Friday, July 20, 2012

I Didn't See This Coming!

We've been dating a month now.  What started out as a "let's take this slowly" and see each other once a week sort of casual relationship has turned into a "I've cancelled all my appointments for the weekend. Let's see a movie Friday night, do laundry Saturday morning, hit the beach all day, play miniature golf, have dinner on the boardwalk, come home, make popcorn, watch a movie and play kissy-face every chance we get" sort of can't-get-enough-of-your-love-baby romance.

We're agreed that Hallmark is going to clean up off us come Valentine's Day next year.

I did not see this coming at all.  Frankly, I didn't think it would last this long.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitchin'.  He's adorable and I love being with him.  We have fun together.  We are both "man-boys" who compliment each other nicely in that department.  One day it's riding roller coasters, the next day it's business trips to the South.

We're negotiating over vacation time.  Both of us had summer commitments made long before we met each other.  Sometimes we can adjust... sometimes we have to fulfill our commitments (such as mine to a 12-Step "roundup" in September) and sometimes we just have to suck it up and deal with it.

Negotiating is a part of how healthy relationships are.  Another part, and maybe more importantly, is respecting each others limits, beliefs and boundaries.

I told him that I prayed.  He thought that was fine but that, for him, he doesn't "grovel."  I told him that I don't grovel either but I find that prayer helps me to be grateful, and that when I am grateful, I am happy and optimistic.

He's already told me that he likes me to be happy and optimistic.  So prayer must be working for me.

So, we're slowly finding our way through the minefield called love.

It helps that both of us think that we're the lucky one!  You can't do much better than that!

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's Rainin' Men (Hallelujah!)

One week before I was to leave for England, in the wee small hours of May 2nd, 2012, I was minding my own business on the northbound train platform of Princeton Junction, NJ, awaiting my usual morning express to New York City, where I work.

My phone went "BOING!"  a curious sound I'd not heard before.  I looked and the amber light at the top was flashing.  I activated the screen and saw a tiny bear on the tool bar at the top.  I pulled the bar down and found that somone had sent me a message on a bear dating site called "Growlr" which I'd joined just the day before.  My icon photo was of me in a tux, taken last February.

My gentleman caller was a beautiful redhead from far across the seas.  "You're hot" he said.  Or words to that effect.  I messaged him back that I thought he was, too.  Seconds later he responded.  I was amazed at the speed with which our messages were flying back and forth across the Atlantic.

Finally, he asked, "What do you like?"  I typed, "I like saucy, ginger-haired lads" and hit send.


He lives outside London.  I was going to London the following week.  One thing led to another and suddenly we were meeting "for coffee" on the Southbank of the Thames the Friday after I arrived.

He is, indeed, ginger.  And he certainly is saucy.  And we couldn't take our eyes off each other.

I like relationships were both parties think that THEY are the lucky one!

He'd neglected to mention a few things.  Like his boyfriend.  I was crestfallen.  Never mind that there was no way this would work, aside from that.  Several hours later, as we were about to part, he dragged me into a deserted side-street and laid the most passionate lip-lock on me that I've had in over 30 years.

It would be romantic and easy to say that "at that moment...." but that would be a lie.

The fact is, when he sent me that message on the train platform at a God-awful hour of the morning, the first week of May, 2012... something re-awoke in me.  Something long dead.  Something I didn't want.  Something I was better off without.  Something that had caused me pain in the past.

That something was desire.  A desire to be desired and to desire someone else.  A desire to be loved and to love someone else.  A desire to live.

Our ardor has, of necessity cooled.  I'm not a homewrecker.  But another gentleman cropped up on the same website expressing interest in me.

He even lives near me.

We've had two dates so far and so far, so good.

He's not ginger-haired.  But he is very sweet.  And interesting.  And he likes me.  Oh, and together we're 12 and 1/2 feet tall and weigh about 500 pounds.  He's my size.  At long last, an answer to one of my lifelong prayers -- someone I can look right in the eyes before we kiss.

