Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Out of the Past

I've been doing some reminiscing lately...so please bear with me.

This gay thing that I have suffered with for 45 years has had its share of ups and downs.

I remember so desperately trying to keep everything hidden, including my basic identity. I tried conjuring up feelings that I didn’t have and to make myself “normal.”

It was downright frightening to reach that period in junior high when it felt that my world was coming unraveled. I felt like a secret agent. I had to keep my feelings for other boys in check. I tried to be as asexual as possible.

That first year in junior high was hellish to say the least. Not only was I moving to a new school for the first time in my life….but I also was expected to strip naked in front of all the other boys and take gang showers…..which meant I was afraid of getting excited and well, -er obvious as to my orientation.

No wonder I was rather chunky…and ate as a way to get comfort. It also explains why my grades that year were so bad. My parents believed that I played my way through my seventh grade year….but in actuality….and I remember this very clearly…….I was so overcome with hormones……and thoughts and desires I had never had before…….that I was a total wreck waiting to happen. I just didn’t have the energy to handle it all and my grades suffered. Added to all this was the ADD that I did not know I had at the time…so, in looking back, I’m amazed that I made it through that year at all!

That entire academic year I was like a deer in the headlights…24/7. Everyday seemed like something bad happened or at least was waiting to.

Three months into that school year is when the Marshall University airplane crash happened. Several of my friends lost their parents. This only added to my stress and anxiety levels.

The absolute worst part was the fact that I couldn’t talk about it with anyone. I couldn’t’ share the fact that I was “different”….or had these feelings that made me feel troubled.

That year I also discovered the joys of masturbation. In my little mind…..something that felt so great had to be wrong. So, on top of all that I was feeling, I now added guilt to the mix.

So, now fast forward to the year 2007 -- I’m now a marriage veteran, with three kids to show for it all. In looking back at that 25 year long term relationship, I’ve likened that experience as a trip on the Hindenberg. For a time, we flew majestically and mightily – we had our ups and our downs, but in the end we had our Lakehurst, NJ. Somewhere our marriage exploded. It crashed and burned and left me standing in the rubble to rise out of the ashes like a phoenix.

So here I am and I’m beginning to heal. I’ve gained a host of new friends – a lot of gay ones. I’m developing healthy, close and affectionate male friendships.

I’ve discovered church again and the joy of delighting in the Lord after such a long journey through the desert.

I’m also content with what I have. All I need is to pay all my bills off…and you’ll see a very happy Frank.

Yesterday I had something to happen that shows just how far I have come in my development as a single gay man. It’s a bit funny in some respects.

I had lunch with Brokeback in his office building. It was relaxing and fun to just catch up and talk and just to be together. At the conclusion of our hour together, we walked to the center of this vast office complex. He grabbed my hand in a handshake and we embraced as we have thousands of times. But this time, without thinking, I kissed him just west of his cheek…on his ear.

It was only after I returned to my office that I realized what I had done. No wonder the woman with the cell phone up to her ear looked at me kind of weirdly at the time! I apologized to Brokeback….but he must be experiencing the same type of growth because he thought nothing of it.

So, I am rising further and further out of the ashes of my marriage.

What a journey!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Evening - July 29, 2007

Well, I did get off my butt this morning and I traveled to church. I am so glad that I did...just being around my friends...and letting them know some of the pain and the gloom and doom I was feeling....and then to have them put their arms around me to say that they loved me and would pray for me helped me more than I can begin to describe here.

The sermon was about prayer...and the Lord above knows that I am always interested in that topic. I also got to hear one of my friends sing a special entitled, "There is a Balm in Gilead"... It ministered to me in a sweet way. It's one of my favorite hymns.... I have a very old recording of that song by the late Jack Holcomb. I guess I'm dating myself. The majority of you will not remember him, but he was a great gospel tenor from many, many years ago.

Every time I hear that song, it touches my very soul....and God knew that I needed to be touched today.

I got to spend lunch with some of my buddies too....followed by a movie with Brokeback. Just by being with him helped me too.

So all is not bad.

In between things, my daughters called me. They are fine...and wanted to know how the old man was doing.

I even heard from Lovey....who said she had had a difficult conversation with the Marine. She does not know all that is going on with him right now. Even though he may be stressed, that should not give him a reason to be so belligerant with her.

So, there always seems to be drama......of some kind in my life, which is so silly.

But oh well....another day begins another week. So we will see.

Thanks for all your prayerful support of me...and your words of encouragement.

More later.

Sadness....Profound Sadness

I think I have a chemically triggered depression going on in my head today.

Diabetes causes all kinds of things....not to mention the changes in mood....and here I sit.

I've been up since 5;00 a.m. here on a Sunday Morning. I've been out taking care of some errands....and now that I'm back, I should be getting ready for church. But my profound negative mood is tempting me strongly to just stay home...and not do anything but work on my house.

All morning, I've been fighting wave after wave of negativity. It stems from my lot in life of being a single, divorced, gay, white, older man. It spreads to the fact that my daughters are many, many, miles away. It seaps into the crevass of my son possibly having gotten a girl pregnant and will be heading to Iraq. It then sweeps over the fact that I'm an only child, with parents who are aging....

I'm a mess.

So, I guess, rather than just sitting here and letting the sadness drown me.....I need to get off my butt and go to church....and stop the pity party.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


This weekend has been an interesting time of my being in the presence of a lot of my gay friends -- some new -- some old. I also had the opportunity to catch up with one friend on the telephone on Friday. It's interesting how all of them in their various conversations with me struck a chord.

Are gay relationships any more fickle than straight relationships can be?

Two of my friends who have been involved in somewhat long-term relationships have had them end on somewhat sour notes. One ended after quite a stormy term that featured a rather significant age difference -- my friend who is around my age and his former partner who was in his late 20s. The other is a couple who are close in age (again around my age), but one of them suffers from a mild case of mental issues. However, in each of these relationships, the issues have surfaced in such a way that the relationships have been unable to continue.

So they ended.

When I heard these stories, I wondered if these relationships would have ended had they been heterosexual. It seems that we have support systems in place to offer help to such couples in difficulty. Is it the same for gay couples?

