After 30 years I suddenly realized why would I NOT write about one of the most courageous Gay Men I ever knew?
Martin and I were best friends. We were spiritual lovers beyond societal call for our physical realms – we defied all that – we were true –
We aligned in our newfound queerness. Both Jewish – eligible – ready for marriage, after all that was expected of 20 plus year olds – post University – degreed. The early 80’s! But unlike our friends we could not marry our true loves… and so we pretended …..
We were well pedigreed and perfect for each other. We could marry and no one would discover….
But we were queer. We knew… as did a few confidants… and our true lovers … but no one else. A typical secret of those bygone secretive closeted years.
Damn we loved each other.
Our families were ready for us. Jewish – 20 plus –
But we were queer…. South African Jews hating Apartheid- yet stuck in its hue….
Accomplished – smart as shit and ready for the world
He an antique dealer -with an eye for design and me a lawyer belying design…
What better than to cover for each other. We were perfect. Best friends. In love – as such and only as such. A considerate pretense. What they wanted was not who were were… but we sat there.. as if… for a while…
I had my girlfriend. He had his boyfriend. We trekked to Sun City. Saw Queen live. We shared a hotel room. He fucked Philip and I fucked… well let me keep her anonymous! It was love making…after all.. all of us …one room… no light… noises…
Our straight friends were getting married. And we learned how to navigate. Always the guest – but never next..
When are Mel and Martin going to to announce THEIR engagement…. of course we never did… we loved each other .. and our queer lives…
Oh that time – us Jews – conservative Apartheid South Africa. The anticipation. The expectation. Surely they would marry next. But of course never did
Fuck you all for making us hide
But not for long…
We giggled as we sat in the front row – those weddings. Our friends.
Martin pointed to the groom, noting they had fucked in Joubert Park one dark late night…through that midnight hole in a toilet door. That bloke was now THE straight groom. While Martin and I, wedding guests, knew who they really were- and determined NOT ever to say who we really were….nor to out that straight groom as he maneuvered himself toward that Chuppah- so innocent – Tzitzit and all! Said I do. Stomped that glass- Oh jerusalem – and kissed the Bride…
But Martin and Mel did not walk that path –
Instead began to creep OUT
We thought we would die
ONLY Martin died
And HERE I am.. a sole survivor
is how it feels…
Thirty years later
Yeah yeah yeah I WHO I am… Thanking Hashem for my survival- but mourning my loss – my best friend- Martin.. he died
We said goodbye
HiS NAME IS Martin Miller
And for me…… as he can see…
2 beautiful daughters
Oh he is gone
I am here -And
HE would have loved them…maybe spermed them…
OH dammit if only if only if only….
And I wonder why? It was him not me…
I’m so sorry Martin – why why why not ME!
Martin I know you would be proud of your Mel – rest my beloved friend but please speak to me…
By MELANIE NATHAN
Advocacy: African Human Rights Coalition
Mediation: Private Courts
Follow me on Twitter – @MelanieNathan1
One thought on “Thirty Years and Missing Martin Miller”
Beautiful. Sincerest condolences. xx