Sunday, March 04, 2007

Long Overdue Ramblings


According to many, Sunday is a day of rest. Seems I haven’t done much of that these past weeks. Winter has been a season of advance planning for me; both at work as well as with my personal events. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was recovering from the New Year’s Eve party at Fluid and so much has happened and so much is scheduled to happen over the next several months.

I’ve found myself in a humbling situation where three different fanatical fans of mine have asked for my DJ services for events they are hosting – so I am spinning more this month than ever before. I have been asked to take on a major event in June, and just as the dust settled, another offer comes in for May.

I’ve spent the past weeks thinking and mapping out in great detail how I want to handle the 20th anniversary of Kids Corner. 20 years. January 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of the program as well as my 20th anniversary working at WXPN-FM. That experience also feels like it was just yesterday at times.

So, it seems as if I am constantly working, planning, moving; on the go – however for some strange reason, I am tranquil and at peace with it all.

There are cyclones surrounding me – but the air I breathe is still.

I had someone comment to me recently how cool it must be to be me. I laughed at first – but then I realized that I suppose it is cool. After so many years, I tend to take things for granted. I have a wonderful career. I only do things I enjoy; from working in the radio industry to spinning the music I love, to creating events from scratch that I think would be fun for me and for others.

I have very little stress anymore – frankly, I think I tapped out the stress valve through the 80s while watching my world wither away. When I would recall the memory of a departed friend I used to be sad and regretful … but now those spirits balance me. They make me keep life and living in perspective.

Since fall, I have lost a few more members of my circle, one just this past week. Each passing was sad in itself – but it just emphasized how precious life is – and how one simply cannot waste their breath complaining or worrying about situations. Nothing is as important as now.

In the late 80s psychologists began to realize that many gay men who had been spared the swift death of HIV were experiencing a form of survivor’s guilt, similar to what some soldiers feel post-war, since many of these men had to bury entire circle of friends; which was their ‘family’. At that time I suffered from survivors’ guilt for a while as well – I even went to therapy to help move forward.

Those who know me (or who have read this blog) know that in 1983 I began a memorial diary to keep a record of those I knew who had died of AIDS. I kept that diary until 1996, when after returning from Washington DC, having just viewed the AIDS Quilt, I realized that enough was enough. In the course of those 13 years of having that memorial diary, I entered almost 300 names; from casual barflies and colleagues to close friends and even one lover.

But as heavy as that experience was, it gave me an incredible gift. I learned how to simply appreciate the beauty of life. I realized that there was no reason to raise my voice in anger anymore. There was no reason to wallow in self-pity over a situation. There was no need for stress. Life was, and is, too important to waste a moment.

There are moments when I wonder about my future: how long will I live? Am I where I am supposed to be? Should I do something else? Will I ever be in love with another?

I could shift my life – but that would be a distraction and for what purpose. I am at peace with my world. As for love, some questions are just unanswerable.

There are moments when I wish I had a partner in crime to enjoy this ride that is my life. But then I realize that on every stop of the ride, I connect with someone who is stuck at a crossroad, just waiting for someone to help them clear the air and focus on what’s important. So I do what I do and I feel good and they are thankful.

Had I had a partner in crime – perhaps I wouldn’t be able to assist so many people at their personal crossroads. Perhaps I wouldn’t notice their energy, their need to be.

Perhaps that is why I travel alone.

Alone but not lonely.

So, I am grateful for my world. I am grateful for the thousands of people I have met over the past quarter-century of my existence. Those that just passed through, those that stayed a while and even those that over-stayed their welcome.

I especially am grateful to have known those that have crossed over to a new plane. Perhaps it’s the inner peace I have or the history I hold – but even though they are gone, I don’t miss them.

Because they never left my heart.


Anonymous said...

"Perhaps that is why I travel alone."

I know so many people in relationships that are totally alone. They know it and feel it everyday.
Nice post Robert and congrats on 20-years with XPN.


Chris L. said...

great post, you are truly talented and thats why you are so cool! :)


Anonymous said...

Darling, you are wonderful. I recall some of the names and places. The Pet Shop Boys song "Being Boring" always brings a tear to my eyes. But we were never being boring. :-)

Anonymous said...

You are truly blessed.
Not just for what you have but for realizing that you have it.
You are not alone. You are loved and respected by many - and most importantly you are at peace.
Very few can say that and mean it.
Congratulations. Two decades of doing what you love.

kenny said...

really nice post. you seem to be at a really good place in your life now and should be proud of what you've accomplished.

Anonymous said...

It's not often I start reading a blog -- kept by a friend or total stranger -- then feel the need to go back to the first posts and really dig in. I've been casually reading posts here and there without realizing this is a memoir blog. In any case, the more I read, the more I respect and applaud you. I'm glad you're in a such a good place and congrats on the upcoming 20th anniversaries. I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve as well as what's in store for Kids Corner. --Chatty Cathy