Saul with a "c", Caul
We proceeded to drive quite a distance thru fields and sparsely populated country before finally coming into a quaint little town boasting one rotary and a couple of tree-lined streets lined with little businesses & buildings – including a coffeehouse! At the far end of town, a huge modern library sat facing an empty park & a few warehouse-type structures. Parking the truck strategically so any street traffic would get a great view, we walked across the vast empty parking lots into the library. Several army-type mostly white males were hanging about the wide sweeping entrance to the building but seemingly took no notice of us.
Inside the frigid library, we were informed that if we didn’t have a local library card we couldn’t get on-line unless we purchased a $5.00 pass that was good for a week or two. grrrrrr. But we could check our email for 15 minutes free, which we did. Of course then we immediately snuck on-line and over-stayed our welcome while worried but polite librarians pacing back and forth, peering over our shoulders pointedly glanced at their wrists or the huge wall clock hanging above the mystery section until another lone reader would wonder in and consume their attention for the moment.
These same worried but polite librarians had no idea when voter registration deadline was - they thought it was yesterday but it could be today.....a young african american womon passing by told us it definitely was yesterday - it was too late to register anyone else, even someone who really wanted to vote. now, what is this, in this country? why can't people register right down to the last moment? especially in this hi-tech life we have.
Driving back thru downtown, we once again approached the coffeehouse. This time the folks sitting out front waved & hollered as we passed them, hunting for a park. We turned around & parked across the street right in front of a storefront that turned out to be the fayetteville women’s center, which unfortunately was closed that day! Crossing the street, a hand-full of gay men occupying one of the tables cheered our approach. Not only had we found the wimmin’s center, but we found the gay stomping grounds too! The movie house next to the coffee shop advertised a couple of gay movies, one including about something in ‘pink’ which we immediately identified with!
These men were open and eager to talk with us, expressing their pleasure at witnessing the sense & consciousness of my truck in the middle of this southern predominantly white straight & military town. We found out all too soon that the one African American male among the group, Mr. Saul with a c, Caul, loved president bush. At first I was convinced he was doing the ‘you-stupid-white-womon-who-doesn’t-know-there’s-not-a-black-person-left-in-this-country-who-could-possibly-be-so-ignorant-as-to-support-bush’ routine that I’ve experienced a few times cross country from men responding to my ‘are you gonna help pink slip bush?’ These were the men who’d give me that withering ‘what, do i look white & rich to you?’ glance as they’d scornfully profess their love for the great white massah.
Caul, who looked neither white, rich but comfortable & gay, continued to profess his attraction to bush, getting as dreamy-eyed as a straight boy being patted on the head by a naked brittney spears. He began making all those gay boy lewd gestures, panting at the thought of bush in tight jeans & cowboy boots. I tend to take all conversations seriously, but i couldn’t take caul seriously. Afterall, here he was a brother, african-american & gay, plumped down in the middle of hostile straight white territory among white gay friends yet chosing to lust over & profess love for the enemy, a REAL man.
I do not profess to understand gay men’s sexuality but I do understand there are voters who base their decision to vote for a candidate on sex appeal. I heard some other voters across the country say they don’t like kerry for some illusive reason making him just dull & not appealing – while the mean, hateful, bigoted spirit of bush gives him that edgy, hard masculine glint attractive to these voters. okay.
And seemingly attractive to Caul. When I asked Caul about bush’s record on gays, blacks, iraq, jobs, healthcare – all the issues, not the physicality I do not profess to understand, Caul admits ‘he has issues’ sic w/the prez. He admits these issues several times, as he also says he understands my position – a statement that feels as old and warn as the sun setting on Caul’s face. And very, very sad.
We discussed Caul’s position for so long & thoroughly, he felt he had to reassure me he was an intelligent man. yet when I asked him what was intelligent about supporting a man who not only hated him (for several obvious reasons) but who hated iraqi’s and the rest of common folks as well & was intent on at least depriving us if not destroying us, he could only admit he does have issues with the prez!
I still don’t know for sure if Caul was a strong bush supporter as he professed to be or if maybe he was trying to hurt the white men sharing the table w/him – men who were supposed to be his comrades but who perhaps had failed him thru their racism or maybe thru love. I’m sure Caul’s attracted to bush – go figure – or he wants his peers to think so, and I’m sure he wanted to shock me. He even asked me as I was fixing to leave, if I was shocked by his position. I told him sadly, not shocked, hurt maybe for I had come into a hostile town reeking of bigotry, conservatism & contempt and thought I’d found an ally on this little corner at this one table in front of the espresso shop.
So now i've met the statistic, the one gay, african-american male in a gazillion that supports bush. peace, sam