennessee.

The boyfriend of 9 years was was going to be out of town that weekend, so I told him what I had decided finally to do. He knew this was a serious matter for me and asked how he could support me. I told him to pray. Pray I found some answers, pray that no one would be hurt or offended by my intrusion. He said he would. On a friday afternoon when the office was having its basement painted, I took off early and hit the road. I drove straight there, four hours without stopping. It was a beautiful clear January afternoon and as I climbed the mountains the sunset on the Blue Ridge was golden, and I felt like I was passing thru a veil. Passing back in time, in a sense.

I drove down I 81, finally reaching Morristown just before the interstate ran out. I got me a room at the holliday in, and starting with the big boned woman at the desk, I wanted to ask everyone I saw if they knew my friend. After I unpacked, I got back in my car and headed north on Rt. 25, passed places I had seen only once before in my life and remembered. I crossed the bridge that crosses Cherokee Lake, passing into Grainger County. A short distance ahead was the little strip mall where the brother in law's enterprises had been head quartered. Behind it, the Marina, the floating dock where Night Fever had once been moored. The lake was low, just as it had been that October in 1996.

Next to it, the conveinence store where he had worked that faithful 3rd shift that was his undoing, now dark and empty  Down the road from it, the road leading into the former trailer park, now planted with cheap houses and doublewides, all less than 9 years old. I could tell where he used to live, but not how. I went back out to the main road to a new conveinence story, and got me a bottle of beer.

Ahead of me in line, a redneck woman hollered at her 4 year old son: "Travis, c'mon if your coming with me." I glanced over across the way at the littleboy, who was actually waving a toy American Flag, a true Rockwell sight. Then I Iooked just past him, to the postcard rack. I left my place in line and passed Travis like a ship in the night.

Whirling the rack about I found what I was looking for: An aireal view of Cherokee Lake. The tear ducks in my eyes contracted a bit. I knew just what I would do with this 79 cent post card. In the inside of my closet in my bedroom, where Ennis Del Mar had hung two shirts on a nail, I had for years, the poem "Shirt" by Robert Pinsky, taped up, cut from the pages of The New Yorker back when I first moved in. Curt had thought it was the funniest thing he had ever seen the first time he saw it. This post card would keep it company, in my closet.

As I drove back to the Holliday Inn, the local public radio station WETS, played New Orleans Jazz funeral music, the joyous sound you hear when the procession leaves the cemetary, affirming the life that goes on. I thought it totally appropriate.

The following day I did not want to leave the room.

I got my stuff packed, I loaded the car and went to turn in my key and eat breakfast in the resturant off the lobby. I was paranoid, I felt like people were looking at me. I wondered if Curt had ever ate there, had this building even been here during his life? After the waitress took my order I was left in a deserted dining room with no newspaper, no TV, no company but my own thoughts. I used the time to pray. I prayed for the strenght to carry out what I had come there for. I prayed that I would be well received and that no one would be hurt my mission. I prayed for the strenght to deal with what I may come to know, potentially life changing information.

It was a perfect day, sunny, almost spring like. I retraced my steps from the night before. I saw more things in the light of day that I remembered, the flea market, closed for the winter. I drove around Cherokee Park, where he had driven me, and took pictures of the Marina from the other side of the lake. Then I crossed that bridge and went to the Marina. A woman was putting garbage in a dumpster. I drove past her and went down to the waters edge. It was a calm day, a good day to go out on a house boat, but no one to take me. I debated weather or not I could live with just seeing the sights of this place again with out talking to anyone about the hard things. The woman at the dumpster did not seem threatening. I decided I would ask her.

When asked if she had know him, she asked me if he had lived there at the marina. I said he had some, on his boat. She said the name sounded familar, but I should go up to the office and ask David, he would know. I backed the car up and parked it next to a boat with it motor in a thousand pieces. A guy talking to another guy with a kid seemed like he would be the one, and he was. I told him who I was and that I was a friend of Curt's and I had "recently" found out he had passed away. I was hoping he could tell something about it.

We went inside his office. He was silent for a short while, looking for the words to give me. He was nervous. I was nervous. I felt like the shit was about to hit the fan.

"I Love Curt like a brother" he started. This was strange. I was actually talking to someone who knew him. It felt weird.

"He was the best. Talented, he worked around here and they was nothing he couldn't do" David continued. "But at the same time he'd stay mad at me for a week if he thought I didn't say good morning to him like he thought I should" Oh yes, he knew Curt. He said he remembered me, I had been at his house once. It dawned on me. This was his brother in law, whose name I had long forgot and who no longer looked or acted like I remembered. He was friendly, and nervous, and dealing with emotions of his own.

"Can you tell me what happened?" I asked.

