My Gratitudes

For Louie when he’s off-leash and walking by my side. For last night when the compulsive fever broke and I took him up to the top of the rock across the way and we looked out on the glittering city and I told Mom that I missed having her around. For the Studly Couple, the Tattooed Monk, Bearbait, and Handsome for being patient when I go away from them. For fall and the way it smells. For my new, cheap home in a beautiful, outrageously expensive city. For being able to walk on the beach after a ten-minute drive. For Remeron and Wellbutrin. For my health. For the HIV. For twelve little steps. For Cozy Shack rice pudding. For endolphins. For the last time I saw my mom. For the last time I saw my dad. For Jocko and the letters. For Jonno and limerence. For Aaron’s big fat heart. For Jimbo and s’mores. For Vince and compassion. For the Gadfly and his wit. For Richard and mystery. For Kurt and nakedness. For Jhames and the love. For Donald and the truth. For mister latino daddy who smiled again this morning on the leg press. For my Red Wing boots. For Paul Wellstone. For the times I can let it go. For sex. For kissing. For words. For the Glide Ensemble. For Bruce. For “Behavior”. For Michael Cunningham and Michael Chabon. For Mark Doty and Lynda Hull. For being a homo. For Aimee Mann and Tracy Thorn. For house music. For all the people I’ve met through dogpoet. For the Internet. For Hedwig. For warm nights and heat lightning. For Ski. For writing really embarrassing stories. For love when it comes my way again. For David Sedaris and the Rooster. For seeing Salif Keita in Berkeley and watching while he and his back-up singers pulled all sorts of people up on the stage where they all danced without irony. For the Berkeley pizza parlor that was closed last Friday because “we’re all going to be protesting the war”. For where I go when I dance. For driving at night with music. For teachers. For nurses. For laughing at the woman who says “The Language of Film is at Landmark Cinema” but secretly liking the pretension. For popcorn with butter. For matinees. For people who still vote. For people who still read. For people who still adopt from shelters. For Edmund White: “I learned to feel nostalgia for my own youth while I was living it.” For walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. For the Holocaust Museum. For Maus. For Jennie saying I have a book somewhere in me. For chest hair. For role models, not heroes. For my sponsees who seem to think I have something they want. For a spiritual awakening in a desert hotel. For underdogs. For the freaks and the losers. For wearing one’s mental illness in all its splendor. For sadness and unrequited love. For going so low. For surprises. For getting my heart broken. For my first paid acting gig. For plays and little theaters. For Ecstasy: it was fun while it lasted. For not needing it anymore. For growing up in the Midwest. For leaving Minneapolis. For ACT-Up and Queer Nation. For youthful drama and grown-up confidence. For sexual experimentation and lack of inhibition. For forests and rivers. For oceans. For the wrath of nature. For libraries and classrooms. For standing ovations. For rough drafts. For second chances.

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