Sunday, December 21, 2008


It is a Sunday night and I sit in my apartment. For most sitting at home is a normal thing – most nights save an occasional trip or vacation. For me it has become almost the exception, particularly when it is just me: a welcome respite at times.

During the week I may see Phil, sometimes here but other times at his place. Weekends are for my family. In theory it is for my kids but in reality it is also for Carrie and very much for me. I go to their home, spend an evening or two, see my children in their natural habitat. And it works for them. They feel they have a Dad but do not feel imposed upon.

Last night they went to a party: a two hour affair. I drop them off and go back to the house and have dinner and some quiet time with Carrie. We lie on the couches in the glow of the fireplace and talk softly across the coffee table. “Do I have any regrets?” she inquires. Do I have regrets? It was only ten hours earlier that I drove up to the house when an old Bruce song came on the iPod, Walk Like A Man. As I listened:
Well now the years have gone and I've grown

From that seed you've sown
But I didn't think there'd be so many steps
I'd have to learn on my own

A tear came to my eye. So many steps.

I did not talk of the song at that moment but the answer was easy: “Every day.” That is not to say that I have a bad life, that I deny where I am, or more importantly who I am, but yes, there are regrets, so many of them.

She asks if I think I am bi or gay. The answer there is pretty easy also. While gay as an answer is so much easier to deal with, so much more understandable to the masses, I am bi. I don’t see what other answer there can be. So many years with Carrie, so much incredible sex: I do not believe that is something anyone could fake.

She can understand my sexual desires, the gayness of it all. But she asks what else there is, what beyond that to justify the lengths to which I have gone, the damage that I have done. One would think this would be another easy one, a hanging curve ready to be drilled. But it is not. I wonder how much is the gayness and how much is the pent up “demand”, the result of so totally denying this portion of myself.

The answer is so intangible: variations on being comfortable in one’s own skin. And with that seems to be a greater comfort in all around me. Strangely though, part of that greater comfort is with Carrie and my family. Sitting by the fire, talking of these things with her: what could be more comfortable, and I suppose comforting, than that.

Of course there is a problem. We are separated, I am bi and quite gay in many ways, the world around us knows. It is not simple and we do not live in a vacuum. I spend my time there and then go back to this other life, a life with the famed boyfriend of sorts. Carrie asks about Phil – she is surprised that I want to spend New Year’s with the children and her, not with him. I explain he will be away – down South for a few weeks of family and friends.

But there is more and I explain it – the post that keeps being postponed. When I met Phil he had a boyfriend. A strange sort of relationship which would qualify as an alternate universe: he sees Stan in Stan’s world, which is now to a degree Phil’s world. But Phil maintains his own world without Stan’s existence. But yes, no matter how you cut it, Phil has two boyfriends of sorts.

Now this strangely works for me: I have my weekends without having to feel guilty. It’s a proverbial win-win. But I have come way too far to not realize the unusual aspects of it and sense the unhealthiness as a foundation for my life. But it works for me – not only having my weekend time but the fact that while he may have another boyfriend of sorts in Carrie I have another girlfriend of sorts.

As I drove back to my apartment today a thought got stuck in my mind. When Phil hurts, I feel bad for him. I do care. But when Carrie hurts, I hurt too: a connection that seems to transcend in many ways where we find our selves and just continues to confuse my sense of where and who I am.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have been playing with this post in my head for a while and it seems somehow fitting to be starting it now. It is a Sunday morning, the end of a long Thanksgiving weekend; I am in the country with Carrie and my kids, our home since Wednesday night. It has been a comfortable visit, time with the family, meals together, some time just with the twins and some time just with Carrie. She is out for a few hours, the kids had a friend sleep over so while I may be the titular head of the family for the moment, I am not in any immediate demand (other than the breakfast I just took a break to cook and serve).

Of course there is another player in all this, my erstwhile boyfriend Phil. Considering that I have not seen him since Tuesday, have only spoken on the phone with him for maybe five minutes each on Wednesday and Friday, and had only minimal e-mails, his presence in Carrie’s mind feels a little outsized. On the other hand, I will likely see him tonight when I return home and Carrie would point out, not incorrectly, that that proves her point.

So it seems that today is the microcosm. Having woken long before the kids, I laid on the foot of Carrie’s bed – the dogs and I – while we discussed our lives. Last night while the kids played with their friend, Carrie and I watched some TV together. Such simple acts, so comfortable, yet fraught with all of the underlying emotions, with the knowledge that these moments are the exceptions and not the rules.

