Ghosts of the Past

05/17/2013

Entry 05/14/2013 08:15:36 PM – Mentat 685

All right, all right… More than a month… And nothing written from me since the bullshit that I had dealt with in Star Trek Online. I know that I had been working on a journal entry for the better part of two and a half weeks after the last entry, but the following week and a half, I’ve simply let it sit there because there really wasn’t anything that I could say on the subject. Things changed from what caused me to be inspired to write that entry and why I’m sitting down and writing this entry today. And while the parts of that draft for this journal entry which might never see the light of day, will be moved to the unfiled part of my journal for random look backs and wondering whether or not I should expand on that thought. I probably won’t though — things have changed and improved from the time I sat down and originally wrote that entry. Besides, there are other things to be written about… Some of it neutral, some of it ghosts from a distant past, and some of it are thoughts that I’ve had in the three months since things have changed direction for me.

First thing… my old and trusty back-up set of glasses that I had been using for the better part of the last 5 (or so) years finally gave up the ghost and broke. Not in a good place either… We’re talking the part of the frame near to the connection across the bridge. The part that only a good soldering gun would be able to fix. Though I wouldn’t have minded using some tape until I could get a new pair of glasses. I thought that the neighbor to my landlord’s gallery in Butcher Block Mills had a soldering gun, but after a quick trip down there realized when he admitted to working in heavy-duty metalwork that the only tools that he had for the job was a rather large and clunky acetylene torch the sort of thing that involve the construction of buildings… Well, I knew that I had to break down and go to a local optometrist and get a new pair of glasses.

Strange thing about living in the north is that they won’t take the lenses off your current pair of glasses to make you a new pair. No sir, you have to have the written prescription from the optometrist for them to make them, no ifs ands or buts about it. And to make it feel even more like a rip-off here, I have a copy of my prescription from my eye exam and according to the information it is only valid for 1 year (as opposed to the traditional 2 years between eye exams).

I found a place in North Providence that did one of those 2-for-1 offers with an eye exam like America’s Best in the southern part of the country and was able to schedule an appointment relatively quickly. Turns out that I needed a new prescription, though according to the optometrist that performed the exam, it wasn’t as bad a change as expected. Not too bad given that it’s been about a decade since I’ve gone for an eye exam. And according to the eye exam, I am now eligible for bifocals. Ugh. Not that I need them yet, I can still read rather well without wearing glasses still, so I’ll just stick to using glasses for distance viewing and take them off for reading. Of course, I skipped out on the retina examination (you know the pupil dilation test) because I didn’t have a pair of sunglasses on me and I wasn’t going to accept the nana-terminator disposables that they give for the drive out of the place.

So I got my first pair of glasses after about 4 or 5 days of waiting. The other pair I finally got last week and did the dreaded pupil dilation test for the optometrist to check my retinas as well as optic nerves in the back of my eye. Man, talk about torture. First, I’m sitting there in the storefront area waiting for my eyes to dilate, which they did much to my chagrin of it getting brighter and brighter. Then the optometrist used this method of light and magnifiers akin to a medieval torture device. While it was more than mildly torturous on my right eye, for my left it was completely unbearable. I had to tell the woman that being left-handed made my left eye more sensitive to light, and after four failed attempts at seeing the optic nerve, decided to do the old fashioned method that I remember them doing in the south involving the hand unit and finishing up with a clean bill of health (other than her telling me that my optic nerve is larger than normal and that I knew this already because of genetics).

While I was fortunate in that it was cloudy and rainy through most of the day (other than the brief part of sunny weather at noon), it took me almost 5 hours for me to get my sight back to normal. Ugh! Believe me, that was annoying.

Then of course, quite by accident, I come across a Free-to-Play game in the shopper’s section of Steam called Warframe. And on an impulse of me looking for a different Free-to-Play game and wanting something a bit more sci-fi like, decided to download and install. Much to my excitement and surprise, it has all the right elements that attract someone like me to playing the game: the ability to control whether to play solo, with friends or PUG up with complete strangers to fight through the various levels throughout the game. So far, I’ve kept to soloing, though I’m finding that one particular boss level at the beginning of the game to being somewhat gruesome enough that I might have to rethink the strategy of going it alone. If you’ve got the processor and video card power, I would strongly recommend taking advantage during the free-to-play open beta, as I’m sure there’s going to be more from this game in the future.

