A Few Good Friends

A Few Good Friends

I will be taking an extended hiatus from my blogging since l am scheduled shortly to undergo major shoulder surgery and l’m not sure when l will be able to continue my sermonettes.

There was no “ah hah” moment when it came to the rotator cuffs in both my shoulders going bye-bye. My doctors and l agree they were probably old injuries that got progressively worse over the decades.  Now with my ability to reach severely diminished, especially with my left shoulder (l can’t reach the console light in my car), and surgical outcomes for reattaching rotator cuffs poor in older people like me, l have no choice but to undergo Bionic Man reverse shoulder replacement major surgery. (The rotator cuffs are like elastic bands and if an injury is too old, the tissue has atrophied and it is difficult to reattach. Take a bag of rubber bands, throw them in a drawer for five years, pull them out, and all you got is dust.)

For someone who was never seriously sick or injured all his life and who at seventy has none of the conditions typical of old age, no cholesterol, no diabetes, no high blood pressure or heart disease – hell, for all my sleeping around in NYC at the height of the AIDS crisis, l’m HIV negative  –  coming down with knee issues and back issues and now shoulder issues hit me like a tsunami.

I had scoliosis as a teenager, and in those days the treatment was sleeping on a board. My posture all my life was never the greatest and l believe what l’m suffering from today may be rooted in these past problems, and perhaps may even be hereditary since l remember my mother complaining about arthritis-like pain when she was only in her forties.

To my credit, l was neither some super jock or weightlifter, nor a couch potato, and began deliberate moderate exercise in my thirties when l saw the donuts at the office coffee machine were ending up around my waist.  Once l retired to Florida, that regimen got execrated to gym proportions. I didn’t smoke or take drugs or drink except for a few rum and cokes on the weekend, though l sometimes wonder now with all the shit that began hitting me in my late sixties whether l should have partied like it was 1999.

For the past three or four years I’ve been getting Ortho Visc shots in my knees, a lubricating anti inflammatory to hold back bone erosion, though last fall x-rays showed the med was not working as effectively as it had in the past

Senoisis of the spine hit me two years ago, where pressure is put on the spinal cord, creating painful Charlie horse like symptoms in both legs. The surgery was happily uneventful mainly because l shopped around for a back surgeon who would perform less invasive surgery. I had to do my own research to discover conventional back surgery where they replace connective tissue with an erector set can lead to incontinence and impotence. Happily Mr. Peter is still with me and l don’t need Depends yet, but with the back surgery all l had to deal with was an incision healing. It’s hardly that simple with the more painful shoulder surgery where l will be in a brace and sleeping in a recliner for six weeks.

Coupled with all this is the fact l am shrinking just like “The Incredible Shrinking Man” sci-fi classic of the fifties. Bad enough l was 5’6” all my life, but in just the last two years l have lost five inches in height. X-rays by a spine specialist showed my vertebrae and discs are collapsing and the cause l realize now of my chronic morning neck and back pain.

For even after my shoulder surgery was scheduled, to be performed by one of the guys who developed the procedure so you can’t get much better than that,  l questioned whether it is all worth it. If l will still be facing the neck and back pain everyday for the rest of my life, what’s the point? Yes, l thought of suicide, not tomorrow or next week or next month but sometime in the indeterminate future when it all becomes too much. I even have a plan: park my car in my carport, run a hose from the exhaust pipe of my Honda Element into the house and it will be arrivederci for me and my three aging doggies.

But l also love to fuck with doctors, body mechanics with egos of children or sometimes God, who l dealt with everyday in my thirty some years as a hospital marketing exec.  When l told my primary care doc about my suicidal thoughts, he quickly got a psychiatrist to see me in his office.  He was afraid l’d do myself in before the surgery and screw the system of all those tens of thousands of dollars of insurance money. So the shrink gives me a script for some pills which l’m testing right now.  Having been mild bipolar most of my life, l have always subscribed to the hard core philosophy that you have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, kick yourself in the ass, smell the coffee and realize no one gives a shit about you but you.  And move on.

