I have written many posts this weekend, some building on others, some replacing and some probably contradicting. These posts, like most, are written in my head, waiting for the opportunity to sit at a keyboard and allow them to grow. And as I thought today I realized that I desire sharing none of them and desire sharing all and am truly not sure where to even start.
This weekend really started in a decision made a week ago. Carrie had mentioned getting together with some friends, maybe Saturday. I had already had some e-mails about the weekend with a gay couple I had seen once before. Phil and Stan suggest a beach trip if the weather holds. Sunday was booked with family and Saturday seemed good. Anyway given a choice between being home Friday or Saturday, Friday seemed the day. It was our anniversary, a perfect day for a dinner with family and friends, a perfect way to acknowledge without actually celebrating.
It was a good plan, grounded in some logic: so I knew it would be trouble. And trouble it was when Carrie had an unexpectedly busy day on Friday and first started to prep, cook, and organize at 3:30 that afternoon. The panic bordering on hyperventilation was clear in her voice and I knew enough to come home early.
It ended up being a good evening with Carrie, as usual, pulling it all together – a beautiful table, bountiful food, and lots of good noise. The anniversary went mostly unnoticed, kindness on our guests’ part. Things do seem to go well before the wheels come off.
Saturday, cold and wet, is not a beach day and my friends call – they have an out of town friend they think I would like and would like me. They suggest I join them at Stan’s home in the burbs, have dinner and head to some parties in the City. Phil has an apartment with enough space for us to crash for the night. Seems like a plan and when Carrie asks if I will be coming home that night - she assumes not - I confirm I will not be home that night.
As Phil and I discuss the details of the evening, yet another decision for Nate, yet another opportunity for poor choices. They are driving into the City, not my usual train routine, and I can drive in with them – the four of us – and they will in my honor get back to the burbs by noon, plenty of time before the family afternoon. Or I could drive myself in, park near the apartment and then meet up. It is rainy, I am tired, and the choice seems easy enough. Deep down I know it will be trouble.
Now I could write a post about Saturday night. I could write a post about my new friend Vic, about the drive into town, about the back seat of a car. I could write a post about the first party – a paying affair, empty at first, but music and crowds pulsating by the end. I could write about the dancing and kissing, the bumping and grinding. I could write a post about our second stop – a leather bar, people packed together, men without shirts getting boots shined by men with barely underpants. Nothing really to write, nothing you cannot imagine.
We go back to Phil’s apartment. We are on gay time; it is well after 3 AM, far beyond my preferred 10:15 tuck in. Again, I will leave things for the imagination. Let’s just say, my friends don’t realize there is any debate about my gayness. And yes, the Holy Grail, curling up for sleep with a man’s arm draped over me. But sleep does not come. I am overtired, maybe a bit too much too drink, but most of all a problem that has bedeviled me my entire life, an inordinate need to take a leak, seemingly every few minutes.
Sleep is spotty but I get a few hours in along the way. I wake at 8:30, as I have done most every hour of this night. Sleep is elusive and I consider there is a railroad, there are cabs that take people home from the station, I do know where my car is. My friends are sleeping soundly. I silently dress, find a pencil, scrawl a note on a paper towel and stand by the door. I waver. Tiredness washes over me, I know by the time I get home it will already be late morning, I sense my friends will read the note and think me disturbed. I wonder is it yet another flight, flight from the gayness, flight from the fear.
With the same stealth I showed in pulling my clothes on, I pull them off. I quietly slip back into bed. A thought again crosses my mind: I would never do it, I love myself and my children too much, but a fifteenth floor apartment with the window open: the insurance would never be questioned. And I realize that such a thought, even in the most abstract of fashions, is still severely disturbing.
A few minutes after I lie back down, Vic shifts and his hand is lying in mine, our knees gently touching: we lay there both hazing. Holding hands at that moment was the salve I needed, the connection to humanity, a connection to myself.
There is more to say, I did forewarn you of many posts competing. But it is getting late, I am tired. But most importantly, I need to do some more writing in my head, to try to understand better what I have already shared and figure out how to tell the rest.