1 December 1986 Monday
I didn't go to LGSU tonight but I did go to Beau Chaine's opening of the Gingerbread Cafe. Billy B. was supposed to pick me up at six-thirty and finally at seven I called him because I was upset wondering where he was.
I said to him, "Why aren't you over here?" and he replied” I thought it wasn't until nine.'"
I then said, "Billy that really doesn't change anything. You knew I was expecting you at seven so why aren't you here or at least why didn't you call to find out what was going on? “Where you just going to keep me waiting for two hours?" Well he rationalized himself again and he said that he would be over at nine and he was but I was silent on the ride over to The Gingerbread House.
Once there I was in no hurry to go inside, so sitting in the darken car in front of Beau's place, Billy turned to me and said, "Do you ever want to scream?" and I said, "Yes."
"Why don't you then?" he asked and I replied “because I can’t”. Then Billy asked me if I wanted to cry and I replied "Yes but I won't". Billy then continued this asinine conversation by asking if I was hurt, and I said "No I think I'm more angry than hurt. But I don't know why.” I then told him “the only reason I am here with you is for Beau's gala opening because I don't have a good enough excuse for not being here."
Then I just quietly said, “I am tired. Tired of the entire pretense that you love me. I am disappointed, and tired of being disappointed," at which point I then jumped out of the car, put on a smile, and said after I left him sitting the car, "But the show must go on."
So I ran into the Gingerbread House on 5th South, beaming and greeting everyone, all expecting Ben to be all smiles as usual. I did not show that deep inside there is a tired boy who is tired of being disappointed by people he loves.
Some people there, whom I was expecting to ask me to do something this weekend didn't, and that really stung. I think mainly due to my feeling that I am such a low priority in Billy's life.
I am hyper sensitive to my other friends not asking me over to do something. Jon B. spent the weekend with Johnny W. who is up from Southern Utah for the Holidays. Russ Lane never calls me unless he needs something. And I expect way too much out of Billy. I'm so depressed right now. I know Billy doesn't love me. Why do I put myself through this? I need to go on another retreat like last June. I need to be left alone for a while so I can figure out what to do with Billy. I need to get my head together. No more LGSU, Affirmation, MDGL, or anything else for a while.
• Additional Material-Beauchaine’s Cabaret Corp., a non-profit organization opened a restaurant with a non-alcoholic atmosphere known as the Gingerbread House on 5th East and 5th South.
2 December 1986 Tuesday
My wife called me this morning needing money. I got paid last Friday but I spent a lot of it already on rent and things. I did say I could let her have the $80 Mom sent me for my plane fare home. So basically I now paid for the trip home entirely. I put the money right into her checking account.
What games am I playing with Billy? I want Billy yet I don't want Billy. I am so confused. I think mostly I don’t want the pain. "I haven't got room for the pain."
Additional Material- Desi Arnaz, Cuban born band leader, actor, and producer died. Best known for his role as the long suffering husband of Lucy Ricardo on I Love Lucy. (1917-1986)
3 December 1986 Wednesday
The weather is foggier and cooler than yesterday. Time is playing head games with me again. I don't know where I am going and time is passing so swiftly. It seems like time is just slipping away.
During my lunch hour I walked downtown to Radio City Lounge to see if the Triangle Magazine has come out yet because I wanted a copy of my poems but they still haven't distributed them to the bars yet. The only one I have seen so far is the one Billy B. showed me at Affirmation last Sunday. Anyways saw Steve Oldroyd there and I had a drink with him and we visited.
After work I walked down to the Crossroad Urban Center where we had our smallest meeting yet at Married and Divorced Gays and Lesbians. I am thinking of just letting the group dissolve itself but Derek K said that he would like to see the group continue so I said, "I will continue do this as a service to the Gay Community until I show up and find that I am the only one there. When that happens I'll know then that its time to move on to bigger and better things.
I bought some incense at a New Age shop. I like burning it in the Winter time to mask the stale air of the rooms being shut up. I bought some Frankincense and White Jasmine. I really like the White Jasmine.
Since Rand and Adrian aren't going to be able to go to Saturday Voyeur this time I asked Billy if he would like to go and act as an usher with me, Derek K, and Russ Lane. He acted really excited and said it would be fun. I almost hesitated asking Billy because I was afraid that he would come up with a reason not to go and I didn't want to be disappointed again. I know this is crazy.
My head my head what is going on in my head? I want to scream away my love for Billy if I could. But he lights up the dark corners for me. When ever he enters a room, he shines like neon. He's a bright flashing comet. He is fireworks on a warm summer night. He lights up the dark corners for me. I love him so much. What am I to do? How to let him go? Break away? How to break away clean and painless? Don't worry about me. I'm fine. Just slowly dying.
4 December 1986 Thursday
Ten years ago My wife and I had are first date here in Salt Lake City. I am so depressed about the Holidays. I think it may have something to do with the fact that it is My wife and mine tenth anniversary and this month is bringing back a lot of memories of lost illusions.
I think too I am depressed because I want to spend Christmas with Billy B. but he's going home to Concord, New Hampshire and I'm going to Garden Grove, California. But hey aren't you supposed to spend Christmas with the one you love?
While watching TV in the evening Nancy P. called me to visit and needing help regarding information on the house they are renting but which Nancy and Brooke are thinking of buying. Nancy is such a sweet lady and her demureness reminds me so much of my sister Donna.
Later around nine I get a surprised visit from Duane Dawson and Scott M. Scott too needed some information about the Condo that he's living in. I glad I am able to help.
Additional Material Salt Lake City’s two bath houses, Club 14 and Jeff’s Gym (Club Baths) received notice from the Salt Lake City attorney, Roger Cutler, requesting that they cease doing business or face legal prosecution. “SLC believes each business constitutes a brothel as a place of lewdness assignation or prostitution.” Bruce Baird, assistant city attorney handled the case. Michael Morris manager of Jeff’s Gym. Monte Pease manager of Club 14 owned by Leo Bush.
• Ben Barr, Greg Garcia, Bruce Barton, Bruce Harmon, Donny Eastepp, Curtis Jensen, John Sasserman, Beau Chaine, Michael Aaron, Graham Bell, David Nelson, Les Emmett, and another Gay man made up 13 Gay male community leaders who met to form what would be come the Gay and Lesbian Community Council of Utah. Ben Barr of APU, along with Bruce Barton of RMCC and Greg Garcia of Wasatch Leather Men, called for an organizational meeting to communicate better among each other. The Utah Community Service Center and Clinic failed to establish such a council in 1985. First meeting held in the Fellowship Hall of the MCC church at 823 South 600 East. Purpose of the group was to create a “United Nations” of Utah’s Gay interest groups. (70) Representatives from (John Cooper) Salt Lake Affirmation, (Ben Barr) AIDS Project Utah, (Donny Eastepp)Golden Spike Rodeo Association, (Curtis Jensen)Lesbian and Gay Student Union, (Bruce Barton) Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire, (John Sasserman) Triangle Magazine, (Greg Garcia) Wasatch Leather and Motorcycle Club and at least one Gay owned business, Art Attack. Barton stated, “ I see our organization as a loosely formed council that’s doing information sharing and keeping everyone updated.
5 December 1986 Friday
Bob E. is such an ass at work. This morning he asked me if I was still interested in taking over the recording department and I said, "Not without some compensation." and that made him mad because he wanted me to take it over without a raise and be at the same salary I’m making now. Bull Shit. Anyways he then said, "I'm going to have to put you back in examining because I've decided to do away with the computer department". I said, "Fine." That took the wind out of his sails and then I said, "Brent has already said that he wanted me to examine in the Second Mortgages department. ""That pissed him off because he wanted me to squirm but I saw this coming and already had my bases covered. I am only a fool in matters of the heart not the head.
