Monday, October 30, 2006


Yes, issues of my daughter and potential future son-in-law, Anna and Bill, have become a crushing burden for Carrie and me. The wedding is postponed, we have bought time, but as we see more of Bill, more of the interaction between them, our disquiet grows – grows like a plant out of Little House of Horrors (yes Brad, Justin can do the soundtrack).

Anna is looking forward for rescheduling the wedding, next fall we hear. The honeymoon, already booked, will occur – everything but the ring. She is going forward, she is in love. He is working on his issues.

To refresh the screen, for it has been a while since we touched on this topic, it seems that Bill was trading pictures – pornographic pictures, pictures of under-aged individuals: maybe girls, maybe boys. When I last wrote of it, I was concerned with saying the wrong thing, something that could come back to haunt him. Instead it seems that Carrie and I are the haunted. Due to a strange confluence of events it seems he will dodge the bullet: he is feeling fine. Carrie and I are not.

There is the obvious, the old news: his arrested development, his excitement from these pictures. He has not discussed his excitement with us, but I do not know about the rest of you, but when I have viewed pornography it has not been a research project.

Socially he is most comfortable with kids: something we had noticed - our friends had noticed - years ago. There is not much doubt in our minds that he will return to his comfort zone. There is little doubt of his dysfunction. One has to wonder as to his attraction to Anna – a slight woman, one the same height as our ten year old.

But what is truly crushing us now is the rest of him, the day-to-day Bill. They are ensconced in our basement. Bill does not come home swinging a whiskey bottle; he does not lay hands on our Anna. But he is abusive, he is mean. In the picture is worth a thousand words category, let me paint one or two.

Bill works close to home – our home that is. He leaves the house an hour and a half after Anna in the mornings and typically is home an hour before her in the afternoons. I will not even touch on what we feel when he taunts Anna that she is always tired.

So a few Sundays ago Anna and Bill take his car and go to their old apartment – a few last boxes, nothing massive. On Monday as we finish dinner he tells Anna there are boxes to take out of his car and when she demurs – says fifteen minutes – he tells her she won’t want to do it then, they need to do it now. Anna is 4’ 10” on a good day; Bill is 6’ – a healthy red-blooded male. But he is dominant, an alpha male in a world of woman and, yes, children: Anna will help.

These tableaus seem to play out frequently around here and tonight we all had dinner together again. As dinner wrapped up and the homework portion of the evening started, one of my younger daughters needed some spelling words – words she will choose. Bill suggests a favorite word of his – Slapdash. Our ten year old has an idea of the definition from the sound of it. Bill helps her out – “slapdash – something done in a haphazard manner as in this kitchen is cleaned in a slapdash fashion.”

The desire to scream – "Who the fuck do you think you are?" is overwhelming but I am the adult: I do not cry out, I do not go for him. Carrie and exchange looks, a common phenomenon of late. Anna senses the looks, but misses the why.

When this story started we were concerned for Bill – end the engagement: absolutely, but let him escape his troubles. We have now reached a point where on a perverse level we would be happy for him to be arrested, to have Anna’s decision made for her.

I thought my issues of sexual identity were as vexing as life could get. Sadly it appears that there are problems even more vexing. Carrie and I are north of fifty – we are tough, we are resilient, and we are talking: we will survive. Anna is twenty-six and cannot comprehend the hell she is entering.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Moving On

I cannot tell you the exact day when Carrie suggested that I do what I had to do and I cannot give the date I went on CL and with trepidation answered. It was only a few days later when with that exquisite combination of terror and excitement I found myself outside a “no tell” motel. The exact dates do not matter – not the stuff anniversaries are made of – but I can say it was a year ago, maybe thirteen months. I do know, because I have looked back, that on January 5, 2006 I started this Blog and I do know that I have written over 150 posts.

Why this sudden interest in history, in documenting this journey? Because I realize I have become a drama queen.
I am straight, I am gay, I am bi, I want to sleep with a man, I feel guilty today, I am worried about my marriage, and I am hooking up.
My head is swimming: I cannot even imagine the vertigo of those around me.

So I consider that a year ago I found myself in front of a motel. There have been some breaks but for the better part of the year I have been having sex with men. I even managed a sleepover if you would in Chicago. I have had a series of regular gigs. I currently have what I call a friend with benefits - we are friends - assuming he has survived my recent flurry of dramatic bullshit.

Yet over the course of the last week I have written – on Blog and in e-mails – of whether I want to continue to sleep with my friend: I have written of the guilt and of the desires. One year of going back for more – again and again - and we are discussing this. If I ate at a specific restaurant regularly over the course of year, would I be discussing if I like the food. If you watch the same movie a few times, there is an assumption you like the movie. Yet after a year I am discussing the same issues, again and again.

I realize some of my motivation – I want to honor everyone: feel morally good about myself, do the right thing for Carrie, not appear totally crass in front of Sis and the rest of you who honor me with your reading, and yes, not send the wrong message to Sam. The problem is that by worrying about honoring everyone, I am ignoring the truth. And by ignoring the truth, I dishonor everyone.

Carrie and I talked today – it is a strange land of balancing honesty, discretion and TMI. But ultimately what we need is honesty – not the honesty of I gave a blow job last week (I didn’t) but the honesty of who I am, the honesty of where we are. The honesty of accepting that our lives are forever changed – maybe in a positive way when all is said and done, but changed all the same. The honesty of accepting that we each are involved in struggles, monumental struggles, and until we find ourselves, we can never fully find each other.

In the midst of this complexity, this angst, are some very simple facts. It need not be discussed, but I will continue to sleep with men. If after a year it is not out of my system, I might as well, as I wrote long ago, accede to reality. Carrie has her own issues, issues that in their own way make mine pale. She does not want to be touched – a bit of me and a lot of a lifetime of hell: I respect her wishes. There may come a moment when she wants to make love and I will gratefully oblige, but it is no longer my place to expect, to subtly demand. I have made my choice. And yes, I understand there are consequences.

Some will read this and say why not just keep it zipped, why not support Carrie in this her time of need. She told me the answer today, an answer we all know. She pointed out that the issue was not whether I was hooking up once or twice a week (twice – maybe in my dreams). The issue is that I think about it most every day. The issue is no longer what I do, it is who I am. And lying about that honors no one.

When writing in my head today I considered if this was a farewell post? I have set a course: what else is there? The answer is that I still have much to say – surely more on this topic, but so many other things. I started writing about my therapy, my history, but got sidetracked. The issues with my daughter and her fiancĂ©e are crushing, just crushing. It is time to right size the sexual identity – not right size by ignoring, not right size by minimizing: right size by acceptance – and to move forward with a life, my life.

