My first year of gaydom: The last chapter (Part 5)

Finally, at the beginning of May, I remembered that I’m a writer and began to write away my grief about T. It helped me take the first real steps towards closure. And at the same time, in walked M. It was just a crush, and nothing happened, of course, because she was just getting into her first real relationship in years, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t flirt. And flirt we did. It was a helpful distraction and finally helped me to shake my head clearer from all the pain left from T.


And then there was the disaster of J. A date that started out amazing with just me and her suddenly went all wrong. When she left, N and I had another blow-out fight and I left again. This time it was only for the day, but I holed up in my best friend’s apartment, crying, talking, and finally coming to the firm conclusion that my marriage was over. We just kept running around in the same old pattern. The same old problems. And now I didn’t even know if I wanted to be with a man anymore. And yet… N was still my best friend. The drive home weakened me. And then the talking. Oh, the talking. It still took some convincing, but ultimately I decided we could keep trying.


***


Hands. Hands everywhere. Everywhere, but still with some hesitation. What's allowed? What's too far? I bury my face in M’s neck and my lips kiss it without any conscious permission from my brain. So much more dancing. We can taste each other's breath. N is pressed up close to us, too, and I hope he's okay. I also hope my friend Patti and her date are okay and we're not making them uncomfortable, but I'm too entranced to pull myself away. Every part of my body pulses, Kiss her. Kiss her. The not-totally-drunk part of my brain manages to reel in control, though, scolding, No, respect her. Don't take advantage. Until finally she breaches the one inch of buffer between our lips and kisses me. I'm glad I'm at least wearing a thong under my warrior princess costume.


The summer months led me to “A” and to the realization that I wanted to try dating without N involved. In order for me to give N what he needed from a wife, I needed to have my lesbian side fulfilled as well. I felt horrible that I couldn’t always isolate those sides of me, but Pandora’s box had been opened, and I couldn’t stuff all those desires and emotions and longings back into the box and lock it away until we found our unicorn. (The “secondary” person in a triad relationship.)  I met “A” online on OkCupid, and we immediately hit it off. We talked for hours on IM and Skype, and she helped me learn more about polyamory. She and her live-in boyfriend had more experience than N and I, and she helped me navigate many of the bumps along the way. The freedom and ease of communication was an incredible relief compared to how things had been with T. We often talked about the contrast between our previous poly relationships and how things were between “A” and I. No secrets. No worrying about sharing too much for fear of scaring her away. And certainly no alcoholism or other addictions.


Distance made it difficult to see each other regularly. She lived in Orlando, and we could only see each other every few weeks, or sometimes just once a month. I struggled when they started dating another woman who lived closer. We talked through everything candidly, lovingly. Logically, I knew that it didn’t mean she cared about me any less. I understood how polyamory works. I understood that she had every capacity to care for me and her boyfriend and the girl she and her boyfriend were collectively dating. I fought to contain the fingers of jealousy, but I envied that this other woman got to see my girlfriend more than I had yet seen her and do things with her that I had yet to do with her. Do to her. But then we had a wonderful weekend together in Orlando where we finally reconnected and she treated me like a princess, and I remembered how much she cared for me.


“A” also helped me deal with twinges of emotion when N began to go on his own dates alone. I wanted him to, actually, because I hoped then he could feel even more comfortable when I went away for a weekend with “A.” But I couldn't help feeling those pangs of emotion when he was on a date or I knew he was getting to do something that I hadn't gotten to do yet with my girlfriend. Usually I talked it out with "A" and I felt better, and then N and I addressed any things we needed to work on. My feelings for "A" grew. She was one of my best friends. I cared deeply for her -- loved her even. It felt different than it was with T, both for better and for worse. We kept talking about how healthy our relationship was. I just tried not to think too hard about the fact that the passion and intensity that I had felt with T wasn't there. Love comes in all different flavors, right?


***


Hours of continuous dancing, kissing, touching pass. I think it's physically impossible to pull myself away. M and I are getting a lot of attention from everyone around us, which would normally bother me, but I don't even care. I'm happy. Even as I know this probably doesn't mean a thing to her beyond just having fun kissing a girl. I'm having fun, too, and it's just so good to feel. I'd forgotten -- without even realizing it -- what it is like to feel like this.


Somehow all paths of my life seem to collide all at once. The same week I had my first date with “A,” T came back. Sort of. She had been reading my CLGBT blogs and wanted to be a better person. She was in a relationship and was messing it up again. I offered advice. We became friends. Only electronic friends for months, because she couldn’t risk seeing me while she was dating someone. I couldn’t date her anyway, because she was still an active alcoholic. But I still loved her. Despite everything she had done to me -- to us -- I still loved her. But I could be her friend. When I asked her if we were friends again, she replied, “If you don’t mind. I could use the practice.” Well, that’s my forte.


***


I don't feel guilty about kissing M because of all our poly rules. N is right there and he seems perfectly happy. My girlfriend and her boyfriend were dating someone before, and I know she could kiss other people again. This very night, in fact. No, I'm just happy. If anything, though, if I allow myself to dig that deep, I feel a little guilty -- or at least uneasy -- that I feel more towards M in these moments than I do for either of the people with whom I'm having relationships. But this isn't a fun subject. So I concentrate on more kissing and dancing. Afterall, 3 a.m. will come entirely too soon. Let’s just enjoy this magical Halloween.

Author’s note: This is the final installment, after a long hiatus, of a series of pieces that reflect the first year that I realized I like women. I was married when I first made this realization, and my husband and I explored both my sexuality and polyamory. The first part begins here. Part two is here, followed by parts three and four.

Oct. 30

The electricity is palpable. Our bodies undulate and press closer together in the dark club, faces just inches apart. It's all I can do not to collapse into M's beautiful mouth, drinking in kisses. It takes all my willpower to hold back. But she looks so hot in my gothic belly dance costume that I lent her for our Halloween clubbing adventure. Wait, but no — N and I are just going out with her tonight as friends. She's getting over a brutal breakup and we're supporting her. Yet, I haven't felt this kind of burning desire and passion since T. Immediately, part of me tries to feel guilty, because I should feel like that towards my actual girlfriend. Because even if something does happen tonight, I know that it absolutely would not mean a thing. This is M. She is very much like T in a lot of ways. I think I understand certain things about her. And this probably means nothing.

But I think I am okay with that.

Even just a few months ago, I wouldn't have gotten that. Everything had to be centered around a relationship or a potential relationship. I've never before understood making out just for the fun of it, because for me, I need that spark — that chemistry — that something that whispers, "Okay now, kiss. This person is special and you should kiss now." Although I still need that trigger to make me want to kiss someone, I think now I'm at the point where I can want this without necessarily making it into a thing.

But still, why don’t I feel this same intensity with either my girlfriend or my husband?

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