Saturday, September 29, 2007

Searching For A Rainbow

Sis responded to an e-mail the other day:
“Put more simply, you are neither the sole reason for her current situation, nor her salvation.”

The line struck me – it of course is reversible in a sense, Carrie could say the same to me. But the more I thought of the line – of the concept – the more it resonated, though the chords kept changing.

Carrie and I have been together as a couple for nigh on twenty years and had a friendship for a number of years before that. We each were in unhappy marriages, each not in the best place in our own lives. Looking back, we were each in our own way looking to find ourselves, who we were, who we wanted to be. And then we found each other, a wonderful thing in many ways. But with the wisdom of hindsight, not so wonderful in other ways.

By finding each other, we found a level of joy – friendship, sex, companionship: the whole package if you would. But once we had found each other we no longer needed to find ourselves. Why search when conjugal bliss reigns. Of course now it is clear to even the most casual reader of these pages that both of us merely put our personal searches on hold and that an underlying truth is that one cannot solely define oneself through the prism of another.

There is another theme which Sis’ comment also touched home with: “not her salvation.” For much of the last year or two Carrie has been taken with the concept that I have been a domineering force, the maker of family decisions, the center of our universe – a mantle I have oft denied. It seems that here there is a truth, though not as stated. Carrie was in a horrible marriage when we first met, her husband a poor provider, their home exceedingly modest. Carrie was the primary breadwinner. Along comes Nate with a chance for her “salvation.” Psychological joy for both of us – the abused child being rescued, an almost fairy tale move to the big house in the nice town and of course for me a chance to be the knight, far from the inner geek that is still, all these years later, lingering.

Looking back one can see the inherent inequality and why it worked. I did not dominate as accused, but psychological inequalities do not need to be effected in order to wreak an underlying damage. Carrie and I spoke of this last night – after twenty years, after countless hours of therapy, after two years of hell, we finally could glimpse this little piece.

But the finding of ourselves – the main event for today: once we found each other the search was over, or so we thought. The tale of the moves, of the search for a shared peace is a post for itself. Suffice for the moment to say that we are about to place our house on the market and Carrie and the kids will hopefully move sixty miles north, another state, another start. There will be a place for me, my weekend country home, a new start with our new definitions.

Looking back over the years I am particularly struck by the issues of my sexuality and wonder how much of my search, my interrupted search, was related to that and how much was the myriad of other issues in any life. Of course in finding Carrie, in her willingness to allow my homo-erotic fantasies to exist, even thrive, it both solved my search, or so it seemed, and did nothing for the search which has since taken on a life of its own.

For me, and as it turned out for Carrie, the last two years have finally been back to those basics, our search for ourselves. And it is that search that has both led us apart and has also kept us, if not as a traditional couple, together. Somehow there is comfort in stepping back and realizing the depth and breadth of it all: I would hate to think that the swath of destruction in my wake was solely for some fleeting carnal pleasure.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


It seems like the Jewish High Holydays have become a marker in my life. Being both the Jewish New Year and the start of another academic year would suffice, but at various times it has been infused with additional meaning. It was nineteen years ago that my first wife asked, standing outside our Temple, if I loved her: she already knew of my infidelity. The answer popped out: “I love you; I just don’t like you. “Maybe the holiness of the season just begs for honesty.

And it was a mere two years ago – God, it seems longer – that Carrie skipped questions and instead settled for a simple declarative statement: “Do what you have to do.” I did, with a vengeance it turned out. And last year, everything on the table, no secrets left to bare, I sat in Temple and prayed, as much as a heathen can. I prayed for forgiveness, I prayed to be straight, I prayed for it all to go away – a bad dream that one just shakes off.

So it is that time again, time to sit, the service in the background while my mind wanders around, peaking around the corners of my soul, thinking of what was and strangely, what will be. It is strange indeed to be considering a marriage failed and how one makes it right and then have the mind do one of those little jumps and realize you are thinking of the new life, and a smile is there.

This brings me to the concept of Atonement, the name for today’s Holyday. Bob asked this week about Temple, about the season and how I was feeling. The thoughts were there but it was a day later when the words coalesced. I do not feel the need to atone. Yes, there are regrets, things that could have been handled with greater sensitivity. I could have lobbed the ball with more touch like ones floating into the back corner of the end zone; I did not need to zing every one.

But that is water under the bridge and matters of fine tuning. There remains the big issue – self acceptance of being gay. And for that, I no longer pray, not for atonement and not for change. I like myself, I like my new life. It will have ups and downs and that is okay, that is what life is.

My writing is less because writing is the process of refining my thoughts and finding myself, of trying things on for size, and in some way giving others an opportunity to throw in their two cents. Ultimately it is much easier to write a sad song than a satisfied one, easier to write of conflict than of resolution.

The last line for this blog (when that day eventually comes) was recently suggested: “I am gay.” That it seems should be the next to the last line.

