Saturday, September 06, 2008


OK, the dreaded dinner came and went. M and B arrived in great style, swept me off to a very expensive restaurant they made a point of saying they could only afford to go to every once in a while, and launched into the probing of the "changes" in my life which I had been expecting, but much more gently than I had been expecting. As a result, I felt that it was easier to tell them; and they responded with more questions, which suddenly made me aware, not that they were nosier than anyone else (which they very well may be--no, are), but that they actually want to know how I am doing, and that everyone else had had no clue how to get by the banner headline:


It was a very nice dinner, but I was rather surprised to find that I was expected to pay, and was only just able to finesse it into each of us paying a third, when the ostensible reason for the dinner, aside from my suddenly showing up within driving distance, was a Rather Large Favor I had managed to do for them in the course of my trips to this Burg. Some part of me had assumed that this might be the occasion for a tangible "thank-you," and that the reason that they had pointed out the price of the restaurant, aside from preventing me from falling into a faint on first viewing the menu, was that they were preparing me for the good news that I would not have to pay.

I only just got away without paying for their meals on top of my own.

OK, I know I am a cheapskate, and I know I keep track of favors and slights more than I should, more than is good for sanity, in fact. However, the end of the meal left me asking more questions than I had been able to formulate while fielding theirs: what on earth were they thinking when they agreed to go out with me? Was all the concern for me and my "guy" a way of paying back the debt, which then left me to pick up the tab? Shouldn't they have made some kind of prior arrangement [like asking if I would/could/should go out to one of the most expensive joints in town] if they expected me to pick up my tab, let alone--as seemed pretty clear to me-- the whole tab?

The problem for me is, they are my friends. There is too much history there, good and bad, just to write them off and walk away. But I am left with the sinking feeling that I don't know them very well, and I don't like them very much. So, while all the things I dreaded about dinner seemed to evaporate in a slightly alcoholic [OK, VERY alcoholic] haze, they were replaced with Real Worries, Real Concerns, and Real Anger. Did anybody win here? I don't think so. I don't think they did, and I sure as hell know I didn't.

And now, the good news: the Goat is driving back out to spend his one weekend night off with me before I have to head back to Nowheresville to tie up the last of the loose ends. It is particularly sweet because by the end of next week I will be in the Big Woods for good, with a lifetime's worth of books and useless kitchen equipment to unpack and find a home for... Sometimes you just have to admit that you did the right thing, and I am so moved by the Goat in his good moments that his occasional satanic flare-ups pale in comparison. I am completely convinced, in those moments, not only that I am luckier than I deserve, luckier than I dreamed I could be after leaving home, but that all in all, I have wound up in as good a place as I was before. Not the same, not as rewarding in the same places, but a good place to be.

Whoda thunkit?

Meanwhile, Steve-o over at "So This Is Me" writes [click here]:

I was thinking about the gay issue, how it seems to be so huge to some people and a thought suddenly hit me. It was more like that little voice in the back of a person's head speaking and I clearly heard the thought "being gay is not a big issue, it is nothing really, just some people make it an issue" and I feel that is the truth. Being gay is only a big deal to the people who can't accept it or don't understand it, some people may go into panic mode when they find out one of their neighbors or a school teacher is gay. If they thought about it, they probably liked and respected that person for years so just because they know
now, what difference does it make... none, it is only in the person's mind.

I know some of the other blog writers who have been out for years have been trying to say this to me and I'm finally getting it. To me, my attraction to men was almost a hidden weakness or character flaw that I felt must be kept from everyone else, I saw it as a huge wall that I someday had to figure out a way of climbing over.

Now I see it as part of who I am and will let others see it as a wall, if they want to burden themselves with such a narrow thought. I also see now that I made a huge deal out of something that was never really there, most people just did not give a second thought to the fact I'm gay. I think people have their own busy lives and as long as I don't cause them harm, they really don't care who I date. There is still the older generation that often can't accept it and I am understanding of their situation but as for younger people who use religion or whatever to try and keep me down, your tricks just don't work on me anymore. I understand now that you never really cared about my well being, it was more about power, control, your view on life and how to make others follow your views.

