Who is your emergency contact? by Trevor Brown
Originally published on Livejournal Thursday, November 17th, 2005:
I paused and trembled at the question.
The query was simple enough, but as my friend Eric says I analyze things too deeply, so mundane things take on new meanings and nuances. But even simple questions have complex answers.
For years I had put the standard answer of:
emergency contact: Sadie Brown
I think even a few times I put:
emergency contact: Adam Melaney
But usually I put my grandmother, the irony of that doesn't escape me. All of my friends know of the shakiness of that relationship over the years and the recent drama of late. Regardless of all of that she is still my grandmother and in an emergency I know she will do what needs to be done, in spite of what is going on in our relationship.
A few years ago I had reconnected with my younger brother Chaon, I so enjoyed playing "big brother", and hope that the relationship would last surfaced for me. At my job at Kirshenbaum I was filling out some paperwork for my 401k and put him as the beneficiary of the benefits in case of my death. I also put him down as an emergency contact on another form:
emergency contact: Chaon Gentle
It seems that anything that I work for disintegrates even if I tried my best and after one fallout and then another I was back to my standard:
emergency contact: Sadie Brown
Then when I least expected it something magical happened and my hope was renewed again. I met a man who made my heart race, my blood flow and my youth return. This all began with a romantic kiss underneath a starlit evening in Central Park.
Having been alone and lonely for so long I just knew it couldn't last and even three years later I was amazed that I was still in the relationship. I kept waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up. Happiness has seem to be so fleeting in my life that I had began to think I didn't deserve it, and I begin to dream and hope again.
Is it wrong to hope? Is it wrong to think maybe he will be the "one"? I feel silly even saying that, I was never one to talk in such absolutes and I never believed there could be any "one" for me, and had sort of resolved my self to a life of solitude. This new person made me feel alive again, feel like settling down, feel like being a better me, not just for him but for something else new "Us".
Of course I wanted all the best for him always, and even though my very eccentric choice of being an entrepreneur I still tried my best to do well by him. I worked so hard on this relationship to be better in it then I had been in any of the ones I had before. I even challenged myself to fight my depression, because I knew it wouldn't be fair to him for me to emotionally check out and submit to my depression which was a long-time friend and as comfortable as a well worn shoe.
The relationship was so many things that I thought I would never do, one of those being long distance. It presented unique challenges but I think I rose to meet them and even conquer them by staying for periods of a week at a time to be with him, wake up with him, and greet him when he came home from work.
I begin to pick up domestic task like doing his laundry, dishes and light house cleaning and it felt good to do these things it felt good to be accommodating to my man while he was out earning his money.
When it came to Christmas and his birthdays I really shined in getting him all the latest high tech toys from PS2 to Tivo. I made sure my gifts aimed to not only please him but to show my dedication and commitment to him.
Even when things went south with his indiscretion which wounded my soul. I chose to challenge myself to rise beyond my natural instinct to terminate the relationship and eliminate him from my life, which the old me would have done to someone who had so thoroughly violated my trust. I reached deep into my being for compassion and understanding and I let him back in, and most importantly, I forgave him and moved on.
He has subsequently regained a lot of trust back, but not the same absolute trust that I had given him previously, but that is the nature of relationships sometimes things are lost that can't be recovered no matter how hard you try.
One thing that was very important to me in this relationship was to keep it fresh and new and keep the passion alive. My partner said how important it was for him to have a lot of physical attention and affection. I made sure that I consistently lavished affection on him even when he slowly stopped giving me the same, and I had to request it, which broke my heart.
But this guy made me happy, he turned me on with the touch of his hands or his soft kisses so when I was presented with another form that asked me who my emergency contact I happily and proudly put down:
emergency contact: Paul Soave
When folks saw that they would think of all the things going on with gay marriage and that's not what I meant. I wasn't married, but Paul took care of me in ways that a husband would. He set up a bank account in his name so I could have a safe place to put my money away from creditors who had seized my own bank account. When I took a trip to Puerto Rico with my friend Adam he knew I didn't have a lot of money for the trip and he put some money in the bank account he set up for me. He also did something else that no family member ever did for me, he bought me groceries, when there was no food in the house and I was too proud to apply for food stamps. He was also there to support me when my cat of twelve years died dramatically and painfully in front of me. He was there to comfort me, and made a very difficult situation a lot easier to deal with. He was also something else I never had in an intimate relationship, he was my best friend. I had seemingly been abandoned by all the people who I thought were my friends in my life, and there he was filling the void.
For all of these things and the intimacy we enjoyed for the three years I loved him dearly. His voice was soothing, his hands healing and loving him was easy. My love for him or towards him never changed.
But it seems loving me was not as easy even with all of my efforts. He stopped having sex with me, stopped touching me, and stopped loving me.
Once again I was alone, abandoned and once again the answer to who your emergency contact is:
emergency contact: Sadie Brown
[Fire Box Photo by Trevor Brown #trevorbrown #photography]