Chasing cars

Why do dogs chase cars? This isn’t a riddle. It’s a serious question. What do dogs think when they are chasing the automobile?

The answer is they aren’t thinking anything. They’re programmed by evolution to chase things that move quickly, because in nature, those things are almost always food. The dogs don’t generally catch the car and seem to walk back content that, if they didn’t catch it, they at least scared it off. Even dogs that fit into small purses feel totally bad ass.

Like dogs, humans are always chasing after something just out of reach, often not knowing why. We chase whatever is close enough to make us think we have a shot, but it just escapes, like a springbuck from a lioness on a David Attenborough nature documentary.

Dogs, as they age, still chase cars, they just chase slower ones. Humans though aren’t as smart. We still think we can catch the prey or defeat whatever demon we are battling. “Faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money” is our refrain, when the fastest thing we should be after is an electric scooter at Walmart. But that doesn’t stop us. We keep trying because let’s face it; it’s all we know.

But that’s who we are, no used trying to change it or deny it. I’ve spent my adult life denying I was a bisexual, polyamorous dude who found building deep emotional bonds as natural as breathing and was sexually attracted to more than one gender. I’ll admit it can get confusing and it’s an orientation (which tends to beget behavior) not readily compatible with traditional marriage. (You know, the marriages where people pretend it’s just between one man and one woman but in reality, one or both partners is fucking the pool boy)? I’ve been called “a charmer” and “seductive”, not always in a complimentary fashion. I don’t think I am either of those, but rather just me being me with few boundaries and no filter.

Truth be told, I hate being this way. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t want it. I tried to return it, but while God is BIG , He’s not Amazon and apparently, I need a receipt. So, this is the me I am stuck with.

Human sexuality is one of the least understood and misunderstood aspects of human behavior. For one, the scientific study of it didn’t really begin in earnest until the 19th century, at least in the West. Secondly -and most importantly- it’s such a personal subject that almost all of us can’t see past our own experiences. This means understanding sexuality different from our own doesn’t come naturally. We just don’t “get it”. It’s not in our personal experience and may even be aversive. We often can’t see past the end of our own genitalia when it comes to understanding what other people find enjoyable or desirable.

One thing I am not is gay. I am both romantically and sexually attracted to women. There’s a phrase in the gay community, “bi now, gay later”, as if same sex attraction is something we try on for size.  That may be true for some, but it is not for me. For those not comfortable with the term “bisexual”, I say I am “semi-straight”.

Another thing that bi people deal with is a sense of being caught between two worlds. Straight and gay folks tend to want us to “pick a team” and assume we are just “going through a phase” or “working through some things”. Straight people (especially well-meaning religious types) opine that non-heterosexual people have some sort of hormone imbalance, were not loved by their fathers, or were insufficiently suckled as infants. My personal favorite is those who say I might have a sexual addiction. I wish I did, because my sex drive isn’t nearly as strong as it used to be, a reminder of something the late Lee Bledsoe (a Fine American) said, “It’s no sin to get old. It’s just damn inconvenient”.

Listen up: LGBT people have hang-ups like everyone. We have broken families, come from intact marriages, and are children of divorce. We deal with all the same life challenges as the rest of the world, but we do it while also dealing with what for many is a deep dark secret, kept hidden by the very real fear that, if they knew who we really were, we will be rejected by those we hold most dear. So, we bury ourselves inside ourselves, a façade made of secrets and lies.

Time for me to finally say, “enough”. I’ve never shared this publicly and why I do now I am not entirely certain, other than the normal human desire to be understood. I also figure this removes the risk of being “outed”. Being at an age where I care less and less about what more and more people think of me also helps. If you’re a fundamentalist, first I am sorry, but more importantly, if my sexuality and my ability to love more than one person are important to you and you think my eternal destiny is in jeopardy, please understand this is most decidedly not a teachable moment. I know the verses and bible passages as well or better than you and I damn well know my own life experiences. Either you love me, or you don’t, and I am the same guy I have always been.

This is all something I am still coming to grips with. Fear kept me quiet, but fear kills. I’ve been suicidal, and self-loathing remains a daily battle. Mostly, I feel like a foolish old man chasing a young man’s dreams, always barely beyond my grasp. The car I am still chasing is the desire to fiercely love someone who accepts me as me and loves me likewise. I’ve come very close. I’ve had one or the other, but not both. The clock is ticking. I am not optimistic I’ll catch the car, but that’s ok. Neither life nor God owe me anything. But I do owe them something: to love and accept others the way I need to be. To remind people that they matter and to love them regardless of whether they love me in return. Jesus lived that way. I happen to think He’s a pretty good role model.

About Life Along the Edge

In my 50's, I'm enough to remember the first Apollo landing. I'll eventually forget it, or worse, decide it was all a conspiracy done on a Hollywood sound stage. Most of the rest you need to know about me you can discern from my writing. Other important stuff: I have one wife and three daughters. I live in Arizona. I love seafood and being outdoors. But, most importantly, I'm on a journey following Jesus. God leads, I do a shitty job following. He's patient with me. I pray you will be too. Grace and Peace, David
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