O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree How lovely are thy branches…
…or so the song goes. I decided to take the advice of Patrick, VRC-Do You!, and Chris and put up some small Christmas decorations. It got a small artificial tree. I tried a real tree a few years ago. A real tree is just too messy, and Isabella kept trying to eat it. If I could get a tree made out of catnip, she’d leave it alone. She seems to hate catnip. Anyway, I got a three-foot tree that I put on a little table near my dining room window, well it would be the dining room if I ever actually bought a dining room table. By the time I got ready to buy a table and chairs, the pandemic began, and all the secondhand stores were closed. In essence, I decorated my living room and dining room with a few decorations. It’s not much, but I am not going to put too much effort into decorating just for me and Isabella. I did not get a poinsettia because they are poisonous to cats, but I could have gotten a fake one, but I’ve never liked them that much anyway. Back when I taught, one of the parents used to give me a huge poinsettia every Christmas. All they ever did was die and get ugly. So, a few artificial decorations will suffice. I did put a wreath on the door.
By the way, there are four Star Trek elements on and around the tree. Can you spot them in the picture below? I couldn’t resist hanging a few of my Hallmark Star Trek ornaments on the tree. I’ve been collecting them for years, but at the moment, I can’t remember where the others are, or you’d see more on the tree. I think my other ornaments are in Alabama.
While this Christmas will be a bit different, I hope we all have a wonderful holiday season.
I turn 43 today. Having a birthday during a pandemic, especially when there is a surge of cases in your state, means there won’t be any celebrating with friends this year. I won’t be going out for drinks or dinner with friends, but I may go on my own to a restaurant called The Wayside. The restaurant was opened in 1918 and is a legend in central Vermont. Their breakfast is out of this world good, especially the pancakes, even if they do serve it with maple syrup. In my opinion, maple syrup isn’t thick enough to stand up to pancakes. It just makes pancakes soggy. The restaurant also had some pretty good food for lunch and dinner. It’s a roadside diner, but it has good food. Today will be a pretty nasty, rainy weather day, so if I go, I will get up and most likely go for breakfast. We’ll see what my mood is when I wake up.
Honestly, it doesn’t feel like there is much to be celebrating right now. At least Joe Biden won the election, and the Trump administration is beginning to cooperate with the transition. However, we still have about seven weeks until the inauguration, and I am afraid Trump can do a lot of damage (out of spite) between now and then. He’s already done tremendous damage over the last four years. But this is not a political post; this is a birthday post.
I don’t plan to have a cake. I rarely have birthday cake anyway. Last year, I had crème brûlée for dessert. Crème brûlée is my favorite dessert, and I’d rather have it than cake anyway. I could get crème brûlée from J. Morgan’s Steakhouse, but that place is so expensive, even the dessert would cost an arm and a leg. I also don’t even know if they are open for indoor dining. I will probably just stay at home and do a lot of nothing today. However, if I was going to have a cake, the cake below is the one I’d request. It looks yummy, LOL.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, but this year, it is different. Almost all of the usual parties and plans have been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic. Halloween is mostly just a no-go this year. The pandemic is putting a damper on a holiday known for trick-or-treating children and festivities for adults. Vermont is allowing some socially distanced events for kids, but what we generally enjoy as adults have all been canceled. This year, there are no haunted houses, although there are some haunted trails with distancing restrictions and even haunted carwashes. For many in the LGBTQ+ community, the pandemic means missing out on their most beloved holiday, a celebration that for generations offered a chance to dress however we please and to be whomever we want. Usually in Vermont, there are a half dozen or so parties, costume contests, and drag shows at bars and restaurants across the state, though most are in Burlington.
For generations, Halloween has been closely intertwined with LGBTQ+ culture. Halloween might seem like a silly, over-commercialized day that exists for the sole purpose of encouraging us to buy things (sound familiar?). But for LGBTQ+ people, it can be a lifeline – a rare moment where we can express ourselves freely and subvert norms that restrict us for the rest of the year. Long before Pride parades were embraced by mainstream society, Halloween was the time of year when those in the LGBTQ community could freely express themselves with less fear of harassment. In the 1960s, in places such as New York and San Francisco, the gay community threw massive parties and street parades. At a time when many states still had laws prohibiting cross-dressing, it was the only day you could wear drag and not be arrested. Before gay people became more accepted, people in gay communities needed to be invisible to be safe, but you needed to be visible to other gay people at the same time. A public Halloween party in New York, San Francisco, or New Orleans would be the perfect place for gay people to dress up and meet other people.
