Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Dear Ms. McGreevey (Jimmy, that is)

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | May 07, 2009 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living, Politics
Tags: Bethesda public library, cruising for sex, Episcopal priest, gay Americans, Jim McGreevey, Larry Craig, Law school, synagogue, Washington D.C., Woodward & Lothrop

I didn't pay that much attention to you when you gave your "I'm a gay American" speech -- I just thought oh no, another closeted politician coming out and wrapping himself in the flag and soon he'll be the next gay hero. And sure enough...

But then I saw you in that movie, and you're talking about sex in abandoned synagogues -- I swear that's what you said -- "synagogues" plural, right? I mean, abandoned churches are a dime a dozen, but abandoned synagogues -- honey, that's dedication!

Don't worry -- I looked it up and found out it was one particular synagogue in Washington, DC when you were in law school -- three times a week, too! But you graduated in 1981 -- even though I grew up in DC and by 1981 I was certainly already ostracized for being a faggot, I was only eight then. Six years later I would've been cruising any public bathroom I could find, or at least the ones where I could socialize with closeted ladies like yourself, or not quite like yourself. I mean, most of them were more Larry Craig types than sassy specimens oozing the kind of sultry sexiness you still give. I can only imagine you in 1981, crawling through the grounds of that abandoned synagogue -- but now you're studying to be an Episcopal priest, you are as nutty as it gets! At least make them let you try on a few yarmulkes...

Do you see where I'm heading? I know you talk about how filled with shame you were, and I know from experience that sex with shame is hardly sex at all. All those times in high school when I headed to the bathrooms at Woodward & Lothrop, Mazza Gallery, Georgetown Park, the Bethesda Public Library -- did you ever visit any of those? Those first few years it wasn't fun -- I would leave my body while some elderly gentleman worked his lips down there -- my goal was that eventually I wouldn't feel anything, and then I could leave everything behind. Just like you, right?

But I didn't leave it all behind -- it took a while, but eventually I learned to inhabit my body, from those first toilets to the stairwells of shopping malls and down down down to the bottom level of parking lots and eventually moving on to alleys and back rooms and beaches and all those places now disappearing thanks to gentrification and assimilation but wait I'm getting distracted. Distracted from you.

Now you get all emotional and tell us, "This is how God made me" -- so creative! I know you say that meeting people in bars when you're smashed and you can hardly walk is much more, um, respectable, but honey how about this: you tell me the nearest abandoned synagogue, and let's make it work. I know you're ready.

Mattilda also blogs at

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Oh, Mattilda,

There were a million and one reasons for me to love your work (and you), and now there are a million and two.

This does so much, brings so much colliding together, and in so few words.

This needs to be enshrined in some way. Bronzed.

Yasmin, 1,000,002 reasons -- that's amazing!!!! You're making me blush...

Mattilda, you really need to put a waning on pieces like this one, "Not safe to read while sipping a drink near a keyboard"

This was an absolutely delightful read.

I think this is the best post you've ever written on TBP, Mattilda. God love you, this made me roll with laughter.

Maura, thank you thank you! And NSTRWSDNK -- I'll have to try that one :)

And Bil, the best post ever? -- I'll take that and run... to the nearest abandoned synagogue, that is...

I have no idea where your post was heading at all. I do not even understand your use of Jim McGreevey. You definitely sound like your issues are a helluva lot more deeper than his. I genuinely tried to comprehend what you wrote but only sensed you are the disturbed one. That means you are back to one million and one. Spare the response. I am not returning.