John has a riding lawnmower. You know you’ve arrived when you get one of those John Deere babies. It’s cool, it’s green. There you sit tooling around on Saturday, you wave as a neighbor passes, one of your 8 children shooting hoops in the courtyard, wife inside on the phone busy planning the evening event periodically yelling at one of the kids to pick their socks off the kitchen floor. Your only thought is about the cold beer you might partake as the afternoon winds down. Life it would so seem is good.
But John kinda of has a secret. He’s gay. In just a few short months, he’s going to carpet bomb this idyllic life impacting the lives of everyone and everything he holds dear. He doesn’t want to do it. But it’s the right thing for him, his wife and his children.
John is a real person and its a real story. His movie is not done, but the daily’s look promising. John is your classic 40’s educated professional who has a riding lawnmower. Something ping’d in him last July, some might say he had a mid-life crisis. He gave himself a bit of room for discovery (and horror), came out to his wife, found some gay friends for support and has a budding love interest. John is planning on moving to his own apartment in the next month or so. Elapsed time < 12 months.
To say I’m jealous is an understatement. John is pragmatic an “it is, what it is” kind of person. He didn’t wallow in the tar pit of forever self examination. He didn’t muse about what might have been. He’s clearly living in the here and now. He was mindful of the stakeholders in his life, but he was also mindful that he is the primary stakeholder in his own life. A tough balancing act, but balance it he did.
I have limited patience for those who stumble around the obvious answer to a problem, more scared of the treatment than the possibility of a cure. But I’m guilty as well, I tried to cut some corners, did my share of wallowing in the tar pit, went down a number of dead end roads. I’m not stupid, I should have known better. As I enter this weekend, I’m thinking about how I get be a better person and while I can’t correct the wrongs of yesterday, I certainly can deal with tomorrow.
TC UPDATE: C6FV8 is radio call sign of Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas. She’s making 11 knots, in 3 foot seas enroute back to San Juan, PR. TC has called from the ship’s phone twice as we sort out final logistics. He’s excited, laughing on the phone, the ship is aware he will leave tomorrow and all has worked out fine. He’s already worried about what I’m cooking for dinner tomorrow. The brown tiger returns.