Then I also said, "If you put me back in examining, I will not examine and also be the Computer expert too." He acted surprised and said, "Why not?" and I said, "Get real Bob. The other examiners don't even want to have to answer the phones and you want me to run all over this plant fixing every one's computer problem? I can't be trouble shooting everyone's problems and also be on production because you won't take it into account when my production is low because of all the work required on the computers."
And its true. Bob has no idea what my job description is because I created my own position and that is what really galls him. He doesn't have any real control over me. Bob would make a great shop steward but he's a lousy Manager.
I left in the afternoon to take the bus down to Midvale for my eye examination appointment at America's Best Contacts. I bought some extended wear contacts for $75 and with the contract it came to more then $125 but it’s worth having the insurance.
The weather has been so wonderful lately that I wonder what's going on? It was in the high fifties today and it rained a little in the evening when Jon B. and I went to Troy Ns party.
I was having some fun at the party visiting with all these straights, smoking a little dope, and drinking Tequila Sunrises until Tony S. my Arch-enemy from work showed up. I couldn't let him get anything on me that he might use against me later at work, so I was on my guard for the rest of the evening. But Jon and I didn't stay much after Steve B and his fiancée showed up with Norene H and her boyfriend Kurt. I don't like partying with people from work anyway because I think it is wise to keep my private life and work life separate.
At one point during the party I said to Jon, after figuring out that we were the only Gays there, that we better keep a low profile and be good "Christian Nigras" and not get too uppity or the straight folk might turn on us. As long as we try to pass as straight we will be "Men" but as soon as we just be ourselves and they find out, we will be "those Nigras".
So between Troy's very young straight macho shit friends and the people from work I told Jon we ought to go. I just don't like to party with people from work. They can't treat me like shit and gossip and talk about me, then expect me to party with them after work. Forget it. I only came for Troy's sake anyway because he’s about the only decent person I know at work.
It's been a weird day. I am really missing Billy but I am excited about tomorrow. It will sort of be like our first date and the first time we have ever gone out to see a show or play together. I want to build some memories with Billy.
6 December 1986 Saturday.
As Evelyn Wambaugh wrote so aptly, "another blow upon the bruise," and this time I don't think the victim will recover.
Around one in the afternoon Billy calls me and says "Ben something has come up. Something I can't get out of and I won’t be able to go tonight."
My brain went numb and decorum kicked in, and I said quietly, "It is a little short notice don't you think to be telling me now?" He said, "I am sorry". And I said, "Don't worry I’ll find someone to replace you." And then I hung up on him before he could say anymore.
I wouldn't have been able to endure anymore. Billy wounded me in the heart. As far as I am concern, the only excuse he could possibly have for not going tonight was either someone in his family died or he had to go to jail. There could be no other reason to justify his low regard for my feelings and my position of counting on him to usher with us tonight.
I had no time to feel sorry for myself because it was paramount that I find a replacement for Billy. Before hanging up on him Billy had lamely suggested that I use Scott W. Is Billy really that insensitive or just ignorant?
I just started dialing numbers and I only was able to find Alma Smith home, and as it turned out, today is his 33rd birthday, so it turned out to be a neat experience for him. So it all worked out really nice after all but that still does not excuse Billy's actions. There's no excuse. It is just another nail in the coffin of our relationship.
I am such a low priority to him. I can't handle being the last on his list anymore. Not anymore. He has dealt me such a blow that I fear it may be fatal to our relationship. That's a laugh. What relationship? Doesn't a relationship imply two? It's going to take a lot of love on Billy's part to make this one right, and I’m afraid he just does not have it in him to give.
Saturday Voyeur was magnificent and as much fun as the first time I saw it in November. Russ, Alma and Derek all really enjoyed the show, immensely, and I'm so glad Mike A. was able to get us in to see the show.
After the show I went to Backstreet because I was so bummed out by Billy, that ass. I knew if I went home I would just cry, so I decided I needed to be with people. I needed to dance away some of the hurt.
While at Backstreet I ran into Brad T who wanted me to meet a friend of his, Larry B. He's so cute and from Brea, California and supposedly straight but I convinced him to dance with me. If he is straight then he's awfully curious. I also talked him into going to Denny's, on 5th South, after the bars closed for some tea. Denny's is where all the Gays go after the bars close to continue to visit. Ken B saw us at Denny's and came over to join us. It was good to have so much company to keep my mind off of what Billy did to me.
• Additional Material "The Next Time I Fall" by Peter Cetera and Amy Grant is number one song on national charts.
7 December 1986 Sunday
I did very little today like I was still in shock. Felt numb.
Elbert Peck didn't show up for our lunch date. I wanted to visit with him some more and wanted him to meet Jon B. But since Elbert was a no show, I ate lunch with Jon and I told him what Billy had done and he said he was sorry. How many times has Jon had to say that to me this year?
After Jon left Brad T dropped by and he stayed with me for most of the evening. He could tell that I was really down. Then James C. came by with news that made my issues pale in comparison. He said that Frank and he were in a terrible car accident which has put Frank in the hospital. Some crazy man drove head on into them at 80 miles an hour when they were coming back from visiting Frank's grandmother. The guy totaled James’ truck, put Frank in the Hospital, and he gets away without anyone getting a license number. Unbelievable! James is okay just stiff and really shook up. Something like that can really rob you of any sense of security in this old world.
After James left, I stayed with Brad watching Ingrid Bergman in Anastasia, which was excellent. I am too mentally tired to write more.
Change, change, change. I want to scream but I am too tired. What is the old saying'? "Stop the world I want to get off." No. I am determined that my life is going to change and for the better. Every day in every way I am getting better and better.
8 December 1986 Monday
I can't believe it but Billy had the nerve to call me on my recorder and leave the following message, "This is Bill. I am sorry I had to cancel last week. I'm tired of it. Goodbye. Oh. This isn't suicide. It's just that I'm tired of having to do this but I suppose it’s necessary. Anyways take care."
Additional Material-Mitchell Roy Beauchaine held a meeting at the Gingerbread House Café offering its use to as a mean of permanently establishing a Gay Community Center. Beauchaine as part of the Utah Community Services Center and Clinic. He reorganized the lapsed Community Service Center into the Cabaret Community Services an entity under the Cabaret Corporation and continued to operate the Gay Help line.
9 December 1986 Tuesday
Billy B. called again today leaving this message, I guess because I wouldn't return his calls. "This is Billy B. keeping in touch. Boy can I make some mistakes. Umm. I want to call you when you're there. I'll reach you later if you're willing to talk. I hope so. Bye."
I was so depressed that Mike A. said I should get out of the house so we decided to go to the show. I wanted to see something light and perhaps a comedy to make me laugh like "Peggy Sue Got Married". Something like that. Instead Mike wanted to see David Lynch's "Eraser head" which was playing at the Blue Mouse. I found it to be one of the most dark and disturbed movie I have ever seen. It made my mood even blacker and I had to close my eyes, and tried to sleep through most of it because it was very painful for me to sit there and watch that movie.
10 December 1986 Wednesday
Billy B. called again but this time I didn’t have my recorder turned on to screen his calls. I answered the phone not knowing it was him so we talked briefly. I was trying not to cry but I did say to Billy, "I just don't think you realize what you did." and then I told him that I wasn't able to talk to him right now and I hung up on him. I love that bastard so much and he holds me in such low regards.
11 December 1986 Thursday
I have cried for the last five days. Sometimes I think I am going crazy. I will come home from work during my breaks fall into my bed and cry. Billy has broken my heart and with all the shit I have to take at work I cry at a drop of a hat. I wonder if I am having a break down?
Mike A. tells me he thinks Bill just wants me to stroke his ego and for me to let him go. My head is so messed up I can't even think straight.
This week at work I have decided not to take over Recording because I had such a bad feeling about it so I said no to Bob E. and Gena. Gena was upset but in a way she deserves this for what she did to Russ back in September.
