11:12 p.m. - May 30, 2008
Back when I was doing group therapy there was one older man there who epitomized the refined gay man. Very well off, polished, perfectly matched, coiffed, and trim, living in a loft somewhere in a good part of San Francisco. I don't remember his age but he had retired early; regardless, he had a head full of silver hair and plenty of wrinkles. A constant theme in his molestation sequelae was how a lifetime of the vain and shallow left him alone and lonely as an older gay man. He spoke often of a true love from his 20s, a man he had ultimately dismissed because this man didn't fit the image he had of a man he'd want to be with long-term. Fast-forward 20, 30, maybe more years, and his one regret was having spurned this man so many years ago. Towards the end of the group therapy program he went to Connecticut and re-established ties with the man he had rejected, and I remember how happy he was when he came back from his trip. Not quite a fairy tale ending but there were a couple more pages to turn, and there was promise of something beautiful. I recall sitting across from him looking at the light from the windows falling across his face and seeing it glint off his teeth, because he had a constant smile on his face, and I was happy for him. It was genuine and lasted for a while - probably until my drive home - and I think about him once in a while. I like to think he and his love have reunited, a mismatched pair: Maybe one polished, the other frumpy; one trim and athletic, the other stout; one refined and elegant, the other rough and salty. I hope they hold hands and snuggle, old saggy skin against old bones.
I think the day I am able to put aside my deep envy and jealousy about other people's happiness will be the day I deserve to have some of my own. And be able to keep it, grow with it, be it. I don't dream about fairy tale endings or finding a prince willing to kiss this frog. I just dream about finding happiness in strange places, unexpectedly, and recognizing it for what it is. Do not trust a hope, the saying goes, but believe in it nonetheless.