I've finally sat down and watched Four Weddings and a Funeral. You know what? I really liked it. OK, granted. I'm gay. Chick flicks are not exactly foreign territory. And I must admit the whiskey probably has had some influence on my thinking...or at least what passes for thinking when one has consumed as much whiskey as I have...
Apart from being a sappy love story, what I really liked about it was the gay couple. I suppose the best word for it was poignant. I don't know that D and I will ever get married. For my part: Been there. Done that. D, I think, has marriage bound up with all things religious, which tends to give him the heebie jeebies. Honestly, I cannot blame him.
Spoiler Alert (Surely I'm not the last person to see this movie...)
Nevertheless, married or not, the gay couple in Four Weddings and a Funeral was nice to see. An adorable May to November couple, the funeral was both touching in the expression of love that was given by the surviving partner as is was poignant (do you know how hard it is to spell that word when drunk?)—not only in the fact that they were careful never to appear a couple in public, but also when the surviving husband was introduced as "Gareth's closest friend" and not even in the course of the funeral proper, but as a preface thereto.
How sad is that? OK, the movie is still 20th Century. And over ten years ago, that was probably an extremely progressive move (even if it was "over there" in liberal, god-forsaken Europe). Still, even now in 21st Century America, homosexuality is still "the love that is only just beginning to dare speak its name." There are states where heterosexuals do not even have to make a formal declaration of their love. Spend enough time together and it's a done deal. On the other hand, out of 50 states, only two allow two men to claim the title of husband, as if love and devotion were the purview of human institutions.
Still, married or not, I love D. I know that one should never say never, but at this point in my life I cannot imagine myself ever loving anyone as much as I love my cute Mexican. And you know what? Government sanctioned or not, that should be good enough.
...and it's about damn time. You gotta see this at Pam's House Blend:
Still another story to add to the growing list. My friends Jim and Fernando were returning from a vacation in Puerto Rico when Fernando was detained in customs because his visa has expired. Jim has returned to Utah, but Fernando is stuck in Puerto Rico seeking legal representation to set up a bond that will allow him to return to the U.S. If that fails, Fernando could have to return to Brazil and it will be 10 years before he can return to the U.S.
We are trying to raise money to help pay for Fernando's legal fees. Any amount you feel you can spare is greatly appreciated.
I don't know how many of you follow Kyle's Bed & Breakfast. I've been reading it for years now. I'm not sure I know why I enjoy this little fantasy world of handsome, walking stereotypes, but I do get a kick out it. Still, I'm not sure what to make of the latest episode.
We join the story with Brad (a young, semi-closted hottie, who remains closeted because he's a minor league baseball player and doesn't want to hurt his chances of getting into the majors) reading a comic on the couch in the living room in his tidy whities. This is hardly abnormal behavior for Brad who is often wandering the B&B in his skivvies. Enter, Matt a hot EMT who has recently taken a romantic interest in Brad.
Brad, what are you doing?
Just readin' comic books.
In your underwear? In the living room?
It's a bit inappropriate...
Look, Brad, I realize we just started dating so I don't know if that tecnically makes us boyfriends, but I'm not comfortable with other guys oogling my boyfriend's body.
What "other guys?"
And red-blooded gay man who happens to walk by, Brad. Who could resist?
Matt, I walk around the B&B all the time in my briefs. I just feel more comfortable this way. Nobody cares.
You never said anything before.
We weren't dating before.
I just don't get it. I could understand Matt's reaction if it was the first time he'd seen Brad hanging out in his underwear, but it's not. The guys living at the B&B aren't going to see anything with which they are not already quite familiar. It's also not like Brad has been out to seduce everyone in the B&B by exposing a little flesh (okay a lot). I can't help but feel like this is supposed to be some expression of affection from Matt. "You're mine now. No one else is allowed to look." Yeah, that sounds really cute and sexy. What is it about humans that we turn love into something possessive?
D is a speed skater. Yes, he has the ass and legs appropriate to the sport. Guys are oogling D's ass all the time. I hardly give it a second thought. Appreciative looks and comments are not uncommon. It doesn't even particularly bother me when some guy has the stones to reach out and give it a squeeze. All it does is reinforce my belief that I have a hot boyfriend and that I'm damn lucky he chooses to be with me.
Am I a radical?
