Sunday, October 21, 2012
"Dance of the Angels" at a DC Disco -- a preview of my sci-fi movie?
I’ve often wondered how I would have lived had “gay life” been socially acceptable at the time I was growing up in the 1950s.
Certainly, in college, I would have found someone (or more than one person) with mutual attractiveness, when I was young enough to be at my own “summer solstice” in appeal. I would not have been at a “disadvantage” as I would be when I entered the world “officially” at age 29.
Could I have maintained a relationship with someone for life, “till death do us part”? Could I have participated in adopting and raising children and acting as a father, if society had supported that for same sex couples then? What if society had accepted the idea (as expressed today) of total equality, and with “occasional” diversity of family structure as an idea that could be taught to children as they were brought up?
Could I have “done my part”? I would like to think so.
In 1978, when I was living in Greenwich Village, in the Cast Iron Building at 11th and Broadway, I would experience a dating episode with someone with whom I had a certain attraction, perhaps infatuation. One night, in May, he would tell me of a medical issue that I found could distract my ability to keep feelings for him long time. I still remember the evening well: the wait for the intercom in the apartment, the play we attended (“The Fifth of July”), the dessert in a café on Seventh Avenue. There is a certain complexity to all of this, a certain mystery, and I suppose it could make good material for a short film. Eventually, I would connect what he told me with what would be a warning sign for the coming epidemic, and that would be eventful -- although neither one of us directly developed HIV. After certain confrontations happened later, I finally “reacted” by moving to a different part of the country, Dallas, at the beginning of 1979 (where I would be living when the AIDS crisis became public, and where the political threat to the gay community there from the right wing and “Moral Majority” would become dire during the mid 1980s.)
The 1978 episode perhaps casts doubt on whether I really could have used “marriage” had it been available. But had it been available when I was of college age, I would have had the experience of “passion” for a while when I was young and “attractive” enough to experience it without a sense of disadvantage. Maybe this would have made a difference. On the other hand, from the time of Stonewall until well into the 1990s, most of us were more concerned about living our own lives, somewhat separately, our own way, and didn't feel compelled to fit into social institutions making us responsible for other generations. Demographics and the Internet have both changed that.
Last night, at the Town DC, two of the party-goers were dressed as “angels”, seemingly as a preview of Halloween. For a while, they danced on one of the stands upstairs. I thought about my own screenplay, for “Do Ask Do Tell”, where a character based on me has been “abducted” and finds himself in a kind of mobile space-station, set up as a complete little world, ruled by “angels”. As “I” navigate the geography of the space station and complete the training tasks required of me, I find that I can go back and forth in time as to my own age, by going to certain areas along the Mobius track that runs through the station. Toward the end, I learn that the angels’ own “immortality” is a bit relative, and that while I am there, I am to determine who among them is the closest to “immortal”. (Yes, this all came to be in a dream one time.) The angels are concerned that earlier in my life, in 1978, I had left the “scene” of a similar challenge, as to whether I could remain loyal to someone if my ability to feel attracted to him were to be tested. So I have to perform certain tasks to have the right to sit in judgment.
After that, we return to Earth and find it is undergoing selective “purification”. More people will be rescued and given the chance to move through these space stations to other solar systems, but they have to pass the “tests” first, given by the angels, who themselves are not perfect.
My novel manuscript “Angels’ Brothers” carries a similar idea, with more detail. Angel-hood can be transmitted by a virus.
Did the “angels’ dance” last night provide a preview of my movie? (Actually, in my script, the angels don't wear wings. But in the 1999 fantasy "Dogma" (Lionsgate), Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, as angels living in Wisconsin, wore them in a climactic scene.)
By the way, I have a bad hip, residual from a 1998 fracture, acting up. Nevertheless, two men danced with me last night, and in both cases, the motion, of being lifted up slightly off the floor, provided the therapy that the hip pain needed -- maybe not by any conscious intention.
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, Washington State, where I had a major "epiphany" in May 1978, part of the "story".