Probably the first time I saw large numbers of gay people was when I went to New Orleans one Halloween with my parents to see a Saints football game. This was long before I came out, but gay people were everywhere and in fabulous costumes. With its history of voodoo, stories of ghosts and vampires, and beautiful above-ground cemeteries, New Orleans becomes one giant city-wide Halloween party. I remember sitting in a restaurant one night on that trip, and a woman (possibly a man) rode by on a horse with nothing on but a long blonde wig. Later, when we went to Pat O’Brien’s Piano Bar, there were many gay couples having fun like the rest of us, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was an eye-opening experience for me.
I think Halloween often is a favorite holiday for many gay people, not because it allows us to put on fabulous costumes, but because it allows us to be more ourselves. In the LGBTQ+ community, Halloween gives us a chance to come out of respective shells and try out something beyond our current comfort zones. For many LGBTQ+ people like me, we grew up having to wear a mask, and to many of us, every day was Halloween until we opened our closet doors. We are highly trained at hiding our true selves, so the celebration of costume and disguise is a natural combination. For today’s generation, “queer” is hardly the horrifying condemnation and accusation that it once was. However, queer has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community, and this explanation may no longer carry much weight. Still, many in our community welcome the chance to express ourselves in ways that society usually deems lewd, weird, or inappropriate. Halloween is one holiday that praises all the frights and fetishes that we are told to cover up.
The main reason Halloween is a national LGBTQ+ holiday is the fact that being gay or trans is an extension of expressing who you want to be, in spite of who fears it. Gay people are often wary of visually expressing their sexuality or dressing too flamboyantly on a day-to-day basis. Regardless of how liberal the community we live in may be, the global reality is that being any part of the LGBTQ+ community is still considered a perversion, a subversion, and even an abomination. Some of us may rarely have to address this reality, living in progressive hubs where LGBTQ+ may not be the norm, but it isn’t shocking or looked down upon. Others know all too well that a disturbingly large number of people in the U.S. still think our “lifestyle” is to blame for all that’s wrong with the world. Living in Alabama and Mississippi most of my life, I know full well what that feels like. You constantly have to put on that mask to be accepted by others and even to get a job or participate fully in the community. People may gossip about your perceived sexuality, but as long as you don’t confirm it for them, they will often overlook and ignore it. However, those same people who may ignore us will still exclude us from most things.
Being LGBTQ+ isn’t a fetish. But for many, especially those who are still closeted, it is a fantasy. For those who are out, facing the fear of exploring our fantasies, which in turn become reality, can almost be second nature. When Halloween comes around, many of us on the LGBTQ+ spectrum aren’t afraid to revel in our proclivities, whether they are ghoulish, garish, or slutty as hell, because, in the eyes of the judgmental peanut gallery, we already represent those things every day. But Halloween is the one time of year when everyone is allowed to be whoever they want to be. Even boring straight people put on outlandish costumes and “go queer” for a night to take a walk on the wild side. Those who feel they have to be in a closet the rest of the time can bust out in all their glory on Halloween. And anyone questioning their current identity has the chance to try another out in public without fear of reprisal. When dawn breaks, some of those folks will have to turn back into pumpkins while we fairy godmothers get to keep being fabulous.
Many LGBTQ+ people spend their youth suppressing their sexuality and trying to fit in with the crowd. While our friends were experimenting with embodying their sexualities openly, we were often left behind, trying to maintain a façade of normality. While Christmas and Thanksgiving can be challenging and awkward for LGBTQ+ people, particularly those who don’t feel like they can be their authentic selves around their families, Halloween is more easily spent with a self-assembled LGBTQ+ family. Dousing yourself in glitter with friends is certainly easier than pretending you’re someone you are not to keep peace in your family. Yet this is not to say that Halloween is universally popular among LGBTQ+ people. Not all gay people have fond memories of Halloween. To some, it was and is the nightmare before Christmas.
