Skip to main content

What We Leave Behind

Periodically my mom will give me some mementos, heirlooms, documents and photographs of our family history. I've enjoyed receiving them, though with more than a pinch of wistfulness included. The handing-down of treasured familial possessions is always a bit of rite of passage, a quiet signifier of aging and our own mortality. The keepsakes are wanted, yet there is almost the urge to reject what their receipt symbolizes.

It occurred to me that there is another, even more personal, reason that I grow rueful whenever the subject of fondly-held items arises. I have no children to leave anything to. Now, admittedly, that is perhaps the most selfish reason to have a child, but then it can be argued that people have children for a variety of reasons. Some wish to carry-on their lineage, others want another human to love and care for. A few didn't expect to have a child, and are making their best go of it. So on and so forth.

I have never really wanted children. Sure, there was a time, back in high school, when I was fighting against my sexuality and envisioned an adult life with a wife, kids (note the plural) and a home with a white picket fence. Maybe a pet or two. Fantasy life aside, things have turned out pretty well, but a lot of self-analysis has revealed that kids just aren't in the cards. I'm too selfish with my time, space, and money to seriously consider parenthood. Plus, there simply isn't that innate desire to be a parent. The thought has crossed my mind a time or two, then eventually receded.

Arriving at the realization that, once my husband and I perish from this earth (hopefully still many years from now), there will be no one around to care very much about what happens to our possessions has left me somewhat dismayed. Of course, 90% of our possessions I ultimately couldn't care less about: our cars, television set, furniture, etc. That is all expendable. I'm talking about stuff like the short stories and novel that I wrote starting at age 8. They've survived every move I've made, and reside in a place of security in our home. Then there's items we've bought as a couple, things of sentimental value. Ashley's self-published book of haiku, etc.

We tend to eventually give our most precious possessions to our children because, well, they're our children. It's pretty much expected. They are the receptacles of our existence. What is and was important to us, it is proposed, should be important to them. We will live-on through them, either biologically, emotionally, via our possessions, or all of the above. That seems to be the standard practice in our world, and has been for millennia. Unless, of course, you have no children.

I don't know what will happen to my creative writing collection, or Ashley's book of haiku, or the personal items that we cherish, once we're gone. It feels weird to ask friends to look after them. They do not hold the same obligation as children. More than just our things, however, is the slight sense of failure I feel regarding the family items mom has already given me. I will have no one to give them to when the time comes. When we hand things down it is with a sense of forever, but of course nothing is forever, is it?


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…