I was going to write an “important” post – revelations as I go forward. It is well formed in my head and only awaits my fingers. But I realize that I want to talk about my life, my new life as it forms. I have tried to avoid the “what I did today” style, but I realize that what I do is the true story of the journey. I have threatened to blog less and live more and so I have.
I find myself going out one night each weekend – some with structure and some without. There are two Friday night support groups each month – married gay and gay dads. I have been to each once and will be going back to both of them. It was interesting going first to the married group and then to the gay dads. I was shocked at the dad’s group by the age range – many younger than me, but more than a few my age or older. It seems that the issues of coming out in a family are not limited to school age kids.
I walked away from the dad’s group a bit saddened and did not know why. A well run meeting, twenty interesting men, knowledge to gain and, not being nearly as shy as I once was: knowledge to share. All in all, everything I could ask for. But still some sadness: It took a day, but I came to realize the issue: all these men, mostly separated or divorced, and all seemingly happy with their new lives. Simply put, I was terrified of one more sign of where this could end up – not Will and Grace sharing the house, cooking together, lots of laughter with the wine. Yes, it could still end up there but it can also end up with separate lives and maybe I will find a different level of happiness, but with my happiness, seemingly comes sadness to Carrie.
The groups are the first and third Fridays: that still leaves every other weekend. One was a Saturday night out with one of my new friends from a group – I have already blogged about that. Then last night – another Saturday night – dinner and drinks with Jerry, another guy from the group. Yet another obscenely late meeting time – 9:30 for a bite and then next door to a bar, a piano bar, nice age mix, but clearly on the older side, on my age side.
Now 9:30 is late and hanging out around the house – hi honey, let’s have a glass of wine, I have time before I head to Gay land: I don't think so. So I catch an earlier train knowing I will have an hour to kill, knowing exactly how I will kill it. Now it is one thing to go to a bar – gay or straight – with a friend, a crutch if you would. It is quite different to go it alone, a high wire act without the net.
For a half hour, maybe more, I nurse my drink, fight the impulse to throw a few back, and I do the “walk”, my eyes wander. I am alone. I am lost. I am glimpsing into that lonely future of my fears. And then I find myself next to a man, a man my age, a very fit, very cute man, and somehow there is conversation. It just flows – the details do not matter except to say that I was as always honest. I am separating, I do have children, I will not create a new reality to get picked up. Well, he is divorced – a while now, he has kids. Honesty is pretty cool.
We chat for fifteen minutes and then I have to excuse myself – go around the corner to the diner, go meet Jerry. We part with a smile, but not even an exchange of names. I eat my omelet, have some nice conversation with my friend, but in the back of my mind I wonder will I ever see this man again. A little while later, dinner done, it’s back to the bar. The evening is going well; Jerry and I both came to the evening with no expectations, barely acquaintances from our two hours in a group setting. But we really like each other, we have much in common.
And then, looking up from our settee, there is the other man, talking and laughing in a small group. I catch his eye, he mine and I stand up to say hello. We are each with our own friends, this is just a quick hi. I am insecure, I fear rejection. I will probably never see him again.
But a voice inside me rises – a voice that could not have been found a number of months ago. Without thinking, without letting the fear take over, I tell him I enjoyed talking with him, would like to talk again. He reaches into his wallet and pulls out his card – his cell number, his e-mail. The cell is good and he checks his e-mails. We shake hands, exchange names and part company.
I will e-mail him tomorrow – figure allow a day to go by, allow me to absorb. We may never meet, or maybe have a drink and that will be that. It does not matter. I met him, I conversed as an equal – a fellow gay man with much in common – and I asked for his number. Anything else is gravy.
There was still Jerry who was rooting for me and we still had many hours to talk, to hug, to kiss, to discover what had started as a night of convenience was a night of real friendship. If circumstances were different, if one of us had had a room for the night, there would be more, just not to write.
As the evening started, I was walking up a long, long staircase from the subway and at the top, a penny. I am not proud; I will still pick up a penny. It was heads up and as I picked it up I felt that the evening would be okay.
And so it was.