Wednesday, December 21, 2005

coming out and growing up

I met someone this weekend. Someone different than the kind of guys I usually meet and hook up with. He reminded me of someone I knew years ago.
I first saw him at the bar on Friday night and I felt very drawn to him – I kept throwing him little sly glances hoping he would notice and come over to talk to me. He was hanging out with some guy all night, but finally about 12:30 I noticed him standing by himself at a table. I walked up to the table and put my beer down. He looked over and smiled, and just as I was about to say something B. strolled up and started talking to me – distracting me. When I turned back around he had gone.

Saturday night was my firm xmas party at the Botanic Gardens. I went with our interior design intern and we made a dazzling couple. I bought a whole new outfit that day since everyone at work has seen all my dressy clothes way too many times already. I drank too much white wine and didn't eat enough dinner to cover the effects of the wine and then snuck out to smoke a joint out in the parking lot – so needless to say, I was definitely feeling the xmas spirit from head to toe. After the party she dropped me off at the bar, and within about an hour I spotted the guy again. My heart skipped a beat when I saw he had come back. He was a bit older, had salt and pepper hair, a long, lithe body, good style, and a shy smile. This time I approached him immediately. I can't remember what I said to get a conversation started, but two hours later we were still talking.
I found out he's in his mid-40's, from Texas, looking to buy a place up in the mountains, is recently divorced after over two decades of marriage, and has four kids in their teens to early 20's. And that he's righteous. I was just so immediately and strongly attracted to him. B. kept drunkenly coming up to us and making fun of his Texas accent, calling him Anderson Cooper (cuz he kinda, sorta looks like him) while I kept trying to steer our conversation towards us going someplace more private to get to know each other better.
His behavior was totally spot-on the behavior of someone who is first coming out. He seemed reluctant/nervous to get too intimate and was definitely trying to bolster his courage with A LOT of vodka red bulls. I sensed reluctance on his part to give me the majority of his attention at times, so I eventually wandered away to talk to friends. Then he'd find me and ask where I had gone. Then ten minutes later he'd be distracted again.
When he was leaving to go back to his hotel I indicated I'd like to leave with him, but he seemed uncomfortable with that. So he left without me, but a half hour later when my buddy was driving me home my cell rang and it was him. He asked me to come to his hotel room. So I did.
It was a very interesting and sometimes frustrating experience being with him. His body was amazing but he was very drunk and seemed inexperienced so we'd mess around, then sleep, then mess around a little more, then sleep. Then we woke up about 6:00 a.m. and had sex. At 8:30 he had to leave to drive up to the mountains so I called a cab to get home. Before I left we stood there in an embrace for a long time. I didn't want to let him go. I was worried that once I did we would never have the opportunity to be in that position again. I've had that feeling with a number of guys I've met and spent some time with, and I'm always right. And I couldn't help but think that he's so new to all this that a real relationship or even a small commitment are most likely out of the question for him, at least for a while.
But four days later I just can't stop thinking about him – which is actually quite rare for me – and my feelings are larger than just lust and crushing.
I'm worried about him being OK and dealing with all the gay bullshit. I'm worried about his relationship with his ex and his children. I'm worried about boys treating him badly, or him developing a habit of treating boys badly like I used to. I'm worried I'll never see him again or if I do everything will feel different.

But above all I'm worried that I'm getting a huge emotional karmic payback for another older man I once knew.

Around 2001-2002 I had finished grad school, but was still working at Starbucks. I wasn't really looking for a job – I was just wasting my days making coffee, getting drunk and stoned, and spending time with my friends. One night I met a man named Rick on a phone line. He was 48, I was 26. This was before I was really out to anybody except for one or two people, and my whole gay life was on the down low. He invited me to come over to his house late one freezing December night. When I got there I was surprised to see he lived in a beautiful home in a nice part of town but inside there were little to no furnishings. He had a couch, a bookshelf, and a Christmas tree in his living room and that was it. It turned out he had recently come out to his wife and they were getting a divorce. She had taken everything.
He was very new to the gay scene and we ended up having sex with so much crazy passion – more than I had ever felt with anyone else I had been with up to that time. I didn't know if it was because he was a bit older, or because he had been suppressing his feelings for so long, or maybe because we were just a perfect fit. He held me close and made me feel totally safe and secure.
We continued to see each other at night for about a month or two, but I would always leave after we were done. I remember going home for xmas and thinking about him almost constantly while I sat there with my family members, none of them having any clue about the longing I was feeling.
One night after xmas I spent the night. He was the first man I ever spent the entire night with. In the morning we had sex, I got dressed and drove home, and never called him again. He called me for a while, but he didn't know where I lived or worked so he couldn't track me down. Eventually he stopped calling and leaving hurt messages.
I always wonder what happened to him and if he's happy. I wonder if he hated me, or hates me still. I wonder if I saw him today if we could reconnect. I sometimes think about driving to his house again. Luckily, I don't have a car so I haven't even been tempted.

That was just the way I behaved with gay men for a long time. I'm not proud of it, but that's just honestly the way it was. I desperately craved their attention and their touch and their warmth, but as soon as I had it I felt the need to get away. To run away as fast as I could from the intensity and honesty of it.

I'm still not 100% ready for a long-term commitment, but I'm thrilled that I've come as far as I have. Just to be mature enough to treat every gay guy I encounter with respect. Even if they are a one-night stand.

I just hope it won't take too long for Tex to reach that point.
Or that maybe he'll be a better and stronger gay man than I've been right out of the gate….


Anonymous duane said...

Wow, there is a lot of raw sentiment in this post. Thanks for sharing it!! Congrats on becoming the man you want to be... it is a process that never stops!

I hope that your hot salt and pepper Texan works it all out too; I remember all too well what it was like when I came out, it is something we all have to go through, but it doesn't make it any easier. Have a happy holidays!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Kiddo78 said...

I love this post! I didn't know that you came out only a few years ago...

I've got my fingers crossed for you and that you see Tex again...If nothing else, at least you got some akshun...I know longer hold my breath about anyone. I would have died 4.5 yrs ago when I first started dating again after a 2.5 yr relationship. I fell for every guy I slept with! HaHa

4:28 PM  
Blogger Kiddo78 said...

Oops - I meant "I NO longer..."

4:29 PM  

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