Return to the closetBill's Briefs, Latest Issue Thursday, May 11th, 2017
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
I phoned an old friend from Tokyo days and had a great time sharing old memories. Sadly the call made me realize how far he had returned to the closet. After retiring and proclaiming he was a farm-boy at heart, he returned to his Nebraska roots and the family ranch 15 miles from the town of 1,780 Republican souls.
Happy to be “one of the boys” he joins in the daily discussions of crop rotation and the cattle and pig prices. This is balanced, however, by not having a single friend with whom he can be himself. How thrilled he is whenever I call. He quickly shuts the door and then we dish as of old about friends and adventures. All, of course, in hushed tones, ancient code words and feminine names lest we be overheard.
My witty, clever, fun friend lives again for a few minutes before hanging up and returning into the crusty, old bachelor he is known as. He knows his town and chose this path for a peaceful retirement. LGBT seniors everywhere face this decision when health or finances force a lifestyle change.
Attitudes have changed a lot, but we will be among people from our own time who were taught to hate and judge. There you have the makings of a possible uncomfortable or worse environment should we move in among them.
More LGBT accepting retirement facilities like the one soon opening in Hillcrest are few and far between, yet vitally needed. When it is necessary to move, I plan to stay here and out of the closet, but rest assured, I cannot fault those whose different circumstances dictate doing as my friend has done. What bitter irony to have come so far and yet end up in the same old place.
Whom do I root for?
I should be more into world events and march, write letters and run marathons for the people of A or the refugees from the ruined city of B. I will, as soon as someone answers a few whys and wherefores in regard to the horrors reported daily in the media. Above all, whom should I root for? Who are the bastards and who are the heroes?
To summarize my confusion concerning “over there,” I’ll list the various parties (What a misnomer). There is the mix of Syrian rebel groups who sometimes join each other and sometimes blow each other up. President Bashar-al-Assad is not solidly in control and we constantly wonder what, where, when and who. The fanatical Jihadists of the Islamic State seem to hate everyone including other Muslims whom they dismiss as heretics and behead as easily as they do Christians.
Other stories are of the Turkish military, but again tension exists between blocs backed by Russia and others by America. Now throw in the Kurdish forces whose fractured aims and partnerships keep their actions suspect. Stirring the pot are the Russian pilots who bomb people we favor. The fray also embroils the Iranians, the Iraqis (Can you keep them straight?) the Lebanese, the Saudis and the Hezbollah – all fighting for causes and allies which change the next day due to a perceived snub or the moon.
Injected into the chaos are the American advisors, instructors and peacekeepers (not soldiers) whose mission is a tad hazy. When one faction bombs or ambushes another, do I cheer or cry? Now, as for Afghanistan and the Taliban, Israel and Hamas. Oh, sorry, out of space. Ask your friends. They’ll clarify it for you.
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