My childhood best friend came with his family to visit us yesterday. This guy was my best friend in Kindergarten and remained so through college. We camped out together, and did sleep-overs in our backyards. He was my high school locker partner. We car pooled together. We group dated together. We were roommates together in college. We submitted our mission papers together. We received our calls together. We were in the MTC together. We were together at our respective weddings... you get the picture.
Over the years, we've drifted apart. He moved across the country and so I saw him sparingly. We would write each other or he'd call on my birthday, but not a lot of face-to-face visits. Then, when I lost my father last year, he was suddenly there for me, comforting me. And several months ago, he moved his family back to Utah - still not close by, but a lot closer.
Anyway, our families spent Sunday evening together and it was fun getting caught up on the last 30 years and reminiscing on all of those good times back in school and college and mission days. In most ways, we haven't changed. Though he's now a new grandfather and is greying at the temples, he's still the same lanky, skinny kid I came to love and count as my best friend all those years ago. And yes, he is straight and happily married and has no clue of my attractions. And no, I never pushed our relationship back then - for many reason - but primarily because I didn't know / wouldn't accept who I was at that time. And no, I have no intentions of letting him know. I see no point to it.
What is amazing is that we still have a feeling of "best friend" friendship that has spanned the space of decades. And as we embraced, it was warm and good and of value beyond measure.
Contrast this with my current thoughts and actions of meeting and becoming a kind of "best friend" with a fellow MOHO, who knows I'm attracted to men, and who I know is attracted to men, and all the layers of feelings and emotions that come with this different kind of friendship. As we embrace, it is warm and good and of value beyond measure...
So, what's the difference? Why do I have no qualms about the one, and I'm scared to death of the other? Is it just the safety net of straight-gay verses gay-gay that underlay our relationships? Why should there be such a difference? Why am I so confused? Both are based on friendship and nothing more. Both are based on covenants and commitments to families.
So why am I happy and feel content with one and uptight yet very excited and coming alive with the other? Why is there such a difference? Should there be a difference? Aren't all friendships good? If I know who I am and am committed to my values, should there be any concern? Am I ignoring the alarms going off like an annoying fire alarm that isn't signaling a fire, just a battery warning chirp? Can't I have both? Or is one destined to become too complicated while the other will always remain safe? Am I liking the idea of this new friendship because I like this guy for who he is, and he for me, or do I like the idea of liking a gay guy who likes me because I'm a gay guy and I like him because he's a gay guy and that is what is the basis for the friendship?
I guess this is really a rehash of the same past questions I've constantly asked myself and with which I constantly place myself, (in most ways "Becknesses" never change) but recycled now with a new wrinkle - not one of one of my hot young men where I'm the mentor / teacher willing to teach and counsel and advise, nor one of a long distance love affair with a wonderful and sympathetic man in another country - this is one where our respective gaynesses are out there to each other and we like it... The last thing he wants is to destroy my commitments to my family. The last thing I want is to destroy his commitments to his family. Yet, I still want and desire to "know" something more that only this friendship can bring... Is it possible to "know"?