Aquarius 22° (February 10)

Blent 2. Next stop Friday, April 9. I am speeding up this process because ripping off the band-aid is the most important thing to do. I’m actually excited now to make this a reality.

Queen Esther (aster), so called, was originally named Haddasah, the Hebrew word for myrtle, the flowers of which form the shape of a five-pointed star—living in exile in the Persian diaspora, she disguised her Jewish identity while being ushered into the Persian king’s harem and prepped as a candidate to be his quuen, which she did become, by virtue of her youth and surpassing beauty. In the year-long preparation to even meet him, Esther was purified daily with myrrh, which was typically used for embalming, thus ritually dying as her old self to be reborn as one anew (the Magi offering myrrh as a gift to the infant Jesus is also a foreshadowing of his sacrificial death). Esther is a helpless, compliant character for much of her story, but becomes savior to her the Jews, preventing their annihilation, though she does so unwittingly, as if by chance. It was never her idea to be in the right time and the right place to fulfill this destiny, but there she was; and even though she claims helplessness when initially urged to intervene, she ultimately springs into action. One thinks of a bull which must be incited to charge by the sending up a red flags. Esther is so adored by the king, that she can stop pretending she is who she isn’t and convinces him to save her people from ruin. Likewise, after a particularly furious scene with the now phantom teen, Nancy, Myrtle Gordon, declares to her director  of the play within the film, fittingly entitled The Second Woman—to be interpreted multiple ways—that she is “not acting,” as the film begins to blur the line between being and performing, addressing the larger theme of a woman, women, playing their prescribed roles, or refusing to do so. Myrtle got to where she is, the star of the play, like Margo Channing, by virtue of her talent, yes, but also because of her youth and beauty and sacrifice—both women are single and childless—to their ambition for ubiquitous (audience) praise. Both women get to a point along their individual paths where youth and beauty are forsaking them—Myrtle is relegated to playing no longer the first but “the second woman,” just as Margo is appearing in Aged in Wood, a nod to the Myrrha myth, in the play within that film. Their artistic talent, it turns out, doesn’t sustain them and, indeed, both characters stop acting i.e. pretending, onstage and off. Myrtle continues in the play but, little by little goes completely off-script and breaks the “fourth wall,” thus allowing her true self to emerge and dispel the pretense of illusion. Ironically, unaware, the audience responds in glorifying applause. End scene.

The following blocks of text are exceprts from my first year of  Blagues, nos. 1571-1575. I am reading through all of my Blagues, five per day, and posting some samples here. Now, in my sixth year of writing this Blague, by the time I get to my seventh, I will have journeyed through all the daily Blagues of my first five years. If that’s confusing I apologize. Year seven, I’ll only have to read through year six, once a day.

But for perhaps a brief moment in the late seventies/early eighties being bisexual wasn’t the desired and celebrated, and let’s face it, the preferred assignation of sexual identity that it is today. I know, shocking right. Because we are all, everybody is, bisexual now. but, even just a few years back, most people were like I don’t buy it; you have to choose; you can’t be both; you’re hiding, you’re lying. Can you believe it. We used to tell this joke in our Starsky + Cox show, well, why don’t we do it together, can you believe we actually used to make fun of the fact that bisexuals, now the most potent and thriving sector of the larger LGBT community, was pretty invisible. I would say something about how I always strived to put the the B in LGBT and I would cite my work with the larger bisexual community and you would say:

Hang on, hang on. G yes, the gays, I love them. The L word, yes, lesbians, they love me. T. Trans. We wear the same shoe size and it can get pretty ugly at Ruthies sometime, but B, bisexual community, I don’t know it seems like a contradition in terms.