Which l did.

I jokingly say what l need is a total skeletal transplant. I’d cut a deal with a homeless guy at one of the bus shelters, and in exchange for his skeleton, l’d name the bus shelter he and his cronies congregate each morning in his memory and buy them coffee every morning for as long as l lived.

And if he were six feet, four, I’d throw in donuts.

After boasting about his surgical skills, I was ready to tell my boyishly handsome surgeon who resembles Houdini, the legendary magician, the only way l’d know for sure the operation is a success is if l can reach up and twist my boyfriend’s nips while l suck his cock.

Otherwise l’ll sue him for malpractice.

Now one would think my ex who lives in PA would be down to help me out, but pushing eighty with his own sort of health issues though he’s still pretty mobile, G plead the Fifth.

Thankfully l have a few good friends, my neighbor Hope the first girlfriend in my forty-nine year career as a professional faggot; my forty something boyfriend/ lover who is married to another older man younger than me and who twenty years his senior ironically is no longer interested in him sexually – go figure –  and a nurse buddy who l tricked with a few times and who has generously offered to be with me for the first few days following my surgery, though l’m wondering whether he’s planning to re-enact that s and m flick, Misery, with all the enemas, Foley catheters, and other assorted medical procedures he’s promising.

Oh, there were others but as the date of my surgery loomed closer, their enthusiasm about taking care of me waned and our so-called friendships evaporated faster than a spilt bottle of poppers.

If l can, l will try to keep you posted on my recovery.  Wish me luck.

Have You Ever Been “Gaslighted?”

Ever Been “Gaslighted?”

It’s the first time the other day l actually saw it in print, but it’s an American colloquialism familiar at least to me and people l know. It comes from the 1943 Hollywood classic, “Gaslight” `which takes place in the New York City of the 1890’s in which suave but crafty Charles Boyer is trying to make his new young wife, Ingrid Bergman, think she is going crazy so he can have her committed and win her inheritance. He turns down the gas jets in the house externally to make the lights flicker and dim but when Ingrid questions what happened, he denies it and makes her think it is all in her head. Hence to “gaslight” someone is to make them think whatever is happening is not the fault of others but their fault alone.

It’s what l like to call mindfucking.

If you and l were able to have a couple of virtual beers together, l’m sure we could share enough war stories to fill two volumes of “Warped Personalities To Avoid.”

Guys – or gals – who criticize how you look or what you wear when they haven’t looked in their funhouse mirror at home lately?

Guys or gals who criticize your life when their own life is in the shitter? Like the ex-fuck-buddy who criticized my lack of social skills (see my blog, “Pulling a Ray”) and practical views on life when I retired at 55 with $600,000 in the bank and real estate and pollyannic he just lost his job at 56 and is broke and may have to sell his house?

Guys and gals who take advantage of the fact you have a hard-on for them and your emotional feelings override your brains and you even go to the point of loaning them money and then they shit on you and conveniently renage?

Guys who are pissed off that you’ve broke off with them because after all the two of you he claims were having such great sex, only you were doing all the work?

Make it sound like you are the problem child not them?

My advice: Unless the person is supporting you, he or she is your boss, or they’re your mother and you’re living in her basement rent-free, don’t put up with it. Cut them out of your life as quickly as possible.  Don’t be gaslighted by mind fuckers.

They’re poison.



Age CAN Make A Difference

Age CAN Make A Difference

I know a guy, now seventy, who’s married, legally, within the last five years, a trio of twenty somethings because that’s what he likes, each of whom have left him after a year or so and parting with some part of his assets. The last shipped the nice car hubby had bought him to San Francisco, then texted him, “l miss you.” After the rigors of divorcing each of these guys old enough to be his grandson, Mr. Lonely Hearts, handsome and a retired bank exec – that still doesn’t exempt him from being brain dead – is now working on Twenty Something Number Four.

