Loving Men-Vincent (Distance)

When you grab, men usually retreat.

Vincent and I saw the touring production of Les Miserables last night. We had phenomenal seats: Orchestra Center, eleven rows from the stage, and smack dab in the middle of the row.

During the show we pancaked hands; I confidently placed my hand, palm turned upwards, and patiently waited for Vincent to place his warm hand atop mine. In the darkness of the theatre, I leaned over and placed two graceful kisses on his cheek.

After the show I asked, “Can I come over tonight?”

“Harlan,” Vincent started, “You know I have to go to a holiday party.”

“Jesus Vincent,” I replied, “I just want to spend time with you. Is that a crime?”

“Harlan,” Vincent said, “I’m busy.”

“Not with me, Vincent!”

Definsively, Vincent countered, “Weve spent three nights together this week! And that’s not enough?”

“I want to spend all my time with you!” I quiped.

“I have other committments, Harlan.”

“I told you that I’m either the best news or the worst news,” I added sheepishly.

“What does that mean,” Vincent asked.

“It means that my presence in your life is going to dovetail, like shuffled cards,” I answered and continued, “Or my presence is going to make you reevaluate your life, because you now have someone that you want to spend time with,” I answered.

“Christ,” Vincent said quietly, “Must you be so selfish?”

“Fuck it, Vincent!” I replied, then continued, “You figure out when you want to see me again! By the way, are we exclusive?”

“Exclusive,” he asked.

“Exclusively dating” I said, “Because I have men that want to sleep with me!”

“How can we be exclusive,” he answered quietly, “When you say the things you’ve just said?”

“I apologize, Vincent,” I answered, “I’m just afraid.”

“Of what?” he asked.

“Of you. Of this,” I admitted chagrined.

“You should never be afraid of me, Harlan,” Vincent confessed quietly.



Loving Men-Vincent (Pond)

On most date nights, Vincent and I return to the estate where I’m staying, and sit in front of the fire pit which overlooks an enormous, koi filled, pond.

Leggy and graceful, dusty Blue Egrets often haunt the pond in the cold winter months. They’re all too aware of the inhabitants: koi, turtles, and, lily pads. For an Egret, the pond is a smorgasbord.

Heidi, the head gardener, doesn’t shoo the Egrets away. She heralds their presence. She said one day, “It’s part of Life’s equation: Koi give Life to Egrets. As humans we shouldn’t impose our morality on nature.”

Vincent and I have spent many nights huddling in front of the fire and alongside the pond. In the fire we find heat; in the pond we find Life and beauty.

The pond is our little piece of heaven.

Loving Men-Vincent (Affection)

Affection between two men is a form of physical intimacy.

Vincent and I drove through McFaddenville, NC to view the towns Christmas lights.

In 1956 when the town mill was operational, the owner of the mill decided to pay the December electric bill for all townspeople if they decorated their homes with lights. When the mill closed, the city continued with the tradition, assuring a wonderful Christmas light display!

We traveled there last night. Vincent and I were seated in the back. The moment he climbed in, he leaned over and kissed me. In past relationships I was usually the instigator of affection. Vincent has now assumed that role.

Practically the entire drive we pancaked hands, occasionally slipping into a waffle. And at some point, I leaned over and placed my head in his lap. Then another round of affection began: Vincent began to play with my hair and rub my back silently.

Affection is intimacy. Especially between men like Vincent and I.

Loving Men-Vincent (Infatuated)

Infatuated: A short burst of affectionate desire; usually short-lived; might evolve into love.

Vincent and I are infatuated with each other. We want to spend every waking and sleeping hour with each other.

I enjoy watching him watching me. We spy each other and when caught, look away immediately, chagrined.

When I study his lissome frame, I see tight flanks and the broad shoulders of a swimmer; a lithe throat; an eye-catching jaw; and eyes whose dark pin-dotted pupils are haloed by honey, then fade to viridian.

Vincent enjoys pancaking rather than waffling when we hold hands. His unfolded paws encircle mine when pancaking, and our fingers crochet like piano keys when waffling.

We “pinky swear” decisions. For instance, we’ve agreed that when we kiss, we always kiss twice at the same spot; whether it be on the chin, the throat, behind the ear, lips, or the shallow pool of flesh called a belly button.

Vincent and I have been dating for three weeks now. Weekly we spend an inordinate amount of time with the other. Three nights on average.

At night and after dinner we come back to the estate where I’m staying, start a roaring fire in the outdoor pit, and snuggle up to share each other’s warmth.

Vincent and I are infatuated with each other. It’s an attraction blessed by heaven itself.

Loving Men-Vincent (Best Friends)

A man’s best friend is not his dog.

Vincent and I are intimate. Sexually and sensually, yes. But we’re more than that. We’ve become best friends.

Best friends are made. They are forged. They are fueled by brutal honesty like wildfires are fueled by winds.

Best friends accept their charge: to be present when needed. They put their own needs second. Nothing is ever as important as the need of their best friend.

Best friends become best men, the highest honor given to a man in a wedding party. The best man is the grooms wing man. He’s there to ensure the groom does his job.

Vincent is my best friend, my wing man, my best man.

And I love him for it.

Loving Men-Vincent (Eyes)

It’s in the eyes of your lover that you find your self.

Vincent has eyes that draw me in deeply. Like sirens which lounge on craggy rocks along the seas’ edge drawing galleons precariously to their doom, Thomas’s eyes draw me in deeply.

The pupils of Vincent’s eyes are haloed by honey which dissolved into kelp green.

His eyes, when sad, withhold his tears but well, then overflow like breached levees.

But the most stunning aspect of Vincent’s eyes is their reflection. In them, I see myself, in all my colors.

Loving Men-Thomas

Shedding a tear is intimate.

Thomas (aka Vincent) and I dined, drank, and smoked cigars last night. It was our second date, and consequently our most intimate one.

The first one (please see the post “Loving Men-Vincent”) was about bodies. How they reacted to others. The growling of physical passions; the mountaneous peaks rising, then edging back to quiet valleys; the launch of lust erupting; and finally gooseflesh and bedspeak.

But last night and early this morning was different, intimate. We listened and sang to Janis Joplin, Fleetwood Mac, Collabro, and Kristin Chenowith. And we cried to some; intimate.

Any two people can have sex. But intimacy is rooted in a trust discovered by lovers and blessed by heaven.