Movies, haiku, PTSD, love life…

I went to the movies last night and saw “Brokeback Mountain”. For those of you who don’t know it’s about 2 cowboys who fall in love one summer while they’re herding sheep in the Grand Tetons. I read the story in the New Yorker years ago when it was published and remember being happy and surprised at the lack of politics and subjective commentary by the author, Annie Proulx. It is a love story, and the fact that the 2 lovers are both men was treated as a secondary aspect of the tale. The most powerful facet was the love that they shared and the different reactions to that love by their wives, families, and the world around them. In one scene, the 2 men meet after 4 years of being apart. Unfortunately they are observed kissing passionately by one of the wives. Her reaction isn’t disgust or shock, but rather the pain of a cuckolded mate who sees that there is someone more important, more deeply loved, than herself. Much of the film is set in Wyoming, but the story was written before the murder of Matthew Shepard. The director, Ang Lee, made a conscious decision to not politicize the film. I won’t spoil it for anyone anymore. Go see it, it’s a tear jerker.

My PTSD is in full bloom these days. I’m all alone in an old house (200+ years) that creaks, moves, and pops with the sound of the wind blowing outside and the baseboard heaters filling with hot water. It sounds as if there are a host of people walking around downstairs, ready to come up to my room and do whatever. I have visions of “In Cold Blood” mixed with “The Others” and numerous slasher flicks. The result is that I don’t sleep well. I am tense during what sleep I manage to achieve so my neck is sore, I sleep late, having fallen asleep at 4 or 5 AM. No matter how many times I check the house (behind doors, in closets, etc…) I still don’t believe the truth: I am alone in the place, not likely to be attacked. Next time my housemate leaves town for any amount of time, I’m asking a friend to stay over the night. There is plenty of room for all, including the things that go ‘bump’ in the night.

The upshot is that I am alone. I am also very envious of all the people I know who have someone in their lives. All I want is someone to go to the movies with, share a joke or a tear, have dinner, some physical intimacy and all that. The problem is that I never learned how to start that kind of relationship. My life was so self-centered for so long and confounded by a miserable self-esteem (ugly, stupid, bad) that these feelings have deep roots. I’m working on these issues in AA and with my therapist, but it seems a long time coming. I hope that time isn’t running out for me. I don’t want to go out lonely and afraid.

One interesting thing has occurred…

I gave my father the address to this weblog and he read some of it and wrote me back. I was very surprised at his comments. He said he liked the frankness and the tone, the haiku, etc…But that he didn’t feel comfortable reading my online journal. Not because of what I was saying, but because even though this is an anonymous writing it was not anonymous to him, and it made him feel as if he was going through my dresser drawer, snooping, if you will. So he will not read it, leaving me with the healthy boundary one needs from an anonymous posting. I wish my other family members would see the same boundary, or feel the same way about this particular posting, and do likewise.

Here are the haiku…

I shuffle around
like a grey mental patient
in my pajamas.

My cat cleans herself
calmly but with great purpose,
grooming for the hunt.

The cool blue ocean
and the deep green sea whisper
salty lullabies.


Published by


Johnnyboy is a queer recovering alcoholic. For the moment he is also the primary caregiver for his mother, who suffers from age-related cognitive impairment. She is happy as a lark and is surrounded by a crew of sober women which gives him the freedom he needs to get out of town. When he is not at home in Somewheresville, he is searching out the proper path to travel for happiness and joy. He is a photographer who believes in the digital age, but feels that film is still where its at. He has a darkroom and works in it. He is single and is in remarkably great physical condition for all the damage he has submitted his body to. His cardiologist is very happy. Johnnyboy is over the age of 35.

Leave a Reply