Bobby and The Scorpio Club

This is my third post based on a Spoken Word performance with Harold Norse in 1986.

Click here for one and here for two.

This time Harold Norse Reads ‘I Am Not a Man’ and I read part of a monologue by ‘Bobby’ called The Scorpio Club.

Both pieces take up questions of masculinity.

‘I am not a man’ is 1970s gay liberation merged with the peace movement
and feminism.

The Scorpio Club is about a frustrated group of boys who want to be men in a culture that says they’re sick and deserve to die.

They turn their anger on Charleston’s formidable drag queens.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Portrait of Harold Norse by Jim Breeden

I Am Not a Man by Harold Norse

Digital photograph made in virtual reality to illustrate a teen aged boy named Bobby
El Club Escorpión

The Scorpio Club by Rob Goldstein

(C) Rob Goldstein 1986-2017 All Rights Reserved

Scan of the Cover of The Very Best of Cat Stevens
The Very Best of Cat Stevens

Oh Very Young Cat Stevens
Community Audio
Internet Archives

 

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Letters From Home: Bobby and Bob

A digitally painted Black and White photograph of a house in a housing project in Charleston South Carolina named for white supremacist, John C. Calhoun
This is a photo of a house in John C. Calhoun Homes, a housing project named for white supremacist, John C. Calhoun. I lived in this house when I was a kid.

 

In the 1980’s most of my alternates were as
active as they are now.

They used performance writing as a cover.

To other people they were characters.

Though our username was Rob Goldstein, by the late
1980’s the dominant alternate was Bob.

Bob carries anger and depression.

Bob was certain he’d die from AIDS.

In 1988, when Bob tested negative for HIV, his reaction
was fear and bitterness.

His function in life was dying.

Bob had already written his suicide as a character
named Loleeta, who is almost a separate alternate.

Bobby carries our hopes and dreams.

He can watch the family from inside and Bobby
was confused: if the body isn’t dying, why does Bob
want to die?

Bobby wrote a letter to Bob in late 1988 and started
a correspondence.

He had also placed a hidden penknife on Bob’s nightstand.

Bob found it and thought it was something he’d lost. He
also found the letter on his desk and thought he was
writing in his sleep.

As with the penknife that Bobby left out for Bob, I discovered a
large stash of writing in October of 2010.

I read the Letters from Home but didn’t understand what
they were about or how to edit them.

They make sense now.

I am the Narrator.  My job is to make sense of our story.

As strange as it sounds, I have a Father’s affection for Bobby.

He will always believe that God has work for us.

He will always do what he must to keep our faith alive.

#illustration #VirtualReality #secondlife, #virtualworlds
Letters From Home – Bobby

Letters From Home


Bob feels bad.

Diarrhea is caused by fear; he’s read that somewhere.

His tiny room stinks of sweat and stale cigarette smoke.

Oh, the danger of all that smoke and what it’s done to his lungs; oh, the danger that Xanax will do for him what Valium had done to Rosemary Clooney.

Morning for Bob is 4PM. He wakes and has his first cup of coffee. He wakes and has his second. He wakes and has his third.

Bob flops into bed and thinks. About bitches, boredom, and trendy
cynicism. About sensitive poets sucking their way to anonymous
fame.

A 4PM as black as night.

He takes three more Xanax and sleeps.

 

Photoshopped virtual phtograph of a male avar used as an illustration for Letters From Home
Bob flops into bed and thinks

He wakes and finds a penknife on top of a handwritten note:

Dear Bob,

I got this penknife from my Dad. I think it’s a treasure ’cause it’s full
of love. I want you to have it ’cause I love you. You might remember
me as a friend.

I think you need to start eating apples, dude.

That penknive is good at slicing apples.

Love Bobby.

Bob throws the penknife into the trash. Then he sits
at the laptop and writes:

Dear Bobby,

I’ve wanted a pen knife ever since I was that little fag.

At that time, I kept wax models of movie monsters on
my bed stand to protect me from the human monsters
outside.

Have you considered writing a real friend, someone
whose grief won’t spoil your soul?

Sincerely,

Bob.

 

virtual reality avataar that depicts and adolescent male of about 16 as an illustration for Letters from Home
I watch the birds or smell the ocean and think something wonderful has happened

Bobby’s letter is bright is full of reconciliation.

Dear Bob,

I’m at Battery Park where I go to when I want to figure things out.

I watch the  birds and smell the ocean and think something
wonderful has happened.

When I feel the rain it feels like everything magic!.

I guess I like to talk to older dudes because they’ve got things
more figured out.

I bet you have stuff figured out, right?

Yesterday Mom was drunk again.

Do you remember my Mom’s problem?

Do you remember we talked about how the real problem is she
thinks she don’t have one?

I try to help her but all she says is laters.

Love,

Bobby
4PM at on a hot September day at the Laundromat on 16th Street and Mission Street; a toddler screams and Bob’s skin crawls.  He takes a Xanax and writes:

Dear Bobby,

I’m may stuff a nerve wracking  baby into a hot drier; it sounds like your Mother needs to dry out too. Charleston must be a beautiful town; I’ve read that it reeks of Magnolia and racism. It’s nice that they let the poor visit parks like the Battery. Science will eventually discover that everything is magic. Why do you write to me? I’m a hateful
old man.

Sincerely,

Bob

In the early 1960’ss a bacteria infected the Spanish moss in Charleston. Bobby has watched the Spanish moss vanish from the tall oak trees that line Battery Park. An old woman shares a bag of peanuts with the squirrels. Bobby jots her down in his notebook. Then he writes another letter to Bob:

Dear Bob,

I just read a bunch of books about astrology. You’re a Scorpio. These books say Scorpio is a dark and passionate sign. They say we’re shamans and can turn dark into light.