At some point in our lives as LGBTQ+ individuals, we realize that we will always be a freak to some, whether they have confirmation that we are gay or not. Regardless of how good we are at donning costumes, we eventually figure out that changing ourselves into someone else is impossible. We might as well relish in our freakdom and celebrate Halloween as the one time of year onlookers creep closer to our side of the line. If we show those ghouls a good time, you never know who might realize they are also part of the LGBTQ+ community. *
* I’ll never forget the time I was in Thibodaux, Louisiana, visiting my best friend. She and I always put on the best Halloween parties. We had been out to the bars in town dressed in our costumes. (I was a Scotsman in a kilt—fun was had by all with that costume.) On our way home, we shared a taxi with some fraternity boys from the local university. One of these guys was in drag, and I have to say, he did a damn good job at it. He was beautiful, as I am sure he was out of drag as well. I always wondered if he was one of those gay boys who took the opportunity to put on drag in public for the first time and used Halloween as an excuse, or if he was just that secure in his masculinity that he could wear a dress. He didn’t appear to be doing it to be derogatory to gay men or drag performers. So, I always wondered if he ever came out or if he just went back to being a straight, everyday frat boy the next day.
When I was young, I had a fascination with panda bears. I had several stuffed pandas that I loved. It’s funny looking back that I collected teddy bears that I often slept with at night as a child. I had one named Andy Panda and one named Sandy Panda. I don’t remember the names of the others, but Sandy was always my favorite. Whenever I was feeling down, Sandy was always there to cheer me up. She and my cat Calico never failed to be my faithful companions when I was sick or scared. Calico was an actual real cat and the sweetest animal I have ever known. When it comes to my cats, Victoria and I had a special bond, but she could be mean to other people. She tried to kill my grandmama’s chihuahua one time. Isabella is a one-person cat who is more persistent than any cat I’ve ever had. She does not understand the words “No” or “Move,” and she can be very temperamental at times. She is also a murderess and torturer when she finds a mouse. I won’t even describe some of the horrors I woke to occasionally in my old apartment.
Pandas, though, were a fascination of mine growing up. I wanted so badly to go to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and see Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, two giant pandas given to the United States as gifts by the government of China following President Richard Nixon’s visit in 1972. Sadly, Ling-Ling died suddenly from heart failure in 1992, and Hsing-Hsing died in 1999 due to painful kidney failure. I didn’t get to visit Washington until three years ago when I went for work, and I got to see very little of the city. I wouldn’t see my first panda in real life until sometime around 2012 when I got the chance to see the Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta. Even as a grown man in my thirties, I was so excited to get to see real pandas. It’s the only time I have ever seen live pandas, but it was a memorable experience.
Did any of you have a stuffed animal that loved? What brought you comfort when you were sick or scared as a child? To be honest, I wish I still had Sandy sometimes. I loved that bear.
I always find it ironic that when I don’t have to get up at a specific time, I am wide awake sometime between 5:30 am and 6:00 am. Yet, when I have to get up at a particular time like somewhere between 5:30 am and 6:00 am, I have the hardest time waking up. All I want to do is stay in bed. Sometimes, that 6 am wake-up is because Isabella has decided that I need to get up. Sometimes, she is very persistent in not just waking me up, but getting me to get out of bed. When she does this, I always check her food and water and make sure that she has enough of everything, but most of the time, she has plenty of food and water. Most of the time, I have found that when I do get up, she walks around for a few minutes, and then she curls up in my bed, where I was just lying and goes to sleep. She doesn’t let that spot cool down before she’s there and asleep. It’s very aggravating because I get up and check to see what she wants, then I go to the bathroom only to find her fast asleep in the exact spot I just vacated. I guess she’s a little spoiled.
This morning was one of those mornings when I had to get up very early. I had to be at my physical therapy (PT) appointment at 7:30 am (actually a few minutes early to go through the COVID protocols). It takes about 30 minutes to drive to the PT clinic. There are closer places I could go for PT, but I was sent here the first time I needed PT a few years ago for a neck issue. I have an excellent relationship with my physical therapist, and she has never failed to help me tremendously. While I could probably go somewhere closer, I don’t want another physical therapist. I am the same way about my primary care physician, who I will be seeing next Monday.