I just don't know. But it is a shame to see people you care about go through breakups.

I only know what the breakup of my straight marriage was like....but I think I can relate to what these gay couples are feeling.

The gay friend that I chatted with on Friday afternoon also is kind of in the same boat as me. He's married, with children. He and his wife plan to go the separate ways when their current child (age 14) heads off to college in a few years. But my friend is struggling with different issues related to this decision. One being that every single man he meets, he automatically sizes him up as a potential mate. He has set expectations and qualifications for a life partner and so, when he meets a single man, he runs over the checklist in his mind.

I suppose I'm a bit guilty of doing this too. I looked at the couples who have broken up....and the men that I know who are now suddenly single, I find myself wondering what they would be like as partners.

Two of the four men are guys that I find myself strongly attracted to, but I just don't think they feel the same way for me. AND...in my condition, I'm certainly not brave enough to approach either and say, "Hey...how about giving me a chance?"

I guess I'm suffering from the same malady that on eof my daughters face in their dating quest. They want the guy to make the first move and be the pursuer. I am so very shy, I'm afraid. So, in my mind, I discount the possibility. So, I become a friend and listen to them talk about all their drama they have in their lives.

And I wonder....gee what kind of mate would you make for me?

Now, when I'm pondering the prospect of a mate, I don't think I'm wanting an awfully lot. What I want is:

a man who is available.

a man who wants me as much as I want him.

a man who place me as priority one in his life.

a man that I can place as priority one in my life.

a man that will be true and honest and monogamous.

Ah, but sadly, I'm not sure if this exists in the gay world.

The closest that I have to any of this is with Brokeback....but as I have said in previous posts, that relationship can only go so far due to his commitments.

So, I guess I'm totally prepared to go through the remainder of my life alone. Let's face it. Relationships present opportunities for stress to take root. I've just ended my 25 year relationship with Lovey and God knows how stressful she was.

I don't want dysfunction in my gay relationship, but I get a sense that there is the distince possibility of that happening.

It frightens me because I'm not sure that I have the energy to devote to the issues related to such a relationship.

So, perhaps I should just sit back down....calm myself.....and craft a comfortable existence alone with my dog, my house, my grown children, my parents, my friends, and Brokeback and be happy with what I have. I need to learn about contentment and remember that I have so very much to be happy about. I have so much more than a lot of men.

The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

My Son

I finally got through to the marine yesterday. I had been trying to call him for several days to see if his bullet proof vest arrived. It's the one that he had "forgotten" here.

I shipped it out early in the week. I took it to FEDEX and shipped it via ground for only $10. It took about 2 days. I thought that it would cost a small fortune. But it didn't. I was so thankful.

Money is tight around here these days. The money tree died back in March.

While I had him on the phone, I asked if he had heard whether he's a dad or not. He grew annoyed with me. He said that he hadn't talked to his girlfriend since she told him that she felt like she wasn't pregnant, but she had no tangible proof. She hadn't taken a home pregnancy test....or seen a doctor.....and she had not had a period yet.... But she still doesn't "feel" pregnant.

The marine says he will address this topic with her next month.

Next month?!?

Oh well, it's not my potential baby. But it's so weird that no one seems to want to find out for sure, but me. Grandma Lovey has no idea about all this.

So we wait.

I think the marine and his girlfriend are playing games........with one another.

It's things like this and other issues that make me hope and pray that there is NO baby....and that the Marine and this girl do not become lifelong companions.

So we shall see.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thoughts on a Possible Grandchild

As I sit in the balance of waiting for the actual word, one way or the other, of whether or not I'll be a grandfather, I've done some real soul-searching.

So far, everything I've pictured for my family has gone totally opposite of how I thought things would work out. For example:

1. I thought that I would grow old with my wife.


2. I thought that I would be actively involved with her ministry as I aged.


3. I thought that my children would all live in relative close proximity of "us."


4. I thought that I would become a grandfather the old fashioned way: after a courtship of my children and their subsequent marriage and at least nine months.

As it looks now:


When it comes to grandchildren, I always pictured that I would have them and be able to enjoy the process with my wife. But as it stands now I will be by myself to enjoy my grandchildren. It disturbs me a bit.

It's not as I pictured.

Although at some point I may have a trophy husband to enjoy my grandchildren with....but that's not how I had pictured my life.

Oh well.

Life goes on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Frank's First Drag Show

For years I’ve always wanted to see a drag show, but I’ve never quite gotten up the nerve to go see one. Really, I don’t know why I was so nervous about it. Could it be that I just didn’t want to go by myself to one?

I find that this is my issue a lot of times.

I don’t want to do something new, because I have to do it by myself.

This is silly. But I guess at times I am a silly person.

I was contacted several weeks ago about going to a drag show in Baltimore, Maryland with a group of my friends. I wanted Brokeback to go with me, but he would be out of town on business. So, if I went, it would have to be all by myself. So, I decided to go.

Yesterday I focused on it and was shocked to find out that the show did not begin until 10:00 p.m. That would mean a long night.

A very long night…

I met a friend for dinner at a restaurant in the heart of Gay Baltimore. We then got to the Hippo Discothèque and met another friend outside the front door. It was the first time I had ever been there. It was ultra modern with a slight art deco feel to it. The bar was filling with patrons of all persuasions. I saw the usual gay men – singles and couples. Then the elderly straight couples came in who were joined by young straights and a slight sprinkling of lesbians. What a crowd.

Around 9:45 we went into the nightclub portion of the place. If it had had scantily clad go-go boys, it would have looked very similar to Babylon in Queer As Folk. The music was thumping. The lights were flashing. The atmosphere was charged.

People were laughing and talking. I felt oddly comfortable….and I am not a bar/discotheque person.

The lights dimmed….and the star, Christopher Peterson, appeared as Marilyn Monroe. He performed a song that Marilyn might have performed, had she lived, that Diana Ross made famous, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” It was a hoot. He then talked between ladies and did Reba McEntire, Bette Davis, Barbra Streisand, Tina Turner, Liza Minnelli and to end the set, he did the showstopper by Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson, from Dream Girls.

