Monday, May 22, 2006

Missing or Just Invisible

Saturday night our community had a wonderful event – Relay for Life, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. This event is built around the schools and the kids so our attendance was driven by our fourth graders. It is worthy of its own post and truly moved me. But I confess that at 3:30 AM (again) I write about me, narcissistic as it is.

We have lived in this community for our twin’s entire lives and they attend a small public school where they have traveled with the same kids for five years, and in many cases went to the same pre-school and have been with this crew for seven or eight years. We are a quiet family, not social butterflies, definitely not “A” list in an upscale community where everyone is either on that mythical list or wanting to be. Our children at any moment have a small group of friends, surely not the mainstream. It should also be noted that having a large blended family, KA and I are the old folks in this group – in many cases by ten to fifteen years.

Therefore Saturday night contained no surprises. We eventually meandered over to the informal gathering spot for our school, opened our chairs and made “camp.” We sat with a friend and chatted. And as the evening moved along the inescapable fact was that we were invisible. Our children played with their two friends but the group of six to eight other girls from the grade did not see our children. Over the course of the evening one or two dads did nod a hello towards me, but I was invisible. KA does know many of the women from school activities so she was a little more visible, but not in a “hugging, lets get together with the kids” fashion.

All of which is a long setting of the table for the topic on my mind – “missing”. KA and I have discussed over the last months what is missing from my life that I feel the need for sexual hookups, blogging and most recently e-mails within the gay-bi community. Her short answer is that I am much gayer than I am willing to accede to, and maybe she is right. But as I think back to Saturday night, I cannot help but think there is more than sex to this. Don’t get me wrong – we have friends and socialize, but our circle is small. In terms of the “guy” thing I have one good friend with whom for various reasons I am nowhere near discussing the current nature of my life.

My wife would point out that I have an incredibly close knit group that I work with, and that is true. But it does not translate outside of the office. I am not athletic – if I played golf in a non-humiliating fashion – it would be nice. But the bottom line is that there is not a lot of “male bonding” going on, with or without me.

In response to KA’s post last week, I received an e-mail with the following line that stopped me:
“but I believe that we will always (be) feeling that something is missing in our lives (straight or gay) whatever path we should follow.”
Sadly, I tend to believe it, though I am not sure for the same reasons as the writer intended.

Maybe KA is right – what is missing is accepting and “feeding” my gay side, but I think there is more. As part of my accepting the bi-gay side, has come a feeling of belonging and sometimes I think that feeling is more motivating to my behavior than the gayness. And that scares me, to invest so much, to put so much of my existence as I know it at risk, to join a “club”.

Proving once again why 4:00 AM is for sleeping to which I will now attempt to return.

Morning Update:
As always I stand by what I write, but as I posted last night and as I read Brad's comment this morning I realized that there was an additional sentance or two needed; I just did not have the strength or clarity at that hour.

There is a "club" aspect though I think the better term is male bonding. I suppose what scares me is not the "club" but my inability at this point to understand my own motivating factors. And truth be told motivating factors of bonding - of emotional connections - are a hell of a lot scarier than the much simpler desire for anonymous sex.

If the group I have come into contact with through my blogging and related e-mailing is a "club", I am proud to be a member.

6 comments:

Brad said...

I have gay friends and straight friends that all fit nicely in the fabric of my life.

I suppose it could be viewed as a "club" or a "clique", but I just seem to have a lot in common with these people.

Of course, I've been "out" since I was seventeen, so it would be only natural that I would seek out people that I could identify with. I've had time.

As far as just chatting back and forth with you here, and by email, the "gay issues" that you have were obviously the reason for us getting to know one another, but even without that, I think we would have quite a bit to talk about, anyway. If I knew you in your "real life" I would certainly think of you as a friend.

Hell, we might talk about Simon and Garfunkel for a couple of hours, at least.

Brian said...

It just dawned on me that living in a large metropolitan area as you do,there must be gay common interest groups. Why not find a "gay" golf league and practice/play with them? It's a non-sexual way to meet and communicate with real people and it will improve your game.KA can even join you from time to time. I was involved with a gay tennis league when I lived in NYC and it was a blast.

Tony said...

So much of what you said, I have experienced and still am. Oddly I am single. There is this bond element that does seem to lack in my life, perhaps all gay males' lives. Perhaps its that emotional side that so many males hide. Who knows... just keep talking though it. You'll finnd your answers sooner or later.

bear said...

I think this is an interesting line of thought, not sure exactly what to make of it. (Does it actually feel like something is missing?)
For some reason, I think it's maybe related to what I was pestering you about weeks ago...I don't see you falling in love with guys, emotionally (have you ever?) Now, I'm talking about the heart wrenching soul crushing version of falling in love...the one that makes you insane, giddy, playful and a blabbering idiot too.
Maybe the anonymous sex is more about just sex than, say, commitment. A commitment you are not really interested in.
And then maybe that's not the way you work and NOTHING is missing and that you just think you SHOULD be connecting with these guys but don't feel compelled to...
Because even if you think you had buried it or surpressed it, I think you STILL would have fallen in love or had crushes so many times by now that it would be obvious to you...so I think you just don't work that way. :)

Spider said...

You hit the nail on the head - it is the acceptance thing - being accepted by your own kind - another man and a gay man... that is what it is/was/will be for me... that need for acceptance that I never got as a child...

A Troll At Sea said...

Nate:

You are blessed, and it may take a while for it to become visible to you. But I have been following you and KA and the rest of the cast for a while, and I think that you need to remember that you cannot be "at home" and "on the road" at the same time.

You are definitely "on the road". When you settle, so will the people around you.

Keep breathing.
Count your blessings.

Hang in there.
The Troll