Thursday, August 31, 2006


I saw this Meme on Raven's site and thought it a bit silly, but while looking at something else on my blog, I did it for the hell of it.

Here are the instructions:
1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

My 23rd Post: “A Thing So Simple and So Huge”

The 5th sentence: “It is now clear that there are two issues in all of this – my sexual desires and my fidelity in a marriage.”

My comment: I swear – I am not making this one up. Plus ca meme, Plus ca change.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Music has been much a part of the journey and one line of late (from an old Dar William’s song) has just continued to resonate.

And as long as she's got noise, she's fine.
But I could teach her how I learned to dance when the music's ended

I feel that of late I am fine with the noise – the noise of blogging, the noise of my married bi/gay on-line group. I am fine with the noise of checking out CL or looking for the next e-mail. I am fine with the noise of arranging my next hookup or learning how works.

I do not seem to be fine with the quiet. I need to learn to dance when the music’s ended and do not know where to start.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


There have been many late night talks over the last seven months, much ground covered, painful topics exposed. So last night should have just been one more in this ongoing series, but it was not. It rates capitals I fear.

On Friday I was feeling the pull – it has been a month since I have been with a man and I found myself cruising CL, creating a login for not acting per se, but looking half-heartedly. My new FWB (friend with benefits) will be back from vacation next week, so need to do anything rash. Still, busy as hell, there I am taking a few minutes to “cruise”.

Last night we lay there and Carrie says you were really thinking about being with a man Friday at work: you really wanted it. I am stunned, I am quiet, I admit. I ask, what makes you say it and she explains - little things which do not seem to be so telling. But ultimately she saw right through me, right through the telephone wires and she was right.

A few posts ago I alluded to when Carrie and I first came together. The freedom of our love, which allowed her to start to see her past, also affected me. You must understand that Carrie came to our relationship as close to virginal as any married woman with two kids could be. She and her first husband procreated but never recreated. So all I wanted seemed normal to her. Doesn’t every man want dildos in his ass, to be taken by his wife? Doesn’t every man want to kiss after being blown so he can share the cum? Enough said. The point is clear: I had found a woman where I could, without ever admitting it to myself or to her, be Gay. And it worked for both of us for a long time.

It stopped working on two counts. My needs increased – the fantasy that puts you over the top once, twice, a hundred times, eventually is not enough. And Carrie grew in so many ways in our time together. She did not want to continue as a stand-in for a man. What worked for an insecure girl is way too much to ask of a real woman with a real ego.

So we lay in bed and she points out that I would like to be with a man – hugging and spooning, my tongue feeling his. I am quiet. I am hard. The quiet speaks volumes; Carrie knows I could never lie.

We lay in bed and she tells me I will not find faith - that would require letting go. I consider my recent post – she sees through me. She tells me of my lack of connections with her, with the children, with my world. She tells me things I know. I am quiet. I am saddened.

Lying there, wanting her still, I wish to be simply gay or simply straight, so much simpler than being bi. The pull of the gay is so powerful as Friday proved. It just refuses to go back in its box – closets are lonely places. So bi as I am, the journey must continue as gay.

Recently I have felt like I was being shoved – by Carrie and my sister (a biological one) – out the door. Last night it was different, like a young chick being nudged from the nest. Neither of us knows what I will find and both realize I may be sadly disappointed. We both know that this path may lead me back home. We also both know that it may lead me away.

But a life of Fridays – cruising CL – that is not healthy. No lifetime of lunchtime hookups – I have already admitted to needing a friendship, a relationship of sorts. Carrie tells me any answer is alright. If I do not require acting on my gayness, she could go on forever. If not, we will need to make decisions. But the decision for a life of “lunches” may be different than my finding a boyfriend. Sooner or later, there will have to be decisions.

One thing is clear: I cannot have my cake and eat it anymore. Carrie will share a home with me, she will share a life with me, and she will even share a bed with me. But she is no longer willing to share her body with me, not as long as I am sharing my body with another.

