Friday, October 26, 2012

Los Angeles, Day Two

Here is Hollywood and Highland.  Supposedly the place to see the Hollywood sign from.  Do you see a Hollywood sign?
 Waited for 45 minutes for the bus to the cemetery and then the people showed up with their Jesus signs chanting about god so I got a taxi.  We pulled in and I thought it would be better marked.  I remember the cemetery in Paris with a map and famous people marked, but not here, it was more like a proper cemetery and I had to go in and ask and get directions.  I also bought a rose.
I walked over to the grave and as I was looking around for it, I saw a couple of deer at the top of the hill guiding me.
 I walked over to where the deer was and found Paul and his partner Roger and instantly started crying.
 Beautiful amazing words from a beautiful amazing man.
 Together again.
 Paul has a great view, this is looking up, near where the deer were.
 And this is looking down into the Hollywood hills.
 I sat there for about two hours.  I talked and shared a lot of private things, and I read from his works.  Security kept circling me but I paid them no attention.

I will share two things, the first is a poem Paul wrote at this spot after his partner Roger passed away from AIDS in 1986:

everything extraneous has burned away
this is how burning feels in the fall of the final year
not like leaves in a blue October but as if the skin were a paper lantern full of trapped moths beating their fired wings
and yet I can lie on this hill just above you
a foot beside where I will lie myself soon soon and for all the wrack and blubber
feel still how we were warriors when the merest morning sun in the garden was a kingdom
after Room 1010
war is not all death it turns out
war is what little thing you hold on to refugeed and far from home
oh sweetie will you please forgive me this
that every time I opened a box of anything
Glad Bags
KINGSIZE was the worst
I'd think will you still be here when the box is empty
Rog Rog who will play boy with me now that I bucket with tears
through it all when I'd cling beside you sobbing
you'd shrug it off with the quietest I'm still here
I have your watch in the top drawer
which I don't dare wear yet
help me please
the boxes grocery home day after day
the junk that keeps men spotless but it doesn't matter now how long they last or I
the day has taken you with it and all there is now is burning dark
the only green is up by the grave
and this little thing of telling the hill I'm here oh I'm here

And finally, the closing lines from his book Becoming a Man:

...this feeling that I'm the last one left, in a world where only the ghosts still laugh. But at least they're the ghosts of full-grown men, proof that all of us got that far, free of the traps and the lies. And from that moment on the brink of summer's end, no one would ever tell me again that men like me couldn't love.

I really feel that he was the one, the messiah to lead our people, to teach what brotherhood can mean, to help our community get past the shame and the anger and the regret and into love.  A brilliant man.
I thanked him for his contribution to the world and left. 
Gotta hurry, I got back late and busy day tomorrow.
I saw The Book of Mormon tonight.  A solid 9 out of 10.  Clever, funny, thought provoking.  A little heavy handed in some parts and the Mormon hell scene went on too long.
The idea of founding a religion based in America and exporting it to other countries in staggering in its audacity.  Still the irony was not lost on me with people laughing at Jesus in New York City or god living on another planet while fully accepting the virgin birth.
Afterward for $20 you could have your photo taken with the two stars in support of Broadway Cares Fights AIDS so I did, of course.  Here's two copies, the first with the red eye out but we look kind of alien and the second with the red eye in.

I did manage to find the place where the famous people sign their names and do the hand prints. I was impressed at the range of eras, Cher did it in 2010 which was late, but Natalie Wood did it in the 1930's, which I thought was early.  How old was she, 10?
Lots of famous people I don't care about, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Eddie Murphy, etc., and one I did.
Long travel (what else is new from this place?!?!) tomorrow.  First the post office, a 20 minute walk, for some stamps, then the Getty and the ONE archives.  Night!

No comments: