From the land of the missing

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written in my blog (again!). There’s a reason for that.

Observant readers will note that there was a post on April 23rd that was up for around 36 hours and then deleted. Unfortunately, when I deleted the post, I REALLY deleted it and I can’t get it back. It’s a shame, because it was brilliant. It was a tirade about Reality TV, more specifically the cast of idiots on the current edition of Survivor. I’ve watched a couple of shows since, and I can tell you, they’re still a cast of idiots.

So why the deleted post. Here’s the deal. On April 25th, I received a call from a reality television show production company. A perky young casting director was excited to tell me that I had made it to the semi-finals of becoming a cast member on a reality TV show that is scheduled to air this summer. I really don’t know if I can say the name of the reality show because I can’t remember what I signed when I submitted my tape, and being the paranoid boy that I am, I’m just going to hold off on naming the show until it starts.

I had submitted two applications over the past six months. Last September I submitted a tape for this particular show, and then in January, I applied for Survivor 7. Since I haven’t heard anything from the folks at Survivor, I assume that they have no interest in me. My deleted blog entry talked about how if I ever got a response to either of my applications, I was gleefully going to tell them a resounding “NO”, I’m not interested. And quite frankly, that’s how I really felt. And no, I wasn’t a man scorned because they didn’t pick me.

So then I got this call on April 25th. Crow anyone? My heart jumped into my throat, a flock of butterflies attacked my stomach and I was EXCITED, I had made it to the semi-finals. While this was happening, Earl and I were on our way to suburban Syracuse to look at a new house. Talk about emotion overload.

So this perky casting director began to tell me what I needed to do to get ready for the interview that was to be taped in Boston on May 9 at 11:00 a.m. (which, by the way, happens to be right now as I type this entry). We were to become the best of friends over the next two weeks, get to know each other really well so that I would feel really comfortable during the interview and could be myself. But first and foremost, I couldn’t tell ANYONE, and that meant ANYONE that I was going to be on the show. Something about the National Enquirer finding out and printing a story or something and then I would be disqualified. So that night I did some research on the internet. I read the accounts of a couple of people who had made it to this show, and what they went through. The funny thing was, while they were told that they couldn’t tell anyone, they did tell their spouse. So the next day, I called the casting director and asked about telling Earl. Her response was something like – Well, you and Earl have been together for a long time (seven years I reminded her) and you’re not really married (because it’s not allowed where I live I reminded her) but usually we’d tell guys they can tell their wives…. it’s up to you.

You know, that didn’t sit quite right with me. Earl and I have often been accused of being inseparable. I rarely do anything without him and vice-versa. We’re not just lovers, we’re best friends. We enjoy each other’s company. We experience life together. The two of us make a sum of one. That’s the way we operate. And while I had his blessing to be on this reality show and possibly be away for a couple of months, I wanted him to be a part of it. I didn’t want to be all excited about this alone.

So I exchanged further niceties and blah blah blahs with the casting director, in which she told me about the virtues of a pedicure (not my bag quite frankly – just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I like pedicures) and she would send my package to me and we’d get this underway.

So on Tuesday, the 29th the FedEx didn’t arrive and I touched base with her once again, but we didn’t really chat it up a lot. And then on May 1st she called and said the package would be here on Friday, Saturday at the latest and she confirmed May 9, 11:00 a.m. in Boston. (By the way, it’s currently May 9 at 11:02 and look where I am).

I did tell Earl by the way. Actually, I lied to her on the initial call when she asked if I was alone. I wasn’t, Earl and I were on our way to looking at the house, and he was sitting next to me. So he knew about it the whole time.

So I thought about it for a couple of days. Did I really want to be perceived as a shallow reality TV show contestant? Did I want to be recognized in the mall as “the gay guy from Upstate N.Y. who made an idiot of himself on TV” or “Another fool going for his 15 minutes of fame”? For the record, I had my 15 minutes of fame, locally anyways, as “J.P. Marks” Rock 107, Hot 107, Fun 107 and Wow-FM. I’d been through the entertainment horseshit as the program director of Top 40 Wow-FM. (Everyone is your best friend until you no longer fulfill a need of theirs). Did I want to jump back into that world again?

The answer is NO. So on Saturday, May 3, I called the perky casting director. I got her answering machine so I left a polite message saying, no, I’m not interested in going any further, thank you for the consideration, but I have personal obligations to fulfill, charity bike rides to go on and personal goals to be accomplished. Consider me withdrawn.

I’ve never felt better.

Honestly, I couldn’t fathom the thought of leaving Earl for the summer. I couldn’t screw the company I work for by giving them less than a week’s notice and taking off for who knows how long. I couldn’t lie to the faces of my family, friends and co-workers when asked where I was today.

Am I a coward? Hardly. Am I foolish? Maybe. Am I being true to myself? You betcha.

I had originally planned for May 8th and 9th to be an overnight bike ride to the 1000 Islands. Yesterday, I made the trip to Selkirk Shores State Park. After 75 miles (and one flat tire) I got there around 4:00 and set up camp. I ate a little supper and then got a phone call on my cell phone. Earl was en route to bring me some food and visit. Good thing – the temperature dropped into the mid 40s and I was freezing my ass off. We walked around a bit, and then I decided to head home. Oh well. At least I made the ride I meant to accomplish.

Tomorrow is a training ride for The Ride For Missing Children. I need today to rest my knee which is kind of sore today. So I’m taking it easy. And thinking about how great life really is.

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