Friday, November 23, 2007

That 3rd Voice from My Past

I've had 2 big loves in my life so far. David Roy Nash in Canada, who died. And Craig, an ostensibly "straight" boy in Minneapolis. Craig's the 3rd voice from my past who's come out of the woodwork recently. It's been 12 years. Our breakup was painful for a long time.

Now and then I’ve checked Google for mentions of him, maybe an email address. I found music reviews he’s written and other online references to him, but no way to contact until I signed up for MySpace.com. Craig has a profile online and I wrote that. Didn’t hear from him for several days and figured it was another blind alley or that he’d deleted me. But then I did hear back.

He sent me a short story, a coming-out story actually. And the name of the gay love interest rhymes with mine. I tartly mentioned this in my reply, but also gave him thoughtful feedback on his work, structure and character-development stuff. Didn't hear back for 2 weeks, and thought I may have embarrassed or intimidated him, or just plain put him off with the reminder that "Frederick gets his feelings easily hurt."

On further reflection, I don’t think Craig's trying to bait me with a coming-out story, for as much as I've wanted him to be gay over the years. I think instead he was trying to connect with me across the gap of 12 years by sending me a story that demonstrates he can write sensitively about a topic close to my heart, coming-out, the foundational gay experience. It needs work, his story. But I don’t see any deeper agenda other than a desire to impress and reconnect with me. Writing was our original connection. But Craig took a big risk in sending that story to me, the injured party, the one who got rejected over just that very issue, NOT coming out. Craig's not telling me he’s gay by sending that particular story. He never will.

I feel longing for him keenly and for the potent connection we used to share, but tempered now (fortunately) by experience of disappointment. At 40, I do know how to keep my expectations in check, just not my longing. He appears in my dreams, although in reality he couldn’t be farther away. Married with kids in Minneapolis. I’ve had very hard crushes before, but I felt truly connected to these 2 men, David and Craig. I speculate that Craig felt something similar, something strong that brings him back now. Or it's Autumn. He wrote me today to ask how the radio play went.

It would be a very good idea for me to be dating someone else right now. No strong prospects though. There's 1 fellow I'm attracted to, but he's mercurial and didn’t even respond to my last invitation, to be my date at my radio play. Not sure I should even bother contacting him again, but I’d like a date for my friend Michael Martin’s current one-man show, Bachelor in New Orleans.

Michael got a great write-up and his photo in the paper today. He’s a critic’s darling, and David Cuthbert can’t rave about him enough. Some of that favoritism rubbed off on me a little. I think Cuthbert’s been recently generous to me in his column because of my involvement with Michael. We make a compelling theatrical pairing I think. And we do share a preference for risky, far off-beat theatre.

1 comment:

Michael Martin said...

Don't be silly, Frederick. Your work has all the quality it needs to garner praise, regardless of your association with me.