I started this blog to highlight the wonderful joys of sitting in a room or even better a bar, and enjoying your favorite libation while listening to loud music. My favorite libation happens to be fine Bourbon, but to each their own. There is little outside my family that I hold sacred. I’m not a religious man nor am I a political person. Outside family, one of the few things I do hold sacred is sitting in a bar or cafe with friends, sharing a drink and a laugh and if I’m lucky, some good music. Now it seems, from the cafes of Paris to bars in Orlando, drinking in a club with friends has become a dangerous act.
I had a great-uncle who was Gay. As Rod Stewart once sang, “Georgie was gay I guess, nothing more or nothing less.” It was never that big of a deal in my family. My great-uncle’s father was an alcoholic and a mean guy who abandoned my great-uncle’s mom, my great-uncle and his two siblings. His childhood sounds like it was pretty awful. Right after high school my great-uncle got a job and started supporting his family. College, or any other dreams the guy must have had were put on hold. He did what he had to do to feed his mother and the two kids she was raising. The man has always been a Hero in my mind. He worked hard his whole life. It never mattered to me who he lived with, who he loved or anything about what he did. To each, their own.
The thought that some mentally unstable, terrorist groupie could possibly hate anybody based on who they love or who they kiss is inconceivable to me. To turn what should have been a glorious Saturday night out drinking and dancing with friends for those patrons of Pulse into the horrific carnage we witnessed this weekend makes me livid. Anybody capable of mass murder doesn’t get to claim he did it for God. Religion doesn’t bother me but increasingly the religious do. Freud would have had a field day with this shooter. The fact that this guy could get access to legally purchased guns is the most disturbing part of this whole thing for me. Again, I’m not political but someone on an FBI watch list and who was clearly troubled shouldn’t have access to anything more dangerous than a butter knife. Spare me the thoughts and prayers… we need action.
The most heartening part of this story, which was highlighted on “Last Week, Tonight” hosted by John Oliver, was how the people of Orlando lined up around the block waiting to give blood to help the injured survivors of the brutal attack. I had actually seen that on the news earlier in the day yesterday and felt that swelling pride that I feel at these times of calamity. To watch the people of Orlando come together the way they did was both moving and inspiring. I salute you all. While my heart remains heavy today, seeing that line at the blood bank helped lift me up a bit. We’re not going to let the bastards drag us down.
I stand with Orlando. I stand with all those poor, sad families who were effected by this horrible tragedy. I stand with all my LGBT brothers and sisters. My thoughts are with all of them. I don’t pray, but I believe a quiet toast and a moment of silence is in order. But most of all, I’m not letting anybody scare me away from having a drink with friends. Hang in there people, it’s a dark ride… take care of each other the best you can.