I am always pleased to hear good news, and the way most of the BlogBrothers have found their way to acceptance [and usually, in the process, stopped blogging] cheers me immensely. But it also points out the enormous difference in our experiences: I was complety comfortable being gay and open about it, including to my parents, and then decided to give it up for Lent. What I could never deal with was the [now] obvious fact that it was leather that made me tick, and it was the realization that that was never going to go away that really made me turn and face what I had been running for for so long--and everything else follows from that moment, no matter how long it took.

I think it is obvious that I have also come to some acceptance of that, and am trying to sort out how all the pieces of "me" fit together. That will take some time, as the elements are pretty contradictory... One thing I do know: "me" is in there, somewhere, among all those contradictions. Stay tuned.

Anginae over at Is There a Word for People Like Me? [click here] writes this:

So, I had emailed Andei and asked her if she’d meet me for lunch sometime in the town where she now lives... On Monday night, she called the house wanting to know if I was coming. I couldn’t get to the phone because I was putting the kids to bed so Jay took a message. I hesitated to call her back. Jay talked me into it and we set up a meeting place for the next day.

We had a nice lunch. She looked the same as she did when I saw her three years ago. We talked about our jobs, kids, school, family, and old friends from high school and college. After a couple of hours, I told her I needed to ask her something and I hoped she wouldn’t get upset. She was curious.

I asked her if she told her husband about our relationship before she married him. She thought for a moment then she said that she thinks she told him during their engagement counseling. (They are Catholic and it is required.) She said he didn’t think it was a big deal and they never really discussed it... She informed me that she had never told another soul because she didn’t think it was anyone else’s business.

I am glad I turned the topic of conversation towards our relationship. At first, we were simply old acquaintances, nearly strangers. But as the conversation took a more intimate tone, Andei changed. She would look into my eyes. I could feel a connection between us that I had not felt for nearly 15 years. I remembered loving her. I could tell she still loved me...

Driving home, I had more questions after seeing her. I never remember feeling like I might be a lesbian when we were together. My dream had always been to get married and have children and be a mom and do PTA and all that stuff. And when I fell in love with Jay I wanted to spend my life with him--not Andei. But after seeing her I could tell that the feelings I once had for her were not completely gone which means that what I once felt for her was more than just my imagination.

I wish I could say that I think our sexuality is based on who we fall in love with. I have proof to support that: I slept with Andei because I loved her. Jay sleeps with me because he loves me. Even though it goes against they way our brains are wired. I’ve decided that I just don’t understand sexuality and the spectrum on which it can exist. I doubt that many people are 100% straight--never having had a feeling or thought or dream or idea about a person of the same sex.

Is it too much to accept that people just fall in love? Most people wear blinders and are only looking for partners of the opposite sex.
If we all just took those blinders off, maybe there would be no gay or straight. Just people loving people. But then that doesn’t explain my husband who loves me very much wanting to sleep with a man does it? Or we could just call that curiosity.

Well, it's always a treat to have someone articulate something that you want to say, or have tried to say and not done so well. The fact is, we all carry heartbreak around, and this particular brand just makes us the inhabitants of this little corner of BlogWorld--and the world at large. Our suffering is different, but it is what we have in common with other people, not what sets us apart...

What worries me more than anything is what happens when "curiosity" turns to "certainty" and there is suddenly a real person rather than an idea involved. Other human hearts are just as vulnerable as our own, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we are all as flexible as can be--at some point, we cease to bend and begin to break. God knows I wish I were the only person who had blundered into the world of broken hearts, but I wasn't the first, and I am quite sure I won't be the last. God help us all.

That's the news from Lake He'sTheOne.
Hang in there, all.


  1. If only the world would relax about sexuality and let people fall in love with who ever they are meant to be with. I also suspect now that if society did not care so much people being gay, bi or straight, we would see a lot more people crossing the lines.

  2. hmm! That dinner thing seemed REALLY odd dinner! What was that about? Since when does one person pick up the entire tab like that again? Never heard that one...sound more like "users" than friends to me.
    "A good place": hehe, I think you are too, much better mentally than you were, say over a year ago.
    Steve-0: excellent insight, I like it!
    Aginae: yup believe the NOT 100% too!

  3. It's always a pleasure to read your blog. I don't often comment (I do a lot of commenting in groups,though)

    Good to see you're doing OK.