Long, long ago in a faraway land known as Denver, Colorado, I loved a beautiful man and he loved me. He was brilliant, funny, irreverent, sophisticated — and primarily gay. He had nice parents, too. His mother was a teacher and his dad a shrink, both lived in Gary, Indiana.
I know you’re singing from The Music Man, now. I can hear you, “Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana, la la,” but please don’t let YOUR singing imply that Peter fit the gay stereotype of loving musical comedy. He didn’t. Still and all, this quotation from the musical says a lot about our lives at the time, “Never let the demands of tomorrow, interfere with the pleasures of today.”
I got to know his father quite well because he often came to visit.
Naturally, as Peter and I were extremely cool and intellectual young people, we lived on Capital Hill. My apartment at the time had a nice pool and sauna. It was a basic 1960s/70s apartment in the faux Spanish style. The stucco on the ceilings in the lobby and hallway was often compared to bat guano, as in, “Why didn’t you open the door? You buzzed me in. You knew I was here, but instead you left me standing out here under the bat guano,” but otherwise it was pretty nondescript. I had a large efficiency apartment with built in bed/sofas. One end of the apartment was a floor to ceiling window looking out on the parking lot. Across the alley and a row of houses, I could see my boyfriend’s apartment, the top floor in a 3 story turn of the century (19th to 20th) converted family home.
One evening, after supper, we all went for a swim. It was the first time I’d met Peter’s father. There was a camera involved — odd because that ONLY happened once. Peter stood on the edge of the pool trying to get both swimmers (heads mostly underwater) into the frame. To do this he yelled, “Relate! Relate!”
I still think that is hilarious.