I was watching The Joy Behar Show and Ted Haggard’s wife, Gayle, was on there promoting her book, Why I Stayed. For those of you who don’t know, Ted Haggard was at one time the hugely successful evangelical pastor of the New Life Church, which boasted thousands of members.  Then a homosexual feller named Mike Jones came out and said that he and Ted used to check into hotels, do railers of tweak, and bang each other.

It was news heaven for the media.

A blessing if you will.

Everything that Ted built up over the years went to hell in a handbasket at record speed. In short, Haggard was yanked from the Jesus podium and promptly let go by the church shot-callers. As we know, Christianity doesn’t like anything gay. No gay thoughts. No pro-gay dialogue. And definitely no gay poking. Ted is a homosexual—or, at the very least, engaged in homosexual activities. So, the church elders dragged him to the curb like a trash can and even kicked him out of the state until the Gay Devil burning inside of him simmered down or split all together.

So his wife wrote a book about what went down.  Then she went on television, doing the publicity rounds.  She seemed like a nice women and blamed Ted’s gay ways on a sexual encounter he had as a child with a male relative. She said that studies show that homosexuality is created by conditioning and experience. So in essence, if your folks, friends, or billboards tell you enough times that you’re gay, then you’re probably going to turn out gay at some point in your life. Or, if you happen to mingle with people of the same sex enough times, one fine day you’ll wake up, look into the proverbial mirror, and realize that you are a full-blown homosexual.

Poof.

Presto.

Gay magic.

I don’t know about this. Now, I don’t have any data to support my claim, but I’ve always felt people were either born gay or straight. Some may be born with a little bit of both stirring up inside of them. This may be a generic answer to a very complex puzzle. Sure. I can see that. Still, in my experience, homosexuality has nothing to do with conditioning or experience; it just is what it is: some folks are attracted sexually to the same sex and others are not.  Period.

I was raised in a very liberal household. My folks were in their teens when I showed up. They saw the Beatles, Hendrix, Supertramp, Alice Cooper, and countless other happening acts in concert. We burned incense, danced long into the night, went to Dodger games, and backpacked Yosemite. I was raised in thick Let-It-Be smoke. The “gay issue” that so many people get riled up over wasn’t an issue at all.

It should go without saying, but homosexuals are human beings and should be treated accordingly. This country—with its archaic laws in regards to same sex marriage—is cruel, boneheaded, and anti-human.

Peace and love, right?

But why be so harmonious?

We’ll have none of that.

Lord no.

Ironically, the very mindset that Ted fostered and peddled to thousands of people turned on him and turned his life upside down.

Anyhow, this got me thinking: when did I know I was straight? The 1st grade. Sure, I didn’t know what gay or straight meant at the time, but what I did know was that Miss Metheny was a stone cold fox and that I wanted to do things with her. What those things entailed, I hadn’t a clue. But it was something inside of me. A calling. A burning feeling in my gut. A feeling that would become very familiar to me and would follow me through the years and land me in some very, uh, curious positions.

I would find myself gazing at poor Miss Metheny. Her beautiful sea-blue eyes and pretty hands. Her nice clothes and silky blond hair. She smelled good and had a soft voice that said nice pleasant things. I wanted to marry her. Mrs. Metheny Romero. She’d marry a fantastic kickball player, a voracious reader, a builder of mud volcanoes, and a pretty darn good guitar player in the making who would not only grow up to learn how to play Beatles jams, but be able to switch musical gears, fire up the amp, and rip Iron Maiden and Sabbath cuts note for note. Oh, yes, Miss Metheny! How about that, toots! Yeah!

I didn’t feel this way about Mr. Lopez, who taught in the room next door. In fact, I thought his large head and hairy hands were downright ugly. The things he said were harsh-sounding and void of melody. He dressed horribly and smelled like a trash heap in comparison to the edible scent that whipped around Miss Metheny’s beautiful head. He did nothing for my eyes or my thoughts. That fire in my gut that Miss Metheny sparked was replaced by sour milk.

It was set in stone. I was straight. All day. All week. Forever. So, I guess, Gayle Haggard is right: that early experience with Miss Metheny sealed it for me. No dudes. In those early years, they were only good for football games, riding bikes, and stealing their father’s Playboy magazines.

“Oh, my god. That’s ugly.”

“It’s a girl weenie.”

“My brother calls it a cooter.”

“My cousin says it’s a pussy.”

“Oh! My mom calls our cat Pussy Willow! Sick!”

The next year Mrs. Jordan came my way. She wasn’t as pretty as Miss Metheny, but she also had a soft voice and pretty eyes. She smelled good, too. Not the spicy aroma that moved off of Miss Metheny, but like flowers. An acre full of fresh blooming flowers.

Then Anna came along. She had long hair, soft Chicana-brown eyes, and full red lips.

Then Rhonda. She was funny and sprinkled with freckles.

Then Julie.

Then Janna.

Later on, Soft Damn Kisses showed at my door.

Then Too Much Drama stopped by to terrorize me.

Then I Fuckin’ Love You Baby snatched my hand and showed me her feathered bed that overlooked the ocean.

So on and so forth.

As the years went by, men would assume a different role and would become very beneficial to the cause. We ditched football for pool. Ditched the bikes for cars. Ditched the magazines for the real thing. Brothers in arms. Bar dogs. They’re names changed from Eric to Dickhead, James to Jerk-off. We gathered in insatiable packs. We coiled and whispered like tree vipers. Played in rock bands. We got drunk, said lame shit, and woke up in strange, perfumed beds.

Sorry, Pastor Ted.

Sorry, Larry Craig.

I don’t snort lines and my stance isn’t wide.

These days I find myself single again. It’s a trip. I’ve been out of the hustle for over ten years and don’t know quite what to do. Do I pull the same contrived crap I did when I was twenty-five? Hang out with some of the old gang that have found themselves wearing the same shoes as me? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think I’ll sit this one out for a bit. Relax and run in the early desert morning. Meditate and munch on my Fiber One bars. Maybe, this time around I’ll lower the amp a tad and play some soft blues in a dark bar that serves colorful martinis. Pick up my trusty acoustic guitar and strum Carly Simon tunes. Perhaps I’ll hop in my truck, take a long drive up the coast, and keep some notes on what comes my way, see what the day brings.

Yeah, that sounds good.

Real good.

Thank you, Miss Metheny.

You stone cold fox.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RENO J. ROMERO was born in the badlands of El Sereno, California. A bona fide Las Vegan, he also lived in the dirty South for three miserable years, where he was introduced to depression, grits, humidity, and sweet tea. A graduate of UNLV, the Southern Nevada Writing Project, and seedy bars, he enjoys Chinese food, Tamron Hall, the Trickster, and football. He currently writes poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction from the California desert, living among rattlesnakes, old bones, and biker speed. He's been published in various publications including Falling From the Sky (short story anthology), Celebrity Poets, and Central Speak. He can be reached at [email protected]

141 responses to “Thank You, Miss Metheny”

  1. jmblaine says:

    I really liked that HBO doc
    about Ted Haggard.
    He came off kinda clueless
    a sympathetic character
    & probably a little closer
    to the Kingdom
    for all the damage done.