His show, “Eyecons,” is currently playing in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on the weekends. I highly recommend him.

What an interesting evening…. I left smiling. His Christmas Show is at the Hippo come December.

Bad News

I’m still in shock at the prospect of becoming a grandfather. Thus far I have no final confirmation one way or the other.

I pray that the marine is not a dad. He just isn’t ready emotionally. He hasn’t matured enough.

On top of this, I’d much prefer to have my first grandchild be greeted with love, excitement, and hope – not fear, trepidation, or uncertainty.

But this is the queer grandpa’s thoughts, what do I know?

Now onto another topic.

When it rains, it pours they say. Well, I feel like I’m in the middle of a cloud burst.

Yesterday I went to visit my doctor. My body chemistry is all messed up. My sugars are basically out of control. It appears that my body has once again turned on me. The meds for diabetes appear to have stopped working. My doctor wants me to go on insulin.

I’ve had 15 years without doing this. I’m quite depressed about this latest development and I feel like a failure.

My doctor says that I shouldn’t feel this way. She says that I have just entered into a new stage of diabetes management. Some of the troubling symptoms I’ve had appear to be diabetic “brown outs” according to her. She says that I will feel so much better.

I asked if we could hold off on the insulin for another six weeks while I see if I can get my numbers down further. During the time of the separation and the divorce proceedings, my numbers were really something. At least since the divorce finalized on May 29, an improvement has occurred. I told her I wanted to see what my body did as a result of my “settling down” and getting into a routine.

My next appointment is September 11.

Keep me in your thoughts as I struggle with this latest drama.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Phone Calls In the Night

Have you ever been awakened in the middle of the night by the unnerving jingle of the telephone?

I have – on many occasions.

As a parent, I’ve heard from homesick tykes who wanted to come home from a sleepover in the middle of the night. I’ve had my parents to call me in the wee hours of the morning to share the news of the death of a loved one. My son has called me to let him in the front door because he had lost the front door key.

When the phones rings like that – in the dark – in the stillness of the night, I put my hand on the receiver and pause…whisper a prayer for strength and courage and answer with “Hello?”

Yesterday morning in the wee hours my telephone rang.

“Hello?” I said.

#2 was on the other end.

“Hi Daddy! I just wanted you to know that I got back to Nashville safely from my vacation to Colorado. I had a lot of fun, but I knew you’d be concerned.” She said.
“Please go back to sleep and we’ll talk tomorrow.”

She was right. I was worried about her. I was glad she was home safe.

So I hung up the phone and rolled over and went back to sleep.

A few hours later, the telephone rang again.

This time it was one of those telephone calls that have a serious impact on you.

It was my son who said, “Well Dad, I need to tell you something. You might be a grandpa.”

Oh goodness.

It wasn’t planned. It was an accident. He doesn’t want to marry the girl. But he does want to take care of his child.

But goodness me….this is my baby boy…..telling me that he may have a baby.

And now I’ve reached that stage in life where someone will refer to me as “Grandpa.”

It makes me wonder where all the time went.

What happened to that little blond boy I once had?

For the last 7 years I’ve been so wrapped up in the demise of my marriage and my gay issues, my youth vanished. And here I sit entering a new stage of life – being someone’s Grandpa.

It awakens all those feelings in me….of longing….. You see, I have no one to share this all with. Or someone to hug and be close to to celebrate a possible new little life with. Oh, the circumstances are less than ideal. But it’s still the potential beginning of a new member of my family….and I want he/she to know that his/her paternal grandpa loves them beyond words.

I just wish I had a spouse/partner to share it with.

I hope to hear something definite…one way or the other soon. The marine is not ready for parenthood…and he’s headed to Iraq at the end of September.

Oh goodness….why now?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Not So Bad After All!

I suppose I’m not as bad as I first thought.

Lovey provided this response to my email.

From: Lovey
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2007 4:54 PM
To: Frank
Subject: Re: The Trip: Rethought

Hi! Excellent rational thinking, Frank - you are right. It is stressful to pull it off, and the fact that either or both of us go doesn't guarantee he'll think anymore of us. AND, if just one of us goes, that will just put the other one in the "dog house," not that I worry about that too much since we're talking about the marine.

I'm glad you've had some good visits with him. I wish I could really enjoy him with no holds barred. But everytime I see him, he has other places to go and lots of friends to catch up with. AND, he only calls me when he needs something. I do wish he could just call and see how I'm doing some time, or just tell me he's doing well - it doesn't have to be about me, but I'd rather it not always just be about him.

I asked him how he was coming up and getting back in September. Without knowing what you shared about his plans, I strongly suggested that he get a ride back to Camp Lajeune so that his car will already be up here (wherever - I don't have room, and I don't think Mom should become his garage either - he doesn't pay her any mind when he visits, and I don't want him to use her). I think we both need to tell him that we will not be going to NC or anywhere else to pick up his car - that is HIS responsiblity alone. (I'm not feeling real charitable at the moment after spending over $600 on him yesterday - I haven't gotten back anything I ever loaned him except once. If he has difficulty paying me back within the month this round, I will not loan him another dime. I love him, but I don't love being used.

Please tell our son that you will not be able to help him get his car if he insists on driving it back to the base in September. That's just stupid and poor planning - it's more convenient for him to have his own wheels than to take a bus or other transportation back. Then it would be work for us - I am totally unwilling to help with that, and I hope you are unwilling as well.

I haven't told him I was definitely coming, and my time with two churches and district ministerial duties is busy. I think the idea of trying to have some time with him when he comes up in September is good.

Pardon my venting -it's not with you but the situation,


This was only one of the many emails from Lovey I received yesterday.

It's kind of amazing.

Oh well....her and her dramas/issues aren't mine any more.

Thank goodness.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bad Frank

A number of you have voiced (rather vocally) your concerns about my going on such a trip with Lovey.

I thank you for that….and really I don’t need my head examined.

This morning I sent her the following email. We all know what an awful person I am. AND, we mustn’t forget what a terrible husband I was (a fag, wooden spoons in the dishwasher, raised toilet seats, etc.). This will only confirm it.

