Tuesday, October 24, 2006
A good thing!
I'd like to share a "good thing", instead of my typical "whining with a purpose" entries. Since Sam reminds me this blog is MINE, and I'm blogging in the first place to help me "deal" with these issues, I need to articulate FOR MYSELF so that I can appreciate what is going on...
For the last few weeks, I've distanced myself from HIM. I've purposefully avoided him. He called and I didn't answer. In Church, I'd go the other way in hopes that our paths wouldn't cross. I told myself that if I didn't get close to him, if I didn't touch him, if I didn't even look at him, then things would go better.
But it didn't work that way. I still thought of him! I even fantasized about him. And then I beat up on myself afterward.
This last Sunday, I snuck into Priesthood opening exercises and sat in the back. I surveyed the congregation and noticed him sitting several rows in front of me. After the hymn, prayer, and announcements, we dismissed to our quorum meetings. Instead of getting up and hurrying out the door, I felt impressed to just sit there and wait and see what happened. I watched him. He spoke with a few brothren, his back to me, as most all others had left the chapel. I just sat watching. As he began to leave the chapel, he turned and finally noticed me and smiled. I smiled at him as I leaned back on the back legs of the padded folding chair, trying to act tough.
"So, whattsup?" he asked, his voice cracking as he approached me.
We began small conversation, he standing over me, I still sitting back in my chair. I stared into his face and could see a ton of pain. It's obvious when one is trying to hide the pain. His lips were quivering, attempting to keep a rigid form of a smile, as his eyes started to get watery.
I melted. I don't remember what came over me, but I grabbed him by his suit coat and white shirt at his chest and dragged him out the foyer where we could talk. He didn't resist. In the vestibule, we fell into each others arms.
"What's going on?" I pressed. He at first didn't say anything. We hugged! Full body hug! I pressed my cheek into his as he started weeping into my neck. This 6'-6" hunk of a guy was a baby in my arms. I held him tight. It was wonderful. It was wonderful because for the first time in a long long time, there was no thought of anything but brotherhood! We were friends. Dear close friends! There was nothing more... nothing sexual, romantic, dare I say "gay" about it. He was suffering and hadn't processed that grief and let it go. He had been the tough guy - the strong one in the family - as his family endured a significant tragedy. And now he let go - into my arms.
As we body hugged (but no broken ribs this time)and as I held him, his head buried snuggly into my neck, I noted out of the corner of my eye a member of the bishopric watching us. I didn't care! I'm sure there were others watching us as well - and I ignored them. Fortunately, no one approached us. Though we were open to view, we were alone in our privacy.
(NOTE: I'm sure they thought - oh, there's Beck again, going off and being affectionate with another guy. I get away with it. I'm a very touchy-feely kind of guy. I've always been that way. I can't help it. I'm most comfortable when I am and so I choose to be so. Most have learned to accept it. I can't walk down the corridor of Church or at work and not touch someone as I pass by - a tap on the shoulder, a brush on the arm, a squeeze on the neck, a slap on the head - particularly a slap on the head. I can't help it. Especially with guys - I don't know how to express my need for affection with straight guys, so, I slap them on the head - or I hit them! I'm famous for my hitting... I don't know why I do it - but I just do it. And, I'm affectionate openly with those guys who have become close friends - and they've accepted that being affectionate is just part of me...And as was pointed out in FOXX's blog a while back - I get away with this behavior because I'm perceived as "an affectionate straight guy", not as "an affectionate gay guy"... but that's a topic for another day).
Anyway, after missing most of Priesthood Meeting, HE and I were able to connect again as FRIENDS. Nothing more - just good guy-friends! We talked and I encouraged and I hoped I helped him. But most of all HE helped me!
I realize I really need good guy-friends! I need male bonding that is emotional, intense, sensitive, personal, intimate - but just that male friendship!
And I realize that I can do this without any premeditative predative or other sultry motives. FOR THERE ARE NONE!
I need hugs! I hunger for male affection. I don't know why. It's just something that I long for. And when I don't get it - I start falling apart!
And I realize, hiding from him is actually the worst thing to do. I get anxious and uncomfortable and I worry about it more. I'm not me and I hate it! At the same time, HE needs my friendship too, my sensitivity, my spirit.
I'm glad I didn't run from this prompting to grab him, pull him in, and let him grieve.
I sincerely wish that our American culture and mentality would allow us guys to do such things with each other more frequently - and without any judgment for having been sensitive to a friend. I have been judged. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. But, I've decided I'm not going to stop being me because of it.
Thanks for being a voyeur into this small, almost insignificant, little scene in my pathetic life.