    I know this
    & the Bible backs me up
    God loves a loser
    a misfit
    ramblers
    rogues
    & rakes.

    Which means me
    & you Reno
    we’ll be all right.

  2. jmblaine says:

    I should add
    that while
    some of the more
    screechy Evangelicals
    like to beat up on people
    who are different from them
    the majority of the faith
    that calls itself Christianity
    isn’t that way.

    • reno christian says:

      11:

      i’d like to think that they are not. but i dunno. my experience has been curious, a bit dirty, and agenda driven. my stay in the South didn’t do Him any service. but regardless, 11, i still have faith in people and believe that most have good intentions. but i’m not fully convinced as of yet. but i hope one day i’ll wake up and my gut won’t rumble as much, that my eyes will see things a bit differently. here’s to heart change. here’s to soul change. and here’s to you.

      r

  3. Reno J. Romero says:

    hey, 11.
    you’re right, sir.
    the Bible does like misfits.
    and ramblers.
    and tricksters.
    and obnoxious rock and rollers.
    oddly, enough i’ve been applying some Bible passages to my life as of late.
    don’t ask.
    don’t tell.
    we WILL be all right.
    what a life, eh?

    your bestest pal,
    reno

  4. Amanda says:

    Gah! So many things! Where to begin? Firstly, “poof/ presto”?! Nice pun. Heh. Secondly, girl weenie?! Hilarious. Just last week, a girlfriend and I were debating which is funnier: honey pot or wiener. We called it a draw.

    As for the “gay issue”, I had a really wackadoodle experience with just that “question” last week. On the set of a television show ostensibly about food and entertaining, my girl (separate word) friend and I were continually queer-baited by the other people appearing on the show, simply because we had an excellent personal connection, seemed to know each other well, “made cute faces at each other with our eyebrows”, and just seemed like “there was something going on”. Never mind that we openly informed everyone that we were just friends. Never mind that I confirmed I’m queer but mentioned I am currently seeing a man. Never mind that my friend informed them her sexual identity is neither their business, nor the focus of the TV programme. Dang, that question burns like the hellfire in which anti-gay folks believe we’re going to smoulder. Some people just cannot let it go.

    I wish I’d read your piece ten days ago. I’d have taken inspiration and countered those attacks and nosey-parker attempts to dig up the dirt in my life, by grilling those people about the exact moment they knew they were straight! ha! Awesome.

    PS: “Mrs. Metheny Romero”–my favourite bit in the whole essay.

  5. Gloria says:

    This is beautiful. My favorite part, for reasons I cant’ really articulate, is the part where you say that Miss Metheny had pretty hands. That’s just so…innocent. And lovely. And simple.

    • reno says:

      hi, gloria. thanks for the comment. but you know she DID have pretty hands. really. she had long fingers with painted tips. a keeper indeed. to this day i love girl hands. they’re just so… feminine. what can i say? sure, perhaps a bit cliche, but what am i to do? sheesh. do take care, gloria. have a great week.

      always,
      reno

  6. reno says:

    amanda-

    hello, there. so you’re gay right? say, it you’re gay! you’re gay right! geez. wtf? what’s wrong with these people? god knows. i don’t think i’ve anybody has ever contemplated whether i was gay or not. i don’t know why. maybe it’s my foul mouth, me chatting about girl parts and why i’m such a fan. who knows. i don’t care…

    miss metheny was a goddess. i loved her. hell, i still do and will forget her. she was a beauty. my eyes thought highly of her. so did my nose.

    anyhow, amanda, thanks for chiming in. wait! are you gay? (shit, i just HAD to ask…)

    women,
    mr. metheny romero

    • Amanda says:

      hahahahaha…I am a part-time gayer…or, at least, I was for years (I even let one put a diamond ring on my finger…no, that’s not lesbian code for something filthy, heh heh…although gay marriage probably counts as porn in some provinces and states)…

      But, a total absence of dates/ make-out sessions with ladies since 2003 probably means I am at least on hiatus or have let my membership lapse.

      ; )

  7. Gloria says:

    Anecdotal evidence for homosexuality being nature:

    I’ve had four kids. One girl, 17, one boy, 14 (who I put up for adoption when he was born), and eight year old twin boys.

    The girl child: voracious reader from an early age – tested out of the ballpark in all things English. First sexual experiences were with girls. Dated girls exclusively – – until she met her current husband, with whom she’s just had a baby.

    Boy number one: raised by different parents. Voracious reader from an early age – tested out of the ballpark in all things English (just yesterday received a national scholar award for his test scores in English.) Has never shown an interest in girls, but squeals with delight anytime Cher comes on the radio. His parents are apprehensively watchful.

    Boy twin #1: Voracious reader from an early age – tests out of the ballpark in all things English (and, just yesterday, I received his results from a recent evaluation, which lists his English Comprehension skills as so superior to his peers that his scores fall far outside the bellcurve). He loves tennis shoes with glitter, Hello Kitty, the color pink, bonnets, and he told me the other day that he wants to be a hair stylist when he grows up. He’s never shown an interest in girls as girlfriends, but his closest friends have always, always been girls.

    Boy twin #2: loves science. Enjoys reading and scores high in English Comprehension, but his mechanical skills and his engineering skills are way outside the bell curve. He’s the boyest boy that was ever a boy in the whole boy world.

    Moral of this story: English makes you gay. I may also make you gay.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      My parents had four children before me – two gay, two straight. I used to antagonize my mom no end by saying I felt pressured to become bisexual to maintain the sexual preference balance and “keep peace in the family”.

    • reno says:

      i heart voracious readers. gay or straight. dang, gloria, those little tales of these folk are fantastic. the human being! fascinating!

      tennis!

      hello kitty!

      engineering skills!

      girls THEN boys THEN baby!

      too cool. you must invite me over to i can take a peek at the party. sounds like fun. thanks for the stories, gloria. way cool. way…

      wait!

      ‘I may also make you gay.’

      brilliant. and heelarious. thanks.

      • Gloria says:

        You are welcomed to join this hootenanny any time you’d like! Please bring your stethoscope, disco ball, microscope, your sexy, and a flask full (for the grown ups). Be prepared to answer questions. Lots and lots and lots of questions. All the time.

        • Reno J. Romero says:

          heh. will do.

          real quick: once my uncle (who’s a DJ) left town and we went into his room and stole his disco ball. me, my wife (at the time) and a few others plugged that thing in and barreled into many beers and a bottle of hooch. i went outside, looked back at the house, and the window was full of flashing reds, greens, and yellows. quite a sight. it looked like a damn police cruiser was parked in the kitchen. i couldn’t stop laughing.

          i’ll bring a flask and my guitar. carly simon and reno originals long into the night. thanks, gloria.

          always,
          reno j. romero

        • Gloria says:

          The boys are also HUGE fans of The Beatles and The Flaming Lips, so any covers you know from them would be great.

