Gay Whitstable

I Heart Whitstable

At the back of my mind I still think about the NYC man and grieve for what was and what is lost, broken or as dead as the headless rattlesnake. I am all at once in celebration for what I have and desolation for what was and how that affected me.

I thought about Whitstable today.   I miss you so much!  The shallow lazy sea, the honey coloured shingle, buying espresso from Dave’s deli, walking the little dog on Duncan Downs.  I wondered, like I do occasionally, if I could ever live there again.

Part of me wants to be there but most of me is perfectly as ease with where I am right now.

If I went back what would I be returning to?

It’s a great place to visit but maybe it’s never going to be my home.   Maybe it never was.

Taking that bloody, stinky train to London.  I never had the money for a ticket.  Hiding in the toilet.  One hour and fifteen minutes.  Faverham, Sittingbourne, Rainham, Graveney, Bromley SouthVictoria Station!

Walking to Mayfair.  Sweet-scented drawing rooms, thick carpet and polished silver.  Oh God. I know why I am thinking about this!  I am dreading being left on my own on Tuesday evening when the man/boy leaves for Italy.

I want to travel too!  Paris, Sydney, Whitstable or New York where do I go next?  If I go what am I running away from?  I’ll tell you what:  a great,  gaping God shaped hole.

18th Century boy/man was up until 2.30 last night pottering around, tidying, making a mother’s day card and finally fell into bed exhausted.   We had dinner at Axe on Abbott Kinney.  I ate the farmer’s plate with prosciutto.   This morning we toured the Santa Monica Farmers Market and bought fresh almonds and pale pink hydrangea and delicate budded peonies.

He reminds me of Patrick Kinmonth, the same sensibilities and creativity.  He is so tall and elegant, so curious about everything, which can all at once excite and tire.   It is good to live again with someone on my arm that has such an extraordinary zest for life.  He wants me to teach him how to sew.  I would love to do that, pass on a few of the many skills I have that were meant for some unborn child in an imaginary family.

I wish that I hadn’t killed the snake but I was scared that it would bite the little dog then where would I be?   John watched the video of me killing it and looked delighted at the very manliness of my snake murder.  I should have been more proud but I wasn’t.  I value life, even the life of a dangerous snake or the rat I killed the previous week.

Josh, my sober A gay friend and I toured Barney’s yesterday.  Trying on expensive clothing neither of us would ever buy.  Bumped into a friend of Charlies who was wearing cut off denim shorts, a sleeveless tee, a man bag and Jackie O sunglasses.  What a fucking STATE.  Also bumped into my friend Jody who has recently had two surrogate daughters-the $250,000 a pop kind.  I asked, like I would my straight friends, if he is signing them up for pre-school.  He spat back that he had no intention of sending them to pre-school as their nanny had them on the Einstein system for infant learning.  He said that he wanted to control who came into their lives as he had no intention of letting them socialize with other kids as they might pick up bad habits.  Now tell me if that doesn’t sound unhealthy?   Child as project.  Lot’s of my gay friends have chosen this route when they become parents.  However, this is not peculiar to gay men, I know straight parents who do this too.  In my opinion it can only lead to disappointment and resentment.

I thought about my mother and where she might be this overcast mother’s day.  I wondered if my brothers had brought her flowers or sent her a card.  I did not.  Then I thought about Kristian’s mother who seems to loathe the idea of his friends getting together to celebrate his life and I wondered how she could be so bitter about this simple act of remembrance?

I pay scant regard to my creative life.  My desire to create comes in huge waves that crash inconsequentially and leave me feeling tired and unfinished.  Why can’t I seem to finish anything?  My novel remains unfinished, my film too-as for everything else?  I don’t know.

As his departure looms so do the morbid thoughts.

I find myself thinking about the NYC man and grieve for what was and what is lost, broken or as dead as the headless rattlesnake.   I am all at once in celebration for what I have and desolation for what was and how that affected me.  Man/Boy asked if I was on the rebound last night which I strenuously denied.  But, of course, there is some truth to his accusation.  John cautioned me yesterday about euphoric recall, the yearning for an acting out partner rather than the fully fledged, present young man who I now have.

I have no reason or right to have wanted more from NYC man.   As I have said before I was an inconsequential blip in his life.   It’s hard to own that.  Yet, in a way, it has made me a stronger man for what I have now.    I look at this new man and love him and care about him with new eyes.  The eyes of a man who has loved and lost but is lucky to have loved at all.

As for my sobriety, I am sober!  I have that to be grateful for.   Gratitude is key!

Have to write for the Good Men Project.  I am going to write about how to be a man when other men don’t recognize the sort of man you were born to be:  A quest for validation.

9 replies on “I Heart Whitstable”

Duncan, I love to read u r sober! I love you! Yes, I love the beautiful man you r!!! Your sobriety is very important to me and those who follow your stories. Thank u for sharing.


I’m so sorry that you’re so downhearted. It seems that while not having finished grieving your previous relationship and giving yourself time for reflection, that you are now facing another good-bye, albeit, maybe a temporary one.

I’m afraid that your not paying “scant attention to my creative life” is because you have been so busy weaving a silk cocoon about you and your 18th Century Man — to exclude any sad feelings about your break-up as well as worries about your imminent trip to the UK — that you have very little psychic energy left for anything else. You talk about running away from “…a great, gaping God shaped hole.” What on earth? If there’s a hole, it’s one that you’re feeling inside and wherever you go, there you are. If you’re feeling empty, maybe it’s because the one thing — aside from your Higher Power – that fills you up with wellness, is what you’re neglecting. YOUR CREATIVITY! Something is wrong if you’re feeling drained instead of feeling empowered. You’re an artist and yet whatever is going on with you is blocking that.