----------------Original message ---------------------------
From: Frank
To: Lovey


I've done a lot of thinking about this and looking at my schedule. The stress of trying to pull it all together and totally move my schedule all around at the last minute for a rushed trip doesn't make sense to me. All told, I'd be spending more time on the road than with the marine.

This doesn't mean that I don't want to do that or that I love him differently or any less.

The marine loves to keep score and loves to try to inflict guilt trips where ever and whenever it suits him. He also loves to spin tales that help him to manipulate situations. Given the fact that whenever he has chosen to grace me with his presence at my house, I've worked very hard to give him quality time. His last couple of visits with me have been downright delightful. So, just because I don't get to go down to LeJeune to see him, does not cause me any reason for guilt. Especially, if something should happen to him in Iraq. I'm getting older....perhaps a bit wiser..... I have to think about me for a change...and taking care of myself... Sadly, it also means that I'm not in the air asking how high on the way up as soon as the marine..or others say JUMP!

He did tell me that he will be up here from September 5-15. Were you aware that in his mind, he is is planning to drive up here in his car......and then drive back.....and leave his car for you and/or I to drive it back up here to keep while he is away? ("I am NOT going to fly back to LeJeune and leave my car," says he.) So he expects you or I to drive to LeJeune, drive his car back to Grandma's for her to babysit it until his return. I told him that he needed to leave the car here when he visits.

So, he needs to figure out how his car is going to get here......and he needs to negotiate with Grandma to see if she is willing to keep his car. (I have no place in which to store it.)

And so goes the marine....

You, too, may want to rethink this quick, last-minute visit. It's a lot of wear and tear on you for what purpose? You might consider saving your time for when he is here in September....so that you can spend some real quality time with him.

Just a thought.


So, that mean old Frank isn’t going to chauffeur her down to see her son.


How Did It Happen?

This latest round of communication with Lovey happened as a result from a pitiful plea from the marine requesting that I pay his cellphone bill. As background, he is always needing money. He lives way beyond his means and although he is a Corporal, pays no rent, pays no utilities, and has no grocery bill, he still has no money. (I honestly think he is a graduate of Lovey’s School of High Finance.)

Due to my legal bills coming due – you know the ones that I have incurred as a result of Lovey – I sent Lovey the following email:

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Frank" <
> Hi...
> Is there anyway that you can cover this for the Marine? I have a humongous
> legal bill that is due to my attorney at the same time this is due (the
> 21st)...which is making things very tight for me.
> Let me know.


Now, folks, keep in mind that the marine owes me about $2,500 from loans in the not too distant past. He’s never made a full effort to pay those back. So, it’s not like I’m a bad parent or ignoring is pleas. I’m just a bit tired of being Mr. Moneybags and no one helping me or trying to take care of me.

I digress.

So, Lovey responded about how she would do it “this time”….but she made it clear how difficult her life was and how she was struggling financially….and how she doesn’t have the earning power that I have……blah…..blah.

Finally, at the end of her message is where she zinged me about the possible six-hour trip to North Carolina, and the wonderful two nights I’d get to spend with HER!

Six hours each way in a car with Lovey – that’s an interesting concept…..very interesting! I’d have a captive audience and I could finally let everything out that has been building for two years.

Oh my!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Shock and Awe!!!

There have been a few recent developments in the saga of the gay guy here known as Frank.

First, I got the legal paperwork from my attorney about the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). This is the documents that will arrange for the transfer of assets from Lovey's retirement accounts to mine. This is the last issue that remains for me to be fully disengaged from her.

I read the document closely and I was floored by one of the comments. Not only do I get the earnings on my $70K from her from June 9, 2005, but I get them from that time, until they are disbursed. That means that I'm not governed by the date of the divorce, which is May 29, 2007. In actuality, the clock is continuing to tick on my earnings at his moment...which, if you have been following the stock market, you know that it has been performing record feats. So, I can't wait to see what that total figure is.

It will definitely make up for the fact that I had to give away 50% of my civil service retirement, which, by the way, she will not see until if, as and when I begin collecting it!

So, I appear to be landing on my feet thankfully.

In other news...I have heard from Lovey a number of times via email today. The real shocker is:

She wants us to go visit our son, the marine, in North Carolina. She wants us to ride the six hours together.

She wants us to stay in the same room in order to split expenses!

For TWO nights!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Frank's New Friend

On June 16, I wrote about a new friend I had made. He’s a man who came out to me as transgendered. Right now, he’s in the very preliminary stages of becoming a woman.

Frankly, he is the first such person to have ever crossed my path. I find it tremendously fascinating.

There are those days where being a gay man who is bobbing and weaving along life’s pathway is difficult. It can be depressing…..it can be sad…..it can be frightening…..it can even be a bit overwhelming at times….but I’m learning the art of dealing with it all.

BUT, my new friend, who is very close in age to me, has spent nearly 50 years on his journey being a straight woman that is trapped in a man’s body! He was married for many years. He's the father of three children. As if all this is not enough, he has had to endure the breakup of his family, his household and his long term marriage – all in order to finally be true to himself.

It has been traumatic to all involved.

His oldest son hasn’t taken it well. The middle son and young daughter both have been very supportive.

And I thought I had issues. When compared to this, my being gay is a walk in the park!

And it continues.

He goes through periodic waxes to remove unwanted body hair.

He goes for weekly electrolysis treatments to burn away the unwanted hair permanently and still has at least a year of these treatments left to go.

He will then have hormone treatments, mood swings, etc.

Then, before the final surgery can take place, he has to live as a woman for a full year.

He told me a few weeks ago that he was planning to start this phase in August. To do this, he has to tell his boss and his subordinates all about his life changes. Then, he would live as a woman, fully.

This past Sunday he was sitting in front of me at church.

I didn’t recognize him!

At least, not until someone introduced themselves to him and he responded with his female name.

I then patted him on the shoulder and said, “Good morning, Jane!”

He beamed.

He or should I say she was very happy. It showed clearly in the way her eyes sparkled and in her beautiful smile.

I guess this is what it’s all about…living I mean. Whether you’re gay or you’re bi or you’re transgendered or you’re straight….it’s all about living happily ever after. It’s about being who you are and being content. As my mom would say, “It’s all about being comfortable in your own skin.”

