Saturday, December 23, 2006

April 1986

1 April 1986 Tuesday:
Today was Russ Lane's first day at work, and I went around and introduced him to everyone. I felt like Russ was my personal coup. It's going to be so wonderful having a friend at work. Someone I can take breaks with and go home for lunch together. I almost felt like this my first day of school I was so excited. In a way, I am very glad that Russ' cousin Randy H. wasn't able to accommodate him with a place to stay, because when I am with Russ, it’s like being young again, like when I was in college with John F. C. and ever thing was new and the possibilities were endless. Even more then all this, it's fun having someone around the office with whom I can be openly Gay!

3 April 1986 Thursday:
What a day at work! Shauna M., one of the main Title Abstractors here, was an absolute bitch to Russ Lane. While I was training Russ, Shauna came over and yelled at him for missing a deed of trust on a search he had done. Russ has only been doing searching for two days, and instead of talking to him like a human being, she started yelling at him like some sort of petty tyrant. Well in a way she was yelling at me because I am the one training Russ. He's my responsibility as well as getting my own work done. Well I just started yelling right back at her so the whole office could hear, then she at me.

We carried the fight to her office and we almost came to blows. She would have hit me if she thought she could have gotten away with it because I defied her. If she had any power over me she would have fired me. But I told her in no uncertain terms that her manners are extremely unprofessional and she is dead wrong the way she treats people especially who she considers underlings. I told her don't ever talk to Russ like that again and if she has any problem with his work come see me and I will rectify it. I told her that if she has any problem with anyone's work she should discuss it with them instead at yelling at them and trying to intimidate them.

She was furious with me and I was really surprised how unglued I came, when Shauna began attacking Russ. It reminded me of years ago when I was training John F. C. at Taco Bell while we were in college, and some customer started yelling at John, and I became a maniac, and told that person to shut the fuck up and get off the premises before I call the police. I can't abide bullies.
Additional Material 4-5 April 1986 The Democratic Policy Commission, a branch of the Democratic National Party, held a roundtable discussion at the Salt Lake. Former Utah Governor Scott Matheson who chaired the commission had considered placing the issue of Gay Rights on the agenda following an appeal of Gay-rights advocates but it was decided against. Tribune staff writer Paul Rolly felt that the issue was shelved because of the LDS Conference was being held at the same time. He stated, “The coincidence concerned some Democratic officials who worried any Gay rights activities would create too much of a contrast to the conservative teachings of Mormon officials who believe homosexuality a sin.”
• Lesbian singer Deidre McCalla performed at The Painted Word on 4th South and 4th West to promote her album Don’t Doubt It on Olivia Records.
• 2nd Annual Desert and Mountain States Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona. The Theme of the Conference will be “Pride in Diversity, Strength in Unity”. The Salt Lake delegation of the planning committee withdrew from the conference and did not attend. Scott M. stated that Phoenix Co-chair David Lilly had informed him that the conference was going to be scaled back because of speaker cancellation and inability to get equipment for a dance. Lily denied that the conference was scaled back.

5 April 1986 Saturday:
This week has gone by so fast. Bob has Russ sitting next to me at work so I can train him. We are together day and night and I think Russ is really special. I enjoy cooking for him and making chicken and dumplings, his favorite, along with my fruit salad which he eats all the time.

Russ and I listened to the opening session of LDS General Conference this morning on TV. Ezra Taft Benson, during the morning session, began to knock Gays again. I think if E.T. lives long enough, he will just carrying on the same oppressive attitude towards Gay people that Spencer Kimball initiated.

While my wife was at work this afternoon, Russ and I were visiting, and he said that he was all knotted up and tense. I asked him if he wanted a back rub and he said he could use a massage. I had him take his shirt off and I began massaging him when he grabbed my hand and placed it on his erection. Startled, Russ said to me, "You know this is what you want." And it was true. I have been wanting to bond with Russ almost since I first met him. Just looking at him at times made me moist. I went down on Russ and then it was over. I felt closer to him then ever- until this evening.

I was really disappointed tonight when Russ went to General Priesthood with some man who had called him wanting some information about affirmation. I understand that this man was married, and really nervous, and Russ and him could speak Spanish, but still I would have liked to gone along. I feel like Russ chose to go the Spanish speaking session as an excuse for me not to go along.

My wife's and my friend from Provo, Meg, came over this evening. She was feuding with her husband. I've known Meg since she was my landlady at BYU back in 1975. She's so curious as to why Russ is living with us and who he is. It's hard to explain things without telling Meg everything that is going on in my life, and I am not ready for that.
Additional Material Rev. Ann Campbell Wants to Educate the Public About AIDS (SLTribune 5 April 1986 B16-1)
• "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco is number one song on national charts

6 April 1986 Sunday:
At Sacrament Meeting we watched a little of the LDS General Conference on TV. Russ Lane suggested that a bunch of us go to Conference and sing High On A Mountain Top but change the final verse to-
"Her light should there Attract the GAYS
of all the world In Latter Days"

I am not really interested in the LDS Conference, especially after what Ezra Taft Benson said about Gays yesterday morning.

At church today, Mike H., this beautiful blond boy from Provo, who had dropped by the house last Easter, came to church today. He's really neat. I want to get to know him better, but he seems so together and classy. I think he's way more together at his young age then I am at mine.

At Affirmation tonight, the consensus of the group was to meet every Sunday rather then bi-monthly as the Salt Lake City chapter of Affirmation does. Stan D. made the suggestion that the first Sunday should be a pot luck, the second Sunday will be a fireside guest speaker, the third Sunday could be a conscience raising rap group with special topics, and the fourth Sunday will be the monthly business meeting.

Members voted to accept Stinky Stan's suggestion and it was approved. There were about twenty people at Affirmation tonight. A good turn out. The Parlor was full at the Crossroads Urban Center.

I am happy to be supporting Russ with Affirmation but my heart and loyalties are with my new church not the old. Russ seems more distant from be then before. I hope what happened yesterday won't affect our relationship.