12 December 1986 Friday
I am slowly recovering. I stayed at work until six-thirty trying to finish up some projects there and then I came home to my apartment to try and clean up my life. Before leaving work, Ron H the purchasing manager confided in me that Bob E. wanted me to go back into searching because my production there was about twice what everyone else's is now. While that was a real boost to my ego it made me hate Bob E. even more because he makes it sound like he is putting me back in searching because I don't do anything. Before going home I got the extra terminal up and running just to show Bob up but anyways enough of that nonsense.
About seven p.m. my wife shows up on my doorstep and I was so surprised. She said that she came up to attend a Single Women Meeting at MCC but since no one was there she decided to drop by. I asked her if she wanted to go with me to meet Brook H. and Nancy P., which she did, so we drove over there.
However they weren't home and I had to go to the bathroom so we went over to Backstreet’s. My wife came in with me and we saw Candy Steele there with her new lover and some other of her Lesbian friends. So we went over to their table and sat with them and had a few drinks.
We also saw Eddie M. and Lynn L. with Bob McIntier and Lynn's spouse Carol. My wife and I danced a few of the dances but she tires easy not being in shape, but I danced most of the night with the people I knew, like Ken B and Eddie M. We had a lot of fun at Backstreet and my wife stayed in Salt Lake where she spent the night with me; the first time since last August.
It felt so naturally to hold my wife all night long. We stayed up late visiting. My wife said that she and Frances W got into a quarrel and have broken up their friendship. She came up to see me because she was feeling blue. Her emotional and physical relationship with Frances W came as a surprise to me but not a shock. I just didn't think it would happen so soon. My wife doesn't know if she is a Lesbian or, the word she prefers, a Gay Woman, but she found her relation ship with Frances very satisfying. She said it has helped her get over me and to fall out of love with me, although she says she still "loves" me and I love my wife.
How very strange this year is turning out to be. I come out of the closet and my wife appears to be slowly follows.
Tomorrow this woman from Provo, Jennifer Triff, is coming up from Utah County to go to Puss-N-Boots with my wife, and to meet some of my wife's Lesbians friends. My wife says Jennifer is straight just very open minded and wants to see what it’s all about. My wife met Jennifer in a Divorce Adjustment Clinic in Provo where they became friends. Jennifer is the woman who got my wife a job at the IRS. I will probably go to Puss and Boots with them because I have never been there before and would like to see what it is like.
What an interesting day and what an interesting revelation My wife has laid on me. It's so good to have my wife back into my life again.
• Additional Material-The Salt Lake Men’s Choir presented their traditional Christmas Concert at Bryant School.
• Boy on Video Says He Was Forced to Have Sex (12/12/1986 SLTribune B-1)
13 December 1986 Saturday
My Saturday friend or is it fiend did it to me again. I must be totally, totally wacko to keep letting him do this to me.
My wife spent the night with me and it felt good to have her back in my arms. It felt good to be holding her again. After ten years it feels kind of right.
In the afternoon My wife took me down to pick up my contact lenses and it felt wonderful to have them again and not to have to wear glasses. Anyways we spent most of the day shopping and paying off bills and it was such a nice day out. I can’t believe the difference between this December and last year.
When My wife's friend Jennifer Triff came up from Provo, she and my wife went over to Candy Steele’s while I stayed home to watch the Golden Girls.
Right afterwards, Billy B. calls me and said we have to talk about what is going on between us. I said fine and I then told him with out a shadow of a doubt about my feelings for him. I didn't play coy but laid it right out before him how much I love him and now its about time for him to do something about it. I said "You can't be hurting me anymore and I can't be a low priority in your life. We talked until nearly ten when he said we should go out and do something together. I said let’s go dancing at Puss-N-Boots" and he said that he didn’t feel comfortable there. Then I suggested Backstreet and he said that he didn't have any money for the cover. I said I had a dollar to get him in and he said that if I had a dollar, he'd rather go to Denny’s. I said that was fine but I had to go to Puss–N-Boots first because I made a commitment to my wife and Jennifer. But I did say I’d be at Denny’s at midnight and I would then meet him there.
After getting off the phone my wife and Jennifer pick me up to go to Puss-N-Boots and it was the first time I had ever been there. It's over on Redwood Road and about 8th South. It was much larger then I had imagined and I got a feeling of what it's like to be a Lesbian in a Gay bar; because I was definitely in the minority. We met up with Candy and Kathy there and we danced a little before leaving about 11:45 so I could meet Billy at midnight.
• Additional Material "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and The Range is number one song on national charts
14 December 1986 Sunday
What a roller coaster ride. Fasten your seat belts we are in for a bumpy flight.
I met Billy at Denny's a little after midnight and we were able to sit in a secluded corner booth. As we began to talk we skirted every issue we could, except I did say to Billy that I was no longer going to be the passive one in this relationship because I've decided that if I want Billy I will have to fight for him and nothing yet I have tried has worked.
Anyway it was a real struggle for control and power between Billy and I as we discoursed into the morning. I bought Billy an appetizer plate of fried foods. Yuck. But that was what he wanted; anything for Billy. Later Rob I from BYU and a friend of his joined us and we visited for a while. The problem with Rob is that he is nice looking and he knows it.
Anyway Billy wanted a Sundae without having to ask for one, so it became a power struggle over how to get him this fucking Sundae. I wanted him to have it but I wanted him to ask me for it. He wanted it but wanted me to buy it for him without him having to ask me. I knew exactly what was going on; such silly games. I wanted him to have one and he wanted one but he didn't want to relinquish control by asking for it and I didn't want to loose power by asking if I could buy him one. It took a half hour for us just to order a frigging Sundae.
I was really enjoying just being with Billy, and when he wanted to leave at one-thirty a.m. I wasn’t ready to part, so I told him that I would meet him at his apartment. But while standing in the middle of Denny's parking lot, with his hands shoved into his pocket, looking sheepish, he had the nerve, the gall, to tell me that he couldn't because he had a date with Jim R at two a.m.
I was stunned to the very core of my soul, my eyes just glassed over, and with as much class as I could muster I said, "Have fun," and I walked away as fast as I could to my car. Billy called out after me frustrated, "Ben" but I lost it about then and swung around, gave him the finger, and took off in my car. I was in a heated blinding rage.
My mind was reeling as I raced home not caring about traffic or street lights. Billy raced after me in his Volkswagen and pulled between me and the backdoor entrance to my apartment, blocking my way inside. I had to go past him to get in side my building and as I did he said harshly to me, "Ben we are going to have to resolve our relationship", and I said angrily, "I have. Goodbye" and then push myself past him into my building and Billy stormed off.
I was so furious. For the very first time I was actually furious, not hurt, not disappointed but angry. I wanted to slap him, punch him in the face, or kick his ass or something, the bastard. How could anyone do something like this to anyone? How could he do this to me? I told him over the phone, "Don't hurt me" and even as we spoke he had a date with Jim R while manipulating a dinner out of me. Knowing how I feel about him how could he think he could just slip away to Jim with out me knowing?
My wife was already in bed sleeping when I stormed in. I just curled up into her arms. I had such a fitful sleep for most of the night. I kept waking up wanting to scream. Wishing I could just get up, drive out to the Great Salt Lake and scream my love away and if that didn't work, throw my self in.
In the morning my wife and I just laid around, talking about her failed relationship with Frances W until I got up and fixed us some breakfast.
My wife went to church at one p.m. but right before that Billy calls and says that he thought we both were being manipulative last night but he was sorry for some of his actions. I said, "I don't even know why the hell I am even talking to you." I then let him know what he did to me. I said suppose I had taken out a girl to dinner, someone I was crazy about, and I wanted to go home with her and spend more time with her, and she then says she has a date with another guy at two a.m.? Can't you see how wrong that is?" Bill said that it's not the same thing and I said, "The Hell it's not". Just because we have the same genitalia doesn't mean that the relationship is not exactly the same.