I have a gay friend who, because of choices early on in his life, finds himself married with children. He thus plays the role of a straight man, but anyone who knows him well will likely suspect "tendencies" even if it's never actually discussed. We'll call him GG (for Gay Guy).
Now GG has a friend who we'll call SG (for Straight Guy). SG married a woman who would not countenance sin of any kind (well, visible sin anyway). So when SG's wife discovered he was less than perfect she divorced him. SG is at a stage in life that makes dating eligible women difficult, so he remains single though years have passed since RB (for Raging Bitch) left him and went in search of the "perfect" mate.
Whenever SG has pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve, GG is the one he asks for a massage. I asked GG if SG is aware of the extra mental processes that are involved with GG giving SG a massage. His reply: "He's not stupid, but it's not something we talk about."
At this point, many a homo will pounce and say that SG isn't as S as he thinks. I suppose that is one possibility, but I'm not convinced. All too often gay men skip the other possibility: that SG is really S, comfortable and secure in his Sness and isn't threatened by GG's Gness. GG also has the sense to maintain decorum and not go where he has not been invited. Thus a trust exists between the two of them that allows both to gain some measure of fulfillment without the threat of events taking a turn for the worse.
I have to wonder if there isn't something else at work here. Having been where SG is (divorced and single and having difficulty finding eligible (in my case) bachelors), I understand the need, indeed craving, for intimate contact. GG is a trusted friend, so there is a bond and an intimacy that exists that would not exist if a professional masseuse were sought out. (Not to mention any man who is divorced knows that cash is exceeding scarce.) For all we know SG has turned the tables on GG and is imagining [insert SG's concept of a beautiful woman here] while GG is massaging him.
The interesting thing for me is I don't remember that craving before I was married. Afterward is a completely different story. Now I'm fairly independent and always have been, so I can go stretches without feeling that need. The more of it I get, however, the more I need it.
It's not about simple touch, otherwise friendly hugs would be enough. It's about a connection, some kind of intimacy. That probably has a good deal to do with why I never found anonymous sex satisfying and preferred having friends with benefits. Friends with benefits is its own can of worms, however, and we just won't go there right now.
Anyway, where I'm trying to go with this is there seems to be something addictive about intimate contact. Some will point to this as evidence of the chemical nature of love and attempt to then refute any mystical aspect of love. I have never understood this point of view. We don't teach mysticism in science class because some people can't distinguish between the two. That doesn't mean they can't coexist.
In my mind who we are is something that exists beyond our current sight and understanding. Our bodies are a reflection or the manifestation of that being on this world. I see the chemical process that seem to govern our bodies and reactions similar to the strings of a marionette, something the master uses to control the puppet. Sometimes the strings become tangled or even severed and the master cannot properly exert its will on the puppet.
To my mind, it seems pretty incredible that there is a physical process through which our physical beings are impacted and influenced. Strectching the analogy a bit, early man believed that thunderstorms were the physical manifestation of God's anger. Hell, some of modern man still believe that. Is a hurricane a sign of Mother Earth having a bad day? Is it the planetary version of PMS? Who knows. I can't say that with any more certainty than I can say my marionette analogy is the way it IS.
On the other hand, I won't be surprised if that turns out to be the case.
P.S. Just for the record if hurricanes and such are the result of Mother Earth having a bad day, I do not believe that she focuses her wrath on anyone in particular. Like any woman who is having a bad day (for whatever reason), if you are in her path you tread lightly and bunker down or you are pretty much screwed.
That question was posed to me in a somewhat confrontational manner the other night at a party, perhaps because it had been noted earlier in the evening that I am obviously in love with D. Whatever his reason for singling me out, I am not the kind of person on whom you can drop a loaded question like that and expect an on the spot answer. It ain't gonna happen.
Some seem to think that I write well. If I write well, it is because writing gives me time to think. I do not think on my feet. My thought processes are slow and methodical. If you ask me a question and I don't respond right away, I'm not ignoring you. I'm thinking. In the past I have said, "I am a semi, not a Porsche." Truth is I'm more like an aircraft carrier.
So having had over a week to ponder the question, I still don't really have an answer. I can tell you what I enjoy about being in love (it feels good, security, companionship), but that may not necessarily be what others get out of love. Besides, I don't think that really answers the question. What I really would have liked to have done was turn the question back to my interrogator, who was obviously disenchanted with love, and ask, "What's so wrong with love?" He is, after all, in the minority opinion.
