Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ah, the innocence of it all.

I met Joe in an unconventional way. We met on a phone chat line. Do they still exist even? It was 93 and I was coming out of the closet. I was scared as shit about everything gay. I didn't have any gay friends. I go on without any real expectations other than having some phone action go on. I forget all the details of how it works but you create a mini profile about yourself and people are able to speak with you. There are a lot of creepy guys on there so I wasn't holding out much hope. Then Joe comes along. He's different than the other guys on there. He's not so aggressively looking to get off. He wants to talk. We talk for awhile and decide to exchange numbers. To be exact, I give him my number. Over the next week, we talk several times. He's my age, a year older and we are in the same field. We decide to meet. He lives near my parents so I plan to spend the night by them. I meet him at some lame suburban place and he's interesting. He's OK looking. He's Italian and kinda flashy. But there something about him. We have this great conversation that lasts about three hours. We finish up and head our separate ways. We continue talking and seeing each other three or four nights a week. It's amazing but we have so much in common. We both want to do the same thing with our careers, we are both not out, have similar backgrounds growing up Catholic in the burbs of Chicago and oh yea, we are both inexperienced. We end up falling for each other. We hang out and spend the night talking and wonder where the night went. Eventually, we start to get physical. We would kiss forever. We would find isolated spots and make out and grope each other but not have sex. At some point my lease ran out and I moved back in with my parents. Now, we are hanging out nearly every night. After about 2 months we take it past the make out and start doing more. Nothing crazy, just hand jobs. This kinda sets things off in a bad way. He can't handle the whole gay thing. It's not easy for me either. I have no idea what the hell I'm doing. I just know that I can't get enough of him. I want him all the time. I think of him all the time. I'm pretty sure I'm in love. I know he feels the same but instead of being happy he's in love, it torments him. He dumps me. I'm devastated. But we continue talking. And sneaking out into the night and making out. We really haven't broken up cause we still see each other, meet each others friends but we keep the entire gay thing hidden from the world. This continues on for another couple of months but it eventually takes it toll on us. He wants things to remain as is. I can't accept that. I won't accept it. Damn it, it's the mid 1990's not the 1950's. I can't live my life this way. I can't just pretend. People have to see it. It's impossible not to see the way we look at each other. Joe keeps his blinders on. He wants to keep us in a box that only opens when we are alone together. The rest of the time, the rest of the world will view us as best friends. That's not the life for me. I know I want more than that. I deserve more than that. It kills me but I end it with him. He continues to call and sends me letters. It's so hard but I can't continue this path. It's too self destructive. If he had his way, we would both marry, have kids and our secret life. One problem actually two. One is that he wouldn't be able to do it. It would be a continuation of the roller coaster. We're together, we're not. Maybe we'd move in together, probably not. The second was I refused to accept less than 100% of him. I stuck to my guns. He continued to call and I refused to answer. I cried my self to sleep on many nights because I wanted to be with him but there was no way I could deal with the terms. Eventually it became easier. I saw him every once in awhile but knew it was over. I stopped feeling what I felt for him. I grew out of love with a person. I'm glad for it. Several years later I ended up at his place watching a Bears football game. We messed around and went further than we ever did when we were together. When I came on his hairy chest, he looked frightened. He knew he couldn't turn back from that day, ever. It was the most he had ever done with a guy. I knew that I could never look back either. And I was thankful that I was able to be honest with myself. Your first love inevitably hurts. I think it's called puppy love because like a puppy it has a limited shelf life. You grow up and it all changes. I'm not sure falling in love with the first guy you date is a good thing but it will always make him special.


  1. i dont think falling in love with the first person you date is a good thing, but they'll always have that spot inside somewhere

  2. Touching story! Do you know what happened to him? Did he ever come to terms with being gay? -Dan

  3. I run into him every now and then as we are in the same field. He has not dealt with being gay. He'll probably be one of those guys that comes out when he is 50 something years old after his parents pass away. But I doubt he will ever tell his brothers and sisters. He lives with so much shame.

  4. Windy City!

    Thanks for this post.

    It's very sad in a way. That Joe is almost living a half life.

    I guess this is common for a lot of closeted, more masculine men though. They can blend in with straight society but don't feel comfortable being part of the gay world.

    Never really a part of either.

    Hopefully Joe will find his way when the time is right for him.

    Oh, and I don't see anything wrong with falling for the first guy you date. That sounds pretty normal to me.


  5. You're right. It is sad. He is denying himself and that is not a road that leads to happiness. The mistakes of your youth can be costly and for that I feel bad for him. He never understood why I couldn't just live by his rules and I never understood why he's want that. I did the only thing I could, which was leave.

  6. Smart move on your part.