We talked in circles for about two hours and then Billy said he had to make contact with some other people today so I said "Fine. Don't let me stop you.' and I slammed the phone down.
I was so emotionally beat up that I went back to bed and slept until three-thirty, then arose, cleaned the house, and did the wash.
My wife came home at four and we went to MCC at six. We only stayed forty-five minutes because we wanted to get up to Affirmation where Dr. Jan Stout was speaking about the biological causation of sexual development. Dr. Stout said that the medical evidence today leads to the conclusion that sexuality is not a learned behavior but a biological condition. In other words I was Gay from my mother’s womb.
Anyway I sat with Derek K in the Unitarian Chapel’s balcony, while my wife sat with Candy, Kathy, and Marilyn. Then, late as usual, Billy came in and sat up front with Richard L. who’s back in town for a couple of days. When I first saw Billy enter I just wanted to get up and run out of the Unitarian Church but Derek calmed me down. So I just sat and obsessed over Billy throughout the Fireside. There where at least one hundred thirty people here tonight and I could only focus on Billy. He was the only one who mattered at all. Fuck.
In addition to Dr. Stout’s talk, which was excellent, Jeff Manookian played a piano recital from the works of Liszt. Jeff is incredible. What a talent.
My wife went with Candy and Cathy while I stayed to socialize after the piano performance. I saw so many good friends and I hugged everyone. I was even invited to Doug W and Bobby Martinez’s Christmas Slumber Party. At first I thought everyone was being invited but then I found out that only a few were. I really felt an ego boost, that I was wanted at their party. Bobby is a dancer in the Ririe Woodbury dance Company and Doug has the most intense beautiful eyes I have ever seen on a man.
I met this kid named Eric M. at Affirmation tonight and asked for his phone number. He’s this cutie that I’ve seen around LGSU. However I would be with Billy in a New York second if he’d ever ask me. Russ even came up to me, held me, and gave me a kiss. He said that my wife and I were also responsible for making Affirmation happen. Those words from Russ soften my heart towards Billy. I then went up to Billy and said, "Hello, I'm Ben Williams, and Bill stretched out his hand and said, "Hello I'm Billy B. You are driving me crazy and I you." At that point we just held each other for the longest time. I just let him hold me. My baby doesn’t love me because he’s nuts was something I said to my wife the other day.
I then left, giving this guy a ride down the hill and picked my wife up from Candy’s. At home I found an earlier message on my machine from Billy asking if I needed a ride to Affirmation. He must have called while I was at MCC. I called Billy back and thanked him for his consideration. We talked briefly and he apologized for his abruptness this afternoon. Then Billy shocked the hell out of me by saying, "I love you." I was so taken back that I didn't know how to respond. I just said, "Thank you".
Billy said, "You make me feel things in my heart that I thought were shut down years ago and would never feel again." I then said, “I love you too." As I spoke these words, a mini-thought came into my head, that Bill truly needs the Jim Rs, the Richard Ls, and all the others, as part of his recovery from the damage the Mormons have done to his head. He needs a lot of people loving him. I must always remember this, if I really do love Billy as I truly believe I do, and if Billy loves me back; if it’s meant to happen, it will happen.
My wife spent the night with me again. She said she really liked Marilyn but is afraid of the age difference.
What a wild, wild weekend. Thank you dear Lord for your love.
• Additional Material-Robert Martinez was born June 17, 1962 and died December 4, 1991 in Utah of AIDS. Dancer with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.
• Wasatch Affirmation sponsored a lecture by Dr. R. Jan Stout MD on the origin of homosexuality at the Unitarian Church. Lecture entitled; A New Look At the Causes of Human Sexuality had Dr. Stout addressing “Psychobiology and Its Impact on our Sexuality.”
15 December 1986 Monday
It was a bitch at work again with the computers down for most of the day. Think I cared since Bob E. is so hot to do away with my department? Bob wanted me to work overtime tonight but I wouldn't because Billy's program was on Prime Time Access tonight at six-thirty.
Billy rushed over to my house to watch it with me and then he stayed until ten o'clock. It was fun seeing Billy on TV. He was featured on KSL because of wood sculpturing he's been doing. He was so cute.
After the show we talked a lot and I held him. I even kissed Billy for the very first time and not just a peck but a real kiss. I really felt something but I don't think he did at all. We talked about it a little, and I said that if he doesn't feel anything when he kisses anyone, I can handle that, but if he is thrilled when Jim R or Scott W. kisses him, then he needs to leave me for them, because it means that he does love them more than me. Besides I am not going through life affectionate less. I want to hold someone and kiss him even more than even having sex.
• Additional Material-A handful of individuals from various Gay organizations volunteered to help form a steering committee which would eventually create the new Community Center’s board of directors. Representatives from People Who Care, Salt Lake Affirmation, the Restoration Church, Concerning Gays and Lesbians, and others.
16 December 1986 Wednesday
I was invited to two Christmas Parties today. Rand B invited me over but I said I wasn't sure I could make it because of Billy's party but I would try. I had called Rand from work just to visit and he said he was just getting ready to call me to invite me to a Christmas Party Adrian R and he were having.
It was another crazy day at work with the computers acting up. I worked over time trying to get all the orders out that I couldn’t during the day.
During my lunch hour I made some sugar cookies to bring to Billy's party and I'm glad that I did. I also called Billy's machine and left a message saying that I had a dilemma with trying to get to both parties. I said that Rand was a better kisser, so it’s a tough decision but I did say I would come to his party.
I worked until seven-thirty then rushed home to ice the cookies. I made little holly leaves and round cookies. Then I put the banana cake I had left over from yesterday’s office party on a plate, decorated it with candy canes and then I also made a cheese ball to serve with crackers.
It was foggy out and got worse as the night progressed but everything looked sugar coated as I drove down to Rand and Adrian’s party down on 39th South and 7th east. Adrian ad Rand’s place was packed. There were about 40 people at Rand and Adrian's and their place was decorated like a show room at Nordstrom's. Chez Elegant but it didn't feel warm and homey to me. Most of the people there were from the Salt Lake Men's Choir. I didn't stay long. I kissed Rand a Christmas kiss and he curled my toes-again. God he's electrifying. Then I left to go over to Billy's because I really just wanted to be with him anyways.
When I got there about nine, he wasn't even home but had left a note on the door saying to just come in, that he had to run some errands, and that he would be right back. It was so pathetic being at Billy's place after leaving the festive decor of Rand and Adrian's show palace.
I put the cookies, cake, and cheese ball on Billy's makeshift desk with the pine bough he asked me to bring. I sat there by myself until almost nine-thirty getting extremely melancholy so I decided to leave and went back home. Then I had a change of heart and decided to go ahead and play out the scene. After all I did tell Billy I would come.
So I walked back over to Billy's, the winter night air really cool, but not frigid like last year, and no snow! Anyway after trekking back to the Scarborough, Billy was home, and still, I was the first to arrive. Billy and I sat across from each other on the floor for about 15 minutes, quite pathetic, and I felt so sorry for Billy who was beginning to feel anxious that no one lese was coming. Then finally someone else showed up. It was Dave Reed, followed shortly by Richard L. That's all who came.
Billy poured us some eggnog and toasted us. It turned out to be a nice evening, just visiting. I laid on the floor with Billy propping his legs on me. It felt good and right being with Billy.
I stayed until twelve-thirty a.m. when Billy had to leave to take Richard to drop off his rental car. Billy took me home first, and I kissed him goodnight. Funny. Even with all of Adrian's finery and "Classy" friends, drinking expensive wine and exchanging gifts, I had a sweeter time in Billy's humble little hovel because I was sitting on the floor with him with his legs propped up on me.
Additional Material Baby With AIDS (Salt Lake Tribune C1)
• Fear of AIDS Prompts Precaution (Salt Lake TribuneC2)
17 December 1986 Wednesday
In one week it will be Christmas Eve.