9 April 1986 Wednesday:
It’s been a long time since I have attended a meeting of the Salt Lake Chapter of Affirmation. I will always have affection for John Cooper's group but Russ Lane's group meets my social and spiritual need better now. I haven't heard from Bob McIntier for a while. So far it seems my main responsibility as Bishop Agent is helping him set up Sacrament where he presides. There are goings on in Los Angeles, nothing official, just rumors about Tony Feliz assuming the mantle of Prophet, Seer, and Revelator for the church. Don't know how I feel about that.

My wife is very distant from Russ any more. I think she sees how discouraged I feel from Russ' lack of attention to me and is angry at Russ for not being more responsive to me. She tells me that Russ is just using me but I don't listen to anything against him. The Lord wanted me to help Russ. I know that as a fact. I shouldn't let my physical attraction for him get in the way of the Lord's work.

Today is my last day at being 34. I started it living in Orange, California, working at Ticor Title insurance and being extremely miserable. I am feeling miserable tonight but its a different type of misery, a sort of a happy misery if that makes any sense at all.

10 April 1986 Thursday:
Today is by thirty-fifth birthday and my wife bought me a German Chocolate Cake. Yum. I invited Jon B. and Gordon J. over to have cake and ice cream with my wife, Russ, and I. Jon and Gordon could only stay but a short while because they were committed to another party somewhere else.

Later when my wife had some of her friends over to work on their acrylic nails, I went into Russ's room, just to be with him. We sat and visited about how things are going at work and about Affirmation of course. Russ then told me that for my birthday present he bought me a $25 annual membership to Affirmation. That was sweet of him.

Well I'm thirty-five years old now. I have left the Mormon Church and I am active in an "apostate" church, and I am living a Gay life style what ever that means. What a difference a year makes.

11 April 1986 Friday
I heard at work while listening to KRCL, that the Mikado is still playing at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. It is my all time favorite Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta. Russ and I both love classical music so I thought it would be fun to surprise him with tickets for the performance. I went up to the U on my lunch break and bought three tickets for my wife, Russ, and myself.

When I tried to surprise Russ with the tickets, instead of being thrilled he acted like he was being put upon. Finally he said that if I didn't mind, he'd rather not go because he likes to get caught up on his laundry and other things on Friday nights.

I told him I understood and that it was my fault for not asking him first because when you do things extraneously you have to be willing to be disappointed. But the truth is I felt really disappointed and my feelings were hurt that he would rather do his laundry then be with me. I guess I have deeper feelings for Russ then I thought. I should never have let last Saturday happen.

Anyway, my wife was excited to go and we asked our friends from Provo if they wanted to go which they did so I bought an extra ticket. The show was absolutely wonderful-the singing-the dancing-the colorful fans and banners! Just a magical night at the theater. I enjoyed the show immensely even if my evening was slightly marred.

After the performance we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant, China Village, on Main Street north of the post office. It was a very late dinner and we stayed out until 2 a.m. My wife and I finally told Steve and Meg what was going on in our lives and especially in mine. I told them that I had left the LDS church and had joined the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ. They acted like they were happy that I have found happiness, but I could tell that they were really sad that I had left the LDS Church after all these years. After all it was Steve who ordained me an elder in 1975 and it was with Steve and Meg that I went through the temple for the first time for my endowments in January 1976. I know it must have been a sad thing for them to think of me leaving the church. But I don't really feel like I've left the gospel behind. Anyway it felt good to tell others who know me from before about my involvement with the Restoration Church.

12 April 1986 Saturday:
I think I am falling in love with Russ Lane and I don't know why. May be it is a true principle that you love those you serve and I do everything for Russ. I take him to work everyday. I fix him his lunch and dinner. I do his wash. I've even ironed his clothes. I've given him gifts including my Saturday's Warrior album. I felt terrible later after doing that because it made my wife cry. I had forgotten that she had bought it for me in December of 1976 when we were first dating. I haven't listened to it in years and really had grown to think of it as insipid, but still it had sentimental value for my wife.

I am so very happy Russ is living here so I can be near him but I am also miserable because Russ doesn't return any of my affection. At work, time just seems to fly because he is there. My days seem brighter because he is around and yet I am well aware that I care for Russ more than he does for me.

While I don' feel guilty about our sexual encounter last week, I now wish we would not have done it. I do hope it doesn't interfere with our friendship and doesn't obstruct the reason God brought us together in the first place, that is to be of service to the Gay community.

My wife is starting to be pissed off all the time by what Russ does or doesn't do around the house. It's my fault. I don't know how to be a plural lover very well.
Additional Material "Kiss" by Prince & The Revolution is number one song on national charts

13 April 1986 Sunday:
Bob McIntier had to go to Dallas, Texas on a business trip so I was in charge of putting together Sacrament even though Bob had asked Gordon to be in charge of it. I made some cupcakes for after church services and about seventeen people were in attendance. The talk was on the Royal Law and service to God. I am glad I took charge of Sacrament because Gordon was late. He looked a mess and said he was beaten up by some of his room mates and kicked out of Auntie Dee's house. Auntie Dee is a drag queen in the community who takes in strays so I wonder what Gordon did to piss her off. I know he hasn't had a job since I've known him so I don't know how he is getting by.

