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April 16-22, 2014

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Leisure

After all these years


The setting:  An upscale bar filled with established gay men of all sizes, shapes, colors, and ages, survivors of everything that followed Stonewall.
 
“Thom!  How nice to see you--I’m sure the last few years must have been quite a trial for you, but if it’s any consolation, you still look great.”
 
“Thanks, John.  Good to see you, too.  I’m looking forward to getting out more after a few years of self-imposed exile.  How about doing something together some time?  (Then, after several minutes of fumbling with my phone’s buttons)  Here’s my card.  What self-respecting homosexual doesn’t have a card?”
 
At retirement age, after thirty-five years of knowing each other peripherally in social circles that not only didn’t intersect, but repelled, the die was cast.


The first “non-date” ended in a suburban New Jersey hospital as the result of a pepperoni-slicing incident, where we were treated like an old married couple from the start by the straight and gay emergency room staff.  Further involvement met with mutual resistance to change ways of our intentionally-solitary lives that had been set in stone for at least five years.
 
Resistance was futile, especially after a night of approach-avoidance texts that concluded with “This conversation is NOT over!”
 
Youthful unrealistic expectations are a thing of the past.

You experience the same aches and pains that sometimes impede your partner.
You have proven track records that can be verified.

You’re as stable as you’re ever going to be.
You can shock all your friends/tricks/ex-lovers with the news of your involvement.

Your family is relieved of the burden of caring for an elder unattached member.

The possibility of dramatically changing both lives is not only REAL and ATTAINABLE, it is our responsibility to EMBRACE.
 
No one is getting any younger, prettier, richer, or healthier.