Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Onion Soup Will Make You Closer

Sometimes even failures can bring people closer.   Especially when they are experienced together. 

I love soup. All kinds of soup.  I love chowders, stews and bisque. All of it is delicious. 

I found this recipe for "Smoky Corn Chowder" that looked right for my culinary skill level.  I cooked bacon crispy and removed it for later. Cooked onion with spices. Added corn, chicken broth and half & half. Simmered together made for a wonderful chowder.  

I tend to add more of the ingredients I like. I added extra corn and onion and bacon. 

I made the chowder knowing that T was coming for dinner. I made extra, bought a fresh loaf of sourdough bread and it was going to be a nice dinner.  

What I did not count on is T not really liking onions. Damn. I made the onion pieces larger so their flavor was even more pronounced. While he politely ate the soup, he did not take seconds commenting that there was a lot of onion.  

In fairness, I did just about double the amount of onion and if you don't really care for them, it probably was pretty awful.   Now, more than a year later, you would only have to look at T's comment on my last posting to see that he is still giving me crap about it.  help 

Rewind to the winter of 1992

I love Boston. I am not a fan of big cities in general, but I love Boston. 

K and I had been together a short time.  A matter of a few months, and we took a trip to Boston for the day.  Because only crazy people drive in Boston, we too the "T".  We parked at Riverside station took the Green Line into the city.  We got on this train:

What I didn't know at the time was there are 4 branches of the of the green line.  You will notice this one is the "D" train.

After a nice day in the city, we were ready to leave.  We returned to the subway and go on this train:

You will notice this is not a "D" train.  So we got on the wrong train.  Once we realized it K thought we should get off and get get on the one that goes back underground where can can get back on the right train.  I must have been feeling adventurous, and I said, "Let's ride it out and see where it goes."

As we went on, the ... let's call it the quality ... of the neighborhood was going down.  The we hit the end of the line and had to get off.  So we got off, in a strange neighborhood, with no coins (needed to get back on the next train) and, oh yeah, it was starting to snow.  

For the next almost twenty years when ever I make a decision that K thinks is not the right one she will tell me, "Oh Yeah.  Let's just ride it out and see where it goes."  It is a signal for me that I might need to re-think my position.

These kinds of stores become part of a couple's shared experiences. It draws them together. Even though both of these stories are at my expense, I look at them as fond and treasured memories that bind me to the people I care about.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Relationship Needs

If you ask most gay guys to close their eyes and think about the about what their dream relationship with their dream man, would look like, what do they see?  Do they see gay cruises?  Do they see dinner parties?  Do they see romantic walks on the beach, holding hands.  Do they see non-stop hot sex?  Do they see going out as a couple every weekend and hanging out with their homo friends or maybe teasing the single homo's with their togetherness?

I may see some of that stuff.  I would be lying if I said the idea of regular hot sex did not interest me, but is is not the only thing that interests me. I like the idea of a gay cruise with my dream man, but it is not what I see when I close my eyes.

Last week when I dropped in on T, he was working on a box of charts he brought home from the office.  He does this every night.  It's the only way he can stay caught up on his work.  He sits on the floor with his boxes of files and has forms spread out in a semi-circle around him.  It looks like chaos to me, but to him, it is arranged so he can work efficiently.  As he flipped thought them, reading test results and writing instructions for his staff to fax this or that he was talking to me.  Telling me what he was doing as he was doing it.  It was almost like he was talking to himself, and I was there to hear it.  Sometimes when I work on stuff I talk to myself.  I don't know if he is like that all the time or if it was just for me.  Either way, I loved it.  I felt drawn into his world and I was thrilled.

We were not doing anything exiting.  I was not waiting for him to finish so we could do something else.  I was just thrilled to be there with him.  Just being in the room with him physically present was enough for me.

These are the things my dreams are made of.  Just being together.  Being physically present and with each other.  We could be watching TV, working on homework, making a meal, or cleaning up- after a meal.  It is the being that is important to me.  I am pretty low maintenance.  I have simple needs.

On another note, 

I ordered lesson one of Vietnamese this weekend.  Soon I will be able to know when T and his sisters are talking about me when I am sitting right there.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Good, Until...

I had a crazy day.   I had a bunch of errands to run this morning.  I had an event to attend with my oldest son and because K was working, I had to bring the little kids with me too.

Once that was done, I went to meet R for dinner.  (Remember that R is the friend of T's sister that they all think is gay, but he says he is straight.)

