Sunday, October 15, 2006

the one that got away?

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
- George Santayana, The Life of Reason

Many people who know me say that I'm too caught up in ancient history (in the proverbial sense). I trot out the ghost stories from my past and deconstruct them, over and over again.

While I concede that excessive wading into the waters downstream from the bridge can be limiting, I don't think it's unreasonable to stop every once in a while and look back at what has transpired. You are, in large part, a bundle of your past experiences.

In 1994, I moved to Toronto for school. I was finally out of the closet (mostly), in good shape, and feeling really good about the future. I especially enjoyed being 24 and having my "fresh meat" status at the local gay bars. I had just registered for my courses in the week after Labour Day, and when Friday came around, I headed out to Colby's--one of the best gay clubs in the city. There, I met Kevin. He was dark-haired, a few years older, and a really nice guy. I found him attractive (the Irish/Italian mix always did it for me) and we went back to my place. I had only been living there for five days.

Over the next couple of weeks, Kevin and I went out a few more times--including a date to see The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in the theatre. We also slept together a few more times. I grew bored; I practically chomped at the bit to get out and see what other men awaited me. I continued to go out and pick up, and eventually I stopped being in contact with Kevin.

The man-parade continued all through that fall and winter, fueled by lots of partying and booze. Some of the details are foggy. I can remember a promising start with a Greek guy I met at the gym. How it finished is anyone's guess. One night, I brought home a young Polish guy named Svilen--and came to the next morning as I heard him unbolting my door to leave. My foray into blonde territory happened at a bath house in the early hours of Valentine's Day 1995--surprising how that one didn't work out, despite a few subsequent dates.

There were sometimes two or three men in a week. In my mind, I was young, attractive, and doing--relatively safely--what gay men did. I was the personification of delayed gay adolescence. But it began to wear thin. Like getting hungry an hour after eating cheap Chinese take-out, I started to notice that I was looking forward to the next encounter not long after finally finding my socks on some guy's bedroom floor. I was confident it wasn't a sexual addiction, but I realized I had some growing up to do. So when Kevin got in touch, I began seeing him again.

It didn't last.

To this day, I can't remember how it ended. Was there a lack of chemistry, or was I just not giving him a chance? If I hadn't been so young and stupid--and scared--maybe I'd have ended up in a loving, committed relationship, and maybe I'd have never embarked down another path. Were all the notches on my bedpost worth throwing someone away? What kind of a person is so lacking in self-esteem that they proudly recall the three Woody's bartenders among the notches?

In the latter part of the '90s, I would occasionally run into Kevin's best friend Mark. I would always ask how he was doing. Once, I shared my regret with Mark, and asked him to relay it to Kevin.

The last I heard, Kevin was living in Vancouver with his partner. I truly hope he's happy, and knows how sorry I am for hurting him.

36 comments:

tornwordo said...

I love it when we see the softer side of rouge. I kind of have an opposite regret, shacked up too early and for too long, and then I was too old (mature) to let myself be slutty. I finally visited a bathhouse at the twinky age of 35. So I missed out to some extent.

There's always a greener grass on the other side of some fence, eh?

Timmy said...

((hugs))!

St. Dickeybird said...

I followed this same path 2 years later (without the school).
I loved Colby's, and there's a good chance I met Kevin too.
Sounds very familiar.

I found it disappointing, in a way, to tire of the sexparty. But it was always scary to see the guys who played too long.

Valentine's Day at a bathhouse sounds scary.

Crucible said...

You are not the only to obsess over the past. If it only seemed to help more directly....

Pablo said...

I don't believe in "the one that got away". There was a reason he got away. But, there was a reason he was there, at all, and you have lived and learned.

So, now, what are you going to do?

Mitzzee said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwww sorry mloyd....i'm sure he knows.

Dead Robot said...

Why ask "whahoppened?"