          Please be prepared to have your guitar touched. And your flask. See also: your disco ball, your hair, your clothes, anything shiny, anything not securely tethered, and anything electronic.

  8. Becky says:

    The “where does gay come from” question is a fascinating one. From what I’ve read on the matter (and it has been some time. I can’t speak to any research that may have been revealed in the last, say, 5 years), there’s no ONE answer. Like so many explanations regarding why [some/all/many] humans are ________ way, odds are, it’s complicated, and it probably varies from person to person.

    There seems to be evidence that it can be genetic, or gestational (for example, related to hormone exposure in the womb), or, indeed, the result of life experiences, or even varying combinations of two or more of those. You know, same as straightness.

    As harmful as notions of cognitive behavioral gayness are, the notion of purely biological gayness troubles me as well. I mean, does this mean mothers could, conceivably, somewhere down the road, test their fetuses for gayness and potentially terminate pregnancies based on the outcome? Take drugs to avoid having “gayifying” hormones in their uterus? If it’s chemical or genetic could people try to medically (as opposed to psychologically) undo gayness? I mean, their choice, I guess, but being “born” gay doesn’t negate the possibility of someone out there advocating the pathology of or necessity of “undoing” it.

    I think of it–at the risk (but not intent) of trivializing it–similarly to left-handedness.

    Handedness can be genetic, gestational, or the result of some trauma at a formative period in motor development.

    Who’s a “genetic” lefty and who is a “fake” lefty? Tough to say. You can find clues. I, for example, had surgery on the left side of my skull when I was an infant. Neither my mother nor my father is left-handed. There is a good chance that the surgery caused some minor trauma to my left brain, causing me to favor my right brain, and therefore, “turning” me left-handed.

    Then again, I have one set of first cousins, siblings, in which 2 out of 3 are lefties. So maybe it is genetic.

    At the end of the day, why am I left-handed?

    I don’t know. I could only guess. What’s more important, I think, is why the hell does it matter why I’m left-handed? I am. I mean, that’s just the way it is. BOOM. My writing slants funny. Check me out.

    Same with gayness. There it is. Just the way it is. BOOM. It’s too late to care how it got that way, and probably impossible to figure out in all cases, anyway.

    I think both gay and anti-gay factions miss the point when they argue about the origins of gayness. Mostly, it’s gay advocates getting sucked into a dead-end argument initiated by anti-gay factions. Unfortunately, even if gay advocates win the argument, it doesn’t dispel the possibility of or rationale behind “curing” people of gayness.

    As a straight person with arguably no business having elaborate or strong opinions on the matter, these are my elaborate and strong opinions on the matter.

    Maybe I will address the 2nd half of the post later.

    At which point my responses will have more words than the post itself.

    Who’s a Chatty Cathy? THIS GAL.

    • Matt says:

      I read about a study conducted last year or the year before that in northern Europe–I want to say Sweden or the Netherlands–that determined that the chemical response of a homosexual man’s brain to visual stimuli (mostly m/f nudes) was vastly different than a heterosexual man’s. So there does seem to be a biological componant at work. Of course, whether that’s due to genetics, or conditioning, or some combination of both….well, who knows?

      I think your “left-handed” analogy may be the best one I’ve ever heard on the matter.

      • Becky says:

        Well, one would expect their brains to respond differently. They’re gay.

        And that’s sort of it. “Biological” can mean any number of things, not just “genetic.”

        It’s unlikely there’s a “gay gene” in the sense that it’s popularly conceptualized. It’s probably a gene or gene complex for something else. Hormones, brain structures, god only knows. Anything that could potentially effect sexuality could be involved.

        And the biological elements in play may not even be the same for gay person A and gay person B, for all we know.

        I just think the whole argument is a fool’s errand that attempts to subvert the real issue which is “regardless of where it comes from, can you make a compelling case that there’s anything wrong with it?”

        • Gloria says:

          Exactly, Becky. I could give a rip why someone is gay. I no more want to convert your left-handedness (but for God’s sake, learn how to cut with scissors!) than I do your heterosexuality. And I find any attempt to pathologize sexuality very, very troublesome.

        • Becky says:

          Another indication that I am a “fake” lefty: I use scissors, throw, swing a bat, shoot pool, draw a bow, etc. all right-handed.

          I CAN do these things left-handed better than the average righty, but I think my gene map probably says “right handed.”

          Interesting trivia: Palani is right handed, but does all those things left-handed.

        • Gloria says:

          I’m a righty but I lead with my left foot when snowboarding.

        • Cheryl says:

          I write, eat, and shoot pool left handed. I use scissors, throw, swing a bat, throw darts and draw a bow right handed.

          I always chalked up the scissors thing to conditioning. As a younger sibling (and the only lefty), I never had anything new, so I learned to use right-handed scissors before I went to school. In kindergarden, the teachers always made a big deal about me being left-handed and gave me left-handed scissors. I would get so frustrated, mangling all my crafts projects because I couldn’t use the damn things. I’d ask for other scissors. “But you’re left-handed, Sweetie. These are your scissors.” So I would wait until a classmate finished with their scissors and take them.

          I don’t know about the “fake” lefty thing, for me. My older sister tried her damnedest to get me to use my right hand to color and write (“You’re doing it WRONG!” she’d say, and pull the crayon out of my left hand and shove it in my right hand.) It just wouldn’t take. So either I’m truly ambidextrous, or I am stubbornly contrarian when someone whose authority I don’t recognize tries to tell me what to do. Wait… maybe I am a fake lefty.

          Interestingly, or not, my daughter also eats and writes with her left, and uses right-handed scissors. I got her lefty ones but she rejected them because “they don’t feel right” and her little mangled craft project left her in tears 🙁 Luckily, I completely understood and had a right-handed pair at the ready.

        • Becky says:

          Here’s an interesting thing though: when I first took up archery, I drew left-handed. Shot league that way for two years. I quit for a year, and when my dad told me to draw my bow to make sure it still fit, I picked it up and immediately tried to draw right-handed. I almost forgot about that. Had to get a new bow, of course. Was an expensive neurological anomaly.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Well, you know. Being gay is one thing. I personally don’t give a dancing lemur. But left-handed?

          That’s for witches.

        • Becky says:

          It is the devil’s hand.

          And throwing salt over my left shoulder has utterly failed to cure me.

          Also, Cheryl, left-handed desks–the fucking bane of my existence. Just wanted to add that to the tally.

          Thanks, teacher. It’s so much easier to write when it feels like my left elbow is being held hostage somewhere up around my EAR.

        • Cheryl says:

          *hisses at Simon* Watch your words, Simon! I might cast a spell on you, and I’ll do it with my left hand (and my right brain).