Well I recently attended the international bisexual men’s conference

Another pilgramage to Cologne

And I ended up saying to the other guy there….ba dum bum

Even just a few short years later the joke doesn’t make as much sense now. Not only does a greater part of the younger generation identify as bisexual or eschew labels altogether, because of a more visible and outspoken Trans community advocating for a non-binary perception and reality of gender, it just follows that, if only retroactively, the Bi’s were like um, that non-binary thing. It applies to us too. And because most people will admit (or not) to having a same-sex experience, we’ve gone from nobody being bisexual (that there’s no such thing) to seemingly everyone being like, yeah, you know there’s a great area. And that is mainly being driven by those we would heretofore label straight men who, now this is just my theory, have felt left out of the conversation. So instead of hiding, repressing their same-sex experiences, or even just their feelings about it, they’re like me too. Not that me too. Different me too. Which, as someone who has gotten a bit handsy over the year himself, is probably a good thing. I’ll just say this: That someone as supposedly woke as I always thought I was, I’ve had to recognize the times in my life that I have been, shall se say, overly insinuating. I admit it. I’ve been there. I’ve thought my attentions harmless or even flattering. I want to say I was never “that bad” but that’s a stupid thing to think let alone say. I can say my intions have only ever been harmless, but I didn’t get to decide that. And I think that what Aunt Mickey didn’t realize when she introduced me to Paulie when I was thirteen was that I had already had sexual interaction with both sexes because I grew up in the seventies and we had the opposite of helicopter parents and we were latch key and often “baby sat” by predatory hormone raging teens who were only a few years older than we were. That boys specifically were left in the company of only sligtly older boys who were likely lectured on how to treat girls but whose parents never laid down any rules about targeting other boys. My situation is not unusual. The physically developed fourteen year old boy who quote unquote molested me when I was a pre-adolescent with undeveloped (click click) didn’t know he was doing anything wrong. He was just doing to me what was done to him, in large part back through history. I was taught to be a gentleman with girls, but bets were pretty much off with boys. In some ways sexual interaction between boys of a certain age didn’t feel that different from sports. So maybe I wasn’t using creepy words playing Mad Libs with my friends, but I know I wasn’t alone in experiencing the things I did at a tender age. There were alpha males I went to junior high with, some of them who have high profile jobs, even whole careers, on television, who were caught playing with each other on field trips. They would go on to spend their adult lives denying it, mainly to themselves, and certainly never would have labelled themselves with B. For me, it’s the old chicken or the egg question. Who knows if I would have been turned on to guys if I hadn’t been turned on TO IT by another guy. Maybe, maybe not. There’s no way to know and I have never cared. I have always been happy with the B and I’ve made no bones about it. No pun intended. I’m happy to count myself among the number that includes Cary Grant and Marlon Brando and Tom Hardy and Robbie Williams and David Bowie and Mick Jagger. It is rumoured that this song by the Rolling Stones was written by David Bowie’s wife Angela who, in her autobiography, claims she walked in on David and Mick in bed together. I invite my own wife to join me on it.

You know I know I’ve been sort of going back and forth, chronologically a bit here. I white-witch excited to the suburbs when I was eight in large part due to what, or rather whom, my father called the Mullingyams, which is an Italian dialect version of the word Mellanzane which means eggplant, his charming word for black people. In Jersey City I was often styled as an albino junior member of the Jackson Five, for instance, one outfit I had was a wet-look alligator vinyl aviator suit, bell bottoms and bomber jacket with matching Tito type hat that came with a faux silk white shirt with attached scarf, which I wore, of course, with platform shoes. This is how I dressed for school. Culture shock moving to Wyckoff where everyone, boys and girls, were in Levi 501 jeans or cords, Adidas or Puma sneakers, and Lacoste, or sorry Izod or striped long-sleeved rugby shirt, depending on the season. It took me one trip to the Gap to blend in but years to assimilate internally. In large part because I was only ever in town for the school year–we always rented and ultimately owned a summer house at the Jersey shore—so I never got to bond with kids from my town in summer the way others did. It seemed the return to school each year was like one giant inside joke I was never let in on. Also a few times during my upbringing I missed the first two weeks of school due to some mystery illness which I now realize was some form of Munchausen by Proxy because, as sick as I was, my mother always managed to take me shopping and to lunch and to see films that I was too young to see like Sweet Charity or Cabaret or Ryan’s Daughter or The Other Side of Midnight.

And I know I did get as far as age thirteen in this story telling, but oh man—you know I had a feeling this was happening when I was writing this—but I didn’t realize to what extent I mean I seem to get stuck in the summer of my eleventh year. I have so much here (holds up book with pages and pages) and I mean, on and on and on. Why would I write so much. Why do I get stuck at this point.Yes that was the summer I was quote unquote molested—but there has to be more to it than that doesn’t it. I mean my first one-man show can’t get stalled at this one juncture in my life, do you think? I don’t know maybe I’m meant to question it. Maybe its a fourth trope of the solo play. Appealing to the audience. Solicity their participation at least in so far as asking them to draw their own conclusions. I know is that I refuse to get stuck here for pages and pages So I’m going to distill it for you and try to move on.

First of all I actuall hate that word, molested, as it relates to me anyway, I prefer the term, initiated. It feels less victimy, more empowering perhaps, more Greek, somehow which is fitting because in the previous school year, sixth grade we studied Greek mythology and I became immediately obsessed and I would remain so for the rest of my life. Also at the Jersey Shore in summer I had no friends but for the kids of the friends of my parents, most of whom I called Aunt and Uncle, who would stay, for a weekend or longer, in rotation. My father only visited us on weekends, my bad seed sister never spoke to me or acknowledged my existence, and my mother read giant Maeve Clincy novels under an umbrella in her beach chair in the day and drank increasingly more with girlfriends from Jersey City who also stayed “down the shore” or alone watching the black and white TV in her bedroom, door half closed, the hallway a play of light and shadow with each scene change of An American Family or Upstairs Downstairs or Marcus Welby or The Movie of the Week.

