One of my best friends is in the army reserves. His partner of 27 years was a teacher at my school, the first day I had to watch some OSHA (spelling?) video and since his room was closest to mine I went in to watch it there. I knew within a few minutes that this teacher was not really interested in girls. My gaydar is pretty accurate. Over time we have become very good friends, as I have said many times he is the only one of my friends or family that sat down and cried with me when my marriage dissolved, but it is more than that. I cannot explain it, we have similar hearts, ones with an autopsy cut wide open and vulnerable.
So anyway over the years I have spent time with him and gotten to know his partner. And while my teacher friend stays home, my army friend goes to the Zen Center with me, and after we go to dinner at the little cafe up the street. In the last two years we have become friends in our own right.
Yesterday I spent the day with these two friends, I had thought today (Sunday) was his last day here, but it wasn’t, it was yesterday. I only realized this at around 8 after the whole day spent.
It was such a warm day, it was cold and brisk outside but warm on the inside. We had a late breakfast, then I half mentioned that I wanted to get a fall jacket, and so we went shopping. I love shopping with gay men! First of all, certain women are attracted to them. Upon leaving one store I said I didn’t like her moving in on my action, that they were my gays and no fag hag was going to take them from me. They also both hunted all over the two stores we went to, looking for the right jacket in my size, instead of the typical male response which I have noted is to pace about acting annoyed. (both getting extremely rude and snotty ass faces from women (why the hell are you here?) looks) Then we had coffees at the bookstore. The teacher attracting a small child, he has this weird thing where little kids just come up to him out of the blue and tell him everything, and hug him, he is very correct, don’t talk to strangers, you shouldn’t hug strangers, sorry MOM this happens everywhere I go. (and it does) the kid was amazing only 4 and outshining our inner city students by about two years. We talked for about four hours there about so many subjects. Then they invited me to dinner, and cookies, and about 8, I realized wait if this is your last day and you are flying out in the morning why the hell am I still here, don’t you want some alone time. No we want to spend this time with you. Butterflies.
At one point I look over at my friend and teary eyed I say, wow I am really going to miss you. I look at his face, and he is not the fawning homosexual, his a very gruff and strong and masculine, and his eyes are teared up. I will really miss you too. And then, a pass off, oh I have something in my eye. And a, you better cut that out ’cause otherwise my husband will start crying. His heart not so open, more like a magicians cape. Well hidden in a hand sewn secret pocket. I like that. And in the end I am thankful he is only being deployed to a large city here in the US and not to a war torn country in the Middle East. And they both offered me a companion frequent flyer ticket so I can go and visit him. And as he said, try being the one who is leaving, leaving my home, my dog, my husband, my job and my friends. And I think a certain gladness that his husband won’t have to endure this year alone.
It is good to be loved. It is even better to love.