So, I’m going to be keeping an eye on “Jane.” I’ll be learning from her. In return, I want to provide as much support and friendship as I possibly can.

She faces many challenges ahead.

Many people just don't understand.


I heard from mother. She was sounding very perky and happy.

She passed her colonoscopy with flying colors. There are no problems…no issues…..she has healed from her surgery quite nicely and the doctors does not want to see her for six months!

Needless to say, I am VERY relieved.

Medical Tests

Today I'm a little concerned about my mother. She has her first followup colonoscopy today after her colon cancer surgery a year ago.

I'd appreciate your warm thoughts and prayers today.

I'll post later.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Resident Pariah

Today I am bothered by something that was said over the weekend.

Oh, I’ve been accused of being too sensitive before and maybe that’s what’s going on here. But nonetheless, I AM bothered…right or wrong.

Here’s what happened.

Sunday was a great day. As usual I got to spend it with all my church buds. I also got to be a communion minister at church during the service. I find this function to be uniquely warming and meaningful as I pray with my brothers and sisters and offer some words of blessing on them before they go on their way for another week. Sometimes when I am praying for someone, I feel so rusty. Still it is good to get back into the swing of things….especially if I am correct in feeling the calling on my life that I currently feel.

After lunch I went home. I curled up on the couch with Davy Dawg, my loveable, but dumb cocker spaniel. Then I remembered that I had to go to the bookstore to look up some books for #1, who will begin teaching an English class in August. She is also going to be teaching a computer course too. She’s awfully excited and I am quite proud of her.

I finally got in touch with Brokeback. He had said that he wanted to go to a movie. So we made arrangements to see the new Harry Potter flick.

It was a great film.

After it was over, he and I decided to go to a neighboring restaurant and have a chocolate shake.

It was over the chocolate shake I became mildly bothered.

Since Friday, when he and I attended our Gay Married Men’s meeting in DC, he’s been really agitated about the fact that he has not yet been permitted to tell his adult children that he is gay. His wife doesn’t want them to know….something about the fact that she is afraid that she will be forced to choose between him and them – the kids, and she just doesn’t want to be placed in the middle.

Brokeback is beginning to feel that his kids already know about him, and he thinks his wife knows a lot more than what she has been telling him.

So, sometime on Saturday he actually had a conversation with her about the kids.

His wife said, “The kids can’t stand Frank, because they think he’s gay.”

Clearly this woman has not protected me in any way….or has on some levels confirmed the fact that I am gay to her children.

He then said, “Well, I think on some levels they know about me, their dad.”

She just shrugged and changed the topic.

I’ve never had the relationship with his kids that he has with mine. My kids dearly love him…unconditionally and they view him as a second dad. His kids have never been warm and fuzzy with me. They probably wish I’d drop dead or something.

I guess I am an awful person….I mean, I’ve had this married man in my life for 10 years and I can’t seem to even have his kids like me….in any way, shape or form. I’m perceived as gay….so I deserve to be shunned…..hated……talked about…..looked down upon.

And all I have ever done to them is to just breathe.

And try to be a friend to their dad.

And I am rejected as a result and despised.

It’s enough to make me feel really paranoid. After all, how many other people in my life “know” and dislike me? Is that why I’ve always had trouble making friends or why I always sensed bad vibes from people?

As I approach my 50 year mark, I guess I should be used to being the resident pariah.

But I’m not.

It still hurts.

Friday, July 13, 2007


In a divorce there is so much you have to do in order to disentangle your life from the other person.

I finally got the final decree in the mail last Friday. In order to cancel Lovey’s health coverage on my plan, I had to have the decree and provide my human resources folks a copy. So, I did that on Monday.

I signed onto my health plan’s Web site today and looked at the claims that have been filed for my family since 2005. (That’s only as far back as they go online.) I wish I had been aware of the site before now….because it would have been interesting to look at the numbers that Lovey had.

The ones they did show were interesting though. So, here are the stats.

In 2005 (now remember, June 9 that year is when she lowered the proverbial boom on me.) there were 80 medical claims just for her. That’s 80 doctor’s visits! That’s over 1 ½ visits per week. At one time she blamed me for making her sick all the time.

In 2006, that number reduced to 55. Keep in mind that she moved away from her cadre of physicians on June 20 that year. So, in the latter half of that year, her visits dramatically dropped. She did keep her visits with her psychiatrist and travels back and forth to those.

This year she only had 10 visits through June 19.

So definitely she is finding out that moving far away from me has made her a lot more healthy!

I am so amazed at how much she had to go to the doctor. But I guess life is very hard when you are married to a queer guy.

She did tell me that I made her life hell.

And that she was raw inside.

And those god forsaken wooden spoons in the dishwasher.

And that devilish toilet seat lid.

The only thing left undone is the transfer of the $70,000 plus interest to my retirement fund.

Then I will be totally disentangled! WHEW!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A New Year's Resolution Revisited

Remember how on January 2 of this year I listed some resolutions?

Besides the one about losing weight (which I have done by the way), the one I've really done something about is the one that said "Expand my network of friends and meet new people."

At the time I wrote that, I was petrified at the concept. You see I am somewhat of a shy person in new social situations. I've just not had much self confidence. Oh, if you met me in person, you'd probably be surprised at this fact, but nonetheless it is true.

I am amazed to report to you that I have actually launched beyond my comfort zone and made a host of new friends.

I've often said that a true friend is someone who knows all there is to know about you, and love and care about you anyway. In my particular case, all my new friends know all about the real Frank...the gay Frank, and they appear to still care and love me anyway!

It amazes me.

Last night, seven of them came to my house for a Men's Bible Study. It was a time of sharing, watching a video about Jesus, discussion, prayer and pizza. It was especially rewarding for me to be able to sit there in my home, surround by my friends and not having to worry about how the house looked (it was great) or how it smelled (it smelled great).

No clutter......not cat smells......no sermon books scatter throughout or panicky wives screaming and crying.

Nope, it was just me and the dog and the house.

