Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It seems incredible to me, but Sunday will be the second anniversary of my leaving home, and I get to contemplate all that the date stirs up on my own, while the Goat is off in Vacationland for a well-deserved rest. More incredible is the distance that I have traveled in two years, and even in the last year alone... if my head were screwed on tight to begin with, it might be spinning.

Here is what I posted two years ago:

Well, the bridge is well and truly crossed. I have come out to my children, and will be moving out of my house sometime on Thursday. We built, or rather, completely rebuilt, this house twenty years ago, and it has seen some of the most wonderful times I have seen in my life. Even the studio I built out in the barn eight years ago has seen some wonderful things...

Indeed, my marriage has not only lasted half my life, but has been literally the "better half" of it. For whatever it may mean to the rest of you out there on the web, it was not a facade or a prison, but a source of constant and vivifying love, and there are three amazing, forgiving, wonderful people now on this earth to prove it. I cannot say how much my children's behavior has moved me.

I move into an interim, a true wilderness time, in town but not at home for the prescribed forty days -- as long as my children are home. And in the hope that it is not forty years in the wilderness that is my lot... Beyond those forty days, my hope is to find work near enough by that THEY are close when home, but in a city large enough to allow me to be the skunk at the gay community's garden party as I have been among you, my Blog Brothers.

This has been a long and difficult road, and aside from the occasional cruiser and cheerleader, I can honestly say that the web has brought me nothing but love and support. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, which is where you will find me most of the time, these days.

I wish you all well on your travels, at whatever point you may find yourself on your own particular roads. The Psalms taken together have one particularly Jewish thing to say: no matter what your life is like, it will soon be different. Maybe better, maybe worse, but certainly different. In that there is cause for hope, and the beginning of wisdom.


The Troll Now Well and Truly At Sea

and one year ago:

The Right Word

I fell a little out of love and then

I worked my woe in words, sent him my song:
My little sorrow ambered deep in rhyme,
My grief preserved. When next he came to me,

My lover, gentlest of all gentle men,
Just held me close and kissed me — I'd been wrong.
And later, when I spoke of some fine time
To come, if we should know that we'll stay "we,"

He stopped me with a word. "Not 'if,' but 'when' —
It's 'when,' not 'if,' we know that we belong
To one another." No fall so sublime
As my fall, falling deep as deep can be.

When he said that he loved me, I rejoiced,
But "When, not if" — there heaven's joy is voiced.

You'd think that after spending a lifetime apologizing, I would either be better at it, or have finally learned how to avoid having to do it. Do NOT hold breath, dahling, as Natasha might have said to Boris.


Well, the Goat came to visit this weekend with an old friend in tow, and we drove north to visit another old friend of his — OK, now I know it was an old "friend," not to put too fine a point on it, an old @#$%-buddy, but what the hell? — and I was in the weird situation of being the New Kid on the Block. These guys, including a sort of houseboy who rounded out the cast, had all seen the Goat with a variety of disposable or semi-disposable boyfriends over the last twenty years, and that felt a little weird. Not weird enough to make me want to be somewhere else, just weird. Weird enough, perhaps, for me not to watch what I said too carefully, but since when do I need an excuse not to watch my tongue?

Oh well.

It went off well enough, and, after months of feeling that the Goat was keeping his friends from me, though God knows he would never stop talking about them, or saying "You have to meet X, Y, or Z," and then not making it happen I was now confronted with the fact that I was mortally jealous of their previous history with him — even before I knew what it entailed in one case.

And believe me, in that case I could hardly blame him; this guy, some ten or twelve years younger than I, is built like the proverbial Brick Shit-house, and really tall, really dark, and really handsome. Back before I knew the story, I even told the Goat that it was a good thing I had seen him first, or this guy might have been the focus of all my demented dreams. But then I found out what he does to and/or with those he loves, and quite aside from my hopeless feelings for the Goat, I'm not sure I could have done the deed[s]. We all have limits, and while mine are expanding, but they aren't expanding THAT fast. I am basically a Leather-Guy Wannabe, a Vanilla Wafer with dreams of chocolate icing. These guys are the Real Thing.

Well, time went by quickly enough, and we did have some time to ourselves — the Goat was actively trying to get his friend-in-tow to go out and meet guys and get beyond "polite" to the deed more efficiently. There is something rather sweet in one senior citizen trying to give another pick-up tips, but it is a topic I could not, of course, skate very near in the then present company.