Computers were still on the fritz some, so work was hectic. I worked until six-thirty then left to attend MADGAL. There was only one other person there for the first hour until we were joined by another. So again just three people.
When I walked home in the foggy mist I looked up at the full moon and started laughing because I decided to throw the charter out that was pieced together last September and just lead the meeting by my gut instincts. I will be a most benevolent dictator. Ha!
I kept laughing and thought gees, I’m losing my mind. It seemed so funny. I wanted the meeting to stand or fall by the charter but I let it emasculate the meeting by taking out the spirit. Well I have the spirit and the vision so if it's going to do anything at all it’s up to me. April will be six months and we'll see if MADGAL stays or falls along the wayside.
I talked to Ken B today. I called him from work. He’s going to Moab to see his sister for Christmas. So I told him about Mike P. wanting to go home to Moab and I was able to get the two of them together.
My wife is coming up tomorrow for the office party. She bought mom and dad coffee mugs for Christmas.
Before going to bed, I got a call from Billy who was still at Granite Mill working. He's frantic to get enough work done to get enough money for a plane ticket home for Christmas. I hope he can raise the money. I don't know if I'll get to see him before he leaves. I have so much to do and he's leaving in the afternoon on the 19th. I just want to kiss him again. So tired just need to go to sleep.
18 December 1986 Thursday
Billy B. called me at work today frantic and then he came up to see me about four-thirty. He said that his money situation fell through and he didn't get paid for his work so that he could go home to New Hampshire for Christmas. He was so anxious and desperate to go home that he said he was going home, even if he had to hitch hike back. When he said that I was really distressed and said, "I don't want you hitchhiking. I couldn't handle that." The thought of him going home that way in the dead of winter chilled me, and besides who knows what lunatic might pick him up? Young boys disappear all the time.
After he left I called Greyhound Bus and found out that a round trip ticket to New Hampshire was only $160 so I called Billy up and said that I would loan him the money if he would not hitch hike home. He agreed. This will put a crunch in my Christmas plans but it’s important to me that Billy goes home for Christmas. Helping him get home is my Christmas gift to him.
In the evening I went to the office Christmas Party held at the Hotel Utah. My wife came up from Provo to go with me and to shake people up. I saw this absolutely gorgeous guy, with some girl, from the Provo Office. We flirted some, and in the bathroom I invited him to join our table. He did and it was a nice evening and fun with Troy N. making every one laugh.
After the office Christmas party at the Hotel Utah, Billy came over and spent the night with me. What do I feel? A loss. I feel like I have suffered a loss with Billy going home. I wrote a poem, A GAY CHRISTMAS about Billy going home.
19 December 1986 Friday
Billy spent the night with me and in the morning I made love to Billy or tried to by trying to give him oral pleasure, but he's so unresponsive, so I just gave up, and just held him in my arms.
When we got up at six a.m. because Billy had a million things to do today to catch the ten a.m. bus. I really didn't think Billy would be able to make that connection but he was going to try.
I went into work at eight so I could leave when I needed to take Billy down to the station, but as it turned out Billy said that a client of his called him for some "emergency woodcarving" at Park City therefore Billy wasn't able to leave Salt Lake City until the evening.
Billy made $180 today at $30 an hour. Isn't that something? He's so talented.
However when I went to his apartment at seven p.m. I could see that there was no way in hell he was going to be ready by seven-thirty to catch his bus at eight. He was still packing and cleaning. We also needed to cash his check so we had a lot to-do. As we were leaving Billy's apartment, he heard his landlord downstairs, and because he hadn't yet paid his rent Billy climbed out the window and shimmied down the fire escapes while I went down stairs by myself. How could I not love him? He's so wild.
We went to Smith Food Kings all over this town, cashing $50 checks for Billy. That was the limit for cashing checks. At one point, while driving by Banbury Cross Donut's on 7th East, Billy throws a tantrum because I wouldn't stop and buy him a blueberry fritter. He was being so funny that I had to go back and indulge him completely. And why not? I won't see him again for probably three weeks and I know that somehow things will change and we will be different. I just know it.
It was really wild and crazy being with Billy tonight and really having him all to myself.
My wife was up again but spent the night with Candace Steele and Kathy.
By eleven p.m. I was completely exhausted, mentally and physically, by being up so late with Billy last night and then getting up so early this morning. I told him that I was going home to get some sleep and left him to finish his packing. I knew that if I didn't leave we would just gab and I didn't want to spend the night at Billys. I didn't want a repeat performance of this morning when Billy wouldn't let me finish giving him head.
I went home alone, but it was a wonderful night with Billy, and I just can't capture the magical romantic qualities of the night that it was for me.
Bill what do you want out of life? A big house? A Saab? Influential friends? Beautiful people up in Park City sitting around eating Brie and obsessed with them selves? If you do, then how can we ever hope to make this thing work?
I want a warm cozy home, modest transportation, perhaps a truck, friends who love me, eating at greasy Greek cafes, and being surrounded by Gay Intelligentsia. Most of all, however, I want to be loved by you. But if you cannot love me please leave me so I can go on to another.
I've gotten over Jim D, Bill H, Mike A, John W, Larry C, Gary R, and Russ Lane in my life time so I can certainly get over you. If I can live without John F. C. all these years I certainly live without you. Can't I? I do most certainly love you whatever that means. I think I have since I first saw you ride through Liberty Park on your Bike last Summer. I was so flattered that someone as gorgeous as you would stop to talk to me. I remember everything. You on your bike with your very short cut-offs that showed off long lean legs that went right up to your ass. You wanted me to come see your art exhibit at Park City for their Festival. I didn't know you then. Just that your name was Bill and you had the widest smile and the most sparkling blue eyes I had ever seen on a guy. I miss you already.
20 December 1986 Saturday
Why aren't I crying my eyes out over Billy B.? He's gone back to Concord where no one loves him as much as I do. He'll be there Monday night sometime if he makes all his connections right. Why aren't I crying? Maybe it’s a relief that he's gone or maybe it’s just that I don't feel that he's gone yet. Maybe it just hasn't hit me yet.
At the Bus Station just before boarding, Billy hugged me goodbye in front of God and Greyhound. I wanted to cry. My lover is going home for Christmas. He isn't my lover.
I sat in the car waiting for the bus to rollout. I did cry a little then. I stayed in the chilly fog waiting for Billy's bus to leave because it's important to me to see things to their conclusions. I saw Billy on the bus. He saw me waiting and he waved frantically, exuberantly, excited to be going home for Christmas. I waved softly goodbye and that was my payoff to see Billy so happy going home. That made all the effort worth while. Why aren't I crying? Perhaps I’m all cried out.
I slept on the couch all last night and I was still dreaming when my alarm clock went off at six a.m. I managed to stumble over to the phone and in a coma I called Billy to wake him up. He was glad I did because he too was sound a sleep. I slept walked through a shower and managed to get over to Billy's at seven. He was still packing. I was too tired to be frantic over his cavalier attitude towards catching the eight a.m. bus.
To my amazement Billy dismantled his mountain bike and put it in a box to take home on the bus, along with two suitcases, a set of skis, and a backpack. I thought he's got to be kidding. They will never let him take all this stuff on the bus but I didn't say a word. I just helped him drag it all down to the car.
We took Billy's Rabbit because all his stuff wouldn’t fit in mine. I drove down and Billy was freaked out by the fog which wasn't very thick at all, compared to California and to what I use to drive in out there, but he was nervous and we had a little row over my driving. I said, "Bill I am a better driver than you in either rain or fog. If it was snowing I'd let you drive."
Anyways we got to the Greyhound Station at eight and Billy frantically runs in to get his ticket while I carried in his luggage. As we stood in line to get on the eight a.m. bus, it filled so we had to wait until a little after ten for the next bus heading East.