And a very rewarding feeling of entertaining -- something I really haven't done in over 10 years.

It feels great!

It Happened Again!

I've now been off that silly medicine for 48 hours.

At 3:00 a.m., I awakened with a jolt from a nightmare and there it was -- the feelings of absolute panic, fear, heart racing, the world was caving in around me and I was ready to scream.

But I stayed in my bed. I pulled the covers up around me. The dog was sleeping soundly on my left side. The room was dark. The only sound was an occasional passing car.

I told myself, "You're okay Frank. You're in your bed in your room at your house. This is just a symptom of you coming off that awful medicine. This will pass. Relax."

For almost an hour, I stayed there. "You're okay Frank" became my steady mantra.

Around 4 a.m. I could feel these sensations beginning to lessen. I could feel them leave. All the bad feels were evaporating before me. I drifted back to sleep and awakened at 6:30, refreshed and ready to tackle another day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ten Years.... WOW!

It’s My Anniversary!

Well, actually it’s Mr. Brokeback’s and my anniversary! Ten years ago today we actually met for the first time. I’ve written about that meeting here before.

In remembering that special night ten years ago, I still get those butterflies when I think of him -- my heart pounds and my eyes can grow misty.

All because of this one special guy who entered my life on Friday, July 11, 1997.

I don’t mean to get all mushy here…but for those of you who aren’t gay it may help you to understand things better.

Perhaps the biggest issue surrounding the gay thing is probably where gay men put their various body parts together during sex. I think this is why you never hear as much controversy about lesbians. Or why in movies or television, it is more acceptable to see two women in a romantic embrace than it is for two men.

Well, in my mind, my feelings for Mr. Brokeback transcend the sexual part. I mean, before I met him, I really never understood why love songs were written…or why people would get all teary eyed in a romantic movie…..or what was said in a love letter or the concept of feeling complete.

Oh, with my wife I tried to experiences this so desperately. I would send cards……flowers…….write notes…..but it was a struggle. The words wouldn’t come. I didn’t feel any passion. I certainly didn’t have the concept of completion. Sex with her was more mechanical. I had to conjure up all kinds of energy to psyche myself up for this. A lot of men in my shoes say that in order to be with their wives, they have to fantasize about being with a man during the act.

I never did that.

It was always about me trying to “do my duty.” Sadly, in the process, I was overcome with anxiety and dread. Sex was a chore. It wasn’t and couldn’t be spontaneous. In my mind I had to plan for it and psyche myself up for it.

But when Mr. Brokeback came into my life, something inside me clicked.




I finally understood why love songs are written.

I now know where poetry comes from.

I cry at romantic movies and tears have been known to trickle down my face at weddings.

Words flow and literally dance across the pages when writing a love letter to him.

And yes, I know what it feels like to be complete.

Physically, the parts fit together as a symbol of the unity and the completion within the relationship. It doesn’t have to be conjured up. There is no dread. There is no fear. It is far from a chore. It’s fun.

It’s spontaneous.

It’s passionate.

It’s definitely not mechanical baby.

And here I sit 10 years later. Still feeling this way about Mr. Brokeback.

I don’t know what the future holds. He and I will probably never, ever live together in a full blown partnership. But this doesn’t mean that the “want to” doesn’t exist.

No matter what I do….or where I go in life, July 11 will always be “our” day.

Happy Anniversary Brokeback….. I love you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Has This Ever Happened To You?

Today I have noticed that I'm a bit tired of the gay thing.

I mean, I'm tired of reading the gay news, the gay gossip, looking at all the gay support sites. I'm tired of wondering about my future and fearing the concept of dying old, bitter and alone. Why, I'm even tired of being gay!

My gayness is my identity. It has had some very major effects on my life. I upset my former wife, my kids, my parents.....myself. It has consumed a lot of my waking moments and expended vast amounts of energy. It has created much turmoil in my life. It has just made me so tired of it all.

I wonder if straight people ever get tired of being straight?

A Mystery Is Solved

I've settled the mystery of my weirdness.

No, it's not just a quirk that makes me so loveable to all of you.

I have learned that no one can take care of me like I can!

(And no can make the kind of mistakes I can either!)

I’ve learned this rather profoundly in the last few days pertaining to the medications I am currently taking.

Besides the diabetes, I have a few other medical conditions that I’m dealing with including ADD. My doctor diagnosed me in 2003. It explained the mystery of my elementary school years when I was hyper and couldn’t focus on learning. My desk was always a wreck. My handwriting was such that my fifth grade writing teacher once asked, “Do you have a muscular condition?”

I had a brain malfunction, but didn’t know it at the time.

So, my doctor prescribed Strattera, and I was literally amazed at the big change in me. My then wife noticed the difference. My handwriting improved dramatically to the point that total strangers who watched me sign my name, or write a check would comment on my penmanship.

Well, I stopped taking it after the separation. Too much was going on in my life…and I felt like things were under control.

Until my recent trip to Nashville that is.

That weekend I was totally unfocused. I even frustrated myself. My mind was going in 50 different directions. I had trouble settling down. It was awful.

Well, I called my doctor to refill my ADD medicine and of course, I got the names of medicines mixed up. I told her to refill my prescription for Celexa….which I have never been on. She wrote the script….I had it filled and started taking the medication last week.

This weekend I started feeling anxious…..like the world was caving in around me……I was hyper…..the handwriting was awful……I was super depressed….

Celexa is an anti-depressant that has a whole host of warnings associated with it….including feelings of anxiousness…..hyperactivity……all kinds of negativity…..and incidents of suicide. EEEEEK!

So, you now know why it is I never became a doctor. If I can’t tell the doctor what medication I’m on….how could I ever get the right prescriptions in the right person?

I’ve stopped the Celexa….and hope to begin the Strattera and then things will get back to normal.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Weird Day

It's Sunday Evening and all I can say is that this day has been WEIRD.

And I don't know why.

Last night I had some minor medical issues. I woke up in the middle of the night and was totally disoriented...dizzy and just out of sorts. When I awoke this morning, I felt very strange. I felt like everything was pushing in against me from all angles and I was feeling totally overwhelmed.

For no reason.