Hell, you could have been waking up next to me, with family dinners with the homo dad and god awful Scifi dvds on a Friday night.

madamerouge said...

torn - I think you did it the smarter way

crucie, timmy, mitz: thanks

dickey: it was scary. I was wasted, and we wound up back at his bachelor apartment on Wellesley, where we crashed in his single bed... which was in the closet. I'm not kidding. He turned out to be a very mean and nasty person. (Quelle surprise.)

pablo: I don't know. I'm really tired of all of this crap.

d.r. - that actually sounds nice

Pablo said...

You're not the only one, madame.

Miss Thistle said...

I'm with pablo. The one who "gets away" is usually better off gone. I what-if'd for a few of my own for awhile, but now I know that was for a reason. Cliche enough for you?

Hugs!

Salem said...

Tornwordo and I: almost the same life. The things you learn.

Rouge,
only do and not-do. You could have learned that from Yoda.

The Persian said...

There is nothing wrong with holding on to the past, unless it's dwelling, as opposed to learning from it.

Some people never get over the past sadly, and live their lives trying to recapture memories which somehow have become a little more "fantastic" with each passing decade than they actualy were.

*hugs*

natasha said...

what's a bathhouse?

is that like a birdhouse, except with a bird AND a bath in it?

your judgemental aunt said...

I can't wait for you to answer Natasha's question. I agree with totally The Persian.

Steven said...

There's a reason why some things happen - from the sluttiness to the shittiness.

It's bechert.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Steven said, "bechert".

Steven rules!

Somehow I know Kevin has moved past. It's a good thing.

Butchieboy said...

Yeah, MR & YJA should elaborate on the topic of "bathhouses."

MR, you are quite sensetive, for a bear.

your judgemental aunt said...

BATHHOUSE (noun) - Butchie's other house. The one where his wife doesn't live. Also known as Buchie's bachlor pad.

Anonymous said...

a psychiatrist once told me that the reason you dwell on a past love is because you're lonely in the present...time to move on

Anonymous said...

Meandering and self-obsessive tripe.

Anonymous said...

Remember, I was just telling you about my "Kevin." Now he's a successful doctor and I'm here watching the 40 yr old Virgin burping up Skinny Cow Ice Cream Bars

toobusyliving said...

There's not a chance thar Kevin is happy, sorry Rouge. He lives in Vancouver.

Butchieboy said...

لكم نفس الروائح مثل الجانب الخلفي من حمار.

당신은 치즈의 냄새 뚱뚱한 다모 남자와 잔다.

你的头发好像回到了鹿毛皮.

あなたの表面を持つ子供をおびえさせる。

toobusyliving said...

Here's you:

I had to let it happen, I had to change
Couldn't stay all my life down at heel
Looking out of the window, staying out of the sun

So I chose freedom
Running around, trying everything new
But nothing impressed me at all
I never expected it to!

Kunstemæcker said...

That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing that.

I think most of us can relate to some part of your story

Kunstemæcker said...

I mean, we've all hurt someone at some point and regretted/realised it afterwards.

You're a good person.

your judgemental aunt said...

I had two kevins. come to think of it you had one of 'em

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I don't know Peter, I think Vancouver is very nice. It's urban and pretty. It could be worse. Say Indy.

Anonymous said...

It's important to remember the past, but it's even more important to learn from it. Regret should never be an option. Otherwise you get stuck and can never move on.

Just my $0.02.

Nölff said...

George Bush does not care about Kevin.

car@ said...

Sniff sniff...Madame precioso. Simplemente precioso.

Butchieboy said...

AFH- What do you have against Indy? There are plenty of gays that you could pal around with or date. We have lots of doughnut shops here, too.

Jason said...

Anonymous has a good point.

Steven said...

AG: You're sweet. Now, you'll be like mespuchka to me.

Butchieboy said...

How Peter met Jason.

Jason said...

Hey, there was a different anonymous comment there, I'm not referring to the mean comments.