Grateful for Love
In just a little over a week I will have been with my man for seventeen years….
Sometimes it strikes me as rather astonishing.
I was newly single after a relationship of ten years. It should have been five. That’s when I found out the man I was with was cheating. And I mean cheating! I don’t mean once or twice. I don’t mean an affair. I mean hundreds and even a few thousand times! But I stayed because I didn’t believe in myself. I believed what he told me. That if I split up with him no man would ever want me and I would be single for the rest of my life. That I wasn’t attractive. That I was too fat.
But finally, I came to care for myself enough that I realized I would rather live in a cardboard box in an alley that be with that man for one more day. I ended it to his shock. He begged me no to leave. But I was done.
This was in July of 2000.
And the first weekend in November of that same year I met R.
I was working registration at a small adult science fiction relax-a-con. We’d been closed the hour or so during opening ceremonies and so when we reopened, we had quite a line. At one point, wondering if the line would ever end, a sort of half stood and leaned out to my right to try and see the end of the line…
…and saw him. A beautiful man with amazing blue eyes. He was looking right at me. And smiling.
My heart started to pound. When I sat back down, my co-worker looked at me, noticed the look on my face, and asked me if I was all right.
I nodded. Told him I had just seen someone beautiful…
When “he” got to the front of the line I could barely talk. I was all tongue tied. And for anyone that knows me, they know I am a Chatty Cathy. I am never at a loss for words. But not that night. The whole time I registered him for the weekend, he was looking at me with those incredible blue eyes. Oh I see them in my head even now!
Throughout the weekend I see him across a crowded room…looking at me. And my heart would pound and the blood zing through my veins.
Now there is some time I should say. Science fiction and fantasy conventions have long be a place where gay people are far more accepted than most places. These are people who believe in possibilities and the acceptance of everything from dwarves to all types of aliens. Why in the sixties, the bridge of the starship Enterprise had an black woman as communications officer, a Russian as navigator (this was during the cold war), a Japanese man as helmsman, and a half alien as first officer! In fact the first pilot had a woman as first officer, and in the 1960s, that was saying sometime. As a matter-of-fact, in was Star Trek that gave birth to slash, stories where Kirk and Spock were lovers. So gay people have been just one more possibility.
And because so many people are bisexual to one extent or another, men who accept gay men, sometimes begin to flirt with the possibility of their own bisexuality. Especially after hours of visiting the con-suite and drinking the free beer….
What that means is flirting with out gay men, because where else are they going to take such a chance? Not out in the “real” world, that’s for sure.
Thing is, there is many a gay man who has gotten such a man back to his room, only to have the man panic and run…leaving the poor gay man with a case of blue balls. Believe me, it’s happened to me.
And blue eyes? Well he seemed pretty damned straight to me. I mean he was wearing stripes and plaids. What self-respecting gay man would do that?
Finally, I got tired of those stares. It was late Saturday night and I was getting a beer and there he was again, staring at me….
I’d had enough. I strode right up to him, got in his face, and said, “I think you’re hot!”
To my surprise he said, “You do? I’ve thought you were hot for years.”
Needless to say, that night I didn’t fall asleep still…aroused.
Seventeen years later we are still together.
With a story like that, is it any wonder I can write romances? And it’s because I’ve lived one.
And it’s exactly why so many of my heroes first notice the eyes of the Happily Ever Afters….
BG “Ben” Thomas
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and their fabulous dogs Sarah Jane and Oliver. He is blessed to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends. He has a great passion for life.
B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy.
In the nineties, he wrote for gay adult magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. He submitted a novella and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the romantic tales have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of story-telling!”
In 2015 he made and entry every day in his blog “365 Days of Silver,” where he found something every day to be grateful for. You can find it right here: https://365daysofsilver.wordpress.com/
“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message. “It is never too late,” he testifies. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”