Billy was just a space cadet with so much nervous energy. He was almost bouncing off the wall. I didn't want him to get out of line, but wanted him to have something to eat, so I left and went to Hardee's to get him a breakfast to go. So at least he had a hot meal in him. I am so glad that I was with him. Anyone perceptive could see that we were lovers, the way we kept fussing over each other.
I saw some other Gays catching the bus. The bus has become the poor man's transportation. Anyways Billy had food and magazines for his trip, that I bought him last night, so I did all that I could do. Billy strapped his skis to his Bike Box and was able to take all his baggage on board the bus. I was truly amazed but Billy's Charm. Who can resist? He hugged me goodbye and got on the bus and he was gone by ten-thirty.
I watched the bus disappear into the fog and went back home to bed and slept until one-thirty when I got a phone call from all people, Michael A, my old college room mate. He said that he received my Christmas card and wanted to wish me a Merry Christmas. We visited for nearly an hour and I came out to him telling him that I was Gay. He said that he thought everyone knew it ten years ago. We had a good talk and said that he had another baby last August he named Justin. I was happy to hear about his growing family. Mike will be an excellent dad and his kids are lucky to have him as a father.
I didn’t go back to sleep but tried to straighten up the place to occupy time. Guy Larsen from Affirmation also called to visit. He wanted to share with me a poem he had written. I liked it a lot and then we visited about my wife and Billy. After we got off the phone, Troy N. called to tell me that he told Tony S. and Noreen H to quit talking behind my back at work! Good for Troy. What a loyal friend I have in him. Qualities like that are rare and hard to find in people.
Later in the evening Mike A. my "sister" came over and brought me some Christmas presents. He wanted me to open them now and they were some fun coffee mugs with dogs chasing rabbits, and some Trivia Pursuit Cards. He's so sweet to me. I do have some good people in my life but then like attracts like. That makes me wonder about Billy. Why doesn't he feel attracted to me? Could it be that he's really a dud after all. A charismatic dud for sure. Just can't help loving that man of mine. It takes 21 days to break a habit. Bill will be gone for 21 days. That should help me get over him and find someone to replace him.
I watched Golden Girls with Mike A. because it’s the best show on TV and later went to Backstreets for a little bit. I was too tired to stay long and I also wanted to go into work tomorrow to catch up on orders. When we came home my wife was already a sleep.
• Additional Material John Lorenzini and Elizabeth Van Der Burgh were presented a special award by the Utah Department of Social Services and signed by Governor Bangerter for their AIDS training Sessions.
• "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles is number one song on national charts
21 December 1986 Sunday
First day of winter and still no snow. Last year we were knee deep in the shit. My wife and I slept in this morning and around ten I went over to work to enter searches on the computer before noon when they will go down.
I also typed up some of my poetry and in the afternoon went Christmas shopping for Mike A. I went to Cahoots and to Pic and Save. I came home about five p.m. tired and blue over Billy. He called this morning about six-thirty a.m. from Omaha. He sounded absolutely excited. That made me miss him all the more. But I'm nothing to Billy. I know that. Scott W. and Dave K are much more important to him.
My wife left for Provo at six and I watched the musical “Annie” on TV while organizing my poetry to give out as Christmas gifts. Mark C dropped by being heading off to Affirmation. I didn't go to Affirmation. I was too sad over Billy being gone and from crying. Later I heard from Russ Lane that CBS News is going to interview him about Affirmation next Sunday. He wanted me to join him and while I said I would love to, I’ll be in California.
And I am not to crazy about going home either. Mom called me and upset me by saying that I’d have to take the shuttle bus from LAX to Disneyland because no one wanted to fight the traffic to pick me up. I don’t know why that let me bum me out maybe because I really don’t want to go home anyway and then now no one is going to be at the airport to meet me? Shit.
In the evening Mike A. dropped by around ten o’clock and I gave him his Christmas presents. We then went out to a couple of the bars but ended up at Radio City until midnight so didn’t make it to bed until nearly one.
I am really missing Billy but the aching will pass.
22 December 1986 Monday
Computers are finally running smooth at work. Troy N. took me to the bank to deposit some money so I don’t have bouncing checks all over the city. I got a bonus in the mail today. That will cover the $100 dollars I gave Billy to send him home on. Cast your bread upon the waters.
I called Marc L. and he said that he and his lover Bill C are leaving this Friday to move to Texas. I started crying. I couldn’t help it. Marc is like family to me and we have been close ever since I first saw him at the Restoration Church last Spring with his shaved off eye brows. He once kissed me goodbye on 4th South and 7th East just across the street from Utah Title. It was the first time I had ever been kissed by a man in public. It was just a little peck goodbye and remember freaking and telling Marc stop it! He just laughed. We have gone through a lot together and next to Jon B. my best sounding board. It seems like everyone is leaving me.
After work Mike A. and I went to LGSU for their Christmas Party. At Orson Spenser Hall we saw this really cute guy cruising the bathrooms. I invited him to LGSU and he fled. Mike was miffed at me for causing him to be scared off. After LGSU Mike and I went to the movies and saw “Little Shop of Horrors. We saw Jim Hunsaker, Curtis Jensen, Graham Bell, and others from LGSU also there at the Plitt Theaters in the Crossroads Mall. Tickets were $5 and while the show was cute and funny, I could have waited for the dollar movies. But Mike had been raving about it and I wanted to do something with Mike for the Holidays before I take off.
Goodbye Salt Lake. I will be in California tomorrow.
• Additional Material- The Salt Lake Men’s Choir performed on Temple Square in the Assembly Hall.
23 December 1986 Tuesday
Billy B. called me at eight a.m. to tell me that he made it home. He got in last night about nine p.m. So glad he made it home in time for Christmas. Now I can concentrate on getting me home for Christmas. Geez. If not for the obligations I made I would stay here in Salt Lake. Maybe next year I will! Especially when I remember how I had to make all the travel arrangements on my own this year.
It’s nearly six p.m. and here I am sitting at the airport here in Salt Lake waiting for my flight to take me home to California. It’s really something when you think about it that I can step into a heavier then air flying machine that will jet propel me all the way to Los Angeles in less then two hours. Amazing really.
Sitting here listening to the chit-chat, the waiting talk, I am still thinking about Billy. I think about him all the time. I think about being with him, with breaking up with him. I can’t get him out of my head.
Troy N. took me to the airport and dropped me off. And it’s lonely here, sitting, waiting, waiting to be flung threw the air. Billy is home in New Hampshire for Christmas. Home for Christmas. Seems surrealistic to be even here at the airport terminal. Terminal. That is how I feel. Everything is familiar but yet unfamiliar. I am tired. I wish I could just sleep. Sleep to forget that Billy doesn't love me.
Troy N’s father is going to get me on his family membership plan at the Deseret Gym so I am going to start working out in 1987! My wife will be staying at my apartment over Christmas. I had Leon, our title officer, notarize the car title to transfer it to her.
What else is new in my life? Feel like I’ve put on ten pounds over the holidays but who knows? What will happen in California? Will I see John F. C. after all these years? It would be wonderful but I don’t expect it to really happen.
I’m on the plane now and it’s really not all that full, in fact the whole airport didn’t seem that busy considering its two days before Christmas. I thought it would be packed with people coming and going. Not so. I am looking forward to the thrift stores. That should be fun. Well soon we will be off.
I arrived in Los Angeles at 6:45 pacific time but it was nearly eight before I could retrieve my luggage. Unreal to have to wait an hour to just unload the plane! I finally caught a shuttle bus to Orange County which cost another $20 and I was finally home on Dale Street by nine-thirty. Mom was already in bed with a bad back and Dad was being his usually snarley self. Welcome Home. Ho! Ho! Ho!
24 December 1986 Wednesday Christmas Eve
I just finished calling Billy in New Hampshire. It was eleven-thirty p.m. their time. I love him so much. Is he thinking of me? I asked him if Santa Claus was going to be good to him. He said "He was good to me already. The minute I arrived in Concord." Billy then said, "Did I say thanks?" and I said seeing you wave frantically to me as you pulled out of the bus station was all the thanks I needed in the World.