Do age differences make a difference? Sure they do.

Sometimes they’re intentional like here when the old man likes ‘em young or when younger guys are looking for, not necessarily a sugar daddy, but but an older mentor to show them the way. But coming from different generations can and often does lead to great irrevocable divides.

Sometimes age differences just happen, like with me and my ex. While only a decade separated us it was a momentous one in gay history. G, my elder, was nearly caught in a bar raid and always viewed gay life suspiciously. I, the Younger,  came of age with the dawn of Gay Liberation. The result: we never viewed the sub- culture we had been born into it the same way, leaving me often alone – and wandering.

The other very practical issue – romantics you can stop reading here – is when the elder partner begins experiencing the eventualities of old age, often leaving the younger partner still active –  and horney – to become his partner’s caregiver by default  Some soul mates are happy to play the role but many resent it, a few even dropping out of sight when the going gets rough. Just like str8’s who erroneously think their kids will take care of them in their old age, having a partner half your life guarantees you shit. In a bitter irony, while l’ve been there for G’s crises, he has not been there for mine.

So what advice can l impart? Unless guys much younger or older than you are an auto erection turn on, mate with someone close to your own age so you can experience life’s ups – and downs –  on the same page.

Not on different continents.

Broke Gay Boys

Broke Gay Boys

Now those of you who watch gay porn know about the *Broke Straight Boys” series where supposedly str8 guys who talk endlessly about pussy are willing to suck cock and get fucked when money is waved in their faces and do it so effortlessly like a duck takes to water.

Well l’m tired of the broke gay boys who populate south Florida like litter on trendy Las Olas Boulevard. You know. the ones who move from Wherever, U.S.A., to here, Fort Lauderdale, for the sun and the fun with no job skills, no car, no money and fifteen roommates. Okay they’re hot, so what? And for a pipe full of Tina they can be had for the night.

Then there are the townies like me who lead as different and alien a life from mine as can be.

John, 46 with aging good looks and an IQ of 130, hasn’t worked in his life and doesn’t want to, lives off a small trust fund and has meth for breakfast. Where he gets his candy from, when a glassine of meth the size of a packet of Splenda costs three hundred plus on the street, who knows? Maybe playing bagman for a local dealer who pays him in Lady T which costs the dealer pennies on the dollar yet never brought the candy when the two of us planned a nasty night.

Or Chris, the 54 year old who looks 30 and has the emotional maturity of a seventeen old, who parties away his HIV inspired disability check since he lives practically rent free with his older kinda responsible str8 brother who has made three babies by two ex-wives and whose kids will get everything should something happen to him, leaving little brother on the sidewalk.

Or Peter, the political activist, another IQ Olympic record breaker, whose primary career was as a sometime actor and fulltime bagger at Whole Foods, who now at retirement complained he would only be getting $600 a month from Social Security.  Did you ever work a real job Peter?

Or Travis, an IT genius who would prefer surviving on his disability check and PNPing as some Daddy’s Pup which gives him a free place to live rather than make great money in a field that’s hotter than hotter. Brains + No Ambition = Nowhere.

Or my ex-fuck buddy Jim who got canned from a good job at 56 and has $30,000 in a 401K to carry him before he loses his house – at his age l had $600,000 in my 401K plus real estate, and was already semi-retired.

Understand why l’m fed up dealing with broke gay boys?

Enough already.

Love Machine Or Insatiable Addiction?

Love Machine Or Insatiable Addiction?

You know what l’m talking about. It’s our smartphones, which besides being used to stay in contact with business, family and friends, is our source for “love” or so us gay men think who are hooked to the pickup apps like Grindr and Scruff and Bear411 and all the rest. That’s why Manhunt, the granddaddy of all gay hookup sites, is dying. Though available in a mobile version, MH is behind the times for most of us who don’t want to wade through layers of data junk. Just show me the guys please, especially the ones who desire me, alright?