This post was written on Sunday, posted on Monday. Things continue to evolve, even over a day. I considered editing the above, updating if you would. But that seems to represent a shortcut, something I keep trying. But is not the point of this post that ultimately there are no shortcuts

I would be remiss in not adding that while my posts do not generate massive quantities of comments, they do generate incredible quality – both the comments and the e-mails. They are thoughtful messages which reflect time, care and love. There are not enough words to say how much so many of you have contributed and mean to me. Thanks.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Carrie pointed out this week that she did not want me to become a "Dry Straight”. We are familiar with dry drunks around here – Carrie’s mother was one, my best friend is working on joining the club. As we understand it a dry drunk gives up drinking without resolving any underlying issues. It can only lead to bitterness, a deep seated unhappiness. Giving up something meaningful – and drinking is presumably meaningful to an alcoholic - requires a reason, an understanding, to balance the equation..

So Carrie is concerned – are our lives better for my not sleeping with men if it is a forced denial, an override of natural instinct. And where is the line – if one gives up sleeping with men but goes on CL – just looking – is that really any different on a psychological level. She is absolutely correct – if I give up men I will be a dry straight. And that scares us both.

Yesterday the schedule unexpectedly worked out leaving time to see Sam, my FWB (friend with benefits). Sam reads my Blog so he is “in the loop”. We have not seen each other recently – work, illness, life: I send him an e-mail and he responds – he has felt my ambivalence and has kept a respectful distance. I go back and forth in my brain – should I see him, maybe a real lunch or maybe a fabled “lunch”.

Of course I have not cornered the market on ambivalence: Carrie has redefined it with her tacit permission, but I do not believe her. She is protecting herself from what she considers the inevitable, my continuing to sleep with men

Carrie may have ambivalence but I fear that it is the wrong word for my disease. I want to be ambivalent: it sounds so much better than the truth. One is ambivalent whether to choose the soup or salad in a restaurant, about running an errand of little import. Ambivalence to me implies a lack of investment in the decision – an item of no particular import.

But I have no ambivalence here - this is not soup or salad. This is looking at that desert, the one with all the cream and cholesterol – I want the desert. But I know it comes with consequences. I may pass up that desert – the consequences may outweigh the pleasure of eating it, but make no mistake – I do want it.

In the end the schedule did not work as well as hoped and given an “out”, well I jumped on it – no lunch, no “lunch.” I had risen above my instincts, honored my marriage, not hooked up. This is not the first time I walked away from the moment. The guilt and fear, and the love and respect, have gotten me over this hump before and presumably will in the future.

I would love to end this post by telling you how good I felt about myself, about the wonderful view of the Promised Land. It is a feeling I have known and it is a good feeling. I really would love to end this post that way, end the Blog that way, but I am afraid that as much as I want to jump to the end, the struggles are far from over. And as I write this I realize that there is a little more to the Dry Straight analogy: the struggle in reality may end, but the struggle in my brain is here to stay, for the moment here to stay on a daily basis.

Farmer Nate

While I have not posted my address here, I suspect most of you have figured it out: a suburban resident of a major city. To say that I lack the skills of an agrarian society would be quite the understatement. My thumb is brown and a few years ago at a stocked pond we were unable to catch a fish.

But our house has an interesting remnant from the last owners – two persimmon trees. Very nice trees and quite the fruit bearers: only one problem – we do not love persimmons. Still last weekend I brought out the ladder and went a picking.

It is a quite a catch – a bag overflowing with a fruit I do not eat. So a little while ago when Carrie gave me a small list from the green grocers (or as they are referred to in our region, the Koreans) it seemed like a perfect opportunity to become a true farmer and profit from our tree.

It was quite the scene at the store – not many people bring in fruit to sell and even less have persimmon trees – but after much looking and back and forth I sold the bag - $10. Now while I like money as much as the next person (and according to Carrie more than most) the $10 will not have an impact on my finances. But I walked out of that store with a shit eating grin on my face, a grin worth far more than the $10 (which was already spent on ingredients for tonight’s dinner.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Life

When I look back on this year, on my marriage, on my life, I feel I will remember October 23rd: either the beginning of the resurrection or the beginning of the end. As the conversation drew to a close and I lay alone with my thoughts, I found bits and pieces of a song ricocheting inside my skull, One (the Cowboy Junkies version).

Much talk that day, talk of the issues, talk of the future; talk before my therapist and talk after. My fever has receded, my head feels clearer. There are bedrock issues in the discussion, a level of hurt not easily dismissed.

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame

I have never been a fan of blame – giving or receiving. Of all the human emotions, it seems the most pointless because it is a retrospective feeling at a time for looking forward. And now, as in most cases, there tends to be more than enough blame to go around so why devolve into the only thing worse than blame – relative blame.

One love one life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby
If you don't care for it

And what would be a day of talk without the main session, the when any normal couples are sleeping now session. The topic is a recurring one – how do we start to rebuild. My entreaties were heard differently than I envisioned. She heard “I will zip it if you will fuck me.” Yes there is linkage of sorts – I do envision having sex, hopefully with Carrie – but where I hoped to speak of patience she heard immediacy, an immediacy I never intended.

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without

There is only one item that seems non-negotiable in all of this – the very fact that I am bi. Actions can be discussed but the fantasies will always have their power. There was a time where Carrie would have been happy with a cessation of my acting out. But there is now an element beyond that – if I never act again, she has seen behind my eyes, and the shadow of those visions will always be with her.

Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to Carry each other
Carry each other

So we talk into the night, a deep bond of friendship, a shared commitment to our children and to each other. I so desperately want to find the starting point. For much of our marriage we had been one, in so many ways the same. Now we have to learn how to be different without coming apart.

I do not ask for forgiveness and in some way that must gnaw at her very marrow. On one hand let’s start to rebuild, yet throughout my writings – yes Carrie has caught up on her reading of my Blog – there is the theme of sorrow coupled with a singular lack of regret. Yes, regret for some things said and yes, regret for some lapses in judgment, but no regrets for allowing myself to be bi, for allowing myself to if only for a brief moment live my fantasies.

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

We realize the sheer unreality, at least for us, of a middle ground. She talks of a marriage in name, a bed shared with bodies kept separate. If I was gay, if I was not sexually drawn to Carrie maybe it could work. But I am drawn to her – emotionally and physically – and that is a powerful package. Even if I were to “settle” for the emotional, the straits are tricky. A touch, a hug, an embrace: ah, how those so easily morph into so much more.

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot.
You gave me nothing,
Now it's all I got
We're one, But we're not the same
Well we hurt each other
Then we do it again

You say Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

Carrie is hurt, deeply hurt and my offers fall short. I am willing to try to give up men but her skepticism is palpable: she has been burned before. I feel like an alcoholic willing to forgo one drink, begging encouragement and support for that little act. She is waiting to see if I can go a few weeks before believing. Crawling – yes it is how I feel: I respect her hurt but I know that unless we get beyond the hurt, we can never rebuild.

