Monday, June 28, 2010

Stuff's Happening

It has been an awful weekend.

First, mom had her lung biopsy on Friday. When I had not heard anything from her by early evening, I tried calling her. Finally, I reached my dad who announced she was in the hospital because of her lung collapsing. I started talking to him and he was very disoriented....almost childlike.

This is my dad we're talking about....and he couldn't tell me where mom was....her room number or telephone number. He could not find the piece of paper with that critical information.

I remained calm. After I hung up, I began calling folks that I knew. A lot of them were not home. Finally I caught up with myt cousin who lives about a half-hour east of my parents. She said that she would zip to the hospital on Saturday morning first thing. Then I called my daughter in Nashville...and she said she would drive up there. BLESS HER!

i was booked solid for this weekend with a long scheduled photo shoot. I couldn't go anywhere. I made it through those responsibilities in a daze....and then I had to work today at the office. I plan to leave for WV on Wednesday morning--EARLY.

On top of all this....mom and dad's beloved dog had to be put down today. He was suffering from cancer.

Right now it seems like everything and everyone in my life is battling this horrid disease.

I feel like the walls of my life are closing in on me.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some Really Unsettling News

It is so odd, but in my little life it seems that whenever I think things are beginning to even out and finally I am able to focus on making some serious decisions about my life, WHAM...something else happens and it consumes a lot of my energy.

This time on Saturday morning I learned that my mom's cancer has returned. Then almost as an afterthought, she told me that my dad collapsed in the doctor's office just as she was going to see her doctor at his office. At first they thought he was suffering from a stroke or heart attack. After spending several hours in the waiting room, they determined that dad was suffering from dehydration. This is not a good thing for a man who is 77.

It really bothers me big time to see my parents age. I am also concerned by their poor health and to see what smoking has done to them. Two older people who should really be enjoying life have now been robbed of the good things because of their incessant smoking....that they have done over 60 years. It irks me. It makes me very angry.

Even now they continue to smoke....like chimneys. The smoke only keeps their lungs in a state of irritation which stimulates the cancer development.

I told mom that she and dad needed to think about moving in here with me. They are very defensive about that. They fear their independence will be lost.

And I understand.

But it wouldn't. They would still have their car.....and be able to shop and do whatever they wanted to do. The only catch is that I would be in the vicinity and be able to watch over them and to take care of them.

So who knows how all this is going to work out. Mother says that we should not begin to worry about things until we get the results back of the needle bipsy that is scheduled for Friday. The results should be back by next week.

It's a waiting game.

On a different topic....

June 20 came and went with barely a thought by me. For those of you who don't remember, June 20, 2006 was the date I feared with all my heart. It was the date that Lovey moved out of our house. I remember feeling devestated. It all seems so silly now.

But that is how I felt then.

My world was ending.

But in all actuality, my life was actually just beginning.

Here I sit....still here....and relatively happy.....except for the concerns for my folks. Life is pretty good.

I just need to remain positive and thinking about and counting all of the blessings I have experienced.

Tomorrow is a brand new day.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Visitors

My daughter has been playing hostess to three Peace Corps volunteers this week. It has been so interesting to have the chatter and all the laughter flooding my house in the middle of the night.

Last night when I came in, exhausted from a very long day, I was greatly disturbed to find that my guest toilet was clogged. I have never seen a toilet so clogged.

I spent a lot of time snaking....and plunging......and using a wire coat hanger. All to no avail.

So, because of all the guests, I called the plumber.

After three and a half hours and $300, all systems are moving and the water is once again flowing freely.

The plumber, a bear of a young man, was very entertaining. He stayed at my house just alking for 3.5 hours. (It only took him about 20 minutes to remove the clog, which turned out to be a wad of papertowels.....six of them to be exact.

We learned all about how he became a plumber.....how plumbing works......how hot water tanks works......water treatment plants work.....etc.

It turns out that he is 34 years old, married, and has a 3 year old daughter and a 7 year old son plus two English Mastifs.

I really did enjoy him.

He was so personable....and kind....with a real gentleness. But I noticed that when he talked to me....there was "that" look. The one that pierces your very soul and drives deep into the bone. I watched as he talked with Jessica. He wasn't that way with her. Oh my goodness.

It turns out that he not only works for a firm that I found in the Yellow Pages, but he also does private contacting on the side. I told him about some other problems that we have, and he is willing to help us out....on a Friday or a Saturday when not working for the other firm.

So, he would certainly be a great person to get to know. Who knows, perhaps he may be family?

Time will tell.

