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Patrick D.

September 1997

Welcome to September, month of Back-to-School Madness. For me, that is not the case. For me, it has been a matter of reviewing all of the mail I have received concerning the first, second, and third parts of my coming out story, originally published here in June, July, and August respectively. I said at the conclusion of my coming out story that I would try to highlight the lighter side of me (whatever THAT means) in this month's column. So here goes!

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Moving. What a bitch. Ever done it? As you may know by now, I come from the land of wheat. Of Dorothy and Toto. Of Bob Dole. Of moo-cows. Of Pizza Hut (yes, you heard right, go check it out... it started in Wichita, Kansas, right along with that atrocity known as White Castle). And when you are in Kansas, you feel a certain unmistakable urge come over you. The urge to grow. To blossom. To get the hell out of Dodge, so-to-speak. So, finally, at the ripe ol' age of twenty-four, I did.

You must understand what it is like to move out of state for the first time in your life... and many of you do. You pack all of your worldy possesions up in boxes and bubble wrap (save for all of the old magazines and lost credit card receipts you found buried under your bed somewhere). Then you go out and get a rental truck and those fashionable pads that come with it. In my case, I also got a car carrier. This wasn't one of those let-two-wheels-roll-on-the-pavement deals. No, sirree, Bob. I wanted the whole car to be spoiled. By golly, why should I have all of the fun? By the way, it is highly recommended by the manufacturer of this particular car carrier not to drive the moving van past the speed of 45 MPH, so as not to cause harm to the car carrier. This was RECOMMENDED, my friends, not handed down by God as the Eleventh Commandment. Those wheels would become married to the glorious interstate highway system at 65 MPH. Eat your heart out, Penske.

To help me with my move away from dear old Sedgwick County, Kansas was my good friend, Alley. She happens to be a skinhead (although she really has short dyed-blonde hair). And she is cool as hell (and just how cool IS Hell this time of year, anyway?). I know what you're thinking. A skinhead? And a gay guy? Together in a moving van??? Yep. She happens to be a SHARP. That stands for SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice. Basically, she's a lot of fun. So, here she is, helping me load up the moving van, and helping me clean up my old apartment. Loading is the biggest, most painful experience of a move. And my back was killing me about four hours into the loading process. The boxes and furniture were quite heavy. Alley wasn't any better off than I was... she's about 5' 3" and petite. Plus, she had recently been in a fight with some bitch that actually bit both of her thumbs to the point of bleeding. Do you think she was in pain? You betcha.

We went to sleep that night...waking up bright and early the next morning to haul my ass off to my destination of choice... Atlanta, Georgia. There is much to be said for Atlanta. It is a large, modern metropolis booming in the heart of the South. It is also full of some very friendly people. Not to mention a large lesbigay population. And the guys are absolutely beautiful! I honestly believe that they (whoever "they" is...the government?) hand-pick them and truck them in from afar or something, because the guys are that wonderful. Of course, at the start of my journey, the only thing wonderful would be to arrive in Atlanta awake. You see, my friend, Alley, and I decided to drive straight through (yes, I said "straight"...all of you "gaily forward" people REALLY need to get over yourselves) all the way from Wichita, Kansas to Atlanta, Georgia...roughly a nineteen hour trip. The route took us through such thrilling cities as Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga. Just a word of caution to all of you future road travelers: Don't ever drive through Little Rock or Memphis. The roads in those two cities almost killed us. Can you say "road destruction"?

Well. I can see that I've yapped enough as it is, already. So I won't bore you with the details of the young hick girl in the small town just west of Little Rock who was working behind the counter at the combination-Texaco/Subway shop who was flirting with the 50 year-old guy sitting down at the booth nearby.... or with the story of not being able to get my car off of the carrier because one of the ramps was stuck INSIDE the carrier, thereby causing us to dial up emergency road service at 7:30 in the morning... or the tale of how, after nineteen hours of driving, my new apartment was not ready for us to stumble in and die on the floor because the fools at the complex had not painted my walls yet, and how we wound up sleeping in the model apartment instead (you know, the really nice one they always show to prospective renters,) with both of us smelling nasty from hours without a shower, and both of us drooling on our respective pillows in our sleep. No. I won't bore you with those tiring details. What I will tell you is that I'm glad to be here in Atlanta. Now, all I have to do is unpack everything....

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Once again, If you decide that you have any questions, comments, bitches, gripes, or complaints, then send your mail to me. Where I will try to respond to your commentary as quickly as my physician will allow me. Until October (ooh! Cult month!)....

Patrick


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