I met him at a book store at a local mall.  When we walked across the parking lot to a Mexican restaurant.  It was a good time.  We had some good conversations. We took our time eating and even split a desert.

In the course of conversation he asked how I knew T's family, so I told him that T and I met online and were dating.  He did not react except to say that he had not known that before.  I told him about how I came out to my self and others.  I told him how K and I are still best friends and we don't (generally) fight about anything.  How the kids were well adjusted, but I was not yet out to the kids.

When I told him about how I was in denial to myself for a long time, he asked, "Does that happen to many guys?"  I was not exactly prepared for that, but I told him that it seemed to happen to a lot of married or formerly married guys who write blogs.  

Of the time we spent together only about 20% was talking about me being gay or anything related to gay.  The rest was talking about his business, where we went to school, how neither of us were using the degrees we earned in college and other stuff.

When dinner was over, we started to walk back toward the mall.  It was too early to go home, so I was going to hang out at the book store for a while.  I did not know what R was going to do.  Before I got the chance to ask him, it started to rain on us.  Not a little drizzle, but the kind of downpour you might get on a summer afternoon with a passing thunderstorm.  We were in the open, so I'm glad there was no lightening & thunder.  By the time we got to the mall we were both soaking wet and decided that going home was the best idea.

We said good-bye with a quick hug and walked to our respective cars.  Once I get to my car, started it, cleaned my glasses I took out my phone and sent T a text message.

"Had a good time. Going back to his place for sex"


"Kidding.  On my way home"

I thought T would get a kick out of it, but I didn't hear back from him.  I checked my phone.  SHIT!!!!!

I had not sent the messages to T.  I sent them to R.  SHIT!!!!

Now I feel like a fool.  I know that he is already sensitive that people think he is gay.  I was not going to add to that.  I did not make any suggestions or comments that suggested I thought he was anything but straight.  Now this.  I also did not want him to think that I invited him out for any reason other than just to get to know him better, as a friend.

I tried to call him, but he did not answer.  I sent him a message telling him I felt bad and I hoped he did not take my joke the wrong way.   He responded that it was OK and he thought it was funny.  I don't know him well enough to know if that is true of not.

Anyway, if he really took it as funny, then I may have made a new friend tonight.  If he, didn't, then it was the shortest friendship ever.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Lesson of Soup

There was a pot on the stove.  In the pot was sliced beef and pork soaking in some kind of broth.  It smelled awful.  "You should try it." T told me.  I was not so sure.

There were some vegetables.  Some green and leafy.  Some stringy.  Some cut up.  I did not recognize them.  They smelled funny too.  I tasted one.  The flavor was strong and pungent.  It was not completely unpleasant, but I would not want a salad of this stuff.

There were some noodles.  By themselves, mostly tasteless.  They will take on the flavors of the rest of the dish, but so far that was not very encouraging.

Maybe I was not that hungry after all.  Next thing I knew there was a bowl of all these things I was not sure about in front of me.  One thing my  father always taught me was to eat the food I am given.  It's the polite thing to do, and it's not poison.  Even if I don't really like it, I should eat it and be thankful.

I watched T and his sisters.  They mixed up all the ingredients in the bowl.

I did that.

I used the chopsticks to pull out some noodle and I ate that.  Then a piece of beef.  Then a piece of pork and a leaf of something together.  Using the spoon, some broth.

To my surprise, my polite tasting, turned into real enjoyment.  It turns out that even though the individual ingredients did not seem appetizing, when mixed together in the right way, they make something truly delicious. 

Another life lesson learned. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pleasant Surprise

T called me after he was done at work.  He had a much busier day than normal and was still seeing patients well after closing time.

I was happy to hear from him but we could only talk for few minutes.  I was in the middle of feeding the kids dinner.  I could tell he was disappointed when I had to go.  I told him I would talk to him later in the evening.  Then, almost as an after thought, I told him, "You never know.  I might show up at your door tonight."

"You won't." he replied with some certainty.  It would be very unusual for me to visit him on a week day and even more unusual for me to do it while K is in her coaching season.  To make it even more unlikely, he lives just over an hour away.

It was at that moment I decided I was going.

I send K a message that she should come directly home from her game because I wanted to go out.  Around 8:30 I left my house, listening to a podcast of "Hardball with Chris Mathews" on my BlackBerry.

En route, I called my parent who have been on vacation for almost 2 months now.  It was a nice chat and they are still having a good time.