          Yes, Becky! The left handed desks! Torture! I was the only lefty in most of my classes in the early grades. I think the teachers were just excited to finally have a reason to use all that shiny, unused left-handed paraphernalia that they had to buy. They looked so disappointed when I rejected their scissors and desks. I’ve adapted! Get over it!

    • reno says:

      becky-

      ooh. becky, your brain is delicious. but where do i start? i dunno. but let’s address the “curing” of gayness. is this possible? now, i’ve heard of this happening. i once saw a special on the tube where a batch of at-one-time-gay dudes who were cured church folk (it seems these people are preoccupied by such matters). now, i take a look at these dudes and my eyes and ears tell me they’re still gay. sure, now they have kids and have started to watch football and MMA but they’re…they’re…still gay. i’m just not convinced of this. now, like i said: i don’t have data to back my claim. this is straight (heh) gut shit going on. experience. when i saw ted on the joy behar show i’m thinking: “what a fucking asshole. quit torturing that poor women, yourself, and me! admit it! you like fucking dudes! no biggie. but STOP!” id this fair? probably not, but i find it silly and choking with deception and irrationality. anyhow, becky, i don’t know if you can be “cured.” personally i don’t think it’s neccesary. but hey: what do i know. i just know that the battle that ol’ teddy poo and countless others are going through is not to satisfy themselves but those around them. and that’s sad. thanks, becky. keep on keeping on.

      left hook,
      reno

      • Becky says:

        Tell me my brain is delicious and my pants come off. Take it easy, son. I’m a married woman.

        I’m saying that I don’t think it matters if it’s curable.

        Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Maybe heterosexuality is curable.

        I’m a conservative, but I’m not an asshole. My point is that gay people are gay regardless of cause, so let’s just roll with it. Gay people ARE, man. Next thing.

        • Reno J. Romero says:

          becky!

          heh. you’re hilarious. thanks for the solid morning laugh.

          son…

          heh. too funny.

          you’re right: it doesn’t matter if it’s curable. at least not to me. it should go w/o saying but the whole “why one is gay” is nor here nor there. another mystery, i guess.

          i know you’re not an asshole and i hope that i didn’t hint at that. i’ve known you for a bit. i know where you’re coming from.

          do tell the Enemy that my observation on your melon was not to get your pants off. i must say that was a great line though.

          and a swift visual.

          thanks, becky.

        • Becky says:

          I wasn’t sure if you were hinting at that.

          More importantly, I wasn’t sure if, in all my rambling, I had actually managed to state my position.

          So at worst, I worried there was a misunderstanding.

          And it was still the coolest compliment ever, regardless of your motivation.

        • Reno J. Romero says:

          becky-

          hey. no motivation. no stab, nothing. i don’t know if i stated my position either. regardless, your brain IS delicious.

          take care, sis.

          see you around the bend.

          always,
          reno

  9. Matt says:

    Reno –

    So, I guess this means we can rule out you getting caught with a paid escort from rentboy.com? Or would he just be “handling your luggage?”

    Funny, charming and timely piece. Bill Maher commented just last Friday that we seemed to have reached a cultural point where “anti-gay crusader” has become synonymous with “deeply closeted homosexual” and I have to say, I think he’s got a point.

    I can’t help but feel sorry for women like Gayle Haggard. Stuck in relationships founded on lies, they’re almost as big a victim as the people Haggard/Craig/Rekers and their ilk persecute.

    • reno says:

      heh. no rent.boy for me. now if there’s a rent.girl then i’m there. seeing i’ll be in L.A in a couple of weeks i’m sure there will be some potential for nookie lurking in the smog. bill does have a point. real quick: years ago i had a very macho pal become a cop. he lifted weights, gay bashed, watched boxing and farted huge farts. i just saw the dude a few weeks back (after many years)and he’s as gay as gay could be. i was blowm away. and my gaydar is pretty damn good. i paid good money for this fucker. but i didn’t see it coming. so there you go. is this shit a sure deal? no. but there may be some truth swirling around. thanks, matt.

      • Matt says:

        There used to be a very devout Mormon guy who trained at the same karate school as me. Very vocally anti-gay, though his was a more passive homophobia than the active, aggressive kind. Went off on his mission, and when he came back a couple of years later, he outed himself as a deeply closeted homosexual–during his mission he’d found that trying to spread God’s truth while denying his own was turning him into a terrible, miserable human being, and he just couldn’t do it anymore.

        • Reno J. Romero says:

          matt-
          damn. wild. but you know, matt, this shit HAPPENS. i mean, right? i’ve heard stories like this countless times. i think that when folk have religious dogma in their bones (and they’re gay) they struggle like mofos over this. it must tear them apart. i guess i’m lucky. i have no dogma racking my brain and i KNOW women are for me. no confusion. no guilt (well…). no nothing. just another boring heterosexual going to and fro. later, matt.

  10. Jim Lyons says:

    Two words for me Reno, Miss Isenberg.

  11. Napigzi says:

    Great story….you may have started something here Reno. “Ms. Matheny Romero” “fantastic kickball player”……gotta love it. And, I love you.

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      in a pig’s eye-

      i’m still a fantastic kickball player. you know it’s a shame i wasn’t a bit older when my eyes laid on miss metheny. i think i could have had her. i would have did a little soft shoe for her, wrote her a poem about flowers and love hope. that would have snagged. well, me thinks. oh, well. another one that got away. but i’m single. and so i roam. thanks for reading.

      r

  12. Irene Zion says:

    Reno,

    I’ve been thinking and thinking.
    I believe it was in 6th grade and Donald Weeks had the very same birthday as I did!
    OBVIOUSLY, we were made for each other!
    I don’t think I ever got up the nerve to actually speak to him.
    But I knew we were destined to be together one day.

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      mama zion-

      i would say google him, but i don’t think mr. zion would approve. you know regardless if i shared the same b-day w/ someone I ALWAYS FELT WE WERE MADE FOR EACH OTHER. at least for the time being, right? sheesh. anyhow, irene, i like you. have i told you that?

      yup,
      reno

      • Irene Zion says:

        Where are you now, Reno?
        I think I’ve lost where you live now.

        • Reno J. Romero says:

          irene!

          i’m currently in the CA desert in a wee desert town called Hesperia. i went to HS here. in fact, i grew up in the CA desert. got here in ’81 via L.A. so the desert is me. i am the desert. come out. we’ll sit under a joshua tree and play with stink bugs. sound like a date?

        • Irene Zion says:

          I would love to see you, but I don’t do well in dry climates. I need lots of humidity.
          I know most people prefer dry, so I am again going against the flow.

        • Reno J. Romero says:

          what? stink bugs, me, and ancient joshua trees! oh, SO disappointed. okay, well. hey, i’m gonna see lenore in a couple of weeks. she’ll get ALL my attention! you there. don’t be jealous, mama zion. you’re still the bestest even though you dissed my offer. boo-hoo. i’ll recover. me thinks.

          cheers,
          reno dissed

        • Irene Zion says:

          Oh, nonono! Iwould never turn you down.
          We’ll see each other one day, maybe when I visit Lenore next.
          You have fun with Lenore!
          She’ll make you laugh.

