be what you want to be.


one of my favourite things is the company of older american homosexuals.
they pass on a sense of history,that might escape the likes of me.
a common thread running through many of these mens stories is conventional marriage,religion…..and vietnam.
i know much of this is the same in the land from where i come,but it does seem more intense here in america.


last night i was in a leather bar where at the age of 54, i played my first ever game of pool.
this is mildly bizarre,since my own parents used to own a pub in northern ireland with a pool table round the back…
i was just never interested in that sort of thing,
but this rugged old timer insisted i at least give it bash.
afterwards we went outside to enjoy the near 80 degree heat around midnight.
that’s when the congress kicked in,and why i come here.
this man is a self employed carpenter…his week had centred around building a wooden staircase,
and he does sizeable work like building the counters in bars.
i noticed his hands…lovely thick stubby fingers…proper workers hands..
his skin was rugged and burnt from the sun,and he even owns a sowing machine upon which he made the very denim dungarees hanging handsomely on him.
in the midst of our exchange, he tells me he’s the father of six children,two of which he mid-wifed himself .
the heartbreaking thing is where religion steps into his life.
like many of his era,he simply went with the flow and found himself in the family way…
now that isn’t without joy,
but the heavy bit is the church and society..the imposed sexual denial,which made him very very sad indeed…a dark and life threatening place.
a life of self loathing,until one rough day the god of his own understanding kicked in, telling him he was beautiful,and to find a way to live his life truthfully.


these older men in america will often share their stories of national military subscription.
how scary must it be as a young man,faced down by a law that insists you go out to fight a bloody war in a foreign land.
i feel lucky for being of a generation that escaped such nightmares.
so here’s a thing…i decided i’d like some cannabis cookies and lemonade from the now legal dispensaries.
they’re on every corner here in california,but you need a doctors medical card to access the produce.
it didn’t take me long to find someone who had a medical card,and i asked him what his medical condition was..
he told me he’d been in the killing fields of vietnam,and it left him with traumatic stress disorder…
decades after the horror of that,he still wakes up in the middle of the night reliving it all,and the cannabis helps him sleep.
this isn’t my first encounter…
i know one man in a wheelchair here who was shot in the back within minutes of being helicoptered into hell all those decades ago.
that was the first time i’d ever had congress with a man in a wheelchair, and it was fantastic.
as per usual with me,there was no penetrative was all verbal and amazing…roleplay….his husky voice and bearded face were very beautiful to me.


i also spoke with an older handsome bartender who was a big porn star in his youth…
he was a pin-up for a leather magazine that was big in the 70’s called ‘drummer’
he enjoyed it…no shame…a great experience..
priggish folk think this sort of thing is tawdry,and it is true how that world,like many supposably decent worlds, definitely has a dark side,
but sometimes it’s just sexy fun,and even emboldening for the self esteem.
i like the honesty of it..unlike so many things in life,porn never pretends to be anything other than what it actually is.


i come over here with a small cluster of books to read.
everyone one of them concerning the history of music,
and i’ve just finished a great little paperback about little richard…the TRUE king of rock n roll…NOT elvis.
once again…sex and religion are at the heart of the little richard story.
he kept rejecting his rock n roll success,in the name of god….
it makes me think of the inner conflict that haunted marvin gaye,only his life ended early with him being shot dead by his own cross dressing church preaching father.


dear reader…i wish for…and peace in all our worlds.
mary of the wilderness.
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7 Responses to be what you want to be.

  1. Richard malpas says:

    I know you are a very private man so it is appreciated that you share your life stories with us all…they are compelling reading and enjoyed. Your encounters are so much more interesting than ‘a mate’ saying..”I met a bird in the boozer tonight ” hahaha….thanks again dear friend….


    • i bet ‘the bird in the boozer’ story could be equally as interesting…it’s all a question of having the ears and eyes open …..everyone has their story… and your ears and eyes are open for knowing that even though i do share my life story,i am fairly private…i go home and get my head down to chop the onions,hoover the living room,and write the songs….loads and loads of love to you richard.


  2. Neil Harvey says:

    I agree with you Little Richard is the King of rock and roll.


  3. John Howard says:

    Lovely piece, Mary. Erudite, as I would expect from you, thoughtful, ditto, and with a great setting of scene and place in your writing. Always great to peruse at leisure, a bit like your good lovely self, chuck. xx


  4. peruse me! peruse me!……… play me like you play your piano,john howard. xxx


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