Gay Men Find Love and Marry Ch. 01bySusanJillParker©
John was gay and he paid the price of living with his secret with loneliness. As if it was yesterday, he remembered all the lovers that he had. He had a lot of lovers and he wondered where some of them were now, Bob, Rick, George, and Tom. If only he knew then what he knew now, he would have latched on to one of them so that he wouldn't be so alone and so sad.
If there were laws for gays and lesbians to marry then, he would have committed to and married any one of them, but there wasn't even talk about marriage and commitments than as there are today. Back then, especially when he was younger and having fun, too young and too immature to think of commitments and marriage, his life was just about sex and not about planning for the future and living with a lifelong partner. Back when he was dating, there wasn't even talk about adopting children. His life was just about having a good time.
"I'm tired of living alone, going places alone, and doing things alone," he said suddenly not even wanting to go food shopping alone.
So alone and lonely, having lived without a partner for more than ten years, he was now ready to find his perfect love. Only, how does he go about doing that? Bars, dating sites, networking, work, and gym, except for one night stands, he's tried all of those places over again with limited success. No one wants to commit.
"I wish I lived someplace more exciting, San Francisco, Provincetown, Miami, Seattle, Vegas, Minneapolis, or any of the dozens of cities across America that have not only become more accepting of gays and lesbians but also that have embraced them and passed laws of equality to protect them," he said when out with his friends. "If I lived anywhere but Alabama, maybe I'd come out and proclaim my homosexuality, but people around here tolerate blacks more than they do gay men and lesbian women and that's not saying much," he said to one of his friends.
His main reason why he didn't openly admit to being gay, non-acceptance of him and his homosexuality was the main reason why he stayed hidden somewhat in the security of his closet.
As if it was a no big secret, impossible to hide, just by the way he walked, talked, groomed himself, and dressed, he figured everyone knew he was gay anyway. Most times, he couldn't hide who he is and sometimes he hated who he was. Yet, unable to be honest, even with himself, living with one foot still in the closet and with his other foot playing the part of a straight man, he firmly believed that his sexual orientation was none of anyone's business. Even though strangers and acquaintances may suspect he's gay, many of his friends and family didn't even know that he's gay.
Careful not to exhibit the feminine traits that many gay men have, especially in front of his homophobic friends, even his coworkers thought he was a straight man. He didn't want his employer to know that he was gay. Not wanting his homosexuality to be a detriment to his career, promotion, and pay raises or as a disadvantage to his private life, he's seen other gay men and lesbian women persecuted in public, pressured to quit their job, and eventually, under another seemingly unrelated reason, fired for their sexual orientation. Based on his efforts to do the job that he was paid to do, he's worked too long and too hard not to be rewarded. Moreover, fodder for office gossip at the water cooler, he didn't want his homosexuality to become a public issue and discussed and whispered about behind his back.
The important people in John's life, his closest of friends, those that he had a sexual relationship with, and those who accepted him for who he was, knew that he was gay. Wishing that was the case with other people in his life, whether some of them knew he was gay or suspected his was gay, no matter, his friends were wonderful about accepting him while including him as a person without labeling him as just a gay man. After he told his Mom he was gay, his mother had a difficult time at first. Being that she was from the generation where homosexuality wasn't discussed, never mind accepted, it was a long time before she accepted him for who he was.
After what seemed like forever of her avoiding the issue and stepping on eggshells whenever they were together or talked on the phone, when he confronted her with his homosexuality, she finally worked through her feelings of disappointment. Then, embracing her son's homosexuality, along with his homosexual friends, she became John's strongest support and most vocal advocate, whenever others, especially any of their relatives, weren't as supportive of him with him being gay, an understatement. Her biggest issue, of course, was that she'd never have grandchildren, but John assured her that if he found the right man, they'd adopt.
Life for the most part was good for John but, as elusive as winning the lottery, true love had evaded him. It was his hope that before he died he'd meet his true love. Even when he had such thoughts of love and blissful happiness the prospect of finding Mr. Right seemed silly to him. With so many divorces and so many couples staying together for the sake of the kids and for the sake of money and financial security, who in reality ever finds their true love anyway? Maybe a few have, but it seemed to be more fodder for romance novels and unrealistic Hollywood movies. Perhaps a bit unrealistic, albeit so romantic, he'd love to have a man who missed him as soon as he walked out the front door to go to work and who couldn't wait for him to return home.
Just as many heterosexual wives do with their husbands, his friends stayed together with partners for monetary, security, and/or for childcare reasons and, as they grew further apart, they never said much about their love and affection for one another. It was obvious by their body posture, by the things they said, and in the way they looked at one another or didn't look at one another that their love had died. Financial security might be good enough for them but, just in the way that Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland sings in her song, Settlin', when it came to love, John didn't want to just settle for financial security. Promising himself not to settle for anything less than the love of his life, in the way that his favorite singer, Freddie Mercury of Queen, wanted it all, he wanted it all too.