At Affirmation, the space is over flowing at the Crossroad Urban Center. Every couch is filled. People are sitting on the floor, and late comers are standing in the foyer. But no one seems to mind because the fellowship is strong and Russ makes a point to make each and every person there feel important and welcomed. He is a hand shaker for sure. My wife is still the only woman at Affirmation and still the center of attention. She is kind of a Wendy to all these Lost Boys.
Additional Material The Lesbian and Gay Student Union at the U of U hosted a week long Lesbian and Gay Conference 86. Theme of the conference was “Looking Forward”. Jim H. was President of LGSU. Joe Redburn of the Sun Tavern and Michael M. of Jeff’s Gym, a Gay bath house helped financed the Conference.
• Utah Technical College’s student senate once again voted against giving official school recognition to a Gay Student Union

15 April 1986 Tuesday:
Today is Jon B.'s 40th birthday. My wife and I had him over for cake and ice cream. He came without Gordon J. and we visited on this warm wonderful Spring day in the Rockies. The air is just perfumed at night. I don't see Jon and Gordon working out much longer. They are both out of work but Jon has some savings and is on unemployment. Gordon is so dependent on Jon now and Jon is feeling trapped. I've heard Gordon say that he needs this relationship but I don't see him being very responsible. He is spending a lot of time at the bars drinking even though he has no money. That is not a good sign.

17 April 1986 Thursday
Things are not good between Russ and I and I don't know how to fix it. He pushes all my John F. C. buttons. The more I am feeling rejected by Russ, the more I do for him. It's insanity to try and make him love me as much as I am in love with him. This insane cycle is repeating over and over again and I do not know what to do. My trying to do things for Russ is actually driving him further from me rather then bringing him closer. I know this rationally but my heart is just beating up my head.

At lunch today, Russ wanted to go up to the University of Utah's housing office to look for an apartment or a roommate. It was raining slightly but it was fun just being with him. We didn't see much but he took down a few numbers.

Back at work, the girls that run the copy machines sure like my butt. They are always teasing me. Only if Russ would like my butt too, but I am beginning to finally realize that he really doesn't. He never wants to go out with me, or do anything with me unless he needs something and then he says, so kid like, "Benny could you please..." and I fall for it every time. I don't even like being called Benny but I let him.

My wife is on her period and is not feeling well so I stayed with her watching the Bill Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, and Night Court. About nine p.m. Steve and dropped by for a few minutes to visit and see if I had spoken to Ed Rogers one of the owners of Utah Title, about a position in the legal department there. I told him that Ed said for him to come down and apply so that's good news for them.
Additional Material The best attended seminar at U of U's LGSU Conference was a debate on “Lesbian Separatism” entitled “Extremism in Defense of Liberty”. Debate was between Kake Huck and Sharon Jensen.

18 April 1986 Friday
I went into work this morning in a real sour mood because of a slight that Russ did me today. Although it was a small and petty thing to be upset about, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Yesterday, knowing that we were going to spend our lunch hour up on campus, I had fixed both him and me a big lunch to take with us. Today we had plans to go listen to Harry Britt, the San Francisco Supervisor who replaced Harvey Milk after his assassination. He was speaking at noon at the University of Utah as part of Gay Pride Week. I didn't have time this morning to pull a lunch together but Russ made sure that he had a lunch of apples and carrots. I mean, I don't expect much from Russ, but couldn’t he at least grabbed me something too? Is that asking too much from him or am I being too petty? It made me realize how little he cares for me.

So on the way to work I said to Russ that I had some errands I had to do at lunch and that he was on his own finding a way to campus. Well that pissed him off to no end but I didn't care. Why should I be the only one upset?

My wife’s young friend Tony is back staying with us, while he is looking for work again in Salt Lake. He said that he wanted to help us out by giving the car a tune-up since he knows how to do it and has the tools for it. So I told Russ that I had to go buy parts during lunch for the tune ­up.

Last week Estelle R. who I worked with at Ticor Insurance, last year, wrote and asked if she came to Utah could she stay with my wife and I while visiting Salt Lake City. I said sure not thinking she would really come but she called me today saying she will be here tomorrow. She is coming on a Greyhound Bus. I will deal with this tomorrow.

At work today Bob E. announced that the company is springing for pizzas for lunch because of the amount of production we have been doing lately. Well Russ just looked sick because of the dilemma of having to choose between a free lunch and seeing fags on campus. Well he did choose to see the fags and the sucker that I am, I saved some of the pizza for him so that he could microwave them later.

I left work early today to help Tony work on the car, so Russ was on his own getting home. While working on the car with Tony, as he put in spark plugs and points, I felt so much like I was watching my dad like when I was a kid and I must say that I really hated the feeling. I was never mechanical and those weekends handing dad his tools were pure torture. Grease under my finger nails? Yuck!

This evening my wife left with Tony to spend the weekend down in Levan with Tony’s parents leaving me on my own for two days. Not wishing to spend the evening with Russ, who is still sulking, I called Jon B. up to see what he was going to do tonight. He said that he and his friend Johnny W. were going to the Utah Symphony tonight to hear Beethoven’s Ninth performed. I asked if I could tagged along and Jon said that was a “great idea".

When I told Russ I was going out with Jon B., this pissed Russ off again because I was backing out of our going up to the U of U campus for a Candlelight vigil for victims of Gay Bashing and AIDS. I really would have rather had been with Russ but when I realized how Russ would treat me once there, like I was invisible, I decided to spend the evening with people who won’t treat me like shit.

I went to the Symphony and I was so glad I did, even if it was kind of embarrassing getting in on a student pass. But the performance was excellent and a real feast for the ears! It was simply exhilarating being there, so much like in my College days at Cypress College; so perhaps it was okay that we used a student pass.

Johnny W., Jon B. and I were having so much fun, and afterwards we went cruising around State Street just like as if we were still in high school. That was a riot. Then we went up 3rd West and got something to eat at this Greek place called Soulvakis that I like so much. It’s the only place that serves Yeeros with a meaty red sauce on slices of lamb and onions that I know of. After stuffing our selves with Yeeros and Pork Shish kabobs, we then went over to Johnny's place on 1st South and 3rd east, tucked in behind the school for the blind.

Jon B. is staying there for the time being, until he gets on at Utah Title which should be soon. Johnny W. is fascinating with his belief in re-incarnation. He believes that he is a reincarnated ancient Egyptian and has his apartment decorated in Egyptian period furnishings and decor. He has the Eye of Horus painted on the wall and sleeps in an Egyptian cot-like bed. I was half expecting to see a mummy or a cow headed goddess walk in from the kitchen.

