I Couldn’t Sing…

I’ve had many great loves in my life, most of them ending so badly that I learned to put up a protective barrier around myself in which I could contain my emotions.  It doesn’t mean that I gave up on loving it just become more cautious with it.  I am a person who leaps with all of his might and I still believe in the magical power of romance.  I have always believed in loving hard and when it was over recognize the differences and move on.  The first one is always the hardest and as I think back it had the most impact on shaping the person I have become.  First of all to be gay and live in a place like Montana, to love a man meant we battled a host of odds just to dare being together.  We met in Montana in the cold of winter in a porn shop.  It took us to Illinois in the spring and Dallas in the summer.  Ironically Dallas is not noted for its cold winters, but the coldness between us grew to a devastating icy chill that became one of the hardest winters of my life.  Eventually I was abandoned in a strange city, left alone with nothing but a heap of debt and a broken spirit.  I was foolish enough to believe in a dream and while the dream lasted I floated on a sort of heaven.  They always say find them in a porn shop, lose them in a porn shop.  I was too naive to know any difference.  He loved sex with everyone but me, and the pain of not being good enough caused an emotional breakdown that still aches in the back of my heart.  One cold morning I abandon everything and jumped on a Greyhound bound back to my home in Montana.

When I returned I still felt displaced and it took me a year just to recover.  Just when I thought I was over it I feel in love with a fraternity boy who was a student from North Dakota.  This was sensational and this time I utterly fell head over heels.  Neither of us had a place to go so we had to find public places to engage each other so Missoula and it’s surrounding mountains become a dreamy paradise.  When school ended for the semester he returned to North Dakota to work for the summer on a construction job.  We wrote and called each other every day making plans to actually move in together when he returned in the fall for school.  Then three weeks before he was supposed to return, I called one night and his mother told me he had been killed in an accident on the site where he worked, crushed by a bulldozer blade.  My body and mind went numb for months afterwards.  I thought I would never recover that feeling.

My next leap was about getting high and sexual addiction, again being abandoned in the end as he moved on to someone else.

At this point I was seduced by a married man whom I didn’t want to have any thing to do with but had lots of money and was quite persistent.  This gave me a sense of power and made me fearless to go after the things I wanted.  After a year of secrecy I began to look for something more meaningful and then found what should have been the love of my life.

This time I knew it was love and I had finally found happiness.  We both loved theater and spent a great part of our lives making each other laugh.  It was fantastic sex, a total connection, as my heart leapt for about 8 years.  But then something began to grow wrong.  It seemed he was consumed with a raging jealousy and began to sabotage everything things I did that was creative.  My life was just beginning to take off in theater and he being a talented, but failed artist himself began to destroy all the things I worked to create.  Eventually it become so unhealthy that I finally had to get out and it took me three years to end.  I began to realize my life had become a Tennessee Williams story and indeed had experienced so much pain that it was ether time to write a country song or become an artist in which I could express all that feeling.  I couldn’t sing so I turned to photography and in the end found myself and happiness with a man who finally accepted me for what I was and did.  And here it all is in the images of my life.  That pain, that isolation, the fear, and the doubt!  I have always heard that all artists must suffer in order to become great artists.  If this is true, perhaps I am ready to become that artist.