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Eugene Weekly : Living Out : 7.16.09




Easy as ABC

by sally sheklow

“All you have to do,” said my sweetie, in response to my monthly fretting about what to write in my next column, “is start each sentence with the next letter of the alphabet beginning with “A.”

“But,” I replied, “beginning with consecutive letters is a cakewalk, so much easier than, say, also ending each sentence with that same letter — that’d be a much tougher job.”

“Challenges do tend to inspire you,” said my darling companion of 21 years, exhibiting her trademark level-headedness and sound logic.

“Don’t I know it,” I said.

“Eventually, though, you’ll have to home in on a topic and write about something,” Wifey reminded me.

“For sure,” I replied, somewhat absentmindedly, as I’d already begun concocting sentences in my head, having come to that conclusion myself.

“Great,” she said in the encouraging tone that makes her my favorite muse, “now get going.”

Here I go then, only slightly worried about what I’ll do when I come to Q and X and Z, which will no doubt be pretty tough.

I shouldn’t waste time worrying, I remind myself, although I’d be less uptight if I had a martini.

Just think, I digress, of how well that would go with some nice baba ganouj.

Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it, if this column is going to be worth its ink.

Let me just mention, in that case, my hopeful feelings about the fate of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

My gut tells me Congress will overturn the anachronistic and bigoted policy under Obama’s leadership, but, unlike Bill Clinton, Barack should get the military brass on board (probably by emphasizing the cost of losing so many valuable service members), which Obama clearly understands, but again, there’s more to it than just him.

Not to mention the Defense of Marriage Act, which Obama has also vowed to overturn, but there it still stands, in the way of marriage equality, as yet another reminder that LGBTQ Americans are less than full citizens, mostly because so many people hate us, which is the reason we so urgently need to pass — and enforce — comprehensive hate crimes legislation.

Oh, golly, you’re probably thinking, just give this big-mouth dyke a few column inches and the freedom to vent about LGBTQ rights and off she’ll go.

Please, as if we don’t hear enough about Michael Jackson’s autopsy and what’s- his-name’s “Appalachian hike” to make us all want to throw up.

Queer people, though, deserve more public awareness, as does, by the way, our illegal involvement in Iraq.

Reconsidering, must we dwell on the negative forever?

Surely we’d all appreciate, from time to time, some light, enjoyable reading in one of these columns.

That’s a reasonable enough request.

Ultimately, the point, after all, is to entertain you.

Valuable skills like this, I realize, come from doing so much improv.

When you think about it, writing is a lot like putting on a show.

Xena, that great warrior princess, I recall, expertly eradicated evil with her power to transfix.

Yeah — I’ll say.

Zero tolerance and all that jazz.

Award-winning writer Sally Sheklow has been using her syllables freely in Eugene Weekly since 1999.