"And I am at peace with myself." Now that will make a last line, and writing it feels just fine.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Will and Grace Sont Mort

Late Tuesday night I found myself sitting at an upscale bar, having a drink, waiting for a burger and talking with Phil. He is my date for Palm Springs and he had not heard the story of Carrie’s discovery. As he listened, he could see the collision ahead and without wavering softly said – before I got to the relevant part – “you and your fucking blog.” He is not a stupid man and is quite facile with words and letters, but he just hears the tales of what has gone wrong and is aghast. He does realize that I have a tiny place in a community and would never suggest disappearing. He is even happy to assist. “Your blog should end with the simple statement: “I am Gay.”” It is not the worst ending line.

There is a part of me which longs to take his advice and I had both before and since been writing a final post. But then it struck me: this is my blog, the tale of my journey and while journeys of life never end, they do have some clear break points. I know what the break point is and I suspect that once that moment is reached, it may very well be farewell, as opposed to my less frequent random rants of late.

The thing is that I still live at home, still write in my basement. It is clear – crystal clear – that the original pipe dream of this being good for years to come is exactly that – an ethereal dream born of delusion. There will need to be a day when I carry boxes up the stairs, throw a suitcase in the trunk, try to keep the suits on their hangers, and drive off if not into a sunset, into something, something unknown and likely exhilarating and terrifying all at once. A moment that will truly be a border crossed.

We are trying to avoid that – at this point economic realities more than anything else. I do not want to force my family to “downsize” because I have taken a little long to address my own issues and because I have decided to live a new life. Carrie is good, sure a little comment here or there, but meanwhile I am sated by an incredible homemade dinner of one of my favorites. She and I lingered after the kids scattered, sipping wine, listening to music and considering that we do have a lot of history, that we are still friends.

But we also know that the myth of being Will and Grace… We have thought about the simple fact that Will and Grace were never lovers, never shared a bed. It is much harder to be fast friends after having been lovers. And while I am a bit circumspect and in a rare moment do not share my thought, I think about Will. He was a “good” gay, a television approved gay. As far as I can tell from the limited episodes I saw (I was never a huge fan) Will never took it up the ass and I don’t remember seeing him on his knees. In fact, I am not sure if he tops or bottoms. He is a very cute made for television asexual gay. And of course Carrie is on to me – she knows that I am not asexual; she knows that I come back from nights out a bit tired, and yes, from our years in the bedroom together she can probably hold court on my submissive bottom side.

So we continue, we share the house, we have our good days and bad days. In short much of a typical life, but in many ways not typical at all. We both know that come next May we will need to make some tough decisions. I will have to weigh the pleasures of my family day and excellent dinner with the knowledge that I cannot bring someone home and that while it is accepted, my comings and goings are noted. On the whole I have nothing to complain of, I am as happy as can be under the circumstances. But there is that damn other shoe.

So someday I will pack the bags and move on. Until then, I suppose you all are stuck with me a little longer.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I have completed my morning writing but fear there is nothing for the outside world. While I will continue to blog when I have what to say, it is clear that my productivity is way down. And as I click on my blogroll, I see I am anything but alone. Is it a question of shooting one’s load – bloggers equivalent to singers with some of their best on their first albums? Maybe it is more that we have blogged a journey and whether it has brought us back to our families or found us new paths or, as in my case, a strange combination of both for the moment, we are all starting to live again.

The morning writing I refer to is starting a diary. I am not sure how long it will last but for today there was something satisfying about writing and not needing to translate the names, no concern who may read it. Maybe it will allow a greater degree of self-honesty, one that I suspect existed when my sojourn in this land first began.

This week I had an interesting moment when I realized that I have come a long way – not just in the gay world but in my own. A friend mentioned an upcoming business trip to LA and would I be interested in joining him the weekend before – we would rent a car and drive to Palm Springs, a land he explained of gay resorts. He was giving me plenty of time to consider this, not at all pressuring. Without hesitation, with the only caveat being a semi-affordable airfare, I said yes.

Now this seems like a non-event. Guys in my office have their annual outings - Vegas, golf or fishing – it is not at all uncommon. But I had reached a state in my own life where if I had been invited to one of those events there would have been so many questions – money, watching the kids, Carrie’s reactions (real or maybe just in my mind).

I have my plane tickets and the Cathedral City Boys Club awaits. I had written Sis of being “terrified and exhilarated” and in her usual cut to the chase fashion she responded:
Terrified? Of going on vacation? There’s something wrong with you. What an adventure! WHEEE!!!

I read her words and responded in kind: Good news! I believe I lied to us. I am not terrified at all. The old me would have been terrified.

The point of course is not so much going to CCBC, though I am quite looking forward to it. It is the fact that I am willing, that I am able to go there, or sit in the back of the Mustang in the wind and walk a nude beach. It is a sense of freedom to move beyond acceptance to being.

WHEEE!!! Indeed

Post Script:
When I wrote the post it was titled "Being" and when I put it up at the last moment opted for WHEEE!!!
I have changed it back. Carrie no longer reads my blog but in a bored internet moment today did. She knew of the weekend trip, but not the destination. While it should not have had such impact, it did cause her distress, upset and anger. But as I have re-read it, other than the title being a bit over the top, I can see nothing wrong in the content. She has asked that I "get with the program" whenever I have tried looking back. And this does seem like the "program."

Still, a sad end to what started as a good day.