Anyone wanna take a guess?
Pirates in the late 1600's and 1700's had a form of accepted, institutionalized same-sex marriage referred to as matelotage. It appears that this institution actually arises from a similar concept within the French navy. Not so much the Brits, but it seems the French were chill and pirates were literally centuries ahead of their time on certain social matters.
Yesterday a friend of mine posted uncounted pictures and videos of his wedding.
He married a woman.
Now, obviously, clearly, what he does is his business and none of mine, but this came out of the blue. He and I met working for a big interpreting mega-corp. Yes, interpreting mega-corps are a thing. Anyway, we were coworkers. We got along like a house on fire because, a) we were both gay, and b) neither of us could be paid to kowtow to the strangely monastic mannerisms many civilian interpreters invoke. There's a lot of holier-than-thou-ing in the field and he and I thought it was just sorta' funny. I think it also came from the fact that he and I also shared a history of education in linguistics, above and beyond simply being bilingual and trained as interpreters, so many of our conversations delved into esoteric realms of language use where our coworkers found themselves out of their depths.
Anywho... He kinda' dropped of my radar for a while and suddenly last week starts posting pictures of himself in El Salvador with this lady I've never seen or heard of and now they are married.
Did I mention that he's gay?
Also important to note that in the Latino community, marrying someone to help them get citizenship in the U.S. is a pretty common occurrence. But he's not mentioned a thing to me, so I don't know if that's what's going on or if he genuinely thought "maybe I'll try batting for the other team for a while" or what. I don't know how to approach it. I don't trust myself to just say congrats and leave it at that. I know myself. I'll cave in to my own curiosity and find a way to segue to the question. Though the whole "married for citizenship" thing is common enough, I've never known someone who engaged in it. I don't know the protocol. And we're both legal interpreters who typically inhabit juridical realms and find ourselves constantly in the company of ADA's and magistrates, so the legality of the matter, and mentioning it under the pall of that legality, weighs heavy on me.
I feel a little lost.
It's not a big thing, but I guess big enough to mention here.
And if he did marry her to actually stay with her, as a gay person I feel a little... betrayed? I probably don't have a right to that feeling, but it's there all the same. I'm not a Vulcan.
I don't know. Whatever. Just weird.
I know it sucks to break up this way, but I feel like I've spent as much time with you as is healthy for either of us. I'm sure you feel it too. We're together for a few minutes and we get along fine and then we start talking about what we can do for each other and then, quicker than either of us is willing to admit, things become really demanding. And it's so confusing and exhausting because we keep talking in the language of capacity. We use words like "can" and "possible", but I think we can both hear that the tone changes to one of "must" and "imperative".
So, I'm going to go. Go do what you want. Don't wait on my permission or my approval, because you certainly never needed it. I'm going to do the same. If that sounds selfish, maybe it is, but try to remember that I want the same for you. I want you to be you and me to me. That's all.
I don't want to argue with you anymore because it's so pointless. I'm sure you agree there too.
I hope we can stay friends. I hope you don't feel ignored when I don't wait for your nod of approval. Just like you don't wait for mine. I don't need yours, and I shouldn't need yours, and you shouldn't need mine. That need is really unhealthy, don't you think?
I know this feels like it comes out of nowhere because lately we seem to be on the same page, agreeing in a lot of ways, but I'm sure you remember back when we didn't agree and how stressful that was, and I know there will come a time in the future when we don't agree again, and I don't want either of us to have the pressure of feeling like we need to be in lockstep. It's okay for us not to be. It really is.
I'm old enough to know what I want and pretty secure and okay in who I am. I hope you are too.
All the best,
In January of 2016 a fellah' posted the following in one of the Tempelhof chat-groups that I follow:
I work for Tempelhof Projekt GmbH, the state owned company currently running and managing the Tempelhof Central Airport building. I would like to collect memories and stories of people who used to work or were stationed at TCA. I am mainly looking for stories and information about the basketball arena, the bowling alley, the fitness room in building C level 5 and the air control center in building B level 6. I would like to put some stories and anecdotes into an article that I am currently working on.
Is anybody able to help me out with this endeavor? I would very much appreciate your support!
Thank you very much.
This was my reply:
In the attic space in H2 Long, on the slanted ceilings, there are murals and other artwork done by airmen from times past. No idea if they still exist, and I just never managed to snap a photo of them because the attic area was partially restricted. When I was there this is where the airmen stored their spare luggage and other items too large to keep in one's room. Just one person had the key to that attic area. I would often fake a reason to need to get to my luggage just to walk the long space, smoke a couple of cigarettes, and look at the artwork on the ceilings and walls. If there is any chance your position gives you access to this area, I for one would be eternally and profoundly grateful if you could snap some photos and perhaps post them here. I say "attic space", but it's really another complete floor to the building, and one is given the impression that at some point in the past it was used as living area. As many other members in this group will attest, Tempelhof, the building, the structure itself, left a lasting and deep impression on many of us.
Today he posted this:
Dear Reinaldo, I now finally managed to check out the attic space in H2long. It is currently a police facility, so I met up with the building manager of the police forces whom I have worked with for a few years now. She showed me around. Unfortunately, most of the painting seem to have disappeared. The few I found I attached here. It seems to me that the area being used for the "painter apprenticeship program" is the most likely explanation. I hope you remember the paintings that I posted and sorry that I don't have better news... Best, Christoph
(Don't expect to be amazed by the photos. That's not the point.)
The point is that up until today, these images were just foggy memories getting foggier every day. I used to go and spend time up there and smoke cigarettes and just enjoy the quiet (barracks are noisy places) and the feeling that no one else really knew about this place, not these days, not now, just in the past, way back then. It was calming. That desk, I sat at that desk, in that chair, when I was 19 and 20 years old (I'm 47 now) and smoked and thought about stories and the things that happened in this building all through the war and up to the present day.
The random act of kindness was simple. Someone whom I don't know cleared the smoke from my memories and let me have them clear and crisp from an ocean and a continent away, and, seemingly, from a vortex in time back to my youth. I'm a little bit in awe that someone would do this for me, for nothing. No lie, I cried when I saw these images.
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