After all we are everywhere!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

God knows...

I'm tired. I have a broken small toe on my right foot. The foot is totally swollen...and the toe is the right color.....the ones next to it have now inherited the bruising. So, being a diabetic, I am watching this very carefully to make sure there are no big problems that could develop.

This afternoon after work was a good one. I got to spend good quality time with a kind and loving friend who helped me to feel like I mattered. I really needed that today.

You know who you are...

It offered some comfort....and a sense of completeness that I needed. He knew it...and he knew just what to do.

My love life is still kind of in limbo. I've met a number of gentlemen who are potential bfs.... They are all so busy. It makes me feel kind of odd in that these men are so wrapped up with their lives....and their friends....that, in one's words, "I don't have time for romance."

Frustrating at best.

At Pride on Sunday, I met up with someone that I have just gotten to know during the past few months. His situation is that he has been married for a very long time. His wife knows and is supportive. In fact she went to the PRIDE festival with him. So, it was my first time to meet her. The man sets my heart aflutter....and it scares me a bit. I don't know how to read his signals. So, I'm not sure what to think. At Pride he apologized for not spending more time with me....he has had some physical limitations due to surgery earlier this week on a bum knee. But he had to leave....because he was tired. When I hugged him goodbye....he kissed me in front of his wife!

That, coupled with some other comments, has led me to wonder if he is feeling something. He has explained that his wife is wanting him to find someone and to "be happy."

So who knows? I go through very long periods of time where I don't hear from him....and then I get signals like this.

Old Frank is learning to be content in his life...and with himself. It is a very slow process. I feel the pressure a bit because of the fact that I am not getting any younger. God knows I'd like to have someone that I can have some quality time with before I get so old and decrepit that I can't enjoy him.

But, the comforting thing to me is that yes, God knows!

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Birthdays

My twin daughters turned 26 today. They are now the exact same age that I was when they came into my life.

It is truly mind-boggling. It's as if I have turned around and the time is gone. My life has changed completely...and will never, ever be the same.

I have had a very busy day. I'm exhausted.... We had a lowkey celebration for my eldest daughter here with her grandma and great aunt. Her sister celebrated with 25 of her closest friends down in Nashville.

I am now exhausted....

When I get this way, I get a little down. I think it is more physical than emotional. But still, when I feel this way....I begin pondering my life....and a twinge of loneliness sets in. It's hard to describe. But it is there...nonetheless.

It's a rainy night here in DC...and I'm ready for bed.

Just wish I had someone to hold and be held by.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Funny Story From Pride

My VERY hetero friend Greg is a photographer. He's teaching me about various techniques for taking lots of good pictures. He's helped me a lot.

Well, I told him a few weeks ago about PRIDE and I asked him if he would like to go too...and shoot some pictures. He thought about it and agreed to go.

So we went both to the parade....and the festival today. He's such a good sport....and he is certainly a straight ally.

But for all his open mindedness....there are some things that happened today that cracked me up.

First, as we walked down Pennsylvania Avenue enjoying the sunshine and the people....we approached the RADICAL FAERIES booth. This is a group of gay men who celebrate their gayness in unique ways....mostly whimsical. They dress in fairy like costumes with wands and such. As we approached the booth....three of them came out with golden colored penis shaped wands.

Of course they went to Greg. He, after all, is the buff, former military mahn that is all business....and is all macho. The rotund member of the RFs approached him with his wand and said, "Would you like for me to bless your crotch?"

I thought Greg was gonna drop his 35mm digital camera.... He caught his breath....and offered a slight smile and said, "I don't think so!"

I roared.

Later on in the day, he and I got separated ....and he got marooned in a tent with gay men during a brief thundershower. When he and I caught up with one another near the end of the day, he said, "Frank, I got you something!"

I said, "Oh you did? What is it?"

He threw a t-shirt at me....it's a nice t-shirt by the way...BUT...

Emblazoned across the chest it read: "ASK AND TELL....MANHUNT.COM"

I looked at him and said, "I suppose your wife or kids wouldn't understand that would they?"

He looked at me rather deadpannish and said...."I don't think so!"

We both laughed....and he thanked me for introducing him to my world.

What a great friend to have!

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Thoughts on Pride....

Today was the big GAY PRIDE festival in DC. That's out country artist Chely Right to the left. Yeah, that's an original picture that I took! Guess you could say that I'm improving my technique.

Last night was the big PRIDE PARADE.

I went to both and let me tell you...I had a BALL!