Sometimes my blog is read by those close to me and sometimes not. If Phil is reading this, he has stopped at the “erstwhile boyfriend” phrase, just as a year ago he quickly noticed being my “boyfriend of sorts”. Neither phrase really shocks him in that we do live the same reality. But if Carrie and I have issues with boundaries, Phil reminds me more of borders complete with gate houses and guards. He actually would prefer the phrase “compartmentalization” though any twenty letter word should be suspect.

You see Phil has quite successfully created compartments in his life, a process eased by his being a widower. It was a number of years ago but he never had the moment of needing to explain anything to anyone. One life continued in a sense – family and friends – and another, the gay life, appeared: “Separate but equal” to steal the phrase. Of course that phrase was a failure, rejected by the Supreme Court fifty-four years back.

Now how Phil chooses to live is his decision and I try to limit my judgments and concern to the areas where it impacts upon me, not always easy distinctions. So, for example, I know his children – adults at this point, and get along quite well with one of them. To her, I am just a friend of her Dad’s: a widower and divorcee navigating the loneliness together. All of which is true while managing to avoid the truth totally.

Phil has a broad circle of gay friends and time with them flows naturally, not saddled by pretense. But then we see his gay relative – back to the family thing – where I get to now be in an alternative Disney world where I can hang out with my boyfriend and a gay couple while making believe I am straight…… No, I am not making this up.

Somehow, a few posts have melded here and it is getting a bit long. There is more to cover – whole uncharted compartments for Phil, my inability – lack of desire? – to “properly” separate from Carrie, my acceptance of the gayness and my regrets for how it all seems to have played out. But anyone still reading has surely had enough for today.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


One of the things I had forgotten about blogging was the give and take, particularly since after such a hiatus I was not sure anyone was still looking. So imagine my surprise to see a comment from Brad – no, not just a comment, but an accurate remembering of what I had written two and a half years ago.

For those who did not follow the link in Brad’s comment (you really should) he took note of my current reference to seeing my kids - an easy hour and a half, and remembered how back in April 2006 I commented on the difficulty I still had discussing kids from my first marriage including a not so easy two hour drive to see them.

As I thought about it I realized the complexities of this whole arena. My sons, who were extremely young when I was first divorced, are twenty-three and twenty-one year old young men. While there is no replacement of lost years, there is a certain redemption in our current relationships. Things had improved over time but somehow it seems that coming out to them cemented the bond, allowed for some redemption for us all.

It is joked about among all the kids: the old dad and the new dad. The children did not realize that the start of the new Dad era was unfolding at the same time as I was beginning to question who I was including issues of my sexuality. Hell, I am not sure that I realized it at the time either. But it seems to be agreed that in spite of all of the hell surrounding my current existence that I am a much calmer, less wound parent than existed a few decades back.

I do not think it is just the gayness: I am older and more mature in life in general, a condition that attaches to most of us as we age, but it seems hard to ignore the gayness in total.

So where does this leave me today? It leaves me with the fact that I will never have the day to day existence with the tweens that I craved. But it also leaves me with the opportunity to remain a regular and vibrant part of their lives. It is just up to me when feeling lazy, to get in the car and enjoy the ride.

I have not been feeling 100% this weekend and decided not to drive up on Saturday afternoon. Somewhere late last night I noticed Brad’s comment and it caught me. This morning I woke up, had some coffee and got in the car – a very easy drive on a Sunday morning. I was still not 100% today, but I had all the percentages I needed to sit on the couch and be with my kids. And it was good.

Thanks Brad.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Retrospective

Frequently I think of doing a post, but then I wonder if it is significant, as if that is a requirement for writing and of course there is time – why write when one can “do”. So I muddle along, the good, the bad, and of course the ugly.

Carrie, the one person most hurt over the almost three years since the blog started, recently took me to task for not writing anymore, for having shared the journey and left it with an implied “sailing into the sunset” ending. While there are times where life has felt like that, there are many others where it has not. Do I believe that somehow magically things could have been changed – some Kum Baya moments, maybe a death bed conversion to being straight again? Not really, though hope does spring eternal.

So I will take the challenge and if anyone is still listening, try to share the road, twists and all. While I would love to pour it all out – the mother of all posts – even I realize the ridiculousness of such an effort. No, I think there only way to attack is to set the stage and then meander as it suits me.