Through his teens and early twenties, filled with unlimited testosterone fueled horniness, he was a serial dater, fucker, and sucker, that is, until AIDs took its toll on the gay community and scared him into being more careful. When, even his idol, Freddie Mercury, succumbed to AIDs, John took less lovers and took more care with those that he invited to his bed. A time of too much alcohol, excessive drugs, and too many lovers, John had become famous for his fifteen minute fucks in the XXX cinema and five minute blowjobs in the Greyhound bus station downtown.
Fucking and sucking more for sex than for love, he'd fucked anyone in a men's room stall, who'd give him the eye and blow anyone who returned his smile. Becoming more selective with age, driven less by raw, hormone fueled sex, and more by a the need and desire to have a loving relationship, John's needs changed from having to have constant sex to wanting to have sex with one special someone. Not willing to settle for less, his search for his true love begun in earnest with abstention from sex.
Even after deciding to forsake having multiple partners for monogamy, his attempts at finding his perfect man failed. Maybe he was too fussy. Maybe his special someone hadn't been born yet. Maybe his special someone had already been born a long time ago but was already dead now. Maybe his special someone lived in another part of the country or the world. With love being so fleeting, how could he find him? With love being so elusive, even if he found him, how would he know it was him.
His friends swore that black men were the best lovers, but his experience proved that Jewish men were the best. Maybe Jewish men tried harder to please him because they were so grateful for some touching and loving attention that inevitably gave them their much needed sexual release, after having to deal with their manipulative mothers and bitchy wives. Living two lies, one that they were happily married and another that they weren't gay, while marrying for the sake of having children, their Jewish American Princess wives seldom gave them sex. Even when their wives sucked their cocks, never swallowing, most Jewish men weren't even allowed to cum in their wives' mouths, just on their breasts, and anal sex was never an option.
If John was to judge and compare lovers, he had the best blowjobs and make out sessions with a man named Joseph. He dated Joseph on and off for five years until Joseph broke his heart by confessing that he had been seeing another man on the side for nearly a year. Devastated by the betrayal, John broke off their relationship immediately. In this day of AIDs, trust was everything to John. Overcome with rejection, when Joseph broke the monogamous trust between them, no longer able to trust him, that was the end of the relationship for him.
Even with the AIDs scare, monogamy was not always the preferred gay way. Most gay men that he knew still attended sex parties, frequented gay bars, and had multiple partners simultaneously. Believing AIDs would never happen to them, too many gay men truly believed the AIDs scare was something made up by the moral majority, Bible thumbing homophobes, who believed that gay men and lesbian women were Devils on Earth. Feeling safely protected enough, so long as they and their partner wore condoms, the gay men he knew didn't believe random sex was a problem but, obviously, with more gay men dying and many women, it was still a serious problem and a real deterrent for John not to return to his promiscuous ways.
John was as lucky as he was happy that he had sewn his wild oats years ago and made it out of his youth alive without contracting a sexual transmitted disease or a fatal disease. The insatiable appetite for sex with multiple partners that he had in his youth actually strengthened many primary relationships by creating helpful comparisons. Cut from another cloth, John finally knew what he wanted. He wanted his love relationships to be exclusive with his special someone. A die-hard romantic, he didn't want to share his partner with anyone. He didn't want to increase his potential for contracting AIDS that had killed so many of his friends and so many men in the gay men in the gay community at large.
After his breakup with Joseph, John decided that he wouldn't date for a while. His heart needed to heal and just as he only wanted to spend time with someone who was going to be special and possibly the love of a lifetime, he wanted his lover to share his commitment. Figuring that he was saving himself for his special someone, when he still hadn't found his special someone after ten years of searching, he thought that maybe it had been foolish of him to abstain from dating and from sexual intimacy. Yet, John believed that no matter how long he had to wait, the man that he finally found would be worth the wait. If he was out there, hoping that his perfect man was searching for him too, he truly believed that he'd find him.
Attractive to many men because he had dark, classic good looks, a bitchin' body, as he was told by many times of his lovers, a brain in his head, and a well-honed, witty sense of humor, John was a good catch. Yet, with too many men still wanting to play the field, few gay men wanted to settle down and get married. A southern charmer, his greatest feature was his gentlemanly ways that weren't easy to find anymore. He was Truman Capote reincarnated albeit with a handsome face and a much better body. His manners, along with his quick wit, and in the way that he slowly and carefully articulated his words, drew others to want to copulate with him in the way that bees are drawn to pollinate flowers. A rare combination and a rare find, many men knew he had the sweet, delicious nectar that they so desired. Yet, not faltering in his search for his true love, he was holding out for his special someone.
John exuded male, all male, and the more feminine men went crazy for him. He had been blessed with the most beautiful pair of soulful, blue eyes that sparkled whenever he spoke. Moreover, John was a good listener. When someone was speaking in his presence, they felt listened to and made to feel special.
Even though he knew he was attractive, he didn't have a vain bone in his beautiful body. He didn't subscribe to the paranoia felt by many gay men that their bodies had to be great in order to have partners. As if they were professional ballerinas, he felt sad when he saw so many of his friends worrying incessantly when they had gained a few pounds. He worked out occasionally, ate good food, including the sweets that he so dearly loved, and left the rest up to nature. Unlike his friends who pampered themselves with beauty skin treatments, facials, massages, expensive hair styles and clothes, John truly believed that true love wouldn't be based solely on looks anyway. Wise beyond his years, if it was true love, then it was meant to be and, if it was meant to be, then it wouldn't matter what one or the other looked like.