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should

I finally ask the question, the only question. If I give up acting on my desires can she live with a man knowing the fantasies will always be lurking. I am not prepared for the answer, for the fact she does not know. I do not believe her, not after a life together fraught with the fantasies, fraught with the sexual tension they created. Have things changed so? While it is for her to answer, I cannot fathom that we cannot return.

One life
With each other
Sisters Brothers
One life
But we're not the same
We get to Carry each other
Carry each other

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I was raised a political junkie – it was my true common bond with my Dad. Somewhere in this blog is the line from a Jackson Browne song: “Daddy’s in the den, shooting up the evening news.” Over the years I in that arena became him – a true news junkie with a specialty in politics.

I am old enough to vaguely remember the Cuban Missile Crisis and a President being assassinated. My first “campaign” was as a fourteen year old wearing a Eugene McCarthy button. That same year I went to sleep one night, having just learned that Martin Luther King was gone; I woke one morning to have my father tell me that Robert F Kennedy had been murdered, murdered on his night of glory and that summer we watched the Chicago Democratic Convention, blood flowing in the streets of that city – family time in the days of one television in the house.

That chapter – the Nixon years ended in 1974 on a muggy August night. I let my tickets to Crosby Stills and Nash go to waste. A presidential resignation: I had too much invested not to stay home and watch the moment. Sweet victory for those who had been battling since 1968. I still remember, the speech ended, the windows were open, and the stereo was cued:

Look whats happening out in the streets
Got a revolution got to revolution

So the years flew by, some politically good and some could have been better, but politics was my interest and this is my country. Then came Gore / Bush: this is not the time to re-visit butterflies: let’s just say it eroded my spirit. Then we added “swift boating” to our dictionaries. Once again, not the time to revisit, but if 2000 eroded my spirit, 2004 just broke it.

Recently my sister told me why not blog about music, other things, and not just personal matters of sexuality so I have toyed with maybe a word on politics, maybe a word on music. Yesterday it all came together for me. Bruce Springsteen recently did a strange thing – released a CD and then some months later re-issued it with some additional tracks. Something seemed morally wrong, but not having purchased the first go round, I did not mind ponying up for the revised version. Then I heard the song he added – a live version of an old Pete Seeger Vietnam era song” “Bring ‘Em Home”. Forty-one years later, the song touches my soul, re-kindles the fires, and reminds me the struggle is neither over nor lost.

As you may have guessed I am a Democrat. I know that is not a popular thing to say: I’m supposed to be an independent, a free-thinker. But I confess to being a “yellow dog democrat”, one who would vote for a yellow dog to support the party. It is not that I am incapable of critical thought. It’s just that when the votes are counted in two weeks one party will control the House and one party will control the Senate. If it is the Democrats, will I love each of the 228 Representatives and 51 Senators in that majority? Of course not, but will I love Democrats controlling the agenda and providing a balance to an administration run amok: Hell Yeah!!!

I live in New York State so my vote will not mean a heck of a lot this year. We will supply a Democratic senator and a Democrat will re-take our state house. My formerly Republican congressional district will return our moderate democrat to her seat yet again.

There is one thing I can do. I can give some meager sums to the party so they can bring this fight home. The Republicans have a much vaunted get out the vote effort; they are not conceding this election. And if they maintain their control, even by the slimmest of margins – well this is a party which upon losing the popular vote six years ago, used the word “mandate.”

So I have clicked on my link and given to the
Democratic Party. My neighboring state, New Jersey, has a battle going on and I will give Menendez his due. Little things, but they add up.

I know a few of you who read this blog, but based on “hits” most of you are strangers. If you enjoy my blog and share my beliefs, then vote in two weeks and if you can help the cause, now’s a good time.

One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey now its time for you and me
Got a revolution got to revolution
Come on now were marching to the sea
Got a revolution got to revolution
Who will take it from you
We will and who are we
We are volunteers of america
Jefferson Airplane

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Recently I referred to my moral compass – knowing right from wrong. While that thought was still in my mind I ambled over to Flip and noted his similar yet different conflict (Another Conversation- before his clarification). It seems pretty simple – married guys, looking to stay that way, accepting the basic morality of keeping it zipped. But Flip and I appear to diverge with his question being: “can he keep it zipped?” and my question being “do I want to keep it zipped?” And in my case even if I “want” the question still comes back to whether I “can”.

My therapist and I have this little repartee: he says if I like pussy, I can’t be gay and I say if I like dick, I’m surely not straight. This led us to the conversation I wrote of last week. Nate in a room with two doors – a man behind one and a woman behind another: easy, first the man and then in best caveman tradition, on to the women. As with any answer that comes so easily, one should be wary. Surely I would start with the man: the thing is somehow I see myself finishing with the man also.

Which brings me to a question that has been danced around: Carrie accepts I am bi (maybe) but believes me to have a much stronger leaning to the gay side than I am willing to admit. I note this lack of support to Sis and she sympathizes. Yet I do not really question Carrie: why does she feel this way.

Carrie has spent a little time with me. Figure that out of the last 7,200 nights, I have shared a bed with her for more than 7,100 of them. Figure that maybe I have had sexual climaxes with her four or five thousand times. Twenty years is a long time. The point is that Carrie knows me: she knows me as well as anyone and in some ways better than I know myself.

So if I were to ask Carrie why she believes me to be gayer than my self perception, she would have an answer. She would acknowledge that I am not looking to leave and realizes my comfort with women as best friends. She would tell me that I notice women on the street because they are more noticeable: men just do not present the same way.

Then she would swoop in for the kill. The undeniable fact is that my sexual fantasies are all about men. Carrie knows not only of the preponderance of the homo-erotic fantasies; she knows of their power, their depth. Woody Allen may joke that he has never had an orgasm that wasn’t right on the money, but they are not all the same and Carrie knows not only what will excite me: she knows what will send me through the roof.

So I can discuss the fact that I emotionally connect to women – Carrie and Sis are two great examples. I can write how I walk down the city streets in the summer and notice all that nice cleavage – wonderful eye candy. But for twenty years Carrie has conducted this ongoing test measuring my excitement, how hard I get, what makes me cum, what keeps me going. She knows the answer, I know the answer, and by now even you know the answer.

So the moral compass may tell me not to cheat on my wife but it also tells me not continue to lie to her and to myself.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


When I came home last Friday I was a bit piqued but a trooper to the end – dinner with friends and of course the drive home otherwise know as Act II. The restaurant choice represented a general caving to my friends intensity to go spend one Friday night each October celebrating Oktoberfest – I suspect it is hormonal and so deeply felt that the sight of a group of Jews in a restaurant / catering hall reminiscent of late 1930’s Germany does not enter his equation. Actually, the dynamic is not the problem – it is the sheer density of the food.