I was always alone, even when I wasn’t. Besides being vulnerable to any such initiations I was also free to explore my solo interests unseen. I could walk to the library and back, carrying stacks of books on mythology and ny new side-hustle obsession, witch craft. I somehow blended the two. I specifically remember finding old curtains in the attic which I hand stiched into robes, special vestments if you will, that I would wear when I would invoke the gods, making my own original incantations, mainly to Dionysus. I don’t know if I started doing this before or after being pinned down for a week by my initiator, Kenny Doyle, who ended up killing himself in his late twenties early thirties, but I do have the sense that my foray into wizardry for juniors was rapidly accelerated after the fact. I wasn’t really aware what was going on with me because I was just in it. Only a couple of years ago did I come across my sixth grad picture from the year before that summer and my seventh grade picture and, putting them side by side I felt really bad for this kid who, though always on the fringes went from being very forthright and funny, extroverted and the proverbial class clown to completely broke,n withdrawn, sad and now purposefully isolated not wanting to be seen. The beginning of seventh grade was one of those years I didn’t show up for two weeks. But here I am still talking about it. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? That thing they say about being broken. Well it’s definitely true because it was at this very low point that stranger things began to happen.

At the time I didn’t know that religion and theater shared the same route.

Actually it’s fine as I say I spent a long time im the summer of my eleventh year and what happens between that time and by the time I’m well into college, well, (holds up script) I’ve got that drafted too, for the most part, but, really, I really think I can distill the next nearly ten years. And after that I have another TROPE already prepared so I’m at least goint to leave this show by the time I’m forty. We may need to rethink the autobiographical set up actually.

So cutting and pasting. I’m talking about how IN WRITING this I got stuck in this groove and the obvious answer is because this was that summer where sexual shit went down but it is more than that. There’s the witchcraft and the incantations and there all of that. And I look at my school photos now sixth seventh grade and it is like day and night. But that’s the story and it’s a good story so a plot twist isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And here we go with perhaps another device, I’m not sure but, I would call this bit the encapsulation because I can pretty much sum up the entering into seventh grade, well into college in a paragraph: Entering junior high you are suddenly grouped together with students from, in my case four other schools, and hormones are flying everywhere, and suddenly the landscape is about heteronormative power couples walking the halls with their hands in each others back pockets—look out for the comb!—remember when combs in your back pocket were such a thing that they actually wore a hole in the corner of the pocket? Well that person in the powder blue shirt was the lowest of the lowest on the totem pole. And I found that I had so-called friends from grammar school who were so insecure and so jockeying for social position that they targeted me as an object of ridicule in an attempt to make themselves popular with this new uneasy mash-up of hormonal young egos being thrown together into what amounted to a junior-high snakepit. Midge. Whom I’m friends with now because I’m amazing but she threw me specifically under the bus. She got chummy with Adele Mimnaugh (the greatest mane ever but for Yvette Mimieux) and, also, to this day, I’m friends with. I’m very forgiving. And anyway, Adele wasn’t really buying it. She and (the then love of my life) Laurie Best, who was “so-outta-m’league—and this other kid, Mark Bennet, who is also dead, I think?, and who was also troubled, and would not have not intersected with my crazy cousins the next town over, we, in 7th grade, became a foursome on a fieldtrip to Philadelphia and Gettysburgh. Yeah, that’s the sort of perk public school once afforded in the quiet dutch settlement of Wyckoff.  This was not the fieldtrip where those alpha male boys were discovered … red handed??? probably more than that—and outed pretty violently—NO this was a romp through Philadelphia and Amish Country, eating shoo-fly pie, but nonetheless: Mark Bennet and I who shared one double bed fell asleep to the sound of giggling coming from the other boys, Steve and Tim, obviously in the throes of some sexual interlude. Why did we only just laugh at that ourselves? Because something in our basic natures said, yeah, well, this is normal. Mark and I weren’t feeling it and my gut is he was on the very straight end of the spectrum for sure; and I knew who my friend and my bedmate was and it never entered my mind ape our neighbors. Good grief no. I feel my straightness sometimes so accutely and it actually manifests as revulsion. I understand how certain straight people feel revulsion at the thought of being with someone of the same sex. I’m also 100% convinced they just haven’t met the best best friend for them.

As I said I stuck to myself. The above shit is not going in the show but it is recorded here.

To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree point of the Sabian Symbol may at times be one degree higher than the one listed here. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°,  for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360  degrees spread over 365/6 days per year—so they nearly, but not exactly, correlate.

Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go! Copyright 2020 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Get your HAUTE ASTROLOGY 2020 Weekly Horoscope ebooks by Starsky + Cox.