Act of Contrition WW-III

This was a short story I started to write in August through September of '95. It was my intention to release it anonymously and carefully change the names in the story to protect the guilty. Yes, I was feeling really guilty and very much in love with Wynn Wagner III. A person that I knew could never be mine. Instead, I had compromised my values making the decision that "same time next year" was better than what my current days had in store. I had no idea that this story would ever go further than it did here.


Act of Contrition WW-III
by Rick Wagner
September, 1995

"Bless me father for I have ....."

I stood there in the cathedral and rehearsed it over and over as I relived the details of my confession. The dark dank smell of incense, old wood of the pews coupled with somber lighting. This caused my mind to wander as I stood there waiting my turn in line.

I met him on a BBS when I was 24. He was a wonderful man whom I had become rather fond of but unfortunately never really met in person. You see, he was more of a voice on the telephone, and occasional e-mail but still he was as real as any other person I'd ever known. Bright, intelligent, witty, and sometimes arrogant. He was patient enough to listen to my colorful stories of lifetime experiences. Like giddy school children, we talked for hours on the phone... even got crazy one time having phone sex knowing all the while that it was in good fun. Still, it was vivid and realistic enough to leave a subconscious void that needed filling.

After about a year of these pseudo engagements we met in person for one of NYC's gay pride events. He with his lover and I with mine. Though it was only a congenial visit, there was still a soft tender spot that made me want to reach out and hold him forever. In reality I knew this would never happen since we both had our own lives and commitments. Still, when we parted, he took a piece of my soul without ever really knowing it.

I hadn't heard from him for almost seven years when out of the blue, we stumbled into one another in a computer user's group. It's important to know that the two of us came out during the sexual revolution and there were many times that I feared he had contracted AIDS and became just another statistic like many of my other friends. Like a breath of fresh air we did our hello's exchanged a few stories but later he vanished again just as he did seven years ago. At least this time I knew he was ok and quite comfortable.........

The line in the church was moving ever so slowly... I wondered what could possibly be more important than telling the priest my story. With luck I might even get a little compassion out of him but instead I stood there as my mind continued to wander and my palms began to sweat.

It was now 1995.. Almost ten years from the first time we had ever met. One afternoon I had a strong desire to find out what he was doing. By coincident or should I say eavesdropping, I found his email address and decided to look him up for old time sake. As always, he was happy to hear from me and asked if I was interested in meeting him for an afternoon in the city. You see, by this time his career had skyrocketed and he was now a prominent business man requiring many hours of travel. I felt pretty silly telling him that the only thing I ever went to the city for was the gay night life and the restaurants. Believe it or not, this beautiful Texan who never even lived in the city decided to take me to the Empire State building. Not only did we make it to the top in record time but he pointed out the history of the city to me in such detail and a way that I had never seen before. I admired his patience and his willingness to share his knowledge.

When we got back down to ground level it was my turn to show him portions of the city that I really enjoyed. I had a secret little restaurant nestled in the heart of Greenwich Village that served the most wonderful and inexpensive meals I've ever had in the city. The neatest thing about this place was it's indoor garden and huge patio fountain that adorned the dining area. I knew it would be a hit.

As we wandered around to find a cab he asked if I minded going to his hotel room. He had just undergone some oral surgery and needed to tend to some personal hygiene requirements.

"Not at all," I replied since it wasn't very far and we had the whole afternoon to meander wherever we wanted.

When we got to his hotel room I laid on the bed while he did his thing in the bathroom. Tired and sleepy from the long train ride into the city I began to get comfortable as we started to talk about our lives. He told me that after 13 years his relationship had grown cold and bland. Though he loved his partner he didn't feel complete. I told him that although I was doing well career-wise, my lover had a drinking problem. Feeling somewhat unfulfilled I told him how my lover could be cruel and abusive at one moment and loving the next. He didn't contribute much to that part of the conversation but instead reached over and kissed me.

Sparks of intense passion shot through my body as my mind objected to what was happening. I wanted this, I needed this but I knew it was wrong. Still, I thought about my unpleasant life at home and how good I felt. Even if it was only for an afternoon.

(To be continued sometime later when I’m bored…)