When I got to T's house, I parked on the street in front of his house and turned off my lights.  

I texted him.  "Want to talk?"  

He replied, "Call me."

"No.  Come outside" I responded as I moved my car into his driveway.  I saw him looking out his bedroom window where he was doing work he brought home from the office.

To make a long story short, he was happy to see me (and did NOT have an banana in his pocket).  I was really glad to see him.  For about 30 min I sat on the floor in his bedroom and watched as he did his paperwork.  I sometimes pretended that I lived there and this was our normal routine.  The funny thing is ... it really did feel normal.

On the drive home, my head was sleepy and my heart happy.

I had to write this before going to bed.

I love you T!!  Thank-you for sticking with me all this time. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A New (Gay) Friend

T lives with elderly parents and his 2 younger sisters.  One straight sister I will call SS and on lesbian sister I will call LS. (I am going to have to have a list of all these people soon just to keep them straight.)

Last night I had dinner at T's house with his sisters.  Also joining us was a friend of his straight sister.  Let's call him R.  R met SS online while she was looking for a boyfriend.  

Now, T and his sisters think everyone they meet is gay.  They have a CPA that manages the money from T's business.  They think he's gay.  They have a lawyer who they think is gay.  SS is taking Spanish at a local community college and guess what?  Yup!  The instructor is gay.

They don't know any of this for sure, but it seems between the 3 of them, they have the most highly refined sense of gaydar on the planet.

Anyway back to dinner.  T invited me and they invited R.  I have been hearing about R for months now.  They tell me he is a really nice guy who is fun to be around.  SS liked him, but there was a problem.  Can you guess?  They think he is gay.  Apparently, there are others who think so too.  He is 35, single, and even his parents have asked him if he is gay.  He insists he is not gay, and is actively looking for a girlfriend. 

Anyway, I met R for the first time last night with T and his sisters.  He is very tall for an Asian man, One of his parents is Korean and the others Caucasian. He was at the house before I was and when I talked in he came right over and hugged me warmly.  It is a little unusual for men to hug each other on their first meeting, but I did not think that much of it.  My own gaydar, which has limited abilities, started pinging right away.

We had a really nice dinner and conversation that lasted about 2 and a half hours.  T and both sister had to work on Saturday morning so by 10:30 the part was pretty much over.  

T has not come out to R as gay.  In fact there were 2 opportunities to reveal that during our conversation, and both times T deflected to questions and changed the subject.   T and his sisters are afraid that if R knows that T is gay, they might suspect he is gay and that will scare him away.  They really like him and don't want him to feel uncomfortable.

Assuming that R is gay and in denial, I think if he is not comfortable in his own head to come out to himself or others that is his business.  I have no desire to change that for him.  But when I was in denial, I think one of the things that kept me in denial for so long was I did not know any openly gay people.  I felt very alone.  If I had known a person who was gay, and comfortable being gay, it would have provided me with a positive frame of reference for what a gay person is.

T is a person like that.  He is gay, and comfortable being gay.  He leads a fairly normal life.  If you have it in your head that living a gay life means being Jack from "Will & Grace", T would be a good counterbalance that gay people are really not that different from everyone else.

If I had had T (or someone like him) to show me that, I would have come out much sooner.  I am pretty sure that R will ask SS what is the nature of the relationship between T and I.  She has said, if asked, she will tell him the truth.  I think that is the right thing to do and then stop.

They should not ask R about his sexuality or otherwise probe in that spot where is is clearly uncomfortable.  Eventually he may see there is a safe place for him to reach out to, he may.  If he does not, that is OK and he should not be pushed.  But sometimes you may be more likely to take a swim if there is a lifeguard on duty.

Personally, I find that I like R.  I can see myself having a beer and hanging out with him.  No, I am not interested in him in any sort of romantic way.  I have my heart set on T and I expect it will remain there.  After R left last night I stayed back and learned from SS that he does not have a lot of close friend, especially male friends.  For whatever reason, he and I are in the same boat in that regard.  Maybe we can help each other.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Holding Hands & the McDonald's PlayLand

Friday night my older kids slept at a friend's house.  K was out with AJ and I was home alone with me younger 2 kids. T was not able to go out and I was feeling lonely.

So I lit a campfire in the back yard. Something about watching a fire burn is soothing to me. The kids were playing Wii so I was mostly by myself. Then K called.  She wanted to know if it was ok for her to come back to the house with AJ and hang out by the fire. Of course I told her, that would be fine.  I set up some additional chairs around the fire and put on another log.    

