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Tuesday, 17 March 2015 03:39

1972-1. Living With Straight Men on 18th

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After Kenny's death, Jim continued to smoke pcp, or what was also called angel dust, every day before he left for work as an orderly at San Francisco General. I spent many of my days staying at home. I didn't like the effects of pcp at all. I didn't like the effects on him either. It seemed to make him a drooling dullard. I have no clue as to how he was actually doing his job at the hospital as there were times that he could barely put a sentence together at hom. 

After we moved back to 14th Street from Shotwell, it seemed like we were fighting more often too. I couldn't find a job and all the financial responsibility was fallling on Jim. He was increasingly depressed. I remember him telling me that he dreamed that he committed suicide by hanging himself. I had seen the movie "Boys in the Band" previously and it didn't really have much effect on me one way or the other, but when Jim saw it, he seemed to sink even deeper into his depression.

Throughout our relationship. we had promiscuous sex with other men. There were times that we would meet someone and bring them home together and have a three way. This was all really a part of the "free love" mentality of the hippie movement and almost celebretory gay liberation. As much as we all wanted to be open minded and free, we were still human and still suffered the human and especially youthful foibles of insecurity, possessiveness, and jealousy. We were inexperienced with the use of alcohol and overdid that along with the sex and other substances. It all became volatile mixture and eventually the fights between Jim and I became more hurtful and harder to recover from emotionally. 

We were drifting apart. I was focused on trying to take classes at City College and find work while having absolutely no skills or education, while Jim only wanted to be high on pcp. I don't remember the fight, but there must have been one. When I first moved out, I believe I stayed with a woman named Gloria and her boyfriend and others that lived out on Balboa in the avenues, a few blocks from Ocean Beach. I wish I remembered more details about her, as I think we were actually pretty good friends for me to have forgotten so much about her and others in that house. I know she was a mutual friend of Bob Lamb, a guy that Mary and Louse and others all knew from our San Diego days. He was now paralyzed from the waist down which I understood was from swimming in polluted water. I remember we all took a trip up to Geyserville and sat in the ruins of some old hot springs resort there. 

I stayed with Gloria for a week or two while I looked for somewher else to live. I finally found a room that I could rent in an apartment on 18th and Dolores with two straight men that were strangers to me. I don't remember what led me to that apartment, but I don't think I stayed there very long. 18th

I was going around with about a quarter in my pocket and eating at the missions. I sold my body to buy macoroni and cheese and a few other items. Mary visited me at this apartment and went to the Missions with me. She wasn't any better off than I was. I went to the employment office almost daily. Mary and I worked at a phone bank temporarily near Union Square. I worked for a business that was putting terrariums together for a few days and the owner tried to get away without paying me and I had to have the employment office intervene to get my money. I really didn't have any marketable job skills. One day, while at the employment office, I did notice a flyer that was advertising a training program to work with psychiatric patients and the developmentally disabled. The flyer said that you could get paid while going through the training program. 

The two guys I was living with would talk about bringing women home for sex and one would watch from behind sliding doors without the women being aware. They also boasted of setting a car on fire along Dolores Street. I didn't like them at all and kept to myself as much as possible. I essentually stayed in my room. 

After a brief time, I found another room to rent in another house with some other strangers. It was about a block away from the freeway near San Francisco General Hospital. It was while I was there that I received the suicide note from Jim. When I got the note, I think I tried calling him but then went to see Louise. She had also received a similar note. No one ever heard from him again. I don't know what exactly happened and I had dreams for years that I ran into Jim and it was all a hoax. Some thirty years later, his brother Lee contacted me and asked if I had known what has happened to Jim and of course I didn't know anything and it gave me some closure knowing for sure that he had not just gone back to Green Bay. Lee and I believe that he probably jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and we had discussed going to the coroners office to see if we could see John Doe photos from that time but we never did. 

I quickly left San Francisco at that point. I left everything I had at the place I had just moved to and Mary was kind enough to go get it and put it in storage. I went back to Washington State.

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