“Loving”: Waiting for Love
After almost a lifetime, l finally met two guys who l could say “l love you” to and mean it. I expected reciprocation from neither of them; one gave it, the other didn’t, but how they truly felt about me mattered less than the fact l was able to say those words to someone before l die.
Even though my ex George and l officially had a forty-two year old relationship, l don’t think we ever really loved one another in the true sense of the word. Infatuation and lust became reasons to escape our respective realities at the time, in George’s case his schzio sister, with me my overbearing parents. But by the time we realized that we weren’t IT to one another, we had signed a three year lease on a beautiful apartment overlooking the Verrazano Bridge on New York City’s Staten Island, l had secured an entry level public relations job twenty minutes away at one of the Island’s major hospitals which would eventually lead to a thirty year career in the field, almost all of them at that same facility, and George could grab the express bus to Wall Street where he worked in the back offices right in front of our building.
Even after sex – with one another – had gone out of our lives we continued the charade because it was comfortable. Without talking about an “open” relationship we drifted into homoburb domesticity. He spent weekends the couch potato jock, l spent them in the bath houses and sex clubs and leather/levi bars of lower Manhattan when I wasn’t traveling around the world – alone. (George had a phobia about eating foreign food – yes.) Our relationship became increasingly antagonistic as we realized this was not exactly what either of us wanted, but George refused to talk about it. We bought a home on the other side of the Island (for tax write-off purposes), a country home in Pennsylvania where we could take our ever changing brew of dogs on weekend romps, and eventually as retirement for both of us neared switching time between the house l bought for myself in Fort Lauderdale where G would spend the winters and our new, much more spacious home in Northwest PA where l would spend the summers.
Why didn’t we hang it up, you say? We got too lazy, too comfortable with the status quo.
A guy who should have married a woman and have six kids, George was never enamored with gay culture nor do l honestly think he fucked around outside of the one brief affair he admitted to. Me, on the other hand, had thousands of sexual encounters, including a trio of fuck buddies in Manhattan, but because l never got fucked l survived the Gay Genocide of the Eighties and Nineties while most handsome guys of my generation ended up six feet under. Remember too, since my life of deceit forced me to spend what precious time l had on finding sex not finding love, l never gave myself the opportunity to meet a guy in a strictly social setting who may have been more on my nerdy wavelength. Looking for love in all the wrong places – that was my life in a nutshell.
After a violent argument last spring down in Lauderdale which almost landed me in prison for murder, we both realized that it was time for splitsville, George living up in PA in a house l still pay half the carrying charges on – that’s why l call him my 80 year old boy – while l live alone here in Fort Lauderdale where l have become increasingly disenchanted with the aimless life of a gay bachelor though the gay God has blessed me with a second career as a daddy.
But three years ago, l met Rob, the kind of guy who l had been waiting for all my life, short like me with not an ounce of fat on his mid-fifties frame, hairy and ruggedly handsome, a regular guy, intelligent, seemingly stable with a good professional job in advertising. But l knew when l told him l loved him a few months ago while we swam naked in my pool, his response was predictably polite. We had both been down the rocky road of trainwrecked relationships and wanted no part of another emotional roller coaster ride. Yes, l knew that when l told him l loved him and told him l expected no reciprocation, just the opportunity to say that to a guy once in my life and mean it
Even if what I thought was true – that I was his only sexual outlet – wasn’t true, and he had some lover or three other Rays hidden away somewhere, the sex got more lustful each time we met which was almost every week. But more and more I was bothered by the reality that l was compartmentalized in Rob’s life like some soap opera back alley mistress. Rob had his house and his dogs and his job and his friends and all the rest. And then he had me, somewhere out there like an adverb in a sentence you diagrammed when you were in third grade. Or better put, like a standby no-pay rentboy available at a moment’s notice when he wanted me. When I attempted to bring the subject up of going beyond the bedroom, like take a weekend road trip or even just go for dinner, all I got was a lot of patronizing and “we’ll see.”
It’s difficult in any relationship, let alone a fuck buddyship, where one party has feelings about the other that the other doesn’t have about him.
Last month in a torrid of texts, the whole thing came to the surface, and when Rob neither acknowledged nor apologized about my view that I was marginalized in his life, I figured I had two choices – pull out before I suffered any more emotional angst, or settle for our “relationship” on his terms. Since emotional angst was something twenty somethings are supposed to suffer, not someone who gets discounts as a senior citizen, and since I don’t mind being alone and don’t look like Woody Allen’s older brother, I pulled the plug. And as I said on Wednesday, I really believe that the demise of our twosome had a lot to do with Rob’s Catholic guilt about being gay.
You can’t take it to the bank or cuddle up with it at night but without self-respect, you’re less than a person.
Sean, on the other hand says he loves me and for once in this seventy year old jaded faggot’s life, I believe it. An Irish alien, Sean recently married an older guy – five years younger than me – to stay in the U.S and who he now lives with. Sean has money and property back in the old country and though his hubby loves him, health issues prevent him from having sex. At 42, almost thirty years my junior, with a lean mean 5’ 10 furry body and handsome bearded face that makes him look ten years younger, Sean is no way ready to hang it up sexually. Then he met me – he claims there is no one else – and well, the rest as the cliché goes is history.
While Sean claims that he and his hubby have an open relationship, l have my own encumbrance, George, who l call almost every day and who despite our separate lives l would never be the heartless faggot to abandon with his multitude of health issues at the twilight of his life.
And so my Irish lover and I meet when we can, older brother and younger brother, naked in bed. As I said many times, life is of the moment.
It might sound strange but l count myself blessed. Many if not most guys never have that chance to say “I love you” to another guy and mean it.
I have had that chance twice.