I’m back at Battery Park and there’s a sweet old woman hand feeding a squirrel.

It’s hard to make a frightened creature trust you.

How come when I say I believe in magic adults say grow up..

 Do you still believe in magic?

Love,

Bobby

The cruising was vicious last night. Bob watched the boys dance at the End-Up and wondered what sign they were. He stumbled home at 2 and took enough Xanax for 12. He woke at 4 and had his third cup of coffee.

He wrote a reply to Bobby.

A Male avatar that depicts an older somehwat grimy man who is poor and possibly homeless

Dear Bobby,

We think of children in terms of potential.

When children believe in magic, we call them imaginative; when adults believe in magic, we call them devout.

Sincerely,

Bob

 

Virtual Reality Avatar used as an illustation for Letters from Home
Two women tweaked out on dexys had a fistfight today.

Two women had a fist fight in front of Bobby’s house that day.

They were tweaked on dexys.

They called each other names and chased each other around the courtyard.

Bobby watched from the porch and wrote Bob:

Dear Bob,

Sorry it took so long for me to write but I thought you didn’t want to hear from me no more. I thought you was being polite in that way adults are sometimes polite to kids by being rude.

Two women beat each other up in the Courtyard today. They called each other a whore- dyke-bitch and how one of them said ‘I can buy and sell you!’

I gotta laugh when poor folks say shit like that cause everyone knows we’re slaves.

Momma says they was fighting over a man.

Do queers in San Francisco fight over men in public?

We can’t even look at each other here.

I bet it’s nice to hold your boyfriend’s hand in public.

Bob, why are you so unhappy!

You sound like you got no hope.

Maybe your planets are outta wack!

Astrologers say that when your planets go outta whack things get crazy

Love and Friendship,

Bobby

Bob was too high to read all Bobby’s letter. He tossed it into the trash but decided to reply:

Dear Bobby,

I’m fucked up and listening to Aretha’s Gold.

I wanted sex but got high instead and decided to answer
your little letter.

Did you know a drag queen won the Barbie doll lookalike contest?

Is it a coincidence that when I toss an r into your name it’s Borbbie.

See-Saw—Life is like a see-saw baby .

What Aretha really wants is Respect.

But if a woman has to beg for this from men what about us poor faggots:
men
once removed?

There is nothing like cutting to make me feel like one of God’s hated children, Borbbie.

I flop on my bed, a bloody wrist draped over my eyes.

I imagine my sufferings are  those of a great artist; a dying drama queen.

One day you’ll grow up to know how this feels.

Bob

Bobby read Bob’s letter and hid it with the rest.  He knew he had to do something.

Dear Bob,

When I was little I believed in ghosts.

I thought we had the bones of an old woman stashed in the attic.

One day I threw a chewed up old chicken bone up there and begged Daddy to go up  and look.

He said it was nothing but a chewed up old chicken bone but I knew it was the leg of that old woman.

When I was little, I slept with a wax devil’s head on one side of my bed and a picture of Jesus on the other side; I wanted to get in good with both.

When I was little, I opened a medical book backwards and saw pictures of a baby shrink down to a dot. It was years before I figured out that ain’t how folks die.

I tell you these stories to remind you of the magic, to make you remember faith because faith and faith in God’s magic is all we got.

I know what a drama queen is and sometimes they die for attention.

I can’t let you kill us.

You gotta stop dying.

You gotta go away.

Love,

Bobby

 

Avatar portrait that represents a character in the blog post, Letters from Home
Portrait of Matthew, born,  January, 1989.

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2016 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

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Dissociative Identity Disorder and Reality Testing

Real life and Virtual collage of avatar and people to represent the identity fragmentation of dissociative identity disorder
The Reality Test

What is REALITY TESTING?

Psychiatry defines reality testing as follows: Any means by which an individual is able to clearly asses his or her limitations as they relate to biological, physiological, social or environmental realities, or the objective evaluation of sensory impressions, thus allowing the person to distinguish between the internal and external world and between fantasy and reality.

I cannot say this with authority but I suspect that all severe mental illnesses affect the ability to correctly assess ones interactions with others.

Though I rarely say this outright; I believe that my alternates are real.

I have to force myself to think of myself as  ‘I’ and I only say “I” when discussing myself as separate from the people we call our ‘alternates’.

When I am “the self”  I initially have vague memories of what happened before
I took over but they quickly fade

My compromised reality testing also compromises my ability to protect myself from exploitation.

I often feel like a child in a world of adults.

Always lost…

Always waiting…

Below is a video clip that best illustrates how
Dissociative Identity Disorder compromises
reality testing.

This is an excerpt from an interview with Kim Noble.

Kim Noble is a British artist and Mother who has over 20 distinct personalities. This is an interview with an alternate that is a 21 Year old Gay Man. On the couch next to Kim is her daughter. The alternate thinks that the daughter is the daughter of a friend.

Meet the Mother with 20 Personalities

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Tips for Marketing on Social Media.

This is solid advice for blogging in General.

Live...Love...Share!!!

“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”

― Brian SolisEngage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web

 

I find the quote by Brian Solis regarding social media to be relevant on so many levels. Social media managers, marketers, gurus and enthusiasts can attest to the validity of the citation. When used a user sets out to rally others in hopes to gain customers, support their cause or to spread information; carried out the correct way they will grab the attention of many. Are you attempting to inspire a movement? Are you confused about how to market your brand? My advice to you is to keep reading. This post will briefly unveil…

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