If We Met in a Former Life, Maybe He Was Straight Then – NY TIMES

If We Met in a Former Life, Maybe He Was Straight Then – NY TIMES

When I was getting ready for Brian to pick me up the next night, I found myself more excited than I had ever been for any other date. There was something fabulously intense about an attraction so deep that it transcended the standard definitions of sexual orientation. The notion of a date with a regular old straight guy, who wouldn’t have to sacrifice or defy anything to go out with me, seemed downright dull in comparison.

Over steak and red wine, Brian and I wasted no time in psychoanalyzing his past. He told me about a traumatic incident in his adolescence involving his then-girlfriend and his brother, and how it led to feelings of betrayal and shame that he didn’t know how to handle. Soon after, he hooked up with his first guy.

“My God,” I said, pouring more wine for him. “You’re not gay. It’s just that a traumatic event made you think you were gay.”

Brian shrugged.

I leaned in so that our faces were inches away from each other.

“Maybe I’m bisexual,” he said.

I was willing to accept that. After all, this transition back to straightness might be slow for my new boyfriend.

I nodded and he kissed mea real, passionate kiss.

After dinner, we went to a bar across the street, and although it wasn’t a gay bar, we immediately ran into two gay guys we both knew. One of them, Matt, was hostile to me, even though he had been quite friendly when I met him a few months earlier and he had been hitting on one of my gay male friends.

When Brian went to the bathroom, Matt turned to me. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he asked.

“What are you talking about? You mean, with Brian?”

“Of course I mean with Brian. What kind of game do you think you’re playing?”

“We’re just hanging out, nothing to get worked up about.”

In truth, I imagined that Brian and I were setting new standards of what love could be, but I knew Matt wouldn’t make an appropriate confidante.

Anyway, shouldn’t I be the one concerned that Brian might be playing games with me? After all, I was doing what I had always done: going out with a man. Brian was the one betraying his group.

WHEN Brian came back from the bathroom and Matt went off to smoke, I told him what had happened. He shook his head. “We used to date,” he said of Matt. I should have known; Matt probably wouldn’t be the last of Brian’s exes to have a problem with our transcendent love.

Brian and I went back to my apartment, where I opened a bottle of wine and we both lighted cigarettes. Soon we started kissing. As we kissed, I started to move Brian toward my bedroom, but when we got to the door, he stopped. “I don’t feel comfortable doing anything more,” he said.

“Why?” I asked, feeling like he was suddenly backing out on the courageous and important journey we were taking together.

“Look. That’s all I want to do.”

“No pressure,” I said, kissing his neck.

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Posted on

December 7, 2016