Archive | Memoir

Mathilde Krim (1926–2018): A Personal Reflection

I MET and spoke with Mathilde Krim, who died on January 15th at age 91, some time in the mid-1980s, at a party to which I’d been invited at her Upper East Side home. It was amid the worst years of the AIDS crisis, when friends in their twenties were dying all around me, when […]

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The Ancient, Amazing Diver of Paestum

    I AM AFRAID of deep water and I am afraid of dying. I am not alone in these fears. And, yet, an ancient frescoed image discovered at Paestum, of a slim youth diving into the waters of the afterworld, exhilarates me and lessens those worries. Art has such power. When I first saw […]

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Falling in Lust

    I REMAIN HAUNTED by a remark a famous novelist made during her public talk at Sewanee University a few summers ago. She lamented, with much audible derision, that too many poets now write “lust poems,” as she called them, rather than “love poems.” The implication was that poems celebrating lust as opposed to […]

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The Double Life of a Korean War Enlistee

    I ENLISTED in the U.S. Air Force a year after North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950. I wanted to be a pilot, something that seemed glamorous to my nineteen-year-old eyes—which, unfortunately, I failed to have examined before signing on Uncles Sam’s dotted line. The military doctors discovered that I had 20/40 vision […]

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A Personal Message to Fellow HIV Survivors

  This piece was inspired by an article in the new issue of The G&LR: “HIV Survivors and the ’16 Election,” by Brian Bromberger.   I TELL MY STORY and I do not in any way mean to diminish the pain and hardship suffered by HIV survivors. It’s not a pretty picture for many of […]

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Island of Lost and Found Men

    There aren’t many medicines available in our emotional cabinet that cure heartache. There’s the age-old remedy of time. That works, but oh so slowly and it never really seems that it’s working until it does. Another palliative is actual movement—whether it’s on a bike or a plane heading somewhere. For my recent and […]

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Hiding Behind Grindr

    There are brands that are practically branded into our thought processes—the swoosh along the sides of sneakers, a pair of golden arches, an apple with a bite taken out of it. But there is another logo, familiar to gay men, that I find ominous: the yellow, ancient Greek mask­–like icon of Grindr, its […]

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“Time to Go Home” is a live series in which writers read their essays aloud at the Cell Theater on West 23rd Street in New York City. Founded by Ed McCann, himself a writer and editor, the series recently included ten featured writers who were selected (by an editorial board) to read works aloud on the theme of “At the Bar.” Hearing of […]

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My Ferguson Moment

“IS IT TIME to do a James Baldwin?” is an inside joke of mine, and a cerebral one at that. It’s one I like to break out every so often among my friends when a racial episode occurs. Usually, it’s only my black gay friends who get it. It didn’t matter that James Baldwin was […]

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California Split: What Became of Chris

AFTER A SILENCE of more than twenty years, I got a phone call from an old friend of mine, living in San Francisco. Now dying in San Francisco. Upon announcing that fact in the voice mail, he said, “And that’s the news from out West.”          Chris and I had met during my senior year […]

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