My being a history major, we talked Egyptology until one in the morning speculating about the construction of the pyramids. Of course since he was there he knew more about it than me.

As I was sitting on the bedlike couch, with Jon B. in my arms, suddenly there was a pounding at the door. It was a distraught Gordon J. who was a drunken mess. From the wild hurt in his eyes, I knew he must have felt left out and crushed when he saw us all together. I felt so sorry for him that I told Jon B. to go to him and take him home. I thought it was kind of odd that Gordon wasn't with us anyway, but I didn't plan the evening.

Jon B. told me, as he left, that he would be back, so I waited until two a.m. talking to Johnny about reincarnation. I told him that sometimes I feel like I’ve lived in Meso-America during the time of the Mayas or Aztecs. I do have Comanche Indian blood in me so who knows? I also know of a place in the south like a Bayou or something where I have memories of though I have never lived there.

When Jon didn't come back I decided it was time to go home too. Except for Gordon’s dramatics I had a wonderful, magical night, full of lights, music, and mysticism. And I spent an evening not wishing I was with Russ.
Additional Material Harry Britt, San Francisco Supervisor who succeeded Harvey Milk, was keynote speaker for the LGSU Conference. A Britt stated that the purpose of Gay politics should be nothing less than the transformation of human culture. Candlelight Vigil held on campus after keynote address.

19 April 1986 Saturday
This morning I got up around seven-thirty a.m. after last night's celebration of music, so I could go into work at 8 to work for some overtime. I worked until noon and right before leaving some work men came in to put up petitions in the office. The panels came from Gary Sheet's bankrupt company. His wife was killed by Mark Hoffman in the Salamander Bombings last October.

Anyway, so come Monday, we will have a new look. Leaving the office I went to my barber on 7th East and got a haircut and beard trim for $3. Looks sharp. The weather was pretty but nippy all day and when I finally went back home I could feel the tension building between Russ and I. We have a barrier in place and I know that he is pissed that I didn't go with him to the Gay and Lesbian thing on campus, but I'll discuss that later.

I noticed that he hadn’t done a thing around the house but his own washing and that made me kind of mad only be­cause he said he would. He left shortly after I came home so I tried to clean the kitchen and I did scrub the bathroom because Estelle is coming in this evening. I also did some wash and ironed clothes for next week.

Later Bob McIntier called and asked me if it was okay, that if instead of going out to dinner to visit , was it okay to go to the Metropolitan Community Church's pot luck. I said fine so I spent the rest of the afternoon making an Italian Casserole and also making cupcakes for after Sacrament tomorrow.

Around 4 p.m. I went to the central library to return some records, mostly operas, that I had checked out from last week and while there I ran into Lynn F., a coworker at Utah Title. I gave her a ride home and did do some quick shopping at Smith Food King on 9th & 9th.

About 5 p.m. Estelle called from the bus station and said that she had just gotten in so I went to Greyhound to pick her up. It was really good to see her again. She feels like home with her Tennessee accent. She’s from the same county in Tennessee that my grandpa’s people were from so we could be kinfolk for all I know. Estelle is as thin as a rail, blond, and smokes and is a good hearted soul but she couldn’t have picked a worse time to come to Utah. I told her that she can have the car to sight see, and that I had an obligation I had to go to tonight. She said not to worry that she would probably just rest and go out to get some supper. I also told her that my wife is visiting friends in Juab County south of Provo and that I had a friend staying with me while he's looking for a place. I didn’t want to tell Estelle that I went queer since she last saw me. I was such a good Mormon boy at Ticor.

Back home while getting dressed for the pot luck, Russ came home. I introduced him to Estelle who was making a bed on the couch. Russ and I went to his room and he never asked me anything about how my evening was yesterday or took the least bit interest in where I was going tonight. But like an idiot in love I invited him to go along with Bob McIntier to the MCC pot luck. He agreed to go, I know more for the dinner than my company, but I didn't feel right about not asking him.

Anyways I was looking sharp with my pleated beige pants, my opera shirt, my funky black and yellow tie and my Fedora. Estelle was asleep when Bob came over, so we left and went to pick up another fellow, Ric B.. Ric is a friend of Bob’s and he sings in the Salt Lake Men's Choir. Bob is trying to get him to join the Restoration Church.

Well we went to the Unitarian Church on 13th East and 6th South and immediately after entering the building I knew I had made a mistake in coming. I agreed to go for Bob's sake but I really felt out of place at the MCC gathering. Russ was ignoring me and Bob was surrounded by his old MCC friends. I felt very alienated and not fitting into the cliquishness of MCC. Besides, I am still not comfortable with priest craft, even though Bruce Barton, the pastor of the group, is a sweet man.

My over all feeling at the pt luck was that I missed the association of members of the Restoration Church. So I went off by myself, and sat in the darken Chapel where I prayed a little to my Heavenly Father and Mother. It was dark and peaceful in there and the spirit whispered to me that it was time to let Russ Lane go. I cried a little but I knew it was true. I really have done all that was required of me. I found Russ a job and now he has the income to find his own space and Affirmation is thriving.

Anyway, having the Spirit with me and feeling more calm, I went back to where dinner was being served. Everyone was in their own little cliques chatting happily, so I sat by myself and ate dinner. Across the room, I couldn't bear listening to Russ jabber on any longer so I thought to my self, "This is too much for me to have to bear and to be good to myself. I am going home."

So I went over to Bob and freaked him out by saying that I was going to walk on home, and not to worry I would be fine. I asked him just bring my bowl home. So I left the building and walked down 13th East to 9th South. From there I walked down the hill to 3rd East. From there it was an easy walk to 13th South. As I was walking home in the dark, strains from the tragic aria of Madam Butterfly kept going thru my head. It was so melodramatic but I couldn't help it.

