|My four pet chickens - good friends|
Who among us isn't lonely at one time or another? One doesn't have to be alone to be lonely. You could have a Mother Goose house full of kids and an adoring spouse and still be lonely. You could be the Belle of the Gay Ball in Rehoboth Beach and be lonely. And yet, you could live alone and not be lonely.
I've also considered myself a loner. I like to be alone. Yet, I often feel lonely. Sounds crazy doesn't it? Hey, I've been trying to figure myself out for the last seventy years.
I am the oldest son in a family of five. I have two younger brothers. Growing up they were best friends, I kept myself aloof from them. Probably because I knew I was "different". By "different" I knew I was gay by the time I was four years old. Of course I didn't know what "gay" was or even the word but back then I certainly did know I was "different."
|Me and my two brothers - 1947 - check the distance I have from my brothers - body language|
I grew up (from four years old to eleven years old) in a second floor apartment building in the small Pennsylvania town of Downingtown during the Eisenhower years of the Fifties. Several of my aunts and uncles and my cousins also lived in the same apartment building. Even though we were poor (didn't wear shoes in the summertime) I never lacked for things to do or friends. I am the type of person who has one or two Best Friends. I'm not really a social butterfly with tons of friends. I specialize.
Growing up I didn't consider myself lonely. There was my friend Chubby (who wasn't fat by the way), Eddie Rose, Lee Harris and perhaps my best friend ever (even to this day) my comic book trading buddy Larry.
When I entered high school Larry continued to be my BF until his family moved away when we were in ninth grade. Then came my new BF, Bill B. We were both in band. Bill played the bass drum and I played the Sousaphone (not the tuba as most misidentify the Sousaphone). Bill always saved a seat for me on the band bus and I him whenever our football team had an away game. Even though we took different courses in high school (he academic and me commercial) we continued to be BF's even to today. Both Bill and Larry are straight and married. We're still friends but the wifey's come first and I understand that.
I joined the Army when I was 18 years old. I immediately made a BF in basic training. His name was Mike Tine. I lost track of him after basic training. We corresponded for awhile after we both left basic training but that correspondence faded away. I still have his letters.
After basic training I went to Army Security Agency training school in Ft. Devens Massachusetts. I almost immediately became best friends with Bob Mc. We were BF's for the six months we were both at Ft. Devens. When we graduated from the Army Security Agency training school we choose different allotments (assignments). I spent the next two and a half years at Ft. George G. Meade in Maryland and Bob spent his tour of duty at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Yes, he did parachute jump. God, I'm glad I didn't go there.
|Me and my old Army Buddy Bob|
Now to my biggest BEST FRIEND. That would be "Bill", my lover, partner and cohort these past forty-eight years. Bill swept me off of my feet when we first met at the Westbury Bar back in the summer of 1964 while the Supremes played on the jukebox. Bill and I have almost nothing in common.
Bill is thirteen years old than me. At 22 years of age to his 35 years of age, back then he was more like a father figure to me. That worked for me because my father was not close to me. I wasn't one of those kids that dad played ball with or even took out to the ballgame. Are you kidding? His usual communication with me was to mock and belittle me. Talk about low self-esteem. By the time I left home for the Army I could do pull-ups on a curb.
|Me at 14 when self-esteem was probably the lowest|
Over the years I grew to love Bill even though we had very little in common. Bill has always treated my like a prince. He never restricted me with this the usual American Puritan practice of monogamy. We both agreed that we weren't going to live out lives by someone else's insecurities.
So where was I going with this posting? I meant to talk about loneliness but I got off the track a bit with the "friend" thing.
So here's the deal, Bill and I still don't have much in common. He doesn't like to eat out, he doesn't like to go to the theater, in fact he doesn't like company in the house. He just likes to be around me. Which I will admit can be a bit smothering at times. Our biggest problem is that he thinks I don't pay him enough attention. He thinks I pay more attention to my friends on FaceTime and my blog. Well, maybe I do but I'm here at the house ALL THE TIME except when I go to work. I try to balance things out so he doesn't feel neglected. It's not easy.
|Me when I used to eat out with friends 2011|
Lately I've been feeling a bit down. I thought it was depression but now I realize my condition is probably loneliness. I think if I had a dog or cat (which Bill doesn't want, he doesn't like cats and can't take the loss of another dog) I wouldn't be as lonely.
|My one and only cat "Bobby" - 1955|
After all my years of experience I think it is nigh well impossible to have a monogamous gay friend. It just isn't going to happen. Either they're too bitchy, controlling, or just horn dogs. I hate to be so negative but it just isn't going to happen.
And of course another BIG factor is that I am an OLD GAY MAN. To use a very worn cliche, I am way past my expiration date. Gay and seventy years old? What am I still doing alive? My time was up thirty years ago. I AM THE INVISIBLE MAN. Oh sure, I am the subject of interest by my widowed former classmates, gay or not. But to have a friend my age? Forget it.
So I go on with my life. Next month I have a trip scheduled to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. I will go alone on the Old People's Bus.
I have my interests. I like to blog, take pictures, garden, work at the hotel, walk, research genealogy, and read. Most times this works but sometimes I do yearn to talk to someone my age, with my outlook, and my sexual orientation who isn't looking for something else besides a friendship. I don't think that will ever happen again in my life and that is sad. Sometimes that blanket of loneliness just falls down on me and takes everything out of me.
So there, did I make any sense?
|Me at my computer today|