Monday, February 02, 2004

Happy Things I Think About

I think about these things alot more now that my job is going south fast. Here they are:

Getting my orange belt: I earned this when I was fourteen, skinny, with little self-esteem and even less confidence. At the test, I defeated my sparring partner easily, which was my first real taste of accomplishment. By the way, the martial arts form was Tang Soo Do.

Winning the Spirit Award: Back in 1998, the gay and lesbian Ultimate group I was with participated in a charity tournament one fine autumn day, and we bombed. We knew nothing, nothing, about the game, and I think we scored two points in three games. (That's a total.) Still, we had a fabulous time, and the other teams in the division voted us the Spirit Winners. Maybe they felt sorry for us, but I like to think it was because, despite our obvious ineptitude and crushing defeat, we never stopped smiling.

My Lambda nomination: Every year, the Philadelphia Gay News runs the Lambda Awards, to recognize outstanding service in the LGBT community, and in 2000 I was nominated for Outstanding Sportsman. I will never forget my surprise and delight when I received that phone call. There was an awards ceremony and everything, at which I lost by a landslide, but I discovered that what they say at the Oscars is true: The honor really is in the nomination.

New York on my birthday: Some years ago, my friend Jack and I went to New York City on my birthday, and we had a blast. It was one of those crisp, clear, warm autumn days you remember forever, and my memories of the trip are just as vivid. We hung out at Washington Square Park with the NYU students and the druggies, took the ferry around the harbor, and even went to the top of the World Trade Center. I will never forget the absolute stillness, and the way the city spread out around us. When I heard about the terrorist attack in September 2001, my mind leapt first to that visit, and Jack said his did, too. New York isn't the same without the WTC.

Writing this down has made me feel alot better, but I'll cut it off here. I should save some of these memories for tomorrow.

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