When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Seas Would Rise When I Gave The Word

Coldplay is haunting me like the wishing-well ghost in the Gordon Lightfoot song.

Coldplay Lyrics
Viva La Vida Lyrics

Today MFTD got back to me after three days. I called his home on Saturday and left a message with his wife. I had been squirmy enough after posting the Coldplay video to get him on the line. Three days later he calls me. Well, I remembered Scott's advice in a comment when I last kvetched about MFTD's inaccessibility. Spilling all your tea in the lap of one person all the time (especially when you're not paid to receive it) gets to be tiring. This is paraphrased from Scott's original words, mind you. And I'm not at my literary best atm.

Wait, I tell a lie. He actually called yesterday and I didn't pick up. I was in session.

So when he called today, I determined not to spill the tea. However, I couldn't keep the convo breezy and superficial. I did try, I swear it. But he heard I was being false and he insisted I tell him. He knew I was sitting on top of something. It's like, I want to tell, but I don't want to drive these people out of my life with my monotonous, same-old song. The eyes rolling with "Oh here we go again".

But I did it. I spilled the tea. I told him how jealous I was of him and I itemized the bill.

Well, MFTD is a fixer. So, unbidden, he launched into therapy. But we went over everything that we've gone over before. I owe him money. He's not pressuring me to pay him back. I want to make more. Why am I not leaving New Jersey and saving $$$ on car ownership and commute costs? I want to be in a relationship where somebody loves me. Then why don't you?

Now my eyes were rolling.

But yeah, why don't I?

But see, MFTD knows. He just hasn't accepted it. Hell, I haven't accepted it. I don't want to. I've fought it all my life. It just feels like there's no point in fighting it because it's not going away.

I'm gay.

I mean, this isn't actual news, I'm guessing, because I've blogged as much--I just wouldn't end the sentences with it. Because too, I like breasts. Jiggly ones that double-mound in the center. Push-up bras are my friend.

But I lie if I didn't admit to myself that I really like guys. I mean, I admire so much about guys. Masculinity and strength. Their ability to go tough and stand like pillars for family, community, and nation. That in itself is not being gay. I know that. And no I've never had sex with one. And I don't particularly want to. For instance, I don't just not like the smell of booty, I'm disgusted by it. Gaggingly disgusted. I can't use a public restroom that's been bombed out by some exploded-colon victim. I'll circumnavigate like Jack Nicholson on a city street in "As Good As It Gets" to avoid the very shadow of careless dog turds.

Yet why do I think I'm gay?

Because I've been turned on by men since I was six. It was molestation, pure and simple, and a crime against me. But it was more than once and it's an appetite I have and have always had. Like K.D. Lang's Constant Craving.

And I don't KNOW if I'd have been gay without the molestation. But surely I wouldn't have been turned on at the age of six otherwise? Surely I'd have had a childhood without trying to rub myself into a stupor? Surely all the weekends that my mother worked wouldn't have been spent hunting down Mom's porn, isolating myself in the house instead of learning how to make friends, and then feverishly, guiltily teaching myself how to masturbate before I even knew how to ride a bike?

And here's what I also know--I am anything BUT gay. "Gay." Now that is a laugh. This? What I am? Is not "gay." This is miserable. This is conflicted and self-loathing and arrested and stunted and phobic and trapped and destroyed. Is what this is.

Because I love the company of a good woman. I want the late night talks. I want the staring into the eyes. I want the handholding. The hugs. The spooning. The "squooch-squooch-squooch" of sex. The slow and the fast.

But that's just not all I want. I'm a wide open, burglarized home. Despoiled and unprotected. Ravaged and unattended. A panic to the owner upon discovery, and forevermore a constant disturbing reminder that someone unauthorized has been here.

All my chances for normal is gone. Gone before I ever had a chance. My whole life, done in one.

MFTD knows this already. I've told him, and we've been going round and round for a few years now. And now I'm telling you. And him and me, we're working on the theory that I'm not hardwired by biology to have sex with one gender and no other. I don't think anyone is. I know a gay man who had sex with a woman just to try it, and loved it, but prefers to be and stay gay. He, I believe, is actually the definition of "gay," he does what he does, loves who he loves, and accepts who he is.

So the treatment plan is to move forward pursuing what I actually want. Not what I crave. What I want.

and what I want is a do-over. I want my chance back--my chance to be normal. To be loved and to be able to return it. To make a woman happy the way I've never been able to do in 43 years. Any woman.

