I remember in college, when I would feel the need for sexual release as an explosion that needed to take place, my destination of choice was the baths. I would arrive driven, nervous, with butterflies in my stomach. My first destination, after paying the fee and getting my towel and locker key, was the bathroom, where my intestines would explode with a complete emptying of my bowels.
Since graduate school, when I had to buy my first computer, a pre-MS DOS machine, I have been online. No, not the internet. The internet did not exist in 1982 when I started graduate school. But leading edge, circa 1982, online services did exist. In 1982 I would dial out to The Source, and a few years later to CompuServe, when they acquired The Source, and then in the early 1990’s the internet. One of the things I regularly did online was reasearch medical topics, mostly by reading medical journal articles. I was an early user of the new online repositories for medical journal articles.
In my work I have often prided myself at being able to look at a project and know from the onset if it would be a success or a failure. This same projecting into the future and imagining what will be has always been a part of my life. I can often look at a situation and see the key outlines or framework of what it will be in the future, even if I can not see the details.
I spent the past week with my boyfriend and two friends at my parents summer home. Four gay men spending a relaxing week at a New England summer resort town. For much of that week, however, I had a surprising level of anxiety and stress. But last night coming home to my own apartment, with my boyfriend, I felt at ease. I began to think about the question of place and the role it plays in our lives.
My parents are in their late 80’s and last year my brother and I took over the management and care of two adjacent summer houses in New England. We are renting out the larger house for the first time ever this summer and worked for the last year to get the house de-junked, fixed up, spruced up and ready to rent. After making an enormous investment of time and energy to get the house ready, I wanted to enjoy of the fruits of my labor. I carved out a week in August with my partner, and invited two of our friends to join us for a vacation. My parents are staying in the next house. My sister arrived two days after us to spend a week with my parents. Continue reading →
Watching your parents and family grow old is difficult. My parents are at the age where their health continues to decline. My mother has been the caregiver for both her sister and my father as their health declined. It is not easy to see this slipping away of people that you love.
In the 1970’s, when I was a teenager, my father worked very hard on a large multi-year project that had a high risk of failure. He worked long hours, was under a lot of stress, and came home tired and irritable. My father was a man of sharp edges. There was always something hard charging about him. He was not one to cross.