It is late, I am tired, tired to the core. Carrie and I battle fatigue, illness aided and abetted by emotional issues. So I will take the liberty of using pieces of some e-mails with various friends to share my weekend. Friday was meant to be my night out – dinner with a gay friend and the Dad’s group. Carrie was ill so without hesitation I cancelled dinner and came home.
Saturday afternoon I wrote to a friend, one who has been banging their head against the wall with my antics:
You can put the helmet back in the garage now. I came home from work and found a three page letter by my monitor. It is strange how few tears there have been - I cried on July 15th, the day after, after Jane's wedding. I suppose a tear has graced my cheek since then. But today I read the letter and I wept. I will no doubt weep some more.
It is clear to me now that it is over. This dream I have of going back, of resurrecting what was, is just that - only a dream. And she is right; would we both really want the last decade back? But most of all it is time to abide by Carrie’s wishes. I look at any positive sign and say - see, she really does want me back. It is a nice delusion, a strong ego indeed to believe it so totally. But you are right; my selfish desires are killing her.
My daughter is progressing on the piano and as I re-read the letter through my tears she was learning Unchained Melody, more commonly known as the theme from Ghost. Oh, those Gods of Music.
Its funny how having spent much of the weekend with the twins, tomorrow I can have some time. My new friend had suggested that if I was around to give him a call - just hang out for a while. And now that I can do exactly that I am terrified to. Not sure of what, though I suspect a fear of not being good company, of not holding it all together.
Yes, time for you to put the helmet away and time for me to accept not only who I might be but more importantly to accept, as I have written, that actions have consequences. The consequences may well be for the best, but I think what you have been trying to tell me is that even if not for the best, they are the legitimate results of what I have done, wrote, said, thought: as such I need to live with them and to let Carrie move on with her life just as I must move on with mine.
Carrie read some of my blog last weekend while I was in the country with my children and with my sisters. Carrie suggested I should do the same, that my writings are the true picture. I suppose she is right. I started to re-read my blog recently and quickly stopped. I suspect I know the words well enough to know what it says, where it points: I just did not want to read an answer that I was not looking for.
Suppose it is time to dry some tears, and start the rest of my life.
So today I did go visit my new friend – we can call him Doug, we talked for a while and then did more. Afterward I e-mailed my friend, wrote of my day and they replied:
I suppose if I were honest about it, I’m a little disappointed. Given what’s been going on, it seems more like a desperate attempt to numb the pain than something positive and healthy. It’s not that I’m against you and Doug having sex, per se. Just that I suppose I would have suggested that perhaps today was not the best day for your first time. You know what I mean?
Now my friend has an impeccable track record, a polar opposite to my tin ear. But I responded:
It is a rare day indeed that I read what you write, think about it a bit, and don't agree. A rare day indeed: the thing is that I do not think it was to numb the pain - it will take more than a quick roll in the hay for that. I think it was in some strange way a form of acceptance - a white flag if you would. I have not been with a man since the first week in January. As Carrie would be happy to tell you, I would like sex every day - not every two months.
So why today - sure, a little numbing, but more to say I hear everyone, not that ultimately more than two of us count in this, and the fact is that I have not been with a man in no small part because than I could say to Carrie - See, we can go back. I did not confess or deny to having sex today - I would think she assumes it. And we have had a wonderful evening. Nice family dinner, she made a pitcher of Manhattans, we talked and we ended up watching a TV show on the DVR. And we were comfortable in this place, comfortable in the presumed honesty.
Am I jumping for joy? No. We listen to music a lot and had the soft mix on in the background. When the kids were gone, we finished our Manhattans, and discussed seeing my therapist tomorrow and issues of coming out to my son this week. A song came on - it took a moment to recognize, not one of our regulars, but the lyric cut through both our consciousness. "And the cost was so much more than I could bear" And we glanced at each other, then another line: "It's the bitter taste of losing everything That I have held so dear." I am not ashamed to tell you I was fighting back tears. It is bitter indeed, maybe right, maybe inevitable, but bitter indeed.
So I am sorry to have disappointed because I treasure your opinions, but do not be too harsh on this one. If at this moment of acceptance I spent a few minutes in someone's arms, in someone's bed, it does not seem that bad in the grand scheme of what has gone down.
The above was written last night. I have thought much of what my friend wrote and confess they are more right than not. In the middle of this weekend, this emotional crescendo, I sought out a man, a new friend, and discussed the world, our children, our general lives, but nary a word of my personal hell. It should have been a topic and if that was a downer, time to head home. If not, maybe it would have been an afternoon of greater import.
I saw Bob today after a three week absence from therapy – the vagaries of our schedules. I talked and talked, it all poured out. Towards the end I stopped and breathed; I asked for his impressions. He thought for a moment and pointed out that he was very sad. Yes, sad indeed.
We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
The lonely light of morning
The wound that would not heal
It's the bitter taste of losing everything
That I have held so dear.
Thanks Flip for the song.