It isn't unreasonable, it's just impossible.

And the happier I see other guys be, the further away from me it seems. For all the pitfalls of the normal life, it is infinitely better than this life I'm living. This life that I have prayed to be redeemable. I've lost my perspective on how that can be possible. Maybe I'll get it back, someday. But right now?

I used to rule the world.
Seas would rise when I gave the word. Now I wake up in the bed alone. Sweep the streets I used to own.

Sorry Ned, but you did ask.


The Neighbor said...

My brother - I am so proud to know you, and I love you all the more. I did ask, but hell, I knew.

You don't have to be a flouncing girly man to be gay. Look at Neil Patrick Harris, one of my very favorite actors and entertainers. Being gay is not and never will be the most interesting thing about you, but it's part of who you are. And knowing one's self is the first step to happiness.

I beleive in the sliding scale of human sexuality, and while I may be about 80ish percent hetero, I don't just watch Fight Club for the dialogue. I look at Brad Pitt and some part of me goes daaaaaamn. So I get it.

The molestation - I am not qulalified to touch that - I'm just not. I hope you have an outlet to truly explore it and know that this was a victimization, that it does not and cannot define you, only to define the molester. At 6 years old, you're a child, and gay or not, sex at that age is wrong. It was not your fault. It could not have been. The age of consent is a very real thing, and not at all about legality.

There are no do-overs. Believe me, I wish for a do-over every single day, and I'd give anything - an arm, maybe - for a chance to do one week over and see where I'd be now.

But there is only tomorrow, and that follows today. The future is NOT written.

The Truth for this moment is this: until we know and love ourselves, no one else can possibly do the same. I don't care if you are gay or bisexual Alan, I really don't. It is far from the most interesting thing about you. But I guarantee that pretending it isn't so will show through and sabotage your every hope.

Be who you are, my brother, my tribe. What a brave and wonderful post. Thank you so much.

Alan said...

But I don't want it, Ned. I don't. It's not who I wanted to be. Never.

The Neighbor said...

Alan, my brother, I wish you peace and happiness. On some level, we are born to be who we are, and on others, we have some choice. I work adjacent to a man who I am convinced is gay, and has prayed himself celibate instead.
You don't have to be ANYTHING, Alan, you said as much in your post. I have to again insist - this does not DEFINE you. YOU define you. Who you are is who you want to be, who you choose to be.
The fact that some callous and selfish soul stole your childhood is not your fault. You got robbed, and I'd give my other arm to give you the choice they took from you, forced on you.

My brother my brother. e-hugs my brother.

The Neighbor said...

Oh wait, I gave both my arms. Oh wait. e-hugs. Never mind.

Alan said...

Thanks :-/

This was the precipice, you know. Now it's a freefall and I'm waiting to shatter on the rocks below.

I guess truth is that I haven't done this on the nightly news or in an interview with Baba Wawa. But it feels like it.

It feels like everyone I've expressed myself to through this blog is going to feel betrayed or lied to. But I tried to be as honest as I could without jumping.

Everyone who I've ever said I wanted to be, I still do. Everyone one who I've ever admired, I still do. Everyone I've mancrushed on, I crush still. Every woman who I wished I could steal away from their boyfriends, I do still.

But here's what I've learned. No one is going to want me. Not gays, not straights, not women.
I think that's why your co-worker prayed himself into celibacy. When you're like this, there's really no other choice.

And me, a therapist. How funny is that? Counseling couples and married people who want to save their marriage. How betrayed would they feel if they knew?

But I guess I'm following this career path because I can do good. Everything wish of "normal" that I have for myself, I have for them. Every ounce of happiness that I grab for, I help them hold onto. Every fear that my meds keep at bay, I hold their hands to endure too.

It's all I have. I can't do for myself, so I do for others. When they live, I live.

Is that unethical, do you think? Should I just go back to the Post Office and live the rest of my life in obscurity? Go play roleplaying games and read comics and take an unassuming corner and pass gently away?

The Neighbor said...

Much as I like believe I can see myself in anyone's shoes, look through anyone's eyes, I have to admit, what you've done here is unimaginable to me. I'm amazed, my brother. I'm impressed.

No, this is not the nightly news, no Walter Cronkite interrupting your regularly scheduled broadcast with this important update.

