Billy Childish Painting

A very old friend returned my call yesterday.  I had no idea that he was here in California and not in London.  It really lifted my spirits.  I could stop writing right there.  My spirits are lifted.  At peace.  The comfort of listening to the voice of a man who had known me and loved me through thick and thin.  I am greedy to hear him again.  He is within 100 miles of me.  I need to see him.  I need to spend time with him.

I was so unwilling to let him love me when we were together.  My loss.

When are we ready to accept love?  I wasn’t ready to accept love for very many years.  I did not understand how love between men worked.  It terrified and confused me.  My old friend loved me very much but I didn’t know what that meant.  I suppose that Jake must have felt the same way.  My loving him was confusing and scary.  How do men love each other?   How do I say I love you to another man?

When I have fallen in love with women the very act of saying I love you is said with ease, after all..every song on the radio, every poem about romantic love seems written about the love that exists between men and women.

When Elton or George Michael sang about love and disguised that they were singing about men I felt betrayed.  Tell me what it feels like to fall in love with another man.  To lose them.  To reflect on that separation.  Sing that song.  Read that poem.

No wonder our popular culture has sunk into a world of miserable hook ups.

I met someone else from off-line.  He brought me toys for the dogs.  This morning the cow and the bear lay abandoned on the carpet.

Like children have been playing here.

Eric popped by.   Other people came in the morning.  I was grumpy because my leg hurt.  Had massage which seemed to help.  Realised that I have not been touched with any kindness since Jake.  To be touched.  When my Mother stayed I offered to get her a massage but she balked.  She said that she didn’t like the idea of a stranger touching her.

Eric asked how I was doing.  How am I dealing with the Jake thing?  Well, I think about him occasionally..when the masseur was working on my back.  Thoughts shifting between loving and loathing.  I allowed him into my very soul.  It’s hard to wash away this particular stain.

So, when the old friend called, my old reminded me that we can all heal. We heal, that time is the greatest distance between two people. That one day no vestige of him will remain.

I thought about Jake when the man arrived bearing gifts.  That he would have had sex with the man but I could not.  Part of me wanted to prove that I could.  I wanted to leap on him and do what was expected of me but I could not.  I simply can’t have sex with strangers.  I can’t.  To know someone is my aim.   He stayed for a couple of hours chatting and by the time he was about to leave I felt that in some small way I knew him.  The very act of leaving made him attractive to me.

Everything seems ruined by Jake.  The joy, the enthusiasm, the monumental optimism that I used to begin my day.

After Eric left I watched make-over shows and cooking competitions.  I did not go out and meet friends as I had agreed.  Every night this week there have been invitations.  Every single night.  I could have hobbled out last night but I did not…favouring this perfect isolation.

I am going to hang pictures.  One picture that has stubbornly refused to find a place to hang.

Late night call from another addict..struggling with his life.   I am so glad he called.  It gave purpose to another day.

Of all the men I have loved I seldom see any of them.  To hear the voice of my old love within 100 miles of where I am…well…it is possible to forgive.  To love and be loved by those you never thought you would love again.  It is possible.  I know it.

As for my tiny black maggot? I can’t leave here until I know that everything is OK.  I don’t want to lose everything.  I need to go home.  I need to get this sorted but I just can’t until I know that nothing is going to go wrong here.