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Archive for June, 2010

Over just the past couple of months I’ve found myself back in touch with some of the kids I grew up with.  It was Minneapolis – the 70’s and the 80’s and because most of us were of Swedish decent, it was nearly impossible to find one another on Facebook.  Erickson, Peterson, Pederson, Johnson, Benson, Olson.

Two of my former neighborhood pals have married their high-school sweethearts, both of whom I also knew though the names didn’t necessarily match the faces I remembered.  Sons in the military, daughters off to college, anniversaries – milestones in their lives and I need only click to see the photos and read the captions.

Two others – guys from the neighborhood have moved away following their divorce.  One to Phoenix and the other to the U.K.  Another former childhood neighbor I discovered working in Chicago – reunited we were after nearly 20 years.

When I look at the lives of the people I once knew I find myself pondering the milestones that I see before my eyes.  Some pleasant, some not so pleasant, but milestones none the less.

This led to thought about my milestones, my rites of passage – and there seem to be far fewer.  Sure, I have photos of my vacations and of my dwellings but absent so often are photos that tie together my social past.  Absent because I had to break them or filter them because of sexual orientation.

I have no photos with my high-school sweetheart.  He didn’t know.  But we palled around constantly in our senior year.   We went to movies together, we went out to eat together.  We skipped class together – I on the back of his motorcycle as we made our way west on Lake Street.

While most of my childhood friends remained in Minnesota with their spouses, I traveled the world over thanks to my job.  While I was struggling with languages they were struggling with newborns.  When I was in New York, they were getting the kids ready for school.

Photos of me and my “friend” exist when we were together in Berlin and Frankfurt and then again when I took him to Las Vegas.  He has photos of me in a small East German village and in a lake-side dacha reserved for East German railroad workers.  But when my German boyfriend said he wanted to stay with me in the US, there was nothing either of us could do about it.

The twelve year old photos have little relevancy today – though they may have been milestone photos if the laws had been different.

For the past several years my birthdays were spent in Helsinki – an annual reunion with friends and colleagues.  Exotic as it may seem, the annual trips broke up winter’s monotony.  I don’t have photos of myself on my birthdays because I’ve been the one carrying the camera.  Social staccato.

There exists photos of me at airports, on airplanes and in subway stations – and on occasion there are stories, captions to go along with them.  But these photos don’t necessarily connect anything.  They’re just occurrences.

By no means am I bemoaning life.  I’m fortunate in many regards.  I’ve made good decisions, I’ve seen and done things time and again that most people may only do once in a life time.  Soon I’ll be moving yet again, this time to the splendid city of Chicago and I’ll be doing so worry free.  All good things indeed.

So don’t think I’m feeling jilted by the absence of any one thing or another.  It’s just that sometimes I notice the differences and that gets me thinking.

June is Gay Pride month. Do something to be proud of.

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