Justin's Life...

~ June 2000 ~
~ June 9th - 15th ~

June 9, 2000 - Friday

The length of time since I last wrote is evidence of the newly monikered "Diary To Life Correlation Theorem." There's either too much life and therefore too little time to write about it, or too little life and therefore nothing to write about.

In this particular case, it has been the "too much life and therefore no time to write" part of the duality.

So, anyway, here goes... a major catch up:

Thursday morning, I woke at 6AM to finish my presentation for a convention my company was exhibiting at in New Orleans. The plane was leaving at 12:35PM and since I had no printer to go along with me, it was a do or make do situation. I'd managed to have handouts printed the day before, but I had to make the pages for the plastic sleeve presentation booklet. I had to have some rap I could give those who were interested and it had to look nice.

So, figuring out the highlights, I began creating pages and situating them in the booklet when the phone rang. It was odd for someone to call so early. I didn't want to answer it: I needed to get the booklet done, so I let it go to voicemail.

A few minutes later, I checked voicemail and heard, Play RealAudioRealAudio Play WAV Audio.wav "Clay, this is Michelle. Uh, I need you to give me a call. Jason was killed in a car wreck this morning in Tennessee. And, uh, I just need to talk to ya about other things, too, so give me a call if ya get this message."

Michelle, my cousin, was calling to tell me that Jason, my other cousin who I wrote about in February, had been killed in a car wreck... and I was exactly sure how to respond. I hadn't really emotionally connected with him, though there was a common bond of being kin and both being gay. Mainly, I just felt bad because he never really knew life as being gay and happy. His whole life, he'd been miserable in one way or the other. And now, he would never see that he could be just a regular guy, accepted for being himself, nor would he ever know that it didn't have to be like it was for him.

So, I called Michelle and we talked about it for a bit. She also said that she wouldn't be able to come out to LA, as I'd offered a few weeks earlier, because she couldn't get off work. I told her we'd just delay it and she'd still have the break she needed. We talked a bit more, then I said I needed to get everything done for New Orleans, she said she knew that I was leaving (because my mom had told her), and we said good-bye.

So, deadline pressing, I continued on until I had a very nice presentation in my plastic sleeved booklet. I finished packing and we headed to the airport.

Waiting in the President's Club lounge at the airport (a frequent flyer area with free booze and snacks that Larry has access to), we were getting ready to leave for the plane when I heard Larry say, "Hey, Bette. It's me, Larry." Knock me over, it was Bette Midler.

They started talking, she hugged him, shook my hand, and then they began talking about yesteryears. She asked about Katie and Larry asked about her daughter... and when Bette responded that she was thirteen, Larry said, "She's sprouting tits" or something like that.

Yet knowing that Larry knew her much better than I did and that she got her start in gay bathhouses, it didn't especially shock me. I said we saw her in Orange County, on the front row, but mainly they just talked, about people in the music industry... and about eBay.

A few minutes later, it was time for us to get to our plane, so we headed out the door (she was heading in), but not before she wrote Larry's home phone number in her book, and tore out a page from her address book to write "Bette" and her home phone number to give to him.

She hugged Larry once again, shook my hand once more, and said that she'd write my name down so the next time she'd know.

Well, when we got to the gate, it turned out that they were pulling passengers back off the plane because they needed to change the tire. So, we went back into the President's Club lounge and waited. Figuring that Bette was hiding out somewhere, we just sat and waited without hunting her down... but, I did figure I'd call my mom and tell her what just happened.

So, while I was on the phone to her, I realized that the girl who plays Drucilla's sister, Olivia, on The Young And The Restless was sitting across from us on her cell phone. I mean, I wasn't quite sure it was her, but it looked like her... and then she said something about the CBS affiliates dinner. Of course, she was with some black guy that I didn't recognize either, but I heard her explain to the party on the phone that she was with Blair Underwood and he wasn't wearing a tie. I had no idea any movies he'd been in, but the name was familiar.

So, it was quite the celebrity sighting.

Anyway, the tire is changed, we get on the plane (in first class thanks to frequent flyer perks of Larry's), and it's very nice. Power foot rests, individual television screens that come out of your chair (where I selected Scream 3 to watch), and all the drinks you want.

