"If you took all gay men and put them in a room and asked ‘How do you feel about this?’ I wouldn’t expect them to agree. So I wouldn’t expect my characters to represent gay men or bisexual men as a group. And I think that’s a problem with groups that are under represented, that when there’s a character that’s gay or when we didn’t have too many African-Americans on television, every time we saw them they were supposed to represent all people in that group, and they’re not. They’re just Ian and Paul."

— interview with author Laura Lee on the novel Angel on It Matters

"

Angel is the story of a unique love triangle. A minister named Paul Tobit is torn between two great loves, a surprising love for a young man and his love of the church. When Paul encounters a being he initially confuses for an angel, and soon discovers is actually a young man, he becomes enamored by the mystical experience, and the young man himself. The relationship the two develop causes Paul to question everything he has taken for granted about his identity. It is about Paul’s journey to find authentic love, faith and meaning in his life…

There are two central characters, Paul, the minister and Ian the mysterious young man. The initial inspiration for the novel was Mount Rainier. I quite consciously conceived of Paul and Ian’s relationship as being like the mountain, the place where heaven and earth meet. Ian is the earth and Paul is the one with his head in the clouds.

The story is told from Paul’s point of view, so we only know Ian in terms of what he does and says and how Paul perceives him. Paul is a reflective introvert. He likes things to be settled and structured. He is not someone who has ever had any reason to seek controversy. He is a little bit bookish and intellectual. He can get too wrapped up in intellectual and philosophical ideas and become a little oblivious to the real world around him. He longs for the transcendent. So he wants any relationship he has to have a deep spiritual element.

Ian, on the other hand, is earthy. He enjoys his body and sensations, he likes food and sexuality. Where Paul is a bit cut off from the physical world, Ian has lacked the spiritual dimension of life because he had a bad experience growing up as a gay man in a very conservative church and family. So the pair are complementary. They fill each others gaps, as that great philosopher Rocky said.

Metaphorically, I saw their relationship as Mount Rainier. Rainier is a dormant volcano, beautiful and seemingly solid, but with an energy inside that will cause it to erupt at some point in the not too distant future.

"

— Author Laura Lee on the novel Angel in an interview with Kindle Author

"I have lived so long within the circle of this book and with these characters that often it seems to me that the real world does not exist but that only these characters exist, and however pretentious that remark sounds… it is an absolute fact— so much so that their glees and woes are just exactly as important to me as what happens in life."

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

(Source: goodreads.com)

An episode from my travels in Paris as recorded in my diary, circa 1985:
After this we picniced in the Garden of Luxembourg, and did some more  pigeon feeding.  There was a most interesting washroom attendant.  We  paid upon going in.  She was reading out loud from a smurf book to no one in  particular.  When I finished with the facilities, and was waiting for  Petra to come out, the woman asked me if I’d paid twice.  I assured her I had not.
Some more people came into the washroom and she said, “There are no telephones here.”
“What?” 
“Do you want to use the telephone?” 
“No.” 
“Oh, I thought you wanted to use the telephone, because there are no phones here.”
Maybe she wasn’t a wash room attendant at all!

Photo via:fromeuropewithlove:

Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, France

An episode from my travels in Paris as recorded in my diary, circa 1985:

After this we picniced in the Garden of Luxembourg, and did some more pigeon feeding.  There was a most interesting washroom attendant.  We paid upon going in.  She was reading out loud from a smurf book to no one in particular.  When I finished with the facilities, and was waiting for Petra to come out, the woman asked me if I’d paid twice.  I assured her I had not.

Some more people came into the washroom and she said, “There are no telephones here.”

“What?” 

“Do you want to use the telephone?” 

“No.” 

“Oh, I thought you wanted to use the telephone, because there are no phones here.”

Maybe she wasn’t a wash room attendant at all!

Photo via:fromeuropewithlove:

Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, France