I know the seasons are changing when I feel the itch to rearrange my closet and change the kind of sheets I have on my bed. (I live in a studio so closet space comes as a scarce commodity.) My scarves and sweaters have been pushed deeper into the shelves and my shorts and short-sleeved shirts have become more visible again. My wash is tumbling in the basement dryer right now and, soon, my dykey flannel will give in to sleek cotton satin – and why shouldn’t they be?! For the first time in a week of record-breaking rainfall, I woke up to clear skies and welcome sunlight. My windows are pulled open and the blinds are drawn up; the sun subsuming my studio in its warm yellow . There are runners outside, with shades on and some wearing visors, off to cross the Brooklyn Bridge in tanktops and shorts. Belinda Carlisle is blaring in my IDock in the background as I write this in boxers. (I use 80s music to transit into summer, when it’s either 90s – high school – angst or the Beach Boys. Maybe Joni Mitchell singing California too.) Spring officially started a few weeks ago but this weekend feels like its first real blast.

I could have never expected this week to end on a bright spot considering it started very grimly. I found it really hard to work Monday with news of the Virginia shootings. It was really depressing watching the death count rise through the afternoon with every refresh of the NYT web page. Coming home that night and continuing on with my daily evening routine of take-out dinner (since I don’t cook) in front of CNN was particularly difficult. As the victims were identified slowly on tv (and, more exhaustively, in NYT yearbook-type portraits the day after), I found myself heartbroken and close to tears. (This brought me back to a similar, but even more cutting, weeknight 6 years ago when, after walking home covered in dust and soot, I ended up bawling in front of the tv, muted, as the indescribable carnage was recounted all over again in screen images.) I guess anguish is the mechanism with which to deal with a senseless loss. I didn’t even know these dead and yet I felt compassion with those they left behind. I was inevitably drawn to suffer with their loved ones. Tuesday left me inundated with a barrage of news and articles analyzing the killer and his psychosocial profile. (It was made even more awful by this unwarranted comment from a co-worker who, obviously triggered by the killer’s Korean background, said, “Look at [referring to me], he looks like he could kill us.” I know it was in jest since I believe I’ve reached that level of comfort with him. But I’ve since given up on the effort at trying to explain that not all Asians look alike – there are marked differentiations – so I just shrugged my shoulders and humored the comment off.) Everything was sickeningly overwhelming that day that I had to shut down my routine web newspages and just leave my Bloomberg up, reassuring in its white text on a black background, unfeelingly delivering hard news surrounded by stark, emotionless ticker symbols and mundane statistic. I realize that trying to understand what happened is aiming to redeem the situation by knowing how to prevent it from happening again. But how do you explain something so senseless as a killing spree?! Wednesday brought the NBC video packet bombshell with the killer exposing a festering anger at the environment around him, borne from a deep sense of inescapable alienation. Does this anger make this killing any less senseless?! Does his twisted sense of martyrdom, alluding (blasphemously) to the cross, somehow alllow him an ounce of justification? Does his ranting, now obviosuly heard, marked with poses of defiance redeem him from his (self-dug) pit of alienation? Absolutely not. The means can never justify the end. If a person has a rage against the consumerist and alienating enivronment around him, then expose the critique and write a book or something. Don’t go around gunshopping then shooting people. I can’t even find words to describe how sick that option is and how what happened Monday sickens me to the core.

Thursday is the unofficial start of my weekend and the night brought a welcome distraction. I saw Terrence McNally’s new play, Some Men, with my friend. Henry. (I wrote about him in A Sichuan Dinner from July ’06.) I luvd his Love! Valour! Compassion! after watching the film and seeing the play in a North Chelsea (?!) theater space production. I thought SM was staged really well – luvd the lighting design – but he must have been swept by the play and scriptwriting zeitgeist since this play unfolded in what has become the increasingly predictable storytelling manner of choice in recent time (since Pulp Fiction), the non-linear narrative of seemingly disparate yet ultimately concurrent stories. I thought watching the separate scenes were illuminating and fun by themselves, but I was underwhelmed by the tie-in in Act II (which this form of telling exacts more need for.) I even found one scene hanging – why was the solider guy in the wedding party?! Despite these letdowns, I still enjoyed watching it. (I always enjoy watching anything gay anyway. I mean, I should’ve canceled my Here! subcsription a long time ago but I still submit to its mindnumbing offerings that highlight a new cultural low every time I watch it. Case in point: Dante’s Cove.) I’ve found new actor crushes – Kelly Aucoin and Romain Fruge. (I’ve even seen Michael Kors – again –since he was just 2 seats away from me in my row.) I’ve seen almost-naked men acting out relevant themes in my life in a gay play that doesn’t suffocatingly focus on this guy dying of AIDS but, instead, consciously chooses to tell more nuanced stories that both reflect on the intergenerational lifestyles and celebrate the lives of those it reflects upon.

Friday, somehow, was the unofficial start of my summer. I took a summer share out in Fire Island this year. This is my second since I dauntingly submitted to one 2 years ago (and what a fun summer that was) and took a break last year. But, after realizing how expensive it is to just go out there on a random weekend, I thought that it was wiser to just do a share. I met my housemates last night in a Chelsea bar during happy hour for a meet-and-greet sort of event. I’m basically a cheap date so I was swirling after 2 cocktails immeditately after work. We talked about swigging alcohol during the train ride on the opening weekend (which is the second week of May.) We planned a 9-day cleansing and purging diet before it. (I’m sure I can’t do it ‘cause they claimed coffee was on top of the what-not-to-take list and I simply cannot go through a day without caffeine.) We spoke of just opening cans of tuna for meals and laboring through elaborate dinners; making Mudslides and playing beach volleyball; furnishing the house with either Ikea or West Elm. We spoke of guests through the weekend and “guests” for the night. Ah, yes, my gay NY summer seems to have already begun.

Now, I’m reveling in this bright Saturday morning, doing laundry and looking ahead at going with Eric, my friend, and his dachshund (along with his sister and mom) to Washington Square Park for the annual weiner dog festival.

Looking back at this long week leaves me with a divided impression of my self — heartbroken and compassionate vs hedonistically homo. I blame my Catholic past (and all my Jewish ex’s) when I start feeling guilt over (even a) mere indulgence in selfish pleasure (especially in light of ongoing tragedy.) (I guess that also easily comes as a component of liberal middle-class sympathy.) But should I continue to feel strapped down with sorrow? I’m sure not. I think the only way to deal with senselessness is to meet life head on (after a meaningful pause) and find renewed meaning in its usual groove. To remain mired in one’s interior grief and refuse to reconnect with what and who is around us is to validate the killer’s harsh indictment of society and his foolish submission to a final senseless option. To continue to move in it and to engage it is to take a stand for life and its being an undrying well of meaning.

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