Sometimes, I have something on my mind, and I think it will make a good post. When this happens, and I can do so, I sit down and write the post out. Occasionally, once I get it written, I decide that I don’t want to post it. I have a few posts like that saved on my computer, but I doubt they will ever see anyone’s eyes but mine. I sometimes go back to them and reread them and edit those posts, and sometimes I do end up posting them. Rarely, I go back to a post I’ve decided not to post and then post it later.
Lately, I have had the political situation of the United States on my mind a lot, so I have written several politically-oriented posts. However, I feel like I am beating a dead horse with the vote for Biden themes. Yes, I want you to vote for Joe Biden, and I think my American readers are likely to do so. Quite frankly, if you are reading this blog and are even contemplating voting for Donald Trump, you are in the wrong fucking place, and I hope you leave and don’t come back. If you have a gay friend or family member and are voting for Trump, you don’t actually care about that person. You are homophobic, and that’s the end of it.
I also write about my health a fair amount, but I know people get tired of reading about my headaches. We won’t even get into my diabetes or high blood pressure, among the other things that I need to improve about my body. Sometimes, I guess it does seem like I am whining too much, but at the end of the day, this blog is where I write down my thoughts. If you have thoughts about what I write, you are always encouraged to leave a comment.
I have also ranted about people not following guidelines to keep others safe in this pandemic. You can only tell people to wear their masks so many times. My university has been very strict about wearing masks, and we currently have zero cases. My Texas friend is not having the same luck with her college. While they have rules, no one is following them, and no one is enforcing the rules. It’s Texas, what do you expect? My parents are not as cautious as they should be either, and I won’t even get started on my sister and her family.
I haven’t talked much about work lately. I am still working mostly from home, but I am going into the museum two days a week. Last week, it was four days because issues mainly of the fact that I live the closest to the museum. Because of this, I am expected to go in for emergency needs and for things that “won’t take long.” Being on call all the time is trying my patience because I am not paid to be on call every waking minute. My boss and I will talk on Wednesday when we will be the only two working. It won’t matter because he will say, “We will do better and be fairer about who comes in at off times.” He always says he will “do better,” but he never does.
So, those were my thoughts last night. I had not planned to write this much. I had only planned on talking about having a post ready but not wanting to post it. My back-up plan had been to discuss Vermont Virtual Pride, which was this weekend and last week. They created a program called Pridestream, which was broadcast on the local CBS affiliate. It was hosted by François Clemmons, who was Officer Clemmons on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Clemmons is gay and was born in Alabama, and also like me, he ended up in Vermont. After retiring from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he became a professor at Middlebury College.
I am usually a fan of what the Pride Center of Vermont does, but this pride was a bit of a disappointment. It was supposed to feature both local and nationally-known recording artists, activists, and phenomenons, including performances and appearances by Jonathan Van Ness, Big Freedia, Low Cut Connie, Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield, Dwight & Nicole, Be Steadwell, Marjorie Mayhem, pineappleCITI, Amber & Lucy Belle LeMay, Maddy Jameson, Unnecessary Inventions, tip/toe, and more. They featured them all right, but I just can’t say it was entertaining. Thankfully, it only lasted an hour. Hopefully, next year’s pride celebration will be back to normal. Anyway, I had hoped to talk about how good the Pridestream was, but I’m afraid I can’t.
Hopefully, this coming week will be better than last week was. If it turns out to be worse, I might explode on someone. I am reaching my boiling point with my coworker, and my constant headaches aren’t helping my temper. I am almost always irritable lately, and I don’t like being irritable. I want to be happy and things to go smoothly.
When I saw the picture above, I thought, “I’d like to come home to that every day.” Then, I thought, “I’d like to wake up to that every day.” I’ve been single for a while now, and there are no prospects on the horizon (certainly not in the middle of a pandemic), but it doesn’t hurt to daydream. This guy has a very sweet smile and by the looks of it, a nice little butt. He certainly has some nice arms, and he looks like he’d be pretty nice in the bedroom too. While I would settle for just someone to love me, I certainly wouldn’t turn down some eye candy. This guy is definitely eye candy.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side. If “ifs” and “ands” were pots and pans, There’d be no work for tinkers’ hands.
