I was flipping through the channels trying to find Dick Clarks’ Rocking New Years Eve on the television. Randy having been re-admitted for complications with pneumonia lay in the bed trying to find a comfortable spot. With the IV and feeding tubes he found it hard to see the screen. He’s family long since left for their comfortable homes in the ‘burbs it was just the two of us waiting for the ball to drop. In many aspects.
When Dick Clark showed a clip of London and how they brought in 1998 something in Randy and I just snapped. We both quickly started to make plans to travel to London in the new year. We decided to get an expensive hotel in the gay part of town, we would travel on day trips to see every castle and walk every museum and lay on a blanket in every park, forgetting that he could barley walk to the hospital room’s bathroom.
We spent the next hour planning our vacation. Every once in awhile we would lock eyes and know that everything we were enthusiastically deciding upon would be complete fiction. We were lying to each other; Randy was close to the end of his hard fought battle with AIDS. But on that New Years Eve we pretended that we were in control of our future.
During my late teenage years I found myself sitting with my Father in his Bishops Office at our town’s Mormon temple. We were discussing my future mission around the world to bring Mormonism to people and cultures that desperately needed to be brought to Christ. After my mission and becoming a man, I would attend BYU in Utah. This would find me a degree and a wife.
We discussed my mission and coming back to our small town so that my wife and I could bring more children into our extended family, raising the population of smiling happy Mormons in the church. Every once in awhile we would lock eyes and know that everything we were enthusiastically deciding upon would be complete fiction. My life would quickly take me down a path far from him and the Mormon Church. We were lying to each other, but in that church office we pretended that we were in control of our future.
Soon the ball dropped and 1998 saw Randy living for only twenty-two days. On the twenty-second day I helped Randy slip his skin telling him that we would see London someday. Feeling somehow apologetic that we didn’t get to go. I felt the same overriding guilt was I did when my Father heard me say that he would not get grandchildren from me as my life was on another path.
It’s funny, this weekend I started to read a biography about a young man’s struggle with the church and homosexuality and suddenly I realized that I really
want need to visit London.