Tuesday, December 12, 2006

End Of The Line

There has been a subtext in this Blog of who I am writing for and maybe an element of why to boot. Tonight the question is easy – I am writing for you. Personally, I would like not to write this – skip the act of writing and more importantly skip the subject at hand. But as I have noted before, when it is almost impossible to say something, it is then that it must be said.

Last week Carrie wrote me a letter relating to the current status of our relationship, a very personal note and I responded in kind. I considered whether to post all or some of the exchange – issues central to our lives: there is a time for discretion, a path gladly followed. That was last week.

Since then any one reading these pages has felt the tides and sensed the impending crescendo. Some have commented to that effect. In my last post I told of an episode of Cold Case, two cops, partners and yes lovers. I wrote of a kiss, a deep kiss, a real kiss. I wrote of our glancing at each other and then back to the television. That one kiss – yes the whole show – but that one kiss seems to have been just the little shove needed to destabilize a tenuous situation. For in that one kiss Carrie saw that my gay life is no longer built on a buddy booth, a quick CL blowjob. It is not even built on going all the way – raw sex, anal sex. In that one kiss Carrie understood that I must have kissed Sam or Jerry, that there is an emotional content, maybe not love, but way beyond the land of anonymous hookups.

We talk, every night we talk, exhausting talks, talks from the core or our souls. Every night we waver, we draw different lines in the sand looking for a mythical middle ground, a Disney moment. This morning I received an e-mail. While I have edited it slightly for privacy, this is it, essentially unchanged.

I do not know where this will take me, but I need to speak in the light of the day. This past week has been a watershed for me. The pressure behind the dam finally exploded. I wish I could explain the physical pain that surrounds me all the time. I suppose you would tell me it's like the voice in you that wants to yell out. I suspect however, that they are polar opposites.

There is so much of me that wants to say stop the presses. Rework the front page. Problem is that only works for a little time, then another paper picks up the story. I don't want our world to change. I always wanted what our young daughter so wonderfully described as home. In the darkness of night I can almost believe it will be so. By the light of the day, the reality is blinding. The pain and fear settle in and by evening I am a wreck. I need to get beyond this phase. I know the way to get there, but I don't want to leave this place. As long as I remain standing here wanting you to find a way back over the broken bridge, I will never find the next and so we will never have that chance to meet.

The time has come to find our paths and move along. I do not want you to leave this home for that is what it is. As our other young daughter knows, love trumps everything. We have some housekeeping steps and advice to obtain before the next act begins, but as they say, the show must go on.

The tears still do not come easily, but when they do it helps. I suppose this is like sitting Shiva for someone who has been ill a long time. On one hand you want them to come back regardless of their pain. On the other you are glad they are at peace, but it still hurts like hell.

With love,

A modern day Dear John letter. My therapist pointed out a few months back that one day I would discover that I had passed the point of no return. The thing is that when he said that, I had already crossed over. It is just that I did not have the courage, my wife did not have the inner strength, to acknowledge it. The age of denial is over.

We will continue in the house together and share a bed until we can figure out where to put me, but for the first time I realize that it has all gotten away from me. It is probably good in the long run – I will learn what gay means to me and Carrie has discovered a voice she never knew. But today, tonight, there is no joy – only a sense of the impending reality.

This will test my mettle, all of the things I have espoused. It is easy to talk of telling the children, crashing the closet doors, truly coming out when it is an intellectual exercise. It seems that I will have to face these challenges much sooner than I truly anticipated. I will again learn who I am.

I said tonight I write for you – of course it has been for me for in the act of writing these few words I have continued to learn and grow – but it is ultimately for you. For close to a year you have ridden the roller coaster, felt the dips and rises. How could I deny you what feels like a final death plunge? But there will be more dips and rises to share as I forge into the unknown.

Many have offered their prayers and I thank you. I fear I will need them for this is not only the end of the line, it is the beginning of a new one.


Jenika said...

My prayers, my thoughts and love go out to you Nate.

marlan said...

Nate, at least you sound at peace with it. And yes, you will have to learn how to be a gay man. No easy advice here on that one. I've been at it a few years and it's been rough, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Peace to you through the holiday season.

jas said...

Nate - I don't have the words for such a moment as this. You are in my thoughts, my prayers. May you find the peace you deserve.
I am proud to count you as a friend

Flip said...


You, Carrie and especially your children...all of them...continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Your therapist cannot predict your future..your point of no return. It is in your hands. The bridge may be broken, perhaps even completely down, but that doesn't prevent you from jumping in the river and making an attempt to swim back across. If she saw this, Carrie might even throw you the lifeline that would make the difference between making it or being swept downriver.

Drawing on my own experience, I hope you will give yourself the time you need to make sure you are being as rigorously honest with yourself as possible before you turn your back on the river and start walking towards the next bridge. You owe it to yourself, Carrie and most of all your kids.

Hang in there, Nate. You have a lot of people out here who love you.


Paul said...

First, thanks for writing, not just for yourself, but for us too. As you’ve written, we’ve read. Hopefully we’ve all learned.

I guess more than anything else, I’ve realized this last year how much support comes from sharing stories. I’ve become aware of so many perspectives other than just my own. And I have come to see that as individuals, there’s not just one right answer for all of us.

You’ve got my prayers and respect.

I look forward to reading the next chapter.


Raven in NYC (aka Mark) said...

I think that you and Carrie have made incredible progress together and while you are both certainly in my thoughts as you come to terms with it things and figure it out, I'm hopeful that you can move together to the next chapter. You will always be connected in ways practical and ways deep. Just know that there is a whole group of people out there hoping and pulling for the best for both of you.

A Troll At Sea said...

Dear Nate,

how you are in my thoughts. We are indeed some kind of 'graduating class' and we seem to have lost our footing and fallen into the void of an unknown future together... starting with Drew, and following down the dominoes to you and Bigg.

Dear God, how clearly others have seen our paths and how dearly we wanted to avoid their knowledge.

I pray for you all.
Hang in there.

Too drunk to say more.
So I'll stop there.


The "Heckler" said...

Hang in there, Nate. I am so sorry that you are currently in a rough spot.

Please remember that these periods are necessary before there can be peace for not only yourself, but Carrie too...

You are a smart and sensitive man and these two admirable qualities will be a key tool in getting through this.

All the best-

Brett said...


Welcome to the real world... I think that in your mind this is what you wanted and expected all along...

I wish you luck... know that we will all be here for you if you need us - for it will not be easy...