I like trains. I don't know why exactly, but ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated by them. There is something about seeing, hearing, and sometimes feeling a diesel locomotive pulling a row of cars across a grade crossing. I like the sound of the train's horn and the sound of the signal on the flashing lights.
Back when I lived in New England, there was a railroad spur that came right near my house. There was a train that came most every day. The speed limit on that spur was 10 MPH. Sometimes I would follow the train for miles. There is nothing better than being the first car when the gates come down. It's like having a front row seat. (I took this picture back when I lived up north.)
But getting to be the car at the front of the line is tricky. It takes patience. You have to be in the right place at the right time. Usually that involves getting to a point ahead of the train and waiting. That is not easy for me. If I find I am waiting too long, I get antsy. I start looking around for better options. When I think there is a better location, I usually cannot resist the urge to jump on knowing that I will not be able to go back to the first location. Since the train does not stop. If I decide to go to the second location, by the time I realize it was a mistake, the train will have already passed by.
I frequently will give up my first spot and head to the second one. Almost ever time, it turns out that the second spot is not as good and I miss the opportunity to be the first car when the gates come down. I usually end up kicking myself and wondering when I will ever learn.
Some of the blogs I have been reading lately have a similar theme. Some gay guy is looking over his shoulder for a boyfriend better that the one he has. Maybe more muscular. Maybe younger. Maybe with a stronger sex drive or maybe a larger penis. When they jump, they find things are not a rosy as they think they are.
K and I were talking the other night. She was complaining about some perceived disaster in her life. Something that was not right or was not improving fast enough for her taste. I made a comment that I thought her life was shaping up pretty good. She had a whole lot more clarity about her future than I did about mine.
Now when I said that I was referring to my desire to find a circle of friends, but she took it to be about my off and on frustration about T not wanting to live with me one day. (Yes, I know he wants to, but just not enough to deal with the other issues he has going on, but let's not go down that road today).
"That's your own fault." She said. "You have a choice. You can either accept what he is willing to give you or you tell him he can't meet your needs and find someone else."
I was a little take aback, and I did not say anything to that. But I have been thinking about it for the past few days. Add that conversation to what some of the bloggers are talking about and it made me think about trains.
Why am I hanging around with T? He is not very tall. He is older than me (but look younger). He is not muscled all over (but he is slender and sexy). He is a workaholic and not available as much as I would like. And finally he as a family situation that may prevent me from having the one thing I want most in the world. A life together with my partner. There are lots of other gays around, and I know T would understand if I wanted to change our relationship and go pursue them. But then I think about the train.
T is like the first spot I pick to wait for the train to pass. He is a good many and I know that he loves me. He is the one I picked. He represents the good spot. Are there better spots? Maybe. But most every time I go to what I think is a better spot, it turns out not be be better at all. In fact, it usually turns out to be worse.
How do you give up a good spot for a riskier one? How do you give up a true love, for an unknown?
I don't know.
I'm thinking I should learn the lesson of the train and hold my ground on this one.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
Most of the images used in my blog I found floating around the Internet. I believe, in good faith, that they are either public domain, or my non-commercial use falls under fair use guidelines. If, however, you are the are the copyright owner of any image and wish me to remove it, please contact me and I will do so as quickly as possible