About 10 min later they arrived and came outside.  AJ is retired from the Navy where he served many years on submarines. He told some stories of drunken mischief (he does not drink at all anymore). We had a good time and it did not feel uncomfortable for me and he seemed at ease too.

He stayed about an hour and during most of that time they were holding hands. It was the one hand on top of the other type not the interlocking fingers type.  I was surprised how that made me feel. I was not uncomfortable. In fact, I felt happy. For a long time K thought her future looked bleak. She thought she would be alone as I went off to my gay wonderland.  Now she is not so worried about that.  In a way, that take some responsiblilty from me.     

The next morning K had to work (Saturday), so I was alone with my younger kids.  I decided to take the to McDonald's for breakfast. They like the hotcakes and the one closest to my house has a brand new Playland.

So off we went. Got the food, poured drinks, and picked a table outside. The kids made a bee line for the Playland structure leaving me with the food (getting cold).  K would have made them eat first, but I let them play.  As I sat there I watched the other kids play. I watched the parents of the other kids too. There was a mom by herself. There was a straight couple sitting close together.  There was another straight couple that look so uncomfortable together, they must have been there under a court order.  As I watched I became aware I was there alone with my kids. Then I thought not of K and our lost marriage, but of T.

I was thinking, well fantasizing really, about us together taking the kids to a playground or a park. Like a couple. Like a family. Not a replacement for K, but in addition to, at least from the kids point of view.  I know T would like that too. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Formerly Married Gays

I have been wondering if gay guys who used to be married make better partners.

I have been listened to the guys on several of the blogs I follow talking about how gay men are not good a long term relationships for a whole host of reasons.  But I do not fall into one of those categories. 

Most of the blogs I read are written by men who are or have been married to women.  I think a lot of them want a real long term relationship with one man similar to what they had with their wives.  That is really what I would like to have.  If I can re-create the type of relationship I had with K with T then my life would be perfect.

You will note I said the "type of relationship".  I know I cannot recreate the relationship itself.  After all while K and T share some similar traits, they are very different people.  But what I crave is the stability of a marriage.  Knowing that no matter what, there will be one person who will be by your side (both physically and spiritually) to face with you all the things that life throws.  Where there is less "you and me" and more "us".  Where people rarely say your name without also saying the others.  No matter how crappy my day at work was I will always have a safe of arms to fall into when I get home.

Of course all that stuff works in the other direction as well.  When T has a bad day I want him to complain about it to me when he gets home.  If he feels bad I want to be the set of arms he falls into for comfort.  When he is sick I want to make him chicken soup or take him to doctor appointments.  I want to be the one makes him a sandwich when he brings home so much work he can't take a break to eat.  I want to be there for him too.

I think a lot of guy who had the courage to come to terms with who they are early in life missed something.  Even many of us got married for all the wrong reasons or because we were hiding from our gay-ness, I think we gained something by having that experience of marriage to a woman.

A lot of less stable couples, gay or straight, will split up when faced with adversity.  I always thought that was strange.  It always seemed to me that adversity brought K and I closer together.  It made our bond stronger.  I guess I always felt if we can make it through this (whatever that happed to be at the time) then we could make it through anything.

Now that I have come to terms with being gay and our marriage is dissolving,  I want to build a relationship of the same strength.  I want the hardships and difficulties of relationships with T so it will draw up closer together.  We will face them together, resolve them together, and adapt together.  Together is the key.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Taste of a Dream Come True

I had the best weekend I have had in a really long time.  

This weekend T and got in a car and drove the the mountains in western North Carolina. We had a really nice visit with Joe from "Bear Me Out". He was super nice and showed us around town, took us to a really good local eatery and then to a local gay bar.  It was a really incredible evening and I am so glad were able to work out a meeting.

It's funny when you meet a fellow blogger in person (Joe was my second) you already know so much about each other before you meet. It is an interesting dynamic that makes me much more comfortable, much faster than with total stranger.

Anyway, due to our advanced age, we could not hang at the bar and wait for the party to start and T and I ended back at our hotel before 11:00.

The next morning (Sunday) we did some shopping and the little, local shops in downtown. I don't usually like shopping but today was different. I was with my man and he was with me. We were in a pretty gay friendly town so we even occasionally held hands walking on the street. I used every opportunity to put my arm around him, or rub his back or just touch him. It was wonderful!!  Almost like we were a "normal" couple. I loved it.