So, speeding right along, and admittedly being tight lipped; Friday, Larry helped me exhibit at the convention, and we had an excellent dinner at Emerill LaGasse's restaurant NOLA. Saturday night, Larry and I got into a heated argument about chatting with Jeremy online, and then Sunday afternoon we headed back home to LA.

Monday, things were serious. The mood hadn't changed since Saturday night, and I needed a break. I was contemplating flying home to Kentucky, when the mood suddenly broke. Larry and I hugged a bunch, said that we loved the other, and I said I needed a show of trust from Larry in regards to Jeremy. So, with Larry's consent, I drove to the ranch Monday afternoon, hung out with Jeremy at CompUSA and Office Depot, and then spent the night at the ranch house alone. No hands in pants was the request from Larry, and hugging was about it, but it was an incredibly nice time.

Tuesday, when I got back to LA, I worked a bit. Wednesday, I worked some more, chatted with Jeremy some more. Thursday, more work, more chat. And today, Friday, I got up, wrote the newsletter, sent it out, then started writing the diary.

Needless to say, I've found myself a bit (err... quite) enchanted with Jeremy... and a bit vice versa. Larry and I are off to the ranch shortly and hopefully he'll be coming over tonight.


June 10, 2000 - Saturday

Last night, Jeremy came over around 10:30PM, and while I have to give him credit for being much warmer than he was initially, there's still a part of me that desperately longs for him to open up more.

I mean, the cerebral part of me realizes that the attraction exists, and he's said it extremely in parts of our IM's... yet, partially from what he's said and partially from observation, I know he's stopping himself from being more participatory. It's like when you know someone wants something and you want them to have it, but they resist taking it.

For example, last night, as Jeremy layed back on Larry in the chair and as I layed in the floor next to the chair, my only guage as to whether my presence was desired was a squeeze of my thumb. I pulled it away to see if there was resistance... and there was.

But, by 1AM, my needs had grown and I asked that Jeremy just hug me back when I hugged him. The request got scuffawed and I went into the bedroom to watch TV by myself. Larry and he soon followed, laughed a bit about how I was high maintenance, but then Jeremy gave me an extended bear hug. It felt really nice, but I hated having to get it in the manner I did... especially when I know that there's a part of Jeremy that would like nothing more than to hug me tightly.

Oh well, there are worse things, for sure, and he is coming around... so maybe if I just hold on long enough I'll get what I want/need.


Today, when I was telling Larry about how I caught the diary up yesterday and how I sped through our fight, not wanting to have another fight about how I wrote about it, Larry asked, "Did you used the word 'obsessed' anywhere?"

I said that I had not, but that I'd talked about the days of this past week and used the word "chatted" repeatedly: It was obvious that my attentions were focused.

But, as today passed, I came to realize that I am obsessed. I think of Jeremy nearly non-stop. It's like he's some illegal drug and I'm addicted. My mind was wandering at dinner with our friend Jim the other night, as though I were drunk and had to actively focus upon the conversation at hand. And today I could literally think of nothing else than Jeremy. I have never been this obsessed with anything in my entire life... and I'm not sure I can entirely, or even partially, explain why. Nor am I even sure that I want to explain why. All I know is that I feel like a junkie hooked on his heroine: I'm on a high.


June 15, 2000 - Thursday

While the high of Jeremy reached its peak on Saturday and has since ebbed a bit, my emotions and levels of involvement have covered the entire spectrum this past week.

On Sunday, I got this letter from Jeremy after a conversation we had about possible relationship outcomes:

You need to close the door on me. I can't close it on you, and I can't deal with it anymore, because I know it's not going to work. Close it, and everyone will move on.


So, I began writing him a response, but stopped, opting instead to take a break from the situation and drown my pains for the day: Vodka and Mountain Dew.

Monday, Jeremy and I again talked about various odds and ends, until, in the course of conversation, he said that he'd reposted his online personal ad and people were IM'ing him.

It stabbed like a knife. It was like he couldn't even wait until the body was cold, until I had some time to think and make a decision about what I wanted to do. I was hurt that I wasn't even worth waiting for while I was very agonizingly trying to figure out what I wanted.

A minute or so later, Jeremy wrote to apologize, to say that he was sorry, and to explain that he'd already done the math and that Larry "won" so he knew there was no point in waiting. He knew there was no way I could leave Larry and the three-person relationship idea was not going to happen with him; he was just too uncomfortable. Yet I did not respond. I was too stressed. I was on PriceLine.com upping my bid for a plane ticket to Kentucky. I needed a safe haven to just think and Kentucky was it.

