Don Noyes More
I promised myself I would never write, never divulge, and never tell anyone no matter how close they were to me. Well, here
is one of those stories: here’s the “rest of the story.”
Sometimes I have looked back at my life and thought, “what if…?”
This story was the flowering of my empathy for others. I chose the right thing to do, not what my desire and full inclination
was, and it turned out to be a life lesson. I know that there may be some ‘push-back’ on this story from my LGBT
Sisters and Brothers. I hold my life values above my sexuality but I have spent my life in pursuit of the call to ‘human
values.’ I look back fondly and with the thankfulness of a life that presented so many possibilities. This was just
The glow of the
early Fall illuminated the soccer field. It was warm and I was sweating from what seemed like an endless game, no one was
winning. I took my jersey top off and threw it to the sidelines. I noticed a man, early 20’s in a Navy uniform standing
alone with his eyes transfixed on me. Our eyes met and he smiled: you know ‘that’ smile of sweet seduction. He
stood 5’8’ maybe, black short cropped hair, and ‘moody blue” eyes. At the end of the game he was still
standing there, still staring at me smiling. I went over to him and said “hi”. There was an odd moment of both
of us unable to think of anything to say, but we were not moving on. After some inane chitchat he asked me out. “I’m
on leave, how ‘bout you and I going out tonight”? It all seemed so right. I was not just attracted to him but
fascinated by his manner.
went to dinner and then we walked around a nearby lake, he mostly spoke of being in the submarine service and his long deployments.
I felt engrossed with his sweet engaging demeanor. We were together for the rest of that weekend. Passion played out in ways
I had never experienced, there was something different, and I felt different. Barry had 36 days left until his next deployment,
which was going to be a long 90-day deployment. We filled almost every night and most days with emotional and physical intimacy
I did not often share nor experience. We laughed and played like kids. It all felt so good, so very positive…I was falling
in love. Oh my God, I was falling…in love.
The days wandered one into another, who was counting? Maybe this would never end. I was already starting
to miss him. Only 2 days to deployment.
We laid laughing in a tumble of sheets. We started to talk, “Donnie I love” you, he said moving his head
into my chest, I love you so much. There’s something I need to tell you before I go again.” My heart was beating
“I wish I had told you before all this between you and me happened.” I
felt a sheer panic. “I never expected love”, he said sadly. “I’m married…and, and I have 2 kids
a boy and a girl.” I felt the earth slip between my feet. I sat frozen. “I want to leave my wife and spend the
rest of my life with you, I love you, I love you!” The pain that hollow pain that grabs your guts and starts to strangle
you was taking over. He had “Children, married with a wife”? I think I’m falling, free-floating.
We got up and got dressed. I said nothing at all.
He kept kissing my cheek, I felt cold and abandoned.
“Barry I want you to stay in your marriage
and stay for your kids.” I just blurted it out. An enormous guilt and shame came over me. “This is so wrong”,
I though to myself, “so wrong!” Barry started to cry. “It’s the right thing, don’t ruin your
kids lives by leaving them, please stay with them.” The horror of taking a dad away from his kids made me reflect upon
everything that was of value to me. They should come first.
I walked Barry out to his car. “Can we see each other again?” He asked. Tearfully
I said “no. But I will always remember you as someone I loved.” He cried again. We hugged and I whispered into
his ear, “I’ll always love and remember you, now go do the right thing. He drove off unable to look at me.
Three months later I was on Lakeshore Drive shopping
and noticed Barry with a beautiful blonde woman and two children, the children were laughing and happy. I stood silently watching,
Barry's eyes caught mine, and he smiled and winked at me. I smiled back, paused, and turned walking away, never to see Barry
again. He stayed with the wife and kids!
My joy was in the children.
I did not think of what might have been between us, I knew I had
done thatright thing.
Children come first and always have, and always will.
I still love Barry many decades later.