He had to think. "Hepititis" he replied. "Not even the bad kind. He was just so obstinate he wouldn't go to the doctor when he should have" it was belevable. He did not know where he was buried, could not recall it at all. He said he knew who would know, and pulled out his cell phone. He called Curt's sister, now his x-wife of four years, in Florida. He told he: "I got somebody here that drove a long way that wants to talk to you".

I told his sister who I was, and she said she could almost see my face. She sounded upbeat,  much better than the last time I had talked to her. I told her I had learned that her brother had died sometime back and I wanted to offer my belated condolences to her and her family. I told her he was special to me and she appreciated that. They were close. She said she had stayed with him until the end, and the last week of his life, she said, in the hospital, he found peace. The chips on his soulders had fallen away. The fears he had vanished. He had always been afraid of thunderstorms. That week it stormed one night and he laid there, enjoying it. I wondered about that. I went back in my mind to a rainy afternoon in 1996.  Wondered why she would pick that memory to mention. She sounded relived that he had reached that point. "He was in a better place." she said of that time. I knew what kind of death he had, a slow agonizing failure of the liver that my father had acheived with a lifetime of drinking. But he was at peace, he had reached a point of acceptance. In a way, I was relived.

I asked her where he had been buried, she told me he had been cremated, like he had asked for. The ashes, went to his wife. The wife he had never divorce. The wife I had forgotten about. She gave me her sister in laws phone number. I thanked her and told her this ment a lot to me and that I wished her and her family well. The number had an east Tennessee area code, I put it in my pocket. Contacting his wife would be another matter.

Thanking David, I left the marina, and headed north on Rt. 25, stopping up the road where a dry arm of Cherokee Lake came right up to the road. I pulled over and from a bag in the trunk I got a decade old cigar. Still wrapped in  celophane  I knew it would crumble when I opened it. I took the dry bits of tobacco and scattered it to the wind.  An offering in the tradition of our native ancestors we had never know, but were fiercly proud of. I quietly sang to no one the lines of a Deanna Carter song:

"I still remember
when thrity was old
my biggest fear was September
When he had to go"

I thanked him for being my friend and I told him goodbye. There was nothing left for me there. On up the road I went, headed north on Rt. 11W, headed home. Teddy Thompson singing :

"I smoke
Old stogies I have found
Short,
But not to big around"

I said a prayer of thanks. It had gone better than I could have ever imagined. The andorphins were loose in my system. I felt confident, I had made the right decision for the time. I wished it could have been different, but it was not ment to be. It was a beautiful day for a ride, and was dark by the time I reached home.

By Sunday, I was worried about my partner, who I had not heard from since Thursday.  When he finally called I answered the phone: "There you are" After some small talk he asked how it had gone. I began to tell him, and suddenly the words would not come. Only tears, only wails. I could not understand it. My partner told me he wished he was there to hold me. "I wish you were, too" I replied. I cried most of the afternoon.     

I did a reverse look up of the phone number, and got the name and address of Curt's wife. I wrote her a letter. I thought that would be better than calling her out of the blue, catching her at a bad time. I told her the same things I had told his sister, offered my condolences. I told her he had ment a lot to me, but didn't deep into it. I asked if there was a place his ashes were scattered or buried, I would like to go there and pay my respects to him. I never heard back from her. It is not the end of the world.

In the end, I don't see myself as Ennis Del Mar. My path is different, I am immensely luckier than he.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=lewis&GSfn=curtis+&GSmn=estil+&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=24574197&
« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 08:02:11 pm by Shakestheground »
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline iristarr

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Re: Shakesthegrounds Rumblings
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2006, 09:43:15 pm »
What a sad and beautiful life tale.  You are so brave to share it with us all -- an example of the transforming power of love and forgiveness we are in touch with through our shared BBM experiences.  Sending you love and gratitude, Iris.
Ennis and Jack, the dogs, horses and mules, a thousand ewes and their lambs flowed up the trail like dirty water through the timber and out above the tree line into the great flowering meadows and the endless coursing wind.

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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It manifests itself often
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 05:11:04 pm »
Thank you Iris, for your kind words. I read what I wrote here and it seems like someone else wrote it.

I find BBM sneeking into my daily consciousness. i sell real estate and the other day I was at this house to get a listing and the 73 year old childless widow who had inherited it from her mother was going on and on about all the family "stuff" and there were no men left to take the tools, etc., she told me about all of them, how they lived, how they died, and I was getting pressed for time. I was trying to be polite and figure out a way to stay on task when I realized that this woman, like Ennis Del mar, was in a situation she could not fix, and she was having to stand it. (The difference was she would talk, and talk and talk and talk). I unclinched my teeth and settled back. We all have our cross to bear, and I could afford a few minutes for someone who could be me one day.
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Shakesthegrounds Rumblings
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 10:43:06 am »
What a moving story. Everybody needs to get resolution. One thing I noticed that you often hope that no one will be hurt by your actions. That is so touching but yet, I hope the thought of possibly hurting or offending someone doesn't hold you back from doing what you need to do. As I grow older one thing I've learned is that you have to stand up for what you need to be happy, nobody else is going to do it for you, and trying to do without never works in the long run. Do you know what I mean?
Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Shakesthegrounds Rumblings
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 05:56:44 am »
Thank you for allowing me to read this.  I was also struck by your concern and courtesy for the other people involved.

