The flaming sun throws out its fiery rays
commencing a raging red farewell to the day.
Spotlights cascading, lavishing the earth
creating a spectacle; a sky flushed with light.
Flames ignite, intensifying at the suns descent
flickering, dancing to an imaginary anthem,
the sunsets finale bursts into splendour.
Twilight dampens down the flames,
enveloping the remnants of embers,
stillness; as the dark awaits the moon.
I yearned to tell, but couldn’t actually execute,
not knowing how to broach the impossible
nor, in truth, being brave enough to do so
building imaginary obstacles, not able to breach.
Hiding behind my barricade permitted no honesty,
to live a lie, denying only myself the life I hungered,
plunging into an abyss, where darkness infected,
suddenly; the dark adjusted to light: I knew it was time.
My stomach knotted, the adrenalin surging,
thoughts controlled by an unreasoned mind.
The purpose forgotten, disoriented in fear,
inadequacy is overwhelming: for I failed.
Piteous endeavours forgotten, stepping back,
re-building my courage, I couldn’t falter or fail again,
more determined and controlling my fears,
success; a weight lifted: I am now me.
Nobody exaggerates when they say a camel stinks: it’s hard to pick which end emits the less repugnant aroma. I was in full agreement after I had the misfortune to ride this malodorous machine in Tunisia: many moons ago.
It is 110° on the edge of the Sahara desert, the heat having caused mental impairment, well; I assume it has, as I queue up (yes) to go for a wonderful scenic camel ride to an oasis.
Sitting on my camel, hanging on to my eight-year old son, not for his protection; but to ensure I stayed on the beast as it stood up. I let out a sigh of relief, that rivalled the noise the camel was making, as we successfully stayed put; as did my ex and my four-year old son. Unfortunately, two girls didn’t fare so well; one being catapulted over the head and the other – possibly in sympathy – slid off the back. On this occasion I didn’t laugh as fate may have been lurking in the heat.
Off we went, in a nice neat line; my Bert (yes I had named it) managing to break wind on every other sway, this allowed me to gulp in 110° air on the alternate sway. In between being deafened and gassed, I caught sight of the four-year olds leg being kindly washed with camel spit, then the animal took off, making a break for freedom; the ex and the sputum drenched child, looking like two jack-in-a-boxes, bouncing side to side: managed to stay on. I tempted fate and laughed – not too much – as I was mindful of Bert’s rear end extravaganza and I didn’t want to get out of sync with my attempts at breathing unpolluted air.
The chasing herdsman finally caught up with the runaway just as I completed a classic dismount and planted my feet firmly on the sand.
By the grin on their faces, I’m sure the herdsmen had a side bet on the two girls falling off again, but all bets were losers as they both clung on for grim death as the camel jerked itself into the kneeling position.
I waited patiently, admiring the scenic view – although all sand does look-alike – as the rogue camel was being led back to us. I couldn’t decide if the look on my son’s face was that of disdain for the spittle or the “I got a longer ride than you” for his brothers’ benefit.
Was it worth it? Yes! Not for the scenery: sand, the odd palm tree and more sand. (The oasis was left entirely to the imagination.) Neither was it for the joy of seeing ones ex trying out an impression of Lawrence of Arabia; riding into the sunset? No, it was the exhilarating moment when I realised I hadn’t fallen off.
Why do you hate me so? You don’t know me at all
as there is no difference accepting in our minds.
Are you happy with the choice you have made?
Neither abuse, nor vile hatred do I direct at this choice.
Judgement is never considered. I let you be
acknowledging who you are, your right to exist.
Your difficulty is your prejudice: not mine
the intolerance you show cannot crush my will.
It is human nature; a want, or need to love,
I give my heart, my soul and myself to another.
My choice is being gay, to be with the same as I,
equality is what I crave, a path to a peaceful existence.
Graciousness can start to heal the deep wounds;
still weeping from years of deficient understanding.
So please don’t hate me; as I refuse to hate you.