Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Okay, it's Wednesday, so I have two days to get buff and lose ten pounds before heading off to Esalen on Friday. Um...ain't gonna happen, I don't think. Not this year. Ah, two years ago, when I was in training to swim a mile for Women with Cancer and had read Potatoes Not Prozac and become a no-sugar zealot, then I was lean and mean and full of steam and could sit proudly in the hot tubs naked as a jaybird for God and everybody to see. But life has intervened since then, my nephew Noah turned me onto Sudoku, my gym, aka Mecca, closed, which has ruined my life, and here I sit in my nice soft pudding self again.

I did go to my new gym last night--10:30 p.m. at 24 Hour Fitness in Oakland--and the pool was full of kids! At 11:00 on a school night! What were their parents thinking? Mostly it looked like Asian young ones, very sweet, speaking Chinese and horsing around, having a good time. I tried to swim around them, but there were just too many bodies in the water, and I kept crashing into the damn styrofoam kickboards which they would bring into the water to play with and then abandon.

I thought of the pristine waters of Lake Malawi at sunrise with longing; how sweet to swim in a real lake, instead of murky over-chlorinated steamy rancid water.

I need to find a new gym. This one is close to my house, it's relatively cheap and convenient, but the locker rooms are gross, the pool is crowded and unsupervised, and it's virtually impossible to get a decent swim. I should go over to the Mills pool and check out their hours--though I'm a big fat baby about swimming in an outdoor pool in winter--and I hate being kept to set, short hours. I'm a hanger, I like to luxuriate. Maybe that posh expensive gym in Alameda, if I can justify the expense.

Meanwhile, I'm intrigued by this whole Larry Craig gay-arrest in the airport bathroom thing. I wrote my talented playwright friend S, a young gay man, and suggested he write a play about it, and he wrote back, very nicely, "Why don't you? You don't have to be gay to write about 'gay' material."

I watched a video clip of Craig's two adult children being interviewed by Diane Sawyer. They seemed so convinced that nothing at all had happened, that this was all a smear campaign designed to get their father. I want Republican hypocrites to fall on their asses as much as the next person, I suppose, but it's sad when it happens in this way. My ex-husband's uncle was also a closeted, married gay man who got arrested for soliciting an undercover cop in a Men's Room in a train station in Chicago. Uncle Alan was an old-line Communist, who used to argue (with a straight face,) that there was no homosexuality in the Soviet Union, because it was a decadent Capitalist disease. He was up to his eyeballs deep in denial, but he was also a human being with a family, and the whole incident was painful.

I asked C, "Has anyone ever bothered you in a public bathroom, asking for sex?" He said no.

I wonder what the foot signals were. I saw a photo of the undercover cop who arrested Craig and he looks like a young fallen angel, pretty in a bad boy way.

I'm mulling over the idea of making a play about this, but not sure how I would pull it off. Meanwhile, I'm reading a play S. wrote, about a contemproary gay man who rises from the dead and sparks a religious/medical furor all over the world. It's wonderful!

I also bought Albee's Zoo Story yesterday at the used bookstore, because I need to read that, and I bought 4 movies onsale at Silver Screen video--Babel, and Marie Antoinette, and Stranger Than Fiction, and Infamous, the other movie about Truman Capote. I justify all these purchases as research--I need tor ead the Albee because of my two-character one-act hot tub play; I am thinking of a play with Marie Antoinette as a character, and, well, the other two movies are about writers, and I'll always watch anything about a writer.

So I'm waiting for Fed Ex to arrive and pick up Masankho's suitcase, which should be with him in Hawaii, but is not, because the airline screwed up. C is back at work, first week back teaching, after our lovely idyllic summer, and I'm adjusting to the new season. Five new poems about Malawi which are pretty good, another two scenes for the musical. And lesson plans. And doing push-ups.


Anonymous said...

I've been wondering what the foot signals are, too. Is it reasonable to imagine that normal movement in a bathroom stall could be mistaken for the foot signals to initiate sex? There is no way to tell without knowing what they are. The media doesn't seem to want to go near this. Is there anybody out there who could explain exactly what these foot signals are?

Elizabeth said...

In answer to anonymous' question, I say simply this. I have never bumped feet with someone in a stall next to me. Not intentionally, not accidentally. And what about the thing with the hand under the divider?

As the ex wife of a gay man, I know that men are parking lots, in bathrooms, at rest areas, in public parks. It is commonplace.

I have no pity for ex-Senator Craig, and no doubts about his guilt. He is the Webster definition of hippocrit.

Alison, I'm not gay, but wrote a play about being gay...starring my ex husband, of course. One has only to be able to empathize and listen intently and one can write about any painful subject.

Jose Carlos said...


Excuse me Alison, this is your blog, but something Elizabeth said caught my attention in particular.

I'm from Brazil (and I'm in Brazil). It is very uncommon here for a woman to say she is gay. Gay is more often than not applied only to men. Another point, since this man was Elizabeth's husband, I presume he was not gay, but rather bisexual, right?

Elizabeth, you kept me wondering about that play of yours. Is it a drama (you mention the word 'painful'), a commedy or something in between? Did it ever get performed? And is it possible to read it online or at least to get to know the plot?

Yes, I agree: one can write about anything if there is empathy and attention, but also some research is helpful. And it doesn't have to be a play, does it?

Alison said...

Well, this is interesting! Can anyone help us out with the foot and hand signals thing here? Yes, I'm very inclined to think that Senator Craig is gay, but I think a play about it would need to keep the audience not sure and guessing, even arguing about it. Jose Carlos, we mostly say "lesbian" for gay women, (but some women also use "gay.")