and I was touched by it.
Last night I made an effort to get out from behind my desks at work and home and the routine I’ve fallen into as I help conjure this first issue of a magazine into existence. I actually went out to a charity benefit dance at the St. Regis Hotel for a homeless LGBT youth organization. Not sure if it were the making-the-effort part of it but it just ended up making me feel lonelier and miss all my friends back east. I didn’t stay long and ended up getting off MUNI before my stop to take a meandering walk up into Twin Peaks where I’ve been living these past five or six weeks. I had that aching electrical current feeling in my chest when at times loneliness becomes a physical condition. I found myself, as I trudged up into the hills above San Francisco so deeply shrouded last night in fog and mist, singing quietly this old Neil Young song to myself.
I’d listen to this album of his back when I was a teenager out in the country in Mississippi and sing every lyric right along with him. I still know – I discovered as I softly sang this to myself last night in the fog and the mist – every word of this song. The lyrics didn’t exactly speak to the condition of a gay teenage boy with a shoulder-length shag growing up deep in the countryside in the early 1970s in Mississippi just as they didn’t last night to a 57-year-old bald man making his way back home in 2013. But they do still get at the kind of existential loneliness I’ve always felt in my life I guess. And then realized I wasn’t completely alone. That boy with the shoulder-length shag was by my side staring in wonder at the life that had led him to San Francisco in the midst of such fog and mist and such a reverie. When I made it to my front door I turned back and looked out at the glistening lights of this beautiful city where I now live letting me know it was down there in the fog still waiting for me when I was ready for it. In that moment, I was thankful even for my loneliness. Sometimes being aware of one’s loneliness is itself being fully alive.