By Saturday afternoon, there is little denying it any more – I have a fever, I am tired. I am ill. I am also the “butler” for a birthday party – a dozen ten year-olds, a mystery dinner theme. A little rest and on with the Tux, usher in the monsters. Halfway through as my fever is spiking I take to my bed.

There is a story in all of this – not the story that I have broken down on day six and sought medical assistance, not the story that I probably have pneumonia yet again which the miracle drugs should cure (God, I’ve been dying to use that word in a good context). It is of course the story of Carrie and me. Carrie points out, not incorrectly, that only a man would take to his bed with 100.5. A woman, a mother, would just keep on going. It is a cute enough joke, but she is clearly not supportive – the looks, the little comments. I understand day one; by day four or five, any humor is lost on me.

Then last night we had one of our talks – the wheels coming off the wagon, everything goes type of talks, a middle of the night cloak of darkness talk. We do not know I have pneumonia but even she realizes that six days into this I am not a malingerer. And she tells me a story, a throwaway compared with her “good” ones.

When Carrie was five (having lived in a different city every year, she is good getting the ages right) she got the flu and was the first to recover. Then her three younger siblings and parents got the bug. Her mother, her alcoholic mother, did what any Mom would do – put a five year old in charge. So Carrie changed diapers, heated soup (microwaves were not even in the imagination back then) and of course brought her Mother tea when requested. Five years old.

Carrie is one of the kindest, gentlest souls one could hope to meet. She is not angry that I am sick. But she is real pissed off at her mom for the flu incident. Problem is that her Mom went on to become a classic dry drunk and has now passed on. Not much left to do. This is the story of much of our lives now. All that has been buried is uncovered, a scab ripped asunder. I had nothing to do with the scab and less to do with what was buried underneath. But I receive – and deserve – full credit for exposing everything.

I understand that her sidelong glances at my illness is really scolding her mother and that her not wanting to be touched by a man…lets just say I am not the issue there either. I do understand and do want to be there for her, but there is nothing easy about any of this. Fifty years, fifty not so good years, unleashed.

So context has become an issue and I will not pretend that being the recipient of someone else’s bad karma is a picnic. And when Carrie tells me she cannot even start to imagine a timetable for repairing our marital bed, it is frustrating. One thing is clear. I can continue to visit Sam or zip it. There is neither an answer with a reward nor one with a punishment. It is a matter for my moral compass.

It is time to put these bones to bed, but strangely I feel in a better place now than a week ago. Those late night talks always seem to do that no matter how difficult the topics, and difficult many of them are indeed.

Sea Level - Act III

Yes, I realize this was advertised as a play in two acts. Think of this as an encore, my twisted response to imagined lighters held aloft and a crowd asking for more. Act III takes place in Carrie and Nate’s home – children watching television and some time alone to talk.

I am empowered by my session with Bob. No grand pronouncements, no sweeping gestures, but positive yardage: just surge into that line. First a few steps backward because I am still confused. Carrie believes I stopped sleeping with men already and now realized she is incorrect. Where did this misunderstanding come from? It seems on vacation this summer I indicated this but really there were two vacations this summer. That first week where Carrie and I found each other, confided all, shared all, and made the most exquisite love. In hindsight, the most exquisite love with a liberal dose of the homo-erotic. Why trust to chance.

Then we crossed the border. I have alluded to it – a late night, much sex, and Carrie suggests we shave. Selfishly I agree and in front of a blazing fire, children asleep, we do the deed. It was exciting, it was invigorating: it was after 3 AM. I was done for the night and at that moment so was the first half of the vacation. So I may have forsworn men that first week, but after the second week, I thought all bets were off. But as usual I digress.

We sit and talk – that comfortable talk that only comes from a life shared together. We are so beyond pretense anymore. I mention the small steps, I mention my taking the first one- doing well – and then we get to our sex life. I have said compromise: she has heard ultimatum. Carrie is plain spoken: if I am giving up men thinking that will jumpstart our sex life, I might as well continue my erstwhile ways. Later that evening it is clear that while she says that she does not really mean it: my sleeping with men will be tolerated but not exactly welcomed.

I have walked into the proverbial buzz saw – No, I have dashed in with a beautiful head first slide. And I realize where Bob was wrong, very wrong. Bob considered the dynamic, the fairness of the compromise. Bob did not consider the external. Carrie is struggling – depression born from a trifecta of abuse, from a childhood that wasn’t. The assumption was that Carrie was denying sex to a husband who was sleeping with other men. The reality is that Carrie is not interested in sex with any members of the gender who have left her landscape ravaged.

It gets back to the heart of things – our marital and sexual issues did not occur in a vacuum. Carrie’s depression and my fleeing (into the arms of men), were almost predetermined. So I can start the compromise – it strikes me as the right thing to do. Yet something sits poorly. Will my step help us find the road back in a month or two, or in a year or two? It should not matter – one’s support for a spouse, a struggling spouse, should not be determined by the projected length of an illness. Yet I know my answer would be different for a month than for two years (yes, I realize I have chosen the extremes to make the point).

So as warned, the curtain drops but there is no resolution, no defining moment. Just life and ultimately life is always good: even when it does not feel that way.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Sea Level started as a letter and along the way morphed into a little play. Monday afternoon as I sat with Bob, my therapist, I thought Act III was occurring but no, Act III took place that night – yes, another post to come. Looking back I realized that Monday afternoon was the intermission – stretch my legs, head quickly to the men’s room (sorry ladies, in the theatre you can never be quick enough) and then meet up with a friend. Exchange a few pleasantries and chat. Heck, I even accepted Bob’s offer of some Snapple (bet they won’t send my freebies like the rabbit lady – c’est la vie).

Bob has been quite on target in terms of understanding the balance between my sexual desires, my marriage, and the practicalities of it all. Actually Bob has only one item with no theory – Why did I feel the need to tell Carrie? Strange how that question keeps coming up.

We discuss my frustrations, a sex life at home that has pretty much “tanked” of late and one on the outside that is strangely thriving. Bob sees the obvious: I zip it and save it for home and in exchange Carrie agrees to something more than sex as “intercourse”. Seems so simple – implementation may take a while, the classic baby steps, but steps in the right direction.

Bob has a question – I am in a room with two doors: a man behind one and a woman (Carrie I presume) behind the other. And we both have the same answer. Visit the man, come out feeling empowered and head towards the woman. Now that may sound slutty on the surface (probably because it is slutty), but in a microcosm he has defined to a great degree where I am.

One might wonder – why even have Act III: have I not telegraphed the plot line already. The thing is that as good as Bob is, and he is good, he has made a miscalculation in all of this.

