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Privacy is Important to Everyone

Glimpse of a harbor in midcoast Maine.

Peter’s dog Julius has complained to my dog Luke that I don’t post here anymore. Julius is half-blind and I didn’t think he was that literary these days. But here we go, if only to get that silly dog off my back.

I haven’t posted because, uh, I have a relationship now, and it’s nobody’s business but his and mine.

I’m not going to tell you all the ins and outs. I’m not going to say why I think he’s a wonderful fellow. Some things are too important to be published or broadcast – even though the entire world is now making videos of their every move. I don’t care that you’re at Starbucks on 5th Avenue; I don’t care that you’re now friends with Joe Schmoe.

And there’s no reason you need to know that, uh, my boyfriend’s name means “manly” in Greek.

I don’t mind talking about him; I’m proud to talk about him, but only to my closest friends and only in person.

Only when I need to, because he weighs on my mind in a good way. Like “how the hell can I make sense of this?” Sometimes everyone asks that question.

But it should be said in person, not over the internet, and only to the closest of friends, because conversation is a sacrament that takes place live and one-time-only.

It’s like the theater that way; come and get it now, because it will never happen this way again.

You are that important to me, that I told you what’s really on my mind, while we sit here shooting the breeze.

As my friend you let me say anything I want; I like that in you.

When I got home from visiting That Man, I couldn’t wait to see my friends.

I didn’t say anything horribly profound, but they knew that something major had happened, and they cared about it. They didn’t press me for details; they listened to what I said, and tried to respond.

I don’t know that they were spectacular listeners or responders, but they did their best, because they know I don’t talk often about what’s really going on. Partly that’s because they’re so full of themselves! – but I love that too.

Tell me all about it. I like seeing how your mind works.

Privacy is important because there are some things we don’t want the world to know. It’s also important because conversation is live theater, one time only, get it or go home.

The internet has done wonderful things to connect people better than ever before. But it’s no substitute for dinner with your close friends.

And that’s why I think we ought to preserve the distinction between conversation and writing, or what people now call blogging. If I say it to your face, you’re important to me.

If I say it online, it’s just out there somewhere. And I’m not saying anything about my guy online; he deserves to live in peace.

This is rather different, I admit, from columns I used to publish in my newspaper when my husband got sick. We lived public lives and were very well known in the community. When he got sick it was hard to cope with that, and sometimes I wrote about what we went through. My impression was that people followed pretty avidly; we had 10,000 friends and they wanted to know what was happening.

The difference between then and now is that I’m no longer leading the Gay community in that place (Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio); I lead a different community now, for a different purpose (prayers from The Episcopal Church), and they don’t need or want to know everything that goes on with me. They’re interested in God, not in me, and I like that; I’m interested in God too.

It’s a much wider audience, not small and insular like Buckeye Gay people. Current Boyfriend’s healthy, not rolling around town in a wheelchair, so I clam up, I don’t care to say.

If we get married – if I move to where he lives – I will certainly make a big public announcement. I’ll be proud of it, because I’m proud of him. Marriage is a public event; that’s why there are announcements in newspapers, “John Doe commits his troth” – that is, his truth – “to Ron Roe.”

But it hasn’t happened yet, and I have nothing else to write about than Current Boyfriend, so Julius, you can just fuck off.

Stop yapping! Come up and snuggle.

The big difference between life online and where you actually live is that when you hug your pup, he can feel it; the same with Current Boyfriend. I want him to feel the difference.++

He knows I don't want to move to Maine, but he sends me these pictures to make it look idyllic.

4 Responses

  1. I won´t ¨press you¨ because I trust you…I knew what you were up to, face to face chatting or not. I´m a close follower of you and your adventures…both the ones in the backyard garden or cultivating the Soul with our extended tree of online life…yes, you´re not sooo private as you choose to believe oh passionate one. I´m here, Peters here, the doggers are here and I´ll betcha we love you lots, wish you the very best, like it or not, we´re going to howl!

    Come out, come out wherever you are, we are your friends and we anticipate your every enthusiasm– in person or afar. Besides, we´re a patient lot (sometimes we wait lifetimes for a honest break)!

    This is the word of the Lord (and his pals),

    Leonardo Ricardo
    Dulce Serena Gonzalez, Fido Gonzalez, Frida de Gonzalez, Coban Gonzalez de las Gemelas and Honey Gonzalez (a new member of the household who we rescued from the calle)

  2. For Julius I have a “braille-board” installed so he can still read [and type] the pages he wants to ‘see’.

    I’m glad you’re okay and that the BF has a good influence on you, you both deserve it.

    Hope Luke gave you that lick on your face too. You’re a special man who deserves a special significant other in his life too.

  3. Thanks, guys. You know that relationships can be fragile when they’re just getting started.

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