We have devoted the weekend to preparing the basement for the return of our daughter and fiancé while they save for a house of their own. It will be a three room suite; we are creating a mini-kitchen for their morning toast and coffee. It is coming out quite well. And all the while I keep thinking, will this be my home in another year? If they were not moving in, would this be my home even sooner.

Carrie tells me all I need is to say one thing from my heart – that I accept being gay and accept not acting on it. Such a simple thing: but I lay there as a mute, unable to utter either phrase. There is an excitement I suppose, but I am having trouble finding it at this moment.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Whose Country Is This?

Country Music that is. I have been catching up on my blog reading and today could be thought of a letter to Raven, a New Yorker who well defends his liking of country music, particularly last week the Dixie Chicks. It got me too thinking about the types of music I like.

Just a little background: I blog about my life in terms of my sexuality but the other river running deep – and strangely connected to the sexuality – is my love of music. I have succumbed to iTunes and let’s just say the collection is measured in five digits now. Thirty-eight years of collecting adds up.

Music has become a very real part of my journey this past year. Carrie points out that since my Father’s Day present of an iPod fourteen months ago, things have not been the same. She believes that the music freed my soul and in a very real way liberated my gay side. She is right as usual, but I digress.

One of the songs that sent me reeling this winter was a Mary Chapin Carpenter song: Jubilee.
And I can tell by the way you're searching

For something you can't even name
That you haven't been able to come to the table
Simply glad that you came

Ian turned me onto this song. The thing is that iTunes (yes, I bought the song) assigns songs a genre and this one is Country. If they had called this folk-rock, it would have been just as accurate to me.

Another song on the journey was I Will Always Love You. Now Whitney Houston did not become rich recording country music – middle of the road pop all the way for her. The thing is that it was a good song that Whitney did, but when I discovered the Dolly original version, I was floored, I was moved, I cried – often.
If I should stay

Well, I would only be in your way
And so I'll go, and yet I know
That I'll think of you each step of my way

The song a wife might sing to a gay husband on her way out the door. Countless listenings later, I have been a bit desensitized though this weekend when a disappointing cover came on (Melissa Etheridge) the person I was with did sense there was more to this for me. A country song yes – but known to most of the universe for the pop version.

Then I think back to my Grateful Dead days – not exactly a country band. But they did a wonderful version of Marty Robbin’s – a country/ cowboy icon – El Paso. Hell, they did a whole album an eon ago – Workingman’s Dead with a whole country feel.

Marty Robbin’s takes me to his song Big Iron done by Steve Goodman – the late folk singer who gave us City of New Orleans. I own the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band doing Will The Circle Be Unbroken with a who’s who of country artists and also doing Mr. Bojangles with David Bromberg – as true a folk artist as you can find.

iTunes thinks that Iris Dement is a Folk artist and while possibly true for Wasteland of The Free – a prophetic protest song, there remains When My Morning Comes Around, country as can be.

And getting back to the Dixie Chicks, Not Ready To Make Nice may be favorite folk-rock protest song since Iris Dement a decade ago.

My most recent favorite artist is a Texas folk singer named Slaid Cleave. The thing is that Lydia – a song about a coal mining family – and Breakfast In Hell – logging in Ontario –are real close to country from my perspective.

I could go on but the point is simple. Mark –do not apologize for being a New Yorker listening to country. We have spent as a group way too much time realizing the difficulties of pigeon holing our sexual orientations with “proper” labeling. Let’s not drag the music down to the same level. Country, folk, folk-rock, traditional – the tent is mighty big and confusing. And that is the joy.

Next post, back to the usual whining, but it does feel good to talk about something else so dear to my heart for a change.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Was It Philippians or Just Flippians

Dear Flip
I have had many things rolling though my mind of late but your posts – taken as a whole – have caught my attention. Now understand, I am a Jew who has never been to an AA meeting, but the issues are universal.