I grew up watching reruns of I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched. I’ll admit I often dreamed of either having my own Jeannie like Tony Nelson or having magical powers like Samantha Stephens. When I was bullied in school, my favorite fantasy was that with a twitch of my nose, a quick nod of my head, or even a wave of my hand, I could slam those bullies against the wall and cause them extreme pain. That may sound pretty violent, but I wanted the magical powers so that they would remember the pain but have no lasting effects from it. Maybe then, they would learn the pain they caused others. It was a frequent fantasy of mine.
I have often wondered what I would wish for if I had just three wishes. I suspect many of us have had that thought. If I were to make a grand gesture with my wishes, I’d wish for world peace, equality and acceptance for all, and that people would get the chance they deserve in life. That last one could backfire as in the old three wishes jokes. The three wishes joke (or genie joke) is a joke in which a character is given three wishes by a genie and fails to make the best use of them. Typical scenarios include releasing a genie from a lamp or crossing paths with the devil. The first two wishes go as expected in the jokes, with the third wish being misinterpreted or granted in an unexpected fashion that doesn’t reflect the wish’s intent.
Suppose I were to be purely selfish with my wishes. In that case, I’d wish to be the man I always dreamed of being: more intelligent*, taller, more handsome, physically fit with a great butt, a great head of hair, one skin tone (my vitiligo is another source of embarrassment for me), and like most men, more endowed. The second wish would be to have all the money I’ll ever need in life. I wouldn’t need to be a billionaire, just wealthy enough to live very comfortably, not have to work, and be able to travel the world. My final wish would be to find the love of my life and live happily ever after with him.
For my whole life, when I have seen the first star of the night, I have always said silently to myself:
Starlight, star bright, The first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight.
Since I was a teenager, I have always secretly said the same wish each time: to find someone who I will fall in love with and vice versa. This particular wish was partially how I dealt with my burgeoning sexuality. Part of my wish was always that if it was a man, then I’d know it was the right thing, and if it was a woman, then that was the right thing. Now I simply just wish for the man of my dreams, someone I will have a wonderful relationship with for the rest of our lives. So far, it hasn’t come true, but I will keep wishing on that star.
Of course, I have had various other wishes throughout my life. I’ve wished that loved ones who have died were alive again. I’ve wished that I had met friends earlier in life. I’ve wished that my parents were more accepting of my sexuality. At times, I even wished that I were dead; depression will do that to you. Of course, I’ve also wished that I had finished my Ph.D., or that I could become a perpetual student and travel the world learning new things. I’ve even wished for awful things to happen to our current president and his soulless minions. While I’d love to have three wishes, I’m not sure if I would take the selfless route or the selfish route, but I wouldn’t want to be greedy and have an endless supply of wishes. Maybe five or six wishes would be enough.
If you had three wishes and only three wishes, what would they be? Would you benefit yourself or help others? Would you advance your career, health, or financial well-being, or would you further your social, emotional, or spiritual needs? Would you blow through your wishes right away, or would you hold a few in reserve? You may be thinking this is a silly or cliché question, but our answers can be quite telling. For example, what do your wishes say about your priorities? Do they focus on possessions or enhance your relationships? What do your wishes say about your current situation versus your ultimate goals? Are your wishes far-fetched or clearly within your grasp?
*By “more intelligent,” I mean that I wish I could read quicker (I’ve always been a slow reader) and retain more of what I read. If you were to get to know me in person, you’d find out that I have a LOT of trivial knowledge in my head that emerges at random intervals. However, I am terrible with dates and names. For a historian, my mind is not chronological. I get mixed up on things very easily.