I look at it as a celebration of the man that God made me to be. I get to see the community in all its diversity. I also observe that I'm not the only one like me...and there is tremendous affirmation in knowing that.

One thing that touched me was a group of teenagers who marched by in last night's parade. There they were....laughing and proud of the fact that they knew who they are...and are not ashamed. AND...they have their whole lives ahead of them.

Today I mingled with all the good folks in my denomination. We had a booth and handed out fliers and stickers and all kinds of "stuff". I got to meet a lot of the ministers in my area that I did not know. It just felt great.

One older gentleman who had been partnered over 50 years when his partner died from cancer a few years ago....was handing out church stuff to all the folks who came by....and he told me that this was his first PRIDE!

Today during all the celebrating....an older couple went to the RAINBOW STAGE. One of the men helped his partner lovingly with his walker. There they stood, a bit stoop shouldered, but they told their story to all those assebled. They met each other 30 years ago today. Do you know what they did in front of all of us? They had a pastor there and they married each other! They were over joyed. Not a dry eye was left in those who witnessed it.

Near the conclusion of the pride celebration today and just before headliner, Chely Wright took the stage, the host invited them to the main stage on Pennsylvania Avenue. There in front of the hundreds or so people present, under a brilliant blue sky, with the white Capitol Building gleaming behind them, they were presented publicly for the first time as a MARRIED couple. The crowd erupted into cheers.

Oh there were the extremists present too.....the ones running around in leather jock straps......or in speedos that barely covered the important parts. Their were the drag queens....and the muscle gods..... But there were regular guys like me.....and older guys like the ones I mentioned......and we were there to celebrate our lives.

I keep hoping to one day have a partner.... One that I can walk down Pennsylvania Avenue on Pride day and hold his hand....or kiss him in front of the main stage...or just sit and listen and hold him close.

One day I'm gonna have all that!

And it's gonna be something!

Happy Pride Everyone!

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Remembering June 9, 2005

It's June 9.

Five years ago today (June 9, 2005), my hell began. It was a long dark night...and I remembering being in such pain I could hardly move one foot in front of me. The pain was to the bone. For the first time I felt vulnerable, alone...and rejected...totallly.

Early on in this blog (and all those entries are still available for reading), I dwelled on the negative. I couldn't see any good. All I felt was rejection. I was not used to rejection. My wife had rejected me. My then boyfriend (the married one) also backed off because he said that "he loved me enough to let me go, since he wasn't prepared to leave his wife for me -- and I needed someone full time." So in the span of a few short months, I left my wife...and the man I thought would be my life partner.

All my church friends, (the ones at the church that Lovey and I had been members of), evaporated. Lovey then began outting me to everyone who would listen. I felt naked....abused.....wronged.

I wanted to hide....and never emerge from it.

All her family was told about my gayness...

The only folks who stuck by me were two men from the church.....my kids....and my parents.

I remember waking up one morning and realizing that I had no friends, no community of faith to help me through it. My pastor even turned his back on me. While he was on sabbatical at the Pentagon, his interim minister turned her back.

This separation and divorce wrecked me...or so I thought.

I wanted to die.

My life as I knew it died.

The only outlet I had was here.

And I wrote.....and I wrote.....and I wrote.

It became therapy for me and has remained so.

Thank God for all that.

So, let's think about this now for a few moments. I was married for 25.5 years. I had all the trappings that a straight marriage brings you: the house, the cars, the wife, the kids, the great job, the church, and friends.

Many gay married men are so afraid to come out of the the closet....to friends...to their wives....understandably so. I've been there and know what that's like. But I came out to Love in 1982. Thus began a 15 year quest to change. Due to my spiritual upbringing, I was prayed over....I had demons cast out of me....I joined a 12-step program called Homosexual's Anonymous...(since then it has become a 14-step program). I repressed....I pretended.....I flung myself into church work. But, you cannot change the core person you are.

In 1997 I was exhausted and planning to kill myself. I had it all figured out. The world would be such a better place without me. But then, I sought help from a gay-affirming church (the one I now am a member of), and then I began my journey to acceptance.

Yes, in 2005 I began my journey through hell. I separated. I divorced.

Here in 2010, I am a single gay man. (Hopefully I will meet the man of my dreams soon.) I still have the house and put my on particular stamp of ownership to it. I no longer have to go through Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the 12 disciples, both Houses of Congress, and the President to do something -- I just do it now. I have the cars (newer and better), no wife (thank God), the kids love me fiercely, the great job,a new and more healthy and affirming church, and a ton of new friends!

Not too shabby is it?

