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Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Whisperer

It was almost a tragedy without even realizing the delicate nature of the circumstance. Simply sitting and listening wasn't enough to encompass the support needed for such honesty which poured out in quiet, hushed, and secretive divulgences. All I could do was reiterate what I would normally advise when regarding the magnitude of the presented variables.

His blue eyes, slightly hidden behind his magical darkening glasses, continuously looked around as we spoke, his red rimmed fear piercing the air in discomforted and embarrassed glances. When he feared his words would offend in some manner, his cheeks reddened and his eyes wandered past the window into the parking lot as if he wished the world were as peaceful and simple as parked cars in precisely measured lines. And still I felt at a loss except for a near subtle infusion of experience from drastically different events.

He said with an infusion of betrayal toward himself and acknowledgement of the truth, "I've been having some issues with my sexual orientation. And I guess I've always known that I've been hiding it from the world."

"Well... What's made you want to be honest now?" I asked cautiously.

He smiled sadly. "I had some health issues a few years ago and the doctors gave me another five to seven years of good health. Ever since then... I can't seem to... I've noticed my eye isn't caught by girls anymore. Even if she's got really tight cloths on and a nice body, I'd probably be looking at her boyfriend..." He's not looking into my eyes anymore. "I'm drawn to notice strapping young men like yourself before I'd ever notice a woman..."

Trying to disguise my rolling eyes with the shaking of my head, I looked into the parking lot. The first thought to rush through my head rang out clearly, Shameless! How marvelous age is..., before I could figure out something appropriate to say.

He obliged by continuing. "And since I have so little time, I need to know if it's even worth it to tell everyone that I'm attracted to men." The word gay never came to the table. "My wife wouldn't be supportive, I don't think... And I have four kids who all have families of their own. Nine grandchildren... And I feel like I'd be throwing that all away if I was honest with everyone."

"Discovering how little time we have really does put things into perspective, doesn't it?" He nods, a smile of a different sort gracing his strong features. "I mean... speaking from my own spiritual beliefs, when we discover that we have so little time, we become ourselves and suddenly feel it's that much harder to lie to anyone, especially ourself, you know?"


"I don't know if it's Buddhist or just something I believe, but it's obviously playing a role in your mind right now." We became silent for a few minutes while my thoughts organized themselves better. He seemed unsettled by the depth of my sudden notion. "And on another note, not that I'm saying you need to do this right now, after all it's completely your decision; but being honest with people really allows a relationship to grow and be more than it was.

"In your circumstance, however... it could be an issue." I could tell he hadn't said everything yet, and I knew probing a little would reveal the whole story.

His entire family was raised to be conservative Christians with an ideal in mind for the future family units they would inevitably create. He, himself, came from the same stock of characters; a slightly abusive father who disciplined freely, driving his son into the military where being of a 'gay' mindset got you in extreme trouble. Something in the way he spoke, though, told me he never hit his children. Ever since his bout in the military, he forced himself to conform to the 'norm' of society. He married thirty-some years ago and immediately started building the ideal family and raised equally conservative Christian children to match his and his wife's beliefs.

"... and I know they'll distance themselves from me if I'm honest with them... I just need to know if it's worth it," he says once more.

"That's something you need to decide. You need to know that deep down your wife will always love you, no matter what happens. If you come out to her and she decides this is abominable, or whatever, no matter how much she tells herself and the world she doesn't love you, it'll always be a lie. You have children together, and that creates a bond on the deepest of levels that not even she can relinquish. And your children... They're living their lives and will, and must, accept you for who you are. What you have to decide is whether or not you want to risk the life you have now to further acknowledge the truth you've discovered." This is as far as I can help, and I know I've reached my limit without pushing this man to destroy his life in order to reveal to the world the truth about diversity.

He's flummoxed, torn between two worlds that have so completely engrained themselves in his psyche. "God has always taught us to love ourselves and each other. I know this and believe it to the end. I also know that my church won't accept me..." Tears fill his eyes, but his strength holds them back.

A thought comes to me. "You know, I have a few friends who are out and very Christian. I don't know if 'very' means anything, but they're Christian. I think I should have them get in touch with you... perhaps they can help out a bit more. I, unfortunately, can't really relate or understand a Christian standpoint with being out cause I'm pagan... But if you want, I'll talk to them?"

"That would be great."

The rest of our chat seems superficial in comparison to the ground that was covered. I offered to talk with him anytime he wants and the casual personality seems to don upon his face finally. Worry and doubt are still hidden in his eyes, in the way he shifts his shoulders and holds his hands on the table between us; but the carefree nature of two guys talking visits his tone. I can't help but feel that half of his relaxed state was due to revealing a secret. A secret that's whispered even in public. A secret that's held from all who would know, until the time is right.

A secret that even I can't truly help, despite the similarities in myself.


  1. Old dude + secret feelings = a little creepy...

    (I should start doing ALL my reviews like this!!
    Catcher in the Rye:
    Priveledged kid + too much whining = makes me want to slap babies)

  2. Oh Chaddy. It wasn't all that creepy. He's just trying to understand who he is and what he wants in the world. And if I can help him through that, I shall! Who knows... maybe one day you'll be an old dude with secret feelings to tell some strapping young man. Hahaha!

    Peace and Love!

    And yes, please continue to write reviews like that! It's truly awesome!