Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Letter To A Friend

Today I considered that my relative lack of posting, while having many causes, is to a great degree predicated upon not wanting to share for fear of reactions, if anyone is still reading, But I have been re-reading my blog this week and realize that this is my story, written for me, and to pick and choose the content is wrong. When I re-read this someday, it is important that at least it is an honest record.

But as I went to write tonight and opened up a word file – my scrap pages – I found a letter I wrote to Carrie last week. The background is that I came home around 11 PM from a date and tearfully suggested to Carrie that we try again. And as I re-read this tonight, I realized that someday this is what I will need to re-read.

Dear Carrie,
It is an hour best suited for sleeping (3:24 AM) so of course I am writing. It was not my plan to bring up many topics tonight. They were of course in my mind, percolating over time, but the plan was to write and “speak” in that fashion which does not put you on a spot, allows thoughts to be formed, and allows you to simply say no.

For a simple no would be well within your rights, it would not be shifting of blame as you think. I am well aware that in many ways I have created a situation that has no going back in that “going back” at this point can never truly happen. We can perhaps be together but it would be in some new emotional place. And I am aware of the shame that I have brought upon you and that a good case could be made that being apart is the only way for you to maintain your new found self esteem.

But I want to simply say what can and cannot be. Can I forgo sex with others – I have before and suspect I can again. Can I forgo building male friendships predicated on the underlying promise of sex – again I believe so. Can I – or for that matter should I – go back to our co-dependency. That one would be a no for both of us – each of us having outlets for ourselves might have helped us both a long time ago.

Now for the cannots: When I opened Word and a file called Basement which is where I draft and then delete (it is password protected) I went to delete as one would erase a blackboard. As I was erasing I realized the last sentence, all alone at the bottom of the document, was probably never used, maybe the base for a future post, or just an unused part of one called Approval:

A lifetime of repression has had a series of consequences including a need to define myself through the prism of other’s eyes

And as I read that I chose not to erase because it seems relevant here. My nature is not going to change. I cannot go back to making believe that I am straight, Gay, bi, queer: take your pick, but as much as I want, the straight just isn’t happening. Actions I can control, but as you know better than anyone, one cannot choose their orgasms. Now it is inexplicable to me how I can be queer yet have the best sex – not just once, but multiple times – with you. Maybe it is the love, maybe just the knowledge of each others bodies, maybe the liberation of not having to hide any side of me anymore.

But what is clear is that sex with you is incredible and that the thought of sex with men just excites me further. So if we make love again and at some point you invoke my fantasies, I will respond, my body will betray me. Except I no longer think of it as a betrayal, it is part of me and I have come, grudgingly and slowly, to accept that part of me is here to stay.

If I was advising you as a friend, I am not sure what advice I would give. I suppose it would be to follow your heart – in a sense ignore my pleadings, ignore your therapist’s bias – and decide what is right for you. The girls will be fine. I will be here for them; I will do everything to make sure that the house remains intact, that they can continue to have their little world. The question is what is right for you. And choosing to maintain a gay best friend as opposed to a gay husband is more than reasonable – it is what would traditionally be considered the right thing – the only thing - by the vast majority.

You had suggested I speak with my advisors about this and I will speak with Bob who I respect and whose views I would not venture a guess on at this point. In terms of Sis – this may come as a shock to you – but I have not mentioned our being lovers since you asked me not to many, many months ago. I am not sure I can ask her advice while leaving out that piece of the puzzle. For if you and I were not able to still have that level of intimacy and have it work for us, then the rest would be doomed to failure.

I suppose the question you have asked yourself since I opened my mouth last night is: Why now, why after putting you through hell do I dare to even go here? I am afraid this is the part of the story that I would have thought through better if I had not just opened up so unexpectedly last night. I suspect it is many cumulative things. It is a level of self-acceptance that I know who and what I am and therefore do not need to prove it to myself anymore. It is a realization that as hard as we both try, our friendship will be severely tested by the road ahead – first by my having new friends and then by you eventually doing the same.

But I guess the real reason is how comfortable we are with each other, comfortable in the little ways that are the true base of life, little errands, having dinner, stripping wallpaper. The thought of not calling to check in with you every day – yes, I know how annoying I can be – is inconceivable. Hell, even our little blowup last week was okay: we said things, we cleared the air a little and we moved on.

Michelle Shocked said the night (my son) and I saw her: “it is not about happiness, it is about growth.” But of course it would be nice if growth leads to happiness.

Do not feel the need to answer this anytime quickly, unless it is to say a preemptive no. And have the courage and pride to tell me to find an apartment: that you have moved on. Whatever happens, it is the result of all that I have done, my misjudgments, my need to play out my issues on a semi-public stage. And if I am looking for an apartment (or small house sounds good), tonight will be a private thing between us, a little blip, because it is important that this not be cast as you having kicked me out. I have left, I have left in a hurtful way to you over a long period of time and that will always be one of my crosses to bear.


The Basement: 4:17 AM

There is an epilogue to this dialogue, but that is for another night. Re-reading and deciding to share this has been difficult enough.

1 comment:

Brad said...

My first reaction is to comment that you're being unfair to Carrie, (which is true) but you also make a point. To miss someone that you've shared so much with is only human on your part.