You ARE rebounding! You keep thinking about him. The relationship may be finished but your feelings haven’t settled. You go from the grandiosity of “I am the happy WIDOW”: “Every person I have ever fallen out of love with has come crawling back to me. Every one. They never somehow forgot what they were first attracted to. Arrogant huh? I don’t care.” to the self denigration of “I have no reason or right to have wanted more from NYC man. As I have said before I was an inconsequential blip in his life.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME! You have as much right as anyone else to expect honesty, compassion and a love that uplifts you. Not one that makes you feel less strong, less capable, less honest, less loved. You’re all over the place emotionally. I worry for you.

Again, HE CONTACTED YOU! As honest as you have been in your blogs, he knew what that you are in recovery and that you are in the process of healing. HE was the one who would not allow you to be honest — with yourself or others — and yes, you complied. Just our of recovery, you risked your sobriety for the brass ring of this fantasy relationship. Thank God that a healthier part of you had other ideas. I think that you’re still fighting your common sense and that’s partly why you’re feeling so drained.

As for the snake… BLESS YOU for caring about even the creatures that others consider undesirable. I can understand John respecting your protective nature in that you wanted to protect the little dog, whom you love. As for killing something being manly… I’ve never gotten that. I guess that it goes back to the primal admiration of someone who would be able to provide food but then, women, especially, pioneer women, were quite capable of killing deer or whatever to provide when their men weren’t around. Nowadays, we’re empowering the best of male and female qualities in ourselves, so we can come together as wholes who can stand shoulder to shoulder. Not halves of one whole, who need someone to complete them.

Have you ever thought of teaching a class in all the sewing techniques that you learned in Paris to a university class of students who are studying costume design? Or just getting a class together at your home of people who want to learn haute couture technique? Just a thought.

As for babies as ego projections and science projects…. Yikes! Socialization is an integral part of the healthy development of any child. Isolation is not a good thing. If more and more parents are following this trend, its very worrisome. What happened to letting children have a childhood? Sad.

I am glad that you are writing for the Good Men Project. You ARE a good man, and maybe writing will get your head on straight — so to speak. 😉 I worry that you say that the morbid thoughts are lurking in the wings. Please, please, take care of yourself. You seem to be going through what many women, straight and gay, have gone through — feeling that you need to be in a relationship and that something is wrong with you if you’re not. You need to enjoy and be content in your own company. I suspect that if you gave yourself credit, that you would fall in love with yourself — in a good way. You’re a sweet, strong, courageous, gifted, wickedly funny, scarily smart man. Give yourself a hug, dammit!

Infinite blessings,


This is a very insightful post Amanda, thankyou for putting the situation into words better than I could ever start to try.


*Metal Rabbit, with permission, gives Duncan a kiss on the cheek — Mwah! — and a bear hug.*



I wonder if the respect for snake-life has to do with being reared in a snake-free zone? As an American, I am fine with dead 5 ft. rattlers. I thank you, and Little Dog should too. There are always more snakes, they have to stay in their place. I’m a mother, and if the need arose (God forbid) I would be so proud if my son’s friends wanted to have a memorial service in his honor. I can’t help but pity that bitter, lost woman…

Lived in Pennsylvania until 4. Lived in Illinois from 4 to 12. Live in Maryland now. Plenty of snakes in all these places, both poisonous and not. I respect them because they are part of the balance. Farmers respect them because they kill mice and rats. Most things would rather run away than attack. Even rattlers. We are all part of the web of life. (Great book by the way.)

As for Paula Dubois, I could have a lot more compassion for her if she wasn’t continuing to wreak havoc among his grief-stricken friends and driving a knife into Steven’s heart. She needs prayer. A boat load.

And I totally agree that isolating children is tantamount to child abuse. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite the same as locking them in a closet. They will still have the company of one parent and nannies… more prayer needed here. *Sigh*

Duncan dear, stop thinking. Do something nice for yourself. I think Amanda has you down to a ‘T’ even though she does sound like she’s your Mum sometimes(in a good way). I loved the idea of a sewing circle. I have recently taken up my long abandoned sewing skills, I found there are so many new exciting materials available. Check out these websites;
Running with Scissors studio. Treenaway Silks have gorgeous gorgeous items. After painting every day, I needed a break and discovered my long lost skills. I made an art quilt wall hanging of St Remy using jewel coloured taffeta. It was lovely to plan the piece, sew and embellish with beading and sari silk remnants and to sit and think how I would make the buildings….eureka, paint them! .The whole process was so therapeutic and relaxing. It fills those self doubting, me bashing, attacks of the creative mind. I finished the piece loved it and the best of all, I sold it!!! they liked me, yeah!
Your book and film are not abandoned, they are just taking a rest.Write a short story, make an art journal. Organizing the space where you create will usually bring the focus back to a project.Shop stationary stores to find gorgeous items for your projects. My fave storage is a red craftsman tool box on wheels, loads of drawer space and very manly looking til you open the drawers.Any road up (very Yorkshire phrase) fill up your time with fun creative things to do and the short time your Renaissance man will be away will fly by.Suspect it is recent absence’s that are making you so insecure. The new is not the old! The King is dead, long live the King.

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