Saturday, March 5, 2011
I love breathers and another TBM update...
Those of you who read Thursday's post already know that I decided to take a breather this weekend. I intentionally determined to schedule nothing--no dates, no projects, no dinners, no parties, and very little work--in order to alleviate the "thinness" I was experiencing.
While in Thursday's post I laid blame for my condition equally on a variety of issues, in reality there is only one issue that caused my emotions to fray. More on that later.
Friday, the first day of my breather, couldn't have been better.I awoke to the most beautiful morning Salt Lake City has seen in months. The sun was brilliant, the sky was a robin's egg blue, the mountains literally vibrated with the intensity of color.
As a result, the call of the wild was impossible to ignore. As quickly as it took to pick up a friend and drive to Powder Mountain, we were gliding down slopes covered with 14 inches of freshly fallen snow.
A day of skiing couldn't have been a better way to start a weekend breather. In all my ski experience I have never skied a more perfect day with more perfect conditions. It was a gift from God...something I'll remember for the rest of my life.
I rushed home from the Mountain, gave my new roommate a quick hug, jumped in the shower and was off to a business meeting downtown. I was glad when the meeting was over.
As I walked to my car following the meeting, a thought struck me. It was a frightening thought, a little intimidating, but one that percolated quickly. I'm only a few blocks from TBM's place (you remember The Butterfly Man from previous posts, right?), so why not text him and see if he was up for a late dinner.
But the fear of rejection reared its all too ugly head and for a second I cowered in a figurative corner--but just for a second.
Overcoming my fear, I took a very deep breath...sent the text...and got no reply...
Now a little background.
After several weeks of seeing each other nearly every day, I was just a little confused. While TBM seems anxious to get together and obviously enjoys my company as much as I enjoy his, our meetings are strictly platonic--little if any touching, no hand-holding, nothing that would provide the least hint of his intentions.
This is not what I am used to. It's been my experience that gay guys are all too clear about what they want and how they want it. Typically on a second date it's all I can do to keep things under some semblance of control and restraint (and at times that is nearly impossible).
Anyway, on Wednesday evening with the prior encouragement of my buddies, I was fixed on raising the issue of our relationship. I rehearsed the words a dozen times and despite the terror I felt, was committed to a clear course of action.
As we sat at the end of a wonderful evening enjoying casual conversation and gelati on the corner of 9th and 9th, impulsively and without thought I blurted out, "Can I take you on a real date sometime?" (That's what I think I said. I have no recollection of what I actually said.) I squirmed in my seat, looked intently at the floor, and wished I had been anywhere, but the corner of 9th and 9th.
TBM's reaction was no less disconcerting than my own. He mumbled something as his body contorted into a variety of paroxysms and quickly focused his attention on the lesbians at a nearby table.
Embarrassed, I apologized, tried to guide the conversation somewhat unsuccessfully to more tolerable territory then suggested we call it a night.
Driving home a short time later, I felt terrible. I knew I shouldn't have brought up the issue, that I should have just taken things slowly, without pressure. Because of my impatience, I was firmly convinced, I had blown my chances with the first guy I had had feelings for in ages.
Upon arriving home, I took off my clothes, pulled the covers over my head and lay sorrowing in my loneliness until first light creeped through the bedroom window a few hours later.
With my heart somewhat broken and spirit more than a little contrite, I passed Thursday and most of Friday finally accepting the fact that TBM was history.
On the other hand, the day of skiing was refreshing. It cleared my mind. It put things back in perspective and helped me find my balance. It made going to a business meeting Friday evening bearable.
It also gave me the courage to send the text to TBM.
After sending that text, I waited ten minutes before finally starting my car. The minutes eeked by with no response. Finally, I recognized the inevitable and slowly drove home. Gloomily, I walked in my house, found my way to my new roomy (who is actually a dear friend) and blurted the whole story to him, barely maintaining my composure. He smiled, listened, and declared that things would work out.
Eventually I agreed and suggested we spend the rest of the evening enjoying a movie.
Within seconds, my text notice buzzed, my coat was on and my breather was over. Fifteen minutes later I was with TBM on his sofa enjoying a movie and the feel of him sitting closely, yet platonically, next to me.
Today it's all okay--no, better than okay. I know now that regardless of how my relationship with TBM evolves, it will all work out and I have no need to fear.
More importantly, thanks to my one-day breather, my confidence and optimism have returned and I'm once again ready to face the world.
BTW, last night I got a hug from TBM when I left--a small step, but an important one. Tonight we're going for ice cream.
Life is good.