I might get around to reviewing it in the next couple of weeks; depending on whether I can get through the boss-fight on Mercury station without having to PUG up a bunch of players to get through it. Still though, it hasn’t stopped me from recommending it to friends or even raving about it to get them to try the game out.

Next up is a ghost from the long time past. We’re talking about the time just before I had met Darin too. To give a little background on the story there, I’ll call him R for short. R and I met at one of the local gay bars — No Name, Gerardo’s or some such that allowed the underage to come in and have a good time (provided they pay the cover and ducked out in case the police were to show up). We sort of hit it up chatting about nothing in particular, were equally fed up being the nerds and geeks and not the pretty boys that always seem to go home with someone at the end of the night, and generally got to know each other at the bars and out. What one would call Bar Friends that slowly began to form into a sort of light friendship away from the bar crawl. I honestly didn’t trust him as there was something really skeevy about him. Something I couldn’t put my finger on, and because of it I wouldn’t exactly trust him. But he was good enough people to do things when I had no one else pulling at me to do things with.

About a week after my 25th birthday, I had decided that it was high time for me to head to Provincetown. It had been years since I’ve made the almost three hour trek to the end of Cape Cod. Longer since I actually visited the gay vacation spot of the Northeast. Planning for the long weekend of Independence Day that year, I contacted all my friends to see whether they’d like to come along. All of them were committed to family barbeques, party commitments and what not. The only person that had been free was R, so I invited him along and of course he accepted. I did all the initial planning explaining the basics that I do when I head up to P-Town and offered that if it gets too late, we’ll just find a place to crash — the beach or if there’s a room at one of the local motels — and head home the next day. He was up to it and we left it at that hanging around when I had time off or R was out of work.

A week after that, I met Darin at Gerardo’s. While I planned on going to P-Town with R, I also wanted Darin to come along as well. After a couple of conversations with R, he began to get all squirrely about the thought of the three of us going there. I wanted R to come along as a chaperone; knowing full well that Darin and I were going to behave like friends rather than lovers. After all, I only would have known Darin for about a week and it was a good way of determining how Darin would act around my friends. Call it a dry run for being gentlemanly if I were to eventually introduce him to my family. R however didn’t want anything of the sort, saying that he didn’t want to be a third wheel.

I had a final try at trying to convince R to come along urging him that he wouldn’t be a third wheel and that I wanted him to come along as a chaperone because I wanted to see Darin at his best behavior as well. I was over his family’s house with him, with friends of his there. He was being an ass toward me and his friends were trying to take the piss out of me as well, mocking me whenever possible. After about an hour of this, and one final plea to have him come along (him continuing to stand by his trepidations about being a third wheel), I wished him a good night and headed out.

I remember R waited at the door watching me leave. On the windshield of my car was a note on it from R that he must’ve put there one of the couple of times he had left the living room for something to drink or a bathroom break. The note was simple enough, stating that it was either Darin or him going to P-Town and that if I didn’t take him that he didn’t want to talk to me anymore. Yeah — the ultimatum of “it’s either him or me”.

I remember crumpling the note and tossing it to the passenger’s seat, looking at R in the door way, shook my head and said to him, “I don’t appreciate threats or ultimatums like that,” and wished him well. While I regretted that he had forced a juvenile decision like that, I decided that I didn’t need friends like that and moved on.

Flash forward about 2 months. I ran into the friends that R had over the house, the three of them apologizing profusely for their attitudes and explaining the situation. R had been mocking me behind my back to them, and had told them that I had been a selfish boyfriend and R made up all sorts of stories to them that I had been using him and didn’t have the decency to dump him. They continued to tell me stories of how R and I had been boyfriends for months and that I had bought R a ring, how much he had loved me and that nothing he could do would convince me to stay with him.

I accepted their apology and explained to them that R and I had never been intimate. He wasn’t my type, and that whatever he was telling them had been lies, as Darin and I had only just started dating, and the man that I had dated before (almost a year prior) was a man that was a social worker living in Pawtucket. One of the three knew that man, and apologized again for taking the piss out of me that day. The other two had been catching the lies that R had been telling about them and were glad to be rid of him.

Flash forward another 7 months. Stories were reaching me at one of the local bars (Mirabar when it used to be on Allens Avenue). The stories were clearly coming from R and apparently was telling slanderous lies about how R and I had been dating, how he had given me a diamond ring that I never returned and how much of a house-wrecker Darin was for breaking R and I up. Having had my fill of these stories that were circulating for what seemed to have been several months, with Darin in tow I decided it was high time to confront R about this and knowing where he worked, went to see him.

