Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dream Come True

Last Friday evening we had a lovely birthday dinner with Ron, James, Mike & Clark at Layalina's, a Lebanese restaurant. The food was good, the conversation and laughs were even better. It has been several weeks since we'd seen them, so we each took turns giving an 'update'. Joe & I came back to the house to pick up our luggage and our dog Jordan, and headed up to the beach.

Our friends Doug & Jim were already up there. They'd left earlier in the day, stopped for a visit and to leave their dogs at Jim's sister's house, and they spent the rest of the evening in Rehoboth.

Although it was disgustingly humid outside, Joe indulged me by agreeing to ride up to the beach with the top down, since most of the trip is highway or 55 mph zones, there's always moving air to keep you from overheating. Like her two dads, Jordan enjoys the luxury of riding in a convertible with the top down. Perched on her fluffy pillow, she didn't make a peep the entire trip. We arrived at about 11:15, called Doug & Jim to let them know we were there, and unpacked the car.

Doug, Jim, and I had cosmos and chatted until almost 2am. Saturday morning we had coffee and talked some more before going to brunch at the Blue Plate Diner and then to the beach. It was a spectacular day! The temperature was about 83 degrees and the humidity was low and comfortable. The sun was bright and shiny and the breeze was coming off the water, keeping the flies away. After watching the 'scenery' for a while, the four of us went for a walk, then had a cool and refreshing Italian ice.

We headed back to the house, showered and returned to Rehoboth. We went to see Follies 05 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. It's a skit contest/fundraiser to benefit CAMP Rehoboth and the DE Aids Council. The show was cute and not too long. There was also a short auction and an intermission so everyone could get a cocktail from the bar.

It was a gorgeous night and we walked around Rehoboth a bit before deciding to have dinner at Planet X. Joe & I had eaten dinner there once before, last summer, with a couple of friends. When we go there we were told there might be up to a 30 minute wait, but we knew it would be worth it. We went into the bar for a cocktail and it was so darn hot in there it was intolerable! Joe walked out and said to me on the street "I'm not eating here if that place is an oven." Fortunately it only took about 15 minutes to get a table, and it was outside on the porch. (Thank god - I was not looking forward to an uncomfortable scene if our table was inside where it was hot.) We all enjoyed our meals and cocktails, along with the occasional, delightful breeze.

When we returned to the house we had one last cocktail while we talked, and then hit the sack. Sunday morning we had coffee again and chatted until almost 11am. Doug & Jim were packing to leave, as they had some errands to run that day.

Joe & I had lunch, went to a few stores, then headed back to the house where Joe took a long nap and I read 'Letters from CAMP Rehoboth' on the screened porch. Divine.

We tidied up the house, I went for a quick dip in the pool, and then we packed up the car and left at 6:30, top down and music playing. We got home at 9:00, just in time to watch Six Feet Under.

But on the trip home I began thinking about how lovely the weather was, how happy I was to be riding in my convertible, and how generally fortunate I felt. Then, it just kind of hit me like a ton of bricks.

Fifteen years ago I was an unhappy, closeted gay man trapped in a fundamentalist religion, hiding the 'secret' that I was gay. I was on vacation (alone) and saw a group of gay men at a large round table in a diner. They were talking and laughing and having a good time. One leaned over and kissed his partner on the cheek and the group roared with laughter. When I saw them I thought to myself "If only I could be out of the closet, free to live and laugh with friends. If only I had a partner to love, to live with, to have intimate dinner parties with, to have big holiday parties with, to ride in a convertible with. If only I could be myself."

To be myself - that was my dream back then. Fifteen years later, while driving home from a fun weekend at the beach with my friends and partner in my convertible, it hit me that my dream had come true.

It didn't happen overnight. And my first partner was not my permanent partner. And I drove a 4-door Honda Accord before I got my BMW convertible. And most of all, I said goodbye forever to my fundamentalist family. All of that... before my dream came true. But its all been worth it. I've never been happier - not because my dream finally came true - but because I AM being myself.


Spencer said...

You ok Honey I never see you stopping by my blog much anymore?

Hope things are ok with you!

Sage said...

What an excellent story. And a nice reminder for many of your readers.

Doug H. said...

Excellent. My dream-come-true took a bit longer than 15 years, but this month my partner and I will celebrate 30 years together, and we're leaving for Istanbul and the Black Sea Friday to mark the occasion.