I’m sure most of you out there know who Chris Evans is. He’s best known as Captain America, and he’s also one of the hottest of the guys named Chris in Hollywood. You know the ones I’m talking about. Chris Pine, Chris O’Donnell, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pratt are the most famous, but then there are the lesser-known guys named Chris: Chris Lowell, Chris Klein, Chris Carmack, and I’ll even throw in Chris Colfer, even though he’s not necessarily my type. Of these guys, Chris O’Donnell will always have a special place in my fantasies because he played Buddy Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes:
However, Evans, Pine, and Hemsworth always make parts of me stir when I see them on the screen. Just look at this picture of Chris Pine from Wonder Woman:
Or Chris Hemsworth at the beach:
Evans is a staunch supporter of LGBTQ equality and the Democratic Party. In 2012, Evans affirmed his support for same-sex marriage, stating: “It’s insane that civil rights are being denied people in this day and age. It’s embarrassing, and it’s heartbreaking. It goes without saying that I’m completely in support of gay marriage. In ten years, we’ll be ashamed that this was an issue.” In August 2016, Evans supported Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s continued enforcement of the state’s ban on assault weapons. Evans endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and has been critical of President Donald Trump. After Alabama enacted the Human Life Protection Act in May 2019, which imposes a near-total ban on abortions in the state, Evans wrote on Twitter that the bill was “absolutely unbelievable” and continued by writing, “If you’re not worried about Roe v. Wade, you’re not paying attention.”
Evans has gotten some negative media attention in the past several months for a picture taken of him, but I think it’s because people spoke before they knew the story, which is often a problem. As I said, Evans is an outspoken Democrat but has held back on some of his political criticisms, even of Donald Trump, since he began his political project A Starting Point in July 2020, which aims to “create a bipartisan channel of communication and connectivity between Americans and their elected officials with the goal of creating a more informed electorate.” In starting this organization, he’s been interacting with politicians on both sides of the aisle, which led to a photo with Republican Senator Ted Cruz and his daughter that had some on Twitter fuming back in February.
Celebrities always seem to get in trouble from either the left or the right for their political opinions. Some celebrities in the past I refuse to watch anymore because of their extreme right-wing views, but I am not going to do like Republicans often do and claim that they should just be celebrities and not have an opinion. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but stars have to weigh the option of whether or not they will lose fans because of their views. The fact that Evans, who is an outspoken liberal, had his picture taken with Cruz has garnered backlash is a tad ridiculous.
On “The Daily Show” on Tuesday, host Trevor Noah brought up the photo and the backlash, asking how Evans balances being Captain America for people even when he disagrees. Evans explained, “In that circumstance, it was a child. I’ll always take a picture with a kid.” He continued: “But in general, just even sitting down with certain politicians ― there are certain people on the extremes of both parties who, there’s no wiggle room for that. And again, what I would argue is, look, if this person wasn’t in power, if this person wasn’t writing bills that affected your life, fine, we can shun them. You know what I mean? We can scream louder than them. But we can’t pretend they don’t have some sort of say, some sort of impact.” Evans made the argument, “Because I think the other way just becomes cyclical, and everyone spirals and no one listens, and I don’t think you move the ball down the field as effectively as you would if you say: OK, let’s just, you know … out-talk me,” he said. Elsewhere in the segment, Evans explained he would still express his political beliefs when called to do so. Still, the framework of A Starting Point is all about presenting the issues and letting people form their own opinions.
I have to agree with Evans. American politics has become so polarized that there is little dissension in the ranks Republicans or Democrats. Both parties are likely to get blasted by opponents for reaching across the aisle and trying to compromise. Look at the Senate right now. Very little coming out the House is even taken up in the Senate because the House is controlled by the Democrats. We need civil discourse in politics, but many Republicans, especially Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, have made that impossible. In his 1796 Farewell Address, George Washington warned against the dangers of political parties stating, ” However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reigns of government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” Nobody followed Washington’s advice. Washington also spoke of foreign policy warning, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world.” That warning has often been used by American politicians, often to the detriment of the world.
And if you don’t know, Evans is the brother of openly gay actor, Scott Evans. Scott is best known for playing the role of police officer Oliver Fish on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live. I became a fan when I was living with my parents and writing my dissertation. I would take an hour for lunch and watch Scott on One Life to Live because Oliver Fish became involved in a romantic relationship with another man named Kyle Lewis. I continued to watch until the storyline was dropped, and both Scott and the actor playing Kyle Lewis were let go in 2010. One day, the writers just stopped writing the characters into the script. ABC’s only explanation was that the storyline “did not have the appeal we hoped it would.” Upon Oliver’s departure from the show on Monday, April 12, and Kyle’s exit on Friday, April 16, One Life to Live hit new lows in total viewers, and two years later, the soap opera was canceled.