So, dear friends. If you are struggling with the gay thing....and you find yourself miserable, suicidal and depressed. Don't hurt yourself. But start looking around at your life to see what you can do to make it better. Sometimes the things that we think are the hardest, turn out to open the floodgates of peace.

Come out....be who God created you to be. Who cares what folks think?

You need to be healthy....and enjoying the blessings of living....and of your sexuality.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Y'All Are Back!!

I suppose I shouldn't have been so surprised to see interest in my blog dwindling to NOTHING over the last few months since I haven't been writing anything. As I said earlier, I decided to take a few months off because I felt like I had nothing to say and I did not want this to be a whinefest. It kind of felt like thats all I was doing: wallowing and whining about my sorry lot in life.

I'm now trying to turn this blog around to discuss more relavant issues facing single, mature gay men. After all, I have survived separation, divorce, alienation from the ex, and now I am trying to negotiate life on brand new terms....and trying to become more comfortable in gay dating and related social situations.

Since I never had real dating experiences with women other than my ex-wife, this gay male dating thing is totally foreign to me. I have had many fits and starts -- mostly fits. The one "relationship" I had last year ended badly...and resulted in the breakup of a good friendship because the "boyfriend" (really I don't even know that it was that). Let's start over. The much younger man I was dating wound up with my ex-best friend...who knew that it was ending long before I did...and knew that he was the object of the young man's affections...but did not tell me.

So, my track record has not been the greatest when it comes to matters of the heart. Since that tragic episode (and now looking back...I realize I should never have begun dating that young man to begin with...), I have had numerous "crushes" that have gone absolutely nowhere.

So when this man caught my eye....and I apparently caught his....well....it took my breath away...and I have been afraid to get my hopes up. So...y'all who are reading...will see what happens along with me.

I am so glad to see that by my numbers...y'all are back.....and that you are following the little notes I write.

Thanks for your support....

You are loved!

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OMG....Frank Just Might Have Someone....!!!

I suppose I am eating crow now. At least I should be.

The man that came into my life unexpectedly...did follow through this evening -- not for dinner, but for a diet coke and a chocolate shake at a nearby McDonalds. We chatted for over two hours....and at the end when we had solved all the world's problems and he had told me all about himself.....he asked, "Well, have I scared you totally away?" When I said "No!", he smiled very broadly and responded "Good...you're a nice guy."

In the course of saying good night....he gave me two bear hugs and two pecks on the lips and said that we are going to get together sometime next week. He wants to do a full-fledged dinner out....and earlier in the evening this round!

This weekend is Pride in DC...and he thinks that we might meet up...and watch the parade...and have dinner together then too!

So, there is a God in heaven.....and he apparently knows my name!

WOW!

I am guardedly optimistic!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Are All Gay Men Flaky?

Well, here am I...burned again. I swear, I am beginning to wonder where all the good men are.

The guy that I met last week....that seemed like good bf material apparently has flaked out like all the others. Yup. He contacted me and said that he wanted to go to dinner tomorrow night or Thursday night. Thursday night is booked for me....and so I told him that Monday night was best. I asked him what he wanted to do foodwise.

As of this evening....Sunday evening....silence. So, I assume that we are not going to have dinner.

He now joins the club of two other possible men....and those two both say that they are too busy for romance.

I am a very busy man too. But I always have time for friends....or time for possible romance. I seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

So, in the meantime, I went to the Gay Men's Chorus Pride concert this afternoon on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, DC. It was excellent and uplifting. The eye candy was overwhelming. One man in particular I just could not take my eyes off. WHEW.

It is so frustrating not to be able to have someone in my life. I am so tired of whining about it too. But it's there. It's painfully lonely. But, there is nothing I can do. I put myself out there where the gay guys are.....and those that express an interest are TOO busy.

I purposely play low key....and not appear desperate. Still, I am a 52yo single man.....and the primary market in the gay world appears to be buff 20 something.

I just don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to handle this.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Quiet Saturday

Today has been rather quiet, which is just the way I like my Saturdays to be. My daughter, Jessica, is off to an office picnic/party about 45 miles south of here. Tonight we are going to a cookout amongst friends out west of here.

Summer has officially begun.

It's time for good fun....friends and food.

My office is keeping me quite busy. I had planned to take next week off and spend it with my folks in WV, but everything is happening at the office....and I can't leave...not now.

I am feeling somewhat tired. I did not sleep well last night.

There's a new man in my life. We met this week and he has emailed me a couple of times about having dinner on Monday evening.

Stay tuned.

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