People like to say, "God is love." I don't have too many issues with that, but then it should come as no surprise that there are as many opinions and theories about the nature of love as there are opinions and theories about the nature of God. Love, it seems, is among those great mysteries of the universe that humanity is probably incapable of comprehending fully and so we muddle along, trying to understand love, all the while viewing it through our own, variously distorted, personal prisms.
Obviously there are "love atheists" out there, those disenchanted and/or embittered by their experience with love. Chemistry is often tossed about as a pejorative in such contexts, as if the fact that chemical processes are involved somehow refutes if not the reality then at least the mystery of love. I don't get that, but let's move on. If you have had a negative experience with love, that is unfortunate, but you are hardly alone. I respectfully suggest that such experiences are not a problem with love as much as they are a problem with our limited understanding of love or unrealistic expectations placed on love. Love is hardly a panacea for what ails you. It seems to me that blaming love for failed relationships and heartache makes about as much sense as blaming God for war.
Whatever the universal constants, there are always two independent actors involved, each free to make his or her own choices. Well, I guess that's just my opinion as well. Many there are who prefer to believe that it is fate or destiny that determines all outcomes. I suppose it is easier to blame God, love or chemistry for everything and not have to admit that you screwed up. It also happens to be my opinion there is nothing wrong with screwing up as long as we learn from our mistakes. We aren't perfect. We don't know everything there is to know. We make mistakes. That's how we learn: by doing. If you make a really big boo-boo, clean up the mess the best you can and move on. Try again.
I guess I have my answer now. What's so great about love? You always get another chance.
Brian has noted my relative silence about D in my blog. "I'm in there more than he is," he pointed out. True enough. At this point I must confess that it is largely due to an irrational and superstitious fear of jinxing things. So, here we go. (Where's my rabbit's foot?)
D has been in Mexico the last five days visiting his family. He comes home tonight and I am having a hard time thinking about anything else today. Today is more about watching time go by until I can see him again than anything else. I don't remember ever having missed someone like this.
D often gives me a hard time about playing hard to get at first. Not that it was intentional. I am generally opposed to playing games like that. In fact, I hate it and I am embarrased and a little ashamed that I did it to him.
One evening, after a couple of months of hanging out with D, I was drinking margaritias and talking with a good friend of mine, T. It was mostly idle converstaion, discussing love and relationships in general, but something clicked and I began to realize what had been happening. I had been telling myself that I my feelings about D were ambvialent at best, and I didn't want things to get serious with him under those circumstances. What dawned on me as I sat and talked with T, was my ambivalent feelings were not about D specifically, but about being in a relationship again, period. That was when I decided I was being stupid and stopped "playing hard to get" and took the risk.
Some time after D and I started really dating, I stumbled onto a song by Deborah Cox that summed the situation up pretty well. I know. Deborah Cox. Gay man. Cliche.
At least it's not Cher.
I've spent all my life
On a search to find
The love who'll stay for eternity
That heaven sent to fulfill my needs
But when I turned around
Again love has knocked me down
My heart got broken
Oh it hurt so bad
I'm sad to say love wins again
So I place my heart under lock and key
To take some time and take care of me
But I turn around and you're standing here
How did you get here
Nobody's supposed to be here
I've tried that love thing for the last time
My heart says no, no
Nobody's supposed to be here
But you came along and changed my mind
It's been an amazing and wonderful four and a half months, D. Here's to many more to come.
P.S. Lest you get the wrong idea, I love Cher.
My boyfriend is the new national 500m speed skating record holder for Mexico. The previous record holder has vowed to not let it stand. We'll see. D has only been seriously training for about
six four months. He's only going to get faster. I suspect he'll break his own record soon enough.
When I say “looking at the sights” I mean, in large part, looking at the men. Rio is perv city and even for someone as cool and aloof as I usually am, it sometimes takes an effort not to stare. There are men of all shapes, sizes and colours, but this city seems to have an abundance of stop-dead-in-your-tracks gorgeous men. Dead-set spunks, as we say in my country.
Despite the distractions and fun of today, as I go to bed tonight I'm missing Brent really badly. We have never been great at being apart and it doesn't take very long before I start to feel the pain of our separation. We're in touch by text message numerous times each day but it's not the same as crawling into bed together, or sharing our day's stories over a glass of wine in the kitchen, or knowing he's just there if I need him. I'll take that over a truckload of hot Brasilieros, any day.