I write in my apartment – I have just signed the lease renewal for year two, it is now for better or worse, my home. The apartment was not too inconvenient to my house and I saw much of Carrie and the kids. But last May it was time for them to move on, to take this opportunity to also start afresh. The house was sold (who would have thought that a simple house sale would seem so big in hindsight) and Carrie and the girls moved to the country, a house with some land and a much, much better school district. It is an easy hour and a half drive and I have been a frequent visitor.

But an easy hour and a half is still exactly that – an hour and a half. Fine for the weekend visits, but not really conducive for that mid week dinner. Somehow I envisioned those quick trips in and out, but I am not getting younger and after a days work three hours seems extreme. But there are the weekends.

While there is much to be said about the weekends, let’s get back to life down here. A new friend, Phil, was there for me last year when I moved into the apartment and our friendship continued to grow. I once described him in a post as a boyfriend “of sorts”, phrasing that greatly amused him. He is my boyfriend but there is still an element “of sorts”. We see each other frequently during the week, though weekends are a loose affair based on my family life.

For those who missed it along the way, I did come out at work last April, to no surprise among my friends, and at this point it is hard to say in many cases if people know or do not. I have an office with a picture of my wife and another of my “friend” but no rainbow flags: I have never been one for public displays of that sort.

It has been a rough few weeks – some nagging virus that is now finally starting to clear, but I have not had my trips to the children, not seen the boyfriend quite as much, and not worked solid weeks at work. Lying in bed is a wonderful time to think – not feverish hallucinogenic thoughts, but quiet rational ones. It has caused me to realize that I need to take stock and consider my own personal directions and both the impact on me and on those around me.

And so I will…

Monday, September 22, 2008

Significant Other

It’s not that there are no words anymore: they fly through my head, post titles, opening lines. But then there is life, what at times is the fullest of times stuffed into a gypsy like existence. Last night my pillow in the country, my weekend home with Carrie and our children or maybe the night before, “my” pied a terre in the City, a night with Phil. I am sure I slept somewhere the night before that, maybe at Phil’s, maybe my place in the suburbs. I really should be packing again now – I think tomorrow is a city night.

Now I am not complaining, it is actually rather nice having a full life, no time to be bored, no time to harbor the lurking confusion and regrets, and still, as Carrie would be happy to point out with just a tad of bitterness, so much love. And of course among the things hard to carve out the moments for is the writing, the actual fingers on the keyboard style of writing.

A few weeks ago I could have been found in my weekend haunts, the house in the country – their house in the country. Carrie goes to her room, a phone call with a friend so I take the moment for a quick check-in with my friend, my boyfriend. When she emerges and sees me, the anger and hurt flash. The next morning we speak. She acknowledges the complexity and points out she is alone and I have someone, a friend, boyfriend, significant other. The problem of course is in the nuances. I do have a friend, no denying a boyfriend. But then the murky area: I do believe I have a significant other – Carrie. Now usually there is linkage – a boy or girl friend should be the significant other and I do not mean to denigrate what I have with Phil – a wonderful man, a dear friend, a good person. And he is clearly significant – I write now as I wait for him to arrive after his evening with his family.

But still so much is tied in with Carrie – twenty plus years of friendship, a seeming menagerie of children, the day to day issues, the “kitchen table” financial affairs, and yes, I still do in so many ways love her. Maybe it would be easier if she did have a new life – a date here or there, a moment on her own. Not so. Her life is with the children, being a mom and when I spend time with her it is strange, betwixt and between, but still an evening when she can talk as an adult, not always on the level of the kids.

She tells me how if I just handled it differently I could have had it all. I am never sure fully what that means. I know much of it is if I had remained in the closet to the world so she would not have had her humiliation – part real and much on her part imagined. Well, she may not agree with the last sentence – it is all real to her and then some. I wonder the same thing and do understand part of it.

The thing is that if I had understood my gayness, the process would have been: “Hi honey, I’m gay. Where do we go from here?” But that was never the case for me: it was for me to discover and learn and the problem with realization on the fly is that you cannot steer a straight course, a rush to the finish line, not when you do not know where the end is. I do realize that many may think that disingenuous: "Just go back and read all you wrote." The answer was there but denial is a mighty powerful force.

