Along The Broken Road

“I set out on a narrow way many years ago hoping I would find true love along the broken road but I got lost a time or two wiped my brow and kept pushing through.”

There’s a song by Rascal Flatts called “Bless The Broken Road” and I’ve always said that I would play it at my wedding. It’s about the relationships we go through as we look for the right one and how each loss of a relationship leads us down the road where the one waits for us.

My church mama, Marsha, says I’m in rearview mirror mode and she’s right. We’re doing talking about forgiveness in my connection group and it’s made me reflective. I’m realising before I can move forward I have to forgive. Lily Tomlin said that “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” I can’t change my past but I can accept it and find a way to move forward. Consider this journal entry a travelogue of my time along the broken road.

Jamie and Michelle. Prepubescent longing. Brother and sister. I wanted to be her and I wanted him. I didn’t have a name for it but I knew that I wanted to be close to him. He was younger than me, probably by a year and he started the trend of fawning after boys a wee bit younger than I. He was the stereotypical boy next door. We used to play this game of I’ll show you mine if you show me yours across the upper floor windows of my house and his grandmother’s house. We used to fumble together while in the upstairs closet looking at my dad’s porno stash. I haven’t seen Jamie in years, probably since his grandmother’s funeral.

It was difficult being gay in junior high/high school. I didn’t grow up in a welcoming town so I had to keep that side of me under lock and key. I thought I had done a good job but everyone I went to high school with that I’m still friends with today said that they knew. I did have three major unrequited crushes that lead me to playing Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me on repeat through the headphones. Jason was a dark haired boy in my swim class. Rob was a year ahead of me and a football player. Nick I saw at my twenty year high school reunion and he’s as gorgeous as I remember.

Nathan was the engima. Is he/isn’t he? If we spend every off moment together does that mean we’re dating? I know that some guys don’t like to attach labels but it was Nathan that made me realize I need assurance that you’re with me and not passing time until someone better comes along.

Mr. Brown. More wasted time on a guy that couldn’t commit. I wasted a whole summer on Mr. Brown. He was my age. We clicked something fierce but it wasn’t meant to be. He was still acting like a boy when I needed a man.

Ilya. One of those this is too good to be true guys. He claimed to be a model but I later found out that he was a scam artist and that Ilya wasn’t even his real name. I was blinded by his beauty and his body.

The doctor is my biggest regret. Dev was, is, a great guy. A pediatrician. But I came on too strong and scared him away. I have the tendency to do that when I’m feeling lonely. Lesson learned.

Angel. A nine hour first date followed by a six hour second date followed by a sleepover. Angel is a great guy but I was about to have testicle surgery so he wasn’t able to cope.

David. The married guy. What was I fucking thinking? Honestly, I had emotionally checked out so I was thinking with my dick. Thankfully my inner Jiminy Cricket kicked in before it was too late.

The one night only hookups that allowed me to explore new things. Some were so good I remember their names. Others are nameless faces.

Marquil was the last relationship I found myself in. I was warned going into it that Marquil was in an open relationship. I thought I could handle it. I was wrong. Marquil was my first foray back into the dating pool after having my heart shattered. We still talk. Marquil is a great guy but we weren’t meant to be. Both of us had too many issues that we brought to the table.

And then there’s Gabriel. The ghost. My beautiful disaster. The cause of my aforementioned shattered heart and he’ll always have a piece of my heart. If I ever get famous enough to write my own biography he’ll have his own chapter.

I’ve stopped traveling on the broken road as I try to focus on loving myself and figuring out what I want in a mate. As much as I enjoy sex that’s all I seem to find the local gays want and I know there has to be something more. I believe I’m ready for love but I’ve temporarily stopped searching for it in the hopes that love will find me.

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