Monday, April 19, 2010

Revised, updated version of "Dancing with Tina" right here, on LifeLube

Chicago's Terry Oldes has updated his "Dancing with Tina" memoir, and we have the full manuscript on LifeLube.

This book is a testament of such compassionate understanding. It neither glorifies nor plays down meth abuse. Instead, it is a matter of fact recount, neither too clinical nor too sympathetic, that tells it like it is with an integrity and honesty that make the story both more horrific and endearing to read. - Out in Perth

I danced with TINA for over a year. Sometimes to a soothing waltz, more often than not a frenzied Charleston that would‘ve made Fred and Ginger cross-eyed. A sensual tango occasionally unfolded with any number of dancers, but at the end of it all, I was left with the slow, side-to-side swaying of emptiness. Of course, TINA always led. All I could do was follow and hope to keep up with her steps.

This is basically a story of three things, co-dependency, coming out and drug abuse. By walking away from co-dependency, I realized I‘d never completely explored gay life, even though I‘d been out for sixteen years. I thought I‘d been around the block, but not really. The drug abuse was a crutch, helping my inhibitions disappear, bringing on all sorts of adventures. Eventually, I came to see that my co-dependency to the drug was as serious as that to people.

Let me make this clear…the Crystal Meth world depicted in this memoir is a sub-culture of the gay community in Chicago (and most other gay urban cities,) not a reflection of the gay community as a whole. One acquaintance of mine, a rather odd man obsessed with Bob Mackie, of all things, negatively made the comment I shouldn‘t be writing down these experiences, he thought they depicted all gay men in a bad light and shouldn‘t be discussed. Well, until something is faced head on with truth, it can‘t be dealt with or even understood. To hell with sweeping such things under the carpet and ignoring them…they exist.
Click here for the whole thing.

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