Okay, the web killed the bars that are now largely social and left the bathhouses for the most part the domain of the old and the anonymous sex boys. But while in the beginning the web promised the possibility of good sex and even better love, sadly it too has deteriorated. Over the last couple of years the guys who hit me up fall into several not very desirable categories:

The illiterate. My profiles say l’m looking for hairy, bearded inshape guys over 40. So why do l get smooth or sloppy 24 year olds or guys who look like they belong in a nursing home or at some Jennie Craig Failures reunion?

The flirtatious. More pics please.

The drive-by breed me all night boys. See Fort Troff > fucking machines.

The out-of town hotties looking for a free vacation in Fort Lauderdale.

The meth heads who think you’re hot till you tell them you don’t pnp or don’t have any candy around.

The don’t get it’s. Fifteen years they hit me up, fifteen years l don’t respond or finally you tell them you’re not interested, and like somebody with Alzheimer’s they continue.  Ditto with guys who send you three messages in a row.

The no-shows. promise to call you, promise to come over, even schedule a hook-up and never show or even text you they can’t make it like they were abducted by aliens. (Or maybe they ARE Aliens.)

Do l sound like I’m disgusted. Well, guess what? l am.

A writer to “Ask Amy,” my favorite advice columnist complained about being addicted to his smartphone, and Amy pointed out that studies have linked smartphone overuse to unhappiness and depression. She went on to describe her experience of app fasting which made her feel free.

Could be it be we expect too much from these taps and oinks and “you’re hot” and when they don’t deliver our little fantasies, we find ourselves in worse shape than when we started?

I’ve got one good steady who actually loves me as much as l love him, so l think it’s time l went on my own app fasting diet.

How about you?

The Radical Transformation of the Gay Bear Man

The Radical Transformation of the Gay Bear Man

I’m not alone in the stance I’m about to take here; a lot of in-shape older guys like me I’ve spoken to feel the same way. And I’m ready for those stale jelly donuts to be thrown at my car and some more hate mail (“how can you be so insensitive, closed minded….”) flood this site. But fuck it.

When I was coming out, bear meant only one thing: a beefy, built-like-a-brick-shithouse, masculine-as-all-hell gay man, with plenty of fur, if not a prerequisite, certainly preferred. Today, the term “bear” has been triangulated and sliced up like a piece of deli style hard salami into muscle bears, cubs, otters, and “Big Men.” While a great number among this sub-set of gay demographics still fit the classic traditional, gay porn fantasy of Tom of Finland (even if Santa Claus for some of them is their steroid supplier), the Jenny Craig failures, who besides the “something extra” are often effeminate, effete and smooth to boot, have seemingly overtaken the franchise. Hey, I find a bit of belly on the right humpy guy sexier than a six pack, but these guys, as many under 30’s as there are over 40’s, are not just beefy or humpy or chunky or pleasantly plump or a few pounds overweight, but morbidly obese. “Morbidly Obese” means they’re walking time bombs for stroke, heart attacks and the like, and contribute to the ever higher health care premiums all of us pay, even those of us who take care of ourselves. (Check the National Institutes of Health or U.S. Department of Health and Human Services websites if you wanna know how many pounds morbidly obese is.) Fat under 30’s would rather hide behind all these “bear” labels than face facts.

Now I see these so-called “bears” at Bear events, often in chummy circles, bobbing in the pool like their own buoys, enabling one another to eat that extra helping of fries like druggies edge on their fellow meth heads to take another puff. They seem content, yea, maybe even happy in their own skin and God bless ‘em if that’s true. (I think the only way they’re gonna lose weight is when the docs lop off a limb because of advanced diabetes.) I can understand the comfort they find in surrounding themselves with their own kind, since many of them I’m sure were grossly overweight from a young age and were ridiculed for it. Hell, I was the second shortest guy in my class and am still branded by the humiliation of being picked last for every fucken team in high school.  So, guys, I know the feeling because I LIVED it too.

