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Joe's night - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Joe's night

The tears were a surprise, as unexpected as a knock on the front door in the middle of the night, when the soft spotlight illuminated Joe (fabulist) standing on the bare stage with only two water bottles to keep him company. It was his night, his moment, and after watching him prepare for months for this moment, writing and rewriting and making certain that every detailed music and sound cue was just right, it was all I could do but cry.

“Pssst,” he whispered into the microphone, the gentle soundscape he’d created coming forward, but never overpowering the words. It was the beginning of his journey to find a suitable fairy godmother, his search for answers that came in the most unexpected places. My flush of emotion quickly switched to laughter, joining the appreciative audience that packed the Patterson Theatre in Baltimore.

The dense lyricism of his words carried all of us for nearly an hour, forcing the room to giggle and cry at his soul-baring honesty and the magic of his language. He ended the show in an homage to Bob Dylan’s cue card-throwing while the Ramones pounded out their cover of What A Wonderful World. It was a joyous expression, funny and humble, affirmed by the standing ovation that continued through the entire song.

One of the last cards he threw aside was for me. It read, And love for Terry D. who set me free. It was a generous message given all we’ve been through, the uncertainty that runs through the center of our relationship, one that by all standards has been impossible yet through Joe’s tenacity, it continues to work and flourish.

We met through Live Journal while I was still living in Los Angeles, before an abrupt job offer led me to DC. I’m not certain how he found my journal, or if I found his first, but he was one of the two best writers I’d read on here. Vance (drood) and Joe were encouraging, gently prodding me to tell my stories, but more importantly, subtly teaching me how to write them.

When I met Joe in person at his home in Maryland shortly after my move, our two-man Tilt-O-Whirl started, and often we’re riding in the same car, sometimes on the opposite side of the circle. Joe made the mistake of falling in love with me, a man who didn’t want to be loved, not in that way. That didn’t stop him, though.

Joe has been by my side for the past twenty months, watching with me through the vet’s emergency room window as I lost Billy’s and my beloved Bob . He flew to Chicago when he heard my dad was critical. It was an unwanted surprise, and I lashed out at him. That didn’t stop him from standing with me as I watched my dad slip away, and I am so thankful he was there.

He’s witnessed what I’ve kept private, the crippling spasms of losing Billy, knowing that I’ll never be able to love again like I loved my Guyster, and that hasn’t stopped him. He knows I’m about to leave, to go back home to LA, a clock constantly clicking down our time together, and that hasn’t stopped him. He bears the burden of my job frustrations, the tantrums I aim at him that pop like an angry pimple, and that hasn’t stopped him from loving me.

We rarely speak of our future, each of us afraid, each with a unique reason for the fear. The conflicts seem insurmountable sometimes, and with no solutions in sight, we keep silent, enjoying our time together as best we can with that damned clock ticking ticking ticking, and my own unwillingness to surrender.

On Friday night when that soft spotlight came up, and I saw Joe alone on the stage, I cried because I was so proud of him, I cried because I knew this man on stage loved me, I cried for only wanting the best for Joe because he deserves it. I cried because I’m not able to give it to him, not in the way he wants and needs.

In the end, though, I celebrated along with the rest of his audience. After the show, I went to the stage and grabbed the card meant for me, something I will always treasure. When he came from backstage, I kissed his smile and hugged him hard. “I love you, Joe-B,” I said. I meant it.
14 comments or Leave a comment
backawayslowly From: backawayslowly Date: April 24th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well I cried when I read this entry.
poohbearjim From: poohbearjim Date: April 24th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like a wonderful night.
cricketshay From: cricketshay Date: April 24th, 2005 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was beautiful Terry. You made me cry(like your posts often do-but that's a good thing, means that you moved me with your wonderful words) *hugs* I wish I could've been there. Joe is awesome. (as are you)
privatesector From: privatesector Date: April 24th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know your being there meant the world to him. And that means a lot to me since I (and many others) love the Joe you described.
spigotmd From: spigotmd Date: April 24th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am so glad for the two of you. Especailly Joe
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 24th, 2005 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was looking for you guys! Where were you?
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: April 24th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my. File this one with the ebst of your memorable LJ enries, td! It's a keeper.

And so is he.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 24th, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'll keep him, all right. I just don't know where or how. But, as we always assured each other, we'll figure it out.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: April 24th, 2005 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know most of my tears for you are the sadder type, damn glad to shed a silent one from happiness instead.

Be well,
and for fucksake,
roll with wellness,
at least for a moment or two?!

wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: April 24th, 2005 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a good thing to have Terry D. on someone's side.

This is the best entry I've read in weeks.

thafuzz From: thafuzz Date: April 24th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
From: tequilaprophet Date: April 24th, 2005 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
A very nice contrast to your last entry...
michaelkeane From: michaelkeane Date: April 24th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is such a beautiful piece of writing. I rarely tear up when reading journal entries, but you managed it. I don't have any words of consolation. Just know that your words are touching a lot of hearts out there.

Peace to you both.
quuf From: quuf Date: April 25th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
The sort of devotion you describe is so very rare, and such a tribute to you both.
14 comments or Leave a comment