I was so mentally exhausted by the time I got home; but Estelle was up and we visited. She said she drove downtown and saw the temple and got a bite to eat. She caught me up on news at Ticor but those days seem in the distant past.

I went to bed at ten-thirty wondering what to do about Russ. I really want him to leave but I don't want him to stop coming to Church because of me. Anyways I heard Bob drop Russ off shortly after I had went to bed. After coming into the house through the backdoor, he called this Pedro friend of his, who has had the hots for him. I couldn't help but over hear the conversation, and Russ said to this guy that he was ready now to start a relationship with him. In other words, Russ wanted to get laid tonight. I then heard him say some very unkind things about me to Pedro and I just thought my heart would just explode. Russ told Pedro that he would catch the last bus up State Street and then walk the rest of the way to the Avenues in order to spend the night with him. I thought to my self, “You son of a bitch. Here I am, and in love with you so much and you’d rather go all that way and trouble to be with a stranger?” I was beside myself with anger.

As Russ started to leave the house, I opened my bedroom door and said in a very cold, matter of fact way, that tomorrow I wanted the house key back and that he is to leave as soon as possible. He just sounded sick when he said fine and then left. If I had a knife in my heart I could not have been in any more pain.

Tomorrow I am going to tell Russ that he must be out by Tuesday. I know that it doesn't seem like it, but I am doing this for me, not as a way to punish Russ. I have to be good to my self, and Russ isn’t good for my mental heath. I know a lot of this isn’t his fault. It’s just that he pushes a lot of old John F. C. rejection buttons and is bringing up a lot of old unresolved issues. Russ just doesn't see all the beauty that's within me. Will anyone?

After Russ left I laid in bed in a complete state of heart ache. I thought about calling my wife but I don't have the phone number where she is staying. I then decided to call Bob McIntier since he is the Branch President. I asked Bob if I could come over because I was so miserable and didn't want to be alone, but what he said to me was like cold water thrown in my face. Bob said that I was welcome to come over but that he wanted to make it perfectly clear that I had to sleep in the guest room because he wasn't going to "sleep" with members of the Church! I was shocked because I was looking for solace not sex! I'm sure his intentions were better than the sound of his words but I was devastated.

My well is tapped dry. I am bottomed out. I have no more tears. I am just dried up.
Additional Material "Kiss" by Prince & The Revolution is number one song on national charts

20 April 1986 Sunday
I slept very little after having a miserable and terribly worried night. I even had nightmares about Russ. I had such a bad spirit with me. Anyway after getting up I fixed Estelle and I a good country breakfast of biscuits and gravy. She said she slept well on the couch. She wanted to go see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sing this morning so I said she better hurry and get ready.

This morning, seeing that Russ was still gone, I couldn't bear to remain in the house so I took Estelle to Temple Square and since it was an absolutely gorgeous day I went over to Johnny W.'s to bring him some books on Egypt that I had and to visit. I was there about 9 a.m. but no one answered, so I went to a car wash place on 3rd East and cleaned the car, hoping that by the time I was finished Johnny would be home or up.

I was also hoping that Jon B. would be there too, because I really needed to talk to him about my feelings for Russ. When I returned, Johnny answered the door but Jon wasn't there, so we sat and visited until noon. Then we went for a little walk. I got sunburned on my face, a little, because it was so warm.

Anyway, Johnny and I got to talking and naturally the conversation returned back to Russ. I told Johnny that I wanted to throw Russ out but didn't know how. Johnny gave me some excellent advice from the 12 step program. He said "Let the Spirit Direct".

He also gave me a copy of a poem written by John Burroughs entitled "WAITING". I just absolutely adored it and meant so much to me. It was like it was written for what I am going through.

Well Johnny wanted me to stay for dinner but I said that I had to go and pick Estelle up from the Crossroads Mall and then get ready for Sacrament Meeting. By the time Estelle and I came home, Russ had returned and was typing some things for Affirmation. I told him that when he was finished I wanted to talk to him. He said that we could talk now so we went back into his room and sat on his bed. I first of all said, “I was not doing this because of you but because of things within me.” I explained that he was pushing too many of my John F. C. buttons and while it's not his fault, I for my mental health sake, I have to ask him to leave. Russ then replied that he could be out Tuesday and I said that would be fine.

Then I continued saying that since he felt like I was violating his "space", I shouldn't do things for him anymore and that he should hand over the house key and take the bus to work. At that point Russ just exploded. There was no other way to describe it. I guess I pushed one of his buttons, and he started raging at me turning red in the face, and was just screaming at me. He yelled that I was being manipulative and that he was mad as hell that my wife and I were thinking that he was ripping us off. He was threatening and very violent, and out of the blew he called me “Edgar”, just the way John F. C. would have said it when he was so frustrated with me. It actually shocked me because I don’t think that Russ even knows that my real name is Edgar. Immediately I felt the Spirit say to me, "Just be calm, listen, and all will be well".

After he calmed down slightly, and I knew that he was not going to hit me, I said, “Russ, neither my wife nor I believe that you are taking advantage of us. The point of all this is, that I am not mature enough to handle the fact that you will be leaving me." At those words Russ who had been towering over me in rage, fell into my arms and we just held each other so tight­ly and cried and cried. We cried out all our fears and spoke of the love we have for one another. We cried and apologized and cried some more. When I looked up Estelle was standing in the doorway. When she saw me she disappeared out the door.

Before I could say anything, Bob McIntier dropped over on his way to Sacrament and Russ said that I should tell Bob how my feelings were hurt by him from last night when I had asked him to stay with him and he thought all I wanted was sex. So I did and Bob then sat down next to me and held me on my right and said that he was sorry and that what I heard was not how he felt. I said that while my head knew that was true at the time, my heart was not listening. I said I am so new at all this. I want to do what is right, and Bob said that we will work it all out but now it was time for us to get Sacrament together.

