The prompt this time was the song “Over the Rainbow.” There are many renditions of this song, but the one I chose is from the TV show Glee (click here to hear the beautiful harmony of Matthew Morrison and Mark Salling singing Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of this famous song).
See the video prompt (Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz), and what I wrote, below.
He reaches a precipice: 49. One year away from dead in gay male years. And he peers over into this strange nothingness. “What now?” he asks, and no answer comes.
In the morning, after yoga, he hooks the strap around his hips and ankles, lies flat, opens his heart to the shiny ceiling, and waits for an answer.
This was supposed to be the time in his life that included anniversaries and graduations. The family raised up, the husband and he renewing their vows, maybe a new vacation rental in Sonoma. Instead, he battles weeds in a dusty backyard that he shares with six other people, draws from his savings account to pay his rent, and arrives home after a fourteen-hour plane ride and a $50 cab ride to an empty apartment that smells like dust and enamel paint.
In Europe, he visited a castle and realized the gay king who lived there was just as lost in the fantasy of romantic love (and all it should look like) as he has always been. Vaulted ceilings and spire-topped towers, lovely long balconies and mythical paintings. Poor King Ludwig was just as misinformed about real life and the loss of dreams as any contemporary gay man. He and Ludwig both thought someday my prince will come, knight in shining armor, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
“Judy!” a fan said to Judy Garland as she came offstage at Carnegie Hall. “Don’t ever forget the rainbow!”
“Honey,” she said, “I’ve got rainbows coming out of my ass.”
Indeed. We’re all shitting rainbows. We are. Keychains, necklaces, even crosswalks. Rainbows everywhere. Everywhere but that one in the sky. Ever elusive. Intangible. Unreal.