The Fabulous Old Men's Club
This was our third meeting of the Fabulous Old Men's Club, we met in the Sugar House at Pompanuck Farm, Scott and Lisa Carrino's beautiful retreat.
On our first meet in the Sugar House, we invited my good friend Paul Moshimer, he committed suicide shortly afterwards. In his honor, the club really never met again after that, but I think of my annual sit downs with Scott as a celebration of friendship among men, a rare and complicated things.
Our idea was to gather a group of men who are beginning to be old and Scott and Paul loved the idea, we spent hours sitting in front of the steaming vats doing what most men rarely do and don't know how to do – talk openly and authentically with one another.
After Paul's death, I gave up on the idea of friendship, recently a man I disagreed with about something sent me an e-mail telling me to "fuck off," and that is too often the way friendships with men end. We are vulnerable, and opening up to other men just seems to make me more vulnerable, and for good reason.
Scott and I, on the other hand, have overcome that trial. We have become good and close and trusted friends, we talk often and quite honestly with each other. We each have told the other things we have not told anyone, we root for each other and support one another. When Maria went to India, Scott called me every day just to make sure I wasn't lonely or in need of help. I didn't need anyone to do that, but it is also true that no one else did so that.
I count on Scott, we argue often, but he would never tell me to fuck off. We trust one another. Scott is a complicated, sometimes difficult man, as I am. He also is a man of great heart and talent. He runs the Round House Cafe, is obsessed with serving his community, even at the expensive of his own time and health, and is a Tai Chi Master.
I think Scott and I have come to that unusual place with me, we truly love one another and would happily sacrifice for each other. That, I have to say, is new to me in my life with men. I am grateful for it
It is a good thing Scott is a Tai Chi Master, otherwise, the top of his head might blow right off. We are both driven man, but also two men who have been opened up by life and who seek to know the truth about ourselves. I very much appreciate our hours sitting in his sugar house, vats boiling, fires burning, bottles of sweet syrup getting filled up.
We are at peace there, with one another and with the world. I wish it were bubbling all year. I might get back one or two more times this year, or yesterday might have been it, I left with a small bottle of Scott's maple syrup, it is quite special.
As I sat in the car outside, I thought of Paul, and said a little prayer for him. Paul, I remember your promise that we would do great things together, and I hope that will still come true, in one way or another. The Fabulous Old Men's Club still meets, and Scott and I are doing what we all talked about doing, we are working hard to be better and more sensitive and supportive men.
That is, as you know – you were a big tough First Responder for years – easier said that done. Were you kidding, I wonder, when you said you look forward to our meetings, or were you hiding your great pain and sorrow from the very people who wanted to hear about it? I suppose I will never know. Wherever you are, I wish you every happiness and fulfillment.
For me, the road to authenticity is long and hard. For me it seems to lead to the sugar house, and Scott.