Saturday, October 31, 2015

Size Queen


Sexy Policeman


Scout


Robin


Ball Pit


Batman and Robin


Sexy costume.


Pikachu


Gold


Cute nerd.


Home from the crusade.


He can depress mine anytime he likes.


Ethel


Don't call him little.


I guess they like gladiator movies.


Captain America


He'll suck you dry!


Happy Halloween







Friday, October 30, 2015

Mitchell Hope


Sulevan Araujo


Fabian Hambüchen and Jonathan Horton


by Johnny Valverde


Don't shut me out, baby.


Olly Alexander and Neil Amin-Smith


Big & Little


Stephen K.


Vintage


Spock


by Paul Freeman


Sean O'Pry


Mark Patton


Kisses


Kisses


Together


I like Halloween

One of the things I like about Halloween is that it is overtly pagan. It has not been retrofitted or appropriated by Christianity. That isn’t to say I’m a pagan. I don’t see anything particularly wrong with being pagan. It’s just not my identity. But I know that my ancestors were, and although we might not know in great detail what they believed, we know that they did have their own ideas and beliefs before Christianity showed up. Those beliefs meant something to them. It helped them cope with life. I like acknowledging that, and I like how not every aspect of their pre-Christian existence has been erased.

I like that Halloween is kind of dark and creepy. I spent most of my life in West Virginia, and that state has four distinct seasons. I live in the Central Valley of California now, and yesterday, I went to the store wearing shorts and a t-shirt even though it’s almost November. But in West Virginia, it’s starting to get cold and you know it’s only going to get colder. The vegetable gardens are gone, the apples have been picked, and you know the earth isn’t going to give you much until spring. That had to be a scary time for our ancestors. No wonder they would focus on death and their fear of being haunted this time of year. They were living close to the edge, and they must have wondered if they would make it until spring.

I have never liked winter, but the weather this time of year in West Virginia is rather pleasant. It’s not very cold yet, and the heat and humidity of summer are gone. The memory of summer still lingers, so it’s nice to be able to go outside wearing a light jacket or sweater and to be comfortable for hours, so long as it isn’t raining. And the colors… Oh, my God, the colors. It’s a special time of year in West Virginia.

Many people think the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving, but in my mind, I’ve always pushed that back to Halloween. Once you get to Halloween, it’s only a few weeks to Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is another holiday that I associate with fall colors, cool but pleasant weather and ancestors. Maybe more recent ancestors as opposed to ancient and pagan ones, but still I think of those who came before me, those whose existence gave rise to my existence.

Halloween might have started as a way to acknowledge your fears, but here in the U.S., it has taken on some aspects of Pride. On Halloween, you can shed expectations, including gender expectations, and express some part of yourself that you usually keep hidden in a way that’s playful and funny. I like that. I like Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Paradise on a Bus

After my father had died in May 2007, I lived in our house in Fayetteville by myself for three months. I don’t drive, so I started using a county bus to get back and forth to the Super Wal-Mart on the highway. Not many used this bus. I’m not sure how many were even aware that Fayette County had such a bus. Those who did use it tended to be older.

One day in August, I took the bus back to Fayetteville after grocery shopping at the nearby Wal-Mart. There were only two other passengers on board, a man and a woman. They were both in their mid to late 70s. They sat on opposite sides of the bus, so they clearly were not together. They didn’t seem to know each other, and I didn’t know them.
 
For a couple of minutes, we drove along in silence. Then the man and woman began talking about religion. I could tell almost immediately that they were not of the same opinion, and I hoped they would just drop it so we could all go home in peace. But they didn’t drop it. They both pressed the issue. The man was sure that the righteous would be rewarded by being sent to heaven. The woman was convinced that the righteous would be resurrected so they may enjoy a paradise on earth.

Both stated their beliefs as if they were absolute and undisputed facts, and they were clearly annoying the hell out of each other. They began spewing Bible quotes at one another like poison darts. Each quote was delivered as if it were the final word and their opponent’s argument had surely been utterly and completely refuted. It went back and forth like this, and their voices became louder and more heated. Eventually, they became overtly abusive. They called one another names like “fool” and “idiot.”

I began to fear they might actually get into a fight. The bus driver was a soft spoken, mild mannered man, and when I looked at him, I noticed that he, too, seemed worried that the situation was getting out of control.

When the bus came to a stop across from the Court House, the elderly man stood to get off. He and the gray-haired lady exchanged insults one last time for good measure, and the man was suddenly gone.

Arthur Sales


Sam Callahan


George Blaxall


Dustin McNeer


Anthony Gordon


Pleasure Craft


Acauã Diniz


Hard Hat


James Dean and Sal Mineo


by Matt Lambert