The subject line above comes from one of my favorite web-comics - Something Positive - and I think I waited for just this occasion to have something fitting with which to pair it. I only wish the something fitting were not my own romantic life.
So, first things first, I have a love life. I met Mount Gay nearly two months ago, when he picked me up from my winter job at the mall, took me back to his place, and proceeded to beguile me - by which I mean that he put on blues music, got me drunk, and put on a movie that happened to involve a lot of full-frontal nudity.
The second date was similar, give or take the movie.
And the third varied only in that each of us whispered, "I love you." It was tentative, sincere but frightening - big, scary words that bring comfort and joy.
And I kind of thought it was real; it felt so good to say it to someone, to feel it for someone, to be in love. I was on the heels of falling for a guy - Dr. Bartender - who didn't fall for me. I am still tingling with the stuff brought up with Dr. Bartender - the passion, the interest, the fire, the (ever so illusive) spark ... and with possibility. With Mount Gay things are more certain - easier, more comfortable; there's no fire, but there's warmth ... and that seems right.
And wrong, too.
The "I love you"s are qualified. He says, "I love you ... don't hurt me." "I love you ... but I'm scared." I love you ... you're gonna leave me." "I love you ... thank God, you're not Mexican."
Mount Gay's ex is an older, swarthy Latino - who actively screwed each and every one of Mount Gay's friends. He threw hissy fits, tended toward violence, and hit on me - in front of Mount Gay - the first time we met.
The "I love you"s are qualified, but they are real. Sincere.
And so are the problems. Mount Gay takes pills - Vicodin and Xanax; he sleeps whole weekends away, and he and I have yet to ever go out. Every date - there were three - and the meetings in the month we've been together took place in his apartment - a rather fabulous '80s condo, with 18' ceilings and Berber wall-to-wall. He has no car ... or rather, he shares a car with the aforementioned swarthy Latino - the penance for all the cheating, and because they were together five years.
Mount Gay's place is a sort of oasis - out in the Medical Center, far, far away from my father's house and the gay bars, and the Winter Palace - and when I get dropped off there, I have something to which I look forward. There's a man who adores me - who is cute and sweet. There is cooking. There are movies (lots of movies - he doesn't have cable). There are 1000 thread count sheets and all the appropriate materials for manicures, pedicures, and facials. Occasionally, sex too.
But Mount Gay was married. WAS. Over a decade ago ... and there are kids. Three of them. Our troubles didn't start with his kids, but maybe they will end there.
Last weekend, somewhere between cuddling in bed and qualified "I love you"s, Mount Gay informed me that his son - a skinny 18 year old from rural Louisiana who looks like his father - was coming to stay. Indefinitely.
Mount Gay is not out (of the closet).
Come to think of it, when I left his place the other day, he was in the closet - hiding the pink T-shirt that says 'versatile' and the rainbow ashtray. He gave me back all the porn, and when we kissed good-bye, as he sat there in tighty-whities, and a designer T-shirt, atop the Ralph Lauren duvet, it felt like farewell.
It felt like goodbye.