I know, I know...I should probably explain.
I live in a pretty nice house, a late Queen Anne in a well-kept neighborhood. I share the place with two gay renters - guys I described in my blog, "The Stoner, The Psycho, The Trick, and The Drunk." We're like that TV series, The Young Ones. Only we're gay. And we have geraniums. And we also have a two-to-one vacuum-cleaner-to-human-being ratio, and the best bed of inpatients on the block. Probably from all the cigarette ashes.
Renting two rooms in my primary residence has a duo-purpose for me. The first one, obviously, is that I get a few extra bucks towards the mortgage/bills each month...but the second reason is far more important. I'm a loner by nature, often antisocial. And when you throw in both diagnosed personality & anxiety disorders, I rarely leave the house when not working. I'm a hermit who finds comfort within social isolation...but I'm also smart enough to know that some human contact is needed. For that reason, I have renters to talk to...rather than just talking to myself.
But for a gay man in his 40s, tenants carry an emotional price. I considered that cost today, when one of my roommates invited a buddy over for the weekend - a guy I learned was an ex-con, a good-looking meth user...and currently, a prostitute. The dude wasn't hookin' at my house (and if he was, he clearly wasn't a good prostitute), but the fact remained that in a roundabout way, the escort was in my living room because I was lonely...and that made me feel even lonelier.
Especially when I learned that he had HIV.
You know, I really try to keep my blogs both funny & upbeat, and I apologize if this one's a downer. I've been thinking a lot about loneliness lately, and how much I envy those who've never known depression...and who don't rent rooms in their house, just to have a buddy.
Life would be so much easier if I had "partnered up" in my 20s like most people. I see folks now on FaceBook - high school acquaintances & buds from previous jobs - and I'm jealous with how much they've accomplished in 25 years, with their houses, kids, careers, and family. I imagine what it must be like, to have someone I love waiting at home for me. I imagine what it would be like to share household duties and expenses…and to have a partner who accepts me for exactly what I am. I'm a drunk. I'm a writer. And I'm a a compulsively-clean, sexually-deviant geek. What fun, what fun, and what an incredible fantasy. And what a total load of crap, within the reality of real life.
Writing is the only thing that keeps me alive, and Goodbye to Beekman Place is an incredibly flawed story. It communicates the fear that I have in dealing with the (real) world, and its story confronts those things that make me sad…the loneliness & despair that come from renting to guys whose best friends are hookers. I'm ashamed of my life. I'm ashamed of not yet reaching my potential. And more than anything, I'm ashamed of writing about depression…and the sadness that comes from wanting a normal life.
I'll write about all that in The Casual Cafe.