The Sleeping Poet

Art by Rob Goldstein

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…

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