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 match.com. 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.