In 1981, I was 28 and someone named, ‘Bob’.
I lived in Honolulu, worked as a travel agent and did impulsive things
like fly to Manhattan for the weekend to visit my Grandmother.
I had a partner, we met eight years earlier in Connecticut; he worked
for American Airlines.
I had bouts of what I called ‘depression’ but life was mostly fun, I was
young and belonged to Honolulu’s community of politically active gay
1981 ended with the late October death of my Grandmother and the
early December homicide of my Mother.
I won’t go into the details of my Mother’s death but I was horrified.
I flew to South Carolina for her funeral, which was when I learned my
Mother was homeless.
Filled with guilt and shame; I returned to Honolulu.
No one knew how to comfort me, no psychiatrist knew how to treat me,
and I didn’t know how to cope.
I told my partner I no longer loved him and asked him to move out.
I was too stunned to grieve so I worked out at the gym all day for nights
of dancing and sex.
In January of 1982, I had episodes of waking up on the psychiatric unit of
Queens Hospital without knowing why I was there; by February of 82, I was
unable to work.
I had taken out private Disability Insurance so I still had an income.
Enter Scott Bader.
Scott was a successful young artist who needed a roommate; he had a posh
two-bedroom apartment in the gay ghetto of Waikiki.
I fell in love with the track lighting and moved in immediately.
Scott’s discipline as an artist inspired me to return to writing.
Through Scott, I met other artists and writers in Honolulu’s gay community.
I was a mess, but I was a more focused mess and some of my poetry was
published in the local bar rags.
In November of 1982, Scott got a professional invitation to move to San Francisco.
Scott knew I wanted to go back to the mainland so he invited me to go join him.
By December of 1982, I lived in San Francisco and worked as a Nautilus Instructor at a Gym in the Castro District.
I was becoming someone named, ‘Rob’.
Scott and I drifted apart as we pursued our separate goals.
A box of my journals started as a boy wound up in Los Angeles
during the move and I never got them back.
I assumed they became trash.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from Scott Bader who asked if I wanted
sketches he said were mine.
I was shocked; Scott was alive and had sketches from my lost journals.
An elderly man I used to visit when I was 17 gave me eleven sketches from
the late 1940’s, I don’t remember why.
Scott sent scans of the sketches as well as the scan of a poem I wrote on Thanksgiving Day, 1978.
I went home that day and wrote this poem, which I typed up in 1982 and
gave to Scott.
The last thing Scott sent was a a copy of a sketch he did while I was ‘sacked out’ on the couch of our apartment in Waikiki.
Scott called it, ‘Sleeping Poet’
Scott Bader is a graphic artist and illustrator who lives
in Vancouver, B.C. where he works in television and
His motto is, “Disregard Alien Orders”
(c) Rob Goldstein 2018
“Sleeping Poet” (c) Scott Bader