So Bob left for Church to set things up at the Crossroad Urban Center while Russ and I stayed a little longer. I laid my head on Russ broad chest, and it felt so secure. We hugged each other and then Russ said that he had had some real re­sentment against me but that they were gone now after getting this all off his chest. He said that he loved me and appreciated all that I did for him and he said that when people thank him for Affirmation he will say "You should thank My wife and Ben for making it possible". We then kissed.

Out on the porch Estelle was smoking away. I waved to her then rushed off to Church where we were a little late for Sacrament.

Bob was presiding today and the talk was on the Temple’s Oaths and Covenants in preparation for those who will be going to the initiatory ordinances in Los Angles. I had brought cupcakes. At church Russ introduced me to his cousin Randy H.. That was sure a shock. I had no idea that that this man who was suppose to originally put Russ up when he first came to Salt Lake is the same man I met last February at the central library. He was the guy that was so instrumental in my decision to come out of the closet. What a small, small world. God does work in wondrous ways. That’s all I can say.

After Church, Russ had to stay in the building because he didn't have a key to lock up and besides he said he wanted to work on some Affirmation things. I went home to face Estelle.

She didn’t say anything to me, but she had her suit case packed and said that she was ready to leave and wanted to get back home to rest before going back to work. I didn’t protest but thanked her for coming and said I was sorry that my wife wasn’t here and I didn’t get to show her around the city. She said “I’ve seen enough” which I wasn’t sure how to take. But I dropped her off at the Greyhound, waved goodbye and left to get ready for Affirmation.

Tonight was a social and we played trivia pursuit and other board games. Tonight ended so much better than the day began. It came from listening to the Spirit.
Additional material John Burroughs born in Roxbury, New York, April 3, 1837; died March 29, 1921. Considered in his day the foremost naturalist of America, Mr. Burroughs was also one of the foremost men of letters and had the distinction of having been one of the first to recognize and proclaim the genius of Walt Whitman. He grew interested in the poetry of Walt Whitman, whom he frequently defended in literary arguments and later met during a period when Burroughs and his wife were separated. Whitman would become a life-long friend of the Burroughses, and vainly attempted to reconcile the two. Whitman encouraged Burroughs to develop his nature writing, and Burroughs' work in turn improved Whitman's own perceptions of nature. In 1867, Burroughs published Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person, the first biography and critical work on the poet, extensively revised and edited by Whitman himself.
WAITING by John Burroughs (1837-1921)
Serene I fold my hands and wait
Nor care for wind nor tide nor sea
I rave no more gainst time or fate
For lo my own shall come to me
I stay my haste I make delays
For what avails this eager pace
I stand amid the eternal ways
And what is mine shall know my face
Asleep awake by night or day
The friends I seek are seeking me
No wind can drive my bark astray
Nor change the tide of destiny
What matter if I stand alone
I wait with joy the coming years
My heart shall reap where it has sown
And garner up its fruits of tears
The waters know their own and draw
The brook the springs in yonder heights
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delights
The stars come nightly to the sky
The tidal wave unto the sea
Nor time nor space nor deep nor high
Can keep my own away from me
Serene I fold my hands and wait
What e're the storms of life may be
Faith guides me up to heaven's gate
And love will bring my own to me

• Utah State Attorney Says Contracting AIDS is Not by Itself Classed as “Handicap” (SLTribune B14-1)
• The Royal Court of the Golden Spike's 7th annual Golden Spikes Award ceremony held at Backstreet. The Golden Spike Humanitarian Award given to Herman Moore (Donnie Marie) for service to the Gay community. On 3 Sept 1996 Empress XII of the Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire, “Donnie Marie” Herman Moore, died of AIDS age 43,

21 April 1986 Monday:
The walls are going up at work and coming down at home. Ed Rogers bought some panels to enclose the examiners and I think they really look nice. He got them from CSF. That was Gary Sheets old company that went bankrupt.

My wife and Tony returned home while I was at work. In the evening Jon B. and Gordon J. dropped by so that I could teach Jon some title insurance terms so he would have some knowledge of the business when he is interviewed. They were here when my wife came home from Taylor Maid and she was so ugly and rude to Russ. She was bitching about the utility bills, blaming them on Russ, which is unfair, so we really got into a quarrel over it.

However Jon B.'s sweet spirit was able to sense the mood of the situation and was able to temper it before it blew up out of control. My wife told Jon that she really hates Russ. If she could only realize that Russ isn't the bad guy in this situation she would mellow out. I know it.

So I brought Russ out into the front room and had my wife hold him, and then I held her and then we all held each other in a circle. Jon, Gordon, Russ, my wife, and l all holding each other and trying to solve a lot of issues and differences. I don't know how things are going to work out but communication is the key.
Additional Material Geraldo Rivera, media journalist, opens Al Capone's secret vault on The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault, discovering only a bottle of moonshine.

22 April 1986 Tuesday:
What an absolutely wonderful evening. LGSU sponsored a concert by Romanovsky and Phillips, a Gay folk singing dual, as part of Gay Awareness Week. I've heard some of their songs on KRCL’s concerning Gays and Lesbians and in person they were absolutely delightful.

We went because Bob Mclntier suggested that we all go as part of a Family Home Evening Activity for the branch, but they only ones that went from Church were Russ Lane, Mike H., Bob McIntier, and me. Jon and Gordon said that they didn't want to come along but I really think that while Jon kind of did, he didn't have the money to buy both Gordon and him tickets. I went because Russ bought my ticket as a sweet surprise. Tickets were $5 and all the proceeds went to AIDS research.

