12/25/97: Copland, Ives and Rachmaninoff are battling it out over top spot in the CD player and I have massive insomnia, so we're going to chat a while.

Technically it's Christmas Day, but it's still Christmas Eve for me, not like that means alot. Our obligatory "family" dinner at the aunt's was more pleasant than Christmases past. This was because there were only five people total in attendance, all adults, and with the exception of the aunt and step-uncle, all of us were single. The rejects of family lineage, unmarried the lot of us except for Mom, who of course is widowed. Tonight's dinner was that of refuge, prepared for us who have no other family and not "married with other plans". Which was good. I was there for almost 3 hours, quite a record for me. Even being the youngest person there (at 34 years old), I managed to corner enough respectful attention to speak my own opinions on the topics of the moment. It felt good. And while my occassional audience would not be led into such debates as the Microsoft fiasco or the President's lax stance on tax reform, I did manage a few minutes of intense discussion with my Mom later, on the topic of religion. This was not as bad as you'd think, because we weren't discussing our own religious positions, but passing judgement on those of another: my sister. The Coggins heritage is quite liberal-minded though very stubborn, but something seems to have carried my sister away from all that we were taught (in religious terms). We were all raised quietly as Primitive Baptists, with much, much openness to be accepting of all other choices so long as they were still Christian-based. Carol has made the crossover to traditional Southern Baptist, though not based on whatever concepts we all had for Southern Baptists as individual capable thinkers. Even Mom feels she's been brainwashed by some errant forces in her new environment (she and her husband moved to his hometown shortly after our father died two years ago, but are in the process of moving back to Macon because Ray has a new job here). A housewife raising one child and another on the way, she has committed 10% of her income, as well as her husband, to her church. She has no income that I know of, so I don't understand why she committed 10% of her "would-be" income, to be paid out of her husband's income. So in essence, Ray is paying 20% of his total income to the church. Carol screams, "I love God. I'm giving it to God!" and Mom rebuts, "No you're not, you're giving it to man!" Carol packs and leaves to go back to Thomasville. Mom, a very religious woman, cannot understand Carol's position when all else around them demands their meager resources (the baby, the pregnancy, the as-yet-undetermined new place to live, the children's college funds, health savings, etc. etc. etc.), which are solely covered by Ray's paycheck alone. And he's not in the upper 50% of the payscale.

Webster defines rhetoric both as the art of persuasion through communication, and as insincere or grandiloquent language. How can these seemingly opposing definitions exist for one word? Nevertheless, I have found myself surrounded by rhetorical sorts, and not the type classified as effectively persuasive either. The activist group we just formed, with me at the helm, has seen its members disguise themselves in so much rhetoric that I want to quit. I have the passion of an activist, and will die for the cause, but because I have few complaints about the way things are in my lifestyle, the fuse is fizzling. This is largely due to the lack of action by all the well-meaning members of our new group. And though I'm fueled daily by news reports from around the country on the tiny steps of progess being made in the gay rights area, and feel the momentum of the masses bubbling under my feet, my attention is too easily diverted to other things worth fighting for. I will lead them to whatever accomplishments they demand, but I'm not going to fall in behind them to do their committed parts, either. So I'd rather join the fight against the megamonopolistic Microsoft. Or push HARD on my officials to make sweeping changes to the tax code (anything, I don't care, as long as Congress does something of significance for once in my lifetime, to prove to me they can, to replace the worse evil we already have. I believe the changes, no matter what they are, would re-invigorate and restore the entire country's respect in our elected officials to see them stand up to this monstrocity called the IRS and put the beast to rest. Right now they're nothing but a bunch of wusses selling out to the wealthiest of rhetoric).

Back to the rhetoric -- another peeve is with the woman I've had a passion for since April or May of this year. I'm beyond the passion and desire to want anything with her now, but I still think about her every day, I guess trying to figure out how the hell she can be so cruelly persuasive without any demonstrations of her words to date. As we all know, this turns one's heart icy cold. There's been no closure to speak of. The very little communication we have left with each other consists primarily of apologies and empty promises from her, for always having such a hectic life that there's no time for me. I told her that in the very beginning, but she effectively argued the point, or rather disputed it. What the fuck kind of game is she playing? Verbally chase me because I'm elusive? Well babe, I'm not just elusive, I'm gone. Go play your power tricks on someone who wants it. End of story.

January 1, 1998 will be the anniversary of the last time I "kinda" got laid. Kinda means we didn't finish it because I passed out (due to hyperventilation). The event on Jan.1, 1997 was the first sexual encounter in over two years. The previous one was with a guy (gasp), and it wasn't very good but the passion was kinda intense. And before that was probably a four or five year period since my lover at the time and I had had sex (long complicated story, most of you already know it anyway). Imagine living with your lover for 9 years, and not having sex at all over the last five of those nine years. Needs change I guess. That's not to say she wasn't getting any though. This whole thing brings me to a reference I made in my last posting to Juliana Luecking's "Big Broad" CD, about the chick named Melei.. I can really relate to her story, and even envy it. I have a fag friend who claims he's not had sex in over 10 years, and sometimes wears it like a coat of armor(absolutely no pun intended, rather he's very proud of his abstinence and that pride fuels his asexual lifestyle). I dunno.. I'm not particularly driven to have sex anymore, I've lived for so long with nothing but mental fantasies that are sooooo very erotic and dreamy that nothing in reality can even come close to fulfilling the same desires that reside in fantasy. It's good to want. It's better to want and not have, when you know from experience that getting what you want demeans the want. Ya know? I'm not saying I'll never have sex again, but I am saying that I doubt I'll persue it, disappointment time and time again leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The power of imagination is quite, ummm shall we say, gratifying.

Latest chick flick kick is "When Night is Falling", a Canadian film released in 1995, but I just recently found it on videotape. The writer/director also wrote and directed the 80's film "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing".. which I haven't seen, but understand is a very highly-regarded lesbian film. And the star of 'Night' is also in another Canadian release "Twilight of the Icy Nymphs" or something like that, which is summarized as a kind of greek orgy flick, though hopefully not comparable to Caligula. Anyway, I keep seeing a water thing here, there's a "water" connection in all three of these movies.. the opening scenes in 'Night' are filmed underwater, a dream sequence that shows up later in the movie. Water, wet, dampness, moisture, sweat... all of that fits into the erotic suggestion very very nicely.

I see my thoughts are tapering. I'm not sleepy still so I'm compelled to write. But subject matter seems to be getting weak. I'm thankful for the theraputic effect of the combination of tonight's music and the pouring out of so much angst in this writing. I want to get stoned. I have just a smidgen of pot that's a couple of months old and pretty pretty stale. I probably shouldn't since I'm expected at more family functions today. And I'll most likely try to get some work done tomorrow to redeem myself for being such a bum this week. Ok well I guess since I can think of not much more worth writing about now, I'll just kick back and chill to the music a while. This particular piece is very relaxing, maybe I can drift off to sleep.

This post's graphic dutifully represents the season, though I'm not in a particularly festive mood.. can you tell?

..the end..