After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]


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Mary: it’s a grand old name

By |2018-01-16T03:28:33-05:00May 19th, 2011|Opinions|

Parting Glances

“I read your last column with interest,” says my unannounced guest who appears in my art studio suddenly, unexpectedly – putting it mildly – on my birthday, May 12. Probably flew in through my sky light window.
He sits on my couch comfortably, as though he belongs, leafing though my magazines without comment, not so much as an “Oh my!” His cape’s golden. Radiant in the morning light. Am I having a lucid dream?
My Jewish friends would say my guest’s visit’s a mitzvah. My skeptic friends: I’m delusional. (Artists are known for vivid imaginations. Maybe I am delusional.)
“May I say for starters: you don’t look your age,” he comments, as I nervously offer him a decaf cup of coffee at 10 a.m., which he says he’s never tasted before but surprisingly finds refreshing. (He likes its earthy, “pagan” taste.)
He smiles joyfully. A smile that makes me somehow feel I’ve known him forever. Did I meet him in a bar? I wonder. Maybe church? A march in Washington? Eye contact’s familiar. Unmistakable. A few milliseconds longer than usual. Gaydar. (Who knows?)
I sense, like myself and many of my longtime acquaintances, he’s probably been around life’s block a few times. Knows what it’s all about. Makes friends easily. A born leader. (I do find his silver sandals a tad retro.)
“As I’ve never been known to tell a lie – I say this without fear of contrdiction – in centuries of recorded history, you may take my personal observation as a compliment,” he tells me. “Obviously you – and your kind – come of happy lineage. It’s nice to have things in common.
“And I suspect you take energy foods – figs in season are excellent – and exercise. Walking without benefit of beast of burden. (I hear there are many such asses around your Lansing area these days. Politically speaking.)
“How might I put it in your language lingo. Good gay genes!” he adds with a chuckle, looking over my cluttered art studio. “I like artists. Next to fishermen, tax collectors, gardeners, independent women with one name. Mary. Madonna. Cher. St. Joan. They’re likable companions. Clerics I find, well, spoil sports for the most part.
“Just between us,” he confides, cross signing over my Advocate copy, “these televangelists – I think that’s what they go by – are, to use the simpleminded term bandied about – an abomination. You can quote me in BTL.”
“I don’t mean to be inquisitive, but are you from this planet?” I hesitate, refilling his quickly emptied coffee cup. “It occurs to me that I’ve seen your picture on billboards. You’re much better looking in person. By the way, I love your cape with all those stars, suns, moons embroidered on it. Kinda thing you’d wear on Halloween. Maybe win best drag prize.”
“Where I come from all costumes are bright. Everybody has wings. We flit about a lot. We also sing and sing and sing. God, do we sing! Our show biz productions are, well, for want of a better word: heavenly. Unending. Staged by St. Peter in Perpetuity and Equity, LLC.”
“Just out of curiosity: Why did you sorta shazam in on me? Not that I mind a little glorious shazaming now and then,” I ask, suddenly feeling a rush of euphoria. Almost a spiritual, take off high. Wow! Outta sight!
“Well, just for the hell of it,” he winks, “I’ve wanted to say – since A.D. whenever – just once: ‘Happy Birthday, Mary!’ (There! I said it.) And, as you write for wide-circulation, please get this SOS out. I’m not zapping in on May 21st to whisk holier-than-thou fundies anywhere. You’re all in it together. Sink or swim. Practice love. Be compassionate. Think for yourselves. Have a blessed – er, sorry – rainbow day!”

About the Author:

Charles Alexander