‘The Closest Profiles Are Miles Away’
Finding love is hard. Finding love as a 30-year-old gay man living in his parents’ basement on an Iowa diary farm during a pandemic is impossible. Lying in darkness in a room with cement walls, I hear my parents upstairs. Last year they celebrated 40 years of marriage. Before my grandparents died, they celebrated 52. Should I download Grindr again? For the rural gays, that’s the best place to meet. But the closest profiles are miles away and they’re usually closeted married men. So I stay away. Lonely on acres of land, I dream of connection. — Jordon Deutmeyer
Years ago while away for the weekend, I woke up before my friend. In the refrigerator I found a small amount of orange juice and split it between two glasses. When she woke up and saw the juice she was surprised. She said that if her husband had found the orange juice, he would have poured it all in one glass for himself. I realized that if my husband had found the small amount of juice, he would have saved it all for me. We are still together; they are not. — Darah Latourelle
Grandpa and Grandson on the Go
My grandson, a toddler on the go, and I, his grandfather with Parkinson’s, have a closeness around matters of motion. He knows that I can’t carry or lift him, so he climbs into my lap. It worries me that he might only think of me as “Papa on the couch.” Yesterday, I got off the couch with difficulty. Before I knew it, my grandson came up behind me, placing his hands behind my knees. He helped me walk, using all of his 30 pounds to support me. I was in tears. What do children see, feel and understand? Everything. — Larry Zelnick
A divorce after 24 years of marriage provides the chance to be yourself again. I used to be funny, so I returned to stand-up. A friend came to see me perform with her latest Bumble date. “You are crazy funny,” he said flirtatiously. Fellow Mustang drivers, we exchanged smiles as we roared off our separate ways. After my friend and the Bumble date broke up, I took him on, but it was no joke how bad we were together. I tried Bumble, connecting with a man who, coincidentally, I’d crossed paths with in New York and North Carolina. Funny how things work out. — Jennifer Zajac
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