I only wish I was holding him. I feel so disconnected here in California. I should be in my little apartment. I haven’t even been here 24 hours and I am already home sick.
I went for a walk today to get out of the house, and I walked about a mile. It was a warm day nearly 75 degrees. Palm trees swaying, people rushing about.
In the evening we went over to my sister Donna’s for Christmas Eve. My sister Charline was there with her kids Denise and Michael. Denise is growing up so fast. She’s 15 now, tall, and such a pretty girl. Michael is in the 6th grade and so clever. Donna’s boys are good looking too though I really don’t know them very well. Donna put on a spread and it was delicious.
It was a relatively quiet Christmas Eve and I think it was the way it should be. Charline and mom went in on pots and pans for me. The kids have pretty well accepted my wife not being here for Christmas. I want to go home now.
25 December 1986 Thursday Christmas Day
I tried calling my wife several times but no answer. I walked about a mile to get some post cars to send back to my friends. Aunt Minnie came over this afternoon to have Christmas dinner with us. Yesterday was her 57th birthday. Charline, Dennis, and the kids also ate with us. We had Christmas ham, and dinner was good.
In the evening I took James and Denise and some of their friends to the movies. We saw “Stand By Me” which I liked a lot. A lot of strong male bonding.
I informed my 18 year old nephew James that I am Gay this morning. His response was, “It’s Cool”. Like “no big deal.” Last night he had gotten drunk and got the entire family into a big row over it. Geez its such a zoo out here. I want to go home now.
I talked to Donna over the phone in the early evening while mom and dad were taking Minnie over to my cousin Frances in Huntington Beach to see my Uncle Wallace and Aunt Mattie Lee who where out from Texas. I told my sister that I was Gay and that’s why my wife and I broke up.
The big question on everybody’s mind is “Aren’t you afraid of AIDS?” I said sure I am but that doesn’t stop me from being a Gay man.
I am missing Billy so much. I told Mom about Billy and how I love him but he doesn't love me. Mom said that to try and find some one who will love me and is worthy of me. How to get over Billy?
26 December 1986 Friday
I can’t believe that I am going to be here for three more days! It’s like torture. I am so homesick. It feels like back in my college days when I was home for the holidays but missing all my BYU friends and my own place.
I cashed in my IRA while here in California and paid a $96 penalty. I also went to some thrift stores around Orange County and bought some nice things for my place. I will have to get a footlocker to bring back to Utah all the things I am buying in California.
I think about Billy all the time. I love that song "BRAND NEW LOVER". Find myself a brand new lover someone who doesn't notice all the others.
• Additional Material Prison AIDS Policy Stresses Education Not Prophylactics (B2)
• Salt Lake Red Cross Launches AIDS Program (D11)
27 December 1986 Saturday
I bought a metal blue foot locker to take my clothes home today and I went to the Adult Bookstores on Garden Grove Boulevard just down the street and bought a Male movie video called “Face to Face”.
For the rest of the day I spent it bored out of my mind. Can it be just a week since I last saw Bill? Sometimes I long for Billy so much I think I'll die but I have to let him go. He's in love with Dave K more than he ever will be with me. And when I think of his leaving me to go be with Jim R I just go crazy.
I must start over back in Salt Lake. A new beginning without Billy. Unimaginable
and unbearable. I just want these days in California to past quickly so I can get back to Salt Lake and back to my little apartment. Back to my life. Billy, why is it so easy for you to leave me?
I am out of sync here in California. I would have to kill myself rather then live my mother's life with dad. Dad does little but growl and mutter at James and mom. It's so pathetic and pathological. Around and Around and around. STOP: I want to get off NOW:!! Billy come rescue me.
I want to go to the Fraternity House, this a Gay Bar on Beach Blvd and Garden Grove Blvd so much, just to be with Gay people. But I don’t have a house key to get back into the house and I would have to walk. I just want to go home. I feel like I'm in exile. It feels like 1974. I am dying here. Like I'm crazy. Get me out of my parents' house. HELP, HELP, HELP.
• Additional Material- "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles is number one song on national charts
28 December 1986 Sunday
I was so bored this morning but was able to borrow the car to go see my old neighbors, Tom and Jean H, who are like second parents to me. While there Jean gave me $100 for helping her with her genealogy and some title work I did for her a while back. That was neat of them. Cast your bread upon the waters. I gave Billy $100 to go home to New Hampshire with and I've gotten $200 back not expecting . I saw Tommy M, Jean's grandson, who I use to baby sit and change his diapers when he was a baby. He's 22 years old now and has grown so handsome. It seems so strange. Here is Mike A. 22 years old and Billy is only 25. So young. How can thing work out between us?
In the evening I just watched some TV until I got so edgy that I walked the
two miles to the Fraternity House. I just needed to be with gay people and to listen to some dance music. I ordered two Peach Seagram Wine Coolers which were excellent and talked to the beautiful bartender. He’s so handsome and was coming on to me since we were about the only ones in the place but I thought that I am going home tomorrow so why bother?
29 December 1987 Monday
I finished packing this morning. I am so antsy to he going home. I talked to Mom some more this morning about being Gay and my loving Billy B. It was good to be able to communicate with her. My mom’s only real problem with me being Gay is her fear that I will catch AIDS. I tried to tell her that even if I do get sick and die, there is something wonderful about really living life as you really are and not in fear and secret. I told her that I am happier now then I ever have been in my life!
Around one o’clock my sister came over to take me to the airport. I paid her $10 so that I wouldn’t have to take the Disneyland Shuttle.
Anyway arrived at the airport about two-thirty and almost cried for joy that I was going home. After my sister dropped me off, my plans were to drop off my luggage and take a bus into West Hollywood since my flight wasn’t until seven-thirty p.m. However to my dismay, I learned that Morris Airlines wouldn’t check in luggage for my flight until six p.m. Since there weren’t any lockers large enough to hold my luggage, I had to sit in the check-in area for three hours waiting for the Morris personnel to come. I was so bummed out! I couldn’t even go get a magazine. Around four-thirty a couple came and I was able to visit with them some which helped wile away the hours. Live and learn.
Finally I was able to board the plane about eight o’clock and I sat next to some born again Christians on the flight back. It helped past the time pretending to care what they were babbling about. It was nearly eleven p.m. Utah time when the plan touched down in Salt Lake City and it took another frigging hour to collect my luggage. I managed to flag a taxi and it cost me $15 to get home. So glad to get home. I was surprised to still find my wife here. She was sleeping when I came but she woke up to tell me some horrible news.
Her friend Jennifer Triff, who went with us to Puss-N-Boots, a couple of weeks ago, was murdered by her estranged husband on Christmas Day! She was shot in the face in front of her children. What a tragedy. My wife and Jennifer were becoming fast friends. It was Jennifer who got my wife her job at the IRS. My wife had bought Jennifer lunch and had spent Christmas Eve with her. My wife even kited a check for Jennifer because they were broke until after Christmas, now I will have to cover it or it will bounce big time. How fragile life is. Jennifer seemed like a very sweet lady and I liked her but did not know her well. Anyway I held My wife in my arms and we went to sleep about one in the morning.
30 December 1987 Tuesday
My wife was up at six-thirty for the long drive back to Provo to go back to work. I really didn’t much sleep after that so I went back to work myself and I was really glad to be back. I think most were also glad to have me back. It's good to be back in Salt Lake.
After work Mike A. came over with his VCR and we watched the porno film I brought back. We were getting pretty hot and worked up by it so we decided to go to the bathhouse on 2nd South called 1414 Club. We bought a membership but it was not as nice as the ones in California. Mike wanted me to go with him to the 1414 Club because he had never been to a Gay bathhouse before. I like the Jacuzzi and the steam room but basically being there just made me lonesome for Billy B.
