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No time for love

Keeping up in a changing world
Dear Dr. Jones
by GZO Jones

GZO Jones offers sage and candid monthly advice on life, love and relationships. He corresponds from Brazil while recovering from a series of health setbacks that may or may not be related to the 1960s. Find out more at the new GZO Jones Town Web site, and feel free to ask Dr. Jones anything. You got a problem with that?

Dear Dr. Jones,

Ever since the tragedy in New York, I’ve been, um … I can’t get it up. I wasn’t there and don’t know anybody who was, so it isn’t exactly trauma. Still, what’s wrong with me?

Crestfallen in Portland

Dear Mr. C,

Nothing is wrong with you that isn’t shared by all men of any nation throughout history.

Romantic outlaw-type that I am, I’ve never really loved the USA, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual (especially, as you can imagine, with all the merry pranks Kesey and I pulled). But everything changed when Jack Kennedy died. And patriotism, in my humble opinion, is for the birds – although I understand the power of a good national symbol.

Man has always erected monuments to celebrate freedom, virility and conquest. My, aren’t we witty?

Regardless, Sept. 11 saw the fall of two of the mightiest symbols of all – taking with them the national winkie (although from up close, it always was an ugly pair of buildings). I’m sure the same problem was had by the people of Babel, Rhodes and Alexandria when their great towers, colossi and lighthouses were tumbled. Even Pompeii, in somewhat similar fashion, got it and got it good. And it was the same story in the Soviet Bloc when the Berlin Wall fell. I was there and would bet my first-edition John Hancocked copy of On the Road that if you would’ve gone a-knockin’, the dacha would NOT have been a-rockin’.

Hell, I’m no Dr. Ruth, but here’s your advice: Other than a strong hunch that you watch far too much television, I suggest taking your mind off recent events by visiting some of the many standing odes to our temperamental little buddy: the Washington Monument, the Empire State Building, the Space Needle. You get the idea. You can even do it right here on the Web – you can beat a lot of things, but you can’t beat Google.

Extra credit: Take a lady friend to the Columbia Gorge (so beautiful this time of year!), the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel or the Grand Tetons and see how that inspires her. Turn the situation to your advantage! Enjoy!

– Jones

Dear Dr. Jones,

My husband and I have three kids, 2-1/2 jobs and no spare time. These days we seem to be fighting around the clock and we’re both going nuts. Help!

Time is Tight

Dear TiT,

You seem to already be heading in the right direction, but let me say it out loud: DATE NIGHT.

Date night. Make time for each other, out of the house and away from the kids. For revitalizing a marriage, if anything surpasses date night (with the possible exception of a bisexual 20-year-old armed with a bottle of baby oil and an Olympic bronze in women’s gymnastics), I’ll eat my sweaty Panama hat. So book your babysitter, pronto! Just don’t, for the sake of marital longevity, involve that pretty little kid-sitter in your newfound fun (this from the department of “don’t do as I do ...”).

– Jones

Dear Dr. Jones,

I’m a high school senior who has recently discovered for sure I am gay. I’m not ashamed, but I want to come out without freaking everybody out. How should I spill it?

Bustin’ Out

Dear BO,

Sorry to break it to you, comrade, but they already know. That’s right. The freshmen know, your drama club knows, the lunch ladies know. Hell, your dog knows.

I’ve palled around with more gay cats than Liberace and Rock Hudson combined (In fact, I once found myself at a moderately swinging party with the both of them, plus Jack La Lanne and Judy fucking Garland ...), and I just call it Facchini’s Corollary to Murphy’s Law: “With any dirty secret, everyone already knows except the people you most want to know.”

Coming out at a pep rally might get you razzed, but at least it would be easy. Telling even the most understanding of friends, relatives and teachers can be almost impossible. My advice: take it easy. Don’t “bust out” with your loved ones, and you’ll find they can be receptive to anything you might have to say.

– Jones

Examine more advice from Dr. Jones, visit his Web site and e-mail your problems, large or small, to gzojones@hotmail.com.

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