I also wonder where the magic compromise would have been. A life of lunchtime hookups, a veritable liberal Larry Craig. Or maybe it would have been that Daddy had business trips, late night meetings where I needed to stay in the City. And as absurd as it sounds, sometimes it sounds good. But I do not believe it, not really. It is easy now to imagine this arranged marriage, this middle road. So much to be said for it, but still a glaring fault line, that of honesty. It’s funny, Phil and Carrie (who have yet to meet) agree on one thing – well maybe many things in fact. But the relevant one is my need to be out there, to be honest, with those I work with, my family, my friends. Phil would say whose business is it, is it relevant. He is not wrong, but it is still not right.

So do I regret not living with my family, my children: of course. Anyone who can be separated from their children without regrets is lying –either to you or just to themselves. But do I regret that my world knows, that I do not have to measure my words, do not have to skirt the truth: No, I do not. There is much I wish for, much I wish to change but there is no denying who I am and that now that I have a modicum of honesty with myself, I do not regret sharing that honesty with others.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Greetings From Fire Island

Somehow certain moments seem worthy of posting even though I am not sure how to go about it. I am at the end of my week vacation – a week in Fire Island or maybe I should say The Pines. To anyone in New York or well steeped in gayness it is like saying Mecca to a Muslim. I am here with Phil, my companion, friend, lover and also I suppose my safety net though I am thinking that maybe I am ready to have the net rolled up. (Phil stays: just in the other roles.)

I have been thinking about Sis this week. For the past two years she has kept a helmet in her garage with my name on it; when I would send her my “Maybe I’m not so gay, maybe I can re-constitute my marriage” e-mails she would strap on the helmet and bang her head against the wall. The helmet has progressively been getting less use of late but as far as I move along the path that is my new life, I still have those small moments of back sliding.

After this week, I think the helmet can be retired. It has been a gay week in gay Mecca. It shows itself in the ways that are quite G-rated and then there are the moments where this Blog may need to have an X or three in front of it. I think back to a day mid-week, sort of overcast. A few nights earlier we had met a nice man at the bar and we cruised over to where he was staying to kill some time. A pleasant hour and a half of conversation later, we meandered back home and to our beach. There we again crossed paths with a thirty year old from England who could have been an Abercrombie model minus the pecs. It seems these English lads like older men and having seen me nude on the beach, I passed the test.

I have to confess, we had met him the day before also on the beach and Phil and I spent the evening trying to decide what was wrong with the picture – was he getting ready to hustle us, should we be hiding the proverbial silver. This of course is quite the commentary on our own self-image. I suppose our questions were answered when he agreed to meet us back at our room and the three of us quickly found ourselves in all positions of kissing and sucking and more. I can get hard again on the memory of playing with my first uncut, figuring out what one can do with a tongue and foreskin.

That night again to the bar and now another lad from London: we spoke for an hour or more before going our separate ways, much talk of straight things and some of how I came to be here. And somewhere in the middle of all this
is our landlord, a wonderful sweet man – a mature gentleman heading towards seventy. He does not normally play much but the chemistry was there and our threesomes are almost daily.

I write this not to brag (thought the ego is quite stroked by it all) but for the realization of how well it all fits – the new friends (if only for the week) who we just spoke with, bent an elbow at the bar and the new friends where much more was bent then just an elbow.

The only way to get here is by a Ferry and as the week has progressed I have come to the final acceptance – the ferry is docked and the helmet can be laid to rest.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Closet Systems

One of the reasons I stopped blogging was a concern of dragging those around me, the essential players, into my quasi-public existence. And while that still weighs on me, there is no way to continue this tale without dragging them into this.

Carrie always said I would find someone because I was not one to be alone. She intended the comment critically and I do accept a level of truth: I am a social creature and do enjoy companionship. But I disagree with the implication that my need for company would force me into just any relationship. I did manage to start to build a social network, limited as it was, on my own.

But the fact is that I do have a boyfriend – maybe a gay lover is a better phrase for a couple whose average age is closing in on sixty. I do not feel I have settled or jumped in: it more sort of happened. Phil was also married once, though having come to this world as a widower seems much more honorable than anything I can claim. We became friends and that is still the basis of the relationship, though I will readily admit that the sex is great.

Phil is compassionate, intelligent and quick to smile but also reserved as any good Methodist should be. There is some punch line in that I could have also written that sentence about Carrie; I am consistent in my attractions other than this little thing of gender. But it is that reserved quality which can be a bit of culture shock for a New York City ethnic like me. I came from a background which was not much for secrets or dancing around the point – perfect for one coming out late in life.