Wait, the lights are flashing, need to get back to my seat. It is the last act in this play, but those expecting a nice package with a big bow are in the wrong theatre. There will be no Jean Valjean seeing the face of God, no ending with a stage full of dancers hoofin' it. This is a drama and dramas both in real life and on the stage never really end.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wizard Time

Recently on a visit to Jefferson I happened on a post concerning the top five bi blogs. He of course was teasing as to his number 5 slot – I believe a random thing – and who he might sleep with to move up the list. I did offer myself, but I suspect he realizes I have no juice in this one.

What really struck me were the comments. Now I am not surprised that his friends rallied around as friends should, but one comment stood out. Marcus pointed out that there were MAJOR FLAWS with all of the other bi blogs, and with a kind nod in my direction mentions even Nate’s.

At the beginning of the Lord of The Rings the scene cuts from ugliness in Middle Earth to a green glowing Shire and as Gandalf rides up on his wagon, Frodo jumps aboard and announces that Gandalf is late. Gandalf tokes on his pipe and announces that a wizard is never early and never late but is always precisely on time.

That is the way I feel about this blog. That so many choose to share my ride represents a level of validation beyond my wildest expectations, but ultimately this is my ride. And all I write is me. I have touched on music and am considering a get out the vote post (this could be our year if we put up some money for the Democrats), but this is all about me and is therefore always on right on time.

There was another aspect to all of this. Jefferson gives voice to many of our fantasies. This world needs that. I try to give voice to the bi/gay married man, trying to navigate treacherous shoals. This world needs that also. The five bi blogs in the list are a random list, clearly not scientific and clearly not compiled by one of our own. Yet it does cover differing segments of our community. And that is good.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sea Level - Act II

A story in two acts: In Act I Nate writes a letter to Carrie, an unfinished, undelivered letter. In Act II Nate broaches the subject while driving with Carrie.

Act II – The Car Ride:

The letter, while covering the main topics, never really coalesced – too much still floating in my brain I suppose. Dinner was close by, a fifteen minute drive and home awaited us with the three ring circus that passes for our lives. So fifteen minutes we had and I jump in: a “good” topic, one that would not be resolved in fifteen minutes, but one which would be a small step in the right direction. Maybe not.

Now for the last many months Carrie’s stated position has been “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” served over a bed of “figure out what you want soon because my understanding will not last forever.” Imagine my surprise to be told that I made a comment last week, a comment that is not even on my radar screen that indicated I was still seeing men. Prior to that comment she had assumed I had stopped.

I am surprised by her perception considering the history of this drama, but it really is not a seismic shift, more a speed bump. I slow down, clear the bump and again find the gas. I mention the need to forge a compromise. I mention the need for me to make a positive step in all of this. So far, so good.

Now for the tricky part: tricky because it is not as clearly defined in my mind and tricky because it is based on Carrie’s belief system – something I do not control. She would love that last sentence because she believes much of the problem is that I do, or at least did, control the “belief system” and as long as she was willing to play by my rules, life was fine. She is not totally incorrect in that this long year started one night when she decided to fold her cards, step back from the table. This is not a criticism – who am I to decide her tolerance for my fantasies – and she has shown more understanding than many would.

But now she discusses where we were in terms foreign to me. Memories of homo-erotic fantasies run amok, memories bordering on psychological abuse. The thing is that while no denying the existence of these fantasies, I do not see them on the same scale. Yes, twelve years ago I spent a night with a man – a gay man – but then stopped for eleven years. Yes, we own some toys, but they are out of the drawer so infrequently they need sunglasses: in a decade they were touched maybe one or two dozen times. There is no denying some things: a whispered comment in my ear about another man, a hand brushing the right spot or that occasional slap: they do their job.

But what is their job. I usually do not have a problem reaching orgasm – actually quite competent if you ask me. But with age that second, that third – well they are not as accessible as they used to be. Yet with the magic of fantasy, I can still get there. And that is good for me, but it also used to be good for Carrie. Pleasure for me, pleasure for her: where are the losers?

Yet now she looks back and sees herself as a loser in this, sees herself having sacrificed her feminine for my pleasure, not our pleasure. And I am sad, I am confused. Because there are many things I know how to fix in this – whether I have the moral strength will need to be seen – but this strikes me as something I cannot fix, something beyond my control. It also saps my will, my resolve. If what she says is true – I do not really believe that – but if true, where is the carrot. If a stick is all there is, why modify my behavior, why not just “go for it:” And that attitude just feels wrong.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sea Level - Act I

A story in two acts: Act I where Nate sits to write a letter to Carrie. Before this letter will be finished and delivered we will find ourselves in Act II where Nate broaches this subject while driving home from a dinner with friends.

Act I – The Letter
Over the course of the last few weeks it has become plain that in certain ways I communicate better in writing than speaking. Maybe the extra time to think and organize or maybe the anonymity of writing alone – no facial cues to interpret, no chance to banter back and forth. Once I decided to write I needed a title – maybe for an eventual post but surely to save in Word, and then I realized that last letter to you was 35,000 Feet. It was a letter worthy of its name, borne on clouds, not attached to the reality of our lives. Sea Level – it is an accurate description of our topography, both house and home.

In a recent post I came to realize one aspect of what I am doing – a high stakes game of chicken based on my continuing to sleep with men (or more accurately a man – contrary to popular belief I am not a total slut) until you have had enough of me and my behavior. Then in this particular game I swerve out of the way and we remain together. Now as you know better than anyone, I am not a gambler, not one of a poker face and lord knows my reflexes are what one would expect of someone north of fifty. More succinctly put, it is a “game” where somebody is going to cry.

There is another aspect – our mutual aversion to decisions. I wait for your deciding what you will tolerate so I can adjust my behavior and you are awaiting my deciding via my actions. We each want the other to decide what our lives should be. It would be sad if it was not so horrifying.

What is clear is the need to forge a compromise, find middle ground. That search is on hold – Anna and Bill take up some time, our therapists caution getting ahead of our individual therapies, and then there will be a time for a facilitator. All of which is well and good: but is it not our job to bring to the facilitator some common ground, a cornerstone to build around.

This all came into some focus in my last session with Bob. He was discussing ways to slowly rebuild and I realized that inherent in his suggestions was an assumption that I was not hooking up. My reaction was immediate, blunt, and not overly sensitive – not that one needs to be sensitive with one’s therapist. But from that reaction my realization that I was trying to stretch out the rubber band of acting out, without it snapping or losing its shape. Not realistic on a good day.

So where is this common ground? It seems to me that I need to be willing to attempt fidelity, attempt it seriously and in good faith. Attempt a fidelity that includes not sleeping with men and not fixating on Craig’s List or the like. That is for me a start, honest without grand pronouncements as to where it ends.

