Angkor Wat?Bottom Highlights, Bill's Briefs Thursday, March 17th, 2016
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
Oh yes, the Cambodian temples – a bucket list favorite and truly outstanding, if you love ruins. From a distance their enormity and grandeur awed and humbled us as we realized what the toil of thousands of workers had produced. But seriously folks, once inside the huge blocks of stone and surrounded by countless depictions of gods, warriors and dancing girls the excess of it all melds together.
To the uninitiated, one interior is like another as they trudge across vast anterooms and then face stairs up to the towers, stairs down to the gardens, stairs up to the gates, stairs down to the pool and stairs up to the main stairs. At every point, the eyes are inundated with imposing statues, elaborate columns and enormous carved panels depicting battles, rituals and kings all with names having six to10 syllables which were reverently intoned by our guide. He had learned it all by rote and happily rattled on (and on) listing everyone’s pedigree and claim to fame.
Also included were minute details regarding the hero’s inevitable companion – usually a lion, three-headed elephant, monkey or bullfrog. Our heads aching and reeling from the mostly incomprehensible verbal deluge, but so grateful for the finale, we gushed our thanks and tipped him hugely before trekking half a mile to our tuk-tuk and hurdling on to the next massive dilapidation whose rooms, towers and corridors duplicated what we just left, including the stairs.
All in all, we were thrilled to see these fabled wonders, but exhaustion set in and blaming sudden stomach flu we cancelled the next day’s exciting tour of more ruins, a “party” with destitute orphans (!) and a snake farm. Did I mention the stairs?
That first contact from AARP was met by all of us with shock, disbelief and denial, but their magic computer made no mistake. We were fifty. Seniors. But who made that definition; furthermore, why be so negative about it? Twenty years on, we’ll look on those in their 50s as young. It is the mind set which is important as our daily pill intake and our belt size increase (Can there be a connection?).
To our community’s delight and the bigot’s dismay, the LGBT world has become almost unrecognizable in this new century. These changes, coupled with the now common longer life span, have led many of our generation to come out of the closet to enjoy their senior years as the people they really are.
Sadly, circumstances make this difficult if not impossible for some. For you who can, however, I urge you to stop reading this and similar material on the sly and fully (and finally) enter the San Diego LGBT world you have denied yourself. Start with The LGBT Center with many programs and events waiting for you. The coming out group, by the way, is for all ages.
Our local magazines and Web sites offer more opportunities for seniors to mix and mingle. I recommend first investigating those with older participants since you’ll feel more in tune with people who know what AARP means. Realize no one is going to call or beg you to take the first step. Get off your butt and check things out. If something looks interesting, call or walk in and introduce yourself. Newcomers are always welcome. LGBT seniors, out or still in, do not retreat from life with the cat and TV. Listen to the Munchkins, “Come out. Come out. Wherever you are.”
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