I have found writing this blog almost impossible these past few months. Impossible to write the first line. I could say, ‘Margate, I’m obsessed with you.’ Or, ‘The lilacs fill the air with a sweet and heavy scent.’ I could tell you some unrelated facts, like I reported some fool to the police for a vile hate crime. Or, I have my own cup at the deli or… I’m so tired I can scarcely get through the day. My body failing, spinning out of control, my voice slurring, my head aching, my memory shot to pieces.
I wrote my will. I left everything to one person. I’m glad it’s done.
The Little Dog shivers then ravenously eats. He has a chewable heart pill at morning and dusk. He sleeps close to my leg. I spend too much time looking at my phone. Dude smells pungent… sweet and sour. I bathed him today. The water was cold. It wasn’t Malibu grooming. Even though we have hot, sunny days it hardly compares to California. He looks forlornly up at me. His perky ears all bent and fragile.
The Ross on Wye project is frustrating yet rewarding. I should have ignored the neighbours and just gotten on with the project. An exercise in Little England. Foolishly thought I should reach out to them, reach out to the fearful white people who live on the hill. The sort of people who believe everything they read on the internet. The sort of people who believe Jeremy Corbyn can’t win an election.
I’m living in a country where the press has all but given up telling the truth. Lies splashed over the broadsheets. The BBC, once believed unquestionably, now feeds off the rotting carcass of what was its esteemed impartiality. The stench is difficult to ignore.
Fake anti-Semitism and other cruel lies beset the leader of the Labour Party. Right wing jews weaponizing anti-Semitism before the local elections now gone quiet. And all the while I wonder why so many hate telling the truth about LGBT people in the concentration camps. It’s a most cruel kind of holocaust denial. They deny our truth.
Rudolf Brazda died in 2011. We was the last man alive to have worn the pink triangle. The pink triangle was the crude badge gay men were forced to wear in the concentration camps differentiating us from other inmates. Visible from long distances the pink triangle was used as target practice by the Nazis. LGBT inmates, considered sex criminals, were also murdered by their fellow jewish inmates. LGBT people experienced terrible persecution from the jews in the camps.
Remember these two facts (seldom admitted by Zionists) about our LGBT history.
Firstly, when we arrived at the concentration camps, LGBT people were considered nonces, disgusting sex offenders and treated as pedophiles are treated today in jails all over the world… like useless scum. Secondly, when the camps were liberated by the American and the British armed forces LGBT, inmates were not allowed to leave. They were taken from the camps directly to jail.
According to German LGBT scholar Rüdiger Lautmann gay prisoners in the camp were abused and tormented not only by guards but also by other prisoners. “There was a hierarchy, from strongest to weakest,” Pierre explains. “There was no doubt that the weakest in the camps were the homosexuals, all the way on the bottom.”
When I mentioned these facts last Holocaust Memorial Day my jewish friends were outraged. They hate being reminded of these pertinent truths. They are deeply offended when gay people remind the world of our history of persecution.
Another month has passed since I last wrote.
Since then part of The Goods Shed in Canterbury burned down, my friend Susanna valiantly opening the doors and serving food the day after. M and B have gone to France leaving me alone in their house. I have filled the fridge with food. My trips to the hospital are frequent but manageable. The Margate project inches toward completion, the Ross house stalls then splutters into gear.
My routine is unshakable. I sit with the others outside the Deli on Harbour Street but only when the bitter tradesman have gone to toil. I walk the dogs on West Beech then feed them raw chicken and a little kibble. I spend a lot of time with PG and her grown up children. Last weekend we explored the magnificent gardens at Great Dixter then ate ice cream in Hastings. Every so often I drive on my own to Ross and look at the land, the undergrowth is relentless and desperate to once again consume the old stone threshing barn even the neighbours didn’t know existed.
Occasionally I dip into my old LA life and endure meetings in London with producers. Rather surprisingly I’ve been asked to direct a movie in January. We will see how that pans out. My mind is open to failure and success… if they support me I might very well make a good job of it. We sit on the roof of that club in Shoreditch and watch trim 30 something male executives dip in and out of the swimming pool. Their bodies glistening, perfectly groomed.
After a few weeks of being home in Whitstable my relations with old friends, grown frail by distance and insecurity, have strengthened and renewed. Yet, I was recently forced to acknowledge an uncomfortable truth. Even though I lived and worked in the USA for well over a decade and made friends with those immediately in my orbit… I never cared for any of them. Most of them were simply there. I didn’t care for their well-being. Nobody really cares for their neighbour in the USA. Not like we do for the folk I have known nearly 60 years. I really care about Sue at The Tea Rooms and Ronnie saving me from a parking ticket. I love walking to The Battery and drinking tea with Marilyn and John. I am passionate about Marianne, Bob and their children. We sat beside the cherry tree remembering their son Richard who vanished from the Dover/Calais ferry and is presumed dead.
Whoever it is, however fractious they are… whatever they may have said in the past, I feel a love for them that was absent from my life in the USA. I am so grateful for all of them. I am grateful for their love and their hate because that’s what LIFE is all about… a life lived fully and squarely on life’s terms.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.