The last time I wrote something and published it here was in June. I’ve decided to make some changes here. Up until June I have written something nearly every single day. That’s a lot of writing in a year and a half. I decided to take a break. Exploring, documenting my life, my emotions and the evolution of my grieving process through writing has been immensely helpful. I will write less often. I will publish less often. I think by writing less I can continue the self exploration and not be so boring to others.
In June following AIDS LifeCycle I stopped writing. At first I felt a bit guilty about it. But after a few days I quickly let go of that. I felt like whatever I wrote was monotonous; the same thing over and over. I definitely needed a break.
My summer has been somewhat busy; plenty of things to keep me active. I continue to cycle. Three days following ALC and my bike was shipped back to San Francisco I was back in the saddle. Commuting to and from work is a round trip of 23 miles. A more direct route would be much shorter but I prefer the longer quieter through-the-park-no-traffic route. It’s those moments that nourish my soul. I also cycle on weekends. Those are typically much longer. In mid summer I began training for a new challenge, the Double Bay Double; a two day bike ride at the end of September beginning in the SF Bay area riding to Monterey and returning. It’s a total of 208 miles. The riders of Double Bay Double will raise funds for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In October I will ride in Foxy’s Fall Century which takes place in Davis CA, near Sacramento. Foxy’s is not a fundraiser. It’s a 100 mile ride just for fun. I surprise myself when I think of what I have done, me the original couch potato. I rode my bike to Los Angeles and continue to add mileage each day. By year’s end I will have logged over six thousand miles.
Each day brings new as well as familiar emotions. Longing and loneliness seems to be chief among them. There is indeed a huge hole in my life. I have said this many times here as well as in person to my friends. I long for that special person in my life; someone I can care about, someone with whom I can have a relationship. After much time has passed I realize whatever relationship I may have it probably won’t look like what I’ve experienced for the past 36 years. All I want is someone I can care about and give my love to.
Dating. The word is fraught with various meanings; some banal, some deeply serious. I probably fall somewhere in the middle. Allow me to backtrack a bit. During the course of being treated for prostate cancer I was injected every three to four months with a drug called Lupron. The purpose of Lupron was to shut off the production of testosterone in my body. The theory being testosterone is “food” for the cancer cells; cut off the food and the cancer dies. That’s all fine. It’s a standard treatment for prostate cancer. I endured not only eight weeks of radiation treatments; the Lupron lasted two years. Lupron and the lack of testosterone in my body produced some nasty side effects. With a bone density scan it was discovered I had some bone density loss – osteopenia – precursor to osteoporosis. I took Fosomax to combat that. I had mood swings; some pretty severe emotional variations. It was like being on a roller coaster. I had hot flashes. Oh god, the hot flashes! It seemed like the hot flashes came almost nonstop. I can truly commiserate with my female friends with that one. Without testosterone I became sexually inactive. I had no interest whatsoever in sex. Perhaps that was a bit of a blessing in disguise. I’d hate to think what it would be like while in deep grief AND being horny.
The final Lupron injection was in November 2011. After six or so months it was beginning to finally be flushed from my body. I began to feel subtle changes as testosterone once again flooded my body. I had more energy. Emotions leveled out. I began to feel amorous. I felt normal! I wanted to be sexual. In this day and age that’s dealt with fairly easily. I’ve had a few sexual encounters this summer. They accomplished what was needed at the moment. However it also re-emphasized to me how much I want to have an intimate relationship with someone I care about.
So this brings me back to the topic of dating. I have been on a few dates this summer; dinners, movies, theater, music. I enjoy the dinners most I think. Time spent together over food allows for much more conversation and time to get to know one another. I feel that even if I don’t hit it off romantically with someone right away I will have made a new friend.
So my summer continues. Although they still come, sad moments are less frequent. I have various other new things and people in my life to focus on. Of that I am glad. I am content. I was unable to say this six months ago; I am happy.
That’s all for now. More later.