It was Christmas 1980. All my thirteen-year-old-self wanted to find beneath the tree that year was the album, The Game, by Queen. I got it. Much to the torture of my family, most especially my two sisters who shared a room with me, I played that album relentlessly. I was hooked on Queen’s music. Bohemian Rhapsody from their earlier album, A Night at the Opera, was an anthem to me in my later teens. Whenever I hear it now, I think of those months at age 18 when I was turning over in my mind the idea of enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in order to escape the suffocating life I was “supposed” to lead. I needed to find my truth. Marrying a man, having kids and living in the same town I grew up in was definitely not my truth, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just not me. To this day, I resist being told what I should do, or what I’m not enough or too much of.
The crazy, haunting, genre bending, bold, and unbridled sound of Bohemian Rhapsody still moves me to this day.
“Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body’s aching all the time
I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth”
According to biographers and people who knew Freddie Mercury, the only explanation he ever gave for the song was that it was about relationships. He said, “I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says.” That sums up life, if you ask me. What I’ve come to learn, after finding my own truth, is that relationships formed by being one’s authentic self are all that matter. Just be you, and I’ll be me, an imperfect middle-aged lesbian author, lawyer, gentlewoman farmer, beekeeper, spouse and a human kept by a cat named Lil.
That’s why I’ll keep writing the stories I want to write. I have to be me. My latest novel, 2⁰, is available wherever good books are sold. People of said of it that it’s genre bending. I’ll give you a hint, it’s about relationships. You decide the rest.