Earlier today I called Eric M., while at work, and made a date for this Friday. If I'm ever to get over Billy I have to start dating more. Can't be going to the baths and then fantasizing about Billy. I got to get him out of my life
• Additional Material- Mayor Palmer DePaulis signed a letter directing the police chief, city attorney, and city-county health department director to “explore all legal remedies to terminate these business (Jeff’s Gym and Club 1414) claiming that “the continued operation and licensing of these establishments is inimical to the community interests. “ “I am informed that at least one of these businesses advertises in national publications for the Gay community that it is a Gay bath house. Police investigation have repeatedly confirmed that illegal sexual activity is permitted and condoned, with all of its health, moral, and other negative implications in our community.”
31 December 1986 Wednesday
It was a chilly day but still no snow! Last year My wife and I were both so sick and I am grateful for my health this year. I got paid $600 today.
I was dragged out at work for most of the day from staying out so late last night with Mike A. I left Mike A. at the Bathhouse and came home and am not sure where he spent the night but at six-thirty he was at my door wanting to crash and sleep.
I left work at five-thirty and crossing the street in front of the Juel Apartment I saw a purse laying in the street. I kicked it to the curb before a car could run it over. Upon picking it up and looking inside, I saw that it wasn’t empty. Someone must have put it on top of her car and drove off forgetting it.
Coming into the building I saw Russ Lane on the landing, and we visited a little about our holidays. He said he wasn’t going to do anything to ring in the New Year. Then I met Jon B.’s new boyfriend, Richard. He seems really nice. I hope things work out for them. Jon deserves a good man. However I hope Jon’s cultural Mormon stinginess doesn’t sabotage the relationship.
My wife was at the apartment when I came in the door, and she looked through the purse to find a phone number or address. The woman had a $500 paycheck, $41 in cash, and some major credit cards. We called her and she immediately came over to retrieve it. I know she was grateful for us to have found it and returned it but she didn’t say anything.
I then went upstairs to visit with Jon and Richard, and met this heavyset man named Rob from San Francisco who John introduced as an Affirmation community leader out there.
Around eight, my wife and I went over to Candy Steele and Cathy’s New Year Eve party. I wore a tuxedo shirt, black bow tie, a back vest and black pants. I looked really handsome from what people told me. At Candy’s party, it was a mixed crowd. There was a Gay couple, Chris and Mike, a bisexual woman named Maureen who was with her husband, Cathy’s sister Marilyn, Candy and Cathy of course, and us. They had enough snacks to feed an army. I only stayed until ten, leaving my wife at the party and went to Backstreet for New Year Eve.
Before heading off to Backstreet, I first went home, and roused Russ Lane out of bed. He was in his pajamas already. He had me come in and I took him back to his bedroom and laid down with him. I just held him and we reminisced the year we had together and all that we had accomplished with the growth of Affirmation and in our own lives. We held each other for over an hour, and then kissed each other Happy New Years, a deep, passionate tongue kiss. French Kissing in the USA. My first and last real kiss with Russ lane. I do love him.
I left the Juel at eleven p.m. because I did want to be at Backstreet to see the New Year in. Backstreet was not as crowded as I thought it would be. Lot’s of people but none that I knew right off the bat.
While sitting at a table near the dance floor, this cute guy came over and asked, “What is your name?” I said, Ben” and then he asked “do you remember me? Len?” and I said “of course Lennie Fisher! I’ve tried calling you so many times but you move so much!” Lennie is this Gay man I met in August 1985 before I came out of the closet. I thought about him a lot so I was flattered that he came up to me and recognized me. We danced for a while, having a great time, but then he said he had to leave.
Then I saw Bill Sims and I went over to visit with him. Bill was surrounded by his entourage but I was forward and went up to him and just held him. He was looking so handsome, that I reached over and kissed him and we started French Kissing in the USA. I was really turned on by him and we were hitting it off big time. I spent most of the rest of the evening with Bill, dancing a very slow sexy dance together. He asked me if I wanted to start dating him so I guess we will start dating. I never did see hide nor hair of Jon B. and Richard.
Did see Brook H. and Nancy P. and I was thrilled. We laughed and kissed. I do love them. We did a three way dance until the count down. Bill Sims found me and I was holding him. At midnight I gave him a deep kiss, and then started kissing everyone, wishing all a Happy New Year as the DJ played Auld Lang Syne. Balloons cascaded down from the ceiling and people were tooting party horns.
I silently toasted those who weren't here to see the New Year in, Carol Kessler, Jennifer Triff, and Cary Grant. I toasted all who died of AIDS last year and thought about who I might loose this coming year because of this terrible plague. I thought of Billy B. and hoped that he is happy and my wish was that he is surrounded by people who love him and is spending time with people he loves.
I stayed until backstreet closed at 2 a.m. when Bill Sims asked me over to a Jacuzzi Party, but I declined. I said I was still really tired from my flight home from California. In truth however I just didn’t want to compete with Bill’s friends for his attention and affection. When we can be alone, and really get to know each other, then I’ll feel more comfortable about being around his friends.
Well 1986 is over. What a strange year. The most important year of my life since 1969. Just like in 1969, at the beginning of the year I had no inclination of the wonderful transformation my life was to take.
1986: a year of destiny. Change, change, change. I came out of the closet. I left the Mormon Church. I separated from my wife and got out of our “marriage”. I lost Sam and Toby and the kitties. I fell in and out of love with Russ Lane. I am in love with Billy B., my sweet mad artist and how madly I am in love with him.
More people have filled up my life then ever before since coming out. I met so many new people this year. Some came and went. Some have endured. The important people shaping my life in 1986 are: Michael J. A, Rand B, Beauchaine, Ken B, Jon B., Pamela Calkins, Stan D., Lamont D, Tony Feliz, Cy F, Ken Sugar Tush Francis, Brook H., Mike H., Jim Hunsaker, Darrell H, Gordon J., Derek K, Marc L., Richard L., Russel Lane, Guy Larsen, Jeff M, Willy Marshall, Scott M., Lynn L., Bob McIntier, Eddie M., Troy N., Nancy P., Jim P., Alma Smith, Candy Steele, Brad T, Scott W., Johnny W., and Lon Wright
But most important to me is Leon William B. who has illuminated my constellation of friends over shadowing all as a bright nova star. I love you Billy B.
Goodbye 1986. I’ll miss you. It was a year of tremendous personal growth. I am a stronger person because of it. Now I can face 1987 without fear, secure in the knowledge of who I am. I do fear that I will loose people I love due to AIDS in 1987 and I wonder if we all won’t perish from the disease. God’s Will Be Done. It’s how we live out our lives rather then how long we live that will matter in the end.
God Bless us each and everyone especially those living in the Cities of the Plains. Let my last words be for 1986, “I love you Billy B..”
Additional Material On 17 Sept 1995 Bill Sims II died at age 33 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was born 11 July 1962.
• 24 Cases of AIDS reported in Utah with 9 fatalities. By 31 December 1986, 51 adults and three children cases of AIDS reported since began keeping records with 33 deaths. All who where diagnosed before July 1985 were dead. Four adults were female, half who contacted HIV by IV drugs and the other half by blood transfusion. Of the three children two belonged to a parent with a high risk factor, and one was through a blood transfusion. 34 of the adults were homosexual males or bisexual males, 8 of the adults were IV Drug users, 5 of the adults were both homosexual and IV Drug users. Two adults were infected by a blood transfusion and two had undetermined factors and had died of AIDS. A screening of Military recruits in Utah taken 24 November 1986 out of 3450 tested, three white males tested positive for HIV antibodies. Eleven of the Adults were between 20 and 29 (1966-1957), 32 of the adults were between thirty-39 (1956-1947), six were between 40-49 (1946-1937). Two adults were over 49 yeas (before 1936)