…running away with me

(1)

One night when Harry was five, he lapsed into the unhurried
sleep of the child and had a dream.

A battalion of gorgeously mutilated angels gathered
around Harry and sang in unison:

“He’s done it to you again!”

“Done what?” asked Harry.

But that was the end of the dream.

For the rest of his life, Harry had variations of this dream.

In one dream, Harry is an angel taunting the child, Harry.

Thus from the age of five, Harry began a hunt for God and to
his dismay, Harry found him everywhere.

(c) Rob Goldstein 1992
Image (c) Rob Goldstein 2014

The Sleeping Poet

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
men.

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.

A sketch in the manner of Cocteu of a young man with thick hair
Lad with Blades of Hair, 1947

Scott sent scans of the sketches as well as the scan of a poem I wrote on Thanksgiving Day, 1978.

That Thanksgiving I worked a shift at the now-defunct Yale Psychiatric
Institute
 
in New Haven, Ct.

I went home that day and wrote this poem, which I typed up in 1982 and
gave to Scott.

A scan of a 1978 poem written by Rob Goldstein
Thanksgiving, 1978

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’

A sketch of Rob Goldstein by Scott Bader
Sleeping Poet by Scott Bader

 

Scott Bader is a graphic artist and illustrator who lives
in Vancouver, B.C. where he works in television and
film.

His motto is, “Disregard Alien Orders”

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2018

“Sleeping Poet” (c) Scott Bader

There are Times When One Must Change One’s Story

This is how life is when you feel weak and helpless:

You lay down and die or you puff yourself up until you
look so big everyone stays away.

But they stare.

One day the puff goes out and you think that maybe you don’t
need it: that there is no one to blame, there is no one to hate.

Bad things happened to me and they still happen; bad things will
happen to other people long after I’ve died.

Weak minds and political opportunists abuse religion; they always
have, and they always will.

All political creeds are open to corruption; all economic systems are open
to abuse, the poor will always be their own worst enemies because violent
poverty causes intense identification with the oppressor.

How does one think ones way out of the hateful violence inflicted by
one’s own people?

Somehow, I’ve thought my way out, but it’s taken most of my life.

My puff is gone.

I don’t need to explain myself, to apologize,  or make myself livid with rage.

I don’t need to incite power struggles.

Not today.

Power struggles are about feeling powerless; the need to fight small battles
is about the need for distraction.

No puff…

No anger.

“Am I dead?”

“No, not dead.”

I’ve never felt more certain of my worth as a person, never more secure
with myself.

Myself.

My. Self.

The puff is gone and in its place I think I see a person; a man whose hellish
past no longer defines who he is or how he will live the rest of his life.

I think I can see my self.

Now everything is new.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2018

First published Sep 25, 2015
Revised May 25, 2018

Let’s do the Raccoon

Teagan and I are hard at work on this week’s Jazz Wednesdays which means
I have to take a short break from Art by Rob Goldstein to make illustrations.

Several of Teagan’s readers have asked how I make the illustrations for Hullaba Lulu, so here’s a quick explanation: to make these illustrations I use two gaming computers and a virtual reality platform.

Each virtual photo shoot takes about six hours and I usually have to do two shoots to get the images I want.

I use four to six avatars per shoot.

Each avatar must be dressed, posed, and positioned, and getting this right
takes total concentration.

The sets I use must be built or purchased, and modified and sometimes
re-textured.

I take at least five to six gigabytes of high-resolution bitmap files per shoot.

Post-processing also takes concentration because the avatars are usually
distorted in subtle ways, so in that sense I use Photoshop to redraw the scene.

An illustration for Hullaba Lulu made in virtual reality, the image is of a male avatar holding a trumpet to represent the character of valentino
Valentino

This short video is composed of extra shots from the last six shoots for Hullaba Lulu.

Hullaba Lulu – Chapter 1

Hullaba Lulu – Chapter 2

Hullaba Lulu – Chapter 3

Hullaba Lulu – Chapter 4

Hullaba Lulu- Chapter 5.1

Hullaba Lulu – Chapter 5.2

Hullaba Lulu – Chapter 6

Hullaba Lulu – Chapter 7

A Hullaba Lulu Extra

Hullaba Lulu – Chapter 8

Hullaba Hodgepodge

Hullaba Lulu Dreams

Hullaba Lulu Chapter 9.1

Hullaba Lulu Chapter  9.2

Hullaba Lulu Chapter 9.3

 

I have to go see a man about a dog.

Doin the Raccoon by Rudy Vallee, 1928
Graphics and video by Rob Goldstein (c) 2018