After saying nothing, five minutes or so later, the following conversation ensued:

Jeremy: ok, so I lied... I can't take it.... will you say something to me? anything? I don't care if it's 'fuck off'.... just something
Justin: .
Jeremy: I am sorry
Jeremy: I am really really really sorry
Justin: you obviously haven't seen the novella I've been writing
Jeremy: no, you never sent it
Justin: or seen the conversations Larry and I have had
Jeremy: no, I haven't heard that either
Jeremy: all I've heard is how much you love Larry
Jeremy: how you couldn't imagine being without him
Justin: I do and I can't
Justin: perhaps I should just send that e-mail
Jeremy: well, then I think you have your answer, no matter how much that hurts me
Justin: no, if I had my answer...
Justin: I wouldn't be buying a ticket on PriceLine.com
Justin: I don't do drama.
Jeremy: I like you... alot.... and I only don't use the word love because I know there is another level there that signifies 'love'
Justin: I sent the letter
Justin: It was written during several different times, so chronology doesn't always match
Jeremy: I care about you a lot... and it really hurts me when you are hurting... I don't want you to hurt
Justin: read the letter
Justin: pull the fucking ad
Justin: be mine.
Justin: if only for the moment
Jeremy: (reading the letter)

I read your e-mail... believe it or not, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I thought it was going to say that you were closing the door on me. I so didn't want to see that. (I wasn't going to let that happen, btw... you think I've been insistent lately; you ain't seen nothing yet. ;-) ). But wording it the way you did, your three sentence e-mail speaks volumes.

If you were 100% sure that it wouldn't work, that somehow, some way we won't end up together, you _would_ be able to close the door... but you're not 100% sure. There's still a part of you that believes it will work.

And as for me, there's a part, a considerable part, that believes a relationship between you and I will exist. If I didn't believe that, I certainly wouldn't be investing all this energy, nor would I be contemplating giving up all I do have. And while I argue that part of it is not about you, there is undoubtedly a part of my decision making that is specifically about you.

I wish I had all the solutions. I wish I knew exactly what was the right decision. I wish I had knowledge of the future to see how each possible choice would turn out. But I do not. And things aren't so clear cut for me. On one hand, I have an amazing family, with kids I love, every possible material possession I could want, and someone who takes care of me... who worries if I'm sick, who hands me a Kleenex to blow my nose if I sniffle, who knows me better than anyone has ever known me. On the other hand, I have a VERY strong desire but a lot of unknowns. I've given you all the compliments. You know all the whys of my attraction to you? Yet will you ever be free with compliments? Will I always feel like I'm begging for even the smallest of commitments? Will we be ready to kill each other after a week?

But the main question remains; the one I must decide: Is Larry more like a mentor/parent or more like a husband? If someone told you that you had to choose between your mom or your boyfriend, you'd certainly be conflicted. If someone told you that if you chose your boyfriend, you'd likely never see your mom again. Or at the very most, several years after your decision, that the two of you would only be acquaintances, having dinner once a year, you would be conflicted. Those are the real absolute certain consequences of my decision here. I have a lot to risk and a lot of unknown, but there's enough there that I'm considering it all.

I mean, I'm not quite sure you (or even I) realize how interrelated Larry and I are. At the minimal physical movement of goods, I've got truckloads of clothes, computer stuff, furniture, phone lines, a DSL connection, bank accounts, a shared CPA, and my server is in his office. It's so meshed that removing it is like removing a limb from a body.

Mentally, it's more like we're conjoined (Siamese) twins and as with the literal operation to separate Siamese twins, there's a lot of risk, a lot of possible gain, a lot of agonizing decision making, and a lot of unknown. Is my desire for a relationship where there's an intense physical attraction as well as mental attraction that strong? Can red head photo substitutes sustain me? Can I push the thoughts far enough out of my head that they don't exist? Or can I make myself believe that that perfect third will one day come along?

