opinion
4 min

Cruising in the mountains (Part 3)

Goodbye daddy, hello me

I can see now that it was necessary for me to get lost this way, half way across the world.

Credit: Michael Taggart/Flickr

I was only going to be in Toronto for three weeks before heading to California. Between Pride, Ernan and my “lover’s” anniversary and a couple of cottage and camping trips, my schedule was filling up. Since DH (rather, Henry) and I weren’t celebrating Father’s Day, I emailed again and asked if we could set a date to have a barbeque or something. He responded almost immediately and said yes. “When do you have in mind?” he asked. I gave him three different dates. 

Two weeks passed, and he hadn’t responded to my suggested dates so I followed up. I didn’t get a response to my follow-up either. Without the familial constructs, his lack of response made me feel especially alone.

The thing that hurt the most is that Henry knows me so well and knows how anxious I become with a lack of communication. It weakens me; it’s my Achilles’ heel. Getting zero response back is the one thing I have zero tolerance for. Knowing this (and trust me, he knows), why would he ignore me for weeks? Could he just not commit more than a “maybe?”

You don’t need a day like Father’s Day to show someone that you appreciate them, but you at least need to show them that you appreciate them.

I hadn’t heard from him in so long that I convinced myself that maybe something bad had happened, even though I knew, deep down, he was just ignoring me. I emailed him again, like a maniac, asking him if he was okay, or was just ignoring me. Said I’d call if I didn’t hear from him. Of course I didn’t hear from him, so I called. He picked up right away.

“Mike,” he said, laughing. “I’m fine. I got your emails. I got your texts too. You’re driving me crazy. You’re sending too many.” He laughed at me again like I was crazy, but seemed to take pleasure in it. “Yes, I’m fine. I’m not dead. Don’t worry, okay, Mike? Okay?” One final laugh.

He is a self proclaimed sadist; was my misery his joy? If not, then why would he acknowledge that he read my emails and not respond for several weeks then laugh at me? I was ashamed and humiliated.

Is this sort of relationship better than being alone?  

While on the phone he asked me when I was back in Toronto. June 19, I said. I didn’t mention that it was right on Father’s Day. He wasn’t my father, or my daddy. He was just Henry now.

Before I left Toronto on this journey, Henry made me a tasty farewell dinner and gave me a cheque for $1,000. It was the sweetest thing that he’d ever done for me. He loves me too, in his own misbegotten way; it was a very unique type of love. “Think of this as a gift, like what your grandmother would give you,” he had said. So I did — like family, I accepted this gift. 

I understand that he doesn’t really get people. I’ve jokingly called him emotionally unintelligent. I accepted him as much as I could and advocated for unconditional love to anybody who would listen, as a testament to our friendship. I admired and respected him, accepting that he was incapable of feeling earthly emotions. 

Having him ignoring me in Spain, then belittle me over the phone, made me see the truth. It was never about unconditional love. Things were always under his conditions. The fact that he still hasn’t committed to a date was his way of saying, subconsciously or not, that I must choose his conditions over mine. This whole relationship has been about me putting his needs before mine — he’s the dom, I’m the sub. It’s the only way he’ll have it. That’s the condition.

The day after we spoke on the phone, I let him know that I wasn’t going to choose him over me — that our friendship was over. It was rash, and I said some pretty nasty things, many of which I didn’t mean, but I needed that door to be closed. The only unconditional love I desire is the love of myself. 

I’d met Henry close to three years ago, at a time when I was feeling scared of life, insecure, and seeking guidance. He became my sexual mentor, and that relationship gave new meaning to my life. He taught me ways to explore who I am, to get closer to my true self, and I’ll always love him for that. He gave me a sense of confidence — but it was that very same confidence that allowed me to give him up. I’ve left the nest and now need to stand on my own.

. . . 

I continued aimlessly through forests of Massís del Garraf, lost in the wilderness of life. I can see now that it was necessary for me to get lost this way, half way across the world. It was the only way I was able to find and accept myself. The sad thing is that I had to sacrifice my friendship with Henry, who was the first person that I ever truly loved. It was a little selfish of me, but he was selfish too, so I can’t say either one of us walked away right or wrong.

I was nervous about this new path, but like that sleeping naked man who I’d seen earlier, I wasn’t going to be afraid any longer no matter how exposed I was. As I found my way out of the forest, I knew that I could never see Henry again. It made me so sad that I wanted to cry, because I knew that was truly the end of DH, and I knew I’d have trouble letting him go.