And he loves to kiss.

Thank you, God.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Rule, Brittania!

Late last year I received an email from some English friends announcing that it had been "too long" since I'd been over there (18 years) and that it was time for me to come back for a visit.  I mulled it over for a few weeks and decided to go.  Long story short, I'm leaving on May 9th for a two week visit.

The last time I was there was October of 1993 and I was a wreck.  I was drinking heavily and I hated every minute of every day of my miserable life.  I'd started that trip in Paris, then on to Barcelona and, finally, to London where I stayed with my friend Tom who'd been my host and guide on my 3 previous trips to the UK.

Tommy was a widower.  His partner, Beauchamp (pronounced "Beech-um") had died of cancer in the very early 80's.  Tommy grieved Beachies passing for several years.  But he never let it get him down... at least, not when I was there.

That last trip, though, was rough .... hell, tell the truth, *I* was rough on Tom.  I spent the whole trip drinking and bitching about my partner back in New York.  I actually thought that he (the partner) was responsible for my crappy life.  *I* certainly had nothing to do with it!  HAH.  I was a deluded, drunken, fool.

Back to Tom.  What I didn't know, and wasn't capable of knowing then, was that as time went by I had developed feelings for Tom.  Beyond friendship.  I was incapable of feeling anything because I was so anesthetized and wouldn't have known a genuine feeling if it had come and bitten me on the ass.  Eventually that trip ended, I came back to New York, things got worse, I finally left my partner and spent the next 4 years racing towards my bottom, lost everything and moved to NJ.

Then in 1998, five years after that fateful trip to London, I got sober.  In the early 00's, I got back in touch with Tom.  We talked every now and then and then, about 7 or 8 years ago, he invited me to come back.

I told myself that I didn't feel secure enough in my sobriety to go.  But if I'd been really honest, I was afraid to admit to Tom (and myself) that I'd been attracted to him for many years.  Somehow I felt that it was a disservice to the memory of Beauchamp.  Never mind that on all those other trips, Tommy was always parading out some dishy young man, or another, and announcing that he was "the flavour of the month."  Tommy, you see, was a bit of a whore.  Not terribly, mind you.  But just a tad.

I blew off that invitation with my latest affliction... recovery.  "Tommy", I said.  "I'm sober!"  "OH!" he drawled.  "We're TEDDIBLY sober people...."

"Not that kind of sober" I said.  I think I sent him a Christmas pudding from Fortnum & Mason's that year to ease the sting of my idiotic refusal.

Two years ago, right after Christmas, Tommy died.  His death kicked off a year-long binge of deaths among my friends and family.  Each death just compounded the loss of the one before it.

When Tom's friends emailed me with another invitation I had no choice but to accept.  Not because I'm just dying to do some more sightseeing in England but because I love and miss my friend Tom.

I have every intention of crying a lot when I'm there.  It's the least I can do for one of the loveliest people I've ever known in my life.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ugly American

There's nothing pretty about being an American these days.  Just look at our politicians.  Holier-than-fucking-thous on the right, politically-correcter-than-yous on the left.

Most of us somewhere in the middle and fed up with both extremes.

I heard someone comment on tv the other day that disgruntledness is in our genes.  Every one of our ancestors came here because they were pissed off at the way things were wherever they came from.  And that streak of cussedness now runs in our blood.

For sure we're never happy.  Puritanism is the nagging fear that someone, somewhere, is having a better time than we are.  Capitalism is the nagging fear that lazy, good-for-nothing-welfare-queens are bleeding us dry.

Sprinkle liberally, you should pardon the expression, with some American Exceptionalism, our Dominionist Mandate from Heaven to spread the Pax Americana everywhere.

Finally, throw some good old fashioned "I'm the Man and what I say Goes" evangelicalism on top of it, with it's sense of entitlement to dictate fiscal and sexual policy (I own the money.  I own the slaves.  I own your womb.  I *AM* GOD!) and what have you got?