16 July 2008

Georgia Blue; Marriage?(!)

Georgia Blue. Sounds like the name of a poem from Langston Hughes. Or maybe a musical collaboration between Ray Charles and Thelonious Monk. (Now tell me, how likely would that have been?)

But Georgia Blue is what you see on this page. I mean that literally. This typeface is called Georgia, and the color is, well, what you see. So is Georgia Blue a synonym for "What you see is what you get"?

So why am I thinking about Georgia Blue? The phrase just popped into my head before I realzed I was typing the state in which I was born and the color of the sea or the sky, depending on where you are.

Georgia Blue. Could be the name of a soul singer? Hmm...I like that one. Years ago, the radio station WBAI used to have a musical program hosted by someone named Delphine Blue. Guess what kinds of music she played. With a name like that, what else could she do? And can you imagine how many guys are "distracted" by a name like that.

This makes me think of a student I had three years ago. Are you ready for his name? Get this: Teddy Neptune. Yes, that was his real given name. I told him that with a name like his, he really should go on stage. Now that I think of it, he should be a calypso musician.

And then there was one of the East Village's most sui generis characters: Adam Purple. During the brief time I was living and working in that part of town, I met him. He used to ride his old Schwinn around the neighborhood, always lugging around bags of cans and bottles (in the days before recycling mandates and bottle deposits were in effect) or garden tools. He's the one who turned an empty, seemingly ruined, lot near the Bowery into "The Garden of Eden." Yes, that's what he called it. The Tuileries it wasn't. But it was a welcome sight, full of color in a pocket of cement blocks and bricks. It made a lot of people happy, until the city took it away and tore it apart in the name of "gentriification."

I wonder where Adam Purple is now. Maybe he's hanging around Georgia Blue, Delphine Blue or Teddy Neptune.

Maybe Teddy Neptune would sing "Sweet Georgia Blue." How would the world be different if we'd had that instead of "Sweet Georgia Brown?"

How does Justine Lilac Valinotti sound? Justine Lilac Nicholas Valinotti? Justine Nicholas Lilac Valinotti?

Won't happen because if I get married, I'll have to add another name. How many names can I have?

Ah...now I'm thinking about the future again. Marriage. Dominick and I have talked about it. We'd do it after my operation, of course. I don't know whether I'm more surprised at myself or him. Myself, for thinking about marriage, after what I've experienced. And that someone would actually think about marrying me. Or him, because he's younger than I am and good-looking.

Now...The feminists are going to excommunicate me for this one. The prospect of marriage appeals more to me now than it ever did while I lived as a man. I've read countless articles saying that, in essence, women want and value marriage more than men do. Based on a sample of one, who happens to be me (real scientific, huh?) , I'd agree with it.

Then again, I know women--mainly older than me--who say that if they could do it over again, they wouldn't get married. One friend, Sonia, who actually is one of the founders of the modern feminist movement, says that the only two things in her life that disappointed her were her marriage and daughter. Another friend, Millie, says, "I married a good man and I love my children and grandchildren. But if I were young today, I wouldn't get married or have kids." And my mother says that if she knew now what she knew then, if she married, she'd do it much later in life than she did. "And I'd get more education and probably have a career," she says.

Of course, I love all of them--especially my mother--exactly as they are. But what if...

What if they hadn't gotten married or had the careers they couldn't have (or, in Sonia's case, if there were fewer cultural and legal barriers to it)? What if I'd been a member of their generation--and born as genetic female?

What if the song had been Sweet Georgia Blue?