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The Loss of the Friends I Have Yet to Meet Shot June 12, 201
Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:46pm
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The Loss of the Friends I Have Yet to Meet Shot June 12, 2016

Sunday: Last week my RV broke down in Hillcrest, a San Diego, largely gay community. I was a stranger alone.
Monday: Everywhere I went, people were friendly, smiling, supportive to my plight. A Jewish man & wife invited me into their home. Advised me on local mechanics. Let me use their wifi. People in their cul de sac, went out of their way to help me. They were friends I hadn’t yet met until Monday.
Monday: A Mexican American mechanic checked my RV, spent his time finding a mechanic who could work on my blown head gasket. He didn’t even charge me.
Tuesday: I was a stranger. I was invited to dinner in the home of a military family in Tierasanta, a military community. I spent the night in their home. I was welcome. Friends I hadn’t yet met until Tuesday.
Wednesday: I was alone. “chow da boya” I almost learned to say “good morning” in Vietnamese where a family business team led by an amazing matriarch, worked hard & fast to fix my RV, while I resided in my RV, in their shop.
Wednesday: I was a stranger alone. I had dinner in a gay bar. People were friendly, smiling, inclusive & supportive. I was invited to sit with them. I met strangers who welcomed me as a friend.
Thursday: An acquaintance invited me to join her & her friends. I sat with children & women who served me food as together, we broke the fast of Ramadan in a San Diego Mosque. The women wore various veils: hijab, chador, even burka. There was one bare headed woman, me. Without a veil, I still felt included & although I was a bare headed stranger, I was welcomed as a friend.
Friday: I sat in a discussion, with a group of lesbians. I was a stranger but I was welcomed as a friend.
Saturday: I was a stranger alone. I got lost in Mexico after dark. In spite of my poor Spanish, several Mexican men went out of their way to help me find my way.
Saturday PM: Last night, I kept waking to the sound of cries. The cries that woke me were coming from my own throat as I dreamt that my friends were being murdered.
Sunday: I woke to the news of murder. The massacer of the friends I have yet to meet. 50 friends dead & more than 50 friends in critical condition who fight for their lives as I write this. They were murdered by a homophobic Muslim man (may his name be forgotten), who declared terrorist ties, inspiration, radicalization? He was full of hate. IMO self hate projected outward. According to neighbors, he often visited the apartment of gay men, in his building. IMO he feared his own attractions & impulses who his culture & ours, have taught him to hate. Had he felt acceptance & love from the dual cultures, Perhaps he would have projected love & acceptance instead of attempting to kill the part of himself that he hated by murdering my friends.

I will never meet the friends I had yet to meet. I have lost & the world has lost what my friends could have contributed to our lives. The discoveries, medical progress that may have extended our lives, relieved our pain; We will never be treated by the doctors who may have saved our lives in a car accident or other emergency; the poems & literature we will never read; the music we will never hear; the inspiration of kindness, support & acceptance prevalent in the gay community, that our young people will never experience; the hugs & love we will never feel; . Can we even begin to comprehend the number of trajectories of the lives that will be affected? Can we begin to comprehend the enormity of this loss to the entire world?

In my travels, a stranger is a friend I have yet to meet. I may travel alone but I’m seldom lonely. This loss is personal. Now I feel like a lonely stranger.
I am wiping tears from my eyes.
Regretfully written & posted By Joy de la Ren caringpro@gmail.com


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