        • reno says:

          irene-

          ok. nice save on your part. it will be heaven on earth the day we meet up. and i can’t wait to see lenore. this time i won’t goose her. i promised her i’d be on my best behavior, that i would be PLEASANT!

          it’ll be tough, but i think i can pull it off.

          wish me luck.

          and grant me strength.

          lots of strength.

          of course she’ll make me laugh. always does.

          bye, irene.

          playing w/ stink bugs by his lonesome (are you happy?),
          reno

  13. Tawni says:

    I loved this, Reno.

    Like Gloria, I found the qualities that made you find your teachers attractive to be very innocent and sweet. Soft voice. Pretty hands. You really made me see the women from the eyes of a grade school-aged boy with your writing. My favorite moments as a reader are spent crouched inside the head of another person, looking out the windows, so thanks for the ride.

    I will never understand how anyone can be presumptuous enough to decide they have the answers to the unanswerable and declare their theory to be fact. Living in the Midwest, I am often conversationally pummeled by different versions of “the truth” offered from the mouths of strangers. I find it to be condescending and annoying, at best.

    “Gay magic” made me giggle. That should be the name of your next band, my friend. (:

    • Gloria says:

      I <3 Oklahoma.

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      hey, tawni-

      well, thank you very much. i’m glad you liked it. i’m sure there are millions of dudes out there that have their miss metheny. she was gorgeous and i will never, ever forget her.

      presumptuous, eh? you bet. i don’t get it, will never get it, don’t care to get it. there are some things out there roaming around that truly astound me. this country claims to be freethinking, a live and let live land. it’s a lie. we’re in the dark on so many issues. we’re naive and hateful on so many issues. some folk are treated well, others are treated like shit. this infuriates me to no end. when i was in the South i was floored at the sentiments i heard and SAW. it was disgusting and it jaded me. i came back to the West Coast a different man. i lost hope. i’ve somewhat recovered, but when people start telling me this country is void of racism, etc, i just laugh. sure, there has been some change, but there’s so much work to be done. and in my opinion it will never get done. as long as we embrace irrational structures we will forever be in lock down.

      anyhow.

      well, tawni, thanks for reading and i hope you, your music, and your family are doing well.

      always,
      reno

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      gay magic would be a GREAT name for a band. i mean, right? i think you have something there. nice.

  14. J.M. Blaine says:

    In Kindergarten
    I got sent to the principal’s office
    twice
    for slipping over onto
    Steffie Crouch’s cot
    during naptime.

    She had blue eyes
    & in my defense
    I was invited.

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      i love when girls invite me to do things. music to my heavy metal ears.

      “reno, wanna come over to my house?”

      “i thought you’d never fuckin’ ask.”

    • Judy Prince says:

      jmb, it is soooo difficult to pronounce “Steffie Crouch’s Cot” without getting all caught up in crotches and so on.

      • reno says:

        11 is sneaky. word play. shenanigans from the beautiful green hills of his land. watch this man. now, tonight i will dream of crotches and other trouble. thanks, 11. you evil man.

    • Uche Ogbuji says:

      Boy lookie me. I read that at least twice as “Steffie’s Crotch cot”

      • jmblaine says:

        Uh-oh
        you guys are on
        to me

        Did I mention
        her father
        was the principal?

        • Judy Prince says:

          jmb, if Steffie ‘Crotch’ was the principal’s daughter—-and she was the one inviting you over…….I’ll bet Dad had one packed office of Steffie-crotchers. Ah, the joys of kindergarten! Did you guys use those linoleum mats or rugs?

        • reno crotch says:

          11-

          i’ve been onto you. crotch. shame on you. are you sure that flood coming through your land wasn’t coming for you? hmm. makes me wonder. perhaps, He decided on giving you a mulligan. lucky you. now: leave the girls alone and write me a song. say nice things about me. wait! and write a BIG chorus. like the saying goes: don’t bore us, get to the chorus. later, 11. the audience is listening.

          rr

        • jmblaine says:

          Apparently I should have turned
          this into an entire post.

          We had those blue fold out cots
          that sat up about a foot off the ground.

        • Judy Prince says:

          Blue fold-out cots, jmb?! Where you went, a pricey private school? Those cots sound dangerous sitting a foot up off the ground. No wonder Jennifer wanted cot-companionship with all the little boys.

          Yes, please defer your answers to a full-blown post; you were right.

          I’d love to read it if only for the bits about Jennifer Crotch. Did I say “bits”? She’s got to have a great backstory (and front story, too, I should imagine).

  15. Zara Potts says:

    I Fuckin’ Love You Baby.
    And this -I Fuckin’ Love This.

    I knew I was straight when I fell hard for John Boy Walton.

    • Amanda says:

      John Boy Walton! Awesome. I was in love with Jack Tripper from Three’s Company…But, in hindsight and with a more adult understanding of the tv show, I think that, more than anything, is evidence of confused sexuality.

      heehee

      • Reno J. Romero says:

        jack tripper!

        good god.

        i don’t think i ever heard anyone dewy for good ol’ jack. good one. i do admit that crissy had my crotch rumbling.

        sorry.

        greasy kid stuff here.

        (i’m so damn predictable, eh?)

        • Amanda says:

          I know…this is probably not the sort of thing I ought to spreading all over the Internet, hmmm?

        • Reno J. Romero says:

          amanda-

          no, it’s fine. i just never saw ol’ jacky-poo as a sex symbol. but what do i know? nothing! looking back crissy may have not been anything to look at. and now she’s the Thigh Master, eh? it is Thigh Master, right? oh, it doesn’t matter. i now have the hots for jennifer ketcham–an ex-porn star that was on Sober House. that’s how fucked up i am. and i probably shouldn’t spread THAT all over the internet…

          bye, amanda.

          PS: jennifer if you’re out there call me. i’m nice. i have long-ass hair and a silly disposition. you in?

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      john boy was hot.

      and so are you.

      i fuckin’ love you baby.

      (even though i don’t have a feathered bed. shit.)

      • Zara Potts says:

        What? No feathered bed?
        I still fuckin’ love you baby.

        • reno says:

          z!

          babe, so sorry. but i’m working towards it. when i show in hollywood i’ll have a sleeping bag and a backpack full of literature and bite-size snickers. will that do for the time being? if not lemme know. we still have time to make some adjustments.

          love 10x,
          reno j. romero

  16. Judy Prince says:

    Sweet, funny, sensual, romantic—-all happening here, Reno.

    You gave a great take on Gayle Haggard’s theory of how folks “become” gay: “So, in essence, if your folks, friends, or billboards, tell you enough times that you’re gay, then you’re probably going to turn out gay at some point in your life. Or, if you happen to handle people of the same sex enough times, then one fine day you’ll wake up, look into the proverbial mirror, and realize that you are a full-blown homosexual.”

