In my last column, I talked about how I got married (to a woman), had two wonderful sons, then eventually found myself divorced. I have to say, it has the makings of a screenplay. But now, I’m faced with the reality of moving on with my life. What do I do? How do I even do it?
I’m 54. That’s not young. However, I feel like I’m in my late 20s or early 30s. My desires and interests exist in that age group, but I’m made wiser by experience. I’m beyond the video games and late-night beer-fests. I want more — something real, something that will last.
But I’m afraid.
I’m afraid of time. Time has done a number on me. I’m not as young as I want to be. I’m not as thin as I want to be. I’m not as muscular as I want to be. I can go on and on. But, I must work with what I have.
I’m afraid of dating. I haven’t dated since 1985. For the math-impaired, that’s 33 years. That’s a freaking long time. I don’t even know how it’s done any more. In my 20s, I would think nothing about going to a bar, having a few drinks, rubbing up against some folks [girls, at the time … trying to prove to everyone that I wasn’t gay], and driving home or to another party. But now? Now, things are different. I won’t take a sip without a designated driver.
I’m much more cautious, much more serious, but at the same time, much more free and playful. It’s a peculiar place to be. It can be confusing at times. Well, almost all the time. It’s almost like being 54 and in middle school again.
I see myself dating much younger guys, yet I’m attracted to all ages. I feel in my heart so much younger than I appear. For Christ’s sake, I’m half a century old.
Because I’m just now coming out, I want all the adventure, yet I want all the protection and security. I want to be forceful and in charge, but I want to be tender and loving. I feel like I’m in charge of my life, but at the same time, I feel like a basket case.
I watch movies and see two young guys falling in love, and I want that. I watched a movie tonight about a guy who rescues his friend from a marriage that would have been doomed from the start. How I wished some friend had stopped me at the altar. Still, I gained two wonderful sons from that experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
And when I watch these movies and try to put myself in their place, I just see a weird, old, creepy guy. I’m afraid that’s how younger folks see gay men my age. We’re just old … creepy … guys. But, we have feelings. We have a heart. We have desires and passions, just like the younger folk.
So what do I do? I just live each day knowing that the best is yet to come. Contrary to my churchy friends [and estranged friends] back home, I know my Saviour loves me and only desires the best for me. I don’t feel that He’s turned his back on me. Because, I certainly have not lost my love for Him.
I will continue to grow into my new self. I will learn more about who I am and where I belong. I will continue to pursue my acting and film career and see where that takes me. I have a wealth of experiences to draw upon when I’m acting. I’ve gone through the stages of love, entrapment, loss of loved ones, life-ending grief, life-ending illness, finding myself, and starting over. I can display practically any emotion or background experience you can throw on me.
As far as love? I just don’t know. I’m not actively seeking. But, if the right guy comes along, I will throw all of my being into making it work. I’m 100 percent in, or 100 percent out.
I don’t function any other way.