You need to accept the fact that I am excited by homo-erotic fantasies and that I am hyper-sexual (as you call it). These are not things I can change. Do they need to become the focus of our bedroom, of our sex life? Of course not, but to believe that forty years of fantasies will now be gone, banished from our lives, is not a foundation for rebuilding either.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Homeland Insecurity

There was a moment, or more accurately a series of moments that occurred a month ago of which I have remained silent. The problem is the magnitude of the moments has eclipsed all else in our life, has made my journey seem small by any comparison. I have struggled with what, if anything to say, and last night Carrie “blessed” my posting about it.

There is required background here. The wedding of the past summer and finally all of the angst, all of the sadness between Carrie and I is receding. Time for the “good” wedding: the daughter who lives local, the one who is easy to deal with. The hall is booked, flowers being chosen, wedding dress awaiting final fittings and yes, the invitations in the mail. The responses are trickling in and Anna and Bill are ready to roll down that aisle. Under eight weeks and counting.

Living in an expensive part of this earth, Anna and Bill move into the basement. Yes, the basement I have feared being banished to in these very pages. Yes, the basement that is looking good but not for me. They move in slowly but finally one Sunday the last of the clothing – they’re here.

A few days later Carrie tracks me down on the cell phone. Now you should realize that Carrie is not much for tracking me down – we have our days and when the sun sets we regroup in our home. So when the cell rings, I answer. She is agitated, very agitated. Having come home mid-day between her errands she is greeted by two “suits” who say: Mrs. Smith? Yes, she responds and they flash their wallets – Homeland Security. They stand in that way that is non-threatening but lets you know they are packing.

They have a few questions. They of course already know the answers. They know Anna’s name, they are interested in Bill, and how long have they lived here, issues of their last address. Carrie assumes a problem involving Bill’s family who owned the apartment they just vacated. Why would one assume anything else? “When will Bill be back?” they ask. After work of course.

As Carrie wanders through the rest of her day in a haze of upset and concern, she realizes with out fully registering: there is a late model sedan on our block, windows tinted, just idling away. Bill does arrive home and moments later the sedan pulls in our driveway behind him. They just want to talk and for a few minutes they speak to Bill alone and then leave. Bill is ashen; he retreats to the basement where the phones light up. Eventually he is off to the “home office”, off to see his parents.

That night the briefest of explanations: some confusion with his internet access. The next afternoon Bill, his family, and Anna – our Anna – are off to an attorney for an emergency consultation. The attorney has called the Federal agents, he is doing his homework. That night Anna and Bill come home, thirty hours after Carrie’s initial encounter: Bill would like to talk with us.

His words are chosen carefully (as will be mine) – we do not have privilege and therefore discretion is required. But a story emerges. He may have traded pictures, pictures that may be considered inappropriate. He believes that anyone in these pictures is of legal age. The agents seem not to agree. He stopped this activity many months ago but may have been actively doing it at a time when our daughter - our Anna - was already living with him. The agents are in no hurry – this is not a high priority. It may fall away or it may return in a week, a month, a year. We are not in a position of strength in this matter.

Oh yes, Bill adds, the lawyer wants us to know that if we are served with a search warrant let them in but do not say anything. Oh yes, Bill adds, we should be aware that he may be arrested as part of this.

The invitations are in the mail, responses are coming in every day: the wedding is less than eight weeks away. We are on final approach and every warning light on the console is screaming red alert.

Two weeks of discussions, family meetings. Anna still loves him (for reasons we did not understand before and understand even less now) and he has a good deal. A nice apartment in our basement, a future wife who cares for him, defers to him, and supports him. A struggle – maybe not epic – but a struggle all the same and finally Anna comes around. She will not cancel but will postpone.

So the wedding is postponed, Bill is in our basement, we are praying that a convoy of black sedans does not roll down our block one day and most of all we are struggling how to get Anna to see that it is time to cut bait and rebuild her life.

There is more to say, many more thoughts and threads but I have spent a month living this: you all can probably use a moment to take a breath and absorb it all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Before a post lands here, it is an idea, considered, drafted in my brain - often when sleeping should be the preferred pastime, and eventually typed, edited and posted. So when I did a post earlier today, it's genesis was probably 72 hours prior.

Therefore little could I imagine that the Yankees, or more correctly a Yankee would be the subject of such sadness within a few short hours of my actually posting.

I considered deleting my post, but ultimately it is not about the Yankee players who had a season to be proud of, or their fans: just a problem with the current owner, a man whose last message to his players was "unacceptable".

A sad day indeed for a man and his family. Rest in peace Cory.

Damn Yankeees

Yes, I do live in New York, and yes I loathe the Yankees. This troubles me – there are many intra-city rivalries – Football, Hockey, Basketball (never my fave) and I have my teams: but I do not hate their cross-town rivals. When the Jets are over, I can root for the Giants. Years back finding myself in an arena in Quebec City, the Rangers were my boys, if only for a night.

Yet some years ago as the Yankees battled the Diamond Backs – a team from a forsaken land - there I was pulling for the D’Backs, not a planned moment but as inexorable as the tides. As one who over analyzes everything in life, I have given this a little thought and I am aware of the answer. Yet the other day when the answer again was flaunted – thrown into my face (well the whole City’s face, but this is all about me) it crystallized better than ever.

Now I need to digress for a moment. I was a smart kid, a good student. In high school other than that pesky French class I never – never - received a grade which did not have a 9 as the leading digit. It therefore is no surprise that I ran with the smart kids, better known as fellow geeks. And smart they were: Dan is a brain surgeon (quite literally) and Mark after being valedictorian has gone on to amass great wealth via real estate.

So home I would come, grades in hand, and would tell Dad – a 93 for example. He would ask how Dan did, what about Mark. Well, shocker, they did even better. So here I am with a 93 wondering why I did not do better.

Back to the Yankees. They surely got a 93 this season – won their division, made it to the playoffs – part of an elite group considering the size of the leagues now a days. Not bad by any measure. Yet George Steinbrenner issues a statement when they are eliminated and he uses a particular word: unacceptable.

Now maybe I am guilty of projection here, maybe it is a little too close to my feelings growing up, but how does one not hate that man. Someday George will be gone and I will still be a Met fan, but maybe then my feelings to the Yankees will return to appropriate benign neglect – much healthier than the current loathing.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Spinning The Wheel

It seems that unbeknownst to my conscious being, I am engaged in a high stakes game of chicken, maybe with Carrie but more likely with myself. Now to understand my involvement with any sporting contest, one should know a little about me and gambling.

Years before Jeanette Winterson wrote in The Passion that gambling only mattered when the stakes had meaning - true meaning - my girlfriend and I took up gambling. Twenty-three years old, the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo, the Casino in Cannes – if one is going to gamble, one should get style points. A roulette wheel, patience, and innocence: we would watch the wheel and if red or black came up 5 times in a row, we would bet the opposite. Same color again – double up. So for three nights we made a few francs and occupied ourselves feeling much older than we ever were.