    And you, the confused sweet thing: “Miss Metheny was a stone cold fox . . . that I wanted to do things with. . . . What those things entailed, I hadn’t a clue.”

    Then the conversation of the innocents—-HA! Can’t read it without seeing these guys, each with a different reaction, and of course the HOOTiest one: “It’s a girl weenie”!! 😉

    Ah, and somehow, some damn how, Reno, you went Way Sensual: “I think I’ll sit this one out for a bit. Relax and run in the early desert morning. Meditate and munch on my Fiber One bars. Maybe, this time around I’ll lower the amp a tad and play some soft blues in a dark bar that serves colorful martinis. Pick up my trusty acoustic guitar and strum Carly Simon tunes. Perhaps, I’ll hop in my truck, take a long drive up the coast, and keep some notes on what comes my way, see what the day brings.”

    Oh yeah, that *does* sound good!

    lobster dipped in melted butter,

    Judy

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      hi, judy-

      oh, YOU are so kind with your comment. i don’t believe i ever had anyone break down my stuff the way you did. pretty neat.

      gayle haggard…

      you know, judy, i feel very sorry for this woman. i don’t take her for a stupid woman. but at the same time it seems apparent she’s not looking at this situation for what it is. sure, i’m not in their house 24/7 (or for even one second), and yes i’m going on MY experience, MY gut feeling, but ted is gay. or confused. or both. hell, they confuse me! i’m stumped, mystified. but i’ve never claimed to be a bright man…

      miss metheny was a gem and she made that school year and the one after (i had mrs. anderson–not a looker, but a kind woman), almost as good.

      “hi, miss metheny,” i’d tell her, gazing into her eyes, staring at her hair. “i miss being in your class.”

      i was horrible (hell, i still am–i love woman…).

      i was SO boy.

      and, judy, i’m gonna sit this one out for a bit. i’m going back to college this summer, chase another degree, and keep lacing up my running shoes. perhaps, romance is out there sitting in a coffee shop. or k-mart. or roberto’s taco shop. we’ll see. but i’m not concerned. i have my guitar. some books. and my Fiber One bars. that’s good for now. it’s just swell and in hand.

      thank you very much for taking out the time to read my stuff. much appreciation, my friend. take care.

      cornbread and lima beans,
      reno romero

      • Judy Prince says:

        That’s it, reno. You have to stop. I mean, cornbread and lima beans!

        Plus, I’m enjoying your comments to the commenters as much as your story. Example: “. . . now they have kids and have started to watch football and MMA but they’re…they’re…still gay.”

        me giggling all over again!

        I do hope there’s never a cure for heterosexuality.

        Luck in the desert, reno; sing to the Joshuas for me; keep playing and writing.

        Fiber Two bar with carob-almond bread,

        Judy

        • reno says:

          judy!

          first, i love MMA fighting. yeah, i know it’s bloody and there are some folk that can’t stand that type of stuff. i so understand that. but, i’m addicted. have been since ’94. this is yet another example of what a DUDE i am.

          don’t get me started on the NFL. it gets worse for me every year. i have it bad. i need a priest. or a bat across my forehead. or a drink…

          cornbread is delicious. and top that stuff off with a swipe of butter? good god. pure heaven. straight to the gut. another dimple on the butt.

          oh, life…

          this was fun, judy. thanks for chiming in. the last couple of days have been a riot.

          rueben sandwich w/ a squirt back (oh, SO delish),
          reno

        • Judy Prince says:

          Forgot to congrat you on getting yourself in school—–keep us posted with stories about those Miss Metheny teaches! Imagine, Reno, you may well be older than your teachers now (I almost wrote “lechers” insteada teachers).

          Stay pure in spirit, Reno……

          tuna salad, onion, lettuce, tomato on toasted rye w dill pickle,

          Judy

  17. reno says:

    the rest of the gang!

    folks, i will address ur comments tomorrow for the library is telling reno he has to go or pay rent. tomorrow by noon my comments will fly. thank you all. see you manana.

    always,
    reno

  18. Lorna says:

    Hey, maybe Ms. Matheny is available now. Ya never know. Mrs. Metheny Romero….still chuckling at that line.

    You know what is odd? The other day my daughter and I had a discussion about one of the local high schools and the incredibly high number of students that consider themselves to be gay. She estimated that it was at least half of the students. I said “really, half of them? Seriously?” She said “yeah, half of girls are with girls, half of the guys are with guys and the rest are normal”. We had a little discussion about why it would be so prominent now. She said she wasn’t sure why but that these kids are deciding to be gay.

    I have a hard time accepting the fact that 50% of these kids are actually gay. I would say there is some sort of conditioning influencing their decisions. More than likely they are just experimenting with their sexuality. Apparently gay is the new black.

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      lorna-

      hey, there. glad i got a laugh out of you. i would have married that gorgeous women. in a heartbeat. those hands. those eyes…

      you know i’ve experienced school folk claiming gay (i used to teach and gobs of my students were supposedly gay). i don’t know where it comes from, but it seems to me that it’s a fad of sorts, you know? but maybe not. like you, i think they’re experimenting w/ their sexuality. i think i see girls pulling this one off more than dudes.

      wild.

      when i was in school most people (i think) were straight. looking back i can trace those that were probably gay. nothing like it is today. different world.

      thanks for reading, lorna.

      okay,
      reno j. romero

    • Cheryl says:

      Maybe the college phenomenon (L.U.G. – Lesbian Until Graduation) has moved up a few years now. I think you are tright; kids are maybe just getting the experimental ball rolling a little earlier.

      I think it’s interesting in the context of the biological / environmental debate. One thing about a closeted society is that it makes being gay not a very fun “choice” to make. So for people who *are* gay the attraction to the same sex has to be stronger than all of the cultural and social pressures to be straight. When a micro-society, like a high school for instance, is very accepting of different sexual orientations, it could create a safe-zone for gender/sexual-identity experimentation. It would be interesting to see, in 5-7 years, how many of those kids still identify as gay, or bisexual. And how many of the 50% who identify as straight end up identifying as gay.

  19. Beautiful story… Very well written… It’s such a shame that people are so filled with hate/fear that they refuse to grant homosexuals the same treatment as hetrosexuals. It goes without saying, of course, that they are – as you said – human beings who should be afforded dignity. I don’t know where I’m going with this… you said it all already.

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      david-
      hey, man. thanks for the compliment.

      you know, david, IT IS a shame. it’s also a crime. and it’s also very sad and disappointing. i should get the nod because i like women. so what. i like women. that’s just the way it is. but it should be a perk. i think there’s enough evidence out there that proves when men and women hook up it’s not always a glorious narrative. heterosexual relationships shouldn’t have carte blanche, shouldn’t be the model for how things should be.

      there’s no reason for it.

      and it’s not deserved.

      but i don’t see things changing. but let’s hope. CA was a huge disappointment and i thought i’d never see what is historically known as a liberal state fuck over people the way they did.

      of course, there was a lot of cash dropped off by a CERTAIN religious group to achieve this travesty, but you would have thought the peeps wouldn’t have bought into it. shame. shame. shame.

      okay, sir, i’ve bored you enough. thanks again for reading. have a great weekend.

      all right,
      reno

      • Yes, that was awful what happened in California. I spent a few months living there and I really thought that it was the liberal state everyone claimed… but what they did was tragic.