I made myself go to church.

I'm glad that I did. Spending time with my friends at church always makes me feel great. Then I got home and I napped this afternoon and now I'm curled up in front of the television with my dog, just trying to figure out why I'm feeling the way that I do.

So, is this residual fallout from the divorce now? I did get the final decree in the mail on Friday.

Or could it be the effect of a new medication my physician has put me on?

Or could it be something else?

I'm keeping an eye on things.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Some Things Never Change. Others Do.

July 4 was a good day for me. I’m so thankful that it was because I’m finding that the worst days of all are the holidays when I am alone…totally.

But, things worked out all the way around and I was not alone. I had my son here….and I was invited to a cookout with the O’Loveys.

I heard earlier in the day that Lovey had left her mom’s house to go to the seminary where she once worked, to spend some time in study and prayer for her sermon this week. She was gone and gone and gone.

Upon her return, she groused to me about her not being able to study around here at all.

Some things never seem to change.

This was one of her all time complaints with living with me and the kids. The house was never clean enough. She couldn’t study in a messy house. The kids were too loud. She couldn’t study in a noisy house. The TV couldn’t be on. The music on the soundtrack could be upsetting to her.

So that’s how the kids and I became so very close. We’d evacuate the premises and do our own thing away from home and way from her.

It gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction to know that the library at the seminary isn’t conducive to her sermon preparation either!?! Some things never change.

Well, my kindness and goodwill are showing again!

I invited Mom O’Lovey and her sister to dinner last night. I also offered to show a movie on the big screen TV in the basement for their enjoyment. Mom’s sister, “my ‘aunt’” suffers from the early stages of Alzheimers. She’s 81 years old and still gets around very well. Her short term memory is sporadic….but her long term memory is great.

So, I ordered pizzas….and we had salad and sodas and watched “The Lake House.”

I also have a concert video of #2 that was made during her senior recital in Nashville. As an added treat, I showed that following the movie.

They seemed to have a blast.

Mom O’Lovey was grousing under her breath about Lovey’s cat. The cat is white, with green eyes. It is blind in one eye.....has serious back problems and is barely able to move. However, it has significant behavioral problems and will do things for spite. Of all the things that Lovey took with her, I am thankful she took that cat with her the most. While they were visiting her mother's house for the week, the cat kept peeing on her new carpets all over the house. As you know, there is nothing more fragrant than the smell of fermented cat piss. I know....I had to deal with it in my house after Lovey's departure.

After they left, I had a feeling of satisfaction sweep over me. I mean, they came to “my” house for a visit. My house was clean. It wasn’t junky. It didn’t have that funky “cat” odor that was so prevalent during the days of Lovey. Also sermon notes and books were not scattered to kingdom come.

My house continues to improve with time…and I am so thankful.

On top of this, the air is clean!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Independence Day 2007

Independence Day began quietly.

I awoke at 8am and took my son to the neighborhood IHOP for breakfast. Afterwards, he went off with his friends, and I stayed home to clean the house and to run a few errands.

I was invited to dinner at one of my former sisters-in-law’s homes for a cookout. So, I stirred up the gumption to go.

I showed up at the appointed time. All the usual suspects were there including the dentist and Lovey. Lovey spent a whole hunk of time talking to me about her visit to Nashville and other things going on in her family’s life. (The dentist has 3 grown children of his own….why he spends so much time with the O’Lovey’s and not with his kids is beyond me. All I know is that if I had my 3 kids in the area, I’d spend as much time with them as possible.)

I then visited with the other people who were there including Mom O’Lovey, her sister, my former brothers-in-law, the dentist and two of Lovey’s sisters that were present.

We gathered around the food. From previous experiences, I knew that the blessing would not be far behind. As it happened, Lovey was standing directly to my left. I just knew that she would not want to hold my hand during the blessing.

I was right.

Just before Mom O’Lovey suggested that someone offer thanks, Lovey moved further around the circle of people. I wound up holding Mom O’Lovey’s hand with one of mine and one of Lovey’s sisters in the other. At the AMEN, Mom O’Lovey squeezed my hand tightly and held on for a few seconds.

Two tables were set on the spacious deck. Lovey was the first person on the deck with her food. She went to the first table. As it happened, I was the second person onto the deck, but I went to the second table. Soon, my two former brothers-in-law joined me, along with Mom O’Lovey. At her table, Lovey had the company of her two sisters, her aunt, and the dentist.

Lovey had to leave the festivities early to return to her home in the Shenandoah Valley. She started saying her goodbyes and was hugging people. I remained seated…because I didn’t have a clue as to what the protocol was in this situation.

Not to worry – Lovey solved the problem. She came over to me….gave me a big hug and kissed my left cheek. Now, that was something!

I talked to my daughter in Nashville on my way home afterwards. She sounded greatly relieved that I had joined the O’Lovey family for the picnic.

So, in another sign of growth, I shared a meal with “them”…I was relaxed and not stressed. I didn’t do or say anything in appropriate. Typically I don’t…and throughout the marriage I didn’t….(I don’t think.). I surprised myself at just how much at ease I felt. I felt nothing even remotely close to hurt or sadness. If I had to some up what I was feeling, I would probably say that I was a little bit wistful.

It was a fun evening to celebrate independence…..of our country….and mine.

(I think I’m healing.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Not long ago, one of my children told me that their mother had said that she needed some time away. She needed to take a vacation.

However, she wasn’t wild about the idea of going alone, but she didn’t want to take any of “her” family members with her because it would be just too stressful.

So she started down memory lane.

It seems that her favorite vacation memory involved me, blueberry pancakes and her sitting at the breakfast table of the restaurant studying the Bible, and me reading the morning newspaper, while the kids slept in.

Well, for all that I did wrong, it’s quite comforting that at least there is one pleasant memory of me.

So yesterday, when the marine and I dropped by to say hello, Lovey cornered me and said, “You know, we have never been to see him on base in all the time that he’s been a LeJeune.”

“Well, we have been a bit busy…..and dealing with ‘other’ issues.”

“I know. But I think we should go down there for a few days before he leaves for Iraq.”

“Oh, “ I said.

