You can feel it coming today -- the summer heat that means each pore will kick into a moist and moistening high gear, when every puff of wind ignites a small "thank you" someplace inside, when it takes an added energy to complete a project ... something like getting an air conditioner in the window. The sky is blue and clear, the sun is bright, the birds are conversing and ... it is hot.
Today I ran into Donna in the supermarket -- a meeting that seems by its frequency to be destined by the fates somehow. Usually we meet in the produce aisle and laugh about our latest encounter before setting off on whatever gab comes to mind.
Today, I got to ask her about the protocols of the homosexual world, a world that doesn't offend me but towards which I would prefer not to be offensive any more than I would want to be offensive when in any other Rome.
Alanna, a woman who has lately visited the zendo, recently went through a divorce from her partner and is feeling a bit bruised around the edges. She moved back here after living in Connecticut and sees her daughter every other weekend. I like her and when she stopped by the peace picket line last Saturday to introduce me to her daughter ... well, there's a kid to melt your heart: So beautiful and friendly and probably four years old.
Anyway, I like Alanna and I like Donna and her partner Kathy and I thought it might be nice if Alanna met some nice people who were on her sexual wavelength ... but I felt uncomfortable making introductions based on anything so flimsy as sexual orientation. Kathy and Donna live across the street and I had been wondering about taking Alanna over after zazen some Sunday morning ... but I was feeling sort of shy.
So I tried putting the issue to Donna, someone I trust not to laugh at my uncertainties and someone who would probably set me straight, so to speak.
And as Donna and I stood grocery-carriage to grocery-carriage near the cash registers, I realized that I was being a real twit. This wasn't an issue for the United Nations General Assembly. It wasn't even something for Emily Post. I had been right from the get-go ... nice people introduced to nice people and perhaps they could find some friendly and supportive ground ... or not. Wasn't that enough? What made me think that straight and gay had anything to do with it? This wasn't some Arab country where you could fuck up by eating with your left hand. Nor were any of these women the hard-eyed harridans who sit around blaming all men because, after all, all men are to blame ... for everything ... just on principle.
Anyway, before I had even formulated the question, I realized how silly the question was ... and Donna and I went on to talk about the fact that it was going to be hot and when did she and Kathy and daughter Eliza plan to get their big, plastic-lined pool up and running and when we might all lounge around deliciously and gab under the blue sky with the birds conversing and the temperatures going through the roof.