My friend writes me a letter to say I should look up Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, because I enjoy reading O’Hara and often call him by his Christian name when referring to him among friends or fellow poets. It’s a habit that drives certain people mad; they go purple about the ears in an effort to explain my folly and presumption. But I enjoy an afternoon with Frank, who speaks— groan if you will—frankly about his sex life and his sentiments, wielding both without shame. As for queerness, what is it? Every girl I know claims to be queer (so brave!), while clutching the hand of her boyfriend, who intends to pop the question next week—they’ve already discussed it (so modern!) and she’ll say yes. Meanwhile, she can be queer and he’ll tell his buddies his fiancée’s into chicks, and everyone will congratulate them over cocktails. Frank and I enjoy a good drink now and then as well, him in 1959 and me alone. According to Mr. Boston’s, the best way to make a martini is with a dash of orange bitters alongside the lemon twist. “Hogwash to you, Mr. Boston!” I say, audibly if I’m on my second martini. Who wants orange bitters mucking up their lovely junipery gin? It’s about as bad as all those fools who order theirs “Shaken, not stirred,” no offense to Mr. Bond, who frequently has to run six miles in a tuxedo before bridge-diving into shark-infested waters, and so should be drinking watered-down martinis if he’s going to drink them at all. I prefer slow, exploratory walks, especially if no one is around to spoil the scenery. Certain people (so wise!) like to warn me of the dangers of such a solitary habit; I have a tendency to startle snakes or free-climb rock faces if the switchbacks seem too long. But friends, let me tell you, usually snakes are minding their own business the way I mind mine, and they are better conversationalists than most people I’ve met, mainly because they are great at nodding sagely and keeping their mouths shut. They know all the sunniest spots for napping and often draw a good crowd: herons and cormorants mostly, but sometimes a red-tailed hawk, whose fanned plumage makes him easily distinguishable even in treetops or above the purple haze budding the grey hills of the horizon. I like that purple comes before green in the spring and that it’s the last color to fade in the fall, audaciously clinging to the browning edges of old leaves. I like also the screech of the hawk, striking in its non-musicality, desperately sharp in even the most idyllic wood, starting in liquidity and drying to a panic of sound—the scream more suited to the prey than the raptor, a genial reminder that just as easily the roles could be reversed.