        And the actions of religious groups disgusts me when concerning homosexuals. It’s hate and fear, and causes so much pain.

        • reno says:

          david-

          hey, man. after reading my reply i had some mistakes. it should have read that it SHOULDN’T be a perk that i adore women. you get the idea.

          now, CA? oh, lord. i was floored. i still am. but cash and irrational thought always seems to prevail. this sickens me.

          anyhow.

          okay, sir, do take care. thanks again.

          r

  20. Simon Smithson says:

    Every time one of those preachers gets outed I can’t help but laugh… and then I feel really sad about the whole thing.

    It’s a very confusing reaction.

    There’s probably a church group that can cure me of it.

    Also: stone cold fox. Such a good descriptor.

    Nice to see you back around these parts, Reno.

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      simon-

      yo. how are you rock star? i’m sure all is well.

      preachers…

      i so understand where you’re coming from. i, too, have the same reaction. but it’s only momentary. it’s fleeting because i soon remember all the crap these misfits dish out.

      i can sympathize w/ ted.

      it’s a sad tale. a sad human tale.

      but in the end he can go fuck himself. he made a career, made cold hard cash by making people feel like shit, less than, about themselves–by influencing people to think the way he does.

      he comes from a long line of assholes who’s agenda is to marginalize people. and that, in my opinion, is nothing short of disgusting.

      geez! listen to me! what the hell is my problem? so angry…fuck!

      anyhow, women…

      when i see you in a couple of weeks we’ll stroll down Sunset and fill our boy eyes w/ girl goodies. it’s our duty, simon. so be prepared, homie. can’t wait to see you. it’s gonna be a hoot.

      foxy lady,
      reno

      • Gloria says:

        I so wish I could be there…

        🙁

        • reno says:

          gloria-

          perhaps one day we’ll meet up. with geeeetar in hand. and maybe a novel or two. let’s see what the TNB gods throw our way. thanks for your comments. too cool.

          all right,
          reno

        • Simon Smithson says:

          I’m traveling well, brother – how about your bad self?

          What do you with guys like Ted? On the one hand, I want to tell them that it’s OK to be gay, and they don’t have to hate themselves, life, or any one else for that matter. And on the other hand, I want to encase them in a protective nerf spacesuit so they can’t do any more damage (until they’ve found a point of acceptance. Then the nerf spacesuit can come off. Unless they want to roll down hills in it, which would be awesome).

          Speaking of hills – I’ll see you in the Hollywood hills, amigo. Duty will not find me lacking.

        • reno says:

          simon-

          oh, poor, ted…

          you know, bro, i don’t know what to do w/ fuckers like this. i really don’t. i totally agree w/ you. he’s tortured, no doubt. hey, we all have our battles. he has to eat this one. all the way to heaven. or hell.

          hollywood calls. so do those legs and lashes, hands, and red lips. oh, lord.

          CA is calling. and it sounds divine.

          7th Veil,
          reno

  21. Joe Daly says:

    Loved the comparison between Ms. Metheny and Mr. Lopez- it’s just as simple as that. You feel something or you don’t.

    I also loved that HBO doc on Ted. It showed him for they hypocrite that he truly was, but it also revealed him to be sad and fearful- feelings undoubtedly experienced so many people that he once condemned. I admit that I was hoping to see Ted raked across the coals and experience the consequences of his own intolerance. But after seeing it unfold, I felt strangely empty. He’s just a sad guy who reaped what he sowed.

    And trust me- the stuff you used to meet girls when you’re 25 no longer works. It’s amazing what a little self-awareness and life experience does for you. My two cents: keep being a really good Reno and the right people will emerge.

  22. Reno J. Romero says:

    joe-

    good morning, sir. i saw that doc and came out of it the same way you did. like i wrote simon: it is sad. it truly is. but…

    he has to eat this one. and he has. and he will continue to do so. and i’m OK w/ it. the rule is: don’t mess w/ people. leave them alone. worry about yourself. keep to yourself and stop peddling hate and discrimination. it’s not cool. not at all.

    yeah, joe, i don’t think the gibberish of those mid-twenties will be uttered. i’ll be good. i promise. hey, thanks a lot for reading, joe. we carry on.

    girls, girls, girls,
    reno j. romero

  23. Cheryl says:

    I like your style, Mr. Reno – this was much fun to read. You packed a lot in – humor, sex, compassion, nostalgia, sex, politics, religion, sex, and a lovely, low-key advocacy. I enjoyed the trip down your memory lane, full of little gems that many above have already commented on. “Mrs. Metheny Romero”, “Girl-weenie”, and my personal favorite, “Oh Miss Metheny! How about that toots? Yeah!”

    Somewhere, at the moment you wrote that, Miss Metheny’s knees turned to jello and her panties fell off and she has no idea exactly why.

    • Judy Prince says:

      Yes, Cheryl—–it happened! Reno’s adoration melted Ms. M!

      Calls for a nother story, dunnit? YOOHOO—-Ms. Meth (oops, mebbe not the best abbreviation), where ARE YOOOOO?! Bet she could write a sizzler!

    • reno says:

      say, cheryl-

      i’m pleased that this story worked for you. as you already know: miss metheny worked for me. i got a couple of phone calls regarding this post. dudes on the other end remembering THAT teacher…

      it’s odd to think that miss metheny could have been like 24 yrs old. you know? she was so much OLDER. but who knows. she could have been the town lush and dropped her panties at any compliment. or she could have been a church going gal who walked the straight line. either way, she was a looker and i adored her.

      miss metheny!

      okay, cheryl, do take care and i’ll do the same. thanks.

      yup,
      reno romero

  24. angela says:

    reno, i love this, not just the subject matter, but the rhythm and sound of your writing. a beautiful – and fun – read.

    • reno says:

      angela-

      say! thanks a lot for the kind comment. see what girls do to us boys? it’s a wild reaction. even after all these years. miss metheny lives (i wonder if she’s still alive? hmmm).

      let’s hope she is.

      well, here’s to memory. and writing. and nice hands. thanks again, angela. have a great friday.

      1st grade,
      reno

  25. Uche Ogbuji says:

    To walk together to the kirk,
    And all together pray,
    While each to his great Father bends,
    Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
    And youths and maidens gay!

    Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
    To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
    He prayeth well, who loveth well
    Both man and bird and beast.

    Coleridge, baby!

    And yes I’m being extremely cheeky. Oh yes! 😀

  26. Romero,

    You a thoughtful man with great taste in shoes and jeans. I’m happy to see you back here, it’s been too long since I’ve experienced Reno-wisdom.

    Don’t be a stranger.

    The Reno-Lution will be televised. And podcast.

