Paul : Do you think we could have worked out?
My ISO : We would have worked each other out in time.
Retrospective thought just isn't one of his finer points. Although I'm sure cynical souls like my ISO - and myself as well - would scoff at such a fanciful notion, I've always likened relationships to little wooden sailing crafts traversing the waters.
For some, it's easy enough to get on board a relationship. Just one look, that quick stirring spark of desire/lust and the ship's up and running like a well-oiled machine.
In the beginning, budding relationships are more like strange uncharted waters, filled with hidden obstacles in the deep ready to entrap the unsuspecting sailor. In that way, heterosexuals have it easy - with centuries of hard-won experience from intrepid sailors who have gone before them bringing home beautifully rendered maps detailing the dangerous reefs where unprepared relationships have floundered helplessly, the ever-present lure of bewitching sirens ever ready to wreck havoc and also thankfully the occasional lighthouse to cling on to. Warning signages placed on the map cry out Breakup Island and Infidelity Bay - and yet, even then a large number of straight relationships find it almost impossible to stay the course.
Easy enough to find more than a handful marooned on the Shoal of Separation.
All it takes is just one look..
How much more difficult would it be for a gay relationship to steer the way? Very few have made their way through such alien waters, without maps and signs to show the way only depending on sheer luck and fortune to pull them through. As kids, we're all brought up to envision a heterosexual partnership where the roles are already perfectly spelt out - no matter how sexually typecast they may be. From previous clearly defined examples like their parents, they already know vaguely their assigned duties and lines.
So what happens when there are two guys in a relationship? Who takes the wheel to steer the course? Who slogs in the galley? Who holds the ship together when the winds of change batter the sails? Is it any wonder that the shipwrecks of gay relationships largely outnumber the successful expeditions that make it safe to home port? Happily-ever-after seems to be an island paradise shrouded in mystery for most gay sailors.
Interesting thought especially with a creative friend of mne, Strapping Shane, envisioning a gay new drama series as an assignment for his classes. How many lasting gay relationships do you know in real life?
Even I can hardly claim to be unscathed by shipwrecks. My ISO claimed that both of us desperately craved the wheel - though I actually imagined that I was quite content to let him steer since I preferred slogging in the galleys anyway. Unfortunately the lure of the siren call - in the form of half naked virile mermen who regularly take the clubs as their regular haunt - was too much for him especially since he hadn't quite gotten used to his sealegs yet.