After we had been walking around for close to three hours, we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit, look up directions to another art gallery.  A swanky one. This was where I learned that rich people are stupid. They buy a lot of overpriced things.

After a really good, and huge lunch (at 4:30 in the afternoon), we again went back to the room to relax a little.  T slept for about an hour and I read some of the headlines on my Blackberry since I could not make the internet work on the hotel network.

One of the things I wanted to do with T was see the sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I have never been on the Parkway and it was important to me.  We got on and drove north about 15 miles.  Much like my trip to the Grand Canyon I stopped at every turn off to take pictures of anything I saw.  I was having a blast.  T thought it was nice, but did not just out of the car as often as I did.

When we finally found a great spot, near a visitor's station.  It was wonderful.  There was a rock wall, with a pretty steep drop off.  T is a little scared of heights so he din not sit on the rock will like I did.  As the sun vanished behind the mountains in the distance, I was awe struck by how beautiful it was.  It was a similar feeling I had when I saw the Grand Canyon in April.  It made me want to go to church.  It made be believe that there was in fact God up there keeping an eye on things.  

Here are some of the pictures I took.

After the sunset we drove back in the dark and get to the hotel around 9:30.  We split a pint of Ben & Jerry's strawberry cheese cake ice cream and drifted off to sleep.

This morning, Monday (Today!!) we got up, not too early, got some breakfast and headed for home.

For the first time I got just about 48 uninterrupted hours with T and it was wonderful.  My dream is to be with T all the time.  To be his constant companion and partner.  I get a taste of what that would be like this weekend and I REALLY liked it.

I can't wait for the next time.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I spend a lot of time by myself.

I don't prefer that, it just works out that way a lot. I should point out that by "by myself" I mean without other adults. I have lots of kid time.

 Take tonight for example. After I got home from work, K was already gone to her evening job. She is a high school sports coach and her team had practice tonight. She got home around 7:00, showered, changed and headed to AJ's house for the evening. I was left alone with the kids. I lit a camp fire (the one in the picture was tonight's), smoked a cigar and typed out this blog entry on my Blackberry. ( I may be the only gay guy without an iPhone.) I did it alone. 

My youner kids have gone to bed and the older ones are watching some horror movie on the Wii/Netflix. T is up to his ass in paperwork and visiting relatives and I have no other friends so I am alone.

 Sometimes I enjoy the solidude. I have a job where I talk to people all the time. I frequently go to lunch alone just so I can have some quiet time. Sometimes I get lost in the internet or the blog-o-shpere and I don't want to be bothered my anyone.

 Other times I crave adult contact (no, not sex). Just having another person to talk to and be with is nice. I like to tell stories. I like to debate politics. I like to listen to the stories of others.

Several weeks ago I was at T's house and we had a campfire and were joined by his 2 sisters. They all work together so a lot of their conversation was about that. I did not say much, but I enjoied listening to the stories. (Also, the dynamic between them is interesting to watch)

Tonight was one of the times I wanted to be around people.

No dice.

The Sudden Slow Motion Divorce

I called my mother the other day. She is on vacation in Maine where a lot of my extended family lives. As we talked, she told met that she has not mentioned my current situation to anyone there. My mother is comfortable with what is going on, so it not like she is ashamed of me. While we have told the kids K and I are divorcing, we have not yet told them I am gay.  My mon does not was someone accidently letting that slip of Facebook or somewhere else before K and I have had a chance to tell them first.  Besides it does not really impact anyong there so why bring it up.

When the relatives ask about she lshe tells them that I am fine, which really is the truth.

It's probably a prudent thing to do, but I could not help think about how people will react when they do find out. Not that I worry they will react negatively but it may be a lot to take in all at once. To go from the perfect marriage to what we have today is a huge change. For me it will have taken 2+ years to make the change.  Longer if you consider ythe whole of the time I struggled with being gay.  For anyone hearing the story for the first time it seems like a lot of stuff happening at the same time.

So from my perspective, it is my slow motion divorce. For other friends and family it will be perfect marriage one day and meet-my-boyfriend the next.

And if I get my way, that day will come sooner rather than later.  Last summer I took my kids to my parents camp in Maine.  It is one of favorite places in the whole world.  I really, REALLY want to bring T with me.  I want to share with him the magic of the woods that I experianced when I was growing up. I really think that would be an experiance that would draw us closer.