Flag F(l)ag Football

It’s hard to remember how annoyed I felt about that restless legs thing – I’ve been far too occupied and amused to bother thinking about foolish people lately. Picture this:

Boston, Chandler Inn, South End. Not the Hilton (where we stayed in DC), but clean and safe. Pop in at the bar downstairs for a drink after the Radcliffe conference on Thursday evening. Stop at the door. Ask doorman, “Are women allowed in here?” as my mind swam in some sort of anachronistic sense that in Boston they don’t let the women drink in public. “Sure,” he says, “more might come later.” Weird, but okay. Sit awkwardly at bar amongst sports fans and wonder what tenacity I possess to keep this up. Order a local beer (boring – Samuel Adams). Pull out shield of notebook and begin to take notes on travels thus far. Men ordering drinks next to me mostly don’t look at me, unless with a slight frown. Take note of stereotypical intonation patterns and abundance of white wines, light beers and martinis. Ooooooh, I get it (duh – bit slow). Confirm understanding that I’m in a gay bar with a nice young man, Anthony. He’s very warm and invites me to join them – I say I will in a moment after finishing a bit of writing. End up having a drink there with Anthony and other lovely guy, who then take pity on me and take me to a straight bar a block away, where we share quesadillas, Australian slang and many laughs before I climb into bed around 10:30pm. Noice.

Next night after the conference: in search of a light dinner and a drink. Revisit straight bar from night before, but too crowded to sit down, so move on. Head for Butcher Shop, recommended by random man on train earlier. No seats. Cross the street to Oysters, recommended by couple in first overcrowded bar as good venue next to the Butcher Shop. Get the only single seat at the bar. The menu has 40 regional choices of oysters. Ask for advice from obvious local next to me. Obvious local turns out to be Charlie, the owner of the restaurant as well as of the Butcher Shop across the street, as well as a fine dining establishment in Beacon Hill. Charlie and his friends graciously keep me company, ply me with expensive wine, insist on buying my dinner (beautiful oysters, calamari, buffalo shrimp, soft-shell crab, etc amen), and then whisk me off to meet his wife the fab chef in Beacon Hill over a Laphroaig. What a gentleman!! What a gorgeous way to spend my last night in Boston! I love Boston!! Thank you, Charlie!

Now in New York with my beloved and Graham and Janine having a lovely time in spite of the wet, chilly nor’easter. Bought a fleece, gloves and hat in Boston – lifesaving devices all. It’s real rain here too – like you really need an umbrella and everything. Crazy.

Restless Legs

Watching tv for the first time on this American dream, there was an ad. The ad was about “Restless Legs Syndrome”, but it was actually about selling a drug for this unpleasant new syndrome. Hm, since when are restless legs a problem? Don’t you just get up and go walkabout to sort that out? Aren’t restless legs something people have talked about forever, the long skinny things that take people places, take people away, make us wander, encourage us to wonder, get us going, grooving, living, loving… ?

What is it about this place that makes people want to medicate restlessness, rather than interrogate it and fulfill it? Why drugs rather than the proverbial hugs, or drugs rather than simply getting off your non-proverbial arse and WALKING, which is probably all those poor little legs want? Of course, that’s hard to do in ridiculous shoes, so maybe what we really need is a SENSIBLE SHOE REVOLUTION. I’m in. In fact, I’m already a card-carrying member of that movement.

So, Restless Legs. In America, you can take drugs to get over that. Me, I travel. Or I just walk or ride my bike at home. I don’t keep sitting and wondering what’s wrong. I suspect far too many people have forgotten about the natural world. The one in which it is OBVIOUS that if you sit and sit and sit allllll the time, you might (probably will) get RESTLESS LEGS.

So GET UP. Go for a WALK. Check out the WORLD around you. Use your body for what it was intended. Have more SEX. LIVE a little. Save drugs for plain fun (or not at all), but not to solve obvious problems. Duh. F*@#in’ Restless Legs. S E T T H E M F R E E. pax.