Always a difficult time, the holidays were fast approaching and even though he had an immediate family to spend time with, he wanted someone special to share the intimate festivities with him. He had so missed the cuddling in bed and the kissing beneath the mistletoe. He missed making love before exchanging gifts and making love after. He missed the joking, the teasing, and the laughs. He missed sharing his special toys with his lover. His sexual frustration temporarily diminished when his masturbation had reached an all-time crescendo and he couldn't stand to continually sexually abuse himself anymore.
He felt empty. He felt defeated. He felt lonely. He felt so very sad. Whenever he had to face another day alone, his heart yearned so deeply for his perfect love that it physically ached. So tired of looking in the faces of strange men with the hope of finding his true love, he couldn't give another man the eye.
He was done. His romantic life was over. Destined to live alone and to be alone with his bad self, maybe he'll take up painting and get a cat or take up writing and get a dog. Maybe he'll buy a small cottage by the sea or a cabin in the mountains and live a reclusive life of a gay man who no longer had sex because he was saving himself for his nonexistent special someone.
There was a Christmas Musical at a nearby church in the middle of December and with no one else to accompany him, John asked his sister, Anne, if she'd like to go with him. They often attended cultural events together because her husband was strictly a sports, hot dogs, and beer type of guy. She loved her husband madly and never insisted that he attend such things that would make him feel uncomfortable. Besides, he always made up for not going along with her by showering her with lots of love, attention, and affection when she returned home. With one willing to sacrifice for the other, their marriage worked. Trading one for the other, love, attention, and affection for that of an escort, being that she could rely on her brother for all else that she needed that her husband was unwilling or unable to give, she had no complaints with the arrangement.
When he and Anne entered the house of worship, John instantly noticed a man sitting in a pew on the right a few rows up from the back of the church. He was sitting on a slant facing the back of the church and looked as if he was waiting for someone to arrive. As soon as he noticed him, something happened inside John's body that he couldn't describe. It was as if he had known this man his whole life and that he was the one that he was waiting to meet. Just as he thought that, the man looked John right in the eyes and smiled.
"Hello," he said continuing to smile at him as if he knew him.
Embarrassed that the man had caught him staring at him and embarrassed because he thought maybe he had met him before and had forgotten who he was, John flashed him a brilliant smile.
"Hello," said John acting as if he remembered him.
John and his sister chose a pew on the left hand side and a couple of rows in front of the mystery man but within sight of him. Not wanting to appear interested, too nervous that his intention would be conspicuous, especially if the man wasn't gay, if John turned around to try and see him again, the man would know he was looking, staring, and leering actually. Instead, he faced forward and tried to act normal, something not easy for John to do when he has love on his mind.
"Who's that?" Whispered Anne with an elbow to his ribs. "He's very handsome.
"I know. He is very cute. To be honest, I don't know who he is but I'd like to know," said John with a nervous laugh.
There was intense craziness going on in John's body. His pulse was racing. Suddenly, his breathing was labored. Beating so fast, his heart felt as if it about to explode. The mystery man's face haunted his thoughts and he had to figure out who the man was or he'd go mad. Instead of listening to the beautiful music, John spent the whole time in church searching his memory banks and trying to figure out if he had met the man before. He had so very many lovers to go through. This man could have been anyone from his sordid past.
It seemed as if only a moment had passed when the concert was over. When he stood to leave with Anne, John immediately searched the crowd to find his man and to see who was with him. The man was walking down the aisle alone and that was when John decided to just be himself. Afraid he'd miss his opportunity for love, he was ready to take the risk of embarrassing himself by going after him and telling him the truth.
The truth was that he knew the mystery man, but didn't know from when, from where, or even remembered his name. What's his name? Dozens of names flashed through his brain. What's his name? If only I could remember his name, it may jog my memory to remember him. What the Hell is his name?
Quickly, he ran through an alphabetical list of men's names in his head hoping to spark a memory, Anthony, Bob, Chris, Dave, Even, Frank, George, Henry, Isaac, Joe, Kevin, Larry. Unable to jog a memory, he continued through the rest of the alphabet, Michael, Norman, Otto, Paul, Ralph, Steve, Tom, Victor, Walter, Zeke. Unable to think of anyone he knew named with a Q, U, Y, and Z, he skipped those letters to concentrate on more common first names.
He signaled to Anne that he was going to walk ahead of her and she nodded with a sisterly understanding of his love mission. She always knew what her brother was about even when he didn't know himself. She was a great sister. John hustled through the crowded aisle. He could barely see the back of his mystery man's head in the distance as he exited the church and started down the steps. He hurried to catch up to him.
If only he knew his name, he could call to him. If only he knew his name, he wouldn't feel at such a loss. If only he knew his name, he'd love to know his name so that if he missed connecting with him, he could dream of him tonight and return to this very church again next week.
To be continued...