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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Friday, September 14, 2007

A brief glimpse of a doomed face

A couple years ago an adjunct professor from my alma mater (who started teaching there a few years after I graduated) was shot and killed by a teen guy on the street. According to the boy the prof had driven up, waved the boy over, and solicited sex. So the boy (teenaged, but legal-ish) shot the prof, took his car and used his credit card to buy a bunch of junk. He got a couple decades in prison, but it was a relatively light sentence because apparently some Alabama judges think the gay panic defense doesn't seem like a crap excuse for murdering someone.

A friend of mine was really upset about the case because she knew the late prof; his death was bad enough, but she had known him as a clean-living straight guy, so the assertion that he was on the down low being splattered over the news really distressed her. I never knew the guy, but I did a Google search for his picture. I found a nice headshot, and I instantly thought "Oh, it's that guy!"

One night I was on my way to my car from a laundromat that's in a cruisy part of town, and a guy who looked like the late Prof pulled his sports car up by me and said "Hello." I didn't shoot him; I don't approve of cruising, but I don't approve of lots of stuff I do, so it's not like I'm gonna play judge, jury and executioner. Either he could tell I wasn't interested or he decided my tubby balding self wasn't up to snuff, so he said "Sorry" and drove away.

Maybe it's on my mind because last night I saw a movie (Teorema, or Theorem) which includes a character who cruises, and was directed by a guy (Pasolini) who was apparently killed by a guy he picked up while cruising. It's haunting to me that I may have caught a glimpse of someone's not-so-secret life shortly before it ended in stupid, pointless death.

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