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Re: Shakesthegrounds Rumblings
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2006, 06:34:59 am »
Such a sad, but beautiful story.

I am so touched by the number of poignant examples, like this one, of real life illustrations of the story of Ennis and Jack.  Annie Proulx said in an interview that after the story was published the first time she received many, many letters filled with bittersweet tales  of men thanking her for telling their story.

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Shakesthegrounds Rumblings
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2006, 12:12:12 pm »
Thank you all for your kind words, they mean a lot to me. I guess the years spent in the closet have taught me to be overly considerate of how others might react to me. I can reall identify with Eniis sitting at the table with John Twist, who wouldn't even look at him. I have been in the situation of offering my condolences to some one who was offended by my very presence. Not always, but it happens.

Something crossed my mind last night about the story I'd like to comment on, and I'll warn you it might get graphic.

In the short story there is this whole part about Ennis remembering Jack tell about his father urinating on him. He tells that his father was uncircumcised and to quote: "I seen they cut me different" refering to his father foreskin. Then she goes on to the shirts, which she describes as: "the pair like two skins, one inside the other".

So it this some kind of intentional symbolism? She is such a deep writer that when scratc the surface you might realize your looking at a whole nother piece of the puzzle.

I will be getting back to work now. I am headed out of town next week for a trip to Boulder, Colorado, with a side trip to Laramie, Wyoming. Hope to have lunch at the Fireside grill where Matthew Shepard left from his faithful evening.
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: Shakesthegrounds Rumblings
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2006, 11:25:36 am »
Thought for the day: The name of the pience of music that plays when Ennis is going back up to the sheep the next morning, and when he returns to Riverton with the shirts in his truck is "He Who Looks For The Truth" by 21 Grams. I just love Brokeback Mountain Radio, it plays on my lap top at my desk all day, and fits the mood I find myself in these days.

I am excitedly getting thru the day, in anticipation of my trip tomorrow, I am flying out of Charlotte to Boulder, Colorado. Will spend about 5 days there, with a side trip to Laramie, Wyoming. We just had a thunder storm pass over, I hope the skys will be clear tomorrow.
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Matthew Shepard and Laramie, Wyoming
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2006, 08:01:19 pm »
I feel sorry for the State of Wyoming, in a way.

After the first publication of the tragic love story Brokeback Mountain, the little college town of Laramie, Wyoming, was in the world spotlight for the murder of Matthew Shepard. One might be left with the impression that Wyoming is place where it is not safe to be gay. I can't imagine it is any more unsafe than the rest of the world, and can't really speak to that. I would have to spend more time there than I have.

Last week I had the extraordinary opportunity to go to Boulder to read from the 52 year long diary of a gay man who lived in Washington, D.C. the first half of the 20th century. His neice, who inherited the work, has lived there for 36 years. But that is another story. After days of decipering tiny handwriting, I took a break and drove up to Laramie, Wyoming. I wanted to see the countryside, and I wanted to pay my respects to Matthew Shepard and his sacrifice.

I knew already I would be unable to visit the place where he was found, beaten and tied to a rail fence. The property owners and the Shepard family had worked together to remove the fence sometime back to prevent it from becoming a tourist destination and a place homophobes could vandalize. I did know, from reading and watching the stage production and the film "The Laramie Project" that Matthew had met his admitted killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, at a bar called The Fireside Inn.

Driving north from Boulder on Rts.119 and 287, finally escaping the sprawl of Ft. Collins and its strip malls and McMansions, I was let loose into the wide open space I love so well. It was cold, and it was windy and the mountains in the distance still had snow on them. In some crevases the snow lingered. The cows and calfs didn't seem to mind it. The air was dry and my lips were chapped and once I crossed into Wyoming (humming "King of the Road", of course) I stopped at the tiny roadside town of Tie Siding, a couple of store that doubled as a post office and antique store. The old gas pumps out front still with nozzels in place, but the rubber hose long gone. Relief came in the form of imitation chapstick, which would do until I found the real stuff. I was real tempted to buy an antique Wyoming license plate for $35, but had enough stuff to carry home as it was. 

Driving into town I saw the Chamber of Commerce. I decided to stop there and ask where to find the Fireside Inn. The two young ladies at the front desk were very plesant. The one speaking, I know from her facial expression, knew why I was asking about it, but was very professional and I thanked her. I feel her pain and the pain of those who have to endure the rest of thier lives the legacy of McKinney and Henderson, two of their own who put them on the map in the worst possible way. The bar was close by, at the corner of 2nd and Custer.

