Thursday, July 13, 2006

buddha, the divorce fairy, and bounce out

I would like to think that I live in the present. Buddhism calls it mindfulness: being completely engrossed in the present, neither bemoaning the past, wishing away the present, nor borrowing from the future. You are eating an orange. Slow down. Notice the minute droplets of spray when you peel the orange or peel away sections. Notice the colors, the smell, the juice on your tongue. . . yadda, yadda, yadda.

But the present is so entirely bittersweet. Here we are, living together, like we have for sixteen years. Soon, we will go to bed. For once the TV is off. We are both sitting in the dark, both online. The room is dark except for our computer screens and the green and red lights on our 21st century gadgets, our own personal stars (or are they planets because they are not twinkling?). Eddy complains that the cat won't eat mosquitos, so what good is it? (Did our last cat eat mosquitos?) Playing "bounce-out" (for the last two hours), now he is rather quiet except for an occasional cough or hum. An hour or two ago (until tonight he was a "bounce-out" virgin), he frequently muttered mild expletives, as if this game were of utmost importance. (He is passionate about everything.) The steady tick-tock of our cuckoo clock contrasts with the random squeaking and bouncing and honking of his game. I realize that usually, Eddy is the one to pull the chain to make the pinecone weights rise to the top to give us a few more hours of ticking. I realize that I like that he does this. I think that he must have something on his mind to be distracting himself with his mindless game. The air-conditioning kicks on. I feel the air on my neck and shoulders. My eyelids are heavy. I should really go to bed. Unexciting, I know, but peaceful, comfortable. I love him.

When I am mindful, notice these things, notice him, notice us, at times I am unbearably wistful because the truth is that the more gay that he feels he is allowed to be, the happier he seems to be. He says this is my imagination, but it is not.

Living with Eddy reminds me of the movie Ghost. Demi Moore's husband, (Patrick Swayze, I think) is dead. He comes back as a ghost. She sees him and struggles to feel him. The sexy pottery scene. She feels him, his arms around her, her hands on hers holding the clay. She knows that she has to let go, but desperately wants not to.

But Eddy is here, so maybe a better description is that I know that our marriage is terminally ill. The odds are not good. Right now we are living in remission, hoping, fantasizing, that we are the lucky ones who will beat the odds. We have some things in our favor. But like the grim reaper, the divorce fairy (no pun intended), will eventually come to collect. Our very own terms of endearment.

I think of another Buddhist teaching -- that the the cause of all suffering is desire and attachment. But what is life without desire? I can't imagine life without feelings. I would take the package containing both suffering and joy over detachment any day.




Blogger Eddy said...

The cat SHOULD eat the mosquitos, because:
*The cat is a vampire.
*Vampires can transform themselves into bats.
*Bats eat mosquitos.
*Therefore, the cat should eat the mosquitos.

The logic is solid and unarguable.

Friday, July 14, 2006 8:17:00 AM  
Blogger Flip said...


I wish I had an answer. I don't. But I relate so strongly to where you and Eddy are. I wish I could give you both a big hug.

My wife should have given up on me. I don't know why she didn't. And if you read my blog you know the ugly truth that she would still have every reason to throw me out of the house. But the truth is that I love her. And it took me very much by surprise the other day when a close friend of mine pointed out to me that my wife must love me very much or she would have moved on long ago. Now why should that news surprise me?

I don't know about Eddy, but my friend also gently reminds me that part of my problem is my self-loathing. I don't even recognize it anymore because I feel I've changed so much in the past couple of years. Until I work with someone else in my AA group who has an even greater sense of self-loathing than I. Then it's like the mirror is pointed at me.

My wife and I are both working on the relationship. In our own way. Ultimately it is in our hands if we are one of the lucky couples that makes it or not.

I don't know if this makes any sense or not.

You guys are in my thoughts and my prayers (such as they are).


Friday, July 14, 2006 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Willa said...


I have been through what you are going through, and all of this brings it back. I would not be reading your and Eddy's posts if I had completely healed. But this is what I want to say to our husbands: 1. OK,. we get it, you're gay, it makes you happy, you are finding yourself. But we are not happy that you are gay. We are losing our past, present and future and having to trade them for the unknown. You don't have to remind us every day that you are gay. Give it a rest, keep it to yourself, we get it.
2. We still crave your affection. Don't turn your back on us. Don't invite your gay friends to have supper with us when we go out. Be affectionate. It's hard enough, knowing you don't (and never have been) sexually attracted to us. But we love you and crave your affection.
3. Don't abandon us. Be supportive, and try to be understanding. Whether or not you meant to, you have just betrayed us on a cellular level. The universe has turned upside down. If you say the sky is blue, we go outside to check. Be honest if you have cheated on us, and don't expose us to diseases no faithful married woman should have to worry about.
4. Try to limit your new adolescence and all the joy, and not act like an adolescent. You are a grown man with children. Your children still need you, and will continue to need you. BE mindful that when their friends find out your are gay, they will tease the children unmercifully. Be ready to support them.
Although I think I understand about denial and society's demands and judgements, the fact remains that you knew you were gay, and you chose to marry and have children. There are several people who will suffer terribly for your decision. Don't abandon us.
Sorry for the diatribe, Willa

Friday, July 14, 2006 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger Restored Vows said...

Willa hit it on the head. The bottom line is responsibility: to our wifes and children. Being a product of divorce, I vowed myself that divorce would never be an option. My own parents divorce left me scarred for life. I'd hate to put my own children through that, let alone be the cause of lowering my wife and kids socio-economic status to near poverty because she chose to stay home and be a wife and mother.

This is a complicated least you and Eddy are speaking openly about it. I think my wife has a hunch but she is in total denial. The other night we were channel surfing and the WWE female wrestlers were on with barely anything on. I stoppped for a second to check it out. This pissed my wife off to where she stated, "As far as I know you could be going to sites like that late at night...". If she only knew the truth....

Thanks for being strong Bea. Eddy has a remarkable wife/partner in you. Be sure to write out all of your marital options before the "divorce fairy" comes a knockin'

Monday, July 17, 2006 1:28:00 PM  
Blogger A Troll At Sea said...


Buddhism ended for me the day I read a story about a man who failed to reach Nirvana because when reincarnated as a woman, the death [murder, I think] of his/her child caused him/her so much anguish.

No, I will take God nailed to a piece of wood and thus declaring the centrality of human suffering any day of the week.

Hang in there.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006 9:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First things first: I feel for you, and am sorry that you (both) have found yourselves in the position you're in. No-one asks for that. My hope for you is that you are able to work your way through it in a way that, in the end, satisfies your (still aching) heart.

Okay, that said, I wanted to address something: Buddhism. I merely suggest you take a look at the following link:

PS: Not all Buddhists "believe" in reincarnation or karma as a moral tool of the universe.

Saturday, July 22, 2006 4:55:00 PM  
Blogger -L- said...

I don't know anything about Buddhism, but I kinda like that idea about desire and attachment. I would tweak it to focus more on managing desires. Learn to desire what you have and not to desire what you never can.

Of course, what you can never have is hard to know for sure.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 10:48:00 AM  

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