Monday, August 27, 2007


I struggle to fend off the nagging doubt;
There is no reason to suspect my lover.
But he’s become what I can’t live without—

Without him, what new life I have is over.

The problem, I suspect, is simply this:

For all the men he’s had, and he’s been “active,”

He wants to hold me, wants to hug and kiss,

In some mysterious way, finds me attractive.

How can that be? It can’t be mere pretense,

But what could draw him to me? It’s not beauty,

Or wit, a bridled tongue, or common sense—

My only virtue’s my mad sense of duty.

No, it’s God’s grace, and while I can’t believe it,

I’m only too content now to receive it.

It was a long weekend. It was a great weekend. But somehow I am left with a terrible sense of devastation. I have had it made perfectly clear to me that at the moment there is only one thing in the world I really care about, and that "it" is two or three hours' drive away. The thought just blankets out everything else. There are a hundred things I should be getting in order, getting done, and all I want to do is jump back into the car and head out to the Big Woods again.

The worst of it is that his job eats him alive, so even if I were to show up on his doorstep now, he would not be able to [not even care to?] give me the time of day. With the end of summer, the end of another stage of our relationship has come.

Oh, my God.

Meanwhile, I do have to go back to work, and watch as my afternoon responsibilities reappear, with the reopening of the college. No more hockey players this year, no more parade of ears and arms to make me go into overdrive; it's a whole new crop of students, and so far no water-cooler camaraderie... we'll see.

It's a good thing that the Goat has the ears and the arms, himself; although it does puzzle me, the way he talks about other men as if it were me talking, and then turns around and seems to find me appealing. It really seems a complete contradiction in terms. Is it weakness? Well, if it is, the weakness seems pretty strong. It would round the Goat out a bit for him to have a nice, fat weakness.

Indeed, if the Goat has one small failing, it is his need to call me constantly on my supposedly- still-internalized homophobia. I know I have a lot of baggage, but I think that as someone who has watched, and then acknowledged, the Triumphal Entry of the Inner Girl, watched her elbow almost every other patch of himself aside and pitch her tents on the ashes of his self-esteem, I have earned the right to call myself "less than a guy" if I want to, without getting a lecture on what I've internalized. I just don't see how I can be mostly a fifteen-year-old girl and a grown man at the same time. I know it's happening, I just don't see how it makes sense in the categories I am given to work with. I mean: I know I will chewing on the endless complications of gender and sexuality for the rest of my life, but I think I deserve some points for what I've taken on and faced in the last twelve to fifteen years.

Like so many other things, it has been no picnic.
This weekend, on the other hand, was one damn picnic after another.

I arrived early Thursday evening, having taken Friday off for bad behavior. We moved some of it to Thursday, and then went to dinner at the not-too-distant and delightfully normal home of an out-there leather couple -- one of the small crowd that had witnessed our first meeting last fall, and did so, I suppose, without any idea what would come of it. Or any particular need to care... Anyway, dinner was great, we got the tour of the garden and the play-room -- always a source of reflection for me -- and we drove back to the little clearing in the Big Woods -- the Goat and his Vanilla Wafer Leather Wannabe -- and that was the end of that.

Friday we got up late, had two breakfasts -- don't ask -- and drove into the Big City to pick up some things he'd left to have repaired. It was pretty hot. Hot enough to make wandering around town not much fun. He bought me lunch -- which is actually getting to be a problem. (I mean, I know he has a real job and I don't, but it still bothers me not to split things equally. Well, that's another issue for another day.) Then we headed back to the Big Woods and rounded out the day with, amongst other things, the most amazing tomato and feta salad.

Things didn't go all that well that evening, which didn't bother me much, but really bothered the Goat; he obviously had a lot invested in Everything Going Off Smoothly.

In Things Being Right.

Call him the Hostess with the Mostes'. Who'd have thought that I would end up as Kitty Carlisle Hart's boy toy? Me, in spite of all my rose-colored glasses, I think I can manage a little bump or two in the road. He really has nothing to worry about there, but I guess that has never kept me from worrying, either. Go figure.

Life is definitely a strange thing.

Saturday was another blazing hot day. Tropical. The kind of day that makes you glad that there are only a few weeks' worth of them in the New England year. The kind of day that makes cockroaches, snakes, and termites feel that they have a chance here after all...

We got back into the truck and drove up north to the Granite State, where we attended a gay gathering at which most of the Goat's friends from his early hippie days were in attendance, and I was left with the particularly vivid impression that I had had no idea what was going on in my own back yard. All those years... It turns out there were quite a lot of gay men in my old neighborhood -- even quite a few formerly married gay men, which still makes my head spin. The things you don't know when you need to... Well, the beer went down well, and the oldies-but-goodies eventually did get people dancing out on the deck. Even me.

Sunday. It was loaded from the start. It had "goodbye" written all over it. More breakfast chacha. Then, somehow, leaving after lunch became "not leaving yet."

One thing led to another, and by the time I did finally get my act together, it was clear that I wasn't going to make it back home in time for dinner -- or for the work that was waiting for me. So when he made a plea for me to stay and have an early dinner, I said no at first, but almost immediately allowed as to how it would be lovely. God, it was bittersweet. He is well-known at the brewpub we went to, and he leaned over after we had given our order and murmured:

"You can touch me if you want to." I believe the technical term is "murmured low." Throaty, almost a whisper. Goes straight to the heart. I wanted to, no surprise there, but it made me shiver all over to know that he wanted me to. Or sensed my need. I caressed his hand and arm, and felt that I was, in my own quiet way, perfectly happy, for all the goodbyes lying in wait outside the doors...

I mean, how can it be any surprise that I can't get over this guy? He plays me like a fish or a baby grand. He is either the most calculating son-of-a-bitch on earth, or he has an uncanny knack for reading me and what I want, and wants to give it to me. Everything turns on his motivation... and I don't have the energy left to give worrying about it the time of day.

Long drive home, though...

Today everything hit the fan. I had sort of sleep-walked through the accumulated work stuff last week, but I was too jet-lagged to care much about anything, or to be able to focus on what was coming down the pike. The view down the pike was right there center-stage this morning, and I had to report for my afternoon job for the first time in months. I had rather forgotten what it was like. Just one more way in which my life, my self, just about everything I touch, seem split down the middle. And everything had a large, Goat-shaped hole smack dab through the middle. Especially my blood pump. Ouch.

I crossed another one of my little Leather Scene bridges this weekend. It's really odd, to have lived so much of your life and not known what you were carrying around inside -- I mean, I did know, on some level, which is why I walled it off, but to actually confront things, one at a time... that is an odd experience, after all this time. The Goat was so sweet.

In case anybody ever asks you: patience is a virtue.

But you know what?

Life, no matter what it's like, is so eminently worth living. Especially once you just forget about what it's meant to be like and live it.

I always tried to do that, and now I think I am doing it without the reservations.

Forget "living well."
LIVING is the best revenge.
Just do it.

Hang in there, all.

1 comment:

  1. hehe, there doesn't have to be any more reason to love you than for who you don't think you're attractive, obviously HE does and I'm sure many others do as well! You sure seem to have a lot of parties to go to and lot of friends so I'm starting to suspect whether the Troll is actually a troll like he says! lol.
    On Living. I agree, and I'm glad you are enjoying it when you can too.