Wednesday, May 30, 2007


For those of you who are heartily tired of last year's posts, here is
a post from April... Does any of this sound unfortunate, under the present circumstances?

While I realize that I could make a mountain of a moral issue out of a molehill, I do seem to have gotten in deeper somewhere along the line than I intended. Once I took responsibility for throwing myself at the Goat Man, and was not asking whether or not he was coming on to me [which he still denies...], I was assured that his relationship with his Regular Boy Friend was wide open, and in fact that it was the Goat's first non-monogamous relationship, and that the RBF was in fact quite active, as they had both agreed to be. So far, so good. The Troll slides into a somewhat dubious situation, but secure in the "knowledge" that he is the only one who doesn't think everything is hunky-dory.

He knows he has REALLY crossed into Looking-Glass territory here.

But, in actual fact, while both men have assured me that their relationship is "open," it now turns out that the Goat is certainly as active as the RBF, and perhaps more so. This causes me to wonder how much else of what I was told was soft soap, to which, as you may remember, I am nothing short of absurdly susceptible. So, when the RBF e-mailed me about a MGM -- or is it GMM? -- I had spoken to about his/our predicament, assuming a hard shell which I do not in fact possess, I asked him if there were a name for our relationship. He replied:

Well, hopefully you can call us friends; according to an expert I consulted on relationship terminology, there doesn't seem to be a label for the relationship between a guy and the guy who's a friend of and has sex with his boyfriend.

I replied in turn that I was certainly glad to call us "friends," and hoped we could in fact be friends. (I did have to ask him who the "relationship expert" was: the Goat Man, perhaps?)

I don't want to project onto him what my feelings would be in his situation, when it's not me in his situation, but several things struck me: it does seem to me that there is a tone of melancholy, if not of poignant regret, to his words. Maybe I'm imagining it. Maybe not. But even if that were not the case, and he is really perfectly OK with the Goat's relationship with me (whatever it may be), that doesn't really address the problem: I am not just "having sex with" the Goat. That would be complicated, but not this messy. I am head-over-heels, ass-over-teakettle in love with the Goat. A completely hopeless case. That, it seems to me, would look different even to the patron saint of "openness," whoever that might be... John Rechy?

And that brings me to the real moral issue: my own behavior. I don't mean my physical "relationship" with the Goat; I mean how we got here and how I act outside the sheets. I have been e-mailing him poems, and he has gone from being my severest critic to being my most ardent admirer, at least, that's the way he talks. He recently made a joke out of my reference to "the Goat poems" and asked if he could come to the signing, and get his copy autographed. So I printed out a full set -- and he has not seen most of the stuff I've posted here -- and mailed it to him this morning. With a dedication. And as soon as it was irrecovably in the mail, it occurred to me, and not for the first time, that this may not have been a good idea.

I have a lot riding on the fact that I am not trying to hold him to any kind of reciprocity. But what is this kind of self-exposure but a literary strip-tease? Is it not an effort to seduce the Goat in turn, to bind him to me in spite of all my outcry to the contrary? Wouldn't an even semi-jaundiced outside eye say that I set out to spin a web to catch a Goat? Having gone from married man to Other Woman in about nine months, I have a lot invested in not being a home-wrecker. Yes, I appear to have moved into the guest bed-room and put it to pretty active use, but it's one thing to throw your body at someone and another thing entirely to throw your heart [or soul] at them. And that is pretty much what I am doing by sending him all my "literary" output. So is that just high-plane entrapment?

Over in his moral universe, the Goat Man says I think too much...

OK, here I am now, asking the RBF to tolerate exactly what my wife said she could not, and could not honestly imagine anybody doing. The issue was emotional loyalty. I have argued often against the prevalence of the "hermeneutic of suspicion," whereby every act and statement is held up to sceptical query, is suspected from the get-go; I think the one place that attitude is absolutely called for is when examining one's own actions. Most of the time, most of us tend to let ourselves off the hook altogether too easily.

Well, I guess the deed is done and the chips will fall where they may. I just don't want anyone to get hurt, and I can't see at this point how this is really all going to go forward without someone getting hurt.


Yeah. Well, from here it looks more like


What a mess.


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