That last panel will just have to wait – Life keeps chucking those curveballs, the ones that have me swinging wildly, looking rather silly. Wednesday may be Prince Spaghetti Day in Beantown, but Monday is therapy day for me, so Monday, on with the jacket, into the car, and Bob – here I come.
Our session begins and Bob is surprised – he does not associate financial professionals with being Riverboat Gamblers; that’s what he thinks I am, gambling it all on this roll of the dice.
It is an interesting thought because in my pocket is a copy of Carrie’s post which ends with a quote from The Passion, the book which first brought Carrie and I from a deep friendship to the precipice of being true lovers. The Passion talks of gambling – true gambling – as only being real when the stakes are more than you can afford, when you are betting your life. And Bob will tell you, I am betting it all.
We cover some other things, our Freudian period, why I am not really gay, just longing for a penis to replace the emotional void of an emotionally absent father. I understand it, but still that penis....
Then towards the end, Bob tells me we need to save my marriage – I don’t disagree. The solution is simple. Tell Carrie I am not going to sleep with men anymore. Tell her it was a midlife crisis: not worth losing her over. He assures me it is what she wants to hear. He explains that when you get a phone call with bad news, you utter “Oh No”. We want to deny, to shut out the bad.
Stopping and not telling Carrie if I start again in six months or a year: it is conceivable, back to don’t ask, don’t tell. But telling her on Monday and hooking up on Thursday: that is lying. Bob is sanguine: he asks the difference, tells me I sound Catholic with my degrees of sin. He is serious, or so it seems to me. My excessive sharing with Carrie – yes I know there are times where I say too much – has always been an issue to him. Why do I tell her things, why did I come out to her originally? Bob would have counseled me to a life of quiet adultery.
My mind is reeling, even by my distorted standards. Where to turn? I cannot ask Carrie, I cannot post – Carrie sometimes reads this Blog: if I take the lying route announcing it here seems beyond tacky – the social equivalent skipping the condom. As a few of you know I turn to e-mail – a letter to some friends, my fellow travelers. I am of course nervous – am I imposing, will anyone answer? Sis tells me I am a doofus for worrying about such things and she is right, my friends respond in force and with force.
They are appalled by the suggestion. They appreciate that honesty might be the last refuge left to me and Carrie. And they wonder about Bob: what was he thinking?
The next day, I send the same friends a follow-up e-mail:
Just wanted to thank you for reading and for the responses. As one of you noted the fact that I sent this e-mail was a sign that I already knew the answer.
I will at some point do a post because it interests me but the simple truth is that Carrie and I have never lied to each other in twenty years. Now is not the time to start. She and I talked last night on this topic and we both accept the issues in our lives and that a "quick fix" based on a lies is far from the answer. We are both committed to our struggle.
Strangely enough as we finished talking and held hands we both felt closer to each other than we have in a while. Honesty is a very potent force.
There were a few things in the responses that did catch my attention:. two friends reminding me “The Truth Will Set You Free.”
Jefferson manages to summarize the incident in fifteen words:
Perhaps you should offer to lie to your therapist if it makes him feel better.
Now I should note there is a small movement that thinks Bob was trying to provoke me, goad me into taking a position. I am skeptical, but next Monday either I will be truly impressed by Bob’s cleverness or I will be back to the therapy drawing boards.