Ideally, I could have it all. The three of us would work in a relationship. Yet you've completely given up on the three relationship idea, so that makes my decision all the more weighty. There's a lot of great here... a LOT... if there weren't, it surely wouldn't be such a difficult decision. I ask that you reconsider, for me. I'll take things slow, I promise. But if you'd only leave it open as a possibility. I know it seems awkward, but just get to know us, move it down a notch. I so want to be with you... but I'm being torn apart. I know it's a lot to ask of you, but I'm asking. Who knows how it'll turn out, but it's worth a shot.

I really don't know what to do. Will I end up in Burbank in an apartment alone? You said before that you felt the biggest hurdle was the distance. I talked to Larry. Once I'm gone, I'm gone... no see you on the weekend, nothing. He said he wouldn't even cry. He'd put me in the space where he put Daisy, his dearly loved dog who died a few months ago. It's easier just not to think about her. To him, I would be essentially dead.

So, you in the picture, you not in the picture; the outcome with Larry does not change. I would be just as gone to him if I "simply got the urge" and left or whether I left for you. Yet I say it again, I would not be leaving for you... but to say that you don't factor into the equation is a lie.

Larry's going to NYC today, but I'm still thinking about flying to Kentucky for some time to think. I submitted a request at PriceLine.com a few minutes ago. I should know within the hour if it's been accepted.

How can I have both of these things that I desire so deeply? Is the devil I do know better than the devil I don't? What if I can never get the level of closeness I have with Larry with anyone else? It's scary. He is my rock. My stability point... and Katie and Spencer are my family, too. My mom left her first husband when her kids were younger than Spencer is now. My mom, June Cleaver/Carol Brady, did... I don't know how she did it.

Why is everything so either/or? Could I still flirt with you and win your heart, or will you lock it away if I chose to stay? Does a decision have to be made _now_? While there is an undeniable attraction between us, would it linger if no decision is made, or would you squash it?

You make me feel so great... and kissing you the other night was incredible. I adore making you smile. And while the obsession I wrote about before has subsided, I still think about you over and over and over. I don't want to lose that. I don't want you to stop thinking about me over and over and over. I know the infatuation wears off, but as I described you before, you're intoxicating.

So, I don't know what to do, or how to feel or anything. I know I hate it when you tell me just to forget about you. As though it could ever be that simple...


Jeremy: I read it
Justin: there's some major care going on for you there, buddy
Jeremy: I know... and I know I have a hard time showing it but the feeling is mutual
Justin: I know the love is there in your heart
Justin: and I also have found myself using "adore"
Justin: as to keep that L word in its place
Justin: and I know that if you'd let yourself, there's enough love for both Larry and I
Justin: sure, they may be different kinds
Justin: just as my love for Larry is
Justin: different that the feelings I have fo ryou
Justin: but call them "like" or whatever
Justin: I love both of you
Justin: I don't know how I know it
Justin: I just know that I know it
Justin: I know you're all the things Larry's not
Justin: and he's all the things that you're not
Justin: and I'm all the things that Larry isn't
Justin: I can't bear the thought of you reposting your ad
Justin: I just know you're the right one
Justin: I KNOW IT
Justin: when you were typing before
Justin: I couldn't bare to read it
Justin: I had to e-mail, page, flag down, etc. Jim
Justin: I needed him to go to dinner with me tonight.
Justin: I needed him to cheer me up.
Justin: (Kinda ironic considering he's the one that had the crush on me when I told him about you.)
Justin: But, I just know this.
Justin: It's like every fiber of my being knows it
Justin: and I would literally drive up there just to give you a hug and drive back
Justin: I've said before that the Aladdin song, I can show you the world
Justin: keeps going through my head in regards to you
Justin: I know, with Larry, I can show you the world
Justin: the beach in La Jolla
Justin: the restaurants of LA
Justin: the shores of Hawaii
Justin: I've even cried before when thinking that Larry's older than me
Justin: and will therefore likely die before I do.
Justin: Even when we fight, we say I love you.
Justin: I want to share that with you.
Justin: I want to have that closeness with you
Justin: and I want you to be a part of that closeness with Larry, too.
Justin: With you, I don't even want to take red head's photos
Justin: You fill that need.
Justin: You're the piece that makes it all complete.
Justin: Do you hear what I'm saying? I may be a wordsmith, but this is from the heart.
Jeremy: yes, I hear what you're saying
Justin: I'm so tempted to lighten things with humor.
Justin: But I don't want to.
Justin: I want to make sure you realize
Justin: the passion behind the words.
Justin: The sincerity cannot be lost.
Justin: I do not want to lessen it.
Justin: Jim will be here shortly.
Justin: I will have to go
Justin: but
Justin: I won't stop thinking about you
Justin: please don't stop thinking about me
Justin: Jim's at the door
Justin: I have to go
Justin: but you're here
Jeremy: ok
Justin: in my heart
Justin: bye
Jeremy: bye

I didn't know what I wanted to do when I started writing that letter. Moving out, to have the freedom to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, was a real possibility... but by the time I got it all written down, the "option" of leaving was no longer in the picture.