However, there are six BILLION people on this planet, and there's way more than someone for everyone. There's thousands, if not millions. 6,000,000,000 people. I'll grant that you may feel a little scuffed up and rough and damaged, but EVERYONE is damaged. I talk the whole cork thing, but then I lose my shit in the wee hours of the morning, and I went looking. And when you go looking, why are we surprised when we find it?

I'm talking about my late night drive (check my blog), but it's true for you too. You sound like you are looking to be alone - trying to be alone. That's ok - it's perfectly fine, and a life of service is noble and virtuous. If that's what you want. But I don't think it's what you want. Only you really know, but you have to really ask yourself. It's easy to throw your hands in the air and say "no more." It's much much much MUCH harder to wade back into the struggle, but the reward only comes one of those two ways. As cliche as it is, all you have to do is want it, and it will seek you out.

Alan, you CAN do good - you've been a crutch for me at times when I was only hinting at the despair I feel some days.

To say it again - we don't feel betrayed, or lied to. Some guys like women. Some guys like men. Some guys like both. Don't expect the worst of us all - we already chose you, Alan.

Your preference has no bearing on your abilities, your trustworthiness, your worth as a human being. It is 100% NOT and ethics issue. Anyone who thinks so is warped and twisted by the hateful ideas of others. This isn't 1991 - it's 2008. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Furries even - acceptance is here and now.

You're not going to shatter, my man. You're going to soar.

The Neighbor said...

Two more things before I return to the pressure cooker of my job.

1. Role playing games are fun as hell. I had a champions character that was a kitten. His weakness? Toys with prey. 2d4 claw attack. 20+ agility. Vulnerable to catnip, making him erratic. But life is a better RPG. I used to make up a persona every time I rode a train or plane. It's fun.

2. I have a Post Office work shirt that I wear sometimes, adn then I can scowl at people and they literally shy away. Power! Un - LIMITED - POWEEEEERRRR! And then I zap Sam Jackson with Force Lightning and cackle a while.

So even your idea of retreat sounds like it could be fun.

I want a do-over too, for what it's worth, but it isn't exactly forthcoming. I want to try the whole thing sober. However, you are completely normal, you just might need a slightly better definition, one of your own design. One that allows you to be who you are without guilt, remorse, or an ounce of regret.

Happiness, like love, is on some level a conscious choice. It's a decision.

Tera said...

Wow Alan...that's all I can say is wow. I wasn't quite expecting that when I came here today, but many men (and women alike) pray for that much bravery. Your post nearly brought me to tears, and hear me say you have a GREAT friend in Ned...you truly, truly do.

And quite the contrary...someone will want you, Alan...someone will.

Alan said...

Tera, Ned is amazing. He's just amazing. He is beyond genius--he has a true heart. Everything he's been through has only been a manifestation of that heart. All his vices have just been tools to try to stop the pain inherent in having a heart that huge. If God is still looking out for me, He's doing it with Ned...and with you ... and with everyone who will still care about my life now.

And for those who Worst Case Scenario Man says will heretofore leave me--well, that's the risk I took when I hit "Publish". I can trade them for Ned--he's worth a thousand of them.

But I'm coming to terms with my own responsibilities too. I don't the readily know the difference between my mancrushes and desire. Or perhaps I do. I can say this--I don't want to have sex with Ned or Scott or Alex or Grim Jester or My Hero. I want them to be straight. I admire them for their straightness. I envy them for straightness. But it would drive me wild to be a fly on the wall when they're gettin' busy with the ladies. (At least the thought is exciting. The reality might not be so pornorific. Reality rarely is. Because again, there's always that bare feet thing. *shudder*)

Tera, also, I did do a poll on this subject, without identifying myself. Grizzbabe was here for that--and I asked the few ladies who were here then if they would date a man, knowing that he had once sexually been with another man. They all said no. They had their reasons, and I can't help but respect them. One girl said she'd be worried that she'd never satisfy her man the way he'd want to be satisfied. I surmised that it was about security (although she disputed it). Today on the radio, I heard the term "Heteroflexible". It's supposed to describe straight girls who either get drunk, high, or just uninhibited and kiss on their other straight girlfriends.

Ain't that a blip? Woman get to act on their same-sex attraction and go back to their men. They even get to have sex with a girlfriend and their man at the same time. Could a guy get away with that?

So Ned says I can define myself as I want to, and that it doesn't have to me the only thing about me.

