Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

27 April 2004

Free Ballin' it

Yeah, so I didn't do laundry last night and I ought to have.

The score for The Hours, I think, is the most beautiful score to any film ever.  I may be overstating it, but right now I can't think of a score I have listened to as often.  The music for The English Patient is wonderful, too, but the reason I like that is for the Bach and the Hungarian folk music.

The sink is up and running.  It looks so nice!  I ended up cutting the copper tubing at the juncture where it attached to the old hardware.  Then I simply replaced the old hardware with the new.  No plumber, no plumbing tape, no plumber's putty, no plumber's crack needed.  Okay, so it did take a really long time to do all of this, but it was mainly because I didn't have the right tools handy.  I knew how to do it the whole time.  Dad had the handiest little gadget that cuts copper tubing without smashing it.  (To hacksaw the tubing would have resulted in something similar to the smashed pieces of bread you get when trying to cut homemade loaves with a bad knife.)  At any rate, this little gadget is a small square about the size of a California roll that fits around the tubing and cuts it simply by spinning around it.  So slick.  Cutting the pipes took less than five minutes and I had the sink installed and distributing fresh, lovely water by 11:30p.

Doing shit like this (e.g. replacing headlights, replacing doorknobs, changing tires) makes me feel a little bit funny.  I know it's a standard thing to think that someone like me who cares about fashion and doesn't like to get dirty and is a director for the theatre wouldn't know how to/couldn't possibly want to/should never attempt to do things like this, but that's just silly prejudice.  I don't feel like I'm overcoming prejudice or anything like that by replacing sink fixtures.  I also don't feel like I'm breaking any personal gay barriers... the notion that a gay man isn't handy around the house is just nonsense.  I don't even feel any more masculine than normal.  As a matter of fact, I feel pretty masculine most of the time. 

What I do feel is something I think most young men struggle with.  I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point Western societies started stopping a lot of normal rituals.  We still have a few: marriages and funerals being chief among them.  But there are no rites of passage whereupon children become adults.  We're supposed to become adults when we turn eighteen, but then, we still can't drink and we still can't rent cars.  ...And we all drink anyway, way before we turn twenty-one, and so even that age has lost its real significance.  I don't know about you, but I was drinking heavily already at age sixteen.   And so when does a boy become a man?  When he dies for his country?  It's a little too late to be a man at that point.  When he kills someone and then is tried as an adult?  That certainly is a way for a person to get society to recognize a boy as a man, but I wouldn't recommend it.  At this point in society, so many young people are having children that even parenthood doesn't necessarily mean adulthood.  The only real ritual left is marriage... and people like me are not allowed this ritual.  It is no wonder gay men want the right to be married, even if not in a church—personally, you wouldn't ever catch me getting married in a religious wedding—it is the only ceremony left that tells a boy that he is now a man.

I own property.  I have a mortgage to pay.  I educate people younger than myself.  I have learned to go to the cinema alone... and enjoy it.  Most of the time, I still don't feel like I'm a grown man.  Being able to repair my own sink, or replace my own doorknob, or change the headlight on my car: these things make me feel like I'm growing up.  They signify something.  And so being able to replace my sink is not just an excercise in plumbing.  It becomes my own rite of passage on Allen Avenue in Pasadena on 26 April 2004. 

And maybe I'm being foolish, but I hope one day to be able to get married, too.