Saturday, April 3, 2021

Therapist

 

A few months ago I was in a coffee shop.  There was a brown guy, maybe Indian, sitting against the wall.  He had on jeans with cuts in them.  I noticed his dark, hairy legs.  Hot.  Peter's legs are just like that.

I've been playing therapist lately.  Many friends have told me I am a very good listener.  I'm also good at calmly looking at situations from various perspectives.

Peter told me that sometimes he hates himself.  If his family finds out he's gay he will be forced out.  He might want to kill himself.  This is what we've been discussing.

Before you tell me that he should get professional counseling, let me tell you that he doesn't have the money for that, and he wouldn't do it anyway.  So it's good that he can talk to me.

In our talks we are trying to figure out the finances of his food business.  He needs to understand how to make a decent living at this.  He needs to make some free time for himself, and not be working 6-7 days a week.  The reality is that lots of people work 6-7 days a week to survive.  But it's not healthy.  He wants to get his own place.  Right now he's living with family for just a few hundred a month.  We've talked through this, and why it's not a good idea to leave this situation.  Not until he's financially stable.

Most importantly, we've talked about helping yourself.  Rarely are things hopeless.  You need to take action yourself to make your own situation better.

I wouldn't do this if I didn't think he was a genuinely nice guy.  He needs a break, and someone to confide in.  I need the human contact.

In my spare time I've been binge watching Ozark.  Not as good as Breaking Bad or Queen of the South, but it's good.  I got my first vaccine shot.  I don't expect to be back to anything like normal until year end.

Stay safe.   It's not over yet.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Peter


Peter was here yesterday.  He sat in the sun as we grilled burgers on my terrace.  He really is a good looking guy.  I wouldn't describe him as muscular, but he's solid.  I look at his arms....they look so powerful.

He has really opened up to me in the last month.  I am learning a lot about the challenges in his life.  Since arriving here about eight years ago with nothing, he has been working in a number of low paying jobs, just keeping his head above water.  Now he has a franchise for a small food concession.  The problem is that it's not making enough money.  He works 66 hours per week on this business.  Given that he is the entrepreneur and risk taker, I think he should be making minimum $20 per hour.  He is not.  I told him that if he brings over his records I will help him figure out how much he is making.  Step two is how to get the business to a satisfactory level of profitability.  He doesn't have a great location either.  He knows other people who have this franchise who do ok.   I'm just trying to help.

He told me that sometimes he feels so depressed about his situation that he just wants to end it all.  I'm trying to get him focused on solutions.  I'm trying to show him another perspective, and get him redirected to fixing things.  He's not an educated business person.  He just doesn't know what to do.

Compounding the complexity, he feels so much pressure to send money back to Myanmar.  $500 USD is a lot of money in Myanmar.  It's critical to his family.  The recent military coup was jarring to the country.  It hasn't affected his family yet, but eventually it will.

I've let Peter into my bubble.  Maybe that's foolish, but this small amount of human contact has been good for me.  I continue to play it safe, staying mostly at home.  Besides work, walks, bike rides and a bit of shopping are the extent of my excursions.

"Thanks so much for everything Rob," and he hugged me tight when he left.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Bending the Rules


It's now been seven months since I've been on Grindr.  I thought I'd get in better shape, get some new pictures, and reemerge when this is over.  I have been occasionally chatting with a few people on two smaller sites where I am unlikely to actually meet anyone.

Sometimes unexpected things happen.  I did start chatting with a guy on Blued.  This is an Asian site one of my Chinese friends told me about.  There are never more than three or four guys within 50 km of me.  These few guys are rarely online.

I did decide to meet one guy.  His name is Peter.  He is from Myanmar.  I've never met anyone from that country.  He has really opened up to me and he has an interesting story.  He is from a northern state where the people are Christian in this mostly Buddhist country.  This is thanks to American missionaries who descended on this area more than 100 years ago.  He told me about his childhood in a remote village.  Sometimes he went hungry.  The scariest thing these people faced was the military.  The people lived in terror of the military.  They could take from you whatever they wanted.  They could even take men from the village and force them into days or weeks of slave labor as porters.  People who didn't comply were beaten.

So at 19 years old his parents arranged for him to go to Malaysia where he had family and would be safe.  Eventually the UN Commission for Refugees took his case and helped him emigrate to the US.

Now after nearly ten years in the US he is Americanized and runs a small business.  His business is struggling in the pandemic.  He sends money back to his family in Myanmar every month and they really depend on this.   The pressure is high.

If I ran into him in the street I would think he is Indian.  But I look at his face and can tell that he probably isn't.

He showed me pictures of his family and his village.  Very good looking family.  His sister just got married, and she is a knockout.  Her wedding pictures were great -- they looked like they were taken in NYC.

Then there is the complexity of being gay.  Just not accepted in his culture.  At 33 years old, he is facing increasing questions about why he is not married.  He shared with me that he sometimes feels depressed, and is uncertain about his future.

Wow.  I feel like I have so much to be thankful for after hearing that story.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Connections


Good people are hard to find.  When you do find them, hang on.

This is something I live by.  When I meet a good person, I want to keep them in my life.  By this I mean someone who is a true and trusted friend.  Even if we don't live close by, I want to stay in touch because we will probably reconnect one day.

I have a few ex-bf's who I am still close with.  We talk regularly and occasionally meet.  Is this strange?  I think a lot of gay guys maintain contact with previous relationships.  I really value these now friendships.

Recently my bf of two years moved back to China.  His mother is very sick and he needed to be there for his family.  From the beginning of his trip my sense was that it was over for us.  I didn't think he'd come back.  He told me he was thinking about staying in China.  

The calls became less frequent.  He forgot my birthday.  That was a major red flag.  He would have freaked out if I had forgotten his birthday.  I had sent him a really nice (and expensive) hoodie, and I know he was wearing it around in China.  He was super sensitive about me maintaining contact with former relationships, and this is something we argued about.  But I'm not going to give up these close friends.  They live thousands of miles away.  He did tell me that if we broke up he would not remain in contact, and we discussed why would he take that position.  It doesn't make sense to me.  His basic argument was that you can never move on to a new relationship if you maintain contact with the old ones.

So now he's basically ghosted me.  He may reemerge, but I'm disappointed in him.

This has happened with a few other guys too over the years.  Usually guys I've has casual flings with, but we did have a connection.  I'm a good person.  A loyal and trusted friend.  Why wouldn't they want to stay in touch with me?  But it's their choice.  I guess they don't value good friends like I do.

All I can do is make effort from my side.  Try to keep people I think are good in my life.

Thinking about this from a happiness context.  Some of the relationships I've had have made me very happy.  I think back with really good memories about those time together.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Torn

 

I've mentioned that I'm feeling lonely during this pandemic.  I haven't met anyone in a long time.  No sex in nearly a year.  Really not even a hug in a year.  My long distance bf is gone...that's over.  So I'm feeling lonely.

I haven't been on Grindr in six months.  We're in the midst of a pandemic, so what's the point?  I needed a break from that site anyway.  If I go back it will be with a refreshed profile.  Not smart to meet random people right now.  Maybe I could meet someone for a coffee.  We could sit outside.  It was nearly 70 on Sunday.   That would be low risk.

One place I haven't stayed away from is A4A.  Why?  Really because the chances of me actually meeting someone from there are near zero.  I view it as just safe chatting.  I haven't spent a lot of time there.  Just some human contact once in a while.  There's always a different mix of people on these sites depending on the locale.

I'm finding there are an awful lot of married guys on A4A here.  Many of them are hitting on me.  They're not far away and anxious to meet.  I sort of understand their situations.  I was married once.  But I never acted on my desire for men until a few years after I was divorced.  I've met just a few married guys in the past.  For sure we have a lot in common.  But, years ago I decided it was a bad idea and haven't met a married guy in a long time....maybe a decade?  Whenever I see "bisexual" in someone's profile it rings alarm bells.  These days I have to ask "to".  Man or woman?  You never know.

There is one very interesting guy I've been chatting with.  Very smart guy.  A doctor.  From various clues he's dropped I'm pretty sure I've figured out who he is.  He's a well published, and probably somewhat renowned specialist.  However, during our conversation he let it slip that, "oh, I'm currently married."   In this case it's a woman.

This guy could be a good friend.  We have a lot in common.  He wants to meet me.  I've told him it would just be friends.  But I'm torn about what to do.  Just friends is my choice.  If anything else happens that's my fault.  

Meeting smart people for good conversation is fun.  When there's some mystery mixed in that makes it more interesting.  I'll probably meet him.  Just for coffee is no big deal.   Maybe in a few weeks.  Unless I change my mind by then.

Very decisive aren't I?


Friday, December 4, 2020

Time to Collapse

 Just got home after an eleven hour meeting.  It's cold and pouring rain.  

 I think I'll just collapse into bed.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Moon Pie

 

Some people have moon cakes.  We have moon pie in the US.  What do you think Will?