It was also rather odd to see the Goat among his own kind, and really have to take onboard the fact that he's gay. Now, I know that sounds completely absurd, and indeed it is. Especially since Mr. Brick-Shithouse remarked that he sometimes avoided attending Bear events because it was so hard to figure out who was comfortable in his own skin already, and who was just out of the closet, and still carrying a lot of anti-sissy freight that made him want to hang with bears because he could pretend he was still with guys, not gays. Misogyny and fear of drag-queens came into it, too. Though I had to admit that most of what he was describing did in fact apply to me recently out, happy to be with a relatively butch guy, not overly fond of drag-queens, vaguely anti-sissy, to the extent that it wouldn't be self-hatred, anyway I couldn't get my head around the combination of misogyny and dislike of drag queens.

My own dislike of drag queens has a lot to do with my regard for women, and the feeling I can't shake that below all the talk about drag being an "homage," an affectionate lampooning, there is deep-seated hostility there. (The madonna must be a whore...) Well, that's my problem, I guess. But I still don't understand the combination, which the three other guys in the hot-tub found utterly self-explanatory.

The newbie's dilemma: not fitting in @#$%-ing anywhere...

But there's another AHA! moment for the Troll: sitting in a hot-tub with three seriously experienced leather-men. Not a place I would have imagined myself a year ago, and aside from wondering what I would have made of it a year ago, it didn't really register one way or the other: they were the people I was hanging out with. And it, and they, were cool.

Back at the Ranch, the three of us watched Stephen Frears' wonderful movie The Queen, and were all near tears. What was weird about that experience was that we were watching different movies: the Goat, bless his heart, was weeping for Princess Di, which almost made me want to run screaming from the room, and I was weeping for everyone else in her family, basically: Prince Charles and the young boys. I don't know who the Goat's guest was weeping for; I didn't ask. BTW, I suspect that the extremely sympathetic portrayal of Prince Charles is an example of poetic license, that he is much more of a pig-headed ignoramus than the thoughtful if limited man Frears put on screen.
I hope not, but I suspect so...

Anyway, there we were, weeping for opposing teams. I guess it's a good thing that the Goat doesn't give a fart for team sports.

That was my weekend.

Back to Goatville on Friday... for way less than twenty-four hours. A friend of mine, married with grandchildren, who has a lover of five or ten years on the side, is driving across New York State to spend an hour or two alone with me on Saturday morning, before we both go off to a big family picnic. The picnic is the kick-off to a big family pow-wow in my former home-town, where I now have to find friends to put me up.

Talk about a weird feeling.
There's just been a lot of weird going on recently...
Though luckily, the Goat hasn't really held it against me.

Hang in there, guys. My thoughts are with you, especially those of you who are facing the reality of this vale of sorrow, rather than hiding in the warm, pink refuge of new love and old habits.

I can remember how devastated I was two years ago; I remember distinctly how I felt there was no future for me, or any future I could bear. The future stretched out ahead of me like a great wasteland, and yet it was only three months after I left home that I got my first glimpse of the Goat. All of six months after, that we met again. And seven months after, that "things" happened. And only nine months after, that I knew I was in over my head. And a year after, that he knew he was -- or, at least, that I knew he was.

So much for forty years in the wilderness...

In retrospect, it seems an almost laughably short period. But it sure didn't feel that way at the time. And while I don't believe that I have changed, I find the world has, which means, in fact, that I have. The thing about coming out on the other side of the looking-glass is that everything is the same, but everything looks different.

If I weren't in love, I think I might go mad.
Hang in there, guys.
It beats all the alternatives.


  1. Troll,

    I'm not sure what to say. "Happy Anniversary" just seems so inappropriate.

    Have a good day. One day at a time.

    I think you're doing OK, all things considered.

  2. "And while I don't believe that I have changed, I find the world has, which means, in fact, that I have."
    It's interesting how much can happen, how we can change, when we think we've come to the end of it. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I think it's safe to say that the world has changed, you have changed and the way you view it has changed. No man is an island and we don't live in a vacuum.

    Things always work out for the best...which if you think about it is like the saying "It never fails that the thing I am looking for is always in the last place I look".

    Or something like that.

    Happy Anniversary!

  4. Yes, happy UN-iversary!