    • reno says:

      nico-

      hello, there. i won’t be a stranger and predict in the future that my gruesome mug will be walking the halls more often. that’s if my 70-yr old boss stands down.

      it’s friday, missy. you gonna be hittin’ any titty bars? if so send me some pics and have a shot of wild turkey for me. chat soon. thanks for reading. bye, sis.

      always,
      renolution

  27. sheree says:

    Bloody brilliant read. Fav line: We coiled and whispered like tree vipers.

    • reno says:

      hey, sheree-

      how are you? i’m swell. it’s a beautiful day here in the CA desert. you know we DID coil and whisper like snakes. it was bad and my memories are bad (well, in a good way if you catch my boy drift…)

      those were the days. i think. now, things seem to be going at a different pace. but the game is still on. always is, right? anyhow, thanks so much for reading the post and the kind comment. have a great weekend, sheree.

      sssss,
      reno j. romero

  28. Erika Rae says:

    Ah, Ted. I went to that church for a brief stint. Crazy.

    (Rant warning)
    The thing I don’t understand about Christianity today is that people are expected to act a certain way. Holy. Righteous. So much attention on saving one’s own soul from Hell – and proving out the difference Jesus made in their life on earth. “Can’t you see that Jesus has saved me? Look, I don’t even sin anymore!” The problem at the end of the day is that people are just people, but the church culture demands conformity. It creates a huge disconnect. Who can live up to that kind of pressure without eventually losing themselves in the process? It’s the same problem we are seeing in the Catholic priesthood.

    If you ask me, modern Christianity’s largest flaw is that it focuses too much on the self. “Are you right with the Lord, brother?” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son to save YOUR ass from hell.” (um…that might be a loose translation) Go to church regularly so you can receive your weekly dosage of soul care. Come and be blessed by God. Get to know your own personal Jesus. Someone to hear your prayers and on and on.

    It’s all about US.

    Anyway, the example of Jesus I read in the Bible is to focus on everyone else. Feed the hungry. Help the widow. Clothe the poor. And not so that you secure your own salvation, but because Hell is a real place on earth where there is no food or a place to lay your head.

    That, my friend, is true religion.

    And as for Miss Matheny…HAHAHAHA. You are such a great story teller, Reno.

    • Judy Prince says:

      Love your “Rant warning”, Erika Rae!

      Yes, of course you’re right about a portion of Christians. There are plenty of other Christians, though, who don’t think and act like those Christians.

      Each religion of those I’ve known or read about consists of 3 usually distinct parts: radical-liberal, middle-road, conservative. And they usually call themselves something to distinguish themselves from the other two camps in their religion.

      Further, as is so often the case in news-imparting, those camps of religion which are on either side of the “middle-roaders” are the ones that get bad-mouthed the most, sometimes by those in other religions and sometimes by those in the other two camps.

      I believe most adherents in all the camps become entrenched and need “updatings” from time to time in order to lovingly respond to the issues and pressures of their times. However, because people in any situation never want to give up entrenched positions, their responses are everything from assassinations to wars to folks rejecting religions completely.

      Fortunately, we have around us plenty of people who strive to love—-who love us. And, I believe, the model of “love” is inside each of us, as well.

      • Erika Rae says:

        You’re so right, Judy – and I suppose I should have clarified my background with the label “Evangelical Fundamentalist”. That’s how I was raised. And there is much love in that group, no doubt. There are even many level-headed folks in that bunch. Generalisms are dangerous and I apologize for having made one. I certainly did not mean all of Christianity, but I can see that’s how it came off. But the Evangelical Fundamentalist culture is one I know well and have reason to object to now.

        My particular denomination – the one in which I was raised – believes in “sanctification”, a process in which the urge to sin is taken away. The culture, then, enforces a belief that one can attain a sin-free life. And not even that you can, but that you should. It is vital, then, for the leadership to appear sin-free at all times. People go down to the altar to ask forgiveness and to recommit their lives to Jesus weekly, in some cases. The slightest sin can land you in Hell if it stands unrepented. I can’t even begin to convey what that does to the soul…the spirit of a person. It’s a complete uncertainty from one moment to the next about whether you’re “right with God.”

        But I don’t want to see war made on that group…I’d like to see a healthy change, one that comes through conversation.

        Sorry if I offended. ( ;

        • Judy Prince says:

          Erika Rae—-egad! How in the world could you have offended me by telling the truth! Plus, I know you were talking about the folks you know most about from experience, and although those particular kind of Christians aren’t the ones I have personal experience with, I have known well enough about several other groups to know their teachings and practices scare me goofy.

          In fact, Erika Rae, if you did NOT point out the twisted, love-killing teachings and practices of “Christians”, I would consider you a moral coward.

          There, then! I hope that sets the record straight, you awesome, multi-brilliant, many-talents woman. Seems to me that the worst thing you can do for us and yourself is to hide that brain and those gifts, to not practice and expose them to us, to not belt away with your revelations and wild conclusions with all the creativity endowed in you by the Big Love Wotsit In The Sky.

          U go, gurl!

    • reno says:

      erika-
      hello there. i understand where you’re coming from. like you, i’ve seen some wacky, ugly, disrespectful, nasty, shit come out of religion. no need for me to lay down the litany. as you may know i’m not a christian. or muslim. or jewish. i have nothing for those three bullies. nothing really good to say. nothing really good to think about. but, being raised a catholic, i’ve always liked the “idea” of faith. i like hope. i like positive “things will work out” thinking. the idea of jesus is a great idea. a blessing if you will. but in the hands of the bible belt, that sanctimonious asshole preaching hell fire and a eternal fucking by the devil himself bores and annoys me. when i lived in charlotte i’d wake up early ion sunday mornings and would listen to these maniacs peddle their shit. it was simply amazing. it was simply ugly. people ate it up. they lost themselves. a wild sight indeed.

      anyhow.

      i agree with you completely. i don’t know what needs to be done. perhaps a shot of whiskey will do. yeah, maybe. thanks for reading.

      jesus christ pose,
      reno

  29. Marni Grossman says:

    I think asking the question, “when did I know I was straight” is brilliant. Because no one ever does. And yet we ask about gay identity unthinkingly.

    But. One question. Metheny? Is that a real name?

  30. reno says:

    hey, marni-

    how are you? doing swell over here. miss metheny? now, usually i change names but this one i couldn’t. that was her name. blonde hair. blue eyes. pretty hands. the whole shebang. thanks for reading, marni. have a great weekend.

    always,
    reno

  31. It was before K grade for me. I can remember sitting in a cart and staring at some lady’s mamajammers… I loved them and her…

  32. jmblaine says:

    Nobody bleeds
    for the dancer

    Sad about Dio today
    brother
    & I thought about you.
    Ronnie James brought lots of good things
    to my life over the years.

  33. reno says:

    very sad indeed. didn’t know the metal master was sick. sheesh. bummer. please tell your beautiful land i said hello.

    r

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *