Thursday, June 17, 2010


And now for a session of blogging as therapy…I think my five-month email relationship with Marc in Toronto just ended. Not that I had high hopes, but at least there was a shred of hope. Now? I guess it’s back to my rural bliss, saying hello to the slugs. And I’m talking about REAL slugs, the ones that dot my lawn, the ones that I avoid with the mower resulting in scruffy patches of the wild grass.

Gosh, I miss the city. And concrete.

All right, so back to Toronto. When I got the first message from him on Plenty of Fish in early February, I remember wondering what the heck an Ontario boy was doing looking so far West. I mean, he was in Canada’s most populated city. If the fishing had dried up there,… (Can’t they just build an artificial lake?)

Who was I to judge? There had been times when I lived in L.A. and in Vancouver when it seemed there was nothing bust rusted, algae-laden pop cans to reel in. (And here’s where I shall drop the fishing metaphors. It’s icking me out. I’m a vegetarian, after all.) If, for whatever reason, you enter your forties as a single gay man, finding a partner can be a challenge in any environment. I wasn’t getting a barrage of messages from B.C. buds so why not Toronto? It was closer than Chernobyl. And, in a best-case scenario, there’d be no immigration hassle.

Marc and I communicated daily for the first couple of months. We exchanged real email addresses and I looked forward to checking my email. It was nice to have something more than an onslaught of spam about erectile dysfunction. Premature, guys! Why are you targeting me anyways? Things evolved to the point that, when something exciting/aggravating/humiliating happened in the day, it was Marc whom I looked forward to telling. It felt like a real relationship.

And, of course, at the same time, it didn’t. What did he look like again? Once a month, I’d go back to glance at his photo on a website. What did he sound like? No idea. We’d thought about Skype, but my ancient laptop was incompatible. Regular phone calls never came up as an option.

It looked like he’d be visiting some friends in Vancouver in April or May. But then that didn’t happen. I looked into cheap flights to Toronto. Not cheap enough, considering I’m not making any money during my leave of absence this year. Three nights in Vegas just seemed too cheap.

I’d be in Ottawa in August and he was going to be there for work. We’d meet. Better late than never, right?

But then I read his email on Sunday. Not a “Dear John”; more like a Dear J-. His sister-in-law had arranged a blind date for Tuesday. How did I feel about that?

Well, what was I supposed to say? Blind date guy presumably lived in the same freakin’ province. They could actually sit down in the same place and have a regular conversation to get to know each other. They’d get a sense of whether there was any chemistry. So conventional. So real.

I’d wished him luck. If coffee went well, I noted I’d be happy for him, sad for me. Still, on Tuesday, I hoped for a late evening email. I’d had so many bad or bland coffee dates, maybe his would turn out to be decaffeinated too. But, alas, no new messages. (Even the friendly folks at Viagra had wisely moved on.)

It’s a gut feeling—felt it on Sunday—but I think coffee went well. Once again, my mother’s voice is menacingly settling into my head for a surprise visit. You shouldn’t procrastinate! You snooze, you lose. What’s with you anyway? Are you SURE you don’t like girls? Okay, I’ll stop there. As therapeutic as blogging might be, there are limits.

I am truly happy for Marc. He deserves to experience a spark in his life. And, for me, what’s the harm? Five months of contact, but we never met. Moving on should be a snap. Right?

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