Friday, January 05, 2007


Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness.
Psalm 141:3-5 [with many thanks to the Far-Flung Voice]

Oops. Here are the things that make me crazy:

* The number of things that people say gay men are doing to subvert the "American male paradigm," whatever that is. Mostly they are talking about things we have in common with women: nurturing, open expression of emotions, etc. Am I the only person who sees this?

* I can't figure out what so many things mean and don't mean. I get the fact that we are all meant to hug, and I think I have posted somewhere that I am in fact living on this "fact," as it results in about all the bodily warmth I am getting these days. But when, and whom, are you meant to kiss? And when is it all right not to want to be kissed? I am still trying to unbend to the point where I am willing to be kissed on the cheek by people I barely know. Some guy grabbed my ribs in passing [tickled me? hard to describe, really] when I was on the dance floor on New Year's Eve, and if I had been in a gay environment, I would have been outraged. Somehow knowing -- or thinking I knew -- there was no sexual undercurrent changed my feelings, I guess. So... what if I were wrong? Again?

* At what point do I have to start worrying that people who are being nice to me, and whom I think of as friends, are actually about to cross a line and express a sexual interest? What on earth do I do when it happens? I don't want to leave a chain of broken hearts from here to El Paso, but neither do I want to sleep with people I just like as friends. I got into most of the trouble I got into before shutting down the system at 22 until marriage at 27, by getting friends and lovers confused -- and ruined a lot of friendships that had meant a lot to me by crossing the line. My wife, among her many other talents, had the ability to stay friends with all her former lovers. I guess I am going to have to work on that one, especially if the slut phase kicks in on schedule.

* How do you fend off elderly frights without making the reason too obvious? I seem to exert a powerful attraction over quite a few of the locals. Don't get me wrong, I am actually attracted to many older men [see Silver Fox], but not the fussy types who seem to flutter around my sagging flame like idiot moths. The number of times that I have been assured that a man in his 60's is a "vigorous 65," or 63, or whatever -- do I really want to know that? The most recent example was entirely my fault, as I had made the mistake of allowing as to how I did actually know what went on at the Mineshaft and similar Big City institutions of the days these guys hark back to with such regret. But in general it's shared rather more than necessary, it seems to me... It's also the way this one guy leaned in to make it a statement in theory not perfectly audible to the rest of the room around us, something really intimate I needed to know. You know, I am happy he can still get it up. I hope I still can when I get around to it, so to speak. But... sheesh!

* I have got to get some sort of bridle back on my tongue, and I can't figure out how. It's as though I lost even the possibility when my world fell apart around me, when I let down the inner walls that had sustained my careful compartmentalization. I lost all the other restraints in the ensuing damburst, and at the moment I don't really see how I can get them back. I try, but things just keep getting blurted out, and I am beginning to see -- at least, this is how I interpret the resounding silence from both the SF and my Bald Mountain -- that I am setting myself up for failure. There is this pattern I seem to be seeing [although, as my father-in-law always said, man is the pattern-seeking animal, so what I think I see may or may not be there] where interest in me opens OK, maybe even big, and builds for a while, until eventually I feel comfortable enough to let my guard down, and then something hits whatever fans these guys have around, and the next thing I know they suddenly start to fade into the background. Here's what I don't want to do: find someone I really like, only to find out that I will make the guy back off and leave me alone, just when I was ready to get seriously Together. God help me.

* I want the code-book. I want to know a little bit more about the guys I meet, who all have histories with each other, having known each other for decades, and knowing where all the bodies are buried. I don't need to know details, but it would be nice to know who is or was part of a couple, who split up with whom how, not in an exhaustive [or, God Forbid, catty] way -- just the facts, please, ma'am.

* The more I relax into who and what I am, the more I find that I seem to be releasing a monster, something that might be called the Mighty, or Inner, Bitch. I say things I would never have said, much of which I would never have thought. I have developed a throaty, no-holds-barred Faggot Laugh. Really. It sounds just like my gay teacher's from Way Back When. So when did I start channeling Mr. B? Whose idea was this?

I mean, I was ready to feed and tend the Inner Girl, as long as she behaved, like Alice, but this is more like the Queen of Hearts. I suppose at bottom my real problem is facing the loss of the last shreds of my self-esteem. It has spent years all wrapped up in, pretty much completely dependent on, my not being, my having decided not to be, what I am now choosing to become. Thirty years of self-definition going out the window, or down the drain, depending on how you look at it. And for what? I mean, I have occasionally, in the course of the years, been called a "
#$%&ing asshole," but now I am seriously contemplating becoming one. It's different.

Well, as the saying goes, #$%& them if they can't take a joke. I just have to wade through the mud ahead of me as best I can. If I could just manage to do all the things I know perfectly well would help me out, like exercise and prayer and seeing a little more of society, straight or gay, some of this would pass more quickly. But there are definitely moments when Sleeping Beauty's option sounds pretty appealing...

Hang in there.
I'm doing my best.


  1. How do you fend off elderly frights without making the reason too obvious? There really is no non-obvious way to fend off ANY of those that want to push themselves on you - other than the word "no" or "I'm really not interested." At my stage of life I seem to have a flashing neon sign above my head with "possible john" alerting hustlers in the room of my presence. I used to worry about it, now - I just be myself. I'm willing to chat - but unless I decide otherwise, all husters are on a strict diet - no cigs, drinks or money. My favorite line: "Don't drop your meter hun, I'm not getting in your taxi." It's enabled me to have some fascinating chats ....
    ...the Mineshaft and similar Big City institutions of the days these guys hark back to with such regret. Regret? Nope .. I think it's more wishful thinking than anything else. People look back to what was (often really what wasn't) and long for a return of something that is gone, gone, gone ... living in the now is more important anyway.

    The most major thing all of us have to work on is our mouth/tongue. And that's a continual on-going process. It's even a process when we put words on paper. I'm a member of a very active forum, and I'm continually amazed at what people want to pass off as humor or "Just kidding." It's a good reminder of where I came from and how much further I have to go. You're live is an amazing process -- and I love that your blog reflects that in sometimes searingly honest ways!!!

    As far as getting "tickled" on the dance floor - Hey! Take is as a compliment and smile about it! Not everything carries deep meanings ... but it's a compliment non-the-less ....

    >HUGE bear hug< ....b

  2. Alot of what you say is as I see it your "new skin"'re going to have to start getting used to it though, I imagine it won't seem so extreme over time... :)
    For a lot of things you can't figure out, it'll become pretty clear eventually, all the signals will become more apparent too. For example, when I made friends and there was going to be sex, it was obvious from the get go, it was only a matter of when. It's usually about the body language that gives it away. Also you can't know anything about another guy unless you ask him. :)