Monday, August 25, 2008

DOWN and OUT of TOWN...

Here we are, coming up on two years since I first saw the Goat and my heart stopped beating, a year and half or so since I knew I was lost, and a year or so since I became pretty sure that he was as committed to me as I was to him. There are so many questions I will never be able to answer:

If I saw him for the first time today, would my heart stop?

How many other men could have entered the room and had the same effect?

Would I in fact have responded with the same volcanic reaction to any man's touch?

All of the above come under the heading of "How much of what is going on here is real, and how much is the result of the moment[s] at which various things hit us?"

I seem to have made my peace with living as a gay man, and have asked my closest friends and family to accept that this is my life from now on. But can I live in a gay world? The signals there are much more mixed. All the things that made me walk away thirty years ago are still there; the things that drove me to distraction then are still just as irritating. But then, many of the deeds I knew I could "never" do have now been done, and even enjoyed, so who knows where this is all going? I sure don't.

Well, I posted earlier that there are in fact only so many leathermen in New England [click here], and that if you are far away from Boston and Northampton, or at least not conveniently close to either, then the chances of meeting anyone are fairly slim. That is more or less where I was sitting at Leather Night a little less than two years ago when he walked into the room.

I was already in a room full of leathermen, and while the setting and the acknowledged topic had me nervous as a Tennesse Williams cat, there was only one moment that struck like lightning. I had reached the point where I was ready to yield to almost any embrace--but I hadn't. And I did nearly yield to the Southern Man around then--but I didn't [click here].

There are encouraging signs. We are both sure this is really it. We miss each other like crazy when we are apart. And we worry about what could drive us apart.

There are less encouraging signs. He still talks about his house in the Big Woods, and how it can be improved to suit him better, rather than "us," out of one side of his mouth, and about finding a place where the two of us can live together, out of the other side. This sometimes brings on double vision that really blinds me. Or, at least, leaves me with a blinding headache. But then, for the next few years, until he can bail out of his current employment with some kind of safety net, we are set up in three houses too small for two people.

Who knows what will happen in two or three years' time? I sure don't.

What I find is that while I am perfectly comfortable with my family and close friends and the Goat, this trip out of town, hanging out with guys I have worked with off and on for twenty years or more, but with a bunch of guys in charge I don't know very well, I am less comfortable with the idea of introducing my having switched teams, or of introducing the Goat himself. I have told the guys I know best, and have even gone into some detail about the end of my marriage, but one-on-one is one thing, and walking into a room with a weightlifter on my arm is another.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I had more or less been hung out to dry by my "career" before I switched teams, and this is the first time that the two things are threatening to overlap [the Goat is threatening/promising to come out for Labor Day weekend].

I have to do presentations all day both days, and am in and out of groups where he could certainly hang out if he wanted to; it would be great to have him there between my turns. But it would force me "out" again, somewhere where I was anything but out before. Oddly enough, it is my gay friends in the "industry" I think I will have the most trouble with. Not that they will make trouble, I will just have it. It's an internal thing... based, I suppose, on my fear of them pulling the female intuition thing on me and saying they always knew. Whoever said that coming out was a lifelong process was on to something.

I had dinner with a cousin the other night who said that she felt that the ease of divorce [or just splitting if you weren't married] had made it harder to keep men around; she felt that people were losing the ability to "stick it out." I allowed as how that was a bit of a sore subject for me, and she rushed to say that twenty-five years of marriage took me out of the cohort she was talking about, but the sting remained.

I can't tell which group of people pisses me off more: the ones who ask why in hell I didn't leave earlier, or the ones who say I should never have left--whether they imagine my "giving it up" for the good of the marriage, or living it up and maintaining the facade of the "perfect couple." That facade was the thing that weighed me down most, I think.

Oh, well.
I hate hotel rooms.

One of the things that helped me make my peace with the end of my so-called career was the idea that I would never have to live out of a suitcase again... and here I am. Back in Hotel Heaven. Lord help me.

Hang in there, all.
The times, they are a-changin'...

1 comment:

  1. I understand now what gay people mean by 'we will be coming out for the rest of our lives', I guess it is how we handle it and how comfortable we get with it. I still feel really awkward about it. I never married so I can't pretend to know what you are going through regarding that situation. I can only wish you the best in your journey and your relationship with the 'goat'!