There was a pretty good turn out at the concert and it was the first time I went out in public to a Gay activity. I was nervous but glad I did because a good time was had by all. I am starting to get to know Mike H. better. I think he's really a sweet man and is very kind and attentive to me. The song Closet Case made me cry.
Additional Material Romanovsky and Phillips began their career at San Francisco's Valencia Rose Cafe in 1982 as the musical break for Gay Comedy Open Mike Night, sharing the stage with many other performers destined for success including Lea Delaria and Marga Gomez. Before long they were dubbed them the "Gay Simon and Garfunkel." Bolstered by their local success, they mounted their first national tour in the fall of 1983.
CLOSET CASE from I Thought You'd Be Taller Album 1984
Working in a suit and tie On the twenty-second floor
A wife who cooks and stays at home And children to support
And they provide some comfort From your worries and your cares
But you get your kicks in tearooms From ten-minute love affairs
And that's just fine You won't find a lecture here
But you get more unhappy With each passing year
At the office Christmas party Your wife is by your side
But with all the pretty women It's the men who catch your eye
The old ones are distinguished And the young ones are so sweet
And you would like to dance with them But you have to be discreet
Holding onto ideal That you don't understand
Sacrificing all the love You'd like to give to a man
Martinis on a Friday Business lunch at noon
The secretary's curious Why you left your desk so soon
Rushing out to meet someone That you never thought would call
'Cause you were slightly older And he was dark and tall
Now he is there beside you But there's no place to go'
Cause he has got a roommate And you've got a family at home
Closet case

23 April 1986 Wednesday
I have been depressed all day because Russ told me that he has found a place to move into and he has even put a deposit down on it. He said that he will be ready to move out this Saturday.

In the evening I went over to Bob McIntier’s home to get a Temple Recommend to go through the Temple in Los Angles for the first Initiatory Ordinances of the Restoration Church. Bob is the Presiding Elder in Salt Lake so I had to be interviewed by him. Only two questions are asked during the Restoration Church’s Temple recommend interview. They are “Do you love God with all thy strength heart and mind and what are you doing to show it?" and "Do you love your neighbor as yourself and what are you doing to show it?"

After the Interview Bob and I just talked awhile about the church’s growth and especially about how bummed I was about Russ leaving. It's like all I do is cry now.
Additional Material Otto Preminger, Austrian-born film director best known for Advise and Consent the first American film to break the censor’s code on showing inside a Gay Bar. (1906-1986)

25 April 1986 Friday:
As Russ packed to moved out of the house, my wife, Tony and I went to the movies and saw a supposedly scary movie called "House". It was really stupid and we even walked out of the second feature it was so bad. I wasn't really watching the movies anyway because in the darken theater all I could do is think of Russ leaving.

When we left the show to our surprise it was snowing and it was sticking to the ground. I am so very tired and went straight to bed. Russ is spending his last night at our place so we could both go into work tomorrow and I am the only one with a key to the building.

Yesterday Russ and I sat in his room in the dark for over two hours talking about what we have been through together in such a short time. I cried the whole time and said my goodbyes then. I told him then that I would love to help him move, but I can't. It hurts too much to see him go and I just don't think I'd be able to bear it.

26 April 1986 Saturday:
It was snowing as Russ and I went to work this morning and soon a real blizzard blew in dumping several inches of snow. Because so many others came into work to get the company's product­ion down, Utah Title sprang for breakfast. We only worked until noon when by then the snow had stopped. I asked Russ if he wanted to go grocery shopping with me and he did, so we spent some more time together. I bought about $60 worth of groceries at Smith's Food King and really didn't get all that much. The only extra thing I bought was some essence oil called "Spring Rain". It smells so good on me and even Russ likes it.

After dropping Russ off at his new apartment at 340 South 600 East he asked me in to see it. He's on the second floor of the Juel Apartment and his place is cute and only $200 a month furnished and with heat paid! I was happy for him but I felt so sad about going home to an empty house.

At home my wife came home from work early because she wasn't feeling well. Bronchitis maybe. I just feel so lethargic myself. I have no energy. I am so stressed out and I guess cried out.

I needed to get out of the house so I attended a Gay Pride Day planning meeting held at the Salt Lake Public Library in the late afternoon. In attendance were Beau Chaine, Donny Eastepp, Marc L., and myself.

In the evening I went shopping at Weinstocks at the Crossroads Mall and this real cute sales clerk named Darren Smith waited on me. He said something cute like "Shop until you drop", and I did. I bought over $300 worth of clothes. Lots of Summer and Spring things. Well I really don't have anything to wear and I haven't bought clothes for myself is years. Everything I bought is so cute, lots of pastels, muslins, peach and turquoise things.

Anyways tonight is daylight savings time and it’s the first time that my wife and I have really been alone in probably a month. Even our animals seem mopey without all the company.
Additional Material In Ukraine, one of the reactors at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl) nuclear plant explodes, creating the world's worst nuclear disaster. Thirty-one are killed directly by the incident, many more die from cancer in later years, many thousands more are exposed to significant amounts of radioactive material, and vast territories in Ukraine and Belarus are rendered uninhabitable.
• Broderick Crawford, American actor best known for All the King's Men, and Born Yesterday. (1911-1986)
• "Addicted To Love" by Robert Palmer is number one song on national charts
• September 1, 2004 Case No. 018-04, The Juel Apartment building, located in the Central City Historic District at 340 South 600 East was demolished by Rob Fetzer of Salt Lake Apartment Buildings. On this date he requested post-demolition approval of plan for the Juel Apartment Building.

27 April 1986 Sunday
Today was hard on me because I am going through withdrawals from Russ. It’s a hard time for my wife too with all the changes in my life that is effecting our marriage. I am so very tired, so tired. What does the Bard say about not loving wisely but too well. The house is a wreck again but I don't care. I'm just like a zombie.

Because I was feeling low, I went shopping again but this time at Sears on State Street and 8th South. I bought a tweed sports jacket that looks absolutely handsome on me.

At one p.m. I went over to Bob McIntier's house in Rose Park to be interviewed by Tony Feliz who came up this weekend with Lamar Hamilton to interview people for the Initiatory Ordinances. Elder Lamar Hamilton and I talked awhile about my responsibilities as a Bishop Agent while at Bob's. He gave me some tithing receipt books and other stuff that I am responsible for. After we finished visiting about my calling, I saw Jon B. and went and sat next to him. Being with him he put his arms around me and I suddenly started to weep about Russ leaving. I can't believe how much it hurts to have Russ out of the house, where I could take care of him and love him.

