Sunday, November 22, 2015

Breakfast in the Castro: Another Loss and Another Gain

Mibes: Good morning, wow you look great. How are you?

Me: Good morning, Mibes. Thanks. I don't feel great, but it is good to see you. How are you?

Mibes: Always, always better when I'm with you. You're not feeling well?

Me: Aw, you're kind to say that. I'm OK, still a bit discouraged that my church has... well you know.

Mibes: If it helps to talk about it, let's talk. If not, there's plenty of time to discuss it later.

Me: You remind me of a counselor just trying to make me feel at ease. No pressure.

Mibes: We'll I do hope you'll always feel we can talk about anything, but I don't want to make you feel anything. I'm happy to sit here in silence. Just being with you in total silence, that's OK by me.

Me: Really? I don't think we've ever done that. I think we've always talked about something over breakfast.

Mibes: That's mostly true. Unless you count the long silences. But I'm not counting. I'm good with a lot of talk, or some, or long silences or silence only. It's not like someone's listening in on us, taking down every word.

Me: How can you say that? When you know it's exactly like that?

Mibes: hahaha! A reference to you and your blog, no doubt.

Me: Yes.

Mibes: Yes and no. Your blog has focused on our breakfasts but not exclusively. Of nearly 300 posts, you've only written 30 about breakfast with me, if you count this one.

Me: That's the largest single category. Our breakfasts are significant.

Mibes: Yeah, I guess so. Sort of like tithing. One tenth. It adds up.

Me: When we met it was like I met someone who's known me all my life and still likes me.

Mibes: You're sweet. But you're just projecting what you want on to me. I'm such an empty canvas you can see just about anything you want to see.

Me: Don't go all psycho-babble on me.

Mibes: Ahem. You're the one with his hands on they keyboard. I'm only saying what you're writing.

Me: I sometimes forget for a moment. That's another one of your qualities, though. You help with perspective. I can show up for breakfast here hungry and depressed, and I somehow leave with more than food in my stomach. I leave feeling more optimistic, more loved, less depressed.

Mibes: It works that way for me too. I'm somehow able to put losses and gains into context.

Me: So what do you make of the new policies?

Mibes: Hey I live in the Castro for several reasons. One of them is a sense of community.

Me: Ok, now we're getting somewhere. That's the one of the losses I feel. I've lost of my sense of community. I used to imagine that the brethren not only knew people like me, but they also loved us. That they wanted us and our children to soar.

Mibes: They still say they love you. And you're OK. You're married to a woman. Your children aren't being denied anything.

Me: Oh but they are. No one benefits from this. I don't see any upside, but maybe it's survivor's guilt. My Kinsey scale was once in a place that made my path possible. But that's not possible for so many. And my wife, my children, it's like we all got unusual blessings that are now denied to others through no fault of their own.

Mibes: You've had your blessings and your challenges.

Me: But I feel this loss now. I feel this sadness. A loss of hope. Summer turned to winter. Slap.

Mibes: Well it is late November. Time to look forward to Thanksgiving. It is on Thursday, you know.

Me: (sigh) Yes, and I am thankful for lots of things, just not this. Why do we have to- -

Mibes: - -deal with losses, disappointment?

Me: betrayal

Mibes: I don't have answers.

Me: I know.

Mibes: But I love you. And this too shall pass.

Me: You love me now, but it's going away?

Mibes: No. I love you now and always. Politics, that's what we're dealing with here and it won't always be like this.

Me: Maybe it's going to get worse.

Mibes: Maybe.

Me: But maybe there are gains, even now.

Mibes: Like what?

Me: Maybe there's awareness that this is a game-changer. Maybe more stories will be told.

Mibes: That's already happened. And my sense is that there's more to come.

Me: This ain't over.

Mibes: Not for you and not for thousands of others. Stadiums full of them.

Me: But what about the guys at 47 East South Temple?

Mibes: What about 'em?

Me: Don't they see all the trouble they've caused?

Mibes: They see what they want to see. They may see it as an affirmation that they can do hard things. That when God tells them to do something they do it.

Me: But I don't think this came from God.

Mibes: You have your experiences in life. They have theirs. But here's the deal. They are seeing things they didn't see before. We all are. They want to do the right thing.

Me: How do you know that?

Mibes:  I don't know that. But I want to believe it. I want to think that there are a lot of elements in play right now and they know it.

Me: So I should be grateful for that, eh? That there's this siege of ideas? This siege mentality?

Mibes: It's part of picture. Give or take a few billion pixels.

Me: Mibes, I'm glad you're so calm.

Mibes: I'm glad you're glad. We made a lot of progress from typos and Twinkies, don't you think?

Me: I guess.

Mibes: You've made my day. You know that don't you?

Me: How so?

Mibes: Because we talked. It reminded me of those other 29 conversations and gave me hope for maybe another couple of dozen.

Me: You and your numbers. Of course there will be more.

Mibes: You and your keyboard. It all depends on you. If you want more, I'm game. Now give me a hug and go do whatever you do with your Sundays these days.

Me: Thanks my friend. I will.

Mibes: In the midst of affliction your table is spread.

Me: I guess it is. You'll be in my prayers of thanksgiving, Mibes.

Mibes: Are you are in mine. As you are in mine.

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