Saturday, September 03, 2005

Less a Closet Than a Hall of Doors

With a new blog, I've been casting about hopelessly for things to write about. The witty. The profane. The things not related to my on-going struggle with acceptance of what happened to Fairuza Balk's career. You know you've reached the underbelly of desperation when you begin to contemplate the mundane items in your own bedroom ("How Leftists Invented the Snooze Button: A Conspiracy Against an Industrious Society"). But when you start thinking about the items still in your bedroom over at your parents' house, we've waded past the shallows of desperation for the depths of personal mania.

Behind a door, beneath an organizer, there is a tupperware box. Squat, blue, with a coating of dust grummied by the occasional fingerprint. Few humans have heard the comforting ffffffwip that comes when you open it, because this box contains one of my most dread secrets.

It is full of Dungeons and Dragons books.

Not simply the $4.95 Dragonlance serial novels that spent at least 80 books raping the core storyline - that would be almost forgivable - but manuals and campaign boxed sets and the velvety Crown Royal sack full of enough shiny, multi-colored dice to distract a small legion of ferrets.

The small consolation in this personal geekery is that I was never much of a player. No, I really only liked the idea of playing. I spent hours writing campaigns and reading the various spell descriptions in the player's handbook, fantasizing about the chaos I could create if only I could web the senior hall between fifth and sixth periods. Soon I had spiral notebooks full of lists: lists of magic items, and plots, and deities.

Given that I was a fairly centrist teenager - not a nerd, not a jock, just kinda sorta there - there was no ready means to actually play the game. Those who did and were fairly open about it were a frightening sort. All emaciation and pale skin, wild, dandruff-ridden hair, and great bulging eyes forced to evolve outward to grasp light in a world accustomed to the angsty, gothic darkness of a curtained bedroom with only a computer monitor providing warmth. When you're middling on the high school social totem, the wrong association can consign you to that week's sacrificial pit, and I was always keen to avoid it.

Still, I harbored my secret as best I could, hiding my notebooks deep within folders within folders. I stole surreptitious glances at other people's notebooks whenever I passed the players' table at lunch. Every few Mondays, I would sit quite near them, eyes fixed forward as I idly listened to a harrowing account of how they rescued the hot daughter of the local duke, and she was only too willing to repay the characters' kindness in multiple sexual favors that were well out of the reach of the actual players.

Though I couldn't because of the fear of social consequences, I wanted to say something. I wanted to leap up and shout "You know, if you contingency a fireball on an hourglass, you could so create a time bomb!" With a need to share that great, it was only a matter of time before I let slip little comments that, had anyone been listening, would've let anyone know where my secret passion lay. When it finally happened, it became a nightmare of epic proportions.

It was a typical class in Honors British Lit. We had been assigned to write a satirical story in the spirit of Jonathan Swift, though the teacher gave no outline and few instructions about what he wanted. I was in the middle of a tale about downtrodden townspeople forced by their pompous lord to build a statue using no materials and no blueprints - because I've always been a smart ass like that - when a guy we'll call Mark began muttering to himself and furiously scratching out, drawing, and scratching out again something he was working on in his note book.

Glancing over, I whispered "If you leave a hollow space in the middle of the spiral stairs, you can make it so a false step will send the party into the spike trap below. Maybe even create a magic arrow trap to tip them over the edge. Use a dexterity check." Though I bent over my paper and continued writing, I was fully aware that his large, protruding eyes were watching me, seeing me in a different light. I finished the paper and continued on with my regularly scheduled existence.

But the slip had been made, the small admission. Suddenly, Mark was in the library when I was in the library. Mark would stand quite close to me as we lined up in gym. He was always behind me in line at lunch, watching me with hopefulness. Two weeks after the initial incident, I surrendered and asked how the trap worked out.

"Great! But only the half-ogre and human in the party fell into it," he replied despondently.

During the days and weeks afterwards, I made small talk now and then, but always careful never to seem too eager. Still, it was not long before I found him lurking around my locker between periods, notebook at the ready, excited to show me the latest horror he wanted to unleash upon his players. I'd glance around nervously, taking careful note of whether or not we were seen.

Finally, he committed the most unforgivable of sins; he approached my lunch table as I sat surrounded by friends. They looked to one another in confusion and alarm, the silent, flickering questions passed like notes over the lunch trays. With an expression more distasteful than the salisbury steak, I dismissed him as rapidly as possible.

From then on, I treated him with a nonchalance that went far beyond the borders of cold. I did all but shout, "For the love of god, go away!" He'd slink off into the passing crowd between periods, and I'd swallow the awful feeling that had traveled from stomach to throat. But, still, for another day at least, I had staved off the public realization that I was part geek.

Not long after this, I'd find myself standing at that same locker with the same frosty attitude as a lispy, limp-wristed blonde swimmer talked excitedly to me after I'd made a different admission. Instead of a small comment in English class, I'd made a rather large statement with my mouth and hands during a rum-fuelled party.

Today, I stand around balconies and gay bars, surreptitiously listening to various comments, waiting for the unlikely moment when someone says "Fuck Michael Moore!" or "I voted for Bush." As then, I still let little comments slip and see the same raised eyebrows and questions in response. The high schoolers may now be grown gay men, and the notebook now a blog, but I still write away, looking around, full of the same passion.

