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Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
The Globe
When my fortieth birthday rolled around, Billy and I had been separated for seven months. He had left his studio apartment in Santa Monica and moved in with our friend Scott. We had been getting along better than I had expected, dating in a proper way and getting closer through being apart. I didn't know what he was planning for my birthday but I knew he was burning with excitement. He picked me up and we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Baja Cantina. When we got back home, he pulled out some wrapped presents from his trunk and we headed into the house.

Once inside, he laid out the presents in a row. It was a tradition we called "the birthday walk," and presents were arranged to be opened in order. First the card that said "I'll give you the world if you accept my love." The next package was the obligatory socks and underwear we always gave one another. Next were a few gifts I can't even remember but they probably veered toward goofy or sexy. The last gift was a big square box.

"Go ahead. Open it!" his impatience getting the better of him.

I ripped open the wrapping and inside the box was an old globe from the forties that lights up from the inside. I had admired one a few years ago. He remembered. I looked up in surprise and reached and hugged him. I kissed him, feeling the warm bristles of his mustache. He was so happy by my reaction, he smiled through the kiss.

The globe was promptly put right on the dresser that sits to the left of the front door. I turned it on and its soft glow lit the darkening room. We sat on the couch and kissed and talked until we made our way to the bedroom.

Billy moved back home four months after my birthday. A few years later, we had a bad fight. After a battle, Billy would measure with his fingers how big the fight was. Little fights ranked an inch or two between his thumb and forefinger. Medium fights rated an outstretched thumb. Rarely were arms used.

But this fight had real teeth to it and damned if I can't even remember the ignition. During our argument, Billy accidentally swung his arm around, while standing by the globe, and knocked it to the floor. The globe's glass shattered and I retreated to the bedroom, shaken by its loss. I could hear Billy sweeping up and when he was done, he came into the bedroom and apologized. I didn't accept it and gazed at the television with defiance.

The next day, after the emotional dust had settled, Billy exclaimed, "That was a big fight!" This time his arms stretched wider than any fight we ever had.

Over the next few months, the garage was suddenly off limits to me. Billy spent a great deal of time locked inside. It was always his domain anyway with his workbench and tools and his growing collection of stuff that was rescued from the neighborhood garbage bins.

At Christmas that year, we opened our presents. They were the usual little gifts leading up to the grand prize. The amount of gifts, no matter how small, were more important than the actual present. I bought Billy a CD burner, a scanner, some socks and underwear, and assorted goodies. It was always gift-for-gift. First me then him then me. I opened up all of my gifts and was happy with the booty I collected.

"Wait a minute, Mister, you have one more!" he said as he popped off the couch and ran to the garage. He brought back one more box. A big square one wrapped in Santa paper. Not having a clue what was in it, I ripped apart its Santas and inside the box was the globe. He took every single piece of that shattered glass and glued it seamlessly back together with painstaking detail. It was whole again.

From that day forward, the light inside the globe has never gone off except to change the low wattage bulb inside. It sits in the same spot as it first rested, sharing the top of the dresser now with Billy's folded flag and his dogtag.

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy
Current Music: the sound of a party in a neighboring house

12 comments or Leave a comment
explosivo From: explosivo Date: April 12th, 2003 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
that's a big fucking jigsaw puzzle... and yet, one more piece in the puzzle that *I* have always had difficulty putting together regarding your relationship with a man I only had incidental contact with over the years. Thanks. I'm finally getting it.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 12th, 2003 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know what you mean, Marc. Shortly after Billy moved to New York, by less than a month, you moved back to LA. Then when we got back, we sort of cocooned and I can't explain why we all didn't see each other more often. I wish you guys had gotten to know one another better. I think you would have really dug him. You both share very similar tastes in music, although he did have an unnatural affection for Madonna, and he was just easy to be around.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 12th, 2003 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I'm finally getting it.

And thank you, Marc, for being a great friend.
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 12th, 2003 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Vance. The sky is crying tonight. Los Angeles is finally getting some rain.

I love the word "Lordy." My Grandma said that all the time. Her long version was "Oh Lordy bless my soul. Hang me from a hickory pole." Even as a child its logic escaped me but she said it with such conviction, I believed her.
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: April 13th, 2003 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for another great story. I was re-looking at your pictures you posted yesterday and I see you have a lot of mementoes of Billy's life there; maybe you could talk about some more of them one day. This one was very special though.
From: inkprincess Date: April 13th, 2003 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
that is such a wonderful story!!! Billy sounds like the sweetest person EVER!!!
lapalomita From: lapalomita Date: April 14th, 2003 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
What a beautiful story sweetie. Thanks so much for sharing it.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: April 16th, 2003 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)


I am a bud of Danman's and have noticed your journal through reading his. I have to say that your comments and your stories are great. I find myself spending more time than I had intended. Still getting used to the format but loving it. This last entry has me in a very mellow mood, but leaves me full of hope.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 16th, 2003 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wow

I am really thankful you took the time to read my stories. Once you get into writing on this thing everyday, it will become not only addictive but also really a lot of fun. And helpful. Thanks again.
quuf From: quuf Date: December 22nd, 2003 11:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I figured the globe had some special significance, but this is wonderful - your very own ner tamid, broken swiftly in anger and painstakingly reassembled. "For love is patient . . ."

The pain you've endured is hard for me to imagine, but I try. If I'm especially lucky, it will remain restricted to my imagination. I've known loss, but nothing like this. I love reading about you and Billy, and only wish I'd come sooner to the campfire.

Well, enough of that for now. Wherever you are this Christmas, I hope you're surrounded by people who love you.

And if you happen to be in the Golden State, keep your head down: I had the recent pleasure of experiencing, back-to-back, the SF blackout and the San Simeon quake. There's no place like California!

- Quuf
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 30th, 2003 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much, Quuf. I happened to be in LA for Christmas but I missed the earthquake by a day. Those unexpected seismic jolts can be downright aerobic.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday as well.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 30th, 2003 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also, thank you for going backward in my journal. I appreciate that very much as well as your words of kindness and compassion.
12 comments or Leave a comment