The last night – five reds, time to play. Six reds, seven, eight – things were getting ugly. Finally in a moment of desperation we remembered to cover the 0 – a few chips in case there is no red or blue. The wheel spins, the ball bounces…. ZERO: a pile of chips – no, a mountain of chips. Thirty six to one. Maybe $1,000 and we are even – only even, but that sure beats having to catch the next flight home. Thirty years later – I do not gamble. There is nothing – nothing – that can occur in a casino that will ever match the emotions of that spin.

So here is this confirmed non-gambler sitting with Bob, my therapist, discussing putting my life back together. He is telling me of the road to rebuilding trust with Carrie, of how we can manage to include my homo-erotic fantasies as an aid – not an impediment – to our love life. It all seems so clear. Then I realize a basic assumption of his – Carrie becomes a part of my fantasy life and I stop my wandering. Based on all I have told him – my love, my devotion – quite the reasonable assumption: But not at all what I was thinking.

This is not the moment for a well chosen phrase, a nicely crafted sentence. I blurt out - I waited 30 years to be fucked, now I have done it twice, enjoyed it, so I should just stop? (Yes, I share the embarrassment you undoubtedly feel just reading it.) Of course I realize that the moment of stopping will come – but not quite yet.

And thus we get to the gamble: Carrie has expressed patience, she is waiting for me to work things out, and I want to use every minute on the clock. A two-minute drill where I will use my time-outs, the two minute warning, the sideline patterns, and I will get a lot of plays off – more hook-ups, more being fucked. Of course the problem is there is no end zone clock counting down, just a wife who is suffering. Just a wife who may wake up one day and declare the game is over.

My hubris is my deeply held belief that even then – at that last moment – I can declare it was all a mistake, a big misunderstanding – a “Honey, I’m home moment.” And of course that moment can still occur today – much damage to repair, but repairable all the same.

But there is a line which once crossed leaves no room for return. Carrie is in therapy – she goes stronger and more confident and there will come a day when I will have lost my gamble. Back on March 9th I posted “One More Drink” – a walk away from the “bar” while considering my options. I did not walk away then.

If Carrie was reading this post her comment would be simple – I can hear it clearly: She would say the issue is not if I will take a step back: it is if I can. And the answer is simple: in spite of fully understanding that I must, I am still not sure if I can.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


By now most of you have realized I am pretty unflappable. Not much you can do to make my jaw drop. Well maybe an unfortunate bit of imagery, but the point is there. Now I own a Blackberry – I have made it. During dinner tonight the Blackberry vibrates and I pointedly place in on a distant counter, never looking, and continue dinner with Carrie. A few minutes later it vibrates again and one of my children brings it to me; I glance down, dinner had ended.

An e-mail from Tom: my former therapist. Now we do not e-mail much. In fact I e-mailed him once with a simple enough question: Did I quit therapy against medical advice or was he comfortable with my taking a hiatus. In best therapist fashion he e-mailed back, but no answer to the question.

I start to read – a blast e-mail with an article he had written, part 2. I can even request part 1 – Joy. Now Blackberry’s are little things with little screens – not everything visible at once. I touch the scroll wheel.


Did I say OMFG

It seems that when he sent this blast e-mail he did not do what you or I would do. We would send an e-mail to ourselves and BCC the world. But noooooo. He sent this to everyone in his contacts. Yes there in the To field are maybe 100 e-mail addresses, some initials and made up names, some Yahoo and Hotmail, and some to corporate sounding Domains. Now I am a fancy guy and my e-mail does not usually appear as an address: schmuck@ No, mine shows up as a name – a first name followed by a last name. Lets just say the first name on the list is not Nate.

Did I say OMFG

Now frankly I am not really worried. The list includes his family (judging from last names) and colleagues judging from those pesky .edu’s. Did I mention that Tom’s practice specializes in gay and bi men, most deep into their closets.

Did I say OMFG

I suppose to say I am speechless 355 words into this post would seem disingenuous, but I am speechless. I tell Carrie. She is speechless. I point out that when I tell Sis she will need the cardiac paddles to be revived.

Did I say OMFG yet.

My Aim Is True

Sis recently asked about my past history with women – over the months she has gathered many tidbits, but oh, the gaping holes. She wants the beginning and I realize that I have been starting the tale at age 22. Seven years prior is when the real story begins, seven years erased.

So back to sweet sixteen, senior in high school, a geek for sure. But it was a different time – 1970 – and geeks were okay. Hard to worry about a senior prom when there is a war to end, a president to depose, a world to save. (Plus ca meme…) A long way from sixth grade when an invite to the big party came with the disclaimer that a mother insisted I be on the list (and I was so needy, I gladly went).

So Allison entered my life – the first of many blondes, a free spirit a year behind me. Puppy love on steroids. Of course my sisters both married their high school sweethearts. That is how life worked, so I was set. We took our time, we were young: we had our whole lives ahead of us.

High school graduation – no prom as I already hinted – and off to college. At the last moment another high school friend – Jon – decides to attend the same college and after ditching the roommate from hell, I end up with Jon. We each have our girlfriends – seniors in our high school. We are friends, the four of us.

This is 1971/72, not long after the summers of love, a touch feely era. So we are touchy feely – I give Jon massages – he may return the favor, but it is a blur. The massages are just massages, but there is a part of me that hopes it will go further. Of course I am too terrified to test the waters, to let my hand stray, to see if he responds. So innocent it all stays.

Spring comes and Jon announces he is transferring to a state school – I am guessing the tuition bill took its toll. The dorms close and I return home – technically part of a large city, but truly a beach town. The beach, a boardwalk – one can hear strains of Bruce singing Sandy in the background.

Allison wants to talk: we go to the beach, the ever present beach. The beach, the ocean – it is the bedrock of our lives. It is where we came together. It is where we separate. Allison tells me, it’s over. She needs to be free; she does not share my love. We part.

I walk the few blocks to Jon’s house. He listens, he gives comfort: he is my friend. I am empty, I am sick: I wander home, a lost soul without an anchor. I cannot even imagine the next bump – no, not a bump, an atom bomb – that awaits me.

The next day I learn “the rest of the story”: Allison is in love with Jon, she will be attending the same state school as he has transferred to. As he listened, as he comforted, HE KNEW. HE FUCKING KNEW.

I glance at the clock, it has been a long session, but I am not done.

The devastation – I want to write how I bounced back, found a new girlfriend, showed them. Simply not the case. It was the start of a lonely time. There may have been an occasional date – I may have even been intimate at a point or two along the way, but the simple truth is that is was five years before I was next in a relationship – a relationship not based on being a brother. Now there were many good times in those five years – “sisters” who were dear, friendships discovered, more than a few concerts and road trips: tremendous growth as a person. But the lack of girlfriends was striking.