Here's what I'd be comfortable with--I'm a straight guy who also gets turned on by dudes.

Should I put it on CraigsList and see who comes out to salute it?

The Neighbor said...

Hey man,

I'm not amazing. I've just found my voice, cut through the clouds, and I'm calling it as it I see it. You're really a great guy - interesting, insightful, thoughtful . . . like 90% of the people I meet, your sexuality is not really what I think about when I think of you. Why would it be?

You know, that's the thing about sexuality - when we are faced with that which is other than ourselves - we get defensive on some level, well, I do anyhow. I'm not proud of it, but I'm far from perfect. Ask the Librarian.

The fact is that I see lots and lots and lots of girls who I want to have sex with. Damn, at the gym, I have to basically stare at my feet to keep from straining my eyes - I want to woo them all. That doesn't mean I automatically get to, that I'm ever going to force myself upon them, or even that I'm going to raise the issue, if you'll pardon the semi-scandalous pun. I'd expect a slap at the least, a swift knee, more likely.

And it's only in our modern society that we have these double standards of gay and bisexuality. Look at Roman times, Greek times, the age of Lincoln, even. Men aren't close anymore because of fear. Fear of reprisal, rejection, judgment, exclusion. But that's a temporal phenomenon, not a fundamental one. It's a failing of our times. Our shallow shallow times.

I'm hooked on this idea of multiplex causality, something I read in the Schroedinger's Cat trilogy. We WANT everything to be tied to one single root cause, to make it simple and digestible and understandable. It ain't. What I say to you may be, in actuality, more purposed to someone else who will stumble across your archived posts in 200 years while researching the early works of the revolutionary comic creation genius New Mutant, from early 21st century Old New York. Society may be different, and our conversation may be life-changing for him or her. It may be revelatory. We could be changing the world right now.

We are cogs in the machine, my friend, each as important as the other, and it is essential that we be who we are, perfect and whole and damaged and utterly twisted sometimes.

As for God, well, I've told you about my feelings on God. How could a sacrifice by a divine being - a sacrifice - it's hard to even fathom how a divine being could sacrifice anything - how could that not cover all of us? How could any one of us fall through the cracks? It's impossible. That is my Faith.

IF God is still looking for you. Puh-leaze. ;)

I'm glad you're out there, amigo, in every conceivable context. I'm going to go play guitar hero - my brain needs a night off.

Alan said...

Yes you are amazing. So there. And you're about to find out that we were both writing to one another's blogs at the same time, and using time travel as a theme--at the same time.

I've been looking for you for a long time, Ned.

GrizzBabe said...

There so much here I want to comment on. I'll start with this:

As for God, well, I've told you about my feelings on God. How could a sacrifice by a divine being - a sacrifice - it's hard to even fathom how a divine being could sacrifice anything - how could that not cover all of us? How could any one of us fall through the cracks? It's impossible. That is my Faith.

Well said, Ned. I'm really warming up to universalism and to the idea that the Christian life is about recognizing what God has already done, embracing what is already true.

And for those who Worst Case Scenario Man says will heretofore leave me--well, that's the risk I took when I hit "Publish".

You don't give us enough credit. Alan, I am going to be your friend regardless of your sexuality.Gay, straight, bi, transgendered. It doesn't matter. I'm gonna be here for you no matter what. I mean it.

Here in this space, with us, you are free to struggle, free to doubt, free to stumble, free to find out who you are or who you want to be without judgement. The best friendships make those kinds of allowances for one another.

...I asked the few ladies who were here then if they would date a man, knowing that he had once sexually been with another man. They all said no.

Did I say no? I probably did. You know you brought up an interesting point about women and their experimenting. From the age of a young child until I was about 12ish, I experiemented sexually with my best friend (a girl) at the time. Yet it never occured to me that The Boyfriend would have a basis for not believing me or not be totally accepting when I told him I was not gay. Now isn't that hypocritical of me?

A Shade Of Scorpio said...

Alan, I like guys too. We're twins! Ok seriously though - this is a really really well written totally exposed piece of you out there. That took the kahunas that a man has to be writing that!!

Maybe you are just in love with beauty...wherever you see fit. I believe that to be true for myself. I re-fell in love with Valerie Bertinelli last week seeing her on Rachel Ray.

