“That was what a best friend did: hold up a mirror and show you your heart.”
~~ Kristin Hannah,
Something like ten years ago I went to this semiannual bonfire that was held at a farm about forty-five minutes from my house. This really great guy loved to do this twice a year and a few friends of his helped him do it. The attendees were mostly gay men, but all were welcome. It was in October and I was having a nice night sitting on a blanket around this lovely fire and talking with friends.
Then, looking over my shoulder for some reason, I happened to see this man step out of the darkness and become bathed in the orange glow of the fire.
He was beautiful.
And almost immediately I saw the fire shining on the gold band around his finger.
And introduced myself to a man named Will.
He’d come with friends, but the two of us wound up spending most of the evening together. It was amazing how much we had in common. We just kept stumbling over on thing after another. We were both big geeks, loved Star Trek, were a part of the bear community (he was more involved than I), we had Live Journals, and on and on an on. Then, as the evening was ending, it turned out that amongst all those men at that fire—from all over the greater Kansas City area (many as much as sixty miles away)—he happened to live about a mile from me.
Within a week he came over for dinner and met my husband and we have been remarkable friends ever since. I jokingly call him my other husband. In some ways he almost feels that way.
Will is a remarkable man. Wise beyond his years, kind, intelligent, sweet, sharing, generous, unselfish, funny, supportive (he was one of the first people to ever read and beta my stories), he is a friend I value among all others.
When R and I got married—the one we count as real, the one that didn’t include a piece of paper—he even did a reading at our ceremony.
Through good and bad, thick and thin, he is there.
He is the kind of person who when R and I have a big disagreement will clearly say which of us he think is making sense, and which of us needs to sit back and think things through. And we love him and trust him enough to listen to him. Sometime you need someone to give you some tough love. To make you see the truth.
He’s a wonderful man. I am so blessed—R and I are so blessed—to have him in our lives.
He comes over almost every Monday night and we watch TV and share good meals and even cuddle. It’s nice to have a friend you can cuddle with. It’s one of the things I most love about being gay. Could straight men cuddle? Women can.
I love having a best friend I can cuddle with.
I will never ever forget that night by that fire. Seeing him step out of the darkness, awash in the warm orange glow, his smile, his eyes…. I knew in that instant I had met someone who would change my life.
How remarkable to have a friend that breaks all the conventions of society…a friend that crystallizes how wonderful it is to be gay.
And Lord of the Universe, am I blessed to be gay!
So today I am thankful for my dear and wonderful friend Will. He proves how wonderful life can be.
Hey! I’ll be seeing him tonight. God, I’m lucky.