SILLY SILLY STRINGS AND BEAUTIFUL THINGS
From the newsletter archives-
Happy going arounds and coming arounds
June 25, 2007
Years and months and weeks and days (and wrinkles) ago, I lived on a little island south of Boston called Squantum. It was named after the indian Squanto of pilgrim lore. I am not sure if he even existed because our revisionist history is so revisioned but at any rate it was a nice little island with a population of 3000 and a monument to said indian. It was connected to Quincy, a city south of Boston, by a little causeway. It was a blue collar community and every other person had a dog. Me too. It had a beach and a view across the water of the Boston skyline, high rocky cliffs, and woods. I could have paddled to my job in downtown Boston and saved hours of bitchy traffic had I a little boat. It also had a gate and a guard because it connected to another island that was a maximum security detox center so walking the dogs meant we could only go so far as the guard house because guard house dude had a gun. We watched the tide schedules daily because at low tide the channel drained out and we could walk across the sand bar to a whole other island called Thompson Island and when we reached the other side, we’d be turned back by other guards because we were trespassing on outward bound land. We liked trespassing. We didn’t like guns though. No.
When I first moved to Squantum I met a guy named Hans while walking the beach with my dog one day. He was fabulosity and joy personified. He would change my life forever. Hans taught me, by example, what it was to receive the world and every bit of it, with unconditional love.Then he met Bob. Bob was just as fabulous and full of love for the world and I learned even more about the important things in life. Fate gave me special lessons.
When Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, I married them. We had a ceremony on a beach in Carver, MA, in which I united them in matrimony. It made me proud of our state and I felt honored to officiate their ceremony by the power invested in me by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. En route to the ceremony I was tasked with picking up balloons at a party supply store nearby. Hans wanted to surprise Bob with these balloons. There was a mix-up though as the balloons waiting for us said, “You’re a bride!”, and such other girlie-bride things, so I edited them and chose other balloons. At the counter, paying, I noticed a stack of purple silly string and, being mischievous, I bought cans for me and the other witness, Hans’ brother Stephen. We hid them under our sweatshirts and when I pronounced them married people, we stringed them good.
Years later when they moved to San Francisco I visited them and they threw a cocktail party for me. At some point Hans, out-mischieving me, handed me a framed picture of the silly silly string incident and asked me to recount the story for the guests. I did so willingly, enthusiastically even; gloating perhaps about my surprise attack, and when I got to the part about the silly-stringing all the guests pelted me with said mischief-matter. Hans had been covertly handing out silly-weaponry and instructing everyone as to the moment of payback and I got payback, but good.After a long battle with cancer Hans left us June 22 and now I suspect he is silly-stringing God, or whoever is in charge of this life, and I bet they are slapping each other on the back and plotting further mischief. I see Hans leading everyone we have ever lost in a silly conga line of joy and shenanigans and if there is a heaven, it is now a sillier and more joyful place.