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Parting Glances: 1 ACROSS 300 DOWN

By |2017-10-31T06:26:18-04:00October 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|

“Two things puzzle me: your drawings and your column, though I feel a strange compulsion to peek at both. Am I going off the deep end, or are you? A fan, of sorts.”
Dear Sorts: Thanks for your 3:14 a.m. true confession e-mail. I know how you feel. I often don’t understand my art or my writing — either before or after 3:14 a.m. — though I mostly keep my muddle-headed opinions to myself, especially when I’m trying to get some sleep.
I’m also fuzzy about the double entendres that pop up in my paragraphs and the bodacious loop-the-loops that gatecrash my otherwise Good Housekeeping-approved designs. Oddly, these nuisances happen with alarming regularity.
But, I assure you, Sorts, there’s no overt intent on my part to offend public, private, patriotic, or Puritanical morality, good taste, or zealous missionary positioning, whether at home, at church, the laundromat, park bench or, indeed, a climate-controlled primate cage in our big city zoo.
I do feel compelled, however, to expose myself now and then in print and on canvas; otherwise I might truly go off the deep end, where at my age it’s difficult to stay afloat and convincingly petition a Speedo lifeguard that it’s worth getting his spiked hair wet to come to my waterlogged rescue.
Would you believe it, Sorts: art and writing are the nuts and bolts of my existence? (You needn’t e-mail back — especially at 3:14 a.m.) I do, however, have a loose screw: crossword puzzles. There’s not a day goes by I don’t tackle the little boxes just to hone my skill with such word curios as tat, epee, rubella, flimflam, fuhrer, shrub, and eczema.
By the way, Sorts, a Sid Scrabble e-mailed (fashionably at 6:00 p.m.) to say that reading PG was like — wouldn’t you know? — working a crossword puzzle. “If you work at it,” he opined [six-letters for somebody’s two-cents worth], “you’ll score both ways: coming across horizontally and going down vertically. If you just don’t get it either way before noon, try again at bedtime.”
Since you’ve the courage of your convictions to e-mail me, Sorts, I’ll share a millstone — er, milestone. This is my 300th PG column. (Responding to you in print saves me the trouble of writing about Michael Jackson’s Never-Say-Neverland Ranch or kidding around about his present and costly dire straights.)
300 columns translates into 150,000 words. If somebody told me six years ago I’d be doing a column a week for that length of time, I’d say, no way! What could I ramble on about? Who’d care anyway? (Other than fans like yourself Sorts, Sid Scrabble, and Sister Scatterpin, who e-mails me regularly after morning Mass for secular chatroom fantasy tips.)
Fact is: writing about LGBT issues, our history, our fascinating personalities, our common — and uncommon — struggle is a privilege and a pleasure. But the bottom line (I’m actually a top) is that we all care about who we are as family, and what it means to honor our diversity, stand up for our rights, in a bullyboy, Bible-belt-you-senseless (if you bend over) world.
It’s reassuring to know there are many voices sounding out — openly, emphatically, persistently, defiantly — with pride. I like to think that when I chime in I sing along loudly and queerly (if a little off key).
So, to you, Dear Sorts, Sid Scrabble, Sister Scatterpin, and my wonderful PG readers: thanks for peeking in on me. And Michael Jackson: here’s looking at you, kid! (But not at 3:14 a.m.)

About the Author:

Charles Alexander