He denied each and every accusation that I had been told. There was never any mention of R and I being together. There was never a diamond ring involved. We had never talked about getting married. He said that it was all made up from other people and that he was innocent of the accusations I confront him about. In fact, he turned around and said that all of these accusations I fabricated against him. News to me, given that the only thing that I ever said in public a couple of times was the note and the ultimatum that it was either R or Darin for that Independence Day Trip to Cape Cod.

Nodding, I told him that if there were any more stories like the ones I heard over the previous months, he would pay for those lies dearly. Consequently, I never heard another peep of those stories or from him since.

(More than) twenty years later, and a whole lot of adventures, I’m home here in the Tundras of New England. And try as I might, I haven’t had all that much luck dating the locals as I would in Atlanta. The reasons are explained ad nausea in prior journal entries, but I keep to the hope that I should make a try anyway. Someone about 35 with a picture and a fairly well worded profile hits me up on one of the local gay boards, and after chatting a little bit admits to being R. I went through the roof because there’s no way in hell that he could be 35. If anything, the youngest he can be is 43 (and I suspect he’s older), and called him out on the lie of his age. I went further to burn him that I remembered the games that he had played and there was no way in hell I wanted to ever deal with him ever again.

He makes up some story that “a friend” had changed his profile, and… Well, let’s just say I stopped reading at the first lie, there was nothing else that I wanted to remember of that long and drawn out note other than the bloated sense of self-ego that he was impressed that he could leave such an impression on me after all these years (it’s not that, I just have a photographic memory), and deleted the message without a follow-up.

Seven months later and two days ago, it starts up again. While I suspected that it was him (given the man doesn’t seem to understand the value of the CAPSLOCK key and types like he’s working on a Wyse terminal from the 80s), I let it play out anyway. Sure enough it was R again. This time without the picture, and a profile in all caps and one extremely painful run on sentence. I burned him again this evening, giving him both barrels in the hope that my being brutally honest and coupled with his dishonest actions that he’ll disappear again.

I got another response in a long run on sentence typed entirely in caps lock that was entirely too painful to read from beginning to end and skimmed it before deleting it. I recall it basically saying that he was sorry that I was dwelling in the past and that he had made mistakes and had learned from them.

I snorted, checked the profile he had responded from and realized the lies continue: he’s still saying he was 35. Quite the work given that if this were true, then he was 12 when I met him in 1989. Nope, this was one leopard that hasn’t changed his spots at all.

Seriously it makes me glad that I don’t go out to the pubs/clubs in the area. Given how creepy he’s been on this local board, I suspect that he’d be like Wayne in that I would seriously need to be filing for a restraining order to keep his ass out of my life. No thanks, don’t need that drama in my life. Better to stay out of it than find myself neck deep in the drama.

Anyway, there’s more to write, but I’m tired at the moment. I’ll be back tomorrow with the remainder of the goings on.

[Last Edited: 05/17/2013 07:29:15 AM]

So it would seem that more than a couple of days have passed since I’ve said that I would sit down again and continue writing. Part of the reason has been because I’ve been off in my own world. Part of it’s been because I’ve lost track of time. However most of it’s been because I’ve been just plain lazy and not wanting to put to word half of the feelings and thoughts that I’ve had going on. C has been wonderfully supportive of me saying that I can say whatever it is that I want to about what’s been going on between the two of us, but at the same time I know intimately the true power of words. It’s one thing to hear the words “I love you” spoken to you — the flutter in the stomach, the giddy feeling that comes with the realization you’re not alone… But putting those words to print — be it in pixels or on paper — to the human mind that basically seals the deal. So I continue to practice just a little bit more discretion as to what else has been going on until such time as I’m sure what’s going on is truly going on.

Up until this morning, I was feeling pretty damned good. Invulnerable even. This morning however, I’m feeling pretty damned vulnerable. While it doesn’t feel as though the rug’s been pulled out from under me, there’s some niggling feeling going on that’s telling me, “something’s not quite right”. I’m not at all sure what it is, but I can tell it’s something akin to paranoia. I’m fairly sure it’s just the changes that are going on with the weather and withdrawal of C’s presence given that it’s warming up there and being outside is certainly more entertaining than being inside. I’m sure that everything will be right as rain the next time I chat with him. Until then, all I can do is shrug the insecurity off, go about my life and believe in faith and hope.

Well, that’s it for the time being. Hopefully the next time I’ll be brave enough to write what I’m hesitant to talk about now. Until the next time.

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