Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Willful Act of Obfuscation

Gay pride was ecstatic this year. The crowd was dense and joyful. New York's legislature had accomplished the impossible and legalized gay marriage the Friday before, just before midnight.

On that gay pride Sunday, my friend Eric and I stood behind a police barricade on the east side of 16th Street watching the flag twirlers, fags, fairies, and normal Joes and Janes parade and pageant past us with the thump-thump of a distant boom box creating a pulse for this extra ebullient gay pride march. There was a cloudless periwinkle sky above us with a warm, summer breeze adding to the perfectness of the day.

Eric and I have been friends for almost 20 years through boyfriends, lovers, and husbands. He can provide a dose of whimsy when I'm maudlin and sober advice that sets me straight (so to speak) even when I'm not sensible enough to ask for it.

In the midst of the reverie we were having a semi-serious sidebar.

"I had to do it. I 'hid' Mark on Facebook. I just couldn't see it anymore," I confessed.

Eric laughed. "I turned to Bob last week..." (Bob is Eric's partner and now his fiance thanks to Cuomo.) "...and I said, I'm going to 'hide' Mark. Then Bob got quiet for a moment and admitted, 'I did that a couple of weeks ago. I just couldn't take all that bear stuff. ' And then he shook his head."

Now there was moral support better than a hug. When a friend hides your ex-husband before you do, that's a gesture of love and loyalty.

I'm getting gay divorced soon. My husband moved out earlier this year. The persistent memory from the last year of my marriage was my husband on the sofa, watching TV in stupor. That was how I left him when I went to work and that is where I found him when I got home. That's how we spent our evenings.

Post separation, Facebook revealed a man I couldn't recognize or had forgotten. Checking in at an art exhibit, status updates from bars, "Mark is now friends with..."

"It's unbelievable," I said to Eric, "I couldn't get him to go anywhere, to do anything. Now he's everywhere, doing everything. I can't see it. Where was that guy last year?"

Eric had a theory: "Maybe its just post-breakup stuff. Where you just run around wild doing all this stuff."

I interrupted, "I wanted him to do things, make his own friends, have his own life."

"I know. I know. But maybe he couldn't give himself permission to do that while you were together."

A roar from the crowd brought me back into the present. A float rolled past with Linda Carter at the helm. It looked like Wonder Woman was texting. Or posting her status to Facebook. Or adding a friend. The gesture can be so easy, innocuous and fleeting.

My last marriage was in Massachusetts. I want my second marriage - with whoever that will be - inaugurated in New York City. For me, this happy advance in my civil rights means that I can get married again. Married. Divorced. Married. That's equality, baby!

Now I need to go notify my "friends" about this blog post. :)

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