Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Kiss

(shhh...right behind this cable car)

I kissed a boy on the street in San Francisco today.

Like the war had just ended. That is how I kissed him.

My parents were married at Old St. Mary's Cathedral on California & Church in Chinatown, San Francisco on August 9th 1958. In fact this year would have been their 50th. Back then the priest did not lean over and say, "50 years from now your gay, bagpiping son will be coming here for AA meetings." I think he probably thought it would have been inappropriate to mention. "What, we are going to have a bagpiper? No son of mine.... John, get snipped," my mother might have thought.

There it is I am gay, an alcoholic and a bagpiper. Only a few things about me, but some major ones and the three items I tend to hide at various times. For various reasons. Blogging can be this odd forum to reveal all when you can't get on the Oprah show and for that it can be eye-rolling I will admit, but I need my laundry to be clean and tidy and like me, hung out to dry out.


I sat in a room there at Old St. Mary's holding the big book while we read about a woman who got repeatedly married in an effort to sort herself out. It didn't work. At the point in the meeting where one can offer that they are visiting, I said in my own hometown that I was a visitor from New York. "Hi, I'm Pat and I am alcoholic visiting from New York." It felt odd, but good. Clearly, I seem to be all about honesty...

At one point I looked up and caught the eye of a guy sitting across. Eye catching can happen a million times and doesn't necessarily mean attraction in my opinion. I catch eyes with strangers often. But (and here is too much disclosure hoping I am SO not alone in this) I got distracted during the reading and starting thinking in a systematic pecking order fashion about which guys in the circle I would sleep with. This guy I caught eyes with was my #1. (Am I the only one to do this? Really?! C'mon people fess up. )

After the meeting he introduced himself to me and asked if I wanted to go for lunch. How odd, forward, sweet and hot was this, I thought. Yes, sure. We walked across Grant and went into a Chinese restaurant that could take one back to opium dealing in the 40's if one had been there to begin with. I won't say too much here as his privacy is still his and though it would add so greatly to the story, I cannot break someone else's anonymity.

As we dined and talked and told each other how we ended up in a room at Old St. Mary's, I got that he was gay and we were mutually attracted. I was having flirtatious fun with my Chow Fun. It was hot, sublime, sweet, sexy, silly and, for me, thawing.

I guess I reveal all this cringible personal stuff as I am at the point in my life where I have to let it all go. I have had so much fear of revelation of myself and I have to let it go. So here I sit with a handsome guy who says he wishes I wasn't leaving tomorrow and I agree. Breaking character, I tell him I find him really attractive. He concurs that he feels the same about me. (Okay, I should have gotten this year book prose out of the way when ya'll did in high school, but I a latent. That is the point.)

I had a 6am flight in the morning with a 4:30am taxi pickup. He had to go to work. This was it. This was the event. As we walked out of the opium den and hit the light on Grant, I turned to him and gave him a real kiss right there on the street. This was not me, but it was because I did it. This was me sober and not hiding behind John Courage. I kissed him like the war had just ended (sans dip) and walked toward Market to meet a friend at the Intercontinental. And he walked the other way towards his work.

Like moving to New York, this kiss was key this year.

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