Sunday, July 31, 2005

Lessons Learned

I never realized when I began the year how involved I would actually become in the whole process. I was under the impression I would meet some people for coffee, chat about a new aspect of life, and develop a friendship or two. Here I was three months from the start and I was in and out of a relationship already. Sometimes when I think too much, I am all ready to criticize myself on my behavior. I fell for the second person who took interest in me. What is up with that? But then, I think about it and realize that Tracey wasn't a bad beginning. She was spending time with a religious girl who was not even sure she was gay. Ok, so she wasn't so innocent, she admitted it in so many words, along with letting me know that I wasn't as much a victim as I was claiming to be. I think I learned more than just my true sexual identity from Tracey.

Three weeks after I slammed Tracey's apartment door, I received an email from her asking how I was doing. At the time, I was already corresponding with Yo. I need to bring her into this part of the story for just a moment, because she had sent me an email that was upsetting to me. Yo and I had a great beginning, but before we became friends we had a rough month due to my job. This is kind of how the email went...

you REALLY need to get OUT of that school! I mean, talk about being marginalized and suppressed. I would explode. I mean it is bad enough that I have to "hide" most of the time. But I could never advocate bigotry and by doing nothing... you are sending a strong message.

I really took a beating by a lot of people about the job. This is only one of many instances, but it was pretty strong. So, when Tracey asked how I was, I told her about the email and she asked me to come out to her house to talk.
We talked for awhile about my position at work and how I would have to think about it now that I knew I was gay. She comforted me with a hug, and while I was in her arms, she told me that she was sorry it didn't work out with us, and that if we could have stayed together none of this would have happened because she would't have cared about my job. At that point, I got all emotional and brought up the break up, asking why she was so sure we couldn't make it. I remember her running her fingers through my hair and commenting on how great I was looking and adding a bunch more statements adding to my confusion.

I know at some point I asked her for a second chance, pleading with her to give me time to sort through all the baggage in my life. She again went through the race issue and the closet issue and how she was past all
that. It got a little tense at this point and I moved to the opposite end of the couch.

"Why did you even proceed with the relationship when you knew I was just exploring the issue, that you didn't like me not being out?"

"You are attractive, you were exploring the issue. Did you not want to be with me? At any point were you uncomfortable with what you were doing with me?"

"No, you know I wasn't, I always felt comfortable with you."

"Do you regret what you did?"


"You wouldn't take it back?"

"No Tracey, God, what is your point?"

"You got what you wanted."


Tracey smiled then and went a different direction

"You fell in love with me."

"I'm not in love with you.... I feel a connection"

"It was your first time, I will always be a memory for you won't I?"

I rolled my eyes, it was sinking in, the whole crazy situation was sinking in. Tracey was right about everything.

"You so love that don't you."

More smiling from her. A sudden last thought pops into my head.

"Are you seeing anyone?"

"Actually, I do need to be going soon, I have to be some place soon."

"It's midnight, where are you going? You are seeing someone."

At this point I was feeling jealous, I wanted this last moment with her and some other person was about to replace me. I kind of got a little crazy.
I went back to her side of the couch and kissed her. She did not stop me, in fact she responded and we took it a little further, but I could see her look at her watch.

"Tracey, you are cheating on whoever you are seeing."

"Still want to be with me?"

At this point I kissed her again and she gently pushed me to the side. At that moment the phone rang and she went into the other room. When she came back out, she said she was late and that I had to go. She told me she would call me.
For some reason, I wouldn't give up, I kept pressing her to stay with me that night. I just wanted one more night.
The phone rang again and I began to realize that the person waiting on her was getting impatient.
"You have to go, If you don't go current girlfriend is going to show up and you don't want that to happen."

"Maybe I do, let her come and see what you have been up to."

Tracey laughing, " ahh, you don't understand, this woman is not someone you want anything to do with. As feminine as you are.... you know, some people aren't like that. You have to go.

"Is this about getting my ass kicked or something?"
I remember standing there with my arms crossed all ready to take it on. Later in an email Tracey commented on how much she wanted to stay with me that night and how irresistible I was in my stance, ready to do god only knows what when the girl showed up.

"I'm sorry, I didn't think it would get so late. Please go home, I will call and check on you tomorrow."

I walked out. I walked to my car and actually thought about waiting to see the person arrive. I didn't though. I left the parking lot and drove to the nearest gas station after realizing I probably wouldn't make it home on the low tank. I walked into the bathroom and sprayed my face with water. I looked in the mirror and turned away, not unlike I did every time I walked past the chapel each morning.

I did hear from Tracey over the next few months. She would say things like: I quit the bar, I need to see you, please call.
I had a dream that you were in, can we please talk.

I knew it would only be physical, I didn't want that and so I declined. We were not what each other needed. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Tracey even though it ended negatively.
In just a few short weeks she opened the door to the future. I can't hold anything against her.

For the next eight months I would remain single, yet connected to the gay world through all kinds of unique meetings and experiences.


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