Today, I hope that another Mark or blonde swimmer will come along, knowing I'd give them anything but a frosty reception.

Gay men know more than enough about closets, as we've opened door after door after door. Conservatism is just another door, and as with the others, flinging it open brings with it a certain freedom to be just who we are, proudly and unapologetically.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Blogroll Quickies

Since I'm starting out and no doubt will add to it over time.

We have Ace, who I read several times daily. He's simultaneously juvenile and clever, which is a combination not too often seen. Usually you only get one or the other. Though, when he gets serious, he does it like a Viking.

Next up is Chad, who is actually the first gay conservative I'd ever talked to. After growing up in the Democratic Machine of Ultimate Doom that is Chicago, I thought gay conservatives were mythical creatures . . . like the unicorn or a sober Kennedy. As an added bonus, he's pretty damn sharp and funny (and cute), so he has quite a bit going for him.

Gay Patriot was the first gay conservative blog I started reading regularly. And let's be honest, he posts really decent pics.

Finally Greg Gutfield, demonslayer on the Huffington Post. How can you not love someone who mocks Arianna so viciously with a simple feather touch? Not to mention he's also cute and terribly ambiguous about his sexuality. It has its allure.

Impeach Nature!

The usual suspects are decrying the racism inherent in this week's hurricane disaster. Rightfully so. Mother Nature has long history of disdain for the poor and minorities that extends into the modern era. With the arrival of Katrina, her neo-con agenda became crystal clear. In a recent interview, we've uncovered revealing comments and the surprising political connections of a climate culture bent on oppressing the masses under a system of meteorlogical fascism, one which directly benefits Bushitler and his Satanic Oil Cronies.

PrismWarden: Well, you've been very busy this week, so I'd like to thank you for taking the time to sit down with us.

MotherNature: Oh, it's no bother. Frankly that spotlight hogging bitch, Cindy Sheehan, was beginning to think she was the center of the entire universe. I thought I would take this opportunity to disabuse her of that very misguided idea.

PW: Are you saying you object to her efforts to bring down the current regime?

MN: Do you think Texas heat just happens?

PW: Right. Regarding Hurricane Katrina. There are many here in America and around the world who wonder "Why here? Why now?" Many believe global warming has enraged you, instigating these kinds of devastating storms. How would you respond to that?

MN: I'd say these people don't know what the fuck they're talking about. I love global warming. Do you know what it's like to sit through a motherfucking Ice Age?!

PW: Er, no . . . but there was a really brutal winter here in Chicago a few years back . . .

MN: Don't be such a fucking pussy. I sat there for tens of thousands of years freezing my tits off. I don't want to hear this pathetic bullshit. "Oooh, it snowed. I'm so cold. Mommy, I think my dick broke off." Grow some fucking testicles already.

PW: So you're an active proponent of global warming . . .

MN: It gets me wet. The last time Halliburton received a fat government contract, monsoon season started early that year . . . if you know what I mean.

PW: I, uh, think I do. But if you're supportive of fossil fuel companies and their impact on the environment, why send Katrina to destroy a locus of the petroleum industry of the greatest energy-consuming nation in the world?

MN: It's like this, you see. America has needed more oil refineries for a long, long time. There's simply not enough cheap gas for all those pimpin SUVs and Arianna Huffington's private jets. I decided to use America's resilient, can-do spirit against it. Destroy the refineries, oil platforms and piplines and you ornery little weasels will only rebuild them even bigger and better than ever. You really are a bunch of predictable little shits.

PW: But won't increased prices drive down petroleum consumption?

MN: Perhaps, but the oil companies will be making record profits. Record profits mean more dollars for lobbying Congress. Besides, you people haven't seen the winter I have in store for you. It's going to make Siberia seem like an early autumn frost. ::laughs:: I'm not worried about consumption levels.

PW: Is this related to recent heavy Congressional lobbying activity by some 503c groups, particularly Swiftly Moving Arctic Fronts For Open Borders?

MN: I'm not layin all my cards on the table just yet, but I will say that not even weather systems want to live in Canada.

PW: Let's move on to another topic. Minorities and the poor. It seems they have been disproportionately affected by this latest disaster. Some have even accused you of racism. Let's be honest. When was the last time you deliberately targeted the European race for special fury?

MN: I don't have a racist lightning bolt in my atmosphere! I resent that accusation, you impertinent little shit. Did you not see that heat wave in Europe last year?

PW: Some might say it was not the weather but the ineptitude of the French that resulted in all those deaths.

MN: Duh. I was banking on it.

PW: Maybe so, but that disaster isn't anywhere near the scale of, say, the tsunami. Again, with Katrina, it seems like you reserved the potentially greatest natural disaster in American history for an area disproportionately poor and black.

MN: Disproportionately Democratic, you mean.

PW: Are you saying what I think you're saying?

MN: I admit nothing.

PW: I see. Well, this has certainly been an illuminating interview . . .

MN: Don't take that pissy tone with me. Illuminating is when I shove a lightning bolt up your ass.

PW: Er, could I ask you what future plans, if any, you might have?

MN: I heard Kennedy was objecting to wind driven power spoiling his precious view of the sea. I'll show that fucker wind power.

PW: Uh, great talking with you, Mother Nature.

Need I say more, my fellow progressives?