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Partner Charles Stephen Hughes

www.charlesstephenhughes.com

 

 

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From Particles and Disputations: Writings for Jeff, a book of hours

 

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Gardners ISBN#9781620951163

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Where authors and readers come together!

 

 

 

words, mere lines drawn on frail paper
(and this, they say, is how history endures?)

When my partner Jeffrey died of AIDS in 1994, one of my greatest comforts was to sort through and organize a drawer full of mere lines drawn on frail paper – birthday cards, holiday greetings, anniversary remembrances, various notes I’d written, a few he’d written me. 

This book is written as a marriage proposal to Charles Stephen Hughes, my domestic companion for going on fourteen years now.  I want him to be my husband, and I want to be his husband.  I’m inviting you to read this proposal because I want my declaration of love for this man to be entered into the realm of public knowledge, to be on the record, to be a publication.  You see, this isn’t the first time I’ve asked him this question.  His answer has always been that he’ll answer the question when the outcome can be legally recognized as a marriage.  And not a marriage “equivalent”; he wants the full force of history behind the word for our relationship.  He wants a marriage, and so do I. 

My hope is that making a public declaration of what I believe a marriage would mean to us as a couple will accomplish two ends.  First and foremost, I hope and trust that Charles Stephen will find my vision of our life together worthy of joining me in making that commitment.  Likewise, I hope that those who read these words will find the commitment I propose worthy of the word marriage.  These are words I’ve written to him over the nearly fourteen years of our knowing each other.  I offer them to him, to you and to the world as evidence that we, along with all same-sex couples who wish to commit their lives to each other, are meant and deserve to be together in a state of lawfully wedded bliss. 

Starting with our meeting in 1982, I had marked each birthday, anniversary, holiday, and other special or difficult occasion we shared with a piece of writing – sometimes prose, sometimes poetry, sometimes playful, sometimes philosophical, sometimes joyous, sometimes anguished – each one chronicling and reflecting upon the event. These were intimate writings composed solely for the purpose of expressing myself to one other person.  I have now collected these writings into this “book of hours” entitled From Particles and Disputations.

I’m hoping this collection of the writings I did for and about Jeff will now communicate to a more public audience, mostly by inference, the story of our lives together.  I hope they will convey how we grew as a couple, and how through our joys and our struggles we realized an abiding spirit of strength and peace in our relationship.  I truly hope my readers will each see something worthy of and possible for their own relationships in ours.

available here

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This book is written as a marriage proposal to Charles Stephen Hughes, my domestic companion for going on fourteen years now.  I want him to be my husband, and I want to be his husband.  I’m inviting you to read this proposal because I want my declaration of love for this man to be entered into the realm of public knowledge, to be on the record, to be a publication.  You see, this isn’t the first time I’ve asked him this question.  His answer has always been that he’ll answer the question when the outcome can be legally recognized as a marriage.  And not a marriage “equivalent”; he wants the full force of history behind the word for our relationship.  He wants a marriage, and so do I. 

My hope is that making a public declaration of what I believe a marriage would mean to us as a couple will accomplish two ends.  First and foremost, I hope and trust that Charles Stephen will find my vision of our life together worthy of joining me in making that commitment.  Likewise, I hope that those who read these words will find the commitment I propose worthy of the word marriage.  These are words I’ve written to him over the nearly fourteen years of our knowing each other.  I offer them to him, to you and to the world as evidence that we, along with all same-sex couples who wish to commit their lives to each other, are meant and deserve to be together in a state of lawfully wedded bliss.

 available here