This summer we were on vacation talking to a friend – a once a year see on vacation friend – who happens to be a Rabbi and he made reference to my religious period. It was to my mind a bit mean-spirited, but had an element of truth. A decade ago I had a religious period – we would attend services regularly and that has clearly waned.

There is much back story I could write – a protestant wife, various churches and synagogues, even scandals, but they take me to far from where I need to go.

That evening Carrie pointed out that our Rabbi friend had unwittingly hit on something. I have had periods of religion, but never faith. I have sat in Temples and Churches and have given great thought to many things – a meditation of sorts. Frequently they are serious things but often the mind wanders back to the mundane, the surroundings a mere back drop.

I have written of my difficulty in letting go – a control thing. Faith requires letting go –trusting with one’s soul what a head cannot grasp. I see some around me who are there. I see so many more like me, mind fidgeting, eyes darting: the eyes – always a good window when the soul is involved.

So Flip, please do not apologize for your tales of AA, for your beliefs and faith. These are good things, lessons for us, goals to aim for. I am grateful – jealous, but grateful.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006


During the last few weeks I have struggled with balancing the honesty that has become the trademark of this blog with issues of family privacy. Ultimately I need to give the greater weight to honesty: without context the nuances of my life are lost. In the past I have posted on my wife’s bouts with depression. I married her knowing of this and have not wavered in my decision.

Depression is of course borne of reality in many cases – as the old expression goes you’re not paranoid if someone is out to get you. My wife’s depression may have a chemical component but its true roots are much easier to define. When we first met the comfort we found in each other allowed secret parts of us to emerge. Mine – that is a post in itself and will be written before too long. Her’s: a childhood, if one could use that term, from Hell.

With the benefit of hindsight it is clear that we both have had issues racing just under the surface for the last number of years. My coming out with all it has entailed has caused my wife to look inward and to see more of her past. And the things that are emerging are unspeakable. It has caused a downward spiral that is sobering. This has created a strangely uneven playing field. I have no desire to leave but it is also true that at this point my presence is a requirement for the health of my wife and family. That is no problem: we are both where we want to be.

But there is also no denying that as I continue to be with other men (or more accurately, an other man) she feels no choice but to accept it. The thing is it should be a cause of guilt, of taking undue advantage, but it is not. I justify it to myself – and to her – that if I see my friend it is easy – a stolen hour from my work day; if I do not see him, the fixation returns, cruising CL, the constant thoughts.

We continue to evolve. The wild sex of vacation– borne of fear and desperation – is gone: we are home now. She can conceive of us living as friends – together for the comfort and the children. Friends: but other than the occasional romp (when she desires), no longer lovers. We talk of my personal journey – retreats or the like. That is shelved until the spring as she has a chance to heal and various events of our lives pass.

Last night in passing I mentioned that a good friend at work was celebrating his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Carrie looked up and quietly asked if we would make it there. No answer was required: a year ago not even a question. Now as much as we both have our hopes, we are both too scarred and scared to even attempt an answer.

Monday, August 21, 2006


While things have continued to evolve as will become clear in my next post, the only way I can track my own evolution is to remember all of my steps, even ones that have already modified. So here is the other post I wrote last week on vacation:

Our vacation continues. Things continue to become clear. Carrie and I talk, we think of our situation and the possibilities, and we make love – passionate love borne of desire and surely a dose of terror. I realize that this talk of a marriage of convenience – share a bed but not our bodies – can never be. Our relationship while built on friendship was forged with passion. That “ring” cannot be changed – thrown into the fires of Mount Doom and destroyed, but not bent into an unnatural configuration.

So we lay there discussing where next. CL, looking to “force” a relationship: the madness of that became clear in the last post. Carrie suggests finding a retreat. Last month in my other online world, that was mentioned. A man – Richard – went on one, a country setting under three hours from where I live: a controlled environment for emotional exploration, not an orgy.

At the time it caught my eye, but there were two problems: how to broach the subject with Carrie and my fear of retreats. The first problem: solved when she broached it with me. The second is much more problematic. The thing with retreats is they require an element of letting go. As you may have discerned from my writings I have some issues regarding control. There is no solution to this problem – no solution other than take a risk and leave the comfort zone.

