I was lost in the forests of the Massís del Garraf coastal mountain range, behind Platija de l’Home Mort, in the outskirts of Sitges, Spain. I’d been in there for about 50 minutes and had no idea where I was anymore. I’d heard about the cruising in the forest and was curious to check it out, not realizing how vast this backcountry was, with a network of trails that completely turned me around. Thoroughly lost, I contemplated turning back around, but I couldn’t just give in, not anymore. I left everything in Toronto to be standing in this very spot.
As I aimlessly continued through the bush, I stumbled upon a naked man, sunbathing in the small area of the forest where rays of sun found their way past the leaves. When I approached, he didn’t move; he’d fallen asleep. Isn’t he afraid to be so exposed like that? I wondered.
I walked by him, moving deeper into the forest. Soon, I couldn’t even hear the crashing waves from the shores of Platija de l’Home Mort, or feel the sea wind. There was just a flood of silence, vast and empty. It was so quiet that all I could hear were my thoughts, which forced my mind to drift.
Continuing through the bush, I began to think how alone I finally was, not just in this wilderness but in life too. I was more alone now than I’d ever been in years. And Daddy H (or rather DH), would no longer be there to “guide” me. I suppose I should stop calling him DH. Henry: that’s his actual name.
I thought about Father’s Day, which was only a few weeks away. Henry and I had coincidentally met on Father’s Day, and had celebrated it two years in a row, more as a joke since he was my “daddy.” I always enjoyed this tradition; it was a great reason to get together.
A couple of weeks ago I’d asked whether he’d be available for Father’s Day this year. He said that he should be in Toronto and we could maybe do dinner. He always said, “maybe” when making plans with me. In fairness, he generally kept these “maybe” plans, and it was more of a way to maintain control by “maybe” saying no at the last minute. He was a “dom” after all.
He was always the one to decide when, where and how we would spend time. I accepted it, telling myself that this acceptance was a form of unconditional love. We always talked about “unconditional love” like it was our philosophy and so I didn’t want him to change. This notion became the backbone of our friendship.
Still, since I booked a flight to be in Toronto specifically for Father’s Day, a “maybe” didn’t seem like enough though. I needed certainty so I asked him: “Is Father’s Day even important to you? I want an honest answer.” Well, that’s exactly what he gave me. No, it wasn’t important to him. But I was important to him though, he explained, but if “familial constructs” were important to me, then yes, Father’s Day was important to him too.
I cannot fault him for what he said, but it wasn’t the answer that I was hoping for. Personally, I liked celebrating this tradition, but if his heart wasn’t in it, then it’d be silly to celebrate anyway. I suppose he’s far too superior for such trivial things. His response made me feel immature and somewhat frivolous. By the same token, I understood what he was saying — you don’t need a day to prove that you appreciate someone. So I told him that we didn’t need to celebrate Father’s Day this year.
In my email response back to him, I poured my heart out a bit, explaining why I liked the tradition, but agreed that we don’t need a day to tell us to appreciate each other’s friendship. He never responded back to that email . . .