Sleeping single in a queen-size bed

By Buddy Early, August 2019 Issue.

I am

approaching a monumental milestone at the end of the year. No, I’m not talking

about a birthday with a zero at the end; nor am I standing on the precipice of

a major life decision; and I’m certainly not referring to the anniversary of

the time I tried shrooms — which is a sensation I’d love to get back, but

without the added component of thinking I can fly and wanting to jump off the

roof of Long Wong’s bar. (If that feeling could be obtained by chugging chocolate

milk and experienced in a safe, controlled environment, like a padded room or a

Jamba Juice, then I’ll give it another whirl.)

I’m actually

referencing the 20-year marker of being single. That’s right, 20 years since I

tried sharing my life with another human. It’s been 20 years since I was

legitimately able to leave someone a note that read “Your truck was blocking my

car, so I took your keys.” And it’s been 20 years since I found myself lying in

bed next to a person who threatened to kill me. (Spoiler alert: he didn’t.)

This doesn’t

mean I haven’t had dalliances and trysts during that time. I’ve had brief

relationships that lasted a month, a few weeks, a night, or the time it takes

to hold off the line that has formed outside the ladies’ room door. But the

stars aligned for me in this new millennium so that my decision to not date

perfectly coincided with the rest of society’s decision to not date me.

It could have something to do with how I use pompous words like dalliance and

tryst and acquiesce. (Read further for that last one.)

Still, at the

risk of being laughed out of the Gay Mafia, I will confess that, in addition to

celebrating 20 years being single I have also recently passed the five-year

mark of being celibate. (Insert gay gasp here!) For the most part this was a

conscious decision, made when I decided I no longer wanted to have sex outside

of a relationship, and exacerbated by not wanting to be in a relationship. (I

guess I sort of painted myself into a corner with that, huh?)

Like a lot of

us — gay, straight and bi — I am a practitioner of self-sabotage. I never have

a shortage of reasons for not dating: I don’t like my appearance right now; I’m

in transition in my career; I have huge debts that prevent me from wooing

another human in spectacular fashion; my home is a mess (and I don’t want to

clean it); it’s football season; nobody deserves to date me and I don’t deserve

to date anyone. I probably struck a nerve with some readers with that last one.

Yes, I am a charter delegate of the “I Wouldn’t Belong To A Club That Would

Have Someone Like Me As A Member Association.” With that in mind, I will

acquiesce (see, I told you!) that I am my own worst enemy. But honestly, as

soon as people find out I once described myself as a “conduit” in a job

interview, I figure that’s a deal-breaker.

With these two

anniversaries weighing on me and a true milestone birthday approaching in a few

years, however, I’ve started thinking about dating in more practical terms. You

know, thinking about finding and settling down with someone, well,


Dog bless the

folks who can find that perfect mate, or who are at least able to believe they will

find that perfect mate. But I think most of us, as we get older, accept that

may be unlikely. Sometimes you just decide you need companionship, and not

necessarily the person who completes you. Sometimes you just want a person who

will split the cost of groceries and change lightbulbs because your mom once

had a light bulb explode and it left a chard of glass in her hand … and not

necessarily someone who will sweep you off your feet. Sometimes you just want

to see if there is another person who might give you additional purpose,

because you are afraid that thus far your only legacy is having been introduced

on Hollywood Squares as “the irascible Buddy Early.” And sometimes you

just want an assurance that someone will be there if you choke on your own

vomit and die in your sleep, rather than waiting eight days for your boss to

finally have the authorities conduct a welfare check.  (I know, but I’m dishing out hard truths this


Point is, it’s never too late. Nonetheless, I will still draw the line at folks who intentionally spell words like “favourite” and “colour” when they 100% know that’s not how we spell it here. I mean, what’s that about anyway?

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