I've already linked Armistead Maupin so I'm not going to give background here. Like many people al over the world, I fell in love with his Tale Of The City series, and in love with all of its characters. Maupin loves his characters, warts and all. In watching the documentary, I learned of his Southern conservative background, which only made me feel how much more compassionate he could be because of it, at least in his writing. He understands his characters, accepts their imperfections and makes us all love them, too. The early films of Ang Lee (The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman) have this similar character phenomenon. Many of the most successful American sit-coms do the same thing. You love the whole ensemble.
I was in teaching in Argentina in February of 2015 and reading Maupin's The Days of Anna Madrigal (2014) which was a continuation of one of the main characters, now aged 92. In the book, one gets to "catch up" with many of the characters of the series, and it's BIZARRE how real this could feel to me, even though it is fiction. Perhaps the reason I felt it so strongly was that I was also going through a similar experience by being in Argentina. The last time I had been there was in 1998-1999, making multiple trips there having met a man whom I deeply loved. Like many long distance relationships, it wasn't destined to work, but my memories from that time were life markers, and the people I met there were ones I would never forget. On the bus from Mar del Plata where I had been teaching to Beunos Aires, I was reading Maupin and thinking about how I was about to re-unite with that man, and many of the people I had met 17 years earlier.
I've noticed over the years that gay people manage to convert their former love relationships into friendships more often than hetero people. I've got my theories to explain it, but that is not really important. I have remained friends with virtually all of my lovers. Good friends. We can talk on the phone. We say "I love you" even now. It's AMAZING to me. It makes me so happy and also makes me want to cry. Maybe because it's a heart-bursting kind of feeling. And on that bus, going to Buenos Aires, reading Maupin and, (here comes the connection to the title of these two blogs) listening to the Beach Boys song God Only Knows over and over again, knowing I was on my way to re-unite with friends and lovers from 17 years earlier, I just cried and cried in my little seat there, watching the flat pampas passing by endlessly. This moment on the bus, and the stories all combining to make that moment are a huge part of this solo project for me.