Yet, during my dinner with Jim, I got a phone call from Jeremy just to say "hi": My letter was enough for him to reconsider his hardfast "No" to the idea of a three person relationship. Part of him must have seen that it needed rethinking, that there was a lot of love there, and I can only imagine that he thought that being a part of that love could be nice.

When I got home from dinner with Jim, I checked PriceLine.com to find that I had gotten my plane ticket to Kentucky, to leave Wednesday... but I didn't really need to go anymore. The stress had lessened, I knew I was staying with Larry and the family, no matter what, and Jeremy was still a possibility.

But, the plane ticket was paid for... and Larry suggested I go as to not have wasted the money, so I decided I would.

Tuesday, though, was still open, so I drove to the ranch and hung out with Jeremy for the day. It was some deep conversation, some playful flirting, but Jeremy, still unsure on whether he wanted to give the three-person relationship thing a try, decidedly didn't want to kiss and we did not.

And then yesterday, Wednesday, I went to the airport, found out the flight was going to be delayed indefinitely (after we had all boarded), and decided I didn't want to go anyway. I knew Mom would be disappointed, but while I wasn't stressing as much as I had been, I'd pretty much reached my cumulative stress threshold. The idea of sitting in a plane, waiting who knows how long, in a cramped coach seat behind 4 kids was more than I could take. I was only going because it was paid for... not because I had wanted to go to Kentucky by myself... and I just couldn't take it.

I got off the plane, said that I wasn't going to the gate attendant, and spent the next hour getting a taxi and being stuck in traffic getting back to my car which was parked just outside the airport.

I needed cheering up again... and Larry was in NYC. Tuesday with Jeremy had originally been to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain, but miscommunication had put the kibosh on that. Thursday, today, seemed like the perfect day and as the kids and everything were taken care of, I decided I would go to the ranch and hopefully go to Magic Mountain the next day (today).

So, long story short, I talked to Larry who was initially apprehensive about me coming back to the ranch for a second day (not wanting my relationship with Jeremy to develop at a much faster pace than his with Jeremy), but by the time we stopped talking, he said it was ok. I called back to make sure a few minutes later, and now I'm here, at the ranch house.

Last night, Jeremy came over. We talked, had a few quick hugs, but that was all; no flirtation, mostly serious talk about him being part of a family, my family. But when he left, I figured that was it. I figured he'd made his decision again to not pursue a three-person relationship and while a part of me was really depressed about it, another part of me was tired of selling the idea and yet another part realized that if I were in his situation, I would likely have the same reservations. If Larry had asked me about a relationship when we first met, I would have undoubtedly said no... but it developed, somehow, and now there's no getting rid of it. We're as interrelated as we could possibly be... and he makes me feel special and loved and protected.


In the course of writing this now, Thursday morning, I called Jeremy to say that it sure seemed like it was worth a shot, that writing it down for the diary really showed how much was there. He responded that he was driving around until 4AM last night thinking about everything, and I asked him if he wanted to have breakfast. He was too asleep at the time and I said I'd call him back in an hour. There's obviously something here... Jeremy left at 1:30AM. He's thinking something... and part of me realizes that decisions like these are not "made" but rather "happen"... but another big part of me really hopes he'll "make" that decision and say that he'll give it a chance to grow.


I met Jeremy for lunch in the neighboring town, 20 miles away, as someone might have seen us together in his hometown and later asked questions. I must say, it was a little "odd" feeling like the colored girlfriend of a white boy, but at the same time, it just made me realize all the more how having Larry and I in Jeremy's life would make a change for the better, for both he and us.

I do not know what he'll decide. He said he'd know by tonight. All I know, and all I've repeated to him, is that it is worth a shot. The potential rewards are immeasurable.

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© 2000 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's