It does not stand out, it fits in well with its suroundings. Probably built when Johnson was in the White House, the most remarkable thing about the building is its mod 1960's beer glass shaped sign that advertizes everything but its name. You can tell where it should be, but it is not there. It did not open until 3 pm the day I was there, I read on a sign advertizing a live band that would soon appear. On the side walk I found some spilled gravels, the red stone variety native to that country, suggesting something that had been plowed up with the snow and left upon the side walk like a glacial erratic when it melted. I pocketed a couple of them, and set out to explore the town.

I bought me a "new" outfit at the Good Will at the far end of the street. Black Jeans and a button down print shirt for $6.00. Can't beat it. This part of town near the rail road tracks featured a boarded up theater, Majestic Elks Lodge, several gentrified shops and resturants and coffee houses. And, not far from the Fireside, an small park, with a monument to Louisa Swain.

Now who is Louisa Swain, you might ask? She was a 70 year old woman, who on 6 September 1870,  became the very first woman in American History to cast a vote, one block away. The incription to the statue of her explained that in 1869 Wyoming became the first state or territory to grant women equal voting rights. They still could not vote in federal elections until 1920, but in Wyoming, they could elect all their state and local candidates. The statue of her looks like a frail, terrified Mary Todd Lincoln looking woman with ringletts and the standard issue bonnet. I need to know more about this woman, I decided.

The University of Wyoming, where Matthew was a student, sits on the other side of town, a sprawling campus. I visited the Student Union, a place where he would have walked and shopped and ate, where I checked my email. The students of Matthews' day are long gone, with careers and growing families of their own. There were a couple of tables set up for Veterans for Peace, who were selling buttons and another for students organizing an AIDS walk the following Saturday. They had a table covered with condoms, all free. I pocketed one, with the realization that it was in a way an affirmation I would have a reason to use it, which I found pleasing. I drove past the court house where Matthew's father, Dennis Shepard, gave his historic and empassioned speach, condeming Aaron McKinney to a life in prison, which I quote, in part:

" I would like nothing better than to see you die, Mr. McKinney. However, this is the time to begin the healing process. To show mercy to someone who refused to show any mercy. To use this as the first step in my own closure about losing Matt. Mr. McKinney, I am not doing this because of your family. I am definitely not doing this because of the crass and unwarranted pressures put on by the religious community. If anything, that hardens my resolve to see you die. Mr. McKinney, Iím going to grant you life, as hard as that is for me to do, because of Matthew. Every time you celebrate Christmas, a birthday, or the Fourth of July, remember that Matt isnít. Every time that you wake up in that prison cell, remember that you had the opportunity and the ability to stop your actions that night. Every time that you see your cell mate, remember that you had a choice, and now you are living that choice. You robbed me of something very precious, and I will never forgive you for that. Mr. McKinney, I give you life in the memory of one who no longer lives. May you have a long life, and may you thank Matthew every day for it."
Lincoln said, at Gettysburg, the world will little remember the things that are said and done at a particular place and time. Laramie is no exception. I saw no memorial to Matthew Shepard there. Perhaps somewhere on the University campus there is, or a scholarship or some such. But there is no mention of him that I could see. Perhaps it is too soon yet. I would estimate Louisa Swain's memorial to be less than a decade old. Those people in Laramie suffered, horribly, in the spotlight of that murder and the spotlight it cast upon them. The subsequent play and film about the experence may have brought some closure to some involved with the case. These are good people. There are people who were ahead of their time with regard to women's rights, I don't condemn them. Matthew Shepard is ledgend now. His life documented and examined and laid bare. Laramie, Wyoming being the place it ended. There needs to be some kind of acknowledgement of that, it cries out for it.
On the way out of town I stopped at a conveinence store and got the real thing for my lips. The woman at the register, reading the local classified ads commented on the advertizement of an Alligator for sale for $100.00: "That is just wrong" she said, "on so many levels."
         
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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The Story on CD
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2006, 05:15:22 pm »
My local library got a copy of the story story Brokeback Mountain, on CD, read by Campbell Scott, a talented actor and son of George C. Scott, he was the cancer patient in DYING YOUNG. I was surprised I had to get on a waiting list for it.

Today I walked into the branch and proudly told them who I was and what was reserved for me, by name. I got in my car, turned off my phone, and at nearly $3.00 a gallon, I drove and listened. The story poured out to me, and although I had read it, I enjoyed hearing it told to me. In someways the story tells so much more, tells better how these two men felt for one another. For an hour he read to me, and still, it came out the same. A lonely man caught somewhere betwixt what he knows and what he feels.

Check and see if your library has it, and patronize them, they have thousands of stories just as powerful as Brokeback Mountain, waiting for you.
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."