Three days later, I am not.
But, I still am, kind of.
Positive, I mean. But, not right now, I will be later.
And, yes, I'm just as confused.
I had a recent epiphany of sorts about two different men who had recently broken my heart. I have come to a place in my healing with both of them where I can wish them every happiness in their lives. And I sincerely mean that. If they are happy where they are, I am happy for them.
When I had that revelation a couple of weeks ago, I felt lighter, as if a huge weight had been lifted off my heart. It also meant I was ready to move on.
And maybe date someone.
I said, maybe.
I recently spent some time in West Hollywood, a place I have mixed feelings about. I had wanted to go out one Saturday night, but changed my mind. A Facebook friend encouraged me to change it back, but I didn't. I stayed in and began reading a book by an author friend so I could review it and help promote it for him.
I decided on the spur of the moment the next day to go to the West Hollywood Book Fair. It was smaller than I recalled from last year. And therefore a bit disappointing. Yet, something else was upsetting me about it. But, I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
When I'd had enough of the fair, I decided to head home. As my car is aging, I choose to take public transport when possible, and I had chosen to do so that day. I headed to the bus stop for the bus that would take me to the subway station I needed.
When I boarded the bus, it was semi-full and I found a seat on one of the benches that faced into the aisle. A couple of stops later a man took the seat opposite me and our eyes met and lingered for that gay-nanosecond that told me we might be in the same brotherhood. I have been wrong before. But, the fact we were in WeHo and the slogan on his shirt, "It's free to look!", suggested I might be right this time.
After that millisecond eye lock, he took out his phone, checked a couple of things, looked around the bus, but not back at me. Okay, he's not looking for a daddy. Good, I don't want to be one.
Yet, the idea of being with him, began to intrigue me. He had a nice guy aura about him, he was kind of cute, dark and tall with a bit of muscle. He must be intelligent because he was reading about Aerospace Engineering Software, or something like that. Definitely not light material. I kept thinking interesting thoughts about him, and this surprised me as I haven't had these thoughts in a long time, especially about someone who wasn't trying to get my attention. I kept glancing at him, he kept not glancing at me. Or, I missed it if he did. But, I don't think he did.
I began thinking of the afters. Was he a cuddler or an "I'm done and out of here" kind of guy? Was his chest hairy since his legs were? Would he want to see me again? Would I want to see him? How would I feel about myself? And I still wasn't seeing him catch my glance. So, time to stop thinking about him.
At last we arrived at my stop and as I got up to leave, his eyes locked on mine and followed my gaze as I gathered my belongings, stood up and made my way to the exit. He continued eastbound on the #702 Express as I descended below Santa Monica and Vermont Blvds.
It actually started happening on the bus. A small, sharp pain in my chest. It stopped. It continued off and on all the way home without getting worse. I could easily breathe, so I didn't panic. I suspected indigestion, as it wasn't radiating into my arm. Yet. I began to suspect I was having an anxiety attack over my lascivious thoughts about that young man. Was I really ready to move on and begin a single lifestyle of wild abandon? Or maybe I had just overeaten? But I only had a turkey burger and fries. The discomfort increased as I arrived at my station and eventually my home. Having been through several anxiety attacks in the past, I began to suspect this was a major one and as I could still breathe easily and had been singing along with the CD in my car, I did not believe I was having a heart attack.
I also began to suspect I was having anxiety over getting my next novel(s) written and figure out how to better market my first one, so I can market my subsequent ones better, triggered by the bookfair itself.
Or, maybe it's anxiety over all of it; closing the chapters on the two men above, recognizing I might be ready to mingle a bit more, thinking about sex, and beginning to take myself seriously as a writer. And with retirement looming a mere six years away, it's all together a bit much to think about. Plus, the added anxiety of being at mid-life, owning a home, driving an aging car and being the sole person responsible for it all. Perhaps the stress of recognizing it all collectively was far too much.
I don't have all the answers to the questions. But, it does seem clear my life is making a huge change for the better. Maybe the Young Man on the Bus was simply the catalyst after all that had happened in these last few weeks. Maybe all he was telling me is that I am human, I am male, I am gay and I am not dead, emotionally or physically.
I'm facing a blank page in the next chapter in my life. While it's exciting to see what may lie ahead, because so much is changing all at once, it's also scaring the hell out of me.