Notes from Kansas, Part 2

A beautifully written essay on home and hope and what matters.


I am once again back in Kansas, visiting my parents. My days are mostly filled with trips to Bartlesville for my Dad’s radiation, several trips to grocery stores and bakeries throughout southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma, and driving around Independence, with my dog, looking at old houses and buildings. My Dad is doing well, all things considered.

I get a little bored, our entire day revolves around a 10 minute radiation session. That’s not a complaint, it’s kind of beautiful really. Ten very important and hope filled minutes.

I like the downtime. I like taking my dog Ricky out with me for a walk or a drive. I take him to Riverside Park and we walk around the fountain. Tonight, after two days of rain, the sun had returned, with a few lingering dramatic clouds. The trees a little greener, the sky bluer, I wondered if maybe this was the…

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Does it get better?



Last week I read about another suicide, the details of this are irrelevant. Irrelevant that it does not matter who it was, it’s just another tragic end of someone life. And their are more suicides across the spectrum of age of people. Depression, social issues, the can go on. This person who ended her life was gay and had children.

Suicide leaves behind families, loved ones who never recover and battle to make sense of this. Being gay can make life more complicated and the challenge to survive and find who you are, a journey on its own.

In today’s age I am still sometimes stumped by our homephobic, racist, judgmental society. I had to go to the doctor last week, and as both William and myslef see the same doctors we have one medical file as it’s linked to our medical insurance. Before you see the doctor you have…

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Saturday night thoughts

It’s late at night, and I’m enjoying my fifth glass of wine.  Don’t worry, they’re not big glasses.  But so what if they are?  Dura vita est.  We must find our own way to deal with the pain of life.

I’m thinking of how short life is.  My dear little dogs, whom I loved so much.  My cat, who has kidney disease (cats get it too often) who is already ill and may not live much longer.   My friend Sam who died from bowel cancer when he was just 33.  My mother.  My father.

We love people or animals, and they love us back, but time, irreparabile fugiensque tempus, takes them away from us, as it eats up our own lives.  In the face of loss and sorrow, how do you maintain happiness?

I don’t know.  Wine helps.  Temporarily.

2014-12-25 13.19.10

Ranga, my cat, asleep on the “tigerskin” throw.

How to Take Ambien. 


Tip #1. Don’t do Ambien every night. Once every week or two is ideal, that way, when you fall into this wizened, actualized state I am currently in, it will feel like a gift, but also, an earned gift.

Tip #2. Drink some water, hydrate yourself.

Tip #3. Do a non dangerous household chore. No ladders. I walked my dogs and then cleaned out my freezer. It’s so orderly I could get a job as a Schwan’s ice cream man. Ambien helps us take pride in our work, even as it deters our ability to edit grammar and spelling.

Tip #4. Acknowledge what you are feeling. Today, I am sad, today, I am worried, today, I am grateful, today, I want to get in my car and drive to Kansas.

Last week, I told my parents and Eric that I felt I needed to move closer to home, to be…

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I’ve had this conversation several times with a number of people.. and it concerns the times I get down on myself…as we all do… I’m not rich… I don’t have a home… I live a frugal life… I, of course, want all the things everyone wants and I struggle every day to get a little closer to having a few of them… But on those occasions where I feel defeated I have to remind myself that I’ve accomplished quite a bit… First and foremost, I got “me” back. I can look in the mirror and say.. “I’m good with this man I see now.” It was a lot of hard work, and still is, but it was worth it to not dislike what I’d become. Secondly, my photography is known ’round the world… that’s quite an accomplishment for someone who always considered himself to be a perfectionist pain in the…

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