to the east
with a smile
on your face
to the east
with a smile
on your face
a white t-shirt
and rain jacket
is a recessive
gene and one day
disappear like migrating
and there’s moss growing
stones on my path
Green is immortal
especially when they’re
Who among us have never longed to be someone else.
I’m often asked, “Are all the men you write about real or fantasy?”
They are all real. Each and everyone.
It’s their names which are fantasy.
They’re all aliases. Each and every one including Otter, Pup, D., Luciano, Jean-Baptiste, Sao Paulo, Isaiah, Corey, Calhoun, Mark, Michael IV, Micheal VII, Jeffrey, and yes, Rodrigo.
I write about how they’ve moved me, how they’ve touched me; I’ve written about what they’ve said and how they shared it with me; I’ve described flanks, and torso’s, and buttocks, and faces, and waffling and pancaking (Rodrigo and I waffle).
I’ve learned that keeping my life secret was difficult for me, since I write a blog on the internet. But keeping the identity of lovers sacrosanct was something I hadn’t bothered to worry about. Who wouldn’t want to read about themselves on the internet?
All of them didn’t.
They understood and continue to understand that as a writer I will write about what inspires me, and what inspires me are them, the lovers in my life. But what they didn’t wish to share was themselves.
You see, how I see them and how the world would see them are different.
I write about them in ways that I see them; through my eyes; not through theirs. I point out things and feelings and places that they might never see.
An alias is more than a name.
An alias can be about an entire experience.
Why don’t we just forgive everything.
I have been running from the destruction my 32 year relationship. Running so hard that I’m out of breath.
We didn’t break-up, we divorced. And as anyone that’s been divorced knows, it’s not a pleasant experience. Attorneys strip your entire marriage of anything valuable. Like looters they check every closet, every room, every ornament, every gift, every personal treasure, searching for anything that could hold value. They search for this bounty relentlessly, telling their clients that there’ll be more booty that you’ll get. Getting divorced is like being autopsied while still alive.
While my life was being dissected, I was also losing my mind.
I tried to murder my ex-spouse in an emergency room in Chicago. I allegedly verbally threatened a doctor at an office or in the ER or a hospital room. I stopped paying my bills, but spent money like I was J.P. Getty. I fell into arrears.
Part of my settlement was a large parcel of five months of mail. There was one Christmas card from a hospital; months of past due notices; two letters from debt collector’s, one from an attorney; old magazines; Government notices; and a letter from a physician’s group alleging that I verbally assaulted a doctor.
Facing your past under such a beam of light is blinding. Not only did I lose everything I thought I had, now I had to face everything else I ran from. My life’s been pillaged by this divorce: I lost him, home, and character.
All this will fade to memory as I keep my eyes on the present.
It’s all behind me: in the trash.
Every creature seeks approval from its own kind.
And gay men are no different.
Actually, gay men are probably worse. Gay men seek validation across a wide swath of “kinds”. Men, women, brothers, sisters, dogs, cats, etc.
There are so many different platforms on which gay men can seek validation.
Many friends keep asking the same question: If you’ve already discovered Jean-Baptiste and Luciano, why do you keep trolling the internet?
The answer is easy: Validation.
Scouring the internet for men is akin to window shopping. I’m browsing. I’m sitting on a pier and lazily casting my bobber into the water to see if anything bites. And if something does take the bait, I’m not going to yank the line and hope that I’ll hook the guy. I’m not interested in a catch. I’m really interested in the nibble, the interest, the wink, the nod, the text, the call, the voice, the hello; the validation that I exist somewhere else than in this hotel room. That I’m recognized.
That I’m not one man in a one-man boat, adrift in an endless sea.
Jean-Baptiste reminds me that I’ll never be lonely because I have him; Luciano reminds me that I’ll always be his future.
Then why are two men like Jean-Baptiste and Luciano, not enough?
In love, in friendship, they are. Really, they are.
But I’m looking for flesh and bone. For physical validation. Not of my beauty, not of my charm or wit or humor. But of me. As a man, in flesh and bone.
I’m in love.
I’ve fallen so madly in love with Artem that it’s almost embarrassing. I feel like a giggly teenage school girl having a crush on some LaCrosse dreamboat. It’s impossible for me to think of what my life was like without him. Until this morning.
Life without him is something now confronting me. You see, we’ve upset one another and now the bell has rung and we’ve retreated to our respective corners. Panting, I sit on my three-legged stool and stare across the ring of our bedroom to his sobbing frame sitting on the edge of the bed. He says between tears, “you’re the shoulder I’m supposed to cry on!”
Oh, Christ, my devilish corner man says, listen to him crying over there.
But my heart is going out to Artem and as I hear the bell sound starting the next round I notice that whatever impetus caused me to cause Artem’s pain no longer exists. I don’t want to cause his upset. I am his shoulder to cry on. I walk to the side of the bed and sit down next to him and see his jeans stained with drops of tears and runny nose. My hand reaches out to his face and he flinches as though burned by a match. My finger wipe away his tears and I turn his face to mine and I see his reddened eyes which resemble those of my childhood pet rabbit.
I’m sorry, Artem, I whisper, I’m sorry; please stop crying.
“Why did you say goodbye? You used that word; Of all the words to use, you had to use goodbye. Were you leaving?” he asked, still crying.
A part of me was leaving but that part of me’s come back. Come on, Artem, it was a misunderstanding, that’s all. Please? Please stop crying, I said as I kissed his damp cheek, and finally kissing his salty and moist mouth.
“Do you promise to never say goodbye? Ever again? Because I can’t stand to say goodbye. Not to you. And not ever. I just won’t be anyone if I can’t be someone with you,” he said while laying back and pulling me atop him.
Looking down at him, the trimmed beard, that pouty lower lip, the tear stained eyes I said, never again, I’ll never ever say it again.
We’ve never been apart since we met. Not even on that almost goodbye day. To quote Mark 10:9 in the King James Bible, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.“