And it is this reserve which is Phil’s Achilles heal for as one would expect from one trained in the design world, he has designed the most impressive closet system one could imagine. When we met there were two worlds – a straight one with family and friends, even those who were gay themselves and a gay world with new, separate friends, different geography: not much cross over to put it mildly.

Then I came along – a friend to romp naked on the beach with and have nights of wild sex but who also dresses up nicely, perfect for a suit and tie and an evening of Handel’s Messiah. So we have become regular companions in both worlds. But there is a difference – I am fully out so when Phil meets my friends, siblings, others, there is little doubt of our relationship.

The opposite is not true. Phil has come out to some of his gay friends as we have met them for dinner or drinks. But his family – his children and aging mother – do not know. I was going to say they have not a clue though I wonder if the children are not smarter than they let on. They have met me many times at this point and we get along quite well. But there is a part of me that is terrified that they will someday hate me, and him, when they realize for how long this little thing was not mentioned.

One might wonder why write about this – it is my Blog, my story, not his. And so it is. But at this point it is also our story. We nearly live together – five or more nights a week sharing a bed, sharing evenings, learning to share friends. And it all came to the fore this week when we had dinner with his gay cousin and his cousin’s partner. Imagine four gay men in a cute little restaurant, but two of us are there as straight friends. It does boggle the mind, though I could handle it. Hell, there is not much I cannot handle at this point.

But I found myself in the one position I swore I would avoid- watching my words, editing on the fly. They are leaving on vacation in a few days. So are we but if I say that they will ask: “Where?” The response would flow easily: “Fire Island, some time at the beach.” “Oh, we were there last year – which part of the Island?” The moment of truth: “The Pines.” Might as well tattoo a rainbow flag on my forehead. So I let the moment pass, a pause, and on to the next topic.

Somehow I believe this will evolve – it already has to some degree, but it has proven to me one thing: I made the right choice and will not be personally investing in a closet system ever again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Maybe a Comeback

There was a time when my fingers regularly danced across the keyboard, when I would drive and draft in my brain and when the words would find their way to my Blog. There was much thought about the content, but very little over the act. Over time that changed, the joy of the writing replaced by fears, fear of who was reading it (I remain married to the mother of my children, I have a boyfriend, I am not one for secrets); a fear of the name of the blog – Am I bi or gay, is “MWM” still true.

Of course there was also this issue of who I was writing for – me, others - both? Time is always a factor – the days fly by and I am no longer alone in the basement at night. I still stick with the choice of doing over writing and doing does keep me busy.

But I confess – I miss the writing. I miss being forced to form my thoughts coherently. I will miss not having a diary to go back and read – that picture of where I was a year or two earlier. And as shallow as it may sound, I miss the comments, both those that kept my honest and those that fed my ego.

Carrie pointed out recently that I should write if for no other reason to share with those who have followed this journey, particularly for those a step or two in my wake. And a journey it still is: one with costs and one with rewards.

The next question for fixation: which Blog – “Tales” or “Second”. The answer comes more easily than I would have thought. Nate’s Second was always a misnomer: it creates a before and after dividing line in a life which has had many befores. So while Tales of a BiMWM may in many aspects be inaccurate, it is where I came into this blog world and where I will stay. Anyway, there are still all the links and maybe someone is still reading.

So I will try my hand at this again – never with the frequency at my peak, I have neither the time nor the angst. And maybe it will quickly fade. Only time will tell. But one thing I have learned: as often or infrequently as I post, it will be the perfect interval.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I have resisted giving up this blog, all the links, all the feeds. The ego is still there. But I realize now it is time to move on – a blog with a new name. One that I suspect Carrie could find, but not without effort. It is not that there will be anything here she does not know or at least correctly suspect. But I have learned – the hard way – that suspecting and feeling is much different from reading.

I have also come to a point where I can go back to writing for me. If people read and appreciate I will be gratified. But this started as my diary and it is time to return to that. The next blog will be less exciting I suspect. Pain, angst – hard to live but good to read: Peace, contentment – fun to live but boring I would guess.

This post will only be here for a little while and then will be gone. The blog will remain – deleting is not in my current lexicon.

So if you are feeling brave, Nate can be found at The title for today is Tales of the Nate, though I think I can still do better there.

Thanks for having joined me on this journey, but it is time to move along.