Saturday, July 21, 2007


To understand the week, one has to understand the month prior – a month of straightness, weekends spent fixing the bedroom formerly known as ours: wall paper removal, painting, bonding with Carrie. Enough to re-kindle my Achilles heel: being only a little gay. Concurrently Phil disappeared. E-mails to nowhere it seemed. Of course I am aware of his technological challenges but why let reason stand in the path of paranoia. “He doesn’t like me anymore. No, impossible, his steady must think I am around too much, and wants me out.” Raging ego with healthy paranoia: a combustible mixture.

The week is already looking a bit complicated, and it has not even started. Thursday a child returns from camp and that evening is the gay men’s book club: I swear I will get there some day. I still read the books knowing that I may not make it. Friday – well, if you live on planet earth, you may have heard a book is being released. It is also the third Friday of the month – married gay group.

I check my cell last Sunday and a voice mail – Phil’s e-mail is down and he thinks maybe I fell off the edge. We go with a novel concept – we call each other. He is available and while I will not find myself in the City on business, it is a quick enough drive, particularly in the summer months. So Tuesday it is – 7:15 PM at his apartment: Maybe play a bit and then a drink and dinner and surely a quick ride home, no train schedules for me. I get a spot in front of his apartment, good till 7 AM, not to worry.

Now it is time for Nate to show his past patterns, the seemingly innate ability to get it wrong. Carrie knows where I am going and the assumption of my coming home. Why even discuss the alternative. I really do think I am coming home, but as Tuesday progresses I realize that when we made the plans, Phil had made a passing comment about spending the night. I realize that showing up at work the next day in the same shirt may be a bit much. Not a problem, I am not spending the night. Which is why I made a quick stop at Kohl’s for a cheapo golf shirt – just in case.

I get to Phil’s and he is still suited up – literally – and needs to get casual. Of course between suit and casual one has to pass through naked, a rather distracting spot. And we always knew we would play, so why not. Three hours later I realize that the cheapo shirt was a good purchase. And I wonder if Carrie is expecting me – as I had left it. I can still go home, but it will be a late night and which is worse – the night out or that creaking door at some ungodly hour. I want to communicate and do the right thing so I call. She answers the phone and sounds quite chipper, that is until I ask the question. It seems, either possibility was fine with her, but the phone call was a bit much. The night out it will be.

Back to bed, its only 10:15, early by the gay clock. And we play some more. Now I have to express some admiration for you sex bloggers – either your memories are extraordinary or your narratives are composites because I could not write a blow by blow if I tried. And while I am not one to detail the sex – a thin veneer of modesty still remains – the fact is that we played – gently, roughly, wildly. We reaffirmed that versatile is more than CL code. Uncharacteristically, I let go, I went with the moment, with the flow. And we had fun. Sometime around 3:30 it became clear that sleep was preferable to dinner. The next morning I wake early, I have to move my car. Might as well just head to work.

What happened next is a mini-post of its own and we will get there. But the important stuff had already happened.

I have hung on – desperately at times – to some myths: The myth of being a little gay, the myth of getting harder for Carrie than for the guys, all of which is really the myth of going back. The myths have some truth – that is from where they derive their power. But on this night I had no “performance” issues, no trouble playing all night, a long all night. I had let go. A little gay? I think not.

The next evening at dinner, Carrie glances towards me – I am wearing on an old tee – and points out I should be wearing a higher collar, something that will hide the hickey better. She points out that she hasn’t seen a hickey on someone over sixteen in ages. I suppose I blush, a little giggle, and of course change shirts. But I keep thinking about being sixteen and realize that the night before I was sixteen, making up for what I missed along the way. Phil, also late to the dance, listens to me say “I’m making up for lost time.” His soft response: “Don’t I know it.”

It’s too late to make it right,
Probably wouldn’t if I could.
Dixie Chicks

The week does continue, times of thought, times of family and right choices, times of floods and explosions. But most of all times of reality. It is late now – tomorrow we can continue.