Thursday, May 25, 2006

All My Cares Just Drift Right Into Space

OK. I lied. I can't go to bed just yet without cranking out another blog entry. I've been too negligent lately with the blogging. Sometimes there's so much I want to blog about - I've been re-re-re-revising my Grand Theory Of Female Bisexuality so much in my head that it's booklength at this point, and it's not going to get blogged about till I'm really in the mood for it.

But sometimes the best blog entries just happen. Greg moved out a couple days ago for the summer - off to internship 8 hours away. And the sublettor doesn't come for a couple more weeks. Which means that the attic - his gorgeous suite - is empty. And it means that any time I want to, I can crawl through the tiny-ass dormer window onto our gently sloping back roof of our DC rowhouse. I sunbathed nude a couple days ago while reading a novel. A couple people drove through the alley, and maybe someone saw me. Oh well.

I got to crawl out on the roof just now and be happy. (It's the place, Carole King's song tells us, where all your cares just drift right into space). I'd had a nice, albeit brief cry for John Lennon (see post below - he deserves one every once in awhile) and sometimes crying for sad things makes me tremendously happy for good things. I had to quit taking Adderall about 3 or 4 weeks ago. I was becoming tolerant, and upping the dose was upping my heart rate & blood pressure, and I didn't want a heart attack. But the Strattera my shrink switched me to is bullshit. It's an antidepressant, basically, that is supposed to help ADHD, but of course it doesn't really work. People who truly have ADHD need stimulant medication. I'm going to have to go back sooner than planned and try to get something Ritalin-based. It's supposed to not give people heart attacks, and it's known to work.

Going without the medication that changed my life irreparably for the better was a reminder of the dysfunction that my life can have when I'm in my non-medicated state. Yeah, I've had a lot of dysfunctional fun while medicated - drugs don't make you do everything "right" - but the type of unwanted dysfunction that you have when you are severely hyperactive and impulsive isn't fun. I need drugs (specific drugs, not the fun ones per se) to keep me regulated, and I'm A-OK with that. I took Adderall the last two days and it was like being fully myself - the real myself, really - again. But I can't stay on it, and I pray that some form of Ritalin will do it for me.

But being able to think again - to function again in a non-head-in-the-clouds way - makes me elated. I love having full mental powers. Anyone who's had successful pharmacotherapy for depression, bipolar, anxiety, ADHD, whatever - knows what I mean. Psychotherapy is soooo important for mental illness, but sometimes some people have general chemical issues that need general chemical cures in addition to psychotherapy. And it feels good when it works.

I miss Greg already - he's such a mellow, stable factor in our Real World house of madness - and above and beyond our friendship, I also feel like we have a lot to teach each other what it's like to be us. I've had a handful of straight black male friends over the years, but none that were terribly close. And I don't think he's had any close gay white male friends before. And we can all be loveydoveytouchyfeely liberals that are so enlightened into the pathos of other collective groups of The Oppressed, but how can you really understand what it's like to be a unique person in a labeled/pigeonholed group unless you actually have friends who are unique people within those groups?

I didn't understand Judaism for shit until I moved to DC. Being against the Holocaust/Inquisistion/Jerry Falwell is like being against pedophilia. Who's going to take the other side of that argument outside of debate class? But being against the Holocaust has very little to do with knowing Jack Shit about the lives of people who are Jewish.

You can intellectualize all you want to about same-sex sex, but if you don't know anyone who's gay, how do you have any idea what it's like to grow up with crushes on your canoeing merit badge counselor at scout camp and not being able to tell anyone because of the sex of who your crush is on? Or what it's like to go to third base with a girl to realize that despite what you've been told, not all men - for example, yourself - don't actually want to be there doing that? You have to know people, and love people, to understand where they've been and what they've been through.

And I can't say all this without thinking of the amazing woman who's been one of my best friends for almost a decade. She's had sooooo much in her life that she's fought through for the better. Such a strong - and fundamentally, phenomenally good person - who has taught me again and again the power of empathy for others. I can't think of a single other person on this planet who's taught me more through experience how important it is - and how good it feels in the long run - to really pick yourself up, put yourself in someone else's shoes, and get to work (to paraphrase Bob Dylan) knowing their world, knowing their kind, understanding their pain.

She'll laugh when she reads this. She knows that everything reminds me of song lyrics. It's the way my brain is wired. But I'm not listening to Dylan's "Is Your Love In Vain?" although I'm thinking of its truth-under-the-schmaltz. I had to put on yet another gorgeous gem of truth-under-schmaltz (don't wince) - The Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother." True, they admitted in their name an embarrassing level of worship for Buddy Holly, and my boy Graham Nash had taken his credibility with him when he left for CSNand/orY a long time before they cranked that puppy out, but it's the kind of cheese that resonates with my worldview. We gotta be here for each other. Helping those in need never hurts, but it might make you cry.

I will get to bed in the near future, but as I'm going through a nostalgic cheese-music-scored journey through lovin' the world, I'll leave you with one last musical thought that sums up my mood right now. There's a bootleg recording (an amazing one) of buddies Carole King and James Taylor from 1971 where they run through a bunch of songs that Carole wrote for Doo-Wop groups in the Sixties. I'm not a fan, in general, of the music industry's semi-shameful history of forcing black groups to record music written by whites. This kept the money in white hands and stifled actual black voices in music. But Carole King wasn't responsible for larger sociological trends, and the anthem she gave Aretha screams sisterhood. Even if you need a man to make you feel inspired, at least he's inspiring you to be natural. If anyone told it straightforward time and time again that you needed to be yourself, it was Carole. So she and James are at some concert, and his guitar is unfortunately under-mic'd, but her piano is dead-on, and the two of them can really harmonize at the S&G/BeachBoys/CSNY level. And they start singing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" which is one of my favorite songs ever. Anyone who hasn't felt that song, directly, personally, and immediately hasn't had the same human experience as the rest of us. But - Will - My - Heart - Be - Brooo-ken... when the night [when the night] meets the morning [meets the morning sun?]

But that's not the end of it. Really - get this mp3 from me if you don't have it. It's eight minutes long. They touch ever so lightly on "Some Kind Of Wonderful." Not the also-great Grand Funk song, but the one Carole wrote for the Drifters. And then they soar into drenched harmony for "Up On The Roof."

At night the stars put on a show for free / And darling, you can share it for me / I keep on telling you, right smack dab in the middle of town / I've found a paradise that's trouble-proof / So if this world starts getting you down, there's room enough for two.

Up on the roof.

Everything is all right, up on the roof. Come on baby, come on honey, come on now, come on now, darling, up on the roof. Everything is all right, Everything is all right, Everything is all right.

Up on the roof.


At 1:49 AM, Anonymous Misselah said...

I cannot wait to hear your Grand Theory Of Female Bisexuality! ;)

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been too long...BLOG! -hmw

At 5:43 AM, Blogger Merely Human said...

God, I know exactly what you mean. You sound like me, the kind of person who's ideas take on a life of their own and grow uncontrollably inside our heads. Like you I theorize that everybody is basically bisexual, so I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this subject. At the same time I think the sudden and rapid 'penetration' of homosexuality into mainstream society is a reflection of deeper going on at spiritual level. All interesting stuff which I'm anxious to talk about with my fellow explorers. This is an awesome blog and I'd be beyond flattered if you checked me out at




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