As I have thought of this, it feels right as a next step. And if not this, a bi/gay husbands group – not online but in the flesh. The issue is simply that I need to better understand myself. I do not believe I can save my marriage – at least not in a healthy fashion - through repression or avoidance. Trying to answer “Who Am I” by looking for a “boyfriend” may lead to some pleasurable times – innocent and carnally – but ultimately I am not sure it gets me closer to that answer.

And if the answer is simply I am a gay married man, then I can make decisions. A reasonable decision may very well be to table the gay for many reasons – you know them all. It also may not be. But after close to a year, TGT is apparently not going quietly into the night.

Prior to posting this, I went back to my other vacation posts - get a sense of continuity which I lost while away and I was struck by one thing I had written: (How can I) ignore that mere mention of gay sex in our bedroom puts me over the top. I have thought of that line and have a confession - a confession to myself. The fact that sexual images excite me and that images with men excite me unduly comes as no surprise. The thing is that when Carrie and I discuss my gayness in the most general terms, I find myself aroused. And that is just tough to explain away.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


It is not often that I invest my time in a post only to reject it, but that is the place I find myself at this moment. Below are pieces of what I originally wrote (in italics). Ultimately the post worked – it forced me to crystallize my thoughts, to give words to feelings. But unlike my typical post where I come to the end and lean back, exhausted yet exhilarated by having found my way, this time I came towards the conclusion and was horrified with where I landed.

The vacation continues – a schizophrenic sort of vacation where Carrie and I can have long discussions of our lives, my gay side, our troubles and also make love in the fullest sense. Maybe that is what happens when everything is on the table and there are no more lies.

The thing is that what keeps coming back is the depth of our love – in our conversations, in our silent moments, and in our passions. We were last in this cabin seventeen years ago and it seems to bring out the best in us.

It is clear to both of us – her all the time and me in my more honest moments – that my gay side is quite dominant in my thoughts. The question I have struggled with is whether I am like a pendulum – my gay side at an apex after a lifetime of repression which in time will find that comfortable bi I envision. Or is it that I am just gay – bi of course in that I am attracted to my wife.

As I consider this “gayness” Carrie talks of my finding someone to share my music, my other sides with. The thing is that I already have that. Carrie and I have allowed things to slip – why go see Dar Williams (she played a small venue a half hour drive away some months ago) when we can just stay home – maybe catch some re-runs. We are both guilty here – neither making that extra effort. And of course like all things in life, when things are not right, we both react poorly.

I have a wonderful wife but a relationship that was once a ten is only a seven; while still way ahead of many we know, not what it was. If there was ever a question of our friendship, of the depth of our bond, this vacation has answered that: we remain the best of friends.

So we discuss how I continue this path of self discovery, this determination of the pendulum of my gayness. The current path is flawed. I like my new married friend with benefits. We talk and we have fun. We have our limited – very limited – time together and we go home to our families. While seemingly fine for me, is this not just a variation of the slow death for Carrie I wrote of in my last post. All is perfect and ignore what I may do at lunch today.

And does not the comfort and safety of that situation – a full cut above semi-anonymous sex, just enable me to avoid the bigger issues of learning who I am. Because that is the issue here: separating who I am from who I want to be. The latter is easy – I want to be a straight man continuing to live what is a very pleasurable existence. My inability to be sated with all I have is its own post and then some I suspect.

I conveniently wrote that last sentence – the heart of certain things – and tabled it for another day. It cannot be tabled because I fear certain very real pieces of my life have become hopelessly intertwined and need to be separated. How much of my “wanderlust” is repressed gayness, how much is too many years of raising children with a family ranging from twenty-six down to nine, and how much is Carrie and I having grown complacent in our day to day lives. Cymber has prescribed one night out every week for Carrie to do her thing, one night for Nate to do his and one night for a babysitter and a date. This may not work every week, but it is a good goal on our road to rebuilding.