And I don't come from a psychology perspective, but a rather easy to poke fun at, new agey one. I can see the logic in how 'wanting' sends the universe the message to give you more 'wanting'. I've read that if you say "I want" in a very longing sort of way, like its out of your reach (which it isn't!!! You know! You essentially said the same thing to me this year and you were right) then the Universe goes, "Yes, you want. Have more want". But if you want in the way that you know you are on your way to getting it - you already see it playing out, you want it without desperation, it will come easier. Only based on my own experience, I'm going to agree with that. But then again, I was fine alone and didn't have a feel of 'needing' to be a part of anything...it fell into my lap in a way that I hadn't expected it to.

I am sorry to hear about the episode when you were younger. Damn, that shit pisses me off (The Mom in me is reaching for a gun permit application). I had incidents when younger too - being 'handled' by a same sex cousin but I didn't feel violated by it for whatever reason. And you know...went on to kiss girls in bars later in life. Har har. But I'm not getting any royalties off that damn song.

I hope for you to enjoy every moment you can. it will come. What you want is there...waiting to make its move. But then again, do you know exactly what you want? It makes it way harder if you don't. Do you feel like knowing what you want?

I don't know why, but I find a lot of good information and comfort in the Conversations With God books. I swear to you - it is not coming from a religious angle. If you haven't read it yet - flip through it and see how it feels to you.

Or play guitar hero. He or She is out there. You're too much of a catch to be left in the dust.

A Shade Of Scorpio said...

And FYI - that Coldplay song kicks ass - its quite powerful.

Alan said...

Grizz, blame the hypocrisy on society. Katie Whateverherlastnameis gets to sing about kissing a girl and liking it, then skyrockets to the top of the charts. I Dee-Doubledog DARE Usher to sing about kissing a boy and see where that gets him.
And Grizz, I'm no doubt trying to guard myself with a pre-emptive strike. I need you and I'm sorry for selling you short.

Now I want to hear from Scott. (It could even be a private e-mail).

Alan said...

Dawn, I've dealt with the molestation at different times, starting in my first blog. The "Sexuality" tag under this post will open up all those work-throughs. I've known since the recognition of what it was, that it wasn't my fault. And that I was the victim, and that the dude was the criminal. Everytime me and MFTD go over this, he too is ready to go in a time machine and assassinate the guy.

You know, if I would have been gay without the molestation, then chances are I would be dead now. Because my sex drive is high, and I was in my twenties in the 80's. A lot of gay folk didn't survive the Eighties. :-(

Does that mean the molester saved my life instead of ruined it? lol. I'd like to have discovered my sexuality on my own, no thanks just the same. I betting on the side of heteroness. God knows I love that Sade video when she's swaying those exquisite hips to "Kiss Of Life". Women that have been close to me have turned me on as well, so yeah.

I guess Ned's kinship gave me the bridge I needed to get on with dealing.

So I'm dealing.

bulletholes said...

Well i came over here to liven the place up but I'm WAY TOO LATE!
Normal? people arent normal they are typical...
I like to tell people (well, girls mostly) that I could be Gay if I wanted to, and I could, because i don't see a thing wrong with it, and i'd be good at it too, i know I would.
But I don't, that is to say I'm not, because I choose not to be that "type" of person with all their qualities and faults living that "type" of life, with all its drama and excitement and enrichment.
Its just my choice. I'm not hard wired to be anything but what I want to be. For a long tie its been my choice to be alone, with all the affectations and independence boredom and loneliness that comes with being that type of person...
i don't know if any of this could be explained to a 6 year old...
Hi Alan!

The Neighbor said...

You honor me. I have (to my manly shock) tears in my eyes to have given you ANYTHING that helps. Thank you thank you thank you.

What a strong man you are.

Alan said...

Well hello Bulletholes! I'll be by to return the favor later! So who's the 6 yr. old that needs this explanation?

And Ned, I need you. It's that simple.

Michael said...

That song sticks in my head, too.

bulletholes said...

Just tryin' to say this life ain't that easy to understand or explain.
I'm still trying to explain it to my own self.

The Neighbor said...

I like boobs too. ;)

C'mon, next post!!! I'm jonesing here!!

Alan said...

I shall bid Michael a grateful hello for the drive-by, and then I'll post.

Hello Michael! :-D

And as I respond, I see that my Google ads have caught up with me. There are two links at the bottom of my blog that invites us to find Hairy Gay Men, and Gay Singles with Muscles.

Isn't that special? Especially given what I'm going to post on next...