Tonight it struck me that I am living a symphony. Like all great symphonies it opened strong, it opened big. One could imagine my announcing to Carrie “I am bi-sexual” to the massive chords of Beethoven’s Fifth, the whole orchestra heaving as one. And then other themes are introduced in bits and pieces. Themes of marriage and fidelity, themes of sex, themes of emotional ties with men, and themes of friendship, such a deep friendship: so many themes.
We enter the middle movements, the music calm and soothing. The audience leans back in their seats, but it is still the same symphony, the same themes recurring, teasing in and out of our consciousness. They ebb and flow, occasionally rising in volume and then falling again.
Then there is always that fourth movement. I am particularly fond of the fourth movement of the New World Symphony with the allure of the new world balanced by the tug of the old. It is strange but there are great variations in the length of the fourth movement – shorter for American conductors and longer for Europeans. The extra length is a slowing down of the old country themes, a pulling backwards, a reluctance to leave. Yes, I do prefer the Europeans on this one. We will end up in the new world, but oh those gentle tugs.
We are in that fourth movement. I will enter the New World, the kicking and screaming behind me, but still that gentle pull of the old. Like the Symphony, my life is building in volume, the brass waiting. But now it is the roll of the kettle drums, increasing in volume, increasing in tempo.
It is of course the tempo of my coming out, still slow, but now inexorable. Every day it seems closer. And in a month the brass will kick in, the bows of the strings will be at full speed. I will be out. I am the music, terrified and exhilarated in the same breath, pulled back to the old world while rushing headlong into the new.
The thing is that the boat has landed and I have disembarked. I bring pieces of the old world with me: I enter a land which I was not born into. I will always have an accent and still eat those strange foods. But it is in this new world that I will make my life, a new life, a life of moving forward while still remembering where I have been.
Good friends we have, oh, good friends we’ve lost
Along the way.
In this great future, you can’t forget your past;
So dry your tears, I seh.