This was all decades, many decades, ago: an Allison thing with Jon being a bit player. But as the current themes swim in my brain – male relationships, bi-sexuality, latent homosexuality, I fear that it is less resolved than I had hoped and that Jon has been given short shrift.

I know that to be the case because as this post pours out, just writes itself, I realize that thirty four years later, there is still something that hurts.

But I heard you let that little friend of mine
Take off your party dress
I'm not gonna get too sentimental
Like those other sticky valentines
'Cause I don't know if you are loving some body
I only know it isn't mine
Elvis Costello

Funny, the song was not even written back then..

Monday, October 02, 2006

Spider Indeed

As I sat in Temple on the holiest day of the Jewish year, I found myself thinking of this gay blogger in Orlando known to me only as Spider. Why you ask? Well today is a fast day and one of the readings is from Isaiah – thoughts on what the day should mean.

We are told of what the day should not be:

'Yet on the day of your fasting,

you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.

Then we are told of what the day should be:

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help,and he will say:
Here am I.

Many months ago Spider did a series of posts that deeply affected me – judging from the comments, deeply affected many. He told of meeting two men – down on their luck, homeless men. He brought them home, made them a sandwich. They used his washing machine and shower.

Bible verses are good things, but hearing the verses being lived – that’s another level.
Thank you Spider,


Oh Brother

Much of my formative years, my young adulthood, was clouded by being a brother. Not to my sisters, I was born into that role, but to women: girls, my age. Even in this blog world, I have met many people but the true find is a woman – ironic for a bi/gay blogger – a woman who is my “sister” and I her “brother”. All those girls – wonderful friends, easy relationships, but one little problem: I was not looking for a sister; I just wanted to get laid. I wanted lovers.

I grew up surrounded by women. My Dad I am sure meant well, but he went to work, he came home. I was a late in life child and as I realize as a late in life father myself, the energy is not the same. So Bob points out my father was absent and at first I want to protest, but as I consider it, he is right. Old school, emotions not shared: a stiff upper lip. Even as my Dad faced death, no talk of his life, no joys or regrets, no new found religion. Buttoned to the end.

Facts known to me forever, but now to be looked at in a new light. Bob is fascinated by the tableau – a chosen son surrounded by women: “Drowning in a sea of woman”. So I am comfortable with women – a wonderful thing when one is 52, maybe not so good when one is 22. I am capable of true friendships with women – foremost among them Carrie.

But where are the men. My father was “missing” and on some level so are the men. With few exceptions, there are no male friends, no “bowling” nights with the boys. Socialization at work - absolutely, but it does not translate past those doors.

But wait, I can have male friends, male relationships. It might require being on my knees, but it sure feels good. And here is where I get stuck in that knot. I see where the therapist is going – I really do – and it makes sense.

But even if I grasp what drove me to my knees, how does one separate the pleasure. Is the pleasure all tied up in the psychology – the bonding, the power – or is it a matter of hard wiring – the physical pleasure of a dick in my mouth.

The answer is I do not have a clue.

A short session today, but so much to it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Rabbits - The Last Word

The Rabbit is impressive and I have blushingly admitted to trying it. The thing is that I am not the target market – it is inherently a product for females, creatures with parts for that “ear” to work on. It was always my hope that someone else try it – both for their pleasure and selfishly because, at least to me, there is nothing as exciting as seeing one’s partner excited.

So finally it is requested – shyly but clearly. Certain details are not for the blog but one thing is clear. The Rabbit works as advertised. And watching it do its magic works for me. My vision was the Rabbit would stand in for me when… well I am not getting younger. Little did I realize it would prove so motivating. Let’s just say there is life, new life, after that little bunny. And that works for us both.


Part of my current dilemma is dealing with overlapping threads. I told my therapist that I saw three strands to the braid: childhood issues, marriage issues – some unique to Carrie and me, some common to any couple after 18 years and multiple children, and of course issues of sexual orientation. I consider the braid and re-characterize it as a knot: my therapist, Bob likes that but he ups the ante. He points out that there is a fourth component – my self image.

If I am to put myself back together I realize that the knot needs to be untied. Some of the strands may prove to a degree inseparable, but much can still be sorted – straightened if you would.

As I type, the words come slowly. It is a combination of things. Harder topics requiring more thought and also confusion as to whom I write for. Surely this is ultimately for me, but it is also a post. Nate’s sex life – sort of an interesting roller coaster: his childhood, does anyone really care. Having told myself, my wife, that the writing is ultimately for me, I forge ahead. Of course it is also for all of you – why else would I post it in the end. Those who come for the ride, I thank you, and those who click on links elsewhere, I do not blame you.

What better thread to start with than childhood. I was the chosen one. A grandfather who was an icon: a totemic figure. He came to America, sent money back so many others in the family could follow him. A success who was financially ruined in the great depression but still carried himself with dignity. So I am told, for he was deceased before I was born.

His true relevance was his name – my surname, for while he had a number of children – male and female, only one was destined to carry on the name – only one male child born to one of his sons. My parents were not rich and after two children would normally have stopped, but those two were only girls. No one to carry the banner, carry the surname. So an accident of sorts – the type of accident that typically occurs when ignoring birth controls – me. Dad would like to have named me after his father, but my normally meek mother must have rebelled – a sister, a niece, a nephew all named for this one man. Enough. They settle: his name as my middle name. Let’s just say you can probably surmise his name and I can only imagine what he is thinking up there.

An old world childhood: a two family house with my uncle and aunt living upstairs. And now we get to the meat (yes a long way around, but is that not what therapy is): not only two older sisters, but two cousins upstairs, two female cousins upstairs, two older than Nate cousins upstairs. And amongst all of these women, moi: the chosen one.

One might think I overstate the “chosen” aspect. Let me digress. I have children and my first born child was a masculine one (yes, too many watchings of the Godfather). We did not know the sex in advance – one of the few surprises life still leaves – and so that afternoon I picked up the phone to tell my father. Now the gender was not a big deal to me – it had been a tough labor, a difficult C-section, the child was healthy and his mother was recovering. It had been a war.

I call my dad and he asks what is it? I tell him and he utters “thank god it’s a boy”. I had been hoping for something along the “thank god for 10 fingers and 10 toes” continuum. “Thank god it’s a boy.” So yes, I will stick with the word chosen.

My sisters, my cousins, knew I was chosen, and I doubt they were pleased. I use the word envy and Bob points out that envy is an emotion laden with negativity, not a feeling of shared joy. The punch line of course is that being chosen came with baggage but no benefits.

I can feel Bob glancing at his watch; there is a reason therapy is not done in marathon sessions. So as Bob might say, we have to end here. And yes, time to confirm my next appointment – same time, same place. A few issues of being a man swimming in an ocean of women – can you spell orientation.