An account of my life through my writing, the arts, men and media. All things homoerotic.
Monday, May 09, 2011
GOOD NIGHT, SWEET PRINCE
My cousin, David passed away yesterday. I was at work when I received the news and it hit me hard. I was planning to go see him this week because I knew he was going into Hospice Care soon and wanted to see him. He was battling cancer and related kidney problems. He was 70 and had lived in San Francisco since his early 20s.
David was the oldest of four boys and one girl. He was my father's sister's son. Raised Mormon in Salt Lake City, he was the only other gay cousin of 32 first cousins. When he graduated from the University of Utah he knew he had to get out of Utah and moved to San Francisco at the height of the beat movement in the late fifties. When I was a senior in High School I came to visit and stayed a few days with him and his lover Tom. We smoked a joint together one night and he played the Beatles, Sgt Pepper's album for me. I always remember that night when I hear the music. I also remember laying awake in the spare bedroom, listening to what sounded like them making love in the other room and wishing they would ask me to join them. David and Tom were in our lives a lot. They visited us when we lived in Napa and came to my wedding in Santa Barbara. David and Tom broke up and it was a big deal in our family. And then it was David and Jimmy. I stayed with them for two weeks while I was guest teaching in San Francisco. I was divorced and on the verge of coming out. At night I would roam the Castro alone, visit sex clubs, but was never able to talk to my cousin about what I was going through. He knew, but was waiting for me to come to him in my own time. We never had that conversation. David and Jimmy got married during the time in California when it was legal and I was unable to attend their wedding. I was happy to hear that all his brothers and his sister and their families attended. I'm looking forward to seeing them. A memorial service is planned for next month. David was also very temperamental and would go long periods without talking to anyone in the family. Some slight or offence would set him off and we wouldn't hear from him for years. Our family has regular family reunions and David and Jimmy would attend and somebody would do or say something that would set him off and we wouldn't see him again the next year. I always felt it was frustrating and probably somewhat annoying for him to watch me go through my slow coming out journey. I was planning on having some time to talk about all this when I saw him this week. I know he loved me and he adored my children and they loved him. He was bright, intelligent, loved the opera, especially Wagner; ugh. He was articulate and well read and loved to argue. He had a great laugh. I will miss him.
"An artist has always gotta be in the state of becoming"... Bob Dylan...
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