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I feel odd.

What else is new?

It feels as if I blinked, and it’s suddenly Pride again.

Well, time keeps on slippin’ into the future.

Thanks, Steve Miller, but that’s not entirely what I meant.

Feel free to enlighten me… free as an eagle to the se—

Two years ago I had one of the best Prides of my life.

Oh really? Do tell!

I spent the day holding my boyfriend’s hand while walking down Colfax with the Parade. And I’ve been fortunate enough to have that wonderful experience on more than one PrideFest. With two different boyfriends. Those were good days.

Two boyfriends at the same time?

No. Not at the same time. Pay attention, will you?

Last year’s Pride was just me and my camera. Still a beautiful, sunny day capturing snapshots of one of the largest Pride fests in the nation (all while mind-blowingly high on a mouth-full of edibles).

But…

But… I was swimming in an abundance of reminders, Denver landmarks that anchored happy memories of shared experiences from previous relationships. And these memories grow more and more stonewashed with each Pride, like vivid colors fading from a cherished photograph that you can never reprint.

Well, that sounds depressing.

Indeed.

But maybe that’s a good thing.

You’d make a horrible therapist.

I’m just saying that you went to last year’s Pride anyway, all by your lonesome, while carrying around your camera and a broken heart no one could see, exacerbating an underlying depression that so often gets inflated by life’s frequent misfortunes.

This isn’t making me feel any better.

You can’t love someone without opening yourself to possibility of having your heart cracked in half. And I know of absolutely no one who hasn’t, at some point, had to slowly pick up jagged bits of a broken heart from the floor.

Yes, yes. I wouldn’t know what love feels like unless I flung myself into the fray and blah, blah, blah…

And yet you went to Pride anyway.

I almost didn’t.

Surrounded by hundreds-of-thousands of people.

Okay, that’s not helping those who struggle with social anxiety.

And thousands of those people were also carrying around loss that no one could see: Maybe grief from the death of a friend, maybe a recent divorce, maybe a falling out with family members after coming out, or maybe just a general sense of ennui.

I love that word.

But isn’t Pride a chance to gather in solidarity with strangers and just—at least for a day—sidestep all that hurt and loss and weighty emotion? A day to forego adult social conventions and dress in sexy hot-pink spandex with matching flip-flops, or drink cold beer in the hot sun surrounded by friends while cheering on the passing floats, or get higher than the Mile High City itself and just wade through the collective energy of the crowd with the sun warming your back.

I wore headphones last year to drown out the crowd noise, and what if it rains this year?

Then it rains! These are all valid experiences. But mulling over which experience is better, or ruminating on past Prides, seems a waste of time.

Time that keeps on slippin’ into the future.

Sometimes Pride is full of sunshine and holding hands with a lover. Sometimes Pride is full of rain and solitude. Just go to Pride anyway.

And dance in the rain like Gene Kelly.

Exactly! Reminding yourself that it can’t rain all the time.

You stole that line from The Crow.

It’s a great flick.

So you’re saying whether you’re at Pride this year with just yourself, or a friend, or a group of friends, or a lover—

Or a group of lovers!

It’s just about experiencing the day, despite all the deficiencies that drag us down into the muck.

Because surrounding yourself in all that solidarity makes that muck a bit less mucky.

Since when did you become the sensible voice in these articles?

I’m just a nuanced voice in your head with countless expressions.

Or maybe you’re one of countless voices in my head with only one—

You really do sometimes think about thinking too much. Stop analyzing and just go to PrideFest!