Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Faded. Fading.

Sometimes sitting in a quiet, peaceful room late into the evening, listening to a simple guitar play a simple tune, is exactly what is needed. Sometimes you need to cry. To feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. To be overwhelmed by life and death and the world.

Sometimes the past and the present seem so large, so overwhelmingly vast, that they're impossible to comprehend. Impossible to believe. Did I really live that life? Was that really me? Was I so in love? So unhappy? So confused? So certain? Was I so transfixed, so lost, so determined? Where is that boy? How did he become this man?

And... of course he became this man.

And sometimes the future... is so unimaginable, so impossible to plot, that it would be okay if it all just ended. Right here, right now. Tonight.

Not that you would end it or that you want to end it. But... if it did? Life was full and rambling and beautiful and complex and hard and incredibly, beautifully rich. Like the colors of a glorious photo have been turned up just enough to still look believable, but border on oversaturated. Or that they've been desaturated enough to still hold a glimpse of the magic from the moment, but much of the luster, the glow, has gone. And in life, that luster is fading. Faded. Fading. And if something were to occur to end it all in this very moment, that very moment, late into the evening... all would be well.

But you also want it to go on forever. To never, ever end. The love. The light. The music.

And that's why it's so sad. So melancholy. Because even if it didn't end tonight, now, it will someday. And in all our somedays, there should be peace.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Letter To Elton John

December 5, 2015

Dear Elton,

I had a dog named Reg once.

My partner and I were searching for a name for our new Airedale. He was an actor with a penchant for classical theatre (the partner, not the dog.) I suggested Reg and he loved it. Months later I let him in on the secret: “You know our dog is actually named after Elton John." He laughed, and loved that too. The partner died in 1996. The dog in 2009. I loved them both passionately.

I’m not writing you about a dog.

Almost 25 years ago (April 3, 1991, to be exact) I gave up smoking crack, snorting cocaine, and drinking alcohol. I was lucky to have a great support system of friends around me. I told them the truth, feeling the most important thing was to stop lying.

Right around six months of sobriety, I saw a David Frost interview that, in a strange and wonderful way, provided exactly the kind of support a new recovering addict needed at that very moment. I too had been a "vampire," hiding during the day, pulling the shades. Lying to friends, family. It was an interview with an honest, REAL person who was going through the same thing I was. It meant so much to me. The honesty. The integrity.

This honesty was coming from someone whose music I had loved for so much of my life. In addition, there were not a lot of gay role models in ‘70s, rural, small-town Wisconsin. But then there was one - one I’d sung along with so many times - who talked openly about his sexuality in Rolling Stone magazine. Honesty. Integrity.

And then there's the commitment to those of us with HIV/AIDS. I have benefited greatly and directly from the Elton John Aids Foundation. As did my late partner.

There are those folks in life who you think, “Someday I need to shake his hand,” " Someday I need to thank him in person." This is my feeble attempt at that. If I met you in person, I’d probably just cry. Like a stupid little baby. A 52-year old, grown man, stupid little baby. 

Should that day ever come - you better not be a bitch to me. 
Should that day never come - at least you got this note.

And you know how much you have touched - changed - my life.

Thank you Elton. Thank you so, so much.

Tony Clements


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thursday, June 20, 2013

i feel the urge

sometimes there are things you want to say out loud that you can't really say out loud but why shouldn't you?  because sometimes they need to be said.  like now.  which is why i'm here.

here are a couple of things i wanted to say on facebook today -- i hate that i even wrote that last sentence (i hate more that i even thought it) -- but i did not say because, well, it's facebook.  everyone's blog. did you know that?  that everyone has a blog now and it's called facebook?

so here.  two things... unrelated:

1. it's not your moment.  just... not your moment.  your friend is posting on facebook about his dead father and something really special that happened at his funeral?  hold back on writing "that happened at MY dad's funeral TOO!" i know we're all fucking narcissistic and thrilled with writing about our every move on facebook (i don't really give a shit about your workouts and i doubt any of your other "friends" in quotes do either), but let that one moment be your friend's moment. not yours. asshole.

and B) if you have something to say to a group of people, say it to them.  don't be a dick and try to make a point by lifting one person up while you actually denigrate everyone else.  "you were awesome" is a wonderful thing to say, unless what you actually mean is "everyone else sucked."  that's cowardly, and shitty, and unfair not only to that group of people you're really talking to but to the person you supposedly complimented.  this is the equivalent of the person in the group who "asks a question" in quotes not because they legitimately have a question but so that everyone else can hear the answer they already know.  it's a game.

grow up and learn to communicate like an adult.

end of rant for today.  i think.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

doc's first saturday intermission pic

the broadway community is a tight-knit group. but on saturday afternoons, when they're all scattered across different theaters, how do they stay close? by tweeting saturday intermission pics!