How To Catch A Fish

Fishing, the one sport nobody could see me doing. I enjoy sushi, fish n’ chips wrapped in a newspaper and scallops. Thanks to a friendly fisherman, sea life has been reincarnated in my tummy.

Seafood is lovely. However, I never thought about catching a fish. Images of sitting in a boat, dressed in flannel while armed with a fishing pole in a lake dazzled my imagination. More dazzling would be to catch fish and impressing my friends back home with a filet.

When I worked for Judy. She always built teamwork. Through wonderful lunches around Manhattan’s many ethnic eateries and field trips, we built a bond. One such field trip brought us to a Sheephead’s Bay, Brooklyn. Unlike the quintessential notions of Brooklyn, which include brownstones, bagel shops and diners, Sheephead’s Bay has always been little Odessa/Russia.

The shops, restaurants, nightclubs and markets all cater to the Russian community. It’s less a part a Brooklyn and more a missing link to Moscow. Sheephead’s Bay has a vast waterfront. I met Judy and a few of my co-workers on an old boat. Our mission was to go fishing and connect as a team.

Like Brooklyn, the boat was old, but filled to the brim with charm. Judy brought us a big bucket of KFC, which provided the perfect lunch. The boat set sail into the Brooklyn waters. Fishing in an urban environment felt a bit culture shocking. There was the smell of seawater and feeling of relative isolation. However, looking into the distance and seeing the Empire State Building reminded me that we were in New York City.

I put my fishing pole into the ocean. The fishermen were enthusiastic about catching the best fish of the day. Judy put some bait on my fishing pole and into the ocean it went. I just sat there, but really wanted a piece of chicken. So, I left the fishing pole behind and devoured another huge piece of fried chicken.

Judy wanted to make sure I tried harder at fishing. She assisted me in the process. Back to fishing I went. No luck, I ate more fried chicken. I walked into the interior of the boat. Something odd happened. I tried to resist sleep, but the combination of the boat rocking slowly back and forth and food coma equated an unexpected nap.

I took a lengthy nap during the fishing trip. My other co-workers passed out too. I didn’t get the hang of fishing, but we had so much fun bonding as friends and doing something out of the ordinary. Trying out fishing again would be fun. I’ll just eat less fried chicken next time.

The Extraterrestrial Saga

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a gaylien. Flying through the galaxy passing the many stars & planets shining brightly is a most fabulous spaceship. Unlike sterile looking spaceship, which makes one yawn, this dome of fierceness is decorated in bright neon.

It plays Madonna, Kylie & Bronski Beat for 24 hours a day. Hence, if you hear “Material girl” too many times, it’s not time to check into the mental institution. The spaceship’s interior has fancy glittery disco balls & a downstairs art gallery with works ranging from Keith Haring to Salvador Dali.

These are gayliens (gay aliens). They’re not all green, but come in rainbow sherbet variety of flavors & colors. Home is desolate planet, where the moon shines brightly, rather than the sun. NASA never shows houses on planets like Mars. Therefore, they more than likely live in holes in the ground.

Why would these aliens leave desolate planets? Sample sales & societal acceptance, duh. From the soft ball-playing lesbian to the intellectual but neurotic gay to the queen, gaylien life extends a broad spectrum of personalities.

Films like Star Wars & E.T. show lovable aliens & creatures from outer space. However, where are the gayliens? We’ve seen aliens who want to take over the world & the one’s who circle the stars bewildered, since they don’t have a smartphone. Therefore, gayliens need to be represented too.

Space like the closet is a place of desolation, where it’s dark & lonely. Therefore, leaving that place of isolation on a spaceship is especially ideal. Whether they’re looking to shake their tail feathers or sit in a circle & talk about feelings, somewhere in the galaxy it exists. Launching like a rocket man, into the unknown. The gayliens’ primary mission is not to return to the dark hole in the ground.

My Life As An Indie Film

The VHS of my life as a teen would look like a cross between a hip looking Sophia Coppola film with the quirk of Wes Anderson. Cool cinematography, quirky but lovable characters & some stupid assholes make up the color & pageantry in “Mr. Alas’ teenage angst.”

In the grand tradition of social outcasts in suburbia, I grew up in a conservative sandwich. Catholic school, Christian church & lots of leftist political views made up the meat. My mom & I were emotionally similar, but politically & socially different. I was obviously a liberal & she, a conservative. There were many strict rules in the house. Madonna, hip-hop & inappropriate films went out the window.

Of course, I had a secret stash of gay literature, inappropriate music & leftist newspapers to keep me in the rebellious side of life. Surprisingly, my mom secretly yearned to leave her very conservative bubble. Rescuing her from the close-minded bubble became the challenge of my youth.

“London looks just like Charles Dickens novel,” she said this while glaring out the window, while driving from Heathrow to Central London. She pictured London like Disneyland, everything colorful & newly developed. Well yes, if newly developed means built during the Tudor era, then it is brand spanking new. Like many new & foreign concepts, it took her a while to warm up. However, after a few days in the city that she dismissed as old & dirty, she fell in love with London. We had a wonderful time going to museums, the Tower of London & the theatre.

After we came back from the States, she found a new church with very conservative views. Especially being gay, they’re anti-gay messages didn’t sit well with me. Instead of conforming to the church’s narrow views, I stayed true to my gay old self. She didn’t love it. I always knew she respected it.

The musical Rent represented many segments of urban life. AIDS, cross dressing, homosexuality were elements of the musicals, all things my mom’s church turned their backs on. However, I took a chance & invited her to see “Rent” on stage. Surprisingly, she accepted my invite.

We sat top balcony & I glanced over at mom. She didn’t fold her arms in disgust. Instead she sang along a bit with the songs & even shed a couple tears toward the end. Overall, neither one of us were musical fans, but we had a remarkably beautiful experience.

Unfortunately, my mom died in 2004. Of course, we disagreed on plenty of subjects. However, the maternal bond stayed strong. It’s not ever easy to deal with a parent’s death. I still miss her. I don’t like to look bad sadly. I take a more positive spin. I was a quirky guy who loved his blue blazer, hated social norms & adored indie films. As an adult, I wear more, black, hate social norms & love indie films, especially documentaries.

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