Friday, August 12, 2011

Spill Not Thy Seed Upon The Ground

The first time I recall having made concrete plans for my decline into old age and eventual death occurred when I purchased a condo in my late forties after Will and I had broken up. It was important to me that I be able to afford staying there, living on my own and on a moderate pension, that it be easily accessible and have no internal stairs. Jokingly, I referred to it as my mausoleum; jokes, as I remark to the point of boredom, often bearing truth.

Naturally, having been a gay adolescent, this wasn't by far my first thought of death. The usual templates for living happily ever after seem neither applicable nor particularly appealing to many a gay adolescent; whether it be getting the person of your dreams or becoming a star athlete; though there are exceptions, especially, one hopes, more now than then. Gay youths of my generation tended to be particularly drawn to romanticism: to fantasies of handsome princes dying young; beautiful Camelots in decline and decay; love both tragically and happily ending before its expected consummation. It is a romanticism that lives and breathes in many a Broadway musical; love confronting its inevitable barriers and impossibilities; on the stage usually rescued by a happy ending; those who haven't died young need to sell tickets in order to make their way in the world as adults.