One thing is clear – I have started down a path and the only way to end up home, home where I want to be, is to complete the path. There is no reverse on this train. So we discuss possibilities. Certain things are too silly to even consider: I am not going to cruise gay bars. Besides never having success in such situations, who am I going to meet – a one night stand. That is not my goal.

There is going on-line, a world where I have found some comfort. I can go on CL or gay or What will I write:
Married man – 52 yr old professional looking to explore gay side. Out to my wife bi, closeted to the rest of the world. Would like to meet, talk and more if it clicks. I like music. Can meet during week and maybe able to arrange occasional weekend.

I read the ad and have to wonder who would answer? Another man in my situation – seems like a small pool. Another married man not out to his wife? Do not really see the logistics working. Or of course the real target audience, a gay man. Wait – why is he waiting for me, where is his boyfriend, what the hell is wrong with him.

A Dylan lyric finally makes sense:
She knows there’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all.

There is more, but for another post, another day.

I considered leaving the title of the post unmentioned, but that seems a bit elitist. I have saved this title for a long time – a final jeopardy in Musicals. Alex –Who is Jean Valjean in Les Miz? “Who Am I” careens in my brain.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Getting It

I started writing yesterday- Cymber had tagged me – ten Q words of who I am. As I was typing – Queer, Quirky, Quip… I realized that as much fun as it was (and it was), it was a bit of avoidance: why deal with real life when games are to be played.

I am on vacation, typing on a laptop overlooking a pristine lake. I was in my kayak a few minutes ago and will be in the canoe with my wife a tad bit later. My wife – we have spent much time talking on this vacation. She has accepted the blog to the degree that she wants a real name even – no more KA for her. Heretofore she will be Carrie, her new alter-ego I suppose.

We talked much before this vacation acknowledging the difficulties of our life and the fact that the vacation would not be an escape. I never appreciated how true the latter statement would become. If there is a theme to the vacation – to my current life – it is that I have the most amazing wife one could ask for and as her reward I am killing her slowly. Not a dramatic death anymore – how does one top the initial statement over dinner “I am bi-sexual.” But now it is a slow death, a death of spirit, a death of depression. I do not mean to do this and she does not intend for this to happen. But we are both intelligent enough to understand that in many ways there are no choices.

This brings me to some members of our community – married gay men; out to their wives and who have either never had sex with a man or last did it decades ago. Why would a marriage end if one is not physically involved? The problem is that I am in the same room as them but having entered from a different door, I have fooled myself into seeing a different place.

The definitions I have built on have been the physical and if one accepts that, then the Kitty’s and Kinky’s are right: stop the physical and honor the marriage. The problem of course is that being gay is not just about bj’s and the like. My post Fifteen Hours got to the heart of it – the sex and the spooning. A few weeks ago I realized that I had stopped e-mailing Jerry (a man previously referred to as my gay lover in Chicago). Why: because to it was impossible to deal with Jerry while denying the current dominance of my gay side. It was impossible to want to visit him and claim there was no emotional connection. We have since e-mailed and acknowledged that while the stars may be aligned against us there was and are mutual feelings.

This of course (as most have figured out way ahead of moi) is why there are no choices. I could give up men – just suck it up, repress away, try to forget. Leaving out the question of whether I would be successful or end up either an angry repressed man or an out and out liar like Dr. Steven T of NY Times fame, it cannot work. I know, Carrie knows. Do we just make believe that my gay side is not currently on steroids? Ignore that mere mention of gay sex in our bedroom puts me over the top. The reality of who I am trumps the reality of what I do.

Carrie and I are struggling to create our new life. At this point it will be together. Weddings to make, young ones to raise, older ones in College: social and economic realities that neither of us can ignore. She has given me some time – a year or two to figure out who I am and what I want. But for the first time we are faced with just how little we know of the end of this story. Neither of us can imagine a life not together, but neither of us can ignore the reality of my gayness. These are not happy times.