On Peter, My Star
“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” ― Jack KerouacI used to love Kerouac--I still do. Just not in the same way I guess--but more like I love the opening coda to the Main Street Electrical Parade. It takes me back to a time in my life that I remember fondly, but don't necessarily want to go back to.
I was thinking about Kerouac on Andrew Sullivan's blog this morning and my reaction to him when I'd first read On the Road in college. I was young and newly gay--I thought I'd never have a reason or opportunity settle down. I thought the quote above would define me--it was, I thought, my destiny not my chosen mantra.
Then I met Peter.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately--we've been married some time now. I'm in law school and Peter is at work, and, as always seems usual for me, my peers are much younger than I am. Law School students are generally 22-25 years old, so I'm an anomaly being married and 32. I've gotten myself involved with the Law School Student Veteran's Association and LAMDA--the LGBT group at school.
We often text one another as the kids (I use that term loosely for groups of other people who are having a good time, not pejoratively or patronizingly) are going out on the town. The other night my phone was vibrating like it was going to die--the guys were headed out and good times were around the corner. I was in bed, dogs tucked under my left arm, Peter holding my hand, his head on my chest and him quietly sleeping.
I laughed... there was a time I couldn't imagine the stability and home I have. I squeezed Peter's hand smiled and went to sleep.
It's funny--one of the questions I get often from my friends about marriage is something along the lines of "Aren't you worried you'll get bored?" I think the unspoken question there is probably more about sex then live, but what I think people don't get--what I didn't get--was that marriage is about so much more than sex. Marriage and love--they're about stability--about finding answers to questions you didn't know were plaguing you. It's about knowing that to some degree you've arrived at your destination and that "the rest"...well that will figure itself out, but whatever happens you'll be fine because you're rooted and grounded in something and someone else.
It's not purely self-less; it's selfish. I love Peter because he makes me better, he gives me stability, he gives me hope and strength and I hope I give him the same. Peter's my star now--no more chasing--I have direction. I'm no longer listless and have moved on from Kerouac. I began reading Steinbeck years before college while at DLI but I think I only get it now...
“The nicest thing in the world you can do for anybody is let them help you.”And now... instead of being On the Road I feel like Doc and Suzie driving off to La Jolla still uncertain about the future, but OK with that because my compass is true.