This piece needs editing. Mirror Image Edutainment, Alan John Mayer
When I was twenty, my favorite Aunt Eva came to visit from Germany. While my mother worked most of the summer, I drove Eva to the Garden of the Gods, the Royal Gorge (at the time the longest suspension bridge in the world), and into the Rocky Mountains. Eva and I had always loved one another.
My father as well was enamored with Eva. He called her his Sleeping Beauty, Dornröschen (Rose thorn) Eva had been widowed young, and remarried Papa, twenty-three years her senior, in the interest of staying alive. Theirs never was a consumated marriage.
As Eva was leaving, she said to Mummy Dearest, “you need to sit down and have a talk with Alan. I think he is gay.” Well, what she really said was:
“Du mußt Dich mal mit Ahlen für eine Rede hinsetzen. Ich glaube er ist schwuhl.”
Schwuhl is the German word for gay.
Eva had been a loyal friend of Mummy’s since the third grade. When I was eight, and Mummy Dearest decided to take off to Italy for the summer with her husband and daughter, it was Eva who took me in and gave me the best summer of my life, a life across the street from a farm with three children my age, one even a boy.
I had never had the opportunity to play with a boy before.
Ever since that summer of 1963, Eva kept a bedroom for me in her beautiful home Auf der Hoehe (on the Highlands) until her death. Eva possessed sensitivity, and she was very well traveled and read. She had been in love with Kuno, a gay man who hanged himself in 1960. After being told as a youth by National Socialists he was unfit to live because of his sexuality, life in post war Germany was just intolerable for Kuno.
This, only a few years past the 1920’s, when Berlin had been the biggest gay attraction in Europe and the world. Today it is once again the gay capital of Europe.
Back to the summer of 1976 in Aurora, Colorado: Eva flew back to Germany.
The next day, Mummy came down the stairs (into the family room that was never used as a family room because we were not a family so we called it the den), she sat down in one of her overstuffed mint green brocade chairs in the den next to my bedroom; her bedroom for which I was paying seventy-five dollars a month room and board — and I was the maid and gardener, until Lori Ann Wollard invited me to move in with her and her husband.
“Won’t your husband mind?” I asked.
“Oh no,” she said, (but that’s another post).
Back in the family room that never was: “Are you gay?” Mummy asked me bluntly, without any lead into the conversation.
I thought for a moment. I had been dating and occasionally sleeping with girls, but I knew I wasn’t straight. But I wasn’t quite sure I was gay either. And I had learned long ago never to lie to Mummy. She ALWAYS found out the truth. I sat on the fence for a moment. No sense in denying, I thought, so I answered affirmatively:
“Yes” I said.
For the next six months, until I moved in to be seduced by Lori Ann’s husband Dick, Mummy didn’t speak a word with me. In a tri-level house, it was easy to avoid each other. I was away in school and at work until past ten at night, and when I came in, I went straight downstairs, passing through the communal area only to get to the stairs. And Mummy kept to her upstairs chambers, including Dad’s office, which was really hers too.
For years, decades, this experience troubled me greatly. It still does.
Years later, in a tender moment, I dared ask Mummy for answers.
“How could you live in the same house and not talk to me for six months, Christina?” I asked. She could only laugh when I called her by her Christian name.
“I was too troubled to know what to do,” she said.
“Didn’t it ever occur to you to seek professional help, like an analyst, or a church group?” I asked. But the conversation was already over, — Thema durch; case closed.
There is One life.
This life is God.
Perfect, whole, complete,
when I remember to align with Him
I too become more whole, perfect, and complete.
I give thanks.
And so it is.