Sacrament Meeting was wonderful and the meeting was filled with the spirit, I think because Elder Hamilton is here. President Feliz, as he is now recognized as head of the church, organized us officially into a Branch today with Bob Mclntier being called to be the Branch President and Mike H. as his first Counselor. That came as a complete surprise to me because I was under the impression that we had been organized last Easter. Still I was so excited for Mike. I recognized that Mike has a sweet spirit since I first met him and anyone else living close to the Spirit could feel it too. We had about 15 people at the meeting today and Elder Lamar Hamilton shared a revelation he had received regarding Our Mother In Heaven. The revelation was given to us to read and will be voted on at June Conference. It was sweet and beautiful. We closed our meeting singing “The Spirit of God Like A Fire Is Burning". We were almost shouting the words; the spirit was that strong with us.

After Sacrament meeting, I visited with and greeted every one who had come to church while Tony Feliz was interviewing several people for Temple Recommends. When Tony had interviewed me earlier this morning, over at McIntier's house, I was perturbed that he asked me questions about tithing, as well as the question Bob had asked me before. I told him I didn't like that. I was also quite candid with him, telling him that I wasn't quite sure what I think of his new "prophetic calling".

Anyway I stayed at the Crossroad Urban Center for Affirmation and I tried to stay through the whole meeting but my heart was so torn over seeing Russ, knowing now I will always be sharing him. I had to leave. I've tried to deny, deny, deny but I do love Russ. But this too shall pass! All I seem to do anymore is cry.

My wife wasn't able to attend today because she has bronchitis. She went to the urgency care doctor's this morning and he said to stay home and rest.

28 April 1986 Monday:
I felt so drained all day. So tired. I'm on my new schedule now working 9 to 6 with an hour off for lunch. My wife took me to work so she could have the car so I walked home. It seems so strange not to have Russ with me in the mornings and going home with me at night. Well I know I have to let Russ go and get on with my life but I don't know how.

Today out of the blue my wife said that she wanted to be baptized into the Restoration Church. I had given her blessing yesterday when she was so sick and today she's well. Thus she's convinced now that I still have my Priesthood and that perhaps what we have been teaching about the Priesthood in the Restoration Church is really true.

My wife's friend Tony is back staying with us and now my wife wants Jon B. to also come live with us.

On TV tonight a rerun of "An Early Frost" was shown. It is about a boy who has AIDS. I bawled all through it. What is wrong with me?
Additional Material- An Early Frost, broadcast on 11 November 1985 on the NBC network, was the first American made-for-television movie and the second prime-time dramatic program to acknowledge the presence and spread of AIDS in the 1980s. Because the movie was about the potentially controversial topic of homosexuality and the impact of AIDS on the beleaguered community of gay men, much care went into the preproduction process.

29 April 1986 Tuesday
I went over to Russ' today for lunch since the Juel Apartment is just across the street from work if you go out the back door and cut across the parking lot. I brought my own lunch to work, but I wasn't hungry so I gave it to Russ. At his place we had a heart to heart talk, and I told him how I really felt about him and he said that he really missed me but not in the same way I miss him.

When lunch was over I made up my mind to let Russ go, and to get on with my life even if it does hurt like hell. Doris, a fellow title examiner at work who analyses handwriting for a hobby, gave me back mine and I was surprise how accurate it was. She said that I was strong willed but hopelessly romantic.

After work I took the 5th East Bus home and fixed spaghetti for dinner. I then went over to Johnny W.'s because he didn't look very well on Sunday. I wanted to see how he was feeling and was surprised to see that Randy H. was over visiting him too and that they were friends. It's strange how life runs in circles.

I bought another tweed jacket at Sears today because they were on sale for $80 instead of $150. I will pick both of them up tomorrow after having them tailored to fit better.

Anyway I got to get Russ out of my system. I’ve got to fill the void with something else. I get such a comfort out being of service to the Lord and knowing that He loves me. I need to through myself back into service.

30 April 1986 Wednesday:
The end of an exciting, painful, and spiritual month. My life has changed so much since the beginning of the month and yet it is the same. I'm a Bishop Agent in the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ and have left the LDS Church entirely. I have a firm testimony of the Restoration Church in my life now but I'm still concerned about it's leadership. I don't understand the need of the high priest quorum yet that Tony Feliz is advocating and who died and made him prophet? The church in the beginning said revelation would be poured out upon all the members of the church.

Anyway I'm still hurting over the vacancy that Russ's leaving has created in my life when he moved out. Kent A. came over today and got the cot that Russ had been using, and now the back room seems so empty. After Russ left I use to go and sleep on the cot just to feel closer to Russ but now my tears have exhausted me. Russ invited me over for lunch today and we had tuna fish sandwiches. But I'm so sad all the time. It's like I'm mourning all over again for John F. C..

I'm going into work at nine now instead of eight and I work until six. Today I worked until six-thirty when I had to stop because my eyes started twitching from reading so many documents and looking at a computer screen. When I left work I stopped by Johnny W.'s to give him a copy of the revelation on Our Mother in Heaven that was handed out last Sunday.

All in all April was a fun month, with meeting new people and being of service to the Lord. I'm sad to see it over so soon. But I am glad that I am actually feeling emotions again, which I had long suppressed, and buried deep inside me. I think they are bubbling to the surface through my tear ducts

1 comment:

KakeHuck said...

Hi, Ben:

How nice to see my name in print! I was googling myself (as I occasionally do when in a self-absorbed and reflective state of mind) and ran across your memoirs. I look forward to reading more of them and remembering those Utah days.

As for that debate in 1986 -- I lost because I was following the rules of argument instead of telling personal stories.

Thanks for reminding me of my former life. I don't remember you from your name, but I might remember you from your picture (from back then).

Kake Huck
Now of Bend, Oregon