Copyright © 2003
There's something about being held by a man that reassures me. It's got nothing to do with any sex that might have just happened or might be just about to happen. It's entirely separate from sex. And a woman won't do. Even though the sex can be great with a woman, something more essential is missing for me. I know; I tried. Of course, I was sixteen and seventeen, and eighteen when I tried but I don't think this has changed or can change for me.
So I was about as happy as I get being held by this really wonderful man with his really wonderful voice who gave me his really wonderful poem and I wasn't thinking about either sex or supper which just goes to show you how completely satisfied I was feeling when he asks me, "When was the last time your parents told you they loved you?”
Which is really a pretty weird question for anybody to ask anybody at anytime outside of therapy. Or in therapy! I didn't much want to think about that but having been sent there I kinda wandered around looking for the answer but not really finding it. I remembered the first time Kevin said he loved me; then he said he was sorry while I was thinking, "What for, dude? I loved it! I'm sure not gonna to be sorry when I come in your mouth.” I remembered the last time Kevin told me he loved me - he was kissing me and crying and saying he would always love me but we couldn't do sex any more 'cause he really was straight. I wasn't even the least bit upset 'cause I didn't believe him. It was like the third time he'd gone through his "I'm really straight” routine. Apparently third time's the charm.
I remembered the first time Ruthie said she loved me 'cause it was a
violation of our sex and friendship only rule and, of course, she
expected me to say it too. Which I didn't. I said a lot of
other things which seemed pretty close, but I never actually said it to
her 'cause I couldn't say it 'cause I didn't and I wasn't going to
'cause I was waiting for Kevin to come back! Although I didn't
tell her that either. I remembered the time three years later
when she said she hated me. That hurt me a lot, but it didn't
hurt me as much as it would have if I hadn't still been waiting for
Kevin to come back.
I remembered the first time Greg said he loved me. It was in early September after a long dinner at Galatoire's; we had strolled through the Quarter hand in hand, pausing occasionally to listen to some jazz outside Preservation Hall, Pat O'Brien's, and some other clubs. We ended up on the Moonwalk, sweating in the still warm night air and watching ships dodging each other in the Mississippi River. He said it more matter-of-factly than I'd hoped for - "You know I love you, don't you?” But it was enough. It was the key. I let him in. And I remembered how I felt then - like nothing could ever be wrong in my life ever again. I had come to New Orleans to be gay and find love and I had. My twenty-first birthday was still two weeks away but already my life was perfect. I believed him then and I still do believe he loved me. Maybe he still does - as much as he can. Greg has a beautiful Golden Retriever named Belle; he loved her, too; it was really about the same. He wanted a pet, not a man. I wanted a partner, not a daddy. We were doomed from the start but took two and a half years to know it. I don't remember the last time - that got lost among all the fights.
So I was fishing around in the I love you place and not coming up with any parental memories - not any last ones, not any first ones, not any. And I have a pretty good memory. A few dramatic exceptions - like the first five and a half years of my life and my actual immediate biological antecedents - but overall a very good memory. So if I don't remember something that was supposed to have happened right in front of me, it probably didn't ever happen.
Then I started feeling kinda diminished. My perfect parents and my perfect childhood and my whole perfect if-only-I-could-come-out-to-my-family life weren't seeming so perfect anymore. And then I hurt. And all of a sudden I just wanted to hurt him as much as he'd just hurt me, so I asked him if his sons know he's a chicken hawk.
Then this asshole, this absolute asshole, laughs and says, "Very good!"
Like we're playing tennis and even though the point goes against him he wants to acknowledge what a good shot I just made. This is all just too much for me so I'm standing up yelling, "What's wrong with you?” and "Why are you doing this to me?” And I was backing up across the room until I couldn't back up any more and I was yelling some other stuff I don't remember but I'm sure it wasn't very nice and I was feeling all trembly inside and my legs were shaking like I might not be able to stand up much longer.
Finally I yelled, "What do you want from me? What do you want from me?”
Donald took off his glasses ever so slowly and put them on the end table then stood up and slipped off his jacket folding it neatly on the arm of the loveseat then looked at me and said, "Everything.”
Walking toward me he said, "First your mind, now your body, next your soul. I want everything.”
Then we were all over each other kissing and licking and ripping our clothes off and clawing and pawing and pulling and probing and stroking and scratching and sucking and tickling and tweaking and twisting and wanting - wanting each other more than any two men had ever wanted each other in the whole history of the universe and the whole time I was thinking, "I'm gonna get fucked by the Prince of Darkness, I just hope I live through this!"