But, having said that, I’m also pretty pissed on how the image portrayed by these full figure guys – the multi-layered look, shall we say  – has largely superseded what bear means in the eyes of the rest of the Gay Community. They are NOT bears as far as I’m concerned; they’re just Fat Men (those of you who follow my blogs know I call a spade a spade) who have pirated my pride as a still muscular, still in-shape and still pretty hairy gay man who fucken sacrifices what he eats and works out to make it happen – there’s no magic bullet.

Is it a symptom of us baby boomer gays growing older just like the larger straight men’s population of America? (Check out the middle age spreads at any mall on a Saturday afternoon.) Our sub-culture’s version of the obesity epidemic spreading among our youth? A sign of rebellion against the twink swimmer build boys or gym bunnies?  A carryover from the Sixties “I’m O.K., you’re O.K.” mentality? A mod twist to the “chubby” in “chubby chasers” terminology of a bygone gay era?

Whatever the reason, and you have no problems with your body image, fine. Just call yourselves something else – O.K.? (maybe Full Figure Guys?) – and leave me my “bear.”


Closet Cases: Make Up Your Mind!

Gay life is shades of gray, and closet cases are no exceptions. But if you tried to neatly organize them into categories, I’d say there are generally two types: closet cases, lower case “c,” and closet cases, ALL CAPS.

Closet cases with a small “c” lead their professional and personal lives on parallel tracks that almost never intersect. Professionally, they’ve “arrived” and realize disclosing or broadcasting their sexual preferences would have no practical advantages and could lead to innuendos, outright bigotry and even loss of job. In my past tense life, I worked as a senior executive with a six figure salary for a Catholic health care system so I know what it’s like. A fellow administrator, who was up for the CEO job and who had more degrees and experience than half the shitheads in the organization, got passed over because everyone knew about his scene and the archbishop vowed “no queer would run one of our hospitals.” Period.

But that doesn’t mean closet cases with a small “c” can’t have robust lives outside the office with their gay friends, partners, fuck buddies or any combination thereof, and feel content and well adjusted about being gay. (I rarely use the word “happy.” The only “happy” people in this society are on psychotropic meds.)

But then we have the Closet Cases, cap C, cap C. These are the guys who not only wouldn’t dare even use the word gay in a casual conversation over the water cooler but, worse, hide or even deny their sexual identity in their personal lives. They’re particularly prevalent, for some reason, in the suburbs or rural areas, though the burbs and boonies hold no exclusivity to these strange paranoids.

You know the type. The guys who, when you make contact with them, want you to meet them in strange places like the cereal aisle at the supermarket, or ask you to park in the mall shopping lot two blocks from their house or apartment so no one (like their nosey neighbor or, God forbid, their girl friend) sees you. The guys who say they’re bi, want to experiment, but aren’t sure. The guys who respond to your bar or bath house advances or ad or profile with another twenty questions about you without once even divulging their name. The guys who, when you ask for a photo, say they’re on another computer their sister borrowed when she went to Prague to finish her doctoral degree in Medieval Studies. Or who have no camera or pics. (Then what are you doing  on a smartphone hitting me up on Scruff?)

To these guys I have only one thing to say: make up your fuckin’ minds. Either don’t act on your sexual impulses and move on, or DO IT ALREADY! So you were brought up Catholic and didn’t get molested by your parish priest, or you’re married with kids, or you were the class jock with the girls waiting in line to get fucked by you. So?? You can’t be discrete and still play? If you’re truly unsure about your sexual identity (and if you still are at 25 you’ve got other problems, buddy), the only way to find out is DO IT ALREADY!

What are you waiting for? Til you’re too old (and some guys are over the hill at 35), and the magnetic strip on your gay access card doesn’t register anymore?

It’s your life, buddy. If you’re content in your paranoia or jerking off over other guys having fun is enough, God bless you. Just don’t waste the time of those of us who fail to see through your bullshit and want the real thing and think we can get it from you.