“Would you be willing to take a road trip with me down to see him?” she asked.

“We can talk about it,” I said.

Now let me get this fixed in my mind: a 5-hour road trip with Lovey.

Just the two of us: Lovey and me.

Am I missing something here?

Time Marches On

My son the marine came home last night.

Gosh it is always good to see him.

For all of his problems, I’m still proud of the fact that he acknowledged the fact that he had problems, and he chose to go into the Marines of all places in order to become more mature. It hasn’t been an easy ride for him because of his ADHD – the impulsivity, his hard headedness, his tendency to drink, his temper…everything.

I’m his dad.

I love him more than I can begin to describe.

It’s probably due to the bond I forged with him when he was about two years old. You see, the marine was in an abusive situation…his biological father died when my son was an infant. He was murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. His biological mom placed him for adoption because she was not able to care for him. He was adopted by a family that Lovey and I knew.

That was a bad situation for a whole host of reasons.

To make a long and painful story short, when the marine was five, we were able to adopt him.

As far as he’s concerned, with all that history, I’m his dad and Lovey is his mom.

So, we have all been on an incredible journey with him. I sense that he is growing and changing. Finally the maturity appears to be beckoning.

And in September, he’s headed for Iraq.

I don’t feel good about his deployment there. I guess though that no parent ever feels good about a military deployment of one’s offspring during war. You just tolerate it.

So here I am, savoring every minute….every second….of being with my son.

On our way home from dinner last night, the Marine noticed that Lovey’s car was parked in the driveway of his grandma’s house. He was driving and asked, “Do you mind if we drop by?” I told him that was fine.

So, we descended on the O’Lovey’s house. The usual suspects were all gathered on the deck for dinner. The dentist was at his appointed place.

The marine greeted his mother.

He hasn’t seen her in at least six months. He just doesn’t desire to spend a lot of time with her. He doesn’t like some of the things she’s done. He says that he can’t get her to help him financially when he’s in a bind. She says she has no money.

The last time he asked her was two days ago.

As he was talking to her. She showed him her brand new iPhone. It wasn’t just an iPhone, but it was the most expensive iPhone – the 8 Gigabyte iPhone – the $600 iPhone – purchased by the woman who has no money.

In reading the Marine’s body language, I could tell it was bothering him. Lovey, of course, was oblivious to it.

As she is to most things that aren’t about her.

He invited her to lunch. The set up a time for today.

Then the marine turned and said, “Dad, it’s time to go.” So, I got up and we left.

In the car, the marine was furious.

“She can buy all manner of toys, but she can’t help her child. But, she expects you to do all that,” he hissed. “I’m not buying her lunch tomorrow.”

I said nothing.

We rode in silence a little ways. I turned and said, “You know. Your mother is vindicating me in a lot of what she has been doing since we separated.”

“How?” the marine asked.

“For the longest time, your mom blamed you kids for the house being a wreck. You all left. The wreck remained. I was the only family member remaining. So I was blamed for the wreck. I was accused of spending money and buying every CD and DVD ever made. I was accused of buying every piece of electronics I could get my hands on. It was my fault that we had terrible money problems. She blamed me for all these shortcomings…and then, for added measure, throw in the gay issued. She told all this to you kids. You all believed her.

She moved out in June of 2006. She came off my bank accounts in September of 2005. My house is and remains clean. It’s not junky. No checks have bounced since I’ve been the only one on the account.

Your mother now has four computers, an iPhone, a digital video projector, a big flat panel computer monitor, a composter, more clothes than she has room for, and shoes. The woman has shoes.

And she has no money.

Do you see why I feel so vindicated?”

The marine paused.

“You know, Dad. I wish the house had always looked this good when I was younger. I used to be ashamed…so ashamed of it.”

“I know, son.”

Like time, the car sped on...

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Lazy Weekend

It was a great weekend.

It was a great, lazy, summer weekend.

I got a lot of stuff done, but as with most things in life, I still have so much to do. Since July 4 is a holiday, I will use that as another day to catch up on laundry, deep cleaning the hardwood floors, vacuuming, dusting, straightening, etc.

Friday night, a group of the gay men from my church called me to join them for dinner at an Italian Restaurant in the suburbs. I jumped at the chance because near the end of the day on Friday, I was beginning to feel “that way.” That’s how I describe when I feel the blues coming on. We ate, visited and laughed. Afterwards, one of them suggested we assemble for a game of Hearts. So, we played and had a ball. I didn’t get home until 2am.

Saturday morning I slept in late and as I was headed out the door to meet Mr. Brokeback for coffee, my telephone started ringing. The first call was from my daughter in El Salvador. She has one of those awful stomach problems and wound up spending her weekend traveling many hours to San Salvador to seek medical treatment at her clinic. As it turned out, she had a very bad bacterial infection. So, she’s marooned in El Salvador at a hostel, until her treatment cures her. I then got calls from Nashville, Camp LeJeune and from my parents…all in fairly rapid succession. My final call was from Mr. Brokeback. He had left the coffee shop to run all of his errands. So, I missed m opportunity to visit with him a bit.

In the late afternoon, another one of my friends invited me to go to an antique district of Savage, Maryland. I wound up having a late lunch and a delightful time checking out the stores and shops and just talking. Got home late again!

Sunday was a gorgeous day. After all I had read about caring ministries at my former church, I decided that I would make a guest appearance at the early service. I walked in after the service had begun….when my former pastor began his spiel about communion…(it was Communion Sunday) I left. With my negative feelings toward him, I saw no reason to take communion from him. Besides, he saw me come into the church…..and kept a wary eye on me.

I then went to my church, surrounded by all those new people who appear to love me and care about me. So refreshing.

After lunch, I went home and spoke with #1. She said that since she had to stay in San Salvador a few more days, sh said that she found a copy of Brokeback Mountain on DVD for only a $1. She and a group of girls in the hostel, watched it last night. The other girls pronounced that the film was “hot.” #1 just shook her head she said.

I had a very quiet afternoon and evening.

Tonight my son arrives from Camp LeJeune and he is staying this entire week with me. So, I look forward to spending some quality time with him.

Stay tuned.